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Symmes' offers to lead them through the polar openings. It was thought that, with the first annunciation of the proposal, the Neptunians and Vulcanians would have respectively fitted out their expeditions :-that the one party, in a fire proof ship, with ropes and sails of amianthus, and masts of iron, with fire engines and fire buckets, and every thing necessary to withstand a conflagration, would have sailed off, in a mass, to the southern opening, to explore their internal volcanoes. We do not say that they would have been bound in duty all to jump in ; but till they had gone to the crater, till they had brought us back some of their internal obsidian, till they had shown us a fragment of basalt or celestine from Symzonia, they could not have asked of the public any farther faith in their theories. Meantime, we should have looked for a corresponding conduct on the part of the Wernerians; an outfit to the interior gulf, a tight seaworthy vessel, with ample provisions to go and plough about on the edges of the great abyss, -and then if they had come back and told us they had actually seen their old red sand stone, in a state of paste, and their antediluvian fish working their way through a surf of liquid schistus, they would have done more for their theory than they have hitherto been able to effect. This they should have done, but instead of this they keep grovelling upon the Calton hill, the chalk basin of Paris, and the Harz mountains, and if a piece of lava or madreporite from the centre would save the nation, we do not believe there is one of them would go and fetch it.
But it is time to draw to a close, and we beg leave to recommend the discoveries of Col. Symmes again to the public. His success with the unexplored interior of our earth is so signal, that we advise him next to turn his attention to the moon, unless as some features in his speculations lead us to think, he has already done it.
ART. VII.-1. Report of the civil and military engineer of the State of South Carolina, for the year
1819. 2. Plans and progress of internal improvement in South
Carolina, with observations on the advantages resulting therefrom, to the Agricultural and Commercial interests of
the State. Columbia, 1820. 3. Report of the Board of Public Works to the legislature of
South Carolina for the year 1820.
In the complaints, which are so often and perhaps so justly made, of the want of national patronage for great public objects, too little, it may be, has been thought of the tendency of all our political institutions, to throw the care of these objects upon those who are more immediately concerned in effecting them. In a country of such prodigious extent as ours, presenting such occasion for every species of public works and public improvements, it will be allowed that the national legislature ought to proceed with extreme caution, in applying the common funds of the state to objects which may not be of common utility. But we are divided into independent communities so rich and powerful, that scarce any object of public utility is beyond the grasp of the resources of the single states ; so that, after all, the care of individual objects of public improvement is put into the hands of those most sure to be benefited by them, and most concerned by interest and most enabled by local situation to accomplish them with zeal and economy. At the same time that this consideration ought to reconcile us to the abandonment to state patronage of many objects, to which the great engine of the national resources might be honourably and usefully applied, we are far from defending a penurious policy on the part of the general government ; and of all the applications of the principle of constructive powers, if we may be pardoned the pleasantry in a serious connexion, we regard with most complacency that which authorizes Congress to construct roads, canals, and other similar public works. That the cause of internal improvement meantime is not suffering in the hands of the states, is abundantly evinced, not only in the truly glorious enterprise now achieving in New York, to which we have long coveted and hope soon to enjoy an opportunity of particularly calling our readers' attention, but in the public works of the states of Virginia and North Carolina, to which we have, in former numbers of our journal, devoted some of our pages, and those which are going on in the same spirit in South Carolina.
It is obvious that commerce depends not only on the diversity in the productions of different countries; but on the comparative cost in different countries of the same article. Among the circumstances that affect this, the expense of transportation from the place of growth or manufacture to the market is not the least considerable. In the case of an article so bulky as cotton, this must necessarily constitute a material part of the cost. For this reason, canals, which have ever been an important object in commercial and manufacturing nations, and in the eyes of enlightened governments, become peculiarly so in a region, of which the staple is of the character alluded to.
South Carolina, generally speaking, possesses a fertile soil, and from an early period contributed largely to British commerce, in the articles of indigo and rice. Of late years not only has the first of these given place, in the lower districts, to that variety of the cotton plant distinguished by its short staple and green seed; but it has been found that the higher lands are congenial to the same species of cotion. It has accordingly spread through the western districts; a circumstance which greatly adds to the importance of the works, which have for their object the facilitating of the water carriage from the upper portions of the state to the coast.
The state contains about twenty-four thousand square miles, and is naturally divided into the primitive and the alluvial country, the former extending westward from the falls of the rivers, the latter eastward about an hundred miles to the sea. As the climate of the upper country permits white men to labor, it has become populous; and if the predominance of political influence is found in this section of the state, it is warmly seconded by the lower country in the measures especially necessary to its prosperity.
