Illinois Genealogy Trails History Group - Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led


A sketch descriptive of the Situation, Boundaries, Face of the Country.
Prominent Districts, Prairies, Rivers, Minerals, Animals, Agricultural Productions, Public Lands, Plans of Internal Improvement, Manufactures,
also, Suggestions to Emigrants, Sketches of the Counties, Cities, and Principal Towns in the State:
Together with A Letter on the Cultivation of the Prairies,
By the Hon. H. L. Ellsworth



This state, having a vast extent of the most fertile land, must of course raise with great ease all the articles to which her soil and climate are favourable, to an amount far beyond her consumption. All the grains, fruits, and roots of the temperate regions of the earth grow luxuriantly: the wheat is of excellent quality, and there is no part of the Western Country where corn is raised with greater ease of abundance. Garden vegetables of all kinds succeed well. No country can exceed this, in its adaptedness for rearing the finest fruits and fruit-bearing shrubs. Wild fruits and berries are in many places abundant, and on some of the prairies the strawberries are remarkably fine.

In most parts of the state, grape-vines, indigenous to the country, are abundant, yielding grapes that might advantageously be made into excellent wine. Foreign vines are susceptible of easy cultivation. These are cultivated to a considerable extent at Vevay, Switzerland country, Indiana, and at New Harmony on the Wabash. The indigenous vines are prolific, and produce excellent fruit. They are found in every variety of soil, interwoven in every thicket in the prairies and barrens, and climbing to the tops of the very highest trees on the bottoms. The French in early times made so much wine as to export some to France; upon which the proper authorities prohibited, about the year 1774, the introduction of wine from Illinois, lest it might injure the sale of that that staple article of the kingdom.

Plums, in the prairies of various sizes, and flavour somewhat tart, grow in great abundance; their colour is generally red, and their taste delicious. In some locations, acres of these trees exhibit a surface of the colour of rubies: the quantities of fruit are prodigious; by some, two bushels a tree are yielded.

Crab-apples are also very prolific, and make fine preserves with about double their bulk of sugar. Wild cherries are equally productive. The persimmon is a delicious fruit, after the frost has destroyed its astringent properties. The black mulberry grows in most parts, and is used for the feeding of silk-worms with success. They appear to thrive and spin as well as on the Italian mulberry. The gooseberry, strawberry, and blackberry grow wild and in great profusion. Of nuts, the hickory, black walnut, and peccan, deserve notice. The last is an oblong, thin-shelled, delicious nut that grows on a large tree, a species of the hickory. The pawpaw grows in the bottom, and rich timbered uplands, and produces a large, pulpy, and luscious fruit.

Of domestic fruits, the apple and peach are chiefly cultivated. Pears are tolerable plentiful in the French settlements, and quinces are cultivated with success by some Americans. Apples are easily cultivated, and are very productive. They can be made to bear fruit to considerable advantage, in seven years, from the seed. Many varieties are of fine flavour, and grow to a large size. Apples, the growth of St. Clair county, have been measured that exceeded thirteen inches in circumference. Some of the early American settlers provided orchards; and they are now reaping the advantages. But a large proportion of the population of the frontiers are content without this indispensable article in the comforts of a Yankee farmer. Cider is made in small quantities in the old settlements. In a few years, a supply of this beverage can be had in most parts of Illinois. Peach-trees grow with great rapidity, and decay proportionably soon. From ten to fifteen years may be considered as the duration of this tree. The peaches are delicious, but they sometimes fail by being destroyed in the germ by winter frosts. The bud swells prematurely.

The cultivated vegetable productions in the field are Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rye for horse-feed and distilleries, tobacco, cotton, hemp, flax, the castor-bean, and every other production common to the middle states. Indian corn is a staple production. No farmer can live without it, and hundreds raise little else. This is chiefly owing to the ease with which it is cultivated. Its average yield is fifty bushels to the acre. Oftentimes the product amounts to seventy-five bushels to the acre, and in some instances has exceeded 100 hundred. Corn is planted about the first of May. The white and yellow flint are the best adapted to the climate. When ready to gather in, the ears are commonly plucked off by the hand, hauled to the vicinity of the crib, and the people in the settlement invited to the corn-shucking. Ordinarily these gatherings end in sobriety and good feelings, but occasionally (if whiskey is plenty) they prove scenes of unbridled merriment. In slave-holding states, these annual corn-shuckings are the seasons of fun and frolic to the negro. A fat ox or cow, and two or three shoats, are killed, pones of corn bread smoking hot are brought forward, the bottle of whiskey circulates, and the woods and hills are made to ring with negro songs and shouts of merriment. It is the real harvest-home of the slaves.

Wheat yields a good and sure crop, especially in the counties bordering on the Illinois river, and through the northern parts of the state. It weighs upwards of 60 pounds per bushel; and flour from this region has preference in the New-Orleans market, and passes better inspection than the same article from Ohio or Kentucky. In 1825, the weavel, for the first time, made its appearance in St. Clair and the adjacent counties, and has occasionally renewed its visits since. Within the last two seasons, some fields have been injured by the fly.

Wheat is sowed about the middle of September; spring wheat, as soon as the ground can be ploughed in the spring. The harvest is about the middle of July, for winter wheat; for spring wheat, in August. Prairie ground is the best for this grain, the crop being sometimes 35 bushels; though about 25 is the average product in good seasons. The average price of wheat is one dollar to one dollar and twenty-five cents per bushel, varying a little according to the competition of mills and facilities to market. In many instances a single crop of wheat will pay the expenses of purchasing the land, fencing, breaking the prairie, seed, putting in the crop, harvesting, threshing, and taking it to market. Wheat is now frequently sown on the prairie land as a first crop, and a good yield obtained. Flouring-mills are now in operation in many of the wheat-growing counties. Steam-power is getting into extensive use both for sawing and manufacturing flour.

Oats have not been much raised till lately. They are very productive, often yielding from forty to fifty bushels on the acre, and usually sell at from twenty to thirty cents the bushel. The demand for the use of stage and travellers' horses is increasing. Hemp is an indigenous plant in the southern part of this state, as it is in Missouri. It has not been extensively cultivated, but wherever tried, is found very productive, and of excellent quality. It might be made a staple of the country.

Tobacco can be produced in any quantity, and of the first quality, in Illinois; the soil and climate being in every respect congenial to its growth.

