A New Guide for Emigrants to the West
by J. M. Peck
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BY J. M. PECK, A. M.






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, By GOULD, KENDALL & LINCOLN, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.




Extent—Subdivisions—Population—Physical Features—Animal, Vegetable and Mineral Productions—History—Prospective Increase of Population, 11



Productions, 32



Comparative View of the Climate with the Atlantic States—Diseases—Means of Preserving Health, 37



Cotton and Sugar Planters—Farmers—Population of the large Towns and Cities—Frontier Class—Hunters and Trappers—Boatmen, 102



System of Surveys—Meridian and Base Lines—Townships—Diagram of a Township surveyed into Sections—Land Districts and Offices—Pre-emption Rights—Military and Bounty Lands—Taxes—Valuable Tracts of Country unsettled, 130



Conjecture respecting their former Numbers and Condition— Present Number and State—Indian Territory appropriated as their Permanent Residence—Plan and Operations of the U. S. Government—Missionary Efforts and Stations—Monuments and Antiquities, 144



Face of the Country—Soil, Agriculture and Internal Improvements—Chief Towns—Pittsburg—Coal—Sulphur and Hot Springs—Wheeling, 163



Extent—Situation—Boundaries—Face of the Country—Rivers—Lakes, &c.—Soil and Productions—Subdivisions—Counties—Towns— Detroit—Education—Internal Improvements projected—Boundary Dispute—Outline of the Constitution, 179



Boundaries—Divisions—Face of the Country—Soil and Productions—Animals—Minerals—Financial Statistics—Canal Fund—Expenditures—Land Taxes—School Fund—Statistics— Canal Revenues—Population at different Periods—Internal Improvements—Manufactures—Cities and Towns—Cincinnati— Columbus—Education—Form of Government—History, 193



Boundaries and Extent—Counties—Population—Face of the Country, &c.—Sketch of each County—Form of Government— Finances—Internal Improvements—Manufactures—Education— History—General Remarks, 222



Boundaries and Extent—Face of the Country and Qualities of Soil—Inundated Land—River Bottoms, or Alluvion—Prairies— Barrens—Forest, or timbered Land—Knobs, Bluffs, Ravines and Sink Holes—Rivers, &c.—Productions—Minerals—Lead, Coal, Salt, &c.—Vegetables—Animals—Manufactures—Civil Divisions—Tabular View of the Counties—Sketches of each County—Towns—Alton—Projected Improvements—Education— Government—General Remarks, 251



Extent and Boundaries—Civil Divisions—Population—Surface, Soil and Productions—Towns—St. Louis, 315



ARKANSAS.—Situation and Extent—Civil Divisions— Rivers—Face of the Country—Soil—Water—Productions— Climate—Minerals—State of Society. WISCONSIN. Boundaries and Extent—Rivers—Soil—Productions—Towns, &c., 323



Colleges—Statistical Sketch of each Religious Denomination —Roman Catholics—Field for Effort, and Progress made— Theological Institutions—Deaf and Dumb Asylums—Medical Institutions—Law Schools—Benevolent and Religious Societies—Periodical Press, 334



Modes of Travel—Canal, Steamboat and Stage Routes—Other Modes of Travel—Expenses—Roads, Distances, &c., 364


Much has been published already about the WEST,—the GREAT WEST,—the VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.—But no portion of this immense and interesting region, is so much the subject of inquiry, and so particularly excites the attention of the emigrant, as the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan, with the adjacent territorial regions.

All these States have come into existence as such, with the exception of Ohio, within the last twenty years; and much of the territory, now adorned by the hand of civilization, and spread over with an enterprising, industrious and intelligent people,—the field of public improvements in Canals and Railways,—of Colleges, Churches, and other institutions, was the hunting ground of the aborigines, and the scene of border warfare. These States have been unparalleled in their growth, both in the increase of population and property, and in the advance of intellectual and moral improvement. Such an extent of forest was never before cleared,—such a vast field of prairie was never before subdued and cultivated by the hand of man, in the same short period of time. Cities, and towns, and villages, and counties, and States never before rushed into existence, and made such giant strides, as upon this field.

"Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?" Isaiah, LXVI. 8.

The rapid increase of population will be exhibited in a tabular form in the following pages, and other parts showing that the general improvement of the country, and the development of its physical, intellectual and moral resources have kept pace with the extension of settlements. And such are its admirable facilities for commerce by its numerous navigable rivers, and its lines of canals, some of which are finished, and many others commenced or projected,—such the richness of its soil, and the variety of its productions,—such the genial nature of its climate,—the enterprise of its population,—and the influence it must soon wield in directing the destinies of the whole United States, as to render the GREAT WEST an object of the deepest interest to the American patriot. To the philanthropist and christian, the character and manners,—the institutions, literature and religion of so wide a portion of our country, whose mighty energies are soon to exert a controlling influence over the character of the whole nation, and in some measure, of the world, are not less matters of momentous concern.

"The West is a young empire of mind, and power, and wealth, and free institutions, rushing up to a giant manhood, with a rapidity and power never before witnessed below the sun. And if she carries with her the elements of her preservation, the experiment will be glorious,—the joy of the nation,—the joy of the whole earth, as she rises in the majesty of her intelligence and benevolence, and enterprise, for the emancipation of the world."—Beecher.

Amongst the causes that have awakened the attention of the community in the Atlantic States, to this Great Valley, and excited the desires of multitudes to remove hither, may be reckoned the efforts of the liberal and benevolent to aid the West in the immediate supply of her population with the Bible, with Sunday Schools, with religious tracts, with the gospel ministry, and to lay the foundation for Colleges and other literary institutions. Hundreds of families, who might otherwise have remained in the crowded cities and densely populated neighborhoods of their ancestors, have had their attention directed to these States as a permanent home. And thousands more of virtuous and industrious families would follow, and fix their future residence on our prairies, and in our western forests, cultivate our wild lands,—aid in building up our towns and cities, and diffuse a healthful moral and intellectual influence through the mass of our present population, could they feel assured that they can reach some portion of the Western Valley without great risk and expense,—provide for their families comfortably, and not be swept off by sickness, or overwhelmed by suffering, beyond what is incident to any new country.

The author's first book, "A GUIDE FOR EMIGRANTS," &c. was written in the winter and spring of 1831, to answer the pressing call then made for information of these western states, but more especially that of Illinois;—but many of its particulars, as to the character and usages of the people, manners and customs, modes of erecting buildings, general characteristics and qualities of soil, productions, &c. were applicable to the West generally.

Since that period, brief as it has been, wide and rapid changes have been made, population has rapidly augmented, beyond that of any former period of the same extent;—millions of acres of the public domain, then wild and hardly explored, have been brought into market; settlements and counties have been formed, and populous towns have sprung up where, at that time, the Indian and wild beast had possession; facilities for intercommunication have been greatly extended, and distant places have been brought comparatively near; the desire to emigrate to the west has increased, and everybody in the Atlantic states has become interested and inquires about the Great Valley. That respectable place, so much the theme of declamation and inquiry abroad, "The Far West," has gone from this region towards the setting sun. Its exact locality has not yet been settled, but probably it may soon be found along the gulf of California, or near Nootka Sound. And if distance is to be measured by time, and the facility of intercourse, we are now several hundred miles nearer the Atlantic coast than twenty years since. Ten years more, and the facilities of railways and improved machinery will place the Mississippi within seven day's travel of Boston,—six days of Washington city, and five days of Charleston, S. C.

To give a brief, and yet correct account of a portion of this Great Valley, its resources, the manners and customs of its inhabitants, its political subdivisions, cities, commercial and other important towns, colleges and other literary institutions, religious condition, public lands, qualities of soil and general features of each state and territory named in the title page, together with such information as may form a kind of manual for the emigrant and man of business, or which may aid him on his journey hither, and enable him to surmount successfully the difficulties of a new country, is the object of this new work. In accomplishing this task the author has aimed at correctness and brevity. To condense the particular kind of information called for by the public mind in a small space, has been no easy task. Nor has it been a small matter to collect from so wide a range as five large states, and two extensive territories, with other large districts, the facts and statistical information often found in the compass of less than a page.

