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now is the best opportunity that will ever offer itself in the West to the laboring man of small means, taking into con. sideration timber, climate, and soil.
We would again say to those who wish to actually locate upon and improve the soil, Now is the time to make a “claim."
Do not be induced to delay settling here until a few hundred dollars have been added to your earnings, with the belief that it will give you a better start. You can do better now with two hundred dollars than you will be able to do, two years hence, with one thousand. These lands are daily increasing in value, and those who would advance with them should embrace this “golden opportunity."
The following description of the lands in the valley of the Chippewa river, is from the pen of an intelligent and observing traveller, who recently made a personal examination of that country. These lands are open to settlers at Government price; in fact, all lands lying in the northern part of the State.
"The soil, for the most part, is a deep rich sand loam, and the face of the country very much as we have pictured the Hunting Parks of Old England. About every three miles, there is a succession of small streams starting from the ridges, half a dozen miles back, and making straightway to the Chippewa. The ground between is nearly level, and interspersed with 'gems of prairie,' 'oak openings,' and timber, with here and there specks of hay marsh, just enough to meet the wants of new settlers. In short, the country is about as near right as any jolly husbandman could ask from the hands of Nature. There is no fact which gives more value to these lands, than the general healthfulness of that portion of the country in which they are situated. Well watered, possessing a pure and dry atmosphere, with no local causes to produce fever, ague,
or sickness, in any of the numerous forms often exhibited in the more southerly parts of the Mississippi valley, it is undoubtedly as healthy a region as can be found on the continent. It may be supposed, by some, that these lands are too far north to be well adapted to agricultural pursuits. The supposition is entirely erroneous. None of the lands are farther north than the northern parts of the States of Vermont and New York, nor as far as a large part of Maine, New Hampshire, and nearly the whole of Canada, while the more southerly portions of them are in the latitude of the southern part of Vermont and central New York. But it is well known that latitude is not alone the index of climate. London is in latitude 51° 30', the same as the latitude of the upper or southern end of Hudson's Bay, and of Queen Charlotte's Sound, on the Pacific. Paris is in the latitude of the north shore of Lake Superior and of the Pembina settlement. Florence, where it is almost perpetual summer, is in the latitude of Sheboygan and of Portland, Maine, while Berlin is further north than a large portion of the coast of Labrador. But, on the American continent, it is well known that the climate on the Pacific coast is several degrees milder than on the Atlantic. The same causes operate to produce the same result as we recede from the Atlantic and approach the Pacific. The isothermal line is continually bearing north of latitudinal lines ; and it is well known that the climate of St. Paul, in Minnesota, in about latitude 45°, is as mild during the winter months as that of Massachusetts and central New York. St. Paul and Buffalo, Hudson and Albany, Chippewa Falls and Rochester, are isothermal."
All the arable lands in the area above described will be intersected by the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad, and are peculiarly adapted to the growth of wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, and all other esculent roots.
Indian corn, also — especially of the yellow flint variety – is produced in great perfection. The whole country is excellently adapted to grazing. It is well watered by numerous springs and small creeks, of pure limpid water; and small transparent lakes, with picturesque shores, are found in many places, which, as well as the creeks, abound with fish. The raising of cattle and sheep in this region will prove to the farmer a profitable business, and, if viewed solely with reference to its advantages for agricultural pursuits, there can be no reason why, when it shall be supplied with railroad facilities, it will not become as densely peopled as any part of the State.'
Every description of husbandry suitable to the latitude may be successfully prosecuted. The difficulties experienced in the Eastern, or in Western timbered States, in bringing lands under cultivation, are unknown here; the soil is easily turned over, at the rate of two acres to two and a half a day, by a heavy team of horses, or two yoke of oxen, or it may be contracted to be worked, at from $2 to $3 per acre; and an active practical man can readily cultivate ten acres here as easily as one in the Eastern or Middle States, taking them as they run, while the yield per acre will be infinitely greater.
Wisconsin is one of the largest grain-producing States of the Union. As an example, the statistics of the following counties, for the year 1850, may be cited.
Population. Milwaukee.. 39,077 Waukesha......... 19,174 Racine
No. Acres cleared. No. Farms. Bush.Wheat. 32,623
985 60,096 104,439 1,703 331,156 64,338
971 281,149 50,938 914 318,051
These four counties, with a population of 83,956, had
1 Report of the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad Co.
for exportation not less than 500,000 bushels of wheat, which, at 50 cents per bushel, would be $250,000. Besides, there were large quantities of Indian corn, oats and barley raised. Considerable attention has been lately attracted to flax, and the quantity raised the same year, in these counties, was 58,304 pounds.
It must not be supposed that the farmers of Wisconsin have been turning their attention exclusively to grain; they have also engaged in the business of stock raising, of the dairy, and of wool growing. In the above-mentioned counties, the quantity of sheep and wool raised, as reported in the census, was as follows:
Sheep. 4,356 12,430 10,093 12,767
Lbs. of Wool.
8,330 26,042 20,223 33,439
A large number of sheep were brought into Wisconsin during the year 1851, from Ohio and Michigan. The produce of wool for the year 1853 may safely be estimated at 175,000 pounds, and in 1857 the united products of these four counties will not be less than 700,000 pounds.
These counties may be taken as a fair basis, in order to form an estimate for the balance of the State. If we take the estimate of the census of 1850 - 20,000 farms der cultivation, the amount realized by farmers on wool and wheat alone would be, at present prices, nearly $3,000,000. But when we consider that the population then was 305,538, and now it is about 1,000,000, it is manifest that no correct estimate can be made, further than that the agricultural products have increased in the same ratio as the population.
The steady and exclusive prosecution of agriculture on
the fertile soil of the mineral districts, has the advantage of an active home market and ready pay. There are large tracts of the very finest lands in these districts which have been neglected, from the absorbing nature of the mining business, and may be purchased at very low rates.
In proportion to the growth of the towns and villages, the demand for the products of the soil increases, presenting a remunerative home market to the farmer. The surplus of his corn, wheat, oats, &c., command fair rates at the nearest railroad depot, as soon as delivered. On some of these lands it is not uncommon to raise from 80 to 100 bushels of corn to the acre, of wheat 40 to 60 bushels, and every kind of vegetables in the greatest abundance. The price of wheat during the year 1856, was, on an average, $1.25 per bushel. At these prices, is it any wonder that the farmers in Wisconsin are so rapidly accumulating wealth ; or that, with such inducements to agriculture, so many are flocking here every year ?
“One peculiarity," says an intelligent traveller, in a communication to the Cincinnati Gazette of the 9th of August, 1855, “struck me forcibly, viz: the high degree of culture, cleanliness, and thriftiness of the farms in Wisconsin. There is not half so much to remind one of a new country, as there is in Ohio and Indiana, and this is attributable chiefly to the fact, that almost every quarter section, in its natural state, is ready for ploughing and fencing, without the labor of felling trees enough to burden the navy of the world, and partly to the fact, that the class of settlers are the offshoots from the hardy and industrious sons of New England, or the farmers of Western New York and Northern Ohio. Fifty years' labor in New England, or twenty years' toil in Ohio, are not equal, in their results, to five industrious years in Wisconsin."
Let every farmer who has to tug and toil on the sterile