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COMPLIMENTS   OF   THE 

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GEOLOGICAL  SUR'S^EY  OF  KENTUCKY, 

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FRANKFORT  KENTUCKY 


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COMPLIMENTS   OF   THE 

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GEOLOGICAL  SUR'S^EY  OF  KENTUCKY, 

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FRANKFORT,  KENTUCKY. 


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GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 


N.    S.    SHALER,    Director. 


REPORTS  OF  PROGRESS. 


VOLUME  III.    NEW  SERIES. 


STEREOTYPED   FOR   THE   SURVEY 
BT    MAJOR,     JOHNSTON      A     BABBBTT. 

YEOMAN  PRESS,   FRANKFORT,    KENTUCKY.- 

1877. 


INTRODUCTION    TO    THE    THIRD    VOLUME. 


As  will  be  seen  from  the  table  of  contents,  this  volume  is 
an  assemblage  of  the  various  Annual  Reports  of  the  Director 
of  the  Kentucky  Surveys  made  during  the  years  from  1873  to 
1877,  inclusive.  The  law  requires  these  Reports  to  be  made 
from  time  to  time,  and,  prescriptively  or  by  implication,  de- 
mands that  they  each  shall  give  a  summary  of  the  operations 
of  the  Survey,  in  a  condensed  form,  for  the  information  of  the 
Legislature.  It  will  therefore  be  seen  that  this  volume  must 
contain  matters  which  have  generally  been  more  fully  treated 
elsewhere.  The  text  itself  makes  frequent  references  to  the 
source  of  fuller  information  on  these  various  subjects.  The 
reader  is,  however,  referred  to  the  general  index  of  the  Sur- 
vey publications,  which  will  constitute  the  seventh  volume  of 
this  series  of  Reports.  It  is  now  in  preparation,  and  will  be 
ready  for  publication  within  the  coming  year.  Its  appearance, 
however,  will  necessarily  depend  upon  the  continuance  of  the 
appropriations  of  the  Survey. 

The  reader's  attention  is  called  to  the  fact  that  the  work  of 
the  Surveys  set  forth  in  this  volume  has  been  hampered  in 
many  ways.  In  the  first  place,  the  appropriations  at  the  service 
of  the  present  Survey  have  averaged  only  seventeen  thousand 
dollars  per  annum  for  all  expenses,  including  printing.  In  the 
next  place,  the  Survey  has  been  required  to  concern  itself 
with  nearly  all  the  material  interests,  and  with  all  the  scien- 
tific problems  that  are  apparent  in  the  State.  Less  money 
has  been  expended  on  the  whole  Survey  than  has  been  given 
to  the  printing  of  any  one  of  several  volumes  of  Government 
Surveys.  The  annual  grant  for  all  the  purposes  of  the  Sur- 
vey, including  geology,  zoology,  botany,  archaeology,  the  to- 
pography, the  cabinet,  and  all  the  expenses  of  publication, 


m 


150957 


IV  INTRODUCTION    TO  THE  THIRD  VOLUME. 

have  been  but  about  twice  the  sum  paid  by  one  State  as  sal- 
ary to  the  Director  of  its  Survey.  It  should  be  said,  also,  that 
the  law  provides  for  the  employment  of  the  Director  for  but  a 
part  of  each  year.  The  larger  part  of  the  Director's  time, 
while  engaged  in  the  service  of  the  Survey,  has  been  given 
to  the  routine  work  of  administration,  so  that  his  total  field 
work  has  not  exceeded  about  three  months  in  each  of  the 
years  of  his  service.  The  great  size  of  the  field  of  opera- 
tions has  made  it  necessary  to  have  the  work  of  the  several 
assistants  localized  in  various  subdivisions  of  the  area,  so  that 
the  Director  has  necessarily  been  employed  in  keeping  the 
various  works  in  correllation  the  one  with  the  other.  While 
each  Assistant  is  to  be  held  responsible  for  his  own  opinions, 
and  while  their  individuality  has  been  considered  to  the  utmost 
point,  there  are  none  of  the  various  Reports  of  the  several  vol- 
umes which  have  not  been  carefully  examined  by  the  Director, 
who  has,  in  all  cases,  read  the  manuscript  and  the  final  proof, 
and  in  many  cases  has  repeatedly  reviewed  the  matter.  As 
the  Survey  has,  at  the  present  time,  about  four  thousand  8vo 
and  4VO  pages  completed,  or  in  advance  preparation,  this  work 
of  continual  review  has  been  equivalent  to  critically  reading 
not  less  than  twelve  thousand  pages  of  ordinary  matter.  To 
this  labor  must  be  added  the  task  of  writing  an  average  of 
two  thousand  letters  per  annum  concerning  the  work  of  the 
Survey,  and  making  journeys  that  have  demanded  not  less 
than  thirty  days  per  annum,  in  railway  and  steamboat  trans- 
portation. Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  the  Director  of  such  a 
Survey  has  little  time  for  special  work  in  the  field.  The  best 
that  he  can  do  is  to  secure  unity  and  completeness  in  the  work, 
occasionally  putting  his  shoulder  to  the  wheel  to  lift  over  some 
obstacle. 

I  cannot  command  words  to  express  the  lively  sense  of  grat- 
itude I  feel  to  my  fellow-workers  of  the  Survey.  Whatever 
shortcomings  may  be  found  in  the  work  of  the  Survey,  are 
not  to  be  attributed  to  a  want  of  zeal  and  fidelity  among  my 
Assistants. 

IT 


INTRODUCTION    TO   THE   THIRD   VOLUME.  V 

I  should  gladly  take  this  occasion  to  return  thanks  to  the 
very  many  friends  who  have  generously  aided  the  Survey  in  a 
thousand  ways ;  but  as  this  list  would  inckide  about  all  the 
citizens  of  the  State  with  whom  the  Survey  has  come  in  con- 
tact, it  will  be  impossible  to  undertake  it.  Space  will  only 
allow  me  to  refer  to  the  debt  we  owe  to  several  of  the  rail- 
ways of  the  State.  To  the  Eastern  Railway,  the  Louisville, 
Cincinnati  and  Lexington  Railway,  and  to  the  Elizabethtown 
and  Paducah  road,  the  Survey  is  indebted  for  the  frequent 
transportation  of  its  officers,  free  of  charge,  to  and  fro  from 
their  field  of  work,  as  also  the  Louisville  and  Nashville  road, 
for  the  privilege  of  half  fare  over  their  main  line. 

The  very  limited  means  at  the  disposal  of  the  Director  of 
the  Survey  has  made  these  and  other  aids  in  its  operations  of 
the  greatest  value  in  furthering  its  work. 

It  is  expected  that  the  subsequent  Reports,  similar  in  nature 
to  those  in  this  volume,  will  find  their  place  in  the  eighth  vol- 
ume of  this  series.  A  brief  history  of  the  Survey,  from  its 
inception  to  the  time  of  publication  of  the  seventh  volume, 
will  be  found  in  the  preface  thereto. 

N.  S.  SHALER. 

December,  1877. 


TAHMC  OV   CONTENTS. 


TAKT    I. 


t.v.*     «/>    ,j    ^i    .  k.  * ,i 


^..'.fcri.  ~|  *;Mfv»y.)l  Krnturky,  p.  I.  Introductory  letter  of  N. 
:.  :  .  .  ^  4  .  i,  >.-,.(..»  Uii  iMD.iiKtol  t)ic  Kentucky  Geological  Survey,  p.  7 
■-.  ,/       ',     .     .  ,.' .    ,.<„.;..  *,M..iv.  |»    7       K*  suits  ot  Dr.  Owen's  Survey,  p.  8.     Plan 

*...  ^..    .       ,  ."    ' /  ".I'-i- i-M'l'"  •'!  Miloi  mat  ion  l.y  letters  to  various  people,  pp. 

-t.  >      <r    .  .' , t  .'..  .1  |.».,|..i.|.  ,il  « ,il>nuMs,  p.  lo      Necessity  for  an  accurate 

.^.  ,.  <♦,  .'•',',.  f.»  I  .1  (  M,%.  MuiM  nt  Sutvoy  of  Kentucky,  p.  II.  Unsat- 
j  ,.  ,.4.  ',',  1.0  t,*L„i  l',j...j/...i.),i«  fil  w«uk,  p.  12.  Propo&ed  couperatii>n 
K  ,  .'.  *  '.^  i  ^,,  ,t;.  j,j,  M,  1^  rmpoM'd  survey  along  the  transportation 
Z'^v*'.  ^.  #.  <,  |,«.  ,*  ,..,,,„t  Ml  «il  ilic  i..,»l  Mml  iron  of  the  State,  p.  14.  CoUec- 
K:^^  J.  ..  .  ,.'<.  i..c  it./,..i<s  <.r  iIh  r,t,»tr,  pp.  IS,  16.  Aid  afiordcd  by  the  labo- 
ly^'^ij  I.  J  7.  I' ',..'.!*..'  i.<.«l  51  »i  i.Ii(m  iiii|iiMi>ni(  I  ni  the  mineral  springs  of  the  State, 
jvjy  J/.  <ft  ;....,.!-.,<  I  «J  rt%i>.ilyiif  Mil  iMu.HiiNt)!  prchisloric  man,  p.  19.  Impor- 
:*j.'*.  'y*  ,1  J;,  ....'-,  .41. '1  /.«»», I. . 4/11  4I  *".ni\iy,  p,  It).  Ol  a  .study  of  the  fisheries,  p. 
!'_/.  'y;  t.  «.  *v-'«,  J,',-.**  ol  ilic  r,i.ii«,  p  i«),  1)1  ilimalic  conditions,  p.  19.  Pro- 
y^^'l  h,'',...  tA  ,»  /,.  i.u.i/  i)ic  it'tili-;  nl  ilic*  Sunrv,  pp.  20,  21.  Special  county 
i*;y'.i«  ,  p.  /I,  J'' J.'.,  is  n\  ilir  iiiMirial  ir-.<iin»<'s  .ilun^  railway  lines,  pp.  21,  22. 
M' •..'';  'A  '*.  <;../i'<..i^  ilir  i<«pipii-,  p.  a.  i\\ts\  <»f  publication,  pp.  22,  23.  Dis- 
p.*;r  *A  y],K  I '..,«.' fi'/jii  <.(  (1((  \iuviy,  p,  J  J  S|<rii.il  training  of  young  men  by  the 
huiM/,  pj^  ;<j^  ^4,  lilt  iUiii.iii(i  III  piiicly  Muniilii  jpu'stions  upon  the  Survey,  pp. 
24,  /'j^  Ajf.mJiA  A  iJir  iiiu.rui.i«i  cil  ihrM.itc;  tljc  classification  of  their  coUcc- 
uoi.a,  pp.  i\,,  %h  .i/'/',uJti  //  Ulu'ti.Jhiiu  ol  the  building  materials  of  the  Mate, 
j/p  20  t'y  .^H.  I  b' 11  «l.i.  ilu.iiK.ii,  p.  .»7  HiuMing  stones,  p.  27.  Woods,  p.  27. 
i5/i'.k  aii<J  bit-  '  U/5.,  p.  iH.  J.inic  uiid  iinirhl,p  -'S.  .V//.  «.//.v  C  Ksiimalc  of  the 
cjcptrij'jituie  I'vr  <b<:  huiv«:y  ol  llir  it-sumn-ji  ot  Kentucky  lor  the  year  Irom  January 
lit,  l>574,  to  Jaijiiuiy  isjI,  1875,  p]i,  jy,  jo.  IXtunate  of  the  lime  required  to  com- 
.     pietc  the  woik,  pp.  Vj,  30. 

PART  11. 

History  of  tbe  op^iaiion*  of  the  Survey  in  1S74  and  1K75,  p.  31.  Operations  of  the  Sur- 
vey from  1854  to  l86fj,  p.  y.  Oiijani/atH.n  und  work  of  the  first  Survey,  p.  33.  Its 
discontinuance,  p,  33.  J^eath  of  \)t,  Os^en,  in  iSo  >,  p.  33.  Revival  of  the  Survey 
in  1872,  pp.  33,  34.  Operations  of  lljc  first  Survey;  an.dysis  of  the  Annual  Rejv>rls, 
pp.  34,  35,  hirst  Volume  of  the  Survey  Reports,  containing  the  First  Annual  Re- 
port of  Or.  Owen,  p.  34.  Report  of  Dr.  Peter,  p.  34.  Report  of  S.  S.  Lyon,  pp. 
34»  35'  Second  Volume  of  the  Survey  Reports,  containing  the  Second  Annual  Re- 
port of  Dr.  Owen,  p.  35.  Rcpoit  of  Dr.  Peter,  p.  35.  Report  of  S.  S.  Lyon,  p.  36. 
Third  Volume,  containing  Report  by  Dr  Owen,  p.  36.  Report  of  Dr.  Peter,  p.  36. 
Reports  of  S.  S.  Lyon,  p.  37.  Report  of  L.  Lesquercux,  pp.  37,  38.  Report  of  E. 
T.  Cox  on  the  Fossil  Molusca,  p.  38.  Fourth  Volume  of  Survey  Reports,  containing 
Reports  of  Dr.  Owen,  p.  39.  Dr.  Peter,  p.  39.  Biography  of  Dr.  Owen,  p.  40. 
Paleontological  Report  of  L.  Lesqucreux,  p.  40.     Reports  of  J.  Leslie,  p.  40.     Re- 

VI 


TABLE    OF    CONTENTS.  VII 

ports  of  S.  S.  Lyon,  p.  41.  Summary  of  the  work  of  the  first  Survey,  p.  41  to  43. 
Difficulty  in  resuming  the  unfinished  work  of  Dr.  Owen,  p.  44.  Investigations  of  Dr. 
Peter  on  the  hemp  plant,  p.  46.  Of  Mr.  Talbutt  on  the  restoration  of  exhausted  soils, 
p.  46.  Leitchfield  and  other  marls,  pp.  46,  47.  Summary  of  work  done  in  1874,  p. 
47  to  50.  Work  done  on  the  coal  and  iron  district  of  Western  Kentucky,  pp.  50,  51. 
See  Edmonson  county,  p.  51.  On  the  forest  resources  of  Western  Kentucky,  p.  52. 
On  the  caverns  of  the  Western  District,  pp.  52,  53.  Their  economic  value,  p.  53. 
Their  organic  life,  p.  53.  Examination  of  the  fishes  of  Green  river,  p.  54.  Fish- 
breeding  in  the  rivers  of  Kentucky, , pp.  54,  55.  Appointment  of  a  Fish  Commis- 
sioner recommended,  p.  56.  Destruction  of  fishes  by  sewage  waste,  p.  56.  Defile- 
ment of  the  streams  by  sewage,  pp.  56,  57.  The  need  of  storage  reservoirs  to  retain 
flood-waters,  p.  58  The  water-power  of  Nolin  river,  p.  58.  Of  Green  river,  p.  58. 
The  water  supply  for  manufacturing  and  domestic  purposes,  pp.  59,  60.  Geological 
work  of  the  Survey  in  the  Eastern  field,  pp.  60,  61.  Reconnoissance  by  N.  S.  Shaler 
on  the  Ohio,  between  the  Big  Sandy  and  Louisville,  p.  62.  The  wasting  of  river 
banks,  p.  62.  Its  cause,  p.  63.  And  prevention,  p.  63  to  65.  Damage  by  inunda- 
tions in  the  summer  of  1875,  p.  66.  Mr.  Ellett's  scheme  for  restraining  flood-waters 
by  means  of  reservoirs,  p.  66.  Practicability  of  the  scheme,  pp.  66,  67.  Beneficial 
results,  pp.  67,  68.  The  swamp  region  of  Jackson  Purchase,  p.  69.  The  formation 
of  back  swampSf  pp  70,  71.  Possibility  of  reclaiming  the  swamp  region  of  the  "Pur- 
chase," p.  71  to  73.  Attractiveness  of  the  Reelfoot  Lake  region,  p.  73  to  75.  Eco- 
nomic importance  of  the  cypress  swamps,  p.  75.  Mineral  resources  of  the  Big  Sandy 
and  its  tributaries,  p.  76  to  78.  Its  timber  resources,  p.  78.  Improvement  of  its 
navigation,  p.  78  to  80.  Topography  of  the  region  about  the  head  waters  of  the 
Kentucky,  pp.  80,  Si.  Mineral  resources  of  this  region,  pp.  81,  82.  Resources  of 
the  Upper  Cumberland,  pp.  82,  83.  Building  stones  of  Kentucky,  pp.  83,  84.  Lith- 
ographic limestones,  pp.  84,  85  Operations  during  the  year  1875,  p.  86  to  115. 
Work  of  the  assistants  during  the  winter  and  spring,  p.  86  to  88.  Organization  and 
administration  of  the  Harvard  Summer  School  of  Geology,  p.  89  to  91.  Mineral 
resources  of  the  Cumberland  Gap  region,  p.  92  to  98.  Probable  cost  of  iron  pro- 
duction in  this  region,  pp.  95,  96.  The  importance  of  these  iron  deposits,  p.  96  to 
98.  Agricultural  value  of  the  uplands  about  Cumberland  Gap,  p.  58  Special  ex- 
plorations by  the  Assistants  in  the  autumn  of  1875,  PP-  98»  99  Reconnoissance  to 
Jacksboro',  Tennessee,  and  Big  Creek  Gap,  pp.  99,  100.  Marshy  Creek,  p.  loi. 
Timber  west  of  the  Cumberland  Mountain,  p.  102.  Coal  measures  south  of  Monti- 
cello,  pp.  103,  104.  Geology  of  the  rocks  west  of  Monticello,  p  105.  The  Leitch- 
field marls,  p.  106.  Coal  oil  products  of  the  Cumberland  Gap  region,  p.  107  to  no. 
Oil  well  on  Otter  creek;  its  daily  yield,  p.  108.  Prospective  value  of  the  black  shale 
of  Kentucky,  p.  no.  Geodetic  work  in  course  of  execution,  pp.  ni,  n2  Sum- 
mary of  the  work  done  by  the  Assistants  of  the  Survey  up  to  the  close  of  October, 
pp.  113,  114.  Connection  of  the  Survey  with  the  State  Agricultural  College,  p.  114. 
Plan  for  the  continuation  of  the  Survey,  p.  115  to  127.  Progress  in  map-making,  pp. 
116,  n7.  Physical  character  of  the  western  barrier  of  the  State,  p.  118.  It  should 
be  an  inducement  for  the  passage  of  railways,  p.  119.  Kentucky  and  the  approach- 
ing Centennial  Exposition,  pp.  n9,  120.  A  proposed  photographic  representation 
of  the  resources  of  the  State,  pp.  120,  121.  Proposed  special  reports  on  the  economic 
geology  and  industrial  resources  of  diff"erent  regions,  pp.  122,  123  Investig.itions  on 
the  forests  of  the  State  proposed,  p.  124.  On  the  water-powers  of  the  streams,  p. 
124.  Proposed  determination  of  meridian  lines,  pp.  124,  125.  Especial  appropria- 
tion for  the  fisheries  recommended,  p.  125.  Preparation  of  scientific  memoirs,  p  126. 
Observations  on  the  climatal  conditions  of  the  State  recommended,  p.  127.  Impor- 
tance of  a  careful  collection  of  vital  statistics,  p.  127. 

vu 


VIII  TABLE    OF     CONTENTS. 

PART  III. 

Notes  on  the  investigations  of  the  Kentucky  Survey,  p.  131.     Introduction,  pp.  131,  132. 
Table  of  contents,  p.   132.     Extent  and  continuity  of  the  geological  formations  of 
Kentucky,  p.  133.     Kate  of  erosion,  p   134.     Amount  lost  by  erosion,  pp.  135,  136. 
Kentucky  not  submerged  since  the  Carboniferous  period,  p.  137.     Evidence  of  this 
afforded  by  the  gar-pike  and  unionidae,  p.  137.     By  the  forest  trees,  pp    137,  138. 
Caverns  prove  no  submergence  in  geologically  modern  times,  p.  138.     Local  nature 
of  the  deposits  in  Western  Kentucky,  pp.  138,  139      Northward  flow  of  the  Cumber- 
land and  Tennessee  rivers  accounted  for,  p.  139.     Barrier  separating  the  Eastern  and 
Western  coal  tields,  p.  140     Cincinnati  Axis,  p.  140  to*  147.     Conditions  under  which 
the  rocks  of  the  Cincinnati  Group  were  deposited,  pp.  140,  141.     Sudden  transition  at 
the  close  of  the  Cincinnati  period,  p.  142.     Erosion  of  the  roc?ks  of  the  Cincinnati 
Group,  pp.  142,  143.     Age  of  the  Cincinnati  Axis,  p.  144  to  146.     Former  continuity 
of  the  Eastern  and  Western  coal  fields,  pp.  145,  146.     Last  elevation  of  the  Cincin- 
nati Axis,  p.   147.      Comparatively  undisturbed   character  of    the  Kentucky  rocks, 
p    148.     Ideal  section  of  the  rocks  of  Kentucky,  p.   148.     Parallelism  of  the  Cincin- 
nati and  Lexington  sections,  p.  149  to  153.     Succession  of  fossils  in  the  Cincinnati 
section,  p.  150.     In  the  Lexington  section,  pp.   150,  151.     Geological  succession  of 
the  Kentucky  series,  p.  153  to  190.     Organic  sections  of  the  Cincinnati  Group,  p. 
154  to   159.     Sudden  transition  to  the  Cumberland  sandstone,  p.   159.     Conditions 
-   under  which  the  rocks  of  the  Cincinnati  period  were  formed,  p.  160.     Formation  of 
saline  deposits  in  the  Cincinnati  Group,  pp.  161,  162.     Concentrated  precipitates  of 
ancient  seas,  p.   162.     Niagara  series  represented  in  Kentucky,  p.   163.     Contains 
extensive  deposits  of  iron  ore,  pp.  163,  164.     Origin  of  iron  ore  beds,  p.  164.     Three 
classes  of  iron   cres  in   Kentucky,  p.   165.     Probable   conditions  under  which  the 
Silurian  iron  ore  was  deposited,  p.  165  to  167.     Are  the  limestone  ores  continued 
beneath  the  drainage?  p.   168.     Transition  to  the  Ohio  Black  shale,  p.    169.     Its 
structure  and  fossils,  p.  169  to  170.     Conditions  of  formation,  p.  170.     Its  store  of 
petroleum,  p.  171 .     Origin  of  petroleum,  p.  171 .     New  York  equivalent  of  the  Ohio 
shale,  p.  173.     Its  origin,  p.  174.     The  Waverly  series,  p  175.     Conditions  attending 
its  deposition,  pp.  176,  177.     Sub-carboniferous  limestone,  p.  178.     Active  accumu- 
lation of  limestone  in  the  Sub-carboniferous  period,  p.  179.     Growth  of  the  crinoids 
not  limited  by  causes  which  limit  the  growth  of  reef-building  corals,  p.  180.     Genesis 
of  the   Dolomitic   limestones  of   Kentucky,  p.    181.     Sub-carboniferous   limestone 
divided  into  two  members,  pp.  181,  182.     The  Chester  Group,  p.  182.     Beds  suc- 
ceeding the  Sub-carboniferous,  p.  183.     Carboniferous  period,  184.     Change  in  its 
physical  and  organic  conditions,  p.  185.     Kentucky  shale,  p.  185.     Millstone  grit, 
p.  186.     Carboniferous  Conglomerate,  p.  187.     Physical  conditions  succeeding  the 
Conglomerate  period,  p.  188.     Upheavals  and  subsidences  of  land  masses,  p.  189. 
Uplifts  and  depressions  of  the  Carboniferous  period  due  to  changes  in  the  ice-sheet, 
p.  190.     Formations  above  the  Carboniferous  in  the  Mississippi  Valley,  p.  191.     Soda 
and  silicious  beds  show  granitic  origin,  p.  192.     Unaka  Mountain  Island  not  upraised 
till  after  the  Cincinnati  period,  p.  192.     The  soil  period  of  Kentucky,  p.  193.     Ab- 
sence of  Tertiary  deposits  due  to  active  erosion,  p.  193.     Antiquity  of  the  caverns 
and  cavern  life  of  Kentucky,  p.  194.     Formation  of  salt  licks,  p.   195.     Bones  of 
extinct  animals  around  the  salt  springs,  pp.  196,  197.     Relation  of  age  between  these 
deposits  and  the  drift  period,  p.  198.     Valley  phenomena  of  the  northern  tributaries 
of  the  Ohio,  p.  198.     Of  the  southern  tributaries  of  the  same,  pp.  198,  199.     Topog- 
raphy of  the  Ohio  Valley,  p.  199  to  203.     River  terraces,  p.  200.     Their  structure 
and  growth,  pp.  202,  203.     Glacial  clay  at  Newport,  p.  204.     The  Glacial  period  of 
Ohio  and  Kentucky,  pp.  204,  205.     Singular  deposits  in  the  Licking  and  Ohio  Val- 

vni 


TABLE    OF    CONTENTS.  IX 

leys,  pp.  205,  206.  Rate  of  erosion  of  the  Ohio  river,  pp.  206,  207.  Glacial  drift 
in  Kentucky,  p.  ::o8.  Formation  and  classification  of  soils,  pp.  208  to  211.  Under- 
drainage  of  soils,  p.  211.  Classification  of  subterranean  forces,  p.  212.  Absence 
of  igneous  action  in  Kentucky,  pp.  212,  213.  1be  dislocation  phenomena  of  Ken- 
tucky, p.  214  The  Cincinnati  Axis,  p.  214  Its  height,  p.  215.  Faults,  p.  215. 
Its  breadth,  p.  216.  Period  of  its  formation,  p.  217.  Clarksville  Axis,  p.  218. 
Chickasaw  Bluffs  probably  a  local  elevation,  p.  218.  Structure  of  the  Appalachian 
system,  pp.  219,  220.  The  Tennessee  section  of  the  Appalachians,  p.  220  to  2  2 
The  Cumberland  Mountains;  their  structure,  p.  222.  Erosion  of  their  escarpmci  i 
faces,  p.  224.  Age  of  the  Cumberland  anticlinal,  pp.  225,  226.  Faults  and  trni.s- 
verse  axes  of  elevation  of  the  Cumberland  synclinal,  p.  226.  Dislocations  of  the 
Cumberland  anticlinal,  pp.  227,  228.  Cumberland  escarpment;  the  dip  of  its  beds, 
p.  229.  Its  excessive  erosion,  p.  230.  Local  dips  resulting  from  subterranean 
erosion,  p.  231.  Summary  of  the  history  of  the  dislocations  of  Eastern  Kentucky, 
pp.  231,  232.  Causes  of  earthquake  shocks,  p.  232  to  234.  New  Madrid  earth* 
quakes,  pp.  234,  235.  Earthquake  shocks  infrequent  in  Kentucky,  p.  236.  East- 
ward movement  of  the  seismic  vertical,  p.  237.  Few  indications  of  earthquake 
action  in  the  caverns,  p.  237.  Changes  of  level  indicated  by  certain  tributaries  of 
the  Cumberland,  pp.  238,  239.  Appendix  A. — Acknowledgment  to  G.  P.  Marsh  for 
extracts  from  his  ''The  Earth  Modified  by  Human  Action,"  p.  241.  Inundations  in 
winter,  p  241  to  247.  Destructive  action  of  torrents,  p.  247  to  258.  General  func- 
tions of  forests,  pp.  258,  259.  General  consequences  of  the  destruction  of  the  forest, 
p.  259  to  261.  Due  proportion  of  woodland,  pp.  261,  262.  Woodland  in  European 
countries,  p.  262  10264.  Forests  of  Great  Britain,  p.  264  to  267.  Forests  of  France, 
p.  267  to  271. '  Remedies  against  torrents,  p  271  to  273.  Forests  of  Italy,  p.  273 
to  276.  Forests  of  Germany,  pp.  276,  277.  Forests  of  Russia,  pp.  277,  278. 
Forests  of  ihe  United  States,  p.  278  to  282.  Evils  to  be  apprehended  from  clearing 
the  mountains  of  Eastern  United  States,  p.  280  to  282. 

PART  IV. 

Annual  Report  of  N.  S.  Shaler  for  the  year  1876,  p.  285  to  313.  Work  of  the  Geological 
Survey  in  connection  with  the  Centennial  Exposition  at  Philadelphia,  p.  285  to  290. 
Plan  for  a  photographic  Survey  of  the  State,  pp.  2S7,  288.  Topographical  work 
done  on  the  Western  coal  field,  p.  290.  On  the  Eastern  coal  field,  p.  291.  Topo- 
graphical reconnoissance  by  A.  R.  Crandall,  p.  292.  Diflficulty  of  determining  the 
boundary  line  between  Southeastern  Kentucky  and  Virginia,  p.  293.  Partial  survey 
of  the  boundary  line  between  Kentucky  and  Virginia,  p  294.  Triangulation  of  the 
State  by  the  Federal  Government,  p.  295.  Progress  of  the  topographical  work  dur- 
ing the  year,  and  plans  for  the  future,  p.  296.  The  cost  of  preparing  a  good  map  of 
the  Commonwealth,  pp.  297,  298.  Geological  work  in  the  Eastern  district,  p.  29S  to 
300.  In  the  Western  district,  pp.  300,  301.  Collections  for  the  State  Cabinet,  p.  301. 
The  chemical  laboratory,  p.  302.  The  State  Cabinet,  p.  303.  Proposed  system  in 
the  administration  of  the  national  collections,  p.  305.  Progress  in  the  study  of  the 
forests  of  the  State,  pp.  306,  307.  Harvard  Summer  School  of  Geology,  p.  307. 
The  publications  of  the  Survey,  pp.  308,  309.     The  future  work  of  the  .survey,  |» 

310.  Connection  of  the  Survey  with  the  learned  institutions  of  the  State,  pp.  310, 

311.  Proposed  investigations  into  the  economy  of  the   rivers  of  the  State,  p.  311 

to  313.     Geological  work  of  the  Survey  during  the  coming  year,  pp.  313,  314.     Field 

work  delayed  by  the  Centennial  Exhibition,  p.  315. 

IX 


X  TABLE    OF    CONTENTS. 

PART  V. 

The  transportation  routes  of  Kentucky,  and  their  relation  to  the  economic  resources  of 
the  Commonwealth,  p.  319.  The  isolation  of  the  State  from  the  great  markets,  p. 
319.  Adaptability  of  its  river  system  to  water  navigation,  p.  320.  Richness  and 
accessibility  of  its  natural  products,  pp.  320,  321.  Relation  of  the  rivers  to  its 
mining  regions,  pp.  321,  322.  Requisites  for  the  betterment  of  navigation  on  Green 
river,  p.  323.  On  the  Cumberland  and  Tennessee,  p.  323.  On  the  Tradewater,  p. 
324.  On  the  Kentucky,  p.  324  to  326.  On  the  Licking,  p.  326.  On  Tygert's  Creek 
and  the  Little  Sandy,  p.  327.  On  the  Chatterawha  or  Big  Sandy,  p.  327.  Estimated 
cost  of  creating  a  system  of  water  navigation,  p.  330.  A  proposed  system  of  dams 
and  slides,  dispensing  with  the  use  of  locks,  on  small  streams,  p.  330  to  332.  Immi- 
gration to  Kentucky  restrained  by  the  lack  of  East  and  West  lilies  of  railway,  pp. 
333f  334-  The  mountain  region  not  a  barrier  to  railways,  p.  334.  Projected  and 
partially  constructed  lines  of  railway,  p.  335.  Railroad  from  the  mouth  of  the  Big 
Sandy  to  Newport,  p.  335.  The  Lexington  and  Big  Sandy  Railroad,  p.  336.  Rail- 
way from  Portsmouth  to  Pound  Gap,  p.  336.  Its  prospective  great  value,  p.  336. 
Two  possible  routes  from  Central  Kentucky  to  Cumberland  Gap,  p.  337.  The  great 
need  of  a  road  via  Red  river  and  Manchester  to  the  Gap,  pp.  337,  338.  The  con- 
struction of  three  trunk  lines  of  railway  urged,  pp.  338,  339.  The  great  advantages 
which  would  result  therefrom,  pp.  339,  340.  Their  probable  cost,  p.  340.  Proposed 
line  from  Paducah  to  Barbourville,  p.  341.  Its  mineral  and  agricultural  capacity,  pp. 
341,  342.  Difficulties  of  construction  not  great,  p.  342.  Its  great  importance,  p 
343.  Recommended  use  of  convict  labor  in  opening  and  improving  transportation 
routes,  pp.  344,  345.  Estimated  cost  and  economical  advantages  of  this  plan,  p. 
345.     The  State  should  own  its  transportation  routes,  p.  346. 

PART  VI. 

Description  of  the  preliminary  topographical  map  of  Kentucky,  edition  of  1877,  p.  349 
to  364.  Introduction;  the  character  and  object  of  the  map,  p.  349  to  351.  General 
topography  of  Kentucky,  pp.  351,  352.  Rate  of  increase  in  height  eastward,  p.  353. 
The  Cincinnati-Nashville  Axis,  p.  353.  Depression  of  the  axis  south  of  Lexington, 
p.  354.  Distribution  and  course  of  the  rivers  of  Kentucky,  pp.  355,  356.  Their  rate: 
of  fall,  p.  357.  Economic  value,  p.  357.  Their  testimony  as  to  the  uniformity  of 
the  geological  structure  of  Kentucky,  p.  358.  Underground  drainage,  pp.  358,  359. 
No  trace  of  glacial  action  in  the  river  valleys  of  Kentucky,  p.  359.  Inherited  topog- 
raphy, p.  360.     Local  peculiarities  in  the  distribution  of  certain  streams,  pp.  360, 

361.  Tortuous  character  of  the  Kentucky  rivers,  pp.  361,  362.     No  ice  action  in 
their  present  beds,  p.  362.     Frontage  and  rate  of  fall  in  relation  to  navigation,  pp 

362,  363.     Small  proportion  of  swamp  land  in  the  State,  pp.  363,  364. 

PART  VII. 

Annual  Report  of  N.  S.  Shaler,  State  Geologist,  for  the  year  1877,  p.  367.  Extent  of  the 
operations  of  the  Survey,  p.  367.  Work  done  in  the  Eastern  district,  p.  367.  Work 
done  in  the  central  district,  p.  368.  Work  done  on  the  Western  coal  field,  pp.  368, 
369.  Topographical  work  in  the  *•  Purchase"  district,  p.  369.  Increasing  skill  and 
economy  in  map-making,  p.  370.  Geodetic  work  of  the  Coast  Survey,  p.  371.  Rec- 
ommendations for  future  topographical  work,  p.  372.  Importance  of  the  erection  of 
meridian  stones,  p.  373.  Such  work  should  be  assigned  to  a  special  party,  p.  373. 
Work  of  the  geological  division  of  the  Survey,  p.  374.  Work  of  the  Assistants  of 
the  Survey  in  1877,  p.  374  to  376.  Office  and  field  work  of  N.  S.  Shaler,  p.  376. 
List  of  publications  of  the  Survey,  p.  376  to  380.     Reports  in  preparation,  pp.  380, 

X 


TABLE    OF    CONTENTS.  XI 

381.  Result  of  the  reduction  of  the  appropriation  in  1876,  p.  381.  Estimates  and 
plans  for  the  future  work  of  the  Survey,  p.  381  to  383.  Notes  on  the  problems 
encountered  by  the  Geological  Survey  during  the  year  1877,  p.  384.  Determination 
of  the  limits  of  the  coal  fields,  pp.  384,  385.  Former  connection  of  the  Eastern  and 
Western  coal  field,  p.  385.  The  oil-bearing  rocks  of  Kentucky,  p.  386  to  388.  Pro- 
posed improvement  in  the  construction  of  oil  wells,  p.  388.  Economic  marls  and 
limes,  p.  389  to  392.  Discovery  of  a  phosphate  bed  near  Lexington,  pp.  390,  391. 
Leitchfield  marls,  origin  of  the,  p.  391.  General  remarks  on  the  building  stones  of 
Kentucky,  p.  392.  Distribution  of  building  limestones,  p.  392  to  398.  Kentucky 
river  marbles,  p.  392.  Limestones  of  the  Cincinnati  Group,  pp.  393,  394.  Cornif- 
erous  limestone,  pp.  394,  395.  Waverly  sandstone,  p.  395.  Building  stones  of  the 
Keokuk  Group,  pp.  395,  396.  Warsaw  and  St.  Louis  limestones,  p.  397.  Distribu- 
tion of  building  sandstones,  p.  395  to  399.  Chester  sandstone,  p.  398.  Sandstones 
of  the  coal  measures,  p.  398.  Work  of  the  Survey  on  the  forests,  p.  399.  Plan  for 
replacing  white  oak  forests,  p.  400.  Economic  importance  of  the  forests  of  Ken- 
tucky, p.  400  to  403.  General  remarks  upon  the  pottery  clays  of  the  State,  pp.  403, 
404.     Classification  and  distribution  of  ancient  and  inodern  economic  clays,  p.  404  to 

406.  Scientific  problems,  p.  407.  Summary  of  the  scientific  and  economic  work  of 
the  Survey,  pp.  407,  408.     Former  union  of  the  Eastern  and  Western  coal  fields,  pp. 

407,  408.  Ancient  coral  reefs  in  Kentucky,  p.  408  to  410.  Peculiar  coral-like  fossil 
found  in  the  Nelson  reef,  pp.  409,  410.  Its  occurrence  at  Anticosti,  p.  410.  Gradual 
formation  of  breccias,  pp.  410,  411.  Of  geodes,  p.  411.  Of  mineral  veins,  p.  411. 
Effects  of  the  contraction  of  rocks,  p.  412.  Disruption  of  rock  near  Stanford,  Lin- 
coln county,  pp.  412,  413.     Completion  of  unfinished  work,  p.  414. 

PART  VIII. 

Report  on  the  unfinished  work  of  the  Survey  of  the  Commonwealth  under  the  direction 
of  Dr.  David  Dale  Owen,  p.  417.  Provision  for  continuing  the  first  Geological  Sur- 
vey, p.  417.  East  and  west  base  line,  by  S.  S.  Lyon,  p.  417.  Its  unserviceableness, 
pp.  417,  418.  Geological  section  of  the  Cincinnati  Axis,  p.  418.  Disproportion  of 
its  horizontal  and  vertical  scales,  p.  418.  Reduced  map  of  J.  Leslie's  base  line  sur 
▼cy,  p.  419.  Loss  of  the  original  map  of  Leslie's  base  line  survey,  p.  419.  Sketch 
map  of  the  outcrop  of  the  Eastern  coal  field,  pp.  419,  420.  Direct  value  of  the 
work  of  Mr.  Leslie  in  the  first  Survey,  p.  420.  Cause  of  the  delay  in  bringing  out 
the  fragments  of  Dr.  Owen's  work,  p.  420.  The  outcrop  belt  of  the  East  Kentucky 
coal  field,  p.  421  to  425.  Leslie,  J.,  topographical  Survey  of  the  Eastern  coal  field 
by,  p.  421.  Its  results,  p.  422.  Scientific  observations  made  during  the  Survey,  p. 
423  to  425.     Devonian  **knobstone"  series,  p.  423.     Sub-carboniferous  limestone,  p. 

423.  Millstone  grit,  pp.  423,  424.     Synclinal  trough  of  the  Eastern  coal  field,  p. 

424.  Sub-conglomerate  coal,  p.  425.     Its  timber  growth,  p.  425. 

XI  *  XII 


GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 

N.    S.    SHALER,    Director. 


GENERAL   REPORT 


OF  THE 

GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF. KENTUCKY, 


BY    N.    S.    SHALER. 


Part    I.    Vol.    III.     Second    Series. 


1*2 


INTRODUCTORY    LETTER. 


To  His  Excellency,  P.  H.  Leslie,  Governor  of  Kentucky: 

Sir:  When  you  did  me  the  honor  to  appoint  me  Geologist 
of  Kentucky,  I  was  engaged  in  some  work  in  England.  A 
telegraphic  announcement  of  the  fact  came  to  me  on  the  25th 
day  of  June,  but  matters  which  I  had  in  hand  delayed  my  x^- 
turn,  so  that  it  was  not  until  the  2  2d  day  of  August  that  I 
arrived  in  Frankfort  and  took  the  oath  of  office.  Desiring  to 
lose  no  time  in  getting  to  work,  the  same  day  I  appointed,  and 
you  were  pleased  to  confirm,  Professor  Robert  Peter,  M.  D., 
of  the  Kentucky  University,  to  be  the  chemical  assistant,  and 
Mr.  A.  R.  Crandall  to  be  the  geological  assistant  in  the  Sur- 
vey— thus  completing  the  list  of  officers  required  by  the  law. 
The  following  day  Dr.  Peter  began  the  organization  of  the 
laboratory  at  Lexington  and  I  left  for  Greenup  and  Carter 
counties  to  begin,  with  Mr.  Crandall,  the  work  of  completing 
the  surveys  of  that  district — it  being  provided  in  the  bill  for 
the  reorganization  of  the  Survey  that  the  work  should  be  a 
continuation  of  that  done  under  Dr.  Owen.  As  soon  as  this 
work  was  well  under  way,  I  returned  to  Frankfort  and  began  a 
search  for  the  records  of  the  old  Survey.  To  my  great  regret, 
I  found  that  almost  every  thing  had  been  destroyed  by  the 
burning  of  the  offices  of  the  State  in  1869.  The  field  notes, 
manuscript  maps,  &c.,  and  all  the  valuable  collections  had 
been  lost  in  this  manner.  After  much  search,  I  found,  in  Phil- 
adelphia, the  copper-plate  of  the  unfinished  map  of  Greenup, 
Carter,  Boyd,  and  Lawrence.  This  is  worth  several  hundred 
dollars  to  the  State.  Dr.  Peter  had  carefully  preserved  the 
materials  in  his  hands  at  the  time  the  Survey  was  suspended, 
so  that  something  has  been  saved  from  the  wreck. 

The  loss  of  the  records  of  the  Survey  is  the  more  to  be 
regretted  from  the  fact  that  the  Legislature  has  ordered  that 

3 


4  INTRODUCTORY     LETTER. 

this  Survey  be  a  continuation  of  that  made  by  Dr.  Owen.  As 
far  as  possible,  I  have  complied  with  this  order.  Dr.  Owen, 
however,  left  no  distinct  outline  of  his  plan  for  the  conduct 
of  the  Survey,  and  I  have  not  been  able  to  see  clearly  what 
his  plan  was  from  the  most  attentive  study  of  his  reports.  I 
have,  therefore,  thought  it  best  to  sketch  out  a  plan  for  the 
continuation  of  the  Survey,  with  the  intent  of  utilizing,  as  far 
as  possible,  the  work  that  has  been  done,  to  the  end  that  the 
Survey  may  be  finished  in  the  shortest  possible  time.  This 
plan  constitutes  the  first  part  of  my  annual  report.  My  main 
object  in  bringing  the  questions  involved  therein  before  the 
honorable  members  of  the  Legislature  is,  that  I  might  have 
their  criticism  and  their  warrant  for  the  work  I  have  under- 
taken, or  may  undertake.  Any  changes  they  may  order  will 
serve  to  limit  and  guide  me  in  the  work.  You  will  see,  by 
this  plan,  that  I  deem  it  for  the  best  interests  of  the  State  to 
complete  the  work  of  the  Survey  step  by  step,  making  no 
report  on  any  district  until  it  is  in  itself  final  and  complete. 
I  therefore  withhold  the  reports  on  the  work  we  have  in  hand. 
I  confidently  expect,  however.,  that  the  report  on  the  counties 
of  Greenup,  Boyd,  Carter,  and  Lawrence,  will  be  finished  and 
ready  for  publication  during  the  month  of  February  next.  It 
will  consist  of  about  as  much  work  as  is  embodied  in  one  of 
the  four  published  volumes  of  the  Survey,  with  two  maps  and 
a  number  of  important  sections  and  diagrams.  Work  is  now 
under  way  on  the  line  of  the  Elizabethtown  and  Paducah  Rail- 
road, and  owing  to  its  more  southern  position,  it  will  be  pos- 
sible to  concentrate  our  energies  upon  this  end  of  the  State 
during  the  winter  season.  The  work  of  mapping  the  line  of 
the  Lexington  and  Big  Sandy,  with  a  view  to  a  report  on  the 
mineral  and  other  resources  along  this  line  of  road,  has  also 
been  undertaken.  Some  progress  has  been  made  in  the 
preparation  of  a  report  on  the  building  materials  of  the 
State.  I  hope  to  have  this  completed  within  a  year.  With 
your  advice  and  consent,  I  have  communicated  a  number  of 
letters  to  the  journals  of  the  State  concerning  its  mineral 
and  other  resources.     These  informal  reports  will  be  contin- 

4 


INTRODUCTORY     LETTER.  5 

ued  from  time  to  time.  Large  collections,  illustrative  of  the 
mineral  and  soil  wealth  of  the  State,  have  been  begun,  with 
especial  reference  to  the  representation  of  the  State  in  exhi- 
bitions to  be  held  in  the  different  American  cities. 

The  following  gentlemen  are  now  employed  in  the  work  of 
the  Survey:  Dr.  Robert  Peter,  assisted  by  Mr.  John  H.  Tal- 
butt,  in  the  office  of  the  chemical  department,  at  Lexington ; 
Mr.  A.  R.  Crandall,  Mr.  Philip  N.  Moore,  Mr.  John  A.  Mon- 
roe, Mr.  C.  W.  Beckham,  and  Mr.  C.  Schenk,  in  the  field 
work.  With  myself,  this  makes  eight  persons  employed,  at 
an  average  cost  of  about  twelve  hundred  dollars  per  month, 
including. salaries,  chemical  supplies,  subsistence,  transporta- 
tion, and  repairs.  No  expense  for  rent  or  clerical  labor  has 
yet  been  incurred. 

The  following  gentlemen  have  already  engaged  to  act  as 
local  assistants,  in  accordance  with  the  system  recommended 
in  the  plan  for  the  conduct  of  the  Survey.  The  list  is  in  the 
order  of  their  acceptance : 

W.  T.  Knott,  Esq.,  for  Marion  county;  Rev.  J.  M.  Letton, 
for  Mason ;  Rev.  Dr.  Cosby,  for  Nelson  ;  Professor  Failes,  for 
Boyle ;  Dr.  W.  O.  Graves,  for  Fayette  and  Clark ;  Col.  Rand, 
for  Lewis;  Thomas  Turner,  Esq.,  for  Montgomery,  Menifee, 
Powell,  and  Wolfe;  Redd  Twyman,  Esq.,  for  Woodford;  Dr. 
A.  B.  Lyman,  for  Madison;  J.  R.  Anderson,  for  Adair. 

I  must  acknowledge  my  obligations  to  these  gentlemen, 
who,  without  reward,  have  offered  their  valuable  assistance  to 
the  State. 

The  thanks  of  the  Survey  are  due  to  Mr.  Joseph  Lesley,  of 
Philadelphia,  at  one  time  assistant  in  the  Geological  Survey 
*  under  Dr.  Owen,  for  permission  to  use  the  plate  of  a  map  of 
the  coal-field  of  Eastern  Kentucky,  prepared  by  him  since  the 
suspension  of  the  Survey.  This  map  represents  the  results 
obtained  by  one  of  the  parties  of  the  Survey  during  the  last 
year  of  the  work.  I  have  also  to  acknowledge  the  kind  assist- 
ance of  the  Eastern  Kentucky  Railroad,  and  also  the  many 
favors  of  its  Vice  President,  Mr.  Bates,  and  its  Chief  Engi- 
neer, Mr.  Stoughton.     We  are  also  indebted  to  Mr.  Kuper 

5 


6  INTRODUCTORY     LETTER. 

and  his  assistants  of  the  Lexington  and  Big  Sandy  Railroad, 
and  to  Mr.  McLeod,  the  Chief  Engineer,  and  Mr.  Brock, 
Superintendent  of  the  Elizabethtown  and  Paducah  Railroad. 

Despite  the  difficulties  which  always  surround  the  beginning 
of  any  such  undertaking,  we  have  managed  to  accomplish  a 
large  amount  of  important  work  during  the  first  three  months 
of  the  operations  of  the  Survey.  The  expenses  which  were 
incurred  for  outfit,  though  kept  within- the  narrowest  limits, 
exceeded  one  thousand  dollars,  two  thirds  of  which  was  for 
chemical  apparatus  and  supplies.  By  the  first  of  January 
about  one  half  of  the  appropriation  of  ten  thousand  dollars 
will  have  been  expended,  and  the  whole  of  the  sum  will  be 
used  by  the  first  of  next  June.  It  is  of  the  utmost  importance 
that  we  should  know,  at  the  earliest  possible  date,  what  the 
future  of  the  Survey  is  to  be ;  for,  under  any  circumstances,  I 
desire  to  complete  the  work  now  in  hand. 

Let  me  say,  in  closing,  that  I  have  already  seen  enough  of 
our  resources  to  feel  convinced  that  they  need  but  to  be  prop- 
erly set  forth  to  the  world  to  command  wealth  and  prosperity 
for  the  State. 

With  great  respect, 

Your  obedient  servant, 

N.  S.  SHALER, 
State  Geologist  of  Kentucky, 

Newport,  Ky.,  December  ist,  1873. 


PLAN   FOR  THE   CONDUCT  OF  THE   KENTUCKY 

GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY. 


No  such  considerable  work  as  the  careful  survey  of  an  ex- 
tensive and  varied  region,  like  the  State  of  Kentucky,  should 
be  undertaken  without  a  well-considered  plan.  I,  therefore, 
propose,  at  the  outset,  to  take  up  the  questions  involved  in  the 
work,  to  show  the  objects  of  the  Survey  and  the  means  of 
accomplishing  them. 

The  accepted  object  of  a  scientific  survey  of  any  region  is 
to  determine,  with  the  aid  of  exact  science,  its  relations  to 
other  parts  of  the  earth,  and  the  means  whereby  it  may  be 
made  to  contribute  to  the  welfare  of  its  inhabitants.  Taking 
the  successful  and  profitable  surveys  in  this  and  other  coun- 
tries, we  find  the  following  means  of  gaining  the  ends  in  view : 

1st.  A  general  reconnoissance  of  the  ground  in  order  to 
secure  the  outlines  of  the  problems  which  have  to  be  met. 

2d.  The  formation  of  an  accurate  topographical  map,  which 
shall  give,  on  the  scale  of  at  least  one  inch  of  map  distance 
for  every  mile  of  country,  the  exact  relations  of  every  stream, 
hill,  and  valley  throughout  the  State. 

3d.  A  Geological  Survey  which  shall  be  so  exact  as  to  indi- 
cate, on  colored  sheets  of  this  map,  the  precise  limits  of  each 
formation ;  so  that  the  owner  of  any  land,  by  the  use  of  this 
map,  and  the  accompanying  diagrams  and  reports,  may  be 
able  to  determine,  as  nearly  as  possible,  what  lies  beneath  it. 

4th.  A  careful  study  of  living  animals  and  plants  within  the 
State,  in  order  that  their  usefulness  to  man,  the  means  of  their 
nurture,  or  destruction  and  their  relation  to  the  fossil  life, 
shown  by  the  Geological  Survey,  may  adequately  be  deter- 
mined. 

5th.  The  study  of  the  physical  conditions  existing  in  the 
State — climate,  magnetic  variations,  &c. 


8  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

6th.  The  presentation  of  this  knowledge  in  such  fashion 
that  may  be  best  suited  to  secure  its  preservation  and  ready 
use  within  the  State,  and  its  dissemination  abroad. 

7th.  The -extension  of  the  study  of  science  within  the  State. 

I  propose  to  trace,  in  detail,  the  steps  which  should  be 
taken  to  effect  these  desired  results. 

Fortunately  for  us,  the  preliminary  reconnoissance  of  the 
State  has  been  substantially  completed.  Nearly  all  the  pub- 
lished results  of  the  Survey  of  Dr.  Owen  were  of  this  char- 
acter. When  he  began  his  Survey  the  general  dutline  of  the 
geological  formation  of  the  State  was  unknown ;  the  area  of 
its  coal-fiolds  was  a  matter  of  conjecture.  The  utter  want  of 
knowledge  of  the  State  was  a  difficulty  which  could  but  be 
met  by  the  cursory  explorations  which  are  recorded  in  the  four 
published  volumes  of  the  Survey.  During  his  years  of  service, 
Dr.  Owen  visiteid  nearly  every  county  in  the  State,  and  has 
recorded,  in  his  successive  reports,  the  important  results  of  his 
quick  and  vigorous  research.  It  is  difficult  to  appreciate  the 
value  of  this  preliminary  work.  Unhappily,  it  was  followed 
by  five  years  of  civil  war,  which  not  only  broke  up  the  Survey, 
but  kept  cai)italists  from  the  investments  which  they  would 
have  been  disposed  to  make.  Its  desultory  and  fragmentary 
shape,  evils,  in  good  part,  the  n^sult  of  the  very  ignorance  of 
the  work  to  be  done,  which  it  was  its  object  to  remedy,  have 
made  it  difficult  of  Jiccess,  to  any  one  not  a  special  student  of 
geology.  I  am  forced  to  confirss  that,  after  months  of  assidu- 
ous study,  I  am  not  yet  complete  master  of  its  undigested 
mass  of  facts.  After  much  consideration,  and  with  the  advice 
of  my  fellow-workers,  I  have  resolv(id  to  do  but  little  more  of 
this  preliminary  work,  which  is  costly  to  the  State  and  want- 
ing in  the  precision  and  completeness  demanded  in  every 
geological  report  meant  to  be  th<i  base  of  (iconomic  work. 
1  am  now  endeavoring  to  procure  the  required  preliminary  in- 
formation in  the  following  fashion :  To  many  of  the  Senators 
and  members  of  the  Lower  House  in  the  State  I  have  ad- 
dressed a  letter,  asking  of  them  assistance— each  for  his  own 
county — in  procuring  information  concerning  the  geological 
6 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  9 

phenomena  found  within  its  limits.  Gentlemen  of  intelligence 
and  some  leisure,  the  clerks  of  the  courts,  sheriffs,  physicians, 
and  others,  however  ignorant  of  geology,  can  give  me  great 
aid.  I  have  asked  the  honorable  gentlemen  of  our  legislative 
body  to  name  to  me  some  such  gentleman  in  each  county,  who 
is  willing  to  make  himself  the  agent  of  the  Geological  Survey 
in  procuring  information.  I  have  sought  of  them  the  follow- 
ing classes  of  information : 

I  St.  What  are  the  defects  in  the  representation  of  your 
county  on  the  maps  you  may  have  in  hand?  County  lines, 
streams,  and  roads,  how  far  are  they  in  error? 

2d.  What  are  the  mineral  springs,  or  springs  remarkable  on 
account  of  their  temperature,  volume,  variability,  &c.  ? 

3d.  What  are  the  minerals,  coals,  and  building  stones,  as 
far  as  known?  What  minesj  salt  wells,  and  quarries  have 
been  opened?  And  what  was  the  yield  of  these  materials 
last  year  ? 

4th.  What  caverns  exist  in  your  county  ? 

5th.  What  are  the  principal  points  where  good  sections 
through  the  rocks  can  be  seen? 

6th.  What  are  the  principal  varieties  of  soils  in  your  county, 
their  natural  timbering,  crops,  and  the  regions  occupied  by 
them  ? 

7th.  What  are  the  timber  trees,  and  how  are  they  distrib- 
uted in  the  county? 

8th.  What  are  the  water-powers  of  your  county,  size  of 
streams,  character  of  shore,  &c.  ? 

9th.  What  is  the  price  of  land  according  to  the  character  of 
soil,  productiveness,  and  availability  for  immigration  purposes? 

loth.  What  remains  of  ancient  races  exist  in  your  county? 

This  last  item  will  lay  the  foundation  for  an  inquiry  into  the 
history  of  our  predecessors  in  the  enjoyment  of  this  land. 
This  study  must  be  made  now,  before  the  evidences  are  quite 
swept  away  by  culture.  I  hope  to  gather  by  these  inquiries 
the  popular  information  concerning  each  county,  which  is 
pretty  generally  rich  in  well-observed  facts.  When  these  are 
collated  with  the  observations  made  by  the  Geological  Survey 


lO  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

of  Dr.  Owen,  we  shall,  I  trust,  have  for  each  county  a  basis 
for  detailed  work,  which  will  enable  me  to  begin  final  work 
therein  with  very  great  advantage.  I  am  inclined  to  think 
that  at  least  one  third  of  the  expense  of  the  geological  work 
can  be  saved  in  this  way. 

Whenever  possible,  I  have  aided  these  gentlemen,  by  advice 
and  assistance,  in  making  up  local  cabinets,  which  serve  to 
illustrate  the  geology  of  their  own  particular  region.  The 
advantages  of  these  local  cabinets  are  very  great ;  they  serve 
to  give  people  an  interest  in  their  own  country,  and  will  be 
an  immense  aid  to  the  Suxvey  when  it  comes  to  work  in  the 
regions  where  they  are  accumulated.  But  the  most  important 
result  is  to  educate,  in  each  district,  some  one  person,  who 
may  become  of  inestimable  advantage  to  his  fellow-citizens 
by  being  constantly  on  the  alert  for  indications  which  may  be 
of  importance,  to  which  he  will,  if  need  be,  call  the  attention 
of  the  officers  of  the  Survey.  A  list  of  the  gentlemen  who 
have  made  arrangements  to  give  this  form  of  assistance  to  the 
Survey  is  given  in  the  letter  which  precedes  this  report. 

The  gentlemen  who  have,  without  recompense,  taken  this 
work  upon  their  shoulders,  are  entitled  to  the  warmest  thanks 
of  their  fellow-citizens. 

The  second  division  of  the  work  of  the  Survey  presents  far 
graver  difficulties  than  the  preliminary  reconnoissance.  To 
make  an  accurate  map  of  any  country,  on  such  a  scale  as  that 
each  land-owner  may  find  a  tract  of  a  hundred  acres  or  more 
fairly  indicated  thereon,  is  one  of  the  first  and  most  import- 
ant works  of  any  survey.  Every  State  in  Europe,  and  many- 
States  in  this  confederation,  have  incurred  large  expenditures 
in  order  to  obtain  this  necessary  basis  for  all  important  works. 
To  the  geologist,  a  map  of  this  degree  of  accuracy  is  imper- 
atively necessary  if  he  would  give  his  best  work  with  the 
degree  of  accuracy  necessary  for  economic  results.  His  main 
end  is  to  indicate,on  a  map, the  precise  outline  of  each  geolog- 
ical formation,  accompanying  the  same  by  diagrams,  showing 
the  succession  of  rocks  beneath  each  district,  and  a  detailed 
report  on  its  geology,  in  such  fashion  that  the  resources  at  the 


xo 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  II 

command  of  any  land-owner  may  be  accurately  determined. 
It  must  not  be  supposed  that  it  is  to  the  geologist  alone  that 
such  maps  ard  necessary.  As  a  basis  for  land  surveys,  in  the 
construction  of  roads,  railways,  canals,  and  other  improve- 
ments, such  maps  spare  a  large  part  of  the  expense  which  is 
now  incurred  in  preRminary  explorations,  so  that  this  map- 
making  work  may  be  regarded  as  a  basis  for  the  whole  in- 
dustry of  the  State.  Most  of  the  States  in  this  Union  were 
surveyed  by  the  General  Government.  Ohio,  Illinois,  and 
Indiana,  and  the  other  States  west  to  the  Pacific,  have  had 
this  work  done  in  order  to  afford  a  basis  for  the  division  of  the 
public  lands.  The  State  of  Kentucky  having  been  organized 
before  the  adoption  of  this  system,  never  having  been,  indeed, 
a  part  of  the  Federal  territorial  domain,  came  into  the  Union 
without  any  survey  whatever,  and  has  to  this  day  remained 
without  any  other  delineation  of  its  surface  than  has  been 
given  it  by  the  chance  work  of  several  publishers.  Taking 
the  best  existing  maps  of  the  State,  we  find  they  use  a  scale 
of  four  or  five  miles  to  the  inch.  Even  with  perfect  accuracy 
and  microscopic  minuteness,  it  is  not  possible  to  give  the 
necessary  geological  details.  But  a  little  study  will  show  any 
one  that  these  maps  are  mere  bundles  of  errors.  Streams  are 
often  ten  or  twelve  miles  out  of  place.  Every  railway  survey 
shows  many  towns  a  mile  or  more  from  their  true  position. 
Indeed,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  the  average  error  in  the 
assigned  position  of  the  geographical  features  of  Kentucky 
is  several  miles.  Any  geological  mapping  done  on  such  an 
imperfect  basis  necessarily  leads  to  an  entire  revision  of  the 
work  in  a  few  years,  at  a  cost  almost  equal  to  the  first  expend- 
iture. This  shall  not  be,  for  I  have  fully  determined  that  all 
the  work  done  under  my  charge  for  this  Survey  shall  be  done 
with  a  definite  plan,  and  to  the  final  end  of  leaving  the  matter 
as  far  advanced  as  our  sciences  can  take  it.  The  revision  that 
becomes  in  time  necessary  must  be  the  revision  coming  from 
the  constant  increase  of  discovery,  not  from  the  original  incom- 
j  pleteness  of  the  work.     A  map,  and  that  as  good  as  modern 

science  can  produce,  must  be  the  very  first  object  of  the  Sur- 

IX 


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I  a  PLAN     FOR     THE     CONDUCT     OF     THE 

« 

vey.  Five  years  ago  I  should  have  had  grave  fears  as  to  the 
possibility  of  doing  this  work  in  a  sufficiently  accurate  manner. 
In  its  nature  extremely  difficult,  demanding  th^  skill  which  is 
only  found  in  a  few  large  and  long-trained  governmental  corps, 
the  first  steps  of  mapping  an  area,  such  as  the  State  of  Ken- 
tucky, are  far  beyond  the  resources  of  "ia  survey  such  as  the 
State  can  readily  organize. 

The  former  Geologist  of  the  State,  Dr.  Owen,  sought  to 
escape  from  the  difficulty  by  doing  this  work  as  part  of  the 
task  of  the  Survey.  In  the  six  years  during  which  the  Survey 
was  prosecuted,  the  greater  part  of  its  funds  were  spent  on 
the  topographical  work.  A  base  line  was  rudely  measured 
across  the  State,  and  some  maps  begun;  war,  time,  and  fire 
have  done  much  to  obliterate  the  record  of  this  work.  On 
careful  consideration,  and  by  the  advice  of  able  counselors,  I 
have  determined  that  it  would  be  imprudent  to  undertake  to 
complete  this  map  of  the  State.  It  can  scarcely  be  said  to 
have  been  begun,  notwithstanding  the  large  sums  spent  upon 
it ;  to  carry  it  out  on  the  scale  proposed,  would  cost  the  State 
several  hundred  thousand  dollars,  and  the  result  would  be, 
after  all,  unsatisfactory,  on  account  of  the  uncertainty  of  the 
basis  of  the  work.  In  place  of  this  work,  it  will  be  far  better 
to  avail  ourselves  of  the  aid  of  the  United  States  Coast  Sur- 
vey, which  is  now  offered  to  us,  for  the  purpose  of  getting  the 
triangulation  of  the  State  executed  in  a  proper  manner.  The 
State  of  Kentucky  can  fairly  claim  the  credit  of  having  done 
much  to  bring  about  the  extension  of  this  good  work  in  the 
interior  States. 

In  1868,  Governor  Stevenson,  recommended  in  his  annual 
message  the  revival  of  the  (ieological  Survey,  and  the  pas- 
sage of  a  resolution,  by  the  Kentucky  Legislature,  asking  the 
Federal  Congress  to  allow  the  Coast  Survey  to  give  its  aid  to 
such  Survey.  In  pursuance  of  this  recommendation  an  item 
of  sixty-five  thousand  dollars  was  entered  in  the  appropriation 
bill,  to  be  used  by  the  Survey  for  such  purposes.  Unfortu- 
nately the  State  failed  to  pass  the  bill  reviving  the  Geological 
Survey,  and  this  money  has  been  spent  in  work  done  in  other 

la 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  1 3 

States ;  but  I  am  promised  by  the  Superintendent  of  the  Coast 
Survey  that  the  Stcite  shall  have  her  share  of  the  appropria- 
tion which  may  be  made  by  the  next  Congress.  This  will 
secure  to  the  State  an  amount  of  money  probably  much  ex- 
ceeding the  sum  appropriated  for  the  use  of  the  Geological 
Survey.  As  the  triangulation  is  completed,  we  shall  obtain  a 
number  of  determined  points,  so  great  that  it  will  be  possible 
to  construct,  at  small  expense  and  with  great  accuracy,  maps 
on  which  the  geology  of  the  country  can  be  satisfactorily  rep- 
resented. I  therefore  venture  to  recommend  that  the  Legis- 
lature be  requested  to  memorialize  the  Federal  Government 
to  increase  the  Coast  Survey  appropriation,  so  that  the  work 
may  be  energetically  prosecuted  in  this  State.  As  at  least  a 
year  must  elapse  before  the  work  done  by  the  Coast  Survey 
will  begin  to  serve  as  a  basis  for  final  maps  of  the  State,  I 
propose  the  following  plan  for  the  work  to  be  done  in  the 
interior,  until  the  maps  can  be  made.  Most  of  the  railway 
surveys  of  the  State  have  been  made  with  sufficient  care  to 
give  us,  with  an  approximation  to  accuracy,  the  surface  of  the 
country  for  some  distance  on  each  side  of  their  lines.  With 
reductions  of  these  maps  in  hand,  it  will  be  a  comparatively 
easy  matter  to  color  them  geologically,  and  to  prepare  detail- 
ed reports  of  the  soils  and  minerals  to  be  found  along  their 
lines.  The  aggregate  length  of  the  several  lines  of  railway 
already  built,  or  about  to  be  built,  is  about  one  thousand  five 
hundred  miles.  If  the  surveys  will  give  a  basis  for  mapping, 
for  the  distance  of  five  miles  on  either  side  of  the  lines,  then 
the  work  will  include  about  the  third  part  of  the  surface  of 
the  State.  This  will  afford  data  on  which  to  solicit  immigra- 
tion, and  the  investment  of  capital  in  those  regions  which 
have  been  made  readily  accessible  by  these  roads.  Printed 
in  a  simple  way,  and  distributed  broadly,  these  reports  will 
make  the  most  effective  possible  basis  for  the  development 
of  the  State.  With  proper  care,  this  work  can  be  done  in  a 
fashion  which  will  not  make  it  necessary  to  have  it  revised  in 
order  to  bring  it  on  to  the  final  map  of  the  State.  It  may, 
therefore,  be  regarded  as  no  temporary  expedient. 

»3 


14  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

Although  I  am  compelled  to  limit  the  work  which  has  a  final 
character  to  the  region  where  railroad,  river,  and  other  sur- 
veys supply  the  basis  for  maps,'!  shall  not  hesitate  to  extend 
my  researches  to  regions  remote  from  transportation,  and  to 
make  such  reports  thereon  as  may  be  necessary  to  inform 
capitalists  who  propose  to  invest  money  in  mines,  &c.,  or  to 
encourage  citizens  to  take  the  steps  necessary  to  provide 
adequate  conveyance  for  their  mineral  wealth.  Should  the 
demand  make  it  necessary,  I  will,  besides  the  time  I  may  be 
able  to  give  to  it  myself,  <ippropriate  to  this  purpose  the 
services  of  a  competent  assistant,  whose  whole  time  shall  be 
given  to  making  special  surveys  in  aid  of  the  development  of 
various  projects  which  are  likely  to  prove  successful. 

The  development  of  the  coal  and  iron  of  the  State  will  nec- 
essarily be  the  first  object  of  the  Survey.    Though  other  States 
may  have  a  larger  area  of  these  materials,  a  careful  compari- 
son of  our  own  stores  with  those  of  other  countries  has  satis- 
fied me  that  when  we  consider  the  extent  of  our  coal  and  iron 
fields,  their  relation   to   the  most  extensive   system  of   fresh 
water  transportation  in  the  world,  their  neighborhood  to  the 
fertile  lands  of  the  central  region  of  the  State,  and  the  vast 
markets  of  the   West  and  South,   the   admirable   system  of 
rivers  which  penetrate  them,  and   only  require  small  lockage 
to  make  natural  canals  for  the  discharge  of  the  products  of 
quarry  and  mine,  and  finally  the  admirable  position  for  work- 
ing in  which  the  beds  lie,  we  are  justified  in  placing  Kentucky 
the  very  first  in  natural  wealth  of  all  the  States  in  the  Missis- 
sippi Valley.     But  our  first  object  should  not  be  to  arouse  the 
export  of  these  products  alone,  but  rather  to  show  the  way  in 
which  the  future  of  our  industries  can  be  so  managed  as  to 
induce  capital  to  seek  to  combine   our  products  within  our 
borders,  to  convert  the  coal  and  ore  into  iron,  and  this  iron 
into  its  products,  rather  than  to  ship  them  abroad  for  other 
hands  to  work.    The  richest  States  are  not  always  those  which 
produce  the  most  of  the  raw  materials  of  industry,  but  rather 
those  which  utilize  these  materials  most  effectively  within  their 
borders.     I  shall,  therefore,  not  hesitate  to  make  the  work  of 
14 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  1 5 

the  Survey  do  all  it  can  to  throw  light  on  the  questions  of 
industrial  improvement,  by  giving  the  statistics  of  mines,  fur- 
naces, &c.,  by  showing  the  natural  routes  of  transportation  as 
dependent  on  the  structure  of  the  State,  and  all  other  similar 
matters. 

In  doing  the  geological  work  along  these  railways,  the  ut- 
most care  must  be  taken  to  record  the  whole  of  the  observed 
facts  in  such  fashion  that  this  record  may  remain  a  permanent 
evidence  of  the  Survey,apart  from  any  theory  or  opinion  which 
may  be  based  upon  it.  Let  it  not  be  supposed  that  I  would 
condemn  the  explanation  of  observed  facts,  which  constitutes 
theoretical  geology.  I  only  wish  to  enforce  the  importance  of 
keeping  the  evidence  of  the  facts  in  a  way  which  will,  at  any 
time,  allow  the  conclusions  to  be  revised  without  the  expense 
of  collecting  the  evidence  again.  The  following  plan  for  the 
collection  of  materials  has  been  adopted,  and  the  work  is  being 
done  in  pursuance  therewith.  The  note-books  of  each  assist- 
ant  working  in  the  field  are  to  be  kept  with  all  possible  detail, 
and  made  a  part  of  the  records  of  the  Survey.  As  these  books 
will  represent  the  fact  of  each  observation,  with  proper  draw- 
ings for  illustration,  their  testimony  will  always  be  useful.  But 
the  most  effective  way  of  recording  the  observations  made,  is 
by  carefully  collecting  specimens  illustrative  of  each  formation 
and  preserving  them,  with  such  descriptive  labels  as  are  neces- 
sary to  show  their  position  and  relation.  These  specimens 
should  .  e  made  to  illustrate  the  resources  of  the  State  in  the 
most  ample  manner.  Enough  should  be  gathered  to  enable  us 
to  make  several  collections ;  the  first  and  most  important  to 
be  deposited  in  the  State  University  at  Lexington,  where  the 
students  of  our  principal  school  may  gain  an  adequate  idea  of 
the  resources  of  their  native  Commonwealth,  while  they  are 
studying  the  means  to  be  used  in  its  development;  another 
collection  should  be  deposited  at  the  Capital;  and  yet  another, 
or  possibly  two,  be  used  as  a  means  of  representing  the  State 
in  the  exhibitions  which  now  play  so  prominent  a  part  in  the 
industrial  life  of  this  and  other  countries.     These  collections 

«5 


1 6  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

should  be  made  to  represent,  in  an  ample  fashion,  the  follow- 
ing features : 

I  St.  The  geological  and  mineralogical  features  of  the  coun- 
try. 

2d.  Its  soils  and  their  cultivated  productions. 

3d.  Its  native  animals  and  plants. 

4th.  Its  ancient  life,  both  of  animals  and  man. 

So  close  is  the  dependence  of  all  the  forms  of  life  upon  the 
geological  conditions  of  its  surface  that  all  the  matters  above 
specified  properly  fall  under  the  attention  of  the  geologist. 
Moreover,  it  will  be  desirable  to  give,  along  with  these  col- 
lections, maps  showing  what  is  known  of  our  climate,  water- 
powers,  and  other  features  bearing  upon  the  condition  of  the 
State. 

One  of  the  advantages  to  be  derived  from  making  our  first 
studies  along  the  railroad  lines  is  the  ample  facilities  afforded 
for  transportation  of  such  collections,  as  well  as  the  good  views 
of  the  rocks,  soils,  &c.,  given  by  the  cuts  of  the  roads. 

Considerable  collections  have  already  been  made  with  a 
view  to  the  exhibition  above  referred  to ;  experiments  have 
been  made  as  to  the  methods  of  display;  and  the  details  of 
the  plan  are  set  forth  in  Appendix  A. 

Some  work  is  also  doing  toward  the  representation  of  the 

fossil  contents  of  our  rocks.     It  is  not  alone  for  their  great 

scientific  interest  that   these  objects  demand  our  attention. 

They  have  the  clearest  and  most  immediate  practical  value.    . 

Many  times  the  money  required  for  the  Geological  Survey  of 

the  State  has  been  expended  in  profitless  searching  for  coal, 

oil,  and  other  materials,  in  regions  where  they  are  known  to 

be  wanting  by  trained  geologists.     It  is  through  the  fossils, 

and  in  many  cases  through  them  alone,  that  we  are  able  to 

identify  any  stratum  and  determine  its  position.     Therefore  it 

is  imperatively  necessary,  in  any  geological  report,  to  show  the 

forms  of  animal  life  characteristic  of  each  level.     They  are 

the  inscriptions  upon  the  rocks  which  tell  their  date  and  their 

history. 
16 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  1 7 

A  special  object  of  the  Survey  will  be  to  examine  the  build- 
ing materials  of  the  State,  at  least  those  which  are  useful 
in  masonry  work.  I  am  satisfied,  from  the  work  which  has 
already  been  done,  that  the  best  building  stone  in  the  West, 
when  we  consider  their  quality  and  accessibility  to  water  trans- 
portation, lie  within  our  State ;  ^and  yet,  with  all  this  store,  the 
Federal  Government  has  been  compelled  to  pay  half  a  million 
dollars  for  a  less  enduring  stone,  brought  from  the  distant 
shores  of  Maine,  over  a  thousand  miles  away.  A  plan  for  this 
collection  is  shown  in  Appendix  B. 

By  far  the  most  important  means  of  studying  the  resources 
of  the  State,  and  contributing  to  their  increase,  is  to  be  found 
in  the  chemical  laboratory.  In  the  present  state  of  our  science, 
no  step  forward  can  be  taken  without  its  aid.  The  maker  of 
iron  and  all  other  metals,  the  cultivator  of  the  soil,  the  builder, 
the  domestic  economist,  must  all  ask  this  aid.  The  very  first 
step  taken  in  reorganizing  the  Survey  was  to  reappoint  the 
able  chemist  of  the  old  Survey,  and  arrange  for  the  starting  of 
the  laboratory.  An  arrangement  was  made  with  the  Regent 
of  the  Kentucky  University,  at  Lexington,  by  which  rooms 
were  secured,  rent  free,  at  that  central  point.  As  a  good  deal 
of  apparatus  had  to  be  purchased,  and  many  other  arrange- 
ments made,  this  laboratory  was  not  in  order  for  work  until 
the  middle  of  September.  The  report  of  the  chief  chemist 
will  show  the  condition  of  the  work  in  that  department.  Be- 
sides the  work  directly  connected  with  the  Survey,  this  labo- 
ratory will  give  to  all  citizens  of  the  State  a  chance  of  having 
analyses  made  at  less  than  one  fifth  the  usual  rates.  The 
chief  chemist,  or  his  assistant,  will  be  glad  at  all  times  to  give 
advice  concerning  the  prosecution  of  any  work  which  demands 
chemical  knowledge,  as  far  as  may  be  consistent  with  their 
other  duties.  It  is  especially  to  be  hoped  that  the  farmers  of 
the  State  may  avail  themselves  of  this  admirable  opportunity 
for  improving  the  culture  of  their  fields. 

An  important  work  of  the  laboratory  will  consist  in  the  prep- 
aration of  a  report  on  the  mineral  springs  of  the  State.  Ken- 
tucky abounds  in  waters  of  this  description.     There  can  b6 

VOL.    III.— 2  17 


1 8  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

no  doubt  that  in  time  these  springs  will  be  a  source  of  great 
wealth  to  the  State ;  many  a  one  of  them,  which  are  now  run- 
ning quite  to  waste,  would,  in  Europe,  be  valued   at  several 
hundred  thousand  dollars.     From  its  position  in    relation   to 
the  great  plains  of  the  South  and  Southwest,  the  hill  country 
of  the  State  is  clearly  destined  to  become  a   favorite   region 
wherein  invalids  may  escape  the  dangers  which  summer  brings 
in  the  lower  country.     The  neglect  in  which  the  health-giving 
springs  of  the  uplands  of  Kentucky  have  rested,  can   only  be 
explained  by  the  ignorance  of  their  properties  which    every- 
where prevails.    Within  twenty  miles  of  Cincinnati,  some  of  the 
most  remarkable  springs  in  the  world  remain  almost  unused, 
solely  from  want  of  capital  to  develop  them,  which  would  not 
fail  to  be  forthcoming  if  their  properties  were  widely  known. 
Waters  as  potent  as  those  of  Saratoga  or  the  Virginia  White 
Sulphur  Springs,  and  in  great  abundance,  are  found  at  half 
a  dozen  or  more  points  in  the  State.     Scientific  questions  of 
great  moment  connect  themselves  with  these  springs.     Their 
waters  are  but  the  brines  of  the  early  seas,  in  which  millions 
of  years  ago  our  rocks  were  laid  down.     By  studying  them  we 
get  at  a  knowledge  of  the  earliest  conditions  of  life-containing 
waters.     Moreover,  the  swampy  grounds  about  these  springs 
are  filled  with  successive  layers  of  buried  animals,  belonging 
to  the  extinct  life  of  the  country.     Elephants,  mastodons,  and 
many  other  animals  which  no  longer  live  on  our  land,  lie  buried 
by  the  thousand  around  the  waters  where  they  resorted   for 
salt.     Big  Bone  Lick,  a  territory  of  forty  acres  or  more,  is 
crowded  with  these  remains,  as  interesting,  in  their  way,  as 
the  ruins  of  Egypt.     It  is  impossible  to  exaggerate  the  im- 
portance to  science  of  a  thorough  study  of  these  great  burial 
places ;  through  such  work  we  may  be  able  to  understand  the 
nature  of  the  great  changes  that  swept  away  the  vast  creatures 
which  occupied  this  earth  before  the  time  of  man. 

Besides  the  history  of  the  extinct  creatures  of  lower  degree, 
a  proper  survey  of  the  State  must  give  some  consideration 
to  the  remains  of  prehistoric  races  of  men  which  so  abound 
within  the  State. 

i8 


KENTUCKY    GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  IQ 

The  Indians  our  fathers  found  herd  were  the  successors 
of  a  race  of  a  higher  civilization.  The  people  we  call  the 
mound-builders  have  left  their  remains  more  abundantly  in 
this  State  than  in  any  other  part  of  the  country.  Each  day 
the  work  of  culture  is  sweeping  the  time-worn  remains  away. 
We  owe  a  historic  duty  to  this  people,  whose  lands  we  have 
inherited.  The  coming  century  will  greatly  and  justly  blame 
us  if  we  ruthlessly  destroy  these  ancient  monuments  without 
preserving  even  a  record  of  their  features.  We  have  too 
little  to  link  ourselves  with  the  remote  past  of  our  race  to 
allow  these  strange  remains  to  escape  from  us  without  even 
an  effort  to  understand  their  nature.  A  few  hundred  dollars 
will  make  an  enduring  record  of  these  remains,  besides  gath- 
ering in  our  State  cabinet  a  fine  collection  to  illustrate  the  hab- 
its and  arts  of  the  ancient  men. 

By  the  enactment  which  gives  authority  to  the  present  Sur- 
vey, the  Superintendent  is  commanded  to  make  a  Botanical 
Survey  of  the  State.  Without  any  considerable  expense,  this 
work  should  be  combined  with  a  Zoological  Survey,  which  need 
only  be  carried  so  far  as  to  give  to  science  a  knowledge  of  the 
new  and  important  forms  of  animal  life  which  have  been  found 
within  the  State.  Along  with  this  a  study  of  the  fishes  of  our 
rivers  should  be  made,  with  special  reference  to  the  economic 
questions  connected  therewith.  More  than  half  of  the  Ohio 
river  system  is  subject  to  the  control  of  the  State.  It  is  diffi- 
cult to  estimate  the  possible  product  of  this  vast  river  system. 
It  is  confidently  asserted  by  the  most  experienced  fish-breeders 
that  the  average  food  product  of  an  acre  of  water  well  stocked 
with  fish  is  greater  than  that  of  the  best  land  with  the  highest 
culture.  As  Kentucky  owns  at  least  a  hundred  thousand  acres 
of  the  Ohio  river  system,  it  is  evident  that,  on  the  most  mod- 
erate calculation,  we  have  a  possible  basis  of  great  wealth  in 
this  source  of  food. 

As  the  work  of  the  Chief  Geologist  and  his  assistants  will 
lead  them  to  traverse  all  the  stream-beds  in  the  State,  I  ven- 
ture to  recommend  that  a  survey  of  the  water-powers  be  put 
in  their  hands.     This  will  add  little  to  their  labors,  for  it  will 

19 


20  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

be  easily  effected  in  connection  with  the  geological  work  and 
the  study  of  our  fishes.  The  expense  will  be  little  more  than 
the  cost  of  printing  the  report. 

That  assemblage  of  physical  conditions  we  call  the  climate 
of  the  State  should  also  be  carefully  studied.  Depending,  as 
it  docs  directly,  in  a  great  measure,  upon  the  geology  of  the 
region,  it  fairly  comes  within  the  limit  of  a  geological  survey. 
Furthermore,  as  the  all-important  questions  of  health,  of  pro- 
ducts, of  history,  indeed,  depend  upon  it,  it  must  be  regarded 
as  the  crowning  work  of  any  survey.  I  think  it  is  quite  pos- 
sible to  secure  the  aid  of  the  United  States  Signal  Service 
Corps,  so  that  the  State  may  be  spared  the  cost  while  reaping 
the  advantage  of  this  work. 

The  method  of  publishing  the  results  of  the  Survey  demands 
the  utmost  attention.     Nothing  can  be  more  impracticable  than 
the   means  ordinarily  adopted  of  bringing  such   information 
before  the  people.     In  the  first  place,  the  crowding  together, 
in   the  shape  of  annual   reports,   of  all    the  different    mate- 
rials, geological,  chemical,  zoological,  not  even  so  arranged 
that   the   facts  concerning   particular  districts   can  be    found 
together,  is  opposed  to  all  purposes  of  utility.     If  we  take  the 
ordinary  run  of  annual  reports  of  geological  surveys,  we   find 
that  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  get  a  ch^ar  idea  of  the  geology 
of  any  particular  district,  so  widely  scattered  is  the  information 
which  bears  thereon.     The  ordinary  citizen,  inexpert  in  such 
special  work,  finds  it  well  nigh   impossible  to  obtain  definite 
information  from  this  source.     The  defects  in  the  methods  of 
distributing  the  reports  are  almost  as  great  as  in  their  form. 
From  five  to  twenty-five  thousand  copies  are  thrown  suddenly 
upon  the  State;  given  away  to  every  applicant.     For  a  while 
they  are  as  plentiful  as  patent-medicine  almanacs,  and  about 
as   little   cared   for;  but  the  chances  of  the   household  soon 
waste  them,  until,  in  ten  years,  they  become  the  most  rare  of 
books.     I  have  been  trying  for  two  months  to  buy  a  few  sets 
of  the  reports  of  Dr.  Owen,  and  failed  to  get  a  single  copy  of 
the  first  volume.     I  am  inclined  to  think  that  there  are  not 

two  hundred-  copies  extant  at  the  present  time  (there  were 
20 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  21 

five  thousand  printed),  and  these  are  mostly  out  of  the  State. 
Many  counties  could  not  furnish  a  single  complete  copy.  I 
am  constantly  asked  by  scientific  men,  and  by  persons  about 
to  invest  money  in  the  State,  where  they  can  obtain  these  vol- 
umes, and  am  compelled  to  leave  their  demands  unsatisfied. 
To  avoid  these  difficulties,  which  come  from  want  of  order 
and  from  want  of  permanence  in  the  reports,  I  venture  to  pro- 
pose the  following  plan  for  the  publication  of  the  Geological 
Survey.  Let  me  say,  at  the  outset,  that  it  is  modeled  on  the 
system  followed  in  the  Geological  Survey  of  Great  Britain, 
the  most  economical,  as  well  as  the  most  successful,  of  sur- 
veys. 

In  addition  to  the  general  reports,  which  may  include  matter 
which  applies  to  the  whole  State,  let  there  be  special  reports 
on  the  geology  of  each  district,  limiting  these  to  counties,  or 
to  small  groups  of  counties,  as  the  work  may  make  desirable. 
Each  of  these  reports,  whether  special  or  general,  should  rep- 
resent work  which  is  completed  as  far  as  the  resources  of  the 
Survey  will  admit.  For  instance,  the  report  which  will  be  pre- 
sented in  a  geological  section,  including  Greenup  and  a  part 
of  Carter,  of  Boyd,  and  of  Lawrence,  will  represent  all  the 
work  done  by  the  Survey  in  this  region,  and  will  be  complete 
as  far  as  it  is  in  our  power  to  make  it.  All  that  can  be  ascer- 
tained concerning  the  iron,  coal,  and  other  minerals,  the  build- 
ing stones,  timber,  springs,  soils,  &c.,  &c.,  will  be  represented 
in  the  map  and  reports  of  this  district.  As  soon  as  the  Gov- 
ernment Survey  is  far  enough  advanced  to  give  us  new  maps, 
we  shall  proceed  to  complete  counties  and  groups  of  counties 
on  the  same  fashion.  The  general  reports  should  include 
such  matters  as  the  general  geology  of  the  State,  arranged 
in  a  way  to  be  used  as  hand-books  by  immigrants  and  others, 
a  report  on  the  mineral  waters  of  the  State,  one  on  the 
soils  and  natural  manures,  &c.  By  this  arrangement,  the  use 
of  the  information  gathered  by  the  State  Survey  will  be  greatly 

facilitated. 

I   have  already  begun  accounts  of  the  mineral  resources 

along  the  line  of  the  Lexington  and  Big  Sandy,  the  Eastern 

21 


22  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

Kentucky,  and  the  Elizabeth  town  and  Paducah  Railways.    With 
the  aid  of  my  able  and  zealous  assistants,  I  hope  to  have  these 
done  by  the  middle  of  the  coming  summer,  and   to  be  able  to 
take  up  the  work  along  other  lines  of  railway.     Each  of  these 
reports  may  be  expected  to  contain  a  map  of  the  line,  and  as 
much  territory  on  each  side  as  can  be  profitably  worked  for  its 
ores,  timber,  &c. ;  the  necessary  sectional  views  prepared  with 
accuracy,  yet  in  the  simplest  and  least  technical  lang-uag-e,  and 
a  detailed  report  of  the  geological  and  agricultural  resources 
of  the  line  of  country  traversed.     In  a  simple  form,  and  with 
cheap  printing,  these  reports  need  not  cost  over  twenty  to 
thirty  cents  a-piece,  so  that  they  can  be  distributed  by  our  rail- 
ways, at  their  own  expense,  with  great  advantage.      In  the 
publication  of  the  economic  results  of  the  Survey,  it  must  be 
kept  steadily  in  mind  that  the  immigration  of  capital  and  labor 
is  wonderfully  affected  by  advertisement.     Other  States,   by 
making  their  small  resources  widely  known  throughout   the 
world,  are  drawing  to  themselves  the  capital  and  energy  which 
is  always  seeking  new  homes ;  we,  with  our  noble  resources, 
are  making  no  headway. 

With  this  method  of  publication  we  should  have  a  method 
of  distribution  quite  different  from  that  usually  adopted.     The 
reports  should  be  stereotyped,  and  not  over  a  thousand  copies 
printed  at  the  outset.     Of  these,  one  copy  should  be  given  to 
each  member  of  the  Legislature ;  fifty  copies  given  to  public 
institutions ;   one  copy  of  each  general  report  filed  in  every 
county  court ;  the  special  reports  should  be  also  supplied  to 
each  county  interested  therein.     The  remainder  should  be  put 
on  sale  at  the  cost  of  production.     The  demand  would  prob- 
ably require  of  each  general  report  about  an  average  of  two 
hundred  copies  a  year,  and  of  the  special  reports  about  half 
this  number;  but  every  volume  so  distributed  would  be  an  im- 
mediate source  of  usefulness,  and  at  the  end  of  ten  years,  in 
place  of  one  twentieth  of  the  copies  surviving,  at  least  nine 
tenths  would  be  in  positions  to  advance  the  interests  of  the 
State.    The  cost  of  publication  to  the  State  would  be  not  over 
one  half  what  it  would  be  under  the  old  system,  and  the  effect- 

22 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  2$ 

iveness  would  be  beyond  measure  greater.  As  I  said  before, 
the  British  Survey,  where  the  experience  runs  over  fifty  years, 
and  a  great  variety  of  experiments  have  been  had,  is  distinctly 
in  favor  of  this  method  of  publication  and  distribution.  The 
State  of  California,  where  there  is  now  in  progress  the  most 
admirable  Survey  which  has  ever  been  undertaken  on  this  con- 
tinent, equaling,  if  not  surpassing,  the  best  European  work, 
follows  the  same  plan  of  distribution. 

Besides  the  printed  evidences  of  the  work  done  by  the 
State  Survey,  the  collections  it  makes,  and  their  proper  dis- 
play, merit  a  great  deal  of  consideration.  I  have  already 
referred  to  the  most  important  matters  in  that  connection ;  its 
importance  justifies  me,  however,  in  calling  special  attention 
to  the  question  of  the  display  of  the  resources  of  the  State  at 
the  Centennial  Exposition  at  Philadelphia  in  1876.  By  taking 
pains  to  prepare  for  the  smaller  exhibitions  to  be  held  in  Lou- 
isville, Cincinnati,  and  Chicago,  in  the  next  three  years,  we 
shall,  by  1876,  have  a  better  basis  for  the  illustration  of  the 
State  than  any  other  Survey  is  likely  to  have.  An  annual  ex- 
penditure of  less  than  one  thousand  dollars,  for  five  years,  will 
enable  us  to  do  this,  and  will  leave  the  collections  in  our 
hands  for  use  at  the  Capital,  and  at  the  State  University.  It 
needs  no  argument  to  show  the  desirability  of  making  a  proper 
exhibition  at  Philadelphia.  The  estimate  that  the  world  at 
large  will  form  of  the  several  States  of  our  confederation  will 
largely  depend  on  the  show  made  by  them  at  this,  our  first 
truly  national  exhibition. 

I  have  already  elsewhere  incidentally  indicated  the  principal 
means  whereby  the  Geological  Survey  can  be  made  to  advance 
the  general  interests  of  science  in  this  State.  Some  efforts 
towards  this  result  are  to  be  found  in  the  connection  which 
has  been  made  between  the  laboratory  of  the  Survey  and  the 
University  at  Lexington.  This  arrangement  will  extend  still 
further?  The  senior  geological  assistant,  Mr.  Crandall,  during 
the  months  when  the  weather  is  too  bad  to  make  his  labor 
profitable  in  the  field,  will  be  employed  by  the  University, as  a 

teacher  of  geology,without  expense  to  the  Survey.     This  post 

23 


24  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

will  enable  him  greatly  to  extend  the  knowledge  of  the  State 
among  its  growing  youth.  The  selection  of  local  agents  of 
the  Survey  in  each  county,  gentlemen  who  are  willing  to 
become  special  students  and  fellow-workers  of  the  Superin- 
tendent in  the  investigation  of  their  districts,  cannot  fail  to  do 
something  towards  developing  an  interest  in  such  matters.  I 
am,  moreover,  satisfied  that  it  is  desirable  to  have  in  the  em- 
ploy of  the  Survey  at  least  half  a  dozen  young  men,  who  have 
selected  mining  or  civil  engineering  for  their  profession,  who, 
having  their  expenses  paid  by  the  Survey,  will  receive  their 
remuneration  in  the  training  the  work  gives  them.  Much 
of  the  mere  mechanical  work  of  the  Survey  can  be  done  by 
young  men  with  half  a  year's  training.  Even  as  a  measure 
of  economy,  this  system  would  commend  itself  for  adoption ; 
but  the  advantage  of  having  in  constant  training  a  half  dozen 
selected  youths,  who  will  keep  their  training  at  the  service  of 
the  State,  cannot  readily  be  over-estimated.  A  grave  disad- 
vantage connected  with  the  former  Survey  was,  that,  with  a 
single  exception,  none  of  the  half  dozen  persons  employed 
were  residents  within  the  State,  and  not  a  young  man  was 
trained  to  its  service  during  its  five  years  of  useful  work.  I 
am  satisfied  that,  with  care,  each  year  of  the  work  can  be 
made  to  train  several  young  men  to  the  knowledge  of  the 
resources  of  the  State,  and  this  without  much  extra  expense 
to  the  Survey. 

While  every  effort  should  be  made  to  bring  the  largest 
material  return  for  the  expenditure  of  the  Survey,  the  ques- 
tions of  economy  and  practicality  should  not  narrow  its  bounds 
or  hamper  its  work.  A  great  Commonwealth  endeavoring  to 
set  before  the  world  its  wealth  of  resources,  cannot  measure 
every  step  by  its  immediate  profit.  The  questions  which  seem 
to  be  purely  scientific,  demand  the  same  attention  as  those 
which  bring  us  at  once  to  cash  in  hand.  The  time  has  passed 
away  when  an  arbitrary  division  could  be  made  between  the 
knowledge  that  pays  and  that  which  does  not.  The  abstract 
science  of  to-day  is  bread  for  millions  in  ten  years  of  time. 
Twenty  years  ago,  a  speculative  German  spent  his  time  in 
24 


^ 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  25 

Studying  the  spectrum  of  the  sun  with  a  microscope,  trying  to 
find  what  gases  were  flaming  in  its  atmosphere ;  to-day  his 
work  helps  to  make  the  Bessemer  steel  process  a  possibility, 
and  is  one  of  the  keys  to  an  annual  product  of  one  hundred 
millions  of  dollars,  and  an  industry  which  is  to  revolutionize 
our  arts. 

This  is  but  one  of  very  many  cases  where  science,  the  most 
impracticable  in  appearance,  is  the  most  practical  in  its  results. 
The  true  economy  is  to  believe  that  truth  is  wealth,  and  seek 
it  wherever  it  can  be  found.  A  survey  having  this  principle 
for  its  guidance,  will  do  much  to  give  our  Commonwealth  its 
true  place  among  States. 


APPENDIX    A. 


MUSEUMS    OF   THE    STATE. 

I  St.  The  geological  and  mineralogical  collections. 

The  object  of  these  collections  should  be  to  exhibit  the  fol- 
lowing features: 

(A.)  The  succession  of  rocks  and  their  contents,  from  the 
base  of  the  section  within  the  State  to  its  uppermost  member, 
with  such  illustration,  drawn  from  other  countries,  as  may  be 
necessary  for  its  explanation.  This  collection  should  include, 
besides  the  older  rocks,  fossils  of  post-tertiary  times. 

(B.)  A  mineralogical  collection,  including  specimens  illus- 
trative of  the  metallurgy  of  the  State,  ores,  coals,  slags,  and 
their  products. 

All  these  materials  should  be  accumulated  in  such  quantities 

that  these  collections  may  be  triplicated,  at  least,  in  their  most 

important  features.     Specimens  of  ores  should  include  at  least 

200  cubic  inches  of  each  kind.    All  important  specimens  should 

be  accompanied  by  a  sketched  section,  showing  the  precise 

relation  of  the  mass  to  its  surroundings.     Whenever  possible, 

the  specimens  should  be  numbered  corresponding  to  label  and 

catalogue. 

25 


26  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

2d.  Museum  of  soils  and  cultivated  products. 

The  first  object  of  this  collection  should  be  to  show  the  full 
history  of  the  soils  of  the  State,  their  derivation,  their  original 
condition,  the  losses  from  cultivation,  and  the  means  of  their 
restoration  to  original  fertility,  or  of  elevating  them  above 
their  native  state.  The  collection  should  consist  of  four  sam- 
pies  of  each  important  variety  of  soil,  representing:  ist.  The 
surface  soil  as  worn  by  culture ;  2d.  The  subsoil  beneath  the 
same ;  3d.  The  rock  whence  derived ;  4th.  The  virgin  soil  of 
the  same  quality,  if  it  can  be  obtained.  These  should  be 
exhibited  in  glass  bottles,  arranged  one  above  the  other  on 
proper  shelves ;  along  with  them  there  should  be  full  descrip- 
tions of  the  soils,  their  products,  proper  culture,  &c. ;  the 
chemical  analysis,  with  a  list  of  the  deficient  materials,  with 
notes  of  the  best  means  of  restoring  the  lost  elements  by 
manuring,  or  by  rotation  of  crops,  fallowing,  &c. 

The  collection  of  cultivated  products  should  be  iarranged 
with  special  reference  to  the  illustration  of  the  soils  and  the 
action  of  manures.  In  the  collection  of  this  museum  the  aid 
of  the  agricultural  societies  should  be  sought. 

In  this  museum  should  be  shown  the  results  of  manuring,  as 
shown  by  the  change  in  the  analysis  of  the  soil  and  the  pro- 
duct— this  with  special  reference  to  the  manures  to  be  ob- 
tained from  the  marls  and  limestone  beds  of  the  neighboring 
country. 

3d.  Museum  of  woods  and  other  native  botanical  products. 

The  special  object  of  this  collection  should  be  the  illustra- 
tion of  the  valuable  timbers  of  the  State,  as  well  as  the  other 
botanical  products  which  may  be  of  importance. 


APPENDIX    B. 


BUILDING    MATERIALS. 

The  building  materials  of  this  State  should  have  an  ample 
illustration.  They  at  present  represent  industries  requiring 
a  capital  of  over  a  million  of  dollars,  and  will  in  ten  years 


a6 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  2  J 

probably  quadruple  this  amount.  The  failures,  due  to  the 
want  of  knowledge  of  the  distribution  of  the  building  stones 
in  the  lower  silurian  rocks  of  Campbell  county  alone,  would 
support  the  Geological  Survey  for  at  least  two  years. 

The  most  important  of  these  industries  are  in  connection 
with  the  following  materials : 

I  St.  Building  stones,  sandstones,  limestones,  and  flint  stones. 

2d.  Brick  clays. 

3d.  Fire-clays. 

4th.  Water  cements  and  limes. 

5th.  Timber. 

The  museum  of  building  stones  should,  among  other  speci- 
mens, include  several  blocks  of  each  important  variety,  to  be 
exposed  in  the  open  air.  The  most  admirable  feature  con- 
nected with  our  Kentucky  marbles  and  sandstones,  is  their 
effective  resistance  to  the  decay  usually  brought  on  by  the 
action  of  the  atmosphere. 

The  building  stones  accessible  to  water  transportation  in 
Kentucky  are,  on  the  whole,  the  best  in  the  West.  A  careful 
series  of  experiments,  serving  to  show  in  an  accurate  way 
their  resistance  to  decay,  will  be  calculated  to  aid  their  intro- 
duction into  use.  In  the  month  of  September  the  Federal 
Government  awarded  a  contract  for  building  stone,  to  be  used 
in  the  new  custom-house  building  in  Cincinnati,  to  a  firm  of 
quarriers  in  Maine.  A  safer  building  stone,  more  enduring, 
and  of  a  far  better  architectural  effect,  can  be  quarried  on  the 
banks  of  the  Kentucky  river  at  half  the  expense  of  the  trans- 
portation of  building  materials  from  that  distant  point. 

The  woods  of  the  State  should  also  be  shown,  with  special 

reference  to  the  decorative  timbers  in  which  our  State  abounds. 

Care  should  be  taken  to  point  out  the  distribution  and  relative 

abundance  of  the  several  species  of  trees  in  different  regions. 

With  a  view  to  this,  and  of  showing  the   relative  abundance 

of  different  species  at  different  points,  it  will  be  necessary  to 

select,  in  each  region,  several  acres  of  virgin  forest,  and  by 

counting  the  several  species,  determine  the  per  cent,  of  each 

a; 


28  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

kind  in  the  given  area.  Then,  by  taking  the  size  of  the 
largest,  it  will  be  possible  to  describe  the  forest  resources  of 
the  State  in  a  way  calculated  to  show  clearly  their  surpassing 
wealth. 

The  brick  clays  of  the  State  are  numerous  and  more  varied 
in  character  than  is  commonly  believed.  These  should  be 
represented  along  with  the  pottery  clays,  of  which  there  are 
several  good,  though  unused  sources.  It  is  especially  desirable 
that  this  latter  industry  should  be  fostered,  inasmuch  as  it  can 
be  introduced  with  little  capital,  and  will  fill  a  want  which  is 
now  supplied  from  foreign  sources. 

The  fire-clays  of  the  State  are  of  great  value,  and  only 
require  a  small  investment  to  give  them  a  high  place  among 
the  resources  of  the  States.  In  England  the  mines  of  this 
material  are  among  the  most  profitable  in  the  kingdom.  The 
demand  is  daily  increasing;  while  the  amount  of  material  of 
good  quality  is  so  small  that  the  supply  is  not  likely  to  over- 
take it.  I  shall  seek  to  have  samples  of  the  best  forms  made 
into  the  several  articles  for  which  it  is  fitted,  and  exhibited  in 
our  collections. 

Along  the  banks  of  the  Ohio,  the  Licking,  and  especially 
along  the  Kentucky,  we  have  the  combination  of  cheap  coal, 
and  accessible  limestone  and  cement  stone,  which  goes  so  far 
to  make  the  production  of  lime  and  cement  profitable  indus- 
tries. When  the  improved  transportation  on  these  rivers 
brings  coal  and  carriage  to  the  minimum,  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  these  articles  will  make  an  important  source  of 

commerce. 
28 


KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  29 

APPENDIX     C. 

ESTIMATE  OF  THE  EXPENDITURE  FOR  THE  SURVEY  OF  THE  RESOURCES 
OF  KENTUCKY,  FOR  THE  YEAR  FROM  JANUARY  iST,  1874,  TO  JANUARY 
1ST,  1875. 

For  the  pay  of  persons  employed  in  the  geological  work — five  in  number,  including 

the  Superintendent ^6,500 

For  the  transportation  and  subsistence  of  geological  parties  in  the  field,  eight 

months  in  the  year 2,000 

For  the  work  of  an  assistant  employed  as  special  student  of  the  fisheries,  including 

subsistence  and  transportation 500 

For  pay  of  persons  employed  in  map-making 1 ,000 

For  the  pay  of  chemist  and  assistant 2,500 

For  the  purchase  of  chemical  supplies 500 

For  the  expenses  of  forming  and  exhibiting  collections  illustrative  of  the  State's 

resources,  including  show-cases  and  transportation l»500 

For  the  support  of  two  aids  or  apprentices  of  the  Survey 500 

For  the  expenses  of  printing  the  reports  of  the  Survey 2,oco 

For  the  construction  of  two  wagons,  the  purchase  of  horses,  &c.,  for  camp  outfit  .  1 ,200 

$18,200 


With  expenditures  on  this  scale,  I  shall  be  able  to  prosecute 
work  at  four  points  at  the  same  time.  The  sum  is  much  less 
than  the  annual  appropriations  of  the  States  of  Ohio,  Missouri, 
and  California. 

As  I  hold  it  improper  for  a  servant  of  the  State  to  withhold 
the  whole  truth  concerning  the  work  put  into  his  hands,  I  have, 
against  the  advice  of  some  counselors,  made  a  careful  estimate 
of  the  time  required  to  complete  the  work  in  the  State. 

The  time  required  will  be  determined  in  a  great  measure 
upon  the  work  the  State  concludes  to  have  done,  supposing 
that  we  keep  the  following  points  in  view — 

1st.  The  preparation  of  a  succinct  account  of  the  geology, 
etc.,  of  the  State,  treating  it  by  counties,  with  a  general  geo- 
logical map  on  a  small  scale.  The  whole  meant  to  fill  one 
volume  of  moderate  size,  of  a  nature  calculated  to  attract 
immigration. 

2d.  The  preparation  of  maps  of  each  railway  line,  and  a 
report  giving  the  geology,  soils,  productions,  timber,  water- 
powers,  etc.,  within  ten  miles  or  more  on  each  side. 

3d.  A  report  on  the  mineral  springs. 

29 


30  PLAN  FOR  THE  CONDUCT  OF  THE 

4th.  A  sufficient  account  of  our  fossils  to  make  the  deter- 
miaation  of  our  rocks  a  possibility. 

5th.  A  report  on  the  fisheries  of  the  State. 

This  would  require,  I  estimate,  three  years  from  the  ist  of 
January,  1874,  with  an  average  annual  expenditure,  including 
printing,  of  about  fifteen  thousand  dollars  per  annum.  I  do 
not  think  it  need  run  over  seventeen  thousand  at  the  outside. 
When  the  work  comes  to  this  point,  the  United  States  Coast 
Survey  will  have  given  us  a  thorough  triangulation  of  the 
State,  at  an  expense  much  greater  than  the  geological  work. 
If  the  State  then  elects  to  complete  its  geological  map  on  a 
large  scale,  so  that  each  land-owner  can  see  for  himself  just 
what  he  has  below  his  soil,  then  it  may  be  necessary  to  have 
some  years  more  life  given  to  the  Survey.  This  reckoning 
need  not  be  made  now.  I  am,  however,  so  sure  that  the  Sur- 
vey will  prove  the  key  to  a  new  access  of  vigor  and  prosperity 
to  the  State,  that  I  am  confident  that  its  authorities  will  seek 
to  continue  it  until  its  fullest  work  is  done. 

It  is  important  to  note,  however,  that,  to  work  economically, 

it  will  be  necessary  to  enable  the  Director  of  the  Survey  to 

be  able  to  forecast  the  work  of  the  three  years,  by  voting 

the  appropriation  for  that  time;  men  can  be  hired  for  much 

smaller  recompense  when  its  duration  is  to  be  reckoned  upon. 

I  must  say  also  that  the  estimation  of  the  cost  of  such  work  is 

quite  difficult,  and  is  liable  to  some  errors. 

N.  S.  SHALER, 

State  Geologist  of  Kentucky. 
30 


GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 

N.    S.    SHALER,    Director. 


HISTORY 


OF   THE 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY 

IN    1874   AND   1875. 

BY    N.    S.    SHALER. 


Part    II.    Vol.    III.     Second    Series. 


31  *3» 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE  SURVEY 

FROM   1854  TO   i860. 


The  Geological  Survey  of  Kentucky  was  authorized  by  an 
act  of  its  Legislature  in  1854;  in  the  same  year  Dr.  David 
Dale  Owen  was  appointed  State  Geologist,  and  the  work  was 
begun  by  him  in  the  summer  of  that  year.  This  work  was 
commenced  at  a  time  when  the  very  outlines  of  the  geology 
of  the  State  were  but  imperfectly  known ;  it  was  therefore  at 
first  necessarily  directed  towards  the  end  of  securing  a  gen- 
eral account  of  the  geology  of  the  State,  such  as  may  be 
obtained  by  a  rapid  reconnoissance.  This  preliminary  study, 
which  should  precede  all  deliberate  and  organized  geological 
work,  was  carefully  and  expeditiously  carried  on,  and  the  four 
volumes  forming  the  annual  reports  of  Dr.  Owen  and  his 
assistants,  constitute  a  sufficient  record  of  one  of  the  most 
successful  preliminary  surveys  ever  undertaken  in  this  coun- 
try. Along  with  this  general  reconnoissance  of  the  State,  the 
record  of  which  forms  the  larger  part  of  these  reports,  we  have 
a  certain  number  of  reports  which  have  a  more  special  value. 
The  elaborate  and  valuable  chemical  reports  of  Dr.  Robert 
Peter,  the  reports  of  Mr.  Leo  Lesquereux,  and  some  other 
special  reports,  have  a  value  as  scientific  contributions,  inde- 
pendent of  their  worth  as  aids  to  the  making  of  a  final  and 
detailed  survey.  But  as  a  whole,  the  report  of  Dr.  Owen 
may  be  regarded  as  furnishing  only  the  basis  on  which  a 
detailed  study  of  the  economic  and  scientific  questions  can 
be  founded.  In  i860  the  death  of  Dr.  Owen  and  the  fore- 
bodings of  the  disastrous  civil  war,  led  to  the  discontinuance 
of  the  Survey;  and  it  was  not  until  thirteen  years  after,  that 
the  condition  of  the  State,  in  the  judgment  of  the  Legislature, 

admitted  a  revival  of  the  work.     In  the  session  of  1 872-^3,  an 
VOL  1 11-3.  33 


4  HISTORY   OF    THE 

act  was  passed  giving  the  sum  of  $10,000  for  the  resumption 
of  the  work,  it  being  expressly  stipulated  that  it  should  be 
taken  up  just  where  it  had  been  left  off  by  the  survey  of  Dr. 
Owen.  In  order  to  set  clearly  before  the  reader's  mind  the 
position  in  which  the  reorganized  survey  was  placed  by  this 
obligation  to  continue  the  work  of  Dr.  Owen,  it  will  be  nec- 
essary to  give  a  brief  sketch  of  the  operations  of  the  Survey 
during  the  time  when  it  was  under  his  direction.  As  before 
remarked,  the  work  done  by  Dr.  Owen  and  his  assistants  was 
essentially  a  reconnoissance,  and  was  necessarily  directed  to 
the  end  of  obtaining  an  outline  of  the  general  geological  struc- 
ture of  the  State.  In  the  first  of  his  annual  reports,  the  gen- 
eral report  of  Dr.  Owen,  occupying  250  pages  of  the  volume, 
is  given  to  the  description  of  his  reconnoissance  of  the  western 
coal  field  of  Kentucky,  and  some  notes  on  the  observations 
made  by  himself  and  assistants  in  the  eastern  part  of  the 
State.  The  first  part  of  this  report  is  an  able,  and  on  the 
whole  satisfactory,  sketch  of  the  general  outlines  of  the  geo- 
logical structure  of  western  Kentucky;  the  second  part  is 
more  fragmentary,  and  is  open  to  criticism  on  several  import- 
ant points.  Following  this  general  report  of  the  principal 
geologist,  we  have  the  report  of  Dr.  Robert  Peter,  the  chem- 
ical assistant  of  the  Survey,  the  first  of  the  series  of  exten- 
sive and  admirable  reports  on  the  analyses  of  coals,  ores, 
soils,  &c.,  which  have  already  served  to  carry  our  knowledge, 
of  the  chemistry  of  Kentucky  beyond  that  of  any  other  State 
in  America.  In  the  180  pages  of  this  report  we  have  about 
two  hundred  analyses,  with  a  somewhat  extended  discussion 
of  the  most  important  of  them.  The  remainder  of  the  letter- 
press of  this  volume  is  occupied  by  a  report  of  Sidney  S. 
Lyon,  topographical  assistant,  which  gives  a  combined  geo- 
logical and  topographical  report  of  the  map-work  done  in 
western  Kentucky,  in  a  part  of  Union  and  Crittenden  coun- 
ties. 

In  twenty  pages  of  letter-press  we  have  a  brief  description 
of  the  topography  of  the  region;  some  facts  of  only  trivial 
importance  concerning  the  geology,  and  a  recommendation  for 

34 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  5 

the  survey  of  a  base  line  from  the  mouth  of  Highland  Creek, 
in  Union  county,  to  a  point  on  the  Virginia  line,  in  Pike 
county,  due  east  of  the  first  named  place.  This  line,  it  was 
proposed,  should  serve  as  a  basis  whereon  to  build  the  suc- 
cessive maps  of  the  State,  which  were  then  in  contemplation. 
The  execution  of  this  project  was  begun  in  the  subsequent 
year.  The  most  important  matter  in  this  volume,  from  an 
economic  point  of  view,  is  the  chemical  work,  and  the  various 
diagramatic  sections  placed  at  the  end  of  the  volume.  The 
latter  give  the  first  general  statement  of  the  structure  of  the 
State  in  a  shape  to  be  generally  understood. 

The  second  volume  of  Dr.  Owen's  report  contains  his  sec- 
ond annual  report,  and  those  of  his  chemical  and  topographical 
assistants.  Dr.  Owen's  report  begins  with  a  discussion  of  the 
importance  of  the  chemical  study  of  the  soils,  and  contains 
much  practical  advice,  which  has  doubtless  been  of  value  to 
the  State.  This  general  discussion  is  followed  by  an  extended 
consideration  of  the  data  given  by  the  analyses  already  made 
by  Dr.  Peter.  This  chapter,  occupying  about  fifty  pages  of 
the  report,  is  followed  by  a  dissertation  on  the  coals,  ores, 
&c.,  which  had  already  been  examined.  In  it  attention  is 
called  to  many  important  sources  of  wealth  in  the  building 
stones,  mineral  waters,  &c.  A  large  number  of  the  important 
waters  of  this  class,  occurring  within  the  State,  were  submit- 
ted to  a  qualitative  analysis  by  Dr.  Owen,  in  a  fashion  suited 
for  reconnoissance,  but  not  valuable  as  final  work.  The  gen- 
eral geology  of  the  State  was  also  materially  advanced  by 
many  accurate  sections  made  by  him,  and  published  in  this 
report.  His  great  industry  may  be  seen  in  the  number  of 
counties  over  which  the  reconnoissance  had  been  extended 
during  the  operations  of  this  year. 

Thie  report  of  Dr.  Robert  Peter  contains  the  analysis  of 
two  hundred  and  six  different  substances,  including  seventy 
ores  and  forty-three  soils.  Appended  to  the  special  reports 
is  a  general  statement  of  the  method  pursued  in  collecting 
the  soils,  and  something  concerning  the  methods  of  analyses 
with  the  coals,  &c.     At  the  close  of  his  report  we  have  a  set 

35 


6  HISTORY   OF    THE 

of  carefully  arranged  tables,  wherein  are  grouped,  under  ap- 
propriate heads,  all  the  analyses  which  had  been  made  for  the 
Survey  up  to  that  time.  The  last  seventy  pages  of  the  volume 
are  taken  up  with  the  report  of  the  topographical  assistant. 
This  includes  an  account  of  the  work  done  in  reconnoitering 
or  mapping,  in  part,  of  the  counties  of  Hopkins,  Crittenden, 
Livingston,  Caldwell,  Christian,  and  Henderson,  in  the  west- 
ern part  of  the  State,  and  of  the  counties  of  Greenup  and 
Carter,  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  State.  There  are  also 
some  incidental  notes  on  parts  of  Bourbon,  Bath,  Fleming, 
and  Lewis  counties.  The  report  closes  with  a  brief  state- 
ment of  the  progress  made  in  the  survey  of  an  east  and  west 
base  line,  which  had  been  proposed  in  the  preceding  report. 
The  report,  which  is  very  brief,  and  gives  a  most  unsatisfac- 
tory account  of  the  means  taken  to  carry  out  this  important 
work,  closes  when  the  line  had  been  carried  about  sixty  miles 
from  the  point  of  departure.  There  are  no  maps  or  sections 
appended  to  this  volume. 

The  third  volume  begins  with  a  chapter  on  the  coal  meas- 
ures, giving  a  general  account  of  their  beds  as  far  as  they 
had  been  developed  at  that  time.  A  good  many  of  the 
conclusions  given  have  been  much  limited  by  subsequent 
discoveries ;  but  the  rapid  progress  in  the  reconnoissance 
made  by  the  Survey  shows  itself  in  the  general  clearness 
and  accuracy  of  this  sketch. 