It is an easy task to a belles-lettre scholar, sitting at his desk, in an easy chair, and by a pleasant fire, to write "Histories," and "Geographies," and "Sketches," and "Recollections," and "Views," and "Tours" of the Western Valley,—but it is quite another concern to explore these regions, examine public documents, reconcile contradictory statements, correspond with hundreds of persons in public and private life, read all the histories, geographies, tours, sketches, and recollections that have been published, and correct their numerous errors,—then collate, arrange, digest, and condense the facts of the country. Those who have read his former "GUIDE FOR EMIGRANTS," will find upon perusal, that this is radically a new work—rather than a new edition. Its whole plan is changed; and though some whole pages of the former work are retained, and many of its facts and particulars given in a more condensed form, much of that work being before the public in other forms, he has been directed, both by his own judgment, and the solicitude of the public mind in the Atlantic states, to give to the work its present form and features.

There are three classes of persons in particular who may derive advantage from this Guide.

1. All those who intend to remove to the states and territories described. Such persons, whether citizens of the Atlantic states, or natives of Europe, will find in this small volume, much of that species of information for which they are solicitous.

It has been a primary object of the author throughout this work, to furnish the outline of facts necessary for this class. He is aware also that much in detail will be desired and eagerly sought after, which the portable and limited size of this little work could not contain; but such information may be found in the larger works, by Hall, Flint, Darby, Schoolcraft, Long, and other authors and travellers. Those who desire more specific and detailed descriptions of Illinois, will be satisfied probably with the author's GAZETTEER of that State, published in 1834, and which can be had by application to the author, or to the publishers of this work.

2. This Guide is also designed for those, who, for either pleasure, health or business, intend to travel through the western States. Such are now the facilities of intercommunication between the eastern and western States, and to most points in the Valley of the Mississippi, that thousands are visiting some portions of this interesting region every month. Some knowledge of the routes that lead to different parts of this Valley, the lines of steamboats and stages, cities, towns, public institutions, manners and customs of the people, &c., is certainly desirable to all who travel. Such persons may expect a correct, and it is hoped, a pleasant Guide in this book.

3. There is a numerous class of persons in the Atlantic States, who desire to know more about the Great West and to have a book for reference, who do not expect to emigrate here. Many are deeply interested in its moral welfare. They have cheerfully contributed to establish and build up its literary and religious institutions, and yet from want of access to those facts which exist amongst us, their information is but partial and limited. The author in his travels in the Atlantic states has met with many persons, who, though well informed on other subjects, are surprisingly ignorant of the actual condition, resources, society, manners of the people, and even the geography of these states and territories. The author is aware of the difficulty of conveying entirely correct ideas of this region to a person who has never travelled beyond the borders of his native state. The laws and habits of associating ideas in the human mind forbid it.

The chief source of information for those states that lie on the Mississippi, has been the personal observation of the author,—having explored most of the settlements in Missouri and Illinois, and a portion of Indiana and Ohio,—having spent more than eighteen years here, and seen the two former states, from an incipient territorial form of government, and a few scattered and detached settlements, arise to their present state of improvement, population, wealth and national importance. His next source of information has been from personal acquaintance and correspondence with many intelligent citizens of the states and territories he describes. Reference has also been had to the works of Hall, Flint, Darby, Breckenridge, Beck, Long, Schoolcraft, Lewis and Clarke, Mitchell's and Tanner's maps, Farmer's map of Michigan, Turnbull's map of Ohio, The Ohio Gazetteer, The Indiana Gazetteer, Dr. Drake's writings, Mr. Coy's Annual Register of Indian affairs, Ellicott's surveys, and several periodicals.

J. M. P.

Rock Spring, Illinois, January, 1836.



Its extent,—Subdivisions,—Population,—Physical features,—Animal, Vegetable and Mineral productions,—History,—Prospective increase of Population.

The Valley of the Mississippi, in its proper geographical extent, embraces all that portion of the United States, lying between the Alleghany and Rocky Mountains, the waters of which are discharged into the gulf of Mexico, through the mouths of the Mississippi. I have embraced, however, under that general term, a portion of the country bordering on the northern lakes, including the north part of Ohio, the north-eastern portions of Indiana and Illinois, the whole of Michigan, with a considerable territorial district on the west side of lake Michigan, and around lake Superior.

Extent. This great Valley is one of the largest divisions of the globe, the waters of which pass one estuary.

To suppose the United States and its territory to be divided into three portions, the arrangement would be, the Atlantic slope—the Mississippi basin, or valley—and the Pacific slope.

A glance on any map of North America, will show that this Valley includes about two thirds of the territory of the United States. The Atlantic slope contains about 390,000; the Pacific slope, about 300,000; which, combined, are 690,000 square miles: while the Valley of the Mississippi contains at least 1,300,000 square miles, or 833,000,000 acres.

This Valley extends from the 29 deg. to the 49 deg. of N. latitude, or about 1400 miles from south to north; and from the 3 deg. to the 35 deg. of longitude west from Washington, or about 1470 miles from east to west. From the source of the Alleghany river to the sources of the Missouri, following the meanderings of the streams, is not less than 5000 miles.

Subdivisions. The states and territories included, are a small section of New York watered by the heads of the Alleghany river, western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Territory of Arkansas, Indian Territory, the vast unsettled regions lying to the west and north of this Territory, the Wisconsin Territory including an extensive country west of the Mississippi and north of the state of Missouri, with the vast regions that lie towards the heads of the Mississippi, and around lake Superior.[1]

Population. The following table, gives a comparative view of the population of the Valley of the Mississippi, and shows the proportional increase of the several States, parts of States, and Territories, from 1790 to the close of 1835, a period of 45 years. The column for 1835 is made up partly from the census taken in several states and territories, and partly by estimation. It is sufficiently accurate for general purposes.

States, parts of 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1835 States and Territories. ======================================================================= Western Pennsylvania 75,000 130,000 240,000 290,000 380,000 490,000 and a fraction of New York.} Western Virginia 45,000 75,000 100,000 147,178 204,175 230,000 Ohio [a]45,000 230,760 581,434 937,679 1,375,000 Indiana 24,520 147,178 341,582 600,000 Illinois 12,282 55,211 157,575 272,427 Missouri [b]20,845 66,586 140,074 210,000 Michigan 4,762 8,896 31,000 83,000 Kentucky 73,677 220,959 406,511 564,317 688,844 748,844 Tennessee 35,691 105,602 261,727 422,813 684,822 735,000 Mississippi [c]8,850 40,352 75,448 136,806 300,000 Louisiana 76,556 153,407 214,693 270,000 Arkansas Territory 14,273 30,608 51,809 [e]Wisconsin Ter. and New purchase [d]3,608 15,000 - - - - - - Total 229,368 585,411 1,418,315 2,526,741 3,951,466 5,381,080 ====================================================================== a Including Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.

b Including Arkansas.

c Including Alabama.

d Included with Michigan in the census of 1830.

e: The country west of the Mississippi, and north of the State of Missouri, was ceded by the Sauk Indians, Sept. 1832. It now contains about 6000 inhabitants.

Probably there is no portion of the globe, of equal extent, that contains as much of soil fit for cultivation, and which is capable of sustaining and supplying with all the necessaries and conveniences, and most of the luxuries of life, so dense a population as this great Valley. Deducting one third of its surface for water and desert, which is a very liberal allowance, and there remains 866,667 square miles, or 554,666,880 acres of arable land.

Let it become as populous as Massachusetts, which contains 610,014 inhabitants on an area of 7,800 square miles, or seventy-eight to every 640 acres, and the population of this immense region will amount to 67,600,000. The child is now born which will live to see this result. Suppose its population to become equally dense with England, including Wales, which contains 207 to the square mile, and its numbers will amount to 179,400,000. But let it become equal to the Netherlands, the most populous country on the globe, containing 230 to the square mile, and the Valley of the Mississippi teems with a population of 200 millions, a result which may be had in the same time that New England has been gathering its two millions. What reflections ought this view to present to the patriot, the philanthropist, and the christian.

Physical Features. The physical features of this Valley are peculiar.

1. It includes two great inclined planes, one on its eastern, and the other on its western border, terminating with the Mississippi.

2. This river receives all the waters produced on these slopes, which are discharged by its mouths into the gulf of Mexico.

