Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Virginia

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1520804Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, Volume XXIV — VirginiaJedediah Hotchkiss

Plate VII. VIRGINIA, one of the original thirteen States of the North American Union, extends from 36° 31' to 39° 27' N. lat., and from 75° 13' to 83° 37' W. long. It is rudely triangular in form,—its southern boundary, the base of the triangle, a nearly east to west line, being 440 miles long, the north-western 565, the northern and north-eastern 230 and the eastern 125 miles. On the S. it is bounded by North Carolina and Tennessee, on the W. and N.W. by Kentucky and West Virginia, on the N. and N.E. by Maryland, and on the E. by the Virginian Sea of the Atlantic Ocean. Its greatest length from east to west is 476 miles, its greatest breadth from north to south 192 miles. It is subdivided into 100 counties. The area is variously stated at about 44,500 and 42,450 square miles; the latter extent is that given at the census of 1880. Of the 1,512,565 inhabitants of Virginia (1,059,034 of them over ten years of age) in 1880, 494,240 were engaged in gainful occupations,—254,099, or over 50 per cent., in agriculture, 30,418 in trade and transportation, and 63,059 in manufactures and mining and mechanical industries; but now (in 1888) a very much larger proportion of the industrial population is engaged in mining, manufacturing, trade, and transportation, in consequence of the opening of mines, the erection of blast-furnaces, coke ovens, and various manufacturing establishments since 1880.

Physical features. Physical Features.—Speaking broadly, Virginia may be divided into a lowland and a highland country. Its south-eastern part—over 23,000 square miles, or more than half of the whole—has the aspect of a broadly undulating plain, that, with but few marked variations of relief, rises from the sea-level to from 400 to 800 feet above it. The north-western portion is a region composed of approximately parallel mountain ranges, running entirely across the State from north-east to south-west, separated by nearly parallel valleys,—the whole presenting all the varieties of relief peculiar to the Appalachian country between the levels of 800 and 5700 feet. To speak more accurately, the State is naturally divided into seven grand divisions or belts, each with marked characteristics of relief and geological structure, and each succeeding the other, somewhat as a more or less ascending stairway, from the sea to the north-west.

1. Tidewater Virginia is the marine plain, of Quaternary and Tertiary structure, 10,850 square miles in area, that extends westward, for nearly 100 miles, from the Atlantic border to “The Ridge,” the granitic escarpment which by its rise determines the tidal limit in the great rivers of the State. This Tidewater plain, rectangular in form, is divided by Chesapeake Bay and the great estuaries of the Potomac, the Rappahannock, the York, and the James rivers, into five large peninsulas, which are subdivided by arms of the bay and tidal branches of the rivers into hundreds of smaller peninsulas, thus giving to the region great wealth of tidal shore outline—fully 2000 miles—so that nearly every square mile of its surface can be reached by tide-borne vessels. The nearly level surface of its north to south trending peninsulas, those of the eastern marine plain, the Quaternary ones, averages about 12 feet above sea-level; their low-lying semi-insular position and their warm finely comminuted soils make these the highly favoured great market-garden or “trucking” portions of Tidewater. The north-west to south-east trending peninsulas, those of the western marine plain, the Tertiary ones, have more broken surfaces that vary in altitude from sea-level to about 100 feet, and are disposed in flat watershed ridges and slopes, terraces, and swamps, all deeply trenched by the secondary drainage.

2. Midland Virginia is the triangular area (12,470 square miles) which, 25 miles wide along the Potomac and 100 wide along the North Carolina line, extends from the Tidewater escarpment westward to the eastern base of the Atlantic coast range, the broken eastern range of the Appalachian Mountains. The elevation here varies from 100 to 200 feet above sea-level in the east to from 700 to 800 in the west; once a gently eastwardly sloping plain, mostly underlaid by steeply clipping granitic and other Archæan rocks—with included areas of Jura-Trias—striking north-east to south-west, the rivers have deeply trenched into this, and so given it a greatly broken and varied relief through a moderate range of altitude; it abounds in stream-valleys. This, with Piedmont and the Blue Ridge, was the first dry land, the oldest portion of Virginia.

3. Piedmont Virginia is the area (6680 square miles) of greatly diversified country, some 250 miles in length and 20 to 30 miles in width, that stretches between the Blue Ridge and the Coast Range mountains, including all of the latter and the east ward spurs and slopes of the former; its valleys, coves, and plains vary in altitude from 300 to 700 feet in the north-east to from 500 to 1000 in the south-west, while its included and bordering mountains range through all gradations from above 4000 feet down to the levels of its valleys. It is charmingly varied and picturesque, and adapted to a great variety of productions.

4. Blue Ridge Virginia is the Virginian portion (300 miles in length) of the great mountain chain of that name, with its numerous tablelands—especially the Floyd-Carroll-Grayson plateau (1230 square miles) in the south-west, having an altitude of from 916 to 5700 feet. It is, for most of its length, a chain of two ranges: the eastern, the chief, in which numerous rivers have their origin, is a grand mountain mass, carved from the Archæan and eruptive rocks, forming the most striking feature of thousands of square miles of Virginia landscape; the western is mainly composed of short ridges, formed from the easterly outcrops of the Palaeozoic rocks, flanking the western slopes of the main range.

5. The Valley of Virginia is the Virginian portion (300 miles) of the length of the great limestone or Appalachian valley of the Atlantic highlands, one that, made up of numerous subordinate valleys, extends with unbroken continuity from Canada to Alabama, and has for its whole length, with varying local names, the Blue Ridge on its eastern and the Kitta tinny or Great North Mountain on its western border. In Virginia this is a plateau-valley,—embracing 7550 square miles,—its greatly varied tillable surface ranging in altitude from about 500 to over 2500 feet and averaging fully 1000. Carved from the limestones and limy shales and slates of the Cambrian group into an almost endless variety of valley and upland forms, the higher ones in gracefully rounded outline, all blending into one or more broad valleys, and bounded by grand mountain chains, this is indisputably one of the most desirable regions in the United States.

6. Appalachia (4500 square miles), a region of alternating “rich” and “poor” valleys (according as they are carved from the lime-abounding or from the slaty sandstone rocks of the Silurian or the Devonian groups), is Virginia's portion of the Appalachian Mountains region proper, the one that lies between the Great Valley on the east and the great Carboniferous escarpment of the Trans-Appalachia plateau. Its general features are repetitions of long, parallel, straight, and level-crested mountain ranges—many of them over 4000 feet—succeeding one another in echelon, with narrow, trough-like valleys, ranging from 800 to 2700 feet,—but these are diversified by the occasional dying out of some mountain ranges and the consequent widening of valleys, and by the widening of ranges into plateaus or their opening into double crests or lovely mountain “coves” and “gardens.” It is a noted grazing and timber region.

7. Trans-Appalachia (mainly the 1200 square miles in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties) is the Virginian portion of the tableland that extends westward from the great Carboniferous escarpment or Alleghany “backbone.” It is eroded from the Carboniferous rocks, and so is the great coal-bearing portion of the State.


Climate.—The State lies in the middle latitudes. It is open to the sea on the east; its great mountain chains guard it on the

north and west; and it has accordingly as nearly a climate of means as any of the Atlantic-bordering States can have. Its position and physical structure also give great variety to its climate: that of its bordering sea islands and large peninsulas is insular; that of its great Tidewater and Midland plains is warm temperate; that of Piedmont and the Great Valley is typically mild temperate; and that of the Blue Ridge plateau and of the high valleys and tablelands of Appalachia is more uniformly cool temperate than in higher latitudes. Its climatic range, in the average latitude of 38° N., is from the sea-coast to 500 miles inland, and from the sea-level to 5700 feet, a range that is equivalent to 19° of latitude, and that gives to Virginia all the adaptations for production embraced between 36° 30' and 59° N. lat. This wide range finds expression in the market-gardens and temperate fruits and trees and the extensive sweet potato, cotton, and peanut fields of Tidewater; in the large plantations of tobacco, hard-grained winter wheat, and the dented-seed (the large variety) Indian corn, and in great forests of pitch-pines, oaks, &c., in Midland and Piedmont, and in the lower portions of the Valley and Appalachia; in the productive vineyards and orchards of Piedmont and the adjacent slopes of the Blue Ridge; in the perennial pasture-lands—the native homes of the rich blue grass—of the higher levels of Piedmont, of the crests and plateaus of the eastern Blue Ridge, of the Great Valley, and of the extensive limestone valleys and ridges of Appalachia; in the large cereal crops and dairy products of the Valley; in the big cattle farms and ranges of Appalachia, the Blue Ridge, and the more elevated parts of the Valley; in the flax, buckwheat, Irish potato, cabbage, and other north-country crops that flourish in the Blue Ridge, the higher parts of the Valley, and Appalachia; and in the north-land balsams and other cold climate trees and vegetation that clothe the higher levels of the Blue Ridge and of Appalachia.

The mean annual temperature zones of Virginia are—60° to 65° in eastern Tidewater; 55° to 60° in western Tidewater, and most of Midland; 50° to 55° in the higher parts of Midland, in most of Piedmont, and in the lower parts of the Valley and Appalachia; 45° to 50° in north-east Piedmont, in most of the Valley, and in the lower valleys of Appalachia; and 40° to 45° on the Blue Ridge, on and near the high levels of the Valley, and in most of Appalachia. The average for the State is near 56°, ranging from 48° in the highlands to 64° in the lowlands—from the mean adapted to grass to that suitable for cotton. The changes of temperature are great, but not so sudden or so extreme as they are in the regions to the north-east and north-west.

The prevailing winds are from the south quadrants, generally shifting between south and west; next in frequency are those between north and west; high winds are rare, except along the coast. The rainfall is abundant and well distributed throughout the seasons in every part, there being two sources of supply, one from the Gulf by the south-west and one from the Atlantic by the south-east winds; the average annual precipitation is from 32 to 44 inches, except in a belt extending north-west from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay towards Staunton, in which it is from 44 to 56 inches; there is a gradual decrease in the rainfall from the coast westward. The snowfall is generally light, some winters insignificant; and the snow soon melts, save in the elevated regions.

Virginia is noted for the clearness of its skies, the purity of its air, and its freedom from great storms. Its climate is moist without being damp, and so mild as to invite to living much in the open air; its winters are short, its periods of seedtime and harvest

long; and its healthfulness is attested by the vigour and longevity of its people.

Geological Map of Virginia.


Geology.—The subjoined table of the geological formations found in Virginia, correlated with those of Pennsylvania and New York, and with the general groups and systems of the American geological scale, follows, in the main, the late Prof. William B. Rogers:—

Subdivisions or Formations in Virginia. General Groups. Systems.
20. Quaternary Quaternary. Cainozoic.
19c. Pliocene
(Upper Tertiary)
19b. Miocene
(Middle Tertiary)
19a. Eocene
(Lower Tertiary)
18 and 17. Jurasso-Cretaceous
(Upper Mesozoic)
Mesozoic Mesozoic
17 and 16. Jurasso-Triassic
(Lower Mesozoic)
14b (xiii.). Middle Coal group Upper
Carboniferous. Palæozoic.
14a (xii.). Lower Coal group
13b (xi.). Greenbrier shales
and limestones (Carb. limestone).
Middle Carboniferous.
13a (x.). Montgomery grits
and coal-measures (Vespertine)
Lower Carboniferous.
12 (ix.). Catskill red sandstone
(Upper Devonian)
11b and a (viii.). Chemung and Portage shales
(Middle Devonian)
10cb, & a (viii.).  Genesee, Hamilton,
and Marcellus slates, &c. (Lower Devonian)
8 (vii.). Oriskany sandstone Silurian
(Upper Silurian).
7 (vi.). Lower Helderberg limestones
5b (v.). Clinton shales and sand rocks
5a (iv.). Medina and Oneida sand rocks
4c and b (iii.). Hudson River and Utica slates Upper Cambrian. Cambrian
(Lower Silurian).
4a (iii.). Trenton
and Great Valley limestones
3b, a (ii). Calciferous, &c.
(Great Valley dolomites, &c.)
Middle and
Lower Cambrian
2 (i.). Potsdam sandstones, shales, &c.
1. Archæan
(Huronian, Laurentian, &c., Primary)

Note.—The first or Arabic numbers and the letters of the above are the numberings of the formations and their subdivisions now generally recognized and used in North America; the Roman numbers in brackets are the equivalent formations as numbered and used by the Rogers Brothers in the Pennsylvania and Virginia reports.