The  second  chapter  discusses  the  operations  of  the  Survey 
in  the  study  of  Kentucky  soils — over  two  hundred  had  already 
been  collected.  This  essay,  together  with  the  following  re- 
port of  Dr.  Peter,  forms  an  admirable  general  account  of  the 
soils  of  Kentucky.  The  third  chapter  gives  the  qualitative 
analysis  of  a  number  of  mineral  waters  not  before  examined. 
All  this  work  is  strictly  preliminary,  and  may  be  regarded  as 
belonging  to  the  reconnoissance  of  the  State.  Next  we  have 
the  general  report  of  the  reconnoissance  made  by  Dr.  Owen, 
being  simply  the  jottings  of  the  things  seen  in  a  rapid  survey 
of  the  counties  through  which  the  reconnoissance  had  been 
carried.  Every  county  of  the  State  had  now  been  visited  in 
36 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  7 

a  preliminary  way,  and  in  a  certain  sense,  the  reconnoissance 

of  the  State  had  been  finished. 

Some  part  of  this  work,  however,  had  been  conducted  with 

so  much  haste  that  it  could  not  be  regarded  as  sufficient  for 

even   the  most   general   purposes.      The   chemical   report  in 

this  volume   includes  analyses    of  two   hundred   and    twenty 

substances,  more  than  one  half  being  soils  and  under-clays. 

The  work  is  summed  up  in  a  series  of  tables  at  the  close  of 

the  report,  giving,  in  a  compact  form,  a  complete  list  of  the 

chemical  constituents  of  each  soil  or  other  substance  analyzed 

during  the  year. 

The  last  report  of  this  volume  is,  in  effect,  a  continuation 
of  the  report  of  the  topographical  assistant  of  the  work  done 
in  Greenup,  Lawrence,  and  Hancock  counties.  In  it,  as  be- 
fore, we  have  a  combination  of  geological  and  topographical 
results  of  the  surveys  in  these  counties.  It  contains  many 
well-made  sections,  illustrating  the  rocks  of  these  districts. 
There  are  some  general  conclusions,  hastily  drawn,  concern- 
ing the  structure  of  the  Greenup  county  district.  This  part 
of  these  reports  has  been  discussed  in  the  report  on  this 
district  by  Mr.  A.  R.  Crandall,  geological  assistant  of  the 
present  Survey.* 

Immediately  following  this  report  we  have  another  by  the 
same  author,  on  the  paleontological  results  of  the  Survey. 
In  it  a  number  of  species  of  crinoids,  principally  from  the 
neighborhood  of  the  Ohio  falls  and  from  Crittenden  county, 
are  described.  This  report  was  accompanied  by  five  plates, 
illustrating,  in  a  very  satisfactory  way,  the  fossils  therein 
described.  The  progress  in  the  study  of  the  fossil  contents 
of  our  rocks  is  marked  by  the  addition  of  two  other  valuable 
paleontological  memoirs  to  this  volume ;  one  of  these,  by  Dr. 
Leo  Lesquereux,  concerns  the  flora  of  the  coal  measures  of 
western  Kentucky.  It  was  substantially  an  attempt  to  identify 
the  coal  beds,  and  determine  to  which  of  them  a  particular 
bank  might  belong,  by  a  study  of  the  fossil  coal  plants  found 
in  the  shales  overlying  the  several  beds  of  coal.  There  is 
also  an  excellent  description  of  the  process  by  which  coal  is 

*See  Reports  first  volume,  new  series,  page  i  et  seq.  37 


8  lllSTORV   OF    THE 

formed,  which  has  a  peculiar  value,  coming  from  one  of  the 
most  learned  students  of  the  phenomena  of  coal  beds. 

Following  this  is  a  detailed  review  of  the  coals  of  western 
Kentucky,  based  upon  the  fossil  plants  associated  with  each 
bed,  but  those  formed  especially  in  the  shales  above  it.  In 
this  examination,  the  investigator  has  assumed  that  the  suc- 
cessive beds  will  have  different  assemblages  of  plants  fossilized 
in  their  substance  and  in  the  neighboring  shales  deposited  at 
about  the  same  time.  Whatever  may  be  the  opinion  concern- 
ing this  method  as  a  means  of  determining  the  identity  of 
beds  of  coal,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  investigations 
which  are  recorded  in  these  pages  of  Mr.  Lesquereux's  report, 
are  substantial  contributions  to  the  study  of  an  extremely 
difficult  and  important  problem,  and  that  they  constitute  one 
of  the  most  important  parts  of  the  work  done  by  Dr.  Owen's 
survey. 

The  experience  of  the  officers  of  the  present  Survey  in  this 
field  has  been  such  as  to  diminish,  in  some  degree,  the  confi- 
dence with  which  these  determinations  have  been  held;  but 
there  is  no  doubt  that  the  final  judgment  will  go  far  to  sup- 
port the  claims  of  this  method  of  fixing  the  identity  of  coal 
beds,  though  it  may  not  give  it  the  first  place  among  the 
means  of  forming  an  opinion  on  this  point. 

This  volume  is  closed  by  another  paleontological  report,  by 
Mr.  E.  T.  Cox,  on  the  fossil  mollusca  of  the  western  coal  field. 
This  was  meant  to  be  a  companion  report  to  that  of  Mr.  Les- 
quereux,  on  the  vegetable  fossils  of  the  same  region.  Twenty 
or  more  fossils,  believed  to  be  new  to  science,  were  charac- 
terized in  brief  description,  and  illustrated  with  good  figures. 
Although  quite  insufficient,  these  descriptions  served  a  good 
purpose  in  their  day,  in  calling  attention  to  an  important  series 
of  marine,  inter-carboniferous  strata.  There  is. an  admirable 
field  for  the  paleontologist  in  these  extensive  beds, which  mark 
the  successive,  wide-spread  invasions  of  the  sea  into  the  heart 
of  the  land  of  the  coal  time. 

The  fourth  and  last  volume  of  the  series  of  reports  made 
under  the  superintendence  of  Dr.  Owen,  is  in  many  regards 
38 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE   SURVEY.  9 

the  best  of  the  series.  It  is  clearly  seen,  from  an  examina- 
tion of  this  large  volume,  that  the  five  years  of  work,  which 
preceded  its  beginning,  had  led  steadily  towards  a  right  under- 
standing of  the  problems  of  our  geology.  At  the  same  time, 
it  records  the  unhappy  events  which  interrupted  the  course  of 
the  Survey.  Dr.  Owen's  own  report  is  very  brief,  occupying 
only  about  forty  pages  of  the  volume.  His  personal  explora- 
tions within  the  State  since  the  publication  of  the  third  volume 
had  been  but  limited,  most  of  his  time  having  been  occupied 
in  the  preliminary  reconnoissance  of  the  State  of  Arkansas, 
which  his  contract  with  the  State  of  Kentucky  permitted  him 
to  undertake.  This  recounts  the  various  operations  of  the 
Survey,  which  are  described  in  detail  in  the  reports  of  the 
several  assistants ;  and  while  quite  brief,  is  full  of  very  im- 
portant suggestions  concerning  the  economic  geology  of  the 
State.  It  contains,  among  other  things,  a  comparison  between 
the  Kentucky  coal  fields  and  those  of  Great  Britain.  While 
entirely  disagreeing  with  Dr.  Owen  in  his  belief  of  the  iden- 
tity of  the  coal  beds  of  our  section  with  those  of  Great 
Britain,  I  am  able,  after  a  careful  personal  study  of  the  coal 
districts  of  this  country  and  of  England,  confidently  to  uphold 
his  judgment  as  to  the  essential  superiority  of  our  coal  areas 
to  those  of  that  country. 

The  unhappy  death  of  Dr.  Owen,  hastened  by  his  untiring 
and  toilful  devotion  to  his  science,  doubtless  limited  his  contri- 
bution to  this  volume.  Before  his  untimely  death  the  whole 
of  the  work  contained  in  this  volume  had  received  the  benefit 
of  his  guidance. 

The  first  of  the  assistants'  reports  is  that  of  Dr.  Robert 
Peter,  showing  the  extension  of  the  chemical  work  during  the 
greater  part  of  the  two  preceding  years.  Four  hundred  and 
twenty-nine  analyses  are  reported  here,  of  which  one  hundred 
and  seventy-three  are  soils,  one  hundred  iron  ores,  and  thirty-six 
coals,  representing  a  very  remarkable  body  of  chemical  work. 
In  the  appendix  we  Jiave  a  number  of  analyses  of  tobacco, 
made  with  a  view  to  illustrate  its  influence  on  the  soil,  &c. 
The  three  hundred  pages  of  these  reports  contain  a  record  of 

39 


lO  lUSTuKV    OF    TJIE 

a  great  amount  of  patient,  skillful  labor,  which  only  requires 
to  be  shaped  to  the  present  needs  of  the  State,  and  collated 
with  the  other  chemical  work  of  the  past  and  present  Sur\'eys, 
to  make  it  an  extremely  valuable  contribution  to  the  develop- 
ment of  the  industries  of  the  State. 

Next  after  the  report  of  Dr.  Peter,  we  have  from  him  a 
brief  biography  of  the  late  principal  geologist,  giving  the 
most  important  incidents  of  his  social  and  scientific  career. 
The  paleontological  report  of  Mr.  Lesquereux  occupies  the 
next  hundred  pages.  It  gives  a  continuation  of  his  import- 
ant studies  on  the  identification  of  the  coal  beds  of  Kentucky 
with  those  of  other  States,  especially  with  the  great  typical 
beds  of  Pennsylvania.  The  whole  of  this  report  shows  the 
marks  of  diligent  labor  in  the  collecting,  and  of  great  f.cientific 
acumen  in  the  ordering,  of  its  facts.  At  its  close  we  have  a 
number  of  careful  descriptions  of  new^  species  of  fossil  plants 
from  the  Kentucky  coal  measures.  Unfortunately,  all  the 
plates  which  were  to  have  been  published  therewith  were 
never  prepared,  so  that  the  scientific  value  of  these  descrip- 
tions is  not  what  it  should  be. 

We  have  next  the  report  of  Mr.  Joseph  Leslie  on  the 
results  of  his  survey  of  the  western  outcrop  of  the  eastern 
coal  field,  made  in  connection  with  the  work  done  on  the 
north  and  south  base  line,  which  was  carried  bv  him  from  the 
town  of  Grayson,  in  Carter  county,  to  the  Tennessee  State 
line,  by  a  survey  made  in  1S58  and  1859.  This  line,  like  that 
from  east  to  west  above  referred  to,  was  intended  as  a  de- 
termined basis  on  which  to  construct  a  series  of  maps  which 
should  in  time  come  to  include  the  whole  State.  At  the  same 
time  it  was  made  the  means  of  determining  the  outcrop  line 
of  the  eastern  coal  measures  on  their  western  face.  Of  all  the 
field  work  of  the  Sur\'ey  this  proved,  on  the  whole,  the  most 
satisfactory  and  important  in  its  results.  The  valuable  base-line 
map  has  never  been  published,  and  remains  in  the  archives  of 
the  Survey ;  but  the  small  sketch-map  of  the  outcrop  line  is 
published  with  this  report,  together  with  the  remarks  of  Mr. 

Leslie  thereon.  The  geological  part  of  this  report,  concem- 
40 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  II 

ing  the  place  of  the  several  coals,  &c.,  has  proved  of  much 
value  in  the  development  of  the  State ;  but  it  concerns  only 
the  outcrop  line ;  and  although  the  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  have  shown  its  singular  accuracy,  when  the  time  spent 
in  preparation  is  considered,  it  will  only  serve  as  a  valuable 
basis  for  the  final  work  that  is  to  be  done.  Of  the  value  of 
the  base  line  itself,  more  will  be  said  hereafter. 

The  last  report  of  this  volume  is  from  Sidney  S.  Lyon,  topo- 
graphical assistant,  and  contains  a  description  of  the  work  done 
in  completing  the  east  and  west  base  line,  and  in  continuing 
the  work  on  the  western  coal  fields  by  the  survey  of  its  east- 
ern outcrop,  and  a  detailed  survey  of  Hancock  county.  This 
report  contains  only  reconnoissance  work  along  particular  lines 
of  travel.  In  no  part  is  it  sufficiently  careful  and  detailed  to 
enable  it  to  rank  as  final  work.  The  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  in  the  Greenup  county  district  have  shown  it  to  be  in 
error  in  many  important  regards  concerning  the  rocks  in  that 
section.  Much  of  this  may  doubtless  be  explained  by  the 
undeveloped  character  of  the  district  at  the  time  this  recon- 
noissance was  made;  but  the  map,  which  was  printed  in  Phil- 
adelphia, a  sheet  from  an  unfinished  copper-plate,  including 
what  is  now  the  county  of  Boyd  and  parts  of  the  counties  of 
Greenup,  Carter,  and  Lawrence,  is  amenable  to  severe  criti- 
cism, as  will  be  seen  hereafter. 

It  is  very  difficult  to  pass  a  proper  judgment  on  the  work 
done  by  the  Geological  Survey  during  the  time  it  was  under 
the  direction  of  Dr.  Owen.  Working  in  the  mineral  districts 
of  Kentucky,  regions  which  to  this  day  are  to  a  great  extent 
scarce-trodden  wildernesses,  there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the 
great  difficulties  which  beset  its  course.  Considering  the 
greater  part  of  the  work  as  a  reconnoissance  only,  intended 
to  find  the  paths  along  which  the  final  work  of  the  Survey 
should  move,  it  may  justly  be  awarded  praise  for  the  celerity 
and  admirable  accuracy  of  its  determinations.  The  point 
where  it  fails  is  the  common  point  of  failure  in  all  our  State 
surveys — the  topography.  At  the  very  outset  of  his  work  Dr. 
Owen  showed  a  profound  consciousness  of  the  eminent  need 

41 


12 


ni^TIIlV    2F    T 


of  some  map  basis  en  .v'nich  zht  r^rH  :f  die  ,j*?cicfTy  of  die 
State  couid  be  iaiii  icwi.  'a'::::  i  -:e*.v  :::  -ier-'e  i<  i  :cuntiar- 
tion  tV^r  chis  vv'vrk,  :.v-  :.ise  ':::rs  v  :^re  rm  icr.^.-f  ir.r:  "^care.  ac 
the  co^t  :-:{  rnanv  :::rusanL:  i-jilars.  Ties^i  v-r-  :-:-:^'-Te-:  :«:r 
the  i,a.sis    -f  ^rhrrr  -i^ir'e'.-^.  .vm*:::  s.:*  ili^:  ^*' r  :::--   ^cait  i  niao 

\\■'l^  ,~  ••    ^^  ^  ■  ■  .^    -.j.^-eT        ■%••*»"'    -       '        -'i-*      r"*!-''*    V*— <r  -•"'^    "^r*^ "  -*-*c     -*  *c  *  *-'*  r 


tho^r:  wiiich  were  or^anij-r-i    i:  :li^  :ic  remrjr/  :i   .  -r^nia  inc 


North  C^iroiina- 


sur\-ev  on   :ms    cian  w.-u.*:   ha-  :   ^verr  a  mar    :i    Keiinick}', 


m:;^  w-  '.av-r  a:  ir^sv.nr,  c  'V'ju.c  at 
best,  leave  us  whcr::  i::e  Scai^is  ■:('  line  :Ic^:::^ve<c  ir^  ai 
present,  with  a  map  which  is  .;i:iy  a  r^'ie  arcr:::::r:a::n:n  r^? 
accuracy,  and  which  must  he  i'.-ne  ;vjr  :r:in  :::e  --rr.  :r:^-n- 
ninor  before  it  can  ser/e  anv  :f  :::e  •:n::cr:a.:r  rii-.is  v::.c.:  v  .u.d 
be  serveti  bv  a  too«?orarh:cai  :::a:.\  L::  :he  -rvri/.-'d  :i  iiaien:^ 
these  ba,se-line  survevs  wr  r:::d  much  :j  cr:::c:se.  The  rwo 
elements  of  distance  and  UT^^ct-ci:.  which  ne-::-i  :.  he  ascer- 
tained in  such  work,  were  deter:n:::':;d  :::  a  ::::r^'-\   a::f:r-.\::na- 


tive  manner  in  these  measurLun^u::s.  The  iirrcti'.-n  :i"  ihe 
lines  was  determined  bv  coim.^ass  bear:::i::s.  w:::":  ::«:  adeuuare 
correction  fo-r  error. arising!"  iVv.nn  the  dirt-jre'-Tce  :i"  var"a::«:i:  at 
dirferent  points.  Xo  valid  ocs^iTvations  tj  i'r::r:nh:e  the 
geodetic  positicjn  of  the  points  of  trrm:::at:«:n  ;f  the  u::e 
were  ever  made.      The  distances  ai»:n^  tiie  .:::-es  w-rr-r  ji:a.::ed 

Liirwv*  '»4   Li.^    iV  ' j'j'^.'^, .ii".  ..;^    ,±    ».  ^•_'r  *ww. :  .       .«.>    ^..      ra.:^<-  a.. -^ 

we^t  I'ne,  or  in  the  case  ci  the  eastern.  n':rth  an.d  s^:u:h  ih.:e. 
the  distances  were  taken  bv  an  <:dometer.  whtre  th-^  -r%-:- 
lutions  ot  a  wi'ieel  runnin;^'  alc-n^  a  r'?ai  ^ive  a  rude  idea  '?f 
dista-ioes — -about  as  accurate  as  caren:!  pacin.^::  wii!  ^ive.  In 
this  ''•a^'ern  work  the  precaution  was  taken  to  use  a  scirit- 
l-v^:i  to  ^heok  the  obser\-at:ons  fjr  level  tak-en  by  a  clinoineter 
a'v!  ba^orne*'^:r.  fn  this  way  som.e  exceedingly  useful  ocs-er.a- 
tio*.-;  \or  heights  were  made:  but  for  the  strict  purposes  of 
h^i  >^'  Tn^'S.  th<:se  lines  have  so  little  value  that  it  would  be  a 
'yf  ^i-  rr.:>t;ike  to  have  founded  any  extended  topoo^aphical 
work  lipon  them. 
42 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  1 3 

The  untimely  death  of  Dr.  Owen,  followed  by  years  of  war, 
in  which  this  State  became  one  of  the  chief  scenes  of  the 
struggle,  put  an  end  to  the  Survey,  just  at  the  time  when  its 
officers  had  acquired  a  true  conception  of  the  nature  of  the 
field  and  of  the  work  required  to  discover  all  its  resources. 
The  destruction  of  the  greater  part  of  its  records  by  fire,  and 
the  death  of  most  of  its  assistants  before  the  resumption  of 
the  Survey,  has  increased  the  difficulty  of  doing  full  justice  to 
its  work. 

In  a  brief  report  of  the  operations  of  the  Survey  between 
the  first  of  September,  1873,  ^"^  ^he  assembling  of  the  Leg- 
islature in  December  of  that  year,  I  laid  before  the  Governor 
the  plan  that  had  been  adopted  in  the  resumption  of  that 
work,  as  far  as  it  had  been  possible  to  mature  it  in  the  brief 
time  during  which  the  task  had  been  in  hand.  It  is  not  nec- 
essary to  repeat  here  all  the  considerations  presented  in  that 
report;  it  may  suffice  to  say,  that  the  leading  thought  therein 
was,  that  the  Survey  should  aim  at  thoroughness  in  its  work, 
rather  than  at  rapidity  of  execution ;  moreover,  that  the  opfrra- 
tions  of  the  Survey  should  be  directed  not  only  to  the  immedi- 
ate economic  ends  that  it  could  be  made  to  compass,  but  also 
to  the  object  of  extending  the  bounds  of  science  as  well.  In 
it  the  ground  was  taken,  that  a  great  Commonwealth  like 
Kentucky  owes  something  to  its  name  among  States,  and 
can  best  serve  its  interests  by  cooperating  in  the  great  work 
of  advancing  the  standard  of  scientific  learning,  and  by  ex- 
ecuting a  public  enterprise,  such  as  its  Survey,  in  the  fashion 
that  it  will  be  helpful  to  this  cause.  At  the  same  time  it  was 
proposed  to  make  the  main  aims  of  the  Survey  tend  directly 
towards  the  development  of  the  industries  of  the  State. 

The  obligations  that  were  laid  upon  me  by  the  act  of  1873, 
and  which  were  maintained  by  the  later  act,  to  continue  the 
Sur\ey  of  Dr.  Owen,  have  to  a  certain  extent  determined  the 
operations  of  the  present  Survey.  I  have  felt  it  incumbent  on 
me  to  take  up  the  work  left  unfinished  by  Dr.  Owen  wherever 
I  could  find  record  evidence  of  his  plans,  and  either  carry  the 
same  to  completion,  or,  as  has  in  some  cases  proved  neces- 

43 


14  iilstoaV  of  tub 

ssLTi  z^^z'  '-^  a^iin  at  :r.^  rour.-fations.     Act:n;T  on  this  plan, 

a -Z 7* «       ^    -'■     ■     .  -A-     -iT 'r    ^ --*    .  ..      .»i..     .A.     IV.     '_ .  J..--*!,.-.      wO 

S.  -  •  ^^  ^  y   "^      ^v     y    »^  » » ^  »•  -  ^  -       I  <pv      •        '.     •  •   -   -  •  ^,     "■,  *-  « »  I   »  ^«  »     ^  •      •  •  ~      »^'«  •  "^  ji  ^  —        "w"  ,i  T  ;  •  p* 
.\**'.<i.,.*z.  <i^  #  <i.-'_*::5    :    -"r  '  ^.- '.J ...•^... L  o.    .■_*;    •^.  a.    rtTii^n. 

nities  rcr  the  sti:d%*  of  the  sf^-iture  of  the  cour.tn.'  ver'/  rr.uch 
irxreased.  The  first  steos  of  an  e:carr.:r.a::':r.  ma-ie  it  c-!a:n 
that,  to  do  justice  to  this  district,  the  geo!:  ::y  -i^ouii  have  :o  be 
done  over  again,  with  a  vi-.-A-  to  secure  more  aciiiracy  ar.d  a 
greater  detail  in  the  geological  e.xplc rations,  and  ^'enera^y  to 
brin;:^^  the  description  of  the  country-  nearer  to  the  standard 
which  should  be  kept  in  such  work.  As  this  ^reolo'^ical  work 
was  carried  on.  it  v/as  foun  i.  to  the  ^'reat  surprise  and  regret 
of  the  officers  of  the  Survev.  that  the  mao  of  this  sec:i~-n  mace 
in  iSfS— '9.  on  which  the  countr)'  is  delineated  with  much  detail, 
was  so  far  incorrect  that  it  could  not  be  used  for  a  ;:'uide  or 
for  the  purposes  of  reoresentingf  the  sreolo^^*  of  the  countrv : 
therefore  it  was  determined  to  have  a  careful  revi-w  oi  the 
topography  before  publishing  the  report  of  the  Surrey.  It 
beincr  deemed  best,  however,  not  to  undertake  anv  consider- 
able  task  until  the  Legislature  had  increased  the  .nrst  apor^- 
priation  of  ten  thousand  dollars  by  some  further  legislative 
action,  the  work  durincr  the  autumn  of  :S";  was  limiited  to  a 
review  of  the  geology  of  Greenup.  Carter.  Boyd,  and  a  part  of 
Lewis  counties.  In  order  to  give  a  larger  force  to  the  work. 
the  corps  of  the  Sur\'ey.  which  in  the  original  designation  of 
the  bill  were  limited  to  t!:e  principal  geologist,  chemical  assist- 
ant, and  geological  assistant,  was  increased  by  the  addition 
of  another  assistant,  who  should  be  specially  charged  with  the 
duty  of  studying  the  iron  ores  and  other  furnace  interests  of 
the  .State;  Mr.  P.  N.  Moore,  late  an  assistant  in  the  Missouri 

Geological  Survey,  which  had  recently  been  suspended,  a  gen- 
44 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE   SURVEY.  1 5 

tleman  specially  trained  for  such  work,  was  engaged  for  lliis 
duty,  and  began  his  labors  in  October,  1873.  The  researches 
in  the  chemical  laboratory  were  resumed  under  the  direction 
of  Dr.  Robert  Peter,  chemical  assistant  in  the  former  Survey 
superintended  by  Dr.  Owen.  Dr.  Peter's  engagements  as 
professor  of  chemistry  in  the  State  Agricultural  College  not 
making  it  possible  for  him  to  give  his  whole  time  to  the  work, 
Mr.  John  H.  Talbutt,  a  competent  chemist,  was  made  second 
chemical  assistant  of  the  Survey.  I  count  it  a  piece  of  pecu- 
liarly good  fortune  to  have  secured,  through  Dr.  Peter,  access 
to  many  of  the  traditions  of  the  original  Survey.  In  an  effort 
to  make  the  present  work  an  effective  continuation  of  that 
which  has  been  done  before,  this  has  been  a  very  great  ad- 
vantage. Until  the  action  of  the  Legislature  made  it  clear 
that  the  Survey  was  to  be  continued  beyond  thit  limits  set  by 
the  first  small  appropriation,  the  work  of  this  laboratory  was 
limited  to  the  analyses  of  those  specimens  which  had  been 
sent  in  from  the  assistants  in  the  field.  Special  efforts  were 
made  to  have  these  collections,  so  made  as  to  supplement 
the  labors  of  former  years.  The  newly  opened  mines  and  ore 
banks  of  Eastern  Kentucky  gave  the  laboratory  work  for  some 
months.  When  the  continuance  of  the  Survey  was  secured, 
the  available  time  of  the  laboratory,  after  the  analyses  in  con- 
nection with  the  field  work  were  done,  was  given  to  some 
special  researches  on  various  points  of  economic  value  to  the 
State,  as  well  as  of  much  theoretical  interest. 

In  the  summer  of  1874  Mr.  Talbutt  visited  Grayson  .Springs 
to  make  a  special  study  of  the  interesting  group  of  springs 
found  at  that  place.  Some  of  the  special  points  of  this  work 
will  be  found  in  a  later  section  of  this  report.  Dr.  FnUr  has 
been  specially  engaged  on  an  extensive  series  of  anaiys'-s 
of  the  hemp  plant,  with  a  view  to  discover  the  best  method 
of  restoring  the  waste  of  hemp  lands  under  cultivation.  In 
order  to  facilitate  this  inquiry,  and  give  an  increas^-d  value 
to  its  results,  it  was  deemed  desirable  to  have  certain  special 
experiments  in  manures  made  on  hemp  fields.  Greatly  to  the 
advantage   of  the   investigation,  Mr.   Benjamin   Peter  kindly 

45 


1 6  HISTORY   OF    THE 

offered   to  try  these   experiments   on   a  selected   field   under 
his  charge.      These  resuhs  will  not  be  complete  for  a  number 

of  years,  but  the  first  experiences  will  be  found  in  an  appen- 
dix to  this  report. 

Mr.  Talbutt  has  also  been  employed  in  a  special  ques- 
tion of  importance  to  the  agricultural  interests  of  our  State. 
Our  Kentucky  crops  are  exceedingly  wasteful  to  our  soils, 
on  account  of  the  large  amount  of  alkaline  substances  they 
remove  from  the  soil  and  export  to  other  regions.  Especially 
is  this  the  case  with  tobacco.  The  rapid  impoverishment  of 
our  soils  under  the  cultivation  of  this  crop  is  a  great  danger 
to  the  State — probably  the  greatest  it  has  to  fear.  It  is  with 
a  view  to  investigate  these  evils  that  the  Survey  has  been 
continuously  seeking  to  discover  among  our  rocks  materials 
which  could  be  used  to  advantage  in  restoring  our  wasted 
soils.  This  investigation  should  be  extended  over  several 
years,  and  include  the  study  of  all  our  rocks  which  may  ap- 
pear to  possess  any  advantages  of  this  kind.  Mr.  Talbutt  has 
given  a  good  deal  of  time  to  the  study  of  a  set  of  beds,  con- 
stituting what  I  have  termed  in  these  reports  the  Leitchfield 
marls,  beds  which  are  extensively  developed  throughout  the 
whole  of  the  western  and  a  part  of  the  eastern  carboniferous 
or  mountain  limestone  area.  The  results  of  his  observations 
will  be  given  in  a  report  now  in  preparation.  It  appears  from 
Mr.  Talbutt's  work  that  these  beds  contain  a  practically  inex- 
haustible amount  of  potash  and  soda,  which,  with  improved 
processes  of  extraction  to  which  he  is  now  giving  his  atten- 
tion, may  greatly  aid  the  agriculture  of  our  State,  and  afford 
a  most  valuable  basis  for  a  productive  industry  commanding  a 
very  wide  market.  With  this  same  view,  we  have  been  ex- 
tending our  studies  of  the  various  beds  which  make  up  our 
blue  limestones — the  upper  members  of  the  Cincinnati  Group. 

A  number  of   these  beds  have  proved  to  contain  a   large 

amount  of  materials  of  value  as  manures,  and  several  of  them 

may  well  be  used  as  means  of  bettering  our  high-priced  lands. 

It  seeming  likely  that  some  of  the  marly  beds  of  this  part  of 

the  geological  section  might  afford  a  good  material  for  paint, 
46 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  1 7 

a  considerable  number  of  analyses  of  the  beds  which  seemcnl 
of  sufficient  promise  have  been  made.  The  most  satisfactory 
conditions  seem  to  be  found  in  the  thick  beds  which  lie  near 
the  top  of  the  section  at  Frankfort,  immediately  below  the 
beds  characterized  by  an  abundance  of  the  StropJiomciia  alter- 
7iata  Raf,  These  blue  marl  beds  have  a  thickness  of  many 
feet,  and  several  feet  of  the  mass  can  be  mined  with  oreat 
economy.  It  can  easily  be  furnished  by  drift  mining,  at  a 
cost  not  exceeding  one  dollar  per  ton  for  the  crude  material, 
and  the  cost  of  grinding  is  not  very  great.  Then, these  same 
beds  are  extremely  developed  at  other  points  in  the  blue 
limestone  district,  though  I  know  of  no  other  point  where 
they  are,  to  the  same  extent,  favored  by  good  conditions  for 
manufacture.  The  marls  before  referred  to  as  the  Leitchfield 
marls,  belonging  in  the  carboniferous  limestone  in  the  West- 
ern Kentucky  coal  field,  seem  also  admirably  adapted  to  this 
use.  As  it  is  in  contemplation  to  prepare  a  special  report  on 
the  material  suitable  for  stone  paints,  I  shall  not  discuss  the 
question  here  in  all  its  details. 

In  this  connection  it  may  well  be  noticed  that  the  Survey  is 
not  forgetful  of  the  important  interests  the  State  has  in  its 
building  materials.  Extensive  collections  were  begun  as  soon 
as  the  Survey  was  assured  of  some  permanence.  They  will 
be  noticed  at  the  close  of  this  chapter. 

In  January,  1874,  in  order  to  increase  the  amount  of  work 
in  the  western  part  of  the  State,  I  made  a  preliminary  recon- 
noissance  along  the  line  of  the  Elizabethtown  and  Paducah 
Railroad,  and  of  the  lead  district  in  Caldwell  and  Livingston 
counties.  As  soon  as  a  plan  of  work  could  be  arranged,  Mr. 
C.  J.  Norwood,  formerly  an  assistant  in  the  Missouri  Geolog- 
ical Survey,  was  employed  to  take  charge  of  work  on  the  line 
of  that  road,  and  in  the  lead  regions  of  the  counties  above 
mentioned.  Mr.  Charles  Schenk,  an  able  topographer,  was 
authorized  to  take  charge  of  the  topography  of  the  work.  The 
design  was  to  make  a  careful  study  of  the  coal,  iron,  timber, 
soil,  and  other  resources  of  the  region  traversed  by  this  rail- 
way, and  opened  by  it  to  commerce.     This  work,  with  sundry 

47 


lO  lUSTOKV    OF    THE 

a  great  amount  of  patient,  skillful  labor,  which  only  requires 
to  be  shaped  to  the  present  needs  of  the  State,  and  collated 
with  the  other  chemical  work  of  the  past  and  present  Surveys, 
to  make  it  an  extremely  valuable  contribution  to  the  develop- 
ment of  the  industries  of  the  State. 

Next  after  the  report  of  Dr.  Peter,  we  have  from  him  a 
brief  biography  of  the  late  principal  geologist,  giving  the 
most  important  incidents  of  his  social  and  scientific  career. 
The  paleontological  report  of  Mr.  Lesquereux  occupies  the 
next  hundred  pages.  It  gives  a  continuation  of  his  import- 
ant studies  on  the  identification  of  the  coal  beds  of  Kentucky 
with  those  of  other  States,  especially  with  the  great  typical 
beds  of  Pennsylvania.  The  whole  of  this  report  shows  the 
marks  of  diligent  labor  in  the  collecting,  and  of  great  scientific 
acumen  in  the  ordering,  of  its  facts.  At  its  close  we  have  a 
number  of  careful  descriptions  of  new  species  of  fossil  plants 
from  the  Kentucky  coal  measures.  Unfortunately,  all  the 
plates  which  were  to  have  been  published  therewith  were 
never  prepared,  so  that  the  scientific  value  of  these  descrip- 
tions is  not  what  it  should  be. 

We  have  next  the  report  of  Mr.  Joseph  Leslie  on  the 
results  of  his  survey  of  the  western  outcrop  of  the  eastern 
coal  field,  made  in  connection  with  the  work  done  on  the 
north  and  south  base  line,  which  was  carried  by  him  from  the 
town  of  Grayson,  in  Carter  county,  to  the  Tennessee  State 
line,  by  a  survey  made  in  1858  and  1859.  This  line,  like  that 
from  east  to  west  above  referred  to,  was  intended  as  a  de- 
termined basis  on  which  to  construct  a  series  of  maps  which 
should  in  time  come  to  include  the  whole  State.  At  the  same 
time  it  was  made  the  means  of  determining  the  outcrop  line 
of  the  eastern  coal  measures  on  their  western  face.  Of  all  the 
field  work  of  the  Survey  this  proved,  on  the  whole,  the  most 
satisfactory  and  important  in  its  results.  The  valuable  base-line 
map  has  never  been  published,  and  remains  in  the  archives  of 
the  Survey ;  but  the  small  sketch-map  of  the  outcrop  line  is 
published  with  this  report,  together  with  the  remarks  of  Mr. 
Leslie  thereon.  The  geological  part  of  this  report,  concern- 
40 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  II 

ing  the  place  of  the  several  coals,  &c.,  has  proved  of  much 
value  in  the  development  of  the  State ;  but  it  concerns  only 
the  outcrop  line ;  and  although  the  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  have  shown  its  singular  accuracy,  when  the  time  spent 
in  preparation  is  considered,  it  will  only  serve  as  a  valuable 
basis  for  the  final  work  that  is  to  be  done.  Of  the  value  of 
the  base  line  itself,  more  will  be  said  hereafter. 

The  last  report  of  this  volume  is  from  Sidney  S.  Lyon,  topo- 
graphical assistant,  and  contains  a  description  of  the  work  done 
in  completing  the  east  and  west  base  line,  and  in  continuing 
the  work  on  the  western  coal  fields  by  the  survey  of  its  east- 
ern outcrop,  and  a  detailed  survey  of  Hancock  county.  This 
report  contains  only  reconnoissance  work  along  particular  lines 
of  travel.  In  no  part  is  it  sufficiently  careful  and  detailed  to 
enable  it  to  rank  as  final  work.  The  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  in  the  Greenup  county  district  have  shown  it  to  be  in 
error  in  many  important  regards  concerning  the  rocks  in  that 
section.  Much  of  this  may  doubtless  be  explained  by  the 
undeveloped  character  of  the  district  at  the  time  this  recon- 
noissance was  made ;  but  the  map,  which  was  printed  in  Phil- 
adelphia, a  sheet  from  an  unfinished  copper-plate,  including 
what  is  now  the  county  of  Boyd  and  parts  of  the  counties  of 
Greenup,  Carter,  and  Lawrence,  is  amenable  to  severe  criti- 
cism, as  will  be  seen  hereafter. 

It  is  very  difficult  to  pass  a  proper  judgment  on  the  work 
done  by  the  Geological  Survey  during  the  time  it  was  under 
the  direction  of  Dr.  Owen.  Working  in  the  mineral  districts 
of  Kentucky,  regions  which  to  this  day  are  to  a  great  extent 
scarce-trodden  wildernesses,  there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the 
great  difficulties  which  beset  its  course.  Considering  the 
greater  part  of  the  work  as  a  reconnoissance  only,  intended 
to  find  the  paths  along  which  the  final  work  of  the  Survey 
should  move,  it  may  justly  be  awarded  praise  for  the  celerity 
and  admirable  accuracy  of  its  determinations.  The  point 
where  it  fails  is  the  common  point  of  failure  in  all  our  State 
surveys — the  topography.  At  the  very  outset  of  his  work  Dr. 
Owen  showed  a  profound  consciousness  of  the  eminent  need 

41 


lO  lUSTOKV   OF    THE 

a  great  amount  of  patient,  skillful  labor,  which  only  requires 
to  be  shaped  to  the  present  needs  of  the  State,  and  collated 
with  the  other  chemical  work  of  the  past  and  present  Surveys, 
to  make  it  an  extremely  valuable  contribution  to  the  develop- 
ment of  the  industries  of  the  State. 

Next  after  the  report  of  Dr.  Peter,  we  have  from  him  a 
brief  biography  of  the  late  principal  geologist,  giving  the 
most  important  incidents  of  his  social  and  scientific  career. 
The  paleontological  report  of  Mr.  Lesquereux  occupies  the 
next  hundred  pages.  It  gives  a  continuation  of  his  import- 
ant studies  on  the  identification  of  the  coal  beds  of  Kentucky 
with  those  of  other  States,  especially  with  the  great  typical 
beds  of  Pennsylvania.  The  whole  of  this  report  shows  the 
marks  of  diligent  labor  in  the  collecting,  and  of  great  scientific 
acumen  in  the  ordering,  of  its  facts.  At  its  close  we  have  a 
number  of  careful  descriptions  of  new  species  of  fossil  plants 
from  the  Kentucky  coal  measures.  Unfortunately,  all  the 
plates  which  were  to  have  been  published  therewith  were 
never  prepared,  so  that  the  scientific  value  of  these  descrip- 
tions is  not  what  it  should  be. 

We  have  next  the  report  of  Mr.  Joseph  Leslie  on  the 
results  of  his  survey  of  the  western  outcrop  of  the  eastern 
coal  field,  made  in  connection  with  the  work  done  on  the 
north  and  south  base  line,  which  was  carried  by  him  from  the 
town  of  Grayson,  in  Carter  county,  to  the  Tennessee  State 
line,  by  a  survey  made  in  1858  and  1859.  This  line,  like  that 
from  east  to  west  above  referred  to,  was  intended  as  a  de- 
termined basis  on  which  to  construct  a  series  of  maps  which 
should  in  time  come  to  include  the  whole  State.  At  the  same 
time  it  was  made  the  means  of  determining  the  outcrop  line 
of  the  eastern  coal  measures  on  their  western  face.  Of  all  the 
field  work  of  the  Survey  this  proved,  on  the  whole,  the  most 
satisfactory  and  important  in  its  results.  The  valuable  base-line 
map  has  never  been  published,  and  remains  in  the  archives  of 
the  Survey ;  but  the  small  sketch-map  of  the  outcrop  line  is 
published  with  this  report,  together  with  the  remarks  of  Mr. 
Leslie  thereon.  The  geological  part  of  this  report,  concern- 
40 


OPERATIONS  OF   THE   SURVEY.  II 

ing  the  place  of  the  several  coals,  &c.,  has  proved  of  much 
value  in  the  development  of  the  State ;  but  it  concerns  only 
the  outcrop  line ;  and  although  the  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  have  shown  its  singular  accuracy,  when  the  time  spent 
in  preparation  is  considered,  it  will  only  serve  as  a  valuable 
basis  for  the  final  work  that  is  to  be  done.  Of  the  value  of 
the  base  line  itself,  more  will  be  said  hereafter. 

The  last  report  of  this  volume  is  from  Sidney  S.  Lyon,  topo- 
graphical assistant,  and  contains  a  description  of  the  work  done 
in  completing  the  east  and  west  base  line,  and  in  continuing 
the  work  on  the  western  coal  fields  by  the  survey  of  its  east- 
ern outcrop,  and  a  detailed  survey  of  Hancock  county.  This 
report  contains  only  reconnoissance  work  along  particular  lines 
of  travel.  In  no  part  is  it  sufficiently  careful  and  detailed  to 
enable  it  to  rank  as  final  work.  The  researches  of  the  present 
Survey  in  the  Greenup  county  district  have  shown  it  to  be  in 
error  in  many  important  regards  concerning  the  rocks  in  that 
section.  Much  of  this  may  doubtless  be  explained  by  the 
undeveloped  character  of  the  district  at  the  time  this  recon- 
noissance was  made ;  but  the  map,  which  was  printed  in  Phil- 
adelphia, a  sheet  from  an  unfinished  copper-plate,  including 
what  is  now  the  county  of  Boyd  and  parts  of  the  counties  of 
Greenup,  Carter,  and  Lawrence,  is  amenable  to  severe  criti- 
cism, as  will  be  seen  hereafter. 

It  is  very  difficult  to  pass  a  proper  judgment  on  the  work 
done  by  the  Geological  Survey  during  the  time  it  was  under 
the  direction  of  Dr.  Owen.  Working  in  the  mineral  districts 
of  Kentucky,  regions  which  to  this  day  are  to  a  great  extent 
scarce-trodden  wildernesses,  there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the 
great  difficulties  which  beset  its  course.  Considering  the 
greater  part  of  the  work  as  a  reconnoissance  only,  intended 
to  find  the  paths  along  which  the  final  work  of  the  Survey 
should  move,  it  may  justly  be  awarded  praise  for  the  celerity 
and  admirable  accuracy  of  its  determinations.  The  point 
where  it  fails  is  the  common  point  of  failure  in  all  our  State 
surveys — the  topography.  At  the  very  outset  of  his  work  Dr. 
Owen  showed  a  profound  consciousness  of  the  eminent  need 

41 


li  HISTORY   OF    THE 

of  some  map  basis  on  which  the  record  of  the  geology  of  the 
State  could  be  laid  down.  With  a  view  to  serve  as  a  founda- 
tion for  this  work,  two  base  lines  were  run  across  the  State,  at 
the  cost  of  many  thousand  dollars.  These  were  designed  for 
the  basis  of  other  surveys,  which  should  give  the  State  a  map 
made  on  the  general  plan  of  the  government  land  surveys 
which  have  been  given  to  all  the  other  western  States,  except 
those  which  were  organized  on  the  old  territory  of  Virginia  and 
North  Carolina — although  the  prosecution  of  a  topographical 
survey  on  this  plan  would  have  given  a  map  of  Kentucky, 
much  better  than  anything  we  have  at  present,  it  would,  at 
best,  leave  us  where  the  States  of  the  northwest  are  at 
present,  with  a  map  which  is  only  a  rude  approximation  to 
accuracy,  and  which  must  be  done  over  from  the  very  begin- 
ning before  it  can  serve  any  of  the  important  ends  which  would 
be  served  by  a  topographical  map.  In  the  method  of  making 
these  base-line  surveys  we  find  much  to  criticise.  The  two 
elements  of  distance  and  direction,  which  need  to  be  ascer- 
tained in  such  work,  were  determined  in  a  merely  approxima- 
tive manner  in  these  measurements.  The  direction  of  the 
lines  was  determined  by  compass-bearings,  with  no  adequate 
correction  for  error,  arising  from  the  difference  of  variation  at 
different  points.  No  valid  observations  to  determine  the 
geodetic  position  of  the  points  of  termination  of  the  line 
were  ever  made.  The  distances  along  the  lines  were  chained 
through  the  woods, along  a  rude  cutting.  As  in  the  east  and 
west  line,  or  in  the  case  of  the  eastern,  north  and  south  line, 
the  distances  were  taken  by  an  odometer,  where  the  revo- 
lutions of  a  wheel  running  along  a  road  give  a  rude  idea  of 
distances — about  as  accurate  as  careful  pacing  will  give.  In 
this  eastern  work  the  precaution  was  taken  to  use  a  spirit- 
level  to  check  the  observations  for  level  taken  by  a  clinometer 
and  barometer.  In  this  way  some  exceedingly  useful  observa- 
tions for  heights  were  made;  but  for  the  strict  purposes  of 
base  lines,  these  lines  have  so  little  value  that  it  would  be  a 
great  mistake  to  have  founded  any  extended  topographical 
work  upon  them. 
4a 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE  SURVEY.  1 3 

The  untimely  death  of  Dr.  Owen,  followed  by  years  of  war, 
in  which  this  State  became  one  of  the  chief  scenes  of  the 
struggle,  put  an  end  to  the  Survey,  just  at  the  time  when  its 
officers  had  acquired  a  true  conception  of  the  nature  of  the 
field  and  of  the  work  required  to  discover  all  its  resources. 
The  destruction  of  the  greater  part  of  its  records  by  fire,  and 
the  death  of  most  of  its  assistants  before  the  resumption  of 
the  Survey,  has  increased  the  difficulty  of  doing  full  justice  to 
its  work. 

In  a  brief  report  of  the  operations  of  the  Survey  between 
the  first  of  September,  1873,  ^^^  ^^^  assembling  of  the  Leg- 
islature in  December  of  that  year,  I  laid  before  the  Governor 
the  plan  that  had  been  adopted  in  the  resumption  of  that 
work,  as  far  as  it  had  been  possible  to  mature  it  in  the  brief 
time  during  which  the  task  had  been  in  hand.  It  is  not  nec- 
essary to  repeat  here  all  the  considerations  presented  in  that 
report;  it  may  suffice  to  say,  that  the  leading  thought  therein 
was,  that  the  Survey  should  aim  at  thoroughness  in  its  work, 
rather  than  at  rapidity  of  execution ;  moreover,  that  the  opera- 
tions of  the  Survey  should  be  directed  not  only  to  the  immedi- 
ate economic  ends  that  it  could  be  made  to  compass,  but  also 
to  the  object  of  extending  the  bounds  of  science  as  well.  In 
It  the  ground  was  taken,  that  a  great  Commonwealth  like 
Kentucky  owes  something  to  its  name  among  States,  and 
can  best  serve  its  interests  by  cooperating  in  the  great  work 
of  advancing  the  standard  of  scientific  learning,  and  by  ex- 
ecuting a  public  enterprise,  such  as  its  Survey,  in  the  fashion 
that  it  will  be  helpful  to  this  cause.  At  the  same  time  it  was 
proposed  to  make  the  main  aims  of  the  Survey  tend  directly 
towards  the  development  of  the  industries  of  the  State. 

The  obligations  that  were  laid  upon  me  by  the  act  of  1873, 
and  which  were  maintained  by  the  later  act,  to  continue  the 
Survey  of  Dr.  Owen,  have  to  a  certain  extent  determined  the 
operations  of  the  present  Survey.  I  have  felt  it  incumbent  on 
me  to  take  up  the  work  left  unfinished  by  Dr.  Owen  wherever 
I  could  find  record  evidence  of  his  plans,  and  either  carry  the 
same  to  completion,  or,  as  has  in  some  cases  proved  neces- 

43 


14  HISTORY  OF    TIIB 

sary,  begin  it  again  at  the  foundations.  Acting  on  this  plan, 
immediately  on  my  taking  up  the  duties  of  State  Geologist, 
I  went  with  my  geological  assistant,  Mr.  A.  R.  Crandall,  to 
Greenup  county,  to  examine  the  work  which  had  been  done 
by  Dr.  Owen*s  parties,  under  the  immediate  direction  of  Mr. 
Sidney  S.  Lyon,  in  th^t  district.  Since  the  abandonment  of 
the  Survey  in  this  field, great  changes  had  taken  place  therein. 
The  statements  made  in  that  report  had  encouraged  very  con- 
siderable advances  in  the  development  of  its  mineral  wealth ; 
roads,  railways,*  and  furnaces  had  been  built,  and  the  opportu- 
nities for  the  study  of  the  structure  of  the  country  very  much 
increased.  The  first  steps  of  an  examination  made  it  plain 
that,  to  do  justice  to  this  district,  the  geology  would  have  to  be 
done  over  again,  with  a  view  to  secure  more  accuracy  and  a 
greater  detail  in  the  geological  explorations,  and  generally  to 
bring  the  description  of  the  country  nearer  to  the  standard 
which  should  be  kept  in  such  work.  As  this  geological  work 
was  carried  on,  it  was  found,  to  the  great  surprise  and  regret 
of  the  officers  of  the  Survey,  that  the  map  of  this  section  made 
in  1858-9,  on  which  the  country  is  delineated  with  much  detail, 
was  so  far  incorrect  that  it  could  not  be  used  for  a  guide  or 
for  the  purposes  of  representing  the  geology  of  the  country  ; 
therefore  it  was  determined  to  have  a  careful  review  of  the 
topography  before  publishing  the  report  of  the  Survey.  It 
being  deemed  best,  however,  not  to  undertake  any  consider- 
able task  until  the  Legislature  had  increased  the  first  appro- 
priation of  ten  thousand  dollars  by  some  further  legislative 
action,  the  work  during  the  autumn  of  1873  ^^s  limited  to  a 
review  of  the  geology  of  Greenup,  Carter,  Boyd,  and  a  part  of 
Lewis  counties.  In  order  to  give  a  larger  force  to  the  work, 
the  corps  of  the  Survey,  which  in  the  original  designation  of 
the  bill  were  limited  to  the  principal  geologist,  chemical  assist- 
ant, and  geological  assistant,  was  increased  by  the  addition 
of  another  assistant,  who  should  be  specially  charged  with  the 
duty  of  studying  the  iron  ores  and  other  furnace  interests  of 
the  State;  Mr.  P.  N.  Moore,  late  an  assistant  in  the  Missouri 
Geological  Survey,  which  had  recently  been  suspended,  a  gen- 
44 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  1 5 

tleman  specially  trained  for  such  work,  was  engaged  for  this 
duty,  and  began  his  labors  in  October,  1873,  The  researches 
in  the  chemical  laboratory  were  resumed  under  the  direction 
of  Dr.  Robert  Peter,  chemical  assistant  in  the  former  Survey 
superintended  by  Dr.  Owen.  Dr.  Peter's  engagements  as 
professor  of  chemistry  in  the  State  Agricultural  College  not 
making  it  possible  for  him  to  give  his  whole  time  to  the  work, 
Mr.  John  H.  Talbutt,  a  competent  chemist,  was  made  second 
chemical  assistant  of  the  Survey.  I  count  it  a  piece  of  pecu- 
liarly good  fortune  to  have  secured,  through  Dr.  Peter,  access 
to  many  of  the  traditions  of  the  original  Survey.  In  an  effort 
to  make  the  present  work  an  effective  continuation  of  that 
which  has  been  done  before,  this  has  been  a  very  great  ad- 
vantage. Until  the  action  of  the  Legislature  made  it  clear 
that  the  Survey  was  to  be  continued  beyond  the  limits  set  by 
the  first  small  appropriation,  the  work  of  this  laboratory  was 
limited  to  the  analyses  of  those  specimens  which  had  been 
sent  in  from  the  assistants  in  the  field.  Special  efforts  were 
made  to  have  these  collections,  so  made  as  to  supplement 
the  labors  of  former  years.  The  newly  opened  mines  and  ore 
banks  of  Eastern  Kentucky  gave  the  laboratory  work  for  some 
months.  When  the  continuance  of  the  Survey  was  secured, 
the  available  time  of  the  laboratory,  after  the  analyses  in  con- 
nection with  the  field  work  were  done,  was  given  to  some 
special  researches  on  various  points  of  economic  value  to  the 
State,  as  well  as  of  much  theoretical  interest. 

In  the  summer  of  1874  Mr.  Talbutt  visited  Grayson  Springs 
to  make  a  special  study  of  the  interesting  group  of  springs 
found  at  that  place.  Some  of  the  special  points  of  this  work 
will  be  found  in  a  later  section  of  this  report.  Dr.  Peter  has 
been  specially  engaged  on  an  extensive  series  of  analyses 
of  the  hemp  plant,  with  a  view  to  discover  the  best  method 
of  restoring  the  waste  of  hemp  lands  under  cultivation.  In 
order  to  facilitate  this  inquiry,  and  give  an  increased  value 
to  its  results,  it  was  deemed  desirable  to  have  certain  special 
experiments  in  manures  made  on  hemp  fields.  Greatly  to  the 
advantage  of  the  investigation,  Mr.  Benjamin   Peter  kindly 

45 


1 6  HISTORY   OF    THE 

offered   to  try  these   experiments  on  a  selected   field  under 
his  charge.     These  results  will  not  be  complete  for  a  number 

of  years,  but  the  first  experiences  will  be  found  in  an  appen- 
dix to  this  report. 

Mr.  Talbutt  has  also  been  employed  in  a  special  ques- 
tion of  importance  to  the  agricultural  interests  of  our  State. 
Our  Kentucky  crops  are  exceedingly  wasteful  to  our  soils, 
on  account  of  the  large  amount  of  alkaline  substances  they 
remove  from  the  soil  and  export  to  other  regions.  Especially 
is  this  the  case  with  tobacco.  The  rapid  impoverishment  of 
our  soils  under  the  cultivation  of  this  crop  is  a  great  danger 
to  the  State — probably  the  greatest  it  has  to  fear.  It  is  with 
a  view  to  investigate  these  evils  that  the  Survey  has  been 
continuously  seeking  to  discover  among  our  rocks  materials 
which  could  be  used  to  advantage  in  restoring  our  wasted 
soils.  This  investigation  should  be  extended  over  several 
years,  and  include  the  study  of  all  our  rocks  which  may  ap- 
pear to  possess  any  advantages  of  this  kind.  Mr.  Talbutt  has 
given  a  good  deal  of  time  to  the  study  of  a  set  of  beds,  con- 
stituting what  I  have  termed  in  these  reports  the  Leitchfield 
marls,  beds  which  are  extensively  developed  throughout  the 
whole  of  the  western  and  a  part  of  the  eastern  carboniferous 
or  mountain  limestone  area.  The  results  of  his  observations 
will  be  given  in  a  report  now  in  preparation.  It  appears  from 
Mr.  Talbutt's  work  that  these  beds  contain  a  practically  inex- 
haustible amount  of  potash  and  soda,  which,  with  improved 
processes  of  extraction  to  which  he  is  now  giving  his  atten- 
tion, may  greatly  aid  the  agriculture  of  our  State,  and  afford 
a  most  valuable  basis  for  a  productive  industry  commanding  a 
very  wide  market.  With  this  same  view,  we  have  been  ex- 
tending our  studies  of  the  various  beds  which  make  up  our 
blue  limestones — the  upper  members  of  the  Cincinnati  Group. 

A  number  of  these  beds  have  proved  to  contain  a  large 

amount  of  materials  of  value  as  manures,  and  several  of  them 

may  well  be  used  as  means  of  bettering  our  high-priced  lands. 

It  seeming  likely  that  some  of  the  marly  beds  of  this  part  of 

the  geological  section  might  afford  a  good  material  for  paint, 
46 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  I J 

a  considerable  number  of  analyses  of  the  beds  which  seemed 
of  sufficient  promise  have  been  made.  The  most  satisfactory 
conditions  seem  to  be  found  in  the  thick  beds  which  lie  near 
the  top  of  the  section  at  Frankfort,  immediately  below  the 
beds  characterized  by  an  abundance  of  the  Sti-ophomena  alter- 
nata  Raf,  These  blue  marl  beds  have  a  thickness  of  many 
feet,  and  several  feet  of  the  mass  can  be  mined  with  grreat 
economy.  It  can  easily  be  furnished  by  drift  mining,  at  a 
cost  not  exceeding  one  dollar  per  ton  for  the  crude  material, 
and  the  cost  of  grinding  is  not  very  great.  Then, these  same 
beds  are  extremely  developed  at  other  points  in  the  blue 
limestone  district,  though  I  know  of  no  other  point  where 
they  are,  to  the  same  extent,  favored  by  good  conditions  for 
manufacture.  The  marls  before  referred  to  as  the  Leitchfield 
marls,  belonging  in  the  carboniferous  limestone  in  the  West- 
ern Kentucky  coal  field,  seem  also  admirably  adapted  to  this 
use.  As  it  is  in  contemplation  to  prepare  a  special  report  on 
the  material  suitable  for  stone  paints,  I  shall  not  discuss  the 
question  here  in  all  its  details. 

In  this  connection  it  may  well  be  noticed  that  the  Survey  is 
not  forgetful  of  the  important  interests  the  State  has  in  its 
building  materials.  Extensive  collections  were  begun  as  soon 
as  the  Survey  was  assured  of  some  permanence.  They  will 
be  noticed  at  the  close  of  this  chapter. 

In  January,  1874,  in  order  to  increase  the  amount  of  work 
in  the  western  part  of  the  State.  I  made  a  preliminary  recon- 
noissance  along  the  line  of  the  Elizabethtown  and  Paducah 
Railroad,  and  of  the  lead  district  in  Caldwell  and  Livingston 
counties.  As  soon  as  a  plan  of  work  could  be  arranged,  Mr. 
C.  J.  Norwood,  formerly  an  assistant  in  the  Missouri  Geolog- 
ical Survey,  was  employed  to  take  charge  of  work  on  the  line 
of  that  road,  and  in  the  lead  regions  of  the  counties  above 
mentioned.  Mr.  Charles  Schenk,  an  able  topographer,  was 
authorized  to  take  charge  of  the  topography  of  the  work.  The 
design  was  to  make  a  careful  study  of  the  coal,  iron,  timber, 
soil,  and  other  resources  of  the  region  traversed  by  this  rail- 
way, and  opened  by  it  to  commerce.     This  work,  with  sundry 

47 


1 8  HISTORY  OF    THE 

interruptions  from  difficulties  of  weather,  &c.,  has  been  pushed 
forward  to  completion;  and  the  first  of  its  results,  in  Mr. 
Norwood's  report,  is  now  stereotyped,  and  copies  are  sent 
with  this  report.  This  Survey  has  given  a  statement  which 
will  serve  to  call  attention  to  the  very  great  resources  of  this 
district. 

On  the  completion  of  this  report,  Mr.  Norwood  was  able  to 
take  up  his  work  on  the  lead  mines  of  Western  Kentucky. 
This  work,  of  a  reconnoissance  character,  has  been  com- 
pleted. The  results  are  given  in  Mr.  Norwood's  report,  and 
it  will  be  followed  by  a  study  of  the  lead  resources  of  the 
rest  of  this  district.  In  the  spring  of  1874  the  parties  were 
organized  so  as  to  place  Mr.  Crandall  and  Mr.  Schenk  in 
Eastern  Kentucky,  Mr.  Crandall  finishing  the  geology  and 
Mr.  Schenk  the  topography  of  Greenup  district. 

Mr.  Schenk  began  his  work  on  the  Ohio  river,  at  the 
junction  of  Lewis  and  Greenup  counties,  with  the  object  of 
completing  that  angle  of  the  published  map  of  the  old  Sur- 
vey. To  review  the  map  and  add  what  had  been  omitted  or 
incorrectly  given,  Mr.  W.  C.  Mitchell,  of  Carter  county,  a 
gentleman  personally  familiar  with  this  district  by  some  years 
of  surveying  within  its  limits,  was  appointed  assistant  in  the 
Survey,  and  began  his  operations  with  a  full  topographical 
corps  in  September,  1874.  This  work  was  continued  until 
January,  1875,  when  the  map  was  ready  for  reprinting.  Mr. 
Schenk  having  completed  the  required  work  in  the  Greenup 
district,  was  transferred  to  Johnson  county,  and  continued  his 
work  in  that  district  until  December,  when  the  field  work  was 
discontinued.  Mr.  Crandall  left  the  field  in  October,  having 
completed  a  very  thorough  study  of  the  geology  of  the  coun- 
ties of  Greenup,  Carter,  Boyd,  Lawrence,  and  a  part  of  John- 
son, with  some  reconnoissance  work  in  Martin. 

Mr.  P.  N.  Moore  finished  his  work  in  this  district  in  the 
early  part  of  June,  and  has  since  prepared  his  extended  report 
on  this  iron  district,  which  is  published  in  the  first  volume  of 
this  series  of  reports.  He  was  then  transferred  to  the  western 
district,  and  began  the  work  in  Edmonson  county,  which  is 
48 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY,  1 9 

hereafter  to  be  described.  The  Legislature  having  instructed 
me  to  organize  three  corps,  if  the  resources  of  the  Survey 
would  admit  it,  operations  in  what  may  be  called  the  central 
district  were  begun  by  a  survey  of  the  lead  region  of  Henry 
and  Owen  counties.  As  a  preliminary  to  this  work,  a  topo- 
graphical survey  was  begun  by  Mr.  Page,  topographical  as- 
sistant, and  Mr.  Beckham,  aid,  with  the  intention  of  making 
an  accurate  contour  map,  on  the  scale  of  six  inches  to  the 
mile.  The  greater  part  of  this  work  has  been  completed,  and 
the  geological  work  as  well,  the  latter  by  myself  and  Assistant 
Norwood.  The  completion  of  the  map  was  necessarily  defer- 
red by  the  transfer  of  the  topographical  party  to  the  western 
field.  This  suspension  was  caused  by  the  impossibility  of 
keeping  three  full  topographical  parties  at  work  in  the  field  on 
the  exceedingly  limited  appropriation  at  the  command  of  the 
Director  of  the  Survey. 

The  interests  of  the  great  iron  and  coal  region  in  Western 
Kentucky  seemed  to  give  it  the  preference  when  it  came  to 
be  weighed  with  the  limited  resources  of  the  central  district ; 
so,  with  the  approval  of  the  Governor,  the  change  was  made, 
with  the  belief  that  this  would  be  found  more  to  the  interests 
of  Central  Kentucky  than  the  work  in  Henry  county.  Work 
was  begun  in  the  spring  of  1874  with  by  far  the  larger  part  of 
the  forces  of  the  Survey. in  the  western  district,  besides  Mr. 
Norwood  on  the  Louisville,  Paducah  and  Southwestern  Rail- 
road. 

A  large  party  was  put  in  the  little  known  coal  and  iron  dis- 
trict of  Edmonson,  Grayson,  and  Butler  counties.  After  some 
reconnoitering,  hereafter  to  be  described,  I  took  charge  of 
this  party  myself  until  Mr.  Moore  had  completed  his  work  in 
Eastern  Kentucky.  The  party,  as  organized,  contained  Mr. 
Page,  topographer;  Mr.  Procter  and  Mr.  Beckham,  aids,  and 
Mr.  Moore,  geological  assistant.  In  order  to  advance  the 
work  and  give  it  more  range,  Mr.  F.  G.  Sanborn,  a  distin- 
guished naturalist,  was  employed  as  zoological  assistant,  and 
Professor  John  Hussey  as  botanical  assistant.  To  this  party 
was  fortunately  added  Mr.  Lucien  Carr,  assistant  in  ethnol- 

VOL  II 1-4  *  49 


20  HISTORY   OF    THE 

ogy,  who  generously  gave  the  State  his  valuable  services 
in  the  study  of  its  antiquities,  without  compensation  other 
than  the  satisfaction  derived  from  his  interesting  researches 
in  the  prehistoric  remains  of  this  region.  Work  was  contin- 
ued in  this  region  until  the  following  January,  resulting  in  the 
completion  of  a  map  of  all  the  coal  and  iron  district  between 
Bear  Creek,  the  eastern  border  of  this  field,  north  of  Green 
river  and  south  of  the  Elizabethtown  and  Paducah  Railroad, 
and  east  of  Nolin  river  to  the  border  of  the  coal  field. 

This  extended  and  accurate  map  embraces  about  400  square 
miles  of  very  difficult  topography,  executed  with  extreme  care 
and  furnishing  an  accurate  basis  on  which  to  lay  down  the 
geology  and  to  construct  public  works.  Mr.  Moore,  after  com- 
pleting the  geological  work  on  the  district  included  in  this 
map,  was  detached  to  make  a  careful  study  of  the  problem  of 
the  Airdrie  Furnace.  The  unfortunate  history  of  this  furnace 
is  given  in  detail  in  Mr.  Moore's  report;  but  I  had  become 
aware  of  the  importance  of  the  problem  soon  after  beginning 
my  studies  in  this  field.  In  brief,  the  story  is  as  follows:  A 
great  furnace,  built  at  the  cost  of  many  thousand  dollars,  in 
order  to  use  the  **  Black-band  ore,'*  a  bed  of  iron  ore  occurring 
just  at  the  top  of  one  of  our  finest  coals,  had  failed  in  its  first 
weeks  of  trial,  and,  with  all  its  great  interests,  had  laid  quite 
idle  since  1858,  given  over  to  decay.  It  was  evident  that 
until  this  most  untoward  accident  could  be  explained,  it  would 
be  difficult  to  make  a  good  showing  for  our  Western  Kentucky 
iron  regions.  I  am  glad  to  say  that  Mr.  Moore*s  report  quite 
confirmed  the  opinion  I  had  formed  from  a  preliminary  ex- 
amination of  the  region  and  the  records,  as  it  showed  that 
there  had  never  been  any  real  trial  of  the  furnace  whatever; 
the  first  difficulties  having  resulted  from  an  amazing  combina- 
tion of  ignorance,  carelessness,  and  the  conceit  of  men  who 
brought  the  prejudices  of  the  iron  trade  of  other  countries  to 
the  work  of  our  iron  field. 

I  am  satisfied  that  Mr.  Moore's  investigations,  and  the 
reports  of  the  Survey  on  the  iron  resources  which  can  be 
made  available  in  the  Green  River  valley,  will  do  much  to 
50 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  21 

make  it  the  seat  of  an  important  iron  industry  as  soon  as 
the  manufacturing  interests  of  the  country  recover  from  their 
temporary  depression.  The  researches  of  the  Survey  have 
distinctly  shown  that  no  other  region  in  this  or  any  other  coun- 
try, so  far  as  known,  possesses  greater  advantages  for  the 
cheap  manufacturing  and  marketing  of  a  high  grade  of  iron. 
Other  iron  districts  have,  possibly,  some  slight  advantages  in 
the  production  of  the  metal,  advantages  that  are  more  than 
neutralized  by  the  considerably  increased  cost  of  marketing; 
but  these  ores  lie  on  the  banks  of  rivers  communicating 
directly  with  the  vast  system  of  water  transportation  of  the 
Mississippi,  and  with  markets  in  St.  Louis,  Louisville,  and 
Cincinnati — markets  already  with  great  demands,  and  which 
the  natural  growth  of  the  country  will,  in  a  few  decades,  make 
the  greatest  in  the  world.  This  study  of  our  iron  resources  in 
Western  Kentucky  will  require  some  years  for  its  completion, 
with  all  the  force  which  can  be  spared  from  the  Survey. 

The  work  done  in  Edmonson  county  alone  has  shown  the 
existence  of  a  very  extensive  iron  field,  which  can  furnish 
exceedingly  cheap,  high-grade  ores  to  a  hundred  furnaces  for 
a  century  to  come — their  products  being  immediately  accessi- 
ble to  water  transportation  with  very  slight  improvements  in 
the  slack-water  navigation  of  Green  river  and  its  tributaries, 
Nolin  and  Bear  Creeks.  A  great  deal  was  done  to  determine 
the  relations  of  the  various  coal  beds  in  Western  Kentucky. 
This  question  is.  however,  so  complicated  that  it  will  require 
several  years  of  patient,  difficult  work  to  enable  us  to  give  a 
final  and  definite  account  of  its  resources.  Every  step  we 
have  taken  towards  this  end  has  served  to  convince  the  offi- 
cers of  this  Survey  that  the  richness  of  this  field  has  not  been 
exaggerated.  So  great,  however,  is  the  amount  of  coal  in  the 
Mississippi  Valley  that  it  will  be  many  years  before  a  high 
degree  of  profit  can  be  obtained  from  the  ordinary  qualities 
of  coal.  What  should  be  especially  sought,  is  to  discover 
the  special  fitness  of  these  coals  for  important  manufacturing 
purposes.  With  this  view  I  have  endeavored  to  bring  about 
careful  trials  of  the  coals  for  the  manufacturing  of  iron,  either 

5« 


22  HISTORY   OF    THE 

in  the  raw  way  or  by  means  of  coking  the  coal.  It  has  also 
seemed  to  me  very  desirable  to  have  trials  of  all  our  prom- 
ising coals  in  the  retorts  of  a  gas-works.* 

The  same  element  of  water  transportation  that  gives  such 
an  especial  value  to  our  iron  ores  of  Western  Kentucky 
makes  the  admirable  forest  timber  of  that  region  a  source 
of  great  possibilities  in  the  way  of  manufacturing  of  various 
kinds.  Mr.  Hussey,  botanical  assistant,  has  made  an  extended 
examination  of  a  considerable  district  in  Western  Kentucky 
with  a  view  to  showing  the  real  value  of  these  resources. 
The  immediate  accessibility  of  deep  water  throughout  the 
greater  part  of  the  year  in  Western  Kentucky  gives  it  pecu- 
liar advantages  as  a  place  for  ship-building  industry.  At 
present  the  whole  forests  of  this  region  are  disappearing 
before  the  advances  of  agricultural  industry  with  little  ad- 
vantage to  the  people.  Every  effort  should  be  made  to  give 
their  riches  a  proper  place  before  the  world.  It  will  be  seen, 
I  think,  that  Mr.  Hussey's  report  is  a  step  in  the  right  direc- 
tion, and  should  be  followed  by  other  reports  of  the  same 
general  character,  until  the  whole  of  the  timber  resources  of 
the  State  are  properly  exhibited. 

The  work  of  Mr.  F.  G.  Sanborn,  during  the  few  months  of 
his  occupation  with  the  Survey,  was  mainly  given  to  the  study 
of  the  caverns  of  the  western  district.  This  work  has,  from 
the  first,  commended  itself  to  me,  not  only  on  account  of  its 
great  scientific  importance,  which  I  hold  in  itself  justifies  its 
careful  undertaking,  but  also  on  account  of  its  considerable 
economic  importance.  The  caverns  of  Kentucky  are  among 
the  most  remarkable  curiosities  of  this  continent.  They  must 
always  arouse  the  liveliest  interest,  and  bring  many  tourists 
to  the  State.  When  they  are  explored  and  mapped,  and  their 
wonders  well  set  forth,  they  will  become  a  great  source  of 
attraction  to  a  much  larger  part  of  the  world  than  has  yet  felt 
any  interest  in  them.  No  other  known  region  has  a  similarly 
extensive  development  of  these  caves.     The  Survey  is  also 

•This  is  now  under  way  at  the  Louisvi  le  (las-works,  through  the  favor  of  Dr.  J.  Law- 
rence Smith,  president  of  the  company. 

52 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  2$ 

getting  data  to  determine  their  value  for  other  uses.  It  seems 
likely  that  these  caverns  have  a  very  great  value  for  the  stor- 
age of  fruit  and  other  perishable  materials;  the  great  uniform- 
ity of  temperature,  the  dryness,  the  constant  slight  movement 
of  the  air,  all  combine  to  give  a  peculiar  preservative  influence. 
As  the  region  where  they  occur  is  destined  to  be  in  close  rela- 
tions with  many  large  cities,  and  is  peculiarly  suited  to  the 
growth  of  fruits  and  vegetables,  there  may  be  use  for  just 
these  properties  so  common  in  our  caverns. 

In  Edmonson  county  there  are  probably  not  less  than  five 
hundred  of  these  caverns,  of  considerable  size,  and  a  careful 
search  might  develop  more.  Diamond  Cave,  the  most  beau- 
tiful cavern  of  the  hundred  or  more  I  have  visited  in  various 
parts  of  the  world,  was  found  by  a  mere  accident,  in  making 
some  excavations.  Wherever  a  sink-hole  occurs,  it  may  be 
confidently  stated  there  is  a  cavern  of  greater  or  less  size 
beneath.  The  earth  throughout  at  least  six  thousand  square 
miles,  in  this  part  of  the  State,  is  quite  honey-combed  with 
these  channels.  Diligent  search  is  likely  to  show  tens  of 
thousands  of  miles  of  underground  space  large  enough  to  be 
passed  by  man.  It  is  thus  seen  that  if  these  caverns  come  to 
have  a  definite  economic  value,  there  is  a  sufficiently  great 
area  of  them  to  serve  all  purposes. 

The  services  of  Mr.  F.  G.  Sanborn,  an  able  and  distin- 
guished naturalist,  were  for  some  months  given  to  a  special 
study  of  the  caverns  of  the  Edmonson  district.  The  especial 
object  was  to  examine  into  the  character  of  their  organic  life, 
this  being  a  question  of  very  peculiar  scientific  interest,  one 
that  could  not  be  omitted  in  our  work.  Dr.  A.  S.  Packard 
also  spent  some  time  in  the  same  inquiry.  The  result  of  this 
combined  work  of  Dr.  Packard  and  Mr.  Sanborn  will  be  dis- 
cussed in  the  second  part  of  this  report.  The  object  here  is 
only  to  give  some  brief  statements  of  its  connection  with  the 
history  of  the  Survey.  The  work  of  these  gentlemen  was 
limited  to  the  spring  and  summer  of  1874. 

The  act  of  1874  required  me  to  have  an  examination  made 
into  the  fishes  of  our  rivers.     It  hardly  needs  an  argument  to 

53 


24  HISTORY    OF    THE 

show  US  that  our  food  fishes  are  likely  to  become  a  most 
important  element  in  the  economy  of  the  State.  Kentucky 
is  peculiarly  a  region  of  rivers.  Within  her  limits  we  have 
not  far  from  three  hundred  thousand  acres  of  water  area. 
It  is  estimated  that  each  acre  of  well-stocked  water  is  worth 
more  than  the  best  land  as  food-producing  area.  So  that 
something  like  one  hundred  dollars  per  annum  is  assigned  as 
the  value  of  an  acre  of  water  for  rearing  good  fish.  From  this, 
it  is  evident  that  in  the  future,  when  Kentucky  becomes  as 
densely  peopled  as  its  great  mineral  and  agricultural  resources 
make  it  certain  it  will  be,  the  annual  return  from  our  fisheries 
may  well  rise  into  the  tens  of  millions  of  dollars. 

In  order  to  lay  the  foundation  for  a  thorough  study  of  our 
fisheries,  an  arrangement  was  made  with  Mr.  F.  W.  Putnam, 
a  distinguished  ichthyologist,  to  undertake  the  examinations 
of  the  fishes  of  the  Green  River  system  of  streams.  This 
work  was  begun  in  1874  by  a  careful  study  of  the  fishes  that 
could  be  collected  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  Mammoth 
Cave  and  on  the  waters  of  Nolin  river.  These  collections 
were  intended  to  be  supplemented  by  others  made  on  the 
lower  waters  of  the  stream,  where  we  may  expect  anpther 
set  of  species  from  those  which  occur  in  the  upper  waters  of 
the  river.  An  unusually  wet  season  made  it  impossible  to  do 
this  work;  so  the  report  is  necessarily  retarded.  Enough 
was  done,  however,  to  show  the  peculiar  richness  of  this 
stream  in  indigenous  fishes  and  its  great  fitness  for  fish 
culture.  Nolin  river  has  been  the  object  of  some  studies 
of  quite  special  character,  with  especial  reference  to  its 
springs.  It  is  evident  that  there  are  many  springs  along 
its  course,  where  it  passes  through  the  carboniferous  lime- 
stone, which  could  be  utilized  for  trout  culture.  As  will  be 
seen  from  Mr.  Page's  report,  one  of  these  streams  pours  a 
volume  of  about  two  millions  of  gallons  per  diem  of  water, 
which  does  not  vary  perceptibly  from  59°  Farenheit,  lying  close 
to  Louisville,  and  in  a  region  otherwise  well  adapted  for  such 
work.  There  is  no  reason  why  this  valley  should  not  become 
an  important  region  for  pisciculture.      These  considerations 

54 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  25 

have  distinctly  pointed  to  the  importance  of  making  a  careful 
list  of  the  large  springs  within  the  State,  and  determining 
their  actual  flow  and  their  temperature.  If  they  can  be 
brought  into  use,  the  value  of  a  single  spring  may  repay  the 
cost  of  the  whole  investigation ;  for  in  the  rearing  of  trout  a 
spring  may  well  be  worth  many  thousands  of  dollars. 

While  the  preparations  for  a  detailed  report  of  our  fisheries 
will  demand  some  years  of  labor,  and  should  be  the  fruit  of  a 
special  appropriation,  there  are  some  points  to  which  I  desire 
to  call  the  attention  of  the  Legislature,  as  they  seem  to  show 
how  wide  and  important  the  question  really  is.  In  the  first 
place,  I  would  call  the  attention  of  the  Legislature  to  the  fact 
that  the  food  fishes  of  our  rivers  are  not  necessarily  limited 
to  those  that  live  their  whole  lives  and  get  all  their  food  from 
these  waters.  Besides  these  groups,  which  unfortunately  con- 
tain all  the  fishes  at  present  found  in  our  Kentucky  rivers, 
we  could  have  the  forms  found  in  other  river  systems,  which 
have  their  birth  in  the  smaller  streams,  pass  out  to  the  sea  in 
their  younger  states,  and  do  not  return  until  they  have  gained, 
it  may  be,  a  hundred- fold  in  weight  from  their  life  in  the  great 
deep. 

It  is  one  of  the  most  surprising  results  of  observation  in 
fishes  that  the  individuals  hatched  in  any  stream,  and  going  in 
their  youth  out  to  the  sea,  disappearing  in  its  depths,  reappear 
in  the  same  stream  when  they  come  to  lay  their  eggs,  though 
several  years  may  have  passed  away.  In  this  way  it  is  often 
possible  to  take  from  a  given  area  of  water  at  least  one  hund- 
red times  as  much  food  as  it  would  be  possible  to  raise  there 
if  the  fish  had  to  be  fed  on  the  ground.  These  streams,  then, 
become  ways  up  which,  each  year,  the  sea  sends  some  of  its 
wealth  of  food  far  into  the  land. 

With  the  warm  and  muddy  waters  of  our  western  rivers,  we 
cannot  expect  to  succeed  in  naturalizing  the  Atlantic  salmon, 
one  of  the  noblest  of  our  game  fishes ;  but  there  is  reason  to 
hope  that  the  shad  can  be  made  common  in  the  Ohio ;  and  in 
the  California  salmon,  the  Chinese  salmon,  and  in  several  allied 

55 


26  HISTORY   OF    THE 

forms  from  Europe,  we  may  hope  to  find  species  of  sea-rang- 
ing fishes  which  can  be  nursed  in  our  rivers. 

I  have  already  arranged  with  the  United  States  Fish  Com- 
missioner, Prof.  Spencer  F.  Baird,  who  has  kindly  shown  the 
friendliest  interest  in  our  betterment,  to  obtain  a  large  supply 
of  eggs  of  foreign  species  as  soon  as  the  State  is  ready  to 
arrange  for  placing  them  in  our  streams,  and  the  Legislature 
enacts  laws  for  their  preservation  during  the  time  when  they 
are  becoming  acclimated. 

The  Geological  Survey  can  only  do  incidental  work  in  the 
furtherance  of  this  great  object,  on  account  of  its  many  duties. 
The  State  would  do  well  to  appoint  a  fish  commissioner,  and 
provide  him  with  the  means  to  make  effective  experiments. 
Five  thousand  dollars  a  year  so  expended  would  soon  do  all 
that  is  necessary  to  develop  our  fisheries.  On  one  point, 
closely  connected  with  the  preservation  of  our  fishes,  how- 
ever. I  feel  it  necessary  to  speak  a  timely  word.  Cities 
are  growing  with  rapidity  along  our  streams.  Their  sewage 
and  that  of  many  detached  factories  is  already  beginning  to 
defile  our  streams.  I  am  personally  familiar  with  the  great 
evils  which  this  system  has  brought  about  in  England  and 
other  old  countries,  and  with  the  means  taken  to  obviate  them. 
I  am  firmly  convinced  of  the  necessity  of  immediate  action  to 
prevent  the  extension  of  these  bad  effects  of  poisons  thrown 
into  our  streams.  Situated,  as  our  cities  all  are,  in  positions 
where  gravitation  will  do  much  to  take  the  sewage  on  to 
arable  land,  they  should  all  consider  whether  they  cannot  save 
the  wealth  which  they  are  pouring  into  the  sea  in  the  shape 
of  their  sewage,  the  best  fertilizer  possible  for  land,  for  it 
contains  the  advantages  of  irrigation  and  manuring  at  the 
same  time.  There  are  at  least  half  a  dozen  cities  along  the 
Ohio  which  now  pour  a  great  tide  of  poison  into  the  river,  not 
only  making  it  a  nasty  sewer  in  low  water,  but  also  damaging 
the  fisheries,  and  wasting  the  bread  of  the  future  at  the  same 
time. 

In  a  low  stage  of  water  in  June,  1874,  I  passed,  in  a  skiff, 

from  Newport  to  Louisville,  desiring  among  other  things   to 
56 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE   SURVEY.  2  J 

see  the  state  of  the  river  in  the  summer  season.  This  exam- 
ination showed  me  that  we  were  almost  at  the  point  where 
the  pollution  of  the  stream  is  becoming  a  serious  danger  to 
the  health  of  the  region,  and  is  at  the  same  time  threatening 
us  with  the  loss  of  its  cleaner  fishes.  Another  generation 
will  add  tenfold  to  these  difficulties,  and  make  it  necessary  for 
each  State  bordering  on  the  Ohio  river  to  join  in  some  com- 
mon means  of  protection  to  avoid  making  an  open  sewer  of 
our  beautiful  river.  Kentucky  having  the  largest  share  of  the 
Ohio  river,  more  than  half  its  area  being  within  its  borders, 
should  take  the  lead  in  this  very  important  work.  If  desired, 
I  will  make  a  careful  study  of  this  question  and  submit  the 
results  to  the  Legislature. 

In  this  connection  I  may  best  notice  the  work  done  in  the 
examination  of  the  water-courses  of  the  State  by  the  Survey. 
This,  during  the  year  1874,  was  limited  to  the  study  of  the 
region  covered  by  the  topographical  parties.  Some  mention 
of  this  work  will  be  found  in  the  topographical  reports  of  the 
assistants ;  but  it  is  proposed  to  retain  the  most  of  such  matter 
until  it  can  appear  in  a  special  report  on  this  subject.  A  few 
general  remarks  may  serve  to  indicate  the  state  of  the  in- 
quiry at  the  present  time,  and  anticipate  some  of  its  results. 

Throughout  Kentucky  the  rainfall  is  equal  to  that  of  the 
countries  most  abounding  in  good  water-powers.  The  range 
in  amount  is  not  well  determined,  but  is  probably  from  forty- 
five  inches  on  the  Ohio  to  about  sixty-five  inches  in  the 
Cumberland  mountains.  This  is  much  more  than  falls  in 
Massachusetts  or  the  other  New  England  States — regions  of 
valuable  water-powers.  The  amount  of  declivity  down  which 
it  flows  is  equally  satisfactory,  being  all-sufficient  for  the  best 
uses  of  the  water.  The  sites  are  unequaled.  Nearly  every 
stream  has  along  its  whole  course  rock  bottom  and  rock  sides 
within  easy  reach.  The  only  difficulty  lies  in  the  amount  of 
storage  power  of  the  earth  and  the  irregular  seasonal  distri- 
bution of  the  rains.  It  should  be  noticed  that  when  a  rain 
falls  on  any  great  surface,  the  water  may  be  divided  into  two 
bodies :  the  one  finds  its  way  directly  to  the  streams  without 

57 


28  HISTORY  OF    THE 

entering  the  ground,  the  other  finds  its  way  to  the  streams 
through  the  slower  channels  in  the  soil.  It  is  this  last  named 
water  that  gives  an  economic  value  to  the  streams ;  the  first  is 
hardly  more  than  a  damaging  element,  and  may  be  called  the 
flood-water. 

In  New  England  a  soil  resting  on  sand  and  gravel,  a  great 
system  of  ponds  and  lakes,  and  great  areas  of  high-lying 
swamps,  all  serve  to  retain  the  greater  part  of  the  flood-water 
and  to  discharge  it  slowly.  In  Kentucky,  as  there  has  been 
no  glacial  action  to  make  the  gravel  beds  and  upland  swamps, 
we  do  not  have  this  structure  of  soil,  and  all  our  spring  or 
ground  water,  as  we  may  call  it,  must  come  from  the  soil 
proper  or  the  rock  below.  Art  can  do  something  to  remedy 
this  defect  by  making  storage  reservoirs  to  retain  the  flood- 
waters,  and  I  look  forward  with  confidence  to  this  result  I 
shall  have  occasion  to  advert  to  this  matter  of  storage  reser- 
voirs in  another  part  of  this  report ;  but  for  the  present  it  will 
suffice  it  to  say,  that  permanent  water-powers,  without  such 
reservoirs,  are  not  possible  in  the  smaller  streams  of  the  State, 
with  the  exception  of  those  in  the  cavern  district.  It  is  not 
the  least  of  the  advantages  of  this  district  that  the  caverned 
rock  makes  a  great  storage  for  what  would  otherwise  be  flood- 
water.  In  this  caverned  section,  as  for  instance  in  the  case 
of  Nolin  river,  we  have  streams  relatively  of  great  steadiness, 
and  admirably  adapted  for  great  water-powers. 

Nolin  river  will  furnish  a  water-power  comparable  to  many 
of  the  most  important  of  the  New  England  rivers.  The 
report  of  Mr.  Page  will  show  that,  in  the  extraordinary  dry 
season  of  1874,  it,  at  the  lowest  stage,  ran  so  as  to  be  equal 
to  twenty  horse-power  for  each  foot  of  fall,  a  quantity  which 
probably  much  exceeded  the  discharge  of  the  Licking  river  at 
the  same  time,  though  that  river  drains  a  district  having  an 
equal  rainfall  and  some  ten  times  the  area  of  surface. 

Green  river  itself,  draining,  as  it  does,  a  large  cavern  area, 

is  capable  of  making  au  admirable  water-power  at  almost  any 

point  above  the  slack- water  navigation;  and  below  that  point, 

wherever  there  are  dams,  there  are  waterfalls  of  great  steadi- 
58 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  29 

ness  of  volume,  and  of  several  hundred  horse-power,  at  the 
lowest  water,  going  to  waste.  I  examined  these  dams  at  the 
lowest  stage  in  many  years,  and  am  convinced  that  they  may 
be  relied  on,  at  each  dam,  to  run  turbines  up  to  three  hundred 
horse-power,  leaving  lock  water  enough  for  all  business  that  is 
likely  to  be  brought  to  them. 

The  disadvantage  which  Kentucky  water-powers  generally 
have,  in  the  small  storage  power  of  our  soil,  is  somewhat  com- 
pensated by  the  great  freedom  from  ice.  In  this  respect  mills 
on  the  Green  river  will  have  peculiar  advantages.  On  account 
of  the  cavern  storage,  the  water  in  the  stream  is  relatively 
much  warmer  in  winter  than  the  rivers  of  the  most  of  the 
State.  It  is  said  that  it  often  remains  open  after  the  Tennes- 
see, whose  waters  course  much  further  south,  has  been  closed 
with  ice. 

Some  difficulty  will  be  met  in  our  Kentucky  streams  on 
account  of  the  frequency  of  floods;  but,  with  the  great  ad- 
vantages arising  from  good  foundations  and  tide  walls,  this 
need  not  be  very  great.  On  the  whole,  the  State  may  look  to 
its  water-powers  as  a  valuable  supplement  to  its  more  impor- 
tant source  of  power  in  its  coal.  I  am  satisfied  that  it  will  be 
wisdom  to  give  these  powers  a  thorough  investigation. 

In  this  connection  I  may  say,  that  an  important  question  now 
occupying  the  attention  of  the  officers  of  the  Survey,  is  that 
of  water  supply  for  the  growing  cities  and  manufactories  of 
the  State.  In  this,  as  in  several  other  matters,  the  plan  has 
been  adopted,  for  which  warrant  will  be  found  in  the  law  of 
1874,  of  writing  letters  to  the  journals  likely  to  reach  the 
people  most  interested,  giving  the  facts  which  should  be  used 
in  the  guidance  of  engineering  works  looking  to  water  supply. 
This  present  and  growing  need  is  one  of  the  strongest  argu- 
ments for  effective  legislation  directed  to  the  preservation  of 
our  rivers  from  the  waste  of  our  population  and  our  manufac- 
tories. Over  one  seventh  of  the  population  of  the  State  now 
depends  on  the  Ohio  river  for  the  water  used  for  domestic  and 
manufacturing  purposes.     In  a  few  years  we  may  reckon  that 

59 


30  HISTORY  OF    TUB 

this  proportion  will  be  materially  increased.  With  the  growth 
of  the  need,  we  are  now  getting  a  diminution  of  the  supply  by 
the  progressive  fouling  of  our  streams.  But  two  sources  of 
water  are  offered  us,  our  rivers  and  the  wat^r  stored  in  our 
rocks — held  there  as  in  a  sponge.  Unfortunately  the  same 
circumstances  which  have  filled  our  rocks  with  the  elements 
which  make  a  fertile  soil  and  valuable  mineral  resources,  have 
made  the  waters  stored  deep  therein  unsuitable  for  domestic 
purposes  or  for  manufactures. 

While  it  is  a  fact  that  the  blue  grass  water,  or  the  water 
from  the  limestones  of  the  Cincinnati  Group  of  rocks,  has  a 
peculiar  fitness  for  the  manufacture  of  the  principal  export 
of  that  section,  it  is  also  a  fact  that  it  is  not  possible  to  have 
it  save  at  certain  springs  and  wells  of  shallow  depth.  As 
soon  as  a  well  reaches  below  the  drainage  of  the  country  it 
gives  water  charged  with  a  large  number  of  mineral  sub- 
stances, valuable  for  medical  properties,  but  unfit  for  general 
use.  It  is  only  from  the  rocks  above  the  drainage,  where 
long  continued  leaching  has  worked  out  all  these  substances, 
that  we  can  get  water  of  reasonable  purity.  Our  mineral 
resources  are  sure  to  create  many  great  cities  within  the 
Commonwealth  during  the  century  to  come.  For  these  the 
water  supply  must  be  sought  in  our  large  streams.  There  is 
no  other  resource. 

We  may  now  return  to  the  geology  of  the  eastern  field. 
With  this  year's  work  the  parties  of  Mr.  Crandall,  Mr.  Moore, 
Mr.  Schenk,  and  Mr.  Mitchell  finished  the  work  which  is  given 
in  the  reports  of  Messrs.  Crandall  and  Moore  and  the  maps 
of  Messrs.  Schenk  and  Mitchell.  The  economic  results  of 
this  Survey  cannot  help  being  of  some  advantage  to  the  State. 
It  has  shown  the  existence  of  a  much  larger  mass  of  coal  and 
iron  than  was  supposed  to  exist  in  this  district.  The  demon- 
strations of  the  existence  of  the  upper  limestone  ore  over  the 
large  area  it  has  been  shown  to  occupy  is  a  matter  of  great 
consequence  to  the  State.  This  ore  is  the  largest  single  ele- 
ment in  the  success  of  the  Hanging  Rock  iron  district.     In 

the  four  counties  included  in  this  field,  we  have  demonstrated 
60 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE  SURVEY.  3 1 

the  existence  of  a  sufficient  area  of  this  ore  to  occupy  many 
times  the  present  number  of  furnaces  in  the  district  for  centu- 
ries to  come.  Along  with  the  important  series  of  ores  which 
have  been  studied  in  detail,  as  will  be  seen  from  these  reports, 
we  have  a  coal  that  is  known  as  the  Ashland  or  Coalton  coal, 
which  is  one  of  the  few  coals  in  the  world  which  can  be  advan- 
tageously used  in  its  raw  or  uncoked  state  for  the  making  of 
iron.  In  this  coal  alone  this  region  has  the  assured  basis  for 
a  great  industry,  and  the  Survey  has  been  able  to  show  its 
existence  over  a  wide  field. 

The  reconnoissance  of  the  Survey,  which  has  extended 
beyond  its  final  work  in  this  direction,  leads  us  to  hope  for 
a  considerable  southward  extension  for  these  two  valuable 
resources  of  coal  and  iron  of  known  qualities.  Mr.  Crandall's 
studies  on  the  timber  lands  of  Eastern  Kentucky  will,  I  am 
inclined  to  think,  be  found  of  peculiar  value.  This  method  of 
measuring  the  timber  of  a  country  is  now  first  used  in  this 
report.  No  little  consideration  has  been  given  to  this  matter 
of  investigating  forests,  and  the  most  considerable  difficulty 
has  been  to  find  a  way  of  recording  the  character  of  its  tim- 
bering, the  size  of  the  trees,  their  relative  numbers,  &c.  This 
difficulty  has,  I  believe,  been  met  in  this  plan  of  counting  the 
trees  on  given  areas  and  determining  their  size,  height,  &c. 
I  must  call  especial  attention  to  the  recommendations  made  in 
that  report  as  to  the  preservation  of  our  mountain  forests  and 
their  maintenance  as  sources  of  production  of  timber.  This 
source  of  wealth  is  rapidly  growing  in  price,  and  as  that  coun- 
try becomes  the  seat  of  great  industries,  the  capacity  for 
producing  good  qualities  of  hard-wood  timber  will  be  a  great 
advantage  to  its  other  interests. 

To  complete  the  brief  notice  of  the  operations  of  the  Sur- 
vey during  1874,  I  must  now  speak  of  my  own  work  during 
that  time.  A  very  large  part  of  the  time  of  the  superintend- 
ent of  a  survey,  where  there  are  many  workers,  is  necessarily 
taken  up  with  the  work  of  mere  direction.  I  was  compelled 
to  make  several  journeys  to  the  eastern  field  and  several  to 

the  western.     Moreover,  the  correspondence  connected  with 

61 


32  HISTORY   OF    THE 

such  a  Survey  is  necessarily  very  large.     I  have  found  that  it 
could  not  be  carried  on  with  less  than  three  thousand  letters 
per  annum,  all  of  which   I   have  necessarily  attended    to  in 
person.     Nevertheless,  most  of  the  time  from  December  ist, 
1873,  to  October  ist,  1874,  was  spent  in  the  field.      I  shall  not 
give  any  account  of  journeys  which  were  intended  for  super- 
visory work   alone,  though    they  constituted  about    half   the 
total  travel ;  but  I  shall  now  speak  of  certain  reconnoissances 
which  were  intended  either  to  fill  what  seemed  to  be  gaps  in 
the  reconnoissance  work,  as  it  was  left  by  Dr.  Owen,  or  to 
make  a  study  of  some  special  question.     The  first  of  these 
journeys  was  made  in   the   month   of  June,  along   the   Ohio 
river,  between  a  point  near  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Sandy  and 
Louisville.      The  greater   part  of  this  distance   I    traversed 
on  foot,  on  horseback,  or  in  a  skiff,  so  that  I  fairly  saw  this 
great  stretch  of  water  front.     The  lower  river,  to  the  Tennes- 
see line  on  the  Mississippi,  I  saw  in  a  more  cursory  manner, 
mostly  by  steamer.     My  aim  in  this  journey  was  to  examine 
the  condition  of  the  river  with  reference  to  its  changes  since 
the  settlement  of  the  country,  the  rate  of  change  at  present, 
and  the  means  of  controlling  the  worst  effect  of  floods  and 
drought  in  this  stream.     Although  this  rapid  work,  occupying, 
as  it  did,  less  than  a  month  of  time,  can  only  be  counted  as  a 
reconnoissance,  it  still  gave  some  results  which  I  intend,  in  a 
general  way,  to  give  here,  reserving  a  special  discussion   of 
them  to  some  future  time,  should  the  Legislature  warrant  the 
continuance  of  the  Survey. 

The  most  noticeable  point,  one  of  great  practical  moment, 
as  well  as  general  interest,  is  the  fact  that  the  Ohio  river  has 
widened  its  bed,  since  the  destruction  of  the  forests  along  its 
bank,  to  the  amount  of  about  five  hundred  feet  on  the  aver- 
age, in  its  course  from  the  Big  Sandy  to  Cairo.  I  am  quite 
sure  that  this  statement  is  within  the  average.  This  repre- 
sents a  loss  within  the  State  of  about  twenty  thousand  acres 
of  the  best  land,  worth,  at  present  valuation,  not  far  from  two 
millions  of  dollars.      This,  in   itself  a  great  loss,  is  not  the 

most  considerable  damage  that  has  been  done.     This  is  found 
6a 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  33 

in  the  widening  of  the  river  bed,  and  the  consequent  shoaling 
of  the  water  in  the  navigable  part  of  the  river.  Although  the 
stream  doubtless  runs  less  water  in  summer  time  than  for- 
merly, this  is  not  the  greatest  cause  of  difficult  navigation. 
The  main  difficulty  is,  that  the  same  water  is  spread  over  a 
wider  surface,  and  thereby  becomes  unnavigable.  Down  this 
widened  bed  the  floods  sweep  unresisted,  and  each  year  more 
and  more  space  is  made  for  them.  The  bank,  no  longer 
bordered  with  trees  which,  with  their  roots,  once  bound  the 
earth  into  a  tough,  resisting  mat,  yields  as  if  melting  to  the 
flood,  and  it  now  gives  way,  seemingly,  each  year  faster  and 
faster.  Another  century  of  this  destruction  will  destroy  the 
usefulness  of  the  river  and  remove  a  large  part  of  the  border- 
ing interval  land. 

These  two  causes — the  lack  of  the  restraints  which  once 
held  back  the  water  and  the  want  of  the  old  forest  guard  to 
the  banks — are  at  the  bottom  of  all  the  lamentable  deteriora- 
tion of  the  river  and  the  never-ending  loss  of  land.  The  first 
of  these  causes,  the  increased  suddenness  of  the  discharge,  is 
commonly  attributed  to  the  increased  area  of  cultivated  land. 
Much  is  due  to  this  cause,  but  more,  perhaps,  to  its  secondary 
effect  than  to  the  mere  loss  of  the  trees.  I  am  inclined  to 
think  that  the  ** beaver  dams'*  had  a  very  important  effect  in 
restraining  the  floods  in  the  ancient  times ;  possibly  not  as 
much  as  the  forest  mat  itself,  but  still  very  much.  The  only 
compensation  for  the  loss  of  these  restraining  agents  is  to  be 
found  in  the  artificial  storage  reservoirs — a  question  I  hope  to 
discuss  hereafter.  For  the  present,  let  us  look  to  the  resist- 
ing of  the  wear  of  the  banks  and  the  recovery  of  the  land  lost 
during  this  century. 

I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  there  is  a  simple  method  of 
accomplishing  this.  Wherever  a  willow  plantation  has  got  a 
hold  on  the  Ohio  banks  I  always  found  there  evidence  that  the 
decay  of  the  bank  was  arrested  and  a  gain  in  the  other  direc- 
tion begun.  The  cause  of  this  was  evident.  When  watching 
the  next  flood,  I  could  examine  the  behavior  of  the  stream. 
Wherever  the  willows  or  the  cottonwoods  could  get  a  hold  on 

63 


34  HISTORY   OF    THE 

the   bank,  which  generally  occurs  by  their  broken   branches 
drifting  by  and  becoming  accidentally  fixed,  they  grow  with 
great  rapidity,  spreading  in  every  direction  by  their  branches 
becoming  buried  by  successive  floods,  and  sending  fresh  tops 
from  every  bud.     Very  soon  there  is  a  little  grove  formed,  it 
may  be  some  hundred  feet  or  more  from  the  retreating-  bank. 
This  thicket,  when  floods  come,  bends  to  them,  but  its  inter- 
laced branches  form  a  little  dead  water,  in  which  the  coarser 
sediment  carried  by  the  stream  sinks  down;  masses  of  drift- 
wood often  tangles  in  the  branches  and  aid  this  process ;   but 
practically  it  is  slackened  current,  and  the  consequent  deposi- 
tion of  sediment,  that  causes  the  accumulation.     After  some 
of  the  heavier  floods  there  will  be  as  much  as  a  foot  of  mud 
laid  down  on  these  willow  thickets,  and  in  some  cases  I  have 
seen  this  mud  coating  extend  half  a  mile  along  the  river;   not 
only  within  the  space  occupied  by  the  young  wood,  but   for 
some  distance  below  its  lower  end. 

Unlike  most  trees,  the  willow,  and,  to  a  certain  extent,  the 
Cottonwood,  have  the  power  of  sending  out  roots  from  any 
point  on  their  stems  or  branches.  The  result  is,  that  generally 
before  the  next  flood  this  mud  is  woven  through  and  through 
with  fine  roots,  which  bind  it  all  together.  The  gain  from  this 
process  is  often  singularly  great,  keeping  pace  with  the  growth 
of  the  swift  increasing  trees.  At  many  points  it  is  evident 
that  the  gain  is  at  the  very  point  where  decay  was  the  most 
rapid  before  the  willows  got  hold.  With  what  is  relatively  a 
very  rapid  rate  of  change,  this  new-made  ground  rises  until  it 
comes  to  the  level  of  the  ordinary  floods,  then  more  slowly 
until  it  gets  to  the  point  where  the  highest  floods  alone  touch 
its  surface.  In  ten  years,  it  sometimes  happens,  the  land  is 
high  enough  to  cause  it  to  become  arable  land,  yielding  the 
richest  crops.  At  a  point  near  Galipolis,  on  the  upper  Ohio, 
a  skillful  farmer  has  planted  the  whole  front  of  his  extensive 
farm  with  these  willows.  From  a  wasting  bank  it  has  come  to 
make  constant  gains  on  the  river,  until  in  ten  years  he  has 
recovered  several  acres  to  cultivation.  At  some  other  points 
less  extensive  plantations  have  been  made,  always  with  the 
64 


i 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  35 

same  substantial  result  —  a  gain  on  the  stream.  These  in- 
stances of  successful  plantations  of  willows,  show  that  there  is 
no  difference  in  the  essential  result,  whether  these  plantations 
are  made  by  nature  or  by  art.  The  question  at  once  arises, 
whether  the  river  cannot  be  controlled  in  its  changes,  and  the 
lost  ground  recovered,  by  making  plantations  along  the  whole 
of  its  shores  where  there  is  risk  of  wear,  or  where  it  is  desir- 
able to  regain  lost  ground.  I  believe  I  am  safe  in  asserting 
that  this  is  quite  practicable  without  any  considerable  expend- 
iture.* Those  who  have  made  plantations  tell  me  that  they 
reckon  the  cost  at  a  rate  which  cannot  exceed  one  hundred 
and  fifty  dollars  per  mile  of  front,  or,  at  the  most,  three 
hundred  dollars  for  each  mile  in  length  of  the  river,  count- 
ing both  sides.  Twigs  or  cuttings  of  the  willow,  from  two 
to  four  feet  long,  of  any  size,  holes  made  with  a  bar  of  iron, 
and  the  cutting  fixed  by  pressing  the  clay  around  it;  this  is 
all  that  is  necessary  for  the  planting.  Planted  in  the  spring, 
the  roots  make  the  cuttings  secure  before  the  autumn  floods 
can  endanger  them.  I  am  satisfied  that  the  good  effects 
of  this  process  on  the  river  will  become  evident  within  ten 
years  after  a  general  planting,  and  that  a  large  part  of  the 
waste,  that  has  taken  place  within  the  century,  will  be  slowly 
regained.  As  Kentucky  has  more  than  half  the  length  of 
the  Ohio  within  her  borders,  and  as  the  ^  larger  part  of  its 
tributaries  cross  her  soil,  it  properly  falls  to  her  to  take  the 
lead  in  the  study  of  the  Ohio  system  of  rivers,  and  the  cor- 
rection of  the  evils  which  come  from  the  want  of  regulation 
of  their  flow.  Having  been  for  many  years  a  student  of  this 
river,  I  have,  from  the  beginning  of  the  Survey,  done  all  that 
could  be  done,  incidentally,  to  study  its  peculiarities,  and  to 
contrive  ways  to  overcome  some  of  the  dangers  which  menace 
the  river  and  the  country  through  which  it  flows.  This  work 
will*  be  continued  in  the  future,  if  the  Survey  is  maintained. 
The  plan  proposed  by  Mr.  Ellett,  many  years  ago,  of  restrain- 
ing the  violence  of  the  Ohio  floods  by  holding  back  some  of 
the  flood  waters  which  make  our  annual  inundations,  and  using 

•1  proposed  this  plan  in  the  autumn  of  1873  i"  ^  letter  to  the  Frankfort  Vcoman. 

VOL  111.-5  65 


36  HISTORY   OF    THE 

them  to  mitigate  the  summer  seasons  of  low  water,  has  never 
received  adequate  attention.  The  summer  of  1875  brought 
more  to  mind  the  great  dangers  of  these  floods,  and  added 
to  their  terrors,  inasmuch  as  it  showed  that  they  may  not 
always  come  during  the  winter  season,  when  the  crops  are 
all  harvested,  but  they  may  also  occur  in  the  time  of  growing, 
when  they  cause  a  peculiar  destruction. 

The  floods  of  July,  1875,  ^t  is  estimated,  swept  some  ten 
million  of  dollars*  worth  of  crops  and  other  valuables  from  the 
borders  of  the  Ohio  valley  streams.  This  damage,  added  to 
that  done  by  the  floods  of  the  other  parts  of  the  country,  ag- 
gregates probably  not  less  than  twenty  million  of  dollars  for 
the  year  1875,  the  very  interest  of  which  represents  a  formi- 
dable sum.  With  each  succeeding  year  of  increased  forest 
clearing  this  danger  augments,  and  unless  something  is  done, 
we  may  reckon  on  far  more  sweeping  floods,  acting  upon  a 
more  and  more  densely  peopled  region. 

The  scheme  proposed  by  Mr.  Ellett  has  been  rather  hastily 
condemned :  it  was  in  substance  a  plan  to  keep  back  the  flood 
waters  by  great  dams,  creating  reservoirs  on  the  head  waters. 
It  has  been  argued  with  some  force  that  it  would  be  impossible 
to  retain  enough  of  the  floods  materially  to  affect  the  inunda- 
tions of  the  Mississippi  in  any  limited  number  of  reservoirs, 
without   requiring  works   of  a  peculiar  magnitude.      Ellett's 
proposition  was  open  to  the  objection  that  it  did  not  bring  the 
question  in  a  practicable  form;  but  from  a  considerable  study 
of  the  matter  in  the  field  I  am  inclined  to  think,  that  while 
these  objections  lie  against  a  limited  number  of  reservoirs  of 
great  size,  they  are  not  necessarily  fatal  to  the  general  plan 
of  retaining  flood  waters  by  a  system  of  very  numerous  small 
reservoirs   placed   in   the   head-water   region  of  each   of  the 
main  tributaries.     I  am  satisfied,  from  a  preliminary  study,  that 
it  is  likely  that  in  the  case  of  a  stream  like  the  IJig  Sandy  or 
Chatterawah  river  it  will  be  possible  to  keep  its  floods  within 
bounds  by  a  system  of  small  reservoirs,  about  one  thousand  in 
number,  costing,  on  the  average,  probably  not  exceeding  two 
thousand  dollars  each  for  th(Mr  construction,  and  not  over  an 

S6 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  37 

average  of  fifty  dollars  per  annum  for  their  maintenance  and 
repairs.  These  dams,  I  estimate,  would  contain  an  amount  of 
water  represented  by  the  upper  ten  feet  of  flood  tide  at  Cin- 
cinnati during  one  day,  which  is  the  most  destructive  part  of 
the  height.  About  four  times  as  much  retaining  capacity  as 
is  obtainable  in  the  valley  of  the  Big  Sandy  would  take  by  far 
the  larger  part  of  the  destroying  power  from  the  Ohio  floods, 
for  it  is  the  upper  ten  feet  of  their  rise  that  brings  nearly  all 
the  devastation.  These  small  mountain  ponds  would  not 
destroy  much  arable  land,  and  the  damage  they  would  do 
in  this  way  to  the  productive  land  of  a  county  would  be 
more  than  compensated  by  the  value  they  would  have  for  irri- 
gation purposes.  Moreover,  by  giving  mill  powers  and  a  cer- 
tainty of  a  supply  of  water  in  the  stream  below,  they  would 
far  more  than  compensate  for  the  damage  they  would  do  by 
diminishing  the  area  of  timbered  and  arable  land.  The  total 
area  occupied  by  these  ponds  would  be  not  far  from  fifty 
square  miles  in  a  valley  the  size  of  the  Big  Sandy — only  about 
one  one  hundredth  of  its  total  surface.  The  discharge  of 
these  reservoirs  could  be  managed  by  means  of  a  waste  pipe, 
which  should  automatically  empty  the  pond  in  say  sixty  days, 
or  it  could  be  controlled  by  local  superintendents,  acting  by 
telegraphic  orders,  which  could  come  from  some  general 
supervisor  in  communication  with  the  Federal  signal  service 
system.  At  the  present  time  these  considerations  may  seem 
Utopian,  but  it  is  the  duty  of  the  student  of  economic  geology 
to  look  forward  to  the  resuh  of  changes  now  in  operation, 
and  to  give  warning  of  the  dangers  which  may  be  appre- 
hended from  them. 

The  unexcelled  resources  of  Kentucky,  combining  as  they 
do  a  rare  fertility  of  soil  with  a  very  rich  store  of  the  minerals 
which  form  the  largest  basis  for  industry — coal  and  iron — 
makes  her  surer  of  a  dense  population  than  any  other  part 
of  the  United  States.  We  must  watch  all  the  dangers  which 
will  come  from  a  rapid  increase  of  population,  and  the  conse- 
quent disturbance  of  the  old  relations  of  the  forces  of  nature. 

67 


38  HISTORY   OF    THE 

One  of  the  most  prominent  features  of  this  district  is  the 
large  rainfall  and  the  frequent  occurrence  of  a  great  deposi- 
tion of  water  over  all  the  tributaries  of  the  Ohio  and  the  Mis- 
sissippi. Each  new  cleared  area  increases  the  suddenness  of 
the  floods  and  protracts  the  times  of  drought. 

Besides  the  special  effect  upon  floods  and  low  water  that 
may  be  hoped  from  the  retaining  a  part  of  the  winter  rains 
in  the  country,  there  would  be  several  contingent  advantages 
worthy  of  mention.  Among  these  I  have  already  incidentally 
mentioned  the  irrigation  facilities  they  would  furnish.  This  is 
a  matter  of  much  consequence  in  the  future  of  our  agriculture. 
Whenever  there  is  a  summer  of  great  heat  the  productiveness 
of  a  soil  can  be  more  than  doubled  for  most  crops,  and  quad- 
rupled for  others,  by  the  use  of  this  means  of  providing  against 
the  consequences  of  droughts.  Within  fifty  years  this  method 
of  fostering  crops  will  be  made  an  important  element  in  the 
agriculture  of  this  country.  On  the  usual  basis  of  calculation, 
the  given  area  of  reservoirs  in  the  Big  Sandy  valley  would 
serve  as  irrigation  supply  for  about  onci  thousand  square  miles. 
A  greater  immediate  gain  would  be  found  in  the  increased  flow 
of  waters  in  our  rivers,  thus  aiding  the  navigation,  and  giving 
a  greater  value  to  the  mill  powers  on  their  waters.  Incidental 
advantages  would  doubtless  be  derived  from  the  effect  upon 
the  climate  and  rainfall  of  the  country.  It  is  probable  that  a 
noticeable  effect  on  the  intcMisity  of  both  heat  and  cold  would 
be  felt  in  case  this  plan  of  storage  reservoirs  was  ever  gener- 
ally adopted  in  the  Ohio  valley.  Masses  of  water  are  the 
natural  balance  wheels  of  temperature,  and  the  effect  of  even 
small  areas  is  always  perceptible  in  their  immediate  neighbor- 
hood. A  striking  case  of  this  action  is  seen  along  the  shores 
of  Lake  Erie,  where  the  climate  is  greatly  mitigated  by  the 
presence  of  the  lake. 

In  order  to  have  efficiency,  the  control  of  the  water  system 
of  the  Ohio  valley  should  come  into  the  hands  of  the  Federal 
Government.  Any  other  method  of  control  will  require  a  close 
cooperation  of  effort  in  several  States,  which  presumably  can- 

68 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  39 

not  be  effectively  secured.  Yet  this  Commonwealth,  being 
interested,  above  all  her  neighbors,  in  the  work,  should  take 
the  lead  in  bringing  about  some  effective  action.* 

In  July,  1874,  taking  advantage  of  the  low  water  of  the 
streams,  which  made  the  swamp  region  of  Western  Kentucky 
bare  of  water,  I  made  an  extended  journey  in  the  Jackson 
Purchase,  with  a  view  of  ascertaining  what  are  the  possibilities 
of  benefiting  the  region  liable  to  inundation  by  a  system  of 
levees.  Incidentally  I  desired  also  to  see  the  resources  in  the 
way  of  timber  that  country  affords.  This  region  where,  by  all 
accounts,  there  seemed  likely  to  be  a  chance  to  reclaim  large 
areas  of  overflowed  land,  lies  in  the  extreme  southwest  end 
of  Kentucky,  bordering  on  the  Mississippi  river  and  on  the 
series  of  swamps  and  ponds  known  as  Reelfoot  Lake.  This 
region  lies  in  a  zone  where  the  conditions  of  soil  and  climate 
give  the  land  a  peculiar  value.  It  is  far  enough  south  to  avoid 
the  principal  dangers  from  spring  frosts,  yet  within  the  tem- 
perature limits  where  white  labor  can  be  used  to  advantage. 
Whatever  may  be  the  difficulties,  this  fertile  section  will  have 
to  be  secured  against  the  continued  overflows,  which  make 
cultivation  quite  impossible;  it  is  too  productive  to  be  left  to 
waste  and  fever-breeding. 

In  the  Jackson  Purchase  the  greater  part  of  the  land  lies 
high  enough  above  the  drainage  to  secure  it  against  overflow. 
Its  general  surface  is  that  of  a  low  rolling  plain,  rising  from 
the  swamps  to  about  fifty  feet  above  the  water  level.  Above 
this  level  rise,  at  several  points,  a  set  of  high  bluffs,  all  that 
is  left  of  an  extensive  table  land  which  once  rose  to  a  height 
of  at  least  two  hundred  feet  above  the  present  level  of  the 
Mississippi.  These  singular  relics  of  an  old  elevated  country, 
the  remains  of  a  great  area  which  has  been  cut  away  in  the 
ceaseless  wanderings  of  the  Mississippi,  have  a  great  scientific 
interest,  and  will  be  discussed  elsewhere.  The  swamp  may 
be  divided  into  two  groups  of  areas,  which  differ  somewhat 

•In  Appendix  A  to  this  report  I  have  made  some  extracts  from  the  admirable  vork  of 
G.  P.  Marsh,  "The  Earth  as  Modified  by  Human  Action."  They  give  the  results  i.f  man's 
experience  in  the  manrgement of  rivers  in  older  civilizations. 

