Notes on the State of Virginia (1853)/Query 06




I knew a single instance of gold found in this State. It was interspersed in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds weight, which yielded seventeen pennyweight of gold, of extraordinary ductility. This ore was found on the North side of Rappahanock, about four miles below the falls. I never heard of any other indication of gold in its neighborhood.

On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth of Cripple Creek, and about 25 miles from our Southern boundary, in the county of Montgomery, are mines of lead. The metal is mixed, sometimes with earth, and sometimes with rock, which requires the force of gunpowder to open it; and is accompanied with a portion of silver, too small to be worth separation under any process hitherto attempted there. The proportion yielded is from 50 to 80 ℔ of pure metal from 100 ℔ of washed ore. The most common is that of 60 to the 100 ℔. The veins are at some times most flattering; at others they disappear suddenly and totally. They enter the side of the hill, and proceed horizontally. Two of them are wrought at present by the public, the best of which is 100 yards under the hill. These would employ about 50 laborers to advantage. We have not, however, more than 30 generally, and these cultivate their own corn. They have produced 60 tons of lead in the year; but the general quantity is from 20 to 25 tons. The present furnace is a mile from the ore bank, and on the opposite side of the river. The ore is first wagoned to the river, a quarter of a mile, then laden on board of canoes and carried across the river, which is there about 200 yards wide, and then again taken into wagons and carried to the furnace. This mode was originally adopted, that they might avail themselves of a good situation on a creek for a pounding mill; but it would be easy to have the furnace and pounding mill on the same side of the river, which would yield water, without any dam, by a canal of about half a mile in length. From the furnace the lead is transported 130 miles along a good road, leading through the peaks of Otter to Lynch's Ferry, or Winston's, on James River, from whence it is carried by water about the same distance to Westham. This land carriage may be greatly shortened by delivering the lead on James River, above the Blue Ridge, from whence a ton weight has been brought on two canoes. The Great Kanhaway has considerable falls in the neighborhood of the mines. About seven miles below are three falls, of three or four feet perpendicular each; and three miles above is a rapid of three miles continuance, which has been compared in its descent to the great fall of James River. Yet it is the opinion that they may be laid open for useful navigation, so as to reduce very much the portage between the Kanhaway and James River.

A valuable lead mine is said to have been lately discovered in Cumberland, below the mouth of Red River. The greatest, however, known in the Western country are on the Missisipi, extending from the mouth of Rock River, 150 miles upwards. These are not wrought, the lead used in that country being from the banks on the Spanish side of the Missisipi, opposite to Kaskaskia.

A mine of copper was once opened in the county of Amherst, on the North side of James River, and another in the opposite country, on the South side. However, either from bad management or the poverty of the veins, they were discontinued. We are told of a rich mine of native copper on the Ouabache, below the upper Wiaw.

The mines of iron worked at present are Callaway's, Ross's, and Ballendine's, on the South side of James River; Old's on the North side, in Albemarle; Millar's, in Augusta, and Zane's, in Frederick. These two last are in the valley between the Blue Ridge and North Mountain. Callaway's, Ross's, Millar's, and Zane's, make about 150 tons of bar iron each in the year. Ross's makes also about 1,600 tons of pig iron annually; Ballendine's 1,000; Callaway's, Millar's, and Zane's, about 600 each. Besides these, a forge of Mr. Hunter's, at Fredericksburgh, makes about 300 tons a year of bar iron, from pigs imported from Maryland; and Taylor's forge, on Neapsco of Patowmac, works in the same way, but to what extent I am not informed. The indications of iron in other places are numerous, and dispersed through all the middle country. The toughness of the cast iron of Ross's and Zane's furnaces is very remarkable. Pots and other utensils, cast thinner than usual, of this iron, may be safely thrown into or out of the wagons in which they are transported. Salt pans made of the same, and no longer wanted for that purpose, cannot be broken up, in order to be melted again, unless previously drilled in many parts.

In the Western country we are told of iron mines between the Muskingum and Ohio; of others on Kentuckey, between the Cumberland and Barren rivers, between Cumberland and Tanissee, on Reedy Creek, near the Long Island, and on Chestnut Creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where it crosses the Carolina line. What are called the iron banks, on the Missisipi, are believed, by a good judge, to have no iron in them. In general, from what is hitherto known of that country, it seems to want iron.

Considerable quantities of black lead are taken occasionally for use from Winterham, in the county of Amelia. I am not able, however, to give a particular state of the mine. There is no work established at it, those who want, going and procuring it for themselves.

The country on James River, from 15 to 20 miles above Richmond, and for several miles northward and southward, is replete with mineral coal of a very excellent quality. Being in the hands of many proprietors, pits have been opened, and before the interruption of our commerce, were worked to an extent equal to the demand.

In the Western country coal is known to be in so many places, as to have induced an opinion that the whole tract between the Laurel Mountain, Missisipi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in many places on the North side of the Ohio. The coal at Pittsburg is of very superior quality. A bed of it at that place has been afire since the year 1765. Another coal hill on the Pike Run of Monongahela has been afire ten years; yet it has burnt away about twenty yards only.

I have known one instance of an Emerald found in this country. Amethysts have been frequent, and chrystals common; yet not in such numbers any of them as to be worth seeking.

There is very good marble, and in very great abundance, on James River, at the mouth of Rockfish. The samples I have seen, were some of them of a white as pure as one might expect to find on the surface of the earth; but most of them were variegated with red, blue and purple. None of it has been ever worked. It forms a very large precipice, which hangs over a navigable part of the river. It is said there is marble at Kentuckey.

But one vein of lime stone is known below the Blue Ridge. Its first appearance in our country is in Prince William, two miles below the Pignut Ridge of mountains; thence it passes on nearly parallel with that, and crosses the Rivanna about five miles below it, where it is called the Southwest ridge. It then crosses Hardware, above the mouth of Hudson's Creek, James River at the mouth of Rockfish, at the marble quarry before spoken of, probably runs up that river to where it appears again at Ross's iron works, and so passes off southwestwardly by Flat Creek of Otter River. It is never more than one hundred yards wide. From the Blue Ridge westwardly, the whole country seems to be founded on a rock of lime stone, besides infinite quantities on the surface, both loose and fixed. This is cut into beds, which range, as the mountains and sea-coast do, from Southwest to Northeast, the lamina of each bed declining from the horizon towards a parallelism with the axis of the earth. Being struck with this observation, I made, with a quadrant, a great number of trials on the angles of their declination, and found them to vary from 22° to 60°, but averaging all my trials, the result was within one-third of a degree of the elevation of the pole or latitude of the place, and much the greatest part of them taken separately were little different from that, by which it appears that these laminae are in the main parallel with the axis of the earth. In some instances, indeed, I found them perpendicular, and even reclining the other way; but these were extremely rare, and always attended with signs of convulsion, or other circumstances of singularity, which admitted a possibility of removal from their original position. These trials were made between Madison's Cave and the Patowmac. We hear of lime stone on the Missisipi and Ohio, and in all the mountainous country between the Eastern and Western waters, not on the mountains themselves, but occupying the valleys between them.

Adjacent to the vein of lime stone first mentioned, or at least to some parts of it, is a vein of slate of greater breadth than that of the lime stone, sometimes mixed with it, some times a small distance apart from it. The neighborhood of these veins of lime stone, and slate, and of lime stone and schist, between the North Mountain and Blue Ridge, coincides with the following observations of Bouguer, while in Peru: “Le marbre est tres commun sur le bord de plusieurs de ces rivieres: on y voit aussi des rochers d’ardoise & j’ai souvent eu occasion d'y observer la grande affinité qu’il y a entre ces deux sortes de pierre. J'avois deja fait cette remarque dans la Cordeliere. Les rochers de marbre et d' ardoise s’y touchent souvent, et j’en ai vu qui etoit ardoise par une extremité et marbre parfait par I'autre. Toutes les fois qui’il survient un nouveau suc pierreux analogue à l’ardoise et qui en unit les feuilles, il rend tout le rocher plus compacte et plus dur; le rocher cesse d’etre de l’ardoise pour devenir du marbre. Une pierre également distribuée par feuilles qu’on nomme schite, est aussi sujette à cette transformation. Quelquefois ce ne sont pas simplement ses feuilles qui se soudent entr’ elles un quartier de cette pierre se joint comme au hazard avec un autre. Si le tout est ensuite exposé à l’action du gravier & des cailloux roulés par un eau courante, et qu’il reçoive une sorte d’arrondissement qui le rende à peu près cylindrique, il prend toutes les apparences d’un tronc d’arbre; et il est meme quelquefois très difficile de ne s’y pas tromper. Je fus très faché de ne pouvoir porter avec moi une de ces-especes de tronc que je trouvai dans une ravine entre Guanacas et la Plata, au pied d’une colline nommée la Subida del Frayle. C’etoit un morceau de marbre qui avoit 20 pouces de longueur sur 17 on 18 de diametre; on distinguoit comme les fibres du bois, la surface presente des noeuds de diverses formes; le contour meme du tronc etoit également propre à en imposer. Il y avoit un enfoncement d’un coté qui formoit un angle rentrant, et une saillie du coté opposé. Je ne sçavois qu’en penser, de meme que les personnes qui m’accompagnoient. Je ne reussis enfin a me decider, qu’en jettant les yeux sur d’autres quartiers de schite qui etoient auprés, qui commencoient à prendre les memes apparences, mais qui n’etoient pas encore dans un etat à pouvoir jetter dans l’erreur, et qui au contraire m’eclairerent sur la nature du morceau de marbre. On pretend qu’entre les different bois c’est le gayac qui se petrifie le plus aisement. On m’assuroit que je verrois audessou de Mompox une croix dont tout le haut de l’arbre etoit encore de ce bois pendant que le bas etoit reellement de la pierre à fusil. Plusieurs personnes m’affirmerent en avoir tiré du feu. Lorsque je passai dans cet endroit on me confirma la meme chose; mais on m’ajonta qu’une crue extraordinaire avoit fait tomber la croix dans la riviere, il y avoit 6 à 7 ans. Page xciii.

Near the Eastern foot of the North Mountain are immense bodies of schist, containing impressions of shells in a variety of forms. I have received petrified shells of very different kinds from the first sources of the Kentuckey, which bear no resemblance to any I have ever seen on the tide-waters. It is said[1] that shells are found in the Andes, in South America, 15,000 feet above the level of the ocean. This is considered by many, both of the learned and unlearned, as a proof of an universal deluge. To the many considerations opposing this opinion, the following may be added. The atmosphere, and all its contents, whether of water, air, or other matters, gravitate to the earth; that is to say, they have weight. Experience tells us that the weight of all these together never exceeds that of a column of mercury of 31 inches height, which is equal to one of rain water of 35 feet high. If the whole contents of the atmosphere then were water, instead of what they are, it would cover the globe but 35 feet deep; but as these waters as they fell would run into the seas, the superficial measure of which is to that of the dry parts of the globe as two to one, the seas would be raised only 52½ feet above their present level, and of course would overflow the lands to that height only.[2] In Virginia this would be a very small proportion even of the champaign country, the banks of our tide-waters being frequently, if not generally, of a greater height. Deluges beyond this extent then, as for instance, to the North Mountain or to Kentuckey, seem out of the laws of Nature. But within it they may have taken place to a greater or less degree, in proportion to the combination of natural causes which may be supposed to have produced them. History renders probable some instances of a partial deluge in the country lying round the Mediterranean sea. It has been often supposed,[3] and is not unlikely, that that sea was once a lake. While such, let us admit an extraordinary collection of the waters of the atmosphere from the other parts of the globe to have been discharged over that and the countries whose waters run into it. Or without supposing it a lake, admit such an extraordinary collection of the waters of the atmosphere, and an influx of waters from the Atlantic Ocean, forced by long continued Western winds. That lake, or that sea, may thus have been so raised as to overflow the low lands adjacent to it, as those of Egypt and Armenia, which, according to a tradition of the Egyptians and Hebrews, were overflowed about 2,300 years before the Christian area: those of Attica, said to have been overflowed in the time of Ogyges, about 500 years later; and those of Thessaly, in the time of Deucalion, still 300 years posterior.[4] But such deluges as these will not account for the shells found in the higher lands. A second opinion has been entertained, which is, that in times anterior to the records, either of history or tradition, the bed of the ocean, the principal residence of the shelled tribe, has, by some great convulsion of Nature, been heaved to the heights at which we now find shells and other remains of marine animals. The favorers of this opinion do well to suppose the great events on which it rests to have taken place beyond all the eras of history; for within these certainly none such are to be found; and we may venture to say further, that no fact has taken place, either in our own days, or in the thousands of years recorded in history, which proves the existence of any natural agents, within or without the bowels of the earth, of force sufficient to heave, to the height of 15,000 feet, such masses as the Andes. The difference between the power necessary to produce such an effect, and that which shuffled together the different parts of Calabria in our days, is so immense, that from the existence of the latter, we are not authorized to infer that of the former.

M. de Voltaire has suggested a third solution of this difficulty. (Quest. Encycl. Coquilles.) He cites an instance in Touraine, where, in the space of 80 years, a particular spot of earth had been twice metamorphosed into soft stone, which had become hard when employed in building. In this stone shells of various kinds were produced, discoverable at first only with the microscope, but afterwards growing with the stone. From this fact, I suppose he would have us infer, that besides the usual process for generating shells by the elaboration of earth and water in animal vessels. Nature may have provided an equivalent operation by passing the same materials through the pores of calcareous earths and stones; as we see calcareous drop stones generating every day by the percolation of water through lime stone, and new marble forming in the quarries from which the old has been taken out; and it might be asked whether it is more difficult for Nature to shoot the calcareous juice into the form of a shell, than other juices into the forms of chrystals, plants, animals, according to the construction of the vessels through which they pass? There is a wonder somewhere. Is it greatest on this branch of the dilemma; on that which supposes the existence of a power, of which we have no evidence in any other case; or on the first, which requires us to believe the creation of a body of water, and its subsequent annihilation? The establishment of the instance cited by M. de Voltaire, of the growth of shells unattached to animal bodies, would have been that of his theory. But he has not established it. He has not even left it on ground so respectable as to have rendered it an object of enquiry to the literati of his own country. Abandoning this fact, therefore, the three hypotheses are equally unsatisfactory; and we must be contented to acknowledge that this great phenomenon is as yet unsolved. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.

There is great abundance (more especially when you approach the mountains) of stone, white, blue, brown, &c., fit for the chisel, good mill stone, such also as stands the fire, and slate stone. We are told of flint, fit for gun flints, on the Meherrin in Brunswic, on the Missisipi between the mouth of Ohio and Kaskaskia, and on others of the Western waters. Isinglass or mica is in several places; load stone also, and an asbestos, of a ligneous texture, is sometimes to be met with.

Marl abounds generally. A clay, of which, like the sturbridge in England, bricks are made, which will resist long the violent action of fire, has been found on Tuckahoe Creek of James River, and no doubt will be found in other places. Chalk is said to be in Botetourt and Bedford. In the latter county is some earth, believed to be gypseous. Ochres are found in various parts.

In the lime stone country are many caves, the earthy floors of which are impregnated with nitre. On Rich Creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, about 60 miles below the lead mines, is a very large one, about 20 yards wide, and entering a hill a quarter or half a mile. The vault is of rock, from 9 to 15 or 20 feet above the floor. A Mr. Lynch, who gives me this account, undertook to extract the nitre. Besides a coat of the salt which had formed on the vault and floor, he found the earth highly impregnated to the depth of seven feet in some places, and generally of three, every bushel yielding on an average three pounds of nitre. Mr. Lynch having made about 1,000 ℔ of the salt from it, consigned it to some others, who have since made 10,000 ℔. They have done this by pursuing the cave into the hill, never trying a second time the earth they have once exhausted, to see how far or soon it receives another impregnation. At least fifty of these caves are worked on the Greenbriar, There are many of them known on Cumberland River.

The country westward of the Alleghaney abounds with springs of common salt. The most remarkable we have heard of are at Bullet's Lick, the Big Bones, the Blue Licks, and on the North Fork of Holston. The area of Bullet's Lick is of many acres. Digging the earth to the depth of three feet, the water begins to boil up, and the deeper you go, and the dryer the weather, the stronger is the brine. A thousand gallons of water yield from a bushel to a bushel and a half of salt, which is about 80 ℔ of water to 1 ℔ of salt; but of sea water 25 ℔ yield 1 ℔ of salt. So that sea water is more than three times as strong as that of these springs. A Salt Spring has been lately discovered at the Turkey Foot on Yohogany, by which river it is overflowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not yet known. Duning's Lick is also as yet untried, but it is supposed to be the best on this side the Ohio. The Salt Springs on the margin of the Onondago Lake are said to give a saline taste to the waters of the lake.

There are several Medicinal Springs, some of which are indubitably efficacious, while others seem to owe their reputation as much to fancy and change of air and regimen as to their real virtues. None of them having undergone a chemical analysis in skilful hands, nor been so far the subject of observations as to have produced a reduction into classes of the disorders which they relieve, it is in my power to give little more than an enumeration of them.

The most efficacious of these are two springs in Augusta, near the first sources of James River, where it is called Jackson's River. They rise near the foot of the ridge of mountains, generally called the Warm Spring Mountain, but in the maps Jackson's mountains. The one is distinguished by the name of the Warm Spring, and the other of the Hot Spring. The Warm Spring issues with a very bold stream, sufficient to work a grist mill, and to keep the waters of its bason, which is 30 feet in diameter, at the vital warmth, viz: 96° of Farenheit's thermometer. The matter with which these waters is allied is very volatile; its smell indicates it to be sulphureous, as also does the circumstance of its turning silver black. They relieve rheumatisms. Other complaints also of very different natures have been removed or lessened by them. It rains here four or five days in every week.

The Hot Spring is about six miles from the Warm, is much smaller, and has been so hot as to have boiled an egg. Some believe its degree of heat to be lessened. It raises the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer to 112 degrees, which is fever heat. It sometimes relieves where the Warm Spring fails. A fountain of common water, issuing within a few inches of its margin, gives it a singular appearance. Comparing the temperature of these with that of the Hot Springs of Kamschatka, of which Krachininnikow gives an account, the difference is very great, the latter raising the mercury to 200°, which is within 12° of boiling water. These springs are very much resorted to in spite of a total want of accommodation for the sick. Their waters are strongest in the hottest months, which occasions their being visited in July and August principally.

The Sweet Springs are in the county of Botetourt, at the Eastern foot of the Alleghaney, about 42 miles from the Warm Springs. They are still less known. Having been found to relieve cases in which the others had been ineffectually tried, it is probable their composition is different. They are different also in their temperature, being as cold as common water, which is not mentioned however as a proof of a distinct impregnation. This is among the first sources of James River.

On Patowmac River, in Berkeley county, above the North Mountain, are Medicinal Springs, much more frequented than those of Augusta. Their powers, however, are less, the waters weakly mineralized, and scarcely warm. They are more visited, because situated in a fertile, plentiful, and populous country, better provided with accommodations, always safe from the Indians, and nearest to the more populous States.

In Louisa county, on the head waters of the South Anna branch of York River, are springs of some medicinal virtue. They are not much used however. There is a weak chalybeate at Richmond, and many others in various parts of the country, which are of too little worth, or too little note, to be enumerated after those before mentioned.

We are told of a Sulphur Spring on Howard's Creek of Greenbriar, and another at Boonsborough, on Kentuckey.

In the low grounds of the Great Kanhaway, 7 miles above the mouth of Elk River, and 67 above that of the Kanhaway itself, is a hole in the earth of the capacity of 30 or 40 gallons, from which issues constantly a gaseous stream so strong as to give to the sand about its orifice the motion which it has in a boiling spring. On presenting a lighted candle or torch within 18 inches of the hole, it flames up in a column of 18 inches diameter, and four or five feet height, which sometimes burns out within 20 minutes, and at other times has been known to continue three days, and then has been left still burning.[5] The flame is unsteady, of the density of that of burning spirits, and smells like burning pit coal. Water sometimes collects in the bason, which is remarkably cold, and is kept in ebullition by the gas escaping through it. If the gas be fired in that state, the water soon becomes so warm that the hand cannot bear it, and evaporates wholly in a short time. This gaseous fluid is probably inflammable air, the hydrogene of the new chemistry, which we know will kindle on mixing with the oxygenous portion of the atmospheric air, and the application of flame. It may be produced by a decomposition of water or of pyrites, within the body of the hill. The circumjacent lands are the property of General Washington and of General Lewis.

There is a similar one on Sandy River, the flame of which is a column of about 12 inches diameter, and 3 feet high. General Clarke, who informs me of it, kindled the vapor, staid about an hour, and left it burning.

The mention of uncommon springs leads me to that of Syphon fountains. There is one of these near the intersection of the Lord Fairfax's boundary with the North Mountain, not far from Brock's Gap, on the stream of which is a grist mill, which grinds two bushels of grain at every flood of the spring. Another, near the Cow Pasture River, a mile and a half below its confluence with the Bull Pasture River, and 16 or 17 miles from the Hot Springs, which intermits once in every twelve hours. One also near the mouth of the North Holston.

Notes on Virginia - syphon fountain diagram.jpg

We are told that during a great storm on the 25th of December, 1798, the Syphon Fountain, near the mouth of the North Holston, ceased, and a spring broke out about 100 feet higher up the hill.[6] Syphon fountains have been explained by supposing the duct which leads from the reservoir to the surface of the earth to be in the form of a syphon, a, b, c, where it is evident that till the water rises in the reservoir to d, the level of the highest point of the syphon, it cannot flow through the duct, and it is known that when once it begins to flow it will draw off the water of the reservoir to the orifice a, of the syphon. If the duct be larger than the supply of the reservoir, possibly the force of the waters and loosening of the earth by them, during the storm above mentioned, may have opened a more direct duct as from e to f, horizontally or declining, which issued higher up the hill than the one fed by the syphon. In that case it becomes a common spring. Should this duct be again closed or diminished by any new accident, the syphon may begin to play again, and both springs be kept in action from the same reservoir.

After these may be mentioned the Natural Well, on the lands of a Mr. Lewis in Frederick county. It is somewhat larger than a common well; the water rises in it as near the surface of the earth as in the neighboring artificial wells, and is of a depth as yet unknown. It is said there is a current in it tending sensibly downwards. If this be true, it probably feeds some fountain, of which it is the natural reservoir, distinguished from others like that of Madison's Cave, by being accessible. It is used with a bucket and windlass, as an ordinary well.

A complete catalogue of the trees, plants, fruits, &c., is probably not desired. I will sketch out those which would principally attract notice, as being—1, Medicinal; 2, Esculent; 3, Ornamental; or, 4, Useful for fabrication: adding the Linnæan to the popular names, as the latter might not convey precise information to a foreigner. I shall confine myself too to native plants:

1. Senna—Cassia ligustrina. Arsmart—Polygonum Sagittatum. Clivers, or goose grass—Galium spurium. Lobelia, of several species. Palma Christi—Ricinus. James Town weed (3)—Datura Stramonium. Mallow—Malva rotundifolia. Syrian mallow—Hibiscus moschentos, Hibiscus virginicus. Indian mallow—Sida rhombifolia, Sida abutilon. Virginia Marshmallow—Napæa hermaphrodita, Napæa dioica. Indian physic—Spiræa trifoliata, Euphorbia Ipecacuanhæ. Pleurisy root—Asclepias decumbens. Virginia snake root—Aristolochia serpentaria. Black snake root—Actæa racemosa. Seneca rattlesnake root—Polygala Senega. Valerian—Valeriana locusta radiata. Gentiana, Saponaria, Villosa and Centaurium. Ginseng—Panax quinquefolium. Angelica—Angelica sylvestris. Cassava—Jatropha urens.

2. Tuckahoe—Lycoperdon tuber. Jerusalem artichoke—Helianthus tuberosus. Long potatoes—Convolvulas batatas. Granadillas, Maycocks, Maracocks—Passiflora incarnata. Panic—Panicum, of many species. Indian millet—Holcus laxus, Holcus striosus. Wild oat—Zizania aquatica. Wild pea—Dolichos of Clayton. Lupine—Lupinus perennis. Wild hop—Humulus lupulus. Wild cherry—Prunus Virginiana. Cherokee plum—Prunus sylvestris fructu majori. Clayton. Wild plum—Prunus sylvestris fructu minori. Clayton. Wild crab apple—Pyrus coronaria. Red mulberry—Morus rubra. Persimmon—Diospyros Virginiana. Sugar maple—Acer saccharinum. Scaly bark hiccory—Juglans alba cortice squamoso. Clayton. Common hiccory—Juglans alba, fructu minore rancido. Clayton. Paccan, or Illinois nut. Not described by Linnæus Millar, or Clayton. [Were I to venture to describe this, speaking of the fruit from memory, and of the leaf from plants of two years growth, I should specify it as the Juglans alba, foliolis lanceolatis, acuminatis, serratis, tomentosis, fructu minore, ovato, compresso, vix insculpto dulci putamine, tenerrimo. It grows on the Illinois, Wabash, Ohio, and Missisipi. It is spoken of by Don Ulloa under the name of Pacanos, in his Noticias Americanas — Entret. 6.] Black walnut—Juglans nigra. White walnut—Juglans alba. Chesnut—Fagus castanea. Chinquapin—Fagus pumila. Hazlenut—Corylus avellana. Grapes—Vitis, various kinds, though only three described by Clayton. Scarlet Strawberries—Fragaria Virginiana of Millar. Whortleberries—Vaccinium uliginosum? Wild gooseberries—Ribes grossularia. Cranberries—Vaccinium oxycoccos. Black raspberries—Rubus occidentalis. Blackberries—Rubus fruticosus. Dewberries—Rubus cæsius. Cloudberries—Robus chamæmorus.

