Page images
PDF
EPUB

Banks. Prior to the year 1804 there was no bank in Virginia, except a branch of that of the United States established at Norfolk. The Bank of Virginia was established in October 1804, with a capital of a million and a half of dollars, one fifth of which was owned by the state. The charter, granted for fifteen years, was extended, in 1814, to fourteen years from that date, and an addition made to the capital of a million of dollars. Branches are established at Lynchburgh and Winchester. The Farmers' Bank of Virginia was chartered in 1813, with a capital of a million of dollars, of which the state owns about a fifth. Its branches are at Richmond, Petersburg, Fredericksburgh, Lynchburgh, and Winchester. These banks are in high credit, and yield dividends of nine per cent. . A bonus is given to the state for the privilege of the charter.

Bridges.—The bridges are placed under the direction of the county courts. Those which do not require the aid of artificers, are erected by the inhabitants of districts; otherwise they are built at the expence of the county. All toll bridges must be sanctioned by the General Assembly. The small creek called Baime's com Branch, which divides the lower from the upper part of Richmond, is crossed by an excellent bridge ; and there is a bridge over James river, 400 yards in length, which connects Richmond with Manchester. The rates of the public ferries vary from four to forty-two cents, * with few exceptions. The charge for a horse

* Chap. 116 of the revised Code,

is the same as for a man ; a coach or waggon pays at the rate of six horses ; a chaise or phaeton, four; a two-wheeled carriage, two; for neat cattle and for tobacco per hogshead, the charge is the same as for horses.

Canals. The legislature of Virginia, in their session of 1815-16, voted a million of dollars for rivers, roads, and canals. Commissioners have been appointed, in concert with North Carolina, to open a navigable canal from the Roanoke to the Meherrin river, and from the waters of the Chowan river in North Carolina, to some of the waters of James river, or to the Dismal Swamp canal. The expence of this work has been estimated at 761,522 dollars. Part of the Chesapeak and Albemarle canal is in the state of Vir. ginia. Along the falls of the Potomac are five canals, by which it is rendered boatable above the Shenandoah. Along the falls of this river, in the last eight miles of its course, six canals extend over 2400 yards; they are 20 feet in width, and 41 in depth. From the commencement of the falls of the Appomatox, or southern branch of James river, to the tide water at Petersburgh, a distance of five miles, the descent is thirty feet, along which a canal runs sixteen feet in width, and three in depth,

depth, admitting boats of six tons burthen. The capital employed amounts to 60,000 dollars. This river opens a communication of nearly 100 miles in length. Richmond canal extends six miles along the falls of James river, of which the descent is eighty feet, and by means of twelve locks, forms a communication for boats between the basin of this river and tide water. The incorporated company, by whom this canal was executed, are bound to open the navigation as far as Pattenborough, 200 miles distant from Richmond, in such a manner that the depth of water over the shoals shall never be less than twelve inches. In this useful project, 200,000 dollars have been already expended. By means of the waters which communicate with James river, the produce of the interior country is brought from a distance of several hundred miles.

Public Buildings. Those worthy of notice are the capitol at Richmond, the palace, and the college and hospital for lunatics at Williamsburgh; but they afford no great proof of architectural taste. Mr Jefferson observes, that the “genius of that art seems to have shed its maledictions over this land.” The legislature, in 1815, voted 56,000 or 60,000 dollars for public buildings, and a sum for erecting a monument to the memory of Washington.

The private houses are generally built of wood, of scantling and boards, lathed and plastered within, and painted on the outside; the roof covered with shingles, and chimneys of brick. Those of the poorer class are log-huts; the interstices of the wood being filled up with mud, they are warm and comfortable. The houses of the wealthy planters are of stone or brick.

Rouds. The roads have been much neglected, but the legislature passed an act, in 1815-16, for making and supporting roads, canals, colleges, and schools; appropriating for this purpose, the debt due from the United States for extra expences during the last war,

amounting to nearly 2,000,000 of dollars, with the following additional funds: the accumulating interest of the bank stock, upwards of 60,000 dollars per annum, with the sum accruing from the renewal of bank charters every fourteen years, estimated at more than 1,000,000 of dollars, and all escheatable property. The state is to encourage the formation of canals and turn. pike roads, by taking stock to the amount of one-half or one-third of the estimated cost, and to receive no dividend or toll until the profit of the individual shareholders amounts to six per cent. per annum. The roads are under the management of the county courts. The only turnpikes are, 1. From Manchester, opposite Richmond, to the coal mines of Falling Creek, which is thirty-six feet in width, and gravelled. The expence of making it was 50,000 dollars. 2. From Richmond to Ross' coal mine. 3. From Alexandria north-westward to Middleburg. The distance from Richmond to Point Pleasant, the nearest point on the Ohio river, is 351 miles.

Lighthouses.—There are lighthouses at Cape Henry, Old Point Comfort, Smith's Point, New Point Com. fort; the keepers' salaries are from 250 to 400 dollars.

Inventions claimed by Persons in this State. Jefferson's new construction of the mould-board of a plough, which gives the least possible resistance. For this invention he received the prize medal of the French Agricultural Society of the Seine.

A plough of another description, without a coulter, called the Carey Plough, is now much in use. VOL. II.

P

Works relating to the History of this State. 1584. Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow's Voyage to the Coast of Virginia, in Hakluyt's Collection.

1586_1590. Two Voyages to Virginia by Grinville, inserted in the same work.

1586. Harriot's (Thomas) servant to Sir W. Raleigh, Account of Virginia.

1590. John Withe's Voyage to Virginia, Hakluyt's Collection.

1619. Virginian riches evalued by the description of Florida, her neighbour, &c. London, in 4to, translated from the Portuguese by Richard Hakluyt.

1622. State of Affairs in Virginia. London.

1622. Bullock's (William) Description of Virginia impartially examined. 1650. (

Williams (Ed.) Virgo Triumphans. London, 4to. 1671. Discovery of the Western Parts of Virginia, with Dr Mitchell's Remarks.

1671. Journal from Virginia to the A pemathian Mountains.

1672. Lederer's (John) Discoveries from Virginia to Carolina, translated from the Latin by Sir William Talbot, in 8vo. London.

1687. Voyage d'un Français, avec une Description de la Vire ginie et du Maryland. La Haye, in 8vo.

1693. Clayton's Account of Virginia, in 4to, London, inserted in the 17th Vol. of the Philosophical Transactions.

1705. Bird's History, and Present State of Virginia, in Four Parts. London, in Svo.

1724. Jones' Present State of Virginia, in 8vo. London.

1782. Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, written in 1781. This author in Query 22 gives a short notice of the following works :

Smith's (Captain) History from the First Settlements to the year 1624.

Stith's (Rev. William History of the same period, 1 vol. in 8vo. He was a native of Virginia, and President of the College of William and Mary.

1722. Beverley's (R. B.) History from the earliest period. London, in 8vo. Account of the Indians and Colonists.

« PreviousContinue »