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Pictures and Illustrations.

John Byrne, Jr.

Marcus A. Wolff.

James B. Eads.

A. Christy.

Cahokia in 1840.

St. Louis Bridge.

Section of East Pier and Caisson.

John R. Lionberger.

J. C. Swon.

Wm. Wallace Green.

John A. Scudder.

John N. Bofinger.

Edward Walsh.

A. A. Talmage.

D. R. Garrison.

John C. Brown.

J. W. Paramore.

Julius S. Walsh.

John Jackson.

St. Louis Grain Elevator.

N. G. Larimore.

J. W. Larimore.

George P. Plant.

James Dozier.

D. B. Gale.

Josiah Alkire.

James H. Brookmire.

David Nicholson.

The Belcher Sugar Refinery, Southeast corner Main and Ashley Streets.

William Schotten.

Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, Corner Thirteenth and St. Charles Streets.

Joseph A. Sire.

French Rayburn.

Philip Kingsland.

James Harrison.

Edwin Harrison.

Jules Vallé.

Joseph W. Branch.

M. M. Buck.

Simmons Hardware Company, Corner of Washington Avenue and Ninth Street.

A. F. Shapleigh.

George A. Rubelmann.

J. K. Cummings.

H. Westermann.

Jacob S. Merrell.

C. F. G. Meyer.

Robert Forsyth.

William Barr Dry Goods Company, Corner Sixth, Olive, and Locust Streets.

Samuel C. Davis

F. O. Day.

R. M. Scruggs.

J. H. Wear, Boogher & Co., Dry-Goods, Sixth and St. Charles Streets.

Dodd, Brown & Co., Corner Fifth and St. Charles Streets.

W. H. Haggerty.

Edward Martin.

F. W. Humphrey & Co., Northeast corner Fifth and Pine Streets.

Famous Shoe and Clothing Company, Northwest Cor. Fifth and Morgan Streets.

A. D. Brown.

E. Jaccard Jewelry Company, Northeast corner Fifth and Olive Sts.

D. C. Jaccard.

Richard Schulenburg.

William G. Clark.

Joseph Peters.

Joseph Schnaider.

John A. Scholten.

August Gast.

D. A. January.

Chamber of Commerce.

St. Louis Cotton Exchange, Southwest corner Main and Walnut Streets.

W. M. Senter.

Joseph K. Bent.

Robert A. Barnes.

Joseph Charless.

James S. Watson.

Edward M. Samuel.

Charles Parsons.

R. J. Lackland.

J. B. C. Lucas.

James H. Lucas.

Residence of the Late James H. Lucas, Now Occupied by Henry V. Lucas, Normandy Park, St. Louis Co., Mo.

E. N. Leeds.

R. W. Powell.

George I. Barnett.

Custom-House and Post-Office, Corner Eighth, Ninth, and Olive Streets.

Thomas Pratt.

Lindell Hotel, Corner Washington Avenue, Sixth Street, and Lucas Avenue.

Southern Hotel. — J. H. Breslin, President., C. P. Warner, Vice-President., Thos. Breslin., G. W. Allen, Secretary and Treasurer., W. R. Allen., Chas. P. Warner, General Manager.

Rufus Easton.

A. R. Easton.

Henry S. Geyer.

Edward Bates.

Wilson Primm.

L. V. Bogy.

B. A. Hill.

D. P. Dyer.

George W. Bailey.

Richard A. Barret.

Shepard Barclay.

B. G. Farrar.

Edwin B. Smith.

Henry Van Studdiford.

W. M. McPheeters.

Charles W. Stevens.

Charles A. Pope.

S. Gratz Moses.

John B. Johnson.

John T. Hodgen.

James C. Nidelet.

T. Griswold Comstock.

G. S. Walker.

Good Samaritan Hospital.

Frederic L. Billon.

David B. Gould.

H. L. Dousman.

Marquette on the Mississippi River.

Archbishop Kenrick.

Right Rev. P. J. Ryan.

First Baptist Church Building in Missouri.

Lewis E. Kline.

American Baptist Publication Society.

Second Baptist Church.

W. W. Boyd.

Bishop McKendree.

First Presbyterian Church.

C. F. Robertson.

Truman M. Post, D. D.

C. L. Goodell.

Charles Green.

Daniel Bissell.

G. P. Dorriss.

Town of Carondelet — Scale 700 Feet to the Inch.

View of Carondelet in 1840.

St. Louis County Court-House.

B. T. Blewett.

"Maple Grove." Residence of William L. Black, Hall's Ferry Road, Near Baden, St. Louis, Mo.

Charles Castello.

Samuel James.

Kirkwood Seminary, Kirkwood, St. Louis County, Missouri.

German Protestant Orphan's Home.

Franz Hackemeier.


Chapter XXV. St. Louis as a Center of Trade.

St. Louis being located in the heart of the Mississippi valley, in which are produced immense supplies of breadstuffs, meats, fruits, and vegetables, accessible by fifteen thousand miles of navigable rivers, with her grand network of railroads penetrating all portions of this vast valley, furnishing quick and cheap transportation for all the products of the soil, it must be apparent that at no other place in the world where labor is remunerative can staple provisions of the same quality be furnished cheaper than at St. Louis.

Next to provisions in the cost of family expenses is that of house-rent, or, differently stated, the expense of living in one's own house. The house represents capital, and it costs the owner as much to live in it as it does the lessee, in either case the net rental being measured by the net interest the money would produce. In furnishing cheap, comfortable, and healthy houses St. Louis offers rare inducements. There was a time when this was not the case, and rival cities offering greater inducements in this regard were largely benefited thereby. When the heavy business was transacted chiefly on the Levee and Main Street, the choice residence property was drawn within narrow bounds and held at high prices; and before sewerage and drainage had transformed vast acres into choice building sites, before railroad transportation, steam and horse, had equalized values at remote points from business centres by furnishing cheap conveyance to and from all points within the city limits, cheap homes were not easily obtained in St. Louis. But a new and brighter era has dawned upon her. Cheap homes can now be furnished within easy access of business, shop, and foundry, on finished streets, with gas and water, on or convenient to street cars. Building lots thus situated can be bought and comfortable dwellings erected thereon cheaper in St. Louis than in any city in the United States having a population of one hundred and fifty thousand.

To this fact more than any other may be attributed the rapid growth of St. Louis during the last few years, and it is also the best guarantee of her future prosperity. Cheap homes are the want of the million; they not only reduce the expenses of living, but the people become owners of their own homesteads, and once having an interest in the soil their local and business interests become more closely identified with the city's welfare, making her population more permanent and at the same time contributing to her revenue.

Persons of limited means, mechanics and laborers of industrious and saving habits, can by small monthly or quarterly payments in a comparatively short period become owners of their own homes without waiting to provide all the money before purchasing. The making of debts is not generally to be commended; but to a moderate extent in the purchase of a home, where full consideration is received, they are not only commendable but tend to stimulate energy, and the money thus paid is better secured against loss than if invested in any other manner. In addressing the Social Science Association of Philadelphia, Mr. Cochran truthfully said, — "People who own the soil naturally feel that they have a greater interest in the community, in its welfare, peace, and good order, and they are fixed more permanently to it as a place of abode; and the laborer or mechanic who is working to secure or pay for a home is inspired with more ambition than one whose abode is in tenement-houses, which can have no attraction to any man or his family. The system of separate dwelling-houses for every family is in itself promotive of greater morality and comfort, but the opportunity


of poor men to secure the ownership is an honorable incentive to industry and frugality."

The means of locomotion within the city, the accommodations for visitors, the capital of banks, and the transportation facilities other than rail and river, as collected in 1882 for the board of equalization, present the St. Louis of to-day as being in the following condition:

NAME OF COMPANY. Number of Horses. Value per Head. Number of Mules. Value per Head. Miles of Track. Value per Mile. Number of Cars. Total Value of Cars. Other Personal Property. Value of Real Estate. Total Value.
Baden and St. Louis 17 $35 3ź $1500 8 $1,200 $140 $6,820
Benton and Bellefontaine 106 50 26 $30 2 4 1/3 3000 1000 42 8,800 750 $22,760 48,720
Cass Avenue 193 45 5 3 62-100 3500 2500 30 9,000 6720 32,850 83,810
Citizens', Fair Grounds and Suburban 251 45 75 50 6 2 5 3500 2500 1500 56 19,200 2980 22,800 94,520
Lindell 361 45 40 50 10 25-66 3500 70 17,900 2600 79,440 159,430
Missouri 277 45 18 50 8˝ 3500 56 19,600 3000 57,240 122,960
Mound City 65 45 28 50 6 2500 22 2,750 800   22,880
People's 238 45 12 50 8 3500 30 10,500 9300   59,110
St. Louis 268 45 174 60 14 2/3 3000 66 16,700 4460 38,100 125,860
South St. Louis 65 40 10 45 7 5 2200 1800 23 4,740 320   32,510
Tower Grove 1 2000 2,000
Tower Grove and Lafayette 53 45 40 50 3 1-5 2500 20 5,000 270 7,390 25,050
Union 203 45 7 50 8 3500 24 7,200 2940 16,030 63,660
Union Depot 157 45 209 50 10 2500 68 14,600 4360 41,390 75,870
Name. Proprietors. Assessed Value of Personal Property.
Atlantic F. F. Burt $1,670
Barnum's L. A. Pratt 10,200
Beaumont Hallie D. Pittman 1,890
City George Spilling 1,300
Commercial James H. Morris 1,600
Hotel Barnum Mrs. M. L. Barnum 16,110
Belvedere Shickle, Harrison & Co. 7,000
Hotel Hunt Mrs. E. J. Polk 1,560
Hotel Moser Leo Moser 1,730
Hurst's James H. Hurst 3,220
Ives House James O. Ives 6,800
Koetter's G. Koetter 2,390
Laclede Griswold & Sperry 30,600
Lafayette Park. Nelson Yocum 1,140
Lindell Charles Scudder & Co 40,360
Mona House J. H. Tomb 1,800
Planters' J. & J. Gerardi 15,440
St. James Thomas P. Miller 3,430
The Southern The Southern Hotel Company 61,170
Western M. C. Irish 8,000
Windsor Windsor Hotel Company 6,000
Everett House J. H. Hawley 3,250
Grand Pacific J. & J. Robertson 4,100
Total $230,760
Name. Value of Real Estate. Total Value of Assessment.
Bank of Commerce $185,890 $1,136,150
Boatmen's Savings 67,940 2,174,530
Bremen Savings 1,600 76,050
Citizen's Savings 23,400 139,930
Commercial 310,000
Continental 60,640 116,070
Franklin 38,250 224,220
German American 112,770
German Savings 63,630 257,700
International $12,820 $91,650
Laclede 250,000
Lafayette 2,200 50,000
Mullanphy Savings 2,300 128,060
Northwestern Savings 55,390
Provident Savings 76,290 100,000
State Savings 54,660 1,251,640
Tenth Ward Savings 11,090 46,590
Union Savings 10,570 128,130
Merchant National 1,530 805,000
Valley National 272,500
Third National 112,130 1,161,030
Fourth National 584,000
St. Louis National 13,710 569,140
Total $739,650 $10,040,550
Name. Number of Horses. Value per Head. Number of Vehicles. Total Value of Vehicles.
Adams Express Co. 36 $100 18 $3,600
American Express Co. 42 100 23 2,950
United States Express Co. 35 50 17 1,700
St. Louis Transfer Co. 206 75 99 14,750
Hazard Coal Co. 40 55 10 500
Schuremann Bros. & Co. 84 60 55 2,235
Eau Claire Lumber Co. 59 50 30 750
Mount Cabanne Milk Co. 24 50 11 550
St. Louis Street Sprinkling Co. 28 60 15 1,400
Arnot, Jesse 56 40 49 5,300
Bensick, John C. 20 40 10 2,000
Bohle, Louis C. 40 40 32 5,000
Brockmann, B. 35 65 16 2,525
Sherrick, L. P. 20 40 15 1,500
Cullen & Kelly 22 100 15 6,000
Clement, N. S. 24 50 16 2,000
Comfort, C. D. & Co. 21 100 14 1,120
Crum, C. N. 22 75 14 2,250
Gauger, Jacob 25 100 10 4,000
Heitz, Christ 20 50 7 210
Herman, Fred 60 100 25 2,500
Kron, Aug. 20 $65 10 $1,000
Lawrence & Spelbrink 25 40 23 2,500
Maxwell, T. & J. 33 70 3 150
Meyer, Adolph 30 40 17 3,600
Mueller, Henry 60 100 10 1,000
Reilly & Walfort 161 64 4 200
Scheele, H. & Son 20 80 10 5,000
Scott & Lynch 30 60 20 4,000
Wright, George C. 20 100 9 3,600
Sloan & Ellis 80 37 4 250
Wolfingor, John & Co. 22 75 14 500


The territory of which St. Louis is recognized as the natural commercial and business metropolis is indicated in the following table, with the miles of railroad they had in the years 1870 and 1879, respectively:

States. Miles in 1870. Miles in 1879.
Kentucky (one-half) 558 797
Tennessee (one-half) 746 850
Mississippi (one-half) 495 570
Louisiana (one-half) 225 272
Illinois (one-half) 2411 3,789
Missouri 2000 3,740
Arkansas 256 804
Texas 711 2,591
Kansas (one-half) 750 1,052
Total 8052 14,465

In the ten years from 1870 to 1879 there was constructed in the territory we have set down as tributary to St. Louis six thousand four hundred and thirteen miles of railroad.

The increase of population in the territory of which St. Louis is the natural commercial metropolis in the ten years from 1870 to 1880 was as follows, the figures in all instances being from the United States census:

States. 1870. 1880.
Kentucky (one-half) 660,505 824,354
Tennessee (one-half) 629,260 776,231
Mississippi (one-half) 413,961 565,796
Louisiana (one-half) 368,957 470,051
Illinois (one-half) 1,269,945 1,539,384
Missouri 1,721,295 2,168,804
Arkansas 484,471 802,564
Texas 818,579 1,592,574
Kansas (one-half) 182,199 497,983
Total 6,549,192 9,237,741

All this territory, with New Mexico and Indian Territory still farther south, constitute a part of the vast back country of St. Louis. When it is considered, therefore, that this city has such surroundings as have been here described; that she is the very centre of the most productive agricultural region of the whole earth; that she is in immediate proximity and of convenient access to an inexhaustible deposit of the purest iron ore in the world; that she is at the head of navigation from the south, and at the foot of navigation from the north; that she is sustained and impelled forward by the immense, illimitable trade of the great Father of Waters and his tributaries; that she has the material around her for building up the most extensive and most profitable manufacturing establishments that the world has ever known; that all the necessaries of life, the cereal grains and pork particularly, are produced in all the region roundabout in such profusion that living must be always cheap, and that consequently she can support her population though it should increase to almost indefinite limits, when all these facts are considered, who can feel disposed to set boundaries to her future progress?

It will be seen in view of the territory thus tributary to St. Louis that she draws from a greater variety of resources, from a greater extent of country, that she is the centre of more mineral wealth, more agricultural resources, and that she has the opportunity and is fast endowing herself with the instrumentalities for obtaining a vaster internal commerce than any other city in the Union. Her manufactures are varied in kind and character, and conducted with less expense than those of any of her sister cities. Her population has been steadily swelled by the influx of emigration; her wares and merchandise find their market in every hamlet of the country, and compete in Europe with those of older countries. Her credit, whether municipal, individual, or corporate, is unimpeached and treasured as the most valuable of her jewels. It should be borne in mind in estimating St. Louis' position among the great centres of trade in this country that the territory strictly belonging to the system of rivers which empty into the Gulf of Mexico has an area of 1,683,000 square miles, including eighteen States and two Territories, with a population of 22,000,000, which is increasing at the rate of about thirty-two per cent, every ten years; and that this great region produced 300,000,000 out of the 450,000,000 bushels of wheat grown in the whole country in 1880, besides 1,200,000,000 bushels of corn out of a total produce for the same year of 1,500,000,000 bushels. The collection of this grain into the granaries of St. Louis is being carried on by the energetic men who have banded together to accomplish the great object of improving the trade and importance of their city. Elsewhere the transportation facilities and the storage capacity of the city have been fully described. This business, for which rail and river are competing, is vast enough for the capacity of both, and must in a short time be greatly in excess of the terminal facilities afforded by existing lines of communication. But St. Louis has also determined to become the leading cotton market, and in view of the railroad development ministering directly to her, it is certainly no vain assertion to say that her position


is now first among the cotton markets of the world. The opening of Northern Texas and the whole of Arkansas to immediate connection by rail with the Missouri commercial metropolis, and the probable increase of cotton culture in the Indian Territory, will give a back country capable of producing millions of bales annually for St. Louis to draw upon. She has already become the successful competitor with Houston, Galveston, and New Orleans for the distribution of the crop of the Southwest, and the encouragement received has justified her enterprising citizens in constructing the most complete and extensive warehouses for cotton storage in the world. The trade of St. Louis now controls the cotton trade in certain sections of Arkansas and the southern portion of Missouri, and has made such seductive bids for the crop of Texas that many counties in that State regard St. Louis as their most remunerative market.

It was said of St. Louis in 1849 that "her commercial prosperity is founded very largely, if not chiefly, upon what is called the ‘produce trade,’" and the territorial limits of this trade were Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Thirty years afterwards St. Louis competed, as we have seen, sharply with Chicago for the trade of Northern Missouri, Kansas, Southern Nebraska, Colorado, the Territories tributary to the traffic of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads, and for the transcontinental trade towards the Southwest, embraced in the southern and central portions of Missouri, the State of Arkansas, the larger part of the State of Texas, and the northwestern section of Louisiana, with the Indian Territory, and with California by the Southern Pacific Railroad. New Orleans finds in St. Louis a rival for the trade of Western and Northern Louisiana. The trade of the States east of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio finds competition at St. Louis with New Orleans, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago, as well as the principal cities of the Atlantic seaboard. The trade limits of St. Louis east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio cover Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and include the through traffic with the States of the Atlantic seaboard and with foreign countries. It is within these vast territorial limits that St. Louis gathers the surplus products of the people, and distributes to them the supplies and general merchandise of her energetic tradesmen, merchants, and manufacturers.

The railroads which converge upon and centre at St. Louis are the following:

West Roads.

Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad (Missouri Division).
Missouri Pacific Railroad.
St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad.
St. Louis, Wabash and Pacific Railway (West Branch).

South Roads.

St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad.
Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad.
Belleville and Southern Illinois Railroad.
Louisville and Nashville Railroad.
Cairo and St. Louis Railroad.

East Roads.

Ohio and Mississippi Railroad.
Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad (main line).
Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad.
St. Louis, Vandalia, Terre Haute and Indianapolis Railroad.
St. Louis, Wabash and Pacific Railway.
Illinois and St. Louis Railroad.

North Roads.

St. Louis, Wabash and Pacific Railroad (Iowa Division).
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (St. Louis Division).
St. Louis, Keokuk and Northwestern Railroad.

The variations of the receipts and shipments of the commerce of St. Louis with the north are shown in the following table:

Year. Received. Tons. Shipped. Tons.
1871 297,680 93,842
1872 363,006 79,200
1873 353,206 80,806
1874 368,076 116,267
1875 286,318 122,751
1876 324,947 128,629
1877 233,158 114,827
1878 382,628 126,601
1879 445,621 132,760
1880 604,173 157,803

Turning to the east, we find a larger commerce even than that with the north. The total receipts from and shipments to the east were for the last decade:

Year. Received. Tons. Shipped. Tons.
1871 1,219,245 545,636
1872 1,341,545 688,264
1873 1,568,719 699,048
1874 1,540,632 746,037
1875 1,542,866 750,527
1876 1,510,527 1,026,291
1877 1,634,860 927,448
1878 1,770,548 1,119,406
1879 2,041,440 1,225,895
1880 2,508,704 1,325,004

From the south St. Louis received as well as shipped the following commerce:

Year. Received. Tons. Shipped. Tons.
1871 1,109,801 695,531
1872 1,392,080 836,089
1873 1,339,688 838,123
1874 1,196,534 767,819
1875 1,371,670 738,632
1876 1,310,534 696,577
1877 1,339,649 798,802
1878 1,290,606 832,018
1879 1,649,272 995,346
1880 1,853,577 1,492,216


The western commerce of St. Louis is exhibited for ten years in the following table:

Year. Received. Tons. Shipped. Tons.
1871 555,996 395,371
1872 605,652 406,393
1873 784,620 320,695
1874 793,216 307,878
1875 595,441 328,635
1876 974,467 408,678
1877 901,206 409,443
1878 1,056,225 417,209
1879 1,215,715 608,860
1880 2,023,930 818,182

For the better comparison of the extraordinary growth of the commerce of St. Louis during the last decade, the following table groups the tonnage of all the sections:

Year. North. East. South. West. Total.
1871 391,552 1,764,887 1,805,332 951,367 4,913,102
1872 442,206 2,029,809 2,228,169 1,012,045 5,712,229
1873 434,012 2,267,767 2,177,811 1,105,315 5,984,905
1874 484,343 2,286,069 1,964,353 1,101,094 5,835,859
1875 409,069 2,293,393 2,110,302 1,024,076 5,836,840
1876 453,576 2,536,318 2,007,111 1,383,145 6,380,150
1877 347,985 2,562,308 2,138,451 1,310,649 6,359,393
1878 509,229 2,889,954 2,122,624 1,473,434 6,995,241
1879 578,381 3,267,335 2,644,618 1,824,575 8,314,909
1880 761,976 3,833,708 3,345,793 2,842,112 10,783,589

In these ten years the commerce of St. Louis increased northward from 391,522 tons in 1871 to 761,976 tons in 1880; towards the east from 1,764,881 tons in 1871 to 3,833,708 tons in 1880; towards the south from 1,805,332 tons in 1871 to 3,345,793 tons in 1880; towards the west from 951,367 tons in 1871 to 2,842,112 tons in 1880; and the total grew from 4,913,102 tons in 1871 to 10,783,589 tons in 1880.

The rapidity of the growth of this commerce will be more easily comprehended by considering the proportion of tonnage for the years 1880, 1879, and 1878:

DIRECTIONS. 1880. 1879. 1878.
Tons. Per Cent. Tons. Per Cent. Tons. Per Cent.
North 761,976 7.07 578,381 6.95 509,229 7.28
West 2,842,112 26.35 1,824,575 21.95 1,473,434 21.06
South 3,345,793 31.03 2,644,618 31.80 2,122,624 30.35
East 3,833,708 35.55 3,267,335 39.30 2,889,954 41.31
Total 10,783,589 100.00 8,314,909 100.00 6,995,241 100.00

It will be observed from these tables that the commerce of St. Louis towards the east was larger in 1880 than in any other direction, and a much larger traffic passes over the great bridge than is transported on the river. In direct trade with foreign countries in 1880, the value of eastward shipments by rail via Atlantic ports was seventy per cent. greater than the value of the shipments southward via the Mississippi River, the values standing for eastward or via Atlantic ports at $17,000,000, and southward or via New Orleans at $10,000,000.

As illustrating the course of the internal commerce from St. Louis, the following movements of cotton, grain, flour, provisions, and live-stock will be found instructive:

Articles. Direction. 1880. 1879.
Cotton, bales Shipped south 5,417 7,208
Cotton, bales Shipped east 466,975 317,269
Cotton, bales Shipped elsewhere 5,827 1,289
Wheat, bushels Shipped south 6,202,586 2,518,547
Wheat bushels Shipped east 4,927,389 4,684,093
Wheat bushels Shipped elsewhere 183,904 99,436
Corn, bushels Shipped south 12,962,076 5,287,394
Corn, bushels Shipped east 4,591,944 3,009,775
Corn, bushels Shipped elsewhere 17,302 13,836
Flour, barrels Shipped south 1,350,442 1,049,504
Flour, barrels Shipped east 1,912,171 1,927,490
Flour, barrels Shipped elsewhere 30,090 68,041
Flour and grain Shipped south 28,377,271 15,134,163
Flour and grain Shipped east 19,555,975 17,952,999
Flour and grain Shipped elsewhere 388,737 589,262
Hog products, pounds Shipped south 150,949,883 158,639,570
Hog products, pounds Shipped east 45,388,116 53,669,511
Hog products, pounds Shipped elsewhere 3,913,027 3,892,698
Cattle, number Shipped east, by rail 1,774 2,041
Cattle, number Shipped south, by rail 219,350 219,416
Cattle, number Shipped elsewhere, by rail 5,474 4,798
Cattle, number Shipped by river in all directions 2,281  
Sheep, number Shipped south, by rail 5,690 2,441
Sheep, number Shipped east, by rail 72,384 76,286
Sheep, number Shipped elsewhere, by rail 12,421 9,374
Sheep, number Shipped by river in all directions 3,027  
Hogs, number Shipped south, by rail 4,323 5,401
Hogs, number Shipped east, by rail 759,323 679,513
Hogs, number Shipped elsewhere, by rail 5,642 1,815
Hogs, number Shipped by river in all directions 1,481  

The percentage of the shipments of cotton towards the south in 1880 was 1.13, and towards the east 97.65, and 1.22 in other directions; of wheat, 54.82 per cent. went south, and 43.55 per cent. went east, 1.63 per cent. in other directions; of corn, 73.77 per cent. went south, 26.13 per cent. went east, 0.10 per cent. in other directions; of flour, 41.01 per cent. went south, 58.07 per cent. east, and 0.92 per cent. in other directions; of grain, etc., 58.45 per cent. went south, 40.47 east, and 1.08 in other directions; of hog products, 75.38 per cent. went south, 22.67 per cent. east, and 1.95 per cent. in other directions; of cattle, 0.77 per cent. went south, 95.84 per cent. east, and 3.39 per cent. in other directions; of sheep, 6.38 per cent. went south, 77.40 east, and 16.22 in other directions; of hogs, 0.56 per cent. went south, 98.52 per cent. east, and 0.92 in other directions.

The steady expansion of the commerce of St. Louis is shown by the increase during 1880 over 1879 of the shipments of flour and grain from St. Louis to the east and to the south, the former of which increased 1,602,976 bushels, or 8.9 per cent., and the latter 13,243,108 bushels, or 87.05 per cent.; in 1879 the shipments to the east exceeded those to


the south by 2,818,836 bushels, but in 1880 the shipments to the south exceeded those to the east by 8,821,296 bushels; in 1879 about 53 per cent. of the shipments was to the east, but in 1880 nearly 59 per cent. of the total shipments was to the south; the total shipments for 1880 exceeded those for 1879 by 14,645,559 bushels. The receipts of flour at St. Louis in 1880 exceeded those for 1879 by 100,000 barrels; those of wheat increased 4,000,000 bushels; of corn, 9,000,000 bushels; of oats, 600,000 bushels; and of barley, 730,000 bushels; while the receipts of rye decreased 250,000 bushels as compared with 1879.

There is a wide disparity of opinion in regard to the limits of the territory actually tributary to St. Louis, and consequently the extent of the products controlled by that city. We wish to present both views, that which is less favorable to the pretensions of St. Louis and that which is more favorable. We will state in advance that we incline to accept the claim for the wider horizon and the broader destiny. No city has a grander geographical site, and none a more generous and nobler population. If these two, working together in steadfast co-operation, — intelligence reverently and diligently utilizing and applying the gifts and largess of nature, the stored-up forces and conservated energies of immemorial ages, — cannot make a great city and a great centre of trade, then nothing can. Anyhow, it is proper that a city should have implicit confidence in its resources. As Col. George E. Leighton, president of the Missouri Historical Society, said, in his very intelligent and thoughtful address at the last annual meeting, Jan. 16, 1883, "A living interest and belief in the real greatness of a city will alone make it great. Such a feeling is contagious, and if we but do our part, we can impress ourselves and others with the belief that we have in St. Louis a city worthy of our interest, and of our labors to make it attractive in all those directions which ennoble, dignify, and refine our lives, as well as in those which minister to its material progress."

Mr. Joseph Nimmo, Jr., chief of the Bureau of Statistics of the Treasury Department, Washington, in his very comprehensive and suggestive report on the "Internal Commerce of the United States," submitted to Secretary of the Treasury Windom, July 1, 1881, attempts to define the "territorial limits of the commerce of St. Louis." What he says is as follows:

"It is deemed proper in this connection to present a general description of the range of the commercial activities of St. Louis, such as was presented in a preceding report on the internal commerce of the United States, with such modifications as the changed conditions of trade and of transportation have rendered necessary.

"The limits of the trade of St. Louis cannot be precisely defined, nor can the limits of the trade of any other great commercial city, as each city is either directly or indirectly the competitor of every other commercial city. St. Louis has direct trade with San Francisco, with St. Paul, Minn., with Chicago, with New Orleans, with the principal Atlantic seaports, and with many of the principal ports of Europe. This is also true of other great commercial cities, both at the West and on the seaboard. But in the sense of being the principal market for the sale of general merchandise, and for the purchase of surplus agricultural products of the surrounding country, the territorial extent of the commerce of St. Louis may be described as follows:

"The commerce of St. Louis west of the Mississippi River and north of the State of Missouri is quite small, the city of Chicago having secured the principal control of that trade by means of the system of east and west roads centring in that city.

"St. Louis competes sharply with Chicago for the trade of Northern Missouri, Kansas, Southern Nebraska, Colorado, the Territories tributary to the traffic of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads, and for the transcontinental trade with the States of the Pacific coast, and mainly controls so much of the trade towards the Southwest as is embraced in the southern and central portion of Missouri, the State of Arkansas, the larger part of the State of Texas, and the northwestern section of Louisiana. For the trade of Kansas, the northern part of Texas, and the Indian Territory, St. Louis meets an active competition in the commercial enterprises of Chicago.

"The advent of railroads as highways of commerce has led to many changes, not only in the limits of the commerce of cities, but also in their relation to each other. This fact is strikingly illustrated with respect to the commerce of St. Louis and of New Orleans. Twenty years ago almost all the commercial interests of these two cities were mutual and reciprocal, but to-day, with respect to the large and rapidly-growing southwestern commerce, St. Louis is a formidable rival of New Orleans. This new condition of affairs has resulted mainly from the construction of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad and connections, and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. These lines, by their extension into Arkansas, Western and Northern Louisiana, and Texas, have not only invaded a section formerly embraced within the trade limits of New Orleans, but they have been the instrumentalities through which a very large commercial development has taken place within this highly productive section. The railroads referred to have invited a large immigration into these States, and trade and industry have thus been greatly promoted. Not only are the surplus products of a large part of the State of Arkansas, as well as of parts of Louisiana and Texas, shipped to St. Louis and other northern cities for a market, but, in return, general merchandise is shipped to those States.

"By the completion of the railroad line from New Orleans to Houston, the former city has become a direct competitor with St. Louis for a large part of the traffic of the railroads of Texas. The competition of New Orleans for the trade of Texas will undoubtedly become sharper upon the completion of the railway line designed to connect that city with Shreveport, La., at which point connection will be made with the Texas Pacific Railroad and its connecting lines.

"For the trade of the States east of the Mississippi River and south of the Ohio River, St. Louis meets the active competition of the trade of New Orleans, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago, and of the principal cities on the Atlantic seaboard.


"The trade of St. Louis with those States has exhibited no material increase for several years.

"The trade limits of St. Louis east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River, not including the through traffic with the States of the Atlantic seaboard and with foreign countries, embrace a considerable portion of the State of Illinois and extend into Indiana and Ohio. This is a commerce almost entirely by rail, only a very small percentage of it being carried on by means of boats plying on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. All this trade, with the exception of that in the immediate vicinity of St. Louis, is highly competitive as between Chicago, Toledo, and St. Louis. This applies both to the purchase of agricultural products and to the sale of supplies and general merchandise. The state of the markets at these rival cities determines the course of trade of this section at all times.

"The commerce of St. Louis with the States and Territories already referred to has as its distinguishing characteristics the purchase of the surplus products of those States and Territories and the sale of merchandise for consumption within such territorial limits. But the commerce of St. Louis with the Atlantic seaboard States and with foreign countries presents itself under an entirely different aspect."

Mr. Nimmo at this point speaks of the railroads which centre at St. Louis and the sharp competition of the east-bound trunk lines, a matter which it is not necessary to discuss now or here. There are two reasons for this: in the first place, the rates of competition are so fluctuating and uncertain that there is no standard, as there is also neither good policy, established policy, honor nor honesty in the competition for freight from the west to the Atlantic seaboard cities. These things will finally adjust themselves, and in the final adjustment it will be "devil take the hindmost." But in the mean time, so long as "pooling" corrects distance, no scale of rates can be permanently laid down. We have nothing but expedients, and very temporary ones at that, and St. Louis can afford to wait until time, which adjusts everything else, has adjusted this also. In the second place, St. Louis possesses a regulator of freight rates to eastern seaports which, she is fain to believe, will finally reconstruct everything, and especially readjust the "differential rates" entirely in her favor. This regulator is the Mississippi River, which, no matter what railroad managers may say, intends to have a potential voice in the final adjustment of freight rates from western trade centres to European markets, and will not be ignored, belittled, or frightened by any of their "statements."

The area of country really and actually tributary to St. Louis, the more sanguine friends of its commerce in the future claim, is as follows:

STATES. Population. Miles of Railroad. Wheat. Corn. Oats. Rye. Barley. Number of Live-Stock.
Missouri 2,168,804 4434 24,966,627 202,485,723 20,670,958 535,426 123,631 7,611,671
Arkansas 802,564 620 1,269,730 24,156,417 2,219,822 22,387 1,952  
Kansas 995,966 1957 17,324,141 105,729,325 8,180,385 413,181 300,273 2,814,383
Nebraska 152,433 3083 13,847,007 65,150,435 6,555,875 424,348 1,744,686 1,836,286
Illinois (˝) 1,539,384 5645 25,555,251 162,896,240 36,594,600 1,591,897 614,761  
Iowa (˝) 812,310 1539 15,577,102 137,512,123 25,305,295 759,302 2,011,294 2,408,071
Texas (˝) 771,287 3400 1,283,880 14,532,586 2,446,679 12,699 36,393 8,665,221
Kentucky (˝) 824,354 1065 5,678,056 36,426,131 2,290,369 334,025 243,163  
Indian Territory                
Tennessee (˝) 771,231 792 3,665,676 31,382,214 2,361,095 78,209 15,009  
Colorado 194,649 727 1,425,014 455,968 640,900 19,465 107,116 1,985,119
New Mexico 118,430 715 706,641 633,786 156,527 240 25,026  
Louisiana (˝) 470,051 681 2,517 4,953,094 114,920 506    
Mississippi 1,131,592 1448 218,890 21,340,800 1,959,620 5,134 174  

Cotton and other products are given in other tables. The above table is supposed to represent the States which send or are to send their products to St. Louis. The States and Territories which St. Louis supplies more or less with goods, either of her own manufacture or through the jobbing trade, are exemplified in a statement of Mr. E. C. Simmons, president of the Simmons Hardware Company of St. Louis:

"We purchase goods at many points throughout the Northern as well as Eastern States, from the Mississippi River east to Providence and Boston. There are also many manufacturers of goods in our line here in St. Louis from whom we draw supplies. We have goods manufactured at several of the principal penitentiaries of the country. We also still import largely of certain lines of goods chiefly from England and Germany, and some from France and Switzerland. All of our goods, both domestic and foreign, are shipped to us direct on through bills of lading.

"The range of our sales is very wide indeed. We sell goods as far east as Indiana, north as far as Wisconsin and Minnesota, Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming, west as far as Colorado, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. We also have trade in Alabama and Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, with some scattering trade in North Carolina and Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.

"This widely extended business is chiefly done through commercial travelers or agents employed by our house. The whole territory is divided up into districts, each district being in the particular charge of one of our commercial travelers, who is held responsible for the maintenance and extension of trade within his district. He is also expected to keep the house informed in


regard to the competition which he meets from every point, from other business houses in this city and in other cities, also as to crops and facts of interest touching the influence of competing rail rates. The limits of our trade depend very largely upon the rates for transportation which we have to meet from competing business houses in other cities.

"At present we have thirty-one commercial agents employed.

"Nineteen-twentieths of our trade is by rail. The great advantage afforded by rail transportation is the readiness and quickness with which goods can be distributed. All we have to do is to ship goods by rail on a through bill of lading to a remote point. They may pass over three or four different railroads, but the railroad companies attend to transshipment from the line of one company to that of another.

"Insurance is a thing that bears heavily against water shipments. Merchants will buy goods from points where they will reach them quickest. Take, for instance, Corsicana, Texas. The all-rail rate from St. Louis is $1.25 to $1.50 per one hundred pounds, and from New York by Morgan line it is but fifty to seventy-five cents per one hundred pounds; still, on account of the quicker transportation, the merchants buy most of their goods in St. Louis, and ship by rail. In our trade east of this point we find a very sharp competition from Chicago, but we do not meet much competition from Chicago in Missouri south of this point, or in the Indian Territory, Arkansas, or Texas. All that we regard as especially our territory.

"Throughout the States south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi River, viz.: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, and some little in North Carolina, we meet the competition of Louisville and Cincinnati merchants, and also a very vigorous competition from New York. Our best trade may be said to be in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas."

The foregoing statement in regard to the range of the business of a single house, both in its territorial extent and in the degree to which its management involves the exercise of executive and administrative ability, affords a striking illustration of the manner in which the wholesale or jobbing trade is carried on at the present time. In the range of its activities and in the methods employed, the commerce of the present day is widely at variance with all ideas of trade which prevailed even thirty years ago. At all the points where purchases are made by the business house above referred to, purchases are also made by merchants doing business in a hundred rival towns and cities. Throughout almost the entire area in which the sales of this business house are made, competition is also met from business houses in Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and many other towns of lesser magnitude.

St. Louis competes with Louisville and other cities in the manufacture of tobacco, selling all the Missouri product. In the sale of dry-goods, clothing, and groceries, she competes, on their own territory, with Galveston, New Orleans, Mobile, Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago; New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore sometimes invading her territory. In the distribution of corn whiskey, as well as in its manufacture, she competes with Cincinnati and Louisville, Indianapolis and Peoria. In the manufacture and distribution of malt liquors, St. Louis controls the whole Southern and Western trade, in conjunction with Cincinnati and Milwaukee. The drug trade of the lower Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, etc., is controlled by St. Louis. In wood and willow-ware, St. Louis has all the South and West, even Tennessee. One house in this city is known to be the largest distributing house in the United States. In queensware, St. Louis supplies the Southwest. In stoves its only rivals are Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

It is thus apparent that St. Louis has a productive commerce as well as a distributive one. This is greatly in her favor, as the productive trade is more profitable as well as more durable and certain. Properly defined, distributive commerce includes all trade which is accompanied by a movement to or from the city, considered of commodities that are neither altered nor produced within its limits. With relation to this form of commerce a city is a point of exchange. Productive commerce includes all trade which exists or arises between a city and its markets as a result of manufacturing or altering commodities within its boundaries. With relation to this form of commerce a city becomes a manufacturing centre.

Now, since the influences which are favorable to the distributive trade of a city form only one set of advantages necessary to make that city a desirable manufacturing centre, and since it is possible that a city may be very desirable as a point of production without having any of the elements to make it a successful point of exchange, it follows that a city may have at least two well-defined areas of trade, one for its productive and the other for its distributive commerce. And it will, therefore, be desirable to learn the position occupied by each of these elements in order to arrive at the commercial situation and prospects of the city under consideration.

In a given area the relations of commerce to avenues of transportation are so intimate and so reciprocal, either capable of acting towards the other as cause or effect, that an understanding of the one not only involves a knowledge of the other, but an intelligent consideration of either is best promoted by making it an exponent of the other, and dividing the former into such areas or epochs as naturally pertain to its correlative.

The history of railroad progress in the territory south of the Ohio River and south of the State of Missouri shows that prior to the latter part of the year 1860 there were no through rail trunk lines running north and south in any part of said territory.


The trunk lines of transportation in this section were water highways, and while the railroad interests of the whole country were rapidly developing during the twenty years previous to that date, yet they had not become the leading commercial highways. Hence in the following remarks on commercial influences we designate the period prior to 1860 as the era of water transportation, or the era of western development.

For a like reason, since the year 1860, as the tendency of railroads in this southern territory has been so largely towards the formation of through trunk lines, both by the construction of missing links and by the consolidation of local roads, and as the movements of commerce since that date have taken place so essentially over railroad highways that water avenues have assumed a secondary position and influence, the period covered by the last twenty years may be commercially termed an era of railway transportation. During the era of western development the commerce of the entire United States followed essentially an east and west movement, and this movement still, as applied to the total commerce of our country, is probably the largest one.

During the era of railroad transportation, most of the changes in the commercial highways of the interior have tended to foster a north and south movement of commerce, and the development of that movement has been so rapid that it promises to become a formidable rival to the ancient monopoly.

It is a universal accompaniment of distributive commerce that as railroads extend facilities for its movement, they are liable at the same time to give like facilities to smaller as well as larger centres. Hence the very instrument which tends to develop a city's distributing powers places the means at the disposal of its tributaries to make of themselves active competitors. In other words, an extension of railway facilities in a country tends to increase the number and decrease or rather equalize the size of distributive centres. This tendency is mostly a subordinate one, but it is not on that account to be lost sight of.

Furthermore, in a distributive commerce avenues of transportation are always the elements of primary importance in marking out its course and defining its limits, while with productive commerce transportation avenues may be secondary considerations.

A town may be a very active distributing centre, and all of the elements of its prosperity appear to be permanent, but every change in its railway outlets and avenues must vitally affect its welfare for better or worse, according to the nature of the change.

Examples of towns almost annihilated by changes in transportation facilities are frequently to be found in the South, because in the South commerce has been almost wholly distributive. The town of Jefferson, Texas, furnishes a notable example. From 1865 to 1870, when she formed the terminus of navigation on Red River, and supplied with merchandise a section through Texas, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory, extending northwest, west, and southwest for two or three hundred miles, she had ten thousand people, and every prospect seemed to promise her lasting prosperity. The Texas and Pacific Railroad with its through connections was formed, passing through the town itself, while already to the west the Houston and Texas Central, with its supplementary connection, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, had cut off its far western trade, so that to-day Jefferson is a way station, with deserted wharves, and her population of barely two thousand people are selling whole blocks (whose stores used to rent for one hundred and fifty and two hundred dollars per month) for the bare bricks which their walls contain.

It is true, therefore, that centres of distributive commerce are built upon foundations of sand, whilst a city grown great through a productive commerce will always possess a material element of prosperity; also that the trade limits of a distributing centre more nearly correspond with the area whose crops it markets than do such limits of a productive commerce, the latter being almost wholly independent of that area as defining its extent and location.

Again, the distributive commerce of the interior consists most largely of an east and west movement, — i. e., exchanges between points east of the western boundary of Pennsylvania and north of Mason and Dixon's line, and points west of the western boundary of Pennsylvania and south of the Ohio River and State of Missouri.

The era of railway transportation has been also one essentially of the building up in the West of manufacturing industries, giving to small towns a commercial significance which makes them important competitors for trade in the South.

A single accompaniment of productive commerce may here be mentioned, which will show how largely the fostering of such commerce adds to the wealth of a city. The figures given are underestimates rather than overestimates, and they embody the principle:

A ton of cast iron is worth, say $35
If made into wrought iron it may have a value of 80
If the wrought iron be converted into steel it is worth 120 to 200
If the steel be manufactured into agricultural tools it is capable of bringing, say 400
If, instead, it be converted into knife-blades, they will sell for 30,000
Or, finally, if it be made up into the balance-springs of watches its value may become over 100,000


The factor of profit which is thus under proper circumstances capable of converting thirty-five dollars' worth of cast iron into one hundred thousand dollars' worth of watch-springs is LABOR; and it is evident that, if these operations were carried on in a single town, the added wealth which would result to that town from the entering of a single ton of metal into its productive commerce would be many thousand per cent, of the original value of the material. The mere handling of this ton of metal, or the result of its entering into the distributive commerce of the city interested, could hardly under any circumstances amount to twenty-five per cent, of its original value.

And while the above may be, and undoubtedly is, an extreme case, it is nevertheless a possible and an actual case in some localities; and the principle embodied in this single instance is true of by far the largest proportion of manufactured articles, viz.: that the labor entering into their production bears a larger ratio to their value than the actual cost of material.

This is the sort of trade which has made Boston and Philadelphia so rich, and contributes annually such vast sums to the grand resources of Great Britain. It is the sort of trade which St. Louis expects to control when her resources are more fully in play.

In the mean time, the actual movements of produce and merchandise at St. Louis, as distinguished from the possible and prospective, have been as follows, taking the census year for convenience of comparison:

GRAIN SHIPMENTS from St. Louis towards the east by rail, and towards the south by river, each year, from 1871 to 1880, inclusive.
YEAR. East by Rail. South.
By River. By Rail.
Bushels. Bushels. Bushels.
1871 2,154,065 4,565,973 1,322,457
1872 3,456,409 6,618,757 2,194,019
1873 2,065,660 5,920,687 1,874,386
1874 2,318,350 5,344,534 1,683,478
1875 2,658,478 3,260,035 1,871,022
1876 12,434,296 4,212,435 995,540
1877 6,570,529 5,691,493 1,373,982
1878 7,561,475 7,230,422 1,054,221
1879 8,227,465 8,596,952 1,360,036
1880 8,790,059 18,978,347 2,646,714
STATEMENT showing the increase in the commerce, population, and value of property of St. Louis from 1865 to 1880.
  1865. 1880. Increase. Per Cent, of Increase.
Arrivals of boats — No. 2,767 2,360 407  
Arrivals of barges — No. l,141 1,471 330 28.92
Receipts of wheat, and flour reduced to wheat — bush. 17,657,252 46,037,578 28,380,326 160.73
Shipments of wheat, and flour reduced to wheat — bush. 13,427,052 33,676,424 20,249,372 150.81
Manufactures of flour — bbls. 743,281 2,142,949 1,399,668 188.31
Receipts of cotton — bales. 19,838 472,436 452,598 2281.47
Receipts of pork — bbls. 66,822 32,113 34,709  
Receipts of hams and meat — lbs. 34,781,570 92,983,380 58,201,810 167.34
Receipts of lard — lbs. 6,391,030 8,415,176 2,024,146 31.67
Receipts of cattle — No. 94,307 420,654 326,347 346.05
Receipts of sheep — No. 52,133 182,648 130,515 250.35
Receipts of hogs — No. 99,663 1,762,724 1,663,061 1668.68
Population 204,327 400,000 195,673 95.76
Value of real and personal property $87,625,534 $163,813,920 $76,188,386 86.95
STATEMENT showing Amount of Freight, in Tons, received at St. Louis by each Railroad and River for Ten Years.
ROUTE. 1882. 1881. 1880. 1879. 1878. 1877. 1876. 1875. 1874. 1873.
Missouri Pacific R.R. (Main Line) 962,517 907,467 850,434 425,840 413,302 354,513 416,415 229,447 328,201 344,375
St. Louis & San Francisco Ry. 339,243 335,847 404,172 245,965 191,834 178,280 173,950 196,968 196,891 149,007
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific R.R. (West Brch.) 319,905 447,449 530,527 366,797 395,049 318,768 333,757 238,866 223,294 252,608
Chicago, Alton & St. Louis R.R. (Mo. Div.) 92,088 154,248 179,772 143,313            
St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern R.R. 730,705 768,652 536,488 536,318 353,172 340,740 325,097 451,225 292,842 392,634
Missouri Pacific R.R. (Texas Div.) 154,243 114,211 95,176 108,078 78,652 109,864 110,773 53,885 65,734 73,291
Cairo Short Line R.R. 534,987 488,615 477,608 446,764 383,739 380,204 376,488 406,653 362,470 445,765
Louisville & Nashville R.R. 493,310 330,907 304,369 276,436 223,248 257,536 230,707 221,634 216,898 177,611
St. Louis & Cairo R.R. 212,267 251,915 200,996 88,196 63,885 89,435 107,984 103,808 82,470 17,927
Ohio & Mississippi R.R. 395,122 406,217 389,779 359,534 262,952 243,496 268,073 280,557 319,217 337,074
Chicago, Alton & St. Louis R.R. (Main Line) 288,271 298,276 264,679 207,985 191,020 136,977 167,525 184,834 195,691 203,765
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. (east) 32,285 45,120                
Indianapolis & St. Louis R.R. 346,857 370,610 264,541 171,216 128,568 135,487 128,208 134,634 134,498 139,484
St. Louis, Vandalia, Terre Haute & Ind. R.R. 739,081 640,764 609,594 493,787 402,252 392,185 372,314 319,658 276,138 294,445
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific R.R. (East'n Div.) 717,935 530,745 358,928 333,433 264,831 169,930 104,319 108,940 118,481 142,232
Illinois & St. Louis R.R. 289,386 263,784 251,383 235,080 224,240 260,530 215,523 213,443 215,252 202,929
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific R.R. (Iowa Brch.) 19,889 40,062 31,328 31,178 65,727 31,345 45,533 27,225 29,865 25,727
Chicago, Bur. & Quiucy R.R. (N. & N. W. Div.) 280,710 285,516 275,715 172,103 142,836 65,098 57,554 60,993 107,151 46,304
St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern R.R. 51,821 80,170 71,035 21,055            
Upper Mississippi River 135,540 190,815 226,095 221,285 174,065 136,715 224,860 198,100 231,060 281,175
Lower Mississippi River 275,175 273,110 223,925 179,400 174,180 149,825 147,185 128,020 169,780 226,535
Illinois River 168,410 160,555 155,605 109,620 124,785 104,200 129,940 153,995 192,770 125,715
Missouri River 34,900 39,385 59,025 33,800 56,040 49,645 50,345 30,160 44,830 38,630
Ohio River 164,625 165,825 214,195 130,785 171,900 192,055 124,125 146,805 87,985 123,075
Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers 23,430 22,720 15,015 14,080 13,730 12,045 12,200 6,345 6,000 4,850
Red, Ouachita, Arkansas, and White Rivers             100 100 340 1,075
Total in tons 7,702,702 7,602,985 6,990,384 5,352,048 4,500,007 4,108,873 4,119,975 3,896,295 3,897,858 4,046,233
Total by rail 6,900,622 6,750,575 6,096,524 4,663,078 3,785,307 3,464,388 3,431,220 3,232,770 3,165,093 3,245,178
Total by river 802,080 852,410 893,860 688,970 714,700 644,485 688,755 663,525 732,765 801,055

In addition to the receipts of 1880 by upper Mississippi River by boats, there was received 198,315 tons of lumber, logs, and shingles by rafts.

In addition to the receipts of 1881 by upper Mississippi River by boats, there was received 356,020 tons of lumber, logs, and shingles by rafts.

In addition to the receipts of 1882 by upper Mississippi River by boats, there was received 271,490 tons of lumber, logs, and shingles by rafts.


Showing the Amount of Freight, in Tons, shipped from St. Louis by each Railroad and River for ten years.
ROUTE. 1882. 1881. 1880. 1879. 1878. 1877. 1876. 1875. 1874. 1873.
Missouri Pacific Railroad (Main Line) 678,706 709,814 407,030 272,250 196,955 202,966 203,169 151,980 171,987 162,435
St. Louis & San Francisco Ry. 180,927 185,147 122,787 78,755 44,495 45,898 51,150 34,881 30,133 39,962
Wabash, St. Louis & Pac. R.R. (West Brch.) 246,049 254,902 209,604 197,219 153,294 137,394 134,999 116,674 85,368 90,488
Chicago, Alton & St. Louis R.R. (Mo. Div.) 90,990 72,393 62,346 45,596            
St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern R.R. 549,991 600,929 390,069 288,768 222,641 215,731 193,833 211,725 155,181 122,605
Missouri Pacific Railroad (Texas Division) 248,998 79,866 66,555 61,226 45,039 47,523 45,131 40,635 39,337 54,956
Cairo Short Line Railroad 139,339 135,393 111,609 91,428 68,027 66,992 38,909 76,092 37,753 39,917
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 81,164 64,199 87,037 41,586 49,416 29,350 30,249 25,944 44,845 53,000
St. Louis and Cairo Railroad 23,356 22,862 16,391 13,298 12,405 11,806 4,970 13,961 13,968 5,520
Ohio and Mississippi Railroad 195,717 204,006 184,975 141,182 136,677 144,065 207,905 108,998 145,914 158,523
Chicago, Alton & St. Louis R.R. (Main Line) 293,830 252,465 268,309 318,754 256,444 174,454 149,285 135,647 97,885 81,158
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. (east) 32,808 25,098                
Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad 296,209 246,169 218,859 152,955 157,644 183,817 217,786 138,307 175,389 152,669
St. Louis, Vandalia, Terre Haute & Ind. R.R. 265,981 281,299 247,656 272,579 190,685 142,713 140,178 137,884 139,831 100,544
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacitic Ry. (East'n Div.) 239,352 192,109 246,337 233,070 279,753 199,242 201,580 74,837 62,618 68,204
Illinois and St. Louis Railroad 9,001 9,930 13,573 11,280 7,803 4,637 5,537 7,359 10,000 6,595
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific R.R. (Iowa Brch.) 16,713 13,520 9,923 18,665 13,452 15,672 13,846 13,772 8,921 9,289
Chicago, Bur. & Quincy R.R. (S. & N. W.Div.) 139,925 85,455 69,678 41,197 45,829 30,590 21,423 12,754 11,546 9,551
St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern Railroad. 20,104 27,356 22,942 5,908            
Upper Mississippi River 71,325 54,295 55,260 66,990 67,320 68,565 93,360 96,225 95,800 61,966
Lower Mississippi River 610,205 730,185 813,080 499,040 434,490 426,725 379,970 367,235 469,065 525,445
Illinois River 4,690 5,175 9,935 9,140 18,300 16,420 20,560 18,470 13,640 11,695
Missouri River 11,980 13,720 16,415 15,040 22,465 23,185 19,360 25,100 20,390 27,810
Ohio River 66,010 77,600 135,360 86,935 72,100 62,100 83,460 129,025 100,660 119,660
Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers 1,150 1,100 1,315     10 3,515 1,560 2,225 2,040
Red, Ouachita, Arkansas, and White Rivers 4,545 1,950 6,160     665   1,480 5,445 34,640
Total in tons 4,519,065 4,346,937 3,798,205 2,962,861 2,495,234 2,250,520 2,260,175 1,940,545 1,938,001 1,938,672
Total by rail 3,749,160 3,462,912 2,755,680 2,285,716 1,880,559 1,652,850 1,659,950 1,301,450 1,230,676 1,155,416
Total by river 769,905 884,025 1,037,525 677,145 614,675 597,670 600,225 639,095 707,325 783,256

The total tonnage of freights received at and shipped from St. Louis each year from 1871 to 1880, inclusive, is indicated in the following table:

Calendar Year. Tons Received and Shipped.
1871 4,913,102
1872 5,712,228
1873 5,984,905
1874 5,835,859
1875 5,836,840
1876 6,380,150
1877 6,359,393
1878 6,995,241
1879 8,314,909
1880 10,783,589

But St. Louis is not content with these results, gigantic as they are, and rapid as has been the growth and development of the trade of which they are the indices. Dr. Samuel Johnson, when he was witnessing the sale of the plant and effects of Thrale's brewery, was asked what he could find in such a scene to interest him. "I see all around me, sir," he answered, "the potentiality of great riches." That is what St. Louis beholds in her exceptionally great resources and favorable site, and her people will never rest while these things, possessions and promises, remain undeveloped and unutilized.

All the cotton received at St. Louis, no matter what its destination, and no matter how consigned, breaks bulk there, is handled, compressed, and re-shipped. Thus St. Louis makes some profit out of every bale received. Before Chicago, by means of her railroad, lake, and canal facilities, secured the lion's share of the east-bound carrying trade in breadstuffs and provisions, and so had her fortune made, every pound of Western produce and Western merchandise, destined no matter where, up the river or down, broke bulk at St. Louis, and that city made a profit in it. This trade, this control of trade, St. Louis seeks once more to restore by renewing the supremacy of what was its source and medium, the Mississippi River.

This is not a dream. It is not one of Governor Allen's "barren idealities." On the contrary, it is a legitimate trade expectation, which may be realized at almost any moment. St. Louis had this control of trade once through superior facilities and unrivaled cheapness of transportation. The same facilities exist now in a much greater degree, and the cheapness also. The opportunity to make full use of them has not quite arrived, on account of various causes and obstructions.

But in the mean time certain facts stand out in alto relievo, and none of the commercial rivals and competitors of St. Louis can deny them.

1st. Chicago and New York dread the completion of the Welland Canal, because by that route grain from the former city can be delivered in Liverpool via the Strait of Belle Isle at rates with which New York cannot compete. In other words, Chicago, to maintain her grain trade, must transfer it from New York to Montreal.

2d. But that route is closed five months in every year by ice.

3d. St. Louis is not afraid of the competition of Montreal and the Welland Canal, because she can deliver grain in Liverpool cheaper by the Mississippi River route than it can possibly be delivered by any other route. This has been proved, and will be


demonstrated again still more conclusively. At present all that need be shown in this connection is results, accomplished facts.
YEAR. Wheat. Corn. Rye. Oats. Totals.
  Bushels. Bushels. Bushels. Bushels. Bushels.
1880 5,913,272 9,804,392 45,000   15,762,664
1879 2,390,897 3,585,589 157,424 30,928 6,164,838
1878 1,876,639 2,857,056 609,041 108,867 5,451,603
1877 351,453 3,578,057 171,843   4,101,353
1876 37,142 1,737,237     1,774,379
1875 135,961 172,617     308,578
1874 365,252 1,047,794   10,000 1,423,046
1873   1,373,969     1,373,969
1872   1,711,039     1,711,039
1871   309,077   3,000 312,077
1870 66,000       66,000

Mr. Joseph Nimmo, Jr., in his notable report of 1881 on the internal commerce of the country, says that

"The regulating influence of the interior water lines is limited and conditioned by the fact that it is operative with respect to the internal commerce of the country mainly through the great interior markets, and notably those of Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Peoria, Toledo, Detroit, Louisville, and Cincinnati. This results from the fact that the movements of commerce are directed by the trade forces rather than by the transportation forces of the country. In the transportation of the surplus products of the Western and Northwestern States to the seaboard and to foreign countries, the regulating influence of the Mississippi River is rendered effective mainly through the markets of St. Louis, and the regulating influence of the northern water line is rendered effective mainly through the markets of Milwaukee and Chicago, but also to a considerable extent through the markets of Duluth, Detroit, and Toledo.

"The competition of commercial forces exerts an important influence in determining the relative magnitude of the various trade currents of the country. The constituent elements of the trade forces of cities are, first, a large community of intelligent and enterprising merchants having an extensive knowledge of commercial affairs; and, second, the requisite capital in the hands of these men available in the pursuits of trade. These forces at Chicago, at Milwaukee, at St. Louis, and at other commercial cities of the interior arrest the surplus products of the West in their eastward or southward movement, such products usually reaching those cities by rail. At these points the option is first presented of transportation by water or by rail. A thousand trains a day may pass through towns situated on the lakes or on the rivers where these agencies and facilities for carrying on a large commerce do not exist, and yet the water lines will exercise no perceptible influence over the rates charged on the railroads. This is strikingly illustrated in the case of the railroads which cross the Mississippi River over bridges at thirteen different points between St. Paul and St. Louis. The river rates exert no marked influence over the rail rates from the fact that at very few of those points is there the controlling influence of a market for Western products with its constituent elements, viz., a body of men educated in the mercantile profession and controlling the requisite amount of capital actually employed in trade or invested in warehouses and other instrumentalities for the successful prosecution of trade. The railroads are not at those points, in a commercial sense, tributary to the river, but, on the other hand, to the extent to which the river towns are local markets for the purchase of surplus products of the trans-Mississippi States, the river becomes tributary to the railroads.

"It is only at Chicago, Milwaukee, and a few other lake ports, and at St. Louis that direct competition between rail and water transportation presents itself to any considerable extent, in so far as relates to the regulating influence exerted by the two great water lines over the rates which may be charged on railroads. The extent to which the regulating influence of the two great interior water lines is rendered operative through the principal primary grain markets of the country is illustrated by the fact that of the total eastern and southern movement of grain, amounting during the year 1880 to 400,000,000 bushels, about 320,000,000 bushels, or 80 per cent., was marketed at the seven primary markets of the West, viz., Milwaukee, Chicago, Duluth, St. Louis, Peoria, Toledo, and Detroit; and that only about 80,000,000 bushels were shipped direct from the Western and Northwestern States to the Atlantic seaboard.

"Of the total grain receipts at St. Louis during the year 1880, amounting to 47,697,066 bushels, 40,121,783 bushels, or 84 per cent., was received by railroads, and only 7,575,283 bushels, or 16 per cent., by river; and of the total grain receipts at Chicago during the year 1880, amounting to 165,855,370 bushels, it appears that 159,129,984 bushels, or 96 per cent., was received by railroads, and that 6,725,386 bushels, or only 4 per cent., was received by lake and the Illinois Canal.

"About 90 per cent, of the grain, 85 per cent, of the provisions, and 8 per cent, of the cattle which reached Chicago during the year 1880 were actually marketed at that point; and of the shipment of those commodities from Chicago, 61 per cent, of the flour and grain and only 10 per cent, of the provisions were shipped by lake. No live-stock was shipped by lake.

"About 95 per cent. of the grain, 97˝ per cent. of the provisions, and all of the live-stock which reached St. Louis during the year 1880 were actually marketed at that point; and of the shipments of those commodities from that city, 49 per cent. of the flour and grain, 38 per cent. of the provisions, and 1.28 per cent, of the cattle were shipped by river.

"The foregoing facts indicate that almost the entire work of gathering up the surplus products of the Western and Northwestern States is done by railroads, and that the option of transportation by water or by rail is almost entirely confined to shipments from Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis.

"The following table serves to illustrate the comparative magnitude of the grain traffic of St. Louis which is diverted to the Mississippi River from the railroads extending east from that city:
Total grain crop of the United States during the year 1879 2,704,484,762
Total grain product of the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas, and the Territory of Dakota during the year 1879 1,493,246,213

Shipments of grain and flour during the year 1880 at

Duluth 6,511,100
Milwaukee 29,691,524
Chicago 154,377,115
Peoria 20,544,508
Detroit 10,366,491
Toledo 53,372,739
St. Louis 46,675,581
Total 321,539,058


St. Louis shipments of grain and flour: Bushels.
Eastward: 18,599,889
By river 20,901,515
By rail 5,800,535
In other directions 373,642
Total St. Louis shipments 46,675,581
Grain and flour exported from New Orleans 15,755,041
  Tons. Total.
By river 55,260 157,803
By rail 102,543  
By river 145,295 1,325,004
By rail 1,179,789  
By river 16,415 818,182
By rail 801,767  
By rail 820,555 1,492,216
By rail 671,661  
Total shipments   3,793,205
Total shipments by rail 2,755,680  
Total shipments by river 1,037,525  
Total shipments toward the South 1,492,216  
Shipment by river toward the South 820,555  
Tonnage of New Orleans exports, the product of the Western and Northwestern States, about 317,000  

Mr. Nimmo adds that, —

"From the time of the first settlement of St. Louis until about the year 1855, that city was entirely dependent upon the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries for the means of transportation. During that period it had no competitor for the trade of the States and Territories west of the Mississippi River. A large part of the States of Illinois and Wisconsin was also embraced within the area of the commercial supremacy of St. Louis. But during the last twenty-five years a great change has taken place in the conditions governing the commercial situation and relations of that city, as the result of the extension westward of the railroad system of the country. By means of this extension of railroads all the Western and Northwestern States and Territories have been brought into intimate commercial relationships with the lake ports, with the Atlantic seaports, and with hundreds of interior manufacturing and trading points throughout the States both east and west of the Allegheny Mountains. This development of traffic over the east and west trunk railroads is unparalleled in the history of commerce.

"For several years the traffic passing over each one of the thirteen railroad bridges across the Mississippi River between St. Paul and St. Louis has greatly exceeded in magnitude and in value the traffic upon the river beneath them. Through these facilities of transportation tributary to Chicago and other lake ports, and also to Atlantic seaports, St. Louis was for several years practically cut off, even from the trade of important surplus grain and provision producing areas nearer to her markets than to those of the lake ports. It was clearly foreseen, therefore, that the growth of St. Louis, as a market for the purchase of grain and other products of the Western and Northwestern States, was dependent upon the securing of direct and independent railroad connections with all parts of those States; for since railroads had become the chief instrument of transportation in the gathering up of these products, it was evident that only a very small proportion of such products could find their way to the St. Louis markets by river. Such facilities for transportation by rail have within the last ten years been secured, a fact clearly developed by the statistics showing the rapid growth of the commerce of that city.

"The merchants of St. Louis, and her citizens generally, never lost faith in the possibility of developing a large commerce by river via New Orleans, especially in the exportation to foreign countries of the surplus products of the Western and Northwestern States. It has always been believed that the river route not only afforded a cheaper avenue of transportation for such traffic than the east and west trunk railroad lines, but that the increase of traffic upon the river would so much reduce the cost of transportation as greatly to increase the regulating influence exerted by the river rates over rail rates. Results already attained seem to prove the correctness of this view."

In regard to the transportation facts upon which some of these great expectations have been founded, we have the following:

"St. Louis, Feb. 2, 1881.

"DEAR SIR, — As requested in your note of 24th instant, I make reply to the two inquiries propounded by Mr. Nimmo, of the Bureau of Statistics (in letter of January 20th), as follows:
"1st. I certainly do not believe that a tariff of 12˝ to 15 cents per 100 pounds between Mississippi River points and the ports of the Atlantic seaboard could be maintained by any of the railway lines without losing money.

"2d. I say without hesitation, that with a rate of five cents per bushel on grain from St. Louis to New Orleans via river, there being at the same time an average difference of four cents in ocean freights against New Orleans as compared with the North Atlantic ports, there would be a most decided diversion of grain in the direction of New Orleans.

"Let me add, however, that in the uncertain condition of the river (as regards depth of water) during the period of navigation, the lowness of the rate of five cents per bushel cannot always be depended on, but with the depth of water which the contemplated improvements between Cairo and St. Louis will undoubtedly give, the time is not far distant when the rate named, five cents per bushel, may be continuously counted on.

"Very truly yours, H. LOUREY, President.

"GEORGE H. MORGAN, ESQ., "Secretary Merchants' Exchange."

"St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 26, 1881.

"DEAR SIR, — Referring to letter to you from chief of Bureau of Statistics, dated Washington, D. C., Jan. 20, 1881, which letter you refer to me, I give it as my opinion that a tariff of 15 cents per 100 pounds on grain from St. Louis to the Atlantic seaboard could not be maintained by railway without loss to the companies carrying at such rate.

"The cost per ton per mile for movement of freight over the Pennsylvania Railroad and its connecting lines in the year 1879 was as follows, viz.: Over the Pennsylvania Railroad proper, 4.27 mills per ton per mile; over the New Jersey Division, 1.012 cents per ton per mile; over its lines west of Pittsburgh, 4.48 mills per ton per mile. Taking the average distances on the different divisions gives 4.89 mills per ton per mile, or $5.20 per ton, or 26 cents per 100 pounds from East St. Louis to New York, reckoning by the shortest route, say 1063 miles.

"These figures, I am sure, are lower than the cost per mile of any other line between St. Louis and the seaboard, saying nothing about the longer distance to New York or Philadelphia by every other line. It is evident, therefore, that if it costs 26 cents per 100 pounds to transport property any given distance, a tariff of 15 cents for the same distance would be a losing one, as Bardwell Slote would say, ‘by a large majority;’ or if it costs 4.89 mills to transport one ton one mile, a tariff of 2.8 mills will be a losing one.


"As to the other question, viz., whether a tariff by river of five cents per bushel, St. Louis to New Orleans, and an average difference of four cents in ocean rates against New Orleans, any tariff above 15 cents per 100 pounds from St. Louis to the Atlantic cities will turn grain in the direction of New Orleans, I do not feel competent to answer. I should say, all other things being equal, it would. If the same time can be made or nearly so, the same regularity in delivery be guaranteed, the condition of grain on delivery be as absolutely depended upon, and the facilities for handling, transferring, etc., be equally good by river as by rail, I do not see why, at a greatly reduced tariff, the river should not command the business.

"Yours truly,

These facts were first fully brought to the front in 1872 by the investigations of the Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard, of which Senator (afterwards Secretary) Windom was chairman. It was shown to this committee that, with a properly regulated and normal commerce, it was simply impossible for railroads, or a combination of lakes, canals, and railroads, to compete in cheap transportation with the Mississippi River and the ocean navigation from its mouth. It was shown that the actual cost of moving a bushel of wheat from St. Louis to New Orleans, twelve hundred and fifty miles, was only five and a quarter mills, .00525 of one cent.

It was also shown that in the final analysis freights by rail could never compete with water-borne freights. The following tables illustrate this conclusively. Rates vary and have changed materially, but ratios remain the same, or very nearly the same:

STATEMENT showing the value of a ton of wheat and one of corn at a given distance from market, as affected by cost of transportation respectively by canal, by railroad, and over the ordinary highway.
  Canal Carriage Railway Carriage Common Road Carriage
  Wheat. Corn. Wheat. Corn. Wheat. Corn.
Value at market $49.50 $24.75 $49.50 $24.75 $49.50 $24.75
Value at 10 miles from market 49.45 24.70 49.35 24.60 48.00 23.25
Value at 20 miles from market 49.40 24.65 49.20 24.45 46.50 21.75
Value at 30 miles from market 49.35 24.60 49.05 24.30 45.00 20.25
Value at 40 miles from market 49.30 24.55 48.90 24.15 43.50 18.75
Value at 50 miles from market. 49.25 24.50 48.75 24.00 42.00 17.25
Value at 60 miles from market 49.20 24.45 48.60 23.85 40.50 15.75
Value at 70 miles from market 49.15 24.40 48.45 23.70 39.00 14.75
Value at 80 miles from market 49.10 24.35 48:30 23.55 37.50 14.25
Value at 90 miles from market 48.05 24.30 48.15 23.30 36.00 11.25
Value at 100 miles from market 48.00 24.25 48.00 23.25 34.50 9.75
Value at 110 miles from market 47.95 24.20 47.85 23.10 33.00 8.25
Value at 120 miles from market 47.90 24.15 47.70 22.95 31.50 6.75
Value at 130 miles from market 47.85 24.10 47.55 22.80 30.00 5.25
Value at 140 miles from market 47.80 24.05 4740 22.65 28.50 3.75
Value at 150 miles from market 47.75 24.00 47.25 22.50 27.00 2.25
Value at 160 miles from market 47.70 23.95 47.10 22.35 25.50 .75
Value at 170 miles from market 47.65 23.90 46.05 22.20 24.00  
Value at 320 miles from market 46.90 23.20 44.70 19.95 1.50  
Value at 330 miles from market 46.85 23.15 44.55 19.80    
Value at 340 miles from market 46.80 23.10 44.40 19.65    
Value at 350 miles from market 46.75 23.05 44.25 19.50    
Value at 1000 miles from market 44.50 19.75 34.50 9.75    
Value at 1650 miles from market 41.25 16.50 24.75      
Value at 1980 miles from market 39.60 14.85 19.80      
Value at 3300 miles from market 33.00 8.25        
Value at 4950 miles from market 24.75          
Value at 5940 miles from market 19.80          
Value at 9900 miles from market            
CLASSIFICATION. Per Ton per Mile, Cost. Per Ton per Mile, Receipts.
  Mills. Mills.
Transportation by railroads 17.90 29.80
Transportation by canals, including deduction, lockage, etc. 6.40 11.40
Transportation by Erie Canal, including deduction, lockage, etc. 4.05  
Transportation by rivers, steam-towage 2.26 2.90
Transportation by bays 2.27 3.73
Transportation by ocean 1.26 2.50

If the cost of transportation be thus proportioned, 17.90 by rail to 2.26 by river and 1.26 by ocean, she is confident that she controls the lowest rates by the surest routes. With a perfected barge system, the forwarding of the Mississippi River improvements, and the construction of the Florida ship canal, the great trade centre on the Father of Waters will return to its old-time supremacy in transportation and deliver grain and other produce in Liverpool five cents per bushel, forty cents per quarter, cheaper than it can be done from any other centre of distribution.

The consequence will be all grain and provisions will go to St. Louis for shipment. But another effect will be that the United States will succeed in driving all other competitors out of the grain and provision markets, and our sales on foreign account will be enhanced to that extent. Already, as the following table shows, we supply Great Britain with 65.4 per cent. of her total purchases of wheat and flour, against only 3.4 per cent, in 1866. With this new channel of trade adequately developed, we will supply the remaining 34.6 per cent., and all that will be an increment of the trade of St. Louis:

STATEMENT showing the quantity of wheat and wheat flour imported into the United Kingdom from 1860 to 1880, inclusive, with the quantity of the same imported from the United States. [Compiled from the Reports of the British Board of Trade.]
YEARS. Wheat and Wheat Flour Imported. Per Cent. from the United States. Average Value of the total Wheat Imported. Average Value of Wheat Imported from the United States.
  Total. From the United States.      
  Bushels. Bushels.   Per Bush. Per Bush.
1860 59,438,262 17,388,233 29.3 $1.71 $1.721
1861 70,273,849 29,139,548 41.5 1.66 1.661
1862 93,412,469 40,628,162 43.5 1.49 1.512
1863 57,657,398 22,155,801 38.4 1.31 1.316
1864 53,829,445 18,811,205 34.9 1.22 1.221
1865 48,241,297 2,797,347 5.8 1.25 1.265
1866 54,827,134 1,840,961 3.4 1.48 1.546
1867 73,055,323 9,504,568 13.0 1.90 2.039
1868 68,144,617 12,606,326 18.6 1.79 1.929
1869 82,969,174 28,597,813 34.5 1.37 1.379
1870 68,891,415 28,106,841 40.8 1.39 1.388
1871 82,809,490 29,167,285 35.2 1.58 1.587
1872 88,877,406 17,984,118 20.2 1.66 1.704
1873 96,378,234 40,646,872 42.2 1.74 1.714
1874 92,069.027 50,784,030 55.2 1.63 1.641
1875 111,153,093 49,228,015 44.3 1.42 1.405
1876 96,888,275 41,483,685 42.8 1.40 1.409
1877 118,517,334 44,042,143 37.2 1.67 1.672
1878 111,424,288 62,697,899 56.3 1.50 1.505
1879 136,270,605 83,289,955 61.1 1.43  
1880 127,746,325 83,487,243 65.4 1.50  


We are free to admit that there are serious drawbacks to the immediate realization of all these pleasant prospects, but none of them seem to belong to the class of any but the preventable diseases. Prudence, forethought, wise management in respect of legislation, economy of resources, careful selection of representatives, and liberal expenditure when great ends are to be accomplished will bring to pass every desirable result for a city possessing already such incomparable resources. But it will be wisest to consider these drawbacks and obstructions first, as the presentation of them may suggest the remedies which should be applied. The construction of the Eads jetties has already taken away one of these hindrances to commerce. The cutting of the Florida ship canal and the construction of the Tehuantepec ship canal or railway will remove others. The benefits derived from the jetties are very conspicuous. It was difficult to get sixteen feet of water on the bar in any of the passes in the mouth of the Mississippi. Now there is twenty-six feet regularly maintained. The charge for towage has in consequence been reduced from a dollar and a half per ton to one-third that figure, and there is a material reduction on account of insurance.

But there are other hindrances and obstructions not yet removed. The ice is often troublesome, not below Cairo, but between that city and St. Louis. The interruption to navigation from this cause, which at Chicago gives the railroads a monopoly of traffic for a hundred and forty days in each year, occurs nearly every winter. During the last seventeen years navigation has been suspended at St. Louis on account of ice as follows:

  Days Suspended.
Winter of 1865-66, navigation suspended 27
Winter of 1866-67, navigation suspended 38
Winter of 1867-68, navigation suspended 40
Winter of 1869-70, navigation suspended 7
Winter of 1870-71, navigation suspended 32
Winter of 1871-72, navigation suspended 42
Winter of 1872-73, navigation suspended 51
Winter of 1874-75, navigation suspended 58
Winter of 1876-77, navigation suspended 58
Winter of 1878-79, navigation suspended 46
Winter of 1879-80, navigation suspended 15
Winter of 1880-81, navigation suspended 78
Winter of 1881-82, navigation suspended 16

During the winters of 1868-69, 1873-74, 1875-76, and 1877-78, the river was open, and navigation was not suspended.

The navigation of the Mississippi River is at times affected also by low water, especially in that part of the river between St. Louis and Cairo. The enjoyment to the full extent of the advantages afforded by the Mississippi River requires the employment of steamboats and barges of large size and drawing when loaded about eight feet of water. At times, however, the river falls so as to admit only of the employment of boats and barges loaded to draw not more than four feet. This greatly increases the cost of transportation. The actual cost of transportation in vessels drawing only four feet is said to be nearly twice as great as when loaded to eight feet.

This subject was carefully considered by a select Committee of the Senate on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard in their report submitted April 24, 1874.

It was found that during the nine years from 1865 to 1873 the condition of river navigation below the city of St. Louis was as follows:

Average number of days less than 4 feet 3 4/9
Average number of days over 4 and less than 6 feet 52 2/9
Average number of days over 6 and less than 8 feet 103 5/9
Average number of days over 8 and less than 10 feet 69 1/9
Average number of days over 10 feet 136 6/9

It appears from the foregoing table that during nearly one-half of the year the commerce of St. Louis was more or less affected by low water.

The average stage of the river below St. Louis during the years from 1874 to 1880, inclusive, was as follows:

YEAR. Less than 4 feet. Over 4 feet and less than 6 feet. Over 6 feet and less than 8 feet. Over 8 feet and less than 10 feet. Over 10 feet.
  Days. Days. Days. Days. Days.
1874   146 30 175 14
1875 No record.        
1876 No record.        
1877   64 80 59 126
1878   51 92 87 119
1879 4 81 79 55 105
1880 20 66 73 46 156

The interruption to the navigation of the Mississippi River at St. Louis on account of ice and low water is of course detrimental to commerce. The average annual duration of the efficient commercial usefulness of the Mississippi River is, however, considerably greater than is that of the northern water line. The average time during which navigation is suspended by ice each year on the Erie Canal and on the Canadian canal is about five months. The average time each year during which navigation has been entirely suspended on the Mississippi River at St. Louis in consequence of ice during the last ten seasons was only thirty-five days, and the average time each year during which steamboats and barges could


not be loaded to eight feet, in consequence of ice and low water, during the seven years from 1874 to 1880, inclusive, was only about one hundred and twenty-six days, or about three and one-fifth mouths.

The suspension of navigation at St. Louis does not, however, at any time cause an entire suspension of the river traffic, as during such periods shipments are made by rail from St. Louis to Cairo, Ill., and to Belmont, Mo., at which points merchandise is transshipped to steamers and to barges. Navigation is seldom, if ever, obstructed below Cairo or Belmont, either on account of ice or low water.

