Prof. Chem., Min., &c. in Yale Coll. ; Cor. Mem. Soc. Arts, Man. and Com. ; and

For. Mem. Geol. Soc, London; Mem.Geol. Soc, Paris; Mem. Roy. Min. Soc,

Dresden; Nat. Hist. Soc, Halle; Imp. Agiic Soc, Moscow; Hon. Mem.

Lin. Soc, Paris; Nat. Hist. Soc Belfast, Ire.; Phil, and Lit. Soc

Bristol, Eng. ; Lit. and Hist. Soc, Quebec; Mem. of various

Lit. and Scien. Soc in America.



VOL. XXIX.— J-ANUARY," 1836.


Sold by A. H. MALTBY and HERRICK & ^OYES,.— Baltimore, E. J. COALE & Co.— Philadelphia, CAREY & HART and J. S. LIT TELL.— JVew York, G. & C. CARVILL & Co., No. 73 Cedar St., and G. S. SILLIMAN, No. 48 Broad ^zi^.— Boston, HILLIARD, GRAY & Co.





Page. Art. I. Observations on the Bituminous Coal Deposits of the valley of the Ohio, and the accompanying rock strata; with notices of the fossil or- ganic remains, and the relics of vegetable and animal bodies, illustra- ted by a geological map, by numerous drawings of plants and shells, and by views of interesting scenery; by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, of Ma- rietta, Ohio, --------1


1. Halley's Comet, - - , 155

2. Coins and medals, ..-.--- 157

3. List of new publications since the commencement of the present year, 161

4. Facts respecting the meteoric phenomena of Nov. 13lh, 1834, - 168


Art. I. Remarks on the Geology of the Lakes and the Valley of the Missis- sippi; by Judge Gibson, of Pennsylvania, ... qqI II. Fata Morgana at Gibraltar; by an officer in the American Navy, 214

III. Visit to the duicksilver Mines of Idria ; in a letter from an officer in

the American Navy, ...... 219

IV. The Traun Stein Rock ; in a letter from an officer in the U. S. Navy, 223 V. The Salt Mountains of Ischil; by an officer in the American Navy, 225

VI. Remarks on the Topography, Scenery, Geology, &c. of the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope ; by Mr. George Champion, a Missionary in Southern Africa, -.-..-. 230 VII. Physical Observations, made on board the U. S. ship Erie, during her passage from New York to Rio Janeiro, in 1834, and communicated to the Navy Department ; by D. J. Browne, - . . 237

VIII. On the Deutarseniuret of Nickel, from Riechelsdorf, in Hessia; by

James C. Booth, ....... 241

IX. Explosive Reaction of Hydrogen with Chlorine, under the influence

of the solar r^j%\ by R. Hare, M. D. Prof, of Chem. in Univ. Penn. 243 X. Apparatus for the Evolution of Cyanhydric or Prussic Acid ; by R.

Hare, M. D. Prof, of Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, 244 XI. Caricography ; by Prof. C. Dewey, - - - - 245

XII. On Water Spouts ; by Lieut. H. W. Ogden, of the U. S. Navy, 254

XIII. Researches on the Commercial Potash of the State of New York; by

Prof. Lewis C. Beck, M.D. ..... 260

XIV. Remarks on the theory of the Resistance of Fluids ; by Eli W. Blake, 274 XV. A Letter on Otaheite ; addressed to B. L. Oliver, Esq. of Boston, and

by him translated, ...... 283

XVI. Notice of some American Birds; by Charles Fox, of Durham, (Eng.) 291 XVII. Meteorological notices in Indiana ; by D. Dale Owen, - - 294

XVIII. Chronometers, .._.... 297

XIX. Notices in Natural History ; by Judge Samuel Woodruff, - 304

XX. Ornithichnology. Description of the Foot Marks of Birds, (Orni* thichnites,) on new Red Sandstone, in Massachusetts ; by Prof. Ed- ward Hitchcock, ----... 307

XXI. On Currents in Water; by Alan W. Carson, ... 34O XXII. Of the Parallelogram of Forces; by Prof. Theodore Strong, - 345





1. Fifth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 347

2. Report of the fourth meeting of the British Association, - - 355

3. Lyell's Geology, ------- 358

4. Notice of a new mode of preserving animal bodies ; by Mr. H. N. Day, 359

5. 6. Remains of birds in the strata of Tilgate Forest Specimens from Dr.

