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anything of its kind on this continent. Its locks are the largest in the world. The combined length of the two sides and wings of the two locks together is nearly onethird of a mile, all of solid masonry, twenty-five feet high, ten feet thick at the base, with buttresses six feet in width at the distance of every twelve feet, all faced with cut white limestone, equal to the best of this State. The gates are each forty feet wide. The canal is one hundred feet wide at the top of the water, and one hundred and fifteen at the top of its banks, containing a depth of water of twelve feet, and is principally excavated through rock. This ship canal is a magnificent piece of workmanship, and has opened to the lower lakes a navigation of fully a thousand miles. Mr. Andrews forcibly remarks: --"Our shipping will have an uninterrupted sweep over waters which drain more than three hundred thousand square miles of a region abounding in mineral and agricultural resources. They may be water-borne nearly half way across the continent. The inexhaustible elements of wealth on the shores of Lake Superior will then become available." Again he says : .“ So soon as the canal abovementioned shall be completed, the summer tour of travellers will be extended to a cruise around Lake Superior, and from La Pointe many will cross over to the Falls of St. Anthony, on the Mississippi river. The importance of this enterprise can hardly be over-estimated, and its consequence will be the vast facilitation and increase of the commerce of Lake Superior, and the incalculable enhancement of the value of the public lands, while a tide of enigration may be expected from Norway, Sweden, and the north of Europe, as well as from the New England States, pouring into the northwestern wilderness, subduing the forests, and extending far and wide the area of civilization.
The time will doubtless come when a canal or railway will be made to the Falls of St. Anthony.'
It affords the author great pleasure to be able to bear bis testimony to the accomplishment of these predictions of Mr. Andrews in his interesting report to Government. The summer tour which he mentions, from Lake Superior to the Mississippi river, has already been made by great numbers, not only from La Pointe, but also from the City of Superior. During the past winter, a line of sleighs conveyed passengers tri-weekly between the latter place and St. Paul. Many Norwegian and other emigrants have already arrived, and it is expected that at least ten thousand more will reach the Lake Superior country this year.
A railroad is now under construction from the City of Superior to St. Paul, and the contractors are to have it completed by July, 1859. The feasibility of constructing a canal from the lake to the Mississippi river, is demonstrated by the fact that the first steam propeller, the Manhattan, in 1850 passed up the St. Louis river, at the head of the lake, as far as Fond du Lac village. The river, at the time, was not above its ordinary stage, and at the lowest part sounded there was over six feet water in the channel. “This brings the steam navigation on Lake Superior within thirty-five miles of the Mississippi, at the mouth of Sandy Lake river." I We believe the distance is but six miles from the St. Louis to the Savanna river, which flows into Sandy Lake. This route is one of the most celebrated in the northwest, from the first discovery of the lake to the present time. How surprised would either Mr. Andrews, Dr. Owen, or General Cass be, were they to visit again these regions. On the shores of the Bay of Superior stands the youngest and largest city of the lake; steamboats arrive at its piers tri-weekly, and connect
1 Owen’s Geological Report.
there with smaller steamers for the new towns on the St. Louis river, viz: Middleton, Du Luth, Oneota, Wahbagon, and Fond du Lac, besides other boats, touching at perhaps a dozen or more towns along the north shore of the lake. The shrill whistle of the “iron horse" is heard where, at the date of the publication of Dr. Owen's Survey, in 1852, was a dense wilderness.
Mr. Andrews again remarks: -"Possibly we may see the trade of Hudson's Bay flowing into the United States, through Lake Superior and our other great lakes and rivers. For that great bay is but fifteen days' canoe voyage from Lake Superior, and the portages are few and not long, so that the British Hudson's Bay Fur Company carry on constant communication with their factories upon the bay from their posts upon Lake Superior; and their agents at the British posts in Oregon travel from their stations on the borders of the Pacific Ocean, by way of Hudson's Bay and Lake Superior, on their route to Great Britain." The little steamer James Carson arrived at the City of Superior, June 6th, 1857, from Fond du Lac, with forty passengers, and about six THOUSAND DOLLARS' WORTH OF FURS.
We cannot agree with several of the Chicago journals, who, on account of the “grant of lands” to Minnesota, to aid in the construction of a railroad from St. Paul to Pembina, infer that, when this is accomplished, "the question of the trade of the Hudson's Bay Territory will be forever settled, and Chicago will be the depot for the furs of that region.” It has always been an acknowledged fact, that transportation by the water is far cheaper than by land, and why furs and merchandise should be carried such an immense distance over railroads to and from Chicago we do not understand, especially when they can be sent
1 See steamboat advertisements.
from the City of Superior to all parts of the world on steamboats, without reshipment, each city being at the head of a great lake, and possessing equal advantages of direct communication with the Atlantic Ocean.
A glance at the map of the United States is all that is necessary to satisfy any reflecting mind of the important position occupied by Lake Superior, and the influence it is soon destined to exercise on the commercial affairs of this continent. In a few years, when the contemplated railroads are completed, it will become the principal avenue of intercourse between the Eastern and Northwestern portions of our extended country. In addition to its vast mineral and lumber resources, and extensive fisheries, the present unexampled flood of immigration to its shores should not be overlooked. Now, all this teeming population must have access to Eastern markets, and the greater the facilities afforded to them the greater will be their increase, prosperity, and commerce.
Should anything herein contained appear exaggerated, let it be remembered, that for the last ten years the wildest, the boldest anticipations respecting the Northwest have been more than realized; had it been predicted that these almost boundless wilds should at this day be the dwellingplace of thousands of freemen, that towns vieing in population and wealth with many on the Atlantic border, should in that period have arisen, and that Lake Superior should be traversed weekly by lines of steamboats, it would have been deemed beyond measure extravagant; yet all this is sober reality, and at this moment the onward march of this great region in population, wealth, and resources, is more rapid than at any former period.
CITY OF SUPERIOR-ITS SITUATION-HARBOR-ADVANTAGES
-RAILROADS RISE AND HISTORY PROGRESS AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES OF THE NEMADJI AND ST. LOUIS RIVERS.
The City of Superior, situated on the Bay of Superior and Nemadji river, at the head of Lake Superior, on an elevation of thirty-four feet, possesses a better site, a better harbor, and greater natural advantages for a commercial city, than any other point in the Northwest. Its harbor is the largest on the lake, and is admirably sheltered from storms by two points of land projecting out from the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota, forming a bay of over six miles in length by one in width, large enough to accommodate the shipping of the entire chain of lakes. The entrance from the lake is about half a mile wide, with sufficient depth of water for any vessel which can pass through the ship canal at the Sault Ste. Marie. Vessels can enter into this magnificent land-locked harbor in all winds, and are secure from the heaviest storm which could arise in the winter season.
The Government is now constructing a lighthouse on Minnesota Point, at the entrance of this bay.
Besides these advantages, the City of Superior is the most western point accessible to ocean vessels in North America, and it enjoys uninterrupted water communication with the Atlantic Ocean, via the British American canals