The supposed injury to grain from the heat and humidity of the tropical belt between New Orleans and the Florida capes has been proved to be a fallacy, and prices are not affected by it. But the existence of yellow fever more or less nearly every season in the lower Mississippi is an admitted hindrance.

Improvements in sanitary measures and precautions are necessary to remove these obstructions. They are necessary equally to the commercial existence of the towns and cities which are exposed to these assaults of pestilence, and within two years very great improvements have been effected, especially in sewerage and drainage, at New Orleans and Memphis. Much still remains to be done, of course, but a good beginning has been made, and the work will go on.

The improvement of the Mississippi River has also been undertaken upon an expensive and comprehensive system, which, when it is completed, is expected to make this noble river safely and easily navigable at nearly all seasons. If that should be accomplished, it is hoped that a reciprocity treaty with Mexico, and an equitable trade treaty with Spain, in respect of our commodities in the ports of Cuba and Porto Rico, will give St. Louis, through her combinations of railroads and water routes, a most extensive and valuable trade in tropical products. Hon. W. M. Burwell, of New Orleans, in a communication made to the Windom Congressional Committee on Transportation Routes in 1873, said, —

"The subject upon which I am specially requested to report is in regard to the state of commerce between the valley of the Mississippi and the Spanish-American States. There are many of us who believe that the trade lines of latitude cross above us, and that a very large proportion of the western productions will move directly to Atlantic ports for exportation, as they will and have received the foreign importations through the same ports. I would say that in the estimation of many in this city, merchants and others, the most important object of improving the Mississippi River will be to establish a direct line of communication between the immense productive interior of the West and the consuming markets of and beyond the tropics. There is a physical impediment in the way which we ask Congress to remove; but there are diplomatic impediments also, which are even greater, as far as that line of trade is concerned, than the physical impediments to which I referred. The diplomatic impediments consist in the want of reciprocal trade-treaties between the United States and the Spanish-American States that are adjacent to or lie south of us. Gentlemen know and especially members of the Senate of the United States, better than we do, the precise state of the treaties between the United States and the Spanish-American powers, and they will remember that, with the exception of a few special conventions, there have been scarcely any changes made in the treaty relations of those two great interests since almost the origin of the government. Almost all our trade-treaties, as I understand, are based on the phrase of ‘the most favored nations;’ and while such are the terms of our commercial treaties with Spain, and while it is true that we can carry American provisions or American manufactures into Spanish possessions on the same terms with any other power, yet when the fact is that we are the only people producing corn and grain and hog products, that we do send to the Spanish-American possessions, it is perfectly plain that that which is a tax on the trade of the most favored nations is practically an oppressive tax upon the trade of the United States. The Spanish tax in Cuba is 40 cents on the bushel of corn, which is altogether equivalent to the entire cost of transportation from Iowa to New York. The tax there is $55 on an American horse, $19 on a mule, $8 on a barrel of flour, and 3˝ cents on lard; and it is plain that a tax of 80 per cent., which is the average upon the products almost exclusively marketed by Americans, is an excessive tax when contrasted with the American tax upon the products of Cuba. We, as I understand, only tax two of the principal products of Cuba. We admit her coffee duty free, and we impose a tax of something upwards of two cents on sugar, and a tax of some 75 per cent. on tobacco manufactured and not manufactured."

Ex-President Grant has some very "advanced" and decided views upon this subject, and it is believed that, with a reciprocity treaty with Mexico and the navigation of the Mississippi properly improved, St. Louis could control the entire grocery trade of the Mississippi valley, and refine all the sugar consumed by thirty million people. The vessels taking corn, cotton, and grain and provisions to Europe could return via Trinidad and the Caribbean Sea, picking up cargoes of raw sugar on their way around the Gulf, and thus freight would be saved on both outward and inward cargoes. These countries, together with South America, have a commerce the total annual value of which exceeds eight hundred million dollars.

But it is imperative to improve the channel of the river before this commerce can be invited in. The general plan of the improvements which are now in process was succinctly sketched in a letter from Col. J. H. Simpson, United States engineer, to Hon. E. O. Stanard, of the Union Merchants' Exchange, St. Louis, on Oct. 29, 1873.

But a much more comprehensive plan is under consideration, involving the expenditure, probably, of more than a hundred millions before the improvements


are completed for the whole river upon a scale commensurate with the commerce involved.

"No adequate estimate can be formed of the value of the commerce on the Mississippi River, nor of the value of the total commerce of the towns situated upon it. An idea of the magnitude of this commerce may, however, be formed when it is considered that the value of the commerce of the cities and towns on the Ohio River amounted to the enormous sum of one billion six hundred and twenty-three million dollars in 1873. The national government has provided no means of arriving at a knowledge of such important facts as this in regard to the internal commerce of the country. The collection of the necessary data from private sources, and from data prepared by boards of trade, State and city governments, would alone require the constant labor of one person for a year.

"Not only has the commerce of the Mississippi River been crippled by the existence of the bar at its mouth, but the value of the river above is greatly depreciated by obstructions which may be overcome very readily by engineering skill, and at an expense quite insignificant in comparison either with the present value of its commerce, or with the increase of trade which may be expected as the natural result of such improvements. Hitherto the improvement of the Mississippi has been carried on merely by sporadic efforts. Appropriations have from time to time been made and money expended, without any general plan as to the ultimate results which were to be attained. The committee recommend that the necessary surveys and estimates be made at the earliest practicable moment, in order to mature a plan for the radical improvement of the river, and of all its navigable tributaries.

"Such a plan should comprehend the establishment of a given depth of water on the Mississippi River in some such manner as the following:

"1st. Improvements designed to secure a depth of from eight to ten feet from St. Louis to New Orleans at the lowest stages of the river.

"2d. Improvements designed to secure a depth of five feet at the lowest stages between St. Louis and St. Paul.

"3d. Improvements designed to secure a depth of four and one-half feet in the river above St. Anthony's Falls.

"Having adopted a plan of this kind for the radical improvement of the river, all works should be carried out with this general object in view.

"It is much more practicable to establish such a plan now than it was a few years ago, for the reasons that the successes and failures of past efforts have enabled engineers to discover the nature of the difficulties which will be met, and to adopt the best methods of improvement. Diverse opinions still exist among some of our ablest engineers as to the best means to be adopted in specific cases, but it is believed that sufficient practical knowledge has already been gained to determine a general plan of future operations, both in regard to the Mississippi River and its principal navigable tributaries. The time has arrived for thorough measures, and the necessary plans and estimates upon which such measures must be based should be prepared at once.

"It is impossible to overestimate the commercial results likely to follow such improvements. With the well-established facts before us in regard to the much greater cheapness of transport by navigable rivers than by railways, it cannot be doubted that such improvements would increase the commerce of the Mississippi very greatly, and at the same time afford relief to a large area in the Western States now fettered in its growth and prosperity by the cost of transporting agricultural products to both home and foreign markets."

Such is the noble perspective of the aspirations of St. Louis for the commerce of the future: the centre of a valley of magnificent, continental proportions, gathering up the products of hundreds of millions of intelligent people, cultivating the soil of the most fertile of regions, supplying the world with their products, and supplying the producers in return with all the merchandise which enters into their consumption. These hundreds of millions of people will be brain-workers and machine-workers, and the volume of their products will be stimulated and augmented in proportion to the grand culmination of their intelligence, until human force will find itself the conductor of a grand and perfected mechanism of subsidiary forces such as the world never before saw at play.

Confidence of the Citizens of St. Louis in the Natural Advantages and Future Destiny of their City. — We may now proceed to consider how and how greatly the several constituents of a great and permanent volume of trade, production, conversion, and exchange have each in their turn, by the force of natural and acquired advantages, contributed to make St. Louis a trade centre. It is first to be noted, however, that from the very beginning the people of St. Louis have been conscious of its transcendent natural advantages and confident of its destinies as the trade centre of the America of the future. This has been the case from the time of Henry M. Brackenridge's first remarkable horoscope of the infant town's destiny down to the day of the abortive "convention" to make St. Louis the capital of the United States.


We could produce, if it were necessary and we had the space, a long chain of testimony from the earliest period down to the present day to show how confident the thinking people of St. Louis have always been in the city's future and its destinies. This has made them calm even to the appearance of apathy, equally in times of high tide and times of low, when prosperity was at its flush and when evil fortune and disaster were being drained down to the very dregs. They have never been in a fever nor in a collapse, because they have always felt secure. A few examples,


taken hap-hazard, will suffice to illustrate this equanimity and this unvarying confidence in their own resources.

From the Missouri Gazette, June 20, 1811:

"We are happy to find that a spirit of enterprise and industry is every day manifesting itself among the people of this Territory. They begin to be convinced that the peltry and fur trade is diminishing in value, and that it is necessary to give up in part the old staple, and turn their attention to the more important one of lead. During the last two weeks several boats have left this place in order to enlarge the mineral establishments made many years ago by Julien Dubuque at a place called the ‘Spanish Mines,’ on the Mississippi.

"The present adventurers have become the purchasers of a part of these mines under an order of the General Court of this Territory, and have taken with them near one hundred hands, provided with all the implements necessary for mining and carrying on the lead business."

The same, March 1, 1809:

"The culture of hemp has occupied the attention of our farmers, and a rope-walk will shortly be erected in this town. Thus we have commenced the manufacturing of such articles as will attract thousands of dollars to our Territory; thus we will progress in freeing John Bull or Jack Ass of the trouble of manufacturing for us."

The same, July 17, 1813:

"In despite of the savages, Indians and British, this country is progressing in improvements. A red and white lead manufactory has been established in this place by a citizen of Philadelphia by the name of Hartshog. This enterprising citizen has caused extensive works to be erected, to which he has added a handsome brick house in our principal street for retailing merchandise. We understand that his agents here have already sent several thousand dollars' worth of manufactured lead to the Atlantic States."

In 1816 a bank was found to be necessary. The citizens at once subscribed the stock and started one. It fell soon into financial straits. The citizens renewed its capital, doubled it, and started another bank with three times as much capital. The confidence with which J. B. C. Lucas and Auguste Chouteau kept themselves poor, almost penniless, by investing all their money in lands and never selling was matched by the composure of Manuel Lisa in risking all the profits of his fur-trade adventure in a waterfront merchant's mill, an experiment as yet untried. We have elsewhere quoted from Paxton's first St. Louis directory, 1821. In concluding his summary of beings and havings Paxton said, "St. Louis has grown very rapidly. There is not, however, so much improvement going on at this time, owing to the check caused by the general and universal pressure that pervades the country. This state of things can only be temporary here, for it possesses such permanent advantages from its local and geographical situation that it must ere some distant day become a place of great importance, being more central with regard to the whole territory of the United States than any other considerable town, and uniting the advantage of the three great rivers, Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois, of the trade of which it is the emporium." In 1831 the press said the same thing. The city was growing rapidly. Fine, substantial houses were being built. The arts and useful manufactures were multiplying and improving; "mills, breweries, mechanical establishments, all seem to be advancing successfully for the good of the country, and, we hope, for the great profit of our enterprising and industrious fellow-citizens. The trade and navigation of this port are becoming immense. Steamboats are daily arriving and departing from east, west, north, and south, and as this place has decided advantages over all the ports on the Ohio River for laying up and repairing, we have no doubt that in a few years the building and repairing of steam-engines and boats will become one of the most important branches of St. Louis business. We have all the materials, wood and metal, in abundance and of the best quality. Already we have a foundry, which, it is hoped, will soon rival the best in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and many skilled and enterprising mechanics. A bright prospect is before us, and we look confidently to the day, and that a not distant one, when no town on the western waters will rank above St. Louis for industry, wealth, and enterprise." In 1835 again: "The prosperity of our city is laid broad and deep. Much as we repudiate the lavish praises which teem from the press, and little as we have heretofore said, we cannot suffer the occasion to pass without a few remarks on the changes which are going on around us. A tract of land was purchased by a gentleman now living, as we have understood, for two barrels of whiskey, which is now worth half a million of dollars. No one who consults the map can fail to perceive the foresight which induced the selection of the site on which the city is founded. She already commands the trade of a larger section of territory, with a few exceptions, than any other city in the Union. With a steamboat navigation more than equal to the whole Atlantic seaboard, with internal improvements projected and in progress, with thousands of immigrants spreading their habitations over the fertile plains which everywhere meet the eye, who can deny that we are fast verging to the time when it will be admitted that this city is the ‘Lion of the West’"

In 1839, Rev. Dr. Humphrey wrote some "Letters by the Way," in one of which we find St. Louis described and its future once more prognosticated. Says the learned divine, —


"St. Louis is larger than I had supposed, and appears to be advancing more rapidly than any other town that I have seen in the West. The city proper now contains about fifteen thousand inhabitants, and there are nearly as many more without the limits in the immediate neighborhood. Many hundreds of houses were built last year, notwithstanding the pressure of the times, and many more are going up this year. Rents are enormously high, higher than in any eastern city, not excepting New York itself, and I believe higher than anywhere else on the continent of America. For a handsome two-story brick house, with one parlor in front, you would have to pay seven or eight hundred dollars per annum. St. Louis must, from its position, become a very large commercial city, and there is no prospect that any other town on the Mississippi above New Orleans will be able to compete with it. Already the landing, covered with iron and lead and all kinds of heavy goods, reminds you of one of the front streets of New York or Philadelphia. But why don't they build wharves here?

"In the lower and much the oldest part of the town, where the French chiefly reside, the streets are narrow and filthy. The buildings are for the most part small, and constructed with the least possible regard either to elegance or comfort. Hogs and dogs seemed, the morning I passed through it, to have undisputed possession of the ground, and the latter had many a comfortable wallowing-place in front of the houses.

"St. Louis," says the reverend doctor, "like most of our young and rising towns, especially where there are oceans of territory, is without any public parks or promenades. A vacant square, however, was pointed out to me, in the heart of the city, which may be had at a fair price, though it will now cost much more that it was offered for two years ago. Surely nothing should prevent the corporation from purchasing it. Let it be handsomely laid out in graveled walks, and planted with shade-trees and shrubbery, and it would be worth more to St. Louis than if it were all covered over with gold. But even this would be inadequate to the rapid extension and growing wants of the place. It is a bad maxim, ‘Let posterity take care of themselves.’ Now is the time to secure fifty or a hundred acres for a grand park, as a place of common resort for relaxation, health, and pleasure. This might now be done within two miles of the heart of the city for a small sum. In riding out with a friend I saw three or four fine locations, covered with a thrifty growth of young trees, offering the city the strongest inducements to be beforehand with private purchasers. It would not be necessary to lay out a dollar in preparing and ornamenting the grounds for the present. But I repeat it, at the hazard of being set down as an enthusiast in matters of this sort, the purchase ought forthwith be made, and whatever the present generation of utilitarians may think, I pledge the little credit I have for forecast that a hundred years hence St. Louis will be prouder of her great park than of any thing else she will have to boast of."

What would the learned gentleman say to-day if he could visit St. Louis, and learn that the city has well-nigh on to an acre of park for each head of a family? Dr. Humphrey adds, —

"As a proof of the rapid increase of business and population in St. Louis, I may mention that one of the largest hotels I have ever seen is now going up. It appears to me to be quite as large as the Astor House in New York, and although it will cost a very large sum, I believe everybody regards it as a good investment. Certainly such a ‘strangers' home’ in this great thoroughfare of western travel will be highly appreciated by thousands. But where is St. Louis, in the west or the east or somewhere near the centre of the United States? I confess I do not know. But my impression is that, making an allowance of one or two thousand miles, which cannot be of much consequence one way or the other, St. Louis will be found somewhere in the great West.

"Let St. Louis go on and lay all her foundations broad and deep. She has most unquestionably a high destiny before her, and who can tell how much the present generation may do in making it?"

In 1846 the St. Louis Prices Current thus estimated the general progress of the community:

"St. Louis seems to continue to be a favorite point for the location of the merchant, the tradesman, and others who, having left the home of their fathers, resolve to settle at some point in the ‘Great West,’ if we may judge from the great influx of inhabitants which pour into it and fix their residence here from year to year. The official statistics, in part reported to the City Council during the past year, warrant us in saying that the number of houses, factories, etc., which have been erected during the past year within the corporate limits is not less than seventeen hundred, and that its population has augmented full four thousand. We estimate its present population to exceed forty thousand, and augmenting with a rapidity unexampled in the annals of any city either east or west; and its trade and commerce keep pace with its influx of population, as will be shown by some few statistics annexed.

"The assumed value of real estate the past year is more than thirteen million dollars, being an increase over the value in 1830 of more than twelve millions; and the current city revenue of 1845 is estimated, per official data, at two hundred and twenty-seven thousand dollars, twenty thousand of which are received from our steamboat tonnage, and seventeen thousand from water revenues. These are some data on which the reflecting mind may estimate our progress and prosperity.

"During the past year the mercantile and trading interests have had no cause to complain. The merchant has found ready sale for his goods, the tradesman and mechanic have been fully employed, and the laboring classes who were not indisposed to work have had the opportunity to lay up ample stores to serve them during the inclement season now upon us. Our city has enjoyed during the past year its usual health, and while we acknowledge our dependence upon the Author of all our blessings, we should not be unmindful of the debt of gratitude we owe to Him from whom cometh every blessing."

In 1848 it was said that "the natural advantages of St. Louis, in a commercial and manufacturing point of view, are greater than those of any city in the West; and it is only necessary for the general government to pursue a liberal and equitable course towards her, and for her citizens to strengthen these advantages by their enterprise and public spirit, to make her (and that, too, in a very short time) the largest and most important inland city in the Union. Her immense resources are being daily developed and turned to advantage; her population and business are increasing beyond a precedent in the history of this country; her wealth and prosperity are exciting wonder and admiration, and commanding respect and attention from every portion of the United States, and wherever else her commerce and name has extended. Situated as she is, on the great Mississippi, in the centre of a fertile and healthy region of country, with the waters of four navigable streams sweeping her shores, and bearing the mineral and agricultural products of four large and populous States, which must necessarily pass through the hands of her merchants, in direct communication with all the important towns and cities in the West, enjoying also manufacturing facilities of the highest order, and holding in her natural grasp the commercial operations of several millions


of people, — these are resources of which but few cities in the Union, or perhaps in the world, can boast.

"Our city is rapidly improving in wealth and importance, even beyond the expectations of the most sanguine. Manufactories and machine-shops are daily springing up in our midst, and many articles hitherto imported for domestic purposes have now become important items of export. The value and quantity of manufactured articles annually imported from the Ohio are rapidly diminishing, and we look forward with a great degree of certainty to the time, and that at no very distant day, when St. Louis will not only prove the great commercial emporium of the Mississippi valley, but also the machine-shop of the entire West. Her facilities for the manufacture of many imported articles are even now greater than the cities from whence they come, and it is only necessary for our manufacturing resources to be properly developed to bring capitalists and mechanics hither, where their money and labor can be employed with certainty and profit.

"In 1840, with the exception of several flouring — and sawmills of inconsiderable note, we were entirely destitute of manufactories, and even at a later date our establishments in this respect were scarcely worthy of attention. Since, however, cotton, woolen, soap, candle, starch, and various other manufactories have sprung into existence, and are now driving a lucrative and extensive business, to say nothing of the foundries (about eighteen in number), flouring-mills, machine-shops, etc., with which the city abounds. Our population in 1830 was estimated at six thousand six hundred and ninety-four, in 1840 at sixteen thousand four hundred and sixty-nine, and by the late State census at fifty-six thousand, showing that it has more than trebled in eight years."

In 1849, the year of cholera and fire and financial depression, the voice of trade was as follows:

"We have repeatedly spoken of the great manufacturing and commercial facilities of St. Louis, and notwithstanding the misfortunes and afflictions of the past season, all that has been said of her wealth and constantly increasing commerce is being daily confirmed. Not a year passes but we are called upon to note new discoveries of mineral deposits, the increase or extension of manufactures, or marked changes in her extensive intercourse with different portions of the country; and by means of a wide-spread navigation, distant points, hitherto inaccessible, are being brought within the boundaries of her trade, and new commodities, either for consumption or export, are constantly arriving at her wharf. Her manufacturing interests, too, are not neglected, and there is a steady and uninterrupted increase of mills, foundries, machine-shops, and various minor mechanical works, for the consumption of coal, iron, lead, grain, etc., which bid fair to become permanent and profitable investments. As a commercial city, St. Louis ranks second in the West, — a distinction attained within the past ten years, — and if her progress is onward, as is generally conceded, ten years more will scarcely transpire before, in many of the most important branches of commerce and manufactures, she will be classed as the first. With a population of seventy thousand, she has continued to increase in strength and improve in size down to the present period, and in commencing the last half of the present century it may not be thought visionary to predict that before it expires she will be in direct communication with the lakes, the Eastern seaboard, and the Pacific, and thus become the central depot for the vast commerce of the two hemispheres."

In 1858, upon occasion of the establishment of the overland mail to California, we read the following in the current news notes of the day:

"Arrival of the Overland Mail. — What has hitherto been regarded as a visionary and speculative enterprise has been established beyond all doubt, and St. Louis and San Francisco have been brought within twenty-four days' travel of each other, on a stage line, and a route which will admit of easier and safer travel than did the trip from St. Louis to Philadelphia thirty years ago.

"When the Atlantic cable was laid it was hoped that daily communication had thus been established between Europe and America. In our opinion a greater enterprise has been accomplished in the establishment of an overland mail connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific, passing over our own soil, and affording a semi-weekly, soon to be converted into a daily, communication between the extremes of the republic. Nine years ago, when the discovery of gold in California led to the immense emigration to that State, it was regarded as an expeditious trip if made from the Mississippi to the Pacific in eighty to one hundred days. Thousands were occupied a much longer time, and hundreds perished by the wayside. The establishment of this mail route, and of the route from St. Joseph to Utah, and thence to Sacramento, has changed the whole current of things; and it is now demonstrated, on a first trial and under adverse circumstances, that it is practicable to carry the mail to San Francisco in twenty-four days, and this will be reduced, if necessary, below twenty days."

In 1854 the city's condition and prospects were described as follows:

"Here stands a city, enjoying far beyond any other city of the same magnitude or pretensions the advantages of that inland navigation, compared with which even our vast foreign commerce is sinking into insignificance. It has five thousand miles of that navigation belonging peculiarly to its own waters, with ten thousand miles of coast, yielding up the products of an immense and fertile region, for which it furnishes a thousand outlets. To these may be added the forty thousand miles more of navigable rivers which connect with St. Louis. Soon the vast means of communication furnished in this way to our city will be enlarged by the completion of twelve hundred miles of railroad already begun or projected within the borders of the State, and connected with a network of similar roads stretching to every point of the Union, in one direction to the Gulf of Mexico, in another to the head-waters of the Mississippi, and in a third to Labrador in the far east and to San Francisco in the far west. Through her gates will pour the commerce of the Pacific, of India, and of the isles of the ocean on the one hand, and the commerce of the Atlantic and of Europe on the other. Stripping from her all which may be considered as accidental or adventitious, — all of which jealous and more fortunate rivals may by possibility deprive her, — still she is left the commercial centre, the natural mart of seven hundred thousand square miles of territory, full of mineral and agricultural resources, and capable of sustaining in vigorous life a population of a hundred millions. . . .What shall forbid an accumulation here of inhabitants beyond anything of which we have authentic records, millions upon millions, until there shall have sprung up here a city containing hundreds of square miles, with an area even then affording but reasonable accommodations for the vast multitudes collected within it, — a city with quays and warehouses stretching interminably in lines which, still unbroken, fade out of sight in the dim distance? Of course, such visions relate to the future; but that future, midst the growth of such a nation as ours, cannot be long postponed. Meanwhile the present generation will witness a progress with which it may well be content. That progress, it is true, will depend much upon the


enterprise and energies of our citizens. We are fully aware of this truth, while we repeat the expressions of our confidence in that progress. For we fully rely on it that its citizens will be true to their city and themselves, alike the thousands who are now here and the hundreds of thousands still to come hither. That may be no idle dream which conceives for St. Louis the most exalted destiny, which, with a just, prophetic forecast, transforms the humble hamlet of Laclede into the future metropolis of the New World."

In 1857 one of the "manifest destiny" writers of St. Louis (the greater part of them are of that order) wrote as follows:

"This city is beginning to receive the attention from abroad which her rapid growth, her extraordinary natural advantages, and her approaching destiny demand.

"Her present commercial importance, which is unsurpassed by any city in the valley of the Mississippi, is derived from river navigation alone; and her commerce from this source is drawn from the most extensive and the richest agricultural and mineral region in the world, scarcely one-tenth of whose wealth and latent resources are yet developed.

"There is nothing problematical therefore in this statement, the geographical fact speaks for itself. The commerce of St. Louis will be increased ten times its magnitude in less than twenty-five years from the one source which has made her now all that she is, from river navigation alone.

"To this advantage of river navigation, which is unequaled by any city in the world, and which must ever continue to be her most important and cherished source of wealth, is now being superadded that of railroad facilities. The commercial importance given to St. Louis by her river navigation will eventually insure to her an equal supremacy as the emporium of railroad intercommunication. The great lines of railway from the Atlantic border are all pointing to this city as a common centre, and she is sending out and receiving branches from the rich agricultural and mineral regions of the ‘Great West.’

"St. Louis, from her unrivaled facilities for trade and manufactures, will occupy in the Mississippi valley as decided a preeminence in commercial importance as the city of New York now commands on the Atlantic seaboard. The main current of trade on this continent must forever set in the direction of east and west. St. Louis is the heart of this great current, while commanding a controlling point on the grand highway of commerce between the upper Mississippi and the great lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. She is in the latitude of thirty-eight and a half, the most beautiful climate of the temperate zone, and her navigable waters are open to the commerce of the world during many weeks, and not unfrequently months, while more northern marts are bound in fetters of ice.

"To her well-known and pre-eminent advantages as the centre of commerce for the Mississippi valley, which is forever assured by geographical position, St. Louis is the emporium of one of the best agricultural and mineral regions in the world, which immediately surrounds her. Southern and Central Illinois and the rich mineral region of Missouri pour their undivided wealth of trade upon this city.

"There are other cities in the Mississippi valley which are distinguished by a commanding position for extended and lucrative commerce, and by the indomitable energy and admirable enterprise of their inhabitants. St. Louis, from her central position and extraordinary facilities of approach, is especially aided and strengthened by the prosperity of each one and all of these cities, while imparting to them a reciprocal benefit in the general increase of commercial facilities."

Yet, in 1881, Mr. Nimmo, of the Bureau of Statistics, while fully admitting the transcendent past, present, and future importance of the river navigation to the trade of St. Louis, could show that the railroads, for the time being at least, had carried off nine-tenths of this vaunted inalienable possession, the river trade. Note his figures: "A radical change," he remarks, "has taken place in the conditions governing the movements of commerce at St. Louis. Twenty-five years ago that commerce was almost exclusively confined to the Mississippi River and its tributaries, but at the present time railroads extend from the city in all directions. Each one of these railroads has become an important avenue of commerce." In proof of this, we find that of the total tonnage transferred during I 1880 there was moved by river 1,981,385 tons; moved by rail, 8,852,204 tons.

These facts, as Mr. Nimmo truly says, indicate that the commerce of St. Louis has largely accommodated itself to the facilities afforded by railroad transportation. This he shows by the following table:

TONS OF FREIGHT received at St. Louis from the north, and of freight shipped from that city to the north, by river and by rail, from 1871 to 1880, inclusive.
By River. By Rail. By River. By Rail. By River. By Rail.
  Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons.
1871 236,887 60,793 78,967 14,875 315,854 75,668 391,522
1872 242,584 120,422 55,235 23,965 297,819 144,387 442,206
1873 281,175 72,031 61,966 18,840 343,141 90,871 434,012
1874 231,060 137,016 95,800 20,467 326,860 157,483 484,343
1875 198,100 88,218 96,225 26,526 294,325 114,744 409,069
1876 224,860 100,087 93,360 35,269 318,220 135,356 453,576
1877 136,715 96,443 68,565 46,262 205,280 142,705 347,985
1878 174,065 208,563 67,320 59,281 241,385 267,844 509,229
1879 221,285 224,336 66,990 65,770 288,275 290,106 578,381
1880 226,095 378,078 55,260 102,543 281,355 480,621 761,976


It appears that the tonnage to and from the north by river fell from 315,854 tons in 1871 to 281,355 tons in 1880, and that the tonnage by rail increased from 75,668 in 1871 to 480,621 tons in 1880. The river traffic constituted about 37 per cent, of the total northern traffic during the year 1880.

The following table illustrates the point still further:

TONS OF FREIGHT received at St. Louis from the south, and of a freight shipped from that city to the south, by river and by rail, from 1871 to 1880, inclusive.
By River. By Rail. By River. By Rail. By River. By Rail.
  Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons. Tons.
1871 327,262 782,539 523,505 172,026 850,767 954,565 1,805,332
1872 308,480 1,083,600 578,596 257,493 887,076 1,341,093 2,228,169
1873 232,460 1,107,228 562,125 275,998 794,585 1,383,226 2,177,811
1874 176,120 1,020,414 476,735 291,084 652,855 1,311,498 1,964.353
1875 134,465 1,237,205 370,275 368,357 504,740 1,605,562 2,110,302
1876 159,485 1,151,049 383,485 313,092 542,970 1,464,141 2,007,111
1877 161,870 1,177,779 427,400 371,402 589,270 1,549,181 2,138,451
1878 187,910 1,102,696 434,490 397,528 622,400 1,500,124 2,122,624
1879 293,480 1,455,792 499,040 496,306 692,520 1,952,098 2,614,618
1880 238,940 1,614,637 820,555 671,661 1,059,495 2,286,298 3,345,793

And the summary completes the illustration and emphasizes it:

  1878. 1879. 1880.
Tons. Per Cent. of Total. Tons. Per Cent. of Total. Tons. Per Cent. of Total.
To the north 59,281 3.15 65,770 2.88 102,543 3.72
To the south 397,528 21.14 496,306 21.71 671,661 24.37
To the east 1,029,006 54.22 1,129,820 49.43 1,179,709 42.81
To the west 394,744 20.99 593,820 25.98 801,767 29.10
Total by rail 1,880,559 100.00 2,285,716 100.00 2,755,680 100.00
To the north 67,320 10.95 66,990 9.80 55,260 5.33
To the south 434,490 70.70 499,040 73.70 820,555 79.09
To the east 90,400 14.70 96,075 14.19 145,295 14.00
To the west 22,465 3.65 15,040 2.22 16,415 1.58
Total by river 614,675 100.00 677,145 100.00 1,037,525 100.00
To the north 126,601 5.07 132,760 4.48 157,803 4.16
To the south 832,018 33.35 995,346 33.59 1,492,216 39.34
To the east 1,119,406 44.86 1,225,895 41.38 1,325,004 34.93
To the west 417,209 16.72 608,860 20.55 818,182 21.57
Total shipments 2,495,234 100.00 2,962,861 100.00 3,793,205 100.00

And yet the river is ten times more valuable and more important to the trade of St. Louis, and especially to the city's position as a trade centre, than it was in 1857. It is needless to pursue this branch of the subject any further. The people of St. Louis have a perfect confidence in their resources and in their ability to develop them. As they contend, in speaking of their ability to utilize their stores of fuel, for example: The output of coal in England to-day will load a railroad train sixty miles long. The coal basins of


the British Isles, when compared to the basins of this valley, are as one to twenty, or even fifty. The output here daily in the coming times will be simply enormous. The same remarks apply to the iron mountains and iron fields, lead, zinc, and copper fields. They are as fifty to one, compared to the mineral fields of the British Isles. The agricultural resources of this basin hold the same position. The railroad system of the British Isles has about reached its culminating point, as have all the developments of the mineral and agricultural resources of the island.

England has heretofore manufactured all the hardware and heavy goods for the nations of the world. Now, as these people will be large consumers in the future, and the great supplies of raw material, as cotton, iron, lead, zinc, copper, and other elements, are in this basin, it does not require the vision of a prophet to foresee that in the coming times the iron industries, tanneries, potteries, smelting works, and a hundred other industries will grow up here and supply these foreign markets, and that St. Louis will be the importing, exporting, wholesale mart, general distributing point, and railroad centre of this great valley of the Mississippi, or basin of the continent.

And they meet the suspicion of indifference and lack of energy in this wise, to quote from a St. Louis newspaper of the day after Christmas, 1878, —

"Are St. Louis men unprogressive? Some of our contemporaries out West are disposed to ‘poke fun’ at St. Louis because of the apparently unprogressive and unenterprising character of those who are rulers in her marts of trade and banks. Well, perhaps it is a truth that St. Louis is provokingly slow, but it would be well to remember that St. Louis is exceedingly sure, that she does not act for to-day only, but for all time. The truth is St. Louis is a very solid city, that the actual financial condition of her business men is a little too good for a very aggressive campaign for traffic. We do not say that the city is in danger of permanent injury from the too prosperous condition of her citizens engaged in the business of merchandising, manufacturing, banking, building, and other industries. St. Louis is a conservative city, that we readily admit, but the conservatism of our citizens does not lead them to neglect the great interests which centre here, and which have thus far led to a great and substantial development. It is true, and we readily admit it, that the rather ultra-conservatism which prevails here sometimes delays the consummation of designs necessary to the continued prosperity of the city, and, to the extent of such delays, retards and injures its commerce. But the good people of St. Louis are neither blind nor destitute of ordinary intelligence. They know their interests, and will be very certain to guard them with jealous care."

We have spoken of the population of St. Louis, and the people and natives who compose it, more than once in the course of these volumes, but the subject will admit of further discussion. The figures of the census representing the city's growth have been given above, but a word or two of explanation is needed to make them clear in their full exponential value. The returns of the census of 1880 were a source of disappointment approaching dismay. But this was because the census of 1870 was a fraud and delusion. This fact is now conceded upon all hands, and indeed has I been conclusively demonstrated. There is no reason to doubt or question the substantial fidelity of the census of 1880. As Mr. Charles W. Knapp says, in the paper elsewhere quoted, —

"Look where you may for disproof of the census figures, you will find nothing to indicate St. Louis had much more than the 350,000 the census gives it. Inquire of the postal business and you will find that the Chicago office collected 9,000,000 pounds of mail matter and sold $1,114,000 worth of stamps, while the St. Louis figures were only 4,250,000 pounds of mail matter and $600,000 worth of stamps in the year ending with June, 1880. Count the names in the Chicago directory of 1880 and you will find 170,388, while the St. Louis directory had only 120,517. The Chicago directory contained 33.87 per cent, of its whole population, and the St. Louis directory would indicate, according to that percentage, a population of 355,822 for this city. Come nearer to the present and you will find that a school census taken in Chicago last July showed a population of 562,693, while the directory of this year shows 192,567 names, or 33.78 of the whole number reported by the school census, while the St. Louis directory contains only 139,151 names, indicating a population of 412,000 on the basis of the Chicago percentage. Doubtless this is a larger population than Boston can show, but it is not enough to advance St. Louis above the fifth place, nor are there any other collateral statistics that can be depended on which indicate that the Chicago figures are too high or the St. Louis too low. The relative number of pupils enrolled in the public schools of the two cities may seem to indicate a small difference in population, when it is found that the enrollment reported in Chicago in June, 1880, was 59,562, or 11.84 per cent, of its reported population, while the St. Louis enrollment was 51,241, which, on the basis of the Chicago percentage, would indicate a population of 431,934 for St. Louis. I warn you that only the most short-lived joy is to he got of such a calculation, however, for in June, 1882, Chicago had 68,266, or 12.21 per cent. of the population reported by the school census, while St. Louis had only 53,050, indicating only 437,820 population on the Chicago basis. It is so absurd to say that St. Louis has only increased 5886 in the past two years that you must see there are reasons why the school statistics are unavailable as an index to population. I was told at the office of the superintendent of schools that there is really no class of statistics more inaccurate, because of the manifest carelessness of the principals in their preparation, while, aside from that fact, the adequacy of the school accommodation influences the school enrollment even more than the increase of population, which cannot swell the school attendance if the schools are already filled to their full capacity. It is of no avail, therefore, to appeal to the school statistics to impeach the census, and we must let the figures of 1880 stand."

In spite, however, of the fact that St. Louis falls one hundred and fifty-three thousand below Chicago in population, and still more in manufactures and some branches of trade, as pork-packing. and grain shipments, St. Louis shows more wealth, by nearly ninety millions of dollars, than the rival


city. This may be, and is in great part, from lower assessments, but that lower assessment simply means that people in St. Louis own their property while Chicago is owned by money-lenders in New York, Boston, and elsewhere in the East, who have mortgages upon all the land and improvements, railroads, mills, stocks, and bonds in Chicago, and get their percentage out of every man's earnings and income. St. Louis, moreover, is a larger produce market than Chicago, as the following table shows:
  Chicago. St. Louis.
Flour $4,780,285 $9,412,800
Wheat 13,669,903 15,230,106
Corn 30,732,449 10,629,655
Oats 5,780,597 2,527,020
Rye 837,779 469,769
Barley 4,244,893 2,411,723
Cotton   20,000,000
Tobacco   3,000,000
Hay 1,000,000 1,600,000
Potatoes 1,900,000 1,100,000
Total $62,945,886 $66,381,073

It is the largest wheat market in the country, and the largest flour market in the world. It is, moreover, as already shown, the largest interior cotton market in the country. These are consolations for the less accelerated growth of population; but, the fraud of 1870 eliminated, Mr. Knapp believes St. Louis to have grown more rapidly during the past decade than ever before. Thus, while St. Louis in 1800 had 957 people, in 1820 only 4598, in 1830 5852, the range with Chicago from that time forward was as follows:

  1840. 1850. 1860. 1870. 1880.
St. Louis 16,469 77,860 160,773 213,301 350,522
Chicago 4,479 29,963 109,260 298,977 503,053

(The population in 1870 is reduced 100,000 below census figures.)

On this basis the relative percentages of growth were as follows:

  Chicago. St. Louis. Difference.
1840 to 1850 569.00 373.00 196.00
1850 to 1860 261.00 106.00 155.00
1860 to 1870 173.00 32.67 140.33
1870 to 1880 68.61 66.82 1.79
1880 to 1882 11.85 18.81 6.96

In other words, it took the population of St. Louis ten years to recover from the effects of the civil war, during all which period Chicago was expanding and developing with acceleration. Nevertheless, St. Louis has entirely recovered from that period of bouleversement as respects population, and in another decade will have completely recovered as respects industrial growth and development of transportation facilities.

Mr. Knapp, however, who is as frank and candid in his statements as he is keen and searching in his analyses, warns his fellow-citizens that there are still some hindrances to progress, which must be removed if they desire to see the city of their hopes grow and expand vigorously and equably. Prices are too high, he says.

"It is the same unvarying story, from the bootblacks and newsboys up to the merchant princes and millionaire bankers. We are overloaded with high taxes, high money, high freights, and high labor. Rents are higher, food is higher, clothing is higher, and even fuel is higher than in either Chicago or Cincinnati, and so handicapped we cannot make a fair race. I know your eyes are tired of figures, but pardon me just once more, for I think in the following table there is the suggestion of one of the first of the dead weights we must strive to remove.
"Tax rate on $100 of assessed valuation, all taxes aggregated.
Boston $1.51
Brooklyn 2.57˝
Chicago 6.48
Cincinnati 2.22
New York $2.47˝
Philadelphia 1.90
St. Louis 2.58

Interest rates are too high also, he says, higher than in any other city of the first class; and where interest is high, either the security is not good or money is not plenty.

"High freights we must also make war against, and the railways be forced to remove the onerous and unjust bridge arbitrary charge, which, ranging from two to five cents per one hundred pounds, adds fifty-five to one hundred and twenty-nine miles to the actual mileage distance of St. Louis from eastern points. It may be we shall get relief from this only when a new bridge is built, but that may come at no distant day, for the Indiana, Bloomington and Western Railway, which is now locating an extension line to St. Louis, has under contemplation the construction of a bridge at Chain of Rocks, with a view to making its terminus on this side of the river, and billing freight to and from St. Louis, instead of East St. Louis, as all the other roads do. There is equally as much need for competition on the river; the barge rates especially having been maintained during the past summer at a mark which made the river route steadily more expensive than the lake and canal route from Chicago.

"I must stop here," says Mr. Knapp, in conclusion, "for, though I have named but a few of the forces operating to retard and limit the city's growth, these are fair examples. Such hindering obstructions as we may not hope to remove are, after all, of the kind that all other cities find in their way; and we must remember that the struggle for commercial supremacy is always a hot contest, in which victory belongs where energy and enterprise are most vigorously developed, so we need not despond because we cannot find an exclusive and easy path to metropolitan greatness devoted to our sole use. All progress is a battle with adverse influences, and we have the encouragement of past successes to persevere, bearing constantly in mind that the struggle will cease only when progress ends. Let, therefore, no faint-hearted yearnings for peace and quiet tempt us from the strife, but let us build up a sensible self-respect, encourage reasonable and intelligent confidence in our future, and stimulate a bold and aggressive policy, forcing competition at every point, with a fearless determination to grasp all that is possible. Remember that we have one great advantage in that there is no rival market as near to St. Louis as there is to every other leading city, — Milwaukee sitting almost in the doorway of Chicago, and Louisville in the back yard of Cincinnati, while New York, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Baltimore crowd under each other's noses. Chance having thus kindly seconded the favors of nature in our geographical situation, we have a better opportunity to combat the opposing


forces than most other cities, and it is only for us to make the most of it, to keep a sleepless watch ahead, and attack with united earnestness every impediment rising in the city's path."

The Growth and Population of St. Louis. —
This history of St. Louis has been written in vain if the readers do not rise from its perusal firm in the conviction that the population of the city is stronger in character, energy, and social and civic virtues of every sort than it is in numbers. This point has been clearly and beautifully illustrated by Col. George E. Leighton, in his recent annual address as president of the Missouri Historical Society, — the address being a plea for more earnest support for the society and greater attention to and veneration for the memories and records of the men who founded St. Louis. A philosophical history of the place, he said, was needed:

"It is a work yet to do, to analyze the operating causes of our development. How the French trading post became the village; why the settlement of Laclede at St. Louis was more prosperous than that of Blanchette Chasseur at St. Charles, of Beaurosier Dunegant at Florissant, or that of Delor de Tregette at Carondelet, or that of George Morgan at New Madrid; how the village was socially and politically affected by the successive dominion of France, Spain, and the United States, or by the personal influence of the successive Governors of Upper Louisiana; how the first couriers from the Eastern States, like Easton and Bent and Clark, weak in numbers but strong in individuality, sowed the seeds of American manners and methods, and awakened the spirit of commercial life: how the succeeding emigration from the States, of which Benton, Hempstead, Barton, Riddick, Bates, and Charless were the representatives, impressed its social and political character; how the later emigration from New England, with its exalted appreciation of the value of educational and associated benevolent work, affected its development; how the German emigration, following the revolutionary movement of 1848, full of grand ideas of political and religious freedom, impressed its influence upon it; how this city affected and was affected by the civil war; the history of the development of our public works; the effect of the institution of slavery on the growth and development of the city, and many others which might be stated, are questions for exhaustive study, not to be solved by the mere compilation of commercial and manufacturing statistics or the mere narrative of concrete events.

"The colonists were represented by such names as the Chouteaus, Gratiots, Soulards, Vallés, Sarpy, Chenies; later, the Morrisons, who came from the French settlements; still later Irish enterprise was represented by the Mullanphys, Rankens, Dillon, the Campbells, the Walshes, Whittaker; Scotch thrift by McKenzie and Nicholson; German intelligence and mercantile sagacity by Palm, Kayser, Barth, Kim, Steitz, Angelrodt, Anheuser, Lemp; the Southern States by Benton, Gamble, Geyer, Polk, Charless, the Blows, Kennetts, and Blairs, Harrison, Lucas, Beverly, Allen, Hunt, McPherson, the Carrs, Von Phuls, Chambers, Paschal, Farrar; the Northern States by Bent, Easton, Carr Lane, Filley, Smith, Cavender, Rhodes, Blood, Field, Spaulding, Collier, Bridge, Dickson, Gale, Davis, the Lindells, Ames, Thomas Allen.

"Other names will readily occur to you, and if it were proper to allude to living men, the list could be indefinitely extended. Some men count for nothing in human progress; some men count for one, some for ten, some for one hundred. There will be no dissent when I say that each of those I have named, and many others that could be named, counted for more than one in the forces which mark the progress and development of our commercial, industrial, and intellectual interests. Is it to be said of us that we will allow the record made by these men to pass into oblivion as those who knew them pass away? An hundred men fill their places to-day, — themselves to pass, by the same neglect, into the same oblivion. Is it of no importance to us that some permanent record should be made of their place in our local history? It is no record of such men that they lived and died. Municipal history, or State history, or national history is in its last analysis but the record of the men who have conceived and executed projects that lift the city, or State, or nation over the years and push it forward in the march of civilization."

All this is profoundly true, and it is the sort of truth which we should welcome, for it bears fruit when we act upon it as a guiding principle. Men are the authors of institutions, and these again reflect men. Growth, decay, birth, death, prosperity, and decline of cities, all are summed up in the character and qualities of the men who inhabit countries and the institutions they construct. St. Louis, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, all were inhabited by other races before the white man came to occupy them. But scarcely a trace remains of that former inhabitancy. Nature and natural forces were the same, climate and advantages of site were the same, man only was different. We must not forget this when we hasten to ascribe all things to nature, and are willing to leave all things with nature.

The population of St. Louis, as has been shown elsewhere, has always been curiously mixed. In 1800, French was the predominant, Spanish the official language, and French was still the common speech in 1818. In 1883, German is taught in all the schools alongside English, and in some quarters of the city it is the most familiar tongue and the one heard most often.

The following are the first American censuses of St. Louis:

1810. Third United States Census, Missouri Territory. — District of St. Charles, 3505; St. Louis, 5667; Ste. Genevieve, 4620; Cape Girardeau, 3888; New Madrid, 2103; Hope and St. Francis, 188; Arkansas, 874; total in Territory, 20,845.

1815. December 9th, by John W. Thompson, Sheriff. — Town of St. Louis, 2000; whole county, 7395; gain in two years, 1200.

1820. August 1st, United States Census. — Town, about 4000; whole county, 9732.

White male population in Missouri as reported to the Governor under the acts of Assembly of Jan. 18, 1814, and Feb. 1, 1817; also showing number of votes taken for members of the State Convention from the counties from which returns were received in May, 1820:


Cooper 5,744
Boone 7,890
Wayne 3,009
Cape Girardeau 6,507
Jackson 2,029
Pike 4,763
St. Louis 11,980
Lincoln 2,826
Rails 2,450
New Madrid 1,893
Perry 2,743
Counties. Number of Free White Males in 1814. Free White Males in 1817. Free White Males in 1820. Number of Votes for Members of Convention in May, 1820.
New Madrid 1548 669 No return. 314
Cape Girardeau 2062 2593 No return. 837
Ste. Genevieve 1701 2205 No return.  
Washington 1010 1245 No return. 453
St. Louis 3149 4725    
St. Charles 1696 2866 1664 628
Howard   3386 3862 1735
Cooper     2688 796
Montgomery     1090 359
Lincoln     772 248
Pike     1229 492
Jefferson       265
Franklin     1227  
Madison     674  
Lawrence   1529    
Arkansas 827      

Of the character of the immigration about this period, the Missouri Gazette remarks under date of Oct. 26, 1816, —

"Missouri and Illinois exhibit an interesting spectacle at this time. A stranger to witness the scene would imagine that Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas had made an agreement to introduce us as soon as possible to the bosom of the American family. Every ferry on the river is daily occupied jn passing families, carriages, wagons, negroes, carts, etc. Respectable people, apparently able to purchase large tracts of land, come on. We have millions of acres to occupy, provisions are cheap and in abundance."

In 1819 the Irish were strong enough in St. Louis to meet in October of that year, organize a Hibernian or Erin Benevolent Society, and make arrangements for celebrating the next St. Patrick's day. The organization of that society was as follows: Jeremiah Connor, president; Thomas Hanly, vice-president; Hugh Rankin, treasurer; Lawrence Ryan, secretary; Robert H. Catherwood, Thomas English, Hugh O'Neal, Joseph Charless, Sr., and Thomas Forsythe, standing committee.

In 1828 there was another State census, with the results stated below, as given in a contemporary account:

"According to the returns made to the secretary's office by the sheriffs of the different counties, the whole number of inhabitants in the State on the 1st of November amounted to one hundred and twelve thousand four hundred and nine. Under the next general census, even should the ratio of representation be increased to sixty thousand, the State will then be entitled to two representatives in Congress. We give below the aggregate number in each county of the State:
Franklin 2,852
Marion 2,409
St. Francois 2,030
Howard 9,730
Jefferson 2,367
Madison 2,276
Saline 1,659
St. Charles 3,514
Ste. Genevieve 1,705
Washington 6,236
Cole 2,478
Gallaway 4,517
Ray 1,843
Scott 1,610
Montgomery 3,254
Gasconade 2,199
Lafayette 2,203
Clay 4,376
Chariton 3,263
In the city of St. Louis, —    
Free white males 2,179  
Free white females 1,589  
Slaves, free persons of color, etc. 1,232  
In St. Louis township, out of the city, —    
Free white males 1,009  
Free white females 839  
Slaves, free persons of color, etc. 359  
In Bonhomme township, —    
Free white females 906  
Slaves, persons of color, etc. 352  
In St. Ferdinand township, —    
Free white males 1,024  
Free white females 919  
Slaves, persons of color, etc. 496  
Total   11,880

A newspaper of that day, commenting upon the rate of growth exhibited by the above figures, said, —

"After the cession of Louisiana to the United States, that part of the ceded territory north of the Missouri River was designated and known as the St. Charles district. This appellation it retained for several years, the body of country now the most flourishing part of the State forming but one county. Among the papers of the sheriff of 1805 is found a census of the inhabitants of the county, taken in that year, from which it appears that the total number then in that district was fifteen hundred and sixty-four whites, fourteen slaves, and seven free blacks. We have had the curiosity to contrast this census with that taken in 1828, and find that the same district of country now embraces seventeen counties, and is inhabited by a population of near seventy thousand persons."

In 1836 the sheriff took a county census, and the population returned was, —

Maramec township 692
Carondelet township 1,854
St. Louis township 1,127
St. Louis City and suburbs 10,486
Bonhomme township 2,271
St. Ferdinand township 3,139

The preliminary report upon the census of 1840 was the following:

"Gravois, St. Louis Co., Oct. 30, 1840.

"A. B. Chambers, Esq.:

"Dear Sir — Agreeable to request, I herewith furnish you with a copy of schedule of mines, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, etc., exhibiting a full view of the pursuits, industry, and resources of the county of St. Louis, excluding the city and township of St. Louis, taken by me for the United States, as deputy, under the marshal of the Missouri district. I found but little difficulty in exacting answers to the many inquiries enjoined upon me by law to propound during the course of my avocations. You may, therefore, depend upon this statement being as near correct as was in my power to arrive at.


"The population of the county, excluding the city of St. Louis and township, is 11,380.
Value of the products of the dairy $12,283
Value of the products of the orchard 18,465
Value of home-made or family goods 13,495
Value of produce of market gardeners 20,331
Value of the products of the nurseries and florists 2,025
Number of horses and mules 3,740
Number of neat cattle 13,193
Number of sheep 8,478
Number of swine 22,649
Estimated value of other property of all kinds $11,233
Number of bushels of wheat 58,677
Number of bushels of barley 1,865
Number of bushels of oats 91,956
Number of bushels of rye 5,638
Number of bushels of buckwheat 1,908
Number of bushels of Indian corn 451,144
Pounds of wool 8,651
Pounds of hops 435
Pounds of wax 1,758
Bushels of potatoes 81,310
Tons of hay 4,147
Tons of hemp and flax 9,905
Pounds of tobacco gathered 197,045
The number of bushels of bituminous coal raised is 233,000, capital invested $11,600
There are four tanneries, capital invested 2,500
Thirteen grist- and seven saw-mills, capital 12,050

Three distilleries.


"Your obedient servant,

"John C. Dent."

These figures caused some dissatisfaction, and led to the following in a contemporary journal:

"There are many causes that retard the growth and prosperity of towns and cities which might be removed by the judicious management of its citizens. One great barrier to the rapid growth of St. Louis and many other towns is the fact that many fine squares and lots of ground lie unimproved and unproductive. By reason of this much of the real capital of our citizens lies dead, and contributes nothing to the general prosperity of the community. Within the corporate limits of St. Louis there are unimproved lots and squares worth several millions of dollars, and which would sell for that money. This is so much dead capita], so far as the business of the community is concerned."

In 1845 another census was taken by the assessors of the wards. From this census it appears that the total number of inhabitants fell a fraction short of thirty-six thousand, divided among the several wards as follows:

First Ward 6,900
Second Ward 6,566
Third Ward 4,683
Fourth Ward 5,321
Fifth Ward 6,260
Sixth Ward 6,200

It was about this time that James Gordon Bennett, in the flippant vein which he so much affected, and which he seems to have mistaken for wit, wrote the following sketch of his visit to St. Louis:

"St. Louis, Nov. 20, 1846.

"St. Louis, regarded as a business place, may present inducements almost unparalleled to business men. Its advantages and its situation render it so. Planted on a rocky foundation, the Mississippi passes by it quietly, while above and below this strange stream cuts a channel where it pleases. It is a city destined to command an influential place in the mercantile and manufacturing interest, while its growing morality will give if a high rank in the religious world. But of what a mixture is its population composed! And to what growth do mushrooms attain! I have spent much time in Gotham, in Philadelphia, and in Washington, where this vegetable is to be found of a pretty good quality, but I must confess, with all my Eastern predilections, that I am forced to give this Western city the credit of producing it in perfection. There are forty thousand people living here, and about four-fifths of them are descendants of the best families, and can trace their ancestry back to — Adam!

"Korponay is here, endeavoring to impress the public mind with the importance of the polka, bolero, mazourka, and other fancy dances. And he takes wonderfully, for I am told he had a juvenile pupil the other evening, learning the first principles of the former, and she was only turned five-and-forty. Her agility was regarded as something extraordinary, even here.

"The taste for literature is increasing vastly. The first of a series of lectures before the Mercantile Library Association was to be delivered a few evenings since. Present, twenty-five persons. It was postponed. Two squares below some sable minstrels were giving a concert to an audience of several hundreds of the élite. Serenades are popular, and in Fourth Street sojourners are greeted nightly with heavenly strains from violins and flutes.

"On the score of economy the fathers of the city cannot be excelled. Such a thing as lighting the streets at night, except by the moon, is considered a work of supererogation. And then it helps trade, for each citizen is provided with a lantern to thread the streets when the ‘moon's in her shroud.’ There was a man killed a night or two ago by falling into a quarry in the upper end of the city. That's nothing, however: he was a stranger, and might have made inquiry. The city authorities are old residents, — what need have they for light? Street crossings are too much of a novelty, and none but old persons and crippled ones get more than ankle-deep in mud when that commodity abounds, as it does always after a little rain.

"The summer season, as elsewhere, is the best time, in the surrounding country, to see and appreciate the beauties of nature. Naturalists have a great field for research. Mosquitoes, ranging in size from a pin's head to a large pea, can be taken in coveys without difficulty. Their music at night is a most excellent imitation of the sounds produced by pumping an accordeon without touching the keys, and if one is unprovided with a bar — an article of bed-furniture indigenous to the West — there is little work left for ‘cuppers, leechers, and bleeders’ in the morning. Another of the ‘beauties’ is that pendulum of nature, vibrating between heat and cold, the ague. But, as in other cases, its familiarity has bred contempt, and it is considered beneath the notice of the people. In my travels, a short time ago, I stopped to refresh at a public-house. The landlord was sitting over the fire with a blanket over his shoulders. ‘How are you?’ ‘Very well, sir.’ ‘Is it sickly about here?’ ‘Oh, no, nothing of the kind.’ ‘What ails you?’ ‘I have a touch of the ague.’ ‘How long have you had it?’ ‘Thirteen months.’ ‘Can I get something to eat?’ ‘Not now, stranger; this is shake day, and the whole family is taking turns.’ I mounted my horse and departed."


The corporation census of 1847 was a very gratifying one, —

First Ward 9,970
Second Ward 7,645
Third Ward 5,744
Fourth Ward 6,354
Fifth Ward 6,667
Sixth Ward 11,453
Increase from 1845 11,903

This was a visible growth. It could be felt as well as seen, and a journal of the day said, —

"In a city like St. Louis, where the community is composed of the most heterogeneous materials, gathered literally from the four quarters of the globe, it takes some little time for people to find out ‘who's who’ and ‘what's what.’ The man born in St. Louis, perhaps when it was a small town of a few hundred inhabitants, now finds himself in the midst of a great city, surrounded by thousands of strangers, and knows not whence they came, what their character may be, or whither they are going. And the people from other countries, other States, and other cities, who now mostly compose this vast community, are alike strangers to each other. It follows, therefore, as a necessary consequence, that society here is somewhat mixed, that it is in a sort of chrysalis state, that an elevated standard of morals and customs is yet to be formed."

This shows that the great immediate increase of population was apparent to the people themselves, and that the ancient ease and familiar acquaintanceship were disturbed by the great and sudden influx of strangers and aliens. The Republican of Nov. 30, 1848, says of the enumeration of the people made that year that, —

"according to the census recently taken by the sheriff of the county, the total number of free white males it contains is 37,045; free white females, 31,222; number of free white persons who have been taught to read and write, 42,469, deaf and dumb persons, 23; blind, 18; free persons of color, — males, 382; females, 486; slaves, — males, 1981; females, 2346; and the grand total is 73,364.

"The city of St. Louis contains a population of 55,952, of whom 28,779 are free white males, and 24,490 free white females; there are 10,435 male children under eighteen years of age, and 10,434 females under the same age; of free negroes there are 367 males and 472 females, and of slaves, 698 males and 1146 females.

"Carondelet contains a population of 523, Bridgeton 405, and Florissant 423 souls.

"The State census was taken in 1844 by the sheriff, and the county then contained a population of 47,668 souls. Of this number the city of St. Louis had 34,140, leaving for the remainder of the county 13,528 souls, the balance of the increase in the four years being all in the city of St. Louis. The total increase in the four years is 25,696, of which 21,812 is the increase in the city of St. Louis.

"We observe, on a comparison of the census of 1844 with that of 1848, that the number of free negroes has increased, while that of the slaves has diminished. In 1844 there were 673 free negroes, while the census now completed makes the number 868. In 1844 the number of slaves was 4512, now there are 4327, a decrease in the slave population of nearly 200.

"There is a slight increase of population in the several incorporated towns outside of St. Louis. In 1844 Carondelet contained 468 souls; now it has 529."

In this year of 1848 the great German immigration began to flow into St. Louis. The revolution begun in Paris with the dethronement of Louis Philippe, and continued in Italy by Garibaldi, in Germany by all the forces of society except the nobles, the army, and the bureaucracy, and broken in Hungary by the active interposition of Russian armies, had failed also in Germany, but not until it had shaken the thrones of the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns. The revolutionists were forced to fly and expatriate themselves; Illinois was enriched with men like Gustav Koerner, and St. Louis reinforced by a Schurz and a Sigel.

The German immigration to the State began sooner than that to the city. Flint mentions a German colony to which he preached in the interior of Missouri between 1812 and 1820. Indeed, there was a very large plantation of Germans on the Red River, in Arkansas, in the first half of the eighteenth century, under the auspices of the Regent Duke of Orleans, and the descendants of some of these must have penetrated into Upper Louisiana. The first vineyards at Hermann, in Gasconade County, according to Michael Poeschal, were begun in 1841. In 1845, fifty thousand vines were planted; in 1849 there were over seven hundred thousand.

In St. Louis there were many intelligent and enterprising Germans prior to the great influx which began in 1848. The greater part of these were in trade, though many prosecuted intellectual pursuits with characteristic vigor and success. Charles Muegge's oil-cloth factory was started in 1841; Thomas J. Meier's cotton-factory — a pioneer enterprise of great value and importance — in 1839. But 1848 is the year in which the tide set in. The soil and climate of Missouri suited the Germans, always inhabitants of the interior; they found themselves heartily welcome, protected and befriended, and abundant labor waiting for them. They did not fear the competition of slavery, and the "peculiar institution" never interfered with them, reduced the value of their work, or traversed their opinions. The arrivals of Germans at the port of St. Louis were:

March 18, 1848, to same day 1849 9,000
March 18, 1849, to the same day 1850 14,403
March 18, 1850, to the same day 1851 10,815
Total in three years 34,218

Of these about two-thirds found employment in St. Louis. In 1851 this city was counted as the principal port for the debarkation of Germans to the valley of the Mississippi, great numbers coming by way of New Orleans. It was at this time that the well-known and most useful German Society of St. Louis


was incorporated, its objects being to protect and defend the immigrants from Germany, provide them employment when needed, and care for the sick and destitute. Nobly has it done its work, burying the dead, finding homes for the orphan, and securing medical attendance, medicine, and hospital room for indigent invalids. The trustees named in the original act of incorporation of this society were John Wolff, Adolph Abeles, Thomas J. Meier, Edward Eggers, Henry W. Grempp, Andrew Krug, Charles Muegge, Louis Speck, and John C. Meyer; J. Keichard, secretary and agent. The Germans in St. Louis to-day, forming a large proportion of the population, and including many of the best and most wealthy citizens, do not need an association of this sort to protect them. They constitute a potent and fully recognized industrial, mercantile, social, and intellectual force in the community. They are leaders in opinion and leaders of men. The German press of St. Louis is a power throughout the country. It has contributed statesmen, soldiers, and scholars to reinforce the national wealth. A German of St. Louis has been mayor of the city, another senator in Congress, ambassador to foreign lands, member of the cabinet, moulder of parties, and leader of men. The St. Louis Journal of Speculative Science, the only periodical in the country devoted exclusively to the exploitation of metaphysics, is a direct product of German thought and German culture, and it is claimed that St. Louis is the only place on this continent where the philosophy and the comprehensive philosophical system of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is read, understood, and appreciated.

At the same time as this German immigration, St. Louis received an accession of population from the French West Indies, as is told in a paper read before the Missouri Historical Society in 1878 by Mr. Collet, the author being Mr. Edward De Laureal. This paper is in substance as follows:

"Guadeloupe had scarcely recovered from a terrible disaster which had covered the entire colony with ruins.

"On Feb. 8, 1843, about ten o'clock in the morning, Pointe-ŕ-Pître, the capital of the colony, was destroyed by an earthquake more violent than previously known. What the reeling earth spared the fire seized upon. The number of dead crushed beneath the ruins or calcined by the flames was so great that there were not sufficient persons to bury them, and as a matter of necessity the remains were transported to the open sea and entombed in the deep.

"Their wounds scarcely healed, they began to breathe, when of a sudden they found themselves menaced with ruin from another cause. A political upheaving threatened to destroy in their hands the very instruments of all prosperity.

"In the month of March, 1848, a sinister rumor spread like a pall over the country, and caused a thrill of terror through-out. A war-vessel appeared on the horizon. It came to announce to the country momentous news. A revolution had broken out in France, the king, Louis Philippe, driven from his throne, and been obliged to take refuge in England. Tin people, sovereign by revolt, had proclaimed the republic, and constituted a republican government in the Hotel de Ville at Paris. The authorities of Guadeloupe, as well as those of all the other French colonies, were enjoined for the future to obey no other orders than such as emanated from the republic, one and indivisible.

"These news, however we may look at them at a distance and after a lapse of twenty-nine years, when received in the colony were of a nature to trouble the country and to excite theft population to deplorable excesses.

"Many colonists yet living who had passed through the ordeal of the first French republic felt the presentiment of what was to be dreaded from another, the outcome of the barricades. If the colony were not as completely upturned during the short duration of the second essay at republicanism, it was not the fault of those who made it their business to persuade the blacks that the supreme object of liberty was not only enfranchisement from all labor, but to trample in the dust that which they had heretofore respected.

"The new agents of power in the colony, doubtless to give proof of their zeal, casting aside every precaution so indispensable nevertheless in such grave circumstances, suddenly proclaimed the abolition of slavery. This precipitation was most ruinous to the country. Of a sudden the master and the slave found themselves face to face in a position embarrassing to both parties, impossible yet to define distinctly, and which created real social peril.

"After the first moments of astonishment at their new respective situation there were compromises between the newly enfranchised and the proprietors, who had at heart the continuation of work, compromises which, without satisfying the laborers, were initiative to the ruin of the proprietors.

"In presence of this state of things, which could not last long, in presence of the alarming rumors which night and day kept the population on the alert, a common thought came at the same time to the heads of families, who, without exchanging views, felt the urgency to fly from a coming danger.

"This unanimous thought had America for its object. By a singular chance St. Louis, in Missouri, was the converging, point of all projects of emigration. Consequently, in the month of July, 1848, there were seen disembarking on the Levee of St. Louis the first families wandering in search of a security which their native country no longer offered them.

"Soon these families were followed by a great number of other emigrants, so that in 1849 an agglomeration of French from Guadeloupe formed almost a little colony. They had just reason to congratulate themselves on their reception on American soil.

"But almost immediately after their arrival the emigrant were doomed to undergo a rude trial. The cholera, which during the spring and the summer of 1849 desolated the city of St. Louis, did not spare them. Their numbers were sadly diminished.

"But this time again courage was not wanting in the colonists from Guadeloupe. Then were these people, accustomed to the elegance of luxury, the comforts of an easy life, seen to make courageously the sacrifice of their past in burying the souvenir in the depths of their hearts, to begin a life of fatigues, of rude occupation to which they were far from having been accustomed. More than one mother of a family, thrown entirely upon her own efforts, by a prodigy of economy and courageous patience, was enabled to bring up her family and to place her


children in a position to contract alliances with honorable families of her adopted city.

"To-day the fusion is complete, and the descendants of the French colonists coming from the West Indies, strangers to their maternal tongue, no longer make use of any other language than that of the country of which they are citizens, or are in any respect distinguishable from those around them."

The numbers of this immigration have been left to conjecture or the imagination. The allusion to the cholera year of 1849, however, recalls a period of great suffering to St. Louis, and great afflictions, under which its people bore up as if conscious of their destiny. The pestilence was followed by the most destructive fire which ever raged in St. Louis, and the press of the period, in commenting upon it, said, "Emerging as we are from two calamities which have no parallel in this country, suffering alike in the destruction of property and the still greater destruction of life, having lost in a single night houses and goods enough to constitute a town of very considerable size and commerce, and in two months buried five or six thousand human beings, it may be pardoned those who have so far survived these calamities to look around and ahead at their condition."

That condition was not pleasant to contemplate. Just before the outbreak of cholera a corporation census had been taken, yielding the following statistics of the population in February, 1849:

Ward 1 9,972
Ward 2 10,193
Ward 3 10,233
Ward 4 9,221
Ward 5 10, 933
Ward 6 12,930
Total 63,482

In 1850 the regular government census showed a falling off of 6668, chiefly in consequence of the epidemic. The figures are, —

"White males in St. Louis County, Missouri:
20 years and under 30 17,187
30 years and under 40 11,413
40 years and under 50 4,573
50 years and under 60 1,804
60 years and under 70 624
70 years and under 80 160
80 years and under 90 32
90 years and under 100 6
100 and upwards 2
Age unknown 15
Females 20,987
Total 56,803

"Suppose the number of males between twenty and twenty-one to be equal to one-tenth of the number between twenty and thirty, and that number will be 1718, which taken from the whole male population over twenty-one will leave 34,088 over twenty-one.

"Assuming that there were 34,088 over twenty-one years of age, calculate from census returns of 1850 the number under that age, so as to get a proportion upon which to proceed in the calculation at this time.
" White females in St. Louis County, Mo., according to census (U. S.) 1850:
20 years and under 30 10,189
30 years and under 40 5,917
40 years and under 50 2,785
50 years and under 60 1,346
60 years and under 70 572
70 years and under 80 142
80 years and under 90 27
90 years and under 100 3
100 and upwards 0
Age unknown 6
Total 20,987

"These figures include foreigners not naturalized, but as the census referred to is that of 1850, all not naturalized at that time have since taken out their papers."

The excess of males over females revealed the recency of a large proportion of the city's population. In spite of losses by the cholera, however, the St. Louis press was not afraid to make comparisons, and this is the way it was done:

Cities. 1830. 1840. 1850. Ratio for last ten years. Per cent.
New Orleans 49,826 102,193 119,461 17
Cincinnati 24,831 46,338 115,436 149
St. Louis 4,977 16,469 77,860 373
Louisville 10,341 21,210 43,196 104
Pittsburgh 12,568 21,115 46,601 130

"A like ratio of increase between 1850 and 1860 as there was between 1840 and 1850 would produce the following results in 1860:
Cities. Ratio of increase from 1840 to 1850. Results.
New Orleans 17 per cent. 190,769
Cincinnat 149 per cent. 287,433
St. Louis 373 per cent. 368,271
Louisville 104 per cent. 88,119
Pittsburgh 130 per cent. 107,182

"It is hardly right to suppose that the ratio of increase will continue as large as the cities grow in size, but it is altogether reasonable to believe that their relative ratio will be nearly preserved, which is sufficient to show that St. Louis is destined to be the largest city in the valley of the Mississippi in 1860, if she be not now, upon two years' increase.

"It is to be remembered that in the census of 1850, St. Louis lost some eight or nine thousand population from the fact of her outgrowing her chartered limits. All north of Rocky Branch, including Bremen and Lowell additions, were left, out, and on the west all beyond Eighteenth Street and Second Ca-rondelet Avenue, which, if included, would swell her population more than a tenth, and also her percentage of increase.

"It is also well to remember that her census was taken the year immediately following the two greatest calamities that ever befell her, — the cholera and the great fire of 1849, — and before she had time to recover from their effects.

"If her chartered limits embraced the whole city, she is now probably the largest city in the great valley.

"This is no sudden or impulsive start in her growth, for she held nearly the same relative position towards her sister cities of the valley between 1830 and 1840, as the following will show:
"New Orleans increased from 1830 to 1840, 105 per cent.
Cincinnati increased from 1830 to 1840, 86 per cent.
St. Louis increased from 1830 to 1840, 231 per cent.
Louisville increased from 1830 to 1840, 105 per cent.
Pittsburgh increased from 1830 to 1840, 68 per cent."


The city census of 1851 is very interesting as showing the nationality of the inhabitants and the rapid accession of immigrants from foreign countries.

"The population of the city proper is 77,716. We now give the divisions of that population as ascertained by the census. It will be seen by the following summary that more than one-half of the population is of foreign extraction:
  German. Irish. English. Other Nations. Free Negroes.
First Ward 8,792 699 202 276 13
Second Ward 3,124 1,151 277 489 352
Third Ward 2,147 1,732 536 656 227
Fourth Ward 1,528 3,330 528 310 464
Fifth Ward 3,858 1,948 481 277 96
Sixth Ward 4,385 2,417 897 451 107
  23,814 11,277 2,921 2,459 1,259

"The whole number of foreigners is 40,471; the number of free negroes, 1259. It appears from the records of the county courts that the whole number of free negroes licensed to remain in this county from September, 1841, to December, 1850, amounts to 575, leaving 684 in the city and county without license and in violation of law."

To the 77,716 people in the city proper were to be added the residents of "Bremen" and other suburbs, 5028, making a total population for the city of 82,744, and yielding an aggregate for city and county of 104,834.

Sheriff Wilrner's census, completed on Dec. 17, 1852, resulted in:

Population of the city 94,819
Population of the county 29,034
Total population of the city and county 123,853
White males in the city 51,251
White females in the city 40,791
White males in the county 14,843
White females in the county 11,500
Free persons of color, male and female, in the city and county 1,341
Slaves, male and female, in the city and county 4,069

Comparative tables showing the increase from the month of June, 1850, when the United States census was taken:

  In 1850. In 1852. Increase.
Total city population 77,465 94,819 17,354
Total county population 27,369 29,034 1,665
Slaves in city and county. 5,914 4,069 1,845

At that time the California gold fever was raging and diverting population from all its ancient channels, but it did not long affect Missouri and St. Louis. In April, 1855, the newspapers of the day reported the subsidence of the wave and the beginning of a reaction. Said they, —

"The first effect of the gold discoveries in California seven years since was to attract a large emigration from the Western States. For some years previously we had lost many citizens, who thought they could see in the wilds of Oregon better opportunities to improve their condition than they could find on our own teeming soil. But the Oregon emigrants comprised among their numbers a good many whose exit from among us was not a very serious loss, thriftless men, who did well if they produced as much as they consumed, and whose reluctant labor yielded but little for export. A large proportion of the emigration to California was of a different character. Men of substance, activity, industry, and energy, some of our best farmers, our best mechanics, our ablest merchants, sought the land of gold. This drain on the population of the West could not but be seriously felt in many localities, and though many went intending to return, and though many have since gotten home again, it is unquestionable that the population of Missouri did not increase so rapidly from 1848 to 1854 as it would have done had gold never been discovered in California.

"We are happy to record, however, that this great exodus seems to be over almost if not entirely. We hear no more the notes of preparation for the great journey over the plains, of caravans of hundreds and thousands leaving homes and friends for new and untried scenes. On the contrary, we find that emigrants to Western Missouri and Kansas and Nebraska are coming in, as they used to do in the days of the ‘Platte Purchase,’ fifteen years ago, and our western borders are now fast making up the losses incurred by the ‘California fever.’"

In 1860 the Federal census was as follows for St. Louis County:

Townships. 1860.
  White. Colored.
Bonhomme 3,131 498
Central 5,272 576
Carondelet 3,827 166
Maramec 2,060 408
St. Ferdinand 3,926 863
St. Louis, --    
First Ward 21,750 95
Second Ward 13,686 110
Third Ward 10,185 337
Fourth Ward 14,616 837
Fifth Ward 12,172 517
Sixth Ward 7,664 394
Seventh Ward 12,731 374
Eighth Ward 22,451 312
Ninth Ward 19,705 115
Tenth Ward 22,516 206
Eleventh Ward    
Twelfth Ward    
Total 175,692 5808

The falsification of returns in 1870 makes that census worthless, except for classes of comparison and ratios. Its results are given herewith:

ST. LOUIS COUNTY. White. Colored. Indian. Chinese. Native. Foreign. Total.
Bonhomme 5,304 858     4,704 1,458 6,162
Central 8,120 803     6,017 2,906 8,923
Carondelet 5,000 297     3,609 1,778 5,387
Maramec 2,853 583     2,705 731 3,436
St. Ferdinand 6,262 952     5,346 1,868 7,214
St. Louis 8,395 805 3   5,817 3,386 9,203
St. Louis.              
First Ward 32,099 1,607 2   23,389 10,319 33,708
Second Ward 21,295 580     12,166 9,688 21,855
Third Ward 23,109 754 15   13,341 10,537 23,878
Fourth Ward 36,633 2,538 2   26,363 12,810 30,173
Fifth Ward 26,257 3,510 7   19,624 10,150 29,774
Sixth Ward 20,408 1,104     15,116 6,396 21,512
Seventh Ward 16,875 1,630 3   12,603 5,105 18,508
Eighth Ward 19,659 7,051     18,600 8,110 26,710
Ninth Ward 22,268 649 1 4 13,368 9,574 22,922
Tenth Ward 19,430 1,173     12,298 8,325 20,623
Eleventh Ward 31,885 687 8   19,018 13,562 32,580
Twelfth Ward 18,787 834     12,722 6,899 19,621
  324,729 26,415 41 4 226,806 124,383 351,189


STATES. White. Colored. Indians. COUNTRIES. White. Colored. Indians. Chinese.
Alabama 426 559   Africa 7 8    
Arkansas 246 274   Asia 27 1    
California 123 1 1 Atlantic Island 3      
Connecticut 625 6   Australia 27      
Delaware 231 11   Austria 751      
Florida 56 28   Belgium 254      
Georgia 340 205   Bohemia 2,652      
Illinois 6,720 174 7 British America:        
Indiana 2,439 32   Canada 1,841 16 6  
Iowa 1,424 26   New Brunswick 58      
Kansas 278 9   Newfoundland 4      
Kentucky 3,706 2,010   Nova Scotia 74      
Louisiana 1,882 611   British America, not specified 9      
Maine 712     Total British America        
Maryland 1,502 174   Central America 4 1    
Massachusetts 2,542 27   China       1
Michigan 746 66   Cuba 17 1    
Minnesota 145 8 1 Denmark 178      
Mississippi 554 911 2 England 5,366      
Missouri 121,931 12,281 9 Europe, not specified 94 8    
Nebraska 58 1   France 2,788      
Nevada 1 1   Germany:        
New Hampshire 343 3   Baden 5,881      
New Jersey 955 8   Bavaria 6,430      
New York 9,250 38   Brunswick 269      
North Carolina 190 243   Hamburg 310      
Ohio 6,880 362   Hanover 8,858      
Oregon 2     Hessen 4,849      
Pennsylvania 5,878 210 2 Lubeck 9      
Rhode Island 150 3   Mecklenburg 186      
South Carolina 150 148   Nassau 482      
Tennessee 1,439 1,764   Oldenburg 220      
Texas 129 89   Prussia 24,269      
Vermont 578 4   Saxony 1,775      
Virginia 2,235 1,647 1 Weimar 3      
West Virginia 45 9   Würtemberg 2,566      
Wisconsin 660 8   Germany, not specified 2,933      
District of Columbia 251 30   Total Germany 59,040      
        Great Britain, not specified 5      
TERRITORIES       Greece 2      
Alaska       Holland 643      
Arizona       Hungary 126      
Colorado 20 1   Ireland 32,239      
Dakota 5 1   Italy 985      
Idaho     1 Mexico 25 5 2  
Indian 5     Norway 76      
Montana 9   4 Pacific Islands 1      
New Mexico 27 9   Poland 292      
Utah 18     Portugal 14      
Washington 4     Russia 86      
Wyoming 1     Sandwich Islands 1      
At sea under United States flag 1     Sardinia 1      
Not stated 625 53 2 Scotland 1,202      
Total United States 176,540 22,045 30 South America 15 2    
        Spain 45      
        Sweden 237      
        Switzerland 2,949      
RECAPULATION. Wales 147      
Total Whites 288,737     West Indies 74 1    
Total Colored 22,088     At sea 45      
Total Indians 38     Not stated        
Total Chinese 1              
Total Natives   198,615   Total foreign 112,197 43 8 1
Total Foreign   112,249            
Grand total 310,864 310,864            


The above exhibition of nationalities was thus commented upon and analyzed by an intelligent journalist at the time the statistics were made public, —

"St. Louis is indeed a cosmopolitan city, if there is any on earth. There is still a preponderance of about 85,000 natives over those born in other countries, of whom, however, 22,000 are negroes; but if the children born in St. Louis of foreign parents and who still speak foreign idioms were counted among the foreigners, the two categories would stand in a much closer proportion. At the time the last census was taken there were 198,615 natives and 112,249 foreigners in this city, the census-takers having, with propriety, classed as foreigners only those who were born abroad.

