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Lick was, some years since, a rock called the pictured or calico rock, on which the natives had sculptured many rude figures of animals, birds, &c This rock was finally destroyed to make furnace chimneys. Another similar sculptured rock is, or was lately, on the sw. side of the river, upon the summit of the nearest hill. The article annexed, originally published in the Lexington Gazette in 1843, above the signature of H. R., describes a curiosity peculiarly interesting to the scientific, and promising to have a wonderful influence upon the prosperity of this region.

The Gas Wells Of Kanawha.—These wonderful wells have been so lately discovered, that as yet only a brief and imperfect notice of them has appeared in the newspapers. But they are a phenomenon so very curious and interesting, that a more complete description will doubtless be acceptable to the public.

They are, in fact, a new thing under the sun; for in all the history of the world, it does not appear that a fountain of strong brine was ever before known to be mingled with a fountain of inflammable gas, sufficient to pump it out in a constant stream, and then, by its combustion, to evaporate the whole into salt of the best quality.

We shall introduce our account of these wells by some remarks on the geological structure of the country at the Kanawha salt-works, and on the manner in which the salt water is obtained..

The country is mountainous, and the low grounds along the river are altogether alluvial, the whole space, of about a mile in width, having been at some time the bed of the river. The rocks are chiefly sandstone of various qualities, lying in beds, or strata, from two inches to several feet in thickness. These strata are nearly horizontal, but dipping a little, as in other parts of the country, towards the new. At the salt-works they have somehow been heaved up into a swell above the line of general direction, so as to raise the deep strata nighcrto the surface, and thus to bring those in which the salt water is found within striking-distance.

Among the sand-rocks are found layers of slate and coal; this latter being also, by the same upheaving, made more conveniently accessible than in most other parts of the country.

The salt water is obtained by sinking a tight curb, or gum, at the edge of the river, down about twenty feet, to the rock which underlies the river, and then boring into the rock. At first the borings did not exceed two hundred feet in depth, but the upper strata of water being exha usted, the wells were gradually deepened, the water of the lower strata being generally stronger than the upper had ever been. Until last year, (1842,) none of the wells exceeded six or seven hundred feet in depth. Mr. Tompkins, an enterprising salt-maker, was the first to extend his borings to a thousand feet, or more. His experiment was attended with a most unexpected result. He had somewhat exceeded a thousand feet, when he struck a crevice in the rock, and forth gushed a powerful stream of mingled gas and salt water. Generally, the salt water in the wells was obtained in rock merely porous, and rose by hydrostatic pressure to the level of the river. To obtain the strong water of the lower strata, unmixed with the weak water above, it is the practice to insert a copper tube into the hole, making it fit tightly below by means of wrapping on the outside, and attaching the upper end to the pump, by which the water is drawntup to the furnaces on the river bank.

When Mr. Tompkins inserted his tube, the water gushed out so forcibly, that instead of applying the pump, he only lengthened his tube above the well. The stream followed it with undiminished velocity to his water-cistern, sixty feet above the level of the river.

In the next place, he inserted the end of the spout from which the water and gas flowed, into a large hogshead, making a hole in the bottom to let out the water into the cistern. Thus the light gas was caught in the upper part of the hogshead, and thence conducted by pipes to the furnace, where it mingled with the blaze of the coal fire. It so increased the heat as to make very little coal necessary; and if the furnace were adapted to the economical use of this gaseous fuel, it would evaporate all the water of the well, though the quantity is sufficient to make five hundred bushels of salt per day. The same gentleman has since obtained a second gas-well, near the former, and in all respects similar to it. Other proprietors of wells have also struck gas-fountains by deep boring. In one of these wells the gas forces the water up violently, but by fits, the gush continuing for some two or three hours, and then ceasing for about the fame length of time. In another of these wells there has been very recently struck, a gasfountain that acts with such prodigious violence as to make the tubing of the well tithe usual way impossible; when the copper tube was forced down through the rushing stream of brine and gas, it was immediately flattened by the pressure; and the augerhole must be enlarged to admit a tube sufficiently strong and capacious to give vent to the stream without being crushed. In another well, a mile and a half from any gaswell, if powerful stream of gas has been recently struck. It forces up the water with great power; but, unfortunately for the proprietor, the water is too weak to be profitably worked. It appears from this fact, that the gas is not inseparably connected with strong brine. When struck before good salt water is reached, it will operate injuriously, for no water obtained below it can rise at all, unless the pressure of the gas be taken off by means of a strong tube extending below it.