3. Every part of this vast region can be penetrated by steamboats, or other water craft; nor is there a spot in all this wide region, excepting a small district in the vast plains of Upper Missouri, that is more than one hundred miles from some navigable water. A boat may take in its lading on the banks of the Chatauque lake, in the State of New York; another may receive its cargo in the interior of Virginia; a third may start from the rice lakes at the head of the Mississippi; and a fourth may come laden with furs from the Chippewan mountains, 2,800 miles up the Missouri, and all meet at the mouth of the Ohio, and proceed in company to the ocean.

4. With the exception of its eastern and western borders, there are no mountains. Some portions are level, a large part is gently undulating, or what in the west is called "rolling," and the remainder is made up of abrupt hills, flint and limestone ridges, bluffs, and ravines.

5. It is divided into two great portions, the UPPER, and LOWER VALLEY, according to its general features, climate, staple productions, and habits of its population. The parallel of latitude that cuts the mouth of the Ohio river, will designate these portions with sufficient accuracy.

North of this line the seasons are regularly divided into spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In the winter there is usually more or less snow, ice forms and frequently blocks up the rivers, navigation is obstructed, and cotton is not produced in sufficient quantity or quality to make it a staple for exportation. It is the region of furs, minerals, tobacco, hemp, live stock, and every description of grain and fruit that grows in New England. Its white population are mostly accustomed to labor.

South of this line, cotton, tobacco, indigo, and sugar are staples. It has little winter, snow seldom covers the earth, ice never obstructs the rivers, and most of the labor is done by slaves.

Rivers. The rivers are, the Mississippi and its tributaries, or more correctly, the Missouri and its tributaries. If we except the Amazon, no river can compare with this for length of its course, the number and extent of its tributaries, the vast country they drain, and their capabilities for navigation. Its tributaries generally issue either from the eastern or western mountains, and flow over this immense region, diffusing not only fertility to the soil, but affording facilities for commerce a great part of the year.

The Missouri is unquestionably the main stream, for it is not only longer and discharges a larger volume of water than the Mississippi above its mouth, but it has branches, which, for the extent of country they drain, their length, and the volume of water they discharge, far exceed the upper Mississippi.

The characteristics of these two rivers are each distinctly marked. The Missouri is turbid, violent in its motions, changing its currents; its navigation is interrupted or made difficult by snags, sawyers and planters, and it has many islands and sand-bars. Such is the character of the Mississippi below the mouth of the Missouri. But above its mouth, its waters are clear, its current gentle, while it is comparatively free from snags and sand-bars.

The Missouri, which we have shown to be the principal stream, rises in the Chippewan, or Rocky mountains in latitude 44 deg. north, and longitude about 35 deg. west from Washington city. It runs a northeast course till after it receives the Yellow Stone, when it reaches past the 48 deg. of latitude, thence an east, then a south, and finally a southeastern course, until it meets the current of the Mississippi, 20 miles above St. Louis, and in latitude 38 deg. 45' north. Besides numerous smaller streams, the Missouri receives the Yellow Stone and Platte, which of themselves, in any other part of the world, would be called large rivers, together with the Sioux, Kansau, Grand, Chariton, Osage, and Gasconade, all large and navigable rivers.

Its length, upon an entire comparative course, is 1870 miles, and upon a particular course, about 3000 miles. Lewis and Clark make the distance from the Mississippi to the great falls, 2580 miles.

There are several things in some respects peculiar to this river, which deserve notice.

1. Its current is very rapid, usually at the rate of four or five miles an hour, when at its height; and it requires a strong wind to propel a boat with a sail against it. Steam overcomes its force, for boats ply regularly from St. Louis to the towns and landings on its banks within the borders of the state, and return with the produce of the country. Small steamboats have gone to the Yellow Stone for furs.

Owing to the shifting of its current, and its snags and sand-bars, its navigation is less safe and pleasant than any other western river, but these difficulties are every year lessened by genius and enterprise.

2. Its water is always turbid, being of a muddy, ash color, though more so at its periodical rise than at other times. This is caused by extremely fine sand, received from the neighborhood of the Yellow Stone. During the summer flood, a tumbler of water taken from the Missouri, and precipitated, will produce about one fourth of its bulk in sediment.

This sediment does not prevent its habitual use by hundreds who live on its banks, or move in boats over its surface. Some filtrate it, but many more drink it, and use it for culinary purposes, in its natural state.

When entirely filtrated, it is the most limpid and agreeable river water I ever saw. Its specific gravity then, is about equal to rain water; but in its turbid state, it is much heavier than ordinary river water, for a boat will draw three or four inches less in it than in other rivers, with the same lading, and the human body will swim in it with but very little effort.

It possesses some medicinal properties. Placed in an open vessel and exposed to the summer's sun, it remains pure for weeks. Eruptions on the skin and ulcerous sores are cured by wading or frequent bathings, and commonly it produces slight cathartic effects upon strangers upon its first use.

The width of the Missouri river at St. Charles, is 550 yards. Its alluvial banks however are insecure, and are not unfrequently washed away for many yards at its annual floods. The bed of its channel is also precarious, and is elevated or depressed by the deposition or removal of its sandy foundation. Hence the elevation or depression of the surface of this river, affords no criterion of its depth, or of the volume of water it discharges at any one period.

Undulatory motions, like the boiling of a pot, are frequently seen on its surface, caused by the shifting of the sand that forms its bed.

The volume of water it ordinarily discharges into the Mississippi is vastly disproportionate to its length, or the number and size of its tributaries. I have seen less than six feet depth of water at St. Charles at a low stage, and it was once forded by a soldier, at Bellefontaine, four miles above its junction with the Mississippi.

Evaporation takes up large quantities, but absorption throughout the porous soil of its wide bottoms consumes much more. In all the wells dug in the bottom lands of the Missouri, water is always found at the depth of the surface of the river, and invariably rises or sinks with the floods and ebbings of the stream. Volumes of sand frequently enter these wells as the river rises.

Its periodical floods deserve notice. Ordinarily this river has three periods of rising and falling each year. The first rise is caused by the breaking up of winter on the Gasconade, Osage, Kansau, Chariton, Grand, and other branches of the lower Missouri, and occurs the latter part of February, or early in March. Its second rise is usually in April, when the Platte, Yellow Stone, and other streams pour into it their spring floods. But the flood that more usually attracts attention takes place from the 10th to the 25th of June, when the melting snows on the Chippewan mountains pour their contents into the Missouri. This flood is scarcely ever less than five, nor more than 20 feet at St. Louis, above the ordinary height of the river. On two occasions, however, since the country was known to the French, it has arisen to that height in the Mississippi as to flow over the American Bottom in Illinois, and drive the inhabitants of Cahokia and Kaskaskia from their villages to the bluffs. Rain in greater or less quantities usually falls during the rise of the river, and ceases when the waters subside. So uniform is this the case in Upper Missouri, the region beyond the boundary of the State, that the seasons are divided into wet and dry.

Pumice stones and other volcanic productions occasionally float down its waters.

Mississippi River. The extreme head of the longest branch of the Mississippi river, has been found in lake Itaska, or Lac la Biche, by Mr. Schoolcraft, who states it to be elevated 1500 feet above the Atlantic ocean, and distant 3,160 miles from the extreme outlet of the river at the gulf of Mexico. The outlet of Itaska lake, which is connected with a string of small lakes, is ten or twelve feet broad, and twelve or fifteen inches deep. This is in latitude about 48 deg. north. From this it passes Cedar and several smaller lakes, and runs a winding course, 700 miles, to the falls of St. Anthony, where its waters are precipitated over a cataract of 16 or 17 feet perpendicular. It then continues a southeastern course to the Missouri, in N. lat, 38 deg. 38', receiving the St. Croix, Chippewa, Wisconsin, Rock and Illinois rivers, with many smaller streams from the east, and the St. Peter's, Iowa, Des Moines, and Salt rivers, besides a number of smaller ones from the west. The current of the Missouri strikes that of the Mississippi at right angles, and throws it upon the eastern shore. When at a low stage, the waters of the two rivers are distinct till they pass St. Louis.

