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GAZETTEER OF NEW JERSEY.
Containing a Physical View of the State. I. General Boundary.-II. Principal Divisions.-III. Southern and Alluvial Division.
Bounds—Surface-Nevisink Hills-Sandy Hook-Sea Beach-Bays or LagunesSoil: Forest Pine Lands-Oak-Cedar Swamp-Marl-Ferruginous Sand-Proportions of Marl used in Agriculture.-Cultivation of the Alluvial District.-Bog Ore-Streams.-IV. Middle and Secondary District : Bounds-Area-FormationTrap Ridges, Bergen Ridge--First and Second Mountains—Bituminous CoalMountains from Springfield to Pluckemin.—Pompton Plain : Abundance of Minerals there-Ridges extending to the Delaware-Character of the surrounding Country—Quarries of Freestone near Princeton-Sandy Hill-Primitive Rocks near Trenton.-Copper Mines : at Belleville, Brunswick, Somerville, Greenbrook. V. Mountainous District: Extent-Blended Geological Formation Limits-Primitive Ridges, Minerals of—Tongue of Transition Formation, Minerals of —Primitive resumed-Valley of the Wallkill, or of Sparta—Singular Geology and Mineralogy-Valley of Paulin's Kill-Alternation of State and Limestone, Blue or Kittatinney Mountains— Transition Limestone on Delaware River-Precious Marbles-Manganese-Rivers and Lakes of the Third Section—Timber of the Middle and Northern Sections.-VI. Turnpike Roads.-VII. Rail Roads : Camden and Amboy, West Jersey, Patterson and Hudson, Patterson Junction, Patterson and Fort Lee, Elizabethtown and Somerville, New Jersey, New Jersey, Hudson and Delaware, Delaware and Jobstown.-VIII. Canals ; Morris, Delaware and Raritan, Manasquan, Salem.-IX. Population—Increase–Tables-Slavery.—X. Statistical Table.
XI. Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce.-XII. Climate. I. The State of New Jersey is bounded on the N. E. by Orange and Rockland counties, of the State of New York; on the E. by Hudson River and Bay, Staten Island Sound, Raritan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; on S. E. and S. by the Atlantic; on S. W. by the Delaware Bay, dividing it from the State of Delaware; and on the W. and N. W. by the Delaware River, separating it from Pennsylvania. The N. E. line from Carpenter's Point, at the mouth of the Nevisink, or Mackackomack River, in north lat. 41° 21', to a point on the Hudson River, in 41° north latitude; is in length 45 miles; the E. 60; the S. E. from Sandy Hook to Cape May, 120; and the S. W., W. and N. W. from Cape May to Carpenter's Point, 220 milesmaking the extent of its exterior limit 445 miles. The extreme length of the State, by a line almost due north from Cape May, to the northern angle on the Delaware, is 164 miles; its greatest breadth due E. and W. through Salem, Gloucester, Burlington and Monmouth counties, about 75 miles; and through Warren, Sussex, Morris and Bergen counties, to the extreme N. E. point, on the Hudson River, about 60 miles. It may be crossed, however, by a direct line from S. W. to N. E., from Bordentown to South Amboy, in about 30 miles. The nearest approximation we can make to its area, measuring the map by a reticulated scale of square miles, is about 7,276 square miles, or 4,656,330 acres, contained between 38° 58' and 41° 21' northern latitude.*
II. This area is distributed into three strongly marked divisions; the alluvial and southern; the secondary, hilly and middle; and the mountainous and northern, comprising primitive and transition formations.
III. The triangular peninsula, or southern division, bordered on the S. and E. by Delaware Bay and the Ocean, on the N. and W. by the Delaware River, about 110 miles in length, and 75 in breadth, is entirely alluvial. South of the Nevisink Hills, the surface seldom rises 60 feet above the sea. Those hills, adjacent to the Ocean, are 310 feet above its level; and stand where the waves formerly rolled, resting in some places on banks of oyster shells and other marine relics, blended with clay and
* Morse gives 8,320 square miles, or 5,324,800 acres ; Smith's Hist. N. J. 4,800,000 acres; and Darby 6,851 square miles, or 4,384,000 acres.
