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the banks of the stream, and manufactured on From a sharp, conical peak near the mansion the spot. As the salt intended for transporta- they had a fine bird's-eye view of the valley, tion by water is always packed in barrels, an and while descending, quenched their thirst at immense coopering establishment is the char- a delicious fountain which bursts out about acteristic adjunct of the lower salt-works. The midway of the hill, from a bed of moss-covered eastern trade was formerly carried on by wag- rocks. The cold, crystal water is in sufficient oning to Buchanan and Lynchburg ; but this volume to turn a mill at the base of the peak, mode has been lately superseded by the rail- from whence it winds through the grassy meadroad, and crowds of burly teamsters no longer ows and discharges itself into the Holston, near enliven Saltville with their rows.
the lower salt-works. Having passed a pleasant and profitable day Near the centre of the low grounds, in anin the examination of these localities, our trav- other direction, is a plateau elevated considelers accepted an invitation from the proprietor erably above the surrounding fields, which to pass the night at his house, and next morn- was evidently at one time the site of an ing, under the guidance of their accomplished Indian town. Bits of broken pottery and remhost, they visited various other points of inter- nants of domestic utensils may still be found, est within his princely domain.
although the traces of their houses, which
were formerly distinctly visible, are now oblit- | Spring Station. As the wheezing, puffing loerated.
comotive wound its way out of the valley, Bob At three o'clock in the afternoon our friends Larkin fell into a sentimental strain. seated themselves cozily in the train on a heap “Uncle,” said he, “this little vale is one of of plethoric salt-sacks, and started for the Glade the loveliest spots on earth. I have never seen
a place of the same extent that combined so-never to be diminished or obscured. The many elements of beauty."
steamship and the steam horse alike are im. “ And of utility, Bob,” replied the Squire. pelled onward by its fiery lungs; the night is “Besides its fossil wealth, look at those broad turned into day by its illuminating breath; and corn-fields, those herds of superb cattle wading the gaudy chandeliers of the fashionable saloon knee-deep in the grass of those level meadows—" give lustre to the eyes of beauty only by its
"And," cried Bob, “the river stocked with brilliant jets. fish and the mountains with game—what cheery Although coal is usually plain and unpresport to give zest to books and pencils!” and tending in its physical aspect, it can, neverthehere the artist heaved a sigh.
less, claim relation with a celebrated “noble "Indeed!" sighed the Squire, “one might stone”—a member of the higher order of minspend a lifetime in such a place and never wish eral aristocracy. We refer to the diamond, to roam.” And both gentlemen fell into silent whose beauty can not easily be exaggerated; musings.
but, unlike coal, it contributes to our vanity Perhaps the artist's fervid fancy busied itself rather than to our comfort and actual necessiin painting a picture of a vine-covered cottage ties. Both members of the carboniferous famat the foot of the Sugar-Loaf, near that cool, ily, and almost identical in composition, they bubbling fountain, “ with one fair spirit for its are yet wholly dissimilar in appearance, in geominister;" but whether her eyes were black or graphical distribution, and in the characters blue the curious world may not yet know. which they have to play in the domestic econ
Possibly, too, the Squire, although not given omy of man. As between the two, we venture to castle-building, may have been occupied in to say that coal commends itself more warmly to locating an El Dorado in that happy valley—a our favor, and having impressed its stamp very little world, where there should be wealth with- conspicuously upon the age in which we figure, out arrogance, poverty without envy, justice must be invested with some points of interest without lawyers, and freedom without politi- beyond the mere statistics of commercial value. cians.
Its origin, its history, and the circumstances of Their arrival at the station terminated these its benevolent mission, certainly deserve to be pleasing dreams, and in an hour after they known. joined their expectant friends in Abingdon. In the year 1791, there lived on the eastern
“ Ladies, pack your trunks, for by to-morrow slope of the mountains drained by the Lehigh evening we may be in Tennessee."
River, in Pennsylvania, a hunter, named Philip
Ginther. The country, for many miles around, COAL, AND THE COAL-MINES OF abounded in game, and was clothed in dense PENNSYLVANIA.