Mantell, -------- 362

7, 8. Recherches sur les Poissons Fossiles Gradual rising of parts of Swe- den, and of other countries around the Baltic, - - - , 363 9. Notice of a Plesiosaurus and other fossils, and of remarkable human re- mains, &c. --.----. 364

10, 11, 12. Volcanic eruption Diamond, matrix of, &c. Proceedings of the

fifth meeting of the British Association, - - - _ 366

13, 14. Mr. Hawkins' collection of Saurian remains Observations on a dis- ease affecting the leaves of the vine, and on a new .species of Mucedinea, 367

15. On Mercaptan, -------- 368

16. Experiments upon the chemical action of electrical currents produced by

the influence of terre.strial magnetism and electro-dynamic magnets, &c. 369

17. New compounds of nitrogen, ------ 371

18. 19, 20, 21. Depth of mines Topaz in Ireland Roasting of copper ores

The best method of assaying the ores of manganese, - - 374

22. Jahresbericht der Konigl. Sclnvedischen, &c. - . - 375

23. On the cause of the meteors of Nov. 13lh, 1833; by Prof D. Olmsted, 376

24. Observations upon the facts recently presented by Prof. Olmsted, in rela- tion to the meteors seen on the 13th of Nov. 1834; by Prof. A. D. Bache, 383

25. Aurora Borealis of Nov. 17th, 1835, - - - - - 388

26. 27. Transactions of the ^Geological Society of Pennsylvania Mr. Con-

rad's nevv work on American conchology, - - - . 391

28. Valuable cabinet of minerals for sale, - - - - - 392

29, 30. Botanical specimens wanted Fossil Flora of North America, - 393 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. History of the Americas Prodromus herbarium Rafines-

quianum Autiken Botanikon Diamonds in N. America Obituary, 394 36. List of new publications, ...... 396


P. 22, bot. 1. dele " Walhouding or" and insert " the." p. 27, 1. 15 fr. top, far " shells," read " shales." p. 38, 1. 8 fr. bot- for " Monongahela," read " Maxahala." p. 40, 1. 15 fr. bot. for " leaves," read " covers." p. 50, 1. 4 fr. top, for '= Another," read " Descriptions." p. 71, 1. 6 fr. top. dele "or Walhouding." p. 102 1. 10 fr. top, for " poles," read " polls." p. 274, 1. 4 fr. top, and 1. 10 fr. bot. for " 28," read " 27." p. 315, 1. 12 fr. bot. for " opvva and T't;ti'otf," read " opwj and oxvos"

Dr. Hildreth does not consider it as quite certain, although highly probable, that the rock which he has called Lias, is identical with that of England ; the opinion, that they are geologically identical, is ably maintained by another gentleman, whose observations will appear in our next number. Ed.

Vol. xxviir.p. Ill, 1. 6fr. top, for " W. W.," read « F. H."— p. 118, 1. 5 fr. top, for " 10.63," read " 1063 grs."— p. 378, 1. 7, 10, 16, 27, and contents p. 7. 1. 8 fr. top, for " Brown," read " Bronn."



Art. I. Observations on the Bituminous Coal deposits of the valley of the Ohio, and the accompanying rocJc strata ; with no- tices of the fossil Organic remains and the relics of Vegeta- ble and Animal bodies, illustrated by a Geological map, by nu- merous drawings of plants and shells, and by views of interest- ing scenery ; by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, of Marietta, Ohio.

The region embraced in the following observations, extends over a space of four or five degrees in latitude, by as many in longitude, hav- ing the Appalachian range of mountains for its base on the south and east, and the termination of the sandstone rocks and coal, as its limit on the north and west ; including the north w^est portions of Penn- sylvania and Virginia, with the north east part of Ohio, and a small tract in the north east corner of Kentucky. It may be called the south east termination of that immense valley which lies between the Rocky Mountains on the west, and the Alleghany range on the east ; and which, as appears from the vast profusion of marine fos- sils found imbedded in the rock strata, was at some remote period the bed of an ocean.

That the change was gradual, from the dominion of the waters to that of dry land, is inferred from the horizontal, and tranquil state of the rock strata, bearing few or no marks of violence, or sudden force having ever been applied, so as to break, or disturb the con- tinuity of the beds, as is so often and almost universally seen, in transition and primitive regions, where the rocks are found lying in all degrees of inclination, from a vertical to a horizontal position. That this ocean rolled its waves and its tides over this valley for an immense period of time, is inferred from the great thickness of the rocky strata, which have been penetrated to the depth of more than

Vol. XXIX.— No. 1. 1

2 Introductory Views.

a thousand feet, without reaching the primitive rocks. That the primitive rocks lie at a great depth may be inferred also from the color of the sandstone rocks, none of them being red, except where, in the mountain ranges, they are bordered by, or resting on the transi- tion series ; the color being probably produced by the heat im- parted to the derivative rocks, by the primitive strata when in a state of fusion, which, as we have the best ground to believe, was once the condition of all crystalline rocks. Fragments of the sandstone rocks, through all parts of the valley are easily changed to red, by subjecting them to the heat of a strong fire, showing that they do not lack the chemical constituents of the old red sandstone, and that they have not been exposed to any great heat.

In the vicinity of " Flint ridge," which is evidently a deposit from hot water, I have seen sandstones highly colored with veins of red, but in every other place near the center of the valley, which I have visited, they are universally grey, ash colored, or brown, according to the tint of the silex, mica^ lime, or clay, which entered into their composition.

That the change was gradual from the condition of an ocean to that of dry land, is also inferred from the slight inclination, or slope of the northern side of the valley, taking the present bed of the Ohio river for the center, or most depending part. The elevation of the surface at the heads of the Muskingum and other streams, which take their rise in the table lands between Lake Erie and the Ohio, being only about four hundred feet above the mouth of the former river, having a descent of a little over two feet to the mile. On the south side, the slope is equally gradual, until the ranges of hills connected with the mountains make their appearance at a dis- tance of from fifty to seventy miles from the Ohio ; the rise then be- comes much more rapid, averaging, in some places, especially on the New river, above the mouth of Gauly, fifteen or twenty feet to the mile, for the distance of forty or fifty miles. Those portions of the ancient ocean's bed, lying near and on each side of the region now occupied by the Ohio river, were, doubtless, for many ages, cov- ered by lakes of fresh water, after the more elevated parts, had be- come dry land, and were clothed with vegetation. We are led to this conclusion from the numerous deposits of lacustrine and fresh water shells found in the sandstones and marls in the hilly portions of the valley near the Ohio river ; and after the waters had been so far drained off as to lay bare the bottoms of these lakes, it must have

Introductory Views. 3

occupied a vast period of time to hollow out the local valley be- tween the hills, in which the Ohio now meanders, and to deposit that vast bed of alluvial earth which constitutes its present fertile and rich bottoms. It is obvious that these were all formed after the currents of water had cut away the deposits of clay and earth, which the rains and small rivulets had washed away from the adjacent highlands into the bed of this vast fresh water lake or lakes, down to the sandstone rocks formerly deposited in the bed of the ocean ; and after they had also cut away the sandstone rocks themselves down to the present bed of the Ohio, a depth of one hundred and fifty or two hundred feet, it is evident that little or no river alluvions could have been deposited, for they rest on the rock, which forms the present bed of the river. This cutting away of the sandstone rocks, must have occupied a long period of time ; for, the operation, of necessity, commenced at some point be- low, at least as far west as the falls of the Ohio, giving at this outlet, an impulse and impetus to the waters above, that neither earth nor rocks could resist ; enabling them to cut away the solid strata, and to form the present bed of the river in their bosom. That this was ac- tually the fact, is made to appear from the mural walls of sandstone, seen in many places, at the same elevation, in the face of the river hills, on both sides of the stream ; they are composed of the same materials with the same texture, for the distance of several hundred miles. Various other strata confirm this opinion ; clay, limestone and coal, being found at the same level on both sides of the river, shew, as plainly as demonstration can speak, that these strata were all deposited in a tranquil state, and that, in the course of ages, they have been cut through by the abrasion and tearing away of the wa- ters. The hills bordering the rivers and creeks have all been formed in the same way : the, ridges corresponding to the course of the streams and not the streams to the ridges ; and although there is a considerable descent from their heads to their outlets, yet the hills and ridges are considerably higher near their heads than at their mouths, which is evidently attributable to the greater abrasion and wearing away of the general surface, as we approach the Ohio, on account of the action of the waters which descended into the lower parts of the valley before the present channels of the water courses were formed. This is made evident from the wasting and wearing away of several of the deposits, which are found in the heads of the streams, at the depth of many feet below the surface, and which, as we descend, gradually crop out, and finally in a few miles disappear:

4 Introductory Views.

and this not from any dip in an opposite direction, for the inclination of the strata is with the course of the stream, that is, towards the Ohio river, or the center of the valley.