Cotton, for many years, has been successfully cultivated in this state for domestic use, and some for exportation. Two or three spinning factories are in operation, and produce cotton yarn from the growth of the country with promising success. This branch of business admits of enlargement, and invites the attention of eastern manufacturers with small capital. Much of the cloth made in families who have emigrated from states south of the Ohio, is from the cotton of the country. Flax is produced, and of a tolerable quality, but not equal to that of the northern states. It is said to be productive and good in the northern counties. There is an oil-mill to manufacture oil from the seed, in Sangamon county. The palma christi, or castor-oil bean, is produced in considerable quantities in Madison, Randolph, and other counties, and large quantities of oil are expressed and sent abroad. Sweet potatoes are a delicious root, and yield abundantly, especially on the American Bottom, and rich sandy prairies.

The cultivation of the sugar beet root, and the manufacture of the sugar, can without doubt be carried on to advantage in this state. Gentlemen who have had an opportunity of examining personally the land in France on which that root is grown, consider the prairie land of Illinois much superior for that purpose. In the former country, from eight to twelve dollars rent per acre is annually paid, and yet large profits are made. An acre of good land will produce 44,000 pounds of beet root, from which 2,400 pounds of sugar can be extracted, which, at 10 cents a pound, amounts to 240 dollars per acre. The annexed extracts on the cultivation of the sugar beet root, are from a letter written by D. L. Childs, Esq., who went to Europe under the auspices of a company incorporated by the legislature of Illinois, with a capital of 200,000 dollars, for the purpose of introducing the manufacture of beet sugar into this state. The letter is dated from Arras, in France, Jan. 9th, 1837.

The most interesting aspect of the beet sugar business, is its bearing upon agriculture and rural economy:

1. It enriches the land both as an excellent substitute for fallowing, and as producing an immense quantity of capital manure.

2. It has the latter effect in various ways, but principally by feeding a large number of cattle and sheep. The former are fatted in from three to three and a half months in a manner really superb. So fine specimens of beef-creatures are seldom seen in the United States, after six months of the best, pasturing and stall-feeding. The sheep are fatted in six weeks. At the manufactory where I have been, they pay on an average about six louis for cattle, and sell them for about eleven. A louis is about $4.37. I suppose that this branch of the business would be quite as lucrative in the United States, where stock animals may be bought somewhat cheaper. This you see is doubling capital three times a year, with the help however of the pulp or pumice of the beet. This can be kept good any desirable length of time. It is sold here at 10 cents the cwt.

3. The profit of raising the beets is very great, according to estimates which I have from intelligent sources. My data makes the net gain in France, after paying rent, ploughing, weeding, hoeing, digging, and preserving, 404 francs per hectare. This measure is a trifle over two English acres. Consequently the profit of cultivating beets on an acre, will be 202 francs, about $38. Can you wonder that land has risen from 50 to 150 per cent in the districts of the sugar manufactories? The wages of labour for cultivating and manufacturing the produce of a hectare, amount to $56.81. This would give for 100 acres $2,840 nearly; and for 400, which would be the quantity required for the largest establishments, $11,830, to say nothing of the proprietor or leaseholder, when he and the labourer are one and the same. In this case, besides getting pay for his labour, and the rent or interest of his land, he would receive the $38 profit per acre.

"The most material point in the culture of the beet root, is the manner of preparing the land. It must be ploughed eight inches deep at least, and this ought to be done in the month of August. Still, fine crops of beets have been obtained by breaking up grass-ground in the spring, immediately before the seeding. The land should be turned up handsomely, and all the grass and other vegetable matter fairly deposited underneath. Then it must be harrowed deep and fine, but the same way with the furrows. If the furrows be disturbed, it spoils or greatly injures the crop. The seed is to be sown in rows, 20 inches apart, on the top of the furrows, and the same way with them. No plough must enter after the sowing, but the land must be dressed from two to four times, according to its tendency to weediness, with the hand and hoe. The vegetable matters decay, and give their whole nourishment to the beets. I suppose these remarks may be of less consequence to the proprietors of rich prairies of the west, than to those of the lands in France, and in the northern and middle states of America. There can be no doubt, however, that the decomposition of fresh vegetable matter will afford a more active stimulus to vegetable life than old mould, however rich. The land for beets must be good, - but it may be too good. In this case, it will produce beets of an enormous size, but hollow and decayed, and affording less saccharine matter than smaller ones. Very poor land made rich by high manuring, is said to yield large beets, containing a great deal of potash and sal ammoniac, but very little sugar. At the first weeding, when the beets are about 1 or 1 1/2 inches high, they must be thinned so as to leave one plant to every 12 or 13 inches of row. If there be spaces where the seed has not come up, some of the plants pulled up should be transplanted into those spaces."

But little has been done to introduce cultivated grasses. The prairie grass looks coarse and unsavoury, and yet horses and cattle thrive well on it. It is well known that this grass disappears when the settlements extend round a prairie, and the cattle eat off the young growth in the spring. Consequently, in a few years, the natural grass no longer exists. To produce timothy with success, the ground must be well cultivated in the summer, either by an early crop, or by fallowing, and the seed sown about the 20th of September, at the rate of ten or twelve quarts of clean seed to the acre, and lightly brushed in. If the season is in any way favourable, it will get a rapid start before winter. By the last week in June, it will produce two tons per acre, of the finest hay. It then requires a dressing of stable or yard manure, and occasionally the turf may be scratched with a harrow, to prevent the roots from binding too hard. By this process timothy meadows may be made and preserved. There are meadows in St. Clair county which have yielded heavy crops of hay in succession, for several years, and bid fair to continue for an indefinite period. Cattle, and especially horses, should never be permitted to run in meadows in Illinois. The fall grass may be cropped down by calves and colts. There is but a little more labour required to produce a crop of timothy than a crop of oats: and as there is not a stone or pebble to interrupt, the soil may be turned up every third or fourth year for corn, and afterwards laid down to grass again. A species of blue grass is cultivated by some farmers for pastures. If well set, and not eaten down in summer, blue grass pastures may be kept green and fresh till late autumn, or even in the winter. The English spire grass has been cultivated with success in the Wabash country.

