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region, will render it more advantageous to the settler. This Company lately received over a million of acres, being a part of the lands donated to the State by the U. S. Government for railroad purposes.

The Milwaukee and Horicon Railroad Company, from Milwaukee to the City of Superior, is about purchasing from Government a strip of land, equal to a million of acres, which they will select partly from timber lands. This road, when completed, will also open a vast section of country to improvement

Persons desirous of settling in Wisconsin should remember that thousands of acres of fine lands, thickly covered with timber, are yet open to pre-emption, along the routes of these railroads. Although it is at first tedious, and more difficult to bring the soil under coltivation than on the prairie, yet it is generally conceded that, in the end, a farm in the woodland will be the most desirable ; the soil is thought to be stronger, and better adapted to wheat, fruit, etc. Emigrants from timbered countries generally select these lands, while those from the prairie regions of Illinois and Iowa settle on the prairies here. The first crop is put in on the sod, and is generally very good.

Eastern capitalists are greatly needed to develop the unrivalled water-power of the rivers we have mentioned, as yet but partially used. The immense pineries at their sources are convenient to their several falls; besides, the growing demand for lumber in the adjoining States (without any competition in the Mississippi valley), presents opportunities for the investment of their capital rarely offered. Most of these rivers empty into the Mississippi, and are navigable for rafts and boats of large size.


Wisconsin is more bountifully supplied with water communication than any other State in the Union. On its western border flows the mighty Mississippi, while its interior is traversed in every direction by navigable streams, flowing generally in a southwestern direction, and discharging their waters into this great river.

The Mississippi rises far in the regions of the northwest, and flows but a short distance before it becomes a broad stream. Soinetimes, in its beginnings, it moves, a wide expanse of waters, with a current scarcely perceptible, along a marshy bed. At other times it is compressed to a narrow and rapid current, between ancient and hoary limestone bluffs. No thinking mind can contemplate this mighty and resistless stream, sweeping ever onward from point to point, through dark forests, and cultivated lands, without a feeling of awe.

After a course of about two hundred miles from its source, it bends towards the east, and approaches within forty miles of the Bay of St. Louis, the head of ocean steam navigation of Lake Superior. From the earliest accounts we have of this route from the lake to the river, it has been more generally traversed than any other in the northwest. Large quantities of furs have been sent from the northern part of Wisconsin in bark canoes up the St. Louis river, thence carried across the portage to Sandy Lake, and re-embarked there for the Mississippi. This trip has frequently been taken by tourists, and by many of the first settlers of the City of Superior.

On the bosom of the “Mighty Father of Waters," the agricultural and mineral productions of our State find their way to St. Louis, New Orleans, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Immense rafts of lumber are constantly seen floating down its current, consigned to various ports on its banks.

The lands bordering on this river are of incomparable fertility, equally adapted to the growth of wheat or the rearing of cattle, and afford a large surplus for exportation. The immigration to this favored region is great. Villages and towns are rapidly springing up, on sites which, a few years ago, were the hunting grounds of various savage tribes. The daily travel on steamboats up this river is enormous, and increasing at such a rapid rate, that in a few years the valley of the Upper Mississippi will contain a dense population.

The Wisconsin is the largest river that intersects the State. It rises near the northern boundary, and flows southward to the Winnebago Portage, in Columbia county; thence it pursues a southwesterly direction until it enters the Mississippi, four miles below Prairie du Chien. The whole length is estimated at 600 miles. In the upper part of its course it is bordered by extensive forests of pine timber, of which large quantities are sent to market. It is navigable for steamboats to Portage City, about two hundred miles, and a canal is in process of construction from this point to the Nepah or Fox river, a distance of a mile and a half. Once completed, heavy freight between the Eastern markets and St. Louis will seek this channel, in preference to that of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, as now it seeks the latter in preference to other routes.

The St. Croix river has its extreme source in Lake St. Croix and several other lakes that lie near the west end of Lake Superior. It is but a short distance (four miles, we believe), between this and Burnt Wood river, which flows into that lake. Across the narrow portage which separates their waters, large quantities of furs, merchandise, etc., have been transported on the shoulders of voyageurs,

and re-shipped in bark canoes for the Mississippi. The St. Croix river pursues a southwestern course from its source, until it reaches the east line of Minnesota. From this point it flows southward, forming the boundary between that State and Wisconsin, until it empties its waters into the “Great River." The whole length is about two hundred miles. Large quantities of lumber are cat from the extensive pine forests bordering on its banks, and floated down to the Mississippi.

The Bad Axe, Black, and Chippewa rivers, are important channels for floating timber to market from the pine regions in the northwestern part of the State.

The Menomonee, emptying into Green Bay, and the Montreal, into Lake Superior, are rapid streams, which are valuable for mill-sites. They form part of the northeastern boundary. The Menomonee has a descent of 1049 feet. There are numerous saw-mills in operation on its waters, turning out large quantities of lumber yearly, which are floated into Green Bay.

The St. Louis river, considered as the primary source of the St. Lawrence, flows some thirty miles along the northwestern part of the State; it is navigable a short distance from its mouth, and will be more fully described in Part II. of this work.

The Fox River, or, as it is called by the Indians, Neenah, is one of the most important rivers in the State. It rises in Marquette County, and flows nearly south-west, towards the Wisconsin; when within one and a half miles of that river, it changes its direction to the north; after flowing a few miles, it passes through Lake Winnebago, and falls into Green Bay. Its whole length is estimated at two hundred miles.

The Fox River Improvement is designed to enable boats to pass from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi.

The whole length of canal necessary to secure a steamboat communication from Green Bay to Lake Winnebago, is about five miles. It is 100 feet wide on the bottom, and 120 at the top (two feet wider than the famous Welland Canal). The locks are 40 feet wide, by 160 long, and built in the most permanent manner, of solid stone masonry, and in a style that will not suffer in comparison with any similar work in the Eastern States. It is calculated that, with the improved manner of working these locks, a steamer can pass each in the short space of three minutes. This will afford a rapid transit for the vast amount of freight that must and will seek an outlet through this thoroughfare to an Eastern market. The capacity of the river for all purposes of navigation is undoubted; at no season of the year can there be any failure of water.

Twelve miles above Oshkosh, westward, is the mouth of the Wolf River, a tributary of the Fox, and navigable for steamers for one hundred and fifty miles. Forty miles above the mouth of the Wolf River is the town of Berlin ; sixty miles further is Portage City and the town of Fort Winnebago; above which places, for sixty miles, and below for one hundred and thirty-five miles, the Wisconsin is now navigable for steamers.

Through these, a ready communication will be secured with the Mississippi and its tributaries; and it is confidently calculated that, at no distant day, steam tugs, with between 200 and 500 tons burthen in tow, each, from St. Peter's River, from St. Paul, and other places in that direction, will land their cargoes at Green Bay, to be shipped to an Eastern market. The objection to be urged to this route, from so remote a locality, is, that it will take too long to make the transit. To this we have to reply, that it is estimated by those who know better than we, that this great distance can and will be overcome by just these kinds of


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