The census of 1840, showed a population of upwards of five thousand. Since that time, there has been a considerable accession to the number of buildings; from which we may safely assume that our present population reaches, if it does not exceed 6,000. The extent of the tobacco trade of Lynchburg may be judged of from the fact that upwards of fifteen thousand hogsheads have already been inspected here the present year–a number which far exceeds all previous calculation. We have about 30 tobacco factories and stemmeries, giving employment to about 1000 hands; three flouring-mills, manufacturing, I am told, about 20,000 barrels of flour annually; 1 cotton factory, operating 1,400 spindles; iron foundries, which consume, probably, 100 tons pig-iron annually. More than 100,000 bushels of wheat are sold here yearly. 300 tons bar-iron; 200 tons pig metal, sold to the country; 1000 tons plaster of Paris. About 50 dry-goods and grocery stores–selling, in the aggregate, more than one million of dollars worth of goods. Some of our stores are so extensive and elegant, as not to suffer by a comparison with those of Philadelphia and New York.–4 apothecaries and druggists; several cabinet manufactories; 4 saddle and harness manufactories; 10 blacksmith-shops; several excellent hotels; 5 jewellers’ establishments; 2 printing offices.
There are here branches of the Bank of Virginia, and the Farmer’s Bank of Virginia, and also 3 Savings’ Banks. Seven flourishing Sabbath-schools, with from 700 to 1000 scholars. One debating society, with a library of several thousand volumes, &c. &c. &c. From the hasty view I have presented, and which by no means does justice to the industry and enterprise of our citizens, it will be seen that we have already the elements of a flourishing city. But I have said nothing of the magnificent line of canal now in the “full tide of successful experiment,” between this place and Richmond, from which we are distant 147 miles by water. This splendid work, the pride and boast of Virginia, opens to Lynchburg the brightest era which has ever yet dawned upon her fortunes; securing to us a safe, speedy, and cheap navigation for the immense produce shipped annually to Richmond and the north–and destined, as the writer believes, to furnish a great thoroughfare fpr the countless thousands of produce and merchandise for the western and southwestern part of our state, as well as Tennessee, Alabama, &c.
A sketch of Lynchburg, Virginia, by its statistics, as published in a communication to the Lynchburg Republican, in 1843.