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the other counties. For its valleys and its fertile mountains combined, none of the counties perhaps surpass Haywood.
There are few of the lands of this whole region too steep for cultivation. They produce good crops of Indian corn, wheat, oats and rye. In contests for prizes in agricultural fairs in Buncombe, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty bushels of the former grain have been produced. The Irish potato and the turnip will probably do as well as in any country whatever, and no region surpasses it for grasses. Timothy and orchard grass perhaps do best, but clover, red top, and blue grass thrive well. This region seems to surpass all others for the production of the apple, both as to size and flavor. Peach trees do well and bear abundantly of fine sized fruit, but they rather resemble such as are grown in New Jersey for example, and are inferior in flavor to those that are produced on the east of the mountains in this State. The same may be said of melons. The grape is thrifty and grows abundantly. Besides the Catawba, a native of Buncombe, there are many other native varieties, some of which are of good size and delicious flavor. As these different kinds do not ripen simultaneously, it would be easy to make such selections for cultivation as to lengthen the period of vintage and thus increase its product.
All kinds of live stock can be raised with facility. Sheep in flocks of fifty or sixty browse all winter in good conditions. I never saw larger sheep anywhere than some I noticed in Hamburg valley, Jackson county, the owner of which told me that he had not for twelve years past fed his sheep beyond giving them salt to prevent their straying away. He said that he had on his first settling there, tried feeding them in winter, but observed that this made them very lazy, and therefore he had abandoned this practice. The sixty I saw were quite as large as any of the sheep I observed once in Regent's Park, London, which were said to be the property of Prince Albert.
Horses and horned cattle are usually driven out into the mountains about the first of April and are brought back in November. Within six weeks after they have thus been "put into range" they become exceedingly fat and sleek. There are, however, on the tops and along the sides of the higher mountains, evergreen or winter grasses on which the horses and horned cattle live well through the entire winter. Such animals are often foaled and reared there until fit for market, without ever seeing a cultivated plantation.
Very little has yet been done with the minerals of this region. There are narrow belts of limestone and marble which are sufficient for the wants of the inhabitants. Iron ores exist in great abundance in many places. The magnetite is found in quantity at many points, and where it is being worked at Cranberry Forge, in Mitchell, it yields an iron equal to the best Swede. There is in Cherokee county a vein. of hematite which runs by the side of a belt of marble for forty miles, and is in many places from fifty to one hundred feet thick. It is easily worked and affords good iron. Copper ores are found in many of the counties, and where the veins have been cut in Jackson county, they are large and very promising. Gold has been profitably mined in Cherokee, Macon and Jackson, and lead, silver and zinc are found at
certain points. After the completion of the railroads now in course of Construction, the chrome ores and barytes may acquire value.
No country is better supplied with water power than this. The streams attain a sufficient size in the higher valleys, and before they escape in the State of Tennessee they have a descent of a thousand feet. The French Broad at Asheville is larger than the Merrimac at Lowell, and falls six hundred feet in the distance of thirty odd miles, and will soon have a railroad along its banks. Every neighborhood has its waterfalls sufficient for all practical purposes.
The prices of land throughout this entire section are very moderate compared with those of similar lands in the Northern States, while the population, though sparse, is quiet, orderly and moral. The negroes, not constituting one-tenth of the entire population, are scarcely an appreciable element. Emigrants with little capital can easily obtain the necessaries of life, and may at once commence the business of stock raising, and cheese, butter and wool, and such agricultural productions as will best bear transportation. Manufacturing and mining operations will soon follow these branches of industry. I have no doubt if the people of the Northern States knew this region as I do they would move down in large bodies immediately to take possession of it. The pleasant climate, good soil and beautiful scenery make it one of the most attractive countries in the world. The wealthy citizen will find the greatest inducements to place there his charming villa, while to the industrious it will afford a comfortable home
Very respectfully, &c.,
T. L. CLINGMAN.
Extracts from a paper addressed to Wm. Frazier, Esq., President of the American Agricultural and Mineral Land Company, New York, June 12th, 1867.
Mr. William McDowell, who made observations for the Smithsonian Institute, at Asheville, for several years, informed me that the thermometer during the warmest summer weather did not rise above eightytwo degrees Fahrenheit. Even the climate of Switzerland is not equal to that of this region; not only at Geneva, but in the high valley of Chamouny, I once found hotter weather than I ever experienced in this section; while there, one is occasionally chilled in mid-summer by cold blasts from the masses of snow on the higher Alps. In Western North Carolina none of the mountains are high enough to bear snow in summer, yet the region is sufficiently elevated to afford a climate which is cool, dry, bracing and exceedingly exhilerating. No country is more healthy, being alike free from the diseases of miasmatic regions, as well as those common in rigorous or damp climates.
What especially distinguishes this section from all other mountain regions that I have seen, is the general fertility of its soil. This is true not only with reference to its valleys, but also of its mountains. Their sides and even tops are generally covered with a thick vegetable mould, on which the largest trees and grasses grow luxuriantly. At an eleva
tion of five thousand feet above the ocean, the grasses and weeds are so rank as to remind one of the swampy lands of the lower regions. On the tops, and for a considerable distance down the sides of the higher chains, there are several varieties of evergreen or "winter grasses, they are generally called there. These are so nutritious that cattle are kept in good condition on them all the winter. A friend of mine, before the war, kept four or five hundred horned cattle on one of these mountains, and with the exception that they were supplied with salt occasionally, they subsisted entirely both in summer and winter on these grasses. The older cattle, he assured me, soon learned to understand the effect of the seasons, and without being driven, they led the herds, in the spring, down the sides of the mountain to obtain the young grasses that come up with the warm weather, and when these were destroyed by the autumn frosts they returned to the tops to get the evergreen vegetation, and found shelter under the spreading branches of the balsam fir trees in stormy weather. I have seen in Haywood county a five year old horse that was said to have been foaled and reared entirely on the top of Balsam Mountain, and was then for the first time brought down to see cultivated land and eat food grown by the hand of man.
Those portions of the mountain that are without timber are, of course, covered by the thickest coats of grass. The balsam trees which cover for so great an extent the Great Smoky, Balsam, and Black Mountains, could be easily gotten rid of at a cost of not more than a couple of dollars per acre. It is so soft as to be easily cut, and if felled and suffered to lie a few months, its leaves would become quite dry, and it might be burned with the greatest facility. When thus destroyed it would not spring up again, but in its stead a very thick sward of evergreen grass. Immense winter pastures could in this way be prepared, and thousands of cattle thus sustained in the winter, with only an occasional supply
Last summer I went with Mr. N. W. Woodfin over a mountain farm of his, the land of which had originally cost him less than one dollar per acre. It had been cleared by cutting out the undergrowth, and girding the large timber so as to deaden it, and then put in grass, nearly twenty years previously. It was covered over with a thick growth of timothy and orchard grass, much of which appeared as thick and as tall as a fair wheat field. In some places we found both of these grasses rising high enough, as we sat on our horses, for us to take the top of the stalks growing on each side, and cause them to meet above the withers of our horses. I never, in fact, saw better grass anywhere than grew generally over this entire tract of twelve hundred acres.
Irish potatoes, cabbages and turnips are grown in the greatest quantities, while no country excels this for fruits. Its apples, both in size and flavor, excel those that I have seen in any part of the world; while peaches, pears and grapes grow abundantly. Besides the Catawba, there are a great many other native grapes. One gentleman thinks he has obtained a hundred varieties of native grapes, some of which he considers superior to the Catawba. That this country is admirably adapted to the production of grapes and wine there can be no question. The fact that varieties of grapes can be selected, that ripen at different periods
of the autumn, will make the vintage longer than it is in Europe, and thus increase the amount of wine made. All kinds of live stock thrive in the country, though horses and horned cattle have been more generally raised, because they require less care from the farmer. Sheep are very healthy, and grow well everywhere. As large sheep as I ever saw were some that were suffered to run in the woods, both in summer and winter, without being fed. Mr. Woodfin also stated to me, that he could, from the stock of his farm above alluded to, at all periods of the winter obtain good mutton and beef from the animals that were subsisted on the grass. Even when sheep are to be kept in large numbers, it is certain that they would do with half the feeding they require during the long winters in New England. Snow seldom remains many days at a time, even on the mountain tops in North Carolina; and when the grass is good, little is required in the form of hay or other food for the stock.
