Transcribe Ward, Henry A. Letter to Dewey, Chester (1857-03-21)

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Elba contains a few secondary rocks of the Jura formation, which are greatly dislocated, much altered by heat, & contain very few fossils. The platonic rocks are on the contrary very abund- ant. Among them are Granites of two widely sep- arated ages. One with crystals of Tourmaline thrown up during the Eocene period, & another without the mineral which dates from the carboniferous group. From Elba I returned to Leghorn & thence by steamer to </u Civita Vecchia > by Dilligence, to Rome. Here I </u sought > Uniossin the Fiber, & visited the beds of Travertine of which the city is built. I also called on Prof. Ponzi of the University who explained to me how the "sulfatargs" in southern Italy followed (on its eastern side) the range of the Apennines, & for him, marked the line of fracture made by their </u Soulevement >. I gave the Prof. some Paris fossils for some (Pliocene) from "Monte Maris." & then after taking a glance at St. Peters & the Coliseum. I returned to Civita Vecchia & took steamer to </u Naples >. I spent two weeks in & around this latter City, but much of my time was lost on account of an almost daily fall of rain. I visited the Temple of Serapis" (described so fully by Lyell), several extinct craters which abound in fumerales, 'Monte Muovo" (about the size of My. Hope) which was thrown up 3 centuries ago only. the famous "Grotto del Cane" & last but not l;east Vesuvius which rises above the Bay of Naples in all its grandeur & which pours from its top a constant cloud of smoke & vapours. It was in a state of partial eruption when when I was ^at Naples^ </s there > & although it has yielded as yet no </u flow > of lava. it thundered so fearfully when I was upon the summit and sent upwards such frequent & abundant sowers of melted lava that I shall </u never >forget the grandeur of the scene. I bribed my guide to go back to the city without me - & when he was fairly gone I went down into the crater, went close up to the little ^cone^ <.s center >(30 feet high) of eruption. clopped coin into the red hot lava as it fell, roasted some eggs at a fumerole, burned my fingers severely red by the action of some gas which issued from the crevices in the lava over which I walked! <.u This was the grandest day of all my life. > I never, never, saw anything, before seeing this volcano. I have a </u great deal > which I wish to tell you, Sir, about Vesuvius too much to write