I knew a single instance of gold found in this state. It was interspersed in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds weight, which yielded seventeen pennyweight of gold, of extraordinary ductility. This ore was found on the North side of Rappahanoc, about four miles below the falls. I never heard of any other indication of gold in its neighbourhood.
On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth of Cripple creek, and about twenty-five miles from our southern boundary, in the county of Montgomery, are mines of lead. The metal is mixed, sometimes with earth, and sometimes with rock, which requires the force of gunpowder to open it; and is accompanied with a portion of silver, too small to be worth separation under any process hitherto attempted there. The proportion yielded is from 50 to 80 lb. of pure metal from 100 lb. of washed ore. The most common is that of 60 to the 100 lb. The veins are at sometimes most flattering; at others they disappear suddenly and totally. They enter the side of the hill, and proceed horizontally. Two of them are wrought at present by the public, the best of which is 100 yards under the hill. These would employ about 50 labourers to advantage. We have not, however, more than 30 generally, and these cultivate their own corn. They have produced 60 tons of lead in the year; but the general quantity is from 20 to 25 tons. The present furnace is a mile from the ore-bank, and on the opposite side of the river. The ore is first waggoned to the river, a quarter of a mile, then laden on board of canoes and carried across the river, which is there about 200 yards wide, and then again taken into waggons and carried to the furnace. This mode was originally adopted, that they might avail themselves of a good situation on a creek, for a pounding mill: but it would be easy to have the furnace and pounding mill on the same side of the river, which would yield water, without any dam, by a canal of about half a mile in length. From the furnace the lead is transported 130 miles
A valuable lead mine is said to have been lately discovered in Cumberland, below the mouth of Red river. The greatest, however, known in the western country, are on the Missisipi, extending from the mouth of Rock river 150 miles upwards. These are not wrought, the lead used in that country being from the banks on the Spanish side of the Missisipi, opposite to Kaskaskia.
A mine of copper was once opened in the county of Amherst, on the North side of James river, and another in the opposite country, on the South side. However, either from bad management or the poverty of the veins, they were discontinued. We are told of a rich mine of native copper on the Ouabache, below the upper Wiaw.
The mines of iron worked at present are Callaway's, Ross's, and Ballendine's, on the South side of James river; Old's on the North side, in Albemarle; Miller's in Augusta, and Zane's in Frederic. These two last are in the valley between the Blue ridge and North mountain. Callaway's, Ross's, Millar's, and Zane's, make about 150 tons of bar iron each, in the year. Ross's makes also about 1600 tons of pig iron annually; Ballendine's 1000; Callaway's, Millar's, and Zane's, about 600 each. Besides these, a forge of Mr. Hunter's, at Fredericksburgh, makes about 300 tons a year of bar iron, from pigs imported from Maryland; and Taylor's forge on Neapsco of Patowmac, works in the same way, but to what extent I am not informed. The indications of iron in other places are numerous, and dispersed through all the middle
In the western country, we are told of iron mines between the Muskingum and Ohio; of others on Kentucky, between the Cumberland and Barren rivers, between Cumberland and Tannissee, on Reedy creek, near the Long island, and on Chesnut creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where it crosses the Carolina line. What are called the iron banks, on the Missisipi, are believed, by a good judge, to have no iron in them. In general, from what is hitherto known of that country, it seems to want iron.
Considerable quantities of black lead are taken occasionally for use from Winterham, in the county of Amelia. I am not able, however, to give a particular state of the mine. There is no work established at it, those who want, going and procuring it for themselves.
The country on James river, from 15 to 20 miles above Richmond, and for several miles northward and southward, is replete with mineral coal of a very excellent quality. Being in the hands of many proprietors, pits have been opened, and before the interruption of our commerce were worked to an extent equal to the demand.
In the western country coal is known to be in so many places, as to have induced an opinion, that the whole tract between the Laurel mountain, Missisipi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in many places on the North side of the Ohio. The coal at Pittsburg is of very superior quality. A bed of it at that place has been a-fire since the year 1765. Another coal-hill on the Pike-run of Monongahela has been a-fire ten years; yet it has burnt away about twenty yards only.
I have known one instance of an Emerald found in this country. Amethysts have been frequent, and chrystals common; yet not in such numbers any of them as to be worth seeking.
There is very good marble, and in very great abundance, on
I have seen, were some of them of a white as pure as one might expect to find on the surface of the earth: but most of them were variegated with red, blue, and purple. None of it has been ever worked. It forms a very large precipice, which hangs over a navigable part of the river. It is said there is marble at Kentucky.
But one vein of lime-stone is known below the Blue ridge. Its first appearance, in our country, is in Prince William, two miles below the Pignut ridge of mountains; thence it passes on nearly parallel with that, and crosses the Rivanna about five miles below it, where it is called the South-west ridge. It then crosses Hardware, above the mouth of Hudson's creek, James river at the mouth of Rockfish, at the marble quarry before spoken of, probably runs up that river to where it appears again at Ross's iron-works, and so passes off south-westwardly by Flat creek of Otter river. It is never more than one hundred yards wide. From the Blue ridge westwardly the whole country seems to be founded on a rock of lime-stone, besides infinite quantities on the surface, both loose and fixed. This is cut into beds, which range, as the mountains and sea-coast do, from south-west to north-east, the lamina of each bed declining from the horizon towards a parallelism with the axis of the earth. Being struck with this observation, I made, with a quadrant, a great number of trials on the angles of their declination, and found them to vary from 22x to 60x but averaging all my trials, the result was within one-third of a degree of the elevation of the pole or latitude of the place, and much the greatest part of them taken separately were little different from that: by which it appears, that these lamina are, in the main, parallel with the axis of the earth. In some instances, indeed, I found them perpendicular, and even reclining the other way: but these were extremely rare, and always attended with signs of convulsion, or other circumstances of singularity, which admitted a possibility of removal from their original position. These trials were made between Madison's cave and the Patowmac. We hear of lime-stone on the Missisipi and Ohio, and in all the mountainous country between the eastern and western waters, not on the mountains themselves, but occupying the vallies between them.