"Now, according to nativity, there are 176,570 whites and 22,045 colored Americans against 59,040 Germans, 32,239 Irish, and 6568 English and Scotch, the balance hailing from almost all countries on earth, even Australia, the Sandwich Islands, and China not excluded. A glance over the statistics of our school population proves the fallacy of these figures, so far as the ethnological character of the city is concerned. Of the 24,347 pupils enrolled in 1870 in our public schools, 10,600, or a little over two-fifths of the whole number, were children of German parents, while only 512, or one out of forty-eight, were born in Germany. Doubtless, therefore, the new arrivals are mostly adults; but inasmuch as the first generation born of foreign parents in this country retain more of the peculiarities of their ancestors than they get from the people into which they will be fused in the end, the ethnological character of St. Louis at present is not exactly determined by the statics of the places of nativity.

"Considering, therefore, the above-stated school statistics, and taking into account the fact that about twice as many of the children in the city of German parentage attend no school at all, or are enrolled in the various parochial schools, the German population, according to the standard of language and habits, amounts at least to 90,000.

"It is evidently more difficult to find the elements for a similar calculation in regard to the immigrant Irish, English, and Scotch population, and those smaller numbers from various other countries. A large majority of these speak English, which enables them to amalgamate sooner with the American nationality. But even of these a sufficient number retain their native peculiarities in such a degree as to warrant the belief that, ethnologically speaking, the population of St. Louis is very nearly equally divided between natives and foreigners.

"No doubt this proportion will increase somewhat in favor of the foreign population during the next ten years, the amalgamating power of the native inhabitants notwithstanding. Not only that the native population has no means to make up for the regular influx from abroad, even if, as it is supposed, it will be smaller than previously, but during the first generation the foreigners increased in a larger ratio by births than the natives.

"The increase of our population, however, has its rational limit, and the moment the limit is approached, the ethnological character of St. Louis will become more stationary and uniform.

"After the second generation people of every extraction acquire many of the physical and moral characteristics of the predominant race. The ratio of births gets to an equilibrium; the large proportion of German children visiting the public schools gives predominance to the English language; the accumulation of wealth in the hands of families of foreign extraction makes them build larger houses and in a style which is more in harmony with the tastes and wants of the older inhabitants.

"The increase of the colored population from about 5000, which it was previous to the war, to upwards of 22,000 went on without much disturbance in regard to the economical features of our population as a whole. The growth of the city has been so wonderful during the last ten years that this great influx of colored people, which otherwise might have been source of annoyance, remained almost entirely unobserved. It is probable that if the statistics had not authoritatively given the number of negroes in St. Louis at 22,045, very few of out citizens would have believed that more than about one-half of that number were living among us. The cosmopolitan character of St. Louis is evidently a source of much good to the country. It shows in a microcosmos the manner in which people, composed of every nationality, may profit from each other's peculiarities, bear their idiosyncrasies, and bring them down to a common level upon which all may safely stand and mutually support themselves. People learn to respect the qualities and honest habits of others, and to emulate each other in energy and in their desire to promote the welfare of the whole. The native learn how to embellish their family life by the introduction of fine arts, and the foreigners how to give up personal and national whims for the public good and mutual good understanding."

The census of 1880 yielded the figures given below:

  1880. 1870.
Bonhomme township, including Kirkwood village 7,043 6,162
Kirkwood village 1,280  
Carondelet township 5,691 5,387
Central township 7,485 8,923
Maramec township 3,746 3,436
St. Ferdinand township, including the following villages: 7,923 7,214
Bridgeton village 197  
St. Ferdinand village 817  
St. Louis City 350,518 310,864
Ward 1 17,434  
Ward 2 13,997  
Ward 3 14,494  
Ward 4 24,502  
Ward 5 19,445  
Ward 6 9,949  
Ward 7 13,143  
Ward 8 6,657  
Ward 9 10,812  
Ward 10 26,904  
Ward 11 5,584  
Ward 12 28,536  
Ward 13 8,773  
Ward 14 20,333  
Ward 15 13,562  
Ward 16 11,699  
Ward 17 17,227  
Ward 18 24,673  
Ward 19 7,229  
Ward 20 12,246  
Ward 21 4,187  
Ward 22 3,294  
Ward 23 5,737  
Ward 24 12,256  
Ward 25 1,015  
Ward 26 2,594  
Ward 27 4,824  
Ward 28 9,412  

In 1876 formed as a separate municipality and increased by parts of Carondelet and Central and all of St. Louis townships, St. Louis Co.


Total population   31,888
Males 16,988  
Females 14,900  
Native 25,299  
Foreign born 6,589  
White 28,008  
Colored 3,880  
Total population   350,518
Males 179,520  
Females 170,998  
Native 245,505  
Foreign born 105,013  
White 328,191  
Colored 22,256  
Chinese 56  
Indians 15  
NATIVITY — County.
Native. Foreign.
State Born in. White. Col'd. Country Born in.  
Alabama 37 38 Asia, N. S. 2
Arkansas 30 13 Australia 2
Arizona 1   Austria, N. S. 19
California 12   Baden 321 a
Colorado 2   Bavaria 236 a
Connecticut 50   Bohemia 18
Dakota 6   British America, N. S. 1 b
Delaware 13 1 Brunswick 21 a
Dist. Columbia 15 1 Belgium 27
Florida 13 5 Canada 111 b
Georgia 19 20 Cuba 1
Illinois 548 8 Denmark 63
Indiana 167 4 England 265 c
Indian Territory 3 1 Europe, N. S. 46
Iowa 78   France 278
Kansas 27 3 Hamburg 4 a
Kentucky 348 257 Hanover 393 a
Louisisana 84 35 Hessen 212 a
Maine 33   Holland 49
Maryland 103 43 Hungary 8
Massachusetts 89   India 3
Mississippi 47 108 Italy 9
Michigan 32   Lubeck 1 a
.Minnesota 16 2 Luxemburg 18
Missouri 18,110 2885 Mecklenburg 11 a
Nebraska 7   Mexico 2
Nevada 1   Nassau 58 a
New Hampshire 13   New Brunswick 3 b
New Jersey 48 2 Nova Scotia 1 b
New Mexico 4   Norway 2
New York 241 3 Oldenburg 11 a
North Carolina 24 32 Prussia 1604 a
Ohio 313 5 Poland 6
Pennsylvania 325 6 Russia 2
Rhode Island 8 1 Saxony 107 a
South Carolina 13 22 Scotland 59 c
Tennessee 151 111 Sweden 28
Texas 14 4 Switzerland 181
Vermont 38 2 Wales 9 c
Virginia 289 260 Weimar 3 a
West Virginia 11 2 West Indies 1
Wisconsin 38 2 Würtemberg 95 a
Wyoming 2   At sea, foreign 1
      Germany, N. S. 1305 a
      Ireland 992 c

When added, items marked a make 4382, which is the number born in German Empire.

Those marked b make 116, the number born in British America.

Those marked c make 1325, the number born in Great Britain and Ireland.
Native white 21,423
Native colored 3,876
Foreign 6,589
Total population 31,888
Native. Foreign.
State Born in. White. Col'd. Country Born in.  
Alabama 451 440 Africa 16
Arkansas 447 238 Asia, N. S. 4
Arizona 4 1 Atlantic Island 5
California 210 10 Australia 37
Colorado 65 1 Austria, N. S. 755
Connecticut 639 6 Baden 3,230 a
Dakota 12 4 Bavaria 2,848 a
Delaware 129 1 Bohemia 2,456
Dist. Columbia 291 45 British America, N. S. 7 b
Florida 64 18 Brunswick 124 a
Georgia 364 250 Belgium 217
Idaho 5   Central America 7
Illinois 13,487 448 Canada 1,935 b
Indiana 2,793 76 China 71
Indian Territory 14 9 Cuba 33
Iowa 1,638 37 Denmark 300
Kansas 478 29 England 6,212 c
Kentucky 4,306 1,686 Europe, N. S. 72
Louisiana 1,884 1,015 France 2,138
Maine 412 5 Great Britain, N. S. 11 c
Maryland 1,461 234 Greece 8
Massachusetts 1,780 25 Hamburg 170 a
Mississippi 688 1,140 Hanover 3,928 a
Michigan 549 21 Hessen 1,958 a
Minnesota 203 5 Holland 588
Missouri 161,188 12,265 Hungary 173
Montana 13 3 India 11
Nebraska 103 8 Italy 879
Nevada 8   Lubeck 3 a
New Hampshire 335   Luxemburg 50
New Jersey 1,046 8 Malta 6
New Mexico 25 3 Mecklenburg 93 a
New York 8,412 41 Mexico 46
North Carolina 282 185 Nassau 149 a
Ohio 7,152 279 New Brunswick 39 b
Oregon 7   Newfoundland 12 b
Pennsylvania 5,662 147 Nova Scotia 83 b
Rhode Island 205 3 Norway 109
South Carolina 182 171 Oldenburg 114 a
Tennessee 2,008 1,607 Pacific Islands 18
Texas 445 105 Portugal 11
Utah 44   Prince Edward's Isl. 15 b
Vermont 476 5 Prussia 13,612 a
Virginia 2,305 1,574 Poland 389
Washington Ter. 1   Russia 136
West Virginia 160 34 Sandwich Islands 6
Wisconsin 862 18 Saxony 909 a
Wyoming 9   Scotland 1,309 a
At sea, U. S. 1   South America 31
      Spain 58
      Sweden 551
      Switzerland 2,385
      Turkey 7
      Wales 241 c
      Weimar 7 a
      West Indies 71
      Würtemberg 1,113 a
      At sea, foreign 68
      Germany, N. S. 26,643 a
      Ireland 28,536 c

When added, items marked a make 54,901, which is the number born in German Empire.

Those marked b make 2091, the number born in British America.

Those marked c make 36,309, the number born in Great Britain and Ireland.
Native white 223,305
Native colored 22,200
Foreign 105,013
Total population 350,518

Increase in the Value of Real Estate. — The history of the rapid increase of values of real estate in St. Louis is worth writing, for two reasons. In the first place, it is almost as full of wonders as the tale of


the building of Aladdin's palace, in respect to the sudden and almost miraculously rapid advances in values. In the second place, it helps to prove the point we have been contending for throughout this entire chapter, — that the people of St. Louis have from the beginning almost been conscious of the city's great destinies. Mrs. Hunt, the daughter of Judge J. B. C. Lucas, was fond of telling how her father used to point to a piece of real estate at Pittsburgh which he could have bought for a song, and which sold for over a million. The incident simply illustrates that confident belief entertained by Judge Lucas in the future of St. Louis which kept him a poor man all his life, and reduced him, while the owner of millions in land, to an income of less than two thousand dollars a year even at the day of his death. Henry W. Williams, who knows as much, probably, about real estate as any single person in St. Louis, prepared a very curious paper in 1860 for Mr. Edwards' "Great West" about "the advance of real estate in St. Louis," an article from which we borrow largely. Mr. Williams says, —

"The rise of real estate in St. Louis has been so fabulous that it has become a theme of wonder and interest. We could not make this history complete did we not give some account of the progressions, and to make the relation more varied, more extensive, more authentic and interesting, we have solicited the aid of those gentlemen that are known to the community as most conversant with all of its features, and, without comment or alteration, we give to our readers the communications which have been addressed to us relative to our inquiries."

And here is one of his examples, —

"ST. LOUIS, March 24, 1860.

"DEAR SIR, — In compliance with your request, I have tried to bring to mind as far as I could the value of real estate in this city during the past forty-two years. I have not been a speculator in lands, but have bought for my own use. In the year 1822 I purchased a lot on Third Street, between Plum and Cedar Street, 75 feet front by 150 in depth, for the sum of $225 the lot. In the year 1846 I sold the same lot for $3000, and it is now held at a bid of $17,000. In 1834 I bought a lot on Main Street, between Spruce and Myrtle Streets, 40 feet front, running to the river-bank, for $350, and in 1852 I sold it, with a two-story house on it, for $10,000. The same property is now worth $35,000. In 1845 I bought a lot on Second Street, between Lombard and Hazel Streets, 150 feet front, running to the river, for $800, and in 1855 I sold one-third of it for $42,000, and held the balance at $100,000. In 1849 I bought a house and lot on Walnut Street, between Sixth and Seventh Streets, for $6000. In 1856 I was offered $15,000 for it. I have known similar sales.

"Yours truly, W. RISLEY."

Here follows another, —


"DEAR SIR, — At your request I refresh my memory to give you, as far as I can in my opinion, the value of property in St. Louis for some twenty-five to thirty-five years back. The first sale which I can recollect was made by grandmother Dubruil, of a lot on the corner of Second and Pine Streets, 70 feet front by 150 deep, to M. Papin, for $700. This was, I think, in 1822 or 1823. My mother bought, in 1822 or 1823, a lot 70 feet front by 150 in depth, corner of Second and Olive Streets, southwest corner, with good stone house, log kitchen, barn, and good fences, all for $1500. The above are now worth from $1500 to $2000 per foot.

"In 1826 my grandmother's property on Second Street, block 61, I believe between Chestnut and Pine Streets, was sold by the administrator, 50 feet, corner Second and Chestnut, by 150, for $10 per foot. The remainder, about 18 feet, with a first-rate stone house and kitchen, was bought in by my mother for benefit of estate for $3000, and sold by her to Mr. Gay in 1830 or 1831 for the same price, so that property had not risen in that locality from 1826 to 1831. Property even in the business parts of the city had but a nominal value till about 1832 to 1833. It may have commenced rising a little in 1831, but so slightly that it was not noticeable, and did not really seem to rise till 1835. From this period it went up in the business parts of the town pretty rapidly till 1838 or 1839, the commencement of bank disasters. From that period to 1842-43, though there may have been no fall, there was no demand, and, to my knowledge, no sales.

"In 1836 or 1837 I heard Mr. Lucas offer land about Lucas Place for two hundred dollars an acre. He sold lots to Benoist, Bogy, and others on Eighth Street, between Pine and Locust Streets, for ten dollars per foot.

"After the crash of the banks, from 1837 to 1841, property had but a nominal value; it commenced rising about 1842 or 1843, and went up gradually till 1845, from which time it improved more rapidly till the great fire in 1849. From the latter date it rose very fast to the present time, and still continues rising, notwithstanding the cry of croakers to the contrary, and, in my humble judgment, will continue onward till the great valley of the Mississippi is filled up and densely populated. Country property rose but little until the building of plank and macadamized roads, but went up magically after the commencement of our railroads.

"To resume, in my opinion there was but an imperceptible, if any, rise in property in the city till 1834 or 1835, when it continued to rise slowly till the great crash in 1838 or 1839. It went up again about 1842 or 1843, slowly till 1849, and from that period to date very rapidly.

"Hoping the above may add a little light to your valuable researches, I remain, dear sir, yours truly and respectfully, "LOUIS A. LABAUME."

"ST. LOUIS, March 9, 1860.

"DEAR SIR, — I will try to comply with your request in relation to the relative value of property in St. Louis during the last few years.

"I will give you the facts of a few prominent points, by which you will be able to judge of intermediate points.

"Early in 1840 property on the corner of Fifth and Market Streets sold for $100 per foot; the same will now readily sell for $1000 per foot.

"In 1840 I bought lots on Olive Street, between Seventh and Eighth Streets, at $40 per foot, which would now sell for $350 per foot. About this time I could have bought of Judge J. B. C. Lucas property on Olive Street, between Eleventh and


Twelfth Streets, for $10 per foot, which is now worth $300 per foot. And on the same street, between Fifteenth and Sixteenth Streets, $5 per foot is now worth $200 per foot.

"In 1842-43 property sold in Christy's addition, west of the St. Louis University, between Twelfth and Sixteenth Streets and Christy Avenue, at from $4 to $10 per foot. The same would sell to-day for from $125 to $200 per foot.

"In 1843-44, on Franklin Avenue, and south of it, in Mills' addition, property sold about Twenty-third Street at from $3 to $5 per foot is now worth from $50 to $75 per foot.

"In the neighborhood of the market on Seventh Street property could have been bought in 1844 at from $10 to $20 per foot. The same will now sell for from $250 to $300 per foot. Looking southwardly, property sold about this time at a very low figure, but has rapidly risen to figures quite as high as in any other direction.

"From 1840 to 1850 the tendency was north. About 1850 a very rapid advance took place to the south and southwest. From about 1854 to 1860 a great rush took place to the northwest, in the direction of fair grounds.

"North St. Louis, about Bremen, toward 1850 began to make rapid strides.

"In 1849 Lowell was first offered. It had been bought only one year before for about $200 per acre. In May, 1849, it sold for from $5 to $10 per foot on Bellefontaine road. It is now selling at from $20 to $30 per foot, or about $4000 to $5000 per acre.

"Thus if you take a stand-point about the court-house you will find the progress resulting about the same, though something in favor of the northward. Westwardly you will find quite an equal advance.

"In Stoddard's addition, which is only about ten years old, property sold at from $5 to $20 per foot. It will now sell at from $50 to $125 per foot.

"As you will observe, the wave of progress has fluctuated in every direction, first in one and then in another, but finally it gains an equilibrium, as things have become established.

"Thus you will see that those who invest money in St. Louis have only to wait a little and a short time brings about vast results. And the only way to judge of the future is to look at the past; according to this rule, the destiny of St. Louis is bound to be the great central city of the United States.

"Truly yours, "W. HALL."

"Many other instances might be cited," Mr. Williams adds, "showing an increase in the value of the real estate of the city of from thirty to fifty per cent. per annum; but I have already wearied your patience, and close, regretting that the pressure of business has prevented my giving you a more connected and coherent statement of my recollections."

The history of real estate movements and operations, in the early periods of the city especially, has been given pretty fully in preceding chapters, and there is no occasion to do more than supplement these facts in the present chapter with illustrative cases. The system of bringing land into market under advantageous and attractive bids, matured by Chouteau and Lucas, was speedily copied by their enterprising rivals in business. The following is from an advertisement of Louis Labaume's in 1812, 15th of June:

"L. Labaume, Real Estate Agent. To the Public: The subscriber has laid off in town lots part of the plantation on which he resides, situated on the banks of the Mississippi, about a mile north of St. Louis; each square is three hundred and sixty feet in front by three hundred feet back, being sub-divided into six lots, each of one hundred and twenty in front by one hundred and fifty in back. The streets running parallel with the Mississippi are sixty feet wide, and the cross streets forty-five. One square is reserved for public use, and another for schools, etc. He will dispose of the rest on the most reasonable terms for cash and property, and will give some credit on giving good security. The beauty and conveniences of the place is inferior to none in the country. Those inclined to purchase will please apply to L. LABAUME."

This is cleverly done, and proves that Mr. Labaume was an apt pupil in the methods for disposing of real estate at good figures. His heirs, however, will scarcely forgive him for selling when he did. A corner lot of that estate will now sell for three times as much as Mr. Labaume was offered for the entire property.

Auguste Chouteau, unlike Judge Lucas, was always ready to sell his lots in St. Louis at an advance, and when he saw the chance to buy others. He liked to turn over property frequently, "to realize on it" now and then, as the phrase goes, showing that he was a person of less faith than John B. C. Lucas, but perhaps a more useful man to have about a growing and ambitious town; for, much as such places need buyers, they need sellers still more, people who are willing to let their real property change hands at reasonable current figures, and without nursing it for their grandchildren. Chouteau built, traded, developed industries, turned his money over and over again, and was not afraid of taxes. For years he was the largest taxpayer in St. Louis. Lucas, on the contrary, was always on the lookout for cheap lots, bought to hold, and did not improve. Cheap lots could be got without much trouble. The Missouri Gazette, of Oct. 9, 1819, says, —

"At the March sale of public lands in this district, one hundred and seven thousand acres were disposed of at the average price of two dollars and ninety-one cents per acre."

At this time the values of land everywhere in Missouri, and not excepting St. Louis, were greatly unsettled by frauds and fraudulent claims and the long and costly processes of litigation. The liberal land grants under the Spanish régime in its last year had opened the way to this, and the trouble was aggravated by speculators who were seeking to locate New Madrid lots (land granted by the United States in cases where property was injured by the earthquakes of 1811-13) even upon the very boundaries of St. Louis. The landshark of that day, rapacious monster, stopped at nothing to insure his claim. Theft, perjury, forgery, murder, all the crimes in the statute-book were committed


to get property for nothing, and to dispossess rightful owners of their estates and improvements. The simple French habitans, the land commissioners, and the courts were no match for these confederated thieves, with their wholesale forgeries and their gangs of hirelings ready to swear to anything. Bryan and Rose, in their interesting "Pioneer Families of Missouri," have preserved the affidavit of one of these suborned perjurers, given at Kaskaskia in August, 1807:

"I, Simon Toiton, being in my sober senses, having taken no drink, and after mature deliberation, having been apprised that I had given a great number of depositions relating to land titles, as well those derived from donations as from improvements; that by means of these depositions great quantities of land have been confirmed to different persons in whose favor I have given these depositions, I do consequently declare, as I have already declared to several persons, that I am ignorant of the number I may have given, since I was drunk when I gave them, a failing to which I am unfortunately addicted; and that when I am in that state any one, by complying with my demands, may do what they please with me. If this work had been proposed to me when in my senses [hiatus in manuscript]. I declare that I recollect that on the last day of November, 1806, I was sent for. Before setting out I drank a quart of liquor; and that there might be no want of it, I took it again on my arrival; before beginning the certificates I took another quart, and this continued until midnight nearly. I recollect at that time to have given twenty-two or twenty-three depositions; that is to say, I copied them from models, to which I made them conform, observing to these persons that what I did could have no validity. They told me not to mind that, that it would be of service to those for whom I made them, and that I ought not to fear anything or make myself uneasy. I declare solemnly that all these last depositions are false, as well as those I had given previously to that time, no matter in whose favor I may have given them; because, to my knowledge, I have never given any except when I was in liquor, and not in my sober senses. I furthermore declare that I am not acquainted with any improvements in this country."

It was by this sort of fraud and villany that land titles were confused in Missouri, and many honest and deserving proprietors swindled out of their property. Here is an instance in point:

"In the year 1785 the government of Spain granted to Angelica Chauvin a concession of forty by forty arpens of land near the then post of St. Louis, bounded by land granted to one Louis Robert on one side, and the king's domain lengthwise the river Des Peres. The concession was sold by the grantee to Jean F. Perry, a meritorious citizen. The government of the United States came, under treaty obligations to the Spanish government, to respect all concessions of land similar to the one to Madame Chauvin, and to fully and faithfully discharge that obligation Congress in 1805 created a board of commissioners charged with that duty. This board of commissioners was composed of eminent men of the highest integrity, but they were by law restricted to the consideration only of concessions accompanied by specific and authentic plats showing the corners and locations of grants presented for confirmation.

"In the year 1811 the board met and confirmed to Jean F. Perry, assignee of Angelica Chauvin, forty by forty arpens of land, the concession being first presented and then the plat, and ordered the same surveyed according to possession (the possession of the grantee). In the year 1812, being one year after the confirmation of the claim, Perry died, leaving four orphan children, all girls; and in the language of Mr. Griswold, ‘here the monster slept!’ Yes, slept for twenty years, until the children grew up to be women and were married. During this lapse of time the cormorants were busy with their New Madrid ‘floats,’ and before the children grew to be women had succeeded in spreading them all over their land, although that land never belonged to the United States."

This piece of property was so long in dispute that immense values and interests became, involved in its settlement; the interposition of Congress was sought, and finally the claimants were thrown out in favor of the possessors. This instance is not adduced by way of pointing an injustice or a grievance, — we have nothing to do with the merits of any particular claim, — but to show how delays and litigation affected the titles and values of property. No one buys a lawsuit if he can help it, and when he does buy one he always insists upon its cost being counted in the bill. It is beyond a doubt that disputed and defective titles had a very depressing effect on the values of real estate in St. Louis for many years, and interfered materially with the extent and rapidity of transfers.


The holder of a New Madrid certificate having got an act of Congress passed authorizing him to locate it, actually attempted for that purpose to take possession under this warrant of Duncan's Island and the water-front of St. Louis. Much of the city property and school property was squatted upon in the same way, with a network of claims and a regiment of claimants, so that in most cases, after years of costly litigation and delay, the authorities found it cheaper to compromise than to make good their complete title. The schools in this way, as fully described elsewhere, lost a great amount of valuable property.

Another thing which had an injurious effect on the value of property was the unsettled condition of the city's estate in the commons and common fields. It would be mere repetition to state here what has been so fully set forth in other chapters about these tracts of land and the disposition made of them. But the fact that the city held all this land, and would of course some day sell it, put St. Louis in the position of a powerful and favored competitor with every dealer in real estate in the community. The city could sell on terms which, no ordinary operator was able to offer. It could hold on as long as it pleased, sell all or as much as it pleased, give what times of payment it pleased, in short, could bull or bear the market at its option. No operator in real estate was either able or willing to lock horns with such a gigantic and powerful opponent, and as long as the city held the commons it had the speculation in real property at its mercy.

The commons embraced under various surveys about three thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven acres of land, lying (as described in 1859)

"south and southwest of the city, and embraces such localities as the House of Refuge, the Lafayette Park, etc., but a more accurate recital of its boundary lines may not be without interest. The southeastern boundary, then, begins on the river-bank, about a half-mile below the ‘Sugar Loaf,’ or, to be more precise, at a point three to four hundred feet below the residence of Charles L. Tucker, Esq.; thence it follows the river-bank to a point nearly opposite the Workhouse; thence, leaving the river, and being bounded on the east by lands of Messrs. Kay-ser, Kennett, and others, it proceeds northerly into the present First Ward of the city, following a straight line, through the property of Thomas Allen, Esq., Henry G, Soulard, Esq., and others, between Eighth and Ninth Streets, to its intersection with Hickory Street; thence westwardly along Hickory Street to a point between Morton Street and St. Ange Avenue, about opposite the terminus of Fourteenth Street; thence northwardly again to Chouteau Avenue; thence westwardly with Chouteau Avenue to its intersection with Grand Avenue; thence with Grand Avenue southwardly to the Stringtown road, and with the Stringtown road southwardly again to the vicinity of tracts held by Messrs. Chartrand and Delore, a little below the house formerly kept by Peter Delore; and thence finally in an easterly direction to the point of beginning on the river. These limits, it will be perceived, embrace many of the most elevated plateaus, and withal one of the most charming districts in the suburbs of the city proper."

The common fields are described at the same date:

"There were a number of these common fields about St. Louis, — the Prairie des Noyer fields in the south, beginning at or near the present Grand Avenue, running westwardly for depth, and (by way of some sort of definite location) intersecting what are now the suburban grounds of Henry Shaw, Esq.; the Cul de Sac common fields, a little north of Prairie des Noyer, and embracing and extending north and south of the grounds of John S. McCune, Esq., Dr. Barret, the Rock Spring Cemetery, etc.; then the St. Louis common fields, beginning eastwardly at Third Street, and extending from say the St. Charles road to a distance below Olive Street; and finally the Grand Prairie fields still farther west."

Successive acts of Congress of June 13, 1812, and May, 1824, and of the Missouri Assembly in March, 1835, authorized their sale, with reservations for schools. It was put to vote at the latter date whether the commons should be sold, and whether a half, Fourth, or tenth of the proceeds should go to schools. The ballot decided in favor of sale, and of appropriating one-tenth to the school fund.

The act provided a sub-division of the common into parcels of not less than one nor more than forty acres, besides which the buyers of common lots were not to pay the amounts which they had bid on the respective lots, but to pay an interest or rent of five per cent, a year on the amount of purchase-money for the period of ten years, after which, on paying the full amount bid, the purchasers were to receive their deeds. Buyers who preferred it were permitted to continue


the payment of such rent for the space of fifty years, after which, and every fifty years thereafter, their lots would be revalued, and a rent of five per centum per annum paid on these revaluations. It will be conceded that the terms of payment under this rule were liberal and accommodating enough to the speculators in common grounds. Accordingly, under these terms, the common was advertised for sale in 1836, and very nearly all, if not quite all, the lots sold. It appears that the affair went off spiritedly, and the prices ranged from fifty to one hundred and fifty dollars per acre, the average being about one hundred dollars. On reflection, the buyers, with few exceptions, seemed to unite in the opinion that these prices were excessive, and that their common purchases were a common grand "take in." From the date of sale the Board of Aldermen was flooded with the petitions of the buyers for release from their purchases, and for a long while, and until the city had again secured the title to nearly the entire common, the authorities were engaged in forfeiting these first sales of 1836.

The question of selling the common was then allowed to sleep until about 1842, when only a few of the forfeited lots were resold. In 1854 the City Council, under further authority of the Legislature, passed another ordinance making new and different arrangements for the sale of the common. The ordinance appointed a "Board of City Common," with authority to sub-divide the common into lots twenty-five feet front by one hundred and twenty-five feet deep; to intersect it with streets and avenues of no less width than sixty feet, and alleys of twenty feet, and with power to sell from time to time at auction sale, on terms of one-sixth cash and the remainder in equal annual installments of one, two, three, four, and five years, the interest on the deferred payments to be six per centum per annum. Under this ordinance five sales took place, the first being in June, 1854, and the last in July, 1859. The amounts realized in these sales sum up as follows:

First sale, June, 1854, aggregate proceeds, $210,000
Second sale, Oct. 1854, aggregate proceeds, 160,000
Third sale, May, 1855, aggregate proceeds, 145,000
Fourth sale Oct. 1856, aggregate proceeds, 100,000
Fifth sale July, 1858, aggregate proceeds 55,000

making a total of $670,000. Of this amount one-tenth, or $67,000, was paid to the public schools, who in some instances took land instead of money, and from what remained, $453,000 went to the sinking fund, and $150,000 to the purchase or the improvement of public parks; this disposition of the proceeds being directed by the ordinance which authorized the sales. To show how "circumstances alter cases," and how opinions and values change with time, in these latter sales of 1854, 1856, and 1858 there were sums paid for the purchase of single lots 25 feet front by 125 feet in depth which at the first sale of 1836 would have purchased twenty-seven and a half acres, or more than one acre to every foot front. Or, to change the comparison, if the sum of $1375 invested in 1856 for a single lot of 25 feet front had been judiciously invested at the sale of 1836, as it might have been in numerous parts of the common, it would in 1859 have been worth to the party investing from $144,000 to $150,000, but it was the good fortune of the city, and the evil fortune of the buyers, that, as stated above, the original sales were nearly all forfeited.

The last sale took place Oct. 4, 1859, and a contemporary report of it said that, —

"The sale of common lots by the city, effected by Messrs. Papin & Brother last Tuesday, was a complete success. The lots advertised were all, or nearly all, sold, and the prices realized were satisfactory. Lots on Maramec Street, opposite Mr. John Withnell's, brought from $14 to $21 per foot, averaging over $17 per foot. On Kansas, Michigan, and other avenues which intersect block 80 the average was about $10 per foot. Block 80 itself realized about $48,000. Afterwards on Carondelet road the lots brought from $12 to $16.50 per foot, on Michigan Avenue $8 to $15 per foot, and on the various other thoroughfares from $5 to $16 per foot. In all 306 lots were sold. The attendance was large, numbering from 250 to 300 bidders. The sale was prolonged until eight o'clock in the night, at which hour three lots were sold on Lafayette Avenue, opposite Chris. Stechlin's brewery, for $77.50 per foot. The aggregate amount of sales was 7684 feet front, producing $80,601."

It was after these sales had gotten under way that real estate values in St. Louis began to "jump," as will be seen by the following table:

For the year 1842 $12,101,018
For the year 1850 29,676,649
For the year 1852 38,281,668
For the year 1853 39,397,186
For the year 1854 41,104,921
For the year 1855 42,456,757
For the year 1856 60,689,625
For the year 1857 73,662,043
For the year 1858 82,160,449
For the year 1859 92,340,870

We do not, however, by any means wish to imply that the real estate interest was stagnant previous to this. On the contrary, there had been, as has already been shown, a steady and rapid rise in values all along It has been satisfactory as regards St. Louis; it would be enormous in respect to any other community, Chicago excepted. A few salient facts culled from various sources will illustrate this.

Augustin Langlois conveyed to Albert Tison, Nov. 29, 1804, in the Carondelet portion of St. Louis, two


hundred arpens, "just as it is from top to bottom," for fifty-five dollars.

The first recorded conveyance of a lot within the limits of the old French village of St. Louis under the jurisdiction of the United States government was on Jan. 15, 1805, when Francis Liberge, Jr., sold to Dominick Huge a lot two hundred and forty feet front on Second Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets, and one hundred and fifty feet deep westward. The price for this piece was stated in the deed to be four hundred dollars.

A tract of fifteen or sixteen acres a little northwest of the old City Hotel, corner of Third and Vine Streets, was bought at an early day by a Mr. Earl, of Baltimore, for one hundred and fifty dollars. He did not consider it worth the taxes, and let it go.

In 1805, Joseph Lacroix sold to Louis Lemonde, for forty dollars, forty arpens, or nearly thirty-five acres, situated in the vicinity of the present Lindell and Laclede Hotels.

The first acquirement of the well-known Lucas estate was recorded on Dec. 14, 1807. The deed shows that Pre. Duchouquette sold "to John B. C. Lucas, first judge of the Territory of Louisiana, residing in this town of St. Louis, a house built of logs stuck into ground, a barn built of cedar wood, the house being underwalled and covered with shingles, the whole lying and being situated on two sites of the ordinary size and dimensions in this town." The deed further recites the location, which was on the north side of Chestnut Street, from Second to Third Street. The sale was "in consideration of six hundred dollars' worth of peltry, that is to say, two pounds and a half of shaved deerskin and marketable per dollar." Judge Lucas paid one-third of the six hundred dollars in cash, and gave a note for the balance. Judge Lucas died in 1843, owning, according to inventory in the Probate Court, $57,688 of personal estate, five lots in the old town of St. Louis, all that portion of the then city from Fourth to Eighth Street, between Walnut and Market, fifty acres from Eleventh to Seventeenth Street, between Market and St. Charles Streets, and four hundred and eighty-eight acres in other parts of St. Louis County. The assessed value of the entire real estate in 1842 was $136,890 for city and 8150,000 for country property.

The first assessment of property for taxation in the town of St. Louis of which there is any record was in 1811. The total assessed value of real and personal property was $134,516; the rate of taxation was one-half of one per cent., and the amount of taxes paid was $672.58. The heaviest tax-payer within the town was Auguste Chouteau, and his property was valued at $15,664. This Chouteau also owned about $61,000 worth of property in the county outside of the then town, but which in latter years became a part of the present city. Other large property-owners of that time, whose estates were not then in the city, but subsequently added, were Judge J. B. C. Lucas, valued at $10,555; John O'Fallon, $2450; William Clark, $19,930; William Christy, $16,000; and Henry Von Phul, $8175.

In 1816 a lot sixty-five feet front on Main Street, between Locust and Vine, and running through to Second Street, was bought for $1200. In December, 1850, a little more than one-third of the same lot sold for $56,000. Prior to this time it had yielded an immense rent for many years.

In other parts of the town of St. Louis at that time (1816) property was sold at merely a nominal figure, by the arpent or lot. There was scarcely any enhancement in the value of property from that time until the years 1829 and 1830.

In the year 1829 we find that a lot on the corner of Morgan and Fifth was sold for three dollars and fifty cents per foot. In the year 1832 property on the corner of Fifth and Cerre Streets was sold for two dollars and fifty cents per foot. In the same year ninety-five feet on the northeast corner of Seventh and Spruce Streets was sold for one dollar and eighty cents per foot. It was worth from three hundred to four hundred dollars per foot in 1859. In the same year (1832) property on the corner of Fifth and Gratiot Streets was sold for two dollars per foot.

In the year 1835 property on the corner of Wash and Sixth Streets was sold for the sum of seven dollars and fifty cents per foot. In the same year a lot at the corner of Hickory and Seventh Streets was sold for one dollar per foot, and the whole of block 157 was sold for the sum of three hundred dollars. In the same year the lot on Broadway opposite Franklin Avenue, upon which Wimer's new building is now situated, was sold for ten dollars per foot.

In the year 1836 property on Seventh Street, between Wash and Carr, was sold for six dollars per foot.

In the same year, property on Green Street, between Tenth and Eleventh, sold for three dollars per foot; on Eleventh, between Green and Morgan Streets, for three dollars per foot; on Austin Street, between Twelfth and Fourteenth, for about sixty cents average per foot; on Market Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, at twenty dollars per foot; and on the corner of Clark Avenue and Seventh Street, for six dollars per foot.

In 1837 property on Twelfth Street, between


Brooklyn and Howard Streets, was sold for five dollars per foot.

In 1841, at the northwest corner of Broadway and Jefferson Streets, at eight dollars per foot.

In the same year, on the corner of Chambers and Ninth Streets, for five dollars per foot.

Property on Olive Street, in the vicinity of Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets, sold as late as 1844 for from twelve to thirteen dollars per foot.

Take Stoddard's addition, for instance, which was sold in the fall of 1851. Property on the corner of Locust and Beaumont Streets was then sold for fifteen dollars per foot; on the corner of Washington Avenue and Garrison Avenue for five dollars and seventy-four cents per foot; on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Ewing Avenue for fifteen dollars per foot; on the corner of Lucas Avenue and Ewing Avenue for ten dollars; on the corner of Lucas and Leffingwell Avenues for the same price, and at the same ratio throughout the whole addition.

Eight years later this property was held at sixty to one hundred dollars per foot. On Chouteau Avenue land worth twenty dollars in 1851 was held at above one hundred and fifty dollars in 1859. It was noted this latter year that there was a regular and systematic ratio of property value enhancement, and the reason assigned for this — undoubtedly the true reason, too — was that, unlike many cities, St. Louis had not grown to her proud position in a day or a year. Nor will she, like many of them, cease to enlarge and prosper at the option of speculators. Manufactories and business of every kind and character have steadily increased and kept pace with this immense enhancement in the value of property. Buildings have been constantly going up, yet not fast enough to accommodate the immense emigration constantly swelling the population. In fact, the city has never been so prosperous, and the future is even more promising than the past has been satisfactory. There is to-day more foreign capital in the city and State seeking investment in real estate, business, and manufactories than there has ever been in any previous three years together. There is a larger margin for speculation in real property in St. Louis than there has ever been.

Real estate is enhancing in value more and more rapidly every year, and it must continue to do so until the vast territory stretching as far west as the Rocky Mountains shall be densely populated and pours its immense harvests annually into our markets. It is true that it requires more money to invest largely than it did a few years ago, but the profits are greater in proportion to the investment than they ever were. There is not a single city in the Union where rents yield such a percentage on the value of the property and yet any number of houses in any locality could readily be rented, if they were finished, at the same profits.

Continuing these illustrations, we find it noted that "when Mr. Cozens made the survey, property on Lindell Avenue, west of Grand, could have been bought at from three to five dollars per front foot; it is now worth in many places one hundred and fifty dollars. He has seen property on Fifth Street sell for two dollars and fifty cents and three dollars per foot, — two hundred and two hundred and fifty dollars a lot were high prices; now the same property is valued at over fifteen hundred dollars per front foot. In the early '40's Henry Chouteau sold at auction two hundred feet front on Seventh Street, corner of Spruce, at fifty cents per front foot. In Stoddard's addition, along in the middle '50's, property sold at six and twelve dollars per front foot; to-day the same property is worth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars. Mr. Cozens laid out in 1861-62 the Camp Jackson tract, which took in from Garrison Avenue, or Thirtieth Street to King's Highway, south of Olive, through which Pine and Chestnut Streets were projected. At the first sale, about 1863, property in that tract brought from ten to fifteen dollars per front foot; to-day it is worth from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars.

"In 1841, with Mr. Brown, Mr. Cozens laid out William Christy's western addition, from Fourteenth Street west to Jefferson Avenue, and between St. Charles Street and Cass Avenue; John Mullanphy's estate, north of Cass Avenue, from Broadway west to Jefferson Avenue; a sub-division for L. A. Benoist, W. G. and G. W. Ewing, on the south side of Cass and east of Jefferson Avenue, property in which sold for from one to five dollars per front foot."

Here follow some newspaper clippings:

1843. — "The value of the real and personal property in the city of St. Louis reported by the late assessment is $11,721,425.91. The reports from the treasurer say it will be necessary to levy a tax of one per cent. on the assessment to meet the demands of the current year."

1844. — "The total value of the taxable property of this city as assessed during the present year, and just approved by the board of aldermen, is $14,843,700. Last year the assessed value was about $11,000,000.

"It will be seen by an advertisement in this paper that Mr. Lucas designs to offer at public sale a large number of his lots, situated in the rear of the Planters' House, and in what must be the most fashionable and agreeable part of the city. The location is between Market and Olive Streets, and extending from Thirteenth to Sixteenth Streets."

1845. — "Add the three districts together, and the total number of houses erected in 1844 in the corporate limits of St. Louis


may be set down at eleven hundred and forty-six. Of these many were churches, public edifices, and costly private residences. But great as the improvement was in 1844, unless some very unexpected reverse comes upon us, the amount to be expended in building in 1845 will quite equal it.

"Mr. Lucas intends, we understand, this season to make an improvement which will add greatly to the value of the property in that quarter, and increase the population west of the proposed improvement.

"We understand that he will open Twelfth Street, one hundred and forty or sixty feet wide, from Market to St. Charles Street, the breadth of five blocks. Fifty feet or so in the centre of the street will be reserved for a market-house which he will erect this season at his own cost, leaving a wide street on each side of the market."

1849. — "The assessment of the real estate in the city of St. Louis for the year 1849, as appears from the assessor's books, is as follows:
  Old Limits. New Limits. Total.
First Ward $404,024.61 $2,651,677.96 $3,065,702.57
Second Ward 2,729,208.92 660,539.47 3,389,948.39
Third Ward 4,726,991.43 2,063,716.70 6,790,708.13
Fourth Ward 4,035,483.83 1,516,578.44 5,552,062.27
Fifth Ward 1,192,470.69 2,075,483.15 3,267,953.84
Sixth Ward 323,388.66 6,995,988.62 7,319,377.28
  $13,421,568.14 $15,963,984.34 $29,385,552.48

1850. — "We have said that we reckon the buildings erected this year by the thousand. By reference to the published tables it will be seen that their number reaches two thousand four hundred and fifty. The money expended on their construction amounts to the sum of $7,173,155."

1851. — "Large Sale of Land. — The large sale of land which has been going on for two days past in the ‘Union Addition’ to St. Louis, or ‘Capitol Hill,’ was closed yesterday. One hundred and sixty lots were sold, and the aggregate of the sales is $88,063.44. This addition is situated near the new reservoir of the city water-works, in the most elevated part of the city, and full two miles from the court-house.

"The Stoddard sale, conducted by Leffingwell & Elliott, was closed yesterday, the gross amount being $701,676. The whole tract is now disposed of, and we learn that many persons who had gone to the ground to bid failed to secure any lots. So great an amount of property has never been offered or sold in this city at one time, and the aggregate returns of purchasers evince the confidence of strangers as well as our own citizens in the stability and prospects of our city."

1855. — "The sale of the Centre Market property, owned by the city, took place yesterday, and was attended by a great number of persons. The whole property produced over $174,000."

It was about this period that the citizens of St. Louis began to turn their attention to suburban properties and the construction of suburban villas and cottages. The country in the vicinity of the city has long been noted for its beauty and its adaptedness to the elegant ease of country-seats owned by the wealthy and the luxurious.

The whole territory environing St. Louis is very elevated, undulating gently and gracefully, in such ] manner that there is no road leading from the city which does not for many miles reveal an innumerable succession of beautiful building eminences. The valleys which intervene, the vigorous and stately oak groves decking the hill-tops occasionally or lining the margin of chance brooks, the rich rolling meadows, the extensive and trim gardens, atoning by their careful cultivation and their freshness for the disorder of the gardener's hut attached to them, with here and there at rare intervals the elegant cottage and finely-embellished grounds of some wealthy merchant from the city, — all combine to make a picturesque and attractive landscape. An afternoon ride over the Bellefontaine road, the Carondelet road, the Manchester road, or over Grand Avenue sustains the assumption that there is no city of the West, at any rate, whose suburbs reveal greater natural beauties than those of St. Louis.

But until the periods referred to, these beauties had been lost upon the wealthy, since they had developed no fondness for suburban or country life. Now, however, this began, and elegant mansions and villas began to spring up about Compton Hill, Côte Brilliante, and the Carondelet road, and later along the railroads leading into the city.

About this time, also, the people began to take note of the pace at which real estate values were being accelerated, and to look upon holdings of city lots as about as rapid a means of getting rich as any one need employ. They recalled, for example, that

"in the year 1840, St. Louis, although a place of importance, evinced nothing foreshadowing her present prosperity. Manufactories of all kinds were few, her mercantile operations limited, and real estate was held at merely a nominal figure. She was, in fact, dependent entirely upon other places for almost every article for home consumption. In 1836, only four years previous to the time of which we speak, property was offered on the corner of Eighth and Pine Streets for ten dollars per foot, and could not be sold from the fact that every one regarded the price as enormously fictitious. The whole western part of the city, say from Eighth Street westwardly, was then a common, and few imagined that it would ever be used for anything else. In 1839 the eastern half of the block where the Planters' House is now was sold for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars per foot. Every one regarded the purchaser as ‘done for’ in that speculation. The property would to-day (the year 1859) sell for fifteen hundred dollars per foot. The best property on Main Street would not sell for more than three hundred dollars prior to the great fire of 1849.

"In the years 1839 and 1840 property on Lucas Place could not have been sold for three dollars per foot, and a sale was effected by Messrs. Belt & Priest a few days since at the round sum of two hundred and fifty-one dollars per foot. But we are asked the question, How do you account for this rapid enhancement in the value of real estate? Is it permanent, and will not this state of things terminate in total bankruptcy if it continues? They who propound such questions know little of the illimitable and inexhaustible resources of our great city. St. Louis, although in its infancy, possesses the power of a giant. The history of the world fails to present a single example of a city growing to such greatness when fostered by its commercial position alone. It cannot be claimed that the country back of St.


Louis has aided her much, for by far the greatest portion of it is an unbroken wilderness.

"The maximum value of real estate in St. Louis has not been attained. There is to-day a larger margin for speculation and an inevitable certainty of a more rapid increase than there was ten or twenty years ago. We are gratified that Eastern capitalists have become awake to this fact, and are investing largely in real estate in our city. We invite more capital; there is room for immense amounts to be lucratively invested. We invite emigration; we invite labor. Come one, come all, there is bread and work for us all."

And all this is just as true of 1883 as it was of 1859. The maximum value of real estate in St. Louis is still to be attained, and the increase to-day is more rapid than it was twenty-five years ago.

The civil war set things back a whole lustrum, but did not destroy nor even injure the roots of progress and development. These, indeed, seemed to strengthen and pierce deeper and take firmer grip of the soil during the period when they were prevented from sending shoots upwards. By 1870 all activities had been resumed, as the following record of building in that year shows:

  Brick. Frame. Stone. Iron. Total.
January $170,700 $1,200     $171,900
February 495,900 5,500     501,400
March 565,000 2,700   $90,000 657,700
April 604,775 10,600 $50,000   665,375
May 46,496 13,500     59,996
June 401,175   55,000   456,175
July 727,330 2,250     729,580
August 346,434 100     346,534
September 408,250 850 8,000   417,100
October 521,400 1,200 1,000   523,600
November 217,625 625 10,000   228,350
December 130,000       130,000
Total $4,636,085 $38,525 $133,000 $90,000 $4,887,710

The total number of building permits granted during the year was 1228. From this amount there should be deducted 200 for small additions not properly classed as buildings. This leaves 1028 buildings. To this add 500 buildings erected aside from permits granted, and also including cases where permits cover more than one building, and there is an approximate number of buildings erected during the year of 1528. The total estimated building outlay was equivalent to $5,687,710, expended in buildings during the year.

Operations so extensive and so costly as this required, of course, great economy in the regulation of expenditures and the selection of materials. Fortunately, St. Louis is very rich in cheap and handsome building materials of every sort. Nowhere can better lime, sand, and bricks be found, taken right out of the soil on which the city is built. As early as 1839, Samuel Head began to quarry and manufacture marble from a quarry under the city, as is recounted in the following letter from Mr. Garesché:

"On my arrival in this city, I was struck with the marble appearance of the stone, but was unable to procure a person who understood polishing it; in the mean time, Mr. Samuel Head, a young man lately come to this place, whose business it was, worked this stone, and demonstrated to the inhabitants of St. Louis how useless it was to send to the eastward for mantelpieces or other marble monuments when they were treading over a soil so rich in that species of mineral. This marble vies with the most beautiful for the fineness of its polish, nor are its variegated accidents or color inferior to any. It contains abundance of calcareous spar, and some, probably, oxide of iron, which shows itself in scarlet spots of the most gaudy hue. This ledge, about four feet in thickness, stands between two strata of limestone. The undermost has been used to this day as a fine building material. It is that of which our curbstones are made and our streets are macadamized. It receives also a very fine polish it is then of a cream color, with light gray veins. Under this stratum is one of silex. Mr. Head has also discovered in the same quarry another kind of marble of a nankeen hue, with black veins running through, pretty much in imitation of scales of a fish. The last specimen has, however, been found in but small detached pieces. There is scarcely any doubt when the subject is further investigated but what some new discoveries will be made. The banks of the river for some considerable distance appear to be of the same nature, and must contain the same or some other mineral wealth, which may become a source of profitable exportation to the community at large."

St. Louis possesses the advantage of being built in a location and upon ground where the best of bricks are easily attainable at low prices. It is worthy of note that the appearance presented by the walls of the many thousands of fine residences and business houses attracts the attention of every visitor to the city. To build up a city like St. Louis, almost entirely of brick, requires a large supply of suitable clay for their manufacture, but, as great as the draft has been, the supply is as yet comparatively untouched, and as demands are made and investigations prosecuted, the quality increases in value and importance, and foreign markets, that but a few years ago furnished clay for crucibles used in smelting furnaces, fire-brick, etc., now use that of St. Louis for their supplies, thereby acknowledging the superiority of the clay found in St. Louis over that of other sections. So important is this branch of trade becoming, that several firms make this traffic an especial business, and are almost daily filling orders for Cincinnati, Louisville, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other large manufacturing cities in our own country, while orders have also come from Stourbridge, England, from whence clay used to be shipped to different cities of this country.

The manufacture of brick enters very largely into the active use of capital, and, like every other branch of industrial manufacture, has undergone many changes and has been attended with many improvements within the period of time that has passed since the St. Louis trading-post began to give way before


the march of progress, and the manufacturers of the rude pieces of tempered earthen mortar they called brick — some of which may still be seen in some of the pioneer brick houses of St. Louis — would look with wonder upon the almost scientific nicety and difference in shape of the brick now made as compared with those they fashioned, if it were possible for them to be raised from their sleep of death and shown through some of the St. Louis brick-yards. But, notwithstanding the many different kinds of brick-making machines that have been invented, the old hand process seems to be regarded with a very great degree of partiality, as affording a better and more perfect brick for building purposes than any machine ever yet introduced, although some of the machines turn out an excellent quality. With machinery, brick can be made much faster than by hand, but it is maintained by many builders and owners of houses that the rapidity with which they are made renders it impossible for them to be made perfect and solid in every respect, and particularly so with those made from dry clay. A smooth, even surface and solid formation are the qualities requisite to a good brick, and in many localities clay from which such bricks can be made is scarcely attainable. Its absence accounts for the rough, cracked, and almost shale-like appearance of many of the walls of brick houses to be seen in many sections of the country.

In some places it is impossible to find a clay that will not crack either in sun-drying or burning, however well-tempered the mortar may have been, and instances have been known where kilns, in which a hundred thousand had been set, would not turn out more than twenty-five to fifty thousand merchantable brick. In such cases heavy pecuniary loss was unavoidable, and hence the importance to brick-moulders of finding clay that would withstand the action of the sun when turned out in the yard to dry, or of the fire while kiln-burning. In the earlier times slop brick — that is, brick made by rolling the mortar in water and casting it in wet moulds — were more generally made than any other kind, but the difficulty of obtaining a smooth surface, a very desirable consideration, was a great objection to that style of brick, and it gradually gave way to other methods, as did also the old way of preparing the mortar by tramping it with horses, oxen, or even, in some instances, by men and horses. But these methods of brick-making gave way to sand brick. These are made by rolling the mortar in sand on the moulding-table and casting it into moulds, which are also well sanded by being dipped in a box of sand by the off-bearers after every turning out on the yard. It is very justly maintained that this process secures more smoothly-surfaced, nicely-cornered, and more solid brick than those moulded in slop or water, and that it also secures a brighter, better color in burning. This process of brick-moulding is universally followed by the different hand brickyards of St. Louis.

White Brick. — A great part of this brick formerly used was brought from other sections, Milwaukee, Wis., being the most noted place of the manufacture of that variety. Within the last twenty years, however, it has been satisfactorily settled that in St. Louis there is even a better quality of clay for their manufacture than that used at Milwaukee, and their manufacture has begun on a large scale. The bed of clay from which they are made is supposed to be inexhaustible.

This clay burns to a beautiful white, producing a brick every way equal to, and in certain respects superior to, those made at Milwaukee. Their color when properly made is lighter and more uniform, while the shrinkage is uniform, far more so than in the Milwaukee brick. From tests made by the engineers of the water-works and others, their tenacity is shown to be equal to any in government reports, sustaining flatways two thousand pounds on supports six inches apart with a fulcrum in the centre. Their manufacture was attempted before the late war, and about one hundred thousand made and burnt, but on account of the war the enterprise was abandoned until 1867. Pressed white brick, it is said, are much less expensive than stone fronts and look nearly as well, and it is therefore a source of congratulation that they are manufactured in St. Louis instead of imported from Milwaukee.

Fire-Clay. — The increase in the establishment of furnaces requiring the use of fire-brick, crucibles, retorts, etc., has necessarily increased the demand for these articles. In the earlier periods of the manufacturing interests of our country, clay for the manufacture of crucibles, retorts, etc., as well as some of the manufactured articles, were brought from Stourbridge, England, and Germany. The cost of either the clay or the manufactured article was a matter of no little moment, and hence the discovery of fire-clay in this country became a matter of congratulation to manufacturers, and as investigations and discoveries have been extended, beds of the purest and best of this material have been found, and now, instead of importing it either from Germany or England, it is exported from America to all the manufacturing points of Europe; but while it is found in many sections of our country, none rank higher among manufacturers than that found at


Cheltenham and vicinity, four miles from St. Louis. The properties of the best pot- and fire-clay consists of the following percentage of component parts:
Silica 64.05
Alumina 23.15
Oxide of iron 1.85
Carbonate of magnesia .95
Water 10.00

An analysis of the Stourbridge clay (for a long period of years regarded as the most nearly perfect of any offered to the trade), made by Willis (see Watt's Diet. Chem., Eng. Ed., vol. ii. p. 653), showed the following proportion of ingredients:

Silica 67.34
Alumina 21.01
Oxide of iron 2.03
Alkalies 1.38
Water 8.24

An analysis of the Cheltenham clay, by Professor A. Litton, shows that it is much nearer a perfect article, taking the analysis of the best pot-clay, as submitted by Richardson, as authority, than that known as Homer's best pot-clay from Stourbridge, England. The analysis of both the crude and washed clay is as follows:

Crude Clay.
Silica 61.02
Alumina 25.64
Oxide of iron 1.70
Lime .70
Magnesia .08
Potassa .48
Soda .25
Sulphur .45
Water 9.68
Washed Clay.
Silica. 59.60
Alumina 26.41
Oxide of iron 1.61
Lime 1.00
Magnesia .07
Potassa .29
Soda .16
Sulphur .38
Water 10.48

Of the exact date of the finding of the clay at Cheltenham we are not fully advised, but Paul M. Gratiot engaged in the manufacture of fire-brick in a small way as early as 1837-38. His works were situated on what is now known as the Glassby heirs' farm, on King's Highway, and near the residence of Hon. John S. McClure. Since then, however, the discovery of immense beds of the clay have been made, and several large fire-brick manufactories erected, employing a large capital and several hundred mechanics, laborers, etc.

No substance has ever been found anywhere that approaches the Cheltenham clay. This clay on being first brought to the surface and exposed to the light has an appearance similar to that of stone, but after being exposed to the weather for a few days it disintegrates and falls to pieces. One-third of the material thus unearthed is preserved from exposure to the weather, and this portion of it is burned or calcined, this process being necessary to the proper working up of the material. After being burned it is passed through a process of grinding or reduction from its large lumps to a certain degree of pulverization necessary to the manufacture of fire-brick or whatever else may be intended, and from the Iron Age we extract the following description of the process to which the clay is submitted. This description relates to other works, but embraces the same principles and machinery as that used in St. Louis. It says, —

"Much care has to be exercised in the selection of the clay and its combinations in proper proportions. The brick are to resist the intense heat of the puddling furnace, the iron cupola, the locomotive and boiler grate, as well as the continuous heat in other places where the action of fire is to be resisted. The brick made directly from the clay is found to be too solid and too liable to fracture from the heat. To remedy this and secure a porous article the pure and best fire-clays are calcined, then it is taken and crushed by means of large iron rollers. By this process it is reduced to a mass of small particles ready for mixing with the pure clays. When the proper ingredients are thus combined, the mixture is put into a large box or vat and let soak about a day. Then it goes through the pug-mill, by which it is ground fine. It is then ready to be modeled into any of the required shapes, and they are legion. After this has been done the bricks are placed on the drying floor, where they remain from six to ten hours. They are then pressed, to give them their regular shape. After pressing they are again placed upon a drying floor, where they remain until dry enough to be set in the kilns for burning. The brick from the modelers will have to be handled five times before they are ready for use. The two defects that have heretofore existed in pressing blocks flatwise and by hand are said to be, 1st, the blocks were not pressed hard enough; 2d, they came out of the mould of an uneven thickness. To remedy these evils machinery has been invented within a few years for pressing the blocks edgewise, so that they come out fully pressed and with a perfect uniform thickness. This make of blocks, therefore, has the advantage that they require no chipping or dressing in laying them up. This saves a great amount of labor in lining or relining furnace It also makes a much better job than when laid with uneven blocks.

"Next comes the baking process. Here the round kilns are used, which is the form preferred by the English and other foreign makers. These improved, circular, high-coned kilns are fired with anthracite coal, and have a large number of fire-chambers around, and the heat is drawn to the centre of the kiln. This arrangement makes the heat equal throughout the whole kiln, burning top and bottom brick alike. Between the fire-chambers and the bricks, after they are set in the kiln, are protection-walls that prevent the heat from striking them, carry it up to the top of the kiln, and then down through its centre, enabling it to escape through a flue or pipe leading


from the bottom underground to the smokestack of the manufacturing machinery. It makes heat fast and very intense, burning all the brick thoroughly and equally. Thirty-six hours of full heat are generally required to burn the brick, and about twenty-four hours are required to attain this heat. The time required for cooling, of course, varies with the season.

"A large number of the fire-bricks manufactured here are sent to the manufacturing establishments of the Lake Superior regions, while a great many are shipped to the South, and almost all other points where manufactories requiring intense heating apparatuses are established; and so superior are the manufactures of the St. Louis and Cheltenham works that wherever they have been introduced they have been awarded the premium, both as to the quality of the clay and superiority of manufacture. The clay is becoming an article of commerce in itself, and is sought after from the various manufacturing cities of our own country, while some orders have come from Europe. One or two firms exist in this city that engage exclusively in its traffic. It is usually put up in barrels, and is worth in this market sixteen dollars per ton. Fire-bricks made at the Cheltenham and Oak Hill Works have been submitted to the severest tests known to the business, and pronounced by experienced men to be of the very best quality. For retorts and crucibles, and everything else designed to be exposed to the action of a great heat, the fire-clay found in St. Louis County is unsurpassed, and is a source of wealth little dreamed of by the pioneer settlers of this part of the Mississippi valley. As yet it is not fully developed or worked to any extent by other than the establishments already named; but it is not saying too much to predict that the time is not far in the future when the establishments to be built up here to shape and convert into articles of usefulness will be equal to those of any part of the Old World, to which America looked for many years for her supply of clay for crucibles, retorts, etc., and thus add millions of money to our home capital, and increase our population by thousands."

According to the tax assessor's report for 1882, the valuation of the real estate in the city of St. Louis is as follows: In the old limits, or within the limits before 1877, there are 63,652 lots, valued at $143,585,820, and 1417 acres, valued at $3,440,270; total, $147,026,090. In the area between the old and present limits there are 18,367 lots, valued at $7,233,070, and 19,056 acres, valued at $7,917,850; total, $15,151,520. The grand total for the entire city for the 82,019 lots and 20,473 acres is $162,177,610.

St. Louis now has about one-third of its area covered with building and park improvements. There are about three hundred and thirty miles of improved streets, two hundred and fifteen miles of public and district sewers, two hundred and thirty miles of water-pipe, eighteen street railroads, having nearly one hundred and thirty miles of route through the city, and sixteen steam railroads centering at Union Depot.

The United States government now owns property in real estate and buildings in St. Louis to the value of $5,787,800, and the St. Louis school board owns property valued at $2,382,342. The valuation of property owned by private schools and convents is $1,418,465, and by church corporations, $3,610,586. The total amount of real estate exempt from taxation in the city is about $35,000,000.

The increase in the assessed value of real estate in St. Louis in 1882 was about fifteen per cent. as to the entire city. In the central part of the city twenty and twenty-five per cent. increase was made, while in the suburban sections five to ten per cent. additional value was placed on real estate. But few owners made petitions appealing from these additional valuations.

Below are given samples of the assessments on Washington Avenue and Olive Street for the past two years, from which some idea may be obtained of the increased values.

Washington Avenue.

Between Fourth and Fifth Streets:

Ames' estate, 90 feet front, valued at $187,500 in 1881, and $190,000 in 1882.

William G. Clark, owner, 112 feet front; increased from $155,750 to $174,500.

Mercantile Block, 18 feet front; increased from $17,720 to $26,520.

Between Fifth and Sixth Streets:

Mary P. Barrett, 71 feet front; increased from $82,140 to $94,860.

John H. Beach, 23 feet front; from $20,570 to $23,180.

Alford Bradford, 70 feet; increased from $94,800 to $105,800.

Charles Bradford, 30 feet; from $43,200 to $48,200.

State Savings Association, 27 feet; from $19,280 to $21,000.

Between Sixth and Seventh Streets:

Ames' estate, 90 feet; from $87,200 to $100,000.

New Lindell Hotel Company, 182 feet; from $474,150 to $587,000.

Between Seventh and Eighth Streets:

Gerard B. Allen, 235 feet; from $94,580 to $138,080.

George W. Bull, 22 feet; from $17,930 to $22,240.

Between Eighth and Ninth Streets:

First Methodist Church, 94 feet; from $35,880 to $38,000.

Between Ninth and Tenth Streets:

Esther Collins, 24 feet; from $32,330 to $37,500.

Olive Street.

Between Fourth and Fifth Streets:

Third National Bank, 37 feet; from $97,000 to $103,750.

Between Sixth and Seventh Streets:

Provident Savings-Bank, 25 feet; from $39,500 to $44,500.

John B. Sarpy, 50 feet; from $46,330 to $52,900.

Between Sixth and Seventh Streets:

Alice Bacon, 25 feet; from $13,870 to $15,200.

Between Seventh and Eighth Streets:

T. Benoist, 44 feet; from $33,040 to $40,000.

Between Eighth and Ninth Streets:

Laura A. Blossom, 25 feet: from $12,290 to $15,450.

Odd-Fellows' Hall Association, 127 feet; from $54,000 to $60,000.

Between Ninth and Tenth Streets:

Gerard B. Allen, 100 feet; from $70,500 to $92,500.

Pelagie Berthold, 50 feet; from $23,500 to $26,500.

Between Tenth and Eleventh Streets:

Mary A. Calhoun, 24 feet; from $8250 to $12,250.


Between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets:

Daniel Catlin, 24 feet; from $8720 to $9720.

Nathan Cole, 29 feet; from $11,410 to $12,800.

John Byrne, Jr., the pioneer, perhaps, in what has grown to be the colossal real estate business of St. Louis, was born in New York City, Aug. 3, 1805. His parents were John Byrne and Margaret O'Donnell, both natives of County Donegal, Ireland. Little is recorded of his boyhood, except that he was educated at Georgetown, D. C., leaving school in 1819 and removing with his parents to Mobile, Ala., where, although a mere boy, he was immediately associated with his father in mercantile pursuits, for which he early exhibited a special aptitude.

On the 5th of March, 1832, he was married to Sarah M. Fitzimmons, a native of Asheville, N. C., and of Irish parentage. This union has proved a long and happy one, and on the 5th of March, 1882, the couple had the pleasure of celebrating their golden wedding, amid the congratulations of a large company of their friends in St. Louis.

The ruin wrought by the panic of 1837 compelled Mr. Byrne to seek a new location. Accordingly he removed to St. Louis, where he established a modest dry goods house on Market Street. Few of those then engaged in business in St. Louis are now living, but one of the few is Eugene Kelly, who kept a store within a few doors of his, and who is now a wealthy banker of New York.

In 1840, Mr. Byrne opened a real estate office in a little building on Chestnut Street, near Fourth. Although the honor has been claimed for others, he was perhaps the pioneer in this business, and H. W. Leffingwell appears to have been the next person to engage in this as yet untried field.

Mr. Byrne's industry and fidelity to the interests of his patrons were speedily recognized, and he soon had the satisfaction of seeing his business established on a substantial basis. Its increase has been singularly uniform, a result due perhaps to his conservatism, which prevented his engaging in the wild speculations that proved so ruinous to others in the real estate trade. This caution begot confidence in him and gained him custom, and some of the largest estates in St. Louis have passed through his hands. It is now forty-two years since the business was inaugurated, and the generous competence which Mr. Byrne is now enjoying in the evening of his days is the fitting reward for years of watchful and incessant industry.

Although not a politician, Mr. Byrne has not declined to serve the public when called upon. At one time he was a member of the Board of Education, serving with Chancellor Eliot, and proved himself a progressive friend of the public school system.

He is a devoted member of the Catholic Church, and was one of the founders of the St. Vincent de Paul Association. When he arrived in St. Louis he says the population was only eighteen thousand. The court-house was the only public building, and that was unfinished. The only Catholic Churches were the cathedral and the chapel of the St. Louis University, and the only two Catholic institutions were the St. Louis University, under Father Ellet, and the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

Mr. Byrne was a director in the Central Savings-Bank, and when it failed he lost his investments and the deposits of his house. He is now a director in the Safe Deposit Company.

Mr. Byrne has had two children. Mary Elizabeth was born in New York in 1833, and in 1856 was married in St. Louis to Dr. F. L. Haydel, of St. James Parish, La. Dr. Haydel has been associated with his father-in-law for many years as superintendent of his business.

The fate of James Fitzsimmons Byrne was a tragic one. He was born in St. Louis, May 27, 1842; attended school at Antwerp, Belgium, for four years, and on June 8, 1864, was drowned in the Rhine at Bonn, Prussia. He was a young man of exceptional promise, and his sudden death fell with crushing weight upon his parents.

Although now considerably beyond the Scriptural limit of "threescore years and ten," Mr. Byrne has not until lately exhibited any marked decay of body or mind. He appears occasionally at his business, and attends to many details, and still manifests considerable interest in affairs. Of a retiring nature, he has always shunned publicity, and would prefer, if judged at all, to be judged by his deeds. According to such a standard, there are few of the business men of St. Louis who have accomplished more, not merely in winning success in business, but in demonstrating the fact that enduring success is the natural result of patient, painstaking, and unostentatious labor.

Marcus A. Wolff, another prominent real estate agent, was born in Louisville, Ky., May 14, 1831. His father was born in London, England, of Polish parents, and came to this country when only nineteen years old. He was a mechanic in moderate circumstances. Eventually he married Miss Susan Franklin, of Kentucky. The elder Wolff was a man of sound common sense, and, so far as he was able, gave his son a good common-school education. When the boy was only ten years of age, however, necessity compelled him to leave school, in order to contribute


to his own support and to that of the other and younger members of the family.

Hoping to better his condition, his father removed to St. Louis, and Marcus found employment as a newsboy and in various capacities in the newspaper offices. The papers of the city then were the Missouri Republican, the Evening Gazette, the Missourian, and the Reveille. For several years he was a carrier on the Evening Gazette and the Reveille, and in 1847 he went on the Republican, working at the press and carrying papers. The chief incidents of the latter engagement were the fire that destroyed the office of the paper and the cholera epidemic of 1849. While the malady was raging young Wolff gave a signal display of energy: three of the carriers of the paper were stricken down, and he insisted upon delivering the papers on their routes in addition to his own, and for some time did the work of four men, beginning at one o'clock A. M. and walking continuously until noon. Such service won the gratitude and respect of his employers and the admiration of his acquaintances. In this eminently practical school Mr. Wolff completed his business education.

In December, 1852, he married Miss Eliza J. Curtis, of St. Louis, and about the same time obtained a position as teller and clerk in a private banking-house, in which position he soon acquired the reputation of being the best judge of bank-notes in the city, a distinction to be proud of, for in those days there were it twelve hundred banks throughout the country issuing notes of differing denomination. By judicious investment of his savings he was enabled in 1859 to establish himself in business as junior member of the real estate firm of Porter & Wolff. The house soon became known as one of the most successful in St. Louis. In 1868, Mr. Porter retired, and Mr. Wolff continued the business, having purchased his partner's interest. In 1872 the firm of M. A. Wolff & Co. established. Under Mr. Wolff's energetic management the business grew rapidly, and has long been perhaps the largest and most prosperous of its kind in St. Louis.

Pre-eminently a business man, Mr. Wolff has never held office, although a stanch Democrat, and often solicited to allow his name to be used. But recognizing the fact that his own prosperity depended on that of the city, he has always taken a deep interest in whatever promised to advance her progress. He was of the original stockholders in the Boatmen's Savings Institution, and holds or has held an interest (mostly as director) in the following institutions: Second National Bank, East St. Louis Elevator Company, Hope Mutual Insurance Company, St. Louis Distillery Company, Rapid Transit Company, South St. Louis Street Railroad Company, and Real Estate Exchange. Generally, it may be said that no legitimate enterprise promising the advancement of the city and State has yet been inaugurated in which he has not manifested a deep interest.

Mr. Wolff is of a social nature, and is a Mason, Knight Templar, Knight of St. Patrick, and a member of the St. Louis Legion of Honor and other societies. Throughout his life he has been industrious, prudent, and saving, and as a consequence has amassed a handsome competency. His residence at Côte Brilliante is one of the most attractive in the city.

Still in the prime of life, Mr. Wolff has lost none of the spirit and dash that characterized his early career, and appears good for many years to come.

Chapter XXVI. The Mississippi River and its Tributaries.

As the commercial metropolis of the Mississippi valley, St. Louis lays under contribution not only the great Mississippi River, but all the numerous streams which swell this mighty current. Situated twenty miles below the mouth of the Missouri and one hundred and seventy-four miles above the mouth of the Ohio, St. Louis holds, as has been frequently pointed out in this work, the key to the industrial development of that vast and fertile region which is drained by the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Ohio, and the numerous smaller rivers, and her commercial existence is indissolubly linked to that of the great valley.

"Many years ago the late Governor Clark and myself," says Hon. Thomas H. Benton, "undertook to calculate the extent of boatable water in the valley of the Mississippi; we made it about fifty thousand miles! of which thirty thousand were computed to unite above St. Louis, and twenty thousand below. Of course, we counted all the infant streams on which a flat, a keel, or a bateau could be floated, and justly; for every tributary of the humblest beatable character helps to swell not only the volume of the central waters, but the commerce upon them. Of this immense extent of river navigation, all combined in one system of waters, St. Louis is the centre and the entrepôt, presenting even now, in its infancy, an astonishing and almost incredible amount of commerce, destined to increase forever." The Mississippi,


the conduit of them all to the ocean, must ever remain the central figure in the group. Rising in Lake Itasca, about three thousand two hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico, near the "divide" which turns the waterfall of that country into the Red River of the North, it flows for over one thousand miles through a rich and abundant land, until its waters are broken by the Falls of St. Anthony, near which the thriving cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are located. The river at these falls is eighteen hundred feet wide, and its waters are precipitated over a ledge of limestone rock seventeen feet in height, forming a dam, the water of which supplies power to many manufacturing establishments, in Minneapolis, the chief of which is that of flour. For continuing the improvement of these falls, twenty-five thousand dollars was appropriated by the River and Harbor Act of 1882. St. Paul, near these falls, is seven hundred and ninety-eight miles from St. Louis, and is the head of steamboat communication with St. Louis, though the river is navigable far above the falls.

Not the least of the remarkable features of the Mississippi River are the physical characteristics which it has stamped upon the delta which it has created and through which it flows. The scientists who have made a study of this river regard the delta of the Mississippi as beginning near the village of Commerce, about twenty-eight miles above the mouth of the Ohio, where the rock in situ is first encountered on both sides of its channel, and supposed to underlie its bed. If that be assumed as a fact, it involves the further assumption that at some remote period there existed a cataract or rapids of far greater descent than that at Niagara somewhere above the mouth of the Ohio River. The elevation of the low-water surface of the Mississippi about Cape Girardeau is two hundred and eighty-five feet above the level of the ocean, and if ever the level of the sea extended up to that point, the Mississippi must then and there have precipitated its waters over a ledge two hundred and eighty-five feet high. If imagine a great plane, extending from the mouth of the Ohio, six hundred miles in length and thirty to forty in width, with its northern extremity elevated two hundred and eighty-five feet, we shall have some idea of the delta which the river has created in the progress of time. This plane, containing forty thousand square miles, has been formed in the course of ages from the material washed down from the uplands by the river and its tributaries. The river has therefore raised above the sea the soil which constitutes its own bed, and flows down this plane of its own creation in a serpentine course, frequently crowding the hills and bluffs. The actual distance from the mouth of the Ohio to the gulf is in round numbers five hundred miles, the length of the Mississippi from the same point to the gulf is eleven hundred and seventy-eight miles, and the average descent at high water is three and a quarter inches per mile. The course of the river is therefore lengthened out nearly seven hundred miles, or more than doubled by the remarkable flexures of its channel, and the rate of descent is reduced by these flexures to less than one-half the inclination of the plane down which it flows.

The Mississippi bears along at all times, but especially in the periods of the floods, a vast amount of earthy matter suspended in its waters, which the current is able to carry forward so long as the water is confined to the channel. But when the water overflows the banks its velocity is checked, and it immediately deposits the heaviest particles which it transports and leaves them upon its borders, and as the water continues to spread farther from its banks, it continues to let down more and more of this suspended material, the heaviest particles being deposited on the banks, and the finest clay, conveyed to positions more remote. The consequence is that the border of the river which received the first and heaviest particles are raised higher above the general level of the plane than the soil which is more remote, and that while the plane of the delta dips towards the sea at the rate of eight inches per mile, the soil adjacent to the banks slopes off at right angles to the course of the river into the interior for five or six miles at the rate of three or four feet to the mile. The lands immediately on the borders of the river are extremely fertile, and often highly cultivated, but as they are all subject to inundation during the high floods of the river, they are guarded by artificial embankments. The water pressing upon these embankments often produces breaches or crevasses through them, and rushes in a deep column into the low grounds, and sweeps over every improvement. The width, depth, and area of cross section of the Mississippi below St. Louis will be found in the following table, from the memoir of Charles Ellet, Jr.:

Points on the River. Width, Feet. Depth-Feet. Area of Cross Section, Square Feet.
At Cape Girardeau, 1˝ miles above 2500 66.5 105,544
Above mouth of Ohio, 2 miles 1530 77.5  
Below mouth of Ohio, 1 mile 4031 71.3 235,333
Below Memphis,˝ mile 2830 102.5 143,212
At Horse-Shoe Cut-Off 2940 72.8 161,221
Above Arkansas River,ž mile 2810 81.5 171,190
Below Arkansas River,ž mile 3730 81.0 196,300
At American Bend, upper side 3365 103.6 170,160
At American Bend, lower side 3285 79.1 187,170
Terrapin Neck 3440 87.6 178,220
Terrapin Neck, lower side 3540 102.1 168,130
Above Vicksburg, 7 miles 3513 120.0 160,164
Below Vicksburg, 3 miles 4400 84.0 207,800
Above Palmyra Bend 4048 96.3 187,220
Below Palmyra Bend 5613 91.3 266,292
Above Grand Gulf, 4 miles 3644 105.5 175,773
Below Grand Gulf, 3 miles 5900 76.5 264,797
Above Red River,˝ mile 2545 118.0 194,530
Below Red River, 1 mile 3665 128.0 268,646
In Racourci Cut-Off 1761 107.0 148,790
At Tunica Bend 3323 87.7 233,892
Baton Rouge 2500   212,500
Above Plaquemine, 1˝ miles 2170 123.5 181,500
Below Plaquemine, 1˝ miles 2790 128.0 199,280
Above Donaldsonville, 1 mile 2483 117.5 200,250
Above Donaldsonville,˝ mile 3553 103.2 114,580
Bonnet Carré Bend, above Crevasse 2925 107.9 198,734
Bonnet Carré Bend, below Crevasse 2983 76.4 152,443
Sauvé's plantation 2375 135.3 182,031
McMaster's plantation 2425 100.0 166,172


The average area of high-water section of the whole from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans is two hundred thousand square feet. The estimate for the discharge of high water by the Mississippi at the top of the flood of 1854 was one million two hundred and eighty thousand cubic feet per second.

At the time of the Revolution there were able men who conceived that the Atlantic States, hemmed in by the sea and by a chain of mountains, embraced too great a diversity of surface and products, and were too widely scattered not to present discordant elements and jarring interests, which could only be reconciled and held in check by a powerful centralized government. They could not imagine that the barriers of the mountains would be overleaped, and that other States would spring up in the remote West; that their descendants would intermingle on the Pacific coast with the people of Asia, and claim the Sandwich Islands for their neighbors; that Mexico would present but a feeble barrier to their interminable progress, or that States would flourish in the Mississippi valley, in which one of the States, Missouri, unexplored at the period of the Revolution, has a population, resources, and wealth greater than all the original thirteen when their independence was achieved, and a city, St. Louis, is more populous, wealthy, and enterprising than all the cities of the Atlantic coast at the same epoch.

