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there had been frequent explosions in it, and emissions of fire and smoke. The last explosion, that the author recollects, happened, as he observes, about five or six years before the date of this account, Nov. 2, 1783. The noise resembled that of an earthquake, and the earth trembled considerably where he was, at a distance of four or five miles.
X. Mn account of erufitions, and the firesent aft/learance in WestRiver Mountain. By Mr. Caleb .Alexander.
Mr. Alexander observed appearances on this mountain similar to those, described by Mr. Jones in the last Memoir. He is however of opinion, that there have been eruptions of fire at two places.
According to information, that had been received, explosions had been heard as loud as the report of a cannon ;....at other times they had been heard at the distance of fourteen or fifteen miles ;...that violent eruptions of fire had been observed several times, when the flame ascended to a great height in the air.
.M view of South Carolina, as reaftects her matural and civil concerns. By John Drayton. 1802. Charleston, W. P. Young. 8vo. 1 vol, fift. 252.
WoRks of this nature have been so multiplied in Europe, from the importance which every one believes his own city and district to possess, and are produced with so little labour, that it is necessary to guard against the introduction of this evil into our own country. A
few tables of probable population, of weather, imports and exports, with descriptions of the publick buildings,have swollen the account of a commercial town into a huge quarto ; and as the authors of such works convey so much information to the publick, they think themselves licensed to neglect every ornament; though even novels, at present deemed the meanest articles in the shop of literature, are supposed to be adorned with the beauties of language, and variety of incidents. Statisticks, as they afford the only means of judging correctly of the prosperity of a country, of its rise and decline, are extremely useful; and though they will not admit all the beauties of imagery, do not refuse all ornament. A work of this kind should contain much new information ; and facts should be so well authenticated as to support the conclusions, that are drawn from them. We hope our readers will be able to judge from the following account, how far Mr. Drayton has succeeded in these oints. We shall forbear to speak of the inelegance, if not impropriety of the title ; and shall only observe, that it is sufficiently general to include every thing that can be said of South-Carolina. Our author divides his work into three chapters, the first of which contains the geography and natural history of South-Carolina, which is again subdivided into “situation, and by what authority; discovery, and name ; face of the country ; mountains ; climate ; diseases ; rivers, lakes, and water courses; minerals, springs, cascades, and natural curiosities ; productions vegetable and animal.” Of these our author treats in their order, and prefixes to the whole a short introduction, turgid, obscure, and full of forced epithets. In speaking of the face of the country, he divides S. Carolina into three divisions ; the upper, above the falls of the rivers, contains 9450 square miles. The middle and lower, divided from each other by the sand hills, contain 14510. The country rises gradually from the sea for eighty miles, and is an extensive plain, except where intersected by water, producing nothing but pines, and thence denominated pine barren. These pine barrens are devoid of underwood, being frequently burnt for the purpose of producing early spring pasturage. Upon the numerous creeks and rivers, which divide this plain, are rich and fertile savannahs, almost the only lands cultivated in the lower division. The best rice plantations are made on these marshes, where the tide flows, but above where the salt water rises. They require no manure, and are inexhaustible. He neglects however to inform us, that some gentlemen have converted their salt marshes into rice plantations, by raising dykes for the exclusion of the salt water, and bringing in a trough or canal fresh water from the river above. After a few years, these are found equally productive with the fresh marshes. The middle country resembles the lower, the banks of the rivers being alone profitable to cultivate. The upper country is diversified like the northern states into hill and dale ; but its mountains seem to raise our author from the humble style, he had before used. He carries us to the top of the table mountain, and after stating its height at 3168 feet, the highest mountain in the state ; and showing us on one side the lover’s leap 300 feet perpendicular, he men
tions the mountains, that may thence be seen in the various directions, and adds, “To the east and south-east the eye may range without any other control, than what the unerring laws of nature have ordained in the curvature of the globe. Thirty farms or more are hence distinguished by the naked eye at any one view ; the mountains wind along in elevated majesty, and roaring cataracts, leaping from rock to rock, hasten down their sides to run with more gentle streams along the vales below.” When “elevated far above the sphere of human life,” as he afterwards expresses himself, “by the clouds, which sweep below him,” he discovers thirty farms or more, we can only compare him to the hawk, who, striving to soar above the towering eagle, is drawn from his lofty flight to seize some little bird below. The rest of lis description is extremely