Near the eastern foot of the North mountain are immense bodies of Schist, containing impressions of shells in a variety of forms. have received petrified shells of very different kinds from the first sources of the Kentucky, which bear no resemblance to any I have ever seen on the tide-waters. It is said that shells are found in the Andes, in South-America, fifteen thousand feet above the level of the ocean. This is considered by many, both of the learned and unlearned, as a proof of an universal deluge. To the many considerations opposing this opinion, the following may be added. The atmosphere, and all its contents, whether of water, air, or other matters, gravitate to the earth; that is to say, they have weight. Experience tells us, that the weight of all these together never exceeds that of a column of mercury of 31 inches height, which is equal to one of rain-water of 35 feet high. If the whole contents of the atmosphere then were water, instead of what they are, it would cover the globe but 35 feet deep; but as these waters, as they fell, would run into the seas, the superficial measure of which is to that of the dry parts of the globe as two to one, the seas would be raised only 52 1/2 feet above their present level, and of course would overflow the lands to that height only. In Virginia this would be a very small proportion even of the champaign country, the banks of our tide-waters being frequently, if not generally, of a greater height. Deluges beyond this extent then, as for instance, to the North mountain or to Kentucky, seem out of the laws of nature. But within it they may have taken place to a greater or less degree, in proportion to the combination of natural causes which may be supposed to have produced them. History renders probable some instances of a partial deluge in the country lying round the Mediterranean sea. It has been often 2supposed, and is not unlikely, that that sea was once a lake. While such, let us admit an extraordinary collection of the waters of the atmosphere from the other parts of the globe to have been discharged over that and the countries whose waters run into it. Or without supposing it
M. de Voltaire has suggested a third solution of this difficulty (Quest. encycl. Coquilles). He cites an instance in Touraine, where, in the space of 80 years, a particular spot of earth had been twice metamorphosed into soft stone, which had become hard when employed in building. In this stone shells of various kinds were produced, discoverable at first only with the microscope, but afterwards growing with the stone. From this fact, I suppose, he would have us infer, that, besides the usual process for generating shells by the elaboration of earth and water in animal vessels, nature may have
There is great abundance (more especially when you approach the mountains) of stone, white, blue, brown, &c. fit for the chissel, good mill-stone, such also as stands the fire, and slate-stone. We are told of flint, fit for gun-flints, on the Meherrin in Brunswic, on the Missisipi between the mouth of Ohio and Kaskaskia, and on others of the western waters. Isinglass or mica is in several places; load-stone also, and an Asbestos of a ligneous texture, is sometimes to be met with.
Marle abounds generally. A clay, of which, like the Sturbridge in England, bricks are made, which will resist long the violent action of fire, has been found on Tuckahoe creek of James river, and no doubt will be found in other places. Chalk is said to be in Botetourt and Bedford. In the latter county is some earth, believed to be Gypseous. Ochres are found in various parts.
In the lime-stone country are many caves, the earthy floors of which are impregnated with nitre. On Rich creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, about 60 miles below the lead mines, is a very large one, about 20 yards wide, and entering a hill a quarter or half a mile. The vault is of rock, from 9 to 15 or 20 feet above the floor. A Mr. Lynch, who gives me this account, undertook to extract the nitre. Besides a coat of the salt which had formed on the vault and floor, he found the earth highly impregnated to the depth of seven feet in some places, and generally of three, every bushel yielding on an average three pounds of nitre. Mr. Lynch having made about 1000 lb. of the salt from it, consigned it to some others, who have since made 10,000 lb. They have done this by pursuing the cave into the hill, never trying a second time the earth they have once exhausted, to see how far or soon it receives another impregnation. At least fifty of these caves are worked on the Greenbriar. There are many of them known on Cumberland river.
The country westward of the Alleghaney abounds with springs of common salt. The most remarkable we have heard of are at Bullet's lick, the Big bones, the Blue licks, and on the North fork of Holston. The area of Bullet's lick is of many acres. Digging the earth to the depth of three feet, the water begins to boil up, and the deeper you go, and the drier the weather, the stronger is the brine. A thousand gallons of water yield from a bushel to a bushel and a half of salt, which is about 80 lb. of water to one lb. of salt; but of sea-water 25 lb. yield one lb. of salt. So that sea-water is more than three times as strong as that of these springs. A salt spring has been lately discovered at the Turkey foot on Yohogany, by which river it is overflowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not yet known. Duning's lick is also as yet untried, but it is supposed to be the best on this side the Ohio. The salt springs on the margin of the Onondago lake are said to give a saline taste to the waters of the lake.
There are several Medicinal springs, some of which are indubitably efficacious, while others seem to owe their reputation as much to fancy, and change of air and regimen, as to their real virtues. None of them having undergone a chemical analysis in skilful hands, nor
The most efficacious of these are two springs in Augusta, near the first sources of James river, where it is called Jackson's river. They rise near the foot of the ridge of mountains, generally called the Warm spring mountain, but in the maps Jackson's mountains. The one is distinguished by the name of the Warm spring, and the other of the Hot spring. The Warm spring issues with a very bold stream, sufficient to work a grist-mill, and to keep the waters of its bason, which is 30 feet in diameter, at the vital warmth, viz. 96x of Farenheit's thermometer. The matter with which these waters is allied is very volatile; its smell indicates it to be sulphureous, as also does the circumstance of its turning silver black. They relieve rheumatisms. Other complaints also of very different natures have been removed or lessened by them. It rains here four or five days in every week.
