Friday, December 19, 2008

Government Reports on the Deep River Valley

I recently looked at as many governmental reports on the Deep River as I could lay my hands on - with a special interest in the maps that were published with them. So I thought I would give a quick run down of them:

Thompson, William Beverhout, Report upon the Cape Fear and Deep Rivers, House of Commons Doc. 17, 1848.
This nicely detailed report lays out a plan for building locks, dam and canals from Moore County down to Fayetteville. It was the basis for forming the ill-fated Cape Fear & Deep River Navigation Company. The copy I have seen has no map.

Johnson, W R, Report on the Coal Land of the Deep River Mining and Transportation Co., 1851.
This is a fairly short report (not actually a governmental one) which has five folding plates, including one interesting but not tremendously detailed map of the Deep River.

Jackson, Charles T, Report of the coal lands of Egypt, Belmont, Evans, Palmer and Wilcox plantations on Deep River, North Carolina, 1853.
The foldout map in this report is a beautiful, uncolored map of the Deep. It includes all the bridges, but does not show the mills.

Emmons, Ebenezer, Geological Report on the Midland Counties of North Carolina, Putnam, 1856.
This is by far the most comprehensive of these reports. It has many foldout plates and a beautiful colored map of the Deep, including mills, bridges etc. This is by far the most desirable of the reports reviewed here.

Laidley, T. S. S., Report on Deep River Timber and Minerals, USGPO, 1856.
This is a short report that describes the countryside around the Deep River and a little about the mines in the area. No map.

Wilkes, Charles, Report on the Examination of the Deep River District, North Carolina, USGPO, 1859.
Contains a marvelous 'Map of the Deep River District, North Carolina by Capt. Wilkes 1858" and also a less interesting map called "Map of a Part of North Carolina sgowing the routes connecting with the Deep River District, constructing and proposed." The 'Map of the Deep River District' is similar to the Emmons map.

In the Coal and Iron Counties of North Carolina, Hale, 1883.
This book contains most of the reports of Emmons, Kerr, Laidley and Wilkes. The folding map is a very general map of the entire state of North Carolina.

Chance, H M, A Report on an Exploration of the Coal Fields of North Carolina, Hale, 1885.
This report contains three folding maps; two are very general and the third is a poor replica of the Emmons map.

Campbell, Marius R. and Kent W. Kimball, The Deep River Coal Field of North Carolina, 1923.
This report has an interesting old photo of the Carbonton hydroelectric dam (now gone) and a nicely detailed pocket map.

Saville, Thorndike, Water Power Investigation of the Deep River, Edwards & Broughton, 1924.
This report has three very detailed and interesting maps of the Deep River. Saville recommended three major new dams on the Deep River, of which mercifully only one was built: High Point Lake Dam.

Coal Deposits in the Deep River Field, Chatham, Lee, and Moore Counties, N.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1952.
This item contains 3 pocket maps that are of little interest from a historical perspective, but which are undoubtedly useful to geologists.

Reinemund, John A., Geology of the Deep River Coal Field, North Carolina, USGPO, 1955.
I didn't actually look at this one, but it is supposed to contain 10 pocket plates/maps.

The other rivers of North Carolina have not attracted the same level of governmental attention that the Deep has. This is clearly because of the mineral resources available along the Deep. Ironically, for all the attention the coal, iron and copper mines attracted, very little large-scale mining ever occurred here. The many coal mines in the area all came to naught in the end. But for a time, especially in the 1850's, the Deep River was the center of a lot of attention, as it was considered as a possible location for a national military foundry. From a Union point of view, it is probably for the best that a large military complex was not built on the Deep River immediately prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

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