69 


40  IIISTORV    OF    THE 

in  their  character  and  much  in  the  method  of  treatment  which 
may  be  applied  to  their  redemption.  Of  these  we  will  con- 
■  sider,  first,  what  may  be  termed  the  back  swamps — we  shall 
call  them  by  this  name — which  are  in  fact  within  the  range  of 
the  pendulum-like  swings  of  the  rivers.  The  accompanying 
diagram  will  make  their  conditions  more  easily  understood : 


DIAGRAMATIC  SECTION  SHOWING  THE  POSITION 
OF  BACKSWAMPS. 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  4I 

By  the  figure  and  explanations  it  will  be  seen,  that  as  the 
river  gradually  abandons  any  one  part  of  its  course  by  cutting 
away  the  bank  on  the  opposite  side,  the  abandoned  part  grad- 
ually, by  the  silting  action  of  the  river,  rises  to  the  level  of 
the  highest  floods.  At  low  water,  as  soon  as  it  gets  to  the 
surface,  a  mat  of  thick  vegetation  forms  upon  it,  and  in  its 
meshes  the  deposition  of  silt  becomes  very  rapid.  Whenever 
the  river  remains  stationary  for  awhile,  this  action,  due  to  the 
stoppage  of  the  current,  builds  a  sloping  rampart  from  the 
river  to  the  swamp.  When  the  river  overflows  the  greater 
part  of  the  mud  falls  down  near  the  bank,  and  only  a  small 
part  finds  its  way  back  into  the  swamp,  where  the  currents 
of  water  are  relatively  very  slow  moving,  and  carry  only  little 
silt.  If  it  were  not  for  the  timber  the  water  would  move 
more  freely  through  these  swamps,  and  the  deposit  within 
them  would  be  much  more  considerable  than  it  is  at  present. 
The  diagram  and  explanation  is  designed  especially  for  the 
Mississippi  swamp,  but  it  applies,  in  a  varying  degree,  to  all 
the  border,  swamp,  and  intervale  lands  along  the  bayous  and 
streams  wherever  the  deposit  of  silt  is  going  on.  Generally, 
however,  the  side  streams  have  this  feature  in  a  far  less 
marked  form  than  along  the  main  river.  Thus  the  differ- 
ence between  the  land  along  the  main  stream  and  the  swamps 
inclosed  by  it  may  be  twelve  feet  or  more,  probably  attaining, 
at  some  points,  more  than  twenty  feet.  If  we  turn  from  the 
main  stream  and  follow  up  any  of  the  tributary  streams  towards 
its  head,  we  find  that  the  amount  of  the  deposit  bordering 
their  banks  and  the  height  of  these  banks  above  the  swamp 
grows  less  and  less,  until  the  height  of  the  natural  levee  is  not 
over  one  or  two  feet.  This  shows  the  fundamental  difficulty 
of  managing  the  levee  system.  Either  we  must  close  the 
gates  of  all  the  creeks  and  hold  their  flood  waters  in,  until  the 
main  stream  has  gone  down,  or  we  must  carry  levees  of  great 
height  back  along  these  streams,  from  the  shore  levee  to  the 
high  country,  which  may  lie  miles  from  the  bank. 

I  am  inclined  to  think,  after  a  comparison  of  these  condi- 
tions with  those  of  Holland,  with  which  country  I  have  some 

71 


k 


42  HISTORY    OK    THE 

personal  familiarity,  that  the  inclosing  of  the  whole  area  by 
an  artificial  levee  carried  along  the  top  of  the  natural  rampart 
bordering  the  main  stream,  with  flood-gates  at  the  passage  of 
the  tributary  streams,  will  be  the  easiest  way  of  solving  the 
difficulty.  Allowing  for  the  heaviest  rainfall  that  ever  occurs 
in  this  country,  say  fifteen  inches  in  a  month,  the  included 
swamps  should  be  able  to  store  two  months*  water  without 
rising  more  than  four  feet.  When,  in  the  course  of  one  or 
two  generations,  the  land  becomes  of  sufficient  value,  this 
variation  in  the  waters  of  the  swamps  can  be  still  further  lim- 
ited by  the  Holland  system  of  pumping  by  wind-mills  or  by 
mills  driven  by  the  river  current.  But  a  simple  dyke  system 
can  be  introduced  at  small  cost,  provided  the  surveys  demon- 
strate the  practicability  of  what  seems  quite  practicable  from 
a  reconnoissance. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  fevers  that  trouble  this 
swamp  region  will  diminish  in  proportion  to  the  restriction  of 
the  limits  of  the  rise  and  fall  of  the  floods.  The  experience 
of  Holland  shows  conclusively  that  the  institution  of  a  perma- 
nent water  level  is  the  one  effective  bar  to  the  production  of 
malaria. 

To  give  an  accurate  basis  for  so  considerable  an  engineer- 
ing work,  one  which  would  relieve  a  district  of  great  natural 
fertility  of  over  a  thousand  square  miles  of  its  disabilities,  it 
will  be  necessary  to  have  a  tolerably  detailed  survey,  to 
ascertain  the  amount  of  swamp  land  and  of  upland  drain- 
age in  the  drainage  areas  of  the  streams  that  flow  into  the 
Mississippi  and  the  Ohio  from  this. overflow  belt,  and  to  ascer- 
tain the  precise  levels  along  the  stream  banks.  With  this 
there  should  be  combined  a  careful  study  of  the  rainfall,  ex- 
tending over  a  series  of  years,  and  taken  at  several  points  in 
the  district,  so  as  to  obtain  average  results.  This  work  is  to 
be  a  part  of  the  labors  of  the  Geological  Survey  for  the  future, 
if  its  continuance  is  assured. 

There  is  one  point  in  this  district  where  the  conditions  are 
peculiarly  favorable  for  the  recovery  of  a  large  area  of  arable 
land.  I  refer  to  the  vicinity  of  Reelfoot  Lake.  Coopera- 
72 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  43 

tion  With  the  State  of  Tennessee  should  be  secured,  for  part 
of  the  work  has  to  be  done  in  that  State ;  but  the  physical 
conditions  are  quite  simple.  It  is  known,  doubtless,  to  the 
reader  that  this  area,  already  low  land  in  the  first  exploration 
of  the  country,  sunk  much  below  its  original  level  during  that 
memorable  convulsion,  the  earthquakes  of  181 1- 13.  The 
depression  seems  to  have  lowered  the  level  of  some  fifty 
square  miles  of  land,  so  that  it  lies  permanently  below  the 
general  level  of  the  drainage.  Around  its  shores  we  have  a 
vast  extent  of  fertile  fields,  capable  of  the  highest  culture, 
but  for  the  frequent  floods  of  the  spring-time.  A  levee  along 
the  Mississippi  bank  of  no  great  height,  and  a  flood-gate  at 
the  passage  of  the  lake  into  the  river,  would  secure  this  region 
against  inundation,  provided,  as  I  believe  is  the  case,  the  stor- 
age capacity  of  the  lake  is  great  enough  to  retain  the  water  of 
the  drainage  area  for  two  months.  This  can  be  ascertained 
by  a  survey  without  much  cost ;  but  it  lies  in  part  beyond  the 
State  of  Kentucky,  and  should  be  the  result  of  some  coopera- 
tion between  our  Commonwealth  and  the  State  of  Tennessee, 
or  the  Geological  Survey  should  be  expressly  charged  to  carry 
the  Survey  beyond  our  own  bounds  to  complete  any  necessary 
work.  If  a  system  of  levees  is  applied  here  the  land  recov- 
ered cannot  fail  to  play  an  important  part  in  the  resources  of 
the  State.  It  is  peculiarly  fitted,  by  climate,  character,  and 
position,  for  field  and  garden  purposes.  Immense  crops  of 
corn  can  be  raised  on  it,  and  if  is  peculiarly  suited  for  early 
vegetables  of  various  kinds.  The  river  affords  transportation 
for  such  garden  products,  being  less  than  a  day  from  the  St. 
Louis  market,  and  by  rail  only  a  short  distance  from  the  many 
cities  of  the  northern  part  of  the  Mississippi  valley.  I  am  in- 
clined to  think  that  there  is  an  admirable  field  in  the  imme- 
diate future  for  the  investment  of  capital  in  the  subjugation 
of  the  upper  levels  of  the  swamps  in  this  section. 

In  passing  I  cannot  forbear  to  call  attention  to  the  remark- 
ably picturesque  features  of  this  singular  lake  region.  Ap- 
proaching it  from   the  only  convenient   point,  Hickman,  the 

traveler  passes  along  the  crest  or  at  the  base  of  the  Chicka- 

73 


44  IllSTORV   OF    THE 

saw  Bluffs  for  some  ten  miles  of  distance.     Taking  his  way 
along  the  crest  of  this  remarkable  bluff  region,  he   sees    a 
great  stretch  of  the  ancient  upland,  which  has  been  torn  to 
pieces  by  the  unending  war  of  the  river.     On  the  river  side 
the    bluff. is   an   almost   precipitous    face,  densely  timbered, 
beyond  which  the  eye  ranges  over  the  vast  sombre  forests 
which  fill  the  Mississippi  valley.     At  the  end  of  the  bluffs  we 
descend  to  the  level  of  the  low  plains  which  constitute   the 
upper  swamp,  and  soon  a  little  further  descent  brings  us  into 
the  dark  cypress  woods  of  the  lower  swamp  levels.     Little 
by  litde   the  water  increases  and  the  solid  land  grows  less, 
until  the  woods  break  away  and  the  traveler  looks  off  on   to 
the  singular  lake,  unlike  any  other  lake  in  the  world.     The 
cypress  trees  which  covered  the  old  swamp  were  killed  when 
the  ten  feet  of  earthquake-sinking  brought  their  roots  perma- 
nently below  the  water;  for  this  tree,  like  all  others,  must  have 
a  part  of  its  roots  above  the  water  level.    The  knees»  at  least, 
must  lift  members  above  water  or  the  tree  dies.     When  these 
grand  forests  perished  the  trees  were  left,  their  roots  pre- 
served from  decay  by  the  water  which  covered  them,  their 
tops  dropping  slowly  to  decay.      Some  twenty-five  or  thirty 
years  ago  a  fire  spread  from  the  shore  through  their  branches, 
stripping  the  trunks  and  leaving  them  blackened  obelisks  of 
fantastic  forms  rising  often  near  a  hundred  feet  above  the  lake. 
The  lake  itself  seems  a  vast  undetermined  network  of  water 
paths,  fairly  blocked  with  a  tropical  growth  of  plants,  stretch- 
ing as  in  a  maze  among  these  seemingly  limitless  columns  of 
this  ancient  forest.     Several  species  of  lily-like  plants  flourish 
here,  among  them  the  Nymphea  odorata  of  gigantic  size,  with 
flowers  often  eight  inches  over.     In  July  the  great  chinquapin 
lily,  or    Nelujnbium^  is  in  bloom.     No  other  North    American 
flower  approaches    it   in    gorgeous   beauty.      The  corolla,   a 
great   yellow  lily-like   cup,  often    a   foot   across  the    rim,  is 
borne  on  a  stem  three  feet  above  the  water;  on  either  side 
two  leaf  stems  lift  into  the  air  leaves  which  are  over  two  feet 
in  diameter;  the  other  leaves  float  in  the  water  around  these 
elevated  stems.     There  is  a  great  abundance  of  other  water 

74 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  45 

plants,  the  whole  making  a  mat  of  foliage  dense  as  a  carpet, 
which  can  only  be  penetrated  in  certain  channels.  The  lake 
is  richly  stocked  with  fish,  affording,  it  is  said,  great  sport, 
especially  in  the  winter  season.  This  whole  region  was  a 
favorite  fishing  ground  of  the  Chickasaw  Indians,  who  were 
essentially  a  fishing  race.  They  used  the  seed  of  the  chinqua- 
pin lily  for  food.  This  plant  is,  practically,  identical  with  the 
lotus  of  the  Nile,  so  that  this  people  may  be  said  to  have 
been  a  race  of  American  lotus  eaters. 

I  most  strongly  commend  this  region  to  those  of  our  citi- 
zens who  admire  the  beautiful  in  nature.  In  either  its  winter 
or  its  summer  aspect,  it  affords  a  most  remarkable  and  attract- 
ive scene. 

I  have  incidentally  referred  to  the  magnitude  of  the  cypress 
forests  in  this  section.  This  wood,  now  nearly  neglected,  is 
destined  to  become  one  of  the  most  important  elements  of 
wealth  to  the  region  where  it  abounds.  Although  not,  on  the 
whole,  as  valuable  as  the  pine,  for  most  uses,  it  still  must  be 
counted  one  of  the  most  important  of  our  American  soft 
woods.  It  attains  very  great  size,  is  remarkably  free  from 
blemishes,  and  can  be  worked  with  ease.  It  occupies  a  very 
large  area  in  the  Mississippi  valley,  a  great  part  of  which  is 
now  regarded  as  valueless.  As  our  pine  forests  diminish,  these 
cypress  swamps  will  yield  a  larger  and  larger  part  of  the  soft 
wood  of  the  country.  The  region  where  it  abounds  covers, 
perhaps,  a  larger  area  than  all  the  untouched  accessible  pine 
forests  of  this  country.  The  country  producing  this  species 
of  tree  is  well  intersected  by  streams  and  is  all  flooded  with 
navigable  water  at  certain  seasons,  so  the  transportation  is 
not  wanting.  Moreover,  the  forests  seem  to  renew  them- 
selves with  rapidity,  so  that  we  may  look  forward  to  our 
swamp  areas  as  the  source  of  production  for  a  valuable  ele- 
ment in  our  future  industries. 

With  reference  to  the  improvement  of  the  navigation  of  our 
rivers,  and  the  making  navigable  of  many  streams  not  at  pres- 
ent regarded  as  fit  for  any  material  use,  I  have  from  the  first 
entertained  very  decided  convictions.     The  most  prominent 

75 


46  HISTORY   OF    THE 

feature  in  the  structure  of  Kentucky,  and  her  strongest  hold 
on  the  commerce  of  the  country,  comes  from  her  wonderful 
river  system.     In  order  to  become  personally  acquainted  with 
the  needs  of  this  system,  I  have  made  several  journeys  along 
the  courses  of  some  of  the  principal  tributaries  of  the  Ohio. 
In  August  of  this  year  I  made,  with  Assistant  A.  R.  Crandall, 
a  journey  up  the  Big  Sandy,  with  this  for  one  of  my  principal 
objects;  the  other  was  to  extend  our  general  knowledge  of 
the  eastern  coal  field.     In  passing  from  Riverton  over  into  the 
valley  of  the  Big  Sandy  we  found  one  of  those  curious  changes 
which  so   often  occur  in  our  coal-bearing  rocks,  where   the 
passage  from  one  valley  to  the  other  is  accompanied  by  very 
great  alteration  of  the  character  of  the  coals  and  their  associ- 
ated rocks.     We  seem  to  pass  beyond  the  region  where  the 
Coalton  coal  was  well  developed  and  the  iron  ores,  which  give 
so  important  a  character  to  the  valley  of  the  Little  Sandy,  also 
disappear,  or  are  greatly  reduced   in   number  and  altered  in 
quality.     Other  coals,  and  probably  other  ores,  which  in  some 
cases  were  hardly  marked  at  all  in  the  Little  Sandy,  come  to 
take  the  first  place  in  this  valley.     The  change  is  so  great 
that  it  is  not  easy  for  the  geologist  to  make  quite  sure  of 
the  identity  of  the  beds  in  the  two  sections.     A  little  doubt 
remains  over  the  determinations,  but  I  agree  with  Mr.  Cran- 
dall  in   thinking  that  the  very  important  bed  of  the  Peach 
Orchard  coal  represents  the  Turkey  bed  coal  of  his  section 
in  Carter  county.     This  will  make  the  whole  of  the  section  in 
the  valley  of  this  river  a  little  higher  up  above  the  sea  than 
the  beds  on  the  Little  Sandy.     Notwithstanding  the  change  in 
the  character  of  the  beds,  the  valley  of  the  Big  Sandy  seems 
to  promise  quite  as  well  for  yield  of  coal  as  the  region  to  the 
east.     No  effort  having  been  made  to  develop  the  iron  ores, 
the  means  of  ascertaining  their  actual  value  have  been  poor. 
The  valuable  upper  limestone  ore  seems  to  have  disappeared 
with  the  disappearance  of  the  limestone  which  underlies  it. 
The  main  limestone  ore  is  buried  beneath  the  level  of  the 
drainage  of  the  country.     A  massive  and  somewhat  promising 

ore  occurs  near  Peach  Orchard;  but  all  the  specimens  seen 
76 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  47 

are  so  full  of  pebbles  that  they  could  not  be  regarded  as  fit 
for  furnace  use.  It  is  likely  that  this  feature  is  rather  local  in 
its  character,  and  the  bed  may,  on  proper  search,  be  found  free 
enough  from  this  matter  to  pay  for  working. 

As  we  pass  up  the  river  other  beds  of  coal  come  into 
prominence.  At  Prestonsburg  a  coal,  probably  answering  to 
No.  4  of  the  Greenup  district,  is  seen,  with  the  details  given 
in  the  report  of  Mr.  Crandall.  Some  coal  has  been  taken  from 
this  pit,  and  it  is  probably  the  same  as  that  which  was  once 
worked  further  up  the  river,  and  furnished  a  coal  of  an  admi- 
rable quality,  that  sold  above  any  other  coal  in  the  Ohio  valley 
in  the  Cincinnati  market. 

At  this  point  our  route  left  the  main  valley  and  followed 
the  course  of  Fur  Creek.  On  this  stream  we  found  no  coal 
open;  but  there  are  what  seem  to  be  trustworthy  reports  of 
at  least  one  bed  of  satisfactory  thickness.  This  is  reported 
by  Mr.  Evan  Jones,  of  Prestons'jurg,  a  skilled  English  miner, 
and  a  trustworthy  person,  as  being  over  four  feet  thick.  The 
openings  had  been  closed  by  timbers,  so  that  the  section  could 
not  be  obtained  at  the  time  of  our  visit.  The  general  char- 
acter of  the  section  continues  the  same  as  along  the  lower 
part  of  the  Big  Sandy,  so  that  we  may  expect  to  have  essen- 
tially the  same  section  as  is  obtained  there.  The  indications 
of  iron  ore  are,  unfortunately,  not  more  promising  than  in 
the  region  below ;  but  I  must  again  repeat,  that  iron  ores  are 
not  necessarily  conspicuous,  and  nothing  but  careful  prospect- 
ing will  do  anything  towards  determining  the  actual  value  of 
the  iron  resources  of  the  country.  There  can  be  no  doubt  of 
the  existence  of  one  or  more  seams  of  coal  of  excellent  qual- 
ity and  workable  thickness  throughout  this  valley.  At  some 
points  as  many  as  three  well-conditioned  seams  may  be  de- 
pended on;  but  for  all  purposes  of  the  industries  of  this  and 
the  coming  century  one  good  seam  of  coal  is  all  that  is  neces- 
sary. On  the  Tug  Fork  of  Sandy  there  seems  to  be  a  mate- 
rial thickening  of  the  coals,  and  a  better  average  section  than 
on  the  main  stream.  In  fact,  the  main  Big  Sandy  seems  to  be 
on  a  dividing  ridge,  separating  the  somewhat  localized  basin 

77 


48  HISTORY   OF    THE 

of  the  Greenup  district  from  the  great  Virginia  coal  field. 
The  general  character  of  the  valley,  the  disposition  of  the 
hills  and  valleys,  greatly  favors  the  utilization  of  the  coal  con- 
tained in  them.  There  are  a  great  number  of  branch  valleys 
leading  from  the  main  stream,  and  these  have  many  minor 
branches,  so  that  the  surface  of  the  country  is  cut  into  pyra- 
midal masses,  giving  ready  access  to  the  coal  and  excellent 
ventilation  and  drainage.  The  general  quality  of  this  coal  is 
excellent.  It  is  my  own  belief  that  it  is  fully  as  good  a  coal 
for  all  the  ordinary  market  purposes  as  that  from  the  Yough- 
iogheny  valley,  which  now  makes  the  market  of  the  Ohio 
basin. 

The  timber  resources  of  this  valley  are  admirable,  though  a 
good  deal  of  valuable  timber  has  been  taken  from  its  various 
streams,  especially  from  Bear  Creek.  The  main  supply  has 
not  yet  been  touched.  Probably  not  over  the  one  hundredth 
part  of  the  timber  has  yet  been  marketed,  and  the  growth 
nearly  replaces  the  waste.  Owing  to  the  fact  that  not  over 
one  tenth  of  the  land  here  is,  by  its  shape,  well  fitted  for  agri- 
cultural purposes,  it  may  be  safely  reckoned  that,  besides  its 
mineral  stores,  the  principal  shipment  from  this  valley  will  be 
the  timber  and  articles  made  therefrom.  By  the  position  and 
the  character  of  its  wood  it  is  peculiarly  suited  to  be  the 
source  of  timber  supply  for  the  lower  Ohio.  The  reader  is 
referred  to  Mr.  A.  R.  Crandall's  report  for  an  account  of  the 
timber  of  this  valley;  for,  although  that  account  is  framed  for 
the  valley  of  the  Little  Sandy,  the  statements  will  apply  to 
this  valley  as  well.  The  whole  range  of  our  hard  woods  is 
admirably  represented  in  this  section.  The  more  valuable 
woods,  the  black  walnut,  hickory,  and  white  oak,  are  rela- 
tively abundant  on  the  upper  waters  of  the  smaller  streams 
which  I  have  visited. 

The  question  of  the  improvement  of  this  stream,  and  the 
means  necessary  to  effect  the  same,  have  received  much  con- 
sideration from  me.  In  January,  1875,  I  made  to  the  chief  of 
engineers  of  the  United  States  army,  through  Mr.  J.  C.  Bell, 
engineer  in  charge  of  the  surveys  in  this  valley,  a  report  on 
78 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  49 

Its  resources,  with  reference  to  the  desirability  of  bettering 
the  navigation  of  the  stream  by  a  system  of  locks  and  dams. 
This  report  was  sought  from  the  Geological  Survey  by  the 
engineer  corps  to  accompany  the  report  of  the  survey  of 
the  stream  made  during  1873-4.  After  proper  surveys,  I 
believe  that  the  Federal  Government  will  take  this  stream  in 
hand  as  a  means  of  promoting  that  commerce  between  the 
States  which  the  Federal  compact  puts  under  its  especial  care. 
I  trust  this  very  important  matter  will  receive  the  earnest 
attention  of  the  representatives  from  Kentucky. 

The  general  conditions  of  the  stream,  as  far  as  they  bear 
on  the  question  of  slack-water  navigation,  are  as  follows:  The 
river  has  sufficient  volume  for  the  navigation  of  boats  of  any 
size  that  the  locks  may  be  built  to  pass.  There  is  at  all  sea- 
sons water  enough  for  lockage.  The  bottom  gives  at  all  nec- 
essary points  firm  rock  foundation  for  the  structures,  and  the 
adjoining  hills  afford  good  building  stone.  The  only  difficulty 
that  suggests  itself  is  the  securing  of  the  extremities  of  the 
dams  on  either  shore.  This  can  be  accomplished  by  means  of 
rip-rap  stone  work,  for  which  an  abundance  of  material  is  at 
hand.  I  would  also  suggest  that  the  points  selected  for  build- 
ing should  be  thickly  planted  with  willows  and  cottonwoods,  so 
that  the  earth  be  well  bound  together  by  their  roots,  and  thus 
secured  against  the  tremendous  floods  which  sweep  down  this 
valley.  These  inundations  are,  relatively,  the  greatest  of  any 
of  the  tributaries  of  the  Ohio.  The  Big  Sandy  has  the  pecu- 
liarity of  being  a  stream  with  many  divergent  branches  of  large 
size  and  rapid  fall  pouring  their  waters  together.  The  waters 
of  these  streams  are  gathered  in  a  region,  ever}^  part  of  w  hich 
is  formed  by  steep  ridges  sloping  to  the  smaller  streams,  vVith 
declivities  like  house-roofs  in  steepness.  The  soil  is  not  deep 
and  the^rock  is  rather  impervious  to  water.  The  only  springs 
are  small  and  uncertain.  But  for  the  forests  the  water  would 
be  discharged  in  such  volume  that  the  valley  would  be  swept 
clear  of  all  its  contents  and  made  a  waste  from  hill  to  hill. 
The  terrible  inundations  to  which  the  Garonne  and  other 
French  rivers  are,  from  time  to  time,  subjected  will  give  some 

79 


50  HISTORY   OF    THE 

idea  of  the  dangers  which  menace  this  country  if  it  is  ever 
stripped  of  its  timber  without  compensation  in  the  shape  of  a 
system  of  reservoirs  capable  of  retaining  a  part  of  the  floods 
in  the  hills,  and  of  discharging  the  water,  somewhat  slowly,  to 
the  main  river.  This  country  is  peculiarly  well  fitted  for  the 
construction  of  such  storage  reservoirs,  provided  the  plan  looks 
to  the  erection  of  many  small  ponds  rather  than  a  few  very 
large  basins.  The  streams  generally  are  in  flat  valleys  in- 
closed within  boundaries  of  high  hills.  Good  stone,  clay,  and 
timber  are  on  the  ground,  and  the  land  damages  would  not 
exceed  an  average  of  about  three  dollars  per  acre,  which 
would  be  a  small  matter  in  a  national  work  of  this  impor- 
tance. 

From  the  head  of  Bear  Fork  of  Sandy  I  crossed  to  the 
waters  of  the  Kentucky.  The  dividing  ridges  are  not  mate- 
rially higher  than  the  general  level  of  the  country  in  the  Big 
Sandy  valley,  there  being  as  yet  no  distinct  trace  of  the  dis- 
turbances of  the  Allecrhenies.  There  is  still  on  both  sides  of 
the  divide  the  same  abundance  of  the  valuable  hard  wood  tim- 
ber observed  below.  Walnuts  are  more  abundant  here  than 
at  any  other  point  I  have  yet  seen,  but  no  valuable  amount 
of  pine  was  observed.  The  Kentucky  river  at  Whitesburg 
retains  sufficient  size  and  has  the  general  character  of  channel 
necessary  to  make  it  susceptible  of  improvement  by  slack- 
water  navigation.  The  valley  is,  on  the  whole,  wider  than 
that  of  the  upper  branches  of  the  Big  Sandy,  and  may  be 
deemed  well  suited  for  the  passage  of  a  railway.  A  general 
account  of  the  coals  of  this  section  will  be  found  in  the  report 
of  a  reconnoissance  by  Mr.  P.  N.  Moore  and  also  in  the  orig- 
inal reconnoissances  of  Dr.  Owen's  Survey.  I  must,  however, 
repeat  the  caution,  that  a  reconnoissance  of  a  country. where 
the  coals  or  ores  have  not  been  the  objects  of  search  on  the 
part  of  the  people,  is  not  likely  to  develop  more  than  a  small 
fraction  of  these  resources.  Coal  beds  are  particularly  liable 
to  escape  observation.  Decay  causes  them  generally  to  re- 
treat further  into  the  hill  than  the  other  beds  of  the  section. 

The  face  is  then  covered  by  the  waste  from  above,  and  in  this 
80 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE    SURVEY.  5 1 

position  a  considerable  coal  bed  may  remain  for  a  long  time 
unnoticed,  until  some  accidental  excavation  discloses  it. 

The  admirable  character  of  the  timber  observed  in  the  Big 
Sandy  district  is  maintained  in  this  valley.  Walnut  timber 
of  good  dimensions  abounds,  and  will  furnish  a  considerable 
export  as  soon  as  an  available  means  of  transportation  is 
provided. 

The  upper  waters  of  the  Kentucky  seem  to  have  a  much 
steadier  flow  than  those  of  the  western  branches  of  the  Big 
Sandy.  This  is  in  a  good  part  due  to  the  fact  that  its 
branches  arise  in  a  set  of  rocks  which  make  much  better 
reservoirs  of  water  than  any  drained  by  the  Big  Sandy.  Pine 
Mountain,  which  furnishes  the  headwaters  of  almost  all  the 
streams  which  fall  into  the  Kentucky  above  Whitesburg,  is, 
in  the  main,  composed  of  conglomerate  and  limestone,  and 
has  good  water  storage  capacity.  At- Pine  Mountain,  which 
we  struck  about  five  miles  south  of  Whitesburg,  we  come  in 
contact  with  the  westernmost  of  the  distinct  mountain  ridges 
which  constitute  the  Alleghenies.  Ascending  a  steep  path  we 
cross  in  succession  a  series  of  rocks,  which,  though  covered  at 
their  base,  must  give  us,  above  the  water  level,  beds  all  the 
way  from  the  rocks  which  immediately  overlie  the  Cincinnati 
blue  limestone  up  to  the  coal  measures.  This  elevation  of 
the  lower  beds  is  accomplished  by  a  great  break  in  the  rocks, 
those  on  the  west  side  keeping  their  place,  while  those  on  the 
east  have  been  lifted  nearly  a  thousand  feet — a  distance  about 
equal  to  the  height  of  the  mountain.  The  scientific  value 
of  this  break  will  be  adverted  to  in  the  next  section  of  this 
report  For  our  present  purpose  we  are  concerned  with  its 
economic  importance  alone.  Besides  the  considerable  gain 
to  the  water  supply  which  comes  from  this  mountain,  we 
have  to  notice  the  importance  of  the  bearing  of  the  subcar- 
boniferous  limestone.  This  secures  to  this  district  an  ample 
source  of  supply  of  a  limestone  suitable  for  building  pur- 
poses, mortars,  &c.  It  also  furnishes  an  abundant  source 
of  supply  for  agricultural  purposes  to  a  district  where  the  first 
source  of  impoverishment  will  always  be  from  the  loss  of  the 

VOL.  III.-6  *' 


52  HISTORY   OF    THE 

lime  in  a  soil  where  this  element  is  the  first  to  become  defi- 
cient. In  case  of  the  discovery  of  available  iron  ores  in  this 
district,  this  limestone  would  also  have  especial  value  as  a 
flux,  for  which  it  has  always  been  found  well  fitted.  In  a  sub- 
sequent part  of  this  report  it  will  be  noticed  that  the  probabil- 
ity of  the  occurrence  of  the  Clinton  iron  ore  in  this  district  is 
discussed  in  connection  with  the  occurrence  of  these  deposits 
near  Cumberland  Gap.  It  is  enough  to  remark  here,  that 
there  is  a  great  probability  of  the  occurrence  of  these  beds  at 
some  point  above  the  drainage  level  along  Pine  Mountain, 
though  it  will  probably  be  many  years  before  the  deposits  will 
be  available,  there  being  a  large  district  where  they  are  of 
much  readier  access. 

Descending  Pine  Mountain  into  the  valley  of  Poor  Fork  of 
Cumberland  river,  we  find  ourselves  again  in  the  carboniferous 
beds.  This  region  is  so  closed  in  by  mountains  that  its  coals 
are  probably  destined  to  long  remain  untouched  for  any  save 
local  uses.  There  is  evidence  of  some  exceedingly  good 
coals  in  this  valley,  exceeding  in  their  thickness  anything 
observed  on  the  western  side  of  the  Pine  Mountain.  The 
most  promising  bed  has  not  been  opened  so  as  to  show  its 
character.  See  the  report  of  N.  S.  Shaler,  A.  R.  Crandall, 
and  P.  N.  Moore  on  this  district  hereafter  to  be  published. 

The  valley  here  has  an  entirely  different  character  from 
those  of  the  other  Kentucky  streams.  They  generally  run 
through  canons  where  the  only  shaping  agent  has  been  the 
water,  and  all  its  hills  are  caused  by  its  action.  Here,  how- 
ever, the  Pine  Mountain  on  the  west  and  the  border  of  the 
anticlinal,  a  variously-named  ridge  which  forms  the  boundary 
of  Kentucky  on  the  east,  bound  a  valley  of  great  width  and 
beauty.  The  belt  of  arable  land  is  wider  than  on  the  other 
streams  of  the  same  size.  The  great  timber  belt  of  the  East- 
ern Kentucky  carboniferous  area  is  as  well  stored  with  valu- 
able materials  here  as  elsewhere  in  the  district.  Indeed,  the 
forests  of  this  valley  are  probably  the  most  absolutely  un- 
touched of  any  of  our  forest  areas.  The  Cumberland  river  is 
here  quite  navigable  in  flood  seasons ;  but  the  high  fall  at  the 

83 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  53 

passage  of  the  river  out  of  the  coal  field,  in  Whitley  county, 
makes  the  transportation  to  a  market  a  matter  of  much  diffi- 
culty. This  will  probably  be,  in  a  short  time,  overcome  by 
the  establishment  of  mills  on  the  shore  at  the  falls,  where  lum- 
ber could  be  shipped  by  the  Cincinnati  Southern  Railway,  or 
by  the  construction  of  a  chute  to  pass  the  falls.  This  fertile 
valley  seems  to  have  peculiarly  good  conditions  for  the  raising 
of  fruit,  there  being  a  considerable  shipment  of  dried  apples 
and  peaches,  which  command  a  ready  market.  Fruits  rarely 
fail  from  frost  or  the  ravages  of  insects,  and  there  is  no  reason 
why,  by  using  better  varieties  than  can  be  raised  from  seed, 
there  should  not  be  a  great  extension  of  this  industry.  Land 
is  exceedingly  low-priced,  labor  very  cheap,  and  the  climate 
conditions  most  favorable,  \yhen  a  railway  is  built  through 
Cumberland  Gap  there  will  be  no  longer  any  difficulty  in 
the  way  of  transportation,  which  is  now  the  principal  obstacle. 
As  it  is,  freights  from  this  valley  to  Baltimore,  including  haul- 
ing to  Morristown  or  other  points  on  the  railway,  exceed  three 
cents  per  pound.  These  mountains  produce  tolerable  grass, 
and,  with  a  little  care  in  burning  the  undergrowth,  would  sus- 
tain sheep.  As  much  of  the  land  can  be  bought  for  less  than 
a  dollar  an  acre,  it  ought  to  attract  the  attention  of  persons 
seeking  opportunities  for  either  of  these  industries.  The 
Upper  Cumberland  is  a  stream  eminently  suited  for  water- 
powers,  having  a  great  steadiness  during  almost  all  seasons, 
and  with  reasonable  facilities  for  storage  of  water.  The  stream 
in  the  dry  season  of  1874  had  a  width  of  about  three  hundred 
feet,  a  depth  of  two  feet,  and  a  current  of  about  two  miles  an 
hour.  Admirable  foundation  for  dams  and  other  machinery 
can  be  had  there,  and  ample  space  for  manufactures  secure 
from  flood  action. 

During  the  summer  of  1874  I  made  a  journey  from  Gray- 
son Springs  through  Edmonson,  Warren,  Todd,  Logan,  Chris- 
tian and  other  neighboring  counties,  desiring,  among  other 
things,  to  see  the  economic  stones  of  that  region — those  used 
for  building  as  well  as  those  supposed  to  have  a  value  for  lith- 
ographic purposes.     Without  taking  up  the  details  of  those 

83 


54  HISTORY   OF    THE 

examinations,  which  will  be  the  subject  of  a  special  report,  I 
may  say  that  the  results  of  the  inquiry  were  such  as  to  satisfy 
me  that  we  have  in  those  stones  a  great  and  undeveloped 
source  of  wealth.  The  building  stones  vary  much  in  their 
character,  there  being  several  beds  of  limestone,  differing 
much  in  thickness  and  quality,  which  commend  themselves 
for  this  purpose.  The  best  of  these  is  that  used  by  the  com- 
pany quarrying  near  Bowling  Green.  This  bed  lies  on  the 
upper  part  of  the  great  limestone  series  which  immediately 
underlies  the  coal  measures.  It  is  an  oolitic,  magnesian  lime- 
stone, occurring  in  layers  of  excellent  form  for  use,  readily 
worked,  and  with  a  rare  quality  of  endurance.  When  first 
taken  from  the  bed,  this  stone  is  rather  soft,  so  that  it  can  be 
carved  with  some  facility,  but  when  it  has  been  long  exposed 
it  acquires  a  much  greater  hardness.  At  least  one  building 
in  Bowling  Green  has  retained  every  tool-mark  as  sharp  as 
when  the  hammers  worked  it  forty  years  ago.  It  is,  for  a 
limestone,  very  resistant  to  heat,  being  likely  to  wear  better 
than  any  other  stone  known  to  me  in  the  Mississippi  valley. 
Add  to  this  a  rare  beauty  of  color — a  cream  tint — and  an 
endurance  of  this  color,  we  have  all  the  desirable  qualities  of 
a  building  stone  well  represented.  This  stone  may  be  sought 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  below  the  top  of  the  main 
carboniferous  limestone  throughout  the  whole  section,  from 
the  point  where  it  crosses  the  Ohio  to  Christian  county.  I 
have  seen  indications  of  its  occurrence  all  along  this  line; 
but  at  no  point  have  I  seen  any  exposures  giving  a  certainty 
of  its  being  as  perfect  in  all  of  its  conditions  as  it  is  near 
Bowling  Green.  But  I  have  no  doubt  that  stones  of  some- 
thing like  the  same  good  quality  will  be  found  over  this 
whole  range  of  hills  above  referred  to.  So  admirable  is  the 
quality  of  this  stone  that  I  look  forward  with  confidence  to 
its  furnishing  the  basis  for  a  large  export  trade,  especially  if  it 
can  be  arranged  to  transport  it  by  water  to  the  cities  of  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  rivers. 

The  lithographic  limestones,  which  are  found  at  a  lower 
point  in  the  carboniferous  limestone  series,  are  as  yet  less 
84 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  55 

determined  in  their  value  than  the  building;  stones.  The  con- 
ditions which  determine  the  goodness  of  this  quality  of  stone 
are  so  many,  and  must  be  met  with  such  accuracy,  that  I  do 
not  yet  feel  sure  that  we  have  the  material  to  satisfy  all  these 
conditions.  The  extensive  series  of  beds  which  lead  us  to 
hope  the  possession  of  a  suitable  stone  for  this  purpose,  were 
formed  under  the  same  general  conditions  as  prevailed  in 
the  basin  where  the  most  trusted  lithographic  stone,  that  of 
Solenhofen,  are  found — a  sea  bottom,  whereon  an  unbroken 
mass  of  fine  sediment  of  mingled  lime  and  clay  is  accumu- 
lating, an  entire  absence  of  animals  large  enough  for  the 
naked  eye  to  see:  these  seem  to  be  the  conditions  under 
which  a  lithographic  stone  must  be  formed.  Unfortunately 
most  of  this  stone  shows  from  point  to  point  small  hard  bits, 
which  are  probably  the  remains  of  some  silicious  sponge 
which  lived  in  these  waters  of  the  ancient  sea.  These  stones 
are  doubtlessly  useful  for  the  making  of  the  coarser  sorts  of 
engraving  and  the  ordinary  run  of  crayon  work.  They  may 
also  be  fit  for  ordinary  transfer  work.  I  have  found  as  yet 
none  suitable  for  the  very  highest  grades  of  work,  though  I 
still  hope  that  in  the  extensive  and  unexplored  district  where 
this  stone  is  found  there  may  be  some  localities  where  it 
occurs  in  a  more  perfect  state  than  I  have  yet  seen  it.  At  a 
number  of  other  points  I  have  seen  stones  which  seem  to 
promise  some  success  in  this  way ;  but  this  same  difficulty, 
arising  from  the  presence  of  hard  points  in  the  mass,  seems  to 
threaten  their  utility.  All  the  lower  beds  of  limestone  on  the 
Kentucky  river,  belonging  at  the  base  of  the  Cincinnati 
Group,  are  very  promising  in  appearance.  I  have  also 
received  a  stone,  presumed  to  be  from  the  lower  part  of  the 
Waverly  series,  on  the  waters  of  Triplett  Creek,  a  tributary 
of  Licking  river,  which,  though  represented  by  but  a  small 
fragment,  seems  to  possess  very  promising  qualities. 

Some  of  the  curiously  mottled  stones  of  this  section  may 
be  used  to  advantage  for  interior  decoration,  for  the  pavements 
of  halls,  and  the  inlaying  of  walls.     The  use  of  these  decora- 
tive stones  is  growing  rapidly,  and  will  soon  make  an  impor- 
ts 


56  HISTORY   OF  THE 

tant  demand  for  these  interesting  and  curiously  flecked  and 
mottled  limestones. 

The  forthcoming  report  on  the  building  stones  of  Kentucky 
will  consider  the  questions  touched  on  here  in  more  detail. 
At  present  I  only  desire  to  call  general  attention  to  the  im- 
portance of  the  subject. 

I  have  now  summarized  the  work  of  1874,  and  its  economic 
results.  It  will  be  seen  to  have  included  a  wide  range  of 
country  and  of  facts.  Much  of  it  was  experimental  and  in- 
complete, though  none  of  it  failed  to  attain  an  immediate 
object  of  some  value.  The  general  scientific  results  will  be 
given  in  the  scientific  part  of  this  report. 

OPERATIONS    DURING   THE   YEAR    1 875. 

On  their  recall  from  the  field,  the  assistants  in  charge  of 
the  several  parties  were  assembled  at  the  office  in  Lexington, 
to  work  up  the  results.  It  required  the  most  vigorous  labor, 
extending  through  the  months  from  December  until  May,  in- 
clusive, in  order  to  complete  the  necessary  record  of  the  field 
work.  To  facilitate  this  preparation  of  the  results  of  the 
Survey  for  publication,  Mr.  John  R.  Proctor  was  employed 
as  assistant  and  draughtsman  at  the  office,  giving  his  time 
to  the  preparation  of  sections  through  the  various  areas 
where  work  had  been  done.  Mr.  Page  spent  a  part  of  the 
winter  in  finishing  the  map  of  the  Edmonson  county  district, 
and  Mr.  Mitchell  was  retained  in  the  field  until  his  work  was 
quite  completed.  The  only  work,  other  than  the  prepara- 
tion of  the  reports,  was  that  done  in  the  chemical  laboratory, 
where  the  whole  work  of  the  year  was  given  to  the  study  of 
the  materials  sent  in  by  the  several  parties  during  the  previ- 
ous season.  A  complete  account  of  these  researches  will  be 
found  in  the  report  of  Dr.  Peter.  In  the  summer  of  1875, 
Mr.  Talbutt  was  ordered  to  Cumberland  Gap  to  take  charge 
of  the  collecting  of  specimens,  for  chemical  analysis,  in  that 
section,  in  connection  with  work  hereafter  to  be  described. 

As  the  Legislature  had  required  an  exhibition  of  the 
resources   of  the    State  at  Louisville,  six   large   show-cases, 

86 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  57 

arranged  so  as  to  be  capable  of  being  readily  transported, 
were  constructed,  and  the  collections  arranged  so  as  to  be 
sent  to  the  exhibition  at  that  place.  Some  part  of  the  time 
of  the  officers  of  the  laboratory  was  given  to  this  work. 

Owing  to  the  lateness  of  the  spring,  it  was  found  impossible 
to  begin  work  before  the  middle  of  May.  The  work  was 
arranged  as  follows:  Mr.  Norwood  and  Mr.  Beckham,  the 
latter  having  been  absent  on  leave,  to  take  up  some  work  for 
the  United  States  Coast  Survey  between  October,  1874,  and 
May,  1875,  were  sent  to  complete  the  work  along  the  lines 
of  railway  which  traverse  the  western  coal  field.  Mr.  Cran- 
dall  and  Mr.  Moore  were  charged  with  working  up  the  details 
of  the  economic  geology  of  the  region  to  which  it  was  pro- 
posed to  get  access,  by  means  of  a  railway  from  Mount  Ster- 
ling, embracing  the  counties  of  Lee  and  Menifee  and  a  part 
of  the  adjacent  counties.  Mr.  Procter  was  temporarily,  at  his 
request,  allowed  leave  of  absence  to  take  charge  of  the  camp 
of  the  Harvard  Summer  School  of  Geology,  which,  by  the 
invitation  of  Governor  Leslie,  came  to  camp  in  Kentucky. 
Mr.  W.  B.  Page  was  also  detached  and  put  in  charge  of  the 
United  States  Coast  Survey  work,  to  be  hereafter  described, 
which  was  begun  in  the  Cumberland  Mountains.  Mr.  C. 
Schenk,  with  Mr.  Richardson  for  aid,  began  the  preparation 
of  a  map  of  the  district  to  be  surveyed  by  Mr.  Crandall  and 
Mr.  Moore. 

After  a  rapid  reconnoissance  of  Menifee  and  a  part  of  the 
neighboring  counties,  I  went  in  person  to  Cumberland  Gap  to 
lay  out  a  plan  of  work  in  that  section.  To  make  the  reasons 
for  this  plan  of  work  more  evident,  I  must  give  some  discus- 
sion to  the  plans  which  were  guiding  the  Survey  at  this  time. 
The  restrictions  which  were  imposed  on  the  Survey  of  distrib- 
uting its  work  in  something  like  an  equal  portion  in  the  three 
districts  of  the  State,  though  they  were  not  strictly  obligatory, 
were  thought  to  be  a  proper  basis  for  guidance,  as  far  as  it 
was  possible  to  follow  them.  The  middle  section  of  the  State 
having  received  less  in  the  previous  year,  it  was  determined 

to  devote  the  largest  part  of  the  money  expended  during 

87 


58  HISTORY   OF    THE 

1875  to  the  middle  section  of  the  State  and  to  the  eastern 
field.  The  work  in  Menifee  county  had  special  reference  to 
the  supply  of  coal  and  iron  to  Central  Kentucky.  On  consid- 
ering the  needs  of  the  central  belt,  it  was  concluded  that  it 
would  be,  on  the  whole,  best  to  take  up  the  line  of  sections 
from  Central  Kentucky  east  to  Cumberland  Gap,  so  as  to 
facilitate  the  work  of  organizing  one  or  more  of  the  several 
railways  which  are  looking  towards  a  communication  east- 
ward, through  that  gap,  with  the  Atlantic  system  of  railways. 
The  Cincinnati  Southern  Railway  was  geographically  nearer 
the  central  belt,  but  it  would  gain  litde  by  an  immediate 
study  of  its  line,  its  construction  being  already  secured  be- 
yond peradventure,  while  the  Survey  would  find  its  work 
much  easier  if  it  could  be  postponed  until  the  road  should  be 
passable  to  trains.  There  are  at  least  three  railways  which 
will  need  to  find  a  way  eastward  to  the.  Gap,  and  they  are, 
one  and  all,  so  important  to  the  development  of  the  State  that 
if  the  Survey  can  materially  aid  in  securing  theii*  construction 
it  will  fully  justify  its  existence.  These  lines  are  the  Ken- 
tucky Central,  which  feels  itself  compelled  to  seek  eastward 
extension  in  compensation  for  the  shorter  line  of  the  Cincin- 
nati Southern  to  Lexington;  the  Louisville  and  Nashville,  to 
which  the  mineral  resources  of  the  Gap  and  a  short  road  to 
Norfolk,  which  it  secures,  must  ever  be  an  object;  and  a  third 
line,  which,  though  only  projected,  seems  to  have  much  to 
support  it  and  recommend  its  completion — the  Air-line  from 
Chicago  to  Charleston.  Still  another  line  from  St.  Louis  east- 
ward through  Southern  Kentucky,  which  is  now  chartered,  and 
which  would  afford  a  more  direct  route  from  that  great  centre 
to  the  southern  ports  than  any  now  existing,  also  served  to 
increase  the  needs  of  a  careful  study  of  the  Gap  region,  and 
made  it  evident  that  more  could  be  done  to  advance  the  inter- 
ests of  Central  Kentucky  by  work  done  in  that  section  than 
by  many  times  the  labor  expended  within  what  is  geograph- 
ically Central  Kentucky.  I  therefore  began  my  summer  work 
at  the  Gap,  and  as  rapidly  as  the  gentlemen  engaged  in  the 
other  fields  could  be  spared  they  were  concentrated   in  the 

88 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  59 

effort  to  explore  this,  the  most  unknown,  as  well  as  the  most 
complicated,  part  of  the  geology  of  Kentucky.  In  order  to 
aid  in  the  exploration  of  this  region,  the  camp  of  the  Harvard 
Summer  School  of  Geology  was  pitched  along  with  that  of 
my  own.  party,  on  what  is  known  as  the  Harlan  road,  in  Bell 
county,  near  the  Gap. 

It  is  desirable  that  the  citizens  of  Kentucky  should  know 
the  circumstances  under  which  this  school  came  to  Kentucky, 
and  its  relations  to  the  Geological  Survey.  Having  been  for 
ten  years  an  instructor  or  professor  of  geology  and  palaeontol- 
ogy in  Harvard  University,  I  had  endeavored  to  build  up  a 
system  of  summer  instruction  in  these  sciences,  one  part  of 
which,  through  the  great  energy  of  Professor  Agassiz,  who 
cordially  adopted  the  system,  had  been  brought  into  operation 
in  the  school  at  Penekese.  When  my  selection  as  State  Geol- 
ogist of  Kentucky  required  my  absence  from  that  University 
for  a  large  part  of  my  time,  I  still  sought  to  develop  this  idea 
of  field  instruction  by  starting  a  summer  school  of  geology. 
The  authorities  of  the  University  and  my  colleagues  there  hav- 
ing given  their  assent  to  the  plan,  the  school  was  announced 
as  a  part  of  the  instruction  of  the  University.  Governor  Les- 
lie, believing  that  the  best  interests  of  the  State  would  be  ad- 
vanced by  having  the  school  begin  within  this  State,  extended 
an  invitation  to  the  President  of  Harvard  College  to  encamp 
the  school  here,  promising  any  incidental  aid  that  the  Geolog- 
ical Survey  might  be  able  to  extend  in  furtherance  of  its  ob- 
jects. This  invitation  was  accepted,  and  Mr.  John  R.  Procter, 
assistant  in  the  Survey,  was  detached  from  the  Survey  and 
employed  by  the  University  to  superintend  the  camp.  The 
number  of  students  was  limited  to  thirty,  and  this  body,  with 
several  instructors,  was  encamped  at  Camp  Harvard  during 
the  months  of  July  and  August.  The  Geological  Survey  was 
at  no  expense  on  account  of  the  school :  the  sole  advantages 
given  by  it  to  the  school  being  the  permission  extended  to  the 
students  to  accompany  the  parties  in  the  field,  to  observe  the 
methods  of  work,  and  incidentally  to  profit  by  the  knowledge 

of  the  assistants.     In  exchange  for  this  the  Survey  was  spared 

89 


60  HISTORY   OF    THE 

the  expense  of  maintaining  its  camp  and  transportation,  and 
received  the  valuable  assistance  of  the  many  able  persons  who 
attended  the  school,  several  of  whom  did  much  useful  work 
for  the  Survey.  The  students  were  limited  to  the  class  of 
teachers,  and  many  of  them  were  men  of  much  experience 
and  high  education,  so  that  their  observations  were  really  val- 
uable contributions,  and  greatly  aided  the  operations  of  the 
Survey.  The  teaching  consisted  in  conferences  on  the  field 
work,  with  comments  from  the  trained  geologists  of  the  party. 
These  were  held  at  6  o'clock  in  the  morning,  so  as  not  to  affect 
the  work  of  the  day.  Each  chief  of  a  field  party  was  called 
on  for  his  experience  in  his  work,  and  an  effort  was  made 
to  bring  this  into  harmony  with  the  results  obtained  by  the 
other  parties.  The  field  work  was  done,  in  part,  by  foot-jour- 
neys, made  within  the  limits  of  a  day,  from  the  camp,  and  in 
part  by  expeditions  with  pack-mules,  occupying  from  two  to 
five  days.  When  the  summer's  work  was  done,  a  number  of 
the  students  accompanied  the  officers  of  the  Survey  upon  long 
expeditions  of  reconnoissance,  which  were  intended  to  leave 
the  parties  at  some  point  where  they  could  obtain  transporta- 
tion to  their  homes.  One  or  two  instructors  employed  by  the 
University  gave  special  attention  to  studies  in  zoology  and  bot- 
any ;  but  the  body  of  the  instruction  was  in  geology  and  palae- 
ontology, by  the  direct  method  of  field  work. 

The  advantages  to  the  Survey  and  to  the  State  at  large, 
arising  from  the  presence  of  this  school  within  our  borders, 
have  been  great.  It  brought  into  the  Commonwealth,  more 
than  a  score  of  teachers  of  science  in  colleges  and  academies, 
giving  them  a  practical  lesson  in  our  geology.  It  has  made 
our  State  the  place  whence  they  will  draw  their  illustrations 
of  the  science  in  their  teaching,  thus  greatly  contributing  to 
the  wide  distribution  of  a  competent  knowledge  of  the  geol- 
ogy of  the  State.  Moreover,  it  brought  a  considerable  amount 
of  money  to  a  section  where  there  is  little  market  for  any 
products. 

The  region  about  the  Gap  was  found  to  be  an  admirable 

district  for  the  study  of  geology.  It  is,  in  the  first  place,  a 
90 


OPERATIONS  OF   THE   SURVEY.  6 1 

region  of  singular  beauty  and  variety  of  surface.  Nowhere  in 
the  great  Appalachian  mountain  system  have  I  seen  anything 
to  compare  with  it  for  varied  beauty.  On  the  Kentucky  side 
there  is  a  broad  valley  in  the  mountain  downfold  or  synclinal, 
giving,  as  in  miniature,  some  of  the  phenomena  of  the  parks 
of  Colorado.  Beyond  this  valley  on  the  west,  at  the  distance 
of  six  miles,  rise  a  sombre,  wooded  range  of  excavated  moun- 
tains, whose  tops  are  three  thousand  feet  above  the  sea  and 
two  thousand  feet  above  the  valley,  their  outlines  varied  by 
deep-cut  ravines.  On  the  Tennessee  side  the  eye  ranges  over 
a  vast  extent  of  country  ridged  by  low  mountains  and  inter- 
sected by  the  many  tributaries  of  the  Tennessee.  In  the  dis- 
tance, eighty  miles  away,  rise  the  long  line  of  peaks  of  the 
Unaka  range  of  the  Carolinas.  The  geological  section  ex- 
poses over  ten  thousand  feet  of  beds,  giving  a  range  through 
nearly  the  whole  of  the  life-bearing  rocks  of  the  most  ancient 
period  of  our  earth's  history.  Besides  this,  the  geology  is  of 
a  character  to  afford  the  best  possible  field  for  the  study  of 
those  forces  which  operate  to  build  mountain  chains.  I  have 
never  seen  a  region  having  so  many  admirable  localities  for 
the  study  of  dynamical  geology. 

Despite  the  exceedingly  unhealthy  season  of  1875 — ^he 
torrential  rains  together  with  great  heat  to  which  the  students 
were  constantly  exposed — no  serious  illness  occurred  in  the 
camp,  giving  the  best  evidence  of  the  general  healthfulness 
of  the  region.  This  alone  would  suffice  to  recommend  it  as  a 
place  for  summer  living,  and,  combined  with  the  great  beauty 
of  the  scenery,  may  properly  give  it  a  high  place  among  our 
places  adapted  for  health  resorts. 

It  is  not  too  much  to  say,  that  the  school  was  thoroughly 
successful,  and  the  State  has  to  congratulate  itself  on  the 
substantial  aid  it  has  given  to  the  development  of  geological 
education  in  this  country.  The  school  will  continue  to  hv 
taught  in  Kentucky  as  long  as  it  can  have  the  advantage  of 
association  with  our  Survey  and  a  share  in  its  work.  As  it 
costs  the  Survey  nothing  and  avails  it  much,  I  sincerely  hope 
for  its  continuance. 

91 


62  HISTORY  OF    THB 

The  work  done  near  the  Cumberland  Gap  was  so  important 
and  multifarious  that  I  am  troubled  to  summarize  it.  The  im- 
portant scientific  results  are  briefly  noticed  in  the  second  part 
of  this  report.  The  economic  results  will  be  only  sketched 
here.  They  will  be  given  in  more  detail  in  the  special  reports 
of  the  several  assistants. 

The  first  object  was  to  get  the  general  outlines  of  the 
geological  structure  of  the  district.  For  this  purpose  several 
pack-mule  journeys  were  made  by  different  members  of  the 
Survey.  It  was  soon  evident  that  the  section  we  had  here 
was  quite  different  from  anything  which  had  been  seen  in  the 
other  parts  of  the  State.  In  place  of  eight  hundred  feet  of 
beds  above  the  sub-carboniferous  limestones,  as  in  the  Greenup 
section,  we  had  here  about  three  thousand  feet  of  section  above 
the  same  datum  point.  The  familiar  coal  and  iron  beds  of 
the  Greenup  district  are  no  longer  to  be  recognized,  but  in 
their  place  we  have  an  altogether  different  set  of  beds,  no 
one  of  which  can  be  identified  with  those  in  the  Ohio  district. 
The  search  for  the  coals,  though  much  hindered  by  the  untrod- 
den character  of  the  forests,  and  the  utter  want  of  all  previous 
effort  to  determine  their  character  and  position,  was  rewarded 
by  the  discovery  of  about  twenty  different  beds  of  coal  in  that 
section,  from  near  the  top  of  the  conglomerate  to  the  upper- 
most beds,  over  two  thousand  feet  higher  in  the  section.  The 
thickness  of  these  beds  has  not  yet  been  satisfactorily  deter- 
mined ;  but  so  far  we  have  succeeded  in  determining  that  at 
least  four  of  them  are  of  workable  thickness  and  of  excellent 
quality.  Some  of  them  promise  to  yield  coal  suitable  for  the 
manufacture  of  iron  without  the  intervention  of  coking,  a  fea- 
ture of  the  utmost  importance,  as  we  shall  see  when  we  come 
to  consider  the  value  of  some  iron  ores  occurring  in  an- 
other part  of  the  section.  These  coals  lie  in  admirable  posi- 
tions for  working.  The  beds  are  approximately  horizontal,  but 
with  dip  enough  to  secure  a  good  drainage  in  mining  work- 
ings.   They  are  all,  except  one,  well  above  the  drainage  level. 

The  iron  ores  of  these  coal-bearing  hills  which  have  yet 
been  discovered  are  few  in  number,  and  scarcely  worth  consid- 
9a 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY. 


63 


eration.  There  seems  to  have  been  no  such  drainage  of  iron- 
charged  waters  into  the  accumulating  coal  beds  and  their 
associated  rocks  as  caused  the  great  richness  of  ores  in  the 
Greenup  district.  Fortunately  this  poverty  of  ores  in  the  coal- 
bearing  rocks  is,  in  a  measure,  compensated  by  the  greater 
richness  of  the  ores  in  the  beds  which  lie  nearly  a  thousand 
feet  below  the  coal  formation.  These  beds  occur  in  the  rocks 
which  immediately  overlie  the  blue  limestone  of  the  same  age 
as  that  of  Central  Kentucky.  They  are  of  the  same  age  as  the 
extensive  and  rich  beds  found  on  the  waters  of  Slate  Creek,  in 
Bath  county,  commonly  known  as  the  Preston  ore  banks,  and 
are  to  be  classed  with  the  far-reaching  series  known  as  the 
Clinton  ores,  which  have  been  worked  successfully  in  half  a 
hundred  furnaces  all  the  way  from  New  York  to  Georgia.  All 
the  exposures  of  these  beds  in  this  district  are  just  at  the 
base  of  the  steep  eastward  face  of  the  Cumberland  Moun- 
tains, and,  therefore,  beyond  the  limits  of  Kentucky.  Inas- 
much, however,  as  these  ores  can  never  be  worked  to  the  best 
advantage  except  with  the  coal  from  the  northern  side  of  the 
mountain,  most  of  which  lies  within  Kentucky,  they  seemed  to 
call  for  a  study  from  the  Kentucky  Geological  Survey.     More- 


/ 


Time 
mmantmin 


Cumhfrtand 
Maitnlntit 


Ortt. 


OiAGJ\Ak(  SHC¥nNG  TH£    CLINTOH  01{ES 
\%    THCIfV     SUPPOSED     EXTCNStON     fttTWCEM  THE    UPPCK' 


VALLEY. 


m.  m.        Clinton   Ores    in   Trnnessee. 
a'-  a'.  Supposed    extension  of  Ores 

WneoHi   tfie  CumberlamI  Synclinal. 
fi.  fl«         Coal    Meaatires. 


93 


64  HISTORY   OF    THE 

over,  these  same  beds,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  accompanying 
section,  extend  beneath  the  carboniferous  rocks,  and  are  prob- 
ably buried  at  the  distance  of  a  thousand  feet  or  so  beneath 
the  water  line  of  the  upper  Cumberland.  It  will  be,  possibly, 
centuries  before  this  source  of  wealth,  so  far  beneath  our  feet, 
will  need  to  be  sought  by  deep  mining,  but  it  is  wealth  in 
store  for  the  future. 

These  ores,  as  exposed  in  the  section  immediately  east  of 
the  Gap,  consist  of  three  or  more  beds  of  fossiliferous  hematite 
ores,  the  iron  having  replaced  all  the  carbonate  of  lime  which 
originally  constituted  the  bed.  These  ores  are  variable  in  thick- 
ness, but  may  be  regarded  as  averaging  each  over  eighteen 
inches,  and  in  many  places,  near  the  Gap,  they  are  over  two 
feet  thick,  and  hold  this  depth  over  extensive  areas.  The  up- 
permost of  these  ores  is,  as  yet,  the  only  one  that  has  ever 
been  worked,  a  considerable  amount  of  ore  having  been  taken 
from  it  during  this  century  for  the  supply  of  three  small  fur- 
naces which  have  existed  in  this  region.  Of  these,  that  at 
the  Gap  and  that  at  Speedville  are  still  in  working  order, 
though  not  in  blast.  They  are  cold-blast  charcoal  furnaces 
of  small  capacity  and  are  now  worked  at  great  disadvantage, 
owing  to  the  distance  from  the  local  market  at  Chattanooga. 
Their  transportation  was  done  by  wagons  six  miles  to  Pow- 
elFs  river,  where  the  iron  was  loaded  into  small  boats ;  thence 
by  water  to  Chattanooga,  then  by  rail  to  principal  markets, 
making  the  cost  of  transportation  to  the  markets  about  ten 
dollars  per  ton.  So  great  are  the  facilities  for  working  pig 
iron  in  these  furnaces,  that  I  am  inclined  to  think  that,  with 
good  management  and  sufficient  capital,  they  could  make  iron 
at  a  small  profit  at  present  prices.  The  ore  to  make  a  ton 
of  iron  can  be  put  at  the  furnace  for  one  dollar;  no  roasting 
is  required.  The  cliff  back  of  the  furnaces  furnishes  fluxing 
material,  of  which  little  is  required,  and  there  is  an  abundance 
of  water-power,  if  it  is  desired  to  use  it  in  place  of  steam. 
The  question  of  fuel  is  the  only  matter  that  is  not  entirely  satis 
factory.  The  neighboring  mountains  will  furnish  all  the  char- 
coal timber  that  can  be  required  for  any  number  of  furnaces, 

94 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  65 

but  the  transportation  is  difficult,  and  the  charcoal  would  be 
a  considerable  element  of  cost.  It  would  not,  however,  be 
as  costly  as  in  the  Hanging  Rock  iron  district.  As  soon 
as  a  railway  is  pushed  through  the  Cumberland  Gap,  which 
cannot  be  long  delayed,  the  transportation  of  charcoal  will  be 
much  facilitated,  and  furnaces  can  be  profitably  built  along 
its  line,  using  the  iron  from  this  district  and  the  charcoal 
or  stone-coal  from  the  vast  forests  and  stone-coal  beds  of 
Kentucky.  When  this  is  brought  about,  these  ores  will  follov/ 
the  economic  law  of  such  products  and  be  carried  to  the  fuel, 
rather  than  the  fuel  to  the  ores.  The  points  where  the  rail- 
way will  necessarily  cross  Yellow  Creek  and  Cumberland  river 
will  then  be  the  advantageous  sites  for  furnaces.  Two  short 
spur  roads  built  along  the  base  of  the  Cumberland  Moun- 
tain, at  a  cost  of,  say  ten  thousand  dollars  per  mile,  and  ex- 
tending five  miles  each  way,  would  give  access  to  a  sufficient 
supply  for  fifty  thirty-ton  furnaces  for  a  century  to  come. 
Most  of  these  would  naturally  find  their  places  on  the  Ken- 
tucky side  of  the  mountain. 

I  am  of  the  fixed  opinion,  that  in  this  region,  as  at  the 
Green  River  district,  we  have  altogether  peculiar  advantages 
for  the  production  of  pig  iron  of  high  grade  with  extreme 
economy.  These  conditions  are,  iron  at  less  cost  than  at  any 
other  point,  charcoal  fuel  from  cheap  lands,  or  stone-coal  fuel 
at  a  low  cost,  with  good  water-power,  fluxes,  and  stone  for 
hearths,  all  within  easy  access.  Along  with  this,  we  have  the 
proximity  of  two  admirable  agricultural  regions,  both  contrib- 
uting to  keep  down  the  cost  of  production.  With  a  railway 
completed,  the  following  are  the  probable  costs  of  the  produc- 
tion of  cold-blast  iron  : 


Ore,  two  tons,  at  $i  per  ton  .    . 
Charcoal,  200  bushels,  at  3  cents 

Flux 

Labor  

Wear  of  plant  and  interest.  ,    .    , 
Incidentals 

Total 


$2 

00 

6 

00 

25 

2 

50 

I 

00 

I 

00 

$12  75 
95 


66  HISTORY   OF    THE 

For  stone-coal  iron  about  as  follows : 


Ore,  two  tons,  at  |i  per  ton  .    .    . 
Two  tons  of  coal,  at  $i  50  per  ton 
Labor,  &c 

Total 


$2  00 

3  00 

4  75 


$9  75 


The  above  prices,  should  they  be  increased  by  twenty- five 
per  cent.,  will  still  fall  below  the  cost  of  making  iron  of  this 
grade  in  any  other  American  iron  district,  except,  perhaps,  in 
Western  Kentucky,  where  for  charcoal  furnaces  the  rates  will 
be  about  the  same. 

In  Eastern  Pennsylvania,  the  only  region  that  can  begin 
to  compete  with  these  advantages,  the  cost  of  making  the 
cheapest  iron  is,  at  the  present  time,  not  less  than  JJ20  per 
ton. 

This  shows  that  the  difference  is  very  much  in  favor  of  the 
conditions  now  existing  in  the  Cumberland  Gap  district.  The 
small  area  of  the  anthracite  fields  and  the  great  demand  for 
their  products  insures  a  high  price  for  that  coal.  Charcoal 
furnaces  on  a  large  scale  in  the  Pennsylvania  district  are 
hardly  possible,  so  their  magnificent  ores  are  sure  to  be  heav- 
ily taxed  for  fuel.  Moreover,  they  are  all  in  the  hands  of 
companies  who  hold  them  at  high  prices.  This  Cumberland 
area  of  coal  and  iron  is  so  great  that  it  will  be  long  before  it 
can  be  monopolized  so  as  to  greatly  heighten  the  cost  of  pro- 
duction. There  can  be  no  doubt  of  the  existence  of  these 
ores  along  the  whole  of  the  Cumberland  Mountain  range, 
from  near  Pound  Gap  to  Jacksboro,  in  Tennessee,  and  at 
various  points  further  to  the  south  it  appears  in  great  thick- 
ness. 

The  importance  of  these  iron  deposits  is  so  great  that  every 
effort  should  be  made  to  get  some  system  of  transportation 
which  will  make  their  development  possible.  This  can  be 
best  accomplished  by  a  railway  extending  from  the  systems 
of  railroads  in  Central  Kentucky  to  the  roads  of  East  Tennes- 
see.    Such  a  road  would  at  once  open  the  markets  of  the  Ohio 

valley  and  of  the  seaboard.    The  distance  of  the  cities  of  Cin- 
96 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  67 

cinnati  and  Louisville  will  be  not  far  from  two  hundred  rniles, 
so  that  the  transportation  to  those  points  would  cost  about 
two  dollars  and  a  half  per  ton.  The  distance  from  the  ports 
of  Norfolk  and  Baltimore  would  be  about  four  hundred  miles, 
bringing  the  transportation  to  those  markets  up  to  about  five 
dollars  per  ton.  This  would  make  the  cost  of  raw  coal  pig 
about  thirteen  dollars  in  Cincinnati  and  fifteen  dollars  in  the 
seaports.  Adding  one  third  for  profit  and  commissions,  we 
have  the  figures  fifteen  and  seventeen  and  one  half  as  the 
selling  price  in  these  markets.  At  these  prices  the  irons  would 
be  worked  at  a  profit  even  at  the  present  low  state  of  the 
market. 

At  the  present  time  the  producing  capacity  of  the  iron  fur- 
naces of  the  United  States  is  about  double  the  total  consump- 
tion of  the  country.  The  result  is,  the  greater  part  of  the 
furnaces  are  subjected  to  a  destructive  competition  which 
keeps  them  in  idleness  or  in  operation  at  a  loss.  There  is 
no  room  for  additions  to  the  means  of  producing  iron,  un- 
less in  localities  which  can  make  the  metal  at  rates  much 
below  the  average  cost.  A  very  large  number  of  furnaces, 
where  the  ore  and  coal  are  dug  at  large  cost,  and  are  trans- 
ported to  great  distances,  must  remain  unprofitable;  but  the 
national  demand  is  so  great  that  ore  regions  that  can  furnish 
high  grades  of  ores  at  low  prices,  cheap  fuel,  and  ready  trans- 
portation, must  become  the  sdats  of  permanent  industries.  I 
am  furthermore  of  the  opinion,  that,  with  such  opportunities  as 
are  offered  at  several  points  in  the  Ohio  valley  for  the  produc- 
tion of  cheap  iron,  we  can,  within  ten  years,  ship  pig  metal  to 
England  and  to  continental  Europe.  The  high  price  of  coal  in 
all  that  region  and  its  growing  scarcity,  the  depth  to  which  the 
workings  for  ore  have  been  carried,  the  progressively  leaner 
and  leaner  kinds  to  which  the  furnaces  are  driven  for  supply, 
all  are  fast  leading  to  the  time  when  our  furnaces  will  begin  to 
compete  successfully  with  their  own.  I  am  fully  satisfied,  that, 
with  a  railway  from  Central  Kentucky  to  the  East  Tennes- 
see road,  via  Cumberland  Gap,  we  could,  if  the  business  were 

conducted  with  sufificient  care,  produce    pig   metal   at  a   cost 
VOL.  in.-7  97 


68  HISTORY   OF    THE 

which  would  enable  us,  at  present  prices,  to  ship  it  to  Europe 
at  a  profit.  These  advantages  are  daily  counting  more  and 
more  in  our  favor,  through  the  constant  rise  in  the  price  of 
the  elements  of  iron-making  in  Europe,  and  the  equally  con- 
stant gain  in  capital  and  cheapening  of  labor  with  us. 

I  should  also  notice  the  advantages  of  this  section  for 
manufacturing  industries  which  will  arise  when  a  railway  is 
brought  through  the  Gap.  The  large  amount  of  hard  and 
soft  wood,  the  abundance  of  good  water-powers,  the  nearness 
to  extensive  agricultural  regions  on  the  north  and  south,  all 
point  to  its  fitness  for  this  work. 

To  my  considerable  surprise,  I  found  that  the  agricultural 
value  of  the  uplands  and  mountain  tops  of  the  several  moun- 
tains, about  Cumberland  Gap  had  been  greatly  underrated. 
Wherever  the  rock  is  not  too  near  the  surface,  we  have  an 
excellent  arable  land,  which  seems  to  bring  good  crops  with 
great  steadiness  for  many  years,  deserving  to  rank  among 
the  first  of  the  second-class  soils  of  the  State. 

As  near  as  could  be  determined  without  detailed  study, 
about  two  fifths  of  the  surface  of  Bell  county  is  good  arable 
soil,  the  remainder  being  too  rocky  for  plow  culture ;  of  this 
area  about  one  fifth  would  make  fair  pasture  land  of  the  sec- 
ond-class if  cleared.  Its  proper  use,  however,  is  for  growing 
timber,  for  which  it  is  peculiarly  well  fitted.  The  special 
reports  of  the  assistants  will  give  the  details  as  to  the  con- 
stitution of  the  forests. 

On  the  first  of  September  camp  at  Camp  Harvard  was 
broken,  and  the  several  assistants  left  to  make  special  explo- 
rations in  regions  too  distant  to  be  reached  from  the  camp. 
Assistant  Crandall  made  a  reconnoissance  down  the  Cumber- 
land, by  way  of  Barbourville  and  Williamsburg,  to  the  Falls 
of  the  Cumberland;  thence  northward  to  Danville,  whence 
he  went  to  resume  his  work  in  the  Menifee  county  district. 

Mr.  P.  N.  Moore  was  instructed  to  make  a  journey  along 

the  Cumberland  Mountain  to    Stony  Gap;    thence  across  to 

Abingdon,   Virginia,  in    order   to   see    the   character   of  the 

country  as  affecting  the  question  of  railway  connections  from 
98 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  69 

Kentucky  in  that  direction ;  thence  back  to  Pound  Gap  with 
the  same  view,  and  from  Pound  Gap  down  the  Kentucky  river 
to  Lexington.  This  journey  was  sucessfully  accomplished, 
and  added  much  to  our  knowledge  of  the  border  line  of  the 
State  and  the  chances  of  railways  seeking  eastward  connec- 
tions. The  report  of  this  reconnoissance  is  to  be  published 
in    the  fourth  volume  of   these  reports. 

Mr.  Norwood  was  put  in  charge  of  the  section  from  the 
Gap  to  Livingston,  which  was  intended  to  form  the  basis  for 
the  report  on  that  line  of  passage  for  a  trunk  railway  from 
the  railways  of  Central  Kentucky  to  the  East  Tennessee 
section.  This  report  has  been  completed  and  published  in 
the  second  volume. 

Mr.  J.  H.  Talbutt,  second  assistant  in  chemistry,  was  sent 
with  Mr.  Crandall  to  make  collections  of  soils  on  the  route 
pursued  by  him.  In  the  course  of  this  journey  he  visited 
Rockcastle  Springs  to  make  collections  of  the  waters  of  these 
interesting  sources  as  a  basis  for  some  special  analyses. 

Work  on  this  section  was  closed  at  the  end  of  August.  On 
the  first  of  September  Camp  Harvard  was  struck,  and  I  left 
the  Gap  in  company  with  Carr  and  Procter,  the  latter  having 
returned  to  the  Survey  after  the  expiration  of  his  engage- 
ment with  Harvard  College  as  the  chief  of  its  camp.  In  order 
to  examine  a  number  of  questions,  our  route  was  laid  in  a 
general  easterly  direction,  along  the  line  between  Kentucky 
and  Tennessee,  and  to  the  northward  thereof.  My  principal 
object  was  to  determine  the  character  of  the  country  with 
reference  to  the  building  of  an  east  and  west  railway,  which, 
in  the  immediate  future,  will  be  demanded  to  give  a  direct 
way  from  St.  Louis  to  Charleston  and  Norfolk.  At  the  same 
time,  I  wished  to  see  the  general  geology  of  the  region  with 
reference  to  detailed  work  in  coming  years  should  the  Survey 
be  continued.  In  order  to  see  the  character  of  the  Cumber- 
land Mountain  beyond  the  region  traversed  during  our  sum- 
mer's work,  our  reconnoissance  was  arranged  so  as  to  take  us 
as  far  as  Jacksboro,  Tenn. ;  thence  through  Big  Creek  Gap 
back  again  into  Kentucky.     By  this  route  we  were  enabled  to 

99 


JO  HISTORY    OF    THE 

see  the  next  pass  south  of  Cumberland  Gap,  by  which  a  way 
out  from  Kentucky  to  East  Tennessee  can  be  made.  From 
Cumberland  Gap  the  Clinton  iron  ores  continue,  without  inter- 
ruption, to  Jacksboro ;  at  least,  they  are  found  from  point  to 
point  along  the  line  ;  but  about  ten  miles  south  of  the  Gap 
they  cease  to  form  foot  hills,  as  in  the  section  north  of  that 
point,  and  are  merged  in  the  face  of  the  mountain.  This  is 
probably  due  to  an  actual  loss  in  the  resisting  power  of  the 
ores  to  the  action  of  weathering  and  to  a  stronger  resisting 
power  of  the  rocks  which  cap  the  mountain,  viz :  the  lower 
beds  of  the  Millstone  grit.  This  peculiarity  will  cause  the 
beds  in  this  part  of  the  section  to  be  much  less  valuable  than 
on  the  section  nearer  the  Gap,  on  account  of  the  difficulties 
of  working  being  much  greater.  While  the  beds  near  the 
Gap  can  be  reached  for  a  long  time  by  stripping  the  overlying 
matter  from  them,  those  further  south  have  so  much  above 
them  that  they  must  shortly  be  worked  by  underground  min- 
ing. At  Jacksboro  the  Cumberland  Mountain  abuts  against 
the  great  Tennessee  table  land  and  is  lost,  a  valley  separating 
it  from  that  vast  undisturbed  mass.  The  Big  Creek,  which 
flows  through  a  curious  rift  in  the  mountain,  is  the  first  stream 
I  have  seen  crossing  the  ridge  of  the  Cumberland.  It  passes 
over  the  oclges  of  vertically  upturned  beds,  extending  from 
the  Millstone  grit  down  to  the  Knox  beds  or  the  equivalent 
of  the  California  sandstone.  The  passage  through  the  Cum- 
berland range  itself  is  one  of  the  most  perfect  imaginable,  it 
being  possible  to  pass  it  with  grades  of  forty  feet  to  the  mile, 
with  no  very  deep  cuts  and  no  long  tunnel ;  but  just  beyond 
the  Gap  the  table  land  rises  quite  rapidly,  so  as  to  make  a 
serious  barrier  to  the  passage  of  a  railway.  Beyond  this  the 
curious  erosion  ridge  of  the  Jellico  Mountains  makes  still 
other  difficulties,  so  that  it  cannot  be  regarded  as  furnishing 
the  same  easy  access  to  the  Tennessee  valley  that  is  afforded 
by  the  Cumberland  Gap  route,  where  the  only  serious  barrier 
is  the  tunnel  of  four  thousand  feet  at  the  Gap  itself. 

Beyond  Big  Creek  Gap   the  traveled  road  climbs  rapidly 
until  we  attain  a  height  of  more  than  a  thousand  feet  above 

xoo 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  JX 

m 

the  stream,  and  then  descends  to  the  waters  of  the  Cumber- 
land river.  After  passing  Pine  Mountain  and  Jellico  Moun- 
tain, which  extends  in  a  northeast  and  southwest  direction,  we 
come  upon  an  extensive  region  of  rather  low-lying  table  land, 
upon  the  waters  of  the  several  branches  of  the  Cumberland, 
falling  into  the  main  stream,  from  the  south.  Some  of  these 
tributaries  have  a  curious  sluggishness.  The  most  conspic- 
uous instance  of  this  is  Marshy  Creek,  which  has  not  only 
ceased  to  cut  its  bed,  but  is  clearly  silting  up  at  the  present 
time.  I  cannot  account  for  its  singular  character  without 
supposing  a  depression  of  this  district  since  the  time  when 
it  worked  out  its  bed.  This  is  a  matter  that  will  be  consid- 
ered in  the  succeeding  part  of  this  report.  This  depressed 
character  of  the  valleys,  which  gives  them  borders  often  as 
swampy  as  those  of  the  streams  in  the  Jackson  Purchase,  is 
a  serious  hindrance  to  their  fertility.  Where  the  road  from 
Jellico  Cross-roads  to  Monticello  crosses  Marshy  Creek  the 
shores,  for  many  rods  in  width,  are  too  wet  for  cultivation.  I 
am  inclined  to  think  that  something  could  be  done  by  ditch- 
ing to  benefit  these  lands,  and  more  by  aiding  the  stream  by 
clearing  away  the  obstructions  to  its  free  cours^.  The  next 
considerable  stream  is  the  charming  river  known  as  the  Big 
South  Fork.  I  do  not  know  a  more  attractive  stream  than 
this  strong-flowing  river,  deep  set  in  the  cliffs  of  the  lower 
coal  measures.  It  does  not  creep  in  muddy  banks  like  most 
of  the  streams  on  the  east,  but  breaks  rapidly  from  the  Ten- 
nessee table  land  through  the  country  to  the  main  stream. 
From  its  admirable  volume  and  the  constant  character  given 
it  by  the  rather  porous  rocks  which  underlie  the  country 
on  either  side  of  the  river,  it  is  well  adapted  for  wafer- 
powers,  and  would  make  a  capital  stream  for  continuing,  by 
locks  and  dams,  the  water  navigation  of  the  Cumberland  far 
into  the  table  land  district.  The  Cincinnati  Southern  Rail- 
way, while  it  has  made  the  improvement  of  the  navigation 
of  the  stream  unnecessary  at  present,  has  made  it  possible  to 
look  forward  to  the  time  when  its  water-powers  may  become 

lOI 


72  HISTORY   OF    THE 

• 

of  much  value,  placed  as  they  are  on  the  line  of  a  great  north 
and  south  highway. 

The  country  on  either  side  of  the  road  from  the  crossing  of 
Jellico  Mountain  has  a  very  considerable  agricultural  value. 
The  timber  to  the  west  of  the  Cumberland  Mountain  is  ad- 
mirable in  its  quality  and  size — a  good  deal  of  the  precious 
woods,  as  we  may  call  the  walnut  and  hickory,  and  a  vast 
quantity  of  white  oak  of  admirable  quality.  Tulip  trees 
abound,  and  are  often  of  noble  proportions.  As  a  whole,  the 
forests  are  better  than  anything  I  have  seen  out  of  Western 
Kentucky.  Between  Marshy  Creek  and  the  Big  South  Fork 
the  timbering  changes.  The  country  is  no  longer  cut  into 
the  rugged  ridges,  with  stony  hill  lines,  but  becomes  a  table 
land,  tolerably  flat,  and  with  streams  about  three  hundred 
feet  below  the  general  level.  On  these  levels  the  timber 
is  principally  yellow  pine,  of  good  shape — trees  generally 
from  ten  to  twenty  inches  in  diameter,  tall  and  straight,  often 
running  up  to  ninety  feet  in  height.  The  general  character  of 
soil  in  these  pine  forests  is  very  light  and  thin.  With  care 
in  manuring  they  would  serve  a  fair  purpose,  but  for  the  ordi- 
nary rough  usage  of  our  country  they  are  unpromising.  As 
a  whole,  the  section  traversed  by  me  lying  to  the  east  of  the 
Cincinnati  road  is  good  for  agricultural  purposes,  and  exceed- 
ingly valuable  for  its  timber.  As  regards  coals,  I  am  inclined 
to  think,  that  just  west  of  Pine  Mountain  we  have  the  whole 
of  the  lower  coal  section  beneath  our  feet,  which,  on  the  other 
side  of  the  mountain,  rises  more  than  a  thousand  feet  above 
this  level.  In  other  words,  that  the  section,  which  at  Cumber- 
land Gap  contains  about  twenty  coal  levels  in  about  two 
hundred  feet  of  strata,  is  all  or  nearly  all  below  the  level 
of  the  earth  on  the  west  side  of  Pine  Mountain.  From  this 
point  west,  the  beds  appear  gradually  to  rise  until  we  seem 
to  have  come  down  near  to  the  conglomerate,  when  we  pass 
Marshy  Creek.  The  pine  forest  above  described  probably 
rests  on  the  conglomerate  series.  At  the  Cincinnati  Southern 
Railway  we  have  a  considerable  thickness  of  section,  say  one 

hundred  feet,  composed  of  very  soft  reddish  sandstones,  with 
1 02 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  73 

intercalated  clays,  the  whole. being  much  less  coherent  than 
anything  I  have  ever  seen  in  our  Kentucky  coal  measures  at 
any  other  point.  The  beds  seem  to  have  been  exceedingly 
affected  by  water  currents  at  the  time  of  their  formation.  I 
could  discover  no  pebbles  in  the  section,  nor  any  traces  of  coals ; 
but  a  mile  or  two  to  the  west  the  rock  begins  to  contain  peb- 
bles in  considerable  quantities.  In  less  than  one  hundred  feet 
of  descent  we  come  upon  most  unmistakable  conglomerate. 
The  total  thickness  of  the  section,  from  the  Cincinnati  South-  . 
ern  Railway  at  Pine  Knot  to  the  level  of  the  Big  South  Fork, 
is  about  seven  hundred  feet,  which  may  be  taken  as  the  thick- 
ness of  the  section  between  tbe  railway  and  the  top  of  the 
main  limestone.  Two  coals  appear  in  large  stains,  one  at 
four  hundred  and  fifty  feet  below  the  railway,  the  other  at 
four  hundred  and  ninety  feet  below  that  level.  There  may  be 
others,  but  only  these  were  clearly  shown.  The  upper  hard 
sandstone  of  this  series  appears  in  cliffs  of  about  sixty  feet 
high,  and  gives  the  same  topography  to  this  section  that  is 
given  by  the  fifth  sandstone  (so  called  in  Dr.  Owen's  report) 
of  Edmonson  and  Grayson  counties.  This  sandstone  is  cap- 
ped by  the  level  surface  of  the  country.  The  retreating  cliffs 
are  often  brought  so  close  together  that  there  is  barely  place 
for  a  road  between  their  walls  on  either  side. 

What  is  apparently  the  upper  of  the  two  coals  seen  at  the 
Big  South  Fork  appears  again  as  a  stain  on  Little  South  Fork, 
where  it  is  one  hundred  feet  below  the  top  of  the  hill,  and 
probably  two  hundred  or  more  feet  above  where  it  occurs 
on  Big  South  Fork.  As  this  section  is  almost  uninhab- 
ited, no  effort  has  been  made  to  open  these  coals,  so  their 
character  is  quite  unknown.  The  evidences  of  a  continued 
southeast  dip  are  maintained  throughout  this  section.  The 
rocks  rise  to  the  northwest  at  the  rate  of  about  twenty-five 
feet  to  a  mile ;  so  that,  on  the  waters  of  Little  South  Fork, 
we  pass  deep  down  into  the  Chester  series  of  rocks,  if  not  into 
the  St.  Louis  limestone.  The  coal  measures  cling  along  the 
hills,  which  are  five  or  six  hundred  feet  above  the  valleys,  so 

that  there  is  still  a  good  area  of  coal  over  the  face  of  the  coun- 

103 


74  HISTORY   OF    THE 

try.  As  soon  as  we  descend  into  the  limestone  the  country 
becomes  exceedingly  fertile,  and  from  ten  miles  or  more  south 
of  MonticcUo,  the  waterless  valley,  where  the  stream  flows 
in  the  caverncd  rock,  bears  the  best  crops  of  corn  I  have  ever 
seen.  The  fertility  extends  only  as  high  as  the  middle  meas- 
ures of  the  Chester,  where  the  rock  comes  to  the  surface,  and 
the  growth  of  cedars  begins.  The  quantity  of  this  cedar  growth 
is  quite  surprising.  There  are  thousands  of  acres  of  it,  in 
the  aggregate,  giving  trees  of  very  large  size  for  this  kind  of 
wood.  Near  to  transportation, these  trees  would  have  a  con- 
siderable money  value.  The  valley  broadens  as  we  go  north 
until  it  is  more  than  a  mile  wide,  and  receives  other  valleys 
equally  fertile  but  waterless.  About  Monticello  the  coals  of 
the  lower  conglomerate  still  hold  their  place,  but  are  little 
worked.  The  details  of  their  character  are  well  given  in  the 
report  of  Mr.  Joseph  Leslie.* 

Where  the  streams  emerge  from  the -limestone  they  have 
the  admirable  qualities  which  belong  to  streams  gathered  in 
caverns:  they  are  clear,  cool,  and  of  very  uniform  volume. 
When  we  add  to  these  features  the  possession  of  high  rocky 
banks,  with  admirable  sites  for  dams  and  mills,  we  repre- 
sent their  admirable  mill  value.  About  two  miles  beyond 
Monticello,  Beaver  Creek  furnished  an  admirable  succession 
of  water-powers;  at  Rankin's  Mill  the  volume  is  about  seven 
million  gallons  per  diem,  falling  twenty  feet.  The  dam  could 
be  raised  to  forty  feet,  with  excellent  walls,  or  several  of  thirty 
feet  could  be  made  within  five  miles. 

An  old  ruined  blast  furnace  makes  a  very  picturesque  object 
on  the  bank  of  the  stream.  It  was  hard  to  find  anything  about 
its  origin.  From  all  1  could  gather,  I  conclude  that  it  was 
built  in  or  about  1815,  and  was  unfortunately  chilled  in  the 
first  blast,  and  never  used  again,  though  it  seems  to  have 
been  cut  out.  The  ore  sought  to  be  used  is  the  limestone 
top  ore,  which  has  given  the  admirable  iron  of  the  Red  River 
furnaces.  The  openings  where  the  few  tons  of  ore  which  lie 
in  the  little  stock  yard  were  taken  are  no  longer  known ;  but 

*See  ihe  fourth  volume  of  Dr.  0wen*s  Survey. 
104 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  75 

this  ore  can  be  found  at  any  point  in  this  district,  and  in 
sufficient  quantities  to  repay  working,  if  exit  could  be  had  for 
furnace  products.  The  specimens  I  have  seen  were  of  high 
grade,  and  probably  running  over  forty-five  per  cent,  of  iron. 
Analyses  will  be  found  in  the  forthcoming  report  of  Dr.  Peter 
and  Mr.  Talbutt. 

From  Monticeilo  west  the  beds  do  not  seem  to  ascend  with 
anything  like  the  rapidity  with  which  they  rise  in  the  region  to 
the  eastward.  This  is  a  surprising  but  advantageous  feature, 
inasmuch  as  it  prolongs  the  extension  of  the  coals  to  the  west- 
ward for  a  number  of  miles.  Moreover,  we  have  here  some 
very  high  ridges  in  Poplar  and  Short  Mountains.  These  hills 
are  not  really  uplifts,  though  they  have  this  appearance.  They 
are,  in  fact,  the  remains  of  a  great  extension  of  coal  which  has 
been  worn  down  to  a  lot  of  shreds  and  patches.  The  western- 
most of  these  is  a  noble  outlier  of  the  coal  field,  standing  like 
an  island  in  the  midst  of  the  limestone  rocks.  At  present  this 
is  extensively  mined  at  Cumberland  City,  the  coal  being  car- 
ried to  the  river  on  a  railway,  and  thence  to  Nashville  by 
boat.  The  coal  is  of  excellent  quality  and  of  fair  thickness. 
The  accompanying  section  gives  its  general  character  and 
relation  to  the  neighboring  beds  : 


[I 
I 


m 


'%  u   ^^ 


1      «       i  mm    s>?     V 
I      Iv      mm  H     11 


•^>.    ■-:'!<•.• 


•    k   •  1 


h:^zo?.y  of  the 

■   J  :an  >'v:pply  no  long-continued  derr.ar.j,  even 
..    ni*i.i':ra:r  rat':  of  minin;^:  but  the  san:e  coal 
..Lii.i  v:-:   :::   i:.*:  hilis   around   Monticelio.  so  that 
.  .     v'v'k!::^'  :o  th:>  so^jr^':  of  supply  wo'jia  soion  be 
ri-;   t^-r   :;:ibrok*:ri   fi'-l'J  on  the  east.     These  coals 
-.i;ij'-   a>   :h'»-'!  v.orkf-d   n^rar   Livingston,  and  havr. 
same  ;^or^^i  qualiti^-s.     It  will,  like  that  at  Liv- 
V   lound  mo(Krat<:i\  w^-ll  fitted  for  gas  purposes,  and 
i  >ik  well  in  tlu:  iron  lurnace  without  coking.     For  anal- 
X  ..  .    »i    this  coal   s':e  the   last   report  of  Dr.  Peter  and  Mr. 

V  Ml  Uu'  face  of  tin:  hill,  at  the  point  indicated  on  the  dia- 
;ia:n.  nuirly  beds,  identical  with  the  formation  termed  by  the 
Nui  \<.'\  ih(*  LeitchfirKl  marls,  appear.  All  the  way  for  the  last 
iwoiiiv  five  mil's  thr-r^-  ha\e  been  traces  of  these  marls,  but 
ilu'\  are  shown  here  with  great  distinctness.  These  marls 
aic  o(  no  little  scientific  interest,  and  are  also  very  important 
In  an  economic  pr^int  r;f  view.  They  contain  a  notable  amount 
o(  soda  and  pcnash  :  s()m<r  fre-e  and  ready  for  appropriation  by 
plants,  and  som<!  held  in  the  fr^rm  of  insoluble  silicates.     This 

will  be  a  great  store  f(;r  the  agriculture  of  this  country  when 
it  becom(*s  suffici*  ntly  advanccal  to  profit  by  all  its  opportuni- 
ties. 

The  land  which  lies  on  the  limestone  is  not  only  of  very 
high  quality  but  is  easily  restored  when  worn.  There  are 
thousands  c)f  acres  in  this  and  the  neighboring  county,  which 
are  lying  waste,  having  been  worn  by  tobacco  culture:  if  they 
are  plow(fd  decj>ly,  and  treated  with  clover  or  buckwheat 
plowed  in,  they  could  be  quickly  restored.  I  am  told  that 
these  lands  are  easily  bought  for  three  or  four  dollars  per 
acr<*.  In  that  cas(»,  they  are  among  the  cheapest  of  bur 
American  lands;  for,  at  th(*  expense  of  a  little  careful  cul- 
ture, th(!y  can  Ix!  restored  to  their  original  fertility.  Unlike 
soils  of  r(-mot(i  deprivation,  such  as  glacial  soils  and  river  bot- 
toms, th(»  worn  soils  of  Kentucky  have  beneath  them  beds 
which  contain  th(^  sam(^  materials,  in  all  important  respects,  as 
th(*  beds  above,  which  once  were  fertile.     All  that  is  necessary 

iu6 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  77 

IS  to  bring  up  some  of  this  underlying  matter,  mingle  it  with 
vegetable  materials,  and  allow  a  free  movement  of  air  and 
water  through  its  mass,  in  order  to  bring  it  again  to  more 
than  its  pristine  fertility.  On  this  point  I  can  speak,  not  only 
from  theory,  but  from  experience ;  and  I  regard  it  as  a  very 
important  feature  in  our  soils  that  this  ready  refertilization  can 
be  accomplished. 

At  this  point  I  must  refer  to  the  coal  oil  products,  which 
are  accessible  from  the  surface  in  this  region.  It  has  long 
been  known  that  coal  oil  was  to  be  had  in  this  district.  More 
than  forty  years  ago  a  missionary  preacher  of  this  region  found, 
in  his  wanderings,  a  spring  near  Burksville:  the  precise  point 
I  have  not  been  able  to  det(*rmine.  This  oil  he  bottled  and 
sold  in  large  quantities  in  Western  Kentucky  for  its  healing 
properties.  During  the  coal  oil  excitement  of  a  few  years 
ago  a  good  deal  of  boring  was  done  in  this  section ;  and  in  . 
one  of  the  reports  of  the  Survey,  for  which  materials  are  now 
being  gathered,  we  have  endeavored  to  trace  the  results  in 
detail.  It  is  no  great  misfortune  that  free  flowing  wells  of 
light  coal  oils  have  not  been  discovered  here.  The  sources 
of  production  of  this  material  are  so  numerous,  that,  even 
with  ample  means  of  transportation,  it  would  not  be  profit- 
able to  ship  it  to  a  market  at  present  prices  or  at  any  prices 
that  are  likely  to  prevail  for  many  years  to  come.  This 
section  is  far  more  fortunate  iii  the  possession  of  an  ample 
supply  of  the  h(!avy  or  lubricating  oils,  which  are  easily  ob- 
tained by  wells  sunk  deep  enough  to  penetrate  the  beds  of 
the  black  shale,  which  lie  about  two  hundred  feet  below  the 
base  of  the  sub-carboniferous  limestone.  This  black  shale, 
which  has  here  a  thickness  not  far  from  fifty  feet,  seems  to  be 
the  source  of  production  and  reservoir  of  this  oil.  It  is  not 
easy  to  account  for  the  great  quantity  of  the  t)il  found  at  this 
point,  and  the  comparative  paucity  at  other  points.  It  is  a  well 
known  fact,  however,  that,  wherever  this  black  shale  is  found 
south  of  the  Ohio,  it  is  richly  stored  with  this  heavy  or  lubri- 
cating oil.  Before  the  discovery  of  the  flowing  wells  of  Penn- 
sylvania, these  shales  were  extensively  and  profitably  worked 

107 


78  HISTORY   OF    THE 

near  Vanceburg,  Kentucky,  for  the  oil,  which  was  obtained  by 
distilling  the  shale.  It  is  stated  that  the  yield  was  as  much  as 
fifteen  per  cent,  of  the  mass.  It  seems  likely,  from  all  I  have 
seen,  that  wherever  the  beds  occur  above  the  drainage  of 
the  country,  the  coal  oil  has  been  leached  out,  except  that 
which  is  clearly  combined  with  the  rock  in  an  insoluble  con- 
dition. This  insoluble  oil  can  only  be  extracted  by  distilla- 
tion. When,  however,  this  oil  has  been  kept  in  the  rock  by 
the  action  of  any  local  causes,  it  may  remain  so  full  of  oil 
that  it  will  flow  into  any  well  that  is  carried  down  into  the 
shale  beds. 

The  long  low  ridge  known  to  geologists  as  the  Cincinnati 
axis,  which  extends  from  north  of  that  city  to  south  of  Nash- 
ville, serves,  it  may  be,  to  confine  the  rocks  on  the  east,  so  that 
their  contents  are  not  free  to  escape.  Besides  this,  the  whole, 
or  nearly  the  whole,  of  the  black  shale  west  of  the  Cumber- 
land is  actually  below  the  drainage,  so  that  it  has  never  been 
freely  traversed  by  subterranean  water. 

Wherever  this  shale  has  been  penetrated  by  boring,  in  the 
district  east  of  the  Cumberland,  more  or  less  of  this  oil  has 
flowed  into  the  opening.  One  well  is  now  in  operation  on  the 
head  waters  of  Otter  Creek,  belonging  to  R.  L.  Carter,  Esq., 
of  Cumberland  City.  I  am  informed  by  him  that  as  much 
as  fifty  barrels  per  diem  have  been  pumped  from  this  well,  and 
that  it  shows  no  sign  of  diniinishing  in  quantity.  The  only 
difficulty  in  the  way  of  obtaining  the  oil  arises  from  the  chok- 
ing of  the  well  by  paraffine.  There  is,  however,  a  very  con- 
siderable obstruction  to  the  extensive  working  of  these  wells 
in  the  difficulty  of  transportation.  The  oil  has  to  be  hauled 
in  wagons  about  twelve  miles  to  Cumberland  City,  sent  thence 
to  the  river  by  rail,  and  from  the  terminus  of  the  rail  again 
transhipped  to  boats  and  taken  to  Nashville.  The  roads  are 
very  bad,  the  river  untrustworthy,  only  affording  transporta- 
tion for  a  part  of  the  year,  so  the  cost  of  taking  the  oil  to 
Nashville  is  rather  over  two  dollars  per  barrel.  The  building 
of  a  railway  across  this  field  would  reduce  the  transportation 
to  Louisville  to  less  than  one  third  of  what  it  is  at  present, 

xo8 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  79 

and  practically  add  five  cents  per  gallon  to  the  value  of  the 
raw  product.  The  importance  of  this  source  of  wealth  to 
the  interests  of  the  State  is  hard  to  overestimate.  The  con- 
sumption of  these  lubricating  oils  is  growing,  from  year  to 
year,  with  great  rapidity.  The  sources  of  supply  are  much 
more  limited  than  for  the  other  oils.  The  oil  from  the  Cum- 
berland district  is,  I  am  informed,  much  more  esteemed  than 
the  other  oils  in  the  market  for  use  in  high  latitudes,  where 
the  intensity  of  the  winter  cold  makes  it  necessary  to  exer- 
cise great  care  to  prevent  the  lubricating  materials  from  con- 
gealing. 

Although  there  may  be  local  differences  in  the  composition 
of  this  rock,  which  will  give  some  wells  the  advantage  of 
others,  there  seems  to  be  no  good  reason  to  doubt  that  a  very 
large  area  is  underlaid  by  the  beds  that  bear  the  oil,  and  that 
we  may  fairly  reckon  that  there  is  a  region  of  a  thousand  or 
more  square  miles  in  Clinton  and  Wayne  and  the  adjoining 
counties  which  bear  the  oil.  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that, 
from  this  point  all  the  way  to  Pine  Mountain,  the  same  con- 
ditions which  have  caused  the  great  richness  of  these  beds 
continue,  and  that  it  is  merely  a  question  of  depth  of  boring 
whether  the  oil  is  found  or  not;  but  at  the  western  face  of 
Pine  Mountain  it  would  be  necessary  to  penetrate  about  twen- 
ty-five hundred  feet  of  beds  before  coming  to  the  oil-bearing 
rock,  while  in  these  counties  the  greatest  depth  below  the 
drainage  will  not  much  exceed  seven  hundred  feet.  I  have 
assured  information  of  the  discovery  of  oil  of  this  grade  at 
Carter's  well,  on  Otter  Creek,  and  at  the  Phillips  well,  on 
Oil  Fork  of  Bear  Creek.  I  have  unconfirmed,  though  seem- 
ingly trustworthy  statements,  of  the  existence  of  similar  oil 
at  several  other  points  in  this  section,  which  would  give  a 
total  area  of  at  least  one  thousand  square  miles,  which  had 
been  in  a  fashion  explored  by  borings,  and  found  to  con- 
tain this  oil.  As  the  exploration  was  practically  limited  to 
the  area  where  lubricating  oil  was  obtained  in  most  of  the 
wells  that  went  deep  enough   to  tap  the  black   shale,  there 

seems  no  reason  to  limit  its  extension  to  this  rather  narrow 

109 


8o  HISTORY    OF    THE 

field.  I  am  inclined  to  recommend  a  search  for  it  at  all 
points  where  the  black  shale  is  below  the  drainage.  Meas- 
uring downw^ards  from  the  base  of  the  sub-carboniferous  lime- 
stone, it  will  be  safe  to  allow  a  distance  of  from  five  hundred 
feet  in  Northeastern  Kentucky  to  two  hundred  feet  in  this 
section,  before  expecting  to  reach  the  black  shale.  It  may 
aKvays  be  known  by  its  black  color,  and  by  the  strong  smell 
of  coal  oil  it  gives  out.  The  boring  should  be  carried  quite 
through  the  shale,  which  ranges  from  about  one  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  thick  in  the  Ohio  River  section  to  about  fifty  feet,  or 
even  less,  near  the  Tennessee  line. 

It  may  not  be  out  of  place  to  call  attention  to  the  prospect- 
ive value  of  this  black  shale  as  a  source  of  future  power  to 
the  Commonwealth.  Its  area  in  Kentucky  is  probably  not 
less  than  eighteen  thousand  square  miles,  and  its  thickness 
may  safely  be  averaged  at  one  hundred  feet.  Assuming  that 
it  contains,  in  the  shape  of  free  and  combined  oil,  the  equiv- 
alent of  fifteen  per  cent,  of  its  mass,  we  see  that  it  is  equal 
to  eighteen  thousand  square  miles  of  oil  fifteen  feet  thick. 
Assuming  that,  volume  for  volume,  it  is  worth  the  same  for  fuel 
as  good  coal,  the  total  value  of  this  deposit  probably  much 
exceeds  that  of  a  coal  bed  of  the  same  thickness.  Measured 
by  the  present  price  of  the  oil  and  paraffine  it  produces,  this 
mass  of  shale  might  have  been  regarded  in  1855  as  overval- 
uing, by  many  times,  the  whole  coal  deposits  of  the  State. 
At  this  rate  of  yield,  there  would  be  four  million  gallons  to 
each  acre  of  surface,  and  two  thousand  four  hundred  million  to 
the  square  mile,  so  that  the  gross  product  to  the  square  mile 
would,  at  the  present  price  of  these  oils,  have  been  some- 
thing like  a  thousand  million  of  dollars.  The  finding  of  flow- 
ing wells  of  light  and  of  lubricating  oils  seemed  to  make  this 
source  of  wealth  that  had  dawned  on  the  State  sink  into  utter 
worthlessness.  I  doubt,  however,  whether  we  may  not  fairly 
look  forward  to  this  wonderful  deposit  of  organic  matter  as  a 
future  source  of  varied  and  important  chemical  products,  and 
of  immense  wealth  to  the   regions  underlaid  by  it.     There 

seems  no  room  to  doubt  that  the  available  areas  of  coal  oil 
no 


OPERATIONS    OF   THE   SURVEY.  8 1 

are  being  rapidly  drained  of  their  store,  while  the  consump- 
tion grows  apace.  The  natural  resort  will  then  be  to  these 
shales,  which,  even  allowing  that  only  one  tenth  of  the  esti- 
mated quantity  is  available,  will  still  be  of  far  greater  value 
than  all  the  other  known  resources  of  the  State. 

I  now  pass  to  another  branch  of  the  economic  work  of  the 
Survey,  which  touches  closely  on  the  scientific  matters  which 
are  to  be  taken  up  in  the  next  section.     I  refer  to  the  geodetic 
or  triangulation  work  of  the  State  which  is  now  in  course  of 
being  executed  under  the  direction  and  at  the  expense  of  the 
United  States  Coast  Survey.     In  the  preliminary  report  made 
to  the  Legislature  in  December,  1873,  I  indicated  the  impor- 
tance of  securing  the  co-operation  of  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment in  this  work  of  making  a  trigonometrical  survey  of 
the  State  as  a  basis  for  a  good  map  of  our  territory.     This 
action  was,  with  some  difficulty,  secured  through  the  energetic 
aid  of  Senator  Stevenson  and  the  Governor  of  Kentucky.     I 
should  say  that  the  State  of  Kentucky  had  done  much  to  bring 
this  system  of  Government  aid  to  State  surveys  into  operation 
by  a  strong  reference  thereto  in  the  annual  message  of  Gov- 
ernor Stevenson,  and  by  a  resolution  of  her  Legislature  look- 
ing to  the  same  object.     This  action  greatly  strengthened  the 
hands   of   Professor    Peirce,  the   late    Superintendent  of  the 
Coast   Survey,  who  was  then   seeking  the   consent  of  Con- 
gress to  this  wise  extension  of  the  work  of  the  Coast  Survey 
over  the  interior  States.     This  plan,  which  is  destined  in  time 
to  give  us  a  general  basis  for  all  the  map  work  of  the  country, 
was  extended  to  Kentucky  in   1875.     Assistant  W.  B.  Page 
was   transferred   to  the   Coast   Survey,  and   in    its   service   is 
employed,  for  five  months  each  year,  in  carrying  a  system  of 
triangulation  over  the   State,  beginning   in   the   Cumberland 
Mountains  near  Cumberland  Gap,  and  extending  westward  as 
far  as  the  Mississippi, in  time. 

During  the  season  of  1875  the  work  was  carried  as  far  west  as 
the  Rockcastle  river,  or  rather  the  preliminary  reconnoissance 
was  carried  to  that  point.     This  Survey  will  give  us  a  system 

of  lines  and  stations  over  the  whole  State,  every  one  of  which 

III 


82  HISTORY   OF    THE 

will  be  determined  as  to  position  with  such  accuracy  that  we 
can  safely  say  that  it  is  not  more  than  three  feet  in  error,  or, 
in  other  words,  is  more  accurately  determined  than  we  can 
represent  it  on  any  map.  When  we  consider  that,  at  the 
present  time,  there  are  not  more  than  one  tenth  the  county 
seats  in  Kentucky,  the  true  position  of  which  have  been  deter- 
mined within  a  probable  error  of  two  to  five  miles,  we  can  see 
the  advantage  this  will  give  as  a  basis  for  the  map  of  the  State. 
So  important  is  this  form  of  work  that  no  country  now  ven- 
tures on  the  construction  of  a  map  without  first  laying  the 
foundation  for  it  in  this  form  of  work.  In  no  other  way  is  it 
possible  to  arrive  at  anything  like  accuracy  of  result  in  map 
making.  I  count  it  a  great  good  fortune  for  the  State  to  have 
secured  this  important  aid  in  the  study  of  her  territory.  To 
have  initiated  such  a  work  would  have  required  a  very  large 
expenditure  of  money,  more,  indeed,  than  I  should  have  been 
willing  to  have  expended  from  the  means  which  has  been  or 
is  likely  to  be  appropriated  by  the  State  for  the  Geological 
Survey. 

In  order  to  secure  the  continuance  of  this  goverment  work 
within  our  borders,  it  is  necessary,  by  the  terms  of  the  law, 
that  the  Geological  Survey  be  maintained.  With  a  view  to 
obtaining  all  the  immediate  results  that  could  be  had  from  this 
triangulation,  I  have,  with  the  consent  of  Capt.  Patterson, 
Superintendent  of  the  Coast  Survey,  joined  two  of  the  offi- 
cers of  the  Geological  Survey  to  his  party  of  triangulators : 
Mr.  Anthon  Lee  Jonas,  Aid  Kentucky  Survey,  is  charged 
with  making  a  rapid  reconnoissance  of  all  the  roads  and 
streams  traversed  by  the  geodetic  party.  This  will  enable  us  to 
give  a  great  deal  of  correction  to  the  general  map  of  the  State, 
and  to  amass  a  great  quantity  of  information  concerning  the 
possible  ways  for  roads,  rail  and  common,  the  available  sites 
for  mill-powers,  &c.  Mr.  C.  W.  Beckham,  Assistant  Ken- 
tucky Survey,  is  charged  with  the  study  of  the  timber  and 
soils,  for  which  work  he  has  had  special  training  during  the 
past  two  years.  These  gentlemen  are  also  charged  with  the 
work  of  determining  approximately  the  character  of  all  sec- 

112 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  83 

tions  where  the  rocks  are  exposed,  so  that  -the  work  of  the 
geologist  may  be  much  reduced  when  the  final  geological 
work  is  begun. 

With  the  close  of  the  month  of  October  all  the  parties  of 
the  Survey  were  withdrawn  from  the  field.  This  was  done 
because  of  the  approaching  exhaustion  of  the  appropriations 
made  by  the  last  Legislature  to  be  expended  in  1874  and 
1875.  These  appropriations  had  been  drawn  upon  with  care, 
but  were  now  reduced  to  the  point  where  only  enough  was 
left  for  the  preparation  of  the  work  for  publication,  and  the 
making  of  the  necessary  lithographic  and  stereotype  plates. 
Since  the  close  of  the  work  about  Cumberland  Gap,  in 
September,  1875,  M^-  Crandall  has  completed  his  work  in 
the  Menifee  district,  and  made  a  careful  study  of  the  region 
about  Warfield,  on  Tug  Fork  of  the  Chatterawha  or  Big  San- 
dy; Mr.  Moore  has  completed  his  work  in  the  Red  River 
iron  district;  Mr.  Norwood  returned  to  the  western  part  of 
the  State,  where  he  was  busied  in  the  survey  of  the  Breck- 
inridge coal  district,  near  Cloverport,  and  in  the  completion 
of  some  other  work  on  the  coal  fields  of  Western  Kentucky; 
at  the  chemical  laboratory  Dr.  Peter  and  Mr.  Talbutt  have 
been  busied  with  the  analyses  connected  with  the  field  work ; 
Mr.  Schenk  closed  his  work  in  the  Menifee  district,  and  has 
been  occupied  with  the  office  work  of  his  map;  Mr.  John  R. 
Procter,  after  spending  the  month  of  September  with  me  in  a 
reconnoissance  frpm  Cumberland  Gap  to  Glasgow,  returned 
to  Lexington  to  take  up  the  work  of  preparing  the  diagrams 
and  maps  of  the  Survey  for  publication ;  Mr.  Lucien  Carr, 
volunteer  assistant  in  charge  of  the  researches  into  antiquities 
of  our  State,  has  been  occupied  in  the  arrangement  of  the 
large  collections  which  have  been  gathered,  and  in  the  prep- 
aration of  lists  of  the  various  evidences  of  extinct  races  which 
have  inhabited  our  territory.  The  Director  of  the  Survey 
has  been  engaged,  during  the  time  he  has  been  in  the  ser- 
vice of  the  State,  in  the  preparation  of  reports,  and  in  the 
general   supervision  of   the  Survey.     The  extreme  economy 

which  I   felt  it  necessary  to  exercise  in  the  expenditure  ol 
VOL.  III.-3  113 


74  HISTORY   OF    THE 

try.  As  soon  as  we  descend  into  the  limestone  the  country 
becomes  exceedingly  fertile,  and  from  ten  miles  or  more  south 
of  Monticello,  the  waterless  valley,  where  the  stream  flows 
in  the  caverned  rock,  bears  the  best  crops  of  corn  I  have  ever 
seen.  The  fertility  extends  only  as  high  as  the  middle  meas- 
ures of  the  Chester,  where  the  rock  comes  to  the  surface,  and 
the  growth  of  cedars  begins.  The  quantity  of  this  cedar  growth 
is  quite  surprising.  There  are  thousands  of  acres  of  it,  in 
the  aggregate,  giving  trees  of  very  large  size  for  this  kind  of 
wood.  Near  to  transportation, these  trees  would  have  a  con- 
siderable money  value.  The  valley  broadens  as  we  go  north 
until  it  is  more  than  a  mile  wide,  and  receives  other  valleys 
equally  fertile  but  waterless.  About  Monticello  the  coals  of 
the  lower  conglomerate  still  hold  their  place,  but  are  little 
worked.  The  details  of  their  character  are  well  given  in  the 
report  of  Mr.  Joseph  Leslie.* 

Where  the  streams  emerge  from  the  Jimestone  they  have 
the  admirable  qualities  which  belong  to  streams  gathered  in 
caverns:  they  are  clear,  cool,  and  of  very  uniform  volume. 
When  we  add  to  these  features  the  possession  of  high  rocky 
banks,  with  admirable  sites  for  dams  and  mills,  we  repre- 
sent their  admirable  mill  value.  About  two  miles  beyond 
Monticello,  Beaver  Creek  furnished  an  admirable  succession 
of  water-powers;  at  Rankin's  Mill  the  volume  is  about  seven 
million  gallons  per  diem,  falling  twenty  feet.  The  dam  could 
be  raised  to  forty  feet,  with  excellent  walls,  or  several  of  thirty 
feet  could  be  made  within  five  miles. 

An  old  ruined  blast  furnace  makes  a  very  picturesque  object 
on  the  bank  of  the  stream.  It  was  hard  to  find  anything  about 
its  origin.  From  all  I  could  gather,  I  conclude  that  it  was 
built  in  or  about  1815,  and  was  unfortunately  chilled  in  the 
first  blast,  and  never  used  again,  though  it  seems  to  have 
been  cut  out.  The  ore  sought  to  be  used  is  the  limestone 
top  ore,  which  has  given  the  admirable  iron  of  the  Red  River 
furnaces.  The  openings  where  the  few  tons  of  ore  which  lie 
in  the  little  stock  yard  were  taken  are  no  longer  known ;  but 

*  See  the  fourth  volume  of  Dr.  Owen*s  Survey. 
104 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  75 

this  ore  can  be  found  at  any  point  in  this  district,  and  in 
sufficient  quantities  to  repay  working,  if  exit  could  be  had  for 
furnace  products.  The  specimens  I  have  seen  were  of  high 
grade,  and  probably  running  over  forty-five  per  cent,  of  iron. 
Analyses  will  be  found  in  the  forthcoming  report  of  Dr.  Peter 
and  Mr.  Taibutt. 

From  Monticello  west  the  beds  do  not  seem  to  ascend  with 
anything  like  the  rapidity  with  which  they  rise  in  the  region  to 
the  eastward.  This  is  a  surprising  but  advantageous  feature, 
inasmuch  as  it  prolongs  the  extension  of  the  coals  to  the  west- 
ward fora  number  of  miles.  Moreover,  we  have  here  some 
very  high  ridges  in  Poplar  and  Short  Mountains.  These  hills 
are  not  really  uplifts,  though  they  have  this  appearance.  They 
are,  in  fact,  the  remains  of  a  great  extension  of  coal  which  has 
been  worn  down  to  a  lot  of  shreds  and  patches.  The  western- 
most of  these  is  a  noble  outlier  of  the  coal  field,  standing  like 
an  island  in  the  midst  of  the  limestone  rocks.  At  present  this 
is  extensively  mined  at  Cumberland  City,  the  coal  being  car- 
ried to  the  river  on  a  railway,  and  thence  to  Nashville  by 
boat.  The  coal  is  of  excellent  quality  and  of  fair  thickness. 
The  accompanying  section  gives  its  general  character  and 
relation  to  the  neighboring  beds  : 


76  HISTORY   OF    THE 

This  small  field  can  supply  no  long-continued  demand »  even 
at  the  present  moderate  rate  of  mining;  but  the  same  coal 
occurs  in  abundance  in  the  hills  around  Monticello,  so  that 
any  railway  looking  to  this  source  of  supply  would  soon  be 
able  to  strike  the  unbroken  field  on  the  east.  These  coals 
are  the  same  as  those  worked  near  Livingston,  and  have, 
doubtless,  the  same  good  qualities.  It  will,  like  that  at  Liv- 
ingston, be  found  moderately  well  fitted  for  gas  purposes,  and 
may  work  well  in  the  iron  furnace  without  coking.  For  anal- 
yses of  this  coal  see  the  last  report  of  Dr.  Peter  and  Mr. 
Talbutt. 

