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Perennial Flax, described and recommended Its stems are from 2 1-2 to 3 feet in a Letter from Dr. Abraham Clark, of high, straight, cylindrical, smooth, green, Newark, to Samuel L. Mitchill. Read be leaved, branching at their upper part fore the Lyceum of Natnral History, July into a corymbus. "Its leaves are lanceola13, 1818.
ted, or linear-lanceolated, pointed, green, DEAR SIR,
sparse and numerous. The blossoms are I offer for your acceptance a speci- very large, blue, peduncled, and situated men of the perennial flax, and a few of on the branches, some laterally and others my own observations upon its growth, almost to the top. The calyxes are short, qualities, &c. Perhaps by allowing it to lie composed of fine scales or leaflets, of on your table, it may attract the atten which the two exterior ones are oval, intion of others, and elicit something worthy clined to a point, and the three others, the the notice of the agriculturist. Not have inferior ones, are obtuse, almost round, ing the annual flax at hand, I am unable scarious upon the edges. to point out all the differences between This plant grows naturally in Siberia, them; the principal, which recollection and perhaps in other parts of Europe. It furnishes, are the larger size of the blos- has been cultivated in the Parisian garsom, less size and darker colour of the seed den. A filament is derived from it, capaof the perennial.
ble of being manufactured into thread With this you will find a small parcel and cloth, after the manner of common containing flax and tow of this species, flax; but the fabrics are neither so fine with some of the common for comparison, nor beautiful. The greater part of botanthe person who prepared it, says it is equal ists, have mistakenly quoted the Linum to hemp in strength.
alpinum as a synonyme. This specimen is a second years growth, Pursh mentions, (1 Flora, &c. p. 210,) in its more perfect state, 60 stalks are a perennial Linam, under the name of produced from one root. I had a solitary L. Lewisei, as found in the valleys of the plant in my garden, nine years old, des- rocky mountains, and on the banks of the troyed by accident, without previously Missouri. It bears, he observes, large showing any indication of decay. To me blue fowers,—is a very good perennial, it has long been interesting, from a belief and might probably be worthy of cultiin its productiveness, strength and utility, vation. at least in the manufacture of cordage. The specific character he gives is, that I know not if it bas obtained any notice the leaflets of the calyx are ovato-acumiby the agriculturist; the only article I nate; petals cuneate rounded at the have seen on the subject, was published points ; beaves sparse, lanceolato-linear in the Georgetown Federal Republican, mucronate; high numerous stems. about midsummer, 1815, under the title of Siberian flat. I believe it has been observed native in the Missouri country.
On the Goats of Caramania. Read at the It is mown about the season of pulling
Sitting of July 13th, 1818. the annual; product equal in quantity and
To the Lyceum of Natural History, assemsuitable for all the uses, excepting the bled in the New-York Institution. finer textures, and this too, perhaps, by
GENTLEMEN, cutting it earlier. In sowing, I presume, I offer for your examination a hat, made a tenth part of the usual quantity of seed of the far of the goats brought from Boswould be sufficient.
rah on the Euphrates, by our enterprising Very respectfully,
fellow citizen, Henry Austin, Esq. in Your obedient servant, 1816.
ABRM. CLARK. It was manufactured by Messrs. KimNewark, July 6, 1818.
berly and Moody of New-Haven ; and is light, easy, and comfortable to the head.
You will find the hat soft, shining and silky. Siberian Flax.—Linum perenne.
Specimens of the fabric are in the pos
session of a few gentlemen in this city. Linum calycibus capsulisque obtusis, foliis The generosity of the proprietor was alternis lanceolatis, caule præalto.
limited by the moderate quantity of the This fax differs from the L. usitatissi- material which his very small flock of the mum, or common flax, by a stem twice as creatures has, as yet, afforded. high as the common known species, or Be pleased to accept my gratulation, to even more than twice as high, by its you, and particularly to rural economists, larger flowers with very entire petals, on the acquisition of this valuable animal. and by its vivacious root.
Every friend to the prosperity of the coun.
NOTE BY DR. MMCALL.
try, will rejoice to hear that the climate absence of a rayed dorsal fin, and the favours their health and that they increase want of spines to the pectoral fins. and multiply.
There is but a single species known, Naturalists appear to be uncertain and that is the famous silure of the Nile, whether this quadruped is a sheep or a and of the Senegal, which possesses elecgoat. Sir Thomas Pennant describes the trical properties, like the torpedo and the Caramanian beast affording the fine fleece gympatus. as a sheep; and observes that the wool The appearance of this impression waris reserved entirely for the priests and rants the conclusion, that the skin was their order. It is stated to be more ex- destitute of scales, and that the pectoral cellent than that of Cashmere or of fins had either no rays or soft ones. The Bucharia. The coat of the broad-tailed figure was made by the back of the fish, sheep of Thibet is not superior.
for the depressions in the stone corresThe ancient Caramania, you recollect, ponding to the prominencies of the eyes, is the modern Kerman, a region situated and elevations in the stone, corresponding northeast of the Persian gulf, and reach- to the sinkings near the shoulders, are ing from Gombroon toward Schiraz and very plain. Ispahan. I hope this importation may But, although the fossil fish of Westlead to a profitable manufacture; and who moreland agrees with the electrical silure indeed can now doubt it ?
in so many particulars, it has two essenS. L. MITCHILL, President. tial marks of difference. The West
moreland fish appears to have had eight An Account of the Impression of Fish in the beards or cirrhi to his chin, while the
Rock of Oneida County, New York. By other had but six; and while the living Samuel L. Milchill. Read before the Ly. African fish has a smooth and even skin, QUM of Natural History, July 13, 1818. the New-York fossil one is separated into
Among other considerations leading to plates, like those of an insect or crustaa belief that the ancient dam of the Mo- ceous animal, reaching from side to side, hawk river, at the little Falls, formerly quite across the back. Eleven entire raised the water high enough to overflow plates, and part of the twelfth, can be all the country where Rome, Utica, New- counted. They are not so broad near the Hartford, Vernon, and Oneida now stand, head and thorax as they are on approachis that of the numerous organic remains ing the tai), for between the pectoral fins discovered on the dry grounds of that they fall short of a quarter of an inch, elevated region at this day.
while on approaching the caudal fin, they The foundation of primitive rock, un- gradually enlarge until they exceed that derlaying the whole superstratum, as far measure. as explored, may be judged of, from the By conjecture, the lost part of the tail silicious hornblend of the Falls, and of did not amount to more than two inches and the granular quartz at Utica. Upon a half. The counter part of the specimen, this, the secondary layers of limestone, on which the belly of the fish was impressiron ore, and argillaceous shist repose. ed, does not seem to have been preserved.
The latter of these often exhibits, when It is not known whether there was an fractured, the forms of beings that once adipose fin on the tail, or not: I mean possessed life. One of the most rernarka- that fin which is usually denominated the ble of them, is the impression of a fish, second dorsal. There is no trace of it in resting in a mass of elay slate, from the the stone. Yet, there is so much of the town of Westmoreland, a few miles north tail left, that I doubt whether the place of Hamilton College. It was brought by of its insertion, (if there was an adipose our worthy colleague, Mr. Clarkson. It fin,) has been broken away; should that is tolerably distinct, except a part of the have been the fact, the want of this aptail, which is wanting. The length of pendage, will form another point of disthe figure which remains, is nearly four crimination between the fossil fish of inches, and the greatest breadth rather Westmoreland and the electrical silure. more than an inch and a half. The head In the present state of our knowledge, and shoulders are very stout, but taper it would be presumptuous to affirm that away rapidly towards the tail. It evi- this belonged to any species of fish now dently belongs to the silure or cat-fish known to be alive. And until further family: Modern ichthyologists have made inquiry shall show that individuals of this a number of new sections out of this large sort yet inhabit the waters, the species genus. La Cépéde distinguishes by the under consideration must be ranked witla name of Malapterures, the individuals those numerous tribes which their creator" who differ from the true silures, by the has permitted to become extinct.
To the Editors of the American Monthly surprising increase of its population and Magazine.
produce, present a subject of inquiry I noticed in your number of May, an highly interesting, not only as affording a article respecting the salivation of horses basis for a correct calculation of the fuand neat-cattle, and believing the cause
ture advance of our interior settlements there assigned not to be, if correct, the to the west, where land and the titles to it only one, I have thought proper to express are good, and thus affording a glimpse of to you a few observations which I have the scene our country is one day, we may made on the subject. The disagreeable hope, destined to present, but it has open. salivation to which horses are subject in ed to the observation of the geographer this country, usually commences about and the geologist, a number of very cuthe close of July or the beginning of Au- rious particulars in its general topogust, and continues six or eight weeks : it graphy, which do not to my knowledge is within this period that the Lobelin Inflata exist, at least in so remarkable a degree, flourishes; this plant is peculiarly acrid or to so great an extent, in any other part and directly stimulating to the salivary of the United States. To collect facts reglands of horses. It is to this plant that we lative to these, and by comparing these must attribute the evil, for except in those facts with each other, and judging by the pastures where it may be found, horses rules of analogy drawn from similar apare not subject to this complaint. Any pearances in other parts of the globe, to person may discover its effects by feeding endeavour to discover the probable cause it to horses; a single plant will generally of the singular features I have mentioned, excite salivation for several hours. It is has induced me to take the liberty of ad. much to be regretted that a plant which dressing you, and to beg the favour of you holds so high a rank in the Materia Me- to answer the queries inclosed, as far as dica, as does the Lobelia, should prove so your knowledge extends, and as much in great an evil to the noblest of brute ani- detail as you conveniently can. But before mals, and could any means be devised to proceeding to the queries I will add some prevent its farther spread, or ameliorate conjectures of my own, drawn from the its baneful effects, it would be a circum- very limited means of information I at stance truly fortunate. S. W. G. present possess.
It is well known that there are at the
Little Falls of the Mohawk River, evi. So long ago as the year 1814, the follow- dent marks of the rocks having beer ing queries were prepared by the late formerly washed by the waves, or by a John H. Eddy, of this city. He had current of water one hundred feet above them printed in the form of a circular, the present surface at the head of the and a number of copies were sent to falls. Now it appears, by the levels taken various gentlemen in different parts of by the surveyors employed by the Comthe country to which they relate. Few missioners on the Grand Canal, that the communications, however, were re, surface of the water at that place, is less ceived in reply; and the multiplied than sixty feet lower than at Rome, thereavocations of Mr. Eddy compelled him fore it seems to me there can be no doubt, to postpone the prosecution of his in- that when the waters washed the top of quiries to a period of greater leisure. the hill at the falls, the country above, But an untimely death, arresting him along the valley of the river as far as in the midst of his labours, has toro bim (and much farther than) Rome, must once from science and his country, and left have been the bottom of a large lake, the task to other hands. With the view
bounded on each side at no great distance of reviving inquiry upon this subject, by the uplands, and presenting in shape a we publish the circular drawn up by, long narrow arm, similar to the present Mr. Eddy, and solicit the attention of lakes Cayuga and Seneca; and as there the scientific to the topics therein sug. is a gradual descent in the country west gested. Any communications, address- of Rome, as far as Three-River Point, ed to the Editors, will be gladly re- and the elevation from that Point to the ceived, and immediately placed in the falls of the Seneca river near Scawyace, possession of one who will turn thein is very inconsiderable, it seems to me to good account.
equally undoubted, that the waters once New-York, March 14, 1814. reached so far, including the present CaThe unexampled progress of culti- yuga, Cross, Onondaga, and Oneida lakes, vation and improvement in that part of the last of which I imagine was near the the state of New York, lying west of the centre. I suppose this great lake to have meridian of the village of Utica, and the been bounded on the east by the hill at
the falls, on the south by the uplands giv. 6th. What shells are found on the
Its extent up the valley of Mud found ?-of what kind ?-in the bills, or
12th. Are there any Indian hieroglyPlease favour me with your ideas on phics extant in your neighbourhood ? can the subject, when convenient, and send you send me a copy, with the meaning if me by mail, as far as may be in your it can be obtained-or drawings and plans power, answers to the following queries of any Indian antiquities ? JOHN H. EDDY.
13th. I have heard that the Indians on No. 220 William-street: the Mississippi, whose language is totally 1st. Do you know of any additional cir- different, can yet understand each other cumstances confirming the above suppo- very correctly by means of signs; is it so sition, such as traces of water at other with those in your neighbourhood, and places much above its present level, and can you describe their method ? near the supposed boundary I have sketch 14th. What effect has the clearing and ed out?
settling the country had on the climate2d. Are there any traditions among the do the streams diminish, and in what deIndians, that the country was formerly gree? covered with water?
15th. What is the present variation of 3d. Do you know how far the ridge, on the magnetic needle with you, and what which the ridge road is constructed from has it been formerly, and at what places Lewistown to the lower falls of Genne- observed ? see, extends to the eastward of Gennesee 16th. It has been remarked in Europe River, and do you know of any other re- that the variation was affected by an markable ridge or steps, similar to that earthquake, can you recollect about the which occasions the falls of Niagara and time of the late earthquakes, which exOswego? state its height, direction, ex tended (I believe) northeasterly from the tent and composition.
Mississippi, about two years ago, that there 4th. What is the composition of rocks was any change in the variation, and how in your neighbourhood and how do they much? lie?-in strata or otherwise? inclined or 17th. Have you ever observed the horizontal?
Aurora Borealis, or porthern lights, in 5th. What strata are observed in the your neighbourhood? when and where ? earth in digging wells, &c.
and describe the phenomena-can you re
collect any change in the variation at the in other presses is called the carriage; time? this has been observed in Europe. by which means the workman has to go
18th. What do you suppose may be the through a movement' to which he is enaverage elevation of the hills in your tirely unaccustomed; the platen having neighbourhood above their base ? to be pulled over, and pushed from the
19th. Send me a description, and (if con- form, with an exertion, each of which venient) a drawing of any singular and un- would give the Columbian press sufficient accountable natural feature in the coun- force to make the impression. The pull try, or of any extraordinary phenomena. is made by a bar fixed where the rounce
20th. How far can the great step, of the common press is situated, and rewhich occasions the falls of Niagara, be quires power equal to the running in one traced into Canada, and in what direc- on the old plan. Even if it would work tion-the same of the ledge which occa- with the same facility as those now in use, sions the rapids at Black Rock.
we think insurmountable objections would 21st. Latitudes and longitudes of any be raised to the manner of its movements. part of the country will be very impor. The difficulty of drilling men from old and tant in constructing a correct map of the approved customs into new, and, at most, state, and if you can furnish me with any doubtful systems, is sure to prove a preuseful observations, they will be highly sent detriment, without the certainty even acceptable,-please to describe the ob- of a future benefit. In England there has servation, and the instruments used. been a steam press introduced, on which
principle two newspapers in London are
now printed; but from the enormous exThe Columbian Printing-Press. pense, and the inutility of them in AmeWhile the United States are not in- rica, it must be a long time before it will ferior to any other nation in original in- be advantageous or necessary to use them ventions, they undoubtedly far surpass here. many of them in those improvements The following cut exhibits an accurate which are calculated to become truly use- view of Mr. Clymer's press. ful. Our pin and card factories, which heretofore in Europe required the labour of so many workmen, in this country, under the guidance of genius, not only attract the
man of business, but have become the resort of the inquisitive and the curious. The use of steam, as applied to vessels, and the great number of patents annually issued, speak so loudly in proof of the assertion, that it would be superfluous to enlarge on this subject. These remarks were intended to introduce an eulogium, which it seems experienced printers have seen fit to pronounce on the Columbian printing press; and it is sin. cerely hoped it may prove a benefit to all concerned. It may not be amiss, previous to giving this article, to take a compara- from the profession, will give the most
Of the Columbian press, the following tive view of those now in use.
Many new models of printing presses correct idea : have been produced in this country—but
New-York, June 17, 1818. most of them have failed: and some may The undersigned, who have actually have been condemned prematurely. In used, or witnessed the operations of the England, the Stanhope press has generally Columbian printing press, invented by been preferred, and the profession, in this Mr. Clymer of Philadelphia, most cheercountry, duly appreciate its merits. In fully embrace an opportunity to speak of Scotland, what is called the Ruthven it to their brethren in the profession, who, press is in considerable use, and some from their local situations, have not yet have been imported, one of which is in experienced the advantages resulting operation in Philadelphia. The power is from it. Setting aside the benefit arising given by a compound lever; and instead from the ease and facility of working of acting above the platen, it is fixed be- this press, the obtaining two parallel and neath the bed. An objection to this is, accurate surfaces, is particularly worthy that the platen traverses, instead of what of consideration ;-for, by this, an even