xt718911nz20 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt718911nz20/data/mets.xml  1889  books b97-21-37317477 English s.n., : [S.l. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Cumberland Gap (Tenn.) Economic conditions. Natural resources Tennessee Cumberland Gap. Railroads Tennessee Cumberland Gap. Land use Tennessee Cumberland Gap. American Association (London, England)Procter, John Robert, 1844-1903. Cumberland Gap  : its geographical and commercial features and importance as a railroad centre. text Cumberland Gap  : its geographical and commercial features and importance as a railroad centre. 1889 2002 true xt718911nz20 section xt718911nz20 




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THE very old project of building railroads through Cumberland Gap, and develop-
ing the immense mineral and timber resources of that region, has at length been
matured through the efforts and with the capital of the American Association, Limited,
of London, England, and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, of Kentucky.
    The American Association, Limited, with a paid up capital of 1,250,000 (a com-
pany organized under the laws of Great Britain, and having statutory and legislative
privileges from the States of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky), have purchased
sixty thousand acres of coal, iron, and timber lands, lying together in a compact body
around the Gap in the States mentioned.
    These properties embrace lands suitable for every class of commercial and indus-
trial development.. The iron ore lies wholly in the Cumberland Mountain, and in the
spurs of the same, in the States of Tennessee and Virginia, within an area of about
thirty miles long by one mile wide. The coals lie in the regular coal measures of
Eastern Kentucky in the Log Mountain surrounding the valley of Yellow Creek, in
Bell County, and along the banks of the Cumberland River before it passes through
Pine Mountain to the north. The timber covers all of the hills and mountains owned
by the company for many miles in every direction from Cumberland Gap. Excepting
that the black walnut has been cut out, the forests are yet in their virgin state.
The town lands owned by the company occupy the large flat valley in Kentucky
through which the Yellow Creek winds, and the more circumscribed valley which
occupies the base of the mountain on the Tennessee side of the Gap.  The towns are
named respectively Middlesborough, Kentucky, and Dillwyn Springs, Tennessee.
    The Association has entered further into a contract with the Louisville and Nash-
ville Railroad Company, providing for the immediate construction of that railroad to
Cumberland Gap, there to make close connection with the Knoxville, Cumberland Gap
and Louisville Railroad, which the Association itself is building from Knoxville through
a tunnel under Cumberland Gap.
    There are other railroad connections being made in addition to those above men-
tioned, pointing to the adoption of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel as the readiest means
for trunk-line communication between the great Northwest and the equally great South
and Southeast.
    Certain franchises have been conveyed by the American Association to the Middles-
borough Town Company, and it is the intention of the latter to make a preliminary sale


of Town Lands on the completion of the Company's railroads early in 1889. And it is
furthermore the aim of both companies to foster capital and enterprise of every nature
in this overflowingly rich and attractive section. The money already spent, and yet to
be expended by the Association, the Town Company, and other subsidiary organizations,
under the direction and control of the parent company, warrants beyond peradventure
the creation and maintenance of a commercial centre as yet without an equal in the
whole history of the South.
    The following facts, extracted from the reports of well-known mining engineers,
geologists, and others, are presented to the public, and particularly to Coal and Coke
Operators, Iron and Steel Manufacturers, Saw-mill Owners, Wood, Wagon and Furni-
ture Manufacturers, and to all those seeking a field of enterprise where the resources
are good and abundant, the climate moderate and healthful, and the facilities for
production and sale of unusual magnitude.





