網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

from the size of one pound weight upwards, and as you approach the apex of the hill the pieces increase in size to thousands of tons weight, until they assume the appearance of huge rocks, presenting to the astonished beholder a spectacle which cannot be described ; and those large masses are of a quality surpassing any thing of the kind heretofore known to the world. It is impossible to give any thing like an accurate description of this most singular and wonderful production of nature.

“ Six miles south, in Madison county, is another mountain, larger than the one above, known in this county by the name of the Pilot Knob' It is entirely covered with iron ore, in huge masses, larger and more abundant than the former. All the hills around this neighbourhood contain inexhaustible quantities of iron ore ; besides this, the • Valley of Bellevue,' a tract of country about five miles in width and fifteen in length, abounds in iron ore, which is supposed to produce that red appearance everywhere so visible on the surface. , North of Big river, in the neighbourhood of Mr. John Perry’s iron-works, any quantity of the common red ore is found. Some persons have thought it would be an object to obtain the Iron Mountain, and thereby monopolize the ore ; but iron ore, anywhere in this country, would be of no more value than water on the banks of the Mississippi. Mr. Perry's furnace and forge, seven miles south of Potosi, are now in operation, and another iron establishment, called a bloomary,

' fifteen miles from here, is now idle. The latter formerly belonged to Mr. Thompson H. Ficklin.

Natural Curiosities. There are several caves of some notoriety in this county; but the most remarkable is about two miles west of Potosi, near the plantation of Doctor John G. Bryan. The entrance is not larger than an ordinary door, and continues about the same width for fifty yards, when it contracts, and again enlarges, alternately expanding into large rooms, and continues in this way contracting and expanding for the distance of seven hundred yards, which is as far as the cave has ever been explored. In some of the large apartments are suspended from the ceiling long spears (marcasite), resembling icicles, which have been formed by the dripping of the water. When a light

6

is taken into the cave, these suspended spears present a most beautiful and brilliant appearance. There is frequently so much water in the cave that it is very inconvenient to penetrate at any distance, which has prevented many individuals from exploring it. There are several other caves on Big river and on Mineral Fork, none of which I have ever visited. Almost everywhere in the county are to be found what are called · Indian Mounds ;' the largest and most remarkable of which are those on the plantation of Job Westover, Esq., on Big river. These are four in number, forming a quadrangle of about fifty yards, each eighteen or twenty feet at the base, and about six feet high; while exactly in the centre is one about thirty feet at the base, and ten feet high at this time, although the land has been in cultivation for twenty years. These mounds are situate in the bottom on Big river, about ten miles southeast of Potosi.

“: 'There is one other circumstance which may be thought worthy of remark. A gentleman with whom I was well acquainted died in 1821, and was buried in the usual way at Hazel Run mines, in Ste. Genevieve county, on Big river. In 1828 his friends of this place thought proper to disinter his remains at Hazel Run, and bury him at Potosi. When the coffin was taken

up it was found to be rotten, but, to the utter astonishment of all present, the body of the deceased was in a state of perfect soundness, except the nose and some of the fingers ; all the features (except as above) remaining perfect and entire, and having every appearance of petrifaction. Though no one present did anything more to the body than press it with their hands, several who saw it have affirmed that it was as hard as wood, if not stone! I merely mention the fact, as being out of the ordinary course of nature. The body was accordingly brought to Potosi and buried. There are several persons now living here who were eyewitnesses to the fact above related. The body appeared of a dark or black colour. The gentleman I knew well. He had lived an abstemious life, was inclined to corpulence, and died suddenly. I could and would give his name, if necessary.

JOHN S. BRICKEY. Potosi, Washington County, July, 1836."

“ The Missouri Iron Company” has obtained from the legislature of the state an act of incorporation, authorizing them to employ a capital of five million of dollars in the manufacture of iron and steel, in Washington county. This company possess the Iron Mountain and the Pilot Knob. In consideration of the privileges granted in their charter," the Missouri Iron Company” undertake to endow a college, and appropriate to its use from fifty to seventy-five thousand dollars annually, for fifty years, and a large tract of land. This institution of learning will be located at the foot of the Iron Mountain, in the new city of Missouri, in Washington county. A recent discovery of anthracite coal near this mountain will give “ the Missouri Iron Company” singular advantages, if they obtain and use the Sterling Company's patent, by which they can substitute the anthracite for charcoal, and produce iron from the ore in a much shorter time, and by a cheaper process. It is presumed the city of Missouri will become a large manufacturing town. The inhabitants of this city will enjoy the peculiar advantage of educating their children free of expense at the university.

Wayne County is bounded on the north by Madison and the territory attached to it; on the west by Ripley county ; on the east by Stoddard and Cape Girardeau counties—the St. François river dividing the counties of Stoddard and Wayne, and forming a natural eastern boundary for almost the entire distance from north to south; and the state line of Arkansas is the southern boundary of Wayne.

The Big Black, one of the principal branches that contributes its waters to make up White river, runs through the county of Wayne from north to south. This county, therefore, is well watered ; and the Big Black, or its branches, must furnish abundant water-power for all the milling purposes of the county. The seat of justice is located at the town of Greenville, on St. François river, of which but little is known, except that the mail is to be carried to that place by provision of a recent act of Congress, and Mr. Adam Cook is postmaster at Greenville. For much of the additional description that the compiler may, give of Wayne he is obliged to draw on his imagination, like the facetious artist who painted a roast turkey from memory, not having seen one for a long period of time. It is easy, therefore, and it may turn out to be true, to imagine Wayne teeming with all the rich products that render Missourians content, and give celebrity to the state. The surface of the earth in the gently-rolling upland may be, with truth, supposed loaded with grain, tobacco, and hemp, while the low lands on the margin of all the broad and silver streams of Wayne afford rich meadows and flowery pasturage. In their forest hills, too, the sturdy oak and the towering pine remind the peaceful inhabitants of the interior of the tall ships that adorn the blue mountains of the ocean; and the time is not distant when they will consult their interest in floating these materials, the natural products of their wild lands, down the St. François and the White river to the ocean, and thus contribute materials for naval architecture. If in Wayne, on the surface of the earth, enough cannot be found to satisfy the cupidity of avarice itself, it is only requisite to break ground, and descend into the hidden recesses of Nature's treasury, and the sources of wealth will be found as inexhaustible there as was the widow's cruise. Lying so near as Wayne does to the great mineral region of Missouri, embracing the counties of Washington, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, St. François, Madison, and others, it would be marvellous ill-fortune if a miner of experience were to sink a shaft in vain. Wayne, like several other southern counties, is certainly one of those much-neglected regions of country where the emigrants have too long left the great landholder, “ Old-man Congress," in quiet possession of some of the most fertile and productive soil on the globe. We understand that the proprietor of the unoccupied lands of Wayne is offering them

very low at this time. His price is only one dollar and a quarter per acre; but the old miser is a little too particular about the kind of funds he requires ; for he will only receive hard money. This is attributable to his ignorance of fiscal operations and commercial transactions. The distrust evinced in the integrity of the human family by Old-man Congress, is supposed to be measured by the scale of his own acts and evil propensities. He is zealous to remove temptation afar off, on account of his proneness to yield to the seductions of the tempter.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »