« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
The foregoing analyses have been selected because they were accessible and trustworthy. While it cannot be supposed that the ore in general, even the better and richer deposits, will average as much as these samples, for the specimens submitted to the chemist are usually the best, nevertheless all the ascertained results, as well as all à priori considerations, surely indicate that in the section described are to be found iron ores not only in immense quantities but of most excellent quality; indeed scarcely less. valuable than the ores of the tract from the banks of which the samples analysed by Mr. Heinrich were obtained. Heretofore, these ores have waited for the Kanawha coal, which, being now secured to them, inevitably assures their speedy development.
This coal is now supplied by means of the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad, which, after passing through the iron belt, crosses the Alleghanies, and descends by the waters of the Greenbrier, New Kanawha and Guyandotte to the Ohio river. Within sixty miles of the point where the road leaves the iron it reaches the coal measures. Twenty miles further on it penetrates to the centre of the Kanawha coal region, which without doubt is the finest in the Alleghany mountains. It embraces six thousand square miles of territory, an area equal in extent to all the coal-fields of England, from which one hundred millions of tons are annually mined. Bituminous, splint and cannel (this last now imported at great expense from England) are the principal varieties. Messrs. Daddow and Bannan in their work, Coal, Iron and Oil,” 1866, p. 340, say:
"Coal river, Elk river and Gauley diverge from the Great Kanawha and spread their branches over one of the richest and most magnificent coal regions in the world, and bring down their wealth to one common centre on the Great Kanawha. The coals of this region generally are better, purer, and more available for all the requirements of trade and manufacture than the coal from any other portion of this coalfield. The seams of coal are more numerous and their thickness greater than in any other portion of this coal-field; it can be mined cheaper and with more economy generally, under the same rates of labor, than in any other region in this country, without exception."
In England the coal is for the most part below the water level. In order to reach the deposits, pits or shafts must be sunk, requiring an immense outlay of time and money ; likewise, pumping and hoisting machines are necessary, which are costly to build, and require large annual outlays to keep them in repair." It is authoritatively stated," says Hon. Howel Fisher, C. E., of Pennsylvania, in his report on the mineral resources of Virginia and West Virginia, 1872, p. 13, “that the cost of sinking shafts in the Newcastle region of England, to the depth of one thousand feet, has been, in many instances, one thousand dollars per yard. In the great northern coal-field of Great Britain, producing twenty million tons per annum, there are two hundred pits or shafts, costing, in the first outlay for sinking and machinery, fifty millions of dollars, to which must be added the necessary expense of constructing and maintaining proper air-courses and their accessories requisite to the safety of the employés. . . . Now, in this great
* Quoted from Report of Hon. Howel Fisher, noted below.
coal-field, crossed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, nature has already sunk all the necessary pits and shafts, which need neither repair, renewal, nor labor to work them. The laws of gravity have provided the most perfect permanent and costless pumping machinery ; and the most perfect ventilation of the mines and safety of the employés, instead of requiring scientific knowledge and anxious thought, is simply a matter of the most ordinary care, the almost perfect freedom from noxious gases being the natural result of the position of the coal strata."
The Kanawha coal is especially valuable to the iron-master. The ordinary bituminous coal must be coked before it can be used for the manufacture of pig-metal. The splint coal of the Kanawha region can be used as it comes from the earth for this purpose. On this point there is no better authority than Mr. Cyrus Mendenhall of Cincinnati. He is one of the leading iron men of the West. The following extracts are taken from a letter addressed by him to the late J. G. Paxton, Esq., of Lexington, Va., dated October 10, 1867. He says:
“Your note making inquiry respecting the character of the Kanawha coal as a blast furnace fuel, is received.
"In reply I may briefly say that we have thoroughly tested its quality for this purpose in our own furnace near Wheeling with the most satisfactory results, regarding it as better adapted to smelting iron than any known coal of the Alleghany field. ... The estimate in which our furnace manager holds these coals is evidenced by the fact that I am authorised to contract for a supply to be carried up the river to Wheeling for use in our furnace there.