The distances from St. Louis to points on the upper Mississippi are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To the mouth of the Missouri 20 20
Alton 5 25
Grafton 18 43
Cap au Gris 27 70
Worthington 10 80
Hamburg 10 90
Clarksville 15 105
Louisiana 12 117
Cincinatti, Ill. 15 132
Saverton 8 140
Hannibal 7 147
Marion 10 157
Quincy 10 167
La Grange 10 177
Canton 8 185
Tully 2 187
Warsaw 20 207
Keokuk 5 212
Montrose 12 224
Fort Madison 12 236
Pontoosac 6 242
Dallas 2 244
Burlington 15 259
Oquawka 15 274
Keithbury 12 286
New Boston 8 294
Port Louisa 12 306
Muscatine 18 324
Rock Island 30 354
Hampton 12 366
Le Clair 6 372
Camanche 18 390
Albany 2 392
Fulton 10 402
Sabula 18 420
Savanna 2 422
Galena 30 452
Dubuque 25 477
Will's Landing 12 489
Waupaton 8 497
Buena Vista 6 503
Cassville 4 507
Guttenberg 10 517
McGregor 22 539
Prairie du Chien 3 542
Red House Landing 3 545
Johnson's Landing 1 546
Columbus 29 579
Lansing 2 577
Winneshiek 8 585
Victory 5 590
Warner's Landing 11 601
Wild Cats' Bluffs 12 613
La Crosse 16 629
Black River 12 641
Fortune Landing 6 647
Montoville 4 651
Winona 7 658
Wabashaw Prairie 4 662
Honie's Landing 10 672
Hall's Landing 10 682
Wabasha 25 707
Nelson's Landing 2 709
Reed's Landing 2 711
Lake Pepin 1 712
Wells' Landing 14 726
Bullard's Landing 8 734
Red Wing 8 742
Point Prescott 22 764
Point Douglas 1 765
Hastings 25 790
Crow Village 3 793
St. Paul 5 798
Falls of St. Anthony 8 806
Mendota 6 812
Fort Snelling 1 813
Itasca 37 850
Sauk Rapids 49 899
Fort Ripley 46 945

The distances from St. Louis to points on the Mississippi to Cairo are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To Cahokia 4 4
Carondelet 1 5
Jefferson Barracks 5 10
Sneck's Landing 10 20
Widow Waters' Landing 1 21
Sulphur Springs 2 23
Rattlesnake Springs 2 25
Harlow's 5 30
Platin Rock 2 32
Selma 3 35
Rushtower 5 40
John Brickley's 5 45
Fort Chartres 5 50
Ste. Genevieve 10 60
St. Mary's 10 70
Pratt's 2 72
Kaskaskia 3 75
Chester 5 80
Maynard 1 81
Fort Perry 1 82
Liberty 8 90
Underhill's 5 95
Herring's 1 96
Baily's 4 100
Wilkinson 5 105
Linhoop 1 106
Wittenburg 14 120
Sellers 1 121
Grand Tower 1 122
Birmingham 6 128
Hines 1 129
Preston's 1 130
Bennet's 1 131
Neeley's 1 132
Vaucil's 1 133
Willard's 2 135
Bainbridge 1 136
Clear Creek 9 145
Cape Girardeau 5 150
Thebes 10 160
Commerce 3 163
Thornton's 5 168
Price's 2 170
Lane's 3 173
Hunt's 1 174
Rodney's 15 189
Cairo 5 194
Mouth of Ohio 5 194
Ohio City 5 194


The river system of the Mississippi valley, of which St. Louis is the centre, the entrepôt, may be summarized as follows:

Mississippi from St. Anthony's Falls to the Gulf of Mexico   2,200
Red River to head of navigation   1,100
Arkansas to Neosho River   600
White River to Batesville   400
St. Francis River   100
Missouri River   2,000
Osage River 300  
Kansas 300  
Other tributaries 600  
Des Moines   300
St. Peter's   300
Yazoo   100
Ohio   1,000
Its tributaries — Tennesee 600  
Cumberland 300  
Wabash 300  
Green, Kentucky, and Muskingum 500  
Allegheny 400  
The Illinois   300
Rock River, Galena, Wisconsin, and St. Croix   500
Making the total river navigation   12,200

At Fort Snelling the St. Peter's, or Minnesota River empties into the Mississippi, eight hundred and thirteen miles above St. Louis, and is navigable for sixty miles. By the River and Harbor Act of 1882 the Secretary of War is directed to cause examinations and surveys to be made of "the source of this river, near the foot of Big Stone Lake, with a view to its being added to the reservoir system of the Mississippi and its tributaries." The St. Croix River, with its large lumber trade, is about two hundred miles in length, and enters the Mississippi at a point seven hundred and sixty-five miles above St. Louis; the chief river points on the St. Croix are Hudson, Stillwater, Osceola, and St. Croix Falls. The Chippewa River empties into the Mississippi six hundred and eighty-six miles above, St. Louis, near the end of Lake Pepin, upon which a harbor of refuge at Lake City is to be constructed under the River and Harbor Act of 1882. This river is navigable for steamboats about seventy miles, and upon its surface large quantities of timber are annually rafted to St. Louis; its length is three hundred miles, and its chief tributaries are the Clearwater and Red Cedar Rivers. For the improvement of the Chippewa River thirty-five thousand dollars was appropriated by the River and Harbor Act of 1882.

The Wisconsin River empties into the Mississippi four miles below Prairie du Chien, and five hundred and thirty-eight miles above St. Louis. This river is navigable for steamboats as far as Portage, where the canal connects it with the Fox River, which flows into Green Bay, and connects the Mississippi system with the lake system of navigation. The length of the Wisconsin is six hundred miles, and it receives the waters of many tributaries, some of them streams of considerable volume. The Fevre River, upon which Galena is situated, enters the Mississippi a few miles below Duluth, and is navigable a part of the year to Galena. The Wapsipinicon River, at a point seven miles below Camanche, and three hundred and eighty-three miles above St. Louis, empties into the Mississippi. Its length is two hundred miles, but it is not navigable. The Rock River, rising in Fon du Lac County, Wis., near Lake Winnebago, flows southwesterly, and enters the Mississippi River two miles below Rock Island, at a point three hundred and fifty-two miles above St. Louis. Its navigation is dependent upon high water, and extends two hundred and twenty-five miles.

The distances on Rock River from Watertown to the Mississippi are:

  Miles. Total.
From Watertown to Jefferson 16 16
To Fort Atkinson 8 24
Janesville 34 58
Beloit 18 76
Roscoe 8 84
Rockford 12 96
Byron 12 108
Oregon 10 118
Dixon 20 138
Sterling 12 150
Lyndon 16 166
Prophetstown 2 168
Camden 45 213
Mississippi River 1 214

The Iowa River takes its rise in Hancock County, Iowa, and is navigable for small steamboats in the


high-water season for eighty miles from its mouth, on the Mississippi River, two hundred and ninety-four miles above St. Louis, near New Boston. Its length is about three hundred miles, and its course southeasterly.

The Des Moines River, rising in the southern part of Minnesota, flows through an exceedingly fertile and productive country for four hundred miles, of which two hundred are navigable. It enters the Mississippi near Alexandria, Mo., about two hundred and seven miles above St. Louis. The distances upon this river are:

  Miles. Total.
From Fort Des Moines to Dudley 14 14
To Lafayette 5 19
Bennington 10 29
Red Rock 16 45
Amsterdam 12 57
Bellefontaine 12 69
Auburn 12 81
Des Moines City 8 89
Eddyville 2 91
Chillicothe 8 99
Ottumwa 12 111
New Market 20 131
Portland 6 137
Philadelphia 8 145
Pittsburgh 7 152
Pleasant Hill 5 157
Vernon 8 165
Bonaparte 5 170
Farmington 8 178
Black Hawk 3 181
Croton 3 184
Athens 5 189
Belfast 6 195
St. Francisville 10 205
Mississippi River 15 220

Quincy, Ill., one hundred and sixty-seven miles St. Louis, on the Mississippi, is situated in one of the finest agricultural sections of the country. Hannibal, Mo., one hundred and forty-seven miles above St. Louis, is an important point for the shipment of pork, hemp, tobacco, and other produce. Both of these thriving cities are important centres of tin; trade and commerce of St. Louis.

The Illinois River empties into the Mississippi at Grafton, Ill., forty-three miles above St. Louis. The Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers uniting at Dresden form the Illinois, which, receiving the waters of Vermilion River, then becomes navigable for steamboats during a part of the year. The productiveness of the country through which the Illinois flows makes the commerce of that river very valuable. The distances from St. Louis to trading-points on the Illinois River are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To Mason's Landing 42 42
Hardin 25 67
Columbiana 10 77
Apple Creek 4 81
Bridgeport 2 83
Montezuma 14 97
Florence 6 103
Griggsville 6 109
Naples 4 113
Meredosia 6 119
La Grange 10 129
Fredericksville 4 143
Browning 6 149
Sharp's 6 155
Bath 12 167
Havana 12 179
Liverpool 10 189
Copperas 12 201
Lancaster 8 209
Kingston 2 211
Pekin 10 221
Wesley City 6 227
Peoria 3 230
Spring Bay 14 244
Rome 6 250
Chillicothe 2 252
Lacon 20 272
Peru 30 302
LaSalle 1 303

The Missouri River unites with the Mississippi twenty miles above St. Louis. The springs in the Rocky Mountains from which its head-waters flow are not more than a mile from those which supply the Columbia River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison, three small streams, unite to form the Missouri. The "Gates of the Rocky Mountains," which, rising perpendicularly from the water's edge to the height of twelve hundred feet, compress the river into a breadth of four hundred and fifty feet, are four hundred and forty-one miles from the extreme point of navigation of the branches. The "Great Falls," a series of rapids, having a fall of three hundred and fifty-one feet in sixteen miles, are one hundred and ten miles below the "Gates." These falls are broken into four leaps, of which the first in the descent of the river is twenty-six feet; the second, forty-seven feet; the third, nineteen feet; and the fourth, ninety-eight feet. Below the falls navigation is unobstructed by any permanent barrier, and only impeded by low waters after the July flood has passed down. The great number of islands and sand-bars that have formed in the river render the channel intricate and difficult for navigation, which, with the numerous "snags," make steamboating extremely hazardous. The first important tributary, the Yellowstone, is as yet not of any material importance from a commercial point of view. It is navigable for a considerable distance by the steamboats of the upper Missouri, and when the country through which it flows shall have been settled and cultivated, the trade of the Yellowstone will doubtless become very valuable.

The Platte, or Nebraska River enters the Missouri seven hundred and forty miles from St. Louis. Formed by its North and South Forks, which rise in the Rocky Mountains, the Platte flows easterly for two thousand miles, but is shallow, and, except in the great freshets of the spring, is not navigable.


Sixteen miles above Kansas City and four hundred and seventy-three from St. Louis, the Little Platte from Iowa enters the Missouri. It is two hundred miles in length, shallow, and not of much importance commercially.

One of the largest tributaries of the Missouri is the Kansas, which enters that river near Kansas City, four hundred and fifty-nine miles from St. Louis. Rising in the Rocky Mountains, and flowing eastward through the rich State of Kansas, its length is twelve hundred miles, nine hundred of which, with some improvement, might be made navigable. It is one thousand feet wide at its mouth, and has many tributaries, of which Solomon's Fork, seven hundred miles long, and Smoky Hill Fork, eight hundred miles long, are the largest.

Grand River enters the Missouri three hundred and one miles from St. Louis. It is two hundred and forty miles in length, and navigable one hundred miles between the Missouri and Madison, Iowa.

Five miles below Cambridge, Iowa, and two hundred and sixty-nine above St. Louis, the Chariton River from Iowa enters the Missouri. It is navigable for thirty miles, and its length is one hundred miles.

Eight miles below Arrow Rock and two hundred and forty miles from St. Louis, the La Mine River enters the Missouri. It is navigable for about thirty miles.

The Osage River is about five hundred miles in length, and runs through a very fertile and productive country, and enters the Missouri one hundred and sixty-nine miles from St. Louis. It is navigable for about two hundred miles.

The Gasconade, rising in Wright County, Mo., runs nearly two hundred miles, and empties into the Missouri one hundred and twenty-nine miles from St. Louis. It is important only as supplying water-power, and is not navigable.

The distances from St. Louis to points on the Missouri River are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To mouth of Missouri River 20 20
Bellefontaine Bend 5 25
Jamestown 2 27
Charbonier 8 35
St. Charles 10 45
Howard Bend 12 57
Bonhomme Island 1 58
Howell's Ferry 4 62
Dozier 5 67
Port Royal 1 68
Tavern Rock 1 69
Mount Albans 1 70
Augusta 6 76
Jones Point 2 78
South Point 4 82
Basonia 1 83
Washington 1 84
Tuque Point 1 85
St. John's Landing 2 87
Newport Landing 2 89
Miller's Landing 9 98
Hermann 23 121
Gasconade 8 129
Portland 12 141
St. Aubert's 10 151
Shipley's 4 155
Bonnot's Mills 7 162
Osage 2 164
Moreau 5 169
Jefferson City 5 174
Claysville 7 181
Marion 10 191
Martin's Landing 7 198
Nashville 7 205
Mount Vernon 7 212
Rocheport 8 220
Boonville 12 232
La Mine 8 240
Arrow Rock 8 248
Glasgow 17 265
Cambridge 9 274
Brunswick 26 300
Miami 15 315
Waverly 31 346
Dover Landing 13 359
Lexington 12 371
Wellington 8 379
Camden 10 389
Napoleon 8 397
Richfield 24 421
Liberty 15 436
Kansas City 21 457
Kansas River 2 459
Leavenworth 13 472
Little Platte 1 473
Weston 33 506
Atchison 15 521
Doniphan 7 528
Maysville 28 556
Palermo 24 580
St. Joseph 11 591
Nodaway 25 616
Iowa Point 30 646
Brownsville 40 686
Nebraska City 30 716
Plattsmouth 21 737
Platte River 3 740
St. Mary's 2 742
Council Bluffs 15 757
Florence 10 767
Fort Calhoun 10 777
De Soto 15 792
Tekama 30 822
Sioux City 60 882
Yellowstone River 1075 1957
Great Falls 675 2632
Rocky Mountain Gates 110 2742

The Ohio, which enters the Mississippi at Cairo, one hundred and seventy-four miles below St. Louis, is formed at Pittsburgh, one thousand and nineteen miles from Cairo, by the junction of the Allegheny and Youghiogheny. The Allegheny, which is the proper continuation of the Ohio, rises on the borders of Lake Erie, where its tributaries terminate in Lake Chautauqua, one thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and seven hundred feet above the level of Lake Erie. A boat may start from these sources, within seven miles of Lake Erie, in sight sometimes of the sails which whiten the approach to the harbor of Buffalo, and float securely down the Conewango or Cassadaga to the Allegheny, down that river to the Ohio, and thence uninterruptedly


to the Gulf of Mexico. In all this distance of two thousand four hundred miles the descent is so uniform and gentle, so little accelerated by rapids, that when there is sufficient water to float the vessel, and sufficient power to govern it, the downward voyage may be performed without difficulty or danger in the channels as they were formed by nature. Steamboats have ascended the Allegheny to Olean Point, two thousand three hundred miles from the mouth of the Mississippi, and two hundred and fifty miles above Pittsburgh. From the junction of the two principal tributaries of the Ohio at Pittsburgh, to Point Pleasant, where the Great Kanawha River from West Virginia enters the Ohio, there are only small and unimportant streams entering the Ohio. Point Pleasant is distant from St. Louis nine hundred and forty-two miles. The Great Kanawha is navigable for small boats, and the products of salt, coal, and iron which in great quantities are sent down that river find at St. Louis a market. The salt manufactures along the Great Kanawha amount to eight million bushels annually.

Improvement of the Mississippi and Tributaries. — Prior to the construction of the New York and Canadian canals, and the opening of railways between the Western and Eastern States, the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries were the only highways of commerce between the vast territory embracing the Western States and the other States of the Union. The closing of the mouth of the Mississippi during the civil war, the general paralysis of Southern industry and trade incident to that war, and the increase in the size of ocean vessels turned the current of commerce from the southern to the eastern route, and from the bosom of the Mississippi to the canals and railways that led to Northern Atlantic cities. This deflection of the commerce of the Western States from the southern to the northern routes diminished, without destroying, the value of the Mississippi River as a great commercial highway. The relative economy of water over rail transportation for heavy freights, and the failure of the railways to supply sufficient cheap transportation to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing commerce between the great central basin of this continent and the markets of the world, created that public sentiment, to which Congress has within a few years past responded, for the improvement of the navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries. Previous to the public recognition of the vast importance of this national undertaking, the prevention of "inundations of the delta of the Mississippi" had attracted attention, together with the practicability and cost of improving the navigation of Western rivers, as incidental rather than primary reasons for those improvements. The memoir of Charles Ellet, Jr., was prepared under the authority of an act of Congress directing the Secretary of War to institute such surveys and investigations as were necessary to the preparation of adequate plans for protecting the delta from inundations, and increasing the depth of water on the bars at the mouth of the Mississippi. Mr. Ellet, though not an officer of the government or in the employ of the War Department, was called to this important duty, and authorized to make such investigations as would enable him to devise and report suitable plans for the protection of the delta from inundations by overflows.

As early as 1841 the attention of Congress was called to the condition of the Mississippi above the mouth of the Ohio. From 1836 to 1841 it was said that more property had been destroyed from the mouth of the Ohio to St. Louis by snags than on all the other parts of the river and its tributaries. Notwithstanding the general government had provided snag-boats for the lower river, the manifest neglect of the Western rivers was entailing an annual loss of millions of dollars upon the commerce of the West, owing to the dangerous and destructive condition of the then only commercial highway for that great section of the country. A theory of constitutional construction intervened to obstruct the work of improvement, which became so obviously absurd that to avoid its inconveniences Mr. Calhoun designated the Mississippi River as an "inland sea," to the improvement of which the powers of the general government might be applied. Notwithstanding the vast extent and wonderful fertility of the country which those rivers drain, the nature, variety, and location of the products seeking transportation, and the almost incalculable commerce which demanded the facilities of easy and safe movement, their navigation was left unimproved until the competition of the railroads gave weight and influence to the demands of an injured public.

In 1870, Congress, in addition to the usual appropriation for river improvements and surveys, made an


allowance of funds for the survey and examination of various small streams tributary to the Mississippi and its great branches. Among the streams to be examined were the Cuivre River in Missouri, the Current River in Missouri, Black River, Missouri and Arkansas, White River, flowing through the same States, the Fourche la Faire in Arkansas, and Bayou Bartholomew in Louisiana. The surveys of these rivers were made by Brevet Maj. Charles J. Allen, Engineer Corps, who in that year reported to Gen. William T. Reynolds, U. S. Engineer Corps, in charge of Western rivers at St. Louis. In addition to the examination of these rivers, the same Congress which authorized this work ordered a complete survey of the Ouachita River from Trinity, La., to Camden, Ark., a distance of three hundred miles. This survey was made in order to ascertain the practicability of improving navigation on that stream by the construction of locks and dams.

The opening up of the Little Missouri River for the navigation of light-draught steamboats, a work of immense value to all that section of country adjacent to its waters, as well as to the general interests of Western commerce, was accomplished that year. The country through which it flows is a very productive region, but the fact that it was in a measure cut off from markets prevented its development. Cotton, the chief product of this rich region, had to be hauled on wagons a distance of one hundred miles, which placed an embargo on its production.

The work, however, accomplished by Maj. Allen, in which St. Louis is most deeply interested, was his thorough and complete survey of that portion of the Mississippi River extending from the mouth of the Missouri to the mouth of the Maramec, which includes the harbor of St. Louis. A careful examination of the bars, chutes, and bank abrasions was made, and the particular force of the current in certain localities was ascertained.

During the season of 1871, Gen. Reynolds removed over four thousand snags, roots and all, from the streams, as well as "rack heaps" destroyed and wrecks removed, and thousands of trees cut to prevent their becoming snags, and aid given to vessels aground or in distress, which was always rendered when possible and never charged for.

In the upper Ouachita and Little Missouri, when snag-boats could not go, flat-boats drawing not over ten inches of water were set at work "cutting" snag which their light power could not pull out. The work was done under the superintendence of experienced pilots of those streams, and at a low stage of water. This was the only cutting that was done, excepting in the case of chutes, in two or three cases when they were so low that the yawl only could go through. This method was adopted to render the chute available when a rise should come.

Under the law of Congress allowing the employment of civil engineers for the purpose of executing the surveys and improvements of Western and Northwestern rivers, much work has been done on the navigable waters of the Mississippi valley.

In 1845 the Memphis Convention, for the purpose of bringing the condition of navigation on Western rivers to the attention of Congress, was held. John


C. Calhoun presided, and was made chairman of the committee to memorialize Congress. In that memorial Mr. Calhoun took the broadest ground in favor of the improvements being made by the Federal government without regard to their cost.

A convention was held in Chicago July 4, 1847, to consider the subject of the improvement of the Mississippi River and its principal tributaries, to which delegates from St. Louis were appointed.

These delegates prepared an able report upon the subject, which was published in pamphlet form, from which it appears that there were 1190 steamboats and 4000 keel- and flat-boats engaged in the commerce of Western rivers, employing 61,650 persons, the cost of which is set at $16,188,561, and the running expenses at $32,725,000. The cost of river transportation was summed up as follows:

Cost of running 1190 steamboats $32,725,000
Insurance, at 12 per cent. 1,942,627
Interest, at 6 per cent. 971,313
Wear and tear, at 24 per cent. 3,885,254
Tolls on Louisville and Portland Canal 250,000
Cost of flat-boats (included because sacrificed at New Orleans) 1,380,000
Total cost of transportation $41,154,194

This vast sum was an annual "tax upon the surplus produce, enterprise, industry, and trade of the country." The aggregate annual tonnage transported was set at 10,120,160 tons; and the "grand aggregate value of commerce afloat upon the navigable waters of the valley of the Mississippi" was estimated by this committee at $432,621,240, "being nearly double the amount of the whole foreign commerce of the United States." Taking into consideration the loss of steamboats and cargoes, the committee regarded it as not "too high an estimate to put down the actual losses at two millions of dollars per annum. This is annihilated, — so much destroyed of the wealth of the try, — amounting every ten years to a sum equal to the purchase-money paid by the government for all Louisiana."

This was the era in Federal politics when the authority of the general government to undertake works of internal improvement was denied by a powerful and often successful party. It was also a time when the discipline of party was stronger and more binding than the interests of States and sections. That theory as well as discipline may be said to have departed forever from the politics of the country, since the River and Harbor bill of 1882 appropriated nearly $20,000,000 for the improvement of the rivers and harbors of the country, of which $4,123,000 was for the Mississippi River. Up to 1873 the United States government had expended for the improvement of rivers and harbors on

The Atlantic coast $9,587,173
The Gulf coast 579,706
The Pacific coast 638,003
The Northern lakes 10,437,158
The Western rivers 11,438,300
Total $32,680,340

Above the Falls of St. Anthony to Leech Lake, a distance of six hundred and seventy-five miles, the Mississippi may be navigated in certain conditions of the rainfall. A reconnoissance of this part of the river was made in 1869 by Francis Cook, civil engineer, under the direction of Gen. G. K. Warren, of the United States Engineer Corps. In his report of Jan. 22, 1870, Mr. Cook presents much valuable information in regard to the improvement of the upper Mississippi, and revives the "reservoir" plan of Mr. Ellet for supplying the river both above and below the Falls of St. Anthony during dry seasons. A lockage at Sauk Rapids of eighteen feet will connect the reaches of the river and extend the navigation to Little Falls, where a lockage of fourteen feet will form a connection with another navigable reach extending to the mouth of Pine River, where the removal of boulders and the opening of cut-offs will extend navigation to Pokegama Falls. At that point a lockage of thirty feet will open the navigable waters above to Lake Leech and Winnebagoshish Lake. Thus continuous navigation will be had for six hundred and seventy-five miles above the Falls of St. Anthony. The natural reservoirs that would supply the Mississippi River, both above and below the Falls of St. Anthony, during the seasons of low water are to be formed by constructing a dam at Pokegama Falls, by which a supply of 37,057,638,400 cubic feet of water could be obtained, and a dam raising Lake Mille Lacs two feet would increase that amount 10,036,224,000 cubic feet. The estimated cost of these reservoirs was one hundred and fourteen thousand dollars, and they would supply to the upper Mississippi a permanent depth of from four and a half to five feet during the entire season. In a report to the War Department, Dec. 22, 1873, Maj. F. W. Farquhar, of the United States Engineer Corps, recommended that a complete survey be made of the navigable portions of the Mississippi


River above the Falls of St. Anthony, and urged the further improvement of the river between St. Anthony and St. Cloud. These improvements have all been undertaken by the general government, and for continuing operations on the reservoirs at the head-waters of the Mississippi, Congress appropriated, Aug. 2, 1882, three hundred thousand dollars. By the same act twenty-five thousand dollars was appropriated for the removal of snags, ten thousand dollars for continuing the improvement of the Mississippi River above the Falls of St. Anthony, and twenty-five thousand dollars for improving the falls.

Upon the Mississippi between St. Paul and St. Louis two dredge-boats have been employed since 1867, operating chiefly upon sand-bars, removing snags and overhanging trees. The Rock Island Rapids have been improved by excavating a channel so as to give a width of two hundred feet and a navigable depth of four feet at extreme low water, and a canal 6.7 miles in length was constructed at Keokuk Rapids. This canal is from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet in width, with a minimum depth of five feet. The act of Aug. 2, 1882, appropriated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for continuing the improvement of the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Des Moines Rapids, and thirty thousand dollars for the construction of a dry-dock at the Des Moines Rapids Canal, and thirty thousand dollars for improving Des Moines Rapids Canal. "The widening of the channel at Rock Island," said a committee of St. Louis business men in a letter to a committee of Congress, "the completion of the canal at Des Moines, the construction of the wing-dams before alluded to, the removal of wrecks and snags, and the construction of the Fort St. Philip Canal would, we believe, result in the utilizing of this great waterway from St. Paul to New Orleans, and reduce the cost of transportation to a uniform cost not exceeding the lowest average as shown by the tables of freight accompanying this report. In the opinion of this committee, the removal of wrecks and snags between St. Louis and New Orleans is of vital importance to the commerce of the river. Wrecks between St. Louis and Cairo, sunken many years ago and forgotten, are so numerous that from the extra hazard they present, our rate of insurance is not only increased upon boat hulls and cargoes, but steamers with thin hulls and light draught are refused insurance at any rate. It is necessary, therefore, to construct much stronger and more expensive hulls, and necessarily of deeper draught, than would be acceptable to underwriters were these wrecks and snags removed." The opinions of these leading commercial men, as well as the reports of engineers, and length created so strong a public sentiment in regard to the improvement of the Mississippi River that Congress, by the act of June 18, 1879, created the Mississippi River Commission, to examine and report such plans, specifications, and estimates as would render the river, when the work was completed, fully equal to the demands of commerce. For the commencement of this great work there was appropriated by the act of August, 1882, the sum of $4,123,000 for the improvement of the Mississippi River "from the head of the Passes to Cairo," and $600,000 for improving the river "from Cairo to the Des Moines Rapids." The estimates of the cost of the various improvements of the Mississippi and its tributaries made by the Merchants' Exchange of St. Louis amounted to $16,010,000, and are supposed to cover the entire cost of the radical improvements of these rivers, with the exception of the Ohio.

The improvement of the latter river so as to secure a uniform depth of six feet at low water from Pittsburgh to Cairo has long been recognized as being demanded by the vast interests that line the banks of that mighty stream. The length of the river between those points is nine hundred and twenty-seven miles. Six States border upon it, viz.: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, and the territory drained by it embraces 214,000 square miles. W. Milnor Roberts, in 1868, estimated the value of the commerce of the cities and towns on the river at $1,623,000,000. The coal and other mineral interests are of immense value and importance. The coal area embraces a territory of 122,000 square miles, and the shipments of coal by the river in 1873 amounted to 60,000,000 bushels, or 2,300,000 tons. Almost all the coal consumed in the cities, towns, and country bordering on the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries below St. Louis, consumed by steamers on the Mississippi River, and to a great extent by ocean-steamers from New Orleans, is shipped on the Ohio River. During a single rise in that river forty-six fleets, composed of three hundred and sixty-nine


barges, and carrying 4,156,000 bushels of coal, started from Pittsburgh within three days. A board of commissioners for the improvement of the Ohio River was created in 1872 by the joint action the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois, which presented a memorial to Congress Dec. 16, 1872, asking the general government to undertake the work, which was stated to be "not one of engineering but of finance." The difficulty which embarrasses the navigation of the Ohio arises from a descent of four hundred and twenty-six feet between Pittsburgh and Cairo, in consequence of which the current varies from one and a half to three and a half miles per hour. In 1870, W. Milnor Roberts, United engineer, suggested a plan of improvement, the estimated cost of which was twenty-three million seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand six hundred and sixty-two dollars, and Gen. G. Weitzel, major of engineers, and W. E. Merrill, major of engineers, as a board of commissioners, appointed by the War Department April 16, 1872, reported a plan of improvement Jan. 31, 1874. With the exception of purchase of the Louisville and Portland Canal around the falls of the Ohio and making the same free, very little of any importance and nothing of any permanent value has been done towards the improvement of the Ohio River by the Federal government.

The improvement of the Illinois River was begun as 1836 with the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which was to extend from Chicago to the Illinois River at La Salle, a distance of about one hundred miles, but in the general financial crash of 1837 the work was suspended. The bonds issued for construction of the canal were owned principally in England. In 1844 a proposition was made to the English bondholders that if they would advance sixteen hundred thousand dollars for the completion of the canal it should pass into their hands, and its revenue go, with what lands the State owned, — the avails of the bonds being paid into the canal funds to reimburse the State, — to pay the bonds, interest and principal. In accordance with this suggestion the English bondholders appointed two trustees and the State one, under whose control the work remained until May 1, 1872. The original plan of building the canal was to give it an incline from the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River at Lockport, and then supply a portion of the water by pumping-works at Bridgeport, at the commencement of the canal. The city of Chicago, under authority from the State, removed the "bench," or summit level, thus securing a constant flow of water from the Chicago River to Lockport. A distance of twenty-seven miles was thus deepened to eight feet, at a cost of about three millions of dollars. The original design of this canal was to connect the navigable waters of the Illinois River with Lake Michigan. The tolls and revenues of the canal were never sufficient to pay even the interest on the bonds, owing to the fact that the Illinois River of late years has had less water in it than when the canal was projected. Though the improvement of the Illinois River had been urged upon Congress for many years, it was not until about 1865 that an appropriation of eighty-five thousand dollars was made for that work, but very little was done under that appropriation, the money being diverted by the Secretary of War to the improvement of the Rock Island Rapids. In 1869 the Legislature of Illinois appropriated four hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the work, and in the same year Congress appropriated two millions for Western rivers, of which sum eighty-five thousand dollars was expended on this river. In 1870, Congress appropriated one hundred thousand dollars for the work. In 1873 the estimated cost of its completion was two million two hundred thousand dollars, and by the River and Harbor bill of 1882 there was appropriated one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars for continuing the work, which is now being carried on by the general government. In addition, the further improvement of the navigation of the Illinois River is contemplated by the construction of the Hennepin Canal from Hennepin to Rock Island. The estimated cost of this work is four million five hundred thousand, dollars, for which the River and Harbor bill of 1882 appropriated the sum of thirty thousand dollars, with, however, the proviso "that nothing herein shall be construed to commit the government to proceed with the construction of the said improvement." The improvements of this river now completed and in contemplation will form with the Hennepin Canal a continuous line of canal and slack-water navigation from Chicago to the Mississippi River, as follows:

Illinois and Michigan Canal, Chicago to La Salle 96 miles.
Slack-water, Illinois River, La Salle to Hennepin 19 miles.
Hennepin Canal, Illinois to Mississippi River 65 miles.
Total 180 miles.

The improvements of the upper Mississippi now in progress will, when completed, afford seven hundred and sixty-one miles of continuous navigation between


St. Louis and St. Paul for barges, which can pass through the Hennepin and the Illinois and Michigan Canals to the city of Chicago, thus affording competition with all railroad lines which cross the Mississippi River between St. Paul and St. Louis.

Beyond the removal of the snags by the government snag-boats, nothing has been done for the improvement of the navigation of the Missouri River. The Missouri River Improvement Association in 1881 addressed a memorial to Congress upon the subject, but it is conspicuous by its absence from the bulky volume of the River and Harbor bill of 1882.

The Fox and Wisconsin Rivers have formed an important highway for two hundred years. It was by pursuing this route that Marquette in 1673 discovered the upper Mississippi, and along these rivers the French missionaries and traders made the earliest settlements in the West. In the ordinance for the government of the Northwestern Territory, adopted July 14, 1787, it was provided that the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, should be common highways and forever free. The same provision is embodied, in substance, in the act of Congress of Aug. 7, 1789, after the adoption of the Constitution; in the act of Congress establishing a Territorial government for Wisconsin, approved April 20, 1836; in the act admitting Wisconsin as a State, Aug. 6, 1846, and in the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. A preliminary survey of the cost of the improvement of these rivers was made by Capt. Cram, of the United States Topographical Engineers, in 1839. By the act of Congress Aug. 8, 1846, a grant of land was made to the State of Wisconsin for the purpose of improving the navigation of these rivers, and for constructing a canal through the divide, or "portage," to unite them, in which the declaration was reasserted that this channel should be free to the commerce of the United States. The State of Wisconsin, by its Board of Public Works, and afterwards by corporations duly authorized, undertook the improvement of these rivers, in the prosecution of which over two millions of dollars, including the proceeds of the sale of the lands granted by Congress, were expended. The Fox River was improved so as to pass at low water boats of four feet draught from Green Bay to Lake Winnebago, and boats of two and a half feet draught from Lake Winnebago to the Wisconsin River. Little or no work was done on the latter, river.

The improvement utterly failed to meet the requirements of commerce, because it did not admit of the passage of boats from the Mississippi up the Wisconsin River. On the Fox River the improvement aided in the development of that portion of the State, — a development which is traceable not only to the utilization of the water-power, but probably in greater degree to the competition, although necessarily small, existing between water and rail. In 1870, Congress directed the Secretary of War to adopt such a plan for the improvement of the Wisconsin as should be approved by the chief of engineers, and authorized him to appoint arbitrators ascertain the sum which ought to be paid for the transfer of all rights in the works of improvement then held by the corporation created under the laws of Wisconsin. The sum fixed upon was one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars. By the act of July 7, 1870, Congress further directed that all tolls and revenues derived from the improvement, after providing for current expenses, should be paid into the treasury until the United States was reimbursed for all sums advanced for the same with interest thereon, after which the tolls were to be reduced to the least sum which, with any other revenue derived from the improvement, would be sufficient to operate and keep the improvement in repair. In 1871, Congress made the appropriation of one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars, and the deed of transfer was executed and delivered to the United States. Subsequently appropriations amounting to four hundred thousand dollars were made. The report of Col. Houston, then engineer in charge, in 1873, says, "The work now in the hands of the government is different from any other work of this character, the appropriation that was made last year (1872) too small an appropriation to carry on the work to advantage." In the River and Harbor bill for 1882 the sum of two hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for continuing the improvement.

The efforts to improve navigation at the mouths the Mississippi have a history running through more than a century and a half, — a history made up in large part of controversy and discussion among engineers, wherein almost every fact advanced by one was controverted by another, and every theory advocated was subsequently assailed or exploded. The vexed question has at last been definitely settled, and it is only necessary now to present in chronological order the historical facts in connection with this vast enterprise.

In 1722 the present South Pass was examined by M. Pauger, an engineer in the employ of the Western Company, and described as being "straighter


than the ancient pass, but narrower." It was added that "at the outlet of this Pass there is a bar upon which there is but nine to ten feet water, and which is about one hundred toises wide." According to this engineer, there was an average draught on the bar of the South Pass, one hundred and sixty years ago, of about ten English feet. From the year 1764 to 1771, we learn from Gault's map, made from the Admiralty surveys, that the depth on the bar at the Pass was from eight to nine feet English. From that time to 1838 there are no data as to the depth of water. In that year (1838) a survey was made, under the direction of the special board of United States engineers, by George G. Meade, who ascertained that "eight feet could be carried over the west and principal channel." After the Meade survey a spit of sand formed directly in the mouth of the Pass, which entirely closed up the entrance, so far as commercial purposes were concerned.

The Northeast Pass, or a branch thereof called the Southeast Pass, was in the early period of the navigation of the river the principal avenue of its commerce. But this preference was probably due rather to its position, favoring vessels from the east, than to the actual depth of water at its mouth. The earliest notices of the bars speak of the entrance to the river as if there were but one that was used by the shipping, and Mr. Ellet says "it cannot be doubted that the Southeast Pass, or the Northeast Pass (which were in fact at that day, as they were fifty years later, but two distinct channels through the shoal water at the outlet of the Northeast Pass, is the channel to which these early notices apply." The following allusion to this outlet is from a dispatch from Bienville, then Governor of the province, to the French minister in 1722: "I have had the honor in inform the Council by my last letters concerning the entrance to the river, and to assure them that vessels drawing not over thirteen feet (French) could then enter at full sail without touching, and that it would not be difficult to render the Pass practicable for vessels of the largest size, the bottom being nothing but a soft and movable mud." Mr. Ellet adds that "Bienville would have undertaken to deepen the water on the bar if the engineers who were specially charged with such works had concurred with him in opinion upon the practicability of the enterprise." The difference of opinion among engineers which existed at that early day has continued for a century and a half, and postponed the work until Mr. Eads forced it through by assuming all risk, and undertaking its construction upon the terms of no pay without success.

As early as 1722 the engineer, Pauger, expressed the opinion that the deposit from the river "could be broken and carried off by stopping up some of the Passes of the Mississippi, by means of old vessels sunk to the bottom, together with trees, of which a prodigious quantity descends during the two first months of the year," and he proposed a system of dikes and brushwood for establishing the current of the river. This plan of improvement by dikes and brushwood, suggested in 1722 by M. Pauger, was assailed as useless and impracticable by Charles Ellet, Jr., in his memoir on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers:

"If we increase the velocity of the fresh-water currents by contracting the channel, or by stopping up the secondary outlets, we shall certainly increase the depth and velocity of the column of fresh water flowing into the gulf on top of the sea-water. But that will not sweep out the bar. No part of the fresh water comes within eight feet of the top of the bar which it is expected to remove.

"The immediate effect of this increased force of fresh water will be to carry the upper portion of the suit water immediately below it farther out, and to transfer the place of deposit to some other point still on the bar, but nearer the sea, just as it is now transferred sometimes from above the head of the Passes, where it is occasionally found in extreme low water, to within half a mile of the edge of the gulf, to which point it recedes in common high water. But this will not prevent an under current of salt water from flowing in and an upper current from flowing out, nor will it prevent deposits from taking place at the points where the direction changes, though with the same volume of water it will change the position of that deposit."

Mr. Ellet further contended that

"while the effect of increasing the velocity of the current by contracting the embouchure of the river will not be felt in the removal of the bars, this increase of current will take place at the surface, and hence act with increased power upon the very works by which it is produced. These works must rest on foundations of loose mud, which has been deposited in the existing order of things. There is, therefore, reason to believe, at least to apprehend, that any material increase of littoral velocity would carry off this deposit, undermine the works, and consequently overthrow them."

In this opposition to what is now known as the jetty system Maj. C. W. Howell, of the United States engineers, concurred in his letter to Capt. J. H. Oglesby, president of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, saying, —

"The theory is attractive from its apparent simplicity, and for the same reason is the first to claim the attention of dabblers in hydraulic engineering, who either do not know, or else lose sight of the condition essential to its successful application. The principles of these conditions are two: 1. That the character of the bed and banks of the river at the point of application be such that scouring will be effected in the bed in preference to


the banks; in other words, the banks must be firm enough to withstand the action of the current, and the bottom yielding enough to permit scour.

"The second condition is that there shall exist a current (littoral), passing the outer extremities of the jetties perpendicular to them, capable of sweeping to one side or the other all deposit made about the jetty-heads and tending to form a new bar outride.

"No such current has been discovered at the mouth of the Mississippi, although carefully sought. In default of it jetties would have to be built farther and farther out, not annually, but steadily every day each year, to keep pace with the advance of the river deposit into the gulf, provided they are attempted, and the attempt warranted by having the relative character of bed and bank favorable.

"For the reasons that these two conditions are not to be found at the mouth of the Mississippi, careful engineers have time and again pronounced the application of jetties at either Southwest Pass or Pass a l'Outre not worthy of a trial at government expense. If enthusiastic jetty men wish to pass from theory to practice, they can always gain consent to spend their own money in building jetties at Southwest Pass, and if they succeed in doing good they will have a fair claim on government for recompense. . . . Jetties have been attempted there, and not only reported a failure by the inspecting officer, but abandoned by Messrs. Craig & Righter, who made the attempt.

"The full particulars of this may be found in Ex. Doc. No. 5 H. R., 36th Cong., 2d sess. The practical experience gained by that failure, I presume, will deter the government, though it will not deter adventurous jetty men, from sinking more money in such attempts."

The "adventurous jetty men" were Capt. James B. Eads and his associates, who, as is well known, have made the jetty system a grand success. It is not necessary to recapitulate here the controversy which, in the newspapers as well as in Congress, have agitated the whole Mississippi valley concerning this method of deepening the water at the mouth of the great river.

The various modes which have been attempted of increasing the depth of the channel through the Passes have been the following:

1. Dredging. Under instructions of the War Department, Capt. Talcott attempted in 1839 to open the Southwest Pass with the ordinary bucket-drag. The gulf waves in a single storm swept in "twice as much mud" as he had taken out.

2. By rake and harrow. This method was once tried under the direction and at the expense of the government by a towboat association, but their efforts were equally fruitless. The channel was temporarily opened to a depth of eighteen feet, but again suddenly closed by a gulf storm.

3. In 1836 the government entered into a contract with Messrs. Craig & Righter to open a channel one thousand feet wide and eighteen feet deep, which was to be executed by closing all the Passes except those designated for navigation. The contract was abandoned.

4. In 1868-70 the government caused to be constructed a steam propeller dredge, at a cost of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which was placed under the command of officer of the navy. This experiment was faithfully made, but it "failed to maintain a much greater depth of water than that which nature has prescribed as the regimen depth of the Pass." The results of this mode were at least but temporary, and have been of any service would have had to be continued from year to year, while the labors of an entire season were liable be destroyed at any time by a single storm.

5. By the Fort St. Philip Canal, which was strongly recommended by a majority of the board of engineers appointed the War Department. This canal was proposed as early as 1832, since which time many surveys and reconnoissances have been made as to its proper location, expense, and commerce practicability.

A report of the United States board of engineers in 1874 favored the canal scheme and opposed the jetties, holding that the cost of producing a depth of twenty-seven feet would be twenty-three million dollars.

In February, 1874, James B. Eads proposed to Congress to open the mouth of the river, making a depth of twenty-eight feet, for ten million dollars, at the entire risk of himself and his associates, not a dollar to be paid until a depth of twenty feet was secured. The controversy created by Capt. Eads' proposition became quite warm and personal. A committee of civil engineers was appointed to investigate the question, and particularly the European jetties and their effects.

The result of their investigation was favorable the jetties, and on March 3, 1875, the President signed the bill entering into a contract with Capt. Eads to deepen the mouth of the river. South Pass, which had previously had a depth of nine feet, was chosen, and work begun in June, 1875. By May, 1876, when very little work had been done, it was found that one million nine hundred thousand cubic yards of material had been scoured out, and that the minimum depth was 16.9 feet. Even with this showing many persons still failed to have confidence in the jetties, and stories of new bars, mud, lumps, etc., were told almost ever day in the local press. In November, 1877, the dredge-boat "Bayley" was used in scouring the channel of the jetties.

A survey made Dec. 15, 1877, showed a channel twenty-two feet deep, and more than two hundred feet wide, existing from the deeper water in South Pass to the deeper water in the gulf. On this showing the first award of five hundred thousand dollars under the contract made between Eads and the government, was paid over to him. Work was continued on the jetties in 1877 and 1878, in which year it was completed, the concrete and crib-work at the sea ends being erected.

The following table will show the depth in the


channel at ten thousand feet from East Point, the worst part of the Pass, at various times:
June, 1875 9.2 feet.
May, 1876 15 feet.
August, 1876 19.8 feet.
July, 1877 20.3 feet
June, l878 21.9 feet
February, 1879 22.2 feet.
March, 1879 24.8 feet.
June, 1879 28 feet.
July, 1879 30.5 feet.

In the summer of 1881 the least depth in the channel in South Pass, not in the jetties, was 26˝ feet, 97,000 feet above East Point and at Bayou Grande; and 20 feet at Picayune Bayou, and at a point 90,000 feet above East Point. At no point in the jetties proper is the depth of channel less than 30˝ feet.

James B. Eads, whose name is permanently associated with three gigantic enterprises, — the building of the jetties, the construction of the gunboat fleet at St. Louis during the war, and the erection of the great bridge across the Mississippi, — may justly be regarded as one of the foremost engineers of his day, and it is quite within bounds to say that no man has ever surmounted greater mechanical difficulties or wrested a larger measure of success from doubtful and hostile conditions. Two of the three great experiments whose practicability he so signally demonstrated may be classed among the wonders of the age, for it is a matter of history that the construction both of the Mississippi bridge and jetties was regarded by leading engineers and scientific men as impracticable, dangerous, and altogether beyond the limits of reasonable calculation. With that unbounded faith in the correctness of his own judgment and that indomitable courage and endurance which have ever been recognized as the first essentials to success in all great undertakings, Capt. Eads maintained his position in the face of criticism, detraction, personal abuse, and determined professional hostility working through various channels, and at last, by sheer pluck and persistence, fully vindicated the soundness of his views and covered his critics with confusion.

Capt. Eads was born in Lawrenceburg, Ind., May 23, 1820, and his early education was acquired in the schools of Louisville and Cincinnati. Before he had succeeded in mastering the rudiments, however, his father experienced reverses which necessitated his withdrawal from school, to which he never returned. At a very early age he developed a taste for mechanics and a fondness for experimenting with machinery, which was afterwards to become the ruling passion of his wonderful career. Among the anecdotes related of him is one to the effect that when only nine years old, having embarked on an Ohio River steamboat, he exhibited such an intelligent interest in the engine that the engineer volunteered to explain to him the details of its mechanism and operation, finding in him an absorbed and quickly responsive pupil. Four years later the boy was able to construct a miniature working steam-engine without assistance.

In September, 1833, when only thirteen years of age, he arrived in St. Louis under very unpropitious circumstances, the steamboat on which his father with his family had embarked to seek a home farther West having been burned, thus rendering the family destitute. In order to contribute something to the common fund, young Eads sold apples on the street, and succeeded not only in providing for his own support but also in assisting his mother. After a while he obtained a position with a mercantile firm, the senior partner of which, Barrett Williams, having discovered his mechanical tastes and aspirations, gave him free access to his library, where he eagerly embraced the opportunity to study mechanics, machinery, and civil engineering. After spending some time in this occupation he obtained a position as clerk on a steamboat, which he retained two years, and during this period obtained a valuable fund of information concerning the great river whose restless current he was afterwards to bridle and control at will. In 1842 he entered into a partnership with Case & Nelson, boat-builders, for the purpose of recovering steamboats and cargoes which had been wrecked or sunk


in the river. At first the operations of the firm were limited, their machinery and appliances being very primitive and quite inadequate to the work which they undertook to perform. Such were the energy, versatility, and industry of Capt. Eads, however, that the business rapidly expanded, until, in the space of about ten years, it extended the entire length of the Mississippi, and the property of the firm had increased to half a million dollars. In 1845, Capt. Eads severed his relations with Messrs. Case & Nelson and established a factory for the manufacture of glassware. To Capt. Eads belongs the credit of having made the first glassware west of the Mississippi. The enterprise not proving remunerative, however, he returned to his old business of recovering steamboat property, etc., from the river.

In the winter of 1855-56, Capt. Eads submitted to Congress a proposition to keep the Western rivers open for a term of years by removing all obstructions and keeping the channels free. A bill embodying his proposal passed the House of Representatives, but was defeated in the Senate. In 1857 he retired from active business on account of ill health, but on the breaking out of the war his large and varied experience in navigating the Mississippi and its tributaries, his thorough knowledge of those rivers, his immense industry and energy, and his almost intuitively sound judgment were promptly placed at the disposal of the Union government. While a stanch supporter of the war measures of the Lincoln administration, Capt. Eads by no means approved the enforcement of harsh and arbitrary measures of coercion, and, as elsewhere narrated, at a crisis when peculiar courage was required to assume such a position, took strong ground against the levying of contributions on Southern sympathizers, and headed a movement for raising a fund to take the place of that which the military authorities had determined to exact from alleged friends of the Confederacy in St. Louis. When the government took into consideration the feasibility of forming a gunboat fleet on the Mississippi, Capt. Eads was summoned to Washington for consultation, and in pursuance of his advice the construction of a number of ironclads was undertaken. Capt. Eads received the contract for building the first seven of these vessels, and accomplished the gigantic task with conspicuous ability and success. His labors in this connection have already been fully set forth in this work in the chapter on the civil war.

Capt. Eads' next great feat was the construction of the bridge across the Mississippi. He was the originator and creator of this vast enterprise, and as its chief engineer personally superintended the prosecution of the work, — a work attended by innumerable difficulties, delays, and embarrassments, — which he conducted to a triumphant consummation by the steady and persistent exercise of his rare energy and indomitable will.

Even when most actively engaged with the multifarious duties of this grave trust, and weighted down with its responsibilities, he found time and thought to give to the important problem of securing a sufficient depth of water at the mouth of the Mississippi for vessels of the largest draught. After long and mature deliberation he came to the conclusion that the only practicable method of securing this object was by an elaborate and costly system of jetties, which he defines as being "simply dikes or levees under water, . . . intended to act as banks to the river to prevent its expanding and diffusing itself as it enters the sea. It is a notable fact that where the banks of a river extend boldly out into the sea no bar is formed at the entrance. It is where the banks or fauces terrć (jaws of earth) are absent, as is the case in delta-forming rivers, that the bar is an invariable feature. The bar results from the diffusion of the stream as it spreads out fan-like in entering the sea. The diffusion of the river being the cause, the remedy manifestly lies in contracting it or in preventing the diffusion."

In 1852 a board of engineers composed of Maj. Chase and Capts. Barnard and Beauregard, of the army, and Capt. Latimer, of the navy, recommended that in order to increase the depth of water at the mouth of the Mississippi the process of stirring up the bottom of the river by suitable machinery be tried, and that if this failed, dredging by buckets be employed. If both failed, they recommended that jetties be constructed at the Southwest Pass, to be extended annually into the gulf as experience should show to be necessary. Should it then be needed, they advised that the lateral outlets should be closed, and finally, if all these expedients failed, that a ship-canal might be resorted to.

Dredging, as we have seen, was tried without success, and repeated experiments with other plans resulted in nothing until, in 1875, Capt. Eads began the construction of his jetty works, the contract having been awarded to James Andrews & Co. within two months after the passage by Congress of the act authorizing the experiment. On the 23d of March 1875, a complimentary banquet in honor of Capt. Eads was given by leading citizens of St. Louis at the Southern Hotel, at which the mayor of the city presided. In the course of an address on this occasion Capt. Eads said, —


"If the profession of the engineer were not based upon exact science, I might tremble for the result, in view of the immensity of the interests which are dependent upon my success. But every atom that moves onward in the river, from the moment it leaves its home crystal springs or mountain snows, throughout the fifteen hundred leagues of its devious pathway, until it is finally lost in the vast waters of the gulf is controlled by laws as fixed and certain as those which direct the majestic march of the heavenly spheres. Every phenomenon and apparent eccentricity of the river, its scouring and depositing action, its curving banks, the formation of the bars at its mouth, the effect of the waves and tides of the sea upon its currents and deposits, are controlled by laws immutable as the Creator, and the engineer needs only to be assured that he does not ignore the existence of any laws to feel positively certain of the result he aims at. I therefore undertake the work with a faith based upon ever constant ordinances of God himself, and so certain as He will spare my life and faculties for two years more, I will give to the Mississippi River, through His grace and the application of his laws, a deep, open, safe, and permanent outlet to the sea."

That this prediction of Capt. Eads, so confidently uttered, was in empty boast or over-sanguine declaration has been amply demonstrated by the magnificent success which has crowned his labors. At the present time the largest ocean vessels sail in and out the mouth of the river without danger or difficulty, and to the energy, skill, and wonderful prescience of James B. Eads is due the completion of a work of improvement which has already contributed immensely to the prosperity of the Mississippi valley.

Capt. Eads' fertile brain is never at rest, and is constantly employed in devising great enterprises. Of these the most conspicuous in recent years is a plan for the construction of a railway for the transportation of ships across the isthmus of Panama, thus obviating the necessity for the proposed ship-canal, — a scheme which he has advocated with characteristic ardor and ability, and which is still fresh in the public mind. In the summer of 1875 the Scientific American suggested his name as a candidate for President of the United States, and the nomination was indorsed by a number of leading journals throughout the country as being that of a man whose genius, experience, and wonderful achievements eminently fitted him for so exhalted a station. Capt. Eads, however, has no political aspirations, and can well afford to rest content with the laurels he has earned.

In 1845 he married Martha N., daughter of Patrick M. Dillon, of St. Louis (who died in 1852), and subsequently his present wife, Mrs. Eunice S. Eads. He has five daughters, three of whom are married respectively to John A. Ubsdell, of New York, and Estill McHenry and James F. How, of St. Louis.

In recognition of his achievements in his profession the Missouri State University conferred the degree of LL.D. on Capt. Eads, and the St. Louis Academy of Sciences twice elected him its president. Besides these positions he has filled many other offices of trust and honor in various important corporations, among which may be mentioned the National Bank of the State of Missouri, the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railway, the St. Charles Bridge Company, and the Third National Bank.

In St. Louis Capt. Eads enjoys the universal respect and esteem of the community, which is justly proud of one whose career has been almost without a parallel in this country, and whose success in the face of herculean difficulties has extorted the admiration of even his opponents.

The Harbor of St. Louis. — Almost coincidently with the arrival of the first steamboat at St. Louis in 1817 a sand-bar formed in the bend at the lower end of the town, which gradually extended up as far as Market Street, making a naked beach at low water. Another bar soon formed in the river at the upper end of the city, west of Bloody Island. Thus, at the very outset of the commercial progress of St. Louis, the current of the Mississippi, cutting deeper and deeper into the American Bottom on the eastern side of Bloody Island, was threatening the city with the diversion of its channel to the east side of the island, leaving St. Louis "high and dry," with a sand-bar in front of it.

In this crisis it was generally predicted that the city would amount to nothing in a commercial point of view, and the timid refused to make investments in real estate, fearing that the town would be left without the facility of availing itself of the benefits which the new steam system of navigation promised.


In 1833 the city authorities, becoming alarmed for the commercial prosperity of the city, undertook the removal of the sand-bars, and with that view employed John Goodfellow to plow them up with ox-teams and plows, thus loosening the sand, which high water was expected to wash away. The idea was suggested by Col. Thomas F. Riddick, and the means were supplied by Gen. Bernard Pratte and some other wealthy citizens. About three thousand dollars was expended in the plowing process without making any impression upon the sand-bar.

Steamboats had grounded, and could not land as high up as Olive Street, and daily indications were given that the river would ultimately sweep around to the eastern side of Bloody Island and leave the Missouri shore.

The mayor of St. Louis in 1835 was John F. Darby, who, fully realizing the danger that threatened the present and future welfare of the city, induced the Board of Aldermen to petition Congress for aid to improve and construct the harbor of St. Louis. The representative of St. Louis in Congress at that time was Gen. William H. Ashley, who by constantly urging the committee of the House of Representatives to which the petition was referred, of which Patrick Henry Pope, from the Louisville, Ky., district was chairman, finally secured the reporting of a bill recommending the improvement of the harbor, and appropriating one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for that purpose. Col. Thomas H. Benton, then in the United States Senate, hampered and hindered by his allegiance to the Democratic party, which, since Gen. Jackson's veto of the Lexington and Maysville road bill, had opposed all internal improvements by the general government, could not very zealously advocate the bill for the improvement of St. Louis harbor, though he offered no opposition to its passage.

The work of preserving the harbor of St. Louis was to be done under the supervision of Gen. Charles Gratiot. Mayor Darby immediately opened correspondence with Gen. Gratiot, urging him to visit St. Louis and examine the harbor. This visit was made and the river fully examined. Gen. Gratiot was introduced by Mayor Darby to the Board of Aldermen on which occasion the Hon. Wilson Primrn, then president of the board, addressed him in happy terms alluding to his association and connection with the city and its inhabitants.

Gen. Gratiot, immediately upon his return to Washington, sent Lieut. Robert E. Lee to St. Louis charged with the immediate supervision of the work of preserving the harbor. This was in 1837, and the work was continued by Lieut. Lee, with Henry Kayser as his assistant, until 1839, when the appropriation made by Congress was exhausted.

In December, 1837, Lieut. Lee wrote as follows concerning the St. Louis harbor:

"The appropriation for the improvement of the harbor has for its object the removal of a large sand-bar occupying, below the city, the former position of the main channel of the Mississippi, which, gradually augmenting for many years, has now become an island of more than two hundred acres in extent, and reaching from the lower part of St. Louis to two miles below. The extensive shoals formed around its base extend on the east the middle of the river, and connecting with the mainland the west afford at low water a dry communication between. A flat bar projects from the upper end to the foot of Bloody Island, opposite the town, which at low stages of the river presents obstacle to the approach of the city, and gives reason to apprehend that at some future day this passage may be closed. This is rendered more probable by the course of the river above. The united waters of the Missouri and Mississippi for some miles below their junction sweep with great velocity along the Illinois shore, where they are deflected to the other side. The


main body, passing west of Cascarot (now Cabaret) Island, with the lesser portion at its foot, and the whole is compressed in a narrow gorge (opposite Bissell's Point). Spreading out in the wide area below, the main current still keeps to the Missouri shore, while a large part of the river directed toward the Illinois side is fast wearing away its bank and cutting out a large channel east of Bloody Island. The two channels again uniting at the foot of Bloody Island, the whole body of water sweeps down the Illinois shore, and, its velocity becoming increased by the narrowing of its bed, the abrasion of its bottom recommences, all the deep water being here on the Illinois side and all the shoal on that of Duncan Island. But in order to arrest the wearing away of the eastern bank of the river and to protect the Illinois shore, it will be necessary to divert from it the force of the current. This may be done by running a dike from above the small slough on that side, parallel with the western shore, sufficiently far to throw the water west of Bloody Island. The same effect would be produced by throwing a dam across directly from the head of Bloody Island to the Illinois shore... In addition to these works, the head of Bloody Island will have to be protected, from its head to the centre, so as to secure it from the action of the current."

The report also recommended a dike extending down stream from the foot of Bloody Island. In the following year Capt. Lee reported the commencement of the work, and said that, with the small part of the work actually completed, about seven hundred feet of Duncan Island had been washed off.

The work under Lieut. Lee during two years turned the current of the Mississippi back to the Missouri side, washed out the sand-bars, and deepened the water in the harbor, but dikes were required to be built to preserve and protect what had already been accomplished.

Dr. William Carr Lane succeeded to the mayoralty of St. Louis in 1839, and the city authorities, without assistance or aid from any quarter, continued the work in the improvement of the harbor under the direction of the able assistant of Lieut. Lee, Henry Kayser. But they were harassed and annoyed by injunctions of certain parties in Illinois; and the mayor and some of his subordinates were indicted on account of the work being done on the Illinois shore by some of the public functionaries of that State, from which, so long as the work was under the direction of the general government, they were exempt. Still the work in the face of all these trials progressed.

In 1840, Mr. Darby was again elected mayor, and the work on the harbor was continued by the city government. The application was renewed to Congress for aid in behalf of the city, for further appropriations to continue the harbor improvements, but without success. The work was continued by the city for about fifteen years, under the supervision and management at first of Henry Kayser, and subsequently of Gen. S. B. Curtis.

In 1844, Capt. T. J. Cram, United States Corps of Topographical Engineers, wrote as follows of St. Louis harbor:


"In so far as the general natural main tendencies of the direction and force of the currents in different reaches of the river are being exerted, that portion of the river represented on the chart west of Bloody Island and forming the harbor of St. Louis, I regret to say, must be regarded in the condition of fast becoming a mere slough... In the last six years, since the survey of Capt. Lee was made, the abrasion east of Bloody Island has been such as to wash away a strip three hundred feet wide and fifty feet deep... It appears that in 1839, 1840, and 1841 an extent of nine hundred and twenty-five feet of the dike recommended by Capt. Lee was constructed, extending from the foot of Bloody Island, in order to wash away the bar, costing about forty-six thousand dollars, when the work was stopped for want of funds and left to its fate, before it had been carried to one-half of Capt. Lee's estimated cost. Of all the piles that were driven, only forty-two could be found standing in November, 1843. The work seems to have been constructed by driving two rows of piles from twenty to forty feet apart and distant in the same row from each other six to ten feet, and the space between the rows of piles filled with brush and stone, battened from the piles outwards, one foot in three. The idea of a dam directly across from the head of Bloody Island to the Illinois shore seems to have been abandoned, and the oblique dike commenced starting from the Illinois shore near Venice, and extending in the direction as recommended in Capt. Lee's report. The funds for this work were furnished by the city of St. Louis, and executed at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars, exclusive of machinery. Commencing at the upper extremity of this work, about twelve hundred feet have sunk four and a quarter feet below its original level or been swept away by ice and drift or by the force of the current. There for an extent of eleven hundred feet it has either been swept entirely away or sunk eleven feet below its original level. In the next reach of four hundred and thirty-five feet it has either been swept away or sunk nine and a quarter feet. In all the remainder of the work, twelve hundred and sixty-five feet, quite to its lowest extremity, where it extended into the strongest part of the current, it must have been swept away or sunk fifteen feet below its original level. Throughout the whole of this dike there are but few piles found standing. The city has also expended about eleven thousand six hundred and seventeen dollars in the construction of cross-dikes of stone, thrown without piles or brush, to protect the west bank of Bloody Island from abrasion. It is observable that in most of these cross-dikes, which were extended from the shore perpendicular to the thread of the stream, the water has cut into the bank on their down-stream sides, in virtue of a current setting along the lower face of the dike directly into the bank. Also the bed of the stream has immediately below the dikes been made deeper by the plunge of water passing over their summits, as is always the tendency under the fall over a waste weir."

Capt. Cram quotes from the reports of Capt. Lee, in 1840, to show what had been the effect of the work begun in 1837. The report said, —

"The pier on the Illinois shore (i.e., from Venice south) has served to throw the main body of water west of Bloody Island, which has cut a broad and deep channel through the flat shoal that extended from the head of Bloody Island to the Missouri shore. As this channel enlarges that east of the island diminishes, and between the pier and head of Bloody Island is becoming more and more shoal. The pier from the foot of Bloody Island confines the water to the Missouri shore, and directs the current against the head of Duncan Island. A large portion of the head and eastern face of this island has been washed away during the past year. The deep water now extends close to it, and admits the largest boats to the lower wharf of the city. The depth of the river on the Illinois side is diminishing... Both piers, however, require to be finished. The upper ought to be strengthened and extended down the river and the lower completed."

The appropriations recommended, however, were not made, and the work went to pieces. Capt. Cram says (1844), —

"Had ample means been appropriated and expended according to the views of that officer, in all probability the harbor would have needed little more, except to till up for the subsequent settling of the work, the damage occurring from ice, abrasion, and driftwood. These would have cost considerably more than generally supposed, but I think that plan, if pursued to completion and to have been successful, would ultimately have resulted in a completely connected work, extending from near the foot of Kerr's Island quite to the head of Bloody Island, then along the west shore of that island by a revetment to connect with the dike, making two miles of dike-work, one mile of revetment, and nine hundred and twenty-five feet of dike."...

The report of the city engineer in March, 1846 stated that in 1842 the lower part of the harbor was so obstructed by bars that the ferry-boat was compelled to land at the foot of Vine Street. In the winter of 1845-46, although the water was two feet lower than had ever been known before, the boat could use her landing at the foot of Market Street showing a decided improvement instead of impairment of the wharf front, as had been charged by parties hostile to the plan of the city extending the dikes at Hazel and Mulberry Streets. He further said, —

"The improvement of the harbor requires, first, a regular shore on the Missouri side, which in time will be afforded by the improved Levee; second, a regular and nearly parallel shore on the Illinois side; third, regulation of the bed of the river above the city so as to direct the water into the channel under favorable conditions. The first is the work of the city, the latter two are and should be in the hands of the United States."

Congress at this time seemed entirely willing to make what at that time would have been considered liberal appropriations for the harbor of St. Louis and other public works, but all bills of this character were consistently vetoed by President Polk. As a result of the vetoes the question of internal improvements became a political issue of no little importance in the Northwest and West. Additional appropriations being unobtainable, inquiry was made as to what had become of the unexpended appropriation of 1844. From all that can now be ascertained the balance, twenty-two thousand seven hundred and nine dollar was never expended.

The controversy, already alluded to, with the Illinois authorities in regard to the river-front of East St. Louis being happily ended by the joint resolution of the Illinois Legislature, the construction of the dike


opposite Duncan's Island was resumed in the spring of 1851. The river was then five thousand two hundred feet width opposite the lower part of the city, and it was proposed to narrow it to eighteen hundred feet. In 1852, chiefly as a result of the efforts to close Bloody Island chute, which had not then fully succeeded, the east side had been removed until the island extended but five hundred feet east of the proposed wharf line. A small strip of the island was joined to the mainland by cross-dikes in 1852-53.

From that time and up to 1866 the chute west of the island was unnavigable. In 1866 the city engineer advocated straightening the river from the city to Carondelet by a front line passing through the island. About this time the west chute became the main channel, and the wharf line was left as established in 1864 to the then city limits at Keokuk Street. As this line ended seven hundred and fifty from the shore, its adoption involved the widening of the chute by washing away the west side of the island. Several small spur-dikes were pushed out from the Missouri shore behind the island previous to 1858, but not far enough to exert any controlling influence during the time when it was uncertain which plan would finally be adopted. After the extension of the city in 1870, absorbing the old town of Carondelet the extension of the line in front of the newly-acquired territory was brought forward, and a project submitted by the city engineer accepting the line as then established ordinance, nearly in the middle of the channel, affording an opportunity to make many blocks of ground.

The project of making the west chute the permanent channel was acquiesced by all. The board of engineers in their report of April 13, 1872, had indorsed it to the extent of saying by implication that the United States should close the eastern channel if observation showed danger of the river leaving the channel to the west. Before this proposed extension of the wharf line was formally laid before the City Council, an ordinance was passed ordering the construction a dike at the foot of Bryan Street. As no necessity was apparent for this dike, it is not unreasonable to suppose that it was moved and passed with a view chiefly to commit, the city to the proposed line. Work on this dike was prosecuted so vigorously that the first intimation of its commencement to many was the complaint made by boatmen that the channel was obstructed, but the work had progressed far enough to cross the main channel, which had been along the main Missouri shore. The work being done in the spring, or at the season when the general tendency of the river is to rise, the conditions were unfavorable to the ostensible purpose of the dike, which was to compel the washing away of the west side of the island.

As the stage of water afforded a free discharge of the obstructed water by way of the eastern chute, that channel was deepened, and eventually became the main channel.

Growing out of the discussion which followed the return of the channel to Cahokia chute, an urgent demand for the closure of that chute was made by all parties interested, for once all agreeing in desiring this action, and a survey was made by United States engineers in the summer of 1874, with special reference to this matter. The construction of a dam across Cahokia Creek was authorized by Congress. The act of Congress making appropriations for this dam specifically limits it to a low dam, although it was clearly stated in the report that as such it would necessarily fail to accomplish all the requirements of the case.

Very little has actually been done towards the permanent improvement of the harbor below the arsenal. The plans contemplate considerable reclamations of ground from the river, which must be a slow process. These proposed reclamations extend from above the arsenal to near Dover Street, from Fillmore to Stein Street, and from Stein Street nearly to Jefferson Barracks. When complete the alignment of the wharf south will be convex from Market Street to Bryan, a distance of sixteen thousand feet, and concave from there to Jefferson Barracks, thirty-six thousand feet.

On the east side of the river the corrected width is defined only at the Illinois and St. Louis Railroad dike, opposite Chouteau Avenue and opposite Marine Avenue, by the revetment of part of Arsenal Island, opposite Carondelet, by the incline of the East St. Louis and Carondelet Railroad, by the Waterloo Ferry dike and the coal-dump of the St. Louis and Cairo Narrow-Gauge Railroad. Farther down the United States dikes for the improvement of Horsetail Bar, with two thousand four hundred feet of partially-constructed training-wall, are steps toward the definition of a line extending to the head of Carroll Island.

Arsenal Island belongs to the city of St. Louis, having been purchased from the school board for thirty-three thousand dollars in 1866. It was patented


to the school board in 1864 by J. M. Edmunds, commissioner of the general land office at Washington. All of the land within the island previous to this time was known as "Quarantine Island," and sometimes called Arsenal Island. The total number of acres contained in the island at that time was 119.57. The deed to the city was signed by Felix Coste, president of the school board, and George M. Fitchtenkamp, secretary. During the civil war the upper portion of the island was used as a burial-ground by the government. After the city got possession it was used for a smallpox hospital. Many of the old graves, not otherwise removed, were washed away by the encroachments of the river.

Going back to the surveys, the first shore line we have a record of (in 1862) was opposite the north line of the arsenal. The head of the island moved down three hundred feet by 1865, in which year the main channel was on the east side of the island. At that time one could go from the St. Louis side to the head of the island on a sand-bar during low water, from October to about March. The next survey was made in 1874, when it was found that the head of the island had moved down one thousand three hundred feet from the survey of 1865, making the retrocession of the island altogether since the survey of 1862 about one thousand six hundred feet, over one-fourth of a mile in twelve years. The survey of 1874 showed the channel to be located on the west side, between the island and the Missouri shore. The change of the channel at that time was caused by dikes built by the Cahokia Ferry Company for the purpose of making a steam ferry-boat landing at Cahokia.

The survey of this island by City Engineer John G. Joyce in 1880 shows that the head of the island has moved down four thousand eight hundred feet from the survey of 1862, nearly a mile. The channel still remains on the west side of the island. It is interesting to remark here that the dike built by City Engineer Moulton about 1867-68, at the foot of Bryan Street, diverted the channel from the west to the east side of the island, and also washed the head of the island down some three thousand feet. A correspondence sprang up about that time between the Governor of Illinois and Mayor Brown in reference to the Bryan Street dike, the Governor opposing the construction of the dike on account of the damage that would accrue to the farmers on the Illinois side in consequence of diverting the current to the Illinois shore; the result was that the building of the dike was stopped, and the general government had to erect a dike from Arsenal Island to the Illinois shore from the upper eastern shoulder of the island.

The survey of Mr. Joyce shows the acreage of Arsenal Island to be 247.32 acres. The revetment made by the United States government engineers along the west shore, extending from a little below the northern apex towards the southern extremity with revetment and dike on the east shore, would justify the conclusion that there will be little, if any washing away in the future; but, on the contrary, steady increase. The dike which was built on the east side some two or three years ago, above alluded to, has already formed a sand-bar on its south adjoining the island of some two hundred and sixteen acres, which will steadily increase by accretion. This in time will be as high as the island proper. The dike is bound to obstruct the current forever on that side, and its being built on a foundation of brushwood fastened by piling and the whole imbedded with rock, justifies the belief that it is a permanent fixture.

The improvements of the harbor of St. Louis have passed through two stages. The first, arising out of a difficulty in the way of approach to the harbor has already been considered. This difficulty stood also in the way of all the commerce passing St. Louis, and therefore the improvement was in no proper sense a local one. The second stage dates from about 1841 or 1843, and is marked by the addition to the former difficulty of an apprehension that the harbor would be entirely lost; not only that the main channel would be to the eastward of the island, but that the Missouri shore would speedily become inaccessible to boats.

Upon the authority of Capt. Cram, it appears that the volume of water in 1843 west of the island was to that east of it as ten to six. In December, 1847 the same officer says, the quantity running into the city channel was to the quantity running into the Illinois as 1 is to 1.01. These changes rendered the closure of the chute east of Bloody Island a necessity to St. Louis, and the hope of being benefited by the misfortune of their rival accounts for the interest taken by Alton and Quincy in the matter of closing the chute much more satisfactorily than the pretended fear of injury from back-water caused by forcing the Mississippi to pass through a channel only four hundred and fifty yards wide.

In the years following the closure of the Bloody Island channel no matter of general interest arose until by the growth of the city and its trade the extension of wharf facilities was required, and a third stage in the development of the demand for harbor improvement was introduced by the necessities of the traffic across the stream, the number of persons and railroad transfers requiring that both shores should be permanently accessible at numerous points.


The central and south wharves have now plenty of water. Regarding the establishment of the present north wharf line and clearing away the bar in front of it, the report of Col. W. E. Merrill, United States Engineers, after showing that the Grand Chain dike should be abandoned, as it only made matters worse at Sawyer's Bend, has the following: "The central harbor being in good condition during the low stage, it is manifest that if we can make the northern harbor like the central we may expect the same results in it. In other words, if we can canalize this portion of the river in a sufficiently small section, giving it revetted banks, we may confidently expect a sufficiency of water. Moreover, when once this work is properly performed we need have no further apprehensions about the angle at which the river current enters the city limits. It will be forced through so narrow a channel make the variations of the current a matter of indifference. If we could succeed in getting the river to abandon the Sawyer Bend and to take the eastern channel by Cabaret Island we would doubtless attain our object, and a shoal extending from Venice westward would ultimately narrow the water-way to the prescribed width. But having concluded that no reliance could be placed upon any means under our control for effecting this change, it only remains to see if we cannot accomplish the same thing in a different manner. Our object will be to contract the water-way in the northern harbor so as to force the water in run in the channel which we wish, notwithstanding it comes from Sawyer's Bend. There is a permanent low-water channel already established in the northern harbor, though it is not alongside the northern wharf. Either the city must move to this channel or the channel must be made to come to the city. The former method would be more natural, and in an engineering point of view would be much preferable. Our studies have shown us that in its natural condition a river has no right lines, passing directly from a curve bending one way into a curve bending in the opposite direction. If, then, the northern wharf line were moved out to the edge of the bar and made to conform to the curve of the channel, we should have a naturally formed river from below the Grand Chain to the elevator. With shore lines thus established there would be no difficulty in making permanent revetments." After instancing a number of objections to this course, such as the abandonment of a line on which much work had been done, lengthening the sewers, damages to water-front owners, etc., the engineer's report says, —

"Under these circumstances the only course that seems left is to force the river to come to the wharf, which the city has established. That this can be done I have no doubt, though the channel so formed will be an unnatural and, therefore, expensive one...To force the water channel over to the city wharf we must drive it by a series of dikes. The dikes already constructed by City Engineer Bischoff will be the first of the system, the long dike extended will be the third, an intermediate dike at or near Venice Landing will be the second, and a fourth dike may be needed at the head of Bloody Island. I would recommend that they be raised to the height of fourteen feet above low water."...

It is upon this report of Col. Merrill that the city has based its latter-day wharf plans.

The present United States engineers are not so sanguine that the river can be brought, to the wharf, but think the wharf must go to the river.

According to their reports, the complete improvement of the harbor of St. Louis requires, first, the fixation of the banks above the city so as to control the approach to the harbor and preserve the conditions of entrance invariable; second, the regulation of the width and depth in front of the city by regular permanent lines of definition at high and low stages.


"The first requires the revetment of the right bank for the whole length of Sawyer Bend, and possibly a section of the Illinois shore opposite to and above the Chain of Rocks, also the closing of Cabaret slough by a high embankment and revetment of the head of the island. Besides the work here named it is improbable that any will be required for many years upon that part of the city front above the water-works. The concave bank insures the permanent location of the channel close to the Missouri shore, and the west side of Cabaret Island is more likely to receive accretions than suffer abrasion. Therefore, unless by the growth of new interests or unforeseen expansion of those existing, a necessity should arise for deep water on the east side, this part of the river may be considered the approach to the harbor, and, except the work named, may be left to nature. The extent of bank to be revetted in Sawyer's Bend is twenty-seven thousand feet.

"The regulated canalized river harbor will begin near the city water-works, and the upper limit may be fixed at the present Bischoff's dike, which now extends from the Illinois shore to within one thousand five hundred and seventy feet of the St. Louis wharf."

By the River and Harbor Act of 1882 it is provided

"that the unexpended sums heretofore appropriated for an ice-harbor at St. Louis, Mo., be and the same are hereby transferred and appropriated, to be expended, under the direction of the Secretary of War, for the improvement of the channel of the Mississippi River opposite the city of St. Louis, Mo., by repairing and raising the low dam across the channel east of Arsenal Island, known as Cahokia chute, and by the construction of such other works in or near said Cahokia chute as may be deemed advisable to accomplish the same purpose."

The harbor of St. Louis, extending from the Des Peres River on the south to the northern extremity of the city, is nearly fourteen miles in length, of which nearly four miles are paved, and embraces an area of water of nearly five square miles.

The total expenditures for the improvement of the harbor of St. Louis from October, 1840, to April, 1869, amounted to $1,012,551.68.

Floods in the Mississippi and Tributaries, and the Levee System. — The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain an area above and including the Red River as follows:

  Square Miles.
I. The Missouri River and tributaries 519,400
II. The Ohio River and tributaries 202,400
III. The Upper Mississippi River and tributaries 184,500
IV. The Arkansas and White Rivers and tributaries 176,700
V. The Red River and tributaries 102,200
VI. The Yazoo, Obion, and Black Rivers and tributaries 29,300
VII. The St. Francis River and tributaries 12,100
Total 1,226,000

The rainfall over this vast extent of country has been carefully investigated, and forty inches has been fixed upon as the annual downfall, which must, of course, be carried off, either by evaporation or drainage. Supposing, says Charles Ellet, Jr., that "from any cause, — as the tillage of the prairies, the destruction of the vegetable growth, or the better drainage of the fields, — out of the forty inches of rain, two-fifths of an inch, or nearly one per cent. of the whole, should be discharged into the Mississippi in the course of sixty days of flood over and above the present discharge. If this slight increase of the total discharge were distributed uniformly over the whole period of sixty days of high water, it would require that the channel of the river should be competent to give vent to an increased volume equal to two hundred and twenty thousand cubic feet per second. If this increased volume be retained in the channel by levees, these levees must be raised six feet higher than the tops of the present (1854) embankments." The object of the computations by which this conclusion was arrived at by Mr. Ellet was to show how sensitive is the discharge of the Mississippi River to every variation, however inconsiderable, of the drainage of the country; and to prove that if the evaporation be slightly reduced, or the drainage slightly hastened or increased by the causes which are progressing with increasing population and the extension of cultivation, then for every fifth part of an inch by which the total drainage is increased in the period of high water there must be experienced an average increase of about three feet in the heights of the floods, unless the water can find its accustomed vents into the swamps. This statement will aid in forming some estimate of the consequences which are to spring from the extension of society over the yet unpeopled West, and the cultivation of the vast territory which is drained by the Mississippi and its tributaries, increasing the amount of water poured down the lower Mississippi, while the population of that portion of the valley is closing the accustomed outlets of the river in the extension of the levees.

