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and the following facts, which I have gathered from books devoted exclusively to the subject, and from topographical works, may be of interest, while they sustain my position.
• The only coal measures of practical interest to us are those of France, Belgium, Great Britain, Nova Scotia, and the United States. There are indications of coal in about thirty of the departments of France—that of Aveyron, near Spain, is said to be the most extensive, but, from the character of the country, or some unknown cause, is least worked. The latest authority I can find, gives only 7,000 persons employed in all the departments in the coal mines, and the supply of coals for the French steam marine is obtained from Belgium and Eng. land. There is a bed of coal, about 700 feet beneath the surface, extending from Valenciennes, France, under Mons and Namur to Liege, in Belgium. This is 150 miles in length, and six miles in width, and about 35,000 colliers are there employed. The quality of the coal is inferior, and its cost and distance from the sea prevent its coming in competition with the English coal.
The coal beds of Ireland and Scotland are, on the whole, inferior to those of England, hut have the same general characteristics.
“The coal measures of England are west of a straight line drawn from Gos. port to the mouth of the river Tees; the most important being on the British channel, in South Wales; in Flintshire, North Wales; in Lancasier and Cumberland, on the Irish Sea; Durham and Northumberland, on the North Sea; and in Staffordshire and West Riding, in central England. The coal in South Wales is only used on the spot for the smelting and manufacture of iron, in the smelting of copper ore brought from Cornwall, and in manufacture of tin plate. The quantity thus used is about 40,000,000 bushels per annum. The Lancaster and Cumberland mines supply manufacturing cities in these counties, Liverpool and other cities on the channel, and a large quantity required for exportation to France, the West Indies, the Mediterranean, Ireland, and the United States. I may here remark that this coal (known as “ Liverpool,” “Orell,” &c., in the Eastern and New Orleans markets,) will continue to be imported by us, at the present duty, as long as it will bring from twenty to twenty-five cents per bushel; but, at this rate, it cannot pay freight. It is used as ballast, and of course the price at which it is sold, is no criterion of its cost.
• The Durham and Northumberland, known generally as the Newcastle, colleries supply the western and southern sections of England, and the demand in France, Belgium and the Baltic; the chief market being London. Of the quantity required in that city, some idea can be formed from the consumption of nearly seven millions of bushels in her gas works.
“ The coal of central England is used in Birmingham, Stafford, Sheffield, and other manufacturing cities. Edinburg is supplied with coal from the vicinity; and the extensive cotton manufactories of Glasgow and Paisley are also furnished from collieries in the immediate district.
· In stating the cost of coal to the manufacturing consumer, and for domestic purposes, this explanation is necessary: It is of kinds and names unknown to us. Seventy distinct varieties are sent to London, and the screened and the small coal, the slack and the cinder of the same variety are of different prices; often several varieties are combined, and the prices are as numerous as the compounds. Bovey coal is bituminous wood, holding an intermediate place between peat and pit coal; yet it is worked an hundred feet • below the grass.' Sulphurious coal is dangerous to work; culm is of but little more value and neither are used when better coal can be had. The Orell and Cannel varieties are the best for manufacturing purposes, and come nearest, in appearance and value, to our Western coal. At New Orleans, for manufacturing purposes, the Pittsburg coal is, on the whole, preferred to them; at the Boston gas works the Indiana coal has been tested with and found superior to them; and in the accurate and numerous experiments made by Prof. W. R. Johnson, under direction of Congress, both Pittsburg and Indiana coal are proved superior to the best Liverpool and Newcastle coal for the generation of steam. When we shall separate the lamina of our coal seams, we shall probably find all the best varieties for the manufacture of iron known in England.
“ At Sheffield the prices of household coal (a mixture of hard, small or sleck, and round or cobblings) is near seven cents per bushel; the strong, clear and hard kinds used for iron work, about fourteen cents. The immense consumption of coal in Manchester is supplied from collieries within eight miles, and at the cost of from six cents to fifteen cents. At Birmingham the price ranges from six cents to sixteen cents. The Leeds coal is inferior, and sells at about seven cents. At Liverpool the average cost of small coal is quoted at ten cents, and of hard at thirteen and three-fourths of a cent. At the Staffordshire potteries the price is occasionally less than six cents ; but the coal seam is so soft that only one-third is mined.
