Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion. I have seen it dipping in every direction. Overlying it on the summits of the hills, are, nearest the river, a hard chertz, silicious rock, and fragmentary quartz, agate, jasper, and chalcedonis. The quartz, at first, is seldom crystallized; but farther from the river, they are beautifully crystallized, mamillary, and generally cavernous. In the spurs of the mountain, the high hills are, almost universally, covered with this form of silicious rock. Some twenty-five or thirty miles from the river, on this road, the granite and trap-rock begin to appear. Some of the richest lead mines are found several miles before you reach the region of igneous rock. The silico-calcareous rock is the only one in which metallic ore, in any quantity, has as yet been found. Perry's and Valle’s mines are among the most productive in lead, and I have seen no granite or igneous rock within ten miles of them. Mine a-la-Motte, however, is surrounded with hills of trappean rock, and coarse-grained sandstone, and its abundance and variety of metallic ores make it one of the most valuable mineral localities in Missouri. It has been principally worked, until recently, for lead; but within a few years, copper, cobalt, and nickel, have been the objects of keen pursuit. Some portions of this mine are very rich in the two latter minerals. The difficulty of separating these minerals, however, is a great objection to them. The lead, in the form of carbonates or sulphurets, is the only mineral that comes pure, or uncombined with other minerals. The copper is combined with iron, lead, and frequently manganese. The cobalt and nickel are usually associated, and if copper and lead be not present, iron and manganese generally take their place. All these minerals are generally pyritous, but oxides and carbonates are frequently found. At this mine there are some six or eight lead furnaces, and two copper furnaces. The mining here is almost exclusively at the surface. Only one shaft has been sunk to the depth of sixty feet, but, from the want of suitable apparatus to clear it of water, it was abandoned, though very rich in lead. In the mining portion of the Mine a-la-Motte tract, the surface is everywhere broken, and, in some places, the rock and earth are removed by carts to a distance, and piled up. After the pursuit of cobalt became an object, the greater part of this earth was removed and handled over, to find that which had been thrown away as rubbish. I have not sufficient material to determine the mineral statistics of this tract. The lead, however, is the most important, and would not exceed four hundred tons per annum. Copper has done but little. The whole produce up to this time, of pig copper, is less than twenty tons. An apparatus for the preparation of cobalt oxide has recently been fitted up, and a few thousand pounds will, ere long, be ready for the market. From the present developments of this mineral, we may estimate that this tract may produce from three thousand to five thousand pounds of cobalt oxide, per annum. Nickel has not yet been extracted in any form. The whole country to the north and northwest of Mine a-la-Motte, is interspersed with lead mines, such as Potosi, where calamine is found with lead; Mine a-Burton, lead with blende and calamine; the Merrimac mines, Hazel Run mines, the Mammoth mines, and Turply's mines, with many others. South and west of Mine a-la-Motte, no lead is worked. To the west lie the immense deposits of iron at the Pilot Knob and the Iron Mountain. A furnace is now being erected for the working of the ore at the latter place, and the company expect to have their works in operation about the

first of June. This region is very rough and broken ; long ranges of hills, composed of granite, porphyry, and every variety of trap-rock, extend across the country, with intervals of rich valleys, occasionally, between them, and near the water-courses. About ten miles, a little to the south of west of Mine a-la-Motte, is a long ridge of quartz rock, of rather a flinty structure. In this rock, the ferruginous oxide of tungsten is found, with tungstate of lead, which, on analysis, is said to be rich in silver, with a trace of tin. This tract has been purchased by a company, but not yet worked. To the south, much the largest quantities of copper are found. The Buckeye mine, about five miles distant, is a remarkably strong lode of rich copper ore. A shaft has been sunk here to the depth of nearly a hundred feet, disclosing a rake vein of an average of eight feet wide, abounding in ores, chiefly pyritous, varying in richness from 20 to 70 per cent of metallic copper. Fully three-fourths of the ore taken from this mine, yields more than 34 per cent. The ore here seems to be deposited in a cavity". or space between two rocks that stand apart. In the upper part of the lode, rich carbonates of copper were taken out, and some exceedingly fine specimens of native copper. The latter is found in small grains, imbedded in a lime-rock. Black and red oxides, and variegated copper ore, and beautiful crystals of green malachites, are also found here. This mine affords very great facilities for working. The ores, generally, appear to be a cement, uniting angular fragments of lime-rock, forming a breccia; consequently, a large portion of the ore can be removed from its bed by pick-axes alone. So easily is the mining performed, that, when the proprietors have provided a steam-engine for pumping and lifting, each man in the mine may exceed an average of half a ton of ore per day. Thirty hands can now economically work in the shaft, and can deliver at the surface what will make at least fifteen tons of clean ore in a day of twentyfour hours, worth, as it comes up, seventy-five dollars per ton, or for the day, $1,175. The geological position of this mine is very favorable for a large deposit of mineral. The trap crops out a short distance from the mine, at the north, whilst another range of the same rock passes beyond the valley on the south ; whilst the hills at the north and east abound in cavernous and mamillary quartz, denoting the action of powerful mineralizing agents. I think it probable that the main or principal lode of this deposit has not yet been struck, but remains to be developed. Indeed, many circumstances induce the opinion that another lead of mineral passes parallel to the one now worked. In cutting away the rock for the cistern, some twelve feet beyond the shaft, some mineral was found in the rock, similar to that in the shaft and lode explored. Should this opinion be found correct, this will prove one of the most extensive and rich copper deposits known. In sinking the shaft, a very rich vein of cobalt, unconnected with any other metal, was passed; but it has not been pursued, and, consequently, the extent and dimensions of the vein are unknown. When the miners come to work in that part of the rock, this vein will be further explored. Within five or six miles to the south and east of this mine, some half a dozen other veins of copper have been discovered, and the land purchased in consequence of the discovery. But no one of these veins has been explored to any extent. Several tracts have been purchased on account of

