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NEW HORTON SETTLEMENT.
the two oxen and the boy, would certainly have cost less, and would have enabled the man and the other horse to go over nearly double the extent of ground. I know that a foreigner will find as great incongruities, and almost as frequent a waste of strength, upon our English fields in some counties; but we must not compare ourselves with others with the view of finding in their faults an excuse for our own. In England and Scotland we are gradually advancing; and those who refuse to follow in improvement are, sooner or later, compelled by circumstances to give up their farms in favour of those who are willing to go forward. And, as I have elsewhere remarked, these obstinate men, in very many cases, transport their old practices with their grievances beyond the Atlantic, and have there established and taught, and still practise, the older methods, which had failed to succeed at home.
Crossing Shepody River, we passed through New Horton Settlement, beautifully situated along the southern side of Haw-haw Bay. Along the sea-level, it enjoys the benefit of rich marsh-lands; and, on the slopes, of warm fertile soils formed from the red gypsiferous marls. In its gardens, orchards, artificially-planted trees, commodious, large, conspicuously-whitened houses, and extensively-cleared land, it had a character of age and completeness about it that is very agreeable to the Old World traveller in youthful regions like this.
From Horton and Annapolis in Nova Scotia, many settlers have established themselves on Shepody Bay. I suppose this settlement of New Horton has been established and named by them; and it certainly deserves the name, both because of the rich marshes it possesses, and because of the rich red upland upon which the farmhouses are situated and arable culture is carried on. It has been often observed, however, and in many countries, that most skill and industry are exhibited where the land
NARROW GREEN SPHAGNUM SWAMP.
is less naturally productive. This Shepody district illustrates the value of some such natural stimulus, as I was informed that the worst farming was here to be seen on the best land.
Ascending from New Horton, we drove along the ridge which forms the sea-wall, as far as Cape Enrage. As we advanced, we came upon
grey sandstones, inclined at a very high angle, and forming, probably, the cliffs at the Cape, which I had not the opportunity of examining. Turning to the right, before we arrived at the end of the peninsula, we descended into a deep narrow valley, by which this ridge is separated from the next adjoining and nearly parallel one.
On reaching the bottom, we came upon a bridge by which the water and swamp was to be crossed, and where the scene was very striking. A long narrow ravine, like a broad green lane or alley, ran on our right in a nearly straight line, far towards the north-east. On our left, its course was more curved towards the sea. On the surface of this green alley not a tree or shrub was to be seen; but, down the middle, moving water was visible, slowly descending. It was the lively green and treeless surface that gave its striking character to this spot; for, on either side, the rapid slopes that hemmed it in were densely clothed with native forest. A treacherous sphagnum swamp filled the narrow green valley from side to side. Nature was in the act of converting into a boggy marsh what had recently been a shallow lake. It presented an extreme case of what is often seen in the swampy hollows that intervene between the nearly parallel ridges of sandstone in this county of Albert, and between those of metamorphic slate along the St Lawrence in Lower Canada. In old-settled countries, such natural appearances are not often seen. The hand of man has felled the forest and drained the swamp, which give to such places, in their natural state, their wild and peculiar features.
COAL-BEDS OF NEW BRUNSWICK
Crossing another ridge, we descended upon thinbedded greenish - grey and grey sandstones, among which, at Richardson's saw-mills, a bed of coal had been discovered, which I was anxious to see. We alighted, therefore, and walked half-a-mile to the mill, where, in the vertical banks of the brook, after its escape from the mill, I dug into a bed of coal eight or nine inches thick. It was a bituminous coal, soft and crumbly, but probably harder within ; was embedded between several feet of shale on each side, beyond which were alternations of grey sandstones and shales. It dipped at a high angle towards the south and east. This coal is in itself of no importance, but it may serve as a guide in the search for other more valuable beds, if such are indeed to be hoped for in this part of New Brunswick.