This fact is finely illustrated in a deposit of coal, lying on the heads of Duck creek and in the ridge, which divides these waters from those of Will's creek, in Ohio. The hills are about three hundred feet in height, and the place here spoken of is about thirty eight miles north of Marietta. A bed of coal, five feet in thickness, appears on the face of the hills at an elevation of two hundred feet above the bed of the creek, and is also found for many miles around in the adjacent hills on the opposite side of the valley, and at the same elevation. The roof of the coal is composed of bituminous shale, upon which rests a coarse sandstone of nearly eighty feet in thickness. As we descend the creek, the coal approaches the sur- face and the sandstone becomes more thin, until at the distance of twenty five miles, the coal wholly disappears, with the stratum of sandstone rock, and the strata below come to the surface in nearly the same order in which they appear at the distance of twenty five miles above. The inference is, that this coal deposit had been laid bare by the wasting away of the superincumbent strata, and had finally itself been decomposed by the action of the atmosphere and frosts, and washed away by the rain. The operation is still going on ; and rock strata and coal, are daily laid bare and are found wast- ing away in the beds of streams, and torrents in the elevated parts of the valley. The same process which cut away the sandstone rocks in forming the bed of the Ohio, is still in force in the small streams and rivulets which run into it from the hills. If it is a considerable stream, the strata of rock are cut away, at the mouth, as low as the bed of the river, and as you approach the hills and ascend towards its head, the bottom of the stream is composed of sandstone rock, with occasional cascades, over which the water, as it falls, acquires force in proportion to its elevation, and finally wears away the solid / rock till all obstructions are removed. Examples may be seen in all the hill and mountain torrents. The process now pursued by the smaller streams, is doubtless the same with that of the larger in by-gone ages.

It appears probable that before the growth of trees, shrubs, and grasses had commenced, or had made any great progress in clothing the hills, and face of the valley " as with a garment," debacles were more efiicient, and the abrasions of the surface by rains and torrents,

Introductory Views. - 5

were much more rapidly accomplished than after that period. While a part of the valley was yet covered with water, evaporation was much more abundant and the rains more like those of tropical cli- mates ; tearing up and wearing away the surface with great facility, and effecting greater changes in the features of the valley in one season, than can now be accomphshed in many years. The roots of the trees, and the plants, after they had taken possession of the surface, giving firmness to the soil, and defending it from abrasion in the same manner that the trees, where they are suffered to stand undisturbed by the officious interference of, now defend the banks from the encroachments of the Ohio. They not only pro- tected the newly clothed surface on the hills; but in the valleys, and near the beds of rivulets and brooks, when the streams overflowed, they arrested the soil and fragments of rocks that were urged on- ward by the turbid waters, and thus these periodical deposits gradu- ally raised up the bottoms or alluvial soils, to their present height. That this was actually the fact, and that the surface of the soil in narrow vallies and bottoms, was once much below its present condi- tion, is proved from the presence of wood and trunks of trees, found at the depth of thirty or forty feet in sinking wells, shafts, Sec. A single shower has been known to make a deposit of several feet in thickness on the borders of small streams. No longer since, than the month of June, A. D. 1834, a few miles from Marietta, a cloud, in the course of fifteen or twenty minutes, poured its watery con- tents on the hills, to an average depth of eight or ten inches. No accurate measure was taken of the water, but a half bushel measure and a common pail, or bucket, in separate places, were filled to overflowing ; and several rail fences on the sides of hills, were mo- ved a number of feet by the column of water, rushing down their declivities. In Licking and Knox counties, during the same season, a much greater amount fell, doing great damage to the Ohio canal and to mills on the small streams. If in these days, such torrents fall in places remote from any great collections of water, or from ranges of mountains, what might they not have been, when this great valley was one vast wet and marshy plain, affording an im- mense expanse of watery surface to evaporation.

