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ings thereon, sells at from twenty to forty dollars
The new road from Philadelphia to Pittsburg is now in an advanced stage of progress. Much of it is finished, and corresponding parts of the old track abandoned. Probably, by two years hence, the traveller will have a turnpike from the one city to the other. The improvement is important, but it is not one that deserves unqualified praise. In multitudes of cases, it passes through hollows, and over eminences, without regard to that minimum of inequality, which in a great measure constitutes the value of a road. In some cases, the vertical curve, formed by passing over rising grounds, is so long, that, applied laterally, the eminence surmounted, would have been altogether avoided. The road from Baltimore to Wheeling, now constructing at the expense of the government, is understood to be more judiciously laid off. Its competition must, ere long, give the proprietors of the Philadelphia line, an instructive lesson on the economical application of labour.
Produce, in the higher parts of Pennsylvania, may be stated at the rates of from twenty to twenty-five bushels of wheat, and from twenty-five to thirty bushels of Indian corn, per acre. quantities are raised under slovenly management, and without much labour. A farmer expressed his contentment under existing circumstances; a dollar a bushel for wheat (he said) is a fair price, where the farmer pays neither rent nor taxes to the government. His farm, for example, pays four or five dollars a-year, for the support of the state and county officers.
Labourers receive a dollar per day, and can find board for two dollars a-week. Mechanics, in
most cases, earn more. Where health is enjoyed, in this place, poverty bespeaks indolence, or want of economy.
Arrived at Pittsburg, after a pleasant journey, with almost uninterrupted good weather. Some observations on this place will be the subject of my next letter.
In this letter I shall not confine myself to a description of the city of Pittsburg. Occurrences and remarks, with, or without dates, will be promiscuously introduced. This method may not be after the manner of regular epistolary writing; but to me it is the easiest way, and it may have the advantage of shewing you how a great part of my time is occupied.
Pittsburg stands on the point of land formed by the confluence of the rivers Allegany and Monongahela. The flat ground on which the greater part of the buildings stand, is upwards of thirty feet above the level of the rivers at low water. Part of the land adjoining to the Allegany is only about twenty feet high, and liable to occasional inundations. The Allegany here runs south-west by west, and the Monongahela nearly due west, as does the Ohio in continuation.) This, together
with the Monongahela being broader than the Allegany, gives to the former the appearance of being the principal river, and to the latter the character of a tributary stream. The Monongahela is muddy and sluggish opposite to the town; and though about 400 yards broad there, probably furnishes much less water to the Ohio than does the Allegany, which is only about half the width, but has a brisk current. The Allegany and the Monongahela have been described as being each about the size of the Tay; but the latter river is much inferior to either in magnitude; and the comparison must have been influenced by the Tay's being the fittest river with which to compare it in Britain, and not by its actual parity with either.
Between the rivers, there is a ridge of about 300 feet high, which terminates with a gentle slope in the most inland part of the town. This is the hill that a florid exaggerator has described as a solid mass of coal. The description was unnecessary, as the coal field in which the hills of Pittsburg lie, may be considered as the most extensively known, although the only bed here is no more than four and a half feet thick. The strata being horizontal, and the out-burst of the coal about the middlesteep of the hill, it is not necessary to make shafts, as it is level free, and may be quarried and carried out in wheel barrows, like road-metal.
The hill on the west side of the Monongahela, is a craggy steep, almost close to the river. It is covered with trees to the summit, and tends, more than any other object, to give to Pittsburg a picturesque appearance.
On the north-west side of the Allegany lies a beautiful plain, the site of the new town Allegany. Beyond the plain lies another ridge corresponding
in elevation, and having a continuation of the same strata that compose the two heights formerly noticed. Thus Pittsburg is almost surrounded by high wooded grounds.
The heavy showers of rain that occasionally fall in this country, form a great objection to the cultivation of steep lands. The torrents sweep away much of the loose soil, cut deep ruts, and carry down slate-clay, and spread it on the foot slopes, and on the flat grounds below.
The following enumeration of the manufacturing people of Pittsburg was made last year. It gives some view of the nature and extent of the business carried on.
Besides the above, it is surmised that there are three hundred and fifty-seven manufacturing people, of which no estimate has been furnished by the conductors. There is, besides, a chemical manufactory, in which ammonia, copperas, lamp black, ivory black, and various acids, are prepared.
Formerly large ships were built at Pittsburg, which sailed down the river during floods: large keel boats, capable of either ascending or descending the river. Square arks, family boats, and small skiffs, are built in great numbers. A steamboat of 330 tons burden, for the navigation of the Mississippi and Ohio, is nearly completed.
The conveyance of goods from Philadelphia