Pictures and Illustrations
THIS magnificent stream, called by the aborigines, and approved by general acclaim, "The Father of Waters," is the largest river in North America, and, with its principal affluent, the Missouri, the longest in the world — the entire length from the source of the Missouri to the mouth of the Mississippi being 4,300 miles. The distance from the little lake Itasca, where the Mississippi proper takes its rise, to the Gulf of Mexico, into which the river empties, is 3,160 miles.
The course of the Mississippi being north and south, it traverses every variety of climate — commencing in the frigid, and winding through the temperate, almost to the burning zone. The hardy trapper, from the farthest north, laden with his store of furs, starts on his journey from the land of perpetual snow, and is borne, on the bosom of this marvellous stream, to the land of tropical fruits, where the soft breezes of the summer time are perennial.
The waters of the Mississippi, above its confluence with the Missouri, are remarkably clear, but after mingling with the latter river, they become turbid and muddy, being nearly one-third sedimentary matter.
Some of the largest and most beautiful rivers to be found on the continent are tributary to the Mississippi. Among the most noted, after the Missouri, may be mentioned the Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Red, St. Peter's, DesMoines, and many others, whose waters are navigable for hundreds of miles.
The descent of the waters of the Mississippi, from its source to its mouth, is about six inches to the mile. Its elevation at its extreme source is 1,680 feet; at St. Anthony's Falls, 856 feet; at St. Louis, 382 feet; at Natches, 86 feet; and opposite New Orleans, 10 Ë feet.
The width of the river at Pecagama, 2,885 miles above the Gulf of Mexico, is about 80 feet. Below the Ohio it varies in breadth, from 600 to 1200 yards. Its depth below the Ohio, is from 90 to 120 feet. Just opposite New Orleans the river is half a mile wide, and 100 feet deep.
The Mississippi is navigable for ordinary sized steamboats, as far up as St. Paul's, Minnesota, which is nearly 2,200 miles from the Gulf. In seasons of high water boats can go as high as St. Anthony's Falls, nine miles above St. Paul's.
An extraordinary peculiarity of the Mississippi is, its extremely winding course. It will sometimes make a curve extending 30 miles, and appear literally to run up hill, until it reaches within half a mile of the point of its divergence. In some places on the river channels have been cut through these narrow necks of land by the hands of men; while, in other instances, the waters have themselves washed a passage through the opposing soil. As the current of the Mississippi, especially that part of it which lies below its confluence with the Ohio, is very rapid, these unusual windings serve in a great measure to keep its speed in check, and thus to facilitate navigation.
Inundations are frequent, and sometimes very disastrous, on the Mississippi. But as the river runs north and south, the opening of its waters runs in an inverse direction, and the spring releases, in succession, and by instalments as it were, first, the lower valley, next the middle section, and lastly, the more remote sources of the river and its tributaries. Thus, the released waters from the last-named region do not reach the mouth of the river until upwards of a month after the inundation there has abated.
It is impossible to determine, with any degree of certainty, when there will be a rise in the waters, or to what extent they will swell. In some seasons they do not rise above their channels; while in others, the entire valley of the lower Mississippi is submerged.
In former years New Orleans suffered immense damage by inundation. She is now, however, well protected by strong embankments, called levees, being about 10 feet in height, and extending many miles above and below the city; but even these stubborn safeguards are sometimes swept away by the relentless flood.
In heavy freshets, it is often the case, that immense masses of earth, with numbers of large trees, are cut away from the bends of the river, and carried down the stream. The trees becoming water-soaked, often sink at one end, and, becoming embedded in the mud, leaves the other end floating near the surface, and forms those dangerous foes of upward-bound steamers, known as snags and sawyers.
Before steam was introduced, sailing vessels were frequently nine or ten weeks in ascending the Mississippi as far up as the mouth of the Illinois. Now the swift steamer goes over the course in less than that number of days.
In 1673 Joliet and Marquet discovered the Upper Mississippi, whose clear waters, then, for the first time, sparkled before the eyes of the white men. Seven years later, Father Hennipen ascended the river as far as the Falls of St. Anthony. Eleven years after, in 1791, La Salle discovered the mouth of the great stream.
De Soto, a Spanish adventurer, had discovered the waters of the Southern Mississippi, as early as 1539, but he only crossed the stream at a point lying between Mississippi and Arkansas, and did not attempt to traverse its course.
What a contrast has a period of less than two centuries wrought in the history of the "Great River." Then, naught was to be seen upon its surface but the frail canoes of the red men, with an occasional solitary bark of the adventurous voyager. Now, it daily bears on its broad bosom a thousand richly freighted steamers, loaded down with the choicest products from every nation on the globe. Then, nothing was to be seen upon its rugged banks but the wild drapery which nature planted with her own hands with here and there, perhaps, the rude and simple wigwam of the Indian. Now, hundreds of large cities, flourishing towns and growing villages dot either side of the river, along its entire navigable length. Such is the march of progress. He, who, a hundred years hence, shall write the history of this noble river, will leap a gap as wide as that which divides us from the days of Father Hennipen and La Salle.
The extraordinary length of the Mississippi, the large number of cities, towns and villages which adorn its banks, and the multiplied objects of curious interest which lie along its course, present to the tourist such a succession of panoramic novelties as perhaps no other locality in the world can equal. And, thanks to the improving spirit of the
7age, the traveller, in feasting upon the exquisite natural and artificial beauties which lie so profusely along a course of 2,000 miles in extent, may at the same time enjoy all the comforts, and partake of all the luxuries which are to be found in the first-class hotels of our finest cities. To be sure, the sleeping accommodations on board our river steamers are not so extensive in point of space, as one might desire; but this want is more than compensated for, especially in the hot summer time, by the plentiful supply of cool, fresh air, which invigorates, inspires and renovates the entire system, and, to the invalid especially, is of more worth than the nostrums of the combined medical faculty.
We would advise voyagers on the Mississippi, whether intent on business or pleasure, to take passage on United States mail boats, in preference to any other class of steamers. It is true, the fares on these boats are a trifle higher than on others, but, as an offset to this objection, they are generally faster in speed, more punctual in point of time of departure and arrival, more spacious, and, as a general rule, spread a better table. In this latter respect, it is but justice to say, that the gastronomic wants of passengers are very seldom curtailed on the Mississippi; no matter how low the fare, or how small or slow the boat. The frequent stoppages along the river enable the stewards to replenish their larders at every meal, if they choose, with every variety of fish, flesh, fowl and fruit. Still, there are some differences in regard, both to quantity and quality, and our own experience decides in favour of the "mail" boats.
Usually the boats which ply upon the western rivers are neither as large, nor as swift in speed, as those which plough the eastern waters. They are also very unlike in their external shape, as well as in their internal economy. The differences in form will be seen by comparing the cuts which follow, one being a representation of a Mississippi, and the other of a Hudson River steamer, the latter as she is passing the Palisades on her way from Albany to New York.
We also present a beautiful engraving of the principal saloon in the steamer "Isaac Newton," one of the finest boats on the Hudson. Northern and eastern steamers are constructed with a view to swiftness, and to the accommodations of large numbers of passengers, while the western boats are made to carry heavy freights in addition to their passenger list, and for safety's sake could not, if they would, and would not, if they could, pursue their continually changing course along their winding streams with a speed greater than eight or ten miles an hour. Notwithstanding the superior elegance and swiftness of northern and eastern steamers, we doubt if their passengers, on the whole, really enjoy themselves with half the zest and appetite that the voyagers on the less pretentious craft of the western waters do. The trips of the former are seldom of more than eight or ten hours' duration (if we except the lake boats); and passengers go on board, eat, drink, and sleep, if they can, and come on shore, without making acquaintances, or indulging in anything like social intercourse — we speak of the rule, to which, of course, there are exceptions. On the western boats, however, the trips being from five to fifteen days in duration, the passengers soon form acquaintance with each other, and in a few hours after leaving port, everybody knows everybody, and a system of social good fellowship is inaugurated, which is maintained during the whole trip, and, in some instances, is continued in after years.
We know that it is not a very agreeable recreation, for persons, especially if they be at all nervous or timid, to read of explosions, conflagrations, and other serious disasters,
10which have occurred over the same route, and perhaps, under apparently similar circumstances through which they are journeying; but, at the same time, we think that the actual dangers of any and every public thoroughfare should be publicly known, as it is to this very knowledge we are indebted for the many improvements which, of late years, have been made for the safe conveyance of passengers and property, both by railway and by steamer. It is an undeniable fact, that many of the disasters of former years on the western waters were caused by carelessness in the construction of steam-boilers, and by the foolish, and always dangerous, habit of racing. Although the number of steamers which now ply upon the southern and western waters is vastly greater than twenty years ago, we doubt if half the number of explosions occur in a given time at this day, that were chronicled at the period referred to. And why? Simply because the public mind, outraged and aroused to action by repeated calamities, caused by palpable neglect or carelessness, compelled reform. We shall, therefore, offer no excuse for introducing into our pages, as we progress on our voyage, brief accounts of some of the most serious steamboat disasters that have occurred on the Mississippi River during the last few years. If the narratives of pain and suffering harrow the feelings of our readers, we hope they will also create corresponding feelings of resolute determination to aid in completing the reform of those abuses which are the immediate causes of the evils spoken of.
The object of this book is to point out to the voyager such places of interest along his route as are worthy of note, from either historical associations or natural renown, and by this means to aid in photographing upon his memory a long succession of beautiful images which will, in after years, rise up before him in all their pristine force, and afford him many hours of pleasant reflection. As there are many places on the river, about which no particular interest attaches, we shall merely call such by name, and, perhaps, give their population, distance, etc., as it is our object to speak only when we have something to say, and not to swell our book with a cumbrous assortment of words and titles, meaning but little in general, and nothing in particular. As we shall follow Nature, and make our trip down the river, from St. Paul's, Minnesota, the upward-bound voyager will be obliged to commence at the end of our book, in order to thread the course of our description.
Assuming, then, that the reader (with ourselves) has taken passage on a steamer at St. Paul's for a downward trip to New Orleans, we will suppose we have just time enough to ride up to St. Anthony's Falls and back before the boat actually starts, as one who is at St. Paul's must by no means neglect a visit to one of the finest sights on the Upper Mississippi, as the Falls are universally allowed to be.
These Falls, which are the first that occur in ascending the river, have a perpendicular descent of 18 feet, and are about 30 rods in width. By themselves, the Falls might not afford a sight of very especial interest, but when taken in connection with surrounding scenes, they materially aid in forming a picture of great beauty. On one side lies the town of St. Anthony, containing 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants; on the other is the pretty and picturesque Minneapolis, of about equal population — the two places being connected by a suspension bridge, a river view of which we present — while stretching away for miles, both up and down the river, are seen all the varieties of landscape for which
11this latitude is famous. St. Anthony is about 8 miles by land above St. Paul's, and, being built on a high plain, commands a fine view of the Falls, as well as of the surrounding country.
These are made classical by Longfellow, in his admirable poem of Hiawatha, and should not be forgotten by tourists. They are near Minneapolis, and not far from the river. A clear sparkling stream of "laughing waters" comes rushing along the prairie, until it suddenly takes a leap of 60 feet over the precipice, and is lost in a deep dell, the sides of which are covered with shrubbery of luxurious growth. The rock over which the stream leaps has been worn into an arch, and one can pass to and fro underneath, between the falls and the rock, with little or no inconvenience. The recess behind
12the falls extends back 50 feet, and, from that point, affords an extraordinary beautiful view of the tumbling waters, as the sun shines upon them. We give a correct cut of these beautiful Falls, and also annex a few descriptive verses from Longfellow's popular poem:
"Only once his pace he slackened,
Only once he paused or halted —
Paused to purchase heads of arrows
Of the ancient arrow-maker,
In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley.
"There the ancient arrow-maker
Makes his arrow-heads of sandstone,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony,
Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
Smoothed and sharpened at the edges,
Hard and polished, keen and costly.
"With him dwelt his dark-eyed daughter
Wayward as the Minnehaha,
With her moods of shade and sunshine;
Eyes that smiled and frowned alternate,
Feet as rapid as the river,
And as musical as laughter;
And he named her from the river —
From the waterfall he named her
Minnehaha, Laughing Water.
"Was it here for heads of arrows,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony,
Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
That my Hiawatha halted
In the land of the Dacotahs?
"Was it not to see the maiden,
See the face of Laughing Water,
Peeping from behind the curtain;
Hear the rustling of her garments
From behind the waving curtain,
As we see the Minnehaha
Gleaming, glancing through the branches,
As one hears the Laughing Water
From behind its screen and branches?
FORT SNELLING. — This is an old United States military post, in which Government has erected extensive works for the defence of the north-western frontier from the Indians. Its usefulness is now at an end for such purposes, as what few Indians are now in the State are inclined to peace and friendship. The fort is situated about two miles below the Falls.
MENDOTA is a thriving town, lying opposite Fort Snelling, and from its position must eventually command an extensive trade between the river and interior country. Its population is near 1,000.
Before embarking on our voyage down the river, it may be necessary to give a brief description of this youthful city, which is the capital of Minnesota, and at the head of steamboat navigation on the Mississippi — 2,000 miles above New Orleans, and 725 miles above St. Louis. It is on a plain 56 feet above the river, which at this point flows in an easterly direction. In 1842 there was but one trading house at this point. In 1847 the rude cabins of a few half-breeds marked the spot where now flourishes the great north-western emporium, with its tall spires and its beautiful array of elegant buildings. Now the city contains from 12,000 to 15,000 inhabitants. Situated at the head of navigation, and surrounded by a fertile region of country, St. Paul must continue to increase in size and importance until it becomes one of the finest cities on the river. On the next page we give a view of St. Paul, taken from the opposite shore.
DOWN THE RIVER. — Ourselves and baggage being safely bestowed on board, the steamer's bell gives its farewell peal, and our gallant bark turns its prow southward, and merrily pushes into the grand stream that is to bear it on its long, and, we hope, pleasant journey of 2,000 miles. The first place of note on our way is
RED ROCK, Min., seven miles distant from St. Paul. This place was settled by a body of Methodists under the superintendence of Rev. Mr. Brunson, in 1837, who established a school at an expense of $30,000 for the purpose of educating the Indians; but after a few years the mission was abandoned. The place derives its name from a large granite boulder which was painted red by the Indians, and called by them Wakon, or Spirit Rock .
HASTINGS, a small, unimportant place, lies 10 miles further down.
VERMILLION RIVER, three miles below the last-named town. This river enters the Mississippi. It takes its rise in Minnesota, and runs in a north-easterly direction in a line parallel with St. Peter's River.
POINT DOUGLAS, Min., five miles below, is a pleasant post village, situated on a point of land formed by the junction of the St. Croix with the Mississippi River. It has one hotel, a steam mill, several stores, and has an excellent landing for steamboats.
ST. CROIX RIVER rises in Wisconsin, near the west end of Lake Superior, and, flowing in a southerly direction, reaches the Mississippi at this point. Its extreme length is about 200 miles, and it is navigable for steamboats about 60 miles. It is 100 yards wide at its mouth. About one mile above its entrance into the Mississippi, an expansion of its shores forms St. Croix Lake, extending 36 miles in length, and 3 or 4 miles in width. There are several beautiful falls towards the centre of this river, which runs through a pine country, and annually brings down large quantities of lumber which are shipped to ports below.
PRESCOTT, just below Point Douglass,
15and on the opposite shore, is a small post village in Wisconsin. Eighteen miles below is
RED WING, on the Minnesota side, and situated on the upper extremity of Lake Pepin.
LAKE PEPIN is formed by an expansion of the Mississippi, and is 25 miles long and 4 miles wide. The water is here very clear and transparent, and the current quiet and gentle. On the eastern side of the lake is the celebrated
MAIDEN'S ROCK, which rises perpendicularly 500 feet from the water. Tradition states that an Indian maiden, Mattakeo, or the strong-hearted, leaped from the summit of this acclivity in order to save herself from the hated embraces of a repulsive chief who had taken her prisoner after having slain many of her people. An accurate view of "Maiden's Rock" will be found on the page following, and likewise a sketch of a scene on the Mississippi, between Lake Pepin and St. Paul's. On our passage along the lake we pass the mouth of Rush River on the east and Cannon River on the west.
KANZAS, a small village in Wisconsin; and continuing on, comes the mouth of
CHIPPEWA RIVER, called by the Indians Ojibbeway. This river, which is over 200 miles long and 500 yards wide at its mouth, takes its rise in the northern part of Wisconsin, and, flowing in a south-westerly direction, enters the Mississippi at the foot of Lake Pepin, and 85 miles below St. Paul. Its shores are lined with magnificent forests of pine, and its waters are navigable for about 70 or 80 miles.
Leaving this river, we pass the small towns of
WABASHA, Minn., 10 miles below, and
FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis., 15 miles further on, and come to
TREMPALEAU RIVER, a small stream which rises in Wisconsin, and pours into the Mississippi, 10 miles below Fountain City. Opposite its mouth is
MINNESOTA CITY, capital of Winona County, Minn. This is a very pretty village, which was settled in 1852 by the "Western Farm and Village Association," and industry and economy have found their reward in the blooming fields which are observable from the banks of the river, deep into the interior. Passing the small town of Montoville, Wis., we come to
MOUNTAIN ISLAND, which is a high, rocky island, whose estimated height is near 500 feet from the level of the river.
It is a very conspicuous and noted landmark, wild and rough and savage in its appearance, and is considered one of the most remarkable objects on the Upper Mississippi.
BLACK RIVER, which rises in the central part of Wisconsin, flows into the Mississippi, 8 miles below Montoville. It is 200 yards wide at its mouth, and maintains that width for about 50 miles, to the falls, which are at the head of navigation for small boats.
Passing on 4 miles, we come to Rising Sun, Minn.; and 2 miles to Brooklyn; and other 2 miles brings us to
LA CROSSE, Wis. This is a beautiful town, situated on La Crosse Prairie, in La Crosse Co., on La Crosse River — which certainly entitles it to a crown, if bearing an unusual number of crosses, be deserving of such high reward. It does a large lumber-trade, and contains about 1,200 inhabitants. A railroad now extends from La Crosse to the city of Milwaukee, three miles below.
Hokah, or Root River, enters the Mississippi from Minnesota. It is about 130 miles long, and but little navigable. We next come to
BROWNSVILLE, Minn., 5 miles below.
RACOON RIVER, a small stream, flows into the Mississippi from Wisconsin, 5 miles below.
BATTLE FIELD, Wis., 2 miles below.
UPPER IOWA RIVER, Minn., a small stream, which, on entering the Mississippi, makes the dividing line between Iowa and Minnesota.
LANSING, Iowa, 15 miles below.
LYNXVILLE, Wis., 8 miles below.
WEXFORD, Iowa, opposite Lynxville, and we come to
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. This is a place of some importance, and one of the oldest towns in Wisconsin. It is built on a level prairie, 6 or 8 miles long, and 2 miles wide, inclosed on the east side by a succession of rocky bluffs. It occupies the site of an old Indian village, and there are some excellent hunting grounds still to be found in
18the vicinity. Numerous mounds are scattered over the neighbouring country — the only remains of an ancient people, whose history is unknown to us, and whose very existence would have been doubted, had they not, like the builders of the Pyramids, left these unmistakable evidences of their having once lived, moved and had a being upon this soil. This town is the terminus of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad, and is destined to become a place of large business. We give an engraving of an Indian mound, similar to those found near Prairie du Chien.
Prairie du Chien is one of the connecting links in the chain of communication from Chicago and Milwaukee to St. Paul, via rail from these cities, and thence per steamer to St. Paul, or down the river, as we are now proceeding. Passing Port Crawford, 1 mile below Prairie du Chien, we come to
WISCONSIN RIVER. This is a stream of some magnitude, being about 600 miles in length; 160 miles being navigable for steamers. At Portage City a canal connects the Wisconsin with Fox River, which enters Green Bay at Fort Howard, thus opening navigation from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northern lakes. At Portage City is still seen the remains of old Fort Winnebago, a place made famous in the annals of Indian warfare.
CINCINNATI, Wis., 7 miles; Kilroy, Iowa, opposite; Clayton, Iowa, 2 miles, and
MENDOTA, Wis., 7 miles below, brings us to
GUTTENBURG, a thriving post village of Iowa, 40 miles above Dubuque. It has a good landing for steamboats, and has many valuable lead mines in its vicinity, many of which are worked to advantage.
CASSVILLE, Wis., 6 miles below, has also several lead mines in its vicinity, from which large quantities are annually shipped.
TURKEY RIVER, 150 miles long, but unnavigable for steamers, enters the Mississippi, from Iowa, at this point.
FRANKFORD, Iowa, is a small village, at the mouth of Turkey River, and
BUENA VISTA, Iowa, 5 miles below, is of about the same size.
POTOSI, Wis., 12 miles below, near the mouth of Grand River, is a flourishing town, of some note, containing near 4,000 inhabitants, and having some valuable lead mines in its vicinity.
PERU, Iowa, 7 miles below: Sinopee, Wis., 2 miles, and Jamestown, Wis., 1 mile below, brings us to
DUBUQUE, Iowa, 5 miles further on. This is the oldest settlement, and the largest city in the State. The history of its site dates from 1774, when Julien Dubuque, arrived in its vicinity, and settled among the Sac and Fox Indians, near Prairie du Chien. In 1778, he received from the Indians a grant of land, containing lead mines, discovered by Peosta, wife of one of the chiefs. In 1796, the Governor of Louisiana acknowledged the gift, and granted Dubuque a large tract, embracing the site of Dubuque, which was called after its founder, who worked the lead mines until his death, in 1809.
The Indians then took possession until their removal further west, in 1832. The heirs of Dubuque claimed, and for a while retained the grant, but were forcibly ejected by Government in 1833. Disorder ruled for a long period, until Congress by a special act, authorized the sale of the contested land, and that consummated, quiet was restored, and the place began to rapidly increase.
In 1832, the permanent settlement of the place was commenced by Henry McCrary, who built the first house on the Iowa side of the river, above Keokuk. It is remarkable that on the Illinois side, lead is found in the clay, by digging a few feet below the surface, while in Dubuque, the shafts have to be sunk one hundred feet to reach the ore; but as the lead is found in greater abundance, it pays for the extra labour.
Dubuque is one of the most active business places in the west, and is remarkable for the intelligence of its people. Education is justly considered of paramount importance. In 1856, the school system was re-organized, and two extensive school-houses erected, at a cost of $25,000 each.
West of the city, the country is strikingly beautiful, and well watered. It is a rolling prairie, interspersed with groves of timber, while along the small streams, running from north to south, there is also plenty of timber, and good water-power. Population about 16,000.
We append to this notice of Dubuque, a sketch of the first house, built and occupied by the original settler. Houses of this description are common throughout the west.
Dubuque forms another of the favoured spots on the river which enjoys the great advantage of direct railroad communication with the cities on the shores of Lake Michigan, and from thence to the cities in the east, those on the seaboard, as well as with Canada, and being also one of the chief places for railroad travellers from the east, proceeding either up or down the river.
DUNLEITH, Ill., lies opposite Dubuque, and is the terminus of the north-west branch of the Illinois Central Railroad.
FEVRE, or Fever River, is a narrow, sluggish stream, emptying into the Mississippi from Illinois, 15 miles below Dubuque. It is only navigable for steamboats as far up as
GALENA, which is situated on both sides of the river, about 6 miles above its mouth, 200 miles north-west of Springfield, and 180 from Chicago. It is the metropolis of the great lead region of northern Illinois, and the depot for the agricultural products of a fine country around. Its trade extends to nearly all the towns on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The houses are built upon streets, terraced one above the other, as they recede from the river, and present a novel and very pleasing appearance. The amount of lead shipped annually amounts to 50,000,000 pounds. A large amount of copper is smelted here. Zinc and copper abound in the vicinity. Thousands of tons of zinc lie neglected on the surface, as the scarcity of coal will not sufficiently pay for smelting. A bank is located here, and three papers are published. Population, in 1858, 12,000.
MOSELLE, Ill., is a small post village, and lies 7 miles south of Fevre River.
BELLEVUE, Iowa, is nearly opposite Moselle. It is situated at one end of a beautiful valley, on a bank elevated 30 feet above high water mark, and has one of the finest landings on the river, formed by a gravelly beach, with a sufficient depth of water to accommodate the largest steamers. A fine farming district lies back of the town, and the shipping of immense quantities of produce down the river affords employment to its industrious people. Eight miles below,
MAKOQUETA RIVER enters the Mississippi. Its length is about 100 miles, and furnishes a large amount of water power.
We now pass a succession of small villages, varying in population from 100 to 2,000 persons, which we will simply name in the order in which they are reached, viz.: Portsmouth, Ill.; Savannah, Ill.; Sabula, Iowa; Lyons, Iowa; Fulton City, Ill.; Albany, Ill.; Camanche, Iowa; Cordova, Ill.; Princeton, Iowa; Parkhurst, Iowa; Port
20Byron, Ill.; Le Claire, Iowa, and Hampton, Ill., when we reach
DAVENPORT, Iowa, which is one of the most busy and thriving places on the upper Mississippi. It is built at the foot of a bluff which rises gradually from the river, with a chain of rounded hills in the background. On another page, we give a view of the railroad bridge, which spans the Mississippi at this point.