Of the trefoil, or clover, there is but little cultivated. A prejudice exists against it, as it was imagined to injure horses by affecting the glands of the mouth, and causing them to slaver. It grows luxuriantly, and may be cut for hay early in June. The white clover comes in naturally, where the ground has been cultivated, and thrown by, or along the side of old roads and paths. Clover pastures would be excellent for swine.

The climate of Illinois is such as would be naturally expected from the latitude. The thermometer does not range more widely here than in similar parallels east of the Allegheny mountains; nor perhaps as much so as in those districts beyond the influence of the sea-breeze. There is every day a breeze, from some quarter of the broad prairies, almost as refreshing as that from the ocean. The region is exempt, too, from the effects of the easterly winds, so chilling and so annoying along the Atlantic sea-board; but in lieu of them, there are frequently cold blasts from the prairies, sufficiently annoying to the traveller, when the mercury is at zero.

The winter commences with December, and ends the second week of February. Its duration and temperature are variable; sometimes warm, and at others cold. The winters generally exhibit a temperature of climate somewhat milder than that of the northern Atlantic states. Snow rarely falls to the depth of six inches, and as rarely remains more than ten or twelve days. There are, however, occasional short periods of very cold weather; but they seldom continue longer than three or four days at a time. The Mississippi is sometimes frozen over and passed on the ice at St. Louis, and occasionally for several weeks together. The year 1811 was remarkable for the river closing over twice, - a circumstance which had not occurred before within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. What may be considered winter weather does not usually continue longer than from ten to twelve weeks; during more than half of which period, the ground frequently remains unfrozen.

Near the Mississippi, the wind often blows alternately from the north and south, producing a succession of snow, neither deep nor of long continuance, frost, sleet, and a relaxing mildness; when the beautiful red bird, the cardinal grosbeak, shows himself, and in singing, his charming lays resemble the lofty notes of the fife, being nearly as loud and as sonorous. From actual observation, Fahrenheit's thermometer, both at St. Louis and Harmony on the Wabash river opposite the southern part of the state, the mercury has sometimes fallen below zero.

It may be noticed, that in making observations with the thermometer, they are made too often almost exclusively whilst the sun is above the horizon, and therefore do not give the mean of all the astronomical day, but that of daylight only; and consequently the far greater number of places are represented as having a mean temperature too high. It is doubtful whether any part of Illinois has in reality a mean temperature of more than 54  of Fahrenheit, and that the mean of the whole state is not over 51 . From a series of observations made at St. Louis during the years 1817-18-19, the mean temperature of the different seasons was as follows: winter 34.53, spring 54.17, summer 74.34, autumn 60.77: mean for the whole year, 56.09. This will form a criterion for the southern half of Illinois. July is invariably the hottest month, and in a few instances the thermometer has been known to rise for a short time to 100 , and sometimes in June and August to 96 .

The rains which succeed the breaking up of the Mississippi generally continue at intervals through the greater part of February and March, and constitute what is called the rainy months. The first spring months are therefore frequently disagreeable and cheerless; and the emigrant who arrives in Illinois during this time forms a most unfavourable opinion of its climate; but as soon as the rains subside, he is delighted with the contrast. The forests now put forth their foliage, the prairies are covered with their brilliant carpets, and all nature around him appears to smile: he is fanned by a gentler and more fragrant breeze, and is covered by a bluer and more beautiful sky than those to which he has been accustomed.

The summers are warm, though during the sultry months the intensity of heat is modified by a free course everywhere afforded to a fine genial breeze, constantly giving to the atmosphere a refreshing elasticity. During this season, the appearance of the country is gay and beautiful, being clothed with grass, foliage, and flowers.

Of all the seasons of the year, the autumn is the most delightful. The heat of the summer is over by the middle of August; and from that time till December, there is almost one continuous succession of bright, clear, delightful sunny days. Nothing can exceed the beauty of summer and autumn in this country, where, on one hand, we have the expansive prairie strewed with flowers still growing; and on the other, the forests which skirt it, presenting all the varieties of colour incident to the fading of foliage of a thousand different trees.

About the middle of October or beginning of November, the Indian summer commences, and continues from fifteen to twenty days. During this time, the weather is dull and cheerless, the atmosphere is smoky, and the sun and moon are sometimes almost totally obscured. It is generally supposed that this is caused by the burning of the withered grass and herbs on the extensive prairies of the north and west, which also accounts for its increased duration as we proceed westward.

Winds - During the spring, summer, and autumn, south-westerly winds are the most prevalent; these are sometimes warm and arid, at others cool and humid. They seldom, however, cause heavy rains. In the spring and during the rise of the Missouri, they are from a more westerly direction, and rains are often more frequent. Although these are generally dry and piercing, they frequently accompany storms of hail and snow. North and north-east winds are comparatively rare. The latter usually bring heavy rains.

The more common diseases of Illinois are intermittents, frequently accompanied with bilious symptoms. Those which prove fatal in sickly seasons are bilious remittents. More than one-half of the sickness endured by the people is cause by imprudence, bad management, and the want of proper nursing. Emigrants from the northern states or from Europe will find it advantageous to protect themselves from the cool and humid atmosphere at night, to provide close dwellings, yet, when the atmosphere is clear, to have their rooms, and especially their sleeping rooms, well ventilated, and invariably wear thin clothing in the day, and put on thicker apparel at night or when exposed to wet.

Families are seldom sick who live in comfortable houses with tight floors and well-ventilated rooms, and who upon a change of weather, and especially in a time of rain, make a little fire in the chimney, though it may be in the midst of summer. There are but few causes of genuine consumption. Affection of the liver is more common. Pleurisies, and other inflammatory diseases, prevail in the winter and spring. Ophthalmia prevails at some seasons. Dysentery is not uncommon. Fewer died in infancy than in the old states.

In several parts of the west, and occasionally in Illinois, a disease prevails, which has received the appellation of "sick stomach," from its prominent symptoms, nausea and frequent vomiting, especially on taking exercise. It is also called "milk sickness," from the opinion that it is produced by the milk of cows, which have fed on some poisonous plant. It has likewise been ascribed to the water of certain springs, and to marshy exhalations. The cause, however, seems not to be exactly known, and the disease appears to be vanishing.

