1779-05-10 Report Lead Mine

The Dispatch

Lancaster, May 10th, 1779


I am just returned from Sinking Valley where after making three different trials with the Blast Furnace assisted by Mr. Stear a practical smelter was not able to make more than two or three & twenty hundred weight of lead chiefly owing to the want of water for the furnace wheel. The works are injudiciously erected near a small stream which does not yield one third part of the water necessary for a stamping mill and furnace. There is so much oar prepared as would make 5 or 6 tons of lead, and perhaps there may be near the same quantity of unstamped oar. There has not any body of an oar been discovered as reported here. All the oar yet raised was found in detached parcels or unconnected veins which run out in a few yards. There is a large portion of iron perhaps about one third mixed with the lead in the oar and also a quantity of zink. The iron prevents its melting and the zink carrys the lead off with it in fumes during the fusion. I am of opinion that neither the owners nor the public will be great gainers by the lead mine in Sinking Valley unless a large body of oar should be discovered. Other works carryed on by some persons of judgment if any further or more particular account should be necessary I shall soon be at Philadelphia.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your most obed. Hble servt

William Henry