DESCRIPTION OF MAP.
The Great Kanawha is known by this name to the mouth of Gauley; above that, it is known as the New River, which takes its rise among the mountains of North Carolina.
No. 1 is Guyandotte, at the mouth of the Guy andotte River, and is the proposed terminus of the Covington & Ohio Railroad. No. 2 is the location of Charleston, at the mouth of Elk River. No. 3 is the site of Kanawha City,—a compara tively new place,—at the mouth of Lenn's Creek and on the proposed railroad to Peytona, on Coal River. No. 4 is the mouth of Gauley River, and No. 5 the mouth of Greenbrier River. At this point the Covington & Ohio Railroad enters the valley of the New River. The grading of this road is partially completed. A short distance farther up, at 6, is the mouth of Sinking Creek, the most available proposed route of a great freight-line from the East to the West, leaving the New River and crossing over to the James. It is anticipated that the maximum grades of this route will be only 20 feet to the mile, and the dis tance from the navigable waters of the West to tide-water considerably diminished over the most favorable routes now existing.
No. 7 is the Great Limestone Valley, known through Virginia as the Valley of Virginia. It stretches from the cane-brakes of Alabama to the Valley of the Hudson and beyond. It is narrow a short distance east of this point, on the high water-shed between the James and the New Rivers; but at "Central City" (8) and farther west it widens out in rich and extensive plains, and forms some of the finest plantations or agri cultural lands in Virginia. It is really a delight ful region, and destined at no distant day to become one of the most populous and wealthy districts of the South.
No. 9 is the location of Wentworth, in North Carolina, between Danville and Greensboro (10), and No. 11 is the position of Raleigh.
The dark spots at 13 represent the great region of magnetic iron ores; while 12 represents the gold-belt. 14 is the rich copper region in South western Virginia, and 15 is the region of brown hematites on each side of the great valley. 16 is the Alleghany range.
This region of iron ores will perhaps rival any locality in our country —Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob, or Lake Superior not excepted—either in quality or quantity. There is no limit to the resources of brown hematite
in this section. It exists in massive beds of great extent, and ranges through a vast area of country. We have seen beds of ore in this region equal to the celebrated Cornwall deposits, and can state, from practical experience, there is no richer or purer iron ore of this description to be found. The miniature map shows the coal of the Kanawha to be in close proximity to this great region of iron, and connected by a large river, which levels as it were the mountains and grades a uniform path through the huge Alleghanies. From the Ohio River to the boundary of North Carolina the ascent is easy and uniform, and the elevation moderate. The point at which the dividing ridge between the waters of Virginia and North Carolina may be pierced by tunnel is not over 2500 feet above tide, and only 2000 feet above the Ohio; while the distance is about 250 miles, or a common grade of less than 10 feet to the mile. But, as the upper portions of the distance overcome the most elevation, the grades at the summit would be 50 feet to the mile for a short distance. This, however, would have no reference to the rich hematitic iron region of the valley. These ores may be reached at a maximum grade of 20-feet to the mile, with a common descending grade from the ore deposits to the coal of the Kanawha.
From the magnetic iron regions of North Carolina the grades would be adverse for a short. distance to the summit. But the great richness of the ores—which yield about 70 per cent. of metallic iron in the charcoal furnace—would compensate for additional freight or transportation. The railroad line thus suggested from the Ohio to the great iron and copper regions of Southwestern Virginia and North Carolina not only give the valley of the Kanawha an abundant supply of the richest and purest iron ores and open out a splendid mineral and agricultural region, but also open direct communication between Virginia, North Carolina, and the Great West, and, we hope, at no distant day, the golden gates of the far Pacific.