That the Western States are not unfavourable to human life, may be inferred from the unprecedented increase in their population. The number of inhabitants in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, is probably near four millions. Had they been unhealthy, it is quite incredible that in the short period of half a century, so great a number could have congregated within those commonwealths. Were the climate especially fatal to emigrants, the number cut off, and the number repelled, must have given a ratio of increase far beneath that which has actually existed. As to the seasoning or acclimation, it is doubtful whether in the temperate Mississippi states, it has any existence. At Cincinnati, it can seldom be perceived. When formidable and fatal diseases have prevailed, they have as often attacked those long resident in the city, as the 'new comers;' and nothing is more common, than to see persons arrive at all periods of the spring, summer, and early autumn, and still enjoy as good health as if they had entered its atmosphere at the winter solstice.

Travellers and 'movers' should be cautious against much journeying in September and early October, when bilious fevers prevail; for, however secure they might be, if they could be transferred, without a journey, to a western town, the usual process of reaching it in autumn, over land, the necessary mode when the waters are low, is apt to generate serious diseases.

There are seventy counties within the state, in sixty of which courts are held. In the others, the judge of the circuit where they lie is authorized to organize them, by appointing an election for county officers whenever in his opinion there are three hundred and fifty inhabitants within their boundaries. Their names, dates of formation, number of square miles, population according to the state census of 1835 (with the estimation of certain counties since formed, marked thus *), and seats of justice, are given the following table.

Counties Date Square Miles Population in 1835 Seats of Justice
Adams 1825 800 7,042 Quincy
Alexander 1819 378 2,050 Unity
Bond 1817 360 3,580 Greenville
Boone* 1837 504 600 Not established
Calhoun 1825 264 1,091 Guilford
Cass* 1837 260 6,500 Beardstown
Champaign* 1833 1,008 1,250 Urbanna
Clark 1819 500 3,413 Darwin
Clay 1824 620 1,648 Maysville
Clinton 1824 504 2,648 Carlyle
Coles 1830 1,233 5,125 Charleston
Cook 1831 1,220 7,500 Chicago
Crawford 1816 400 3,540 Palestine
Edgar 1823 660 6,668 Paris
Edwards 1814 355 2,006 Albion
Effingham 1831 486 1,055 Ewington
Fayette 1821 684 3,638 Vandalia
Franklin 1818 864 5,551 Frankfort
Fulton 1825 864 5,917 Lewistown
Gallatin 1812 750 8,660 Equality
Greene 1821 900 12,274 Carrollton
Hamilton 1821 432 2,877 M'Leansborough
Hancock 1825 800 3,249 Carthage
Henry* 1825 840 600 Not established
Iroquois* 1833 1,428 1,800 Not established
Jackson 1816 565 2,783 Brownsville
Jasper* 1831 506 375 Newton
Jefferson 1819 576 3,350 Mount Vernon
Jo Daviess* 1827 950 4,350 Galena
Johnson 1812 486 2,166 Vienna
Kane* 1836 1,297 1,500 Geneva
Knox 1825 792 1,600 Knoxville
La Salle 1831 1,872 4,754 Ottawa
Lawrence 1821 560 4,450 Lawrenceville
Livingston* 1837 1,152 750 Not established
Macon 1829 1,404 3,022 Decatur
Macoupin 1829 864 5,554 Carlinville
Madison 1812 750 9,016 Edwardsville
Marion 1823 576 2,844 Salem
M'Donough 1825 576 2,883 Macomb
M'Henry* 1836 1,100 1,200 Not established
M'Lean 1830 1,296 5,311 Bloomington
Mercer* 1825 550 800 New Boston
Monroe 1816 360 2,660 Waterloo
Montgomery 1821 954 3,740 Hillsborough
Morgan 1823 800 16,500 Jacksonville
Ogle 1836 1,440 2,000 Oregon City
Peoria* 1825 612 7,000 Peoria
Perry 1827 432 2,201 Pinckneyville
Pike 1821 780 6,037 Pittsfield
Pope 1816 576 3,756 Golconda
Putnam 1825 1,548 4,021 Hennepin
Randolph 1795 520 5,695 Kaskaskia
Rock Island* 1831 432 1,500 Stephenson
Sangamon 1821 2,160 17,573 Springfield
Schuyler 1825 864 6,361 Rushville
Shelby 1827 1,080 4,848 Shelbyville
St. Clair 1795 684 9,055 Belleville
Stephenson 1837 567 400 Not established
Tazewell 1827 1,220 5,850 Tremont
Union 1818 396 4,156 Jonesborough
Vermillion 1826 1,008 8,103 Danville
Wabash 1824 180 3,010 Mount Carmel
Warren 1825 900 2,623 Monmouth
Washington 1818 540 3,292 Nashville
Wayne 1819 576 2,939 Fairfield
White 1815 476 6,489 Carmi
Whiteside* 1836 712 1,500 Not established
Will* 1836 1,320 3,500 Juliet
Winnebago* 1836 504 1,200 Not established


Canal opened at Buffalo

Canal opened at Albany

Lake Erie opened at Buffalo


April 21

April 21

April 21


April 1

April 1

April 1


April 25

April 29

May 10


April 15

April 20

April 6


April 16

April 16

May 8


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April 25

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April 22

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April 15

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Dunkirk, N. Y.   39 Cleveland, Ohio 30 193
Portland, N. Y. 18 57 Sandusky, Ohio 54 247
Erie, Pa. 35 92 Amherstburg, U. C. 52 299
Ashtabula, Ohio 39 131 Detroit, Mich. 18 317
Fairport, Ohio 32 163      
From Detroit to Chicago, Illinois
St. Clair river, Mich.   40 Mackinaw 58 329
Palmer 17 57 Isle Brule 75 404
Fort Gratiot 14 71 Fort Howard, 100 504
White Rock 40 111 Wisconsin Ter.    
Thunder Island 70 181 Milwaukee, W. T. 310 814
Middle Island 25 206 Chicago, Ill. 90 904
Presque Isle 65 271      
From Cleveland to Portsmouth, via the Ohio Canal
Cuyahoga aqueduct   22 Irville 26 158
Old Portage 12 34 Newark 13 171
Akron 4 38 Hebron 10 181
New Portage 5 43 Licking Summit 5 186
Clinton 11 54 Lancaster Canaan 11 197
Massillon 11 65 Columbus, side-cut 18 215
Bethlehem 6 71 Bloomfield 8 223
Bolivar 8 79 Circleville 9 232
Zoar 3 82 Chillicothe 23 255
Dover 7 89 Piketon 25 280
New Philadelphia 4 93 Lucasville 14 294
Newcomers' town 22 115 Portsmouth (Ohio river) 13 307
Coshocton 17 132      

