BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


A new guide for emigrants to the West

by John Mason Peck

Excerpt:

Minerals. But few mines exist in the Lower Valley of the Mississippi. Louisiana being chiefly alluvion, furnishes only two specimens, sulphuret of antimony, and meteoric iron ore. It is supposed that the pine barrens towards Texas, if explored, would add to the number.

The only minerals in Mississippi are,—amethyst, of which one crystal has been found; potter's clay, at the Chickasaw bluffs, and near Natchez; sulphuret of lead, in small quantities, about Port Gibson; and sulphate of iron. Petrified trunks of trees are found in the bed of the Mississippi, opposite Natchez. In Arkansas, are various species. Here may be found the native magnet, or magnetic oxide of iron, possessing strong magnetic power. Iron ores are very abundant. Sulphate of copper, sulphuret of zinc, alum, and aluminous slate are found about the cove of Washitau and the hot springs. Buhr stone, of a superior quality, exists in the surrounding hills. The hot springs are interesting, on account of the minerals around them, the heat of their waters, and as furnishing a retreat to valetudinarians from the sickly regions of the South. They are situated on the Washitau, a large stream that empties into Red river.

The lead mines of Missouri have been worked for more than a century. They are distributed through the country, from thirty to one hundred miles south-west from St. Louis, and probably extend through the Gasconade country. Immense quantities of iron ore exist in this region. Lead is found in vast quantities, in the northern part of Illinois, the south part of Wisconsin Territory, and the country on the west side of the Mississippi. These mines are worked extensively. Native copper, in large quantities, is found in the same region. Large quantities of iron ore is found in the mountainous parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, where furnaces and forges have been erected; also, in the hilly parts of Ohio, particularly at the falls of Licking, four miles west of Zanesville; and in Adams and Lawrence counties, near the Ohio river. With iron ore the West is profusely supplied.

Bituminous coal exists, in great profusion, in various parts of the Western Valley. The hills, around Pittsburgh, are inexhaustible. It extends through many portions of Ohio and Indiana. Nearly every county in Illinois is supplied with this valuable article. Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee have their share. Immense quantities are found in the mountains along the Kenawha, in Western Virginia, and it is now employed in the manufacture of salt. The Cumberland mountains, in Tennessee, contain immense deposits.

Muriate of soda, or common salt, exists in most of the States and Territories of this Valley. Near the sources of the Arkansas, incrustations are formed by evaporation, during the dry season, in the depressed portions of the immense prairies of that region. The celebrated salt rock is on the red fork of the Canadian, a branch of the Arkansas river. Jefferson lake has its water strongly impregnated with salt, and is of a bright red color. Beds of rock salt are in the mountains of this region. Several counties of Missouri have abundant salt springs. Considerable quantities of salt are manufactured in Jackson, Gallatin, and Vermilion counties, Illinois. Saline springs, and "licks," as they are called, abound through Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Western Virginia. Salt is manufactured, in great abundance, at the Kenawha salines, sixteen miles above Charlestown, Va., and brought down the Kenawha river, and carried to all the Western States. Much salt is made also on the Kiskiminitas, a branch of the Alleghany river, at the Yellow creek, above Steubenville, and in the Scioto country, in Ohio. The water is frequently obtained by boring through rock, of different strata, several hundred feet deep. ,

Copper, antimony, manganese, and several other minerals, are found in different parts of the West, but are not yet worked. Nitrate of potash is found in great abundance, in the caverns of Kentucky and Tennessee, also in Missouri, from which large quantities of saltpetre are manufactured. Sulphate of magnesia is found in Kentucky, Indiana, and perhaps other States. Sulphur, and other mineral springs, are very common in the Western States.

Vegetable Productions, Trees, fyc. Almost every species of timber and shrub, common to the Atlantic States, is found in some part of the Western Valley. The cotton-wood and sycamore are found along all the rivers below the 41st deg. of north latitude. The cypress begins near the mouth of the Ohio, and spreads through the alluvion portions of the Lower Valley. The magnolia, with its large, beautiful flower, grows in Louisiana, and the long leaf pine flourishes in the uplands of the same region. The sugar-maple abounds in the northern and middle portions. The chestnut is found in the eastern portion of the Valley, as far as Indiana, but not a tree is known to exist in a natural state, west of the Wabash river. Yellow or pitch pine grows in several counties of Missouri, especially on the Gasconade, from whence large quantities of lumber are brought to St. Louis. White pine, from the Alleghany river, is annually sent to all the towns on the Ohio, and further down. Considerable quantities of white pine grow on the Upper Mississippi, along the western shore of Michigan, about Green Bay, and along the shores of lake Superior. The yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a majestic tree, valuable for light boards, and may be found in some parts of most of the Western States. The beech tree is frequently found in company. The live-oak, so valuable in ship-building, is found south of the 31st degree, and along the Louisiana coast. The orange, fig, olive, pine-apple, &c, find a genial climate about NewOrleans. High in the north, we have the birch, hemlock, fir, and other trees peculiar to a cold region. Amongst our fruit-bearing trees, we may enumerate the walnut, hickory, or shag-bark, persimmon, pecaun, mulberry, crab-apple, paupau, wild plum, and wild cherry. The vine grows every where. Of the various species of oak, elm, ash, linden, backberry, &.c, it is unnecessary to speak. Where forests abound, the trees are tall and majestic. In the prairie country, the timber is usually found on the streams, or in detached groves.


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