A great flood is the result of a simultaneous discharge of the great tributaries which ordinarily run off successively. The high water produced by the Red and Arkansas Rivers, in the ordinary course of things, has begun to subside before that of the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee comes down; and these, again, begin to recede before the upper Mississippi discharges its volume; and this, in its turn, subsides before the snows of the Rocky Mountains are melted by the tardy sun in those high latitudes, and the water has time to flow off through the three thousand miles of channel intervening between the sources of those distant streams and the head of the delta. It is a


part of the natural order of events that these great rivers should discharge successively. But when, under circumstances over which there exists no control, the ordinary order of successive discharge is changed for a simultaneous pouring out of all the tributaries, then comes the "year of great waters," like 1785, 1811, 1823, 1826, 1844, 1858, and 1881.

The first unusual rise of the Mississippi River of which we have any account took place in 1542. In March of that year, while De Soto and his followers were at an Indian village on the western side of the "Rio Grande," as the early Spaniards called the Mississippi, which from its elevated description indicates the site of Helena, in Arkansas, there was a rise in the river which covered all the surrounding country us far as the eye could reach. In the village (represented to have been on high ground) the water rose from five to six feet above the earth, and the roofs of the Indian cabins were the only places of shelter. The river remained at this height for several days, and then subsided rapidly.

The earliest authentic account of the American Bottom being submerged is that of the flood of 1724. A document is to be found in the archives of Kaskaskia, which consists of a petition to the crown of France, in 1725, for a grant of land, in which the damage sustained the preceding year (1724) by the rise of the water is mentioned. The villagers were driven to the bluffs on the opposite side of the Kaskaskia River, their gardens and corn-fields were destroyed, and their buildings and property much injured. We have no evidence of its exact height, but the whole American bottom was submerged. This was probably in June.

There was a tradition among the old French people many years since that there was an extraordinary rise of the river between 1740 and 1750, but we find no written or printed account of it.

In the year 1772 another flood came, and portions of the American Bottom were again covered. Fort Chartres, in 1756, stood half a mile from the Mississippi River; in 1776 it was eighty yards. Two years after, Capt. Pittman, who surveyed the fort in 1768, states, —

"The bank of the Mississippi next the fort is continually falling worn away by the current, which has been turned from its course by a sand-bank, now increased to a considerable island covered with willows. Many experiments have been tried to stop this growing evil, but to no purpose. Eight years river was fordable to the island; the channel is now forty feet deep."

About the year 1770 the river made further encroachments, but in 1772, when it inundated portions of the American Bottom, it swept away the land to the fort and undermined the wall on that side, which tumbled into the river. A large and heavily-timbered island now occupies the "sand-bar" of Capt. Pittman's time, between which and the site of the fort a slough runs.

The next period of extreme high water was in 1785, during which Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and large portions of the American Bottom were submerged. Concerning this great inundation we have but meagre information. This year, however, is known in the annals of Western history as l'année des grandes eaux, — the year of the great waters. In 1844 it was contended by some of the old inhabitants of Kaskaskia and Cahokia, who remembered the great flood of 1785, that the water attained a greater height then than in the last-mentioned year. It is certain that at Kaskaskia the water attained a greater height in 1844 than was reached in 1785. This is not predicated upon the mere recollections of individuals, but was ascertained from existing marks of the height of the flood of that year after the subsidence of the water in 1844. It was then proved that in this last-mentioned year the water rose two feet and five inches above the high-water mark of 1785. The destruction of property by this freshet was comparatively small. The mighty stream spread over a wilderness tenanted only by wild beasts and birds, and the few inhabitants then residing within the range of its destructive sweep easily escaped with small loss to the highlands. Gen. Edgar once said that in Kaskaskia the water rose to the surface of the door-sill of the house of the late Robert Morrison, but that in one place, where the court-house stood a few years since, the ground was above the water. That season the inhabitants passed by means of water-craft through the prairies and lakes from Cahokia to Kaskaskia. This flood destroyed all the crops, and did much damage about the French villages on the American Bottom.

There were high waters so as to overflow the low grounds and fill the lakes and sloughs on the American Bottom at other seasons subsequent to 1785, but none that deserve attention until that of 1811. It was in the summer preceding the "shakes," as the earthquakes were called.

This flood resulted in part from the annual rise of the Missouri, as did the ones previously noticed. The flood in the Missouri always occurs between the 15th and 30th of June, and is caused by the snows melting in the mountains at the heads of the main Missouri. In some seasons the Yellowstone, which is in a more southern latitude, pours out a flood which reaches St. Louis about the last of May or 1st of June.


In 1811 the Mississippi River commenced rising early in May, and by the 15th the water had spread over a large portion of the American Bottom. The water began to subside, and by the 1st of June was only over the banks in low places. By the 6th of June the river again commenced rising, and continued to rise until the 14th, when it came to a stand. At this time the greater part of the American Bottom was under water, and Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Prairie du Pont, Cantien, and nearly all the settlements in the bottom were inundated, and the inhabitants had fled to the high lands.

The "common fields" belonging to Ste. Genevieve were on the bottom land adjacent to the river, much of which has since been swept away, the steamboats now running over the same spot. The water entirely submerged the field, and nearly covered the growing corn. A story is still narrated by the oldest inhabitants that at the time of the flood some of the panic-stricken inhabitants waited on Father Maxwell, the village priest, to "pray away the water." It is said he gave no direct encouragement at first, until he perceived the water at a stand, when he proposed to the corn-growers to drive off the waters by saying masses for a share of all the corn they raised. The bargain was struck, the masses were said, and the waters suddenly retired from their fields. The ground was soon dry and in good order, the corn looked green, and the priest, it is said, shared in the luxuriant crop.

There was considerable destruction of property by this freshet, and a great many cattle drowned. The height attained by the water during this freshet has never been precisely ascertained. But it is believed that the flood was not so great as that during I'année des grandes eaux.

The flood of 1811 was much greater than any that followed until 1823, when a sudden change in the temperature after a winter when the snowfall was unprecedentedly heavy throughout the Northwest and the fall of very heavy rains caused the Mississippi to commence rising rapidly about the 8th of May, 1823. It continued to rise rapidly until the 23d of the month, when it came to a stand. At that time the water entirely covered the American Bottom, and the citizens of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Cantien, French Village, Wood River, Madison, and other settlements had been compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge on the bluffs and in St. Louis. The houses in the lower part of St. Louis were surrounded by water. The Levee was submerged, and the river rose to the lower room in the old store at the foot of Oak Street (then kept by John Shackford) about five feet. The water overflowed all the low grounds about East St. Louis.

The loss of cattle was very great, and the farmer suffered heavily throughout the American Bottom. The high land about where that part of East St. Louis known as Papstown is now built, and la bute ŕ renard, or the Fox Mound, which had escaped submersion during the flood of l'année des grandes eaux, were the only dry ground in the American Bottom, except some mounds whose tops were of no great extent. In this, as in the flood of 1811, there exists no means of ascertaining the height which the river attained, nor are there the means of ascertaining the amount of destruction which was accomplished by this great freshet.

The season of 1826 was characterized by tremendous rainfalls throughout the whole Northwest, and the Mississippi was very high throughout the spring from about the 15th of April. Towards the close of May the river had overflowed its banks and spread for miles over the country. By the 8th of June Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Prairie du Pont, Cantien, and the common fields of Ste. Genevieve were submerged. The loss of stock and other property was very great. The inhabitants of the "bottoms" sought refuge either on the bluffs back in Illinois or among the hills of Missouri, or in St. Louis. There is, so far as we can ascertain, no record left of the height attained this year by the water in the river. The river came to stand on the 10th of the month, and on the11th was falling rapidly. By the 25th the river had reached an ordinary stage, — the great flood had been lost in the vast volume of waters of the gulf.

The winter of 1843-44 was not one of unusual severity, though there were tremendous snow-storms throughout the Northwest. The winter broke up early in May, but the weather continued cool, and the spring was characterized by the severest rain-storms ever known in the Northwest. Early in the season the river began to rise, and by the 1st of May was full almost to overflowing. The population of Missouri and Illinois had greatly increased, farming had improved the soil and largely facilitated the drainage of the land. Towns and settlements had sprung up everywhere, and along the river-banks centres of population had gathered and garnered great wealth.


When, therefore, they saw the mighty rivers bank-full in April they were not alarmed; and when on the 3d of May the great streams began to recede, all fear passed away with the decline in the volume of the waters. But thick clouds gathered, and deluges of water were poured out over the face of the whole country. Little brooks became swollen creeks, and small creeks great rivers, and little rivers great floods, all pouring into the mighty Missouri and Mississippi their vast contributions to the overwhelming waters that rose above the barriers which confined them and deluged the fairest part of the great West.

By the 10th of May the river began rising, and by the 16th the flood began to create alarm at St. Louis. The Republican of the 17th of May calls it "a tremendous flood," and adds, —

"The waters were coming down upon us from every quarter. The Mississippi is now as high as it has been known for many years, and is still rising. Just above Oak Street it was last evening within six or eight feet of touching the curbstone. The collars all above the wharf are filling with water. It was still rising last evening at the rate of twelve inches in twenty-four hours, and this notwithstanding an immense volume of water is pouring over the Illinois shore. The whole of the American Bottom, from Alton to Kaskaskia, will be, we fear, submerged. The people are deserting their homes in Illinois towns."

The river continued to rise throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th, reaching the doors of the stores on Front Street north of Pine, and extending to the Pap house cm the Illinois side, a distance of two and a half miles. The merchants on Front Street had all been compelled to move their stock of goods into the second stories. The waters came to a stand on the 21st, with prospects of a decline, which began rapidly on the 23d, and continued until the river was again within its banks on the 7th of June. But the flood from the Missouri was coming down. From the 3d to the 10th of June there was a continued succession of the most terrible rain-storms ever witnessed. These tremendous rains were general throughout the Northwest. The Mississippi again commenced rising at St. Louis on the 8th of June. The rise was steady, though not alarmingly rapid. The upper Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Des Moines, Gasconade, Osage, Kaw, Platte, and all the tributaries were pouring out their floods.

Steadily, slowly, but inexorably the great floods from the prairies, hills, and mountains came sweeping down to the lower valleys. Before the 12th of the month the river was again breaking over the banks in places. By the 15th the floods began to alarm the people of the valley, and "the great flood of 1844" had commenced its devastations.

There were five hundred persons in St. Louis who were driven from their homes by this flood.

At Bon Secour there were camped, all in open camps, one hundred and twenty-two persons. Several of these families left their homes with from four to nine children, and with less than fifty pounds of flour and a small quantity of meat.

The water covered all of Illinoistown, rose above the first story of the houses, and reached within a few inches of the height attained in the freshets of 1823 and 1826. A considerable portion of the curbstones on Water Street were covered, and the water was running into the lower stories of the houses of Battle Row, corner of Laurel Street.

All the rivers above were reported to be rising, but the principal rise was from the Missouri, said to be the June freshet from the mountains. The Missouri, the upper Mississippi, and the Illinois, and their tributaries were overflowing their banks and rising rapidly, spreading destruction and consternation among the inhabitants of the bottoms, whose losses were very great. Many of their farms were completely under water, and their crops were entirely destroyed, and their stock either carried off by the flood or scattered over the country.

The Illinois River was within six inches of the high-water mark of the great flood that occurred seventeen years before, and at Naples it had overflowed the bank and the streets were under water.

On June 17th the river was about six inches higher than the water-mark of the month before. North of Locust Street, on Front Street, and above Vine Street the water rose over the sidewalks and into many of the stores, forcing the merchants to carry their damageable goods into the second stories, and to place the remainder on shelves and counters. On the 18th the steamer "Missouri Mail" brought the alarming news of a great rise in the Missouri, which on the 13th was rising at St. Joseph at the rate of seven feet in twenty-four hours.

The whole country between Weston and Glasgow was under water. Camden Bottom was covered to a depth of six to eight feet. The officers of the "Mail"


spent nearly one entire day in relieving and saving those who were in danger, and the accounts they related were peculiarly distressing; quite a number of persons were missing, many of whom were doubtless lost. Cattle in large numbers were seen floating down amidst the drift, their heads only visible. Many houses were also seen floating on the flood.

The editorial of the Republican of June 19th says, —

"We have taken some pains to ascertain with certainty the height of the present rise in the river compared with former freshets. We have been very unsuccessful. Within the memory of many of the oldest inhabitants there have been three extraordinary freshets, — one in 1811, one in 1823, and the last in 1826. If there were any others, we have not been able to learn the particulars. The freshet of 1811 appears to have been the highest. That year the Ste. Genevieve common fields, and in fact the whole bottom, was covered with water. Boats passed with ease to and from Ste. Genevieve to Kaskaskia. There is a, great difference of opinion as to the height attained by the water in 1826. Some say it was higher than now; others insist that at present the water is higher than during that year."

On Thursday, the 20th, the Mississippi was from three to six miles wide, and in many places nine. It covered all Front Street and the sidewalk; it was over the boilers in Cathcart's mill, and the steamer "Lightner" was resting her bow against the front of Henry N. Davis' store at the corner of Front and Morgan Streets. The water was up along Battle Row nearly to the door-hatches. At J. & E. Walsh's store, corner of Vine and Front Streets, the water was up to within about fourteen inches of the locks on the doors. At the corner of Pine and Front Streets it was just up to the top of the sill of the door of Mr. Collins' warehouse. At Market Street it was between nine and ten inches below the sill of the east door of Coons & Gallagher's store. The lower part of the city, in the vicinity of Mill Creek, was all submerged. The water covered Second Street below the bridge. Mr. Stiles and most of the people in that quarter, especially along Convent Street, removed, and the communication was maintained by means of boats.

Several houses up in the direction of the dam were several feet under water. Of course all the low lands in Soulard's addition and St. George's were overflowed.

On the Illinois side everything was under water; at Cahokia the inhabitants were forced to flee to the bluffs, and several houses in Illinoistown were moved from their foundations, and some overturned.

The "Indiana," which made fast at the door of the female academy, brought up from Kaskaskia the Sisters of Charity at the convent and the priests connected with the church at that place, and several families and such furniture as they had saved. The town was from ten to twenty feet under water. Several dwelling-houses that were most exposed to the current of the river, together with many barns, stables, and outhouses, were swept away.

The city engineer, about twelve o'clock on the 22d, ascertained that the water was over the city directrix, the curbstone on Front Street, east of the market-house, three feet four inches. This gave thirty-four feet nine inches plumb water above low-water mark. From half-past seven o'clock on Thursday morning until half-past seven Friday evening the rise was seventeen inches. This was an immense and unparalleled rise, and can only be properly estimated when the whole width of the river is considered. In many places it was from ten to fifteen miles wide. In Second Street the water extended from Hazel to the junction of Second and Fifth Streets, being in some places from four to five feet deep. The low land in front and all the low lands between Second and Third and Fifth Streets were several feet under water.

On June 22d the editor of the Republican

"took a trip across the river in the row-boat ‘Ripple,’ a boat which is owned and manned by a company of young gentlemen, amateur boatmen, and had a most pleasant time of it. We left the foot of Market Street and crossed to the ferry landing. From thence we passed over several streets of Illinoistown, and to ‘Old Pap's house,’ a mile and a half from the ferry landing. Thence we rowed through a corn-field and an oat-field to the railroad, passed along it some distance and through another field to the big lake near the Pittsburgh coal-mines, a distance of about nine miles. On our return we crossed to the east side of Bloody Island, and passed round the head of the island. Everywhere we witnessed the destruction of whole crops, the year's subsistence of the farmer and his family."

For the twenty-four hours of Sunday, June 23d, the water rose fourteen inches, and reached the climax of the flood, where it remained nearly stationary until the 28th, when it commenced receding. In order to relieve the needs of the destitute the City Council by ordinance placed one thousand dollars at the disposition of the mayor and other officers. The number encamped was as follows: At Bon Secour, 122; at Mr. Cremer's, 45; at John Cohen's, 18; at John Sharp's, 5; at Game's, 21; at Falling Spring, 31; at Edward Hebert's, 4; at Prairie du Pont, 41; at Joseph Boismenen's, 40; at the Grand Marias Pass, 40 families.

The water continued to recede with great rapidity. By the middle of July the river had reached an ordinary stage. The weather became settled, the atmosphere void of moisture. July, August, and September proved very dry, and before the close of the season the river had reached an exceedingly low stage.


The long-continued and ruinous flood of 1851 did not begin to attract particular attention until "fearful accounts of the rise in the upper Mississippi," the river being over its banks in many places, reached the newspapers of St. Louis of May 29, 1851. Two days after the river began to rise rapidly at St. Louis, and by sundown of the 30th was fifteen feet eight inches below the high-water mark of 1844, as marked


on the column in front of the Centre Market, and eight feet and one-half inch below the city directrix, or the curbstone at the corner of Market Street and the Levee. The top of the stonework of the dike is two feet lower than the city directrix. A large portion of the east side of Duncan's Island, and seven houses, and a portion of the dike erected by the city between the island and the Illinois shore, were washed away. About one million feet of lumber from the upper part of the city was also washed away. Through almost all of June the river continued to rise, until June 23d it had risen four feet nine and a half inches below the high-water mark of 1844; from this date the waters commenced to decline.

The desolation which visited the States watered by the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Wabash, the Illinois, and their tributaries was beyond all calculation.

In 1854 the river was very high, the water almost entirely submerging the Levee at St. Louis. Great damage was done, especially in the lower portion of the course of the river. The destruction of property was immense in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

In 1858 the water rose to a point within about two and a half feet of the flood of 1844. Many towns were inundated, and vast destruction of property was effected. The water broke over the levee at Cairo, Ill., and completely submerged that city. The water in the Ohio was also very high. The planters in the delta and the farmers throughout the low country suffered immense losses.

In 1863 the river rose very high, and the flood swept away much property. The water came into the stores on the Levee at St. Louis. This was the last great flood until 1881, though the water rose quite high in 1867, and again in 1871 and 1875. But these floods did little damage in the upper valley. In Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana great destruction was wrought in 1867, 1871, and 1875.

The flood of 1881 began in May, and on the 4th of that month, from the foot of Anna Street, on the St. Louis side, the only limit for the water was the bluff, three miles to the east. East Carondelet, as the little village opposite Carondelet is called, was flooded by the breaking of the dike at the head of the island, and the inhabitants took their children in their arms and sought safety on the high grounds. Many of them crossed in the ferry-boat and found quarters in Carondelet. Over a hundred persons were thus rendered homeless. From the arsenal, steamboats could be seen through the willows which were once on the bank of the river, plying in the overflow. The width of the river at that point was estimated at three miles.

The country surrounding the little town of Venice opposite the north wharf, was inundated. Nightfall found East St. Louis still exempt from inundation, but the situation there was extremely critical, and the alarm among the inhabitants was general. At 2.35 o'clock, May 3d, the steamboats lying along the East St. Louis side of the river set up a combined whistling, which conveyed to people on the St. Louis side of the river the impression that the town of East St. Louis was in danger of being swept away, but whistling was the signal agreed on whenever the break should occur in the Madison County dike. Fortunately the alarm, though far from causeless, did not herald such great disaster. A break had occurred in the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad embankment, and a great volume of water poured through it, threatening to sweep down on East St. Louis and send the inhabitants fleeing for their lives. The water had two courses to take, — one up Cahokia Creek, where it would do no great damage immediately, the other down the creek, where it would drown out East St. Louis. When the possibility of the embankment's breaking had been canvassed beforehand, there was scarcely any one who did not suppose that the water would come down the creek, but strangely enough, it took the other course, and the Ohio and Mississippi embankment for the time kept it away from East St. Louis.

The greatest actual damage which occurred in one place was the loss of the bridge, valued at twenty thousand dollars, across Cahokia Creek.

On May 5th the river had risen half a foot within twenty-four hours, and was above the high-water mark of 1876, and still rising. East St. Louis was in greater danger than ever.

The water on the 4th came near taking in completely what little of the levee-front it had left the day before. From Biddle Street to Locust sidewalks were only to be seen in spots. From Washington Avenue to Locust the water was running over the pavement and against the lintels of the houses. From Spruce Street to Chouteau Avenue there was no passage for pedestrians, and as early as six o'clock in the afternoon a skiff tied to the awning-post in front of 607 South Levee was floating over the sidewalk in a foot of water. Between East St. Louis and Fish Lake thousands of acres of wheat were under water. In East Carondelet there were some sixteen houses above water, each of which was crowded with those with those whose homes were submerged.

The floods on the Mississippi of which more particular accounts have been given were selected because of the exceptionally high stage of the water, but almost


every year witnesses very high water, and the annual loss of property is very great. These constantly occurring stages of high water, in which the flood wave, overleaping the banks, spreads over the adjacent country, have caused the construction of artificial banks along the tops of those created by the stream itself, and as these new banks have been extended along both banks of the river, they have assumed a regular system of protection, which is known as the levee system. This system, though located on the river below St. Louis, is yet of very great importance to the trade and commerce of a city whose situation naturally makes it the great commercial capital of the river-drained country. It was to find "means of obviating the disasters incident" to these floods, and "to prevent the overflow of these low grounds, or swamp lands generally, covering, as is supposed, nearly forty thousand square miles, that the investigations made by Charles Ellet, Jr., were undertaken.

"The lands which are now annually overflowed may certainly be estimated at fully 16,000,000 of acres, which, if relieved by any effectual process, would be worth at the government price $20,000,000; but converted as they may be into sugar and cotton-fields, would possess a value that it might seem extravagant to state, while the annual loss and distress inflicted on the present population by the inundations of the river can scarcely find a parallel in many localities, excepting in the effects of national hostilities."

These levees extend on one side or the other about eighteen hundred miles, and represent in first cost and present value twenty million dollars. But even the present system is regarded as entirely inadequate, for the levees, which are constantly breaking or threatening to break, protect but a comparatively small strip along the main stream and its principal tributaries, whereas by protection against overflow and by proper drainage an enormous expanse of what is now waste swamp land would be brought into cultivation, — a stretch of country beside which the areas reclaimed from the sea in the Netherlands sink into insignificance, — while the work of reclamation, gigantic as it would have to be in relation to its results, in the amount of time and labor required, would be comparatively small beside the work of the industrious Dutch. There would thus be rendered available along the Mississippi not less than two million five hundred thousand acres of sugar land, about seven million acres of cotton land, and one million acres of corn land, all of unsurpassed fertility. On the eastern side of the river is the great swamp of Mississippi, fifty miles wide, extending from just below Memphis to Vicksburg, one hundred and seventy miles in a direct line, and nearly four hundred miles along the river. On the other side is another vast and fertile region, embracing the lower part of Missouri, all the alluvial front of Arkansas and of Louisiana as far down as the mouth of the Red River. This land is not so favorably situated for reclamation as that on the eastern side, where there is no tributary of the Mississippi until the Yazoo is reached, within a few miles of the Walnut Hills, near Vicksburg. But on the west side are a number of tributary streams, themselves all liable to overflow, while all are subject to back-water from the Mississippi, which would make levees necessary as far as the line of back-water extends. Much fine land, however, has been reclaimed here, although the line of levees is more fragmentary than on the other side. Below the Red River there are no tributaries entering the Mississippi, and on the other hand the waters are depleted by numerous outlets to the gulf.

The levee system was begun in Louisiana in the early part of the last century, but the reclamation of swamp lands in Mississippi and Arkansas has originated in recent years. Congress, by a general grant of all the inundated lands to the States in which they lie, for the express purpose of making "the necessary levees and drains to reclaim swamp and overflowed lands," offered inducements to the States, and through the States to individual enterprise, to commence a vast system of embankment, with a view to the ultimate exclusion of the water of the Mississippi and its great tributaries from all the inundated lands upon their borders. To this legislation the State of Missouri responded by an appropriation of fifty thousand dollars to begin the work of reclamation at the head of the delta, where many hundreds of square miles of inundated territory might be reclaimed by art, and the land brought under cultivation. The State of Arkansas with equal promptness passed an act granting to all proprietors who may construct front levees the right to enter the donated lands where they may choose to select them, in payment for the cost of the levees which they might construct. The Legislature of Mississippi, even prior to the act of Congress, gave authority to the five northern counties of that State to levy a tax of ten cents per acre on


all the lands in each of these counties, for the purpose of constructing front levees and shutting out the waters of the Mississippi from the great swamps extending back to the Yazoo. The State of Louisiana was not less prompt in this matter than the other States, and by the incorporation of the Louisiana Levee Company has provided both authority and power with appropriate means for restraining the waters within the banks of the river.

A discussion of the wisdom of the levee system is not within the province of this work, the aim of which is only to relate what has taken place, and not to forecast what may result from closing all the natural and existing outlets by which in former years the flood wave of the Mississippi found a vent.

But it cannot be denied that the reclamation of the drowned lands in the Mississippi valley will improve the climate of a vast region of country and make it more salubrious, adding vastly to the wealth of those States by giving value to the lands, and greatly increase their commercial resources by bringing immense regions of these vacant lands under cultivation, while improving the navigation of the river. An object of so much importance to the health and prosperity of so many people in so many States cannot be without great influence upon the trade, commerce, and prosperity of the city of St. Louis.

Ferries. — Prior to 1797 there was a ferry between the Missouri and Illinois shores, starting from a point below the town of St. Louis, but in that year a ferry between Cahokia and St. Louis was established, which seems to have been the only one for a considerable period.

About 1783, Capt. James S. Piggott established a fort not far from the bluffs in the American Bottom, west of the present town of Columbia, in Monroe County, which was called "Piggott's Fort;" and Governor St. Clair, knowing the character of Capt. Piggott's services during the Revolutionary war, made him presiding judge of the court of St. Clair County, the seat of which was at Cahokia. Capt. Piggott was only a brave soldier, but a shrewd and enterprising man, and set to work at once to develop the resources of the little community. In the winter of 1792-93 he erected two log cabins on the site of East St. Louis and continued the work of improvement during the winter months (in the summer the workmen would have been in constant danger from the Indians) until 1795. After the successful campaign of Gen. Wayne against the Indians, Capt. Piggott removed his family from the fort to the site of the future Illinoistown. Having completed a road and bridge over Cahokia Creek and established a ferry from the Illinois to the Missouri shore, he petitioned, on the 15th of August, 1797, for the exclusive right to collect ferriage in St. Louis, then under the dominion of the Spanish crown. His petition was in the following words:



"To Mr. Zenon Trudeau, Commander at St. Louis:

"SIR, — Though unacquainted, through a certain confidence of your love of justice and equity, I venture to lay before you the following petition, which, from reasons following, I am confident you will find just to allow.

"The petition is that Your Honor will grant me the whole benefit of this ferry to and from the town of St. Louis. I do not desire to infringe upon the ferry privileges below the town, which have been long established, but that no person in the town may be allowed to set people across the river for pay (at this place), so long as you shall allow that the benefits of this ferry hath made compensation for my private expenses in opening a new road and making it good from this ferry to Cahokhia Town, and making and maintaining a bridge over the River Abbe of a hundred and fifty feet in length.

"Your consideration and answer to this is the request of your humble petitioner; and as an acknowledgment of the favor petitioned for, if granted, I will be under the same regulations with my ferry, respecting crossing passengers or property from your shore as your ferry-men are below the town; and should your people choose to cross the river in their own crafts, my landing and road shall be free to them.

"And should you wish me to procure you anything that comes to market from the country on this side, I shall always be ready to serve you.

"And should you have need of timber or anything that is the product of my land, it may be had at the lowest rates.

"I am, sir, with due respect, your humble servant, "JAMES PIGGOTT.

"Aug. 15, 1797."


Although the Spanish commandant was anxious to have the ferry regularly carried on by Piggott, because it was of great use to St. Louis, yet he devised a plan by which it was done without having it said that he had granted the ferry-right to a foreigner, viz., he granted Piggott the ferry landing below Market Street, on which Piggott then erected a small ferry-house, which was occupied mostly by one of his ferry hands, who at any time could transport foot passengers in a canoe; but when horses, etc., were to be taken across a platform had to be used, which required three men to manage it.

This platform was surrounded by a railing, and floated on Indian "pirogues," made by hollowing out trees. The craft was "poled or paddled with long sweeps handled by Creoles." Not only was Piggott granted the right of establishing a ferry-house at St. Louis, but he was made a citizen of the town by the commandant, and clothed with other powers and privileges. At this time, it is said, the river was so narrow that persons wishing to cross from either side could easily make Capt. Piggott hear "the old-time shout of ‘O — ver!’"

The ferry was managed by Capt. or Judge Piggott until the 20th of February, 1799, when he died, leaving his wife the executrix of his will. Mrs. Piggott rented the ferry to Dr. Wallis for the years 1800-2, and then to a Mr. Adams. About this time Mrs. Piggott married Jacob Collard, and removed from Illinois to St. Louis, Mo. Before leaving she leased the ferry to John Campbell for ten years from the 5th day of May, 1805. Campbell, however, procured a license for a ferry in his own name during the time of the lease, and hence for a short time it was called "Campbell's ferry." But after a lawsuit Campbell and confederates were beaten, and the ferry reconveyed to Piggott's heirs, one of whom, assisted by men named Solomon, Blundy, and Porter, operated the ferry until part of the heirs sold out to McKnight & Brady.

For some time the ferry-boats landed at Illinoistown, about the northwest end of Main and Market Streets, near which was the spot where the bridge constructed by Capt. Piggott crossed the River l'Abbe, more commonly known as Cahokia Creek. Although many tenants subsequently occupied the ferry tract of land, none of them had a fee title therein, the property being owned by the heirs of James Piggott or their assigns, who derived their title in part from a grant made by Governor William H. Harrison, of Indiana Territory, March 12, 1803, of a tract of land which afterwards became the site of East St. Louis.

On the 7th of December, 1808, the following announcement was made of the rates of ferriage:


"Rates of ferriage, as established by law, from St. Louis to the opposite shore.
For a single person $0.25
Horse .50
Neat cattle, each .50
Calash .50
Wagon .50
Lumber of any kind, per cwt. .12˝"

In 1813 a rival ferry appears, from the subjoined advertisement published May 15, 1813, to have been established:

"We, the subscribers, take the liberty to inform the public that any person or persons who may think proper to cross with us at our ferry to St. Louis, and for which pay us the customary prices established by law, that we will return them back free of ferriage at all times when our boat is on the west side of the Mississippi River at St. Louis. This measure became indispensably necessary in consequence of an indirect course of conduct practiced towards us.

"BYRD & CHARLES LOCKHART, "Lockhart's Ferry, opposite St. Louis."

The following offer to rent Piggott's ferry was made on the 30th of September in the same year:

"Ferry. On the 13th November next I will rent to the highest bidder the ferry opposite St. Louis; due attendance will be given by me at the house where John Porter now lives, and other particulars will be made known at the time of leasing.


On the 4th of January, 1815, five-sevenths of Piggott's heirs conveyed their interest in the ferry to McKnight & Brady, who had, under special contract, been running it on trial one year previous, and on the 4th of March, 1820, the other two-sevenths of Piggott's heirs conveyed their interest in the land and ferry to Samuel Wiggins, who, under special contract with them, had been running a ferry in competition with McKnight & Brady during 1819, and on the 19th of May, 1821, McKnight & Brady conveyed their ferry, right to Samuel Wiggins.

Edwin Draper, writing of his own experience in crossing the Mississippi in 1815, says, —

"The ferry-boat in which we crossed was a small keel-boat, without upper deck or cabin, and was propelled by four oars by hand. The wagons, then the only means of land travel, were run by hand on to the boat, across which were placed broad planks transversely, resting on the gunwales of the boat, while the tongue of the wagon projected beyond the side of the boat, and as the latter swayed gracefully to the motion of the waves


the tongue-chains would dip politely into the water, as if acknowledging the power of the mighty monarch they were daring to stride. The horses, wagon, and saddle, family, slaves, and dogs were stowed in the bottom of the boat between the wagons, and thus we triumphantly entered Missouri. Our crossing, with many other families, was detained several days by high winds and waves preventing the safe crossing of the boat. Whether this boat was merely improvised for the occasion, or was the regular class of boats then in use I do not know, but that was the boat then used. Since that date I have lived in Missouri to see and experience its many changes, and have been more or less familiar with its history. My first crossing of the great water certainly inspired me with some fear, but I did not know then but it was among the common products or everyday sights in this country...

"The statement I make is this, that at the time I first crossed the stream in 1815 it was fully a quarter of a mile wider at St. Louis than it is at the present time. I do not state the exact number of feet and inches it has diminished, but about the above distance. How this wonderful change in the width of the river at your great city was brought about it is not my business or purpose to explain."

Another writer thus describes the old ferry a few years later:

"There were at that time two ferry-boats making regular trips, one at the foot of Market Street and one near Morgan Street. In front of the city was a sand-bar, which in 1819 reached from Market to Morgan Streets, and extended two-thirds of the way across the river.

"The ferries were owned by Mr. Nash and E. M. Van Ansdel. One of the boats crossed above Bloody Island, and the other below. Skiffs and keel-boats were also much used in the transfer of freight and passengers. Mr. Day started the first horse ferry-boat about 1824, which was also the first one that had any cover or protection from the weather."

In November, 1816, five persons lost their lives by the upsetting of the ferry-boat. The newspaper account of the disaster at the time of its occurrence is as follows:

"On Tuesday morning last the ferry-boat which is accustomed to ply between this town and the opposite shore of the Mississippi upset in the middle of the stream, by which five persons lost their lives. The ferryman, Mr. Dubay, and his two assistants died on being taken ashore from the wreck; Ezekiel Woolfort, son of Mr. Woolfort, of this place, and a Mr. Stark, of Bourbon County, Ky., sunk before the boats reached the wreck, and are not found. What adds poignancy to this unusual catastrophe, some of the ferrymen spoke after they were taken up, but died from excessive fatigue and cold, without an immediate remedy being applied, and which generally succeeds in cases of suspended animation.

"Dubay was a useful citizen, and attended to the town ferry with unprecedented attention. He has left a helpless family, whose situation claims the attention of the benevolent.

"Mr. John Jacoby, of St. Louis, has authorized us to offer a reward of fifty dollars for the body of Mr. Stark, or if it should be taken up too far down the river for conveyance to this place, those to whose lot it may fall to pay the last sad offices to the deceased are informed that every expense will be paid for his decent interment. Mr. Woolfort will no doubt liberally reward those who will find and inter his son as above."

On the 17th of March, 1819, it was announced that application had been made "to the Legislature of Illinois at its present session for the privilege running a ferry-boat from the town of Illinois to St. Louis by steam- or horse-power, and that Legislature, with a laudable view of encouraging useful improvements for public accommodation, have authorized the establishment of such ferry-boat."

Besides managing the ferry, Mr. Wiggins appears also to have kept a tavern in Illinoistown, and evidently a thrifty and progressive citizen.

In 1820, Mr. Wiggins procured a boat which was worked by one-horse power, but still employed French Creoles from Cahokia to ferry passengers and horses over by means of canoes lashed together. The new boat was crushed in the ice in the winter of 1824-25, near the foot of Morgan (then Oak) Street. Mr. Wiggins then built a larger and better boat, which he christened the "Sea Serpent," of one-horse power, and from this until 1828 all the ferriage was performed by boats of this class. So largely did the business increase that he was compelled to enlarge his fleet, and two other boats, also of one-horse power, named the "Rhinoceros" and "Antelope," were added to the number, making three in all. In 1828 a new boat, with steam-power, named the "St. Clair," was added, and made two landings each day, calling at the font of Market Street, then at Morgan, and thence across to the Illinois shore. In 1830 the business had increased to such an extent as to demand another boat, and the "Ibex" was added. In 1832, Samuel Wiggins sold his ferry franchises to Bernard Pratte, father of Gen. Bernard Pratte, John O'Fallon, John H. Gay, Charles Mulliken, Andrew Christy, Samuel C. Christy, Adam L. Mills, and William C. Wiggins. In 1838, John H. Gay bought the interest of John O'Fallon. Shortly after this Andrew Christy purchased the remaining interest of Col. O'Fallon, and afterwards the entire interest of Mr. Gay. At this time Mr. Christy and his sister-in-law, Mrs. McLane Christy, owned ten shares, over one-half of the stock.

Andrew Christy was born in Warren County, Ohio, in 1799, and when quite young removed with his parents to Lawrence County, Ill., where they located on a farm near Sumner, the county-seat of that county. In his youth Andrew engaged for a time in teaching school near Ridge Prairie, St. Clair Co., in the same State.

In 1826, in company with Francis and Vital, sons of Nicholas Jarrot, of Cahokia, he engaged in lead-mining at Galena, Ill., which business he pursued during several years. He then removed to St. Clair County, opposite St. Louis, and entered into business with his brother, Samuel C. Christy.

In 1832, as stated above, he and his brother, with Bernard Pratte and others, purchased from Samuel Wiggins the ferry franchise and boats belonging to the Wiggins Ferry Company, and continued a member of this company until his death. From 1835 to 1840 he was engaged in the grocery and commission business in St. Louis with Samuel B. Wiggins, in Chouteau's Row, on the street then between Market and Walnut Streets and Main Street and the Levee.

He represented St. Louis in the Legislature of Missouri in 1851.

Mr. Christy was a public-spirited man, and among the important enterprises which he was active in promoting were operations for the preservation of the harbor of St. Louis by turning the current of the river toward the Missouri shore, and thus preventing the shoaling of the water on that side. He was also identified with early efforts for the establishment of railroads leading to St. Louis. In short, he was a promoter of every enterprise that promised to advance the prosperity of the city.

By the exercise of his excellent judgment and keen foresight, together with his indomitable energy, he accumulated a large fortune, which he bequeathed to his brothers and sisters, or their descendants. He was never married. Mr. Christy died of paralysis Aug. 11, 1869.

In 1832 the steam ferry-boat "Ozark" was added to the vessels of the ferry company; then, as the business increased, the "Vindicator" and the "Icelander" were put on, the latter being destroyed by fire in 1844. The "Wagoner" was built in 1846, and then the "Grampus." The "St. Louis" was added in 1848. Her boilers exploded Feb. 21, 1851, killing thirteen persons, including the engineer, a daughter of Mr. Jarvis, the pilot, and Captain Trendley's son, who had just arrived from California, having been in the city but two days. The accident occurred at the foot of Spruce Street, just after the boat left the landing. After the "St. Louis" there followed in turn, as occasion demanded, the "Illinois," "John Trendley," "Illinois, No. 2," lost in the ice in 1864, the "America," and the "New Era," which became the flag-ship "Essex" of Admiral Foote, and saw hard service in the civil war. In addition to these were the "Charles Mulliken," "Samuel C. Christy," "Cahokia," "Belleville," "Edward C. Wiggins," "East St. Louis," "Springfield," "Edwardsville," "Ram," "Lewis V. Bogy," and the tugs "H. C. Crevelin," "S. C. Clubb," and "D. W. Hewitt." The "Vindicator" was wrecked in 1871, and in 1875 the "S. C. Clubb" was nearly destroyed by fire, but was afterwards repaired.

Owing to the difficulty and danger experienced by the ordinary ferry-boats in crossing the river when encumbered by ice, the company, in July, 1839, contracted with a boat-builder at New Albany, Ind., for an ice steam ferry-boat, with which they would be "able to cross the river at all times, except when the ice is stationary." The vessel was to be constructed after plans prepared by Mr. Mulliken, of Mulliken & Pratte, merchants of St. Louis, with an iron bow, "in such a manner as to admit of her being driven through any amount of floating ice." The boat was completed in the following fall, and arrived at St. Louis on the 3d of December. She was about one hundred feet in length, forty feet beam, and four feet hold. Her hull was plated with sheet-iron one-sixth of an inch in thickness, with an iron cutwater seven inches thick. She carried four hundred tons and drew twenty-five inches of water.

In 1842 a new ferry company was formed, as appears from the following announcement in the Republican of February 5th of that year: "We understand that the new ferry company have contracted with the Dry-Dock Company for a ferry-boat. This company


have obtained the right of ferriage from the foot of Spruce Street, and from a road laid out by the authorities of St. Clair County to the river-bank."

In 1847 the landing-place of the ferry at St. Louis was at the foot of Locust Street, but complaint was made that this location was inconvenient, and that delay was caused by the crowding of other boats "into the landing at that point."

On the 22d of January, 1848, it was announced that a new steam ferry had been established at Carondelet across the Mississippi River. This, it was added, would open a new line of travel to all Southern Illinois. The distance from the Kaskaskia road to the river was about two miles, and between these points a substantial road was built. "By this route," said the announcement, "travelers avoid the difficulties of crossing the American Bottom."

On the 7th of January, 1852, the Republican stated that the ferry company had "with their usual liberality placed their ferry-boats at the disposition of the railroad company for the transportation of persons to and from the demonstration to be made to-day. The boats will be free to persons going to or returning from the celebration."

In 1853 the Wiggins charter, granted in 1819, expired, and application was made to the Legislature for a renewal. Commenting upon this application at the time (Feb. 3, 1853) the Republican said, —

"Under their charter and various amendments since obtained they have been doing a highly prosperous business. They have managed to keep the field and destroy measurably all competition. They are now applying to the Legislature for an immense addition to their powers. They are asking the Legislature to recharter them with a capital of one million, and with power to own fifteen hundred acres (three hundred of coal land), and also with power to build a city on Bloody Island, to charge wharfage fees, to build and to run any number of ferry-boats from said island to St. Louis, and generally to engage in any business required by the exigencies of a city proprietorship.

"The city on Bloody Island, with all its wharves, lots, streets and alleys, would probably belong for many generations to come to this incorporated company. St. Louis has felt, and Cairo has felt, and both cities now feel the evil of having a great mass of their property in the hands of one man or a few men."

When Samuel Wiggins sold his franchises to the company in 1832, he transferred to them about eight or nine hundred acres lying between Brooklyn and the Cahokia commons. The company leased the river front of the Cahokia commons, embracing between five and six thousand acres, and gave the Cahokians a free ferriage to and from St. Louis and three hundred dollars per year for twenty years. On the expiration of the lease the Cahokians re-leased a portion of the lands to individuals, the revenue of which went "to the support of schools and lawyers." The commons extended from the ancient city of Cahokia to the Pittsburgh coal landing at the dike opposite Chouteau Avenue, and were extremely fertile.

Notwithstanding the opposition to the company's application for a new charter and additional franchises, a perpetual charter for ferry purposes was granted to Andrew Christy, William C. Wiggins,


Adam L. Mills, Lewis V. Bogy, and Napoleon B. Mulliken.

The company, although it enjoyed for many years a practical monopoly of the ferriage business, appears, on the whole, to have pursued a liberal policy. The entire river-front of East St. Louis, for a distance of four miles, was owned by it, and in 1875 its property was estimated to be worth several millions of dollars. The company contributed greatly to the development and growth of East St. Louis, and co-operated with the railroad companies in providing additional traveling facilities for St. Louis by granting suitable grounds for tracks, depots, warehouses, yards, and machine-shops. For eighteen years Hon. Lewis V. Bogy, afterwards United States senator from Missouri, was president of the company, and Capt. John Trendley, after whom also one of the ferry-boats was named, served the company continuously from the 7th of May, 1825, for a period of more than half a century.

In 1865 the average number of passengers carried daily by the ferry fleet to and from St. Louis was from 1000 to 1500; bushels of coal, 10,000 to 15,000; transfer-wagons, 500 to 600; farmers' and market-wagons, 100 to 150; omnibuses, 30 to 40. The aggregate receipts for 1865 were very little less than $300,000, while in 1873 the aggregate receipts were largely over $500,000. At this time (1873) there were 10,000 shares, representing nominally a million of dollars, "but," remarked a newspaper writer, "if any one desires to know how much they are worth at a marketable or selling price over the par value of $100, he can do so by wanting to purchase." In addition to the eight ferry-boats and three transfer-boats which the company then owned, the East St. Louis real estate and wharf franchises were very valuable. Much the largest amount of stock was held by the Christys, which had been sub-divided, and was then represented by perhaps twenty-five heirs. The sales of real estate subsequent to 1865 and up to 1873, none being sold prior to 1865, and all of it having been purchased by Capt. Samuel Wiggins at the government price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, amounted to almost one million dollars, and what was left was considered in 1873 to be worth more than the whole estimated value of 1865.

In 1875 the officers of the company were N. Mulliken, president; F. M. Christy, vice-president; S. C. Clubb, general superintendent; Henry Sackman, assistant superintendent; John Trendley, agent; first grade directors, N. Mulliken, F. M. Christy, S. C. Clubb, J. H. Beach, Ernest Pegnet. In 1882, Samuel C. Clubb, president; F. L. Ridgely, vice-president; Henry L. Clark, secretary and treasurer; E. C. Newkirk, assistant secretary; directors, Samuel C. Clubb, F. L. Ridgely, Charles Shaw, Ernest Pegnet, and Charles Wiggins, Jr.

The St. Charles ferry was established by Marshall Brotherton and John L. Ferguson.

The South St. Louis and Cahokia ferry was established in 1870, and opened to travel on the 19th of June of that year. The following account of the inauguration of the ferry was printed in a St. Louis newspaper of the 20th:

"The tow-boat ‘Florence,’ Henry Kuter, captain, left the foot of Anna Street yesterday afternoon for Cahokia with a large excursion party on board. The occasion was the celebration of the opening of a ferry between South St. Louis and


Cahokia. The South St. Louis and Cahokia Ferry Company was established in March last, with a nominal capital of two hundred thousand dollars, divided into shares of fifty dollars; each share to receive the benefit of one lot twenty by one hundred and forty feet in what is denominated Southeast St. Louis, to wit: a sand-bar, a portion of Cahokia commons, and so much of the Mississippi River as may be recovered by a contemplated dike from the main shore to Cobb Island ‘by accretion.’ The lease of these lands has been obtained by the ferry company for ninety-nine years. About seven hundred acres of land is comprised in this lease, for which the company is to pay twenty-five dollars per acre per annum, and the present inhabitants of Cahokia to pass over free during their lives. This privilege does not extend to their offspring, and it accordingly behooves the beneficiaries to live on to a good old age. The lease was made also on condition that one thousand dollars be expended by the company for improvements within eight months, and that at least one ferry-boat be put in operation within fifteen months.

"The officers of the company are Robert J. Rombauer, president; Henry Saenger, secretary and treasurer, with the following directors: George Bayha, E. W. Decker, George Rathwaite, Antoine Faller, John D. Abry, of East St. Louis; E. H. Illinski, of Cahokia; Francis Mohrhardt. The bargain on the part of the Cahokians was signed by Francis Lavallee, supervisor, and George Labenhoffer and John Palmer, trustees."

The officers of the Cahokia and St. Louis Ferry Company in 1882 were Julius Pitzman, president, and W. S. Hopkins, secretary.

In addition to the foregoing, the following ferry companies have offices in St. Louis:

Madison County ferry, landing foot of North Market Street; boats ply between St. Louis and Venice, Ill.; president in 1882, John J. Mitchell.

St. Louis and Illinois Railroad ferry, from foot of Chouteau Avenue to the coal dike, East St. Louis.

The St. Louis and Illinois Coal Company and Ferry was originally chartered in 1841 under the style of the "St. Clair Railroad Company," and under that name continued until 1865, when the present company was organized, and became the purchasers of the franchises of the St. Clair Railroad Company. The incorporators were William C. Anderson and John D. Whitesides. The company does a general coal transportation and ferry business. Joseph W. Branch was elected president in 1865, and has ever since continued to hold that position. The present capital stock is one million five hundred thousand dollars. The board of directors consists of the following: Joseph W. Branch, Adolphus Meier, C. S. Greeley, W. A. Hargadine, N. Campbell, John D. Perry, George Knapp. The officers are Joseph W. Branch, president; Adolphus Meier, vice-president; P. T. Burke, secretary and treasurer.

Waterloo Turnpike Road and Ferry Company, W. H. Grapevine, superintendent; ferry landing, foot of David Street; transfer, foot of Franklin Street, Carondelet.

The Great St. Louis Steel Bridge across the Mississippi River. — The first proposition for the erection of a bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis was made by Charles Ellet, Jr., in 1839. Mr. Ellet proposed a suspension bridge having a central span of twelve hundred feet, and two side spans of nine hundred feet each; but the city fathers stood aghast at the enormous estimate of the cost, seven hundred and thirty-seven thousand six hundred dollars, for a highway bridge alone. Mr. Ellet revived his project in September, 1848, but nothing was accomplished. In January, 1853, it was stated in one of the St. Louis newspapers that "some years ago Mr. Charles Collins obtained the passage of a law authorizing the building of a suspension bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and if he had lived there is every reason to believe that he would have accomplished it; but with him died all the enterprise of the northern part of the city, and nothing has been heard of it since."


In 1855, Josiah Dent organized a company, with Maj. J. W. Bissell as engineer, and a second plan for a suspension railway bridge was proposed. The cost was estimated at one million five hundred thousand dollars. For the want of financial support the scheme was soon abandoned. The incorporators of the company, which was known as the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company, were: St. Louis, John How, J. H. Lucas, John O'Fallon, Samuel Gaty, Andrew Christy, Josiah Dent, S. J. Smith, D. A. January, William M. Morrison; Illinois, J. A. Matterson, Curtis Blakeman, J. D. Morrison, S. B. Chandler, William C. Kinney, Gustavus Koerner, William S. Wait, Vital Jarrot, William N. Wickliffe, John M. Palmer, John D. Arnold, Joseph Gillespie.

In 1867 the time seemed to have arrived for commencing operations in earnest. Strangely enough, after nearly thirty years of inactivity, two rival companies appeared in the field; one was regularly organized (in April, 1867) under the laws of Missouri, and included among its managers several prominent citizens of St. Louis; the other claimed an exclusive right under a charter granted by the State of Illinois, and was controlled by a well-known bridge-builder of Chicago. James B. Eads was the chief engineer of the St. Louis company (known as the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company); L. B. Boomer was manager of the Illinois company, which was known as the Illinois and St. Louis Bridge Company.

The Illinois company was incorporated Feb. 21, 1867, the incorporators being Joseph Gillespie, John M. Palmer, Jesse K. Dubois, William Shepard, John Williams, William R. Morrison, L. A. Parks, Levi Davis, T. B. Blackstone, H. C. Moore, Peter H. Willard, R. P. Tansey, Gustavus A. Koerner, C. P. Heation, L. B. Boomer, Fred. T. Krafft, L. B. Parsons, John Maker, and A. H. Lee.

The officers were L. B. Boomer, president; R. P. Tansey, secretary; directors, L. B. Boomer, R. P. Tansey, George Judd, William R. Morrison, and C. Beckwith. The location selected by the Missouri Company was at the foot of Washington Avenue, where the width of the river at ordinary stages is but little over fifteen hundred feet, and the plan consisted of three steel arches, supported by two masonry piers in the river and an abutment on each shore. All the foundations were to be sunk to the rock, which was known to be nearly ninety feet below low-water at the site of the east pier. The Illinois company, on the other hand, had selected a location about half a mile above, and proposed to build an iron truss-bridge, the longest spans of which should be three hundred and fifty feet, supported by piers formed of cast-iron columns, those nearest the Missouri shore to be sunk to the rock, and those on the east side bedded in the sand fifty or sixty feet below low water. For a time the contest between these two companies was very sharp, though confined principally to the newspapers and the courts. In March, 1863, the controversy was terminated by the nominal consolidation of the two companies, and the actual absorption of the Illinois company by its rival, to which the former had sold out, the new corporation taking the name of the Illinois and St. Louis Bridge Company. The officers of the old St. Louis company retained their positions in the new organization, and Capt. James B. Eads continued as chief engineer and a principal stockholder.

From the first Capt. Eads was the leading spirit in the enterprise. As chief engineer during the entire period of seven years (from 1867 to 1874) occupied by the building of the bridge, he was responsible for every novelty, both of design and execution, and his personal genius impressed itself upon every detail of the structure.

Col. Henry Flad was Capt. Eads' first assistant


throughout, and brought to the work great practical experience, a ready power of analysis, and mechanical ingenuity of a high order. He was ably seconded by Walter Katte. The theory of the structure was the joint product of Charles Pfeifer and Professor William Chauvenet, of Washington University.

The presidents of the bridge company in order were Charles K. Dickson, William M. McPherson, and Gerard B. Allen. J. C. Cabot was the first secretary, J. H. Britton the first treasurer. Dr. William Taussig held the position of chairman of the executive committee through all the administrations.

All the great foundations of the bridge, two abutments and two river piers, stand on the solid rock which underlies the ordinary river-bed. The construction of these foundations was the most difficult part of the work. To interfere as little as possible with the navigation of the river, and to diminish the cost of the foundations, the arches were designed with long spans, and the two channel piers were given great stability. The contract for the whole of the masonry work on the bridge was awarded in August, 1867, to James Andrews, of Allegheny, Pa.

The first stone in the western abutment pier was laid on the bed-rock Feb. 25, 1868; the first stone was laid on the caisson of the east channel pier Oct. 25, 1869, and the first stone on the caisson of the west channel pier was laid the 15th of January, 1870.

During the first half of the year 1868 the minutest details of the work were critically examined by the board of engineers. The mathematical calculations and investigations were conducted by Col. Flad and Mr. Pfeifer, and then submitted to Capt. Eads, and by him referred to the analysis and examination of Professor W. Chauvenet, LL.D., chancellor of Washington University. In this way the most wonderful mathematical exactness was secured. By the middle of the year the drawings and all the details of the bridge had been gone through with by the engineers, and the mighty structure was complete in the mind of the chief engineer and his assistants.

The foundation of the west abutment was laid in a coffer-dam at a depth of fifty-five feet below extreme high water. The other great piers were "sunk" to much greater depths by the aid of compressed air. The west pier stands on the rock ninety-one feet below high water; the foundation of the east pier is one hundred and twenty-seven feet below high-water mark, and the east abutment extends one hundred and thirty-five feet below the surface of extreme high water. The sinking of these piers was a great feat of engineering and full of interest. The sinking of the east pier is thus described:

The caisson of the east pier was built of iron, and was eighty-two feet long, sixty feet wide, and nine feet deep.

The roof and sides were made of thick iron plates riveted air-tight and strengthened by girders and brackets. A temporary wooden bottom was used until the admission of compressed air from powerful air-pumps kept the interior free from water down to the "cutting edge" of the caisson. The masonry of the pier was laid upon the roof of the caisson, which it completely covered. The weight of the masonry soon caused the caisson to sink deep in the river, rendering an increased air-pressure necessary to keep the caisson free of water and to support the load above. On the roof of the caisson a coffer-dam constructed to exclude the river. The caisson furnished with bearing-timbers along its walls and under its roof, and when it reached the river bottom they rested evenly upon the sand and gave sufficient support to allow the masonry to be built above the surface of the river. At this point the guides and suspension rods which had been used to control the motion of the caisson were removed, and the further progress of the pier was effected by undermining the bearing-timbers and letting the whole mass go down as additional masonry was laid in the open air above.

The space within the caisson was known as the "air-chamber," and it is evident that workmen were needed inside, and that there must be ready means for passing in and out.

Entrance to and exit from the air-chamber was through "air-locks," seven in number. These air-locks were in form vertical cylinders, made of one-half inch plate-iron. The central lock, which was six feet in diameter and six feet high, was wholly within the air-chamber. In fact, the roof of the caisson formed its upper base. Adjoining this lock was a second iron cylinder five feet in diameter and five feet deep, sunk through the roof of the caisson and entirely open at the top. The air-lock had two strong, tight-fitting doors, one communicating


with the open air-cylinder just mentioned and swinging into the lock, the other opening into the air-chamber and swinging from the look. Workmen generally passed in and out through the central lock.

The method of going in or out was very simple. The outer door of the air-lock being open, and the inner one, of course, closed, the party of visitors, for example, descended into the open cylinder near the central lock, crawled through the opening into the lock, and closed the door. A cock was then opened which allowed the compressed air from the chamber to enter the lock. When the air-pressure within the lock equaled that in the chamber, the other door readily swung open and the party entered the air-chamber. The time required in entering depended upon the pressure in the chamber and the ability of the persons in the lock to endure the change. If the air was let on rapidly, and the pressure was considerable, the sensation produced was very disagreeable. The compression of the air in the lock was attended by the evolution of heat, and though the air was saturated with moisture as well as warm, there was no difficulty connected with ones breathing. The only serious difficulty to a visitor was felt in his ears. The pressure upon the exterior of the drum was very painful unless soon balanced by internal pressure. This could generally be produced by vigorously blowing the nose, thus forcing air into the interior cavity of the ear. Capt. Eads found that the act of swallowing would often give relief, and had a pail of water and a cup placed in the lock. In some cases, however, these simple remedies were of no avail, and intense pain was the result. In that event the air was admitted very slowly.

In returning from the chamber the operation was equally simple. The party entered the lock, closed the inner door, and opened a cock which allowed the air of the lock to escape to the outside. As soon as the air-pressure was reduced to that of the atmosphere, the outer door was readily opened. The physical effects of reducing the pressure were very different from those experienced when going in. The expanding air absorbed heat, and one literally felt the chill to the very marrow. So much vital heat was lost that in some cases the effect was very disastrous. There was much in the habit of undergoing these changes. Certain air-lock men, whose duty it was to take visitors, engineers, and workmen in and out, became so used to sudden changes that they could, without apparent injury or even inconvenience, endure surprisingly rapid changes of pressure.

As the caisson continued to sink it was necessary to remove the sand from the air-chamber. This was done by means of the "sand-pumps," an exceedingly ingenious device invented by Capt. Eads. The sand mixed with water was thrown out in jets with great rapidity. A three-inch pump was capable of discharging sand at the rate of three hundred cubic yards in


twenty-four hours. The pier settled on the average about fifteen inches per day.

No difficulty was experienced in causing the caisson to settle evenly and gently. The sand was trenched beside the bearing-timbers, thus allowing a slight lateral motion of the sand as it yielded to the pressure. It was soon learned that the admission of water into the air-chamber, consequent upon a slight reduction in the air-pressure, had the effect of increasing the mobility of the sand so as to bring the caisson down with an exceedingly gradual motion.

The progress of the east pier down through the sand is clearly shown in the illustration on the preceding page. It gives a cross-section of the pier through the main stairway, a circular well through which the workmen descended to the air-chamber. A sand-pump is represented as at work within the caisson, and men are supplying it with sand.

The intensity of the air-pressure in the air-chamber of the east pier reached a maximum of about sixty-five pounds per square inch, or about fifty pounds above the normal. The physiological effects of long exposure to this pressure and of sudden release from it were at times very severe. During the construction of the deep piers over one hundred men were violently attacked with cramps and chills, and thirteen died from them.

The caissons were constructed at Carondelet, under the direction of the chief engineer and Capt. William L. Nelson and H. G. McComas, the great caisson for the last of the channel piers being completed and launched Oct. 18, 1869.

The whole time occupied in sinking the east pier to the rock was one hundred and twenty-six days, during several of which it was too cold to lay masonry, and at other times it was impossible to furnish stone on account of the ice.

The west pier was sunk in seventy-seven days.

The east abutment, the largest and deepest of all, was sunk in one hundred and thirty-four days. The caisson of the latter contained many improvements over the others. All the large piers are faced with gray granite down to low water. All the piers had reached the rock-bed by the beginning of 1872, and before the close of that year the masonry was completed, including the approach arches across the levees in St. Louis and East St. Louis.

The size of the foundations is shown as follows:

  Extreme height from base to top of cornice. Cubic yards of masonry.
West abutment 112 feet 8˝ inches. 12,643
West pier 172 feet 1 inch. 14,170
Bast pier 197 feet 1˝ inches. 17,820
East abutment 192 feet 9 inches. 24,093

The plan of the superstructure of the great bridge (which was contracted for Feb. 26, 1870) is as bold as the foundations and even more original. It consists of three magnificent steel arches, supporting two railway tracks, and a broad paved causeway for highway traffic on the top of the structure.

The spans of the side arches are each five hundred and two feet in the clear, and the central arch stretches five hundred and twenty feet over deep water. Each arch consists of four equal ribs placed side by side intervals of sixteen and half feet, twelve feet, and sixteen and a half feet, these distances being between centres.

Each rib consists of two parallel members or systems of tubes, twelve feet apart, connected by a single system of bracketing, in appearance like a curved triangular truss. Each tube is eighteen inches internal diameter and about twelve feet long, and perfectly straight, with slightly beveled ends. The tubes of each member are securely coupled together by two enveloping half-cylinders, and the steel pins which receive the brace-bars on their ends pass through both couplings and tubes. A tube consists of six bars of steel, rolled in the shape of straight staves, from one and three-sixteenths to two and one-eighth inches in thickness, and snugly inserted in an envelope of steel one-quarter of an inch thick.

The tubes are exquisitely made, and the arches beautiful as works of art.

The lateral or wind bracing consists of a series of diagonal steel ties and wrought-iron tubular struts between the ribs, and an upper truss between the two roadways. The latter truss for the centre span is of iron, forty-nine feet wide and five hundred and forty feet in extreme length.

The erection of the arches was effected by a method entirely new and of a most interesting character, invented by Col. Henry Flad. Only the briefest account of its successful execution can be given here.

The end tubes of each rib screw into massive wrought-iron "skew-backs," which are bolted to the masonry by long steel bolts six inches in diameter. In the case of the channel piers the anchor-bolts over thirty feet long, passing quite through the masonry and securing the skew-backs on both faces. In this way the ribs were made self-supporting, as they were built out from the masonry. In some instances nearly a hundred feet was thus built without additional support. The weight of the unfinished ribs, however, caused the outer ends to fall below the normal positions, and it was necessary to draw them up by cables passing over towers erected on the masonry. These cables were strained, as occasion required,


by powerful hydraulic jacks, which lifted the towers. The cables lifted the deflected arches to their normal position (and even above it), and allowed the ribs to be built still farther out. The deflected ends of these second extensions were supported by secondary cables, which passed over masts standing on the ribs at the joints, supported directly by the primary cables, and thence down to the pins in the skew-back tubes.

By such means semi-ribs, stretching two hundred and fifty feet over the Mississippi, were fully supported until they were successfully "closed" at the crown. The minute details of the operation of closing the ribs form an interesting feature in the history of the bridge. The influence of temperature and elasticity was strikingly shown. The magnitude of the main cables may be estimated from the fact that they were made of the best rolled iron, and each had a cross-section of forty-two square inches.

The total weight of one naked rib of the centre span is four hundred and eighty-eight thousand two hundred and two pounds. The total amount of steel in the throe arches is four million seven hundred and eighty thousand pounds. Of wrought iron there are six million three hundred and thirteen thousand pounds.

The superstructure of the bridge was constructed by the Keystone Bridge Company, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and its cost was $2,122,781.65. The approaches were built by the Baltimore Bridge Company. The total cost of the entire bridge, including the approaches, was $6,536,729.99. If to this we add interest, land damages, commissions for charters and financial agents, hospital expenses, etc., the sum total is swelled to nearly ten million dollars. The bridge was completed and opened to public travel on the 23d of May, 1874.

On the 9th of June the first train of three passenger-coaches, in which was seated a select party of about fifty invited guests, connected with the track of the bridge-approach from the St. Louis and Vandalia Railway and crossed the river, running as far into the tunnel as Seventh Street.

At the suggestion of Sylvester H. Laflin, an imposing celebration in honor of the completion of the bridge was held on the Fourth of July, 1874. Barton Able, George Bain, and other leading citizens of St. Louis promptly seconded Mr. Laflin's proposition, and a meeting to take preliminary action was held at the Merchants' Exchange on the 13th of June. Capt. Barton Able presided, and George H. Morgan acted as secretary. A committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements, and on the 13th a committee on programme, Chauncey I. Filley, chairman; a finance committee, Sylvester H. Laflin, chairman; and a committee on transportation, Capt. John N. Bofinger, chairman, were selected. On the 16th a committee on printing was appointed, with George H. Morgan as chairman, and Arthur B. Barret, afterwards mayor of the city, was made grand marshal of the day. Mr. Barret subsequently appointed Col. C. Maguire assistant marshal, and G. O. Kalb and Henry Benecke as adjutants. The committees as finally completed were composed of the following persons:

Committee of Arrangements. — Barton Able (chairman), George H. Morgan (secretary), S. H. Laflin, George Bain, John S. Cavender, W. H. Maurice, M. J. Lippman, Web. M. Samuel, D. P. Rowland, John B. Maude, B. M. Scruggs, C. O. Butcher, John N. Bofinger, John W. Carroll, Chauncey I. Filley, L. L. Ashbrook, C. Maguire, John O. Farrar, Arthur B. Barret, J. O. Broadhead, S. E. Hoffman, L. S. Metcalf, C. M. Woodward, Charles Osborne, Henry Benecke, George D. Capen, C. L. Thompson, Henry T. Blow, Charles Speck, Isaac M. Mason, John Riggin, Jr., Robert A. Campbell, J. B. C. Lucas, H. Clay Sexton, L. Dorshimer, R. P. Tansey, Daniel G. Taylor, George Knapp, G. W. Fishback, William McKee, Charles A. Mantz, Stilson Hutchins, W. V. Wolcott, Emil Preetorius, A. J. Spaunhorst, Carl Daenzer, Henry Gambs, Daniel Able, W. A. Brawner, H. M. Blossom, M. L. Cohn, D. R. Risley, John McDonald, Abram Nave, Thomas Kennard, G. W. Chadbourne, E. A. Carr, George I. Barnett, B. M. Chambers, W. H. Scudder, Daniel Catlin, Joseph Brown, L. A. Moffett, J. T. Howenstein, C. B. Bray, Miles Sells, Gen. Grierson, Capt. Babbitt, Maj. E. B. Grimes, Gen. John Turner, Col. C. C. Penrose, Capt. William Hawley, James Doyle, John H. Beach, Charles Parsons, R. J. Lackland, J. G. Chapman, R. O. Clowry, John H. McCluney, G. O. Kalb, Wallace Delafield, H. W. Hough, W. A. Hargadine, John Cantwell, R. M. Renick, J. C. Cabot, George Minch, Charles P. Warner, James M. Brawner, W. H. Pulsifer, E. S. Walton, A. W. Slayback, H. H. Wernse, John G. Prather, A. B. Pendleton,


James B. Clemens, William H. Smith, Nicholas Wall, Fred. Von Phul, W. B. Thompson, Forester Dolhonde, Edmund Froehlich, N. Stevens, M. M. Buck, Herman Rechtien, Robert A. Betts, N. M. Bell, Goodman King, Joseph Franklin, C. N. Hoblitzell, J. L. D. Morrison, Joseph A. Wherry, E. S. Miragoli.

Committee on Finance. — S. H. Laflin (chairman), John B. Maude, Chauncey I. Filley, George Bain, C. O. Dutcher, J. T. Howenstein, S. Metcalf, Arthur B. Barret, George I. Barnett, D. P. Rowland, W. A. Hargadine, John H. McCluney, Wallace Delafield, George D. Capen, C. L. Thompson, H. H. Wernse, L. L. Ashbrook, John Cantwell, W. A. Brawner, H. M. Blossom, M. L. Cohn, Thomas Kennard, Charles Speck, S. M. Dodd, H. W. Hough, A. W. Slayback, John Kennard, C. B. Bray, E. S. Walton, James S. Brawner, W. B. Thompson, Robert A. Betts, Goodman King, Joseph Franklin, C. J. L. Hoblitzell.

Committee on Fireworks. — S. H. Laflin (chairman), W. H. Maurice, John B. Maude, R. M. Scruggs, D. P. Rowland.

Committee on Programmes and Invitations. — Chauncey I. Tilley (chairman), D. P. Rowland, John B. Maude, Arthur B. Barret, John W. Carroll, Barton Able.

Committee on Transportation. — Arthur B. Barret (chairman), John N. Bofinger, S. H. Laflin, R. P. Tansey.

Committee on Printing. — George H. Morgan (chairman), Leslie A. Moffett, J. T. Howenstein.

Committee on Decorations. — George I. Barnett (chairman), Dr. J. O. Farrar, Maj. E. B. Grimes, E. S. Miragoli, Charles Speck, Daniel Able, D. R. Risley, J. H. McCluney, C. B. Bray, G. O. Kalb.

Committee on Ordnance. — Capt. Babbitt (chairman), S. H. Laflin, F. W. Fuchs, John B. Gray, John S. Cavender.

Committee on Music. — George Bain (chairman), G. H. Morgan, C. O. Dutcher, Rich. J. Compton.

Committee on Harbor and Police. — L. Dorsheimer (chairman), James Doyle, H. Rechtien.

Committee on Fire Department. — H. Clay Sexton.

Press Committee. — George W. Gilson, Democrat; George Mills, Times; C. Winter, Westliche Post; W. B. Stevens, Dispatch; J. G. Dill, Republican; T. Mitchell, Globe; C. D. Kargau, Anzeiger; Lewis Willich, Amerika; F. Haarson, Courier; Thomas J. Meek, Journal; Charles J. Osborn, agent Associated Press.

The programme determined on comprised a procession, addresses, display of fireworks, etc. The east and west approaches to the bridge were elaborately decorated, and at the Third Street entrance a gigantic portrait of Capt. James B. Eads was displayed. Immediately underneath the portrait were exhibited two large symbolical figures, which represented Missouri and Illinois clasping hands. At the east end of the bridge, and just at the point where the two roadways separate and begin the descent to the Illinois shore, a great triumphal arch was erected, extending from side to side of the bridge, and surmounting a pavilion which separated the two passageways of the arch was a colossal statue of the Goddess of Liberty. To the left of the Third Street entrance-gate a platform was erected for the accommodation of the invited guests. Farther on, on the same side of the roadway, a series of elevated seats was provided on one of the buildings adjoining the bridge for the families of the bridge officials. The decorations were of an elaborate and tasteful character, and on the morning of the Fourth of July, beneath a cloudless sky, presented a beautiful and imposing spectacle. Many buildings in the city were also decorated, and at Washington Avenue and Ninth Street a handsome triumphal arch was erected by St. Xavier's College.

On the wings of the east front the heraldic arms of the States of Illinois and Missouri were painted, with the legend above, "A link of steel unites the East and West," and on the western front of the arch, tastefully decorated with evergreens and fifty feet high, a medallion portrait of Capt. Eads. On the wings were the following: "The Mississippi discovered by Marquette, 1673; spanned by Capt. Eads, 1874." "St. Louis founded by Laclede, 1764; crowned Queen of the West, 1874."

Salutes in honor of the bridge and the day fired by Simpson Battery, under the director Lieut.-Col. F. W. Fuchs, inspecting and mustering officer for St. Louis City and County, who was placed in charge of the ordnance and firing for the occasion.

The battery consisted of four guns, four caissons, and fifty-six men, commanded by First Lieut. Charles Hiltwein and Second Lieut. A. B. Bayer.

At daylight a salute of thirteen guns was fired by the battery near the bridge for the old original States.

At nine o'clock a.m. one hundred guns were fired for the bridge, fifty on each side of the river, same battery, the firing being alternate, commencing with Missouri. At twelve o'clock (noon) a salute of thirty-seven guns for the States and Territories of the Union was fired on the Levee by the ordnance of Jefferson Barracks, under command of Babbitt. At daylight a Federal salute, and at nine a.m. a national salute was fired by Gen. Grierson at the old arsenal grounds.

The procession moved at a few minutes past nine o'clock from the junction of Washington and son Avenues, headed by a squad of Metropolitan police under command of Capt. Huebler, and followed immediately by the grand marshal and his aids, two of whom were boys mounted on ponies and wearing uniforms of black jacket, white pantaloons, and red sash.

Next in order came the following organizations: Company of United States cavalry, Companies A and B National Guards, company of Uhlans, Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights of Father Mathew, Druids, Sons of Hermann, Members of the French National Aid Society, Turners, Bohemian Gymnastic Club, Western Star Commandery (Knights Templar), Same (Encampment), United


Brethren of Friendship, Mutual Aid Society, Laborers' Aid Society, United League, No. 1, Real Estate and Beneficial Society, Old Temperance Society, preceded by the Bavarian Band, Irish American Benevolent Society, No. 1.

In addition to these societies the procession comprised the following organizations:

Merchants' Exchange, represented by a large banner bearing a picture of the Exchange, and the officers and members in carriages.

Fire Department, with engines and apparatus decorated with flags, wreaths of flowers, etc. H. Clay Sexton, chief, on horseback; Richard Beggs, J. W. Bame, and Jacob Trice, assistants, in buggies, and J. W. Tennelle, secretary, on horseback.

German Singing Societies, Professor E. Froelich, leader. The societies, headed by the New Orleans Orchestra, numbered six hundred men, and made a fine display with banners and decorations.

Mechanics' and Manufacturers' Exchange, with an Exchange building in miniature. The building had a large number of windows, each supposed to light the office of one of the many trades represented in the Exchange membership, and over each of these windows was painted the trade represented, such as "bricklayer," "carpenter," etc. Following this, in the order in which they were employed, were. representatives on wagons in long procession of all the different processes necessary to the construction of a complete house, — architects, excavators, stone-masons, stone-cutters, brick-makers, bricklayers, architectural iron-workers, carpenters, stair-builders, roofers, tinners, lightning-rod men, plumbers, plasterers, gas-fitters, painters and glaziers, paper-hangers, grate and mantel manufacturers.

The marshal of this department was Henry Milburn, and the following were his aids: T. J. Flanagan, adjutant; Henry Perks, Lewis Luthy, James Gilfoyle, C. K. Ramsey, C. Franz, and C. Kammerer.

The directors of the Exchange preceded this portion the procession in carriages. They were as follows: James Luthy, president; David Cavanaugh, C. H. Frank, J. H. Maurice, John Norris, William McCully, C. Lynch, T. P. McKelleget, James Garvin, Martin Ittner, John Stoddart, A. S. McBride, W. S. Stamps, secretary.

St. Louis Life Insurance Company, of which Capt. Eads was president, with a fac-simile of the company's building at Sixth and Locust Streets.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, numbering from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred men.

Grand officers of Grand Lodge: L. T. Minturn, M. W. G. M.; Alfred Bennett, R. W. D. G. M.; J. S. Maitland, R. W. G. W.; E. M. Sloan, R. W. G. Sec.; W. H. Thompson, R. W. G. Treas.; A. M. Alexander, M. C. Libby, R. W. G. Representatives; Rev. E. D. Isbell, W. G. Chap.; J. M. Gilkeson, W. G. Marshal.

Past Grand Masters: Gerard B. Allen, Elihu H. Shepard, Isaac M. Veitch, Henry Holmes, C. C. Archer, Isaiah Forbes, J. F. Shelter, J. E. Lackland, Ira Stansberry, J. C. Nulsen, John Doniphan, E. M. Sloan, H. H. Bodeman, M. C. Libby, E. Wilkerson, W. H. Thompson.

Grand officers of Grand Encampment: J. J. Meier, M. W. G. P.; J. S. Maitland, M. E. G. H. P.; E. S. Pike, R. W. G. S. W.; R. E. McNuly, R. W. G. Scribe; William Berry, E. W. G. Treas.; Daniel Kerwin, E. E. Shipley, R. W. G. Representatives.

Past Grand Patriarchs: A. G. Braun, Alexander Peterson, Thomas Garrard, A. G. Trevor, W. H. Woodward.

Uniformed Patriarchs: E. Wilkerson, chief marshal; A. G. Hequembourg, first assistant marshal (in command); F. A. Cavendish, second assistant marshal.

First Division, Daniel Kerwin, marshal; Second Division, Thomas Bennet, marshal; Third Division, Henry Diers, marshal.

United States officials. The custom-house employés exhibited a full-rigged brig, twenty-six feet long, emblematic of commerce, mounted on wheels, and drawn by eight horses. The vessel was named the "James B. Eads," and was "commanded" by Henry P. Wyman, special deputy collector. The post-office was represented by a six-horse wagon bearing the post-office seal, post-rider, railway train, and telegraph wire, with coat of arms of the United States, the whole decorated with flags, evergreens, etc., three messenger-wagons, — one each for North, South, and West St. Louis, — and one hundred letter-carriers, mounted and on foot.

Brewers' Association, with a representation of King Gambrinus on his throne, the king being personated by Jacob Schorr.

The various other trades and industries of St. Louis were also fully represented by delegations, with banners, appropriate devices, etc.

The St. Louis Rowing Club had a boat suspended to a wagon, with oars, flags, and other decorations. A number of the members of the club were in the boat, imitating nautical acts.

The Western Rowing Club had two boats and two teams, likewise accompanied by members of the club, and finely decorated.

The members of the City Council in carriages, and all the engines and hose-carriages in the city in holiday


day attire, led by Chief Sexton, were the closing features of the procession. The engines had hardly gotten into line, however, after waiting all the forenoon, when an alarm of fire was sounded from Seventeenth and Franklin Avenue. By a previous understanding, those engines which were already under head of steam responded to the alarm, and as they darted through the crowded streets with the horses at a gallop there was great confusion and excitement. No accidents happened, however, and order was soon restored, the procession ending as was laid down in the programme, after having passed through the principal streets in the city to the bridge.

One of the features of the celebration was the passage of a train of cars across the bridge from East St. Louis to the exit of the tunnel on the St. Louis side. The train was composed of fifteen palace sleeping-cars and three powerful locomotives, contributed by the Vandalia and Illinois Central Companies. The entire train was in charge of W. H. Finkbine, conductor on the Vandalia road for twenty-three years. His assistants were, on the first engine, No. 62, William Consen; second engine, No. 70, William Vansen. The brakemen were Job Graves, William Colburn, H. Schumaker, A. C. Thornton, H. W. Orvell, Thomas Mirton, John Brown, John Mallory, James Binkley, M. B. Mason, and Michael Brazill.

The officials of the Vandalia Railway on board the train in crossing were John E. Simpson, general superintendent; N. Stevens, general agent; and N. K. Elliott, master of transportation.

Among the passengers on the train were Senator L. V. Bogy, Hon. Silas Woodson, Governor of Missouri; Governor Beveridge, of Illinois; Governor Hendricks, of Indiana; Judge Napton, St. Louis; Judge H. M. Jones, St. Louis; Judge Hamilton, St. Louis; Judge John M. Krum, St. Louis; Hon. Hugh Moffat, mayor of Detroit; Hon. V. B. Wright, mayor of Oswego, Kan.; Hon. E. O. Stanard, Hon. James S. Rollins, Columbia, Mo.; Hon. George Bain, Capt. Bart Able, Web M. Samuel, president Merchants' Exchange, and many other leading citizens of St. Louis and elsewhere.

