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Mountains.] The Alleghany mountains pass through the western part of the state from s. W. to N. E. dividing the waters which flow east into Chesapeake bay from those which flow west into the Ohio. The Blue ridge is east of the Alleghany range, and rups parallel with it, dividing the state into two parts nearly equal Near the southern line of the state it bends westward, and unites with the Alleghany range. Its loftiest summits are the peaks of Otter, in Bedford county, the highest of which is 3,103 feet above the level of the sea, and is considered the most elevated point of land in Virginia. East of the Blue ridge, and parallel with it, at the distance of about 30 miles, is the South mountain. Between the Allegbany ridge and the Ohio there are also several ranges, irregular in their course, and le-s accurately known. The longest and most connected of these is the Laurel ridge. All these ranges continue their course in a northeasterly direction into Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Cumberland mountains form part of the boundary between Virginia and Kentucky.
Rivers.] The Ohio forms the boundary between Virginia and the state of Ohio. Its principal tributaries from this state are, 1. The Big Sandy, which forms part of the boundary between Virgioia and Kentucky. 2. The Great Kenhawa, which rises in the western part of North Carolina, in the Alleghany mountains ; and running north and northwest, joins the Ohio at Point Pleasant. About 100 miles from its mouth are the Great Falls, where the river descends perpendicularly 50 feet. The principal branch of the Kenhawa is Greenbrier river, which joins it 10 or 50 miles above the falls 3. The Little Kenhawa, which joins the Ohio a little helow Marietta, in the state of Ohio.
The Potomac rises in the Alleghany mountains, and during its whole course is the boundary between Virginia and Maryland. It falls into Chesapeake bay between Point Lookout and Smith's point by a mouth 74 miles wide, after a course of more than 500 miles. It is navigable for ships of the greatest burden, 300 miles, to the city of Washington, 3 miles below the head of the tide. Alove that city there are numerous falls and rapids, wilich obstruithe navigation, the river descending more than 1000 feet in a ditance of 200 miles. Canals have been dug around many of these falls, so that boats can now ascend above the mouth of the Shendoah, 80 mile- from the city of Washington. 'The Shenandı ah is the principal tributary of the Potomac. It rises in Augusta county, near the centre of the state, and running in a N. E. direction, through a fertile country along the foot of the western declivity of the Blue ridge, joins the Potomac, after a course of about 200 miles, at Harper's ferry. Immediately after the junction of the Shenandoah, the Potomac bursts through the Blue ridge, presenting a scene wbich has been celebrated for its grandeur and magpificence.
The Rappahannock rises in the Blue ridge, and running in a S. E. direction abou 130 miles, epters Chesapeake bay 30 miles below the mouth of the Polomac. It is pavigable for vessels draw.
ing 10 feet of water to Fredericksburgh, 110 miles from its mouth York river is formed hy the union of the Mattapony and Pamunky, and rons in a S. E. direction to Chesapeake bay, which it enters about 30 miles below the mouth of the Rappahannock It is pavigable for the largest ships for more than 30 miles James river rises in the Alleghany mountains, and after breaking through the Blue ridge, runs in a direction S. of E. and falls into the southern part of Chesapeake bay, after a course or more .than 500 miles. It is pavigable for sloops to Richmond, 150 miles from its mouth. At this city the navigation was formerly interrupted by the great falls, which in 7 miles descend 43 feet; but a canal around them is now completed, and the river bas been rendered uavigable 230 miles further for boats drawing 12 inches water. The principal tributary of James river is the Appomartox, which rises in Campbell county, and after an easterly course of 120 miles, joins it at City point. At Petersburgh, 12 miles from its mouth, there are falls; but a canal has been dug around them, which has opened the navigation for 80 miles above that city. Elizabeth river is formed by the union of two branches at Norfolk, pear the S. E. corner of the state, and falls into Hampton road, 8 miles below. At flood tide it bas 18 feet water to Norfolk.