ROCK ISLAND CITY, just below Davenport, and opposite it, is built upon an island on the Mississippi, of about 3 miles in extent. On the extreme southern point of the island, upon a rock 20 feet high, stands Fort Armstrong, an old block-house occupied as a place of defence in the Black Hawk war. There is a recess in this rock, called Black Hawk's Cave, in which it is said the stubborn chief often concealed himself. The waters of the Mississippi at this place are very rapid, and as the channel is covered with ledges of rock, the navigation at stages of low water is frequently obstructed. The country around is extremely rich and fertile, and the city being the southern terminus of the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, is the outlet of immense quantities of produce, which is sent off by river and rail to all parts of the country. Rock Island City is also distinguished for the number of its manufactures, and seems destined to become one of the most considerable towns in Illinois, in this respect. Population, 12,000.
MOLINE, a thriving post-village in Illinois, opposite the head of Rock Island, is a place enjoying great water privileges from the rapids of the Mississippi.
ROCK RIVER, something over 300 miles in length, flows into the Mississippi, near this point. It rises in Wisconsin, and thence flows into Illinois, and through a rich and extensive valley, which, in time, must prove one of the richest in the western country. It is navigable for about 200 miles, and has a descent of about 380 feet from its source to its mouth. Some of the finest towns in Wisconsin and Illinois are situated upon its banks. The current is obstructed somewhat by rapids, but time, and the inevitable laws of progress, will remove these obstacles in due season.
Leaving ROCK RIVER, we pass Buffalo, Iowa, 5 miles below, and Andalusia, Ill., just opposite; Iowa, 8 miles below, and Fairport, Iowa, 7 miles beyond, and come to
MUSCATINE, Iowa, formerly called Bloomington. This beautiful city is situated on a high bluff, on a bend of the Mississippi, and commands a most superb view of the river and surrounding country. Previous to 1836, when it was first settled by the whites, it was an Indian trading post, known by the name of Manatteka. In consequence of the bend in the river, Muscatine is situated nearer the centre of the State than the other ports on the Mississippi, and therefore commands nearly all the trade flowing from the valleys of the Red Cedar and Iowa Rivers. It is a very prosperous place, and gives promise of great future advancement. Population about 8,000.
About 8 miles below Muscatine, on the 15th of August, 1837, a terrible steamboat explosion occurred, causing the loss of 25 lives, and the serious scalding and burning of several others of the passengers and crew. The steamer Dubuque, on her trip up the river, from St. Louis to Galena, was running at her usual speed, under a moderate pressure of steam, when the flue of the larboard boiler collapsed, throwing a torrent of scalding water and steam over the deck. The pilot immediately steered for the shore, and effected a landing. The after part of the boiler-deck, with all the freight, and every article which had been deposited there, was blown off the boat and far away into the water. Many of the deck passengers, and such of the crew as were in the vicinity of the explosion, were killed outright, while others were dreadfully scalded by hot water and escaped steam. These latter unfortunates, escaping to the shore, were driven to frenzy with excruciating pain, and, uttering the most appalling shrieks, actually tore their clothing from their persons — in some instances bringing away the skin, and even the flesh, with them. After lingering for hours in intense agony, some of the sufferers were relieved by death, while others, being cared for, and attended to by a number of kind physicians, who had been sent for from Muscatine, (then, called Bloomington,) were fortunate enough to recover. It is a noticeable fact that none of the cabin passengers were killed, or seriously wounded. It was
THE above sketch represents one of the most important public erections in the north-west, connecting, as it now does, the States of Iowa and Illinois, and opening up continuous railroad communication between Chicago and many of the most important cities on the western side of the Mississippi, extending as far as the Missouri River.
The entire length of the bridge is 5832 feet, consisting of spans of 250 feet each. Cost, $260,000 (Å52,000 stg.). In the centre stands a draw-bridge, working on the rotary principle, so that it can be opened when necessary to allow the steamers to pass up and down the river. The average height of the bridge is 30 feet above low water.
At the west end of the embankment on Rock Island (which is in the centre of the river) another bridge extends from there across the Illinois channel, consisting of three spans of 150 feet each constructed on the same principle.
Davenport is the capital of Scott County, Iowa, and one of the most flourishing towns in the State. It is situated 320 miles from St. Louis, and 60 miles east from Iowa City. "During low water, the navigation is obstructed by the rapids, which extend 20 miles above Davenport. The scenery around the town is scarcely surpassed by any on the river. Two or three newspapers are published in the town. Stove coal is so abundant and cheap in the vicinity that steam power is used chiefly for manufacturing purposes."
Since the completion of the above bridge, it has greatly increased the through traffic to and from Chicago and the West, as it is the depot where all the agricultural and mineral wealth of the State of Iowa is received, and from thence distributed, per railroad and river steamers, in all directions. Few places we could name present greater likelihood of rapid progress than Davenport.
22supposed that the cause of this terrible disaster was some defect in the material or workmanship of the boiler.
PORT LOUISA, Iowa, is a small village, 16 miles below; and 10 miles further down lies the pleasant and thriving town of
NEW BOSTON, Ill. This is a place of much activity in business, at which a large quantity of produce is bought, and shipped up and down the river. The adjacent country is fertile, and rapidly improving in condition.
IOWA RIVER enters the Mississippi at this point. It is one of the most important streams in the State, being near 300 miles in length, although navigable for only small boats for about 100 miles above its mouth.
KEITHSBURG, Ill., 7 miles; Huron, Iowa, 9 miles, and Oquawka, Ill., 10 miles below, brings us to
BURLINGTON, Iowa, 15 miles below the last-named place. This is a fine commercial city, formerly the capital of the State, and, in point of population, is second only to Dubuque. It is the terminus of the Burlington and Peoria, and of the Burlington and Missouri Railroads, and is connected with the interior by a plank road, extending fifty miles. Notwithstanding the change of the seat of government from this place to Iowa City, Burlington has continued to improve in size and importance. Being built both upon a level plain, and upon high bluff which descends with a gradual slope to the water's edge, it has much the appearance of an amphitheatre. The summit of the bluff, which is 200 feet above the river, affords a view of the surrounding country, which is beautiful in the extreme.
SKUNK RIVER enters the Mississippi from Iowa, 9 miles below Burlington. It rises near the centre of the State, and flows through a very fertile farming country, and furnishes considerable water power. Its entire length is 250 miles, but is but little navigable. Seven miles below is Pontoosue, Ill.; and 6 miles below that is Appanoose, in same State. Three miles further is
FORT MADISON, Iowa, which occupies the site of an old fortification, built in 1808, as a defence against the Indians, who, in 1813, obliged the garrison to abandon and burn the fort. The situation of the town, as seen from the river, is very beautiful; the ground rising with a gradual slope from the river to the western portion of the town. The State Prison is located there. Two or three ferry boats ply constantly across the river, which is here about one mile wide. This town is somewhat noted for its manufactures, which have progressed wonderfully within the few past years, and are not excelled by any in the State. Population about 4,000.
NAUVOO, Ill., is about 8 miles below. The history of this city makes it one of the most remarkable in the Union. It was founded by the Mormons, under their apostle, Joe Smith, in 1840. The situation of the town is one of the most beautiful to be found on the river. The ground rises gradually from the water's edge, to an unusual height, presenting a smooth and regular outline, with a broad plain at the surface. As originally laid out, it was 12 miles in circumference, the streets wide and straight, and crossing at right angles. The houses were small, plain, and of simple construction, with the exception of the "Temple," which was of magnificent proportions, and erected at an immense cost — estimated at half a million of dollars. It was built of polished limestone, 130 feet long, 88 feet wide, and 160 feet high, and calculated to comfortably hold a congregation of 3,000 persons. In the basement was a large stone basin, called the Baptistry, or Brazen Sea, supported by 12 collossal oxen, and in this pool the faithful were baptized. The erection of this singular, but magnificent structure, was completed by the male members of the Mormon Church, who either performed a certain amount of labor with their own hands, or else contributed a stipulated portion of their property to engage the labor of others.
Smith, the originator and leader of this delusion, was finally, in 1844, with several sub-leaders, arrested and thrown into prison, on charges, which, had they been brought to trial, would have been difficult to prove. Soon after, a lawless mob attacked the prison, and shot Smith, without giving him even the form of a trial. His people, tired and wearied with persecuting and being persecuted, soon after removed from Nauvoo, and made their long and difficult journey to Utah, where they soon after built the celebrated
25Salt Lake City, where they still reside under the guidance of the notorious Brigham Young. In 1848, the great Temple was fired by an incendiary, and reduced to complete ruin. Nauvoo, which, in the days of the Mormons, contained 15 or 16,000 inhabitants, has now but about 2,000.
A few years ago, a band of French socialists, under M. Cabet, established themselves — about 400 in number — at Nauvoo, and built upon the site of the temple, having purchased the ground upon which it stood.
MONTROSE, Iowa, is nearly opposite Nauvoo, and is a fine town, at the head of the Lower Rapids, situated on an elevated prairie, from which a fine view of the country around is obtained. The inhabitants mostly find employment in "lightening" steamers over the rapids in seasons of low water. A large number of Indian mounds are found in the neighborhood.
Passing by Nashville, Iowa, 4 miles; and Montebello, Ill., 6 miles below, we reach
KEOKUK, Iowa, 205 miles above St. Louis, and 125 miles south of Iowa City. It is situated at the foot of the Lower Rapids, and is at the head of navigation for the larger class of steamboats, which, at certain stages of water, cannot get over the rapids. A line of fine steamers communicates daily between here and St. Louis. Over a thousand steamboats arrive and depart from this place annually. Keokuk is a very prosperous town, and must continue to improve, as it is, from its position, the natural outlet of the fertile valley of the Des Moines, which is the most populous part of the State.
Opposite Keokuk is Hamilton City, Ill., and 4 miles below is
WARSAW, Ill., situated on a high bluff, near the site of old Fort Edward. Its position is favorable for trade, and it already does an extensive business in importing and exporting, and is fast growing in population and wealth. Plank roads run from this place several miles, in various directions, towards the interior. Pop. about 5,000.
DES MOINES RIVER enters the Mississippi, from Iowa, nearly opposite Warsaw. It commences in Minnesota, and runs a course of 400 miles, through an exceeding rich and fertile, tract of country, including long ranges of prairie. It is navigable for nearly 200 miles.
We now leave Iowa, and come to the edge of the State of Missouri; the first town we pass belonging to that State being Alexandria, situated at the mouth of Fox River. We next come to Des Moines City, Mo., 6 miles below, and then to
TULLY, Mo., 12 miles further on; a flourishing town, of about 1200 inhabitants, doing a large business in shipping produce.
LAGRANGE, Mo., 6 miles below, is a village of about the same size, and doing an equally flourishing business.
QUINCY, Ill., 12 miles below, is finely situated, on a limestone bluff, 125 feet above the river, of which it commands art extensive view. The country in the vicinity is a rich, rolling prairie, and one of the most highly cultivated parts of the State. Quincy carries on an active trade by steamboats on the Mississippi. It has a railroad, reaching to Galesburgh, 100 miles distant, and there connects with the Chicago and Burlington road to Chicago, 160 miles. Lines of stages also run from this city to Hannibal, Palmyra, St Joseph's, etc. This city is one of the most thriving on the river, and is constantly increasing in trade, commerce and population. Its population, in 1840, was 2,000 — in 1859, over 15,000.
Passing Fabian's River, which passes into the Mississippi in two branches, neither of which is navigable, we come to Marion City, Mo., and then to Aston and Boonville, on the Illinois side. These are all small places, and used as shipping ports for the interior.
HANNIBAL, Mo., 7 miles below Booneville, is a fine town, doing a large business in the sale and shipment of pork, hemp, tobacco, etc., which are raised in the vicinity in great quantities. Coal and carboniferous limestone, an excellent building material, are found in great abundance in the adjoining country. Hannibal is the terminus of the Hannibal & St. Joseph's Railroad. Population of the town, about 5,000.
Passing Dayton, which is a small settlement, opposite Hannibal; and Saverton, Mo., 8 miles below, we come to
SALT RIVER, 18 miles further on. This is the famous stream, up whose saline waters so many defeated politicians have "paddled their own canoes." This river is politically navigable only in seasons after general election, and we suppose that the defeated candidates
26select a retreat up these waters in order that they may keep until the next canvass.
Leaving this forever embalmed stream, we pass a succession of small towns, dotting both sides of the river, the names of which we give in the natural order, viz.:
Cincinnati, Mo., Louisiana, Mo., 2 miles; Clarksville, Mo., 12 miles; Hamburgh, Ill., 15 miles; Gilead, Ill., 9 miles; Deer Plain, Mo., 27 miles; and 6 miles below, come to the mouth of
ILLINOIS RIVER, one of the finest rivers in the State from which it takes its name. The country bordering on its banks is rich and productive, and its commerce very large. It runs through many fine prairies, and, in other places, numerous high bluffs adorn its course. Steamboats ascend 250 miles, and from thence the Illinois and Michigan Canal, 100 miles in length, effects a communication with the lakes, at Chicago.
Going on, we pass Grafton, Ill., Portage des Sioux, Mo., 7 miles below, and Randolph, Ill., 4 miles; and 7 miles further on, we come to
ALTON, Ill., which is situated at the south terminus of the Chicago, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, 72 miles west by south of Springfield, and 250 from Chicago. In commercial advantages, it is second to no town in the State, having the best landing for steamboats on the east side of the river. A flat rock, level with the water, affords an excellent natural wharf. Bituminous coal is found in great abundance, and timber is plentiful in the vicinity. The city is beautifully laid out, five squares being reserved for public purposes, and a large reservation at the landing-place. Market street is 150 feet wide, and other streets from 60 to 140. It has a city hall, 8 churches, a bank, lyceum, mechanics' association, and an abundance of stores and warehouses. It has a railroad communication with Terre Haute, Indiana, and a regular steamboat connection with St. Louis. Population in 1850, 3,585; 1858, 7,000.
UPPER ALTON, two miles east, is situated on an elevated plain, and contains Shurtleff College, a Baptist Institution, founded 1835.
Leaving Alton, and passing down 5 miles, we come to
MISSOURI RIVER. This magnificent stream rises in the Rocky Mountains, and, after running a tortuous course over 3,000 miles, mingles its waters with the Mississippi at the point we have now reached. At the distance of 450 miles above the navigable waters of its head branches, are the "Gates of the Rocky Mountains," a series of rocks, which, for the distance of about 6 miles, rise perpendicularly from the margin of the river, to a height of 1,200 feet. The river is here compressed to the breadth of 150 yards, and, for the first 3 miles there is but one spot, and that but a few yards in extent, on which a man can stand between the water and the perpendicular ascent to the mountain. 110 miles below commences the great "Falls," where the waters, in a distance of 16 miles, descends in rapids, and falls 357 feet. The highest fall has a perpendicular pitch of 98 feet; the next, 47; the third, 26; and the fourth, 19 feet. Next to Niagara, these falls are the largest on the continent. The banks of the Missouri are dotted with villages and towns from its mouth up as high as Council Bluffs, 600 miles from the Mississippi. Beyond this point, the wilderness prevails, consisting of vast and almost boundless plains of high grass, peopled only by savages, and immense herds of buffaloes, elk, deer, white bears, antelopes and mountain sheep. That the "Upper Missouri" — as this region is named — is rich in agricultural and mineral wealth, is unquestionable; and there is no doubt that the spirit of enterprise and progress which has led to such mighty improvements in the East, will, ere many years have passed away, make this far-reaching wilderness to blossom and flourish like the rose.
The rich valley of the Missouri, holds out such high promise for the future, that we cannot forbear transferring to our columns a detailed and graphic notice of its characteristics, which we extract from the "New World for 1859," a book of great merit, just published in New York, and containing much valuable information in reference to all the principal places in the United States. We also give an engraving, from the same book, representing a steamer on her way up the Missouri. Between the Missouri and St. Louis — 18 miles below — lie the small towns of Chippewa, Madison, Venice and Bremen.
IN our description of the western portion of the States, we have concluded for the present not to extend the limits of our information further west than that of the Missouri Valley — and although Nebraska and Kansas formed no part in the original plan, in the publication of the work, yet, from the great emigration movement in that direction, of late, we have thought it advisable to give the following details of that wonderful region, although not from our own experience, not having as yet had an opportunity of penetrating so far west. In some future edition of this work, we may be able to present such, from our own observation — meantime, we compile from what appears to us to be a reliable notice of this territory, which appeared in the North American Review, for July, 1858, in a review, in that journal, of two works lately published on that part of the Union.
After describing that portion of the country west of Nebraska and Kansas, which is considered to be undesirable as a field for emigration, the writer asks: —
"What effect will the important fact have on these young territories themselves, as well as on the country at large? Nebraska and Kansas will, in that case, be the shores at which will terminate a vast ocean desert, nearly 1000 miles in breadth. To the west of that lie California and Oregon, great producing, and yet not capable of becoming great manufacturing countries.
"On the eastern coast of this great desert sea will lie Kansas and Nebraska, of all countries the best suited for the sites of vast manufactories. There run rivers whose descents, and whose capaciousness adapt them as well to turn the wheel as to irrigate the land. There, underneath a soil which can support a million of workmen, are spread layers of coal which will form the fuel for tens of thousands of square miles. There is the iron which is to form both the engine and the staple — the arm that strikes, as well as the material which is struck. Here, in fact, are the great furnishing warerooms, where the people of California will exchange their gold and quicksilver, and those of Oregon their fish and lumber, for the hardware, the cloths, and the furniture which the manufactories of the Missouri Valley will produce....Freight amounting to five dollars per 100 weight will be a sufficient protection to force the manufactories of the Missouri Valley at once into energetic action." If manufactured there, heavy goods will be able to be sold 20 per cent. less than those brought from the factories in Connecticut or Pennsylvania.
"When the time comes for the inland transportation of the goods of India and China from the Pacific to the Atlantic, it will be found that there is one route whose cheapness — at least, for heavy goods — will enable it to outbid all competitors."...."The Columbia River, while it forms one vast and navigable stream from the ocean to the centre of the Oregon plains, flares out at the latter point into three forks, each of which offers a pass, and the only passes here accessible through the Rocky Mountains. It is the Columbia alone that holds the keys to the passes of the mountains, from which, on the easternmost side, run the tributaries of the Platte. The forks of the Columbia will, therefore, have one side of them the only navigable waters leading to the Pacific, and on the other the only highways through whose mountain gates the locomotive can course to the Missouri Valley." That the Platte and the Kansas are incapable of navigation, we think is abundantly proved; but it is equally clear that the valleys through which they run are the natural courses through which the canal must be opened and the railway laid. Thus there will pour into the great depots which these frontier States will present, not only the products of Eastern and Western America, but those of China and India.
The corn and wheat prairies of Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, stand on the banks of that great river (Missouri) which, with a volume, a force, and through an extent of territory no other stream can equal, shoots down the freight committed to it on the vast corn-consuming plains of the Southern Mississippi.....Never was there such an avenue for such a freight. For 500 miles these magnificent prairies slope upward from the river banks. For 1000 miles it dashes down, with a velocity which enables even the slower class of steamboats to make the descent in from 15 to 20 miles per hour. It is here that the Missouri has the great advantage over the Mississippi. The prairie country is scarcely reached by the latter river — so far as continuous navigation is concerned.....The navigation of the Missouri, on the other hand, continues nearly 1000 miles beyond where that of the Mississippi stops.....It is on account of the cheapness and rapidity which transportation in such a channel gives that we think the market of the gulf country will be supplied from the valley of the Missouri — not from that of the Mississippi.
THE EXTENT AND CHARACTER OF THE SOIL. — "The bottom lands, of which the base of this seam (the Missouri) is composed, form a plain extending from 5 to 25 miles in breadth, and accompanying the river through nearly its whole course." The soil is of a very shifting nature, and the course of the river very circuitous. "It doubles and curves, for instance, to such an extent around a line of 100 miles, between Leavenworth and Nebraska City, as to make that 100 miles into 200. What is
28popularly called the ‘western bank,’ is, by turns, the southern and the eastern." For farming purposes, therefore, the lands of that nature are very uncertain and precarious.
In its course, however, it leaves, on the one side or the other, a rich bottom, which, for immediate productiveness, has probably no superior in the world. "To this are added uniform belts of forest trees, interposing themselves between the bottom and the bluffs, which, along the States of Iowa and Missouri, and the opposite shores, develop themselves in great beauty. These trees, in connection with the stone with which the bluffs are often filled, give building materials to the settler in the richest abundance.
In Nebraska, the fertile bottom lands on the Missouri River begin near the mouth of the Vermilion River, on the 97th meridian, about 50 miles from Sioux City, and about 1000 miles on the river-course from the Mississippi. The trees on the river bottoms are immense and luxuriant. West of Sioux City, the bottom lands become narrow and irregular, and give only an uncertain prospect of support. The soil on the table prairie lands, which lie back from the bluffs, is not susceptible of much cultivation — degenerating into a cold and desolate moor. The exception to this is a patch, 60 miles above the Big Sioux, at the mouth of the Eau-qui-Court, which there runs into the Missouri. No point beyond the Vermilion can be relied on to raise corn.
THE PLATTE RIVER VALLEY. — The valley of the Platte is sodded with firm, and yet nutritious grass, which affords a road for wagons, and food for the oxen or mules by which the wagons are drawn. Along this great highway, the emigration from the Atlantic to the Pacific will pass.
In the bottom lands of the Platte, cottonwood of excellent quality is to be found; and above and around the forks, cedar in considerable quantity is to be seen.
The width of the Platte is, generally, one mile; and, when full, is six feet deep, but rarely is so: consequently, is considered of no use for navigation purposes.
The arable prairies that arise from the bluffs by which the Platte is hemmed, do not spread to any considerable extent after the first 150 miles of its course are passed.
The region south of the Platte presents a much wider sweep for agricultural enterprise. There, a climate not yet infected with the parching heat of the low country, is united with a soil of eminent fruitfulness; and, as the arable lands begin to widen, they disclose one of the loveliest regions in the world. The arable lands extend from 150 to 200 miles from the river banks.
THE COMPOSITION AND PRODUCTIVENESS OF THE SOIL. — The general character of the bottom lands — not only of the Missouri, but of the Kansas, the Yellowstone, and the Platte — is of sand and clay, richly impregnated and saturated with carbon, and with the vast quantities of decayed vegetable matter which the rivers are constantly precipitating.
Not unusually, Indian corn to the amount of 150 bushels to the acre are produced, with scarcely any more preparation than the ordinary turning over, which is easily done by the plough. From the river basin, rise terraces, or subsidiary bottom, at an average of 50 feet from the river level, and sloping and sweeping away till they reach, sometimes, the prairies themselves.
For permanency, depth, richness, and extent, the prairie soil can find nothing in the world, to say the least, to excel it — many parties declaring that there is nothing to equal it.
Unlike the bottom lands, which are soft and pliable, the prairie lands of the Missouri are tough and tenacious. In Nebraska and Kansas, as many as six or eight yoke of oxen are employed at a single plough in breaking the ground for the first time. When once upturned, however, the sod rots in a single summer, after which it may be ploughed by a single yoke. Indian corn and potatoes grow upon it after the first ploughing; wheat not until after the second.
The present appearances of the prairies of the Missouri show clear evidence of having, some centuries ago, been under cultivation, the fields, etc., being clearly traced. They are found in the best-watered and richest sections, and extend from one to three hundred acres in area.
LUMBER. — In respect to forests, south-eastern Nebraska and Eastern Kansas have a great advantage over Illinois and Iowa. In the latter States we may travel for miles without seeing a single tree within sight. In the central valley of the Missouri, the cottonwood, willow, and poplar spread themselves in great abundance and beauty along the bottom lands, and on the bluffs are found the oak, elm, cedar, and the black walnut, thus providing abundant material on the spot for building and fencing.
CLIMATE. — Between the Missouri Valley and the same range of latitude towards the east, the advantages, so far as evenness of temperature is concerned, are with the latter. Both in Kansas and Nebraska the thermometer ranges from 15 degrees higher in summer, and 15 degrees lower in winter, than in Virginia or Pennsylvania. It is not uncommon for the mercury to sink to 30 degrees below zero in the one season, and to keep steady in the other, even as far north as Omaha City, at 110. It is an error to seek the causes of these extremes in the as yet unsettled condition of the country. They result from the fact, that as we recede further from the sea-coast, both heat and cold become, in their degree, greater, as can be explained on philosophic grounds.
Two features, however, tend greatly to soften these extremes. The winter is relieved by the crisp dryness of the air, as compared with the piercing sharpness of the Atlantic seaboard, or the raw, damp, cold atmosphere of Great Britain.
THE BREEZES ON THE PRAIRIES. — The summer — to those who can take refuge in the shade — has nearly all its terrors removed by the cool and powerful breezes by which the prairies are incessantly swept.
