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or in the fame neighbourhood, for too long a time. "The Siberian wheat for feveral years produced good crops; but becoming at length naturalized to the climate, it shared the fate of the common kind of wheat, and disappointed the expectations of the farmer. Were the feed renewed every five or fix years, by importations from Siberia, it might be cultivated to advantage." It must be obferved, that the Siberian wheat which was fown in New-Hampshire, about twelve years ago, was carried from England, where it had been fown for feveral preceding years. Whether an intermediate ftage is favourable to the transplantation of feed from north to fouth, and the fuccefs of its cultivation, may be worthy of inquiry. With refpect to plants, which require the whole season to grow in, it is obferved, that the removal of them from fouth to north, ought to be by fhort stages; in which cafe they accommodate themselves by infenfible degrees to the temperature and length of the vegeta ting term, and frequently acquire as good a degree of perfection in foreign climes as in their native foil. Such are the refources of nature!"
Agriculture is, and always will be, the chief bufinefs of the people of New-Hampshire, if they attend to their true intereft. Every tree which is cut down in the foreft, opens to the fun a new spot of earth, which, with cultivation, will produce food for man and beast. It is impoffible to conceive what quantities may be produced of beef, pork, mutton, poultry, wheat, rye, Indian corn, barley, pulfe, butter and cheese, articles which will always find a market. Flax and hemp may also be cultivated to great advantage, especially on the intervale lands of the large rivers. The barley of New-England is much ef teemed in the middle States, and the demand for it is fo great, as to encourage its cultivation; it is, befides, a kind of grain which is not liable to blaft. Hops will grow on almost any foil, and the labour attending them is fo inconfiderable, that there can be no excufe for neglecting the univerfal cultivation of them. The confumption of them, and confequently the demand for them as an article of commerce, is continually increasing.
The first neat cattle imported from Europe into New-Hampshire, were fent by Captain John Mason and his affociates, about the year 1633, to stock their plantations, and to be employed in drawing lumber. These cattle were of a large breed, and a yellow colour, procu-. red from Denmark. Whilft the bufinefs of getting lumber was the
chief employment of the people, the breeding of large cattle was more attended to than it is now. Calves were allowed to run with the cows, and fuck at their pleasure. Men were ambitious to be diftinguished by the fize and strength of their oxen. Bets were frequently laid on the exertions of their strength, and the prize was contended for as earneftly as the laurel at the Olympic games. This ardour is not yet wholly extinguished in fome places; but as hufbandry hath gained ground, lefs attention is paid to the strength, and more to the fatness of cattle for the market, and calves are deprived of part of their na tural food, for the advantage of making butter and cheese.
As the country becomes more and more cleared, pasture for cattle increases, and the number is continually multiplied. From the upper parts of New-Hampfhire, great herds of fat cattle are driven to the Bofton market, whence the beef is exported fresh to NovaScotia, and falted to the Weft and Eaft-Indies.
At what time and by whom the horse was first imported, does not appear. No particular care is taken by the people in general to im prove the breed of this majestic and useful animal, and bring it to that perfection of which it is capable. The raifing of colts is not accounted a profitable part of hufbandry, as the horse is but little ufed for draught, and his flesh is of no value. The proportion of horses to neat cattle is not more than one to twenty. Few live and die on the plantations where they are bred; fome are exported to the Weft-India islands, but the most are continually fhifted from one owner to another, by means of a fet of contemptible wretches called horfe-jockies.
Affes have been lately introduced into the country. The raising of mules deferves encouragement, as the exportation of them to the Weft-Indies is more profitable than that of horfes, and they may be ufed to advantage in travelling or carrying burthens in the rough and mountainous parts of the wilderness.
Sheep, goats, and fwine, were at first fent over from England, by the affociates of Laconia. Sheep have greatly multiplied, and are accounted the most profitable stock which can be raised on a farm. The breed might be renewed and improved by importing from Barbary, the muffion, which is faid to be the parent ftock of the European, and confequently of the American fheep. Goats are not much propagated, chiefly because it is difficult to confine them in pastures. Swine are very prolific, and scarcely a family is without them. Du
ring the fummer, they are either fed on the waste of the dairy and kitchen, or ringed and turned into fields of clover, or permitted to run at large in the woods, where they pick up nuts and acorns, or grub the roots of fern; but after harvest they are shut up, and fatted on Indian corn. The pork of New-England is not inferior to any in the world.
Domestic poultry of all kinds are raifed in great plenty and perfection in New-Hampshire. In fome of the lower towns they have a large breed of dunghill fowls, which were exported from England about twenty years paft; but this breed is permitted to mix with. the common fort, by which means it will, in time, degenerate. The ock of all domestic animals ought frequently to be changed, if it is the wish to preferve them unimpaired, or reftore them to their original perfection.
CAVERNS, STONES, FOSSILS, AND MINERALS.
Among the many rocky mountains and precipices, fome openings appear, which are generally fuppofed to be the haunts of bears and rattle-fnakes, and are rather objects of dread than of curiofity. A particular defcription of one of these caverns in the township of Chefter, by Peter French, an ingenious young gentleman, deceafed, fhall be given in his own words.