“An extensive acquaintance with nearly all parts of our Alleghany coal-fields justifies me in saying that I know of no coal equal to it in every respect, and there is no portion of the field so richly developed as on the waters of the Great Kanawha, or where it can be brought into use at so cheap a rate."
These extracts suggest a discussion of the absolute and relative cost of the manufacture of iron in Virginia. First as to relative cost : The Land of Goshen” will be compared with the city of Pittsburg. Ore costs in that city, delivered at the wharf, from fifteen to seventeen dollars per ton. Reliable estimates, made by men now engaged in the manufacture of iron in Virginia, show that at Goshen, for example, ore, coal, limestone, and labor can all be furnished for that sum or less; that is, if the necessary machinery be provided, pig iron can be turned out at Goshen Depôt for a cost per ton not exceeding the price of a ton of ore delivered at Pittsburg. Yet this city is one of the most flourishing iron cities in America. But we shall enter somewhat into details in regard to this matter of relative cost. Major Hotchkiss, in his report quoted above, gives the following statement compiled from the actual “working of a “badly-constructed and operated charcoal-furnace.” Required for one ton of pig-iron: Iron ore
4:507.05 lbs., or 2.01 tons. Charcoal
114.19 bushels Limestonc.
891 lbs. Average daily yield
5.32 tons. Yield of iron from ore
49.07 per cent.
Actual cost of ore for one ton of iron delivered at furnace
Total for material
Cost per ton
$14.26 According to the same authority the cost of manufacturing a ton of pig iron at Cincinnati is as follows:
1} tons of Missouri Iron Mountain ore $12.75
$28.50 At Jackson, Ohio, the ore and coal being near at hand, the total cost is $28 oo.
It is probable that the actual cost at the Virginia furnace is placed at too low a figure. The price of charcoal, the most expensive item, is variable and hard to be estimaied, as there are an indefinite number of conditions entering into the problem. The present writer has been informed by one of the partners at Elizabeth furnace that charcoal for one ton of iron costs there from ten to twelve dollars. Even if this addition to the cost be regarded, the balance is still largely in favor of the Virginia ores and locations. The same authority confirms the estimates comparing Pittsburg and Goshen. Mr. Fisher, whose report has already been referred to, confirms these calculations. He discounts all the minutiæ of manufacture because they vary but little, and makes the result depend on the cost of ore, coal and freight. He takes Allentown on the Lehigh and Phænixville on the Schuylkill river, with New York as their market, for a comparison with the point on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad where the first available coal is found. For the Western market he regards the places compared as equal in respect to cost of freight, and gives the following results in favor of Virginia : For the Eastern or New York trade there will be an advantage of $9 per ton, and for the Western trade $20 per ton.t
Second: As to the absolute cost. Information from practical sources gathered by the present writer warrants the assertion that pigmetal can be turned out at Goshen, for example, at a cost not exceeding sixteen dollars per ton. This estimate is based on the assumption that coal can be delivered there for four dollars. It will probably cost less. Freights to Baltimore are at present about $6.50 per ton.
If five per cent. be added for commissions, there remains a net profit of $10 75, when iron is as low as $35, which may be considered a minimum. It is now $50. When it is remembered that a first-class furnace can turn out from ten to fifteen thousand tons of pig iron a year, the aggregate of profit, even after a considerable sum is deducted for interest, insurance, repairs, etc., is seen to be enormous.
*In the printed report there are evidently a few typographical errors, which are corrected here. The statements in the text are confirmed by actual inquiries made by the writer at the furnace.
| See Report, pp. 16, 17, 18.
