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they can grow the finest peaches in the world; and occasional specimens which we have seen, wonderfully large and luscious, cause us to regret that more attention is not paid to the planting and cultivation of orchards.
How beautiful, in the spring, are the peach-blossoms ! and how easily might this country become “the flowery land,” enchantingly beautiful in spring, and in summer looking like the fabled golden gardens of the Hesperides !
But throughout the whole eastern part of the State they trade a great deal with the West Indies; and West Indian fruits and aromatics are everywhere abundant. They will also grow in many places; and, in the country through which we have last passed, they make enormous quantities of the largest and most delicious melons.
Thus we have made a rapid tour over the east; but there is one portion of it which we have not examined, and which is worthy of attention.
Along the whole coast of North Carolina, there are sounds, or shallow seas; and between these and the ocean is a sand-beach, inhabited by a peculiar race. We made some mention of them when speaking of Nag's Head; but we might amuse ourselves for many hours with accounts of them and their country.
Their habitation is among scenes wild, imposing, and sublime; and their habits of life of a daring and romantic character.
The navigation round the coast is dangerous; and there are three
capes that project far into the sea, and are much dreaded by mariners. The first of these, coming from the east, is Cape Hatteras, named from the Hatteras or Hattorask Indians; at least it is an Indian name. Here the beach makes an elbow, and the sand-bar extends a considerable distance into the water; and over this bar the wares are continually breaking, affording a sight at once terrible and grand. This eternal lashing of the billows produces from the
whick is rapidly formed into clouds; and hence this is one of the most
spray a thick
stormy regions in the world. Often you may stand on the land, in a clear day, and see a black cloud hanging over Cape Hatteras; and you may see also the vivid flashes of lightning illuminating the dark scene, and hear the bellowing of the thunder mingled with the roar of the breakers.
Farther southward is Cape Lookout, another dangerous point; and at the mouth of the Cape Fear River is Cape Fear, called at first the Cape of Fear, from which the Cape Fear River derives its name. Thus is the State, in a measure,
walled up from the ocean; and along its border, nature, in her unsurpassed scenes of grandeur and beauty, can never be supplanted by art. Here she will ever reign in her wild and terrible splendours; and one can easily imagine that she intended the land within this awe-inspiring coast to be the nursery of her dearest offspring.
Such has proved to be the fact; for in this sequestered region of North-Carolina, Liberty was born and cradled. The roar of the breakers was its lullaby—in the swamps and glades it grew and strengthened, and among the mighty hills of the west it sported its vigorous boyhood.
THE UPLAND REGIONS OF NORTH-CAROLINA. RALEIGH, the capital of the State, is a handsome city, named after the famous Sir Walter Raleigh, the first proprietor of the country.
The town, in the summer season, is especially beautiful; the citizens have a great passion for flowers and shrubbery, and the yards and gardens manifest a very refined and elegant taste in
The state-house, built of native granite, quarried near the city, is a magnificent structure; and it is considered one of the most splendid public edifices in the United States.
It cost upwards of half a million of dollars : and you may, therefore, know that it is a very grand and imposing building:
There is also situated here an asylum for the instruction of the deaf and dumb, and blind; and this building is also a very handsome one, and is a decided ornament to the city. In it, children, who cannot hear, or talk, or see, are taught to read and write; and they are also instructed in several useful mechanic arts.
The State has made provision for the erection of a lunatic asylum, in the same place; and the buildings are now in progress of construction.
These are noble charities; and when they are all in full operation, we may then say there is no necessity for ignorance or want in any
class in the commonwealth.
THE RALEIGH AND GASTON RAILROAD.—This road runs from Raleigh to the Roanoke River; and from thence there are railroads to Petersburgh and Norfolk in Virginia. Its termination at Gaston is near Weldon, the northern terminus of the Wilmington road; and, with the Roanoke, it furnishes facilities for getting to market to a very fertile and desirable tract of country.
The road passes directly across the tobacco region of NorthCarolina ; and this is a country of which any State might well be proud.
There is a considerable quantity of tobacco made in Rockingham county; and from this down to Albemarle is seated a population much attached to their State, highly advanced in the refinements of civilization, and excelling in the virtues of hospitality and neighbourly kindness.
Planting is the chief interest; and these planters are as independent as princes, and maintain, in their way of living, as much elegance, and exhibit as high a degree of cultivation, as any people of the same noble class or calling in any part of the world.
Their country is fertile and very healthy; and one cannot live among them without becoming much attached to his dwelling place.
If he has to leave it, he will long remember its fascinations with a melancholy pleasure; and the natives of that favoured region never cease to look back with fond regrets to the endearments of their early home.
THE NORTH-CAROLINA CENTRAL RAILROAD.-This is the name of a great enterprise recently incorporated; and as the stock is all taken and the whole road under contract, we may reasonably anticipate its early construction. It is to begin at Goldsboro', which, it will be remembered, is a depot on the Wilmington road; and it is to run thence to Charlotte, in the county of Mecklenburgh. There it connects with a road running to Columbia; and from Columbia runs a railroad to Charleston.
Thus will there be a continuous line of railway from Wilmington, through the interior part of the States of North and South-Carolina to Charleston; and as the Central road is to intersect with the Raleigh and Gaston road, there will be two lines of railway running from the Central road to the great cities of the North.
Now, mark the tract of this great enterprise, and see what a fine country it traverses, and what a blessing it must prove !
We will begin at Raleigh, and go westward; and our first halting-place will be the village of Chapel-Hill
. Here is located the University of the State, a richly endowed and flourishing college; and here we can spend several days in examining the libraries, visiting the splendid halls of the societies, and in admiring the groves and grounds about the college, the tasteful and commodious buildings, and the general beauty of the place.
We learn that the location is surprisingly healthful, only some six or seven students having died here in fifty-six years : and we observe that every thing about it is calculated to render it a fit place for pleasant meditations.
From Chapel-Hill we make a rapid progress to the ancient town of Hillsborough, in the same county of Orange; and here again we find something to amuse and instruct us.
The town is encircled by a range of high hills; and the old stone-walls, the ancient edifices, and quaint devices in the graveyards, all tell of age.
It is, however, a green old age, as the umbrageous groves and pleasant gardens, and troops of fair and lively young people will attest; and it possesses still the animation and vivacity of youth.
The tavern-house in which Cornwallis made his head-quarters, at a certain period of the Revolution, is still standing; and so are a number of other houses of revolutionary memories.
The records of the court here tell of exciting times in Orange, even before the Revolution, and in Hillsborough the spirit of resistance to oppression made its first essay at arms.
In the years 1770-71 the Regulators gathered together here, and terrified the corrupt officers of government; and, while court was in session, they broke into the court-house, carried off the clerk and whipped him, beat some of the attorneys, and took possession of the house, organized a court, and decided all the cases on the docket.
Afterwards, in the Revolution, Cornwallis lodged here; and since that time the town has been a favourite place of residence with gentlemen of taste, education and distinction. There is, and always has been, a great deal of learning in the place; and the society is of a very superior kind.
A good many eastern people resort here for health and recreation, during the summer; and at such times the town is a very animated and agreeable place.
We have now left the swamps, the level lands and broad sheets of water, the sand-hills and pine forests, behind us; we have got among forests of oak and hickory, into a country undulating with hills and valleys, and chequered with creeks and bountifully supplied with springs. Population is becoming more dense, mechanics and labourers are more numerous, and the land more universally cultivated.