Page images
PDF
EPUB

marine have been forgotten, as they appear not less wise, commendable, or even necessary, than others that have received greater praise and a more sustained attention. Impartial and enlightened men begin to perceive this, and, after a time, the public will become convinced that the prosperity of Tuscany will ever be in proportion to the assiduity and success with which her sons plough the ocean. Profiting from the lessens of the past, she will learn to obey a great geographical necessity. And then will arrive a new era for the grand duchy, which, developing her present neglected navigation, will attain her proper importance, and take rank among the chief states of the Italian peninsula. The Tuscan Coast. Count Fossornbroni once showed to Napoleon that the low sea lands on the coast could not be made dry but by a process of filling up. The emperor objected the slowness of the process. “Sir,” replied the illustrious mathematician, “permit me to say that the process you thus designate as too slow, is, from its nature, the shortest, since no other can be found.” Struck by this fit and short answer, the emperor tapped him familiarly on the shoulder, saying, “you are right.” This well-known anecdote proves that the raising of these sea lands is an enterprise of such a character that those who may witness its commencement will not see its completion. The work is gigantic, and requires an unshaken tenacity of purpose. Nevertheless, it is true that that vast and fertile district, restored to its pristine salubrity, would repay amply all out. lay in improving its economical and sanitary condition. The memorials drawn up by Frederick Tartini on this subject, are full of interest. They were printed at Florence, in 1838. The lucid author, after alluding to the many and complicated misfortunes that, for many centuries, have fallen on this district, discusses its present state, and speculates on its future. Leaving the facts which are mentioned in the book, I shall confine myself to pointing out concisely how this coast sunk into its lowest state about the end of the last century, and how, at present, it is gradually improving. The atmosphere of the district has certainly, on the whole, not been improved. Indeed, while the low lands are in the process of being raised, the deadly miasma spreads the more. What has been effected, has, however, acted beneficially as an example; and, with the hope and expectation of greater advantages, have worked prodigies. The certainty of the earnest and powerful assistance of the sovereign authority has re-animated the depressed mind. Since 1818, the population has increased, and is still constant in this numerical progress, more from natural additions than from immigration. Fifty years ago the land on this coast was almost without value. In 1784, the marquisate of Castiglione, extending 930 noggia, was valued at $28,732, about thirty dollars per noggia. Now the value is threefold; and, in twenty years, will be increased tenfold. Man flies from places of personal insecurity, and where pestilential air shortens the too short years of life. Thus fatal to human life, the lands could not, for want of labor, be made to yield their proper fruit, and their value was, consequently, at the lowest point. Now, however, in consequence of the expectations of the future, their value has been greatly increased; on an average, about one-third; being rather more, in some parts, and less in others. Signor Francolini's well-reasoned memorial in the last number of the Agricultural Journal of Florence, (No. 74,) may be advantageously consulted on this point. That article is entitled, “On the general increase of product

and of value of the lands of the Maremma.” It must not be concealed, however, that a spirit of speculation has greatly added to this rise in value. Societies have been formed for the purchase of large allotments for re-sale in small ones. One of the largest speculators is the house of Rocca, of Geneva ; a house which, for the extent of its credit and largeness of its operations, passes for the first commercial house in Italy. The grandducal government has also let out to tenants considerable tracts, with right of transmission, and, in certain localities, for an almost nominal rent. The expenses attending the cultivation are very great, in building of laborers’ cottages, felling of trees, embankments, &c., &c. Consequently, many who have entered incautiously into these speculations, without sufficient capital, have been involved in great difficulty. Investments in these undertakings can be rendered profitable to sons and grandsons only; and whoever seek to realize immediate profits, must betake themselves to other objects of investment. The gain, though remote, attracts, and the protection guarantied by law encourages the timorous. Hope thus feeds the speculation. The advantages which shall accrue when restored salu. brity to the air shall have rendered the population dense, far exceed all existing expectations. They include many causes of prosperity other than an improved and extended agriculture. The unexplored mineralogical and metallurgical sources of wealth, will, when opened up, give much greater value to the soil. The forges of Follonica, the pits of coal, the lakes of salt of borax, are so many fields of labor and sources of wealth for the benefit of the country. In addition, many new articles of produce are being introduced; bridges are being built, new roads are being made, and the means of communication are being multiplied. A railroad from Livorno, across these plains of the Maremma, to Rome, is projected. When we contemplate, there. fore, the improvements already made, and those which will, probably, be made, we foresee the gradual rise in wealth and value of these low lands. As the new cultivation is but of recent origin, the increase of products cannot be, at present, very great. Grain has increased from 10,000 to 15,000 sacks per year, within the last twenty years. The plantations of the olive, the mulberry, and the vine, are of recent introduction. My inference from all is this, that the Maremma district will become, one day, the most valuable of all in the grand duchy, and as populous as any. Of Manufacturing Industry in the Department of Pisa. The industry of this department is very insignificant and noiseless. Coarse manufactures of wool, of cotton, and of linen, have, however, increased, for consumption in the neighboring parts. Some glass and earthenware factories are to be met with, but are carried on with poor success. This province furnishes hardly any but the coarsest manufactures for exportation. Of this coarse kind, are bricks, brooms, ordinary marble tables and mortars, vessels of terra cotta, and Turkish caps, made in Pisa and the village of Calci. These are sold at Livorno, and are carried to Algiers, and various parts of the Levant. * Of the Navigation of the Arno. With all deference to the geographers, the Arno is rather a torrent than a river. In the summer it is not at all navigable, and in the winter, only during a few months, and then by the smallest craft. These small craft leave Livorno, through an internal water communication, called the Copertini, to Pisa, where they enter the Arno, and, when the volume of water permits, ascend as far as Florence. Building materials afford the principal freight by the Arno to Livorno; and provisions afford, principally, the return freight. Other traffic, whether to or from the sea, generally takes the land route, as being quicker, while not more expensive. The barge-owners are general carriers, making use of both water and land carriage for the conveyance of merchandise, according to the season of the year. The moment the railroad now constructing from Pisa to Florence is finished, both these means of transportation will be superseded. Railways in Tuscany. When the Leopold railway, from Florence to Livorno, was first projected, the opinions prevalent as to its utility, were very discordant; and much clamorous opposition arose, the result of prejudice. A few months after the opening of the first part from Pisa to Livorno, witnessed a wholly different state of public opinion, and now, similar undertakings are viewed with a favor, and followed up with an ardor, as marked as was the coldness and distrust attending the first undertaking. Those who feared the utter ruin of their local industry have not had their fears realized; and the passenger traffic has so surpassed expectation, that those most reluctant hitherto, have become reconciled to this new mode of locomotion. Livorno contains 80,000 inhabitants, and Pisa, 20,000. From the 11th of March, 1844, to the 8th of January, 1845, 476,469 persons have been conveyed along the line. During this period, the whole of the inhabitants of both places have been conveyed, each individual, five times. The returns have been twice the amount estimated, namely, 4,000,000. A dividend of 6 per cent is talked of. The success attend. ing this railway, as well as that of Lucca, has awakened a spirit of speculation that may end to the disadvantage of the incautious. But this very mania for railway undertakings will change the whole aspect of the country. The facility of sharing the risk, serves as a spur to cupidity, and draws the most timorous into the new movement. The value of existing undertakings is doubled, and new ones are started. The mind is startled and stimulated by the many examples of large fortunes suddenly acquired. So that, judging from these indications, I prophesy that the grand duchy will become, eminently, a commercial country. I will allude to a striking fact in confirmation of my views. The Leopold railway had not a single shareholder in Tuscany. That of Lucca met with a lit. tle more favor. But when the Siena line was projected, within twentyfour hours nearly the whole amount of capital required, was raised in Livorno. This railway, looking to the probable results, will be the least productive. In certain special cases, the force of example is irresistible. But what will be the ultimate result of all these railways 1 To this question there is a response in an article by Signor Leonida Landucci, inserted in the last number of the Giornale Agrario, of Florence, No. 74. The author writes—“The Leopold railway, terminating at Florence, will be one of mere passenger traffic. If, afterwards, it should be extended, it will become the principal artery of circulation for internal commerce.” Signor Landucci wishes this railway to be constructed from Florence to Fojano, thence, by two grand lines, one on to Rome, and the other to the shores of the Adriatic. “Thus,” says he, “the goods of Germany will come to us by the port of Ancona, and those of France, England, Africa, and the Indies, will come to Umbria, to Marca, and to the Romagna, from Livorno.” These suggestions of Signor Landucci have met with much approbation,

though many persons are of a very opposite opinion. They contemplate with fear the future line from Genoa to Milan. They think the future commercial and maritime activity on the western coast of Italy, will centre itself at Genoa, when will commence an epoch of ruin for Livorno. To ward off this danger, they suggest a railway to pass through La Via di Pontremoli to Parma, and then to join the Venetian-Milanese line. The difficulties in the way of executing this line, were such as to compel its abandonment. But the idea of preserving Livorno safe from the damage accruing from a direct communication with the Lombardo-Venetian line, has suggested the continuation of the line from Lucca to Pescia and Pitoja, to issue in the plains of Lombarby. This project has received the sanction of the duke of Lucca. Thus, starting from Venice, it will pass by Modena and Lucca to Livorno. This railway will not, however, terminate at Livorno, but will be continued to Rome, across the Tuscan Maremma. These are the two distinct projects ; the one, of Signor Landucci, seeking to unite Tuscany with Central Italy, the other, of Signor Castinelli, wishing union with Upper Italy, and principally with the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom.

