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in abundance, an intelligent population, railroads traversing every part of the State, and a home market at almost every door. It is interspersed with lakes and streams, and abounding with fish and game. The time is not far distant which will witness the value of all the middle portion of that State at fifty dollars and upwards for an acre. The pineries are supposed to be less in value than the prairie and oak openings. This is not so at present. There are lands there now that cannot be purchased for two hundred dollars per acre.
There are now more than three thousand shingle-makers, lumbermen, and others, in these dense forests; and if a shingle-maker, with his machine, cannot make twenty dollars per day, and drink his quart of whiskey, he won't work. The shingle-makers frequently pay five to eight dollars for a single tree. The lumbermen will take a whole tree, and throw it in a stream but a trifle wider than the tree itself, and, as they term it, log it down to some larger water. This is done only when the snow is going off, in the spring, or when there is a rise of water in the fall of the year. To mount some high eminence on a cold, frosty morning, and cast your eye over these dark forests, and behold the smoke standing, like the shaft of Bunker Hill Monument, in the air, is indeed a sight worth seeing.”
It is surprising to see so many hard-working farmers, laboring in the Eastern States on miserable farms, from ten to one hundred acres in size, when such inducements are offered in Wisconsin, as buying improved farms at low prices, or selecting to suit themselves from Government lands at $1 25 per acre. The prairies and openings of this State offer farms, wild or improved, of a quality which the same means could not purchase in the other States, while the rapidity with which internal improvements advance, approximates with each year the value of produce near the
market-prices of the East, and consequently gives an enhanced value to their farms.
The soil in most parts of the State is composed of the black deposit of decayed vegetation, which for ages has flourished in wild luxuriance, and rotted upon the surface; of loam, and, in a few localities, of clay mixed with sand. The deposit of vegetable mould is uniformly several inches thick on the tops and sides of hills — in the valleys it is frequently a number of feet. A soil thus created of impalpable powder, formed of the elements of organic matter — the dust of death-we need scarcely remark, is adapted to the highest and most profitable purposes of agriculture yielding crop after crop in rank abundance, without an artificial manuring. Instances could be mentioned of land cropped for twenty to thirty successive years, without the addition of a pound of manure, on which the growth, last season, was just as vigorous, and the yield as profuse, as on any of the series.
We are told by those wiseacres who are always croaking, that "the bubble of Western speculation in lands, &c., will soon blow up” — this has been their cry for years. Whether it comes or not — and there is no doubt that it ought to come soon in several of the States whose lands are partly held by Eastern speculators — it can do no material damage to Wisconsin, and we will give our reasons :
First. Its unrivalled agricultural country to fall back npon.
Second. Its vast mineral resources of lead, copper, iron, &c.
1 A piece of gold-bearing quartz was found lately near Waupacca, in Waupacca River, near the centre of the State; also, a specimen of pure gold was dug from a cellar in the same vicinity. The quartz specimen is quite rich in the precious metal. The particles are plainly visible to the eye, scattered in profusion over the surface of the rock. Particles of gold, as large as a pea, have been frequently dug out of the ground at the same place.
Third. Its immense lumber regions.
Fourth. Its commercial position and advantages. Lake Superior on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, the Mississippi River on the west, and the inland navigation improvements connecting that river and Lake Michigan, besides its railroads which traverse it in every direction.
Fifth. In the energy and industry of its inhabitants.
Sixth, and lastly. In the large and increasing European immigration.
In May, 1857, over one thousand Norwegian settlers arrived, and at least twenty thousand more are expected to follow, from that country alone, this year.
We have no means of knowing the numbers of German and Irish immigrants, but they are in excess of former years. Wisconsin, if she never receives one dollar more, or another settler from the old States, would still increase at an unexampled rate from foreign immigration alone !
In addition to all these resources, Wisconsin is not crippled with a heavy debt, like most of the other States. In 1857 it only amounted to about $70,000. Nor has she to expend millions upon internal improvements, for the General Government granted over 2,000,000 acres to construct her railroads; the lands appropriated for school purposes are worth at least $3,000,000, besides the University, and other trust funds.
One would infer from the remarks of several of the leading journals, that the only cities in the Union were in the Eastern States, and that the products of the West must be brought there for market. The statements of these journals show a narrow-mindedness and intentional ignorance of the true state of affairs. Wisconsin has, within her own limits, a ready market for all her agricultural productions, and is able to ship the products of her lead, copper, and iron mines, to Canada, to Europe, or the Gulf of Mexico.
Great numbers of emigrants have arrived this year at its Lake ports from Europe via Canada.
That there are many towns which have no existence but on paper, and in the brains of speculators; and that great numbers of young men, who are fit for nothing but idling away their time in cities, or attending upon fancy mercantile duties, come here, and can find no employment suited to their capacity, we do not deny. But we do assert that a good farmer or mechanic failing to succeed in Wisconsin, is almost an impossibility — in fact, we wonld like to hear of one.
We will go further, and maintain that not only can they succeed better in Wisconsin, but in less time, and with less labor, than is needed in other States. Even supposing a general revulsion should occur in commercial affairs throughout the East, we confess that we are unable to see how it can affect the settlers in Wisconsin who have purchased lands at $1 25 to $2 50 per acre. For it is proved that the first crop raised generally pays both for the farm and improvements! Again, in proportion as the population increases, there must be towns; and these towns must give employment to mechanics to build hem, and to all kinds of tradesmen to support them, and the remuneration that will be paid in every case will be very great.
We make these statements to prove that the course of Wisconsin must ever be onward. If its increase in former years exceeded that of any other State in the Union, what must it soon be when the resources we have mentioned shall have been fully developed.