3. Plane tree—Platanus occidentalis. Poplar—Liriodendron tulipifera, Populus heterophylla. Black poplar—Populus nigra. Aspen—Populus tremula. Linden, or lime—Tilia Americana. Red flowering maple—Acer rubrum. Horse-chesnut, or Buck's eye—Æsculus pavia. Catalpa—Bignonia catalpa. Umbrella—Magnolia tripetala. Swamp laurel—Magnolia glauca. Cucumber tree—Magnolia acuminata. Portugal bay—Laurus indica. Red bay—Laurus borbonia. Dwarf rose bay—Rhododendron maximum. Laurel of the Western country. Qu. species? Wild pimento—Laurus benzoin. Sassafras—Laurus sassafras. Locust—Robinia pseudo acacia. Honey locust—Gleditsia. 1. β. Dogwood—Cornus florida. Fringe, or snow drop tree—Chionanthus Virginica. Barberry—Berberis vulgaris. Red bud, or Judas tree—Cercis Canadensis. Holly—Ilex aquifolium. Cockspur hawthorn—Cratægus coccinea. Spindle tree—Euonymus Europæus. Evergreen spindle tree—Euonymus Americanus. Itea Virginica. Elder—Sambucus nigra. Papaw—Annona triloba. Candleberry myrtle—Myrica cerifera. Dwarf laurel—Kalmia angustifolia, Kalmia latifolia, called ivy with us. Ivy—Hedera quinquefolia. Trumpet honeysuckle—Lonicera sempervirens. Upright honeysuckle—Azalea nudiflora, Azalea viscosa. Yellow jasmine—Bignonia sempervirens. Calycanthus floridus. American aloe—Agave Virginica. Sumach—Rhus. Qu. species? Poke—Phytolacca decandra. Long moss—Tillandsia Usneoides.

4. Reed—Arundo phragmitis. Virginia hemp—Acnida cannabina. Flax—Linum Virginianum. Black, or pitch pine—Pinus tæda. White pine—Pinus strobus. Yellow pine—Pinus Virginica. Spruce pine—Pinus foliis singularibus. Clayton. Hemlock spruce fir—Pinus Canadensis. Arbor vitæ—Thuya occidentalis. Juniper—Juniperus virginica (called cedar with us.) Cypress—Cupressus disticha. White cedar—Cupressus Thyoides. Black oak—Quercus nigra. White oak—Quercus alba. Red oak—Quercus rubra. Willow oak—Quercus phellos. Chesnut oak—Quercus prinus. Black jack oak—Quercus aquatica. Clayton. Query? Ground oak—Quercus pumila. Clayton. Live oak—Quercus Virginiana. Millar. Black birch—Betula nigra. White birch—Betula alba. Beach—Fagus sylvatica. Ash—Fraxinus Americana, Fraxinus Novæ Angliæ. Millar. Elm—Ulmus Americana. Willow—Salix. Query, species? Fluvialis. Bartr. 393. Sweet Gum—Liquidambar styraciflua.

The following were found in Virginia when first visited by the English; but it is not said whether of spontaneous growth, or by cultivation only. Most probably they were natives of more Southern climates, and handed along the continent from one nation to another of the savages:

Tobacco—Nicotiana. [7]Maize—Zea mays, [8]Round potatoes—Solanum tuberosum. Pumpkins—Cucurbita pepo. Cymlings—Cucurbita verrucosa. Squashes—Cucurbita melopepo.

There is an infinitude of other plants and flowers, for an enumeration and scientific description of which I must refer to the Flora Virginica of our great botanist, Dr. Clayton, published by Gronovius at Leyden, in 1762. This accurate observer was a native and resident of this State, passed a long life in exploring and describing its plants, and is supposed to have enlarged the botanical catalogue as much as almost any man who has lived.

Besides these plants, which are native, our farms produce wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, and broom corn. The climate suits rice well enough wherever the lands do. Tobacco, hemp, flax, and cotton, are staple commodities. Indico yields two cuttings. The silk worm is a native, and the mulberry, proper for its food, grows kindly.

We cultivate also potatoes, both the long and the round, turnips, carrots, parsneps, pumpkins, and ground nuts, (Arachis.) Our grasses are Lucerne, St. Foin, Burnet, Timothy, ray, and orchard grass; red, white, and yellow clover; greensward, blue grass, and crab grass.

The gardens yield musk melons, water melons, tomatoes, ochre, pomegranates, figs, and the esculent plants of Europe.

The orchards produce apples, pears, cherries, quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds, and plums.

Our quadrupeds have been mostly described by Linnæus and Mons. de Buffon. Of these the mammoth, or big buffalo, as called by the Indians, must certainly have been the largest. Their tradition is, that he was carnivorous, and still exists in the Northern parts of America. A delegation of warriors from the Delaware tribe having visited the Governor of Virginia, during the present revolution, on matters of business, after these had been discussed and settled in council, the Governor asked them some questions relative to their country, and, among others, what they knew or had heard of the animal whose bones were found at the Saltlicks, on the Ohio. Their chief speaker immediately put himself into an attitude of oratory, and with a pomp suited to what he conceived the elevation of his subject, informed him that it was a tradition handed down from their fathers: “That in ancient times a herd of these tremendous animals came to the Big Bone Licks, and began an universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals, which had been created for the use of the Indians; that the Great Man above, looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning, descended on the earth, seated himself on a neighboring mountain, on a rock, of which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole were slaughtered, except the big bull, who, presenting his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they fell; but missing one at length, it wounded him in the side; whereon, springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, over the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day.” It is well known that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further North, tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude, are found in great numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner by the Indians near the mouth of the Tanissee, relates that, after being transferred through several tribes, from one to another, he was at length carried over the mountains West of the Missouri to a river which runs westwardly; that these bones abounded there; and that the natives described to him the animal to which they belonged as still existing in the Northern parts of their country; from which description he judged it to be an elephant. Bones of the same kind have been lately found some feet below the surface of the earth, in salines opened on the North Holston, a branch of the Tanissee, about the latitude of 36½° North. From the accounts published in Europe, I suppose it to be decided that these are of the same kind with those found in Siberia.[9] Instances are mentioned of like animal remains found in the more Southern climates of both hemispheres;[10] but they are either so loosely mentioned as to leave a doubt of the fact, so inaccurately described as not to authorize the classing them with the great Northern bones, or so rare as to found a suspicion that they have been carried thither as curiosities from more Northern regions. So that on the whole there seem to be no certain vestiges of the existence of this animal further South than the salines last mentioned.[11] It is remarkable that the tusks and skeletons have been ascribed by the naturalists of Europe to the elephant, while the grinders have been given to the hippopotamus, or river horse.[12] Yet it is acknowledged that the tusks and skeletons are much larger than those of the elephant, and the grinders many times greater than those of the hippopotamus, and essentially different in form. Wherever these grinders are found, there also we find the tusks and skeleton; but no skeleton of the hippopotamus nor grinders of the elephant. It will not be said that the hippopotamus and elephant came always to the same spot, the former to deposit his grinders, and the latter his tusks and skeleton. For what became of the parts not deposited there? We must agree then that these remains belong to each other, that they are of one and the same animal, that this was not a hippopotamus, because the hippopotamus had no tusks nor such a frame, and because the grinders differ in their size as well as in the number and form of their points. That it was not an elephant, I think ascertained by proofs equally decisive. I will not avail myself of the authority of the celebrated[13] anatomist, who, from an examination of the form and structure of the tusks, has declared they were essentially different from those of the elephant, because another[14] anatomist, equally celebrated, has declared, on a like examination, that they are precisely the same. Between two such authorities I will suppose this circumstance equivocal. But, 1, The skeleton of the mammoth (for so the incognitum has been called) bespeaks an animal of six times the cubic volume of the elephant, as Mons. de Buffon has admitted.[15] 2, The grinders are five times as large, are square, and the grinding surface studded with four or five rows of blunt points: whereas those of the elephant are broad and thin, and their grinding surface flat.[16] 3, I have never heard an instance, and suppose there has been none, of the grinder of an elephant being found in America. 4, From the known temperature and constitution of the elephant he could never have existed in those regions where the remains of the mammoth have been found. The elephant is a native only of the torrid zone and its vicinities: if with the assistance of warm apartments and warm clothing he has been preserved in life in the temperate climates of Europe, it has only been for a small portion of what would have been his natural period, and no instance of his multiplication in them has ever been known. But no bones of the mammoth, as I have before observed, have been ever found further South than the salines of the Holston, and they have been found as far North as the Arctic circle. Those, therefore, who are of opinion that the elephant and mammoth are the same, must believe, 1, That the elephant known to us can exist and multiply in the frozen zone; or, 2, That an internal fire may once have warmed those regions, and since abandoned them, of which, however, the globe exhibits no unequivocal indications; or, 3, That the obliquity of the ecliptic, when these elephants lived, was so great as to include within the tropics all those regions in which the bones are found; the tropics being as is before observed, the natural limits of habitation for the elephant. M. de Buffon considers the existence of elephant bones in Northern regions, where the animal itself is no longer found, as one of the leading facts which support his theory, that the earth was once in a liquid state, rendered so by the action of fire, that the process of cooling began at its poles, and proceeded gradually towards the torrid zone, that with this progress the animals of warm temperature retired towards the equator, and that in the present state of that progress the globe remains of sufficient warmth, for the elephant for instance, in the tropical regions, only to which therefore they have retired, as their last asylum, and where they must become extinct when the degree of warmth shall be reduced below that adapted to their constitution. How does it happen then that no elephants exist at present in the tropical regions of America, to which those of the Ohio must have retired, according to this theory? But if it be admitted that this obliquity has really decreased, and we adopt the highest rate of decrease yet pretended, that is, of one minute in a century, to transfer the Northern tropic to the Arctic circle, would carry the existence of these supposed elephants 250,000 years back; a period far beyond our conception of the duration of animal bones left exposed to the open air, as these are in many instances. Besides, though these regions would then be supposed within the tropics, yet their winters would have been too severe for the sensibility of the elephant. They would have had too but one day and one night in the year, a circumstance to which we have no reason to suppose the nature of the elephant fitted. However, it has been demonstrated, that if a variation of obliquity in the ecliptic takes place at all, it is vibratory, and never exceeds the limits of 9 degrees, which is not sufficient to bring these bones within the tropics. One of these hypotheses, or some other equally voluntary and inadmissible to cautious philosophy, must be adopted to support the opinion that these are the bones of the elephant. For my own part, I find it easier to believe that an animal may have existed, resembling the elephant in his tusks and general anatomy, while his nature was in other respects extremely different. From the 30th degree of South latitude to the 30th of North, are nearly the limits which Nature has fixed for the existence and multiplication of the elephant known to us. Proceeding thence northwardly to 36½ degrees, we enter those assigned to the mammoth. The further we advance North, the more their vestiges multiply as far as the earth has been explored in that direction; and it is as probable as otherwise, that this progression continues to the pole itself, if land extends so far. The centre of the frozen zone then may be the acmé of their vigor, as that of the torrid is of the elephant. Thus Nature seems to have drawn a belt of separation between these two tremendous animals, whose breadth, indeed, is not precisely known, though at present we may suppose it about 6½ degrees of latitude; to have assigned to the elephant the regions South of these confines, and those North to the mammoth, founding the constitution of the one in her extreme of heat, and that of the other in the extreme of cold. When the Creator has therefore separated their nature as far as the extent of the scale of animal life allowed to this planet would permit, it seems perverse to declare it the same, from a partial resemblance of their tusks and bones. But to whatever animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain such a one has existed in America, and that it has been the largest of all terrestrial beings. It should have sufficed to have rescued the earth it inhabited, and the atmosphere it breathed, from the imputation of impotence in the conception and nourishment of animal life on a large scale: to have stifled in its birth the opinion of a writer, the most learned too of all others in the science of animal history, that in the new world, “La nature vivante est beaucoup moins agissante, beaucoup moins forte:” that Nature is less active, less energetic on one side of the globe than she is on the other.[17] As if both sides were not warmed by the same genial sun; as if a soil of the same chemical composition was less capable of elaboration into animal nutriment; as if the fruits and grains from that soil and sun yielded a less rich chyle, gave less extension to the solids and fluids of the body, or produced sooner in the cartilages, membranes, and fibres, that rigidity which restrains all further extension, and terminates animal growth. The truth is, that a pigmy and a Patagonian, a mouse and a mammoth, derive their dimensions from the same nutritive juices. The difference of increment depends on circumstances unsearchable to beings with our capacities. Every race of animals seems to have received from their Maker certain laws of extension at the time of their formation. Their elaborative organs were formed to produce this, while proper obstacles were opposed to its further progress. Below these limits they cannot fall, nor rise above them. What intermediate station they shall take may depend on soil, on climate, on food, on a careful choice of breeders. But all the manna of heaven would never raise the mouse to the bulk of the mammoth.