It is in these breezes, in fact, that consists one of the main charms of prairie life. In their uniformity, their bracing purity, their vigour, they rival those of the sea. They are greatly preferable, in these respects, to those that traverse the eastern Alleghany slopes. There, the wind is fractured into puffs, or slit into threads by the forests, gorges, mountain crags, and ravines, through which it passes. But the breezes of the prairies pass onward in one grand and unbroken sheet. They blow with the evenness and continuity of the eastern trade winds, which may always be relied on, and in summer, at least, is as far from sinking at one time into a calm, as from rising into a hurricane. In winter the wind then covers the prairies with a cold and heavy weight, whose very uniformity aggravates its severity. But in the summer, the delicious coolness and the unfailing regularity of the prairie winds are blessings to which all travellers will bear a grateful testimony.
In connection with this subject, we quote from a writer in Colburn's New Monthly Magazine for July, 1858, who, on an excursion to the "Great West," and close to the Missouri, says: —
"The west of America must be a healthy country, except where the land is low or near sluggish mud-banked rivers, for there intermittent fevers prevail as well as elsewhere. There seemed in the midst of the excessive heat, a power of exertion, a springiness, not at all like the faint, relaxing sensation of a very hot English summer's day. I speak of the dry prairies of the west. The air was always clear, dry, exhilarating beyond idea."
ABOUT eighty-six miles south-west from the city of St. Louis, and at the termination of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, is situated one of the most imposing mineralogical objects of interest which we can possibly present; affording, as it does, a gigantic specimen of the mineral wealth of the State of Missouri. We refer to the iron mountain, known by the name of Pilot Knob — an accurate representation of which we give on another page.
In St. Francois County, Missouri, on the same line of railroad, are situated two mountains of iron ore — the smallest one, a few miles from the other, is known as "The Iron Mountain," but which title belongs more properly to its much larger mountain neighbour, "Pilot Knob."
Pilot Knob Mountain is 580 feet high, and as the pedestrian makes its ascent he will find little else than the brushwood with which it is covered, and masses of iron stone lying about or cropping out of the ground, until he reaches the summit, which is one bare solid mass of iron ore, forming, as it were, a crowning diamond set in the apex of this great mountain of wealth. The ascent of the mountain is easy.
To give an exact idea of the quantity of iron ore in Pilot Knob is simply impossible; suffice it to say that it is considered as sufficient to supply the wants of the whole world for generations to come. The quality of the ore is pronounced superior to that of Norway and Sweden, and contains from 60, and in some cases 90 per cent. of pure metal. The ore does not require much digging for, further than quarrying and blasting it out of the face of the mountain, which is done near its top. There, the miners will be seen filling a railroad car with the iron stone. When one car is filled it is placed at the top of the incline, with an iron rope attached, and which is wound round a large wooden drum; and thus fixed, is placed on the incline, when it proceeds down the plane with its heavy cargo at a rapid rate, till it reaches the bottom and runs on to a stage, where the contents are emptied on a heap of iron stone and charcoal mixed together, ready to undergo "roasting" — being the first process of preparing the ore for the blast furnace.
Whilst the loaded car is being attached at the top and sent down the incline by its own weight, an empty car is attached to another iron rope at the foot of the mountain, which winds round the same drum at the top, which is drawn up the incline at the same time by the weight and impetus of the downward car, thereby saving all expense for any other power for drawing the cars up and down the mountain side.
The railroad consists of three "metals," excepting at the point where the cars in their progress up and down pass each other in their rapid journey. There four rails are laid to allow each car to pass clear of the other.
From the top of the mountain a good, although by no means very extensive, view of the surrounding country is to be had, as it is one series of hills and valleys as far as the eye can see. At the foot of the mountain reposes the future "Pilot Knob City" with its furnaces at work. In a valley towards the south is to be seen the thriving village of Ironton, of twelve or eighteen months' standing, whilst a mile further on is the prettily situated village of Arcadia; both of which villages are allowed to be "pretty smart places." To the west rises the highest mountain of the district, known as Sheppard Mountain, also of mineral richness, with its ore possessing the peculiar property of being both negative and positive in its magnetic character.
The iron, when manufactured into "pig," is sent to St. Louis. The mountain is owned by a company, of whom Col. L. V. Bogy is a member, who is also President of the Iron Mountain Railroad, and who has our thanks for his polite attention to us when on our visit there. The curious in such matters, resident in Great Britain, may inspect specimens of iron ore, picked from the top of Pilot Knob, by calling on Mr. Bailliere, publisher of this work, 219 Regent street, London.
The tourist, when at St. Louis, intending to proceed to this wonderful natural specimen of mineral wealth, takes the Iron Mountain Railroad from St. Louis, (fare $3,) which proceeds for several miles along the western shore of the Mississippi, when some excellent views of the mighty "Father of Waters" are to be had. The country, for the most part along this line of road, consists of a rough, rocky surface, with patches of good land in the river bottoms, and on some of the higher portions of the country.
Within a few miles of the Iron Mountain the country becomes very hilly, with the hills wooded to their summits.
About half way an excellent dining-saloon is situated, at Victoria Station, which is situated in the centre of a wood, on a rising ground, but which ere long is expected to be dotted over with the summer villas of the St. Louis manufacturers and merchants.
About six miles from Pilot Knob is Iron Mountain Station, from which will be seen the Iron Mountain with its furnace at work. Shortly after leaving which the traveller will be landed almost at the base of Pilot Knob Mountain, surrounded by numerous frame houses, stores, and a hotel, forming the nucleus of the future Pilot Knob City.
ON the arrival of the traveller at this city — from either the North or South by steamer on the Mississippi, or as he alights at the railroad depot on the Illinois side of the river from the east — his attention will at once be arrested, and his surprise excited, by the immense array of steamers which lie so closely packed together at the levee (or Front street) of the city, and extending there for some miles; forming, beyond question, the most magnificent and extensive mercantile steam marine which is to be seen at one time at any port in this or any other country — at once impressing the mind with the magnitude of that commerce which supports and employs them, at a far inland river port in the Western States of America.
The first impression of the stranger on visiting St. Louis, therefore, is, that it must be a city of great commercial importance; and on passing along its busy, crowded and, in many places, filthy and badly-paved streets, that impression is strengthened and confirmed.
The geographical and other natural advantages which St. Louis possesses, renders it a focus for commerce unsurpassed by any other city in the country.
As may be well known, the city is situated on the great highway of the Mississippi, between two oceans; it is the centre of the finest agricultural sections of the country, and the receiving and distributing point for the manufactures and produce which are carried on the waters of the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, Tennessee, Wabash and other rivers. Besides these, the immense railroad arteries which now traverse the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, centre in St. Louis, and have contributed largely to the progress and prosperity of the city; and the last, but greatest achievement accomplished, in that respect, is the opening of the great overland mail route from St. Louis to San Francisco — a distance of upwards of 3,000 miles, occupying 25 days — the Rocky Mountains and dreary wastes no longer forming insurmountable obstacles to American enterprise.
From what we have already stated, it will be inferred that the commerce of St. Louis is immense — the chief articles being groceries, tobacco, whisky, dry goods and hardware. The stores of the dealers in those articles are very numerous and large; and in Main, Second and Third streets, where such are situated, a degree of bustle and business activity may be seen not exceeded in the streets of any Eastern city. As connected with the commerce of the city, we may mention, that in the single article of sugar, St. Louis imported more than that imported by all the cities on the eastern seaboard, put together, of such native-grown sugars as passed through the Custom House at New Orleans.
The manufacturing establishments of St. Louis consist of numerous flouring mills, foundries and machine-shops, sugar refineries and sundry others; but, when taken in the aggregate, the manufactures of St. Louis are not so numerous as the size and commercial importance of the city would indicate, and, strange to say, in one iron manufacturing establishment which we visited — owned by one of the most enterprising firms — we found that the very iron used there in the manufacture of their goods had been brought 340 miles — from the "Queen City of the West," Cincinnati — although, not 100 miles from St. Louis, there is iron ore more than sufficient to supply the whole world for generations to come. In that establishment, we saw iron bolts and nuts being made by machinery, and which, by the way, are now shipped from there to engineering establishments in Great Britain, as well as other parts of Europe.
An active competition is now in operation, between Cincinnati and St. Louis, for the commerce of the Western and Southern States; and merchants from the West, South and Northwest, have now the choice of the markets of both these cities, as well as any inducements which may be held out to them by houses in the Eastern cities on the seaboard, the merchants there being naturally anxious to be brought in direct contact with all trustworthy
33men, however far off such may reside. This applies, of course, more particularly to the great staple articles connected with dry goods, hardware, and other descriptions of goods which are not manufactured, or which cannot be supplied so advantageously in the West. It behoves, therefore, the merchants — but more particularly the manufacturers of St. Louis — to look to their laurels, and not rest too self-satisfied upon what they have done, if they would raise the character of their city, by rendering its manufacturing, somewhat commensurate with the magnitude of its commercial operations.
During the late commercial panic, St. Louis suffered probably less than any other city which can be named; and, although several suspensions of parties took place during the crisis, the most of these have paid up, in full, and resumed business as before. The caution of the merchants on the outburst of the storm, the large amount of healthy business done from St. Louis to the Southern States, which were little affected by the panic, contributed largely towards the lucky circumstance just mentioned; so that, looking into the future, St. Louis appears to us to have a glorious prospect before it. A large influx of emigration is now, and has been, for some time past, flowing into Missouri from the South and East, and even from Illinois and other more northerly States. When the true character of the climate, and correct information regarding the character of the State for agricultural purposes becomes known — looking at what has been done in the manufacture of Missouri wines, and the undeniable fact of immense tracts of the State being well adapted for the cultivation of the grape — and as the inexhaustible mineral resources are developed — the future of the city of St. Louis, as the parent city of the State, must participate largely in such increasing advantages, and render its progress and future prosperity — although it has been great — greater than ever it was before.
The levee, where all the steamers are moored, presents a most animated appearance from early in the morning until dusk. On the broad incline towards the river, which extends for miles, it may be seen covered with thousands of packages of merchandise of every description — sugar, molasses and flour forming the chief items. Along the side of the levee run the stores of the commission, forwarding, import and export merchants, whilst opposite to them lies the white-painted river steamboats, presenting a perfect forest of chimneys — each steamer having two — along the line. Many of these steamboats, for comfort and speed, are not excelled by any river boats in America, although, in general, they are much smaller than the large passenger boats which ply on the lakes, or East and North Rivers at New York. There is also a great difference in the punctuality of the former's sailing at the advertised hour; and in that respect the Mississippi boats, we should suppose, would do well to study more the convenience of those who proceed by them than they do — the advertised hour of 12 noon generally meaning 4 P. M., or even 12 noon of the next day.
Fourth street is the principal street for retail business, at the north end of which are situated some very handsome newly-erected stores.
The public institutions and buildings of St. Louis consist chiefly of the Court House, corner of Chestnut and Fourth streets, now approaching completion, the College of the Medical Department of the University, the Mercantile Library and Reading-room, and the Central High School. Notices, together with illustrations of these buildings, will be found elsewhere in this work. Besides these, may be named the new Custom House, the University of St. Louis, O'Fallon Institute, Wyman's Hall and Museum, in addition to which the city abounds with charitable and benevolent institutions, and several handsome churches.
The principal hotels will be found enumerated in our list of hotels given elsewhere. Amongst the various educational institutions in St. Louis, stands pre-eminent the St. Louis University; and, to give an idea of its extent, we give the annexed illustration of one of its departments, known by the title given, and which forms one of the medical colleges of the city, established chiefly through the instrumentality of Dr. C. A. Pope, of St. Louis, backed by the munificence of J. O. Fallon, Esq., who caused the above edifice to be built, at an expense to him of $80,000, and was presented by him to the Faculty of Medicine,
34under trusteeship forever. It is a handsome brick building, 130 feet long, 100 feet deep and 75 feet high. The museum arrangements and instruments originally cost $30,000, since which large additions have been made; and it may be said, that it now possesses in its museums one of the best collections extant of rare and valuable specimens connected with the sciences of medicine, natural history, mineralogy, geology, botany, etc., which must prove of incalculable value to the students, for whose more immediate benefit and instruction it has been established.
One of the most pleasing features connected with a large city is, the existence of a library and reading-room, which the young men of the city can frequent, after business
35hours; and there get "posted up" in the news of the day, enjoy an hour or two's company with some favorite author, and that in a magnificent room, surrounded by specimens of the genius of the sculptor and painter, with the advantage of having recourse to a most excellent library for reading at home. In this respect, the City of St. Louis is not behind any of her sister cities in the United States. The view prefixed represents the building appropriated for such a purpose, (and known as the Mercantile Library,) as well as providing in the same building large halls for lectures, concerts, etc. The reading-room, which is free to strangers, is fitted up with comfortable reading-desks, and is plentifully supplied with newspapers and magazines, both American and European. The building is plain but substantial, 105 feet front, 127 feet deep, 90 feet high, and erected at a cost of $140,000 (Å28,000 sterling). Belongs to a joint stock company.
The O'Fallon Institute (named after J. O'Fallon, Esq., one of the largest real estate owners in St. Louis) is an institution of a kindred character to that of the Mercantile Library, already noticed, with this difference, that the Mercantile Library is open only to young men engaged in mercantile pursuits, whilst the O'Fallon Institute forms the Mechanics' Institution of the city — with its reading-room, library and museum thrown open to all, of whatever trade or profession — where the young workman can, for a mere trifle a year, enjoy all the advantages of such an institution, including the attendance at lectures, by the best men, on scientific and generally interesting and important subjects.
The institution was started exclusively, and is supported, partly, by voluntary subscriptions, including very handsome money donations from some of the citizens, and a grant of land from the liberal gentleman whose name the institution bears. The O'Fallon Institute is a noble institution, devoted to a noble purpose. Strangers are made most welcome, by its obliging and communicative superintendent.
The Court House is the largest public building in St. Louis; and, being situated in a large open square on Chestnut and Fourth streets, its large and fine proportions are seen to great advantage. Several years have been occupied in altering and completing it, at a cost of several thousands of dollars. From its dome, a magnificent view of the city, river and surrounding country is to be had.
THE accompanying sketch represents one of the most complete school-houses in the United States. It has been built combining all the improvements connected with the best school-houses in Boston, New York and Cincinnati, and at present stands as a model school-house for the country at large. It is 3 stories high, 106 feet long, 84 feet wide, and 86 feet high to the apex for the roof, with octagonal towers, flanking each corner, 102 feet high. The first and second stories are each divided into 4 rooms, capable of accommodating 70 scholars in each, with the third story suited for 600 making, in all, accommodation for 880 scholars. The interior is fitted up with admirable judgment, both as regards seeing, hearing, light and ventilation; with wardrobes, desks for masters and pupils, reception-rooms, retiring-rooms, committee-rooms, and all the appliances of a school-house, apparently impossible to improve upon. The pupils who attend this school are those who have distinguished themselves at the primary and intermediate schools, and whose parents are desirous of their acquiring knowledge in the higher branches of education. The establishment of this school reflects great credit upon the citizens of St. Louis, and upon Mr. Rumbold, its architect. Cost upwards of $45,000 (Å9,000 sterling).
THE following poem, descriptive of a voyage down the Mississippi in the wintry month of February, 1858, is from the pen of the accomplished Scottish author and poet, Dr. Chas Mackay, written at New Orleans, after his arrival there from St. Louis; and which poem formed the greater portion of one of his interesting letters, entitled "Transatlantic Sketches," which appeared in the "Illustrated London News:"
'TWAS a wintry morning, as the clock struck ten,
That we left St. Louis, two dejected men; —
Gazing on the river, thick with yellow mud,
And dreaming of disaster, fire, and fog, and flood; —
Of boilers ever bursting, of snags that break the wheel,
And sawyers ripping steamboats, through all their length of keel; —
Yet, on shipboard stepping, we dismissed our fears,
And beheld through sunlight, in the upper spheres,
Little cherubs, waving high their golden wings,
Guarding us from evil and its hidden springs;
So on Heaven reliant, thinking of our weans,
Thinking of our true-loves, we sailed for New Orleans; —
Southward, ever southward, in our gallant ship,
Floating, steaming, panting, down the Mississip.
Oh the hapless river! in its early run
Clear as molten crystal, sparkling in the sun;
Ere the fierce Missouri rolls its troublous tide
To pollute the beauty of his injured bride;
Like a bad companion poisoning a life,
With a vile example and incessant strife,
So the Mississippi, lucent to the brim,
Wedded to Missouri, takes her hue from him;
And is pure no longer, but with sullen haste
Journeys to the ocean a gladness gone to waste; —
Thus our idle fancies shaped themselves that day,
Mid the bluffs and headlands, and the islets grey,
Southward, ever southward, in our creaking ship,
Steaming through the ice-drifts, down the Mississip.
In our wake there followed, white as flakes of snow,
Seven adventurous seagulls, floating to and fro,
Diving for the bounty of the bread we threw,
Dipping, curving, swerving — fishing as they flew; —
And in deep mid-current, throned upon a snag,
Far away — a rover — from his native crag,
Sat a stately eagle, Jove's imperial bird,
Heedless of our presence, though he saw and heard;
Looking so contemptuous, that human nature sighed
For a loaded rifle to slay him for his pride; —
But superb, defiant; slowly, at his ease,
Spreading his wide pinions he vanished on the breeze
Southward, flying southward, far beyond our ship,
Floating, creaking, panting, down the Mississip.
In a blaze of glory shone the sun that day;
In a blaze of beauty, fresh as flowery May,
A maid from Alabama came tripping on our deck —
Bright as heaven above us; — pure without a speck,
Singing songs till twilight freely as the lark
That for inner gladness sings, though none may hark,
Songs of young affection, mournful songs of home,
Songs of happy sadness, when the fancies roam
From th' oppressive Real to the fairy Far
Shining through the Future, silvery as a star; —
And the Sun departed in his crimson robe,
Leaving Sleep, his viceroy, to refresh the globe;
Thus we travelled southward in our gallant ship,
Floating, drifting, dreaming, down the Mississip.
Brightly rose the morning o'er the straggling town
Where the broad Ohio pours its waters down
To the Mississippi, rolling as before,
Seeming none the wider for increase of store;
And they said, "These houses scattered on the strand
Take their name from Cairo, in the Eastern land,
And shall be a city at some future day,
Mightier than Cairo, dead and passed away."
And we thought it might be, as we gazed awhile; —
And we thought it might not, ere we passed a mile —
And our paddles paddled through the turbid stream
As we floated downwards in a golden dream;
Southward, ever southward, in our panting ship,
Idling, dawdling, loafing down the Mississip.
Sometimes in Missouri we delayed an hour,
Taking in a cargo — butter, corn and flour;
Sometimes in Kentucky shipped a pile of logs,
Sometimes sheep or turkeys, once a drove of hogs.
Ruthlessly the niggers drove them down the bank,
Stubbornly the porkers eyed the narrow plank,
Till at length, rebellious, snuffing danger near,
They turned their long snouts landward and grunted out their fear,
And the white-teethed niggers, grinning with delight,
Rode them, and bestrode them, and charged them in the fight;
And then came shrill lamenting, and agony, and wail,
And pummelling, and hoisting, and tugging at the tail
Until the swine were conquered; and southward passed our ship,
Panting, steaming, snorting, down the Mississip.
Thus flew by the slow hours, till the afternoon,
Mid a wintry landscape, and a sky like June;
And the mighty river, brown with clay and sand,
Swept, in curves majestic, through the forest land,
And stuck into its bosom, heaving fair and large,
Many a lowly cypress that grew upon the marge; —
Stumps, and trunks, and branches, as maids might stick a pin,
To vex the daring fingers that seek to venture in —
Oh travellers! bold travellers! that roam in wild unrest,
Beware the pins and brooches that guard this river's breast;
For danger ever follows the captain and the ship
Who scorn the snags and sawyers that gem the Mississip.
Here our songster fled us, the little gipsy queen,
Leaving us a memory of gladness that had been,
And through the dark night passing, dark without a ray,
Save the light we carried, we held upon our way;
Darkness on the waters, — darkness on the sky, —
Rain-floods beating o'er us, — wild winds howling high, —
But, safely led and guided, by pilots who could tell
The pulses of the river, its windings and its swell;
Who knew its closest secrets by dark as well as light,
Each bluff and fringing forest, each swamp or looming height —
Its gambols and caprices, its current's steady law,
And at the fourth day dawning we skirted Arkansaw:
Southward, steering southward, in our trusty ship,
Floating, steaming, panting, down, the Mississip.
Weary were the forests, dark on either side;
Weary were the marshes, stretching far and wide;
Weary were the wood-piles, strewn upon the bank;
Weary were the cane-groves, growing wild and dank;
Weary were the tree-stumps, charred and black with fire;
Weary was the wilderness, without a house or spire;
Weary were the log-huts, built upon the sand;
Weary were the waters, weary was the land;
Weary was the cabin with its gilded wall;
Weary was the deck we trod — weary — weary all —
Nothing seemed so pleasant to hope for or to keep,
Nothing in the wide world so beautiful as sleep,
As we journeyed southward in our lazy ship,
Dawdling, idling, loafing, down the Mississip.
Ever in the evening as we hurried by
Shone the blaze of forests, red against the sky —
Forests burned for clearings, to spare the woodman's stroke —
Cottonwood, and cypress, and ash, and giant oak —
And from sleep upspringing — when the morning came,
Seemed the lengthening landscape evermore the same,
Evermore the forest and the rolling flood,
And the sparse plantations and the fertile mud; —
Thus we came to Princeton, threading countless isles;
Thus we came Vicksburg, thrice three hundred miles;
Thus we came to Natchez, when the starlight shone,
Glad to see it — glad to leave it — glad to hurry on —
Southward, ever southward, in our laden ship,
Fuming, toiling, heaving, down the Mississip.
Whence the sound of music? Whence the merry laugh?
Surely boon companions, who jest, and sing, and quaff?
No! the slaves rejoicing; — happier than the free,
With guitar and banjo, and burst of revelry!
Hark the volleyed laughter! hark the joyous shout!
Hark the nigger chorus ringing sharply out!
Merry is the bondsman; gloomy is his lord;
For merciful is Justice and kind is Fate's award.
And God, who ever tempers the winter to the shorn,
Dulls the edge of Sorrow to these His lambs forlorn —
And gives them cheerful natures and thoughts that never soar
Into that dark To-morrow which wiser men deplore.
So sing, ye careless negroes, in our joyous ship,
Floating, steaming, dancing, down the Mississip.
At the sixth day's dawning all around us lay
Fog, and mist, and vapour, motionless and grey;
Dimly stood the cane-swamps, dimly rolled the stream,
Bayou-Sara's housetops faded like a dream;
Nothing seemed substantial in the dreary fog —
Nothing but our vessel drifting like a log —
Not a breath of motion round our pathway blew —
Idle was our pilot, idle were our crew —
Idle were our paddles, idle, free and slave —
Every thing was idle but the restless wave —
Bearing down the tribute of three thousand miles
To the Southern Ocean and its Indian isles; —
Thus all morn we lingered in our lazy ship,
Dozing, dreaming, nodding, down the Mississip.
But ere noon, uprising, blew the southern breeze;
Rolling off the vapour from the cypress-trees,
Opening up the blue sky to the south and west,
Driving off the white clouds from the river's breast;
Breathing in our faces, balmy, from the land,
A roamer from the gardens, as all might understand;
Happy as the swallows or cuckoos on the wing,
We'd cheated Father Winter, and sailed into the Spring,
And beheld it round us, with its sounds and sights,
Its odors and its balsams, its glories and delights,
The green grass, green as England; the apple-trees in bloom;
The waves alert with music, and freighted with perfume —
As we journeyed southward in our gallant ship,
Singing and rejoicing down the Mississip.
On the seventh day morning we entered New Orleans,
The joyous "Crescent City" — a Queen among the Queens; —
And saw her pleasant harbour alive with tapering spars, —
With "union-jacks" from England, and flaunting "stripes and stars"; —
And all her swarming Levee, for miles upon the shore, —
Buzzing, humming, surging, with Trade's incessant roar,
With negroes hoisting hogsheads, and casks of pork and oil,
Or rolling bales of cotton, and singing at their toil;
And downwards — widening downwards — the broad majestic river,
Hasting not, nor lingering, but rolling on forever,
And here, from travel resting, in soft ambrosial hours,
We plucked the growing orange and gathered summer flowers,
And thanked our trusty Captain — our pilot — and our ship —
For bearing us in safety down the Mississip.
SAINT LOUIS. — An extended notice of this city, together with illustrations of some of its public buildings, will be found at p. 32.
ILLINOISTOWN, Ill., is opposite St. Louis, and is the terminus of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad.
CAHOKIA, Ill., 4 miles below, is probably the oldest town in the State, having been settled, by the French, at the latter part of the 17th century. It was occupied by the Caoquias Indians long before the discovery of the Mississippi. Most of the houses are built of pickets, one story high, having piazzas on each side, and whitewashed. By an act of Congress, passed in 1788, a grant of 400 acres of land, adjoining the village, was given to each family — mostly being French. It is a town that reminds one of the olden time, and seems hardly to have moved during the last hundred years. In 1766 it contained 40 families, and now has about 50.
CARONDOLET, Mo., formerly called Vide Poche, (empty pocket,) is a small town 1 mile below, and is occupied by French families, engaged in supplying vegetables for the St. Louis market. It was settled in 1767, but remained almost stationary for a number of years. During the last five years, however, it has shown a rapid increase.