The Hot spring is about six miles from the Warm, is much smaller, and has been so hot as to have boiled an egg. Some believe its degree of heat to be lessened. It raises the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer to 112 degrees, which is fever heat. It sometimes relieves where the Warm spring fails. A fountain of common water, issuing within a few inches of its margin, gives it a singular appearance. Comparing the temperature of these with that of the Hot springs of Kamschatka, of which Krachininnikow gives an account, the difference is very great, the latter raising the mercury to 200x which is within 12x of boiling water. These springs are very much resorted to in spite of a total want of accommodation for the sick. Their waters are strongest in the hottest months, which occasions their being visited in July and August principally.
The Sweet springs are in the county of Botetourt, at the eastern foot of the Alleghaney, about 42 miles from the Warm springs. They are still less known. Having been found to relieve cases in which the others had been ineffectually tried, it is probable their composition is different. They are different also in their temperature, being as cold as common water: which is not mentioned, however, as a proof of a distinct impregnation. This is among the first sources of James river.
On Patowmac river, in Berkeley county, above the North mountain, are Medicinal springs, much more frequented than those of Augusta. Their powers, however, are less, the waters weakly mineralized, and scarcely warm. They are more visited, because situated in a fertile, plentiful, and populous country, better provided with accommodations, always safe from the Indians, and nearest to the more populous states.
In Louisa county, on the head waters of the South Anna branch of York river, are springs of some medicinal virtue. They are not much used however. There is a weak chalybeate at Richmond; and many others in various parts of the country, which are of too little worth, or too little note, to be enumerated after those before-mentioned.
We are told of a Sulphur spring on Howard's creek of Greenbriar, and another at Boonsborough on Kentuckey.
In the low grounds of the Great Kanhaway, 7 miles above the mouth of Elk river, and 67 above that of the Kanhaway itself, is a hole in the earth of the capacity of 30 or 40 gallons, from which issues constantly a bituminous vapour in so strong a current, as to give to the sand about its orifice the motion which it has in a boiling spring. On presenting a lighted candle or torch within 18 inches of the hole, it flames up in a column of 18 inches diameter, and four or five feet height, which sometimes burns out within 20 minutes, and at other times has been known to continue three days, and then has been left still burning. The flame is unsteady, of the density of that of burning spirits, and smells like burning pit coal. Water sometimes collects in the bason, which is remarkably cold, and is kept in ebullition by the vapour issuing through it. If the vapour be fired in that state, the water soon becomes so warm that the hand cannot bear it, and evaporates wholly in a short time. This, with the circumjacent lands, is the property of his Excellency General Washington and of General Lewis.
There is a similar one on Sandy river, the flame of which is a column of about 12 inches diameter, and 3 feet high. General Clarke, who informs me of it, kindled the vapour, staid about an hour, and left it burning.
The mention of uncommon springs leads me to that of Syphon fountains. There is one of these
After these may be mentioned the Natural Well, on the lands of a Mr. Lewis in Frederick county. It is somewhat larger than a common well: the water rises in it as near the surface of the earth as in the neighbouring artificial wells, and is of a depth as yet unknown. It is said there is a current in it tending sensibly downwards. If this be true, it probably feeds some fountain, of which it is the natural reservoir, distinguished from others, like that of Madison's cave, by being accessible. It is used with a bucket and windlass as an ordinary well.
A complete catalogue of the trees, plants, fruits, &c. is probably not desired. I will sketch out those which would principally attract notice, as being 1. Medicinal, 2. Esculent, 3. Ornamental, or 4. Useful for fabrication; adding the Linnaean to the popular names, as the latter might not convey precise information to a foreigner. I shall confine myself too to native plants.
The following were found in Virginia when first visited by the English; but it is not said whether of spontaneous growth, or by cultivation only. Most probably they were natives of more southern climates, and handed along the continent from one nation to another of the savages.
There is an infinitude of other plants and flowers, for an enumeration and scientific description of which I must refer to the Flora Virginica of our great botanist Dr. Clayton, published by Gronovius at Leyden, in 1762. This accurate observer was a native and resident of this state, passed a long life in exploring and describing its plants, and is supposed to have enlarged the botanical catalogue as much as almost any man who has lived.
Besides these plants, which are native, our Farms produce wheat, rye, barley, oats, buck wheat, broom corn, and Indian corn. The climate suits rice well enough wherever the lands do. Tobacco, hemp, flax, and cotton, are staple commodities. Indico yields two cuttings. The silk-worm is a native, and the mulberry, proper for its food, grows kindly.
We cultivate also potatoes, both the long and the round, turnips, carrots, parsneps, pumpkins, and ground nuts (Arachis.) Our grasses are Lucerne, St. Foin, Burnet, Timothy,
The gardens yield musk melons, water melons, tomatas, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculent plants of Europe.
The orchards produce apples, pears, cherries, quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds, and plumbs.
Our quadrupeds have been mostly described by Linnaeus and Mons. de Buffon. Of these the Mammoth, or big buffalo, as called by the Indians, must certainly have been the largest. Their tradition is, that he was carnivorous, and still exists in the northern parts of America. A delegation of warriors from the Delaware tribe having visited the governor of Virginia, during the present revolution, on matters of business, after these had been discussed and settled in council, the governor asked them some questions relative to their country, and, among others, what they knew or had heard of the animal whose bones were found at the Saltlicks, on the Ohio. Their chief speaker immediately put himself into an attitude of oratory, and with a pomp suited to what he conceived the elevation of his subject, informed him that it was a tradition handed down from their fathers, `That in antient times a herd of these tremendous animals came to the Big-bone licks, and began an universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals, which had been created for the use of the Indians: that the Great Man above, looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning, descended on the earth, seated himself on a neighbouring mountain, on a rock, of which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole were slaughtered, except the big bull, who presenting his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they fell; but missing one at length, it wounded him in the side; whereon, springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, over the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day.' It is well known that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further north, tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude, are found in great numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner by the Indians near the mouth of the Tanissee, relates, that, after being transferred
xviii. 122. ed.