A sandy earth, highly coloured by oxide of iron, and imbedding reddish brown sand and puddingstone, cemented by iron, composes the higher strata; and large rocks and beds of ferruginous sandstone, apparently in place, of a more recent formation than the alluvial below, containing sufficient metal to be called an ore of iron, are of frequent occurrence. Particles of iron are blended with the sands of the beach; and some of the streams which descend from the top of the clay strata, are red with iron oxide. Efflorescences of the sulphates of iron and alumine, are often observed; and flame, proceeding from the spontaneous combustion of gases, generated, probably, in beds of sulphuret of iron, has been noticed here. The strata of the steep eastern declivity are exposed by frequent land slips.
A small portion, only, of these hills is cultivated. They are rough, broken, and covered with wood, in which deer still find covert. From their summit, a view is disclosed of the ocean, unrivalled in grandeur upon the seaboard of this State ; and the coast on the N. E. and S. may be seen as far as the eye can reach. The land prospect, though not so extensive, is scarce less interesting. In this hill, on the side of a branch of the Nevisink River, is a remarkable cave, 30 feet long by 15 broad, divided into three apartments. The entrance and roof are low, the latter arched, and of soft rock, through which the water percolates; the bottom is of loose sand.
Sandy Hook, east of, and divided from, the Neyisink Hills by a narrow bay, is six miles in length. It was formerly, and is now, isolated by a channel running from Shrewsbury River, which was first opened in 1778, closed in 1810, but reopened in 1830. The beach running northward several miles from Long Branch, invites to a promenade on the 'hard sand when the tide is low; but the wrecks of vessels, visible at short intervals, oppress the spectators with recollections of the perils of the sea. From the Hook, this beach extends 125 miles to Cape May, varying in width from half a mile to two miles, but broken in several places by channels communicating with the sea. South of Manasquan it covers a number of bays or salt water lakes, of which Barnegat, Little Egg Harbour, and Great Egg Harbour, are the chief. West of these runs a belt of marsh, in some places from four to five miles wide, intersected by small rivers, with broad and shallow estuaries.
The soil of this alluvial district consists of sand and clay, sometimes one overlaying the other; but frequently intimately blended, forming a tolerably fertile loam, which prevails on its northern and western border with a variable breadth. Above Salem, this breadth is from five to twelve miles, but below that town it is sometimes contracted to a mile. East of this strip of loam, and west of the marsh which girds the sea shore, lies an immense sandy plain, scarce broken by any inequality, and originally covered by a pine and shrub-oak forest—a great portion of which has been once, and some of it twice, cut over. There are many square miles on which there is not a human inhabitant, and where the deer, foxes and rabbits are abundant, and the wolf and the bear find a lair to protect their race from extirpation. But in many places the echo is awakened by the woodman's axe, and the louder din of the forge hammer, and the forest glares with the light of the furnace or glass house. In this sandy desert there are found veins of generous soil, which yield a compensatory crop of corn and rye to the labours of the husbandman.
This immense forest covers probably four-fifths of the alluvial district; and forty years ago a large portion of it was not worth more than from six to ten cents the
There was little demand for the timber, oak being preferred for architectural and economical uses, nor was the land worth clearing for agricultural purposes. The establishment of furnaces and glass manufactories first gave additional value to the woodland near their locations; but for a while they made little apparent reduction of the vast wilderness. Then came the steamboats, which for some years traversed our waters, propelled by timber from New Jersey, without sensibly diminishing the density of the forest. In a few years more, however, their number was doubled, trebled, quadrupled. Their huge maws, though fed with thousands of shallop loads of pine wood, were insatiable. The demand for fuel became immense; the almost worthless pine, lands rose rapidly in value, and the hitherto almost idle population of the sea-board, found abundant and profitable employment in supplying the growing markets. The introduction of anthracite coat diminished the consumption of oak wood as fuel, but increased that of pine, vast quantities of charcoal being required to ignite the fossil. Yet the invention of the simple portable culinary furnace increased the demand still more, thousands of these convenient utensils being constantly, during the summer months, fed by charcoal. These circumstances have produced an entire revolution in the value of pine lands. They have risen from ten cents, to an average price of six dollars the acre; and, where very well timbered, and convenient to market, bring from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. Indeed, the soil, denuded of the timber, is worth from four to sixteen dollars the acre, the purchaser looking to the growth of wood for profit on his investment. Where the forest has been felled, an extraordinary change takes place in the subsequent product. The oak springs up where the pine has flourished, and pine where the oak has grown.