On  the  face  of  the  hill,  at  the  point  indicated  on  the  dia- 
gram, marly  beds,  identical  with  the  formation  termed  by  the 
Survey  the  Leitchfield  marls,  appear.  All  the  way  for  the  last 
twenty-five  miles  there  have  been  traces  of  these  marls,  but 
they  are  shown  here  with  great  distinctness.  These  marls 
are  of  no  little  scientific  interest,  and  are  also  very  important 
in  an  economic  point  of  view.  They  contain  a  notable  amount 
of  soda  and  potash :  some  free  and  ready  for  appropriation  by 
plants,  and  some  held  in  the  form  of  insoluble  silicates.     This 

will  be  a  great  store  for  the  agriculture  of  this  country  when 
it  becomes  sufficiently  advanced  to  profit  by  all  its  opportuni- 
ties. 

The  land  which  lies  on  the  limestone  is  not  only  of  very 
high  quality  but  is  easily  restored  when  worn.  There  are 
thousands  of  acres  in  this  and  the  neighboring  county,  which 
are  lying  waste,  having  been  worn  by  tobacco  culture :  if  they 
are  plowed  deeply,  and  treated  with  clover  or  buckwheat 
plowed  in,  they  could  be  quickly  restored.  I  am  told  that 
these  lands  are  easily  bought  for  three  or  four  dollars  per 
acre.  In  that  case,  they  are  among  the  cheapest  of  bur 
American  lands;  for,  at  the  expense  of  a  little  careful  cul- 
ture, they  can  be  restored  to  their  original  fertility.  Unlike 
soils  of  remote  derivation,  such  as  glacial  soils  and  river  bot- 
toms, the  worn  soils  of  Kentucky  have  beneath  them  beds 
which  contain  the  same  materials,  in  all  important  respects,  as 
the  beds  above,  which  once  were  fertile.    All  that  is  necessary 

io6 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  77 

IS  to  bring  up  some  of  this  underlying  matter,  mingle  it  with 
vegetable  materials,  and  allow  a  free  movement  of  air  and 
water  through  its  mass,  in  order  to  bring  it  again  to  more 
than  its  pristine  fertility.  On  this  point  I  can  speak,  not  only 
from  theory,  but  from  experience ;  and  I  regard  it  as  a  very 
important  feature  in  our  soils  that  this  ready  refertilization  can 
be  accomplished. 

At  this  point  I  must  refer  to  the  coal  oil  products,  which 
are  accessible  from  the  surface  in  this  region.  It  has  long 
been  known  that  coal  oil  was  to  be  had  in  this  district.  More 
than  forty  years  ago  a  missionary  preacher  of  this  region  found, 
in  his  wanderings,  a  spring  near  Burksville:  the  precise  point 
I  have  not  been  able  to  determine.  This  oil  he  bottled  and 
sold  in  large  quantities  in  Western  Kentucky  for  its  healing 
properties.  During  the  coal  oil  excitement  of  a  few  years 
ago  a  good  deal  of  boring  was  done  in  this  section ;  and  in 
one  of  the  reports  of  the  Survey,  for  which  materials  are  now 
being  gathered,  we  have  endeavored  to  trace  the  results  in 
detail.  It  is  no  great  misfortune  that  free  flowing  wells  of 
light  coal  oils  have  not  been  discovered  here.  The  sources 
of  production  of  this  material  are  so  numerous,  that,  even 
with  ample  means  of  transportation,  it  would  not  be  profit- 
able to  ship  it  to  a  market  at  present  prices  or  at  any  prices 
that  are  likely  to  prevail  for  many  years  to  come.  This 
section  is  far  more  fortunate  iii  the  possession  of  an  ample 
supply  of  the  heavy  or  lubricating  oils,  which  are  easily  ob- 
tained by  wells  sunk  deep  enough  to  penetrate  the  beds  of 
the  black  shale,  which  lie  about  two  hundred  feet  below  the 
base  of  the  sub-carboniferous  limestone.  This  black  shale, 
which  has  here  a  thickness  not  far  from  fifty  feet,  seems  to  be 
the  source  of  production  and  reservoir  of  this  oil.  It  is  not 
easy  to  account  for  the  great  quantity  of  the  t)il  found  at  this 
point,  and  the  comparative  paucity  at  other  points.  It  is  a  well 
known  fact,  however,  that,  wherever  this  black  shale  is  found 
south  of  the  Ohio,  it  is  richly  stored  with  this  heavy  or  lubri- 
eating  oil.  Before  the  discovery  of  the  flowing  wells  of  Penn- 
sylvania, these  shales  were  extensively  and  profitably  worked 

107 


78  HISTORY   OF    THE 

near  Vanceburg,  Kentucky,  for  the  oil,  which  was  obtained  by 
distilling  the  shale.  It  is  stated  that  the  yield  was  as  much  as 
fifteen  per  cent,  of  the  mass.  It  seems  likely,  from  all  I  have 
seen,  that  wherever  the  beds  occur  above  the  drainage  of 
the  country,  the  coal  oil  has  been  leached  out,  except  that  • 
which  is  clearly  combined  with  the  rock  in  an  insoluble  con- 
dition. This  insoluble  oil  can  only  be  extracted  by  distilla- 
tion. When,  however,  this  oil  has  been  kept  in  the  rock  by 
the  action  of  any  local  causes,  it  may  remain  so  full  of  oil 
that  it  will  flow  into  any  well  that  is  carried  down  into  the 
shale  beds. 

The  long  low  ridge  known  to  geologists  as  the  Cincinnati 
axis,  which  extends  from  north  of  that  city  to  south  of  Nash- 
ville, serves,  it  may  be,  to  confine  the  rocks  on  the  east,  so  that 
their  contents  are  not  free  to  escape.  Besides  this,  the  whole; 
or  nearly  the  whole,  of  the  black  shale  west  of  the  Cumber- 
land is  actually  below  the  drainage,  so  that  it  has  never  been 
freely  traversed  by  subterranean  water. 

Wherever  this  shale  has  been  penetrated  by  boring,  in  the 
district  east  of  the  Cumberland,  more  or  less  of  this  oil  has 
flowed  into  the  opening.  One  well  is  now  in  operation  on  the 
head  waters  of  Otter  Creek,  belonging  to  R.  L.  Carter,  Esq., 
of  Cumberland  City.  I  am  informed  by  him  that  as  much 
as  fifty  barrels  per  diem  have  been  pumped  from  this  well,  and 
that  it  shows  no  sign  of  diminishing  in  quantity.  The  only 
difficulty  in  the  way  of  obtaining  the  oil  arises  from  the  chok- 
ing of  the  well  by  paraffine.  There  is,  however,  a  very  con- 
siderable obstruction  to  the  extensive  working  of  these  wells 
in  the  difficulty  of  transportation.  The  oil  has  to  be  hauled 
in  wagons  about  twelve  miles  to  Cumberland  City,  sent  thence 
to  the  river  by  rail,  and  from  the  terminus  of  the  rail  again 
transhipped  to  boats  and  taken  to  Nashville.  The  roads  are 
very  bad,  the  river  untrustworthy,  only  affording  transporta- 
tion for  a  part  of  the  year,  so  the  cost  of  taking  the  oil  to 
Nashville  is  rather  over  two  dollars  per  barrel.  The  building 
of  a  railway  across  this  field  would  reduce  the  transportation 
to  Louisville  to  less  than  one  third  of  what  it  is  at  present. 

io8 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  79 

and  practically  add  five  cents  per  gallon  to  the  value  of  the 
raw  product.  The  importance  of  this  source  of  wealth  to 
the  interests  of  the  State  is  hard  to  overestimate.  The  con- 
sumption of  these  lubricating  oils  is  growing,  from  year  to 
year,  with  great  rapidity.  The  sources  of  supply  are  much 
more  limited  than  for  the  other  oils.  The  oil  from  the  Cum- 
berland district  is,  I  am  informed,  much  more  esteemed  than 
the  other  oils  in  the  market  for  use  in  high  latitudes,  where 
the  intensity  of  the  winter  cold  makes  it  necessary  to  exer- 
cise great  care  to  prevent  the  lubricating  materials  from  con- 
gealing. 

Although  there  may  be  local  differences  in  the  composition 
of  this  rock,  which  will  give  some  wells  the  advantage  of 
others,  there  seems  to  be  no  good  reason  to  doubt  that  a  very 
large  area  is  underlaid  by  the  beds  that  bear  the  oil,  and  that 
we  may  fairly  reckon  that  there  is  a  region  of  a  thousand  or 
more  square  miles  in  Clinton  and  Wayne  and  the  adjoining 
counties  which  bear  the  oil.  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that, 
from  this  point  all  the  way  to  Pine  Mountain,  the  same  con- 
ditions which  have  caused  the  great  richness  of  these  beds 
continue,  and  that  it  is  merely  a  question  of  depth  of  boring 
whether  the  oil  is  found  or  not;  but  at  the  western  face  of 
Pine  Mountain  it  would  be  necessary  to  penetrate  about  twen- 
ty-five hundred  feet  of  beds  before  coming  to  the  oil-bearing 
rock,  while  in  these  counties  the  greatest  depth  below  the 
drainage  will  not  much  exceed  seven  hundred  feet.  I  have 
assured  information  of  the  discovery  of  oil  of  this  grade  at 
Carter's  well,  on  Otter  Creek,  and  at  the  Phillips  well,  on 
Oil  Fork  of  Bear  Creek.  I  have  unconfirmed,  though  seem- 
ingly trustworthy  statements,  of  the  existence  of  similar  oil 
at  several  other  points  in  this  section,  which  would  give  a 
total  area  of  at  least  one  thousand  square  miles,  which  had 
been  in  a  fashion  explored  by  borings,  and  found  to  con- 
tain this  oil.  As  the  exploration  was  practically  limited  to 
the  area  where  lubricating  oil  was  obtained  in  most  of  the 
wells  that  went  deep  enough  to  tap  the  black  shale,  there 

seems  no  reason  to  limit  its  extension  to  this  rather  narrow 

109 


8o  HISTORY   OF    THE 

field.  I  am  inclined  to  recommend  a  search  for  it  at  all 
points  where  the  black  shale  is  below  the  drainage.  Meas- 
uring downwards  from  the  base  of  the  sub-carboniferous  lime- 
stone, it  will  be  safe  to  allow  a  distance  of  from  five  hundred 
feet  in  Northeastern  Kentucky  to  two  hundred  feet  in  this 
section,  before  expecting  to  reach  the  black  shale.  It  may 
always  be  known  by  its  black  color,  and  by  the  strong  smell 
of  coal  oil  it  gives  out.  The  boring  should  be  carried  quite 
through  the  shale,  which  ranges  from  about  one  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  thick  in  the  Ohio  River  section  to  about  fifty  feet,  or 
even  less,  near  the  Tennessee  line. 

It  may  not  be  out  of  place  to  call  attention  to  the  prospect- 
ive value  of  this  black  shale  as  a  source  of  future  power  to 
the  Commonwealth.  Its  area  in  Kentucky  is  probably  not 
less  than  eighteen  thousand  square  miles,  and  its  thickness 
may  safely  be  averaged  at  one  hundred  feet.  Assuming  that 
it  contains,  in  the  shape  of  free  and  combined  oil,  the  equiv- 
alent of  fifteen  per  cent,  of  its  mass,  we  see  that  it  is  equal 
to  eighteen  thousand  square  miles  of  oil  fifteen  feet  thick. 
Assuming  that,  volume  for  volume,  it  is  worth  the  same  for  fuel 
as  good  coal,  the  total  value  of  this  deposit  probably  much 
exceeds  that  of  a  coal  bed  of  the  same  thickness.  Measured 
by  the  present  price  of  the  oil  and  paraffine  it  produces,  this 
mass  of  shale  might  have  been  regarded  in  1855  ^^  overval- 
uing, by  many  times,  the  whole  coal  deposits  of  the  State. 
At  this  rate  of  yield,  there  would  be  four  million  gallons  to 
each  acre  of  surface,  and  two  thousand  four  hundred  million  to 
the  square  mile,  so  that  the  gross  product  to  the  square  mile 
would,  at  the  present  price  of  these  oils,  have  been  some- 
thing like  a  thousand  million  of  dollars.  The  finding  of  flow- 
ing wells  of  light  and  of  lubricating  oils  seemed  to  make  this 
source  of  wealth  that  had  dawned  on  the  State  sink  into  utter 
worthlessness.  I  doubt,  however,  whether  we  may  not  fairly 
look  forward  to  this  wonderful  deposit  of  organic  matter  as  a 
future  source  of  varied  and  important  chemical  products,  and 
of  immense   wealth- to  the   regions  underlaid  by  it.     There 

seems  no  room  to  doubt  that  the  available  areas  of  coal  oil 
no 


OPERATIONS   OF   THE   SURVEY.  8 1 

are  being  rapidly  drained  of  their  store,  while  the  consump- 
tion grows  apace.  The  natural  resort  will  then  be  to  these 
shales,  which,  even  allowing  that  only  one  tenth  of  the  esti- 
mated quantity  is  available,  will  still  be  of  far  greater  value 
than  all  the  other  known  resources  of  the  State. 

I  now  pass  to  another  branch  of  the  economic  work  of  the 
Survey,  which  touches  closely  on  the  scientific  matters  which 
are  to  be  taken  up  in  the  next  section.     I  refer  to  the  geodetic 
or  triangulation  work  of  the  State  which  is  now  in  course  of 
being  executed  under  the  direction  and  at  the  expense  of  the 
United  States  Coast  Survey.     In  the  preliminary  report  made 
to  the  Legislature  in  December,  1873,  I  indicated  the  impor- 
tance of  securing  the  co-operation  of  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment in  this  work  of  making  a  trigonometrical  survey  of 
the  State  as  a  basis  for  a  good  map  of  our  territory.     This 
action  was,  with  some  difficulty,  secured  through  the  energetic 
aid  of  Senator  Stevenson  and  the  Governor  of  Kentucky.     I 
should  say  that  the  State  of  Kentucky  had  done  much  to  bring 
this  system  of  Government  aid  to  State  surveys  into  operation 
by  a  strong  reference  thereto  in  the  annual  message  of  Gov- 
ernor Stevenson,  and  by  a  resolution  of  her  Legislature  look- 
ing to  the  same  object.     This  action  greatly  strengthened  the 
hands  of  Professor    Peirce,  the   late    Superintendent  of  the 
Coast  Survey,  who  was  then   seeking  the  consent  of  Con- 
gress to  this  wise  extension  of  the  work  of  the  Coast  Survey 
over  the  interior  States.     This  plan,  which  is  destined  in  time 
to  give  us  a  general  basis  for  all  the  map  work  of  the  country, 
was  extended  to  Kentucky  in  1875.     Assistant  W.  B.  Page 
was   transferred  to  the   Coast  Survey,  and   in    its  service   is 
employed,  for  five  months  each  year,  in  carrying  a  system  of 
triangulation  over  the   State,  beginning  in  the   Cumberland 
Mountains  near  Cumberland  Gap,  and  extending  westward  as 
far  as  the  Mississippi, in  time. 

During  the  season  of  1875  the  work  was  carried  as  far  west  as 
the  Rockcastle  river,  or  rather  the  preliminary  reconnoissance 
was  carried  to  that  point.  This  Survey  will  give  us  a  system 
of  lines  and  stations  over  the  whole  State,  every  one  of  which 


III 


I 


82  HISTORY   OF    THE 

will  be  determined  as  to  position  with  such  accuracy  that  we 
can  safely  say  that  it  is  not  more  than  three  feet  in  error,  or, 
in  other  words,  is  more  accurately  determined  than  we  can 
represent  it  on  any  map.  When  we  consider  that,  at  the 
present  time,  there  are  not  more  than  one  tenth  the  county 
seats  in  Kentucky,  the  true  position  of  which  have  been  deter- 
mined within  a  probable  error  of  two  to  five  miles,  we  can  see 
the  advantage  this  will  give  as  a  basis  for  the  map  of  the  State. 
So  important  is  this  form  of  work  that  no  country  now  ven- 
tures on  the  construction  of  a  map  without  first  laying  the 
foundation  for  it  in  this  form  of  work.  In  no  other  way  is  it 
possible  to  arrive  at  anything  like  accuracy  of  result  in  map 
making.  I  count  it  a  great  good  fortune  for  the  State  to  have 
secured  this  important  aid  in  the  study  of  her  territory.  To 
have  initiated  such  a  work  would  have  required  a  very  large 
expenditure  of  money,  more,  indeed,  than  I  should  have  been 
willing  to  have  expended  from  the  means  which  has  been  or 
is  likely  to  be  appropriated  by  the  State  for  the  Geological 
Survey. 

In  order  to  secure  the  continuance  of  this  goverment  work 
within  our  borders,  it  is  necessary,  by  the  terms  of  the  law, 
that  the  Geological  Survey  be  maintained.  With  a  view  to 
obtaining  all  the  immediate  results  that  could  be  had  from  this 
triangulation,  I  have,  with  the  consent  of  Capt.  Patterson, 
Superintendent  of  the  Coast  Survey,  joined  two  of  the  offi- 
cers of  the  Geological  Survey  to  his  party  of  triangulators : 
Mr.  Anthon  Lee  Jonas,  Aid  Kentucky  Survey,  is  charged 
with  making  a  rapid  reconnoissance  of  all  the  roads  and 
streams  traversed  by  the  geodetic  party.  This  will  enable  us  to 
give  a  great  deal  of  correction  to  the  general  map  of  the  State, 
and  to  amass  a  great  quantity  of  information  concerning  the 
possible  ways  for  roads,  rail  and  common,  the  available  sites 
for  mill-powers,  &c.  Mr.  C.  W.  Beckham,  Assistant  Ken- 
tucky Survey,  is  charged  with  the  study  of  the  timber  and 
soils,  for  which  work  he  has  had  special  training  during  the 
past  two  years.  These  gentlemen  are  also  charged  with  the 
work  of  determining  approximately  the  character  of  all  sec- 

iia 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  83 

tions  where  the  rocks  are  exposed,  so  that  -the  work  of  the 
geologist  may  be  much  reduced  when  the  final  geological 
work  is  begun. 

With  the  close  of  the  month  of  October  all  the  parties  of 
the  Survey  were  withdrawn  from  the  field.  This  was  done 
because  of  the  approaching  exhaustion  of  the  appropriations 
made  by  the  last  Legislature  to  be  expended  in  1874  and 
1875.  These  appropriations  had  been  drawn  upon  with  care, 
but  were  now  reduced  to  the  point  where  only  enough  was 
left  for  the  preparation  of  the  work  for  publication,  and  the 
making  of  the  necessary  lithographic  and  stereotype  plates. 
Since  the  close  of  the  work  about  Cumberland  Gap,  in 
September,  1875,  Mr.  Crandall  has  completed  his  work  in 
the  Menifee  district,  and  made  a  careful  study  of  the  region 
about  Warfield,  on  Tug  Fork  of  the  Chatterawha  or  Big  San- 
dy; Mr.  Moore  has  completed  his  work  in  the  Red  River 
iron  district;  Mr.  Norwood  returned  to  the  western  part  of 
the  State,  where  he  was  busied  in  the  survey  of  the  Breck- 
inridge coal  district,  near  Cloverport,  and  in  the  completion 
of  some  other  work  on  the  coal  fields  of  Western  Kentucky; 
at  the  chemical  laboratory  Dr.  Peter  and  Mr.  Talbutt  have 
been  busied  with  the  analyses  connected  with  the  field  work ; 
Mr.  Schenk  closed  his  work  in  the  Menifee  district,  and  has 
been  occupied  with  the  office  work  of  his  map ;  Mr.  John  R. 
Procter,  after  spending  the  month  of  September  with  me  in  a 
reconnoissance  frpm  Cumberland  Gap  to  Glasgow,  returned 
to  Lexington  to  take  up  the  work  of  preparing  the  diagrams 
and  maps  of  the  Survey  for  publication;  Mr.  Lucien  Carr, 
volunteer  assistant  in  charge  of  the  researches  into  antiquities 
of  our  State,  has  been  occupied  in  the  arrangement  of  the 
large  collections  which  have  been  gathered,  and  in  the  prep- 
aration of  lists  of  the  various  evidences  of  extinct  races  which 
have  inhabited  our  territory.  The  Director  of  the  Survey 
has  been  engaged,  during  the  time  he  has  been  in  the  ser- 
vice of  the  State,  in  the  preparation  of  reports,  and  in  the 
general  supervision  of  the  Survey.  The  extreme  economy 
which  I   felt  it  necessary  to  exercise  in  the  expenditure  ot 

VOL.  III.-^  XXJ 


84  HISTORY   OF    THE 

the  money  intrusted  to  me  has  made  the  work  of  adminis- 
tration difficult  and  harassing  to  a  high  degree.  The  corres- 
pondence of  the  Survey  has  grown  to  very  large  proportions. 
It  requires  at  least  two  thousand  letters  per  annum  to  do 
what  is  imperatively  required  to  keep  the  inquiries  by  letter 
properly  answered.  Since  its  organization  the  Survey  has 
paid  nothing  for  office  rent,  its  work  rooms  having  been  gen- 
erously loaned  by  the  Kentucky  University.  Nothing  has 
been  paid  for  clerical  work.  Apart  from  small  aid  from  the 
other  officers  of  the  Survey,  I  have  done  it  myself,  or  it  has 
been  done  by  members  of  my  family.  By  such  means  it 
has  been  possible  to  reduce  the  expenses  of  administration, 
I  believe,  to  a  less  sum  than  they  have  ever  represented  in 
a  considerable  survey.  In  1874  and  1875  ^^e  Survey  has  had 
an  average  of  ten  salaried  officers  in  its  service.  (See  Ap- 
pendix.) 

Last,  but  by  no  means  least,  in  the  history  of  the  work  of 
the  Survey,  I  wish  to  recount  the  beginnings,  in  the  teaching 
of  natural  science,  which  have  been  made  by  its  officers,  at 
the  State  Agricultural  School.  Through  the  cooperation  of 
Regent  Bowman  and  President  Patterson,  it  has  been  possi- 
ble to  arrange  it  so  that  Mr.  Crandall  is  paid  by  the  Agricul- 
tural School  during  a  part  of  his  winter  absence  from  the  field, 
to  give  some  instruction  in  economic  science,  as  illustrated  by 
the  geology  of  Kentucky.  Mr.  Page  is  also  employed  to  give 
some  teaching  in  engineering,  with  special  reference  to  the 
various  work  which  is  necessary  in  the  present  state  of  Ken- 
tucky. If  the  Legislature  continues  the  work  I  shall  endeavor 
to  promote  the  extension  of  this  relation  between  the  officers 
of  the  Survey  and  the  State  Agricultural  College,  so  that  the 
youth  of  our  State  may  learn  from  the  men  who  have  been 
taught  by  the  facts  themselves  the  true  sources  of  wealth  in 
the  State.  To  do  this  effectually  there  should  be  built  at  the 
State  Agricultural  School  a  sufficient  building  to  furnish  lab- 
oratory room  and  a  place  to  exhibit  the  rapidly  growing  collec- 
tion, which  will  soon  come  to  represent  admirably  the  natural 
wealth  of  the  State,  and  give  a  basis  for  its  further  explora- 

"4 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  85 

tion.  In  connection  with  their  collections,  the  assistants  of  the 
Survey  might  well  be  required  to  give,  say,  each  one  month's 
time  to  lecturing  on  the  several  branches  of  the  science  in 
which  they  are  experts.  In  this  fashion  it  would  then  be 
easy,  while  it  is  now  impossible,  for  the  student  to  acquire 
information  as  to  the  resources  of  his  native  State. 

PLAN  FOR  THE  CONTINUATION  OF  THE  SURVEY. 

In  the  foregoing  pages  I  have  endeavored  to  give  what  was 
necessary  to  enable  the  reader  to  supplement  the  record  of 
the  operations  of  the  Survey  afforded  by  the  previous  volumes 
of  reports.  I  now  propose  to  submit  the  general  plan  for  the 
operations  of  the  Survey  as  far  as  they  can  be  determined  by 
the  experience  of  the  two  years  of  work  already  done.  For 
the  sake  of  clearness,  I  shall  speak  firstly  of  the  topograph- 
ical work,  secondly  of  the  geological  work,  thirdly  of  the 
chemical  work,  and  lastly  of  the  several  incidental  undertak- 
ings, which,  though  important,  cannot  be  classed  with  the  fore- 
going divisions. 

I  take  the  topographical  work  first  for  the  good  reason  that 
it  is  the  necessary  foundation  of  all  the  other  work ;  the  most 
difficult  and  the  most  costly  as  well.  The  goodness  and  final 
utility  of  a  survey  depends  more  upon  the  character  of  the 
topographical  work  than  upon  any  other  matter  connected 
only  with  its  operations. 

A  general  statement  only  of  the  resources  of  any  country 
can  be  given  without  a  good  map;  for,  with  a  good  map, 
accuracy  begins. 

Years  before  the  Geological  Survey  was  revived,  I  endeav- 
ored to  secure  the  basis  for  topographical  work  in  Kentucky 
and  our  other  States  by  urging  the  plan,  already  referred  to, 
of  having  the  Federal  Government  cover  the  State  with  a 
system  of  carefully  measured  lines.  When  the  Federal  Gov- 
ernment gave  its  consent  to  this  project  it  was  conditioned  on 
the  existence  of  a  geological  and  topographical  survey  in  the 
States  where  it  should  be  begun.  As  soon  as  the  Geological 
Survey  of  Kentucky  came  under  my  control,  the  Governor  of 

"5 


86  HISTORY   OF    THE 

the  State  made  formal  application  to  be  allowed  the  advan- 
tages of  the  system ;  but  the  small  amount  of  money  given  to 
the  Coast  Survey  for  this  purpose  had  already  been  appro- 
priated, and  it  was  necessary  to  await  the  action  of  the  next 
Congress.  The  result  was,  that  the  work  was  not  commenced 
in  Kentucky  until  the  season  of  1875.  Unfortunately,  the 
exigencies  of  the  work  of  the  Geological  Survey  demanded 
that  topographical  maps  should  be  begun  immediately  on  the 
organization  of  the  Survey. 

About  two  thousand  square  miles,  or  somewhere  near  one 
eighteenth  of  the.  State,  and  about  one  ninth  of  the  mineral 
districts,  have  been  well  mapped ;  but,  while  every  effort  has 
been  made  to  put  this  work  into  the  shape  necessary  to  have 
It  fit  into  the  triangulation  scheme  when  it  comes  to  comple- 
tion, I  have  constantly  been  conscious  that  the  work  has  been 
done  at  a  great  disadvantage,  and  that  it  was  a  very  great 
misfortune  that  the  map-making  could  not  be  suspended  until 
the  triangulation  had  been  fairly  begun,  then  introduced  in 
the  region  where  that  work  was  finished,  and  never  carried 
into  a  field  until  the  triangulation  had  preceded  it.  This 
triangulation  work  was  commenced  near  Cumberland  Gap, 
and  can  be  extended  so  as  to  cover  about  three  thousand 
square  miles  a  year.  The  work  first  done  will  consist  of  a 
strip,  say  about  thirty  miles  wide,  extended  directly  across  the 
State  on  the  most  practicable  line;  from  this  base  the  work 
will  be  continued  until  it  covers  the  whole  State  with  its  lines. 
Following  this*  work,*  the  topographers  can  fit  their  maps  on 
to  the  determined  lines  with  rapidity  and  certainty.  The 
maps  thus  made  would  serve  for  all  the  needs  of  the  country 
that  can  at  present  be  foreseen.  As  this  succession  of  work 
is  that  which  is  required  in  all  thoroughly  sound  topography,  I 
shall,  in  case  the  Survey  is  continued,  and  I  am  not  otherwise 
instructed  by  the  law,  accept  it  as  the  basis  on  which  to  con- 
duct the  work  while  it  remains  in  my  hands. 

The  geological  work  requires  the  topography  for  its  foun- 
dation, if  it  is  to  be  done  in  detail  and  with  the  best  eco- 
nomic  result.     While   he   is   without   an   accurate   map,  the 

ti6 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  87 

geologist  can  only  give  verbal  pictures  of  the  distribution 
of  rocks,  aided  by  diagrams  to  show  how  they  lie  with  refer- 
ence to  each  other ;  but  with  a  detailed  map — one  that  gives 
each  house  and  field  and  road — he  can  show  just  where  the 
underground  beds  are  to  be  found.  Therefore,  all  detailed 
geological  studies  should  be  done  with  the  accurate  map, 
which  it  is  our  aim  to  make,  already  in  hand.  Therefore,  it 
would. be  best  for  the  final  geological  study  to  have  it  follow 
ihe  topographical  work.  There  is  still  a  good  deal  of  work  in 
Kentucky  that  the  geologist  can  do,  and  by  doing,  greatly 
advance  the  interests  of  the  State ;  but  the  results  of  the 
accurate  measurements  and  close  study  of  facts,  that  form  the 
most  valuable  part  of  economic  geology,  cannot  be  laid  down 
without  first  having  a  map  in  hand — a  map  that  gives  the  area 
of  every  hill,  the  place  of  every  road,  house,  and  field,  which 
can  then  be  colored  to  show  the  limits  of  every  distinct  bed, 
and  illustrated  by  diagrams  showing  the  underground  lay  of 
the  beds,  and  accompanied  by  detailed  descriptions.  This  is 
the  end  to  be  sought,  and  to  be  effectually  attained,  the  several 
steps  must  be  taken  in  their  order:  First,  the  triangulation ; 
then  the  actual  map-making,  having  that  triangulation  for  a 
basis;  then  the  detailed  geological  work. 

It  will  be  noticed  that  in  the  preliminary  report  made  in  1873, 
and  republished  herewith,  there  is  a  sketch  of  a  plan  for  the 
conduct  of  the  Survey  as  proposed.  It  will  be  seen  that  the 
work  there  laid  out  was  limited  to  the  study  of  the  several  re- 
sources near  to  the  great  lines  of  communication,  and  a  general 
study  only  of  the  other  regions  not  found  by  existing  ways. 
This  work  has  been  approximately  done  in  the  fashion  pro- 
posed. All  the  completed  roads  which  traverse  mineral  districts 
have  been  studied,  and  it  only  remains  to  complete  the  study  of 
the  rivers  as  far  as  they  may  furnish  a  basis  for  the  development 
of  the  mineral  and  other  resources  of  the  State.  Considera- 
ble progress  has  been  made  in  the  work,  and  in  another  year 
it  could  be  substantially  completed.  But  every  step  of  this 
labor  has  shown  me  that  the  existing  transportation  routes  of 
Kentucky  are  utterly  inadequate  to  the  task  of  giving  access 

"7 


I 


88  HISTORY  OF    THE 

to  the  wealth  of  the  State,  and  that  the  Geological  Survey 
should  be  used  as  a  means  of  setting  forth  the  resources  of 
the  regions  yet  unpenetrated  by  railways,  so  that  capitalists 
may  be  induced  to  make  them  accessible  at  the  earliest  pos- 
sible time. 

On  the  eastern  side  of  Kentucky  there  is  a  barrier  cutting 
her  off  from  the  sea  and  barring  her  people  and  the  States  to 
the  westward  from  direct  access  to  the  wealth  that  comes  from 
direct  trade  with  the  world  beyond.  This  barrier  consists  of 
a  region  about  one  hundred  miles  across,  into  which  no  rail- 
way has  penetrated,  though  the  railways  on  either  side  come 
up  to  its  boundaries  at  several  points. 

Looking  at  an  ordinary  map,  we  would  suppose  that  this 
region  was  a  desert  and  impracticable  region,  promising  noth- 
ing and  defying  the  efforts  of  engineering  science,  so  difificult 
is  it  to  account  for  the  commercial  fatuity  that  leaves  it  un- 
traversed  by  great  highways.  But  when  we  penetrate  it,  we 
find  there  a  wilderness,  it  is  true,  in  parts  almost  untrodden, 
but,  withal,  a  fairly  fertile  soil  and  a  forest  timbering  unsur- 
passed in  America  for  its  variety  and  its  size.  In  place  of  impas- 
sable mountains,  we  find  a  region  through  which  a  railway  can 
be  carried  with  less  cost  than  over  an  equal  surface  of  our 
blue  grass  land ;  and,  more  important  than  all  the  rest,  the 
whole  of  this  region  contains  the  richest  combination  of  coal, 
iron,  salt,  and  oil  that  has  been  found  anywhere  in  the  world. 

Immigration,  if  immigration  can  be  had  in  the  right  shape, 
and  does  not  come  as  mere  importation  of  men,  is  undoubt- 
edly a  great  need  of  Kentucky;  but  this,  to  be  had  properly, 
should  come  naturally,  and  the  only  way  to  secure  this  is  to 
put  the  State  on  great  east  and  west  lines  of  transportation, 
so  that  it  will  no  longer  be  difificult  for  the  immigrant  to  find 
his  way  to  her  borders.  The  small  amount  of  foreign  immi- 
gration Kentucky  has  received  is  principally  scattered  along 
her  sole  east  and  west  way,  the  Ohio.  With  the  three  or  four 
east  and  west  lines  that  are  briefly  suggested  in  the  sequel, 
the  State  will  have  secured  great  east  and  west  highways 
through  her  borders,  which  will,  in  time,  do  for  her  what  the 

iiS 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY,  89 

great  northern  routes  have  done  for  the  region  north  of  the 
Ohio. 

So  far  from  being  a  barrier,  the  great  mineral  belt  of  Ken- 
tucky should  be  an  inducement  and  a  facility  for  the  passage 
of  railways.  The  industries  which  must  grow  up  along  their 
lines,  the  presence  of  rich  agricultural  regions  at  either  end 
of  a  narrow  and  not  over  difficult  mineral  district,  give  condi- 
tions which  are  in  a  high  degree  favorable  to  the  success  of 
railways.  I  believe  it  only  wants  the  careful  showing  of  the 
conditions,  which  will  be  given  by  a  good  detailed  geological 
map  and  the  accompanying  reports,  to  bring  capital  to  the 
construction. of  these  roads.  The  capital  that  would  be  in- 
vested in  the  construction  of  any  one  of  these  roads,  counting 
for  nothing  the  increase  they  give  to  the  value  of  land  and 
other  profits  to  the  State,  would,  from  its  proper  taxes,  carry 
the  proposed  Survey  to  its  completion  and  completely  publish 
all  its  records.* 

Accepting,  then,  this  basis  for  action,  the  question  arises, 
what  can  be  done  to  get  the  State  before  the  world  in  the 
most  rapid  and  satisfactory  fashion?  At  this  moment  there  is 
a  special  need  of  action.  The  approaching  exhibition  at  Phil- 
adelphia, in  1876,  is  sure  to  be  taken  by  all  foreign  States 
as  a  measure  of  the  resources  of  the  several  States  in  this 
country.  The  legislative  session  of  1 873-^4  appropriated 
the  sum  of  thirty-five  hundred  dollars  for  the  outfit  of  the 
Survey,  and  for  the  purchase  of  cases  and  other  expenses  at 
the  exhibitions  at  Louisville,  Cincinnati,  and  at  the  Centen- 
nial Exposition  in  Philadelphia  in  1876.  This  money  has 
been  nearly  all  expended  for  the  purposes  designated  in  the 
act.  The  collections  now  on  exhibition  at  the  Capital  are  a 
part  of  its  results.     If  it  is  still  determined  to   make  some 

*-~  ■-■---■■      -—  -  »  -  -      ■      ■    —  —        —  --■  ■  -  ■_ 

*At  this  moment  of  writing  I  have  a  letter  from  a  man  in  England,  one  of  the  many  letters 
that  constantly  come  to  nie  from  abroad,  seeking  to  get  just  such  detailed  information  as  to 
this  region  as  would  he  furnished  by  a  complete  Survey.  Capital  demands  such  pilotage, 
and  a  State  is  neglectful  of  its  chances  if  it  fails  to  give  it  in  as  speedy  and  thorough  a  fash- 
ion as  possible. 

119 


90  HISTORY   OF    THE 

exhibition  of  the  resources  of  the  State  at  Philadelphia,  it 
will  be  possible  to  double  the  amount  of  materials  now  in  the 
collection,  and  otherwise  to  add  a  great  deal  to  its  effective- 
ness. For  this  there  is  no  time  to  spare,  the  most  immedi- 
ate action  being  necessary  to  produce  satisfactory  results. 

In  view,  however,  of  the  great  importance  of  having  some- 
thing to  set  forth  the  character  of  the  State,  her  resources  of 
soil,  the  variety  and  beauty  of  her  surface,  I  have  framed  a 
plan  which  will,  I  trust,  commend  itself  to  the  Legislature  as 
likely  to  secure  an  effective  showing  of  the  State  with  the 
least  possible  expense. 

For  the  general  purpose  of  illustrating  the  character  of  the 
surface  of  the  State,  I  have  determined  to  do  all  that  the 
means  of  the  Survey  will  allow  to  make  careful  photographs, 
on  a  large  scale,  of  all  the  interesting  localities  within 
the  State,  and  in  this  fashion  make  a  record  of  a  great  deal 
of  matter  of  the  greatest  importance,  the  truthfulness  of  which 
cannot  be  doubted.  By  extending  this  work  so  as  to  include 
the  whole  of  the  resources  of  the  surface,  we  could  make  an 
extremely  effective  showing  of  the  State,  the  more  effective 
from  its  rarity.  I  would  have  these  photographs  taken  to 
the  number  of  a  thousand  or  more,  of  large  size,  and  in  the 
highest  style  of  the  art.  I  would  have  them  give,  not  only 
the  beautiful  scenery,  but  such  a  complete  picture  of  the  State 
that  every  feature  of  its  rivers,  caverns,  plains,  mountains, 
forests,  cultivated  fields,  cities,  and  towns  should  have  their 
place.  I  would  extend  it  still  further,  and  take  pictures  of  its 
famous  horses  and  cattle,  and  of  its  growing  crops,  so  that 
the  millions  who  attend  the  exhibition  might  be  attracted  by 
the  completeness  of  the  representation. 

On  a  large  map,  by  a  system  of  numbers,  the  places  where 
these  views  were  taken  could  be  designated  with  clearness. 
I  estimate  that  these  photographs  could  be  taken,  to  the  num- 
ber of  about  one  thousand,  during  the  time  that  is  to  elapse 
before  the  opening  of  the  Exposition.  These  pictures  would 
cover  the  walls  of  a  room  one  hundred  feet  long  and  fifty 

feet  wide,  and  would  form  the  most  effective  exhibition  that 
1 20 


OPERATIONS   OF  THE   SURVEY.  9 1 

could  possibly  be  made  of  the  State  in  the  exceedingly  short 
time  that  intervenes  between  the  meeting  of  the  Legislature 
and  the  opening  of  the  exhibition.  The  actual  cost  of  the 
making  of  these  photographs  will  not  exceed  five  thousand 
dollars  for  the  taking  of  the  negatives  and  the  printing  of 
the  necessary  number  of  copies.  The  expenses  of  exhibition 
would  have  to  be  added  to  this  sum.  I  cannot  imagine  any- 
thing more  profitable  to  the  State  than  this  photographic 
survey  of  its  territory.  Not  only  will  it  serve  the  immediate 
purpose  of  presenting  its  most  important  features  in  a  direct 
fashion  to  the  world  at  large,  but  for  many  purposes  of  a 
special  kind  it  will  prove  extremely  useful.  The  practical 
experience  of  the  western  railway  companies  has  shown 
that  the  immigrant  will  more  willingly  trust  to  the  evidence 
when  the  sun  is  the  witness  to  the  truth  of  the  statement  than 
to  any  verbal  accounts  that  can  be  given  him.  Give  him  a 
picture  of  our  soil,  of  its  natural  crop  of  forests  and  its  tillage 
crops,  and  we  furnish  the  best  possible  inducement  to  immi- 
gration. In  the  practical  execution  of  this  plan,  I  should  en- 
deavor to  secure  a  nearly  complete  panorama  of  our  rivers, 
and  then  the  character  of  the  surface,  as  near  as  possible,  by 
counties,  over  the  whole  State.  Our  caverns,  which  constitute 
the  most  remarkable  of  the  picturesque  features  of  our  State, 
should  be  shown  by  about  fifty  views.  The  timbering  of  our 
admirable  forests  should  be  shown  with  care  by  many  photo- 
graphs. The  scenery  in  the  mountain  districts  should  also 
receive  its  share  of  attention.  The  great  staples  of  our  agri- 
culture, the  woods  pastures,  the  crops  of  hemp,  corn,  tobacco, 
&c.,  should  not  be  forgotten.  In  a  word,  the  work  should 
constitute  a  complete  pictorial  guide  to  the  State.  With  the 
photographs,  and  used  as  a  commentary  on  them,  I  should 
have  prepared  a  general  description  of  the  geology  and  to- 
pography of  the  State,  so  that  the  separate  pictures  might 
thereby  be  united  into  a  consistent  whole. 

Returning  to  the  strictly  geological  work,  I  would  say,  that, 
in  its  continuation,  it  should,  as  it  has  done  in  the  past  two 
years,  keep  steadily  in  mind  the  economic  development  of  the 

121 


92  HISTORY   OF    THE 

State,  not  forgetting,  at  the  same  time,  the  great  scientific 
problems  which  are  bound  up  together  with  the  matters  of  a 
profitable  nature. 

The  following  subjects  are  now  under  investigation,  and  it 
is  proposed  to  make  them  the  subjects  of  other  special  reports 
in  the  fashion  indicated  in  the  three  volumes  of  the  new  series, 
which  are  now  published  or  in  the  press.  The  following  is  a 
general  sketch  of  these  proposed  reports: 

A  continuation  of  the  reports  on  the  economic  and  gen- 
eral geology  of  the  different  regions.  These  reports  will 
include  the  general  geology  and  coal  interests  of  each  section 
in  the  two  coal  fields ;  along  with  these,  a  series  of  reports 
concerning  the  iron  deposits  in  those  regions;  those  indus- 
tries which  connect  themselves  with  iron  are  sufficiently 
distinct  to  require  a  special  series  of  reports  for  their  repre- 
sentation. Owing  to  her  peculiarly  favorable  relations  to  fuel 
and  transportation,  Kentucky  has  a  great  deal  to  hope  from 
the  large  deposits  of  ore  found  within  her  borders;  and  all 
this  advantage  should  be  set  forth  with  care. 

Kentucky  has  already  a  considerable  industry  in  building 
stones;  Lewis,  Montgomery,  and  Barren  counties  especially 
furnishing  a  considerable  amount  of  such  materials.  I  have 
already  expressed  my  high  opinion  of  the  Bowling  Green 
marbles.  The  region  furnishing  them  should  be  very  care- 
fully studied  to  find  the  exact  distribution  of  these  beds. 
The  Kentucky  river  also  furnishes  a  series  of  stones  which 
deserve  to  rank  with  the  best  in  this  country.  The  investiga- 
tion of  these  stones,  according  to  modern  methods,  requires 
the  most  careful  system  of  tests  as  to  their  strength  under 
crushing  strains,  their  endurance  of  the  acids  which  get  into 
the  atmosphere  of  crowded  cities,  their  resistance  to  frost  and 
fire,  and  other  qualities.  Without  cost  to  the  Survey,  I  have 
succeeded  in  constructing  a  set  of  instruments  well  fitted  for 
this  particular  form  of  investigation. 

Some  progress  towards  a  report  on  the  building  stones  from 
a  dozen  or  more  counties  has  already  been  made,  and  I  hope 
for  the  publication  of  its  first  section  within  a  year.     I  attach 

122 


I 
f 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  93 

especial  importance  to  this  source  of  wealth,  inasmuch  as  the 
rocks  of  the  Mississippi  river  and  its  lower  tributaries,  which 
are  sure  to  be  the  seat  of  a  great  population,  do  not  afford 
good  building  stones,  and  our  State  furnishes  the  best  source 
of  supply  for  the  district. 

The  mineral  springs  of  the  State  have  been  for  many  years 
the  source  of  considerable  profit.  After  a  period  of  com- 
parative inattention  they  are  again  becoming  the  objects  of 
much  interest.  The  study  of  these  waters  should  be  car- 
ried to  completion.  These  researches,  in  the  present  state  of 
our  science,  require  a  good  deal  of  time  and  labor  from  the 
chemist.  The  Survey  should,  owing  to  the  large  amount  of 
work  during  Dr.  Owen's  administration,  be  able  to  carry  this 
work  to  completion  within  a  short  time.  I  hope  to  add  to  the 
general  interest  of  the  investigations  by  giving  a  special  chap- 
ter to  all  our  important  springs,  and  I  desire  to  show  the  char- 
acter of  their  surroundings  by  a  series  of  illustrations  by  means 
of  photographs,  maps,  &c. 

The  agricultural  interests  of  Kentucky  have  received,  as 
they  should,  -a  special  care  from  this  Survey,  as  well  as  from 
that  of  Dr.  Owen,  which  it  continues.  This  work  has  been 
divided  into  three  main  sections:  the  analyses  of  soils,  the 
analyses  of  materials  likely  to  furnish  good  fertilizers  to  sup- 
ply the  waste,  and  the  analyses  of  the  products  of  agricul- 
ture, with  a  view  to  the  determination  of  the  .nature  of  the 
waste  caused  by  each  crop. 

In  these  branches  of  work  Kentucky  has  done  more  for 

the  advance  of  scientific  agriculture  than  any  other  American 

State.     This  work,  scattered  as  it  is  through  six  volumes  of 

reports,  should   be  gathered   together  into  a  single  volume. 

Preparations   for    this  are    now   going  on.     Along   with    this 

work  should  go.  a  map,  for  which  a  large  part  of  the  data  are 

already  in  hand,  showing  the  agricultural  value  of  the  different 

regions,  their  several  crops,  the  rate  of  yield,  the  differences 

and  capacities  of  the   soils,  &c.,  &c.     This  would  altogether 

constitute  an  agricultural  geology  of  the  State,  and  do  much 

123 


94  HISTORY   OF    THE 

to  aid  in  the  settlement  of  the  unoccupied  lands  which  form 
so  large  a  part  of  its  area. 

It  will  be  seen  by  reference  to  Volume  I,  Part  I,  that  the 
Survey  has  devised  a  method  of  indicating  with  accuracy  the 
amount  of  timber  of  each  species  found  on  any  area  of  forest. 
These  forest  studies  should  be  extended  to  the  whole  State 
as  rapidly  as  possible,  with  a  view  of  making  a  record  of  the 
timber  resources  of  the  Commonwealth  which  should  have  a 
great  effect  in  attracting  those  manufactories  which  depend,  in 
any  degree,  on  the  use  of  wood.  These  several  reports  should 
in  the  end  be  united  in  a  general  report  on  the  forests  of 
the  State.  To  give  this  completeness,  I  am  compelled  to 
advise  a  series  of  studies  on  the  physical  influences  of  our 
forests.  I  have  already  called  attention  to  the  peculiar  im- 
portance of  forests  in  containing  and  holding  back  the  rains 
which,  discharged  suddenly  into  our  streams,  would  sweep 
their  valleys  with  devastating  force.  The  water  storage  value 
of  forests  has  been  but  little  studied,  and  no  investigations 
whatever  have  been  made  upon  it  in  this  country.  To  enable 
the  Commonwealth  to  act  intelligently  on  its  own  plans  of 
internal  navigation,  and  to  solicit  the  aid  of  the  General  Gov- 
ernment in  the  avoidance  of  floods,  I  would  advise  a  careful 
study  of  this  problem.  It  will  cost  but  little,  and  will  be  a 
creditable  and  profitable  thing  for  the  State  to  do. 

The  topographical  work  should,  among  other  things,  be 
directed  with  a  view  to  determining  the  value  of  our  streams 
as  means  of  securing  good  water-powers,  and  as  channels 
which  may  be  improved  by  slack-water  navigation.  Incident- 
ally, the  matter  of  storage  reservoirs  for  the  retention  of 
water  should  be  examined,  as  it  is  important,  on  many  ac- 
counts, that  this  information  should  be  accurately  gained.  I 
have  already  referred  to  the  question  of  avoiding  floods  in  the 
districts  liable  to  overflow  along  the  lower  Ohio  and  Missis- 
sippi rivers.  This  should,  be  completely  inquired  into  by  the 
Survey  at  the  earliest  convenient  time. 

In  pursuing  the  topographical  work,  I  have  caused  meridian 

lines  to  be  accurately  determined  by  astronomical  observations, 
124 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  95 

and  indicated  in  a  permanent  manner  at  certain  county  towns, 
with  a  view  to  giving  an  accurate  basis  for  local  surveys.  This 
work  should  be  extended  until  each  county  town  has  such  a 
determination,  carefully  marked  by  permanent  stones  fixed  in 
its  court-house  yard.  The  need  of  this  as  a  basis  for  land 
survey  has  been  long  and  greatly  felt  within  the  State.  This 
work  was  done  in  the  State  of  Ohio  by  a  special  survey;  it  can 
be  done  in  this  State,  in  the  course  of  the  work  of  the  Geo- 
logical Survey,  without  any  material  addition  to  its  expenses. 

With  reference  to  the  matter  of  fisheries,  I  may  say,  that, 
Fvhile  willing  to  do  all  in  its  power,  the  Survey  cannot  give  any 
great  aid  unless  the  Legislature  makes  an  especial  appropria- 
tion for  the  improvement  of  the  rivers  by  stocking  them  with 
various  kinds  of  fish,  and  for  studying  in  detail  the  needs  of  the 
situation.  The  sum  of  twenty-five  hundred  dollars  per  annum 
would  enable  me  to  command  the  services  of  an  expert  for 
several  months  of  each  year,  and  to  make  the  expenditures  nec- 
essary for  more  important  experiments  in  this  work.  It  is,  in 
my  opinion,  better  to  extend  the  expenditure  over  a  number 
of  years,  pursuing  a  policy  of  caution,  rather  than  to  run  the 
risk  of  failure  in  any  large  experiments.  Unless  this  course 
is  taken,  I  deem  it  best  for  the  interests  of  the  State  not  to 
spend  any  part  of  the  resources  of  the  Survey  in  the  work,  for 
less  than  the  sum  mentioned  would  not  produce  any  valuable 
results,  and  would  seriously  hamper  the  work  of  the  Survey. 
I  have  already  expressed  my  sense  of  the  considerable  impor- 
tance of  this  work,  and  I  believe  that  the  State  would  profit 
largely  by  having  a  trained  and  scientific  ichthyologist  in 
charge  thereof. 

It  now  remains  for  me  to  speak  of  that  part  of  the  work  of 
the  Survey  which  connects  itself  with  the  scientific  advance 
of  the  age,  its  work  in  the  elucidation  of  the  various  prob- 
lems for  which  the  materials  are  found  within  this  State.  In 
the  preliminary  report  for  1873,  which  is  contained  in  this  vol- 
ume, it  will  be  seen  that  I  have  fully  expressed  my  convictions 
as  to  the  duty  of  our  Commonwealth  towards  science  and  the 

part  the  Survey  should  take  in  its  advancement.     While  hold- 

125 


96  HISTORY  OF    THE 

ing  that  the  first  duty  of  the  Survey  was  to  advance  the  eco- 
nomic interests  of  the  State,  I  have  also  held  it  equally  bound 
to  do  all  that  could  be  done  towards  the  advancement  of  those 
sciences  to  which  we  are  indebted  for  the  greatest  material 
gains  of  man.  So  far  I  have  kept  this  object  steadily  in  view, 
and  I  now  feel  that  the  Commonwealth  has  no  reason  to  be 
ashamed  of  the  share  which  it  has  taken  in  the  scientific  work 
of  the  day.  These  scientific  memoirs,  the  first  volume  of 
which  is,  in  good  part,  ready  for  printing,  have  cost  the  State 
but  little;  and,  with  the  same  generous  and  disinterested 
aid  of  my  fellow-workers  in  science  at  Harvard  University 
and  elsewhere,  I  hope  to  be  able  to  go  on  with  the  work,  and 
gradually  bring  all  the  important  problems  of  the  State  into  a 
full  and  careful  discussion.  The  work  now  planned  includes 
a  series  of  treatises  on  the  fossil  organisms  of  the  State ;  me- 
moirs on  its  caverns,  designed  to  illustrate  their  structure  and 
remarkable  features ;  memoirs  on  their  living  organisms,  &c. 
The  prehistoric  remains  of  the  country  will  receive  attention ; 
and  as  the  work  of  accumulating  the  evidences  as  to  their 
character  goes  on,  I  hope  to  see  other  memoirs  added  to  the 
interesting  paper  which  occupies  a  place  in  the  first  volume  of 
these  memoirs. 

Our  State  is,  as  I  have  often  had  occasion  to  remark,  the 
river  State  of  America — more  great  streams  lying  within  her 
boundaries  than  within  any  other  State  in  the  federation.  I 
therefore  hope  to  have  the  extremely  important  phenomena 
of  rivers  carefully  studied  in  our  streams.  The  laws  of  their 
movement  and  the  history  of  their  formation  connect  them- 
selves so  easily  with  the  great  questions  of  hydraulic  en- 
gineering that  these  researches  will  not  only  be  a  scientific 
but  a  most  practical  contribution  to  knowledge.  The  existing 
organic  life  in  the  State,  as  it  gives  us  a  clew  to  the  past  his- 
tory, as  well  as  bqing  an  index  to  the  physical  conditions  of 
the  State,  should  receive  the  attention  of  any  complete  survey. 
The  great  Survey  of  the  State  of  New  York,  though  begun 
more  than  a  generation   ago,  has  been  a  monument  to  the 

greatness  of  the  State  that  planned  and  executed  it.  It  was 
126 


OPERATIONS  OF  THE  SURVEY.  97 

well  worth  its  cost  in  the  name  and  place  it  gave  that  govern- 
ment. In  that  comprehensive  plan  all  the  natural  productions 
of  the  State  found  a  place — the  plants  and  animals,  recent 
and  fossil,  as  well  as  the  economic  geological  resources.  This 
zoological  study,  like  the  other  purely  scientific  work  of  the 
Survey,  could  count  on  the  aid  of  the  zealous  and  devoted 
students  of  nature  for  the  great  and  freely  rendered  services 
they  are  so  willing  to  give. 

Lastly,  the  climate  conditions  of  the  Stat^:  those  circum- 
stances of  heat,  of  moisture,  of  electric  and  other  conditions, 
and  their  seasonal  and  rigoral  distribution,  should  be  atten- 
tively investigated.  On  them,  more  than  on  any  other  condi- 
tions, depends  the  character  of  organic  life  in  all  the  scale, 
from  its  beginning  up  to  man.  As  these  results  are  only  to 
be  gained  by  averages  of  many  observations  extended  over  a 
great  length  of  time,  it  is  difficult  to  bring  them  within  the 
province  of  a  Survey  which  is  to  have  a  limited  life.  But  a 
beginning  at  least  should  be  made,  observations  should  be 
solicited  from  citizens  of  appropriate  opportunities  and  fitness, 
who  are  willing  to  contribute  something  to  the  study  of  the 
State.  These  observations  could  be  continued  after  the  work 
of  the  Survey  was  done  by  some  fitting  bureau ;  for  instance, 
a  bureau  of  statistics,  should  the  State  ever  meet  this  great 
need  by  creating  such  a  department. 

I  cannot  forbear  to  speak  of  the  importance,  in  a  thorough 
survey,  of  carefully  collecting  the  vital  statistics  of  the  State. 
In  the  higher  sense  of  geology,  this,  too,  connects  itself  with 
the  science,  though  it  should  be  sought  by  some  other  means 
than  such  an  organization  as  a  Geological  Survey :  a  statistical 
study  of  the  State  could  use  the  work  of  the  Geological  Sur- 
vey, and  incidentally  would  throw  great  light  upon  some  of  its 
most  important  questions.  I  believe  that  the  conditions  of 
soil  and  climate  found  here  are  peculiarly  fitted  for  the  best 
uses  of  man,  and  I  believe  that  a  system  of  vital  statistics, 
which  should  be  extended,  if  possible,  to  all  the  questions  that 
have  value  in  determining  the  vital  conditions  of  the  race,  will 

be  of  great  value  to  the  Commonwealth. 

127  t  128 


GEOLCKilCAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 

N.    S.    SHALER,    Director. 


NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS 


OF    THE 

KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY 

DURING  THE  YEARS  1873,  '874,-  AND  1875, 


BY  N.  S.  SHALER. 


Part    III.    Vol.    III.     Second    Series. 


VOL.  III.-9  129  *  130 


NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS  OF  THE  KEN 

TUCKY  SURVEY. 


INTRODUCTION. 

In  the  following  notes  the  general  scientific  work  of  the 
Survey  and  its  most  important  conclusions  will  be  briefly  dis 
cussed.  It  is  the  intention  of  the  collaborators  of  the  Survey 
to  bring  most  of  these  matters  under  more  extended  discus- 
sion, in  the  form  of  special  memoirs  or  reports.  They  are 
given  here  with  a  view  to  setting  forth  the  nature  and  progress 
of  the  work  under  consideration.  The  problems  connected 
with  the  geology  of  the  State  will  be  first  discussed,  and  then 
ihe  questions  of  a  more  general  nature. 

Owing  to  the  fact  that  the  whole  of  the  system  of  rocks 
found  in  Kentucky  lies  above  the  level  of  the  Potsdam  sand- 
stone, and  is  practically  limited  to  the  Paleozoic  series,  the 
problems  in  stratigraphical  geology  are  quite  limited  in  their 
range,  though  of  very  great  interest.  The  questions  of  a 
dynamical  character  are  more  numerous  and  connect  them- 
selves more  extensively  with  the  general  geologica^l  history 
of  the  continent.  The  Appalachian  system  of  dislocations  is 
represented  within  the  State  by  an  extensive  series  of  dis- 
turbances. The  erosion  phenomena  of  the  country  are  ex- 
tensive and  varied,  and  should  receive  close  study.  The 
question  of  the  origin  of  the  sediments  which  compose  the 
rocks  of  the  State  present  other  problems,  the  solution  of 
which  will  aid  in  the  understanding  of  many  of  the  questions 
concerning  the  past  history  of  this  continent. 

It  is,  however,  in  the  history  of  the  course  of  organic  life 
that  we  find  the  most  noteworthy  matters — those  which  give 
the  most  important  and  attractive  series  of  facts.  In  that 
history  we  have  recorded  the  course  of  events  from  the  time 
when  this  region  lay  at  the  bottom  of  an  exceedingly  deep  sea, 

i3» 


4  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS    OF 

through  successive  changes,  leading  to  greater  and  greater 
shallowing,  until  an  infirm  land  was  established  at  the  time  of 
the  coal — these  great  swamp  forests,  alternating  with  the  suc- 
cessive invasions  of  the  sea ;  after  that  a  vast  and  unrecorded 
time,  when  the  principal  events  happened  on  the  land,  and 
therefore  want  the  records  of  that  great  historian,  the  sea. 
The  changes  of  life  which  accompanied  these  changes  of 
physical  conditions  must  always  afford  great  problems  for  the 
student. 

In  the  following  pages  many  of  these  problems  will  be 
little  more  than  stated,  few  or  none  advanced  to  the  point 
where  they  can  be  regarded  as  having  had  their  last  word. 
Not  the  least  reason  for  their  statement  is  the  hope  that  it 
may  arouse  our  students  to  a  sense  of  their  importance : 

TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 

Chapter      I,  Original  extent  of  the  geological  f  )ini.iti(Mis  shown  in  Kentucky.     What  has 

been  lost  by  wastiiij^  acliiin.  Inherited  topography.  Evidences  of  long 
exposure  derived  {rum  foimaiions  to  the  south.  Evidence  of  the  same 
from  the  organic  life.  Caverns  piove  no  inteimtdiate  submersions  within 
geologic  dly  modern  times.  All  the  valleys  of  Kentucky  clear  of  recent 
beds.  Submersions  of  the  Mississippi  \'nlL'y,  as  shown  by  the  Hickman 
beds.  Relative  greater  steadiness  of  the  I  eds  in  the  centre  of  the  conti- 
nent.    Distribution  of  the  ancient  beds.     Age  of  the  Cincinnaii  axis. 

Chapter    II.  Geological  succession  of  the  Kentucky  series.     Interruptions  in  the  continuity. 

Evidences  of  great  changes.  Cambrian  series.  Silurian  series.  Devonian. 
Wonderful  character  of  the  Ohio  sh.ile;  its  persistency.  Waverly  ser^e^. 
Garb,  lime  coal  measures.  Tertiary  series.  Origin  of  the  sediment  of 
these  rocks  nearest  land.  Means  of  transj)ortation.  The  continental 
nuclei.  Ocean  currents.  The  origin  c-f  the  conglomerates.  Silcx  beds 
and  soda  beds  show  i;ranitic  oiigin.  Cincinnati  series,  with  its  alterations. 
Relation  t>{  ch  uiging  sediment  to  migration  of  life. 

Chapter  III.  Soil  period  of  Kentucky.  Probably  from  the  earliest  Gretaceous  times.  Ab- 
sence t>f  lecords  like  those  of  the  Mtttwaises  Terres  of  Nebraska,  due  to 
greater  erosion  and  absence  of  lakes.  Records  of  Bi^  Hone  and  Ohio 
licks.  GLicial  peiiod  of  Kentucky.  Caverns  and  caves.  Chan;;c  of  f  )r- 
ests.     Formation  of  soils.     Classification  of  soils.     Deciease  of  rain-f.ll. 

Chapter    IV.  Dynamical  geology  of  Kentucky.     Subterranean  forces.     Evidence  of  on^tant 

shrinkage  of  deep  lying  rei,'ions.     Cumberland    Mountains;  their   rel.ition 
to  the  App.ilachian  sy-tem.     Pine  Mountain  system.     Successive  elevation. 
Retteat  of  estaipments.      Pine  Mountain  of  tertiary  age.     Depressed  valleys 
along  Pine  Mountain.     CiassifK.ition  of  mountains. 
Cincinnati  axis:  its  successive  uplifts.     Abandonment  as  a  mountain  axis: 

its  cause. 
Earthquakes;  relation  to  internal  changes.     New  Madrid  earthquakes. 

13a 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  5 

CHAPTER  I. 

The  Kentucky  series  of  rocks,  as  has  already  been  stated, 
extend  from  about  the  top  of  the  Calciferous  series,  which  are 
the  lowest  rocks  exposed  above  the  drainage  of  the  country, 
up  to  and  including  the  lower  half  of  the  Carboniferous  series. 
In  the  western  part  of  the  State  there  is  a  great  covered  dis- 
trict, where  we  have  exposed  some  beds  of  a  Tertiary  deposit, 
belonging,  doubtless,  to  a  very  late  stage  in  the  earth's  his- 
tory, and  which  is  provisionally  classed  by  the  Survey  as  early 
Pliocene.  Between  this  carboniferous  section  and  the  clearly 
exposed  beds  along  the  Mississippi  river,  we  havQ  a  consid- 
erable interval  where  the  beds  are  mostly  concealed  beneath 
the  drainage.  In  this  area,  probably  at  no  great  depth,  we 
most  likely  have  several  other  deposits  of  earlier  Tertiary  and 
Cretaceous  age ;  below  these  the  Carboniferous  system  and  the 
refined  beds  extend,  doubtless,  across  the  whole  of  the  swamp 
region,  and  probably  within  a  few  thousand  feet,  possibly  within 
a  few  hundred  feet,  of  the  surface. 

The  continuity  of  the  Kentucky  series  was  unbroken  from 
the  time  of  its  commencement  to  the  close  of  the  Carbonifer- 
ous, and  probably  later,  by  any  change  so  momentous  as  to 
bring  the  condition  of  extensive  dry  land  within  its  borders. 
After  that  time  of  emergence  there  is  no  evidence  that  the 
sea  ever  came  to  occupy  a  large  part  of  the  State.  A  general 
consideration  of  the  geology  of  North  America  shows  us  that 
the  Kentucky  rocks  are  only  a  small  and  not  distinctly  limited 
fragment  of  a  series  of  formations  which  may  be  termed  the 
Mississippi  series,  though  they  were  mostly  formed  before 
that  valley  had  a  distinct  existence.  It  will,  therefore,  often 
be  necessary  to  pass  beyond  the  limits  of  the  State  in  order 
to  obtain  clews  to  that  which  may  be  hidden  within  its  limits. 

Looking  into  other  parts  of  the  Mississippi  Valley,  we  find 
that  there  have  been  extensive  deposits,  formed  at  various 
points,  which  are  of  a  date  much  later  than  that  of  the  car- 
boniferous limestones,  and  yet  older  than  the  clay  beds  of  the 
Hickman  series.     These  beds  of  the  Permian,  Triassic,  Cre- 

«33 


6  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

taceous,  and  early  Tertiary  age,  come  in  as  we  go  either  to 
the  westward,  where  they  all  are  found  covering  consider- 
able areas,  or  to  the  southward,  where  only  the  last  two  series 
appear  at  the  surface.  The  presence  of  these  deposits  within 
the  division  of  the  continent  to  which  Kentucky  belongs,  may 
fairly  entitle  us  to  ask  whether  they  had  been  deposited  here, 
and  afterwards  worn  away,  or  whether  they  were  never  laid 
down  over  this  region.  Tliis  point  has  never  been  carefully 
considered;  and  as  its  determination  is  a  matter  of  consid- 
erable importance,  we  will  have  to  discuss  it  in  some  detail. 

The  first  point  requiring  attention  is  the  fact  that  this  region 
is  being  worn  down  at  a  relatively  rapid  rate.  The  data  for 
fixing  the  precise  average  down-working  of  the  surface  have 
not  yet  been  determined,  but  a  study  of  the  facts  obtained  by 
the  researches  of  Humphreys  and  Abbot  for  the  Mississippi 
river  will  enable  us  to  approximate  to  a  satisfactory  conclusion. 
The  conclusions  based  thereon  are  to  the  effect  that  the  Mississip- 
pi discharges  from  its  mouth,  in  the  shape  of  dissolved  mud  and 
coarser  sediment,  pushed  along  by  the  current  on  the  bottom, 
matter  enough  to  form  a  stratum  one  foot  thick  over  the  whole 
surface  of  its  valley  in  about  seven  thousand  years.  To  this 
total  the  several  sections  of  the  valley  contribute  very  une- 
qually. The  rain-fall  of  the  several  regions  varies  greatly, 
and  the  region  occupied  by  Kentucky  has  at  present  far  more 
than  the  average  rain-fall.  The  data  for  a  very  accurate 
determination  of  these  points  do  not  yet  exist;  but  enough  is 
known  to  enable  us  to  say  that,  area  for  area,  the  Ohio  Valley 
yields  about  twice  as  much  sediment  as  the  Missouri  Valley ; 
so  that  one  foot  in  depth  in  about  three  thousand  five  hundred 
years  has  probably  been  about  the  rate  of  the  erosion  of  sur- 
face during  the  time  immediately  antecedent  to  the  present 
day. 

Nothing  in  the  physical  conditions  of  the  earth  is  so  variable 
as  the  rain-fall  in  particular  districts;  every  uplift  and  down- 
throw of  land  on  the  earth's  surface,  if  it  be  considerable, 
must  propagate  its  efforts  throughout  a  hemisphere ;  but  we 
may  with  safety  assume,  that,  ever  since  the  Rocky  Moun- 

»34 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  7 

tains  were  formed,  the  relative  rain-fall  of  the  two  regions  rep- 
resented by  the  drainage  basins  of  the  Ohio  and  Missouri 
has  been  about  the  same.  Whatever  would  tend  to  increase 
the  rain-fall  of  the  Missouri  district  would  probably  tend  to 
bring  up  that  of  the  Ohio.  There  is  nothing  in  the  way  of 
changes  in  the  past,  so  far  as  we  can  see,  which  could  have 
tended  to  lower  the  rate  of  rain-fall,  and  consequently  to  dimin- 
ish the  rate  of  erosion  in  the  Ohio  Valley;  on  the  contrary,  as 
I  shall  endeavor  to  show  in  the  fourth  chapter,  the  last  re- 
cognizable change  brought  diminished  rain-fall,  and  that  for 
a  period  of  many  thousand  years,  this  region  was  the  seat  of 
a  precipitation  far  more  active  than  at  present.  No  definite 
weight  can  well  be  given  to  this  fact ;  but  it  doubtless  serves 
to  show  that  the  estimate  of  erosion  given  above  is  probably 
not  excessive.  Assuming,  then,  that  each  million  years  will 
take  away  about  three  hundred  feet  from  the  surface  of  the 
country,  the  question  arises,  how  much  time  has  elapsed  since 
the  Carboniferous  period  was  completed — the  last  of  the  gen- 
eral formations  of  the  State.  The  science  of  geology  has 
never  attained  to  that  accuracy  which  will  enable  us  to  give 
definite  answers  to  such  questions;  but  certain  general  esti- 
mates have  been  made  which  probably  have  a  certain  value. 
Without  digressing  into  a  discussion  of  these  methods,  we 
may  say  that  those  geologists,  who  have  attentively  studied  the 
natural  records  of  the  earth's  surface,  would  all  agree  that 
the  Carboniferous  period  must  have  closed  at  a  time  certainly 
more  than  ten  million,  and  possibly  more  than  twenty  million, 
years  ago.  Without  attaching  too  much  value  to  these  esti- 
mates, we  see  that  something  over  three  thousand  feet  of  beds 
must  have  been  worn  away  from  the  surface  of  this  region 
since  they  were  uplifted  above  the  sea  level.  The  only  way 
in  which  this  conclusion  can  be  greatly  limited  is  by  the  time 
to  be  allowed  for  the  deposition  of  the  beds  which  have  been 
lost  by  erosion.  This  may  much  reduce  the  amount  of  the 
erosion ;  but  it  must  still  leave  it  probable  that  a  great  thick- 
ness has  first  been  deposited,  and  then  eroded  from  this  re- 
gion, since  the  Carboniferous  time. 

»3S 


8  NOTES  ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

Many  reasons  concur  to  make  us  believe  that  this  additional 
thickness  of  beds  was  on  the  whole  principally  of  Carboniferous 
and  Permian  ages.  These  reasons  are  substantially  as  follows  : 
The  greatest  single  movement  of  the  Appalachians  in  their 
uprising  was  at  the  close  of  the  Carboniferous  time.  Now, 
there  are  many  reasons  for  believing  that  this  extensive  flex- 
ing of  that  chain  was  accompanied  by  a  general  uplifting  of 
the  whole  continent,  or  at  least  that  broad  western  sloping 
table-land  which  lies  against  the  Appalachian  Mountain  sys- 
tem, and  is  in  effect  the  table-land  element  of  that  chain. 
Furthermore,  the  Mississippi  Valley,  at  least  its  central  sec- 
tion, seems  to  have  moved  tolerably  together  in  its  upheavals 
and  subsidences  since  the  beginning  of  the  sub-carboniferous 
limestone.  Moreover,  in  western  Pennsylvania,  we  have  a 
thousand  feet  or  more  of  beds,  which  lie  on  top  of  the  topmost 
part  of  the  Kentucky  section,  and  in  the  Missouri  Valley 
we  have  an  extensive  series  of  Permian  deposits,  which  may 
well  have  lain  on  top  of  all  we  have  in  Kentucky  and  Penn- 
sylvania. These  beds  may  well  represent  the  section  which 
has  vanished  in  Kentucky,  as  a  consequence  of  continued 
erosion.  It  is  possible  that  other  sets  of  rocks  may  have 
rested  on  the  top  of  these— the  uppermost  beds  of  the  Pale- 
ozoic series ;  but  I  think  it  quite  unlikely  that  this  part  of  the 
Mississippi  Valley  has  been  resubmerged,  and  the  seat  of 
marine  accumulations,  except  on  its  extreme  western  border, 
and  this  only  to  a  slight  extent. 

There  are  in  the  Southern  States,  about  the  Gulf  of  Mex- 
ico, vast  deposits  of  detrital  materials,  which  are  probably  the 
waste  from  the  upper  Paleozoic  rocks  and  underlying  forma- 
tions, of  the  exposed  parts  of  the  continent.  Owing  to  the 
peculiar  position  of  these  regions,  it  is  difficult  to  see  any 
otluM'  source  for  their  deposits  than  this  northward-lying  sec- 
tion of  the  North  American  continent.  These  beds,  in  their 
turn,  have  been  greatly  wasted ;  but  enough  of  their  mass 
remains  to  represent  some  hundreds  of  feet  in  thickness  of 

beds  over  the  whole  of  the  Mississippi  Valley. 
136 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  9 

There  are  some  peculiar  features  in  the  organic  life.  The 
gar-pikes  of  the  Mississippi  system  of  waters,  though  extend- 
ing, it  is  true,  eastward  to  Lake  Champlain,  may  be  regarded 
as  essentially  characteristic  of  this  river  system  of  the  central 
valley  of  the  continent.  This  form  is  fully  recognized  by  nat- 
uralists as  a  relict  of  an  earlier  assemblage  of  life,  which  was 
generally  extinguished  at  the  close  of  the  Paleozoic  time,  and 
has  only  survived  in  corners  of  the  earth  since  that  time.  If 
the  whole  of  the  water  system  it  inhabits  had  ever  been  sub- 
merged at  the  same  time,  it  is  reasonable  to  presume  that  this 
race  of  animals  would  have  been  exterminated.  It  is,  there- 
fore, fair  to  presume  that  there  never  could  have  been  con- 
ditions suited  to  the  formation  of  extensive  deposits,  covering 
the  whole  valley,  since  the  carboniferous  period,  or  thereabouts. 
There  is  another  piece  of  evidence  likewise  derived  from  the 
organic  life  of  our  rivers,  but  in  this  case  from  a  group  of  mol- 
lusks.  The  unionidae,  as  is  well  known,  have  a  very  extensive 
development  in  the  Mississippi  Valley,  especially  in.  its  Ohio 
waters.  The  diversity  of  species  in  this  section  much  exceeds 
that  which  we  have  in  any  other  region ;  indeed,  it  seems  likely 
that  there  are  more  species  to  be  found  in  these  waters  than 
could  be  found  in  all  the  other  waters  of  the  world.  The  only 
conclusion  to  which  we  can  come  is,  that  the  group  has  been 
freer  from  the  invasions  of  the  sea  in  this  region  than  in  any 
other,  and  that  here,  as  in  the  case  of  the  gar-pike,  the  neces- 
sary conclusion  is,  that  the  forms  have  been  from  a  very  ancient 
date  safe  from  the  invasions  of  the  sea ;  the)  great  lapse  of  time 
having  given  an  opportunity  for  great  increase  in  the  number 
and  the  variety  of  species.  Something  of  the  same  nature 
may  be  concluded  from  the  character  of  our  American  forests. 
Many  genera,  which  have  existed  in  Europe  during  the  Ter- 
tiary era,  have  died  out  there,  and  only  remain  in  existence 
on  this  continent.  This  is  notably  the  case  with  the  genera 
Liriodc?idro7i,  Liquidambar,  Nyssa,  &c. 

These  genera  are  now  peculiar  to  our  Mississippi  Valley 

and  other  neighboring  forests,  but  they  once  flourished  over 

central  Europe.     Invasions  of  water,  and  probably  also  of  ice, 

«37 


lO  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

have  served  to  extinguish  these  forms  there,  while  in  America 
they  have  withstood  the  dangers  of  time,  and  remain  little 
changed  over  a  great  period.  This  immutability  can  best  be 
explained  by  supposing  that  this  region  has  remained  in  great 
part  unsubmerged. 

The  caverned  regions  of  the  State  are  in  themselves  enough 
to  assure  us  that  there  has  been  no  great  submersion  of  the 
region  during  the  last  million  or  two  of  years.  Any  such 
submersion  would  be  necessarily  attended  by  very  great 
changes  in  these  wonderful  structures.  They  would  probably 
become  closed  to  a  great  extent  by  marine  d'eposits,  while  the 
superficial  marks,  which  would  be  made  by  a  short  occupation 
of  a  country  by  the  sea,  might  be  effaced  by  the  erosion  of  a 
million  of  years,  or  even  less.  The  cavern  record  ought  to 
last  a  good  deal  longer. 

While  denying  that  the  general  surface  of  Kentucky  has 
been  beneath  the  sea  since  the  Carboniferous  period,  we  are 
driven  to  acknowledge  that  the  western  section  along  the  Mis- 
sissippi has  been  so  far  depressed  that  it  has  been  able  to 
accumulate  beds,  having  a  thickness  of  at  least  three  hundred 
feet  above  the  level  of  the  river.  From  an  imperfect  examina- 
tion of  these  beds,  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  they  were  rather 
fluviatile  than  marine  in  their  character.  Yet,  I  am  disposed  to 
think  that  they  were  nearly  on  the  level  of  the  sea  at  the  time 
of  their  deposition.  It  must  also  be  noticed  that  inasmuch  as 
these  beds  wear  with  considerable  rapidity,  the  million  of  years 
which  must  have  elapsed  since  their  formation  may  have  been 
attended  by  a  loss  of  over  one  hundred  feet  in  height.  A  sea 
carried  over  the  country  to  the  height  of  one  hundred  feet 
above  the  bluff  at  Columbus  or  Hickman,  would  extend  over  the 
State  for  a  considerable  distance  to  the  eastward.  By  our  condi- 
tions, it  would  meet  a  higher  country  in  that  direction,  owing  to 
the  loss  which  has  taken  place  over  its  general  surface  during 
the  time  which  has  elapsed  since  the  close  of  this  subsidence. 
It  seems  likely  that  the  eastward  line  of  such  a  sea,  assuming  it 
to  have  been  created  by  a  general  and  not  a  local  subsidence, 

would  have  fallen  east  of  the  Tennessee  river;  and  that  along 
138  • 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  II 

the  Ohio  and  other  rivers  it  should  have  penetrated  some 
hundred  of  miles  further.  The  entire  and  well  established 
absence  in  these  basins  of  any  such  deposits  is  a  striking  and 
nearly  complete  evidence  of  their  local  nature. 

It  is  not  to  be  believed  that,  in  the  many  sheltered  nooks, 
where  they  could  have  been  preserved  by  favoring  conditions, 
they  have  all  been  lost,  while  in  the  very  line  of  the  Mississippi, 
exposed  to  repeated  assaults  of  one  of  the  most  destructive 
of  streams,  they  have  alone  survived.  It  is  easier  to  suppose 
some  local  and  peculiar  forms  of  elevation,  acting  at  this  point, 
than  to  suppose  the  total  destruction  of  all  the  other  fragments 
of  a  great  even  sheet,  except  these  detached  and  exposed 
masses.  There  must  have  been  a  considerable  area  of  this 
elevated  country,  but  it  could  hardly  have  had  the  extension 
which  we  would  naturally  have  expected  from  its  considerable 
altitude  and  its  general  character.  It  may  be  that  there  is 
some  connection  between  the  formation  of  a  rather  local  series 
of  elevations  in  this  district  and  the  occurrence  of  strong  dis- 
turbances, such  as  that  known  as  the  New  Madrid  earthquakes, 
in  18 II-* 1 3.  At  that  time  we  had  in  the  region  of  Reelfoot 
Lake,  as  we  shall  see  in  the  subsequent  chapter,  a  down-sink- 
ing of  a  great  district  to  the  amount  of  ten  feet  or  more.  An 
uprising  similar  in  its  origin  may  account  for  these  remarkable 
insular  masses  of  elevated  land. 

It  may  be  well  observed,  that  if  these  masses  had  been  part 
of  an  equal  level  plateau,  the  deposit  should  have  filled  up  a 
large  number  of  the  Green  river  caves,  and  would  have  barred 
the  northward  course  of  the  Tennessee  and  the  Cumberland 
rivers  by  filling  their  valleys.  As  it  is,  the  supposition  that 
these  Hickman  and  Columbus  ridges  are  part  of  an  ancient 
local  elevation,  would  enable  us  to  account  for  the  fact  that 
the  Cumberland  and  Tennessee  rivers  flow  so  far  to  the  north 
and  join  the  Ohio  rather  than  the  Mississippi,  towards  which 
the  general  direction  of  the  drainage  should  direct  them. 
Such  a  barrier  may  have  turned  river  courses  to  the  north- 
ward and  maintained  them  there  until  their  new  beds  had 
been  formed. 

X39 


12  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

The  next  question  as  to  the  prehistoric  changes  of  Ken- 
tucky is  concerning  the  original  horizontal  extension  of  the 
several  formations  found  within  the  State.  An  inspection  of 
the  accompanying  geological  map  will  make  it  plain  that  there 
are  at  present  two  distinct  areas  or  geological  basins,  as  they 
may  be  called,  which  lie  within  the  State :  one  of  these  is  the 
eastern  coal  field,  and  the  rocks  which  lie  below  it,  and  the 
other  the  western  coal  field  and  its  little-known  underlying 
rocks.  The  barrier  which  separates  these  fields  is  the  long 
low  ridge  sometimes  known  as  the  Cincinnati  axis,  but  which 
ranges  from  the  State  of  Alabama  on  the  south  to  central  or 
northern  Ohio  on  the  north.  This  axis  has  some  important 
features  which  throw  no  little  light  on  the  general  dynamics 
of  the  North  American  continent.  In  a  subsequent  chapter 
its  character  will  be  extensively  discussed ;  it  is  only  necessary 
for  us,  in  the  present  connection,  to  determine  when  it  was 
formed  and  to  what  extent  it  separates  the  region  on  the  west 
from  the  east.  The  diagrammatic  sections  in  this  report  will 
serve  to  show  its  general  relations  to  the  rocks  on  either  side. 
It  will  be  noticed  in  the  maps,  that  the  several  formations  of 
the  State  show  escarpment  faces  turned  towards  this  central 
ridge,  and  the  student  in  the  field  will  readily  perceive  that 
these  erosion  faces  are  steadily  retreating  from  the  central 
part  of  this  ridge.  He  will  also  perceive  that  the  ridge  itself 
has  certain  peculiarities  which  separate  it  from  all  ordinary 
mountain  ridges.  It  is  singularly  wide,  being  at  least  fifty 
miles  across,  and  very  low,  not  rising  more  than  three  to  four 
hundred  feet  above  the  general  plain  of  the  Ohio  valley. 

A  careful  study  of  this  ridge  has  convinced  me  that  it  was 
begun  at  a  very  early  day.  The  beds  exposed  at  the  level  of 
the  Ohio  opposite  Cincinnati  show  a  good  many  pebbles  of 
limestone  rock  imbedded  in  the  limestone  and  shale.  At  the 
same  point,  and  in  the  overlying  rocks,  for  one  hundred  feet 
or  more  of  height,  the  beds  show  occasional  layers  of  broken 
shells  packed  together  as  by  strong  currents.  This  is  espec- 
ially noticeable  in  the  beds  containing  Strophomemx  alteriiata 

which  occur  throughout  this  section.     These  facts  point  to 
140 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  I3 

the  conclusion  that  these  beds  were  formed  in  shallow  water, 
and  that  this  shallow  water  was  swept  by  strong  currents. 
Beneath  the  Cincinnati  Group  there  is  an  extensive  system  of 
sandstones  or  other  quartzose  rock.  This  is  shown  by  the  mat- 
ter brought  up  by  boring  made  near  Cincinnati,  which  I  exam- 
ined in  1868,  when,  from  the  depth  of  two  hundred  and  seventy 
feet  below  the  bed  of  the  Ohio  river,  the  auger  brought  up  a 
fine  silicious  rock,  seemingly  the  fragments  of  an  open-grained, 
sandstone.  From  this  rock,  and  from  the  beds  just  over  it, 
issue  a  great  number  of  saline  springs,  which  occur  all  along 
the  Cincinnati  axis.  There  is  no  other  way  of  explaining 
these  springs  save  by  supposing  that  they  are  flowing  from 
deposits  of  salt  laid  down  when  this  region  was  near  the  sur- 
face of  the  water,  so  that  great  salt  marshes  were  formed,  to 
which  the  sea  water  had  but  difficult  access,  so  that,  by 
evaporation,  quantities  of  salt  were  laid  down.  These  several 
facts — the  occurrence  of  salt  deposits  at  one  level,  pebbles  at  a 
point  some  hundred  feet  or  more  higher,  of  broken  shells  at 
yet  another  hundred  feet  up  in  the  section,  and  finally  of  salt 
deposits  again  in  the  blue-grass  limestone,  which  forms  the 
summit  of  the  Cincinnati  Group — gives  us  fair  reasons  to  con- 
ckide  that  this  series  of  deposits  was  formed  in  a  region  which 
was  balanced  near  the  top  of  the  ancient  seas.  On  the  other 
hand,  on  the  east,  in  the  region  now  occupied  by  the  head- 
waters of  the  Tennessee,  the  beds  deposited  at  this  time  were 
all  made  in  deep  water,  without  any  of  the  phenomena  which 
indicate  occasional  elevation  of  the  bottom  to  the  surface.  I 
have  not  personally  examined  the  equivalent  beds  in  Illinois, 
but  I  believe  from  the  descriptions  that  they  likewise  fail  to 
show  these  alternations  of  condition  which  indicate  shoal 
water.  Even  the  equivalent  beds  in  New  York,  although 
formed  near  a  shore  line,  fail  to  show  anything  like  as  much 
evidence  of  the  successive  uplift  into  land  conditions  of  that 
region  as  is  shown  about  the  Cincinnati  axis. 

Along  with  the  evidence  already  cited  to  show  the  ancient 
character  of  the  Cincinnati  uplift,  we  may  cite  the  extraordi- 
nary frequency  of  sandstone  beds  at  some  points  in  the  series, 


14  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

particularly  at  about  one  hundred  feet  below  the  top  of  the 
section.  This  shows  that  the  shore  line  probably  came  near 
to  this  region  a  number  of  times  when  the  bottom  did  not 
actually  arrive  at  the  surface. 

The  Cincinnati  series  in  this  section  is  closed  by  a  sand- 
stone, ranging  from  five  to  fifty  feet  in  thickness,  entirely  bar- 
ren of  organic  remains.  The  history  of  this  rock  is  not  easy 
of  determination,  but  it  is  peculiar  to  the  Cincinnati  axis,  and 
marks  one  of  those  sharp  transitions  which  are  so  prominent 
a  feature  in  this  section,  indicating  the  rapid  successions  of 
upheaval  and  subsidence  which  resulted  in  giving  us  a  broad 
irregular  mountain  fold  traversing  the  State. 

The  existence  of  recurring  upheavals  since  a  very  early  time 
makes  it  doubtful  when  this  axis  of  elevation  came  above  the 
sea  so  as  finally  to  interrupt  the  deposition  of  strata.  It  was 
at  first  assumed  by  geologists  that  the  beds  of  the  carbonifer- 
ous and  all  the  underlying  strata  down  to  the  base  were  laid 
down  continuously  over  the  whole  of  the  Cincinnati  arch. 
More  recently  it  has  been  announced,  with  almost  equal  want 
of  definite  proof,  that  the  elevation  has  existed  from  a  very 
ancient  time,  and  that  the  eastern  and  western  coal  basins 
were  deposited  in  areas  which  were  separated  by  high  and 
dry  land,  in  this  region.  In  both  these  conclusions  no  refer- 
ence has  been  made  to  the  erosion  rate  of  the  surface,  nor 
any  attempt  to  reconcile  the  conditions  of  this  action  with  the 
theories  on  which  they  rest. 

The  sections  given  in  this  volume  show  us  that  the  Cincin- 
nati Group  is  continuous  over  the  arch  at  points  where  the 
cutting  is  deepest.  They  further  show  that  the  upper  Silurian 
continues  over  a  large  part  of  the  area  in  a  more  or  less  frag- 
mentary way :  its  waste  is  found  on  the  tops  of  some  of  the 
highest  hills  as  detached  outliers.  Above  this  comes  a  very 
soft  formation,  the  Devonian  black  shale  or  Ohio  shale,  as  it 
will  be  called  in  these  reports.  The  absence  of  the  outliers 
of  the  Carboniferous  and  Waverly  series  is,  I  am  inclined 
to  think,  dependent  on  the  softness  of  this  bed,  and  the  rapid 

destruction  which  would  overtake  outliers  which  rested  upon 
142 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  1 5 

it.  This  accounts  for  the*  tolerably  continuous  front  of  the 
Carboniferous  series  in  northeastern  Kentucky,  where  this  bed 
is  thick,  and  the  increase  of  outliers  in  the  southern  section 
of  the  western  front  of  the  eastern  coal  field,  where  it  is 
thinner.  The  more  rapid  retreat  of  the  beds  away  from  the 
Cincinnati  end  of  the  axis  than  from  the  region  penetrated 
by  the  Cumberland  river  is,  in  part  at  least,  doubtlessly  due  to 
the  greater  thickness  of  this  formation  in  the  region  along  the 
Ohio  river,  and  the  consequent  more  rapid  wearing  back  of 
the  escarpment.  If  we  allow  that  one  hundred  and  forty  feet 
of  beds  wear  off  of  this  region  each  million  of  years,  then,  at 
that  distance  in  the  past,  we  had  the  whole  of  the  Niagara 
Group  stretching  across  the  arch  at  Lexington,  and  covering 
almost  the  whole  of  the  arch  throughout  its  extent  from  Cin- 
cinnati to  Nashville.  The  only  sections  which  would  have  been 
cut  deeper  would  have  been  the  stream  beds  themselves. 
Another  million  of  years  into  the  past  would  give  us  the* 
Ohio  or  black  shale  over  the  greater  part  of  this  area.  We 
would  probably  have  to  go  something  like  two  millions  of 
years  further  back  to  find  the  time  when  the  greater  part  of 
the  Waverly  series  still  rested  on  the  whole  of  the  summit 
of  the  Cincinnati  axis.  This  is  only  taking  the  average  rate 
of  wear  for  the  Mississippi  Valley.  We  have  seen  that  it  is 
more  probable  that  the  rate  for  the  Ohio  Valley  is  nearer 
three  hundred  feet  in  a  million  years.  On  this  basis  it  would 
only  be  necessary  to  restore  the  wear  which  has  taken  place 
during  the  last  two  million  of  years  to  return  to  the  Cincin- 
nati axis  all  the  beds  up  to  the  sub-carboniferous  limestone, 
over  the  region  where  now  the  surface  is  cut  down  to  the 
Cincinnati  Group.  The  same  method  of  determining  the 
changes  of  the  past'  would  lead  us  to  conclude  that,  between 
four  and  eight  million  years  ago,  the  surface  of  the  country 
over  the  Cincinnati  axis  lay  within  the  coal-bearing  rocks. 
There  are  only  two  conditions  which  could  essentially  invali- 
date this  reasoning.  There  may  have  been  other  beds  laid 
over  this  region  which  have  taken  the  brunt  of  the  wear, 
or  the  rate  of  erosion  has  been  on  the  average  less  rapid 


1 6  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

than  our  hypothesis  supposes.  The  first  of  these  objections 
seems  to  me  to  have  little  weight,  inasmuch  as  the  wide 
expanse  of  country  that  must  have  shared  this  deposit  has 
failed,  on  narrow  search,  to  reveal  the  slightest  trace  of  any 
such  beds  in  any  of  the  valleys  or  other  places  where  it 
might  have  been  sheltered  from  the  erosive  actions  which 
destroy  the  geological   records. 

This  absence  of  even  fragmentary  reniains  is  always  a  very 
decisive  circumstance,  tending  to  show  the  non-deposition  of 
any  particular  beds  in  any  given  district.  Such  non-conform- 
able beds  are  apt  to  last  longer  than  any  single  element  of  a 
series,  on  account  of  the  greater  variety  of  conditions  under 
which  they  have  been  deposited.  The  other  possibility  in  the 
way  of  the  general  conclusion  as  to  the  beds  which  have 
been  eroded  is,  that  the  rate  of  wear  may  not  have  been, 
on  the  average,  as  great  as  that  which  has  been  supposed 
in  our  computations.  To  this  it  may  be  said,  that  not  only 
is.  the  time  a  low  estimate,  but  it  may  also  be  fairly  con- 
cluded that,  during  a  large  part  of  the  past,  the  rate  of 
wear  was  materially  greater  than  at  present. 

Before  leaving  our  consideration  of  the  Cincinnati  axis  I 
desire  to  say  a  word  concerning  the  age  of  its  formation. 
We  have  already  seen  that  during  the  later  Cambrian  time  it 
was  in  a  state  of  constant  oscillation.  If  the  evidence  is  read 
aright  in  the  foregoing  pages,  these  oscillations  seem  to  have 
left  it,  at  the  time  of  the  last  deposits  of  the  Cincinnati  Group, 
still  well  depressed  beneath  the  water;  for  the  Cumberland 
sandstone,  which  lies  on  top  of  that  series,  is  never  niixed 
with  pebbles,  and  could  not  have  been  deposited  except  at 
sufficient  depth  to  have  secured  a  tolerable  uniformity  of  con- 
ditions. If  this  axis  had  furnished  shore  lines  during  any  part 
of  the  time  occupied  by  the  formation  of  the  succeeding  beds 
of  the  Silurian,  Devonian,  and  Carboniferous  periods,  we 
should  expect  to  find  some  indications  of  the  fact  in  the  ex- 
istence of  pebbles  derived  from  these  shores.  The  Devonian 
black  shale,  it  would  seem,  ought  to  show  a  certain  amount  of 
calcareous  material  in  those  portions  of  its  area  which  come 
144 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  1 7 

near  to  the  axis.  The  absence  of  such  deposits  may  possi- 
bly be  accounted  for  by  the  stillness  of  the  waters  in  which 
these  beds  of  the  Ohio  shale  were  laid  down;  but  in  the 
Waverly  series  of  rocks  we  have  a  great  thickness  of  de- 
posits composed  of  sand,  which  show  currents  strong  enough 
to  transport  materials  from  a  great  distance,  but  no  trace 
of  matter  which  could  have' come  from  the  Cincinnati  axis. 
Moreover,  if  it  had  supplied  large  quantities  of  detritus  it 
would  cause  all  the  beds  deposited  against  it  to  thicken  as 
they  approach  it.  No  such  indication  can  be  discerned. 
The  Carboniferous  Conglomerate,  on  the  contrary,  increases 
in  thickness  as  we  recede  from  the  Cincinnati  axis.  It  con- 
tains great  quantities  of  pebbles,  both  in  the  east  and  in 
the  west,  but  not  a  trace  has  yet  been  found  of  any  pebbles 
which  could  be  attributed  to  the  Cincinnati  axis.  The  moun- 
tain or  sub-carboniferous  limestone  passes  across  the  axis  in 
the  low  section  between  Nashville  and  Cincinnati,  making 
what  is  known  on  its  escarpment  as  Muldraugh's  Hill.  This 
part  of  the  field  must  have  been  quite  near  the  ancient  shores, 
if  there  were  any,  as  it  is  not  over  fifty  miles  from  the  highest 
point  on  the  Cincinnati  axis.  Yet  this  deposit  shows  here  the 
same  evidence  of  remoteness  from  shore  lines,  whence  detrital 
matters  could  come — the  same  evenness  of  texture  and  absence 
of  those  alternations  of  materials  which  always  mark  shallow 
water  beds. 

Along  the  Cumberland  River  section  the  inferior  measures 
of  the  coal  series  in  the  east  and  west  approach  so  closely  to 
each  other  that  it  is  said  to  be  possible,  in  very  clear  weather, 
to  see  across  from  one  section  to  the  other;  the  high  outliers 
of  the  Carboniferous  system  supplying  the  intermediate  links, 
so  that  the  actual  break  between  the  coal  fields  is  probably 
not  more  than  forty  miles.  The  replacement  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty  feet  of  beds  which  have  been  worn  away  would  prob- 
ably unite  the  coal  fields  of  the  east  and  west  by  making  the 
lowest  beds  of  coal,  which,  as  we  shall  see  in  another  chapter, 
come  in  the  upper  Chester,  series,  continuous  across  the  whole 

central  region  of  the  State.     It  is  impossible  to  resist  the  con- 
voL.  iii.-io  145 


1 8  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

viction  that  a  million  of  years  or  thereabouts  ago  this  sec- 
tion still  contained  a  continuous  sheet  of  coal  reaching  from 
Wayne  and  Clinton  counties  on  the  east,  across  to  Edmonson 
and  Hart  on  the  west. 

I  believe  that  the  uppermost  level  of  caves  which  remain 
open  in  this  region  were  formed  during  the  time  when  the 
hills  of  this  section  were  still  so  continuously  capped  with 
the  remains  of  the  coal  fields  that  there  could  have  been  no 
doubt  as  to  the  continuity  of  the  two  fields — the  eastern  or 
Appalachian,  and  the  western  or  Illinois  field.  This  original 
continuity  being  granted,  the  most  material  question  as  to  the 
relations  of  the  two  coal  fields  is  substantially  disposed  of. 
Going  north  or  south  of  this  line,  more  and  more  time  for 
the  erosion  becomes  necessary,  for  that  erosion  increases 
progressively,  until  at  Nashville  or  Cincinnati  we  require 
a  duration  which  is  probably  somewhere  between  four  and 
eight  million  of  years  for  the  completion  of  the  down  cut- 
ting from  the  true  coal  measures.  Although  the  discussion 
of  the  dynamic  geology  of  the  Cincinnati  axis  must  come 
in  the  fourth  chapter  of  this  report,  there  are  some  reasons 
why  we  must  prolong  the  consideration  of  it  here  until  we 
have  determined,  as  well  as  we  may,  the  time  of  its  forma- 
tion. Inasmuch  as  there  are  facts  going  to  show  that  there 
were  successive  upheavals  along  the  line  of  that  axis  at  a 
very  early  day,  viz:  in  the  time  of  the  Calciferous  Sand- 
stone and  the  succeeding  ages  up  to  the  upper  part  of 
Cambrian,  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  the  upheaving  action 
began  in  this  region  at  the  beginning  of  the  time  before 
mentioned.  But,  inasmuch  as  this  whole  region  seems  to 
have  been  depressed  beneath  the  sea  during  the  period  when 
at  least  one  thousand  feet  of  successive  beds  were  forming, 
it  is  difficult  to  escape  the  conclusion  that  this  elevation 
could  not  have  been  very  considerable,  and  must  have  either 
been  quite  effaced  or  have  been  borne  down  by  a  subsidence 
of  the  whole  continent,  so  that  it  made  no  obstacle  to  the 

uniform  deposition  of  beds. 
146 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  1 9 

It  IS  difficult  to  form  a  satisfactory  opinion  as  to  the  time  of 
the  last  elevation  of  the  Cincinnati  axis.  The  most  noticeable 
feature  is,  that,  while  the  Cincinnati  and  Nashville  sections  of 
it  are  geologically  three  to  four  hundred  feet  higher  than  the 
section  lying  between  Wayne  and  Hart  counties,  yet  these  two 
first  named  regions  are  cut  even  lower  than  the  section  lying 
between  them.  If  the  ridge  had  been  elevated  with  anything 
like  the  suddenness  that  has  characterizeld  the  upheaval  of 
many  mountain  ridges,  the  severgil  rivers  that  traverse  it  would 
have  shown  more  indications  of  disturbance  of  their  courses 
than  they  exhibit  at  present.  They  are,  however,  not  alto- 
gether wanting  in  deflections,  which  show  their  contact  with 
the  axis — the  northward  inclination  of  the  Ohio — all  the  way 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Chatterawah  or  Big  Sandy,  until  it 
makes  an  angle  on  the  summit  of  the  axis  at  Cincinnati.  The 
sudden  bends  in  the  Kentucky,  in  passing  through  Madison, 
Fayette,  Jessamine,  and  Garrard,  may  be  due  to  the  changes 
brought  about  by  the  elevation  of  this  axis.  That  of  the  Ken- 
tucky river  is  doubtlessly,  in  part,  due  to  the  Dix  river  fault  and 
the  associated  dislocations,  all  of  which  are  probably  due  to 
this  fold  of  the  Cincinnati  axis.  The  southward  bending  of 
the  Cumberland,  in  Pulaski  county,  is  more  distinctly  the  effect 
of  this  axis.  In  its  course,  this  stream  shows  something  of 
the  same  peculiarities  as  belong  to  the  Ohio :  they  both  turn 
away  from  the  general  trend  of  their  basins,  in  what  appears 
to  be  an  effort  to  avoid  the  central  region  of  the  axis,  and, 
after  passing  it  by,  return  at  once  to  their  normal  courses. 
While  feeling  much  doubt  about  the  conclusion,  I  am,  on  the 
whole,  inclined  to  think  that  this  axis  has  been  the  product 
of  a  number  of  successive  elevations  rather  than  a  single 
upheaval ;  and  I  am  furthermore  inclined  to  believe  that  the 
principal  part  of  this  uplifting  came  after  the  close  of  the 
Carboniferous  time. 

X47 


20  NOTES  ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

CHAPTER   11. 

In  this  chapter  I  shall  consider  the  succession  of  the  Ken- 
tucky series  of  rocks  from  their  lowest  to  their  highest  mem- 
bers. A  great  deal  remains  to  be  done  before  the  whole  of 
this  history  can  be  gathered,  but  its  general  outlines  are  toler- 
ably well  known.  While  much  that  will  be  given  in  the  sequel 
is  already  well  known  from  the  study  of  other  western  rocks, 
there  are  many  points  which  are  now  discussed  for  the  first 
time,  and  have  the  light  of  the  observations  of  the  present 
Kentucky  Survey  to  aid  us  in  our  understanding  of  them. 

Owing  to  the  comparatively  undisturbed  character  of  the 
Kentucky  rocks,  the  area  of  the  State  does  not  give  us  a  sin- 
gle point  where  we  can  see  deep  into  the  more  ancient  part 
of  the  section  of  the  stratified  rocks.  The  appended  diagram- 
matic section  will  show  how  small  a  part  of  the  beds  above 
the  rocks,  which  show  no  distinct  trace  of  having  been  laid 
down  from  water,  are  exhibited  within  our  limits.  It  will  be 
seen  that  not  more  than  one  tenth  of  the  total  section  lies 
exposed  in  Kentucky,  and  that  there  are  probably  some- 
thing like  forty  thousand  or  more  feet  of  rocks  deposited  in 
ancient  seas,  and  still  retaining  some  trace  of  their  stratified 
character,  that  lie  hid  beneath  the  surface  of  the  geologically 
lowest  regions  of  the  State.  In  making  this  ideal  section,  I 
have  taken  the  sections  as  given  in  Canada  and  in  the  East 
Tennessee  section.  In  both  of  these  regions  we  have  great 
depths  of  rock  exposed.  The  rocks  for  some  eight  thousand 
feet  below  the  surface  are  determined  from  the  East  Ten- 
nessee section.  Those  from  that  point  downwards  are  taken 
from  the  known  rocks  of  Canada  and  the  northern  part  of  the 
Appalachian  system.  It  should  be  understood  that  below  the 
level  marked  Potsdam  sandstone  the  section  is  quite  doubtful, 
although  it  expresses  the  best  known  probabilities  of  the  case  : 
above  that  level  the  East  Tennessee  rocks,  with  incidental  cor- 
roboration from  the  peculiar  elevation  described  by  Professor 
J.  M.  Safford,  at  Well's  river,  near  Clarksville,  Tennessee, 
afford  what  seem  to  me  tolerably  trustworthy  data  for  con- 
clusions concerning  the  underlying  beds  of  Kentucky. 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  21 

I  have  already  noticed  the  fact  that  the  well  bored  near 
Cincinnati  brought  up  a  silicious  shaly  sandstone  from  a  point 
about  two  hundred  feet  below  the  lowest  level  shown  in  that 
neighborhood.  This  corroborates  the  conclusion  that  this  East 
Tennessee  section  is,  in  a  general  way,  similar  to  that  at  Cin- 
cinnati, for,  beneath  the  Cincinnati  Group,  in  the  Powell  Val- 
ley, we  have  a  similar  silicious  shale,  known  in  Dr.  Safford*s 
report  as  the  Knox  shale.  It  should  be  noticed  that  the  East 
Tennessee  section  is  far  thicker  than  that  at  Cincinnati.  The 
six  hundred  and  fifty  or  seven  hundred  feet  of  the  Cincinnati 
Group  becomes  fifteen  hundred  feet  in  the  section  at  the  foot 
of  the  Cumberland  Mountains.  We  may  reasonably  antici- 
pate a  similar  thinning  of  the  beds  lying  still  lower  in  the 
section  in  Central  Kentucky. 

Leaving  the  doubtful  regions  lying  below  the  light  of  day, 
and  coming  to  the  beds  which  are  disclosed  in  the  natural  sec- 
tion, we  find  ourselves  in  some  doubt  as  to  the  point  where 
the  lowest  beds  are  to  be  found  within  the  State.  The  sec- 
tions at  Hickman  Landing,  on  the  Kentucky  river,  and  at  Cin- 
cinnati, both  offer  us  exposures  which  extend  to  low  points  in 
the  series.  By  a  comparison  of  the  sections  given  herewith, 
it  will  be  seen  that  the  bottom  beds  exposed  at  these  points 
vary  considerably. 

It  has  generally  been  assumed  that  the  beds  at  Cincinnati 
are  somewhat  lower  than  those  at  Lexington ;  but  I  am  inclined 
to  think  that  a  fair  judgment  on  this  matter  will  lead  us  to 
very  different  conclusions.  At  Cincinnati  the  beds  containing 
Isoteles  gigas  are  found  in  the  bed  of  the  river;  and  in  all 
my  study  of  these  rocks,  which  has  been  long  continued,  I 
have  not  found  a  single  specimen  of  this  form  above  the  level 
of  high  water  mark  at  this  point. 

Without  attaching  too  much  importance  to  the  indications 
from  a  single  species,  I  may  say  that  the  occurrence  of  this 
same  fossil  on  the  level  of  the  city  of  Lexington,  more  than 
three  hundred  feet  above  the  corresponding  height  at  Cincin- 
nati, has  made  me  doubt  the  truth  of  this  assumption  of  the 

higher  geological  position  of  the  former  place.     It  will  be  seen 

149 


2  2  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

that  the  series  at  Cincinnati,  beginning  with  the  argillaceous 
limestones,  containing  Isoteles  gigas^  is  continued  by  a  series 
of  beds  containing,  among  their  most  characteristic  fossils,  Tri- 
micleus  («.  sp.^y  &c.  Just  above  these,  and  during  the  time 
of  the  disappearance  of  the  genus  Trmucleus,  come  fragment- 
ary Calymene^  Orthis  tesiudinarta^  Plectambonites  sericea.  The 
higher  beds,  certain  parts  of  the  section  lying  within  one 
hundred  and  fifty  feet  of  the  Ohio  river,  at  Cincinnati,  con- 
tain an  abundance  of  ChceteteSy  but  always  of  the  lycoperdon 
type,  never  of  the  C.  petropolitana  variety.  At  about  two 
hundred  feet  above  the  river  Platystrophia  lynx  becomes  abun- 
dant, and  Strophomena  aliernaia,  which  has  been  represented 
by  rare  and  attenuated  forms — the  horizon  of  the  Isoteles  gigas 
— becomes  very  large  and  distinct.  In  the  Kentucky  River 
section  we  have  no  such  order  of  succession  of  species.  The 
beds,  as  will  be  seen  by  the  section,  begin  by  marine,  dove- 
colored,  and  whitish  marbles.  These  contain  no  organic  re- 
mains except  the  obscure  fossils  which  give  the  **  bird's-eye  " 
look  to  the  mass.  After  rising  through  a  series  of  these  we 
come  to  a  level  where  there  is  a  good  deal  of  shale  in  rather 
thin  partings.  Some  of  this  shown  at  Frankfort,  only  a  few 
feet  above  the  top  of  the  **  bird's-eye  *'  bed,  is  of  a  light  green 
color,  apparently  owing  its  hue  to  a  coloring  of  phosphate  of 
iron.  This  deposit  is  analyzed  in  Dr.  Peter's  report,  and 
might  have  some  economic  value  were  it  not  for  its  thinness. 
The  next  noticeable  feature  is  the  occurrence  of  a  bed 
quite  filled  with  several  species  of  Orthoceratites,  and  contain- 
ing some  specimens  of  a  species  of  Conularia,  neither  of  which 
have  I  ever  seen  at  Cincinnati.  In  no  part  of  this  section' 
have  I  ever  found  Isoteles  gigas,  or  the  Trinuclens  found  at  the 
Cincinnati  localities,  at  the  same  absolute  height  ;*  nor  in  as- 
cending higher  do  we  get  into  much  more  familiar  associations. 
The  next  step  upwards  brings  us  into  the  beds  especially 
characterized  by  the  Cheeletes  petropolitana.  Several  familiar 
fossils  occur  on  this  level,  but  they  are  forms  which  have  tol- 

*The  term  absolute  height  is  used  to  indicate  height  alx)ve  the  sea  level,  and  is  used  in  con- 
tradistinction to  relative  height,  or  height  above  a  certain  geological  level. 
ISO 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  23 

erably  wide  ranges,  and  they  have  enough  of  local  peculiari- 
ties to  enable  us  to  say  that  they  are  varieties  due  to  peculiar 
conditions.  As  we  ascend  to  the  top  of  the  bluff  at  Frankfort, 
we-  come,  near  the  top,  into  a  tolerably  familiar  assemblage 
of  fossils,  which  seems  on  the  whole  to  represent  the  level 
found  at  about  two  hundred  and  seventy-five  feet  above  the 
river  at  Cincinnati.  About  the  level  of  the  uppermost  point 
in  the  section  at  Frankfort  we  have  an  important  bed.  whence 
have  come  a  number  of  remarkable  fossil  sponges.  A  very 
curious  form,  shaped  like  a  candelabrum,  briefly  mentioned 
by  Dr.  Owen  under  the  name  of  Scyphia  digitatay  seems  to 
occur  in  this  bed,  though  the  several  specimens  which  have 
been  found  have  never  been  seen  by  a  naturalist  in  their 
original  position.  This  species  is  only  known  from  the  waters 
of  Benson  Creek,  near  Frankfort.  I  find  another  species  of 
remarkable  form  in  this  level  in  Henry  county  (found  on  the 
surface).  Near  Lexington,  in  what  seems  to  be  the  same 
geological  horizon,  another  species  occurs,  which  resembles 
nothing  else  so  much  as  a  fossil  artichoke.  This  form  is  very 
abundant  on  a  small  exposure,  not  exceeding  half  an  acre  in 
area;  bushels  of  weathered  specimens  could  be  gathered. 
No  such  sponge-bearing  level  exists  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Cincinnati. 

I  do  not  mean  to  discuss  at  the  present  time,  in  all  its  bear- 
ings, the  question  of  the  relation  between  the  Cincinnati  sec- 
tion and  that  at  Lexington ;  for  the  field  work  of  the  Geolog- 
ical Survey  cannot  be  said  to  have  begun  in  this  area.  I  only 
desire,  in  a  preliminary  way,  to  suggest  that  a  question  exists 
as  to  the  parallelism  of  these  sections,  and  that  it  is  an  impor- 
tant One  for  the  geology  of  this  district.  Either  of  two  con- 
clusions are  possible,  that  the  section  essentially  represents 
the  Cincinnati  Group  in  a  geological  sense,  having  been  de- 
posited at  the  same  time,  or  it  overlaps  it  on  one  side  or  the 
other,  lying,  in  whole  or  in  part,  above  or  below  it.  If  the 
first  supposition  be  true,  we  must  suppose  a  change  of  an  im- 
portant kind  in  almost  every  element  of  the  section  in  passing 
from  Cincinnati  to   Lexington.     The  other  supposition  may 


24  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

seem  much  easier,  but  we  shall  find  it  cannot  be  well  recon- 
ciled with  the  evidence.  Near  Mt.  Sterling,  rocks,  which 
seem  immediately  to  overlie  the  Isoteles  beds  at  Lexington, 
and  to  be  not  over  fifty  feet  above  them,  are  in  turn  overlaid 
by  the  beds  which  we  have  found  within  the  Cincinnati  series, 
and  which  are  termed  the  Cumberland  sandstone  in  these  re- 
ports. Dating  downwards  from  this  sandstone,  as  it  is  found 
near  Mount  Sterling,  we  must  consider  the  Lexington  beds 
as  the  equivalent  of  the  highest  beds  at  Cincinnati.  The 
only  doubt  is  as  to  the  existence  of  a  considerable  fault  be- 
tween Lexington  and  Mount  Sterling.  The  beds  seem  to 
have  no  very  strong  dip  in  passing  from  Lexington  to  Mount 
Sterling,  so  that  I  cannot  well  suppose  a  difference  of  ele- 
vation of  as  much  as  a  hundred  feet  between  the  two  lo- 
calities. A  careful  examination  has  failed  to  reveal  any  signs 
of  a  fault  between  the  two  points.  The  existence  of  a  con- 
siderable break  along  the  Kentucky  river  may  be  regarded 
as  giving  a  basis  of  suspicion  that  we  may  have  something  of 
this  kind  at  Lexington ;  but  there  is  no  good  reason  for  the 
supposition  that  there  may  be  a  dislocation  bringing  up  the 
Lexington  rocks  to  a  greater  height  than  they  would  other- 
wise'have  had.  The  work  of  making  detailed  sections  across 
this  field  in  several  directions,  which  this  Survey  now  has  in 
hand,  will  give  us  the  basis  for  an  accurate  determination  of 
these  points.  For  the  present,  it  will  be  best  to  assume  that 
there  is  a  tolerably  accurate  correspondence  of  level  between 
the  Kentucky  river  section,  near  Lexington,  and  the  section 
at  Cincinnati,  the  great  difference  in  physical  character  and  in 
fossil  contents  being  due  to  the  action  of  some  local  causes, 
the. nature  of  which  is  not  well  understood,  but  is  probably 
referable  to  difference  in  the  depth  of  the  sea  when  the  beds 
were  deposited.  On  this  supposition  we  will  have  to  allow 
that  the  Cincinnati  section  shows  far  more  alternations 
in  physical  conditions  than  the  section  at  the  Kentucky 
river. 

The  Cincinnati  section  gives  us  many  more  shales,  several 
distinct,  though  thin-bedded,  layers  of  sandstone,  which  are  not 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  25 

represented  at  Lexington,  though  some  few  sand  layers  occur 
there,  and  the  beds  of  broken  shells  which  do  not  occur  in  Cen- 
tral Kentucky.  On  the  other  hand,  Lexington  has  the  peculiar 
upper  level  of  Isoteles  gigas,  the  remarkable  sponge  bed  before 
described,  and  several  other  peculiarities  which  I  will  not  dis- 
cuss here.  There  is  also  an  important  mineralogical  differ- 
ence. The  upper  beds  at  Lexington  are  charged  with  saline 
materials,  and  give  rise  to  springs  clearly  resembling  in  gen- 
eral character  the  waters  which  rise  at  Big  Bone  Lick  from  a 
level  beneath  the  drainage  of  the  country.  This  is,  to  my 
mind,  a  suspicious  circumstance,  inasmuch  as  I  have  never 
seen  any  evidence  of  the  occurrence  of  these  rock  waters  in 
the  upper  levels  of  the  region  about  Cincinnati.  Moreover, 
the  Lexington  series  of  rocks  is  penetrated  in  various  direc- 
tions by  veins  of  sulphate  of  baryta,  containing  considerable 
quantities  of  galena.  This  galena  district  does  not  extend  as 
far  east  as  Mt.  Sterling,  but  lies  between  a  line  running  from 
near  the  middle  of  Clark  county,  thence  by  Georgetown  to 
Henry  county,  and  the  line  of  the  Kentucky  river.  Whether 
their  differences  be  due  to  faulting  or  local  peculiarities  of 
deposition,  these  two  regions  must  be  regarded  as  presenting 
problems  of  great  interest,  which  it  will  be  the  duty  of  the 
Survey  to  consider. 

