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7. Face of the Country. The northwestern part of the State is a wide prairie. The central and southwestern parts are hilly and broken ; the southeastern is low, swampy, full of lakes, and subject to inundation from the waters of the Mississippi. The best portion of the State and the most thickly peopled lies between the Missouri and the Mississippi ; it has an undulating and variegated surface, and contains large tracts of alluvial and hilly prairies.
8. Earthquakes. Earthquakes have been common here from the first settlement of the country ; several shocks were felt at Kaskaskia, in 1804, by which the soldiers stationed there were aroused from sleep, and the buildings were much shaken and disjointed ; and oscillations still occur with such frequency as to be regarded with indifference by the inhabitants, who familiarly call them shakes. But the agitations of December, January, and February, 1811 and 1812, which were felt from New England to New Orleans, are the only ones known to have left permanent traces on the face of the earth, although there is every probability that this part of the valley of the Mississippi has been much convulsed at former periods. In 1812, the earth here opened in wide chasms, from which columns of water and sand burst forth ; hills disappeared, and their places were occupied by lakes ; the beds of lakes were raised, and their waters flowed off, leaving them dry ; the courses of the streams were changed by the elevation of their beds and the falling in of their banks ; for one whole hour the current of the Mississippi was turned backwards towards its source, until its accumulated waters were able to break through the barrier that had dammed them back ; boats were dashed on the banks, or suddenly left high and dry in the deserted channel, or hurried backwards and forwards with the eddying surges, while in the midst of these awful changes, electric fires, accompanied by loud rumblings, flashed through the air, which was darkened by clouds of vapor. In some places submerged forests and cane brakes are still visible at a great depth on the bottom of lakes, which were then formed. That the cause of these convulsions was not local, as some have imagined, is evident enough from the fact, that the Azores, the West India Islands, and the northern coast of South America, were unusually agitated at the same time, and the cities of Caraccas, Laguayra, and others on the last were totally destroyed.
2. Towns. St. Louis, once the capital, is the largest town in the State. It stands on the western bank of the Mississippi, 18 miles below the mouth of the Missouri. The site of the town rises gently from the water, and is bounded on the west by an extensive plain. The buildings mostly occupy several parallel streets extending along the river. Some of the houses are of wood, whitewashed, but many of them are of stone and brick ; they are generally furnished with gardens. Here are a Catholic college, and several other seminaries of learning.
The Catholic cathedral is a magnificent structure. The hospital, and orphan asylum, under the care of the Sisters of Charity, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, the City Hall, &c., are among the public buildings. The population is 16,000, including many Germans and French. The für trade, the lead inines, the supplies for the Indians, create a good deal of business here, and St. Louis is the emporium of the vast regions on the Upper Mississippi and the Missouri. The manufactories are also extensive and increasing, and the abundance of coal in the neighborhood and the mineral wealth of the State, must make this an important branch of industry. There is a United States Arsenal just below the city, and 5 miles distant are Jefferson Barracks, an important military station.
St. Geneviere, on a small creek, near the Mississippi, has a Catholic church and some neat French houses ; most of the inhabitants are French. Considerable lead is exported from this place. Population, 300. Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi, 50 miles above the Ohio, is finely situated upon a bluff, but is not a flourishing town. Potosi, in the centre of the mining country, occupies a pleasant spot, surrounded by hills. It has a great trade in lead.
Herculaneum, on the Mississippi, 30 miles below St. Louis, stands on a narrow, alluvial spot, bounded on the land side by lofty bluffs. It is the chief depot for the lead mines, and has several shot towers. New Madrid, on the Mississippi, 50 miles below the Ohio, was once a considerable place, but suffered severely by earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. St. Charles, on the Missouri, is pleasantly situated and handsomely built, and is a flourishing town. Population, 2,000. The City of Jefferson is the seat of government. The situation is on the southern bank of the Missouri, in the centre of the State, and is agreeable and commanding. Here are a State-house and penitentiary.
3. Agriculture. Maize, wheat, rye, oats, flax, and hemp, are extensively cultivated. Some cotton is raised in the southern parts. Tobacco is also raised. The land is easy of tillage, but the great obstacle to farming is the want of fencing materials, the soil in some places affording neither stones nor timber fit for the purpose.