. The second growth becomes fit for the axe, in a space varying from 25 to 40 years.
Upon the clay and loam soils, oak grows abundantly; frequently of great size, and of quality much valued in the construction of ships. It is the common timber of the western border, and covers almost exclusively the central portion of the county of Cape May. In the sandy region, are extensive swamps which bear the beautiful and valuable white cedar, much sought for fencing, and which sells readily at from one to three hundred dollars the acre.
Throughout a great portion of the alluvial district, from four to twenty feet beneath the surface, is a species of greenish blue earth, mixed with shells, and generally known as marl. As this substance is of great importance to the agricultural interest of the section, some remarks on its physical properties and use will not be out of place here. The essential ingredient of marl, as a manure, is lime; and its value depends upon the proportion of calcareous matter which it contains. When this abounds in connexion with sand only, it produces indurated marl, classed with the limestones, and frequently forming marble of great variety and beauty. We have discovered none of this precious character; but shell limestone, similar to that of the alluvion of North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi Territory, has been discovered in several places, and is burned for lime on the banks of the Rancocus, between Eayrstown and Vincent-town. The Jersey marls, at present, are chiefly known as the shell, clay and stone marls. The first is composed of testaceous matter, in various quantities and degrees of combination; and sometimes imbeds bones of marine and land animals.* The quantity of clay in union with calcareous substances, gives name to the second sort. This absorbs and retains moisture better than other kinds, and varies greatly in colour-being brown, blue, red and yellowish. In the third species, sand is combined with calcareous and argillaceous matter, giving hardness proportionate to its quantity; when of thin and laminar structure, this is termed slate marl. From the clay they contain, all these species are softened by water, and, when exposed to the atmosphere, gradually fall into powder.
By reason of their calcareous principle, all marls effervesce with acids; but as water, alone, frequently produces the same effect when poured on dry clay, it may be necessary, in order to guard against mistake, in making trials upon substances supposed to be marl, to let them remain a short time in mixture with water, previous to the test of acids. The best marls containing the largest proportion of calcareous earth, it is important to know how to ascertain the quantity. Some are so poor as to have only a thirtieth part of their weight of lime. A simple method has been suggested, founded on the fact, that marl commonly contains about forty per cent. of its weight of fixed air or carbonic acid. It is merely by saturating the marl with muriatic or some other acid, and marking correctly the loss of weight which it sustains by the extrication of the fixed air. So, also, if the substance supposed to be marl falls readily to powder when exposed to the air; if the powder, when dry and thrown on hot coals, crackles like salt; and if, when dry, and mixed with water, it have a soapy feel and effervesces much, its quality may be pronounced good.
Some marls in England, and probably here, have eighty-four per cent. of carbonate of lime, which is more than limestone generally possesses; and the refuse being often of peaty substances, is more useful as manure than that of limestone, which is mostly sand or clay. Such marl may be converted into quicklime by burning; and its solution changes vegetable colours to green, possessing all the other properties of caustic lime. Marl is further distinguished by its feeling fat and unctuous, and appearing when dry, after exposure to the weather, as if covered with hoar frost, or sprinkled with fine salt; and even when mixed with the land, giving to the whole surface a whitish appearance.
The farmers in Staffordshire, England, consider the soft blue marl, commonly
* Among the latter, it is said, are bones of the rhinoceros and other animals of the eastern continent, some of them of extinct species ; elephant's teeth, deer's horns, bones of the whale, shark's teeth, and entire skeletons of fish, together with graphytes, belemnites, cardites, and various shell-fish.
found under clay, or low black ground, at the depth of seven or eight feet, the best for arable land, and the grey sort for pasture. But that which is of a brownish colour, with blue veins, and small.lumps of chalk or limestone lying under stiff clays and very hard to dig, is most esteemed in Cheshire. The marl having a light sand in its composition, usually found at the depth of two or three feet, on the sides of hills, and in wet, boggy grounds, is fat and close, and reckoned the strongest and most beneficial on sandy lands. It is usually called peat or delving marl. What is sometimes called paper marl, frequently lies near coals, and flakes like leaves or pieces of brown paper, being of somewhat lighter colour. That which some call clay marl is very fat, and is sometimes mixed with chalk stones. There is another sort of marl, which breaks of itself into square cubical bits. The two last kinds generally lie under sand and clay ; sometimes about a yard deep under the former, but often much deeper under the latter. The stone, slate or flag marl, which is a kind of soft stone, or rather slate, of a bluish colour, is generally allowed very good. It easily breaks down, and dissolves with frost or rain; is found near rivers and on the sides of hills, and is very lasting when used as manure.
In many places marl discovers itself to the most negligent eye, particularly on the sides of broken hills or deep hollow roads. Many rivers are bordered with a vast treasure of this sort, which is plundered by every flood. Boggy lands frequently cover it, and in them it seldom lies above three feet deep. It is somewhat lower under stiff clays and marshy levels. The lowest parts of most sandy lands abound with it, at the depth of three, seven, nine or more feet. The depth of the marl itself can seldom be found; for when the upper crust is removed, all that can be seen or dug is marl, to so great a depth that there are few if any instances of a pit having been exhausted. Much of the preceding description of the English marls is applicable to those of New Jersey.
The marl region of this State, is classed by some authors with the ferruginous sand formation of the United States. It may be located, so far as it has yet been explored, between two lines; one drawn from Amboy Bay to Trenton, the other from Deal, on the Atlantic, to the mouth of Stow Creek, in Cumberland county, upon the Delaware River: but there is much reason to believe that this formation occupies a great portion of the triangular peninsula south of the Raritan River. Much of the ferruginous sand region, however, is overlaid by deposites of clay containing lignite. Above these is an almost uniform covering of grey sand; yet in many places the marl, with its peculiar fossil, is found immediately beneath the soil. This formation has been traced southward in many places, and most probably extends nearly the whole length of the Atlantic frontier of the United States.
In all its localities, it has been identified by similar genera and species of organic remains, though all the genera do not exist in every locality. Thus, at the Deep Cut of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, the strata are characterized by great numbers of ammonites, baculites, and other multilocular univalves. These remarks apply to various parts of Burlington and Monmouth counties, in New Jersey. Near New Egypt, are ten or twelve beds, one above the other, with the genera terebratula and gryphæa. (Ostrea, Say.) Near Horner's Town, the marl is extremely indurated; and contains terebratulæ exclusively. Near Walnford, the fossils are chiefly exogyræ and belemnites; while at Mullica Hill, in Gloucester county, the beds contain bivalves, and quantities of belemnites; and the calcareous beds of this county contain gryphæa, teredo, alcyonium ? sparangus, and several species of Linnæan madrepores.
The mineralogical characters vary considerably. Of the species of marl in minute grains, loose and friable, and of an uniform dull bluish or greenish colour, often with a shade of grey, and called gunpowder marl, Mr. Seybert has given the following constituents : silex 49.83, alumine 6.00, magnesia 1.83, potash 10.12, water 9.80, protoxide of iron 51.53, loss 89=100 grains. A less cautious analysis by Mr. J. P. Wetherill and Dr. S. G. Morton, of a specimen, apparently similar, from another locality, gave silex 49.00, protoxide of iron 50.00, alumine 5.50, lime 4.70; the remainder being chiefly water and carbonic acid. Hence the predominant constituents of these marls are silex and iron. They often contain beds of a dark bluish tenacious clay, sometimes mixed with the marl, forming marley clay; at others, the marl and clay alternate.
Again, marl is seen of a yellowish brown colour, friable or compact, and filled with green specks of the silicate of iron. Some of the greenish varieties are also very compact, rendering it extremely difficult to separate the fossils from their
matrix. The friable blue marls often contain a large proportion of mica, in minute scales.
Other localities present beds of silicious gravel, the pebbles varying from the size of coarse sand, to one and two inches in diameter, cemented together by oxide and phosphate of iron, and containing fossils, similar to those above described. The most striking instance of this kind is at Mullica Hill. Some of the blue marls, which effervesce strongly with acids, contain but five per cent. of lime.
But we find large beds of calcareous marl, containing at least thirty-seven per cent.; the remainder being silex, iron, &c. Also a hard, well characterized, subcrystalline limestone, filled with zeophytes. All these diversified appearances pass, by insensible degrees, into each other, exhibiting an almost endless variety of mineralogical character.
The mineral substances found in these beds, are iron pyrites in profusion; chert in the calcareous beds, amber, retinasphalt, lignite and small spherical masses of a dark green colour, and compact texture, apparently analogous to those found in the green sand of France. Their structure does not appear to be organic, although they have, often, a shark's tooth, or a small shell for a nucleus. Larger spherical bodies also occur, resembling the nodules of clay in ironstone, common in some parts of England.
As the quality of the marl varies greatly, so does the quantity used in manuring lands. In Monmouth county, south of the Shrewsbury River, there is marl so strong, that five cart-loads the acre are as much as the land will bear advantageously: in other places, from twenty to one hundred and forty loads to the acre are profitably used. It is asserted, that a good dressing will last from twelve to twenty years. It would be difficult to calculate the advantages which the state has gained, and will yet derive from the use of mar). It has already saved some districts from depopulation, and increased the inhabitants of others; and may, one day, contribute to convert the sandy and pine deserts into regions of agricultural wealth.
Pine lands, in the counties of Columbia, Albany, and Saratoga, and other parts of the state of New York, of a character similar to those of New Jersey, have been rendered very valuable by gypsum, and rotation of crops, often producing from twenty to twenty-five bushels of wheat to the acre. The sandy soil is in time changed to a rich vegetable mould—and gypsum, therefore, may probably be used with marl to render the pine lands of this State productive.
The occupation of a vast proportion of the inhabitants of this section is agricultural. Upon the loam soils large quantities of grass and grain, particularly rye, corn and oats, are produced; and the sandy lands, treated with marl, also give abundant crops of grain and grass. In convenient situations for supplying the markets of New York and Philadelphia, the farmers give much attention to the more profitable culture of garden vegetables, potatoes, melons, fruit, &c. The peach orchards of E. and W. Jersey, give abundance of that delicious fruit to both cities; so low, at times, as fifty cents the bushel. At a distance from the navigable waters, and from market, the grain is commonly fed to stock, and few portions of the United States, of equal area, produce more, or better, pork, than the counties of Monmouth, Burlington and Gloucester; scarce less famed for the quality of their horses. In the counties of Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, upon the fresh waters of their streams whose shores are subject to overflow by the tides, many thousand acres have, by embankment, been converted into productive meadows, which maintain large herds of cattle, and furnish adequate means for enriching the upland. Adjacent to the Delaware Bay and sea coast, are wide tracts of salt meadow, some of which have also been reclaimed by embankment; and the rest afford abundance of coarse hay, free in many places to all who seek it, and valuable in the maintenance of stock and making manure. The climate is so mild, near the coast, that herds of cattle subsist, through the winter, upon these meadows, and in the neighbouring thickéts, without expense to the proprietors. The sea coast is said also to be favourable to the production of good mutton and wool. The great inducements to enterprise and industry constantly operating in the markets upon the borders of this section, have already produced wonderful effects, and cannot fail to excite the inhabitants to still greater efforts to improve the advantages they possess.
Extensive beds of the variety of argillaceous oxide of iron, called bog ore, are common throughout this district, which when mixed with mountain ore, in the furnace, makes good iron for castings and the forge. From these furnaces, and those of the glass-houses, fed by the wood of the forest, a considerable portion of the an