The most expeditious, pleasant, and direct route for travellers to the southern parts of Ohio and Indiana; to the Illinois river, as far north as Peoria; to the Upper Mississippi as far as Quincy, Rock Island, Galena and Prairie du Chien; to Missouri, and to Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Natchez, and New-Orleans, is one of the southern routes. These are, - 1. From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, by rail-roads and the Pennsylvania canal; 2. By the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road and stages to Wheeling; or, 3. For the people living to the south of Washington, by stage, by the way of Charlottesville (Virginia), Staunton, the Hot, Warm, and White-Sulphur Springs, Lewisburg, Charlestown, to Guyandotte, whence a regular line of steamboats runs three times a week to Cincinnati. Intermediate routes from Washington city to Wheeling, or to Harper's Ferry, to Fredericksburg, and intersect the route through Virginia, at Charlottesville.

From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, by rail-road and canal.




Columbia, on the Susquehanna
river,by rail-road, daily By canal packets to
  81 Petersburg 8 221
Bainbridge 11 92 Alexandria 23 244
Middletown 17 109 Frankstown and 3 247
Harrisburg 10 119 Hollidaysburg
Thence, by rail-road, across the mountain, to
Juniata river 15 144 Johnstown By canal, to 38 285
Millerstown 17 151 Blairsville 35 320
Mifflin 17 168 Saltzburg 18 338
Lewistown 13 181 Warren 12 350
Waynesburg 14 195 Alleghany river 16 366
Hamiltonville 11 206 Pittsburg 28 394
Huntingdon 7 213      





Middletown, Pa.   11 Aurora, Ind. 2 491
Economy, Pa. 8 19 Petersburg, Ky. 2 493
Beaver, Pa. 10 29 Bellevue, Ky. 8 501
Georgetown, Pa. 13 42 Rising Sun, Ind. 2 503
Steubenville, Ohio 27 69 Fredericksburg, Ky. 18 521
Wellsburgh, Va. 7 76 Vevay, Ind., and 11 532
Warren, Ohio 6 82 Ghent, Ky.    
Wheeling, Va. 10 92 Port William, Ky. 8 540
Elizabethtown, Va. 11 103 Madison, Ind. 15 555
Sistersville, Va. 34 137 New London, Ind. 12 567
Newport, Ohio 27 164 Bethlehem, Ind. 8 575
Marietta, Ohio 14 178 Westport, Ky. 7 582
Parkersburg, Va. 11 189 Transylvania, Ky. 15 595
Belpre and Blannerhasset's Island, Ohio 4 193 Louisville, Ky. 12 609
      Shippingport, through the canal 2 1/2 611 1/2
Troy, Ohio 10 203      
Belleville, Va. 7 210 New Albany, Ind. 1 1/2 613
Letart's Rapids, Va. 37 247 Salt River, Ky. 23 636
Point Pleasant, Va. 27 274 Northampton, Ind. 18 654
Gallipolis, Ohio 4 278 Leavenworth, Ind. 17 671
Guyandotte, Va. 27 305 Fredonia, Ind. 2 673
Burlington, Ohio 10 315 Rome, Ind. 32 705
Greensburg, Ky. 19 334 Troy, Ind. 25 730
Concord, Ohio 12 346 Rockport, Ind. 16 746
Portsmouth (Ohio canal) 7 353 Owenburg, Ky. 12 758
Vanceburg, Ky. 20 373 Evansville, Ind. 36 794
Manchester, Ohio 16 389 Henderson, Ky. 12 806
Maysville, Ky. 11 400 Mount Vernon, Ind. 28 834
Charleston, Ky. 4 404 Carthage, Ky. 12 846
Ripley, Ohio 6 410 Wabash river, Ky. 7 853
Augusta, Ky. 8 418 Shawneetown, Ill. 11 864
Neville, Ohio 7 425 Mouth of Saline, Ill. 12 876
Moscow, Ohio 7 432 Cave in Rock, Ill. 10 886
Point Pleasant, Ohio 4 436 Golconda, Ill. 19 905
New Richmond, Ohio 7 443 Smithland, mouth of the Cumberland river, Ky. 10 915
Columbia, Ohio 15 458 Paducah, mouth of the Tennessee river, Ky. 13 928
Fulton, Ohio 6 564 Caledonia, Ill. 31 959
Cincinnati, Ohio 2 466 Trinity, mouth of Cash river, Ill. 10 969
North Bend, Ohio 15 481 mouth of the Ohio River 6 975
Lawrenceburg, Ind. and mouth of the Miami 8 489      

Persons who wish to visit Indianapolis will stop at Madison, Indiana, and take the stage conveyance. From Louisville, by the way of Vincennes, to St. Louis by stage, every alternate day, 273 miles, through in three days and a half. Fare, seventeen dollars. Stages run from Vincennes to Terre Haute and other towns up the Wabash river. At Evansville, Indiana, stage lines are connected with Vincennes and Terre Haute; and at Shawneetown twice a week to Carlyle, Illinois, where it intersects the line from Louisville to St. Louis. From Louisville to Nashville by steamboats, passengers land at Smithland at the mouth of Cumberland river, unless they embark direct for Nashville. In the winter, both stage and steamboat lines are uncertain and irregular. Ice in the rivers frequently obstructs navigation, and high waters and bad roads sometimes prevent stages from running regularly.

Farmers who remove to the west from the northern and middle states, will find it advantages, in many instances, to remove with their own teams and wagons. These they will need upon their arrival. Autumn, or from September till November, is the favourable season for this mode of emigration. The roads are then in good order, the weather usually favourable, and feed plenty. People of all classes, from the states south of the Ohio river, remove with large wagons, carry and cook their own provisions, purchase their feed by the bushel, and invariably encamp out at night.

Individuals who wish to travel through the interior of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, &c., will find that the most convenient, sure, economical, and independent mode, is on horseback. Their expenses will be from seventy-five cents to one dollar fifty cents per day, and they can always consult their own convenience and please, as to time and place.