Taking  the  Ohio  River  section  as  the  typical  section  for  the 
State,  and  leaving  the  Kentucky  River  district  out  of  consid- 
eration on  account  of  the  doubt  which  exists  concerning  its 
precise  position,  we  arrive  at  the  conclusion  that,  between  the 
lowest  level  above  the  drainage  and  the  Cumberland  sand- 
stone, which  closes  the  Cincinnati  series,  there  is  a  tolerably 
continuous  succession  of  life  from  the  lowest  point  seen  up  to 
the  top  of  the  series.  There  are  certain  changes,  however, 
and  I  have  as  yet  failed  to  see  a  single  species,  except  it 
may  be  a  Lingula^  which  continues  quite  unchanged  from  the 
bottom  to  the  top  of  the  series.  The  section  excavated  at 
the  bottom  of  the  channel  at  Cincinnati  seems  to  mark  the  top 
of  one  association,  determined,  it  may  be,  by  the  conditions 

which  made  a  very  argillaceous  limestone,  intermixed  with 

153 


26  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

blue  clay,  the  principal  element  in  the  series  above  these  beds 
at  the  level  of  the  ordinary  high  water.  Above  this  point 
we  have  a  series  of  massive  limestones,  very  encrinoidal  and 
remarkable  for  the  occurrence  of  a  species  of  Agelacrinites. 
Above  that  point  there  is  another  series  of  shales,  alternating 
with  limestones,  generally  with  their  layers  extending  up  to 
about  two  hundred  and  fifty  feet  above  high  water  mark.  At 
this  point  we  begin  to  have  a  series  of  arenaceous  layers  com- 
ing into  the  succession  of  limestones  and  shales,  and  the 
shales  lose,  to  a  certain  extent,  their  blue  color,  becoming 
whitish  or  clay-colored.* 

Whenever,  in  any  succession  of  beds,  a  series  of  limestone 
layer  is  followed  by  a  sandstone,  there  is^generally  a  consider- 
able change  in  the  organic  contents  of  the  beds,  and  where,  as 
is  often  the  case,  the  limestones  return  again,  the  interrupted 
succession  of  life  is  rarely  restored  in  its  original  shape. 
Most  of  these  beds  of  argillaceous  and  calcareous  sandstone, 
the  **silicious  mudstone*'  of  Dr.  Owen,  contain  some  fossils. 
These  are,  however,  generally  small,  and  are  found  in  no  great 
abundance.  Most  of  the  species  living  in  this  sea  when  the 
deposit  of  the  arenaceous  beds  began  were  apparently  driven 
away,  and  when  they  returned  at  all,  returned  with  much 
altered  shapes.  Neither  in  nor  above  this  level  have  I  found 
the  Trinucleus^  concentricus,  Isoteles  gigas,  or  Plectambonites 
sericea.  After  it  came  a  swarm  of  other  forms  new  to  the 
seas  of  this  basin.  The  history  of  the  details  of  this  change 
is  not  yet  prepared,  but  it  is  sufficient  for  our  purpose  of 
tracing  rapidly  the  physical  history  of  the  sediments  of  this 
basin  to  notice  the  occurrence  of  the  arenaceous  level  at  this 
point,  and  also  to  notice  that  it  makes  a  considerable  organic 
break  in  the  series.  I  am  satisfied  that  there  are  the  follow- 
ing distinct  organic  sections  in  the  Cincinnati  Group,  as  ex- 
posed at  Cincinnati. 

The  first  of  these  is  the  set  of  very  blue  argillaceous  lime- 
stones in  which  the  low-water  bed  of  the  river  lies,  and  which 

♦On  page  171  of  Dr.  Peter's  report  (vol.  i,  new  series)  will  be  found  an  analysis  of  some 
of  these  light-colored  or  sandy-colored  clays,  from  which  it  will  be  seen  that  they  are  in 
marked  contrast  to  the  blue  lower-lying  clays. 

«54 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  27 

extends  from  forty  or  more  feet  below  the  low-water  mark  to 
about  fifty  feet  above  that  level.  The  next  begins  at  about 
twenty  feet  below  high-water  mark  at  Ludlow,  Kentucky, 
opposite  the  western  end  of  Cincinnati,  and  extends  to  prob- 
ably ten  feet  above  that  line.  The  next  extends  to  the  base 
of  the  so-called  silicious  sandstone.  The  fourth  includes  this 
sandstone  series,  which,  with  its  intercalated  limestones,  is 
probably  rather  over  sixty  feet  thick.  The  fifth  includes  the 
beds  from  the  silicious  section  to  the  Cumberland  sandstone, 
which,  totally  interrupting  the  Cincinnati  series,  cannot  be  call- 
ed a  member  of  that  group.  These  five  sections  of  the  Cin- 
cinnati Group  are  hardly  to  be  called  well  determined  divisions, 
inasmuch  as  their  geographical  extension  has  not  yet  been 
ascertained.  They  seem,  however,  to  depend  on  features 
which  should  have  a  considerable  horizontal  extension.  I 
shall  therefore  designate  them  as  sections  A,  B,  C,  D,  and 
E,  of  the  Cincinnati  Group,  beginning  with  the  lower  division 
of  the  formation. 

Looking  closely  at  these  beds,  with  a  view  to  determining 
the  history  of  their  origin,  we  see  in  the  section  lettered  A 
sufficient  evidence  that  the  deposition  was  made  under  circum- 
stances which  limited  the  amount  of  matter  swept  from  the 
shores  to  pure  mud.  I  have  never  been  able  to  determine  an 
arenaceous  element  in  the  rocks  from  this  level.  The  fossil 
contents  also  seem  to  show  that  the  conditions  were  generally 
those  of  deep  water.  The  principal  fossils  are  tribolites,  the 
exuviae  of  which  much  abound  at  this  level.  It  is  not  easy 
to  see  which  was  the  principal  lime-forming  fossil;  but  I  am 
doubtful  if  any  of  the  recognized  fossils  could  have  furnished 
enough  to  make  the  cement  of  this  argillaceous  limestone. 
The  general  character  of  this  part  of  the  section  shows  us  that 
it  was  accumulated  slowly,  so  that  each  foot  of  thickness  may 
well  represent  many  centuries  of  time. 

The  next  section,  which  we  have  termed  B,  gives  us  a  suc- 
cession of  heavy  beds  of  limestone,  the  principal  fossils  being 
the  species  of  crinoids,  which  form  the  essentially  character- 
istic fossils  of  this  level.     The  same  absence  of  arenaceous 

155 


28  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

material  is  noticeable  here  as  in  the  beds  below.  But  there 
is  a  bed  wherein  we  have  a  considerable  number  of  pebble- 
like masses  of  an  argillaceous  material  lodged  among  the 
fossils  in  such  a  way  as  to  convince  me  that  they  cannot  well 
be  accounted  for  except  on  the  supposition  that  they  are  really 
pebbles  worn  from  some  neighboring  shore.  We  have  no 
reason  to  suppose  that  a  stone  formed  of  materials  similar  to 
the  underlying  rocks  of  this  district  would  have  furnished  any 
arenaceous  matter,  so  it  is  not  an  argument  against  the  hypoth- 
esis of  a  neighboring  shore  to  say  that  there  is  no  noticeable 
amount  of  sandy  matter  in  this  level.  This  section  must  be 
regarded  as  one  of  the  divisions  in  the  Cincinnati  Group, 
where  the  organic  life  was  most  abundantly  developed.  This 
development  took  place  in  a  sea  entirely  free  from  currents, 
and  continued  without  decided  change  through  a  period  during 
which  many  new  forms  of  life  unknown  to  the  lower  beds  were 
brought  into  this  sea.  I  am  much  inclined,  from  the  greater 
luxuriance  of  the  life,  the  fewer  tribolites,  as  well  as  the  evi- 
dences before  referred  to,  to  believe  this  was  a  period  of  com- 
paratively shallow  water. 

The  next  level,  which  is  peculiarly  that  of  Trinucleus  concen- 
tricuSy  is  ushered  in  by  evidences  of  a  return  to  deep  water 
again.  The  fine  clay,  which  closely  resembles  in  its  general 
character  the  mud  brought  up  by  deep  sea  soundings,  comes 
again  into  predominance.  The  rich  assemblage  of  life  fades 
away  for  a  time,  and  there  are  many  feet  of  beds  in  these  lay- 
ers, showing  an  exceedingly  slow  accumulation  of  matter. 
The  return  of  the  life  near  the  top  of  this  series  is  gradual, 
and  the  assemblage  different  from  that  seen  before.  Platy- 
strophia  (^Orthis)  lynx,  Orthis  testudiiiaria,  and  Pleclambonites 
(^Leptaena)  sericea  come  in  here  probably  for  the  first  time. 
All  the  forms  are  quite  small,  there  being  none  of  the  exuber- 
ant life  which  is  so  marked  a  feature  in  section  E. 

The  change  to  the  level  of  the  **silicious  mudstone"  of  Dr. 
Owen  is  sudden,  and  cannot  be  ascribed  to  any  other  cause 
save  the  assemblage  of  conditions  brought  by  shallow  water 
and  neighborhood  to  current-swept  shores.  Although  these 
156 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  29 

alternations  of  sandstones,  shales,  and  limestones  occupy 
nearly  a  hundred  feet  at  its  thickest,  we  cannot  regard  it  as 
representing  a  great  duration  of  time.  It  may  be  accepted 
as  a  general  truth,  to  which  exceptions,  if  any  occur,  are  rare, 
that  sandstones  are  always  more  rapidly  accumulated  than 
limestones,  and  that,  other  things  being  equal,  we  may  meas- 
ure the  rate  of  accumulation  of  any  section  by  the  amount  of 
arenaceous  matter  it  contains.  The  deep  sea  clays,  derived,  as 
they  seem  to  be,  from  the  decay  of  the  free-swimming  animals, 
must  accumulate  with  extreme  slowness.  Though  the  rate  of 
accumulation  is  unknown,  we  may  safely  suppose  that  an  inch 
probably  represents  the  accumulation  of  very  many  years. 
The  instant  that  geological  changes  bring  this  region 
of  sea  floor  into  a  position  where  the  sandy  deposits  can 
reach  it,  then  the  accumulation  goes  on  apace,  and  the  rate  of 
growth  may  be  hundreds  or  thousands  of  times  as  rapid  as  it 
was  during  the  deposition  of  the  fine  clay.  It  is  probably  to 
this  rapid  accumulation  that  we  owe  the  barrenness  of  life  so 
characteristic  of  most  sandstone  interruptions  in  the  sequence 
of  limestones.  The  moving  sands  smother  the  living  forms  of 
the  sea  precisely  as  the  wind-driven  sands  of  the  land  smother 
forests  when  they  happen  to  invade  them.  The  smaller,  more 
delicate,  and  slow-growing  forms  are  apparently  the  first  to  be 
extinguished  by  the  new  conditions.  The  larger  brachiopods 
and  other  shell-covered  animals  are  tolerably  well  guarded 
against  this  danger. 

At  certain  points  in  this  section  there  are  beds  which  are,  in 
some  regards,  like  the  fine  clay  of  the  lower  series,  but  differ- 
ing from  it  in  being  yellow  or  grey  in  place  of  blue,  and  in 
containing  a  distinct,  rather  coarse  grit.  They  also  differ  in 
chemical  composition.  This  mud  may  also  be  largely  of  or- 
ganic origin,  but  it  did  not  come  as  the  gentle  uniform  shower 
which  marks  the  earlier  deposits,  but  seems  to  have  accumu- 
lated rapidly.  Many  specimens  of  fossils  are  carried  with  it, 
after  the  fashion  of  recent  shells  in  regions  where  there  are 
great  movements  of  mud  from  the  action  of  the  tides.  Near 
the  top  of  this  section  we  have  one  strong  evidence  of  the 

157 


30  NOTES   ON   THE  INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

action  of  currents  in  the  quantities  of  shells  packed  together 
by  this  action.  We  can  in  a  fashion  measure  the  energy  of 
their  moyement  by  the  size  of  the  transported  fragments. 
None  of  the  movements  seem  to  have  been  able  to  stir  the 
large  specimens  of  Platystrophia  {Orthis)  lynx ;  but  the  shells 
of  Strophome7ia  alternata  are  often  pushed  along,  turned  on 
edge,  and  packed  together  just  as  I  have  seen  the  shells 
of  the  Pedens,  along  our  Atlantic  coast,  affected  by  the  tide 
currents.  The  shells  of  the  little  Alrypa  modesta  also  show 
the  same  evidences  of  current  action  by  being  heaped  together 
in  sheltered  nooks.  Careful  study  will  doubtless  show  the 
direction  whence  these  currents  came,  but  I  have  not  yet  been 
able  to  get  evidence  on  this  point.  The  beds  which  would 
exhibit  this  action  are  not  valuable  for  quarry  stones,  and  the 
fragments  which,  on  the  surface  of  the  plowed  fields,  tell  the 
general  story  as  I  have  interpreted  it,  do  not,  from  their  de- 
tached nature,  give  the  basis  for  ascertaining  the  direction 
of  the  currents.*  The  existence  of  sweeping  currents  may 
be  regarded  as  a  sufficient  evidence,  when  taken  in  connection 
with  the  quantity  of  sand  and  mud,  of  the  shallowness  of  the 
water  and  the  neighborhood  of  a  shore,  where  the  detrital 
matter  would  be  swept. 

The  next  division  of  the  section,  that  designated  here  as  E, 
gives  us  at  once  evidence  of  the  return  to  something  like  the 
earlier  conditions.  The  clay  element  of  the  rocks  is  again 
blue  and  free  from  much  grit.  The  evidences  of  currents  are 
no  longer  to  be  traced.  The  organic  life  which,  though  favored 
by  the  currents,  had  been  diminished  by  the  overflow  of  sand 
and  mud  swept  along  by  them,  begins  to  give  evidence  of  the 
most  luxurious  development.  In  this,  the  uppermost  section  of 
the  group,  the  fossils  which  have  been  continued  from  below,  as 
the  Strophomena  alternata  and  the  Platystrophia  (^Orthis)  lynx, 
are  represented  by  larger  varieties,  while  the  new  forms  intro- 
duced are  generally  of  much  larger  size  than  the  average  of 
similar  forms   below  this   level.      The  rock   is  principally  a 

*  The  extensive  grading  work  now  being  done  nt  Cincinnati  would  give  sufficient  oppor- 
tunities for  this  desirable  investigation.  I  beg  leave  to  commend  it  to  the  many  zealoui 
and  observant  naturalists  of  that  place. 

158 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  3 1 

limestone,  composed,  in  the  main,  of  the  remains  of  the  sev- 
eral species  of  brachiopods  and  of  corals  belonging  to  the 
several  varieties  of  Chatetes  lycoperdon.  It  is  frequently  in- 
terrupted by  thin  beds  of  blue  clay,  which  is  essentially  the 
same  as  that  which  is  found  in  the  lower-lying  beds.  The 
large  number  of  brachiopods  found  in  this  level  give  the  soils 
derived  from  its  rocks  the  peculiarly  fertile  character  which 
is  so  prominent  a  characteristic  of  them.  Certain  brachio- 
pods as  is  well  known,  generally  contain  a  considerable  quan- 
tity of  phosphate  of  lime,  so  that  the  fertility  of  new  soils 
may,  in  a  general  way,  be  determined  by  the  extent  to  which 
these  species  abound. 

The  section  we  have  designated  as  E  has  sufficient  hori- 
zontal extension  to  make  it  worthy  of  a  special  name,  and 
I  venture  to  designate  it  by  the  name  of  the  Kentucky  River 
limestone,  from  the  fact  that  it  is  found  well  developed  on 
the  waters  of  that  stream,  and  has  a  thickness,  varying  in  dif- 
ferent sections,  but  which  may  be  reasonably  estimated  at  about 
one  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet.  At  only  a  few  points  along 
the  border  of  the  field  have  I  been  able  to  get  any  basis  for 
estimation,  owing  to  the  fact  that  it  is  generally  only  a  part  of 
its  original  thickness  that  is  left. 

The  passage  into  the  sandstone  which  closes  the  series, 
here  designated  as  the  Cumberland  sandstone,  is  quite  sud- 
den ;  a-  few  feet  very  frequently  accomplishing  the  whole 
change.  I  have  noticed  that  the  mud  coating  of  the  fossils 
adjacent  to  the  top  of  the  series  is  more  common  than  at 
other  points  above  the  level  of  the  silicons  sandstone  or  sec- 
tion D.  The  extinction  of  life  in  the  Cumberland  sandstone 
is  far  more  conspicuous  than  in  the  sand  inundation  of  section 
D.  In  the  last  named  section  a  large  part  of  the  organic 
forms  in  existence  at  its  beginning  continued  on  to  its  end; 
but  in  this  sandstone  I  have  yet  to  find  the  first  distinctly 
recognizable  fossils.  Its  greenish  color,  which  is  especially 
characteristic  of  the  rock  in  its  southward  extension,  along  the 
Cumberland  river  in  Cumberland  and  the  adjoining  counties, 

distinguishes  it  from  every  other  extensive  sandstone  known 

'59 


32  NOTES    ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

to  me.  The  cause  of  this  peculiar  feature  escapes  analysis, 
but  it  is  not  impossible  that  it  is  due  to  phosphate  of  iron  or 
some  other  similar  substance;  in  which  case  it  may  owe  its 
color  to  the  organic  life  of  the  waters  in  which  it  was  depos- 
ited. The  considerable  thickening,  which  takes  place  as  we 
pass  to  the  southward  of  the  Ohio  river,  is  a  tolerably  clear 
proof  that  the  fine-grained  sand,  of  which  it  is  composed, 
was  derived  from  some  source  of  supply  situated  in  that 
direction.  It  is  likely  that  this  was  an  extension  of  the 
high  land  which  now  forms  the  northeast  corner  of  Ala- 
bama and  the  western  part  of  Georgia.  Many  other  regions 
of  North  America  show  us  the  existence  at  this  time,  of 
these  conditions  which  set  pebbles  and  sand  afloat  at  the 
mercy  of  the  currents  of  the  sea.  At  this  time,  in  New  York, 
the  Oneida  conglomerate  and  Medina  sandstone  comes  in  the 
same  general  relation  to  the  section  of  the  Cincinnati  Group, 
and  may  fairly  be  regarded  as  the  equivalents  of  the  Cumber- 
land sandstone.  As  there  are  several  of  these  lifeless  sand- 
stones in  the  section  passed  through  between  the  base  and 
summit  of  the  Kentucky  series  of  rocks,  we  will  be  compelled 
to  give  some  special  consideration  to  the  question  of  their 
meaning ;  but  inasmuch  as  the  most  extensive  and  instructive 
of  these  beds  is  found  in  the  rocks  which  underlie  the  true 
coal  measures,  and  come  nearly  on  top  of  the  carboniferous 
limestone,  the  question  may  best  be  discussed  when  we  con- 
sider that  part  of  the  section. 

Looking  back  over  the  numerous  changes  which  occur  in 
the  rocks  of  the  Cincinnati  period,  we  are  struck  with  the  fact 
that  they  all  indicate  a  tolerably  continuous  deposit  of  a  fine 
clay,  which  may  have  taken  place  at  a  more  rapid  rate  at  one 
time  than  at  another,  but  which  never  entirely  ceased  during 
the  period.  When  organic  life,  especially  molluscan  and 
crinoidal  forms,  abounded,  limestones  were  formed,  more  or 
less  argillaceous,  according  to  the  relative  rate  of  the  two 
deposits,  A  rapid  accumulation  of  the  waste  of  the  creatures 
living  on  the  sea  floor,  giving  limestones  with  little  clay,  from 
which  there  is  a  series  of  more  and  more  clay  until  we  have  the 

i6o 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  33 

purest  argillaceous  beds.  In  these  beds  with  the  most  clay 
there  is  always  more  or  less  lime,  showing  that  organic  life  has 
had  its  part  even  in  the  most  barren  looking  of  the  deposits. 
The  deposits  of  sandstone  seem  all  to  have  some  trace  of  the 
clay  in  their  composition,  so  it  will  be  reasonably  safe  to  say, 
that  the  deposition  of  clay  was  a  continuous  and  tolerably 
equable  action,  the  sand  and  lime  coming  in  an  irregular  way 
from  time  to  time,  giving  us  argillaceous  limestones  or  sand- 
stones. The  sandstones  being  deposited  rapidly,  contain 
proportionately  little  clay. 

The  theory  of  the  inclusion  and  preservation  of  ancient  sea 
waters  in  our  Paleozoic  stratified  deposits  appears  to  receive 
Some  confirmation  from  the  history  of  these  rocks.  There 
can  be  no  doubt  that  these  beds  were  laid  down  in  the  ancient 
seas  much  as  we  find  them  at  present,  and  that,  whenever  we 
penetrate  below  the  general  surface  of  the  country,  we  find 
ourselves  within  rocks  which  show  the  existence  of  a  consider- 
able amount  of  just  such  materials  as  go  to  make  up  sea  water. 
The  abundant  saline  springs  in  this  district  of  the  Cincinnati 
Group  is  a  matter  not  only  of  economic  but  of  scientific  im- 
portance. I  cannot,  however,  unqualifiedly  accept  in  this  case 
the  theory  of  the  eminent  chemist.  Dr.  T.  Sterry  Hunt,  which 
is  to  the  effect  that  these  salt  water  springs  are  fed  by  the 
waters  of  the  old  seas  in  an  unconcentrated  state.  The  fact 
that  springs  such  as  those  at  Blue  and  Big  Bone  Licks  have 
been  flowing  for  a  great  space  of  time,  reasonably  to  be  esti- 
mated, as  we  shall  see,  at  hundreds  of  thousands  or  even  mil- 
lions of  years,  is  a  strong  point  against  this  opinion.  It  is 
impossible  to  believe  that  these  streams  would  not  have  com- 
pletely drained  all  the  region  from  which  they  take  their  water 
supply.  If  the  mere  inclosure  of  the  sea  water  of  ancient  seas 
could  furnish  such  a  supply,  this  brine  character  should  be  com- 
mon to  the  waters  of  all  rocks  where  it  had  not  been  effaced 
by  drainage.  Other  things  being  equal,  the  recent  rocks 
should  show  it  more  clearly  than  the  old,  for  there  would  have 
been  less  chance  of  their  having  been  drained  or  worked  out 

than  in  the  more  ancient  deposits. 

YOU  uL-ii  161 


34  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

The  ordinary  rocks  of  the  Kentucky  series  do  not  hold 
more  than  three  per  cent,  of  their  mass  of  water  when  fully 
charged,  so  that  in  a  region  such  as  Big  Bone  Lick  the  whole 
of  the  beds  above  the  springs,  which  may  be  averaged  at  two 
hundred  and  fifty  feet  deep,  would  only  contain  about  seven 
feet  of  this  imprisoned  water.  As  these  springs  cannot  be 
supposed  to  pour  out  less  than  two  hundred  cubic  feet  per 
diem,  it  is  evident,  on  calculation,  that  a  square  mile  of  this 
section  could  only  furnish  enough  water  to  supply  one  million 
days  of  flow,  provided  all  the  water  of  the  section  not  in 
chemical  combination  was  completely  drained  away.  And  it 
would  require  a  district  about  twenty  miles  square  to  furnish 
the  supply  for  one  million  of  years.  I  am  therefore  compelled 
to  believe  that  this  region  has  been  subjected  to  some  action 
which  has  stored  up  the  concentrated  salts  of  the  ancient  seas. 
In  the  present  state  of  our  knowledge  we  know  of  no  other 
way  in  which  this  could  be  accomplished  except  by  fencing  the 
region  out  from  the  direct  sea,  and  allowing  the  process  of 
evaporation  to  carry  the  concentration  of  the  water  to  that 
point  where  the  saline  matters  are,  in  part,  thrown  down  on  the 
bottom.  This  precipitation,  it  seems  to  me,  need  not  "necessa- 
rily have  occurred  in  the  beds  where  we  at  present  find  the  sa- 
line matter.  Let  us  suppose  that  in  some  overlying  rock,  which 
has  since  been  worn  away  from  this  surface,  a  considerable 
thickness  of  sea  salts  had  been  deposited  there,  the  action 
of  well  known  forces  would  certainly  tend  to  distribute  the 
matter  downwards  to  the  underlying  rocks,  provided  the  struc- 
ture was  sufficiently  open  to  permit  the  passage  of  water,  or 
even  the  contact  of  its  molecules,  throughout  the  mass.  I  am 
inclined  to  think,  however,  that  the  now  known  salt  belts, 
which  exist  below  the  top  of  the  Cincinnati  Group,  can  be 
explained  by  the  fact  that  they  occur  in  or  about  sandstones 
or  other  evidences  of  shoal  water.  These  salt  levels  are 
probably  the  strongest  evidence  that  is  furnished  to  us  of  the 
upheaval  of  this  region  to  the  level  of  the  water,  on  one  or 

two  occasions,  during  the  formation  of  the  Cincinnati  Group. 
162 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  35 

The  next  level  above  the  Cumberland  sandstone  brings  us 
to  the  beds  which  apparently  answer  to  the  Niagara  Group, 
so  far  as  can  be  determined  by  the  few  fossils  which  they  con- 
tain. This  deposit  is  seen  at  points  from  the  Ohio  river  south- 
wardly to  the  Tennessee  border. 

It  is  evident  that  this  section  increases  in  depth  as  we  pass  to 
the  southward,  just  as  was  the  case  with  the  underlying  Cum- 
berland sandstone  at  Mount  Sterling;  and  to  the  northward, 
the  great  mass  of  the  diminished  section  is  cherty.  As  we  go 
southward,  the  cherty  structure  is  greatly  diminished.  Inas- 
much as  there  is  no  break  in  continuity  yet  observed  between 
the  top  of  the  Cumberland  sandstone  and  the  top  of  this  so- 
called  Niagara  series,  we  may  reasonably  regard  this  mass 
as  representing  the  whole  of  the  series  from  the  top  of  the 
Medina  sandstone  to  the  close  of  the  Niagara  period,  as  lim- 
ited in  New  York.  As  yet  the  amount  of  work  done  on  this 
formation  within  the  State  is  so  small  that  it  will  not  do  to 
make  many  general  statements  about  it.  It  seems  to  show  a 
long  period  of  accumulation,  during  which  silicious  limestone 
and  the  overlying  curious  whitish  shales  were  being  slowly 
deposited,  probably  in  a  sea  of  great  and  steadily  increasing 
depth.  Immediately  at  the  close  of  the  Cumberland  sand- 
stone, which  doubtless  shows  shoal  water,  this  subsidence  sat 
in.  The  flinty  limestones  are  the  first  evidence  of  deepening 
water,  limestones  of  this  class  being  generally  the  product  of 
deeper  seas  than  the  limestones  destitute  of  this  mixture. 
The  hnely  laminated  clays  come  next,  and  give  what  seems  to 
me  good  evidence  of  slow,deep  water  deposition.  This  deep- 
ening seems  to  have  culminated  in  the  succeeding  formation, 
as  we  shall  see  hereafter.  In  F2ast  Tennessee  the  beds  are 
very  much  thicker  than  in  Central  Kentucky,  and  contain  a 
large  amount  of  coarse  sediment,  principally  thin-bedded  sand- 
stones, and  at  the  very  top,  including  a  true  conglomerate, 
which,  though  possibly  rather  local,  yet  marks  distinctly  the  ex- 
treme nearness  of  the  shore. 

The  most  remarkable  feature  in  this  formation  is  the  pres- 
ence at  various  points  of  extensive  deposits  of  iron  ore.     At 

16.^ 


36  NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

Its  upper  limit  this  feature  is  by  no  means  peculiar  to  Ken- 
tucky, but  occurs  at  about  the  same  level  all  the  way  from 
New  York  to  Alabama.  Not  that  the  iron  ore  is  found  at 
every  point,  but  there  is  probably  not  fifty  miles  along  that 
great  distance  where  it  is  not  found  in  a  noticeable  develop- 
ment. Wherever  this  deposit  occurs  it  is  in  the  shape  of  a 
bed  of  fossils,  which  undoubtedly  once  constituted  something 
like  a  limestone  or  a  calcareous  shale ;  the  iron  having,  how- 
ever, in  most  places,  taken  the  place  of  the  original  material 
of  the  fossils  so  as  completely  to  replace  the  lime.  The  ex- 
ceedingly important  question  of  the  origin  9f  iron  beds  of 
this  general  character  receives  some  light  from  a  consider- 
ation of  these  deposits,  which,  occurring  about  the  level  of 
the  Clinton  limestone  in  New  York,  have  commonly  gone  by 
the  name  of  the  Clinton  ores.  It  is  evident  from  a  study  of 
the  varied  conditions  under  which  the  beds  of  this  section 
•were  deposited,  that  if  the  ore  was  laid  down  at  the  time 
when  the  beds  were  formed,  then  it  must  have  been  deposited 
under  the  most  diverse  conditions  imaginable.  In  New  York 
it  must  have  been  deposited  in  a  shallow  sea,  near  the  shore 
where  limestone  was  forming;  in  Pennsylvania,  under  similar 
conditions;  in  East  Tennessee,  in  a  shore  line  where  rapidly 
accumulating  sandstones  formed  a  prominent  feature ;  in  Ken- 
tucky, at  the  bottom  of  a  deep  sea,  probably  at  a  consider- 
able distance  from  the  land.  It  is  evident  that  this  view  is 
not  tenable.  Following  the  safe  rule  of  modern  geology,  and 
testing  the  operations  which  have  gone  on  in  the  past  by  the 
actions  of  the  earth  at  the  present  day,  we  may  safely  say, 
that  a  deposit  of  iron  under  such  circumstances  is  impossible. 
There  is  no  known  way  in  which  iron  can  be  laid  down  in  the 
form  of  marine  beds  in  the  deep  sea.  Some  small  quantity  of 
iron  is  contained  in  many  sea-weeds,  and,  doubdessly,  where 
they  continually  decay  on  the  same  spot  (as  has  been  sug- 
gested by  Pumpelly*),  there  may  be  an  accumulation  of  iron, 
probably  in  the  shape  of  a  shale  containing  some  of  that 
metal  distributed  through  its  mass.     But  these  thick  accumu- 

♦See  Reports  of  thi«  Survey,  new  series,  vol.  II,  page  318  et  seq, 
164 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  37 

lations,  where  in  some  cases  more  than  sixty  per  cent,  of  the 
mass  is  iron  oxide,  cannot  be  thus  accounted  for,  and  the  only 
way  to  explain  them  is  by  supposing  that,  in  some  fashion,  we 
have  had  a  concentration  into  one  plane  of  a  quantity  of  fer- 
ruginous matter  which  had  originally  been  deposited  either 
above  or  below  that  level.  As  the  methods  of  this  action  are 
not  only  of  great  scientific  but  of  exceeding  economic  import- 
ance, I  have  given  the  subject  a  good  deal  of  attention  in 
the  field.  The  various  ferriferous  levels  of  Kentucky  afford 
us  a  considerable  variety  of  conditions,  which  may  be  grouped, 
in  a  general  way,  into  three  classes,  viz:  ist.  The  limestone 
ores,  where  the  conditions  show  us  that  the  iron  has  replaced 
carbonate  of  lime;  2d.  The  nodular  and  black  kidney  ores, 
where  carbonates  of  iron  are  grouped  in  segregated  masses  on 
levels  where  there  is  no  evidence  of  limestone  having  been 
accumulated;  and  3d.  The  pipe  or  stalactitic  ores,  which  are 
clearly  superficial  beds  worked  out  from  older  deposits. 

The  first  of  these  classes,  that  to  which  the  so-called  Clin- 
ton (which  I  prefer  to  call  the  Silurian)  ore  belongs,  is  repre- 
sented in  the  State  of  Kentucky  by  the  bed  formed  on  the 
top  of  the  Sub-carboniferous  limestone,  and  by  the  bed  in  the 
coal  measures  known  as  the  ferriferous  limestone.  There 
are  other  and  local  cases,  but  these  three  are  the  only  wide 
extending  beds  of  this  character.  In  each  of  these  cases 
there  is  a  thick  section  of  shales  and  thin  sandstones  presuma- 
bly deposited  in  marine  conditions,  lying  immediately  over  the 
beds  in  question.  In  the  Silurian  ore  and  in  the  Carboniferous 
ore,  the  character  of  the  underlying  beds  makes  the  supposi- 
tion that  the  iron  deposit  was  derived  from  below  quite  impos- 
sible. It  is,  therefore,  to  the  overlying  beds  that  we  must 
look  for  the  supply.  The  fact  that  these  beds  are  the  product 
of  marine  deposition  makes  it  likely  that  the  iron  was  orig- 
inally carried  down  in  the  structure  of  the  depositing  sea- 
weed, or  precipitated  by  the  action  of  decaying  organic  matter, 
as  has  been  suggested  by  Dr.  Hunt.  Then  we  may  well  look 
to  that  shale  as  the  source  of  a  considerable  supply  of  iron. 

It  is  easily  seen  by  analysis,  or  by  examining  the  springs  that 

165 


38  NOTES  ON  THE   INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

originate  within  the  Ohio  shale,  that  there  is  a  considerable 
store  of  iron  in  that  mass.  The  same  evidence  may  be  had 
in  the  case  of  the  marine  shale  section,  which,  over  a  large 
part  of  the  State,  lies  imniediately  on  top  of  the  Sub-carbon- 
iferous limestone.  As  all  rock  masses,  save,  possibly,  at  depths 
below  the  range  of  man's  observation,  are  injected  with  water, 
it  is  not  unreasonable  to  suppose  that  heavy  matter,  such  as 
the  oxides  of  iron,  may  be  slowly  and  steadily  working  down- 
wards through  the  menstruum  of  water.  It  is  evident  that 
this  action  must  be  going  on  whenever  in  any  region  the 
drainage  level  has  cut  down  so  as  to  drain  the  beds  which 
happen  to  underlie  the  shale  in  question. 


IjUla  stone  Ore  - 


Caiionifiroiii- 
Skales  and  Sti/idslana 


SuTi.CarbonirOrc 
Sai  CarbLit)  i  fs  Innf 


^^arfHrMhalts 


aa 


Clinton  IruiiOH 
OlAGRSMIIcStCTION 

LIMraTOKOliES '''"'''"' 


1  r  I  I  fi* 


5 


HL.r/,n 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  39 

In  the  accompanying  figure,  it  will  easily  be  seen  that  in 
the  case  of  the  part  of  the  section  above  the  level  of  the 
drainage,  the  downward  working  of  the  contained  iron  is  a 
matter  of  necessity ;  and  if  we  acknowledge  that  the  lime  car- 
bonate of  the  limestone  has  any  special  power  of  arresting 
the  moving  iron,  it  follows  of  necessity  that  a  deposit  will  be 
made  at  the  point  of  junction  of  the  lime  and  the  overlying 
shale  in  sandstone,  from  which  the  iron  is  working  downwards. 
It  is,  however,  not  so  clear  that  the  iron  contained  within  the 
shale  which  lies  beyond  the  drainage,  is  under  similar  condi- 
tions of  downward  working.  As  far  as  the  movement  of  the 
iron  towards  the  limestone  is  the  result  of  the  actual  current 
in  the  water,  brought  about  by  the  drainage  outflow,  of  course 
it  would  be  wanting  at  the  points  represented  below  the  drain- 
age ;  but  the  downward  working  may  be  due  not  alone  or  in 
any  great  part  to  the  drainage  movement  of  the  water,  but 
rather  to  the  osmose  movement,  which  leads  to  the  equalization 
of  matter  through  the  whole  of  any  fluid  mass  in  which  it  is 
contained.  I  am  not  aware  of  any  experiments  to  show  the 
distance  to  which  this  movement  may  extend,  but  it  seems  a 
necessary  consequence  of  the  law  of  osmose  action  that  the 
process  of  equalization  should  go  on  through  the  whole  of  the 
section  where  the  particles  of  water  run  in  contact,  the  only 
question  as  to  its  efficiency  being  the  time  required  to  accom- 
plish the  given  result.  This  is  by  no  means  an  abstract  ques- 
tion, but  one  which  most  intimately  connects  itself  with  the 
future  interests  of  the  country.  Long  before  the  fuel  re- 
sources of  this  country  can  begin  to  be  exhausted,  the  iron 
ores  of  the  superficial  regions,  and  those  known  to  be  rich  at 
greater  depths,  will  have  been  exhausted  The  problem  is 
the  same  for  the  world  at  large — the  resources  of  the  one 
absolutely  necessary  metal,  the  material  without  which  we 
cannot  imagine  civilization  to  keep  its  place,  are  not  nearly  as 
satisfactory  as  the  resources  of  heat  and  light,  those  other 
factors  of  civilization. 

There  seems  a  great  chance  that,  long  before  fuel  is  ex- 
hausted, the  available  iron  of  the  world  will  be  wasted  into 

167 


40  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

the  sea  or  the  soil.  If,  however,  we  can  prove  that  these  Silu- 
rian and  other  limestone  ores  are  continued  beneath  the  drain- 
age of  the  districts  where  the  beds  which  have  formed  and 
contain  them  are  found,  we  enormously  increase  the  possible 
iron  mining  area.  The  rich  iron  district  of  East  Tennessee 
may  then  be  continued  beneath  the  overlying  rocks,  and 
occupy  a  large  part  of  the  area  covered  by  the  Carboniferous 
and  other  superior  beds.  If  we  could  prove  that  only  one 
tenth  of  the  buried  rocks  of  this  level  and  of  the  Sub-carbon- 
iferous limestone  are  covered  with  workable  iron  ores,  we 
would  thereby  probably  add  more  iron  to  the  known  store 
of  North  America  than  is  included  in  all  the  deposits  which 
have  as  yet  entered  into  our  considerations.  The  only  way 
in  which  this  matter  can  be  definitely  decided  is  by  borings 
made  quite  through  these  basins  at  a  number  of  points  where 
the  rocks  are  clearly  below  the  drainage  level.*  To  deter- 
mine the  existence  or  non-existence  of  this  iron  ore  beneath 
the  drainage,  borings  should  be  made  at  selected  points  along 
the  Cumberland  Mountains.  The  great  north  and  south  ex- 
tension of  the  ore  on  that  line  would  make  it  nearly  certain 
that  it  would  be  found  beneath  the  drainage,  in  case  its  forma- 
tion was  not  due  to  the  drainage  action  itself,  which  I  cannot 
easily  believe.  I  should  consider  the  failure  to  find  the  deposit 
at  a  very  few  borings  made  along  this  line,  and  not  necessa- 
rily more  than  three  to  five  hundred  feet  deep,  as  sufficient 
to  determine  the  matter.  I  do  not  propose  at  this  time  to 
undertake  to  discuss  the  general  question  of  the  genesis  of 
iron  ores;  so  with  this  reference  to  a  possible  explanation  of 
this  special  deposit  I  shall  pass  again  to  the  question  of  the 
character  and  history  of  the  rocks  in  which  it  is  found. 

*  Nothing  better  illustrates  the  importance  of  a  continued  scientific  observation  of  any 
State  than  the  fact  that  in  this  State,  during  the  various  borings  for  salt  and  oil  made  in  the 
last  half  century,  abundnnt  opportunities  have  occurred  for  the  most  complete  determination 
tif  this  point;  but  they  have  been  entirely  lost  through  the  want  of  some  system  of  State  in- 
spection of  its  mineral  districts.  To  repeat  these  borings  on  anything  like  the  same  extended 
scale  would,  I  esiimite,  cost  not  fir  from  one  million  dollars.  1  have  no  doubt  that  within 
a  century  this  sort  of  exploration  will  be  repeated  with  equal  cost,  perhaps  not  in  search  of 
the  same  things,  but  with  some  other  quest  which  could  be  fully  answered  by  an  examination 
of  the  borings  of  these  hills,  had  they  been  carefully  collected  and  preserved.  One  per  cent, 
on  this  capital  would  maintain  a  watch  on  all  the  underground  operations  of  the  State,  and 
thus  continue  the  work  of  a  geological  survey  after  all  the  surface  indications  had  been  com- 
pletely investigated. 

I68 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  4 1 

This  so-called  Clinton  iron  bed  may  not  be  unusually  found 
at  the  top  of  the  Silurian  section.  At  many  points  it  seems  to 
be  nearly,  if  not  entirely,  absent.  Far  too  little  study  has  yet 
been  given  to  the  extension  of  this  ore  deposit  to  make  it 
certain  just  how  generally  it  is  to  be  found.  Owing  to  the 
softness  of  the  -overlying  shales,  the  top  of  the  series  and 
its  contained  beds  are  not  often  clearly  seen.  It  will  be  our 
especial  object,  in  the  future  work  of  the  Survey,  to  get  all 
possible  information  on  this  point.  At  some  points  the  pas- 
sage into  the  black  shale  shows  several  alternations  of  silicious 
beds  with  the  shale.  Generally,  however,  it  is  pretty  abrupt, 
and  we  pass  quite  at  once  into  the  Ohio  black  shale.  This  re- 
markable formation,  by  far  the  most  inexplicable  of  all  the 
beds  of  this  country  or  in  Europe,  is  more  nearly  limited  to 
the  Ohio  Valley  than  any  other  of  the  formations  which  have 
as  yet  been  found  within  its  basin.  I  therefore  propose  for  it 
the  name  of  the  Ohio  shale.  I  am  aware  that  it  has  already 
been  termed  the  Huron  shale  or  the  Huron  beds ;  but  this 
name  is  not  satisfactory,  inasmuch  as  it  is  likely  to  be  con- 
fused with  the  Huronian  formation,  when  the  name  of  this 
great  lake  was  first  connected  with  a  system  of  rocks.  The 
name  would  be,  moreover,  quite  out  of  place  applied  to  beds 
which  have  very  little  connection  with  the  region  of  that  lake. 
Probably  more  than  five  eighths  of  the  Ohio  basin  lie  over 
this  formation ;  over  some  tens  of  thousands  of  square  miles 
it  constitutes  a  large  part  of  the  surface  rock.  On  these 
accounts  I  have,  deemed  it  best  to  give  the  name  of  the  Ohio 
shale  to  this  formation.* 

With  slight  local  differences,  from  point  to  point,  this  forma- 
tion consists  of  a  tolerably  uniform  mass  of  thin-layered  bitumi- 
nous, petroleum-bearing  shale,  accumulated  in  a  very  uniform 
succession  to  the  depth  of  one  hundred  feet  or  more.  The 
inorganic  matter  is  a  fine  mud,  such  as  we  have  deemed  else- 
where to  afford  evidence  of  deep  sea  at  the  time  of  its  deposi- 
tion.    The  organic  matter  is  so  far  changed  that  it  is  not  easy 

*I  have  concluded,  in  the  naming  of  local  beds,  to  follow  the  plan  of  naming  them  after 
the  river  valley  where  thej  are  most  abundantly  developed. 

169 


i 


42  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

to  determine  whence  it  came.  In  Kentucky,  along  the  Ohio, 
near  Vanceburg,  in  the  workings  made  a  number  of  years 
ago,  when  the  shale  was  distilled  for  coal  oil  and  paraffine, 
there  were  a  number  of  jaws  of  fishes  and  other  parts  of  the 
same  animals  found  imbedded  in  the  shale  in  a  disorganized 
state,  as  if  the  whole  animal  had  not  been  buried  at  the  same 
place.  At  various  points  over  the  southward  extension  of  this 
formation  I  have  found  similar  remains,  in  rare  cases  scattered 
throughout  the  whole  section.  The  only  other  fossils  found 
have  been  remains  of  two  or  three  specie's  of  brachiopods, 
allied  to  the  Lingulas,  and  which  seem  to  have  been  very  small 
members  of  the  group.  None  of  these  fossils  give  any  clear 
indications  as  to  the  fresh  or  salt  water  character  of  this 
deposit.  The  fishes  at  no  time  in  the  earth's  history  have 
left  evidences  which  would  make  it  certain  in  which  condi- 
tions their  lives  were  led,  and  the  brachiopods  of  the  group 
of  Lingulas  are,  as  I  shall  hereafter  endeavor  to  show,  by 
no  means  certain  indications  on  this  point.  Considering  the 
very  great  extent  of  this  formation,  it  is  not  unreasonable  to 
suppose  that  the  deposition  must  have  taken  place  on  the 
sea  bed,  and  the  absence  of  all  coarse  detritus,  such  as  coarse 
sand  or  pebbles,  the  general  evenness  of  the  mass,  and  the 
want  of  all  the  fossils  which  generally  characterize  the  shore 
line,  is  tolerably  conclusive  evidence  that  the  beds  were  formed 
in  deep  sea  far  from  the  land. 

The  important  fact  that  this  formation,  unlike  the  Cincin- 
nati Group,  the  Niagara  section,  the  Sub-carbonjferous  lime,  and 
the  Conglomerate,  does  not  materially  thicken  as  we  approach 
the  Unaka  Mountains,  points  to  the  conclusion  that  it  derived 
no  waste  from  that  section.  Its  thinning  as  we  go  towards 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  while  the  Cumberland  sandstone,  the 
Conglomerate,  and  the  Sub-carboniferous  limestone  all  thicken 
that  way,  points  likewise  to  the  conclusion  that  the  land  area, 
whence  the  mechanical  element  in  the  composition  of  this 
shale  was  derived,  lay  to  the  northward  of  the  Ohio;  the 
region  to   the  southward  being  pretty  generally  submerged 

at  the  time  of  its  formation.  The  extreme  ease  with  which 
170 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  43 

shale  IS  eroded  makes  it  doubtful  how  wide  was  its  original 
extension.  The  absence  in  its  structure  of  distinct  marks  of 
nearness  to  shore  seems  to  me  convincing  that  we  have  no- 
where found  its  shore  line.  If  it  was  followed,  as  we  shall 
see  reason  to  suppose  hereafter,  by  a  sudden  and  tolerably 
complete  return  to  shoal  water  over  a  large  part  of  the  area 
occupied  by  its  deep  sea,  then  the  marginal  parts  of  the 
deposit,  being  left  unprotected  by  subsequent  accumulations, 
would  have  quickly  faded  away  before  the  erosive  forces, 
as  it  now  disappears  whenever  not  sheltered  by  harder  over- 
lying beds. 

The  large  amount  of  petroleum  which  is  always  contained 
in  this  set  of  beds  may  well  excite  our  astonishment.  Some- 
thing of  the  facts  are  given  in  the  economic  section  of  this 
report.  It  remains  to  look  a  little  to  the  theory  of  its  produc- 
tion. It  is  evident,  in  the  first  place,  that  this  matter  must 
have  been  formed  where  we  now  find  it,  for  it  could  not  have 
been  derived  from  the  deposits  which  lie  above  or  below  its 
level.  The  series  of  the  Cincinnati  Group  and  the  Silurian, 
properly  so-called,  have,  throughout  this  section  at  least,  no 
considerable  amount  of  such  matter  in  their  structure,  nor 
does  analysis  teach  us  that  their  organic  contents  could  ever 
have  yielded  a  great  store  of  carbonaceous  matter.  The 
overlying  rocks  are  arenaceous,  and  were  doubtless  made  in 
seas  where  the  development  of  organic  life  was  relatively  very 
small.  Within  the  Ohio  shale  itself  the  beds  furnish  us  little 
else  save  fish  remains ;  and  I  was,  at  one  time,  disposed  to 
believe  that  to  these  animals  we  must  look  for  an  explanation 
of  this  organic  matter.  It  seems  to  me  now,  however,  that 
the  suggestion  of  Dr.  Newberry  is  more  likely  to  furnish  the 
true  solution.  His  hypothesis  is,  that  the  region  was  the  seat 
of  a  great  sea-weed  deposit,  being  on  the  floor  of  a  sort  of 
Sargassum  or  Sargasso  sea,  such  as  now  occupies  the  central 
part  of  the  North  Atlantic.  The  only  difficulty  is  to  see  how 
any  known  form  of  sea-weed  could  have  formed  such  a  mass 
without  leaving  some  distinct  remains  of  its  structure.     The 

present  forms  are  those  which  would  be  likely  to  make  fre- 

171 


44  NOTES  ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

quent  fossils  in  mud  of  this  consistence.  Some  vague  mark- 
ings are  to  be.  found  there,  but  nothing  like  the  distinct  marks 
which,  in  earlier  and  later  formations,  as  in  the  so-called  "  Caudi 
Gain,"  of  the  New  York  series,  and  of  the  Waverly  sandstone, 
mark  the  presence  of  these  organic  forms.  It  is  not  unlikely 
that  the  deposit  is  the  result  of  long-continued  slow  deposition, 
wherein  sea-weeds,  fishes,  ^nd  possibly  many  invertebrate  ani- 
mals, contributed  to  the  waste.  The  presence  of  many  large 
and  vigorous  fishes  goes  to  show  that  they  must  have  had  an 
abundant  invertebrate  life  for  their  support.  The  absence  of 
the  fossils  of  the  softer  animals  may  be  explained  by  the  want 
of  sufficiently  rapid  accumulation  to  insure  their  burial. 

The  conditions  under  which  deposits  of  organic  matter  form 
hydro-carbons  are  not  well  understood.  I  am  inclined  to  think 
that  we  cannot  reasonably  suppose  that  the  change  took  place 
long  after  the  deposition  of  the  beds  which  form  the  shale. 
The  conditions  of  the  beds  that  lie  below  the  black  shale,  in 
the  Cincinnati  Group,  or  in  the  Niagara  section,  show  that 
there  has  been  no  great  invasion  of  heat  since  the  beds  were 
deposited.  Clays,  which  change  greatly  under  a  heat  of  one 
thousand  degrees  of  Fahrenheit,  are  apparently  exactly  as 
they  were  left  by  the  sea,  and  beds  retain  their  marine  salts 
just  as  when  they  were  deposited.  Any  great  access  of  tem- 
perature in  this  deposit  of  the  Ohio  shale  would  have  been 
attended  by  an  almost  equal  rise  of  temperature  in  the  coal 
beds  which  lie  within  a  few  hundred  feet  above;  but  these 
coal  beds  are  free  from  any  evidences  of  distillation  or  other 
consequences  of  heat.  We  have  already  seen  reasons  for  sup- 
posing an  erosion  of  some  three  or  four  thousand  feet  of  strata 
from  this  section ;  if  we  could  reimpose  this  section,  we  should 
probably  bring  up  the  temperature  of  these  rocks,  by  the  rise 
in  the  isogeothermals,  or  lines  of  equal  internal  heat,  about 
sixty  degrees,  granting  that  the  rate  of  increase  in  temperature 
has  grown  less  after  the  rate  indicated  in  the  calculations  of  Sir 
William  Thompson. 

We  are  not  able  to  suppose  that  the  accumulation  of  strata 

could  have  elevated  the  temperature  above  the  point  of  boil- 
17a 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  45 

ing  water.  The  hypothesis  which  may  be  formed  to  account  for 
the  formation  of  this  coal  oil  must  take  into  consideration  the 
impossibility  of  its  generation  at  another  point  and  its  removal 
to  this  set  of  beds,  and  the  impossibility  of  supposing  that  it 
has  been,  in  any  way,  the  result  of  high  temperatures. 

I  have  already  referred  to  the  large  results  obtained  from 
the  distillation  of  this  shale.  (See  biennial  report  in  this  vol- 
ume.) It  should  be  noticed  that  these  determinations  are 
based  not  on  the  substance  from  points  where  it  has  been 
excluded  from  weathering,  but  on  material  taken  from  points 
above  the  drainage  and  near  bluff  banks,  where  it  was  ex- 
posed to  thousands  of  years  of  slow  decay  and  washing. 
Wherever  I  have  been  able  to  hear  of  borings  below  the 
level  of  the  drainage,  the  mass  has  been  found  completely 
saturated  with  the  oil.  At  many  points  the  progressive  leach- 
ing of  the  mass  is  readily  determined.  The  outside  surface, 
and  within  for  several  feet,  may  be  quite  deprived  of  its  hy- 
drocarbons, and  as  we  go  from  this  face  there  seems  to  be  a 
progressive  increase  in  the  quantity  of  those  matters.  On  all 
these  accounts  I  feel  justified  in  saying,  that  the  normal  state 
of  the  deposit  is  that  of  complete  saturation  with  coal  oil. 

The  equivalency  of  this  shale  with  the  deposits  in  New 
York  has  been  a  matter  of  much  discussion.  The  section  in 
East  Tennessee,  when  compared  with  those  of  Kentucky  and 
New  York,  has  satisfied  me  that  the  Ohio  shale  includes 
everything  from  the  top  of  the  Oriskany  sandstone  to  the  top 
of  the  Chemung.* 

In  East  Tennessee  the  Silurian  and  Devonian  sections  are 
still  faintly  recognizable.  On  top  of  the  evident  Clinton  and 
Niagara  fossils,  some  beds  are  found  containing  Leptocoelia 
of  a  species  closely  allied  to,  if  not  identical  with,  the  characteris- 
tic species  from  the  Oriskany  sandstone.  The  other  organic 
species  of  this  group  ally  themselves  with  those  from  the 
Oriskany  sandstone  in  many  important  regards.  Above  these 
beds  come  a  set  of  barren  beds,  thirty  or  more  feet  in  thick- 

•This  question  I  hope  to  discuss  in  the  Memoirs  of  the  Survey,  for  which  purpose  data  con- 
cerning the  Ohio  shale  are  now  being  collected.  A  brief  and  rather  unsupported  statement  is 
all  that  can  be  made  here. 

173 


46  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

ness,  with  a  considerable  conglomerate  bed,  which,  being  de- 
posited in  patches,  is  strong  evidence  of  shore  or  shallow 
water  conditions.  In  Central  Kentucky  this  Oriskany  sand- 
stone is  merged  in  the  Niagara  series  so  completely  that  1 
have  not  been  able  to  separate  it  or  to  find  its  characteristic 
fossils.  This  evidence  satisfies  me  pretty  well  that  this  black 
shale  does  not  include  the  beds  contemporaneous  with  the 
Oriskany  sandstone.  In  East  Tennessee  the  Ohio  shale 
comes  immediately  on  top  of  the  beds  which  I  believe  to 
represent  the  Oriskany  sandstone.  In  Kentucky  it  is  found 
immediately  on  top  of  beds  which,  certainly,  are  not  higher 
than  the  Oriskany.  In  both  these  cases  the  surfaces  are  en- 
tirely free  from  any  symptom  of  erosion.  Therefore,  allow- 
ing that  these  beds  have  not  been  eroded,  it  follows,  of 
necessity,  that  the  black  shale  in  this  section,  as  far  as  may 
be  judged  from  this  evidence,  includes  all  that  follows  the 
Oriskany  sandstone  up  to  some  point  yet  to  be  determined.* 
Although  there  are  some  argillaceous  and  slightly  calcare- 
ous bands  in  the  black  shale  and  one  or  two  silicious  layers,  I 
am  unable  to  make  any  satisfactory  decisions  as  to  its  origin. 
I  believe  there  is  no  section  in  our  beds  representing  anything 
like  the  amount  of  time  which  it  requires,  and  having  any- 
thing like  the  uniformity  of  structure  possessed  by  this  Ohio 
shale.  When,  therefore,  we  find  evidence  that  the  beds  which 
immediately  overlie  the  black  shales  belong  to  a  section  later 
than  the  last  of  the  lower  rocks  in  New  York,  that,in  a  word,  we 
have  passed  in  it  through  the  whole  Hamilton  period,  through 
the  whole  Chemung  period,  and  possibly  through  a  still  later 
time  represented  by  the  Catskill  Group,  we  are  driven  to  sup- 
pose that  this  was  a  region  which  had  no  share  in  the  disturb- 
ances which  took  place  in  New  York.  The  easiest  way  to 
account  for  this  uniformity  of  conditions  is  to  suppose  that  it 

*I  am  disposed  to  insist  on  this  method  of  determining  eauivaKncy  notwithstanding  iis 
serious  consequences.  It  is  nlways  to  1  e  remembered,  that  as  long  as  a  region  is  beneath  the 
sea  it  is  always  receiving  some  sediment,  however  little;  so  if  at  nny  point  we  should  find  Cin- 
cinnati Group  fos>ils  and  then  a  few  feet  of  shales  followed  hy  Tertiary  l>cds,  the  whole  well 
exhildted,  with  no  evidence  of  a  break  by  erosion,  we  would  be  logically  compelled  to  assume 
that  this  thin  section  represented  all  the  vast  period  of  the  earth's  record  between  these  two 
boriions. 

174 


THE    KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL    SURVEY.  47 

was  buried  deep  in  the  sea  when  the  changes  of  level  took 
place,  which  may  have  brought  great  modifications  at  the 
shore.  Whenever  the  Atlantic  coasts  rise  and  fall  suddenly, 
by  say  five  hundred  or  a  thousand  feet,  prodigious  changes 
are  necessarily  brought  about  in  the  beds  which  are  forming, 
new  fossils  are  brought  to  the  area,  and  other  kinds  of  sedi- 
ment laid  down.  But  in  the  deep  sea  th.ese  changes  probably 
bring  no  break  in  the  uniform  succession  of  events.  Its  Sar- 
gassum  sea  will  keep  about  the  same  place,  and  it  certainly 
is  a  rare  chance  that  anything  occurs  to  mark  the  change  of 
level  in  beds  just  beneath  its  surface.* 

I  am  inclined  to  accept  Dr.  Newberry's  conclusion  concern- 
ing the  equivalency  of  the  beds,  termed  by  him  Waverly, 
which  immediately  follow  the  black  shale.  He  gives  them  a 
place  at  the  base  of  the  Sub-carboniferous  rocks,  and  their 
fossils  certainly  bear  out  this  classification.  In  Kentucky  this 
section  varies  from  about  six  hundred  feet  thick,  along  the 
Ohio,  to  rather  less  than  half  that  amount,  where  they  are 
disclosed  along  the  Cumberland  river  in  Clinton  county,  and 
to  about  two  hundred  feet  at  Cumberland  Gap.  Wherever 
found  within  Kentucky,  its  history  is  evidently  that  of  a  rather 
shallow  water  formation,  deposited  at  a  period  when  the  trans- 
portation was  by  gentle  currents,  without  the  violence  which 
seems  to  have  affected  the  ocean  movements  in  this  region  at 
a  later  time.  As  we  go  southwards  this  formation  becomes 
less  distinctly  sandstone.  The  clay  element  increases,  though 
this  is  generally  silicious,  the  formation  giving  little  trace  of 
the  carbonaceous  character  common  to  the  Ohio  shale  and  to 
the  carboniferous  shaly  beds,  save  at  one  point  near  the  Ohio 
river.  In  East  Tennessee,  twelve  miles  north  of  Cumberland 
Gap,  it  is  still  very  sandy,  the  beds  being  quite  thick  though 
rather  incoherent.  It  abounds  there  with  the  Spirophyton  or 
*'Caudi  Galli,**  which  is  abundant  along  the  Ohio  river.  At 
Cumberland  Gap  we  begin  to  get  many  beds  of  dense  silex 
or  chert,  but  the  larger  part  of  the  mass  is  still  a  very  silicious, 

♦  Sec  Vol.  II,  new  series,  of  these  Reports,  p.  327,  for  some  matter  from  the  pen  of  Pro- 
feasor  Pumpelly,  which  has  an  important  bearing  on  the  question. 

»7S 


48  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

indurated  clay  shale.  Forty  miles  further  south,  near  Jacks- 
boro,  Tennessee,  the  amount  of  cherty  matter  is  greatly 
increased,  so  that  the  mass  well  deserves  the  name  of  *'Sili- 
cious  Group,'*  given  it  by  Professor  Safford  in  his  Geology 
of  Tennessee.  This  rapid  change  is  apparently  attended  by 
a  certain  shrinkage  in  the  thickness  of  the  formation.* 

The  same  change,,  though  carried  to  a  less  extent,  occurs 
along  the  Clinton  county  section,  where  the  presence  of  sili- 
cious  matter  is  also  a  conspicuous  feature  in  this  formation. 
The  greenish  color  in  the  beds  of  this  age  is  a  striking  feature 
at  many  points,  and  reminds  us  of  the  tint  observable  in  the 
Cumberland  sandstone.  The  great  amount  of  these  arenace- 
ous deposits  makes  it  pretty  certain  that  these  beds  of  the 
Waverly  series  were  deposited  with  great  rapidity.  They 
probably  do  not  represent  more  than  a  very  small  fraction  ot 
the  time  represented  by  the  beds  of  the  black  shale.  Sand 
deposits  are  necessarily  made  with  rapidity.  They  demand 
for  their  formation  the  energetic  action  of  the  sea  upon  a 
great  extent  of  land.  It  is  on  this  account  that  they  are 
peculiarly  the  product  of  periods  of  rapid  change  of  level. 
Along  the  Atlantic  coast  of  the  United  States  we  see  the 
result  of  these  changes  in  a  striking  manner.  There  has 
been  a  general  rise  of  the  whole  of  that  coast  since  the 
middle  tertiary;  and  the  retreating  sea  has  carried  back 
with  it  a  great  quantity  of  sand.  From  each  of  its  great 
invasions  the  sea  bears  back  a  rich  booty  in  the  sands  worn 
from  its  receding  shores.  During  the  period  when  the  sea 
is  gaining  on  the  land  the  forming  sands  do  not  work  sea- 
ward. Their  limit  is  made  by  the  depth  at  which  the  cur- 
rents cease  to  have  a  sweeping  power,  and  with  a  sinking 
shore,  these  are  continually  working  in  towards  the  centre 
of  the  land.  When  the  sea  goes  back  it  is  with  full  hands, 
and  the  sand-beds  work  out  over  the  sea  bottom  with  great 

*  I  am  aware  that  I  differ  from  the  able  geologist  above  mentioned  in  my  opinion  as  to  the 
age  of  these  cherty  beds  of  the  region  from  Cumberland  Gap  westward.  I  shall  endeavor 
to  discuss  this  question  more  closely  hereafter;  but  for  the  present  I  can  only  express  my 
respectful  dissent  from  the  opinions  of  my  learned  friend  on  this  matter. 

176 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  49 

rapidity.  The  currents,  then,  have  all  that  they  can  carry 
away. 

Along  the  shore  of  Massachusetts  and  Connecticut  the 
sanda  washed  from  the  newly  risen  shore,  and  scattered  far 
and  wide  over  the  sea,  make  a  deep  bed,  reaching  on  the 
average  nearly  two  hundred  miles  from  the  land,  and  hav- 
ing a  depth,  probably,  averaging  over  fifty  feet  All  this 
vast  mass  is  the  product  of  a  short  time  of  carriage  and 
deposit — so  short  that  it  is  difficult  to  exaggerate  its  brevity 
in  a  geological  sense. 

This  interesting  question  of  the  action  of  a  retreating  sea 
cannot  be  discussed  here,  but  I  trust  enough  has  been  indi- 
cated to  show  that  there  are  reasons  for  believing  sandstone 
series  like  the  Waverly  to  be  evidences  of  a  general  uplifting 
of  the  region  where  they  were  depositing,  and  a  consequent 
sweeping  of  a  long  forming  store  of  sand  out  into  the  sea. 
The  question  may  naturally  arise,  what  became  of  the  coarser 
products  of  this  erosion — where  are  the  gravels  and  boulders 
which  were  encountered  by  the  ancient  seas?  The  evidence 
to  give  the  answer  is  not  wanting  on  our  own  shores :  these 
coarser  materials  are  either  ground  up  on  the  shores,  as  the 
seas  move  over  the  land,  or  are  to  a  great  extent  left  behind 
in  the  movement,  to  be  in  time  worn  again  and  again,  until 
they  are  finally  quite  reduced  to  the  size  when  they  can  be 
carried  by  ocean  currents. 

Although  the  Waverly  period  seems  to  mark  the  steady  up- 
lift of  this  part  of  the  continent,  it  is  not  certain  that  the  sea 
bottom  was  bared  over  any  great  area  at  its  close.  Along  the 
Ohio  river  there  is  some  evidence  of  land,  perhaps,  to  be  found 
in  the  fire-clays  occurring  near  its  top.  The  idea  that  these 
beds  are  the  exhausted  soils  of  old  forests  has  much  to  com- 
mend it.  There  is  no  other  simple  way  of  accounting  for 
the  formation  of  such  deposits.  If  forests  ever  flourished  in 
this  region,. subsequent  waste  has  destroyed  all  trace  of  their 
existence.  A  careful  study  of  these  Waverly  beds  is  yet  to 
be  made,  and  several  years'  work  will  be  necessary  to  their 

full  elucidation.     These  are  only  a  few  general  conclusions  of 
VOL.  111.-12  177 


50  NOTES   ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

value,  which  may  be  stated  with  some  confidence.  The  ab- 
sence of  all  pebble  deposits  is  tolerably  safe  evidence  that  the 
shore  was  not  extended  across  this  State  during  the  upheaval 
of  the  Waverly  period.  When  this  sand  was  formed  there 
must  have  been  enormous  stores  of  gravel  and  boulders,  and 
some  part  of  this  matter  must  have  worked  along  the  shore,  if 
they  were  ever  near  here.  The  absence  of  such  materials  is 
presumptive  proof  of  the  distance  of  the  shore  of  the  main 
land. 

At  the  close  of  the  Waverly  period  this  unstable  region 
seems  to  have  begun  once  again  to  subside;  and  with  this 
subsidence  comes  an  utter  change  in  the  physical  and  vital 
conditions  of  the  sea.  The  complete  interruption  of  the 
movement  of  sands  is  the  first  evidence  of  this  change. 
With  it  comes  the  rapid  development  of  great  quantities  of 
marine  life,  differing  from,  though  closely  allied  to,  the  life 
in  the  beds  below.  The  organic  life  showed  its  vigor  in  the 
many  species  of  crinoids  and  brachiopods  of  large  size.  With 
the  change  this  life  rapidly  developed  most  of  the  forms,  gain- 
ing considerably  in  size  and  vigor  of  growth. 

The  enormous  development  of  organic  life  of  relatively  high 
forms,  and  the  rapid  specific  change  of  that  life,  serves  to  show 
us  that  the  Sub-carboniferous  limestone  was  not  formed  in  a 
very  deep  sea;  at  the  same  time  the  far-reaching  character  of 
the  deposit  and  its  great  thickness  negatives  the  idea  that  it 
could  have  been  formed  in  very  shallow  water.  As  we  trace 
it  to  its  end  over  the  Ohio  line,  it  has  been  supposed  that  it 
had  its  shore  there.  I  have  failed  to  find  good  evidence  of 
this,  however,  and  am  disposed  to  attribute  something  of  its 
absence  to  the  wear  that  came  after  the  final  uplift,  when  the 
Carboniferous  limestone  became  the  basis  on  which  the  coal 
measures  or  their  lower  member,  the  conglomerate,  was  de- 
posited. 

In  a  general  way  this  Sub-carboniferous  limestone  may  be 
said  to  extend  from  the  Ohio  river  westwardly,  or  rather  north- 
westwardly, to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  where  its  thickness  is 

very  great,  and  southwardly  to  Alabama,  and  to  have  its  east- 
178 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  5 1 

ern  border  against  the  ancient  axis  of  the  Appalachian  chain. 
Except  the  rocks  of  the  Cincinnati  Group,  it  is  the  most  ex- 
tensive series  of  limestone  known  in  our  American  section ; 
indeed,  at  this  time,  throughout  the  world,  there  seems  to 
have  been  a  period  of  limestone  production  unequaled  in  its 
area  and  activity  in  all  the  earth's  history.  Not  only  in  this 
country,  but  in  Europe  as  well,  a  period  of  extraordinary  lime- 
stone accumulation  was  begun  at  this  time.  This  singularly 
active  accumulation  of  limestone  is  doubtless  to  be,  in  good 
part,  attributed  to  the  existence  of  species  capable  of  rapidly 
depositing  limestone  from  the  waters  of  the  sea.  Along  with 
this,  probably,  went  that  gentle  subsidence  of  the  sea  floor 
which  is  calculated  to  prevent  the  coarser  inorganic  waste 
of  the  land  from  invading  the  regions  of  the  sea  when  dep- 
osition of  an  organic  kind  is  going  on.  I  am  much  inclined 
to  think,  however,  that  there  was  at  least  one  other  cause, 
which  contributed  to  the  formation  of  this  great  limestone 
deposit.  The  simultaneous  formation  over  wide  areas  of  such 
great  deposits,  formed  under  circumstances  which  afford  tol- 
erably good  evidence  that  they  were  rapidly  accumulated,  leads 
me  to  suspect  that  there  must  be  periods  in  the  history  of 
the  sea  peculiarly  well  fitted  for  the  life  of  limestone-secreting 
forms.  If,  as  I  am  inclined  to  believe,  the  amount  of  surface 
varies  considerably  in  different  geological  periods,  then  it  may 
well  follow  that  the  amount  of  calcareous  matter  in  the  sea, 
which  is  derived  from  the  waste  of  tne  land  by  rain-fall,  may 
vary  considerably. 

Taking  the  common  estimates  of  rain-fall,  and  the  usually 
reckoned  depths  of  the  sea,  it  would  require  about  ten  thou- 
sand years  for  the  whole  of  the  water  of  the  sea  to  fall  upon 
the  land.  This  is  really  a  rapid  rate  of  movement  in  a  geo- 
logical sense;  and  in  case  anything  happened  to  extinguish 
certain  races  fitted  to  recover  this  lime  and  related  matters 
from  the  sea,  there  might  be  a  considerable  gain  in  these  ma- 
terials until  some  other  form  of  life,  fitted  to  discharge  this 
matter,  came  upon  the  scene.     We  do  not  know  in  any  other 

period  an  occasion  when  the  discharge  of  carbonate  of  lime 

179 


52  NOTES   ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

from  the  sea  was  so  rapid  and  long-continued  as  in  this  form- 
ation. That  the  formation  of  a  large  part  of  the  limestone 
was  very  rapid  is  proven  by  the  frequent  great  size  of  the 
organic  masses  which  compose  it. 

In  the  case  of  reef-building  corals,  which  seem  to  be  the 
only  members  of  the  group  capable  of  making  extensive  de- 
posits of  limestone,  their  development  seems  limited  to  the 
localities  where  they  can  be  exposed  to  a  sweeping  current ; 
in  such  positions  the  corals  may  occupy  a  region  not  over  a 
few  miles  wide  and  generally  only  a  few  hundred  rods  in  trans- 
verse extent.  It  would  seem  that,  in  passing  over  this  distance, 
the  water  becomes  so  far  impoverished  that  it  can  no  longer 
sustain  a  vigorous  growth  of  corals.* 

In  the  case  of  the  crinoid-covered  sea  floor  the  growth  was 
not  limited  in  any  such  fashion,  but  spread  far  and  wide  over 
an  area  of  certainly  hundreds  of  thousands  of  square  miles, 
in  all  of  which  there  is  only  the  least  trace  of  matter  of  an 
argillaceous  or  arenaceous  character.  I  doubt  if  there  is  any- 
where within  the  present  seas,  away  from  the  coral  reefs,  any 
such  great  accumulations  of  limestone  going  on  as  this  affords 
us,  or  if  our  present  seas  could  supply  the  needed  conditions 
in  the  way  of  calcareous  matter. 

The  rapid  growth  of  these  beds  is  also,  in  a  measure,  shown 
by  the  considerable  thickness  of  the  several  layers.  In  no 
other  of  our  unaltered  limestones  do  we  find  thicker  beds. 
This  is  in  part,  certainly,  owing,  as  I  have  already  suggested, 
to  the  fact  that  the  animals  which  formed  the  large  part  of 
this  limestone  grew,  and  to  a  considerable  extent  decayed,  in 
an  upright  position.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that,  if  we  could 
restore  the  old  crinoid  groves  to  the  sea  floor,  and  study  the 
conditions,  we  should  find  them  much  as  follows:  the  crinoid 
stems,  thickly  dotted  over  the  sand  bottom,  where  the  decay- 
ing stems  and  branches,  and  the  numerous  molluscs,  made  a 
bed  of  already  hardened  limestone ;  those  still  living,  would 
rise  from  two  to  four  feet  above  the  surface,  and  spread  their 

*This  point  should  be  determined  by  careful  examination  of  the  quantity  of  different 
substances  contained  in  the  water  before  and  after  it  had  passed  across  the  reef. 

180 


•     THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  53 

arms  some  half  a  foot  when  expanded ;  the  dead  crinoids  would 
quickly  drop  their  heavy  heads,  but  their  stems  would  keep 
•  standing  for  some  time,  and  were  often  half  buried  by  the 
rapid  growth  of  waste  before  decay  brought  them  down  to 
ruin.  The  molluscs,  the  corals,  and  other  minor  elements  of 
the  life,  do  little  more  than  fill  in  the  interstices. 

Many  of  the  beds  accumulated  on  these  old  sea  floors  are 
clearly  the  product  of  other  conditions.  The  very  fine  dolo- 
mitic  limestones  of  Kentucky  seem  to  have  been  made  by  an 
impalpable  mud,  in  which  few  organic  forms  have  ever  been 
buried  in  a  fossil  state.  I  am  not  satisfied  as  to  the  history  of 
these  masses,  but  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  they  mark  a  part 
of  the  time  when  the  sea  floor  was  depressed  to  a  great  depth 
— so  deep  as  to  exclude  these  forms  of  life,  and  bringing  the 
sort  of  conditions  now  found  in  the  deep  sea  region  of  the 
Atlantic. 

The  variations  of  thickness  in  this  deposit  in  Kentucky 
are  considerable.  Passing  to  the  southward,  the  thickness  is 
tolerably  proportionate  to  the  distance  from  the  Ohio  river, 
though  in  the  region  below  Louisville  it  attains  a  considera- 
ble depth.  Its  thickness  at  Cumberland  Gap  is  about  450  feet. 
At  the  Mammoth  Cave  about  three  hundred  feet  are  seen, 
and  a  boring  for  oil  is  said  to  have  shown  five  hundred  feet, 
and  the  boring  stcSpped  in  this  rock.  In  Northern  Tennessee 
it  is  said  to  obtain  the  thickness  of  900  feet. 

It  is  quite  natural  that  a  limestone  should  gain  in  thickness 
towards  the  southward.  It  is  more  than  probable  that  the 
temperature  conditions,  as  well  as  the  influence  of  currents  in 
bringing  supplies  of  fresh  sea  water,  which  we  know  to  be 
most  efficient  means  of  aiding  the  growth  of  all  marine  inver- 
tebrates, were. more  effective  the  further  south  we  go.  To 
this  cause  I  attribute  also  the  gain  in  thickness  of  the  Cincin- 
nati Group,  which  passes  from  about  seven  hundred  feet,  on  the 
Ohio  river,  to  fifteen  hundred  feet  in  the  region  about  Cum- 
berland Gap. 

So  far  as  my  observations  go,  the  Sub-carboniferous  lime- 
stone is  divided  in  Kentucky  into  but  two  distinct  members. 

181 


• 


54  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

The  lower  or  St.  Louis  is  the  massive  and  especially  cavern- 
ous element.  The  upper  or  Chester  begins  to  show  a  change 
from  the  conditions  which  brought  about  perfect  freedom  from 
arenaceous  and  argillaceous  matter,  and  has  its  most,  impor- 
tant physical  character  given  it  by  the  return  of  the  alternating 
sandstones  and  shales  which  form  such  a  sure  mark  of  the 
approaching  shore.  The  Chester  Group  may  be  regarded  as 
beginning  with  the  first  of  the  sandstones  and  ending  where 
the  limestone  ceases. 

There  is  no  trace  in  Kentucky  of  the  Carboniferous  shore 
line,  at  least  until  we  come  to  the  later  stages  of  the  Chester. 
In  the  northwest  and  west  there  is  reason  to  believe  that 
these  rocks  were  deposited  nearer  a  shore;  this  is  shown 
there  by  their  less  continuity  and  the  greater  predominance  of 
the  arenaceous  element  in  their  composition.  To  the  south 
of  Kentucky,  at  least  about  Cumberland  Gap,  this  arenaceous 
element  in  the  Chester  becomes  less  conspicuous  than  it  is 
even  in  the  Mammoth  Cave  district;  hence,  I  conclude  that, 
as  the  first  named  region  was  more  remote  from  the  Lauren- 
tian  shore,  it  may  be  that  there  was  another  shore  line  in  the 
North  Alabama  section ;  but  this  last  named  district  I  have  not 
examined  in  person.  The  immense  and  long-continued  ero- 
sion of  the  period  immediately  following  the  Sub-carbonifer- 
ous limestone,  the  results  of  which  we  see  in  the  conglomerate 
or  the  millstone  grit,  probably  wore  away  all  the  shore  line 
deposits  of  this  period,  as  well  as  the  exposed  shores  of 
many  of  the  older  formations.  Before  the  limestone-making 
creatures  had  been  entirely  driven  out  of  this  sea,  there  is 
abundant  evidence  that  the  carboniferous  vegetation  was 
already  occupying  the  neighboring  land,  and  ready  to  occupy 
the  sea  floor  as  fast  as  it  was  bared  by  the  raising  of  the 
land. 

In  the  upper  Chester  there  are  one  or  two  beds  of  coal 
which  sometimes  attain  to  about  a  foot  in  thickness,  and  are 
found  over  the  western  coal  field  at  almost  every  point  where 
the  limestone  is  exposed.  In  the  eastern  field  this  sub-car- 
boniferous coal  seems  to  be  quite  wanting.  In  the  western 
182 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  55 

coal  field,  the  transition  from  the  limestone  appears  to  have 
been  much  more  slowly  completed  than  in  the  eastern  section, 
there  being,  in  the  Edmonson  coal  district,  three  or  four  dis- 
tinct though  thin  beds  of  marine  limestone  within  one  hund- 
red feet  above  the  lowest  or  Chester  coal,  each  marking  a 
return  of  the  sea  over  the  land  in  the  successive  alternations 
of  movement.  Some  trace  of  this  alternation,  though  in  a 
far  less  degree,  is  seen  in  the  coal  measures  of  Northeastern 
Kentucky.  About  Cumberland  Gap,  however,  the  limestones 
show  no  such  return  to  marine  conditions.  When  the  lime- 
stone-buUding  ceases, 'which  it  does  pretty  abruptly,  it  does 
not  reappear  in  the  subsequent  two  thousand  feet  of  strata. 
I  am  inclined  to  attribute  this,  in  part  at  least,  to  the  far  more 
considerable  amount  of  detritus,  which  accumulated  at  the 
last  named  region,  where  the  conglomerate  is  much  thicker 
than  it  is  in  the  Edmonson  district,  or  in  the  northeastern 
part  of  Kentucky.  This  section,  probably,  remained  in  rather 
deep  water  long  after  the  other  regions  mentioned  had  been 
brought  to  near  the  sea  level.  When  this  process  of  uplift- 
ing had  ended  the  Sub-carboniferous  period,  by  extinguishing 
the  life  which  made  that  time  so  conspicuous,  there  seems  to 
have  been  a  time  of  comparative  steadiness,  during  which 
the  land  retained  its  position  with  reference  to  the  sea.  Al- 
though local  variations  in  the  deposits  make  it  tolerably  diffi- 
cult to  make  general  assertions  concerning  the  beds  that 
succeed  the  Sub-carboniferous  limestone,  it  is  doubtless  usu- 
ally true  that  the  Western  Kentucky  section  gives  us  gener- 
ally sandstones  more  or  less  dense,  and  but  little  shale.  The 
sandstones  and  the  shales  seem  to  be  fresh  or  brackish  water 
deposits.  In  Eastern  Kentucky,  however,  the  amount  of 
shales  is  relatively  much  greater  than  in  Western  Kentucky. 
Here,  too,  these  shales  were  apparently  formed  in  fresh 
water,  and  the  conditions  were  sufficiently  favorable  for  the 
formation  of  two  or  three  beds  of  coal,  within  about  one  hund- 
red feet  from  the  top  of  the  limestone.  These  beds  of  coal 
are  about  the  most  persistent  and  trustworthy  of  all  the  beds 

known  to  me,  in  Kentucky.     These  coal  beds  show  very  dis- 

183 


56  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

tinctly  the  uniformity  of  the  conditions — the  absence  of  all 
violence  of  a  general  as  well  as  of  a  local  character.  At 
Cumberland  Gap,  those  shales  that  lie  just  above  the  lime- 
stone, contain  no  coal  or  other  signs  of  plant  life,  and  are  very 
sandy,  being  in  places  scarcely  more  than  soft  sandstones. 

In  these  conditions  of  tolerable  uniformity  the  first  stage  of 
the  Carboniferous  period  was  passed.  As  this  period  is  set 
apart  by  its  physical  and  vital  conditions  from  anything  that 
came  before  or  afterwards,  it  deserves  a  special  designation. 
I  shall,  therefore,  in  order  to  indicate  my  sense  of  its  distinct- 
ness as  a  period  in  the  history  of  the  Ohio  basin,  as  well  as 
to  avoid  periphrasis,  give  it  the  name  of  the  Kentucky  shale. 
This  name  is  especially  fit,  inasmuch  as  in  the  region  about 
the  head  waters  of  the  Kentucky  river, we  have  the  best  ex- 
emplification of  the  Sub-conglomerate  coal  series  which  has 
yet  been  examined.  These  geographical  names  have  some 
objectionable  features;  and  when  the  identity  of  time  and 
identity  of  conditions  in  two  regions  can  be  established,  it  is 
doubtless  proper  to  retain  one  name  for  the  two  formations; 
but  in  all  cases  when  the  identity  of  time  is  questionable,  or 
when  the  conditions  were  entirely  different,  I  think  a  local 
name  warrantable  and  desirable.* 

In  point  of  fact  we  know  little  about  the  exact  correspond- 
ence in  age  of  formations ;  so  the  less  we  do  in  the  way  of 
question-begging  in  the  use  of  our  terms  the  better.  Like 
the  other  local  names  which  we  have  adopted  for  our  Ken- 
tucky rocks,  it  asserts  a  place  of  occurrence  and  something 
of  the  physical  character  of  the  bed,  leaving  the  question  of 
its  precise  horizontal  equivalence  to  be  determined  hereafter. 

It  is  quite  evident  that  the  exposure  of  the  land  was  long 
continued,  and  that  the  area  above  the  water  level,  in  West- 
ern Kentucky  at  least,  was  considerable.    On  the  lower  waters 

♦  It  sho.ild  l)C  noticed  that  there  are  two  elements  to  be  denoted  by  a  name  such  as 
Bath  Ouliie-the  time  when  it  was  formed,  with  relation  to  the  general  luNto  y  of  the  world, 
anl  the  phy4cal  condition<;  existing  at  that  place  at  the  time  when  it  was  lad  <!own.  If  we 
find  at  another  point  a  series  of  volcanic  deposits,  a  deep  sea  shale  or  recent  plant  beds, 
which  can  be  identified  in  age,  with  the  above  named  formation,  it  would  not  be  reasonable 
to  give  them  the  definite  name  of  Bath  Oolite,  or  even  Bathonien,  in  the  generalized  nomen- 
clature of  D'Orbigny. 

184 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  57 

of  Nolin  river,  we  have  distinct  evidence  of  the  excavation  of 
a  large  river  basin  in  the  rocks  of  this  Kentucky  period,  after 
some  of  the  coals  were  formed.  Into  this  basin  the  moving 
pebbles  of  the  Conglomerate  or  Millstone  Grit  period  were 
poured,  filling  it  up  to  a  depth  of  two  hundred  feet  or  more. 
This  section  compels  us  to  suppose  that,  after  the  formation 
of  the  Kentucky  shales,  there  was  a  period  of  degradation, 
when  running  water  cut  down  river  beds  as  deep  as  those 
which  now  traverse  the  country. 

There  have  been  so  few  openings  made  into  the  rocks  of  this 
age  in  the  way  of  mines,  that  we  are  not  able  to  say  whether 
this  sort  of  erosion  is  common  or  not;  but  this  is  the  only  case 
that  has  been  observed.  The  sectional  area  of  the  excava- 
tion is  about  as  great  as  we  could  expect  in  the  case  of  a 
stream  of  the  size  of  the  neighboring  Green  river,  which,  as 
is  well  known,  drains  a  considerable  area.  The  course  of 
flow  of  the  stream  is  not  clearly  marked,  but  the  excavation 
has  its  axis  in  a  northeast  and  southwest  direction.  There 
is  enough  known  of  the  structure  of  the  rocks  of  this  period 
to  make  it  sure  that  their  surface  was  not  exposed  to  any  very 
destructive  denudation  at  its  close. 

After  about  one  hundred  feet  of  coal-bearing  beds  had  been 
laid  down,  there  came  a  great  change  over  all  the  physical 
and  organic  conditions — a  change  on  many  accounts  the  most 
inexplicable  of  any  that  are  indicated  in  the  whole  series  of 
rocks.  We  shall  soon  have  to  consider  the  nature  and  cause 
of  this  change;  but  it  should  be  remarked,  before  alluding 
thereto,  that  this  period,  which  we  have  called  the  Kentucky 
period,  was,  so  far  as  our  knowledge  goes,  peculiar  to  the  Ohio 
Valley.  In  other  regions  the  Millstone  Grit,  or  the  Conglom- 
erate, comes  immediately  after  the  Carboniferous  Limestone. 
In  this  region,  the  Carboniferous  Limestone  seems  to  have 
been  brought  to  the  water's  edge  sooner  than  at  other  points, 
and  thus  time  was  secured  for  the  formation  of  the  Kentucky 
shale.  I  am  inclined  to  prefer  this  explanation  to  the  hypoth- 
esis  that  the  conglomerate-forming  forces   did   not  get   into 

action  at  this  point  until  long  after  they  had  begun  to  operate 

18S 


58  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

at  Other  points,  though  this  last  hypothesis  may  turn  out  to  be 
true.  It  seems  to  me  probable  that  a  set  of  causes,  compe- 
tent to  bring  about  such  an  extreme  revolution,  would  have 
acted  over  the  whole  region  at  the  same  time ;  or,  at  least, 
would  have  advanced  with  too  much  rapidity  to  leave  time 
for  the  formation  of  these  shales.  It  seems  to  me,  therefore, 
that  these  beds  are,  in  fact.  Sub-carboniferous,  answering  to 
the  later  stages  of  the  limestone  period  in  other  regions. 
There  is,  however,  no  sufficient  evidence  of  this ;  and  it  seems 
to  me,  therefore,  best  to  denote  the  doubt  by  a  geographical 
name,  which  does  not  prejudge  the  question. 

The  passage  from  the  Kentucky  shales  to  the  period  of  the 
Millstone  Grit  was  apparently  attended  by  a  slight  and  exceed- 
ingly uniform  subsidence  throughout  all  the  Carboniferous  re- 
gion known  to  us.  This  down-sinking  was  not  accompanied 
by  a  return  of  the  organic  life  which  usually  comes  with  the 
returning  sea.  A  vast  mass  of  sand  and  gravel,  urged  by 
strong  currents,  swept  over  this  region ;  no  marine  life  what- 
ever was  developed  in  it,  and  faint  traces  of  land  life  have 
been  found  wherever  it  occurs.  We  find  it  by  no  means  easy 
to  explain  this  period,  with  its  inundation  of  detrital  materials, 
by  anything  in  the  existing  conditions  of  the  earth ;  but  in 
the  events  of  the  glacial  period,  which  has  just  passed  away, 
something  of  similarity  may  be  discerned.  We  may  from  that 
period  construct  a  hypothesis  which  will  in  the  main  explain 
the  conditions  of  the  Millstone  Grit  time. 

During  a  long  series  of  ages,  in  which  the  Sub-carboniferous 
Limestone  and  the  Kentucky  shale  were  depositing,  the  surface 
of  the  neighboring  land  to  the  north  and  east  was  probably 
undergoing  that  process  of  slow  decay  which  clearly  goes 
on  wherever  the  land  is  for  a  long  time  exposed  to  atmos- 
pheric action.  In  a  few  million  years  to  come,  provided  the 
region  is  not  ice  or  sea-swept,  the  great  primordial  region  to 
the  north  will  have  its  rocks  decayed  to  a  great  depth,  just  as 
they  are  now  decayed  in  the  Unaka  section  of  the  Appalach- 
ian system,  as  has  been  described  by  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  and 
later  by  Dr.  T.   Sterry  Hunt.     The  granites,  syenites,  mica 

i86 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  59 

schists,  and  other  allied  rocks,  might  become  so  softened  as 
to  offer  scarcely  more  resistance  than  incoherent  sand  to  any 
abrading  force.  Now,  when  the  great  ice-sheet  comes  down 
again  over  this  region  with  its  rock-grinding  forces,  this  de- 
cayed surface  would  be  worn  away  with  great  rapidity,  and  the 
waste  delivered  to  the  sea,  to  be  carried  by  it  far  and  wide. 
We  must  not  estimate  the  vigor  of  action  of  a  moving  glacial 
sheet  by  supposing  it  imposed  on  such  a  clean-stripped  hard 
rock  surface  as  we  now  find  in  the  region  north  of  the  great 
lakes,  but  must  consider  it  as  generally  acting  on  a  region 
incoherent  from  decay  for  many  feet  below  the  surface. 

The  only  material  which  holds  its  structure  in  the  sort  of 
slow  decay  which  we  have  referred  to,  is  the  quartz,  or  other 
very  silicious  rock,  which  may  be  mingled  with  the  more  per- 
ishable materials ;  so  that,  in  the  movement  of  matter  into  the 
sea  by  the  glacier,  the  quartz  would  be  almost  the  only  evaded 
material  which  would  retain  its  form.  That  this  hypothesis  will 
reasonably  well  account  for  the  most  prominent  features  of  the 
Carboniferous  conglomerate  series,  will,  I  think  be  evideint  to 
any  one  who  will  carefully  examine  its  structure  and  contents. 
Wherever  it  occurs  in  Kentucky,  it  consists  of  thick  beds  of 
sand,  composed  of  quartz  and  mica,  with  infrequent  small  bits 
of  feldspar,  the  whole  more  or  less  mingled  with  pebbles  of 
quartz  and  felsite,  quite  unmixed  with  any  more  composite 
rocks,  such  as  granite  or  syenite.  The  thickness  of  this  for- 
mation varies  greatly  in  different  sections  in  Western  Ken- 
tucky; except  in  the  pocket-like  depression  at  Dismal  Rock, 
the  thickness  does  not  exceed  one  hundred  feet.  The  peb- 
bles are  small  and  not  numerous,  and  the  sand  finer-grained 
than  in  the  other  districts.  At  many  points  the  pebbles  can- 
not b^  discovered,  and  the  rocks  are  only  r,ecognized  by  their 
massive  nature  and  the  absence  of  all  marks  of  life.  In  North- 
eastern Kentucky  we  have  much  the  same  features,  though 
the  pebbles  are  more  general  in  their  occurrence.  As  we  go 
southward,  along  the  Alleghenies,  this  formation  increases  in 
thickness,  while   the  size  of  the  pebbles  remain  about  the 

same.     Along  with  the  increase  in  the  thickness  of  the  mass 

187 


60  NOTES  ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

goes  an  apparent  reduction  In  its  Azoic  character,  there  being 
more  evidence  of  vegetation  in  Pennsylvania  during  this  Con- 
glomerate period.  When  we  come  to  Cumberland  Gap,  the 
section  containing  pebbles  exceeds  three  hundred  feet  in  thick- 
ness, though  it  contains  a  small  bed  of  coal  in  the  very  midst 
of  the  pebble-bearing  rocks.  This  thin  bed  of  coal  occurs  in 
the  midst  of  some  clays  which  are  intercalated  in  the  Con- 

• 

glomerate,  and  which  seems  to  mark  a  temporary  and  local 
change  in  the  conditions  of  its  deposition.  I  am  unable  to 
offer  any  other  explanation  of  the  southward  thickening  of  this 
formation  in  this  field,  except  the  fact  that  the  high  mountain 
region  of  North  Carolina,  which  probably  had  several  thousand 
feet  more  altitude  than  at  the  present  time,  is  nearer  to  this 
section  than  it  is  to  the  northern  part  of  Kentucky.  In  the 
distribution  of  the  sediment  of  the  Millstone  Grit,  this  Unaka 
Island,  as  we  may  call  the  ancient  North  Carolina  land,  seems 
to  have  had  more  influence  than  the  Laurentian  Island,  which 
lay  to  the  north  of  the  present  position  of  the  great  lakes. 

In  Northern  and  Western  Kentucky  the  Conglomerate  period 
seems  to  have  been  followed  by  a  period  when  the  invasions  of 
sand  were  rarer,  and  more  mud,  laid  down  in  brackish  water, 
was  introduced  into  the  Carboniferous  section.  In  the  Cum- 
berland Gap  section  the  sandstones  predominate.far  more  than 
in  the  other  districts,  showing  plainly  the  greater  nearness 
to  the  sources  of  those  coarse  sediments.  In  Northern  and 
Western  Kentucky  there  were  several  great  invasions  of  the 
sea  during  the  formation  of  the  section  which  follows  the  Con- 
glomerate. These  returns  of  the  sea  appear  to  have  brought 
tolerably  deep  water  in  more  than  one  case.  These  inter- 
carboniferous  limestones  demand,  and  will  receive,  especial 
attention  from  this  Survey.  At  present,  it  is  only  intended 
to  notice  their  occurrence. 

The  whole  of  the  Kentucky  section  shows,  in  a  distinct  fash- 
ion, an  extraordinary  succession  of  upheavals  and  subsidences, 
bringing  the  region  alternatingly  above  and  below  the  water 
level.  To  understand  this  action,  it  is  necessary  to  consider 
the  following  points: 

i88 


THE    KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  6 1 

We  know  that  continents,  as  a  whole,  have  probably  a  con- 
stant upward  tendency,  the  periods  in  which  their  surfaces 
are  borne  down  being  temporary  and  more  or  less  local.  The 
theory  of  the  formation  of  continents  requires  us  to  suppose 
that  their  constant  tendency  is  upward.  It  is  generally  ac- 
cepted that  they  are  the  result  of  the  continued  loss  of  heat 
from  the  earth,  and  the  accommodation  of  the  outer  portion  to 
the  diminishing  interior.  This  causes  the  superficial  parts  of 
the  earth's  surface  to  wrinkle,  as  the  outer  rind  of  an  apple 
does  in  the  shrinkage  necessarily  caused  by  drying.  These 
earth-wrinkles,  when  once  begun,  tend  constantly  to  increase 
in  height.  All  through  the  history  of  North  America  the 
Laurentian  Island  and  the  Unaka  Island,  which  seem  to  have 
been  two  of  its  principal  nuclei,  have  been  rising  upwards, 
by  the  action  of  the  subterranean  forces,  to  meet  the  constant 
wear  from  the  action  of  the  solar  forces  operating  through 
rain  and  ice.  But  in  this  normal  uplifting  action  there  come 
pauses  or  reversals  of  the  movement,  which  demand  more 
consideration  than  they  have  received.  I  have  elsewhere 
endeavored  to  account  for  these  changes  in  direction  by  show- 
ing that  they  may  be  in  part  produced  by  a  mere  change  in 
the  position  of  the  fulcrum  point  of  a  see-saw  movement  in 
which,  on  the  whole,  the  land  is  steadily  going  up  and  the 
sea  floor  steadily  subsiding.*  Another  cause  of  subsidence  is 
doubtless  the  existence  of  glacial  envelopes  at  various  stages 
of  the  earth's  history.  We  already  know  enough  of  the  his- 
tory of  the  last  ice  time  to  be  quite  sure  that,  wherever  the 
ice  lay  deep,  there  we  had  a  lowering  of  the  level  of  the  land, 
which  continued  some  time  after  the  ice  had  passed  away. 
It  seems  likely  that  there  was  a  compensating  elevation  of 
the  region  south  of  the  glacial  line,  occurring  coincidently 
with  the  depression  to  the  northward. 

Without  endeavoring  to  discuss  the  important  and  difficult 
questions  connected  with  this  field  of  geological  inquiry,  I  will 
now  call  the  reader's  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  evidence 
goes  to  show  us  that  the  region  of  the  Ohio  Valley  was  a 

*  Memoirs  Boston  Society  of  Natural  History,  Volume  II,  p.  337. 

189 


62  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

vast  and  tolerably  level  district,  the  surface  having  been  made 
horizontal  by  long-continued  deposition  of  marine  beds.  This 
area  of  plains  had  come,  at  the  Carboniferous  period,  to  some- 
where near  the  level  of  the  sea.  I  am  inclined  to  think,  that 
at  this  time  the  northern  hemisphere  was  under  the  influence 
of  repeated  and  extensive  glaciation.  The  evidence  of  this  is 
found  in  the  vast  amount  of  detrital  matter  set  in  motion  at  this 
time,  which  apparently  much  exceeded  in  amount  all  that  had 
ever  been  given  to  the  sea  since  the  organic  record  began. 
No  period  before  or  since,  in  the  history  of  the  earth,  as  far  as 
known  by  us,  has  equaled  the  amount  of  mechanical  sediment 
of  this  time.  If  I  am  correct  in  supposing  that  the  Carbonif- 
erous period  was  a  period  of  repeated  glacial  action,  we  may 
regard  the  luxuriant  forests  as  occurring  in  the  mild  intervals 
of  that  glacial  time.  We  have  sufficient  evidence  that  lux- 
uriant forests,  consequent  on  an  excessive  rain-fall,  are  possi- 
ble associates  of  a  glacial  period.  Without  attributing '  too 
much  importance  to  these  hypotheses,  I  would  sum  up  my 
conjectures  concerning  the  conditions  of  the  Carboniferous 
time  as  follows :  that  vast  quantities  of  sand  and  gravel  were 
thrown  into  the  sea  by  glacial  action.  The  successive  uplifts 
and  depressions,  amounting  to  at  least  twenty  near  Cumber- 
land Gap,  were  due  to  the  changes  in  the  ice-sheet  or  heavy 
coating  of  ice  disturbing  the  equilibrium  of  the  land.  The 
rich  vegetation  may  be  accounted  for,  in  part  at  least,  by  the 
abundant  rains  of  that  time.* 

The  Kentucky  series  of  rocks  closes  with  the  middle  of  the 
Carboniferous  period,  and  it  is  likely  that  the  highest  part  of 
the  Kentucky  rocks  does  not  extend  above  the  middle  of  that 
part  of  the  coal-bearing  beds.  The  whole  question  of  the  re- 
lation of  these  beds  to  the  Pennsylvania  section  is  so  much  in 

*It  may  be  objected  that  the  occurrence  of  coal  within  the  arctic  circle  militates  against 
this  view.  I  have  elsewhere  tried  to  show  that  it  is  a  natural  consequence  of  a  glacial 
period  to  so  lower  the  land  barriers  about  the  pole  that,  by  admitting  the  tropical  streams, 
the  arctic  regions  are  kept  at  a  relatively  high  temperature  until  the  barrier  of  land  rises 
once  again.  Without  the  machinery  of  the  glacial  conditions  I  am  unable  to  get  any  clue 
to  Uie  repeated  movements  of  the  land,  the  great  quantity  of  detritus,  which,  from  its 
character,  must  have  come  from  the  neighboring  {granite  areas,  that  are  the  natural 
leats  of  glacial  action,  or  for  the  evidences  of  great  rain-fall  afforded  by  the  carboniferous 
conditions. 

190 


THE    KENTUCKY    GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  63 

doubt,  and  will  require  so  much  more  evidence  for  its  solution, 
that  I  do  not  venture  to  attach  it  here.  Nor  do  I  regard  the 
contemporaneity  of  the  beds  at  Cumberland  Gap  and  in  North- 
ern Kentucky  as  sufficiently  established.  All  the  experience 
of  the  officers  of  the  present  Survey  goes  against  the 
plan  of  endeavoring  to  determine  the  synchroniety  of  beds  by 
their  fossil  contents,  at  least  by  their  vegetable  fossils.  The 
geographical  distribution  of  plants  over  a  great  section,  even 
in  very  uniform  forests  of  the  Carboniferous  period,  makes  this 
a  dangerous  method.  In  the  hands  of  the  great  master  of  the 
subject,  M.  Lesquereaux,  its  results  are  not  always  satisfac- 
tory; and  for  the  practical  work  of  the  field  geologist  it  has 
relatively  little  value. 

I  very  much  doubt  if  a  single  one  of  the  beds  at  Cumber- 
land Gap  can  be  traced  through  to  Western  Kentucky,  and 
but  few  will  find  their  determinable  equivalents  in  Northern 
Kentucky.  There  seems  an  ideal  reason  why  there  should  be 
some  sort  of  identity  between  these  beds  at  different  points ; 
but  when  we  come  to  determine  it  in  a  practical  manner,  it  is 
found  quite  difficult,  if  not  actually  impossible,  to  make  sure 
of  the  identity. 

The  only  beds  above  the  carboniferous,  which  have  been 
seen  by  this  Survey,  are  the  beds  previously  referred  to  in  the 
region  bordering  the  Mississippi.  The  general  character  of 
these  beds  is  such  as  would  be  given  by  formation  in  fresh 
water  lakes.  The  only  consideration  I  shall  advert  to  here 
is  as  to  the  method  of  inclosing  a  fresh  water  lake  at  this 
point.  May  it  not  be  that,  while  the  glacial  period  by  its  ice 
sheet  caused  the  northern  regions  to  sink  down,  the  south- 
ern belt  of  land  was  coincidently  uplifted?  If  this  be  the 
case,  then  it  is  quite  possible  that,  during  some  of  the  Tertiary 
periods,  this  section  was  converted  into  a  fresh  water  lake  by 
the  upheaval  of  the  land  to  the  southwards.  I  have  long  been 
obliged  to  conclude,  from  the  phenomena  of  our  coast  line,  that 
the  belt  south  of  the  glacial  line  went  up  when  that  within  the 
ice  belt  went  down,  and  in  turn  sunk  down  when  the  ice-worn 

region,  relieved  of  its  weight,  came  again  above  the  sea. 

191 


64  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

Having  rapidly  glanced  at  the  remarkable  succession  of  the 
phenomena  of  our  Kentucky  series,  and  endeavored  to  give 
some  conjectures  as  to  their  meaning,  I  propose  now,  in  clos- 
ing, to  note  some  points  of  a  general  character  as  to  the  ori- 
gin of  these  sediments  and  their  value  as  evidences  of  the 
geography  of  the  times  when  the  rocks  they  composed  were 
laid  down  on  the  floor  of  the  sea. 

By  reference  to  the  several  reports  of  the  chemists  of  this 
Survey,  it  will  be  seen  that  there  are  a  great  number  of  beds 
in  the  State  composed  of  materials  containing  a  large  propor- 
tion of  soda  and  potash.  Attention  has  already  been  called  to 
the  presence  of  considerable  quantities  of  mica  and  quartz  in 
the  coarser  sediments,  such  as  the  sandstones.  These  facts  go 
to  show  that  this  region  received  a  large  share  of  sediment  of 
the  original  granite  centers  of  the  continent,  though  these 
centers  must  have  been  more  than  five  hundred  miles  distant 
on  the  northern  and  over  one  hundred  miles  on  the  eastern 
face  of  the  State.  That  there  were  powerful  transporting 
agents  at  work  in  this  section  is  sufficiently  shown  by  the 
great  distances  traversed  by  these  waste  materials. 

All  the  coarse-grained  rocks  after  the  Cincinnati  Group 
increase  in  volume  as  we  approach  the  Unaka  Island.  In 
that  group  we  find,  as  we  approach  the  position  of  the  Unaka 
Mountains,  that  the  limestone  becomes  converted  into  a  fine- 
grained shale  of  a  red  color,  containing  only  small  tribolites, 
just  such  an  assemblage  of  characters  as  should  be  found 
in  beds  deposited  in  deep  sea  conditions  in  the  formations 
answering  to  the  Potsdam  sandstone  and  Calciferous  sand 
rock.  So  far  as  I  have  seen  them,  there  is  a  remarkable 
absence  of  sandstones,  which  I  cannot  think  could  well  have 
occurred  had  the  Unaka  Mountain  Island  been  above  the  sea 
only  forty  miles  away.  I  therefore  venture  to  doubt  whether 
this  mass  came  above  the  sea  until  after  the  Cincinnati  period. 
After  that  time  every  period  except  the  Ohio  shale  shows  the 
effects  of  its  nearness  to  that  mountain.  The  absence  of  any 
mark  of  mechanical  detritus  in  the  case  of  the  Ohio  shale 
leads  me  to  think  that  that  Unaka  Island  may  have  been  again 

«9a 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  65 

lowered  below  the  sea,  or  in  some  way  separated  from  the 
waters  in  which  this  shale  was  deposited. 


CHAPTER  III. 


We  come  now  to  consider  the  events  of  that  great  suc- 
cession of  periods  of  which  no  distinct  record  has  been  left  to 
us,  owing  to  the  fact  th^t  the  State  was  above  the  level  of 
the  recording  sea.  On  the  west  of  the  Mississippi  we  have 
evidence  of  several  fresh  water  deposits,  which  hold  large 
quantities  of  remains  of  animals  of  early  Tertiary  age.  Along 
the  banks  of  our  rivers  many  such  deposits  must  have  been 
formed  in  each  of  the  successive  ages ;  but  while  the  region 
of  the  Mauvaises  terres  and  other  western  Tertiary  localities 
have  been  exposed  to  a  comparatively  light  rain-fall,  and  con- 
sequent slight  erosion,  this  Ohio  Valley  has  probably  always 
been  the  seat  of  very  active  erosive  forces  ever  since  the  form- 
ation of  the  Appalachian  chain,  owing  to  the  large  rain-fall  that 
must  have  been  always  brought  by  the  counter  trade-winds. 
In  the  olden  time,  when  the  Appalachians  had  probably  double 
their  present  height  at  least,  the  rain-fall  would  have  been  much 
greater  than  it  is  at  present.  Owing  to  this  great  and  inces- 
sant wear,  the  records  made  in  fresh  water  lakes  and  beds  bor- 
dering the  rivers  have  been  all  swept  away  within  a  short  time 
after  their  formation.  There  are  but  two  or  three  points  in  the 
State  where  there  seems  to  be  a  chance  of  finding  Tertiary 
deposits  of  any  considerable  age.  These  are  in  the  detached 
bluffs  along  the  Mississippi  river,  which  have  not  as  yet 
begun  to  be  examined.  It  will  be  only  a  fortunate  accident 
that  can  give  us  their  animal  remains  of  any  considerable 
antiquity,  so  great  and  incessant  has  been  the  erosive  action 
of  the  Mississippi.  The  only  hope  we  can  have  of  getting 
more  records  of  the  land  life  of  the  remote  past  of  the  Ohio 
Valley  is  in  the  deposits  made  in  the  caverns  which  are  so 
plentifully  interspersed  throughout  the  State. 

VOL.  111.-13  '^3 


66  NOTES  ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

In  the  first  volume  of  the  Memoirs  of  this  Survey,  I  have 
endeavored  to  give  some  facts  and  opinions  concerning  the 
antiquity  of  the  caverns  and  cavern  life  of  Kentucky.  There 
seems  no  good  reason  to  hope  from  them  any  records  that 
will  carry  us  back  further  than  the  early  part  of  the  Miocene 
period,  if  so  far.  The  rate  of  erosion  in  this  country  at  the 
present  time  is  carrying  the  surface  downwards  at  a  rate  which 
cannot  be  reckoned  at  less  than  one  foot  in  seven  thousand 
years,  and  probably  much  more  rapidly;  so  that  the  upper- 
most of  these  caverns  known  to  me  in  this  region  cannot  well 
have  an  antiquity  exceeding  two  million  of  years,  which  does 
not  probably  take  us  back  of  the  Miocene  period.  No  exten- 
sive excavations  have  as  yet  been  undertaken  in  this  cavern 
district.  In  order  to  make  this  search  profitable,  a  thorough 
preliminary  reconnoissance  should  be  made,  with  a  view  to 
ascertaining  where  there  is  the  greatest  likelihood  of  success. 
It  is  manifest  that  the  best  chances  will  be  found  in  the  upper- 
most set  of  caverns,  or,  better  still,  existing  in  the  crevices 
which  are  sometimes  found  in  the  summits  of  hills  where  the 
old  caverns  have  lost  their  roofs,  and  only  the  accumulations 
formed  in  their  halls  remain  to  attest  their  former  exist- 
ence. It  wilt  be  only  after  the  most  detailed  study  of  the 
State,  that  there  will  be  a  sufficiently  accurate  knowledge 
gained  to  search  these  records  with  intelligence.  When  we 
consider,  however,  that  the  whole  surface  of  the  limestone 
districts  is  scattered  over  with  sink-holes,  that,  to  the  num- 
ber of  hundreds  of  thousands,  afford  a  sort  of  trap  for  the 
capture  of  the  remains  of  land  animals,  which  are  swept  down 
into  the  caves  beneath ;  when  we,  furthermore,  consider  that, 
by  the  action  of  mud-accumulation  and  stalagmitic  growth,  the 
upper  level  of  caverns  is  always  tending  to  closure,  it  will  be 
readily  seen  that  a  vast  amount  of  the  remains  of  the  land 
animals  which  have  lived  in  this  district  must  be  entombed  in 
its  caverns. 

We  get  some  idea  of  the  later  stages  of  the  land  life  of 

Kentucky  from  the  beds  which  have  been  formed  by  the  salt 

springs  or  lick  deposits  of  the  State.     Big  Bone   Lick,  the 
194 


THE   KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  67 

most  extensive  of  these  accumulations,  has  a  world-wide  celeb- 
rity on  account  of  the  occurrence  there  of  remains  of  gigantic 
mammals  of  extinct  species.  The  great  importance  of  the 
record  it  has  preserved  for  us  makes  it  desirable  to  give  some 
better  account  of  this,  as  well  as  other  deposits  of  a  similar 
nature,  which  I  shall  now  proceed  to  do. 

The  fact  that,  during  the  period  of  the  calciferous  sand  rock, 
there  was  a  considerable  deposit  of  salt  in  the  region  about 
Cincinnati,  has  already  been  remarked  in  a  preceding  chapter 
of  this  report.  This  store  of  saline  matter  remained  intact 
during  all  the  time  when  the  superincumbent  beds  were  wear- 
ing away  from  this  surface.  Now,  that  the  level  has  worn 
down  near  to  the  calciferous  sand  rock,  the  surface  water  pen- 
etrates into  this  formation,  and  works  up  again  to  the  sur- 
face at  various  points,  always  in  the  bottoms  of  the  valleys, 
making  saline  springs.  Owing  to  the  circumstance  of  their 
discharge  in  the  lowest  level  of  the  valleys,  these  springs  fre- 
quently form  a  boggy  place  around  their  mouths.  At  times 
these  bogs  are  extensive  and  the  mud  many  fathoms  deep. 
Big  Bone  Lick,  in  Boone  county,  is  the  largest  and  most 
famous  of  these  licks.  There  the  saline  waters  come  up  at 
various  points  over  an ,  area  of  about  sixty  acres,  as  rather 
large  springs,  each  of  which,  unless  artificially  confined,  oozes 
out  through  a  large  boggy  area  which  may  be  fifty  feet  across. 
These  springs  have  been  liable  to  changes  of  position — much 
of  the  area  that  is  now  hard  ground  bearing  evidence  of 
having  been  at  one  time  in  the  soft  state  which  is  now  pecu- 
liar to  the  points  immediately  about  the  springs.  The  valley 
of  the  creek  in  which  these  springs  lie  is  widened  at  the 
point  where  they  occur  to  an  unusual  width.  The  neighbor- 
ing table  lands  have  a  height  of  about  two  hundred  and 
seventy-five  feet.  At  some  points  near  the  base  of  the  es- 
carpments of  the  table  land  there  are  indications  of  disturb- 
ance in  the  limestone  rocks,  which  can  only  be  accounted 
for  on  the  supposition  that  these  springs  have  gradually  car- 
ried away  in  a  dissolved  form  a  great  mass  of  matter  from 

the  underlying  rocks,  thus  bringing   about  subsidences  in  the 

195 


68  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

section.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  the  annual  waste  from 
these  springs  amounts  to  something  like  four  thousand  cubic 
feet  of  solid  matter  per  annum.  When  we  come  to  reckon 
this  back  for  only  a  few  hundred  thousand  years,  we  are  forced 
to  the  conclusion  that  these  springs  must  have  taken  out  a 
great  deal  of  matter  from  a  large  extent  of  territory. 

These  springs,  when  first  visited  by  the  white  man,  pre- 
sented a  surprising  spectacle.  All  around  the  springs  the 
ground  was.  trampled  bare  by  the  myriads  of  buffalo  that 
resorted  to  their  v/aters  for  salt.  In  those  trodden  grounds 
lay  quantities  of  bones  of  gigantic  size  belonging  to  the  ex- 
tinct elephants  of  this  region.  The  fact  that  these  bones  lay 
loose  upon  the  surface  is  to  be  explained  by  the  incessant 
trampling  of  the  buffalo  and  by  the  stream,  which,  at  its  flood, 
sweeps  over  this  lowland,  excavating  the  low  banks  in  which 
these  bones  lay  buried.  The  successive  collections  made  at 
this  point,  during  the  last  part  of  the  last  century  and  the 
early  part  of  this,  have  been  so  large  that  we  must  reckon  the 
amount  of  bones  originally  exposed  at  tens  of  tons  in  weight. 
There  doubtless  still  remain  the  fragments  of  many  thousands 
of  individuals  entombed  in  these  swamps.  These  remains  are 
generally  comminuted  by  the  treading  of  the  living  animals, 
often  worn  to  mere  pebbles  of  bone.  I  do  not  believe  that 
any  perfect  animals  are  likely  to  be  found  in  the  swamps  near 
the  springs.  At  the  very  top  occur  the  last  that  died,  the 
bones  of  which  were  not  trodden  by  any  gigantic  animals. 
Lower  down  we  have  only  remains  which  have  been  ground 
as  in  a  mill  by  the  feet  of  their  struggling  kindred. 

It  is  only  at  points  remote  from  the  springs,  where  the  beds 
seem  to  have  been  formed  by  a  mixture  of  the  creek  mud  and 
the  waste  from  the  springs,  that  we  find  the  remains  in  the 
order  which  will  enable  us  to  form  some  opinion  as  to  the 
succession  of  occurrence  of  these  animals  at  this  point.* 

After  a  good  deal  of  necessary  exploration  I  succeeded, 
in  1868,  in  finding  one  place  where  there  seemed  to  be  a  dis- 

*See  Appendix  to  the  Memoir  of  Mr.  Allen,  in  the  1st  volome  of  the  Memoirs  of  this 
Survey. 

196 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  69 

tinct  order  of  succession.  At  this  point,  at  eight  feet  from  the 
surface,  I  found  Elephas,  supposed  to  be  E,  prinii genius  ?  and 
Ovibos  {Bootheriuni)  cavifrons,  and  finally  Mastodon  ohioticus ; 
above  the  Mastodon  ohioticus,  a  horse,  seemingly  perfectly 
comparable  in  age  with  the  mastodon,  as  far  as  all  indications 
derived  from  its  condition,  and  indistinguishable  in  its  teeth  from 
our  domestic  horse ;  the  caribou,  and  possibly  elk — the  for- 
mer proven  by  its  horns  alone — also  the  bones  of  the  Bison 
latifrons ;  above  these  the  common  buffalo,  the  bones  of  which 
are  not  found  at  any  great  depth,  except  in  the  bog  about  the 
springs.  While  retaining  a  good  deal  of  doubt  as  to  the  cer- 
tainty of  this  evidence,  I  am  inclined  to  think  it  likely  that  the 
mammoth  {Elephas  primigenius?)  came  before  the  mastodon, 
and  was  extinct  or  nearly  extinct  some  time  before  the  latter 
beast  had  begun  to  fail.  With  the  mammoth  we  had  the 
large  Ovibos,  called  Bootherium  by  Leidy.  I  find  no  trace  of  its 
remains  near  the  surface.  The  only  point  I  deem  well  proven 
is,  that  the  musk  ox  and  the  caribou  did  not  come  into  contact 
with  the  recent  buffalo,  but  were  extinct  before  it  came  here. 
It  is  also  pretty  certain  that  the  Elephas  primigenius  and  the 
Mastodon  ohioticus  were  both  anterior  in  date  to  the  buffalo, 
and  it  Js  sufficiently  proven,  on  other  grounds,  that  the  mix- 
ture of  their  bones  here  is  clearly  due  to  the  degradation  of 
the  original  deposits  and  the  consequent  displacement  of  the 
bones  of  the  elephants.* 

It  is  in  the  highest  degree  desirable  in  the  interests  of  sci- 
ence that  these  licks  should  be  worked  to  their  very  bottoms 
in  search  of  their  possible  contents.  While  t  cannot  hope 
that  we  shall  recover  any  remains  of  a  date  older  than  the 
early  Pliocene,  we  may  at  least  hope  for  a  great  addition  to 
our  knowledge  of  the  Kentucky  fauna  during,  and  possibly 
just  anterior  to,  the  glacial  period. 