The opinion advanced by the Count de Buffon[18] is, 1, That the animals, common both to the old and new world, are smaller in the latter. 2, That those peculiar to the new are on a smaller scale. 3, That those which have been domesticated in both, have degenerated in America; and, 4, That on the whole it exhibits fewer species. And the reason he thinks is, that the heats of America are less; that more waters are spread over its surface by Nature, and fewer of these drained off by the hand of man. In other words, that heat is friendly, and moisture adverse to the production and development of large quadrupeds. I will not meet this hypothesis on its first doubtful ground, whether the climate of America be comparatively more humid? Because we are not furnished with observations sufficient to decide this question. And though, till it be decided, we are as free to deny, as others are to affirm the fact, yet for a moment let it be supposed. The hypothesis, after this supposition, proceeds to another; that moisture is unfriendly to animal growth. The truth of this is inscrutable to us by reasonings a priori. Nature has hidden from us her modus agendi. Our only appeal on such questions is to experience; and I think that experience is against the supposition. It is by the assistance of heat and moisture that vegetables are elaborated from the elements of earth, air, water, and fire. We accordingly see the more humid climates produce the greater quantity of vegetables. Vegetables are mediately or immediately the food of every animal; and in proportion to the quantity of food, we see animals not only multiplied in their numbers, but improved in their bulk, as far as the laws of their nature will admit. Of this opinion is the Count de Buffon himself in another part of his work:[19] “En general il paroit que les pays un peu froids conviennent mieux à nos boeufs que les pays chauds, et qu'ils sont d'autant plus gros et plus grands que le climat est plus humide et plus abondans en paturages. Les boeufs de Danemarck, de la Podolie, de l'Ukraine et de la Tartarie qu'habitent les Calmouques sont les plus grands de tous.[20] Here then a race of animals, and one of the largest too, has been increased in its dimensions by cold and moisture, in direct opposition to the hypothesis, which supposes that these two circumstances diminish animal bulk, and that it is their contraries, heat and dryness, which enlarge it. But when we appeal to experience, we are not to rest satisfied with a single fact. Let us therefore try our question on more general ground. Let us take two portions of the earth, Europe and America for instance, sufficiently extensive to give operation to general causes; let us consider the circumstances peculiar to each, and observe their effect on animal nature. America, running through the torrid as well as temperate zone, has more heat, collectively taken, than Europe. But Europe, according to our hypothesis, is the dryest. They are equally adapted then to animal productions, each being endowed with one of those causes which befriend animal growth, and with one which opposes it. If it be thought unequal to compare Europe with America, which is so much larger, I answer, not more so than to compare America with the whole world. Besides, the purpose of the comparison is to try an hypothesis, which makes the size of animals depend on the heat and moisture of climate. If therefore we take a region, so extensive as to comprehend a sensible distinction of climate, and so extensive too as that local accidents, or the intercourse of animals on its borders, may not materially affect the size of those in its interior parts, we shall comply with those conditions which the hypothesis may reasonably demand. The objection would be the weaker in the present case, because any intercourse of animals which may take place on the confines of Europe and Asia, is to the advantage of the former, Asia producing certainly larger animals than Europe. Let us then take a comparative view of the quadrupeds of Europe and America, presenting them to the eye in three different tables, in one of which shall be enumerated those found in both countries; in a second those found in one only; in a third those which have been domesticated in both. To facilitate the comparison, let those of each table be arranged in gradation according to their sizes, from the greatest to the smallest, so far as their sizes can be conjectured. The weights of the large animals shall be expressed in the English avoirdupoise pound and its decimals; those of the smaller in the ounce and its decimals. Those which are marked thus, * are actual weights of particular subjects, deemed among the largest of their species. Those marked thus †, are furnished by judicious persons, well acquainted with the species, and saying, from conjecture only, what the largest individual they had seen would probably have weighed. The other weights are taken from Messrs. Buffon and D'Aubenton, and are of such subjects as came casually to their hands for dissection. This circumstance must be remembered where their weights and mine stand opposed; the latter being stated, not to produce a conclusion in favor of the American species, but to justify a suspension of opinion until we are better informed, and a suspicion in the mean time that there is no uniform difference in favor of either, which is all I pretend.



  Europe. America.
Buffalo—Bison, *1800
White bear—Ours blanc.
Bear—Ours, 153.7  *410
Elk—Elan. Orignal, moose palmated. 
Red deer—Cerf, 288.8  *273
Fallow deer—Daim, 167.8
Wolf—Loup,  69.8
Roe—Chevreuil,  56.7
Glutton—Glouton. Carcajou.
Wild cat—Chat sauvage,   †30
Lynx—Loup cervier, 25.
Beaver—Castor,  18.5   *45
Badger—Blaireau,  13.6
Red fox—Renard,  13.5
Grey fox—Isatis.
Otter—Loutre,   8.9   †12
Monax—Marmotte,   6.5
Vison—Fouine,   2.8
Hedgehog—Herisson,   2.2
Martin—Marte,   1.9    †6
Water rat—Rat d'eau,   7.5
Wesel—Belette,   2.2
Flying squirrel—Polatouche,   2.2    †4
Shrew mouse—Musaraigne,   1. 


Sanglier—Wild boar, 280.  
Mouflon—Wild sheep, 56.  
Bouquetin—Wild goat. 
[21]Lievre—Hare, 7.6 
Lapin—Rabbit, 3.4 
Putois—Polecat, 3.3 
Genette, 3.1 
Ecureuil—Squirrel, 12.  
Hermine—Ermin, 8.2 
Rat—Rat, 7.5 
Loirs, 3.1 
Lerot—Dormouse, 1.8 
Taupe—Mole, 1.2 
Hamster, .9 
Souris—Mouse, .6 
 Tapir, 534. 
 Elk, round horned. †450. 
 Jaguar, 218. 
 Cabiai, 109. 
 Tamanoir, 109. 
 Tamandua, 65.4
 Cougar of N. Amer.  75. 
 Cougar of S. Amer. 59.4
 Pecari, 46.3
 Jaguaret, 43.6
 Paca, 32.7
 Sloth—Unau, 27¼
 Tatou Kabassou, 21.8
 Raccoon—Raton, 16.5
 Coendou, 16.3
 Sloth—Aï 13. 
 Sapajou Ouarini.
 Sapajou Coaita, 9.8
 Tatou Encubert.
 Tatou Apar.
 Tatou Cachica, 7. 
 Little Coendou, 6.5
 Agouti, 4.2
 Sapajou Saï, 3.5
 Tatou Cirquinçon.
 Tatou Tatouate, 3.3
 Mouffette Squash.
 Mouffette Chinche.
 Mouffette Conepate—Scunk.
 Mouffette Zorilla.
 Whabus—Hare, Rabbit.
 Great grey squirrel, †2.7
 Fox squirrel of Virginia. †2.625
 Surikate, 2. 
 Mink, †2. 
 Sapajou—Sajou, 1.8
 Indian pig—Cochon d'Inde, 1.6
 Sapajou—Saïmiri, 1.5
 Lesser grey squirrel. †1.5
 Black squirrel. †1.5
 Red squirrel, 10 oz.
 Sagoin Saki.
 Sagoin Pinche.
 Sagoin Tamarin.
 Sagoin Ouistiti, 4.4
 Sagoin Marikine.
 Sagoin Mico.
 Sarigue of Cayenne.
 Red mole.
 Ground squirrel. 4. 


  Europe. America.
Cow, 763. *2500
Horse, *1366
Hog, *1200
Sheep, *125
Goat, *80
Dog,  67.6
Cat,   7. 

I have not inserted in the first table the [22] phoca nor leather-winged bat, because the one living half the year in the water, and the other being a winged animal, the individuals of each species may visit both continents.

Of the animals in the first table, Mons. de Buffon himself informs us,[23] that the roe, the beaver, the otter, and shrew mouse, though of the same species, are larger in America than Europe. This should therefore have corrected the generality of his expressions;[24] and elsewhere, that the animals common to the two countries, are considerably less in America than in Europe: “& cela sans aucune exception.” He tells us too,[25] that on examining a bear from America, he remarked no difference: “Dans la forme de cet ours d' Amerique compart a celui d' Europe.” But adds from Bartram's journal, that an American bear weighed 400 ℔ English, equal to 367 ℔ French; whereas we find the European bear, examined by Mons. D'Aubenton,[26] weighed but 141 ℔ French. Kalm tells us that the moose, orignal, or palmated elk of America, is as high as a tall horse; and Catesby, that it is about the bigness of a middle-sized ox.[27] I have seen a skeleton 7 feet high, and from good information believe they are often considerably higher. The Elk of Europe is not two-thirds of his height. The wesel is larger in America than in Europe, as may be seen by comparing its dimensions as reported by Mons. D'Aubenton and Kalm.[28] The latter tells us that the lynx, badger, red fox, and flying squirrel, are the same in America as in Europe; by which expression I understand they are the same in all material circumstances, in size as well as others; for if they were smaller, they would differ from the European.[29] Our grey fox is, by Catesby's account, little different in size and shape from the European fox.[30] I presume he means the red fox of Europe, as does Kalm, where he says,[31] that in size “they do not quite come up to our foxes.” For proceeding next to the red fox of America, he says “they are entirely the same with the European sort;” which shews he had in view one European sort only, which was the red. So that the result of their testimony is, that the American grey fox is somewhat less than the European red; which is equally true of the grey fox of Europe, as may be seen by comparing the measures of the Count de Buffon and Mons. D'Aubenton.[32] The white bear of America is as large as that of Europe. The bones of the mammoth, which have been found in America, are as large as those found in the old world. It may be asked, why I insert the mammoth, as if it still existed? I ask in return why I should omit it, as if it did not exist? Such is the economy of Nature, that no instance can be produced of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be broken. To add to this, the traditionary testimony of the Indians, that this animal still exists in the Northern and Western parts of America, would be adding the light of a taper to that of the meridian sun. Those parts still remain in their aboriginal state, unexplored and undisturbed by us, or by others for us. He may as well exist there now, as he did formerly, where we find his bones. If he be a carnivorous animal, as some anatomists have conjectured, and the Indians affirm, his early retirement may be accounted for from the general destruction of the wild game by the Indians, which commences in the first instant of their connection with us, for the purpose of purchasing match-coats, hatchets, and fire locks, with their skins. There remain then the renne, the buffalo, red deer, fallow deer, wolf, glutton, wild cat, monax, vison, hedgehog, martin, and water rat, of the comparative sizes of which we have not sufficient testimony. It does not appear that Messrs. de Buffon and D'Aubenton have measured, weighed, or seen those of America. It is said of some of them, by some travelers, that they are smaller than the European. But who were these travelers? Have they not been men of a very different description from those who have laid open to us the other three quarters of the world? Was natural history the object of their travels? Did they measure or weigh the animals they speak of? or did they not judge of them by sight, or perhaps even from report only? Were they acquainted with the animals of their own country, with which they undertake to compare them? Have they not been so ignorant as often to mistake the species?[33] A true answer to these questions would probably lighten their authority, so as to render it insufficient for the foundation of an hypothesis. How unripe we yet are, for an accurate comparison of the animals of the two countries, will appear from the work of Mons. de Buffon. The ideas we should have formed of the sizes of some animals, from the information he had received at his first publications concerning them, are very different from what his subsequent communications give us. And indeed his candor in this can never be too much praised. One sentence of his book must do him immortal honor. “J'aime autant une personne qui me releve d'une erreur, qu'une autre qui m' apprend une verité, parce qu'en effet une erreur corrigée est une verité.”[34] He seems to have thought the Cabiai he first examined wanted little of its full growth. “Il n'etoit pas encore tout-a-fait adulte.”[35] Yet he weighed but 46½ ℔, and he found afterwards that these animals, when full grown, weigh 100 ℔.[36] He had supposed, from the examination of a jaguar, said to be two years old, which weighed but 16 ℔ 12 oz., that, when he should have acquired his full growth, he would not be larger than a middle-sized dog.[37] But a subsequent account raises his weight to 200 lb.[38] Further information will, doubtless, produce further corrections. The wonder is, not that there is yet something in this great work to correct, but that there is so little. The result of this view then is, that of 26 quadrupeds common to both countries, 7 are said to be larger in America, 7 of equal size, and 12 not sufficiently examined. So that the first table impeaches the first member of the assertion, that of the animals common to both countries, the American are smallest: “Et cela sans aucune exception.” It shews it not just, in all the latitude in which its author has advanced it, and probably not to such a degree as to found a distinction between the two countries.