Several wells have been bored to a depth equal to that of the gas-wells, without striking the gas; the source of which seems to lie below, perhaps far below, the depth of the wells. This light, elastic substance, wheresoever and howsoever generated, naturally presses upwards for a vent, urging its way through every pore and crevice of the superincumbent rocks; and the well.borer's auger must find it in one of the narrow routes of its upward passage, or penetrate to its native coal-bed, before it will burst forth by the artificial vent.

The opinion just intimated, that the gas originates in deep coal-beds, is founded on the fact that it is the same sort of gas that constitutes the dangerous fire-damp of coalpits, and the same that is manufactured out of bituminous coal for illuminating our cities. It is a mixture of carbureted and sulphureted hydrogen. Philosophers tell us that bituminous coal becomes anthracite by the conversion of its bitumen and sulphur into this gas, and that water acts a necessary part in the process. Whether the presence of salt water causes a more rapid evolution of the gas, the present writer will not undertake to say; but, somehow, the quantity generated in the salt region of Kanawha is most extraordinary.

It finds in this region innumerable small natural vents. It is seen in many places bubbling up through the sand at the bottom of the river, and probably brings up salt water with it, as in the gas-wells, but in small quantity. The celebrated burning tyring is the only one of its natural vents apparent on dry land. This stream of gas, unaccompanied by water, has forced its way from the rocks below, through seventy or eighty feet of alluvial ground, and within eighty yards of the river bank. It is near this burning spring where the principal gas-wells have been found. But, twenty-five years ago, or more, a gas-fountarin was struck in a well two hundred feet deep, near Charleston, seven miles below the Burning Spring This blew up, by fits, a jet of weak salt water twenty or thirty feet high. On a torch being applied to it, one night, brilliant flames played and flashed about the watery column in the most wonderful manner.

The Hon. Lewis Scmmers, (says a Kanawha paper,) was born of highly respectable parentage in Fairfax co., Nov. 7th, 1778. He entered upon the duties of active life during the presidency of the elder Adams. With the ardor which distinguished the Virginia youth at that period, he used his influence to achieve the civic victory which bore Mr. Jefferson into the presidential chair; and, through a long life, adhered to the political principles of his younger days with an undeviating constancy. In 1808, he removed to Gallipolis, Ohio, and served for several years in the senate and legislature of that state. In 1814, he took up his permanent residence in this county. In 1817-18, be served in the legislature of Virginia, and in Feb., 1819, he was chosen one of the judges of the general court, and a judge of the Kanawha judicial circuit. For some time he was a member of the board of public works of Va.; and in 1829 he was elected a member of the convention to revise the constitution of the state.

In all these relations his own strong, original, and vigorous mind, has been indelibly impressed upon the times and events with which he was connected. As a judge, he was most able and faithful. As it statesman, his efforts were perseveringly directed to the best interests of his country. Most of all that Virginia has accomplished in the great work of internal improvement, has been ascribed to his exertions.

In that most remarkable assemblage, the state convention for the amendment of the constitution of Va., which sat in 1829-30, the sterling, vigorous, and practical character of Judge Summers' mind made him, before the close of its deliberations, one of the most useful, if not one of the most conspicuous members of that illustrious body. As the able champion of the true principles of elective government, he, in that assembly, performed services aud acquired a reputation which will ever cause his memory to be cherished with warm and respectful affection by the people of western Virginia.