The principal branch of the Upper Mississippi, is the St. Peter's, which rises in the great prairies in the northwest, and enters the parent stream ten miles below the falls of St. Anthony. Towards the sources of this river the quarries exist from which are made the red stone pipes of the Indians. This is sacred ground. Hostile tribes meet here, and part unmolested.

Rock river drains the waters from the northern part of Illinois and Wisconsin, and enters the parent stream at 41 deg. 30' north latitude. In latitude 39 deg. comes in the Illinois, signifying the "River of Men;" and eighteen miles below this, it unites with, and is lost in the Missouri.

Custom has fixed unalterably, the name Mississippi, to this united body of waters, that rolls its turbid waves towards the Mexican gulf; though, as has been intimated, it is but a continuation of the Missouri.

Sixty miles below St. Louis, the Kaskaskia joins it, after a devious course of 400 miles. In 37 deg. north latitude, the Ohio pours in its tribute, called by the early French explorers, "La Belle Riviere," the beautiful river. A little below 34 deg., the White river enters after a course of more than 1,000 miles. Thirty miles below that, the Arkansas, bringing its tribute from the confines of Mexico, pours in its waters. Above Natchez, the Yazoo from the east, and eighty miles below, the Red river from the west, unite their waters with the Mississippi. Red River takes its rise in the Mexican dominions, and runs a course of more than 2,000 miles.

Hitherto, the waters in the wide regions of the west have been congregating to one point. The "Father of Waters," is now upwards of a mile in width, and several fathoms deep. During its annual floods, it overflows its banks below the mouth of the Ohio, and penetrates the numerous bayous, lakes, and swamps, and especially on its western side. In many places these floods extend thirty or forty miles into the interior. But after it receives the Red river, it begins to throw off its surplus waters, which flow in separate channels to the gulf, and never again unite with the parent stream. Several of these communications are held with the ocean at different and distant points.

Ohio River. The Ohio river is formed by the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela, at Pittsburg. The Alleghany river rises not far from the head of the western branch of the Susquehannah, in the highlands of McKean county, Pennsylvania. It runs north till it penetrates Cataraugus county, New York, then turns west, then southwest, and finally takes a southern course to Pittsburg. It receives a branch from the Chatauque lake, Chatauque county, New York. The Monongahela rises near the sources of the Kenhawa, in western Virginia, and runs north till it meets the Alleghany.

The general course of the Ohio is southwest. Its current is gentle, and it receives a number of tributaries, which are noticed in the States where they run.

The Valley of the Mississippi has been arranged by Mr. Darby, into four great subdivisions.

1. The Ohio Valley, length 750 miles, and mean width 261; containing 196,000 square miles.

2. Mississippi Valley, above Ohio, including the minor valley of Illinois, but exclusive of Missouri, 650 miles long, and 277 mean width, and containing 180,000 square miles.

3. Lower Valley of the Mississippi, including White, Arkansas, and Red river vallies, 1,000 miles long, and 200 wide, containing 200,000 square miles.

4. Missouri proper, including Osage, Kansau, Platte rivers, &c. 1,200 miles long, and 437 wide, containing 523,000 square miles.

"The Valley of the Ohio is better known than any of the others; has much fertile land, and much that is sterile, or unfit for cultivation, on account of its unevenness. It is divided into two unequal portions, by the Ohio river; leaving on the right or northwest side 80,000, and on the left or southeast side, 116,000 square miles. The eastern part of this valley is hilly, and rapidly acclivous towards the Appalachian mountains. Indeed its high hills, as you approach these mountains, are of a strongly marked mountainous character. Of course the rivers which flow into the Ohio—the Monongahela, Kenhawa, Licking, Sandy, Kentucky, Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee—are rapid, and abounding in cataracts and falls, which, towards their sources, greatly impede navigation. The western side of this Valley is, also, hilly for a considerable distance from the Ohio, but towards its western limit, it subsides to a remarkably level region. So that whilst the eastern line of this Valley lies along the high table land, on which the Appalachian mountains rest, and where the rivers of the eastern section of this Valley rise, which is at least 2,000 miles generally above the ocean level; the western line has not an elevation of much more than half of that amount on the north, and which greatly subsides towards the Kaskaskia. The rivers of the western section are Beaver, Muskingum, Hockhocking, Scioto, Miami, and Wabash. Along the Ohio, on each side, are high hills, often intersected with deep ravines, and sometimes openings of considerable extent, and well known by the appellation of "Ohio hills." Towards the mouth of the Ohio, these hills almost wholly disappear, and extensive level bottoms, covered with heavy forests of oak, sycamore, elm, poplar, and cotton wood, stretch along each side of the river. On the lower section of the river, the water, at the time of the spring floods, often overflows these bottoms to a great extent. This fine Valley embraces considerably more than one half of the whole population of the entire Valley of the West. The western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia, the entire states of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, the larger part of Tennessee, and a smaller part of Illinois, are in the Valley of the Ohio."

The Upper Valley of the Mississippi possesses a surface far less diversified than the Valley of the Ohio. The country where its most northern branches take their rise, is elevated table land, abounding with marshes and lakes, that are filled with a graniferous vegetable called wild rice. It is a slim, shrivelled grain of a brownish hue, and gathered by the Indians in large quantities for food. There are tracts of arable land covered with elm, linden, pine, hemlock, cherry, maple, birch and other timber common to a northern climate. From the same plateau flow the numerous branches of Red river, and other streams that flow into lake Winnipeck, and thence into Hudson's bay. Here, too, are found some of the head branches of the waters of St. Lawrence, that enter the Lake of the Woods, and Superior. In the whole country of which we are speaking, there is nothing that deserves the name of mountain. Below the falls of St. Anthony the river bluffs are often abrupt, wild and romantic, and at their base and along the streams are thousands of quartz crystals, carnelians and other precious stones.

But a short distance in the rear, you enter upon table land of extensive prairies, with clumps of trees, and groves along the streams. Further down, abrupt cliffs and overhanging precipices are frequently seen at the termination of the river alluvion.

The whole country northwest of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, as far north as the falls of St. Anthony, exhibits striking marks of a diluvial formation, by a gradual retiring of the waters. From the summit level that divides the waters of the lakes from those of the Mississippi, through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, which is scarcely a perceptible ridge, to the south point of Illinois at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, appears to have once been a plane with an inclination equal to 12 or 15 inches per mile. The ravines and vallies appear to have been gradually scooped out by the abrasion of the waters.

"The Lower Mississippi Valley, has a length of 1,200 miles, from northwest to southeast, considering the source of the Arkansas, and the mouth of the Mississippi river as extreme points; reaching from north latitude 29 deg. to 42 deg., and without estimating mountains, ridges, or peaks, differs in relative elevation at least 500 feet.

"The Arkansas river rises near north latitude 42 deg., and longitude 32 deg. west from Washington, and falls into the Mississippi at 33 deg. 56', passing over eight degrees of latitude.

"Red River rises in the mountainous country of Mexico, north of Texas, in north latitude 34 deg.; and west longitude 28 deg. from Washington, and falls into the Mississippi in latitude 31 deg. They are both remarkable rivers for their extent, the number of their branches, the volume of their waters, the quantity of alluvion they carry down to the parent stream, and the color of their waters. Impregnated by saline particles, and colored with ocherous earth, the waters of these two rivers are at once brackish and nauseous to the taste, particularly near their mouths; that of Red river is so much so at Natchitoches at low water that it cannot be used for culinary purposes.

"At a short distance below the mouth of the Red river, a large bayou, (as it is called,) or outlet, breaks from the Mississippi on the west; by which, it is believed, that as large a volume of water as the Red river brings to the parent river, is drained off, and runs to the gulf of Mexico, fifty miles from the mouth of the Mississippi. The name of this bayou is Atchafalaya, or as it is commonly called, Chaffalio. Below this bayou, another of large dimensions breaks forth on the same side, and finally falls into the Atchafalaya. This is the Placquemine. Still lower, at Donaldsonville, ninety miles above New Orleans, on the same side, the Lafourche bayou breaks out, and pursues a course parallel to the Mississippi, fifty miles west of the mouth of that river. On the east side, the Ibberville bayou drains off a portion of the waters of the Mississippi, into lakes Maurepas, Ponchartrain, Borgnes, and the gulf of Mexico, and thus forms the long and narrow island of Orleans.