In this connexion there is another thing that must be mentioned. The manufacture of charcoal iron, an article considered all-important for the production of good car-wheels and Bessemer steel, must eventually be transferred from Pennsylvania to Virginia. In the former State the timber used for making charcoal has been in large part consumed in and around the iron region. In Virginia the mountains containing iron ore are yet covered with virgin growth. Here and there a slope near an old furnace has been cleared ; and in places the large timber has been cut out for lumber. If these items be discounted, it remains true that in the main the forests in this section retain for charcoal purposes their value unimpaired. Now that charcoal iron may be readily united with its potent ally the coal of West Virginia, by which it is converted into car-wheels and bariron, it may be expected with certainty that the manufacture of these articles will seek this favored belt. Indeed the building of freight and heavy cars will be compelled to do this, and within a few years a large percentage of all this class of rolling stock will be turned out along the line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad between Staunton and Charleston. Such at least is the opinion of far-seeing men of business, who are risking, if it may so be called, many thousand dollars on the prospect.
Facts and figures like the foregoing warrant even most sanguine Virginians in indulging the highest hopes. Already currents are in motion that must send new life and vigor through the veins of the Old Dominion. Miners are at work, furnaces, forges, rolling-mills, and factories are in blast. Month by month, year by year, these will multiply. The uses to which iron is put are continually increasing. More and more is iron found to be an important element in the foundation and superstructure of our civilisation. If never before, now certainly the most prosaic man can appreciate the almost tender sentiment which Joseph Harrison, Jr., the great iron prince of Philadelphia, expressed at a public dinner for his pet metal: “That glorious metal, iron," he said, “must ever be the great agent for promoting the mechanic arts. Iron is the true precious metal; a metal so interwoven with the wants of life and with our very enjoy. ments, that to do without it would be to relapse into barbarism. Take away gold and silver, and the whole range of baser metals, leaving us iron, and we would hardly miss them. Take away iron, and we lose what is next to life, and that which sustains life — the greatest boon the Almighty has conferred upon man."
It must not be supposed that a rapid sketch of the iron interests of the “Land of Goshen” is exhaustive of her charms. Much might be added in regard to the extensive and easily utilised water-power which is to be found throughout the entire region. This power, in connection with sheep-raising, which to an unlimited extent can be profitably carried on, forms a basis for the establishment of woollen factories in great numbers. It should be remembered also that the railroad brings this section into close proximity with the cotton-fields of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. When population increases about the iron furnaces to supply from the females and children of the families a sufficient number of hands, cotton-mills can be worked more advantageously here than in their present locations, hundreds of miles farther away from the plantations. Nor must the mineral springs be forgotten. These are numerous and valuable. With freestone and limestone are found iron, sulphur and alum-water. A volume would scarcely suffice to set forth the value of these healthgiving springs.
Allusion must be made, too, to the adaptability of this country to successful fruit-growing. The finest apples are here brought to perfection, and at the proper season on the southern exposures may be seen most luscious grapes, hanging in profusion from luxuriant vines which have been planted by the more enterprising farmers. The climate for healthfulness is unsurpassed in America, and the scenery beautiful beyond description. The “Land of Goshen" also possesses peculiar charms for the huntsman ;“ big game” still roam through the forests. In their mountain fastnesses brown and black bears may still be found. During the past winter many of these huge monsters approached, and some were killed, near the settlements. The red deer in herds continue to quench their thirst in the limpid streams that lave the mountain-sides, and are often seen running across the valleys, sometimes even through yards and gardens. Last but not least, there is a population largely composed of descendants from the Scotch-Irish settlers, a race renowned for their general intelligence, honesty, and sobriety.
“Such is the Land of Goshen in the Old Dominion”; a land like the Land of Promise, flowing with milk and honey; a land of vines and orchards; a land like its namesake on the banks of the Nile, abounding in cucumbers, leeks, onions, and garlic.
STARS AND BUTTON-HOLES.
A a -step
POET who had discovered a lenient and sanguine Publisher,
stream of criticism is not very deep nor its waters necessarily scalding, was so much elated in consequence that he sought out his friend, a Philosopher, and opened his bosom to that frigid inspection.