Mr. Summers died at the White Sulphur Springs, August 27th, 1843, after having been for more than 24 years one of the judges of the general court of Va. He wat. interred in Charleston.


King And Queen was formed from New Kent in 1691, the third year of the reign of William and Mary. The Mattapony runs on its Bw. and the Piankatank on a portion of its Ne. boundary. Its length is 40 miles, mean width 11 miles. Immense beds of marl run through the county, and furnish an inexhaustible source of improvement to the soil. No county in the state contains memorials of greater magnificence. On the Mattapony, a beautiful stream, are the vestiges of many ancient and once highly-improved seats, among which are Laneville, Pleasant Hill, Newington, Mantapike, Mantua, Rickahoe, White Hall, &c, known as the former residences of the Braxtons, Corbins, Robinsons, &c. Cotton and Indian corn are extensively produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 4,426, slaves 5.937, free colored 499; total, 10,862.

The Court-House is near the Mattapony, 53 miles Ne. from Richmond. Newtown in the m, and Little Plymouth in the s. part of the county, are small places; the former, which is the largest, has

40 years since, a village of considerable trade; but its unhealthiness and other causes have nearly obliterated it.

This' county is the birthplace of Carter Braxton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was born at Newington, September 10th, IT36. His father was a wealthy planter, and his mother a daughter of Robert Carter, at one time president of the council of the colony. Mr. Braxton, having graduated at William and Mary at the age of nineteen, married Miss Judith Robinson, an accomplished lady, and daughter of a wealthy planter of Middlesex. His style of living was according to the general mode of southern hospitality of that day, and subjected him to great expense.

As early as 1765, he was a member of the House of Burgesses when Patrick Henry's celebrated resolutions were passed. In 1769, when Gov. Botetourt, in consequence of the bold and spirited measures introduced, suddenly dissolved the Assembly, Mr. Braxton was one of the members who retired to a private room and signed it written non-importation agreement. In the next house, he was on three of the standing committeesHe was elected a member from King William to the first Virginia convention, in 1774 At the period of the disturbance caused by the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine at Williamsburg by Lord Dunmore, Mr. Braxton was essentially instrumental in effecting a settlement on the part of his lordship which pacified the excited populace. He was a very active and useful member of the last House of Burgesses ever convened in Virginia by royal authority, and was employed upon the committees of the house to whom were referred the subjects of dispute between his lordship and the legislature. Mr. Braxton was a member of the convention chosen by the people which met in Richmond in July, 1775, and was placed upon the committee of public safety. In December of the same year, he was appointed the successor of Peyton Randolph in Congress, that gentleman having died a short time previous. He was omitted in the election of members to Congress subsequent upon the Declaration of Independence. But on a meeting of the General Assembly, the first under the new constitution, of which he was a member, he, with Mr. Jefferson, received a vote of thanks from the Assembly, " for the eloquence, ability, and integrity with which they executed the important trust reposed in them, as two of the delegates of the count' i ? lwr \* n:uia i in the general Congress." He was a member of Congress from 1777 to 1783, and in 1785. From 1786 to 1791 be was a member of the council of the state, and from 1794 until the day of bis death, Oct. 6th, 1797. Mr. Braxton's services, it will be seen, were highly important. The confidence and attachment of his constituents were unequivocally manifested in every vicissitude of circumstance, some of which were of the most afflictive kind, even to the close of his life.

about 20 dwellings.


post-office only, was, 30 or KING GEORGE.

Kino George was formed in 1720, from Richmond county. It lies between the Potomac and the Rappahannock, and is 18 miles long, with a mean breadth of 10; its surface is hilly, and its soil diversified. Its principal products are Indian corn, oats, wheat, tobacco, and some cotton. Pop. in 1840, whites 2,269, slaves 3,382, free colored 276; total, 5,927.

King George C. H., situated near the centre of the county, 82 miles Nne. from Richmond, and 76 sw. of Washington, contains about a dozen houses. Port Conway, on the Rappahannock, opposite Port Royal, and Millville on the line of this and Westmoreland counties, are small villages


King William was formed in 1701 from King and Queen. The mean length of the county is 32 miles; mean breadth 8£ miles. The county lies between the Pamunkey and Mattapony, which unite at the Se. angle of the county, and form the York. The land on the borders of these streams is very fertile, and their waters afford convenient navigation, as well as fine shad and herring fisheries. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,150. slaves 5,780, free colored 338; total, 9,258. King William C. H. lies 27 miles Me. of Richmond, 2 miles from the Mattapony. It contains but a few dwellings beside the public buildings, which are of brick, and stand in a handsome square. Ayletts is a small village at the head of navigation, on the Mattapony, 30 miles above its junction with the Pamunkey.

The Pamunkey and the Mattapony meet at the southerly angle of the county, and form York River. The place of their junction is named West Point. It was the place of habitation of Opechancanough, the brother of Powhatan, and king of Pamunkee. "He was the author of the great massacre in 1622, the 'Sicilian Vespers' of the colony. When very old and infirm, and nearly blind, he headed his people in battle, borne on a litter; he was at length captured by Governor Berkeley, with a party of horse, and finally assassinated by a private hand while a prisoner at Jamestown, displaying to the last moment the fortitude of a 'stoic of the woods,' unimpaired by age, and unshaken by calamity." In " Bacon's Rebellion," the followers of Bacon occupied West Point, and strongly fortified it.

West Point was, anciently, a large village: it has now but one good house, and the ruins of several 'others. There is the remnant of4the Mattapony tribe of Indians, now dwindled down to only 15 or 20 souls. Further up on the Pamunkey, at what is called Indian Town, are about 100 descendants of the Pamunkeys, Their Indian character is nearly extinct, by intermixing with the whites and negroes. Their land is in the hands of trustees appointed to hold it for the tribe. They manufacture pottery and baskets very neatly. A traveller, as long ago as 1759, thus speaks of this Indian settlement:

On the north side of Pamunkey River stands the Pamunkey Indian town, where at present are the few remains of that large tribe; the rest having dwindled away through intemperance and disease. They live in little wigwams, or cabins, upon the river; and have a very fine tract of land of about 201)0 acres, which they are restrained from alienating by act of Assembly. Their employment is chiefly hunting or fishing for the neighboring gentry. They commonly dress like the Virginians, and I have sometimes mistaken them for the lower sort of that people.

On the banks of Moncuen creek, just above Warranuncock island, now known as Goodwin's island, are two Indian mounds or tumuli, somewhat reduced in size by cultivation, yet eight or ten feet high, and about sixty feet in diameter. Evident traces exist of an Indian settlement in the vicinity, on the Pampitike estate.


Lancaster was formed in 1652. It lies on the N. side of the Rappahannock, at its mouth, and is 24 miles long, with a mean breadth of 8 miles. Pop. in 1840, whites 1,903, slaves 2,478, free colored 247; total, 4,628.

Lancaster C. H., situated near the centre of the county, 83 miles Ne. of Richmond, contains a population of about 100. Kilmarnock is a small village on a creek putting up from Chesapeake Bay. Pain's Cross Roads, in the Se. part of the county, was, 20 years since, a place of considerable trade; but at present it has a few dwellings only.

In the year 1762, James Waddel, the Blind Preacher described in Wirt's British Spy, was settled over the churches of Lancaster and Northumberland. His residence in the latter part of his time here, was on Curratoman River. For a more full notice of this extraordinary divine, see Orange county.


Lee was formed in 1792, from Russell, and named after Henry Lee, Gov. of Va. from 1791 to 1794; it lies in the southwestern angle of the state, bordering on Tennessee and Kentucky. Its greatest length is 75 miles; breadth 10 miles. The Cumberland mountains run on the Kentucky line, the Powell mountain is on a part of the Se. boundary, and there are several other ridges in the county, known as Stone, Chesnut, Wallens, &c. Powell's River

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