JEFFERSON BARRACKS, Mo., 5 miles below, is one of the most extensive United States military establishments in the West, and has a large cavalry school attached, from which the mounted troops upon the frontiers are supplied.
CLIFTON, Mo., 10 miles below, and Harrisonville, Ill., 2 miles below, are small towns. Two miles further down is
HERCULANEUM, Mo., and is a great mart for the lead which is found in its vicinity. There are also several shot towers here in successful operation. In 1844 this place was almost entirely destroyed by a flood. Population, 1,000.
PLATTEN ROCK, Mo., 1 mile, Selma, Mo., 2 miles, and Rust Tower, Mo., are small villages.
FORT CHARTRES, Ill., 9 miles below, was an old French fort, built in 1720, as a defence against the Spaniards. It was taken possession of by the British, in 1765, by virtue of the treaty of Fontainbleau. It is now a heap of ruins.
ST. GENEVIEVE, Mo., 11 miles below, is another old French settlement, dating back as far as 1750. It is situated in the richest mineral district in the United States, and exports large quantities of lead, iron, copper and limestone. Forty-two miles back of St. Genevieve is situated the celebrated "Iron Mountain," the greatest natural curiosity in the West. We subjoin an account of this wonderful place, and also an engraving, as it appears from the plain below.
We now pass, in succession, St. Mary's Landing, Mo., 10 miles below.
PRATT'S LANDING, Mo., 2 miles below.
KASKASKIA RIVER, which enters the Mississippi from Illinois, 3 miles below:
CHESTER, Ill., 1 mile below the Kaskaskia.
MARY'S RIVER, which joins the Mississippi, from Illinois, 4 miles below.
PORT PERRY, Mo., 3 miles below.
LIBERTY, Ill., 4 miles below.
WITTEMBURG, Mo., 17 miles below, and come to
DEVIL'S BAKE-OVEN AND GRAND TOWER, which are names given to a portion of a gigantic range of rocks, rising to a great height on both sides of the river, the summits of the range being covered with vegetation, appearing in strange contrast with the rough and barren sides of the rocks which face the water. The current, which is here very swift, has, by its force and constant attrition, separated a mass of rock from the main body; and this stands like a giant sentinel in the midst of the waves, towering to a height of over 50 feet above the level of the river. This isolated rock is called Grand Tower.
The voyager who passes this place so leisurely and quietly, without dreaming of danger, is reminded, that before steam was introduced on the river, this point was dreaded more than any other on the passage, by the hardy boatmen who traversed these waters. They were only able to ascend by going on shore on the Illinois side, and thence pulling their boats up the stream by means of ropes. The hostile Indians, always on the look-out for plunder, would conceal themselves in the bushes, and, when a favourable opportunity offered, fall upon, rob, and perhaps murder the toiling boatmen. Thus were lives and property lost, in attempting
44that which steam now enables us to perform with safety.
We now pass, in succession, Breeseville, Ill., 2 miles; the mouth of Muddy River, 4 miles; Birmingham", Mo., 4 miles; Union Point, Ill., opposite; and 3 miles below come to a scene, where Nature has been engaged in playing one of her most curious freaks, known as Devil's Tea-table and Cornice Rocks. The constant action of the water upon the work has worn them into regular shapes, representing continuous rows of cornice rocks, and other architectural devices, of marvellous beauty, which hang majestically over the river, and challenge the admiration of the beholder.
Next we pass Bainbridge, Mo., 6 miles below, and Hamburg, Ill., on the opposite shore, and come to
CAPE GIRANDEAU, Mo., 10 miles below. This is a growing post-town, with about 2,000 inhabitants, having a fine landing for steamers, and doing a good business with the surrounding country, which is very fertile and well populated. It has several good stores, 2 academies, a convent, and is the seat of St. Mary's College, founded in 1830, and having a library of 3,500 volumes.
Pursuing our course, we pass Thebes, Ill., 9 miles below; New York, Mo., just opposite; Commerce, Mo., 3 miles; New Philadelphia, Mo., 7 miles; and Ohio City, Mo., 21 miles below, and come to
CAIRO, Ill., situated at the extreme southern point of the State, formed by the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and is the southern terminus of the Illinois Central Railroad. The location of this city, at the junction of two such magnificent rivers, is unsurpassed, and would indicate a future of unusual promise. But this great hope is, in a great measure, dissipated by the low position of the land upon which the city is built, it being liable to inundations whenever there is a rise in either the Ohio or the Mississippi. The low and marshy nature of the soil in the surrounding country is constantly giving forth miasmatic vapours, which is detrimental to the health of its citizens. Immense exertions have been made to render the city safe from inundations, but hitherto all these efforts have been futile, save in a partial sense. A few years ago, a high and strong levee was erected, at an expense of nearly a million of dollars, but the floods of last year (1858) swept though the barrier, as though it had been paper, and deluged the city from one end to the other, destroying much property, and putting a stop to business for several weeks. Many houses were washed away, and the citizens were obliged to navigate the streets in boats. Nevertheless, we feel confident, that the great importance of this site, commanding, as it does, the whole trade of the west and south, will stimulate exertion, until the indomitable spirit of the people is aroused to a state of determination that shall compel the mighty waters to turn aside their course, and pursue the uneven tenor of their way in another direction. If a proper wall of defence requires tens of millions, instead of a single million, time will assuredly furnish the means, and construct the enduring barrier.
The Ohio River pours its huge volume of waters into the Mississippi, just below Cairo. The Belle Rivi&eagrave;re, or the "beautiful river," as the French called it, which signification corresponds with the meaning of the Indian name, "Ohio," is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburg, and is about 1,000 miles in length. No river in the world, of its size, rolls for so great a distance with such a smooth, uniform and placid current; its motion being ordinarily not more than 3 miles an hour. The only falls of any note, are at Louisville, Ky., which are safely passed by even the largest steamers, when the water is high, although the descent is 22 Ë feet in two miles, producing a very rapid current. The obstruction to navigation in seasons of low water, led to the construction of a canal at Louisville, large enough to admit the passage of ordinary-sized steamers. The rapids and the canal are objects of interest to every traveller, as is the superintendent of the latter, Mr. James Porter, better known as the "Kentucky giant," being 7 feet 9 inches in height. He is a very affable and gentlemanly man, and in his manners seems hardly conscious of his truly elevated position in society. (Since writing the above, we have received tidings of the death of Mr. P., at Shippingport, Ky., on April 25th, 1859.)
The principal rivers running into the
46Ohio, are the Muskingum, Great Kanawha, Big Sandy, Scioto, Kentucky, Miami, Wabash, Cumberland, and the Tennessee. The navigable waters of the Ohio, with its tributaries, are estimated at 5,000 miles, and the extent of area drained, at 200,000 square miles.
The average width of the Ohio, is about half a mile, although expanding in some places to more than a mile, and in others, contracting to 600 yards. Like other western rivers, the Ohio is subject to great elevations and depressions, the average range between high and low water being generally about 50 feet; but, in a few instances, rising over 60 feet. At its lowest stage, it can be forded in several places above Cincinnati, and steamers are at such times grounded on the sandbars, where they are obliged to remain inert until a rise in the waters enable them to pursue their journey. Another obstacle is, floating ice, which continues 4 or 6 weeks, at the close of the winter season. On some portions of the river, the banks are high and precipitous, frequently attaining an elevation of 5 or 600 feet; in others, extensive fields of what is called, "bottom land," rising but a few feet above high-water mark, and spreading from the river's edge into the back country. The scenery of the Ohio, although not so sublime as that of the Mississippi, or as picturesque and varied as the Hudson presents, is, nevertheless, of a very attractive kind. If we were compelled to describe the several excellences of these rivers in point of scenery, with but one word, we should say: the Mississippi is wonderful; the Hudson, sublime; and the Ohio, beautiful.
The travel on this river, especially during the spring and fall months, is immense, notwithstanding the spread of railroads south and west, which enables travellers to cover certain distances, in much less time than can be accomplished by this route. The fine accommodations of her steamers, the moderate fares, and the safety with which they navigate, as compared with the dangers of former years — taken in connection with the quiet beauty of the scenes continually presented to the eye of the voyager — makes, and probably ever will make, the Ohio River a popular route with the masses.
The importance of the river, in a commercial point of view, and its intimate connection with the Mississippi, renders it necessary for us to make some mention of the principal cities that lie upon its banks, among the most important of which may be noticed, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Wheeling and Louisville. At the close of this volume, we have inserted several engravings descriptive of the most interesting scenes and objects in and about these cities, which we shall further notice in their appropriate places. For the present, we shall leave the Belle Rivi&eagrave;re, and pursue our course down the Father of Waters, which absorbs the great stream which here pours into its bosom, without showing any very perceptible increase of bulk.
Passing the mouth of the Ohio, the gallant State of Kentucky, on the left bank of the river, greets the eye of the traveller. Passing on 6 miles, we come to island No. 1, opposite which, in Kentucky, is the site of
OLD FORT JEFFERSON, a short distance back from the river. This fort was built in 1780, by Gen. Clark, in order to protect the navigation of the Mississippi, and secure it to Virginia, to which State this territory then belonged. Just opposite lies
NORFOLK, Mo., and 7 miles below is Bickwith, Mo., and 5 miles further on, Baldwinsville, Mo., all small villages of no especial importance. We next come to
COLUMBUS, Ky., 4 miles below. This is a pretty town, of about 800 inhabitants, and doing an extensive business, which insures a steadiness in its future growth. Just above it, on the same shore, and extending along the river about 2 miles, are the Iron Banks, so called from their colour, which resemble iron rust in appearance. Just below are the Chalk Banks, opposite which is
WOLF ISLAND, one of the largest in this portion of the river.
It is said to have received its name from the following incident, which occurred many years ago. One of the early settlers on the Kentucky side was, for a long while, troubled with the midnight visits of a huge she wolf, who broke into his sheep-fold, and ravaged
48his barn-yard with impunity, being too cunning to be ever detected in flagrante delicto. Continued assaults of this kind at length made the farmer as savage and as remorseless as his foe, and he vowed that he would never close his eyes in sleep until he should have slain the assassin of his lambs and chickens. Taking a safe position from which to make careful observation, and armed with a loaded rifle, he watched through the weary hours of two nights, in vain. About midnight of the third night, however, the flickering glimpses of the moon disclosed the shadow of his enemy, stealthily approaching his premises. Taking as good aim as the agitated state of his enraged feelings would permit, he blazed away at the wolf, and, rushing out with the expectation of seizing his much-coveted prey, was surprised to see the animal making her way towards the river, with a speed that seemed to preclude the possibility of her being wounded by the discharge. Determined not to be foiled this time, the settler followed in pursuit, while the wolf, on reaching the river's edge, rushed in the water, and headed for the island opposite. Stopping for a moment to reload his rifle, the determined farmer strapped it to his back with his neckerchief, in such a manner as to keep the lock dry, and plunging into the river, with bold, strong arms, made his way to his enemy's territory. A brief search brought him into the presence of the wolf, who, with glaring eyes and frothing mouth, sat crouching at the entrance of her den. Raising his rifle to his shoulder, and taking deadly aim, the settler snapped his lock, which, to his surprise, hung fire. Without stopping to adjust the flint, he clubbed his weapon, and aimed a blow at the wolf's head, and got it home with such precision and force as to break the stock from the barrel, and then grasping his hunting knife from his girdle, he closed in with the ferocious beast, who even now showed fight, and tore her assailant's arm in several places, with tooth and claw, before she was finally dispatched. Being too much exhausted to swim back, the settler watched over the dead body of his victim until daylight, when a boat was sent for him, and he returned in triumph from his midnight visit to "Wolf's Island." It should be added, that on examining the body of the wolf, it was found that the bullet from the settler's rifle had entered its neck just above the shoulder; and, also, that on searching its den, two good-sized cubs were found, which were dispatched without benefit of clergy. Leaving Wolf Island, we pass Beckwith's Landing, a small settlement on the Missouri side, and now come to
HICKMAN, Ky. This is a flourishing town, doing an active business in shipping produce, such as corn, cotton, tobacco and cattle. It has 3 or 4 fine churches, and quite a number of stores and large commission-houses. A fine stage route, starting from this point, forms a connection between the Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee.
We now pursue our course for several miles, without observing any particular object of much note, unless we except
JAMES BAYOU, which is the first body of water, called bayou, we have yet met, although they become quite frequent as we draw nearer the mouth of the river. Bayou, or, bi-oo, as it is generally pronounced, is from the French, and signifies a gut or channel, or, as it is usually understood south, any stream which is derived from some other stream, or from a lake.
This beautiful steamer had been built but about 8 months, and had been running since her completion, on the Missouri River, being considered during her brief career, one of the finest and safest boats that ever navigated that stream. In January, 1858, she was put on the New Orleans and St. Louis route, and started on her first upward trip, on Tuesday, 26th of January. On the evening of the 4th of February, she passed New Madrid, and on reaching a point about 1 Ë miles above, her small, or "nigger" boiler, exploded, with a violence that swept away every thing within its range. The bar-keeper was instantly killed, and several others more or less wounded. Although the boiler exploded with such force, yet, strange to say; the noise accompanying it was comparatively slight, merely causing an indifferent inquiry in the ladies' cabin, as to what
50was the matter below. Too soon came the dreadful answer, as the devouring flames burst forth, and spread with fearful rapidity along the fated vessel. The captain immediately ordered out the yawl, for the purpose of first saving the ladies and children, but the unfeeling deck hands and firemen took instant possession, and could not be forced out. Another boat, and their last hope, was then lowered to the water, and into this the captain and officers crowded as many of the passengers as it could safely hold, and started them off to New Madrid, where, in a short time, they were safely landed. The flames now enveloping the entire surface of the decks, the officers and remaining passengers were forced to jump into the river, from which some were picked up by skiffs sent off by persons from New Madrid, while others managed to swim ashore. Many of the rescued were in the water — which was at a temperature of 15 degrees below the freezing-point — for over an hour. Capt. Cheever, like a true man, remained at his post until every other person had left the boat. Then, and not till then, did he cast himself in the river, and seek safety by buffeting the current. He was picked up by a skiff, when he was so far exhausted that in a few minutes life would have been extinct. On reaching New Madrid, it was only by the most skilful and continued efforts that he was resuscitated. In the mean time, the burning boat floated down the stream a distance of three and a half miles, and, lodging on a bar, was soon consumed to the water's edge.
Besides the officers and crew, there were 40 cabin, and 20 deck passengers on board. The number of lives lost by the explosion, burning and drowning, was about 30.
NEW MADRID, Mo., is 44 miles below Hickman, and, like that place, does an extensive trade in shipping produce. This place was the scene of a violent earthquake in 1811, the circumstances and instances of which are so graphically described by Dr. Hildreth, of Marietta, Ohio, and published in Perkins's Annals of the West, that we cannot resist the pleasure of transcribing it in our columns.
"The centre of its violence was thought to be near the Little Prairie, 25 or 30 miles below New Madrid — the vibrations from which were felt all over the valley of the Ohio, as high up as Pittsburg. * * * * New Madrid, having suffered more than any other town on the Mississippi from its effects, was considered as situated near the focus, from whence the undulations proceeded. From an eye-witness, who was then about 40 miles below that town, in a flat-boat, on his way to New Orleans with a load of produce, and who narrated the scene to me, the agitation which convulsed the earth and the waters of the mighty Mississippi, filled every living creature with horror. The first shock took place in the night, (Dec. 16, 1811,) while the boat was lying at the shore in company with several others. At this period, there was danger apprehended from the Southern Indians, it being soon after the battle of Tippecanoe, and for safety several boats kept in company, for mutual defence, in case of an attack. In the middle of the night, there was a terrible shock and jarring of the boats, so that the crews were all awakened, and hurried on deck, with their weapons of defence in their hands, thinking the Indians were rushing on board. The ducks, geese, swans, and various other aquatic birds, whose numberless flocks were quietly resting in the eddies of the river, were thrown into the greatest tumult, and, with loud screams, expressed their alarms in accents of terror. The noise and commotion soon became hushed, and nothing could be discovered to excite apprehension; so that the boatmen concluded that the shock was occasioned by the falling in of a large mass of the bank of the river near them. As soon as it was light enough to distinguish objects, the crews were all up, making ready to depart. Directly a loud roaring and hissing was heard, like the escape of steam from a boiler, accompanied by the most violent agitation of the shores, and tremendous boiling up of the waters of the Mississippi, in huge swells, rolling the waters below back on the descending stream, and tossing the boats about so violently that the men, with difficulty, could keep their feet. The sand-bars and points of the islands gave way, swallowed up in the tumultuous bosom of the river, carrying down with them the cotton-wood trees, cracking and crashing, tossing their arms to and fro, as if sensible of their danger, while they disappeared beneath the flood. The water of the river, which, the day before, was tolerably clear, being rather low, changed to a reddish hue, and became thick with mud, thrown up from its bottom; while the surface, lashed violently by the agitation of the earth beneath, was covered with foam, which, gathering into masses the size of a barrel, floated along on the trembling surface. The earth on the shores opened in wide fissures, and, closing again, threw the water, sand, and mud, in huge jets, higher than the tops of the trees. The atmosphere was filled with a thick vapour, or gas, to which the light imparted a purple tinge, altogether different, in appearance, from the autumnal haze of Indian summer, or that of smoke. From the temporary check to the current, by
the heaving up of the bottom, the sinking of the banks and sand-bars into the bed of the stream, the river rose, in a few minutes 5 or 6 feet; and, impatient of the restraint, again rushed forward with redoubled impetuosity, hurrying along the boats, now set loose by the horror-struck boatmen, as in less danger on the water than at the shore, where the banks threatened every moment to destroy them by the falling earth, or carry them down in the vortices of the sinking masses. Many boats were overwhelmed in this manner, and their crews perished with them. It required the utmost exertions of the men to keep the boat, of which my informant was the owner, in the middle of the river, as far from the shores, sand-bars, and islands, as they could. Numerous boats were wrecked on the snags and old trees thrown up from the bottom of the Mississippi, where they had quietly rested for ages, while others were sunk or stranded on the sand-bars and islands. At New Madrid, several boats were carried, by the reflux of the current, into a small stream that puts into the river just above the town, and left on the ground, by the returning waters, a considerable distance from the Mississippi. * * * The sulphurated gases that were discharged during the shocks, tainted the air with their noxious effluvia, and so strongly impregnated the water of the river, to the distance of 150 miles below, that it could hardly be used for any purpose for several days. New Madrid, which stood on a bluff 15 or 20 feet above the summer floods, sunk so low, that the next rise covered it to the depth of 5 feet. The bottoms of several fine lakes in the vicinity were elevated, so as to become dry land, and have since been planted with corn. Slight oscillations and shocks continued to be felt for years along this region."
Leaving New Madrid, we run about 4 miles and cross the line which divides the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. Three miles further on brings us to
POINT PLEASANT, Mo., a small village doing a large business in shipping corn.
RIDDLE'S POINT, Mo., 3 miles below is also mostly engaged in the shipping trade. It is also the landing-place of goods and merchandize destined for the interior country.
MRS. MERRINEATHER'S LANDING, on the Tennessee side, is called after a lady whose estate lies near the river.
WALKER'S BEND, Joe Eckle's Bend and Little Prairie Bend, are bends in the river, so named by the early boatmen.
LITTLE PRAIRIE, Mo., is a small village, where it is supposed the central vibrations of the great earthquake (before described) occurred.
BOOTH'S POINT and Mitchel's Landing are small settlements on the Tennessee side.
NEEDHAM'S CUT-OFF is 24 miles below Little Prairie. This is the first cut-off we have yet reached.
These cut-offs, as will be seen by looking at our chart, were originally deep bends in the river, around which steamers were obliged to traverse. In many places, as we have before stated, the hands of art have cut across the neck of land lying between the mouths of the bends; while in other instances, the floods have, in their descending fury, performed the same act, as in the case now before us.
OBION RIVER runs into the Mississippi just above the cut-off. It rises in the N. W. part of Tennessee, and flows in a S. W. direction. Its whole length, including its main branch, is 150 miles, and is navigable about 50 miles.
HALE'S POINT and Barfield's Point are just below, the former in Tennessee, and the latter in Arkansas, the dividing line which separates Missouri and Arkansas running between the two points.
FORKED DEER RIVER joins the Mississippi 4 miles below Barfield's Point. This is a long and rather deep stream, rising in Tennessee, and flowing thence in a S. W. direction. Keel-boats ascend the river 150 miles from its mouth.
ASHPORT, Tenn., 2 miles below is a small village of 300 inhabitants.
OSCEOLA, Ark., 12 miles further on, is a post village and the capital of Mississippi Co. It is seated just at the head of Plum Point Bars.
PLUM POINT is one of the most difficult and dangerous points on the river. The bend is very abrupt here, and the frequent changes in the channel have thrown up bars, on which large quantities of drift stuff have become imbedded, thus rendering navigation extremely difficult, and having cost the loss of several valuable boats.
CHICKASAW BLUFF. Six miles below Plum Point, we pass the first bluff — there being four between here and Memphis. These bluffs are high banks from 20 to 30 feet above the river, and extending several miles, and below which the land near the river becomes very low.
FULTON, Tenn., 4 miles below, is on the lower extremity of the first bluff, and is a thriving town of some 600 inhabitants, doing a good business in country produce and in cotton.
HATCHEE RIVER runs into the Mississippi
5410 miles below Fulton. It rises in Mississippi and passes through Tennessee, in a course nearly W. N. W. It is navigable for about 100 miles.
RANDOLPH, Tenn., is situated at the mouth of Hatchee River, and is mostly engaged in the cotton trade.
PECAN POINT, Devil's Elbow and Brandywine Point are names given by boatmen to peculiar localities of no particular importance, save as land-marks to pilots on the river.
GREENOCK, Ark., is nearly 50 miles below the Hatchee river, and is a small settlement of about 300 persons.
THE Mississippi river, 10 miles above this point, was the scene of a fearful disaster on the evening of April 9th, 1832. The steamer Brandywine was bound from New Orleans to Memphis, and had, among other articles of freight, a number of carriage-wheels, wrapped in straw, to prevent their being scratched or bruised — and these were stowed on the boiler-deck. The steamer was racing with the Hudson, and for the purpose of hastening the boat's speed, a large quantity of rosin had been thrown into the furnace. The wind was blowing hard, and the sparks ascended through the wide apertures in the boiler-deck, which were occupied by the chimneys, and were not fitted closely to the wood-work. In the midst of the excitement of the race, the pilot discovered that the straw which enveloped the wheels was on fire, and, the alarm being given, great exertions were made to extinguish the fire, and to throw the burning articles into the water; but it was found that their removal allowed the wind to have free access to the burning mass, which, from its combustible nature, spread in every direction with extraordinary rapidity, so that, in less than five minutes from the time of the first alarm, the whole boat was enveloped in the embraces of the devouring flame. The boat was unfortunately crowded with passengers, whose only escape from fire and flood was the yawl, which would hold scarcely a tenth of their number. The consternation on board was frightful in the extreme. The orders of the officers could not be heard above the general din. Every one seemed crazed with fear, and the vast numbers which crowded towards the only hope of rescue, the yawl, prevented its being launched with safety, and as soon as it touched the water, it capsized and sunk. The despair of the passengers at the destruction of this, their last hope, can neither be imagined nor described. The heat and suffocating smoke had now become so insupportable, that over a hundred persons, choosing the fearful alternative of a watery grave rather than a death by fire, leaped into the river, and there many of them sunk to rise no more. The scenes that ensued, on board and in the waves, baffle description. Some lives were saved by the boats of the Hudson, and some managed to reach the shores by swimming; but a large majority of that multitude — so happy and so excited but a few minutes before — were either drowned or burned — all victims to the racing mania.
Continuing our voyage, we pass Mound City, Ark., and the mouth of Wolf's Run, or river, as it is sometimes called, although it is not navigable, and come to
MEMPHIS, Tennessee. This fine city, which is the largest and most important place on the river between New Orleans and St. Louis, is beautifully situated on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, which is elevated 30 feet above the highest floods. Its appearance, from the river, is remarkably striking. An esplanade, several feet wide, extends along the bluff in front of the town, and is bordered with extensive ranges of large warehouses; while, from the base of the bluff, a bed of sandstone projects into the river, forming a most safe and convenient landing for the multitude of steamers which are constantly coming in and going out. The business of Memphis is very extensive, and is constantly increasing. It is estimated that over 150,000 bales of cotton are annually shipped from here. Its favourable position insures its future prosperity, as there is no other point on the river, from the mouth of the Ohio to Vicksburg — a distance of 650 miles — that affords so eligible a site for a commercial depot. The river, from this city to the gulf, is deep enough to float even the largest ships of war;
56and, in view of this advantage, the United States Government has established a naval depot here. The building of steamboats is largely carried on in Memphis, and large manufactories of cotton, iron and rope are in successful operation.
The Railroad connections of Memphis are as follows:
Memphis and Ohio Railroad to Brownsville, 56 miles. Twice daily.
Memphis and Charleston Railroad to all intermediate stations for 271 miles, to Stevenson, with connections to Chattanooga, 39 miles further.
Memphis and Tennessee Railroad to Grenada, 97 miles, and all intermediate stations.
Memphis and Little Rock Railroad to Little Rock, Ark.
The population of Memphis more than doubles every ten years, and is now probably near 20,000.