On the grand stand on the open area at the corner of Washington Avenue and Third Street, were seated the following persons, named in the order of their arrival: Gen. W. S. Harney, Hon. T. C. Harris, member of the Legislature from Phelps County; Hon. George B. Clark, State Auditor; J. H. Waugh, of Columbia; Hon. H. Clay Ewing, attorney-general of "Missouri; ex-Governor B. Grata Brown, Judge Samuel Treat, Hon. E. O. Stanard, Dr. Samuel Read, president of Missouri State University; Hon. John F. Cooke, British vice-consul; Gerard B. Allen, Capt. James B. Eads, Barton Able, Maj. Grimes, United States army; Hon. James S. Rollins, Hon. L. V. Bogy, Col. R. B. Price, of Columbia; Judge Speck, Col. M. Krum, Chauncey I. Filley, S. D. Barlow, George I. Barnett, Hon. N. M. Bell, Capt. Samuel Pepper, ex-Governor Thomas C. Fletcher, Judge Speck, Col. J. L. D. Morrison, William A. Lynch, Governor Beveridge, of Illinois; Hon. John D. Perry, Rev. Dr. Brookes, Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, Richard Dowling, J. Wilson McDonald, the sculptor; Hon. Web M. Samuel, president of the Merchants' Exchange; John Baptiste Hortey, the oldest native citizen of St. Louis; Unit Pasin, David A. Harvey, L. Harrigan, chief of police; William A. Cozens, Sullivan Blood, Samuel Hawken, Robert D. Sutton, H. B. Belt, David A. Harris, Arrible and Antone Cayore, J. H. Britton, James H. Heath, Hon. Charles H. Hardin and Hon. David Moore, of the State Senate; Col. Joseph L. Stevens, of Boonville; Capt. John Sibille, a veteran of the war of 1812; Gen. Nathan Ranney, Hon. Wells Blodgett, Hon. John F. Darby, Col. John L. Phillips, of Sedalia; John F. Tolle, United States Ferry, of Michigan; Hon. Erastus Wells, W. Milnor Roberts, consulting engineer of the bridge, and C. Shaler Smith, engineer; Hon. H. C. Brockmeyer, United States collector; E. W. Fox, Col. D. M. Renick, Dr. Barret, S. H. Laflin, Col. R. A. Campbell, L. H. Murray, of Springfield, Mo.; D. Robert Barclay, Col. Ferdinand Myers, Dr. William Taussig, Carlos S. Greeley, Governor Woodson, Milles Sells, State Senator Allen, George Bain, Mayor Brown, Gen. Wilson, J. B. Lionberger, John Jackson, J. S. Welsh, N. S. Chouteau, Capt. Fitch, United States navy; J. F. How.

Among the ladies who graced the occasion with their presence were Mrs. Governor Woodson, Mrs. Governor Brown, Mrs. H. Clay Ewing, Mrs. J. H. Britton, Miss Hutt, of Troy, Mo.; Miss Fanny Britton, Mrs. C. K. Dickson, Miss Dickson, Miss Chouteau, Mrs. J. Jackson, Mrs. J. B. Eads, Miss Addie Eads, Mrs. J. H. Britton, Miss F. Britton, Mrs. J. R. Lionberger, Miss Lionberger, Mrs. William Taussig, Miss Taussig, Mrs. H. Flad, Miss Flad, Mrs. G. B. Allen, Miss Hodgman.

The exercises opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Brookes, after which addresses were delivered by Capt. Barton Able, Hon. Joseph Brown, mayor of St. Louis, Governor Beveridge, of Illinois, Woodson of Missouri, Hon. B. Gratz Brown, Capt.


James B. Eads, Governor Hendricks, of Indiana, and Hon. Thomas W. Ferry, of Michigan. The speeches were varied with singing by the various singing societies present, led by Professor E. Froelich.

In addition to the ceremonies at the bridge, there was a display of steamboats in the harbor, which were arranged near the bridge according to "the rainbow plan," the boats taking position in three tiers, the smallest vessels being in front.

At night there was a grand display of fireworks from the bridge, among the pieces being a representation of the bridge itself, a colossal statue of Washington, a grand "Temple of Honor," with a statue of Capt. Eads in the centre, and a representation of the new Chamber of Commerce building.

The bridge as it now stands is one of the marvels of modern engineering. It is a two-story structure, the great arches which we have described carrying double-track railways, and above, a broad highway seventy-five feet in width. On this are promenades on either side and four tracks or iron tramways for street-cars and ordinary road-wagons. Thus four vehicles may be hauled abreast along this spacious elevated roadway and then not blockade it so as to prevent persons passing on foot and on horseback.

This roadway is formed by transverse iron beams twelve inches in depth, supported by iron struts of cruciform sections resting on the arches at the points where the vertical bracings of the latter are secured. The railways beneath are carried on transverse arch-like beams of steel secured to the struts, which, based upon the arches, support the right of the carriageway as well. Between the iron beams forming the roadways four parallel systems of longitudinal wooden members are introduced, extending from pier to pier, which serve the purpose of maintaining the iron in position. The ends of these wooden beams rest upon the flanges of the beams, and are thus secured from moving. On these the sills of the roadway and the cross-ties of the railways are laid. From the opposite ends of the iron beams, a double system of diagonal


horizontal iron bracing serves to bind the whole firmly together, and gives additional support against wind-pressure.

The calculation made for the strength of the bridge was that it should carry the weight of the greatest number of people who could stand on the roadway above, and at the same time have each railway track below covered from end to end with locomotives, and this enormous load to tax the strength of the bridge to the extent of less than one-sixth of the ultimate strength of the steel of which the arches have been constructed. It is computed that the ultimate strength of the material of which this structure is composed will sustain on the three arches twenty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy-two tons before it would give way under it. The maximum load, however, which can be allowed on the bridge at any one time is much less than the enormous burden which we have mentioned. The weight of the bridge and the load which it should sustain at the maximum of the allowance for perfect safety is 7 2/10 tons per lineal foot, or about 10,865 tons. The thrust of each end of the arch is received on a surface of granite equal to 24 square feet, and as each span has four arches, it follows, therefore, that the thrust of the arches is received on a surface of 576 square feet of granite. At 10,000 pounds to the square inch — a low rate of strength for granite — to crush it 414,770 tons would be required. A weight so enormous could never be placed on the piers or arches. No danger then exists of the piers being crushed by the tremendous thrust of the immense five hundred feet arches.

There is no other bridge of the arch or truss pattern which can be compared to this. The Kuilinburg bridge across the Leek, an arm of the Rhine, or rather the Zuyder Zee, in Holland, which is one of the most famous structures of the kind in Europe, is a truss bridge of 515 feet span. The Menai bridge is an arch of 500 feet.

The eastern approach is a great work apart from the bridge to which it leads. This portion of the work was executed by the Baltimore Bridge Company, under the supervision of Col. C. Shaler Smith. The grand highway, leaving the stone arch supports on the East St. Louis side, is carried across a space of some sixty feet on immense steel columns, which support great iron girders. About eighty feet from the stone arch the road divides, and begins to descend at the rate of about three feet to the hundred. This division was rendered essential in order to conduct the railway tracks along at a rate of descent of about one foot to the hundred. About four hundred feet to the eastward of the bridge proper the highways and railroad tracks are on a level. But the railways from that point eastward, because of its easier grade, are elevated above the roadways on either side. At Third Street, East St. Louis, the highways are terminated on the level of the street. Where the grade of the railways rises about ten feet above the grade of the carriageways there is a broad level platform, and a double roadway turns westward under the railway and reaches the grade of the street on Second Street. The roadways from this turning platform are continued on to the level of Dike Avenue beyond, about two hundred feet. The railways are conducted over Dike Avenue, East St. Louis, on an iron viaduct, at a grade of one foot to the hundred, about three thousand feet, to the east bank of Cahokia Creek, where it attains the level of the concentring railways. The railways and the roadways as well turn an easy curve to the northeast when about two hundred and fifty feet east of the stone piers. This approach of itself is a great work splendidly accomplished.

The situation of the bridge and the peculiar topography of the city made it impossible that the work could be accomplished without rendering the construction of a subterranean approach necessary. If the bridge had been built on a more elevated plan it would have necessitated the passage of steam-propelled trains across and through the thronged throughfares of a populous city. Had the bridge been located at Biddle or Bates Street it would have been necessary to carry the railways over the streets and on out Cass Avenue, a much-traveled thoroughfare. The height of the bridge above the water is the minimum which a due regard for the great navigation interests of the river would have permitted. The western landing of the bridge is on one of the highest points of Third Street. The grade brings the highway from the bridge arches down to the level of this street, leaving at that place a depth of fourteen feet in which to commence the underground passageway from the bridge to the Mill Creek valley. It seems as though nature intended that in St. Louis a mighty railway interest should concentrate and be provided with facilities for the transaction of business without interfering with intercommunication in the city. In the future, even more than now, will the selection of a location for the bridge, which necessitated a tunnel, be esteemed the wisest that could have been made. The great traffic of the railways can go on and the thronging myriads of the city's population will rush along undisturbed by the trains that carry the products of a vast continent underneath the ground.

It was early seen that an approach tunnel would have to be built to get trains to the western terminus


of the bridge. Indeed, that followed inevitably the Eads location of the bridge itself. For the construction of the tunnel a company was organized with Dr. William Taussig as president.

After mature consideration a plan was drawn up which involved the building of a double tunnel, and was adopted. A route along Washington Avenue to Seventh Street, with a curve from that point to Eighth and Locust Streets, thence down Eighth Street to Poplar, was selected, and arrangements perfected to put the work under contract.

The necessary financial arrangements, surveys, and estimates having been made, the tunnel company, in the autumn of 1872, awarded a contract to Messrs. Skrainka & Co., who, after working several months, threw up the contract, which was then awarded to James Andrews, of Allegheny, Pa. The new contractor set about the execution of the task April 16, 1873, with great energy. A large number of laborers were employed, and the work of excavating the great tunnel and building the huge stone walls to support the heavy arches was pushed forward with great rapidity.

It was no small task the contractor had assumed. Before it was completed there had been removed two hundred and fifteen thousand cubic yards of earth from the tunnel canal, and the stone masonry required on the work was fifty thousand cubic yards. Thirteen millions of bricks have been used in the arches of this great underground passageway. The whole length of the tunnel is four thousand eight hundred and eighty feet, or sixteen hundred and twenty-three yards and one foot, almost one mile. There are two tunnels really, divided by a heavy wall which supports the arches that spring from it in either direction. The width of these tunnels is fourteen feet each, except at the curve, where they are fifteen feet wide. From the top of the rail to the interior crown of the arches the height is sixteen feet six inches.

The arrangement of a double tunnel covered under the street by two longitudinal arches not only renders collisions in the tunnel absolutely impossible, but also greatly increases the strength of the arches, which not only support their own weight, but must carry the weight of the streets and the immense traffic of the most traveled thoroughfare in the city. On Eighth Street between Locust and Olive, the location of the new post-office, the roof of the tunnel is composed of immense longitudinal iron girders, supported on heavy cast-iron pillars. On these longitudinal sills of iron rest lateral girders scarcely less ponderous. The spaces between these are filled by transverse brick arches. At this point the roadways open wider so as to admit of the exchange of mails. By means of hopper-like receptacles the mail on the cars may be completely discharged in thirty seconds, and a similar place of deposit for the outgoing mails enables the train agent to get the bags on board in about the same time.

The distance from the entrance of the tunnel at its southern terminus to the northern terminus of the railway approach east of Cahokia Creek, East St. Louis, is eleven thousand feet, which is three thousand six hundred and sixty-six yards and two feet, or two miles, one hundred and forty-six yards, and two feet. This is really the length of the bridge railway.

The last stone for the arches of the tunnel was placed in position Thursday, June 24, 1874. During the progress of the work two serious mishaps to the tunnel delayed operations for a time. In 1873 about two hundred feet of the massive stone wall of the open cut was overthrown during a great rain-storm by the tremendous pressure of twenty-eight feet of water collected behind. In the winter of 1874 a serious break in the completed tunnel took place on Washington Avenue above Sixth Street. These were repaired. In the first case the wall had to be rebuilt, in the last the arch was taken out, the wall strengthened, and the arch replaced. Notwithstanding so many men were employed, and there was so large an amount of work, there were comparatively few fatal casualties. The railway tracks were completed through the tunnel in July, 1874.

On the 20th of December, 1878, the bridge was sold under foreclosure of mortgage, at the east front of the court-house, a little after twelve o'clock. The sale was in virtue of a decree of the United States Circuit Court, rendered on the 17th of October, in the suit of John Pierpont Morgan and Solon Humphreys against the bridge company and others. Ezekiel W. Woodward was the commissioner appointed to make the sale, and the property to be sold included the bridge proper, its approaches in St. Louis and East St. Louis, and all its appurtenances, franchises, and other property. The terms of the sale were fifty thousand dollars to be paid in bidding off the property, and the balance in the manner described in the decree of the court. The purchaser was also to pay in cash, on the confirmation of the sale by the court, the costs of the suit, including the expenses of sale, commissions to the trustees, and fees to the solicitors and counsel as determined by the court, and in addition to and over his bid, in cash, the amount of the certificates of the indebtedness of the receivers in the suit that were outstanding and amounting to three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, more or less.


Bidding was invited, and Charles B. Tracy bid two million dollars. There the matter hung, and all the eloquence of the auctioneer was futile to procure another bid. When it became quite certain that no advance would be made on Mr. Tracy's bid, the auctioneer, with the usual warning of "once, twice, three times," knocked down the bridge at two million dollars. The name being called for, Mr. Tracy announced Anthony J. Thomas, of New York, as the purchaser. On inquiry Mr. Thomas was ascertained to be a merchant in New York, who had bought the bridge for the first mortgage bondholders, who were also the principal, if not the sole, holders of the second mortgage bonds.

E. W. Woodward stated subsequently that the bridge had failed to yield enough money to pay the interest on its indebtedness. There were three mortgages. The fourth one was canceled and wiped out of existence. The suit for foreclosure was brought by the first and second bondholders jointly. The bridge company organized soon after the sale by the election of J. Pierpont Morgan and Solon Humphreys, of New York; and Gerard B. Allen, Julius Walsh, and Ezekiel W. Woodward, of St. Louis, as directors. The new company thereupon elected the following officers: Solon Humphreys, president; Ezekiel W. Woodward, vice-president; Edward Walsh, secretary; and Anthony J. Thomas, treasurer.

On the 1st of July, 1881, the bridge was leased to the Missouri Pacific and Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway companies at an annual rental equaling interest on bonds, semi-annual dividends on first preferred stock at the rate of five per cent. per annum for three years to and ending in July, 1885, and thereafter at the rate of six per cent.; and semi-annual dividends of three per cent. on second preferred stock, the first payment to be made July 1, 1884. Dividends payable in gold free of all charges. The companies further agreed to pay all taxes, assessments, and other charges; to pay two thousand five hundred dollars a year for maintaining organization, and to provide and maintain offices for the company in St. Louis and New York. In addition it is provided that the bonds of the company as they mature shall be paid by the lessee companies. The funded debt consists of $5,000,000 seven per cent. gold bonds, dated April 1, 1879, due 1928; interest payable April and October; first preferred stock $2,490,000; second preferred stock $3,000,000; common stock $2,500,000. The directors of the St. Louis Bridge Company in 1882 were Solon Humphreys, J. Pierpont Morgan, New York; E. W. Woodward, Gerard B. Allen, Edward Walsh, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.; President, Julius S. Walsh, St. Louis.

One of the most active and energetic promoters of the great bridge enterprise was John R. Lionberger, who was a director of the company from its incipiency, and a member of the executive and construction committee. Mr. Lionberger was a stanch, unwavering supporter of the project through its darkest hours, and contributed his share and something more towards providing means to resume work on the bridge and push its construction to completion.

John Robert Lionberger was born in Virginia, Aug. 22, 1829. As the name indicates, his father was of German, his mother of English-Scotch descent, — a mixture of blood calculated to produce an enterprising and aggressive race. His father was engaged in mercantile business in Virginia, which he resumed upon the removal of the family, in 1837, to Boonville, Cooper Co., Md.

Up to the age of sixteen young Lionberger attended the noted Kemper's Academy in Boonville, and subsequently entered the University of the State of Missouri at Columbia, and took a classical course. Although thus equipped with an education which fitted him for a professional career, his tastes led him to engage in mercantile pursuits, and he spent some years thus occupied at Boonville. The small and quiet town, however, offered at best only a limited prospect to a young man of energy and enterprise and in 1855 he removed to St. Louis, and established the wholesale boot- and shoe-house of Lionberger & Shields, on Main Street. This partnership lasted some two years, when Mr. Lionberger purchased Mr. Shields' interest, and for some time managed the business as sole proprietor under his own name. Subsequently junior partners were admitted, and the firm became known as J. R. Lionberger & Co., under which title it flourished until 1867, when he retired, leaving to his associates a well-established and prosperous trade, and having made for himself a fortune and reputation for rectitude and business sagacity second to none of the merchants of that period.

But in retiring from trade he did not retire from business. On the contrary, he immediately entered upon a field of much greater activity, and thenceforth his energies were exerted in connection with many enterprises of great public importance, and promising much to the city of his adoption. All the great projects of the past twenty-five years have had his earnest and energetic support. He has been foremost in developing the transportation system of St. Louis, and was specially prominent in the affairs of the North Missouri Railroad. When the fortunes of that road were


at a low ebb, the company with which he was identified took the road and completed it to Kansas City and the Iowa State line. As has been seen, he was very active and efficient in promoting the construction of the bridge across the Mississippi. He was also a director of the Chamber of Commerce Association, and a member of the building committee which supervised the erection of the Merchants' Exchange, I perhaps the most stately and ornamental structure of which the city can boast. He is a member of the Board of Trade, and has served it in many honorable and useful capacities; was a delegate to the Boston Convention of the National Board, and was also its representative in the New Orleans Convention, where his fellow-delegates showed their estimation of his character as a representative business man of St. Louis by electing him their chairman. It may therefore be said without exaggeration that in all matters relating to the public welfare, and in all enterprises undertaken for the benefit of the city, Mr. Lionberger has manifested the keenest interest, and has contributed generously of his own means towards any object that seemed likely to build up St. Louis.

One of the later enterprises which he has assisted, and one of the most important, is the Union Depot and Shipping Company, which in 1881 erected a warehouse with an elevator five hundred by seventy feet, and four stories high, with an elevator capacity of seven hundred and fifty thousand bushels of grain. Other corporations with which Mr. Lionberger has been connected have done much to improve the city in the erection of tasteful and ornamental buildings.

When the street railway system was introduced, Mr. Lionberger at once appreciated its importance as an agency in developing the city, and promptly gave it his attention and support. He is a large owner of street railway stock, and his efforts have always been directed towards the management of the street car companies with reference to the convenience of the community.

Mr. Lionberger was one of the organizers of the Safe Deposit Company, one of the most substantial corporations of its kind in the country, and has been its president for several years. He was also one of the organizers of the old Southern Bank in 1857, served actively as a director, and was for many years its vice-president. When in 1864 it organized under the National banking law and became the Third National Bank, Mr. Lionberger retained his interest in the corporation, and in 1867 was elected president, a position which he held until 1876, when he resigned and made a long European journey. On his return from abroad he was elected vice-president, in which position his judgment and foresight have contributed largely towards making the bank one of the strongest and most highly respected financial institutions in the Mississippi valley. In December, 1882, after twenty-five years of continuous service in different capacities, he resigned the vice-presidency and directorship in this institution.

In 1852, Mr. Lionberger married Miss Margaret M. Clarkson, of Columbia, Mo., a lady of engaging and estimable qualities, and their union has yielded four children.

The many public positions which Mr. Lionberger has held have exposed him to the severest scrutiny of the community, which has only served to demonstrate his sterling integrity, and to set forth conspicuously his pure and unblemished character. As a public-spirited man, he occupies a prominent place among the citizens of St. Louis, while in private life he is esteemed for his engaging qualities of head and heart. His work is not yet finished, and if the past is any augury of the future, it may be assumed that he will for many years to come be heard of in connection with schemes to advance the public good and further still more the "manifest destiny" of St. Louis.

Chapter XXVII. Navigation on the Mississippi River.

After the bark canoe, in the progress of navigation on the Mississippi, came the Mackinaw boat, carrying from fifteen hundredweight to three tons, and then the keel-boat, or barge, capable of carrying from thirty to forty tons. The first appearance of the keel-boat on the Mississippi above the mouth of the Ohio of which there is any account was in 1751, when a fleet of boats, commanded by Bossu, a captain of French marines, ascended as far as Fort Chartres. This enterprise, also, was the first to ascertain by actual experience the perils of navigating the Mississippi. One of the boats, the "Saint Louis," struck a sand-bar above the mouth of the Ohio, and was unladen and detained two days. Three days later, says the traveler, "my boat ran against a tree, of which the Mississippi is full;...the shock burst the boat, and such a quantity of water got in that it sunk in less than an hour." This was probably the first commercial boat "snagged" on the Mississippi. From three to four months were required to make a voyage from New


Orleans to the settlement in the vicinity of St. Louis. For years afterwards, and until the era of steam navigation, a journey on the river was a matter of no small moment, serious consideration, and prudent domestic fit and personal preparation. It had to be made on craft of a peculiarly constructed and constricted form, having but limited living arrangements, and of slow, uncertain progress, where, besides being deprived of the usual comforts of even an ordinarily-supplied home, the traveler was thrown into immediate association with a wild, reckless, rollicking set of voyageurs, whose manual labors alone aided or urged the craft, either with or against wind and current, by the use of oars, poles, and other contrivances. The shippers on these boats, after forwarding their goods and products thereon, were satisfied to have returns therefrom in five or six months after the shipment, and not very much surprised or disappointed when they heard that boat and cargo were w resting quietly on the bottom of the river, near the foot of some snag, or upset in a storm, or reposing a high and dry on a sand-bar, where they must remain till the next high water floated them off. True, such disasters and delays were not always attendant upon this mode of navigation, — if they had been, the whole system would have fallen into disuse very soon and altogether, — but they were of frequent occurrence, and were viewed as being, more or less, a natural result of the primitive powers and material they were compelled to bring into service.

Flat-boats (of about the same model we have now) and barges were the kind of craft mostly in use on the Ohio and Mississippi and their navigable tributaries at the beginning of the immigration and settlements along those rivers, in the early part of this century, and for several of the closing decades of the previous century, the former for transporting their few marketable products, and for the conveyance of families and stock to new settlements that could be reached, or mainly so, by water. As the country became more populous and developed, the interchange of products and manufactures became a desirable necessity, especially along and with the southern coasts and towns. For this purpose barges were introduced and made common carriers, up and down, and from point to point. Like flat-boats, they were broad and square at the ends, but were raked fore and aft, and instead of being entirely covered in, not more than half their hull was decked over, and on the part thus decked a cabin was placed for the use of the crew and such few passengers as might venture with them. The remainder was left open, or only oar-decked, where was stored the cargo, which was covered with some suitable material to protect it from the weather. The space under the cabin was devoted to stowage also. Being designed for continued and active service, they were stronger, better built, and more properly fitted out for navigation than flat-boats, and instead of being sold at the end of the trip for whatever they would bring, or otherwise disposed of (as the flat-boat was), were brought back to their home-ports by the crew, against winds and current, by a constant and arduous heaving on oars, poles, and cordelles, with an occasional use of the sail when the breeze was sufficiently strong and favorable. Many of these crafts were owned and run by individuals who made bargeing their avocation, and in person commanded and controlled their operations, but established lines of barges (not regular) owned by companies or firms were not uncommon from the principal towns of the upper rivers to New Orleans, the boats of which were placed in charge of competent men experienced in river navigation, who acted as patron (captain) and pilot, aided by a crew of their own selection. These boats carried from one hundred to tons, and some as much as four hundred, but not many, the latter being too unwieldy and unmanageable, and difficult to land except in high water. The trip down, say from Cincinnati or St. Louis to New Orleans, was made in about five weeks, unless they were favored with bright nights, when it would be made more quickly. The return occupied eighty or ninety days, and frequently much longer. The crew was eight to fifteen men on the downward and twenty to thirty-six on the upward trip. Fast time was frequently attempted, and often successfully performed according to the prevailing ideas. A quick trip was made in February, 1811, by the keel-boat "Susan Amelia," which descended from the Falls of the Ohio to Natchez in fourteen days and five hours. This trip was a famous one in its day, and the boat's time from and to different points was made the standard of swiftness for many years, as was that of the steamer "J. M. White" in a later day. But it was deemed a very risky and imprudent exhibition by the cautious men of the time. An old river chronicler in speaking of it said, "Nothing ought to induce such running but a case of life and death."

"Before the panting of the steam-engine was heard of on these (Western) waters," says Lloyd's Steamboat Directory, "the only river contrivance for conveyance of freight and passengers was a species of boat called a barge, or bargee, according to French nomenclature. The length of this boat was from seventy-five to one hundred feet; breadth of beam from fifteen to twenty feet; capacity from sixty to one hundred tons. The receptacle for the freight was a large covered coffer,


called the cargo-box, which occupied a considerable portion of the hulk. Near the stern was an apology for a cabin, a straitened apartment six or eight feet in length, in which the aristocracy of the boat, viz., the captain and patroon, or steersman, were generally quartered at night. The roof of the ‘cabin’ was slightly elevated above the level of the deck, and on this eminence the helmsman was stationed to direct the movements of the boat. The barge was commonly provided with two masts, though some carried but one. The chief reliance of the boatmen was on a square sail forward, which when the wind was in the right direction accelerated the progressive motion of the boat and relieved the hands, who at other times were obliged to propel the barge by such laborious methods as rowing, warping, and the cordelle."

Keel-boating proper was an institution of a later day. The keeled craft were not in general use on the rivers until 1808-9, though all the early river navigation is now referred to under the generic term of keel-boating. Naturally the bargemen became the keel-boatmen; the commercial interests, designs, and working of the two modes were, in fact, about the same, and, for all the purposes of the present sketch, essentially alike. But keel-boats were much of an advance over barges in celerity and diminution of time and labor. They were longer and narrower, had a keel-shaped, instead of a broad flat bottom, carried as much freight on a less amount of current expenses, furnished less resisting surface, and therefore were more easily handled in cross currents, bends, and other places requiring speedy movement, made quicker trips, and for several other good reasons became in a short time after their introduction the universal freight-carriers, holding their position as such for nearly twenty years, or until the running of steam-craft came with a sufficient frequency and tonnage to supply the demands of commerce, when of course they were abandoned for the superior advantages offered by steamboats. They were also generally quite artistically built, presenting a neat appearance on the water, in many respects resembling the canal-boats of this day. As a rule, however, the river-craft was unshapely and cumbrous. The lines of least resistance were not then understood, and different kinds of boats were used according to the needs of the locality and the nature of the freight, including canoes, pirogues, barges, keel- and flat-boats. "The Indian birch canoe was ordinarily thirty feet long, four feet wide in the broadest part, two and a half feet deep in the centre, and two feet deep at each end. The pirogue was larger than the canoe, but smaller than the other boats. The barge was wider, but not so long as the keel-boats, and was chiefly used between St. Louis and New Orleans. The barges sometimes had a capacity of forty tons. The boats designed for the Indian trade were of peculiar construction, from forty to sixty feet in length, with low sides and a bottom almost flat. Their narrowness and light draught fitted them for swift or shallow water. In ascending the river, the boatmen, in order to prevent a useless expenditure of strength, avoided the rapid current of the channel of the river and sought the slower water near the shore; and in order that they might approach close to the bank, the boats were constructed with a flat bottom and provided with short oars. The low side of the boat, by bringing the oarlock nearer to the water, lessened the resistance, and consequently lightened the labors of the rowers. The capacity of these boats varied from fifteen thousand to twenty-five thousand pounds, and the size of the crew was determined by the allowance of one boatman for every three thousand pounds of freight. The oarsmen were generally Creoles and French mulattoes.

The crookedness of the Mississippi between St. Louis and New Orleans necessitated long détours. In one place a circuit of fifty-four miles represented an actual gain of only five miles; at another point the neck of a bend thirty miles long was but a mile and a half across. In ascending these bends the boats always avoided the concave side of the stream, for the double purpose of escaping the force of the current and the peril of caving banks. Large masses of earth undermined by the action of the water sometimes fell suddenly into the river, and a boat overtaken by such an accident was in imminent danger of submersion. In order to shun this risk, as well as to avoid the main current of the stream, the boats kept close to the convex bank of the bends. The extreme crookedness of the river necessitated frequent crossings, and it has been stated that the number of times a boat was compelled to cross the Mississippi in the ascent from New Orleans to St. Louis was three hundred and ninety. These crossings, and the distance that a heavily freighted boat would be borne down stream in going from one side to the other, added nearly five hundred miles to the length of the voyage. In descending the river the boatmen reversed their course of action, and followed the concave side of the bends in order to avail themselves of the effective aid of the current. In violent storms or high winds, when it was not safe to move, the boats were fastened to trees on the opposite bank.

"A voyage from St. Louis to New Orleans and return occupied from four to six months; consequently


only two round trips could be made in a year. Even with the assistance of sails, a row-boat could not make the ascent in less than seventy or eighty days. A keel-boat could be brought by cordelle from Louisville to St. Louis in twenty-five days." In addition to the use of sails and oars, "warping," "cordelling," and "poling" were employed as means of propulsion. "In ‘warping’ a long rope was fastened to some immovable object on the bank, and then the crew, standing in the bow and pulling hand over hand, drew the boat forward; the hands of the crew serving the purposes of a capstan. The progress was slow but steady. In ‘cordelling’ the crew walked along the bank and drew the boat after them by means of a rope. It was, in fact, identical with canal-boat navigation, except that the motive-power was men instead of mules or horses. ‘Poling’ consisted in pushing the boat up stream by the aid of long poles. The men successively took their places at the bow, and firmly resting their poles on the bed of the river, walked towards the stern pushing the boat forward. Whenever a man reached the stern, he pulled up his pole and ran rapidly back to resume his place in the line. Hence the spaces on each side of the boat where this constant circuit was going on were called the ‘running boards’".

The boatmen were a class by themselves, a hardy, adventurous, muscular set of men, inured to constant peril and privation, and accustomed to severe and unremitting toil. For weeks, and even months at a time, they saw no faces but those of their companions among the crew or in some passing craft, and their days from dawn until dark were spent in constant work at the oars or poles, or tugging at the rope either in the boat or on the shore, as they were employed either in warping or cordelling. At night, after "tying up," their time was generally spent in gaming, carousing, story-telling, etc., the amusements of the evening being varied not infrequently with a fisticuff encounter.

The labor involved in their occupation was of the severest character, and the constant and arduous exercise produced in most of them an extraordinary physical development. So intense was the exertion usually required to propel and guide the boat that a rest was necessary every hour, and from fourteen to twenty miles a day was all the progress that could be made against the stream. The sense of physical power which naturally accompanied the steady exercise of the muscles inspired the average boatman not merely with insensibility to danger, but a bellicoseness of disposition which seems to have been characteristic of his class. The champion pugilist of a boat was entitled to wear a red feather in his cap, and this badge of pre-eminence was universally regarded as a challenge to all rivals.

In summer the boatmen were usually stripped to the waist, and their bodies, exposed to the sun, were tanned to the swarthy hues of the Indian; in winter they were clothed in buckskin breeches and blankets, (capots), a grotesque combination of French and Indian styles which gave their attire a wild and peculiar aspect. Their food was of the simplest character. "After a hard day's toil," says Monette, "at night they took their ‘fillee’ or ration of whiskey, swallowed their homely supper of meat half burned and bread half baked, and retiring to sleep they stretched themselves upon the deck without covering, under the open canopy of heaven, or probably enveloped in a blanket, until the steersman's horn called them to their morning ‘fillee’ and their toil.

"Hard and fatiguing was the life of a boatman, yet it was rare that any of them ever changed his vocation. There was a charm in the excesses, in the frolics, and in the fightings which they anticipated at the end of the voyage which cheered them on. Of weariness none would complain, but rising from his bed at the first dawn of day, and reanimated by his morning draught, he was prepared to hear and the wonted order, ‘Stand to your poles and set off!’ The boatmen were masters of the winding horn and the fiddle, and as the boat moved off from her moorings, some, to cheer their labors or to ‘scare off the devil and secure good luck,’ would wind the animating blast of the horn, which, mingling with the sweet music of the fiddle and reverberating along the sounding shores, greeted the solitary dwellers on the banks with news from New Orleans."

Levity and volatility were conspicuous traits of cuff the boatman's character, and while he was willing to perform excessive and long-continued labor, he would render such service only to a "patroon" whom he respected. In fine, the average keel-boatman was cool, reckless, courageous to the verge of rashness,


and pugnacious, but, notwithstanding certain grave shortcomings, an unmitigated hater of all the darker shades of sin and wrong-doing, such as stealing, robbing, and murdering for plunder, crimes that in his day were frequently and boldly perpetrated along the sparsely-settled banks and at lonely islands of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

The departure of a boat was an important incident in the uneventful village life of St. Louis. On such occasions it was customary for their friends to assemble on the banks to bid adieu to the voyageurs. Sometimes half the population of the village was present to tender their wishes for a prosperous trip. For years it was believed that no keel-boat could ascend the Missouri. The rapidity of the current was supposed to be an insuperable obstacle to navigation by such craft. The doubt was settled by the enterprise of George Sarpy, who sent a keel-boat under Capt. Labrosse to try the difficult experiment ascending the Missouri. The success of the undertaking marked a signal advance in Western navigation, and supplied the merchants of St. Louis with new facilities for the transportation of their goods," while it also greatly extended the operations of the boatmen and increased their numbers.

Of the keel-boatmen, when classed by nativity, the Kentuckians bore the most unenviable reputation, on account of the fact that they were generally characterized by excessive recklessness and bellicoseness, and we are told so gloomy was the reputation of the Kentuckians that travelers were liable at every place (except the miserable wayside taverns) to have the door shut in their face on applying for refreshments or a night's lodgings. Nor would any plea or circumstance alter the decided refusal of the master or mistress, unless it might be the uncommonly genteel appearance and the equipage of the traveler.

For a similar reason, possibly, badly-built boats, with poor or injured plank in their bottoms, which had been sold to unsuspecting or inexperienced persons, were known as "Kentucky boats."

"In 1807," says a writer on "Early Navigators" in a St. Louis newspaper, "a Mr. Winchester's boat struck a rock in the Ohio, below Pittsburgh a short distance, and one of her bottom planks being badly stove in, she sunk immediately, having on board a valuable cargo of dry-goods. The proprietor, not bring with the boat at the time, conceived, when informed of the disaster, that it had been caused by carelessness of the person to whom he had intrusted the boat and cargo, and brought suit against him for damages; and indeed it was somewhat evident, from all that could be ascertained, that the patroon had no business in the neighborhood of the rock, and could and should have avoided it. The defendant's position was rather gloomy, but his resources proved equal to the emergency. The suit was before (Dr.) Justice Richardson, of Pittsburgh, who himself had had some sad experiences with Kentucky boats. The defendant knowing or being informed of this, hired two men, went down to the wreck, and with some difficulty procured several pieces of the plank that had given way. On the day of trial, after the plaintiff had, as every one present thought, fully established his charges and demands, the justice asked the defendant if he had any rebutting evidence to offer. ‘Yes, your Honor,’ he replied, ‘I have;’ and reaching down under his seat, he drew out the pieces of plank aforementioned and said, ‘I have no evidence to offer, your Honor, except these pieces, which I can prove to your Honor are part of the same plank, the breaking of which caused the boat to sink, which, I say, would not have occurred if the plank had been reasonably sound. Look at them! Your Honor will see that it was my misfortune to have been placed in charge of one of these d—d Kentucky boats.’ Without in any way noticing the blasphemous expression, the justice examined the pieces, which proved to be thoroughly rotten and defective, unfit to be put anywhere, much less in the bottom of a boat. After hearing from the defendant's helpers that these, pieces were taken from the boat in question, at the identical place where she had broken, the court delivered its mind as follows: ‘This court had the misfortune once to place a valuable cargo on a Kentucky boat, not knowing it to be such, which sunk and went down in seventeen feet of water, this court verily believed, by coming in contact with the head of a yellow-bellied catfish, there being no snag, rock, or other obstruction near her at the time; and this court, being satisfied of the premises in this cause, doth order that the same be dismissed at plaintiff's costs, to have included therein the expenses of the defendant in going to and returning from the wreck, for the purpose of obtaining such damnable and irrefutable evidence as this bottom plank has furnished.’ And the bottom plank was deemed proof so conclusive, and the prejudice against Kentucky boats in the public mind was so extended and settled, that it was thought inadvisable to urge the suit any further."

Besides the ordinary dangers of the treacherous currents, "cave-ins," shoals and snags of the Mississippi, and occasional assaults from prowling savages, the early boatmen were often called upon to face the more


serious peril of an attack by river pirates. "Many a boatload of costly merchandise intended for the warehouses of St. Louis never reached its destination. The misdeeds of the robbers were not always limited to the seizure of goods. The proof of rapine was often extinguished by the murder of the witnesses. The caves of the pirates were rich with the spoils of a plundered commerce, and the depredations became more frequent in proportion to the impunity with which they were committed. At last the interruption of trade became so grave and the danger to life so imminent that the Governor-General of Louisiana was constrained to take more effective steps for the suppression of the bandits. An official order excluding single boats from the Mississippi granted the privilege of navigation only to flotillas that were strong enough to repel their assailants. The plan succeeded and the pirates were ultimately driven from their haunts. The arrival at St. Louis in 1788 of the flotilla of ten boats was a memorable occasion in the annals of the village.

The arrival of this flotilla gave the name of "l'anée des dix bateaux" to the year 1788, which was the last year of Don Francisco Cruzat's second administration. In the year before, M. Beausoliel, a New Orleans merchant, had been captured by pirates near the island that still bears his name, and subsequently escaping, recaptured his boat and killed the pirates. He then returned to New Orleans and reported his experience to the Governor, who thereupon issued the order already referred to that all boats bound for St. Louis the following spring should sail together for mutual protection. This was carried out, and the flotilla "des dix bateaux" made the voyage, capturing at Cottonwood Creek the camp and supplies of the pirates, with a valuable assortment of miscellaneous plunder which had been taken from many boats on previous occasions.

"In an advertisement published in 1794 the patrons of a special line of boats were assured of their safety. The statements which were made to allay apprehensions showed that the fear of pirates was not then groundless. A large crew skillful in the use of arms, a plentiful supply of muskets and ammunition, an equipment on each boat of six one-pound cannon and a loop-holed rifle-proof cabin for the passengers were the means of defense provided, on which were based the hopes of security. So formidable an array of weapons was not well calculated to inspire timid natures with confidence in the safety of the voyage."

The boatmen were very active and energetic in rooting out the nests of pirates, and not infrequently administered lynch-law in summary fashion. One of the most sanguinary incidents or this character was that which occurred in 1809.

Island 94 (called Stack Island, or Crows' Nest), one hundred and seventy miles above Natchez, was notorious for many years for being a den for the rendezvous of a gang of horse-thieves, counterfeiters, robbers, and murderers. It was a small island located in the middle of Nine-Mile Reach. From hence they would sally forth, stop passing boats, and murder the crew, or if this appeared impracticable, would buy their horses, flour, whiskey, etc., and pay for them. Their villanies became notorious, and several years' pursuit by the civil law officers failed to produce any results in the way of punishment or eradication. But they were at length made to disappear by an application of lynch-law from several keel-boat crews. The full history of this affair has never been fully unfolded, and perhaps never will be, but for terrible retribution and complete annihilation, outside of any authorized decrees, it never had its equal in any administration of lynch-law, the recitals of which cast so many shadows on the annals of the West and South. The autumn and winter immediately preceding the month of April, 1809, had been marked by numerous atrocities on the part of the bandits of the Crows' Nest. Several boats and their entire crews had disappeared at that point, and no traces could be found of them afterward. The country around and up and down the river had been victimized and robbed in almost every conceivable form by depredators whose movements could be satisfactorily traced as tending towards the Crows' Nest. In that month it occurred that seven keel-boats were concentrated at the head of Nine-Mile Reach, within speaking distance of each other, being detained by heavy contrary winds. The crews of these were well informed as to the villanies of those who harbored on the little island a few miles below them. Many of them had friends and old comrades who were known to have been on the missing boats. By what means it was brought about, at whose suggestion or influence was never made known, but one dark night, a few hours before daylight, eighty or ninety men from these wind-bound craft, well armed, descended silently in their small boats to the Crows' Nest and surprised its occupants, whom they secured after a short encounter, in which two of the boatmen were wounded and several of the robbers killed. Nineteen men, a boy of fifteen, and two women were thus captured. Shortly after sunrise the boy (on account of his extreme youth) and the two women were allowed to depart. What was the manner of punishment, meted out to the men, whether shot or hanged,


was never ascertained with any degree of certainty. None but the boatmen, the boy, and the two women, however, ever left the island alive, and by twelve o'clock noon the crews were back to their boats, and the wind having calmed the night previous they shoved out, and by sunset were far down the river and away from the scene of the indisputably just though unlawful retribution. Two years afterward came the terrible earthquake, which, with the floods of 1811-13, destroyed every vestige of the Crows' Nest, leaving nothing of it to be seen but a low sandbar, and with it passed away from public sight and mind all signs of its bandits, their crimes, and the awful doom that befell them.

Some years later a new type of river desperadoes appeared, who, if tradition and history do not greatly belie them, were not much more exemplary in their conduct than the pirates and buccaneers who preceded them. "Mike" Fink in particular, the model hero of the Mississippi boatmen, who has figured on the pages of popular romance, was a ruffian of surpassing strength and courage. His rifle was unerring, and his conscience was as easy and accommodating as a man in his line of business could wish. His earliest vocation was that of a boatman, but he had belonged to a company of government spies or scouts whose duty it was to watch the movements of the Indians on the frontier. At that time Pittsburgh was on the extreme verge of the white population, and the spies, who were constantly employed, generally extended their reconnoissances forty or fifty miles west of that place. Going out singly and living in Indian style, they assimilated themselves to the habits, tastes, and feelings of the Indians. In their border warfare the scalp of a Shawnee was esteemed about as valuable as the skin of a panther. "Mike" Fink, tiring of this after a while, returned to the water life, and engrafting several other occupations on that of the boatman, put all mankind, except his friends and employer, to whom he was honest and faithful, under contribution, and became nothing more nor less than a freebooter. "Mike," having murdered "Joe" Stevens, was killed by one of Joe's brothers. James Girty, another of the famous Mississippi boatmen, was represented as a "natural prodigy," not "constructed like ordinary men, for, instead of ribs, bountiful nature had provided him with a solid bony casing on both sides, without any interstices through which a knife; dirk, or bullet could penetrate." He possessed amazing muscular power, and courage in proportion, and his great boast was that he had "never, been whipped."

The trade conducted by these boats was of considerable proportions. As early as 1802 the annual exports of the Mississippi valley amounted to $2,160,000, and the imports to $2,500,000. Up to 1804 the annual value of the fur trade of Upper Louisiana amounted to $203,750. The province then exported lead, salt, beef, and pork, and received Indian goods from Canada, domestics from Philadelphia and Baltimore, groceries from New Orleans, and hardware from the Ohio River.

Short notices in the newspapers of that day, announcing, "Wanted to freight, from this place to Louisville, about sixteen hundredweight, apply at the printing-office," or "thirteen boatmen are wanted to navigate a few boats to New Orleans, to start about the 15th of next month; the customary wages will be given," or that "the barge ‘Scott’ will start from St. Louis on the 1st of March, and will take freight for Louisville or Frankfort, in Kentucky, on reasonable terms, apply to John Steele," are too laconic to more than indicate the existence of a commerce, without affording any reliable data of its dimensions or the appliances by which it was carried on.


At the period of the introduction of steam upon the Mississippi, 1817, the whole commerce from New Orleans to the upper country was transported in about twenty barges of an average of one hundred tons each, and making but one trip in a year. The number of keel-boats on the Ohio was estimated at one hundred and sixty, carrying thirty tons each. The whole tonnage was estimated at between six thousand and seven thousand.

The advent of steam, of course, superseded the use of the keel-boat, and the picturesque features of the earlier navigation passed away. In the presence of the mighty energy which has revolutionized the commerce of the world, the warp and cordelle, the pole and running-board forever disappeared from the bosom of the Mississippi.

"The commerce of St. Louis had humble beginnings. The facilities for transportation were limited to the rudest row-boats, but in course of time there has grown from the birch canoe a vast inland fleet, which in 1880 bore to the port of St. Louis about two million tons of merchandise."

Steamboating. — In "The First Steamboat Voyage on the Western Waters," John H. B. Latrobe says, "Whether steam could be employed on the Western rivers was a question that its success between New York and Albany was not regarded as having entirely solved, and after the idea had been suggested of building a boat at Pittsburgh, to ply between Natchez and New Orleans, it was considered necessary that investigations should be made as to the currents of the rivers to be navigated in regard to the new system." These investigations were undertaken by Nicholas J. Roosevelt, who repairing in May, 1809, to Pittsburgh, there constructed a flat-boat in which he proceeded to New Orleans for the purpose of studying and investigating the new conditions of navigation to which the steam system was about to be subjected. These investigations proved entirely satisfactory, not only to Mr. Roosevelt but also to Messrs. Fulton and Livingston, who were to furnish the capital, and Mr. Roosevelt in 1811 took up his residence in Pittsburgh, to superintend the construction of the boat and engine that were to open the Western waters to the new system of steam navigation.

The "New Orleans" was the first steamboat constructed on Western waters. She was one hundred and sixteen feet in length, with twenty feet beam, and her engine had a thirty-four-inch cylinder, with boiler and other parts in proportion. She was about four hundred tons burden, and cost in the neighborhood of thirty-eight thousand dollars. There were two cabins, one aft for ladies, and a larger one forward for gentlemen. The ladies' cabin, which was comfortably furnished, contained four berths. The "New Orleans" was launched in March, 1811; left Pittsburgh in October of the same year; passed Cincinnati October 27th, and reached Louisville the next day, in sixty-four hours' running time from Pittsburgh. The water was too low for her to cross the falls, and while at Louisville waiting for sufficient water she made several short excursions. She also made one trip to Cincinnati, arriving there in forty-five hours' running time from Louisville, Nov. 27, 1811. While here she made an excursion trip to Columbia, charging one dollar per head. Shortly afterward, the river rising, she left this place for New Orleans, December, 1811. Her voyage down the river was perilous in the extreme, as shortly after leaving Louisville the great earthquakes began. She ran between Natchez and New Orleans, her trips averaging about three weeks, July 13, 1814, she landed on her upward voyage two miles above Baton Rouge, on the opposite side, and spent the night taking in wood, the night being thought too dark to run with safety. At daylight the next morning she got up steam, and on starting the engine it was found she would not move ahead, but kept swinging around. The water had fallen during the night, and the captain found she was resting on a stump. An anchor was put out on her starboard quarter, and by the aid of her capstan she was soon hove off; but on clearing her it was discovered she had sprunk a leak and was sinking rapidly. She was immediately run into the bank and tied fast, but sunk so rapidly her passengers had barely time to get off with their baggage.


The history of the early steamboats following the "New Orleans" will be found interesting, as showing how quickly the innovation made itself felt, and how speedily the new system obliterated the old.

The second boat was the "Comet," of twenty-five tons, owned by Samuel Smith, built at Pittsburgh by Daniel French; stern-wheel and vibrating cylinder, French's patent granted in 1809. The "Comet" made a voyage to Louisville in 1813, and to New Orleans in the spring of 1814; made two trips to Natchez, and was sold, the engine being put up on a plantation to drive a cotton-gin. Third boat, the "Vesuvius," three hundred and forty tons, built at Pittsburgh by Robert Fulton, and owned by a company belonging to New York and New Orleans; left Pittsburgh for New Orleans in the spring of 1814, commanded by Capt. Frank Ogden. She started from New Orleans, bound for Louisville, the 1st of June, 1814, and grounded on a bar seven hundred miles up the Mississippi, where she lay until the 3d of December, when the river rose and she floated off. She returned to New Orleans, where she ran aground the second time on the batture, where she lay until the 1st of March, when the river rose and floated her off. She was then employed some months between New Orleans and Natchez, under the command of Capt. Clemment, who was succeeded by Capt. John DeHart. Shortly after she took fire near New Orleans and burned to the water's edge, having a valuable cargo aboard. The fire was supposed to have been communicated from the boiler, which was in the hold. The bottom was raised and built upon at New Orleans, and she went into the Louisville trade, but was soon after sold to a company at Natchez. On examination subsequent to the sale she was pronounced unfit for use, was libeled by her commander, and sold at public auction. Fourth boat, the "Enterprise," forty-five tons, built at Brownsville, Pa., by Daniel French, under his patent, and owned by a company at that place, made two trips to Louisville in the summer of 1814, under the command of Capt. J. Gregg. On the 1st of December she took in a cargo of ordnance stores at Pittsburgh, and left for New Orleans, commanded by Capt. Henry M. Shreve; and arrived at New Orleans on the 14th of the same month. She was then dispatched up the river in search of two keel-boats laden with small-arms which had been delayed on the river. She got twelve miles above Natchez, where she met the keels, took their masters and cargoes on board, and returned to New Orleans, having been but six and a half days absent, in which time she ran six hundred and twenty-four miles. She was then for some time actively employed in transporting troops. She made one trip to the Gulf of Mexico as a cartel, and one trip to the rapids of the


Red River with troops, and nine voyages to Natchez. She left New Orleans for Pittsburgh on the 6th of May, and arrived at Shippingport on the 30th, twenty-five days out, being the first boat that ever arrived at that port from New Orleans. She then proceeded on to Pittsburgh, and the command was given to D. Worley, who lost her in Rock Harbor, at Shippingport. Fifth boat, the "AEtna," three hundred and forty tons, built at Pittsburgh, and owned by the same company as the "Vesuvius," left Pittsburgh for New Orleans in March, 1815, under the command of Capt. A. Gale, and arrived at that port in April following; was placed in the Natchez trade; was then placed under the command of Capt. Robinson De Hart, who made six trips on her to Louisville.

The sixth boat was the "Zebulon M. Pike," built by Mr. Prentiss at Henderson, Ky., on the Ohio River, in 1815. The "Pike" deserves special mention, as she was the first steamboat to ascend the Mississippi above the mouth of the Ohio, and the first to touch at St. Louis. Her first trip was made in the spring of 1815 to Louisville, Ky., two hundred and fifty miles in sixty-seven hours, making three and three-quarter miles per hour against the current. On her voyage to St. Louis she was commanded by Capt. Jacob Read. "The hull," says Professor Waterhouse, "was built on the model of a barge. The cabin was situated on the lower deck, inside of the, ‘running-boards.’

"The boat was driven by a low-pressure engine with a walking-beam. The wheels had no wheel-houses. The boat had but one smoke-stack. In the encounter with a rapid current the crew reinforced steam with the impulse of their own strength. They used the poles and running-boards just as in the push-boat navigation of barges. The boat ran only by day, and was six weeks in making this first trip from Louisville to St. Louis. It landed at the foot of Market Street Aug. 2, 1817. The inhabitants of the village gathered on the bank to welcome the novel visitor. Among them was a group of Indians. As the boat approached, the glare of its furnace fires and the volumes of murky smoke filled the Indians with dismay. They fled to the high ground in the rear of the village, and no assurances of safety could induce them to go one step nearer to the object of their fears. They ascribed supernatural powers to a boat that could ascend a rapid stream without the aid of sail or oar. Their superstitious imaginations beheld a monster breathing flame and threatening the extinction of the red man. In a symbolic sense, their fancy was prophetic: the progress of civilization, of which the steamboat may be taken as a type, is fast sweeping the Indian race into the grave of buried nations."

The first notice we have of the expected arrival the "Pike" at St. Louis is the following announcement in the Missouri Gazette of the 14th of July, 1817:

"A steamboat is expected here from Louisville to-morrow. There is no doubt but what we shall have a regular communication with Louisville, or at least the mouth of the Ohio, by a steam packet."

On the 2d of August the Gazette published this notice:

"The steamboat ‘Pike’ will be ready to take in freight to-morrow for Louisville or any of the towns on the Ohio. She will sail for Louisville on Monday morning, the 4th August, from ten to twelve o'clock. For freight or passage apply to the master on board.

"Jacob Read, Master."

The return trip of the "Pike" is also mentioned in the Gazette of September 2d as follows:

"The steamboat ‘Pike’ will arrive in a day or two from Louisville. This vessel will ply regularly between that place and will take in her return cargo shortly after her arrival. Persons who may have freight, or want passage for Louisville of the towns on the Ohio, will do well to make early application to the master on board. On her passage from this to Louisville she will make a stop at Herculaneum, where Mr. M. Austin will


act as agent; also at Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau. At the former place Mr. Le Meilleur and at the latter Mr. Steinbeck will act as agents, with whom freight for the ‘Pike’ may be deposited and shipped.

"Persons wanting passage in this vessel will apply as above. She will perform her present voyage to and from Louisville in about four weeks, and will always afford an expeditious and safe passage for the transportation of freight or passengers.

"Jacob Read, Master."

Again on the 22d of November the Gazette announced that "the steamboat ‘Pike’ with passengers and freight arrived here yesterday from Louisville."

The "Pike" had a capacity of thirty-seven tons, old government tonnage. She made a trip to New Orleans, and several between Louisville and Pittsburgh, after which she was engaged in the Red River trade. She was snagged in March, 1818.

The next vessel after the "Pike" to arrive at St. Louis was the "Constitution," Capt. R. T. Guyard, which arrived Oct. 2, 1817. The steamboat ceased in 1818 to be a novelty on the Mississippi, and became


a recognized agent of the commerce of the valley.

The arrivals and departures of vessels about this time were occasionally noticed by the Gazette as follows:

"On Saturday last the steamboat ‘Franklin,’ of about one hundred and forty tons burden, arrived here in thirty-two days from New Orleans with passengers and an assorted cargo. ‘Franklin’ is admirably calculated for a regular packet-boat to ply between St. Louis and New Orleans. Her stowage is capacious,


and her cabin commodious and elegant." — Gazette, June 12, 1818.

"The steamboat ‘Franklin’ left this place yesterday with freight and passengers for New Orleans. The master expects to arrive there in eight days. Our common barges take from twenty-five to thirty days to perform the voyage." — Gazette, June 19, 1818.

"List of Steamboats Trading to New Orleans. — ‘Franklin,’ one hundred and thirty-one tons; ‘Eagle;’ ‘Pike’ (sunk); ‘James Monroe’ (sunk, now repairing)." — Gazette, Sept. 5, 1818.

"The new steamboat ‘Johnson,’ built by Col. Johnson, of Kentucky, passed Shawneetown the first of this month bound to New Orleans. She is intended as a regular trader from Kentucky on the Mississippi and the Missouri as far up as the Yellowstone River." — Gazette, Nov. 6, 1818.


The arrival about March 1, 1819, of "the large and elegant steamboat ‘Washington’" from New Orleans, which city she left on the 1st of February, was announced in the Gazette of March 3d. The steamboat "Harriet" arrived from the same port early in April. The "Sea-Horse," which arrived at New Orleans from New York, and the "Maid of Orleans," which reached the same port from Philadelphia early in 1819, were probably the first steamboats that ever performed a voyage of any length on the ocean.

The "Maid of Orleans" continued her voyage to St. Louis, where she arrived about the 1st of May. On the same day the steamboat "Independence," Capt. Nelson, arrived from Louisville. The Missouri Gazette of the 19th of May, 1819, has the following steamboat memoranda:

"The ‘Expedition,’ Capt. Craig, arrived here on Wednesday last, destined for the Yellowstone. The ‘Maid of Orleans,’ Capt. Turner, sailed for New Orleans, and the ‘Independence,’ Capt. Nelson, for Franklin, on the Missouri, on Sunday last. The ‘Exchange,’ Capt. Whips, arrived here on Monday, and will return to Louisville in a few days for a new set of boilers, she having burst her boiler in ascending the Mississippi.

"The ‘St. Louis,’ Capt. Hewes, the ‘James Monroe,’ and ‘Hamlet’ were advertised to sail from New Orleans to St. Louis about the middle of last month.

"In 1817, less than two years ago, the first steamboat arrived at St. Louis. We hailed it as the day of small things, but the glorious consummation of all our wishes is daily arriving. Already during the present season we have seen on our shores five steamboats and several more daily expected. Who would or could have dared to conjecture that in 1819 we would have witnessed the arrival of a steamboat from Philadelphia or New York? yet such is the fact. The Mississippi has become familiar to this great American invention, and another new arena is open. A steamboat, owned by individuals, has started from St. Louis for Franklin, two hundred miles up the Missouri, and two others are now here destined for the Yellowstone. The time is fast approaching when a journey to the Pacific will become as familiar, and indeed more so, than it was fifteen or twenty years ago to Kentucky or Ohio. ‘Illustrious nation,’ said a distinguished foreigner, speaking of the New York canal, ‘illustrious nation, whose conceptions are only equaled by her achievements.’"

The "Independence," Capt. Nelson, was the first Steamboat that entered the Missouri River. Sailing from St. Louis in May, 1819, she reached Franklin, on the Missouri, after a voyage of thirteen days, of which four days were spent in the different landing. Her voyage extended up the Missouri to Old Chariton, from whence she returned to St. Louis. The United States government the year previous had determined to explore the Missouri River up to the Yellowstone and for that purpose, as elsewhere stated, Major S. H. Long had built at Pittsburgh the "Western Engineer."

To Col. Henry Atkinson had been intrusted the command of this expedition, and starting from Plattsburgh, N. Y., in the latter part of 1818, he arrived in Pittsburgh in the spring of 1819. The "Western Engineer" was completed soon after, and arrived at St. Louis June 8, 1819. On the 21st the expedition started for the Missouri. "It was accompanied


by three other United States steamers and nine keel-boats, bearing a detachment of government troops. The names of the steamboats and of their commanders were ‘Thomas Jefferson,’ Capt. Orfort; ‘R. M. Johnson,’ Capt. Colfax; and the ‘Expedition,’ Capt. Craig.

"The little fleet entered the Missouri with martial music, display of flags, and salute of cannon. In honor of the statesman who acquired the territory of Louisiana for the United States, the precedence was accorded to the ‘Thomas Jefferson,’ but some disarrangement of its machinery prevented this boat from taking the lead, and the ‘Expedition’ secured the distinction of being the first steamer of this flotilla to enter the Missouri. The ‘Thomas Jefferson’ was doomed to a still worse mishap, for not long after it ran on a snag and sank.

"The steam-escape of the ‘Western Engineer’ was shaped like a great serpent coiled on the bow of the boat in the attitude of springing, and the steam hissing from the fiery mouth of the python filled the Indians with terror. They thought that the wrath of the Great Spirit had sent this monster for their chastisement."

The Gazette of the 2d of June contained the following "steamboat news:"

"Arrived at this place on the 1st instant the fast-sailing and elegant steamboat St. Louis, Capt. Hewes, in twenty-eight days from New Orleans; passengers, Col. Atkinson and Maj. McIntosh, of the United States army, and others. The captain has politely favored us with the following from his log-book: ‘On the 5th May left New Orleans. At 3 P. M. passed steamboat Volcano, bound down. 10th, at 6 A. M., passed steamboat James Ross; at 11 P. M. passed steamboat Rifleman, at anchor, with shaft broke. 15th, at 3 P. M., passed steamboat Madison, six days from the Falls of the Ohio. 20th, passed steamboat Governor Shelby, bound for New Orleans. 22d, run on a sand-bar and was detained till next day. 26th, at 7 P. M., at the grand turn below Island No. 60, passed nine keel-boats, with Sixth Regiment United States Infantry, commanded by Col. Atkinson, destined for the Missouri; at 11 P. M. took on board Col. Atkinson and Maj. McIntosh; at quarter past eleven run aground, and lost anchor and part of cable. 27th, the steamboat Harriet passed while at anchor. 28th, at 3 P. M., passed steamboat Jefferson, with United States troops, having broke her piston; at 4 P. M. the steamboat Harriet.’"

On the 9th the same paper announced that Capt. Hewes, of the "St. Louis," had gratified the citizens St. Louis with a sail to the mouth of the Missouri, and that "the company on board was large and genteel, and the entertainment very elegant."

The return of the "Maid of Orleans," Capt. Turner, on the 28th of July, and the departure of the "Yankee," Capt. Hairston, early in December for New Orleans, complete the record of steamboating for 1819.

About this time began the long and active career on the river of Capt. John C. Swon, one of the best-known names in the steamboat trade of St. Louis. Capt. Swon was born in Scott County, Ky., May 16, 1803. His father was an early pioneer from Maryland, and a large land-owner in Kentucky. He died in 1814 while locating lands in St. Francis County, Mo., and young Swon passed under the guardianship of Col. R. M. Johnson, who had then lately been Vice-President of the United States. In 1819 the boy sailed up the Missouri to Council Bluffs, and was so infatuated with the river that he resolved to follow it for a livelihood. The wild and romantic scenery of the Missouri, the high bluffs, dense forests, and broad prairies offered special attractions to the eye and fired his youthful imagination. In the following year he returned home and obtained permission from his guardian to engage in the river trade.

Consequently, in 1821, Capt. Swon obtained a position as clerk on the "Calhoun," under Capt. Silas Craig, and for two years was engaged in the St. Louis and Louisville trade, the boat occasionally making a trip to New Orleans, when Swon usually had charge of the vessel himself.

From 1823 to 1830, Capt. Swon was connected with several of the most famous boats of that period, among which may be mentioned the "Steubenville," "Governor Brown," and "America," under Capt. Crawford and Capt. Alexander Scott.

In 1825, Capt. Swon, having formed an extremely favorable idea of the place from his frequent visits, made St. Louis his permanent home. In 1830 he temporarily left St. Louis and went to Pittsburgh, Pa., where, in company with Capt. James Wood, of that city, he built the "Carrollton." He subsequently took charge of that vessel, and ran her in the St. Louis and New Orleans trade. In 1833 he built the "Missouri," and commanded her for one season; in the next year he built the "Majestic," in 1835 the "Selma," and in 1837 the "St. Louis," the largest steamer up to that time ever employed on the Mississippi.

In 1839 he sold the "St. Louis," and engaged in the wholesale grocery business in St. Louis with R. A. Barnes, the firm being Barnes & Swon, but in 1840 he retired from the partnership and resumed his old


calling. He then returned to Pittsburgh, and brought out the "Missouri" in 1841. In August of that year the boat was destroyed by fire while lying at the wharf at St. Louis. Undaunted, however, Capt. Swon went to Louisville, and purchased the "Alexander Scott" in 1842, and managed her until 1845, when he sold her, and purchased an interest in the "J. M. White," which vessel he commanded until 1847, when he sold her, and proceeded to comply with a resolution, formed on account of family reasons, to build just one more boat and then leave the river. He contracted for the "Aleck Scott," and launched her in March, 1848, for the Missouri trade. Both the "Alexander Scott" (previously mentioned) and the "Aleck Scott" were named in honor of one of young Swon's earliest captains, Alexander Scott, one of the best known river-men of that period. Capt. Swon commanded the "Aleck Scott" until July, 1854, when he sold her and retired from the river, thus ending a long, active, and useful career, devoted to the development of the river interests of Missouri.

In 1857 he purchased a beautiful place at Webster Station, on the Missouri Pacific, and lived there several years in rural quiet. In 1867-68 he disposed of it and visited Europe. Upon his return he settled in St. Louis, where he has continued to reside, enjoying in well-earned ease the fruits of a more than usually industrious manhood.

Capt. Swon has been twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1830, was Anna Kennett, sister of L. M. Kennett, ex-mayor of St. Louis. Of this union two children were born, who are now dead. After three years of singularly happy married life Mrs. Swon died, and Capt. Swon married Miss Kennett, a cousin of his first wife. This lady died in the spring of 1882, leaving no living children.

Capt. Swon was chosen superintendent of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad in the early stages of that enterprise, but did not accept the position. He is a director in the Hope Mining Company, his only business connection, although he has been solicited to assist numerous enterprises. He has taken a lively interest in the problems of transportation which St. Louis has had to grapple with, and cherishes an honest pride in his own labors in that direction, having done probably as much as any one man to develop the river and steamboat interests of the city and State. Well preserved and wonderfully fresh for a man over eighty years of age, he remains one of the few survivors of the adventurous class of steamboatmen who aided so largely in building up the river commerce of the Mississippi valley.

The first steamboat that ascended the upper Mississippi was the "Virginia," which arrived at Fort Snelling in May, 1823. The Missouri and upper Mississippi had now been opened to regular navigation, and the steamboat traffic of the great river and its tributaries developed rapidly. On the 27th of August, 1825, the Republican announced that there were two steamboats, the "Brown" and "Magnet," now lying here for the purpose of repairing, added, "We believe this is the first instance of steamboat's remaining here through the season of low water." The expansion of the steamboat business continued without interruption, and in its issue of April 19, 1827, the Republican commented upon it as follows:

"During the past week our wharf has exhibited a greater show of business than we recollect to have ever before seen, and the number of steam and other boats arriving and departing has been unprecedented. The immense trade which has opened between this place and Fevre River at the present employs, besides a number of keels, six steamboats, to wit: the ‘Indiana,’ ‘Shamrock,’ ‘Hamilton,’ ‘ Muskingum,’ ‘Mexico’ and ‘Mechanic.’ The ‘Indiana’ and ‘Shamrock’ on their return trips have been deeply freighted with lead, and several keel-boats likewise have arrived with the same article. Judging from the thousands of people who have gone this spring to make their fortunes at the lead-mines, we should suppose that the quantity of lead produced this year will be tenfold greater than heretofore."

Again, on the 12th of July, the same paper remarked that it must be gratifying to every citizen of St. Louis to witness the steady advancement of the town, "the number of steamboats that have arrived and departed during the spring" being cited as "the best evidence of the increase of business." During 1832 there were eighty arrivals of steamboats at St. Louis, whose aggregate tonnage amounted to 9520 tons. In 1834 the number of steamboats on the Mississippi and its tributaries was 230, their tonnage aggregating 39,000 tons. There were also 1,426,000 feet of plank, joists and scantling, 1,628,000 shingles, 15,000 rails, 1700 cedar logs, 8946 cords of wood, and 95,250 bushels of coal landed from the boats, together with 12,195 barrels and sixty half-barrels of flour, 463 barrels and twenty half-barrels of pork, and 233 barrels and fifty half-barrels of beef.

In 1836 the "Champion," Capt. Mix, performed the trip from Vicksburg to Pittsburgh, and thence to St. Louis, in seven days' running time; and between St. Louis and Louisville in fifty hours, "passing the ‘Paul Jones’ and several other boats with ease." She was beaten, however, in June of that year by the "Paul Jones." In announcing this fact the Republican stated that the captain of the "Champion" (which was an Eastern-built boat) "acknowledges


his inability to go ahead of our Western boats," and that he would shortly start with his boat for the Atlantic cities via New Orleans.

During the same month seventy-six different steamboats arrived at St. Louis, the aggregate tonnage of which was 10,774, the number of entries being 146, and the wharfage $930. The same activity continued in 1837, and the Republican notes the presence of thirty-three steamboats receiving and discharging cargo on one day in April, 1837.

The steamboat "North St. Louis" was launched on the 29th of March, 1837, from the yard of Messrs. Thomas & Green. This boat was said to have been a "splendid specimen of the enterprise, the genius, and the art of our Western citizens," and was regarded as "the finest boat which has ever floated upon the Mississippi."

On the 10th of October, 1838, the subject of establishing a steamship line from St. Louis to Eastern cities was considered at a meeting of merchants at the Merchants' Exchange. John Smith was appointed chairman, and A. G. Farwell secretary.

The object of the meeting having been stated by the chair, it was on motion ordered that a committee of five persons be appointed to prepare resolutions for the action of the meeting. The chair appointed Messrs. D. L. Holbrook, N. E. Janney, A. B. Chambers, A. G. Farwell, and R. M. Strother as this committee.

After a short absence the committee returned and reported the following:

"Resolved, That the establishment of a line of steamships from some Eastern port or ports to this city is a subject of deep interest to the citizens of St. Louis, and that in the opinion of this meeting it is expedient.

"Resolved, That a committee of persons be appointed to correspond with such individuals in the Eastern cities, and with such other persons as they may deem proper upon the subject, and that they be requested to put themselves in possession of as many facts connected with the proposed enterprise as possible that they report at as early an adjourned meeting as practicable.

"Resolved, That a committee of persons be appointed to facts and statistics relating to the import and export trade of St. Louis, and the necessity of opening a direct trade with the Eastern ports, its profits and utility, and report at an adjourned meeting."

The question being upon the adoption of the first resolution, Messrs. N. Ranney, A. B. Chambers, R. M. Strother, N. E. Janney, John F. Hunt, and the chairman severally addressed the meeting, after which the resolutions were unanimously adopted.

On motion it was ordered that the blank in the second resolution be filled with "five," and that in third resolution be filled with "fifteen," whereupon the chair appointed Messrs. A. G. Farwell, A. B. Chambers, Hezekiah King, J. B. Camden, and E. Bredell the committee under the second resolution, and Messrs. Adam B. Chambers, N. E. Janney, D. L. Holbrook, Reuben M. Strother, William Glasgow, H. Von Phul, E. H. Beebe, John F. Hunt, N. Ranney, Edward Walsh, G. K. McGunnegle, J. O. Agnew, B. Clapp, E. Tracy, and O. Rhodes the committee under the third resolution.

On motion of Capt. N. Ranney, John Smith was added to the first committee as chairman.

The steamboat and lumber register for 1838 shows the number of steamers which entered the port of St. Louis during the year to have been 154, and the aggregate tonnage 22,752; the number of entries, 1014; and the wharfage collected, $7279.84.

The steamboat "Ottawa" was the first boat built on the Illinois. She was constructed in part at Ottawa, added to at Peru, and finished at St. Louis. She was of the very lightest draught, seventeen inches light, and had a powerful engine, the design being to take two keels in tow in low water, the steamer herself being light; so that whenever there were seventeen inches of water on the bars, she would be able to reach St. Louis with one hundred tons of freight weekly. Her length was one hundred feet, breadth twenty, and the cabin was laid off entirely in staterooms. The owners resided in Ottawa.

In 1840 the number of steamboats on the Mississippi and its tributaries was two hundred and eighty-five, with an aggregate tonnage of forty-nine thousand eight hundred tons.

The steamboat "Missouri," then the longest boat on Western waters, visited St. Louis about the 1st of April, 1841. Her length was two hundred and thirty-three feet, the width of her hull was thirty feet, and her entire breadth, guards included, fifty-nine feet. The depth of her hold was eight and a half feet, and this was the quantity of water she drew when fully loaded. Her light draught was five feet four inches. The diameter of her wheels was thirty-two feet, and the length of buckets twelve feet. Her cylinders were twenty-six inches in diameter, with a twelve-foot stroke. She had two engines and seven forty-two-inch boilers. She was steered by chains, and was well furnished with hose and other apparatus for the extinguishment of fires.

The "Missouri" carried six hundred tons, and was built, at Pittsburgh for and under the direction of Capt. J. C. Swon, of St. Louis, at a cost of forty-five thousand dollars.


She was intended as a regular trader between St. Louis and New Orleans, but, as heretofore stated, was burned at St. Louis in August, 1841.

In 1842 two boat-yards for the construction of steamboats and other river-craft were in existence in St. Louis, and during this year the number of steamboats on the Mississippi and its tributaries was four hundred and fifty, with an aggregate tonnage of about ninety thousand tons.

In 1843 the number was six hundred and seventy-two, with an aggregate tonnage of one hundred and thirty-four thousand four hundred, and in addition to the steamers there were about four thousand flats and keels. For the year 1844 the enrolled and licensed tonnage of Western rivers amounted to one hundred and forty-four thousand one hundred and fifty tons. Messrs. Harvey, Premeau & Co., under the style of the St. Louis Fur Company, chartered the steamer "Clermont, No. 2," D. G. Taylor commander, in June, 1846, and the boat sailed for the head-waters of the Missouri on the 7th to trade with Sioux and Blackfeet Indians. The improvements in the construction of steamboats had been such that the time consumed in the voyage from New Orleans to St. Louis, which in early days had occupied weeks, had in 1844 been reduced to a few days. On the 9th of May, 1844, the Republican made the following announcement:

"What has heretofore been merely the speculation of enthusiasts has been realized. New Orleans has been brought within less than four days' travel of St. Louis, — in immediate neighborhood propinquity. The steamboat ‘J. M. White’ has been the first to accomplish this extraordinary trip.

"The ‘J. M. White’ left this port on Monday, April 29th, at three o'clock P. M., with six hundred tons of freight, and arrived at New Orleans on Friday evening, the 3d inst., being three days and sixteen hours on her downward trip. She departed for St. Louis on Saturday, May 4, 1844, at forty minutes after five o'clock P. M., and arrived on the 8th, having made the trip up in three days and twenty-three hours, and having been but nine days on the voyage out and home, including all detention.

"The following are the runs up from wharf to wharf, the best time ever made by any steamboat on the Western waters.

"From New Orleans to Natchez, 300 miles, 20 h. 40 m.

From New Orleans to Vicksburg, 410 miles, 29 h. 55 m.

From New Orleans to Montgomery's, 625 miles, 1 day 13 h. 8 m.

From New Orleans to Memphis, 775 miles, 2 days 12 h. 8m.

From New Orleans to Cairo, 1000 miles, 3 days 6 h. 44 m.

From New Orleans to St. Louis, 1200 miles, 3 days 23 h. 9 m."

One of the leading steamboat men of St. Louis about this time was Capt. W. W. Greene. William Wallace Greene was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 1798. His father, Charles Greene, was of the Rhode Island family of Greenes which furnished the country one of its most successful Revolutionary generals. He was a merchant in Marietta from 1796 to 1812, and also engaged in the building of ships on a large scale for those days, constructing three ships, two or three brigs, and several schooners, which he owned in connection with R. J. Meigs, Col. Lord, and Benjamin Ives Gilman, prominent men of that period. Charles Greene's wife was Elizabeth Wallace, of Philadelphia. From these parents William Wallace Greene inherited sterling qualities of heart and mind and elevated religious principles. Reverses in the large shipping interests of his father threw him early in life upon his own resources, and with no capital save energy, a good character, sound common sense, and a fair education, he left home for busier and more promising fields. He first went to Dayton, Ohio, where for seven years he was employed in the general merchandise establishment of his cousins, Steele & Pierce. He then removed to Louisville, Ky., and New Albany, Ind., continuing in the mercantile business until 1820, when he engaged as clerk on the steamboat "Ohio," running in the New Orleans trade, and for two years was employed on the river. In 1822 he again embarked in mercantile pursuits at Hamilton, Ohio.

In the following year he removed to Cincinnati and commenced business as a commission and forwarding merchant. Soon after, in connection with his brother Robert, he built the low-pressure steamer "De Witt Clinton," the fastest boat of her day on the Western waters. When finished he took command of her, but soon resigned her to his uncle, Maj. Robert Wallace, of Louisville, Ky. The Greene brothers then built the low-pressure steamers "Native" and "Fairy," and followed in quick succession with others, until they owned a large flotilla of very fine and fast boats, some engaged in the Cincinnati and Louisville trade, others in the Cincinnati trade, and still others in the Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers. Capt. W. W. Greene commanded several of these vessels, and was as well and favorably known as any officer who navigated the great rivers of the West. In 1832-33 he commanded the high-pressure steamer "Superior," employed in the Cincinnati and New Orleans trade.

In 1834, Capt. Greene, in connection with his brother-in law, Capt. Joseph Conn, built the "Cygnet," with vibrating cylinders; and while running this boat they removed to St. Louis and made that city their residence and base of operations. Greene was captain, and Conn was clerk; and so officered, the "Cygnet" for several years did a prosperous business on the Mississippi, Arkansas, and Illinois Rivers.

In 1837, Capts. Greene and Conn sold the "Cygnet,"


and, in connection with James R. Sprigg, engaged in the auction and commission business under the firm-name of Conn, Sprigg & Greene (a partnership easily recalled by many of the older citizens and one of the leading houses of that period). The firm was also at times interested as part owner in the steamers "Caspian," "Vandalia," "Oregon," and "Osage," all employed in the St. Louis and New Orleans trade.

Capt. Greene enjoyed in a marked degree the confidence of the community. In 1842 (Bernard Pratte being mayor) he was appointed harbor-master; in 1845, local agent of the Post-Office Department; and in 1849 surveyor and collector of the port of St. Louis, which office he resigned in 1853 to accept the presidency of the Globe Mutual Insurance Company, to which he was annually elected for many years. All who knew him will remember with what unfailing urbanity and fidelity he discharged these important public trusts.

In 1827, Capt. Greene was married to Sarah A. Conn, daughter of an old and well-known citizen of Cincinnati. He died April 16, 1873, leaving two daughters.

Capt. Greene was an honored, consistent, and useful member of the Presbyterian Church. For many years he was a ruling elder, and brought to the duties of that office the zeal and fidelity which he always exhibited in his secular employments. In all the relations of life, in fact, Capt. Greene was a man of the strictest rectitude, untiring energy, and ready generosity. His death was that of the resigned and hopeful Christian, weary, however, under the accumulated burdens of years.

The following résumé of steamboating at St. Louis is from the Republican of Jan. 5, 1847:

"During the year 1845 there were 213 steamboats engaged in the trade of St. Louis, with an aggregate tonnage of 42,922 tons, and 2050 steamboat arrivals, with an aggregate tonnage of 358,045 tons, to which may be added 346 keel- and flat-boats. During the year 1846 there were 251 steamboats, having an aggregate tonnage of 53,867 tons, engaged in the St. Louis commerce. These boats made 2411 trips to our port, making an aggregate tonnage of 407,824 tons. In the same year there were 881 keel- and flat-boat arrivals.

"To exhibit the time of their arrival, and their tonnage, and to show at what period the heaviest portion of our commerce is carried on, no subjoin a statement of the arrivals for each month:
Arrived. Steamers. Tonnage. Flats and Keels.
January 53 8,917 6
February 152 26,111 35
March 158 31,580 22
April 195 49,334 44
May 372 78,124 68
June 295 60,043 38
July 193 46,554 68
August 211 37,553 75
September 171 28,331 72
October 237 37,538 162
November 185 31,346 171
December 190 32,393 120

"The trade in St. Louis in 1848 employed, as we have stated, 251 boats, of an aggregate tonnage of 53,867 tons. If we estimate the cost of these boats at $50 per ton, which is below the true average, we have an investment in the shipping of this city of $2,693,350; and if we allow an average of 25 persons, including all those employed directly upon the boat, to each vessel, we have a total of 6275 persons engaged in their navigation. Add to these the owners, workmen, builders, agents, shippers, and all those connected or interested in this commerce, from the time the timber is taken from the forest or the ore from the mine, and the list will be swelled to many thousands."

The number of enrolled and licensed steamboats on Western rivers in 1845 was 789, with an aggregate tonnage of 159,713 tons.

