the Culture of Rice; yet great Rains, which usually fall at the latter Part of the Summer, raises the Water two or three Feet, and frequently cover the Rice wholly, which nevertheless, though it usually remains in that State for some weeks, receives no Detriment.

The next Land in Esteem is that called Oak and Hiccory-Land; those Trees, particularly the latter, being observed to grow moldy on good Land. This Land is of most Use, in general producing the best Grain, Pulse, Roots, and Herbage, and is not liable to Inundations; on it are also found the best Kinds of Oak for Timber, and Hiccory, an excellent Wood for Burning. This Land is generally light and sandy, with a mixture of Loam.

The third and worst Kind of Land is the Pine barren Land, the Name implying its Character. The Soil is a light sterril Sand, productive of little else but Pine-Trees, from which notwithstanding are drawn beneficial Commodities, of absolute Use in Shiping, and other Uses, such as Masts, Timber, &c. Pitch, Tar, Rosin and Turpentine. One third Part of the Country is, I believe, of this Soil.

Though what is already said may suffice For a general Description of the inhabited Lands of Carolina, and of which the greatest Part of the Soil consists, yet there are some Tracts interspersed of a different Nature and Quality; particularly Pine-Lands are often intermixed with narrow Tracts of low Lands, called Bay-Swamps, which are not confined by steep Banks, but by their gradual Sinking seem little lower than the Pine-Land through which they run. In the middle of these Swamps the Water stands two or three Feet deep, shallowing gradually on each Side. Their Breadth is unequal, from a Quarter to half a Mile, more or less, extending in Length several Miles. On this wet Land grows a Variety of Evergreen Trees and Shrubs, most of them Aquaticks, as the Alcea Floridana, Red Bay, Water-Tupelo, Alaternus, Whorts, Smilax, Cistus Virg. or the upright Honysuckle, Magnotia lauri, folio, &c.

The Swamps so filled with a Profusion of fragrant and beautiful Plants give a most pleasing Entertainment to the Senses, therein excelling other Parts of the Country, and by their Closeness and Warmth in Winter are a Recess to many of the Wading and Water-Fowls. This Soil is composed of a blackish sandy Loam, and proves good Rice-Land, but the Trouble of grubbing up and clearing it of the Trees and Undressed has been hitherto a Discouragement to the Culture of it.

Another kind of Land may be observed more sterril than that of Pine barren Land; this Land is rejected, and not capable of Cultivation, and produces nothing but shrubby Oaks, bearing Acorns at the Height of two Feet; I think it is called Shrubby Oak-Land.

All the lower (which are the inhabited) Parts of Carolina, are a flat sandy Country, the Land rising imperceptably to the Distance of about an Hundred Miles from the Sea, where loose Stones begin to appear, and at length Rocks, which at the nearer Approach to the Mountains, increase in Quantity and Magnitude, forming gradual Hills, which also increase in Height, exhibiting extensive and most delightful Prospects. Many spacious Tracts of Meadow-Land are confined by these rugged Hills, burdened with Grass six Feet high; other of these Values are replenlished with Brooks and Rivulets of clear Water, whose Banks are covered with spacious Tracts of Canes, which retaining their Leaves the Year round, are an excellent Food for Horses and Cattle, and are of great Benefit particularly to Indian Traders, whose Caravans travel these uninhabited Countries; to these shady Thickets of Canes (in sultry Weather) resort numerous Herds of Buffello's, where solacing in these limpid Streams they enjoy a cool and secret Retreat. Pine barren, Oak, and Hiccory-Land, as has been before observed to abound in the lower Parts of the Country, engross also a considerable Share of these upper Parts.

The richest Soil in the Country lies on the Banks of those larger Rivers, that have their Sources in the Mountains, from whence in a Series of Time has been accumulated by Inundations such a Depth of prolifick Matter, that the vast Burden of mighty Trees it bears, and all other Productions, demonstrates it to be the deepest and most fertile of any in the Country. Yet pity it is that this excellent Soil should be liable to annual Damage from the same Cause that inrich'd it, for being subject to be overflowed lessens the Value of it. In over Places on the Bank, of these Rivers extend vast Thickets of Cane, of a much larger Stature than those before-mentioned, they bring between twenty and thirty Feet high, growing so close that they are hardly penetrable but by Bears, Panthers, Wild Cats, and the like. This Land, in Depth of Soil, seems equal to the preceding land is equally liable to Inundations. Though the worn Land is generally remote from Rivers, yet there are interspers'd spacious Tracts of rocky Ground, covered with a shallow but fertile Soil. Many of these Vallies are so regularly bounded by steep Rocks, that in several of them remain only an Isthmus or narrow Neck of Land to enter.

iv
next page previous page