T. L. CLINGMAN.
THE CLIMATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, AND ITS HEALTHFULNESS FOR CONSUMPTIVES AND OTHERS.
[Published in the DAILY NORTH CAROLINA STANDARD, May 25th, 1869.]
To Richard Kingsland, Esq.
RALEIGH, N. C., May 24, 1869. Dear Sir:-I take pleasure in complying with your request, to state in writing, the substance of my conversation with you on the subject of vegetation in the upper parts of the State. This has been the third of a series of springs remarkable for dampness and coolness. I have noticed them particularly, because it was stated in the newspapers two years ago last winter, that the earthquakes occurring at that time, had by elevating portions of the bed of the ocean, changed the current of the gulf stream, and thrown it much nearer to our coast. I have no means of knowing whether there is in fact a foundation for such a statement, but if it were true, it might be expected to produce some changes of climate. The warm air arising from a body of water of high temperature, saturated with moisture, brought into contact with the colder air of the land winds, would of course on being chilled, let go a portion of its water which would thereupon be condensed into fog or cloud. The moist climate of Ireland and England is attributed to the fact that a large portion of the Northern Atlantic Ocean is covered by water from the Gulf Stream, which has a temperature of ten or twelve degrees higher than the surrounding ocean, and hence the westerly winds carry the air from that region, saturated with moisture, to these countries. Similar results are produced in other localities by ocean currents. If the Gulf Stream is now exerting such an influence on our climate, we must hereafter expect similar weather in the spring to continue until the advance of summer makes the air of the land as warm as the sea, when the precipitation of fog would cease. These three damp, cool springs, however, may be only accidental, but if our
climate is to be permanently changed, it is interesting to examine what is to be the effect on agricultural industry. It is my opinion that the change will be upon the whole beneficial. It is true the cotton. has been injured, but if we have late and dry autumns like the two last, late planting might keep up the productions to the former standard. Corn must also be planted a little later, with, however, no bad result. Small grain crops will, I think, be on the whole improved, while grass is unusually fine. When I was at Morganton a few weeks since, my attention was called to a lot of clover of Mr. Walton's, which several gentlemen who had traveled much, thought as fine for that period of the year, as they had ever seen. On going over to Asheville in a few days, however, I saw some of Dr. Hilliard's of Buncombe, which notwithstanding the late season, was much finer. I also observed on some ground of Mr. Winslow Smith, most remarkable orchard grass, so luxuriant and rank that an English gentleman with me, who had been a great traveler, at first doubted that it was really orchard grass. All the grounds of that region, and in fact of the upper portion of the State, show unusually good grasses. Should our climate become moist and cool like that of England, why should we not have as fine grain and grasses? If these springs are to be the rule I am satisfied that the State will, as a whole, be much benefitted even though less cotton be made.
It may not be out of place for me to say something of the new grass called Japan clover, which is seen in a few places west of the Blue Ridge, but which seems to be rapidly covering the counties on this side of it to the extent of more than a hundred miles. None of the causes hitherto assigned for the rapid spread of this grass are sufficient to account for or explain the facts, and its progress appears miraculous. It does not seem to interfere with the fields in active cultivation, nor even to penetrate much into the oak forests, but it seizes with avidity upon old fields, whether covered by pines or broomsedge grass. It manifests an especial hostility to the last named plant, slaughtering it without mercy, and ultimately exterminating it as an useless "cumberer of the ground." It spreads under the pines a beautiful emerald green carpet, thick and elastic. It also takes possession of gullies and all abandoned portions of the roads, and will probably take hold of embankments and sides of cuts of railroads, so as to render unnecessary turfing them in the manner in which it is done in England. Hogs, sheep, horned cattle and horses all seem to devour it greedily, and appear to thrive on it. Should it furnish a good pasture for seven or eight months in the year to such stock, great benefit will be the result. Covering the ground so densely and shading it effectually, it will soon improve the abandoned lands.
I was at the North a few weeks ago, and from what I saw and have since learned, measured by the vegetation in the western part of this State, the spring is two months earlier than it is in New York and New England. Every one must see what advantage this gives our agriculture.
There is another subject directly connected with the industry of the country of great importance, however, on which I wish to say some