"In the lower Valley of the Mississippi there is a great extent of land of the very richest kind. There is also much that is almost always overflown with waters, and is a perpetual swamp. There are extensive prairies in this Valley; and towards the Rocky mountains; on the upper waters of the Arkansas and Red rivers, there are vast barren steppes or plains of sand, dreary and barren, like the central steppes of Asia. On the east of the Mississippi, are extensive regions of the densest forests, which form a striking contrast with the prairies which stretch on the west of that great river.

"The Valley of the Missouri extends 1200 miles in length, and 700 in width, and embraces 253,000 square miles. The Missouri river rises in the Chippewan mountains, through eight degrees, or nearly 600 miles. The Yellow Stone is its longest branch. The course of the Missouri, after leaving the Rocky mountains, is generally southeast, until it unites with the Mississippi. The principal branches flow from the southwest. They are the Osage, Kansas, Platte, &c. The three most striking features of this Valley are, 1st. The turbid character of its waters. 2d. The very unequal volumes of the right and left confluences. 3d. The immense predominance of the open prairies, over the forests which line the rivers. The western part of this Valley rises to an elevation towards the Chippewan mountains, equal to ten degrees of temperature. Ascending from the lower verge of this widely extended plain, wood becomes more and more scarce, until one naked surface spreads on all sides. Even the ridges and chains of the Chippewan, partake of these traits of desolation. The traveller, who has read the descriptions of central Asia, by Tooke or Pallas, will feel on the higher branches of the Missouri, a resemblance, at once striking and appalling; and he will acknowledge, if near to the Chippewan mountains in winter, that the utmost intensity of frost over Siberia and Mongolia, has its full counterpart in North America, on similar, if not on lower latitudes. There is much fertile land in the Valley of the Missouri, though much of it must be forever the abode of the buffalo and the elk, the wolf and the deer.[2]


[1] Why the names Huron, Mandan, Sioux, Osage, and Ozark have been applied by Darby and other authors, to the extensive regions on the Upper Mississippi, the Upper Missouri, and the Arkansas rivers, I am not able to solve. Osage is a French corruption of Wos-sosh-ee, and Ozark is an awkward, illiterate corruption of Osage. Sioux is another French corruption, the origin of which is not now easily ascertained. Carver and other travellers, call this nation of Indiana Nau-do-wes-sees. Chiefs of this nation have repeatedly disclaimed the name of Sioux, (pronounced Soos.) They sometimes call themselves Da-co-tah.

[2] Darby.





Minerals.—But few mines exist in the Lower Valley of the Mississippi. Louisiana, being chiefly alluvion, furnishes only two specimens, sulphuret of antimony, and meteoric iron ore. It is supposed that the pine barrens towards Texas, if explored, would add to the number.

The only minerals in Mississippi, are amethyst, of which one crystal has been found; potter's clay, at the Chickasaw Bluffs, and near Natchez; sulphuret of lead in small quantities, about Port Gibson; and sulphate of iron. Petrified trunks of trees are found in the bed of the Mississippi, opposite Natchez. In Arkansas Territory are various species. Here may be found the native magnet, or magnetic oxide of iron, possessing strong magnetic power. Iron ores are very abundant. Sulphate of copper, sulphuret of zinc, alum, and aluminous slate are found about the cove of Washitau, and the Hot Springs. Buhr stone of a superior quality exists in the surrounding hills. The hot springs are interesting on account of the minerals around them, the heat of their waters, and as furnishing a retreat to valetudinarians from the sickly regions of the south. They are situated on the Washitau, a large stream that empties itself into Red river.

The lead mines of Missouri have been worked for more than a century. They are distributed through the country from thirty to one hundred miles southwest from St. Louis, and probably extend through the Gasconade country. Immense quantities of iron ore exist in this region. Lead is found in vast quantities in the northern part of Illinois, the south part of the Wisconsin Territory, and the country on the opposite side of the Mississippi. These mines are worked extensively. Native copper in large quantities is found in the same region. Large quantities of iron ore is found in the mountainous parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, where furnaces and forges have been erected. Also, in the hilly parts of Ohio, particularly at the falls of Licking four miles west of Zanesville, and in Adams and Lawrence counties near the Ohio river. With iron ore the West is profusely supplied.

Bituminous coal exists in great profusion in various parts of the Western Valley. The hills around Pittsburg are inexhaustible. It extends through many portions of Ohio and Indiana. Nearly every county in Illinois is supplied with this valuable article. Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee have their share. Immense quantities are found in the mountains along the Kenhawa, in Western Virginia, and it is now employed in the manufacture of salt. The Cumberland mountains in Tennessee contain immense deposits.

Muriate of Soda or common salt, exists in most of the states and territories of this Valley. Near the sources of the Arkansas incrustations are formed by evaporation during the dry season, in the depressed portions of the immense prairies of that region. The celebrated salt rock is on the red fork of the Canadian, a branch of the Arkansas river. Jefferson lake has its water strongly impregnated with salt, and is of a bright red color. Beds of rock salt are in the mountains of this region. Several counties of Missouri have abundant salt springs. Considerable quantities of salt are manufactured in Jackson, Gallatin and Vermillion counties, Illinois. Saline springs, and "licks" as they are called, abound through Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Western Virginia. Salt is manufactured in great abundance at the Kenhawa salines, 16 miles above Charlestown, Va., and brought down the Kenhawa river and carried to all the Western States. Much salt is made also on the Kiskiminitas, a branch of the Alleghany river, at the Yellow creek above Steubenville, and in the Scioto country in Ohio. The water is frequently obtained by boring through rock of different strata, several hundred feet deep.

Copper, antimony, manganese, and several other minerals are found in different parts of the West, but are not yet worked. Nitrate of potash is found in great abundance in the caverns of Kentucky and Tennessee, also in Missouri, from which large quantities of Saltpetre are manufactured. Sulphate of Magnesia is found in Kentucky, Indiana, and perhaps other states. Sulphur and other mineral springs are very common in the western states.

Vegetable Productions.Trees, &c. Almost every species of timber and shrub common to the Atlantic states is found in some part of the Western Valley. The cotton wood and sycamore are found along all the rivers below the 41 deg. of N. latitude. The cypress begins near the mouth of the Ohio and spreads through the alluvion portions of the Lower Valley. The magnolia, with its large, beautiful flower, grows in Louisiana, and the long leaf pine flourishes in the uplands of the same region. The sugar maple abounds in the northern and middle portions. The chestnut is found in the eastern portion of the Valley as far as Indiana, but not a tree is known to exist in a natural state west of the Wabash river. Yellow or pitch pine, grows in several counties of Missouri, especially on the Gasconade, from whence large quantities of lumber are brought to St. Louis. White pine from the Alleghany river is annually sent to all the towns on the Ohio, and further down. Considerable quantities of white pine grow on the upper Mississippi, along the western shore of Michigan, about Green bay, and along the shores of lake Superior. The yellow poplar, (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a majestic tree, valuable for light boards, and may be found in some parts of most of the western states. The beech tree is frequently found in company. The live oak, so valuable in ship building, is found south of the 31 deg., and along the Louisiana coast. The orange, fig, olive, pine apple, &c. find a genial climate about New Orleans. High in the north we have the birch, hemlock, fir, and other trees peculiar to a cold region. Amongst our fruit bearing trees we may enumerate the walnut, hickory or shag bark, persimmon, pecan, mulberry, crab apple, pawpaw, wild plum, and wild cherry. The vine grows everywhere. Of the various species of oak, elm, ash, linden, hackberry, &c. it is unnecessary to speak. Where forests abound, the trees are tall and majestic. In the prairie country, the timber is usually found on the streams, or in detached groves.

In the early settlement of Kentucky there were found, south of Green river, large tracts, with stunted scattering trees intermixed with hazel and brushwood. From this appearance it was inferred that the soil was of inferior quality, and these tracts were denominated "barrens." Subsequently, it was found that this land was of prime quality. The term "barrens" is now applied extensively in the West to the same description of country. It distinguishes an intermediate grade from forest and prairie. A common error has prevailed abroad that our prairie land is wet. Prairie is a French word signifying meadow, and is applied to any description of surface, that is destitute of timber and brushwood, and clothed with grass. Wet, dry, level, and undulating, are terms of description merely, and apply to prairies in the same sense as they do to forests. The prairies in summer are clothed with grass, herbage and flowers, exhibit a delightful prospect, and furnish most abundant and luxuriant pasturage for stock. Much of the forest land in the Western Valley produces a fine range for domestic animals and swine. Thousands are raised, and the emigrant grows wealthy, from the bounties of nature, with but little labor.

