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the interest of all classes, constitutes one of the great problems of political economy; and is alike interesting to both the producer and consumer. The nearer these two classes can be brought together-other things being equal—the greater will be the advantage of each; for, it must be borne in mind, that the labor and capital employed in these exchanges, add nothing to the quantity or quallity of the article, therefore, if we analize the subject, we shall discover that the merchant and the carrier derive all their support and profit from the labor of the producers; and hence it follows as an inevitable result, that the greater the distance and cost of making the exchanges, the greater will be the burthen imposed upon the producing classes. For, although the merchant and the carrier, are necessary agents, yet viewed abstractly, they may be considered as constituting a previledged
Impressed with the truth, as well as the importance of these propositions, the Editors of the "Western Journal" have entered upon its publication, with the design of collecting and laying before the people of the Mississippi valley, that class of facts and information which relate to the varied pursuits of the People. And, to enable them to do justice to the work which they have undertaken, they respectfully invite the agriculturist, the merchant, the manufacturer and the miner, to furnish the Journal with such facts and information as may be deemed useful and interesting to the public.
The Western Journal will contain an account of all valuable discoveries and improvements in agriculture, manufactures, and the mechanic arts.
The leading and more important statistics of the agriculture, commerce, manufactures, mining, &c., of not only the Mississippi valley, but of the whole country, will be collected with care and fidelity, and laid before our
readers in as concise and clear a form, as their nature will admit.
It is our wish to collect at as early a period as practicable, a full and complete account of all the manufacturing establishments of whatsoever kind in the Mississippi valley; to the end, that we may be enabled to note the increase from year to year, so long as our Journal shall be continued.
Considering internal improvements as one of the great social agents of the age, we shall collect and publish such facts and information touching this subject as may be deemed useful to our readers.
Believing that our Republican form of government can only be sustained by the virtue and the intelligence of the people; we shall advocate the importance of establishing an efficient system of Education in the State of Missouri; one that shall secure sufficient instruction to every free white child within our limits, to enable it to read the Holy Scriptures and the Constitution of the State, and also, that each elector may be able to write his own ticket at the polls of an election. To enable us the better to promote this important object, we shall be pleased to receive and publish the plans and suggestions of such patriotic individuals as may be willing to connect their names with this subject.
In the absence of more important and interesting matter, we shall endeavor to furnish our patrons with original essays upon the various subjects connected with the objects of our Journal; but we entertain a hope that the intelligence and public spirit of the people of the West will in due season relieve us from much of this labor by furnishing matter more interesting than our own productions.
We shall neither write nor publish any article, which has reference merely to the politics of the State or gen
eral government; but in treating every subject which comes properly within the range of the objects proposed by this Journal, we shall seek for truth, and endeavor to establish it by the aid of reason, without reference to the private, or political opinions of others. Unfortunately, political opinions have reference mainly to expedients, and change with the causes which give rise to them;— we aspire to an object more permanent-we aim to direct the mind of all classes to what we esteem their true interest, and to afford all the light in our power to direct them in its pursuit. We wish to see the almost boundless resources of this great valley developed, and to connect our humble names with its history.
The Geology and Mineral Resources of the State of Missouri.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SUBJECT.
No geological survey having as yet been made of the State of Missouri, we conclude that information in relation to its geology and mineral wealth, will be both acceptable and interesting to our readers.
Impressed with this opinion, and urged by a desire to procure such information from a reliable source, we addressed a note to Doctor H. A. PROUT, of this city, requesting him to furnish us with the result of his scientific researches in reference to this subject.
The following communication from the Doctor, in reply to our note, will advise our readers that he has generously consented to prepare for publication in the Western Journal, a series of numbers upon the geology of Missouri, and the adaptation of its natural resources to the wants of its population.
From the contents of this communication, we are authorized to expect something more than a mere descrip
tion of rocks and minerals. The writer indicates a design to discuss the subject with reference to both the physical and moral uses of the geological and mineral constituents of the earth: this manner of treating a subject, which is considered dry and uninteresting by the general reader, will impart much value to these essays, and render them both useful and interesting to all classes.
GENTLEMEN—I acknowledge the receipt of your note, in which you request me to offer you such information as I have collected in my investigations of the geology and mineral resources of the State, and of the Mississippi Valley generally. A partial knowledge, gained by a few excursions through the country, and from details furnished by others, not always to be fully relied upon, would, perhaps, render any attempt to embody the facts connected with this subject, a work difficult in its execution and in some measure unfruitful in its results. But owing to a general and increasing desire for geological knowledge, and the great benefits which may flow from even a partial understanding of the nature and extent of our mineral resources; and knowing the influence which early and even imperfect discussions may have on future investigations upon this subject, I feel encouraged by your polite invitation, to throw together such facts as I have obtained; hoping that the future labour of others may fill up the incomplete sketches which I may draw. The field is extensive, and the subjects embraced by it affect more or less the interests of every calling and class of men. For the natural wealth of a country consists in the mineral treasures which are distributed below its surface, and the physical adaptation of its soil to the production of the staples on which human industry is expended, and by which human life is sustained.
In comparing the advantages possessed by different countries, in the distribution of these two great sources of national wealth, we find much diversity. It seems that by a providential arrangement, a country which is liberally en
dowed with the one is deficient in the other; and the exceptions to this order are, where there exists a seeming adaptation of the one to the wants and purposes which necessarily grow out of the other. The more precious metals are seldom found except in countries characterized by the arenaceous nature and general sterility of their soil; but being of great value in proportion to bulk, they are easily transported and exchanged for such of the appliances and conveniences of life as the earth fails to yield. The metals which are more useful in forming and fashioning the impliments of agriculture, and the instruments and engines of the mechanical arts, are found associated with great store houses of appropriate fuel, in districts of country eminently adapted to the pursuits of agriculture.
In view of this distinction of natural resources, there will be little difficulty in showing that our own State is peculiarly favored by such a distribution of these advantages as affords all the elements of national greatness and national prosperity, giving to the industry, the energy, and the enterprise of its citizens ample scope in the future development of the resources of the State. Without the knowledge furnished by the experience of the past, and the flood of light which has been thrown out by the modern discoveries in science, its soil might become exhausted, or rather plundered, and its wealth squandered, without promoting materially the wellbeing and happiness of its people, or their progress in the great march of civilization and refinement. To illustrate the truth of this proposition we will merely institute a comparison.
The number of silver mines in Mexico has been estimated by Humbolt at about 3000. Its soil is admirably adapted to the production of some of the best staples of human subsistence. It has consequently both elements of natural wealth—but these have been as yet imperfectly developed, and have contributed but little to the advancement of individual or national prosperity. For the abundance of the spontaneous fruits of the earth, and the little labor required in procuring them, together with the enerwating inflnence of an almost inter-tropical climate, have