Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 761
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VIR    *61    VIR

Virgil, p.t Cortland Co. N. Y. 10 m. S. Homer
and 154 W. Albany. Pop. 3,912.

Virgin Cape, a cape of Patagonia, at the en-
trance of the strait of Magellan ; so called by Ma-
gellan, because he discovered it on the feast
of St. Ursula. Long. 67. 54. W., lat. 52. 23. S.

Virgin Gorda, or Spanish town, one of the Vir-
gin Islands in the W. Indies. It has two good
harbours, and is defended by a fort. Long. 64. 0.
W., lat. 18. 13. N.

Virgin Islands, about 30 islands and keys in
the W. Indies, between St. Juan de Puerto Rico,
and the Leeward Carribee Islands. They are
possessed by the English and Danes. In the first
division, belonging to the English, is Tortola, to
which belong Jost Van Dike, Little Van Dike,
Guana, Beef, and Thatch Islands. In the second
divison is Virgin Gorda, to which belong Anega-
da, Nicker Prickly Pear, the Muskitos, the Cotn-
manoes, &c. Of the Danish Islands, the princi-
pal are St..Thomas and St. John.

Virginia, one of the United States ; bounded
N. by Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland : E. by
Maryland and the Atlantic ; S. by S. Carolina
and Tennessee and W. by Ohio and Kentucky.
It lies between 36. 40. and 40. 43. N. lat. and 75.2o.
and 83.40. W. long. It is the largest state in the
union being 370 rn. in length, and200 in breadth.
It comprises 64,000 sq. m. The Apalachain chain
from Pennsylvania, passes through the state,
southwesterly into N. Carolina and Tennessee.

* The most easterly ridge is known by the namjg of
the Blue Ridge. On the west, the Laurel Moun-
tains and Chesnut Ridge extend from Pennsylva-
nia, and terminate in this state. The Cumberland
Mountains lie between Virginia and Kentucky.
The Alleghany ridge is continued from Pennsyl-
vania ; there are other ridges as Greenbriar,
North Mountain, Broad Mountain, Back Bone,
Jackson River Mountain, Iron Mountain, and
Great Flat Top. The loftiest summits are the
Peaks of Otter, in the Alleghany ridge, which are
3,103 feet above the level of the sea. This state
is watered by a great number of rivers, among
which'tnay be mentioned the Potomac, Rappa*
hannoc, York, James, and Staunton, east of the
Mountains ; and the Ohio and Kanawha to the
W. The outer half of Chesapeak Bay lies in
this state, and by its depth and extent, and the
numerous fine rivers which it receives, is of the
highest use for navigation. Most of ihe large
towns are situated at a considerable distance up
the rivers. Norfolk has a good harbour, in the
southern part of the bay, near the mouth of the
James The embouchure of this river forms a spa-
cious haven, called
Hampton Roads. These roads
were formerly open, but strong fortifications have
rendered their entrance impracticable to an ene-
my. The shores are low and flat. A peninsula

about 60 m. long, and from 10 to 15 wide, lies on
the eastern side of the Chesapeak, and is bordered
toward the sea by a string of low, sandy islets.
The waters of the Chesapeak enter the sea, be-
tween Cape Charles and Cape Henry, forming a
strait 15 m. in width.

From the vast extent of this state, and the va-
rieties of its surface, we should of course be led to
expect a great diversity of climate. In the Atlan-
tic country, east of the Mountains, the heats of
summer are long and oppressive, the spring short
and variable, and the winters extremely mild, the
snow seldom lying more than a day after it has
fallen. Droughts in summer and autumn are fre
quent The people have sallow complexions, from
the heats of summer, and bilious diseases in au
tumn. On the mountains, the air is cool and sa
lubrious,and the inhabitants are tall and muscu
lar, with robust forms and healthy countenances
Fires are here used during five months of the
year. The heat of summer during the day is con
siderahle, but the nights are always cool. On the
western side of the mountains, the climate is cold-
er by some degrees than in the same parallel of
latitude on the coast. The valley of the Ohio is
exceedingly hot in summer, while in winter,
the river is frozen so as sometimes to be passable
for two months together. The autumn is dry,
temperate, and healthy, with the most beautiful
weather. From the Atlantic coast to the head
of tide water on the rivers, the country is low, flat
and marshy, or sandy ; this meagre soil is cover-
ed with pines and cedars; but the banks of the
rivers are loamy and rich, and the vegetation in
those parts, luxuriant. This territory is alluvial,
and exhibits marine shells and bones everywhere
beneath the surface. From the head of tide wa-
ter to the Blue Ridge, the land begins to rise, and
becomes stony and broken ; the soil lies on a
stratum of stiff, reddish clay, and is much superior
to the Lowland country. In the valley between
the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany, we coine to a
limestone country ; here the soil lies upon a bed
of that rock, and is very fertile, particularly in
grain and clover. In some parts the soil is chalky.
The western part of the state, or that part which
lies between the mountains and the Ohio, has a
broken surface, with occasional fertile tracts, but
the soil is generally lean.

The most remarkable natural curiosities in this
state are Weier’s Cave, the Rock Bridge, or Nat-
ural Bridge over Cedar Creek, and the passage of
the Potomac through the Blue Ridge at Harper’s
Ferry,—all ot'which
see. In the mountainous and
western parts, there is abundance of iron ore,
with lead and coal. Gypsum of the best quality
is also found in the same region. In the eastern
part between the Potomac and James rivers, gold
has lately been discovered near the surface, and
considerable quantities have been obtained by
washing the earth. Since the year 1827, the

fold mines of Virginia have attracted attention,
'he belt of country in which they are found, ex
tends through Spotsylvania, and some neighbour
ing counties. In 1830, about 24,000 dollars val
ue of gold from Virginia, was coined at the mint
of the United States. Almost every part of the
state, west of the mountains, abounds in salt
springs. Among the mountains, are also a great
number of mineral springs. The Warren Springs,
near Green Valley, in Bath county, have a tem-
perature of 96. The Hot Springs, in the same
neighbourhood, have a temperature of 112. These
and several others are visited by invalids.

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