Proceeding to the second table, which arranges the animals found in one of the two countries only, Mons. de Buffon observes that the tapir, the elephant of America, is but of the size of a small cow. To preserve our comparison, I will add that the wild boar, the elephant of Europe, is little more than half that size. I have made an elk, with round or cylindrical horns, an animal of America, and peculiar to it, because I have seen many of them myself, and more of their horns; and because I can say from the best information, that in Virginia this kind of elk has abounded much, and still exists in smaller numbers; the palmated kind is confined to the more Northern latitudes.[39] I have made our hare or rabbit peculiar, believing it to be different from both the European animals of those denominations, and calling it therefore by its Algonquin name Whabus, to keep it distinct from these.[40] Kalm is of the same opinion. I have enumerated the squirrels according to our own knowledge, derived from daily sight of them, because I am not able to reconcile with that the European appellations and descriptions. I have heard of other species, but they have never come within my own notice. These, I think, are the only instances in which I have departed from the authority of Mons. de Buffon in the construction of this table. I take him for my ground work, because I think him the best informed of any naturalist who has ever written. The result is, that there are 18 quadrupeds peculiar to Europe; more than four times as many, to wit, 74, peculiar to America; that the[41] first of these 74 weighs more than the whole column of Europeans; and consequently this second table disproves the second member of the assertion, that the animals peculiar to the new world are on a smaller scale, so far as that assertion relied on European animals for support; and it is in full opposition to the theory which makes the animal volume to depend on the circumstances of heat and moisture.

The third table comprehends those quadrupeds only which are domestic in both countries. That some of these, in some parts of America, have become less than their original stock, is doubtless true; and the reason is very obvious. In a thinly peopled country, the spontaneous productions of the forests and waste fields are sufficient to support indifferently the domestic animals of the farmer, with a very little aid from him in the severest and scarcest season. He therefore finds it more convenient to receive them from the hand of Nature in that indifferent state, than to keep up their size by a care and nourishment which would cost him much labor. If, on this low fare, these animals dwindle, it is no more than they do in those parts of Europe where the poverty of the soil, or poverty of the owner, reduces them to the same scanty subsistence. It is the uniform effect of one and the same cause, whether acting on this or that side of the globe. It would be erring therefore against that rule of philosophy, which teaches us to ascribe like effects to like causes, should we impute this diminution of size in America to any imbecility or want of uniformity in the operations of Nature. It may be affirmed with truth that, in those countries, and with those individuals of America, where necessity or curiosity has produced equal attention as in Europe to the nourishment of animals, the horses, cattle, sheep and hogs of the one continent are as large as those of the other. There are particular instances, well attested, where individuals of this country have imported good breeders from England, and have improved their size by care in the course of some years. To make a fair comparison between the two countries, it will not answer to bring together animals of what might be deemed the middle or ordinary size of their species; because an error in judging of that middle or ordinary size would vary the result of the comparison. Thus Monsieur D'Aubenton considers a horse of 4 feet 5 inches high, and 400 ℔ weight, French, equal to 4 feet 8.6 inches, and 436 ℔ English, as a middle-sized horse.[42] Such a one is deemed a small horse in America. The extremes must therefore be resorted to. The same anatomist dissected a horse of 5 feet 9 inches height, French measure, equal to 6 feet 1.7 English.[43] This is near 6 inches higher than any horse I have seen; and could it be supposed that I had seen the largest horses in America, the conclusion would be, that ours have diminished, or that we have bred from a smaller stock. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, where the climate is favorable to the production of grass, bullocks have been slaughtered which weighed 2,500, 2,200, and 2,100 ℔ nett; and those of 1,800 ℔ have been frequent. I have seen a hog[44] weigh 1,050 ℔ after the blood, bowels and hair had been taken from him. Before he was killed an attempt was made to weigh him with a pair of steelyards, graduated to 1,200 ℔, but he weighed more. Yet this hog was probably not within fifty generations of the European stock. I am well informed of another which weighed 1,100 ℔ gross. Asses have been still more neglected than any other domestic animal in America. They are neither fed nor housed in the most rigorous season of the year. Yet they are larger than those measured by Mons. D'Aubenton, of 3 feet 7¼ inches, 3 feet 4 inches, and 3 feet 2½ inches; the latter weighing only 215.8 ℔.[45] These sizes, I suppose, have been produced by the same negligence in Europe, which has produced a like diminution here. Where care has been taken of them on that side of the water, they have been raised to a size bordering on that of the horse; not by the heat and dryness of the climate, but by good food and shelter. Goats have been also much neglected in America. Yet they are very prolific here, bearing twice or three times a year, and from one to five kids at a birth. Mons. de Buffon has been sensible of a difference in this circumstance in favor of America.[46] But what are their greatest weights I cannot say. A large sheep here weighs 100 ℔. I observe Mons. D'Aubenton calls a ram of 62 ℔ one of the middle size.[47] But to say what are the extremes of growth in these and the other domestic animals of America, would require information of which no one individual is possessed.[48] The weights actually known and stated in the third table preceding, will suffice to shew that we may conclude, on probable grounds, that, with equal food and care, the climate of America will preserve the races of domestic animals as large as the European stock from which they are derived; and consequently that the third member of Mons. de Buffon's assertion, that the domestic animals are subject to degeneration from the climate of America, is as probably wrong as the first and second were certainly so.

That the last part of it is erroneous, which affirms that the species of American quadrupeds are comparatively few, is evident from the tables taken all together. By these it appears that there are an hundred species aboriginal of America.[49] Mons. de Buffon supposes about double that number existing on the whole earth. Of these, Europe, Asia, and Africa, furnish suppose 126; that is, the 26 common to Europe and America, and about 100 which are not in America at all. The American species then are to those of the rest of the earth, as 100 to 126, or 4 to 5. But the residue of the earth being double the extent of America, the exact proportion would have been but as 4 to 8.[50]

Hitherto I have considered this hypothesis as applied to brute animals only, and not in its extension to the man of America, whether aboriginal or transplanted.[51] It is the opinion of Mons. de Buffon that the former furnishes no exception to it:[52] “Quoique le sauvage du nouveau monde soit à-peu-près de même stature que l'homme de notre monde, cela ne suffit pas pour qu'il puisse faire une exception au fait général du rapetissement de la nature vivante dans tout ce continent: le sauvage est foible & petit par les organes de la génération; il n'a ni poil, ni barbe, & nulle ardeur pour sa femelle; quoique plus léger que l'Européen parce qu'il a plus d'habitude à courir, il est cependant beaucoup moins fort de corps; il est aussi bien moins sensible, & cependant plus craintif & plus lâche; il n'a nulle vivacité, nulle activité dans l'ame; celle du corps est moins un exercice, un mouvement volontaire qu'une nécessité d'action causée par le besoin; otez lui la faim & la soif, vous détruirez en meme temps le principe actif de tous ses mouvemens; il demeurera stupidement en repos sur ses jambes ou couché pendant des jours entiers. Il ne faut pas aller chercher plus loin la cause de la vie dispersée des sauvages & de leur éloignement pour la société; la plus précieuse étincelle du feu de la nature leur a été refusée; ils manquent d'ardeur pour leur femelle, & par consequent d'amour pour leur semblables; ne connoissant pas l'attachement le plus vif, le plus tendre de tous, leurs autres sentimens de ce genre sont froids & languissans; ils aiment foiblement leurs péres and leurs enfans; la société la plus intime de toutes, celle de la même famille, n'a donc chez eux que de foibles liens; la société d'une famille à l'autre n'en a point du tout; dès lors nulle réunion, nulle république, nulle ètat social. La physique de l'amour fait chez eux le moral des mœurs; leur cœur est glacé, leur société froide, & leur empire dur. Ils ne regardent leurs femmes que comme des servantes de peine ou des bêtes de somme qu'ils chargent, sans ménagement, du fardeau de leur chasse, & qu'ils forcent sans pitié, sans reconnoissance, à des ouvrages qui souvent sont audessus de leurs forces; ils n'ont que peu d'enfans; ils en ont peu de soin; tout se ressent de leur premier défaut; ils sont indifférents parce qu'ils sont peu puissans, & cette indifférence pour le sexe est la tâche originelle qui flétrit la nature, qui l'empêche de s'épanouir, & qui détruisant les germes de la vie, coupe en même temps la racine de la société. L'homme ne fait donc point d'exception ici. La nature en lui refusant les puissances de l'amour l'a plus maltraité & plus rapetisé qu'aucun des animaux.” An afflicting picture indeed, which, for the honor of human nature, I am glad to believe has no original. Of the Indian of South America I know nothing, for I would not honor with the appellation of knowledge what I derive from the fables published of them. These I believe to be just as true as the fables of Æsop. This belief is founded on what I have seen of man, white, red, and black, and what has been written of him by authors, enlightened themselves, and writing amidst an enlightened people. The Indian of North America being more within our reach, I can speak of him somewhat from my own knowledge, but more from the information of others better acquainted with him, and on whose truth and judgment I can rely. From these sources I am able to say, in contradiction to this representation,[53] that he is neither more defective in ardor, nor more impotent with his female, than the white reduced to the same diet and exercise; that he is brave, when an enterprise depends on bravery;[54] education with him making the point of honor consist in the destruction of an enemy by stratagem, and in the preservation of his own person free from injury; or perhaps this is nature; while it is education which teaches us to[55] honor force more than finesse; that he will defend himself against an host of enemies, always choosing to be killed rather than to[56] surrender, though it be to the whites, who he knows will treat him well; that in other situations also he meets death with more deliberation, and endures tortures with a firmness unknown almost to religious enthusiasm with us; that he is affectionate to his children, careful of them, and indulgent in the extreme; that his affections comprehend his other connections, weakening, as with us, from circle to circle, as they recede from the centre; that his friendships are strong and faithful to the uttermost[57] extremity; that his sensibility is keen, even the warriors weeping most bitterly on the loss of their children, though in general they endeavor to appear superior to human events; that his vivacity and activity of mind is equal to ours in the same situation; hence his eagerness for hunting, and for games of chance. The women are submitted to unjust drudgery. This I believe is the case with every barbarous people. With such, force is law. The stronger sex therefore imposes on the weaker. It is civilization alone which replaces women in the enjoyment of their natural equality. That first teaches us to subdue the selfish passions, and to respect those rights in others which we value in ourselves. Were we in equal barbarism, our females would be equal drudges. The man with them is less strong than with us, but their woman stronger than ours; and both for the same obvious reason; because our man and their woman is habituated to labor, and formed by it. With both races the sex which is indulged with ease is least athletic. An Indian man is small in the hand and wrist for the same reason for which a sailor is large and strong in the arms and shoulders, and a porter in the legs and thighs. They raise fewer children than we do. The causes of this are to be found, not in a difference of nature, but of circumstance. The women very frequently attending the men in their parties of war and of hunting, child-bearing becomes extremely inconvenient to them. It is said, therefore, that they have learnt the practice of procuring abortion by the use of some vegetable; and that it even extends to prevent conception for a considerable time after.[58] During these parties they are exposed to numerous hazards, to excessive exertions, to the greatest extremities of hunger. Even at their homes the nation depends for food, through a certain part of every year, on the gleanings of the forest; that is, they experience a famine once in every year. With all animals, if the female be badly fed, or not fed at all, her young perish; and if both male and female be reduced to like want, generation becomes less active, less productive. To the obstacles then of want and hazard, which Nature has opposed to the multiplication of wild animals, for the purpose of restraining their numbers within certain bounds, those of labor and of voluntary abortion are added with the Indian. No wonder then if they multiply less than we do. Where food is regularly supplied, a single farm will shew more of cattle than a whole country of forests can of buffaloes. The same Indian women, when married to white traders, who feed them and their children plentifully and regularly, who exempt them from excessive drudgery, who keep them stationary and unexposed to accident, produce and raise as many children as the white women.[59] Instances are known, under these circumstances, of their rearing a dozen children. An inhuman practice once prevailed in this country of making slaves of the Indians. This practice commenced with the Spaniards with the first discovery of America.—[See Herrera. Amer. Vesp.] It is a fact well known with us, that the Indian women so enslaved produced and raised as numerous families as either the whites or blacks among whom they lived. It has been said that Indians have less hair than the whites, except on the head. But this is a fact of which fair proof can scarcely be had.[60] With them it is disgraceful to be hairy on the body. They say it likens them to hogs. They therefore pluck the hair as fast as it appears. But the traders who marry their women, and prevail on them to discontinue this practice, say that Nature is the same with them as with the whites. Nor, if the fact be true, is the consequence necessary which has been drawn from it. Negroes have notoriously less hair than the whites; yet they are more ardent. But if cold and moisture be the agents of Nature for diminishing the races of animals, how comes she all at once to suspend their operation as to the physical man of the new world, whom the Count acknowledges to be “à peu près de mème stature que l'homme de notre monde,” and to let loose their influence on his moral faculties? How has this “combination of the elements and other physical causes, so contrary to the enlargement of animal nature in this new world, these obstacles to the developement and formation of great germs,” been arrested and suspended, so as to permit the human body to acquire its just dimensions, and by what inconceivable process has their action been directed on his mind alone?[61] To judge of the truth of this, to form a just estimate of their genius and mental powers, more facts are wanting, and great allowance to be made for those circumstances of their situation which call for a display of particular talents only. This done, we shall probably find that they are formed in mind as well as in body, on the same module with the “Homo sapiens Europæus.”[62] The principles of their society forbidding all compulsion, they are to be led to duty and to enterprise by personal influence and persuasion. Hence eloquence in council, bravery and address in war, become the foundations of all consequence with them. To these acquirements all their faculties are directed. Of their bravery and address in war we have multiplied proofs, because we have been the subjects on which they were exercised. Of their eminence in oratory we have fewer examples, because it is displayed chiefly in their own councils. Some, however, we have of very superior lustre. I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage, superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore, when Governor of this State. And, as a testimony of their talents in this line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the incidents necessary for understanding it. In the Spring of the year 1774, a robbery and murder were committed on an inhabitant of the frontiers of Virginia, by two Indians of the Shawanee tribe. The neighboring whites, according to their custom, undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. Col. Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those much-injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the Kanhaway in quest of vengeance. Unfortunately a canoe of women and children, with one man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and unsuspecting a hostile attack from the whites. Cresap and his party concealed themselves on the bank of the river, and the moment the canoe reached the shore, singled out their objects, and at one fire killed every person in it. This happened to be the family of Logan, who had long been distinguished as a friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked his vengeance. He accordingly signalized himself in the war which ensued. In the Autumn of the same year, a decisive battle was fought at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, between the collected forces of the Shawanees, Mingoes, and Delawares, and a detachment of the Virginia militia. The Indians were defeated, and sued for peace. Logan however disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But, lest the sincerity of a treaty should be distrusted, from which so distinguished a chief absented himself, he sent by a messenger the following speech to be delivered to Lord Dunmore.