THERE have been several steamboat disasters at and near Memphis, one of the most serious of which was the explosion of the Helen McGregor, in 1830. She was on her way from New Orleans to Louisville, and stopped at Memphis on the morning of Feb. 24th. She had been lying at the wharf about half an hour, and was on the point of departing on her trip, when her boilers bursted and dealt death and destruction on either hand, with fearful havoc. As was, and still is, usual, with boats stopping at large places on the river to land and take in passengers, the boat was crowded with citizens of the town; some of whom were come to see their friends off, others to welcome their friends home, and many who came as porters, messengers, etc. A large number of persons were unfortunately on the deck near the boilers, and, when the explosion took place, it was estimated that at least 50 persons were instantly killed, and as many more seriously wounded, among the latter being the captain and the pilot of the boat. At that day, this accident was the most serious that had occurred on the Western waters. The cause was never accurately ascertained, although it was supposed to originate in the defection of the boilers.
WE have before spoken of the floods which sometimes sweep along the course of the Mississippi, and while we are now writing (April, 1859) the tidings reach us of an alarming flood which is now prevailing on that portion of the river we are just about to enter upon. The giant force of the swollen current has caused numerous crevasses, resulting in the over flow of large tracts of the lower country, and the destruction of stock, crops and improvements to an almost incalculable amount. From Memphis, down, the river is described as spreading on either hand like a sea, and the marks of desolation are every where visible. Scores of plantations and villages are either overflowed or rendered almost uninhabitable by the mould with which the surrounding moisture has covered every dwelling. The houses which are built on pillars, thus suffering the water to run freely beneath, are still occupied. Flatboats are usually moored to such habitations, which serve the double purpose of stables for the cattle and quarters for the negroes who guard them.
The anxiety to learn the news, from above, respecting the water is described as intense, and the people exhibited great depression on being told that the upper rivers were still rising.
At Helena, the levee has successfully kept the town from overflow. Napoleon is also well protected, the levees along both the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers being in good condition; the water, however, keeps filling the low grounds in the rear of the place. The graveyard on the banks of the Arkansas, and between the river and the levee, is submerged, and the gravestones and monuments just peeping above the flowing waters. At Lake Providence, the water is excluded, but the town is muddy, and extremely damp and noisome. At Vicksburg, the water is sixteen inches higher than during the flood of last year, so that the steamers tie up "cheek by jowl" with the houses, some of the awnings
58of which they have knocked down. Vicksburg stands on a very high bank.
We also learn that there is often no land in sight, and that the steamers, in order to reach the so-called "landings," are compelled to push among the trees and logs, and buried levees, to deposit a mail-bag or bundle on a log or skiff.
Leaving Memphis, we pass several small towns, the first being
FORT PICKERING, Tenn., 2 miles below the city;
GRAYSON, 6 miles below, on the Arkansas side; soon after which, we cross the line dividing Tennessee from Mississippi, and come to
NORFOLK, Miss., 2 miles below;
BLUE'S POINT, Ark., 18 miles below;
COMMERCE, Miss., 2 miles below;
AUSTIN, Miss., 6 miles below; and come to the mouth of
ST. FRANCIS' RIVER, which rises in St. Francis' Co., Missouri, and flows almost parallel with the Mississippi, through the north-east corner of Arkansas. In the lower part of its course, it passes through extensive tracts, which are subject to inundation, and are partly occupied by cypress swamps. The whole length of the river is 450 miles, for 150 of which, it is navigable at seasons of high water. There are abundance of trout and other fish in this stream.
STERLING, a small trading-post, is at the mouth of the above river.
ON Sunday night, April 24, 1859, the steamer St. Nicholas, Capt. McMullen, bound from St. Louis to New Orleans, exploded her boilers when opposite Island No. 60, which lies in the Mississippi, about midway between Sterling and Helena, Arkansas. It was about 10 o'clock in the evening when the occurrence took place, and the darkness which prevailed, served to add to the dismay and confusion of the survivors, who were at a loss which way to go, or what to do, to save themselves from immediate death. Soon the flames began to spread, and gave forth fitful gleams that revealed new dangers to the terror-stricken passengers. The steamer Susquehanna, fortunately, at this time came to the rescue, and took on board some 16 wounded, and about 50 who were uninjured. It is known that as many as 60 lives were lost, including the captain, the first clerk and his wife, first and second engineers, and 13 deck-hands and firemen.
It is a remarkable coincidence, that, just before the accident, the captain, a Mr. Reynolds and a gentleman from Warrenton, Miss., were in the pilot-house engaged in conversation in reference to the explosion of the steamer Pennsylvania, which occurred about one year before, near this spot, and by which calamity some 80 or 90 lives were lost. The gentleman from Warrenton was a firm believer in the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, but qualified his statement with the declaration that he was prepared for death, whenever it might come. The conversation had hardly concluded when the explosion took place, and the three speakers were separated — never again to meet in this world — the pilot alone being saved to record this coincidental discussion. On the explosion, Capt. McMullen fell below, entangling his legs among some shattered timbers, and, although great efforts were made to extricate him, he was burned to death, while his cries for help were distinctly heard by those on deck. Mr. Gillam, the 2d clerk, was in his berth, and his first sensation was the hearing of a report like a pistol. When he awoke to full consciousness, he was floating on his mattress in the river, a hundred yards from the steamer.
Mr. Reid, the pilot, stated that just before the explosion the steam was a litle above the ordinary guage, and that he could distinctly hear it escape as he stood at the wheel. If this be true, then we have another instance to be added to the long catalogue of casualties which can be charged to gross carelessness, or, at best, to a want of that faithful watchfulness which should be imperative on the part of the engineer and his assistants.
Connected with this catastrophe was an affecting instance of female heroism, which we cannot forbear chronicling in this work. Miss Kennedy, a cousin of the chief clerk, who was one of the owners of the boat, was thrown, by the explosion, from her stateroom
60into the river, and floated down to the stern of the boat, when she caught her hand in one of the rings attached to the hull, and hung in that perilous dilemma, while death stood threatening upon either hand. To loose her hold was to sink into the waves, and to hold on was to burn with the wreck to which she was clinging — every moment being an age of alternating hope and despair. She remained in this position until the flames actually burned the hair and skin from her head, the only part of her body above the water, except the hand by which she clung to the wreck, and that was burned to a crisp. While in this awful suspense, and suffering intensely from the heat, such was her presence of mind and her wonderful heroism, that, as a man who was worse stunned, perhaps, than herself, by the explosion, was floating by her in a drowning condition, she seized him by the hair with her disengaged hand, and held his face out of the water until a skiff was brought to the rescue of both. It often falls to the strong arm of man to assist the helplessness of woman; but in this instance the strength of endurance, and a courage that was stronger than her arm, made a woman the preserver of herself and one of the stronger sex.
HELENA, Ark., is a thriving town 10 miles below, containing about 600 or 700 inhabitants. In 1852 the place was almost entirely destroyed by fire. A considerable business is done in shipping cotton from this point. Back of the town there is a very striking range of hills, the only ones to be seen from the river for a long distance.
YAZOO PASS, or BAYOU, 8 miles below, connects the Mississippi with the Yazoo River, enabling flat-boats to pass through an immense tract of country, fertile with extensive cotton plantations, extending a distance of 300 miles.
DELTA, Miss., is a small village on the southern side of the bayou.
FRIAR'S POINT, Miss., is 6 miles below, and just above the
HORSE SHOE CUT-OFF, which is a large bend in the river, resembling a horse-shoe in form, and across which a cut has been made, which saves some miles of travel to the voyager.
OLD TOWN, Ark., is 3 miles below.
BARNEY'S, Ark., 10 miles further down.
LACONIA, Ark., 10 miles below.
CONCORDIA, Miss., 20 miles below, at the mouth of a small bayou.
MONTGOMERY'S POINT, Ark., 10 miles below, is the landing place for merchandise destined to the White River country.
VICTORIA, Miss., situated opposite, is also a landing place for the interior country.
IT was near this place that De Soto first beheld the waters of the Mississippi. It was in the beautiful month of May, in 1539, that the expedition under the great discoverer, sailed from Havana, in search of the "El Dorado," which, the Spaniards were led to believe, existed in the, as yet, undiscovered country of the south. A voyage of two weeks brought him to the coast of Florida, where he landed and commenced his search for gold. But the native Indians opposed his progress at every step, and it was only by getting possession of the several chiefs of the country through which he passed, and whom he held as hostages, that he was enabled to pursue his way in security. After wandering about for two years, in his vain search for the valued ore which he and his followers so much coveted, and tired with continual struggles with the numerous bands of hostile Indians that were ever on his path, he at length reached the banks of the Mississippi, and, crossing it near the point we have just described, he wandered with his followers through the wilds of Arkansas, in the neighborhood of White River, until lack of provisions and the severity of the winter compelled him to retrace his steps, and to recross the Mississippi at a point about 20 miles below the Arkansas River. Worn out by toil and exposure, and disheartened by a long succession of disappointments, De Soto soon after was attacked with malarious fever, which caused his death, at the comparatively early age of 42.
WHITE RIVER joins the Mississippi, 4 miles below Victoria. In the Ozark Mountains, three insignificant streams take their rise, and, running first into Missouri and then back into Arkansas, unite together a few
64miles east of Fayetteville, and forms White River. Its whole length is estimated at 800 miles, being navigable for steamboats 350 miles, to the mouth of Black River, its largest affluent. In some seasons, the river is navigable 50 miles further up. The channel is seldom lees than 4 feet deep. The country through which it flows is generally fertile, and is especially adapted to cotton and Indian corn. Pine forests are found in the upper course of the river, and cypress swamps on its lower section.
ARKANSAS RIVER enters the Mississippi 16 miles below White River. Next to the Missouri, this is the largest tributary of the Mississippi, it being more than 2,000 miles in length. Rising in the Rocky Mountains, between Utah and the Indian Territory, it pursues an easterly course for several hundred miles, and then turns its current in a south-easterly direction, and finally penetrates through the centre of Arkansas, into the embraces of the Mississippi. It is navigable for steamboats for about 800 miles, there being but little obstruction from falls or rapids. The difference, however, between high and low water is very great — usually about 25 feet. The country along its upper course is barren and rocky, but, after entering the State of Arkansas, the soil which it traverses is generally very productive.
NAPOLEON, Ark., is near the mouth of the Arkansas River, and is a fine, growing place, of 1,500 inhabitants. The United States Government has established a Marine Hospital here.
BOLIVIA, Miss., 13 miles below, is a small village.
PLANTATIONS. Our readers will notice, on looking at our Chart of the Mississippi, that names and titles are spread along the banks of the river in great profusion, beginning at about the point we have now reached and continuing to New Orleans. It may be necessary for us to mention, that these titles do not refer in all cases to either towns or villages, but in most cases are the names of plantations lying near or on the banks of the river, or to the owners of them — most generally the latter.
COLUMBIA, Ark., is 53 miles below Napoleon, and is a place of much enterprise, containing a population of 6 or 700 persons.
The great cotton-growing region commences here, and plantations grow plenty as we proceed down the river. Spanish Moss grows near this place.
IT was close to Columbia that, on the evening of June 9th, 1836, the fatal catastrophe occurred which we are about to relate. The Rob Roy was on her way from New Orleans to Louisville, when, on nearing the town of Columbia, her engine was stopped for the purpose of oiling the machinery, an operation that only occupied a few minutes' time, but sufficient to produce such an accumulation of steam as to cause an explosion. The pilot immediately headed for the shore, which was happily reached in a few minutes, the headway of the boat at the time of the explosion being very great. By this measure, no lives were lost after the explosion. By this accident 17 persons were killed outright, and about 15 or 20 scalded, some of them surviving but a short time.
Passing Point Chicot, Ark., 4 miles below; Greenville, Miss., 4 miles below; Worthington Landing, Ark., 22 miles below, and Grand Lake Landing, Ark., 6 miles below, we come to
PRINCETON, Miss., 4 miles below — a small village of 4 or 500 inhabitants, and a landing place for the plantations lying back of the river.
ON the morning of April 21st, 1838, the steamer Oronoko made a stop in the river, just opposite Princeton, for the purpose of sending her yawl ashore for passengers. We extract from an account published of the horrible accident which now occurred:
"In less than five minutes after the machinery ceased moving, a flue collapsed, spreading death and devastation on every hand. This accident occurred before the people on board were aroused from their slumbers. The deck passengers were lodged
66on the lower deck, abaft the engine, where, as is customary in western steamboats, berths were provided for their accommodation. On this occasion, the number of berths were insufficient, as the boat was thronged with emigrants, and mattresses had been spread over the floor for the use of those who could not be lodged in berths. This apartment, between decks, was densely crowded with sleeping passengers, when the flue collapsed, as before mentioned, and the steam swept through the whole length of the boat with the force of a tornado, carrying every thing before it. Many of the crew, whom duty had called on deck at that early hour, were blown overboard; and, as the scalding vapour penetrated every part and recess of the cabin and space between decks, the slumbering population of the boat, with scarcely an individual exception, were either killed on the spot, or injured in a manner more terrible than death itself. Some of these unfortunates were completely excoriated, some shockingly mangled and torn, while others were cast among masses of ruins, fragments of wood and iron, piled up in inextricable confusion. The deck was strewn with more than 50 helpless sufferers; the river was all alive with those who had been thrown overboard by the force of the explosion, and those who, frantic with pain and terror, had cast themselves into the water. Some of those who had been scalded swam to the bank, and then, in the wildest frenzy, occasioned by intolerable agony, leaped back into the river, and were drowned. Most of the persons occupying the cabin escaped before the steam reached that apartment; but one gentleman, Mr. Myers, of Wheeling, while making his way forward with his child in his arms, became alarmed at the scene of confusion and distress which presented itself, and, rushing back to the cabin, which by this time was filled with steam, both him and the child were badly scalded, and died soon afterwards.
"Nearly one hundred deck passengers are supposed to have been sacrificed, a great majority of whom were unknown, as it is not customary to take the names of such persons on river steamers. Thirty or forty were seriously wounded, several of whom subsequently died. Some of those blown overboard were picked up by the yawl, and two or three were saved by a skiff from the shore. The inhabitants of Princeton did all in their power to assist the distressed crew and passengers, and to alleviate their sufferings."
Passing Carolina Landing, on the left, and Ashton, on the right, we come to Butcher's Cut-off, 10 miles below Princeton. This cutoff runs through a swamp, and is but a short distance across, while the main channel flows round the bend a distance of 18 miles. Soon after we leave the cut-off, we pass the boundary lines which separates Arkansas from Louisiana, and, 19 miles distant, come to the town of
PROVIDENCE, La., which is a pretty town of about 500 inhabitants, doing a considerable trade in cotton, and in transmitting goods into the interior. Just back of the town is the lake, from which it derives its name, through which, it is supposed, the Mississippi once flowed.
PLANTATIONS ON THE RIVER. The voyager will frequently notice, on both sides of the river, large groups of buildings, having the appearance of villages, which have no designation on our map. These are generally large plantations, some of them containing a thousand slave hands; and the necessary quarters to shelter such a body of negroes, together with the houses of the overseers, barns and other out-buildings, are often sufficient to make, so far as size at least is concerned, a town of some pretensions. These plantations, on a pleasant summer's day, when the negroes are at work near the river, afford some interesting views to the steamboat traveller.
Most of the villages between Providence and the Yazoo River — 50 miles distant — are used as residences for the rich planters whose estates lie in the neighbourhood; and as landings for provisions and goods destined for the use of the plantations.
YAZOO RIVER. This stream is formed by the Tallahatchie and Yallobusha Rivers, which unite at Leflore, in Carrol County, and, flowing in a south-west direction, flows into the Mississippi 12 miles above Vicksburg. It is a deep, but narrow, sluggish stream, nearly 300 miles in length, traversing an alluvial plain of extreme fertility, which is mostly occupied by cotton plantations. It is probably not surpassed in navigable waters by any river of its size in the world, as steamboats can ascend from its mouth to its origin in all
70stages of water, and in all seasons of the year. Its principal tributary, the Tallahatchie, is also navigable for over 100 miles.
WALNUT HILLS, 10 miles below the Yazoo, are a range of high-ground, reaching up to nearly 500 feet, and extending along the river two miles; and, as they are under a high state of cultivation, they present a series of interesting views, scarcely excelled by any others on the lower part of the river.
VICKSBURG, Miss., occupies an elevated position on the side of a hill, whose highest point is 300 feet above the river. It is 400 miles above New Orleans, and 45 miles west from Jackson, the capital of the State, with which it is connected by a railroad. This is the largest commercial city on the river between Memphis and Natchez, the most important article of export being cotton, of which it ships about 150,000 bales annually. A regular line of steamers ply between here and New Orleans. The view of the city from the river is very interesting. The situation being high, and the houses being built in terraces on the side of the hill, give it a very fine and picturesque appearance. Opposite the city, the Mississippi is 300 feet deep. The railroad connections are — To Brandon, 60 miles, and thence to Taylor's, 21 miles further. Jackson to New Orleans, 182 miles. When finished, the Shreevesport and Texas Railroad will connect at Vicksburg.
WARRENTOWN, Miss., 10 miles below Vicksburg, is a small settlement of about 400 persons.
PALMYRA, Miss., 15 miles below, and New Carthage, La., nearly opposite, are also small villages of a few hundred inhabitants.
BIG BLACK RIVER, 24 miles below, rises in Choctaw Co., Miss., and, after a course of 200 miles through a level and very fertile region of country, chiefly occupied by cotton plantations, enters the Mississippi at a point called Grand Gulf, opposite which is a town of the same name, doing a flourishing business, and containing 1,200 inhabitants.
BAYOU PIERRE, 10 miles below, runs far up into the interior, and is navigable for keel-boats as far as Port Gibson, 28 miles from the Mississippi.
BRUINSBURG, Miss., near the mouth of the bayou; St. Joseph's, La., 6 miles below, and Rodney, Miss., 4 miles below that, are small towns of from 200 to 600 inhabitants each.
Just below the last-named place, at a point where the river makes a sharp bend, is the farm formerly occupied by Gen. Taylor, President of the United States in 1849, and, at a point still further down, and just below Fairchild's Island, is the estate of Gen. Quitman.
NATCHEZ, the largest and most commercial city in Mississippi, is 41 miles below Rodney, and is built on a high bluff which rises 200 feet above the river. A portion of the city, however, is built on the margin of the river, and is called "Natchez under the Hill." The high position of Natchez commands a fine view of the immense Cypress Swamps of Louisiana, which abound in this vicinity. The streets are wide and regular, and some of the public buildings and business stores are very handsome. The private residences are built mostly of wood, and many of them are adorned with fine flower-gardens and orange groves. Natchez boasts of several fine seminaries and public schools, which have tended a good deal to increase her population within a few years. The city is the centre of an extensive shipping business, of which cotton is the principal article.
Natchez derives its name from the tribe of Indians who were formerly the owners of the soil upon which it is built. The first settlement was made by Mons. D'Iberville, an enterprising Frenchman, who having, in 1698, visited the Mississippi, and erected a fort, in which he left a small garrison, returned to France, and, in December of the following year, again made the ascent of the river, in company with his brother. When he reached the country of the Natchez Indians, their chief, the "Great Sun," gave him a cordial greeting, and a welcome to build his "wigwam" where he listed. The high bluff where Natchez now stands was selected, and, at first, called Rosalie, in honor of the Countess Pontchartrain. For many years the settlement made no advance, until, in 1716, a strong fort was built, which resulted in drawing to it a population that soon made it the largest town in that region of country. Its population now is about 8,000.
ELLIS'S CLIFFS, 18 miles below, is a high ridge on the east side of the river, extending
74for miles, and presenting an agreeable contrast to the low monotonous scenery we have been accustomed to behold on the lower part of the Mississippi.
On the evening of May 4, 1825, the steamer S. B. Teche left Natchez, with a large freight of cotton, and 70 or 80 passengers, many of whom came on board late, and were unknown to each other. Starting down the river, she proceeded about 9 or 10 miles, when the night became so excessively dark, that her commander deeded it unsafe to proceed farther, and therefore brought his vessel to anchor. At 2 o'clock on the following morning, the haze having cleared away, the anchor was weighed, and, the steam having been previously raised, the steamer pursued her way. Scarcely had her wheels made a dozen revolutions, ere the passengers, many of whom had been asleep in their berths, were startled by a shock which seemed sufficient to separate every plank and timber in the vessel, accompanied by a report which sounded like the discharge of a whole broadside of the heaviest artillery. Every light on board was immediately extinguished, either by the escape of the steam or by the concussion of the air.
As the day had not yet dawned, an impenetrable darkness now: hung over the scene of the disaster, the extent of which could only be imagined by the affrighted crowd that soon collected on the deck. Just at that moment of appalling fear and painful uncertainty, a cry was raised that the boat was on fire. Then followed a scene of indescribable confusion. The passengers, in the insanity of terror, rushed hither and thither through the dense gloom, and many of them anticipated their doom in their blind endeavours to avoid it.
Mr. Miller, of Kentucky, one of the survivors, stated that when the alarm of fire was given, he attempted to move towards the bow, whence the alarm proceeded, but before he had advanced ten steps, he was precipitated down the hatchway, (the hatches having been blown off by the explosion,) and after falling (fortunately, on his feet) to the bottom of the hold, he found himself knee-deep in scalding water, which had been discharged from the fractured boiler. He would soon have perished in the suffocating vapor which filled the place, had not his cries for assistance been heard by some humane person on deck, who threw him the end of a rope, and thus enabled him to escape from his agonizing and perilous situation.
By this time the flames began to ascend, illuminating the deck with a lurid glare, which enabled the passengers to discern the means of escape which offered, though these means were made less available by the terror and confusion which prevailed. The boat's yawl made several trips to the nearest shore, carrying off a load of passengers at each trip, but, as the flames began to extend rapidly over the deck, it was evident that all the people on board could not be saved in this way. Under these circumstances, the captain ordered several bales of cotton to be thrown overboard, and on these many passengers were kept afloat until the boats finally took them off.
But the last incident of this afflicting narrative is the most distressing. About one hour after the explosion, the steamer Washington, while passing up the river, was hailed by the passengers remaining on board the burning vessel. The Washington promptly sent a boat to their assistance, and waited to receive them. All who were remaining of the Teche's passengers, about 12 in number, embarked in the Washington's boat, and now, assuring themselves of safety, they had reached the side of the steamer, when, by some unlucky accident, the small boat was upset, and every person — man, woman and child — was drowned. It would seem that inexorable fate had doomed them to destruction.
The number of lives lost by this accident could never be accurately ascertained. Several persons were instantly killed by the explosion, and others were so badly injured by scalding, or otherwise, that they died soon afterwards. It was thought that not less than 20 or 30 lives were lost.
Pursuing our route, we pass Union Point, 3 miles down the river, and 23 miles further on, come to the mouth of Homochitto River,
76a small stream that is not navigable. Ten miles below that, is
FORT ADAMS, Miss., which is a small village, and the port of supply for the town of Woodville — a thriving place, situated a short distance in the interior. This point of the river was the scene of another frightful disaster, which we will speak of below.
"ON the 8th of May, 1837, the large Louisville and New Orleans packet, the Ben Sherrod, caught fire on her upward trip, while she was engaged in an exciting race with the steamer Prairie. It was one o'clock at night, and the boat was about 14 miles above Fort Adams, ploughing her way up the Mississippi with great velocity. The Prairie was just ahead of her, in sight, and the crew of the Ben Sherrod were determined, if possible, to go by her. The firemen were shoving in the pine knots, and sprinkling rosin over the coal, and doing their best to raise more steam. They had a barrel of whisky before them, from which they drank often and freely until they were beastly drunk. The boilers became so hot that they set fire to sixty cords of wood on board, and the Ben Sherrod was soon completely enveloped in flames. The passengers, three hundred in number, were sound asleep, not thinking of the awful doom that awaited them. When the deck hands discovered the fire, they basely left their posts and ran for the yawl, without giving the alarm to the passengers. Captain Castleman attempted for a time to allay the excitement and confusion, by telling them the fire was extinguished. Twice he forbade the lowering of the yawl, which was attempted. The shrieks of nearly three hundred and fifty persons, now on board, rose wild and dreadful, which might have been heard at a distance of several miles. The cry was, "To the shore! to the shore!" and the boat made for the starboard shore, but did not gain it, as the wheel-ropes soon burnt. The steam was not let off, and the boat kept on up the river. The scene of horror now beggared all description. The yawl, which had been filled with the crew, had sunk, drowning nearly all who were in it; and the passengers had no other alternative than to jump overboard, without even taking time to dress. There were ten ladies, who all went overboard without uttering a single scream; some drowned instantly, and others clung to planks; two of the number were all that were saved. Several passengers were burnt alive. One man by the name of Ray, from Louisville, Kentucky, jumped overboard, and hung to a rope at the bow of the boat, until rescued by the yawl of the steamer Columbus, which arrived at the scene half an hour after the boat took fire. Mr. Ray's face and arms were much burnt while clinging to the boat. He lost $20,000 in specie. The steamboat Alton arrived half an hour after the Columbus, but, from the carelessness or indiscretion of those on her, was the means of drowning many persons who were floating in the water. She came down under full headway among the exhausted sufferers, who were too weak to make any further exertion, and, by the commotion occasioned by her wheels, drowned a large number.
