Harper's WeeklyDecember 14, 1867
THE great bituminous coal-field
of the United States, called the Appalachian, commences near the
northern line of Pennsylvania; and, in this portion of the State,
in Bradford, Lycoming, and Tioga counties, it is represented by
several isolated basins, separated from each other by the conglomerate
or still lower strata forming the summits. Toward the south, bounded
on the east by the main Alleghany ridge, the coal measures spread
over the surface, including the whole central and southwestern
part of the State, the southwestern part of Ohio, the eastern
parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the western portions of Virginia.
The formation terminates in Northern Alabama, but appears again
as far south as Tuscaloosa. Including the outlying anthracite
basins further to the east, the whole area has been estimated
at 65,000 square miles. Another coal-field of almost equal extent
occupies the greater part of Illinois, the western portion of
Indiana, and a small district in the northwestern part of Kentucky.
It is separated by only a narrow tract, occupied by lower strata,
from the great coal-field of Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri.
The area of coal lands in the United States is nearly three-fourths
of all the coal-producing land in Europe and America; yet the
amount of coal annually mined in this country is only about one-tenth
of the total amount produced on the two continents. The whole
coal-field of Europe is less extensive than that of Illinois and
Indiana; England and Ireland have less coal than the State of
Ohio, about one-fourth that of Pennsylvania; and yet England produces
three times as much coal annually as is mined in Pennsylvania.
Rondout, New York, situated on the Hudson River, 90 miles north
of New York City, is one of the principal outlets for coal in
the country. It is at the eastern terminus of the Delaware anal
Hudson Canal, and here is to be found the scene illustrated by
our artist on this page. There are no less that eight hundred
canal boats engaged in bringing coal from the Pennsylvania mines
by this canal to Rondout, and they annually carry over 1,000,000
of tons to this point for the New York and Boston markets. The
canal is 108 miles in length, and passes through some of the most
picturesque country in New York State.
Our other illustration shows a coal-miner at work in the mine.
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