HISTORICAL XOTES: MIXIXG, METALLURGICAL AXD
EABLY DISCOVERIES OF GOLD IN THE SOUTH APPALACHIAN
Lor an account of probably the earliest discoveries of gold in the southern part of what is now the United States by the Spanish explorers we refer the reader to Mr. G. F. Becker's paper, Reconnaissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians.'
Reports of the existence of gold in the Southern States antedate the time of the Revolutionary war, as for instance, in South Carolina at the Brewer mine in Chesterfield county, and in Xorth Carolina at the Oliver mine in Gaston county, the Dunn mine in Mecklenburg county, and the Parker mine in Cherokee county.
However, no absolutely authentic references to these can be obtained, and the date of the first actual discovery of gold in this country must remain shrouded in uncertainty.
Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia (1782), mentions the discovery of a nugget containing 17 dwts. of gold four miles below the falls of the Rappahannock river. The U. S. Mint reports give the first returns from Virginia in 1S29. For Xorth Cai'olina the first mint returns appear in 1793; but the first mention of any specific find of gold in Xorth Carolina is of a 17-pound nugget, discovered on the Reed plantation in Cabarrus county, in 1799.
Mills, in his Statistics of South Carolina, notes the occurrence of gold in Abbeville and Spartanburg districts as early as 1820, but the first U. S. mint returns from this State are given in 1829.
The gold placers in Burke and McDowell counties, Xorth Carolina, (South Mountain belt) were first worked in 1S29, and immediately traced southwestward through South Carolina into Georgia.
John Witheroods, of Xorth Carolina, claims to have first discovered gold in Gaorgia in 1829 at Duke's creek, near Xacoochee, Habersham county;" but Jesse Hogan, also of Xorth Carolina, claims to have taken
1 We are indebted to Mr. Geo. R. Hanna, of the Charlotte Assay office, for valuable notes re latins to the History of Mininsr and Metallurgical Operations in North Carolina. 5 Sixteenth Annual Report of the IT. S. Geological Surrey, part iii, 1894-5. 3 Now in White county, which was later formed from a part of Habersham.