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dening fury, sending forth a noise which echoes from
cleft to cleft. I should like to see a boat stem that tor-
rent!! After much riding and walking in zigzag, angles
and semi-angles, we reached the river, which we cross..
ed in a boat, with great ease and safety, it having as-
sumed a smooth and slow current. By the same zigzag
which brought us to the river we ascend the mountain
on the opposite side, nor are you completely off of it
until you reach Kenhawa river, which is nothing more
than the river just mentioned, but does not assume
that name till after receiving Gauley, a small river
which discharges itself into New river, about six miles
above the falls, twenty-eight miles from where we
crossed New river, and about seventy-eight from Lew-
isburgh, the county seat of Greenbriar county. With-
in four miles of the falls, where our road strikes Kenha.
wa river, we cross a part of the mountain named Cotton
Hill, which may aptly be compared to Spencer's Hill, on
Cumberland mountain. After passing Cotton Hill, the
scenery becomes beautiful and picturesque beyond de-
scription. For the distance of two miles you pursue a
sinall stream, which increases as it goes, and brings you
to Kenhawa: but the scenery in this distance compen
sates you for the fatigue underwent in reaching it. This
stream runs between two moderate hills, which are clo-
thed with flowers of a thousand different hues; mean-
while it swells as you advance, forming innumerable gro-
Sometimes it runs with nimble
tesque appearances.
speed over a smooth solid rock of about twenty paces,
which looks as it were planed by man, on which not the
smallest pebble appears. In a moment you see it inter-
lucent, some of the wildest rocks in nature: anon it
flows gently over a dam that seems to defy the ingenuity
of man, both in symmetry and design. Presently it pre-
cipitates itself from a vast height, in one entire sheet:
again it buries itself, and you think you have seen it for
the last time, when you behold it curling ahead, in Ho-
garth's line of beauty. Thus, after amusing the travel-
ler with ten thousand gambols, it leaves him at the falls
of the great Kenhawa river, the grandeur of which ab-
sorbs, for the moment, every earthly thought.

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This famous river, after surmounting a variety of obstacles, this amazing rock over which it tumbles, being the last, flows in smooth and silent pride. The fall is over one entire rock, about fifteen feet perpendicular. Below the falls, it is deep, and from two hundred and fifty to three hundred yards wide. This majestic river flows between two mountains of moderate elevation, which are perfectly barren, and almost perpendicular. The bottom land, at first narrow, (I mean at the falls,) widens towards the mouth of the river, to the distance of two miles, and as rich as any in the world, producing from seventy to one hundred bushels of maize to the acre. I am told, that, to the depth of eight and from that to twelve feet deep, little difference exists in the nature and color of the soil. The produce is butter principally. Few springs are found on Kenhawa river; and those that are found are said not to be wholesome; the people therefore, drink river water generally. This is very pleasant, if taken out of the river in the evening, and left in the open air during the night, it becomes very cold; and if sat in a shade or in a cellar, it is very pleasant drink the whole of the succeeding day. I did not, however stomach, it so well below the salt-works, particularly as I saw several carcases of dead horses floating on the surface of the stream. While I was viewing these one day, I asked some black women who were washin clothes on the bank, how they could relish the water in which these putrefied bodies were floating."Oh," said they, "da purifies de vater, and makes it sweet."

Kenhawa County -With a degree of high-wrought enthusiasm, I hastened on, regardless of every object beside, to the salt-works, and the celebrated burning spring, which are on the bank of Kenhawa river, about twenty-eight miles below the falls. This burning spring is no spring at all-how it came to assume the name is strange; and instead of one there is seven, which are nothing more than this. "The surface of the earth is worn away by some means, (probably by setting it on fire so often as is done,) into a hollow, not a foot in depth;