Of animals, birds and reptiles, little need be said. The buffalo was in Illinois the beginning of the present century. They are not found now within three hundred miles of Missouri and Arkansas, and they are fast receding. Deer are found still in all frontier settlements. Wolves, foxes, wild cats, raccoons, opossums, and squirrels are plenty. The brown bear is still hunted in some parts of the western states. Col. Crockett was a famous bear hunter in Western Tennessee, The white bear, mountain sheep, antelope and beaver, are found in the defiles of the Rocky mountains. The elk is still found by the hunter contiguous to newly formed settlements. All the domestic animals of the United States flourish here.

Nearly all the feathered tribe of the Atlantic slope are to be found in the Valley. Pelicans, wild geese, swans, cranes, ducks, paroquets, wild turkeys, prairie hens, &c. are found in different states, especially on the Mississippi.

Reptiles. The rattlesnake, copperhead snake, moccasin snake, bull snake, and the various snakes usually found in the Atlantic states are here. Of the venomous kinds, multitudes are destroyed by the deer and swine. Chameleons and scorpions exist in the Lower Valley, and lizards everywhere. The alligator, an unwieldy and bulky animal, is found in the rivers and lakes south of 34 deg. north latitude. He sometimes destroys calves and pigs, and very rarely, even young children.

History.—The honor of the discovery of this country is disputed by the Spanish, English, and French. It is probable that Sebastian Cabot sailed along the shores of what was afterwards called Florida, but a few years after Columbus discovered America. Spanish authors claim that Juan Ponce de Leon discovered and named Florida, in 1512. Narvaez, another Spanish commander, having obtained a grant of Florida in 1528, landed four or five hundred men, but was lost by shipwreck near the mouth of the Mississippi. Ferdinand de Soto was probably the first white man who saw the Mississippi river. He is said to have marched 1000 men from Florida, through the Chickasaw country, to the Mississippi, near the mouth of Red river, where he took sick and died. His men returned. Some writers suppose De Soto travelled as far north as Kentucky, or the Ohio river. This is not probable.

The French were the first to explore and settle the West, and they held jurisdiction over the country of Illinois for 80 years, when it fell into the hands of the British upon the conquest of Canada.

In 1564, Florida was settled by a colony of Huguenots, under Admiral Coligny, who were afterwards massacred by the Spaniards, because they were Protestant heretics.

In 1608, Admiral Champlaine founded Quebec, from which French settlements spread through the Canadas.

About 1670, the notion prevailed amongst the French that visited Canada, that a western passage to the Pacific ocean existed. They learned from the Indians that far in the west there was a great river; but of its course or termination they could learn nothing. They supposed that this river communicated with the western ocean.

To investigate this question, P. Marquette, a Jesuit, and Joliet, were appointed by M. Talon, the Intendant of New France. Marquette was well acquainted with the Canadas, and had great influence with the Indian tribes. They conducted an expedition through the lakes, up Green bay and Fox river, to the Portage, where it approaches the Wisconsin, to which they passed, and descended that river to the Mississippi, which they reached the 17th of June, 1673. They found a river much larger and deeper than it had been represented by the Indians. Their regular journal was lost on their return to Canada; but from the account, afterwards given by Joliet, they found the natives friendly, and that a tradition existed amongst them of the residence of a "Mon-e-to," or spirit, near the mouth of the Missouri, which they could not pass. They turned their course up the Illinois, and were highly delighted with the placid stream, and the woodlands and prairies through which it flowed. They were hospitably received and kindly treated by the Illinois, a numerous nation of Indians who were destitute of the cruelty of savages. The word "Illinois," or "Illini," is said by Hennepin, to signify a "full grown man." This nation appears to have originally possessed the Illinois country, and also a portion west of the Mississippi. The nation was made up of eight tribes:—the Miamies, Michigamies, Mascotins, Kaskaskias, Kahokias, Peorias, Piankeshaws, and Tau-mar-waus.

Marquette continued among these Indians with a view to christianize them; but Joliet returned to Canada and reported the discoveries he had made.

Several years elapsed before any one attempted to follow up the discoveries of Marquette and Joliet. M. de La Salle, a native of Normandy, but who had resided many years in Canada, was the first to extend these early discoveries. He was a man of intelligence, talents, enterprise, and perseverance. After obtaining the sanction of the king of France, he set out on his projected expedition, in 1678, from Frontenac, with Chevalier Tonti, his lieutenant, and Father Hennepin, a Jesuit missionary, and thirty or forty men.

He spent about one year in exploring the country bordering on the lakes, and in selecting positions for forts and trading posts, to secure the Indian trade to the French. After he had built a fort at Niagara, and fitted out a small vessel, he sailed through the lakes to Green bay, then called the "Bay of Puants." From thence he proceeded with his men in canoes towards the south end of lake Michigan, and arrived at the mouth of the "river of the Miamis" in November, 1679. This is thought to be the Milwaukee in Wisconsin Territory. Here he built a fort, left eight or ten men, and passed with the rest of his company across the country to the waters of the Illinois river, and descended that river a considerable distance, when he was stopped for want of supplies. This was occasioned by the loss of a boat which had been sent from his post on Green bay. He was now compelled by necessity to build a fort, which, on account of the anxiety of mind he experienced, was called Creve-coeur, or broken heart.

The position of this fort cannot now be ascertained; but from some appearances, it is thought to have been near Spring bay, in the northeast part of Tazewell county.

At this period the Illinois were engaged in a war with the Iroquois, a numerous, warlike, and cruel nation, with whom La Salle had traded, while on the borders of Canada. The former, according to Indian notions of friendship, expected assistance from the French; but the interests and safety of La Salle depended upon terminating this warfare, and to this object he directed his strenuous efforts. The suspicious Illinois construed this into treachery, which was strengthened by the malicious and perfidious conduct of some of his own men, and pronounced upon him the sentence of death. Immediately he formed and executed the bold and hazardous project of going alone and unarmed to the camp of the Illinois, and vindicating his conduct. He declared his innocence of the charges, and demanded the author. He urged that the war should be terminated, and that the hostile nations should live in peace.

The coolness, bravery, and eloquence of La Salle filled the Indians with astonishment, and entirely changed their purposes. The calumet was smoked, presents mutually exchanged, and a treaty of amity concluded.

The original project of discovery was now pursued. Father Hennepin started on the 28th of February, 1680, and having passed down the Illinois, ascended the Mississippi to the falls of St. Anthony. Here he was taken prisoner, robbed, and carried to the Indian villages, from which he made his escape, returned to Canada by the way of the Wisconsin, and from thence to France, where he published an account of his travels.

La Salle visited Canada to obtain supplies, returned to Creve-coeur, and shortly after descended the Illinois, and then the Mississippi, where he built one or two forts on its banks, and took possession of the country in the name of the king of France, and in honor of him called it Louisiana.

One of these forts is thought to have been built on the west side of the river, between St. Louis and Carondalet.

After descending the Mississippi to its mouth, he returned to the Illinois, and on his way back left some of his companions to occupy the country. This is supposed to have been the commencement of the villages of Kaskaskia and Cahokia, in 1683. La Salle went to France, fitted out an expedition to form a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, sailed to the gulf of Mexico, but not being able to find the mouths of that river, he commenced an overland journey to his fort on the Illinois. On this journey he was basely assassinated by two of his own men.[3]

After the death of La Salle, no attempts to discover the mouth of the Mississippi were made till about 1699, but the settlements in the Illinois country were gradually increased by emigrants from Canada.

In 1712, the king of France, by letters patent, gave the whole country of Louisiana to M. Crosat, with the commerce of the country, with the profits of all the mines, reserving for his own use one fifth of the gold and silver. After expending large sums in digging and exploring for the precious metals without success, Crosat gave up his privilege to the king, in 1717. Soon after, the colony was granted to the Mississippi company, projected by Mr. Law, which took possession of Louisiana, and appointed M. Bienville governor. In 1719, La Harpe commanded a fort with French troops, not far from the mouth of the Missouri river.