puerile. He represents the climate of the upper country as fine and wholesome ; but says that, from the great quantities of stagnant waters in the lower parts of the state producing many reptiles and insects, “it is not surprising that the hot months should be chequered with sickness.” We regret that neither here, nor under the head of diseases, he has given us a table of births and deaths, for his account is much too general to remove the common impression, that the climate is extremely unfriendly to the constitution of the whites. The table of diseases may give an idea of the destroying angel’s form ; but not of the exertions of his powers. After describing the dreadful whirlwinds and hail storms that are experienced in this state, he attempts to prove, that they owe their origin to the situation of South Carolina in the temperate zone, near the torrid. He should first, however, have proved to us, that these dreadful scourges were not felt in any other situation; and then we might be disposed to listen to his argument. Nor would he have thought the climate of that state peculiarly variable, because the thermometer has varied 83° in one season ; if he had known that it had been in Maine 30° below the cypher in winter, and at near an 100° above it in summer. He gives an opinion, that the climate ameliorates; but, sensible that he does not produce sufficient authority to support the opinion, he seems cautious in risking it. His tables of weather are only of the extremes of heat and eold, for ten years from 1750, and eight years from 1791, and of rain for 7 years from 1795. By which it appears, that in the above years, the thermometer was but once above 90°, and seldom below 22° above the cypher ; and that the rain in the above years varied from 42,9 to 75.4 inches. Our author passes from climate and diseases to rivers, &c.; but he treats with no more respect, the broad and extensive Savannah and Santee, than he does the minor streans of Ashley and Edisto. The tides extend up the rivers about 80 miles; but in the Santee not more than 15. On the coast they rise from 6 to 10 feet, but are much influenced by the wind. Nothing but the desire of mentioning every thing, could have induced our author to speak of lakes; a pond of less than a mile in circumference being the only thing resembling them in the state. Fifteen pages are employedupon fossils, minerals, &c., when as many lines would have decribed the whole. He speaks at length of some mammoth bones deposited in the Charleston museum, and
upon the authority of Mr. Jefferson decides them to be similar to those found in Siberia, and then, with much ingenuity, conjures up, first the theory of the zones having exchanged places from the moving of the ecliptick ; then Mr. Buffon's theory of the earth's having at first been fittid from heat, and having, in the true spirit of quixotism, combatted these theories to his own satisfaction, he at length discovers that they only “spring from the brain of a fertile imagination.” Not content with this victory, he speaks of the theories of other naturalists, and of the ice islands of St. Pierre, loaded with bears and elephants; but having already exhausted his own ingenuity, he leaves us in doubt, to overturn these theories out selves, if we are so disposed. Mill, building, and lime stones, ochres, asbestos, and slate are found in the upper parts of the state ; and he wishes that we should think, that, besides iron and lead, they possess gold and silver, yet concealed in the earth. His botanical catalogue is full, though he himself tells us, it is not complete ; but his account of animals is only a short list of names.
Our author divides his second chapter into political and rural economy, which he subdivides into “ population, military force, tenures, value of estates and buildings, agriculture, manufactures, inland navigation, roads, and commerce.” Under the head of population he gives a long and uninteresting account of the Indians, their wars, &c.; and with regard to the early white and negro population the only facts established are, that white population decreased till 1734, that in 1765 there were 40,000 whites, and 90,000 blacks, and that in 1800 there were 196,255 whites, 149,336 blacks in South-Carolina. Since however Mr. D. wrote, the prohibition against the importation of slaves has been taken off; and in the years 1804 and 1805 there were 13,000 negroes imported into Carolina. He states the effective militia at 35,785, of which number 1743 are cavalry, regularly armed, trained, and uniformed. Lands are holden originally by grant from the state, and now conveyed by simple deed. Their value must of course vary very greatly in this state. Tide swamp, the best land for rice, is worth, if cultivated, from $70 to 390 per acre. The income of the planter is still more unequal, some possessing $80,000 and others only $40 per annum. Our author then passes to agriculture, a subject which he seems to understand much better, than any other in his book ; and though what he says upon it might have been comprised in one third the space it now occupies, much information respecting the culture of rice and cotton, the staple articles of South-Carolina, may be obtained by those unacquainted with the Southern states. A table is added to show the different modes of planting rice in South-Carolina, Spain, Egypt, Sumatra, and China. He is particular in describing the machines for preparing those articles for market; but does not give sufficient praise to the raw gin for cotton, and water mill for rice lately invented ; probably bc
cause they are as yet used but by.