This doubt is suggested by the facts which have been published by Dr Gessner, Mr Dawson, and Sir Charles Lyell, regarding the coal-field of the adjoining province of Nova Scotia. This coal-field, in its northern and most productive part, extends about 100 miles from Pictou on the eastern, to Cumberland Basin on the western side of the province. It forms a narrow belt of about ten miles in width ; and the productive measures, where a section of the whole is seen on Cumberland Basin, are only about 1000 feet in thickness. There are many seams of coal of various thicknesses, nineteen being seen in the section I have referred to. Now, the point of greatest economical importance is this, that while at Pictou the most valuable known bed has a thickness of about forty feet, the thickest at the south Joggins on Cumberland Basin, where the nineteen are all seen, is only four feet. If the field be generally continuous, therefore, as it is supposed to be, between the two extremes, the beds must thin off towards the west, so that a bed which is forty feet at Pictou is reduced to four feet at the Joggins. But this part of
Albert County, and, indeed, the whole of New Brunswick, are still farther to the west; the probability is, therefore, that a bed so thick even as four feet is not to be expected in this province.
Upon the river Macan, about fifteen miles to the east of the south Joggins, on Cumberland Basin, Dr Gessner states that a bed of coal exists, of good quality, and of ten feet in thickness.* If this be so, it would appear that, in these fifteen miles, a ten-feet seam on the Macan bad thinned out to four feet almost at the Joggins, since there are none thicker there when all are supposed to be seen. If this rapid rate of thinning continue, the nine-inch seam at Richardson's mill may be the continuation of the four-feet seam of the Joggins, and no larger seams are to be looked for in that locality.
Probable, or even possible deductions, such as this, though of purely theoretical interest to the traveller or foreigner, become of vast economical importance to the inhabitants of the province of New Brunswick. If they are hereafter to find no thick seams of coal, where are all their dreams of future mining wealth and of prosperous manufactures ? It is fortunate that, as experience in other countries shows, beds which thin out may thicken again, or that new beds may appear towards the west; so that, while caution and patient examination are inculcated, all hope is not entirely extinguished by such facts as are given above.t
From Richardson's mill we drove over grey and greenish-grey rocks for a short distance, when we came again upon red rocks, which form the coast-line along Salisbury Cove, and thence for a great distance west
* Industrial Resources of Nova Scctia, p. 241.
+ Since my return home, I have been informed by letter that a fourfeet seam has been discovered on the New Brunswick side of the Cumberland Basin, and is in course of being worked. From the disturbed state of the rocks, however, I doubt its being either very horizontal or continuous over a very large area.
ward, on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy. We were now to the west of Cape Enrage, and enjoyed an uninterrupted view over the muddy waters of the Bay of Fundy, and across the bay to the western termination of the Cobequid mountains of Nova Scotia. Descending to the shore, the two horns of the cove were seen to consist of red sandstones and marls, dipping on the eastern side south-east, and on the western south-west; while between them was an interval of a quarter of a mile of grey sandstone drift, forming a cliff thirty or forty feet high, and apparently filling up one of the deep gulleylike valleys which so often separate the rocky ridges of this country from one another.
Mists prevail from May to October, and are injurious to the crops as far up as the head of Shepody Bay; but around Salisbury Cove they are more hurtful than in any other part of the country. In July and August the mischief to the wheat-crops is the greatest, the united action of the moisture and of the great heat of these months being most productive of rust.
We returned along the western side of the Shepody River, through a picturesque but poorer country, with occasional good farms and settlements; and, lingering on the rich land between the mouth of this river and Shepody Mountain, we regained our inn at Hopewell soon after nightfall.
I suppose it is owing in some degree to the frequent intercourse with the United States which the inhabitants of this upper part of the Bay of Fundy maintain, through their plaster, their grindstones, and their fish, that I found the sense of imaginary grievances arising from English connection more strong, and the Annexation feeling warmer, about Sackville, and on Shepody Bay, than in almost any other part of the province I had yet visited. I had found it so also at Annapolis, in Nova Scotia, towards the mouth of this same Bay of Fundy,