At what period after the creation of the earth, this change, from an ocean to dry land took place, we have no data to determine ; but it is not impossible that future geologists may, by their research- es, arrive at some tolerable approximation. That the change was

6 ' Introductory Views.

gradually" produced, is certain from the nearly horizontal position of the rocky strata, so far as they have fallen under our observation ; and it is also certain that it was preceded and accompanied by the occasional subsidence, or sinking, or occasional flooding of lands, probably islands, abounding with tropical plants, and trees, which were deposited in the coal measures of the valley. There is a degree of probability, little short of certainty, that these trees and plants grew on, or near the spot where their remains are now found,, for they are universally in a horizontal position, as if laid tranquilly down by water ; in general, their delicate forms are perfect- ly preserved, indicating gentle deposition, and when they are mixed together in confusion, it of course implies a correspondent agitation of the water. That they are the growth and deposit of remote pe- riods of time, is inferred from the specific difference of many of the fossil plants, in the different beds, compared with those of modern times, and from the vast deposits of sand and clay, which separate them ; these are frequently not less than one and two hundred feet in thickness, as will be more fully shown in the sections of strata, at different places. It is the opinion of most geologists of this age, that the tropical plants, found in the coal beds, grew either on, or very near the spot where they are now inhumed ; and that the climates which produced such plants, have been changed by the gradual al- terations which have taken place on the surface of the earth by the changing of oceans into dry land ; the same latitudes covered with, or surrounded by water, being from the known capacity of water to retain and equalize caloric, much warmer while in this condition, than after becoming dry land. Some attribute the greater warmth of the 'earth in the higher latitudes in the earlier periods, to the greater inter- nal heat, which is supposed to have gradually declined. The depos- its of sand, clay, &;c. over the coal, and in alternation with it, must have been produced by aqueous agency in some form, either in lakes, or in bays, estuaries or lagoons of the ocean, or in gently flow- ing waters. Mr. Parkinson in his " Introduction to the study of Organic Remains," makes the following remarks. " By these facts we learn that at some remote period of the existence of this planet, it must have abounded with plants of the succulent kind, and as it appears from their remains in great variety of form and luxuri- ancy of size. These, from what is discoverable of their structure, were beset with seta and spines ; were not formed for the food of animals, nor from the nature of the substance of which they were composed, were they fitted to be applied to the various purposes to

Tocography of the Coal Strata. 7

which wood, the jiroduct of the earth at a subsequent period, has been found to be so excellently adapted by man. Their remains, it must also be remarked, are now found in conjunction with that sub- stance which nature has in all probability formed from them, and which by the pecuhar economical modification of its combustibility, is rendered an invaluable article of fuel. If this be admitted to be the origin of coal, a satisfactory cause will appear for the vast abun- dance of vegetable matter with which in its early ages, the earth must have been stored. This vast, and in any other view, useless creation, will thus be ascertained to have been a beneficent arrange- ment by Providence for man, the being of a creation of a later pe- riod."

General Topography of the Valley in relation to the Coal Measures.

Sandstone, in all its varieties, being the prevailing rock in the coal deposits, the general surface of the region presents great simi- larity in its features, especially in those portions that lie within' fifty or sixty miles of the Ohio river ; these regions exhibit long sloping ridg- es, running parallel with the river, and are often faced with mural pre- cipices of sandstone to the height of one hundred feet above the base of the hills. In other places, there are cone-shaped, isolated hills, especially where creeks make their debouchure, having in the course of ages worn down the sides of the hill, both above and below into beautiful slopes. This is frequently seen in the heads of creeks, that take their rise in a loose rich loamy soil. The tops are then crowned with sandstone, covered with trees, while the sides are clothed with the richest productions of the forest, growing in a loose black soil, formed of decomposed leaves and the remains of the rocks which have wasted slowly away before the wintry frosts and the summer rains. In any part of this region the view from the highest hills, presents one vast plain filled with hollows, and afford- ing no spot much, if any more elevated, than the one on which the spectator stands, bringing forcibly to the mind, the reflection, that this now hilly and broken region was once, at some remote period, a level, and nearly horizontal plain. Scattered through this hilly and broken region, tracts of tolerably level land, are found embracing many miles of square surface. In sinking wells in such places, it is not uncommon to find, at the depth of thirty or forty feet, frao-- ments of the trunks and branches of trees, with water worn pebbles,

8 Topography of the Coal Strata.

indicating the scite of a pond or lake, which existed before the present water courses were formed, for the more perfect drainage of the coun- try. Within the boundaries of such places, beds of argillaceous iron ores are sometimes found of considerable extent. On the north side of the Ohio, this broken country continues, until it is gradually lost in the table lands and plains on the heads of the Muskingum river, or terminates in abrupt precipices on the prairies of the Scioto. On the south side at the distance of fifty or sixty miles, the hills gradu- ally become larger and more elevated, until they rise into moun- tains.

