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GENERAL VIEW OF THE UPLAND REGION OF NORTH-CAROLINA.
From the point where the Yadkin crosses the North-Carolina line, between the counties of Anson and Richmond, we will run an imaginary line in a north-easterly direction.
It will cross a corner of Chatham county, at the place where the Cape Fear River is formed by the junction of the Saxapahaw, or, as it is commonly called, Haw River, and Deep River. Thence it will run with the Wake line till it strikes the Neuse River, where it is made by the uniting of the waters of Eno, Little, and Flat rivers. This is in the north-eastern corner of Wake; and from this point we will continue to the north-east, passing over Tar River, and through Oxford, in Granville county, on to the Virginia line. We will follow this, due west, till we arrive at the Blue Ridge, in the north-western part of Surry; and thence will run our course south-westerly till we strike the line of South-Carolina, just where the Broad River leaves the State.
The tract of country embraced within this wide circuit we call the upland district of North-Carolina; and by a glance at the map, we will discover that it possesses several peculiar features
In the first place, no country is better watered with springs, branches, creeks, and rivers; and yet none of these streams are very large.
In the second place, the locality seems to be a favourable one for a pleasant climate, and for the raising of almost every.variety of grain, fruit, and vegetable; and such we know to be the actual fact.
There is no one absorbing pursuit; no one staple monopolizes the attention of the tillers of the soil.
The agricultural interests are various; and then these interests are themselves but a part of the wealth of the country.
Mechanics are numerous; factories are springing up, and mining operations extensive and increasing.
No part of the soil in this region can be said to be of the richest quality, such as the bottom lands on the Mississippi, or the
vegetable mould of Eastern Carolina; but, at the same time, none of it is very poor, and all of it is capable of supporting, by its productions, a dense population.
The whole country, as to its resources and the character of its population, is a good deal like that through which we have passed along the line of the Central Railroad; and the praise bestowed on the people, soil, and scenery which we have seen, may be varied in terms, but not in degree, and applied to all the upland region of North-Carolina.
Neither the people nor the productions will present to the eye of the traveller a dull monotony; nor will society be fashioned by any one profession, trade, or interest.
The whole earth will be like a tesselated pavement, glittering with colours varied as the hues of autumn; and there will be a people to match, with a spirit of Protean shape, and a genius multiform as the secrets of nature and the inventions of art.
THE MINERAL INTERESTS OF NORTH-CAROLINA. This is an age of golden hopes.
The discovery of the mineral resources of California excited a wide sensation, and a new impulse has been given to mining operations all over the world.
Gold has not generally proved a blessing to the countries in which it is found, at least, the places where it has been obtained in the largest quantities, have, with few exceptions, been cursed with an unusual amount of poverty, wretchedness, and crime.
The precious metals seem most to abound in volcanic regions, where the earth is often shaken and rent by fierce spasmodia forces; and even so do civil commotions most frequently disturb the same localities.
They become moral furnaces, glowing intensely with the most turbulent passions of the human heart; and, in consequence, there must necessarily be a constant succession of explosions and storms, destructive of every thing like general progress and general prosperity.
Still, many persons will always be anxious to find a country abounding in gold-mines; and to all such we might say, why leave North-Carolina? Gold mingles with the soil of all her hills and valleys west of Raleigh; and a few years ago, the mines of this State had yielded more of this metal than had been obtained from all the other States of the Union put together.
In the county of Cabarrus was found a lump of pure gold weighing twenty-six pounds, and worth upwards of six thousand dollars; and in the same vicinity, the rocks were so rich that the negroes would fill their pockets at nights, and carry them off to trade at the neighbouring stores. This lump of twenty-six pounds was the largest ever found on the American continent: even the wildest accounts from California tell of nothing like it.
In the counties of Guilford, Randolph, Davidson, Davie, Rowan, Stanley, Cabarrus, Mecklenburgh, Union, Burke, Rutherford, McDowell, Cleaveland, Iredell, Lincoln, &c., &c., very considerable and profitable mining operations are carried on; and, fortunately, this does not engender a pernicious spirit of speculation, nor 'interfere with other industrial pursuits.
The North-Carolinians have had their evil day of extravagant hopes and feverish excitement upon the subject of gold-mines; and now, with a vast amount of this metal hidden still in the soil of their State, they indulge in no wild expectations. Soberly, rationally, and with a practical good sense, they are mining for the shining representative of wealth; and the results of their labours, in this respect, are more happy than dazzling.
In almost all the upland and mountainous counties, this precious ore may be found in greater or less quantities; but the great mass of the people neglect its presence, while busily engaged in more profitable pursuits.
Silver is found in several places, especially in Davidson and Rowan; and there are indications of a considerable supply.
Copper abounds in all the mining region, but there are no persons engaged in mining it.
Lead is also found : in fact, this metal and silver are frequently associated together.
Iron ore, of various qualities, and inexhaustible in quantity, may
be in nearly every section of the middle and western part of the State; and in Lincoln, Rockingham, and some other places, considerable quantities of iron are made.
Immense quarries of marble exist in Lincoln, and in the vicinity of the Pilot Mountain; and it is more than probable that it may be found in several other places.
Plumbago, or black-lead, in almost any quantity, may be got near Raleigh, and preparations to mine it on a large scale are in progress.
Soap-stone, of every variety and of any amount, makes an item of mineral wealth by no means contemptible; and there are fields of granite, containing rock enough to supply the demands of half the Union. The very useful limestone is likewise found in considerable quantities; and marl, of excellent quality and very extensive in amount, can be got in various parts of the eastern counties. Almost every variety of quartz can be obtained, and among them are a number of the precious stones, beautifully coloured.
A diamond even was found in Rutherford county; and there and in other mountainous places one could soon gather gems enough to fill a cabinet. Thus you see North-Carolina is rich in mineral resources; and
when you are told that no other State possesses a greater variety or amount. A mineralogical survey is much needed, and the legislature has recently made provision for this object. Scientific men will be employed to traverse every county in the State ; and they will tell what kinds of soil each contains, for what it is best suited, and what minerals may be found.
As you may well suppose, great discoveries will be made; and we may confidently look for developments which will attract universal attention.
It has long been known that there were beds of mineral coal in Rockingham and Chatham ; but no effort was made to mine it, and little attention paid to it.
At last, some Northern men heard of the Chatham coal; and they formed a company, and sent on a skilful professor to examine the matter.
The result is of vast consequence to the State. Coal of the 'best kinds, in quantities inexhaustible, has been found along Deep River : lands have advanced in price, capital is pouring in, and the whole face of things will soon be changed in that much favoured region.
you may believe
It has been stated that marl is found in the eastern counties : it may be interesting to you to know that the bones of sea-apimals, in a state of petrifaction, are often found in the pits.
A great many petrified whale-bones are found as high up as Edgecomb county; and it is said that the skeleton of one lies directly across Tar River, in that county.
Thus, you see, the ocean seems to be receding from our borders; and it is said that the land has been gradually becoming more elevated. The streams become more shallow and run faster; and what will be the final result of this slow up-heaving of the ground no one can tell.
It will undoubtedly make more land, and develop mineral and agricultural resources; and doubtless, also, it will improve the climate, and be advantageous to health.
EDUCATION IN NORTH-CAROLINA. THE people of North-Carolina have been fully awakened to the importance of this subject; and in no country are greater exertions being made in behalf of the noble cause.
The University at Chapel-Hill, beautifully located, and in a healthful region, is now one of the most distinguished literary institutions in the world. It is in a very flourishing condition; and the number of students annually and rapidly increases.
Wake-Forest College occupies a handsome site on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad: the buildings are elegant and substantial, the country healthy, and board cheap. It is growing into popular favour; and it already reflects credit on the Baptist denomination, who projected and sustain it.
The Presbyterians established Davidson College, in Mecklenburgh county; and this object of their cares and prayers is becoming a very important and valuable institution. It is in the midst of a rich, intelligent, and moral community; and it must soon take rank as one of the best and most flourishing colleges in the country:
The Methodists have entered the lists in this noble strife, and are doing God and their country good service. They have built up and put into a very prosperous condition a female college in Greensboro’; and it will become, and in fact now is, in many respects, one of the most valuable institutions in the United States. Female education has been too much neglected in North Carolina ; but now the people are wide awake to the importance of the subject; and for this awakening, much honour is due to the Methodists.