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this cavity receives the rain water, which is kept from
sinking by the air that blows violently through a num-
ber of small apertures in these cavities." The holes
through which the air issues are round, and about the
size of one's little finger; they looked precisely as
though they were bored with a spike gimlet. I saw
'but two of those springs as they are called:* one had
water in it, the other was dry. We heard the bubbling
of the water ere we saw the spring, which being agitated
by the wind from beneath, keeps it in continual motion,
resembling water when boiling very fast. The noise
is like that produced by blowing through a tube with
one end in water. This water was evidently no other
than rain water, which probably fell the preceding day;
it was very turbid indeed, occasioned, no doubt, from its
violent agitation, and to this, perhaps, may be ascribed,
the wearing away of the earth. From this spring no
stream arises, nor any vestige to show that ever one
flowed from either of those which I saw. From the
one that contained no water I could discern, very plain,
the air issuing through those apertures already mention-
ed, which were as numerous as the holse in a riddle,
and from both issued the most nauseous smell in nature,
something like the wipings of a foul gun, but much more
insupportable. These places were discovered by boat-
men, who were seeking for wood to kindle a fire after
night, with a torch in their hands, and happening to
carry the torch near one of them, communicated a flame
to it; it happened to have water in it at the time, and
hence I suspect took the name of the Burning Spring.
There is no difference in the burning of the air, (for it
is the air that burns,) with respect to their being with
or without water; the flame is equally strong in both
cases, and when set on fire will burn for months if not
extinguished by rain. The flame is usually about two
feet in height. Boatmen frequently boil their meat
over these springs by setting them on fire, and hanging
the pot over them. I would not be surprised if an ex-
plosion should take place in the neighborhood of these
springs some day, particularly if the air should by any

* The others were not far off, but my curiosity was satisfied.

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means become heated or confined. No opinion has
been expressed respecting this phenomenon, or any
pains taken to ascertain the nature or cause of its exis-


Salt-works.-The salt-works in this county are another natural curiosity; they abound on both sides of the river, for the distance of twelve miles. This is another evidence of the providential care of the Deity. Here is a spot, that were it not for this article of commerce, and the facility with which it can be sent to market, would be destitute of almost every comfort and convenience of life. Immense quantities of salt are made here annually; upon an average about one million of bushels, which employ one thousand hands. This salt is sent down Kenhawa river in boats to every part of the western country, and exchanged for articles of consumption. It appears, however, notwithstanding this great bounty of nature, that very few of the proprietors have realized any solid advantage from it; owing, perhaps, to want of capital in the commencement, want of skill, or want of commercial integrity, or perhaps to all three.

The salt water is obtained from the bottom of the river by means of a gum,* which is from eighteen to twenty feet in length, and from four to five feet wide; these gums are from the sycamore tree. They are prepared by making a crow at one end, and a head to fit it tight. This being done, about twenty hands repair to the place where it is to be sunk, which is at the edge of low water, on the river; not any where, for the salt water is only found within certain limits. But to return, all hands proceed with provisions, and plenty to drink, to the place. The gum is first placed in the water on one end, (the one with the crow,) a man is then let down into it by a windlass, and digs round the edge with an instrument suited to the purpose; when he fills a bucket with the sand, gravel, or earth, which he meets in succession ; the bucket is immediately drawn up, emptied, and let

*An American term for a bollow tree, after it is taken from the forest.

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down again, and so on till the gum descends to a rock,
which is uniformly at the same distance. As the man
digs, the gum sinks; but no man can remain in it longer
than twenty or thirty minutes, owing to the excessive
cold that exists at the bottom; and another one is let
down, and so on in rotation, till their task is performed.
In the mean time a pump is placed in the gum to pump
out the water as the men work, which otherwise would
not only hinder, but drown them. This pump is kept
continually at work; about eight or ten days and nights
are consumed in this operation; the head is then put in,
which effectually excludes the fresh water; and a man
from a lofty scaffold commences boring through the
rock, which takes some time, as the best hands will not
bore more than two feet per day, and the depth is from
one to two hundred and fifty, and in some instances
three hundred feet, through a solid rock! The moment
he is through, the salt water spouts up to a great height,
and of stronger or weaker quality as it is near or remote
from a certain point on the river, which is the place
where salt water was first discovered. Their manner of
boring is nothing more than an iron of great strength,
and of considerable length, made very sharp at one end,
while the other end is fixed into a shaft of wood, and a
heavy lever fixed to this; the performer stands still on
the scaffold and continues to ply the augur (as it is call-
ed) in a perpendicular direction. This part of the busi-
ness is not so laborious as the other; nor does the per-
former require that relief which is indispensable in sink-
ing the gum; but he must have some dozens of augurs
continually going to and from the smith's shop. I saw
several of these at work, and likewise those at the gum ;
it is impossible for any one to guess what a wretched ap-
pearance those poor creatures make when they are
drawn out of this gum. They are unable to stand, and
shiver as if they would shake to pieces; it can hardly
be told whether they are black or white, their blood
being so completely chilled. The trouble of making
salt, after salt water is obtained, is trifling. When the
man finishes boring, a tin tube is placed in the rock, and
by means of a machine, which is worked by a horse, the

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