The country on the Kenawha river affords one of the finest spe- cimens of these changes in elevation. Near the mouth, the hills are about two hundred feet in height at the Salines, sixty five miles above, they are five hundred feet at the falls of Kenawha, one hundred miles up, their elevation is increased to eight hundred feet, and at " Marshal's pillar," in the cliffs of New river, they at- tain the height of fifteen hundred feet and are called the Gauly mountains ; beyond which point, to the valley of the Green Brier river, the country is a mountainous table land composed of succes- sive ranges lying in parallel ridges, taking a N. E. and S. W. di- rection. The more elevated of these are known as the Sewell and Meadow mountains, the slopes and sides of which afford good farm- ing lands. From the tops of the Sewell, we have a fine view of the valley of the Green Brier, which lies extended at its feet, and spreads its broken and undulating surface, dotted with farms and cultivated spots, to the base of the Alleghany range, a distance of thirty or forty miles. This valley is based on limestone, superin- cumbent on sandstone, and in it, rise the celebrated sulphur springs, whose waters annually revive the drooping energies and restore the health of the invalids from less favored climates. The cool and pure air from the mountain tops, free from pestilential miasmata, without doubt, contributes much to the healthfulness of this delight- ful valley. Vast caverns have been scooped out of the limestone rock in different parts of the valley, by the streams which circulate beneath the surface, many of which abound with interesting fossils. The celebrated relics of the megalonyx, described by Mr. Jefferson, were found here in a saltpetre cave. The Green Brier, the Gauly, the Little Kenawha, the Monongahela, and the north fork of the south branch of the Potomac rivers, all take their rise from the high lands at the head of this valley ; and from the opposite courses

Topogra]}hy of the Valley of the Muskingum, 9

which they pursue we are led to conclude that the dividing ridge at the heads of these streams is the highest land west and north of the Alleghany range. Between the head branches of several of these streams, are considerable tracts of- " Glade" or table lands, affording from their elevation a soil and temperature suitable to the growth of trees and shrubs of a more northern climate. Large tracts of tol- erably level lands, covered with a heavy growth of forest trees, are found in this elevated region between the head branches of the Gauly, the Elk, and the western forks of the Monongahela. The ranges of mountains, although members of the same family, have received different names, and are the interrupted portions of the Laurel, Chesnut and Cheat mountains ; while the same ranges far- ther west are called the Sewell mountains. On the tops of the mountains themselves, there is sometimes a considerable extent of level land. One of the branches of Cheat river runs for a distance of fifty miles on the top of a mountain ridge, through a tract of level land, six or eight miles wide, clothed with hemlock and lau- rel. On the heads of some of the western branches of the Mo- nongahela river, are found beautiful and fertile valleys. Tygart's valley is one of the most extensive, and will be more fully described when we speak of the topography of the valley of the Mononga- hela. The stream is here called the " valley river," and affords many valuable scites for mills. It is of the most permanent char- acter, having its sources in the mountains, and it is fed by never failing springs. The face of the country on the Monongahela, to its junction with the Alleghany, is hilly, but affords vast tracts of fertile and arable lands. On the Youghiogany and Conemaugh it rises into mountains, with fine tracts of land between. The re- gion on the Alleghany river is hilly and broken, and on all the streams which run into the Ohio on the north, the same uneven sur- face is continued.

Topography of the Valley of the MusMngum.

The general aspect of the country through which the Muskingum river passes, is hilly and broken, especially all that portion where sandstone rock prevails. On the head branches the surface is more level, with occasional ridges of hills. The water is limpid, being more highly charged with carbonate of lime than that of the Ohio river. Its bottom is, in many places, covered with quartz pebbles and gravel of various hues, but mostly white, giving,