`La nature vivante est beaucoup moins agissante, beaucoup moins forte:' that nature is less active, less energetic on one side of the globe than she is on the other. As if both sides were not warmed by the same genial sun; as if a soil of the same chemical composition, was less capable of elaboration into animal nutriment; as if the fruits and grains from that soil and sun, yielded a less rich chyle, gave less extension to the solids and fluids of the body, or produced sooner in the cartilages, membranes, and fibres, that rigidity which restrains all further extension, and terminates animal growth. The truth is, that a Pigmy and a Patagonian, a Mouse and a Mammoth, derive their dimensions from the same nutritive juices. The difference of increment depends on circumstances unsearchable to beings with our capacities. Every race of animals seems to have received from their Maker certain laws of extension at the time of their formation. Their elaborative organs were formed to produce this, while proper obstacles were opposed to its further progress. Below these limits they cannot fall, nor rise above them. What intermediate station they shall take may depend on soil, on climate, on food, on a careful choice of breeders. But all the manna of heaven would never raise the Mouse to the bulk of the Mammoth.
The opinion advanced by the Count de Buffon, is 1. That the animals common both to the old and new world, are smaller in the latter. 2. That those peculiar to the new, are on a smaller scale. 3. That those which have been domesticated in both, have degenerated in America: and 4. That on the whole it exhibits fewer species. And the reason he thinks is, that the heats of America are less; that more
`en general il paroit que les pays un peu froids conviennent mieux à nos boeufs que les pays chauds, et qu'ils sont d'autant plus gros et plus grands que le climat est plus humide et plus abondans en paturages. Les boeufs de Danemarck, de la Podolie, de l'Ukraine et de la Tartarie qu'habitent les Calmouques sont les plus grands de tous.' Here then a race of animals, and one of the largest too, has been increased in its dimensions by cold and moisture, in direct opposition to the hypothesis, which supposes that these two circumstances diminish animal bulk, and that it is their contraries heat and dryness which enlarge it. But when we appeal to experience, we are not to rest satisfied with a single fact. Let us therefore try our question on more general ground. Let us take two portions of the earth, Europe and America for instance, sufficiently extensive to give operation to general causes; let us consider the circumstances peculiar to each, and observe their
|White bear. Ours blanc|
|Elk. Elan. Orignal, palmated|
|Red deer. Cerf||288.8||*273|
|Fallow deer. Daim||167.8|
|Glutton. Glouton. Carcajou|
|Wild cat. Chat sauvage||+30|
|Lynx. Loup cervier||25.|
|Red Fox. Renard||13.5|
|Grey Fox. Isatis|
|Water rat. Rat d'eau||7.5|
|Flying squirrel. Polatouche||2.2||+4|
|Shrew mouse. Musaraigne||1.|
their weights and mine stand opposed: the latter being stated, not to produce a conclusion in favour of the American species, but to justify a suspension of opinion until we are better informed, and a suspicion in the mean time that there is no uniform difference in favour of either; which is all pretend.
|Sanglier. Wild boar||280.||Tapir||534.|
|Mouflon. Wild sheep||56.||Elk, round horned||+450.|
|Bouquetin. Wild goat||Puma|
|Desman. Muskrat||oz.||Cougar of N. Amer.||75.|
|Ecureuil. Squirrel||12.||Cougar of S. Amer.||59.4|
|Souris. Mouse||Sloth. Unau||27 1/4|
|Whabus. Hare. Rabbet|
|Great grey squirrel||+2.7|
|Fox squirrel of Virginia||+2.625|
|Indian pig. Cochon|
|Lesser grey squirrel||+1.5|
|Red squirrel||10. oz.|
|Sarigue of Cayenne|
I have not inserted in the first table the 5Phoca nor leather-winged bat, because the one living half the year in the water, and the other being a winged animal, the individuals of each species may visit both continents.
Of the animals in the 1st table Mons. de Buffon himself informs us, [XXVII. 130. XXX. 213.] that the beaver, the otter, and shrew mouse, though of the same species, are larger in America than Europe. This should therefore have corrected the generality of his expressions XVIII. 145. and elsewhere, that the animals common to the two countries, are considerably less in America than in Europe, `& cela sans aucune exception.' He tells us too, [Quadrup. VIII. 334. edit. Paris, 1777] that on examining a bear from America, he remarked no difference, `dans la forme de cet ours d'Amerique comparé a celui d'Europe.' But adds from Bartram's journal, that an American bear weighed 400 lb. English, equal to 367 lb. French: whereas we find the European bear examined by Mons. D'Aubenton, [XVII. 82.] weighed but 141 lb. French. That the palmated Elk is larger in America than Europe we are informed by Kalm, a Naturalist who visited the
I. 233. Lond.
former by public appointment for the express
fact Pennant concurs with him. [Barrington's Miscellanies.] The same Kalm tells us that the Black Moose, or
Renne of America, is as high as a tall horse; and Catesby, that it is about the bigness of a middle sized ox. The
same account of their size has been given me by many who have seen them. But Mons. D'Aubenton says that the Renne of Europe is but about the size of a Red-deer.
The wesel is larger in America than in Europe, as may be seen by comparing its dimensions as reported by Mons. D'Aubenton and Kalm. The latter tells us, that the
I. 359. I. 48.
221. 251. II.
lynx, badger, red fox, and flying squirrel, are the same in America as in Europe: by which expression I understand, they are the same in all material circumstances, in size as well as others: for if they were smaller,
they would differ from the European. Our grey fox is, by Catesby's account, little different in size and shape from the European foo. I presume he means the red fox
of Europe, as does Kalm, where he says, that in size `they do not quite come up to our foxes.' For proceeding next to the red fox of America, he says `they are entirely the same with the European sort.' Which shews he had in view one European sort only, which was the red. So that the result of their testimony is, that the American grey fox is somewhat less than the European red; which is equally true of the
Quad. IX. 1.
grey fox of Europe, as may be seen by comparing the measures of the Count de Buffon and Mons. D'Aubenton. The white bear of America is as large as that of Europe. The bones of the Mammoth which have been found in America, are as large as those found in the old world. It may be asked, why I insert the Mammoth, as if it still existed? I ask in return, why I should omit it, as if it did not exist? Such is the oeconomy of nature, that no instance can be produced of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be broken. To add to this, the traditionary testimony of the Indians, that this animal still exists in the northern and western parts of America, would be adding the light of a taper to that of the meridian sun. Those parts still remain in their aboriginal state, unexplored and undisturbed
autant une personne qui me releve d'une erreur, qu'une autre qui m'apprend une verité, parce qu'en effet une erreur corrigée est une verité.' He seems to have XXV. 184.
thought the Cabiai he first examined wanted little of its full growth. `Il n'etoit pas encore tout-a-fait adulte.' Yet he weighed but 46 1/2 lb. and he found
afterwards, that these animals, when full grown,
jaguar, said to be two years old, which weighed but 16 lb. 12 oz. that, when he should have acquired his full growth, he would not be larger than a middle sized dog.
Quad. IX. 41.
But a subsequent account raises his weight to 200 lb. Further information will, doubtless, produce further corrections. The wonder is, not that there is yet something in this great work to correct, but that there is so little. The result of this view then is, that of 26 quadrupeds common to both countries, 7 are said to be larger in America, 7 of equal size, and 12 not sufficiently examined. So that the first table impeaches the first member of the assertion, that of the animals common to both countries, the American are smallest, `et cela sans aucune exception.' It shews it not just, in all the latitude in which its author has advanced it, and probably not to such a degree as to found a distinction between the two countries.
Proceeding to the second table, which arranges the animals found in one of the two countries only, Mons. de Buffon observes, that the tapir, the elephant of America, is but of the size of a small cow. To preserve our comparison, I will add that the wild boar, the elephant of Europe, is little more than half that size. I have made an elk with round or cylindrical horns, an animal of America, and peculiar to it; because I have seen many of them myself, and more of their horns; and because I can say, from the best information, that, in Virginia, this kind of elk has abounded much, and still exists in smaller numbers; and I could never learn that the palmated kind had been seen here at all. suppose this confined to the more Northern latitudes6I have made our hare or rabbet peculiar,
name Whabus, to keep it distinct from these. Kalm is of the same opinion. I have enumerated the squirrels according to our own knowledge, derived from daily sight of them, because I am not able to reconcile with that the European appellations and descriptions. I have heard of other species, but they have never come within my own notice. These, I think, are the only instances in which I have departed from the authority of Mons. de Buffon in the construction of this table. I take him for my ground work, because I think him the best informed of any Naturalist who has ever written. The result is, that there are 18 quadrupeds peculiar to Europe; more than four times as many, to wit 74,
The IIId. table comprehends those quadrupeds only which are domestic in both countries. That some of these, in some parts of America, have become less than their original stock, is doubtless true; and the reason is very obvious. In a thinly peopled country, the spontaneous productions of the forests and waste fields are sufficient to support indifferently the domestic animals of the farmer, with a very little aid from him in the severest and scarcest season. He therefore finds it more convenient to receive them from the hand of nature in that indifferent state, than to keep up their size by a care and nourishment which would cost him much labour. If, on this low fare, these animals dwindle, it is no more than they do in those parts of Europe where the poverty of the soil, or poverty of the owner, reduces them to the same scanty subsistance. It is the uniform effect of one and the same cause, whether acting on this or that side of the globe. It would be erring therefore against that rule of philosophy, which teaches us to ascribe like effects to like causes, should we impute this diminution of size in America to any imbecility or want of uniformity in the operations of nature. It may be affirmed with truth that, in those countries, and with those individuals of America, where necessity or curiosity has produced equal attention as in Europe to the nourishment of animals, the horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs of the one continent are as
horse of 4 feet 5 inches high and 400 lb. weight French, equal to 4 feet 8.6 inches and 436 lb. English, as a middle sized horse. Such a one is deemed a small horse in America. The extremes must therefore be resorted to. The same anatomist dissected a horse of 5 feet 9 inches height, French measure,
equal to 6 feet 1.7 English. This is near 6 inches higher than any horse I have seen: and could it be supposed that I had seen the largest horses in America, the conclusion would be, that ours have diminished, or that we have bred from a smaller stock. In Connecticut and Rhode-Island, where the climate is favorable to the production of grass, bullocks have been slaughtered which weighed 2500, 2200, and 2100 lb. nett; and those of 1800 lb. have been frequent. I have seen a7hog weigh 1050 lb. after the blood, bowels, and hair had been taken from him. Before he was killed an attempt was made to weigh him with a pair of steel-yards, graduated to 1200 lb. but he weighed more. Yet this hog was probably not within fifty generations of the European stock. I am well informed of another which weighed 1100 lb. gross. Asses have been still more neglected than any other domestic animal in America. They are neither fed nor housed in the most rigorous season of the year. Yet they are larger than those measured
VIII. 48. 35.
by Mons. D'Aubenton, of 3 feet 7 1/4 inches, 3 feet 4 inches, and 3 feet 2 1/2 inches, the latter weighing only 215.8 lb. These sizes, I suppose, have been produced by the same negligence in Europe, which has produced a like diminution here. Where care has been taken of them on that side of the water, they have been raised to a size bordering on that of the horse; not by the heat and dryness of the climate,
at a birth. Mons. de Buffon has been sensible of a difference in this circumstance in favour of America. But what are their greatest weights I cannot say. A large
sheep here weighs 100 lb. I observe Mons. D'Aubenton calls a ram of 62 lb. one of the middle size. But to say what are the extremes of growth in these and the other domestic animals of America, would require information of which no one individual is possessed. The weights actually known and stated in the third table preceding will suffice to shew, that we may conclude, on probable grounds, that, with equal food and care, the climate of America will preserve the races of domestic animals as large as the European stock from which they are derived; and consequently that the third member of Mons. de Buffon's assertion, that the domestic animals are subject to degeneration from the climate of America, is as probably wrong as the first and second were certainly so.
