The Natural Bridge is, as the name implies, a natural limestone arch within a gorge formed by Cedar Creek, a 12-mile tributary of the James River in Virginia. While it was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, it is now a state park located approximately 140 west of Richmond and about 200 miles southwest of Washington, DC. In this chapter from his book Sparks from the Anvil, the American diplomat, philanthropist, activist, and writer Elihu Burritt tells the story of a risky bridge climbing adventure. (The book’s title refers to one of Mr. Burritt’s occupations: blacksmith.) I transcribed it in Anniversary Gregg for the blog.