Vol. XXIX.— No. 1. 2

10 Topography of the Valley of the Muskingum.

with the open valves of bivalve shells, a rich and beautiful appear- ance to its bed, especially in low stages of the stream in the summer and autumnal months. The alluvial lands along its borders are com- posed of a rich but rather arenaceous soil, formed, in the course of ages, from the debris and washings of the uplands, mixed with decayed vegetable matter. The early or ancient alluvions, which form bluffs in the bends, and elevated plains back of the bottoms, where they are not washed away by changes in the bed of the river, are composed of gravel and pebbles, with a very light or thin soil on the surface. The elevation of these plains, is, in many places, more than one hun- dred feet above the present bed of the river, from which we are led to infer, that when the superabundant waters took the course now followed by the river, the hills, if formed at all, were very low, as in many places they are now not more than seventy five or a hundred feet above the surface of these ancient plains. On these elevated alluvions, almost without exception, are seated those an- cient ruins of fortifications and cities, so long the wonder of antiqua- rians. Much of the gravel and many of the pebbles composing these plains, are the remains of disintegrated primitive rocks ; being composed of greenstone, gneiss, varieties of granite, mica slate, &c. intermixed with fragments of fossil organic remains, and with some perfect forms ; amongst which are distinguished, numerous species of alcyona, madreporites, corallines, and shells, the tenants of the antediluvian ocean.

Broken remains of fossil trees are also found, the vegetable struc- ture being easily recognized. The latter are generally in an agati- zed or quartzose state, many of the former are also, siliceous, and may have been torn, at an early period from those abundant depos- its of organic fossils, found in Flifit ridge, and many other places on the streams which pour their tributary waters into the Musk- ingum. The country, on the head waters of the Muskingum, al- though not very hilly, is, without doubt, the most elevated portion of the northern side of the valley. The streams from this region takiftg-, a northerly, a southerly, and an eastern direction, furnish their perennial tribute to the ocean, at very remote points, finding their outlet either in the gulf of Mexico, or the bay of the St. Law- rence.

A number of small lakes and ponds repose in the hollows of these elevated table lands.

Topography of the Valley of the MusTcinguin. 11

The summit level of the Ohio canal is three hmidred and ninety- three feet, above low water mark at the mouth of the Muskingum, while the tops of some of the adjacent hills are at an elevation of nearly one hundred and fifty feet more, making the highest lands between Lake Erie and the Ohio river to be four hundred and fifty three feet, above the water at either of those places ; there is a dif- ference of only two feet between the level of the mouth of the Muskingum, and the lake ; the latter being lower by two feet. When compared with the ocean, the hills on the heads of the Musk- ingum, are at least one thousand feet above its tide ; a meridian line from the mouth of the Muskingum, would pass a little east of the summit level, from which spot, there is sufficient descent to cause a rapid current in the water, and when urged on by an accumula- tion of power from the sudden rise of the streams, the torrent be- comes capable of levelling all obstructions that may oppose its course, tearing up the sandstone rocks, and shales down to its present deep and tortuous bed, amongst the hills which cluster along its borders. From the termination of the sandstone rocks, to the westerly heads of the river, a distance of not less than sixty miles, boulders and fragments of primitive formations are found scattered over the sur- face of the earth. They ar^ however, not confined to the surface, but in sinking wells, at the depth of seventy feet, the same varieties of water worn and rounded fragments are found. They are of all sizes, from a pound weight, to that of several tons ; and they are found through the tertiary deposits from the N. E. line of the Ohio, to the jNIississippi river. I have now before me a fragment of a large boulder from the " Grand prairie" in Illinois. The early set- tlers of these regions observing their singular appearance, and entire dissimilarity to that of any local or known rock, gave them the very appropriate name of " the lost rocks." They are most commonly seen in solitary masses, but sometimes in groups of several hun- dreds, as if deposited from powerful currents, or streams of water suddenly arrested in their course. The fragment before me is com- posed of feldspar, mica and hornblende. The feldspar is nearly white, and is the most abundant material. The mica is in plates of from one eighth to a twelfth of an inch in diameter, color, black, or that of very dark smoke, and it composes one eighth part of the mass. The hornblende is in grains, fi'om the size of a mustard seed to that of half a grain of wheat, and very uniformly diffused, and its cohesive power is rather weakened from long exposure to the at-

12 Topography of the Valley of the MusMngum.

mosphere. Other masses have red, or purple feldspar. There is also very beautiful sienite, and porphyritic granite, with hornblende rock, containing large crystals ; greenstone, jasper and mica slate, are also found. These, in company with other hard materials, are, uniformly, in rounded masses, with the angles completely abraded, as if transported from considerable distances. Primitive rocks, in place, are abundant on the northern shores of Lake Superior, but they are not known much south of that point. With proper atten- tention and time, I have no doubt the origin of these " lost rocks" could be discovered. They evidently, have been brought from the N. west, and remarkably concur in this respect, with the course of the boulder rocks, described by Prof Hitchcock in his Geology of Massachusetts.

