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Full text of "History of Chicago Historical and commercial statistics, sketches, facts and figures, republished from the "Daily Democratic press." What I remember of early Chicago; a lecture, delivered in McCormick's Hall, January 23, 1876, (Tribune, January 24th,)"

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Facts and Figures, 



What I Remember of Early Chicago; 

a lecture, 
Deliveked in McCormick's Hall, Januaey 23, 1876, 

( Tribune, January 24th,) 


Ex-Lieut. Governor of Illinois. 

JajSTSEN, McClurg & Co., Booksellers, Publishbes, etc. 


1?.-> ?■ - 

Entered accordiug to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

Note. — The cuts now inserted (August, 1882) were not in the copies issued in 1876. 
They represent buildings now standing, some of which have since then been com- 

Errata.— Page 30. Mrs. Calhoun states, it was Saturday, July 12th, not "11th," 
when the Schooner Illinois arrived, the first vessel that ever entered the harbor. 

Page 31. Read, middle paragraph, 1835, instead of " 1833." 



148, 150, 152 AND 154 Moneoe Stkeet. 

Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 with funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 


The records from which I prepared the " History of Chicago " for the 
Democratic Press, in the wiuter of 1854, were all burned in our great 
fire of 1871. Though at first sight this history may not seem to be of much 
importance, it may interest somebody "a hundred years hence" to read 
what was recorded by our earliest settlers. They may like also to see the 
names of our pioneers, who in spite of every discouragement made their 
homes in Chicago. For several years the Democratic Press published 
anmially an exhaustive review of our railway system and its progress ; 
also of the Commerce of the city, and other matters tending to illustrate 
its growth and future prospects. From those which I prepared myself I 
have made a few extracts, simply to show facts as they then existed. The^ 
brief addresses are inserted for the same purpose. In that at Des Moines,, 
Jan. 22, 1873, will be found a short description of the proposed Georgian 
Bay Canal. I believe I have the only complete file of the paper in which 
these articles were published ; the others having been destroyed by the 
fire of 1871. This is another reason for republishing them ; and, besides,, 
as I said in my recent lecture, " I recognize the duty of placing on record 
— as myself and others doubtless have often been urged to do — what I know 
personally of the history of Chicago. Though this may require a too 
frequent use of the personal pronoun, if each citizen would do it, Chicago 
would have what no other city has — a history from its earliest times by 
its living inhabitants." Need I make any further apology for any appa- 
rent egotism that may appear in the following pages ? 

W. B. 

Chicago, March, 1876. 



Address at Montreal— Opening of the Grand Trunk Railway 74 

Canadian Water Routes — Address, etc 88 

Commercial Statistics, 1852 5 

Commercial and Railway Statistics, 1853 8 

Commercial and Railway Statistics, 1857 77 

Commercial Statistics, 1875 _ 108 

Commercial Crises 113 

Georgian Bay Canal 66, 104 

Grain — Greatest Primary Port in the World, 1854 59 

Great Fire of 1871 91 

Interview of New York Tribune 94 

Chicago's Needs — Address before New York Chamber of Commerce 99 

Growth of the West, (Address) OS 

History of Chicago, 1854 11 

Yankee Clock Peddler 13 

Illinois and Michigan Canal 13, 33 

Massacre of Chicago 15 

Black Hawk War 19 

P. F. W. Peck 23 

Sumptuary — Price of Whisky, etc 24 

Taxes in 1832 27 

First election, 1833 28 

Indian Treaty 30 

Census of 1837 32 

First "Loafer" 35 

Historical and Commercial Statistics, 1853 36 

Real Estate... 37 

Churches 39 

Banks 41 

Labor 42 

Water Works, Improvements, etc .48 — 57 

Manifest Destiny 57 

History of Chicago— Address Jan. 23, 1876 115 

Mayors of Chicago 126 

Population of Chicago 126 

Railways, etc. , 1855 63 

Railways, etc., 1856... ...'. 71 

Ray, Dr. Chas.H... 83 

Scripps, John Locke 81 

Topography of Chicago, etc. 60 

Transportation, cheap — Address at Des Moines, 1873 102 

Trade of Chicago— Its Extent, etc., 1875 -- 109 

What I Remember of Early Chicago, 1876 115 

Chicago in 1846 115 

Traveling in 1848 116 

Building Stone 117 

Water Supply 119 

Johns. Wright 121 

Democratic Press i 123 

Old Citizens, eic 124 



18 5 2. 

The past has been a year of unexampled 
prosperity, and our city has shared largely 
in the general progress of the country. In 
no former year has so much been done to 
place its business upon a permanent basis, 
and extend its commerce. By the exten- 
sion of the Galena Railroad to Rockford, 
we have drawn to this city the trade of 
portions of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minne- 
sota, that hitherto sought other markets ; 
and when our roads reach the Father of 
Waters, as two of them will within the 
present year, we may expect an avalanche 
of business, for which we fear all our 
wholesale houses will not be prepared. 

The opening of the Rock Island Rail- 
road, Oct 18th to Joliet, Jan. 5th to Mor- 
ris, Feb. 14th to Ottawa, and to La Salle 
March 10th, has brought customers during 
the winter from a different direction, and 
made an unusually " lively winter " for 
our business men. The extension of this 
and other roads must tend to add to our 
activity and permanent prosperity in an 
increasing ratio. 

In order that the files of the Democratic 
Press may be perfect as a source for fu- 
ture reference, we avail ourselves of the 
labors of one of its editors while connected 
with another paper, and republish a state- 
ment prepared by him, of the business of 
the city prior to the 3''ear 1851. 

The press of the city, previous to the 
year 1849, neglected to publish connected 
statements of the business of the city ; 
but we are nevertheless not without some 
recorded facts of the past, which will serve 
to show how rapid has been the growth of 
Chicago, how great the increase of her 
commerce. In some of the earliest "Di- 
rectories," we find collected various inter- 

esting statistics on this subject, which, 
although not as full as could be wished, 
are yet highly satisfactory in the absence 
of more definite statements. Through the 
politeness of T. Hoyne, Esq., we have 
been placed in possession of a memorial 
to Congress, prayiug for an appropriation 
for the improvement of the Chicago har- 
bor, embodying statistics from 1836 to 1842, 
inclusive. We also find in the Repoit of 
the late Judge Thomas, made in compliance 
with a resolution of the River and Harbor 
Convention, which assembled in this city 
in 1847, the fullest collection of the com- 
mercial statistics of Chicago from 1836 up 
to 1848, that, we presume, is extant. From 
these three sources we compile the fol'ow- 
ing facts, which will be read with interest 
by every one identified with the prosperity 
of our city. 

Up to the year 1836, provisions, for do- 
mestic consumption, were imported along 
with articles of merchandise; and indeed, 
many articles of necessary food continued 
to be brought in for several years later. In 
1836 there were exported from the port of 
Chicago, articles of produce of the value 
of $1,000.64. We have felt a great curi- 
osity to know what articles constituted 
this first year's business, but have sought 
in vain for any other record save that which 
gives the value. The next year, the ex- 
ports had" increased to $11,065 ; in 1838 
they reached the sum of $16,044.75. In 
1839 they more than doubled the year pre- 
vious, while in 1840 they had increased to 
what was then doubtless regarded as the 
very large sum of $328,635.74! This was 
progressing in a ratio very seldom equalled 
in the history of cities, and must have 
caused no little exhilaration among the 


business men of Chicago, as well as ad- 
vanced the views of fortunate holders of 
water and corner lots. 

We are informed in Judge Thomas' Re- 
port, that a " small lot of beef was shipped 
from Chicago as early as 1833, and was 
followed each successive year by a small 
consignment of this article, and also of 
pork." Some idea of the extent of the 
first consignment may be formed from the 
fact that three years after, the total exports 
of the place were valued at $1,000.64. It 
was truly a small beginning, and gave but 
slight promise of the great extent to which, 
as the sequel will show, this branch of 
business has grown. The same authority 
informs us that the first shipment of wheat 
from this port was made in the year 1839. 
In 1842 the amount shipped reached 586,907 
bushels, and in 1848, 2,160,000 bushels were 
shipped out of the port of Chicago. Since 
that period there has been a material fall- 
ing ofT until the past year, in the annual 
exports of wheat, owing to a partial fail- 
ure of the crop each succeeding year, and 
from the fact that farmers are paying more 
attention to other products. 


Our time and limits will not permit us 
to enter into a detailed ^statement of the 
improvements made for the past year. 
Suffice it to say, that more progress has 
been made than at any former period. 
Elegant residences have been built in all 
parts of the city, splendid blocks of stores 
have been erected on our principal streets, 
and the limits of the inhabited part of the 
city have been greatly extended. 

On the 20th of February, 1852, the Mich- 
igan Southern Railroad was opened to this 
city. The depot is located near Gurnee's 
Tannery, on the South Branch. The Rock 
Island Railroad have built their depot di- 
rectly opposite. A year since, there were 
only a few old buildings in that neighbor- 
hood, and it was considered far "out of 
town." Now nearly the whole of Clark 
street is built up as far south as the depot, 
and there has been an important addition 
made to the city where, a year since, it 
was open prairie. 

The Michigan Central Railroad was 
opened to Chicago on Friday, May 21st. 

Grounds for the depot were leased a short 
distance below Twelfth street, on the lake 
shore. The buildings are temporary, as 
it is intended to establish the depot for this 
road and the Illinois Central, between the 
foot of Randolph street and the south pier. 
Hence no permanent buildings have been 
put up where the depot now stands, and 
no very considerable addition has been 
made to the city in that vicinity. 

In the summer seasbn, both these lines 
furnish a direct steam communication with 
the cities on the seaboard. About the 1st 
of January last, all the railroad lines along 
the south shore of Lake Erie were com- 
pleted, and these, with the Erie Railroad 
and the Michigan Southern, give us a di- 
rect railroad line to New York. This has 
formed an era in the history of Chicago, 
which will always be regarded with inter- 
est. Our merchants who, in the depth of 
winter, were obliged to consume some two 
weeks in staging through Canada mud " up 
to the hub," in order to purchase their 
goods for the spring trade, can now go 
through, and enjoy the luxury of a com- 
fortable railroad car, in two days. In the 
course of the year, the Canada Railroad, 
connecting Detroit with Buffalo, will be 
finished — when we shall have a choice of 
routes to the East, at all seasons; and within 
two or three j'ears, the Fort Wayne and 
Logansport Railroads will open two other 


The facts above given, we think, will 
convince the most skeptical, that the march 
of improvement at the West is onward. 
They show an increase in population, 
wealth and resources, which must prove 
exceedingly gratifying to all our citizens. 
They will serve to extend the conviction, 
now almost universal, that Chicago is des- 
tined to become the great commercial cen- 
tre of the Northwest, and among the first, 
if not iJie first, city in the Mississippi Val- 
ley. Her position at the head of a thousand 
miles of lake navigation, gives her a com- 
manding influence. She has no levee to 
be inundated, causing the destruction of 
millions of property. Neither is she situ- 
ated upon a river, whose navigable capac- 
ity the clearing up of the country will be 


liable to aflFect. She is subject to no floods 
nor inundations. To the north, west and 
south, almost boundless prairies and groves 
are inviting the toil of the husbandman 
to develop their treasures and yield a rich 
reward to honest industry. In all the ele- 
ments of wealth, their resources are ex- 
haustless. The mineral treasures of Lake 
Superior will soon pay tribute to Chicago; 
and our railroads in a few months will 
have reached the lead regions of the Gale- 
na district. The Rock Island and the 
Illinois Central Railroads will soon pene- 
trate the most extensive coal field in the 
United States, and in fact in the world, 
and our commerce, and more especially 
our manufactures, must increase in a ratio 
far beyond what has hitherto been realized. 
Within the next five years the railroads 
that will be completed and centre in this 
city will extend more than three thousand 
miles. If we should add the extensions of 
these trunk lines to their ultimate limits, 
their aggregate lengths would amount to 
tens of thousands. "Within five years we 
expect to be in railroad connection with 

Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., — with Du- 
buque and Council Bluffs, Rock Island, 
St. Louis, Cairo, New Orleans, Mobile, 
Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S. C, Rich- 
mcrod, Va., Washington, Baltimore, Phil- 
adelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, 
and " the rest of mankind." A bright fu- 
ture is therefore before the "Garden 
City." Let our merchants and mechan- 
ics, our artisans and business men gener- 
ally, understand the advantages which our 
commanding commercial position affords. 
Let them, with becoming prudence, but 
with far-seeing, intelligent views as to 
what the spirit of the age and the stirring 
times in which we live demand, gird them- 
selves for the work of making Chicago 
the great commercia) emporium of the 
Mississippi Valley. The prize is within 
their grasp; let them show the world that 
they are worthy, and the rich commerce 
of the prairies and the lakes will most 
certainly crown their efforts with success. 
— From the Annual Review of the Demo- 
cratic Press, for the year 1852. 

The figures emhodied in tliis review have been quoted in every succeeding document of the kind, 
and being accessible in the Board of Trade Reports every year, need not be repeated here. 



In the winter of 1854, I prepared, 
and published four articles on the 
business and progress of the city for 
the year previous. Of these articles, 
in pamphlet form, we sold 15,000 
copies, besides an immense edition 
of the paper containing them. Our 
citizens scattered them all over this 
country and Europe, and it was be- 
lieved at the time that they had a 
marked effect upon the growth and 
prosperity of the city. The first one, 


was issued January 31st. The fol- 
lowing extracts are from the closing 
paragraphs of that article : 

As tlie mathematician, after he has 
wearied himself amid the intricacies of 
long, difficult theorems, at length arrives 
at the summation of the series, so it re- 
mains for us to give a synopsis of our arti- 
cle, that our readers may the better be 
able to comprehend the great railroad 
system that has its centre in Chicago. 

The following is the total number of 
roads in process of construction, with the 
proposed extension and branches of each : 


Chicago and Milwaukee 90 

Milwaukee and Fond du Lac 60 

Racine and Beloit Railroad 65 

Illinois and Wisconsin to Janesville 88^ 

Fond du Lac Branch, Janesville to Fond du 

Lac 78 

Madison Branch 35 

South Wisconsin, Janesville to Dubuque... 98 

Galena and Chicago Union, Chicago to Free- 
port 121 

Fox River Valley Railroad 34 

Wisconsin Central IM 

Beloit Branch of the Galena 20 

Boloit and Madison 47^ 

Milwaukee and Mi?sissippi, Western Divis- 
ion, Madison to Prairie du Chien ft6 

Miidison and St. Paul Hailroad 300 

Milwaukee and LaCrosse. Western Division IKO 
Madison and Lake Superior 275 

Chicago and Galena Air Line, Chicago to Ful- 
ton City , 135 

Lyons Iowa Central, Fulton to Council 

Bluffs 308 

Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi Air Line 

to Savanna 130 

Chicago and St. Charles Branch to Galena . 30 

Galena and Minnesota 250 

Iowa Central Air Line 325 

Chicago and Aurora Railroad to Mendota . . - 89 

Central Military Tract Railroad 84 

Peoria and Oquawka, Western Division 40 

Burlington and Missouri Railroad 220 

Northern Cross Railroad, Galesburg to 

Quincy 120 

Hannibal and Missouri 205 

Chicago and Rock Island Railroad 181 

Mississippi and Missouri, 1st Division 300 

2d " 300 

" " 3d " Mus- 
catine to Cedar Rapids 50 

Peoria and Bureau Valley Railroad 47 

Peoria and Warsaw Railroad 90 

Peoria and Hannibal Railroad 120 

Peoria to lUinoistown, opposite St. Louis . 180 

Peoria and Ocjuawka, Eastern Division 50 

Chicago and Mississippi, Alton to Chicago.. 265 

Great Western, Naples to Springfield 65 

Alton, Illinoistown and Murphysboro' 114 

Illinois Central Kailroad 704 

Wabash Valley Railroad 360 

Chicago and Logansport Railroad to Cincin- 
nati 280 

Fort Wayne and Chicago 145 

Mich. South, and North. Indiana 242 

Cincinnati, Peru and Chicago Railroad 70 

Michigan Central Railroad 282 

New Albany and Salem Railroad 284 

Total— 14 Trunk and 34 Extension and 
Branch Lines 7,803 

But lest any venerable " croaker,^* 
" with spectacles on nose," should still be 
in doubt as to our commercial facilities, 
we submit one more list. 

The following table exhibits the num- 
ber of railroads that are now in operation, 
leading into this city, with the number of 
miles that are now completed : 


Illinois and Wisconsin, to Deer Grove 32 

Galena and Chicago Union, to Freeport 121 

Beloit Branch of the Galena 20 

Galena Air Line, to Lane, Ogle Co 75 

Chicago, St. Charles and Mississippi Air Line.. 10 

Chicago and Aurora 89 

Chicago and Rock Island 181 

Chicago and Mississippi, Alton to Blooming- 
ton 132 

Great Western, Naples to Springfield 65 

Illinois Central 252 

Mich. South, and North. Indiana, to Toledo ... 248 
Michigan Central 282 

New Albany and Salem 284 

Total-10 Trnik and 3 Branch and Exten- 
sion Lines 1,785 




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On these roads there will be daily 
leaving and entering the city, on the first 
of May next, forty-six trains, making, in 
all, ninety-two trains per day over the 
roads, to accommodate our travel and 
commerce. Here is a fact, which, had 
we time, it would be worth while to stop 
and contemplate. A fact of still greater 
significance is, that less than two years 
ago we had only one railroad entering the 
city — the Galena and Chicago Union — and 
that was finished only a few miles. Now 
we have 1,785 miles, counting only two 
States from our own, and by the first of 
December we shall have 2,979^ miles. 
Can it be wondered at that our city has 
doubled its population within the same 
time, and that the price of real estate and 
business of all kinds have increased in a 
corresponding ratio. Splendid fortunes 
have been made in two years. Men who 
were trading in small seven-by-nine 
wooden tenements, now find a splendid 
brick store too small to accommodate their 
customers. Real estate in the suburbs of the 
city that could have been bought five years 
ago for fifty dollars per acre, is now worth 
five thousand, and many fortunate specu- 
lators have realized splendid fortunes. 
The rise in real estate is by no means con- 
fined to a few shrewd operators. From 
the first our citizens generally have been 
determined to have a home of their own. 
Generally they would purchase a lot 
eighty feet front, and often four or even 
ten times that amount. The rise in the 
value of their homes, so much larger than 
was necessary in a city, has placed many 
a family in easy circumstances. 

But will some cautious wiseacre ask. 
Are these things to continue? We will 
not stop to answer the question, but will 
simply say, on the first of January next 
we shall have 3,000 miles of railroad lead- 
ing into the city, and by a year from that 
time it will be entirely safe to add an- 
other thousand. How much it will aug- 
ment the business of the city, and appre- 
ciate the value of real estate to double the 
miles of railroad centreing here, and to 
double the population of the city, and 
also of the magnificent country which is 
tributary to it, we shall leave the ultra 

cautious to estimate. The railroads will 
certainly be finislied, but we shall not 
hazard an opinion as to the population of 
the city or the price of real estate on the- 
first of January, 1856. We hope to be 
wiser then, and we know our readers will, 
if we and they live to see that " happy 
new year." Time will show. 

There is another most important fact 
that should be considered, in speaking of 
Chicago, as a grea\ railroad centre. She 
has not, in her corporate capacity, invest- 
ed a si'ftf/fe dollar in any of them. While 
the bonds of other cities are hawked 
about in Wall street to build railroads that 
in turn are expected to build the cities in 
which they terminate, Chicago has. 
prudently kept aloof from all such dan- 
gerous speculations. All our roads have 
been projected and will be built by pri- 
vate enterprise. This shows that capital- 
ists have placed abundant confidence in 
our commercial position, and the result is 
demonstrating most clearly that thej^ have 
judged correctly. We refer to this mat- 
ter with peculiar satisfaction, and we are 
sure it will have an important bearing in 
shaping the future destiny of the city. 

It may be answered, that the city 
would have made large sums by investing 
her credit in railroad stocks. It is true 
that Galena stock, and that of several of 
our other roads, sell at prices that aston- 
ish Eastern capitalists, who are ignorant of 
the resources of the Central States, and. 
the cheapness with which our roads are 
built. The stock, however, sells for no 
more than it is really worth, and we 
should not be surprised to see it attain a 
much higher figure. But experience haa 
shown that, where cities become in- 
volved in extensive schemes of internal 
improvement, corrupt demagogues gener- 
ally find means to fatten upon the public 
treasury, and, in the end, bring ruin and 
disgrace upon the community whose con- 
fidence they had Aanaged to secure. 
From all such dangers Chicago is entirely 
free. She has, it is true, issued her bonds 
to construct the waterworks, and she has, 
in addition, a small floating debt. But 
the water works will, in a few years, liqui- 
date the debt contracted for their con- 



struction, and she can, without serious in- 
convenience, pay all her other liabilities 
in, at most, three or five j'ears. The im- 
portant fact is worth repeating, that Chi- 
cago, a city that will have three thctusand 
miles of railroad in operation centreing in 
it, on the first of January next, does not 


Our task is accomplished. We ask 
our citizens to contemplate the magnifi- 
cent system of public works that has 
been completed in two short years. The 

past is certain. To the future let us look, 
and gird ourselves for the work that is 
before us. From almost every place in 
the Union, and from across the wide At- 
lantic, the industrious and the enterpris- 
ing are seeking a home in the " Garden 
City." Let us give them a warm-hearted, 
generous welcome. Along our broad 
streets, or upon our wide-spread, beautiful 
prairies, we have ample room for them 
all. Let them come and identify them- 
selves with the great central commercial 
city of the Central States! 




After we published our article on 
" Chicago and her Railroads," Jan. 
31st, it occurred to us that a short sketch 
of the history of Chicago would not prove 
unacceptable to our readers. At first we 
intended merely a brief notice, to show 
her rapid growth, in connection with our 
Annual Review of the business of the 
city. The more we studied the subject, 
and consulted those who have been here 
since the wolves were accustomed to visit 
every part of the city in the night, and the 
wigwam of the painted savage dotted 
the prairie on every side, the more have 
facts accumulated upon our hands, till 
now our only difficulty is to know what to 
reject. The rapid growth of the city 
within the last eight years — her immense 
increase in wealth and population — the 
proud position she has assumed among the 
commercial cities of the Union, and the 
certainty that her march will l)e onward, 
till she yields in importance only to New 
York, have created a very general desire 
among a portion of our own citizens, and 
especially in the Eastern States, to know 
more of her past history as well as her 
present resources and future prospects. 
The history of Chicago is intimately con- 
nected with the settlement and growth of 
the other parts of the State, and it will 
be equally interesting to notice in a few 
paragraphs some facts in relation to the 
settlement of this part of the Mississippi 

The origin of the term Illinois is given 
in the " Western Annals," edited by Rev. 
J. M. Peck, as follows : ' ' The name Illinois 
is derived from Leno, ' man.' The Dela- 
ware Indians call themselves Lenno-Le- 
nape, which means 'original, or unmixed 
men.' The term nnanly men, to distin- 
guish themselves from mean, trifling men, 
would convey the exact idea. The tribes 

along the Illinois gave the French explo- 
rers to understand that they were real men. 
They said 'leno,' or 'leni.' " The termi- 
nation "ois" is undoubtedly of French 
origin. As all strange and uncouth sounds 
are liable to be mis-spelled, it is very easy 
to see from the above how the beautiful 
name which our State bears was formed 
from the language of the first monarchs 
of the soil. 

The "Illini," or Illinois Indians, occu- 
pied all the territory north of a line drawn 
northeast and southwest through the city 
of Ottawa, extending east to the Wabash, 
and west to the Mississippi river. The 
term was also applied to an indefinite ter- 
ritory west of the Mississippi. 

The first white men who ever visited this 
region were Marquette and Joliet, two 
Jesuit missionaries, who explored this 
section of the Mississippi Valley in the 
years 1662-3. Hennepin and La Salle fol- 
lowed a few years later, and as a conse- 
quence of these several explorations and 
discoveries, a magnificent scheme was 
formed by France to extend her posses- 
sions from Canada to New Orleans, and 
thus having embraced the entire inhabited 
portion of the Western Continent, to ad- 
vance eastward, and secure the authority 
over the vast empire which her eminent 
statesmen even then foresaw must ere 
long occupy this magnificent country. 
The plan was well arranged, and its ac- 
complishment constantly kept in view for 
nearly a hundred years by the adventurous 
sons of La Belle France, but it was com- 
pletely overthrown by the gallant Wolfe 
on the plains of Abraham, on the 13th of 
September, 1759. As a consequence of 
that victory, Canada fell into the hands 
of the English. The war of the Revolu- 
tion transferred the northwestern posses- 
sions of the British to the United States, 



and the purchase of Louisiana by Mr 
Jefferson from the French in 1803, gave 
us the possession of the entire Mississippi 
Valley. The wisdom of that purchase 
though strenuously opposed at the time 
is acknowledged by all parties. 

Early in the Revolutionary war, Col. G 
R. Clark had formed the design of attack 
ing the forts of the British at Detroit and 
in Southern Illinois, and laid his plans be- 
fore the Virginia Legislature. On the 2d of 
January, 1778, he received authority from 
Patrick Henry, then Governor of that 
State, to raise troops and to march west- 
ward on his bold and hazardous enterprise. 
This expedition was successful, and as a 
consequence, Virginia laid claim to the 
territory north and west of the Ohio river. 
This claim was acknowledged by the 
other States, and Illinois was organized 
as a county of Virginia in October, 1778. 
The act was practically inoperative, as we 
can not find that any one in behalf of that 
State carried the law into effect. From 
that time till 1784 there was no legal au- 
thority in the State. The people were 
" a law unto themselves," and to the credit 
of the earlier settlers, the annalist adds, 
that " good feelings, harmony and fidelity 
to engagements prevailed." 

In March, 1784, Virginia ceded to the 
United States all her claim to the territory 
northwest of the Ohio; and in 1790 Gov. 
St. Clair organized the county which bears 
his name. From the year 1800 to 1809 
Illinois was attached to the Territory of 
Indiana. In February of the latter year 
Congress passed an act establishing the 
Territory of Illinois, and appointed the 
Hon. Ninian Edwards, then Chief Justice 
of Kentucky, Governor of the Territory, 
and Nathaniel Pope, Esq., of Kaskaskia, 
Secretary. The Territory was organized 
by Judge Pope, in March, and Gov. Ed- 
wards arrived in June, and assumed the 
duties of his oftice. 

The first Territorial Legislature con- 
vened at Kaskaskia on the 25th of Novem- 
ber, 1812 ; the Council, or Upper House, 
consisting of five, and the Assembly of 
seven members. The author of the 
" Western Annals " says of this body : 
"They did their work like men devoted to 

business matters. Not a laicyer nor an attor- 
ney is found on the list of names. They 
deliberated like sensible men — passed such 
laws as they deemed the country needed; 
made no speeches, had no contention, and 
after a brief session of some ten or twelve 
days, adjourned." We are sorry to say, 
that this good example has had too little 
influence upon succeeding Legislatures. 

In 1815, Hon. Nathaniel Pope was elect- 
ed as Representative of the Territory in 
Congress. The north line of the Territory, 
as originally defined, ran due west from 
the south bend of Lake Michigan to the 
Mississippi. Judge Pope, seeing the im- 
portance of having a lake front in the 
future State of Illinois, procured the pas- 
sage of an act extending that line north to 
the parallel of 42 degrees and 30 minutes, 
thus securing a most important portion of 
territory from our sister State of Wisconsin. 

Congress passed an act in 1818, approved 
by James Monroe, April 18th, authorizing 
the people to form a State Government 
provided it should be ascertained that it 
contained 40,000 inhabitants. All ac- 
counts agree in estimating the total 
number of people at about 30,000 ; but 
the different marshals, by accidentally 
counting the emigrants, who were coming 
in or passing through the State several 
times, made out the full number. Dele- 
gates to form a constitution were elected, 
who met at Kaskaskia in July, 1818, and 
having completed their labors, they signed 
the constitution, and adjourned on the 26th 
day of August. The constitution was 
adopted by the people, and the first Legis- 
lature convened at Kaskaskia, on the first 
Monday in October following. Shadrach 
Bond, of Kaskaskia,was elected Governor, 
and Pierre Menard, of the same place, 
Lieut. Governor. 

It will be seen from the above, that it is 
not yet thirty-six years since our State 
Government was formed; a State which 
has now more than a million of inhab- 
itants, and whose principal commercial 
city has more than 60,000 inhabitants, 
and 1,785 miles of railroad completed, con- 
tributing to Its prosperity. By tlie first of 
January next it will liave 3,000 miles fin- 
ished and in operation. 



We have found a great deal that is both 
instructive and amusing in the early legis- 
lation of the State, but we have room for 
only a single incident. It must be borne 
in mind, that the first settlements were 
made in the southern parts of the State, 
by emigrants principally from Virginia, 
Kentucky, and some of the other Southern 
States. Many of them had a sort of " holy 
horror" for that ubiquitous, ever-trading 
sharper, "the live Yankee." To guard 
against his depredations, a law was passed, 
February 14th, 1823, duly enacting, that 
"No person shall bring in and peddle, or 
sell, wooden clocks in this State, unless 
they first take out an extra license ;" for 
which the price was $50. The penalty for 
violating the law was fixed at the same 
sum. This "said sum" would make a 
sad inroad upon Jonathan's profits, and 
hence, under the impulses of his "higher 
law " notions of the value of money, he 
pursued his " chosen calling" without 
any regard to the majesty of the law in 
■* ' such case made and provided." He was 
of course arrested, and in due form ar- 
raigned before the court of Fayette county. 
The fact of "■selling''' was not denied. 
Taut it appeared in evidence that one Yan- 
kee brought them "^■ft" across the river 
at St. Louis — and another ■'■sold'' them. 
The counsel for the prisoner — our fellow- 
citizen, Wm. H. Brown, Esq. — contended 
that it must be shown that the prisoner 
did both '• bring in and j^erf^fe or sell." 
Jonathan, as usual, escaped, and went on 
his way "peddling" and "selling" his 
wooden wares. We believe his ''Yankee- 
ship " has always, since the failure of 
thatlawto "headhimoff" been permitted 
to exercise his peculiar habits without 
'' let or hindrance." 

The history of our city is very intimate- 
ly connected with that of the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal. The idea of a canal 
connecting the waters of the Lakes with 
those of the Mississippi, was suggested as 
early as 1814. In Niles' Register of Au- 
gust 6th the following paragraph may be 
found : 

" By the Illinois river it is probable that 
Buffalo, in New York, may be united with 
JVew; Orleans by inland navigation, through 

Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan, and 
down that river to the Mississippi. What 
a route ! How stupendous the idea ! 
How dwindles the importance of the arti- 
ficial canals of Europe compared to t?iis 
water communication. If it should ever 
take place — and it is said the opening may 
be easily made — the Territory (of Illinois) 
will become the seat of an immense com- 
merce, and a market for the commodities 
of all regions." 

How strange to us appear some of the 
expressions in this paragraph. Then, all 
west of Ohio was an unbroken wilderness 
inhabited only by savages, with here and 
there a fort or trading post, and a few 
small French settlements along the Miss- 
issippi. Little did the writer think that 
in only thirty-four years his "stupendous 
idea" would become a common-place 
reality, and that in less than forty years a 
city of more than sixfy thousand people 
would be reposing in quiet dignity at the 
northern terminus of that canal ! What 
an " immense commerce " that city has en- 
joyed the past year, the sequel of this 
article is designed to show. 

At the first session of the Illinois Legis- 
lature in 1818, Gov. Bond brought the 
subject of a canal from Lake Michigan 
to the Illinois river prominently before 
that body, and his successor, Gov. Coles, 
in 1822 devoted a large space in his mes- 
sage to the elucidation of the same topic. 
By an act passed February 14th, 1823, a 
Board of Canal Commissioners was ap- 
pointed, and in the autumn of that year a 
portion of the Board, with Col, J. Post, 
of Missouri, as Chief Engineer, made a 
tour of recounoisance; and in the autumn 
of 1824, Col. R. Paul, an able engineer, 
residing at St. Louis, was also employed. 
Five diiTerent routes were surveyed, and 
estimates made of the cost of the canal. 
The highest estimate was $716,110. 

At this time, 1823, only thirty-one years 
ago, the Sangamon river and Fulton 
county were the northern boundaries of 
civilization, and in that region there were 
only a very few inhabitants. The whole 
northern portion of the State was still 
under the dominion of the wolf and the 
savage, with no prospect of its settlement 



for an indefinite time to come. The lead- 
mg idea of the citizens of the south half 
of the State, where the population, was 
then concentrated, was to open a water 
communication for them by the Lakes 
and the Erie Canal with New York City, 
On January 18th, 1825, an act was 
passed to "incorporate the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal Company, with a capital 
of $1,000,000." As the stock was not tak- 
en, a subsequent Legislature repealed the 
charter. In the meantime, our Senators 
and Representatives in Congress were 
urging upon that body the passage of an 
act grantmg to this State lands to aid in 
the construction of the proposed canal. 
The Hon. Daniel P. Cook, from whom 
this county Is named, has the credit of 
leading in this movement Accordingly, 
on the 2d of March, 1827, Congress grant- 
ed to the State of Illinois every alternate 
section in a belt of country extending six 
miles on each side of the canal. Owing 
to financial embarrassment, nothing effec- 
tual was done till January 22d, 1829, when 
the Legislature passed a law organizing a 
Caual Board, and appointed Dr. Jayne, of 
Springfield, Edmund Roberts, of Kaskas- 
kia, and Charles Dunn, Commissioners. 
These Commissioners were empowered, 
among other things, to locate the canal, 
lay out towns, to sell lots, and to apply 
the proceeds to the construction of the 
I In the autumn of 1829 the Commission- 
' ers came to Chicago, having employed 
'; James Thompson to survey and lay off 
• the town. His first map bears date Au- 
gust 4th, 1830. It is in the Recorder's 

Hon. S. D. Lockwood, now a resident 
of Batavia, Kane county, came up with 
the Commissioners in the autumn of 1829. 
"We are indebted to him and to Wm. H. 
Brown, Esq., for much valuable informa- 
tion in reference to the early history of 
the State. Both these gentlemen are 
among the oldest citizens in Illinois, as 
they landt'd at Shawncetown in 1818, the 
same year the Constitution was adopted. 
We have the men among us who have 
seen the State in her infancy, and now 
look upon her with pride, assuming a 

commanding position among the oldest 
States of the Union. 

The list of families residing here in the 
autumn of 1829, as given by Judge Lock- 
wood, is as follows : John Kinzie, the 
father of our present excellent Alderman, 
John H, Kinzie, resided on the north side, 
a little west of McCormick's factory. 
West of Mr. Kinzie's, near the site of the 
Galena Railroad's freight depot, east of 
Clark street, lived Dr. "Wolcott, son-in-law 
of Mr. Kinzie ; Dr. "Wolcott was. at the 
time, Indian Agent. Near the forks of 
the river, a little west of where Steele's 
warehouse now stands, John Miller kept 
a ^'' log tavern.'''' On the south side, near 
the present residence of James H Collins, 
Esq., a little south of the old fort, was 
the house of John B. Beaubieu. Besides 
these, there were some three or four Indi 
an traders living in log cabins on the west 

There were, of course, the officers and 
men connected with Fort Dearborn. Per 
haps we may as well pause here and 
notice the building of the fort, and some 
other facts connected with our earlier 
history. It was built 'by the Government 
in 1804, and manned with a company of 
about fifty men and three pieces of artii 
lery. Everything remained quiet till 1813 , 
when the war broke out with Great Brit 
am, and our Government, apprehensive 
that so distant a post among the savages 
could not be maintained, ordered it to be 
evaauated. The commander was required 
to distribute the government properly 
among the Indians, and to march with 
his troops to Fort Wayne. 

