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warfare, assembled by preconcert, in the night, about six miles from Richmond, and resolved to attack the town before daybreak. No suspicion having been excited, the police was feeble and inert; the inhabitants were lulled into perfect security, and nothing, it is believed, saved them from massacre and pillage, but a sudden and violent storm, accompanied by heavy rains, which rendered impassable a stream lying between the insurgents and the city. A young negro, attached to his master and family, was seized with compunction for his criminal designs, and swam the stream, at the hazard of life, to give information of the plot. The whole city was roused—troops were ordered out—the insurrection was suppressed, and the ringleaders expiated their offence on the gallows. The severity of the punishment inflicted upon these unhappy sufferers, it was supposed, for a long period of time, would prevent any similar disturbance in the state; but unhappily, in the year 1831, during the administration of Gov. Floyd, a still more alarming insurrection occurred in the county of Southampton, which was attended by the most tragical results. A fanatical slave by the name of i\Tat Turner, with his brother, who was still more fanatical, and who styled himself the prophet, rallied a band of desperate followers, and, in open day, carried death and desolation into all the surrounding neighborhoods. Whole families of men, women, and children, were slaughtered without mercy, under circumstances of peculiar barbarity; and the insurrection was only suppressed by the prompt interlerence of the military authority. Alter the fullest investigation, the conduct of these sanguinary wretches could not be accounted for upon any of the usual motives which govern men in a servile condition. As slaves, they were not treated with particular unkindness or severity; and the only plausible solution of the problem is to be found in the suggestions of a wild superstition, excited by the unnatural and extraordinary appearance of the sun at that particular period—a phenomenon which was recorded at the time, and is still well recollected.
This painful and startling event made a deep impression upon the public mind. Men began to think and reason about the evils and insecurity of slavery; the subject of emancipation was discussed both publicly and privately, and was prominently introduced into the popular branch of the legislature at the ensuing session of 1831-32. The House of Delegates contained, at that time, many young members of shining abilities, besides others of maturer years and more established reputation; and the debate which sprang up, upon the abstract proposition declaring it expedient to abolish slavery7, was characterized by all the powers of argument and all the graces of eloquence. It was a topic eminently fitted to arouse the strongest passions of our nature, and to enlist the long-cherished prejudices of a portion of the Virginia people. After an animated contest, the question was settled by a find of compromise, in which the evils of slavery were distinctly recognised, but that views of expediency required that further action on the subject should be postponed. That a question so vitally important would have been renewed with more success at an early subsequent period, seems more than probable, if the current opinions of the day can be relied on; but there were obvious causes in operation which paralyzed the friends of abolition, and have had the effect of silencing all agitation en the subject. The abolitionists in the northern and eastern states, gradually increasing their strength as a party, became louder in their denunciations of slavery, and more and more reckless in the means adopted for assailing the constitutional rights of the south. The open and avowed security given to fugitive slaves, not only by the efforts of private societies, but by public official acts in some of the free states, together with the constant circulation of incendiary tracts, calculated to endanger the safety of slave-holding communities, have awakened a spirit of proud and determined resistance; and it is now almost impossible to tell when the passions shall have sufficiently cooled for a calm consideration of the subject.
If Virginia has not successfully rivalled some of the more wealthy and populous states in the cause of general education, and in works of internal improvement, she has at least devoted to those important objects all the resources she could command without impairing her credit by too great a pecuniary responsibility. It is an honorable trait, that she has been careful to fulfil her engagements in the most embarrassing times.
HISTORICAL, STATISTICAL, AND DESCRIPTIVE.
The annexed concise geographical and statistical description of Virginia, is abridged from Sherman & Smith's Gazetteer of the United States, and contains the results of the statistics and census of 1840, published by the general government.
Virginia is 370 miles long, and 200 broad at its greatest width, containing 64,000 square miles, or 40,960,000 acres. The population in 1790, was 747,610 in 1800, 886,149 ; in 1810, 974,622; in 1820,1,065,366; in 1830, 1,211,272; in 1840,1,239,797, of which 448,987 were slaves. Of the free white population, 371,223 were white males; 369,745 ditto, females; 23,814 were colored males; 26,020 ditto, females. Employed in agriculture, 318,771; in commerce, 6,361 ; in manufactures and trades, 54,147; navigating the ocean, 582; ditto, canals, rivers, and lakes, 2,952; learned professions, &.c, 3,866.
The state is divided into 123 counties and 2 districts—Eastern and Western. The Eastern district comprises that part of the state east of the Blue Ridge, and has 67 counties. Population in 1840: whites, 369,398; free colored, 42,294; slaves, 395,250; total, 806,942. The Western district comprises that part of the state west of the Blue Ridge, and has 56 counties. Population: whites, 371,570; free colored, 7,548; slaves, 53,737; total, 432,855.
