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Besides these, we have,
The Royston crow. Corvus cor-|The duck and mallard.
Didapper, or dopchick.
with a feathered head. Water pheasant.
sissippi, whose pouch Whistling Plover.
Red bird, with black head,
wings and tail. Cormorant.
And doubtless many others which have not yet been described and classed.
To this catalogue of our indigenous animals, I will add a short account of an anomaly of nature, taking place sometimes in the race of negroes brought from Africa, who, though black themselves, have, in rare instances, white children, called Albinos. I bave known four of these myself, and have faithful accounts of three others. The circumstances in which all the individuals agree, are these. They are of a pallid cadaverous white, untinged with red, without any coloured spots or seams; their hair of the same kind of white, short, coarse and curled as is that of the negro; all of them well formed, strong, healthy, perfect in their senses, except that of sight, and born of parents who had no mixture of white blood. Three of these Albinos were sisters, having two other full sisters, who were black. The youngest of the three was killed by lightning, at twelve years of age. The eldest died at about twenty-seven years of age, in
child-bed, with her second child. The middle one is now alive in health, and has issue, as the eldest had, by a black man, which issue was black. They are uncommonly shrewd, quick in their apprehensions and in reply. Their eyes are in a perpetual tremulous vibration, very weak, and much affected by the sun: but they see much better in the night than we do. They are the property of Col. Skipworth, of Cumberland. The fourth is a negro woman, whose parents came from Guinea, and had three other children, who were of their own colour. She is freckled, her eye-sight so weak that she is obliged to wear a bonnet in the summer; but it is better in the night than day. She had an Albino child by a black man. It died at the age of a few weeks. These were the property of Col. Carter, of Albemarle. A sixth instance is a woman of the property of Mr Butler, near Petersburg. She is stout and robust, bas issue a daughter, jet black, by a black man. I am not informed as to her eye-sight. The seventh instance is of a male belonging to a Mr Lee of Cumberland. His eyes are tremulous and weak. He is tall of stature, and now advanced in years. He is the only male of the Albinos which have come within my information. Whatever be the cause of the disease in the skin, or in its colouring matter, which produces this change, it seems more incident to the female than male
To these I may add the mention of a negro man within my own knowledge, born black, and of black parents; on whose chin, when a boy, a wbite spot appeared. This continued to increase till be became a man, by which time it had extended over his chin, lips, one cheek, the under jaw, and neck on that side. It is of the Albino white, without any mixture of red, and has for several years been stationary. He is robust and healthy, and the change of colour was not accompanied with any sensible disease, either general or topical.
Of our fish and insects there has been nothing like a full description or collection. More of them are described in Catesby than in any other work. Many also are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Jamacia, as being
common to that and this country. The honey bee is not a native of our continent. Marcgrave indeed mentions a species of honey-bee in Brasil. But this has no sting, and is therefore different from the one we have, which resembles perfectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that it was brought from Europe ; but when, and by whom, we know not. The bees have generally extended themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers. The Indians therefore call them the white man's fly, and consider their approach as indicating the approach of the settlements of the whites. A question here occurs, How far northwardly have these insects been found? That they are unknown in Lapland, I infer from Scheffer's information, that the Laplanders eat the pine bark, prepared in a certain way, instead of those things sweetened with sugar. “ Hoc comedunt pro rebus saccharo conditis.” Scheff. Lapp. c. 18. Certainly if they had honey, it would be a better substitute for sugar than any preparation of the pine bark. Kalm tells us* the honey-bee cannot live through the winter in Canada. They furnish then an additional proof of the remarkable fact first observed by the Count de Buffon, and which has thrown such blaze of light on the field of natural history, that no animals are found in both continents, but those which are able to bear the cold of those regions where they probably join.
A Notice of all that can increase the progress of human knowledge ?
Under the latitude of this query, I will presume it not improper nor unacceptable to furnish some data for estimating the climate of Virginia. Journals of observations on the quantity of rain, and degree of heat, being
Least and greatest| rain, &c. daily heat by Farenin inches heit's thermometer.
71 1-2 78 1-4
view of the winds during the same period. averages in the following table, adding an analytical rage for every month in the year, and stated those and its neighbourhood, have reduced them to an avetions, to wit, from 1772 to 1777, made in Williamsburgh and distinct ideas, I have taken five years' observalengthy, confused, and too minute to produce general
35 44 54 19 9 58 18 20
77 64 15 6 56 23 34
47.038 8 A. M. 4 P.M.1611 1548 1521 223 109 926 1351 409 | 3698
The rains of every month, (as of January, for instance) through the whole period of years, were added separately, and an average drawn from them. The coolest and warmest point of the same day in each year of the period, were added separately, and an average of the greatest cold and greatest heat of that day, was formed. From the averages of every day in the month, a general average for the whole month was formed. The point from which the wind blew, was observed two or three times in every day. These observations, in the month of January, for instance, through the whole period, amounted to 337. At 73 of these, the wind was from the North ; 47 from the North-east, &c. So that it will be easy to see in what proportion each wind usually prevails in each month : or, taking the whole year, the total of observations through the whole period having been 3698, it will be observed that 011 of them were from the North, 558 from the North-east, &c.
Though by this table it appears we have on an average 47 inches of rain annually, which is considerably more than usually falls in Europe, yet from the information I have collected, I suppose we have a much greater proportion of sunshine here than there. Perhaps it will be found, there are twice as many cloudy days in the middle parts of Europe, as in the United States of America. 'I mention the middle parts of Europe, because my information does not extend to its Northern or Southern parts.
In an extensive country, it will of course be expected that the climate is not the same in all its parts. It is remarkable, that, proceeding on the same parallel of latitude westwardly, the climate becomes colder in like manner as when you proceed northwardly. This continues to be the case till you attain the summit of the Alleghaney, which is the highest land between the ocean and the Mississippi. From thence, descending in the same latitude to the Mississippi, the change reverses; and, if we may believe travellers, it becomes warmer there than it is in the same latitude on the sea side. Their testimony is strengthened by the vege