The fort was at that time well su'">plied 
with provisions and military stores, and 
might have maintained a siege for a long 
time against any force that the Indians 
could have brought against it ; and nearly 
all the officers remonstrated against carry- 
ing out the instructions ; but Capt. Hcald 
determined to obey to the letter the orders 
of his superiors. The Pottawatomies 
were well known to be hostile, but Capt. 
Heald called a council on the 12th of 
August, 1812, and laid the propositions of 
the Government before thcni, asking in 
return, an escort to Fort Wayne. Tins 



the Indians promised to give. The distri- 
bution was to be made the next day. 
During the night, lest the guns and ammu- 
nition which tliey -would necessarily be 
forced to leave, might prove a dangerous 
gift to the savages, the powder was thrown 
into the well, and the guns were broken 
and destroyed. The liquor shared the 
same fate. The cannon were thrown into 
the river. 

The next day the Indians came together 
to receive the presents, but their counte- 
nances betokened anger and deep-seated 
revenge when only the goods of the Unit- 
ed States factory were distributed among 
them. They charged the whites with bad 
faith, and left with feelings aroused to 
the highest pitch of resentment. In the 
afternoon Capt. Wells, the brother of Mrs. 
Heald, arrived from Fort Wayne with fif- 
teen friendly Miami Indians, to act as a 
guard in the retreat that was to follow. 
On the morning of the 15th of August 
the troops took up their line of march for 
Fort Wayne. Capt. Wells, with the 
friendly Miamis, acted as the advance 
guard : and a band of Pottawatomies, 
according to the stipulations made three 
days previous, followed at a short distance 
in the rear. They had proceeded in this 
order along the Lake shore about a mile 
and a half, to a point near the residence 
of Mrs. Clarke, when they were suddenly 
attacked by a party of Pottawatomies, 
who lay in ambush behind the sand hills 
upon the right of their line of march. 
Capt. Heald immediately ordered his men 
to form and charge the enemy, which 
movement was scarcely effected before 
they received a volley of balls from their 
savage foe. The troops did not flinch for 
a moment, but charged and dislodged the 
Indians iii front ; but their great numbers 
enabled them at once to turn the flanks of 
thfc troops, and to gain possession of the 
horses and baggage. At the first fire the 
Miamis galloped ofP, and could not be in- 
duced to join in the action. Capt. Heald, 
confident that further resistance was en- 
tirely vain, withdrew his troops to a small 
elevation, and awaited the movements of 
the enemy. They held a council, and soon 
their chiefs, of whom Black Partvirlne 

was the leader, motioned Capt. Heald to 
approach. They met, and Capt. Heald 
agreed to surrender, on condition that the 
lives of the prisoners should be spared. 
The troops delivered up their arms, and 
were marched back to the fort. The loss 
in the actios, and in the subsequent mas- 
sacre — for the Indians did not fully com- 
pi}'- with their agreement — was twenty-six 
of the regular troops, twelve — being the 
entire number of the militia — two women 
and twelve children— in all, fifty-two. 
The children were placed in a baggage 
wagon, and fell victims to the tomahawk 
of a single merciless savage, after the 
troops had surrendered. Capt. Wells was 
among the slain. Capt. Heald and his 
wife were also wounded, as also were 
Lieut, and Mrs. Helm. 

The next day the fort was plundered 
and burnt, and the prisoners were distrib- 
uted in various directions. The family 
of Mr. Kinzie were taken across to St. 
Joseph in a Mackinaw boat, and subse- 
quently to Detroit. In due time the pris- 
oners were ransomed, and found their 
way to their Eastern friends. No effort 
was made to re-establish the fort during 
the war. In 1816 it was rebuilt under 
the direction of Capt. Bradley. It 
continued to be occupied by a company of 
troops till 1837, wlien, the Indians hav- 
ing left the country for a long distance 
west of us, it was abandoned, On a part 
of the grounds of the fort our magnificent 
Marine Hospital now stands. The build- 
ings occupied by the olficers are most of 
them standing. To us the object of great- 
est interest is the old block house, and we 
wish here to put in an earnest plea that it 
may be preserved as long as one log will ' 'lie 
upon the other. " It is about the only relic 
of "hoary antiquity " in our city worth 
preserving. It was built thirty-eight years 
ago, when the whole country was filled 
with savages. Let it be surrounded with 
a neat iron fence, that we may be able to 
illustrate to our children the nature of the 
defenses which the early settlers of Chi 
cago were obliged to adopt. Let the giant 
arm of modern improvement, if necessary, 
sweep away every other vestige of Fort 
Dearborn, but let the shrill scream of the 



locomotive, as it brings up its long train of 
cars from the Gulf of Mexico, or rests 
from its labors after the mighty race of a 
thousand miles from the Atlantic seaboard, 
age after age, echo around this humble, 
but significant monument of the past. 

Our " oldest inhabitant," at least in one 
view of the subject, is our excellent fel- 
low citizen, Alderman John H. Kinzie. 
He was born in Canada, nearly opposite 
Detroit, and when an infant only a few 
mouths old, was brought to this city by 
Ills parents in 1804. He is a son of John 
Kinzie, mentioned above as an Indian 
trader. Mr. Kinzie settled here in that 
capacity in 1804, when the fort was first 
l»uilt. Our fellow citizen, Gurdon S. Hub- 
bard, Esq., .came here in 1818, and was then 
in the employ of the American Fur Com- 
pany, at the head of which was John Jacob 
Astor. He frequently was in the town for 
several days or weeks at a time, but neither 
Mr. Kiuzie nor Mr. Hubbard were settled 
here permanently till 1833 or 1834. Mr, 
Kinzie spent his boyhood here, but was 
afterwards located at Mackinaw and on 
the Upper Mississippi for many years. 

Our oldest permanent resident in the 
city is Col. R. J. Hamilton. In this view 
of the case, he is certainly entitled to the 
honor of being the ' ' oldest inhabitant. " 
He came here April 9th, 1831, and this 
lias been his home ever since. G. W. Dole, 
Esq., came here May 4th, 1831, and P. F. 
W. Peck, Esq., July loth of the same year. 
But though not living in the city limits, 
A. Clybourne, Esq., has been identified 
with it, or rather with the place that be- 
came Chicago, since August 5th, 1823. 
He has resided since that time on the west 
side of the North Branch, about three 
miles from Lake street bridge. The city 
limits extend north of his residence on 
the east side of the river. We have given 
the dates when each of these gentlemen 
•came to Chicago, and some of the cir- 
cumstances connected with the claims of 
each to the important distinction of being 
the "oldest inhabitant," and here we 
leave the decision to our readers, satisfied 
that neither of them would have dared to 
predict even ten years ago what Chicago 
■would be in the vear 1854. 

So far as we have been able to learn, 
the " oldest inhabitant " horn in Chicago, 
and now living here, is a lady — we beg 
pardon for saying it — she is an unmarried 
lady. Be not amazed, ye spruce, anxious 
bachelors, and if you can count your gray 
hairs by scores, stand aside, for we are 
quite sure there is no chance for you. 
She is not only an unmarried lady, but a 
YOUNG LADY, Only tweuty-two years of 
age, as she was born in Fort Dearborn in 
the early part of 1832. "We have not the 
pleasure of her acquaintance, and at the 
peril of incurring her displeasure, we 
venture to state that the '' oldest native 
inhabitant " of Chicago, a city of more 
than 60,000 people, is Miss Ellen Hamilton, 
the daughter of our good friend, Col. R. 
J. Hamilton. 

In 1818, when Gurdon S. Hubbard, Esq., 
came to Chicago, there were but two white 
families here. John Kinzie lived on the 
north side, a little west of where Mc- 
Cormick's factory now stands. Antoine 
Oulimette, a French trader, who had mar- 
ried an Indian woman, lived near the 
ground now occupied by the Lake House. 
The fort was occupied by a detachment of 
troops under the command of Captain 
Bradley The American Fur Company 
had trading posts at convenient distances 
all through this country. At that time 
only a single schooner of 30 or 40 tons 
was sent around from Buffalo with pro- 
visions for the fort, during the summer 

In the fall of 1828, the Winnebagoes, 
who inhabited the territory west of us, 
became restless, and threatened the de- 
struction of the fort. Our fellow citizen, 
Gurdon S. Hubbard, Esq , went alone on 
horseback to the settlements on the 
"Wabash, and procured reinforcements. 
He was absent only seven days. The 
Indians were pacified by the presence of 
a large force under General Atkinson, and 
very little mischief was done, beyond the 
murder of a few travelers. 

Col. R. J. Hamilton came to this city, 
as above stated, in April, 1831. Cook 
county had been orgajiizcd tlie month pre- 
vious. He soon obtained a high position 
among his fellow citizens, and at that 



time, young and full of energy and vigor, 
and not the man to sliriuk from responsi- 
bility, we wonder that he was not crushed 
with the weight of the " blushing honors " 
that fell to his share of the spoils in the 
new county of Cook. In the course of 
the year, he became Judge of Probate 
Recorder, County Clerk; discharged 
gratuitously the duties of Treasurer, and 
was Commissioner of Schools. The 'good 
Colonel would find his hands full were he 
to fulfill the duties of all these offices 
at the present time. We have availed our- 
selves of his early and accurate knowl- 
edge of events for most of the facts which 
are contained in some half dozen of the 
succeeding paragraphs. 

The county of Cook, in 1831, embraced 
all the territory now included in the 
counties of Lake, McHgnry, Dupage, Will 
and Iroquois. At that time Fort Delrborn 
was occupied by two companies of U. 8. 
Infantry, under the command of Major 
Fowle. The resident citizens were Mr. 
Elijah Wentworth and family, occupying 
a house partly log and partly frame, 
owned by Mr. James Kinzie, and situated 
on the ground now occupied by Mr. Nor- 
ton as a lumber yard. Mr. W. kept a 
tavern, the best in Chicago. In the vicin- 
ity of this tavern resided Mr. James Kin- 
zie and family, Mr. William See and 
family, Mr. Alexander Robinson and 
family— now living on the Des Plaines— 
and Mr. Robert A. Kinzie, who had a 
store composed of drygoods-a large por- 
tion of them Indian goods— groceries, etc 
Across the North Branch of the Chicago 
river, and nearly opposite Mr. Went- 
worth's tavern, resided Mr. Samuel Miller 
and family, and with them Mr. John Mil- 
ler, a brother.. Mr. Miller also kept 
tavern. On the east side of the South 
Branch, and immediately above the junc- 
tion with the North Branch, resided Mr 
Mark Beaubien and family, who also kept 
tavern ; and a short distance above him 
on the South Branch resided a Mr Bour- 
isso, an Indian trader. Between Mark 
Beaubien's tavern and Fort Dearborn 
there were no houses, except a small log 
cabin, near the foot of Dearborn street 
and used as an Indian trading house' 

Near the garrison, and immediately south 
on the property sold by James II. Collins' 
Esq., to the Illinois Central Railroad 
Company, was the residence of J. B 
Beaubien and family, who was connected 
with the American Fur Company in the 
Indian trade. He had near his residence 
a store, containing such g .ods as were 
suitable to that business. A short distance 
south of him on the lake was a house, 
then unoccupied. 

On the north side of the river and im- 
mediately opposite the garrison, stood the 
old " Kinzie House," as it was commonly 
called, which was also then unoccupied, 
and in a very dilapidated state. A short 
distance above, on the main branch i* the 
river, and on the grouncfnow occupied by 
theChicagoandGalenaRailroad Company, 
stood what had been the Government 
Agency house, and known to the " oldest 
inhabitant" as " Cobweb Castle." That 
was then unoccupied. Dr. Wolcott, the 
Government Agent, having died the fall 
before. In its vicinity were several small 
log buildings for the accommodation of 
the blacksmith, interpreter, and others 
connected with the Agency. The black- 
smith then occupying one of the buildings 
was a Mr. McGee, now living in Dupage 
county. Billy Caldwell, the principal 
chief of the Ottawa, Pottawatomie and 
Chippewa Indians, occupied another. He 
was then Interpreter for the Agency. 
Col. Thomas J. V. Owen, who had been 
the wintfer before appointed to succeed 
the late Dr. Wolcott, had not then taken 
up his residence in Chicago ; G. Kerche- 
val, who was then sub-Agent, was then 
here. Dr. E. Harmon, the father of C. L. 
Harmon, and James Harrington of Gen- 
eva, Kane county, had taken up their 
residence here, and were making claims 
on the lake shore— Dr. Harmon where 
Mrs. Clarke now lives, and Mr. H. imme- 
diately north and adjoining. 

Here we have some dozen families in 
the spring of 1831— only twexty-tiikee 
TEARS AGO— constituting, with the officers 
and soldiers in the fort, the entire popula- 
tion of Chicago. Now, the city numbers 
more than sixty thousand, and its blocks 
of splendid stores, its fine churches, its 



railroads, and extensive commerce, are 
the wonder and admiration of all. We 
have never spent much time in reading 
works of fiction, but if there is anything 
in that dreamy literature more astonish- 
ing than these facts, we certainly have 
never seen it. 

In June following, the garrison, by 
order of the Secretary of War, was aban- 
doned by the troops, and left in charge of 
Col. T. J. V. Owen, the Government 
Agent of the Ottawa, Pottawatomie, and 
Chippewa Indians; and by September, the 
fort, together with the old Kinzie House 
and the one on the lake shore (formerly 
vacant), were filled with emigrant families. 
In t*e latter part of September, the pay- 
ment of the Indian annuities was made 
by Col. Owen. There were present on 
that occasion about four thousand Indians, 
and among them was a deputation of eight 
Sauk and Fox Indians belonging to the 
band of the celebrated Black Hawk. 
Their object was to induce the Ottawas, 
Pottawatomies and Chippewas, to join 
them in their contemplated invasion of the 
Rock River country, and to wrest it from 
the whites, who, they alleged^had ob- 
tained it fraudulentl3^ Had it not been 
for the influence of Billy Caldwell, 
little doubt was entertained of the success 
of the mission. Caldwell was well ad- 
vised of the weakness of the Indians, and 
the strength of the Government, and by 
his influence and representations, pre- 
vented the alliance. After the payment, 
a scene of drunkenness, debauchery and 
violence occurred, such as is never wit- 
nessed, except at an Indian payment. 

During the fall, in the month of No- 
vember, the schooner Marengo, belonging 
to Oliver Newberry of Detroit, arrived. 
She had been looked for with much anxiety 
for some weeks. She encountered a heavy 
gale on Lake Michigan, which was just 
subsiding on her arrival. There being no 
harbor, she anchored out in the lake, more 
than half a mile from the shore, nearly in 
front of the fort, where she remained 
until the lake had become suflicieutly calm 
to unload. This could only be done by 
the aid of small boats, crossing the bar at 
the mouth of the river which then emptied 

into the lake near the foot of Randolph 
street. The "Marengo" was commanded 
by Captain Stewart, a veteran sailor who 
had long been in the employment of Mr. 
Newberry. The Telegraph, which arrived 
in July, and the Marengo, were the only 
arrivals during the season, except the one 
that transported the troops to Green Bay. 
The principal part of the population of 
Chicago during the winter of 1831-2 oc- 
cupied the quarters in the garrison, and 
were ministered to, in the way of creature 
comforts, by our estimable citizen, Geo. 
W. Dole, who was the only merchant then 
in Chicago, except Mr. R. A. Kinzie at 
''Wolf Point," which was the name given' 
to the " settlement " at the junction of the 
North and South Branches, where Mr. 
Norton's lumber yard is now located. 

The winter was Jong and intensely cold, 
and the population of the surrounding 
country so sparse, that no traveler could 
be found suflJciently reckless to traverse 
it. There were then no mail routes, post 
roads nor post offices at Chicago, and the 
only means its inhabitants had of knowing 
anything of the world was by sending a 
half-breed Indian once in two weeks to 
Niles,inMichigan,to procure all the papers, 
both old and new, that could be had. 
'' Great caution," sa3'^s Colonel Hamilton, 
" was exercised in reading the old Jirst, 
that we might be properly advised of events 
in the world as they occurred. The trip 
was made on foot, and usuallj'^ occupied 
a week. The arrival of " the m,aiV' was 
an event of quite as much interest then as 
it is now ; but notwithstanding our exclu- ' 
sion from the world, we were not unhappy, ' 
and doubtless enjoyed ourselves as well as 
its inhabitants now do." 

" A debating society was formed, com- 
posed of most of the male inhabitants of 
the fort, over which presided our venerable 
fellow-citizen, J. B. Beaubien, with much 
efficiency and dignity. Although not very 
conversant with ' Jefferson's Manual,' he 
had no occasion to use it, as every member 
was disposed to be orderly and behave 
himself; and each and all felt bound to 
contribute as much as possible to the gen- 
eral sum of knowledge and usefulness. 
To vary the amusement, a dance wns oc- 



casionally got up at the house of Mark 
Beaubien, Esq., and for those who had no 
taste for such amusement, a religious 
meeting was held generally once a week 
in the Fort, by the late Mark Noble, Jr. , 
and his wife and two daughters, and Mrs. 
R. J. Hamilton, who were all members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church." 

These early meetings had a most happy 
effect upon all within their influence. Mrs. 
R. J. Hamilton, first wife of Col. H., 
contributed very much to their interest, 
as she was a lady of great intelligence, 
enlarged views, and devoted piety. She 
was for many years among the first in 
all religious and benevolent enterprises. 

Col. Hamilton pays a just tribute to the 
zeal and piety of Mr. Noble. He was the 
principal speaker at all these meetings, and 
his exertions in the cause of truth were 
greatly blessed. He was a man of prac- 
tical common sense, and large experience, 
and was fitted for a "standard bearer" 
on the borders of civilization. It will be 
seen that the Methodists were here, as 
almost everywhere, the pioneers in Chris- 
tianity. They did not, however, establish 
the first church, as will be seen further on 
in our sketches. 

Thus passed the winter of 1831-2. On 
the approach of spring, it was announced 
that "Black Hawk," a Sauk chief, was 
moving up Rock river, with about five 
hundred Sauk and Fox Indians, with 
demonstrations of a hostile character, un- 
less he could be permitted to remain on 
the lands formerly ceded to the United 
States. The rumor was confirmed by the 
arrival of the Hon. Richard M. Young, at 
Fort Dearborn, who was then one of the 
Circuit Judges of the State, and within 
whose judicial district Chicago was at that 
time. ' Judge Young was accompanied by 
Benj amin Mills, Esq. , then a leading mem- 
ber of the Illinois bar, and our late fellow- 
citizen. Col. Strode, all from Galena. 
They had come by the way of Dixon, 
and from the conduct of the Indians as- 
sembled there, were convinced of their 
hostile intentions. Before the adjourn- 
ment of the court other intelligence arrived 
confirmatory of these statements. The 
Indians continued to move up Rock river 

until they arrived at the Kishwaukie, a 
tributary of Rock river, where they made 
a halt. An expedition was organized 
under the command of Major Stillman, 
of Peoria, from the counties of Tazewell 
and Peoria, principally with the object, as 
then understood, to watch the movements 
of the Indians and protect the few settle- 
ments on the extreme frontier from their 
depredations; but with the further under- 
standing, that they were not to strike the 
first blow. They proceeded up Rock riv er 
until within a few miles of the Indian en- 
campment, and by some want of discipline 
and caution, an action was brought on 
against a portion of the Indians, which 
resulted in a disastrous defeat and total 
rout of the whole of Major Slillman's 
force. Almost immediately after the de- 
feat of Major Stillman, the Indians, in 
bands, made a descent on the settlements 
on Fox river, at Hollenback's and Holder- 
man's Grove, and at other points on the 
river where there were settlements, burn- 
ing the houses and destroying the prop- 
erty, and had it not been for the friendly 
interposition and warnings of Shabbo-nee,* 
an Ottawa chief, who, till within a few 
years, lived at Shabbona's Grove, many 
of the people must have been massacred. 
Some barely escaped, being suflBciently 
near to witness the smoke ascending from 
their burning houses — what few inhabi- 
tants were in the surrounding country 
made their way to Chicago, to seek safety 
in Fort Dearborn, and by the 10th of May 
the Fort contained a population of near 
seven hundred souls, two-thirds of whom 
'were women and children. This great 
disproportion of women and children was 
occasioned by the male heads of families 
taking their provisions and whatever else 
they could muster to drive their stock into 
the settled parts of the country, mostly on 
the Wabash. Col. Owen, the government 
agent, was then in charge of the Fort, and 
no effort on his part was spared to accom- 
modate all that came. He had himself a 

* I often saw him in the streets of Chicago. He 
was not very tall ; but he was a broad-shouldered, 
stalwart specimen of the Indian. He died a few 
years ago, and was buried in the cemetery at Morris, 
Grundy county. 



large family and occupied the comman- 
der's quarters, but lie confined himself to 
a single room, and gave up the rest to 
those who came in from the country. 
Gholson Kercheval and CoL Hamilton 
were appointed quartermasters to arrange 
quarters equitably among the people, and 
in many cases fifteen and twenty occupied 
a room that would not more than com- 
fortably accommodate a family of four or 
five persons. 

Information was again received through 
" Billy Caldwell," by Col. Owen, that the 
hostile chiefs were tampering with the 
Ottawa, Pottawatomie and Chippewa In- 
dians belonging to his agency, and that in 
consequence of the success in the fight at 
Kishwaukie, many of the young men were 
strongly inclined to join them. It was 
with difficulty the chiefs could restrain 
them. A consultation was had with Messrs. 
Robinson and Caldwell, both influential 
chiefs among the Indians, who advised an 
immediate council with the principal chief s 
together with some of their young men, 
at which Col. Owen was to address them, 
and let them know distinctly that if they 
formed any alliance or connection with 
Black Hawk, or furnished them men or 
aid of any kind, the Government would 
hold them to a strict accountability for it, 
and would punish them severely. The 
council was held at or near the place where 
the Rev. Mr. Richardson's church now 
stands, in the North Division of the city. 
There were present a number of the chiefs 
of the United Nations, including Caldwell 
and Robinson, and Col. Owen, and Col. 
R. J. Hamilton on the part of the Govern- 
ment. The council was opened by a few 
remarks from Caldwell to the chiefs. 
Blackfoot, a chief of considerable influ- 
ence and power, then addressed the council. 
He recounted many of their grievances, 
and charged the Government with gross 
injustice towards them, and concluded by 
remarking that now was a good time to 
redress them. His speech was evidently 
well received by the young men. Col. 
Owen followed him, and his boldness, 
energy, and the scathing rebuke he ad- 
ministered to Blackfoot changed the whole 
current of feeling against the chief. The 

Indians retired for a few minutes, and then 
returned presenting their hands to Col. 
Owen, declaring their friendship to the 
Government, and offering to furnish a 
hundred braves to march against Black- 
hawk, if desired. Thus terminated tliis 
council; small and insignificant as it may 
noAV seem to have been, yet it was produc- 
tive of important results. To the unwa- 
vering friendship of Caldwell, and the 
bold, energetic conduct of Col. Owen be- 
fore the council, the inhabitants of Chicago 
were indebted f.)r their safety in the con- 
test which followed. 

Late in tlie mouth of May, 1832, a small 
force consisting of twenty-five men, was 
organized in the fort under the command 
of Capt. J. B. Brown, with Capt. Joseph 
Naper and Col. R. J. Hamilton, for the 
purpose of securing the frontier on Fox 
river, and to ascertain from personal ob- 
servation the exteitof the depredations 
committed on the property of the inhabit- 
ants. It was also intendad to render aid 
to the inhabitants settled on the Dupage 
river, who had assembled at Mr. James 
Walker's where Plaiufield now stands, and 
erected a small fort for Iheir protection. 
After leaving the fort on the Dupage, where 
they had remained a day, rendeiing such 
assistance as was desired, the expedition 
proceeded to Holdermau's Grove. The In- 
dians had but recently left it after having 
destroyed all the personal property found 
in the house and around the i^remises, and 
scattered the fragments about the yard. 
The provisions which were not taken away 
were destroyed. 

On the thi- d evpning after their departure 
from Fort Dearborn the compa-iy encamp- 
ed about three miles from Ilohlermau's 
Grove, in the direction of Holleuback's 
Grove, on Fox river. Some time before 
daylight, Mr. G. E. Walker, of Ottawa, 
arrived at the camp and stated that a man 
had arrived at that place (Ottaw;i) and 
reported that considerable firing had been 
heard on Indian creek, about fii'teeu miles 
from Ottawa, at the residence of a Mr. 
Davis, where the families of Davis, Hall 
and Pettigrew had assembled for mutual 
protection, and a short time afterwards a 
young man, a son of Mr. Hall's, arrived 



and confirmed the statemeut. He also 
stated that he was at work in the field 
about a mile from the house, heard the 
firing and saw the Indians. 

Upon receiving this information, Capt. 
Brown immediately marched the company, 
with all possible dispatch, to In iiau creek 
where the firing had been heard. Some 
five or six, a part of whom had joined 
the expedition on the route, left it and 
returned to afford protection to their 
respective families. The company ar- 
rived at Mr. Davis' residence between 
nine and ten o'clock, a. m. The scene 
there, as described by Colonel Hamilton, 
was the most painful that could well be 
imagined. Some thirteen dead bodies, 
composed of the families of Davjs, Hall 
and Pettigrew, lay in the house and about 
the yard, consisting of men, women and 
children, who had been shot, speared, 
tomahawked, scalped and mutilated in the 
most cruel manner. Davis was a black- 
smith, and apparently a very athletic man. 
At the* moment of the attack he was in 
his shop, and started for'the house about 
seventy-five or a hundred yards distant, 
for the purpose, no doubt, of assisting to 
protect the families there. He was at- 
tacked a short distance from the shop, 
and from every indication a severe contest 

By liis side, or near him, lay a large Ken- 
tucky rifle, which had been fired, and after- 
ward used in a hmd-to-hand fight, as its 
stock was much shattered, and its breech 
broken. The bodies were collected and 
buried as well as they could be, under the 
circumstances, after which the expedition 
went to Ottawa, where the}^ fell in with 
Major Bailey, with a company from Taze- I 
well Co.,whohadbeenin the late disastrous | 
Stillman expedition against the Indians at 
Ivisliwaukie, a par^ of winch, together with 
Major Badey, joined Capt. Brown. The 
whole detachment proceeded to Chicago 
under the command of Major Bailey. On 
the route to Chicago, the guide to the ex- 
pedition, a half-breed Indian, reported at 
several points large fre-h Indian f<i[iiis. 
Much solicitude was felt for the families 
at Walker's on the Dupage, and some time 
after daik a man by the name of Payne 

was hailed, who had just come alone from 
Chicago, and was on his way to Ottawa. 
The dangers of the route were made 
known In him, and efforts were made to 
retain hi a with the expedition. He, how- 
ever, announced himself an ambassador 
of God, and said he would be safe from 
any attac kby the Indians. It was evident 
he wa^jKirtially insane, and he could not 
be induced to change his He 
had a long flowing beard, and venerable 
appearance. He was probably killed the 
same day, as his head was found two 
weeks afterward stuck on a pole in the 
prairie, and his body some half mile dis- 
tant from the head. Our fellow-citizen, 
Giirdon t5. Hubbard, Esq., was in the 
party that found him. Major Bailey and 
his command encamped the same evening 
at the fort on the Dupage, and started 
early the next morning with the families 
in the fort, and all their movable eff"ects 
that could be transported in ox and horse 
teams, and arrived late in the evening at 
Chicago, after an absence of ten days. 
The fort was immediately organized as a 
military post, and placed under the com- 
mand of Major Bailey. 

Two young ladies, by the name of Hall, 
were captured at Indian creek, and retained 
for some two weeks, when they were given 
up by a party of friendly Indians to Gov. 
Dodge, of Wisconsin. They were treated 
with great kindness and respect wliile they 
were captives. The massacre of the people 
of Indian creek occurred on the 21st of 

In the meantime, three thousand militia 
were ordered out from Peoria and the 
counties south of it, and marched to Rock 
river, where they were joined by a detach- 
ment of regular troops from Fort Arm- 
strong, under General Atkinson. A party 
of one hundred and fifty militia under the 
command of Major Dement, fell in with a 
detachment of Indians, commanded by 
Black [lawk hims' If, somewhere between 
Rock river and Galena. An action en- 
sued, m which the Indians were routed. 
The main army continued to, move up 
Rock river, around tne heaa waters ol 
which it was said the Indians w ere con- 



Oa the 21st of July, General Henry, 
commanding an advanced party of the 
army, came up with the Indians between 
the Blue Mounds and the Wisconsin river. 
The troops were formed into a hollow 
square, and all attempts to break the line 
by the sava;^es were in vain. A general 
charge was finally made by the troops, 
when the Indians were forced to jetreat, 
with the loss of between fifty and sixty of 
their number. 

The Indians continued their retreat 
to the northwest, crossed the Wisconsin 
river, and moved up the east bank of the 
Mississippi. About fifty miles above 
Prairie du Chien, they were again over- 
taken and completely routed, with the loss 
of one hundred and fifty warriors. This 
victory completely broke the power of 
Black Hawk, and ended the war. He was 
captured by a party of Winnebagoes, and 
delivered up to the officers of the United 
States at Prairie du Chien, on the 27th of 
August, 1832. 

Early in the season General Scott was 
ordered to leave the seaboard and gather 
up all the troops on his route westward, 
and repair to Chicago. The Indians were 
entirely defeated before he was able to 
join the army. 

On the 21st of September, 1832, all these 
difficulties were arranged by a treaty made 
at Fort Armstrong, (Rock Island,) by 
General Scott and Governor Reynolds, 
with the Sauk and Fox Indians, by which 
they relinquished all their claim to Eastern 
Iowa, and agreed to move west of the 
Missouri. Annuities were to be paid to the 
several bands, and a reservation of forty 
miles square was made to the principal 
Chief, Keokuk, and a portion of his fol- 

We are indebted to P. F. W. Peck, 
Esq., for the facts contained in several of 
the succeeding paragraphs : 

In July, A. D. 1831, the schooner Tele- 
graph, of Ashtabula, Ohio, Captain 
Joseph and John Napcr, arrived at Chicago 
with a number of families, their own 
among the number, who soon after left 
and settled the place now known as 
Naperville. The village took its name 
from Captain Joseph Naper, he being 

the first white settler upon its present 

Mr. Peck left New York City in the 
month of May of that year (1831), with a 
small stock of goods for a ^'■market,'" 
having previously determined upon a 
western home. Accidentally becoming 
acquainted with Captain Joseph Naper, 
at Bufi'alo, at which place the schooner 
was then loading for "Fort Dearborn," 
(Chicago), that gentleman, with character- 
istic frankness, invited Mr. Peck to em- 
bark with him and seek a home in that ' 
remote region, then but little known.where 
Capt. N. had previously determined to 
remove with his family. Mr. P. readily 
accepted, and left Buffalo with Capt. N. 
about the 1st of June, A. D. 1831, and 
arrived at Chicago after a passage of two 
months from the city of New York. 

Probably many years prior to this ar- 
rival, no structure of any kind had been 
added to the small number of log cabins 
which, with the buildings of the garrison, 
constituted the town of Chicago ; and the 
only addition to its growth during that 
year was a small log store for Mr. Peck, 
shortly after his arrival, and which he 
owned and occupied until late in the fall 
of that year. It was built near the garri- 
son, a few rods northwest of the land on 
which Col. Beaubien formerly resided, 
and which James H. Collins, Esq., recently 
sold to the Illinois Central Railroad Com- 

It was after some deliberation and ad- 
vice, that Mr. P. determined to locate in 
"the lower village," instead of at "the 
Point," (West Side, ) which latter sl ttlemen t 
was then, bethinks, rather in the ascendant. 
Rival feelings, to some extent, existed at 
the time between the people of' those lo- 
calities, both contending that they pos- 
sessed superior advantages for the site of 
the future village of Chicago. 

Shortly before Mr. Peck's arrival, the 
Canal Commissioners had subdivided into 
town lots part of Sec. 9, (the Old Town) 
and given titles to a few of the lots to 
diff'erent purchasers. "Fort Dearborn" 
(fractional section 10) was not then subdi- 
vided, and much uncertainty existed as 
to the time, and under what auspices it 



would ultimately be done. These circum- 
staaces very much promoted the interests 
of land owners at " Wolf Point." 

Mr. P. says that his young and fertile 
imagination presented before him as pos- 
sible to be built up within a reasonable 
time, the village church, schoolhouse, doc- 
tor's and lawyer's office ; a tavern, more 
fashionable than that kept by "■Jolly Mark," 
a blacksmith, shoemaker, and tailor's shop, 
and: a tew painted stores and dwellings; 
and that his newly found home would be- 
come a respectable consolidated village, at 
one or the other of these two extreme stttle- 
meiits, for then no intermediate lots were 
considered to be'of much importance. 

Late in the fall of 1831, Mr. Peck re- 
ceived from New York, via the Lakes, a 
stock of goods with which, and the small 
stock he had previously in trade, he re- 
moved into Naper's settlement, and unit- 
ed in business with Capt. Joseph Naper, 
and remained with him until the spring 
of 1833, when the Sauk war drove the 
people into Chicago. 

Mr. Peck has ever since resided in Chi- 
cago, having immediately after the ter- 
mination of Indian hostilities resumed 
mercantile business in a building then 
owned by S. Miller, Esq., North Side, at the 
junction of the North and South Branch- 
es, which for several previous years had 
been occupied by Messrs. Miller & Cly- 
bourne, as a store for Indian trade. Dur- 
ing the fall of 1832, and while occupying 
the building before mentioned, Mr. P. 
caused to be raised the frame of the 
building now owned by him, and situated 
on the southeast corner of South Water and 
LaSalle streets, which was finished and 
occupied by him early in May, A. D. 18o3, 
a5 appears by vouchers for its payment 
which he has exhibited to us. It is built 
of black walnut and oak lumber. The 
lumber was hauled from Walker's mills 
— now Plainfield — forty miles southwest 
fr^m Chicago, and is believed to have 
been the first lumber ever sawed in Cook 
county. Plainfield is now in Will county. 

In this building Mr. Peck continued 
business until the fall of 1835, at which 
time he disposed of his entire stock in 
trade to Thomas Hartzell, Esq., then of 

Hennepin, and now a resident of this city, 
and one of the oldest and most respect- 
able settlers of Northern Illinois. He 
thinks the store above mentioned was the 
first frame building built on the south side 
of the river; but G. W. Dole, Esq., 
assures us tliet his old warehouse, on the 
southeast corner of Dearborn and South 
AVater streets, was completed and occu- 
pied by him in the fall of 1832. Mr. 
Dole then lived in a small log building, 
now covered with siding, which stands 
two or three doors east of the old ware- 
house on Water street. The warehouse 
has for some years been occupied for 

In the rear of this building, and in 
front of the Tremont House, Mr. Dole 
slaughtered, in the fall of 1832, the first 
lot of cattle, in all two hundred head, 
ever packed in Chicago. They were 
driven from the Wabash Valley, and cost 
him $2.75 per cwt. He also slaughtered 
in the same place and packed 350 hogs 
from the same locality, for which he 
gave $3 per cwt. Here was the nucleus 
of the immense "packing" business now 
done in Chicago. It cannot amount to 
muchlessthan .$1,500,000 per annum, and 
Chicago beef has obtained the first place 
in the markets of the world. 