The dividing ridges between the water courses on the east side of the Muskingum, and especially those between the head waters of creeks, are composed of the remnants of the bottom of the ancient ocean, and afford the highest lands in this part of the valley. Where their direction accords with the position of settlements and towns, they are chosen for roads and highways, as they are very dry, and sometimes, for miles in succession, they are barely wide enough for a road, and they are, by the hand of nature, regularly rounded and shaped to the form of a modern turnpike. In other parts, where spurs put off into the head branches of small rivulets, they spread out to considerable breadths, affording level lands for farms. As these dividing ridges have been formed by the streams, so their di- rection is governed altogether' by that of the watercourses.

The tributary streams on the west side of the valley, above the mouth of Licking river, rise in a supercretaceous or tertiary region. The surface is flat or undulating, with here and there a hill of con- siderable elevation, crowned with sandstone ; while the general sur- face and the earth, beneath, so far as it has been penetrated in digging wells, are composed of alternating beds of loam and clay, gravel and sand, water worn pebbles, and boulders of primitive rocks.

The boulders, so far as I have observed, are confined chiefly, to the tertiary portions of the valley, and are rarely if ever, found in the hilly secondary or sandstone formations. The northern part of the valley contains many wet prairies and swamps, jn which the common cranberry flourishes ; numerous small lakes and ponds in this region, give origin to several of the head branches of the Muskingum.

Ihpography of the Valley of the Muskingum. 13

The white cedar is said to grow in some of these swamps, with a shrub which bears a berry similar in taste to the cranberry, and is called the " high cranberry." It is a fruit-bearing viburnum.

In very wet seasons, the swamps between the waters of the branches of the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas, were formerly passed by canoes, and this was the mode of communication between the waters of the lake and the Ohio river, anterior to the construction of the canal. The streams which rise in the table lands and tertia- ry portions of the valley, are much more permanent and durable than those in the hilly and sandstone formation. All of them, in propor- tion to their length and the elevation of their heads, afford scites more or less favorable for mills, as the water in its passage over the strata of rocks has a gradual ar precipitous descent. The most cel- ebrated of these falls, are those of the Vernon, Licking and Musk- ingum rivers.

Several of the eastern branches of the latter river, take their rise within a few miles of the Ohio, especially Wills creek, and Still water creek, and both flow in a northerly direction in opposition to the general course of the Muskingum, as may be seen by looking at the map. A westerly branch of the former creek rises within a short distance of the Muskingum, at a spot forty miles below its mouth, and runs more than a hundred miles to pass the same place on its way to the Ohio, demonstrating that the dividing ridges between the Ohio and Muskingum, are of considerable elevation. One ridge, a few miles south of Barnsville, is estimated at five hundred feet. The region occupied by the valley of the Muskingum, is nearly two hundred miles in length, by one hundred or more in breadth at its central and northern portions ; while its southern extremity below Zanesville is but little over fifty miles, having its narrowest portion on the Ohio river. All the north east part of the valley, and the hilly sandstone region south and east, between it and the latter stream, belong to the carboniferous group and coal measures, and nearly all the streams that flow into the Ohio, in some part of their course, pass over deposits of bituminous coal, while those which flow northerly into lake Erie, passing over calcareous rocks, are without the margin of the great basin through the most depending part of which the Ohio takes its course, and no coal has been as yet found on the northerly side of this anticlinal line. Although the Cuya- hoga, which is a lake stream, and runs for many miles, parallel with the table lands, in its most southerly bend, touches the sandstone de-

14 Forest Trees.

posits, and discloses fine beds of coal at the great falls in Portage county. It is the only instance yet known, although, from the fact of petroleum being abundant, it is probable coal may be found at a considerable depth below the surface, near the lake in several places north of this line.

Forest Trees.

As these interesting and valuable productions of the soil depend so much on the exposure and geological composition of the earth in which they grow, a short description of them may be very ap- propriately introduced in company with the topographical history of the region in which they are found. The whole valley was, a few years since, clothed with immense forests of the most beautiful trees, which are fast disappearilig before the hand of cultivation. On the higher ridges, the soil of which is composed of disintegrated sand- stone, the favorite abode of the chesnut and chesnut oak is found.

The elevated fiats and tops of broad ridges whose soil contains considerable sand mixed with yellow loam, slightly tinged by iron, are the spots in which the yellow oak, hickory, black walnut and butternut are found most abundantly. A