The steamers running on the upper Mississippi from 1823 to 1844 were used mainly to transport supplies for the Indian traders and the troops stationed at Fort Snelling. Previous to the arrival of the "Virginia" at Fort Snelling in May, 1823, keel-boats were used for this trade, and sixty days from St. Louis to Fort Snelling was considered a good trip.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1846 makes the following exhibit of enrolled and licensed tonnage of the West: New Orleans, 180,504.81; St. Louis, 22,425.92; Pittsburgh, 17,162.94; Cincinnati, 15,312.86; Louisville, 8172.26; Nashville, 2809.23; Wheeling, 2666.76; total, 249,054.77 tons. Applying to this volume of tonnage the average of 210 tons to a steamboat, there were 1190 employed on Western rivers, which at $65 per ton cost $16,188,561. Supposing these boats to run 220 days in a year at a cost of $125 per day, their annual expense amounted to $32,725,000, and they employed 41,650 persons. The cost of the river transportation in 1846 was estimated at $41,154,194.

The rapid increase of the steamboating interest of St. Louis is thus set forth in the Republican of the 27th of January, 1848:

"In no department of business has the rapid growth of St. Louis as a commercial port been made so undeniably manifest as in her shipping by means of steamboats. The first steamboat arrival at St. Louis was in 1817. At that time the whole commerce of New Orleans was carried on by about twenty barges of one hundred tons each, and one hundred and sixty keel- and flat-boats of about thirty tons each, making a total tonnage of from six thousand to seven thousand tons. In 1834 the whole number of steamboats on the Mississippi and its tributaries was two hundred and thirty, with a total tonnage of thirty-nine thousand tons. In 1840 the number was two hundred and eighty-five, with a tonnage of forty-nine thousand eight hundred. In 1842 the number was four hundred and fifty, with a tonnage of about ninety thousand tons. In 1843 the number rose to six hundred and seventy-two, with a tonnage of one hundred and thirty-four thousand four hundred. In 1846, by reference to the report of the Secretary of the Treasury of the


licensed and enrolled steamboat tonnage, the number is stated at eleven hundred and ninety, with a tonnage of two hundred and forty-nine thousand and fifty-four tons.

"In 1839 there were one thousand four hundred and seventy-six steamboat arrivals at this port, with a total tonnage of two hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred and ninety-three tons. In 1840 there were seventeen hundred and twenty-one arrivals; tonnage, two hundred and forty-four thousand one hundred and eighty-six. In 1844 there were two thousand one hundred and five arrivals; tonnage, four hundred and sixty-seven thousand eight hundred and twenty-four. In eight years, from 1839 to the end of 1847, the number of steamboat arrivals and the aggregate tonnage have more than doubled. The arrivals in 1847 exceed those of 1839 by four hundred and eighty-nine, and the tonnage by three hundred and seventy-one thousand four hundred and forty-six tons."

In 1851 three steamboats went up the Minnesota River, and in 1852 one boat ran regularly up that river during the season. In 1853 the business required an average of one boat per day. In 1854 the trade had largely increased, and in 1855 the arrivals of steamers from the Minnesota numbered 119.

In 1852 the novel application of the steamboat to the purposes of a circus was made by Capt. Jack, well known to thousands of the "old-timers" in the Mississippi valley from his long connection with the show business. In that year he was engaged in building at Cincinnati the great "Floating Palace" for Spalding & Rogers' circus, among the oldest and most successful managers in that line in the United States. Capt. Jack purchased an interest in the floating palace, and began his career as a showman at Pittsburgh. The boat carried an amphitheatre, in which the equestrian performances took place, which was capable of seating one thousand persons. From Pittsburgh they descended the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans, giving exhibitions at all places along the banks. From New Orleans they steamed across the gulf to Mobile, and from Mobile the palace ascended the Alabama River to the head of navigation at Wetunka, and, returning, went up the Black Warrior to Columbia. Returning to Mobile and New Orleans, they started on the spring campaign up the Mississippi, and, arriving at St. Louis, exhibited at the foot of Poplar Street to an audience of twenty-five hundred people for three days. The crowd was so immense that they charged one dollar "permission," instead of admission tickets, to those who were unable to get in, for the privilege of looking in at the windows. G. R. Spalding was the manager of the concern, and Mr. Van Norton the general agent. The palace continued to exhibit successfully along the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers until 1860, when the boat was beached in New Orleans. Capt. Jack then engaged on the "Banjo" with a French Zouave troupe, which exhibited on all the principal tributaries of the lower Mississippi, up the Red River, the Cache, La Fourche, and Atchafalaya, and on the Mississippi at Fort Adams. On the 19th of July, 1862, they entered the boundaries of the Southern Confederacy, and at New Iberia and Franklin, La., gave shows for the benefit of the soldiers of the Confederate States. In 1862, Spalding & Rogers organized their outfit for South America. Mr. Spalding offered Capt. Jack an interest in the venture, advising him at the same time that it was hazardous. "You," said Mr. Spalding, "are now well fixed, and may lose all, but if we lose all we can stand it." Capt. Jack went into business for himself, and lost largely in Confederate currency, but came out finally very successful. He was from Ohio, and arrived in St. Louis in 1849 with but one dollar in his pocket. Spalding & Rogers returned from their South American venture in 1866, having made money. They returned with all their company except one lady, who died on the trip. Capt. Jack owed his success in life to his former employé, G. R. Spalding, who died in New Orleans in February, 1880. Mrs. Spalding died six months afterwards leaving Charles Spalding, of St. Louis, who was their only living son, as their heir.

During the season of 1856 trade upon the Mississippi was very prosperous, and the arrivals at St. Paul exhibited an increase over any previous year, notwithstanding the season of navigation was much shorter than that of the year before.

In the year 1870 the most remarkable event which


had as yet occurred illustrating the degree of excellence attained in the art of boat-building, was the celebrated trial of speed between the steamers "Robert E. Lee" and "Natchez," in a race from New Orleans to St. Louis. Perhaps no event in the whole history of steamboating on the Mississippi attracted so much attention. For many days the press in the West was filled with references to it, and many newspapers in the far East esteemed it of sufficient importance to notice the progress of the two leviathans, not only by publishing long telegrams, but also editorially. The boats arrived at St. Louis on the 4th of July, having made an unparalleled run of more than twelve hundred miles. It is believed that not less than two hundred thousand persons witnessed the arrival of the "R. E. Lee," which was the first to reach the goal.

Steamboat Casualties. — Neither the exact number of steamboats lost nor a reasonably accurate approximation of the number of deaths resulting from steamboat accidents on Western waters will ever be ascertained, for until within a few years past but little effort was made to preserve the records and statistics of such disasters. The most reliable record of explosions


up to 1871 was made up by Capt. S. L. Fisher and Capt. James McCord, both well-known citizens of St. Louis and practical steamboat men. This record begins in the year 1816, and is as follows:
Year. Name of Boat. Number of Lives Lost.
1816 Washington 9
1817 Constitution 30
1825 Teche 20
1830 Helen McGregor 60
1836 Ben Franklin 29
1836 Rob Roy 17
1837 Chariton 9
1837 Dubuque 21
1837 Black Hawk 50
1838 Moselle 85
1838 Oronoco 100
1838 Gen. Brown 55
1838 Augusta 7
1839 George Collier 26
1839 Wellington 25
1839 Walker 9
1840 Persia 23
1844 Lucy Waller 25
1845 Elizabeth 6
1845 Wyoming 13
1845 Marquette 30
1846 H. W. Johnston 74
1847 Edward Bates 53
1848 Concordia 28
1849 Virginia 14
1849 Cutter 6
1849 Louisiana 150
1850 St. Joseph 13
1850 Anglo-Norman 100
1850 Kale Fleming 9
1850 Knoxville 19
1851 Oregon 18
1852 Pocahontas 8
1852 Thomas Stone 40
1852 Glencoe 60
1852 Saluda 27
1852 Franklin 20
1853 Bee 3
1854 Kate Kinney 15
1854 Timor 19
1854 Reindeer 40
1855 Lexington 30
1855 Lancaster 5
1855 Heroine 3
1856 Metropolis 14
1857 Forest Rose 12
1857 Kentucky 3
1857 Fanny Fern 20
1857 Cataract 12
1857 Buckeye Belle 8
1858 Titania 1
1859 Princess 70
1859 San Nicolas 45
1859 Hiawatha 2
1860 John Calhoun 8
1860 Sam Gaty 2
1860 Ben Lewis 23
1860 H. T. Gilmore 2
1861 Madonna 4
1861 Ben Sherrod 80
1862 Pennsylvania 150
1862 Monongahela 4
1862 Com. Perry 1
1862 Advance 3
1862 Igo 1
1862 Ollie Sullivan 3
1863 Maria 4
1864 Ben Levi 5
1864 Sultana 1647
1865 Nimrod 5
1865 R. J. Lockwood 11
1865 W. R. Carter 18
1865 Gen. Lytle 12
1860 Missouri 7
1866 Phantom 11
1866 Cumberland 8
1866 Harry Dean 5
1867 Eclipse 22
1868 Magnolia 31
1870 City of Memphis 11
1870 David White 5
1870 Silver Spray 36
1870 Maggie Hays 13
1870 Iberville 7
1871 Judge Wheeler 9
1871 W. R. Arthur 60
1871 Rob Roy 1
1871 Raven 7
1871 New State 1

The curious revelation is made by these figures that there have been more explosions of steam-boilers on Western steamboats, in proportion to the number of boats engaged in business on the rivers, since Congress enacted laws for the regulation and guidance of engineers on steam-vessels; and the list of casualties also shows that explosions were attended by more fatal results after that legislation than previously when engineers had to trust entirely to their skill and judgment in the management of the engine and regulating the pressure in the boilers. By contrasting the number of casualties for a period of eighteen years preceding the passage of the law of 1852 by Congress with the number of casualties for a period of eighteen years subsequent to the adoption of the law, the difference can be more readily perceived. During the first-named period twenty-seven boats exploded their boilers, and one thousand and two persons were killed. During a period of eighteen years subsequent to the passage of the law fifty-four boats met with disaster by explosion, and three thousand one hundred persons were killed.

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 19, 1841, the following boats engaged in the St. Louis trade were lost:

The Vermont sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio, valued at $5,000
Rienzi sunk between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 8,000
Peoria sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 5,000
Chester sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 20,000
Homer sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 6,000
Maid of Orleans sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 25,000
Oregon sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 20,000
Keokuk sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 6,000
Wm. Paris sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 12,000
A. M. Phillips sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 6,000
Tohula sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 15,000
U. S. Mail sank between St. Louis and the mouth of the Ohio 15,000
Brazil sank on the upper Mississippi 8,000
Caroline sank below mouth of Ohio 35,000
Chief Magistrate sank below mouth of Ohio 15,000
Baltic sank below mouth of Ohio 12,000
Malta sank on the Missouri 15,000
Missouri burnt at the wharf 50,000


In De Bow's Review a list of disasters to steamboats is given which, though made from "very defective returns," has not overdrawn the picture of death, ruin, and suffering which explosions, collisions, and carelessness have inflicted on the people of this country who traveled on Western waters. This list in the Review for 1849 extended back many years. It is as follows:

Whole number of boats on which explosions have occurred 233
Passengers killed (enumerated in 6 cases) 140
Officers killed (enumerated in 31 cases) 57
Crew killed (enumerated in 25 cases) 103
Whole number killed in 164 cases 1,805
Whole number wounded in 111 cases 1,015
Total amount of damages in 75 cases $997,650
Average number of passengers killed in the enumerated elites 23
Average number of officers killed in the enumerated cases 2
Average number of crew killed in the enumerated cases 4
Average number killed in the enumerated cases 11
Average number wounded in the enumerated cases 9
Average amount of damages $13,302
The cause is stated in 98 cases; not stated in 125; unknown in 10; together 233
1. Excessive pressure, gradually increased, was the cause of 16
2. The presence of unduly heated metals was the cause of 16
3. Defective construction was the cause of 33
4. Carelessness or ignorance was the cause of 32
5. Accidental (rolling of boat) was the cause of 1
Nature of the Accidents.
Bursting boiler 101
Collapsing flue 71
Bursting steam-pipe 9
Bursting steam-chests 1
Bolt and boiler forced out 1
Struck by lightning 1
Blew out boiler-head 4
Breaking cylinder-head 1
Breaking flange of steam-pipe 2
Bridge-wall exploded 1
Unknown 3
Not stated 38
Total 233

Classification of Causes.

1. Under pressure within the boiler, the pressure being gradually increased. In this class are the cases marked "excessive pressure."

2. Presence of unduly heated metal within the boiler. In this class are included

Deficiency of water 14
Deposits 2--16

3. Defective construction of the boiler and its appendages. Improper or defective material:

Improper or defective material:

In this class are included cast-iron boiler-head 5
Inferior iron 5
Iron too thin 8
Cast-iron boiler 1
Defective iron in flue 1--15

Bad workmanship:

Want of proper gauge-cocks 3  
Defective flue 1  
Extending wire walls 1  
Pipe badly constructed 1  
Want of step-joints on pipe 1--7  
Defective boiler (nature of defect not stated)   11
Total in this class   33

4. Carelessness or ignorance of those intrusted with the management of the boiler.

In this class:

Racing 1
Incompetent engineers 2
Old boilers 6
Stopping off water 1
Carelessness 22--32
Dates and Numbers of Explosions.
1816 3
1817 4
1819 1
1820 1
1821 1
1822 1
1825 2
1826 3
1827 2
1828 1
1829 4
1830 12
1831 2
1832 1
1833 5
1834 7
1835 10
1836 13
1837 13
1838 11
1839 3
1840 8
1841 7
1842 7
1843 9
1844 4
1845 11
1846 7
1847 12
1848 12
Date given in 177 cases; not stated in 56; total 233
Pecuniary loss, 233 cases, at $13,202 each $3,090,366
Loss of life, 233 cases, at 11 each 62,563
Wounded, 233 cases, at 9 each 2,097
Total killed and wounded 4660

The fate of boats employed in the Mississippi trade is traced in the Western Boatman for 1848, as follows:

344 worn out or abandoned 50ź pre cent.
238 snagged or otherwise sunk 34ž per cent.
68 burnt 10 per cent.
17 lost by collision 2˝ per cent.
17 explosions 2˝ per cent.

The seventeen boats which had their boilers burst were the "Washington," "Union," "Atlas," "Caledonia," "Porpoise," "Cotton Plant," "Tallyho," "Tricolor," "Car of Commerce," "Alabama," "Hornet," "Kanawha," "Helen McGregor," "Huntress," "Gen. Robinson," "Arkansas," and "Teche."

Average age of boats worn out or abandoned, five years nearly.

Average age of boats sunk, burnt, or otherwise lost, four years nearly.

Boats of which we have no dates of loss are calculated by the accounts obtained.

Built in Pittsburgh district 304
Built in Cincinnati district 221
Built in Louisville district 103
Built in Nashville district 19
Built in other places 37
Total 684
Number of boats built in each of the following years.
1811 1
1812 0
1813 1
1814 2
1816 5
1817 8
1818 31
1819 34
1820 9
1821 7
1822 10
1823 14
1824 13
1825 32
1826 60
1827 24
1828 35
1829 55
1830 43
1831 68
1832 80
1833 48
1834 59
1835 52
Total 684

The following is a compilation of the number of boats lost up to 1850:


From 1810 to 1820 3
From 1820 to 1830 37
From 1830 to 1840 184
From 1840 to 1850 270
Boats whose date of loss is unknown 80
Total 576
The tonnage of 480 of the above boats, as ascertained by record 68,048
Tonnage, supposed 17,210
Total 85,258
Original cost of boats lost by sinking, as ascertained $6,348,940
Supposed original cost of 102 not accounted for 765,000
Total original cost 7,113,940
Total depreciation while in service 3,065,890
Final loss 3,681,297

The list of boats destroyed by fire comprises 166. The original cost of these 166 steamers was $1,010,854.

The following are some of the more noteworthy disasters to St. Louis vessels:

In March, 1823, the "Tennessee," Capt. Campbell, was lost and thirty persons drowned. In December of the same year the "Cincinnati," on her way from St. Louis to New Orleans, ran on a snag below Ste. Genevieve and sank. No lives were lost.

In the latter part of April, 1832, the "Talisman," lying in port at St. Louis, was burned to the water's edge. On the 24th of October, 1834, the "Missouri Belle" collided with the "Boone's Lick" and sank almost immediately, thirty persons being drowned.

The "Shepherdess," from Cincinnati for St. Louis, struck a snag on the 4th of January, 1844, in Cahokia Bend, within three miles of Market Street wharf, St. Louis, and sank. The disaster occurred about eleven o'clock at night, and as most of the passengers had retired to their cabins and the boat sank rapidly, the loss of life was very great.

On the 10th of March, 1848, the steamers "Avalanche," "Hibernian," "John J. Hardin," and "Laclede," with two barges, were burned at the Levee near the foot of Washington Street, St. Louis; and on the 9th of May the steamers "Mail," "Missouri Mail," "Lightfoot," and "Mary" were burned at their wharf in St. Louis.

The following boats were burned at St. Louis during the year 1849, excepting at the time of the great fire in May:

Algoma, July 29th $18,000
Dubuque, July 29th 8,000
Highlander, May 1st 14,000
Mary, July 29th 30,000
Phoenix, July 29th 16,000
San Francisco, July 29th 28,000

Accidents to Steamboats which were afterwards raited and repaired.

"Buena Vista," took fire at Kaskaskia landing; cargo greatly damaged by water; boat saved from burning by the exertions of her officers and crew.

"Governor Briggs," struck a wreck and sunk in backing out from the wharf at St. Louis July 12th; afterwards raised and repaired.

"Magnet," collapsed connection pipe and flue at St. Louis August 8th; afterwards repaired.

"San Francisco," exploded a boiler at St. Louis May 30th, killing and scalding several persons; afterwards burned at the same place on July 29th.

Twenty-three vessels were burned at the wharf in St. Louis at the time of the great fire on May 17, 1849, as follows:

"American Eagle," Cossen, master, Keokuk and Upper Mississippi packet, valued at $14,000, total loss; insured for $3500 in Pittsburgh; no cargo.

"Alice," Kennett, master, Missouri River packet, valued at $18,000, total loss; insured for $12,000, — $9000 in city offices, balance East; cargo valued at $1000.

"Alexander Hamilton," Hooper, master, Missouri River packet, valued at $15,000, total loss; insured for $10,500 in Eastern offices; no cargo.

"Acadia," John Russell, master, Illinois River packet, valued at $4000, total loss; fully insured in Eastern offices; cargo fifty barrels molasses and sundry small lots of merchandise, valued at $1000.

"Boreas, No. 3," Bernard, master, Missouri River packet, valued at $14,500, total loss; insured for $11,500 in city offices; no cargo.

"Belle Isle," Smith, master, New Orleans trade, valued at $10,000, total loss; insured for $8000 in the Columbus agency at New Orleans and another office; no cargo.

"Eliza Stewart," H. McKee, master, Missouri River trade, valued at $9000, total loss; insured for nearly the full value, — $4500 in the Nashville agency, balance in the city; no cargo.

"Eudora," Ealer, master, New Orleans and St. Louis trade, valued at $16,000, total loss; insured for $10,500, all in city offices; no cargo.

"Edward Bates," Randolph, master, Keokuk packet, valued at $22,500, total loss; insured for $15,000, all in city offices; no cargo.

"Frolic" (tow-boat), Ringling, master, valued at $1500, total loss; no insurance; no cargo.

"General Brook" (tow-boat), Ringling, master, valued at $1500, total loss; no insurance; no cargo.

"Kit Carson," Goddin, master, Missouri river packet, valued at $16,000, total loss; insured for $8000, if not more, in city offices; cargo valued at $3000.

"Mameluke," Smithers, master, New Orleans and St. Louis trade, valued at $30,000, total loss; insured for $20,000, — $8000 in Louisville, $5000 in Columbus agency, $7000 in St. Louis; no cargo.

"Mandan," Beers, master, Missouri river trader, valued at $14,000, total loss; insured for $10,500, all in city offices; no cargo.

"Montauk," Legrand Morchouse, master, Upper Mississippi trader, valued at $16,000, total loss; insured for $10,000, — $5000 here, balance in agencies; cargo valued at $8000.

"Martha," D. Finch, master, Missouri river trader, valued at $10,000, total loss; fully insured; cargo valued at $30,000 also insured.

"Prairie State," Baldwin, master, Illinois river packet, valued at $26,000, total loss; insured in Eastern offices for $18,000; cargo valued at $3000.

"Red Wing," Barger, master, Upper Mississippi trade, valued at $6000, total loss; no insurance; cargo valued at $3000.


"St. Peters," Ward, master, Upper Mississippi trade, valued at $12,000, total loss; insured for $9000 in the Nashville and Louisville agencies; no cargo.

"Sarah," Young, master, New Orleans and St. Louis trade, valued at $35,000, total loss; insured for $20,000 at Cincinnati; cargo valued at $30,000.

"Taglioni," Marshall, master, Pittsburgh and St. Louis trade, valued at $20,000, total loss; insured for nearly the full value in Pittsburgh; cargo fifty tons of iron, five hundred kegs of nails, and sundry lots of merchandise, valued at from $12,000 to $15,000.

"Timour," Miller, master, Missouri river trade, valued at $25,000, total loss; insured for $18,000, — $4000 in the city offices, the balance East; cargo valued at $6000.

"White Cloud," Adams, master, New Orleans and St. Louis trade, valued at $3000, total loss; fully insured; no cargo.

The steamboat "Andrew Jackson" was destroyed by fire while lying at Illinoistown on Aug. 7, 1850. She was an old boat and insured for six thousand dollars. Five other boats narrowly escaped being consumed. The steamboat "Governor Briggs" was damaged by collision with the "Allegheny Mail," near St. Louis, on January 13th. The "Mustang" was burned to the water's edge at St. Louis on May 8th. She was rebuilt, but afterwards lost by snagging in the Missouri, near Brunswick, early in October. The "Ohio" blew out a mud-valve at St. Louis on September 26th, scalding two persons.

The bursting of the larboard boiler of the ferryboat "St. Louis," on the 23d of February, 1851, caused one of those terrible disasters which have so often shocked the public in this country. "Timbers, large masses of machinery, brick-work, and ashes were hurled aloft in every direction with many human beings." There were from twenty-five to thirty persons on the boat at the time of the explosion. Of that number there were but three or four survivors. There were thirteen bodies identified. The coroner's list of dead mentions "John Walter James, an unknown boy, Sebastian Smith, a boy called Bill, living in Illinoistown near Pap's house, Dr. Truett, Merriwether Smith, Robert Hardin, Alexander McKean, William W. Benson, Isaac Cooper, Alfred Wells, Ernest August Smidt."

The steamer "Sultana" was destroyed by fire, with a loss of seventy-five thousand dollars on boat and cargo, on the 12th of June, 1851, while lying at the foot of Mullanphy Street, St. Louis.

By the explosion of the boilers of the steamer "Glencoe," upon her arrival at St. Louis from New Orleans, on April 4, 1852, another great destruction of life and property was brought about. During the fire the steamer "Cataract" was greatly injured, together with wood- and wharf-boats. On the 18th of January, 1853, the steamers "New England," "Brunette," and "New Lucy" were burned at the wharf in St. Louis. The steamer "Bluff City" was burned, and the "Dr. Franklin, No. 2," and "Highland Mary" were greatly damaged by the fire from the first, on the 27th of July, 1853, while lying at the St. Louis Levee. The "Montauk," "Robert Campbell," and "Lunette" were burned on the 13th of October, 1853. On Feb. 16, 1854, the Alton packet, "Kate Kearney, No. 1," exploded her starboard boiler just as she was starting from St. Louis. Twenty-five persons were severely scalded. The Rev. S. G. Gassaway, rector of St. George's Church, St. Louis, was killed, and Maj. Buell was severely injured. The steamers "Twin City," "Prairie City," and "Parthenia" were burned at the wharf in St. Louis on the 7th of December, 1855. A loss of nearly one hundred thousand dollars was caused by the burning of the steamers "St. Clair," "Paul Anderson," "James Stockwell," "Southerner," and "Saranac," and the damaging of the "Monongahela," "Pennsylvania," and "Mattie Wayne."

The steamer "Australia" was burned on the 1st of April, 1859, and the steamers "New Monongahela" and "Edinburgh" at Bloody Island on the 15th of May of the same year. A loss of two hundred thousand dollars and the destruction of five steamers were caused by the burning of the "H. D. Bacon, the "L. L. McGill," the "Estella," the "A. McDowell," and the "W. H. Russell," on the 27th of October, 1862. The steamers "Imperial," valued at sixty thousand dollars, "Hiawatha," valued at sixty thousand dollars, "Jesse K. Bell," valued at twenty thousand dollars, and the "Post-Boy," valued at thirty-five thousand dollars, were burned on the 13th of September, 1863. The "Chancellor," "Forest Queen," and the "Catahoula" were burned on the 4th of October, 1863. The steamer "Maria," having on board a portion of the Third Iowa and Fourth Missouri Cavalry, was blown up at Carondelet in December, 1864. The "Jennie


Lewis," and the ferry-boat "Illinois, No. 2," were sunk in the ice at St. Louis, Nov. 19, 1864.

The Carondelet and Marine Railway Docks, together with the steamer "Jeanie Deans," were totally destroyed by fire on the 12th of May, 1866. The steamers "Ida Handy" (valued at seventy-five thousand dollars), "Bostona," and "James Raymond" were burned on the 2d of June, 1866. The steamer "Magnolia," valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, was burned on the 13th of June. By the fire of the 7th of April, 1866, the steamers "Fanny Ogden" with cargo, the "Frank Bates" and cargo, the "Nevada" and cargo, the "Alex. Majors" with cargo, and the "Effie Deans" with cargo, all together involving a loss of over five hundred thousand dollars, were destroyed. On the 26th of February, 1866, a disastrous fire occurred, destroying the steamers "Leviathan," "Luna," "Peytona," and "Dictator," with a loss estimated at three-quarters of a million of dollars.

On December 19th the steamer "Gray Eagle" was sunk at St. Louis. The ice-gorge of 1865-66 occasioned a loss of nearly a million of dollars to the owners of steamboats. The following was the estimate of the total loss of steamboat-owners and under writers from the formation of the ice-gorge at St. Louis in 1865 to its breaking on the 16th of December of that year, together with the names of the vessels sunk:

New Admiral $60,000
Old Sioux City 10,000
Empire City 20,000
Calypso (about) 30,000
Highlander 20,000
Geneva 27,000
Metropolitan (about) 18,000
Four wharf-boats (about) 15,000
Seven barges (about) 25,000
On the second breaking up, Friday, the 12th January, 1866:  
Belle of Memphis 85,000
John Trendly (ferry-boat) 50,000
Prairie Rose 15,000
Julia 16,000
Warsaw 35,000
Underwriter, No. 8 20,000
Omaha 12,000
Saturday, the 13th of January, the  
Nebraska 20,000
City of Pekin 37,000
Hattie May 30,000
Diadem 22,000
Viola Belle 30,000
Reserve 30,000
Rosalie 45,000
Five rock-boats (about) 18,000
Memphis wharf-boat 5,000
Alton wharf-boat 2,500
Total $697,500

In the above table no amount whatever is set down for damage done the boats that escaped being sunk. The computations made on this subject by steamboatmen and steamboat-builders aggregated one hundred and forty thousand dollars, while some went as high as one hundred and sixty thousand and one hundred and seventy thousand dollars.

The following is a list of steamboat disasters at or near St. Louis from 1867 to 1881, inclusive:

1867. Jan. 20, "Mexico," burned at St. Louis; total loss.

Jan. 26, "R. C. Wood," sunk opposite Carondelet.

Jan. 26, "E. H. Fairchild," sunk opposite Carondelet.

Feb. 6, "Tom Stevens," sunk near St. Louis.

Feb. 13, "White Cloud," sunk at St. Louis; total loss.

June 13, "Governor Sharkey," sunk at St. Louis; total loss.

Sept. 10, "G. W. Graham," burned at St. Louis; total loss.

Sept. 10, "Yellowstone," burned at St. Louis; total loss.

Sept. 27, "Illinois," exploded at St. Louis; repaired.

1868. Feb. 4, "Anna White," sunk by ice in St. Louis harbor; total loss. Value $12,000; partly insured.

Feb. 4, "Clara Dolsen," New Orleans packet, burned in St. Louis; total loss. Insured for $25,000.

Feb. 22, "Kate Putnam," sunk near St. Louis; raised and repaired. Insured for $20,000.

Feb. 29, "Paragon," sunk in Mississippi River near Girardeau; total loss. Insured for $35,000.

March 2, "M. S. Mepham," burned at St. Louis Levee. Value $35,000; insured for $40,000. Total loss.

March 2, "Fannie Scott," burned at St. Louis Levee. Damage $5000.


March 2, "Kate Kinney," partially burned at St. Louis Levee. Damage $5000; insured.

April 18, "George D. Palmer" (stern-wheeler), partially burned at St. Louis Levee. Damage $5000; insured at Cincinnati.

Dec. 18, "George McPorter," sunk in St. Louis harbor; total loss.

1869. March 29, "Carrie V. Kountz," "Gerard B. Allen," "Ben Johnson," "Henry Adkins," "Jennie Lewis," "Fannie Scott" burned at St. Louis; loss nearly $500,000.

Oct. 28, steamer "Stonewall" burned, and a large number of lives lost.

1870. Jan. 19, steamer "Lady Gay," one day out from St. Louis, struck a snag near Grand Tower and was sunk. She was built in 1865, and was valued at $50,000. She was one of the boils of the St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company, and belonged to Capt. I. H. Jones, Theodore Laveille, and others. She was insured for $24,000 on boat and $30,800 on cargo and stock.

Jan. 28, collision between the tow-boat "Fisher" and ferryboat "East St. Louis," opposite Olive Street; damage slight.

1871. Jan. 13, tow-boat "Tiber" thrown out of the river at the foot of Biddle Street, St. Louis, by floating ice, and totally destroyed.

The canal propeller "Sligo" beached and destroyed by the floating ice at the foot of Cherry Street, St. Louis.

Jan. 28, the steamer "W. R. Arthur," bound from New Orleans to St. Louis, exploded her boilers on the Mississippi River when about twenty miles above Memphis. The boat was totally destroyed. By this accident about sixty lives were lost.

Feb. 28, the St. Louis and Keokuk packet "Rob Roy" met with a serious accident when leaving St. Louis. The starboard head of the steam-drum blew out with great force. Two staterooms and the mess-room were demolished. West Robinson, a deck-hand, was killed.

March 8, great storm at St. Louis. The St. Louis and New Orleans packet "Mollie Able," a line side-wheel steamer, lying at the East St. Louis wharf, was caught by the tornado and almost totally destroyed. Several other boats were injured.

1876. Feb. 12, the steamer "Rescue" caught fire at the wharf in St. Louis and burned to the water's edge; afterwards rebuilt.

Feb. 16, steamer "John M. Chambers" partly burned at wharf; rebuilt.

April 8, steamer "Rob Roy" struck St. Louis bridge; slightly damaged. On the 25th, the propeller "Whale" struck the bridge, and was damaged to the extent of about $2000.

Dec. 13, the ice-gorge at St. Louis gave way, carrying with it, destroying and partially destroying, the following boats and barges:
Steamers. Value. Loss.
Centennial $65,000 $5000
Jennie Baldwin 2,000 2000
Bayard 3,500 3500
Rock Island 4,000 4000
Davenport 4,000 4000
Alexander Mitchell 30,000 5000
War Eagle 75,000 5000
Andy Johnson 30,000 3000

There was no insurance on any of the above steamers.

Steamer "Fannie Keener" was also sunk; was valued at $5000, fully insured.

Steamer "South Shore," valued at $2500.

Steamer "Southern Belle," valued at $1500, and four barges, valued at $4500.

1877. Sept. 19, while the steamer "Grand Republic" was lying in port at St. Louis she caught fire and burned to the water's edge. She cost $300,000, and was insured for $50,200. Six weeks previous to this disaster her owners spent $25,000 in repairing her. The iron-hulled steamer "Carondelet," which was lying alongside of the "Grand Republic," met the same fate. She was valued at $20,000 and insured for $17,500. The sparks from a passing steamer were the supposed cause of the fire.

1878. March 8, steamer "Colossal" burned to the water's edge while lying at the bank at St. Louis; loss $12,000.

March 9, the tug-boat "Baton Rouge" damaged by fire at St. Louis.

June 8, steamer "Exchange" burned to the water's edge at St. Louis; loss $9000.

1879. June 11, the tug "Charles F. Nagle" struck a snag opposite South St. Louis and sank. She was raised.

1880. March 27, steamer "Daisy" sunk at South St. Louis; valued at $3000.

Sept. 26, steamer "Fannie Tatum" sunk below St. Louis; valued at $15,000; cargo, $35,000. She was raised.

1881. March 13, steamer "James Howard" destroyed by fire at St. Louis wharf, together with a cargo of sugar, etc., valued at $65,000; boat valued at $75,000.

April 9, steamer "Victory" collided with St. Louis bridge and sunk; afterwards raised.

April 11, the tug "Daisy" exploded her boilers and sunk. Two lives lost.

Steamboat-Building. — The building and repairing of steamboats at St. Louis is an industry which originated at a comparatively early period. In December, 1830, mention was made of the fact that the Legislature had passed an act to incorporate the St. Louis Marine Railway Company, which was organized in March, 1831, with Peter Lindell, president; John Mullanphy, D. D. Page, Thomas Biddle, and J. Clemens, Jr., directors; John O'Fallon, treasurer; and James Clemens, Jr., secretary. In 1833 there was in existence at the upper end of the city a marine railway under the superintendence of Thomas J. Payne, which it had been announced in July would be ready for work in the same year.

In 1841 public sentiment began to be directed towards the importance of securing the construction at St. Louis of the steamboats that carried on her commerce, and the newspapers of that year repeatedly called attention to efforts being made in that direction.


In 1842 two boat-yards for the construction of vessels were in existence, and in January, 1843, the marine railway of Messrs. Murray & Sons, below Thomas' mill, erected for the purpose of drawing out and repairing boats, was ready for work. The structure consisted of eight ways reaching into the bed of the river below low-water mark. There was a cradle upon each two ways which let down into the river, and upon which the boat was placed, and from these, two chains led to a beam which was propelled by a wheel and screws, and each screw was turned by a horse, thus combining the power of the lever and the screw.

The Reporter of Jan. 29, 1846, contained the following statement of steamboats built at St. Louis, of boats built elsewhere for St. Louis, and of boats purchased and brought into the St. Louis trade in 1845, furnished by L. A. Hedges, surveyor of that port:

Names. Tonnage. Cost.
Governor Briggs 91 $9,000
Laclede 239 20,000
Missouri 887 45,000
Iowa 249 22,000
Dial 140 7,000
Helen 61 8,000
Prairie Bird 213 17,000
Little Dove 77 5,500
Ocean Wave 205 17,000
Convoy 750 39,000
  2912 $189,500
Names. Tonnage. Cost.
Boreas, No. 2, Pittsburgh 222 $20,500
Nebraska, Pittsburgh 149 15,500
War Eagle, Cincinnati 156 14,000
Time, Louisville 109 6,500
Windsor, Louisville 196 16,000
Wiota, Elizabethtown 219 17,000
Odd Fellow, Srnithland 98 7,500
Pride of the West, Cincinnati 371 20,000
  1520 $117,000
Names. Tonnage. Cost.
Falcon, of Beaver 144 $6,000
Fortune, of Louisville 101 6,000
Balloon, of New Albany 154 6,000
Radnor, of Jeffersonville 163 6,000
Cecilia, of Pittsburgh 112 3,000
North Bend, of Pittsburgh 120 4,000
Archer, of Pittsburgh 148 9,000
Amulet, of Wheeling 55 2,500
Tioga, of Wheeling 171 4,000
Tributary, of Pittsburgh 149 8,000
Lehigh, of Pittsburgh 188 4,500
Cumberland Valley, of Smithland 168 2,000
  1674 $61,000
Total addition to St. Louis tonnage 6106  
Total cost   $367,500

This statement is interesting, as showing the increase of boat-building in St. Louis, as well as enabling us to compare the cost between boats built in St. Louis and those built elsewhere at this time.

The Marine Railway and Floating Dock Company in 1850 had at Carondelet a dock three hundred and fifty feet in length and ninety-four feet in breadth with seven feet depth of hold. The hold was divided into four water-tight compartments from bow to stern, which were sub-divided by bulkhead thwartships, cutting the whole into twenty-six air- and water-tight chambers. The Mound City Marine Ways Company was established in 1858 by Capt. William L. Hambleton, and its affairs were subsequently conducted under the name of Hambleton Brothers. The business proved very successful, a hundred new boats having been built by the firm and more than a thousand repaired.

The building of iron hulls for steamboats of late years become an important industry at St. Louis Though several iron-plated war-vessels were constructed


at St. Louis during the civil war, it was not until about the year 1874 that the building of iron hulls took definite and positive form as a leading industry. To Theodore Allen, more than to any other individual, is due the credit of establishing this great business. In 1874, Mr. Allen issued a prospectus pointing out the advantages of iron hulls over wooden, and proposed the erection of the "St. Louis Iron Works," which were afterwards inaugurated under the name of the "Western Iron Boat Building Company," composed of Messrs. Chouteau, Harrison, Vallée, well-known iron manufacturers. Of this company Mr. Allen became superintendent. The yards of the company at Carondelet extend for two thousand one hundred feet along the river-front, and back to the railroad, employing about two hundred men. A pamphlet published by Charles P. Chouteau in 1878 gives a map and very complete statistics of the products of the West, covering the statistics of tonnage and business on Western waters, the towing and barge business, the defects of wooden and the advantages of iron hulls.

St. Louis and St. Paul Packet Company. — This corporation had its origin in the Keokuk Northern Line Packet Company, which was formed by the consolidation of the St. Louis and Keokuk Packet Company and the Northern Line Packet Company. The St. Louis and Keokuk Line was formed Jan. 1, 1842, the principal members of the company being Capt. John S. McCune and J. E. Yeatman. In October, 1842, the keel of the first boat, the "Di Vernon," was laid at St. Louis, and the vessel was completed at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars and started on her first trip to Keokuk before the close of navigation. On the opening of the spring trade in 1843 she commenced running regularly, and with two other (transient) steamers formed a daily line, which continued throughout the season. During the following winter the company built the "Laclede," one of the best steamboats of her day, and at the same time purchased the "Boreas." With these vessels the daily line was resumed in the spring of 1844, the company in the mean time having secured the contract for carrying the mails. During this season an opposition line with three steamers — the "Swallow," "Anthony Wayne," and "Edwin Bates" — was organized, and in the following spring both lines commenced running and continued until about midsummer, when the new line succumbed, and the "Bates," a fast and handsome boat, was purchased by the old company. In the spring of 1846 the "Lucy Bertram," and in the fall of 1847 the "Kate Kearney," both new and handsome vessels, were added to the line. Another "Di Vernon" was built at St. Louis in 1850 at a cost of forty-nine thousand dollars, a sum which was thought at the time to be very large for the construction of a steamboat. In the spring of the same year another opposition line, with the steamers "Monongahela," "New England," and "Mary Stephens," was established. The two lines were kept up during nearly the entire spring and summer. One boat of each line left port daily, side by side, at the top of its speed, burning the most expensive fuel, paying the highest wages, and carrying freight and passengers at a price so low that the entire receipts of both would not defray one boat's wood bill. The contest was long and severe, and lasted until late in the summer. When the two lines had sunk about fifty thousand dollars, the opposition boats were withdrawn and sold at auction, and the "New England" was purchased by the old company.

The "Jeanie Deans" was built in the summer of 1852, and the "New Lucy" in the fall of the same year. The "New Lucy" was burned at her wharf at St. Louis about six weeks after being finished. During the summer of 1853 the "Westerner" was built, and subsequently another "Kate Kearney." There were also added to the line from time to time the "Sam Gaty," "Keokuk," and "Quincy," built at St. Louis, and the "Ben Campbell," "Prairie State," "J. McKee," "Glaucus," "Regulator," "Jenny Lind," "Conewago," "York State," "Winchester," "Thomas Swann," and others obtained by purchase.


In 1857 the company established the Quincy line making one freight and passenger line between St. Louis and Quincy, and one mail and passenger line between St. Louis and Keokuk. They were arranged as follows:

Quincy Packets. — "Keokuk," Bradley, master; "Sam Gaty," Richardson, master; "Quincy," Ford, master.

Keokuk Mail Packets. — "Jeanie Deans," Malin, master; "Di Vernon," Sheble, master; "Thos. Swann," Johnson, master.

About 1871 the line was consolidated with the Northern Line Packet Company. In the winter of 1857-58 a number of the captains of steamboats plying between St. Louis and St. Paul determined to form a new line and make regular trips, leaving on stated days in the week. On the opening of navigation in the following spring this line consisted of the steamers "Canada," Capt. James Ward; "W. L. Ewing," Capt. W. Green; "Denmark," Capt. R. C. Gray; "Metropolitan," Capt. Thomas B. Rhodes; "Minnesota Belle," Capt. Thomas B. Hill; and "Pembina," Capt. Thomas H. Griffith. Messrs. Warden & Shaler were appointed agents, and the line was known as the Northern Line. In 1859 the "Chippewa," Capt. W. H. Crapeta; "Dew Drop," Capt. N. W. Parker; "Lucie May," Capt. J. B. Rhodes; "Aunt Letty," Capt. C. G. Morrison; "Northerner," Capt. P. A. Alford, and the "Laclede" were added.

In the winter of 1859-60 the owners of the different vessels decided to form a joint-stock company, and organized under the name of the Northern Line Packet Company. The incorporators and directors were D. Hawkins, Thomas Gordon, and J. W. Parker, of Galena, Ill.; John B. Rhodes, of Savannah, Ill.; R. C. Gray, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and James Ward and Thomas H. Griffith, of St. Louis, Mo. Capt. James Ward was elected president, and Thomas H. Griffith secretary and treasurer. The vessels owned by the company were the "Sucker State," "Hawk-Eye State," "Canada," "Pembina," "Metropolitan," "Northerner," "W. L. Ewing," "Denmark," "Henry Clay," "Minnesota Belle," and "Fred. Lorenz."

In 1864, Capt. William F. Davidson, who had been managing a line of steamboats on the upper Mississippi, established a service between Dubuque and St. Paul, and subsequently, having purchased the property of the Galena Packet Company, established the Northwestern Union Packet Company. In 1868 the Northern Line Packet Company admitted the boats of the Northwestern Company into their line, and in the following year the vessels were running under the steamers of the two companies plying between St. Louis and northern points were: Northern Line, "Lake Superior," "Red Wing," "Dubuque," "Minnesota," "Davenport," "Muscatine," "Pembina," "Savannah," "Sucker State," and "Minnesota;" Northwestern Lines "Northwestern," "S. S. Merrill," "Belle of La Cross," "Alexander Mitchell," "Victory," "City of Quincy," "Molly McPike," and "Phil Sheridan." Up to 1871 the Northern Line had lost but three boats, — the "Denmark," sunk at Atlas Island by striking a log; the "Northerner," burned at the St. Louis Levee; and the "Burlington," sunk at Wabasha. The officers' in 1870 were Thomas B. Rhodes, president; Thomas H. Griffith, secretary; Thomas J. Buford, superintendent; and I. M. Mason, general freight agent. The total number of tons of freight deposited by the steamers of the company during the year at St. Louis was seven hundred and sixty-four thousand three hundred and seven.

The Keokuk Packet and the Northern Line Packet Companies were competitors for the same trade, and the rivalry between them became so close and energetic that each suffered heavily, and it was finally decided to form a new company which should embrace them both. Accordingly a new corporation was organized, with the name of the Keokuk Northern Line Packet Company, the capital stock of which was seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the property of the competing lines was purchased. The first president was Capt. John S. McCune, who managed its affairs with marked ability until his death. He was succeeded by Darius Hawkins, who was the nominal head of the company during a period of legal difficulties until 1875, when Capt, William F. Davidson was elected president. In 1879-80 the company owned the following steamboats:

Alexander Mitchell 512.09
Belle of La Crosse 476.69
Clinton 909.22
Daniel Hine 100.61
Damsel 210.71
Golden Eagle 941.50
G. H. Wilson 159.06
Minneapolis 649.62
Minnesota 482.27
Northwestern 802.06
Rob Roy 967.00
Red Wing 670.43
War Eagle 953.74
Charlie Cheever 313.67
Barges, forty-eight in number 13,242.49
Total tonnage 21,391.16

The officers in 1879 were William F. Davidson, president; Francis Johnston, secretary; John Baker, agent; James A. Lyon, general passenger agent.

The St. Louis and St. Paul Packet Company, the successor of the Keokuk Northern, was organized in June, 1881, with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, the incorporators being W. F. Davidson, R. M. Hutchinson, and F. L. Johnston. The company transacts a general passenger and freight business between St. Paul and St. Louis, and owns the following


boats: "Gem City," "War Eagle," "Alexander Mitchell," "Minneapolis," "Northwestern," "Belle of La Crosse," and "Centennial." The officers in 1882 were W. F. Davidson, president; R. M. Hutchinson, superintendent; and F. S. Johnston, secretary. The general offices are located at Dubuque, Iowa.

William F. Davidson, successively president of the Keokuk Northern and St. Louis and St. Paul companies, is one of the leading steamboat proprietors of the West. He was born in Lawrence County, Ohio, on the 4th of February, 1825. His father being a boatman, Capt. Davidson was educated from his earliest boyhood in the navigation of Western waters. When only twenty years of age he was captain of the steamer "Gondola" on the Ohio River, and in 1856 established a line of three steamers on the upper Mississippi. He also engaged in the same business in 1857-58 on the Minnesota River, and subsequently established a line between La Crosse and St. Paul, and in 1864 a line from Dubuque to St. Paul. He then purchased the Galena Packet Company's property and franchises and organized the Northwestern Union Packet Company, which was afterwards consolidated with the Northern Line, which in turn was absorbed by the Keokuk Northern. After the death of Capt. J. S. McCune, president of the latter corporation, Capt. Davidson was elected his successor, and is now president of the St. Louis and St. Paul Packet Company. Capt. Davidson has thus had a varied but uniformly successful career as a steamboat manager, and his company, under his energetic but wise and prudent administration, is now in a flourishing condition. Capt. Davidson was married in 1859 to Miss Sarah A. Johnson, daughter of Judge Johnson Lawrence County, Ohio.

The St. Louis and St. Paul Passenger Freight Line was incorporated in December, 1880, under the laws of Wisconsin, with the following board of directors: P. L. Davidson, S. F. Clinton, and Lafayette Holmes. The company transacts a general passenger and freight transportation business on the Mississippi River, between St. Louis and St. Paul, and owns the wing steamboats: "Grand Pacific," "Arkansas," "Flying Eagle," "Alexander Kendall," "White Eagle," and "Alfred Todd." The officers for 1882 were P. L. Davidson, president; S. F. Clinton, vice-president; and Lafayette Holmes, secretary. The general offices are located in La Crosse, Wis.

The Diamond Jo Line was established in 1867 by Joseph Reynolds. It started in a small way, with only one boat, which was employed by Mr. Reynolds in the produce trade on the upper Mississippi, with headquarters at Dubuque, Iowa. The business increased with every succeeding year until, in 1882, there were five elegant steamers running on the line between St. Louis and St. Paul. The boats are the "Mary Morton," "Libbie Conger," "Diamond Jo," "Josephine," and "Josie," all of which are equipped with the latest and most improved machinery and lifesaving apparatus. The officers in 1882 were Joseph Reynolds, general manager, and E. M. Dickey, general freight agent. The general office is at Dubuque, Iowa.

The St. Louis and Vicksburg Packet Company was organized and chartered in 1859, as the Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company, by John A. Scudder, Daniel Able, Wm. J. Lewis, Wm. C. Postal, and R. L. McGee. The Memphis Line commenced with the steamers "Ben Lewis," "J. H. Dickey," and "Platte Valley," which were followed in turn by the "John D. Perry," "Rowena," "C. E. Hillman," "Colorado," "St. Joseph," "Mary E. Forsyth," "Southerner," "Courier," "Robb," "Adam Jacobs," "City of Alton," "Luminary," "Julia," "G. W. Graham," "Belle of Memphis, No. 1," "Belle of St. Louis," "City of Cairo," "City of Vicksburg," "Grand Tower," "Belle of Memphis, No. 2," and the "City of Chester."

During the first eleven years but one serious accident occurred, the explosion of the "Ben Lewis," at Cairo. The "Belle of Memphis, No. 1," was lost in the ice at St. Louis, and the "G. W. Graham" was burned at the Levee, but in neither instance were any lives lost. The first president of the company was Capt. Daniel Able, whose life had been identified with river interests from boyhood, and who managed the line with marked ability. He was succeeded by W. G. Lewis, who in turn was followed by John J. Roe, under whose administration the business of the company was greatly increased and extended. A regular line of packets between St. Louis and Vicksburg was established, and the construction of a number of new steamboats was contracted for. On the death of Mr. Roe, Capt. Henry W. Smith, who had long been identified with the company as general superintendent, was elected president.


Capt. Smith died in March, 1870, and was succeeded in the presidency of the company by John A. Scudder.

In 1879 the steamboats belonging to the company were the

Belle of Memphis 919.67
Colorado 632.87
City of Vicksburg 1058.28
City of Helena 1058.28
Emma C. Elliott 660.16
Grand Tower 1058.28
John B. Maude 922.04
Ste. Genevieve 790.20
City of Greenville 1438.06
Total 8537.84

The officers in 1879 were John A. Scudder, president; Theodore Zeigler, secretary; John P. Keiser, superintendent; and William B. Russell, agent. In that year a reorganization of the company was effected, and its name was changed to the St. Louis and Vicksburg Packet Company, and the line is now known as the St. Louis and Vicksburg Anchor Line.

The company owns the following steamers, which ply between St. Louis and Memphis and Vicksburg: "City of Providence," "Gold Dust," "City of Greenville," "Belle of Memphis," "City of Cairo," "City of Vicksburg," "Arkansas City," "James B. Maude," "City of Helena," "Ste. Genevieve," "E. C. Elliott," and "Colorado." The general office is located on the company's wharf-boat at the foot of Locust Street, and the officers in 1882 were John A. Scudder, president and general manager; Directors, John A. Scudder, G. B. Allen, J. P. Keiser, and T. C. Zeigler. The capital stock is five hundred thousand dollars.

The New Orleans Anchor Line was organized in June, 1878, and incorporated during the same month with a capital stock of three hundred thousand dollars, the incorporators being John A. Scudder, James P. Keiser, G. B. Allen, William J. Lewis, and T. C. Zeigler. John A. Scudder was elected president, and has retained that position ever since. The company transacts a general passenger and freight transportation business on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans, the steamers employed being the "City of New Orleans," "City of Alton," "City of Baton Rouge," "John A. Scudder," "W. P. Holliday," and "Commonwealth." This company does its own insurance, and during its existence has lost five boats by fire.

John A, Scudder, president of the St. Louis and Vicksburg Anchor Line and New Orleans Anchor Line, has long been identified with steamboat interests on the Mississippi. He was born at Maysville, Mason Co., Ky., on the 12th of June, 1830. His father, Dr. Charles Scudder, was a native of New Jersey, and his mother, Mary H. Scudder, was a native of Virginia. Capt. Scudder removed to St. Louis at an early age, and soon became actively identified with steamboat interests on the Mississippi River. Before he was thirty years old he had already become quite prominent in the business, and assisted as one of the incorporators, in the organization of the Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company, of which, as already stated, he became the president in 1870. Capt. Scudder at once addressed himself to the task of consolidating and harmonizing the steamboat interests on the lower Mississippi, and succeeded in greatly expanding the operations of the wealthy and powerful corporation of which he had become the head. Associated with him were Gerard B. Allen, John J. Roe, Edgar and Henry Ames, and other wealthy citizens of St. Louis, who ably seconded his shrewd and energetic administration of the company's affairs. To Capt. Scudder's tact and good management it was mainly due that the corporation passed unscathed through the turmoils and dangers of the civil war, for although he had not then been chosen its chief executive officer, his wise and prudent counsels were always heeded, and served to guide the company safely over many a shoal and rock.

In 1869 the Memphis Packet Company purchased the line running to Vicksburg, and extended its service to that point, running three boats a week to both Vicksburg and Memphis. In 1874, at his suggestion, the company adopted the trade-mark or emblem of an anchor, and from this the appellation "Anchor Line" was adopted. Capt. Scudder was the first to introduce on the Western rivers the restaurant plan now so much favored, and every improvement calculated to promote the convenience and comfort of patrons he has always been the first to adopt. In 1877 he was elected president of the St. Louis Merchants' Exchange and in 1878 he organized the New Orleans Anchor Line, with semi-weekly trips. In 1879 the charter of the Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company expired, and, as heretofore stated, the company was reorganized under the title of the St. Louis and Vicksburg Anchor Line. As the chief executive of both these companies, Capt. Scudder continues to lead a life of unceasing activity. His thorough familiarity with the whole subject of river navigation renders him an accepted authority among steamboat men, there is probably no other individual engaged in the business of Western transportation who has been more uniformly successful, or who has contributed more largely to the development of the trade of the


Mississippi and its tributaries. Although he has succeeded in amassing a large fortune, Capt. Scudder regular and punctual in the discharge of his official duties now as he was at the outset of his career. Nothing that concerns the interests of his companies escape his vigilant eyes, and no detail is too insignificant to demand his attention. His policy is charged by a happy combination of liberality, boldness, and prudence, and the corporations under his charge are models of enterprising and, at the same conservative and judicious management. He possesses in a rare degree not only the capacity to but the ability to execute, and, as we have indicated, is always in the van, not merely in adopting, but in devising improvements in methods of transportation. Personally he is as modest and unassuming he is public-spirited and generous in his dealings with his fellow-men. For many years he has thoroughly identified with the interests of the city which early in life he made his home, and to-day he is one of the most highly honored and influential citizens of St. Louis. He was married in June, 1852, to Miss Mary A. White, and a few years since Mrs. Scudder was made the recipient from unknown donors of a handsome portrait of her husband executed by Major Conant. The portrait was presented "as a testimonial in recognition of his services and enterprise in building up the commerce of the city and the Mississippi valley" by leading citizens of St. Louis, names were withheld, who "admired him as a man of spirit, thrift, sagacity, and large views," and who "appreciated the work he had accomplished in perfecting and extending river transportation facilities."

The St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company was originally the Mississippi Valley Transportation Company. The latter corporation was organized in the early part of 1866, and the first president was Capt. Barton Able. The first tow of barges left St. Louis for New Orleans on the 1st of April, 1866. In the following year, Capt. George H. Rea was elected president. Capt. Rea was born in Massachusetts April 26, 1816. He served an apprenticeship at the trade of tanning, and subsequently removed to Waynesboro', Tenn., where he built up a remunerative trade in hides and leather. Shortly before the breaking out of the civil war he removed to St. Louis, where he established a hide and leather store. He soon became prominent among the business men of St. Louis, and assisted in the establishment of the Second National Bank. In he was elected a member of the State Legislature from the Thirty-fourth Senatorial District of Missouri, and as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and in other capacities proved an active and useful member. Capt. Rea became largely interested in Western transportation enterprises. He was at one time a director of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, and built the branch of that road from Pleasant Hill to Lawrence, Kan. He was a stockholder in various railway and water transportation companies, and in 1867, as stated, was elected president of the Mississippi Valley Transportation Company, whose affairs he managed with great energy and success. During Capt. Rea's administration the other officers of the company were Henry C. Haarstick, vice-president and superintendent; A. R. Moore, secretary; William F. Haines, general freight agent; John A. Stevenson, agent at New Orleans; R. L. Williams, agent at New York.

The following steamboats were owned by the company in 1879:

Tow-boat "Future City" 589.30
Tow-boat "Grand Lake, No. 2" 377.49
Tow-boat "John Gilmore" 503.09
Tow-boat "John Dippold" 554.97
Tow-boat "My Choice" 462.23
Tow-boat "Port Eads" 334.38
Barges, forty-three 47,524.23
Total tonnage 50,345.69

In 1880 the St. Louis and New Orleans Transportation Company was chartered, but on the 10th of September, 1881, it was consolidated with the Mississippi Valley corporation under the name of the St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company, which was incorporated with a capital stock of two million dollars, the incorporators being George H. Rea, Henry C. Haarstick, George D. Capen, Austin R. Moore, R. S. Hays, H. M. Hoxie, Henry Lowrey, A. A. Talmage, and John C. Gault. The company owns twelve steam tow-boats and one hundred barges, which are bonded for all export and import business. Its trade is largely in wheat, corn, and oats, and in the transportation of these cereals it probably transacts a larger business than any similar corporation in the world. The officers in 1882 were Henry C. Haarstick, president; H. Lowrey, vice-president; H. P. Wyman, secretary; and A. R. Moore, treasurer; Directors, George H. Rea, Henry C. Haarstick, George D. Capen, Austin R. Moore, R. S. Hays, H. M. Hoxie, Henry Lowrey, A. A. Talmage, and John C. Gault. The office is located on the company's wharf-boat at the foot of Elm Street.

The St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company was organized in May, 1869, and was the successor of the Atlantic and Mississippi Steamship Company. The first president was Capt. John N. Bofinger, the first secretary Walker R. Carter, and


the first general superintendent John W. Carroll. In 1870 the executive officers remained the same, and the directors were John N. Bofinger, D. R. Powell, Walker R. Carter, John W. Carroll, and Theodore Laveille. At that time the steamers belonging to the company, which were then among the largest and finest in Western waters, were the "Olive Branch," "Pauline Carroll," "Richmond," "Dexter," "Mollie Able," "Thompson Dean," "Commonwealth," "W. R. Arthur," "Bismarck," "Great Republic," and "Continental." In 1871 the following steamers were added: "City of Alton," "Belle Lee," "Natchez," "Belfast," "Carrie V. Kountz," "Rubicon," "Capital City," "Henry Ames," "C. B. Church," "Glencoe," "Andy Johnson," "John Kyle," "Mollie Ebert," "Lady Lee," "Oceanus," "Shannon," "Virginia," "Susie Silver," "Tom Jasper," "James Howard," "City of Quincy," "S. S. Merrill." The total amount of freight carried in 1871 was one hundred and seventy-three thousand nine hundred tons.

Capt. John N. Bofinger, first president of the St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., Oct. 30,1825, and in 1835 removed with his parents to Cincinnati, where his father established the first German paper west of Pittsburgh, the Cincinnati Volksblatt, which became a flourishing journal and existed many years. The boy was educated at the public schools of Cincinnati, and in 1846 obtained a position as clerk on the mail line steamers plying between Cincinnati and Louisville. In April, 1848, he arrived in St. Louis as clerk of the steamer "Atlantic," on which he remained as clerk and captain for six years. In 1854, in connection with John J. Roe and Rhodes, Pegram & Co., he purchased the steamer "L. M. Kennett," and in 1857 built the steamer "William M. Morrison," which, when the war broke out, was the last boat to leave St. Louis for New Orleans. The "Morrison" was detained by the Confederate authorities at Memphis, May 28, 1861, and was burned at New Orleans by the Confederates on the arrival of Farragut's fleet.

For thirteen years preceding the war, Capt. Bofinger commanded steamers running between St. Louis and New Orleans, and enjoyed the reputation of being an unusually successful captain. During that period he made one hundred and ninety-two trips between the two cities, and never met with an accident that occasioned the loss of a life.

The war provided a new theatre for the display of Capt. Bofinger's abilities as an organizer and commander. He became interested in nearly all the contacts let by the United States government for the transportation of troops and supplies on the Missisippi and its tributaries during 1861, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, and '67, and during that time owned thirty steamers. He was no doubt the largest vessel-owner in the world. An instance of the magnitude of his operations and the extent of the trust reposed in his capacity to conduct them successfully is afforded by the fact that he was chosen by Gen. L. B. Parsons, A.Q.M.G., in 1862 to proceed to Memphis and Helena for the purpose of embarking the troops and animals of Gen. Sherman's army destined for Vicksburg. The number of steamers engaged in this service was ninety-five, — three boats were laden with munitions of war, four with commissary and quartermaster's stores, and the remainder with the army of nearly thirty-five thousand men and their animals, etc. This vast fleet was escorted by eleven gunboats under the command of Admiral Porter.

After the war Capt. Bofinger with others formed the Atlantic and Mississippi Steamship Company, with a capital of over two million dollars, and owning j twenty-five of the largest steamboats then on the river, and was elected superintendent of the company. In 1867 he severed his connection with this company and established the Vicksburg Mail Line, and after two years of successful operations, sold his interest to the Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company, now the Vicksburg Anchor Line.

In 1869 the Atlantic and Mississippi Steamship Company sold its steamers, and Capt. Bofinger and others formed the St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company, of which he was elected president, serving in that capacity until 1873, when he retired from the company.

In 1869-70, Capt. Bofinger held a contract with the government to transport troops and supplies between St. Louis and Fort Benton, over three thousand miles; between St. Louis and New Orleans twelve hundred miles; and between St. Louis and Fort Gibson, on the Arkansas River, fifteen hundred miles; an aggregate of five thousand seven hundred miles. This was the longest river transportation contract ever held by any one person.

During the past few years Capt. Bofinger has engaged somewhat extensively in steamboat-building one vessel of iron, the "Gouldsboro'," being a transfer steamer at New Orleans; and he is now constructing a large steamer for the Memphis and City Railroad. In connection with his brother he has established the Telephone Company in Louisiana and Mississippi, which they own and operate.

Capt. Bofinger's wife was Miss Mary E. Shewell, of St. Louis.


Capt. Bofinger is regarded as authority on all matters connected with river transportation, especially on the Mississippi and its tributaries, and congressional committees and other bodies desiring information have availed themselves freely of his knowledge, attained through nearly forty years of varied and arduous experience. He may be classed with the foremost of the second generation of Mississippi steamboat captains, and is a worthy successor of such men as the gallant Shreve and others who were pioneers in this calling. While Capt. Bofinger has contributed his full share towards making river transportation an important factor in the commerce of the country, his work is not yet ended, and those who know his indomitable energy do not hesitate to predict that he will again be heard from in connection with works of great magnitude and of equally conspicuous public utility.

The Merchants' Southern Line Packet Company was established in 1870, and its steamers plied between St. Louis and New Orleans, connecting at Columbus with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at Memphis with the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad and Memphis and Charleston Railroad, at New Orleans with the Morgan Line steamships for Mobile. Galveston, and Indianola, also at the same port with steamships for Havana, at the mouth of Red River with Red and Ouachita River packets, and at Hickman, Ky., with the Northwestern Railroad for Nashville and points in Middle and East Tennessee and Northern Georgia.

The officers of the company in 1870 were J. F. Baker, president; B. R. Pegram, vice-president; Thomas Morrison, secretary; Charles Scudder, superintendent; David H. Silver, general agent, and the principal steamers were the "James Howard," B. R. Pegram, captain; "Henry C. Yeager," I. C. Van Hook, captain; "Susie Silver," Samuel S. Entriken, captain; "T. L. McGill," Thomas W. Shields, captain; "Carrie V. Kountz;" "Henry Ames," J. West Jacobs, captain; "John Kyle," John B. Weaver, captain; "Mollie Moore," George D. Moore, captain.

The Kansas City Packet Company (Star Line) is the successor of the Missouri Packet Company, which originated with the Star Line Packet and Miami Packet Companies. The Star Line was absorbed by the Miami, which then became known as the Miami "Star Line" Packet Company. In 1869 this corporation had five steamers plying between St. Louis and Kansas City. The officers at that time were Capt. E. W. Gould, president; Capt. W. W. Ater, secretary; and Capt. M. Hillard, general freight agent, and the steamers were the "Mountaineer," M. H. Crapster, captain; "W. J. Lewis," R. J. Whitledge, captain; "W. B. Dance," N. F. Constance, captain; "Clara," John Abrams, captain; "Post-Boy," S. Ball, captain. The "E. La Barge," "M. McDonald," "Nile," and "Viola Belle" were also run under direction of the company. Early in 1871 the stockholders of the Star and Miami Lines formed a new line, and organized under the name of the Missouri River Packet Company, with W. J. Lewis as president; Joseph Kinney, vice-president; E. W. Gould, superintendent; William W. Ater, secretary; and M. Hillard, general freight agent. During 1871 the company built three new boats, the "Capitol City," "Fannie Lewis," and "Joseph Kinney." Besides the regular trips to Kansas City, the steamers of the company during 1871 made twenty-one trips to Memphis and Helena.

The Kansas City Packet Company was organized July 15, 1878, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, the incorporators being W. J. Lewis, C. S. Rogers, E. W. Gould, N. Springer, and R. J. Whitledge. The company transacts a general passenger and freight business on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers between St. Louis and Fort Benton, and owns the steamers "Joe Kinney," "Fannie Lewis," "Mattie Bell," and "D. R. Powell," together with four barges. The officers of the company in 1882 were E. W. Gould, president; C. S. Rogers, vice-president; and R. J. Whitledge, secretary; Directors, C. S. Rogers, W. J. Lewis, E. W. Gould, N. Springer, and R. J. Whitledge. The office is located on the wharf-boat at the foot of Olive Street.

E. W. Gould, president of the Kansas City Packet Company, was born in Massachusetts on the 15th of December, 1811. He served an apprenticeship at the trade of carriage-making, and in 1835 went West and worked for two years at his trade in St. Louis. He then purchased an interest in the steamer "Friendship," which was engaged in the Illinois River trade, and subsequently became clerk of a steamer on the upper Mississippi. In 1837 he was made captain of the steamer "Knickerbocker," which was lost at the mouth of the Ohio two years later. Subsequently Capt. Gould became engaged in the Missouri River trade, and was successively president of the Miami Star Line and superintendent of the Missouri River Packet Company. Upon the organization of the Kansas City Packet Company he became its president. Capt. Gould is an experienced and able steamboat manager, and the affairs of the corporation over which he presides are conducted with conspicuous skill and success. In 1846 he was married to Miss Chipley, daughter of Dr. William B. Chipley, at Warsaw, Ill.


The "K" Line of Packets, designed to ply between St. Louis and Miami and intermediate points on the Missouri River, began business early in 1870 with the "St. Luke," Judd Cartwright, captain. The line was managed by Capt. Joseph Kinney, assisted by J. S. Nanson as superintendent, and H. F. Driller, general agent. Subsequently the "Alice" was added, and a flourishing business was transacted by the two steamers.

The St. Louis and Omaha Packet Company was organized in 1867, the first president being Joseph S. Nanson, and the first secretary Joseph McEntire, both of whom were experienced steamboat-men. During the second year of the company's existence Capt. John B. Weaver was elected president, and served in that capacity for two years.

The steamers of the line were the "T. L. McGill," T. W. Shields, captain; "Silver Bow," T. W. Rea, captain; "Mary McDonald," J. Greenough, captain; "Cornelia," L. T. Belt, captain; "Columbian," William Barnes, captain; "Glasgow," W. P. Lamothe, captain; "Kate Kinney," J. P. McKinney, captain; "H. S. Turner," J. A. Yore, captain.

The Coulson Line of Steamers, plying between St. Louis and Fort Benton, was organized in 1878. The officers in 1882 were S. P. Coulson, president; W. S. Evans, vice-president; and D. W. Marratta, secretary and general superintendent. The company owns and controls the following steamers: "Rosebud," "Big Horn," "Josephine," and "Dacotah." Jenkins & Sass are the agents at St. Louis.

The Naples Packet Company was organized in 1848, and was chartered Aug. 12, 1872, with the following incorporators: C. S. Rogers, E. W. Gould, J. W. Mortimer, and Samuel Rider. The capital stock is sixty-four thousand dollars, and the company transacts a passenger and freight transportation business between St. Louis and Peoria, Ill. It owns the handsome steamer "Calhoun," which makes all way landings on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers between the terminal points. C. S. Rogers was elected president first in 1872, and has retained the position ever since. John W. Mortimer is the secretary, and the directors are C. S. Rogers, E. W. Gould, John W. Mortimer, and Samuel Rider. The office is located on the wharf-boat, foot of Olive Street.

The St. Louis and Peoria Packet Company was organized on the 3d of February, 1868, its officers that time being J. S. McCune, president; A. C. Dunlevy, secretary; and F. A. Sheble, general superintendent. In 1870 the vessels belonging to the company were the "Beardstown," Samuel E. Gray, captain; "City of Pekin," Thomas Hunter, captain; "Illinois," S. E. Gray, captain; "Schuyler," H. G. Rice, captain; "Columbia," Joseph Throckmorton, captain.

In 1871 the vessels employed by the company were the "Illinois," "City of Pekin," "Huntsville" and barges, "P. W. Strader" and barges, and "Beardstown."

The St. Louis, Cincinnati, Huntington and Pittsburgh Packet Company, whose headquarters


are at Pittsburgh, Pa., established an agency in St. Louis in 1881. It owns and controls the following boats, which run between Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis: the "Buckeye State," "Pittsburgh," "Carrie," and "John L. Rhodes." The company transacts a general transportation business, carrying both passengers and freight. The officers are J. M. Williamson, superintendent, Cincinnati; and Capt. W. S. Evans, superintendent, Pittsburgh. Jenkins are the agents at St. Louis.

The Gartside Coal and Towing Company was organized in 1856, and chartered in May, 1873, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. The incorporators were James, Charles E., and Joseph Gartside. The company owns two steam-tugs and ten barges, and transacts a general coal and transportation business. The officers in 1882 were Charles E. Gartside, president, and James Gartside, secretary and treasurer. The office is located on the New Orleans Anchor Line wharf-boat, foot of Pine Street.

The Carter Line (Red River Packet Company) was established in 1869 by Capt. W. R. Carter and Capt. Joseph Conn, who employed the "R. J. Lockwood," "Silver Bow," "H. M. Shreve," "Oceanus," "M. E. Forsyth," "Lady Lee," "Belle Rowland," and "Mary E. Poe." The annual receipts of the company amounted to about six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The ports visited by the line were landings on the Missouri River, St. Louis, Jefferson, Shreveport and New Orleans.

The Merchants' St. Louis and Arkansas River Packet Company began business in the spring of 1870. The territory embraced within the range of the company's operations extended from the mouth of the Arkansas River to Fort Smith, and comprised all that section south of the river and between it and the Ouachita, and north of it to the extreme western and northwestern sections of the State, also from the mouth of White River to the upper part of it and the country bordering on Black and Currant Rivers, reaching almost to the northern line of the State. The company was incorporated in 1870 with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, and the following officers were elected:

President, James A. Jackson; Vice-President, D. P. Rowland; Treasurer, George D. Appleton; Secretary and Superintendent, James D. Sylvester; Director, James A. Jackson, D. P. Rowland, Matthew Moody, W. S. Stover, C. L. Thompson, Louis Fusz, George D. Appleton, C. N. McDowell, and George Wolff.

A low-water boat was at once contracted for the upper Arkansas River, three steamers purchased, and the line put in working order. The steamers employed by the company in 1871 were the "Sallie," "Columbia," "Muncie," "Sioux City," and "Little Rock." At Little Rock the vessels from St. Louis connected with the light-draught steamer "Little Rock," which ran to Fort Smith, thus forming a continuous line of communication with the extreme western border of the State.

Ouachita River Packets. — Prior to 1870 St. Louis had not enjoyed an extensive trade with the region of country bordering on the Ouachita River. Hitherto her merchants and shippers had permitted New Orleans and other Southern cities to monopolize the business of the Ouachita ports, but in that year it was determined to send several steamers, loaded at St. Louis, to that river. The experiment was made, and the results were such as to establish the entire practicability of building up a regular and lucrative trade. The steamers of the line were the "C. H. Durfee," Frank Dozier, captain; "Mary McDonald," John Greenough, captain; "Ida Stockdale," J. W. Jacobs, captain; "Hesper," J. Ferguson, captain; "C. V. Kountz," J. C. Vanhook, captain; "Tempest," D. H. Silver, captain. The "Tempest" was destroyed on her first trip up the river. H. F. Driller was the general freight agent of the line. Mr. Driller afterwards secured two boats for the White River trade, the "Osage," Capt. William A. Cade, and the "Natrona," Capt. George Graham.

Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company $700,000
Carter Line Packet Company 250,000
Northwestern Transportation Company 146,000
Wiggins Ferry Company 146,500
Northern Line Packet Company 352,000
Harbor tow-boats and tugs 86,000
St. Louis Sand Company 10,000
Grafton Stone and Tow Company 16,300
Conrad Line (Tennessee River) 33,000
Northwestern Union Packer Company 709,000
Merchants' Southern Line 730,000
Keokuk Packet Company 450,000
Peoria Packet Company 90,000
Naples Packet Company 94,000
Missouri River Packet Company 425,000
St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company (about) 475,000
Mississippi Valley Transportation Company 205,000
St. Louis and Arkansas River Packet Company 110,000
Outside boats (about) 500,000
Total value $5,428,800

Chapter XXVIII. River Commerce of St. Louis.

By the terms of the treaty for the cession of Louisiana to the United States, the full and complete navigation of the Mississippi River was secured to


the United States. The trade and commerce of the river at this time (1803-4) were unimportant. New Orleans and St. Louis were the only towns of any size upon the Mississippi, the latter having but fourteen hundred inhabitants in 1811, and the value of its merchandise and imports amounting to about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually. As small a sum as this appears to be, it was principally owing to the fact that St. Louis was the fitting-out point for the military and trading establishments on the Mississippi and Missouri that even this amount was reached. Peltries, lead, and whiskey made a large portion of the currency, and the branches of business were not at all fixed or definite.

The establishment of the Bank of St. Louis in 1816, and of the Missouri Bank in 1817, indicates a great increase of the business of St. Louis, and may be regarded as fixing an initial point in its trade and commerce with other sections. In 1821 there were only four hundred and twenty-nine tax-payers in St. Louis, and the total taxes levied for the year amounted to $3823.80.

The prices current of a retail market give but a partial idea of the business of the community, and those of St. Louis for Nov. 23, 1816, afford only a general notion of the market of the town at that period.

Beef, on foot, per cwt. $4.00
Bread, ship, none  
Butter, per pound .25
Beeswax, per pound .25
Candles, per pound .25
Cheese, per pound .25
Cheese, common, per pound .12˝
Boards, none in market  
Cider, none in market  
Coffee, per pound .50
Cotton, per pound .40
Cotton yarn, No. 10 1.25
Feathers, per pound .50
Flour, per barrel, superfine in demand 16.00
Flour, horse-mill, superfine, per cwt. $6.00
Grain, wheat, per bushel 1.00
Grain, rye, per bushel .62˝
Grain, barley, per bushel .75
Grain, corn, per bush. .37
Grain, oats, per bush. .37
Gunpowder, per lb. 1.00
Hams, per lb. .12
Hides, per piece 2.75
Hogs' lard, per lb. .12
Bears' lard, per gallon 1.50
Honey, per gallon 1.00

The annual imports of St. Louis were computed for 1820 "at upwards of $2,000,000," and the Indian trade of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers was valued at $600,000. The establishment of a Branch Bank of the United States in 1829 would indicate a great increase in the trade and commerce of St. Louis for the decade from 1820 to 1830. In the absence of statistical records, the only sources of information on this point are the public journals of that period, which are filled with the evidence of the great rapidity with which St. Louis was growing in business and manufactures.

A comparison of the prices current for 1816 with those for 1835 affords some idea of the progress indicated, as well as of the articles which made up the trade of St. Louis by the river at that time:

Ale and porter, bbl.     $8.00
Bacon, ham, lb. $0.03 @ .09
Bacon, hog, round .05˝ @ .06
Beans, bush     .75
Beef, bbl. 8.00 @ 10.00
Beeswax, lb. .16˝ @ .17
Butter, lb. .10 @ .12
Castings, ton     70.00
Castor oil, gall. 1.35 @ 1.37
Candles, sperm, lb. .40 @ .42
Candles, mould, lb. .13 @ .14
Candles, dipped, lb. .11 @ .12
Clover-seed, bush. 7.00 @ 8.00
Coal, bush. .10 @ .12
Coffee (in demand), lb.     .15˝
Cordage, white, lb. .06 @ .08
Cordage, manilla, lb. .20 @ .22
Copperas, lb. .02 @ .03
Cotton, lb. .11 @ .12
Cotton yarns, lb. .25 @ .27
Furs, beaver, lb.     3.50
Furs, muskrat-skin .20 @ .25
Furs, deer-skins, shaved, lb. .20 @ .22
Furs, in hair, lb. .10 @ .12
Furs, raccoon-skins .30 @ .33
Feathers, lb. .37 @ .40
Flour, superfine Illinois, bbl. 4.50 @ 4.75
Flour, superfine Ohio, bbl. 4.25 @ 4.50
Mackerel, bbl. 6.00 @ 8.00
Glass, 10 x 12, box 5.00 @ 5.25
Glass, 8 x 10, box 4.00 @ 4.25
Grain, wheat, bush. .60 @ .62
Corn, bush. .45 @ .50
Molasses, gall. .35 @ .37
Nails, cut, lb. .06˝ @ .07
Oil, sperm, gall. .65 @ .70
Oil, linseed, gall. 1.00 @ 1.12
Oil, tanners', bbl. 18.00 @ 20.00
Pork, mess, bbl. 11.00 @ 12.00
Pork, prime, bbl. 10.50 @ 11.00
Potatoes, bush. .25 @ .37
Rice, lb. .05 @ .06
Sugar, lb. .09 @ .10
Sugar, loaf, lb. .15 @ .17
Sugar, Havana, lb.      
Sugar, white, lb. .12 @ .13
Salt, Liverpool, bushel of 50 lbs. .85 @ .90
Salt, ground, bushel of 50 lbs. .70 @ .75
Salt, Turk's Island, bushel of 50 lbs. .62 @ .65
Salt, Kanawha, bushel of 50 lbs. .45 @ .50
Shot, bag 1.50 @ 1.62
Cognac brandy, gall. 1.25 @ 1.75
American brandy, gall. .75 @ 1.00
Peach brandy, gall.     1.25
Holland gin, gall. 1.25 @ 1.50
Common gin, gall. .50 @ .60
New Orleans rum, gall. .50 @ .55
Jamaica rum, gall. 1.10 @ 1.15
Whiskey, corn, gall. .28 @ .30
Whiskey, rye, gall. .40 @ .45
Tallow, lb. $0.08 @ $0.09
Tar. bbl. 4.50 @ 5.00
Tea, Gunpowder, lb. 1.25 @ 1.33
Tea, Imperial, lb. 1.20 @ 1.30
Tea, Young Hyson l.06 @ 1.06
Gunpowder, Dupont's, keg     7.00
Gunpowder, Kentucky & Delaware, keg     6.50
Hides, dried, lb. .11 @ .12
Iron, Missouri and Juniata, ton 2000 lbs.     120.00
Lard, lb.     .06
Lead, bar, lb.     .06
Lead, pig, lb.     .04˝
Lead, white, in oil (in demand), keg     2.75
Linen tow, yd. .13 @ .14
Linen flax, yd. .20 @ .22
Vinegar, bbl. 4.00 @ 5.00
Wine, Madeira, gall. 3.00 @ 4.00
Wine, Teneriffe, gall. 1.00 @ 1.25
Wine, S. Madeira, gall. 1.50 @ 1.75
Wine, Port, gall. 2.00 @ 2.50
Wine, Malaga, gall. .70 @ .75
Wine, champagne, doz. 14.00 @ 18.00
Wine, claret, doz. 4.00 @ 4.50


Provision market:  
Beef, lb. .05
Veal, lb. .08
Mutton, lb. .06
Butter, lb. .12˝
Eggs, doz. .18ž
Chickens, full grown .25
Chickens, young .12˝
The steamboat register for 1835 shows the number of different steamboats to have been 121
Aggregate tonnage 15,470
Number of entries 803
Wharfage collected $4,573.60
Wood and lumber liable to wharfage:  
Plunk, joists, and scantlings 1,414,330 feet.
Shingles 148,000
Cellar posts (8's) 7,706
Cords of firewood 8,066

A comparison of these figures with the same items for 1831 shows an increase of more than one hundred per cent.

