Capitalists Looking to Virginia
May 25, 1868
There are Capitalists from Philadelphia finding business in Richmond due to the ideal conditions and extreme mineral wealth.
Capitalists Looking to Virginia. Every day brings visitors from the North and elsewhere to this city, for the purpose of looking upon the country and seeking what inducements there are to make investments. They are unanimously of one opinion - that for the just, middle temperature which avoids obstructions to labor in winter and summer, Virginia enjoys the best climate on the continent - that for mineral wealth and water power she is the most bountifully endowed State in the Union - that her lands are fertile, and that for the great facility of communication with the best markets in the Union, they afford the finest field for farming in the Atlantic States. We noticed a few days since the organization of a company of Philadelphians, in connection with our enterprising townsman Mr. H. L. Gallagher, to quarry granite at the fine quarry heretofore known as that gentleman's. The James River granite was, under Mr. Fillmore's administration, and through the agency of Mr. Stuart, of Augusta, then Secretary of the Interior, subjected to a rigid comparison by scientific men with the northern granites, especially the Quincy. The result was that the James River granite was decided to be superior to any then known and used. The quarries opened above Richmond exhibit almost inexhaustible supplies. Large engagements are already entered into by the new company that has taken the Gallagher mines. The corporators are confident that they will find market for their granite very readily in all of the large northern cities, and that when it is better known and appreciated, the demand will rapidly increase. It is a remarkable fact that while we hail here in ear-shot of the city this superior granite, that article was brought from Quincy, Mass., to build the front of the Exchange (now First National) Bank and the basement wall, steps, &c., of the Exchange Hotel. It is not at all improbable that at a day near at hand the traveller in Boston will there be surprised to see fronts, pillars, &c., of James River granite. A northern company has purchased a most valuable marble quarry in the Valley, and will ere long proceed to work it on a liberal scale. This marble is represented by those who use it as superior - very white, with delicate veins, and translucent. Strangers are astonished at the extent and variety of our mineral wealth, and especially the extent and quality of the iron ore in Virginia. The tests that have been made show that there are some of the finest ores in the State that have been discovered. There are none superior to them, and rarely are there any equal to them. Some purchases have been made by capitalists of large bodies of mineral lands: and but for the vexed and unsettled condition of our political affairs, the number of these investments would have been many times multiplied. As soon as the State is restored to the Union upon even a tolerable basis, an impetus will be given to immigration, and capital being reassured, will be freely invested amongst us. Bad as our situation is, so far as concerns our own comfort and thrift, capitalists would run no risk by buying land now. It may be now had cheaper far than it can be had after the restoration of the State, unless it were restored under some such Constitution as the one now before us. The advance in the price of lands will, after that time, be rapid, and the opportunity for great speculations will be very much diminished. However, let's be patient. A few months may bring about a great change for our advantage. Order and good government once restored, and Virginia will rise up with the vigor and spirit of youth.
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“Capitalists Looking to Virginia,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 18, 2019, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1044.