Mr. Peck has also shown us his original 
document for the purchase of Lot 4, Block 
18, in the Old Town of Chicago. It is as 
follows : 

CmcAGO, Aug. 15, 1831. 

Eeceived of P. F. W. Peck, eighty dol- 
lars, in full for Lot No. 4, Block 18, in the 
plan of the town of Chicago, and in full 
for all claims to this date. 

W. F. Walker. 

This lot is at the southeast corner of 
South Water and LaSalle streets, fronting 
80 feet on South Water and 150 feet on La- 
Salle street, and entire is now valued in 
our table at $42,500. Mr. P. retains a part 
of the lot only, having sold the largest 
portion of ii soon after his purchase. He 
has also exhibited to us a receipt of his 
taxes for 1833, signed S. Forbes, Sheriff, 
amounting to $3.50. The books of the 
proper officers will show that he has paid, 
for general and special assessments, for 



the past year, about $5,000. Mr. Peck is 
but one among a score in our city whose 
taxes would show as large, and some of 
them even larger figures. 

Early in 1832, Chicago received quite 
an addition to her citizens. Among those 
now residents of the city, w« remember 
Dr. Maxwell, G. W. Snow, Philo Carpen- 
ter, John S. "Wright, and Dr. Kimberly. 

Goiag back to 1S31, we find that the 
Commissioaers' Court, under the act or- 
ganizing the county, was opened March 
8th of that year. The first record we 
have is that "Samuel Miller, Gholson 
Kercheval and James Walker, Commis- 
sioners for Cook county, were sworn into 
ofiice by J. S. C. Hogan, Justice of the 
Peace. William See was a^jpointed Clerk 
of the Commissioners' Court, who, after 
being duly sworn and giving bonds 
' according to law, the Court proceeded 
to business.' Archibald Clybourne was 
appointed County Treasurer, and an 
order passed that the ' S. W. fraction of 
Sec. 10 in T. 39 N., R. U East of the 
third principal meridian, be entered for 
County purposes.' At the next meeting, 
March 9th, the Treasurer is authorized to 
borrow one hundred dollars, willi wliich 
to enter the land before mentioned, and 
he is directed ' not to give more than six 
per cent, interest.' It is also ordered that 
Jesse Walker be employed to enter the 
land, that .Jedediah Wooley be nominated 
to the Governor for County Surveyor, and 
that tliere be three precincts in the county 
of Cook, to wit : 'the Chicago Precinct,' 
the 'Hickory Creek Precinct,' and the 'Du- 
page Precinct.' The boundaries of these 
three precincts were established. Judges 
of Election appointed, and the times and 
the places of holding the same. Grand 
and Petit Jurors were selected,'and some 
other minor business transacted, when the 
' Court adjourned until Court in course.' " 

April 13th, 1831. — A special term was 
held. The record says : " Court was 
called at the hour of ten o'clock in the 
morning, and Samuel Miller and Gholson 
Kercheval being present, formed a quo- 
rum, and proceeded to business. 

^'Ordered, That there be a half per 
cent, levied on the following description 

of property, to wit : On town lots, on 
pleasure carriages, on distilleries, on all 
horses, mules and neat cattle above the 
age of three years ; on watches, with 
their appurtenances, and on all clocks." 

Elijah Wentworth and Samuel Miller 
were licensed to keep a tavern in the 
town of Chicago, and taxed therefor the 
sum of |7 and $5 respectively. The fol- 
lowing financial measure, the second 
recorded in the history of Chicago, was 
also adopted, and as one of the "quorum" 
on this occasion wa^ also one of the pros- 
pective "tavern keepers," we have aright 
to presume that the tariff was fairly ad- 

" Ordered, That the following rates be 
allowed to tavern keepers, to wit : 

Each half pint of wine, rum or brandy 25 cents. 

Each pint do Ziy^ " 

" half pint of gin 18% " 

" pint do 3H4 " 

" gill of whisky ej^ " 

" half pint do 1214 " 

" pint do. ... ; ]8Ji "• 

For each breakfast and supper 25 " 

" dinner 37^ " 

" horse feed 25 " 

Keeping horse one night 50 " 

Lodging for each man per night V2}4 " 

For cider or beer, one pint 63i " 

" " quart t'i^ " 

The first licensed merchants in Cook 
county, as appears from the licenses 
granted at this time, were B. Laughton, 
Robert A. Kinzie, Samuel Miller; and the 
first auctioneer, .James Kiuzie. Russell E. 1 
Heacock was licensed to keep a tavern at I 
his residence. 

Initiatory steps were taken for the es- 
tablishment of a ferry across both 
branches of Chicago river, at the forks, 
over which the people of Cook county, 
with their " traveling apraties " were to be 
passed free. Rates of ferriage were speci- 
fied for outsiders, and a ferry scotv^ was 
purchased from Samuel Miller for sixty- 
five dollars. At the next meeting of the 
Court, Mark Beaubien filed his bond for 
$200, with James Kiuzie as security, and 
having agreed to pa}' into the Treasury 
fifty dollars, and "to ferry all citizens of 
Cook county free," became the first ferry- 
man of Chicago. 

During vacation of Court, permits to 
sell goods were obtained from the clerk 
by Alexander Robinson, John B. Beaubiea 



and Madore Beaubien, thus adding by so 
many to the number of Cook county 

At the next term of Court, June 6th, 
Jesse Walker, who had been commissioned 
to enter the hmd selected for county pur- 
poses, reported that he had been refused 
permission to enter tho same, and paid 
back the money put into his hands for 
that purpose. 

The fees received by the members of 
the Commissioners' Court during this 
period were, as appears from appropria- 
tions made them, at the rate of $1.50 per 
day, for actual term time, and were paid 
in county orders. Joseph Leflenboys was 
added to the list of merchants ; also, 
Mark Beaubien and O. Newberry. 

Certain blocks and lots having been 
given to the county by the " Canal Com- 
missioners," it was thought proper to dis- 
pose of them, with the exception of the 
Public Square, and accordingly a "sail of 
lots" — we use the spelling of the record — 
was advertised to take place on the first 
Monday in July following. This semi- 
nautical proceeding was probably the first 
of the speculative and numerous land 
sales of which Chicago has since been 
the theatre. In return, probably, for the 
liberal donation received from the Canal 
Commissioners, and, as also perhaps con- 
sidered the best aad only method of ex- 
tending to them the " hospitalities of the 
county," it was "ordered that the county 
pay the Canal Commi'^sioiiers' ferriage 
during their stay at Chicago on canal 
business," all of which ferriage, according 
to Mark Beaubien's account, afterwards 
presented and paid, amounted to the 
enormous sum of seven dollars and thirty- 
three ceQts. In these days of paved streets 
and present and prospective plank roads 
and railroads, it is also interesting to 
glance at another order, having in view 
the opening of the first two highways of 
which any definite history has come down 
to us. The first provides for the viewing 
of a road to the west boundary of the 
count}^, in a direction toward the mouth 
of Fox river, as' follows : " From the town 
of Chicago to the house of B. Laughton, 
from thence to the house of James Walk- 

er on the Dupage river, and so on to the 
west line of the cou;ity, and that Elijah 
Wentvorth, R. E. Ileacock and Timothy 
B. Clark be the viewers." The other is a 
road "from the town of Chicago, the near- 
est and best way to the house of the widow 
Brown, on ' Hycory creek,' and that 
James Kinzie, Archibald Clybourne and 
II. E. Heacock be the viewers." What 
would widow Brown now say were she to 
count from the cupola of Ihe Tremout 
House the eighty trains of cars that daily 
arrive and depart f^om this city? And for 
aught we know she may have done so, 
for it is only twenty-three years since her 
house was made the terminus of the 
"original survey" of one of the first ave- 
nues from Chicago. 

The vexed question, whether our pres- 
ent splendid Court House, with all its 
roomy and convenient public ofllces, 
stands on a " square " or a "skew," is re- 
solved into a matter of insignificance, 
when it is remembered at how recent a 
date, as the archives inform us, the Sher- 
iff was authorized "to provide, on the 
best terms in his power, to secure a prison 
sufficient to hold prisoners for the time 
being," or when, as in tlie present instance, 
the "court adjourned until court in course, 
to the house of William See " 

The aflfairs of the county appear to- 
have been managed during these primeval 
times with commendable prudence, econ- 
omy and good faith, for we find subse- 
quently that Jas. Kinzie, having, in his. 
official capacity, disposed of the laud* 
given to the county by the Canal Com- 
missioners, was allowed a count}^ order 
for |14.58f , being at the rate of 2^ per 
cent, for the first $200, and one per cent, 
for all over that sum, for his services as 
"auxineer" — we use the spelling of the 
record — "in the sail of . lots" elsewhere 

The mercantile corps of Cook county 
was meanwhile increased by the addition 
of four new firms, viz.: Brewster, Hogan 
& Co., Peck, Walker & Co., Joseph 
Naper and Nicholas Boilvin. It, per- 
haps, ought not to be omitted, that Mark 
Beaubien, who, from all accounts, was not 
an unworthy pioneer to Chicago enterprise 



and ambition, not satisfied with being al- 
ready chief fenyman, as well as a mer- 
<;hji.nt, or with having experienced the 
■clemency of the Court, in the shape of a 
remittance of a fine of ten dollars, "as- 
sessed to him for a fracas " with John G. 
Hall, also applied for and received a 
license to "keep a tavern," being charged 
therefor the moderate sum of six dollars. 
As an offset to these various evidences of 
iavor, he well nigh met with a worse fate 
than old Charon, for he was " ordered" to 
ferry the citizens of Cook county " from 
daylight in the morning until dark, with- 
out stopping. '" 

The reason for this stringent order, as 
given by Dr. Kimberly, was, that Mark 
at the time kept two race horses, and he 
had such a passion for the sports of the 
turf that he would, every day, if possible, 
get up a race with some of the Indian 
"bloods," and sadly neglect his duty to 
ferry the good citizens of Cook county 
free, according to the law in such case 
made and provided. 

An incident in the history of the Beau- 
bien family should be duly recorded. 
The military commandant of the State 
gave orders in 1834 that the militia of Cook 
county should be duly organized and 
officers elected. Like the immortal Fal- 
staff , there were some gentlemen who did 
not fancy that kind of company. As 
usual, there were several aspirants who, 
if elected, would carry out the law ; but 
over all these it was determined to elect 
John B., Colonel. The election was to be 
held in the house of a Mr. Laughtou, who 
kept tavern near where Lyousville now 
s'ands, on the southwestern plank road. 
The town turned out en 7nasse, taking 
with them a keg of brandy, four packages 
of loaf sugar and six dozen of lemons. 
John Avas elected over all opposition, and 
it was determined, of course, to have "a 
time." At the base of the bluff, near the 
house, is a fine spring. A dam was made 
across the outlet, and the brandy, lemons 
and sugar were all emptied into it, and 
being duly stirred up, each one drank till 
he could drink no more from this novel 
"punch bowl." Colonel Bcaubien was 
entirely satisfied with the " the Jionor " 

conferred upon him, and never called out 
his forces. He is the first, and still is the 
highest officer of the Cook county militia. 

The first mention we find of the Circuit 
Court is contained in the minutes of 
September 6th, 1831, providing that it be 
held in "Fort Dearborn, in the brick 
house, and in the lower room of said 

It is worthy of remark, that notwith- 
standing the low state of the county finan- 
ces during this period, the sick or disabled 
strangers and travelers, or unfortunate 
residents, were uniformly provided with 
proper nourishment, medicine, and care- 
ful attendance at the public expense. 
Several instances are on record of appro- 
priations from the treasury for these and 
like purposes. It is equally in evidence, 
that amid all the impositions and irregu- 
larities attending the first years of a new 
settlement, the administration of public 
affairs rested in the hands of cool and im- 
partial officers, who were not to be easily 
deceived or imposed upon, and who had a 
single ej'e to the general good. As an in- 
stance, we notice that when the first road 
was located from the Public Square to the 
west county line, it appears that some or 
all of the viewers were influenced by 
some selfish purpose, and hence we find 
that their "report is rejected, and the 
viewers shall have no pay for their ser- 

The population and business of the 
town steadily increased from month to 
month, and with it many changes oc- 
curred which it is beyond our limits to 

Richard J. Hamilton was appointed 
Clerk of the Court, in place of William 
See, resigned, and entered upon the 
duties of his oflice on the second day of 
April, 1833. Much business of more or 
less importance was transacted at this 
special term. More roads and streets 
were authorized, and Commissioners ap- 
pointed to decide their location; election 
precincts and magistrate districts were set 
apart, described and named ; judges of 
elections appointed, etc., etc. From a 
statement returned by the SherifT of Cook 
county, April 4th, 1832, it is shown that 



the amount of the tax list on real and 
personal property, for the year ebding 
March 1st, 1832, was !5;14S.29; and that the 
non-resident delinquent tax list amounted 
to $10. 50. Of this amount there had been 
paid into the treasury $142.28. The 
Treasurer's report for the same period 
sliows that the amount received from 
licenses "tokeeptaveran," sell goods, etc., 
was $225.50; taxes paid in, as per Sheriff's 
report, were $132.28— total, $857.78. To 
balance this amount, the Treasurer reports, 
license tax delinquencies to the amount of 
$88.50. Paid out for County Orders, 
$252.35 — leaving balance in the treasury 
of $15.93. 

Thus stands the account current of 
Cook county in the spring of 1832, only 
twenty-two years ag'-if The total receipts 
of taxes and moneys from all other 
sources, is the enormous sum of $357.78 ! 
How stands the account now ? The total 
amount of moneys collected by the City 
Treasurer for the year 1853, is $135,752.03; 
and by the County Treasurer, $245,057.07 
— making the total amount of taxes col- 
lected last year in Cook county, $380,809.10. 
Those who have leisure may ' ' cypher up" 
the ratio of increase in the short space of 
twenty- two years. 

The whole assessed value of the per- 
sonal property of the city for the past 
year is $2,711,154 ; real estate, $13,841,831 
—total, $16,841,831. The entire valuation 
for Cook county is, personal property, 
$4,450,630 ; real estate, $18,487,627— total, 
$22,937,657. Every one knows that the 
assessed does not represent one-fourth of 
the real value of the property in the 
county. It is entirely safe to .set down the 
value of the personal and real property 
of Cook county at the lowest estimate at 


It will be noticed by the above that 
several of the tavern keepers or merchants 
failed to pay for their licenses, and it was 
accordingly ordered by the Court that 
hereafter all taxes for license "shall be 
paid before the issuing thereof." The 
tax of one-half per cent, was extended to 
include all personal property of whatever 
kind or description, and other measures 
suggested by time and experience were 

adopted. Archibald Clybourne was reap- 
pointed Treasurer for the ensuing year. 
The SherifE Avas authorized to procure a 
room or rooms for the April term of the 
Circuit Court at the house of James Kin- 
zie, provided it can be done at a cost of 
not more than ten dollars. 

We find several "items" upon the 
record, among whicli we notice that John 
R. Clark was the first Coroner. The first 
in(iuest wa^held "over the body of a dead 
Indian." The second was on "William 
Jewett, a passenger who was found dead." 

The first street leading to Lake Michi- 
gan was laid out April 25th, 1832. This 
street commenced at what was then called 
the easi end of Water street, and is de- 
scribed by Jedediah Wooley, the surveyor, 
as follows : " From the cist end of Water 
street, in the town of Chicago, to Lake 
Michigan. Direction of said road is south 
88i degrees east from the street to the 
Lake, 18 chains, 50 links." Said street 
was laid out fifty feet wide. The viewers 
on this occasion " also believe that said 
road is of public utility, and a convenient 
passage from the town to the Lake." 

The first public building of which any 
mention is made, was an "EstrayPen," 
erected on the southwestern corner of the 
public square. The lowest bid for the 
contract — $20 — was put in by Samuel Mil- 
ler, but upon the completion of the edifice, 
the Treasurer was directed to pay there- 
for but $12, on account of its not being 
finished "according to contract." 

At the March term, 1833, the Road Com- 
missioners reported their survey of a State 
road leading from Chicago to the left 
bank of the Wabash river, opposite Vin- 
cennes. Various other roads in different 
directions were surveyed and laid out dur- 
ing the spring and summer of 1833. 

The next public building erected after 
the "Estray Pen," was the Jail. The first 
contractors failed to fulfill their contract, 
and a suit for damages was instituted 
against them. The Jail was finally built 
in the fall of 1833, "of logs well bolted 
together," on the northwest corner of 
the public square. It stood there till last 
year, when the new Court House and Jail 
having been completed, it was torn down, 



and no vestige remains to tell where once 
stood " this terror of evil doers." 

The minutes of the first meeting of the 
citizens of Chicago, without date upon 
the records, are as follows : 

"At a meeting of the citizens of 
Chicago, convened pursuant to public 
notice given according to the statute for 
incorporating Towns, T. J. V. Owen was 
chosen President, and E. S. Kimberly 
was chosen Clerk. The oaths were then 
administered by Russell E. Heacock, a Jus- 
tice of the Peace for Cook count}^ when 
the following vote was taken on the pro- 
priety of incorporating the Town of Chi- 
cago, County of Cook, State of Illinois : 

For Incorporation— 5 ohn S. C. Hogan, 
C. A. Ballard, G. W. Snow, R. J. Hamil- 
ton, J. T. Temple, John Wright, G. W. 
Dole, Hiram Pearsons, Alanson Sweet, E. 
S. Kimberly, T. J. V. Owen, Mark Beau- 
bien— 12. 

Against Incorporation — Russell E. Hea- 
cock — 1 . 

We certify the above poll to be correct. 

[Signed] T. J. V. Owen, President. 

Ed. S. Kimbekly, Clerk.''' 

Dr. Kimberly informs us that the meet- 
ing was held some twenty days before the 
election which followed. 

The first election for five Trustees of the 
Town of Chicago was held at the house of 
Mark Beaubien, on the 10th of August, 
18J3, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, and 
the polls were closed at 1 o'clock. The 
following are the names of the voters, 
and those elected on that occasion ; 

Voters— E. S. Kimberly, J. B. Beaubien, 
Mark Beaubien, T. J. V. Owen, William 
Ninson, Hiram Pearsons, Philo Carpenter, 
George Chapman, John Wright, John T. 
Temple, IMatthias Smith, David Carver, 
James Kinzie, Charles Taylor, John S. C. 
Hogan, Eli A. Rider, Dexter J. Hapgood, 
George W. Snow, Madore Beaubien, Ghol- 
son Kercheval, Geo. W. Dole, R. J. Ham- 
ilton, Stephen F. Gale, Enoch Darling, 
W. H. Adams, C. A. Billard, John Wal;- 
kins, James Gilbert. 

T. J. V. Owen received 26 votes. 

Geo. W. Dole " 2G " 

Madore Beaubien " 23 " 

John Miller received 20 votes. 

E. S. Kimberly " 20 " 

And so were elected Trustees of the 
Town of Chicago. 

At this election there were in all twenty- 
eight voters in the " Town of Chicago '* 
on the 10th day of August, 1833. "Can- 
vassing" at elections did not require quite 
so much labor, and there was far less 
money spent then than there is now. Two 
of the first Trustees, Dr. Kimberly and G. 
W. Dole, Esq., are still residents of the 
city. The "Town of Chicago" has not, 
therefore, arrived at the full age of twenty- 
one years. To those -who have not become 
familiar with such facts, they are more 
wonderful than the ANildest dreams of a 
"poetic fancy." They are, however, 
plain sober history — such history, how- 
ever, as can only be found in the annals 
of the American people. 

The Trustees held their first meeting 
at the Clerk's office on the 12tli day of 
August, 1833. The limits of the corpora- 
tion were defined as follows : Beginning 
at the intersection of Jackson and Jeffer- 
son streets; thence north to Cook street, 
and through that street to its eastern ex- 
tremity in Wabansia ; thence on a direct 
line to Ohio street in Kinzie's Addition; 
thence eastwardly to the Lake shore ; 
thence south with the line of beach to the 
northern U. S. pier ; thence northwardly 
along said pier to its termination; thence 
to the channel of the Chicago river ; thence 
along said channel until it intersects the 
eastern boundary line of the Town of 
Chicago, as laid out by the Canal Com- 
missioners ; thence southwardly with 
said line until it meets Jackson street ; 
thence westwardly along Jackson street 
until it reaches the place of beginning. 

The 26th of September, 1833, is a mem- 
orable day in the history of Chicago. The 
Pottawatomie Indians, to the number of 
7,000, had been gathered here for the pur- 
pose of making a treaty with the United 
States. On that day the treaty was signed 
on the part of the United States by T. J. 
V. Owen, G. B. Porter and Wm. Weather- 
ford, and by a large huniber of Indian 
chiefs, by which the Indians ceded to the 
United States all their territory in North- 






era Illinois aud Wisconsin, amounting to 
about twenty millioa acres. The treaty- 
was made in a large tent on the North 
Side, a little north of the Lake House. 
The largest part of the Indians were en- 
camped in the woods on the North Side. 
Two bands from Coldwater, Mich., en- 
camped under a large cottonwood tree, 
which then stood in the rear of I. Speer's 
JeAvelry store, near the corner of Lake 
and State streets. There were a large 
number of speculators and others present, 
and there were scenes enacted which it 
would be no credit to humanity to narrate. 
Quite a large number of our present citi- 
zens were here at the time of the treaty. 

Oa the 26th of November, 1833, the 
first newspaper ever pVinted in Chicago, 
or Northern Illinois, was published by 
our friend, John Calhoun, Esq. The 
bound volumes of that paper for two 
years are before us. The perusal of its 
pages has filled up some of the most in- 
teresting hours in our study of the "an- 
cient history " of Chicago. It has since 
fallen into other hands, and merits no 
notice from us. In this first number, Mr. 
Calhoun strongly urges " the commence- 
ment and completion of the long-con- 
templated canal to connect the waters of 
Lake Michigan with the Illinois river," 
and adds, that " even with the present 
limited facilities of navigation, goods 
have been transported from New York to 
St. Louis in the short space of twenty- 
three days!'''' Thanks to our railroads, 
goods can now be sent through by express 
in three days ! 

The second number of Mr. Calhoun's 
paper, issued on the 3rd of De-ember, 
1833, contains the names of the following 
persons as. advertisers, who are still resi- 
dents of Chicago : S. B. Cobb, John S. 
Wright, Walter Kimball, Philo Carpen- 
ter, P. F. W. Peck, R. M. Sweet, A. Cly- 
bi^urne, John Bates, Jr., G. W. Dole, B. 
Jones, Star Foote, C. Harmon, E. S. Kim- 
berly, Jolin H. Kinzie, S. D. Pierce, and 
R. J. Hamilton. We think this fact is 
worthy of notice by those who have been 
led to believe that Chicago is an un- 
healthy city. Never was there a more 
gratuitous or unfounded assertion. 

During the summer of 1833, Chicago, 
as has already been intimated, grew rap- 
idly. Attention had been called to the 
place by an appropriation of $30,000, 
made in the spring of that year by Con- 
gress, to build a harbor here to accommo- 
date the commerce of Lake Michigan. 
The harbor was pushed forward rapidly 
during the summer, and in the following 
spring there was a great freshet, which 
carried out the sand from between the 
piers, and opened the harbor to the Lake 

So late as 1834, only twenty years ago, 
there was but one mail per week from 
Niles, Michigan, to Chicago, and that was 
carried on Jtorseback. On the 11th of 
January of that year, a large public 
meeting of the citizens of Chicago was 
held at the house of Mark Beaubien, at 
which, of course, "speeches were made," 
and a memorial was drawn up and sent 
to the Postmaster General, stating the 
grievances under which the citizens la- 
bored, and the pressing necessity there 
was for increased mail facilities. The 
contrast presented by the present post- 
ofiice busiaess is truly astonishing. The 
Chicago post-office is now sending out and 
receiving fourteen daily mails, besides 
several weekly and tri-weekly. The re- 
ceipts of the office for the quarter ending 
Jan. 1st, 1854, were over $130,000. 

The number of letters passing through 
the office averages over 30,000 daily, and 
there are 75 bags containing 45,000 news- 
papers. The average number of letters 
received by our citizens, aud sent out 
from this office, is about 5,000 per day. 

We gather the following items from our 
friend Calhoun's paper. On the 16th of 
April, 1834, there was still but one mail 
per week, and he gives as an excuse for 
not having more news, that for that week 
it did not arrive. The same week he 
commences a marine list, noticing the ar- 
rival of one schooner from St. Joseph's, 
and the departure of two for the same 
port. On the 30th of the same month he 
says that emigration had fairly com- 
menced, as more than "a hundred 'h&d. 
arrived by boats and otherwise within the 
last ten days:' Astonishing ! an average 



of ten persons per day ! "What would our 
two great Eastern railroads say to such an 
amount of travel ? On the 4th of June 
Mr. Calhoun announces with great satis- 
faction "that arrangements have been 
made by the proprietors of the steamboats 
on Lake Erie, whereby Chicago is to be 
visited by a steamboat once a week till the 
25th of August." This was certainly an 
era in the history of the " Town of Chi- 
cago." On Saturday, July 11, 1834, the 
schooner Illinois entered the harbor, and 
sailed up the river amid the acclamations 
of tlie citizens. She was the first large 
vessel that ever entered the Chicago river. 
The bar between the piers was worn out 
by a great freshet the spring previous. 
Before this, vessels were obliged to an- 
chor outside the bar, and received and 
discharged their cargoes by means of 
scows and lighters. The Illinois was the 
pioneer of the immense commerce which 
now finds its centre in Chicago. In the 
same paper, of the 6th of August, we 
find the whole number of votes polled in 
Cook county, which then embraced the 
present counties of Will and Dupage, was 
538. During the summer of 1834 Chicago 
grew very rapidly, for we find Mr. Cal- 
houn stating, on the 3d of September, 
"that one hundred and fifty vessels had 
discharged their cargoes since the 30th of 
April previous." 

We must not suppose, however, that 
Chicago was "out of the woods," for 
there was a fine grove of timber along the 
river on the east side, extending south 
from Madison street. Some of these trees 
are still standing, and we present a plea 
in their behalf, that they may be spared 
the " remorseless axe." On Monday 
morning, Oct. 6th, the citizens of this 
quiet town were startled by the announce- 
ment that a large black bear was safely 
domiciled in this " strip of timber." All 
the town of course turned out to give 
Bruin anything but a generous welcome. 
He was soon found, and following his 
ancient custom, " took to a tree." This 
was of course no security, and he was 
shot near the corner of Market and Jack- 
son streets. In these woods multitudes of 
prairie wolves were accustomed to har- 

bor, and in the night they would visit all 
parts of the town. Excited by their suc- 
cess against poor Bruin, the citizens man- 
fully determined to give the wolves no 
quarter. They therefore formed several 
parties, and at night it was found that 
they had dispatched forty of these mid- 
night marauders. We simply make a 
note, that on the spot where Chicago now 
stands, less than twenty years ago, a 
"great hunt" was gotten up, and one 
bear and — probably within the present 
city limits — forty wolves were killed in a 
single day. 

Mr. Calhoun was present at the Indian 
payment in 1834, and has handed us the 
following account of it. He says : • 

"On the 28th of October the first an- 
nuity was paid to the Pottawatomie and \ 
other Indians under the treaty which waa , 
made the year previous for the purchase 
of their lands in Michigan, Illinois and 
Wisconsin. About $30,000 worth of 
goods were to be distributed. They as- 
sembled to the number of about 4,000. 
The distribution took place by piling the 
whole quantity in a heap upon the prairie 
on the west side of the river, near the 
corner of Randolph and Canal streets. 
The Indians were made to sit down upon 
the grass in a circle around the pile of 
goods — their squaws sitting behind them. 
The half breeds and traders were ap- 
pointed to distribute the goods, and they 
leisurely walked to the pile, and taking in 
their arms an armful of goods, proceeded 
to throw to one and another of those sit- 
ting on the grass, and to whom they were 
appointed to distribute, such articles as 
they saw fit, and then returned to the pile 
to replenish. Shortly the Indians began 
to show an anxiety not to be overlooked 
in the distribution, and at first got on their 
knees, vociferating all the time in right 
lusty Indian 'gibberish.' Then they 
rose on one foot, and soon all were stand- 
ing, and then they began to contract the 
circle, until they finally made a rush for i 
the pile. I saw then a manner of dispers- 
ing a mob that I never saw exemplified 
before nor since. The crowd was so great 
around the pile of goods that those who 
were back from them could not get to 



them, and the 'outsiders' at once com- 
menced hurling into the air whatever 
missiles they could get hold of, literally 
tilling the air, and causing them to fall in 
the centre where the crowd was the most 
dense. These, to save a broken head, 
rushed away, leaving a sjiace for those 
who had hurled the missiles to rush in for 
a share of the spoils. The Indians were 
paid their annuities for two years after 
the treaty, before they were removed west 
of the Mississippi. These Indians were a 
degraded set, and did not inspire a person 
with any respect for the prowess and sav- 
age character which our forefathers had 
to encounter. A number were killed here 
at everypayment in their drunken brawls." 

On the 9th of September, 1833, our fel- 
low citizen, Col. J. B. F. Russell, adver- 
tises for forty ox teams, each team to be 
composed of two yoke of oxen, to remove 
the Indians to the country "allotted to 
them "West." On the first of October 
Colonel Russell started with the " forty 
ox teams," containing the children and 
baggage of the last remaining remnant of 
the Red Men, about 1,500 in all, and was 
twenty days in reaching the Mississippi. 
They were twenty days more in reaching 
the land allotted tothemwestof Missouri. 
It is not, therefore, nineteen years since 
Chicago was surrounded by Pottawatomie 

In Mr. Calhoun's paper of November 
25th, 1835, we find the first census of the 
town of Chicago, and the county of Cook. 
The town then contained 3,265, and the 
county 9,773 inhabitants. Mr. Calhoun 
speaks of this as a very encouraging in- 
crease, as the county contained only a 
very few inhabitants when it was organ- 
ized in 1830. As late as the 20th of Janu- 
ary, 1836; he regrets to learn that Will 
county is to be set oflF from Cook, as it 
will probably "lessen our political influ- 
ence in the State." On Thursday, May 
18, 1836, the sloop Clarissa, the first ves- 
sel ever built in Chicago, was launched. 
It was an occasion of much interest. 

The Fire Department was organized on 
the 19th of September. 1835, as appears 
by the following resolution passed by the 
Board of Trustees on that day : 

''Resolved, That the President order 
two engines for the use of the Corpora- 
tion, of such description as he shall deem 
necessary, and also 1,000 feet of hose, on 
the credit of the Corporation." 

The first lawyer's bill we find on the 
records was paid to James H. Collins, 
Esq., on the 16th day of August, 1834. 
Some differences had arisen in reference 
to the right of the city to lease certain 
water lots. Mr. Collins was applied to for 
an opinion, for which he charged and re- 
ceived $5. On the 7th of October, 1835, 
John Dean Caton's bill against the Corpo- 
ration for counsel fees and services ren- 
dered during the years 1833-34 was paid. 
The amount of the bill was $75. Our 
friends, the lawyers, manage at present 
to get a much larger slice from the public 

On the 13th of February, 1836, notice 
was given that the " Trustees of the 
Town of Chicago will not hold them- 
selves accountable for any damages which 
may arise to any person by reason of 
crossing the bridges over the Chicago 
river, or over the north and south branch- 
es thereof, the said bridges being con- 
sidered dangerous, and the said Trustees 
not having funds out of which to repair 
the said bridges." Rather a sad state of 
affairs that.* 

On the 26th day of October, 1836, initia- 
tory steps were taken towards obtaining a 
City Charter. The town being then in 
three districts, the President of the Board 
of Trustees invited the inhabitants of 
each district to select three persons to 
meet with the Board, and consult upon 
the expediency of applying to the Legis- 

* The bridges over th'^ Chicago river in 1848, when. 
I came here, were a curio.-ity. One end was fixed 
on a pivot in the wooden abutment, and the other 
was placed upon a large square box or boat. When 
it was necessary to open the bridge for the passage 
of vessels, a chain, fastened on or near the shore 
on the side of the pier at some distance from it, 
was wound up by a capstan on the float-end of 
the bridge, thus opening it. It was closed in the 
same manner by a chain on the opposite aide of it. 
Our present excellent pivot bridges were, if I mis- 
take not, introduced, and I think invented, by Mr. 
City Superintendent Harper, about 1850, or soon 
after that year. 



lature for a City Charter, and to adopt a 
draft to accompany such application. 
The district meeting was held, and the 
following delegates chosen : 

From 1st district — Ebcnezer Peck, Wil- 
liam Stuart, E. W. Casey. 

From 2d district— J. D. Caton 

Chadwick, W. Forsyth. 

From 3d district— John H. Kinzie, W. 
L. Newberry, T. W. Smith. 

The above delegates met with the Board 
on Friday evening, November 25th, at the 
Trustees' room, opposite the Mansion 
House, and it was resolved "that it is 
expedient for the citizens of Chicago to 
petition the Legislature for a City Charter. 
Also, that a committee of five, consisting 
of one delegate from each district, and 
two members of the Board, be appointed 
by the chair to prepare a draft of a (Jity 
Charter, to be submitted to this conven- 
tion. Whereupon the chair (E. B. Wil- 
liams) appointed Messrs. E. Peck, District 
No. 1, J. D. Caton, District No. 2, and T. 
W. Smith, District No. 3, and from the 
Trustees, Messrs. Bolles and Ogden. The 
committee met again, Dec. 9lh, and 
through E. Peck, Esq., presented their 
draft of a City Charter. After some dis- 
cussion and amendment, it was adopted 
for presentation to the citizens, and 500 
copies were ordered to be printed. 

The charter was passed by the Legisla- 
ture, and approved March 4th, 1837. The 
city of Chicago is therefore not "out of 
her teens." She is a buxom maiden of 
only SEVENTEEN summers, and what she 
is destined to be when she becomes a 
matron of sixty, we dare not venture to 

The first election for city officers was 
held on the 1st Tuesday of May, 1837. It 
resulted as follows : 
Wm. B. Ogden, Mayor. 
J. C. Goodhue, Alderman 1st Ward. 
J. S. C. Hogan, " 2(1 " 

J. D. Caton, " 3d " 

A. Pierce, " 4th " 

B. Ward, " 5lh " 
,S. Jackson, " 6th '' 

John Shrigley was elected High Con- 
stable, and at tlie first meeting of the 
Council, May 3d, 1837, N. B. Judd, Esq., 

was elected City Attorney. The total 
number of votes, as appears from the 
canvass for Mayoi-, then in the city, was 

The first census of Chicago was taken, 
July 1st, 1837. 


Under 5 Overs. 

Vers of und"r21 

Age. Years. 

21 and 




6 S. 








Third, ... . 



























Males and Females, 21 and over 2,645 

Males and Females over 5 and under 21 years 831 
Males and Females under 5 years of age 513 

Total white. 
Total black 

Total 4,066 

Sailors belonging to vessels owned here 104 

Grand Total 4,170 

The census shows that there were : 

4 Warehouses, 19 Grocery and Provision 
398 Dwellmfs, ' Stores, 

29 Dry Goods Stores, 10 Ta\ erns, 

5 Hardware Stores, 26 (iroceries, 

3 Drug Stores, 17 Lawyers' Offices, 

• 5 Churches. 


