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wild or sweet-scented crab, ash, aspen, beech, black and white birch,catalpa,cherry, chestnut, horse-chestnut, cucumber tree, cypress, dogwood, elder, elm, fir htmlock spruce, fringe or snow-drop tree, sweet gum, hawthorn, hickery, Indus red-bud; juniper, or red or Virginia cedar; laurel swamp; linden, or American lime; locust, sugar and red flowering maple, red mulberry; black, chestnut, live, red, and white oak; paean, or Illinois nut; persimon; black, spruce, white, and yellow pine; plane tree, poplar, black ditto, sassafras, spindle tree, black and white walnut. The forests of Virginia have little underwood; and it is easy to travel through them on foot or on horseback, except on the lowlands in the eastern parts, which are covered with cedars, pines, and cypresses. Of shrubs there are a great variety. Sassafras exists in great abundance; wild indigo throughout the state; the gooseberry, which grows naturally near the white sulphur springs, is smaller than the European, and more bearded, but the fruit is very agreeable; raspberries, black and red, and strawberries, grow naturally. The vine grows luxuriantly. At Morris, near the hot springs on Jackson's river, the main branch of James river, there are two vines; the one four feet and a half in circumference, to the height of thirty feet; the other six feet in girth, at the height of seven feet, where it forms three branches, the smallest of which is twenty-seven inches round. These vines are supported by sycamore trees, twenty feet in circumference.
Animals.—The bones of the mammoth, and other animals now extinct, have been found in this stnte.
VOL. II. M
Those which are still numerous in the western parts are—the wolf, bear, deer, the racoon, squirrel, and oppossum. At the approach of winter, the bear descends from the mountains in search of the fruit of the persimon tree, when it is pursued and taken by dogs. On the eastern side of the mountains, animals have become rare, and peltries are no longer an article of exportation, the whole being consumed by the hatters and saddlers of the country. Among the bird kind is the wild turkey, which is yet common on the branches of the Kenhawa and other streams, where they weigh, when full grown, from twelve to thirty pounds. They go in large flocks, and are easily shot; when pursued, they run a considerable distance before they can take wing, and so swiftly, that they are seldom overtaken by a horse at full gallop. In the interior parts, whole flocks are caught in the following manner: A log fence, twelve feet square, covered above, has a passage leading from the centre to the outside, into which maize or Indian corn is thrown, which decoys them in; and so stupid are they, that they never seek to escape by the same passage, but fly about, and dart with such violence against the upper part of the inclosure, that they sometimes destroy themselves. Partridges, which are also numerous, are taken in the same manner. The shell drake, or Canvas black duck, is found in James river, and is much esteemed for its flavour. The sora, or American ortolan, appears with the first white frost, early in September, and disappears with the first black or hard frost; an interval which varies from one to nine weeks. They frequent the borders of the waters, and are so numerous, that one person, seated in a canoe, with a lantern, will sometimes knock down from six to eighteen dozen in a night, which are sold from one-fourth to three-fourths of a dollar per dozen. The turkey buzzard, Vultur aura, so called from its red gills, resembling those of a turkey, is nearly of the size of the eagle. It feeds on carrion. The Virginia nightingale, or mocking-bird, derives its name from its extraordinary imitation of all other songsters. The red bird and the humming bird are admired for their beautiful plumage.
Fishes. — The rivers contain sturgeon, cat-fish, sheep's-head, herring, perch, drum, carp, bass, oysters, old-wife, cod, sun-fish, crabs, &c.; all of which are eaten. The fish, not eaten, are the sea-dog, gar, rayfish, sword-fish, frog-fish, &c. Some of the largest sturgeon weigh from 100 to £00 pounds. Those of James river from 60 to 130. A dozen are often seen in the market at once. The cat-fish often weigh from thirty to forty pounds, but those from three to five are preferred. The largest of them weigh 100 pounds. The rock-fish are from eight to fifty pounds; the shad from seven to eight, and are very abundant in James river and the Potomac. Pike, or jack, are frequently caught in the Kenhawa and Ohio; some weigh fifty pounds. The herring is often abundant in the Potomac and James river. In 1815, they were sold at Richmond at four and a half and five dollars per barrel; the shad from seven to ten dollars, or from four to seven cents a pound; rock-fish from twenty to twenty-five cents per pound; sturgeon at ten cents. Among the fish peculiar to the United States are the sheep's-head, benita, hog-fish, rock-fish, pond-fish, chub, and four different kinds of perch; trout and eels, the largest of which are from five to six feet long. They are often caught in wiers, made of stones, which run across the current, and reach to the level of the surface, forming in the centre an acute angle, where is placed a wicker basket, or wooden box, to receive them. The shell fish are oysters, lobsters, crabs, land-turtle, sea-turtle, loggerhead, and terrebin. The oysters, of which there are several varieties, are very fine, and have not the copper taste of the English and French oysters. The penalty in Virginia for hunting, fishing, or fowling, within the lands or tenements of another, is three dollars, and the offender is also actionable by the common law. *
Insects.—The honey bee is seen among all the white population, which it regularly follows, and for this reason it is called by the Indians the white man's fly. An insect, resembling the cochineal, is found on the prickly pear. Two kinds of insects are very hurtful to the tobacco plant, one, called the ground worm, on account of its gnawing the root, is of a dark brown colour; the other, the tobacco or horn worm, several inches in length, and more than an inch in circumference, is of a vivid green colour. Among the most troublesome insects to man and quadrupeds are the wood tick, or seed tick; the for
* Chap. 88 of the revised Code.
mer, in shape, resembles a bug, and lives upon trees and rushes. It is very troublesome to cattle, and when it comes in contact with the body, it creates considerable inflammation. The latter is seen upon long grass, and its bite is more dangerous than that of the former, for, in some cases, by rubbing with the hand, it has brought on a mortification of the part. Both insects are destroyed by the fumes of tobacco.
In 1607 it amounted to 40 persons, including blacks.
1608 1609 1610 1617 1623 1G40 1660 1671 1703 1749 1763
f 292,627 slaves.