primitive forest. On the occasion to which we THERE WHERE are probably but few persons in this are now referring, Ginther had spent the whole
“land of the free” who have not, at some day in the woods without meeting the least suctime or other, enjoyed the novelty and the geni- cess. He had left with anxious solicitude in
al warmth of the morning the cabin which sheltered his wife
anthra- and children, for the scanty breakfast had imcite fire; of pressed him with the necessity of replenishing ten has the the culinary department. As the shades of social bowl evening gathered around, he found himself on
the summit of Sharp Mountain, several miles tied; many distant from his home. A storm of rain was a pleasant, advancing, and had already spent a few drops, jocund story when he began to quicken his pace. Running has been re- along at a brisk gait through the woods, he lated; many stumbled over the roots of a tree which had retender vows cently fallen, and threw before him a large, been made black stone—to recognize which, and the black
and sealed aspect of the spot around the roots, there was before the flaming yet remaining sufficient light. He had heard minister upon the persons speak of stone coal as existing in these hearth. But it is mountains, and concluded that this must be a on a cold winter's specimen. He therefore took it with him, and night, when we few days after gave it to Colonel Jacob Weiss, hear the snow and then living near the present site of Mauch
sleet all “pitiless Chunk. Unable to determine its real characpour,” and the wind fret and howl around us, ter, the specimen was forwarded to Philadelthat we realize in a more grateful sense the phia, where, after undergoing the scrutiny of glowing qualities of our friend. It is then, sundry mineralogists and learned savans, it rapt in silent contemplation, that we trace its finally came into the hands of Mr. Charles Cist, useful presence throughout the whole range of a printer. Printers are popularly supposed to both social and industrious life, and find it often know every thing, and from their liberality of associated with our national strength and glory sentiment are disposed to take a “compliment
ary notice” of almost any thing ; so, true to his was the coal — there it was in unmistakable calling, Mr. Cist promptly pronounced the thing quantity—and the only thing that now remained anthracite coal, and sent a request to Colonel to secure the most triumphant success was a Weiss to reward the discoverer, and make im- market. Standing upon their seam of coal on mediate arrangements for securing the land. the summit of Sharp Mountain, seventeen hun
As the entire region of country from the Blue dred feet above tide-water, the “Lehigh CoalMountain to the Susquehanna River was an un- mine Company” looked wistfully over the vast broken, savage wilderness, the land had but lit- expanse of mountain, valley, and plain, and up tle value. Weiss had no difficulty in obtain to the arching firmament, for a market. Noing, through the usual process of the Land thing of the kind could be seen ; not the slightOffice, several thousand acres; and early in the est glimmer of encouragement was visiblefollowing year organized an association, called around, above, or below; and they were forced the “Lehigh Coal-mine Company.” Among to draw large drafts on a kindly-disposed imits prominent members were Robert Morris (the agination, which afforded an occasional beam celebrated financier), John Nicholson, Charles of hope in the obscure vista of the distant fuCist, J. Anthony Morris, and others, some of ture. The surrounding country was every whom owned large estates, especially Morris where covered with timber; and what with the and Nicholson.
abundance and low price of cord-wood and In the month of May an expedition was fitted charcoal, the want of wagon-roads and navigaout to open and work the mine. The force ble streams, there was no demand for stoneconsisted of four laborers, with one of the coal, near or remote. After a few weeks' labor members of the Company acting as mining en- at the mine, the men were discharged and opgineer. The geological position of the coal erations suspended. But Colonel Weiss, notwas plain ; it required but a small amount withstanding the inauspicious circumstances of scientific acumen to comprehend the whole which involved the Company, determined that problem. As the roots of the fallen tree had the coal should, at least, be introduced to the revealed the exact situation of the coal, and but acquaintance of the public. He filled his sada thin stratum of soil intervening between it and dle-bags from time to time, and rode around the daylight, a little perpendicular digging was among the blacksmiths of the lower country, only necessary to get at it. A few pits were ac- earnestly soliciting them to try it.” A few accordingly sunk down, and several tons of the cepted the proffered supplies, and used it with mineral aarried, when the great que on pre- partial success; but the truth is, our wise fasented itself to our enterprising Company thers almost unanimously regarded the mineral “What are we going to do with it?" There staple of the “Lehigh Coal-mine Company" as
nothing more nor less than common stones, while also interested in the Coal Company. A large the enthusiastic shareholders were regarded as canoe was launched, and the party glided graceunpractical and visionary theorists. It was fully over the water. Every thing augured a fathis ill-timed and foolish prejudice against a vorable report; but they had not proceeded far mineral whose peculiar properties they did not in their investigations before the canoe capsized, happen to understand that overwhelmed the and most unceremoniously precipitated the ofCompany with popular ridicule, and thereby ficial representatives of the Navigation Comseriously embarrassed its objects and move- pany into the stream! Two of them were nearly ments. Had the parties themselves been men drowned, but the others effected an easy escape of no more than ordinary character, the enter to the shore. They subsequently adjourned to prise never could have been initiated at all, the nearest inn, refreshed the “inner” and the but they were like
"outer man,” laughed heartily over the adven**Calthus, the seer, whose comprehensive view ture, and then quietly sought their respective
The Past, the Present, and the Future knew ;" homes. and the ridicule of the ignorant public, no Whatever may have been the opinion of the doubt, only served to stimulate them into pre- Committee concerning the improved navigation mature activity.
of the river, after the practical exemplification In 1798 the Legislature of Pennsylvania of its capacities which they had thus received, chartered a joint-stock company to improve the it is certain that their report did not dampen the navigation of the Lehigh River, and although ardor of the Coal Company. They had again the Coal Company had in the mean time relaxed resumed operations at the mine, and under the all efforts, and was then upon the verge of dis- directions of Mr. Cist, were then preparing a solution, the prospect which now opened of ren- fleet of arks to be dispatched at the earliest dering that stream navigable for the descent of freshet, via the Lehigh and Delaware rivers, for the lumber and coal on its head waters, infused the city of Philadelphia. The coal was hauled new spirit into some of its members, and they to the banks of the river by horses, and in the again went to work. Thirty thousand dollars spring of 1803 six arks, containing one hundred had been expended in constructing wing-dams tons of coal each, were ready for the voyage. and removing obstructions; and upon the com The descent of the river, for the first fifteen pletion of the work, in 1802, a committee was miles from Mauch Chunk, was exceedingly rapappointed to examine and report its condition. id, the fall being some three hundred feet. It It consisted of five persons, most of whom were was a bright and cheerful morning, after the