♦  The  excavations  were  made  by  me  at  my  private  expense,  and  in  part  by  means  furnished 
by  Mr.  James  M.  Barnard,  of  Boston,  who,  with  the  ready  devotion  to  the  cause  of  science 
and  all  other  forms  of  human  culture,  for  which  he  is  so  well  known,  shared  the»  coVt  of 
the  coll  xtions  then  obtained,  amounting  to  at  least  a  ton  of  bones.  These  collections  are 
now  at  the  Museum  of  Comparative  Zoology,  at  Harvard  University,  and  have  furnished 
the  basis  of  the  admirable  memoir  on  the  distribution  and  history  of  the  buflfalo,  by  Mr. 
Joel  A.  Allen,  which  has  just  been  printed  in  the  Memoirs  of  the  Kentucky  Survey. 

197 


70  NOTES   ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

I  have  done  much  work  with  the  hope  of  determining  the 
relation  of  age  between  these  deposits  and  the  drift  period. 
There  is,  however,  scarcely  anything  that  can  be  called  certain 
evidence  on  this  point.  The  drift  beds  do  not  reach  isouth  of 
the  Ohio  in  this  part  of  the  valley.  By  a  judgment,  based  on 
the  appearance  of  the  wear  which  has  taken  place  since  the 
glacial  period  and  since  the  deposition  of  these  remains,  I  have 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  they  are  of  about  the  same  age. 
The  evidence  derived  from  other  sources  is  sufficient  to  prove 
that  both  these  elephants  survived  the  closure  of  the  main 
glacial  action  for  a  very  long  time ;  so  it  is  likely  that  they 
overlapped  that  time  in  this  district  as  well,  and  may  have 
continued  down  to  a  relatively  recent  time.  It  is  probably  in 
this  belt  of  country,  just  south  of  the  southernmost  line  of 
glacial  action,  that  the  mass  of  creatures  driven  south  by  the 
ice-sheet  remained,  until  that  great  invasion  began  to  retreat 
to  the  northward. 

In  this  connection  we  may  notice  the  river  valleys  of  Ken- 
tucky, which  have  much  to  interest  the  student  of  these  re- 
mote times.  As  regards  their  valley  phenomena,  we  observe, 
that,  while  the  rivers  which  discharge  into  the  Ohio  from  the 
northward  are  characterized  by  having  broad  troughs,  in  which 
the  rivers  meander  across  a  breadth  of  alluvial  or  interval  land, 
those  which  fall  into  it  from  the  south  have  only  narrow  gorge- 
like valleys,  not  averaging  one  half  the  width  of  their  north- 
ern representatives.  This  I  believe  due  to  the  fact  that  the 
northern  tributaries  of  the  Ohio  flow  in  valleys  which  were 
swept  by  the  southern  branches  of  the  great  continental  gla- 
cier, while  those  in  Kentucky  have,  ever  since  the  formation 
of  their  present  beds,  been  flowing  in  channels  worn  by  run- 
ning water  alone.  These  differences  are  the  characteristic  dif- 
ferences of  valleys  cut  by  ice  and  by  water.  The  effect  is  to 
give  to  the  northern  streams  a  wide  belt  of  interval  land  which 
is  gradually  built  up  by  the  successive  floods,  and  is  cut  away 
by  other  floods  only  to  be  built  again. 

We  have  north  of  the  Ohio  no  such  extended  canons     as 

are  found  along  our  rivers,  especially  along  the  Kentucky  and 
198 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY. 


71 


the  Green,  where  for  great  distances  there  is  hardly  a  fringe 
of  alluvium  to  border  the  stream.  Moreover,  the  southern 
tributaries  of  the  Ohio  flow  through  much  more  tortuous  val- 
leys ;  they  make,  on  the  average,  nearly  twice  the  distance  in 
going  a  given  number  of  miles  of  direct  course.  When  val- 
leys have  been  shaped  by  ice  they  run  in  much  more  direct 
lines  than  when  the  only  shaping  agent  was  running  water. 
This  matter  is,  however,  foreign  to  our  present  inquiry,  which 
concerns  the  problems  connected  with  the  formation  of  the 
river  deposits  within  the  State.  These  deposits  along  the 
Ohio  are  so  curious  and  so  varied  that  they  deserve  the  con- 
sideration of  a  special  memoir,  which  I  hope  some  time  to 
give  to  their  study.  I  wish  here  to  touch  upon  some  points 
which  may  be  elaborated  hereafter. 

The  Ohio  Valley  has  the  character  of  width  which  belongs 
to  its  tributaries  from  the  north,  though  in  a  relatively  less 
degree.  The  great  Miami,  for  instance,  has  a  valley  about  as 
wide  as  that  of  the  upper  Ohio ;  and  the  same  may  be  said  of 
the  Sciota  and  Muskingum;  but  there  is,  on  the  average, 
nearly  two  miles  of  distance  between  the  hills  in  the  section 
from  Louisville  to  the  Chatterawha  or  Big  Sandy  river.  The 
section  across  this  bottom  varies  a  good  deal  generally.  It 
may  be  typically  represented  by  the  following  diagram : 

OHIO  VALLEY, 


KENTUCKY  VALLEY 


DIAGRAMATIC  SECTIONS  ACROSS  THE 
OHIO  AND  KENTUCKYRIVER  VALLEYS. 

, ONEMIVE> 


£00 
PEEE 


199 


72  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

In  this  we  perceive  that  the  table  land  on  either  side  of  the 
river  slopes  in  an  extremely  gradual  manner  towards  the  main 
stream.  The  bluffs,  constituting  what  are  erroneously  called 
the  river  hills,  descend  abruptly  to  the  plain.  The  basin  con- 
sists of  two  elements,  the  rock  bed  and  the  detrital  materials. 
This  rock  bed  has  been  plowed  out  by  the  stream,  working 
now  here  now  there,  in  its  migrations  to  and  fro  over  the  val- 
ley. It  generally  slopes  towards  the  present  bed,  because  the 
stream  has  worked  there  last.  The  waste  matter  or  alluvium 
of  the  valley  tells  more  of  the  history  of  the  stream  than  does 
the  rock  basin.  The  general  distribution  of  this  matter  is  in 
a  succession  of  terraces,  one  above  the  other,  and  with  areas 
usually  proportional  to  their  height  above  the  stream;  also 
the  height  of  these  terraces  above  each  other  is  less  and  less 
as  we  ascend  the  river.  The  first  terrace  lies  always  at  just 
the  high  water  mark  of  the  floods  of  the  region,  for  the  good 
reason  that  the  degradation  from  the  action  of  atmospheric 
forces  is  just  balanced  by  the  mud  laid  down  by  the  stream. 
The  other  terraces  mark  the  newer  deposits.  The  older  they 
are  the  higher  about  the  present  bed.  On  these  terraces 
denuding  agents  have  been  effectually  at  work,  and  they  are 
generally  the  more  exposed  the  higher  they  are ;  so  the  upper 
terraces  are  not  often  distinctly  defined  one  from  the  other. 
These  terraces,  conspicuous  at  all  points,  are  most  extensively 
shown  near  places  where  the  tributaries  from  the  north  enter 
the  Ohio.  At  such  points  there  is  generally  an  erosion  circus 
of  considerable  area.  It  seems  as  if  the  river  has  been  driven 
about  by  the  accumulations  of  materials  brought  down  by  the 
tributaries  in  such  fashion  that  it  is  compelled  to  widen  its 
bed.  The  conditions  at  Cincinnati  strikingly  illustrate  this 
action.  In  a  remote  past,  it  is  evident  that  the  stream  at  this 
point  was  driven  about  so  as  to  excavate  an  extensive  circus, 
which  has  an  average  diameter  of  about  three  miles.  The  re- 
moteness of  the  time  when  this  action  took  place  may  be  deter- 
mined by  the  height  of  the  terraces  above  high  water  mark. 
Some  of  them  rise  to  at  least  fifty  feet  above  that  line;  yet 

these  upper  terraces,  being  covered  by  drift  of  granitic  peb- 
200 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  73 

bles,  must  have  been  deposited  during,  or  just  after,  some 
period  of  glaciation.  I  am  far  from  certain  that  this  was 
the  last  glacial  period.  I  shall,  indeed,  endeavor  hereafter  to 
show  special  reasons  for  doubt  on  this  point.  It  seems  very 
probable,  as  has  already  been  pointed  out  by  several  students, 
that  the  great  Miami  at  one  time  entered  the  Ohio  at  the 
Cincinnati  circus;  in  which  case  we  may  regard  the  part  of 
this  area  which  is  on  the  north  of  the  Ohio,  as  formed  by  the 
Miami,  rather  than  by  the  Licking  and  the  Ohio.  It  may  be 
given,  as  a  general  rule,  that  wherever  a  tributary  enters 
the  main  stream,  there  is  just  such  a  terraced  plain  as  lies 
on  either  side  of  the  Licking  at  its  mouth ;  and  is  also  found 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Kentucky,  the  Scioto,  and  more  or  less 
distinctly  at  the  mouth  of  all  the  other  tributaries  of  the  Ohio. 
I  am  inclined  to  think,  from  my  observation  of  other  streams, 
and  such  good  maps  as  I  can  obtain,  that  it  is  not  peculiar  to 
this  stream,  but  belongs  of  necessity  to  every  river  system. 
These  excavation  areas  are  probably  due  to  the  interaction 
of  the  currents  of  the  two  streams  in  several  ways.  In  the 
first  place,  the  tributary  has  generally  a  far  more  rapid  current 
than  the  main  stream,  and  consequently  deposits  a  large  share 
of  its  heavier  detritus  at  its  mouth.  This  tends,  in  the  first 
place,  to  shove  the  main  river  against  the  bank  opposite  from 
the  entrance  of  the  stream.  Something  of  this  action  is  ob- 
servable at  several  points  along  the  Ohio  river ;  but  the  more 
prominent  result  is  to  build  bars  across  the  mouth  of  the  trib- 
utary stream,  causing  its  currents  to  be  forced  now  in  one 
direction,  now  in  .another,  and  so  wearing  out  a  wide  basin 
at  its  mouth.  It  is  in  these  intersections  of  the  main  stream 
and  the  tributaries  that  we  find  the  oldest  terraces  that  exist 
along  the  main  river;  those  at  Cincinnati  being,  to  the  best 
of  my  knowledge,  the  highest  that  occur  at  any  point  within 
the  valley. 

We  now  come  to  consider  the  structure  of  these  terraces, 

and  though  this  varies  a  good  deaL  it  is  essentially  uniform. 

201 


74 


NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 


The  diagram  given  above  will  serve  pretty  well  to  show  the 
general  plan  as  it  is  seen  wherever  a  section  can  be  obtained. 
At  the  base  we  find  a  layer  of  water-worn  pebbles,  often  of 
great  size,  it  being  not  infrequent  in  the  older  drifts  to  obtain 
pebbles  near  a  foot  in  diameter,  and  always  profoundly  water- 
worn.  In  the  newer  deposits  of  the  Ohio  river,  the  pebbles 
are  probably  not  anything  like  so  large  as  in  the  older  depos- 
its, a  point  into  which  we  will  need  to  examine  hereafter. 
Above  these  pebbles,  and  mingled  with  them,  lies  s*and  of 
different  degrees  of  coarseness  and  smaller  pebbles,  the  whole 
being  stratified  by  the  action  of  the  water  in  the  way  we  so 
usually  find  in  such  deposits,  the  beds  generally  dipping  to 
wards  the  river,  though  often  irregular  in  this  regard.  Above 
these,  and  in  the  case  of  the  lowest  terrace,  at  points,  saj 
twenty-five  feet  above  low  water,  we  come  at  length  on  the 
fine  loam,  which  becomes  generally  less  and  less  sandy  as 
we  approach  the  top  of  the  terrace.  Near  the  top  we  have 
generally  a  sheet  of  half  decayed  humus,  at  various  points 
near  the  surface,  showing  the  line  of  ancient  soils. 


2oa 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY,  75 

It  is  a  noticeable  fact,  and  one  often  remarked,  that  the  part 
of  the  newest  terrace— that  still  growing,  is  highest  near  the 
river,  and  slopes  back  to  some  drainage,  which  is  generally  in 
the  shape  of  a  creek  flowing  against  the  escarpment  of  the 
rocks  in  which  the  stream  is  excavated.  The  process  of  this 
growth  seems  to  have  been  generally  as  follows:  whenever 
the  river  is  diverted  from  its  course,  and  thereby  begins  to 
work  with  less  force  against  one  of  its  banks  and  with  greater 
force  against  the  other,  the  slackening  current  first  leaves  there 
the  pebbles  of  the  large  size  that  the  stream  ordinarily  car- 
ries ;  then,  as  with  the  extending  diversion  of  the  stream  the 
current  still  further  slackens,  the  materials  of  less  weight  will 
fail  to  be  carried  on.  As  the  new  terrace  gets  still  higher 
above  the  bed  of  the  stream,  a  finer  class  of  detritus  will  be 
laid  down  on  it,  until  the  fine  sediment  borne  near  the  top  of 
the  stream  will  be  the  only  material  lifted  to  its  level.  The 
result  is,  that,  no  matter  how  many  times  the  bank  is  washed 
away  and  filled  in  again,  it  will  have  the  same  general  char- 
acter. 

It  is  necessary  to  call  attention  to  certain  peculiarities  of 
these  terraces,  which  tell  an  important  story.  The  second 
bank  at  Newport,  and  at  various  other  points— the  bank  which 
has  its  top  about  twenty-five  feet  above  high  water,  contains 
a  good  deal  of  a  tough  blue  clay— a  clay  wherein  the  mud  is 
finely  triturated,  and  which  owes  to  some  peculiarity  a  grey- 
blue  tint,  which  is  by  no  means  common  in  our  clays.  I  have 
never  found  this  clay  away  from  regions  affected  by  glacial 
actions.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  it  was  formed  at  the  time 
the  valley  was  swept  by  the  floods,  which  came  during  and 
at  the  close  of  the  glacial  period,  when,  for  a  great  length 
of  time,  this  valley  was  the  seat  of  a  far  more  powerful 
stream  than  at  present.  There  can  be  little  doubt  that  the 
glacial  period  was  a  period  of  greater  rain-fall  than  the  present 
time.  In  no  other  way  can  we  account  for  the  making  of  such 
a  vast  ice-sheet  and  the  supply  of  the  great  amount  of  water 
necessary  for  its  continued  movement.     There  are  many  facts 

*which  go  to  show  that  the  action  of  cold  alone  could  not,  by 

ao3 


76  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

any  means,  account  for  the  formation  of  an  ice-sheet  extend- 
ing  down  to  Southern  Ohio. 

The  whole  of  British  America  east  of  the  Rocky  Mountains 
has  the  temperature  necessary  for  glaciation,  as  has  all  Siberia, 
but  the  deficiency  of  water  makes  it  impossible  for  such  ice- 
sheets  to  form;  showing  clearly  that  a  considerable  rain-fall  is 
necessary  to  the  maintenance  of  glacial  conditions.  More- 
over, as  I  have  elsewhere  remarked,  the  assemblage  of  ani- 
mals living  in  this  country,  during  or  just  at  the  close  of  the 
glacial  period,  makes  it  quite  certain  that  the  conditions  favor- 
ed a  luxuriant  vegetation,  and  gave  this  region  a  climate  in 
which  extreme  winter  cold  could  not  have  existed.  These 
species  were  all  large  representatives  of  their  several  groups, 
their  great  size  making  it  clear  that  they  could  not  have 
struggled  with  difficult  conditions.  Accepting  the  glacial 
period  as  a  time  of  heavy  rain-fall,  we  can  readily  account 
for  the  width  of  the  Ohio  Valley,  and  for  the  indications  of 
energetic  excavation  seen  there  and  in  the  valleys  of  its  north- 
ern tributaries.  The  entire  absence  of  unstratified  drift  in 
the  Ohio  Valley,  and  the  absence  of  glacial  pebbles  on  the 
Kentucky  table  land,  has  led  me  to  the  conclusion  that  the  ice- 
sheet  never  occupied  the  valley  .of  the  Ohio.  Some  little 
search  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  has  led  me  to  the  conclu- 
sion that  the  southernmost  point  of  the  glacier  was  at  some 
twenty  miles  north  of  Cincinnati.  I  have  seen  some  half  a 
dozen  boulders  of  hypogene  rocks  lying  on  the  table  land  south 
of  the  Ohio  in  Boone,  Kenton,  and  Campbell  counties;  but 
these  were  all  under  six  inches  in  diameter,  and  rather  sym- 
metrical forms;  so  I  have  been  driven  to  the  conclusion  that 
they  were  brought  to  their  present  position  by  the  aborigines. 
There  are  a  few  facts,  however,  which  require  notice  in  the  sur- 
face deposits  of  these  counties;  facts  which,  I  confess,  I  cannot 
readily  explain,  though  I  do  not  believe  they  are  connected 
with  the  actions  of  the  last  glacial  period.  In  Kenton  county, 
just  back  of  Covington,  at  a  height  of  three  hundred  feet  above 
the  river,  there  are  a  few  patches  of  a  deposit  which  has  a  thick- 
ness of  twenty  feet  or  more,  and  seems  to  be  the  completely  de-"* 

ao4 


THE    KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  ^^ 

cayed  residuum  of  some  deposit  which  contained  small  pebbles 
of  granitic  rocks.  I  propose  to  make  a  careful  study  of  these 
beds,  but  I  believe  that  they  may  be  regarded  as  the  remains 
of  ancient  deposits,  formed  when  the  river  bed  was  some  two 
hundred  and  fifty  feet  above  its  present  level.  Should  it  ulti- 
mately be  proven  that  this  is  the  true  explanation  of  the  phe- 
nomena, it  will  possibly  show  that,  long  anterior  to  the  last 
glacial  period,  some  agents  were  at  work,  which  were  com- 
petent to  bring  the  waste  from  the  north  of  the  great  lakes 
down  to  the  Ohio  River  Valley.  This  agent  could  not  well 
be  other  than  ice  action ;  and  if  the  facts  are  read  aright,  we 
have  in  them  yet  other  proofs  of  ancient  glacial  action. 

Another  puzzling  set  of  facts  of  the  same  general  character 
is  found  in  the  valley  of  the  Licking,  at  a  point  called  Flat- 
woods,  about  sixteen  miles  south  of  Newport.  There,  at  a 
height  of  one  hundred  feet  or  more  above  the  present  high 
water  mark  of  the  Licking  river,  we  have  in  a  broad  valley 
quantities  of  fragments  of  cannel  coal,  mixed  with  bits  of  sand- 
stone and  limestone,  the  whole  forming  a  coarse  breccia.  I 
gathered  dozens  of  these  fragments  of  coal  in  the  course 
of  half  an  hour's  search.  I  cannot  believe  that  they  were 
brought  here  by  aborigines,  for  there  are  no  other  signs  of 
their  presence.  I  cannot  believe  that  they  are  the  remains 
of  a  bed  deposited  on  the  spot,  but  I  regard  them  as  material 
brought  here  by  the  Licking  river  during  the  time  when  it  ran 
at  a  higher  level,  and  when  the  coal  beds  were  probably  far 
nearer  to  this  place  than  they  are  at  present.* 

Yet  another  case  of  the  same  general  character  as  the  pre- 
ceding is  found  on  the  Kentucky  side  of  the  Ohio  river,  at  a 
point  opposite  and  a  little  below  Aurora.  The  accompanying 
section  gives  the  most  essential  relations  of  this  singular 
mass: 

*  I  am  indebted  to  my  friend,  General  G.  B.  Hodge,  of  Newport,  Kentucky,  for  calling 
my  attention  to  these  very  interesting  facts. 

205 


78  NOTES  ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 


DIAQMHA.'PIC  ^ECTIOM  if  iKt  AtfClEWT  RWER  (rO^TGlnOMEHATB 
Anftlh*  newer  m«r  Vt&s  on  Qve  OHioHiver  nuArAurorau 

A,A.3*d   and  Oiff  B,0cks, 

B,   Ancient  Conghmtratt  eem^nteii  wtih  Umc 

C  C  Hfeent  'alluvial  deposits. 

d .    %«vel  cf  rirer  at   lew  water  mark.. 


This  deposit  is  a  Conglomerate  belonging  to  a  time  more 
ancient  than  the  last  glacial  period,  but  more  recent  than  the 
formation  of  the  valley.  The  mass  contains  far  fewer  granitic 
pebbles  than  usually  belong  in  the  river  pebbles.  It  is  clearly 
stratified,  and  the  thickness  cannot  be  less  than  one  hundred 
feet.  The  cement  is  mostly  carbonate  of  lime,  and  was  doubt- 
lessly derived  from  springs  coming  from  the  neighboring  hill ; 
but  the  geography  of  the  country  must  have  changed  a  good 
deal  since  this  action  took  place.  The  valley  has  widened  so 
as  to  make  the  invasion  of  such  waters  quite  impossible.  This 
deposit  seems  quite  without  contemporaneous  organic  remains. 
It  cannot,  however,  have  a  very  great  age,  for  the  valley  had 
been  cut  down  to  within  one  hundred  feet  of  the  present  level 
before  the  deposition  of  these  beds.  At  no  other  point  in  the 
Ohio  Valley  have  I  seen  anything  like  these  masses  of  peb- 
bles. 

The  cutting  rate  of  the  Ohio  since  the  glacial  period  is  ap-  . 

proximately  determined  by  the  height  of  the  highest  terrace 

containing  pebbles  carried,  from  north  of  the  St.  Lawrence, 
206 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  79 

and  of  sufficiently  recent  aspect  to  be  classed  as  belonging  to 
the  last  glacial  period.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  the  down- 
cutting  has  been  not  far  from  seventy  feet  since  the  highest 
of  these  deposits  was  formed.  I  am  satisfied  that  it  is  at 
least  fifty  feet.  This  may  represent  the  time  back  to  the 
beginning  of  the  glacial  period,  or  at  least  to  its  early  stages. 
As  there  is  little  reason  to  doubt  that  the  average  erosion 
rate  in  the  Ohio  Valley  is  as  much  as  one  foot  in  three  thou- 
sand five  hundred  years,  we  can  reasonably  suppose  the  post- 
glacial erosion  of  this  new  bed  may  be  as  much  as  one  foot 
in,  say  two  thousand  years,  or  about  twice  as  fast  as  the  aver- 
age erosion  of  the  whole  country.  This  would  give  something 
like  one  hundred  thousand  years  as  the  time  which  has  elapsed 
since  the  stage  of  the  glacial  period,  when  these  upper  ter- 
races were  deposited. 

The  upper  terraces  of  the  drift  contain  very  often  the  bones 
and  teeth  of  Elephas  primigenius,  the  latter  in  a  good  state  of 
preservation.  From  a  terrace  in  the  city  of  Newport,  about 
twenty-five  feet  above  high  water  mark,  at  a  depth  of  forty 
feet,  a  molar  tooth  of  this  species  was  exhumed  which  was 
but  little  worn  by  water  action;  so  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  this  terrace  was  formed  during  the  mammoth  period. 
I  have  never  heard  of  this  class  of  remains  in  the  last  or 
lowest  terrace  of  the  river;  on  the  other  hand,  I  have  found  in 
this  terrace,  buried  in  some  cases  several  feet  below  the  sur- 
face, remains  of  the  people  of  supposed  mound-builder  age. 
About  twelve  miles  above  Newport,  on  the  Campbell  county 
shore,  there  is  evidence  of  an  extensive  camping-ground,  where 
pottery  was  made  and  broken  in  great  quantities.  This  de- 
posit is  buried  under  some  five  feet  of  alluvium.  The  remains 
scattered  about  through  this  deposit  include  all  our  ordinary 
game  animals,  which  would  be  eaten  by  the  Indian,  except 
the  buffalo — no  trace  of  which  have  I  ever  found  among  the 
remains  of  the  people  of  the  earliest  human  age  in  this  State. 
The  position  of  these  remains  from  the  above  cited  locality 
indicates  no  great  antiquity.     The  bank  near  the  river  may 

be  worn  away  and  restored  several  times  within  a  thousand 

207 


/ 


8o  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

years.  The  evidence  of  antiquity  increases  as  we  get  away 
from  the  present  shore ;  so  that  remains  found  buried  in  the 
terraces  at,  say  half  a  mile  from  the  bank,  would  reasonably 
be  inferred  to  be  older  than  when  they  had  come  from  quite 
near  the  shore.  The  only  evidence  of  value,  however,  is  to 
be  found  in  the  height  of  the  terrace  above  the  high  water 
level. 

As  before  remarked,  the  terraces  of  the  tributary  rivers  aris- 
ing in  Kentucky  are  much  less  conspicuous  than  on  the  main 
Ohio.  Although  not  yet  fully  examined,  these  terraces,  owing 
perhaps  to  the  narrowness  of  the  valleys  of  the  streams,  are 
fewer  in  number  and  less  distinct  than  along  the  main  stream 
or  its  northern  tributaries. 

I  have  not  been  able  to  find  in  this  Commonwealth  any 
trace  of  ancient  gravels  which  have  come  from  north  of  the 
Ohio — the  whole  evidence  going  to  show  that  there  has  been, 
within  the  time  that  a  granitic  bowlder  can  endure  near  the 
surface,  no  glacial  action  that  could  bring  the  northern  drift 
any  distance  south  of  the  Ohio.  The  only  foreign  pebbles 
which  can  be  referred  to  these  deposits  are  the  pebbles  of 
white  quartz.  The  obstinate  endurance  of  this  material  en- 
ables it  to  exist  long  after  all  granitic  and  similar  pebbles 
have  been  swept  away  by  decay.  This  will  make  the  peb- 
bles of  quartz  the  last  surviving  remains  of  the  last  glacial 
drift.  There  are  such  quantities  of  these  pebbles  scattered 
over  the  State,  that  I  have  been  disposed  to  regard  their 
frequent  occurrence  as  proof  that  we  had  the  waste  of  old 
glacial  periods  surviving  on  its  surface.  I  am,  however, 
doubtful  whether  they  are  not  derived  from  the  several  con- 
glomerates which  once  existed  in  the  recently  eroded  rocks, 
especially  in    the   carboniferous   Conglomerate,   or    Millstone 

Grit. 

I  propose  now  to  give  some  general  consideration  to  the 

soils  of  Kentucky,  with  a  view  to  setting  forth  their  most  im- 
portant phenomena,  as  far  as  observed,  and  of  indicating  the 
problems  which  should  occupy  the  attention  of  the  Survey. 
Although  the  existence  of  all  civilization,  the  very  power  of 

908 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  8 1 

the  earth  to  sustain  its  present  population,  depends  far  more 
upon  the  character  of  its  soils  than  upon  its  bed  rocks,  they 
have  received  relatively  little  attention  from  the  students  of 
nature. 

As  is  well  known,  a  soil,  whatever  be  its  character  and  ori- 
gin, is  composed  in  the  main  of  the  waste  of  the  rocks  which 
constitute  the  surface  of  the  earth.  Its  possible  fertility,  if 
not  its  actual  fruitfulness,  depends  almost  altogether  upon  the 
chemical  and  mechanical  composition  of  these  materials.  The 
vegetable  and  other  organic  matter  may  be  readily  lost  or 
gained ;  but  the  components,  which  come  from  the  rocks,  give 
the  essential  character  to  the  soil. 

For  the  purposes  of  description,  soils  may  be  divided  into 
two  classes,  viz :  those  of  immediate  and  those  of  remote  de- 
rivation. The  first  of  these  groups,  the  soils  of  immediate 
derivation,  includes  all  those  soils  which  owe  their  components 
to  the  decay  of  the  rocks  which  immediately  underlie  them. 
The  second  of  these  groups  includes  all  those  soils  which  have 
been  composed  of  materials  brought  from  a  distance,  and  do 
not  at  all  depend  on  the  underlying  rock  for  their  character. 

Soils  of  immediate  derivation  may  be  regarded  as  parts  of 
the  rocks  of  the  district,  modified  by  eroding  agents.  In  those 
regions  where  they  occur,  the  geological  structure  is  indicated 
by  the  structure  of  the  soils — these  superficial  beds  furnishing 
the  best  possible  clue  to  the  geology  of  the  country.  In, the 
regions  where  the  rocks  are  of  remote  derivation,  they  always 
indicate  rather  the  structure  of  some  other  region  than  that 
of  the  country  where  they  are  found.  All  the  region  covered 
by  glacial  deposits,  whether  retaining  their  original  composi- 
tion or  rearranged,  and  the  valley  borders  of  streams  formed 
by  alluvial  deposits,  may  be  regarded  as  soils  of  remote  deri- 
vation. Save  under  the  glacial  belt,  the  soils  away  from  the 
river  banks  are  normally  of  immediate  derivation.  Such  they 
are  in  Kentucky,  except  along  the  banks  of  the  streams. 

Considering  first  the  river  soils,  we  have  to  notice  that  the 

soil  of  any  valley  is  a  sort  of  average  of  the  materials  which 

belong  along  its  shores,  above  the  point  where  the  specimen  is 
VOL.  111.-14  909 


82 


NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS   OF 


taken.  Along  the  Ohio,  for  instance,  where  at  every  point  we 
find  a  soil  derived  from  a  very  great  variety  of  formations, 
there  is  little  difference  in  the  character  of  the  alluvial  lands, 
throughout  its  course,  within  the  State  of  Kentucky.  This  is 
not  the  case  on  the  smaller  streams.  The  valley  lands  of  the 
Licking,  for  example,  are  rather  poor  as  long  as  its  waters  lie 
within  the  rocks  above  the  Silurian,  and  very  steadily  increase 
in  fertility  as  we  penetrate  further  and  further  into  the  Paleo- 
zoic section. 

The  alluvial  lands  of  the  lower  part  of  the  Kentucky  river 
are  much  richer  than  the  Licking.  It  is  not  necessary  to  fol- 
low this  into  details  with  the  other  streams ;  but  I  wish  to 
indicate  the  general  principle  that  the  average  fertility  of  any 
valley  may  be  determined  by  the  character  of  the  rocks  whence 
the  alluvium  is  derived.  The  peculiarity  of  these  river  soils 
is  their  depth  at  every  point.  They  have  about  the  same  in- 
organic contents.  Every  part  of  them  is  capable  of  sustaining 
life.  The  relation  of  soil  and  subsoil  does  not  exist  here  with 
the  same  clearness  that  it  does  in  the  soils  of  immediate  deri- 
vation. The  comparative  sections  are  generally  more  or  less 
as  given  in  the  accompanying  figure : 


jti^jfjiy  gfjjB 


i^^Mi^^ 


RIVER     SOIL 

(I.  a.  Soil   brputjht  fratn 
above 
by  the  Stream . 


rS'-'>',';Vi 


1  ^;  N^  V 


1    \"  \ 


3 


:i 


UPLAND     SOILS 
a.  Sifit  composed  of  Koek  decayed  in  place. 
B.    .  Tartty    Jecat/ed   Kock. 
d.      Cavern  wit  ft  its  Bninchete. 


2IO 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  83 

When  the  soils  of  the  Silurian  limestone  are  studied,  it 
is  then  seen  that  the  mechanical  conditions,  as  well  as  the 
chemical  constituents  of  the  soils,  vary  exceedingly  at  different 
points  in  the  section.  Generally  the  virgin  soil  is  divisible 
into  several  sections.  The  topmost  is  characterized  by  a  loose 
texture,  caused  by  the  long-continued  penetration  of  roots, 
which,  by  their  decay,  give  the  soils  an  open  texture,  and 
facilitate  the  passage  of  water.  From  this  point  downwards 
the  insensible  change  carries  us  through  more  and  more  dense 
matter,  until  we  come  to  material  which  retains  the  stratifica- 
tion of  the  limestone,  being,  in  fact,  the  original  bedding  out 
of  which  the  lime  has  been  entirely  washed  and  the  other 
matters,  left  from  the  leaching,  packed  into  narrower  compass 
by  the  pressure  of  the  overlying  beds.  I  believe  the  shrink- 
age from  this  leaching  amounts,  in  many  cases,  to  more  than 
eighty  per  cent,  so  that  six  inches  of  argillaceous  sandstone 
may  represent  a  bed  originally  more  than  one  foot  in  thickness. 

Penetrating  through  these  arenaceous  foundations  of  the 
soils,  the  streams,  whenever  there  is  a  limestone  base,  gather 
themselves  into  subterranean  courses,  which  are  dug  out  by  the 
chemical  and  mechanical  actions  that  gives  us  our  caverns. 

The  enormous  area  of  these  caverns,  their  evident  continu- 
ous growth  from  an  antiquity  of  hundreds  of  thousands  of 
years,  the  great  thickness  of  these  slowly-leached  soils,  all 
together  give  us  proof  of  the  antiquity  of  something  like 
the  present  conditions  in  Kentucky.  If  the  forests,  or,  at 
least,  the  vegetation,  had  ever  been  interrupted,  it  would 
have  necessarily  led  to  the  stoppage  of  the  leaching  of  our 
limestones  and  the  arrest  of  the  growth  of  our  caverns ;  for 
the  eroding  agent,  both  in  soil  and  cave,  is  the  carbonic  acid 
derived  from  the  decaying  vegetation  and  absorbed  by  the 
water. 

The  under-drainage  of  a  soil  is  evidently  the  first  condition 
of  its  great  fertility.  Soils  of  immediate  derivation  are  only 
thick  where  this  underground  system  of  waters  is  well  devel- 
oped ;  but  it  is  evident  that  this  process  of  gradual  decay  must 

be  exceedingly  slow. 

til 


84  NOTES  ON  THE   INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

CHAPTER  IV. 

DYNAMIC  GEOLOGY  OF  KENTUCKY. 

Hitherto,  we  have  considered  the  rocks  which  are  visible 
within  the  Commonwealth,  and  the  forces  engaged  in  the 
transportation  of  the  materials  which  compose  them.  We 
are  now  to  turn  our  attention  to  an  entirely  different  class 
of  facts  and  inferences,  viz:  to  the  nature  of  the  forces  in- 
volved in  producing  the  dislocations,  the  faults,  folds,  and 
earthquake  movements,  or  the  general  tilting  of  the  rocks 
which  may  have  occurred  within  the  State. 

All  of  these  actions  are  dependent  on  conditions  which  are 
brought  about  far  below  the  limit  of  our  observations.  All  we 
can  ever  know  of  the  forces  which  bring  about  the  earthquake 
or  the  mountain  ridge,  is  through  inferences  made  from  our 
study  in  the  laboratory,  or  from  the  examination  of  rocks 
which  once  laid  far  beneath  the  surface,  but  which  have  come 
to  the  surface  through  the  action  of  elevation  and  erosion. 

The  various  forces,  which,  originating  in  the  unknown  depths 
of  the  earth,  are  propagated  to  its  surface,  may  be  divided  into 
two  classes,  as  follows : 

1.  Forces  which  are  connected  with  the  translation  of  heated 
matters,  from  the  interior  to  the  surface,  such  as  volcanoes  and 
solfataras  (or  cold  gas  volcanoes). 

2.  Forces  which  manifest  themselves  only  by  dislocations  of 
the  superficial  rocks — dislocations  which  may  be  only  tempo- 
rary, as  in  the  surgings  of  the  earthquake,  or  permanent,  as 
in  the  foldings  of  a  mountain  chain. 

This  classification  is,  as  I  am  well  aware,  only  a  convenient 
method  of  assembling  phenomena,  with  which  we  have  necessa- 
rily but  little  acquaintance ;  but  it  will  serve  to  distinguish  two 
sets  of  accidents  which  have  different  fields  of  action,  and 
probably  somewhat  different  causes  of  origin. 

The  first  of  these  causes  is  unknown  in  Kentucky.  The 
general  law  that  volcanoes  are  universally  limited  to  the  sea 
shores,  never  occurring  more  than  two  or  three  hundred  miles 
therefrom,  secures  us  from  any  risks  of  such  accidents  in  this 

212 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY,  85 

area.  Not  only  is  this  region  without  any  trace  of  modern 
volcanic  action,  but  there  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  at  no 
time  within  the  vast  period  recorded  in  its  great  stone  books 
has  it  ever  contained  any  of  those  volcanic  events  which  are  so 
prominent  a  feature  at  many  points  on  the  earth's  surface,  and 
which  at  one  time  or  another  have  been  developed  over  almost 
all  of  its  land  areas.  Many  countries,  which  now  are  quite 
free  from  such  accidents,  were  at  other  times  completely 
riddled  by  volcanic  chimneys.  Great  Britain,  Germany,  and 
France,  which  have  never  seen  a  trace  of  eruption  in  the  his- 
toric period,*  have  all  over  their  surface  the  scars  of  ancient 
volcanoes.  But  Kentucky  and  the  neighboring  districts  of  the 
Ohio  Valley  give  us  a  region — the  largest  known  in  the  world 
— characterized  especially  by  the  entire  absence  of  all  marks 
of  igneous  action.  I  do  not  know  of  a  single  mark  of  vol- 
canic activity  in  the  area  of  two  hundred  thousand  square 
miles,  with  Cincinnati  as  a  center.  I  vtry  much  doubt  if 
there  is  a  single  dyke  of  igneous  rock  within  two  hundred 
miles  of  radius  from  that  city. 

But  the  subterranean  effects  of  the  heat  of  the  earth,  the 
squeezing  and  folding  forces  which  lift  up  rocks  into  mount- 
ains, and  in  so  lifting  break  great  sections  asunder,  have  left 
abundant  marks  upon  the  surface  of  the  State.  Those  marks 
do  not  by  any  means  indicate  all  the  discharges  of  internal 
force  which  have  come  to  the  surface;  for,  as  we  shall  see, 
the  wonderful  earthquakes  of  1811-13,  despite  the  fact  that 
they  shook  the  State  to .  its  furtherest  borders,  and  made  the 
whole  continent  tremble,  left  scarce  a  trace  on  the  surface 
that  is  visible  to  the  present  day. 

As  our  studies  will  be  limited  to  the  dislocative  forces,  I 
propose  to  divide  our  considerations  into  those  which  con- 
cern dislocations  proper,  faults,  and  folds,  and  afterwards  to 
take  up  the  phenomena  of  earthquakes,  sO  far  as  they  are 
illustrated  by  the  shocks  which  have  taken  place  within  our 
border. 

*  spying  ^ssiSfy  Central  France. 

213 


86  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

The  dislocation  phenomena  of  Kentucky  are  a  part  of  a 
system  of  disturbances  which  cannot  be  understood  by  the 
study  of  the  area  found  within  the  State  alone.  They  have 
been  brought  about  by  the  building  of  the  whole  continent ; 
and,  to  be  properly  studied,  must  be  taken  up  as  problems  in 
the  general  architecture  of  North  America.  It  is  out  of  the 
question  to  give  any  such  general  study  to  these  questions 
within  the  limits  of  this  report.  Moreover,  the  structure  of 
the  mountain  system  of  the  Appalachians  is  a  problem  which 
is  not  likely  to  be  solved  for  a  century  to  come.  The  most 
that  can  be  done  by  the  Kentucky  Survey  is  to  determine  its 
features  within  the  limits  of  this  State,  and  to  show  how  they 
bear  on  the  general  question  of  its  origin  and  structure. 

The  studies  which  I  hope  to  see  made  on  this  system,  as 
developed  within  the  State  of  Kentucky,  have  been  but  be- 
gun, and  it  will  require  years  to  bring  them  to  anything  like 
completion.  There  are,  however,  a  few  points  which  seem 
to  me  sufficiently  well  observed  to  warrant  me  in  giving  them 
a  place  in  this  report. 

I  shall  first  consider  the  Cincinnati  axis,  as  that  is  most 
distinctly  a  Kentucky  problem.  This  axis  is  essentially  a 
very  broad  mountain  fold,  beginning  on  the  north  near  Lake 
Erie,  and  extending  southwardly  across  the  whole  of  Ken- 
tucky and  Tennessee  to  Alabama,  having  a  total  extension 
of  near  six  hundred  miles.  Its  general  course  is  not  far 
from  north  20°  east  to  south  20°  west ;  but  owing  to  its  great 
width,  and  the  consequent  indistinctness,  it  is  not  easy  to  as- 
sign it  a  definite  compass  course.  The  width,  as  compared 
to  the  height  of  this  ridge,  is  singularly  great,  and  makes  it, 
as  far  as  my  knowledge  goes,  quite  unexampled  among  such 
elevations  as  far  as  they  have  been  described ;  for  while  the 
greatest  height,  measured  from  the  depression  on  the  east- 
ern side,  does  not  exceed  fifteen  hundred  feet,  the  width  is 
not  far  from  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  This  height  is,  of 
course,  not  the  geographical,  but  the  geological  height :  i.  e.^ 
the  extent  to  which  the  beds  of  rock  have  been  thrown  out 

of  their  horizontal  position.     It  is  difficult  to  determine  the 
214 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  8/ 

exajct  height  or  width  of  this  ridge  on  account  of  the  indefi- 
nite character  of  its  curves,  I  have  preferred  to  take  the 
deepest  part  of  the  synclinal  lying  between  this  ridge  and  the 
Pine  Mountain,  or  the  other  westernmost  outliers  of  the  Alle- 
ghenies,  as  the  basis  from  which  to  measure.  This  depression, 
which  I  shall  call  the  Ohio  synclinal,  gives  a  better  basis  for 
measurement  than  the  western  slope  of  the  anticlinal,  which 
falls  away  in  an  extremely  gradual  manner  into  the  Mississippi 
basin.  The  Ohio  synclinal  is,  as  are  most  synclinals,  in  no 
sense  a  valley. 

The  height  of  this  anticlinal,  varies  materially  at  different 
points,  as  in  many  other  mountain  ridges  which  are  closer  to 
the  normal  type  of  mountains.  This  Ohio  anticlinal  is  higher 
near  its  extremities  than  in  the  middle  section.  At  Lexington 
this  height  is  as  much  as  fifteen  hundred  feet.  At  Nashville 
it  must  be  about  as  much ;  but,  at  a  midway  point  between 
these  places,  the  top  of  the  anticlinal  has  sunk  to  less  than 
nine  hundred  feet.  The  general  character  of  this  anticlinal 
is  that  of  an  extremely  gradual  and  uniform  curve,  with  very 
little  accompanying  dislocation.  The  curve  at  some  points 
seems  to  be  complicated  by  small  variations  of  height;  but 
I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  these  undulations  are  mere  local 
accidents,  and  not  in  any  way  dependent  on  the  forces  which 
made  this  broad  anticlinal. 

Along  the  Kentucky  river,  where  we  have  the  most  ele- 
vated part  of  the  ridge  within  the  limits  of  the  State,  if  not  in 
its  whole  length,  we  have  a  set  of  dislocations,  in  the  shape  of 
faults,  which  pretty  nearly  follow  the  general  trend  of  the  Ken- 
tucky river,  and  have  probably  been  in  a  measure  the  deter- 
mining cause  of  the  course  of  that  stream.  The  general  east 
and  west  course  of  these  faults,  together  with  their  tendency 
to  open  and  form  places  of  deposit  of  veins,  shows  that  they 
are  probably  in  some  way  connected  with  the  formation  of  this 
anticlinal  axis.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  some  of  the  exten- 
sive series  of  veins,  carrying  galena  and  other  substances,  which 
have  been  discovered  in  the  neighborhood  of  Lexington  and 

Frankfort,  traces  of  which  are  found  even  to  the  Ohio  river 

215 


88  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

west  of  Cincinnati,  may  possibly  be  regarded  as  in  a  general 
way  connected  with  the  movements  which  elevated  this  axis. 
The  tendency  of  all  axis  of  elevation  is  to  open  along  their 
crest,  so  that  the  general  form  of  a  mountain  chain  shows  us 
the  geological  hills  cut  down  to  form  the  geographical  valleys, 
and  the  geological  valleys  perched  upon  the  hills.  This  comes 
about  from  the  action  of  the  eroding  agents,  which  operate 
much  more  powerfully  upon  rocks  that  are  opened  to  the 
weather  than  upon  well-compacted  and  condensed  rocks.  It 
is  easy  to  see  that  the  rocks  on  the  top  of  the  great  stone 
arches  will  be  much  pulled  apart;  they  being  in  no  degree 
elastic,  rents  must  be  formed  into  which  the  destroying  agents, 
frost  and  the  slow  decay  which  water  brings  to  work  on  the 
rocks,  will  easily  penetrate.  On  the  other  hand,  the  rocks  in 
the  geological  valleys  are  compressed  by  the  folding  action,  so 
that  I  believe  that,  given  two  rocks  essentially  similar  in  con- 
stitution, the  eye  can,  in  many  cases,  recognize  the  difference 
in  mechanical  condition  in  those  two  conditions  of  pressure. 
Of  course  the  extent  of  this  action  must  be  measured  by  the 
amplitude  of  the  folds.  In  short  curves,  as  in  the  Alleghenies 
and  most  other  mountains,  the  compression  and  extension  are 
necessarily  very  great.  In  a  very  broad  field  like  the  Ohio 
axis,  the  extension  on  the  top  of  the  arch  would  not  be  very 
great ;  but  it  might  easily  result  in  making  a  number  of  fis- 
sures which  would  penetrate  to  a  considerable  depth. 

The  exceeding  breadth  of  the  Ohio  axis,  and  the  great  uni- 
formity of  the  arch,  leads  me  to  believe  that  the  thickness  of 
the  rocks  involved  in  the  movement  which  produced  the  axis, 
was  very  much  greater  than  usual  in  mountain  folds.  An  ex- 
periment with  sheets  of  metal,  or  what  is  better,  with  sheets 
of  paper  of  different  thickness,  will  show  that  the  amplitude 
of  such  curves  is  proportioned  to  the  thickness  of  the  material 
to  which  we  apply  the  lateral  pressure.  General  considera- 
tions will  show  this  to  be  a  law  common  to  all  rigid  substances 
subjected  to  a  lateral  pressure.  If  this  view  be  correct,  then 
the  Ohio  axis  indicates  that  the  lateral  pressure  which  has 

formed  this  axis  has  caused  the  movement  of  a  greater  mass 
216 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  89 

of  rocks,  in  one  body,  than  any  other  similar  ridge  which  has 
yet  been  observed. 

I  have  elsewhere  endeavored  to  show  that  the  wrinkles  or 
folds  on  the  earth's  surface,  or  the  movements  which  indicate 
lateral  pressure,  are  divisible  into  two  distinct  classes:  rela- 
tively narrow  steep  folds,  which  are  properly  mountain  chains, 
and  very  broad  gradually  sloping  arches  and  furrows,  which 
constitute  continental  ridges  and  sea  basins.  There  seems  to 
be  no  series  connecting  these  dissimilar  sets  of  curves,  and  I 
have  endeavored  to  show  that  the  continental  folds  are  prob- 
ably accommodations  of  an  outer  solid  shell  of  say  one  hund- 
red miles  in  thickness,  possibly  less,  to  the  great  central  mass 
diminished  by  the  loss  of  heat;  while  the  mountains  arise  from 
the  contractions  which  have  taken  place  in  the  outer  crust 
itself  The  great  width  of  the  Ohio  anticlinal  axis  makes  it 
more  like  a  connecting  link  between  mountain  and  continental 
upheaval  than  anything  else  I  have  yet  seen ;  yet  I  am  satis- 
fied that  it  should  be  classed  with  mountain  folds. 

I  have  already  discussed,  in  a  general  way,  the  period  of 
formation  of  the  Cincinnati  axis,  in  the  general  account  of  the 
history  of  the  rocks  which  we  can  observe  upon  its  sides. 
We  have  in  that  history  no  distinct  evidence  as  to  the  time 
when  its  final  elevation  was  accomplished;  but  from  the 
general  want  of  pebbles  in  the  rock  formed  during  the  coal 
period,  (which  is  composed  of  materials  brought  from  a  great 
distance,)  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  it  was  not  out  of  the 
water  at  the  time  of  the  latest  formation  known  in  that  district, 
though  it  was  probably  begun  at  a  very  early  age.  The  fact 
that  the  rivers  of  the  Ohio  system,  which  evidently  wrestle  with 
the  Cumberland  Mountains,  have  evidently  had  no  great  diffi- 
culty in  laying  their  courses  straight  across  the  Ohio  axis,  is 
a  striking  evidence  that  it  must  have  been  lifted  very  slowly 
to  its  present  height.  If  it  had  at  any  time  been  suddenly 
upthrown,  it  would  have  barred  those  rivers  and  compelled 
them  to  make  something  like  the  sudden  southward  turn 
which  the  Tennessee  is  compelled  to  make  in  its  effort  to  get 

clear  of  the  Cumberland  chain.     The  Kentucky  river  appears 

217 


go  NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

to  be  a  little  troubled  to  pass  the  barrier;  but  I  believe  that 
this  is  altogether  due  to  the  influence  of  local  faults,  which 
cause  the  channel  to  wind  about  in  its  passage  over  this  axis. 
The  Cumberland  river,  on  the  other  hand,  avoids  the  geolog- 
ically lowest  part,  and  turns  to  cross  the  summit  of  the  ridge 
at  Nashville.  These  facts  warrant  us  in  supposing  that  the 
development  of  the  ridge  has  been-so  gradual  that  the  courses 
of  the  streams  across  it  have  never  been  obstructed. 

At  Wells'  river,  near  Clarksville,  and  south  of  the  Kentucky 
line,  in  the  western  section  of  the  State,  there  is  another  axis 
of  disturbance,  which  seems  to  be.  on  the  whole,  parallel  to 
the  Cincinnati  axis,  though  its  direction  and  other  important 
features  are  yet  to  be  determined.  The  considerable  south- 
ward extension  of  the  western  coal  field  towards  the  Tennes- 
see line,  in  Todd  and  Christian  counties,  can  best  be  accounted 
for  by  supposing  that  a  synclinal  of  this  Clarksville  axis  of 
disturbance  extends  north  into  Kentucky ;  it  probably  also  is 
among  the  disturbing  influences  that  have  greatly  affected  the 
western  coal  field  in  the  region  just  north  of  this  part  of  its 
border.  As  yet,  too  little  is  known  of  this  field  to  enable  us 
to  define  with  precision  the  direction  of  the  disturbances  which 
have  so  greatly  perturbed  it.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  this 
Clarksville  axis  has  been  the  line  along  which  most  of  the 
dislocation  has  been  developed. 

Incidentally,  I  have  already  mentioned  the  appearance  of 
something  like  local  uplifts  in  the  Hickman  and  Columbus 
district,  where  the  Chickasaw  bluffs  give,  by  their  peculiar 
isolated  character,  some  grounds  for  suspecting  local  eleva- 
tion. This  is  also  a  field  where  the  facts  are  still  to  be 
collected.  I  am  by  no  means  satisfied  of  the  truth  of  this 
conjecture,  and  shall  be  glad  to  find  that  these  peculiar  ridges 
are  only  the  remains  of  an  extensive  plateau  that  has  been 
nearly  completely  destroyed  by  the  wandering  river. 

Having  considered  the  geological  accidents  that  have  given 
character  to  the  line  regions  of  the  State,  we  will  turn  now 
to  that  small  but  peculiarly  interesting  section  where  the  sub- 
terranean disturbances  are  exposed  in  the  form  of  mountain 

2lS 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  9 1 

chains.  As  before  remarked,  this  region  is  but  a  fragment  of 
that  great  system  of  disturbances  which,  extending  from  New- 
foundland to  Alabama,  constitutes  the  Appalachian  mountain 
system.  This  great  system  affords  one  of  the-  most  beautiful 
illustrations  of  the  action  of  mountain-building  forces.  In  it 
the  action  of  these  forces,  at  far  different  times  and  upon  very 
varied  rocks,  can  be  studied  with  care,  without  the  hindrance 
of  the  exceeding  structural  complications  found  in  the  great 
Alpine  system,  or  by  the  difficulties  of  distance  which  beset 
the  student  of  the  Cordilleras  of  America. 

It  is  from  the  Appalachian  system  that  we  have  the  most 
to  hope  in  the  way  of  information  as  to  the  causes  that  have 
worked  in  the  building  of  the  earth's  feature-lines ;  and  it  is 
therefore  a  matter  of  great  scientific  importance  to  have  every 
part  of  this  system  examined  in  detail.  The  Pennsylvania 
Geological  Survey  has  already  given  us  some  studies  on  the 
structure  of  this  system;  and  the  revived  Survey,  under  the 
skillful  supervision  of  its  present  able  chief,  will  doubtless  do 
much  to  extend  and  perfect  the  work;  but  it  is  in  a  high 
degree  necessary  that  this  investigation  should  be  carried  on 
at  a  number  of  different  points  along  the  chain ;  for  there  are 
about  a  dozen  different  regions  along  its  two  thousand  miles 
of  length,  each  characterized  by  some  special  method  of  man- 
ifesting the  compressing  forces.  The  Gaspe  section  differs 
from  that  of  Northern  New  Hampshire  and  Maine.  The  Ver- 
mont, Massachusetts,  and  Connecticut  regions  form  a  third 
division  ;  the  Catskill,  in  New  York,  a  fourth ;  the  Alleghe- 
nies,  of  Pennsylvania,  a  fifth ;  the  district  of  Virginia,  between 
the  Potomac  and  the  Kanawah,  a  sixth ;  the  section  from  the 
Kanawah  to  Chattanooga,  a  seventh,  and  the  Alabama  sec- 
tion, where  this  system  of  elevations  fades  out  and  passes 
beneath  the  recent  beds,  is  to  be  classified  by  itself,  making 
the  eighth. 

Parallel  to  this  linear  group  we  have  at  least  half  a  dozen 
distinct,  eastward,  outlying  ranges,  having  the  same  general 
direction  as  the  Appalachian  system,  and  entitled  to  be  con- 
sidered as  a  part  thereof.     Of  these,  the  Nova  Scotian  and 

219 


93  NOTES   ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

Cape  Breton  sections  are  the  northernmost ;  then  come  the 
system  of  Mount  Desert,  that  of  the  Blue  Hills  and  Eastern 
Massachusetts ;  then  the  Blue  Ridge,  beginning  as  the  South 
Mountain  in  Pennsylvania  and  connected  with  the  Blue  Ridge 
in  Virginia;  then  the  Unaka  sectipn,  including  the  highest 
land  in  the  whole  system  of  the  Appalachian.  Still  to  the 
east  we  have,  in  Virginia,  the  uplift,  which  I  have  termed  the 
Richmond  axis,  where  the  syenite  has  been  thrust  up  to  form 
the  eastern  border  of  the  Mesozoic  coal  field  of  Virginia. 
There  are  other  regions  of  disturbance  which,  either  by  their 
peculiarities  of  structure  or  by  the  fact  that  they  have  been  the 
product  of  special  and  limited  upheavals,  deserve  to  be  given 
a  special  name.  The  limited  disturbances  of  the  Martha's 
Vineyard  region,  on  the  New  England  coast,  dating  from  the 
time  of  the  later  Tertiaries,  the  Mount  Tom  upheavals  in  the 
Connecticut  Valley,  the  peculiar  submerged  ridges  of  un- 
known age  off  the  Carolina  coast,  and  other  local  upheaval 
regions,  could  extend  our  catalogue  of  regional  divisions  of 
the  Appalachian  much  beyond  the  limits  of  the  score  of  divis- 
ions suggested  above.  It  is  far  from  my  purpose  to  do  more 
than  indicate  the  general  fact  that  there  are  such  features  as 
regional  divisions  in  the  Appalachian  chain,  and  that  it  has 
been  the  product  of  many  successive  elevations  acting  along 
the  same  lines  of  upheaval..  The  existence  of  these  suc- 
cessively formed  elevations,  all  having  essentially  the  same 
direction,  needs  to  be  dwelt  upon,  on  account  of  the  strong 
impression  which  the  theory  of  M.  Elie  de  Beaumont,  concern- 
ing the  parallelism  of  mountains  of  the  same  age  and  the 
diversity  of  direction  of  mountains  of  different  ages,  has  made 
upon  the  minds  of  naturalists.  I  believe  it  important  that  the 
reader  should  approach  the  study  of  this  field  without  the 
hampering  influence  of  these  opinions,  lest  the  most  valuable 
lessons  which  may  be  learned  there  be  obscured  by  prejudice. 
The  Kentucky  section  of  the  Appalachians  is  so  small  that 
the  studies  which  we  are  to  pursue  here  will  be  limited  to 
some  of  the  simpler  problems  afforded  by  the  Tennessee  sec- 
tion of  the  Appalachians.    The  action  of  these  mountain-build- 


THE   KENTUCKY   GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY.  93 

ing  forces  are  limited  in  Kentucky  to  the  region  east  of  a  line 
drawn  from  the  county  of  Pike,  on  the  West  Virginia  line,  to 
the  Tennessee  line,  near  Jellico.  This  district  does  not  include 
more  than  about  five  thousand  square  miles  of  territory,  and 
only  takes  in  the  westernmost  features  of  the  Tennessee  sec- 
tion of  the  Appalachian  system.  It  has,  however,  in  Pine 
Mountain,  nearly  the  whole  length  of  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able of  all  the  mountains  of  this  section,  and  between  this 
remarkable  ridge  and  the  Cumberland  Mountain,  on  the  east, 
nearly  one  hundred  miles  of  a  great  synclinal  valley,  which 
we  shall  call  the  Cumberland  synclinal.  In  order  adequately 
to  understand  this  region,  it  will  be  necessary  to  look  a  little 
into  the  structure  of  the  whole  Tennessee  section,  and  notice 
its  relations  to  the  neighboring  districts.  Enough  is  known 
of  the  structure  of  the  Allegheny  or  Pennsylvanian  section  of 
the  Appalachian  to  make  it  clear  that  it  is  composed  of  a 
number  of  parallel  ridges  and  furrows,  lying  side  by  side,  so 
that  the  east  and  west  section  is  like  a  cut  across  a  piece  of 
corrugated  roofing.  This  structure  niay  be  called  the  normal 
structure  of  a  mountain  of  simple  folds.  In  it  there  are  few 
great  north  and  south  faults,  and  they  rarely  come  in  to  break 
up  the  symmetry  of  the  great  folds.  These  folds  do  not  aver- 
age more  than  four  or  five  miles  in  width,  and  are  generally 
sufficiently  distinct  to  make  their  original  outlines  quite  recog- 
nizable. The  decay  at  the  top  of  the  arch,  favored  by  the 
open  structure  which,  as  we  have  seen,  leads  to  such  rapid 
destruction  of  mountain  arches,  has  not  in  Pennsylvania  gone 
further  than  it  has  in  the  Swiss  Jura,  and  the  mountain  has 
been,  in  many  cases,  simply  opened  to  the  action  of  the  air, 
which  has  not  yet  done  great  destruction.* 

In  East  Tennessee  the  conditions,  as  indicated  by  the  struc- 
ture of  the  rocks,  is  something  quite  different  from  that  of 

♦The  slight  amount  of  ihis  wearing  action  in  the  case  of  the  Pennsylvania  mountains,  as, 
for  instance,  in  the  Blue  Mountain,  has  led  me  very  much  lo  doubt  that  ihe  whole  of  that 
section  has  been  elevated  in  times  as  remote  as  the  Trias.  I  cannot  believe  that  we  could 
have  had  the  whole  of  some  protecting  formation  swept  away  from  the  flanks  of  these 
mountains  while  the  arches  have  worn  down  so  little.  I  should  feel  that  the  Blue  Mountain 
had  not  suffered  as  much  by  erosion  as  many  mountains  of  Tertiary  age  have  done.  I  can- 
not, indeed,  see  much  more  wear  indicated  by  the  Blue  Mountain,  for  instance,  than  in  the 
Pay  de  Dome,  or  the  other  relatively  recent  volcanoes  of  Auvergne,  in  Central  France. 

121 


\ 


54  NOTES   ON   TH^   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

Pennsylvania.  That  we  may  see  these  conditions  clearly,  let 
us  glance  at  what  were  the  probable  circumstances  of  this 
region  when  the  formation  of  the  mountains  began.  There 
is  very  little  doubt  that  this  district  was  generally,  if  not 
uniformly,  covered  by  the  beds  of  the  Carboniferous  period. 
These  abutted  on  the  east  against  the  great  Unaka  Island, 
then  probably  covered  by  beds  of  a  later  age  than  those  now 
exposed  there.  When  the  movements  of  the  uplift  began, 
time  does  not  show  the  pebbles  of  the  old  granitic  rocks  now 
exposed  thereon.  When  the  movements  of  the  uplift  began, 
this  ancient  island  would  naturally  yield  less  than  the  low- 
lying  beds  on  either  side.  It  seems  to  have  acted  as  the 
Blue  Ridge  has  acted  throughout  its  length,  to  confine  the 
movement  to  the  regions  west  of  its  mass.  Whatever  motion 
was  given  to  it,  probably  followed  the  ancient  lines  of  fracture, 
which  may  exist  within  it ;  but  they  did  not  result  in  making 
typical  arches  of  the  Allegheny  forms. 

The  movements  on  the  west  of  the  Unaka  axis  seems,  at 
first  sight,  quite  unlike  the  ordinary  Alleghenian  disloca- 
tions. If  the  geologist  looks  from  the  summit  of  the  Cum- 
berland Mountains  over  the  far-extending  mountain  region  of 
East  Tennessee,  he  beholds  line  upon  line  of  bold  rocky 
walls,  which  fill  the  field  of  view.  Away  to  the  east  the 
Unaka  range,  and  the  neighboring  mountains  of  North  Caro- 
lina, bound  the  horizon  with  a  high,  serried  range  of  crests, 
whose  varied  outlines  contrast  strongly  with  the  even  ram- 
parts of  the  newer  ridges  of  the  Tennessee  Valley.  Look- 
ing closely  at  these  ridges,  we  find  that,  with  the  exception 
of  the  Cumberland  range,  they  are  one  and  all  produced  by 
the  action  of  faults ;  and  their  lines  indicate  the  existence  of 
a  wonderful  series  of  breaks,  extending  for  a  distance  of  more 
than  one  hundred  miles  in  some  cases,  and,  in  more  than  one 
instance,  of  singular  uniformity  of  height.  In  the  whole  sec- 
tion there  is  but  one  distinct  anticlinal — that  on  which  the 
ridges  of  Cumberland  Mountain  stand — and  one  distinct  syn- 
clinal— that  through  which  the  Cumberland  river  flows  in  that 
part  of  its  course  which  lies  above  Pineville.     The  structure 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY. 


95 


can  best  be  explained  by  supposing,  that,  in  the  elevation,  the 
tendency  was  to  form  a  great  anticlinal  some  fifty  or  sixty 
miles  across,  and  that  it  was  unable  to  support  itself,  and  the 
sides  of  it  fell,  in  a  succession  of  longitudinal  strips  detached 
by-the  parallel  faults ;  and  the  only  part  retaining  the  anticlinal 
character  being  the  section  of  which  Cumberland  Mountain 
is  a  part.  The  eastern  retreat  escarpment  has  been  destroyed 
by  faulting.  It  will  be  seen  by  the  diagram  given  below  that 
this  escarpment  has  retreated  a  great  distance  from  the  central 
axis  of  the  anticlinal,  being  several  miles  back  from  that  line : 


I 


^dvi 


CinciwuiH  Series, 


223 


96  NOTES   ON    THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

It  IS  a  Striking  fact,  that  there  are  no  outliers  of  the  riven 
beds  scattered  over  the  mountain  valleys.  Several  of  the  walls 
of  the  faults  have  worked  back  some  distance  from  the  point 
of  fracture ;  but  in  most  cases  they  are  still  close  to  the  point 
where  the  break  was  formed.  This  is  most  conspicuously  the 
case  in  the  Pine  Mountain,  which,  throughout  its  whole  length, 
has  its  escarpment  within  a  few  hundred  feet  of  the  break 
where  it  was  first  found.  It  is  only  necessary  to  consider 
what  is  going  on  along  the  faces  of  cliffs,  such  as  are  exposed 
on  the  steep  walls  of  Cumberland  or  Pine  Mountains,  to  be 
convinced  that  the  process  of  retreat,  under  the  action  of 
eroding  agents,  must  be  exceedingly  rapid.  The  steep  angle 
of  the  slope,  the  inclination  of  the  beds,  the  universal  pres- 
ence of  a  cutting  stream,  led  in  towards  the  cliff  by  the  inclina- 
tion of  the  strata,  all  combine  to  make  the  erosion  go  on  with 
great  rapidity.  The  retreat  of  one  of  these  escarpment  faces, 
when  the  angle  of  slope  is  kept  at  over  twenty  degrees  of 
declivity,  must  be  many  times  faster  than  the  ordinary  wear 
of  the  country.  As  this  average  erosion  rate  cannot  be  less 
than  one  foot  in  3,500  years  in  this  region,  we  cannot  reckon 
the  retreat  rate  of  these  faces  at  less  than  one  foot  in  one 
thousand  years.*  Everything  favors  a  rapid  wear — the  great 
rain-fall,  great  action  of  the  frost,  and  the  decomposable  nature 
of  the  materials. 

I  find  it  difficult  to  believe  that  the  present  rate  of  retreat 
of  the  escarpments  of  Pine  Mountain  is  as  slow  as  that  given ; 
but,  even  at  this  rate,  the  retreat  would  be  one  thousand  feet 
in  a  million  years ;  and  the  estimated  duration  of  the  Tertiary 
time,  which  by  no  reckoning  is  made  less  than  four  or  five 
million  of  years,  would  cause  a  retreat  of  these  erosion  cliffs 
about  a  mile  in  distance  from  these  points  of  origin.  On  Pine 
Mountain,  at  several  points  examined,  there  was  not  one  half 
of  this  distance  between  the  summit  of  the  cliff  and  the 
downthrow  side  of  the  fault.     What  makes  this  the  more  re- 


•Tbe  erosion  rate  is  determined  by  the  following  co-efficients,  the  amount  of  rain-fall 
and  frost  action,  the  resistance  of  the  materials  due  to  their  composition,  and  the  attitude 
of  the  surface. 
324 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  97 

markable  is,  that  this  fault,  like  all  others,  is  not  vertical,  but 
probably  has  a  considerable  dip  in  the  same  direction  as  the 
slope  of  the  escarpment. 

When  we  look  at  the  Cumberland  anticlinal,  swept  clean  of 
its  upper  beds  for  a  width  of  many  miles,  and  then  compare 
it  with  the  Pine  Mountain  fault,  we  are  driven  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  formation  of  the  fold  must  far  ante-date  the  existence 
of  the  fault.  The  same  argument  will  convince  us  that  many 
of  the  other  faults  in  this  section  of  the  Appalachians  are  to 
be  regarded  as  belonging  to  a  relatively  late  time,  though  I 
have  seen  no  such  proof  of  newness  as  Pine  Mountain  affords. 
It  is  in  a  high  degree  desirable  that  accurate  sections  on  a  true 
scale  should  be  made  across  the  section  between  the  Unaka 
Mountains  and  the  western  border  of  the  Appalachian  disturb- 
ances, with  a  view  to  getting  accurate  information  on  this  sub- 
ject. 

The  existence  of  these  relatively  modern  breaks  in  this 
ancient  chain  requires  us  to  suppose  the  continuance  of  dis- 
turbances down  to  a  very  late  date.  All  the  subsequent  dis- 
turbances seem  to  have  taken  the  shape  of  faults  rather  than 
folds.  The  cause  of  this  is  uncertain ;  but,  without  entering 
upon  an  attempt  at  an  explanation,  I  would  say,  that  I  find  in 
my  notes,  made  during  a  year  of  journeying  in  Switzerland, 
in  1 866-' 7,  the  frequent  remark,  that  the  Alps  were  completely 
girdled  by  just  such  a  belt  of  faults  as  we  have  here.  Subse- 
quent studies  on  mountains  have  satisfied  me  that  there  is 
some  necessary  connection  between  the  occurrence  of  faults 
and  the  action  of  this  mountain-building  force  in  the  immedi- 
ate neighborhood  of  an  ancient  and  massive  mountain  region. 
The  effect  of  mere  weight  on  the  development  of  those  curves 
of  the  crust,  and  the  possibility  of  their  formation  being 
arrested  or  modified  by  weight  alone,  is  very  well  shown  in  the 
condition  of  the  Cumberland  anticlinal,  as  it,  in  its  southward 
extension,  comes  against  the  massive  Tennessee  table-land, 
where,  as  my  learned  friend.  Dr.  Safford,  has  shown  me,  the 
I  thickened  and  little  worn  beds  of  the  lower  coal  measures, 

conglomerates  in  the  main,  have  proved  too  massive  to  be 

TOL.  III.-15  225 


98  NOTES  ON  THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

involved  in  the  mountain-building  movement.  If  the  fold  had 
kept  its  course,  it  would  have  had  to  crumple  this  mass  into  its 
curves ;  but  it  seems  to  have  been  turned  abruptly  to  the  east 
and  shortened  to  half  its  breadth,  if  not  quite  extinguished.* 

An  interesting  inference,  as  to  the  ancient  conditions  of  this 
district,  can  be  made  from  this  effect  of  the  Tennessee  table- 
land on  the  course  of  the  Cumberland  anticlinal.  This  infer- 
ence is,  that  this  table-land  has  existed,  in  something  like  its 
present  relative  thickness,  from  a  very  ancient  time.  If  many 
thousand  feet  in  thickness  of  beds  had  been  removed  from 
this  country  since  the  formation  of  this  anticlinal,  the  chance 
of  this  table-land  having  its  relatively  massive  structure  would 
not  be  great.  This  is  an  argument  for  the  relatively  recent 
origin  of  this  part  of  the  Appalachian  system.  The  Pine 
Mountain  faulty  also,  disappears  against  this  massive  frag- 
ment of  the  ancient  carboniferous  table-land. 

The  great  synclinal  of  the  Cumberland  lies,  for  most  of  its 
distance,  within  the  State  of  Kentucky,  its  western  boundary 
being  the  unbroken  line  of  the  Pine  Mountain,  its  eastern  side 
being  bounded  by  the  slope  of  the  Cumberland  anticlinal. 
This  synclinal  is  by  no  means  a  simple,  unbroken  trough, 
but  is  filled  with  minor  but  most  interesting  accidents  in  the 
shape  of  cross-faults  and  transverse  axes  of  elevation.  In  the 
neighborhood  of  Cumberland  Gap,  these  transverse  faults  and 
axes  give  a  most  complicated  geological  structure.  At  a  point 
about  midway  of  the  valley,  on  a  line  from  Pineville  to  the 
Gap,  we  have  a  beautiful  example  of  a  half  dome,  formed  by 
an  arched  upthrow  on  one  side  of  a  fault,  known  as  Rocky 
Face.f 

Many  of  these  faults  pass  completely  through  the  Cumber- 
land escarpment,  or  Cumberland  Mountain,  as  it  is  commonly 
called.     Cumberland  Gap  is  formed  by  the  erosion  caused  by 

*This  wonderful  section  deserves,  and  should  receive,  the  most  careful  study  from  our 
American  geologists.  I  have  seen  only  enough  to  fill  me  with  desire  to  learn  more  as  to 
its  structure.  I  am  sure  it  is  more  likely  to  reward  the  student  of  dynamic  geology  than 
any  other  district  known  to  me  ia  the  whole  Appalachian  chain. 

tSome  of  these  accidents  are  two  complicated  for  description,  and  we  must  await  the 
making  of  the  final  map  of  the  district  in  order  to  represent  them  in  any  adequate  fashion. 
The  want  of  such  map  compels  me  to  omit  all  mention  of  the  detaili  of  structure  in  thif 
most  interesting  region. 

226 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY,  99 

one  of  these  faults,  which  traverses  the  ridge  in  an  oblique 
manner,  the  downthrow  being  on  the  west  side  of  the  fault 
line.  A  mile  further,  to  the  southeast,  apparently  on  the  con- 
tinuation of  the  same  fault  line,  we  find  another  evidence  of 
faulting  in  what  is  called  Double  Mountain.  Here,  again,  the 
crest  has  retreated  but  very  little  from  the  fracture  line,  show- 
ing the  recent  character  of  the  break,  which  must,  indeed,  have 
happened  long  after  the  topography  had  taken  on  its  present 
general  character.  It  seems  likely  that  the  series  of  breaks, 
which  opened  the  passage  of  the  Cumberland  through  the 
Pine  Mountain  at  Pineville,  formed  the  half  dome  at  Rocky 
Face,  cut  the  Cumberland  Mountain  at  the  Gap,  and  formed 
Double  Mountain,  are  either  on  one  and  the  same  fault  line, 
or  constitute  a  series  of  faults  closely  related  in  direction. 

Following  the  line  of  the  Cumberland  to  the  south,  as  far  as 
Big'  Creek  Gap,  about  forty  miles  from  the  Cumberland  Gap, 
we  come  upon  an  exceedingly  interesting  portion  of  the  moun- 
tain. The  usual  dip  of  the  beds  in  the  mountain  is  from  thirty 
to  forty  degrees  of  declivity.  It  is  noticeable,  along  the  sixty 
miles  of  its  length  that  I  have  seen,  that  the  direction  of  the 
mountain,  as  determined  by  its  rate  of  retreat,  varies  with  the 
angle  of  dip.  Where  the  dip  is  steep,  the  mountain  has  re- 
treated rapidly  to  the  west,  and  the  crest  is  low ;  where  grad- 
ual, there  is  almost  always  a  salient  angle  to  the  east,  and  the 
crest  of  the  ridge  is  high.  At  the  Big  Creek  Gap,  however, 
the  whole  section,  from  the  base  of  the  Cincinnati  Group  to 
the  base  of  the  Conglomerate,  is  positively  on  end,  so  that 
the  whole  of  this  section  can  be  crossed  in  traveling  a  distance 
no  greater  than  its  thickness;  yet  the  line  of  the  mountain 
is  not  perceptibly  deflected  from  its  general  trend.  At  Pen- 
nington's Gap,  as  shown  by  the  reconnoissance  of  Assistant 
Moore  and  Messrs.  Davis  and  Eldridge,  students  of  the  Sum- 
mer School  of  Geology,  made  in  1875,  the  same  arrangement 
occurs.  In  the  case  of  the  former  of  these  two  localities,  at 
least,  I  am  satisfied  that  the  dislocation  has  taken  place,  since 
the  general  trend  of  the  escarpment  has  been  essentially  the 

same  as  it  is  at  present,  otherwise  the  uniformity  of  the  align- 

227 


lOO  NOTES  ON  THE  INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

ment  of  the  whole  ridge  could  not  have  been  brought  about. 
It  would  have  been  quite  Impossible  to  have  had  the  condi- 
tions just  what  they  are  at  present,  if  this  structure  existed 
here  before  the  retreating  escarpment  came  to  occupy  its  pres- 
ent place.  The  coincidence  of  water  gaps  through  the  Cum- 
berland, at  the  two  points  where  these  vertical  sections  occur, 
is  also  remarkable,  and  points  to  the  conclusion  that  they  have 
been  brought  about  by  a  profound  system  of  faulting.  These 
faults  show,  at  several  points,  something  of  the  conditions 
under  which  they  have  been  formed,  and,  in  order  to  under- 
stand their  structure,  it  will  be  necessary  to  consider  the  clas- 
sification of  faults  in  respect  to  some  of  their  more  important 
phenomena.  In  the  first  place,  as  regards  their  rapidity  of 
formation,  faults  may  be  divided  into  two  groups:  those  which 
are  formed  with  exceeding  slowness,  so  that  a  stream  flowing 
across  the  fault  may  not  have  been  interrupted  in  its  course, 
though  the  fault  may  have  grown  to  a  great  height,  the  cutting 
action  of  the  stream  in  this  case  being  far  more  rapid  than  the 
rise  of  the  fault.  A  second  group  will  include  those  faults 
where  the  action  has  taken  place  with  suddenness,  so  as 
greatly  to  affect  the  neighboring  rocks,  often  crushing  them 
for  considerable  distances  from  the  fault  line. 

So  far  as  my  observations  go,  it  appears  as  if  the  great 
North  and  South  faults,  such  as  those  of  Pine  Mountain  and 
Clinch  Mountain,  had  been  of  tolerably  gradual  formation, 
though  I  do  not  think  they  have  been  upheaved  so  slowly 
that  the  rivers  have  not  been  turned  aside  from  their  courses ; 
but  they  do  not  have  the  appearance  of  violence  that  belongs 
to  the  transverse  faults.  The  smaller  faults,  which  cross  the 
others  at  various  angles,  show  at  several  points,  by  the  brec- 
cias that  occur  along  their  lines,  the  violence  that  attended 
their  formation.  The  Cumberland  Gap  fault,  for  instance,  is 
traceable  by  a  belt  of  breccia,  of  ten  or  more  feet  wide,  that 
marks  its  line.  This  breccia  is  composed  of  bits  of  conglom- 
erate sandstone,  with  ragged  angles,  fixed  together  by  oxyde 
of  iron.     So  far  as  I  am  able  to  judge,  these  bits  of  stone  are 

all  from  the  rocks  in  which  they  are  bedded,  being  rarely  more 
228 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  Id 

than  broken  to  pieces  by  the  motion,  and  not  greatly  displa<?ed 
from  their  original  positions.  On  the  southwest  side  of  this 
fault,  at  Cumberland  Gap,  there  is  a  downthrow  of  several 
hundred  feet,  probably  about  three  hundred,  and  the  beds  only 
.gradually  recover  their  place  in  the  face  of  the  mountain  after 
about  a  mile  of  distance. 

In  the  Cumberland  synclinal,  we  have  evidence  of  the 
extreme  difficulty  which  these  mountain-building  forces  had 
in  throwing  this  surface  into  folds.  This  valley,  which  is 
about  ten  miles  wide,  is  almost  level  throughout  this  width, 
and  only  shows  the  crumpling  action  near  its  borders.  The 
section  published  with  this  report  does  not  show  all  the  pecu- 
liarities of  this  singular  valley,  the  details  of  the  small  dis- 
turbances being  quite  left  out.  I  believe  that  this  level  char- 
acter is  due  to  the  same  causes  that  made  the  Tennessee 
table-land  completely  arrest  the  Cumberland  anticlinal.  This 
cause  is  either  to  be  found  in  the  thickness  of  the  section 
or  the  thickness  of  the  mountain-building  forces.  As  we  go 
south  into  the  Tennessee  table-land,  we  find  in  the  Sequat- 
chie Valley,  as  was  admirably  described  by  Professor  J.  M. 
Safford,  in  his  lectures  at  the  Summer  School  of  Geology,  in 
^875,  a  complete  mountain  ridge  in  the  midst  of  this  great 
area  of  undisturbed  rocks,  with  great  areas  of  horizontal  beds 
on  either  side. 

Looking  at  the  general  section  of  the  Cumberland  escarp- 
ment, or  mountain,  as  it  is  called,  we  notice  that  the  dip  of  the 
beds  becomes  suddenly  great  at  that  point,  and  that  there  is 
comparatively  little  dip  on  either  side.  This  peculiarity  has 
suggested  to  me  the  hypothesis  that,  possibly,  the  time  of 
the  formation  of  the  Pine  Mountain,  and  probably  some  other 
faults,  was  one  of  renewed  lateral  pressure,  and  that  this  escarp- 
ment, which  is  separated  from  the  high  land  of  the  synclinal, 
along  its  whole  length,  by  the  valley,  had  its  dip  suddenly 
increased,  the  whole  of  the  dips  in  the  anticlinal  valley  being 
also  increased  by  the  movement.  I  am  the  more  inclined  to 
accept  this  hypothesis,  because  the  continuation  of  the  present 

dip  lines  would  carry  the  arch  of  these  eroded  mountains  to  a 

229 


I02  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

gfeat  height — a  height  greater  than  I  am  inclined  to  suppose 
they  ever  had.  But  the  strongest  argument  for  some  such 
supposition  is,  the  coincidence  of  the  occasional  vertical  dip 
with  the  escarpment  line.  As  the  rate  of  retreat  of  an  escarp- 
ment is,  on  the  whole,  proportionate  to  the  angle  of  declivity 
of  the  beds,  being  greater  with  steeply  inclined  beds  than  with 
horizontal  beds,  there  seems  little  reason  for  finding  this  coin- 
cidence here,  unless  it  came  in  the  way  indicated. 

Another  point,  which  gives  me  trouble  to  explain,  is  the  rel- 
atively intense  wear  of  the  disturbed  region.  After  allowing 
much  for  the  effect  of  the  opening  of  the  rocks  caused  by 
their  dislocations,  there  remains  evidence  of  a  very  excessive 
erosion.  It  seems  to  me  there  should  be  more  of  the  coal- 
bearing  series  of  rocks  in  the  disturbed  district  of  the  East 
Tennessee  section  than  actually  remains  there.  It  is  likely 
that  this  excessive  erosion  has  been,  in  the  main,  caused  by 
the  powerful  river  system  of  this  section.  It  only  requires  a 
glance  at  the  map  to  show  that  we  have  there  a  great  engine 
of  erosion  in  the  branches  of  the  Tennessee  river,  effective  at 
the  present  time,  and  probably  doubly  powerful  in  the  early 
day,  when  they  were  fed  from  the  then  far  higher  lands  of  the 
Unaka  Island,  before  they  were  worn  down  to  their  very  roots 
by  erosion.  It  is  also  possible  that  this  region  has  been  swept 
by  ice  streams  from  this  mountain  centre  on  the  east,  for  the 
erosion  is  somewhat  after  the  fashion  of  the  wearing  which 
has  dug  out  the  basins  of  the  great  lakes,  when  the  ice  sheet 
from  the  Lauren tian  mountain  system  came  down  upon  the 
softer  rocks.  The  East  Tennessee  river  system  exposes  that 
region,  at  the  present  day,  to  the  most  rapidly  wearing  of  any 
part  of  this  continent.  These  rivers  have  considerable  fall, 
and  are  fed  by  a  rain-fall  of  at  least  sixty  inches  per  annum. 

Throughout   the    Eastern    Kentucky   coal    field   there   are 

slight  indications  of  dip  in  various  directions,  which  cannot 

be  reduced  to  any  distinct  system.     On  dip  map  in  Assistant 

CrandalFs  report,  in  the  second  volume  of  this  series,  is  a  good 

representation  of  the  variety  of  these  inclinations  as  regards 

direction  and  angle.  After  a  good  deal  of  consideration,  I  am 
230 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  IO3 

inclined  to  abandon  the  idea  of  these  irregularities  being  the 
result  of  dislocatory  forces.  In  many  cases,  at  least,  they  are 
doubtless  due  to  the  difference  in  thickness  of  subjacent  beds. 
Both  the  Sub-carboniferous  limestone  and  the  Conglomerate 
vary  greatly  in  their  thickness.  This  is  in  a  measure  true  of 
many  sections  of  the  coal  beds,  so  that  the  beds  laid  down  on 
these  variable  measures  will  necessarily  vary  a  good  deal  in 
their  inclination.  The  erosion,  whenever  it  is  subterranean — 
and  it  has  this  character  wherever  there  are  limestones  above 
the  drainage — is  sure  to  give  rise  to  many  local  dips.  This  is 
also  occasionally  the  case  in  localities  where  there  are  clays 
which  can  be  leached  of  their  saline  matters  by  the  action  of 
the  penetrating  waters.  A  very  large  number  of  minor  dis- 
locations, in  Western  Kentucky,  are  doubtless  due  to  the  sink- 
ing of  extensive  cavern  areas. 

The  strongest  objection  to  the  classification  of  the  many 
minor  irregularities  of  dip,  as  due  to  lateral  pressure,  is,  that 
we  require  this  lateral  pressure  to  act  in  the  very  outermost 
beds  of  the  crust,  and  we  fail  to  find  any  sign  of  the  regular 
arrangement  of  the  folding  in  determined  axes,  which  is  so 
constant  a  feature  in  all  cases  where  we  have  distinct  evidence 
that  the  disturbances  have  been  caused  by  mountain-building 
forces. 

The  only  permanent  feature,  in  the  generally  irregular  dips 
of  the  region  west  of  Pine  Mountain,  is  the  southeastwardly 
inclination  of  all  the  beds.  This  inclination  is  very  general, 
though  slight.  From  time  to  time  it  changes  to  a  northwest- 
ern direction,  so  as  to  lead  me  to  conjecture  that  there  might 
be  a  faint  trace  of  anticlinals  parallel  to  the  Allegheny  axes ; 
but  I  have  not  been  able  to  get  any  distinct  evidence  on  this 
point.  It  will  not  be  until  the  whole  of  this  section  is  accu- 
rately mapped,  and  the  dips  indicated  thereon,  that  we  shall 
have  any  basis  on  which  to  determine  this  hypothesis. 

Summing  up  the  history  of  the  dislocations  in  this  section, 

we  see  that  the  whole  of  Kentucky,  and,  in  fact,  the  whole  of 

the  section  included  in  the  Ohio  Valley,  is  in  the  grip  of  those 

movements  which  have  been  building  the  Appalachians  from 

231 


I04  NOTES   ON    THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

the  earliest  beginnings  of  the  continent.  The  section  of  this 
system  which  lies  between  the  North  Carolina  district  on  the 
one  side,  and  the  Cincinnati  axis  and  Tennessee  table-land  on 
the  other,  differs  from  the  Allegheny  section  in  the  fact  that 
faults  have,  to  a  great  extent,  taken  the  place  of  folds.  These 
faults  in  some,  if  not  in  all,  cases,  must  be  regarded  as  of  very 
recent  age,  from  the  fact  that  their  escarpments  have  not  re- 
treated for  any  distance  from  their  original  position  at  the  time 
of  formation  of  the  fault.  The  folds,  at  least  that  .of  the  Cum- 
berland Mountain,  are  of  a  date  far  more  ancient  than  the 
neighboring  faults.  Furthermore,  that  the  great  erosion  of 
this  district  can  be,  in  part,  at  least,  accounted  for  by  the  ex- 
tensive river  system  confined  in  this  district  by  the  general 
structure  of  the  country,  and  concentrating  on  it  the  erosive 
force  of  the  great  rain-fall,  which  the  Unaka  Mountain  system, 
as  well  as  its  own  high  ranges,  must  have  given  to  it  ever  since 
an  early  time  in  the  history  of  the  continent;  and  also,  that 
the  curious  local  disturbances  of  the  beds  along  the  Cumber- 
land escarpment  can  be  attributed  to  the  fact  that  the  differ- 
ence of  weight  at  this  point,  between  the  low-lying  plain  and 
the  mountain  section,  caused  breaks  to  be  made  along  its  line, 
from  which  line  the  erosion  has  not  been  great  enough  to 
work  back  the  escarpment  since  the  time  when  these  last  dis- 
turbances occurred. 

We  will  now  consider  the  action  of  the  forces  which  come 
from  the  earth's  interior,  in  the  shape  of  those  tremulous  move- 
ments which  we  term  earthquakes.  It  will  be  seen,  in  the 
sequel,  that  this  State  has  a  special  interest  in  this  class  of 
actions,  having  been  the  seat  of  the  most  remarkable  series  of 
such  disturbances,  which  has  affected  this  continent  within  the 
historic  period. 

In  our  ignorance  of  the  cause  of  earthquake  movements — 
an  ignorance  which  has  only  begun  to  be  diminished  by  the 
latest  researches  in  seismology  of  Mr.  Charles  Mallet  and 
others — we  have  been  driven  to  group  under  one  name 
phenomena,  doubtless,  of  the  most  varied  origin.     There  can 

be  little  doubt  that  these  disturbances  of  the  earth  are  of  as 
23a 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  IO5 

various  origin  as  the  movements  of  the  air ;  but  to  our  senses 
everything  is  absolutely  hidden,  except  the  movement  conse- 
quent on  these  varied  accidents,  and  this  movement  is  made 
uniform  in  all  its  features  by  the  laws  connected  with  the  elas- 
ticity of  the  earth.  The  admirable  researches  of  Mr.  Charles 
Mallet  have  shown  us  that  the  earthquake  of  1851,  in  Cala 
bria,  and  one  or  two  other  disturbances,  have  probably  been 
caused  by  the  sundering  of  the  rocks  and  the  opening  of  a 
fissure  having  a  length  of  many  miles  and  a  depth  of  many 
thousands  of  feet,  the  topmost  part  of  which  was  about  fifty 
thousand  feet  below  the  surface  of  the  earth.  This  determines 
one  of  the  sources  of  disturbance,  and  undoubtedly  this  is  a 
very  frequent  cause  of  great  movements  within  the  earth.  The 
exceedingly  great  number  of  these  breaks  within  the  earth's 
crust,  which  we  know  to  have  been  formed  in  the  past,  gives 
us  an  assurance  that  they  are  an  essential  feature  in  the  econ- 
omy of  the  earth ;  so  it  is  quite  warrantable  to  suppose  that 
they  may  be  formed  at  any  time  in  the  earth's  history,  and  at 
any  point  beneath  its  surface.  In  the  cases  where  there  has 
been  good  reason  to  suspect  that  the  formation  of  rents  has 
been  the  cause  of  the  earthquake,  the  area  of  the  regions 
shaken  and  the  magnitude  of  the  disturbance  were  both  quite 
small.  It  is  not  probable  that  the  vast  convulsions  which  have 
shaken  great  continents,  or  ^those  peculiar  disturbances  which 
have  given  us  continued  shocks  such  as  we  shall  now  have 
to  consider,  were  due  to  the  same  sort  of  causes.  Our  study 
of  the  phenomena  of  the  earth  makes  it  sure  that  change 
in  bulk  is  one  of  the  most  frequent  and  efficient  causes  of 
disturbances.  After  we  get  a  few  hundred  feet  b^low  the 
surface,  there  is  probably  no  part  of  the  mass  which  is  not 
impelled  by  powerful  forces  to  either  expansion  or  contraction. 
When  the  mass  of  the  material  affected  by  these  tendencies 
becomes  sufficiently  great,  some  alterations  must  take  place. 
It  is  by  no  means  necessary  that  these  movements  shall  affect 
the  surface  of  the  earth  in  any  permanent  way.  The  outer 
few  thousand  feet  of  strata  may  not  be  disposed  to  movement, 
or  may  be  so  rigid  that   the  lower  shiftings  cannot  drag  it 

233 


I06  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

into  their  own  movements ;  but  the  result  may  be  accomplished 
by  a  compression  of  beds  at  some  other  point. 

I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  these  earthquakes,  which  are 
characterized  by  a  great  and  long-continued  succession  of 
shocks,  occur  more  commonly  in  regions  remote  from  recent 
mountain  chains,  where  the  evidence  is  that  the  mountain- 
building  forces  are  at  rest,  than  in  the  midst  of  a  mountain 
region  where  the  mountain-building  forces  may  be  presumed 
to  be  still  active.  If  this  be  the  case — and,  after  some  search 
through  the  history  of  earthquakes  in  the  tables  of  Perry,  of 
Dijon,  Mallet,  and  others,  I  have  not  found  a  clear  exception — 
then  we  have  something  like  a  confirmation  of  this  hypothesis, 
which  is  substantially  that  adjustments  may  be  effected  in 
either  of  two  ways — ^by  the  interior  slipping  on  the  exterior, 
or  by  the  exterior  contracting  to  allow  the  interior  freely  to 
take  its  adjustments. 

There  are,  I  believe,  at  least  three  distinct  classes  of  sub 
terranean  disturbances  which  are  likely  to  produce  earthquake 
shocks : 

1st.  The  contraction  of  rocks  forming  crevices  which  may 
be  filled  by  molten  matter  forming  dykes,  or,  in  other  cases, 
by  the  slower  action  of  heated  water,  constituting  veins. 

2d.  The  slipping  of  rocks  over  each  other  under  the  influ- 
ence of  compressing  forces,  giving  phenomena  such  as  may 
be  observed  in  mountain  chains. 

3d.  The  sudden  movement  of  gases  contained  within  the 
earth,  impelled  by  great  heat  to  the  exercise  of  sufficient  en- 
ergy to  dislocate  the  rocks  that  contain  them.  This  last  class 
of  causes  is  probably  operative  only  in  the  vicinity  of  points 
of  volcanic  activity. 

The  Ohio  Valley  has  been  the  seat  of  repeated  slight  earth- 
quakes— too  slight  to  demand  notice,  save  as  evidences  of  the 
existence  of  earthquake-making  fissures.  All  of  these  shocks 
seem  to  have  originated  beneath  this  valley.  But  a  single 
series  of  shocks  in  its  whole  history  have  had  the  violence  of 
a  great  convulsion  impressed  upon  them.  In  November,  181  r, 
began  a  series  of  convulsions  unequaled,  or,  at  least,  unsur- 
234 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  lOJ 

passed,  by  any  earthquakes  which  have  been  felt  upon  this 
continent.  These  memorable  events  are  known  commonly 
under  the  name  of  the  earthquakes  of  New  Madrid,  that  town 
on  the  Mississippi  river,  opposite  the  extreme  southwest  cor- 
ner of  Kentucky,  being  the  most  important  village  within  the 
range  of  its  devastations.  In  Appendix  B  I  have  brought 
together  some  information  concerning  this  catastrophe,  which 
may  be  consulted  by  the  reader  desirous  of  acquainting  him- 
self with  the  general  character  of  the  convulsion,  and  its  most 
important  effects.  In  this  Appendix  will  be  found  the  admi- 
rable statement  of  Judge  Fowler,  of  Livingston  county,  who 
seems  to  have  retained,  in  a  very  clear  way,  the  impressions 
made  by  the  events  of  those  days.  His  account  of  the  inven- 
tion of  the  frontiersman  for  observing  the  shocks  is  very  inter- 
esting, as  it  furnishes  probably  the  first  record  of  a  pendulum 
apparatus  for  observations  of  this  description. 

The  records  of  this  early  event  in  the  history  of  this  valley 
are  extremely  imperfect  in  a  scientific  point  of  view,  and  yet 
sufficient  to  assure  us  that  the  convulsions,  for  the  first  part  of 
the  disturbance,  were  of  the  most  violent  character.  Occurring 
at  the  present  time,  there  is  no  doubt  that  they  would  cause  a 
terrible  loss  of  life  and  property  throughout  the  region  where 
their  action  was  most  violent.  The  only  fact  bearing  on  the 
range  of  this  shock  not  given  in  the  Appendix  is,  that,  at  the 
town  of  Leitchfield,  in  Grayson  county,  several  chimneys  of 
great  solidity  were  overthrown  almost  to  the  base. 

As  this  convulsion  was  so  terrible  in  its  character,  ruining 
even  the  log  cabins  of  that  early  day,  at  the  points  where  its 
action  was  most  severe,  it  becomes  a  matter  of  importance  to 
see  what  light,  if  any,  can  be  thrown  on  the  probability  of  its 
re-occurrence  in  this  region.  Although  no  certainty,  or  any- 
thing approaching  it,  can  be  obtained  on  this  point  in  the  pres- 
ent state  of  the  science  of  earthquakes,  it  seems  to  me  that 
there  are  some  points  which  are  not  without  value  in  helping 
us  to  a  judgment  as  to  the  probability  of  a  return  of  the  catas- 
trophe. 

23s 


i 


I08  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

In  the  first  place,  it  must  be  observed  that  the  occurrence 
of  a  great  convulsion,  away  from  centres  of  volcanic  activity, 
and  remote  from  mountains  which  exhibit  recent  disturbances, 
is  exceedingly  rare.  The  great  alluvial  regions — the  regions 
of  far-reaching  horizontal  stratification — have  never,  save  in 
this  single  instance,  been  visited  by  a  great  convulsion  of  this 
kind,  although  they  occupy  quite  one  half  of  the  earth's  sur- 
face, or  at  least  of  that  part  which  is  within  the  historic  belt. 
No  such  convulsion,  nor  any  considerable  earthquake,  had  oc- 
curred in  the  hundred  and  fifty  years  which  had  passed  since 
the  country  came  within  the  observation  of  travelers.  The 
French  explorers  would  probably  have  found  some  accounts 
of  such  a  catastrophe,  in  the  traditions  of  the  Indians,  on 
whom,  as  on  all  rude  peoples,  such  events  make  a  very  strong 
impression.  Great  earthquakes,  like  deluges  and  other  de- 
structive natural  accidents,  become  woven  in  with  the  traditions 
of  a  people,  and  preserved  for  centuries.  Over  three  score 
years  have  passed,  and  the  trifling  shocks  which  have  been 
felt  in  this  valley  have  been,  one  and  all,  isolated  shocks,  and 
had  nothing  like  the  serial  continuity  which  belonged  to  the 
disturbances  of  1811-13;  so  that,  for  hundreds  of  years  be- 
fore, and  for  three  fifths  of  a  century  since  this  disturbance, 
there  has  been  nothing  like  a  renewal  of  the  movements.  A 
still  better  argument  for  the  rarity  of  this  accident  in  this  sec- 
tion is  found  in  the  exceedingly  extensive  disturbances  which 
it  caused  in  the  beds  bordering  on  the  Mississippi.  It  is  one 
of  the  results  of  a  great  convulsion  of  the  earth  to  discharge 
the  tensions  near  the  surface  in  the  region  where  it  occurs. 
Rocks  almost  ready  to  fall,  but  the  fall  of  which  might  be 
distributed  over  centuries,  come  down  in  confusion  together. 
Pent-up  gases,  which  would  be  slowly  discharged,  are  thrown 
out  at  once,  and  in  other  ways  unstable  equilibriums  are  adjusted. 
In  the  region  bordering  on  the  Mississippi,  a  prodigious  num- 
ber of  land-slips,  crevices  in  the  earth,  and  sand-blows  or  out- 
pourings of  gas  driving  sand  before  it,  took  place,  all  tending 
to  show  that  the  tensions  which  were  discharged  were  very 

great  in  number,  and  probably  had  not  been  released  for  a 
236 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  IO9 

very  long  time  by  any  similar  convulsion.  Altogether,  the 
evidence  looks  towards  the  conclusion  that  a  great  disturb- 
ance of  this  kind  is  quite  out  of  the  natural  order  of  events, 
and  may  be  so  exceptional  as  not  to  be  expected  to  occur 
again  for  any  reasonable  time  in  the  future. 

It  is  an  exceedingly  interesting  fact  that  the  centre  of  these 
oscillations,  or  seismic  vertical,  as  it  is  called,  seemed  to  move 
from  the  region  about  New  Madrid  in  an  easterly  direction, 
during  the  continuance  of  the  disturbances.  At  the  end  of 
the  series  of  movements,  in  1813,  it  seems  to  have  been  nearly 
one  hundred  miles  to  the  east  of  its  position  at  the  beginning 
of  the  convulsions.  It  seems  to  me  that  this  may  have  a  bear- 
ing on  the  theory  of  that  class  of  earthquake  disturbances 
when  the  movements  take  the  form  of  successive  movements 
occurring  in  a  serial  order.  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that 
they  are  not  produced  by  the  formation  of  faults,  but  by  the 
slipping  of  deep-seated  rocks  on  each  other,  in  the  effort  to 
adjust  the  strains  which  had  developed  within  them.  This 
gradual  eastwardly  movement  looks  Hke  a  transfer  of  the  slip- 
ping action  gradually  towards  the  Cincinnati  axis,  where  the 
mountain-causing  forces  have  been  satisfied  by  the  elevation 
of  a  great  ridge.  I  only  suggest  this  conjecture,  because  it 
seems  to  fall  in  with  the  theory  that  these  continued  trem- 
blings are  connected  with  a  slipping  movement  of  deep-seated 
beds. 

It  may  not  be  out  of  place  to  notice,  that  the  extensive 
development  of  very  old  and  very  extensive  caverns,  in  the 
central  district  of  the  State,  in  which  there  are  few  indications 
of  any  violent  actions  which  cannot  be  explained  without  the 
intervention  of  earthquakes,  is  something  of  an  argument  on 
this  point,  though  I  doubt  if  we  can  determine  its  precise 
value.  There  is  a  fact,  however,  in  this  connection,  which  may 
have  some  value.  I  have  noticed  in  the  Mammoth  Cave, 
Salts  Cave,  and  other  caverns  in  the  Edmonson  district,  that 
beneath  the  stones  in  many  avenues  we  can  find  a  great  many 
bits  of  charcoal  remains  of  the  ancient  torches.  It  is  claimed 
by  the  guides,  that,  since  the  modern  extensive  visiting  of  the 

237 


« 


no  NOTES   ON   THE   INVESTIGATIONS   OF 

Mammoth  Cave,  the  fall  of  a  single  stone  has  not  been  noticed. 
The  quantities  of  stone,  with  chips  of  charcoal  beneath  them, 
requires  us  to  suppose,  either  that  the  Indians  have  been  enter- 
ing these  caverns  from  a  time  of  very  great  antiquity,  or  that 
there  has  been  some  convulsion  which  brought  down  quanti- 
ties of  stones  at  one  time.  There  is  nothing  to  show  that  the 
earthquake  of  1811  may  not  have  done  this;  but  a  somewhat 
careful  inquiry  among  the  early  settlers  has  failed  to  give  me 
any  observations  on  changes  made  within  our  caverns  by  that 
disturbance.  It  should  be  noticed,  however,  that  they  were 
but  little  entered  in  those  days.* 

Before  leaving  the  study  of  the  forces  which  lead  to  move- 
ments of  the  earth's  crust,  I  must  call  the  attention  of  ob- 
servers to  some  obscure  indications  which  may,  or  may  not, 
be  connected  with  changes  of  level  within  the  State.  In  the 
neighborhood  of  Pine  Mountain,  on  the  head  waters  of  the 
Cumberland,  the  streams  very  generally  have  the  character 
of  extremely  sluggish,  sWamp-bordered  channels.  At  every 
other  point  observed  by  me  in  the  Appalachians,  the  moun- 
tain streams  have  shown  a  considerable  fall,  usually  not  less, 
for  terminal  streams,  than  three  or  four  feet  per  mile.  Yel- 
low Creek,  Marshy  Creek,  and,  in  fact,  about  all  the  smaller 
tributaries  of  the  Cumberland  on  the  west  and  south  sides, 
have  more  or  less  of  this  swampy  character.  We  frequent- 
ly find  that,  for  many  miles,  the  stream  will  not  touch  its  rock- 
bed,  and  is  clearly  quite  incapable,  on  its  present  position,  of 
cutting  out  the  valley  in  which  it  runs.  I  have  been  driven 
to  the  hypothesis  that,  since  these  valleys  were  formed,  there 
has  been  some  change  of  level  which  has  diminished  their  cut- 
ting power. 

Marsh  Creek,  in  Wayne  county,  about  12  miles  east  of  the 
Cincinnati  Southern  Railway,  and  the  other  creeks  having  a 
similar  position,  would  have  their  peculiarities  accounted  for 
by  supposing  a  sinking  of  the  beds  on  the  west  side  of  the 

*  Although  the  caverns  were  somewhat  used  for  making  saltpetre,  they  were  little  ex- 
plored by  the  early  settlers  until  the  Mammoth  Cave  began  to  be  resorted  to  by  travelers 
from  a  distance. 

338 


THE  KENTUCKY  GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY.  Ill 

Pine  Mountain  fault,  amounting  to,  say,  twenty  or  thirty"  feet, 
the  subsidence  becoming  less  and  less  as  we  went  further  and 
further  from  the  fault.  Yellow  Creek  Valley,  which  is  in  the 
synclinal  trough,  is  not  so  easily  explained.  I  believe  that  it 
is  quite  incapable  of  cutting  out  its  valley  at  the  present  time. 
Over  a  large  part  of  its  course  it  has  no  wearing  action 
against  the  sides  of  the  valley;  yet,  with  its  feeble  stream, 
it  has  worked  down  at  least  two  hundred  feet  lower  than  the 
general  surface  of  the  Powell  Valley,  on  the  other  side  of  the 
Cumberland  Mountain.  The  only  way  in  which  I  can  account 
for  this  loss  of  cutting  power,  is  by  supposing  that  the  latest 
movements,  which  must  have  been  exceedingly  near  the  pres- 
ent time,  increased  the  barrier  which  separates  this  stream 
from  the  lower  waters  of  the  Cumberland,  or  possibly  actually 
depressed  the  synclinal  so  as  to  make  the  trough  lower  than  it 
was  before. 

It  may  be  said  that  the  movements,  necessary  to  bring  about 
these  changes  of  level,  would  necessarily  have  left  some  more 
conspicuous  mark  on  the  line  of  the  fault  than  exists  at  pres- 
ent. I  do  not  attach  much  importance  to  this  objection,  for 
the  amount  of  movement  required  is  probably  not  more  than 
fifty  feet ;  and  this  can  be  supposed  to  have  occurred  without 
causing  any  evident  disturbance  along  the  line  of  fault.  This 
line  is  obscured  by  a  great  mass  of  talus  material;  and  this 
would  effectively  hide  all  the  changes  which  would  be  brought 
about  by  a  few  feet  of  movement. 

I  have  been  forced  to  the  conclusion  that  all  mountain 
ranges,  where  the  mountain-building  forces  are  still  active,  the 
movements  dependent  on  their  continued  changes  of  weight 
are  almost  incessant.  I  can  accept  no  other  view  than  that 
continents  and  mountains  are,  on  the  whole,  in  a  state  of  un- 
stable equilibrium.  The  forces  which  lifted  them  having  acted 
to  that  point  where  they  were  just  balanced,  the  weight  and 
the  forces  that  tended  to  raise  up  were  equal  with  the  forces 
that  tended  to  bear  down.  The  loss  of  weight  through  erosion 
would  naturally  be  attended  by  a  continued  slight  movement 
of  re-adjustments,  and  the  increase  of  strains  from  the  loss  of 

»39 


112  NOTES   ON   THE    INVESTIGATIONS  OF 

heat  in  the  crust  would  likewise  be  attended  by  the  change  of 
tensions.    On  this  ground  of  constant  slight  changes,  the  pecu- 
liar relations  of  some  of  these  Valleys  can  be  well  explained. 
240 


APPENDIX  A. 


The  following  pages  are  taken  from  the  admirable  work  of 
Hon.  Geo.  P.  Marsh,  which  is  better  known  by  its  first  name 
of  **  Man  and  Nature/'  than  by  the  title  of  the  second  edition, 
''The  Earth  as  Modified  by  Human  Action.'**  The  Common- 
wealth of  Kentucky  is  indebted  to  the  illustrious  author  for 
the  permission  he  has  given  me  of  making  these  limited  ex- 
tracts from  his  extended  treatise. 

It  is  my  duty  to  call  the  attention  of  the  reader  to  the  fact 
that  the  following  pages,  shorn  of  their  context,  give  a  very 
inadequate  idea  of  the  author's  treatment  of  his  subject.  His 
treatise  is  the  great  masterpiece  among  the  many  essays  that 
have  been  written  upon  this  subject,  and  should  be  read  by  all 
who  desire  to  understand  the  effects  of  man's  action  on  our 
earth's  history: 

Extracts  from  the  Earth  as  Modified  by  Human  Action,  by  George  P.  Marsh. 
**  INUNDATIONS   IN   WINTER. 

**In  the  Northern  United  States,  although  inundations  are 
not  very  unfrequently  produced  by  heavy  rains  in  the  height 
of  summer,  it  will  be  found  generally  true  that  the  most  rapid 
rise  of  the  waters,  and,  of  course,  the  most  destructive  *  fresh- 
ets,' as  they  are  called  in  America,  are  occasioned  by  the 
sudden  dissolution  of  the  snow  before  the  open  ground  is 
thawed  in  the  spring.  It  frequently  happens  that  a  powerful 
thaw  sets  in  after  a  long  period  of  frost,  and  the  snow  which 
had  been  months  in  accumulating  is  dissolved  and  carried  off 
in  a  few  hours.  When  the  snow  is  deep,  it,  to  use  a  popular 
expression,  *  takes  the  frost  out  of  the  ground '  in  the  woods, 
and,  if  it  lies  long  enough,  in  the  fields  also.  But  the  heaviest 
snows  usually  fall  after  midwinter,  and  are  succeeded  by  warm 

*The  Earth  as  Modified  by  Human  Action,  a  new  edition  of  Man  and  Natnre,  bj 
George  P.  Marsh:  New  York,  Scribner,  Armstrong  &  Co.,  1874. 

VOL.  IU.-16  241 


114  INUNDATIONS   IN   WINTER. 

rains  or  sunshine,  which  dissolve  the  snow  on  the  cleared  land 
before  it  has  had  time  to  act  upon  the  frost-bound  soil  bene'kth 
it.  In  this  case,  the  snow  in  the  woods  is  absorbed  as  fast  as 
it  melts,  by  the  soil  it  has  protected  from  freezing,  and  does 
not  materially  contribute  to  swell  the  current  of  the  rivers.  If 
the  mild  weather,  in  which  great  snow-storms  usually  occur, 
does  not  continue  and  become  a  regular  thaw,  it  is  almost  sure 
to  be  followed  by  drifting  winds,  and  the  inequality  with  which 
they  distribute  the  snow  over  the  cleared  ground  leaves  the 
ridges  of  the  surface-soil  comparatively  bare,  while  the  depres- 
sions are  often  filled  with  drifts  to  the  height  of  many  feet. 
The  knolls  become  frozen  to  a  great  depth ;  succeeding  par- 
tial thaws  melt  the  surface-snow,  and  the  water  runs  down  into 
the  furrows  of  ploughed  fields,  and  other  artificial  and  natural 
hollows,  and  then  often  freezes  to  solid  ice.  In  this  state  of 
things,  almost  the  entire  surface  of  the  cleared  land  is  imper- 
vious to  water,  and  from  the  absence  of  trees  and  the  general 
smoothness  of  the  ground,  it  offers  little  mechanical  resistance 
to  superficial  currents.  If,  under  these  circumstances,  warm 
weather  accompanied  by  rain  occurs,  the  rain  and  melted  snow 
are  swiftly  hurried  to*the  bottom  of  the  valleys  and  gathered 
to  raging  torrents. 

**It  ought  further  to  be  considered  that,  though  the  lighter 
ploughed  soils  readily  imbibe  a  great  deal  of  water,  yet  grass- 
lands, and  all  the  heavy  and  tenacious  earths,  absorb  it  in 
much  smaller  quantities,  and  less  rapidly  than  the  vegetable 
mould  of  the  forest.  Pasture,  meadow,  and  clayey  soils,  taken 
together,  greatly  predominate  over  sandy  ploughed  fields,  in 
all  large  agricultural  districts,  and  hence,  even  if,  in  the  case 
we  are  supposing,  the  open  ground  chance  to  have  been  thawed 
before  the  melting  of  the  snow  which  covers  it,  it  is  already 
saturated  with  moisture,  or  very  soon  becomes  so,  and,  of 
course,  cannot  relieve  the  pressure  by  absorbing  more  water. 
The  consequence  is,  that  the  face  of  the  country  is  suddenly 
flooded  with  a  quantity  of  melted  snow  and  rain  equivalent  to 
a  fall  of  six  or  eight  inches  of  the  latter,  or  even  more.  This 
runs  unobstructed  to  rivers  often  still-bound  will  thick  ice,  and 

»4a 


DRAINAGE  OF    FOREST  SOIL.  II5 

thus  inundations  of  a  fearfully  devastating  character  are  pro- 
duced. The  ice  bursts,  from  the  hydrostatic  pressure  from 
below,  or  is  violently  torn  up  by  the  current,  and  is  swept  by 
the  impetuous  stream,  in  large  masses  and  with  resistless  fury, 
against  banks,  bridges,  dams,  and  mills  erected  near  them. 
The  bark  of  the  trees  along  the  rivers  is  often  abraded,  at  a 
height  of  many  feet  above  the  ordinary  water-level,  by  cakes 
of  floating  ice,  which  are  at  last  stranded  by  the  receding  flood 
on  meadow  or  ploughland,  to  delay,  by  their  chilling  influence, 
the  advent  of  the  tardy  spring. 

"Another  important  effect  of  the  removal  of  the  forest 
shelter  in  cold  climates  may  be  noticed  here.  We  have 
observed  that  the  ground  in  the  woods  either  does  not  freeze 
at  all,  or  that  if  frozen  it  is  thawed  by  the  first  considerable 
snow-fall.  On  the  contrary,  the  open  ground  is  usually  frozen 
when  the  first  spring  freshet  occurs,  but  is  soon  thawed  by  the 
warm  rain  and  melting  snow.  Nothing  more  effectually  disin- 
tegrates a  cohesive  soil  than  freezing  and  thawing,  and  the 
surface  of  earth  which  has  just  undergone  those  processes 
is  more  subject  to  erosion  by  running  water  than  under  any 
other  circumstances.  Hence  more  vegetable  mould  is  washed 
away  from  cultivated  grounds  in  such  climates  by  the  spring 
floods  than  by  the  heaviest  rain  at  other  seasons. 

**  In  the  warm  climates  of  Southern  Europe,  as  I  have  already 
said,  the  functions  of  the  forest,  so  far  as  the  disposal  of  the 
water  of  precipitation  is  concerned,  are  essentially  the  same  at 
all  seasons,  and  are  analogous  to  those  which  it  performs  in 
the  Northern  United  States  in  summer.  Hence,  in  the  former 
countries,  the  winter  floods  have  not  the  characteristics  which 
mark  them  in  the  latter,  nor  is  the  conservative  influence  of 
the  woods  in  winter  relatively  so  important,  though  it  is  equally 
unquestionable. 

*Mf  the  summer  floods  in  the  United  States  are  attended 
with  less  pecuniary  damage  than  those  of  the  Loire  and  other 
riv.ers  of  France,  the  Po  and  its  tributaries  in  Italy,  the  Emme 
and  her  sister  torrents  which  devastate  the  valleys  of  Switzer- 
land, it  is  partly  because  the  banks  of  American  rivers  are  not 

243 


Il6  DRAINAGE  OF   FOREST  SOIL. 

yet  lined  with  towns,  their  shores  and  the  bottoms  which  skirt 
them  not  yet  covered  with  improvements  whose  cost  is  counted 
by  millions,  and,  consequently,  a  smaller  amount  of  property 
is  exposed  to  injury  by  inundation.  But  the  comparative  ex- 
emption of  the  American  people  from  the  terrible  calamities 
which  the  overflow  of  rivers  has  brought  on  some  of  the  fairest 
portions  of  the  Old  World,  is,  in  a  still  greater  degree,  to  be 
ascribed  to  the  fact  that,  with  all  our  thoughtless  improvidence, 
we  have  not  yet  bared  all  the  sources  of  our  streams,  not  yet 
overthrown  all  the  barriers  which  nature  has  erected  to  restrain 
her  own  destructive  energies.  Let  us  be  wise  in  time,  and 
profit  by  the  errors  of  our  older  brethren ! 

**The  influence  of  the  forest  in  preventing  inundations  has 
been  very  generally  recognized,  both  as  a  theoretical  inference 
and  as  a  fact  of  observation ;  but  the  eminent  engineer  Bel- 
grand,  and  his  commentator  Valles,  have  deduced  an  opposite 
result  from  various  facts  of  experience  and  from  scientific  con- 
siderations. They  contend  that  the  superficial  drainage  is 
more  regular  from  cleared  than  from  wooded  ground,  and  that 
clearing  diminishes  rather  than  augments  the  intensity  of  in- 
undations. Neither  of  these  conclusions  appears  to  be  war- 
ranted by  their  data  or  their  reasoning,  and  they  rest  partly 
upon  facts,  which,  truly  interpreted,  are  not  inconsistent  with 
the  received  opinions  on  these  subjects,  partly  upon  assump- 
tions which  are  contradicted  by  experience.  Two  of  these 
latter  are,  first,  that  the  fallen  leaves  in  the  forest  constitute 
an  impermeable  covering  of  the  soil  over,  not  through,  which 
the  water  of  rains  and  of  melting  snows  flows  off,  and  secondly, 
that  the  roots  of  trees  penetrate  and  choke  up  the  fissures  in 
the  rocks,  so  as  to  impede  the  passage  of  water  through  chan- 
nels which  nature  has  provided  for  its  descent  to  lower  strata. 

