Carolina Observer
Fayetteville, N.C.
Found at North Carolina State Archives

23 Jun 1825


A correspondent of the National Intelligencer, who professes to reside in the neighborhood of the "Gold country" in this State, gives the following as the result of his enquiries and examination on a visit to the mines. We apprehend there is much truth in his statements.

"After examining the main area of the golden drama of north Carolina at Barringer's, and after comparing the different very contradictory reports concerning the same, we feel ourselves compelled to state it as our candid opinion, that it is exceedingly difficult to ascertain the truth of the matter, what quantity of gold, and on which particular spot, the same has been found. Strangers from a distance arriving on the spot, will frequently find persons there, who, after spending much labor on their pits and not having realized the least profits, feel completely discouraged about any final success. These persons, being on the eve of quitting in disgust this scene of their folly, have many times, it appears, pretended only to have found quantities of the metal, for the purpose of encouraging strangers to buy their interests in the pits, already opened, by by which they would obtain at least some renumeration, even the most triffling one, for their labor. It is a fact, that at the time of our visit, even Barringer had quitted working the same pits, out of which, it was currently reported, he should have obtained considerable wealth. Several extravagant reports about large sums having, by strangers, been offered for the interest in several pits, proved, after being examined on the very spot, to be gross fabrications.

"At Parker's plantation, distant about five miles from Barringer's. which also was visited by us, it is reported that gold to the value of several thousand dollars, has, within one year's time, been procured by the process of washing the soil, consisting of a reddish clay. But the information which we gained, partly on this very place and partly in this vicinity, proved to us so much that even here hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men, had been laboring; that the plurality of these did not find any gold at all; that some succeeded in finding a little; but that very few could boast of having realized considerable profits. Many, by exposure to wet and cold, suffered in their healths, without gain to their pockets.

"We also deem it our duty to state one particular characteristic of the gold mania, containing, to refecting minds, a weighty though indirect proof: when returning home, in the same proportion as we left the famous gold regions at a distance behind us, we found that the reports concerning immense gains realized in the gold region, increased again in extravagance, which gains, after institutingour observations, we were convinced, dwindle down to either a mere insignificance, or still more probably to an actual loss of labor.

"After summing up the whole evidence collected by us, we hope we shall ______ ________ ______ before our readers, when we state, that gold, to an unknown amount, has actually been found in North Carolina, but only in detached parcels, somehow in an accidental manner, and that, to the best of our knowledge, no real vein of gold ore has yet been discovered in our State, which would justify, on rational principles, the commencing of regular mining operation. As long as such veins have not been discovered, it will in our opinion remain probable, that, by some violent convulsion of our globe, instigated either by Neptune or Vulcan, or derivable perhaps from the conficting efforts of both water and fire, some metalic particles were separated from their main masses, and deposited in our gold region, coming perhaps from a distance of many thousand miles."


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