During the war in Europe and the increased demand for cotton, its culture rapidly extended; but when peace allowed commercial nations to resume their enterprise, a supply of this commodity would of course be sought from sources least obstructed and expensive; and in the market of American cotton thus reduced those portions of our country would necessarily have the advantage, who could bring their produce cheapest to the coast. Discerning men in South Carolina could not be slow in perceiving, that neighbouring states were in possession of advantages of natural navigation from the interior superior to their own. It was plain that the Mississippi would pour a large amount of that staple product into the marts of the old world, at litile expense beyond its first cost. The Savannah had been rendered navigable for steam boats, and the rate of carriage from Augusta to the metropolis materially reduced; while the fertility of the banks of the
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Alabama was inviting the emigration of their enterprising fellow-citizens. Meantime, however, it was equally open to remark, that South Carolina itself was traversed by numerous rivers, and possessed the advantage of an excellent port; and of a wealthy metropolis, towards which every stream directed its course, actually requiring less expense to be rendered navigable, than the cost of land carriage for a single year. The importance of these considerations may be estimated by the value of the annual exports of the state, which had now risen to fourteen millions.
Accordingly in December 1818, on the motion of Mr Poinsett, the legislature passed a resolve, directing the civil and military engineer of the state to devise and adopt all such means as he shall deem expedient for opening certain rivers, therein specified.' We beg leave to invite the attention of our readers to the objects contemplated in this resolve, and the progress made in effecting them.
The principal rivers of the state of South Carolina are the Santee and the Pedee, and each has been the object of important enterprises for the improvement of the navigation. The Santee communicates with Charleston by the Sea Island passages, and is ascended without material obstruction to the vicinity of Columbia, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles. This city, the seat of government, is situated on an elevated plain, near the junction of the branches of the Congaree, denominated the Saluda and the Broad river. These latter streams, after flowing more than a hundred miles through a productive country, as they approach each other, are precipitated over successive ledges of granite, of no inconsiderable elevation and extent, and one great object in the internal improvements in South Carolina has been to remove the obstacles thus produced in this part of the water carriage. The judicious plan of the engineer appears to have been, to throw a dam across the Saluda, at the head of the falls, and from the more elevated surface of the river thus produced, to fill a canal, opened for the distance of two miles across the intervening ground, to Broad river ; into which a descent is effected by locks about the middle of the falls. He then placed a dam a short space below the lock, and thereby flowed the upper part of the falls, and produced a reservoir to supply another canal, formed within the opposite shore, between the river and the city, leading at the distance of three miles, to
deep water at the steam-boat landing. In its course opposite the town, this canal is enlarged into a dock, for the reception of the luggage boats from below to exchange loads with the smaller craft of the upper navigation.
After the confluence of the Saluda and Broad river, the stream takes the name of Congaree to its junction with the Wateree; after which, under the name of the Santee it descends to the ocean. The Wateree is naturally navigable to Camden. Above that town several falls occur, at which considerable works will be necessary, before we come to Rocky Mount, the greatest of the falls of South Carolina, and beyond which the river still bears its native name of Catawba. This fall extends eight miles, and measures a hundred and seventy-eight feet of perpendicular descent. The canal already commenced at this place, though remarkably favored by local circumstances, must be expensive. It does not appea that any estimate thereof is offered. When we recollect the inherent difficulty of computing an expense which depends on so many contingencies, the omission is not injudicious. It is said, however, in the report, that its completion (together with the works doing in North Carolina) will open the navigation to the foot of the Blue Ridge, within fifty miles of the navigable waters of Tennessee and three hundred from Charleston, in a direct route for the trade of the Western States.' This route may be very important, especially in time of war, in connexion with the water communication between the Southern and Eastern States, subsequently to be mentioned.
The Pedee, which name the Yadkin takes after an extensive course through the most productive districts of North Carolina, waters all the northern part of the state of South Carolina in a course of two hundred and fifty miles, till it finally reaches the coast at Georgetown harbor. By the skilful application of mechanical engines, the bed of this river has been cleared, in two seasons, of the accumulations, which collect in streams in an alluvial country before the banks are made a subject of public care. The several branches, moreover, of this river appear to be all considered of importance in the general plan. The Waccamaw has, however, been esteemed of peculiar importance. Its course is nearly parallel to the sea coast, and it is of a depth capable of carrying vessels of one hundred and fisty tons to the dis