“I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, ‘Logan is the friend of white men.’ I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Col. Cresap, the last Spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed many: I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one.”[63]

Before we condemn the Indians of this continent as wanting genius, we must consider that letters have not yet been introduced among them.[64] Were we to compare them in their present state with the Europeans North of the Alps, when the Roman arms and arts first crossed those mountains, the comparison would be unequal, because, at that time, those parts of Europe were swarming with numbers; because numbers produce emulation, and multiply the chances of improvement, and one improvement begets another. Yet I may safely ask, How many good poets, how many able mathematicians, how many great inventors in arts or sciences, had Europe North of the Alps then produced? And it was sixteen centuries after this before a Newton could be formed. I do not mean to deny that there are varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their powers both of body and mind. I believe there are, as I see to be the case in the races of other animals. I only mean to suggest a doubt, whether the bulk and faculties of animals depend on the side of the Atlantic on which their food happens to grow, or which furnishes the elements of which they are compounded? Whether Nature has enlisted herself as a Cis or Trans-Atlantic partizan? I am induced to suspect there has been more eloquence than sound reasoning displayed in support of this theory; that it is one of those cases where the judgment has been seduced by a glowing pen; and whilst I render every tribute of honor and esteem to the celebrated Zoologist, who has added, and is still adding, so many precious things to the treasures of science, I must doubt whether in this instance he has not cherished error also, by lending her for a moment his vivid imagination and bewitching language.[65] (4.)

So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of Nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic. Its application to the race of whites, transplanted from Europe, remained for the Abbé Raynal. “On doit etre etonné (he says) que l'Amerique n'ait pas encore produit un bon poëte, un habile mathematicien, un homme de genie dans un seul art, ou une seule science.” 7. Hist. Philos. p. 92 ed. Maestricht. 1774. “America has not yet produced one good poet.” When we shall have existed as a people as long as the Greeks did before they produced a Homer, the Romans a Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the English a Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach be still true, we will enquire from what unfriendly causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have inscribed any name in the roll of poets.[66] But neither has America produced “one able mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science.” In war we have produced a Washington, whose memory will be adored while liberty shall have votaries, whose name will triumph over time, and will in future ages assume its just station among the most celebrated worthies of the world, when that wretched philosophy shall be forgotten, which would have arranged him among the degeneracies of Nature. In physics we have produced a Franklin, than whom no one of the present age has made more important discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more or more ingenious solutions of the phenomena of Nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittenhouse second to no astronomer living; that in genius he must be the first, because he is self-taught. As an artist he has exhibited as great a proof of mechanical genius as the world has ever produced. He has not indeed made a world; but he has by imitation approached nearer its Maker than any man who has lived from the creation to this day.[67] As in philosophy and war, so in government, in oratory, in painting, in the plastic art, we might show that America, though but a child of yesterday, has already given hopeful proofs of genius, as well of the nobler kinds, which arouse the best feelings of man, which call him into action, which substantiate his freedom, and conduct him to happiness, as of the subordinate, which serve to amuse him only. We therefore suppose that this reproach is as unjust as it is unkind; and that of the geniuses which adorn the present age, America contributes its full share. For comparing it with those countries, where genius is most cultivated, where are the most excellent models for art, and scaffoldings for the attainment of science, as France and England for instance, we calculate thus: The United States contain three millions of inhabitants; France twenty millions; and the British Islands ten. We produce a Washington, a Franklin, a Rittenhouse. France then should have half a dozen in each of these lines, and Great Britain half that number, equally eminent. It may be true that France has: we are but just becoming acquainted with her, and our acquaintance so far gives us high ideas of the genius of her inhabitants. It would be injuring too many of them to name particularly a Voltaire, a Buffon, the constellation of Encyclopedists, the Abbé Raynal himself, &c., &c. We therefore have reason to believe she can produce her full quota of genius. The present war having so long cut off all communication with Great Britain, we are not able to make a fair estimate of the state of science in that country. The spirit in which she wages war is the only sample before our eyes, and that does not seem the legitimate offspring either of science or of civilization. The sun of her glory is fast descending to the horizon. Her philosophy has crossed the Channel, her freedom the Atlantic, and herself seems passing to that awful dissolution, whose issue is not given human foresight to scan.[68]

Having given a sketch of our minerals, vegetables, and quadrupeds, and being led by a proud theory to make a comparison of the latter with those of Europe, and to extend it to the Man of America, both aboriginal and emigrant, I will proceed to the remaining articles comprehended under the present query.

Between ninety and an hundred of our birds have been described by Catesby. His drawings are better as to form and attitude, than coloring, which is generally too high. They are the following:


 Linnæan Designation.  Catesby's Designation. Popular Names. Buffon

Lanius tyrannus  Muscicapa coronâ rubrâ  1.55   Tyrant; Field martin 8.398
Vultur aura  Buteo specie Gallo-pavanis  1.6  Turkey buzzard, 1.246
Falco leucocephalus  Aquila capite albo  1.1  Bald Eagle 1.138
Falco sparverius  Accipiter minor  1.5  Little hawk; Sparrow hawk
Falco columbarius  Accipiter palumbarius  1.3  Pigeon hawk 1.338
Falco furcatus  Accipiter caudâ furcatâ  1.4  Forked tail hawk  1.286.312
 Accipiter piscatorius  1.2  Fishing hawk 1.199
Strix asio  Noctua aurita minor  1.7  Little owl 1.141
Psittacus Caroliniensis  Psitticus Caroliniensis  1.11  Parrot of Carolina; Perroquet 11.383
Corvus cristatus  Pica glandaria, cærulea, cristata  1.15  Blue jay 5.164
Oriolus Baltimore  Icterus ex aureo nigroque varius  1.48  Baltimore bird 5.318
Oriolus spurius  Icterus minor  1.49  Bastard Baltimore 5.321
Gracula quiscula  Monedula purpurea  1.12  Purple jackdaw; Crow blackbird 5.134
Cuculus Americanus  Cuculus Caroliniensis  1.9  Carolina cuckow 12.62 
Picus principalis  Picus maximus rostro albo  1.16  White bill woodpecker 13.69 
Picus pileatus  Picus niger maximus, capite rubro   1.17  Larger red-crested woodpecker 13.72 
Picus erythrocephalus  Picus capite toto rubro  1.20  Red-headed woodpecker 13.83 
Picus auratus  Picus major alis aureis  1.18  Gold-winged woodpecker; Yucker 13.59 
Picus Carolinus  Picus ventre rubro  1.19  Red-bellied woodpecker 13.105
Picus pubescens  Picus medius minimus  1.21  Smallest spotted woodpecker 13.113
Picus villosus  Picus medius quasi-villosus  1.19  Hairy woodpecker; Speckled woodpecker  13.111
Picus varius  Picus varius minor ventre luteo  1.21  Yellow-bellied woodpecker 13.115
Sitta Europæa
Sitta capite nigro
Sitta capite fusco
 1.22  Nuthatch 10.213
 1.22  Small Nuthatch 10.214
Alcedo alcyon  Ispida  1.69  Kingfisher 13.310
Certhia pinus  Parus Americanus lutescens  1.61  Pinecreeper 9.433
Trochilus colubris  Mellivora avis Caroliniensis  1.65  Humming bird 11.16 
Anas Canadensis  Anser Canadensis  1.92  Wild goose 17.122
Anas bucephala  Anas minor purpureo capite  1.95  Buffel's head duck 17.356
Anas rustica  Anas minor ex albo & fusco vario  1.98  Little brown duck 17.413
Anas discors  Querquedula Americana variegata  1.100   White face teal 17.403
Anas discors. β  Querquedula Americana fusca  1.99  Blue wing teal 17.405
Anas sponsa  Anas Americanus cristatus elegans   1.97  Summer duck 17.351
 Anas Americanus lato rostro  1.96  Blue wing shoveler 17.275
Mergus cucullatus  Anas cristatus  1.94  Round crested duck 15.437
Colymbus podiceps  Prodicipes minor rostro vario  1.91  Pied bill dopchick 15.383
Ardea Herodias  Ardea cristata maxima Americana  3.10  Largest crested heron 14.113
Ardea violaeca  Ardea stellaris cristata Americana  1.79  Crested bittern 14.134
Ardea cærulea  Ardea cærulea  1.76  Blue heron; Crane 14.131
Ardea virescens  Ardea stellaris minima  1.80  Small bittern 14.142
Ardea æquinoctialis  Ardea alba minor Caroliniensis  1.77  Little white heron 14.136
   Ardea stellaris Americana  1.78  Brown bittern; Indian hen  14.175
Tantalus loculator  Pelicanus Americanus  1.81  Wood pelican 13.403
Tantalus alber  Numenius albus  1.82  White curlew 15.62 
Tantalus fuscus  Numenius fuscus  1.83   Brown Curlew 15.64
Charadrius vociferus  Pluvialis vociferus  1.71  Chattering plover; Kildee 15.151
Hæmatopus ostralegus   Hæmatopus  1.85  Oyster Catcher 15.185
Rallus Virginianus  Gallinula Americana  1.70  Soree; Ral-bird 15.256
Maleagris Gallopavo[69]  Gallopavo Sylvestris  xliv.  Wild turkey  3.187.229
Tetrao Virginianus  Perdix Sylvestris Virginiana  3.12  American partridge; American quail 4.237
 Urogallus minor, or a kind of Lagopus[70]  3.1  Pheasant; Mountain partridge 3.409
Columba passerina  Turtur minimus guttatus  1.26  Ground dove 4.404
Columba migratoria  Palumbus migratorius  1.23  Pigeon of passage; Wild pigeon 4.351
Columba Caroliniensis  Turtur Caroliniensis  1.24  Turtle; Turtle dove 4.401
Alauda Alpestris  Alauda gutture flavo  1.32  Lark; Sky lark 9.79 
Alauda magna  Alauda magna  1.33  Field lark; Large lark 6.59 
 Sturnus niger alis superné rubentibus  1.13  Red-winged starling; Marsh blackbird 5.293
Turdus migratorius  Turdus pilaris migratorius  1.29  Fieldfare of Carolina; Robin Redbreast 
Turdus rufus  Turdus ruffus  1.28  Fox-colored thrush; Thrush 5.449
Turdus polyglottos[71]  Turdus minor cinereo albus non maculatus   1.27  Mocking bird 5.451
 Turdus minimus  1.31  Little thrush 5.400
Ampelis garrulus  Garrulus Caroliniensis  1.46  Chatterer 6.162
Loxia Cardinalis  Coccothraustes rubra  1.38  Red bird; Virginia nightingale 6.185
Loxia Cærulea  Coccothraustes cærulea  1.39  Blue gross beak 8.125
Emberiza hyemalis  Passer nivalis  1.36  Snow bird 8.47 
Emberiza Oryzivora  Hortulanus Caroliniensis  1.14  Rice bird 8.49 
Emberiza Ciris  Fringilla tricolor  1.44  Painted finch 7.247
Tanagra cyanea  Linaria cærulea  1.45   Blue linnet 7.122
 Passerculus  1.35  Little sparrow 7.120
 Passerfuscus  1.34  Cowpen bird 7.196
Fringilla erythrophthalma   Passer niger oculis rubris  1.34  Towhe bird 7.201
Fringilla tristis  Carduelis Americanus  1.43  American goldfinch; Lettuce bird  7.297
 Fringilla purpurea  1.41  Purple finch 8.129
Muscicapa crinita  Muscicapa cristata ventre luteo  1.52  Crested flycatcher 8.379
Muscicapa rubra  Muscicapa rubra  1.56  Summer redbird 8.410
Muscicapa rutucilla  Rutucilla Americana  1.67  Red start
Muscicapa Caroliniensis  Muscicapa vertice nigro  1.66  Cat bird 8.372
 Muscicapa nigrescens  1.53  Black-cap flycatcher 8.341
 Muscicapa fusca  1.54  Little brown flycatcher 8.344
 Muscicapa oculis rubris  1.54  Red-eyed flycatcher 8.337
Motacilla Sialis  Rubicula Americana cærulea  1.47  Blue bird 9.308
Motacilla regulus  Regulus cristatus  3.13  Wren 10.58 
Motacilla trochilus. β  Oenanthe Americana pectore luteo   1.50  Yellow-breasted chat 6.96 
Parus bicolor  Parus cristatus  1.57  Crested titmouse 10.181
Parus Americanus  Parus fringillaris  1.64  Finch creeper 9.442
Parus Virginianus  Parus uropygeo luteo  1.58  Yellow rump 10.184
 Parus cucullo nigro  1.60  Hooded titmouse 10.183
 Parus Americanus gutture luteo  1.62  Yellow-throated creeper
 Parus Caroliniensis  1.63   Yellow titmouse 9.431
Hirundo Pelasgia  Hirundo cauda aculeata Americana   3.8  American swallow 12.478
Hirundo purpurea  Hirundo purpurea  1.51  Purple martin; House martin  12.445
Caprimulgus Europæus α  Caprimulgus  1.8  Goatsucker; Great bat 12.243
Caprimulgus Europæus β   Caprimulgus minor Americanus  3.16  Whip poor Will 12.246