The panic of 1837 was attended with the ruin of thousands of people all over the country, and with the prostration of the business, trade, and commerce of St. Louis. The arrivals and departures of steamboats for 1839, however, were: arrivals, two thousand and ninety-five; departures, sixteen hundred and forty-five.

It is impossible to give any concise statement of the amount of the river trade of St. Louis, but some of the leading and principal items for the year 1840 will afford an approximate idea of the volume of business then transacted. From 1831, when the first insurance office was established, to 1840 the marine risks amounted to $58,021,986. This sum does not include the whole amount of property at risk, because some of the boats and cargoes were insured at the East and South, and some were not insured at all. The estimate of property uninsured was put at thirty-three and one-third per cent., which would raise the value to $77,362,648. The receipts of lead at St. Louis for 1839 were 375,000 pigs; for 1840, 390,000 pigs; and for 1841, 395,000 pigs. A pig of lead averaged sixty-nine pounds, and was estimated at three and one-half cents per pound, making the value of this trade for 1841, $13,825, and for the three years nearly $50,000. "At least 8500 hogsheads of tobacco" passed St. Louis, with a value of $912,500. There were shipped from St. Louis 80,000 bushels of wheat and 110,000 barrels of flour, valued at $610,000.

When to these figures are added those for the trade in beef, pork, bacon, lard, butter, corn, live-stock, buffalo robes, furs, skins, and peltries, hemp, bagging, bale-rope, and the many other articles that comprise the industry of a growing community but of which there exist no statistics, it will be seen that


St. Louis had in 1840 made considerable progress on the road to that commercial prosperity which she now enjoys. The imports were valued at from ten to fifteen millions of dollars.

A slight idea may be gathered of the trade of St. Louis in 1843 from the following table, which exhibits the imports and exports of the city from the 13th of January up to the 12th of August, 1843:

  Imports. Exports.
Beeswax, bbls. 470 777
Beeswax, lbs. 36,007 26,655
Buffalo robes, bales 8,983 4,186
Corn, sacks 28,091 27,688
Flour, bbls. 59,965 88,393
Hemp, bales 26,947 17,629
Lead, pigs 398,225 397,213
Lard, bbls. 10,751 19,243
Lard, kegs 15,581 18,337
Oil lard, bbls. 559 3,060
Pork, bbls. 16,633 30,097
Tobacco, hhds. 14,599 13,498
Wheat, bbls. 58,777 22,241
Wheat, sacks 78,299 27,945

The receipts of tobacco for the year 1842 were 1754 hogsheads, of which 1645 hogsheads were sold, leaving on hand on the 1st of January, 1843, 109 hogsheads.

In the Prices Current for 1844 the population is estimated at 40,000, and the registered tonnage at 20,420 tons, against 14,729 tons in the year 1842, thus showing an increase in less than three years of nearly 40 per cent. This tonnage was the property of citizens of St. Louis, and it may be safely said that at least as much more was employed in its trade and commerce the property of other cities. The arrivals during the year amounted to 2613, against 2105 the previous year, showing an increase of 508 arrivals. The annual trade of St. Louis was then estimated at $50,000,000. Nearly 47,000 bags of coffee, 11,000 hogsheads of sugar, 758,000 pigs of lead, 31,000 bales of hemp, 13,000 hogsheads of tobacco, 132,000 barrels of flour, and nearly a million bushels of wheat were imported into St. Louis in 1843, being an average increase of nearly 20 per cent, on that of the previous year.

The harbor-master's report for 1845 shows that during the year there were 2050 steamboat arrivals in the harbor of St. Louis, with an aggregate tonnage of 358,045 tons, and 346 arrivals of keel- and flat-boats, and that the trade of the city was carried on by 213 steamboats, with an aggregate tonnage of 42,922 tons.

From the same report there has been compiled the following table of the places from whence these vessels came, showing the arrivals from each quarter for each month, as follows:

  New Orleans. Ohio River. Illinois River. Upper Mississippi River. Missouri River. Other Points.
In January 17 5 15 15 5 8
February 13 13 20 12 2 7
March 27 42 57 67 11 8
April 24 39 36 75 23 10
May 35 49 52 102 49 13
June 27 33 29 66 42 21
July 16 46 26 58 29 18
August 20 44 26 63 25 22
September 25 38 7 60 22 19
October 22 45 13 48 20 16
November 21 47 17 74 20 24
December 3 5   3 1 1
  250 406 298 647 249 167

From the foregoing it appears that during 1845 there were 250 steamboat arrivals from New Orleans; 406 from different ports on the Ohio River, including arrivals from the Cumberland and Tennessee; 278 from ports on the Illinois River; 647 from ports on the Mississippi above the mouth of the Missouri, not including the daily trip of the Alton packet; 249 from ports on the Missouri River; and 168 from other points, chiefly from Cairo and intermediate ports between that point and St. Louis.

During the year 1848-49, St. Louis began to receive heavy shipments of the products of the Southern States, and orders for articles hitherto sent to other cities were sent to the merchants, manufacturers, and mechanics of St. Louis. Direct communication with the lakes and the Canadas also presented great advantages to the shipping and commercial interests of the city. The total receipts of tobacco by the river for the period of five years, from 1844 to 1849, was 49,918 hogsheads, an exhibit which shows "a steady decrease in the production of that staple in the State of Missouri since 1844." The decrease in the production of tobacco was compensated by an increase in that of hemp, the entire crop of which in 1846 was 80,000 bales, of which 47,152 bales were received by the river. The receipts of lead by the river were, for 1847, 749,128 pigs, and for 1848, 705,718 pigs. The receipts of flour by the river for 1847 were 328,568 barrels and 686 half-barrels, and for 1848 they were 387,314 barrels and 541 half-barrels. In addition the city mills produced 400,000 barrels. The total production was over 700,000 barrels, which, at $4.25 per barrel, made an aggregate value of $2,975,000. The wheat crop of 1847-48 was an unusually fine one throughout the river States and the receipts by way of the river for 1847 were 2,432,377 bushels, and for 1848, 2,194,798 bushels. The receipts of corn by the river were, for 1847, 1,016,318 bushels, and for 1848, 699,693 bushels. The Illinois and Michigan Canal opened in 1847-48 drawing off 316,625 bushels. The receipts of oats


for 1847 were 202,365 bushels, and for 1848, 243,700 bushels. "Of the entire shipments from this city," it was stated about this time, "it is computed that fully three-fourths reach the city of New Orleans." The beef receipts for 1848 were 9381 tierces, 7876 barrels, and 47 half-barrels; and of pork, 97,662 barrels and 1923 half-barrels, together with 25,820 casks, 3603 hogsheads, 2847 barrels, 3775 boxes of bacon. Of lard there were received 6579 tierces, 67,329 barrels, and 14,180 kegs, showing an immense improvement in the provision trade. The lumber trade for 1847 amounted to 16,917,850 feet, and for 1848 to 22,137,915 feet; shingles for 1847, 13,098,800, and for 1848, 15,851,500. There were also 42,282 cords of wood received by the river in 1847, and 38,857 cords in 1848. Of coal the receipts by river in 1847 were 1,454,048 bushels, and in 1848, 1,623,687 bushels.

As elsewhere stated more in detail, two calamities visited St. Louis in the year 1849, the cholera and the great conflagration of steamboats and other property on the 17th of May, which exerted a disastrous influence on every branch of her trade, commerce, and business. A mortality of seven thousand eight hundred and twenty-one persons and the destruction of three million three hundred and thirty-five thousand four hundred and fifty dollars of property could not but have administered a check to enterprise and retarded progress. It is surprising, however, to note the alacrity, energy, and perseverance which were exhibited by the people of St. Louis in repairing the losses and obliterating the evidences of these visitations. Before the expiration of six months commerce, if not fully recovered, at least exhibited no signs of impairment, but was in full motion, and all the routine of mercantile affairs was in active operation.

The estimated value of thirty-one of the leading articles of produce received at the port of St. Louis during the year 1849, with total valuation, is as follows:

ARTICLES. Aggregate Amount. Average Rate. Estimated Value.
Tobacco, leaf 9,879 hhds. $50.00 per hhd. $493,950.00
Tobacco, manufactured 5,904 boxes 15.00 per box 88,560.00
Hemp 9,258 tons 110.00 per ton 1,018,380.00
Lead 16,428 tons 85.40 per ton 1,402,951.20
Flour 306,412 bbls. 4.20 per bbl. 1,286,930.40
Wheat 1,792,535 bush .80 per bush 1,434, 028.00
Corn 305,333 bush .31 per bush 94,653.23
Oats 252,291 bush .28 per bush 70,641.58
Barley 92,463 bush .70 per bush 64,724.10
Rye 5,844 bush .40 per bush 2,337.60
Beans 9,078 bush .40 per bush 2,731.20
Beef 10,687 tierces 9.00 per tierce 96,183.00
Beef 12,336 bbls. 8.00 per bbl. 98,688.00
Pork 113,862 bbls. 8.00 per bbl. 920,896.00
Pork bulk 9,651,656 lbs. .02˝ per lb. 241,291.40
Lard 15,801 tierces 17.50 per tierce 276,517.50
Lard 58,270 bbls. 13.00 per bbl. 757,510.00
Lard 18,815 kegs 3.50 per keg 64,957.50
Bacon 16,880 casks 30.00 per cask 580,400.00
Bacon 3,245 bbls. and boxes 12.50 per box and bbl. 40.562.50
Pickled hams and shoulders 10,564 casks 14.56 per cask 153,178.00
Whiskey 29,085 bbls. 7.50 per bbl. 217,997.50
Tallow 721,460 lbs. .06ž per lb. 48,698.55
Butter 1,255,280 lbs. .08˝ per lb. 106,698.80
Bale rope 19,065 coils 7.25 per coil 142,211.25
Bagging 1,079 pieces 14.00 per piece 15,106.00
Potatoes 103,500 bush .30 per bush 31,050.00
Onions 21,350 bush .50 per bush 10,675.00
Grease 351,851 Ibs. .03˝ lb. 12,314.78
Hides, dry and green 68,962 1.80 each 124,033.60
Hay 920 tons 16.00 per ton 14,720.00
Flaxseed 26,500 bush .85 per bush 22,525.00
Feathers 62,340 lbs. .28 per lb. 17,455.20
Brooms 11,023 dozens l.60 per doz. 17,636.80
Dried fruit 63,102 bush .90 per bush 56,791.80
Green apples 20,583 bbls. 1.50 per bbl. 30,874.50
Wool 1,274 bales 22.50 per bale 28,665.90
Total estimated value     $10,087,327.99

During 1849 the arrivals of steamboats at St. Louis were: From New Orleans, 313; Ohio River, 401; Illinois River, 686; upper Mississippi, 806; Missouri River, 355; Cairo, 122; other points, 217. The total number of arrivals of steamboats and barges in 1848 was 3468; in 1849, 2975; of keel- and flat-boats


in 1848, 352, and in 1849, 166. The total tonnage of steamboats and barges in 1848 was 688,213, and in 1849, 633,892.

The prevalence of yellow fever at New Orleans in 1853 proved a serious check to the river trade of St. Louis, and the difficulty of shipping crews, except at enhanced wages, threw a large amount of tonnage out of the trade and advanced freights to a high figure. All descriptions of agricultural products ruled unusually high in prices, and the farmers reaped a rich reward for their enterprise and industry, the profits realized enabling them to enlarge the area of cultivation, to improve their residences, and to invest to a large extent in the railroad enterprises that were then being projected in every direction through the West. In this year (1853) the statistics and transactions of a railroad were reported for the first time in connection with the river trade. The Missouri Pacific Railroad was that year completed a distance of forty miles, through a section of country which, though contiguous to St. Louis, had not been brought under cultivation. Without a farm along its line, and with its western terminus in a dense forest, this great railroad began to connect the Mississippi with the "back country," and overpaid the expenses of transportation more than ten thousand dollars, foreshadowing the immense profits from the investment. The "receipts per Pacific Railroad" were: Tobacco, 48 hogsheads and 3 boxes; lead, 1556 pigs; iron, 88,350 pounds pig, 530 blooms; wheat, 3418 bushels; hides, 5200 pounds; whiskey, 214 barrels; wood, 370 cords; wine, 9 casks, 7 barrels, and 8 boxes, native; hubstuff, 25 cords; and hoop-poles, 570,000.

A comparison of the tonnage of Western cities at the end of the year 1853 will show the rapid strides that St. Louis had made in the river trade.

The official returns of tonnage, June 30, 1853, were:

  Tons.   Tons.
Cincinnati 10,191 Decrease from 1851 3,996
Louisville 14,166 Increase from 1851 1,229
Nashville 3,414 Decrease from 1851 163
St. Louis 45,441 Increase from 1851 11,136

These returns also show that St. Louis had then more steam tonnage than Wheeling, Cincinnati, Louisville, New Albany, Nashville, and Memphis combined. The arrivals of vessels at St. Louis for 1853 numbered 3307, or 529 more than at New Orleans.

The official returns of tonnage for the year ending June 30, 1854, give the following table of steam tonnage, showing the amount enrolled at several ports, viz.:

New York 101.4874.41
New Orleans 57,174.54
St. Louis 48,557.51
Philadelphia 24,523.93
Cincinnati 23,842.73
Louisville 20,122.89
Mobile 18,110.40
Baltimore 14,451.14
Nashville 5,726.73
Wheeling 4,127.89
New Albany 2,952.31
Memphis 1,894.80

St. Louis was then the third city in the Union in the amount of enrolled steam tonnage, nearly doubling Philadelphia, with more than Philadelphia and Baltimore combined, with more than Cincinnati, Louisville, and Wheeling together, and paying duties on foreign imports amounting to more than seven hundred thousand dollars.

The navigation of the rivers in the West was impeded to a greater extent and for a longer period in 1860 that ever before within the recollection of the oldest boatmen. This condition of the rivers led to action on the part of St. Louis merchants, which for a while induced the hope that new and entirely different methods were about to be adopted. The necessity of changing the mode of handling grain consigned to the merchants of St. Louis had long been felt, and the commission houses and millers of the city had become convinced that sacks should be dispensed with, and that grain should be transported in bulk. The Chamber of Commerce aided in the movement by presenting a memorial to the City Council requesting it to grant an elevator privilege to Messrs. Henry and Edgar Ames and Albert Pearce, who had offered to construct upon their own responsibility two elevators upon the Levee, — one near the foot of Curr Street, in the northern part of the city, and the other near the foot of Myrtle Street, in the southern part. The elevators were to have been of the most approved construction and material, with a capacity of half a million bushels each, and to have been exclusively used for the storage of grain in bulk. The City Council, after an able report from a special committee of that body had been submitted, promptly passed the ordinance but it was vetoed by the mayor, and the inauguration of the elevator system of handling grain in St. Louis was postponed until 1863.

The subject of bridging the Mississippi at Rock Island, which had been under discussion for several years, was brought before the Hon. I. M. Love, judge of the District Court of the United States, who decided at the April term of the court in 1860 "that that portion of the railroad bridge across Mississippi River at or near Davenport, within the


State of Iowa, being part of the bridge commonly called the Rock Island bridge, and which is part of the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad, is a common and public nuisance, and a material impediment and obstruction to the navigation of said river by steamboats and other craft," and ordered it to be removed. This action of the court was approved by the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, and the connecting of the railroad systems east with those west of the Mississippi was postponed until a period of more enlightened ideas with regard to transportation had arrived.

In consequence of low water during 1860, freights on the upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois ruled very high, and there was an increase in marine disasters, reaching as high as two hundred and ninety-nine boats, with a loss of life amounting to two hundred and fifty-four.

The arrivals and departures of vessels at St. Louis during 1859 and 1860 were:

  1859. 1860.
Upper Mississippi 1,501 1,524
Lower Mississippi 616 767
Missouri 396 269
Illinois 679 544
Ohio 367 277
Tennessee 58 31
Cumberland 31 35
Arkansas   7
Barges, canal- and flat-boats 1,397 1,724
Total 5,045 5,178
Departures 5,104 5,218
Tonnage 768,905 844,039

During the period of the civil war (1861-65) there was almost complete stagnation in the river trade and a general paralysis of the industries and commerce of St. Louis. The condition of affairs, industrial as well as political, during the great crisis of the nation's history, is fully set forth in the chapter on the civil war. The following, however, is a copy of circular instructions issued by C. G. Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury of the Southern Confederacy, in March, 1861, relating to the commerce of the Mississippi. These instructions related to importations from places north of the then so-called Confederate States. Vessels descending the river were required to come to at Norfolk, or Nelson's Landing, on the Mississippi, and the master was to report the arrival to the collector, exhibiting duplicate manifests of the whole cargo and declaring the name of the vessel, name of master, where from, the port of destination, and a full and particular description of the cargo. A custom-house officer was board vessels and demand the manifests mentioned. These manifests were to be certified by collector or boarding-officer, and one of them returned to the master. The manifest returned by the custom-house officer was to be sent to the collector of the port of final destination. If there were on board and intended for delivery at points other than ports of entry or delivery goods not subject to duty they could be landed, provided the master gave to the first revenue officer a schedule in duplicate of the articles, describing them, quantity and value, name of consignee, and place where to be landed. On one of these schedules, directed to be returned to the master, the officer was to indorse a landing permit. The instructions were in part as follows:

"Masters of flat-boats, with coal bulk intended for points as above, must give under oath to the collector at Norfolk a schedule in duplicate, setting forth name of boat, owner, master, where from, quality, quantity, and value, and the fact of its being intended to be landed at places other than ports of entry or delivery. On these schedules the collector will estimate the duties payable; and on payment of the duties at Norfolk, will indorse on the original schedule (to be returned to the master) a certificate of payment and permit to land the goods.

"Should any portion of the cargo of vessels arriving as aforesaid, composed of dutiable or free articles, be destined to ports of entry or delivery other than the port of final destination, permission may be obtained to land the same under the following regulations:

"The master shall present to the revenue officer at Norfolk a schedule in triplicate of the goods, describing them by marks and numbers, numbers of packages and contents, corresponding with the description in the general manifest of the vessel, also stating the consignee and name of the port of destination of the merchandise.

"Should the merchandise be intended to be landed at more than one intermediate port, then separate schedules of the goods destined for each port to be made out in triplicate, with all the particulars before required, shall be presented; and the revenue officers to certify on each of the schedules the fact of presentation, and also on the original to indorse his permission for the vessel to land at the port or ports designated the goods described in said schedule. The original shall be then returned to the master or commander.

"On the arrival of the vessel at an intermediate port, the master or commander is to present to revenue officer the original schedule, and will receive a general permit to land the goods upon their being duly entered and special landing permits issued, as now provided by law for the landing of imported merchandise. Should the vessel arrive out of business hours, or should circumstances compel it, the master is permitted to deposit the goods either in a bonded warehouse or the custody of a revenue officer, and shall receive a receipt containing all the particulars of the schedule, and the original schedule shall be delivered to the person with whom the merchandise is deposited, and by him delivered over to the collector or chief revenue officer as soon as the opening of the custom-house will admit.

"On the arrival of the vessel at the port of final destination, the master or commander shall make due entry at the custom-house by delivering his original manifest, together with all schedules indorsed with the permits to land at intermediate ports, and the receipts of officers to whom any goods may have been delivered, or any other documents showing the disposition of any portion of the cargo; and the residue of the cargo shall be landed on permits similar to those provided by law for the landing of imported merchandise; and the total cargo, as shown ay the original manifest, shall be delivered at this port, with the


exception of such as is shown by the documents presented at the time of entry to have been landed elsewhere, under the penalties now provided by law for discrepancies existing in the cargoes of vessels arriving from foreign ports.

"In order to relieve vessels in this branch of importing trade from embarrassments, all goods imported therein remaining unclaimed, or for which no entry shall be made or permit granted within twenty-four hours after arrival, may be taken possession of by the collector and deposited in a bonded warehouse, on a general permit to be issued by him for that purpose.

"To afford further facilities in the event of vessels in this trade arriving at the port of final destination before the opening or after the closing of the custom-house for the day, and a necessity exists for discharging the cargo, it shall be lawful to deposit the same or any part thereof, at the risk and expense of said vessel, on the levee, in the charge of the inspection service of the customs, or in any bonded warehouse at the port, such portion of said cargo as may be practicable, the master or commander of the vessel obtaining for the goods so deposited a receipt from the inspection officer on the Levee, or the custom officer in charge of the warehouse, which receipt shall be delivered to the collector of customs as soon thereafter as the business hours of the custom-house at said port will permit.

"Any goods, wares, or merchandise imported as aforesaid may be entered at the port of destination on the presentation to the collector of the bill or bills of lading, together with the other documents now required by law on the entry of imported merchandise, before and in anticipation of the arrival of the importing vessel, and the necessary permits for the landing shall issue on the completion of these entries.

"And on the presentation of these permits to the surveyor, it shall be his duty, and is hereby required of him (if the vessel by which the goods are imported shall have arrived at the port), to detail an inspector of the customs to superintend the landing of the merchandise described therein, and such landing is authorized before entry has been made by the importing vessel at the custom-house when the interest of commerce or circumstances attending such arrival shall render it necessary. It must, however, be distinctly understood that it is unlawful to discharge any portion of the cargoes of these vessels except under the supervision and inspection of the customs officer.

"Clearances. — Before the departure of any vessel navigating the Mississippi or other, rivers, destined to a foreign port or place beyond the northern limits of the Confederate States of America, the master or person having charge thereof shall deliver to the collector or chief officer of the customs at the port from which such vessel is about to depart a manifest of the cargo on board the same, in the form and verified in the manner now provided by law for vessels to a foreign port, and obtain from said collector a clearance as follows:

Confederate States of America.

District of -
Port of 18

These are to certify to all whom it doth concern, that master or commander of the
bound for
hath entered and cleared his said vessel according to law.

Given under my hand and seal at
the custom-house of this day of 18


"It shall be permitted to vessels engaged in the navigation and commerce provided for by these regulations, after clearance, to take on board at the port of original departure, or any other place within the limits of the Confederacy, any goods, wares, or merchandise, and to proceed therewith to a destination beyond the Confederate limits, on delivering to the collector or chief revenue officer at the port of Norfolk, on the Mississippi, or at the port nearest the frontier of the Confederacy on any other river, a schedule describing all the goods on board, the quantity, value, and destination, not declared in the manifest delivered at the time of clearance at the custom-house of the original port of departure. The schedule thus received is to be forwarded to the port from which the vessel may have originally cleared.

"Lastly, it is made the duty of the collector at the port of Norfolk, or at the other frontier ports at which masters of outward-bound vessels are required to deliver schedules, to board all vessels bound for places beyond the Confederate limits in the same manner and at the hours as hereinbefore provided for inward-bound vessels."

As long as there were no railroads to compete with the trade and commerce of the river, the subject of improving the navigation of Western waters was discussed. Commercial opinion seemed to have settled down to the conviction that impediments to navigation, such as snags, sand-bars, sunken boats, and the rapids of the upper river, were inevitable and had to be submitted to. But when railroads began to divert the trade, and threatened loss and injury to the vast amount of capital already invested in steamboats and barges, as well as to the multitude of laborers who found employment in river navigation, the political power of the Mississippi valley was invoked to protect the great river from the loss that was threatened, as well as to employ its natural advantages to better effect in aid of the consumer and producer. The initiatory steps looking to the improvement of the navigation of Western rivers by the general government were taken at a convention held in St. Louis in February, 1867, which resulted in annual appropriations for the removal of snags, sand-bars, and the improvements at the rapids at Rock Island.

The practical operation of the St. Louis grain elevator, the charter for which was granted in 1863, demonstrated the fact that grain could be handled in bulk advantageously, and that with proper facilities for shipping to New Orleans and transferring at that point in bulk, grain could be delivered at the Eastern cities and foreign ports cheaper via the Mississippi River than by any other route. The cost of transporting a bushel of wheat from St. Paul to New York via St. Louis and New Orleans, with the proper facilities for transferring at those cities, was ascertained to be at least twenty cents per bushel less than by any northern route, and it was also discovered that cost of transportation could be further reduced ten cents with a proper canal around the rapids at Rock Island. The Mississippi Valley Transportation Company was this year (1863) handling grain in bulk, and a transfer elevator was built by St. Louis parties


for use in New Orleans at the opening of navigation. Further elevator facilities, chiefly at East St. Louis, were undertaken in 1866, and the energy and enterprise of St. Louis were fully awakened to the practicability of making the Mississippi the great highway for the products of the Northwest to foreign markets. At the same time the trade with Montana and the gold regions of the upper Missouri was increasing, and had extended beyond the most sanguine estimates. Fifty-one boats left St. Louis during the year for the upper Missouri, carrying twenty-two million seven hundred and seventy thousand pounds of freight and many passengers.

The opening of the year 1866 found the Mississippi at St. Louis firmly closed by ice, which broke up on the night of January 12th, destroying an immense quantity of shipping.

The following statement shows the quantity of grain received and disbursed by the St. Louis Elevator Company from Oct. 24, 1865, to Jan. 1, 1867:

  Receipts from October, 1865, to January, 1867. Disbursed from October, 1865, to January, 1867. Balance in Elevator January, 1867.
  Bushels. Bushels. Bushels.
Wheat 1,342,750.43 1,148,344.22 194,406.21
Corn 228,495.05 221,105.22 7,389.39
Oats 127,944.07 126,306.02 1,638.05
Barley 252,901.40 243,199.43 9,701.45
Rye 19,152.46 19,152.46  
Malt 1,364.04   1,364.04
Total 1,972,609 1,708,109 214,500
Receipts for 1866.
Wheat 1,087,090.50
Corn 210, 230.55
Oats 54,867.12
Barley 11,072.42
Rye 12,079.14
Malt 1,364.04
Total 1,376,705

The tonnage of St. Louis, comprising steamers plying between that and other ports, July 1, 1866, was as follows:

Rivers. Steamers. Barges. Total. Tonnage. Value.
Lower Mississippi 55 30 85 74,800 $3,970,000
Arkansas 16   16 5,925 378,000
Cumberland and Tennessee 18   18 5,925 282,000
Upper Mississippi 44 67 111 30,685 1,625,000
Illinois 16 25 41 10,355 488,000
Ohio 45   45 19,800 1,088,000
Missouri 71   71 38,525 2,545,000
Total 265 122 387 186,015 $10,376,000

The effect of railroads upon the trade of the Mississippi and other rivers becomes very apparent by an examination of the commercial statistics for 1866. For example, of the total receipts of flour, amounting to 2,107,026 barrels, only 424,627 were received by river; of 4,550,305 bushels of wheat, 3,245,995 bushels; of 7,233,671 bushels of corn, 4,815,860 bushels; of 3,667,253 bushels of oats, 2,648,612 bushels; of 375,417 bushels of rye, 356,078 bushels; and of 548,796 bushels of barley, 425,969 bushels. In the export of grain the same influence is visible. Of 2,107,026 barrels of flour, the rivers carried 1,149,868 bushels; of 4,550,304 bushels of wheat, 408,742 bushels; of 7,233,671 bushels of corn, 6,713,027 bushels; of 3,667,253 bushels of oats, 2,581,492 bushels; of 375,417 bushels of rye, 184,963 bushels; of 548,796 bushels of barley, 53,655 bushels. The total receipts of grain amounted to 22,079,072 bushels, and the total exports to 18,835,969 bushels.

The year 1866 was an unprofitable one in many respects. The cost of the necessities of life was greatly increased, political dissensions were bitter and violent, and the financial policy of Congress and indifferent crops produced doubt and uncertainty as to the future, and greatly depressed trade and business. The receipts of flour and grain at St. Louis fell off in 1867 4,210,317 bushels from 1866, and the exports diminished proportionately. With the exception of the hog product, there was a corresponding decrease, in every article of commerce. Previous to the civil war the great market of St. Louis had been in the Southern States, where the energies of the planting interest were wholly devoted to the growing of cotton and sugar, necessitating the importation of breadstuffs. The abolition of slavery produced an entire change in the labor system, and the destitution that followed the war interfered even as late as 1867 with the production of the great staples of the South, and for this reason, and because it compelled the raising of food-supplies at home, made the Southern people small buyers in the market of St. Louis. The prospect of so great a change in the agricultural productions of the Southern States obliged St. Louis to seek other markets for the produce which came to her from the North and West, and to open up other avenues of trade. With this in view the attention of her merchants were directed to South America and Europe. The city of New Orleans, with interests identical with those of St. Louis, set on foot a movement to establish a regular line of steamers with Liverpool, and to construct a large elevator to receive and disburse grain in the most economical manner. The contest between the river and the railroad for the great prize


of transporting the produce of the West was fairly under way at this time. The cheapness of transportation was to determine the supremacy, and in order that the grain of the West might reach an exporting point at less cost via the Mississippi River than via the lakes required improved and increased facilities. The Des Moines and Rock Island rapids were in a fair way of removal, the work having been undertaken and regularly appropriated for by the general government. That obstruction removed, the elevators of St. Louis were ready to receive or transfer the grain, and the barge company provided barges for transportation to New Orleans, where the Higby elevator transferred the grain to ocean vessels. Under the impetus thus given several cargoes of grain were shipped to New York and Europe, establishing fully the practicability of the route. St. Louis added other facilities for handling grain by extending the North Missouri and Iron Mountain Railroads to the elevators.

The arrivals and departures of vessels at St. Louis during 1867 and 1868 were:

Rivers. Lower Mississippi. Upper Mississippi. Missouri. Illinois. White. Cumberland. Arkansas. Tennessee. Ohio. Osage. Yazoo. Total Steamers. Canal-Boats and Barges. Total. Tonnage.
Arrival, 1867. 691 886 311 350 17 5 38 45 130   5 2478 947 3425 1,080,320
Arrival, 1868 596 969 356 291 1 1 12 46 154 2 2 338 1133 3471 1,655,795
Departure, 1867 741 915 818 396 11 5 49 41 . 105   4 2585      
Departure, 1868 579 1013 361 332 3   15 44 228 2   2577      
Year. Boats. Barges. Tonnage. No. of boats.
1868 2338 1133 1,055,795 2579
1867 2478 947 1,086,320 2585
1866 2972 1124 1,227,078 3066
1866 2768 1114 1,229,826 2953

During the year 1870 the general government established gauges at different points on the Western rivers, where the daily rise and full of the water are taken and furnished by telegraph each day to the different cities, also the height of water as compared with a well-known high- or low-water mark, which gives a more perfect indication of the depth of the channel.

The system of railroads which in 1870 had, spread out from St. Louis in every direction had the effect of contracting the limits of freightage by water. When not only freight but passengers were carried by water, the steamboats of the Mississippi found a remunerative trade. But the time had arrived when the steamboat had become too slow a means of transportation for an enterprising and progressive people. The passenger travel having deserted the steamboats, they were compelled to look to their freight-list almost entirely for their profits. The question of how to preserve to the river marine the traffic with the South that was, and would be for several years, dependent upon the river was discussed with a view to the use of iron in the construction hulls both for steamers and barges.

During the year 1870 the agitation of the question of materially reducing the taxes and dues paid by steam-boatmen for the purpose of maintaining wharves and improving the levees and harbors of river towns and cities was kept up almost uninterruptedly through the entire season.

The following is a condensed statement of all the wharfage collected at St. Louis from April, 1846, to December, 1870, a period of twenty-four years:

From April, 1846, to April, 1847 $23,371.02
From April, 1847, to April, 1848 31,231.05
From April, 1848, to April, 1849 35,886.16
From April, 1849, to April, 1850 33,701.72
From April, 1850, to April, 1851 46,912.26
From April, 1851, to April, 1852 47,064.35
From April, 1852, to April, 1853 55,506.69
From April, 1853, to April, 1854 58,402.37
From April, 1854, to April, 1855 60,069.99
From April, 1855, to April, 1856 62,613.46
From April, 1856, to April, 1857 74,061.68
From April, 1857, to April, 1858 72,345.72
From April, 1858, to April, 1859 64,808.18
From April, 1859, to April, 1860 69,615.72
From April, 1860, to April, 1861 67,544.66
From April, 1861, to April, 1862 28,635.85
From April, 1862, to April, 1863 43,997.36
From April, 1863, to April, 1864 54,152.90
From April, 1864, to April, 1865 72,290.97
From April, 1865, to April, 1866 84,384.60
From April, 1866, to April, 1867 77,135.20
From April, 1867, to January, 1868 66,293.45
From January, 1868, to April, 1869 95,584.48
From April, 1869, to April 12, 1870 87,706.92
From April 12, 1870, to December, 1870, inclusive. 66,626.60
Total $1,480,043.36

The following are the expenditures from April, 1848, to December, 1870, inclusive:


From April, 1848, to April, 1849 $16,252.24
From April, 1849, to April, 1850 45,590.42
From April, 1850, to April, 1851 68,967.38
From April, 1851, to April, 1852 31,959.08
From April, 1852, to April, 1853 64,160.74
From April, 1853, to April, 1854 102,559.25
From April, 1854, to April, 1855 92,965.51
From April, 1855, to April, 1856 74,038.69
From April, 1856, to April, 1857 56,107.61
From April, 1857, to April, 1858 63,266.98
From April, 1858, to April, 1859 88,662.63
From April, 1859, to April, 1860 58,902.88
From April, 1860, to April, 1861 44,202.93
From April, 1861, to April, 1862 12,835.37
From April, 1862, to April, 1863 10,347.98
From April, 1863, to April, 1864 7,498.28
From April, 1864, to April, 1865 25,421.23
From April, 1865, to April, 1866 59,904.06
From April, 1866, to April, 1867 183,232.60
From April, 1867, to October, 1868 193,205.82
From October, 1868, to October, 1869 123,974.02
From 1869, to April 11, 1870 59,584.34
From April 12,1870, to December, 1870, inclusive. 90,859.20
Total $1,629,499.24

As the railroads grew in importance and developed their power to successfully compete with the steamboats in the transportation of merchandise and heavy freights, the steamboat interest, finding the trade gradually leaving it, began the employment of barges. In 1848 the total number employed at St. Louis was sixty-eight, with a tonnage of four thousand six hundred and forty-one tons. There were also in that year engaged in the trade a large number of keel-, flat-, and canal-boats, the arrivals of which for the year 1848 aggregated three hundred and forty-nine in number, and thirteen thousand nine hundred and sixty in tons. In 1849 the barges numbered seventy, with a combined tonnage of four thousand four hundred and ninety-seven tons. This branch of transportation continued to develop, as will appear from the following table:

YEARS. Boats. Barges. Tons of Freight Received. Registered Tonnage. YEARS. Boats. Tons of Freight Shipped.
1882 2637 1310 802,080   1882 2487 769,908
1881 2426 1525 852,410   1881 2340 884,025
1880 2871 1821 893,860   1880 2866 1,038,350
1879 2360 1471 688,970   1879 2392 676,445
1878 2,322 1291 714,700   1878 2348 614,675
1877 2150 660 644,485   1877 2156 597,676
1876 2122 683 688,755   1876 2118 600,225
1875 743 743 663,525   1875 2223 639,095
1874 2332 951 732,705   1874 2364 707,325
1873 2316 1020 810,055   1873 2303 783,256
1872 2346 1485 863,919   1872 2322 805,282
1871 2574 1165 883,401   1871 2604 770,498
1870 2796 1195   1,166,889 1870 2782  
1869 2789 1240   1,225,443 1869 2786  
1868 2338 1133   1,055,795 1868 2579  
1867 2478 947   1,086,340 1867 2588  
1866 2972 1142   1,227,078 1866 3096  
1865 2787 1141   1,229,826 1865 2953  

The value of barges belonging to St. Louis is 1872 was:

Northern Line Packet Company 31 barges. $89,100
St. Louis Land Company 7 barges. 8,000
Grafton Stone and Tow Company 18 barges. 9,600
Conrad Line 6 barges. 9,000
Bridge Company 19 barges. 100,000
Northwestern Union Packet Company 42 barges. 60,700
Mississippi Valley Transportation Company 35 barges. 432,000
Peoria Packet Company 6 barges. 9,000
Miscellaneous   10,000
Total Value   $727,400
Value of Barges on the Ohio.
Cincinnati $408,500
Pomeroy 122,500
Wheeling 27,000
Louisville 200,000
Evansville 162,000
Gallipolis 74,000
Kanawha 120,000
Pittsburgh (exclusive of coal-boats) 800,000
Paducah 12,000
Miscellaneous 1,000,000

"Gray's Iron Line," organized in 1863, had, in 1872, barges aggregating 29,900 tonnage plying between Cincinnati and St. Louis.

The number of steamboats and barges owned by the packet companies in 1870 was 117 steamers and 176 barges, with a tonnage capacity of 176,615, and valued then at $5,219,700.

The year 1871 was not a successful year in river navigation, business showing a considerable falling off, both in the number of trips and to the extent of ten thousand tons in tonnage, the season being unusually short and the stage of the water unsatisfactory. The average depth of water in the Western rivers was less "in 1871 than during any season in the past twenty-five years." Notwithstanding these drawbacks, substantial progress was made towards replacing


the river commerce on a firmer basis. Gradually but surely the methods of operating on the Mississippi and its tributaries were changing. The demand for cheap freight was causing shippers to turn their attention to water routes, and to meet the general demand in this direction, steamboatmen were making every effort to discover the method by which river navigation might be cheapened and improved. A spirit of enterprise, of genuine and healthy progress, was alive among the river men. The steamers of the Western rivers up to 1871 had generally been built to accommodate both freight and passengers. On all of them were erected costly and weighty cabins, and of course the carrying capacity of the boat was reduced by as much as the weight of the cabin. In addition to this drawback, the owner was compelled to maintain a large and expensive cabin crew, and when passenger travel was dull freights had to be taxed to make up the deficit in a losing passenger trip. Experiments had been made with boats built with large carrying capacity, but furnished with no cabins for the accommodation of passengers. This class of boats proved successful. In 1871, on the Ohio, lower Mississippi, Illinois, and upper Mississippi large quantities of freight were transported in barges, and the number of tow-boats and barges was being increased every year.

During the same year a successful trip was made from St. Louis to Galveston, Texas, by a light stern-wheel steamboat, the "Beardstown," demonstrating the practicability of establishing direct communication between St. Louis, through the bayous and coast channel, and the coast cities of Texas. The enlargement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal opened to St. Louis, through the Illinois River and that canal, direct water communication with Chicago, Milwaukee, Duluth, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo. An iron propeller called the "Two Brothers," built and equipped at Buffalo, N. Y., completed a voyage from that port via the Miami Canal, Muskingum, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers to the mouth of the Red River, and thence through that stream into the Atchafalaya, the Sabine, and thence to Galveston. The Michigan and Illinois Canal having been opened, three lake schooners at the beginning of winter sailed from Chicago passed through the canal, and entered Peoria Lake. It was the intention of the owners of these vessels to pass down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to the gulf, where they could operate during the winter. Their design was frustrated by the closing of the river and lake by ice. These incidents seemed to promise that at no very distant period loaded barges would be towed from ports on the lakes to New Orleans direct.

The legislation by Congress in February, 1871, repealed the then existing steamboat laws, and enacted a law of more stringent and restrictive character. Under its provisions a board of officers was created with almost autocratic control over the whole steamboat interests. No sooner did the obnoxious provisions of this law receive the attention of the steamboatmen than a storm of opposition to the enforcement swept over the entire country. Associations of steamboatmen and vessel-owners' associations were formed at all the river-, lake-, and sea-ports in the United States. For the first time in the history of the country the owners of steamboats and ships were united. A call for a convention of vessel-owners to meet in Louisville, Ky., on the 15th of November, was responded to from about twenty States, who sent delegates. The convention, composed of men representing about one billion six hundred million dollars invested in steam-vessels, met at the appointed time, and after a harmonious but earnest discussion of the grievances under which they labored, extending through a three days' session, the convention adjourned after appointing certain general committees. The executive committee labored earnestly to prepare a bill to be introduced into Congress which would be just to their interests and still fair toward the general government. The passage of the law in question awakened an interest in the subject of steam navigation, and provoked a unanimity of feeling among those most deeply interested. A national convention of vessel-owners was called to meet in Washington City on the 23d of December, 1872, to consider what further could be done to reawaken an interest in water transportation lines.

The steamboat tonnage of Western rivers in 1871 was:

Pittsburgh 162,523.91
Brownsville 18,250.00
Wheeling 6,254.00
Parkersburg 4,180.00
Kanawha River trade 2,185.00
Gallipolis 1,652.00
Cincinnati 41,318.08
Pomeroy 2,310.08
Madison 1,740.26
Zanesville 620.00
Louisville 18,820.97
Paducah 3,021.00
Evansville 10,652.05
Nashville 4,500.00
Cairo 4,207.00
Memphis 20,402.12
New Orleans 285,825.18
Galena (Dis.) 10,307.18
St. Louis (carrying capacity) 96,926.26
St. Louis (barges' carrying capacity) 45,741.00
Cincinnati (barges) 26,638.17
Barges at other ports 35,782.19
Total tonnage (capacity) 803,844.45


The aggregate value of steamboat property on Western rivers in 1871 was as follows:

Pittsburgh, Pa $3,690,000
Wheeling, W. Va. (estimated) 385,000
Gallipolis, Ohio 40,000
Cincinnati, Ohio 3,065,500
Louisville, Ky. 1,097,500
Evansville, Ind. 463,100
Nashville, Tenn. 148,000
Memphis, Tenn. 685,000
Galena (Dis.) 820,000
New Orleans (river steamers) 6,842,600
Total $17,214,700
To which add steamboats at St. Louis 5,428,800
Grand total $22,643,500
Value of barges on Western rivers 3,769,400
Total value of boats and barges $26,412,900

The above statement does not include the coal-boats of Pittsburgh, nor the stone-boats employed at various quarries on the Ohio, Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers, the boats of the upper Tennessee River, the canal-boats employed in the navigation of the Miami, Wabash, and Illinois Canals, nor does it include the barges employed at New Orleans and other ports on the Southern waters, which would add considerably to the aggregate value.

In July, 1872, an invitation signed by many of the best citizens of St. Louis was sent to the commissioner of emigration for Missouri in London, inviting representative Englishmen to visit the great fair at St. Louis in the following October; and the London Times of August 30th, in a leading editorial, urged upon its readers the importance of a more direct trade with the Mississippi valley, and particularly with St. Louis. The invitation was favorably received in England, and although only a few Englishmen were able, in consequence of the lateness of the season when it reached them, to attend the fair, it resulted in the formation of the "Mississippi Valley Society of London and St. Louis," having for its "general objects," first, the removal of "all obstructions to the direct interchange of products between Europe and the great Western and Southern States of North America," and, secondly, "to facilitate the introduction of foreign capital into those States, for the purpose of developing their resources and increasing their commerce."

The failure to estimate at its proper value the operations of the Western river system in determining the course of commerce and establishing an equilibrium in the carrying trade was made apparent by the rates charged in 1873 on the northern and southern routes to Liverpool. Freight charges by these routes were as follows: From St. Paul to New Orleans, eighteen cents per bushel on corn; thence to Liverpool, twenty cents; elevator charges at New Orleans, two cents, making a total of all charges between St. Paul and Liverpool of forty cents per bushel. The ruling freight rates on corn during that season by the New York route had been, from St. Paul to Chicago, eighteen cents; Chicago to Buffalo, by lake, eight cents; Buffalo to New York, by canal, fourteen cents; charges at Chicago, two cents; at Buffalo, two cents; at New York, four cents; freight to Liverpool, sixteen cents, making the total charges on a bushel of corn between St. Paul and Liverpool via New York amount to sixty-four cents, or a difference of twenty-four cents on the bushel in favor of the Mississippi and gulf route.

This comparison of freight charges was not without an important influence upon the problem of cheap transportation, which was then coming into prominence. The question was carried into the halls of Congress, and its agitation led to the appointment by the United States Senate of the "Select Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard," which was " investigate and report upon the subject of transportation between the interior and the seaboard." The message of the President of the United States had invited the attention of Congress to the fact that the time had arrived for that body "to consider various enterprises for the more certain and cheaper transportation of the constantly-increasing Western and Southern products to the Atlantic seaboard," and it added that "the subject is one that will force itself upon the legislative branch of the government sooner or later." In this connection the President suggested "that immediate steps be taken to gain all available information, to insure equitable and just legislation," and recommended the appointment of a commission to consider the whole question and to report to Congress at some future day. Senator Windom, of Minnesota, was made chairman of the Senate committee which, as previously indicated, was appointed in accordance with these recommendations. In addition to this governmental recognition of the necessity and importance of full consideration of the subject of transportation, the Farmers' Convention of Illinois incorporated into their platform an emphatic demand for immediate action looking toward the improvement of the navigation on Western rivers. The Transportation Committee at the outset of the investigation were confronted with "the absence of systematized statistics with regard to the course and magnitude of the internal commerce of the country," and with "the apparent indifference and neglect with which it


had been treated" in our governmental policy. The huge sum of ton billion dollars was fixed by the committee as the "value of commodities moved by the railroads in 1872;" and it was added that "their gross receipts reached the enormous sum of four hundred and seventy-three million two hundred and forty-one thousand and fifty-five dollars," and that "the commerce of the cities on the Ohio River alone has been carefully estimated at over one billion six hundred million dollars per annum."

Public attention was now directed most forcibly to the water lines of transportation, and everywhere throughout the West the people were awakening to the importance of availing themselves to the fullest extent of the unrivaled facilities for transportation which would be afforded by their magnificent rivers when properly improved, and when the difficulties and embarrassments which then beset their navigation had been entirely removed.

The commerce of the Missouri River had "dwindled to insignificance" in 1874. A difference of opinion existed as to whether this was due to the fact that two well-equipped railways were running up the valley, parallel to and not far distant from the river, or to the character of the stream, the number of snags and wrecks in its bed, the rapidity of its current, and the consequent necessity for costly vessels to navigate it. An effort to establish the barge system upon the Missouri River had been made in 1873, but without sufficient trial to demonstrate whether it was or was not practicable.

The Illinois River had in 1872 become "the freight regulator between the Mississippi and Lake Michigan," and the enlargement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal had already been productive of most beneficial results. The commerce of St. Louis with the Arkansas, White, and Ouachita Rivers declined very perceptibly during the year, while the trade with the Red River still maintained a position of importance. The "packet system" on the Mississippi continued to embrace almost the entire traffic of the river. The Memphis and St. Louis Packet Company transported 341,400 tons of merchandise during the year 1873; the Keokuk and Northern Line 227,600 tons; the Missouri River Star Line Packet Company 98,950 tons; the Merchants' Southern Packet Company 140,500 tons; the St. Louis and New Orleans Packet Company 141,600 tons, and the Mississippi Valley Transportation Company 161,200 tons.

The amount of freight in tons, received at St. Louis by rail and river from 1872 to 1876 was as follows:

1872 By rail, 2,838,364; by river, 863,919
1873 By rail, 3,245,178; by river, 801,055
1874 By rail, 3,165,093; by river, 732, 765
1875 By rail, 3,232,770; by river, 663,525
1876 By rail, 3,431,200; by river, 688,755

The decline in river business appears from figures to have become permanent. The shipments of freight, in tons, for the same years show a similar falling off in river business:

1872 By rail, 1,204,664; by river, 805,282
1873 By rail, 1,155,416; by river, 783,256
1874 By rail, 1,230,676; by river, 707,325
1875 By rail, 1,301,450; by river, 639,095
1876 By rail, 1,659,950; by river, 600,225

The excitement and business depression resulting from the Presidential election in 1876, together with the agitation of the war question in Europe, unsettled values, and interfered seriously with the course of trade throughout the country, but possibly less seriously in St. Louis than at other commercial centres. It is especially noticeable that the receipts of many articles of trade increased in a very marked degree on those of the previous years, as shown by the following table:

  1876. 1875. 1874.
Tons of freight received 4,119,975 3,896,295 3,987858
Tons of freight shipped 2,260,175 1,190,545 1,938,001
Total tons handled 6,380,150 5,836,840 5,835,959

The river at St. Louis was open to trade during the entire winter of 1875-76, and continued open in the fall of 1876 until December 3d, but the winter of 1876-77 was one of the coldest on record, the river being closed at Cairo and Memphis, and as far south as Helena.

In October of 1877 a River Improvement Convention met at St. Paul, which appointed a committee to lay the wants of the Mississippi valley before Congress, and to urge an increased appropriation for the improvement of the river by the general government.

For several years prior to 1877 experimental shipments of grain in bulk to foreign ports via New Orleans had been made. The "humidity" of the gulf,


the condition of the grain upon arrival at destination, which was said to be impaired, and the "dangers by the way" were all alleged as causes why foreign trade down the Mississippi would be commercially impracticable. A record of the shipments, however, with official reports of the condition of grain on arrival on the other side, showed that the cargoes, without exception, were received in good condition, even when shipped in sailing-vessels, and the result of the experiment was to demonstrate the practicability of the route, and to gradually build up an increasing trade.

The value of waterways for commerce continued in 1877 to attract general attention, and the success which at this time began to attend the efforts of Capt. Eads at the "jetties" served to concentrate Western and Southern political influence in favor of such further improvements of the great rivers of the West as would render them fully equal to the demands of the already immense and still growing trade of the great valley.

A careful examination of actual freight rates during the year 1877 on shipments of grain from St. Paul via St. Louis and New Orleans to Liverpool, and via Chicago and New York, showed that the through rate to Liverpool was eleven cents per bushel lower via the St. Louis route the whole year round. This advantage in freight immediately changed the complexion of affairs, and the great trunk lines, which had discriminated against St. Louis, began making extraordinarily favorable concessions to its merchants. The public rail rates on grain were immediately reduced from twelve and one-half cents a hundred as low as ten cents, so that grain was carried at about six cents per bushel. In another case a shipment of nineteen hundred barrels of flour was contracted for at one dollar per barrel from St. Louis to Liverpool via Philadelphia, which was just five cents less than the steamship rate from New York to Liverpool. Until the jetties were completed, St. Louis was at the mercy of the railroads, and they made what rates they pleased. Chicago and Milwaukee, on the contrary, had the lake route at their command, and the railroads could not dictate to them during the summer months. Six months in the year, however, the lake route is closed with ice, and then the railroads reign supreme even in the lake cities. Not so with St. Louis: the river from Cairo to the sea is always open, and from St. Louis to Cairo it is rarely closed more than a month or a month and a half, while frequently it is not closed at all. There is, therefore, a certainty of competition and low freights for ten or eleven months in the year, whereas it exists during only six out of the twelve for Chicago and Milwaukee.

The export trade via New Orleans, which revived in 1877 under such favorable auspices, continued with augmented volume in 1878. During each month of the year there was a steady flow of shipments, and the total movement reached 5,451,603 tons. In 1879 the shipment of grain in bulk from St. Louis amounted to 6,164,838 tons, and but for the low stage of water during the summer and early fall the shipments would have been largely increased, as on the opening of the river in January, 1880, engagements were made for all the tonnage that could be had, and over 1,500,000 bushels of corn were forwarded during the month, one tow alone taking 270,000 bushels of corn and another 225,376 bushels of corn and other freight.

On the 20th of October, 1880, there assembled in St. Louis a convention of delegates from twenty-one States and Territories, the object being to promote "cheap transportation and free commerce." A convention composed of delegates from Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska was also held at Kansas City, in September, 1880, which created the Missouri River Improvement Association. Under the auspices of this association another convention was held in the city of St. Joseph, Mo., on the 29th of November, 1881, which appointed an executive committee to memorialize Congress upon the improvement of the navigation of the Missouri River.

TO Flour. Tobacco. Wheat. Corn. Oil Cake Bran. and S. Stuffs. Dried Apples.
  Bbls. Hhds. Bush. Bush. Sacks. Sacks. Sacks.
England 21,446 1448 114,053 410,786 4058 4350  
Scotland 1,321   40,000        
Belgium 5,613 18          
Ireland 1,500            
France             300
Holland             25
Total 29,880 1466 154,053 410,786 4058 4350 325


Exhibit of Comparative Receipts of all Sources at the Port of St. Louis During the Last Twenty-two Years.
YEAR. Import Duty. Hospital Tax. Steamboat Fees. Storage. Official Fees. Fines and Forfeits. Total Collections.
1861 $14,425.15 $2,304.60 $771.00 $523.48 $585.50   $18,609.78
1862 20,404.70 4,550.60 3,342.25 950.33 1661.80   31,019.64
1863 36,622.09 3,644.60 4,194.00 436.50 1785.45   49,910.33
1864 76,448.43 6,185.55 5,636.00 408.45 1890.30   94,759.92
1865 586,407.07 10,271.10 18,848.05 729.74 5410.40   654,583.21
1866 785,651.30 8,465.50 11,145.70 424.98 4541.30   834,935.78
1867 1,236,798.06 8,556.18 15,571.00 2403.24 3558.15   1,297,255.88
1868 1,403,997.64 6,244.64 14,044.83 1383.18 3880.15   1,457,985.66
1869 1,711,256.19 6,619.98 14,366.92 2487.42 1890.00   1,764,112.31
1870 1,996,083.49 7,003.64 14,040.49 1390.31 2482.65   2,037,484.15
1871 1,874,907.29 10,590.50 16,306.60 1226.36 2278.80   1,905,309.55
1872 1,697,563.27 11,325.78 16,114.57 2459.09 2587.50   1,730.050.21
1873 1,376,466.32 11,206.75 14,512.98 1829.45 2630.80   1,406,646.30
1874 1,674,116.53 11,868.34 13,895.26 1742.00 1949.65   1,703,591.78
1875 1,159,849.17 9,578.53 13,022.72 1653.00 2099.45   1,186,202.87
1876 1,748,374.30 12,005.81 13,700.94 1168.00 2550.00   1,777,369.05
1877 1,275,175.72 11,363.92 13.593.45 1201.25 3397.25   1,304,731.59
1878 1,590,458.08 12,108.88 13,613.65 946.49 2245.00   1,619,375.10
1879 831,513.96 11,476.89 33,700.40 1473.23 2241.55 328.47 860,734.50
1880 1,320,855.61 12,681.83 14,189.00 1571.73 2581.20 279.88 1,351,559.25
1881 1,352,093.48 11,936.43 14,139.30 1848.66 2575.45 80.00 1,382,673.32
1882 1,295,475.07 11,834.22 8,048.25 512.00 3110.00 58.95 1,319,038.50
CONDENSED CLASSIFICATION OF COMMODITIES imported direct into St. Louis during 1881, showing foreign value and duties paid.
ARTICLES. Foreign Value. Amount Duties Paid.
Anvils $22,940.00 $5,905.68
Ale and beer 2,556.00 970.56
Books and printed matter 20,908.00 5,208.70
Bricks and tiles 1,877.00 374.60
Brushes 17,846.00 7,138.40
Chemicals 10,725.00 1,534.90
China and earthenware 141,444.00 39,842.05
Cutlery 43,192.00 19,635.20
Diamonds 74,098.00 7,410.40
Druggists' sundries 21,144.00 7,699.24
Files 1,720.00 924.56
Free goods 103,452.00  
Glassware 39,466.00 23,734.75
Hops 62,323.00 6,369.28
Iron, pig 1,646.00 350.00
Iron (railroad bars) 49,362.00 42,042.25
Jewelers' merchandise 3,247.00 811.75
Leather 4,784.00 1,469.10
Manufactures of cotton 58,308.00 20,407.80
Manufactures of metals 13,495.00 4,723.25
Manufactures of paper 8,740.00 3,059.00
Manufactures of silk 20,124.00 12,074.40
Manufactures of wool 22,275.00 15,305.99
Musical instruments 10,276.00 3,082.80
Nuts and fruits 1,507.00 493.72
Paintings 29,344.00 1,764.42
Philosophical instruments 1,122.00 478.80
Rifles and muskets 53,581.00 18,753.35
Seed 10,058.00 1,919.20
Soda ash 57,233.00 11,414.82
Soda castle 19,080.00 11,659.79
Steel 50,367.00 15,975.82
Steel rails and bars 49,354.00 45,442.25
Tin 84,077.00 20,727.97
Tobacco and cigars 89,262.00 85,684.08
Wines and spirits 86,738.00 36,979.95
Window-glass 15,818.00 13,901.62
Woolen dry-goods 101,570.00 68,789.43
Sundries 556,858.00 194,070.29
Totals $1,961,917.00 $758,080.17
  1881. 1880. 1879. 1878. 1875.
By rail eastward 91,727 146,087 136,881 72,1091 16,825
By river to New Orleans 389,587 433,681 176,531 154,060 6,857
Total 481,314 599,768 312,412 226,151 23,682

The shipments by river for 1881 include, in addition to the articles in table of shipments by river on through bills of lading, 12,861,124 bushels of grain shipped via New Orleans not on through bills of lading.

Year. Wheat. Corn. Rye. Oats. Totals.
  Bush. Bush. Bush. Bush. Bush.
1881 4,197,981 8,640,720 22,423 132,823 12,993,947
1880 5,913,272 9,804,392 45,000   15,762,664
1879 2,390,897 3,585,589 157,424 30,928 6,164,838
1878 1,876,639 2,857,056 609,041 108,867 5,451,603
1877 351,453 3,578,057 171,843   4,101,353
1876 37,142 1,737,237     1,774,379
1875 135,961 172,617     308,578
1874 365,252 1,047,794   10,000 1,423,046
1873   l,373.969     1,373,969
1872   1,711,039     1,711,039
1871   309,077   3,000 312,077
1870 66,000       66,000
Name. Number of Tow-Steamers. Number of Barges. Capacity for Bulk Grain. Capacity for moving to New Orleans monthly.
      Bush. Bush.
St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company 13 98 4,900,0110 3,000,000
American Transportation Company 2 10 400,000 400,000
Mound City Transportation Company 1 9 540,000 500,000


To Corn. Wheat. Rye.
  Bush. Bush. Bush.
England 2,042,613 417,893  
Germany 776,916    
Belgium 1,256,364 558,210  
France 1,970,472 2,608,644  
Holland 216,447 216,517 22,423
Ireland 195,916 126,099  
Denmark 836,991    
Scotland   29,932  
Cape Bretou 261,110 578,494  
Total bushels 7,555,829 4,533,789 22,423
Total bushels, 1880 9,596,956 5,901,137 23,000

1882 Upper Mississippi. Lower Mississippi. Illinois. Missouri. Ohio. Cumberland and Tennessee. Total Steamers. Barges and Canal-Boats. Tons of Freight Received. Tons of Lumber and Logs by Raft Received.
January 11 51 2   7 4 75 37 25,750  
February 26 79 11 3 8   127 77 43,575 1,790
March 74 107 35 6 17 1 240 174 127,800 10,375
April 113 84 29 7 20 3 256 196 117,895 30,070
May 134 90 34 9 18 4 289 191 115,730 33,645
June 108 75 22 10 14 4 233 98 68,020 33,250
July 112 86 21 28 16 4 267 70 80,335 16,880
August 139 74 19 26 10 3 270 94 57,695 43,620
September 128 82 17 10 9 2 248 105 42,805 38,865
October 136 76 17 9 6 3 247 130 48,840 38,080
November 110 74 18 4 10 2 218 97 53,925 23,645
December 20 34 3 3 5 2 67 41 19,710 1,270
Total 1111 912 228 114 140 32 2537 1310 802,080 271,490
Upper Mississippi 266,670 tons by rafts.
Missouri 4,820 tons by rafts.
Total 271,490 tons by rafts.
1882. Upper Mississippi. Lower Mississippi. Illinois. Missouri. Ohio. Cumberland and Tennessee. Ouachita. Total Steamers. Tons of Frieght Shipped.
January 12 52 2   10 1 2 79 35,055
February 25 71 11 3 9   1 120 63,120
March 71 92 38 8 21 2   232 88,590
April 113 78 27 12 18 3 1 252 93,985
May 127 78 27 13 20 2 1 268 80,450
June 106 74 18 7 19 4   228 55,740
July 110 89 22 31 16 3   271 66,900
August 137 79 20 25 13 1   275 86,145
September 136 85 14 8 10 1   254 66,080
October 122 72 19 2 7 3 1 226 55,160
November 96 79 14 2 13 2 3 209 52,045
December 22 44 2 1 4     73 26,635
Total 1077 893 214 112 160 22. 9 2487 769,905

Chapter XXIX. Railroads.

The most cursory glance at the map of the United States will satisfy any one that St. Louis is the point at which the greater part of the vast internal commerce of the country passes, whether going from the Atlantic to the Pacific, or from the frozen regions to the torrid zone. From the founding of the city, the great river system of the Mississippi valley, as we have seen, has been tributary to her wealth and prosperity; and when the era of railroads came with its rapidity of movement, to satisfy that restless spirit which characterizes the American, she was among the first of the cities to recognize the impending change in commercial transportation, and to take the necessary steps to guard her interests and promote her prosperity.

The first movement in this direction was the action of a large number of the enterprising citizens of St. Louis, calling upon the several counties of the State to send delegates to an "Internal Improvement Convention" which was to assemble in that city on the 20th of April, 1835. At the time appointed the convention met at the court-house and organized by the selection of Dr. Samuel Merry as chairman, and G. K. McGunnegle as secretary. The roll of the convention being called, the following delegates were found to be present:

St. Louis County. — Edward Tracy, Maj. J. B. Brant, Col. John O'Fallon, Dr. Samuel Merry, Archibald Gamble, M. L. Clark, Col. Joseph C. Laveille, Thornton Grimsley, H. S. Geyer, Col. Henry Walton, Lewellyn Brown, Henry Von Phul, George K. McGunnegle, Col. B. W. Ayres, Pierro Chouteau, Jr., and Hamilton R. Gamble.

Lincoln County. — Col. David Bailey, Hans Smith, Emanuel Block, Benjamin W. Dudley, and Dr. Bailey.

Washington County. — Dr. J. H. Relfe, Philip Cole, John S. Brickey, Jesse H. McIlvaine, Myers H. Jones, James Evans, and W. C. Reed.

Cooper County. — Benjamin E. Ferry, N. W. Mack, and William H. Trigg.

Warren County. — Carty Wells, Nathaniel Pendleton, and Irvine S. Pitman.

St. Charles County. — Edward Bates, Moses Bigelow, William M. Campbell, and W. L. Overall.

Galloway County. — William H. McCullough, William H. Russell, D. R. Mullen, Dr. N. Kouns, C. Oxley, Jacob G. Lebo, R. B. Oyerton, and — Moxley.

Montgomery County. — Dr. M. M. Maughas, S. C. Ruby, and Nathaniel Dryden.

Boone County. — Dr. James W. Moss, John B. Gordon, J. W. Keiser, D. M. Hickman, J. S. Rollins, William Hunter, R. W. Morriss, and Granville Branham.

Howard County. — Dr. John Bull, Maj. Alphonso Wetmore, Weston F. Birch, Joseph Davis, Gen. J. B. Clark, T. Y. Stearns, and John Wilson.

Jefferson County. — James S. McCutchen.


After some debate the convention recommended the construction of two railroads, one from St. Louis to Fayette, and the other from St. Louis to the iron-and lead-mines in the southern part of the State. After the adjournment of the convention the members attended a banquet given in their honor by the merchants of St. Louis at the National Hotel, then situated at the corner of Third and Market Streets. The mayor, John F. Darby, presided, assisted by Charles Keemle, secretary, and the following vice-presidents: Gen. John Ruland, Hon. H. O'Neil, Thomas Cohen, Maj. William Milburn, Beverly Allen, Col. J. W. Johnson, and William G. Pettus.

To defray the expenses attending the survey of the routes of the two railroads recommended by the Internal Improvement Convention, the judges of the St. Louis County court, in May, 1836, appropriated two thousand dollars.

On the 18th of June, 1836, another internal improvement meeting was held in St. Louis, to devise means for the furtherance of the Boston Railroad design, which contemplated a direct communication between Boston and St. Louis, and connections with the improvements leading to the other cities of the Atlantic seaboard. On motion of T. Grimsley, John F. Darby was called to the chair, and on motion of A. B. Chambers, William Milburn was appointed secretary.

The chairman stated what he understood to be the object of the meeting, and urged its importance to the city of St. Louis, the whole State of Missouri, and the entire valley of the Mississippi.

A. B. Chambers gave his views more at length, and concluded by stating that Mr. Walker, of Boston, who was one of the projectors of the scheme and its warm advocate, was present, and that many were desirous of hearing him on the subject, but, to bring the matter directly before the meeting, he would first ask the reading of a preamble and resolutions which had been prepared for the occasion. They were accordingly read as follows:

"WHEREAS, The citizens of St. Louis have seen with pleasure the proposition in Boston and other portions of the East for the connection of Boston with the Western country by means of an uninterrupted line of railroads;

"AND WHEREAS, The measure is one of advantage to the East and the West, and to no portion of the West more than to St. Louis, which will, if it is ever completed, be the termination of the line;

"AND WHEREAS, the accomplishment of the undertaking appears to be probable and within the means of the States interested, and requiring but a small addition of road to what is already built or in the progress of erection; therefore,

"Resolved, That we cordially approve of the proposition to connect Boston with the Western country by means of a railroad as a work of easy accomplishment, and which deserves the support of all the States through which it may pass.

"2. Resolved, That the citizens of St. Louis will lend their assistance and hearty co-operation, so far as their ability extends, in furtherance of the proposition.

"3. Resolved, That a committee of be appointed, who shall constitute a committee of correspondence, and shall generally have authority to do whatever may be in their power to aid in carrying out the contemplated work."

The preamble and resolutions having been read, there was a unanimous call for Mr. Walker, who delivered a very interesting discourse, in which he demonstrated the practicability of the plan and its great importance to both the East and the West.

The resolutions were then read separately and unanimously adopted, the blank in the third resolution ordered to be filled with the number "five" and the chair authorized to appoint the committee.

The chair accordingly appointed William Carr Lane, mayor of the city, Thornton Grimsley, Andrew J. Davis, William Milburn, and Gustavus A. Bird, and by resolution of the meeting the chairman, John F. Darby, was added to the committee.

The same meeting further resolved that a committee should be appointed "to draft a memorial to the Legislature asking the aid of the State government to the amount of five hundred thousand dollars for the construction of a railroad to the mining region; also to draft a memorial to the mayor and alderman of this city asking their aid in the same amount for the same object; also to draft a memorial to Congress asking a donation of every section and fractional section thereof of public lands over which the road should pass; also to draft a memorial to the Legislature asking for a geological survey of the State."

Under this resolution the following committee was appointed: B. W. Ayres, A. Wetmore, G. Morton, Dr. King, J. C. Abbot, A. J. Davis, Charles Collins, John Kingsland, John Simonds, William Smith, and James Russell.

At the same meeting it was resolved that a committee be appointed "to collect facts relating general subject of internal improvement, and to the particular object embraced in the first-mentioned resolutions." To this committee were appointed J. C. Dinnies, Dr. Englemann, Dr. Merry, Maj. Anderson, Edward Tracy, Réné Paul, and D. D. Page.

In January following two charters were granted by the State, one incorporating the St. Louis and Bellevue Mineral Railroad Company, and the other the Louisiana and Columbia Railroad Company. The charters were similar in their enactments, and were very liberal in their terms. The legislators of that


day were in doubt whether railroads should be worked by horse- or steam-power, and whether the vehicles and motive-power should be owned by the company or by other parties. They also had very vague conceptions of the profits likely to accrue to the stockholders. The ruling idea, however, seems to have been the construction of improved highways, free to all, and subject only to such restrictions as the public good and the interest of those who had invested capital in them demanded.

Both of these projected railroad lines were surveyed, but neither was built. The charter of the Louisiana and Columbia road was incorporated ten years afterwards in that granted to the Hannibal and St. Jo Company, and that of the Bellevue road in the Iron Mountain Railroad charter fourteen years afterwards.

Thus ended the first effort at railroad construction in Missouri.

Notwithstanding their temporary want of success, however, the citizens of St. Louis continued to manifest a lively interest in railroad development, and looked forward with confidence to the day when their cherished desires should be consummated.

In June, 1839, another town-meeting was held at the court-house for the purpose of devising means to connect St. Louis with Boston by railroad. Nothing resulted from a discussion of the subject, as the people still relied too confidently upon the splendid geographical position of St. Louis to, sooner or later, attract the needed capital and enterprise for the construction of railroads. At this period (1839) a railroad had been completed to Buffalo, and the route from the West to the East by way of the lakes had begun to attract attention.


Aboard of improvements was created by the State in 1840, but nothing was done further than to make a survey for a railroad from St. Louis to the Iron Mountain by the way of Big River, and some surveys of the Osage River with a view of improving its navigation.

Missouri Pacific Railway. — As already indicated, the commercial sagacity of the people of St. Louis recognized the fact that the capital of the eastern section of the country would ultimately come to their city in order to construct the railroads which her expanding trade demanded; that the self-interest of the East would seek the mart where were collected the vast productions of the West; and that being the most distant city from the East, she was the nearest to the West, the greatest producing as well as the greatest consuming section of the country.

These considerations induced her merchants to pivot, as it were, their great Pacific Railroad on the Mississippi River, with that already great feeder and carrier as the base and eastern terminus, and to "go west" for greater conquests and grander results.

The successful termination of the Mexican war had added large areas to the territory of the Union and expanded its boundaries to the Pacific, and it was soon seen that the discovery of gold in California (in 1848) would in a few years open up that country to a trade more valuable even than the gold of her mines, and people the Pacific slope with an energetic and enterprising race.

From time to time, previous to the year 1849, various propositions were suggested by Whitney, Maury, Degrand, and others for the construction of a railroad from St. Louis to some point on the Pacific coast, and in December, 1848, the Western Journal commenced the publication of a series of articles on Eastern commerce, by J. Loughborough, which were designed to direct attention to the importance of a railroad from the Mississippi valley to the Pacific; the route favored being that by the mouth of the Kansas and the South Pass. In January of 1849 the editor of the Western Journal advocated the same project.

About this time, in February of 1849, Col. Benton brought before the United States Senate his project for a Pacific railroad, advocating it in a powerful speech, that seemed to have the effect of giving to the movement, which the public mind had already been prepared for.

On the 20th of February following a large meeting of the citizens of St. Louis was held, upon a call of the mayor, to take action upon the subject. Judge Krum, then mayor of the city, presided, and a committee, of which Thomas Allen was chairman, reported a series of resolutions, strongly in favor the construction of a "national central highway" to the Pacific. These resolutions were unanimously adopted by the meeting. The Legislature was then in session, and a successful attempt was made to procure a charter for the Pacific Railroad, commencing at St. Louis, and running to the western line of Van Buren (afterwards Cass) County. It was approved on


the 12th of March, 1849. The line of the proposed road is thus defined in the seventh section of the charter:

"Said company shall have power to survey, make, locate, and construct a railroad from the city of St. Louis to the city of Jefferson, and thence to some point on the western line of Van Buren (now Cass) County, in this State, with a view that the same may be continued hereafter westwardly to the Pacific Ocean." The act vested its powers in twenty-one corporators, of whom nine formed a quorum and might proceed to act.

The corporators were John O'Fallon, Lewis V. Bogy, James H. Lucas, Edward Walsh, George Collier, Thomas B. Hudson, Daniel D. Page, Henry M. Shreve, James E. Yeatman, John B. Sarpy, Wayman Joshua B. Brant, Thomas Allen, Robert Campbell, Pierre Chouteau, Jr., Henry Shaw, Bernard Pratte, Ernst Angelrodt, Adolphus Meier, Louis A. Benoist and Adam L. Mills.

The capital stock of the company as fixed by the charter was ten million dollars.

On the 24th of May, 1849, the City Council of St. Louis passed the following preamble and resolutions:

"WHEREAS, Recent events have directed public attention to the necessity and importance of early railroad and telegraph connection with California and Oregon, and the general desire seems to be to make St. Louis the starting point for those great national work; and

"WHEREAS, This community is especially interested in the accomplishment of so vast and beneficent an enterprise, and is properly expected to lead in the essential preliminary action for concentrating and enlightening public opinion in reference thereto; and

"WHEREAS, It is peculiarly desirable that measures should be promptly adopted in furtherance of the most feasible plan for making such a connection between St. Louis and the Bay of San Francisco or the Pacific coast; therefore,

"Be it resolved by the Board of Aldermen, the Board of Delegates concurring, That the mayor be requested to call a mass-meeting of the citizens of St. Louis and surrounding country, to be holden on the first Monday in June next, at four o'clock P. M., in order to appoint the necessary committees, and to make suitable arrangements for a convention of delegates from all the towns, cities, counties, and States which will join in such a movement, said convention to be holden in the city of St. Louis on the third Monday of October next.

And be it further resolved, That the hospitalities of this city be tendered to all of the delegates to said convention, and that it be recommended to the mass-meeting on the first Monday of June next to take all suitable action to procure attendance at the October convention from as many States as possible, together with such information to be laid before said convention as may show the value and importance of the route indicative merits of the various plans which have been submitted to public consideration in reference to this subject."

In accordance with the request contained in the resolutions, the mayor caused to be published in the several newspapers of the city the following notice, dated May 28, 1849, viz.:

"WHEREAS, The Honorable City Council haye passed resolutions authorizing and requesting the mayor to call a meeting of the citizens of the city of St. Louis and the surrounding country, to be held on the first Monday in June next, in order to appoint the necessary committees and to make suitable arrangements for a convention of delegates from all the towns, cities, counties, and States which will join in such a movement, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best and speediest plan of railroad and telegraphic connection with California and Oregon and the Pacific coast, said convention to be held in the city of St. Louis on the third Monday of October next: Now, therefore, in compliance with said resolutions, I do hereby respectfully request the inhabitants of the city of St. Louis and the surrounding country to meet at the rotunda of the courthouse on Monday, the 1st day of June next, at four o'clock, to take into consideration the above-mentioned subject, and such other matters in relation thereto as may come before the meeting. JAMES G. BARRY, Mayor."

A meeting of persons interested was held at the court-house, in accordance with the above notice, at which the Hon. J. G. Barry, mayor, was called to the chair, and Col. John O'Fallon, David Chambers, and A. B. McNair appointed vice-presidents, Capt. Richard Phillips and A. B. Chambers secretaries.

The chairman explained the object of the meeting, and alluded to the vast importance of the subject, its extent and influence upon the political and commercial prosperity of the country, and the necessity and duty of the citizens of St. Louis to take an active part in furtherance of the enterprise.

On motion of Mr. Blennerhassett, it was ordered that a committee of ten be appointed by the chair to report a preamble and resolutions for the action of the meeting.

The chair selected the following to compose the committee: R. S. Blennerhassett, Thomas Cohen, Robert Campbell, Pierce C. Grace, George L. Lackland, Sr., Matthias Steitz, William Ennis, Mann Butler, L. V. Bogy, and William Milburn, who, by their chairman, reported the following preamble and resolutions:

"WHEREAS, The idea of establishing a thoroughfare of travel and of commerce between Europe and Asia, across the continent of America, has ever been cherished by the statesman and philanthropist since the days of Columbus; and whereas, the discovery and application of steam as a motive-power, the rapid extension of the means of electric communication, the recent events in our history which have extended our domain to the Pacific Ocean, the extraordinary discoveries of gold in California, and the peaceable and prosperous condition of our beloved country, all conspire to place the consummation of this long-cherished project in the power of the American people; and whereas, the great number of projects for a railway across the continent which have been presented to Congress and canvassed before the country, as also the debate with regard to the pracversity of opinion in respect to the location and manner of proticability of a telegraphic line, are calculated to produce a dividing


the necessary means of construction in the case of both projects, and consequently to embarrass the action of the national legislature upon such subjects; and considering it of vital importance in the adoption of measures purely national in all their bearings, and calculated to affect the condition of the whole race of man, whether civilized or savage, that the heart of the nation should be united in the great work, and believing that this favorable condition of the public mind can best be promoted through the agency of a convention that shall be purely national in all respects, be it, therefore,

"Resolved, That this meeting cordially approve of the recommendation made by the city authorities of holding a great national convention in St. Louis, on the third Monday of October next, for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency and practicability of establishing a line of electric telegraph, and of constructing a railway from St. Louis to the Bay of San Francisco.

"Resolved, That the project of a great line of railway across the American continent is in all its aspects a national project, that as such it is due to every State and section of the Union that their opinions and views shall be heard, and their interest fairly considered, and that we deprecate any attempt to excite sectional jealousy, party rivalry, or personal feelings in reference to this important subject.

"Resolved, That the chairman of this meeting appoint a committee of twenty-five, whose duty it shall be to prepare an address to the people of the United States, urging them to take into their serious consideration these interesting subjects; to open and conduct a correspondence with every portion of the Union, in such manner as to further the objects of this meeting; to collect, prepare, and publish all the facts calculated to recommend these subjects to public consideration, and to suggest when and how they ought to be accomplished; and, finally, to prepare and classify, and have printed for the use of the members of the October convention, every fact within their power calculated to shed light upon these subjects, together with a map and profile sections, made up from the best authorities.

"Resolved, That we feel deeply gratified in witnessing that many portions of the Union are awakening to the importance of this great subject, and feel satisfied that our fellow-citizens generally will cordially co-operate in bringing into successful operation the great national measures which are contemplated by the convention of October next.

"Resolved, That the mayor and Council of the city of St. Louis and the county court be hereby requested to appropriate out of their treasury such sum or sums as in their judgment, upon consultation with said committee, shall be requisite to carry into effect the foregoing resolutions.

"Resolved, That the whole people of the United States be and they are hereby invited to send delegates to the contemplated convention, and that the hospitalities of this city are hereby cordially proffered to all such as may honor us by their attendance."

The preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted.

On the 11th of June the chairman announced the following as the committee of twenty-five under the resolution:

Messrs. L. M. Kennett, Thomas Allen, Thomas B. Hudson, M. Tarver, Henry Kayser, A. B. Chambers, R. Phillips, John O'Fallon, Edward Walsh, John F. Darby, J. M. Field, L. V. Bogy, G. K. Budd, N. R. Cormany, Joseph Loughborough, Charles G. Ramsey, Joseph C. Meyer, John Withnell, George L. Lackla