Josiah Rhinehart Sypher.

School history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time online

. (page 19 of 24)
Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 19 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

It. The area of the Southern Coal Field is 146 square
miles. It comprises the Lehigh, the Tamaqua, the Potts-
ville, Swatara, the Lykens valley, and the Dauphin dis-
tricts. The total product of the mines from this field was,
in 1864, 2,920,094 tons; in 1867, it rose to 4,334,820 tons.

18. The Middle Coal Field is divided by Locust mountain,
and comprises two separate regions; the Mahanoy region,
lying south, and the Shamokin, lying north of the mountain.
The area of this field is 91 square miles: the Mahanoy con-
tains 41 and the Shamokin 50 square miles. The shipments
from this field, in 1861, amounted to 3,307,327 tons.

19. The Wyoming or Northeim Coal Field is the largest
anthracite basin in Pennsylvania. It is 50 miles long, with
an average breadth of nearly four miles, giving an area of 198
square miles. It extends from Beach Grove, on the Susque-
hanna, to a point six miles northeast of Carbondale. Its form
is that of an immense trough, deep at the western end and
shallow toward the east. This coal field comprises the Car-

16. Describe Mine Hill basin?

17. What mining districts does the Southern field comprise, and
what was the total product in 1867 "^

18. Describe the Middle Coal Ft 'Id?

19. Describe the Wyoming Coal Field?


bondale, the Scranton, the Pittston, the Wilkesbarre, the
Plymouth and Nanticoke, and the Shickshinney districts.
The production of the mines in this field in 1867 was 5,328,000

20. The Lehigh Coal Basins are several comparatively
small tracts lying between the first and third, and east of the
middle coal fields. The coal area here is about 35 square
miles; it includes the Beaver Meadow, the Hazleton, the
Big Black Creek, and the Little Black Creek basins. The
Beaver Meadow railroad, giving an outlet to the coal of the
Beaver Meadow basin, and the Ilazleton railroad to the
Hazleton basin, were completed in 1840; a year later the
Buck Mountain road was opened, and thus transportation
reached every part of this region. The product of these
mines, in 1867, was 2,954,989 tons.

21. The growth of the anthracite coal trade in Pennsyl-
vania is exhibited in the following table:

Anthracite coal mined in 1820 365 tons.

" " " 1840 864,384 "

»' " " 1860 8,412,946 "

" " " 1867 12,650,571 "

22. The bituminous coal field in Pennsylvania embraces
an area of nearly 13,000 square miles, and extends through
twenty-four counties. Mines have been opened in nearly
every county in and west of the Alleghany mountains, from
Bradford and Lycoming in the north, to Westmoreland,

20. Describe the Lehigh Coal Basins?

21. Recite the table showing growth of the coal trade in Pennsyl-

22. What is the area of the bituminous coal field in Pennsylvania?
Where does it lie, and how far does it extend? Where does the bitu-
minous coal trade center?


Washington, and Greene in the south. The life and power
of the coal trade in the west centers at Pittsburg,

23. The local use of bituminous coal began early in the
history of the western settlements. Like the anthracite, it
was first burned by the smiths, and after that was used in
forges and furnaces. Throughout the entire Alleghany coal
field large manufacturing establishments are located so as to
receive the coal directly from the mines. Thousands of tons
are thrown into flatboats, and floated to the Ohio, and
thence to the Mississippi, and are distributed to the towns
and cities as far south as New Orleans. Therefore no accu-
rate statement of the annual product of these mines can be

24. The most trustworthy estimates place the quantity of
bituminous coal mined in Pennsylvania, in 1864, at 5,839,000

25. Pennsylvania enjoys a wider reputation as an iron-
producing community than any other State. This is more
the result of the thorough development and skillful use of
what ores exist, than of any advantages in the quantity or
quality of iron deposits. The States of New York, New
Jersey, and Virginia are far more liberally endowed by
nature in this respect ; each contains more iron ore than
Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, this State produces more man-
ufactured iron than all the other States combined. Iron

23. How did the use of this coal begin ? Why is it difficult to esti-
mate the quantity mined?

24. What is the most trustworthy estimate of the quantity mined
in 1864?

25. Has Pennsylvania more iron ore than any other State? How
does the quantity of iron produced compare with that of other States?
To what is this attributable? Where are good ores found? Where
is the largest deposit?


ores are extensively diffused throughout the southeastern,
middle, and western counties. Mines have been opened,
and continue to be worked in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks,
Montgomery, Chester, Montour, Lebanon, Lancaster, York,
Cumberland, Lycoming, Juniata, Huntingdon, Franklin,
Blair, Clearfield, Cambria, Indiana, Armstrong, and Clarion.
The deposit of ore in Lebanon county, at Cornwall Hills,
is the most extensive in the State. At these mines about
200,000 tons of ore are mined annually.






TJie Growth of Manufactures. — Anthracite Iron. —
Bituminous Iron. — Charcoal Iron.

1. Pennsylvania is divided into two nearly equal parts
by the Alleghany mountains, which cross the State from the
southwest to the northeast. In the eastern division are
found anthracite coal and the harder ores and rocks ; in the
western division are found great beds of bituminous coal,
deposits of petroleum and the softer ores and rocks.

2. During the colonial period, when Pennsylvania was
subject to the laws of Great Britain, no very extensive or
important manufacturing enterprises were undertaken. The
English capitalists had so much control over the government

Chapter XXXYIII. — 1. How is Pennsylvania divided ? Where
are the different coals and ores found ?

2. What prevented the growth of manufactures during the colo-
nial period?


that they procured the enactment of laws which prohibited
manufacturing- in the American colonies.

3. The labors of the mechanics were therefore confined
chiefly to the production of a few simple articles for home
consumption, and to repairing machinery brought from Eng-
land. In the first years of the settlement on the Delaware,
saw-mills and grist-mills were located on the small streams.
The first of these of which there is any record, was one built
by the Swedes, on Cobb creek, near where it is now crossed
by the Darby road. The holes in the rocks where the founda-
tion was laid are still visible. Other mills were erected
wherever new settlements were begun, so that the inhabit-
ants could saw lumber for dwellings and grind their wheat
and corn for bread. Linen and woolen goods were manu-
factured by the Swedes, on the Delaware, long before the
arrival of Penn, and these found special encouragement under
the proprietary government.

4. Ship-carpenters were among the very first mechanics
in the Province; before the arrival of Penn the Swedes had
built vessels for the use of their settlements, and in 1683, a
ship-yard was established in Philadelphia. In a few years
other yards and docks were opened, and had become cele-
brated for the beauty and strength of the vessels they sent

5. During the Revolution, these supplied the government
with ships of war; and in the hour of trial, constructed the
gallant little fleet, that so nobly resisted the approach of the

3. To what were the labors of the mechanics confined ? Where were
the first mills erected? "What was manufactured by the Swedes?

4. When were the first vessels built, and where was a ship-yard

5. What service did these yards render during the Kevolution ?


British vessels to Philadelphia, after the battle of Brandj-

6. These yards also gave to commerce the first vessels pro-
pelled by steam. Oliver Evans first floated a steamboat on
the Schuylkill, in 1773; in 1785, John Fitch placed a steam-
boat on the Delaware, which made regular trips between
Philadelphia and Trenton; and Robert Fulton, a few years
later, introduced steam navigation to the commerce of the

7. The settlers sowed flax and kept sheep to supply them-
selves with cloth for clothing and other purposes; mills were
erected to full the cloth and to press the oil from the flax-
seed; tanneries were built to make leather for shoes and
harness. Thus with every necessity came some establish-
ment to supply the wants of the community.

8. The vast deposits of iron and coal, discovered at an
early day, and which form the immeasurable resources of
the State, soon attracted the attention of the enterprising and
intelligent mechanics who had come to Pennsylvania. Rude
forges, bloomeries, and flirnaces were constructed to reduce
the ores; founderies and repair shops were built in the
thrifty villages, and thus the necessary work of the settle-
ments was performed. The expansion of these small begin-
nings was prevented by the selfish tyranny of English manu-
facturers; but when oppression overreached itself and drove
our sturdy forefathers to resistance, these thrifty repair shops

6. Where were the first steamboats built? Give the dates of the
first attempts at steam navigation?

7. How did the settlers supply their wants ?

8. "What attracted the attention of the Pennsylvania mechanics ?
How was their enterprise checked by the English ? How were they
at last relieved ?


sprang into full-grown factories and supplied the materials of
war for the patriot army.

9. The non-importation leagues of the people, which pre-
ceded the clash of arms, called into vigorous operation the
whole manufacturing strength of the Province; and thus, be-
fore the Declaration of Independence had been proclaimed,
the people had fully prepared themselves to be self-reliant
and self-supporting.

10. Clothing from the flax, wool and cotton of America,
and agricultural implements and materials of war from the
iron and timber of the hills and mountains of the Province,
were among the first articles of manufacture called for by the
necessities of the times and promptly supplied by the ener-
getic and intelligent mechanics of Pennsylvania.

11. The first iron produced from the native ore was made
at Coventry forge, in Chester county, in 1720; works are
still carried on at that place. At about the same time a fur-
nace and forge were established at Manataw^ny, in Mont-
gomery county. In 1723, the proprietors of iron works
petitioned the Assembly for the passage of an act to pro-
hibit the sale of "liquor and beer" near their premises.

12. As early as the year 1728, there were four furnaces in
blast in the Province, producing iron for home consumption.
Warwick furnace was erected on French creek, in Chester
county, in 1736; the Cornwall Cold Blast furnace, built by

0. II

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 22 23 24

Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 19 of 24)