4. Government. The legislature is called the General Assembly, and consists of a Senate and House of Representatives. The senators are chosen for 4 years, and the representatives for 2. The Governor is chosen for 4 years. Elections are popular, and suffrage is universal. The State sends two representatives to Congress.
5. Religion. The Baptists and Methodists are the most numerous sects ; there are also Presbyterians, Episcopalians, many Catholics, &c.
6. Education. The University of St. Louis is a Catholic Institution. It was founded in 1929. It has 15 instructers, and 200 students. St. Mary's College, in Perry, has 15 teachers, and 130 pupils. Marion College at Palmyra, Columbia College at Columbia, and St. Charles's College at St. Charles, are useful institutions. There are also several convents in the State, where females are sent for education.
7. History. This State was originally a part of the great Territory of Louisiana. Some settlements had been made by the French in 1764 ; yet, previous to the acquisition of the country by the United States, it contained but few inhabitants. In 1804 it was separated from
, Louisiana, and erected into a Territory. A constitution was formed in 1820, and the next year it was admitted as a State into the Union.
CHAPTER XXXVI. ARKANSAS.
1. Boundaries and Extent. This State is bounded N. by Missouri ; E. by the River Mississippi,
which separates it from Tennessee and Mississippi ; s. by Louisiana, and W. by the Indian Territory. It lies between 33° and 36° 30' N. latitude, and between 90° and 940 30' W. longitude. Its length is 240 miles, and its breadth varies from 200 to 280 miles ; it contains 54,500 square miles.
2. Mountains. Several ranges of the Ozark chain cross the northwestern part of the State ; they are here called the Black Mountains. A ridge called the Masserne Mountains, branches off from the Ozark, and extends easterly to the south of the Missouri. These mountains have been little explored.
3. Rivers. The Arkansas, one of the greatest branches of the Mississippi traverses this State from northwest to southeast. It rises in the Rocky Mountains in about latitude 41° N.
and pursuing a southeast course, joins the Mississippi 400 miles above the mouth of Red River. Its whole length is more than 2,000 miles. It surpasses all the rivers of the West in the perfect regularity of its curves and bends, and in the beauty and uniformity of the young cottonwood groves, that spring up on the convex sand-bars. In the spring floods steamboats can ascend it nearly to the mountains. White River has its sources in the ridge called the Black Mountains, which divides its waters from those of the Arkansas. It flows east and receives Black River in latitude 35° 15' N., after which, its course is southerly. Near its mouth it divides into two branches ; the smaller branch joining the Arkansas, while the eastern enters the Mississippi. The other rivers are the St. Francis, Cache, Washita, Bartholomew, and Red River. The Washita, a noble river, running through a fertile and beautiful region, flows nearly parallel with the Arkansas and the Red River, and is navigable 350 miles from its mouth.
4. Climate. The climate is a compound of that of Missouri and Louisiana. Until we advance 200 miles west of the Mississippi, in its humidity it more nearly resembles the latter. The distribution of rain is very unequal. Drenching rains and thunder are experienced sometimes 36 days in succession. At other times the weather is remarkable for long droughts. Planting of corn commences by the middle of March, and cotton by the first of April. The shores of the Arkansas, as far up as Little Rock are extremely unhealthy. Great tracts on all sides are covered with sleeping lakes and stagnant bayous. The country is a dead level ; and the falling waters of the rains cannot be drained off. On the vast prairie which commences just above the Post, and extends 90 miles up the country, it is more healthy. This long sweep of country is thoroughly ventilated. But the air, in the timbered bottoms, is close and unelastic; and the mosquitoes are excessively troublesome. Further up the country and on the open prairies, it is as healthy as in any other country in the same latitude.
5. Soil. The soil is of all qualities, from the best to the most sterile. Much of the country on the Washita, has a soil of great fertility and of the blackness of ink. On White River are some of the best lands and the healthiest sites in the country. The soil on the St. Francis is very fertile, and covered with a heavy growth of beech. On the whole, this State has a sufficiency of excellent lands to sustain a rich and populous community.
6. Geology. The mountains are composed chiefly of secondary rocks, limestones, clay slates, and sandstones, traversed in many places by dikes of greenstone, granite, and sienite. The rest of the State consists in part of the same secondary rocks, and in part of alluvial, and tertiary beds. Vast masses of sea-shells are found dispersed over different tracts of this country. They are generally found in points remote from limestone ; and answer a valuable purpose to the inhabitants, who collect and burn them for lime.