Stage fare is usually 6 cts. a mile, in the west. Meals, at stage-houses, 37 1/2 cts.
Steamboat Fare, including Meals
From Pittsburg to Cincinnati ...  $10
From Cincinnati to Louisville ...  4
From Louisville to St. Louis  ...  12
And frequently the same from Cincinnati to St. Louis, - varying a little however.
A deck passage, is it is called, may be rated as follows:
From Pittsburg to Cincinnati  ...  $ 3
From Cincinnati to Louisville  ...  1
From Louisville to St. Louis  ...  4

The deck for such passengers is usually in the midship, forward of the engine, and is protected from the weather. Passengers furnish their own provisions and bedding. They often take their meals at the cabin-table, with the boat hands, and pay twenty-five cents a meal. Thousands pass up and down the rivers as deck passengers, especially emigrating families, who have their bedding, provisions, and cooking utensils, on board.

The whole expense of a single person from New-York to St. Louis, by the way of Philadelphia and Pittsburg, with cabin passage on the river, will range between $40 and $45; - time, from twelve to fifteen days. Taking the transportation line on the Pennsylvania canal, and a deck passage in the steamboat, and the expenses will range between $20 to $25, supposing the person buys his meals at twenty-five cents, and eats twice a day. If he carry his own provisions, the passage, &c. will be from $15 to $18.
The following is from an advertisement of the Western Transportation, or Leech's line, from Philadelphia:

Miles ... Days ... Fare
Fare to Pittsburg  ...  400  ...  6 ½  ...  $ 6.00
Fare to Cincinnati  ...  900  ...  8 ½ ...  8.50
Fare to Louisville ...  1,050  ...  9 ½ ...  9.00
Fare to Nashville  ...  1,650  ...  13 ½ ...  13.00
Fare to St. Louis  ...  1,750 …...14 .... 13.00
The above does not include meals.

Packet-boats for Cabin Passengers (same line)
Miles ... Days ... Fare
Fare to Pittsburg  -  400 ... 5 ... $ 7.00
Fare to Cincinnati  -  900 ... 8 ... 17.00
Fare to Louisville  -  1,050 ... 9 ... 19.00
Fare to Nashville  -  1,650 ... 13 ... 27.00
Fare to St. Louis  -  1,750 ... 13 ... 27.00

Emigrants and travelers will find it to their interest always to be a little skeptical relative to statements of stage, steamboat, and canal-boat agents; to make some allowance in their own calculations for delays, difficulties, and expenses; and above all, to feel perfectly patient and in good humour with themselves, the officers, company, and the world, even if they do not move quite as rapidly, and fare quite as well, as they desire.

Upon emigrating to this country, it would be well for an eastern farmer to throw off and forget many of his former habits and practices, and be prepared to accommodate himself to the nature of the soil, and the circumstances of the country; else he will throw away much labour uselessly, and expend money unprofitably. The first object is to find a suitable situation; or, in the language of the country, to locate himself. An entire stranger can hardly be expected to judge correctly in relation to soil, and the advantages and disadvantages of location. If he arrives in the dry season of autumn, he will be likely to select a level spot of prairie, with a deep black soil, determined to have rich land at any rate, and perhaps in the spring find himself ploughing in mud and water. If he looks at the appearance of the timber, he will probably be deceived, and overlook some of the best tracts. Advice from those who have long been residents in the country, would save many inconveniences in location.

No emigrant need deceive himself with the notion that he can find a spot which will combine all the advantages, and none of the disadvantages, of the country. On every spot he examines, some indispensable thing will appear to be wanting. On every spot he examines, some indispensable thing will appear to be wanting. Nor is it of any use for a man to travel the country to any great extent, to find as many natural advantages as may satisfy moderate desires. The best policy for an emigrant, after arriving in the Western Country, and fixing upon the district or county in which he intends to reside, is to settle himself on the first spot he finds that he thinks may answer his purpose, and resolve to abide there contentedly.

Let an emigrant purchase no more cattle, horses, hogs, &c., than those for which he has immediate use, unless it is for breeders, and calves, in the fall, at eight or nine months old: these are profitable stock to purchase. If an emigrant locate on the frontiers, or in the newly settled portions of the country, his first object will be to provide cabins for his family; and the less labour and expense in preparing these, the better. Let a man and family go into any of the frontier settlements, get a shelter, or even encamp out, call upon the people to aid him, and in three days from the start he will have a comfortable cabin, and become identified as a settler. No matter how poor he may be, or how much an entire stranger, if he makes no apologies, does not show a niggardly spirit by contending about trifles, and especially if he does not begin to dole out complaints about the country, and the manners and habits of the people, and tell them the difference and superiority of these things in the place whence he came, he will be received with blunt frankness and unaffected hospitality. But if a man begins by affecting superior intelligence and virtue, and catechizing the people for their habits of plainness and simplicity, and their apparent want of those things which he imagines indispensable to comfort, he may expect to be marked, shunned, and called in the way of sarcastic reproach, a Yankee.

A principal characteristic of the western population is a blunt, unaffected, hospitality. They will make every stranger welcome, provided he will accept of it in their own way. But he must make no complaints, throw out no insinuations, and manifest an equal readiness to be frank and hospitable in turn. Enter whatever house or cabin you may, if it is the time of meals, you are invited to share a portion; but you must eat what is set before you, asking no questions, and making on invidious comparisons. Nor must you offer remarks on the accommodations you have had, or the unpleasant things you may have encountered at other places where you have tarried; as such remarks are considered as reflections upon the people, and those by whom you are now hospitably entertained will infer that you will thus slander them when you have departed.

When an emigrant has fixed his location, he next selects his building spot. Much will depend upon a judicious choice, in regard to health. An elevated spot of ground, remote from lakes and marshes, and where the air circulates freely from all points of the compass, is desirable. If a river bottom is chosen, the house should be as near the stream, on the highest ground, as is possible, without risk from the washing in of the banks. Settlements directly on the margins of the Mississippi and Missouri are healthy, compared with situations a few hundred yards distance, in the interior of the bottom. Where all other circumstances are equal, the south or south-west side of the timber is the most desirable, as throughout the heat of summer the winds are usually from the south-west and west, and the timber affords protection from the cold north-winds of winter. But an exposure to the north or north-west is far less disagreeable than would be imagined. In a very few years, by means of orchards and shade trees, sufficient protection can be had.

