The waters of Virginia
are among the most striking of its characteristics.
Its tidal waters are very remarkable and inviting, by their extent and character, to commercial enterprises, in which Virginia
took a fair part during all her history up to 1860, and in consequence of which she is now rapidly advancing, in the growth of her commercial ports, to the position she is entitled to from her large facilities for engaging in commerce.
Her fluvial waters are numerous and full volumed, draining and watering every portion of the State
, and furnishing numerous water powers.
In 1860, those in her TransAppa-lachian territory, the Ohio
and its tributaries, were the avenues of a large internal commerce.
early embarked in the improvement of many of her fluvial waterways by canals and slack-water navigation, especially patronizing the Chesapeake
& Ohio canal
, to open a highway to the West
by the Potomac
and the Monongahela
, and the James River
& Kanawha canal, for a commercial highway up the James
and down the Kanawha
to the Ohio
farther to the south.
The State as a whole is undoubtedly one of the best watered regions in the United States
is unique in geological characteristics.
She has within her borders, large areas underlaid by the rocks of every geological formation found in North America
This means that she possesses nearly every variety of soil and most kinds of valuable economic rocks and minerals, especially the best of granites, slates, brownstones, sandstones, and other building rocks; great deposits of the ores of iron, zinc, lead and copper; a wide belt of gold-bearing rocks extends through the length of the midland; limestones in the greatest abundance, especially in the valley and throughout Appalachia; and, surpassing all others in value, she had, in 1860, over 17,000 square miles of bituminous and semi-bituminous coals, mostly in Trans-Appalachia, but with a considerable area in the midland near Richmond
, that in the number of beds and the variety of adaptation were unsurpassed by those of any State in the Union
The climate of Virginia
presents a great variety in consequence of her position in relation to the ocean, and especially because of the relief of the surface of the State
, from the low levels of tidewater, where grow and flourish the long-leaf pine, live-oak, cotton and other