7. Natural Productions. The whortleberry of the north is found in great perfection in the southwest extremity of this State. The hills in many places are covered with red cedars and savines; and muscadine grapes are met with in abundance.
8. Minerals. Limestone, gypsum, and stone-coal, abound on the banks of the White River, and iron ore is plentiful in all parts. Salt occurs principally in the Salines, a tract about 100 miles wide, extending through the whole breadth of this state, from north to south, at the distance of 700 miles from the Mississippi. Here is the salt prairie, which is covered for many miles with pure, white, crystallized salt, from 4 to 6 inches deep. The Hot Springs, toward the southwest part of this State, are among the most interesting curiosities of the country. The waters are remarkably pure and limpid, and are efficacious in many disorders; but they exhibit no mineral properties beyond common spring-water. During the spring foods of the Washita, a steamboat can approach within 30 miles of them. Two miles from the springs is the famous quarry of stone called oil-stone. The mountains in the vicinity of these springs are thought to be volcanic.
9. Animals. The country is still in many parts unsubdued, and wild animals abound. Among them are the bear, the deer, the beaver, the badger, and the gopher.
10. Face of the Country. For some distance up the waters of the Arkansas and White Rivers, the country is an extensive, heavily-timbered, and deeply inundated swamp. Near the St. Francis hills and at Point Chicot, the eastern front along the Mississippi is above the overflow. The remainder of the eastern line is a continuous and monotonous fooded forest. The State has large and level prairie plains, and possesses a great extent of rocky and sterile ridges, with a considerable surface covered with mountains. Near the southwest part of the State is a singular, detached elevation, called Mount Prairie.
1. Divisions. This State is divided into 34 counties. *
Population at different Periods. 1810 Whites,
2. Towns. Little Rock, on the south bank of the Arkansas, is the seat of government. It received its name by antiphrasis from the prodigious masses of rock in its neighborhood ; and it has a healthy and pleasant situation. Population, 1,500. The other principal towns are Arkansas, an ancient French settlement, the inhabitants of which are mostly descendants of French and Indians. Population, 100. Batesville, on White River, Helena, on the Mississippi, Ecore Fabre, on the Washita, Lagrange and Fulton, on Red River, are also petty villages.
3. Agriculture. Cotton is the staple article of cultivation ; but it becomes an uncertain crop north of the river St. Francis. The rich lands produce fine maize and sweet potatoes. Rye and barley will thrive in almost every part ; and wheat does well in the high country. Figs are raised, but with difficulty ; the tree being frequently killed by the frost. Peaches are raised in great excellence and abundance ; and various kinds of fruit are cultivated with success.
4. Government. Arkansas, which originally formed a part of Louisiana, and was subsequently included in the Territory of Missouri, was detached from the latter with a separate government in 1819, and became a State in 1836. The Governor is chosen by the people, and holds office for 4 years. The legislature, styled the General Assembly, consists of a Senate, elected for the same term, and a House of Representatives, for 2 years. Suffrage is universal for the whites. The State sends one representative to Congress.
CHAPTER XXXVII. IOWA.
1. Boundaries and Extent. The Territory of Iowa lies between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, being bounded on the S. by Missouri, on the E. by the Mississippi, separating it from Wisconsin and Illinois, on the N. by the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories, and on the W. by the White Earth and Missouri rivers. It extends from 40° 30' to 490 N. lat.,
and from 90° to 1020 W. long., and is above 600 miles in length, by from 200 to 300 in breadth, having an area of about 170,000 square miles. The greater part of the Territory is still occupied by Indian tribes, and a large proportion of its surface has not been explored by whites, except by trappers and traders.
2. Face of the Country, 8c. The central portion is traversed by a broad ridge, presenting few irregularities of surface, and attaining no great elevation above the surrounding level, although it forms the water-shed between the Mississippi and the Missouri. It is called by the Canadians Coteau des Prairies, or Hill of the Prairies, and in many parts is very rugged ; the height is estimated at about 2,000 feet ; but the general elevation of the country makes
; about half that amount. In the south the country is nearly level, or diversified only by gentle swells, and deep depressions cut out by the action of water. The soil of this portion is extremely fertile, resembling the best parts of Missouri and Illinois ; the prairie prevails except on the river borders. The lead region of Missouri and Wisconsin is continued through this part of the Territory. In the north there are extensive patches of sandy and rocky land, and the soil is generally of inferior quality, and much of it is unsuitable for cultivation.
3. Rivers. Besides the great limitary streams, this Territory contains several large and navigable rivers.
The Red River flows north, and is the southernmost stream that reaches
Hudson's Bay ; several of its branches rise within a few hundred yards of the heads of the Mississippi, and one of them, the Mouse River, has its sources within a mile of the Missouri. The principal and most remote head of the Mississippi is Itasca Lake. The Corbeau or Crow Wing, St. Peter's, Iowa, and Desmoines, are its principal tributaries in this Territory ; the Penaca, Wabesipemecon, and Chacagua, are also considerable streams in the settled part of the Territory. The Jacques or James, Sioux, Nishnebottona, and Chariton, are the most important of those flowing into the Missouri.
4. Divisions and Population. Iowa is divided into 22 counties,* and contains a population of about 50,000 souls, exclusive of the Indians. The white population is all confined to a comparatively small strip in the southeast.
5. Towns. This country was purchased of the Sauks and Foxes in 1932 and 1837 ; the cession of 1832, which was much the most extensive, being generally known as the Black Hawk Purchase ; and, in addition to its mineral treasures and agricultural resources, it possesses, in its central position on the Mississippi, rare facilities of water communication with the remotest points of the north and the south, the east and west. Dubuque, in the mining district, finely situated on a gently sloping prairie, contains a population of about 1,500 souls. Numerous smelting-furnaces and a white-lead factory employ many of the inhabitants. A weekly newspaper is printed in Dubuque, and there are here a bank and 3 churches. Davenport, opposite
, Fort Armstrong, Bloomington, Burlington, and Madison, on the Mississippi, and Farmington on the Des Moines, are the principal villages below. Burlington, the most important, bas about 3,000 inhabitants. The capital of the Territory is Iowa City, recently founded on the river of the same name.
6. Native Tribes. The region between the Missouri on the west, and the Mississippi and Red River on the east, is almost entirely occupied by the Sioux or Naudowessies, one
of the most numerous and powerful Indian nations in the United States. They call themselves Dahcotahs or Confederates, and the confederation consists of 7 bands or tribes, comprising about 25,000 persons, exclusive of the Assiniboins, a tribe of seceders, who reside mostly beyond the American boundary. The Dahcotahs are a fierce and warlike race, the terror of ibeir neighbors ; dwelling in vast prairies, they live chiefly by the chase, and the bison affords them at once a supply of food and a covering for their lodges ; they raise some maize, pumpkins, and beans, and they employ the dog in carrying burdens ; like other prairie Indians, they bave also learned the use of the horse, and are bold and skilful riders. The Board of Foreign Missions have stations on Lake Harriet and Lac qui Parle, with 12 missionaries and teachers. The Assiniboins or Stone Indians, call themselves Eascab, and are termed by the Dabcotahs, with whom they are continually at war, Hohays or Rebels. South of the Sioux, between the Des Moines and the Iowa, are the Sauks and Foxes, confederate tribes of the great Algonquin stock, who have long been distinguished for their daring and restless spirit ; after having fought their way from the shores of Lake Ontario to the Mississippi, they have been driven beyond that river by the Chippewas, and more recently and effectually by the American troops. The true name of the latter is Musquakiuk, but they are called Ottogamies by the other Algonquin tribes, and received the name of Rénards or Foxes, from the French. The number of both tribes is about 4,500 souls. The Iowas have mostly removed, with a band of Sauks, to the Indian Territory; they are reduced to a sort of dependence on the Sauks and Foxes. The Winnebagoes have lately been removed from the tract between the Mississippi and Wisconsin to the west side of the former, between the Sauks and Foxes and the Sioux ; their number is about 4,500. They belong to the Sioux stock, and are called by the Canadians, Puants. In the southwestern corner of the Territory are about 2,000 united Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawattamies, who have been removed thither from Indiana and Michigan, and will soon be joined by about 3,000 of their brethren from the same region.
Fort Snelling, a United States military post, a few miles below the Falls of St. Anthony, is the most remote northwestern port occupied by the troops of the confederacy. The American Fur Company have several factories and trading-houses in this country, and the little village of Pembina, planted by Lord Selkirk, on the Red River, is within the limits of the United States. Des Moines