"It was said by some of the passengers, that the captain of the Alton did not hear the cries of those who implored him for assistance, as he passed, it being midnight; but there can be no excuse for the monster who commanded the Prairie, for leaving a boat in flames without turning around and affording the sufferers relief. He reported her on fire at Natchez and Vicksburg.
"A man in a canoe near the scene of the disaster refused to save any who were floating in the water, unless they promised to pay him handsomely for his services. So rapid were the flames, that not even the register of the boat was saved; hence it was impossible to get a full list of the lost.
"Out of 78 deck passengers, not more than 6 were saved. This was one of the most serious calamities that ever occurred on the Mississippi River, there being at least 170 families deprived by it of some dear and beloved member, and over 200 souls being hurried by it out of time into eternity, with scarce a moment's warning. During the burning of the Ben Sherrod 8 different explosions occurred; first, barrels of whisky, brandy, etc.; then the boilers blew up, with a fearful explosion; and lastly, 40 barrels of gunpowder exploded, which made a noise that was heard many miles distant, scattering fragments of the wreck in all directions, and producing the grandest sight ever seen. Immediately after, the wreck sunk out of sight, just above Fort Adams. A large quantity of specie, which was on its way to the Tennessee banks, was lost. One gentleman placed his pocket-book, containing $38,000, under his pillow, and, though he managed to escape, he lost all his money."
RED RIVER enters the Mississippi 11 miles below Fort Adams. This is one of the most important affluents of the Mississippi, its main stream being about 1,200 miles in length. It rises in a chain of mountains near Santa Fé, New Mexico, and, sweeping eastward through the Indian Territory into Arkansas, thence passes into Louisiana, and, after traversing a region which is intersected by numerous lakes and bayous, formed by the overflowing of its waters, enters the Mississippi about 200 miles above New Orleans. During 8 months of the year, steam packets regularly navigate it from its mouth to Shreveport, a distance of about 500 miles. The most serious obstruction to the safe navigation of the upper part of Red River, is what is called the Great Raft, which consists of an immense mass of drift wood and trees, which have been brought down several hundred miles by the current, and lodged here, obstructing the channel for a distance of 70
78miles. In 1835 the Government, at as expense of $300,000, removed a great portion of the raft; but since then, another has been formed, the lower part of which reaches within 30 miles of Shreveport. Above the raft, small boats can go 300 miles in seasons of high water. The banks of the river are extremely well wooded with tall trees, with such a wide spread that, in some places, their branches almost meet across the stream. As this river has been the scene of several sad steamboat accidents, we will take the liberty of noticing two of the most fatal.
"THE destruction of the Lioness was caused by the explosion of several barrels of gunpowder, which were stowed, among other freight, in the hold. The accident, therefore, cannot be attributed to any defect in the steam apparatus, or to any mismanagement thereof. The catastrophe took place at an early hour, on a calm and beautiful Sabbath morning, in May, 1833. Many of the passengers had not left their berths. The boat was commanded by Capt. William L. Cockerell; her place of destination was Natchitoches, on Red River. She had accomplished a considerable part of the voyage, and reached the north of a small stream called Ragelot Bon Dieu, when, on the morning referred to above, the mate and several of the crew were arranging some part of the cargo in the hold; and, as the place was dark, they found it necessary to use a lighted candle. It is conjectured that a spark from the candle, in some way, found access to one of the kegs of powder; but as every person who had been at work in the hold was killed by the explosion, the mode in which the powder became ignited could never be ascertained. It is reported that some articles of a very combustible nature, such as crates containing a quantity of dry straw and several casks of oil, were stowed in dangerous proximity to the powder. It was stated by some of the passengers that three distinct explosions were heard. The fore-cabin, the boiler deck, and the hold immediately under them, were literally torn to pieces, and the fragments were scattered over the surrounding waters to a surprising distance. A part of the hurricane deck and a portion of the lady's cabin were likewise detached; and this proved to be a favourable circumstance, as the hull almost immediately sunk, and, in all likelihood, every female on board, and many other persons, would have been drowned, had they not been sustained on the detached pieces of the wreck just spoken of. As it was, all the women were saved; and the loss of life, though terrible enough, indeed, was less than might have been expected, in view of all the circumstances of the disaster. The hull of the vessel was on fire, almost from stem to stern, at the time she went down. All of the crew and passengers who survived, saved themselves by swimming, or were floated to the shore on fragments of the wreck.
"By this accident, 15 persons were killed, and 16 seriously wounded."
"THIS awful calamity, which hurried more than 50 human beings into eternity, occurred on a cold wintry night, in December, 1837, while the Black Hawk was about to ascend the Red river, on her passage from Natchez to Natchitoches. The boat had a full load of passengers and freight, including $90,000 in specie, belonging to the United States Government. She had just reached the mouth of Red River, when the boiler exploded, blowing off all the upper works forward of the wheels. The pilot and engineer were instantly killed.
"The number of passengers on board is stated to have been about 100, nearly half of whom were women and children. No estimate of the number killed was ever published, but it appears from the best accounts we have that a majority of the passengers and crew perished. A large proportion of the passengers on western steamboats are persons from distant parts of the country, or emigrants, perhaps, from the old world, whose journeyings are unknown to their friends, and whose fate often excites no inquiry. When such persons are the victims of a steamboat calamity, their names, and frequently their numbers, are beyond all powers of research. So it appears to have been in the case now under consideration. Instead of a list of the slain, we are furnished only with a catalogue of the survivors, and these, alas! appear to have been merely a forlorn remnant. Among the deck passengers, 15 were known to be lost, 3 others died soon after the explosion, 1 was observed to sink while attempting to swim ashore, and 12 more were scalded severely, and 15 slightly. The latest and most authentic account stated that not less than 50 persons must have perished by the explosion of the Black Hawk. The crew of the boat suffered to a considerable extent. The pilot was blown overboard and lost.
"After the explosion, the wreck, being all in flames, floated 15 miles down the stream, and then sunk. Some of the passengers were taken off the burning wreck by a flat-boat. It is mentioned that the females on board the Black Hawk rendered essential service by bailing and assisting to extinguish the flames. A part of the cargo and $75,000 in specie were saved. Several valuable horses, which had been shipped at Natchez, were drowned."
RED RIVER ISLAND AND CUT-OFF. — At the mouth of Red River, the Mississippi makes a long bend, leaving a narrow strip of land between. Some years ago, a channel was cut across the bend, which, upon admitting the waters, was soon worn sufficiently wide to admit the passage of the largest boats. From this point the Mississippi
82no longer flows in one regular channel, but divides into several branches or bayous, which wind their way through lakes and swamps to the Gulf, in courses nearly parallel with the parent stream. These bayous are spread along the river, in the order designated on our map. They penetrate a country of extraordinary fertility, and their banks are covered with rich plantations, which stretch along for miles in length, giving the appearance of a continuous village.
RACCOURCI CUT-OFF is 4 miles below, and was made by the State Government in 1848. The distance around the bend is 25 miles, while, by the Cut-off, it is only half a mile. The width of the channel is 400 yards, admitting the largest steamers.
TUNICA BAYOU, at the mouth of which is Tunica village, is opposite the Cut-off.
We now pass Morgan's Bend, and come to the tract known as
POINT COUPEE SETTLEMENT, which extends several miles along the river. Most of the plantations are owned by descendants of French families, who settled here before Louisiana was ceded to the United States, in 1803. The Grand Levee, or embankment which protects the country from inundations, commences at this point. The land from here to the Gulf is very low, being, with very few exceptions, below the level of the river. The various cut-offs that have been made above, although they have shortened the distance by several miles, have, nevertheless, by giving the water a more direct course, greatly increased its volume and force, and hence given a greater pressure against the banks of the river. From this cause, serious crevasses have been made in seasons of freshet, which have destroyed the crops of entire plantations, and even buried villages in a flood of water. The embankments, which have been erected at an immense cost, have, in a measure, protected the country, but are not always proof against the assaults of the angry stream.
Before leaving the "Settlement," we pass Seven Mile Bayou and Bayou Sara. At the latter is the town, of the same name, which is employed mostly in shipping cotton.
WATERLOO, La., is a small town on the opposite shore, and is beautifully surrounded with rich plantations.
PORT HUDSON, La., 6 miles below, is a place of considerable note in shipping cotton and sugar. It is connected by railroad with the thriving town of Clinton, situated 25 miles in the interior. A few miles below is a little island, to which has been given the name of
PROPHET'S ISLAND. — There is a tradition among the Natchez Indians, that, for years before the discovery of the "Great Waters" by the "pale-faces," their prophet, Mah-tou-la-ki-o, was in the habit of retiring to this isolated spot for the purpose of consulting the Great Spirit, and for meditation. It is said, that after one of his most prolonged visits to this place — during which time he partook of neither food nor drink, nor indulged in sleep — he returned to his people with a sorrowful countenance, and told them that they must soon leave their homes and the graves of their fathers, and seek for hunting-grounds in a strange, far-off land. He told them he had seen troops of warriors whose hearts were of stone, whose skins were of iron, (suits of armor,) and whose arrows were thunderbolts tipped with fire. Tall, gigantic canoes, he had seen, some with wings as white and as broad as the clouds of summer, and others belching forth fire and smoke, and cleaving the waters as the arrow cleaves the air. The wondering but incredulous chiefs listened with attention to the marvellous recital of their prophet, but shook their heads when he counselled immediate, or even future removal. Full of faith in his supposed vision, and discouraged and disheartened by the refusal of his people to consider his warning, the prophet retired from the council-fires of his tribe, and betook himself again to the seclusion of his favourite island. An absence of much longer duration than had ever occurred before, led to a search for him on the island, and here his body was found, cold and lifeless, lying upon the ground, with the face downwards, and the hands outspread, as though he had died in the very attitude of prayer to the Great Spirit to avert the calamities that threatened to overwhelm them. For the accuracy of this story, we cannot vouch, but we give it to our readers as it was given to us. If true, it proves the old adage that a prophet is without honour in his own country.
On Sunday, February 27, 1859, one of the most appalling catastrophes that has ever happened, on the Mississippi, occurred in this neighbourhood. The steamer Princess, with 400 passengers on board, was on her downward trip to New Orleans. When opposite Conrad's Point, near Baton Rouge, her boilers exploded, setting fire to the vessel, and burning her to the water's edge. It was reported that the chief engineer, who was cut completely in two by the explosion, had declared that the boat should reach New Orleans by a certain hour, or be blown up. It is certain that an unusual pressure of steam was on at the time of the explosion, the boat having been detained by fog, and consequently, being a little behind time. By this frightful accident, 200 persons were hurried into eternity, and over 100 shockingly wounded, many of whom subsequently died, while others will bear, for years to come, sad evidences of this lamentable occurrence.
The steamer Natchez, which was, fortunately, near by, was soon alongside the Princess, and her passengers and crew assisted in rescuing the wounded, and removing the bodies of the dead, from the burning boat.
In considering the consequences of this calamity, one cannot help anathematizing that heartless recklessness that would balance hundreds of human lives against a few hours' time. Here was a large, safe and elegant boat, acknowledged to be one of the finest on the Mississippi, fitted out with all the modern improvements necessary to insure the comfort and safety of her passengers, and freighted with a valuable cargo, and — what was of immensely more worth, with 400 human beings, a large proportion of whom were ladies, and who were all pacing the decks of the beautiful steamer with joyous delight at their near approach to New Orleans, whither many were especially bound, in expectation of joining in the gayeties of the Carnival week — here, we say, was every thing that could be desired, in order to warrant a safe and happy termination of the voyage, completely nullified by the recklessness of one man, who, to save a few hours' time, risks his own life, and the lives of those who, in their simple confidence, had thrown themselves upon his judgment and mercy, in the humble belief that he would hold their lives at a rate something above a few tickings of his watch.
BATON ROUGE, 12 miles below Thompson's Point, and 129 miles above New Orleans, is the capital of Louisiana. It is pleasantly situated on the last bluff seen in descending the river, and is about 40 feet above the highest water-mark. Baton Rouge has the reputation of being the healthiest town on the lower valley of the Mississippi. The esplanade in front of the town presents a delightful view of the river, and the rich tracts of cultivation which line its banks. Since the seat of government was established here, in 1847, the improvements of the town have increased with wonderful rapidity, and its beautiful State House, its 5 or 6 churches, the United States arsenal and barracks, and several other public buildings, together with the singular-shaped French and Spanish houses of its inhabitants, all make a picture of interest to the admirers of towns built in the composite style.
From this city to New Orleans, the broad and deep river sweeps through a country of unsurpassed luxuriance. On either side are seen immense plantations of sugar-cane, and large groves of tropical fruit trees, interspersed with splendid villas and richly-cultivated gardens, which reminds the voyager of the tales he has read of the magnificence of Oriental scenery.
WEST BATON ROUGE is a small settlement on the opposite side of the river.
MANCHAC, 15 miles below Baton Rouge, is a small town, situated at the mouth of a bayou of the same name.
PLAQUEMINE, 8 miles below the last-named place, is also a settlement named after the bayou upon which it is located. This bayou is navigable for some miles, and its banks are covered with rich sugar and cotton plantations.
BAYOU GOULE is 20 miles beyond, and has a small settlement near its mouth.
BAYOU LA FOURCHE, 14 miles below, is one of the largest indentations on the Mississippi. It is very thickly settled by some
86of the richest planters in the State, and its waters are navigable for a distance of 60 miles.
DONALDSVILLE is just below Bayou La Fourche. It is a fine town, containing about 1,200 inhabitants, and was formerly the capital of the State.
We now sail a distance of 75 miles, without passing a town of any pretensions as to size; but the banks of the river are lined with objects of interest to the tourist. The extreme fertility of this region, and the long succession of splendid plantations which constantly greet the eye, with the numerous gangs of negroes seen at work on either side, give to this portion of the river a colouring of more than usual brightness. Every thing appears to be tinged with a golden hue. It seems as though the spectator was gazing upon a grand panorama of poetical conceptions, rather than of actual realities; and, if he is at all rurally inclined, he is apt to heave an occasional sigh, and wish that fate had cast his lot among these pleasant places.
CARROLLTON, 7 miles above New Orleans, is a beautiful place, and, in a certain sense, may be called the "Hoboken" of the great city, to which it is immediately connected by a railroad. The Carrollton Gardens are superior, in point of beauty, taste and variety of scenery, to the famed "Elysian Fields," where New Yorkers delight so much to congregate, although perhaps somewhat inferior in extent, and in that bold, natural loveliness for which the latter are so highly esteemed. At the "Gardens," consummate art has aided nature in the production of an earthly Eden; while at the "Fields," nature has been left to do pretty much all the work herself, and, it must be confessed, what she has done, she has done well.
LAFAYETTE CITY, 5 miles below Carrollton, is but a continuation of New Orleans. The railroad from Carrollton to New Orleans passes through it. A steam ferry runs to the opposite shore, and another to New Orleans. Population 5,000.
Having reached the end of our long and, we trust, pleasant journey, we will, before we enter into a description of New Orleans, say a few words in reference to those remote cities, which, although not lying immediately on our route, are, nevertheless, most intimately connected with the trade and commerce of the Mississippi, and especially identified with the business interests of New Orleans. Foremost among these are, Cincinnati, Ohio; Wheeling, Virginia; and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania — all situated on the Ohio River. The traffic between these cities and New Orleans is immense, and is annually increasing in a ratio greater than the growth of their several populations. At these three ports all the trade and travel, of the vast regions lying east and west of the Ohio River, naturally centre before proceeding south; and it is in consequence of their great commercial importance, as connected with the Lower Mississippi, that we append to this volume brief descriptions of each, together with such engravings of public buildings, etc., as will be apt to interest the general reader.
We also include a notice of the City of Baltimore, Maryland, in our pages, as being intimately connected with the Mississippi trade, although in an indirect manner. A very large part of the traffic and travel between the North-eastern States and the Mississippi River is carried on via Baltimore, which, from its geographical position, is admirably adapted as a channel of communication between these two sections of country, being connected by continuous lines of railroads with the Atlantic coast, the lakes, and the Ohio River.
Charleston, South Carolina, is worthy of being noticed in connection with the trade of New Orleans, although lying on the Atlantic coast, many hundred miles away. Being connected with the Mississippi by long chain of railroads which terminate at Memphis, Tennessee, Charleston is a natural outlet for large quantities of produce bound for exportation, and for north-eastern ports. Lines are also in progress, which, when completed, will connect this city with New Orleans.
The engravings which we give, of the most important objects of interest in the cities we have named, will be found to be faithfully correct, many of them being executed from photographs taken by most experienced artists.
THE city of New Orleans forms the great commercial capital of the southern states, and occupies the position of the greatest cotton market in the world.
"The city is built around a bend in the river, from which circumstance it has been denominated the ‘Crescent City.’ The site inclines gently from the margin of the Mississippi towards the marshy ground in the rear, and is from 2 to 6 feet below the level of the river at the usual spring freshets. To prevent inundations, an embankment or levee, about 15 feet wide and 6 feet high has been raised, extending 120 miles above the city, and to Port Plaquemine, 43 miles below it. This forms a delightful promenade. In consequence of the change in the course of the river opposite New Orleans, large quantities of alluvium, swept from the north and held in suspension by the current, are here deposited. New formations from this cause, in front of that portion of the quay most used for the purposes of commerce, have been so rapid that it has been necessary, within a few years, to build piled wharves jutting out from 50 to 100 feet into the Mississippi. The levee here has also been gradually widened, so that an additional block of warehouses has been erected between the city and the river during the past year.
"Here may be seen what New Orleans was before the application of steam to navigation. Hundreds of long, narrow, black, dirty-looking, crocadile-like rafts lie sluggishly, without moorings, upon the soft batture, and pour out their contents upon the quay — a heterogeneous compound of the products of the Upper Mississippi and its tributaries. There are rafts, or flat-boats, as they are technically called, each frequently carrying cargoes valued at from $3,000 to $15,000. Twenty years ago, and these were the only craft on the river! nor has their number been decreased since the introduction of the steamboat. Not less characteristic of New Orleans is the landing of the latter class of craft. The quay is here all action, and the very water is covered with life. Huge vessels float upon its bosom, which acknowledge none of the powers of air, and wait no tide. One is weighed down to the guards with cotton, a freight of 3,000 bales — $180,000! Twenty more lie side by side laden with the same commodity. Huge piles, bale upon bale, story above story, cover the levee. Pork without end, as if the Ohio had emptied its lap at the door of New Orleans; and flour by the thousand barrels rolled out upon the quay and heaped up — a large area is covered with these two produces of the up-country, and still appears seemingly undiminished, although the seller, the buyer, and drayman are busy in the midst of it. Here is a boat freighted with lead from Galena, and another brings furs and peltry from the head waters of the Missouri, 3,000 miles to the north-west! The Illinois, the Ohio, the Missouri, the Arkansas, and Red River, all are tributaries to this commercial depot, and send down to its wharves merchantable material of the annual value of $100,000,000, more or less. Nearly 20,000 miles of inland navigation is tributary to this city. The quay appropriated to the foreign and coastwise shipping presents another and a different scene. Here the cotton bale, tobacco hogshead, pork and flour barrel, and the whisky cask, yield to bales of foreign and domestic manufactures, pipes of wine, and crates of wares. The shipping stretches away as far as the eye can reach, two miles or more in extent, three tiers deep, with their heads to the current curving with the river — a beautiful crescent. The English, the French, the Spanish, the Dane, the Russian, the Swede, the Hollander, etc., are here commingled, and compete for the commerce of the teeming West. The old city proper, originally laid out by the French, is in the form of a parallelogram, 1320 yards long and 700 yards wide. Above this are what were formerly the faubourgs of St. Mary, Annunciation, and La Course; below, Marigny, Dounois, and Declouet; and in the rear, TrÄme and St. John's. Lafayette, till recently under a separate government, is immediately above the city. In 1836, New Orleans was divided into three municipalities by act of the assembly, each with distinct municipal powers. Again in April, 1852, these and Lafayette, with the faubourgs and other dependencies, extending from 6 to 7 miles along the river, and about 5 miles back to Lake Pontchartrain, were consolidated under one charter, the city assuming the debts.
90The streets of New Orleans are of convenient breadth, well paved, and usually intersect each other at right angles. Canal street, (of which we give an illustration,) is the broadest street in the city, being over 100 feet in width, with a grass plot in the centre about 25 feet wide, extending throughout its entire length. Most of the buildings are constructed of brick, and are generally low, except in the business portion, where they are usually 5 or 6 stories high. Many of the dwellings in the suburbs, particularly in Lafayette, are surrounded with spacious yards, beautifully decorated with the orange, lemon, magnolia, and other ornamental trees. A basement about 6 feet high constitutes the only cellar, as none are sunk below the surface on account of the marshy character of the ground. In different sections of the city are several public squares, among which may be mentioned Jackson Square, formerly Place d'Armes, occupying the centre of the river front of the old town plot, now the First District. It is ornamented with shell walks, shrubbery, statuettes, etc., and is much frequented for recreation. Lafayette Square, in the Second District, is finely laid out, and adorned with a profusion of shade trees. Congo Square, in the rear of the city, is also a handsome enclosure.
"PUBLIC BUILDINGS. — The United States Custom House, now in process of erection at New Orleans, when completed, will be the largest building in the United States, with the exception of the Capitol at Washington, covering an area of 87,233 superficial feet. The material is from the Quincy quarries of Massachusetts. The United States Branch Mint in New Orleans, is at the corner of Esplanade and New Levee streets, near the river. The Municipal Hall, at the corner of St. Charles and Hevia streets, opposite Lafayette Square, is a beautiful marble edifice in the Grecian style of architecture. It is principally occupied with public offices, among which are several of the city government. The Odd Fellows' Hall, erected in 1851, on Camp street, opposite Lafayette Square, and the Merchant's Exchange,
91on Royal street, near Canal, are both extensive buildings, chiefly devoted to public use. The latter contains the City Post-office and Merchants' Reading Room.
"Many of the churches are large and costly structures. The Church of St. Louis, opposite Jackson Square, is a splendid edifice, adorned with a lofty tower on either side of the main entrance. The building was erected in 1850, on the site of the old church, which was pulled down. (See engraving.) It was originally founded in 1792, by Don Audré, on the condition that masses be offered every Saturday evening for the repose of his soul, and the tolling of the bell at sunset on that day still proclaims the observance of the custom. On the right and left of this edifice are two handsome buildings in the Tuscan and Doric orders, devoted to various purposes of the city government. The Jewish Synagogue, formerly the Canal Street Episcopal Church, is ornamented in front with a handsome colonnade. The Presbyterian Church, opposite Lafayette Square, the new Episcopal church, on Canal street, and St. Patrick's Church, on Camp street, are elegant edifices, each adorned with a graceful spire. The latter is a conspicuous object to one approaching the city from the river. Of the 38 churches in the city, in 1853, 12 are Roman Catholic, 7 Episcopal, 6 Presbyterian, 5 Methodist, 3 Lutheran, 2 Baptist, and 3 Jewish synagogues.
"The hotels of New Orleans are conducted upon a scale of magnitude scarcely equalled in any city of the Union. The city contains 4 or 5 theatres, the principal of which are the St. Charles, the Orleans, or French Theatre, and the American. At the Orleans Theatre the dramatic representations are in French. Among the most remarkable bank edifices may be mentioned the City Bank, on Toulouse street; Canal Bank, on Magazine street; and the Bank of Louisiana. Several of the market-houses are deserving of notice. St. Mary's Market, in the Second District, is 480 feet long, and 42 feet wide. The Meat Market, on the Levee, and Washington Market, in the Third District, are also extensive buildings. The cotton presses of New Orleans, about 20 in number, are objects of much interest, each of which usually occupies an entire block. The centre building of the New Orleans cotton press is three stories high, and surmounted by a dome, the summit of which commands a fine view of the city. Not less than 150,000 bales of cotton, on an average, are annually pressed at this establishment.
"INSTITUTIONS. — The benevolent institutions of New Orleans are among the most extensive and best conducted in the United States. The literary and educational institutions, many of which have been recently established, are for the most part in a highly prosperous condition.
"The number of school-houses in the city (as appears from the mayor's message) is 40, attended by 16,886 pupils. The increase in the number of pupils for the last 12 months has been 2094, equal to 23.9 per cent. Number of teachers, 216. Of the 30 school-houses, 17 belong to the city, and 23 are rented. The amount appropriated for school purposes the past year was $188,020.
"About 20 newspapers are published in the city, 9 or 10 of which are dailies. Several are printed in the French language.
"COMMERCE. — New Orleans possesses unrivalled natural advantages for internal trade. The Mississippi River and its tributaries afford not less than 15,000 miles of navigable waters, communicating with a vast extent of country, illimitable in its resources, exhaustless in fertility, and embracing nearly every variety of climate. Every description of craft is employed in transporting the rich products of the upper regions of the "Father of Waters" to this great southern emporium. At one portion of its levee may be seen hundreds of flat-boats grounded on the "batture," and filled, some with fat cattle, horses, mules, hogs, and sheep; others with hay, corn, potatoes, butter, cheese, apples, and cider. The quay here is piled with lumber, pork, flour, and every variety of agricultural produce, as if the Great Valley had emptied its treasures at the door of New Orleans.
