In the ordinary map of the United States, where the
great commonwealth of Pennsylvania occupies a space equal in area to
a school-girl's palm, there may be traced, set in the western end of
this area, a great irregularly formed letter Y. Its stem wriggles off
through the western boundary of the State, and its divergent arms can
be traced until they pierce New York State on the north, and Maryland
and Virginia on the south. And right in the crotch of this big Y,
lodged like a tantalizing apple in the main forks of a huge tree,
most maps will show a small round black spot labelled "Pittsburgh."
The more uncompromisingly black this speck is shown, the more fittingly
does it represent this remarkable city of the Keystone State. And as
the brilliant disk cast by the burning-glass represents the gathered
potency of countless rays, so does this little inky disk indicate the
concentrated energy of a commonwealth.
Into the city of Smoke pours the oil of
the producing counties of McKean, Butler, Venango, Clarion, and Warren
in the north and northeast; the lumber of Forest, Jefferson, Armstrong,
Potter, and McKean counties on the east; the coke of Westmoreland, Fayette
and Allegheny counties on the southeast; while from all quarters of the
compass comes by rail and river to Pittsburgh her matchless bituminous
coal; or, departing over these highways, she sends it to the uttermost
corners of the South and Northwest. At the foot of the two great valleys
Monongahela, and at the head
of the greater vale of the Ohio, Pittsburgh
gathers the crude wealth of the first two to her murky bosom, while
through the greater gateway she sends the finished work of her coal-fed
factories. And to feel the regenerative tough of her magnificent
fuel, there come the silver-bearing ores of Michigan, Lake Superior,
and nearer points, and the sand and alkalies of distant States, to go
forth as silver, copper, iron, and glass.
A NIGHT ARRIVAL.