    THE valuable properties of this Association, consisting of about 20,000 acres of iron
and coal deposits, lie on either side of the Cumberland Gap, where the States of Ken-
tucky, Tennessee and Virginia join their boundary lines. The iron beds are found by
themselves on the south side of the Cumberland Mountain, and the coal lands are be-
tween the same on its northern slope and the range of the Pine Mountain in Kentucky.
The iron ores occupy a long stretch of land lying adjacent to, and running parallel
with the Cumberland Mountains, while the coal measures are above drainage level in
the hills, forks, spurs and knobs that fringe the valley of the Big Yellow Creek. The
lands containing the ores are partly upon the main mountain, partly in the Poor Valley,
partly on the Poor Valley and Powell River ridges, and stretch almost continuously
from four or five miles above the Gap to about twenty miles below it. The Association
owns and controls all the mineral lands about the Gap, and the right to the ores at
other places on option and by contract.
    The ores at and near the Gap in the section of country above named show by
analysis as follows:-

                                    Metallic Iron.  Phosphorous.  Sulphur.
        Red Fossil Ore. .            58,730        0.041        0.230
        Brown Hematite  .   .  . .   56,490        o.oo6        0.210
        Carbonate  . ...   .  .   .  44,660        0.020        traces
                                     Manganese.     Iron.     Phosphorous.
        Manganiferous.37,209                       5.000       traces
        Zinc  . . . . . .     . .    34 per cent.

    The red and brown hematite are good Bessemer Ores.
    The carbonate ore is a good foundry ore.
    The manganiferous ores will make No. i spiegeleisen.
    The'zinc ore also contains lead, and is said to give i2 dols. per ton of silver.



    The hammered bars made from the red ores by charcoal, analyze 98.64 per cent. of
    The specimens of ores giving the foregoing analyses were taken from the outcrop,
and the analyses represent an average of the specimens.

                                 RED FOSSIL ORE.
    This also is called the "Clinton," " Dyestone" and "'Fossiliferous" ore. At the
Alabama end of the lead Mr. J. M. Swank, Secretary of the Iron and Steel Association,
U. S. A., gives its percentage of metallic iron  . . . . . . . . . as 5 2.975 per ct.
At the Virginia end Mr. McCreath gives its percentage of metallic iron " 52.600
In the middle, at the Cumberland Gap, Dr. Peter gives its percentage of
      metalliciron  . .  .  .  . .  .  .  . .  .  . .  .  .  . .  . " 54.i66  "
Ditto, ditto, LeDoux gives its percentage of metallic iron . . . . .." 58.730  "
    This ore is in three seams underlying the Poor Valley and the Powell River ridges
at and near the Gap, but where the Poor Valley ridge gives out both above and below
the Gap, the veins are then found in the main mountain. On the ridges the ore seems to
lie in sheets, and as the uppermost is only from two to four feet under the surface, it is
easily mined by throwing off the soil. This uppermost seam is the one best known at
the Gap. It was used by the Rose and Crockett furnaces there in the primitive days.
By the work done then it was demonstrated that one man could mine eight tons of ore
per day at a cost of 5oc. per ton; that contractors delivered it at the furnace banks for
an additional 5oc., and that cold-blast charcoal iron was produced for 7.50 per ton.
TIhe work of these pioneer iron-masters also shows that the seam of ore they encroached
upon varied from 28 to 36 inches in thickness, and is in sheet form, about 6oo yards
wide. This extent means a very large quantity of ore, and if to the upper seam named
are added the two lower veins, which are not less than i8 inches in thickness each, it is
safe to say that at the Gap alone, leaving out the same ore on the river ridges and
at Speedwell, near by, and the brown hematite and carbonate ores as well, there are
ten millions of tons of red fossil. Given furnaces on the spot, and modern mining and
transportation facilities, this ore could be laid down at furnace mouth for 40 or 50 cents
per ton; or carry this ore through the Gap by railway five miles to coking ovens on
Yellow Creek, where furnaces might be profitably erected, the cost will not be more
than 65 cents per ton. The " dip " of the ore towards the mountain, and in it, is very
regular and easy, and nothing appears to prevent inexpensive mining. In fact, the con-
ditions that obtain in the Gogebic ore regions of Michigan repeat themselves at the Gap
and round about it, except that the ore will cost the Gap or Yellow Creek furnaces not
over 65 cents per ton, whereas the Michigan ore costs at Cleveland about 5.50 per
ton, and at Pittsburgh about 7.00.
    The old Speedwell, Rose, and Crockett furnaces upon the property made cold-blast
charcoal, foundry, mill and car-wheel pig-iron out of the red ore, and it was shipped in
considerable quantities, before railroad days, by the Powell River, the Clinch, and the
Big Tennessee to Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Mobile, Memphis, New Orleans and
St. Louis. They also made several thousand tons of hammered bars, which were in
great and active demand before the war for ploughs, horseshoes, etc. ; and the Speed-
well furnace (now the property of the Association) had a five years' contract for cast
hollow-ware for Atlanta and Chattanooga.