All confined places should be avoided, such as ravines, and even coves, or points of prairie surrounded by dense timber, unless an opening can be made immediately. The currents in the atmosphere appear to act on the same principles as currents in the water. Where eddies and counter-currents are formed, there impure vapour will concentrate. This is not only true in theory, but holds good in practical observation. When sickness prevails in a family, or a little settlement, the intelligent and observing physician immediately looks about for the cause; and if he detects nothing in the immediate vicinity to generate miasmata, he will probably discover circumstances that cause an eddy or a current of impure air, around the dwelling. The remark has been made by observant physicians that severe sickness has prevailed in a family located at the head of a small ravine, while other families at a few rods' distance have entirely escaped. Physicians and philosophers have not yet determined the nature of that miasma which invariably produces yellow, bilious, intermittent, and other summer and autumnal fevers; but if it is a species of carbonic gas, as some think, it is heavier than the surrounding atmosphere, is more dense on low grounds and bottoms, and in ravines, and naturally concentrates in confined places. But whatever may be its nature as a remote cause of disease, it is enough for practical purposes to know, that any spot where the air is confined, as a cove in the timber or bluff, or where it is forced through a passage, as the head of a ravine, is always less healthy than a spot freely ventilated or on elevated grounds.

Having fixed on the spot, the next stop is to provide cabins or temporary building. These, and all other dwellings, should be so arranged as to promote ventilation in the summer. The door and other apertures should be opposite each other, the chimney at the end; and if a double cabin or one of two rooms is designed, a space of 10 or 12 feet between them should be left, and roofed over. Forks may be set in the ground, and porches or sheds may be made on the sides, eight feet in width. The cost is trifling, and they add greatly to the coolness of the dwelling in summer, and its warmth in winter, besides protecting the body of the house from rains. Hundreds of cabins are made without a nail or particle of iron about them, or a single piece of sawed plank.

The first buildings put up are cabins made of logs, which are constructed after the following manner: Straight trees are felled of a size that a common team can draw, or, as the phrase is, 'snake' them to the intended spot. The common form of a large cabin is that called a 'double cabin;' that is, two square pens, with an open space between, connected by a roof above and a floor below, so as to form a parallelogram of nearly triple the length of its depth. In the open space the family take their meals, during the pleasant weather; and it serves the threefold purpose of kitchen, lumber-room, and dining-room. The logs of which it is composed are notched on to one another in the form of a square. The roof is covered with thin splits of oak, not unlike staves. Sometimes they are made of ash, and in the lower country, of cypress; and they are called clapboards. Instead of being nailed, they are generally confined in their place by heavy timber, laid at right angles across them. This gives the roof of a cabin a unique and shaggy appearance; but if the clapboards have been carefully prepared from good timber, they form a roof sufficiently impervious to common rains. The floors are made from short and thick plank, split from the yellow poplar, cottonwood, black walnut, and sometimes oak. They are confined with wooden pins, and are technically called 'puncheons.' If an emigrant can furnish a few pounds of nails, and a dozen panes of glass, he may add to his comforts; and if a saw-mill is near, and plank or boards cheap, he may save himself the labour of splitting puncheons or slabs for floors and doors. In addition to the cabin, he will need a meat-house, a corn-crib, and stables, all built of logs in the same rough manner. If an emigrant has plenty of money, and sawed lumber can be gotten conveniently, he may put up a frame barn as soon as he pleases. If he has not the advantage of a good spring, he should dig a well immediately, which will cost four or five days' labour, and will stand some time without walling. In making all these improvements, all cash expenditures should be avoided as much as possible, unless a man has money to spend freely. The next step is to prepare a farm. If the settler locate himself in barrens, or in timbered land, he has to grub out the small growth, preparatory to ploughing; that is, dig them up by the roots with an instrument called a mattock. It is true, that land covered with bushes can be ploughed, and the stumps left in the ground, as well or better than in the north; but it will require more labour in the end to subdue the sprouts that will strive for the mystery, than to clear the land at once. It usually requires from three to six days' labour to grub an acre. The small growth in timbered lands is taken out in the same manner. If a settler has located himself in a timbered tract, which in this prairie country is wretched, policy, he grubs up the small growth, girdles the trees, and puts in the plough.

Prairie land requires a strong team, and a large plough kept very sharp, to break it up thoroughly. This must be done well, and every particle of the sward turned over; or it had better be let alone.

Farms somewhat improved are almost daily exchanging owners, and a considerable spirit of enterprize has been awakened within a year or two past. The prices of farms and improvements vary greatly, and are influenced much by factitious and local circumstances. From St. Clair county northward, they average probably from five to ten dollars per acre, and are rising in value. In some counties, farms will cost from two to five dollars per acre. A farm in Illinois, however, means a tract of land; much of it is in a state of nature, with some cheap and frequently log buildings, with 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100 acres, fenced and cultivated. Good dwellings of brick, stone, or wood, begin to be erected. Amongst the older residents there have been but few barns made.

The want of adequate supplies of lumber, and of mechanics, renders good buildings more expensive than in the country parts of New-England or New-York.

Merchants' goods, groceries, household-furniture, and almost every necessary and comfort in housekeeping, can be purchased here; and many articles retail at about he same prices as in the Atlantic States.

The following table will exhibit the cost of 320 acres of land, at Congress price, and preparing 160 acres for cultivation or prairie land:
Cost of 320 acres, at $1.25 per acre  .....  $ 400
Breaking up 160 acres prairie, at $2 per acre  .....  320
Fencing into four fields, with a Kentucky fence of eight rails high, with cross stakes  .....  175
Add cost of cabins, corn-cribs, stable, &c.  .....  250
Making the cost of the farm  .....  $1,145

In many instances, a single crop of wheat will pay for the land, for fencing, breaking up, cultivating, harvesting, threshing, and taking to market. All kinds of mechanical labour, especially those in the building line, are in great demand; and workmen, even very course and common workmen, get almost any price they ask. Journeyman mechanics get two dollars per day. A carpenter, bricklayer, or mason, wants no other capital to do a first-rate business, and soon become independent, than a set of tools, and habits of industry, sobriety, economy, and enterprize.

Common labourers on the farm obtain from twelve to fifteen dollars per month, including board. Any young man, with industrious habits, can begin here without a dollar, and in a very few years become a substantial farmer. A good cradler in the harvest-field will earn from one dollar and a half to two dollars per day.