1837— W. B. Ocrden. 
18;J8— B. S. Morris. 
183:)— Benj. W. Raymond. 
1840— A. Lloyd. 
1841— Francis C. Sherman. 
1842— Benj. W. Raymond. 
1843— Auijustus Garrett. 
1841— A. S. Sherman. 
1845— Augustus Garrett. 
1846— John P. Chapiu. 
1847 — James Curtiss. 
1848— James H. Woodworth. 
1849— James H. Woodworth. 
1850 — James Curtiss. 
1851— Walter S. Gurnee. 
1852— Walter S. Gurnee. 
1853— C. M. Gray. 
1854—1. L. Miliiken. 

We left the history of the Illinois and 
Michigan canal at the laying out of the 
town of Chicago in 1829, by the Canal 
Commissioners. Nothing effectual was 
done till the special session of tlie Legisla- 
ture in 1835-0, when the canal board was 



reorganized, and an act was passed au- 
thorizing a loan of half a million of dol- 
lars to construct the canal. Ground was 
broken at Bridgeport, on the fourth of 
July, 1836. 

At the session of the Legislature in 
1836-7, the State entered upon a splendid 
scheme of "internal improvements." The 
State was completely chequered with rail- 
road projects, and many millions were 
squandered. The total length of the roads 
to be at once completed was some thirteen 
hundred miles, and five millions of dollars 
were expended in locating and grading 
them. Amid the general financial embar- 
rassment which followed those years of 
madness and folly, the credit of the State 
went down, and bankruptcy and a general 
suspension of the public works were the 
consequence. In 1841 the total State in- 
debtedness amounted to fifteen millions of 

It is worthy of remark, however, that 
the only mistake the statesmen of that pe- 
riod made, was to embark the State in a 
general system of internal improvements, 
and in addition to this, their plans were 
in advance of the times in which they 
lived. Twenty years will accomplish by 
private enterprise for the State of Illinois 
much more than the statesmen of 1836-7 
expected to realize. Extravagant as their 
schemes then appeared, in another year 
we shall have more than twice as many 
miles of railroad in operation as their plan 
embraced. They deserve, therefore, more 
credit than they have been accustomed to 
receive, for the result has shown that their 
calculations were based upon a proper ap- 
preciation of the immense resources of 
our glorious Prairie State. 

But to return to the canal. The funds 
borrowed for the purpose of completing 
the canal were kept separate ; but it shared 
the fate of being in bad company, and all 
work was abandoned in 1843. Tlie con- 
tractors had large claims against the State, 
and in 1843 a law was passed to settle the 
claims of the contractors and liquidate 
the damages, provided the sum should not 
exceed twp hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars. The summit level of the canal, 
extending from Bridgeport to Lockport, a 

distance of twenty-eight miles, is only 
from six to eight feet above the level of 
the Lake, and as originally planned, this 
level was to be fed from the Lake, thereby 
practically making a sonthern outlet to 
Lake Michigan by the Illinois and Missis- 
sippi rivers. The depth and^width of the 
canal gave it a capacity sufficient to admit 
the passage of large sail vessels. About 
one-half of the summit level was com- 
pleted in accordance with these plans be- 
fore the work was abandoned in 1842.* 

* It should have been stated in the text that the 
summit was supplied with water in the spring and 
wet seasons, mainly from the Calumet through the 
" Sag," by damming the river near Blue Island. To 
provide for any deficiency, pumping works of great 
capacity were built at Bridgeport, which, when the 
supply from the Calumet failed, not only furnished 
the canal with water, but pumping the stagnant 
liquid from the river rendered it pure, for its place 
was supplied from the lake. 

By lS(i5 the population of Chicago had increased 
to 178,900; the city had inaugurated and completed 
an extensive system of sewers, most of which 
emptied into the river. For perhaps nine or ten 
months of the year it had no current, and hence it 
became the source of the f oulei-t smells that a suf 
fering people were ever forced to endure; and, be- 
sides, it was evident that something must be done 
effectively to cleanse it, or the city would soon be- 
come so unhealthy as to be uninhabitable. Accord- 
ingly, on the 1.5th and 16th of February, 1865, the 
Legislature passed Acts authorizing the city of Chi- 
cago to lower the summit of the canal, as originally 
proposed, so that the pure waters of Lake Michigan 
would flow south, thus cleansing the river and dis- 
pensing with the dam on the Calumet and the 
pumping works at Bridgeport. Authority was 
granted to borrow $2,000,000 to do this work, and 
with Col. R. B. Mason, of this city, and Wm. Good- 
ing, of Lockport, added to the Board of Public 
Works, the work of lowering the summit of the 
canal was commenced, and it was completed June 
15th, 1871. On that day the hoisting of the gates at 
Bridgeport was made known thioughout the city by 
the merry ringing of the bells, and jo» pervaded all 
circles and all classes of citizens. 

Thenceforward Lake Michigan has contributed a 
portion of its waters to the Illinois river, and 
thence it has flowed on to the Gulf of Mexico. 

On Tuesday, July 25th, the Common Council, 
with a large number of guests, made an excursion 
to Lockport— other fluids besides pure Lake Michi- 
gan water contributing largely to the hilarity of the 
party. The South Branch, except in exceptional 
cases, has since been filled with pure water; and 
the North Branch is to be made so, by the Fullerton 
Avenue conduit. 

Toe State reserved the right to resume coHtrol of 
the canal at any time, by paying the city the money 

\^ -\ «^ 





In the session of the Legislature of 1848-4, 
a bill providing for the completion of the 
canal on the "shallow cut" was passed, 
the substance of which was, that the hold- 
ers of the canal bonds should advance 
$1,600,000 to complete the work. Tlie 
canal lands j^et remaining unsold, and the 
canal itself, with the revenue to be derived 
from it, were placed in the hands of three 
trustees, two of whom were chosen b^/ the 
bondholders, and one by the State. There 
were in all about two hundred and thirty 
thousand acres of land, and several hun- 
dred lots in the cities of Chicago, Ottawa, 
LaSalle, and the towns along the line 
placed in the hands of the trustees. The 
money was advanced by the bondholders, 
and the canal was completed and went into 
operation in the spring of 1848. It gave 
an impetus to the commerce and pros- 
perity cf Chicago far beyond the anticipa- 
tions of its most sanguine friends, and 
since then Chicago has grown very rapidly, 
having more than trebled her population 
in the short space of six years. 

These lands have been offered for sale 
every six months, and owing to the en- 
hanced value which the rapid increase of 
population in this part of the State has 
given them, the loan of one million six 
hundred thousand dollars was all paid off 
last fall, and quite a large amount is still 
due on the lands sold, and no inconsidera- 
ble portion of them is still in the hands of 
the Trustees. The finances of the State, 
as shown in the recent message of His 
Excellency, Governor Matteson, are in a 
very prosperous condition. Though the 
debt is still large, without imposing any 

It had expended in deepening the canal. In accord- 
ance with th^ noble spirit which seemed to pervade 
the whole world, immediately after our great fire on 
the 9th of October, 1871, the Legislature, on October 
20th, passed a law to refund to the city the amount 
she had expended, (iu all, $2,955,340 principal and 
interest,) and to again assume the control and own- 
ership of ine canal. In her dire necessity after the 
fire, this was a great boon to the city. It need only 
be added here that the National and State Govern- 
-^ments are building a scvjes of lock» and dams on 
the Illinois river, which, when completed a very 
few years hence, will give us one of the finest water 
lines of transit in the world. The connection be- 
tween the Lakes and the (iulf of Mexico, and also 
with the Mississippi and all its tributaries, will be 

additional burdens upon our citizens, it 
will all be paid off in a few years. It is 
worthy of special remark, that when the 
New Constitution was formed in 1847, a 
clause was introduced in it by which, if 
approved by the people, a special tax of 
two mills upon the dollar was levied, and 
was to be applied to extinguishing the 
principal of this debt. The people in 1 848 
voted upon this provision separately, and 
adopted it by ten thousand majority. 
This, so far as we know, is the first in- 
stance in which the people of a State de- 
liberately taxed themselves in order to pay 
an old and burdensome debt. It is a fine 
compliment to the integrity of the citizens 
of Illinois, and has done much to establish 
her character in commercial circles, both 
in this country and in Europe. 

There are some interesting facts in ref- 
erence to the topography of Chicago, only 
a few of which we have space to give. On 
the south side of the river there were two 
sloughs between the Garrison and "the 
point." The first emptied into the river 
at the foot of State street. It ran a little 
north of the Sherman House, crossing 
Clark street near the Post Office, thence 
crossing Lake street nearly in front of the 
Tremont House. The "old Tremont 
House" was on Ihe northwest corner of 
Lake and Dearborn streets, and as late as 
1834 sportsmen would sit in the door of 
the "Tremont" and shoot ducks in the 
slough. The other slough entered the 
river at the foot of LaSalle street. The 
store built in 1831-2 by P. F. W. Peck, 
Esq., at the southeast corner of LaSalle 
and Water streets, was situated on a "high 
point of land," formed by a bend in this 
slough. Poles were laid across these 
sloughs, on which the people going east and 
west crossed for want of a belter bridge. 
The dwelling now occupied by Mrs. 
Wright, at the corner of Michigan avenue 
and Madison street, was built by John 
Wright, Esq., in 1839. Then it was "way 
out of town in the prairie." Randolph 
and Washington streets were not even 
" turnpiked," and there was nothing to in- 
dicate their " local habitation " save only 
here and there a few stakes driven eight 
years previous by Surveyor Thompson and 


his assistants. There were a few scattered 
houses along Lalie and South AVater streets. 

The first deed on record is made by Gov- 
ernor Rej'nolds, in behalf of the State, to 
Robert Kinzie, assignee of B. B. Kerche- 
val, and couvej^s lots 5 and 6, block 29, 
Original Town, for the sum of |109. It is 
recorded December 2, 1831, by R. J. Ham- 
ilton, Recorder. The first will on record 
is that of Alexander Wolcott, filed April 
27, 1831, before R. J. Hamilton, Judge of 

It is a feature of our citj'', more noticed 
by strangers than by ourselves, who are 
accustomed to it, that we are a community 
of workers. Every man apparently has 
his head and hands full, and seems to be 
hurried along by an irresistible impulse 
that allows him neither rest nor leisure. 
An amusing evidence of this characteristic 
of Chicago occurs in connection with the 
first census of the cit}'-, taken July 1st, 
1837, when the occupation, as well as 
names and residences of every citizen were 
duly entered. In the record of the popu- 
lation of four thousand one hundred and 
seventy, among the names of professors, 
mechanics, artisans and laborers, appears, 
in unenviable singularity, the entry, 
"Richard Harper, loafer," the only repre- 
sentative of the class at that time in the 
city. From this feeble ancestry the de- 
scendants have been few and unimportant; 
and we believe there is not a city in the 
Union where the proportion of vagabonds 
and loafers is so small as in Chicago.* 

"We might extend our sketches at pleas- 
ure, but we have already greatly exceeded 
the limits we at first assigned them. It is 
not yet quite seventeen years since the city 
government was first organized. Then it 
contained only four thousand one hundred 
and seventy inhabitants ; now it has over 
sixty thousand. Then there was not a 
canal, railroad or plank road leading out of 

* It gives me pleasure to state, that I have since 
learned that Harper was very respectably connected 
in the city of Baltimore; that he made his way back 
to his native place, and ftiat he was one of the six 
Washingtonian reformers who started the great 
temperance reformation which spread all over the 
country sometime about the year 1840, and subse- 
quently. A great many inebriates were reformed, 
and a great deal of permanent good was the result- 

the city, and only three years previous 
there was but one mail from the East per 
week, and that was brought from Nileson 
horseback. The changes which have been 
wrought in seventeen years are truly 

The question naturally arises, what will 
the next seventeen years accomplish ? 
With less than the ratio of her past in- 
crease of population from the time she first 
became a city, she will, in 1871, contain 
more than Jiulf a million of people. Few, 
perhaps, would dare to predict such a re- 
sult ; but let us look at a few facts, and 
leave each one to draw his own conclu- 
sion. We are now in direct railroad con- 
nection with all the Atlantic cities from- 
Portland to Baltimore. Five, and at most 
eight years, will extend the circle to New 
Orleans. By that time also we shall shake 
hands with the rich copper and iron mines 
of Lake Superior, both by canal and rail- 
road ; and long ere another seventeen 
years have passed away, we shall have a 
great National Railroad from Chicago to 
Puget's Sound, with a branch to San Fran- 
cisco. Situated in the centre of one of the 
most extensive and the richest agricultural 
regions in the world ; at the head of our 
magnificent inland seas, and holding the 
key to their commerce on each side for 
fifteen hundred miles ; with the certainty 
that she must become the great central 
city of the Continent, where the produc- 
tions of Asia, Europe and America must 
concentrate for exchange and distribution 
throughout the Mississippi Valley, with 
unrivalled facilities for manufactories of 
all kinds ; and with railroads centering 
here from every principal city upon the 
Continent — he must be dull indeed who 
can predict anything but a glorious future 
for the Garden City. We have given but 
the outlines of the picture ; time, we are 
satisfied, will fill it up with colors more 
vivid and glorious than the most sanguine 
imagination would dare now to contem- 
plate. The results of the past seventeen 
years are now matters of history, and we 
leave the editors of the Democratic Press 
in 1871 to prepare the record — may be we 
be spared to do it — of what the next seven- 
teen years shall accomplish. 







The River and Harbor Convention, 
■which commenced its sessions in this city 
on the 5th of July, 1847, gave the second 
great and permanent impulse to Chicago. 
After the disastrous speculating mania of 
1836—7, the city gradually sunlc in pub- 
lic favor till 1843, wlien the lowest point 
was reached, and business began to revive. 
The progress of the city, however, was 
slow, till its advantages were in some 
measure appreciated and made known by 
the intelligent statesmen and business 
men from every part of the Union, who 
were present at that Convention. To the 
editors who were present is Chicago 
specially indebted for extending a knowl- 
edge of her commercial position. The 
opening of the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal, in the spring of 1848, gave a 
marked impetus to our trade, and tended 
still farther to attract the attention of the 
country to the Garden City. On the 2Jd 
of January, 1850, the Galena Railroad 
was opened forty-two and a half miles to 
Elgin, and in a very few months demon- 
strated the important fact that, owing to 
the cheapness with which railroads could 
be constructed in Illinois, they would pay 
a large dividend to the stockholders. 
Eastern capitalists saw that the Missis- 
sippi Valley was the place to make profit- 
able investments, and in 1851 the charter 
of the Illinois Central Railroad turned the 
attention of the whole Union to Chicago, 
and made her future pre-eminence im 
longer doubtful. The completion of llu 

Michigan Southern and Michigan Central 
Railroads in 18.j2, added much to tlie 
prosperity of the city ; and the com- 
mencement of the Rock Island Railroad 
in the spring of the same year, its rapid 
progress and immense busiuess, and the 
fact that Chicago is one of the greatest 
railroad centres in the country, have all 
tended to increase oar population at the 
rate of fifty-seven per cent, during the 
past year — a ratio never before witnessed 
in the United States, except in California. 
With these improvements there has 
been a corresponding change in the busi- 
ness of the city. In the fall of 1847. 
when we first saw Chicago, the business 
of our merchants was confined mainly to 
the retail trade. Tlie produce that was 
shipped from this port was all brought to 
the city by teams. Some of them would 
come a hundred and fifty miles. Farmers 
would bring in a load of grain and take 
back supplies for themselves and their 
neighbors. Often has it happened that 
they would get "sloughed," or break 
their wagons; and between the expense 
of repairs and hotel charges, they w-ould 
find themselves in debt when they got 
home. During the "business season" 
the city would be crowded with teams. 
We have seen Water and Lake streets 
almost impassable for hours together. 
The opening of the canal in 1848 made 
considerable change in the appearance of 
the city, and when the Galena Railroad 
was finished to Elgin, the difference was 



very striking. The most of those old 
familiar teams ceased to visit ns, and we 
heard some few merchants gravel}' express 
the opinion that the canal and railroads 
would ruin the city. The difference they 
have made is simply that between a small 
and a large business ; between a retail 
and a wholesale trade. One of the prin- 
cipal Jewelry and Gold and Silver estab- 
lishments in the city in 1S45 did a busi- 
ness of $3,000 ; last year the same house 
sold goods to the amount of $120,000. 
Drug stores, whose sales eight years ago 
were from five to six thousand dollars, 
now do a business of from fifty to a hun- 
dred thousand'. The Hardware, Dry 
Goods and Grocery business will show 
similar, and some of them still more re- 
markable results. We have made repeat- 
ed efforts to get at the exact figures in 
each department of trade, that we might 
make comparisons between the last and 
preceding years, but we are sorry to say 
that man\' of our merchants are very re- 
luctant to give us any figures, lest the 
extent of the commerce of Cliicago should 
become ku'wn, and merchants from other 
cities should come here and divide their 
profits. A more narrow-minded, injuri- 
ous policy, in our judgment, could not be 

The transactions in produce, since the 
opening of the canal and railroads, make 
but little show in the streets, but they are 
immense. We can name five houses, each 
of whose business foots up to from eight 
hundred thousand to a million and a half 
of dollars per year. To see these gentle- 
men in the evening, quietly chatting on 
the state of the markets, at the Tremont, 
one would hardly suspect that their pur- 
chases tor the day had amounted to five 
or ten, and sometimes perhaps to fifty 
thousand dollars. 

We have some interesting facts and 
figures to present, and commence with 


The appreciation in the value of real 
estate in Chicago is truly amazing. To 
those who have always lived in towns and 
cities on the seaboard, that w^ere "■finished'^ 
before they were born, the facts we are 

about to give will be scarcely credible. 
They are, however, plain, sober truths, 
which, if any one doubts, he can verify 
at his leisure. Real estate in Chicago 
now has a positive business value, below 
which it will never be likely to sink, 
unless some great calamity should befall 
the whole country. 

Like Jill Western cities, Chicago has 
had her reverses. In 1835-6, real estate 
had a fictitious value. The whole country 
was mad with the spirit of speculati(m. 
When the crash came, in the latter part 
of 1837, hundreds in this city found them- 
selves bankrupt. Real estate went down 
to a very low figure, reaching "do^tom" 
in 1842. Since then, it has been steadily 
rising with the increasing prosperity of 
the country, and if the judgment of our 
most cautious, far-seeing business men 
can be trusted, it will never be any less. 
That judgment is based upon an array of 
facts, the accuracy and influence of which, 
upon the growth of Chicago, cannot be 
doubted. In only one year from the first 
of January next, we shall have four 
thousand miles of railroad centering in 
this city, counting in most cases their 
extension only in a single State beyond 
our own; and what is of more importance, 
they penetrate one of the finest agricul- 
tural regions that can be found in any 
country. By that time the Sault Ste. 
Marie Canal will be done — opening to our 
commerce the rich mines of Lake Supe- 
rior. The iron and the copper of that 
region will here meet the coal from our 
State, and build up the most extensive 
manufactories upon the Continent. One 
of the finest canals in the world connects 
us with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers; 
and in addition, to all this, Chicago holds 
the key to the commerce of our magnifi- 
cent lakes, giving us a coasting trade, 
when Lake Superior is opened to us by 
the Ste. Marie Canal, of three thousand 
miles. The most sagacious statesmen, 
and the ablest commercial men in this 
country and in Europe, have, therefore, a 
broad basis for the opinion that Chicago 
is soon to take rank among the three 
largest cities, and ere long as the second 
city upon the American Continent. 


The rise in real estate, and the prices at 
which it is now sold in view of such facts, 
are easily explained. The following table, 
made up from the records of the original 
sales in this citj^ will be found very in- 
teresting. The last column, showing the 
present value of property, is the average 
of the prices at which they would now 
sell, as given us by three of our oldest and 
most reliable real estate houses in this 
city. Many of the owners, we presume, 
would not sell at these figures, and we 
have no doubt should any of this property 
be put in the market, it would readily 
command at least the estimated value 
given in the table. The price of " the 
lands " may appear enormous, but four of 
the parcels are now in the thickly inhab- 
ited parts of the city, and the valuation is 
probably below, rather than above the 












Sept. 27. 1830. 

B. B. Kercheval. 

Nos5 and 6 



$ 21,300 


3 and 4 



Thos. Hartzell. . 


21 1 
29 f 

















45. OU 


William .Jewett 

5 and (i 




James Kiuzie.. 

5,6, 7 and 8 



2, 3, 5, 7&8 




8 and 5 

41 ) 

J. B. Beaubien. 



1,2, 7 and 8 










3 and 4 


Jobn Kinzie.. . 




5 and 6 







Alex. Wolcott.. 





Thomas Rj'an.. 





Sept.. 29, 1880. 

Stephen Mack.. 

7 and 8 


53 00 


April 3, 1832. 

Thos. J.V.Owen 














Jes'e B.Browne 





James Kinzie.. 





P. F. VV.l'eck.. 





April 5. 1832. 


R.J. Hamilton 


10 1 

11 1 



John Noble.... 



60. OU 




18 1 
10 f 



Hugh Walker... 





Sept. 3, 1832. 

O. Gof-s, Wash- 

ington Co. Vt. 





Dec. 4, 1832. 
Calvin Rawley. 








Sept. 12, 1830. NO. acres. 
Thos. Haitzell, W.M.N. E. 
qr. sec. 9, T. 39 N., Range 
14 E 80 



Edmund Roberts and Benj. 

B. Kercheval, W. hf.N.W. 

qr. Sec. 9, T. 39, R. 14E....80 
Sept. 28, 1830. 
James Kinzie, E. hf. N. W. 

qr. Sec. 9, T. 39 N., R. 14. . .80 

Sept. 29, 18.30. 
J. B. Beaubien, N. hf. N. E. 

qr.Sec.9,T.9N.R.14E 84 98-100 
J. B. Beaubien, N. W. frac. 

N. W. qr. Sec. 9, T. 39 N., 

R.14E 107 66-100 



. 85,000 





There is, we believe, but one of the 
above lots, and only a fraction of that, 
which is now in the hands of the original 
purchaser. That is the lot owned by P. F. 
W. Peck, Esq., and in reality he was not 
the first purchaser, for it is the same lot 
bought by Mr. Peck of Tilr. Walker— the 
receipt for which was quoted in the " His- 
tory of Chicago." That receipt was recog- 
nized by the Commissioner, and the deed 
was made directly to Mr. Peck. 

Our citizens have all noticed the splen- 
did drug store of J. H. Reed & Co., No. 
144 Lake street. The day it was opened, 
October 28, 1851, we stood in front of the 
store, conversing with the owner of The 
building, Jeremiah Price., Esq. Pointing 
to one of the elegant windows, said Mr. 
Price: "Igave $100 in Xew York for 
that centre pane of Freuch plate glass. 
That is exactly what I paid Mr. J. Noble for 
this lot, eighty feet front, on a part of 
which the store stands, when I purchased 
it in 1833." That lot cannot now be bought 
for ,$64,000. Wolcott's Addition, on the 
North side, was bought in 1830 for $130. 
It is now worth consideralily over one and 
a quarter millions of ddlars. Walter L. 
Newberry, Esq., bought the forty acres 
which forms his addition to Chicago, of 
Thomas Hartzell, in 1833, for $1,062. It is 
now worth half a million of dol ars, and 
what IS fortunate for Mr. Newberry, he 
still owns by far the largest part of the 
in-ojierty. So late as 1834, one-half of 
Kiuzic's addition, all of Wolcotl's addi- 
tion, and all of block 1, Original Town, 
were sold for $20,000. They are now 



worth, at a low estimate, $:],000,000. Anj- 
number of jgimilar instances might be 
given of the immense appreciation of real 
estate in Chicago. 

From the great appreciayon which these 
figures show, many may be led to sup- 
pose that no more money can be made on 
real estate in Chicago. Exactly the reverse 
is true. As compared with their original 
cost, lots near the centre of the city can 
not be expected to appreciate so rapidly as 
in years past; but that they will steadily 
advance, there can scarcely be a doubt. 
Let any business man study carefully the 
facts contained in these articles ; let him 
remember that within the lifetime of 
thousands who read these pages Chicago 
will contain her hundreds of thousands of 
people ; and then let him calculate, if he 
has the courage, what real estate will then 
be worth in the commercial centre of the 
jMississippi Valley. 

The following table exhibits the total 
valuation of real and personal property in_ 
Chicago, as taken from the Assessor's 
books, for a series of years. It must be 
remembered, however, that property is 
a&sessed at far below its real value : 










.. 1,864,205 


-. 9,986,000 


.. 1,888,160. 


-. 7,617,102 


.. 2,325,240 


.. 8,101,000 


.. 2,250,735 


.. 9,431,826 


.. 3,166,945 


.. 12,035.037 

1845. . 

... 3,669,124 


.. 22,929,637 


.. 5,071,402 

The following shows the assessed value 
of the different kinds of property for the 
last year. The lands are within the city 
limits,. but are not yet divided into lots : 

Lauds $5,481,030 

Lots 12,997,977 

Personal Property 4,450,630 

Total $22,929,637 

It will be noticed that the value of prop- 
erty has nearly doubled in the year 1853. 
This fact corresponds very well with the 
increase of population, that being fifty- 
seven per ceat. 


"VVe stated in our History that the Meth- 
odists were the pioneers among all relig- 
ious sects in Chicago. They were repre- 
sented here in 1831-2-3, by the veteran 
Missionary preacher, Jesse Walker. The 
first quarterly meeting was lield here iu 
the fall of 1833, in Watkius' schuol-house. 
The building stood on the southwest cor- 
ner of Clark and Old North Water streets. 
There were present at that meeting — John 
Sinclair, presiding elder ; Father Walker, 
missionary ; William See and William 
Whitehead, local preachers ; Chas. Wisen- 
craft, Mrs. R. J. Hamilton and Mrs. Har- 
mon. In the spring of 1834 the first regu- 
lar class was formed. Father Walker had 
previously built a log church at " The 
Point," which had been occupied for 
holding meetings for a year or two. Soon 
after the class was formed in the spring of 
1834, a small frame church was built upon 
Norih Water street, between Dearborn 
and Clark streets. The lot on which the 
chuich now stands, corner of Clark and 
Washington streets, was purchased in 
1836, and in the summer of 1838 Lhe church 
was moved across the river on scows, and 
placed upon the lot. It was enlarged sev- 
eral times, to accommodate the increasing 
congregation. The present church was 
built iu the summer of 1846. 

The First Presbyterian is the oldest 
church in the city. It was organized on 
the 26lh of June, 1833, by its first pastor, 
Rev. Jeremiah Porter, now of Green Bay. 
Mr. Porter was chaplain of a detachment 
of U. S. troops, who came here from Green 
Bay early iu that year. When organized, 
it consisted of twenty-five members of the 
Garrison. The names of the citizens who 
united with it were : 

John Wright, ] -p^Ap^„ 

Philo Carpenter, f -^'^^^is. 

Rufus Brown. Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, 

John S. Wright. Mary Taylor. 

J. H. Poor. E. Clark. 

Mrs. Cynthia Brown. 

Ten churches have since been organized 
in whole or in part from this church. It 
is now in a very flourishing condition 
under the pastoral care of Rev. H. Curtis. 



The first Catholic church in Chicago 
was built by Rev. Mr. Schoffer, in the 
years 1833-4. It was located somewhere 
in State street. It now stands in the rear 
of St. Mary's Cathedral, and is used by 
the Sisters of Mercy as a school room. St. 
Mary's is the oldest Catholic church in the 
city. It was opened for divine service on 
the 25th of December, 1843. Its pastors 
then were Rev'ds Fischer and Saint Pai- 
lais, now Bishop of Vincennes. The house 
was completed by the late Bishop Quar- 
ter, and consecrated by him December 
5th, 1845. 

St. James is the oldest Episcopal church 
in the city. It was organized in 1884. The 
following were the first members : 

Peter Johnson. 

Mrs. P. Johnson. 

Mrs. Juliette A. Kinzie (wife of J. H. 
Kinzie, Esq.) 

Mrs. Francis W. Magill. 

Mrs. Nancy Hallam. 

Mrs. Margaret Helm. 

The first Baptist church was organized 
by Rev. A. B. Freeman, on the 19th of 
October, 1833. The following were its 
first members : 

Rev. A.B. Freeman. Willard Jones. 

S. T. Jackson. Ebon Crane. 

Martin D. Harmon. Samantha Harmon. 

Peter Moore. Lucinda Jackson. 

Nath'l Carpenter. Betsey Crane. 

John K. Sargents. Hannah C. Freeman. 

Peter Warden. Susannah Rice. 

The first church erected by this society 
was built on North Water street — the pre- 
cise time we cannot give. In 1843-4 the 
society built a large brick house on the 
lot now owned by them on the south side 
of the public square. It was burnt down 
in October, 1852. A new church is now in 
process of erection, which will cost at least 

The first Sunday School in Chicago was 
established by Philo Carpenter, Esq., and 
Capt. Johnson, in August, 1832. Mr. 
Carpenter, in company with G. W. Snow, 
Esq., arrived here on the 30th of July, 
1832. The school was first held iu a frame, 
not then enclosed, which stood on ground 
a short distance northeast of the present 
residence of Mrs. John Wright, on Michi- 

gan avenue. It is now washed away. 
The school consisted of thirteen children. 
It was held during the fall of that year 
and the next season above the store of P. 
F. W. Peck, Esq., at the southeast corner 
of LaSalle and Water streets. Rev. Mr. 
Porter also preached in the same place. 
In the fall of 1832, Charles Butler, Esq., of 
New Tork, presented the Sunday School 
with a library, and it soon increased to 
forty or fifty members. 

The first Congregational church was or- 
ganized on the 22d of May, 1851, on the 
west side of the river. 

The following is the present list of 
churches and ministers in Chicago : 


Trinity Church— Madison, near Clark street; 
Rev. W. A. Smallwood, D.D., rector. 

St. James' Church— corner of Cass and Illinois 
streets; R. H. Clarkson, rector. 

Church op the Atonement— corner of Wash- 
ington and Green streets, West side; Dudley Ciiase, 

St. Paul's Free Chapel— Sherman, near Harri. 
son street; J. McNamara, rector. 

Grace Church— corner of Dearborn and Madison 
streets; C. E. Swope, rector. 

St. Ansgarius Church— corner of Indiana and 
Franklin streets; Gustavus Unonius, rector. 


First Presbyterian Church— comer Clark and 
Washington streets; Harvey Curtis, pastor. 

Second Presbyterian Church— corner Wabash 
Avenue and Washington streets, R.W.Patterson, 

Third Presbyterian Church— Union street, 
between Randolph and Washington streets, West 
side; E. W. Moore, pastor. 

North Presbyterian Church— corner Illinoii 
and Wolcott streets, North side; R. H.Richardson, 

Reformed Presbyterian Church— Fulton St., 
corner Clinton street, West side; A. M. Stewart, 


First Congregational CnuRCH—Washington 
street, between Halsted and Union streets, West 

Plymouth Congregational Church— corner 
Dearborn and Madison streets; N, H. EgglcstonJ 

New England Church— corner Wolcott and 
Indiana streets; J. C. Holbrook, pastor. 

South Congregational Church— There is 
preaching regularly by Rev. E. F. Dickenson, at the 
church near American Car Company's Woiks, at 



half past 10 o'clock a. m., every Sabbath. Also at 
3r. M., at the New Congregational Meeting House, 
corner of Clark and Taylor streets, near the South- 
ern Michigan Railroad Depot. 


Norwegian Church— Superior, between Wells 
and LaSalle streets; Paul Andersen, pastor. 

German Church— LaSalle, between Indiana and 
Ohio streets; J. A. Fisher, pastor. 

German Church— Indiana street, near Wells; 
Augustus Selle, pastor. 


First Church— Burned down, now worshipping 
in the old Presbyterian Church, on Clark, near 
Madison street; J. C. Burroughs, pastor. 

Tabernacle Chitrch— Desplaines, between 
Washington and Madison streets, West side; A. 
Kenyofl, pastor. 


Clark Street Church— corner Clark and Wash- 
ington streets; J. Clark, pastor. 

Indiana Street— between Clark and Dearborn 
streets; S. Bolles, pastor. 

Jefferson Street— between Madison and Mon- 
roe streets. West side; E. 11. Gammon, pastor. 

Owen Street— corner Owen and Peoria streets. 
West side; S. Guyer, pastor. 

Clinton Street— between Polk and Taylor 
streets, West side. 

Harrison Street— near State street; F. A. Reed, 

German— Indiana street, between Wells and 
LaSalle streets; C. Winz, pastor. 

German— Van Buren street, corner of Griswold, 
A. Kellener, pastor. 


Methodist Protestant— corner of Washington 
and Jefferson streets; Lewis R. Ellis, pastor. 


Cathedral op St. Mart's— corner of Madison 
street and Wabash avenue; Patrie Thomas McEl- 
hearne and James Fitzgerald, pastors, 

St. Patrick's— corner Randolph and Desplaines 
street; Patrick J. McLaughlin, pastor. 

Holt Name of Jesus— corner Wolcott and Su- 
perior streets, North side; Jeremiah Kinsella, pas- 

St. Peter's— (German)— Washington, between 
Franklin and Wells street; G. W. Plathe, pastor. 

St. Joseph's— (German)— corner Cass street and 
Chicago avenue. North side; Anthony Kopp, pastor. 

St. Louis— (French)— Clark, between Adams and 
Jackson streets; I. A. Lebel, pastor. 

St. Michael's- comer North avenue and New 
Church street; E. Kaiser, pastor. 

St. Francis Assisium— West side; J. B. Wei- 
camp, pastor. 

Place op Worship coruer of Dearborn and 
Randolph streets; J. R. Hibbard. pastor. 


Unitarian Church -North side of Washington! 
street, between Clark and Dearborn streets; R. R. 
Shippen, pastor. 

j Universalist Church— South side of Washing- 
ton street, between Clark and Dearborn streets; L. 
B. Mason, pastor. 

Stnagogue— Clark 'Street, between Adams and. 
Quincy streets; G. Schneidacher, pastor. 


The Common Schools of Chicago are 
the pride aud the glory of the city. The 
school fund is ample, and every child in 
the city can obtain the elements of a good 
English education free of charge. We 
have now six large Public School edifices^ 
two in each division of the city. From 
j three to seven hundred children are daily- 
gathered in each. 

Besides these, we have a large number 
of private schools and seminaries, where 
those who wish can educate their children. 

We have an excellent Commercial Col- 
lege, at the head of which is Judge Bell. 
The Catholics have a College, and the 
Methodists are also about to establish and 
endow a University. We have also a 
most excellent Medical College. 

The educational facilities of Chicago^ 
may therefore be regarded as of a very 
high order 


Had we space to write out the history 
of Banking in Illinois, and especially in 
Chicago, it would present some interest- 
ing topics for the contemplation of the 
financier. We have had two State Banks. 
The first was established early in the his- 
tory of the State, and though the most 
extravagant expectations were entertained 
of its influence for good, its bills sooa 
depreciated very rapidly, and for the 
want of silver change, they were torn in 
several fragments and passed for fractions 
of a dollar. It soon became entirely 
worthless. The second State Bank was. 
chartered by the session of the Legisla- 
ture in the winter of 1834r-5. In July of 
183.5, it was determined to establish a 



branch here; but it was not opened till 
December of that year. In the financial 
embarrassments of 1837, the bank stopped 
specie payment, but continued business 
till 1841, when it finally suspended. For 
the ten succeeding years we had no banks 
of any kind in the State. These were 
dark days for Illinois. She annually paid 
banking institutions of other States im- 
mense sums of money in the shape of 
interest for all the currency she used. 