"The total value of American produce exported from New Orleans during the year, according to the custom-house records, was $66,344,569, of which amount, $48,076,197 was to foreign countries, and $28,268,327 coastwise. The value of foreign merchandise exported during the same period, was $44,780, making a sum total of $76,389,349.
"Any description of New Orleans would be incomplete without some notice of its cemeteries, many of which are unique in plan and method of interment. ‘Each is enclosed with a brick wall of arched cavities, (or ovens, as they are here called,) made just large enough to admit a single coffin, and raised tier upon tier, to a height of about twelve feet, with a thickness of ten. The whole inclosure is divided into plats, with gravelled paths, intersecting each other at right angles, and is densely covered with tombs built wholly above ground, and from one to three stories high. This method of sepulture is adopted from necessity, and burial under ground is never attempted, excepting in the "Potter's Field," where the stranger without friends and the poor without money find an uncertain rest; the water with which the soil is always saturated, often forcing the coffin and its contents out of its narrow and shallow cell, to rot with no other covering than the arch of heaven.’
Above we give an illustration of one of the avenues in the Cemetery, engraved from a photograph taken there last year, showing the sepulchres above ground.
"Algiers, a flourishing village, or rather suburb of New Orleans, is situated opposite to the city, with which it is connected by a ferry. It has several ship yards and manufacturing establishments.
"Gas was first employed to light the city in 1834; and during the same year, water was introduced from the Mississippi. It is raised from the river by steam to an elevated reservoir, whence five or six millions of gallons are daily distributed to various parts of the city.
"From its low situation and warm climate, New Orleans is subject to annual visitations
93of the yellow fever, which have had the effect of greatly retarding the growth and prosperity of the place. Statistical tables show that of those who are born and reared in the city, as large a proportion live to old age as of the inhabitants of other places that are generally deemed healthy. But the yellow fever is particularly fatal to the unacclimated, and especially so to those who have been from infancy accustomed to a northern climate. This circumstance operates as a formidable check on the influx of strangers, to which our great commercial cities owe so large a proportion of their population and activity. During the winter and spring, New Orleans may be regarded as a healthful residence for all, whether natives or strangers; and hopes were entertained that with the improvements in the sanitary regulations, there would be a gradual and steady advance in the health of the city during the warm months; but the past year has disappointed those hopes, the epidemic having appeared in a form as malignant as it is in general. Its introduction, however, it is said can be traced to an infected vessel from South America, where a fever of an unusually fatal character has prevailed.
"Perhaps no city of the Union is so diversified in its population. The sunny isles of the Antilles, Mexico, Central America and South America, France, and Spain, and the other States of Europe, and the sister States northward, have each representatives among the inhabitants. The colored races, however, preponderate, and slave or free make up one-half at least. Of the white races, the American, French, and Spanish constitute the larger portion, and in these classes are found what may be denominated the aristocracy. The Irish here, as in other quarters, though forming a large class, are but "the hewers of wood and drawers of water" — the laborers and levee-men, respectable only on election day, and among themselves. The English and Scotch are few in proportion, and are chiefly connected with the foreign commerce, as merchants or factors, seldom remaining longer in the city than is necessary for the transaction of their particular business; or remaining only during the healthy months of spring and winter. This admixture of races is in some degree embarrassing; so many languages, various customs and manners, and in habits so different, no thorough amalgamation can take place; and it is even necessary to support newspapers and periodicals of different languages, each of which, in its opinions and ideas, is at variance with the other.
"New Orleans is famous in history as the place designated to become the seat of the monarchy intended to have been established by the treason of Aaron Burr. During the month of January, 1804, the citizens were in a state of continual alarm: volunteer companies and other troops constantly patrolled the streets, ready to suppress the first attempt at insurrection. That year it was made a port of entry, and the next (1805) New Orleans was incorporated as a city. The population is estimated at 175,000.
"Distance from New Orleans to the mouth of the Mississippi, 100 miles. Southwest from New York, 1663 miles. Southwest from Washington, 1437 miles. Southwest by west from Charleston, 779 miles. South southwest from Pittsburg, 2025 miles. South by west from Chicago, 1628 miles. South from St. Louis, 1200 miles. South by east from St. Anthony's Falls, Minnesota, 2000 miles."
AFTER leaving the seaboard, no city in the United States is likely to surprise the stranger so much as Cincinnati. From an account of Dr. Charles Mackay's visit to it last year, we expected to find in it another Pittsburg (Pennsylvania) or Manchester (England) for smoke; and on proceeding from the "Forest City" (Cleveland) we looked forward to finding Cincinnati under a cloud, with the anticipation of unpleasant odours from its famed pork-killing establishments. On our entering the city, by the Little Miami Valley railroad, the beauty of that line was only excelled by the charming view presented as the train crept round the curves, opening to view the exquisitely beautiful scenery of the Ohio, both on the Kentucky and Ohio side of the river. Our visit to Cincinnati, therefore, in July last, was one of unmingled pleasurable disappointment; with a blazing sun overhead, all vegetation in its gayest attire, and not a particle of smoke to be seen, excepting from a solitary steamer, perhaps, getting ready for its voyage to Louisville or the Mississippi.
Ascending to the top of Mount Adams, to get a view of the city and surrounding country, we looked in vain for smoke; so that should the gifted author of "Voices from the Crowd" pay his friend Nicholas Longworth another visit at Cincinnati, and that any time during the spring or summer months, he will, we think, leave it with a different impression, and similar to what he experienced in the cities visited, where the total absence from smoke formed one of the peculiarities of American city life.
As may be well known, Cincinnati is the most populous city of the Western States, and the fifth in size and importance throughout the union. It is beautifully situated in a valley of about 13 miles in circumference, with the Ohio River intersecting it from the State of Kentucky, environed by a range of hills, thus forming a beautiful basin with one portion of the city in the centre, but the greater part of it rising by terraces, on which Third and Fourth streets form two of the most prominent. For 3 miles, at least, the city extends alongside of the river, that portion being lined, for the most part, with stores and shipping places of business, and where from 30 to 40 steamers may be seen engaged in the river traffic, sailing up the river to Pittsburg, 460 miles, and down to ports on the Mississippi, 650 miles distant, carrying, for the most part, goods, but that only when the state of the river permits, and business affords sufficient traffic. Both in the city and in the vicinity some elegant private residences are to be seen, but more particularly in the suburbs of such as Mount Auburn, where there are some beautiful country seats, with vineries in the open air attached to each.
One of the finest public buildings of Cincinnati is the Court House, an immense block of buildings built of white marble, but, to a certain extent, obscured from being seen to great advantage, on account of the other buildings being built in too close proximity with it.
In churches Cincinnati can boast of having as fine samples as are to be found in the West.
Its literary, educational, scientific, and medical colleges and institutions, rank with any thing in the United States; in fact, from the public school up to the most advanced literary and scientific association, Cincinnati is excelled, we believe, by no other city.
The Mechanics' Institute, for example, occupies a prominent place amongst the many valuable institutions with which Cincinnati has great cause to be proud of. It is a large, square, massive building, built in the Elizabethan style, on the corner of Sixth and Vine streets. Its library contains 15,000 volumes, besides having, in an adjoining department, an excellent selection of newspapers and periodicals. It is under the management of the Central Board of the Trustees and Visitors of Common Schools, two delegates from each ward in the city being part of the management. Rufus King, Esq., a name well known in America, is president.
At present it numbers 4323 members. Average delivery of books during the last 7 months, over 6500 volumes per month. Total circulation for 7 months, 35,000 volumes. At the last time when the books were called in for revision, only 8 volumes were wanting
96out of a total circulation of 37,000 volumes, a fact which speaks well for both members and management. Even this small number raiding was made up by the parties who had become security for those who had got out the books. All young men under age, and not known, are required to get a guarantee from a known citizen, who becomes responsible for any loss the institution may sustain, by giving out books to such party applying for them.
The library is made up of the books formerly belonging to the Public School Library and Mechanics' Institution, now joined into one library. From the State, it now — from its connection with the Public School Library — receives $8000 annually.
The terms of admission to all are — free.
It may appear almost invidious to mention the name of any one donor to this noble institution, but we think that Mr. Greenwood's beneficence should be well known, if for no other reason, than that others in different parts, may imitate his example. Besides many subscriptions to the institution, and all along taking an active part in its establishment and welfare, he was, we believe, the principal means of preventing the institution from going down. Amongst its difficulties, it was due Mr. Greenwood no less a sum than $18,000 (Å3,600 stg.) for material he had supplied to the building, etc., from his foundry. That entire sum he made them a present of, from which date, the institution has spread its benefits all around, and engraven the name of Miles Greenwood indelibly in connection with its history, and that of the welfare of the working classes.
Again, we may notice another of the reading-rooms and libraries in the city, worthy of all commendation, viz.: the Young Men's Mercantile Library and Reading-room, in Walnut street. On one floor of a building 140 feet long, by 100 wide, there will be found a library of 19,000 volumes, in all the departments of literature, occupying fully one-half of the apartment. In the other end of it there will be found the best assortment of newspapers, magazines, and periodicals we have seen anywhere. The natives of almost any part of the world will there find the paper of his own neighbourhood. Of course the Thunderer of Printing-House square (London) will be found there on regular file. On the opposite frames — the Scotsman — the worthy representative of "Auld Reekie," (Edinburgh, Scot.,) and the Dublin Evening Post and Nation, of Ireland, take their stand; the Welshmen are represented in the Carnarvon Herald; the Frenchmen, with the Journal des Debats, La Presse, Charivari, L'Illustration, and Galignani; the Germans, with Zeitungs plenty; the Australian, with the Melbourne Argus; whilst the United States is represented with sheets of all sorts and sizes, from Maine to California, and not forgetting the well-printed sheet of the Pioneer and Democrat, all the way from St. Paul, Minnesota. Canada papers are also found in abundance. In going over this room, and seeing such a host of London weekly papers, and monthly magazines and quarterly reviews from England, Scotland, and Ireland, a stranger from Great Britain is apt to fancy himself in some of the Exchange reading rooms of Liverpool, Manchester, or Glasgow, or the Waterloo News Rooms in Edinburgh, rather than on the banks of the Ohio.
The quarto and imperial weekly sheets are secured to tables across the room, at which parties may sit and read, some of the most popular London weekly papers showing good evidence of being well perused. The tattered and torn appearance which the Illustrated London News, and that philosophic, philanthropic, and stinging little sinner Punch presented, showed that they afford as great a treat to the numerous readers there, as these two publications do in enriching the coffers of some American publishers, who depend largely upon them for their excellent illustrations, as, no sooner do they reach this side of the Atlantic, than they are reproduced without the slightest acknowledgment as to their source, far less in a pecuniary respect.
The magazines are all numbered, and can be taken and read in any part of the building. After perusal they are returned to their proper pigeon-holes in the desk, where they remain open for perusal.
The library contains 19,000 volumes. The reading-room, 240 different newspapers, and 120 magazines and reviews are received as soon as possible after publication.
The terms of entry are only $3 (12s. stg.), with $1 entry-money.
At present it numbers 3000 members.
The reading-room is most comfortably fitted up. On the floor, for example, there is a magnificent tapestry carpet, and the newspapers mounted on elegant iron frames of chaste design. Altogether, it appears a model institution of the kind, and we congratulate the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association in having such an institute.
We had forgot to mention, that the library is adorned with a beautiful marble statue of "Sabrina," and another of "Eve listening to the Voice," as well as busts of some of America's most accomplished public men.
In one respect, this institution differs from any of the kind we have seen in Britain, viz., that of ladies visiting the reading-room, and perusing the books, newspapers, and periodicals, with apparently great interest, besides forming a large proportion of the visitors to the Young Men's Library, for books.
THE finest wholesale stores in the city are situated on Pearl street, where they arrest attention, from their solid stone built appearance, and general excellent design. The other principal streets for the wholesale trade, are, Walnut street, Main street, and Public landing, from which tens of thousands of dollars' worth of goods change hands weekly.
Third street forms also one of the finest streets of the city. At the corner of Third and Walnut street, the Masonic Temple will stand, when completed (see our engraving of the same). In Third street, are situated the greater proportion of the banking houses and offices of the exchange brokers and lawyers in the city. The buildings there also being characterized by that solid magnificence, which well cut and tastefully designed architecture always portrays. Our view of Third street, as given in the preceding page, represents some of the finest buildings in the street, the first one on the left hand, being the premises built and occupied by the celebrated Ohio Life and Trust Company, a banking institution, which failed in 1857.
THIS splendid structure, an engraving of which we present, is one of the most striking buildings yet erected, we believe, in the United States, and will show more strongly, than perhaps any other we could have selected, the amazing rapidity of growth of the western cities of America. On the site where this Masonic temple rears its commanding form, among other costly and palatial stone edifices, in the business centre of the "queen city" of the West, men, still in the vigour of life, assure astonished strangers that they can remember when, on the very spot occupied by these palaces, the primitive log-huts of the first settlers were embedded in the forest!
The Nova Cesaria Harmony Lodge, No. 2, under whose auspices this temple is being erected, was instituted in 1794, and is the oldest lodge in Cincinnati. The ground was
99donated by Wm. McMillan — now deceased. As a building designed expressly for Masonic uses, it is a question, if, not only in America but in Europe, any temple of the kind has heretofore been erected more complete and convenient in its arrangements, or richer in graceful and symbolic architecture, than the one now under notice.
It is being erected entirely of the beautiful freestone, for which Cincinnati is so celebrated, and stands on the north-east corner of Third and Walnut streets, occupying, a frontage on Third street of 200 feet, and 100 feet on Walnut street. The style is Byzantine, exhibiting strongly those bold and massive features so characteristic of many of the best buildings of northern Italy. It will be 4 stories high, with a basement, and flunked by three lofty towers; the one at the corner of Third and Walnut streets being 32 feet square at the base, and 185 feet from the base to the vane. In the centre of this tower, on the third story, and facing Third street, is a niche designed to receive a life-size statue of W. McMillan, the liberal donor of the property. The upper portion of the tower will have a large town clock, with 4 illuminated dials 7 feet diameter, which will be visible on each face of the tower from a great distance. The first floor, as well as basement, will be used for banking houses and exchange brokers, the second floor for business offices, while the third and fourth floors are devoted exclusively to Masons and Masonic meetings. On the third floor, which is 18 feet 6 inches high, are the chapter room, the library, (lit by a projecting Oriel window,) royal and select council room, a spacious banquet room, an encampment asylum, a royal arch chapter room, and a Persian court, all for the use of the knights and templars. At the western portion of this floor, and facing Third and Walnut streets, a commodious suite of rooms form the residence of the janitor, isolated from the remainder of the building, but in convenient juxtaposition. The fourth story, which is 22 feet high, is subdivided into 3 splendid lodge rooms for the entered apprentices, fellow-crafts, and master-masons of N. C. Harmony Lodge, No. 2, and a grand lodge room designed for use only on extraordinary occasions. This fine room is 70 feet long, 42 feet 4 inches wide, and 28 feet in height, lit by the large and beautiful rose window which forms so conspicuous a feature on the Walnut-street elevation. The attitude of the temple will be 85 feet from the pavement to the cornice, 105 feet to the ridge of the roof, and 112 feet to the cornice of the great tower. The roof is a Mansard shape, terminated where visible, by a rich iron railing, and having its surface relieved by seven picturesque dormer windows. The entire cost is estimated at $150,000 (Å30,000 stg.).
The architects of this building — which reflects the highest credit upon their artistic taste and skill — are Messrs. Hamilton and McLaughlin, whose cards will be found elsewhere. Mr. McLaughlin is still a resident of Cincinnati, but Mr. Hamilton (formerly of London) has recently removed to New York. The engraving, given in another page, has been executed for this work, by two young and very promising wood engravers in Cincinnati, Messrs. Davenport and Thompson, and we have only to refer to this specimen of their work, to show what they can do, for them to be entrusted with drawings of the most intricate character, as the foregoing view was engraved from the architect's drawing, and the manner in which they have preserved every detail correctly, reflects great credit upon their ability as first-class engravers.
In our engraving of Fourth street, will be seen a representation of some of the finest blocks in the city, and among the many splendid stores with which it abounds, none show to more advantage than the magnificent jewellery establishment of Messrs. Duhme & Co., situated in Carlisle Block, corner of Fourth and Walnut streets (the first large block to the left in the engraving on the next page.) This establishment rivals, in that particular department, any thing in New York, or any where else, we believe, in the United States, and stands pre-eminent as the Hunt & Roskills (London) of Western America. The visitor there will be struck with the large amount of valuable stock which is to be seen, consisting of the manufactures of some of the best makers in England, France, and Switzerland.
In the same block stands, also, one of the finest, if not the finest, bookstore in the city, viz., Messrs. Robert Clarke & Co.'s (late Derby & Co). This store is handsomely fitted up, and filled with a large stock of rare and valuable works in all departments of literature
100and science. Besides being publishers of several works, Messrs. Clarke & Co. import direct from the publishing houses in England and Scotland.
In the same street (Fourth street), a little further west, stands, now completed, the new Opera House, with a frontage of 134 feet, 190 feet deep, having three front entrances, and forming the handsomest block in the city. This house is considered one of the finest of the kind in the United States; has seating capacity for 3,000 persons, besides an adjoining hall for lectures, etc., capable of seating 500 persons. It has three tiers of boxes, six proscenium boxes, and a parquette (or pit), with the whole interior finished in a style corresponding with its elegant exterior. (See engraving of Opera House on adjoining page.) Still further west stands the government offices, Post-Office, Custom House, etc., in one small but elegantly-proportioned building of chaste design. In this street may be seen some other fine blocks of buildings, and, no doubt, ere long the whole street will be lined with similar massive and elegant blocks built of the same beautiful stone.
Amongst the many handsome buildings in the city, few show a finer exterior or more substantial appearance than the National Theatre, on Sycamore street, built by Mr. John Bates. It presents, as will be seen by our engraving of it, a very handsome exterior, ornamented with some very finely-executed sculptor work. Whilst the exterior shows to such great advantage, the interior is tastefully decorated and fitted up. After the old theatre was burned down, we understand a company was formed to build a new one, but as sometimes "too many cooks spoil the broth," it was likely to prove so in this instance, when Mr. Bates stepped forward, and single-handed, provided the citizens with as comfortable and elegant a theatre as will be found in the United States. The house is built in the most substantial manner, and in that respect, as well as regards ventilation, is every thing that is possible to attain. It is seated for 3000 people, and stands on a lot 100 feet front and 206 feet deep; height of house 90 feet. The architect is Mr. Hamilton, who is also
103architect of the Masonic Temple, a view of which will be found on another page. The theatre was built under the personal superintendence of Mr. Bates, who watched its progress from the digging of the foundation to lighting up the gas on the opening night, on 4th July last.
Under the lesseeship of Mr. Baker, the house, on our visit, was certainly "drawing" well. Every thing was put on the stage promptly and creditably, making the stranger forget, almost, that he was witnessing "La Traviata" on the banks of the Ohio.
There is scarcely any branch of manufactures but what is carried on, more or less extensively in Cincinnati. Its great trade, however, consists in the article of PORK. So much so, is this the case, that the city is pretty well known as the PORKOPOLIS of America. In the winter season droves of pigs may be seen, being driven along the streets on their way to the killing and packing-houses, where they are killed, plotted, cut up, pickled, and packed, with a rapidity that is scarcely conceivable. Along the roads, the animals are to be seen reaching the city from neighbouring villages, whilst the railroad vans are loaded with them from all parts of the west. To Cincinnati the pork and provision dealers in Belfast (Ireland) find their way once a year, to make purchases and contracts for their supplies, and to there, as well as ports in England, immense shipments are made during the course of the year. Besides what is killed in the city, Cincinnati finds a market for a large amount of pork and bacon — in bulk. Thus we find, in one year, the quantity to be over 450,000 hogs, 17,000,000 bbls. of pork in bulk, and 11,000 hogsheads of bacon, as received into the city. The total amount of which was estimated at $5,500,000, or Å1,100,000 sterling. In connection with the manufactures of the city, lard and oil forms important articles. In the articles shipped from the city, a large proportion is in pork, bacon, oil, lard, whiskey, wine, furniture, and machinery.
Amongst the large manufacturing establishments connected with the city, the Eagle Foundry of Miles Greenwood, must take the first place. It is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, and an establishment, where, probably, a greater variety of articles are manufactured under one roof, than can be named in any other city. There will be found articles varying in size and weight, from 300 pieces in a lb., to 10 tons for one piece, verifying, almost, the popular saying, of every thing from "a needle, to an anchor." In the manufacture of one article alone — that of stoves — no less than 2500 tons of iron are used annually. Butt hinges are made in enormous quantities, and with a stock on hand, apparently, sufficient to hinge all the doors in the States. Until the manufacture of this article by Mr. Greenwood, America was dependent upon Great Britain for them. There is scarcely an article in the iron or hardware trade but what is, or can be manufactured at this establishment, extending, even, to music, and other sorts of stools; hat-stands, tables, etc., of tasteful design and finish, and even articles of delicate manufacture — such as planetariums — are manufactured, as we noticed. The establishment is divided into several departments — each under efficient superintendence — two of the principal departments being under the management of Mr. Folger, and Mr. Yates, who are associated as partners with Mr. Greenwood in what pertains to their own departments.
Amongst the heavier description of work turned out, are those of basement-fronts for stores, as well as for entire fronts of stores and houses. The beautiful front with Corinthian pillars, on Carlisle's block in 4th street, are from Mr. Greenwood's establishment, although now that they are painted and sanded over, it is impossible, almost, to tell the difference between them and the stone of which the upper part is built. Mr. Greenwood is an excellent example of the many self-made men with which this country abounds, and we are only paying a well-earned tribute, when we say, that for public spirit, energy of character, and large heartedness, we question if the queen city has his match. The reader is referred to our notices of the fire-engine establishment, and mechanics' institution for a few practical samples of Mr. Greenwood's character. At present, when trade is dull every where, there are only about 400 men employed at the works. In ordinary good times, fully 500 are employed. One of the most gratifying facts connected with this establishment is that during, the long period of 26 years, it has never stood idle for a single day — although nearly the whole concern was burned down in 1845.
Strangers in the queen city will be much gratified with a visit to this mammoth establishment, where they will be most courteously received, and shown over the premises.
In the single article of grist mills, large quantities are manufactured, one of the principal houses engaged therein, being Messrs. W. W. Hamer & Co.
As is well known, Cincinnati has already earned a world-wide notoriety for its wines — and judging from the rapid increase in the cultivation of the grape, and manufacture of wine, there is every likelihood of its becoming a rival even to the trade in pork, in its immensity.
In connection with the wine manufacture, one of the most notable things connected with this city, is the establishment of Mr. N. Longworth, the celebrated wine-grower. A visit to his wine cellars will astonish the stranger. There will be found upwards of 300,000 dozens of bottles of the Catawba wine, maturing till ready to be sent out. The cellars consist of two vaults, 90 by 120 feet, in two tiers, the lower one being 25 feet below ground. One cask, alone there, holds 4,575 trillions of wine, Mr. Longworth has spent many years and a large amount of money, in bringing the Catawba grape to its present state of perfection. In this respect he may he considered the father of the wine trade, there, as well as one of the "City Fathers." His wines find their way all over the United States, to England, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, etc. The "Sparkling Catawba" is very like champagne, and the uninitiated in such articles would scarcely know the difference. The wine made there contains about 11 to 12 per cent of alcohol.
As long as Cincinnati lasts the name of Nicolas Longworth will be intimately associated with it, and hundreds of the very lowest and most degraded of the population will, some day, miss his extraordinary benevolence — which reaches in one form alone, in seasons of distress — the free distribution of from 300 to 500 loaves of bread every week to the most necessitous poor. In the distribution of his charity he is peculiar, if not eccentric. Many stories are told of him in this respect. As one which we have not seen published, and to give an idea of the man, we may mention, that when lately called upon by a deputation for his subscription to assist the "Lord's poor," his reply was, that he had enough to do in taking care of, and looking after, the "Devil's poor," it being, as we have said, the most degraded whom Mr. Longworth makes his peculiar choice. He not only gives away largely in bread, etc., but provides houses actually free of rent, to many who are not able to pay for them, and yet such tenants are more trouble to him than those who pay rent. He is, altogether, a self-made man. He commenced his career in a very humble capacity, and now, although said to be the millionare of the city, has, apparently, not a particle of pride about him. His house is a princely dwelling, adorned with some gems of art in sculpture and painting, of great beauty and value. For example, in his drawing-room is to be seen the first specimen of sculpture ever executed by the celebrated Hiram Powers, and a gem it is.
The turn-out of wine in Mr. Longworth's establishment is about 150,000 bottles per annum.
Other firms in the city are now engaged in the manufacture of wine. A large German population, now inhabiting the hills around the city, as well as parties on the Kentucky side of the river, are engaged in the cultivation of the vine, and scarcely an inch of ground is to be seen on the hill-sides but what is covered with vines, growing.
The population of Cincinnati is about 200,000.
One of the finest views of Cincinnati is to be got from off the top of one of the hills on the Kentucky side of the river, especially any of those a little further west than the city, from off which, our sketch as given elsewhere, was taken.
