Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

miles distant. Mineral Point, and most of the other diggings, where villages have since grown up, had not then been discovered. On the southeast, the nearest house was on the O'Plaine river, twelve miles west of Chicago. On, the east, Solomon Juneau was his nearest neighbor, at the mouth of the Milwaukee river; and on the northeast, Green Bay was the nearest settlement - Fort Winnebago not then being projected. The country at this time was part of Michigan Territory." In 1832, the Black Hawk war broke out, and caused great trouble and loss to the settlers. In 1836, the Territory of Wisconsin was organized, and settlers arrived in great numbers.

"In the twenty years' odd residence of Mr. Brigham in this region, what wonderful changes have passed before him! For several years after his coming the savages were sole lords of the soil. A large Indian village stood near the mouth of Token Creek; another stood on the ridge between the second and third lake, in plain view of our present location ;' and their wigwams were scattered all along the streams, the remnants of their gardens, etc., being still visible. Then there was not a civilized village in the State of any considerable size. When the capital was located here, he was the nearest settler to it-twentyfour miles distant! He stood on this ground before its selection as the seat of government was thought of, and from the enchanting beauty of the spot, predicted that a village would be built here. Fort Winnebago was commenced in 1828, under the superintendence of Major Twiggs and Colonel Harney, and the protection it afforded greatly promoted and extended immigration. The rolling flood has now reached 700,000, hundreds of villages have sprung up, and everything is changed. From being him

1 City of Madison.

self the sole proprietor of Dane, he now counts but one of some twenty thousand. Nothing remains of the Indians but their graves. He has seen a savage people pass off the stage, and a civilized one come upon it, and all with a rapidity which must appear to him like a dream."

CHAPTER II.

FACE OF THE COUNTRY-AREA - POPULATION

OF THE SETTLERS FOREIGN IMMIGRATION

CHARACTER CLIMATE.

THE surface of the State of Wisconsin is everywhere undulating ; not hilly, much less monntainous. It may be called a vast plain, elevated from 600 to 1500 feet above the level of the ocean. The highest of the Blue Mounds, on the line between the counties of Dane and Iowa, rises 1170 feet above Lake Michigan, and is, perhaps, the most elevated land in the State. Towards Lake Superior the slope is very abrupt, and the rivers short, rapid, and broken with falls.

Such being a general description of its surface, the immigrant will not look for Alpine scenery, or the bolder and sublimer features of the country of high mountain and deep valley. But in all that constitutes the beauty of the landscape, whether in the vestments of nature, or in those of capabilities which cultivation can alone develop, Wisconsin is without a rival. Among her ten thousand undulations, there is scarcely one which lifts its crown above its fellows, which does not disclose to the prophetic eye of taste a possible Eden, a vision of loveliness, which time and the hand of cultivation will not fail to realize and to verify.

Wisconsin is situated between 420 30' and 460 58' north latitude, and between 870 and 92° 30' west longitude; it is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by Lake Michigan, on the west by the Mississippi and St.

Croix rivers, while on the northeast the rivers Montreal and Menomonee separate it from the State of Michigan. It contains an area of 54,000 square miles, exclusive of the waters of Lakes Michigan and Superior.

In 1840, its population was 30,945, and in 1850 it had reached to 305,538; an increase at the rate of nearly 900 per cent. during ten years. In 1855, according to the census reports, it was 552,109. The number of votes polled at the late Presidential election, was, in round numbers, 120,000. With this basis for an estimate, the population in 1856 would not be less than 900,000.' The increase of the present year, up to July, 1857, and the foreign immigration, moderately estimated, would swell the present population to fully 1,000,000. The census of 1860 will astonish even the most sanguine. - it will reach, if not exceed, a population of a million and a half, without attaining the standard of increase of the past two years ; whereas, our immensely-increased railroad facilities, and other public improvements, together with the flood-tide of emigration, would naturally lead us to expect even a large increase over the past two years.

Wisconsin has been greatly favored in the character and

1 In the first district, three years ago, the whole vote for Congressman was 15,484. In 1856, the vote was 26,125 — an increase of 12,641 over the vote of 1854.

In the second district, the whole vote, three years ago, was 19,903. In 1856 it was 42,337-an increase of 22,434 over the vote of 1854.

In the third district, the whole vote, three years ago, was 23,880. In 1856 it was 49,248-an increase of 25,368 over the vote of 1854.

Crawford, in the second district, received 8,259 votes more than Hoyt did in 1854, and Washburne received 14,184 more than he did in 1854.

These returns show an extraordinary increase in the number of voters in Wisconsin during the past two years.

enterprise of her first settlers. The intellect, education, and integrity, as well as the wealth, enterprise, and skill of the immigrants from the Middle States and from New England, have laid the foundation of a social character which will leave its impress on this commonwealth for generations to come. After filling up the lower counties, the tide of immigration is now setting strongly to the fertile valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, the shores of the Mississippi, and Lake Superior. The newspapers published in the towns on the route of travel are full of accounts of the vast numbers of settlers going to the West and Northwest; a large proportion of them preferring our favored State. The cry is, still they come !" By railways and steamers, the immigrants are pouring in by hundreds and thousands, from the Eastern, the Middle, and the Southern States, bringing with them the qualities which have made their native States the admiration of the world. The liberal spirit of our constitution and laws invite them ; here is the place for the young man just starting in life, for the old man seeking to provide for his children, for "all sorts of men,” in search of fortune, fame or wealth ; there is abundance of room, and to spare The day is not far distant when our increase and natural advantages will place us among the foremost States in the Union !

Besides the unparalleled increase in population from the older States, Wisconsin has been equally fortunate in the numbers, wealth, and material of her foreign immigration. In the year 1856, over 10,000 emigrants arrived in New York alone, on their way to settle in our State - showing that we are well and favorably known abroad by those who have means to come to America, and have knowledge enough to guide them in making a selection before leaving their European homes. If we estimate the value, skill, and capital of each of these emigrants at $100, we have an

« AnteriorContinuar »