Besides these, we have

The Royston crow; Corvus cornix.
Crane; Ardea Canadensis.
House swallow; Hirundo rustica.
Ground swallow; Hirundo riparia.
Greatest grey eagle.
Smaller turkey buzzard, with a feathered head.
Greatest owl, or night hawk.
The Wet hawk, which feeds flying.
Water pelican of the Missisipi, whose pouch holds a peck.
Duck and Mallard.
Sheldrach, or Canvas back.
Black head.
Bald Coot.[72]
Didapper, or Dopchick.
The Spoon-billed duck.
Blue peter.
Water wag-tail.
Yellow-legged snipe.
Squatting snipe.
Small plover.
Whistling plover.
Red bird, with black head, wings and tail.

And doubtless many others which have not yet been described and classed.

To this catalogue of our indigenous animals, I will add a short account of an anomaly of Nature, taking place sometimes in the race of negroes brought from Africa, who, though black themselves, have, in rare instances, white children, called Albinos. I have known four of these myself, and have faithful accounts of three others. The circumstances in which all the individuals agree are these. They are of a pallid cadaverous white, untinged with red, without any colored spots or seams; their hair of the same kind of white, short, coarse, and curled as is that of the negro; all of them well formed, strong, healthy, perfect in their senses, except that of sight, and born of parents who had no mixture of white blood. Three of these Albinos were sisters, having two other full sisters, who were black. The youngest of the three was killed by lightning, at twelve years of age. The eldest died at about 27 years of age, in childbed, with her second child. The middle one is now alive in health, and has issue, as the eldest had, by a black man, which issue was black. They are uncommonly shrewd, quick in their apprehensions and in reply. Their eyes are in a perpetual tremulous vibration, very weak, and much affected by the sun; but they see better in the night than we do. They are of the property of Colonel Skipwith, of Cumberland. The fourth is a negro woman, whose parents came from Guinea, and had three other children, who were of their own color. She is freckled, her eye sight so weak, that she is obliged to wear a bonnet in the Summer; but it is better in the night than day. She had an Albino child by a black man. It died at the age of a few weeks. These were the property of Colonel Carter, of Albemarle. A sixth instance is a woman of the property of a Mr. Butler, near Petersburgh. She is stout and robust, has issue a daughter, jet black, by a black man. I am not informed as to her eye sight. The seventh instance is of a male belonging to a Mr. Lee, of Cumberland. His eyes are tremulous and weak. He is tall of stature, and now advanced in years. He is the only male of the Albinos which have come within my information. Whatever be the cause of the disease in the skin, or in its coloring matter, which produces this change, it seems more incident to the female than male sex. To these I may add the mention of a negro man within my own knowledge, born black, and of black parents; on whose chin, when a boy, a white spot appeared. This continued to increase till he became a man, by which time it had extended over his chin, lips, one cheek, the under jaw and neck on that side. It is of the Albino white, without any mixture of red, and has for several years been stationary. He is robust and healthy, and the change of color was not accompanied with any sensible disease, either general or topical.

Of our fish and insects there has been nothing like a full description or collection. More of them are described in Catesby than in any other work. Many also are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Jamaica, as being common to that and this country. The honey bee is not a native of our continent. Marcgrave indeed mentions a species of honey bee in Brasil.[73] But this has no sting, and is therefore different from the one we have, which resembles perfectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that it was brought from Europe; but when, and by whom, we know not. The bees have generally extended themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers.[74] The Indians, therefore, call them the white man's fly, and consider their approach as indicating the approach of the settlements of the whites. A question here occurs, how far northwardly have these insects been found? That they are unknown in Lapland, I infer from Scheffer's information that the Laplanders eat the pine bark, prepared in a certain way, instead of those things sweetened with sugar. “Hoc comedunt pro rebus saccharo conditis.”—Scheff. Lapp., chap. 18. Certainly, if they had honey, it would be a better substitute for sugar than any preparation of the pine bark. Kalm tells us the honey bee cannot live through the Winter in Canada.[75] They furnish then an additional proof of the remarkable fact first observed by the Count de Buffon, and which has thrown such a blaze of light on the field of natural history, that no animals are found in both continents, but those which are able to bear the cold of those regions where they probably join.

We have it from the Indians also that the common domestic fly is not originally of America, but came with the whites from Europe.[76]

  1. On whose authority has it been said? Bouguer, the best witness respecting the Andes, speaking of Peru, says “on n’y distingue aucun vestige des grandes inondations qui ont laissé tant de marques dans toutes les autres regions. J’ai fait tout mon possible pour y decouvrir quelque coquille, mais toujours inutilement. Apparamment que les montagnes du Perou sont trop hautes.” Bouguer, xv. See 4 Clavigero, Diss. 3, § 1. See 2. Epoques 268. 1. Epoques 415.
  2. 2. Epoques, 378.
  3. 2. Buffon Epoques, 96.
  4. Five deluges are enumerated by Xenophon, the author of the tract de Equivocis in these words: “Inundationes plures fuere. Prima novimestris inundatio terrarum, sub prisco Ogyge. Secunda niliaca menstrua, sub Ægyptiis Hercule et Prometheo. Bimestris autem, sub Ogyge Attico in Achaia. Trimestris Thessalica, sub Deucalione. Par Pharonica, sub Proteo Aegyptio in raptu Helenæ.”
  5. 2. Epoques, 138, 139.
  6. See Pleasant's Argus, August 16, '99; that this disappeared December 25, '98, on which day a spring broke out 100 feet higher up the hill.
  7. Qu. If known in Europe before the discovery of America? Ramusic supposes this to be the grain described by Diod. Sic. L. 2, in his account of the travels of Iambulus, in the following passage: “Φύεσθαι γὰρ παῤ αὐτοῖς χὰλαμον πολύν, φέροντα χαρπὸν δαψιλῆ, παρεμφερῆ τοῖς λευχοῖς ὀρόβοις. [Ceci bianchi.—Ital. Ers. Franc] “Τοῦτον οὔν συναγαγόντες βρέχουσιν ἐν ὕδατι θερμῶ, μέχρις ὰν τὸ μέγεθος ἔχωσιν ὡς ὠοῦ περιστερᾶς. ἔπειτα συνθλὰσαντες χαὶ τρίψαντες ἐμπείρως ταῖς χερσί, διαπλὰττουσιν ἄρτους. οὓς ὀπτήσαντες σιτοῦνται, διαφόρους ὄντας τῆ γλυχύτητι.” Ramusic says of the Maize “in Italia, a i tempi nostri, [1550,] é stato, veduto ‘la prima volta,’ and the island in which it was found by Iambulus was Sumatra.—1. Ramus. 174. The Maison rustique says that Turkey Corn came first from the West Indies into Turkey, and from thence into France.”—L. 5, c. 17. Zimmerman says: “Il tire son origine des pays chauds de l'Amerique.”—Zoologie geographique, page 24. “Il frumentone fu dalla America in Ispagne, e quindi in altri paesi della Europa.” “Dalli Spagnuoli di Europa e di America è chiamato il frumentone col nome Maiz, preso dalla lingua Haitina che si parlava nella isola oggidi appellata Spagnuola, o sia di S. Domenico.”—Clavigero I., 56. “Il frumentone, biada dalla providenza accordata a quella parte del mondo in vece del frumento dell Europa, del riso del Asia, e del miglio d'Africa.”—2. Clavig. 218. Acosta classes Indian Corn with the plants peculiar to America, observing that it is called “trigo de las Indias” in Spain, and “Grano de Turquia” in Italy. He says, “De donde fue el Mayz a Indias, y porque este grano tan provechoso le llaman en Italia Grano de Turquia mejor sabre preguntárlo, que dezirlo. Porque en efecto en los antiques no hallo rastro deste genero, aunque el Milio que Plinio escrive aver venido a Italia de la India diez años avia, quando escrivio, tiene alguna similitud con el Mayz, en lo que dize que es grano, y que nace en caña, y se cubre de hoja, y que tiene al remate como cabellos, y el ser fertilissimo, todo lo qual no quadra con el Mijo, que comunmente entienden por Milio, en fin, repartio el Criador a todas partes su gobierno: a este orbe dio el triga que es el principal sustento de los hombres: a aquel de Indias dio el Mayz, que tras el trigo tiene el segundo lugar, para sustenta de hombres, y animales.—Acosta 4, 16.
  8. “Les pommes de terre sont indigenes en Guiane.”—Zimmerman Zool. Geogr. 26. “La Papa fu portata in Messico dall' America Meridionale, suo proprio paese.”—1. Clavigero 58.
  9. Clavigero says: “Non mi sovviene che appo qualche nazione Americana visia memoria o degli elafanti, o degl ippopotami, o d' altri quadrupedi di si fatta grandezza. Non so che fin ora, fra tanti scavamenti fatta nella Nuova Spagna, siasi mai scoperto un carcamo d' Ippopotamo, e quel ch' è piu, ne anche un dente d' elefante.—125.
  10. 2. Epoques, 276, in Mexico; but, 1. Epoques, 250, denies the fact as to S. America.
  11. 22. Buffon, 233; 2. Epoques, 230.
  12. 2. Epoques, 232. Buffon pronounces it is not the grinder either of the elephant or hippopotamus, mais d'une espece la premiere et la plus graude de tous les animaux terrestres, qui est perdue.
  13. Hunter.
  14. D'Aubenton.
  15. Xviii. 178; xxii. 121.
  16. Qu? See 2. Epoques de Buffon, 231, 234.
  17. Buffon, xviii. 122; Ed. Paris, 1764.
  18. Xviii. 100, 156. “La terre est demeurée froide, impuissante a produire les principes actife, a developer les germes des plus grands quadrupedes, auxquels il faut, pour croitre et se multiplier, toute la chaleur, toute l'activité que le soleil peut donner a la terre, amoureuse.”—Xviii. 156. “L'ardeur des hommes et la grandeur des animaux dependent de la salubrité et de la chaleur de l'air.—Ib. 160.
  19. Viii. 134.
  20. “Tout ce qu'il y a de colossal et de grand dans la nature, a eté formé dans les terres du Nord.” 1. Epoques 255. “C'est dans les regions de notre Nord que la nature vivante s'est elevée a ses plus grandes dimensions.—Ib. 263.
  21. There exists in the Western and mountainous parts of Pepnsylvania an animal which seems to be nearer the hare than our whabus. The meat is black, and an individual weighed 39½ oz. avoird., while the whabus is an animal of white meat, and weighs about 29 oz.; the fur of the former is white, as is the case with most animals in countries abounding with snow.
  22. It is said that this animal is seldom seen above 30 miles from shore, or beyond the 56th degree of latitude. The interjacent islands between Asia and America admit his passing from one continent to the other without exceeding these bounds. And, in fact, travelers tell us that these islands are places of principal resort for them, and especially in the season of bringing forth their young.
  23. Xxvii. 130; xxx. 213; 5. Sup. 201.
  24. xviii. 145.
  25. Quadrup. viiii. 334; edit. Paris, 1777.
  26. xvii. 82.
  27. This sentence in the first edition began as follows: “Kalm tells us that the Black Moose or Renne of America is as high as a tall horse,” &c. The author corrected it as in the text, appending a marginal note in these words: “This is not correct. Kalm considers the Moose as the Elk, and not as the Renne. Musu is the Algonkin name of the Orignal, or Elk.—I. xxvii.
  28. Xv. 42.
  29. I. 359. I. 48, 221, 251. II. 52.
  30. II. 78.
  31. I. 220.
  32. Xxvii. 63.; xiv. 119. Harris, II. 387. Buffon, Quad, ix., 1.
  33. Even Amer. Vesp. says he saw lions and wild boars in America.—Letters, page 77. He saw a serpent 8 braccie long, and as thick as his own waist—111.
  34. Quad. ix. 158.
  35. xxv. 184.
  36. Quad. ix. 132.
  37. xix. 2.
  38. Quad. ix. 41.
  39. The descriptions of Theodat, Denys, and La Hontan, cited by Mons. de Buffon, under the article Elan, authorize the supposition, that the flat-horned elk is found in the Northern parts of America. It has not however extended to our latitudes. On the other hand, I could never learn that the round-horned elk has been seen further North than the Hudson's River. This agrees with the former elk in its general character, being, like that, when compared with a deer, very much larger, its ears longer, broader, and thicker in proportion, its hair much longer, neck and tail shorter, having a dewlap before the breast, (caruncula gutturalis Linnæi,) a white spot often, if not always, of a foot diameter, on the hinder part of the buttocks round the tail; its gait a trot, and attended with a rattling of the hoofs; but distinguished from that decisively by its horns, which are not palmated, but round and pointed. This is the animal described by Catesby as the Cervus major Americanus, the Stag of America, le Cerf de l'Amerique. But it differs from the Cervus as totally as does the palmated elk from the dama. And in fact it seems to stand in the same relation to the palmated elk as the red deer does to the fallow. It has abounded in Virginia, has been seen, within my knowledge, on the Eastern side of the Blue Ridge since the year 1765, is now common beyond those mountains, has been often brought to us and tamed, and their horns are in the hands of many. I should designate it as the “Alces Americanus cornibus teretibus.” It were to be wished that naturalists, who are acquainted with the renne and elk of Europe, and who may hereafter visit the Northern parts of America, would examine well the animals called there by the names of grey and black moose, caribou, orignal, and elk. Mons. de Buffon has done what could be done, from the materials in his hands, towards clearing up the confusion introduced by the loose application of these names among the animals they are meant to designate. He reduces the whole to the renne and flat-horned elk. From all the information I have been able to collect, I strongly suspect they will be found to cover three, if not four distinct species of animals. I have seen skins of a moose, and of the caribou: they differ more from each other, and from that of the round-horned elk, than I ever saw two skins differ, which belonged to different individuals of any wild species. These differences are in the color, length, and coarseness of the hair, and in the size, texture, and marks of the skin. Perhaps it will be found that there is—1, The moose, black and grey; the former being said to be the male, and the latter the female. 2, The caribou or renne. 3, The flat-horned elk, or orignal. 4, The round-horned elk. Should this last, though possessing so nearly the characters of the elk, be found to be the same with the Cerf d'Ardennes or Brandhirtz of Germany, still there will remain the three species first enumerated. See Catesby and Kalm—reason to believe that the Moose is the palmated elk or orignal.
  40. Kalm II. 340; I. 82.
  41. The Tapir is the largest of the animals peculiar to America. I collect his weight thus. Mons. de Buffon says, xxiii. 274, that he is of the size of a Zebu, or a small cow. He gives us the measures of a Zebu, ib. 94, as taken by himself, viz: 5 feet 7 inches from the muzzle to the root of the tail, and 5 feet 1 inch circumference behind the fore legs. A bull, measuring in the same way 6 feet 9 inches, and 5 feet 2 inches, weighed 600 ℔—viii. 153. The Zebu then, and of course the Tapir, would weigh about 500 ℔. But one individual, of every species of European peculiars, would probably weigh less than 400 ℔. These are French measures and weights.
  42. Vii. 432.
  43. vii. 474.
  44. In Williamsburg, April, 1769.
  45. Viii. 48, 55, 66.
  46. xviii. 96.
  47. ix. 41.
  48. Perros en la Española han crecido en numero y en grandeza, desuerte que plaga de aquella isla.—Acosta iv. 33.
  49. Xxx. 219; xviii. 121.
  50. 1. Epoques, 378.
  51. Clavigero, 118.
  52. xviii. 146.
  53. Amer. Vesp. 13: “Fuora di misura lussuriosi, &c.— 108.
  54. Amer. Vesp. 30, 31, 39, 75: “Di buono sforzo, e di grande animo.”—Ib. 78.
  55. Sol Rodomonte sprezza di venire
    Se non, dove la via meno è sicura. — Ariosto 14, 117.