“ The London prices quoted are: · Hetton' and “Walsend' 25 1-10 cents, and Newcastle, first and second qualities, average twenty-two and a half cents. These high prices, however, are caused by city charges and transportation.
“ By the term "hard' coal is meant the hard layers of bituminous coal.
“ I do not find any tabular statements of cost except in connection with gas works. Here, generally, the best Liverpool, Wigan and Cannel is preferred; and I give the table below, taken from report of J. Hedley, to the House of Commons in 1837:
Ton. Price per Bushel. Description.
$0.108 Bromwich. Staffordshire, 9s. 3d.
do. Macclesfield, 8s.
.074 Common. [6d. Stockport, 158.
.136 Half cannel, a 19s. Manchester, 15s. 2d.
.138 Mixed. Liverpool, 18s.
$1,447 Which gives an average of over eleven cents per bushel. If we take the average of coal, equal in quality to Pittsburgh, the average price at the great manufacturing cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, is from fourteen to fifteen cents per bushel. Twenty-six bushels and twenty-four pounds of our coal make a ton. I give twenty-six and a half bushels to the ton. The respective weights per cubic feet are : Liverpool,
78.37 Cannelton, Indiana,
79.54 according to Prof. Johnson's report. The advantage of the calculation, therefore, is against us. And yet, in ignorance of the facts, many of our men of capital and enterprise doubt whether we can enter into competition with English manu. factures, because of the cheapness of English coal !
« THICKNESS AND DEFTH OF THE COAL SEAMS.- South Wales.—The beds have been worked 2,100 feet below the surface, although generally it has not been found necessary to go deeper than 480 feet. There are twelve seams between three and five feet; eleven from eighteen inches to three feet, and several, which are not worked, from twelve to eighteen inches thick.
Whitehaven.—The Howgill mine is 600 feet below the bed of the sea, and carried 3,000 feet from the shore.
“ Dunham. - The most important colliery is the Montagu, three and a half miles above Newcastle. Of this, the Benwell main is four feet nine inches thickthree hundred and five feet deep. The Beaumont seam three feet four inches thick-four hundred and nine feet deep. Low main two feet eleven inches thicktwo hundred and twenty-three feet deep. Low low main two feet ien inches thickeight hundred and eighty-two feet deep. Of the superincumbent mass, three hundred and one feet is Whinstone and post; the first of which is so hard that angular fragments will cut glass; the latter is a hard kind of freestone suitable for grindstones.
“ Cumberland.— King's Pit,' near Whitehaven ; one seam is twelve feet thick-seven hundred and twenty-six feet deep. Two seams two feet thick
nine hundred feet deep. Three seams six feet one inch thick-one thousand two hundred and ninety-three feet deep.
“ Ashby.—At a depth of four hundred and seventy-five feet, five beds of dif. ferent qualities are worked, averaging about three feet in thickness.
“ Sheffield.—The principal seams worked near Sheffield are: 1. Seam four feet thick-depth not stated. 2. Seam two feet three inches thick, and seventy-eight below the first. 3. Seam three feet nine inches thick-one hundred and ninetyeight feet below the first. 4. Seam four feet six inches thick-four hundred and ninety-eight feet below the first. 5. Seam five feet thick-one thousand and ninety-eight feet deep. 6. Seam six feet thick-depth not stated. Of these, the second seam is largely worked, and known as furnace coal. The third bas seven lamina of different qualities. The fourth is, in working, separated into eight layers, the lowest portion being Cannel coal, and used exclusively in the Sheffield gas works. The fifth, or · manor seam,' has fifteen layers, including two of soil. The sixth, or Sheffield bed,' has six or eight varieties, some abounding in iron pyrites.
“ Northumberland.—The shallowest pit is one hundred and thirty-eight feet deep, and the lowest twelve hundred and eighty feet perpendicular; of which the shaft alone cost about $350,000.
“At Monkwearmouthshire, the boring commenced in 1826, and had reached, in 1835, as low as fifteen hundred and ninety feet, passing through but a single available seam, at a depth of fifteen hundred and seventy-eight feet; and, indeed, none other was looked for under eighteen hundred feet deep. In working this shaft about $500,000 had been expended !
“In the · Alfred' pit, at Jarrow, there is a thirty horse steam engine, erected at a depth of seventy-eight feet below the surface, and used in raising the coals up a shaft which unites with the workings carried out two hundred and seventy feet deeper still. At this profound depth, another engine draws the coals up an inclined plane that lies coincident with the dip of the strata.
“ At the Swan Banks' colliery, near Halifax, the hard band' coal seam two feet three inches thick, is four hundred and forty-two feet deep, and the 'soft bed' coal one foot five inches thick, is worked eight hundred and twelve feet below the surface.
“ The foregoing are about the average value of the coal beds in England. The thickest seam is that called the • Ten-Yard Vein,' near Dudley. This, however, as is the case in all very thick beds, is difficult to work. The coal is tender, the roof is not firm, and only about one-third of the coal can be taken out. Besides, thus far, no machinery has been found in detaching blocks of coal from the mass. Where the ordinary pick is insufficient, gunpowder is used; and, wherever this is required, Davy's safety lamp would be superfluous. The seams worked at the least expense, are from five to eight feet thick. Of the average depth and thick. ness of the coal in England, I have no precise data. It is safe, however, to esti
mate the depth at between six hundred and seven hundred feet, and the thickness from three to three and a half feet.
• The cost of reaching and working these mines is enormous; cheap labor and capital only could sustain it. Where else but in England would a capitalist persevere for nine years, and expend half a million of dollars without any return, on the judgment of a 'coal viewer' or geologist ?
• The labor and cost of raising the coal from such depths is but slight when compared with that required to drain and ventilate the mines. Drainage is sometimes effected by • adits' or drifts. The Cornish adit, for example, extends its ramifications about 26,000 fathoms, and empties into Falmouih harbor. The adit of the Duke of Bridgewater's mines, at Worsley, is a prodigious work, about thirty miles long, and navigable for barges. But, generally, the water is taken from the mines by the use of the steam engine. For this purpose the South Hetton' colliery has three engines of one hundred horse power each, and one of three hundred horse power; of the latter, the beam contains eighty-one thousand eight hundred and forty pounds of iron, makes fifteen strokes per minute, and raises eight hundred pounds of water at each stroke. The cost of this engine was £10,000. And yet coal mines are often inundated, and sometimes thereby rendered useless.
“ The process of ventilating the mines is complicated and costly, and so imperfect that the mines are never entirely safe from the deadly effects of the fire and choke damp. After the awful tragedies at the Pitt mines, it seems strange that man should risk a similar catastrophe, but, in England, life is as cheap as capital or labor.
“I cannot, without extending this paper to a great length, enumerate even all the important obstacles in the way of the English collier, but cannot omit reference to dikes.'
“* Dikes,' says Mr. Coneybeare, “are an endless source of difficulty and expense to the coal owner, throwing the seams out of their level [at Clackmanshire 1,230 feet] and filling the mines with water and fire damp.' And yet, Prof. Buckland thanks God for so placing these · faults;' • for, without them,' says he, • the mines could not be drained by the powers of the most approved machinery:'
“ The statesmen of England attribute her great prosperity and power to her coal fields, and Parliaments have anxiously inquired of the surveyor and geolist whether the supply would last two or three thousand years longer. They may, in time, hear of our vast beds of the same mineral, of superior purity, without a • fault;' which is found by drifts and not shafts ; which require no artificial means of drainage or ventilation ; in whose veins life is safe and labor not irksome; and which underlies a soil of unsurpassed fertility; and they may remember the fate of Thebes, Athens, and Rome, and reflect that no amount of capital, no preponderance of power can long sustain a city or State when competing with superior natural advantages elsewhere.