Shortly after, several forts were built within the present limits of Illinois, of which fort Chartres was the most considerable. By these means a chain of communication was formed from Canada to the mouth of the Mississippi.

In 1699, M. Ibberville arrived in the gulf of Mexico with two frigates, and in March ascended the river in a felucca one hundred leagues, and returned by the bayou or outlet that bears his name, through lake Ponchartrain to the gulf. He planted his colony at Biloxi, a healthy but sterile spot between the Mobile and Mississippi rivers, and built a fortification. During several succeeding years much exploring was done, and considerable trade carried on with the Indians for peltries, yet these expeditions were a source of much expense to France.

In January, 1702, the colony at Mobile was planted; several other settlements were soon after formed. The Catholics also commenced several missions amongst the Indians. Difficulties frequently occurred with their Spanish neighbors in Florida and Mexico.

M. Ibberville died in 1706, and M. Bienville succeeded him in the government of Louisiana for many years. The city of New Orleans was founded, during his administration, in 1719. It is situated on the east bank of the Mississippi, one hundred and five miles from its mouth. From 1723 to 1730, the French had exterminating wars with the Natchez, a powerful nation of Indians. They had killed 700 French in 1723, and about 1730 the French exterminated the nation. Various wars took place subsequently with the Spanish and English. But over most of the Indians along the Mississippi, these French colonists gained extraordinary influence.—During this period emigrants continued to arrive from France, so that the colonists rapidly increased in numbers.

The Mississippi land scheme, or "bubble" as it was called, originated with the celebrated John Law in 1717, which soon burst and spread ruin throughout the monied interests of France. The amount of stock created, was said to equal 310,000,000 of dollars. The whole proved an entire failure, but it served to increase greatly the population of Louisiana, so that from 1736, the colonies in the Lower Valley prospered.

In 1754, the war commenced between France and England relative to the boundaries of the Canadas. At that period France claimed all the countries west of the Alleghany mountains, while England on the other hand had granted to Virginia, Connecticut and other colonies, charters which extended across the continent to the "South Sea," as the Pacific ocean was then called. A grant also was made by Virginia, and the crown of Great Britain, of 600,000 acres to a company called "The Ohio Company." The governor of New France, as Canada and Louisiana was then called, protested, erected forts on lake Erie, and at the present site of Pittsburg, and enlisted the Indians against the English and Americans. Pittsburg was then called Fort du Quesne. Then followed Braddock's war, as this contest is called in the west,—the mission of Major (afterward General) Washington,—the defeat of Braddock; and finally by the memorable victory of Wolfe at Quebec, and the lesser ones at Niagara and Ticonderoga, and by victories of the English fleet on the ocean, the French were humbled, and at the treaty of Paris, in 1763, surrendered all their claims to the country east of the Mississippi. Towards the close of the war, however, France, by a secret treaty, ceded all the country west of the Mississippi, and including New Orleans, to Spain, who held possession till 1803, when it was delivered to the French government under Napoleon, and by him ceded to the United States for 15,000,000 of dollars.

The English held possession of the military posts, and exercised jurisdiction over the country of Illinois, and the adjacent regions, till 1778, during the revolutionary war; when by a secret expedition, without direct legislative sanction, but by a most enterprising, skilful, and hazardous military manoeuvre, the posts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Fort Chartres and Vincennes were captured by Gen. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, with a small force of volunteer Americans, and that portion of the Valley fell under the jurisdiction of Virginia.

The legislature of Virginia sanctioned the expedition of Clark, which the Executive, Patrick Henry and his council, with Thomas Jefferson, George Wythe, and George Mason, by written instructions, had agreed should be done, and a county called "Illinois" was organized the same year.

In 1784, Virginia, in conjunction with other states, ceded all claims to the Great West, to the United States, reserving certain tracts for the payment of revolutionary claims. This cession laid the foundation for five new states northwest of Ohio, when each district should have 60,000 inhabitants, and even a less number, by consent of Congress. Two restrictions were peremptorily enjoined,—that each state should adopt a constitution with a republican form of government, and that slavery or involuntary servitude, should be forever prohibited.

It is unnecessary here to enter into details of the settlement of each particular state,—the incessant attacks from the Indians,—the border wars that ensued,—the adventures of Boone and his associates in settling Kentucky,—the unfortunate campaigns of Harmar and St. Clair,—the victorious one of Wayne,—or the reminiscences and events of the war of 1812, and its termination in 1815. Some historical notices of each state may be found in their proper place.

Prospective increase of Population. For a long period, in the states of the west, the increase of population was slow, and retarded by several causes. Difficulties of a formidable character had to be surmounted. The footsteps of the American emigrants were everywhere drenched in blood, shed by infuriated savage foes, and before 1790 more than 5,000 persons had been murdered, or taken captive and lost to the settlements. "It has been estimated, that in the short space of seven years, from 1783 to 1790, more than fifteen hundred of the inhabitants of Kentucky were either massacred or carried away into a captivity worse than death, by the Indians; and an equal number from Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, in the same period, met with a similar fate. The settlers on the frontiers were almost constantly, for a period of forty years, harassed either by actual attacks of the savages, or the daily expectation of them. The tomahawk and the scalping knife, were the objects of their fears by day and by night."[4]

Hence, in suggesting reasons showing why the population of this Valley must increase in future in a far greater ratio than in the past, it will appear:

1. That the most perfect security is now enjoyed by all emigrants, both for their families and property.

By the wise and beneficent arrangement of government, the Indian tribes have nearly all removed to the Territory specially allotted for their occupancy west of Missouri and Arkansas. The grand error committed in past times in relation to the Indians, and which has been the source of incalculable evils to both races, has been the want of definite, fixed and permanent lines of demarcation betwixt them. It will be seen under the proper head, that a system of measures is now in operation that will not only preserve peace between the frontier settlements and the Indian tribes, but that to a great extent, they are becoming initiated into the habits of civilized life. There is now no more danger to the population of these states and territories from Indian depredations, than to the people of the Atlantic states.

2. The increased facilities of emigration, and the advantage of sure and certain markets for every species of production, furnishes a second reason why population will increase in the western Valley beyond any former period.

Before the purchase of Louisiana, the western people had no outlet for their produce, and the chief mode of obtaining every description of merchandize,—even salt and iron,—was by the slow and expensive method of transportation by wagons and pack-horses, across almost impassible mountains and extremely difficult roads. Now, every convenience and luxury of life is carried with comparative ease, to every town and settlement throughout the Valley, and every species of produce is sent off in various directions, to every port on earth if necessary. And these facilities are multiplying and increasing every hour: Turnpike roads, rail roads, canals, and steamboat navigation have already provided such facilities for removing from the Atlantic to the Western States, that no family desirous of removing, need hesitate or make a single inquiry as to facilities of getting to this country.

3. The facilities of trade and intercourse between the different sections of the Valley, are now superior to most countries on earth, and are increasing every year. And no country on earth admits of such indefinite improvement either by land or water. More than twenty thousand miles of actual steamboat navigation, with several hundred miles of canal navigation, constructed or commenced, attest the truth of this statement. The first steamboat on the western waters was built at Pittsburg in 1811, and not more than seven or eight had been built, when the writer emigrated to this country in 1817. At this period, (January 1836,) there are several hundred boats on the western waters, and some of the largest size. In 1817, about twenty barges, averaging about one hundred tons each, performed the whole commercial business of transporting merchandize from New Orleans to Louisville and Cincinnati. Each performed one trip, going and returning within the year. About 150 keel boats performed the business on the Upper Ohio to Pittsburg. These averaged about 30 tons each, and were employed one month in making the voyage from Louisville to Pittsburg. Three days, or three days and a half is now the usual time occupied by the steam packets between the two places, and from seven to twelve days between Louisville and New Orleans. Four days is the time of passing from the former place to St. Louis.