The most affectionate counsel (says Mr. Flint) we would give an immigrant, after an acquaintance with all the districts of the Western Country of sixteen years, is to regard the salubrity of the spot selected, as a consideration of more importance than its fertility, or vicinity to a market; to supply himself with a good manual of domestic medicine, if such a manual is to be found; still more, to obtain simple and precise notions of the more obvious aspects of disease, - an acquisition worth a hundred times its cost; and, more than all to a backwoodsman, to have a lancet and sufficient experience and firmness of hand to open a vein; to have a small but well-labelled and well-supplied medicine chest; and to be, after all, very cautious about either taking or administering its contents, reserving them for emergencies, and for a choice of evils; to depend for health, on temperance, moderation in all things, a careful conformity in food and dress to circumstances and the climate, and particularly let him observe a rigid and undeviating abstinence from that loathsome and murderous western poison, whiskey, which may be pronounced the prevalent miasm of the country. Let every immigrant learn the mystery and provide the materials to make good beer. Let him also, during the season of acclimation, especially in the sultry months, take medicine by way of prevention, twice or thrice, with abstinence from labour a day or two afterwards. Let him have a Bible for a constant counselor, and a few good books for instruction and amusement. Let him have the dignity and good sense to train his family religiously, and not to be blown about by every wind of doctrine in religion, politics, or opinions. Let his rifle rust, and let the game, unless it comes into his field, live on. Let him cultivate a garden of choice fruit, as well as a fine orchard. Let him keep bees, for their management unites pleasure and profit. Let him prepare for silk-making on a small and gradual scale. Let him cultivate grapes by way of experiment. Let him banish unreal wants, and learn the master secret of self-possession, and be content with such things as he has, aware that every position in life has advantages and trials. Let him assure himself that if an independent farmer cannot be happy, no man can. Let him magnify his calling, respect himself, envy no one, and raise to the Author of all good constant aspirations of thankfulness as he eats the bread of peace and privacy."

The name which now belongs exclusively to this state was, during a great part of the last century, bestowed upon all that vast tract of country which lies north and west of the Ohio, and was derived from the Illini or Illinois, a tribe which appears to have possessed the country situated on the banks of the Illinois river. They were noted for their hospitality, generosity, and kind treatment of strangers. The name is said by Hennepin to signify a full-grown man. The first settlements within the present limits of Illinois, were, like those of Indians, made by the French, and were the consequence of the adventurous enterprize of M. De la Salle, in search of the Mississippi. This traveller set out from Canada, in the year 1670, in company with Father Hennepin and a few followers, and, passing up the lakes to the head of Lake Michigan, descended the Illinois river. After remaining some time, he returned to Canada; from whence he set out with a number of volunteers in 1673, for Illinois, and shortly afterwards founded the settlements of Kaskaskia and Cahobia. Here La Salle left his colony, and descended the Mississippi to its mouth. At the commencement of the eighteenth century, the settlements in Illinois are represented to have been in a flourishing situation. The descriptions given by French writers of the country at this time, were of the most captivating kind; its beautiful scenery, fertile prairies, and supposed mineral wealth, were painted in glowing colours, and a new paradise seemed to open to Frenchmen on the banks of the Illinois.

At the termination of hostilities between the French and English, in 1763, the Illinois country, with Canada, was ceded to the British government: and in 1765, Capt. Sterling, of the royal Highlanders, took possession of Illinois. He was succeeded by Major Farmer, who was relieved by Col. Reed in 1766. The principal military post and seat of government during these changes, was at fort Chartres.

The administration of Col. Reed was extremely unpopular with the inhabitants, and is said to have been a course of military oppression. In 1768 he was succeeded by Lieut. Col. Wilkins, who established a court of justice amongst the people, and appointed seven judges to settle all matters relative to debts and property.

During the revolutionary war, the Virginia militia, under command of General George Rodgers Clarke, made an excursion through the Indian country, subjugated fort Chartres, Kaskaskia, and other posts on the Mississippi, and then conducted a successful expedition against Port Vincent, now Vincennes. This was in 1778. The same year, the legislature of Virginia organized a country in this remote region, called "Illinois," and appointed a magistrate over it with extensive powers, styled lieutenant-governor. Timothy Demonbrun was appointed to this office. This territory was afterwards ceded by Virginia to the United States, and formed a portion of the North-western Territory, by whose authority the county of Illinois was divided, and the names of St. Clair and Randolph given. In 1800, it was included within the limits of Indiana territory, and at that time the country that forms the present state of Illinois contained about 3,000 inhabitants. Many of the officers and soldiers that accompanied General Clarke in his expedition became enamoured with the country, returned with their families and formed the early American settlements. Other persons settled in Kaskaskia about the same time to engage in the Indian trade.

After the year 1800, the population increased considerably from emigration. In 1809, a territorial government was formed, and the population the next year amounted to 12,282. During the last war between Great Britain and the United States, Illinois, in common with other frontier districts, felt the calamities of warfare. The defence of the long line of frontier, from the mouth of the Missouri across the territory to Shawneetown, depended upon the energy and vigilance of the citizens, under the able and indefatigable governor, the late Ninian Edwards.

In 1812, the territory, which had been under the government of the governor and judges, entered upon the second grade of territorial government, with a legislature, and a delegate in Congress. In 1818, the constitution was framed, and Illinois was received into the Union as the twenty-second state.

The constitution of this state does not admit involuntary servitude, or the tenure by which masters hold slaves. Some unsuccessful efforts were made by the immigrants from the slave-holding states to have it amended to admit of slavery. The question was casually agitated in the papers, and a convention for the purpose was proposed. But the moderation and good sense of the people allowed this irritating investigation to sleep undisturbed. This great state, with unoccupied this irritating investigation to sleep undisturbed. This great state, with unoccupied and fertile soil, to support millions of agriculturalists in affluence, must ultimately become populous and powerful.

But different treaties the Indians have ceded the whole of their territorial claim to lands in Illinois to the general government. The country experienced almost entire freedom from their depredations after the late war with Great Britain, until 1832. In that year the savages, under their celebrated chief, Black Hawk, committed many cruel murders, and for at time excited considerable alarm in the northern parts of the state; but being effectually reduced, the remnant have been since settled in the country west of the Mississippi river, and all apprehensions of danger from the same cause in future entirely removed.



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