That the last part of it is erroneous, which affirms that the species of American quadrupeds are comparatively few, is evident from the tables taken all together. By these it appears
that there are an hundred species aboriginal of America. Mons. de Buffon supposes about double that number existing on the whole earth. Of these Europe, Asia, and Africa, furnish suppose 126; that is, the 26 common to Europe and America, and about 100 which are not in America at all. The American species then are to those of the rest of the earth, as 100 to 126, or 4 to 5. But the residue of the earth being double the extent of America, the exact proportion would have been but as 4 to 8.
Hitherto I have considered this hypothesis as applied to brute animals only, and not in its extension to the man of America, whether aboriginal or transplanted. It is the opinion of Mons. de Buffon that the former furnishes no exception to
it. `Quoique le sauvage du nouveau monde soit à-peu-près de même stature que l'homme de notre monde, cela ne suffit pas pour qu'il puisse faire une exception au fait général du rapetissement de la nature vivante dans tout
faculties? How has this `combination of the elements and other physical causes, so contrary to the enlargement of animal nature in this new world, these obstacles to the developement and formation of great germs,' been arrested and suspended, so as to permit the human body to acquire its just dimensions, and by what inconceivable process has their action been directed on his mind alone? To judge of the truth of this, to form a just estimate of their genius and mental powers, more facts are wanting, and great allowance to be made for those circumstances of their situation which call for a display of particular talents only. This done, we shall probably find that they are formed in mind as well as in body, on the same module with the 12`Homo sapiens Europaeus.' The principles of their society forbidding all compulsion, they are to be led to duty and to enterprize by personal influence and persuasion. Hence eloquence in council, bravery and address in war, become the foundations of all consequence with them. To these acquirements all their faculties are directed. Of their bravery and address in war we have multiplied proofs, because we have been the subjects on which they were exercised.
Of their eminence in oratory we have fewer examples, because it is displayed chiefly in their own councils. Some, however, we have of very superior lustre. I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage, superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore, when governor of this state. And, as a testimony of their talents in this line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the incidents necessary for understanding it. In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery and murder were committed on an inhabitant of the frontiers of Virginia, by two Indians of the Shawanee tribe. The neighbouring whites, according to their custom, undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. Col. Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those much-injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the Kanhaway in quest of vengeance. Unfortunately a canoe of women and children, with one man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and unsuspecting an hostile attack from the whites. Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the river, and the moment the canoe reached the shore, singled out their objects, and, at one fire, killed every person in it. This happened to be the family of Logan, who had long been distinguished as a friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked his vengeance. He accordingly signalized himself in the war which ensued. In the autumn of the same year, a decisive battle was fought at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, between the collected forces of the Shawanees, Mingoes, and Delawares, and a detachment of the Virginia militia. The Indians were defeated, and sued for peace. Logan however disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But, lest the sincerity of a treaty should be distrusted, from which so distinguished a chief absented himself, he sent by a messenger the following speech to be delivered to Lord Dunmore.
`I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the
Before we condemn the Indians of this continent as wanting genius, we must consider that letters have not yet been introduced among them. Were we to compare them in their present state with the Europeans North of the Alps, when the Roman arms and arts first crossed those mountains, the comparison would be unequal, because, at that time, those parts of Europe were swarming with numbers; because numbers produce emulation, and multiply the chances of improvement, and one improvement begets another. Yet I may safely ask, How many good poets, how many able mathematicians, how many great inventors in arts or sciences, had Europe North of the Alps then produced? And it was sixteen centuries after this before a Newton could be formed. I do not mean to deny, that there are varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their powers both of body and mind. I believe there are, as I see to be the case in the races of other animals. I only mean to suggest a doubt, whether the bulk and faculties of animals depend on the side of the Atlantic on which their food happens to grow, or which furnishes the elements of which they are compounded? Whether nature has enlisted herself as a Cis or Trans-Atlantic partisan? I am induced to suspect, there has been more eloquence than sound reasoning displayed in support of this theory; that it is one of those cases where the judgment has been seduced by a glowing pen: and whilst I render every tribute of honor and esteem to the celebrated Zoologist, who has added, and is still adding, so many precious things to the treasures of science, I must doubt whether in this instance he has not cherished error also, by
So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic. Its application to the race of whites, transplanted from Europe, remained for the Abbé Raynal. `On doit etre etonné (he says) que l'Amerique n'ait pas encore produit un bon poëte, un habile mathematicien, un homme de genie dans un seul art, ou une seule science.' 7. Hist. Philos. p. 92. ed. Maestricht. 1774. `America has not yet produced one good poet.' When we shall have existed as a people as long as the Greeks did before they produced a Homer, the Romans a Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the English a Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach be still true, we will enquire from what unfriendly causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have inscribed any name in the roll of poets 13But neither has America produced `one able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science.' In war we have produced a Washington, whose memory will be adored while liberty shall have votaries, whose name will triumph over time, and will in future ages assume its just station among the most celebrated worthies of the world, when that wretched philosophy shall be forgotten which would have arranged him among the degeneracies of nature. In physics we have produced a Franklin, than whom no one of the present age has made more important discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more, or more ingenious solutions of the phaenomena of nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittenhouse second to no astronomer living: that in genius he must be the first, because he is self-taught. As an artist he has exhibited as great a proof of mechanical genius as the world has ever produced. He has not indeed made a world; but he has by imitation approached nearer its Maker than any man who has
Having given a sketch of our minerals, vegetables, and quadrupeds, and being led by a proud theory to make a comparison of the latter with those of Europe, and to extend it to the Man of America, both aboriginal and emigrant, I will proceed to the remaining articles comprehended under the present query.