4. A fourth reason why population will increase in future in a greater ratio than the past is derived from the increase of population in the Atlantic states, and the greater desire for removal to the west. At the close of the revolutionary war the population of the whole Union but little exceeded two millions. Vast tracts of wilderness then existed in the old states, which have since been subdued, and from whence thousands of enterprising citizens are pressing their way into the Great Valley. Two thirds of the territory of New York, large portions of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, an extensive district in middle Pennsylvania, to say nothing of wide regions in the southern states, were comprised in this wilderness. These extensive regions have become populous, and are sending out vast numbers of emigrants to the west. Europe is in commotion, and the emigration to North America, in 1832, reached 200,000, a due proportion of which settle in the Western Valley.

5. A fifth reason will be founded upon the immense amount of land for the occupancy of an indefinite number of emigrants, much of which will not cost the purchaser over one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. Without giving the extravagant estimates that have been made by many writers of the wide and uninhabitable desert between the Indian Territory west of Missouri and Arkansas, and the Rocky mountains, nor swampy and frozen regions at the heads of the Mississippi river, and around lake Superior, I will merely exhibit the amount of lands admitting of immediate settlement and cultivation, within the boundaries of the new States and organized Territories.

According to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury up to the 30th day of September, 1831, the estimated amount of unsold lands, on which the foreign and Indian titles had been extinguished, within the limits of the new States and Territories, was 227,293,884 acres;—and that the Indian title remained on 113,577,869 acres within the same limits.[5] The Commissioner of the General Land Office in December, 1827, estimated the public domain, beyond the boundaries of the new States and Territories, to be 750 millions of acres. Much of this however, is uninhabitable.

According to the Report of 1831, there had been granted to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama for internal Improvements, 2,187,665 acres;—for Colleges, Academies and Universities in the new States and Territories, 508,009;—for education, being the thirty-sixth part of the public lands appropriated to common schools, 7,952,538 acres;—and for seats of government to some of the new States and Territories, 21,589 acres. Up to January, 1826, there had been sold, from the commencement of the land system, only 19,239,412 acres. Since that period to the close of 1835, there have been sold, about 33 millions of acres, making in all sold, a little more than 52 millions. This statement includes Alabama and Florida, which we have not considered as strictly within the Valley. After a hasty and somewhat imperfect estimate of the public lands that are now in market, or will be brought into market within a few years, within the limits of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, and the Territory of Wisconsin, the amount may be put at 130 millions of acres. This amount admits of immediate settlement and cultivation, and much of it may be put under cultivation without the immense labor of clearing and subduing forest lands.

The comparison between the amount of sales of public lands within the last ten years, and the preceding forty years, shows that emigration to the West is increasing at a ratio beyond what is ordinarily supposed, and that the next ten years will find a majority of the population of the United States within this Great Valley.

Sales of land from 1786 to 1826, (40 years) 19,239,412 acres. " " from 1826 to 1835, (10 years) 33,000,000 acres.

Three millions of families may find farms in the West.

The extensive prairie lands of Illinois and Missouri present no obstacle to the settlement of the country. Already, prairies for many miles in extent have been turned into farms.

6. A sixth reason why the increase of the future population of the Valley will greatly exceed the past, is derived from the increased confidence of the community in the general health of the country. The most unreasonable notions have prevailed abroad relative to the health of the western states. All new settlements are more or less unfavorable to health, which, when cultivated and settled become healthy. As a separate chapter will be devoted to this subject, I only advert to the fact now of the increased confidence of the people in the Atlantic States, in the salubrity of our western climate, which already has tended to increase emigration; but which, from facts becoming more generally known, will operate to a much greater extent in future.

7. I will only add that there is already a great amount of intelligence, and of excellent society in all the settled portions of the Western Valley.

"The idea is no longer entertained by Eastern people, that going to the West, or the 'Backwoods,' as it was formerly called, is to remove to a heathen land, to a land of ignorance and barbarism, where the people do nothing but rob, and fight, and gouge! Some parts of the West have obtained this character, but most undeservedly, from the Fearons, the [Basil] Halls, the Trollopes, and other ignorant and insolent travellers from England, who, because they were not allowed to insult and outrage as they pleased, with Parthian spirit, hurled back upon us their poisoned javelins and darts as they left us. There is indeed much destitution of moral influence and means of instruction in many, very many, neighborhoods of the West. But there is in all the principal towns a state of society, with which the most refined, I was going to say the most fastidious, of the eastern cities need not be ashamed to mingle."—Baird.

The eastern emigrant will find, that wholesome legislation, and much of the influence of religion are enjoyed in the Valley of the Mississippi, extending to him all he can ask in the enjoyment of his rights, and the protection of his property.

Common School systems have been commenced in some of the states,—others are following their example, and the subject of general education is receiving increasing attention every year. Colleges and other literary institutions are planted, and religious institutions and means of religious instruction are rapidly increasing. Noble and successful efforts are making by the Bible, Missionary, Tract, Sabbath School, Temperance, and other Societies in the West. Great and rapid changes are taking place, if not to the extent we desire, yet corresponding in a degree with the gigantic march of emigration and population. Many other reasons might be urged to show that its prospective increase of population will vastly exceed the ratio of its retrospective increase, but these are sufficient.


[3] La Salle appears to have discovered the Bay of St. Bernard, and formed a settlement on the western side of the Colorado, in 1685.—See J. Q. Adams's Correspondence with Don Onis. Pub. Doc. first session 15th Congress, 1818.

[4] Baird.

[5] See Mr. Clay's Report on the Public Lands, April 26, 1832, U. S. Papers.



Comparative view of the Climate with the Atlantic States. Diseases.—Means of preserving health.

Climate, &c. In a country of such vast extent, through 15 deg. of latitude, the climate must necessarily be various. Louisiana, Mississippi and the lower half of Arkansas, lie between the latitudes of 30 deg. and 35 deg., and correspond with Georgia and South Carolina. Their difference of climate is not material. The northern half of Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, lie west from North Carolina and the southern portion of Virginia. The climate varies from those states only as they are less elevated than the mountainous parts of Virginia and Carolina. Hence, the emigrant from the southern Atlantic states, unless he comes from a mountainous region, will experience no great change of climate, by emigrating to the Lower Mississippi Valley. Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, lie parallel with the northern half of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and so much of New York and New England as lies south of the 42 deg. of north latitude. But several circumstances combine to produce variations in the climate.

1. Much of those Atlantic states are hilly, and in many parts mountainous, some of which are 2 and 3000 feet above the level of the ocean. The parallel western states have no mountains, and are not proportionably hilly.

2. The Atlantic states border on the ocean on the east, and feel the influence of the cold, damp winds from the northeast and east. Their rains are more copious and their snows deeper. The northern portions of the West, equally with New York and Vermont, are affected with the influence of the lakes, though not to the same extent.

5. "The courses of rivers, by changing in some degree the direction of the winds, exert an influence on the climate. In the Atlantic states, from New England to North Carolina, the rivers run more or less to the southeast, and increase the winds which blow from the northwest, while the great bed of the Mississippi exerts an equal influence in augmenting the number and steadiness of the winds which blow over it from the southwest; and there is another cause of difference in climate, chiefly perceptible, first, in the temperature, which, if no counteracting cause existed, they would raise in the west considerably above that of corresponding latitudes in the east; and, secondly, in the moisture of the two regions, which is generally greater west than east of the mountains, when the southwest wind prevails; as, much of the water with which it comes charged from the Gulf of Mexico, is deposited before it reaches the country east of the Alleghanies."—Dr. Drake.

It is an error that our climate is more variable, or the summers materially hotter, than in a correspondent latitude in the Atlantic states. "The New Englander and New Yorker north of the mountains of West Point, should bear in mind that his migration is not to the West but South West; and as necessarily brings him into a warmer climate, as when he seeks the shores of the Delaware, Potomac, or James' River."

The settlers from Virginia to Kentucky, or those from Maryland and Pennsylvania to Ohio, or further west, have never complained of hotter summers than they had found in the land from whence they came.

To institute a comparative estimate of temperature between the east and the west, we must observe: first, the thermometer; and, secondly, the flowering of trees, the putting forth of vegetation, and the ripening of fruits and grain in correspondent latitudes. This has not usually been done. Philadelphia and Cincinnati approach nearer to the same parallel, than any other places where such observations have been made. Cincinnati, however, is about 50' south of Philadelphia. The following remarks are from Dr. Daniel Drake of Cincinnati, to whose pen the west is much indebted.

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