As the accompanying geological map shows, Midland, Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge grand divisions, over 20,000 square miles, or about half the land area of the State, are underlain by the Archæan or old Primary and metamorphic rocks; within this Archæan area are a dozen or more patches, large and small, of the Jura-Trias (formations 16, 17, and 18) or Mesozoic rocks, some of them with valuable coal-beds, that in later times were deposited in depressions, lake-like basins, in the Archæan rocks. The Cambrian (Lower Silurian) areas, the Virginia formations i., ii., and iii., include all the Great Valley (limestone) and numerous limestone valleys of Appalachia, some of them, like that of Clinch river, quite large—in all some 10,000 square miles of surface—having within them detached mountain ranges of more recent formations. The Silurian (Upper Silurian) areas, those where the Virginia formations iv., v., vi., and vii. outcrop, are

mountain ranges, detached once in the Great Valley, and ranges and chains of them in Appalachia, for these formations, made up largely of massive sand-rocks, are mountain-builders. The Devonian areas, Virginia formations viii. and ix., are principally those of the slaty or “poor” valleys of Appalachia, No. viii. being a formation from which stream-valleys are liberally carved, though ix., chiefly sand-rocks, often holds it up to included or bordering ridges. The Lower and the Middle Carboniferous rocks, Virginia formations x. and xi., outcrop in long and narrow belts or strips of Greenbrier shales and limestones (xi.), and adjacent narrow and

long mountain ranges of Montgomery grits and coal-measures (x.), in south-west portions of the Valley and of Appalachia, and in small mountain areas elsewhere in Appalachia. The Upper Carboniferous, Virginia formations xii. and xiii., the Lower (xii.) and the Middle (xiii.) Coal groups, underlie all the thousand square miles of Trans-Appalachia, where the semi-bituminous coking coals of the Lower Coal group are exposed, above water-level, in their best conditions of purity (high in carbon, low in volatile matter,

and very low in ash, sulphur, and phosphorus) for metallurgical purposes, and in beds of remarkable thickness, and where the bituminous coals of the Middle Coal group also have a maximum of development combined with remarkable purity of composition, adapting them to gas and domestic uses. Tertiary rocks (19a, b, c) underlie all Tidewater (the new Virginia of geology, though the old one of colonial history),—the Lower or Eocene outcropping, approximately, in a line a little west of 77° W. long., the Middle or Miocene between that and a little east of 76° 30' W., and the Upper or Pliocene in the remaining east part, except where covered by recent or Quaternary (20) deposits.


Minerals.—The varied and abundant mineral resources of the State are as yet but imperfectly developed. Her medicinal mineral springs are numerous, and many of them well known. Tidewater abounds in fertilizing marls, and in choice brick-clays, sands, and shell-limestones for building. Lime-burning, from oyster shells, is an important industry. Midland abounds in superior granites, which are extensively quarried near Richmond and Petersburg; in the best of slates for roofing and other purposes, especially in Albemarle and Buckingham counties; in Jura-Trias brownstones and sandstones; in trap for Belgian blocks; in soapstones (steatites), limestones, and in brick-, plastic-, and fire-clays. Thick beds of excellent bituminous coal and of natural coke are found in the Jura-Trias of Chesterfield and adjacent counties, which have long been mined; ochre beds are worked in Chesterfield county; thick beds of magnetic, specular, and limonite iron-ores, and of gold, silver, and copper-bearing rocks, traverse its whole length from north-east to south-west. Its gold belt, from 15 to 20 miles wide, rich in free, quartz, and pyritous-rock gold, traverses the whole western tier of Midland counties, for more than 200 miles, from the Potomac to the Dan; in this belt, in Louisa county, at the Arminius copper mines, veins of white pyrites, 42 feet, bearing 46 per cent. of sulphur and considerable yellow copper, have been opened and reduction works erected for a 300 tons daily output; 12,000 tons of pyrites were shipped in 1886. Manganese, mica, plumbago, titanium, cyanite, garnets, emeralds, quartz, and other Archæan and Jura-Trias minerals are found at many points. The minerals and metals now exploited are gold, iron and copper pyrites, manganese, hæmatites, magnetites, and limonites, mica, slates, granites, brownstones, and trap-rock. Piedmont has extensive beds of magnetic, specular, and limonite iron ore throughout its length; chromic iron ore is found in the north-east; copper ores abound especially along the west border in spurs of Blue Ridge; manganese deposits have been worked at various points; the same Archæan and Jura-Trias building stones and minerals are found here as in Midland, the marbles of Bedford and Loudouu counties of fine quality. Iron ores, manganese, slates, and marbles are now exploited. The Blue Ridge abounds in copper and iron ores for its whole length in Virginia; these as well as pyritous silver, copper, and iron ores, are especially abundant in the Floyd-Carroll-Grayson or south-west plateau, where also auriferous quartz is milled; tin mines have been opened in Rockbridge county; the great Potsdam or primordial iron belt, with its vast deposits of ore, flanks the western base of the Blue Ridge in Virginia for nearly 300 miles, and from the rich deposits of manganese in the same belt two-thirds of the manganese output of the United States in 1886 was mined; glass-sand of the best quality and fire and other clays are abundant, and so are building sandstones in the western Blue Ridge. Mining operations are now extensively conducted in iron and manganese ores. The Great Valley is all underlain by limestones suitable for ornamental, building, and agricultural purposes; its cement (hydraulic) and architectural, fluxing, and agricultural limes are noted for their purity; extensive beds of iron-ore are found among its hills; marbles, barytes, brick- and fire-clays, and travertine marls are abundant; there are large deposits of lead and zinc ores, especially in the south-west, in Pulaski and Wythe counties, where they accompany the great iron-ore deposits of the Cripple Creek region; from the Vespertine (No. x.) beds of the Lower Carboniferous, in Montgomery and Pulaski counties, from 15,000 to 20,000 tons of semi-anthracite coal are annually mined; ochres are mined in Page and Augusta counties; iron, manganese, zinc, and lead ores are now mined on quite an extensive scale, and lime-burning is an important industry. Appalachian Virginia abounds in very remarkable beds of limonite iron ores, found (often, under large areas, in a more or less stratified condition) in the Hudson river (iii.), Clinton (v.), and Oriskany (vii.) formations of Cambrian and Silurian age; there are also deposits of magnetic haematites in Craig and Giles counties; limestones of the Valley (ii.), Trenton (iii.), and Lower Helderberg (vi.) formations, underlying the “rich” valleys and ridges, abound, and furnish the best of materials for building, lime-burning, and blast-furnace fluxing purposes, as well as for beautiful encrinal and other fancy marbles; in its Vespertine (x.) areas are numerous patches of anthracite and semi-anthracite coals, worked and workable for local use; in the Appalachian portions of Smyth and Washington counties are large deposits of rock-salt and gypsum; travertine marls, caves abounding in nitrous earths, and chalybeate, sulphur, alum, hot, warm, and other mineral springs are common; sandstones and slates for

building purposes are plentiful. The iron-ores of Alleghany county and those of the Appalachian portions of Rockbridge and Botetourt counties are extensively mined for local blast-furnaces; marbles and gypsum are quarried; considerable salt is manufactured, and semi-anthracite coal in Pulaski for use in local zinc furnaces. Trans-Appalachia is Virginia's 1000 square miles of the Great Coal Basin of the Ohio, or the Trans-Appalachian Coal Basin (the one usually, but improperly, called the Great Appalachian Coal Basin); this is all underlain by thick and easily accessible beds of the best of semi-bituminous and bituminous coals, those of the Lower (xii.) and of the Middle (xiii.) Coal groups of the Carboniferous. Only the semi-bituminous coking, steam, and domestic coal of this region is now mined for exportation at Pocahontas, Tazewell county, from "which 639,751 tons (93,550 of them converted into coke) were shipped in 1886, the traffic having begun with the shipment of 105,805 tons in 1883. From the Flat-top coalfield, including the Pocahontas and some adjacent mines in West Virginia, 1,314,700 tons of coal were mined in 1887, part of which was made into about 145,000 tons of coke, equal in quality to any made in the United States. This fuel is remarkably high in fixed carbon and low in ash and sulphur, and therefore admirably adapted for metallurgical purposes. Twenty mineral springs of Virginia, used medicinally, were reported to the United States Geological Survey in 1886 (Tidewater 1, Midland 4, Blue Ridge 2, Valley 5, Appalachia 8); they were reported as chalybeate, alum, white sulphur, red sulphur, blue sulphur, warm sulphur, cold sulphur, hot sulphur, lithia, healing, ague, and sweet chalybeate. These and many others not reported are visited as health resorts, and many of them ship to market large quantities of their waters.

Virginia produced—of coal 300,000 tons in 1884, 1,000,000 in 1886, and about 1,250,000 in 1887; of coke 25,340 tons in 1884, about 122,352 tons in 1886; of pig iron, 29,934 tons in 1880, 152,907 in 1883, 156,250 in 1886, and 156,698 in 1887; of rolled iron 40,581 tons, and of cut nails 212,552 kegs of 100 ℔ in 1886; of manganese 3661 tons in 1880 and 20,567 tons in 1886; of pyrites 12,000 tons in 1886; of ochre 1750 tons in 1886; of salt, gypsum, lead, zinc, granite, slates, lime, limestone for blast-furnace flux, cement, brownstone, mineral waters, and iron-ore for export large quantities were produced in 1886, and still larger in 1887, when the mining industries of this State were in a healthy condition of development.


Vegetation.—The variety of vegetation in Virginia is very great, the range being from a profitable growth of semi-tropical cotton to semi-arctic pines and balsams. From one-half to two-thirds of the State is now covered by forests of native evergreen and deciduous trees. Hard and soft woods, in nearly equal proportions, form the original forests of Tidewater and Midland,—the plain regions; hardwoods predominate in the high country divisions; the park-like hardwood forests of the Great Valley have grown up since its occupation by white men.

The census report of 1880, in its natural divisions of North American forests, assigns the east maritime plain of Tidewater to the coast-pine division; the north-east portions of Blue Ridge, Valley, and Appalachia to the northern-pine division; and the rest of the State to that of deciduous trees. The principal timber trees, found in varying abundance in all parts, are white, Spanish, black, chestnut, red, post, and swamp oaks; tulip-poplar and cucumber; white (or shell), bark, and pignut hickories; yellow or pitch pine; red or Virginia cedar; beech, elm, black and white walnuts, sycamore, mulberry, locust, sassafras, and gum; sugar, red, and white maples; black, red, and yellow birches; wild cherry, persimmon, dogwood, ironwood; white, red, black, and water ashes; chestnut, and willows. Cypress, juniper, long-leaved pine, holly, sweet gum, and some live oaks are confined mainly to Tidewater and east Midland; white pine, hemlock, black spruce, rock chestnut oak, and balsams to the mountain regions; the oaks of the Valley are of rare excellence, and the tulip-poplars and oaks of Trans-Appalachia and its borders are of remarkable size; sumachs, millions of pounds of the leaves of which are gathered for their tannin, are everywhere plentiful. From the sugar-maple considerable quantities of sugar are made in the Valley and the Appalachias; the forests of Tidewater, easily reached by vessels, furnish large quantities of fuel and lumber to seaboard markets; railways reach the other timber regions of the State; lumbering, charcoal-making, the cutting of railway sleepers, and the collection of tan-bark are important industries. Wild fruits and nuts, gooseberries, blackberries, whortleberries, cranberries, strawberries, haws, serviceberries, persimmons, plums, crab and thorn apples, cherries, various wild grapes, chestnuts, chinquapins, black and white walnuts, hickory nuts, hazel and beech nuts, acorns, &c. , are nearly all found in all parts. Medicinal roots (ginseng, sarsaparilla, snake-root, mandrake, &c.) are gathered in largo quantities in the Appalachias; oil from sassafras roots is made in quantities in Midland and Piedmont. All the cultivated fruits of temperate climates flourish; apples, pears, peaches, grapes, plums, cherries, currants, and other small fruits are everywhere plentifully grown; the peach, pear, and apple orchards of Midland, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, and the Valley

are noted; the vineyards of Midland, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge are becoming well known for both grapes and wines in variety; in Tidewater and eastern Midland figs, apricots, nectarines, and other warm-country fruits flourish, and the scuppernong grapes and wines of Tidewater are also worthy of mention. The flora of Virginia includes nearly every species of plant found in the United States east of the Mississippi, excepting only the extreme south. The cleared lands of the State, about two-sevenths of the whole, are devoted to orchards, vineyards, meadows, and pastures, to market and other gardens, and to crops of maize (Indian corn), wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat, barley, pease, beans, peanuts, round (Irish) and long (sweet) potatoes, turnips, cabbage, clover, flax, hemp, cotton, tobacco, &c. Cereal and root crops are abundantly grown in all parts, as also are tobacco, hay, clover and grass seeds, flax and flaxseed, hops, hemp, and cotton. Nearly half the State, part of Piedmont, and all Blue Ridge, the Valley, and the Appalachias is a natural grass country—half of it the habitat of the famous blue grass—and well adapted to grazing and dairy-farming; the special crops of Tidewater are those of market-gardens, early vegetables, and round and sweet potatoes in the east, and of peanuts and cotton in the west; tobacco is a specialty of south west Midland and Piedmont.


Fauna.—The buffalo and elk, common when white men first settled here, are now extinct; deer, red and grey foxes, rabbits, hares, ground-hogs or woodchucks, red, grey, and ground squirrels, opossums, polecats, nrmskrats, martens, minks, weasels, bats, rats, and mice are found everywhere; otters and beavers, once numerous in all parts, are again becoming common in south Midland and elsewhere; black bears frequent the Appalachian and borders of the adjacent Valley divisions; wild-cats, catamounts, and the small wolves are occasionally met in unfrequented portions of the mountain regions. Of game or food birds, partridges (quails), pigeons, wood doves, grouse (pheasants), larks, thrushes, snipe, wild turkeys, and several kinds of wild ducks are found in nearly all parts; the coasts, the inland bays, the great estuary rivers, and the marshes of Tidewater fairly swarm, especially during tho colder months, with canvas-back, mallard, creek, redhead, bald-face, teal, and other wild ducks, and with wild geese, swans, snipe, and other water and water-side fowl; gulls and other sea birds frequent the coast. Song-birds, including mocking-birds, orioles, bobolinks, robins, catbirds, bluebirds, wrens, tanagers, sparrows, &c., abound; the English sparrow is domiciled in all the cities and towns; humming-birds are plentiful. The common birds of prey, eagles, hawks, owls, a vulture (the turkey-buzzard); the wading birds (herons, grass snipes, fly-up-thc-creeks, &c.) and the various swimming birds are abundant. The common reptiles include land and water tortoises, or turtles and terrapins (some highly prized for food), and harmless snakes, useful in the destruction of vermin, frogs, toads, salamanders, &c.; the poisonous rattlesnakes, copperheads, and moccasins are sometimes encountered, but are not numerous; the comparatively harmless black snakes are more common. Of edible saltwater fishes, more than thirty kinds are taken in quantities in Chesapeake Bay waters, including sturgeon, rock-fish, trout, chub, sheepshead, spot, sunfish, bluefish, shad, herring, anchovy, Spanish mackerel, cod, bonito, drum, menhaden, bass, sea-eels, and hog-fish; while dozens of kinds not used for food are known. The freshwater fishes are perch, pickerel, cat-fish, chub, bass, sncker, fall-fish, salmon, hog-fish, red-horse, red-eye, carp, mullet, sun-fish, eels, and trout in the mountain streams. Of the abounding crustaceans, edible crabs and lobsters are caught in great numbers in the marine waters, and millions of bushels of oysters, clams, and other shell-fish are annually sent to market.


Government.—The government is entrusted to three departments, each with distinct and separate powers. (1) The legislative authority is vested in a general assembly, composed of a house of delegates of 100 and a senate of 40 members which meets biennially at Richmond; the members of the house of delegates are elected for two years, those of the senate for four,—half the latter being elected biennially. (2) The executive authority is vested in a governor, elected by the people for four years. A lieutenant-governor is elected at the same time, who is president of the senate, and should a vacancy occur during the term of office becomes governor. The other executive officers are a secretary of the commonwealth, a treasurer, first and second auditors of public accounts, a superintendent of public printing, a superintendent of the penitentiary, a railroad commissioner, a commissioner of agriculture, a registrar of the land office, and a superintendent of public instruction. (3) The judicial authority is vested—(a) in justices of peace, three in each of the magisterial districts into which tho counties are subdivided; (b) in judges of county courts; (c) in judges of the seventeen circuit courts into which the State is divided, and judges of city courts; and (d) in a supreme court of appeals of five judges. The right of appeal, with specified limitations, is provided for from each of the above courts to the other, in the order named; the supreme court has only appellate jurisdiction save in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. The justices of the peace, a supervisor, a constable, and an overseer of the poor are elected by

the voters of each magisterial district to serve two years; the general assembly elects the county judges for terms of six years, the circuit judges for terms of eight years, and the judges of the supreme court of appeals for terms of twelve years. An attorney-general for the State is elected at and for the same time as the governor. In the Congress of the United States, Virginia has two senators and ten representatives. Aliens can acquire and hold any property in Virginia on the same footing as citizens.


Population.—The population of Virginia before the separation of West Virginia in 1862 is shown by the following table:—

 Census.   Population.  Increase
 per cent. 
sq. m.

1790 747,610  ... 11.5
1800 880,200  17.7  13.6
1810 974,600  10.7  15.0
1820 1,065,116  9.2  16.4
1830 1,211,405  13.7  18.7
1840 1,239,797  2.3  19.1
1850 1,421,661  14.6  21.9
1860 1,596,318  12.2  24.6

In 1870 the population of Virginia was 1,225,163, and that of West Virginia 442,014. In 1880, while West Virginia had 618,457 inhabitants (39.9 per cent. increase), Virginia had 1,512,565 (745,589 males, 766,976 females),—an increase of 23.4 per cent., with 37.7 persons to the square mile.

 White.   Coloured. 

 Tidewater 201,578  213,691 
 Midland 198,140  245,151 
 Piedmont 148,138  103,620 
 Blue Ridge 37,029  2,617 
 The Valley 199,628  51,478 
 The Appalachias  9,059  96,345 

 Virginia 880,858  631,616 

The accompanying table shows the distribution of the population in 1880 according to the grand divisions. There were in addition 6 Chinese and 85 Indians. The number of foreign-born, 14,696, does not amount to 1 per cent. of the population.

The original stock of the whites was mainly English, Scottish, and Huguenot French in Tidewater, Midland, and Piedmont, and Scottish (largely Scoto-Irish from migrating by way of Ireland), German, and English in the remainder of the State—in proportions in the order named.


Virginia has six cities with over 10,000 inhabitants. In 1880 Richmond, the State capital, had 63,600, Norfolk 21,966, Petersburg 21,656, Lynchburg 15,959, Alexandria 13,659, and Portsmouth 11,390,—Danville coming next with 7526.


Education.—The public school system of the State, organized in 1870, provides (1) primary and (2) intermediate instruction in the common branches of education, including preparation for college, by graded primary and high schools the latter confined to cities, towns, and large villages—free to all between the ages of five and twenty-one inclusive; (3) advanced instruction and training in scientific and professional studies, by a military institute, an agricultural and mechanical college, male and female normal schools, and an institution for the deaf-mutes and the blind—all for whites, and by a normal and agricultural institute and normal college for coloured pupils,—tuition free to a selected number from all parts of the State; and (4) higher instruction, in the complete academic, scientific, technical, and professional schools of the university of Virginia, its academic department tuition free to all young men of Virginia, over eighteen years of age, under restrictions in regard to culture. The State schools confer no honorary degrees. Equal provision, but in entirely separate schools, is made by law for white and coloured.

The public free school system is in charge of a board of education. In 1887 the school population, those between five and twenty-one, numbered 610,271 (345,022 white and 265,249 coloured); 7140 schools (5047 white and 2093 coloured) were open, including 458 graded schools; 7161 teachers (2416 white males, 2889 white females, 1023 coloured males, and 833 coloured females) were employed; 325,184 pupils (209,638 white and 115,546 coloured) were enrolled, and 184,520 (121,571 white and 62,949 coloured) were in average daily attendance. Tho school districts owned 4365 schoolhouses, and their school property was valued at $1,907,775; the expense of the free school system in 1887 was $1,381,690, besides $153,600 spent on permanent improvements. The State makes liberal grants to the military institute, the agricultural and mechanical college, the normal and agricultural institute, the three normal schools, and the university.

Private and corporate schools embrace academies and high schools for boys, preparatory for college or university; female colleges, mainly under denominational control; and the well-known colleges of St John's in Tidewater; Hampden-Sidney, Randolph-Macon, Richmond, and Virginia Medical in Midland; and Roanoke, Emory and Henry, and Washington and Lee University in the Valley. The college of William and Mary (founded in 1693), suspended by reason of losses during the civil war, is now a normal school.

Crime. {{EB1911 Fine Print|Prisons.—One penitentiary, at Richmond, provides for all convicted of serious crimes in Virginia; during 1885-86 it received 337 convicts (80 white, 257 coloured); its expenses were $98,978, and the labour of the convicts yielded $78,000. Each county

has a jail for persons committed for petty offences or awaiting trial.

Lunacy, &c.

There are four first-class lunatic asylums, at Williamsburg, Staunton, and Marion, and (for coloured patients) at Petersburg. In 1885-86 there were 1479 patients in the State's three asylums, for which it contributed $345,077. The census of 1880 returned 2411 insane,—1171 males, 1240 females, 1719 white, Pauperism. and 692 coloured. Pauperism is not common in Virginia; in 1870 there were only 3890 paupers, supported by public charity at a cost of $303,081; in 1880 the total number was 3138, 2117 of these being in almshouses, of whom 1027 were coloured. Deaf-mutes Deaf-mutes and blind. and blind are well cared for in a noble institution at Staunton, which trained during 1885-86 78 deaf-mutes and 44 blind, with an annual grant of $35,000. The disabled Confederate soldiers of Virginia are aided by the State ($83,040 in 1885-86). There is also, near Richmond, a soldiers home.


More than 50 per cent. of the labouring population was in 1880 engaged in agriculture. According to that year's census the land area was 25,680,000 acres, 19,835,785 of which (0.772 of the whole) were embraced in 118,517 farms, although only 8,510,113 acres of such area (only two-sevenths of the whole) were under cultivation (leaving 57.1 per cent. of land in farms unimproved), yet the number of farms increased 60.5 per cent. and the acreage in farms 9.3 per cent. from 1870. Seventh-tenths of its farms were cultivated by owners; over half of the remainder were rented for a share of the crop, and the other part for a fixed money rental. The average size of farms was 167 acres; but there were 53,101 containing from 100 to 500 acres, 5561 with from 500 to 1000 acres, and 1563 containing over 1000 acres each,—so that more than half the farms contained from 100 to over 1000 acres each, or a probable average of 300 acres each, large farms being the rule. The farms and their improvements were valued at $216,028,107, their farming implements at $5,495,114, the live stock at $25,953,315; for improvements $1,697,180 and for manures $2,137,283 were spent, and the value of their products was estimated at $45,726,221. The live stock comprised 218,838 horses, 33,598 mules and asses, 54,709 working oxen, 243,061 milch cows, 388,414 other cattle, 497,289 sheep, and 956,451 swine. The wool clip was 1,836,673 ℔; 1,224,469 gallons of milk were sold; 11,470,923 ℔ of butter and 85,535 of cheese were made; 859 acres of barley yielded 14,223 bushels; 16,463 of buckwheat 136,004; 1,768,127 of Indian corn 29,119,761; 563,443 of oats 5,333,181; 48,746 of rye 324,431; 901,177 acres of wheat yielded 7,826,174 bushels; 45,040 acres of cotton 19,595 bales; the flax crop was 4526 bushels of seed, 16,430 tons of straw, and 66,264 ℔ of fibre; the sorghum crop was 143 ℔ of sugar and 564,558 gallons of molasses; from the sugar maple were made 85,693 ℔ of sugar and 7518 gallons of molasses; of hay 286,823 tons were grown on 336,289 acres; 17,806 bushels of clover seed and 41,722 bushels of grass seed were raised; there were 1,987,010 barn-yard and 660,147 other fowls, and 8,950,629 dozen eggs were produced during the year; 1,090,451 ℔ of honey and 53,200 of beeswax were made; on 140,791 acres were grown 79,988,868 ℔ of tobacco; 2,016,766 bushels of Irish potatoes were raised, and on 23,755 acres 1,901,521 bushels of sweet ones; orchard products were valued at $1,609,663, and market-garden products at $837,609; 2,177,770 cords of wood, valued at $3,053,149, were cut; the wool clip was valued $1,836,673; 12 acres of hops yielded 1599 ℔, and 127,976 ℔ of broom corn were grown; the crop of pease was 77,758 bushels, and that of beans 45,411. Of the 8,510,113 acres of improved land, 1,152,083 were in permanent meadows, pastures, orchards, and vineyards, and 7,358,030 were under tillage; of the 11,325,672 acres unimproved in farms, 9,126,601 were in woodland and forest, and 2,199,071 in old fields, &c. Virginia was one of the twenty States that produced over 20,000,000 bushels of Indian corn each, ranking thirteenth; it stood second to Kentucky in acreage and quantity of tobacco grown. The United States commissioner of agriculture estimates that in 1884 Virginia had 4,071,401 acres in crops, producing 44,000,000 bushels of cereals, 2,061,000 bushels of potatoes, 99,763 ℔ of tobacco, 366,389 tons of hay, and 13,500 bales of cotton, valued at $39,050,052; and had on its farms 2,127,023 domestic animals, worth $39,608,536.


Manufactures.—Though Virginia has great natural advantages for becoming a leading manufacturing State, in 1870 less than 12 per cent. of its population was engaged in manufacturing industries. In 1880, however, its 5710 establishments had invested $26,968,990, employed 40,184 persons (28,779 men), paid $7,425,261 for wages and $32,883,933 for materials, and produced to the value of $51,780,992,—a gain of nearly 60 per cent. in ten years. It is estimated[2] that the value of the products in 1885 was $75,000,000,—a gain of over 44 per cent. in five years. The sales of products of the manufacturing establishments of Richmond city alone amounted in 1887 to $27,887,340. The pig-iron output in 1887 was worth over $3,000,000. The more important manufactures are those of iron, tobacco, leather, coke, cotton, manures, paper, agricultural implements and machinery, builders' materials,

vehicles, lumber, lime, tanning extracts, railway cars and loco motives, flour and mill products, spelter, salt, distilled spirits, canned fruits, vegetables, &c.


Communication.—The navigable tidal bays, creeks, rivers, harbours, and roads of Tidewater Virginia furnish more than a thousand miles of channels for commerce; Richmond, at the head of the tidal waters of the James, 117 miles from Chesapeake Bay, is reached by ocean ships drawing 15 feet of water; West Point, at York Head, 41 miles from the bay, has 18 feet of depth; Elizabeth river gives to the fine harbour of Norfolk a channel 25 feet deep; while Hampton Roads, with its 400 square miles of area, is the largest as well as the most central and commodious landlocked harbour on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Ship canals connect the great waterways of Virginia with those of North Carolina and beyond to the southward; and, similarly, northward the head of Chesapeake Bay is connected with Delaware Bay. At the beginning of 1888 there were 35 railway companies working 2540 miles of road, all of standard 4 feet 9 inches gauge, except some 256 miles of narrow-gauge short lines. The Virginia railways earned $13,825,909 in 1885 at an outlay of $8,999,853, the work done being equivalent to 971,477,375 mile-tons. Virginia early took part in the construction of railways, investing many millions in the stocks of the various lines now reaching nearly every part of the State; beginning about 1830, it had 147 miles of railway in 1840, 384 in 1850, 1350 in 1860, 1449 in 1870, 1893 in 1880, 2430 in 1885, and 2540, with some 200 miles more in course of construction, at the beginning of 1888. Eight great through railway lines connect its trade and manufacturing centres with those of other States.


Finance.—For the year ending September 30, 1886, the assessed value of the real estate of Virginia was $257,607,935, and of personal property $83,152,971, or $340,760,906 of taxable valuation; the taxes were $1,029,936 on real estate, $336,366 on personal property, $39,112 on incomes, $316,293 capitation, $141,755 from railways on a valuation of $34,614,427, $299,343 from liquor and $400,325 from other licences. The receipts of the State were $2,773,437, and its expenses of all kinds $2,755,036; of these $657,610 went to the support of the free public schools and $1,064,097 to the support of the State Government. The rate of taxation is low, and on a low property valuation. The State debt at January 1, 1885, was $28,961,829.