few persons. To the reasons, which he gives why indigo is less cultivated now than formerly, he might have added, that its preparation is extremely unwholesome, even to the negroes. Nor does he inform us, that oil is contained in the cotton seed, and that, tho’ at present thrown away, yet by
experiment it has yielded a gallon of oil to a bushel of seed. At the close of the article upon agriculture, he speaks of slavery ; and though our feelings revolt at the attempt to justify slavery, yet we must have the candour to allow, that he has represented the condition of the slaves in South-Carolina without prejudice. An abhorrence of slavery has led us to depict the wretched negro, groaning under the task of an inhuman overseer, but we shall subjoin his account of them, which we believe to be correct. “ They are worked by certain tasks, which are not unreasonable, and when they are diligent in performing them, they have some hours of the day to themselves. Hence they are encouraged to plant for their own emolument, raise poultry for their own use, or for sale ; and are protected in the property which they thus acquire. With good masters they are happy and contented, and instances are known, where they have declined an offered freedom. It is prohibited by law to work them more than certain hours in the day, during different portions of the year ; and their owners are liable to a penalty, if they do not feed them in a suitable manner. Should they treat them cruelly they are amenable to the laws.” He might have added, that the fear of becoming infamous, a much more powerful motive than any positive law, obliges the gentlemen of Carolina to whom the greatest part of the slaves belong, to treat them with humanity. He is correct in saying, that, without negroes, part of South-Carolina must still have remained deep swamps and dreary forests. The manufactures of South-Carolina deserve not the little that our author says of them. Of the canals he mentions the Catawba and Santee have alone been commenced, and the latter is the only one yet finished. The Santee canal was begun in 1792, and finished in 1800, at an expense of about 150,000l. sterling ; and in the spring of 1804 there had been no dividend ; but a hope was entertained, that the following year they should divide 1 per cent. Both these canals received encouragement from the legislature. No one who has ever travelled in South Carolina can believe our author's account of the roads against the evidence of his senses, which pronounce them infamous. Nor under the present existing laws can they possibly be better ; but the traveller will join with him in hoping, that the day will come when bridges shall be more frequent, than they are at present ; and that the spirit of the people will allow tolls to be imposed. Under the article of commerce he gives a great number of tables of imports and exports at different periods. His third and last chapter is divided into “ Histories; government and laws ; revenue ; civil divisions; cities and towns ; religion; charitable societies; literature ; modes of living ; character and diversions.” His first article is a list of the different accounts of South-Carolina, that have ever been published. From the constitution he passes to the revenue, which he represents as flourishing. It is derived principally from direct taxes, and from the interest of a paper medium loan, and of the debt due from the United States. His account of Charleston is long, but uninteresting. are mere villages, and the other towns he mentions have not a collection of a dozen houses. From Vol. III. No. 4. 2C
Georgetown and Beaufort
religion, of which he says only a few words, he passes to charitable societies, of which the South-Car. olina for the support of the families and the education of the children of unfortunate deceased members, and the orphan house, are the most important. The article of literature should have been entitled education, for under it he speaks of nothing but schools and colleges, which are not in a flourishing state. The South-Carolina college at Columbia was liberally endowed in 1801 ; and the question will soon be determined, whethe mind is capable of close application to study in that climate ; or whether, equally enervated with the body, it cannot there be trained to exertion. In delineating the character of the Carolinian, our author has wholly failed. In no state in the union are the manners of the different classes so various; but in Mr. D.'s description we perceive not the marked distinction between the gentleman, educated in Europe, \; ho to polished manners unites an hospitality unknown in the old world ; and the white savage of the borders, who to his own cunning has added the fiercencss and cruelty of his neighbour, the sable aboriginal. Nor do we see a middle class with the want of feeling of the lower orders, and the pride of the upper ; or the young men of Charleston immerged in dissipation, and instead of imitating the urbane manners, and in proving by the conversation of their fathers, wasting their time in foolish revels and boyish mischief. We have examined this work in the order of its arrangement, and must conclude, that, considering the opportunities, which our author had for years of collecting materials, that he has afforded us