Between ninety and an hundred of our birds have been described by Catesby. His drawings are better as to form and attitude, than colouring, which is generally too high. They are the following.
| |Linnæan Designation. | |Catesby's Designation. | |Popular Names. | |Buffon oiseaux.
|Lanius tyrannus||Muscicapa coronâ rubrâ||1.55||Tyrant. Field martin||8.398|
|Vultur aura||Buteo specie GaHo-pavonis||1.6||Turkev buzzard||1.246|
|Falco leucocephalus||Aquila capite albo||1.1||Bald Eagle||1.138|
|Falco sparverius||Accipiter minor||1.5||Little hawk. Sparrow hawk|
|Falco columbarius||Accipiter palumbarius||1.3||Pigeon hawk||1.338|
|Falco furcatus||Accipiter caudâ furcatâ||1.4||Forked tail hawk||1286.312|
|Accipiter piscatorius||1.2||Fishing hawk||1.199|
|Strix asio||Noctua aurita minor||1.7||Little owl||1.141|
|Psittacus Caroliniensis||Psitticus Caroliniensis||1.11||Parrot of Carolina. Perroquet||17.383|
|Corvus cristatus||Pica glandaria, cærulea, cristata||1.15||Blue jay||5.164|
|Oriolus Baltimore||Icterus ex aureo nigroque varius||1.48||Baltimore bird||5.318|
|Oriolus spurius||Icterus minor||1.49||Bastard Baltimore||5.321|
|Gracula quiscula||Monedula purpurea||1.12||Purple jackdaw. Crow blackbird||5.134|
|Cuculus Americanus||Cuculus Caroliniensis||1.9||Carolina cuckow||12.62|
|Picus principalis||Picus maximus rostro albo||1.16||White bill woodpecker||13.69|
|Picus pileatus||Picus niger maximus, capite rubro||1.17||Larger red-crested woodpecker||13.72|
|Picus erythrocephalus||Picus capite toto rubro||1.20||Red-headed woodpecker||13.83|
|Picus auratus||Picus major alis aureis||1.18||Gold winged woodpecker. Yucker||13.59|
|Picus Carolinus||Picus ventre rubro||1.19||Red bellied woodpecker||13.105|
|Picus pubescens||Picus varius minimus||1.21||Smallest spotted woodpecker||13.113|
|Picus villosus||Picus medius quasi-villosus||1.19||Hairy woodpecker. Speck. woodpec.||13.111|
|Picus varius||Picus varius minor ventre luteo||1.21||Yellow bellied woodpecker||13.115|
| |Linnæan Designation. | |Catesby's Designation. | |Popular Names. | |Buffon oiseaux.
|Sirra Europæa||Sitta capite nigro||1.22||Nuthatch||10.213|
|Sitta capite fusco||1.22||Small Nuthatch||10.214|
|Certhia pinus||Parus Americanus lutescens||1.61||Pinecreeper||9.433|
|Trochilus colubris||Mellivora avis Caroliniensis||1.65||Humming bird||11.16|
|Anas Canadensis||Anser Canadensis||1.92||Wild goose||17.122|
|Anas bucephala||Anas minor purpureo capite||1.95||Buffel's head duck||17.356|
|Anas rustica||Anas minor ex albo & fusco vario||1.98||Little brown duck||17.413|
|Anas discors||Querquedula Americana variegata||1.100||White face teal||77.403|
|Anas discors. .||Querquedula Americana fusca||1.99||Blue wing teal||17.405|
|Anas sponsa||Anas Americanus cristatus elegans||1.97||Summer duck||17.351|
|Anas Americanus lato rostro||1.96||Blue wing shoveler||17.275|
|Mergus cucullatus||Anas cristatus||1.94||Round crested duck||15.437|
|Colymbus podiceps||Prodicipes minor rostro vario||1.91||Pied bill dopchick||15.383|
|Ardea Herodias||Ardea cristata maxima Americana||3.10||Largest crested heron||14.113|
|Ardea violacea||Ardea stellaris cristata Americana||1.79||Crested bittern||14.134|
|Ardca cærulea||Ardea cærulea||1.76||Blue heron. Crane||14.131|
|Ardea virescens||Ardea stellaris minima||1.80||Small bittern||14.142|
|Axdea æquinoctialis||Ardea alba minor Caroliniensis||1.77||Little white heron||14.136|
|Ardea stellaris Americana||1.78||Brown bittern. Indian hen||14.175|
|Tantalus loculator||Pelicanus Americanus||1.81||Wood pelican||13.403|
|Tantalus alber||Numenius albus||1.82||White curlew||15.62|
|Tantalus fuscus||Numenius fuscus||1.83||Brown curlew||15.64|
|Charadrius vociferus||Pluvialis vociferus||1.71||Chattering plover. Kildee||15.151|
|Hæmatopus ostralegus||Haelig;matopus||1.85||Oyster Catcher||15.185|
| |Linnæan Designation. | |Catesby's Designation. | |Popular Names. | |Buffon oiseaux.