Tired of this system, a general bank- 
ing laW; modeled after that of New York, 
was passed, and on the 3d of January, 
1853, the Marine Bank in this city com- 
menced business. The law is regarded 
as rather too stringent by our bankers, and 
hence they do not procure bills for a tithe 
of the capital they employ. The follow- 
ing table shows the number of banks in 
this city, and the amount of bills they 
have in circulation : 


Exchange Bank of H. A. Tucker & Co $50,000 

Marine Bank 215,000 

Baukof America 50,000 

Chicago Bank.. 150,000 

Commercial Bank 55,000 

Farmers' Bank 50,000 

Union Bank 75,000 

Merchants' and Mechanics' Bank 54,T00 

City Bank _ 60,000 

The capital of these banks is, in some 
instances, half a dozen times the amount 
of their circulation. The banking capital 
actually employed to do the business of 
the city must amount to several millions, 
and yet so rapid is the increase of trade, 
that money within the last six years has 
never borne less than ten per cent, inter- 
est. This is the legal rate established by 
the laws of Illinois. Most ot the time 
money can be loaned from one to two per 
cent, per month, by those who are willing 
to take advantage of the opportunities 
which are constantly offering. We pre- 
sume that hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars could be safely invested at any time 
within a week or two, at the legal rate of 
interest. "We have never seen the money 
market of Chicago fully supplied at the 
regular legal rate, viz : ten per cent, per 

The following is a list of the private 
bankers and brokers doing business in 
Chicago : 

R. K. Swift. J. M. Adsit. 

Jones & P.^trick. F. G. Ad.\ms & Co. 
Sheldon & Co. N. C, Roe & Co. 
Davisson, McCall-\ & Co. 
E. H. Huntington & Co. 
Geo. Smith & Co. 

Several of these firms are doing a large 
business. R. K. Swift is doing a very 
extensive business in foreign exchange, 
and has arrangements to draw on every 
principal city in this country and Europe.* 

We have tried to obtain the figures 
showing the actual amount of exchange 
drawn on New York and other American 
cities, and the cities of Europe ; but some 
of our bankers, like a portion of pur busi- 
ness men, are unwilling to furnish such 
facts, lest, as v,e infer, other capitalists 
should send their money here for invest- 
ment. Their narrow policy, we trust, will 
be of no avail in that regard, for they will 
always have as much business as they can 
possibly do ; and the fact that the legal 
rate of interest is te?i per cent., and that 
the money market has never yet been fully 
supplied, together with the certainty that 
Chicago will not be ''finished" for the 
next century at least, will induce a still 
larger number of Eastern capitalists to in- 
vest their money in Chicago. There is 
not in the wide world a city that furnishes 
opportunities for safer investments than 
Chicago — whether the money is employed 
in banking operations, oris loaned on real 
estate security. 


In a city growing as rapidly as Chicago, 
labor is always in demand. Especially is 
this true where every department of busi- 
ness is equally active and increasing. In 
dull times, and in citieswhichhavc passed 
the culminating point of their prosperity, 
master mechanics can select their journey- 
men, and do somewhat as they wish. For 

* It is a significant commentary npon the risks 
and instability of banking, that of all the banks 
and private bankers in ChiCi-go in 1853, only one, 
J. M. Adsit, IS now, March 1870, here, and doing 
the game business. 




the last year or two, so great has been tlie 
demand for labor, that those mUo worked 
by the day or week were tlie real masters, 
for good mechanics could command al- 
most any price they chose to ask. 

The following tal)le, carefully prepared, 
shows the price now usually paid to jour- 
neymen in this city. The range is large, 
but is not wider than the difference in the 
skill and capacity of different men in 
every occupation: 


Blacksmiibs itlron \vk 
Blowers and Strikers.. 


Choppers and Packers 


Cabinet Makers 

Upholsterers , 


Day Laborers 


House Painters.. 
HarnessMkrs & Sadd ers 
Masons and Plasterers 

Marble Cutters 


Printers.comp 30c^l,000 

Rope Makers 

StiipCarpente's &Joiners 

Ship Caulkers 

Stone Cutters 


Trunk Makers 





Wire \Vorkers& Weavers 


" " Paiuiers 

$1.2.7;?: $2. 00 
.88® 1 00 
1 Om 3.00 
1 25(;?. 2 00 
1.50® V 
1.00® 2.00 

$ 9 00@?^18.0a 
9 00® 18.00 
9.00®. 12.00 

1.00® 1.50 

1.50® 2 00 
1 75® 2.00 
1. 00® 2.00 
1 50® 2.25 
3.25® 2.50 
1.7.5@ 2.00 

1 00(^ 1.50 
1.2.-® 2.00 
1.2 @ 2.00 





6.00® 15.00 

12 00® 18.00 
13.00® 18.00 

6.00® 12.00 
8. now, 15 00 
7.00'^^- 11.00 
10.00® 16.00 

9.00® 12.00 
14.00® 15.00 


A supply of pure water is essential to 
the health, and therefore to the prosperity 
of any city. The citizens of Chicago 
have great reason to congratulate them- 
selves upon the near completion of one of 
the -finest specimens of engineering that 
can be found in any city. The Chicago 
Water Works will very soon be the pride 
of all our citizens. No better water can 
be found than Lake Michigan affords; and 
increased health and blessings without 
number will attend its introduction 
throughout the city. 

We are indebted to E. Witlard Smithy 
Esq., resident engineer, for the following 
description of the works : 

The water is taken from Lake 3Iichigan 
at the foot of Chicago avenue. A timber 
crib, twenty b}^ forty feet, is sunk six hun- 

dred feet from shore. From this crib a 
wooden inlet pipe, thirty inches interior 
diametei-, laid in a trench in the bottom of 
the lake, conveys the water to the pump- 
well. This well is placed under the En- 
gine House. The end of the inlet pipe is 
of iron, and bends down to the bottom of 
the well, which is twenty-five feet deep, 
and at ordinary stages of the water in the 
lake contains fourteen feet of water. The 
pipe acts as a syphon. 

The water flows by its own gravity into 
the well, whence it is drawn by the pump- 
ing engine and forced into the mams, and 
thence into the reservoir in the South Di- 
vision, from which it is distributed into 
the distribution pipes in the various parts 
of the city. 


The engine is located in the main build- 
ing. It was built at the Morgan Iron 
Works, in New York, and is a first class 
engine, low pressure, of two hundred 
horse power. lis cylinder is fort3^-four 
inches in diameter, and has a pision with 
a nine-foot stroke. The fly wheel is an 
immense casting of iron, twenty- four feet 
in diameter, and weighing 24,000 pounds. 
The working beam is of cast iron, thirty 
feet long and four feet deep. It is sup- 
ported by a hollow iron column instead 
of the usual gallows frame, four feet in 
diameter, and forming also an air vessel 
for the condenser. There are two water 
pumps, one on each side of this centre col- 
umn, of thirty-four inches bore, six-foot 
stroke. These pumps are furnished with 
composition valves. The boiler, which is 
located in the north wing of the building, 
is a marine boiler cf the largest size, being 
thirty feet long and nine 'feet in diameter, 
furnished with an admirable arrangement 
of flues, and possessing an extraordinary 
strength o"f draught. The consumption of 
coal by the boiler is very small, and it 
proves very economical. The engine was 
put up under the care and direction of Mr. 
DeWitt C. Cregier, the steam engineer of 
the company. The cost of the engine was 
oi)l3' twenty-five thousand dollars. This 
engine is capable of furnishing over three 
million gallons dailj', which is a supply 
for one hundred thousand persons. 




At the opposite eud of the main build- 
ing is a duplicate engine, of about one-half 
of the power of the other, which is kept in 
reserve in case of any breakage or acci- 
dent happening to the other. This engine 
was manufactured by H. P. Moses, of this 
city ; it is a non-condensing or high-pres- 
sure engine. The engine pump works 
horizonlally, on a heavy cast-iron bed 
plate, supported by masonry. The steam 
cylinder is eighteen inches internal diame- 
ter, with a piston of six-foot stroke. The 
pump is double-acting, and of the same 
diameter and stroke as the steam cylinder 
and piston ; it is placed behind the steam 
cylinder. The steam piston passes through 
both heads of the steam cylinder, one end 
connecting with the pump, and the other 
with the crank or fly wheel. The fly 
wheel IS an iron casting, twelve feet in 


The engine house is built of brick ma- 
sonry, in the modern Italian style. The 
main building is fifty-four feet front and 
thirty-four feet deep, with a wing on each 
side, each forty-four feet front and thirty- 
four feet deep. 

The main building is carried up two 
stories high, making an ek-vation of thirty 
feet above the principal floor. The wings 
are one story high. 

The roof is composed of wrought iron 
trusses covered with zinc plates. 

In the centi e of the front of the main 
building a tower is constructed, fourteen 
feet squai'e at the base, and one hundred 
and forty feet in height, surrounded by an 
ornamental cornice of metal. This tower 
forms a striking feature of the building. 
It also serves as a chimney for both boil- 
ers, and also has a chamber in the centre, 
separated from the smoke flues, in which 
IS placed the standing column. 


This building is two stories high. The 
principal floor is placed three feet above 
the surface of the street. The exterior 
for the first story, (fifteen feet above the 
principal floor,) is made of cut stone, 
with rustic joints, surmounted by a cut 

stone string course. The second story is 
faced with pressed brick and rustic quoins 
of cut stone. The architraves of the doors 
and windows are of cut stone. The main 
cornice is of cast iron, projecting four 
feet from the face of the wall, and sup. 
ported by ornamental cast-iron consoles. 

This cornice forms a balcony, which is 
surrounded by an ornamental iron railing. 

The tank is supported by a bri( k column 
and brick arches, and is capable of hold- 
ing five hundred thousand gallons of 

The building when completed, with the 
tank, will be about ninety feet in height. 
This tank is designed to hold only a night 
supply for fifty thousand inhabitants. As 
the population of the city increases, it is 
proposed to erect similar reservoir build- 
ings, with tanks, etc., in each division. 
The surface of water in the tank will be 
eighty-three feet above the lake. The 
reservoir is situated immediately south of 
Adams street and west of Clark. 


The river pipes conveying the water 
across the river are made of boiler iron 
plates, riveted together, and are twelve 
inches in interior diameter. About thirty 
miles of distribution and main pipes are 
laid in the streets, extending over a large 
portion of the city — connecting witli one 
hundred and sixteen fire hydrants at the 
corners of the streets. 


The standing column is a cast-iron pipe, 
twenty-four inches in diameter, placed 
vertically in the engine house tower. It is 
connected with the pumps and main pipes, 
and serves as a regulator in keeping up a 
uniform head of water in the reservoirs. 


The present Board of Water Commis- 
sioners consists of John B. Turner and 
Alanson S. Sherman, Esqrs. Horatio G. 
Loomis, Esq. , has lately tendered his resig- 
nation of the office of Water Commission- 
er, and his successor is John C. Haines, 
Esq. William J. McAlpiue, Esq., is the 
Chief Engineer of the Water Works, and 
Mr. E. Willard Smith, Resident Engineer; 



Mr. Benjamin F. Walker, Superintendent; 
Mr. Henry Tuclier, Treasurer; and Mr. 
De Witt C. Cregier, Steam Engineer. 

It is proper to say in this connection 
that the plans for the Water Works were 
furnished by Mr. McAlpine, and the archi- 
tectural designs for the several buildings 
above described, by Mr. Smith. 

The cost of the work will be three hun- 
dred and sixty thousand dt)llars. Tht; 
same work wo\ild now cost four hundred 
and twenty thousand dollars. 

The works are now calculated to supply 
a population of fifty thousand persons with 
thirty gallons of water each, every twenty- 
four hours, which is equal to one million 
five hundred thousand gallons daily. The 
work is so planned as to be easily extended 
to meet the wants of one hundred thousand 
population by laying more pipe, and build- 
ing more reservoirs. 


This great work commences at the South 
Pier, four hundred feet inside of its ex- 
treme east end and extends south one 
thousand two hundred and fifty-seven feet 
into the lake; thence west six hundred and 
seventy-five feet on the north line of Ran- 
dolph street; thence southwest one hun- 
dred and fifty feet; thence to a point oppo- 
site the American Car Factory, making 
fourteen thousand three hundred and 
seventy-seven — in all sixteen thousand 
four hundred and fifty-nine feet. From 
the Pier to the engine house the break- 
water is twelve feet wide ; thence down 
to the Car Company's works half that 
width. The upper portion of the crib 
work is built of square timber twelve by 
twelve, locked together every ten feet, 
and the intermediate space filled by stone, 
piles being driven on the outside to keep 
it in place. The first piece of crib work 
sunk, in building the break-water, has a 
very stout plank bottom. The water line 
of the crib work, south of Randolph street, 
is six hundred feet east of the east side of 
Michigan avenue, and the outer line of the 
crib work, between Randolph street and 
the river, is one thousand three hundred 
and seventy-five feet. The area thus en- 

closed and rescued from the dominion of 
the lake, is about thirty-three acres. Upon 
this area the Illinois Central Railroad pro- 
poses to erect, first, one passenger station 
house, four hundred and fifty feet long, by 
one hundred and sixty-five wide, including 
a car shed. The northwest corner of this 
building will be occupied exclusively for 
ofiices and passenger rooms, and will be 
forty by one hundred and twenty feet, and 
three stories high. A freight building six 
hundred by one hundred feet; grain house 
one hundred by two hundred, and one 
hundred feet high, to the top of the ele- 
vators, calculated to hold five hundred 
thousand bushels. Three tracks will run 
into the freight house ; eight tracks into 
the passenger house, and two tracks into 
the grain house. The basin lying between 
the freight and grain houses will be five 
hundred by one hundred and seventy-eight 
feet and will open into the river. All these 
buildings are to be constructed of stone, 
obtained from Joliet. The cost of the 
breakwater will be not far from five hun- 
dred thousand dollars, and of the build- 
ings not far from two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. The work was com- 
menced in December, 1852, and will be 
finished during the year 1854 — Mr. Mason 
having been detained as much by legal 
difficulties as natural obstacles. 

The extreme length of the pile bridging 
for the railroad track is two and a half 
miles. Of this, one and a half miles, par- 
allel with Michigan avenue, is double 
track, and the remainder is single. For 
the single track, two rows of piles are 
driven inside the breakwater, and four for 
the double track. These piles are well 
braced and bolted together, and form a 
very substantial structure for the railroad 

It will be impossible to give anything 
like an accurate description of the Com- 
pany's works until they are completed ; 
for as day by day the great commercial, 
promise of Chicago brightens, the extent 
and breadth of the Company's works will 
be increased in proportion, er at least so 
far as their depot accommodations will 
allow them. What was estimated to be 
suflScient a year since, has now been found 



inadequate. And the next six months 
will develop further change and increase. 
The Michigan Central Railroad either 
rent the privilege of using the road of the 
Illinois Central in entering the city, or, 
what is more probable, share the expense 
of building the breakwater. The works 
are planned on a magnificent scale, but 
they will not do more than accommodate 
the vast business of the two companies 
which occupy them. We have very in- 
definite ideas of the amount of business 
which the opening of the Illinois Central 
R R. will bring to Chicago. As soon as 
it is finished, a daily line of magnificent 
steamers will be put on the Mississippi 
river to run regularly between Cairo and 
New Orleans. Till the roads crossing th^ 
Illinois Central are completed east to Cin- 
cinnati, almost the entire travel between 
New York and New Orleans will pass 
through Chicago — and it will always be a 
favorite route between the North and 
the South. 


These Companies are preparing to build 
a splendid depot between Clark and Sher- 
man streets, near Van Buren street. All 
the plans and arrangements for the build- 
ing are not completed, and we therefore 
are obliged to omit a description in detail. 
It will cost at least sixty thousand dollars. 


This Company within the next week or 
two will put under contract a new freight 
building north of the present depot and 
» east of Clark street. Its dimensions will be 
three hundred and forty by seventy-five 
feet, and two stories high. It is expected 
to cost twenty-five thousand dollars. Still 
another freight building is to be imme- 
diately erected east of the present freight 
depot. It is to be two hundred and fifty 
by sixty feet, and two stories high. The 
upper part of the building is especially 
designed for storing grain. It is to be 
finished in the best style, and will cost 
about fifty thousand dollars. 
The Company are also preparing to en- 

large their engine house and machine 
shops, at an estimated cost of twenty 
thousand dollars. 

Several of our other roads are maturing 
their plans to erect depots ; but they are 
not sufficiently complete to allow us to 
make a notice of them. 


This fine building stands on the public 
square. It was completed during the last 
summer, and is an ornament to the citj'. 
One hundred and ten thousand dollars, 
expended in building it, were borrowed 
on the bonds of the county having from 
seven to eighteen years to run, at ten per 
cent, interest, payable semi-annually. 
Sixty thousand dollars of these bonds 
were taken by Col. R. K. Swift, of this 
city, and the balance of the money was 
furnished by Eastern capitalists. 


We might present a large number of 
statistics in regard to our Telegraph hues, 
but it is suflScient to say that we are in 
telegraphic communication with all the 
principal towns and cities in the Union, 
The important incidents that occur in 
Washington, New York and New Orleans, 
up to six o'clock in the evening, or the 
foreign news when a steamer arrives, may 
be found the next morning in the columns 
of the Democratic Press. 


The two principal omnibus proprietors 
in the city are S. B. & M. O. Walker, and 
Parker & Co. There are in all eight 
routes, on several of which each company 
has a line of omnibuses. The total length 
of the different routes is twenty-two and 
one-half miles. The number of omni- 
buses now running is eighteen, making 
four hundred and eight trips per day, and 
eight hundred and two miles run by the 
different omnibuses. The proprietor of 
the Bull's Head Hotel, also runs an omni- 
bus regularly to State street market. 
During the summer several other lines are 
to be established, and many more omni- 
buses will be employed. Parker & Co, 
have eleven omnibuses engaged in carry- 



ing passengers from the hotels to the 
different railroad depots. 


There are bridges across the Chicago 
river at the following streets : Clark, 
Wells, Lake, Randolph, Madison, Van 
Buren, North Water Railroad Bridge, 
Kinzie and Chicago Avenue. A new and 
elegant pivot bridge, similar to that across 
the river at Lake street, is to be built at 
Clark street during the present season. 
It will be a great and much needed im- 

The total length of the sidewalks with- 
in the city is one hundred and tift3^-nine 
miles, and of planked streets twenty-seven 
miles. There are four miles of wharves, 
and six miles of sewers already put down. 

We think these facts show a laudable 
degree of enterprise in a city not yet quite 
seventeen years old. These improve- 
ments will be greatly extended during the 
present summer. 


We have a very efficient Gas Company, 
and now that the city is well lighted dur- 
ing the night, our citizens would be very 
unwilling to plod along in darkness, as 
in former years. From the recent report 
of the company it appears that during 
the last year there has been laid in the 
city twenty-one thousand two hundred 
and sixty-five feet of four inch, four 
thousand two hundred and ninety-nine 
feet of six inch, and three thousand eight 
hundred and fourteen feet of ten inch 
pipe, making, in all, five miles two thou- 
sand nine hundred and seventy-eight feet; 
and the total amount laid throughout the 
streets of the city is thirteen miles six 
hundred and thirty-eight feet, the whole 
cost of which has been eighty thousand 
seven hundred and thirteen dollars and 
three cents. Up to January 1st, 1853, 
there had been placed with all the neces- 
sary connections, five hundred and seven- 
ty-four meters, at a cost of fourteen thou- 
sand four hundred and eighty dollars and 
ninety-seven cents. During the last year, 
two hundred and seventy-nine have been 

set, at a cost of seven thousand three 
hundred and thirteen dollars and twenty- 
six cents — making the total amount 
twenty-one thousand seven hundred and 
uiuety-four dollars and twentj'-three 
cents. January 1st, 185u, there were five 
hundred and sixty-one private consumers, 
during the last year two hundred and 
seventy-nine have been added, making a 
total of eight hundred and fort}^ with an 
aggregate of seven thousand five hundred 
and thirty-two burners. There are two 
hundred and nine public lamps, which 
have consumed during the year, one million 
three hundred and sixty-six thousand one 
hundred and fortj^ cubic feet. 

Extensive improvements have been and 
are being made at the works. The new 
gas holder will be finished in the spring. 
The tank is one hundred and four feet in 
diameter, twenty feet deep, and con- 
structed of heavy masonry. The holder 
will be telescopic, in two sections, and 
will hold three hundred and fifteen thou- 
sand cubic feet. The amount expended 
during the year in enlargements and im- 
provements at the station is fort5^-two 
'thousand eight hundred and nineteen dol- 
lars and eleven cents, and the total 
expenditure on account of station works 
to date is one hundred and thirty-five 
thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
four dollars and twelve cents. The total 
amount expended for real estate to date 
has been twenty-six thousand one hundred 
and five dollars and fortj^-seven cents, of 
which twenty-one thousand five hundred 
and forty-two dollars and seventy-five 
cents have been expended within the last 

The amount of coal used last year ex- 
ceeds that of the preceding by six hun- 
dred and fifty-eight tons one thousand 
and ninety-four lbs. In 1852, eight mil- 
lion nine hundred and eleven thousand 
one hundred cubic feet of gas were made, 
and in the last year fourteen million four 
hundred and twelve thousand three hun- 
dred and eighty feet, showing an increase 
of five million five hundred and one 
thousand two hundred and eighty feet. 

The receipts for the year have been as 
follows : 



Private Consumers $39,991 45 

Public Lamps 3,963 94 

■Coke and Tar 2,311 49 

"Rent and Sundries 175 94 

Making a total of $46,442 82 

Which sum exceeds the receipts of the 
former year sixteen thousand and twelve 
dollars and sixt\'-four cents. 

At the beginning of the last year, the 
stock issued amounted to four thousand 
two hundred shares ($105,400): since then 
four thousand one hundred and thirty-six 
shares ($103,400) have been added to the 
capital stock — making a total of eiglit 
thousand three hundred and thirty-six 
shares ($208,400). The number of stock- 
holders is sixty-six, of whom thirty-three 
reside in Chicago, holding three thousand 
four hundred and sixty-nine shares 
.(186,725). The funded debt of the Com- 
pany is seventy thousand dollars, in bonds 
bearing interest at the rate of seven per 
cent, per annum. 


Till within a few years it has generally 
been supposed that Chicago was a very 
unhealthy city. There never was a more 
unfounded assertion. Before the streets* 
were thrown up, it was very wet and mud- 
dy at times ; but since our main streets 
were planked we suffer no more from this 
cause than most other cities. The ground 
on which the city stands is nearly level, 
and but a few feet above the lake, yet 
there is sufficient slope to drain the streets, 
and if an efficient system of sewerage is 
adopted, as we trust it soon will be, this 
objection, which has done so much to 
injure Chicago, will not have even a shad- 
ow of foundation. 

The following table shows the compari- 
son of deaths with the population since 
1847, from which it appears that the past 
year has been one of remarkable health : 


1847 520 16,859 

1848 560 19,724 

1849 1.509 22,047 

1850 1,335 28,620 

18.M 843 

1852 1,649 38,733 

1853 1,207 60,002 

The diseases proving most fatal during 
past year are given as follows : 

Consumption 198 

Teething m 

Scarlet Fever 34 

Diarrhoea 30 

Dysentery 59 

TyphoidFever _ 27 

Deaths by accident or design : 

Drowned 26 

Killed 20 

Suicide 5 

Poisoned 1 

Found dead 1 

Total 5.3 

We are willing that these figures should 
be compared with those of any other city 
in the Union. 

It should be remembered that in the 
years 1849 and 1850 we had the cholera 
in Chicago, and to that cause must be 
attributed the increased bills of mortality 
for those years. 

The statistics of the last year show a 
mortality but a very small fraction above 
one in sixty. It will be observed that 
here, as in Eastern cities, that terrible 
disease, the consumption, claims the larg- 
est number of victims; but we think facts 
will bear us out in the statement that it 
is not a disease indigenous to this part of 
the country. Most of those who die with 
it in this city, come here with it from the 
Eastern States, or have a hereditary taint 
in their constitution. We heard Dr. Mott, 
of New York, then whom there is no 
higher authority in this or any country, 
express the opinion that in the centre of 
a continent this disease does not generally 
prevail. Our observation since residing 
in Illinois, confirms this opinion. The 
pure invigorating breezes, sweeping 
over the broad bosom of our magnificent 
lake for hundreds of miles, are a never- 
failing source of energy and health to 
those who make homes in the Garden 


We have several plank roads leading 
out of the city. The Northwestern com- 
mences near the Galena Railroiul Depot 
on the West Side, and extends to the town 
of Maine, seventeen miles. Seven miles 
from the city the Western road branches 
ofi: and is completed seventeen miles from 



the city. It is intended to extend this 
road to Elgin. 

The Southwestern Plank Road leaves the 
city at Bull's Head, on Madison street, 
and passes through Lyousville to Brush 
Hill, sixteen miles. From Brush Hill the 
Oswego Plank Road extends fourteen miles 
to Naperville. 

The Southern Plank Road commences 
on State street, at the south Ime of the 
city, and is finished to Comorn, ten miles 
south of the city. We believe it is to be 
extended south to Iroquois county. 


Is a more recent, and on many accounts 
a very important, improvement, and there- 
fore merits a description more in detail. 
It extends from the village of Worth, 
or Blue Island, due north on the township 
range line between ranges 13 and 14 east 
of the third principal meridian, to the 
t southwestern corner of the city; thence on 
\ the diagonal street of the same name, or- 
dered planked by the City Council, it is 
continued to the heart of the city on the 
west side of the river. It will be but 
about thirteen miles from Worth to the city 
limits by this road, and being on a direct 
line, it must command the travel coming 
to Chicago from the south, nearly all of 
which concentrates at Worth. This road 
is rapidly progressing toward completion, 
and as it runs through a region of country 
heretofore without a road, it will have the 
effect to add another rich suburban settle- 
ment to Chicago. The lands upon the 
line of this road are the most fertile in the 
vicinity of the city, and to facilitate 1his 
improvement for gardening purposes, the 
owners of many of them bave cut them up 
into ten and twenty acre lots, and are sell- 
, ing them to actual settlers and others very 
, low, and on good time. This arrangement 
will secure a dense population on the line 
of the road, and make all of the lands 
along it very valuable, as it must be one 
of the gardening sections of the Garden 
City. The very large ditches cut by the 
drainage commissioners along this road, 
furnish a very high and splendid grade, 
made of the earth excavated, six miles of 

which cost ten thousand dollars for ditch- 
ing alone. These ditches render the lauds 
at all times dry and arable. The avenue 
on the prairie is to be one hundred and 
twenty feet wide ; on either side of wliich 
trees are to be planted by the owners, so 
as to make it a most beautiful " drive" 
from the city. 

The town of Brighton, at the crossing 
of this and the Archer road, is to be im- 
proved this spring by the erection of a 
fine hotel and other buildings. As by 
this road, cattle can be driven to the city 
without danger of fright from locomotives, 
and as two of the principal roads entering 
the city meet at Brighton, with abundant 
water at all times, and past ure and meadow 
lands in almost unlimited quantities be- 
yond, no one can doubt its favorable posi- 
tion for becoming the principal cattle mar- 
ket of Chicago. 


This road was recently organized, is 
now under contract, and commences at the 
north line of the city limits on Clark 
street. It runs thence northwardly nearly 
parallel with the lake shore for about two 
miles, to the new^ and elegant hotel recently 
erected by Jas. H. Rees, Esq., of this city, 
and E, Hundley, of Virginia ; thence 
through Pine Grove Addition, and to Lit- 
tle river ; thence northwestwardly to 
Hood's Tavern, on the Green Bay road, 
which IS in reality an extension of North 
Clark street. The whole length of the 
road is about five miles. It will open up 
a beautiful section north of the city, in 
which will soon be located elegant resi- 
dences, surrounded by beautiful gardens, 
furnishing one of the finest 'drives" 
from the city. There are some of the 
most beautiful building spots on the line 
of the road that can'be found anywhere in 
the vicinity of Chicago. 

Among the most important of the recent 
improvements affecting Cliirago, the drain- 
age of the neighboring wet lands should 
not be omitted, as well in an agricultural 
and commercial view, as from its effect 
upon the sanitary condition of the city 



and its vicinity. This highly important 
improvement is being effected by the 
■' Cooli County Drainage Commission," a 
body incorporated by act of legislature, 
approved June 23, 1852, in which Henry 
Smith, Geo. W. Snow, James H. Rees, 
Geo. Steele, Hart L Stewart, Isaac Cook, 
and Charles V. Dyer are named as Com- 
missioners. Dr. Dyer, 28 Clark street, is 
Secretary of the Board. 

They and their successors in office are 
empowered to locate, construct and main- 
tain ditches, embankments, culverts, 
bridges and roads, on any lands lying in 
townships 37, 38, 39 and 40, in ranges 12, 
13 and 14, in Cook county : to take laud 
and materials necessary for these purposes, 
and to assess the cost of such improve- 
ments upon the lands they may deem to 
be benefited thereby. 

Objection was made to the creation of 
this Commission, that the powers entrusted 
to it were too great, and might be abused, 
and the act was passed with some difficulty. 
But it was seen that full powers must be 
given to the Commissioners, in order that 
their efforts for the benefit of the public 
and a large body of proprietors might not 
be stopped or impeded by a few short- 
sighted objectors. Their powers, in effect, 
are simply those given to any railroad or 
canal company, for the purpose of effect- 
ing a specified object. 

The two years of their corporate exist- 
ence have shown that the Commissioners 
have used their powers faithfully and effi- 
ciently. They have located and constructed 
their works generally upon the petition of 
the proprietors of the land to be drained, 
and it is believed that in every case these 
improvements have been followed by an 
immediate and commensurate advantage 
to the lands through which they pass. 

Their examination showed the Commis- 
sioners that avast body of land within the 
limits of the commission, which had be- 
fore been deemed valueless, lay in fact 
from four to twelve feet above the lake, 
and needed only a proper drainage to 
make it available for purposes of agricul- 
ture and occupation. 

Acting upon this knowledge, they have 
expended some $100,000 in constructing 

ditches and other works, under the super- 
intendence of an able and experienced 
engineer, with the most salutary effect upon 
a large extent of countiy. Houses are now 
being built with dry cellars upon ground 
heretofore covered with water. In one in- 
stance, a quarter section which had been 
repeatedly offered for sale at five dollars 
an acre, brought one hundred and twenty- 
five dollars after beingdrained, and a simi- 
lar rise of value in lands has been produced 
in other cases. The obj ects of the Commis- 
sion will be vigorously prosecuted during 
the coming summer, and it is hoped that 
the unsightly swamps which have hereto- 
fore disfigured this and adjoining town- 
ships, will soon become " smiling gardens 
and rich fields of waving corn." 


What is presented under this head can 
not be considered as exhibiting anything 
like a complete view of Chicago manufac- 
tures. There are many branches, such as 
the making of hats and caps, clothing, 
boots and shoes, fur goods, harness, 
trunks, saddlery, etc., etc., which are 
omitted entirely, and others are sadly im- 
perfect; but the fact arises from our ina- 
bility to obtain correct "data from those 
engaged in the various departments of 
business. We have repeatedly been prom- 
ised facts and figures which have not 
come to hand, and the publication of our 
article cannot longer be delayed. Enough 
is shown, however, in what follows, to 
establish the truth of the declaration that 
the position of Chicago is not less favora- 
ble for a manufacturing than a commer- 
cial centre, and that capital invested in 
manufactures is here sure to yield a large 


The attention of our business men was 
called last September, to the importance 
of establishing at this point the manufac- 
ture of locomotives, an enterprise which 
was demanded by the concentration of so 
many extensive and diverging lines of 
railroads at this place; a company was at 
once formed, with a capital stock of one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and 



the following gentlemeu chosen a Board 
of Trustees : 

Wm. H. Brown. E. II. Hadduck. 

Thos. Dyer. J. H. Collins. 

Geo. Steele. J. P. Chapin. 

Robt. Foss. W. S. Gurnee. 

W. H. Scoville. 

The company was fully organized by 
the election of the following officers : 

Wm. H. Brown, President. 

W. H. Scoville, Treasurer. 

SiioLTO Douglass, Secretary. 

E H. Hadduck, \ 

Robert Foss, \ Executive Committee. 

Wm. H. Brown, ) 

Messrs. H. H. Scoville & Son, who had 
been for several years extensively engaged 
in the construction of various kinds of 
machinery, and the building of railroad 
cars, and had large buildings well located 
and adapted to the wants of the new com- 
pany, offered their establishment ; it was 
accordingly purchased, and is now the 
headquarters of the Chicago Locomotive 
Company. The Messrs. Scoville had al- 
ready commenced a locomotive, which 
was placed upon the track soon after the 
organization, and was the first locomotive 
built in Chicago. It was named the " En- 
terprise," and its entering into the service 
of the Galena and Chicago Union R. R. 
was made the occasion of an appropriate 
celebration. Since that time, the Loco- 
motive Company have furnished the same 
road with another engine, the "Falcon," 
pronounced by all a first class locomotive. 
Their third locomotive will be put upon 
the track in a few days, and will add to 
the growing reputation of Chicago-built 
engines. In a short time the company 
will employ about two hundred men at 
their works, and will be able to turn out 
two engines per month, every portion of 
which will be manufactured from the raw 
material in this city. We are happy to 
learn that the company are supplied with 
orders for sometime to come, and from 
the arrangements they have made for the 
best material and most skillful workmen, 
together with an abundance of capital, it 
is certain that a short time will demon- 
strate that it is no longer necessary for 
railroad companies to order locomotives 

exclusively from Eastern manufacturers. 
The G. & C. U. R. R. have rebuilt sev- 
eral locomotives at their extensive ma- 
cliiue shop, and within a few weeks they 
have turned out an entirely new first class 
engine, which may properly be called a 
Chicago locomotive, since the drafting 
and all the work was done at their shop, 
except the boiler and driving wheels. The 
' ' Black Hawk" compares favorably with 
the best Eastern locomotives, and is doing 
daily duty for its builders, never yet hav- 
ing been " behind time." 


The American Car Company com- 
menced business in the fall of 1852, but 
did not get fully under way until the fol- 
lowing March, when all the various 
departments of the factory were properly • 
organized. Their works are situated on 
the lake shore, in the southern part of 
the city, about three miles from the mouth 
of the harbor, and the buildings, with the 
necessary yard room, cover thirteen acres. 
The Michigan Central and Illinois Central 
Railroads pass by the factory, so that the 
location is most favorable on many ac- 
counts. They have a foundry where they 
cast wheels and boxes and all the casting 
requisite for cars — in fact, they manufac- 
ture every portion of their cars from the 
raw matt-rial, except cloths, and such 
ornamental trimmings as belong exclu- 
sively to other branches of manufacture. 
The American Car Company has construct- 
ed about seven hundred cars of all kinds, 
the great majority of them being freight 
cars. Nothing can exceed the passen- 
ger cars which they have furnished the 
Illinois Central road for completeness of 
arrangement and perfection of finish. 
The number of men employed at the 
works varies from two hundred and fifty 
to three hundred. The value of finished 
work sent out from the factory up to the 
first of January, 1854, is a little beyond 
four hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 
D. H. Lyman, Esq., is the able and ener- 
getic Superintendent of the Company. 