The great and leading fact is the progressive yet rapid development of the spirit of enterprise and speculation. The capital which formerly lay idle and unproductive, has become actively employed, working out those changes which will place the grand duchy among great commercial and maritime countries. The disposition to engage in commercial undertakings, has been quickened by the hope of large gains, and though occasionally depressed by large losses, will, nevertheless, produce a robust and lasting progress.

Art, II.-MINERAL REGION AND RESOURCES OF MISS0URI,

The Ozark or Black Mountains, as they are called, in Arkansas and Missouri, is a branch of the Rocky Mountains, which separates from the main chain in about latitude 38° N., and trends gradually eastward, until it reaches the Rio Grande del Norte, in latitude 30°, when it turns almost at right angles, and takes a northeastwardly direction, passing up through Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and terminates at the Missouri river, about seventy-five miles above its mouth. The western range north of the Rio Grande, still retains the name of the principal or parent chain, Rocky Mountains, whilst the eastern range assumes the name of the Ozark or Black Mountains. North of the Missouri, the chain can be traced, not so much by its peaks and altitude, as by its mineral character. This is a very important geological fact, well worthy the attention of the scientific ; for if ever a rational theory is adopted as to the origin of mountains or mineral veins, it must be consistent with a fact so imposing. The Ozark Mountains are nowhere very high or rugged, and would be worthy of little attention, were it not for the immense deposits of valuable metallic ores which are developed along its course. We know but little of the mineral resources abounding in this chain in Texas and Arkansas. But in Missouri, near the termination of the mountain proper, in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Western Michigan, the most wonderful developments of mineral veins occur. The great increase of lead thrown into the market from this range, has reduced the price of that article nearly or quite one-half. That is the only mineral which has been, hitherto, worked to any great extent. Recently, copper has attracted the attention of miners, and tin, silver, nickel, and cobalt, are now claiming their share in the public interest. Lead was discovered in Missouri as early as 1715, and has been worked from time to time, ever since. But it is within the last ten or twelve years, that copper, and other rare and valuable minerals, were supposed to exist there. The geology of this country is exceedingly interesting; peculiarly so, because groups of periods, very remote from each other, from the granite up to the oolite, are found within a small scope of territory. Along the course of the Mississippi, from St. Louis to the mouth of the Ohio, the prevailing rock which crops out, is the limestone. At Commerce, and Cape Girardeau, and for some miles further up, this rock is of the older silurian series, containing but few organic remains. A few orthocerae are all I have seen or heard of Here the rock is a compact, semi-crystalline, pure limestone, well adapted for architectural purposes, and making good lime. It inclines to the north. But, as you approach St. Mary's Landing, seventy-five miles below St. Louis, the upper Silurian lime-rock, abounding in fossil remains, crops out, with an inclination to the north or northeast, at an angle of near 30°. In this rock, I have seen, as yet, but few testacea; Crinoidea prevail, with an occasional Cyathophillum. A few miles in the direction of the inclination in Illinois, you come to the coal formation on the Kaskaskia. And at St. Geneveive, six miles to the northwest, the oolite is found, a fine specimen of which I have under my eye at this moment. Going south from St. Mary's, a coarse-grained sand rock crops out, which has a dip conformable to the lime-rock overlying it. This is found about one mile from the river. Its thickness I have had no means of ascertaining, but would compute at several hundred feet. Again the lime-rock re-appears, presenting a very interesting appearance and effect, over a very great extent of country. From St. Louis, more than a hundred miles down the river, the surface of the country is broken by a series of pits or sink-holes, of various dimensions, from one to one hundred rods, or more, in diameter, and from twenty to one hundred and fifty feet in depth. Some of these are so recent that the fresh broken earth is still apparent, probably but a few months old; whilst others are more ancient than the forests which now cover the country, the largest trees of which frequently occupy the slope which descends into them. In some instances, the gaping rocks show the mouths of huge caverns, several of which have been explored. The Saltpetre cave, on the Saline river, has been traversed nearly three hundred yards. I have noticed, in two or three instances, small streams, with deep ravines, a mile or more in length, terminating in these pits. Evidently this stratum of lime-rock is cavernous, and these sink-holes have been formed by the crumbling away of the friable earth overlying them, until an opening was formed up to the surface, when the abrasion of the sides, from atmospheric and meteoric action, proceeded more rapidly. It is possible that a continuous cavern, from the Missouri, extending one hundred and twenty miles to the southeast, once existed, the subterraneous chambers communicating with each other throughout the whole extent, now filled, or partly filled, with the ditritus from above In this stratum I have seen or heard of no organic remains. Next to this, we come to a hard, seamy, silico-calcareous rock, of no common inclina

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »