[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]


The Miner.

Believing, first, that the mining interests of Wisconsin rank only second to the Agricultural, and secondly, that those interests would be promoted by the record of important facts, discoveries and statistics, we have decided to open a Department for that purpose in the Farmer, which being the only journal exclusively devoted to the industrial interests of the State would seem to do less than justice to itself and to the undeveloped mineral resources of the State, should it fail duly to recognize this important source of our wealth and prosperity as a commonwealth.

Henceforth, let it be understood, therefore, that all practical miners and scientific gentlemen who desire the advancement of our mining interests and who may be able to communicate anything of value on the subject, are hereby cordially invited to make themselves at home in this department of our paper. Published in convenient form for preservation and reference, we doubt not that some enterprising gentleman in each mining district, will gladly avail himself of its columns for the purposes above named.

Kaolin, or Porcelain Clay—Beds of itin Wisconsin

Mr. Editor :—The Kaolin of which I spoke the other day, and upon which I promised to furnish a short article, is found near Grand Rapids, on the Wisconsin river. It was first noticed by Mr. John Poad, and others, who were exploring that region for Mineral Veins, and specimens of it brought back and presented to me. The, party afterwards sent a box of it to England to have it tested, and it was pronounced to be equal to the best English Clay.' It may be necessary for me to say, for the benefit of some of your readers, that Kaolin is the Chinese aame for porcelain clay, that material out of which China-ware (so expensive in this country) is made.

I cannot speak of the geological position and extent of this clay bed as I would wish,

not having visited it myself, but am assured by the parties who discovered it, that it is sufficient for manufacturing purposes; and from their description, I have no doubt the beds are very extensive. The importance of this discovery will appear, when we consider that Kaolin is found in but very few places in the United States; and nowhere, that I know of, in sufficient quantities, to justify the investment of capital necessary to manufacture it, but here.

I hope to explore this part of the State myself sometime during the next summer, after which I shall be able to furnish you with more extended and important information on this discovery. John Mdrrish.

Mazo Mame, Feb. 18,1862.

[merged small][ocr errors]

National, > 1,868,196 or 934 196

Minnesota, 3,760,800 " 1,880 800

Rockland, 938,034" 469 34

Superior 79,328" 39 1,328

Flint Steel, .'. 3,039" 1 1,039

Nebraska, 14,663" 7 683

Knowlton 22,799" 11 ?99

Oglma 19,860 •■ '9 1,360

Evergreen Bluff, 125,896" 62 1,888

Ridge 62,138" 31 138

Adventure, 6,844" 3 844

Toltec 4,446" 2 496

Bohemian, 15,160" 7 1,160

Total 6,920,731 " 3,460 731

In looking over some statistics of production of the mines of this region, we had the curiosity to compare the increase therein shown with the increase of population. We find that in 1854 the population of the two copper counties of the Upper Peninsula (Houghton and Ontonagon) was 7,985; the production of ingot copper was 1,488 tons, and the value about $496,200. This would give a yield of 873 lbs. to every man, woman and child, making each one a pioduoer lo the amount of $75 60. In 1860, after an interval of six years, we find the population amounting to 13,810 souls, producing 6,000 tons ingot copper, worth $2,400,000.— This is at the rate of 866 lbs., or $173 20 to each individual. The increase in the six years, as exhibited by the above figures, is, for the population,'about 74 per cent.; for the production and value, 310 per cent.

Prof. Whitney'• Surrey of the Lead Mines—Pint Vol. of the Geological Eeport of Wisconsin.

There is an old adage to the effect, that, if we employ a doctor we should not refuse to take his medicine. But, unless we are mistaken either in the character of the Geological Report just published or as to the settled convictions of practical miners in the Lead Region of Wisconsin, a majority of those most directly concerned in the progress ef the mining interests will find it difficult to accept the conclusions of Prof. Whitney in relation to the leadbearing character of the Lower Magnesian Limestone.

It is nevertheless true that the State can afford to know the facts, and if there is really no lead in the lower rocks, or if there be not a sufficient quantity to warrant the expense of working the mines to that depth, the sooner we find it out the better. It should not be forgotten, however, that previous explorations have led to directly opposite conclusions, towit: that there are undoubtedly immense quantities of workable mineral in that rock.

The question at issue is one of great importance to our State, and it is hoped that the Professor has not been influenced by pre-conceived notions to take a position which the facts will not fully warrant. The mining experience in England stands in favor of the lower deposits, and there are said to have been discoveries of lead in the Lower Magnesian, where it crops out along the streams; so that practical miners may reasonably be expected to be skeptical as to the soundness of Professor W.'s conclusions until extensive and well directed explorations in the lower rock shall have been made with invariably negative results. »

Of the Report as a whole, and upon this particular subject, we shall take occasion to speak more fully when we hav« given it a more thorough examination. It is handsomely printed on excellent paper, with numerous wood engravings and maps, and, if scientifically correct, will be an honor to the State.


From Hnnt'i Merchant's Magazine. The Arctic Expedition of 1880.


[Concluded from Feb. No.]

My party being necessarily small, I could not send into the field more than a boat's crew of able-bodied men, and these I had always considered as merely auxiliary to the dogs, and, without the dogs, altogether unavailable for the services to be performed.

My anxiety was fully shared by Mr. Sonntag, the astronomer of the expedition, and my able second in command. He early volunteered to go south to endeavor to open communication with the Esquimaux of Northumberland Island, with the hope of obtaining dogs. His former experience when with Dr. Kane had familiarized him with all the phrases of Arctic travel, and no one could have been better fitted for the the task. Besides the usefulness of the proposed journeys, it was peculiarly in harmony with his active and enterprising spirit. His offer was accepted, and he left the vessel on the 22d of December, with a sledge and nine dogs, accompanied by the Esquimaux.Hans, intending to make the journey and return during the moonlight period then setting in. It is my sad duty to inform you that he died while absent.

It appears, from Hans' report, that the immediate cause of Mr. Sonntag's death was cold. Hans, upon his return, stated that they travelled the first day to Sutherland Island, where they camped in a snow hut, and were there detained two days. Their next camp was at Sorfalik, a deserted Esquimaux station on the coast, fifteen miles below Cape Alexander, where they built another snow hut. They set off next day directly for Northumberland Island. The ice, although covered with a light snow, appeared to be sufficiently strong. Mr. Sonntag walked in advance of the sledge, and, when about five miles from the land, he came upon thin ice, and broke through. Hans assisted him out of the water, and they immediately put back for Sorfalik. Before that place was reached Mr. Sonntag was insensible, and he died soon afterward. His remains were subsequently brought to the vessel, and were interred near the observatory.

Hans succeeded in reaching the Esquimaux; but by over-driving and injudicious management, five of the dogs were killed, and the remaining four were permanently injured. I had now only six animals. The Esquimaux came to the vessel some weeks later, and from them I obtained by- purchase a sufficient number to make two teams xit seven each.

It was not until late in March that the ice formed around Cape Ohlsen, and the land being too mountainous for sledge travelling, I was not, until that time, able to set out northward. At that period I made a preliminary journey to Fog Harbor, and there established a provision depot. I availed myself of this opportunity to visit Rensselaer Harbor, Dr. Kane's winter quarters. No vestige of the advance was discovered. She has probably drifted out to sea with the ice. During this journey the coldest temperatures of the cruise were recorded. On one day the thermometer sank to 66} degrees, and on another to 68 degrees below zero. We camped at night on this, as well as on all subsequent journeys, in the snow hut of the Esquimaux.

Active preparations had been making since January for the spring campaign, and we were ready for the final start on the 4th of April.— The chief equipment consisted of a metalic lifeboat, twenty feet in length, mounted upon runners, provisions for a boat's crew of six persons for five months, provisions for seven persons and fourteen dogs for six weeks, together with a careful allowance of fuel for the above named period. We started from the vessel on the above-mentioned date, with our entire equipment, the boat and its cargo being drawn by the whole available ship's company and fourteen dogs. Mr. Radeliff, with two men, were left In charge of the vessel.

Upon reaching Fog Harbor we made nearly a due north course, intending to reaoh the west coast and travel thence upon the land ice. We soon encountered hummocked ice of extraordinary thickness, through which it was often necessary to break a passage with axes and shovels. It finally became evident, from the slowness of our progress, that the entire summer would be consumed in reaching the west land, even if the boat could be transported to it at all. Being well assured that nothing could be accomplished with the boat expedition, I sent the main party back on the 28th of April, and continued northward with three companions and two sledges.

The ice grew worse as we advanced, and we were fourteen days in reaching the west coast, a distance, in a direct line, of only forty miles. From this fact you can form some estimate of the character of the ice over which we travelled. The severity of the labor broke down the dogs and I was compelled to feed to them a double ration, thus consuming rapidly the provisions, and proportionally shortening my northward journey. Reaching the west coast at Cape Hayes, we travelled along the land through Kennedy Channel until the 18th of May, when, our provisions being exhausted, we were compelled to turn our faces southward. The latitude attained upon that day' was 81 degrees 35 minutes, a degree of northing which I believe not to have been exceeded or equalled by any explorer except Sir Edward Parry. The land was taken possession of in the name of the United States, with the usual

forms, and the flag which was used upon the occasion has covered the most northern known land upon the globe.

Although thus early in the season the ice in Kennedy Channel was everywhere muoh decayed and unsafe, and in some places was entirely gone. In one extensive pool a flock of water-fowl was discovered. I entertain no doubt that the ice of Kennedy Channel was broken up and dissolved at a very early period of the summer. It was in this channel that Dr. Kane discovered an open sea, at a period of six weeks later, in the summer of 1854.— Before reaching the vessel I lost all but seven of the remaining dogs, and the ice having broken up around Cape Ohlsen, further exploration to the northward was impossible during the present season.

The six weeks subsequent to my return to Port Foulke were occupied in preparing the vessel for sea, in completing some unfinished surveys, in making magnetic and other observations, in collecting specimens of natural history, in photographing the scenery and objects of interest in the vicinity. The schooner had been much damaged by the ice encounters of the previous summer, and it was found impossible to restore her original strength. Being without a carpenter, a large share of the labor of repairs fell upon Mr. McCorraick, the sailing-master of the expedition, of whose ready ingenuity and practical skill I cannot too warmly express my acknowledgements. The ice broke up around the vessel on the 10th of July, and we put to sea on the 14th.

After much difficulty and two trials we reached the west coast, twelve miles south of Cape Isabella, and, being unable to pass the cape, we dropped anchor, and on the 28th I made a journey to the no.-th side of the cape in a whale-boat, and from an elevation of six hundred feet obtained a view to the northward. In that direction, fifteen miles above Cape Isabella, the ice was solid and unbroken as far as the eye could reach.

To the eastward the pack ice was heavy and impenetrable. To penetrate the strait under these circumstances, with the view of reaching a practicable point for future sledge operations with my reduced force, (for I had now only five dogs,) was clearly impracticable, and believing that I was not justified in incurring the heavy expense of another year's absence without a prospect of corresponding results, I reluctantly abandoned the field and turned southward.

Taking Whale Sound on the way, I completed the survey of that remarkable inlet, and obtained there an excellent set of magnetio determinations and some photographs of the natives, the glaciers and other objects of interest.

After boring through the ice of Melville Bay for 150 miles, we reached the southern water, and entered the harbor of Upper Navik on the 14th of August. There we remained ten days, engaged during that time in various scientific explorations. On the 1st of September we reached Corham, or Lievely, and were there similarly occupied. We were ready for sea again on the 6th, but a succession of southwesterly gales detained us until the 17th, when we again put to sea, and having a fair wind, we were, on the 22d, 200 miles to the southward of Cape Farewell. From that time until the 9th of October we encountered constant southerly weather, with frequent gales. When off Halifax we sustained serious damage, and were obliged to put into that port for repairs. We are now again ready for sea, and expect to leave this port to-morrow.


I have to regret that we could not accomplish a greater northing, but' situated as we were, with Smith's Strait to cross, and with a small force at command, I can but regard the summer exploration as fortunate and successful. The field of research, although more limited than I had anticipated, was, however, new, and my observations in different departments of physical and natural science will, I feel assured, meet the approbation of the patrons of the expedition.

I am well satisfied that they will be found fully to justify the labor and expense which they have cost. The unfortunate accident which occasioned the untimely death of Mr. Sonntag caused a serious loss to the expedition. The system of observations and experiments which we had planned in concert had already accomplished important additions to Arctic science, when death deprived me of his invaluable assistance; and with the duties incident to Arctic exploration in the field pressing constantly upon me, I was not always able to execute the plans which we had devised. My officers, however, on all occasions contributed their best assistance, and I was by them relieved of many onerous duties. I am especially indebted to Mr. Radeliff, assistant astronomer, for his sealous assistance in the work at the observatory, and for his assistance in taking photographic views; and to Messrs. Knorr and Starr I owe obligations for valuable aid in collecting specimens of natural history and other scientific duty.

I will mention, in conclusion, that I am still of opinion that Smith's Strait can be navigated with steam. Under sails alone I am satisfied that it cannot. It is my hope to be able to renew the attempt with a small steamer.— With this view I have left some stores at Port Foulke and at Upper Navik.

With the hope that this may find you in the enjoyment of health and happiness, I remain, very sincerely, your friend and servant,

J. J. Hayks.

To Henry Grinnell and others, New-York, Committee on behalf of the American Geographical and Statistical Society.


The "Sapsucker," shall he be Killed or Proteoted?

Ma. Editor :—The farmer, although completely dependent on Nature and her laws, is generally ignorant of them—sometimes to an incomprehensible degree. Perhaps this is not so much to be wondered at, from the fact that educated men sometimes teach them with arguments calculated to mislead the ignorant, the most absurd doctrines, which are oftentimes productive of the most mischievous results. These arguments have weight with the farmer in a great many cases, from the fact that they are made by men who have the reputation of being scientific, and who are supposed to understand tho subjects of which they speak.

A lecture on destructive birds (including the Sapsucker Pictu villotut,) delivered by Dr. Hoy of Racine before the Illinois Horticultiiral'Society, is an illustration of this fact and another instance in which carelessness or ignorance is allowed to circulate doctrines unsound or false in character and mischievous proportionately to the faith with which they are received and the credibility of the authority by which they are advanced.

This lecture is reported in the "Illinois Farmer," Vol. VII., No. 1, page 17.

The Dr. illustrated the lecture with specimens of birds, insects and sections of wood. After describing the Sapsucker and mentioning the different birds, it could not and should not be confounded with, he remarks that tome natur- I alistf contend that this bird is insectivorous, but he affirms that although "it may occasionally take up a beetle, its food is the liber and cambium bark of trees, and his drink the sap, hence its name the Sapsucker;" the Dr. then describes some of its habits as follows:

"The Sapsucker is a migratory bird, and arrives in Racine, Wis., about the loth day of April, not varying more than five days. On his arrival he attacks the sugar maple, pine, spruce and silver poplar; but the sugar maple is the favorite at this time. He also attacks thrifty growing fruit trees. The damage to be

« ElőzőTovább »