THE view given above represents one of the numerous busy and enterprising towns situated in the heart of a beautiful country.
Wheeling forms an important junction for several railways diverging to and from it in all directions. The chief object of attraction about the town is the magnificent Suspension Bridge — the largest of the kind in the United States, and one of the largest in the world, erected at a cost of $210,000: length of span, 1010 feet; height above low-water mark, 97 feet; height of towers on Wheeling side, 153 feet: supported by 12 wire cables laid in pairs — 3 pairs, 1 each side of the flooring, each of which is 4 inches in diameter — composed of 550 strands of 1380 feet long. It has a carriage-way of 17 feet broad, with a sidewalk of 3 Ë feet on each side. (See engraving on following page.)
Various branches of manufacture are carried on — such as glass, stones, nails, all kinds of iron manufactures, some woollen and cotton goods, with one silk mill.
The hills in the immediate vicinity contain inexhaustible supplies of coal, which supply fuel at a small cost to the various manufacturing establishments in Wheeling.
The city is approached by the Ohio River from Pittsburg and Cincinnati, whilst railway communication is to be had from all points to it — from the west as well as seaboard — forming as it does, one of the leading junctions.
Wheeling is one of the termini of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 380 miles long, and finished in 1853. Distant from Wheeling, 92 miles; Cincinnati, 365 miles; and 350 miles north-west of Richmond, Va.
Besides the county building, there are some 15 churches, several academies, 2 banks and several newspapers. Population, in 1850, 11,391. Location — capital of Ohio County, Va.: lat. 40° 7' N; lon. 80° 42' W. It is situated on a high bank of the River Ohio, along which it stretches for about 2 miles.
BALTIMORE, the "Monumental City" of the United States, ranks amongst the most important commercial cities in the Union.
"The city is admirably situated both for foreign and internal commerce. The bay around which it is built, affords a secure and spacious harbour, and it has communication by railway not only with Philadelphia and Washington, but with Winchester, Annapolis, Cumberland, Frederick City, York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg. The limits of the city comprise about 10,000 acres of land, extending about four miles and a half from east to west, and three and a half from north to south. It consisted originally of more than fifty elevations or hills, separated by abrupt valleys, or ravines, and, in a few instances, by formidable marshes, while, nearly in the centre, it is divided by a rapid stream of water known as "Jones's Falls." This stream has several times overflowed its banks, causing loss of life, as well as occasioning a great damage to property. The city authorities have in consequence been at great pains to remove all obstructions from its bed, and have taken care that the numerous bridges by which the stream is crossed, should be constructed with a single arch, and of such a height as to remove all further danger from this source. The city east of Jones's Falls is divided into two parts — Fell's Point and the Old Town. The Point is the most easterly portion of Baltimore, and has the advantage of greater depth of water at the wharves than the upper harbour contains. It is the resort of seamen and immigrants, and the place where the greater part of the shipbuilding and manufactures of the city are carried on. Old Town lies north and west of this, and is principally inhabited by mechanics and labourers. The portion west of "the Falls" is likewise divided into two parts, the City Proper and Spring Garden section. The former is the centre of trade, and contains most of the residences of the more wealthy citizens. Spring Garden section is the extreme south-western quarter, and is inhabited chiefly by mechanics and labourers. From the number and prominence of its monuments, Baltimore has been denominated the Monumental city. The most remarkable of these is the Washington Monument, which stands on an eminence at the intersection of Charles and Monument streets, about 150 feet above high water mark. Its base, 20 feet high and 50 feet square, supports a Doric column 167 feet in height, surmounted by a statue of Washington 13 feet high. The shaft, 20 feet square at the base and 14 at the top, is ascended by means of a winding stairway within. The whole is composed of white marble, and cost $200,000. Its summit commands a beautiful and varied prospect.
"BATTLE MONUMENT, at the corner of Calvert and Fayette streets was erected in 1815, to the memory of those who fell while defending the city from the attack of the British, September 12, 1814.
"THE ARMISTEAD MONUMENT, a beautiful specimen of sculpture, near the city fountain, was erected to the memory of Colonel George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry, when bombarded by a British fleet, in September, 1814.
"Among the public edifices of Baltimore, may be named the City Hall, on Holiday street, occupied by the city council and public offices. The Court House, a commodious edifice at the corner of Washington and Lexington streets, contains the rooms of the city and county courts. The State Penitentiary, at the corner of Madison and Forrest streets, consists of three separate buildings besides the workshops. A short distance from the Penitentiary stands the County Prison, a handsome building, surmounted by a cupola, and ornamented with a tower at each end in the form of an octagon. The Exchange, in Gay street, near Water, is a spacious structure, 225 feet in front, 141 in depth, and three stories high above the basement. The south wing, fronting on Lombard street, and entered from Water street, is occupied as a Custom House. Among the first objects that strike the attention of one approaching the city, are the shot towers, one of which — the Merchants' Shot Tower, is the highest in the world, having an elevation of 250 feet. The most imposing church edifice in Baltimore is the Roman Catholic cathedral, on Mulberry street, between Charles and
109Cathedral streets. It is a massive granite structure, 190 feet long, 177 broad, and 127 from the ground to the top of the cross surmounting the dome. The Unitarian Church, at the corner of Franklin and Charles streets, is much admired for its architecture. It is 108 feet long and 78 wide, with a dome 55 feet in diameter, supported by 4 arches, each 33 feet span. It is 80 feet from the ground to the summit of the cupola. St. Paul's, an Episcopal church on the corner of Saratoga and Charles streets, the First Presbyterian Church, corner of North and Fayette streets, the First Baptist Church, at the corner of Lombard and Sharp streets, and the German Reformed Church, in Second, between Gay and Belvidere streets, are all distinguished either for elegance or their style of architecture. At the last census, Baltimore contained 99 churches of the various denominations.
"INSTITUTIONS. — The educational, literary, and benevolent institutions of Baltimore are numerous. The Medical School of the University of Maryland was founded in 1807. Washington Medical College was founded in 1827, and has 25 students and six professors. The University of Maryland, founded in 1812, is situated on Lombard street, between Green and Paca streets: connected with it is the Baltimore Eye and Ear Infirmary, where students have an opportunity of attending lectures and witnessing operations. The Maryland Institute occupies a suite of rooms in the Athenaeum, at the corner of Lexington and St. Paul streets. Its object is, the diffusion of useful knowledge and the promotion of the mechanic arts. It possesses an extensive chemical laboratory, and a very complete philosophical apparatus. The building is a noble brick edifice, 112 feet by 50, and 66 in height. It was completed in 1848, at a cost of over $28,000. The various apartments, besides those appropriated to the use of the Institute, are occupied by the Mercantile Association, who have a well-selected library of 8000 volumes, and an ample supply of the choicest magazines and papers of the day; the Baltimore Library Company, possessing a valuable library of 14,000 volumes; and the American Historical Society, whose library numbers about 15,000 volumes, consisting, for the most part, of statistical and historical works. The City Library, designed for the use of the stockholders, the Apprentices' Library, and the Exchange Reading-room, are all important institutions. The Exchange Reading-room is supported by subscription. Strangers and masters of vessels, however, have access to the periodicals and newspapers, free of expense. The Baltimore Hospital, in the north-western suburb of the city, consists of a centre building, four stories high, flanked with wings that connect with two other buildings, which form the ends of the vast pile. The entire structure cost $150,000. It occupies a commanding elevation, overlooking the city, the bay, and a wide extent of country. The interior arrangements are upon the most approved plan. The Almshouse is on the Franklin road, about 2 miles N. W. from the city: the building, consisting of a centre and two wings, has 375 feet front, and is surrounded with spacious grounds. The Baltimore Manual Labour School for Indigent Boys has connected with it a tract of land, on which, between the hours of study, the pupils are occupied in labour, thus combining useful employment with healthful exercise. The Baltimore Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor is tinder the direction of those whose duty it is to visit and inquire into the circumstances and character of the persons relieved, with a view to discourage indiscriminate and injudicious alms-giving. The other prominent benevolent institutions are, the City Dispensary, corner of Holiday street and Orange alley, the Eastern Dispensary, corner of Market street and Hartford Run avenue, two Orphan Asylums, and the Indigent Sick Society, composed of ladies, who visit the poor and minister to their comforts in sickness.
"EDUCATION. — The system of public instruction in Baltimore has, within a few years past, been much improved, and is now rapidly increasing in public favour.
"COMMERCE, FINANCES, ETC. — In commercial importance, Baltimore ranks among the first cities in the United States. Its position is such as to render it a great centre of trade. Situated near the head of Chesapeake Bay, it enjoys superior advantages for foreign commerce, while the numerous lines of railway, that here have their termination, invite to it the agricultural and mineral wealth of a vast interior. The recent completion of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to Wheeling, is a most important event, and destined to exert an immense
Baltimore possesses so many monuments commemorative of great events, and of distinguished men, that she has by common consent been termed the "Monumental City."
Washington Monument, which is the largest in the city, stands upon a terrace 100 feet above the water, and from its base, which is 50 feet square and 20 feet high, rises a Doric shaft 176 feet in height, on the top of which is a colossal statue of Washington 16 feet high. The work is of white marble, and cost $200,000.
The Battle Monument, represented in our engraving, stands at the corner of Calvert and Fayette streets, and was erected to the memory of those patriots who lost their lives in defending the city against the British troops, in September, 1814. The square base, on which the column rests, is 20 feet high, with a door on each side, on which are inscribed, in basso-relievo, appropriate descriptions and representations of the leading incidents of the battle. A marble column rises 18 feet from the base and is encircled with bands, on which are inscribed, in letters of gold, the names of those who fell in the struggle. The whole is surmounted by a female figure in marble, emblematic of the City of Baltimore. The whole height of the monument is 52 feet.
Grace Church, which is dedicated to the Episcopal service, stands at the corner of Monument and Park streets, and is built of red sandstone. It is considered to be a fine specimen of the simplest style of Gothic architecture. Interiorly, its furnishing is in keeping with its external appearance. It has a large congregation.
influence on the commercial activity of this great emporium. In the eloquent language of one of her citizens, "We have reached the threshold and stepping-stone of our true commercial greatness, and there is nothing now that can turn us back. The wide and far West has opened her ample arms to receive us, and bids us God-speed in our efforts to secure the prize which nature has so long and so patiently held out to us." There were, January 3d, 1853, 12 banks in Baltimore, with an aggregate capital of $7,291,415, and a circulation of $2,074,587; 2 other banks have since been chartered; 1 health and 10 fire and marine insurance companies, besides many insurance agencies.
"Baltimore enjoys superior advantages for manufactures. Jones's Falls and Patapsco River afford immense water-power, which is extensively employed for flouring-mills, of which there are over 60 within 20 miles of the city. Numerous cotton and other manufactories are also in operation.
"This city has an abundant supply of pure water, both from Springs and from Jones's Falls. These springs, or fountains, are in different parts of the city, and enclosed with circular iron railings. Over them are small open temples, consisting of a dome supported by pillars. The water from Jones's Falls is brought by means of an aqueduct, about half a mile long, to a reservoir in Calvert street, and from thence is conducted through distributing pipes to the various parts of the city. The more elevated portions, however, are supplied from a reservoir replenished by forcing-pumps on an eminence in Charles street, near Washington Monument. On Federal Hill is an observatory, which serves, in connection with another at Bodkin Point, to announce the approach of vessels. In this way, a marine telegraph is established, by which information is conveyed in a few minutes from the mouth of the Patapsco to an observatory in the Exchange.
"About 25 newspapers are issued in Baltimore, of which 6 or 7 are dailies. Population, about 200,000."
CHARLESTON, the largest and wealthiest city in South Carolina, is situated on a tongue of land formed by the meeting of Cooper and Ashly Rivers, which unite in forming a beautiful harbour of great capacity. Cooper River is 1400 yards, and Ashly River 2100 yards wide, opposite the city, and their average depth about 40 feet.
Charleston — poetically called the Palmetto City — is one of the most ancient in the Union. Its foundations were laid as early as 1672. In 1677 it was called Oyster Point Town; afterwards, New Charlestown, which was finally altered to Charleston. It was incorporated as a city in 1783. The ground upon which the city is built is low and flat, being elevated only 8 or 9 feet above high water mark; but as the tide rises to a height of 6 feet, and flows past the city with a strong current, it contributes to the salubrity of a climate which otherwise would be unhealthy. The city has several times suffered much damage by inundation, caused by the water having been driven up the harbour by high winds.
The streets are laid out regularly, running from east to west and from north to south, forming a succession of square blocks. It is to be lamented that the original plan, which was adopted many years before the Revolution, did not recognize in the construction of the streets that amplitude of width which modern science and experience have demonstrated to be conducive to good health. The improvements of late years, however, have tended to widen many of the principal thoroughfares, some of which are from 60 to 70 feet in width.
Most of the public buildings are of brick and stone, while the dwelling part of the city is covered with elegant villas, adorned with verandahs reaching from the ground to the tops of the houses, surrounded by green edges, and buried in the rich foliage of orange trees, magnolia, and palmettoes, giving an exquisite air of wealth and elegance to the place, approaching the general idea of oriental ease and luxury.
Charleston has many public buildings, among the most conspicuous of which are the City Hall, the Exchange, District Court House, Arsenal, United States Custom House, Military
114Academy, the Halls of Charleston College, the Asylums, Hospitals, Banks, and about forty Churches.
Many of the churches are elegant and capacious, and, as will be seen by looking at our engraving, lifting their spires very far heavenward; that of St Philip's, (Episcopalian,) being 200 feet high, and the Citadel Square (Baptist) Church 224 feet high. In consequence of the low position of Charleston, these tall structures are efficient landmarks of the city from the sea.
Charitable Institutions. — Of these, Charleston possesses her full share, and sustains them with all the liberality of southern munificence. Among the first is the Orphan Asylum, founded in 1792. It is the largest building in the city, being 228 feet long, 70 feet deep, and with an extension in the rear of 100 feet more. It contains 130 rooms, and accommodates about 250 pupils of both sexes, who are reared, nurtured, and instructed mostly at the city's expense. The Roper Hospital is another of the noble institutions of which Charleston is justly proud, and is named after its founder, who, in his bequest, desired it might ever be open for the reception of the sick, irrespective of creed or country. During the seasons of yellow fever, this institution proved of incalculable benefit.
Educational Institutions. — In addition to a number of high and common schools, Charleston possesses a college of excellent repute, containing a fine library of 10,000 volumes, and one of the best museums in the Union. The Medical College of South Carolina is located here, and is said to contain the best anatomical lecture-room in America. It has recently been enlarged and improved, and is accounted a superior institution. A large and admirably-conducted Military Academy is located in Charleston and numbers from 150 to 200 students, one-half of whom are beneficiary members, educated at the expense of the city. The graduates have mostly been from the working classes, who have passed from the institution into useful public employment. The South Carolina Institute is designed for the promotion of the Mechanical and Agricultural Arts, and is sustained by the mutual aid of the city and state.
Commerce. — The shipping interest of Charleston is very great, its chief exports being cotton, tobacco, rice, and lumber. For the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1858, her exports and imports of the leading articles of her commerce was as follows:
|Cotton, 284,642 bales, value,||$15,311,468|
|Rice, 27,960 tierces, value, Rice, 64,621 barrels, value,||687,514|
|Wheat, 144,961 bushels, value,||191,650|
|Flour, 51,242 barrels, value,||304,321|
|Sugar, 5,406,703 pounds, value,||$295,888|
|Molasses, 993,951 gallons, value,||148,650|
|Coffee, 1,173,512 pounds, value,||106,487|
|Salt, 320,263 bushels, value,||37,687|
Charleston possesses one of the finest floating dry docks in the country. It was built in 1845. Its length is 160 feet; its width 52 feet, and its depth 20 feet. Its capacity is 1500 tons. The operations of the dock are carried on by means of a large steam-engine.
Railroads. — In January, 1859, there were 748 miles of railroad in South Carolina, all of them finding a terminus in Charleston. The longest is the South Carolina Railroad, running from Charleston to Augusta, and is 136 miles long, having numerous connections westward and northward, through which an immense amount of mercandise is transported to and fro. Other roads bring Charleston in connection with Montgomery, Alabama, 482 miles distant, and with Nashville, Tennessee, 600 miles distant, and from thence a chain of links extends as far as Memphis, on the Mississippi River. Charleston also possesses an excellent canal, 22 miles long, which connects the harbour with Santee River.
Population. — The growth of Charleston in population has not been so rapid as in some other of the southern cities. In 1840, she had about 30,000. In 1850, 42,000. At the present time, (1859,) her population, counting St. Philip's parish, which is, in fact, a part of the city, although not taken in the last census, is not far from 65,000.
THE traveller acquainted with the neighbourhood of the "Black Country," between Birmingham and Walsall and Dudley, in Staffordshire, (England,) will, on his visit to the City of Pittsburg, at once discover the striking resemblance, in many respects, to the districts alluded to. There are the same red brick houses and workshops, the same smoke, the same uneven streets — from the heavy weights drawn over them — and at night, the glare of the iron furnaces at work. The picture is, in many respects, complete, even to the poor soil of the hilly country around each — a peculiarity observable in all surfaces where underneath is rich in minerals.
On the stranger's first visit to Pittsburg, therefore, after visiting either the cities on the seaboard, or, perhaps, the "Queen City of the West," "the Forest City," or the "City of the Lakes," where not a vestige of smoke scarcely is to be seen — he may be disappointed at the first sight of Pittsburg.
Viewed from the hill opposite Pittsburg Proper — exactly opposite the Monongahela House — the city is seen to greatest advantage — with its 5 bridges (and new one building) stretching across the Alleghany and Monongahela — which together at this point form the Ohio — whilst it can be seen wending its way down the beautiful valley which bears its name. Either from Alleghany City, or the point mentioned, an excellent view is obtained — being far higher than the city on the Pittsburg side of the river.
To quote from a notice of this city, the writer says: —
"The site of the city is a natural amphitheatre, being environed on all sides by beautiful hills, rising from 400 to 500 feet above the level of the Ohio, and filled with coal, iron, and limestone, the working of which into articles of utility constitutes the chief occupation of the inhabitants. These hills are not, except in a few instances, precipitous, and from their slopes and peaks, afford a series of rich and varied landscapes.
"Pittsburg and its suburbs contain about 90 churches, of which upwards of 50 are in the city proper. Many of these are choice specimens of architectural beauty.
"The manufactures of Pittsburg are immense, and capable of being extended almost indefinitely. Indeed there is no known limits to the elements necessary to their augmentation. Wood, coal, ores, and agricultural resources, all abound in the utmost profusion and at the greatest possible convenience.
There are also in Pittsburg, large foundries, manufactories of glassware, white lead factories, large cotton factories, copper-rolling mill, copper-smelting establishment, vial furnaces, manufactories of locks, coffee mills, scales, etc., and several for the production of various articles of steel manufacture, such as springs, saws, axes, anvils, and vices; and others for making gun-barrels and agricultural utensils.
Gas, manufactured from bituminous coal, is furnished at a comparatively trifling cost, for lighting the city. The Alleghany Cemetery, on the Alleghany River, 2 miles above Pittsburg, is one of the most beautiful places of the kind in the world. It comprises 110 acres, tastefully adorned, and enclosed by a wall of stone masonry.
As may be well known, Pittsburg was named in honour of the celebrated British prime minister, William Pitt. It was founded in 1765.
The suburban districts of Birmingham together with Alleghany City, form the large and rapidly-increasing city of Pittsburg. In 1853, the population of city and suburbs was 110,241, although it must be considerably increased since then.
THE above engraving represents one of the handsomest and most substantial buildings to be found in this country. It stands on Fifth street, Pittsburg, Pa., and is certainly an ornament to the city. Its front is composed entirely of iron of Pittsburg manufacture. It was erected at the joint expense of Messrs. W. Bagaley, C. G. Hussey & Co., the Alleghany Bank, and the Pittsburg and Boston Mining Co., at the total cost of $120,000, including the lot on which it stands. The interior is fitted up with great taste, and in magnificent style. Mr. C. Barthberger, of Pittsburg, is architect of this fine structure.
|From Place to Place.
|ST. PAUL to Red Rock, Min.||7|
|Fountain City, Wis.||15||94|
|Minnesota City, Min.||10||104|
|Rising Sun, Min.||12||121|
|La Cross, Wis.||4||125|
|Prairie du Chien, Wis.||18||179|
|Buena Vista, Iowa||5||215|
|Fulton City, Ill.||19||303|
|ROCK ISLAND CITY||3||348|
|Port Louisa, Iowa||16||392|
|New Boston, Ill.||10||402|
|Fort Madison Io.||3||466|
|Des Moines City, Mo.||8||500|
|Marion City, Mo.||7||537|
|Salt River, Mo.||18||573|
|Deer Plains, Mo.||27||638|
|ST. LOUIS, Mo.||4||682|
|Jeff. Barracks, Mo.||5||692|
|Rush Tower, Mo.||7||722|
|Fort Chartres, Ill.||9||731|
|St. Genevieve, Mo.||11||744|
|Port Perry, Mo.||7||767|
|Devil's Bake Oven||5||803|
|Devil's Tea Table||3||817|
|Cape Girardeau, Ill.||10||833|
|New Phila. Mo.||10||852|
|Ohio City, Mo., CAIRO, and the OHIO RIVER||21||873|
|New Madrid, Mo.||44||959|
|Point Pleasant, Mo.||7||968|
|Little Prairie, Mo.||7||996|
|Pecan Point, Ark.||10||1070|
|Mound City, Ark.||12||1119|
|Blue's Point, Ark.||18||1155|
|Old Town, Ark.||3||1210|
|Gaines's Landing, Ark.||35||1328|
|Point Chicot, Ark.||4||1350|
|Young's Point, La.||6||1462|
|Walnut Hills, Miss.||10||1474|
|New Carthage, La.||15||1499|
|Point Pleasant, La.||10||1509|
|St. Joseph, La.||6||1541|
|Ellis's Cliffs, Miss.||18||1604|
|Union Point, La.||3||1607|
|Fort Adams, Miss.||23||1630|
|Red River Cut-off||11||1641|
|Red River Landing||6||1647|
|Point Coupee, La.||24||1681|
|Port Hudson, La.||6||1692|
|BATON ROUGE, La.||12||1717|
|Jefferson College, La.||16||1790|
|Bonnet Carre, La.||24||1814|
|Red Church, La.||16||1830|
|Lafayette City, La.||5||1854|
|From Place to Place.
|SOURCE OF THE MISSOURI to "Gates of the Rocky Mountains"||441||441|
|Mouth of Yellow Stone River||675||1226|
|SIOUX CITY, Io.||1075||2301|
|De Soto, Neb.||30||2391|
|Fort Calhoun, Neb.||15||2406|
|COUNCIL BLUFF'S CITY, Io.||10||2426|
|Council Point, Io.||5||2431|
|Traders' Point, Io.||3||2434|
|St. Mary's, Io.||5||2441|
|California City, Io.||2||2443|
|Nebraska City, Neb.||10||2467|
|Iowa Point, Mo.||40||2537|
|Nodeway City, Mo.||30||2567|
|ST. JOSEPH, Mo.||25||2592|
|Kickapoo City, Kan.||12||2646|
|FT. LEAVENWORTH, K.||4||2660|
|Little Platte Riv., Io.||20||2680|
|Wayne City, Mo.||7||2706|
|Liberty Landing, Mo.||5||2711|
|Crooked River, Mo.||6||2770|
|Hill's Landing, Mo.||10||2798|
|De Witt, Mo.||6||2824|
|Grand River, Mo.||5||2829|
|Old Jefferson, Mo.||25||2856|
|Chariton River, Mo.||5||2863|
|Arrow Rock, Mo.||10||2881|
|La Mine River, Mo.||10||2891|
|Mt. Vernon, Mo.||8||2917|
|JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.||6||2950|
|Cote Sans Dessein, Mo.||5||2964|
|Smith's Landing, Mo.||8||2972|
|South Point, Mo.||3||3036|
|St. Albans, Mo.||9||3051|
|Port Royal, Mo.||3||3054|
|Pittman's Ferry, Mo.||5||3059|
|St. Charles, Mo.||18||3077|
|MOUTH OF THE MISSOURI||4||3099|
|From Place to Place.||Total dist.|
|PITTSBURG, Pa. to Manchester, Pa.||2||2|
|New Martinsville, Va.||8||130|
|Graham's Station, O.||6||248|
|Point Pleasant, Va.||4||269|
|Big Racoon Creek, O.||5||278|
|Coal Grove, O.||4||327|
|Hanging Rock, O.||4||336|
|Point Pleasant, O.||5||450|
|New Richmond, O.||5||455|
|CINCINNATI, O. Covington, Ky.||4||476|
|Home City, O.||2||488|
|North Bend, O.||4||492|
|GREAT MIAMI RIVER||4||496|
|NEW ALBANY, Ia.||3||621|
|West Point, Ky.||19||640|
|Bon Harbor, Ky.||3||781|
|West Franklin, Ia.||14||839|
|Mount Vernon, Ia.||12||851|
|Cave-in Rock, Ill.||14||901|
|Cairo, Ill. MOUTH OF OHIO||12||1005|