"At about five miles diftance from Chefter meeting-house, and very near the road leading to Concord, is an eminence called Rattlefnake Hill. Its bafe is nearly circular, and about half a mile in diameter. It is very rugged, especially on the fouthern fide, where it is almoft perpendicular, and its fummit frowns tremendous, about four hundred feet high. In this fide, at the height of ten yards, is an aperture in the rocks, of about five feet high, and twenty inches broad, which is the entrance to what is called the Devil's Den, concerning which, many frightful ftories are told, to increase the terrors of the evening, among the children of the neighbouring villages; and, indeed, I have obferved the eyes of men affume a peculiar brightness, while recounting the imaginary dangers which they had there fortunately escaped.
"This entrance is about fix feet long, it then contracts its height to two feet and a half, and displays its breadth horizontally on the right, fifteen feet, where it is irregularly loft among the contiguous rocks. This form of the cavity continues about ten feet, when
it fuddenly becomes about eight feet high, and three wide, the fides nearly perpendicular, continuing thus about nine feet. In the midway of which, on the fame plane, and nearly at right angles on the left, is an aperture of five feet high and four wide, which continues ten or twelve feet, where it is loft irregularly among the rocks. Oppofite to this, on the right, lies a fpacious chamber, parallel to the faid plane, elevated about four feet, fifteen or twenty feet fquare, and about three feet high, floored and ceiled by a regular rock, from the upper part of which are dependent many excrefcences, nearly in the form of a pear, fome of which are more than an inch long; but there is a much greater number of every poffible inferior fize; thefe are eafily feparable from the rock, and feveral of them are depofited in the museum at Cambridge, where they are fhewn for petrified water. Their colour and confiftence are thofe of a common ftone, but when approached in the cave with a flambeaux, they throw about a sparkling luftre of almost every hue. This appearance is caufed by a large drop of water, which hangs about the end of each, and when the echo of its fall has reverberated round the vault, another begins to kindle in fucceffion.
"At the end of the above mentioned nine feet is a perpendicular defcent of about four feet; where the paffage becoming not more than eighteen inches wide, but at least fifteen feet high, and ftill nearly perpendicular, bends gently to the right in an arch of a very large circle, for about thirty feet, where eight or nine feet of the height falls into breadth, and all in feven or eight feet more is loft among the rocks, in inconfiderable chinks.
"The general direction of this cave is nearly north, and upon an afcent of about three degrees. The cavity is terminated by rocks on all fides, fave that the above-mentioned thirty feet has a gra velly bottom, at the farther end of which rifes a small rivulet, ftrongly impregnated with fulphur. This rivulet increases imperceptibly in its defcent along the thirty feet; when it falls fuddenly into a tranfverfe chink, about three inches wide, which receives it perpendicularly about ten feet, when the little fubterraneous cafcade is intercepted by fome thin lip of a rock, and thrown about in quite a merry strain for fuch a folitary mansion.
"The rocks which wall this narrow paffage, are cafed with a shell of a reddifh colour, about half an inch thick, which is eafily feparable from the rock, in flakes as large as a man's hand. These flakes
fakes emit a ftrong fcent of fulphur, when thrown into the fire; and this circumftance has given rife to a conjecture that subterraneous fires have formerly raged here; but whatever truth there may be in this opinion, the cave is now exceedingly cold, and a more gloomy fituation is fcarcely imaginable."
In the town of Durham there is a rock, which is computed to weigh fixty or feventy tons. It lies fo exactly poifed on another rock, as to be eafily moved by one finger. It is on the top of a hill, and its fituation appears to be natural. Many other fingular appearances among the rocks and mountains attract the attention of the curious, and ferve as objects of amazement to the uninformed.
Of the different kinds of earths and clays which are found in New-Hampshire, it would be endless to give an account. The towns of Exeter, Newmarket, Durham and Dover, abound in clays. The faine may be faid of feveral towns on Connecticut river. In many of the new townfhips, clay does not appear till after the earth has been opened and cultivated. Marles, though found in great plenty in fome places, are feldom ufed: immenfe treasures of this precious manure will be referved for future generations.
Red and yellow ochres are found in Sommerfworth, Chefterfield, Rindge and Jaffrey. It is obfervable that in feveral places, a ftratum of yellow is found under one of red ochre, without any intervening fubftance: these have been purified and ufed with fuccefs in painting.
At Orford, on Connecticut river, is found the foap-rock, Steatites. It has the property of fuller's earth in cleaning cloths; it is of a confiftence between earth and ftone; it may be fawn or cut with carpenter's tools into any form whatever. To determine its capacity of enduring heat, Mr. Belknap carefully meafured and weighed a piece of it; and having kept it for one hour in a glowing fire of coals, and cooled it gradually, he found it; fize was not in the least diminifhed; it loft a fixty-fifth part of its weight; it was evidently cracked, and was easily broken by the hand; it was equally foft as before, and as capable of being cut or fcraped; its colour was changed from a light grey to a micaceous yellow. The piece on which this experiment was made, weighed between feven and eight ounces.
In various parts of the country is found that tranfparent substance which is commonly called ifing-glafs, Lapis fpecularis. It is a fpecies of talc, and is found adhering to rocks of white or yellow quartz, and lying in lamina, like fhects of paper; most of it VOL. II. N is