cobalt discovered at the surface, but no one has been sufficiently explored to estimate their importance. The geological position of the metaliferous rock of this country, is properly of the Cambrian series; being the oldest of sedimentary formations. The present position of the granite, trap, and porphyry, was, probably, assumed prior to the superimposed sedimentary deposit. A careful examination of the country has discovered no clear evidence of the igneous rock overlying the lime or sandstone. Yet the two latter rocks alternate with each other, but the metaliferous lime-rock is, probably, the lowest, and rests upon the trappean. I entertain no doubt but that this country, when fully explored, and its mineral resources developed, will prove to be one of the richest mineral regions upon the globe. Much remains to be learned, as yet, respecting the laws of mineral formation. Baron Humboldt remarks that gold is generally found on the eastern side of mountain ranges. May not this generalization be extended to other mineral deposits On our own continent, such is the case, at least, to general extent. The rich mines of Kremnitz and Shemnitz in Hungary, are the eastern side of the Carpathian range. The Russian mines of the Oural mountains are on the Asiatic side. The rich mines of Hindostan are on the east side of the Ghauts. And in Scandinavia, the mines are on the oriental slope of the Norwegian mountains; so, also, in the Hartz. Facts may be multiplied to support this hypothesis. In connection with this subject, there is another fact in cosmography that I have not seen noticed by any writer on cosmogony. That is, that all the first-rate rivers of the earth have an eastwardly direction, and disembogue their waters on the eastern side of their respective continents. That their direction is always given by the mountain range in which they take their rise ; and it is not a little remarkable that these ranges are on the western sides of the continents. In our own continent, the great rivers, St. Lawrence, Mississippi, (or Missouri, which is the chief stream,) the Rio Grande del Norte, the Orinoco, the Amazon, and the Rio de la Platte, all take their rise in the mountain range near the western side of the continent, and flow eastwardly. In Europe, the Danube, the Dnieper, the Don and the Volga, its largest rivers, have the same course. In Asia, the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Indus, the Ganges, the Burampooter, the Siam, the Ho-ang-ho, the Segalien and Ki-ang-ku, disembogue on the eastern side. The chief river of Africa, the Niger, flows eastwardly a great part of its course, but turns to the west, and finds an estuary in the Atlantic. And the Macquarrie, the largest river of Australia, flows to the east. Here, then, is a fact. Rivers were formed subsequent to the for. mation of dry land, and for the grand purpose of draining off the meteoric water from the surface; for all the waters of our inland lakes and rivers are of pluviatile origin, or, in plain English, collections of rain water. It is no more probable that the rivers were formed instantaneously, from source to mouth, than that the continents, with their several formations, as at present existing, came into being at once. All geologists agree that the latter were formed by slow and gradual accretions. Admit, then, that what we call the primitive systems were first elevated above the surface of the seas, at the time when the “earth was without form and void.” The western continent then presented two granitic

ranges ; one corresponding to the great Cordillerian chain, extending through the entire length of North and South America, which was the nucleus of the continent, and the Alleghany chain. Between these two systems, a wide, but perhaps shallow sea, intervened. The course of the tides, rushing to the west, and, perhaps, a slight resistance to the earth's rotary motion, giving additional impulse to the water, would naturally deposit the marine ditritus on the eastern sides of those nuclei. These rivers, at first

, were but mountain torrents, which soon terminated in a neighboring sea. But, as the continents, from the various causes which have operated, increased in width or extent, they flowed on, at times encountering obstructions which arrested their course, producing either permanent or tem. porary lakes, as the obstacles were more or less capable of resistance, to seek an estuary in the sea. Their general direction was, probably, the result of a general cause. The particular direction of each stream, and the union of several into one, may have resulted, under providential causation, from accidental circumstances. The lead of each stream indicates where the least resistance existed, in contact with the force or weight of water, at the time it was formed. The wide valley between the Alleghany and Rocky Mountains, as it gradually emerged from the sea, found its margin cleft with the channels of little torrents. Thus the Ohio waters, at one time, by a short course, running to the south and west, discharged themselves into the intermediate sea; but “ the dry land appeared” beyond their estuaries, and they, struggling on, turning to the right and to the left, as obstructions gave way and yielded to their efforts, uniting, at times, the burden of their floods, thus increasing in power the farther they advanced, until a great, irresistible er was produced, which, united with the waters flowing eastwardly, in the Mississippi and Missouri, created a common channel for them all.

