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DELVING, DIVING, DIGGING, DREDGING. In the days when we went digging—when “revolving an old tin pan,” filling op a cradle, or “a rocking of the same,” was a pretty, if not a pleasant pastime, amid the sylvan shades of the piney glades on the banks of the Americano—there came great projects into the land for the development of the wonderful wealth of the placer.
Human ingenuity, together with a great amount of Connecticut invention, had been suspended from the manufacture of Planetarium printing presses, patent wooden clocks, and perpetual motion , achinery, to be concentrated and applied for the production of apparatus for gold-digging in newly-discovered California. "The science of mechanics was tasked to its utmost, and all manner of complicated power produeed, which was intended
“ To dig the mountains down,
And drain the rivers dry." Then went forth the expedition of conquering gold-seekers. The world never saw such a spectacle since the days when Old Spain was haunted with visions of El Dorado. From the frozen lakes of Maine to the southern shores of Florida, legions were assembled, and armies of gold hunters organized, companies formed, and leaders elected. Charters and constitutions, framed and fashioned after the model instruments of the model republic were solemnly adopted. There was the Madawaska Mining and Mer cantile Company; the Wachita Washing, Delving, and Dry-Digging Association ; the Okahumky Diving, Draining, Dredging and Trading Union; and the Tallahassee Dry. Mining, Mountain-Scaling, River-Dragging, Valley-Widening and—but expletives fail in ordinary compounds to tell of the wonders which were to be done by these all-creation splitting heroes, who were armed with patent pumps and water works, consisting of do gers and divers, trenchers, and tunnelers, rockers and rotary indescribables of all sorts, shapes, and kinds for the digging up and turning over of newly found El Dorado. “ J'eni, vidi, vici” was worn upon every man's crest. This, translated, made every man a Julius, whose motto was, “I seas it, I sees 'em, I seize her!”-and seize her tbey did, an army in impetuosity and necessity before her golden gates-it was well for California that their engines of conquest were made for extorting silver instead of extracting gold.
Alas, the day! Gone are the glories of golden organizations-perished the rich prospects that once sustained associated labor! The ranks of the hungry hordes have been ruinously thipped, and no longer they march to invade our soil" by companies” as of yore; pot now does the soldier
----“ doff bis feathers, for Feather-river's shore,
And Majors all turn miners to drill the yellow ore."
Of all the ponderous machinery freig ted bither from afar in the early days of the gold-fever, scarcely a rempant remains. And utterly valueless and inapplicable as it
proved to be, it was scarcely less inefficient for the prosecution of labor in this country, than those company organizations formed in the East, were found to be. The charm of union was soon dissolved when its practical utility was determined, and when the application of the science of Yankee mechanism come to be tested, and was rendered nugatory, alas for the tine schemes of diving, digging, delving, dredging and sub-marine explorations. The complicated machinery transported at such cost was about as effective in the various branches of mining, as would be the adaptation of the mechanism of a Yankee churn.- Alta California.
ARTIFICIAL LEATHER. A correspondent of the New York Advertiser, who has recently visited Abingdon, Massachusetts, states that on going into a shop a few days ago, be witnessed another triumph of art aided and guided by science. A steam engine of six or eight horse power is erected for grinding up the chips and shavings of leather which are cut off by the shoe and boot makers, and which have heretofore been burnt or thrown away. These are ground to a powder resembling coarse snuff, and this powder is then mixed with certain gums and other substances, so thoroughly, that the whole mass becomes a kind of melted leather. In a short time this dries a little, and is rolled out to the desired thickness—perhaps one twenty-fourth of an inch. It is now quite solid, and is said to be entirely waterproof. On putting the question whether it was strong, the manufacturer cut several strips a foot long and half an inch wide, which our informant endeavored in vain to break.
This new fashioned leather will make good middle soles for shoes, and perhaps inner soles; and would be very durable round the shafts of a carriage, or in any place where mere chafing is all the wear desired. It is supposed it would wear well as bands for some kinds of machinery, and will doubtless' be used for many other purposes. A patent has been secured, add the article will soon be in the market and in use.
A SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE. The New Bedford Mercury gave, some time since, an account of a commercial enterprise, so remarkable, that, although some time has elapsed since its occurrence, we cannot resist the temptation of giving it a permanent record in the pages of the Merchants' Magazine.
In reporting the return home of Capt. W. T. Walker, of New Bedford, of the ship Envoy, from San Francisco, where he left his ship, after disposing of her cargo, the Mercury states that the ship Envoy, which had been formerly employed in the whale fishery, was sold in 1847, as a vessel only fit to be broken up, for the sum of $325. The purchaser, Mr. Wm. O. Brownell, fitted her for sea, having fortunately engaged Capt. Walker to command her, who purchased a quarter part of the ship. She sailed from New Bedford July 12, 1848, and being deened by the insurance companies unseaworthy, without insurance. She proceeded to the Island of Wbytrotacke, where Capt. W. had, on a previous voyage, stored a thousand barrels of oil, which he had purchased from a wrecked vessel; took the oil on board, proceeded with it to Malta, and thence shipped it to London, where it has been sold at a net profit of $9,000.
He then proceeded to the North Pacific, and, in a cruise of 55 days, took 2.800 barrels of Whale Oil, with which he returned to Manilla in the fall of 1849, whence he shipped to London 1,800 barrels of oil, and 40,000 pounds of whalebone, on which he made a net profit of $37,500. The ship then proceeded again to the Pacific, and during the last season took 2,500 barrels more of whale oil, with which, and the 1,000 barrels remaining on board, and 3,500 pounds of whalebone, he proceeded to San Francisco. Capt. W. arrived there Nov. 5th, sold his oil on hand for $73,450, shipped his whalebor e for Boston, estimated worth, $12,500, and had an offer of $6,000 for the ship. The Mercury thus sums up the result of the voyage :Net profits on 1,000 bbls. of oil shipped to London....
$ 9,000 on oil and bone, catchings of first season.......
37,500 Sales at San Francisco...
73,450 Value of whalebope shipped home..
12,500 Value of ship.......
VESSELS LIBELED FOR VIOLATION OF THE PASSENGER LAW.
The following vessels, as we learn from the Baltimore Price Current, have been libeled at that port for non-compliance with the law regulating the carrying of passen
gers, viz. :
Ships Athens and Living Age, from Liverpool; English brig Falcon, from Wexford, Ireland ; Bremen ships Wickelhausen, Martha, Goethe, Adler, and Brig Arion, from Bremen. The law provides that every vessel carrying passengers shall have a sepa. rate berth for each passenger, failing in which the master or owner is finable $5 for every passenger on board. The number of passengers allowed is two to every five tons measurement, and for every passenger over this amount the ship shall be fined $50. Each passenger's berth must be 18 inches wide by 7 feet in length; besides the privilege of 14 square feet of room between decks. All the above vessels have been fibeled for failing to put up sufficient berths. The aggregate number of passengers brought by them was 1,280, which, at a fine of $5 each, makes the amount to be paid $6,400.
VESSELS BORED BY WORMS. A list of American vessels, sold at Valparaiso, between January 1st and September 1st, 1851, exhibits an average price of less than $4,000. As but five out of the entire thirty are even schooners, the sales were ruinously low. The causes of the sacrifice may be partly explained by the comparative glut in the market, but this does not seem to us wholly to account for it. A paragraph in the Baltimore American may throw light upon it, however. The paragraph to which we allude is the notice of a piece of the barque Mary Theresa, which was lately forwarded from San Francisco to the editor of the American, and which was completely riddled by a species of worm inhabiting the California waters. The wood had been in the water almost five months, and was drilled through and through, as if by machinery. As these worms are numerous in the bay of San Francisco, and do great injury to vessels, the low prices of the ve-sels sold at Valparaiso may be accounted for partially in this way. We notice several Philadelphia craft among those thus sold.
THE LEADING COMMERCIAL PORTS OF ENGLAND. A Parliamentary return lately made, shows that Liverpool is the greatest port in the British empire in the value of its exports and the extent of its foreign Commerce. New York is the only place out of Great Britain which can in any way compete with Liverpool. New York is the Liverpool of America; Liverpool" is the New York of Europe. The two ports are, together, the gates or doors of entry between the Old World and the New. Liverpool exports in value more than half the total amount of the exports of Great Britain and Ireland. The principal ports in Great Britain rank as follows for the year 1850:Liverpool exports in value.
2,000,000 Cork above..
ANTHRACITE COAL: ITS CONSUMPTION IN THE COAL REGION. The Pottsville Miners' Journal, good authority, puts down the number of steam. engines employed at the mines, at 298 of which 179 are engaged in the Schuylkill region; 64 in the Lebigh; and 65 in the Lackawana ; making a total as above stated of 298 engines engaged in the coal trade. The Journal estimates that the engines in Schuylkill county consume about 240,000 tons of coal, as the larger portion of them run both day and night throughout the whole year. The consumption of Lehigh and Lackawana can safely be put down at 175,000 tons; the consumption in families and for steam purposes other than mining, can be put at 250,000 tons, giving an aggregate of 665,000 tons consumed in the coal regions, which added to the 4,383,795 tons sent to market, makes the product of Anthracite coal in 1851, five millions, forty-eight thousand two hundred and ninety-five tons.
THE BOOK TRADE.
1.- Nicaragua; its People, Scenery, Monuments, and the proposed Inter-Oceanic
Canal. With numerous original Maps and Illustrations. By' E. G. SQUIER, late Charge to the Republics of Central America. 2 vols., 8v0., pp. 454 and 450. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
These volumes form one of the most splendid books of the season. Nothing resembling them has issued from the press in this country, since the publication of Stephens's Central America. The author, in his official character, was received with extraordinary demonstrations, and thus possessed every opportunity to view the country under the most favorable aspect. His work is divided into five parts, wbich contain a geographical and topographical account of Nicaragua and of the other States of Central America, with observations of their climate, agricultural and mineral productions, and general resources; a narrative of his residence in Nicaragua, with an account of explorations of its aboriginal monuments, potices of the people, their habits, customs, and modes of life, descriptions of scenery, &c.; an account of the geography and topography of Nicaragua, as connected with the proposed Inter-Oceanic Canal, with a sketch of the various negotiations respecting it; notes on the aborigines of the country, with such original information of their geographical distribution, relations, languages, institutions, customs, and religion, as serves to define their ethnical position; an outline of the political history of Central America since its independence of Spain. The volumes are embellished with nine original maps of the country, twentyfive lithographic octavo plates and sixty wood engravings. They are written in a very animated and lirely style, and are full of incidents and adventures which constantly secure the reader's attention. The information which they contain respecting the route by Nicaragua Lake to California, is of the highest importance, and it is very iull and complete. In a word, it would not be easy to conceive of two volumes more agreeable in their contents or more attractive in their character, respecting any foreign country, than these which present us with such striking pictures of Nicaragua. 2.- Women of Christianity Exemplary for acts of Piety and Charity. By JULIA
Kavannah. 12mo., pp. 384. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
It has been the usual practice of historical writers to devote their labors to the relation of the great and glorious actions of men in some public or prominent department of social affairs; but in this instance the author has described the lives of those who were distinguished for their lowliness, and their simple gracefulness of character. Commencing at the Christian era, she spreads before us the lives of those women, in all subsequent ages, who bave been eminent for their actions of piety. Thus furnishing a mass of historical information of the most interesting kind, which it is difficult to find elsewhere, except in a detached and fragmentary form. The author is a writer of uncommon talent, and displays a truthfulness and depth of feeling in the appreciation of her subject which is rare. 8.- Adrian; or the Clouds of the Mind: A Romance. By G. P. R. JAMES and
MAUNSELL B. FIELD. 12mo. pp. 301. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
As a literary work this is entitled to no ordinary praise. It has been written with uncommon care by two writers of reputation and accomplishments, whose style is, in this instance, so similar that it is impossible to detect their several parts. As a tale, it is a work of fascinating interest, abounding in animated and stirring scenes, and with striking and truthful delineations of character. 4.-Geology of the Bass Rock. By Hugh MILLER. With its Civil and Ecclesiastical
History and Notices of some of its Martyrs, by Dr. MoCrie and others. 12mo., pp. 288. New York: Robert Carter.
The Bass Rock stands in the mouth of the Frith of Forth, about a mile and a half from the shore. It is fully a mile in circumference, and four hundred and twenty feet above the surface of the sea. It is inaccessible except at one point. At one time it was used as the State prison of Scotland for the Covenanters. There are many historical records and associations connected with this wonderful rock, all of which are interwoven with particulars respecting the rock itself, in this entertaining and instructive volume.
5.— The World of Waters : or A Peaceful Progress o'er the Unpathed Sea. By Mirs
David OSBORNE. With illustrations. "12mo., pp. 363. New York: Robert Carter.
The leading object in the preparation of this volume has been to render it such as shall tend to awaken a taste for the science of Geography in the minds of youth. There is, therefore, much geographical information in its pages, but it is interspersed with so much that is romantic and agreeable, that the entertainment of youth would seem to be its leading aim. Thus prepared, and illustrated with many beuutiful engravings, it is sure of a welcome reception, 6.—The Principles of Geology Explained, and Reviewed in their Relation to Revealed
and Natural Religion. By Rev. David KING, LL. D., with notes and an appendix by John Sconler, M. D. 16mo., pp. 220. New York: Robert Carter.
A kuowledge of the principles of geology, connected with religion, can be obtained only from works expressly prepared on the subject, of which this is one. The author aims to show that geology is consistent with the truths of religion, in such a manner that it can be understood by all. 7.--Select Poetry for Children and Youth : With an Introduction. By Terox
EDWARDS, D. D. First American from the twelfth Loudon Edition, with alterations and improvements. 16mo., pp. 285. New York: M. W. Dodd.
These selections of poetry for the young present an admirable mirror, in which they may see their own best feelings reflected, and wherein whatsoever is excellent is set before them in the most attractive form. The selections are brief, and made from the best poets. The little volume is well worthy of the attention of parents and teachers. 8.--The Art Journal for January, 1852. New York: George Virtue.
The embellishments of this number are unusually fine. They consist of the “ Dangerous Playmates," from a picture in the Vernon Gallery ; * The Cavaliers' Pets," ** Patienza," a wood engraving, and an engraving of “ Night," from the original bas relief, by Thorswalden. The number of cuts illustrating the numerous articles of the text are very great, and are well executed. 9.-- Arvine's Cyclopedia of Anecdotes, of Literature, and the Fine Arts, containing
copious and choice selection of Anecdote, of the various forms of Literature, of the Arts, of Architecture, Engravings, Music, Paintings, and Sculpture ; and of the most Celebrated Literary Characters and Artists of different countries, dc: With Numerous Illustrations. 8vo. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Boston: Guuld, Lincoln, & Co.
This is a liberal selection of anecdotes relating to all the subjects enumerated in the title. They are well chosen, and possess much interest apart from their intrinsic importance. The whole are classified under appropriate subjects, alphabetically arranged and furuished with a copious index. The work consists of eight numbers, forming a large mass of choice miscellaneous reading. 10.--Eclogæ ex Q. Horatii Flacci Poematibus. 16mo., pp. 311. Philadelphia :
Blanchard and Lea.
This is a selection of the poems of Horace, belonging to the classical series of Schmitz and Zumpt, which is admirably adapted to the use of schools. 11.- Woman and her Needs : Shadow Land, or The Seer. By Mrs. E. OAKES SMITE.
12mo., pp. 249. New York : Fowlers & Wells.
These separate productions, which form one volume, may be regarded as the contribution to the public of a mind that is active, liberalized, and sensitive to the vast evils that beset the present social condition of woman. The latter of the two works is not devoted to this subject immediately; it rather presents the glimpses and concep tions of an aspiring spirit, which are written with much merit. 12.-The Great Metropolis ; or New York Almanac for 1852. Published annually.
Eighth Publication. 18mo., pp. 220. New York: H. Wilson.
This is a most complete register of New York, and more full of that species of information which every man daily needs, than any publication of the kind other than a directory. It describes with great fullness, public places, churches, offices, and buildings, streets, banks, public institutions, &c., besides containing a large amount of interesting information respecting the city. Its contents are almost entirely distinct from previous editions.