Richmond is the capital of the state, situated on the north side of James River, at the head of tidewater, and just, below its lower falls. This state has a great variety
of inrface and soil. From the Atlantic to the lower falls on the river, which includes a tract of from 110 to 130 miles in width, the country is low and flat, in some places marshy, but extensively sandy, covered with the pitch-pine. On the margin of the rivers, the soil is often rich. This is denominated the low country, and is unhealthy from August to October. Between the head of tidewater and the Blue Ridge, the country becomes uneven and hilly, and more so as it approaches the mountains. The soil in this region is some of it sandy and poor; some of it is fertile, particularly on the margins of the rivers. Towards the mountains the country is stony and broken, though the soil is often rich. The first ridge of mountains in this state is generally about 150 miles from the ocean. Beyond this the country is mountainous, traversed by successive) ridges of the Alleghany, which occupies a greater breadth of country in Virginia than ia any other state. Between the various ridges, however, there are long valleys or tablelulls, parallel with them, often of considerable breadth, and containing some of the best and most pleasant land in Virginia. The farms are here smaller than in other parts of the state, better cultivated, and there are fewer slaves. The climate in this region a very healthy.
The soil in the tidewater country is generally poor, producing Indian corn, oats, and Fear. Wheat is raised in some parts of it, and a little rice in the swamps in its southern p»rt Between tidewater and the mountains is the tobacco-country; but in the northern upland counties wheat has extensively superseded tobacco; and south of James River, sufficient cotton is raised for home consumption. The southeastern counties produca apples and peaches in great abundance. Among the mountains, the farmers raise large aombers of cattle and hogs. Indian corn is cultivated throughout the state. The country west of the mountains, towards the Ohio, is rough and wild—sometimes, but not generally, fertile; but very rich as a mineral region.
There were in this state in 1840, 326,438 horses and mules; 1,024,148 neat cattle; 1393,772 sheep; 1,992,155 swine; poultry to the value of $754,698. There were produced 10,109,716 bushels of wheat; 87,430 of barley; 13,451,062 of oats; 1,482,799 of rye; 243,822 of buckwheat: 34,577,591 of Indian corn; 2,538,374 pounds of *ool; 10,597 of hops; 65,020 o#wax; 2,944,660 bushels of potatoes; 364,708 tons of kay; 25,594 of hemp and flax; 75,347,106 pounds of tobacco; 2,956 of rice; 3,494,483 of cotton; 3,191 of silk cocoons; 1,541,833 of sugar. The products of the dairy were valued at $1,480,488; of the orchard $705,765; value of lumber produced $538,092; 13,911 gallons of wine were made.
The mineral wealth of Virginia is very great. Gold, copper, lead, iron, coal, salt, limeitone, and marble are found, together with a number of valuable mineral springs. An attention to the business of mining has recently been excited, and in 1840, 2,000 persons were employed in it. The belt of country in which gold is found, extends through kpoteylvania county and the adjacent country, and in a southwest direction 'passes into North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. The gold in this state is not arfficiently concentrated to render it profitable, excepting in a few places, to engage in mining it. The coal fields in Virginia are very extensive, and afford both the bituminous and anthracite. Large quantities have been obtained and exported from the vicinity of Richmond. Salt springs have been found in various places, and salt has been extensively manufactured on the Great Kanawha River, near Charleston. The state 'bounds in mineral springs, which are much resorted to; the principal are, the White "id Blue Sulphur, in Greenbriar; the Salt and Red Sulphur, and sweet, in Monroe; Hot and Warm, in Bath; Berkeley, in Morgan; Fauquier White Sulphur, in Fauquier; Shannondale, in Frederick; Alum, in Rockbridge ; Jordan's White Sulphur, in FrcderRed, in Alleghany; Grayson, in Carroll; Bottetourt, in Roanoke; Holston, in *t»tt; Augusta Springs ; and Daggers Springs, in Bottetourt.