Militia.—In 1880 the natural militia (male persons from eighteen to forty-four years of age inclusive) was 264,033 (102,426 of them coloured) in a male population of 745,589. The organized militia force is small. In 1885-86 there were 51 equipped volunteer companies of active militia under the orders of the State,—mainly in its cities and larger towns,—43 of infantry (18 of them coloured), 5 of artillery, and 3 cavalry,—mustering in all 2904 men. The Virginia military fund is about $11,000 a year.


History.—The mound-builders of the Mississippi valley had outposts, as evidenced by remains of their earth-works, in the mountain passes of Appalachia. At the time of the arrival of the whites the Powhatans held most of Tidewater, the Mannahoacks the north-east and the Monacans the south-west of Midland and Piedmont; the Cherokees held the Tennessee basin parts of the Valley and Appalachia, and Algonkin tribes—Shawnees, Delawares, &c.—the rest of those divisions. Many of the place names are still Indian. Cabot probably entered Chesapeake Bay in 1498; when Raleigh's ships, in 1584, brought to England glowing accounts of the Albemarle Sound region, the whole country was named Virginia in honour of Elizabeth, the virgin queen. The first permanent English settlement in America was made at Jamestown, Virginia, May 13, 1607, by one hundred settlers sent from England by Sir Thomas Gates and Company, who had obtained in April 1606 a charter from James I. to plant two colonies in Virginia,—a southern somewhere between 34° and 41°, and a northern between 38° and 45° N. lat., but at places not less than 100 miles apart. In 1609 the London Company superseded Gates's, which had merely held its settlement and given to the world the romantic adventures of Captain John Smith (q.v.). King James gave the London Company, by charter, a sea-front of 400 miles,—200 north and 200 south from Point Comfort,—all islands within 100 miles of the coast, and all the country back from this 400 miles of frontage “throughout from sea to sea,” and to its colonists all the rights of natural-born Englishmen; under this charter Virginia had jurisdiction over her imperial colonial territory, and under it holds the fragment of that colony now called Virginia. The colony of the London Company grew and prospered, and in 1619 Governor Yardley organized at James City, the capital, a few miles inland from Jamestown, the first legislative body that met in North America; in 1621 the London Company granted the colony a liberal constitution, the general form of which Virginia has always preserved. In August 1619 a Dutch man-of-war sold at Jamestown twenty African negroes, and introduced negro slavery. In 1624 James I. arbitrarily deprived the London Company of its charter, and Virginia became a royal colony, which was, till the revolution, a favourite and generally a loyal royal province governed

by the constitution of 1621, the king appointing the governor and council and the people electing the members of the house of burgesses. In 1698 the capital was transferred to Williamsburg, where, under royal patronage, William and Mary College had been established in 1693. The colony soon occupied most of Tidewater and its Midland border; in 1716 Governor Spotswood crossed the Blue Ridge, and was, so far as known, the first white man to enter the Great Valley, which was soon thereafter occupied by large numbers of Scottish and some German and English settlers. Indian wars followed as settlers moved westward, but in 1744 Virginia purchased from the Indians the right to make settlements to the Ohio, and built a fort where Pittsburgh now stands; the French captured this in 1754, and the long French and Indian war followed, until the 1763 treaty of Paris ended it and made the Mississippi the western boundary of Virginia. During that war, in 1755, Braddock was defeated; and in 1758 Fort Duquesne, which under the French had taken the place of Pittsburgh, was captured and renamed Fort Pitt. In 1773 the general assembly of Virginia resolved for an “inter-colonial committee of correspondence,” and was dissolved by Lord Dunmore, the royal governor. In May 1774 it again met and protested against the closing of the port of Boston; Dunmore again dissolved it, but the burgesses, the members elected by the people, reassembled and passed resolutions denouncing British taxation and recommending to the other colonies an annual congress of delegates, leading in this as it had in recommending committees of correspondence. Virginia took a leading part in the subsequent war of independence, but the various steps of her policy need not be detailed here (see United States, and compare also Jefferson and Washington).

The great territory of Virginia, reaching from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, and now divided into five large States, made the other States of the Union apprehensive of her future domination. In 1781, to promote harmony, she offered to cede to the general Government all her territory beyond the Ohio, and in 1784 she made the cession, only stipulating that the territory thus voluntarily given up should, when peopled, be divided into new States, in which slavery should be for ever prohibited, and that the remainder of her territory—that from the Atlantic to the Ohio—should remain inviolably hers. In 1787 the convention of the States, at Philadelphia, presided over by Washington, adopted the present constitution of the United States, and this Virginia, in convention, ratified in 1788. In the war of 1812-14 with England Virginia bore a conspicuous part, as also in that of 1846-47 with Mexico. The civil war of 1861-65 was more disastrous in its consequences to Virginia than to any other State of the Union; from first to last its territory was overrun, hundreds of battles and minor engagements took place within its borders, and all the destruction incident to gigantic military operations fell upon it; tens of thousands of its best men were killed in battle; its territory was dismembered, and a third part of it cut off, while more than three hundred million dollars worth of property was destroyed in what remained.

For some time after 1865 Virginia was under Federal military control as “District No. 1”; but on December 3, 1867, a convention, elected by the people, under an Act of the United States Congress, met and framed a new constitution, prohibiting slavery and accepting the results of the war; this was ratified by a popular vote, July 6, 1869, at which time members of a general assembly and State officers were also elected. The chosen governor was inaugurated September 21, 1869; the general assembly met October 5, 1869, and ratified the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the constitution of the United States; and on January 26, 1870, Virginia was readmitted to representation in Congress, and released from military control. (J. H*.)

  1. Formations xiv., xv., and xvi., the Upper Coal group, are not known in the present limits of Virginia.
  2. United States Internal Commerce Report, for 1886.

W. & A. K. Johnston