A. B. Stone & Co. are the proprietors 
of this establishment. The ground it now 



occupies was an unbroken prairie in Sep- 
tember, 1852, when tliey commenced the 
erection of their buildings. In February, 
1853, they had their buildings and 
machinery erected and turned out the first 
car ; since "which time they have fur- 
nished two hundred and fifty freight, and 
twenty first class passenger, ten second 
class passenger, and ten baggage and post- 
office cars. Their machinerj^ is driven by 
a seventy -five horse iiower steam engine. 
They have consumed in the past year 
about one and a half million feet of tim- 
ber ; six hundred tons of wrought iron ; 
one thousand tons of cast iron ; two hun- 
dred tODS of coal, and employed 150 men. 
They have the equipping of the C. & R. I. 
R. R. and the western division of the Ohio 
& Mississippi Railroad. In addition to 
the iron work for their cars, they have 
manufactured all the iron for Messrs. 
Stone & Boomer, used in the construction 
of bridges, turn-tables, etc. They have 
enlarged their buildings and increased their 
facilities sufficiently to enable them to 
turn out five hundred freight and forty 
passenger cars per year. 


Messrs. Stone & Boomer, builders of 
Howe's Patent Truss Bridges, Locomotive 
Turn-tables, Roofs, etc., occupy for their 
framing ground and yard several lots ad- 
joining the Union Car Works. They have 
had contracts the past year for bridges on 
twenty-four different railroads in Illinois, 
Missouri, and Wisconsin, embracing one 
hundred and fifty bridges, the aggregate 
length of which is thirty-seven thousand 
linear feet. 

This company has a capital invested of 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
and employ upon an average three hun- 
dred men. They have used two thous md 
tons of iron, and five and a h;ilf million 
feet of lumber. Bridges ^completed, 
ten thousand linear feet ; bridges not 
completed, twenty-seven thousand linear 
feet. Turn-tables completed, nineteen ; 
not completed, twelve. Cubic yards of 
masonry — completed and not completed, 
nine thousand. Gross earnings, eiglit 
hundred thousand dollars. 


This new Company was organized in 
'this city in December last, purchasing the 
entire interest of Messrs. A. S. & O. Sher- 
man in the celebrated stone quarry at 
Lemont, twenty-five miles south of Chi- 
cago, upon the Illinois and Michigan 
c:;nal, also the lime kiln property near 
Bridgeport. The following are the oflBcers 
of the company : 

W. S. GuRNEE, President. 

M. C.Stearns, Secretary and Treasurer. 

A. S. & O. Sherman, Superintendents. 

The stone obtained at the quarry now 
worked by this company, is nearly a milk 
white limestone, and forms one of the 
most beautiful building materials ,to be 
found in the Western States. The Cilifices 
which have already beeu completed with 
fronts of this stone, attract tlie atteniion 
and command the admiration of all who 
visit the city, and are pointed out with an 
extreme degree of satisfaction and even 
pride, by our citizens. 

The existence of this quarry at so short 
a distance, of inexhaustible extent, and 
accessible by water communication, is a 
most fortunate circumstance connected 
with the building up of our city. The 
stone can be furnished where it is wanted, 
so that the cost of a T.all of this material 
is only one-ihird greater than that of Mil- 
waukee brick with stone dressings, while 
in the beauty of the two styles there is 
hardly room to institute a comfjarison. 

The Company have been making, dur- 
ing the past winter, extensive prepara- 
tions for the activity of the opening 
season, having in their employ, at the 
quarry and at the yards here, about three 
hundred men. We are informed that 
contracts have already been made for 
furnishing fronts of this stone to twelve 
buildings on business streets, besides sev- 
eral private residences, all going up this 
summer. The Company expect to in- 
crease the number of men employed to five 
hundred, also to increase their facilities 
for transportation, and provide additional 
machinery and .steam power, in order to 
fuHy meet the demand upon their re- 




There are several establishments in the 
city for dressing marble for cemeteries, 
interior decorations for buildings, furni- 
ture, and various other purposes, but we 
have only space to speak of one of the 
principal. Missrs. 11. & O. Wilson have 
extensive buildings with necessary yard 
room, at the corner of State and Wash- 
ington streets, erected last summer. The 
amount of business last year, exceeded 
fifteen thousand dollars. We mention as 
a single item, that one hundred marble 
mantles were sold by them last year. 


The subsoil of Chicago and vicinity is 
a blue clay, underlying the surface from 
three, to six feet and affording an exhaust- 
less supply of material for the manufac- 
ture of brick, which are strong, heavy and 
durable. We are not able to ascertain 
accurately the number of brick manufac- 
tured heie last year, but have gathered 
enough information to show that it must 
have reached twenty millions. These 
brick were all used in the erection of 
buildings last season, in addition to those 
imported fiom Milwaukee and o'ther lake 
ports, which fell but little shfirt of three 
millions. In the spring of 1853 contracts 
for Chicago brick delivered at the build- 
ings were closed at four dollars and 
twenty-five cents per thousand, but they 
advanced during the summer to six dollars. 
The contract price for quantities, this sea- 
son, ranges from six dollnrs to six dollars 
and fifty cents. The following are among 
the principal manufacturers of Jarick : G. 
W. Penney ; F. T. & E. Sherman ; Elston 
& Co.; Anthony Armitage ; Louis Stone. 


The manufacture of vehicles of various 
descriptions to supply the demand of the 
city and country has kept pace with the 
increase of other departments of business, 
and from small beginnings in board shan- 
ties, has takt'u possession of 1 irge edifices 
of brick and stone, resonant with the 
whirl of multiform machinery driven by 
steam power, where the division of labor 
among the bands of workmen, each skill- 

ful in his own line, results in the produc- 
tion of articles finished in the best manner 
for the purpose at the lowest possible cost. 
It is a noMceable fact that the importation 
at this place of vehicles from Enstern 
factories has almost entirely ceased, 
and is confined to buggies and light car- 
riages, mostly destined for the interior. 
We have not space to speak of all the 
wagon factories in the city ; large and ^mall 
they number neanly one hundred. We 
therefore mention only some of the prin- 

B. C. Welch & Co. occupy an extensive 
establishment on Randolph street, and 
devote themselves entirely to the produc- 
tion of buggies, carriages, omnibuses and 
coaches. The following figures will give 
an idea of the business of this house, 
whose work <will in all respects compare 
most favorably with those imported from 
builders enjoying only a more extended 
reputation and of louder standing. The 
capital employed in this establishment is 
thirty-two thousand dollars, and the 
amount of finished M'ork disposed of last 
year reached the sum of forty-five thou- 
sand dollars. The average number of men 
in the factory is about seventy. The num- 
ber of carriages sold during the year was 
one hundred and eighty-five, of which fif- 
teen were omnibuses for the various lines 
in the city, ranging in price from five hun- 
dred to five hundred and fiftj'^ dollars each. 
Among the number were five close car- 
riages, ranging from five hundred to eight 
hundred dollars each. 

Ellithorpe & Kline are also engaged in 
the exclusiive manufacture of carriages, 
ranging through all the styles from the 
light open buggy to the heavy family and 
livery carriages ; and they have already 
acquired an enviable reputation in their 
line. Their establishment is in the West 
Division, at the corner of Randolph and 
Morgan streets. Their sales last year 
amounted to fifteen thousand dollars. It 
is their intention to more than double their 
business during the present year, in doing 
which thej"^ will employ constantly from 
fiftj- to sixty men. 

P. Schuttler has a l-^rge factory at the 
corner of Randolph and Franklin streets, 



where the business is confined exclusively 
to the manufacture of lumber wagons. A 
steam engine furnishes the motive power 
for all requisite machinery, and about 
thirty-five men are constantly employed 
in the establishment, as carpenters, black- 
smitlis, painters, etc. The number of 
wagons made annually somewhat exceeds 
four hundred, and their value amounts to 
nearly thirty thousand dollars. 

J. C. Outhet has a factory on Franklin 
street, from which he sold last year one 
hundred and fifty wagons, besides numer- 
ous drays, carts and buggies, sales amount- 
ing to about seventeeen thousand dollars. 
The number of men employed here is 
about eighteen. Mr. Outhet proposes to 
enlarge his establishment and introduce 
steam power, by which his business will 
hereafter be greatly extended. 

H. Whitbeck unites the manufacture of 
wagons, buggies and carriages with that 
of plows. Within the past year he has 
greatly enlarged his factory by the erection 
of a large brick building of four stories, 
for machinery, besides numei'ous smaller 
shops for various purposes. The capital 
invested in this establishment is in build- 
ings and machinery, twenty thousand dol- 
lars ; in stock, fifteen thousand dollars ; 
total, thirty-five thousand dollars. The 
amount of sales for the preceding year 
exceeded forty thousand dollars. The 
number of vehicles manufactured for the 
same period is five hundred and eighty- 
nine, and the number of plows, one thou- 
sand. This establishment now gives em- 
ployment to from forty to fifty men, and 
it is the intention of the proprietor to in- 
crease his business during the present year. 


This forms another very extended de- 
partment of manufacture in our midst, 
and in which very many persons are en- 
gaged. Our limits will allow us to speak 
of but one or two of the largest establish- 
ments. Numerous as they are, and many 
of them employing a large capital, tliey 
are ciilled upon beyond their power to 
meet the demand, and there is probably 
no other branch of manufacture more in- 
viting at present, than the one under con- 

sideration. The rapid growth of the city 
is to be supplied, and the wide expanse of 
country penetrated by our railroads, filling 
up with new settlers, while the old ones 
are increasing wonderfully in wealth and 
in wants. We have often paused in the 
railroad depots to notice the immense 
quantities of furniture accumulating for 
distribution in the interior, bearing cards 
of Chicagrj manufacturers. 

C. Morgan occupies a building on Lake 
street, twenty feet front by one hundred 
and sixty-three deep, and running up en- 
tire five stories. The two lower floors are 
used to exhibit samples, and three upper 
devoted to the workmen. Although keep- 
ing a general assortment, Mr. ]\Iorgan is 
engaged principally in the manufacture of 
chairs and the more expensive kinds of 
furniture, embracing all the recent styles 
of pattern, finish and material. His sales 
last year amounted to thirty thousand dol- 
lars, the establishment affording employ- 
ment to over forty men. 

Ferris & Boyd have their show rooms 
on Lake street, and their shop on Van 
Buren street. In the latter their machinery 
requires -an engine of fifteen horse power, 
and the increase of their business has com- 
pelled them to add forty feet of shafting 
within a few months. They employ con- 
stantly about fifty men, while their ma- 
chinery does the work of twenty-five or 
thirty hands. Their manufactured articles 
are rather more in the common and useful 
line than the luxurious and expensive, 
while neatness of finish and elegance of 
style characterize all their productions. 
They connect with their business the 
manufacture of frames for pictures and 
mirrors. We believe it is the only estab- 
lishment in this city where gilt frames are 
made to any extent. They turn out very 
fine work in this line; some of their frames 
go as high as one hundred dollars each. 
Their entire sales last year reached fifty 
thousand dollars. 

Among the other furniture manufactur- 
ers in the city, doing a large business, we 
mention the names of Boy.lou & AVillard, 
D L. Jacobus «& Bro. and Thomas Mana- 




Messrs. Scammon & Haven are the pro- 
prietors of this establisliment — the only 
one in the citj'-. It is capable of manufac- 
turing one hundred thousand gallons of 
oil per annum. Owing to the difficulty of 
supplying themselves with seed, only forty 
thousand gallons were the product of the 
mill during the last year. 

Before the commencement of this im- 
portant enterprise, in 1852, there was very 
little flax raised by our farmers, and in the 
spring of that year Slessrs. Scammon & 
Haven imported several thousand bushels 
and sold it to the farmers at cost, in order 
that they might be able to supply their 
mill by the time it could be put in opera- 
tion. They paid for seed during the past 
year from one dollar to one dollar twelve 
and a half cents, and are now selling oil 
at eighty-five cents. Before this mill was 
established, flax seed was scarcely known 
in this market, and what did arrive sold 
at sixty to seventy-five cents per bushel. 
It will be seen, therefore, that the amount 
of business done by this mill is a clear gain 
to Chicago, and the region of country that 
is tributary to the city. It is a great con- 
venience to our painters to be able to pur- 
chase a first rate article of oil in our city. 
The neighboring towns and cities also find 
it for their advantage to purchase theiroil 
of Messrs. Scammon & Haven, as they are 
sure to get an article of very superior 

The machinery is propelled by an engine 
of fifteen horse power, and the processes 
by which it is manufactured are exceed- 
ingly interesting and curious. Between 
three and four thousand barrels of oil cake 
were sold in this city and shipped East by 
Messrs. ■ Scammon & Haven during the 
past year. 

Another important department of this 
establishment is the manufacture of putty. 
About two hundred thousand pounds were 
manufactured during the past year. 

The total amount of capital invested is 
between twenty-five and thirty thousand 


The large amount of packing at this 
place, especially of beef, affords a good 

opportunity for the extensive manufacture 
of soap and candles. There are several 
liyge establishments in the city, besides 
numerous small factories. As we are not 
furnished with data for giving the total 
business of the city in this line, we take 
one of the principal establishments, that 
of Charles Cleaver, Esq., situated at 
Cleaverville, upon the lake shore south of 
the city. The manufacture and sale by 
this establishment last year was as follows: 

Candles, pounds 49.5,000 

Soap, pounds .-682,000 

Lard Oil, gallons 43,500 

Tallow, pounds 884,300 

Lard, pounds, 334,341 

In connection with his business Mr. 
Cleaver has imported within the year 
three hundred aud fifty tons of rosin, 
soda, etc., etc. 


It is a source of gratification that Chicago 
is not only able to nearly supply the de- 
mand for machinery within her own limits, 
but contributes largely to aid in the erec- 
tion of mills and factories ai other locali- 
ties, some of which are far from being in 
our immediate vicinity. Engines, boilers, 
and machinery of all kinds are continually 
going out from the shops, while the demand 
increases faster than the facilities for sup- 
plying it. As we stood in a boiler shop 
but the other day, the hammers were ring- 
ing upon the rivets of seven boilers, four 
of which were for mills in Michigan, one 
for a town in Indiana, one for Davenport, 
Iowa, and one for Rockford. We have 
gathered the following facts in relation to 
several establishments. 

Charles Reissig has a steam boiler fac- 
tory from which last year the finished work 
sent out amounted to twenty-eight thou- 
sand dollars and the value of material pur- 
chased was eighteen thousand dollars. 
The number of boilers made at this shop 
last year was one hundred and seventeen, 
which, together with the other blacksmith- 
ing, afforded constant employment to 
about twenty-five men. 

Messrs. Mason & McArthur employ at 
their works on an average forty men. They 
build gasometers, purifiers, governors, and 
all the wrought iron work for the gas 



works; also steam boilers, water tanks, 
together with sheet iron work and black- 
smithing in all its branches. The amount 
of business carried on by them may be es- 
timated from the fact that they expended 
last year for iron and labor thirty-eight 
thousand dollars. 

P. W. Gates »fc Co., proprietors of the 
Eagle Works, are large manufacturers of 
railroad cars, steam engines and boilers, 
and machinery of all kinds. They have a 
capital of fifty-five thousand dollars in- 
vested. The manufactured work of last 
year amounted to one hundred and ten 
thousand dollars, giving employment to 
one hundred and fifty men. Among the 
articles turned out by them were one hun- 
dred and twenty-five railroad cars and 
twenty steam engines. 

H. P. Moses is the proprietor of the ^ 
Chicago Steam Engine Works, on the 
South Branch, the oldest machine shop in 
the city. He is confined to the manufac- 
ture of steam engines, mill-gearing, etc. 
Last year he constructed thirteen engines, 
ranging from ten to one hundred horse 
power, their value amounting to $55,000. 
He employs sixty-five men, and his en- 
gines have a good reputation. There are 
now in his hands nineteen engines which 
will be finished within the next three 
months. We will remark here, that he is 
now building one to run our presses, 
which will be a model engine of its size. 
It rates in common parlance at ten horse 
power, but with the boiler we shall put up 
with it, its builder says it will run up to 


In this department we are furnished 
with statistics of the operations of three 
establishments. That of W. S. Gurnee 
tanned last year eighteen thousand hides, 
out of forty-five thousand handled, in 
which was consumed niarly one thousand 
eight hundred cords of bark. The tan- 
nery, with yards, drying sheds and other 
buildings, occupies two acres on the South 
Branch. The establishment employs fifty 
men, and a large steam engine is used to 
drive all necessary machinery. 

Messrs. C. F. Grey& Co. tanned, last year, 

thirteen thousand eight hundred and nine- 
teen hides, and the sales of leather 
amounted to sixty-two thousand dollars. 
They employ upon an average thirty-two 
men in this part of their business. We 
mention here that the firm of S. Niles & 
Co., in which they are partners, have 
manufactured since August 1st, 1853, 
about eighteen thousand pounds of pulled 
wool, taken from pelts purchased for 

Another establishment which employs 
twenty-five men furnishes us with the fol- 
lowing figures of their business for the 
last year : Number of hides and skins 
tanned, 6,984 ; sides of harness leather, 
3,395 ; bridle, 1,479 ; collar, 965 ; upper, 
4,577 ; calf skins, 1,636 ; belting, 281. 


We have but one establishment of long 
standing, the Phcenix Foundry, of Messrs. 
H. Sherman & Co., which has been doing 
a large business for several years, and be- 
come well known by the extent of its ope- 
rations and the quality of its wares. We 
are not able to state how many stoves 
were sent out from this foundry last j-ear, 
but the proprietors employ constantly fifty 
men, and cast, dailj', six tons of metal. 
Connected with the sales room on Lake 
street is a shop for making furniture for 
stoves, where, in the fall and winter, a 
number of tinsmiths are employed. 

Vincent, Himrod & Co. have established 
a stove foundry during the year, from 
which they are prepared to turn out from 
four to five thousand stoves per annum, 
and will, within a short time, enlarge their 
works so as to manufacture double that 


In addition to the manufacture of plows, 
already mentioned,' we have factories for 
making threshing machines, corn shellers, 
fanning mills, and other farming utensils, 
but we are witht)ut figures to exhibit the 
amount of business. 

J. S. Wright has commenced here the 
manufacture of Atkins' Self-Raking Reap- 
er and Mower. Last season, the first of the 
enterprise, he turned out sixty machines. 
Ue has now in hand three hundred ma- 



chines, which finished in time for the 
coming harvest, and furnished at one hun- 
dred and seventj'-five dollars on time — one 
hundred and sixt}'- dollars cash. The estab- 
lishment at present employs about seventy- 
five men, but will be greatly enlarged 
during the year, as it is the intention of 
the manufacturer to build one thousand 
machines in time for the following season. 
McCormick's Reaper Factory has been 
in successful operation for so many years, 
and the machines constructed have at- 
tained such a world-wide celebrity, that it 
is unnecessary for us to more than briefly 
notice it here. It occupies extensive 
buildings and grounds on the north side 
of the river, near the mouth of the harbor, 
and the time was when its tall chimney 
formed, perhaps, the most prominent land- 
mark for vessels approaching the harbor. 
Now we have hundreds as large and high, 
like volcanic craters belching forth clouds 
of smoke, suggestive of the mighty toil 
of the elements beneath. The number of 
reaping and mowing machines manufac- 
tured and sold in 1853, amounted to a lit- 
tle less than one thousand five hundred, 
which, at an average price of one hundred 
and thirty dollars, gives one hundred and 
ninety-five thousand dollars as the amount 
of sales. The number of combined reap- 
ing and mowing machines turned out 
daring the present year will be at least one 
thousand five hundred, furnished at one 
hundred and fifty dollars eich. The num- 
ber of men employed at the works is about 
one hundred and twenty. 

[From our Commercial Review for 
1853, only the conclusion and the note ap- 
pended to the third edition of 5,000 copies 
of " Our Pamphlet " are here quoted.] 


It is scarcely necessary for us to reca- 
pitulate the facts which we have already 
stated. Business men will not be slow to 
draw their conclusions in reference to the 
prospects of Chicago. No one who has 
studied her unrivaled commercial posi- 
tion, and the richness, beauty and extent 
of the country by which she is surrounded. 

can doubt for a moment that Chicago, 
at no distant day, is destined to be- 
come the great central city of the conti- 
nent. In the centre of one of the most 
fertile agricultural regions on the globe ; 
surrounded by exhaustless mines of lead, 
iron, copper and coal ; having a water 
communication with the Atlantic and the 
Gulf of Mexico, and holding the key to a 
coasting trade of three thousand miles, 
with more than a dozen railroads branch- 
ing ofl:' for thousands of miles in all direc- 
tions, CYery element of prosperity and 
substantial greatness is within her grasp. 
She fears no rivals, confident that the en- 
terprise and energy which have heretofore 
marked her progress will secure for her a 
proud and pre-eminent position among 
her sister cities of the Union. She has to 
wait but a few short j-ears the sure devel- 
opment of her "Manifest Destiny," 

The past has been an eventful Summer 
for Chicago. The Spring opened with an 
unusual degree of prosperity. Improve- 
ments of all kinds were going forward, 
with great rapidity, and business of all 
kinds was very active. So healthy was. 
the city that the Board of Health had not 
thought it necessary to make regular re- 

The week succeeding the 4th of July 
was excessively hot, and on Friday, Sat- 
urday and Sunday, July 7th, 8th and 9th, 
the cholera came upon us like a thunder- 
bolt. The most extravagant stories were 
widi^ly circulated in reference to its fatality 
in the city ; a portion of our citizens, with- 
out stopping to investigate the facts, fled 
in " hot haste," and for a week or two 
ever3'thing was at a stand. 

When time had been allowed to investi- 
gate the facts, it was found that Chicago 
had not suffered so much from the disease 
as some other neighboring cities. The re- 
ports of the City Sexton showed that the 
total deaths on the days above named had 
averaged only from forty to forty-four^ 
and thirty-six was the highest number that 
had died of cholera on either of th6 days 
above named. During several of the suc- 
ceeding weeks the deaths by cholera aver- 



aged from twelve to twenty. This, for a 
city of seventy thousand inhabitants, is 
not a large mortality. When the statistics 
for the year are made out, we are satisfied 
that Chicago will fully maintain the posi- 
tion she has heretofore acquired, of being 
one of the healthiest cities in the Union. 
By the first of August business began to 
revive, and it has been steadily increasing, 
till we now find our streets crowded to 
overflowing. Our merchants, our me- 
chanics, and manufacturers of all kinds, 
have all the business they can possibly do. 
Let those who love to work, and who 
know how to do it, come to Chicago. 
There is not a spot in the wide world 
where honest industry is so sure of a com- 
petence — we might -say, a fortune. Our 
railroads are pouring an immense flood of 
trade and travel into the city, and Chicago 
is making rapid progress in wealth, popu- 
lation and substantial improvement. Our 

best informed men are satisfied that the 
coming new year will find at least eighty 
thousand people in Chicago, and by an- 
other year from that time the footings will 
be very handsomely beyond a hundred 

We owe an apology to our friends for 
delaying this edition to so late a day in the 
season. The truth is, our job oflSce has been 
so crowded with work that it was impossi- 
ble to get anything done for ourselves. 
Our presses now run by steam, and we 
have otherwise largely increased our facili- 
ties to meet the wants of our growing city . 
The public may rest assured that no effort 
shall be sp#ed by the editors and pro- 
prietors of the Press to advance the inter- 
ests and secure the commercial supremacy 
of the Empire City of the Mississippi 

Chicago, Oct. 7th. 1854. 




From our Commercial Review for 1854, 
published early in 1855, the followiug ex- 
tracts are taken. They were written by 
my associate, the late J. L. Scripps. 


A little over one month since, the Dem- 
ocratic Fress tiunouuced the important 
fact that Chicago had already attained 
the rank of the greatest Primary Grain 
Port in the World. Tlie statement was 
accompanied by figures and estimates 
showing the grounds upon which the 
claim was based. That article has been 
copied and commented upon throughout 
the Union, and gone the rounds of 
newspaper doubt, ridicvde and criticism. 
We are now enabled to present our read- 
ers with the actual figures which establish 
that position beyond the reach of a doubt. 
From the published tables of grain re- 
ceipts for January 1st, 1855, we compile 
the following statement of 


Wheat, bu 3.038,955 

Coru ..7,490.753 

Oats... _ .4,194.385 

Rve _ ». 85,631 

Barley 201,764 

Flour (158,575 bbls.) into Wheat 7952,8;5 

Total .15,804,423 

In like maimer may be presented the 
shipments for the season, viz : 

Wheat, bu ..-.2.106,725 

Corn 6.a37,899 

Oats. 3,229,987 

Rye 41,153 

Barley 148.421 

Flour (107,627 bbls.) into Wheat 538,135 

Total 12,902,320 

These figures leave a balance for City 
consumption, etc., etc., of nearly three 
millions of bushels, of which it is not at 
all improbable that some portion may 
have been si:iipped without representation 
in our columns. But a small amount is 
requisite to make up full thirteen millions 
of bushels, actually exported, though this 
is immaterial, as in either case the position 
claimed is sufficiently established. That 
there may be no ground for incredulity 
we proceed to lay before our readers the 

statistics, gleaned from authentic sources, 
which confirm this statement, In the 
table whicli follows we have in all cases 
reduced fiour to its equivalent in wheat, 
estimatiiig five bushels of the latter to 
one of the former. 'J'he exports from the 
European ports are an average for a 
series of j'cars — those of St. Louis for the 
year 185;], those for Chicago and JVlil- 
waukee for the current year, and those 
ft)r New York are for the first eleven 
months of the same year. With these 
explanations we invite attention to the 
following table : 




St. Petersburg 

St. Louis 

Milwaukee . . . 



5,608,000 -- 



all Ijinds 

6,812,452 3,627,883 
2,644,860,6,837, " 







9 528.000 

By comparing the exports of the differ- 
ent places mention,. d in the above table, 
it will be seen that the grain exports of 
Chicago exceed those of New York by 
3,471,975 bushels— those of St. Louis by 
more than two hundred and fifty per cent. 
— those of Milwaukee nearly four hun- 
dred per cent. Turning to the great 
granaries of Europe, Chicago nearly 
doubles St. Petersburg, the largest, and 
exceeds Gal at z and Ibrelia, combined, 
4,582,810 bushels. 

Twenty years ago, Chicago, as well as 
most of the country from whence she now 
draws her immense supplies of bread- 
stuffs, imported both flour and meat for 
home consumption — 7ioto, she is the largest 
primary grain depot in the loorld^ and she 
leads all other ports of the fco/id, also, in 
the quantit)/ and quality of her beef ex- 
ports! ! We say the largest primary 
grain depot in the world, because it can- 
not be denied that New York, Liverpool, 
and some other great commercial centres, 
receive more breadstuffs tlian Chicago 
does in the course of the year, but none 
of them will compare with her, as we 
liave shown above, in the amount collect- 
ed from the hands of the producers. 

What a practical illustration the above 
facts afford as to the wonderful, the 
scarcely credible, progress of the West — 
what an index it furnishes to the fertility 



of her soil and to the industrious and cn^ 
terpiisiug character of our people — what 
a pi'ophecy of the des*iny that awaits her 
when every foot of her long stretches of 
prairie and her rich valleys shall have 
been reduced to a thoroughly scientific 
tillage! How long, at this rate, will it be 
before the centre of populalion .and of 
wealth will have arrived at the meridian 
line of our city, and Chicago will have 
vindicated lier right to be recognized as 
the great commercial metropolis of the 
United States? We verily believe such is 
the destiny that awaits her.* 

The following article was written for 
the Deviocratic Press by Rev. J. A. Wight, 
for many years editor of The Prairie 
Farmer, now of Bay City, Michigan. I 
insert it for the permanent value of the 
facts it contains. 

Capacity Drainage — Character of Soil, 
with its adaptaiion to Culture. 

The soil upon which Chicago is situat- 
ed, tiigether with tliat of its immediate 
vicinity, is, like that of the whole western 
couniry, alluvial. Th? chief difference 
which obtains between it and that of the 
rolling prairies inland, is the probable 
result of the fact, that it is of later depos- 
ite, corresponiling in this respect to its 
greater proximity to the LaliC Shore. It 
consequently exhibits marks of rawness, 
as if, at no distant period, it had lain 
under water. The surface consists of a 
loam, varying not much in thickness from 
one foot, of an exceeding fineness, as if 
ground in a mortar, generally black in 
color but possessing in its native state no 
very decided strength. 

This soil is underlaid in some places 
with sand, especially along the Lake 
Shore, of from one to five feet in thick- 
ness, when we come upon abed of reddish 
calcareous loam, extending downwards 
to the blue clay, which underlies the lied 
of the Lake, and all the country adjoining. 
Near the rivers, and westward from the 
Lake Shore, the sand is mostly wanting, 
except in mixture with the loam, wliich 
latter is often eight or ten feet in thick- 
ness. The blue clay before spoken of is 

* These facts did much to advertise Chicago. 
Even then it would scarcely have been believed 
that in successive years Chicago would be proved 
to be the largest lumber, beef and hog market in 
the world. Such has long since been the fact. 

of exceeding pureness and tenacity, and 
extends downward from twenty to one 
hundred feet in depth. The calcareous 
subsoil is far superior in quality to the 
black soil above it, possessing, in fact, 
great resources for production if prop- 
erly free from water, and aerified. Tiie 
chief characteristic of the soil, mechanic- 
ally considered, is its fineness. To this 
all its good and bad qualities are attached. 
As a consequence, it is in the best con- 
dition to promote an active grow^lh of 
vegetation, but packs closely, and holds 
water with great tenacity, and resting as 
it does on a close subsoil, it must of 
necessity be wet until provided with a 
suitable drainage. It is to this mechanical 
condition of the soil that the region owes 
its character of wetness, and not to its 
want of height above the Lake, or of 
variety in service, as will easily be seen 
when another topic is considered. That is 


The general idea of Chicago and vicin- 
ity is, that it is "low." " not higher than 
tlie Lake," and consequently undrained 
ami undrainable. The eye says that "it 
is a dead le^el ;" and as the evidence of 
the eyes is considered beyond appeal, its 
character so passes. There is, however, 
an authority (m such subjects higher than 
tlie eye, and to that we resort. That au- 
thority is an iu'^trument called a " level," 
and as this instrument has traveled over 
every part of the region, and noted its 
ob-icrvations in figures, we shall have no 
difiiculty in rejching correct results. 

Beginning then at a point four miles 
north of the mouth of the Chicago river on 
the Lake Shore, we find the l^ank of the 
Lake varying wathin the compass of a half 
mile, from twenty to forty feet above the 
Lake. Starting thence due west on a 
section line, and going one-half a mile, 
we find the height — always above the 
Lake— to be twentj^-one and a fourth feet; 
thence still west to the bank of the North 
branch of the Chicago river, the height 
is six feet and thirty-nine hundredths. 
Still west two and a half miles the eleva- 
tion is twenty-nine and a half feet. 

Taking another and parallel section 
li'ie, two and a half miles noith of the 
mouth of the Chicago river, we find 
the Lake Shore elevated seven and a 
half feet; due west of this the river bank 
is eight and a fourth feet; while at one 
and a half miles still west w^e have a 
fraction less than twelve feet, and at two 
and a half miles twenty-seven feet eleva- 

On the parallel section line half a mile 
north of the mouth of the river, and 
whore that line crosses the city limit, the 
elevation is twenty-three and a third feet. 



Coming south and taking Madison 
street, which commences about half a 
mile south of the mouth of the river, and 
following it westward till it crosses the 
city limit, the height is a little over leu 
feet, and at a point three miles still west, 
it is twentj^-three aud a third feet. 

Following Twelfth street Avestward, 
the bank of the river is six ^nd a half 
fee!. At two miles west, the height is 
ten feet, and three miles, uit^eteenfeet. 

On the parallel section line commenc- 
ing three and a half miles south of the 
mouth of the river aud at the southern 
city limit, the elevation is fifteen and a 
fourth feet, and one mile still south it is 
sixteen and a half feet. 

At the junction of the Southern Michi- 
gan aud Rock Island Kailroad, the eleva- 
tion is twent3' feet, while the head of 
Blue Island is seventy-six feet. 

AVithin the city proper, the height of 
Michigan aud Wabash avenues varies 
from ten to fifteen feet, while the bank 
of the river is from five to eight feet. 

It is a truth, however, that there is an 
ebl) and flow of the Lake, extending 
through periods of from five to ten years, 
equal to three or four feet. These periods 
of ebb and fiow correspond entirely with 
the succession of wet or drj' seasons which 
prevail, and which succeed each other. 
During the succession of five or eight 
j-ears of continued wet weather, there will 
be a continued rise of the Lake, which will 
give way during a similar period of drouth. 

Our later buih stores and dwellings, all 
have or may have cellars beneath them. 
At present grades those along Lake and 
Water streets are from four to six feet, 
but as the grade rises year by year, as 
new l)uildings arise, the height of cellars 
increases in a corresponding ratio ; and 
there is no doubt that buildings on these 
streets, erected five years hence, will have 
six and eight feet cellars — a thing which 
might just as easily have been secured 
five years ago as five years hence, had 
proprietors and city functionaries been as 
quick to see forward as laterally and back- 
wards. Our dwellings might have cellars 
of any height we desire. 

From this view it will be seen»that our 
reputation of being a wet city is not due 
to want of elevation. For all practical 
purposes, we are as well off as New York 
or New Haven ; and in fact as well off 
as though lifted a hundred feet more into 
the atmosphere. Had we a coarse gravely 
soil, our streets would be as dry'as our 
rivals say we ought to be. Five years 
since, if you walked out upon an adja- 
cent prairie, you might pass land which 
you would pronounce to be on a "level 
with the Lake," " a dead level," and "in- 
capable of drainage." To-day it as dry 
as Rock Prairie. The "level" came along, 

and said it was eighteen feet high, aud 
theditchthat followed the "level" agreed 
with it. Mud Lake, which was of old the 
cradle of pollywogs and leeches, and 
swimming ground for ducks, is now tol- 
erably fine ground, aud this brings us to 
the next point. 


There are within ihe city four and a 
half miles of sewers put down at a depth 
of from "five to eight feet below the sur- 
face. These extend along our principal 
streets, in the business portion of the 
city, and so far as the removal of sui'face 
water is concerned, answer, so far as they 
go, a complete purpose. This may be in- 
ferred from the fads already stated in 
regard to cellars, since a cellar without a 
drain is only a pool or an eel pit. Before 
these sewers were put down, no cellar 
could be dug either upon Lake or Water 
streets except in the dryest of seasons. 
There was never perhaps a cily with fea- 
tures better fitted for drainage than this. 
The peculiar shape of its river, with its 
two branches, gives easy and short access 
to it from every section of the town ; 
while there is, from every square rod of 
its surface, a gradual and sufficient in- 
clination to the adjacent bank. 

These sewers only need to be extended 
as they have been begun to render the 
town as dry as is desirable. As they are, 
however, of a temporary and experimen- 
tal make, if they are also to be made 
channels of the filth of the town, they 
will require to be laid in a more perma- 
nent manner. 

The lands adjacent to the city are cor- 
respondinirly better provided with drain- 
age than those witi)in the limits. A law 
instituting a commission for the drainage 
of wet lands in Cook County was passed 
in the Legislature of 1852 and went im- 
mediately into operation, with Col. Henry 
Smith, Dr. C. V. Dyer and others as Com- 
missioners, with Mr. J. L. Hanchett, a 
competent and experienced engineer, as 
Surveyor. The work has been steadily 
prosecuted until the present time, nor has 
it yet been entirely completed. The as- 
sessments, so far, amount to above sixty 
thousand dollars, and seventy-six miles 
of ditch have been excavated. All of it, 
with the exception of seven or eight miles, 
is made double: that is, it consists of two 
parallel ditches with the earth thrown up 
between them so as to be used for roads 
if desired, in the end. 