Face of the Country and Soil.] Virginia may be divided into four zones, essentially differing from each other in soil and aspect of the country. The first extending from the sea-coast to the termination of tide water at Fredericksburgh, Richmond, &c. is low and lat, sometimes fenny, sometimes sandy, and on the mar. gios of the rivers composed of a rich loam, covered with a luxuriant and even rank vegetation. This zone has been formed by a comparatively recent alluvion ; marine shells and bones are ev. ery where found near the surface of the earth. The second division extends from the head of tide water to the Blue ridge. The surface near tide water is level; higher up the rivers it becomes swelling; and near the mountains often abrupt and broken. The soil is divided into sections, of very unequal quality, parallel to each other, and extending across the state. The parallel of Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, &c. is a thin, sandy, and except on the rivers, an unproductive soil. That of Goochland, Comberland, Prince Edward, Halifax, &c. is generally fertile. Flg. vanna, Buckingham, Campbell, and Pittsylvania, again, are poor; and Culpeper, Orange, Albemarle, Bedford, &c. have a rich, though frequently a stony and broken soil, on a substratum of tenacious, red colored clay. The scenery of the upper part of this section is highly picturesque and romantic. The third region is the valley between the Blue ridge and Alleghany molintains; a valley, which extends with little interruption, from the Potomac, across the state, to North Carolina and Tennessee ; narrower, but of greater length than either of the preceding zones. The soil is a mould, formed on a bed of limestone, which often appears above the surface, in veins parallel to the mountains, and making every possible apgle with the horizon. The
surface of this valley is sometimes broken by sharp and solitary mountains, detached from the general chain, the sides of which, nearly bare, or but thinly covered with blasted pines, form disagreeable objects in the landscape. The bed of ihe valley is fertile, producing good crops of Indian corn, wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, hemp, flax, &c. The fourth and last division extends from the Alleghany mountains to the Ohio river, a country wild apd broken, in some places fertile, but generally barren
Climate and Productions.) The spring is short and inconstant jo Virginia ; the summer long, but not oppressive more than two months. In the low country, the months of August, September and October are unhealthy. Autumn, in the mountains, is the finest season of the year. In the middle parts of the state constant fires are required during five months; none at all for five others, and irregularly during the remaining two. The country often suffers from drought in summer and autumn. --The staple products of Virginia are wheat, Indian corn and tobacco. Tobacco is raised in much less quantities than formerly, while the cultivation of wheat has greatly increased.
Minerals and Mineral Springs.) Coal of a good quality is found within 20 miles of Richmond on James river. In the valley between the Blue ridge and the Alleghany range there are many inexhaustible mines of iron ore, of a fine quality. To the country west of the Alleghany mountaios there are mines of lead, iron, coal and salt. Gypsum of a very good quality and in great abundance has also been found in Washington county. There are many mineral springe in Virginia. The hot and warm springs of Bath county, the sweet springs of Monroe, the sulphur springs of Greenbrier and of Montgomery, and the baths of Berkley county are much frequented. Indeed there is scarcely a county beyond the Blue ridge, which does not contain waters strongly imprego nated with some mineral, besides lime which is common to them all.
Chief Towns.) Richmond, the metropolis of Virginia, is in Henrico county, on the north side of James river, immediately below the falls, and directly opposite Manchester, with wbich it is connected by two bridges. The situation is healthy, as well as highly picturesque and beautiful. A part of the city is built on the margin of the river; the rest upon Shockoe hill, which overlooks the lower part of the city, and commands an extensive and delightful prospect of the river and adjacent country.
Richmond is finely situated for a commercial and manufactur. ing town, being at the head of sloop navigation, on the falls of the river, and having an extensive back country, abounding with tobacco, wheat and coal. The canal around the Great falls commences about 7 miles above the city, and the whole descent to the basin on Shockoe hill is 43 feet. The basin is within the city, covering a space of several acres, and around it are coal yards, Jumber houses and landing places for the produce brought down tbe river. The descent from the basin to tide water is about Bo feet, and is effected by 13 locks. The quantity of tobacco,
wheat, door and coal brought down the river is immense : the Falue of the produce exported from Richmond and Manchester being estimated at $8,000,000 annually. On the canal are numerous will seats and manufacturing establishments.
Among the public buildings are the state house or capitol, the state prison, the Virginia armory and 8 houses of public worship, 2 for Episcopalians, 2 for Methodists, and I each for Presbyterians, Baptists, Friends and Jews. The growth of Richmond has been remarkably rapid. In 1783 the population was less than 2,000: in 1800, 5,739 ; in 1810, 9,735, and in i820, 12,067.