The staple productions of the state are wheat and tobacco. The Potomac River •eparates this state from Maryland. James River is the largest which belongs to this "ate. It is 500 miles in length, and flows from the mountains in the interior, behind the Blue Ridge, through which it passes. It is navigable for sloops 120 miles, and for boats much further, and enters into Chesapeake Bay. The Appomattox is 130 miles kin?, and enters James River 100 miles above Hampton Roads, and is navigable 12 miles, to Petersburg. The Rappahannock rises in the Blue Ridge, is 130 miles long, is nav'faWe 110 miles for sloops, and enters into the Chesapeake. York River enters the Chewpealie 30 miles below the Rappahannock, and is navigable 40 miles for ships. The Shenandoah enters the Potomac just before its passage through the Blue Ridge. Of the nvera "West of the mountains, the Great Kanawha rises in North Carolina, passes through this 'tale, and enters the Ohio. The Little Kanawha also enters the Ohio. The Mo. "Ofgahela rises in this state, though it runs chiefly in Pennsylvania.
The lower part of Chesapeake Bay lies wholly in this state, ia 15 miles wide at its mouth, and enters the Atlantic between Cape Charles and Cape Henry. Norfolk, 8 miles from Hampton Roads, has a fine harbor, much the best in the state, spacious, safe, and well defended; and it is the most commercial place in Virginia; but Richmond and Petersburg are more populous, and have an extensive trade. Besides these, Wheeling, Lynchburg, Fredericksburg, and Winchester, are the principal places.
The exports of this state, in 1840, amounted to $4,778,220; and the imports to $545,685. There were 31 commercial and 64 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $4,299,500; 2,736 retail drygoods and other stores, with a capital of $16,684,413; 1,454 persons employed in the lumber trade, with a capital of $113,210; 931 persons engaged in internal transportation, who, with 103 butchers, packers, &C., employed a capital of $100,680; 556 persons employed in the fisheries, with a capital of $28,383.
The manufactures of Virginia are not so extensive as those of some states inferior to it in territory and population. There were, in 1840, domestic or family manufactures to the amount of $2,441,672.; 41 woollen manufactories and 47 fulling-mills, employing 222 persons, producing articles to the amount of $147,792, with a capital of $112,350; 22 cotton manufactories, with 42,262 spindles, employing 1,816 persons, producing articles to the amount of $446,063, with a capital of $1,299,020; 42 furnaces producing 18,810 tons of cast-iron, and 52 forges &c, producing 5,886 tons of bar-iron, the whole employing 1,742 persons, and a capital of $1,246,650; 11 smelting houses employed 131 persons, and produced gold to the amount of $51,758, employing a capital of $103,650 ; 5 smelting houses employed 73 persons, and produced 878,648 pounds of lead, employing a capital of $21,500; 12 paper manufactories, producing articles to the amount of $216,245, and other paper manufactories producing $1,260, the whole employing 181 persons, and a capital of $287,750; 3,342 persons manufactured tobacco to the amount of $2,406,671, employing a capital of $1,526,080; hats and caps were manufactured to the amount of $155,778, and straw bonnets to the amount of $14,700, the whole employing 340 persons, and a capital of $85,640; 660 tanneries employed 1,422 persons, and a capital of $838,141; 982 other lnflUier manufactories, as saddleries, &c, produced articles to the amount of $826,597, and employed a capital of $341,957; 4 glass-houses and 2 glass-cutting establishments employed 164 persons, producing articles to the value of $146,500, with a capital of $132,000; 33 potteries employed 64 persons, producing articles to the amount of $31,380, with a capital of $10,225; 36 persons produced drugs, paints, &c, to the amount of $66,633, with a capital of $61,727 ; 445 persons produced machinery to the amount of $429,858; 150 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $50,504; 262 persons manufactured 9,330 small-arms; 40 persons manufactured granite and marble to the amount of $16,652; 1,004 persons produced bricks and lime to the amount of $393,253; carriages and wagons were manufactured to the amount of $647,815, employing 1,592 persons, and a capital of $311,625; 1,454 distilleries produced 865,725 gallons, and 5 breweries produced 32,960 gallons, employing 1,631 persons, and a capital of $187,212; 764 flouring-mills produced 1,041,526 barrels of flour, and with other mills employed 3,964 persons, producing articles to the amount of $7,855,499, with a capital of $5,184,669 ; ships were built to the amount of $136,807; 675 persons manufactured furniture to the amount of $289,391 ; 402 brick or stone, and 2,604 wooden houses were built, employing 4,694 persons, and cost $1,367,393; 50 printing offices, and 13 binderies, 4 daily, 12 semi-weekly, and 35 weekly newspapers, and 5 periodicals, cmployed 310 persons, and a capital of $168,850. The whole amount of capital employed in manufactures in the state was $11,360,861.
