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In 1816 the crops of tobacco, wheat, and fruit, were much injured by repeated frosts; the average morning cold of May, from the 1st to the 17th, being 53°, or 10 below the usual temperature; and once the thera mometer fell as low as 43°. *
The summits of the highest mountains have been brought into the highest cultivation. Sewell's mountain, 375 miles from the sea, and one of the highest in the United States, produces oats, and red and white clover, of an excellent quality. Here the apples and peaches have not been injured by the frost for twenty years, though they often have been in the valley. Mr Bowden informed the author, that in Peter's moun. tain, the highest ridge of Carter's mountain, 175 miles from the Capes, and more than double the height of Monticello, he found a fine establishment belonging to Mr Breedlove, with peaches, apples, and crops of Indian corn, of the first quality. The family were clothed with linen and woollen of their own growth and manufacture. They made also their own shoes; and sugar, coffee, and finery, for their daughters, were purchased in exchange for some of the productions of the farm ; cattle, maize, fruit, brandy, or cider. In the month of May 1817 the Hessian fly destroyed, in some counties, a third, in others, a fourth or fifth of the wheat. This destructive insect remains throughout the winter in the wheat stalk; and, in the warmth of spring, is transformed into a fly, which goes in search of summer wheat to deposit its eggs on.
* Letter from Mr Jefferson to the Author.
Fences are generally made of rails about twelve feet in length, and from four to six inches in diameter, the ends of which cross each other obliquely, and are fastened by stakes. These enclosures are from seven to eight feet high. · Manufactures.—Societies have been established in different places, for the encouragement of manufac. tures of wool, flax, and hemp, which are making rapid progress.
Products of Mineral Substances.
784.000 Saltpetre, pounds, 59,179
Lead Mines. Those on the great Kenhawa river, opposite the mouth of Cripple Creek, in Montgomery county, give from 50 to 80 lbs. of metal,' from 100 of washed ore. The salt springs, near Abington, yield nearly a pound to a gallon of brine. Five hun. dred bushels of sixty pounds each are manufactured daily. The price is 70 cents per bushel. A furnace of sixty kettles, when ready for operation, costs about 1500 dollars ; four hands are employed în pumping, and two or three in preparing fuel. Saltpetre.—The quantity extracted from the caves in 1812 amounted to 59,175 pounds. The armoury at Richmond furnisbes 4000 muskets a-year; and, during the late war, it supplied the government with 300 pieces of cannon, twelve and six pounders, of which only one burst on trial. The legislature, in 1815, voʻted the sum of 100,000 dollars for the support of the armoury, and the establishment of four arsenals. At Harper's Ferry, the United States armoury, founded in 1798. employed 250 persons. In August 1817 there were 20,000 complete stand of arms at this establishment. There are forges of different kinds in Shenandoah and other counties; and part of the celebrated natural bridge is converted into a shot manufactory.
Products of Vegetable Substances in 1810. Flax-seed oil, galions, 28,902,
value, 28,902 Spirits distilled, — 2,367,589,
- 1,711,679 Breweries, beer, ale, and porter, barrels, 4251, — 23,898 Cabinet wares,
- 114,557 Carriages, 1680,
143,504 Coopers' wares, casks, 1047,
345 Paper, reams, 3000,
22,400 Tobacco, pounds,:2,726,713,
469,000 Rope walks,
-- 162,412 Wheat mills, 441, barrels of four, 753,827 -- 5,529.463 Maple sugar, pounds, 1,695,447,
In the mountains Mr Morris has made 900 pounds of sugar annually, which he preferred to the East India sugar; and other farmers make as much. An immense quantity of flour is annually manufactured at Richmond. Distilleries and breweries are numerous, and of cider and peach brandy every family has a provision. The cider from the tree called Hughes' crab is so highly esteemed, that it is sold at three dollars per gallon, which is more than three times the price of that of the northern states. Peach brandy, when three years old, is preferred to any other liquor. In making it, the peaches remain in the vat till they are in such a
state of putrefaction as to be offensive. Wine, white and red, of an agreeable flavour, is produced from the natural grape of the country. In 1815, fifty casks, of thirty gallons each, were brought for sale to the market of Petersburgh. Apple brandy is everywhere employed for the beverage called toddy, which is made with cold water, refined sugar, and a little nutmeg. In winter a toasted apple, or toasted crust of bread, is add. ed. Beer made from molasses, wheat, bran, or malt, with hops and water, is kept a few days in the bottle, , and used at dinner. It is also prepared from the apple or seed of the persimmon tree. Castor oil is procured from the Palma Christi ; a planter near Petersburgh lately made fisty gallons. Sumac yields a fine dye ; its roots, with those of the sassafras, are used by the Indians for the cure of the venereal disease. Sassafras, a pleasant medicinal beverage, is procured from the sassafras tree. Some years ago it was substituted for tea in the town of Liverpool, until its importation ceased in consequence of a prohibitory duty. The bark of the Magnolia tripetala is employed as a febrifuge, and also in syphilitic affections. It resembles certain kinds of Peruvian bark.* The juice of the poke plant berry yields a dye supposed to resemble the purple of Tyre; but no method has been yet found of fixing the colour. The mulberry tree thrives well, but, owing to the high price of labour, the culture of silk is not profitable. In 1813 a piece of silk web was exhibited at
• See analysis of this substance, by the author, in the Medical Repository of New York for 1810, p. 25–28.
the Winchester Meeting, for the encouragement of domestic manufactures, the thread of which was spun by worms reared in the neighbourhood.
· Flour mills, and mills for every other kind of grain, are constructed on an improved plan, and very numer. ous. There are some few wind mills near the sea for grinding grain ; and cotton mills for manufacturing yarn, from No. 4 to No. 30, which is sold to the farmers or weavers. Most of the farmers manufacture their own clothing. Shipbuilding is carried on in the counties of Gloucester, Matthews, York, and James City, to a considerable extent. At Portsmouth there is a navy and dock yard of the United States, where many of the vessels called Baltimore Ayers are built. There are rope walks at Norfolk, Petersburgh, Richmond, Alexandria, Fredericksburgh, and Lynchburgh. Su. gars are boiled, baked, and refined, at Norfolk and Alexandria. More linen cloth is made in the mountains than is sufficient for the home demand, and some of it is sent to Richmond and Petersburgh for sale. On the Kenhawa there is a floating mill for grinding corn, driven by the current, as on the Rhine. Steamboats ply from Potomac creek to Washington city, and on James riyer between Richmond and Norfolk, with transport-boats attached.
Product of Animal Substances.-Tanneries are common all over the state, on an extensive and improved plan. Some of the leather manufactured at Nor. folk is exported to Philadelphia. Wool-carding machines and fulling-mills are found in different parts. The total amount of manufactures in 1810 was esti.