**As  to  the  first  of  these,  we  may  appeal  to  familiar  facts 
within  the  personal  knowledge  of  every  man  acquainted  with 
the  operations  of  sylvan  nature.  Rain-water  never,  except  in 
very  trifling  quantities,  flows  over  the  leaves  in  the  woods  in 
summer  or  autumn.  Water  runs  over  them  only  in  the  spring, 
in  the  rare  cases  when  they  have  been  pressed  down  smoothly 
244 


DRAINAGE   OF   FOREST  SOIL.  II7 

and  compactly  by  the  weight  of  the  snow — a  state  in  which 
they  remain  only  until  they  are  dry,  when  shrinkage  and  the 
action  of  the  wind  soon  roughen  the  surface  so  as  effectually 
to  stop,  by  absorption,  all  flow  of  water.  I  have  observed  that 
when  a  sudden  frost  succeeds  a  thaw  at  the  close  of  the  winter, 
after  the  snow  has  principally  disappeared,  the  water  in  and 
between  the  layers  of  leaves  sometimes  freezes  into  a  solid 
crust,  which  allows  the  flow  of  water  over  it.  But  this  occurs 
only  in  depressions  and  on  a  very  small  scale ;  and  the  ice  thus 
formed  is  so  soon  dissolved  that  no  sensible  effect  is  produced 
on  the  escape  of  water  from  the  general  surface. 

*'As  to  the  influence  of  roots  upon  drainage,  we  have  seen 
that  there  is  no  doubt  that  they,  independently  of  their  action 
as  absorbents,  mechanically  promote  it.  Not  only  does  the 
water  of  the  soil  follow  them  downwards,  but  their  swelling 
growth  powerfully  tends  to  enlarge,  not  to  obstruct,  the  crev- 
ices of  rock  into  which  they  enter;  and  as  the  fissures  in  rocks 
are  longitudinal,  not  mere  circular  orifices,  every  line  of  addi- 
tional width  gained  by  the  growth  of  roots  within  them  in- 
creases the  area  of  the  crevice  in  proportion  to  its  length. 
Consequently,  the  widening  of  a  fissure  to  the  extent  of  one 
inch  might  give  an  additional  drainage  equal  to  a  square  foot 
of  open  tubing. 

**The  observations  and  reasonings  of  Belgrand  and  Vall^s, 
though  their  conclusions  have  not  been  accepted  by  many,  are 
very  important  in  one  point  of  view.  These  writers  insist 
much  on  the  necessity  of  taking  into  account,  in  estimating 
the  relations  between  precipitation  and  evaporation,  the  ab- 
straction of  water  from  the  surface  and  surface-currents,  by 
absorption  and  infiltration  —  an  element  unquestionably  of 
great  value,  but  hitherto  much  neglected  by  meteorological 
inquirers,  who  have  very  often  reasoned  as  if  the  surface-earth 
were  either  impermeable  to  water  or  already  saturated  with  it ; 
whereas,  in  fact,  it  is  a  sponge,  always  imbibing  humidity  and 
always  giving  it  off,  not  by  evaporation  only,  but  by  infiltration 
and  percolation. 


Jl8'  INUNDATIONS    IN    FRANCE. 

"The  remarkable  historical  notices  of  inundations  in  France 
in  the  Middle  Ages  collected  by  Champion*  are  considered  by 
many  as  furnishing  proof  that  when  that  country  was  much 
more  generally  covered  with  wood  than  it  now  is,  destructive 
inundations  of  the  French  rivers  were  not  less  frequent  than 
they  are  in  modern  days.  But  this  evidence  is  subject  to  this 
among  other  objections:  we  know,  it  is  true,  that  the  forests 
of  certain  departments  of  France  were  anciently  much,  more 
extensive  than  at  the  present  day;  but  we  know  also  that  in 
many  portions  of  that  country  the  soil  has  been  bared  of  its 
forests,  and  then,  in  consequence  of  the  depopulation  of  great 
provinces,  left  to  reclothe  itself  spontaneously  with  trees,  many 
times  during  the  historic  period;  and  our  acquaintance  with 
the  forest  topography  of  ancient  Gaul  or  of  mediaeval  France 
is  neither  sufficiently  extensive  nor  sufficiently  minute  to  per- 
mit us  to  say,  with  certainty,  that  the  sources  of  this  or  that 
particular  river  were  more  or  less  sheltered  by  wood  at  any 
given  time,  ancient  or  mediaeval,  than  at  present.f  I  say  the 
sources  of  the  rivers,  because  the  floods  of  great  rivers  are 
occasioned  by  heavy  rains  and  snows  which  fall  m  the  more 
elevated  regions  around  the  primal  springs,  and  not  by  precip- 
itation in  the  main  valleys  or  on  the  plains  bordering  on  the 
lower  course. 

**The  destructive  effects  of  inundations,  considered  simply 
as  a  mechanical  power  by  which  life  is  endangered,  crops 
destroyed,  and  the  artificial  constructions  of  man  overthrown, 
are  very  terrible.  Thus  far,  however,  the  flood  is  a  temporary 
and  by  no  means  an  irreparable  evil,  for  if  its  ravages  end 
here,  the  prolific  powers  of  nature  and  the  industry  of  man 
soon  restore  what  had  been  lost,  and  the  face  of  the  earth  no 
longer  shows  traces  of  the  deluge  that  had  overwhelmed  it. 

•••Z^j  Inondaiions  en  France  depuis  U  Vie  st>cie  jusqu*d.  nos  Jours.  6  vols.  8vo.  Paris, 
i858-*64«  See  a  very  able  review  of  this  learned  and  important  work  by  Prof.  Messedag- 
Ha,  read  before  the  Academy  of  Agriculture  at  Verona  in  1864." 

t"  Alfred  Maury  has,  nevertheless,  collected,  in  his  erudite  and  able  work  Les  Forits  de 
la  Gaule  et  de  Pancienne  France^  Paris,  1867,  an  immense  amount  of  statistical  detail  on  the 
extent,  the  distribution,  and  the  destruction  of  the  forests  of  France,  but  it  still  remains 
true  that  we  can  very  seldom  pronounce  on  the  forestal  condition  of  the  upper  valley  of  a 
particular  river  at  the  time  of  a  given  inundation  in  the  ancient  or  the  mediaeval  period.'' 

246 


DAMAGE   BY  INUNDATION.  II 9 

Inundations  have  even  their  compensations.  The  structures 
they  destroy  are  replaced  by  better  and  more  secure  erec- 
tions; and  if  they  sweep  off  a  crop  of  corn,  they  not  unfre- 
quently  leave  behind  them,  as  they  subside,  a  fertilizing 
deposit  which  enriches  the  exhausted  field  for  a  succession  of 
seasons.*  If,  then,  the  too  rapid  flow  of  the  surface-waters 
occasioned  no  other  evil  than  to  produce,  once  in  ten  years 
upon  the  average,  an  inundation  which  should  destroy  the 
harvest  of  the  low  grounds  along  the  rivers,  the  damage 
would  be  too  inconsiderable,  and  of  too  transitory  a  character, 
to  warrant  the  inconveniences  and  the  expense  involved  in 
the  measures  which  the  most  competent  judges  in  many  parts 
of  Europe  believe  the  respective  governments  ought  to  take 
to  obviate  it. 

**  DESTRUCTIVE   ACTION   OF   TORRENTS. 

**  But  the  great,  the  irreparable,  the  appalling  mischiefs 
which  have  already  resulted,  and  which  threaten  to  ensue  on 
a  still  more  extensive  scale  hereafter,  from  too  rapid  super- 
ficial' drainage,  are  of  a  properly  geographical,  we  may  almost 
say  geological,  character,  and  consist  primarily  in  erosion,  dis- 

***The  productiveness  of  Egypt  has  been  attributed  too  exclusively  to  the  fertilizing 
effects  of  the  slime  deposited  by  the  inundations  of  the  Nile ;  for  in  that  climate  a  liberal 
supply  of  water  would  produce  good  crops  on  almost  any  ordinary  sand,  while,  without 
water,  the  richest  soil  would  yield  nothing.  The  sediment  deposited  annually  is  but  a 
very  small  fraction  of  an  inch  in  thickness.  It  is  alleged  that  in  quantity  it  would  be 
hardly  sufficient  for  a  good  top-dressing,  and  that  in  quality  it  is  not  chemically  distin- 
guishable from  the  soil  inches  or  feet  below  the  surface.  But  to  deny,  as  some  writers 
have  done,  that  the  slime  has  any  fertilizing  properties  at  all,  is  as  great  an  error  as  the 
opposite  one  of  ascribing  all  the  agricultural  wealth  of  Egypt  to  that  single  cause  of  pro- 
ductiveness. Fine  soils  deposited  by  water  are  almost  uniformly  rich  in  all  climates; 
those  l>rought  down  by  rivers,  carried  out  into  Skit-water,  and  then  returned  again  by  the 
tide,  seem  to  be  more  permanently  fertile  than  any  others.  The  polders  of  the  Nether- 
land  coast  are  of  this  character,  and  the  meadows  in  Lincolnshire,  which  have  been 
covered  with  slime  by  warping^  as  it  is  called,  or  admitting  water  over  them  at  high  tide, 
are  remarkably  productive. 

*' Recent  analysis  is  said  to  have  detected  in  the  water  of  the  Nile  a  quantity  of  organic 
matter— derived  mainly,  no  doubt,  from  the  decayed  vegetation  it  bears  down  from  its 
tropical  course — sufficiently  large  to  furnish  an  important  supply  of  fertilizing  ingredients 
to  the  soil. 

"It  is  computed  that  the  Durance — a  river  fed  chiefly  by  torrents  of  great  erosive  power 
-Tcarries  down  annually  solid  material  enough  to  cover  272,000  acres  of  soil  with  a  deposit 
of  two  fifths  of  an  inch  in  thickness,  and  that  this  deposit  contains,  in  the  combination 
most  favorable  to  vegetation,  more  azote  than  110,000  tons  of  guano,  and  more  carbon 
than  121,000  acres  of  woodland  would  assimilate  in  a  year.  Elisee  Reclus,  La  Terre^ 
▼ol.  I,  p.  467.  On  the  chemical  composition,  quantity,  and  value  of  the  solid  matter 
transported  by  river,  see  Herve  Mangon,  Sur  f  Emploi  des  Eaux  'dans  Us  Irrigations^  8vo. 
Paris,  1869,  pp.  1^2  etseq.  Duponchel,  Traiti  d^ Hydraulique  et  de  Giohgie  Agricoles,  Paris, 
1868,  chap.  I,  XII,  and  xiu." 

247 


I20  DESTRUCTIVE    Al HON    OK    TORRENTS. 

placement,  and  transportation  of  the  superficial  strata,  vege- 
table and  mineral — of  the  integuments — so  to  speak,  with 
which  nature  has  clothed  the  skeleton  frame-work  of  the 
globe.  It  is  difficult  to  convey  by  description  an  idea  of  the 
desolation  of  the  regions  most  exposed  to  the  ravages  of  tor- 
rent and  of  flood;  and  the  thousands  who,  in  these  days  of 
swift  travel,  are  whirled  by  steam  near  or  even  through  the 
theatres  of  these  calamities,  have  but  rare  and  imperfect  op- 
portunities of  observing  the  destructive  causes  in  action. 
Still  more  rarely  can  they  compare  the  past  with  the  actual 
condition  of  the  provinces  in  question,  and  trace  the  progress 
of  their  conversion  from  forest-crowned  hills,  luxuriant  pasture 
grounds,  and  abundant  cornfields  and  vineyards  well  watered 
by  springs  and  fertilizing  rivulets,  to  bald  mountain  ridges, 
rocky  declivities,  and  steep  earth-banks  furrowed  by  deep 
ravines  with  beds  now  dry,  now  filled  by  torrents  of  fluid  mud 
and  gravel  hurrying  down  to  spread  themselves  over  the 
plain,  and  dooming  to  everlasting  barrenness  the  once  pro- 
ductive fields.  In  surveying  such  scenes,  it  is  difficult  to  resist 
the  impression  that  nature  pronounced  a  primal  curse  of  per- 
petual sterility  and  desolation  upon  these  sublime  but  fearful 
wastes,  difficult  to  believe  that  they  were  once,  and  but  for 
the  folly  of  man  might  still  be,  blessed  with  all  the  natural 
advantages  which  Providence  has  bestowed  upon  the  most 
favored  climes.  But  the  historical  evidence  is  conclusive  as 
to  the  destructive  changes  occasioned  by  the  agency  of  man 
upon  the  flanks  of  the  Alps,  the  Apennines,  the  Pyrenees,  and 
other  mountain  ranges  in  Central  and  Southern  Europe,  and 
the  progress  of  physical  deterioration  has  been  so  rapid  that, 
in  some  localities,  a  single  generation  has  witnessed  the  be- 
ginning and  the  end  of  the  melancholy  revolution. 

**I  have  stated,  in  a  general  way,  the  nature  of  the  evils  in  • 
question,  and  of  the  processes  by  which  they  are  produced;' 
but  I  shall  make  their  precise  character  and  magnitude  "better 
understood    by    presenting   some    descriptive    and   statistical 
details  of  facts  of  actual  occurrence.     I  select  for  this  purpose 

the  southeastern  portion  of  France,  not  because  that  territory 
248 


TORRENTS  IN  FRANCE.  121 

has  suffered  more  severely  than  some  others,  but  because  its 
deterioration  is  comparatively  recent,  and  has  been  watched 
and  described  by  very  competent  and  trustworthy  observers, 
whose  reports  are  more  easily  accessible  than  those  published 
in  other  countries.* 

**The  provinces  of  Dauphiny  and  .Provence  comprise  a  ter- 
ritory of  fourteen  or  fifteen  thousand  square  miles,  bounded 
northwest  by  the  Isere,  northeast  and  east  by  the  Alps,  south 
by  the  Mediterranean,  west  by  the  Rhone,  and  extending 
from  42°  to  about  45®  of  north  latitude.  The  surface  is  gen- 
erally hilly  and  even  mountainous,  and  several  of  the  peaks 
in  Dauphiny  rise  above  the  limit  of  perpetual  snow.  Except 
upon  the  mountain  ridges,  the  climate,  as  compared  with  that 
of  the  United  States  in  the  same  latitude,  is  extremely  mild. 
Little  snow  falls,  except  upon  the  higher  mountains,  the  frosts 
are  light,  and  the  summers  long,  as  might,  indeed,  be  inferred 
from  the  vegetation ;  for  in  the  cultivated  districts,  the  vine 
and  the  fig  everywhere  flourish ;  the  olive  thrives  as  far  north 
as  43  J^*^,  and  upon  the  coast  grow  the  orange,  the  lemon,  and 
the  date-palm.  The  forest  trees,  too,  are  of  southern  type, 
umbrella  pines,  various  species  of  evergreen  oaks,  and  many 
other  trees  and  shrubs  of  persistent  broad-leaved  foliage, 
characterizing  the  landscape. 

**The  rapid  slope  of  the  mountains  naturally  exposed  these 
provinces  to  damage  by  torrents,  and  the  Romans  diminished 
their  injurious  effects  by  erecting,  in  the  beds  of  ravines,  bar- 
riers of  rocks  loosely  piled  up,  which  permitted  a  slow  escape 
of  the  water,  but  compelled  it  to  deposit  above  the  dikes  the 
earth  and  gravel  with  which   it  was  charged.f     At  a  later 

•"Strcffleur  {Ueber  die  Natur  und  die  Wirkungen  der  Wildbache,  p.  3)  maintains  that  all 
the  observations  and  speculations  of  French  authors  on  the  nature  uf  torrents  had  been 
anticipated  by  Austrian  writers.  In  proof  of  this  assertion  he  refers  to  the  works  of 
Franz  von  Zallinger,  1778,  Von  Arretin,  1808,  Franz  Duile,-  1826,  all  published  at  Inns- 
bruck, and  Hagen's  Beschreiimng  neueter  Wasserbawwerke  K6nigsberg,  1826,  none  of  which 
works  are  known  to  me.  It  is  evident,  however,  that  the  conclusions  of  Surell  and  other 
French  writers  whom  I  cite,  are  original  results  of  personal  investigation,  and  not  bor- 
rowed opinions." 

t**  Whether  Palissy  was  acquainted  with  this  ancient  practice,  or  whether  it  was  one  of 
those  original  suggestions  of  which  his  works  are  so  full,  I  know  not,  but  in  his  treatise, 
Des  Eaux  et  Fontaines^  he  thus  recommends  it,  by  way  of  reply  to  the  objections  of 
■Theorique,'  who  had  expressed  the  fear  that  'the  waters  which  rush  violently  down 

249 


122  TORRENTS   IN  FRANCK. 

period  the  Crusaders  brought  home  from  Palestine,  with  much 
other  knowledge  gathered  from  the  wiser  Moslems,  the  art  of 
securing  the  hillsides  and  making  them  productive  by  ter- 
racing and  irrigation.  The  forests  which  covered  the  moun- 
tains secured  an  abundant  flow  of  springs,  and  the  process  of 
clearing  the  soil  went  on  so  slowly  that,  for  centuries,  neither 
the  want^  of  timber  and  fuel,  nor  the  other  evils  about  to  be 
depicted,  were  seriously  felt.  Indeed,  throughout  the  Middle 
Ages,  these  provinces  were  well  wooded,  and  famous  for  the 
fertility  and  abundance,  not  only  of  the  low  grounds,  but  of 
the  hills. 

"Such  was  the  state  of  things  at  the  close  of  the  fifteenth 
century.  The  statistics  of  the  seventeenth  show  that  while 
there  had  been  an  increase  of  prosperity  and  population  in 
Lower  Provence,  as  well  as  in  the  correspondingly  situated 
parts  of  the  other  two  provinces  I  have  mentioned,  there  was 
an  alarming  decrease  both  in  the  wealth  and  in  the  population 
of  Upper  Provence  and  Dauphiny,  although,  by  the  clearing 
of  the  forests,  a  great  extent  of  plough-land  and  pasturage 
had  been  added  to  the  soil  before  reduced  to  cultivation.  It 
was  found,  in  fact,  that  the  augmented  violence  of  the  torrents 
had  swept  away,  or  buried  in  sand  and  gravel,  more  land  than 
had  been  reclaimed  by  clearing ;  and  the  taxes  computed  by 
fires  or  habitations  underwent  several  successive  reductions  in 
consequence  of  the  gradual  abandonment  of  the  wasted  soil 
by  its  starving  occupants.  The  growth  of  the  large  towns  on 
and  near  the  Rhone  and  the  coast,  their  advance  in  commerce 
and  industry,  and  the  consequently  enlarged  demand  for  agri- 
cultural products,  ought  naturally  to  have  increased  the  rural 
population  and  the  value  of  their  lands;  but  the  physical  decay 
of  the  uplands  was  such  that  considerable  tracts  were  deserted 
altogether,  and  in  .Upper  Provence,  the  fires  which  in  1471 

from  the  heights  of  the  mountain  would  bring  with  them  much  earth,  sand,  and  othter 
things,'  and  thus  spoil  the  artificial  fountain  that  'Practique'  was  teaching  him  to 
make:  'And  for  hindrance  of  the  mischiefs  of  great  waters  which  maybe  gathered  in 
few  hours  by  great  storms,  when  thou  shalt  have  made  ready  thy  parterre  to  receive  the 
water,  thou  must  lay  great  stones  athwart  the  deep  channels  which  lead  to  thy  parterre. 
And  so  the  force  of  the  rushing  currents  shall  be  deadened,  and  thy  water  thall  flow 
peacefully  into  his  cisterns.' — Qltwres  Computes^  p.  173." 

250 


TORRENTS   IN   FRANCE.  1 23 

counted  897,  were  reduced  to  747  in  1699,  to  728  in  1733,  and 
to  635  in  1776.* 

"Surell — whose  admirable  work,  ^tude  sur  les  Torrents  des 
Hautes  Alpes^  first  published  in  i84i,f  presents  a  most  appall- 
ing picture  of  the  desolations  of  the  torrent,  and,  at  the  same 
time,  the  most  careful  studies  of  the  history  and  essential 
character  of  this  great  evil — in  speaking  of  the  valley  of 
Devoluy,  on  page  152,  says:  'Everything  concurs  to  show 
that  it  was  anciently  wooded.  In  its  peat-bogs  are  found 
buried  trunks  of  trees,  monuments  of  its  former  vegetation. 
In  the  frame-work  of  old  houses,  one  sees  enormous  timber, 
which  is  no  longer  to  be  found  in  the  district.  Many  locals 
ities,  now  completely  bare,  still  retain  the  name  of  ''wood,** 
and  one  of  them  is  called,  in  old  deeda,  Comba  nigra  [Black 
forest  or  dell],  on  account  of  its  dense  woods.  These  and 
many  other  proofs  confirm  the  local  traditions  which  are  unan- 
imous on  this  point. 

***  There,  as  everywhere  in  the  Upper  Alps,  the  clearings 
began  on  the  flanks  of  the  mountains,  and  were  gradually 
extended  into  the  valleys  and  then  to  the  highest  accessible 
peaks.  Then  followed  the  Revolution,  and  caused  the  de- 
struction of  the  remainder  of  the  trees  which  had  thus  far 
escaped  the  woodman's  axe.' 

**In  a  note  to  this  passage  the  writer  says:  'Several  per- 
sons have  told  me  that  they  had  lost  flocks  of  sheep,  by  stray- 
ing, in  the  forests  of  Mont  Auroux,  which  covered  the  flanks 
of  the  mountain  from  La  Cluse  to  Agn^res.  These  declivities 
are  now  as  bare  as  the  palm  of  the  hand.' 

'*The  ground  upon  the  steep  mountains  being  once  bared 
of  trees,  and  the  underwood  killed  by  the  grazing  of  horned 
rattle,  sheep,  and  goats,  every  depression  becomes  a  water- 
-tourse.     'Every  storm,!  says  Surell,  page  153,  'gives  rise  to  a 

•••These  facts  I  take  from  the  Za  Provence  nu  point  de  vue  des  Bois^  des  Torrents  et  des 
nondations^  of  Charles  de  Ribbe,  one  of  the  highest  authorities." 

t"A  second  edition  of  this  work,  with  an  additional  volume  of  great  value  by  Ernest 
C6zanne,  was  published  at  Paris,  in  two  8vo  volumes,  in  i87i~*72.'' 

251 


124  TORRENTS  IN  FRANCE. 

new  torrent.*  Examples  of  such  are  shown,  which,  though 
not  yet  three  years  old,  have  laid  waste  the  finest  fields  of 
their  valleys,  and  whole  villages  have  narrowly  escaped  being 
swept  into  ravines  formed  in  the  course  of  a  few  hours. 
Sometimes  the  flood  pours  in  a  sheet  over  the  surface,  with- 
out ravine  or  even  bed,  and  ruins  extensive  grounds,  which 
are  abandoned  forever.' 

**  I  cannot  follow  Surell  in  his  description  and  classification 
of  torrents,  and  I  must  refer  the  reader  to  his  instructive 
work  for  a  full  exposition  of  the  theory  of  the  subject.  In 
order,  however,  to  show  what  a  concentration  of  destructive 
energies  may  be  effected  by  felling  the  woods  that  clothe  and 
support  the  sides  of  mountain  abysses,  I  cite  his  description 
of  a  valley  descending  from  the  Col  Isoard,  which  he  calls 
*a  complete  type  of  a  basin  of  reception,'  that  is,  a  gorge 
which  serves  as  a. common  point  of  accumulation  and  dis- 
charge for  the  waters  of  several  lateral  torrents.  *The  as- 
pect of  the  monstrous  channel,'  says  he,  *is  frightful.  Within 
a  distance  of  less  than  two  English  miles,  more  than  sixty 
torrents  hurl  into  the  depths  of  the  gorge  the  debris  torn 
from  its  two  flanks.  The  smallest  of  these  secondary  tor- 
rents, if  transferred  to  a  fertile  valley,  would  be  enough  to 
ruin  it.' 

**The  eminent  political  economist  Blanqui,  in  a  memoir  read 
before  the  Academy  of  Moral  and  Political  Science  on  the 
25th  of  November,  1843,  ^^^s  expresses  himself:  *  Important 
as  are  the  causes  of  impoverishment  already  described,  they 
are  not  to  be  compared  to  the  consequences  which  have  fol- 
lowed from  the  two  inveterate  evils  of  the  Alpine  provinces 
of  France,  the  extension  of  clearing  and  the  ravages  of  tor- 
rents. .  .  .  The  most  important  result  of  this  destruction  is 
this:  that  the  agricultural  capital,  or  rather  the  ground  itself — 
which,  in  a  rapidly  increasing  degree,  is  daily  swept  away  by 

*  **  No  attentive  observer  can  frequent  the  southern  flank  of  the  Piedmontese  Alps  or  the 
French  province  of  Dauphiny,  for  half  a  dozen  years,  witht>ut  witnessing  with  his  own 
eyes  the  formation  and  increase  of  new  torrents.  I  can  bear  personal  testimony  to  the 
conversion  of  more  than  one  grassy  slope  into  the  bed  of  a  furious  torrent  by  baring  the 
hills  above  of  their  woods." 

^$2 


TORRENTS    IN  FRANCE.  1 25 

the  waters — is  totally  lost.  Signs  of  unparalleled  destitution 
are  visible  in  all  the  mountain  zone,  and  the  solitudes  of 
those  districts  are  assuming  an  indescribable  character  of 
sterility  and  desolation.  The  gradual  destruction  of  the 
woods  has,  in  a  thousand  localities,  annihilated  at  once  the 
springs  and  the  fuel.  Between  Grenoble  and  Brian9on,  in  the 
valley  of  the  Romanche,  many  villages  are  so  destitute  of 
wood  that  they  are  reduced  to  the  necessity  of  baking  their 
bread  with  sun-dried  cow-dung,  and  even  this  they  can  afford 
to  do  but  once  a  year. 

**  *  Whoever  has  visited  the  valley  of  Barcelonette,  those 
of  Embrun,  and  of  Verdun,  and  that  Arabia  Petraea  of  the 
department  of  the  Upper  Alps,  called  Devoluy,  knows  that 
there  is  no  time  to  lose — that  in  fifty  years  from  this  date 
France  will  be  separated  from  Savoy,  as  Egypt  from  Syria,  by 
a  desert.** 

**  It  deserves  to  be  specially  noticed  that  the  district  here 
referred  to,  though  now  among  the  most  hopelessly  waste  in 
France,  was  very  productive  even  down  to  so  late  a  period 
as  the  commencement  of  the  French  Revolution.  Arthur 
Young,  writing  in  1789,  says:  'About  Barcelonette  and  in  the 
highest  parts  of  the  mountains,  the  hill-pastures  feed  a  million 
of  sheep,  besides  large  herds  of  other  cattle ;'  and  he  adds  : 
*  With  such  a  soil  and  in  such  a  climate,  we  are  not  to  sup- 
pose a  country  barren  because  it  is  mountainous.  The  valleys 
I  have  visited  are,  in  general,  beautiful.*  f  He  ascribes  the 
same  character  to  the  provinces  of  Dauphiny,  Provence,  and 
Auvergne,  and,  though  he  visited,  with  the  eye  of  an  atten- 
tive and  practiced  observer,  many  of  the  scenes  since  blasted 
with  the  wild  desolation  described  by  Blanqui,  the  Durance 
and  a  part  of  the  course  of  the  Loire  are  the  only  streams  he 

•  ** Ladoucette  says  the  peasant  of  D6voluy  •often  goes  a  distance  of  five  hours  over 
rocks  and  precipices  for  a  single  [man's]  load  of  wood;'  and  he  remarks  on  another  page, 
that  'the  justice  of  peace  of  that  canton  had,  in  the  course  of  forty-three  years,  but 
once  heard  the  voice  of  the  nightingale.* — Histoire^  etCy  des  Hautes  Alpes^  pp.  220,  434." 

t**The  valley  of  Embrun,  now  almost  completely  devastated,  was  once  remarkable  for 
Its  fertility.  In  1806,  H^ricart  de  Thury  said  of  it:  « In  this  magnificent  valley  nature  had 
been  prodigal  of  her  gifts.  Its  inhabitants  have  blindly  reveled  in  her  favors,  and  fallen 
asleep  in  the  midst  of  her  profusion.' — Becquerel,  Des  CUmats,  etc.,  p.  314." 

253 


126  TORRENTS   IN   FRANCE. 

mentions  as  inflicting  serious  injury  by  their  floods.  The 
ravages  of  the  torrents  had,  indeed,  as  we  have  seen,  com- 
menced earlier  in  some  other  localities,  but  we  are  authorized 
to  infer  that  they  were,  in  Young's  time,  too  limited  in  range, 
and  relatively  too  insignificant,  to  require  notice  in  a  general 
view  of  the  provinces  where  they  have  now  ruined  so  large  a 
proportion  of  the  soil. 

**  But  I  resume  my  citations. 

**  *  I  do  not  exaggerate,'  says  Blanqui.  'When  I  shall  have 
finished  my  description  and  designated  localities  by  their 
names,  there  will  rise,  I  am  sure,  more  than  one  voice  from 
the  spots  themselves,  to  attest  the  rigorous  exactness  of  this 
picture  of  their  wretchedness.  I  have  never  seen  its  equal 
even  in  the  Kabyle  villages  of  the  province  of  Constantine; 
for  there  you  can  travel  on  horseback,  and  you  find  grass  in 
the  spring,  whereas  in  more  than  fifty  communes  in  the  Alps 
there  is  absolutely  nothing. 

***The  clear,  brilliant,  Alpine  sky  of  Embrun,  of  Gap,  of 
Barcelonette,  and  of  Digne,  which  for  months  is  without  a 
cloud,  produces  droughts  interrupted  only  by  diluvial  rains 
like  those  of  the  tropics.  The  abuse  of  the  right  of  pas- 
turage and  the  felling  of  the  woods  have  stripped  the  soil  of 
all  its  grass  and  all  its  trees,  and  the  scorching  sun  bakes  it  to 
the  consistence  of  porphyry.  When  moistened  by  the  rain, 
as  it  has  neither  support  nor  cohesion,  it  rolls  down  to  the 
valleys,  sometimes  in  floods  resembling  black,  yellow,  or  red- 
dish lava,  sometimes  in  streams  of  pebbles,  and  even  huge 
blocks  of  stone,  which  pour  down  with  a  frightful  roar,  and  in 
their  swift  course  exhibit  the  most  convulsive  movements.  If 
you  overlook  from  an  eminence  one  of  these  landscapes  fur- 
rowed with  so  many  ravines,  it  presents  only  images  of  deso- 
lation and  of  death.  Vast  deposits  of  flinty  pebbles,  many 
feet  in  thickness,  which  have  rolled  down  and  spread  far  over 
the  plain,  surround  large  trees,  bury  even  their  tops,  and  rise 
above  them,  leaving  to  the  husbandman  no  longer  a  ray  of 
hope.  One  can  imagine  no  sadder  spectacle  than  the  deep 
fissures  in  the  flanks  of  the  mountains,  which  seem  to  have 

254 


TORRENTS   IN  FRANCE.  I27 

burst  forth  in  eruption  to  cover  the  plains  with  their  ruins. 
These  gorges,  under  the  influence  of  the  sun  which  cracks 
and  shivers  to  fragments  the  very  rocks,  and  of  the  rain  which 
sweeps  them  down,  penetrate  deeper  and  deeper  into  the 
heart  of  the  mountain,  while  the  beds  of  the  torrents  issuing 
from  them  are  sometimes  raised  several  feet  in  a  single  year, 
by  the  debris,  so  that  they  reach  the  level  of  the  bridges, 
which,  of  course,  are  then  carried  off.  The  torrent-beds  are 
recognized  at  a  great  distance,  as  -they  issue  from  the  moun- 
tains, and  they  spread  themselves  over  the  low  grounds,  in 
fan-shaped  expansions,  like  a  mantle  of  stone,  sometimes  ten 
thousand  feet  wide,  rising  high  at  the  centre,  and  curving 
toward  the  circumference  till  their  lower  edges  meet  the 
plain. 

***Such  is  their  aspect  in  dry  weather.  But  no  tongue  can 
give  an  adequate  description  of  their  devastations  in  one  of 
those  sudden  floods  which  resemble,  in  almost  none  of  their 
phenomena,  the  action  of  ordinary  river-water.  They  are 
now  no  longer  overflowing  brooks,  but  real  seas,  tumbling 
down  in  cataracts,  and  rolling  before  them  blocks  of  stone, 
which  are  hurled  forwards  by  the  shock  of  the  waves  like 
balls  shot  out  by  the  explosion  of  gunpowder.  Sometimes 
ridges  of  pebbles  are  driven  down  when  the  transporting  tor- 
rent does  not  rise  high  enough  to  show  itself,  and  then  the 
movement  is  accompanied  with  a  roar  louder  than  the  crash 
of  thunder.  A  furious  wind  precedes  the  rushing  water  and 
announces  its  approach.  Then  comes  a  violent  eruption,  fol- 
lowed by  a  flow  of  muddy  waves,  and  after  a  few  hours  all 
returns  to  the  dreary  silence  which  at  periods  of  rest  marks 
these  abodes  of  desolation.* 


•  "These  explosive  gushes  of  mud  and  rock  appear  to  be  occasioned  by  the  caving  in  of 
large  masses  of  earth  from  the  banl^s  of  the  torrent,  which  dam  up  the  stream  and  check 
its  flow  until  it  has  acquired  volume  enough  to  burst  the  barrier  and  carry  all  before  it. 
In  1827,  such  a  sudden  eruption  of  a  torrent,  after  the  current  had  appeared  to  have 
ceased,  swept  off  forty-two  houses  and  drowned  twenty-eight  persons  in  the  village  of 
Goncelin,  near  Grenoble,  and  buried  with  rubbish  a  great  part  of  the  remainder  of  the 
village. 

"The  French  traveler,  D'Abbadie,  relates  precisely  similar  occurrences  as  not  unfre* 

quent  in  the  mottntains  of  Abyssinia. — Surell,  £hides,  etc^  2d  edition,  pp.  224,  295." 

255 


128  TORRENTS   IN  FRANCE. 

"  •  The  elements  of  destruction  are  increasing  in  violence. 
The  devastation  advances  in  geometrical  progression  as  the 
higher  slopes  are  bared  of  their  wood,  and  '*the  ruin  from 
above/*  to  use  the  words  of  a  peasant,  **  helps  to  hasten  the 
desolation  below.'* 

***The  Alps  of  Provence  present  a  terrible  aspect.  In  the 
more  equable  climate  of  Northern  France,  one  can  form  no 
conception  of  those  parched  mountain  gorges  where  not  even 
a  bush  can  be  found  to  shelter  a  bird,  where,  at  most,  the 
wanderer  sees  in  summer  here  and  there  a  withered  lavender, 
where  all  the  springs  are  dried  up,  and  where  a  dead  silence, 
hardly  broken  by  even  the  hum  of  an  insect,  prevails.  But  if 
a  storm  bursts  forth,  masses  of  water  suddenly  shoot  from  the 
mountain  heights  into  the  shattered  gulfs,  waste  without  irri- 
gating, deluge  without  refreshing  the  soil  they  overflow  in 
their  swift  descent,  and  leave  it  even  more  seared  than  it  was 
from  want  of  moisture.  Man  at  last  retires  from  the  fearful 
desert,  and  I  have,  the  present  season,  found  not  a  living  soul 
in  districts  where  I  remember  to  have  enjoyed  hospitality 
thirty  years  ago.' 

"In  1853,  ten  years  after  the  date  of  Blanqui's  memoir,  M. 
de  Bonville,  prefect  of  the  lower  Alps,  addressed  to  the  gov- 
ernment a  report  in  which  the  following  passages  occur: 

"  *  It  is  certain  that  the  productive  mould  of  the  Alps,  swept 
off  by  the  increasing  violence  of  that  curse  of  the  mountains, 
the  torrents,  is  daily  diminishing  with  fearful  rapidity.  All 
our  Alps  are  wholly,  or  in  large  proportion,  bared  of  wood. 
Their  soil,  scorched  by  the  sun  of  Provence,  cut  up  by  the 
hoofs  of  the  sheep,  which,  not  finding  on  the  surface  the 
grass  they  require  for  their  sustenance,  gnaw  and  scratch  the 
ground  in  search  of  roots  to  satisfy  their  hunger,  is  period- 
ically washed  and  carried  off  by  melting  snows  and  summer 
storms. 

***I  will  not  dwell  on  the  effects  of  the  torrents.  For  sixty 
years  they  have  been  too  often  depicted  to  require  to  be  fur- 
ther discussed,  but  it  is  important  to  show  that  their  ravages 

are  daily  extending  the  range  of  devastation.     The  bed  of 
256 


TORRENTS   IN  FRANCE.  X29 

the  Duranqe,  which  now  in  some  places  exceeds  a  mile  and 
a  quarter  in  width,  and,  at  ordinary  times,  has  a  current  of 
water  less  than  eleven  yards  wide,  shows  something  of  the  ex- 
tent of  the  damage.*  Where,  ten  years  ago,  there  were  still 
woods  and  cultivated  grounds  to  be  seen,  there  is  now  but  a 
vast  torrent ;  there  is  not  one  of  our  mountains  which  has  not 
at  least  one  torrent,  and  new  ones  are  daily  forming. 

***An  indirect  proof  of  the  diminution  of  the  soil  is  to  be 
found  in  the  depopulation  of  the  country.  In  1852  I  reported 
to  the  General  Council  that,  according  to  the  census  of  that 
year,  the  population  of  the  department  of  the  Lower  Alps 
had  fallen  off  no  less  than  5,000  souls  in  the  five  years  be- 
tween 1846  and  1 85 1. 

**  *  Unless  prompt  and  energetic  measures  are  taken,  it  is 
easy  to  fix  the  epoch  when  the  French  Alps  will  be  but  a 
desert.  The  interval  between  1851  and  1856  will  show  a  fur- 
ther decrease  of  population.  In  1862  the  ministry  will  an- 
nounce a  continued  and  progressive  reduction  in  the  number 
of  acres  devoted  to  agriculture ;  every  year  will  aggravate  the 
evil,  and  in  half  a  century  France  will  count  more  ruins,  and  a 
department  the  less.' 

**Time  has  verified  the  predictions  of  De  Bonville.  The 
later  census  returns  show  a  progressive  diminution  in  the 
population  of  the  departments  of  the  Lower  Alps,  the  Isere, 
Drome,  Ariege,  the  Upper  and  the  Lower  Pyrenees,  Loz^re, 
and  Ardennes,  Doubs,  the  Vosges,  and,  in  short,  in  all  the 
provinces  formerly  remarkable  for  their  forests.  This  diminu- 
tion is  not  to  be  ascribed  to  a  passion  for  foreign  emigration, 
as  in  Ireland,  and  in  parts  of  Germany  and  of  Italy;  it  is 
simply  a  transfer  of  population  from  one  part  of  the  empire 
to  another,  from  soils  which  human  folly  has  rendered  unin- 
habitable, by  ruthlessly  depriving  them  of  their  natural  ad- 
vantages and  securities,  to  provinces  where  the  face  of  the 

•  "  In  the  days  of  the  Roman  Empire  the  Durance  was  a  navigable,  or  at  least  a  boat- 
able,  river,  with  a  commerce  so  important  that  the  boatmen  upon  it  formed  a  distinct  cor- 
poration.— Ladoucette,  Historie^  etc.,  des  Hautes  Alpes,  p.  354. 

"Even  as  early  as  1789  the  Durance  was  computed  to  have  already  covered  with  gravel 
and  pebbles  not  less  than  130,000  acres,  *  which,  but  for  its  inundations,  would  have  been 
the  nnest  land  in  the  province.* — Arthur  Young,  Travels  in  France^  vol.  I,  ch.  I." 

VOL.  IU.-I7  ^57 


130  GENERAL  FUNCTIONS  OF  FORESTS. 

earth  was  so  formed  by  nature  as  to  need  no  such  safeguards, 
and  where,  consequently,  she  preserves  her  outlines  in  spite 
of  the  wasteful  improvidence  of  man.* 

"GENERAL   FUNCTIONS   OF   FORESTS. 

"In  the  preceding  pages  we  have  seen  that  the  electrical 
and  chemical  action  of  the  forest,  though  obscure,  exercises 
probably  a  beneficial,  certainly  not  an  injurious,  influence  on 
the  composition  and  condition  of  the  atmosphere;  that  it 
serves  as  a  protection  against  the  diffusion  of  miasmatip  ex- 
halations and  malarious  poisons ;  that  it  performs  a  most  im- 
portant function  as  a  mechanical  shelter  from  blasting  winds 
to  grounds  and  crops  in  the  lee  of  it ;  that,  as  a  conductor  of 
heat,  it  tends  to  equalize  the  temperature  of  the  earth  and  the 
air;  that  its  dead  products  form  a  mantle  over  the  surface, 
which  protects  the  earth  from  excessive  heat  and  cold;  that 
the  evaporation  from  the  leaves  of  living  trees,  while  it  cools 
the  air  around  them,  diffuses  through  the  atmosphere  a  me- 
dium which  resists  the  escape  of  warmth  from  the  earth  by 
radiation,  and  hence  that  its  general  effect  is  to  equilibrate 
caloric  influences  and  moderate  extremes  of  temperature. 

"We  have  seen,  further,  that  the  forest  is  equally  useful  as 
a  regulator  of  terrestrial  and  of  atmospheric  humidity,  pre- 
venting by  its  shade  the  drying  up  of  the  surface  by  parching 
winds  and  the  scorching  rays  of  the  sun,  intercepting  a  part 
of  the  precipitation,  and  pouring  out  a  vast  quantity  of  aque- 
ous vapor  into  the  atmosphere ;  that  if  it  does  not  increase 
the  amount  of  rain,  it  tends  to  equalize  its  distribution  both  in 
time  and  in  place ;  that  it  preserves  a  hygrometric  equilibrium 
in  the  superior  strata  of  the  earth's  surface ;  that  it  maintains 
and  regulates  the  flow  of  springs  and  rivulets ;  that  it  checks 

*<*  Between  1851  and  1856  the  population  of  Languedoc  and  Provence  had  increased  by 
101,000  souls.  The  augmentation,  however,  was  wholly  in  the  provinces  of  the  plains, 
where  all  the  principal  cities  are  found.  In  these  provinces  the  increase  was  204,000, 
while  in  the  mountain  provinces  there  was  a  diminution  of  103,000.  The  reduction  of 
the  area  of  arable  land  is  perhaps  even  more  striking.  In  1842  the  department  of  the 
I^wer  Alps  possessed  99,000  hectares,  or  nearly  245,000  acres,  of  cultivated  soil.  In 
1852  it  had  but  74,000  hectares.  In  other  words,  in  ten  years  25,000  hectares,  or  61,000 
acres,  had  been  washed  away,  or  rendered  worthless  for  cultivation,  by  torrents  and  the 
abuses  of  pasturage.— Clav6,  £tudes,  pp.  66,  67." 
«58 


EFFECTS   OF   DESTRUCTION   OF   THE   FORF.ST.  I3I 

the  superficial  discharge  of  the  waters  of  precipitation,  and 
consequently  tends  to  prevent  the  sudden  rise  of  rivers,  the 
violence  of  floods,  the  formation  of  destructive  torrents,  and 
the  abrasion  of  the  surface  by  the  action  of  running  water; 
that  it  impedes  the  fall  of  avalanches  and  of  rocks,  and  de- 
structive slides  of  the  superficial  strata  of  mountains ;  that  it 
is  a  safeguard  against  the  breeding  of  locusts,  and  finally  that 
it  furnishes  nutriment  and  shelter  to  many  tribes  of  animal 
and  of  vegetable  life  which,  if  not  necessary  to  man's  exist- 
ence, are  conducive  to  his  rational  enjoyment.  In  fine,  in 
well-wooded  regions,  and  in  inhabited  countries  where  a  due 
proportion  of  soil  is  devoted  to  the  growth  of  judiciously  dis- 
tributed forests,  natural  destructive  tendencies  of  all  sorts  are 
arrested  or  compensated,  and  man,  bird,  beast,  fish,  and  vege- 
table alike  find  a  constant  uniformity  of  condition  most  favor- 
able to  the  regular  and  harmonious  coexistence  of  them  all. 

**  GENERAL   CONSEQUENCES   OF   THE   DESTRUCTION   OF   THE   FOREST. 

**With  the  extirpation  of  the  forest,  all  is  changed.  At 
one  season,  the  earth  parts  with  its  warmth  by  radiation  to  an 
open  sky — receives,  at  another,  an  immoderate  heat  from  the 
unobstructed  rays  of  the  sun.  Hence  the  climate  becomes 
excessive,  and  the  soil  is  alternately  parched  by  the  fervors 
of  summer,  and  seared  by  the  rigors  of  winter.  Bleak  winds 
sweep  unresisted  over  its  surface,  drift  away  the  snow  that 
sheltered  it  from  the  frost,  and  dry  up  its  scanty  moisture. 
The  precipitation  becomes  as  irregular  as  the  temperature; 
the  melting  snows  and  vernal  rains,  no  longer  absorbed  by  a 
loose  and  bibulous  vegetable  mould,  rush  over  the  frozen  sur- 
face, and  pour  down  the  vjilleys  seawards,  instead  of  filling  a 
retentive  bed  of  absorbent  earth,  and  storing  up  a  supply  of 
moisture  to  feed  perennial  springs.  The  soil  is  bared  of  its 
covering  of  leaves,  broken  and  loosened  by  the  plough,  de- 
prived of  the  fibrous  rootlets  which  held  it  together,  dried  and 
pulverized  by  sun  and  wind,  and  at  last  exhausted  by  new  com- 
binations. The  face  of  the  earth  is  no  longer  a  sponge,  but  a 
dust-heap,  and  the  floods  which  the  waters  of  the  sky  pour 

«59 


132  EFFECTS   OF  DESTRUCTION  OF  THE   FOREST. 

over  It  hurry  swiftly  along  its  slopes,  carrying  in  suspension 
vast  quantities  of  earthy  particles  which  increase  the  abrading 
power  and  mechanical  force  of  the  current,  and,  augmented 
by  the  sand  and  gravel  of  falling  banks,  fill  the  beds  of  the 
streams,  divert  them  into  new  channels,  and  obstruct  their 
outlets.  The  rivulets,  wanting  their  former  regularity  of  sup- 
ply and  deprived  of  the  protecting  shade  of  the  woods,  are 
heated,  evaporated,  and  thus  reduced  in  their  summer  cur- 
rents, but  swollen  to  raging  torrents  in  autumn  and  in  spring. 
From  these  causes,  there  is  a  constant  degradation  of  the 
uplands,  and  a  consequent  elevation  of  the  beds  of  water- 
courses and  of  lakes  by  the  deposition  of  the  mineral  and 
vegetable  matter  carried  down  by  the  waters.  The  channels 
of  great  rivers  become  unnavigable,  their  estuaries  are  choked 
up,  and  harbors  which  once  sheltered  large  navies  are  shoaled 
by  dangerous  sand-bars.  The  earthy  stripped  of  its  vegetable 
glebe,  grows  less  and  less  productive,  and,  consequently,  less 
able  to  protect  itself  by  weaving  a  new  network  of  roots  to 
bind  Its  particles  together,  a  new  carpeting  of  turf  to  shield  it 
from  wind  and  sun  and  scouring  rain.  Gradually  it  becomes 
altogether  barren.  The  washing  of  the  soil  from  the  moun- 
tains leaves  bare  ridges  of  sterile  rock,  and  the  rich  organic 
mould  which  covered  them,  now  swept  down  into  the  dank 
low  grounds,  promotes  a  luxuriance  of  aquatic  vegetation  that 
breeds  fever,  and  more  insidious  forms  of  mortal  disease,  by 
its  decay,  and  thus  the  earth  is  rendered  no  longer  fit  for  the 
habitation  of  man.* 

**To  the  general  truth  of  this  sad  picture  there  are  many 
exceptions,  even  in  countries  of  excessive  climates.  Some  of 
these  are  due  to  favorable  conditions  of  surface,  of  geological 
structure,  and  of  the  distribution  of  rain ;  in  many  others,  the 
evil  consequences  of  man's  improvidence  have  not  yet  been 

.  V*'^l"*°^^  every  narrative  of  travel  in  those  countries  which  were  the  earliest  seats  of 
civilization,  contains  evidence  of  the  truth  of  these  general  statements,  and  this  evidence 
IS  presented  with  more  or  less  detail  in  most  of  the  special  works  on  the  forest  which  I 
have  occasion  to  cite.  I  may  refer  particularly  to  Ilohenstein,  Der  Wald^  i860,  as  full 
of  important  facts  on  this  subject.  See  also  Caimi,  Cenni  suiia  Importama  dei  JBoschi\  for 
some  statistics,  not  readily  found  elsewhere,  on  this  and  other  topics  connected  with  the 

260 


DUE    PROPORTION   OF   WOODLAND.  1 33 

experienced,  only  because  a  sufficient  time  has  not  elapsed, 
since  the  felling  of  the  forest,  to  allow  them  to  develop  them- 
selves. But  the  vengeance  of  nature  for  the  violation  of  her 
harmonies,  though  slow,  is  sure,  and  the  gradual  deterioration 
of  soil  and  climate  in  such  exceptional  regions  is  as  certain  to 
result  from  the  destruction  of  the  woods  as  is  any  natural  effect 
to  follow  its  cause. 


M 


DUE    PROPORTION    OF   WOODLAND. 


**The  proportion  of  woodland  that  ought  to  be  permanently 
maintained  for  its  geographical  and  atmospheric  influences 
varies  according  to  the  character  of  soil,  surface,  and  climate. 
In  countries  with  a  humid  sky,  or  moderately  undulating  sur- 
face and  an  equable  temperature,  a  small  extent  of  forest, 
enough  to  serve  as  a  mechanical  screen  against  the  action  of 
the  wind  in  localities  where  such  protection'is  needed,  suffices. 
But  most  of  the  territory  occupied  by  civilized  man  is  exposed, 
by  the  character  of  its  surface  and  its  climate,  to  a  physical 
degradation  which  cannot  be  averted  except  by  devoting  a 
large  amount  of  soil  to  the  growth  of  the  woods. 

•*  From  an  economical  point  of  view,  the  question  of  the  due 
proportion  of  forest  is  not  less  complicated  or  less  important 
than  in  its  purely  physical  aspects.  Of  all  the  raw  materials 
which  nature  supplies  for  elaboration  by  human  art,  wood  is 
undoubtedly  the  most  useful,  and  at  the  same  time  the  most 
indispensable  to  social  progress.* 

***In  an  imaginary  dialogue  in  the  Recepte  Ventab/e,  the  author,  Palissy,  having  ex- 
pressed his  indignation  at  the  folly  of  men  in  destroying  the  woods,  his  interlocutor 
defends  the  policy  of  felling  them,  by  citing  the  example  of  *  divers  bishops,  cardinals, 
priors,  abbots,  monkeries,  and  chapters,  which,  by  cutting  their  woods,  have  made  three 
profits,*  the  sale  of  the  timber,  the  rent  of  the  ground,  and  the  *good  portion'  they 
received  of  the  grain  grown  by  the  peasants  upon  it.  To  this  argument  Palissy  replies: 
*  I  cannot  enough  detest  this  thing,  and  I  call  it  not  an  error,  but  a  curse  and  a  calamity 
to  air  France;  for  when  forests  shall  be  cut,  all  arts  shall  cease,  and  they  which  practice 
them  shall  be  driven  out  to  eat  grass  with  Nebuchadnezzar  and  the  beasts  of  the  neld.  I 
have  divers  times  thought  to  set  down  in  writing  the  arts  which  shall  perish  when  there 
shall  be  no  more  wood ;  but  when  I  had  written  down  a  great  number,  I  did  perceive  that 
there  could  be  no  end  of  my  writing,  and  having  diligently  considered,  I  found  there  was 
not  any  which  could  be  followed  without  wood.'  .  .  'And  truly  I  could  well  allege  to 
thee  a  thousand  reasons,  but  'tis  so  cheap  a  philosophy,  that  the  very  chamber-wenches,  if 
they  do  but  think,  may  see  that  without  wood,  it  is  not  possible  to  exercise  any  manner 
of  human  art  or  cunning.' — (Euvres  dc  Bernard  Palissy.     Paris,  1844,  p.  89." 

a6i 


134  WOODLAND    TN   EUROPEAN  COUNTRIES. 

**The  demand  for  wood,  and  of  course  the  quantity  of  forest 
required  to  furnish  it,  depend  upon  the  supply  of  fuel  from 
other  sources,  such  as  peat  and  coal,  upon  the  extent  to  which 
stone,  brick,  or  metal  can  advantageously  be  substituted  for 
wood  in  building,  upon  the  development  of  arts  and  industries 
employing  wood  and  other  forest  products  as  materials,  and 
upon  the  cost  of  obtaining  them  from  other  countries,  or  upon 
their  commercial  value  as  articles  of  export. 

**  Upon  the  whole,  taking  civilized  Europe  .  and  America 
together,  it  is  probable  that  from  twenty  to  twenty-five  per 
cent,  of  well-wooded  surface  is  indispensable  for  the  mainte- 
nance of  normal  physical  conditions,  and  for  the  supply  of  ma- 
terials so  essential  to  every  branch  of  human  industry  and 
every  form  of  social  life  as  those  which  compose  the  harvest 
of  the  woods. 

"There  is  probably  no  country — there  are  few  large  farms 
even — ^where  at  least  one  fourth  of  the  soil  is  not  either  unfit 
for  agricultural  use,  or  so  unproductive  that,  as  pasture  or 
as  ploughland,  it  yields  less  pecuniary  return  than  a  thrifty, 
wood.  Every  prairie  has  its  sloughs  where  willows  and  pop- 
lars would  find  a  fitting  soil,  every  Eastern  farm  its  rocky 
nooks  and  its  barren  hillsides  suited  to  the  growth  of  some 
species  from  our  rich  forest  flora,  and  everywhere  belts  of 
trees  might  advantageously  be  planted  along  the  road-sides 
and  the  boundaries  and  dividing  fences.  In  most  cases,  it  will 
be  found  that  trees  may  be  made  to  grow  well  where  culti- 
vated crops  will  not  repay  the  outlay  of  tillage,  and  it  is  a  very 
plain  dictate  of  sound  economy,  that  if  trees  produce  a  better 
profit  than  the  same  ground  would  return  if  devoted  to  grass 
or  grain,  the  wood  should  be  substituted  for  the  field. 

"WOODLAND   IN   EUROPEAN   COUNTRIES. 

"In  1862,  Rentzsch  calculated  the  proportions  of  woodland 
m  different  European  countries  as  follows:* 

Norway 66       percent. 

Sweden ^ • 60  ** 

Russia 30.90      ** 

***Der  IVaU,  pp.  123,  124." 
a63 


WOODLAND  IN   EUROPEAN   COUNTRIES.  1 35 

Germany 26 .  58  per  cent. 

Belgium 18.52  " 

France  16.79  " 

Switzerland 15  '* 

Sardinia 12.29  *' 

Neapolitan  States • ••••...  9.43  '* 

Holland 7.10  " 

Spain 5.52  «• 

Denmark 5.50  '< 

Great  Britain 5  " 

Portugal 4.40  ** 

**The  large  proportion  of  woodland  in  Norway  and  Sweden 
is  in  a  great  measure  to  be  ascribed  to  the  mountainous  char- 
acter of  the  surface,  which  renders  the  construction  of  roads 
difficult  and  expensive,  and  hence  the  forests  are  compar- 
atively inaccessible,  and  transportation  is  too  costly  to  tempt 
the  inhabitants  to  sacrifice  their  woods  for  the  sake  of  supply- 
ing distant  markets. 

**The  industries  which  employ  wood  as  a  material  have  only 
lately  been  much  developed  in  these  countries,  and  though  the 
climate  requires  the  consumption  of  much  wood  as  a  fuel,  the 
population  is  not  numerous  enough  to  create,  for  this  purpose, 
a  demand  exceeding  the  annually  produced  supply,  or  to  need 
any  great  extension  of  cleared  ground  for  agricultural  pur- 
poses. Besides  this,  in  many  places  peat  is  generally  em- 
ployed as  domestic  fuel.  Hence,  though  Norway  has  long 
exported  a  considerable  quantity  of  lumber,*  and  the  iron  and 
copper  works  of  Sweden  consume  charcoal  very  largely,  the 
forests  have  not  diminished  rapidly  enough  to  produce  very 
sensible  climatic  or  even  economical  evils. 

"At  the  opposite  end  of  the  scale  we  find  Holland,  Den- 
mark, Great  Britain,  Spain,  and  Portugal.  In  the  three  first 
named  countries  a  cold  and  humid  climate  renders  the  almost 
constant  maintenance  of  domestic  fires  a  necessity,  while  in 
Great  Britain  especially  the  demand  of  the  various  industries 
which  depend  on  wood  as  a  material,  or  on  mechanical  power 

*  *<  Railway  ties,  or,  as  they  are  called  in  England,  sleepers^  are  largely  exported  from 
Norway  to  India,  and  sold  at  Calcutta  at  a  lower  price  than  timber  of  equal  quality  can 
be  obtained  from  the  native  woods. — Reports  on  Forest  Consenmncy^  vol.  I,  pt.  ii,  p.  1533. 

"  From  1861  to  1870  Norway  exported  annually,  on  the  average,  more  than  60,000,000 
oibic  feet  of  lumber. — Wulfsberg,  Norges  Velstandskiider,     Christiania,  1872." 

263 


136  FOKESTS    01'    CiKliAl     15RITAIN, 

derived  from  heat,  are  very  great.  Coal  and  peat  serve  as  a 
combustible  instead  of  wood  in  them  all,  and  England  imports 
an  immense  quantity  of  timber  from  her  foreign  possessions. 
Fortunately,  the  character  of  soil,  surface,  and  climate  renders 
the  forest  of  less  importance  as  a  geographical  agent  in  these 
northern  regions  than  in  Spain  and  Portugal,  where  all  physi- 
cal conditions  concur  to  make  a  large  extent  of  forest  an 
almost,  indispensable  means  of  industrial  progress  and  social 
advancement. 

**  Rentzsch,  in  fact,  ascribes  the  political  decadence  of  Spain 
almost  wholly  to  the  destruction  of  the  forest.  'Spain,'  ob- 
serves he,  *  seemed  destined  by  her  position  to  hold  dominion 
over  the  world,  and  this  in  fact  she  once  possessed.  But  she 
has  lost  her  political  ascendency,  because,  during  the  feeble 
administration  of  the  successors  of  Philip  II,  her  exhausted 
treasury  could  not  furnish  the  means  of  creating  new  fleets, 
the  destruction  of  the  woods  having  raised  the  price  of  timber 
above  the  means  of  the  State.**  On  the  other  hand,  the  same 
writer  argues  that  the  wealth  and  prosperity  of  modern  Eng- 
land are  in  great  part  due  to  the  supply  of  lumber,  as  well  as 
of  other  material  for  ship-building,  which  she  imports  from  her 
colonies  and  other  countries  with  which  she  maintains  commer- 
cial relations. 


«c 


FORESTS   OF   GREAT   BRITAIN. 


**The  proportion  of  forest  is  very  small  in  Great  Britain, 
where,  as  I  have  said,  on  the  one  hand,  a  prodigious  industrial 
activity  requires  a  vast  supply  of  ligneous  material,  but  where, 

***Der  Wald^  p.  63.  Antonio  Ponz  {Viage  de  Espa^a  I,  pr61ogo,  p.  LXIII),  says-:  'Nor 
would  this  be  so  great  an  evil,  were  not  some  of  them  declaimers  against  trees^  thereby 
proclaiming  themselves,  in  some  sort,  enemies  of  the  works  of  God,  who  gave  us  the 
leafy  abode  of  Paradise  to  dwell  in,  where  we  should  be  even  now  sojourning,  but  for  the 
first  sin,  which  expelled  us  from  it.' 

•»I  do  not  know  at  what  period  the  two  Castiles  were  bared  of  their  woods,  but  the 
Spaniard's  proverbial  'hatred  of  a  tree'  is  of  long  standing.  Herrera  combats  this  fool- 
ish prejudice;  and  Ponz,  in  the  prologue  to  the  ninth  volume  of  his  journey,  says  that 
ma"ny  carried  it  so  far  as  wantonly  to  destroy  the  shade  and  ornamental  trees  planted  by 
the  municipal  authorities.  'Trees,'  they  contended,  and  still  believe,  'breed  birds,  and 
birds  eat  up  the  grain.*  Our  author  argues  against  the  supposition  of  the  'breeding  of 
birds  by  trees,*  which,  he  says,  is  as  absurd  as  to  believe  that  an  elm  tree  can  yield  pears; 
and  he  charitably  suggests  that  the  expression  is,  perhaps,  a  mani^tt  de  dire^  a  popular 
^phrase,  signifying  simply  that  trees  harbor  birds." 

264 


FORESTS   OF   GREAT   BRITAIN.  I37 

on  the  other,  the  abundance  of  coal,  which  furnishes  a  suffi- 
ciency of  fuel,  the  facility  of  importation  of  timber  from  abroad, 
and  the  conditions  of  climate  and  surface  combine  to  reduce 
the  necessary  quantity  of  woodland  to  its  lowest  expression. 

**  With  the  exception  of  Russia,  Denmark,  and  parts  of  Ger- 
many, no  European  countries  can  so  well  dispense  with  the 
forests,  in  their  capacity  of  conservative  influences,  as  Eng- 
land and  Ireland.  Their  insular  position  and  latitude  secure 
an  abundance  of  atmospheric  moisture ;  the  general  inclina- 
tion of  surface  is  not  such  as  to  expose  it  to  special  injury 
from  torrents,  and  it  is  probable  that  the  most  important  cli- 
matic action  exercised  by  the  forest  in  these  portions  of  the 
British  empire,  is  in  its  character  of  a  mechanical  screen 
against  the  effects  of  wind.  The  due  proportion  of  wood- 
land in  England  and  Ireland  is,  therefore,  a  question  not  of 
geographical,  but  almost  purely  of  economical,  expediency,  to 
be  decided  by  the  comparative  direct  pecuniary  return  from 
forest  growth,  pasturage,  and  ploughland. 

**  Contrivances  for  economizing  fuel  came  later  into  use  in 
the  British  Islands  than  on  the  Continent.  Before  the  intro- 
duction of  a  system  of  drainage,  the  soil,  like  the  sky,  was,  in 
general,  charged  with  humidity;  its  natural  condition  was  un- 
favorable for  the  construction  and  maintenance  of  substantial 
common  roads,  and  the  transportation  of  so  heavy  a  material 
as  coal,  by  land,  from  the  remote  counties  where  alone  it  was 
mined  in  the  Middle  Ages,  was  costly  and  difficult.  For  all 
these  reasons,  the  consumption  of  wood  was  large,  and  appre- 
hensions of  the  exhaustion  of  the  forests  were  excited  at  an 
early  period.  Legislation  there,  as  elsewhere,  proved  ineffec- 
tual to  protect  them,  and  many  authors  of  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury express  fears  of  serious  evils  from  the  wai^teful  economy 
of  the  people  in  this  respect.f  *  *  *  * 

•*  Evelyn's  'Silva,'  the  first  edition  of  which  appeared  in 
1664,  rendered  an  extremely  important  service  to  the  cause 
of  the  woods,  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  ornamental  plan- 
tations in  which  England  far  surpasses  all  other  countries,  are, 

t  A  foot-note  of  the  author  is  omitted  here. 

265 


138  FORESTS  OF   GREAT  BRITAIN. 

in  some  measure,  the  fruit  of  Evelyn's  enthusiasm.  In  Eng- 
land, however,  arboriculture,  the  planting  and  nursing  of  single 
trees,  has,  until  comparatively  recent  times,  been  better  under- 
stood than  sylviculture,  the  sowing  and  training  of  the  forest. 
But  this  latter  branch  of  rural  improvement  now  receives  great 
attention  from  private  individuals,  though,  so  far  as  I  know, 
not  from  the  National  Government,  except  in  the  East  Indian 
provinces,  where  the  forestal  department  has  assumed  great 
importance.* 

**In  fact,  England  is,  I  believe,  the  only  European  country 
where  private  enterprise  has  pursued  sylviculture  on  a  really 
great  scale,  though  admirable  examples  have  been  set  in  many 
others.  In  England  the  law  of  primogeniture,  and  other  insti- 
tutions and  national  customs  which  tend  to  keep  large  estates 
long  undivided  and  in  the  same  line  of  inheritance,  the  wealth 
of  the  landholders,  the  special  adaptation  of  the  climate  to  the 
growth  of  forest  trees,  and  the  difficulty  of  finding  safe  and 
profitable  investments  of  capital,  combine  to  afford  encourage- 
ments for  the  plantation  of  forests,  which  scarcely  exist  else- 
where in  the  same  degree. 

"In  Scotland,  where  the  country  is  for  the  most  part  broken 
and  mountainous,  the  general  destruction  of  the  forests  has 
been  attended  with  very  serious  evils,  and  it  is  in  Scotland  that 
many  of  the  most  extensive  British  forest  plantations  have 
now  been  formed.  But  although  the  inclination  of  surface  in 
Scotland  is  rapid,  the  geological  constitution  of  the  soil  is  not 
of  a  character  to  promote  such  destructive  degradation  by 

•**The  improvidence  of  the  population  under  the  native  and  early  foreign  governments 
has  produced  great  devastations  in  the  forests  of  the  British  East  Indian  provinces,  and 
the  demands  of  the  railways  for  fuel  and  timber  have  greatly  augmented  the  consumption 
of  lumber,  and  of  course  contributed  to  the  destruction  of  the  woods.  The  forests  of 
British  India  are  now,  and  for  several  years  have  been,  under  the  control  of  an  efficient 
governmental  organization,  with  great  advantage  both  to  the  government  and  to  the  gen- 
eral private  interests  of  the  people. 

*'The  official  Reports  on  Forest  Conservancy  from  May,  1862,  to  August,  1871,  in  4 
vols,  folio,  contain  much  statistical  and  practical  information  on  all  subjects  connected 
with  the  administration  of  the  forest. 

**  Many  laws  for  the  protection  of  the  forest,  as  a  cover  for  gamft,  and  for  the  preserva- 
tion of  ship-timber,  were  enacted  in  England  before  the  seventeenth  century.  The  Stat- 
utes I  Eliz.  c.  XV,  XIII  Eliz.  c.  v,  and  XXVII  Eliz.  c.  xix,  which  have  sometimes  been 
understood  as  designed  to  discourage  the  manufacture  of  iron,  were  obviously  intended  to 
prevent  the  destruction  of  large  and  valuable  timber,  useful  in  ordinary  and  naval  archi- 
tecture* by  burning  it  for  charcoal.  The  injury  to  the  forges  was  accidental,  not  the  pur- 
pose of  the  laws." 

266 


FORESTS  OF   FRANCE.  I39 

running  water  as  in  Southern  France,  and  it  has  not  to  con- 
tend with  the  parching  droughts  by  which  the  devastations  of 
the  torrents  are  rendered  more  injurious  in  those  provinces. 

**It  is  difficult  to  understand  how  either  law  or  public  opin- 
ion, in  a  country  occupied  by  a  dense  and  intelligent  popula- 
tion, and,  comparatively  speaking,  with  an  infertile  soil,  can 
tolerate  the  continued  withdrawal  of  a  great  portion  of  the 
territory  from  the  cultivation  of  trees  and  from  other  kinds 
of  rural  economy,  merely  to  allow  wealthy  individuals  to  amuse 
themselves  with  field  sports.  In  Scotland,  2,000,000  acres,  as 
well  suited  to  the  growth  of  forests  and  for  pasture  as  is  the 
soil  generally,  are  withheld  from  agriculture,  that  they  may  be 
given  up  to  herds  of  deer  protected  by  the  game  laws.  A 
single  nobleman,  for  example,  thus  appropriates  for  his  own 
pleasures  not  less  than  100,000  acres.*  In  this  way  one  tenth 
of  all  the  land  of  Scotland  is  rendered  valueless  in  an  econom- 
ical point  of  view — for  the  returns  from  the  sale  of  the  venison 
and  other  game  scarcely  suffice  to  pay  the  game-keepers  and 
other  incidental  expenses — and  in  these  so-called  forests  there 
grows  neither  building  timber  nor  fire-wood  worth  the  cutting, 
as  the  animals  destroy  the  young  shoots. 


(( 


FORESTS   OF   FRANCE. 


**The  preservation  of  the  woods  was  one  of  the  wise  meas- 
ures recommended  to  France  by  Sully,  in  the  time  of  Henry 
IV,  but  the  advice  was  little  heeded,  and  the  destruction  of 
the  forests  went  on  with  such  alarming  rapidity,  that,  two  gen- 
erations later,  Colbert  uttered  the  prediction :  *  France  will 
perish  for  want  of  wood.'  Still,  the  extent  of  wooded  soil 
was  very  great,  and  the  evils  attending  its  diminution  were 
not  so  sensibly  felt,  that  either  the  government  or  public  opin- 
ion saw  the  necessity  of  authoritative  interference,  and  in  1 750 
Mirabeau  estimated  the  remaining  forests  of  the  kingdom  at 
seventeen  millions  of  hectares  [42,000,000  acres].  In  i860 
they  were  reduced  to  eight  millions  [19,769,000  acres],  or  at 
the  rate  of  82,000  hectares  [202,600  acres]  per  year.     Troy, 

•  «*  Robertson,  Our  Dear  Forests.    London,  1867." 

3G7 


140  FORESTS   OF   FRANCE. 

from  whose  valuable  pamphlet,  £tude  sur  le  Reboisement  des 
Montagues,  I  take  these  statistical  details,  supposes  that  Mi- 
rabeau*s  statement  may  have  been  an  extravagant  one,  but  it 
still  remains  certain  that  the  waste  has  been  enormous ;  for  it 
is  known  that,  in  some  departments,  that  of  Ariege,  for  in- 
stance, clearing  has  gone  on  during  the  last  half  century  at 
the  rate  of  three  thousand  acres  a  year,  and  in  all  parts  of  the 
empire  trees  have  been  felled  faster  than  they  have  grown.* 
The  total  area  of  France  in  Mirabeau's  time,  excluding  Savoy, 
but  including  Alsace  and  Lorraine,  was  about  one  hundred 
and  thirty-one  millions  of  acres.  The  extent  of  forest  sup- 
posed by  Mirabeau  would  be  about  thirty-two  per  cent,  of 
the  whole  territory.  In  a  country  and  a  climate  where  the 
conservative  influences  of  the  forest  are  so  necessary  as  in 
France,  trees  must  cover  a  large  surface  and  be  grouped  in 
large  masses,  in  order  to  discharge  to  the  best  advantage  the 
various  functions  assigned  to  them  by  nature.  The  consump- 
tion of  wood  is  rapidly  increasing  in  that  empire,  and  a  large 
part  of  its  territory  is  mountainous,  sterile,  and  otherwise  such 
in  character  or  situation  that  it  can  be  more  profitably  devoted 
to  the  growth  of  wood  than  to  any  agricultural  use.  Hence 
it  is  evident  that  the  proportion  of  forest  in  1750,  taking  even 
Mirabeau's  large  estimate,  was  not  very  much  too  great  for 
permanent  maintenance,  though  doubtless  the  distribution  was 
so  unequal  that  it  would  have  been  sound  policy  to  fell  the 
woods  and  clear  land  in  some  provinces,  while  large  forests 

•"Among  the  indirect  proofs  of  the  comparatively  recent  existence  of  extensive  forests 
in  France,  may  be  mentioned  the  fact  that  wolves  were  abundant,  not  very  long  since, 
in  parts  of  the  empire  where  there  are  now  neither  wolves  nor  woods  to  shelter  them. 
Arthur  Young  more  than  once  speaks  of  the  'innumerable  multitudes'  of  these  animals 
which  infested  France  in  1789,  and  George  Sand  states,  in  the  His.'oire  de  ma  Vif,  that 
some  years  after  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbons,  they  chased  travelers  on  horseback  in 
the  southern  provinces,  and  literally  knocked  at  the  doors  of  her  father-in-law's  country 
seat.  Eugenie  de  Guerin,  writing  from  Rayssac  in  Languedoc  in  1831,  speaks  of  hearing 
the  wolves  fighting  with  dogs  in  the  night  under  her  very  windows.     Ltttres^  2d  ed.,  p.  6. 

"There  seems  to  have  been  a  tendency  to  excessive  clearing  in  Central  and  Western, 
earlier  than  in  Southeastern,  France.  Hernard  Pali^^sy,  in  the  Rcccpte  Ve'rttab/e,  first 
printed  in  1563,  thus  complains:  'When  I  consider  the  value  of  the  least  clump  of  trees, 
or  even  of  thorns,  I  much  marvel  at  the  groat  ignorance  of  men,  who,  as  it  seemeth,  do 
nowadays  study  only  to  break  down,  fell,  and  wasto  the  fair  forests  which  their  forefathers 
did  guard  so  choicely.  \  wouUl  think  no  evil  of  them  for  cutting  down  the  woods,  did 
they  but  replant  again  some  part  of  thtni;  but  tlicy  care  nought  for  the  time  to  come, 
neither  reck  they  of  the  great  damage  thov  dti  to  their  children  which  shall  come  after 
them.*— C£iMVfKr  ComptUts  lii  Bernard  ralissy,  1S44,  p.  ^* 

a6S 


FORESTS    OF    FRANCE.  I4I 

should  have  been  planted  in  others.*  During  the  period  in 
question  France  neither  exported  manufactured  wood  or  rough 
timber,  nor  derived  important  collateral  advantages  of  any 
sort  from  the  destruction  of  her  forests.  She  is  consequently 
impoverished  and  crippled  to  the  extent  of  the  difference  be- 
tween what  she  actually  possesses  of  wooded  surface  and  what 
she  ought  to  have  retained.f 

"The  force  of  the  various  considerations  which  have  been 
suggested  in  regard  to  the  importance  of  the  forest  has  been 
generally  felt  in  France,  and  the  subject  has  been  amply  de- 
bated in  special  treatises,  in  scientific  journals,  and  by  the 
public  press,  as  well  as  in  the  legislative  body  of  that  country. 
Perhaps  no  one  point  has  been  more  prominent  in  the  discus- 
sions than  the  influence  of  the  forest  in  equalizing  and  regu- 
lating the  flow  of  the  water  of  precipitation.  Opinion  is  still 
somewhat  divided  on  this  subject,  but  the  value  of  the  woods 
as  a  safeguard  against  the  ravages  of  torrents  is  universally 
acknowledged,  and  it  is  hardly  disputed  that  the  rise  of  river- 
floods  is,  even  if  as  great,  at  least  less  sudden  in  streams  hav- 
ing their  sources  in  well-wooded  territory. 

**Upon  the  whole,  the  conservative  action  of  the  woods  in 
regard  to  torrents  and  to  inundations  has  been  generally 
recognized  by  the  public  of  France  as  a  matter  of  prime  im- 
portance, and  the  Government  of  the  empire  has  made  this 
principle  the  basis  of  a  special  system  of  legislation  for  the 

♦•*The  view  I  have  taken  of  this  point  is  confirmed  by  the  careful  investigations  of 
Rentzsch,  who  estimates  the  proper  proportion  of  woodland  to  entire  surface  at  twenty- 
three  per  cent,  for  the  interior  of  Germany,  and  supposes  that  near  the  coast,  where  the 
air  is  supplied  with  humidity  by  evaporation  from  the  sea,  it  might  safely  be  reduced  to 
twenty  per  cent.  See  Rentzsch's  very  valuable  prize  essay,  Dtr  Wald  im  Haushalt  der 
Ntitttr  und  der  Volks7virths'hafi^  cap.  VI 1 1. 

"The  due  proportion  in  France  would  considerably  exceed  that  for  the  German  States, 
because  France  has  relatively  more  surface  unfit  for  any  growth  but  that  of  wood,  because 
the  form  and  geological  character  of  her  mountains  expose  her  territory  to  much  greater 
injury  from  torrents,  and  because  at  least  her  southern  provinces  are  more  frequently  vis- 
ited both  by  extreme  droughts  and  by  deluging  rains." 

t**In  1863,  France  imported  lumber  to  the  value  of  twenty-five  and  a  half  millions  of 
lollars,  and  exported  to  the  amount  of  six  and  a  half  millions  of  dollars.  The  annual 
.'onsumption  of  France  was  estimated  in  1866  at  212,000,000  cubic  feet  for  building  and 
manufacturing,  and  1,588,500,000  for  fire-wood  and  charcoal.  The  annual  product  of  the 
orest-soil  of  France  does  not  exceed  70,000,000  cubic  feet  of  wood  fit  for  industrial  use, 
end  1,300,000,000  cubic  feet  consumed  as  fuel.  This  estimate  does  not  include  the  pro- 
iuct  of  scattered  trees  on  private  grounds,  but  the  consumption  is  estimated  to  exceed  the 
production  of  the  forests  by  the  amount  of  about  twenty  millions  of  dollars.  It  is  worth 
noticing  that  the  timber  for  building  and  manufacturing  produced  in  France  comes  almost 
wholly  from  the  forests  of  the  state  or  of  the  communes. — ^Julcs  Clav6,  in  Revue  des  Deux 
Mamda  for  March  i,  1866,  p.  207."  269 


142  FORESTS   OF   FRANCE. 

protection  of  existing  forests,  and  for  the  formation  of  new. 
The  clearing  of  woodland,  and  the  organization  and  functions 
of  a  police  for  its  protection,  are  regulated  by  a  law  bearing 
date  June  i8th,  1859,  and  provision  was  made  for  promoting 
the  restoration  of  private  woods  by  a  statute  adopted  on  the 
28th  of  July,  i860.  The  former  of  these  laws  passed  the  leg- 
islative body  by  a  vote  of  246  against  4,  the  latter  with  but  a 
single  negative  voice.  The  influence  of  the  Government,  in 
a  country  where  the  throne  is  so  potent  as  in  France,  would 
account  for  a  large  majority,  but  when  it  is  considered  that 
both  laws,  the  former  especially,  interfere  very  materially  with 
the  rights  of  private  domain,  the  almost  entire  unanimity  with 
which  they  were  adopted  is  proof  of  a  very  general  popular 
conviction,  that  the  protection  and  extension  of  the  forests  is 
a  measure  more  likely  than  any  other  to  arrest  the  devasta- 
tions of  the  torrents  and  check  the  violence,  if  not  to  prevent 
the  recurrence,  of  destructive  river  inundations.  The  law  of 
July  28th,  i860,  appropriated  10,000,000  francs,  to  be  ex- 
pended, at  the  rate  of  1,000,000  francs  per  year,  in  executing 
or  aiding  the  replanting  of  woods.  It  is  computed  that  this 
appropriation — which,  considering  the  vast  importance  of  the 
subject,  does  not  seem  extravagant  for  a  nation  rich  enough 
to  be  able  to  expend  annually  six  hundred  times  that  sum  in 
the  maintenance  of  its  military  establishments  in  times  of 
peace — will  secure  the  creation  of  new  forest  to  the  extent 
of  about  200,000  acres,  or  one  fourteenth  part  of  the  soil, 
where  the  restoration  of  the  woods  is  thought  feasible,  and,  at 
the  same  time,  specially  important  as  a  security  against  the 
evils  ascribed,  in  a  great  measure,  to  its  destruction.* 

*«In  1848  the  Government  of  the  so-called  French  Republic  sold  to  the  Bank  of  France 
187,000  acres  of  public  forests,  and  notwithstanding  the  ^eal  with  which  the  Imperial  Gov- 
ernment had  pressed  the  protective  legislation  of  i860,  it  introduced  into  the  Legislative 
Assembly  in  1865  a  bill  for  the  sale,  and  consequently  destruction,  of  the  forests  of  the 
state  to  the  amount  of  one  hundred  million  francs.  The  question  was  much  debated  in 
the  Assembly,  and  public  opinion  manifested  itself  so  energetically  against  the  measure 
that  the  ministry  felt  itself  compelled  to  withdraw  it.     See  the  discussions  in  V Alienation 

des  Foriis  de  vitat,     Paris,  1865. 

<*The  late  Imperial  Government  sold  about  170,000  acres  of  woodland  between  1852 
and  1866,  both  inclusive.  The  other  Governments,  since  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbons 
in  1814,  alienated  more  than  700^000  acres  of  the  public  forests,  exclusive  of  sales  between 
1836  and  1857,  which  are  not  reported. — Annuaire  des  Eaux  et  ForiU^  1872,  p.  9." 

270 


REMEDIES    AGAINST   TORRENTS.  1 43 

"In  1865  the  Legislative  Assembly  passed  a  bill  amend- 
atory of  the  law  of  i860,  providing,  among  other  things,  for 
securing  the  soil  in  exposed  localities  by  grading,  and  by  pro- 
moting the  growth  of  grass  and  the  formation  of  greensward 
over  the  surface.  This  has  proved  a  most  beneficial  measure, 
and  its  adoption  under  corresponding  conditions  in  the  United 
States  is  most  highly  to  be  recommended.  The  leading  fea- 
tures of  the  system  are : 

**  I.  Marking  out  and  securing  from  pasturage  and  all  other 
encroachments  a  zone  along  the  banks  and  around  the  head 
of  ravines. 

**  2.  Turfing  this  zone,  which  in  France  accomplishes  itself, 
if  not  spontaneously,  at  least  with  little  aid  from  art. 

*'  3.  Consolidation  of  the  scarps  of  the  ravines  by  grading 
and  wattling  and  establishing  barriers,  sometimes  of  solid 
masonry,  but  generally  of  fascines  or  any  other  simple  mate- 
rials at  hand,  across  the  bed  of  the  stream. 

**4.  Cutting  banquettes  or  narrow  terraces  along  the  scarps, 
and  planting  rows  of  small  deciduous  trees  and  arborescent 
shrubs  upon  them,  alternating  with  belts  of  grass  obtained  by 
turfing  with  sods  or  sowing  grass-seeds.  Planting  the  ban- 
quettes and  slopes  with  bushes,  and  sowing  any  other  veg- 
etables with  tenacious  roots,  is  also  earnestly  recommended.* 


i< 


REMEDIES   AGAINST    TORRENTS. 


**The  rural  population,  which  in  France  is  generally  hostile 
to  all  forest  laws,  soon  acquiesced  in  the  adoption  of  this  sys- 
tem, and  its  success  has  far  surpassed  all  expectation.  At  the 
end  of  the  year  1868  about  190,000  acres  had  been  planted 
with  trees,f  and  nearly  7,000  acres  well  turfed  over  in   the 

**'See  a  description  of  similar  processes  recommended  and  adopted  by  Mengotti,  in  his 
TdraulUa^  vol.  II,  chap.  XVII." 

t** Travelers  spending  the  winter  at  Nice  may  have  a  good  opportunity  of  studying  the 

oethods  of  forming  and  conducting  the  re-wooding  of  mountain  slopes,  under  the  most 

infavorable  conditions,  by  visiting  Mont  Boron,  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  that  city, 

and  other  coast  plantations  in  that  province,  where  great  difficulties  have  been  completely 

overcome  by  the  skill  and  perseverance  of  French  foresters.     Sec  Les  Forits  des  Maures^ 

Revue  des  Eaux  ei  Forrts,  January,  1869. 

'* Still  more  formidable  difficulties  have  been  vanquished  in  re-wooding  Mont  Faron  near 
Toulon,  and  it  is  hardly  hyperl>olical  to  say  that  this  is  a  case  of  impossibilities  conquered. 
See  Riutu  des  Eaux  a  Forits^  February,  1873. 

271 


144  REMEDIES   AGAINST  TORRENTS. 

Department  of  the  Hautes  Alpes.  Many,  hundred  ravines, 
several  of  which  had  been  the  channels  of  formidable  tor- 
rents, had  been  secured  by  barriers,  grading  and  planting, 
and  according  to  official  reports  the  aspect  of  the  mountains 
in  the  Department,  wherever  these  methods  were  employed, 
had  rapidly  changed.  The  soil  had  acquired  such  stability 
that  the  violent  rains  of  1868,  so  destructive  elsewhere,  pro- 
duced no  damage  in  the  districts  which  had  been  subjected  to 
these  operations,  and  numerous  growing  torrents  which  threat- 
ened irreparable  mischief  had  been  completely  extinguished, 
or  at  least  rendered  altogether  harmless.* 

**  Besides  the  processes  directed  by  the  Government  of 
France,  various  subsidiary  measures  of  an  easily  and  econom- 
ically practicable  character  have  been  suggested.  Among 
them  is  one  which  has  long  been  favorably  known  in  our 
Southern  States  under  the  name  of  circling,  and  the  adoption 
of  which  in  hilly  regions  in  other  States  is  to  be  strongly  rec- 
ommended. 

**It  is  simply  a  method  of  preventing  the  wash  of  sur- 
face by  rains,  and  at  the  same  time  of  providing  a  substitute 
for  irrigation  of  steep  pasture  grounds,  consisting  in  little 
more  than  in  running  horizontal  furrows  along  the  hillsides, 
thus  converting  the  scarp  of  the  hills  into  a  succession  of 
small  terraces  which,  when  once  turfed  over,  are  very  perma- 
nent. Experience  is  said  to  have  demonstrated  that  this 
simple  process  at  least  partially  checks  the  too  rapid  flow  of 
surface-water  into  the  valleys,  and,  consequently,  in  a  great 
measure  obviates  one  of  the  most  prominent  causes  of  inunda- 
tions, and  that  it  suffices  to  retain  the  water  of  rains,  of  snows, 
and  of  small  springs,  long  enough  for  the  irrigation  of  the 
soil,  thus  increasing  its  product  of  herbage  in  a  five-fold  pro- 
portion.f 

"  As  a  further  recommendation,  it  may  be  observed  that 
this  process  is  an  admirable  preparation  of  the  ground  for 

•"For  ample  details  of  processes  and  results,  see  the  second  volume  of  Surell,  Etutie 
ntrUs  Torrents,  Paris,  1872,  and  a  Report  by  De  La  Grye,  in  the  Rtvue  des  Eatix  et  Forfts 
for  January,  1S69." 

t"Troy,  ^tudesurle  Reboisemeni  des  Montagnes^  {{  6,  7,  21." 

37a 


FORESTS   OF   ITALY.  1 45 

forest  plantations,  as  young  trees  planted  on  the  terraces  would 
derive  a  useful  protection  from  the  form  of  the  surface  and  the 
coating  of  turf,  and  would  also  find  a  soil  moist  enough  to 
secure  their  growth. 


(( 


FORESTS   OF    ITALY. 


**  According  to  the  most  recent  statistics,  Italy  has  17.64 
per  cent,  of  woodland,*  a  proportion  which,  considering  the 
character  of  climate  and  surface,  the  great  amount  of  soil  which 
is  fit  for  no  other  purpose  than  the  growth  of  trees,  and  the 
fact  that  much  of  the  land  classed  as  forest  is  either  very  im- 
perfectly wooded,  or  covered  with  groves  badly  administered, 
and  not  in  a  state  of  progressive  improvement,  might  advan- 
tageously be  doubled.  Taking  Italy  as  a  whole,  we  may  say 
that  she  is  eminently  fitted  by  climate,  soil,  and  superficial 
formation,  to  the  growth  of  a  varied  and  luxuriant  arboreal  veg- 
etation, and  that  in  the  interests  of  self-protection,  the  promo- 
tion of  forestal  industry  is  among  the  first  duties  of  her  people. 
There  are  in  Western  Piedmont  valleys  where  the  felling  of 
the  woods  has  produced  consequences  geographically  and 
economically  as  disastrous  as  in  Southeastern  France,  and 
there  are  many  other  districts  in  the  Alps  and  the  Apennines 
where  human  improvidence  has  been  almost  equally  destruc- 
tive. Some  of  these  regions  must  be  abandoned  to  absolute 
desolation,  and  for  others  the  opportunity  of  physical  restora- 
tion is  rapidly  passing  away.  But  there  are  still  millions  of 
square  miles  which  might  profitably  be  planted  with  forest 
trees,  and  thousands  of  acres  of  parched  and  barren  hillside, 
within  sight  of  almost  every  Italian  provincial  capital,  which 
might  easily  and  shortly  be  re-clothed  with  verdant  woods.f 

•"Siemoni,  ManuaU  d^Arte  ForestaU^  2  ediz.,  Firenze,  1872,  p.  542." 

t**To  one  accustomed  to  the  slow  vegetation  of  less  favored  climes,  the  rapidity  of 
growth  in  young  plantations  in  Italy  seems  almost  magical.  The  trees  planted  along  the 
new  drives  and  avenues  in  Florence  have  attained  in  three  or  four  years  a  development 
which  would  require  at  least  ten  in  our  Northen  States.  This,  it  is  true,  is  a  special  case, 
for  the  trees  have  been  planted  and  tended  with  a  skill  and  care  which  cannot  be  bestowed 
upon  a  forest;  but  the  growth  of  trees  little  cared  for  is  still  very  rapid  in  Italy.  Accord- 
ing to  Toscanelli,  Economia  rurale  nella  Pimincia  di  Pi  a,  p.  8,  nod — one  of  the  most  com- 
plete, curious,  and  instructive  pictures  of  rural  life  which  exists  in  any  literature — the 
white  poplar,  Populus  aiba^  attains  in  the  valley  of  the  Serchio  a  great  height,  with  a 
mean  diameter  of  two  feet,  in  twenty  years.     Selmi  states  in  his  Miasma  Palusire^  p.  115, 

VOL.  IIL-18  273 


146  .  FORESTS   OF    ITALY. 

"The  denudation  of  the  Central  and  Southern  Apennines 
and  of  the  Italian  declivity  of  the  Western  Alps  began  at  a 
period  of  unknown  antiquity,  but  it  does  not  seem  to  have 
been  carried  to  a  very  dangerous  length  until  the  foreign  con- 
quests and  extended  commerce  of  Rome  created  a  greatly 
increased  demand  for  wood  for  the  construction  of  ships  and 
for  military  material.*  The  Eastern  Alps,  the  Western  Apen- 
nines, and  the  Maritime  Alps  retained  their  forests  much  later; 
but  even  here  the  want  of  wood,  and  the  injury  to  the  plains 
and  the  navigation  of  the  rivers  by  sediment  brought  down 
by  the  torrents,  led  to  legislation  for  the  protection  of  the  for- 
ests, by  the  Republic  of  Venice,  at  various  periods  between  the 
fifteenth  and  the  nineteenth  centuries,f  by  that  of  Genoa  as 
early  at  least  as  the  seventeenth;  and  both  these  Govern- 
ments, as  well  as  several  others,  passed  laws  requiring  the 
proprietors  of  mountain  lands  to  replant  the  woods.  These, 
however,  seem  to  have  been  little  observed,  and  it  is  gener- 
ally true  that  the  present  condition  of  the  forest  in  Italy  is 
much  less  due  to  the  want  of  wise  legislation  for  its  protection 
than  to  the  laxity  of  the  Governments  in  enforcing  their  laws. 

**  It  is  very  common  in  Italy  to  ascribe  to  the  French  occupa- 
tion under  the  first  Empire  all  the  improvements  and  all  the 
abuses  of  recent  times,  according  to  the  political  sympathies 
of  the  individual ;  and  the  French  are  often  said  to  have  pros- 
trated every  forest  which  has  disappeared  within  this  century. 
But,  however  this  may  be,  no  energetic  system  of  repression 
or  restoration  was  adopted  by  any  of  the  Italian  States  after 
the  downfall  of  the  Empire,  and  the  taxes  on  forest  property 
in  some  of  them  were  so  burdensome  that  rural  municipalities 
sometimes  proposed  to  cede  their  common  woods  to  the  Gov- 
ernment, without  any  other  compensation  than  the  remission 
of  the  taxes  imposed  on  forest  lands.J     Under  such  circum- 

that  the  linden  reaches  a  diameter  of  sixteen  inches  in  the  same  period.  The  growth  of 
foreign  trees  is  sometimes  extremely  luxuriant  in  Italy.  Two  Atlas  cedars,  at  the  well- 
known  villa  of  Careggi,  near  Florence,  grown  from  seed  sown  in  1850,  measure  twenty 
inches  in  diameter,  above  the  swell  of  the  roots,  with  an  estimated  height  of  sixty  feet." 

•fTwo  foot-notes  of  the  author  are  omitted  here, 

t*'See  the  Politecnico  for  the  month  of  May,  1862,  p.  234." 

274 


FORESTS   OF    ITALY.  1 47 

Stances,  woodlands  would  soon  become  disafforested,  and 
where  facilities  of  transportation  and  a  good  demand  for  tim- 
ber have  increased  the  inducements  to  fell  it,  as  upon  the 
borders  of  the  Mediterranean,  the  destruction  of  the  forest 
and  all  the  evils  which  attend  it  have  gone  on  at  a  seriously 
alarming  rate. 

''Gallenga  gives  a  striking  account  of  the  wanton  destruc- 
tion of  the  forests  in  Northern  Italy  within  his  personal  recol- 
lection,* and  there  are  few  Italians  past  middle  life  whose  own 
memory  will  not  supply  similar  reminiscences.  The  clearing 
of  the  mountain  valleys  of  the  provinces  of  Bergamo  and  of 
Brescia  is  recent,  and  Lombardini  informs  us  the  felling  of 
the  woods  in  the  Valtelline  commenced  little  more  than  forty 
years  ago. 

**  Although  no  country  has  produced  more  able  writers  on 
the  value  of  the  forest  and  the  general  consequences  of  its 
destruction  than  Italy,  yet  the  specific  geographical  import- 
ance of  the  woods,  except  as  a  protection  against  inundations, 
has  not  been  so  clearly  recognized  in  that  country  as  in  the 
States  bordering  it  on  the  north  and  west.  It  is  true  that  the 
face  of  nature  has  been  as  completely  revolutionized  by  man, 
and  that  the  action  of  torrents  has  created  almost  as  wide 
and  as  hopeless  devastation  in  Italy  as  in  France ;  but  in  the 
French  Empire  the  recent  desolation  produced  by  clearing  the 
forests  is  more  extensive,  has  been  more  suddenly  effected, 
has  occurred  in  less  remote  and  obscure  localities,  and,  there- 
fore, excites  a  livelier  and  more  general  interest  than  in  Italy, 
where  public  opinion  does  not  so  readily  connect  the  effect 
with  its  true  cause.  Italy,  too,  from  ancient  habit,  employs 
little  wood  in  architectural  construction ;  for  generations  she 
has  maintained  no  military  or  commercial  marine  large  enough 
to  require  exhaustive  quantities  of  timber, f  and  the  mildness 

****Far  away  in  the  darkest  recesses  of  the  mountains  a  kind  of  universal  conspiracy 
seems  to  have  been  got  up  among  these  Alpine  people — a  destructive  mania  to  hew  and 
sweep  down  everything  that  stands  on  roots.' — Country  Life  in  Piedmonty  p.  134. 

***There  are  huge  pyramids  of  mountains  now  bare  and  bleak  from  base  to  summit, 
which  men  still  living  and  still  young  remember  seeing  richly  mantled  with  all  but  prime- 
val forests.* — //W,  p.  135." 

t  A  foot-note  of  the  author  is  omitted  here. 

27s 


' 


148  FORESTS  OF    GERMANY. 

of  her  climate  makes  small  demands  on  the  woods  for  fuel. 
Besides  these  circumstances,  it  must  be  remembered  that  the 
sciences  of  observation  did  not  become  knowledges  of  practi- 
cal application  till  after  the  mischief  was  already  mainly  done 
and  even  forgotten  in  Alpine  Italy,  while  its  evils  were  just 
beginning  to  be  sensibly  felt  in  France  when  the  claims  of 
natural  philosophy  as  a  liberal  study  were  first  acknowledged 
in  modern  Europe.  The  former  political  condition  of  the  Ital- 
ian Peninsula  would  have  effectually  prevented  the  adoption 
of  a  general  system  of  forest  economy,  however  clearly  the 
importance  of  a  wise  administration  of  this  great  public  inter- 
est might  have  been  understood.  The  woods  which  controlled 
and  regulated  the  flow  of  the  river-sources  were  very  often 
in  one  jurisdiction,  the  plains  to  be  irrigated,  or  to  be  inun- 
dated by  floods  and  desolated  by  torrents,  in  another.  Con- 
cert of  action,  on  such  a  subject,  between  a  multitude  of 
jealous  petty  sovereignties,  was  obviously  impossible,  and 
nothing  but  the  permanent  union  of  all  the  Italian  States 
under  a  single  government  can  render  practicable  the  estab- 
lishment of  such  arrangements  for  the  conservation  and  resto- 
ration of  the  forests,  and  the  regulation  of  the  flow  of  the 
waters,  as  are  necessary  for  the  full  development  of  the  yet 
unexhausted  resources  of  that  fairest  of  lands,  and  even  for 
the  maintenance  of  the  present  condition  of  its  physical  geog- 
raphy. 


It 


THE   FORESTS   OF   GERMANY. 


**  Germany,  including  a  considerable  part  of  the  Austrian 
Empire,  from  character  of  surface  and  climate,  and  from  the 
attention  which  has  long  been  paid  in  all  the  German  States 
to  sylviculture,  is  in  a  far  better  condition  in  this  respect  than 
its  more  southern  neighbors;  and  though  in  the  Alpine  prov- 
inces of  Bavaria  and  Austria  the  same  improvidence  which 
marks   the   rural   economy  of  the  corresponding  districts  of 

Switzerland,   Italy,  and  France,  has  produced  effects  hardly 
276 


FORESTS   OF   RUSSIA.  1 49 

less  disastrous,*  yet,  as  a  whole,  the  German  States,  as  Sie- 
moni  well  observes,  must  be  considered  as  in  this  respect  the 
model  countries  of  Europe.  Not  only  is  the  forest  area  in 
general  maintained  without  diminution,  but  new  woods  are 
planted  where  they  are  specially  needed.f  and,  though  the 
slow  growth  of  forest  trees  in  those  climates  reduces  the 
direct  pecuniary  returns  of  woodlands  to  a  minimum,  the  gov- 
ernments wisely  persevere  in  encouraging  this  industry.  The 
exportation  of  sawn  lumber  from  Trieste  is  large,  and  in  fact 
the  Turkish  and  Egyptian  markets  are  in  great  part  supplied 
from  this  source.^ 


(( 


FORESTS   OF   RUSSIA. 


**  Russia,  which  we  habitually  consider  as  substantially  a  for- 
est country — which  has  in  fact  a  large  proportion  of  woodland 
— is  beginning  to  suffer  seriously  for  want  of  wood.  Jourdier 
observes:  *  Instead  of  a  vast  territory  with  immense  forests, 
which  we  expect  to  meet,  one  sees  only  scattered  groves 
thinned  by  the  wind  or  by  the  axe  of  the  moujik^  grounds  cut 

***As  an  instance  of  the  scarcity  of  fuel  in  some  parts  of  the  territory  of  Bavaria, 
where,  not  long  since,  \^ood  abounded,  I  may  mention  the  fact  that  the  water  of  salt 
springs  is,  in  some  instances,  conveyed  to  the  distance  of  sixty  miles,  in  iron  pipes,  to 
reach  a  supply  of  fuel  for  boiling  it  down. 

'*  In  France,  the  juice  of  the  sugar-beet  is  sometimes  carried  three  or  four  miles  in  pipes 
for  the  same  reason. 

*<  Many  of  my  readers  may  remember  that  it  was  not  long  ago  proposed  to  manufacture 
the  gas  for  the  supply  of  London  at  the  mouths  of  the  coal  mines,  and  convey  it  to  the 
city  in  pipes,  thus  saving  the  transportation  of  the  coal ;  but  as  the  coke  and  mineral  tar 
would  still  have  remained  to  be  disposed  of,  the  operation  would  probably  not  have 
proved  advantageous. 

**  Great  economy  in  the  production  of  petroleum  has  resulted  from  the  application  of 
cast-iron  tubes  to  the  wells  instead  of  barrels;  the  oil  is  thus  carried  over  the  various 
inequalities  of  surface  for  three  or  four  miles  to  the  tanks  on  the  railroads,  and  forced  into 
them  by  steam  engines.     The  price  of  transport  is  thus  reduced  one  fifth." 

t**The  Austrian  Government  is  making  energetic  efforts  for  the  propagation  of  forests 
on  the  desolate  waste  of  the  Karst.  The  difficulties  from  drought  and  from  the  violence 
of  the  winds,  which  might  prove  fatal  to  young  and  even  to  somewhat  advanced  planta- 
tions, are  very  serious,  but  in  1866  upwards  of  400,000  trees  had  been  planted  and  great 
quantities  of  seeds  sown.  Thus  far,  the  results  of  this  important  experiment  are  said  to 
be  encouraging.  See  the  Ckronique  Forestikre  in  the  Revue  des  Eaux  et  Forits^  February, 
1870. 

**  Later  accounts  state  that  the  government  nurseries  of  the  Karst  supplied  between 
1869-1872  26,000,000  young  forest  trees  for  planting,  and  that  of  70,000  ash  trees  planted 
in  the  Karst,  scarcely  one  failed  to  grow." 

X  "  For  information  respecting  the  forests  of  Germany,  as  well  as  other  European  coun- 
tries, see,  besides  the  works  already  cited,  the  very  valuable  Manuak  ePArte  Forestaie  of 
Siemoni,  2de  edizione,  Firenze,  1872." 

277 


150  FOKESrS  OK    UNITED   STATES. 

over  and  more  or  less  recently  cleared  for  cultivation.  There 
is  probably  not  a  single  district  in  Russia  which  has  not  to 
deplore  the  ravages  of  man  or  of  fire,  those  two  great  enemies 
of  Muscovite  sylviculture.  This  is  so  true,  that  clear-sighted 
men  already  foresee  a  crisis  which  will  become  terrible,  unless 
the  discovery  of  great  deposits  of  some  new  combustible,  as 
pit-coal  or  anthracite,  shall  diminish  its  evils.'* 

**  FORESTS   OF   UNITED   STATES. 

**  I  greatly  doubt  whether  any  one  of  the  American  States, 
except,  perhaps,  Oregon,  has,  at  this  moment,  more  woodland 
than  it  ought  permanently  to  preserve,  though,  no  doubt,  a  dif- 
ferent distribution  of  the  forests  in  all  of  them  might  be  highly 
advantageous.  It  is,  perhaps,  a  misfortune  to  the  American 
Union  that  the  State  Governments  have  so  generally  disposed 
of  their  original  domain  to  private  citizens.  It  is  true  that 
public  property  is  not  sufficiently  respected  in  the  United 
•States;  and  within  the  memory  of  almost  every  man  of  ma- 
ture age,  timber  was  of  so  little  value  in  the  northernmost 
States  that  the  owners  of  private  woodlands  submitted,  almost 
without  complaint,  to  what  would  be  regarded  elsewhere  as 
very  aggravated  trespasses  upon  them.f  Persons  in  want  of 
timber  helped  themselves  to  it  wherever  they  could  find  it,  and 
a  claim  for  damages,  for  so  insignificant  a  wrong  as  cutting 
down  and  carrying  off  a  few  pine  or  oak  trees,  was  regarded 
as  a  mean-spirited  act  in  a  proprietor.  The  habits  formed  at 
this  period  are  not  altogether  obsolete,  and  even  now  the 
notion   of  a   common   right   of  property  in   the  woods   still 

*  A  foot-note  of  the  author  is  omitted  here. 

t  **  According  to  the  maxims  of  English  jurisprudence,  the  common  law  consists  of  gen- 
eral customs  so  long  established  that  *lhe  memory  of  man  runneth  not  to  the  contrary.' 
In  other  words,  long  custom  makes  law.  In  new  countries,  the  change  of  circumstances 
creates  new  customs,  and,  in  time,  new  law,  without  the  aid  of  legislation.  Had  the 
American  colonists  observed  a  more  sparing  economy  in  the  treatment  of  their  woods,  a 
new  code  of  customary  forest  law  would  have  sprung  up  and  acquired  the  force  of  a  stat- 
ute. Popular  habit  was  fast  elaborating  the  fundamental  principles  of  such  a  code,  when 
the  rapid  increase  in  the  value  of  timber,  in  consequence  of  the  reckless  devastation  of 
the  woodlands,  made  it  the  interest  of  the  proprietors  to  interfere  with  this  incipient 
system  of  forest  jurisprudence,  and  appeal  to  the  rules  of  English  law  for  the  protection 
of  their  woods.  The  courts  have  sustained  these  appeals,  and  forest  property  is  now 
legally  as  inviolable  as  any  other,  though  common  opinion  still  combats  the  coarse  of 
judicial  decision  on  such  questions." 

278 


FORESTS   OF    UNITED   STATES,  I5I 

lingers,  if  not  as  an  opinion  at  least  as  a  sentiment.  Under 
such  circumstances  it. has  been  difficult  to  protect  the  forest, 
whether  it  belong  to  the  State  or  to  individuals.  Property  of 
this  kind  is  subject  to  plunder,  as  well  as  to  frequent  damage 
by  fire.  The  destruction  from  these  causes  would,  indeed, 
considerably  lessen,  but  would  by  no  means  wholly  annihilate 
the  climatic  and  geographical  influences  of  the  forest,  or  ruin- 
ously diminish  its  value  as  a  regular  source  of  supply  of  fuel 
and  timber. 

*'  It  is  evidently  a  matter  of  the  utmost  importance  that  the 
public,  and  especially  land-owners,  be  roused  to  a  sense  of  the 
dangers  to  which  the  indiscriminate  clearing  of  the  woods  may 
expose  not  only  future  generations,  but  the  very  soil  itself. 
Some  of  the  American  States,  as  well  as  the  Governments  of 
many  European  colonies,  still  retain  the  ownership  of  great 
tracts  of  primitive  woodland.  The  State  of  New  York,  for 
example,  has,  in  its  northeastern  counties,  a  vast  extent  of 
territory  in  which  the  lumberman  has  only  here  and  there 
established  his  camp,  and  where  the  forest,  though  inter- 
spersed with  permanent  settlements,  robbed  of  some  of  its 
finest  pine  groves,  and  often  ravaged  by  devastating  fires,  still 
covers  far  the  largest  proportion  of  the  surface.  Through 
this  territory  the  soil  is  generally  poor,  and  even  the  new 
clearings  have  little  of  the  luxuriance  of  harvest  which  dis- 
tinguishes them  elsewhere.  The  value  of  the  land  for  agricul- 
tural uses  IS  therefore  very  small,  and  few  purchases  are  made 
for  any  other  purpose  than  to  strip  the  soil  of  its  timber.  It 
has  been  often  proposed  that  the  State  should  declare  the 
remaining  forest  the  inalienable  property  of  the  Common- 
wealth, but  I  believe  the  motive  of  the  suggestion  has  origi- 
nated rather  in  poetical  than  in  economical  views  of  the  subject. 
Both  these  classes  of  considerations  have  a  real  worth.  It 
is  desirable  that  some  large  and  easily  accessible  region  of 
American  soil  should  remain,  as  far  as  possible,  in  its  primitive 
condition,  at  once  a  museum  for  the  instruction  of  the  student, 
a  garden  for  the  recreation  of  the  lover  of  nature,  and  an  asy- 
lum where  indigenous  tree,  and  humble  plant  that  loves  the 

a79 


152  FORESTS   OF    UNITED   STATES, 

shade,  and  fish  and  fowl  and  four-footed  beast,  may  dwell  and 
perpetuate  their  kind,  in  the  enjoyment  of  such  imperfect  pro- 
tection as  the  laws  of  a  people  jealous  of  restraint  can  afford 
them.  The  immediate  loss  to  the  public  treasury  from  the 
adoption  of  this  policy  would  be  inconsiderable,  for  these  lands 
are  sold  at  low  rates.  The  forest  alone,  economically  man- 
aged, would,  without  injury,  and  even  with  benefit  to  its  per- 
manence and  growth,  soon  yield  a  regular  income  larger  than 
the  present  value  of  the  fee. 

**The  collateral  advantages  of  the  preservation  of  these  for- 
ests would  be  far  greater.  Nature  threw  up  those  mountains 
and  clothed  them  with  lofty  woods,  that  they  might  serve  as  a 
reservoir  to  supply  with  perennial  waters  the  thousand  rivers 
and  rills  that  are  fed  by  the  rains  and  snows  of  the  Adi- 
rondacks,  and  as  a  screen  for  the  fertile  plains  of  the  central 
counties  against  the  chilling  blasts  of  the  north  wind,  which 
meet  no  other  barrier  in  their  sweep  from  the  Arctic  pole. 
The  climate  of  Northern  New  York  even  now  presents  greater 
extremes  of  temperature  than  that  of  Southern  France.  The 
long-continued  cold  of  winter  is  more  intense,  the  short  heats 
of  summer  even  fiercer  than  in  Provence,  and  hence  the  pres- 
ervation of  every  influence  that  tends  to  maintain  an  equilib- 
rium of  temperature  and  humidity  is  of  cardinal  importance. 
The  felling  of  the  Adirondack  woods  would  ultimately  involve 
for  Northern  and  Central  New  York  consequences  similar  to 
those  which  have  resulted  from  the  laying  bare  of  the  south- 
ern and  western  declivities  of  the  French  Alps  and  the  spurs, 
ridges,  and  detached  peaks  in  front  of  them. 

**It  is  true  that  the  evils  to  be  apprehended  from  the  clear- 
ing of  the  mountains  of  New  York  may  be  less  in  degree  than 
those  which  a  similar  cause  has  produced  in  Southern  France, 
where  the  intensity  of  its  action  has  been  increased  by  the 
inclination  of  the  mountain  declivities,  and  by  the  peculiar 
geological  constitution  of  the  earth.  The  degradation  of  the 
soil  is,  perhaps,  not  equally  promoted  by  a  combination  of  the 
same  circumstances,  in  any  of  the  American  Atlantic  States, 

but  still   they  have   rapid   slopes  and  loose  and  friable  soils 

2S0 


FORESTS  OF    UNITED  STATES,  1 53 

enough  to  render  widespread  desolation  certain,  if  the  further 
destruction  of  the  woods  is  not  soon  arrested.  The  effects  of 
clearing  are  already  perceptible  in  the  comparatively  unvio- 
lated  region  of  which  I  am  speaking.  The  rivers  which  rise 
in  it  flow  with  diminished  currents  in  dry  seasons,  and  with 
augmented  volumes  of  water  after  heavy  rains.  They  bring 
down  larger  quantities  of  sediment,  and  the  increasing  ob- 
structions to  the  navigation  of  the  Hudson,  which  are  extend- 
ing themselves  down  the  channel  in  proportion  as  the  fields 
are  encroaching  upon  the  forest,  give  good  grounds  for  the 
fear  of  irreparable  injury  to  the  commerce  of  the  important 
towns  on  the  upper  waters  of  that  river,  unless  measures  are 
taken  to  prevent  the  expansion  of  'improvements'  which 
have  already  been  carried  beyond  the  demands  of  a  wise 
economy. 

*'  In  the  Eastern  United  States  the  general  character  of  the 
climate,  soil,  and  surface  is  such,  that  for  the  formation  of 
very  destructive  torrents  a  much  lofiger  time  is  required  than 
would  be  necessary  in  the  mountainous  provinces  of  Italy  or 
of  France.  But  the  work  of  desolation  has  begun  even  there, 
and  wherever  a  rapid  mountain-slope  has  been  stripped  of 
wood,  incipient  ravines  already  plough  the  surface,  and  collect 
the  precipitation  in  channels  which  threaten  serious  mischief 
in  the  future.  There  is  a  peculiar  action  of  this  sort  on  the 
sandy  surface  of  pine- forests  and  in  other  soils  that  unite 
readily  with  water,  which  has  excited  the  attention  of  geogra- 
phers and  geologists.  Soils  of  the  first  kind  are  found  in  all 
the  Eastern  States ;  those  of  the  second  are  more  frequent  in 
the  exhausted  counties  of  Maryland,  where  tobacco  is  culti- 
vated, and  in  the  more  southern  territories  of  Georgia  and 
Alabama.  In  these  localities  the  ravines  which  appear  after 
the  cutting  of  the  forest,  through  some  accidental  disturbance 
of  the  surface,  or,  in  some  formations,  through  the  cracking  of 
the  soil  in  consequence  of  great  drought  or  heat,  enlarge  and 
extend  themselves  with  fearful  rapidity. 

"In  Georgia  and  in  Alabama,  Lyell  saw  *the  beginning  of 

the  formation  of  hundreds  of  valleys  in  places  where  the  prim- 

281 


154  FORESTS   OF    UNITED   STATES. 

itive  forest  had  been  recently  cut  down.'  One  of  these,  in 
Georgia,  in  a  soil  composed  of  clay  and  sand  produced  by  the 
decomposition  in  situ  of  hornblendic  gneiss  with  layers  and 
veins  of  quartz,  '  and  which  did  not  exist  before  the  felling  of 
the  forest  twenty  years  previous,'  he  describes  as  more  than 
55  feet  in  depth,  300  yards  in  length,  and  from  20  to  180  feet 
in  breadth.  Our  author  refers  to  other  cases  in  the  same 
States,  '  where  the  cutting  down  of  the  trees,  which  had  pre- 
vented the  rain  from  collecting  into  torrents  and  running  off 
in  sudden  land-floods,  has  given  rise  to  ravines  from  70  to  80 
feet  deep.'* 

"Similar  results  often  follow  in  the  Northeastern  States  from 
cutting  the  timber  on  the  *pine  plains,'  where  the  soil  is  usu- 
ally of  a  sandy  composition  and  loose  texture." 


•"Lyell,  Principles  of  Geology ^  loth  cd.,  vol.  i,  345-6." 
282 


GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 


N.   S.   SHALER,    Director. 


ANNUAL  REPORT  OF  N.  S.  SHALER 

FOR  THE  YEAR  1876. 

Part    IV.    Vol.    III.     Second    Series. 


283  *  284 


ANNUAL    REPORT   OF   N.   S,   SHALER    FOR   THE 

YEAR  1876. 


The  laws  constituting  the  Geological  Survey  of  Kentucky 
provide  that  the  Director  of  the  Survey  shall  annually  make 
a  report  of  the  progress  of  the  Survey  to  the  Governor  of  the 
Commonwealth.  It  is  to  be  presumed  that  the  object  of  this 
requirement  was  to  secure  the  presentation  to  the  public,  at 
no  greater  intervals  than  one  year,  detailed  statements  con- 
cerning the  progress  of  the  work  of  the  Survey  in  a  more  con- 
nected manner  than  such  accounts  could  be  obtained  by  the 
record  that  is  made  in  the  usual  economic  and  scientific  re- 
ports. Believing  this  to  be  the  object  of  this  requisition,  I 
shall  now  proceed  to  give  an  account  of  the  doings  of  the 
Survey  during  the  year  1876. 

It  is  one  of  the  many  disadvantages  of  conducting  a  great 
public  work  by  periodical  grants  of  money  rather  than  by  the 
appropriations  of  a  continuous  kind,  that  the  Director  is  in 
continual  doubt  as  to  the  future  of  his  labors.  His  plans  must 
constantly  take  the  shape  that  will  permit  the  closure  of  the 
work  without  the  loss  of  a  large  part  of  the  expenditure  in 
efforts  which,  on  account  of  their  incompleteness,  have  failed  to 
bring  a  return.  This  doubt  of  the  future  of  the  Survey  was 
intensified  by  the  grave  pecuniary  distress  which  hung  over 
the  country  at  the  time  of  the  assembling  of  the  Legislature  of 
the  Commonwealth  in  December,  1875;  and  it  was  not  until 
the  nineteenth  of  February,  1876,  that  the  passage  of  the 
bill  appropriating  forty-four  thousand  dollars  for  the  continu- 
ance of  the  researches  and  publication  work  of  the  Survey, 
during  the  coming  two  years,  made  it  possible  to  lay  the  plans 
for  further  work.     The  passage  at  the  same  date  of  a  bill 

providing  for  the  exhibition  at  Philadelphia  of  the  mineral 

S85 


4  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

resources  of  the  Commonwealth,  and  the  connection  establish- 
ed by  the  law  between  this  work  and  the  Geological  Survey, 
added  an  additional  burden  to  the  usual  work  of  the  Survey. 
The  time  allowed  by  the  authorities  of  the  Centennial  Exhi- 
bition for  the  reception  of  collections  at  Philadelphia,  made,  it 
necessary  for  me  to  turn  the  whole  force  of  the  Geological 
Survey  to  the  work  of  collecting,  arranging,  and  forwarding 
specimens.  At  the  request  of  the  Centennial  Board,  Assist- 
ants A.  R.  Crandall  and  John  H.  Talbutt  were  sent  with  the 
collections  to  Philadelphia,  where  they  were  detained  until 
June  ist  in  the  work  of  installation.  Other  members  of  the 
Survey  were  engaged  in  securing  such  collections  of  ores, 
coals,  soils,  &c.,  as  had  not  already  been  collected  in  the  field 
operations  of  the  Survey.  With  the  assistance  of  Mr.  John 
R.  Procter  and  the  other  officers  of  the  Survey,  I  was  enabled 
to  prepare  a  synopsis  of  the  results  that  had  been  attained  in 
the  studies  of  the  progress  of  our  work,  which  was  published 
in  pamphlet  form,  under  the  title  of  **  A  General  Account  of 
the  Commonwealth  of  Kentucky."  This  pamphlet,  contain- 
ing over  one  hundred  pages  of  text,  together  with  a  general 
geological  map  of  the  Commonwealth,  a  map  of  the  southern 
part  of  North  America,  and  illustrative  sections  of  its  principal 
coal  fields,  constituted  the  most  important  publication  of  all 
those  which  were  freely  distributed  at  the  Centennial  Exhibi- 
tion. Several  thousand  copies  were  given  to  persons  who 
were  desirous  of  procuring  special  information  concerning  the 
resources  of  our  country.  It  is  believed  the  effect  of  this 
distribution  of  information  cannot  be  otherwise  than  impor- 
tant for  the  future  of  the  interest  of  the  Commonwealth. 