    These ores appear to be chiefly in the main mountain. They also outcrop plenti-
fully on the Powell River ridges. They have never been worked or developed, but at
several places exposures of the veins show thicknesses varying from 12 to i6 feet, and
widths of 35 to 40 feet. There is very little doubt of these ores being in practically
inexhaustible quantities. For either working alone or mixing with the red hematite
or magnetic they are invaluable.

                           MANGANIFEROUS ORE.
    Beds of manganiferous ores are found about two miles from the Gap, south, and
cover an area of about seven miles. No attempt has yet been made to find the depth,
width and extent of the deposit.

                               ZINC, LEAD, ETC.
    A remarkable vein of zinc is found in the Powell River ridges, and is traced north-
east to the main mountains of the Gap. Where exposed it is four feet wide, and appears
to be very uniform in quantity and quality. The ore is partly zinc and partly lead, with
an admixture of arsenical silver, which is said to analyze 12 dols. worth of silver to the
ton of ore.
    In the Powell and Poor Valley ridges, and in the main mountains, limestone and
sandstone abound, and for furnaces and building purposes are comparatively inex-
haustible. f
    Fireclay in great quantities is found in the coal measures of Yellow Creek, and
will equal anything in England or Scotland for the making of bricks and retorts, or
    All of the iron ores named, excepting only the carbonate ores, are admirably
adapted to the making of Bessemer pig-iron, and the newly introduced Clapp-Griffith,
and the Reese processes enhance their value.
    The following named publications, etc., are referred to as evidence of the intrinsic
and commercial value of the lands and ores.
    Certificates of Analyses-LeDoux & Co. July, i886.
    Harper's Magazine-" Through Cumberland Gap on Horseback."  June, 1886.
    Enc. Brit.-9th Ed. Titles, " Kentucky," " Minerals."
    ",North Cumberland Valley "-Prof. J. R. Proctor. Oct., i88o.
    " Report on Ores in the Vicinity of Cumberland Gap "-Professor Moore.
    "Virginia "-Blue Book, 1876, PP. 43, 44. /
    " Report on Iron Ores of the United States "-J. M. Swank, 1885 ; p. 28.
    Copy of letter by the Hon. Judge J. T. Shields.
    Extract from report of Mr. Kirk, engineer of the Cumberland Gap, Charleston and
Chicago Railroad Co., i882.
    Copy of the report of Mr. Fitzhugh. chief engineer of the Louisville and Nashville
Railroad Co., 1885.
    Since proved to be the Oriskany ore and to extend in continuous stratification entirely through the
   t This Limestone assays about 97 per cent. Carbonate of Lime.


                                  COAL LANDS.
    The coal lands are separated from the iron properties by the Cumberland Moun-
tains. The railway which will come through the Cumberland Gap, will first touch the
coal lands where it crosses the Cumberland River near Pineville, Kentucky, then skirt
the rest of them all the way, and finally debouch in Tennessee in the midst of the
iron holdings of the Association, by means of a short tunnel. The distance across
the coal properties from north to south, or from Cumberland Gap to Pineville-the
points where the parallel " faults " occur, is thirteen miles, and from east to west about
eight miles-leaving the whole area of the coal belonging to the Association compact
and desirable and presenting the fewest engineering and mining difficulties.
    These cover all of the butts and the spurs of the intervening mountains from creek
to creek around the valley, and in some cases run back on the main mountain itself. They
also border the Yellow Creek near its mouth and are on the main river at the point
designed naturally, and by the engineers, for the crossing of the railway. The aim
was to secure the best lands along and fronting upon the route of the railroad, and this
endeavor has been wholly successful. Moreover, the position of the properties forces
later buyers to a second choice of back-lying lands, and puts it in the power of the
Association to add to their holdings. As all deliveries of coals from the mountains
would be accumulated on the railroad that skirts the valley, parties operating behind
the owners of the front lands would have to secure rights of way from the latter.
    The hills of coal are very soft and regular, and by tests of levels and openings,
and the evidence of the State geologists, it is fully proved that the seams of coal are
almost perfect in their level, and occur in all the hills, the same seam appearing in
hill after hill at the same altitude. This demonstrates the remarkable facility with
which the coals can be mined, as there can be no difficulty of drainage or ventilation in
such level drifts as would be run. Workings could be made on both sides of the same
hill, and the coals run out by cable or mule railways to the shipping or coking point.
The lump coal could be put on cars at the main line from any point on the property for
i.oo per ton, and steam coal for 8o cents.  The coal openings thus far made show in
every instance a good substantial roof of slate or sandstone.
    In the selection of the lands prominent consideration was given to their adaptability
to the introduction of coal railways, mining facilities, and proximity to suitable spots for
the erection of furnaces and coking ovens.
    No estimate has been made of the coal veins under the drainage level, although it
has been shown by well-diggers that several six to fourteen feet seams exist close to the
surface. The coals found above the drainage level, as may be seen by the specimens,
consist of pure cannel, regular bituminous, semi-splint, and semi-anthracite and coking.
These occur in seams of various thicknesses-as many as fourteen seams being found
in the hills of the highest elevation.
    The following shows the measurements of the coal seams thus far exposed, and a
partial analysis of their quality.




                                  IN KENTUCKY.


F. Green

J. Busseli . . .
A. McTee's .

George Heirs
Buckeye Lick
Evans .
NY. T. Campbell

Turner & Colson


I. C. Turner

Chris. Turner
Chris. Turner
Chris. Turner

Morrison .

No. I   Gibson  ....
No. 2   Gibson

I hickness of Seam.

6 feet .
5 feet.
3 ' feet
7 feet.

4 feet.
3j/ feet.
5 feet.
4 feet.
5 feet.

3'2 feet.
4 feet .
5 feet.
8 feet.
3 feet.

52 inches
6o inches

82 inches

   Altitude.     Location.

  300 feet
   200 feet
   200 feet  I River Section.
   200 feet J
300 feet

270 feet  Cannon Creek.
     50 feet

   200 feet  1
   200 feetl
   2o0 feet  Yellow Creek.
   250 feet
 l Ioo feet

   250 feet  i leans Spur.
.   5o0 feet

   6oo feet  Mosely's Spur.

14 feet.  Some partings .    800 feet    Hignite Creek.
 feet  .... .  .Hignice0Creek.
4 feet.                  7  feet   Stony Fork.

57 inches.    .200 feet              l
44 inches .  . .  .     300 feet   l
43 inches .  . .   .    I50 feet   F      -
43 inches .  . .  . .   350 feet  Fork Ridge.
52 inches.    .          50 feet
6o inches.    .75 feet 3

54 inches . . . .   .   275 feet
44 inches . . .   . .   300 feet   l
6ri inches.   ..    .     o feet
44 inches.    .130 feet          fMingo.
38 inches .    . .  .   300 feet
68 inches .  . . .  .   400 feet
5S inches.  Partings
71 inches.    .700 feet

6o inches . .  .  . .   200 feet  Bryson
56 inches . .  . .  .   300 feet   (

    As no work has been done, it is impossible to say what mining will develop, or to
designate particular seams to compare with those worked west, south, and east of the
field, but experience in the Alabama, Tracy City, Poplar Creek and Jellico end of the
coal measures, and a knowledge of the Virginia and Pennsylvania " tailing off," clearly
prove that the coals are alike in quality, and similar in their stratification, being the
middle and lower coal series of Virginia, or the lower productive and conglomerate coal
measures of Pennsylvania.

                                            I I


No. iI
No. 2
....  I

....  I

....  I
.. ..I

No. i I
No. 2
No. 3

No. Ixi
No. 2

No. I 
No. 2
No. I
No. 2
No. i I
NO: 2  

. . . .

. . . .
. . . I

. . . .
. . . .

. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .

. . . . I
. . . . I


                         ANALYSES OF THE COALS.

    An analysis of specimens of the coals from the outcrop of the various coal seams of
the Association, made by LeDoux & Co., shows from 57 to 6o per cent. of fixed carbon,
36 to 41 per cent. of volatile combustible matter and water, 1 to 3 per cent. of ash,
and X to I per cent. of sulphur.
    The report of the Analyst (which may be seen when desired) remarks in regard
to the various specimens submitted, as follows: " No. 24 is a good cannel, and
all the others are regular bituminous coal. Nos. 12, i6, 20, 21, 25 and 26 are the
best coking coals."
    The following comparative analyses exhibit the quality of coals from mines in
actual working:

   Cambria Iron Co
   Woodcock Mine
   Camnbria Coal an,

   Hocking Valley
   Mahoning Valle3

   Pratt Scam
   Helena Seam.

   Tracy City
   Poplar Creek

    Ye/low Creek (al
    Cannel Coal

                      Moisture. Volatile  Fixed  Ash.    Sulphur.  Candle
                          M it r . M atter.  Carbon.  Ash.wul hur

. SI
mpany  . . . . . .             ....       .    6.930   2.843  ....
  ...........  . . ... ....  ....    ....          - 5-7501  .567  ,
. . .                .... . .  .                        1  4-750  2.738   ....
d Coke Company. . .     .        ..            6,63    2.352  ....
  ............... Y........                         ....   ....                . 8301     2.780  ....

. . . . . . . . .       5.98  36.48   52.41   5.13    1.090   ....
  by.. . . . . . .      3.60   32.58   62.66   i.I6     .850

  ... . . . . . .      -i.508 31-480  6i.6oo  5-42     .9x8
  ... . . . . . .      I.740  35.480  58.690  4.090   1-.740 ....
                              Coke Soft and Porous -  -

  ... . . . . . .      ....   28.230  6o.66o 10.440    .700
                        ..... 36-985  58.      4.145   .890
. . .  . . .  . .  .   ...8. - j6.Sxo 6 0.310  5.950   .930

rerage of six seams)..    ...   35 470 60.40    4.860    .630
. . . . . . . . .         ....49-85  35-03   15.12    .748   40.


                   Carbon. Ash.   Sulphur.                   Carbon.  Ash.  Sulphur.

PENNSYLVANIA.             I                TENNESSEE.
Connelsville.     87-46   11.32    .80 S   Sewanne .o83-364         15-440   1-420
Monongahela. .    86.90o  ii.899   .789    Rockwood . . .    84.187 1j4.I4I  r.240
Beaver Falls..    84.79   12.636  1'9    AL4AAA.
                                           ALABAMA.I                I        I
OHIO.                                        Pratt . . . .     83.200 I5.o6     .740
(Average)  .      89.76o  6.430   1-494    Helena . . . .    83.600  15.206   .683

ILLINOIS.                                  VIRGINIA.
(Avperage). ..    o91.010  5 -96o 1.6      Pocahontas . .    90.02   7.75      .67

INDIANA.                                   E. KENTUCKY.
(Average). . .    90. 170  7.230  1.946    Bell County (average
                                              of q Seams) .   92.46   6.66      .67



    The accessible merchantable timber upon the properties consists of white oak,
chestnut oak, black oak, hickory, poplar (whitewood, canary wood), ash and walnut.
The timber upon a third part of the iron lands is second growth and upon the other
two-thirds is virgin, and of very fine quality. The whole of the coal lands are covered
with virgin, and except for local use, entirely unculled forests.
    Mr. Fitzhugh, in his report to his railway company, states that there are 12,000 feet
of timber to the acre in this region ; but as we count only four kinds, and those of trees
not under twenty-four inches in diameter at the butt, of choice quality, and yielding of
from 1,200 to 1,500 feet per tree in sawn lumber, our estimate places the quantity at
6,ooo feet per acre.
    This takes no count of the maple, red oak, lynn, chestnut, birch and hemlock remain-
ing, as these would be eminently serviceable for coal and iron mining purposes in the
form of headings, tram sleepers, props, roofing, etc., etc., and fuel.

                             GENERAL REMARKS.
    That the iron and steel industries of America are to be located in the South is
not now questioned. The only question is as to the exact point were the economic
problem of producing iron and steel the cheapest is to be solved, and the point at which
the raw materials can be brought together and the resulting manufactures poured into
the consuming regions at the lowest cost.
    The proximity of iron and coal has been the secret of England's mercantile success,
and history will repeat itself in the Southern States.
    Sir ISAAC LOTHIAN BELL said, in 1875, before the Iron and Steel Institute of Great
Britain, that "the undeveloped resources of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia would
prove a match for any part of the world in the production of cheap iron; " and added,
"there seems every reason for believing that pig-iron can now be laid down in the
Southern States mentioned above, at little above half the cost of that made in the
North. Then, in regard to transportation of raw material, he went on to say, " the great
advantage possessed by the mineral fields of the South is exemplified by the cost for
transport in the State of Alabama, which compares favorably with the best of those of
Great Britain. Localities in Tennessee possess powers superior, if anything, to Ala-
bama. Enough, however, has been said to prove that while in the South ore and coal
exist under conditions not surpassed by any in Great Britain, the metal produced can
be poured into the heart of the iron-making regions of the North at a total cost for
transport little more than half that involved in bringing raw materials together in Scot-
land and in sending the resulting pig to the same point."
    The point of all others most suitable for the production of the cheapest iron-the
theatre and centre of the industry-has now been found. As long ago as 1840, experts
and geologists pointed to the resources of the Cumberland Gap as offering the greatest
and surest promise for the cheap production of iron, coal and coke, and it is believed
that these results can be obtained there.
    The Cumberland Mountain rises from 1,500 to 2,500 feet above drainage level-
except at the Gap, where there is a depression a mile and a half wide, which alone
                                        I 3


presents a wall between the iron ores and the coals. The foot-hills, on the other hand,
of the Poor Valley and Powell River ridges are low, soft and round, and the entire coun-
try, excepting the valleys of the Poor Valley and the Powell, are thickly wooded. The
Poor Valley is about one half mile wide, and the Powell Valley two to two and one half
miles. This latter is very rich and fertile, and the arable lands are high-priced. The
Powell River is the natural drain of the country, and many streams, taking their source
in the Cumberland Mountains, run into it.
    The soil of the valley lands is rich loam, free from stone, and very productive.
Cleared bottom lands are in great demand. Beef-cattle and wheat are the products of
the Tennessee Valley lands, and corn of the Kentucky Valley farms. The climate of
the district is very healthy and fine, being moderate in degree, neither too hot nor too
cold. The summer is long and the winter short. There is abundance of good water;
that on the Tennessee and Virginia sides being limestone, and that on the Kentucky side
freestone. Malaria and fever are entirely unknown to the settlers, who appear strong
and robust, and seem to live long.
    In conclusion, it may be remarked that the Cumberland Gap ores and coking coals
might best be used for making Bessemer pig-iron on the spot, and also common foundry,
mill, pig and car-wheel iron, all of which would find a ready market in St. Louis, Louis-
ville, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
    Surplus coke could be sent to Knoxville, Dayton, Tracy City, Chattanooga, Bir-
mingham, etc., where the furnaces are constantly short of supply. The railways of
Georgia, N. and S. Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky would contract for the
steam coal; and lump coal for domestic purposes fetches high figures in all the large
Southern cities. A shipping trade can be established for this quality, and for the cannel
    Since reporting as above, Mr. Arthur has been able to make further developments
and investigations for the American Association. The following are a few of the results.
    First.-A stratification of red hematite ore facing 4 feet in thickness has been found
between the stratifications of the " Fossil " ore and the " Oriskany."
    Second.-A large deposit of magnetic ore has been found close to the line of the
Company's railroad, between Knoxville and Cumberland Gap.
    Third.-A stratification of manganese ore, running over fifty per cent. in metallic
manganese, has been found one and one-half miles east of Cumberland Gap in the main
mountain. This seam is of great promise.
    Foui-th.-Very extensive stratification of argillaceous iron ore (black band) has been
discovered in the coal measures at various points around Yellow Creek valley. These
ores will be valuable for mixing.
    It may here be pointed out that the centre of population of the United States lies
just southeast of Cincinnati, or within xoo miles of Cumberland Gap. Again, the
centre of the coking coal beds of Eastern Kentucky and the Virginias lies within
fifteen miles of Cumberland Gap; and, once again, the greatest bodies of ores of all
kinds yet discovered in the United States are found within a radius of 1oo miles of
Cumberland Gap.
    These facts have been taken from the last U. S. Census.



                           ASSOCIATION, LIMITED.

                                                      LONDON, 15th January, 1887.

To JACOB HIGSON, Esq., of Messrs. J. & P. Higson,
               Civil and Mining Engineers,
                            i8 Booth Street, Manchester:
    DEAR SIR,-Your selection by the American Association for the important mission
which has been entrusted to you evidences the confidence they place in your judgment
and abilities, so that there is but little necessity to enter with minute detail into all the
various points which should form the subject of your report, feeling assured that those
points will occur to you without any suggestions from us.  To put it shortly, our
desire is to know whether, in your judgment, and in view of all the surrounding circum-
stances both at present existing and those likely to arise in the near future, the property
is a desirable one to acquire upon the terms agreed upon. The property, as you are
aware, is mainly valuable on account of its possessing large quantities of iron ore and
of coal in close juxtaposition, so that the process of smelting the iron ore should be a
comparatively cheap one. There is also alleged to be a deposit of manganese ores
close at hand, which the Company are to have the option of acquiring, with a view to
utilizing the manganese in the process of converting the iron ores into steel by the
Bessemer or other process. It is hardly anticipated that either the coal or the iron
alone would be of sufficient importance to induce the Association to purchase the
property, and they are aware that the presence of both minerals is needed to confer a
value upon it. Seeing, however, that the coal supply might be valuable in view of the
requirements of the approaching railroads, and of other markets for its disposal, you
will please to report separately upon this point.
    Neither is it assumed that the presence of the two minerals, even in their close
juxtaposition, would be of sufficient value, except it were for the fact that railway com-
munication is about to be brought within the property. You will, therefore, please
direct your attention to the subject of how far these increased facilities of transport
will ensure the profitable working of these minerals, having reference to the markets,
the supply of which they will be able to command.
    It is particularly to be desired that some information should be obtained as to the
consumption of iron and coal in those neighboring markets, and how far this particular
property will have the advantage or otherwise over those sources which either at present
supply them, or which may, by improved communications, or otherwise, be shortly
expected to become competitors in the market.


    It is stated that this particular property possesses great advantages over any other
mineral deposits known in the neighboring States. It is not sufficient to know that this
property possesses coal and iron of good quality and in considerable quantities, and
that the deposits are situated close together, but that they exist in such circumstances
as will give us considerable advantages over any competitors that either now exist, or
whose existence can in any way be foreseen in the near future.
    A most important consideration is whether the iron to be obtained from the ores
on the property is such as will be fit for steel making, either by the common Bessemer
process, or by the Gilchrist, Recce, or other process.
    It is also alleged that there is a considerable quan