Norfolk is situated near the S. E. corner of the state, in a low and marshy situation, on the east side of Elizabeth river, just below the confluence of its two branches, and 8 miles above its entrance into Hampton roads. The harbor is safe and commodious, deep enough for the largest vessels, and sufficiently spacioas to contain 300 ships. It is defended by several forts ; one of which is on Craney island, 5 miles below the town. Norfolk has more foreign commerce than any other place in Virginia, and in 1815 it was the seventh town in the U. States in amount of shipping, the number of tons being 31,628. A canal proceeds from the south branch of Elizabeth river, 9 miles above Noifolk, through Dismal swamp, to Albemarle sound ; by means of which the produce of a large section of North Carolina is brought to the Norfolk market. Popu!ntion, io 1820, 3.478.
Petersburg is situated on the S. E. bank of Appomattrx river, just below the falls, 12 miles from its mouth, at the head of sloop navigation, 25 miles S. of Richmond. It carries on a large com. merce in tobacco and four, and is the emporium of trade for a considerable district in North Carolioa, as well as for the southern part of Virginia. The falls of the river at this place afford 6ne situations for mills. Population, in 1820. 6.690.
Fredericksburg, one of the most sourishing towns in the state, is regularly laid out on the S. W. bank of Rappahannock river, 110 miles from its month. It is advantageously situated for trade, near the head of navigation on the Rappahannock, and in the midst of a fertile and well cultivated country. Vessels of 130 tons ascend as far as this place, and large quantities of corn, floor, tobacco and other produce are brought from the surroupiling country for exportation. The annual value of the exports has been estimated at $4,000,000. The town has rapidly increasca withio a few years. Population, between 3 and 4,000.
Lynchburg is on the south bank of James river, 20 miles be. low the falls, at which the river breaks through the Blue ridge. The commerce of the town extends to the western counties of Virginia, and the adjoining parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Carolina. The productions of this fertile and very extensive back country are brought to Lyochburg, and carried down the river in batteaux to Richmond. The principal articles are tobacco, wheat, flour, hemp and provisions. The town has grown very rapidly. In 1793 it contained only 5 houses; in 1818, the population was estiuuated at more than 5,000.
Yorktown, on the S. side of York river, 11 miles from its mouth, at tbe point where the river is suddenly contracted to the width of a mile, bas the best harbor in Virginia. This town will be ever famous in the American annals as the place where Lord Cornwallis and his army were captured, on the 19th of October, 1781. The city of Williamsburg, the seat of William and Mary college, and formerly the capital of the state, is situated 12 miles W. of Yorktown, and coniained in 1820, 1,402 inhabitants. Gosport, on Elizabeth river, a mile and an balf south of Norfolk, contains one of the United States' navy yards. Jamestown, on an island in James river, 32 miles from its mouth, was formerly a place of importance, but is now in ruins. Staunton, the capital of Augusta county, is nearly in the centre of the state, 120 miles N. W. of Richmond. Mount Vernon, the celebrated seat of General Washington, is pleasantly situated on the Potomac, 9 miles below Alexandria. Monticello, the seat of the Hon. Thomas Jefferson, is in Albemarle county, about 80 miles N. W. of Richmond. Harper's Ferry is on the Potomac, at the mouth of the Shenandoah. There is here an extensive establishment belonging to the United States for the manufacture of arms. The pumber of men employed is about 260, and the annual expense has been on an average $100,000.
Education.) A Literary fund has recently been created by the legislature, consisting of monies received from the United States for military services during the late war. It amounted in December 1818, to $1,114,159, to which is to be added a balance still due from the United States. The interest of this sum, with the addition of the revenue arising from fines, forfeitures and escheats, which has also been appropriated to this object, will in the opinion of the Directors, yield an annual income little short of $90,000. Of this sum, $15,000 annually bave been appropriated by the legislature to the support of primary schools, and $15,000 to a universiiy. The university is located at Charlottesville in Albemarle county. The plan contemplates 10 professorships ; and the buildings, consisting of 10 pavillions for the professors, 5 hotels for dieting the students, and a sixth for the use of the proctor, with 104 dormitories, sufficient for lodying 208 students, are already finished in an elegant style of architecture. The sums expended upon the buildings have consumed all the income of the University for seven years in advance.
The college of William and Mary was founded at Williamsburg, in 1691, in the time of king William and queen Mary, who liberally endowed it. It flourished for many years after its establishment, but since the revolutionary war has greatly declined, and at one tiine was threatened with total extinction, but exertions have been recently made to revive it. The library contains between 3 and 4,000 volumes, and the philosophical apparatus is valuable.
There are nominally a professorships, but only 3 or 4 are occupied Washington college, in Lexington, the capital of Rockbridge county, 30 miles S. W. of Staunton, on a northern branch of