They are all upon section lines except- 
ing one of three or four miles ; and nearly 
all empty into the Chicago and Calumet 
rivers and their branches. 

The lauds drained are those lying im- 



mediately adjacent to the city, extending 
about four miles north, five west, and tea 


Every city is in a considerable degree 
dependent on its immediate vicinity for 
artic]es of consumption. The vegetables 
consumed here have always, to a large 
extent, been produced here. There is, 
perhaps, no better soil for their produc- 
tion than ours. The warm sauds of the 
Lake Shore avail for all early products, 
and the strong loams on all sides, give 
ample returns through all the season. The 
soil exposed to the air, and supplied with 
manures, which may always be had in 
abundance for the hauling, produces with 
remarkable luxuriance, and of superior 
quality. No tiuer beets, or oninns, or 
cabbages, or pie plant, or asparagus, or 
celery, can anywhere be found. One 
thousand bushels of onions are some- 

times grown to the acre, and other vege- 
tables ill proportion. All the crops usual 
to the Northern States flourish luxuriantly, 
and of fruits, n^me refuse to ripen except 
such as are forbidden of the climate. At 
the same time grass is the more natural 
product, and with culture can be grown 
to any extent, either for pasturage or hay, 
in any direction landward from the town. 

Of fruits, the apple and plum are more 
ni'.tural tot lie soil, among the larger fruits; 
while among the smaller, currants, goose- 
berries, and strawberries, are most at 
home. Cherries, pears and grapes are 
more or less cultivated, and have been these 
ten years. They are all grown wirh suffi- 
cient skill, but are more or less precarious 
everywhere on this side of the Lake, and 
some of them on all sides of it. Of the 
large cities in this latitude, we know of 
no one which on the whole has the advan- 
tage of ours in respect to agricultural and 
horticultural productions. 




The railway article which 1 prepared 
for 1855 was the last of the series of our 
statistical reviews for that year. It coq- 
tains a condensed statement of all of 
them. The following are the closing 
paragraphs : 


The following list embraces the trunk 
roads and branches now actually in ope- 
ration which have Chicago as their com- 
mon focus : 

Chicago and Milwaukee miles, 85 

Racine and Mississippi 46 

Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac 82 

Galena and Chicago Union -..121 

Fox River Valley 32 

Beloit Branch of the Galena 20 

Beloitand Madison 17 

Galena Air Line 136 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 210 

Quincy Branch 100 

Chicago anfi Rock Island _ .181 

Mississippi and Missouri, 1st Division 55 

2d " 13 

Peoria and Bureau Valley 47 

Peoria and Oquawka_ 44 

Chicago, Alton and St. Louis 260 

Illinois Central 626 

Port Wayne and Chicago. 20 

Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana 242 

Monroe Branch .30 

Michigan Central 282 

New Albany and Salem 284 

Total miles of completed Road, 10 Trunk and 
11 Branch Lines miles, 2,933 

Taking the sections and branches of 
the above roads that are in the State of 
Illinois, and adding the lengths to the last 
four mentioned in our sketch, which run 
east and west through the State, we find 
that there are now in actual operation in 
the State of Illinois two thousand four 
Four years ago to-day there were only 
ninety-five. The world has never before 
seen so much physical progress in so 
short a period. 

The total number of trains which now 
(mid-winter) arrive and depart from the 
city daily amount to fifty-eight passenger 
and thirty-eight freight trains, in all nine- 
ty-six. It is safe to add from 12 to 20 per 
cent, for the number as soon as the spring 
business opens, so that on the first of May 

the number will be at least from 110 to 

We know not how the earnings of our 
roads will compare with those centering 
in other cities. Let them publish a table 
showing their receipts and the public will 
be able to make the comparison. Here 
is ours. 

The following table shows the receipts 
of the railroa'ls centering in Chicago, for 
the year 1855: 

3 i 




















^ ^ -: =o 
t I 5 § 
§' S i § 

00 O M ;D 

CO lO 00 « 

I ^ § I 

S 5' s s 

o o 

S o 

9 1/2 "g o 


O o o o 

5 3 

H^ I I 

■^ g CO 

tc -g <i 

s § ^ 

In the above table we have not footed 
up the receipts for passengers, freight, 
mails and miscellaneous, as they were 
not furnished us by all th'e roads. We 
think, however, that the total receipts, 
more than thirteen millions and a quarter, 
will do very well for a city, which only 
four years ago had only forty miles of 
railroad completed and in operation. 

As this is the last of four leading statis- 
tical articles, published since the first of 
January, it remains that we should give a 
brief synopsis, that our readers may see 
at a glance the progress of the last and 



the three previous years. We preseut 
the following 


Total number of iniles of railroad cen- 
tering in Chicago Feb. 16th, 1852 40 

Total number of miles now completed 
and m operation 2,933 

Increase in four years, or more than 
700 miles per year 2,893 

Total number of mike projected, to be 
completed in from five to eight years 6,449 

Total number of miles of railroad in 
operation in the State of Illinois Feb. 
Ibth, 1S52, four years ago 95 

Total numbi^r of miles now in operation 2,410 

Increase in the Htate in four y.ars 2,315 

The total earnings of all the railroads 
(40 miles) leading into the city during 
the year 1851, say _._ $40,000 

Total earnings of tlie road leading into 
the city for the year 1855 $13,298,201.09 

Increase in four years, thirteen and a 
quarter millions of dollars..-. $13,258,201.09 

Total number of trains arriving and 
departing now (mid winter) daily, 96. 
Add 12 to 20 per cent, when the t^priug 
bui-ines^ opens and the number will 
be about. 110 

Number of points at which the Chicago 

railroads reach the Mis^isf^ippi 8 

Populution of Chicago in 1852 38,783 

Population of Chicago in 1855, or nearly 

150 percent, in three years 83,509 

Total receipts of grain at Chicago for 
the year 1854 bushels, 15,804,423 

Total receipts of grain for 1855. In- 
■ crease about 33 per cent bushels, 20,487,953 

Total shipments of grain from the port 

of thicago for the year 1855.. bushels 16,633,813 

Total number of hog's handled in Chi- 
cago for 1851-5. - 138,515 

Total value of the beef packed in Chi- 
cago in 1855 - - $1,152,420.96 

"Receipts of lumber at the port of Chi- 
ca"0 for 1855 - feet, 326,55.3,467 

JSTow' laid up in the port of Chicago, 

steamers, propellers, Kail vessels, etc. 233 

Total number of vessels arriving in Chi- 
cago during the la- 1 ye,« 5,410 

The total tonnage of vessels arriving in 
this port for 1855 tons, 1,608,845 

Amount of imposts received on foreign 
goods at the Chicago Custom House- $296,844.75 

Total amouut of capital invested in 
manufactures during the yea^ 1855 ; 
showing $2,075,000 increase over the 
previous year - $6,295,000 

Total number of men employed in man- 
ufacturing (increase in 1855, 3,740) ... 8,740 

Total value of manufactured articles, 
(mcrease in 1855, .¥3,161,491).. $11,031,491 

Total amount expended in improve- 
ments, stores, dwellings, hotels, etc., 
(increase in 1855, $ 1 ,396,344) $3,735,254 

Had we time and space we might be 
tempted to dwell at length upon the glow- 
ing picture, suggested by the facts iu the 
above general summaiy. The figures are 
themselves much more eloquent and ab- 
sorbing than any language at our com- 
mand. When the citizens of Chicago 
and the State of Illinois are charged with 
exaggeration by those who dwell in the 
Jinishcd cities and States at the East, they 
can point with confidence and pride to 
the above facts, and say, "gentlemen, 

here are the figures, sober, stubborn fig- 
ures, which cannot lie." Such figures are 
more potent and convincing than a thou- 
sand arguments, and while they afford an 
index to a just conception of what the 
West and its great commercial centre now 
are, they point with unerring significance 
to a bright and glorious future. It has 
been asserted that the kingdoms of Europe 
were sifted of their most enterprising 
and their noblest men to settle the Ameri- 
can colonies; and it may with equal jus- 
tice be said, that all the States north of 
Tennessee and the Carolinas, have sent 
their most energetic, intelligent citizens, 
with a mighty host of untiring, energetic 
men from Europe, to settle and subdue 
that vast and magnificent country lying 
between the western shore of Lake Michi- 
gan and the Rocky Mountains. Could 
any other men and any other country 
have produced such results ? 

In canvassing these results, it should be 
remembered that twent}" years ago Chicago 
was not a city. She was only an insignifi- 
cant town at the southern end of Lake IMich- 
igan, and within that period, the wolves 
during the night roamed all over where 
the city now stands. It is but little more 
than twenty-two years since the Indians 
were removed west of the Mississippi, 
under the direction of' Col. Russejll. 
Twenty years ago only an occasional 
schooner of two or three hundred tons 
visited Chicago ; two hundred and thirty- 
three vessels are now wintering in her 
harbor, and the arrivals for the past year 
were five thousand four hundred and ten. 
Then Chicago imported most of her i^ro- 
visions; last year the beef packed in the 
city was worth $1,152,420.96. She ex-' 
ported 16,633,813 bushels of grain, the 
value of which must have been from 
twelve to fifteen millions of dollars. She is 
now acknowledged to be the greatest pri- 
mary grain port in the world, and purchas- 
ers from Europe find it f(U' their advantage 
to buy largely in this market. The wheat 
that last year was grown on the prairies 
of Illinois, is now feeding the far-ofl: sub- 
jects of Victoria and Napoleon. During 
the last year the citizens of Cliicago man- 
ufactured articles to the value of eleven 



millions of dollars, and invested three, 
millions seven liundred and thirty-five 
thousand dollars in substantial improve- 
ments. Her lumber trade reached the 
enormous amount of three hundred and 
twenty-six and a quarter millions of feet. 
When we contemplate our railroad system 
the progress is still more marked and 
amazing. Four years ago we had only 
forty miles of road leading into the city; 
now we have 2,933 miles completed and 
in operation. Our lines reach the Missis- 
sippi at eight diftereut points. Nearly a 
hundred, and as soon as navigation opens, 
more than a hundred trains of cars will 
arrive and depart daily ; and, if possible, 
more astonishing than all this is the fact 
that, for the last year, the earnings of 
these roads have reached the enormous 
sum of thirteen and a quarter millions of 
dollars. The population of Chicago has 
increased, in the mean time, from thirty- 
eight to eighty-five thousand — nearly one 
hundred and fifty per cent, in the short 
space of three j^ears. 

And yet, for all these railroads, Chicago, 
in her corporate capacity, has never ex- 
pended a single doUar. Eastern and for- 
eign capital, proverbially cautious, and 
even skeptical though it be, has done the 
mighty work. There has been no spas- 
modic effort to accomplish it. All has 
been done quietly ; the wealth of soil, 
and the mineral treasures beneath it, 
affording a sure basis for a profitable 
return for every investment. Compared 
with other cities, Chicago owes but a 
mere nominal sum. Her principal debt 
is for her water works, and the revenue 
derived from water rents will, ere long, 
pay the interest, and in the end liquidate 
the debt,. She has now adopted a general 
and it is believed an efficient plan of sew- 
erage, for which an additional loan will 
be made, but the advantages to be derived 
from it will be a hundred fold more than 
the cost. Most of the streets yet remain 
to be paved, from the necessities of the 
case, plank having been heretofore iised; 
but for this the adjoining property is 
taxed, and we see no occasion for an in- 
crease of her debt beyond the expense 
of the sewerage and the water works. 

Does any one ask, ^are these things to 
continue? Is the progress of the past 
four years to go forward in the same 
ratio? These are questions we dare not 
answer. Reader, while perusing these 
paragraphs, place your map before you, 
attend carefully to a few facts, and then 
answer these questions for yourself. 
Between the western shore of Lake Michi- 
gan and the Rocky Mountains there are 
700,000 square miles of territory, enough 
to make 14 States as large as Ohio. The 
productions of 50,000 square miles of that 
territory, certainly with not half its re- 
sources developed, have made Chicago 
what she is in less than twenty, and built 
her thousands of miles of railroads in 
four years. Great and astonishing as 
have been the achievements of our 
railroad kings, they have as yet merely 
penetrated the borders of this vast and 
magnificent country. For richness of 
soil, the character and extent of its min- 
eral treasures, for Aanufacturing and 
commercial resources, and capacity for 
sustaining a dense population, its supe- 
rior cannot be found upon the face of the 

The progress of the city for the last 
four years has indeed been wonderful; 
but all intelligent men know that it has 
by no means been able to keep pace with 
the growth of the country that is tributary 
to it. As fast as the resistless advancing 
wave of population rolls over this vast 
fertile country, the railroad rushes onward 
and pours its commerce and its wealth in-, 
to the lap of Chicago. Look at our mighty 
inland seas. Suppose it to be May. Yon- 
der noble steamer is bound a thousand 
miles away to the head of Lake Superior; 
that propeller making the harbor has just 
arrived from Buffalo, a voyage of another 
thousand miles; and that joyous barque 
loaded with wheat has cleared for Ogdens- 
burg, thirteen hundred miles, away be- 
yond Lake Ontario on the St. Lawrence. 
Four years ago the commerce of these 
lakes had already exceeded in value the 
entire foreign commerce of the whole 
Union. And now with these facts before 
him, situated, as Chicago, is, at the head 
of these vast inland seas and holdirg the 



key to their commerce; with. her railroads 
piercing the vast country that is tributary 
to her in all directions; and with a ceas"- 
less, ever-deepening stream of the vigor- 
ous, the intelligent and the enterprising 
population of the Eastern States and of 
Europe, rolling over it with ever-increas- 
ing power; with the achievements and 
the progress of the last four years before 
him, he would be a bold, almost an in- 
sane reasoner who should dare to predict 
what the next ten years will accomplish. 
Again our task is finished. The figures 
which represent the commerce, the manu- 
factures and the improvements of our 
city for the past year, and the condition 
and the earnings of our railroads, have 
been placed before the readers of the 
Democratic Press. If our labors, year by 
year, in this regard have prdtnoted in 
anywise the interests of our city and our 
great and glorious Northwest; if they 
have reached the dwellers among the 
bleak and barren^hills, and the rock- 
ribbed mountains of the Eastern and 
the Middle States, and enticed the 
more enterprising away toward the 
setting sun; if they have had, or 
hereafter may have, any influence in 
■ changing our broad prairies into fruitful 
fields, and in bordering our beautiful 
groves with ample farm houses — the 
homes of cpmfort, pleaty, intelligence, 
virtue and peace — though among the 
many millions who are soon to people this 
miglity valley our names should be for- 
gotten, may we not hope that we have 
contributed somewhat to the happiness 
and the progress of our race. Let us be 
assured of that, and we have obtained our 
greatest and most coveted reward. 


Like all those who indulge in pets and 
pet measures, it is quite likely, that more 
space is given to the Georgian Bay Canal 
than it deserves ; but as I still think the 
vast commerce of the Northwest will in 
some way be quite sure to force the build- 
ing of it at no distant day, I deem it 
best to preserve a record of the articles 
and the measures that secured the survey 

gf the route and attracted very wide at- 
tention to the project. 

Probably the first knowledge that the 
people of Chicago and the Northwest 
ever had of the route for a ship-canal 
from the Georgian Bay to Toronto, was 
derived from a paragraph in an article 
by the late Andrew Harvey, signed 
Alpha, on the Commercial Position of 
Chicago; published in the Democratic 
Press, February 3rd, 1853. He described 
the route in a general way and gave a 
very correct estimate of the effect its 
construction would have dnthe commerce 
of the citj"^, and of the Northwest. He 
spoke of the project as having for a long 
time been discussed in Canada, but noth- 
ing had ever been done even to determine 
whether the work was feasible. 

A few days after, while studying the 
map for some subject in relation to the 
growth or the development of the North- 
west, I happened to notice Lake Simcoe, 
and the narrow strip of country between 
it and the Georgian Bay on the one side, 
and Lake Ontario on the other, and re- 
membering the article of Mr. Harvey, I 
determined to find out all I could in refer- 
ence to the feasibility of the route for a 
ship-canal. Going down to Water street 
I found Col. G. S. Hubbard, and Capt. 
Mcintosh, who gave me the facts, from 
which I prepared and published next 
morning, February 10th, the following 
article. It was headed — 


Our correspondent "Alpha," a few 
days ago stated that the plan of a ship- 
canal had been proposed, several years 
since, from Lake Huron through Lake 
Simcoe to Lake Ontario, at Toronto. The 
matter at once interested a large number 
of our business men, as well as ourselves, 
and we have been making inquiries in re- 
gard to the practicability of the work. 
Years ago our fellow citizen. Guerdon S. 
Hubbard, Esq., came from Mt)ntrcal to 
this city with a party of voyagers, by this 
route. He expresses the conviction that 
the work is entirely feasible. Yesterday, 
with one of Mitchell's large maps of the 
United States before us, we learned a 
variety of facts from Capt. David Mcin- 
tosh, which will be interesting to oar 
readers. Capt. Mcintosh commanded a 




steamer running on Lake Simcoe for three 
years, and is perfectly familiar with the 
whole country. 

Lying to the northeast of Lake Huron, 
and generally included in the same name, 
is in fact another lake called Mauitouline, 
(Georgian Bay) nearly as large as lake 
Ontario. At the southeast end of this 
lake is Notawasaga Bay, into which a 
river of the same name enters. This 
river is navigable for some distance, and 
from the head of navigation to Kempeu- 
feldt Bay, an arm of Lake Simcoe, is a 
distance of only twelve miles. Capt. 
Mcintosh says this is one of the most 
beautiful lakes on the Western Continent, 
seventy miles long and twenty-eight broad. 
The country between the Notawasaga 
river and L ike Simcoe is free from hills 
and very favorable to the construction of 
such a canal. This route, both Mr. Hub- 
bard and Captain Mcintosh think, would 
be much more favorable for a canal than 
to improve the navigation of the Severn, 
the outlet of the lake, as it is much more 
direct, aud the canal could be built, with 
much less expense. 

Having arrived at Lake Simcoe, let us 
see what obstacles are to be overcome in 
reaching Toronto. On the map a small 
river is put down as entering Lake Sim- 
coe from the south, called the Holland 
river. This river Captain Mcintosh says 
is navigable twelve miles, aud from the 
head of navigation on this stream to 
Toronto, tlie distance is only thirty-six 
miles. This would give us at most forty- 
eight miles of canal to build. 

The greatest difficulty that occurs to 
us is the feeding of the summit level be- 
tween Lake Simcoe and Mauitouline and 
Ontario. But from the appearance of 
the map before us, and from the informa- 
tion furnished us by Captain Mcintosh, 
this obstacle, it would seem, can be readily 
surmounted. The summit of the country 
between Lake Simcoe and Toronto lies on 
a low ridge about sixteen miles south of 
Lake Simcoe, and if the canal were put 
through this range, it could be fed from 
Lake Simcoe through to Lake Ontario. 
Lake Simcoe, so far as we can learn, is 
about 120 feet above Lake Manitouline, 
and 450 above Lake Ontario. Immediately 
at the north end of Lake Simcoe is a fall 
of some ninety feet. A dam might prob- 
ably be thrown across the Severn above 
the falls, raising the level of the lake 
very considerably so as to make it feed 
both summits. If it should not furnish 
water sufficient to feed the canal, the 
Trent, a large river running a few miles 
east of the lake, can very easily be turned 
into it, and will furnish any amount of 
water that may be necessary. 

Though the rutting should be one, two 
or even four hundred feet for the first few 

miles south of Lake Simcoe, the necessi- 
ties of commerce will fully warrant the 
expenditure. Captain Mcintosh thinks 
the whole expense of the work would be 
far less than the cost of the Welland canal. 
It will be of vastly greater importance to 
our city and the entire West. 

Let us suppose for a moment that the 
St. Lawrence is opened to our shipping, 
and we have reciprocal free trade with 
Canada. Our produce could be shipped 
direct to Europe with only a single trans- 
shipment at Alontreal, and that only from 
vessel to vessel. The trade that would at 
once spring up between this city and 
Europe no sane man would now dare to 
estimate. And again goods would be im- 
ported direct to this city from Europe and 
Asia, and Chicago would become the 
great store-house aud distributing centre 
of the whole Mississippi valley. Our 
warehouses would rival those of the At- 
lantic cities, and our merchants, in the 
expressive language of the Scriptures, 
would be "princes." The advantages to 
our Canadian neighbors would be equally 
great. Montreal and Toronto, especially, 
have an immense interest at stake in the 
success of this enterprise. Has the pro- 
posed route ever been surveyed? AVill 
our Canadian friends ' ' agitate " the mat- 
ter and give us their opinions and give us 
what facts they may have upon its practi- 

If nature has thrown '■'■ inmrmountable" 
obstacles in the way we give it up. What 
we of the West want is i'ree access to the 
ocean by every possible outlet. Our com- 
merce and immense productions will tax 
them all to their utmost capacity. 

The late George Steele, a sturdy Scotch- 
man who had lived several years in Can- 
ada, and one of the best business men 
Chicago ever had, sent marked copies of 
the Pre»s containing this article to all the 
leading papers in Canada, and probably 
every one in the entire country pub- 
lished the article and had something to 
say upon the subject. We felt on this 
side that the route for the canal was in 
their country, and it was not our place to 
offer any advice as to its construction or 
the means by which it could be accom- 
plished. It continued to be more or less 
discussed, and on June 12th, 1855, at the 
close of a long article on IsrPROviNG the 
Navigation of the St. Lawrence, I 
published the following paragraphs : 

We have another suggestion to make to 
the commercial men of Toronto and Mon- 
treal, and to the Canadians generally, 



Tvhicli we think well worthy of their at- 
tention. It is that instead of enlarging 
the Welland Canal, they at once build one 
of sufficient capacity to pass our largest 
propellers from the head of the Georgian 
Bay to Toronto. It will save at least 500 
miles of lake navigation, avoiding the 
St. Clair Flats, the Detroit river, Lake 
Erie, and the Welland canal. We have 
understood from those who have examined 
the ground that the route is perfectly fea- 
sible, and there are only forty-eight miles 
of canal to build. Build this canal, and 
Chicago is practically as near to Montreal 
as it is to Buffalo, for so far as we can 
judge from measuring on the viap, there 
is not a hundred miles difference in the 
distance which a propeller would have to 
steam in making the two ports. It is true 
that the tolls on the canal would make the 
freights to Montreal dearer than to Buffalo; 
but when you come to foot up the cost of 
transporting pork, beef, flour, and pro- 
duce to New York or to Europe, it would 
show figures vastly in favor of the Cana- 
dian route. Will not our Canadian friends 
examine this subject and give us the re- 
sult of their investigations? 

Tiie entire Northwest is deeply interest- 
ed in the opening of all new lines to the 
seaboard, and in whatever will increase 
the capacity of those now in operation, 
k^o rapid is the settlement of our magnifi- 
cent prairies going forward, and so vast 
are their agricultural resources, that every 
line of communication is already taxed 
almost to its utmost capacity, and five 
years will find them all utterly incapable 
to do the business which will force itself 
upon them. Let the Canadian capitalists 
build their canals as fast as possible, the 
West will crowd them with business as 
soon as they are finished. 

The Pre><s of June 12th, 1855, contains 
another articl-; on the same subject. In it 
I give further facts derived from Hon. 
Thomas Steers, of Barre, Lake Simcoe, 
and a subscription is proposed for survey- 
ing the route, which Mr. Steers started 
with a handsome sum. Other subscrip- 
tions were made in Canada, and I got 
some hundreds of dollars subscribed by 
our banks and business men. 

The Press of July 25th, 1854, has an- 
other ai'ticle in which is quoted the action 
of the Toronto Board of Trade, in which 
a committee is appointed to raise sub- 
scriptions and arrange for a survey. 

July 30th, a meeting of the Chicago 
Board of Trade is reported, and favorable 
resolutions were passed. A committee, 
to raise funds was appointed, and to act 

with committees of other cities. George 
Steele, Thos. Richmond, B. S. Shepherd, 
T. Jones, C. T. Wheeler, Hiram Wheeler, 
Wm. Bross, Thos. Steers, and R. S. 
King, were the committee. August 1st, 
I published a column of extracts from 
Canadian papers, and editorial on the 
same subject. Important information is 
added to what was then known in regard 
to the project. Finally, the Toronto 
Board of Trade invited delegates from 
similar bodies in the lake cities to meet 
there on the 13th of September, 1855, to 
elicit whatever facts there might be bear- 
ing on the feasibility of the work. Geo. 
Steele, Thos. Richmond, and myself, were 
appointed delegates. Mr. Richmond 
could not go; Mr. S. and myself attended. 
In order to show the Canadians the im- 
portance of the work as best I could, I 
made the following address to the con- 
vention : 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Committee : 

Mr. Crocker has presented you with 
some very interesting figures in relation 
to the lessening of the cost of transporta- 
tion, if facilities for using larger vessels 
be afforded. Will you allow me to give 
you some facts which may assist you, and 
more especially that portion of the busi- 
ness public who may not have examined 
the subject, to appreciate the importance 
of a ship canal from the Georgian Bay to 
Toronto, it is proposed to construct an- 
other great highway for the commerce of 
the Upper Lalies to Lake Ontario, and 
thence to the ocean. Whether the labor 
and expense necessary to complete the 
work, if they fall within a reasonable 
estimate, after a careful survey sluill have 
been made, would be usef ullj' and profita- 
bly employed, must be determined by the 
present commerce of those lakes and its 
prospective extent and value in the future. 

The growth of that commerce for the 
last twenty j^ears is one of the most aston- 
ishing facts in the commercial history of 
the world, and forms an index by which 
we may judge what is likely to be its his- 
tory hereafter. The report of Mr. An- 
drews made to the Secretary of War, un- 
der the direction of the Congress of the 
United States, gives the value of the com- 
merce of the fakes for tlie year 1851 at 
326,000,000 of dollars, being more than 
the entire foreign commerce of the Union. 
We hq,ve no means to determine how 
much of this trade is due to Lake Michi- 
gan, but we have some figures by which 
we can form some idea of the value of 



that trade for the past J^ear; and if we con-, 
sider the extent of the territory from 
which that trade now comes, and the vast 
region from which it is to come, it will 
enable us to form some idea of the impor- 
tance of the proposed canal to the future 
commerce of the lakes. 

The territory which has built up the 
city of Chicago, does not extend beyond 
the JMississippi, saj'' two hundred miles 
west, and a hundred milesnorth by a hun- 
dred and fifty miles south would mark its 
boundaries in these directions. This gives 
us an area of fifty thousand square miles. 
Any of the gentlemen present, who may 
have traveled over the country west of 
Chicago, know that its resources are but 
very imperfectly developed. What was 
the trade of Chicago for the past year? 
She shipped 12,902,310 bushels of grain, 
making her the largest primary grain 
port in the world. 8he packed and shi]>- 
ped alive over 100,000 hogs. There were 
slaughtered 23,691 cattle, and 10,957 were 
shipped East alive. 

The lumber receipts amounted to 
248, 3ii6, 783 feet. 

The arrivals of vessels were 443 steam- 
ers, 409 propellers, 114 barques, 436 brigs, 
3,049 schooners, and 70 sloops — total, 
4,527. The total tonnage as registered in 
the Custom House, was 984,144 Ions. The 
total receipts of the Custom House were 

1854 S!575,802.85 

1853 2(i0,671.17 

Increase in a single year $315,131. tiS 

The population of Chicago for a series 
of years will enable you to form some 
conception of its rapid growth, and the 
development of the resources of the 
country west of it: 




1S45 ...12.088 

1810 14,169 

1847 -le.ra) 

1848 20,023 

1849 23,047 

1850 28.2fi9 

1852 38.733 

1853 00.052 

18.54 .......65,872 

1855 83,509 

The figures for the present year as given 
in the above table include our marine 
population, which were not included in 
the amount as published in some of the 
papers: The total number without the 
marine is 80,028. The value of the manu- 
factured articles as given in the census 
just taken is $9,827,700. 

These are a specimen of some of the 
items in the trade of Chicago for the jiast 
year. What the trade of Waukegan, 
Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee was, we 
have no means of determining; but they 
were of course very considerable, and 
tended very materially to swell the trade 
of Lake Michigan. It .'should be remem- 
bered that so far as Chicago is concernfd 
her trade was gathered from about 50,000 
square miles. 

Let us now turn our attention to the 
country west of Lake Michigan and en- 
deavor to form some idea of its extent 
and resources, that we may estimate as 
best we may what the trade of Lake Mich- 
igan is to be a few years hence. Let us 
tike a .Mand-point at tlie mouth of the 
south fnrk of the Platte lliver, say 
nine hundred miles west of Chicago. 
Draw a line through this point north and 
south, aii'l, though we are a long way east 
of the Rocky Mountains, call the rest of 
the country south of tlie Black Hills a 
desert. It will be ob.scrved that, all the 
territory on the Yellow Stone and the 
Upper Missouri lies west of this line. 

For our north and south line we begin 
at or near Alton at about the thirty-ninth 
degree of north latitude and go up to the 
northern boundary of Minnesota and 
Nebraska. The total distance will not 
vary much from six hundred and fifty 
miles. This gives us an area of territory 
of 585,000 square miles. Add to this 
115,000 square miles for the beautiful 
country on the Upper Missouri and the 
Yellow Stone and we have seven hundred 
tliousaud square miles of as fine country 
as can be found upon the face of the earth, 
whose productions and trade will swell 
beyond the figures of the wildest fancy 
the commerce of the lakes.* 

It may be said that our north and south 
line reaches too far south. All the trade 
as far south as Alton will not seek the lake 
joute, but a large portion of it will; and 
ns you extend the radius west, say to 
Independence, Missouri, the line becomes 
very direct through Quiucy to Chicago. 

It is very easy to repeat the figures — 
700,000 which represent the number of 
square miles contained in the territory we 
have named; but it is a fardiflerent thing 
to form a definite idea of the immense 
c( )untry which yet remains to be developed 
west of the Lakes. Let us make a few 
comparisons to assist us in our estimate 
of the future of the great Northwest. 

It should be remarked, however, that 
there are many beautiful valleys in the 
Rocky Mountains, capable of sustaining 
a large population, and more fertile and 
beautiful than Switzerland, and enough 
to form half a dnz* n such States. 

Add up the number of square miles in 
all tlie States east of the Mississippi, ex- 
cept Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida, and 
you will find that you will have only 
700,000. If you are startled and can 
scarcely believe the figures, take a news- 
paper and cut it in the shape of the terri- 
tory I liave named east of the Mississippi, 
and lay it on that west of Lake Michigan,' 

* This geojrraphical fact was, so far a" I know, 
first proved in a Ions nr\ 'e prepared by myself, 
June 2;th, of the same year. 



and study the map m every possible form 
and you will be forced to.ihe conclusioa 
that the Northwest contains a territory 
larger than the twenty-three older States 
we have alluded to east of the Mississippi. 
These States contain some 20,000,000 in- 

But again, England, Irelam', Wales and 
Scotland contain in all 115,000 square 
miles, only one-sixth of the Territor}^ of 
the Northwest, and have a population of 
26,000,000. Were the territory we have 
named equally populous, it would con- 
tain 156,000,000. Turkey, Austria and 
France, have in the aggregate 361, COO 
square miles and a population of 84,000,000. 
Need it be wondered at that in speaking 
of the Northwest, Western men aie 
obliged to use terms which venera])le old 
fogies regard as extravagant and even 
absurd? The simple fact is that this ter- 
ritcny is l.irge enough to make fourteen 
States of 50,000 square miles each, and is 
vastly more fertile and capable of sus- 
t'.uning a population manj^ times larger 
than all the older States of the Union. 

A few words as to the resources of the 
country under consideration. In minerals 
it is especially rich. It contains the lai-g- 
est and the richest deposits of lead and 
copi)er that are known to exist anywhere 
upon the globe. I need hardly say that I 
allude to the copiier mines of Lake Supe- 
rior, and the lead district of which Galena 
is the centre. Iron and coal are also 
found in great abundance. 

In speaking of its climate and produc- 
tions, it should be known that the isother- 
mal or climatic lines bend far away to the 
north as we go west toward the Rocky 
Mountains. If we mistake not, it is nearly 
as warm at the north bend of the Missouri 
as it is at Chicago. Owing to this fact 
and the richness of the country, the buf- 
falo range nearly up to the south line of 
British America. 

The agricultural resources of these 
700,000 square miles are absolutely beyond 
the power of man to estimate. It is the 
opinion of some of the best informed men 
that the great plains over which the buf- 
falo now range in countless thousands, 
must after all become the great corn-grow- 
ing sections of the Union. There too 
will be leared the countless herds of cat- 
tle and the hogs, driven to Chicago, to be 
packed in beef and pork to feed tlie East- 
ern States, with an abundance to spare for 
all the nations of Euiope. 

And now, Mr. President and gentlemen, 
with the vast extent and the agricultural 
and mineral resources of the country' we.«t 
of the Lakes before us, what is the com- 
merce of these lakes to be in the next 
twenty years? It is settling with most 
astonishing rapidity. Our railroads are 

piercing this vast territory in all direc- 
tions. They now reach the Mississippi ;it 
Cairo, Alton, Burlington, Rock Island and 
Dubuque; and more than a hundred trains 
a day arrive at and depart from Chicago. 
They will soon be extended through Wis- 
consin, Minnesota and Iowa, and no one 
can tell where they will end till they reach 
the Pacific. If the products of the West, 
gathered from only 50,000 square miles, 
have built up a city of 83,000 people in 
the short space of eighteen years — for it 
is only a few mouths more than that since 
it was incorporated — who dares to esti- 
mate what the next twenty years will ac- 
complish ? I once heard Captain Hugunin, 
a veteran sailor of our city, who com- 
menced liis eventful career oil Lake Onta- 
rio in 181', after referring to the growth 
and the endless prospective value of the 
pro'luctsof the West, say that " the great 
God, when he made the mighty West, 
made also the Lakes and the 'mighty St. 
Lawrence to float its commerce to the 
ocean;" and I ?night add, as well attempt 
to lead the boiling current of Niagara to 
the sea in hose pipe, as to ship the pro- 
ducts of these 700,000 square miles to the 
ocean by the Erie and the Welland Canals, 
and all the railroads nov,- or hereafter to 
be constructed. The West needs the 
(^eorgian Bay Canal and every other ave- 
nue to the ocean that can possibly be 

The result was the survey of the rente 
by Kivas TuUy, and Col. R. B. Mason, of 
Chicago, as consulting engineer. It was 
proved perfectly practicable but expen- 
sive, costing by their estimate at prices 
then ruling, $22,170,750. The financial 
crash of 1857-8 stopped all further pro- 
ceedings in regard to it; but the charter 
for the work passed into the hands of a 
Company of which F. C. Capreol, Esq., 
is, and for a long time has been. Presi- 
dent. By his indefatigable labors the 
enterprise has been kei)t before the public 
and its feasibility and great practical 
value to Canada and the Northwest has 
been proved and thoroughly illustrated. 
Pity it is that the work is r.ol likely to 
be completed in his lifetime. It will be, 
when completed, in my judgment, to the 
commerce of the Lakes what the Suez 
Canal is to that of Europe and the world. 

A brief statement of the character of 
the work will be found in an address made 
at Des Moines, January 22ncl, 1873, to be 
found towards the close of this volume. 




At the close of 1113' railway article for 
1856 I made the following synopsis of the 
railways and the business of tlie city for 
that year. 

The following list embraces the trunk 
roads actually completed and in operation, 
with their branch and extension lines, 
centering in Chicago: 

^ Miles. 