Although  the  small  means  at  the  command  of  the  Survey, 
or  the  Centennial  Commission,  made  it  out  of  the  question 
to  build  a  special  building,  or  in  other  ways  to  compete  with 
several  other  States  in  the  showier  elements  of  an  exposition 
of  resources,  there  is  no  doubt  that,  taking  into  account  the 
number  of  specimens  of  minerals,  soils,  building  stones,  &c., 
shown,  and  the  extent  to  which  the  chemical  composition  and 
other  characters  were  set  forth,  the  Commonwealth  of  Ken- 

a86 


N.    S.    SHALER   FOR   THE   YEAR    1 876.  5 

tucky  had  the  finest  mineral  display  of  any  of  the  States  in 
this  Union.  About  eight  hundred  specimens  of  coal  and  iron, 
each  representing  some  important  element  of  our  resources, 
and  e«ich  accompanied  with  a  carefully  written  label,  were  on 
exhibition.  Our  soils,  marls,  potter's  clays,  &c.,  were  also  well 
represented.  By  these  several  means  the  student  was  ena- 
bled to  form  a  tolerably  good  idea  of  the  conditions  of  the 
Commonwealth.  The  geological  map,  a  large  copy  of  which 
was  hung  in  the  exhibit,  gave  him  a  tolerably  clear  idea  of  the 
contour  and  general  conditions  of  the  State.  The  several  col- 
lections of  soils  enabled  him  to  see  the  structure  of  these  de- 
posits in  a  very  clear  way,  and  the  specimens  of  coals,  irons, 
&c.,  showed  the  nature  of  its  more  hidden  treasures.  In  addi- 
tion to  the  material  evidences  of  our  resources,  the  State  was 
represented  through  the  means  of  about  one  hundred  photo- 
graphs of  its  surface  and  its  caverns.  The  success  of  this  pro- 
cess of  illustrating  the  State  has  been  so  great,  that  the  Survey 
will  continue  it  with  the  hope  of  obtaining  photographs  of  each 
county  in  the  Commonwealth,  giving  thereby  a  more  complete 
understanding  of  the  nature  of  its  surface  conditions  than 
could  be  obtained  in  any  other  way.  Verbal  description  is  at 
best  an  inadequate  means  of  setting  forth  the  character  of 
the  surface  in  any  district,  and  it  will  receive  a  great  aid  from 
this  unquestionable  testimony  of  the  sun.  These  photographs 
will,  when  published,  be  accompanied  by  a  map  of  the  district 
where  they  were  taken,  on  which  the  point  of  view  of  each 
photograph  will  be  indicated,  the  direction  of  the  view  being 
shown  by  an  arrow.  A  small  volume  of  descriptive  letter- 
press will  explain  the  features  shown  in  the  photograph,  set- 
ting forth  the  geological  structure,  the  character  of  the  soil, 
timber,  and  other  facts  that  might  serve  to  complete  the  pic- 
ture. The  first  series  of  these  photographs  will  include  about 
one  hundred  views,  and  from  one  to  two  hundred  pages  of 
illustrative  text.  This  series  will  be  ready  for  publication 
during  the  present  year.  In  order  to  complete  the  photo- 
graphic illustration  of  the  State,  it  will  be  necessary  to  secure 

about  six  hundred  views  of  the  same  character.    These  should 

287 


6  ANNUAL   REPORT  OF 

be  so  arranged  as  to  include  a  complete  study  of  all  the  river 
valleys  of  the  State,  following  the  streams  from  their  head 
waters  to  their  confluences  with  the  Ohio,  and  also  a  complete 
series  of  views  on  that  noble  stream,  the  greatest  possession 
of  the  Commonwealth.  The  mountain  region  of  the  State,  its 
magnificent  forests,  from  the  cypress  woods  of  the  Mississippi 
to  the  pine  forests  of  the  Cumberland  Mountain,  should  also  be 
completely  represented.  The  work  should  be  carried  further; 
the  growing  crops  and  the  great  herds  of  the  State,  should 
also  be  shown  in  a  similar  fashion.  The  cost  of  obtaining 
negatives  of  six  hundred  views  within  the  State  would  not 
exceed  four  thousand  dollars.  The  plates  of  the  accompany- 
ing letterpress  would  not  cost  more  than  half  this  sum.  The 
views  could  be  furnished  separately,  or  by  counties  or  river 
valleys,  and  so  brought  within  the  means  of  those  who  might 
desire  to  have  a  complete  representation  of  any  particular 
part  of  the  Commonwealth.  These  photographs,  with  the 
accompanying  letterpress,  could  be  furnished  at  from  twenty- 
five  to  forty  cents  each.  A  certain  sale  for  the  whole  collec- 
tion would  be  found  in  great  libraries  and  wealthy  collectors 
of  such  prints;  but  the  great  advantage  to  the  State  would 
be  found  in  the  opportunity  to  furnish  persons  intending  to 
make  investments  in  the  State  with  accurate  representations 
of  particular  districts.  An  exposition  of  its  resources  is  some- 
thing our  State  will  be  called  on  frequently  to  make  in  the 
exhibitions  which  have  become  so  prominent  a  feature  of  our 
civilization.  There  is  no  other  means  of  doing  this  so  effect- 
ively as  by  means  of  such  representations  as  are  given  by 
photographs.  With  a  good  map  and  a  set  of  photographs 
carefully  designed  to  supplement  its  teachings,  the  observer 
will  learn  as  much  as  he  could  do  by  an  ordinary  journey.  With 
such  a  collection  placed  in  the  State  Capitol,  our  people  would 
soon  come  to  know  more  of  their  native  land  than  is  known 
by  any  one  save  one  or  two  officers  of  the  Survey. 

The  work  done  by  the  Survey  in  connection  with  the  Phila- 
delphia Exposition  was  not  limited  to  the  setting  up  of  a  col- 
lection and  the  attendance  thereon.     The  officers  in  charge  of 

s88 


N.    S.    SHALER    FOR    THE    YEAR    1 8  76.  7 

the  collection  devoted  their  whole  time  to  the  task  of  securing 
an  understanding  of  the  resources  'of  the  State  on  the  part  of 
those  whose  occupations  were  of  a  nature  to  make  such  under- 
standing important.  It  is  believed  that  almost  all  the  persons 
interested  in  the  mineral  resources  exhibited  at  Philadelphia 
had  ample  opportunity  to  become  acquainted  with  the  re- 
sources of  Kentucky. 

As  the  work  of  supervising  and  explaining  the  Cabinet  at 
Philadelphia  was  very  great,  Mr.  Procter,  under  whose  charge 
the  collection  was  immediately  placed,  was  aided,  from  time 
to  time,  by  other  assistants  of  the  Survey.  Eight  officers  of 
the  Survey  thus  shared  in  the  work  of  explaining  the  resources 
of  the  State.  This  arrangement  permitted,  also,  the  work  of 
inquiry  into  the  branches  of  the  exhibition  which  might  prove 
of  especial  value  to  the  Commonwealth  of  Kentucky.  As  the 
Geological  Survey  became  the  agent  of  all  the  special  relations 
which  were  established  between  the  Commonwealth  and  the 
exhibition,  this  work  could  not  properly  be  passed  by.  It  was 
therefore  determined  to  divide  up  the  task  of  considering  cer- 
tain branches  of  industry  connected  with  agriculture,  mining,  or 
other  branches  of  practical  geology,  so  that  the  officers  of  the 
Survey  might  be  enabled  to  make  reports  concerning  these 
several  subjects,  to  serve  as  summaries  of  the  teachings  of 
the  exhibition  on  certain  of  the  more  important  existing  and 
prospective  industries  of  Kentucky.  These  reports  are  now 
in  preparation,  and  will  include,  among  other  matters,  the  fol- 
lowing important  reports:  on  the  potter's  clays  and  their  uses; 
on  timber  resources ;  on  the  washing  and  coking  of  coals ;  on 
the  treatment  of  iron  ores;  on  the  growth  and  treatment  of 
hemp  and  flax;  on  building  materials;  on  agricultural  drain- 
age ;  on  the  methods  of  exhibition  of  the  resources  of  a  State. 
These  reports,  some  of  which  are  now  ready  for  the  press, 
will  be  included  in  the  sixth  volume  of  economic  reports  of 
the  Survey. 

The  officers  of  the  Survey  succeeded  in  obtaining  at  Phila- 
delphia about  one  thousand  varieties  of  field  and  garden  seeds 
of  kinds  deemed  likely  to  be  of  value  in  our  State,     These 

vou  111.-19  289 


8  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

seeds  have  been  extensively  distributed  to  the  agriculturalists 
of  the  State,  with  a  view  to  a  full  trial  of  their  capabilities. 
This  inquiry  will  aid  in  the  study  of  our  soils,  a  matter  which 
has  long  been  a  subject  of  special  inquiry  for  the  Survey,  by 
enabling  us  to  compare  certain  well  known  foreign  soils  with 
our  own,  through  the  product  they  give  under  particular  forms 
of  cultivation.  A  full  report  of  the  character  of  these  seeds, 
and  the  results  of  their  cultivation,  as  far  as  obtained  during 
the  year  1877,  w^^'  ^^  embodied  in  the  sixth  volume  of  reports. 
The  several  tasks  undertaken  in  connection  with  the  exhi- 
bition at  Philadelphia  were  of  course  of  a  nature  that  admitted 
of  no  postponement,  so  the  usual  field  and  office  work  of  the 
Survey,  during  1876,  has  been  much  more  limited  than  was 
desired.  The  topographical  work  has  been  less  hampered 
than  any  other  part  of  the  operations  of  the  Survey,  as  it  was 
not  necessary  to  detach  more  than  one  officer  of  that  corps 
for  special  work.  Assistant  W.  B.  Page  was  engaged  during 
the  months  of  March,  April,  and  a  part  of  May,  in  the  prepa- 
ration of  a  large  wall  map,  to  be  exhibited  with  the  collection 
at  Philadelphia.  In  the  month  of  May,  as  soon  as  the  condi- 
tion of  the  roads  permitted,  he  resumed  the  work  on  the  east- 
ern face  of  the  western  coal  field.  The  object  of  this  work, 
as  set  forth  in  the  reports  for  1875,  ^^s  to  make  the  basis  for 
a  map  of  this  important  mineral  district.  The  party  was  or- 
ganized with  Mr.  Eugene  Underwood,  jr.,  Mr.  Jos.  B.  Hoeing, 
and  Mr.  M.  S.  Cole  as  aids,  the  whole  being  arranged  to  insure 
the  most  rapid  mapping  of  the  district  lying  between  the  Louis- 
ville, Paducah  and  Southwestern  Railway  to  the  Ohio  river, 
including  a  strip  about  twenty-four  miles  wide,  within  the 
boundaries  of  which  all  the  outlines  of  the  singular  margin  of 
this  field  are  found.  This,  with  the  work  done  in  Edmonson, 
Grayson,  Butler,  and  Hart,  the  results  of  which  have  been 
published  in  the  second  volume  of  reports,  completes  the  out- 
line of  the  eastern  border  of  this  field,  and  gives  the  basis  for 
those  detailed  geological  studies  which  are  necessary  in  order 
to  unravel  its  complicated  structure.     This  season's  work  in 

this  district  added  about  one  thousand  miles  to  the  area  of  the 
290 


N.    S.    SHALER    FOR   THE   YEAR    1 876.  9 

State»  of  which  we  possess  an  accurate  geographical  knowl- 
edge, and  was  satisfactory  in  all  its  results.  At  the  same  rate 
of  advance  it  will  be  possible  to  complete  the  work  of  map- 
ping the  whole  of  the  outline  of  this  field  in  two  more  years 
of  work.  The  work  of  filling  in  the  interior  region  can  then 
go  on  with  relatively  great  rapidity. 

I  have  felt  it  necessary  to  push  the  topographical  work  in 
this  western  coal  field,  not  only  because  of  the  great  value  it 
has  on  account  of  its  richness  of  resources,  and  their  general 
accessibility  to  transportation,  but  also  for  the  reason  that  this 
district  has  been  subjected  to  far  more  extensive  dislocation 
than  any  other  part  of  the  State  outside  of  the  valley  of  the 
upper  Cumberland.  Faults,  folds,  ancient  erosion,  and  irregu- 
lar deposition  of  beds,  all  combine  to  make  it  the  seat  of  more 
complication  of  structure  than  any  other  part  of  the  Mississippi 
Valley  that  is  known  to  me.  It  will  be  readily  understood  that 
these  local  peculiarities  cannot  be  traced  out  or  described 
without  maps  on  which  they  can  be  delineated  with  accuracy 
and  clearness.  The  whole  of  this  coal  field  can  be  completely 
and  accurately  mapped  within  four  years  from  the  present 
time,  provided  the  same  average  of  working  force  can  be 
maintained  each  year  within  its  borders.  There  will  then 
be  no  difficulty  in  indicating  with  clearness  the  position  of 
each  important  coal  or  iron  deposit  that  occurs  there.  As  it 
is,  with  no  map  that  gives  even  approximately  the  position  of 
the  smaller  streams  or  the  roads,  and  where  even  the  largest 
rivers  are  so  rudely  represented  that  it  is  impossible  to  recon- 
cile their  observed  meanders  with  any  map,  no  sufficient  record 
of  the  geology  can  possibly  be  made. 

The  topographical  work  in  the  eastern  field  has  been  con- 
tinued by  the  party  under  the  charge  of  Assistant  Charles 
Schenk.  The  work  in  this  field  was  begun  in  April  and  con- 
tinued until  about  November  ist,  with  the  exception  of  an 
interval  of  seven  weeks,  when  Mr.  Schenk  was  detailed  for 
certain  special  work  to  be  described  hereafter.  Mr.  Schenk 
has  now  nearly  completed  the  map  of  the  district  lying  be- 
tween the  Licking  and  the  Kentucky  rivers,  from  the  mouth 

291 


lO  ANNUAL   REPORT  OF 

of  Slate  Creek,  on  the  former,  to  the  mouth  of  Red  River,  on 
the  latter,  and  extending  back  to  Salyersville,  on  the  Licking, 
and  to  Proctor,  on  the  Three  Forks  of  the  Kentucky  river. 
This  district  includes  an  exceedingly  important  coal  and  iron 
district,  which  only  needs  facilities  for  transportation  in  order 
to  give  it  peculiar  advantages  for  the  production  of  these 
materials,  and  incidentally  to  stimulate  important  industries  in 
the  central  agricultural  district  of  the  Commonwealth.  Two 
sheets  of  the  map  of  this  district  will  be  furnished  for  issue  in 
the  fifth  volume  of  the  reports,  and  the  whole  will,  it  is  hoped, 
be  completed  during  the  present  year.  The  country  is,  however, 
like  all  the  border  lands  of  the  coal  fields,  somewhat  difficult  for 
topographical  work.  During  the  summer  season  the  woods 
are  exceedingly  dense,  making  it  very  hard  to  run  the  lines  of 
the  streams,  and  in  winter  their  beds  are  the  seat  of  fierce 
torrents,  which  make  it  well  nigh  impossible  to  run  transit 
lines  through  them.  It  is  only  by  indefatigable  labor  that  the 
assistant  in  charge  of  the  party  has  been  enabled  to  keep  up 
an  average  of  about  three  square  miles  per  diem  of  field 
work.  The  reduction  of  this  topographical  work  in  the  east- 
ern and  western  fields  will  add  about  two  thousand  square 
miles  to  the  area  of  the  Commonwealth,  when  we  shall  pos- 
sess topographical  maps  of  an  entirely  trustworthy  nature, 
sufficiently  accurate  to  admit  the  representation  of  all  neces- 
sary geological  details. 

In  addition  to  the  topography  herein  described,  Assistant  A. 
R.  Crandall  has  made  an  important  experiment  in  effecting  a 
rapid  topographical  reconnoissance  over  a  district  lying  be- 
tween the  border  of  the  region  traversed  by  Mr.  Schenk  and 
the  head  waters  of  the  Kentucky  river.  Mr.  Crandall's  work 
was  designed  to  furnish  a  basis  for  the  recording  of  the  explo- 
ration work  done  by  him  in  this  section  of  the  State.  This 
work  of  Mr.  Crandall  gives  us  a  section  of  some  hundred 
square  miles,  where  the  more  important  streams  and  roads 
are  run  by  the  compass  and  telemeter,  carefully  reduced  and 

plotted  by  means  of  some  ingenious  inventions  of  his  own, 
293 


N.    S.    SHALER   FOR   THE  YEAR    1 876.  II 

the  nature  of  which  are  set  forth  in  the  reports  of  the  work 
which  are  to  be  published  hereafter. 

In  the  month  of  July  I  repaired  to  Cumberland  Gap  to  take 
up  again  the  geology  of  the  very  disturbed  region  near  the 
boundary  between  Kentucky  and  Virginia.  The  region  be- 
tween this  Gap  and  Pound  or  Boundary  Gap,  and  for  twenty  or 
thirty  miles  west  of  the  line  connecting  those  points  on  the 
State  line,  has  received  the  full  effect  of  the  Appalachian 
disturbances  of  an  age  later  than  the  Carboniferous  period. 
Faults  and  folds  on  a  large  scale  have  served  greatly  to  com- 
plicate the  geology  of  this  district ;  and  its  generally  wooded 
character  makes  the  unraveling  of  these  complications  a  mat- 
ter of  very  great  difficulty.  Not  much  can  be  done  in  this 
work  until  a  fairly  good  topographical  map  can  be  obtained ; 
and  my  special  object  was  to  lay  the  foundations  of  such  a 
work  in  this  district. 

The  first  thing  to  do  was  to  determine  with  accuracy  the 
position  of  the  boundary  line  between  the  Commonwealths 
of  Virginia  and  Kentucky.  This  line  is  by  law  made  to  fol- 
low the  water-shed  between  the  waters  of  the  Cumberland  and 
of  the  Tennessee.  On  the  best  existing  maps  of  this  coun- 
try it  is  drawn  as  a  nearly  straight  line  for  a  good  part  of  the 
distance  between  Cumberland  Gap  and  Pound  Gap;  in  fact, 
nothing  could  be  further  from  the  truth.  The  line  is  a  con- 
tinuity of  very  complicated  curves,  not  being  approximately 
straight  for  more  than  a  mile  or  two  in  any  part  of  its  course. 
I  have  felt  it  to  be  very  desirable  to  have  this  part  of  our 
frontier  accurately  surveyed,  but  have  been  hitherto  deterred 
by  the  extreme  difficulties  of  the  ^problem.  It  is  impossible 
to  convey  an  adequate  idea  of  the  obstacles  which  beset  such 
a  work.  The  crest  of  the  ridges  which  make  this  boundary 
are  densely  wooded,  as  is  the  whole  of  the  district  to  the  north 
of  the  line;  on  the  south,  in  the  valley  of  the  Powell  river,  there 
is  a  country  where  perhaps  one  fourth  of  the  land  is  cleared 
and  tilled ;  but  these  openings,  where  they  give  a  sight  of  the 
summit,  are  at  the  distance  of  two  to  six  miles  from  its  crest. 
Beyond  the  head  waters  of  the  Powell  river  the  line  runs  along 

a93 


12  ANNUAL   REPORT  OF 

the  meanderings  of  a  complicated  ridge,  rather  flat-topped, 
and  covered  by  an  exceedingly  dense,  scrubby  forest,  with  an 
interlacing  undergrowth.  It  is  very  important  that  the  posi- 
tions along  this  line  should  be  determined  by  some  method  of 
triangulation,  a  single  transit  line  through  a  valley  not  being 
sufficiently  accurate  for  the  determination  of  so  important  a 
line  in  our  State  map. 

It  was  decided  to  undertake,  as  an  experiment,  but  a  sin- 
gle section  of  this  boundary  in  the  year  1876,  in  order  that, 
by  the  reduction  of  the  results  and  the  experience  gained  in 
the  one  section,  any  necessary  changes  could  be  made  in 
the  later  stages  of  the  work.  To  make  this  beginning,  Mr. 
Charles  Schenk  was  detached  from  his  topographical  work 
in  Menifee  county,  and  put  in  charge  of  this  line  survey. 
During  the  month  of  July  and  the  first  half  of  August,  a 
chain  triangulation  was  carried  along,  between  Powell's  Val- 
ley and  the  summit,  in  such  fashion  as  to  give  the  connec- 
tion between  the  corner-stone,  where  Kentucky,  Virginia,  and 
Tennessee  join  at  Cumberland  Gap,  and  the  break  of  the 
chain  known  as  Pennington's  Gap,  at  a  point  about  forty  miles 
to  the  northeast  thereof.  This  work  is  now  being  reduced, 
and  will  give  us  a  correction  for  the  outline  of  the  State,  a 
part  of  its  border  which  separates  it  from  Virginia.  It  would 
be  necessary,  however,  to  determine'  astronomically  the  true 
position,  or  the  latitude  and  longitude,  of  the  line,  in  case  we 
had  to  determine  those  elements  at  once.  I  hope  to  avoid 
this  necessity  by  connecting  this  triangulation  with  that  of  the 
Coast  Survey,  and  am  promised  this  connection  within  a  year 
or  two.  We  shall  then  have  a  basis  on  which  to  rest  our  de- 
terminations of  the  geographical  position  of  the  southern  and 
eastern  lines  of  the  State,  which  are  probably  miles  away  from 
the  places  they  are  given  on  our  maps.  Unless  this  line  is 
now  run,  the  area  in  square  miles  of  the  Commonwealth  can- 
not be  accurately  determined.  I  am  much  inclined  to  think 
that  it  is  considerably  underestimated  by  the  current  accounts, 
which   usually  put   it  at  about  thirty-seven  thousand  square 

miles.  It  seems  to  me  likely,  that  when  we  have  the  basis  for 
894 


N.    S.    SHALER    FOR   THE   YEAR    1876.'  I3 

an  accurate  plotting  of  the  State,  it  will  be  found  to  contain 
about  fifteen  hundred  square  miles  more  than  this  estimate 
allows. 

In  the  previous  reports  of  the  Survey  there  has  been  fre- 
quent mention  made  of  the  triangulations  of  the  Common- 
wealth, under  the  joint  action  of  the  United  States  Coast 
Survey  and  the  Survey  of  Kentucky.  There  has  been  so 
general  a  discussion  of  the  needs  of  such  surveys  in  previous 
reports,  that  I  shall  not  again  set  forth  the  important  necessity 
of  this  work  in  our  State.  Suffice  it  to  say,  in  a  word,  that 
anything  like  an  accurate  map  of  the  Commonwealth — one  that 
could  serve  as  a  basis  for  the  organization  of  our  industries 
and  the  representation  of  our  resources — cannot  be  made  until 
such  a  survey  is  extended  over  the  Commonwealth.  The  nec- 
essary reduction  in  the  general  expenses  of  the  Federal  Gov- 
ernment has  somewhat  limited  the  rate  of  extension  of  this 
work  since  its  beginning  in  1875;  t)ut  an  effective  triangula- 
tion  party  has  been  in  the  field  for  five  months  in  each  of  the 
past  two  years.  The  reconnoissance  for  the  triangulation  has 
been  extended  from  Cumberland  Gap  to  Danville,  Kentucky; 
and  it  is  now  clear  that  an  admirable  set  of  lines  can  be  car- 
ried from  East  Tennessee  to  Louisville,  and  along  the  tier  of 
counties  on  the  southern  border  of  the  State  as  far  as  the 
Tennessee  river.  From  this  main  line  of  triangulation  sub- 
ordinate systems  can  be  carried  to  all  parts  of  the  State. 
This  will  give  the  precise  distance  between  each  and  every 
of  some  thousand  points  in  the  Commonwealth.  The  topo- 
graphical work,  carried  on  by  the  parties  of  the  Survey,  will 
fill  in  the  gaps  between  these  lines,  and  in  time  give  us  a 
detailed  map  of  the  Commonwealth.  The  special  report  of 
Assistant  Page  will  set  out  clearly  the  condition  and  methods 
of  this  work  at  its  present  stage  of  advance. 

I  have  now  set  forth  the  topographical  labors  of  the  Survey 
during  the  season  of  1876.  It  will  be  found,  on  comparison 
of  the  plans  laid  out  in  the  earlier  reports,  that  some  slight 
variations  from  the  original  projects  of  the  Survey  have  been 
forced  upon  me.     These  variations  have  been  brought  about 

a9S 


14  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

by  the  progress  of  discovery  within  the  districts  where  the 
work  has  been  carried  on.  The  work  in  the  group  of  coun- 
ties between  the  Kentucky  and  the  Licking  rivers  has  been 
carried  further  from  the  borders  of  the  coal  fields  than  was  at 
first  proposed.  The  original  intention  was  to  limit  this  work 
for  the  present  to  that  part  of  the  border  which  might  be  ex- 
plored for  a  coal  supply  by  the  coal  road  from  Mount  Sterling 
eastward.  The  advance  of  the  project  of  a  railway  extending 
eastwardly  to  Pound  Gap,  together  with  the  important  discov- 
eries of  mineral  resources  in  this  district,  have  served  to  make 
it  plain  that  the  immediate  interests  of  the  State  required  the 
rapid  extension  of  topographical  work  in  this  district.  In  the 
same  way  experience  has  shown  that  the  work  of  mapping 
in  the  western  coal  basin  must  be  carried  to  its  completion 
before  the  resources  of  this  very  important  area  can  be  ade- 
quately represented.  The  constant  extension  of  our  knowl- 
edge of  its  iron  ores  and  coals  has  served  to  make  it  plain 
that  the  value  of  this  district  to  the  Commonwealth  is  almost 
inconceivable.  At  the  same  time,  it  is  now  clear  that  the  ex- 
tensive system  of  faults  which  exists  in  this  district,  and  the 
peculiar  localization  of  certain  of  its  coals  and  ores,  makes  it 
necessary  to  have  a  detailed  topography  of  the  western  coal 
field  before  it  will  be  possible  adequately  to  represent  the 
limits  and  distribution  of  its  several  important  sources  of 
wealth. 

In  the  plan  laid  out  for  the  work  of  the  Survey  in  the  re- 
ports of  the  preceding  years,  it  was  stated  that,  except  under 
the  guidance  of  facts,  the  topographical  work  would,  as  far 
as  possible,  be  limited  to  those  districts  of  the  State  which 
might  be  adjacent  to  the  existing  transportation  routes  or 
those  in  process  of  actual  construction.  The  experience  of 
the  Survey  has  driven  me  to  the  opinion  that  it  will  be  desira- 
ble for  the  Commonwealth  at  once  to  determine  whether  it 
will  continue  its  topographical  work  with  a  view  to  securing 
the  construction  of  a  detailed  and  trustworthy  map  of  the 
State,  or  will  abandon  the  effort  to  secure  this  most  desirable 

record  of  its  surface.  As  long  as  the  topography  of  the  Com- 
196 


N,   S.    SHALER   FOR  THE   YEAR    1 876.  1 5 

monwealth  is  carried  forward  without  the  reasonable  certainty 
of  its  completion,  just  so  long  will  it  be  impossible  to  secure 
that  degree  of  definiteness  as  to  the  object  in  view,  which  is 
indispensably  necessary  to  the  success  of  any  important  un- 
dertaking. 

So  far  the  topography  of  the  Survey  has  been  carried  on 
with  a  double  view:  ist.  To  the  immediate  production  of 
trustworthy  maps  of  certain  important  districts.  2d.  To  the 
future  combination  of  these  maps  with  other  surveys  intend- 
ed to  complete  the  topography  of  the  Commonwealth.  This 
work  has  already  given  us  an  accurate  topography  of  about 
four  thousand  square  miles  of  difficult  country,  at  a  cost  of 
about  four  dollars  per  square  mile  for  the  field  work,  and 
about  two  dollars  for  the  reduction  and  engraving  of  the  same. 
With  the  experience  already  gained,  I  believe  the  cost  of  the 
work  can  be  somewhat  cheapened  from  these  estimates. 

I  believe  that  a  good  working  map  of  the  Commonwealth 
can  be  prepared  at  a  cost  of  about  five  dollars  per  square 
mile,  not  counting  the  money  expended  by  the  United  States 
Coast  Survey  in  making  the  triangulation  of  the  country. 
This  work  will  give  the  position  of  each  dwelling,  the  direc- 
tions and  distances  on  the  roads  and  streams,  determined  by 
transit  and  telometer,  except  the  less  important  roads,  which 
will  be  run  by  odometers.  The  heights  would  be  approxi- 
mately determined  by  lines  of  water  levels  and  associated 
barometer  work.  The  resulting  map,  though  not  up  to  the 
level  of  the  great  national  maps  of  Switzerland  or  of  parts  of 
Germany,  would  afford  a  chart  of  the  surface  of  the  Common- 
wealth much  more  accurate  than  that  now  in  the  possession  of 
any  Commonwealth  in  this  Union.  Such  a  work  would  endure 
in  its  utility  for  perhaps  a  century  to  come,  and  richly  repay  the 
cost  that  would  be  incurred  in  its  making.  At  a  cost  of  ten 
thousand  dollars  per  annum,  the  work  could  be  completed  in 
about  fifteen  years  from  the  present  time.  As  the  work  ad- 
vanced from  the  more  rugged  mineral  districts  into  the  open 
country,  it  could  be  done  with  more  rapidity  and  less  expense, 
so  that  I  feel  reasonably'  sure  that  the  total  cost  of  a  series  of 

297 


1 6  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

very  accurate  maps,  of  the  sort  already  undertaken  in  the  work 
of  the  Survey,  should  not  exceed  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  dollars,  distributed  over  a  period  so  great  that 
the  Commonwealth  would  not  in  the  least  feel  the  expendi- 
ture. Each  year  would,  on  the  average,  see  about  six  coun- 
ties provided  with  an  accurate  chart  of  their  territories,  so 
that  the  results  would  not  have  to  be  postponed  to  a  remote 
future,  but  would  be,  from  year  to  year,  bearing  their  fruits. 

Should  this  work  be  undertaken  with  a  view  to  its  comple- 
tion, by  means  of  a  small  annual  grant,  continuing  until  its 
close,  the  actual  cost  of  the  work  would  be  much  less  than  we 
should  be  forced  to  expend  in  the  present  temporizing  policy. 
The  collaborators  in  the  work  would  not  be  forced  to  consider 
the  likelihood  of  its  being  but  a  temporary  occupation,  having 
no  certainty  save  from  year  to  year. 

RESULTS  OF  THE  GENERAL   GEOLOGICAL  WORK  OF  THE  YEAR    1 876. 

The  work  of  this  season,  owing  to  the  embarrassments 
caused  by  the  Centennial  Exhibition,  has  been  less  than  in  the 
season  of  1875;  nevertheless,  it  has  not  failed  to  give  impor- 
tant contributions  to  our  knowledge  of  the  Commonwealth. 
The  following  are  the  most  important  results  obtained  during 
this  season's  campaign  : 

Assistant  A.  R.  Crandall  has  been  engaged  in  the  work  of 
extending  his  studies  of  the  coal-bearing  series  between  the 
further  border  of  Menifee  county  and  the  head  waters  of  the 
Kentucky  and  the  Licking  rivers.  As  will  be  seen  from  Mr. 
Crandall's  report,  to  be  published  in  the  fifth  volume  of  the 
present  series  of  reports,  an  extensive  and  most  important  set 
of  coals  have  been  traced  throughout  this  region,  enabling  it 
to  rank  in  richness  of  stores  with  the  measures  of  any  district 
in  the  Ohio  Valley.  The  analyses  of  Dr.  Robert  Peter  make 
it  plain  that  these  coals  have  a  singular  freedom  from  ash,  as 
well  as  from  sulphur  and  phosphorus,  giving  them  the  first 
rank  for  that  purity  from  foreign  matters  which  is  so  important 
in  the  use  of  coals  for  smelting  and  gas  purposes.  The  pre- 
cise relations  of  these  coals  to  those  of  the  Greenup  county 
298 


N.   S.   SHALER  FOR  THE  YEAR    1 876.  1 7 

district  has  not  yet  been  elaborated  sufficiently  to  make  it  safe 
to  pronounce  as  to  their  identity ;  but  enough  is  known  to  war- 
rant the  assertion  that  the  coals  of  that  district  are  surpassed 
in  excellence  by  those  of  the  middle  section  of  the  eastern 
field.  Although  yet  incomplete,  I  cannot  but  regard  these 
discoveries  as  among  the  most  important  of  those  yet  made 
by  the  Survey. 

In  this  same  field  Assistant  Philip  N.  Moore  has  carried  to 
completion  his  studies  on  the  Red  River  iron  district,  which 
he  has  fully  described  in  his  reports  in  the  2d  volume  of  this 
series.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  this  showing  of  the  state  of 
our  iron  industries  in  that  very  important  district  will  serve  to 
foster  the  creation  of  some  system  of  transportation  which  will 
serve  to  render  the  resources  of  the  district  available.  No 
other  method  of  approach  will  do  so  much  for  this  district  as 
that  which  will  be  given  by  the  improvement  of  the  navigation 
of  the  Kentucky  river  to  the  Three  Forks.  By  this  improve- 
ment alone  can  we  hope  to  secure  to  the  noble  furnaces  of 
that  district  a  full  and  cheap  supply  of  varied  ores  of  high 
grades,  and,  at  the  same  time,  cheap  transportation  of  their 
products  to  the  markets  of  the  Ohio  Valley. 

Mr.  Crandall  has  completed  the  section  exhibiting  the  geo- 
logical conditions  of  the  region  adjacent  to  the  proposed  and 
partly  constructed  line  of  railway  from  the  Ohio  river,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Big  Sandy,  to  the  central  part  of  Kentucky. 
Besides  the  general  interest  of  this  route  to  the  commercial 
interests  of  Kentucky,  it  has  a  very  special  value  in  reference 
to  the  iron  production  of  the  State,  by  giving  a  means  of 
bringing  the  ores  of  the  eastern  border  of  the  coal  field  to 
the  furnaces  of  the  Hanging  Rock  district  along  the  Ohio 
river.  Its  completion  would  materially  reduce  the  cost  of 
producing  iron  throughout  this  district,  and  at  the  same  time 
greatly  extend  the  area  over  which  the  manufacture  could  be 
profitably  undertaken. 

The  other  work  done  in  the  eastern  section  was  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Cumberland  Gap,  and  to  the  region  to  the 
northward  thereof.     The  exceeding  complication  of  the  geol- 

299 


X8  ANNUAL   REPORT  OF 

ogy  in  this  district  made  it  necessary  to  repeat  certain  parts 
of  the  work  of  last  year  before  a  sufficient  certainty  would  be 
gained  to  warrant  the  publication  of  detailed  sections.  This 
repetition  sufficiently  assured  the  results  to  enable  us  to  pub- 
lish with  confidence  certain  sections  across  the  Cumberland 
synclinal  from  the  State  line  to  points  west  of  the  Pine  Moun- 
tain. These  sections  will  form  parts  of  one  of  the  forthcom- 
ing volumes  of  the  Survey — probably  of  the  fifth  of  the  new 
series.  While  this  detailed  section  work  was  in  progress,  Mr. 
Eugene  Underwood  was  employed  in  securing  certain  lines  of 
topographical  survey;  so  that,  while  the  basis  for  a  complete 
map  might  be  partly  laid,  there  should  also  be  some  topo- 
graphical foundation  secured  for  the  section  work  above  refer- 
red to. 

In  the  western  field  the  geological  work  has  made  a  consid- 
erable advance.  Mr.  P.  N.  Moore  has  been  principally  occu- 
pied in  making  a  detailed  study  of  the  section  between  the 
Elizabethtown,  Paducah  and  Southwestern  Railway  and  the 
Ohio  river.  This  work  has  been  carried  to  completion,  and 
the  results  may  be  awaited  in  the  forthcoming  reports  of  Mr. 
Moore.  Although  the  same  abundant  iron  ores  have  not  been 
found  in  this  region  that  were  traced  in  the  valley  of  Nolin 
river  and  Bear  creek,  to  the  southward,  yet  the  coal  field  has 
been  found  to  contain  an  abundant  supply  of  good  coals,  and 
there  are  prospects  of  finding  some  of  the  iron  ores  in  a  fair 
state  of  development.  The  geology  of  this  district  has  been 
more  difficult  to  trace  than  that  of  most  of  the  district  border- 
ing on  Nolin  river,  on  account  of  the  considerable  difference  in 
the  topography,  which  much  less  favors  the  exposure  of  good 
sections  of  the  rocks.  The  reports  on  the  geology  of  this  dis- 
trict will  be  found  in  the  forthcoming  report  of  Assistant  P.  N. 
Moore ;  that  on  the  topography,  in  the  report  of  Assistant  W. 
B.  Page.  These  reports  are  to  be  printed  in  the  fifth  volume 
of  the  present  series. 

The  interior  part  of  this  western  coal  basin  has  been  con- 
tinuously studied,  during  the  present  year,  by  Assistant  C.  J. 

Norwood,  who  has  been  put  in  general  charge  of  its  geology, 
300 


N.    S.    SHALER    FOR   THE   YEAR    1 8 76.  1 9 

His  work  has  mainly  been  limited  to  Ohio  county,  which  pre- 
sents an  advantageous  field  for  continuing  the  elaboration  of 
the  problems  which  have  been  taken  up  in  the  work  upon  the 
border  of  the  field.  Mr.  Norwood  has  carried  the  work  in  this 
county  to  the  point  of  completion  which  will  enable  us  to  give 
a  complete  geological  report  on  its  area.  This  has  greatly 
extended  our  definite  information  concerning  the  distribution 
of  the  coal  beds  in  the  West  Kentucky  series,  and  enables  us 
to  re-assert  that  the  classification  of  the  beds  of  this  district, 
made  by  my  predecessor,  the  late  Dr.  David  Dale  Owen,  was 
substantially  correct. 

This  classification  of  the  coals  of  this  district  had  been 
brought  into  discredit  by  some  ingenious  criticisms  of  the 
State  Geologist  of  Indiana,  founded  upon  the  sections  shown 
on  the  Ohio  river  near  Hawesville.  As  interpreted  by  Pro- 
fessor Cox,  these  beds  seemed  to  show  that  Dr.  Owen  had 
much  exaggerated  the  thickness,  and  consequent  richness  in 
coals,  of  this  western  coal  basin.  It  will  be  seen,  from  the 
report  of  Mr.  Norwood,  that  proof  is  now  at  hand  proving  that 
Dr.  Owen  was  not  in  error  on  this  point,  and  that  the  position 
of  Professor  Cox  is  not  at  all  tenable.  Mr.  Norwood's  report 
will  be  in  press  by  the  time  this  annual  report  is  published, 
and  will  appear  within  six  months  thereafter.  A  suspension 
of  judgment  on  this  question  is  therefore  asked  until  this 
answer  to  the  criticisms  of  Dr.  Cox  can  be  made  a  part  of  the 
record. 

In  September,  1876,  the  Rev.  H.  Herzer  was  employed  by 
the  Survey  to  take  charge  of  the  work  of  collecting  for  the 
State  Cabinet.  Although  a  large  collection  has  been  accu- 
mulated, by  the  several  officers  of  the  Survey,  in  the  ordinary 
course  of  their  work  in  the  field  collections,  of  the  highest  value 
for  the  illustration  of  the  resources  of  the  State,  it  has  seemed 
desirable  to  have  some  one  person  of  special  training  em- 
ployed continuously  in  the  special  work  of  gathering  illustra- 
tions of  the  physical  and  organic  history  of  the  State.  Mr. 
Herzer  has  had  a  long  and  valuable  experience  as  a  collector, 

and  I  doubt  not  that  his  services  will  prove  an  invaluable 

301 


20  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

means  of  extending  our  reconnoissance  work,  as  well  as  of 
adding  to  the  already  valuable  State  Cabinet.  Mr.  Herzer 
has  already  made  a  tolerably  exhaustive  collection,  within  cer- 
tain counties  near  the  Louisville  and  Nashville  Railway,  where 
our  detailed  geological  work  has  not  yet  begun.  In  his  work, 
before  the  setting  in  of  the  rigorous  winter  of  this  unparal- 
leled season,  his  collections  of  soils,  rocks,  ores,  fossils,  and 
antiquities  have  been  sufficient  to  show  that  he  can  greatly 
extend  an  important  branch  of  the  work  of  the  Survey. 

In  the  last  preceding  report  on  the  conduct  of  the  Survey  1 
inclined  to  suggest,  as  one  of  its  important  works,  the  making 
of  a  complete  chemical  study  of  the  great  geological  section 
of  the  State,  in  order  that  each  and  every  one  of  its  various 
deposits  might  receive  the  light  that  can  be  thrown  upon  it  by 
the  chemist's  inquiries  alone.  It  is  designed  to  connect  this 
work  as  closely  as  possible  with  the  organic  and  physical  his- 
tory of  these  deposits,  so  as  to  show,  as  far  as  may  be, 
not  only  their  constitution,  but  the  origin  of  their  several 
constituents.  Some  advance  has  been  made  in  this  work. 
Collecting  has  been  instituted  with  special  reference  to  its 
accomplishment,  and,  if  circumstances  favor,  much  can  be  done 
to  urge  it  towards  completion  during  the  year  1877. 

The  work  in  the  chemical  laboratory  is  in  part  represented 
by  the  report  by  Dr.  Robert  Peter,  in  the  fourth  volume  of 
reports,  and  in  part  by  the  several  special  memoirs  contained 
in  the  second  and  sixth  volumes.  In  the  second  volume  is 
contained  the  admirable  report  on  the  chemistry  of  the  hemp 
plant.  This,  together  with  previous  memoirs  on  the  chemis- 
try of  the  tobacco  plant,  and  other  matters  connected  with 
those  parts  of  the  great  field  of  agricultural  chemistry,  which 
especially  concern  our  Commonwealth,  constitute  a  very  im- 
portant series  of  contributions  to  our  knowledge  of  this  class 
of  subjects,  and  should  be  taken  from  their  scattered  places  in 
the  several  reports,  and  put  into  closer  association  in  a  single 
volume. 

If  the  Survey  is  continued  by  legislative  enactment  beyond 

the  year  1877,  this  assemblage  of  information  in  the  agricul- 
308 


N.  S.  SHALER  FOR  THE  YEAR  1 8  76.  .21 

tural  chemistry  of  the  Commonwealth  should  be  one  of  its 
special  objects.  By  that  time  our  work  will  have  advanced  to 
a  sufficient  degree  to  enable  us  to  construct  a  soil  map  of  the 
Commonwealth,  and  to  indicate  clearly  the  position  of  the 
several  marls,  limes,  and  other  adjuncts  of  a  well-conducted 
agriculture. 

The  experience  of  the  Philadelphia  Exhibition  showed  us 
clearly  that  the  various  plastic  clays  of  the  State  were  worthy 
of  a  more  careful  study  than  they  have  yet  received.  The 
conjunction  of  good  clays  and  cheap  fuel  is  all  that  is  required 
to  make  the  essential  conditions  of  a  successful  manufacture 
of  pottery  ware.  I  am  now  satisfied  that  we  have  the  essen- 
tial conditions  for  this  form  of  industry  within  our  limits.  Ad- 
mirable clays  abound  in  many  parts  of  the  State ;  fuel  can  be 
had  for  a  little  over  one  dollar  per  ton  at  points  very  close  to 
the  good  working  clays;  excellent  materials  for  building  fur- 
naces and  making  seggars,  and  the  other  necessary  details  of 
construction,  are  also  abundant. 

A  careful  study  of  these  clays  will  require  some  years  of 
inquiry;  but  as  the  industry  is  of  the  very  first  commercial  im- 
portance, and  brings  an  admirable  class  of  workmen  into  any 
community,  it  will  warrant  a  careful  study  of  the  possibilities 
of  development  in  our  territory. 

I  turn  now  to  the  consideration  of  the  progress  of  the  State 
Cabinet,  a  part  of  the  permanent  records  of  the  Survey,  to 
which  the  utmost  importance  should  be  attached.  The  value 
of  such  collections  has  its  origin  in  a  variety  of  needs  which  it 
is  well  to  keep  clearly  before  our  minds.  In  the  first  place, 
these  collections  are  originally,  in  part  at  least,  the  bases  of 
the  several  geological  reports  that  take  their  places  in  the 
records  of  the  Survey.  They  should  remain  as  the  evidences 
of  its  work,  and  afford  the  means  of  reviewing  its  conclusions 
when,  from  time  to  time,  it  becomes  well  to  submit  them  to 
such  criticism.  Not  less  important  is  their  secondary  use  in 
serving  as  a  means  of  conveying  instruction  concerning  the 
resources  of  a  Commonwealth.  Many  persons  who  cannot 
give  the  time  to  make  a  careful  study  of  the  written  reports 

303 


22    .  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

of  the  several  geological  divisions  of  a  large  area,  may  still 
obtain  valuable  information,  of  the  most  trustworthy  nature,  by 
an  examination  of  the  specimens  of  a  good  cabinet,  arranged 
so  as  to  give  a  summary  of  all  that  is  known  concerning  each 
county  in  the  Commonwealth. 

The  quarters  assigned  to  the  State  Cabinet,  in  the  fire-proof 
building  at  the  Capital,  have  the  considerable  advantage  of 
security  from  the  great  dangers  which  menace  most  of  our 
American  collections  of  similar  nature.  They  are,  however, 
unfortunately,  so  limited  in  space  that  only  a  small  part  of  the 
resources  of  the  State  can  be  brought  into  the  Cabinet  with 
any  sufficient  illustration.  We  are  limited  to  about  fifteen 
hundred  square  feet  of  floor  surface,  while  the  arrangement 
of  the  important  specimens  now  on  hand  would  occupy  more 
than  that  area.  The  probabilities  are,  that  the  growth  of  the 
Cabinet  during  the  coming  year  will  be  more  rapid  than  during 
any  previous  year  of  the  Survey  work.  I  shall  proceed  with 
this  system  of  collecting  every  thing  that  can  aid  in  making  at 
the  Capital  a  well  chosen  and  sufficient  collection,  illustrative 
of  the  physical  structure  and  economic  resources  of  the  Com- 
monwealth, trusting  to  the  discretion  of  those  charged  with 
the  custody  of  the  property  of  the  Commonwealth  to  provide 
a  permanent  and  suitable  place  of  deposit  for  these  collections, 
at  the  proper  time. 

I  have,  in  the  Appendix  to  the  first  annual  report  of  this 
series,*  laid  out  a  well-considered  plan  for  an  ideal  museum  for 
the  illustration  of  our  resources.  This  plan  may  have  to  be 
modified  greatly,  but  it  would  be  begun  with  a  very  small  ex- 
penditure. A  suitable  building,  of  a  sufficiently  fire-proof 
construction,  giving  a  ground  floor  of  say  eighty  by  forty  feet, 
with  one  story  of  height  above  the  basement,  could  be  built 
for  about  thirty  thousand  dollars.  In  its  construction  the  best 
building  stones  of  our  formations  could  be  combined  with  our 
native  woods,  in  such  a  way  that  every  part  of  the  structure 
would  be  representative  of  the  resources  of  our  country.  The 
result  would  be  the  acquisition  by  the  Commonwealth  of  a 

^See  this  volame,  page  25,  et  seq, 
30* 


N.    S.    SHALER   FOR   THE   YEAR    1 876.  '   2^ 

museum  which  would  remain  a  permanent  monument  of  its 
resources,  and  serve  as  a  means  of  distributing  accurate  in- 
formation concerning  the  same. 

While  suggesting  some  such  eventual  disposition  of  the 
valuable  and  growing  collections  of  the  Survey,  the  aim  at 
present  will  be  to  secure  the  following  system  in  the  adminis- 
tration of  these  collections,  which  will  be  made  to  cover  the 
following  classes  of  objects : 

1.  Mineral  Resources. — Coals,  ores,  building  and  other  stones ; 
pottery  and  other  clays ;  salts  and  saline  waters ;  coal  oils  and 
oil  shales;  specimens  illustrating  the  economic  treatment  of 
these  substances. 

2.  Soil  Resources,  —  Soils,  subsoils,  &c. ;  marls;  limestones 
suitable  for  fertilizing ;  specimens  illustrating  effects  of  differ- 
ent methods  of  economic  treatment  of  the  same. 

3.  Natural  and  Artificial  Products, — Forest  timber  and  other 
wild  vegetable  products;  agricultural  products,  showing  rela- 
tion between  the  geological  and  chemical  structure  of  soils  and 
their  products. 

4.  Collections  exhibiting  the  History  of  Vegetable,  Animal,  and 
Human  Life  within  the  Commonwealth, — Flora  of  the  State, 
recent  and  fossil;  fauna,  recent  and  fossil.  Especial  atten- 
tion should  be  given  to  the  problems  of  our  caverns  and  our 
salt  licks,  which  contain  a  great  number  of  recent  and  fossil 
animals  of  the  highest  scientific  interest. 

The  arrangement  of  these  collections  should,  as  far  as  pos- 
sible, be  made  to  show  the  following  assemblages  of  facts; 
1st.  The  resources  of  each  geological  formation  within  the 
State.  2d.  The  resources  of  each  of  its  counties.  To  ac- 
complish these  objects,  it  will  be  necessary  to  have  a  printed 
catalogue  of  the  collection,  which  shall  guide  the  student  in 
the  search  for  these  several  different  groups  of  specimens.  It 
will  not  be  possible,  for  instance,  to  have  the  objects  from 
each  county  kept  apart,  as  this  would  give  a  most  undesirable 
scattering  of  the  specimens  that,  for  comparison,  should  be 
kept  together;  but,  with  a  catalogue,  it  will  be  possible  for 
the  observer  to  trace  the  place  on  the  shelves  of  the  speci- 

YOL.  ni.~20  305 


24  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

mens  from  each  county,  and  to  form  an  understanding  of  its 
resources. 

Not  the  least  important  part  of  the  administration  of  the 
State  Cabinet  should  be  the  element  of  personal  explanation, 
given  freely  to  all  who  ask  it.  To  make  this  effective,  it  will 
be  necessary  to  have  a  well-trained  keeper  and  an  assistant 
constantly  in  charge  of  the  collections,  and  accessible  at  all 
times  to  those  who  may  desire  information. 

In  directing  especial  attention  to  the  desirability  of  a  collec- 
tion of  this  kind,  I  am  by  no  means  recommending  an  inno- 
vation. The  States  which  have  been  most  successful  in  the 
development  of  their  resources  have  all  recognized  the  forma- 
tion of  a  sufficient  cabinet  as  a  most  important  step  in  bring- 
ing their  resources  into  notice,  and  they  have  taken  pains  to 
connect  therewith  such  skilled  persons  as  might  be  necessary 
to  afford  advice  and  counsel  to  all  who  desired  to  avail  them- 
selves of  its  hidden  wealth.  In  this  manner  they  have  given 
a  living  value  to  those  elements  of  prosperity  which  are  hidden 
from  the  passing  eye,  and  are  in  a  fashion  dead  until  they  are 
enlivened  by  intelligence. 

The  study  of  the  forests  of  the  State  has  been  carried  for- 
ward with  considerable  vigor  during  the  past  year.  In  previ- 
ous reports  I  have  discussed  somewhat  in  detail  the  methods 
to  be  followed  in  these  researches,  and  have  therein  indicated 
the  principal  points  to  be  examined,  with  a  view  to  the  unrav- 
eling of  their  history  and  a  complete  ascertaining  of  their 
economic  value. 

The  first  report  printed  in  the  present  series  of  reports  con- 
cerns the  forest  growth  in  the  northeastern  counties  of  the 
Commonwealth.  The  second  volume  contains  some  other 
reports  on  the  same  subject,  and  yet  other  reports  are  in  prep- 
aration concerning  particular  districts.  With  a  view  to  has- 
tening this  work,  Mr.  L.  H.  DeFriese,  a  well-trained  botanist, 
was  employed  during  the  past  summerupon  this  class  of  prob- 
lems. I  deem  it  well  to  call  especial  attention  to  the  impor- 
tant statements  concerning  the  progressive  replacement  of  our 

white  oak  forests,  made  in  his  report  on  the  timbers  of  the 
306 


N.    S.    SHALER   FOR   THE   YEAR    1 876.  25 

district  lying  on  the  eastern  border  of  the  western  coal  field, 
between  the  Louisville,  Paducah  and  Southwestern  Railroad 
and  the  Ohio  river.  Mr.  DeFriese  has  shown  that  there  is 
reason  to  believe  that  this  change  goes  on  apace,  and  that 
the  replacement  of  the  white  oak  by  the  black  and  red  oaks 
is  going  on  with  such  rapidity,  that,  within  a  century,  unless 
some  pains  is  taken  to  secure  the  planting  of  forests  of  this 
most  valuable  species,  it  may  cease  to  furnish  the  basis  for 
some  very  important  industries  which  now  quite  depend  upon 
it.  Mr.  DeFriese  has  also  made  a  careful  examination  of  the 
timber  on  the  upper  Cumberland,  above  Cumberland  Ford. 
It  is  expected  that  the  results  of  these  studies  will  be  printed 
in  the  fourth  volume  of  the  present  series  of  reports.  I  hope 
that  these  studies  on  the  timber  resources  of  the  State  may 
soon  be  so  far  advanced  that  we  may,  by  bringing  these  sev- 
eral studies  together,  be  able  to  publish  a  volume  on  this 
subject,  with  a  good  map  designed  to  illustrate  the  timber 
resources  of  the  State,  by  giving  the  distribution  and  relative 
abundance  of  the  several  important  economic  species,  together 
with  such  scientific  results  of  our  work  on  the  forests,  as  may 
be  pertinent  to  the  question  of  tree  culture  and  the  preserva- 
tion of  forests. 

A  plan  for  the  detailed  studies,  which  will  be  necessary 
to  give  us  a  basis  for  the  understanding  of  our  forests,  their 
climatal  effects,  their  relation  to  the  maintenance  of  an  even 
flow  of  water  in  our  streams,  etc.,  has  been  drawn  up,  and  is 
now  in  process  of  criticism  and  discussion.  I  hope,  during  the 
coming  year,  to  have  this  sufficiently  matured  to  put  it  before 
the  government  of  the  Commonwealth  for  their  action.  I 
cannot  too  often  call  attention  to  the  momentous  nature  of 
all  these  questions  that  concern  the  relation  of  forests  to  the 
future  usefulness  of  our  streams,  as  well  as  to  the  general 
habitability  of  the  land  we  are  to  give  over  to  our  descend- 
ants. 

In  the  report  for  the  year  1875,  I  have  described  the  origin 
and  nature  of  the  relation  established  between  the  Geolog- 
ical Survey  of  Kentucky  and  the  Harvard  Summer  School  of 

307 


26  ANNUAL   REPORT   OF 

Geology.  The  beginning  of  this  school  was  made  possible  by 
the  cooperation  of  the  Survey,  which  permitted  the  students 
to  accompany  its  Assistants  in  their  field  studies,  thereby 
enabling  them  to  get  that  practical  acquaintance  with  methods 
of  field  work  which  it  is  at  once  so  difficult  and  important  for 
the  student  to  obtain.  The  second  session  of  the  school  was 
also  held  within  the  limits  of  the  Commonwealth,  and  the 
same  relation  to  the  Survey  work  was  continued.  No  pecuni- 
ary expense  on  this  account  has  been  incurred  by  the  Survey, 
and,  in  exchange  for  the  incidental  teaching  afforded  by  its 
Assistants,  a  good  many  advantages  have  been  secured  to  the 
Survey — not  the  least  of  which  have  been  the  establishment 
of  the  free  intercourse  with  the  trained  men  of  science  from 
other  States,  that  is  especially  desirable  to  gentlemen  compos- 
ing the  corps  of  the  Survey  engaged  in  the  monotony  of  almost 
continued  work  in  a  narrow  field. 

The  matters  pertaining  to  the  publications  of  the  Survey 
have  been  subjects  of  anxious  consideration  during  the  whole 
year.  The  progress  that  has  been  made  has  been  less  than 
was  expected  at  the  time  of  writing  of  the  last  annual  report. 
The  Philadelphia  Exhibition,  by  the  requirements  of  labor 
which  it  laid  upon  the  Geological  Survey,  retarded  its  print- 
ing work  by  nearly  three  quarters  of  a  year,  and  diminished 
by  one  half  the  expected  publications  during  the  year.  The 
following  is  a  synopsis  of  the  publication  work  done  during 
the  year  1876: 

The  first  volume  of  reports  of  the  new  series,  in  octavo, 
containing  seven  reports  on  the  economic  results  of  the  Sur- 
vey, has  been  printed  and  distributed  according  to  law.  This 
volume  contains  over  four  hundred  pages  of  text  and  about 
forty  lithographic  plates,  some  of  large  size.  Of  the  second 
volume  of  reports,  the  i  ith,  or  last  part,  was  published  and  dis- 
tributed at  Philadephia  as  a  pamphlet.  The  remainder  of  the 
volume  was  stereotyped,  and  the  plates,  with  few  exceptions, 
prepared.  The  first  three  hundred  pages  of  the  third  volume 
of  reports  were  stereotyped,  and  a  part  of  its  plates  prepared. 

A  geological  map  of  the  State,  representing  the  work  to  date. 
308 


N.    S.    SHALER   FOR   THE   YEAR    1 876.  2^ 

has  been  compiled.  This  map  was  published  in  the  part  of 
the  second  volume  that  has  been  already  issued,  but  will  also 
be  furnished  separately. 

The  scientific  results  of  the  Survey,  which  have  no  immedi- 
ate economic  bearing,  have  been  put  into  a  series  of  quarto 
publications  called  Memoirs.  Of  these,  the  first  volume  has 
been  stereotyped.  It  contains  three  hundred  and  fifty  pages 
and  about  thirty  plates.  One  hundred  copies  of  this  volume 
were  printed  for  distribution  at  Philadelphia.  The  further 
publication  of  this  very  creditable  volume  awaits  the  action 
of  the  Legislature. 

The  Commonwealth  at  present  owns  the  stereotype  plates 
of  about  two  thousand  octavo  and  quarto  pages,  and  the  lith- 
ographic stones  and  photographic  negatives  of  about  two  hund- 
red plates  and  maps. 

A  series  of  one  hundred  views,  of  various  parts  of  the  Com- 
monwealth, have  been  photographed  by  Mr.  James  Mullin, 
photographer  of  the  Survey.  These  are  to  be  issued,  with 
an  explanatory  text,  showing  their  position  by  reference  to  an 
accompanying  map,  together  with  the  geological  and  other 
conditions  of  the  district  included  in  the  field  of  view. 

The  work  already  done,  and  not  yet  carefully  written  up,  will 
require  about  two  thousand  more  pages  of  stereotype  plates, 
and  about  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  lithographic  and  other 
plates  for  its  complete  record. 

When  fhe  money  necessary  for  the  required  work  of  stere- 
otyping, printing,  and  engraving  is  deducted  from  the  small 
appropriations  of  the  Survey,  the  amount  remaining  applica- 
ble to  field  work  is  very  small.  Moreover,  the  laws  regulating 
the  conduct  of  the  Survey  require  the  distribution  of  the  six- 
teen thousand  dollars,  available  for  other  than  publication  pur- 
poses, over  a  very  wide  field  of  labor ;  topographical  parties' 
must  be  maintained  in  two  districts ;  our  varied  economic  re- 
sources have  to  be  made  the  subjects  of  labor  of  specialists  in 
the  several  fields ;  a  chemical  laboratory  has  to  be  maintained ; 
various  scientific  problems  inquired  into;  a  Cabinet  organized 
and  kept  in  condition  for  instruction ;  a  very  heavy  correspond- 

309 


28  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

ence  has  to  be  conducted — altogether  requiring  the  services  of 
at  least  ten  assistants  and  aids ;  all  for  but  one  half  more  than 
the  State  of  California  pays  the  Director  of  its  Survey  for  his 
personal  compensation. 

Nothing  but  the  strictest  economy,  and  the  expenditure  of 
considerable  gratuitous  labor  on  tHe  part  of  those  to  whom 
the  Commonwealth  does  not  need  to  be  indebted  for  self-sac- 
rifices, has  made  it  possible  to  continue  this  work  in  a  decent 
fashion. 

The  plan  of  keeping  the  work  of  the  Survey  in  a  position 
to  be  understood  by  any  person  who  may  desire  to  acquaint 
himself  with  its  operations,  requires  that  1  should  set  forth  the 
project  for  the  work  of  the  Survey  during  the  year  1877.  I^" 
asmuch  as  the  expenditures  of  the  Survey,  during  the  year 
1876,  were  so  considerable  as  to  encroach  a  good  deal  upon 
the  appropriations  of  the  following  year,  it  will  be  necessary 
to  limit  the  work  to  be  done  to  rather  narrow  bounds. 

The  topographical  work  will  be  continued  by  a  party  oper- 
ating in  the  western  border  of  the  western  coal  field,  from  the 
Ohio  river  southwardly.  The  effort  will  be  to  get  the  district 
between  the  Tradewater  and  the  Tennessee  rivers  carefully 
mapped  and  prepared  for  the  geological  and  other  reports  on 
its  resources.  A  project  for  this  work  is  now  under  discus- 
sion. The  eastern  field  will  receive  some  field  work  designed 
to  carry  further  the  mapping  of  the  district  lying  between  the 
Kentucky  and  the  Licking  rivers.  Work  on  the  central  sec- 
tion will  be  begun  by  a  careful  survey  of  the  county  of  Boyle. 
This  last  named  work  demands  special  explanations.  I  have 
indicated  in  former  reports  my  sense  of  the  desirableness  of 
connecting  the  work  of  the  Survey  in  as  close  a  manner  as 
possible  with  the  learned  institutions  within  the  State.  In  sev- 
eral cases  the  Assistants  of  the  Survey  have  been  detached 
from  its  service  for  a  part  of  the  year,  in  order  that  they  might 
be  able  to  serve  as  teachers.  The  Harvard  Summer  School 
of  Geology  has  been  made  possible  by  its  relations  to  the  Sur- 
vey ;  so  that,  in  this  way,  the  Survey  has  done  a  great  deal  to 

secure  the  extension  of  those  sciences  on  which  its  very  exist- 
310 


N.    S.    SHALER    FOR   THE    YEAR    1 876.  29 

ence  depends.  Over  fifty  teachers,  and  those  expecting  to 
become  teachers,  have  learned  their  way  to  the  study  of 
nature  from  the  officers  of  the  Geological  Survey  of  this 
Commonwealth ;  and  in  the  future  they  will  look  to  our  fields 
for  the  basis  of  the  work  they  are  to  do.  I  am  happy  to  say 
that  this  effort  to  combine  the  work  of  the  Survey  with  in- 
struction, as  far  as  it  can  be  done  without  detriment  to  its  im- 
mediate interests,  will  possibly  receive  an  additional  impetus 
from  an  arrangement  which  has  been  made  with  the  Professors 
of  two  colleges  within  the  State.  Professors  who  are  incum- 
bents of  their  chairs  are  to  have  charge  of  the  topographical 
work  in  certain  districts ;  and  their  topographical  parties  will 
be  formed  from  the  more  advanced  students  of  the  colleges, 
who  propose  giving  themselves  to  pursuits  which  demand 
a  knowledge  of  geology  and  field  engineering.  1  have  every 
confidence  that  this  arrangement  will  give  us  good  results 
at  a  less  cost  than  they  can  be  otherwise  obtained.  I  shall 
be  glad  to  make  a  similar  arrangement  with  the  other  col- 
leges of  the  State,  so  that,  under  the  supervision  of  the  chief 
topographer  of  the  Survey,  the  greater  part  of  its  map  work 
may  be  done  by  those  who  will  get  an  intellectual  profit  from 
its  labors. 

An  important  work,  interrupted  by  the  demands  of  the  Cen- 
tennial Exhibition,  will  be  resumed  this  year.  I  refer  to  the 
study  of  our  streams  with  reference  to  the  questions  connected 
with  the  management  of  our  rivers,  and  especially  the  regula- 
tion of  their  flow.  It  cannot  be  said  too  often  that  this  Com- 
monwealth is  singularly  dependent  on  the  condition  of  her 
streams.  For  the  transportation  of  the  future  products  of  her 
mines,  fields,  and  forests ;  for  the  cheapest  form  of  power  for 
great  industries;  for  the  water  supply  of  the  growing  cities 
within  her  bounds,  she  must  look  to  her  great  system  of  rivers. 
Nor  is  it  help  alone  that  we  have  to  expect  from  our  streams. 
They  may  be  the  willing  ministers  of  our  needs,  if  we  give 
them  their  fitting  conditions,  or  they  may  become  our  masters 
and  worst  enemies.  Thus,  to  a  greater  degree  than  any  other 
State  known  to  me,  is  our  Commonwealth  dependent  on  our 

3" 


30  ANNUAL  REPORT  OF 

Streams  for  her  future.  Every  step  forward  in  the  study  of 
their  possibilities  serves  to  make  me  the  more  sure  that,  unless 
they  are  cared  for,  there  is  no  chance  of  securing  the  exten- 
sion of  wealth  and  population  which  is  promised  us  by  our 
resources.  The  proper  discussion  of  the  questions  con- 
nected with  the  economy  of  our  rivers  will  demand  years  of 
patient  inquiry  into  the  relations  of  our  forests  thereto,  and 
the  means  of  compensating  for  the  necessary  diminution  of 
our  woods  with  the  increase  of  population.  I  am  anxious  to 
have  the  beginning  of  this  inquiry  made,  though  I  believe  it 
will  be  many  years  before  the  last  word  thereon  can  be  said. 
Projects  for  the  study  of  two  matters  pertaining  to  this  subject 
have  been  already  matured.  One  inquiry  will  concern  the 
control  of  the  floods  in  the  region  bordering  the  so-called 
Jackson  Purchase,  or  the  country  between  the  Tennessee  river 
and  the  Mississippi.  This  region  owes  its  principal  disadvan- 
tages to  the  fact  that  the  belt  of  country  lying  between  high 
and  low  water  mark  is  very  extensive,  comprising  a  consider- 
able part  of  the  best  lands  of  the  district.  These  changes  in 
the  area  occupied  by  the  waters  is  damaging,  through  its  re- 
straining effects  upon  the  cultivation  of  the  land,  and  more 
seriously  through  the  unhealthfulness  of  the  climate  which  it 
brings  about.  If  any  way  can  be  devised  to  keep  the  waters 
in  the  swamps  at  about  the  same  level  throughout  the  year,  the 
experience  of  Holland  and  other  regions  which  have  condi- 
tions essentially  similar  to  this  lowland  area,  warrant  the  sup- 
position that  the  danger  from  malaria  would  be  removed.  It 
is  the  variation  in  the  level  of  the  water,  and  not  the  area  of 
swamp  land,  that  causes  those  emanations  that  breed  fevers. 
The  other  and  closely  related  question  in  the  economy  of  our 
rivers  that  demands  our  immediate  attention,  is  that  of  the  con- 
trol of  freshets  which  sweep  their  valleys,  and  are  particularly 
destructive  in  the  region  above  the  mouth  of  the  Tennessee. 
The  inundations  of  the  Mississippi  come  from  so  many  streams 
that,  for  a  great  time  to  come,  we  can  only  hope  to  get  any 
protection  from  their  ravages  through  a  system   of  levees. 

Those  that  sweep  down  the  Ohio  are  largely  derived  from  our 
312 


N.   S.   SHALER   FOR  THE  YEAR    1 876.  31 

own  rivers,  and  are  to  be  controlled  by  yet  other  means.  I 
have  satisfied  myself  that  these  floods  can  be  practically  con- 
trolled by  a  system  of  very  numerous  small  reservoirs  along 
the  small  branches  of  our  streams,  which  should  hold  back  in 
some  thousand  ponds  the  waters  which  were  once  held  by  the 
matted  vegetation  of  vanished  forests,  and  by  the  innumerable 
beaver  dams  which  had  most  important  effects  in  regulat- 
ing the  flow  of  our  rivers.  I  propose  to  bring  this  project 
to  a  careful  discussion  during  the  coming  year. 

The  geological  work  of  the  Survey  will  be  limited  during 
the  coming  year  to  the  completion  of  the  Surveys  already 
under  way,  ancf  to  the  preparation  of  certain  detailed  studies 
on  the  mineral  resources  of  the  State.  I  am  especially  anx- 
ious to  have  a  careful  study  made  of  the  matter  of  washing 
and  coking  coals  for  use  in  iron  manufacture.  I  am  convinced, 
from  the  conditions  of  our  Ohio  Valley  coals,  that  a  great 
many  of  the  beds  which  contain  too  much  sulphur  for  use  as 
raw  coals,  and  yet  have  the  other  qualities  necessary  for  this 
important  application,  can  be  made  serviceable  in  metallurgi- 
cal operations  by  some  of  the  existing  systems  of  deprivation. 

Mr.  P.  N.  Moore,  who  has  been  continuously  in  the  service 
of  the  Survey  since  1873,  has  applied  for  and  received  a  leave 
of  absence  from  its  labors,  which  he  proposes  to  use  in  inform- 
ing himself  of  the  possibilities  of  these  processes,  as  shown  in 
various  works,  where  they  have  been  applied,  in  this  country 
and  Europe.  On  his  return,  I  hope  we  may  have  a  basis  in 
his  observations  for  a  careful  study  of  this  problem.  If  a 
satisfactory  process  of  purification  can  be  secured,  I  am  in- 
clined to  believe  that  we  shall  make  firm  the  basis  for  an  ex- 
tensive industry  in  the  manufacture  of  the  cheaper  grades  of 
iron  in  many  parts  of  our  State  where  it  has  not  hitherto  been 
deemed  possible  to  undertake  such  enterprises. 

In  the  first  law  establishing  the  second  Survey,  there  is  a 
provision,  reaffirmed  in  subsequent  enactments,  requiring  the 
publication  of  county  reports,  which  should  set  forth  in  detail 
the  resources  of  each  of  these  political  units  of  the  Common- 
wealth.    For  manifest  reasons,  it  was  not  deemed   best  to 

313 


32  ANNUAL    REPORT   OF 

undertake  these  reports  until  the  general  character  and  dis- 
tribution of  the  resources  of  the  State  had  been  well  studied. 
We  have  now  come  to  a  point  when  we  can  take  this  work 
in  hand.     Reports  on  several  counties  are  now  in  preparation. 
These  on  Menifee  and  Ohio  counties  are  far  advanced,  and 
will  be  ready  for  publication  during  the  present  year.     With- 
out interrupting  our  other  labors,  it  will  be  possible  to  furnish 
the  reports  on  half  a  dozen  other  counties  within  eighteen 
months;  and,  as  the  work  progresses,  we  will  rapidly  accu- 
mulate materials  sufficient,  with  the  cost  of  office  work  alone, 
to  prepare  careful  accounts  of  each  county.     Judged  by  the 
work  already  done,  these  reports  could  be  compressed  within 
an  average  of  fifty  pages  of  letterpress  of  the  size  used  in  our 
reports.     Each  should  be  accompanied  by  a  careful  map,  com- 
piled from  the  records  of  the  Survey,  and  to  the  proper  suc- 
cession, the  various  resources  and  conditions   of  the  county 
should  be  set  forth  in  all  necessary  detail.     These  reports  will 
meet  a  need  which  cannot  be  met  by  any  other  system  of  pub- 
lications ;  for  it  is  the  only  way  in  which  any  ready  access  to 
the  results  of  the  Survey  can  be  had  by  those  who  desire  to 
inform  themselves  concerning  their  immediate  surroundings. 
Besides  the  small  gratuitous  distribution  provided  for  by  our 
laws,  the  demand  could  be  met  by  the  sale  of  copies,  at  the 
average  cost  of  about  twenty  cents  for  that  of  any  one  county. 
The  work  of  making  accurate  sections  along  the  several  rail- 
way lines  will  be  continued.     The  two  railways  that  traverse 
the  Western  Kentucky  coal  field  will  have  their  sections,  on 
which  a  certain  amount  of  work  has  been  done,  carried  to 
completion.     I  hope  also  to  finish  the  lines  of  the  Cincinnati 
Southern  Railway,  and  possibly  that  along  the  line  of  the  Lou- 
isville and  Nashville  Railway  as  well.    These  sections  finished, 
it  will  be  possible  to  furnish  the  person  who  traverses  the  State 
with  a  complete  guide-book  to  its  routes — one  that  will  give, 
mile  by  mile,  the  geology  traversed  by  him,  and  all  the  neces- 
sary details  of  information  concerning  the  resources  of  the 
region  accessible  from  any  particular  line, 
314 


N.   S.    SHALER   FOR  THE  YEAR    1 876.  33 

I  hope  to  continue  the  forest  studies,  which  have  been  made 
in  the  work  of  the  Survey,  by  some  further  explorations,  di- 
rected as  before,  to  the  determination  of  the  resources  and 
prospects  of  the  wooded  districts,  which  still  include  largely 
over  one  half  of  the  area  of  the  Commonwealth.  I  hope  to 
have  this  work  next  taken  up  in  the  district  bordering  on  the 
Mississippi  river,  with  the  intention  of  having  the  cypress  and 
other  swamp  and  lowland  timber  taken  into  careful  account. 
At  present,  less  is  known  of  these  lowland  districts  than  of 
any  other  part  of  the  Commonwealth. 

In  closing  the  account  of  the  work  of  the  last  year,  I  may 
say  that,  while  the  field  labor  and  publication  work  has  been 
restricted  by  the  extended  and  imperative  labors  of  the  Cen- 
tennial Exhibition,  there  is  nothing  to  regret  in  its  results. 
Work  on  certain  parts  of  the  Commonwealth  has  been  pre- 
pared. The  study  of  the  Jackson  Purchase  district,  which  was 
assigned  as  a  special  work  for  the  past  year,  has  had  to  give 
way  to  the  work  of  representing  the  resources  of  the  Com- 
monwealth at  Philadelphia;  and  I  consider  the  work  of  the 
Survey  was  delayed  by  about  six  months  of  time;  but  the 
advantages  which  we  have  gained  through  the  causes  of  this 

delay  will  quite  offset  the  evils  of  the  retardation. 

31S 


GEOLOGICAL  SURVEY  OF  KENTUCKY. 


N.   S.   SHALER,   Director. 


THE  TRANSPORTATION 


ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY, 


AND  THEIR  RELATION  TO  THE 


ECONOMIC   RESOURCES  OF  THE   COMMONWEALTH 


BY  N.  S.  SHALER. 


Part    V.    Vol.    III.     Second    Series. 


316, 317,  *  318 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY, 

AND   THEIR   RELATION    TO   THE   ECONOMIC 

RESOURCES    OF    THE    COMMONWEALTH. 


In  the  matter  of  the  economic  development  of  the  resources 
of  any  area,  the  means  whereby  these  resources  may  be  ap- 
proached, and  their  distribution  to  markets  accomplished,  is 
often  of  far  greater  value  than  the  character  of  the  resources 
themselves.  At  first  sight  these  questions  of  transportation 
would  seem  to  be  matters  for  the  consideration  of  an  engineer 
rather  than  a  geologist,  on  account  of  the  importance  of  the 
questions  concerning  the  ease  or  possibility  of  particular  pro- 
jects; but  the  knowledge  required  for  these  considerations 
is,  to  a  great  extent,  that  which  is  obtained  by  the  geologist 
rather  than  the  engineer. 

I  have  endeavored,  as  far  as  possible,  to  avoid  the  difficult 
considerations  which  arise  from  the  discussion  of  the  plans 
of  several  projectors  of  various  transportation  routes.  The 
sketch  given  below  is  an  effort  to  show  what  development  of 
the  existing  lines  of  transportation  is  necessary  to  give  the 
State  a  proper  hold  upon  the  economic  resources  found  within 
its  borders,  and  to  bring  them  into  relation  with  the  rest  of 
the  world. 

The  first  thing  that  strikes  the  observer  who  considers 
the  transportation  conditions  of  Kentucky,  is  the  fact  that 
the  State  is  singularly  isolated  from  the  great  markets  of 
this  continent.  Its  considerable  railway  system  leads  mainly 
to  its  local  markets,  and  its  wonderful  water  system  lies  unde- 
veloped, or,  when  effective,  is  cut  off,  by  some  slight  barriers, 
from  access  to  its  best  mineral  fields.  In  the  past,  this  water 
system  has  been  under  grave  disadvantages.  Its  ways,  too,  do 
not  lead  towards  the  great  markets  of  the  country.     On  the 

3»9 


4  THE   TRANSPORTATION    ROUTES   OF   KENTUCKY. 

contrary,  they  turn  their  course  to  the  less  settled  sections, 
where  development  has  not  gone  far  enough  to  make  great 
markets  for  the  natural  products  of  the  State. 

In  considering  the  relation  of  natural  and  artificial  ways  to 
the  markets,  I  shall  take  up  first  the  rivers,  and  pass  then  to 
those  channels  of  trade  that  do  not  depend,  to  the  same  ex- 
tent, on  the  natural  features  of  the  country. 

It  is  impossible  to  examine  the  rivers  of  Kentucky  as  I  have 
done,  during  my  journeys  through  the  State,  without  being 
convinced  that  in  them  the  Commonwealth  has  a  wonderful 
set  of  natural  ways  whereby  her  great  stores  can  be  taken  to 
their  markets.  In  those  ways  lie  her  riches  quite  as  much  as 
in  the  coal,  iron,  salt,  stone,  oil,  timber,  and  net  products  which 
are  found  beneath  her  surface.  With  all  the  grosser  products 
of  the  earth  the  question  of  carriage  must  always  be  one  of 
the  first  importance,  and  in  the  present  and  all  prospective  ad- 
vance of  rail  transportation,  the  cost  of  carriage  must  always 
be  much  greater  than  by  water,  even  where  the  latter  form  of 
transportation  has  to  be  obtained  by  locks  and  dams. 

As  previously  noticed,  our  river  system  has  had  the  grave 
disadvantage  that  it  leads  towards  the  west  rather  than  the 
east.  Such  a  river  system  turned  towards  the  Atlantic  coast 
would  have  made  a  very  different  economic  history  for  this 
part  of  the  continent.  It  should  be  noticed,  however,  that 
this  disadvantage  is,  year  by  year,  becoming  less  grave.  The 
gain  is  made  in  two  ways:  firstly,  by  the  increase  in  popula- 
tion in  the  regions  bordering  the  Mississippi ;  and  secondly, 
by  the  extension  of  navigation  on  these  waters.  There  is,  at 
least,  twenty-five  thousand  miles  of  shore  line  on  this  water 
system  that  can  be  made  readily  accessible  to  water  naviga- 
tion. With  the  growth  of  population,  it  is  not  too  much  to 
expect  that,  within  the  knowledge  of  living  men,  this  shore 
line  will  be  occupied  by  a  population  of  nearly  one  hundred 
million  of  people,  with  the  most  varied  industries  the  world 
has  ever  seen  gathered  into  one  river  valley.  With  this  sys- 
tem of  water  transportation  made  completely  available,  Ken- 
tucky will  always  have  the  best  possible  chance  of  furnishing 
3ao 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.        5 

a  large  share  of  the  products  of  mining  and  manufactures 
used  by  the  valley  in  which  it  lies.  As  regards  the  products 
of  the  earth  found  in  this  valley,  she  must  always  have  the 
first  place,  as  determined  by  the  elements  of  richness  and 
accessibility.  Her  coal,  taking  it  for  all  qualities,  is  as  good 
as  that  of  West  Virginia,  and  is  far  nearer  the  regions  of 
great  demand.  She  has  the  largest  area  of  iron-working 
coals  as  yet  discovered,  and  in  many  other  elements  of  min- 
eral wealth  she  is  equally  well  favored. 

It  is  not  only  in  regard  to  the  growing  numbers  and  ripen- 
ing civih'zation  of  the  Mississippi  Valley  that  this  river  system 
is  of  value.  The  civilization  of  Europe  has  overdrawn  its 
stock  of  coal,  iron,  and  timber,  and  the  day  has  come  when 
these  must  be  brought,  in  part,  from  afar  in  order  to  maintain 
her  industries.  The  Ohio  Valley  would,  at  present  prices,  be 
able  to  send  iron  to  Europe  at  an  advantage,  if  there  were  only 
a  proper  use  made  of  these  natural  channels  of  trade.  With 
the  growth  of  capital  and  the  adjustment  of  our  currency, 
giving  a  sound  basis  for  our  industries,  we  may  be  sure  of  a 
vast  source  of  wealth  in  this  export  alone.  There  is  no  other 
region  in  which  can  be  found  iron-working  coal  or  cheap  char- 
coal, together  with  iron  ores  of  such  varied  qualities,  all  in 
such  easy  relations  of  distance  to  each  other,  and  where  their 
products  are  on  a  water  system  leading  to  so  large  a  native 
and  foreign  population.  Looking  more  closely  to  our  Ohio 
river  systern,  as  developed  within  Kentucky,  we  are  struck  by 
the  fact  that  the  main  river  has  very  little  actual  contact  with 
the  best  of  the  coal  and  iron  of  the  State,  or  with  that  of  the 
other  States  borderincr  on  the  river.  In  most  cases  these  ma- 
terials  have  to  be  brought  to  the  river  from  some  distance, 
either  through  its  tributaries  or  by  the  means  of  railways.  It 
is  not  necessary  to  discuss  the  reasons  for  this  peculiar  geo- 
graphical relation  of  the  natural  resources  of  the  valley.  I 
only  wish  to  call  attention  to  the. fact  that  there  is  less  good 
coal  on  the  Ohio  river  front  than  on  any  one  of  its  principal 
southern   tributaries,  and  that  the   peculiar  difficulties  which 

beset  the  approach  to  these  fields  are  common  to  the  whole 
VOL.  111.-21  3*" 


6        THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

river.  That  these  difficulties  of  position  are  not  at  all  serious, 
is  shown  by  the  fact  that  they  are  obviated  not  only  in  many 
other  countries,  but  that  the  most  prosperous  coal  mining  region 
on  the  Ohio,  that  of  the  Monongahela  river,  is  approached 
by  means  of  locks  and  dams,  there  being  already  several  of 
these  structures,  giving  about  one  hundred  miles  of  naviga- 
tion on  that  river.  What  is  especially  desirable  in  Kentucky, 
is  the  careful  prosecution  of  the  work  of  improving  the  navi- 
gation of  the  rivers  of  the  State  by  means  of  locks  and  dams, 
as  has  often  been  proposed.  In  the  Appendix  to  this  report, 
I  have  assembled  the  information  which  I  have  been  able  to 
gather  concerning  the  results  obtained  by  the  special  surveys 
made  about  forty  years  ago,  with  the  view  to  this  sort  of  im- 
provement. This  work  was  begun  about  fifty  years  too  soon 
— before  the  demand  for  the  mineral  products  of  the  State  had 
grown  to  sufficient  dimensions.  Its  advantages  would  have 
been  great,  however,  provided  that  in  any  one  of  the  east- 
ernmost streams  of  the  State  these  improvements  had  been 
carried  to  completion ;  as  it  is,  the  half  success  of  the  experi- 
ment on  Green  river  has  counted  against  the  work.  A  glance 
at  the  map  will  show  that  the  mouth  of  this  river  is  below  all 
the  more  populous  cities  of  the  Ohio  Valley,  it  being  neces- 
sary to  tow  the  boats,  carrying  coal  and  other  similar  products, 
up  the  river  for  a  great  distance,  in  order  to  find  any  consider- 
able market.  If  this  improvement  had  been  applied  to  the 
Big  Sandy,  the  Licking,  or  the  Kentucky,  the  markets  of  Cin- 
cinnati and  Louisville  would  have  been  opened  to  its  products. 
The  improvements  on  the  Green  river  are  gradually  growing 
in  value,  and  I  look  forward  to  seeing  them  extended  so  as  to 
give  access  to  the  admirable  coal  and  iron  deposits  on  its  trib- 
utaries— Mud  river,  Bear  creek,  and  Nolin  river.  The  mar- 
kets below  its  mouth,  though  still  small  and  suffering  from  the 
great  depression  arising  from  the  late  war,  are  slowly  coming 
to  their  natural  prosperity.  The  unhappy  and  utterly  unneces- 
sary blunder  which  was  made  with  the  first  furnace  in  this  val- 
ley, that  at  Airdrie,  has  done  a  great  deal  to  frighten  capital 
away  from  this  region.  The  cause  of  this  unfortunate  piece 
322 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.         7 

of  mismanagement  is  well  set  forth  in  the  report  of  Assistant 
P.  N.  Moore,  in  the  second  volume  of  this  series  of  reports. 
After  a  careful  personal  study  of  the  conditions  in  this  val- 
ley, I  am  satisfied  that,  with  the  revival  of  industry,  which 
all  reasonable  men  await,  this  section  is  sure  of  a  prosperous 
industry  in  iron  manufacturing.  I  am  convinced  that,  reck- 
oning the  cost  of  getting  the  product  to  a  great  market  as 
part  of  the  cost  of  manufacture,  there  is  no  region  in  the 
world  where  iron  can,  at  the  present  time,  be  made  any 
cheaper  than  it  can  here. 

To  complete  the  navigation  of  the  Green  there  is  needed 
an  extension  of  the  slack-water  to  Nolin  river,  and  up  that 
river  and  up  Bear  creek  for  about  twenty  miles  on  each.  One 
dam  will  answer  every  purpose  on  the  main  river,  and  one  on 
each  of  these  tributaries.  Or  it  may  be,  that,  by  making  the 
dam  on  the  main  river  rather  high,  it  would  back  up  those 
streams  for  a  sufficient  distance  for  all  the  present  needs  of 
access  to  their  ores.  The  navigation  on  Pond  river  should  be 
extended  by  one  more  dam,  to  give  access  to  the  admirable 
ores  on  that  -stream,  which,  with  this  improvement,  could  be 
shipped,  at  a  good  profit,  even  as  far  as  Cincinnati,  whenever 
the  manufacture  of  pig  iron  becomes  again  active.  With 
these  additions,  which  could  all  be  made  for  less  than  two 
hundred  thousand  dollars,  I  should  regard  this  stream  as  hav- 
ing all  its  known  resources  sufficiently  opened  to  industry. 

The  Cumberland  and  the  Tennessee  are  so  far  within  other 

States  that  the   plans   for  the   bettering  of  their  navigation 

should  be   accomplished  by  the  General  Government.      The 

resources  which  will  be  brought  out  through  their  improved 

channels   are  really  enormous,  and   though   not  in  the   main 

from  beneath  Kentucky  soil,  would  still  serve  to  build  up  the 

interests    of  the    Ohio   Valley,   in   which    Kentucky  has    the 

largest  share  of  any  State.     The   Cumberland   is  more   the 

property  of  Kentucky  than  the  Tennessee,  for  the  larger  part 

of  its  course  is  in  our  State.     The  region  drained  by  its  upper 

waters  has  a  great  store  of  coal,  and  is  especially  rich  in  the 

323 


8        THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

heavy  lubricating  coal  oils,  which  are  sure  to  have  a  large  and 
constantly  increasing  market. 

The  small,  narrow,  and  crooked  stream  bearing  the  name 
of  the  Tradewater  river,  has  not  yet  been  sufficiently  ex- 
plored. Its  banks  are  very  richly  stored  with  timber,  and 
there  is,  doubtless,  much  coal  accessible  on  its.  waters.  A 
preliminary  study  of  its  drainage  goes  to  show  that  one  or 
two  dams  will  develop  a  great  deal  of  navigable  water.  These 
dams  would  be  low  and  of  small  cost.  Probably,  with  suffi- 
cient accommodation  for  boats  of  a  size  fitted  to  pass  the 
narrow  and  tortuous  windings  of  the  stream,  thirty  thousand 
dollars  each  would  be  a  sufficient  estimate.  I  base  this  reck- 
oning on  similar  works  in  other  districts. 

Above  the  Green,  there  is  no  river  which  demands  improve- 
ment, in  the  interests  of  the  mineral  resources  of  the  State, 
until  we  come  to  the  finest  of  our  purely  Kentucky  rivers,  the 
noble  stream  of  that  name.  In  the  old  work  of  improvement 
of  the  rivers,  this  stream  had  four  locks  and  dams,  of  good 
workmanship,  built  along  its  course.  Of  these,  the  upper- 
most was  just  sufficient  to  carry  the  navigation  to  Hickman 
Landing,  above  Frankfort — still  about  one  hundred  miles  be- 
low the  lowest  coal  and  iron  on  its  waters — practically  not  in 
the  least  bettering  the  mineral  interests  of  that  valley,  though 
It  has  well  paid  for  itself  by  its  incidental  effects  on  the  pros- 
perity of  the  Commonwealth.  To  complete  this  system,  there 
should  be  about  twelve  more  dams  on  the  main  stream,  carry- 
ing the  navigation  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  fur- 
ther up  than  it  extends  at  present.  Then  a  system  of  smaller 
dams  on  the  tributaries — giving  about  three  to  Red  river  and 
four  each  to  the  North  and  Middle  Forks — would  make  an  ef- 
fective outlet  for  the  resources  of  a  large  area.  At  the  time  of 
the  surveys  for  these  improvements,  it  was  proposed  to  make  a 
water  route  to  Cumberland  Gap,  by  building  a  dam  at  Cum- 
berland Ford,  taking  the  water  thence,  by  canal,  to  Richland 
creek,  entering  the  same  at  a  point  about  six  miles  above 
Barbourville ;  thence,  by  a  cut  about  a  mile  in  length,  and  not 
over  forty  feet  deep  at  any  one  point,  to  Colline  Fork  of 

3«4 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.         9 

Goose  creek;  thence  down  Goose  creek  to  the  Kentucky 
river,  a  total  descent  of  two  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet, 
requiring  about  thirty  locks  for  the  connection  between  the 
Cumberland  and  main  Kentucky.  Yellow  Creek,  above  the 
Cumberland  Ford,  would  give,  with  two  locks,  an  easy  passage 
up  to  the  foot  of  the  Cumberland  Gap,  within  about  a  mile  of 
the  summit  of  the  pass  over  the  mountain.  This  would  make 
a  total  of  about  forty  locks  between  the  Cumberland  Moun- 
tain and  the  Ohio  river.  The  cost  of  the  work  would  require 
reestimation  for  modern  prices.  A  careful  consideration  of 
the  Kentucky  river  has  satisfied  me  that  the  lockage  could  be 
finished  to  the  Three  Forks  for  about  two  million  of  dollars. 
On  the  tributaries  the  locks  and  dams  would  cost  about  fifty 
thousand  dollars  apiece,  so  that  Red  river,  and  the  North  and 
Middle  Forks,  would,  for  the  locks  we  have  proposed,  cost 
about  five  hundred  thousand  dollars.  If  it  was  ever  desired 
to  carry  out  the  project  of  a  canal  to  the  upper  Cumberland, 
the  cost  would  be  about  three  million  dollars  for  that  work 
alone — a  cost  that  makes  it  inexpedient  to  consider  it  at  pres- 
ent. I  must  say,  however,  that  this  last  named  channel  offers 
certain  great  advantages.  It  will  be  seen,  by  reference  to  the 
preceding  reports  in  this  volume,  that  the  iron  ores  at  the 
Cumberland  Mountain  are  the  cheapest  and  best  of  any  within 
our  limits  or  near  our  borders.  It  is  exceedingly  desirable 
that  they  should  be  brought  into  close  relation  with  our  iron 
ores  and  iron-working  coals.  I  believe  in  time  our  industries 
will  warrant  the  investment  of  the  money  necessary  to  make 
this  line  of  cheap  water  transportation;  for  it  will  serve  to 
bring  the  question  of  carriage  of  ores  in  this  great  ore  and 
coal  district  to  a  most  satisfactory  solution. 

I  am  satisfied,  that  if  the  slack -water  navigation  of  the 
Kentucky  river  was  carried  up  to  the  Three  Forks,  it  would 
be  rapidly  extended  up  the  smaller  tributaries.  The  cost  of 
the  locks  and  dams  in  the  smaller  tributaries  is  much  less 
than  in  the  large  streams.  Sufficient  locks  and  dams  on  the 
Three  Forks  of  the  Kentucky  will  cost  only  about  one  half 
what  would  be  required  on  the  noain  stream,  and  the  rate  of 

325 


lO       THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

fall  would  give  something  like  three  fourths  of  the  navigation 
to  each  lock  that  it  would  in  the  main  stream.  As  will  be 
shown  hereafter,  the  expense  would  be  but  little  more  per 
mile  of  navigable  water  than  the  cost  of  the  turnpikes,  and 
not  over  one  third  the  first  cost  of  cheap  railways.  When 
the  navigation  of  the  Kentucky  is  fully  developed,  it  will  af- 
ford about  six  hundred  miles  of  navigable  water  bordered  by 
coal,  iron,  salt,  and  timber  lands.  Every  dam  will  be  a  possi- 
ble source  of  water-power ;  for  the  flow  is  much  in  excess  of 
the  probable  needs  for  lockage.  The  cost  of  this  navigation 
will  probably  be  not  far  from  five  thousand  dollars  per  mile, 
unless  done  by  convict  labor,  when  it  can  be  reduced  to  about 
three  thousand  dollars  per  mile;  in  the  one 'case  the  total 
would  be  three  millions,  in  the  other,  twelve  hundred  thou- 
sand dollars. 

The  next  stream,  the  Licking,  has  not  quite  half  the  pos- 
sible mileage  that  we  find  on  the  Kentucky,  and  the  cost 
of  getting  to  the  point  where  the  coal  field  begins  would  be 
about  twice  as  great.  At  least  twenty  dams  would  be  re- 
quired to  take  the  navigation  to  that  point  where  the  supply 
of  iron  ore  becomes  great.  If  we  had  them  now,  there  is  no 
doubt  that  there  would  be  a  great  tide  of  trade  poured  over 
this  way.  It  gives  access  to  some  admirable  iron  ores,  which, 
by  slack-water  navigation,  could  be  put  at  the  furnaces  in 
Newport  so  as  to  cost,  for  the*  ore  required  to  make  a  ton 
of  pig  metal,  not  more  than  five  dollars.  Its  admirable  can- 
nel  and  bituminous  coals  should  find  a  great  market  in  the 
Cincinnati  centre,  where  the  stream  debouches.  This  stream, 
with  the  safe  harborage  for  vessels,  and  its  ready  access  to 
the  greatest  city  of  the  Ohio  Valley,  would  become  a  great 
manufacturing  centre.  Four  of  these  locks  and  dams  were 
begun,  but  only  one,  the  lock  No.  3  from  the  mouth,  has  been 
kept  uninjured ;  the  others  have  been  destroyed  to  the  foun- 
dations for  their  stone.  The  dams  in  this  river  would  be  less 
costly  than  on  the  Kentucky,  especially  if  the  plan  of  begin- 
ning the  dams  at  the  head  waters  and  working  down   was 

adopted.     Some  time  would  be  lost,  but  admirable  building 
326 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.        II 

Stone  would  be  secured  at  low  cost.  Reckoning  from  the 
contract  prices  of  dams  on  the  Monongahela,  we  may  estimate 
the  cost  of  locks  and  dams  on  the  Licking  sufficient  to  carry  the 
navigation  to  West  Liberty,  at  about  two  million  five  hundred 
thousand  dollars,  with  ordinary  labor.  Many  of  the  lateral 
streams  are  worthy  of  improvement  by  one  or  two  dams — 
Slate  creek,  in  order  to  give  access  to  the  Preston  ore  banks, 
and  the  coal .  nearest  to  the  lower  river,  and  other  streams  to 
give  more  coal  frontage.  The  total  possible  navigation  in  the 
coal  and  iron  district  on  this  river  is  about  one  hundred  and 
eighty  to  two  hundred  miles.  Owing  to  the  smalleo  water 
supply,  the  water-powers  would  be  less  valuable  than  on  the 
Kentucky  river. 

Still  further  up  the  Ohio  river  we  have  Tygert*s  creek  and 
Little  Sandy.  Both  these  streams  are  capable  of  this  form  of 
improvement ;  but  the  Little  Sandy  is  sufficiently  improved  by 
the  railway  which  traverses  its  valley,  which  was  built  for  the 
purpose  of  furnishing  an  outlet  for  the  mineral  wealth  of  the 
district.  Tygert*s  creek,  though  a  smaller  stream,  is  quite 
capable  of  being  locked  and  dammed  at  relatively  small  cost. 
It  would  open  a  considerable  territory  for  coal  and  iron  pro- 
duction. The  Lambert  ore  bank,  and  other  ores  found  along 
its  waters,  would  furnish  cheap  shipping  ores.  To  carry  this 
navigation  to  the  Iron  Hills  Furnace  would  require  about  six 
dams,  costing  about  two  hundred  thousand  dollars,  if  made 
with  locks  for  sixty-foot  boats,  which  are  large  enough  for 
this  rather  crooked  and  small  stream.  This  streaip  would 
furnish  the  most  westerly  coal  on  the  main  Ohio  above  its  prin- 
cipal cities. 

The  Chatterawha  or  Big  Sandy  river  is  admirably  suited  for 

this  form  of  improvement.     On  its  waters  we  have   a  great 

series  of  coal  seams ;  in  fact,  the  most  westerly  development 

of  the  beds  certainly  identifiable   as  the  West  Virginia  and 

Pennsylvania  seams,  is  found  on  its  eastern  branch,  the  Tug 

Fork.     Six  dams  on  the  main  stream  and  two  on  Tug  Fork 

would  cost  less  than  a  million  dollars,  and  would  give  about 

one  hundred  miles  of  navigation  in  a  good  coal  country.     Ex- 

^  327 


12        THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

cept  the  recently  discovered  **  black  band  ore/'  the  only  val- 
uable iron  ores  known  to  this  Survey  on  its  waters  are  on  the 
tributaries  of  Big  Blaine  creek,  which  it  would  be  possible  to 
lock  and  dam  by  making  storage  reservoirs.  Every  mile  of 
the  possibly  navigable  waters  of  this  stream  abounds  in  coal  of 
varied  qualities.  The  stream  is  strong-flowing  in  the  greatest 
droughts,  and  would  afford  excellent  water-powers  at  all  the 
main  dams.  The  navigation  could  be  extended  up  the  smaller 
streams  at  many  points.  Big  Blaine,  Rockcastle,  John's  creek, 
Beaver  creek,  are  all  suited. for  such  improvements,  and  on 
the  main  stream  the  system  would  be  possible  quite  up  to  the 
State  line.  The  possible  water  transportation  on  this  river, 
which  would  be  regarded  as  within  the  mineral  belt,  amounts 
to  quite  four  hundred  miles. 

1  am  glad  to  say  that  there  is  a  chance  of  action  on  the 
part  of  the  Federal  Government  looking  to  the  improvement 
of  this  stream.  In  1875  I  furnished,  at  the  request  of  the 
United  States  engineers,  a  report  on  the  mineral  resources 
of  this  district,  with  special  reference  to  this  matter  of  slack- 
water  navigation  in  the  Chatterawha  or  Big  Sandy  Valley. 
As  a  good  part  of  the  waters  of  the  river  lies  within  the 
boundaries  of  another  State,  the  Federal  Government  has  a 
warrant  for  an  effort  at  its  betterment,  and  our  Representa- 
tives should  urge  action  on  this  point  with  all  possible  energy. 
With  the  same  number  of  locks  and  dams  on  this  river  that 
has  been  built  on  the  Youghiogheny,  it  would  be  possible 
to  put  equally  as  good  qualities  of  coal  into  the  Ohio 
below  all  the  most  serious  dangers  of  navigation  that  men- 
ace the  coals  moving  from  Pittsburg  to  the  lower  Ohio,  thus 
bringing  the  eastern  coal  beds  of  the  Commonwealth  at  least 
one  half  nearer  the  market  than  the  present  sources  of  sup- 
ply. The  Peach  Orchard  coal  brings  the  highest  f)rice  paid 
for  bituminous  coal,  and  regularly  sells  at  better  prices  than 
the  Pittsburg  coal,  whenever  it  manages  to  struggle  past  the 
obstacles  which  block  it  from  the  market. 

The  upper  Cumberland,  within  the  limits  of  Kentucky,  af- 
fords over  three  hundred  miles  of  waters  which  could  readily 
328 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.        1 3 

be  made  navigable  by  slack- water  but  for  the  eighty  feet  of  fall 
and  some  distance  of  cascades,  where  it  passes  the  conglom- 
erate of  the  coal  measures.  The  fifty  miles  of  this  stream 
below  the  falls  only  afford  a  precarious  navigation  to  small 
steamboats — a  navigation  which  is  so  little  to  be  trusted,  that 
it  cannot  be  thought  of  much  value.  Excepting  at  the  falls 
and  rapids  above  described,  the  Cumberland  is  a  stream  of 
very  gradual  fall,  and  is,  therefore,  well  fitted  for  improve- 
ments of  this  description.  Engineering  skill  would  doubtless 
succeed  in  contriving  a  canal  past  these  obstructions  without 
great  difficulty.  The  tributaries  of  the  Cumberland,  on  ac- 
count of  their  gradual  fall,  are  peculiarly  suited  for  the  ready 
creation  of  a  great  canal  system.  Big  South  Fork,  i^urel 
river.  Clear  Fork,  Big  Yellow  creek,  Straight  creek,  and  the 
uppermost  head  waters.  Poor  Fork,  Clear  Fork,  and  Martin's 
creek,  are  capable  of  transformation  into  cheap  canals. 

The  upper  Cumberland,  within  Kentucky,  can  readily  fur- 
nish six  hundred  miles  of  very  important  navigable  waters. 
Thus  we  see  that,  including  Green  river  and  its  tributaries, 
the  Tradewater,  the  Kentucky,  the  Licking,  Tygert's  creek, 
the  Chatterawha  or  Big  Sandy,  and  the  Upper  Cumberland, 
the  State  can  readily  secure  enduring  water  navigation  having 
a  length,within  the  mineral  districts,of  about  twenty-four  hund- 
red miles.  Estimating  the  average  length  of  the  pools  at  ten 
miles,  would  give  a  total  of  two  hundred  and  fifty  dams ;  and 
these,  at  a  cost  of  say  fifty  thousand  dollars  each,  which,  inas- 
much as  the  small  tributary  dams  are  small  and  not  costly,  is, 
it  seems  to  me,  a  sufficient  average  price,  we  have  a  total  of 
about  twelve  million  dollars  for  the  total  cost.  When  we  com- 
pare this  sum  with  the  cost  of  creating  other  practicable  ways 
for  the  transportation  of  heavy  materials,  it  is  seen  to  be  by 
no  means  excessive.  The  cheapest  railways,  fitted  for  heavy 
traffic  in  coal  and  iron,  cost  nearly  ten  times  as  much  per 
mile.  Indeed,  the  cost  of  this  form  of  canal  is  not  much  over 
the  cost  of  good  ordinary  turnpikes.  The  cost  of  operating  is 
not  to  be  compared  with  that  of  railways,  nor  even  with  turn- 
pikes of  the  first  class.     The  cost  of  the  force  of  propulsion, 

329 


14       THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

and  the  consequent  impost  on  the  materials,  is  exceedingly 
small  compared  with  railways.  This,  with  coal  and  iron,  in  a 
region  where  the  transportation  makes  all  the  difference  be- 
tween profit  and  loss,  is  a  most  important  matter. 

The  cost  of  creating  this  system  of  water  navigation  may 
be  materially  reduced  by  using  convict  labor,  and  pro- 
tracting the  work  long  enough  to  accomplish  it  in  this  fashion. 
Supposing  the  labor  of  seven  hundred  and  fifty  convicts 
is  given  to  the  work,  and  supposing  that  two  thirds  of  the 
cost  of  construction  is  in  the  labor,  it  would  require  about  forty 
years  to  complete  this  system,  which  is  not  too  long  a  time  for 
the  execution  of  a  great  system  of  public  works  of  this  kind. 
If  undertaken  at  once  and  steadfastly  prosecuted,  by  the  ex- 
piration of  that  time  our  State  would  have  a  system  for  the 
production  and  cheap  transportation  of  iron  and  its  products 
which  would  be  without  rival  in  the  world.  It  would  not  re- 
quire more  than  two  hundred  thousand  dollars  per  annum, 
with  the  convict  labor,  to  bring  this  scheme  to  completion ;  so 
that  eight  million  of  dollars,  spread  over  nearly  half  a  century, 
and  giving,  as  one  of  its  benefits,  the  incalculable  ameliora- 
tion of  our  penitentiary  system,  is  the  small  price  we  would 
have  to  pay  for  this  noble  system  of  ways  to  our  wealth. 

In  any  contemplated  extension  of  this  slack-water  system  in 
our  State,  I  would  suggest  a  careful  inquiry  into  the  several 
methods  of  making  dams  now  used  in  Europe.  One  of  these 
methods,  the  system  adopted  to  some  extent  in  France,  uses  a 
dam  that  can  be  lowered  down  in  high  water  and  lifted  in  low 
water,  with  great  ease,  and  possesses  many  advantages,  inas- 
much as  it  does  not  obstruct  navigation  in  high  water,  permit- 
ting vessels  to  run  out  in  floods  without  the  delay  of  lockage, 
and  yet  providing  locks  when  they  are  needed. 

Another  plan,  which  will  be  found  very  useful  on  the  small 
creeks,  tributary  to  the  Ohio  and  to  the  Kentucky  streams, 
where  there  is  already  slack-water,  or  where  it  may  be  here; 
after  built,  has  for  its  characteristic  feature  a  contrivance  where- 
by the  lock  is  entirely  dispensed  with,  and  only  a  few  hundred 

gallons  of  water  is  necessary  to  pass  a  vessel  one  hundred 
330 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY,       1 5 

feet  long  and  twenty  feet  wide.  An  inclined  plane,  made  of 
wood,  leads  from  below  the  dam  to  its  crest,  rising  at  the  rate 
of  about  two  feet  in  a  hundred.  This  can  be  made  slippery 
by  allowing  a  little  water  to  flow  over  it,  and  then  the  boat 
mounting  is  dragged  up  by  oxen.  In  descending,  the  vessel 
runs  down  the  slope  unaided,  like  a  launching  ship.  The 
advantage  is  not  only  in  the  saving  of  water,  but  in  the  less 
cost  of  ^the  inclined  way  as  compared  with  the  lock,  it  being 
readily  seen  that,  in  a  country  where  timber  abounds,  the  cost 
of  the  way  need  not  be  over  five  thousand  dollars,  even  when 
built  in  the  most  solid  fashion.  The  only  place  where  I  have 
seen  these  dams  is  in  the  Saltzkammer-gut,  or  the  crown  salt 
lands  of  Austria,  where  it  is  extensively  used  for  the  transpor- 
tation of  salt  to  market,  the  return  loads  being  very  small. 
The  increased  cost  of  return  loads  comes  from  the  need  of 
oxen  to  drag  the  boats  over  the  dam.  It  would  be  easy, 
where  there  was  a  reasonable  supply  of  water,  to  make  a 
small  water-wheel  do  this  work.  A  wheel  costing  only  a  few 
hundred  dollars  would  furnish  ample  power  for  the  needs  of 
this  work.  From  what  I  have  seen  and  heard  of  this  method, 
I  am  inclined  to  think  that  it  might  work  as  well  on  the  main 
streams  as  it  does  on  the  smaller  rivers  of  Austria,  where  it 
has  been  adopted  on  account  of  the  saving  of  water.  If  this 
should  appear,  on  careful  inquiry,  to  be  the  case,  it  would  be 
immensely  to  the  advantage  of  the  general  plan ;  for  it  would 
greatly  reduce  the  expense  of  construction  and  management. 
On  the  main  streams,  where  most  of  the  transportation  would 
be  done^  by  means  of  steamers  towing  flats,  the  steam  power 
of  the  tug-boats  could  be  made  to  drag  their  barges  over 
the  dam.  The  most  considerable  advantage  of  this  sys- 
tem would  be  found  in  the  fewer  dams  required,  and  the 
saving  of  all  the  trouble  incident  to  the  maintenance  of  locks. 
In  order  to  carry  vessels  of  large  burden,  there  must  be  at 
least  four  feet  of  water  on  the  gate-sills  of  the  locks.  This 
amount  of  water  can  often  be  readily  had  in  mid-stream,  five 
hundred  feet  below  the  lock,  when  it  is  hard  to  get  it  on  the 

lock  floor,  and  the  water-way  leading  thereto.     Some  damage 

331 


1 6       THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

would  naturally  be  apprehended  from  the  straining  of  vessels 
in  passing  over  such  ways.  I  believe  that  this  fear  is  ground- 
less; or,  if  it  should  prove  an  obstacle,  it  would  be  easy  to 
meet  the  difficulty  by  the  use  of  sheet-iron  boats,  which  are 
pronounced  to  be  the  cheapest  for  long-continued  usage.  If 
this  plan  can  be  adopted  for  streams  of  all  sizes,  it  would 
probably  reduce  the  cost  of  giving  our  rivers  the  advantages 
of  a  system  of  locks  and  dams  to  not  more  than  t\YO  thirds 
the  cost  of  the  ordinary  method ;  possibly  even  less,  for  it  is 
the  locks,  rather  than  the  dams,  that  will  make  the  expense 
of  this  form  of  navigation  on  our  narrow  rivers. 

Inasmuch  as  this  question  is  one  of  national  importance, 
the  Federal  Government  might  be  memorialized  to  have  the 
whole  question  adequately  examined,  and  determinative  ex- 
periments made.  By  some  such  means  the  Ohio  river  could 
have  its  completely  navigable  waters  extended  to  over  six 
thousand  miles  of  length.  The  problem  of  cheap  transpor- 
tation can  be  more  easily  solved  in  this  way  than  any  other. 

Even  where  it  is  not  deemed  advisable  to  improve  the 
whole  of  a  river,  it  will  sometimes  prove  important  to  make 
this  form  of  navigation  connect  with  a  railway  system.  When 
the  Chesapeake  and  Ohio  Railway  is  extended  to  Lexington, 
Kentucky,  as  it  must  be  in  time,  the  Licking,  from  the  cross- 
ing of  the  railway  to  its  head  waters,  should  be  provided  with 
these  locks  and  dams,  or  locks  and  slides.  At  a  cost  of  some- 
thing like  five  or  ten  thousand  dollars  per  mile,  this  river 
could  be  made  an  admirable  branch  line  of  transportation 
for  the  railway.  For  this  end,  if  desired,  cars  could  ^e  taken 
directly  on  to  the  boats  and  loaded  at  the  mines,  and  taken 
from  the  boats,  by  an  inclined  way,  to  the  main  railway.  The 
upper  Cumberland,  when  it  is  crossed  by  a  railway,  either  at 
the  ford  or  at  the  falls,  could  be  treated  in  a  similar  manner. 
My  opinion  is,  however,  clearly  to  the  effect  that  the  State 
should  start  with  the  determination  to  make,  in  time,  every 
bit  of  possibly  navigable  water  within  its  mineral  districts  the 
seat  of  actual  navigation,  so  that  its  great  natural  sources  of 
wealth  may  suffer  no  hindrance  from  the  evils  which  so  gener- 
33a 


THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY.        1 7 

ally  cramp  the  development  of  such  resources.  In  the  great 
race  which  is  before  our  Ohio  Valley  States  it  will,  secure  her 
the  victory. 

RAILWAY    TRANSPORTATION. 

The  advantages  of  our  natural  water-ways  have  been  con- 
sidered in  some  detail.  It  will  be  seen  that  the  possibly  navi- 
gable waters  intersect  the  State  so  completely  that  there  is  no 
point  more  than  twenty-five  miles  from  water  which  could  be 
made  passable  for  boats  carrying  one  hundred  and  fifty  tons 
of  coal  or  other  equal  burden.  But,  as  before  remarked,  all 
this  system  turns  its  current  towards  the  west ;  and  it  is  only 
through  the  Mississippi  river,  or  the  eastward-running  canals, 
that  water-ways  can  be  had  towards  the  great  markets  of  the 
world.  Year  by  year,  with  the  marvelous  growth  of  the  Ohio 
Valley,  makes  the  products  of  its  tributary  streams  more  val- 
uable. But  it  is,  in  a  high  degree,  important  that  in  this 
growth  our  State  should  have  its  full  share  of  the  increasing 
markets.  That  it  has  failed  to  get  this  share  in  the  past 
cannot  be  questioned.  The  first  State  of  the  Ohio  Valley, 
in  order  of  time  and  in  order  of  resources,  she  has  been  the 
last  in  order  of  growth.  The  reason  for  this  is  plain.  The 
other  States,  from  the  Gulf  to  Canada,  have  had  their  ways 
leading  to  the  east,  whence  has  come  the  tide  of  immigra- 
ting capital  and  labor — ways  of  water  and  of  iron — the  best 
that  art  could  build.  Kentucky  has  had  the  Wilderness  Turn- 
pike, a  way  where  the  tolls  are  about  the  only  evidence  of  the 
existence  of  a  road.  It  is  easier  for  the  immig^rant  to  find  his 
way  to  Kansas  than  it  is  to  Kentucky;  and  it  is  not  surprising 
if  he  concludes  that  the  region  must  have  little  to  offer  where 
there  are  so  many  obstacles  in  the  way  of  access.  We  have 
permitted  the  great  store  of  coal  and  iron,  which  forms  the 
so-called  mountains  of  the  State,  to  serve  as  an  unbroken 
barrier  between  us  and  the  outer  world,  cutting  us  off  from 
the  great  cities  of  the  Atlantic  seaboard,  from  the  Southern 
and  Eastern  States,  and  from  the  European  markets. 

333 


1 8       THE  TRANSPORTATION  ROUTES  OF  KENTUCKY. 

It  should  be  the  especial  object  of  our  railroads  to  open 
the  east  to,  our  markets,  as  our  improved  rivers  will  open  the 
west.  I  shall  not  consider  the  existing  railroads  of  Kentucky, 
nor  those  required  for  other  than  mineral  purposes,  but  shall 
limit  myself  to  the  main  lines  necessary  for  the  fullest  devel- 
opment of  our  industries  which  have  a  geological  aspect. 

The  so-called  mountains  of  Kentucky,  so  far  from  being  a 
barrier  to  the  passage  of  railways,  is,  on  the  whole,  a  region 
more  fitted  for  their  passage  than  the  Blue  Grass  country. 
The  valleys  are  more  traversable,  and  the  great  obstacles 
more  easily  turned.  The  cost  of  trunk  roads  to  the  sea 
should  be  less  than  an  equal  mileage  in  Central  Kentucky, 
constructed  with  the  same  thoroughness.  In  this  I  am  ex- 
pressing the  opinion  of  competent  engineers,  who  have  exam- 
ined the  country  with  preliminary  surveys,  whose  judgments 
my  own  observations  have  abundantly  confirmed.  In  the  pres- 
ent condition  of  capital  in  Kentucky,  and  with  the  limitation 
of  our  Constitution,  it  is  absolutely  necessary  that  the  greater 
part  of  means  of  construction  of  these  roads  should  con^e 
from  other  States.  In  this  regard  the  position  of  Kentucky, 
with  respect  to  the  bordering  States,  is,  on  some  accounts,  for- 
tunate, and  in  others  unfortunate.  The  mother  State  on  the 
east,  Virginia,  ravaged  by  war,  worn  by  time,  and  robbed  of 
her  richest  lands,  can  give  us  little  but  g