THE GREAT SALT LAKE—CAPT. STANSBU-RY'S EXPEDITION. Capt. Stansbury, sent out by Government to make an examination of the Val-ley of the Salt Lake, writes home:
"From the knowledge gained by this expedi-tion, I am of the opinion that the size of the lake has been much exaggerated; and from obser-vation, and what I have learned from the Mor-mons, who have made one or two excursions up-on it in a small skiff, I am induced to believe that its depth has been much overrated. That it has no outlet, is now demonstrated beyond doubt; and I am convinced from what I have seen, that it can never be of the slightest use for the purposes of navigation. The water for miles out from the shore, wherever I have seen it, is but a few inches in depth; and if there be any deeper water it must be in the middle. The Utah river (or the Jordan, as the Mormons call it,) is altogether too insignificant and too crook ed to be of any use commercially. The great-est depth of the Utah Lake that we have found, is 16 feet; so that for the purpose of a connect-ed line of navigation, neither the river nor the lakes can be of the slightest utility. Such at least is my present impression. Further exami-nation of Salt Like, may, perhaps, modify this opinion with regard to the latter. The river connecting these two lakes is 48 miles in length.
"He found that the whole western shore of the lake consists of immense level plains of soft mud, inaccessible within many miles of the wa-ter's edge to the feet of mules or horses, being traversed frequently by meandering rill of salt sulphur water, which apparently sink and seem to imbue and saturate the whole soil, rendering it miry and treacherous. These plains are but little elevated above the present level of the lake, and have, without doubt, at one time, not very long since, formed a part of it. The plains are, for the most part, entirely denuded of vegetation, excepting occasional patches of Artemesia and "greasewood." In an estimated distance of one hundred and fifty miles, on one part of the route, fresh water and grass were found only in one spot.
"In the latter portion of this first desert we crossed a field of solid salt, which lay encrusted upon the level mud plain, so thick that it bore up the mules loaded with their packs so perfect-ly that they walked upon it as if it had been a sheet of solid ice, slightly covered with snow. The whole plain was as level as a floor. We estimated this field to be at least ten miles in length, by seven in width, and the thickness of the salt at from one half to 3-4 of an inch. A strip of some three miles in width had been pre-viously crossed, but it was not thick nor hard enough to prevent the animals from sinking through it into the mud at every step. The salt in the solid field was perfectly crystalized, and, where it had not become mixed with the soil, was as white and fine as the best specimens of salina table salt. Some of it was collected and preserved.
“After crossing the field of salt we struck up-on a fine little stream of running water, with plenty of grass, lying at the foot of a range of mountains, which seemed to form the western boundary of the immediate valley of the lake.
"We were, as I have every reason to believe, the first party of white men that ever succeeded in making the entire circuit of the lake by land. I have understood that it was once circumnavi gated by canoes, in early times, by some trap-pers, in search of beaver, but no attempt by land "has ever been successful."
The party had been absent six months, iso-lated among the mountain snows, but hope to get through with the examination by nex fall.—Baltimore Sun.
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