|Rallus Virginianus||Gallinula Americana||1.70||Soree. Ral-bird||15.256|
|Meleagris Gallopavo||Gallopavo Sylvestris||xliv.||Wild turkey||3.187.229|
|Tetrao Virginianus||Perdix Sylvestris Virginiana||3.12||American partridge. American quail||4.237|
|Urogallus minor, or a kind of Lagopus||3.1||Pheasant. Mountain partridge||3.409|
|Columba passerina||Turtur minimus guttatus||1.26||Ground dove||4.404|
|Columba migratoria||Palumbus migratorius||1.23||Pigeon of passage. Wild pigeon||4.351|
|Columba Caroliniensis||Turtur Carohniensis||1.24||Turtle. Turtle dove||4.401|
|Alauda alpestris||Alauda gutture flavo||1.32||Lark. Sky lark||9.79|
|Alauda magna||Alauda magna||1.33||Field lark. Large lark||6.59|
|Stumus niger alis superne rubentibus||1.13||Red winged starling. Marsh blackbird||5.293|
|Turdus migratorius||Turdus pilaris migratorius||1.29||Fieldfare of Carolina. Robin redbreast||5.426|
|Turdus rufus||Turdus ruffus||1.28||Fox coloured thrush. Thrush||5.449|
|Turdus polyglottos||Turdus minor cinereo albus non maculatus||1.27||Mocking bird||5.451|
|Turdus minimus||1.31||Little thrush||5.400|
|Ampelis garrulus. .||Garrulus Caroliniensis||1.46||Chatterer||6.162|
|Loxia Cardinalis||Coccothraustes rubra||1.38||Red bird. Virginia nightingale||6.185|
|Loxia Cærulea||Coccothraustes eærulea||1.39||Blue gross beak||8.125|
|Emberiza hyemalis||Passer nivalis||1.36||Snow bird||8.47|
|Emberiza Oryzivora||Hormlanus Caroliniensis||1.14||Rice bird||8.49|
|Emberiza Ciris||Fringilla tricolor||1.44||Painted finch||7.247|
|Tanagra cyanea||Linaria cærulea||1.39||Blue gross beak||8.125|
|Passer fuscus||1.34||Cowpen bird||7.196|
|Fringilla erythrophthalma||Passer niger oculis rubris||1.34||Towhe bird||7.201|
| |Linnæan Designation. | |Catesby's Designation. | |Popular Names. | |Buffon oiseaux.
|Fringilla tristis||Carduehs Americanus||1.43||American goldfinch. Lettuce bird||7.297|
|Fringilla purpurea||1.41||Purple finch||8.129|
|Muscicapa crinita||Muscicapa cristata ventre luteo||1.52||Crested flycather||8.379|
|Muscicapa rubra||Muscicapa rubra||1.56||Summer red bird||8.410|
|Muscicapa ruticilla||Ruticilla Americana||1.67||Red start||8.349|
|Muscicapa Caroliniensis||Muscicapa vertice nigro||1.66||Cat bird||8.372|
|Muscicapa nigrescens||1.53||Black-cap flycatcher||8.341|
|Muscicapa fusca||1.54||Little brown flycatcher||8.344|
|Muscicapa oculis rubris||1.54||Red-eyed flycatcher||8.337|
|Motacilla Sialis||Rubicula Americana cærulea||1.47||Blue bird||9.308|
|Motacilla regulus||Regulus cristatus||3.13||Wren||10.58|
|Motacilla trochilus. .||Oenanthe Americana pectore luteo||1.50||Yellow-breasted chat||6.96|
|Parus bicolor||Parus cristatus||1.57||Crested titmouse||10.181|
|Parus Americanus||Parus fringillaris||1.64||Finch creeper||9.442|
|Parus Virginianus||Parus uropygeo luteo||1.58||Yellow rump||10.184|
|Parus cucullo nigro||1.6o||Hooded titmouse||10.183|
|Parus Americanus gutture luteo||1.62||Yellow-throated creeper|
|Parus Caroliniensis||1.63||Yellow titmouse||9.431|
|Hiauldo Pelasgia||Hirundo cauda aculeata Americana||3.8||American swallow||12.478|
|Hirundo purpurea||Hirundo purpurea||1.51||Purple martin. House martin||12.445|
|Caprimulgus Europæus||Caprimulgus||1.8||Goatsucker. Great bat||12.243|
|Caprimulgus Europæus||Caprimulgus minor Americanus||3.16||Whip-poor Will||12.246|
Besides these, we have
And doubtless many others which have not yet been described and classed.
To this catalogue of our indigenous animals, I will add a short account of an anomaly of nature, taking place sometimes in the race of negroes brought from Africa, who, though black themselves, have in rare instances, white children, called Albinos. I have known four of these myself, and have faithful accounts of three others. The circumstances in which all the individuals agree are these. They are of a pallid cadaverous white, untinged with red, without any coloured spots or seams; their hair of the same kind of white, short, coarse, and curled as is that of the negro; all of them well formed, strong, healthy, perfect in their senses, except that of sight, and born of parents who had no mixture of white blood. Three of these Albinos were sisters, having two other full sisters, who were black. The youngest of the three was killed by lightning, at twelve years of age. The eldest died at about 27 years of age, in child-bed, with her second child. The middle one is now alive in health, and has issue, as the eldest
Of our fish and insects there has been nothing like a full description or collection. More of them are described in Catesby than in any other work. Many also are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Jamaica, as being common to that and this country. The honey-bee is not a native of our continent. Marcgrave indeed mentions a species of honey-bee in Brasil. But this has no sting, and is therefore different from the one we have, which resembles perfectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that it was brought from
cannot live through the winter in Canada. They furnish then an additional proof of the remarkable fact first observed by the Count de Buffon, and which has thrown such a blaze of light on the field of natural history, that no animals are found in both continents, but those which are able to bear the cold of those regions where they probably join.