William and Mary College, at Williamsburg, is the oldest in the state, and one of the oldest in the country, and was founded in 1691. Hampden Sidney College, in Prince Edward county, was founded in 1783, and is flourishing. Washington College, at Lexington, was founded in 1812. Randolph Macon College, was founded at Boydton in 1832. Emory and Henry College, Washington county, was founded ij 1839. Rector College, Prunty Town, Taylor county, was founded in. 1839. Bethany College, Brooke county, was founded in 1841. There are theological schools at Richmond, in Prince Edward county, and in Fairfax county. But the most important literary institution in the state, is the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville, founded in 1819. Its plan is extensive, its endowment has been munificent, and it is a prosperous institution. In all these, with a few smaller institutions, there were in 1840, 1,097 students; there were in the state, also, 382 academics, with 11,083 students; 1,561 common and primary schools, with 35,331 scholars; and 58,787 white persons over 20 years of age who could neither read nor write.
The Baptists, the most numerous religious denomination, have about 437 churches; the Presbyterians 120; the Episcopalians, 65 minutes; the Methodists 170. There are also a few Lutherans, Catholics, Unitarians, Friends, and Jews.
In January, 1840, there were in this state 8 banks and branches, with the capital of $3,637,400, and a circulation of $2,513,413. At the close of the same year the public debt amounted to $6,857,161. There is a state penitentiary located at Richmond.
The first constitution of Virginia was formed in 1776. This was altered and amended by a convention assembled for that purpose, in 1830. The executive power is vested in a governor, elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. He tr chosen for three years, but is ineligible for the next three. There is a council of state, elected in like manner for three years, the seat of one being vacated every year. The senior councillor is lieutenant-governor. The senators can never be more than 36, and the delegates than 150l and both are apportioned anew among the counties every 10 years, commencing with 1841. The senators were elected for 4 years, and the seats of one fourth of them are vacated every year. The delegates are chosen annually. All appointments to any office of trust, honor, or profit, by the legislature, are given openly, or tita voce, and not by ballot. The judges of the supreme court of appeals, and of the superior courts, are elected by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, tod hold their offices during good behavior, or until removed by a joint vote of twothirds of the legislature. •
The right of suffrage is extended to every resident white male citizen of 21 years of age, entitled to vote by the former constitution ; or who owns a freehold valued at $25; or a joint interest in a freehold to that amount; or who has a life-estate, or a reversionary title to land valued at $50, having been so possessed for 6 months; or who shall own, or be in occupation of, a leasehold estate, having been recorded 2 months, for a term not less than 5 years, to the annual value or rent of $200; or»who for 12 months shall have been a housekeeper and head of a family, and paid the taxes assessed by the commonwealth,
Virginia has undertaken several important works of internal improvement, by chartering private companies, several of which have been liberally aided by the state. The Dismal Swamp Canal connects Chesapeake Bay with Albemarle Sound, extending from Deep Creek to Joyce's Creek, 23 miles, at a cost of $879,864. It has branches of 11 miles. The Alexandria Canal extends 7$ miles, from Georgetown to Alexandria. The James River and Kanawha Canal extends 146 miles, from Richmond to Lynchburg. The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad extends 75 miles, to Aquia Creek. Louisa branch, 25 miles from Richmond, proceeds 49 miles, to Gordonsville. Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, from Richmond, extends 23 miles, to Petersburg. Petersburg and Roanoke Railroad extends from Petersburg, 59 miles, to Weldon. Greensville Railroad extends from near Hicksford, for 18 miles, to Gaston, N. C. City Point Railroad extends from Petersburg, 12 miles, to City Point. Chesterfield Railroad extends from Coal Mines, 13J miles, to Richmond. Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad extends from Portsmouth, 8 miles, to Weldon, N. C. Winchester and Potomac Railroad extends from Harper's Ferry, 32 miles, to Winchester.
ORIGIN OF THE APPELLATION "OLD DOMINION.'"
There is in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a coin of the following description: on one side is a head, and the words " Gcorgius III. Rex.f' on the other side is a shield, on which are quartered the arms of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Virginia. The whole surmounted by the crown, and encircled with the word, " Virginia, 1773."
A similar coin was dug up a few years since, and the following statement was publiihed with the description of it: During the usurpation of Cromwell, the colony of Virginia refused to acknowledge his authority, and declared itself independent. Shortly after, finding that Cromwell threatened to send a fleet and an army to reduce Virginia to subjection, and fearing the ability of this feeble state to withstand this force, sho •ent, in a small ship, a messenger to Charles IL, then an exile in Breda, Flanders Charles accepted the invitation to come over, and be king of Virginia, and was on the eve of embarking when he was recalled to the throne of England. As soon as he was restored to the crown of England, in gratitude for the loyalty of Virginia, he caused her coat of arms to be quartered with those of England, Scotland, and Ireland, as an independent member of the empire.
* From the Savannah Georgian.