  56. In so judicious an author as Don Ulloa, and one to whom we are indebted for the most precise information we have of South America, I did not expect to find such assertions as the following: “Los Indios vencidos son los mas cobardes y pusilanimes que se peuden vér: se hacen inocentes, se humillan hasta el desprecio, disculpan su inconsiderado arrojo, y con las súplicas y los ruegos dán seguras pruebas de su pusilanimidad.—ó lo que refieren las historias de la Conquista, sobre sus grandes acciones, es en un sentido figuardo, ó el caracter de estas gentes no es ahora segun era entonces; pero lo que no tiene duda es, que las Naciones de la parte Septentrional subsisten en la misma libertad que siempre han tenido, sin haber sido sojuzgados por algun Principe extrano, y que viven segun su régimen y costumbres de toda la vida, sin que haya habido motivo para que muden de caracter; y en estos se vé lo mismo que sucede en los del Peru, y de toda la América Meridional, reducidos, y que nunca lo han estado.” Noticias Americanas. — Entretenimiento xviii. § 1. Don Ulloa here admits that the authors who have described the Indians of South America, before they were enslaved, had represented them as a brave people, and therefore seems to have suspected that the cowardice which he had observed in those of the present race might be the effect of subjugation. But, supposing the Indians of North America to be cowards also, he concludes the ancestors of those of South America to have been so too, and therefore that those authors have given fictions for truths. He was probably not acquainted himself with the Indians of North America, and had formed his opinion of them from hearsay. Great numbers of French, of English, and of Americans, are perfectly acquainted with these people. Had he had an opportunity of enquiring of any of these, they would have told him that there never was an instance known of an Indian begging his life when in the power of his enemies: on the contrary, that he courts death by every possible insult and provocation. His reasoning then would have been reversed thus: “Since the present Indian of North America is brave, and authors tells us that the ancestors of those of South America were brave also, it must follow that the cowardice of their descendants is the effect of subjugation and ill treatment.” For he observes ib. § 27, that “Los obrages los aniquilan por la inhumanidad con que se les trata.”
  57. A remarkable instance of this appeared in the case of the late Colonel Byrd, who was sent to the Cherokee nation to transact some business with them. It happened that some of our disorderly people had just killed one or two of that nation. It was therefore proposed in the council of the Cherokees that Colonel Byrd should be put to death in revenge for the loss of their countrymen. Among them was a chief called Silòuee, who, on some former occasion, had contracted an acquaintance and friendship with Colonel Byrd. He came to him every night in his tent, and told him not to be afraid, they should not kill him. After many days deliberation, however, the determination was, contrary to Silòuee's expectation, that Byrd should be put to death, and some warriors were dispatched as executioners, Silòuee attended them, and when they entered the tent he threw himself between them and Byrd, and said to the warriors, “This man is my friend; before you get at him you must kill me.” On which they returned, and the council respected the principle so much as to recede from their determination.

    “Vivono cento cinquanta anni.”—Amer. Vesp. 111.

  58. Amer. Vesp. 13.
  59. Amer. Vesp. 13. “Sono donne molto generative,” &c.
  60. Amer. Vesp. 9.
  61. Xviii. 145.
  62. Linn. Syst. Definition of a Man.
  63. See letter of J. B. Gibson in Appendix iv.
  64. 1. Clavigero, 120.
  65. No writer, equally with M. de Buffon, proves the power of eloquence and uncertainty of theories. He takes any hypothesis whatever, or its reverse, and furnishes explanations equally specious and persuasive. Thus in his xviii. volume, wishing to explain why the largest animals are found in the torrid zone, he assumes heat as the efficient principle of the animal volume. Speaking of America, he says: “La terre y est froide impuissante a produire les principes actifs, a developer les germes des plus grandes quadrupedes auxquels il faut, pour croitre et se multiplier, toute la chaleur toute l'activité que le soleil peut donner a la terre amoureuse.”—Page 156. “L'ardeur des hommes, et la grandeur des animaux dependent de la salubrité, et de la chaleur de l'air.”—Ib. 160. In his Epochs again when it is become convenient to his theory to consider the bones of the Mammoth found in the coldest regions, as the bones of the elephant, and necessary to explain how the elephant there should have been six times as large as that of the torrid zone, it is cold which produces animal volume. “Tout ce qu'il y a de colossal et de grand dans la nature, a eté formé dans les terres du Nord.”—1. Epoques, 255. “C'est dans les regions de notre Nord que la nature vivante s'es't elevée a ses plus grandes dimensions.”—Ib. 263.
  66. Has the world as yet produced more than two poets, acknowledged to be such by all nations? An Englishman only reads Milton with delight, an Italian Tasso, a Frenchman the Henriade, a Portuguese Camouens; but Homer and Virgil have been the rapture of every age and nation; they are read with enthusiasm in their originals by those who can read the originals, and in translations by those who cannot.
  67. There are various ways of keeping truth out of sight. Mr. Rittenhouse's model of the planetary system has the plagiary appellation of an Orrery; and the quadrant invented by Godfrey, an American also, and with the aid of which the European nations traverse the globe, is called Hadley's quadrant. Huyghens gave the first description of an instrument of the former kind, under the name of Automatum Planetarium.—2. Montucla, 485.
  68. In a later edition of the Abbé Raynal's work, he has withdrawn his censure from that part of the new world inhabited by the Federo-Americans; but has left it still on the other parts. North America has always been more accessible to strangers than South. If he was mistaken then as to the former, he may be so as to the latter. The glimmerings which reach us from South America enable us only to see that its inhabitants are held under the accumulated pressure of slavery, superstition and ignorance. Whenever they shall be able to rise under this weight, and to show themselves to the rest of the world, they will probably show they are like the rest of the world. We have not yet sufficient evidence that there are more lakes and fogs in South America than in other parts of the earth. Amer. Vesp., 115. Quivi il cielo e l'aere è rare volte adombrato dalle nuvole, quasi sempre i giorni sono sereni? As little do we know what would be their operation on the mind of man. That country has been visited by Spaniards and Portuguese chiefly, and almost exclusively. These, going from a country of the old world remarkably dry in its soil and climate, fancied there were more lakes and fogs in South America than in Europe. An inhabitant of Ireland, Sweden, or Finland, would have formed the contrary opinion. Had South America then been discovered and seated by a people from a fenny country, it would probably have been represented as much drier than the old world. A patient pursuit of facts, and cautious combination and comparison of them, is the drudgery to which man is subjected by his Maker, if he wishes to attain sure knowledge.
  69. 1. Clavigero, 85.
  70. The Pheasant is rarely or not at all found beyond North Carolina. The grouse is first seen in the upper parts of Maryland, in Pennsylvania, and the country North of Ohio, and thence northwardly.—[Capt. Mer. Lewis.]
  71. Clavigero says that in Mexico “vi sono i rinomati rossignoli.”—I. 88.
  72. The Bald Coot, or Coot, is the Fulica of Linnæus, and the Foulque of the Encyclop. Meth., differing from the description of the latter only in the color of its feet and legs, which are olive green, without any circle of red, and that of the bill a faint carnation, brown at the point, and the membrane on the forehead of a very dark purple. It is distinguished from the Gallinula chloropis, Poule d'eau, Water-hen, Hydro-gallina, chiefly by the festooned web bordering the toes.
  73. See Herrera, Dec. 1, 1. 10, c. 8. “Descubierta Yucatan, se hallo abundancia de cera y miel.”—And ib. c. 9. “Ay abispas y abexas, como las de Castilla, aunque estas son menores, y pican con mas furia.”—Id. Dec. 2, 1. 3, c. 1.
  74. See 1 Clavigero, 107. “En los terminos de Guayaquil ay abejas, que enxambran y crian miel en el hucco de los arboles son poco mayores que moscas, la cera y miel que labran es rubia y aunque tiene buengusto no es tal como el de Castilla.— Herr. 5, 10, 10.
  75. I. 126.
  76. We have the same account from South America. Condamine in his Voyage de la riviere des Amazones, pa. 95, says “Divers Indiens ont rapporté qu'ils avoient vu sur les bords de la riviere de Coari dans le haut des terres, un pays decouvert, des mouches et quantité de betes à cornes, objets nouveaux pour eux, et qui prouvent que les sources deces rivieres arrosent des pays voisins des colonies Espagnoles du haut Perou.”