The important argument in this generalization is, that the accretions of the continents are comme

monly from the west--that their nuclei were there established.

How far these generalizations may have a practical application in determining the localities of mining districts, is yet to be determined. How many effects are attributable to one general cause, is worthy, at least, of an inquiry.. I am aware that some rich mines are found in the occidental slopes of mountains ; as the rich copper mines of Chili and Peru; but the eastern slopes of the same mountains are far more rich in richer minerals. So the Cornwall mines of England are on the west side of that island, but when it is determined that England retains her original form, one fact will be opposed to this hypothesis.

To the American who desires to see his country rich and prosperous, independent of all the world for whatever conduces to the wealth, comfort, and security of her people in all and any emergency, her mineral resources must be a subject of peculiar interest. More particularly so to the man of enterprise and capital, who would seek a field for the exertion of his energies, and increase the common stock of wealth, whilst building up his own. The man of science, too, will find here a theatre well worthy of his attention. Several new, and, as yet, undescribed minerals, have been found in Missouri ; and, when more perfectly explored, it may reasonably be expected their number will be increased.

When properly considered, this pursuit is more inviting to the capitalist than commerce.' It has, in every way, less hazards. It has been object

3

[ocr errors]

VOL. XV,NO. I.

ed that Americans want skill in the working of minerals to advantage. But the time was when this same objection would apply, with equal or more force, to every art in which the industry of the country is interested or engaged. The American has skill for any and every pursuit that promises a reward for his labors. And what promises a greater or more certain reward than a good productive mine? Many of the largest for. tunes of the West have grown up from the produce of the mines, even now, when the field has been but partially explored.

D.

Art. III.-PROGRESSIVE WEALTH AND COMMERCE OP BOSTON. STATISTICAL REPORT OF LEMUEL SHATTUCK*--MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY OF BOSTON-COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY-TONNAGE, EXPORTS, AND IMPORTS--PASSAGES OF THE BRITISH STEAMERS

AMOUNT OF REVENUE ON GOODS IMPORTED IN STEAMERS-SAVINGS BANKS-BOSTON BANKS --RAILROAD STATISTICS--VALUATION OF PROPERTY AND TAXES-CITY DEBT-CITY PROPER

CITY AND STATE TAX COMPARED, ETC., ETC. In May, 1845, the City Council of Boston appointed a joint committee, with full power to procure a census of that city, with such other statistics as they should deem proper. Immediately after their appointment, the committee proceeded to the performance of the service required of them, by engaging LEMUEL SHATTUCK, Esq., a gentleman who, from great familiarity with, and a strong interest in the subject of statistics, they considered (and as the result of his labors fully demonstrate) thoroughly qualified for the task, as their chief agent. The result of Mr. Shattuck's commission has been made public, in the form of a handsomely printed octavo volume, including a copious index, of two hundred and seventy-four pages ; and embraces

a minute, and doubtless accurate view, of the past and present condition of Boston, especially relating to the progress of its population, wealth, commerce, &c. Besides various other statistical tables, we have the facts connected with the occupations and domestic condition of its population. The critical and explanatory observations illustrating the statistical tables, are very judicious; and we have much collateral information, not originally anticipated in the plan, which, altogether, furnishes a full and minute history of the condition of Boston ; some account of its early institutions and habits ; its present means of happiness and progress; its advantages for mental and moral culture, and its pre-eminent position for internal and foreign commerce.

We consider it, on the whole, the most methodical, and carefully compiled work of the kind, that has ever fallen under our observation-alike creditable to the liberality of Boston, and the industry and research of the intelligent gentleman who prepared it; and we recommend it as a model work, which we hope to see adopted by the government of every great mart of commerce or manufactures in the Union, who is desirous of contributing not only to the local, but general prosperity and happiness of the country.

Although we have given, from time to time, statistical accounts of the commerce of Boston, and in a former volumes of this Magazine published

* Report to the Committee of the City Council appointed to obtain the Census of Boston, for the year 1845; embracing Collateral Facts and Statistical Researches, illustrating the History and Condition of the Population, and their Means of Progress and Prosperity. By LEMUEL SHATTUCK. Boston : John H. Eastburn, City Printer. 1846.

+ See Merchants' Magazine for May, 1844, Vol. X., pages 421 to 434.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »