cattle and horses were reared, and much attention was given to dairying as well as to general husbandry.
It should be borne in mind that in 1860 there was no seaboard connection in Virginia
with the great prairie States.
The Baltimore & Ohio railroad had but just opened communication by rail with that region.
None other of the railways of Virginia
had then crossed the Appalachians
, consequently there was none of that destructive competition which has now made farming unprofitable in the Atlantic States
The wheat from Virginia
, much of it ground into flour by local mills, especially in the Valley
and in Alexandria
, found good markets, notably in Baltimore
, for the West Indies
and South America
, or the grocery trade of the United States
, which then had its best entrepots at Norfolk
The people in the valleys of the Appalachian country and on the sloping uplands of Trans-Appalachia, were mainly engaged in the rearing of cattle, hogs, horses and other animals, which were driven eastward, either as young cattle to be sold to the farmers of the Valley
for fattening from their ample corn-fields, or were driven direct, as fat cattle, to the eastern cities, sometimes as far northward as New York.
There were also many dwellers in cabins, surrounded by a few acres of cleared land, within these mountain regions, who had little or no occupation beyond fishing and hunting.
But these were the breeding places of hardy folk, who were constantly drifting westward as they grew to maturity, to form a considerable element in the great populations of newer States.
, peopled with landhun-gry Anglo-Saxons, made the great mistake, from the earliest days of her history, of parceling out her magnificent domain into great patents, some of them including a half million acres, and many of them from 50,000 to 100,000 acres, at the nominal price of but a few cents an acre.
This policy prevailed, as population advanced westward, from the Atlantic
to the Ohio
, until these patents, often overlapping and loosely located, covered a large area of all the Appalachian and Trans-Appalachian country, left no land to be divided into parcels of moderate size for the use of the home-builder, and introduced uncertainty of land titles, all greatly detrimental to the peopling of that very desirable and intrinsically rich region,