CMcago and Milwaukee 85 

Eacine and Mississippi SB 

CMcago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac I'^l 

Milwaukee and Mississippi, Western Divis'n 10.5 

Galena and Chicago Union 121 

Fox Eiver Valley - 33 

Wisconsin Central 6 

Beloit Branch 20 

Beloit and Madison 17 

Mineral. Point 17 

Galena (Fulton) Air Line 13>j 

( hicago, Iowa and Nebraska 13 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy - '^lO 

Burlington and Missouri --- 30 

Northern Cross -. -U'l 

Hannibal and St. Joseph 30 

Chicago and Hock Island.- 1.S3 

Mississippi and Missouri, IstDivision _ 5' 

do do 3rd do . 13 

Peoria and Bureau Valley 47 

Peoria .■<nd Oquawka 14:) 

Chicago, Alton and St. Louis 'iSi 

niinois Central 704 

Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago 383 

Michigan Soul hern and Northern Indiana 242 

Cfncinnati, Peru and Chicago 28 

Michigan Central ..-.,. _ 282 

New Albany and Salem .284 

11 Trunk and 17 Branch and Extension lines 3,G7b 

Taking the portions of the above lines 
which lie in the State of Illinois, and add- 
ing the length of the different roads com- 
pleted in the central portions of the State, 
we find that Illinois now contains two 


years ago we had only ninet5^-five miles. 
These facts show a most gratifying pro- 
gress, of which every citizen of Illinois 
may well be proud. 

The total number of trains which now 
(midwinter) arrive at and depart from 
Chicago daily is 104. Adding 15 per cent, 
for the number as soon as navigation 
opens, and we have 120. The amount of 
freight, the number of passengers, and 
the wealth and the business which these 

trains daily pour into the lap of Chicago 
can easily be appreciated by those who 
are on the ground and Avill take pains to 
examine the subject for themselves. 

The earnings of our different railway 
lines during the past year have been of 
the most satisfactory character. We 
should like to see the receipts of the dif- 
ferent lines centering in other cities, that 
a comparison might be made. When it 
is remembered that five years ago we had 
but forty miles of railway, earning per- 
haps $40,000, the contrast is truly amazing. 
We present the following 

Table, showing the Earnings of the Rnil- 
roculs centering in Chica;jo, for the year 

o o t- o 

5 g2 S?|S 

'^ Of \ at 

s g 

8 sn s 


01 -ft- 

§ ? § 

T-\ ' O CO 

Z ^ 

^ 5 «^ 2 d ^ I ^ ^ 

2; d d M S 



The movement of passengers forms a 
new and interesting feature in our rail- 
way statistics. The returns of the four 
principal roads running west from the 
city show the following 






est. P. & F. 

G. &C. U 

C.,B. & Q.... 
C.& R. I 

Thro'. Way. Total. Thro'. W^y. Total. 

2,217 26,'<46 29,063 2,530 26,579 29,109 

72,707 199,766 272,473 42,552 169,907 212,459 

31,433 100,540 131,973 25,492 95,940 121,431 

48,978 157,178 206.157 30,439 138,575 169,014 

Total 155,335 4S4,330 639,666 101,013 431,001 532,013 

This table shows that these four rail- 
ways alone have taken west 107,653 pass- 
engers more than they brought back — 
people enough to redeem another sovereign 
State from the dominion of the pRnther 
and the savage, and add another star to 
the banner of our glorious Union. Dur- 
ing the early part of the year a large 
emigration found its way to Kansas and 
Nebraska over the Chicago, Alton & St. 
Louis Railway, by land, and also on the 
Ohio and other tributaries of the Missis- 
sippi. Many were also landed from the 
lower lake and the Collingwood steamers 
at Milwaukee and other cities north of us, 
so that there can scarcely be a doubt that 
at least 250,000 people found their way 
west of the meridian of Chicago and 
north of the southern line of Missouri 
during the past year. 

If the passenger movement on the 
Michigan Southern corresponds with that 
on the Michigan Central, the above results 
agree with sufficient accuracy with those 
of the four leading Western lines. They 
would be as follows: 



Thro'. Way. Total. Thro'. Way. Total. 

Mich. Central.. 117,662 215,119 332,781 64,187 194,697 258,884 

M.S. (estimate) 117,662 215,119 332,781 64,187 194,697 258,884 

Total 235,324 530,238 665,562 128,374 389,394 517,768 

This table would show, on the above 
hypothesis, that these two lines brought 
147,794 passengers west more than they 
took back, leaving about 40,000 to remain 
in this city or to find their way west of us 
by other lines. If we make a fair esti- 
mate for the movement of passengers on 
the Milwaukee and St. Louis roads, from 
which no returns were received, the total 
movement on the principal railway lines 
centering at Chicago would be about 
3,350,000 passengers. 

This is the last of four leading statisti- 
cal articles published since the first of 

Januaiy hist, and we now give at a 
single glance the main facts contained in 
all of them. We present, therefore, the 


Total number of mile.? of railway cen- 
tering in Chicago Feb. 20, 185a 40 

Total iiumber of miles now completed 

and in operation.. _ 3,676 

Increase in 1856 915 

Total number to be completed in 

from fi\e to eight years . . 6,929 

Total number of miles of railway in 

the State of Illinois now in opei ation 2,761 

Increase in 1856 351 

(Only 95 miles were completed five 

years ago.) 
Increase in the State in five years, 

(Over 500 miles per year) 2,666 

Total earnings of all the railways cen- 
tering in Chicago for the year IBMi $17,343,242.83 
(Five years ago they were only $40,0u0 ) 

Increase in five years.. 17,303,242.83 

Increase of 1856 over 1855 4,045,041.74 

Total number of trains arriving and 

departing daily (midwinter) 104 ; 

adding 15 cent, as soon as naviga- 
tion opens... 120 

Population of Chicago in 1852 38,783 

Populaiion of Chicago Jan. 1, 1857, 

estimate (in June, 1855, it was 83,509) 110.000 

Total receipts of grain in Chicago for 

the year 1855, bushels 20,487,953 

Total receipts of grain— being the 

largest primary grain port in the 

world— for the year 1856 (increase in 

18.56 over 20 p . r cent. ) bushels 24,674,824 

Total shipments of grain from the 

port of Chicago for the year 1856, 

bushels -..- 21,583,221 

Tot:il amount of corn received in 1856 

bushels 11,888,398 

Total amount of wheat received in 1856 

bushels 9,392,365 

Total number of hogs alive and dressed 

received in Chicago for 18.55-6 308,539 

Total number of shipments alive and 

dressed -.-...... 170,831 

Averaging the weiglit at only 200 lbs. 

and the price at $5 per hundred, the 

value of the hogs i eceived would be $3,585,880 
NumDer of barrels of beef packed in 

1856 33,058 

Receipts of lumber at the port of 

Chicago for the year 1856— being the 

largest lumber market in the world 

-feet ^ 456,67.3,169 

Receipts of lead for the year 1856, lbs. 9,527,506 

Now laid up in the port of Chicago, 

steamers and sail vessels 245 

Total number of vessels ai riving in 

Chicago for the year 1856 7,328 

Total tonnage of vessels arriving in 

this port for the year 1856 1,545,379 

Amount of imposts received at the 

Chicago Custom House on foreign 

goods for the past year $162,994.31 

Total a:uount of capital invesied in 

manufactures dui ing the year 1856 — 

showing an increase of $1,464,400 

over 1855 $7,759,400 

Total number of hands employed— 

showing an increase over 1855, of 

1,833 10,573 

Total value of manufactured articles, 

.■showing an increase of $4.4S3..->7i, $15,515,063 
Total aniDUiil invested during 1 lie year 

IS.Mi in improvcinonts, stores, dwell- 
ings, hotels etc.- showing an in- 
crease ove r 18.-)5, of $ 1 .'.173.370 $5,708,624 

Total ininiber of passengers carried 

west by fourpiiiicipal railway.-^ lead- 
ing out of Chicago 0-39,666 



Total number remainin? west above 

those who returned on these four 

li.ies - 107.653 

Total number of passengers moved 

on all the roads ceuteriug in Chicago 3,350,000 

The above facts and figures will be re- 
garded with special satisfaction by all our 
citizens, and by the people of the North- 
west generally. They show a healthy, 
but rapid and most astonishing progress. 
It may be doubted whether the whole his- 
tory of the civilized world can furnish a 
parallel to the vigorous growth and rapid 
development of the country which has 
Chicago for its commercial metropolis. 
When it is rememb.-red that twenty years 
ago she was not an incorporated city, and 
less than a quarter of a century since, the 
Indians still had possession of the largest 
portion of this magnificent country, these 
facts, stubborn and incontestible though 
they be, seem more like the dreams of 
some vagrant imagination than sober mat- 
ters of realitj', which scores of men still 
among us have themselves seen and real- 

Twenty years ago Chicago was an insig- 
nificant town at the southern end of Lake 
3Iicbigao, importing nearly all her pro- 
duce from Western jSTew York and North- 
ern Ohio. Last year she shipped 
21,583,221 bushels of grain, and her total 
receipts were over twenty-four and a half 
millions. Half a dozen years ago she 
had only a single railroad some twenty 
miles long entering the city; now she 
has 3,676 miles completed and in opera- 
tion, and the earnings of these lines for 
the last year amount to the enormous sum 
of $17,343,242.83. The increase of earn- 
ings during the past year is over four mil- 
lions of dollars. More than a hundred 
trains of cars arrive and depart daily. 
Her trade in lumber exceeds by far that 
of any other city in the world, amounting 
to 456,673,169 feet. Ten years ago her 
manufactures were in their infancy and 
were scarcely worthy of commendation. 
Last year the capital invested amounted 
to $7,7o9,400, and the value of manufac- 
tured articles to more than fifteen mil- 
lions AND A HALF OF DOLLARS. Half a 

dozen j^ears ago Chicago w^as reproached 
as being a city of wooden shanties; last 

y ar she invested in magnificent stores, 
many of them with superb marble and 
iron fronts, elegant palatial residences and 
other improvements, $5,708,624. And 
wonderful as has been the progress of the 
city, it has not been able to keep pace 
with the improvements of the country by 
which slie is surrounded. 

The statistics of the movement of pop- 
ulation westward show that people enough 
found their homes west of Chicago during 
the past year to form two entire States. 
Nor is this a movement of mere human 
l)one and muscle; it is a concentration 
upon our rich rolling prairies and amid 
our beautiful groves of a vast host of 
active, vigorous, intelligent men, who 
plant schools and churches wherever they 
settle, and bring with them all the ele- 
ments of an enterprising Christian civili- 
zation — a deep, controlling, ever abiding 
reverence for liberty and for law. They 
are laying the foundations for an empire 
of whose wealth, intelligence and power 
the sun in all his course has never seen the 
equal. Ere the next quarter of a century 
shall have rolled away, the beautiful val- 
leys of the Upper Missouri, the Yellow 
Stone, the Platte, and the Kansas, aye, 
and even that of the Red River of tiie 
North, will all have been settled, and this 
ever-deepening current of emigration will 
meet an equally resistless stream from the 
Pacific coast, and roll back in mingling 
eddies from the summits of the Rocky 
Mountains. Fourteen States as large as 
Ohio, but on an average more wealthy 
and populous, will have grown up on the 
magnificent country between the Lakes 
and the Rocky Mountains, and how many 
will repose upon the "Pacific slope" we 
dare not attempt to predict. 

During the last year our steamers have ■ 
run without interruption to the bead of 
Lake Superior, and our exports to the 
Atlantic seaboard have largely increased. 
Nor is this all. The Dean Richmond was 
loaded with wheat at the wharves of Chi- 
cago and Milwaukee and discharged her 
cargo into the warehouses of Liverpool. 
The practicability, and the profit too, of 
direct trade with Europe have been dem- 
onstrated; and as soon as navigation 



opens, other vessels will follow in the 
track of the Dean Richmond; and in the 
judgment of those who have most care- 
fully studied this subject, a very few years 
will render the dei^arture of vessels for 
the grain-consuming countries of Europe 
so common as scarcely to excite remark. 
Our Canadian neighbors are becoming 
fully convinced that their best interests 
require greater facilities for the transit of 
western produce to the ocean — and the 
enlargement of the Welland Canal and 
the construction of the Georgian Bay or 
the Ottawa Ship Canal is now regarded as 
a prime necessity of commerce. Our rail- 
way lines are constantly being extended 
through the magnificent country west of 
us — a country whose mineral, agricultural 
and commercial resources no man has yet 
had the nerve to estimate. To the citi- 
zen of Chicago who has at heart the 
material, social and religious welfare of 
the millions who are to succeed us, every 
aspect of the horizon east, west, north 
and south, is full of promise and joyous 
hope. Presenting our congratulations to 
the readers of the Press, we offer to them, 
to all, the inspiring motto. Courage ! 
Onward ! ! 

The following little address contains 
some facts which perhaps will excuse its 
insertion here: 



Remarks of Wm. Bross, Esq., at the Great Railway 
c'elfbration at IMoutreal, Wednesday, Nov. IStli, 
18.5tj, in lesponsB to the io;is: " The City of Chi- 
cago," as reported in the Montreal Gazette, Nov. 

"Wm. Bross, Esq., Editor of the Chicago 
Democratic Prtss, responded. He thani< ed 
tlie last speaker for the llattering mention 
that had been made of Chicago, and said: 
This IS eminently, Sir, a practical age. 
And while this is true, it is not wanting 
in elements which appeal to and 
arouse the nobler auel more generous 
emotions of the soul. The facts and the 
figures, which represent the onward pro- 
gress of our Christian civilization, so far 
from being dry and uninteresting, are 
themselves eloquent and ab.sorbing, and 
even the most exalted genius has nut dis- 
dained to embody them in our literature. 

and to celebrate their benign influence 
upon the happiness of mankind in the 
magic numbers of poetr^'. Next to 
Christianity itself, commerce has the most 
direct and powerful influence to bind to- 
gether, in a community of interest and 
feeling, all the families of our race, and 
to cultivate those kindlier sympathies 
which teach man to recognize a brother in 
hisfelloW*man in whatever land or clime 
he may be fnund. 

This celebration is intended (o honor the 
opening of another great thoroughfare 
from the teeming prairies of the West to 
the Atlantic seaboard. While others 
have enjoyed the pleasing task of d'.vell- 
iug on tiie social themes suggested by this 
event, and believing as I do in the elo- 
quence of facts and figures, will you per- 
mit me. Sir, to notice its great commer- 
cial importance. Canadian enterprise 
was never more wisely employed than 
when it devoted its energies to complete 
another highway from the j\Iississippi to 
Montreal and Quebec, and to Portland in 
Maine, the most eastern, as she certainlj- 
is one of the fairest stars in our glorious 
galaxy of States. Permit nie, in this con- 
nection, to notice briefly the extent and 
rapidity of settlement, and the resources 
of the magnificent country of which Chi- 
cago is the commercial centre, and which 
you have bound to your city by iron bands 
by the completion of the Grand Trunk 
Railway. Let any one study carefully 
the map of the Northwest, and he w-ill 
find within the. bounds of the United 
States, lying between Lake Michigan and 
the Rocky Mountains, and within the 
reach of the trade of the lakes south, 
say the latitude of Alton, 700,U00 square 
miles of territory — enough to form four- 
teen States as la'rge as Ohio. It is very to repeat these figures, but let us 
make some comparisons in order that we 
may form some just and definite concep- 
tion of their magnitude. All the States 
east of the Mississippi, except W^iscousin, 
Illinois and Florida, contain only about 
7(10,000 square miles. Again, England, 
Ireland, Wales and Scotland, consiituting 
the British empire, leading, as her posi- 
tion is in tlie civilization, wealth and power 
of the world, contain only 115,000 square 
miles, and yet they have a population of 
36,000,000. The countries of Turkej', 
Austria and France contain in the aggre- 
trate 861,000 square miles, and sustain a 
population of 84,0U0,000.« 

The climate of the region under con- 
sideration is exactly fitted to produce a 
hardy and enterprising people. Its min- 
eral deposits of iron, lead, coppci and 
coal are unsurpassed in extent and rich- 
ness, and, unbroken by mountains, its 
agricultural resources are exhaustless and 
truly amazing. It is said by competent 




authority that every acre will maintain its 
man; but giving leu to each, within the 
next half dozen centuries, if peace and 
prosperity crown the laud, it is destined 
to contain 450,000,000 of people. tSuch 
is the vast and magnificent country with 
which you have become sociall}' and com- 
mercially connected at all times and in all 
seasons by the Grand Truuk, the Great 
Western, and the Michigan Central Rail- 

The rapidity with which the borders of 
this immense region— for at least five- 
sevenths of it is still the home of the pan- 
ther, the buffalo and the savage — is one 
of the most astonishing wonders of the 
age. Within half the lifetime of many 
who hear me, there were not ten thousand 
white inhabitants in all this territory; their 
number now will range from one and a 
half to two millions. Twenty years ago 
Chicago was a small town at the southern 
end of Lake Michigan, and at night the 
howl of the prairie wolf might be heard 
from all its dwellings ; now it is a city of 
more than a hundred thousand inhabi- 
tants. Twenty years ago Chicago import- 
ed nearly all her pork, beef and flour: 
this year she will export 20,000,000 bush- 
els of grain, and her beef, both in quan- 
tity and quality, leads the markets of the 
world. Five years ago the State of Illi- 
nois had completed 95 miles of railways; 
now she has more than 2,400. At that 
time there was but one railway, forty 
miles long, entering Chicago; there are 
now ten trunk and a great number of 
branch lines, and counting in most cases 
but a single State beyond our own, there 
are now more than three thousand miles 
of railway centering in the city, and on 
these more than a hundred trains of cars 
arrive and depart daily. The earnings of 
these roads last year reached the enor- 
mous sum of $13,300,000, and this year they 
will amount to from 17 to 20,0u0,000 of 
dollars. What is a matter of special pride 
iSj that some of these lines are among the 
best paying roads in the Union. But the 
counby is increasing, if possible, much 
faster than Chicago, its commercial 
metropolis. Oulj^ some seven or eight 
years ago", Minnesota was organized into 
a territory, aud her white inhabitants 
were told by a few hundreds; now she 
has at least 130,000, and will knock at the 
door of Congress at the next session for 
admission as" a sovereign State. 

But, Sir, it may be interesting to you 
to know what the extent of the trade 
between the ports of Canada and Chicago 
is. And here let me acknowledge my in- 
debtedness for these figures to J. Edward 
Wilkins, Esq., the very able aud excellent 
Consul of Her Britannic Majesty at 


Vessels. Tons. 

18.54 ....5 l,lil3 £5,178 2 6 $24,855 

18.55 77 l<i.(il7 28,85t) 6 8 W8,520 

1856, to Nov. 1, 95 22,664 40,892 8 4 194,843 


Vessels. Tons. 

18.54 .6 1,482 £16,429 7 6 $79,101 

1855 61 1:B,01O 173,922 1 8 834,826 

1856, to Nov. 1, 97 23,377 174,838 5 9 829,223 

These figures, it should be borne in 
mind, represent the trade in British ves- 
sels alone. The exports from Chicago to 
Canadian ports are much larger than 
the figures here given, as produce is shipped 
largely by the Collingwood aud the Michi- 
gan Central lines, by Ogdensburg and by 
independent American vessels. The total 
amount of sales this year at Chicago to 
Canadian merchants is estimated by Mr. 
Wilkins at about $2,500,000. This large 
trade has sprung up mainly within the 
last two years, and owes its success to the 
enlightened' statesmanship of those who 
framed and secured the passage of the 
reciprocity treaty. But, Sir, we, of Chi- 
cago, hope that this trade is but in its in- 
fancy. The Creator when he formed the 
great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, intend- 
ed that the commerce of the mighty and 
teeming West should be borne on their 
broad bosom to the ocean, and I think. 
Sir, it requires no great amount of geo- 
graphical and philosophical sagacity to 
discover that while Chicago is to be the 
great central commercial city of the North 
American continent, iMontreal is to be 
one of the great commercial emporiums 
of the seaboard. That is virtually your 
position. It needs but the enlarging of 
the Welland Canal and the construction 
of another great work, the Georgian Bay 
and Ontario Ship Canal, to secure for 
Montreal this proud position beyond a 
peradventure. We have an earnest of 
' what can be done. Onl}' a few weeks ago 
the Dean Richmond was loaded at Chi-* 
cago and Milwaukee, jiassed out through 
your magnificent river and canals, and 
"landed her cargo of wheat on the docks 
of Liverpool. This, Sir, I regard as one 
of tiie greatest triumphs of commercial 
enterprise. But let not the merchants of 
Montreal fear that, if the Georgian Bay 
Canal be built, and the Welland enlarged, 
the rich trade of the West will go by her. 
t^o far from that, it will make one of its 
chief depots here. Lines of propellers 
will bring the produce of the West here, 
and from them it will be transhipped in 
Ocean going steamers. ]\Iay we not hope, 
Sir, that Montreal merchants will give us 
such a line next year on the opening of 
navigation? Let it be understood that 
Chirago merchants can import speedily 
aud surely goods from Europe by this line, 
and our word for it, it will not be three 



years before Montreal will secure the 
lion's share of the trade of the West. I 
am well aware, Sir, that these remarks 
may be condemned, and perchance excite 
the ridicule of my friends on the other 
side of the hne. The far-seeing sagacity 
of DeWitt Clinton planned, and New 
York enterprise built, the Erie Canal, 
thus securing for a time for the great 
American metropolis the vast trade of 
the mighty West. But, Sii', there is 
enough for them and for yuu. Com- 
merce knows no national lines. Protect 
her, and she blesses alike the loyal sub- 
jects of the British Queen and those who 
recline proudly beneath the Stars and 

Stripes of our own glorious Union. Aye, 
Sir, she has bound us, and may she con- 
tinue to bind us together in a community 
of interest and feeling, and accursed be 
the hand that would sever these bonds, so 
productive of everything that promotes 
the onward proi:ress of Christian civiliza- 
tion. I give you, Sir, m conclusion — 

" Montreal and Chicago — England, 
Canada, and the American Union ; "in all 
efforts to promote the arts of peace, and 
to secure the advancement of our race in 
intelligence and Chnslian civilization, 
may they be ' now and fokevek, one 






From our railway review for 1857, pre- 
pared by myself, the followiug synopsis 
IS takeu. 

The following list embraces the trunk 
roads actually completed and in operation, 
with their branch and extension lines, 
centering in Chicago: 


Chicago and Milwaukee 85 

Kenosha and Kockford 11 

Racine and Mississippi 86 

Chicaso, St. Paul and Fond du Lac 131 

Milwaukee and Mississippi, Western Divis"n 1.30 

Galena and Chicago Union 121 

Fox Kiver Valley 34 

Wisconsin Central 8 

Beloit Branch 20 

Beloit and Madison _. 17 

mineral Point 32 

Dubugue and Pacific 20 

Galena (Fulton) Air Line 13ti 

Chicago, Ibwa andl^ebraska 3() 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 210 

Burlington and Missouri 3.5 

Quincy and Chicago 100 

Hannibal and St. Joseph 65 

Chicago and Hock Island 182 

Mississippi and Missouri, IstDivision 55 

do do 2nd do 20 

do do 3rd do 13 

Peoria and Bureau Valley. 47 

Peoria and Oquawka 143 

Chicago, Alton and St. Louis.-. 284 

Illinois Central 704 

Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago 383 

Michigan Soul hern and Northern Indiana 242 

Cincinnati, Peru and Chicago 28 

Michigan Central 282 

New Albany and Salem 284 

11 Trunk and 20 Branch and Extension lines 3,953 

The above table shows an increase to 
the Chicago system of railroads during 
the past year, of 277 miles. Though fall- 
ing very far short of the progress of each 
of the past few years, considering the 
season of disaster and panic of the past 
few months, it is all and even much more 
than could have been expected. Most of 
this increase has been added in the State 
of Iowa. 

Adding the length of the completed 
lines in the central part of the State to 
that portion of the lines in the above 
table that lie within her boundaries, we 
find that Illinois has two thousand seven 


RAILWAY completed and in operation. 
The exact fig ires may vary a trifle from 
this result, but the difference cannot be 

a dozen miles either way. In 1850 Illinois 
had only 95 miles of railway completed. 
Such a result in so short a period is a just 
cause of honest pride to every citizen of 
our noble State. 

The number of trains arriving and de- 
parting daily does not differ materially 
from that of the previous year, when we 
found them to be one hundred and twenty. 
There is not an hour in the day unbroken 
by the screaming whistle of the locomo- 
tive, and some hours the screeching is 
scarcely interrupted for a moment. 

The earnings of the railroads centering 
in the city, all things considered, it is 
believed will fully meet expectations. 
When it is remembered that six years 
ago the earnings of all our railroads did 
not exceed $40,000, 40 miles of the 
Galena road only being completed, this 
result is truly astonishing. No other 
country in the world has ever witnessed 
such progress. 

The following table shows the earnings 
of all the railways centering in Chicago 
for the year 1857 : 

0( Tt* OS -^ t* Q ^ »ft irt O 00 C^ t- Tf t- t- in t- CO O ICO 

05 '<3' CO Oi Oi O lO O O TJ' J^ 00 iC t^ -^ iO Ot O: CO o lot 


joooooopc- -- 

-^T^OS o 


00 3: S CC 1.-5 00 iO ! 

inc-.intNioOTt- 'sotoco'^co 

cooqoojiii-io 'ooio^ffiOT 

o'-ooot-^oiot-^ !o6o6t--'y*if5 

ot>-Ti<o:aicn^ ,;oo:coo5(j< 

i;o c* TT TT in ^ ^ i005t-»r:i-i 

to ccia I (NO ccrt'oo" 

■CO CO ^ir-ioo^Tj'Ci^-'^t"^'^^*! 



Several new lines have been added to 
the above list during the past j'ear, but in 
order that we may form definite ideas 
of the aggregate effect of the panic on 
our railways, we present the earnings of 
the twelve roads then reported for each 



$ 522,7.31.92 









C. & M..... $650,000.00 

C. St. P. & F 1.37,303.67 

G. & C. U 2,456,045.80 

F. R. V 50,000.00 

C, B. & Q 1,627,029.61 

N. C, 6 m 215,222.79 

V. & R. 1 1,751,704.60 

C.,A. &St. L 1,000,000.00 

111. Cent 2,469,533.67 

M. S. &N. I 3,114,756.06 

Mich. Central 3,128,154.10 

N. A. &S 743.492.53 

Total $17,343,242.83 $15,784,692.60 

This table certainly affords us a most 
gratifying result. Amid all the panic and 
disaster of the last year, with all the 
Satanic efforts of certain journals m New 
'York and other cities to destroy all rail- 
way values, the earnings of twelve rail- 
ways centering in this city for 1857, fell 
short of their aggregate earnings in 1856 
$1,558,550.23, which is some ten per cent, 
less than their receipts in a year of great 
prosperity and progress. In all the dark 
days through which we have passed, the 
Daily Press has steadily labored to in- 
spire confidence and hope, and the results 
of careful comparisons in every depart- 
ment of business show that our positions 
were correct. We have the satisfaction 
also of knowing that our reasonings have 
saved many of our readers from despair 
and utter rain. 


The movement of passengers, as might 
be expected, falls short somewhat of that 
of the previous year; but the results show 
a steady and very large western move- 
ment. The following table shows the 
passenger traflic on our two great eastern 


Thro'. Way. Total. Thro'. Way. ToUl , 
M.S. AN. I... 106,310 19-2,211 279,581 64,621 182,347 836,968 
Mlcb. Central.. 10S,!I95 178,630 286,416 64,746 169,227 233,973 

Total 214,.-i65 370,841 565,996 119,437 361,574 470,941 

This table shows that our two great 
eastern lines brought to this city 94,998 

passengers more than they took east from 
it. The figures of the four iDrincipal lines 
leading west from this city give the fol- 



Thro'. Way, Total. Thro'. Way. Total. 

C.,St-P. &F- 43,518 46,199 89,717 35,046 45,026 80,073 

G&C. U 57,-86 196,802 254,786 37,724 178,880 916,010 

C,B. &Q.... 16,091 183,610 199,701 14,205 182,577 196,882 

C. & R. 1 31,784 171,073 207,857 25,851 156,407 182,259 


149,179 597,684 752,061 112,826 562,990 675,224 

According to these figures, these four 
lines of railway carried west 7G,837 pass- 
engers more than they brought back to 
the city. If we estimate the immense 
numbers that come down the Ohio river 
in steamers, and thence up the Missis- 
sipppi, at an equal number, and add a 
reasonable number for those who crossed 
the State on the east and west lines soutli of 
this city, and also those who went west on 
the Wisconsin lines, and further, remem- 
ber the vast numbers who annually emi- 
grate West in their own wagons, two 
HUNDRED THOUSAND people at least, dur- 
ing the past year, found happy homes 
west of Chicago. These people are the 
intelligent, the enterprising, and the in- 
dustrious, sifted out from the old station- 
ary communities of the Eastern States, 
and from the nations of Europe. All 
comment as to the rapidity with which 
the Western States are growing in wealth, 
population, and power, is entirely unnec- 

As this is the last of our leading statis- 
tical articles showing the business of tlie 
city for the past year, it may be well to 
make a summation of the facts, that we 
may view them all at a glance. We pre- 
sent, therefore, the following 


Total number of miles of railway cen- 
tering in Chicago Feb. 20, 1852 40 

Total number of miles now completed 
and in operation 3,953 

Increase in 1857 277 

Total number to be completed in 
from six to ten years 7,234 

Total number of miles of railway in 
the State of Illinois now in operation 2,775 

(Only 95 miles were completed six 
years ago.) 

Total earnings of all the railways cen- 
tering in Chicago for the year 1857 $18,590,520.26 

Incrcjisein six years 18,550,520.26 

Total number of trains arriving and 
departing daily 180 



Total number of passengers carried 

west by four principal railwaj'S lead- 
ing out of the city - 752,001 

Total number remaining West above 

those who returned on these four 

lines 70,837 

Total number moved West on two 

Eastern roads above those who re- 
turned East 04,098 

Population of Chicago in 1852 38,783 

Total vote at the last municipal elec- 
tion - 16,123 

Estimated population from the above 

returns— allowance being made for 

the great numbers of of unnatural- 
ized people among us 130,000 

Total receipts of grain in Chicago for 

the year 1857— flour being reduced 

to wheat, bushels 22,850,206 

Total shipments of grain from the 

port of Chicago for the year 1857, 

bushels .: - - 18,032,678 

Total receipts of wheat for the year 

1857, bushels 12,525,431 

Total shipments of wheat for the year 

1857, bushels.... 10,783,292 

Receipts of corn for the year 1857, 

bushels 7,409,130 

Shipments of corn for the year 1857, 

bushels 6,814,015 

Total number of hogs alive and dressed 

received in Chicago for the years 

1856-7 220,702 

Numtier of barrels of beef packed in 

1857 42,100 

Eeceipts of lumber at tlie port of 

Chicago for the year 1857— being the 

largest lumber market in the world 

-feet 459,639,189 

Total number of vessels, steamers, 

etc., in the port of Chicago during 

the pist winter _ 250 

Total number of vessels arriving in 

the port of Chicago during 1857 7,557 

Toral tonnage of the vessels arriving 

in the port of Chicago during the 

past year 1,753,413 

Amount of capital invested in build- 

iugs, public improvements, etc., 

past year $6,423,518 

These figures are themselves far more 
eloquent than any mere human language. 
The extent of our commerce, its rapid 
growth and certain increase in the future, 
are made apparent to the most skeptical 
reader. Let such remember that it is not 
twenty-one years since Chicago became a 
city. Let them contemplate our magnifi- 
cent system of railways, all the work of 
the last seven years, and earning during 
the last year eighteen millions and a 
HALF OP DOLLARS. The lands along the 
line of these roads are but just beginning 
to be developed. And yet those lands 
sent to this city, as a part of their sur- 
plus products, 12,524,431 bushels of wheat 
and 7,409,130 bushels of corn. So rapidly 
are they improving that Chicago received 
the enormous amount of 459,639,198 feet 
of lumber to supply her own building 
material and that of thi magnificent coun- 
try by which she is surrounded. 

It is a source of great satisfaction that 
the tide of popuhition is largcl}- and 
steadily westward. The change will in 
uimost every instance secure for the peo- 
ple who emigrate a great increase of 
property, and thereby afford them the 
means of greater physical comfort and a 
more generous expenditure for their intel- 
lectual improvement and social elevation. 
Who can estimate the influence which the 
two hundred thousand people who sought 
homes west of the Lakes during the past 
year will have upon the social progress 
and the physical development of the 
Mississippi Valley? They are not the 
ignorant starveling serfs of grinding des- 
potism, nor yet the poor degraded "white 
trash " of the Southern States, but Intel- _ 
ligent, energetic, honest freemen, who 
plant schools and colleges and churches 
wherever they go. They bring with them 
skill, and strength, and capital too, and 
under their intelligent, ceaseless toil our 
magnificent prairies will be made to yield 
up their golden treasures as earth never 
yielded them up before. Let the stream 
of human energy continue to flow west- 
ward with equal power for the next 
twenty years, and still there will be ample 
room for the succeeding score of years 
for as many more to find rich, happy 
homes between the Lakes and the Rocky 

The recent season of panic and revul- 
sion through which we have passed will 
prompt to greater caution, and therefore 
greater safety, in the future. With all its 
evil effects, it has clearlj' demonstrated 
that there is a solid basis for the pros 
perity of our city and the West generally, 
and this fact will be of immense value 
hereafter. It must inspire confidence in 
the futute, and enable the West to com- 
mand the means to provide highways for 
the rapidly increasing commerce. The 
Georgian Bay Canal and the Pacific Rail- 
way are still to be built, and may we not 
hope the coming wave of prosperity, 
which must ere long roll over the land, 
will bear upon its bosom the means to 
accomplish these and similar improve- 
ments? There is good ground to hope 
that, so far as the latter great national 



highway is concerned, the solemn warn- 
ing voice of a free people will ere long 
reach the ears of our tardy rulers — once 
proud of being called servants — at Wash- 
ington, commanding them to lay aside 
sectional strife, and to address themselves 
to the glorious work of binding together 
the States of the Atlantic and the Pacific 
by iron bonds, never, never to be broken, 
so long as the "star spangled banner" 
floats proudly 

" O'er the land of the free aud the home of the 


In closing our sixth annual review, we 

congratulate our readers on the bright 

prospects which it can scarcely be doubted 

are opening before them. With a large 
surplus of last year's crop still in hand, 
the West is abundantly able to meet all 
her liabilities, aud have sufficient means 
to make large and substantial improve- 
ments in the future. We are on the eve 
of a great, permanent and i)ropitious social 
advancement, and let every Wesiern man 
summon all his energy to act his part 
wisely aud well. With prudent* but firm 
step, let the watchword be — " Forward!"* 

* After this 3'ear the Board of Trade issued a very 
comprehensive review, and we ceased to publish 
our teveral statistical articles in pamphlet form. 
Elaborate articles, howevtr, have been published 
every 1st of January, in advance of the Board. 







I deem it proper to extract from the 
files of the Tribune the following tributes 
to the memory of my associates, whose 
names are above given. To me, and to 
many others, their "memorj'^ is blessed," 
for they were among the very best men I 
ever knew. I take the extracts as written, 
from the paper. The first in relation to 
Mk. Scripps was published September 
23rd, 1866. 

The announcement of the death of 
John L. Scripps will be received, not 
alone in this city, but throughout the 
State of Illinois and the entire Northwest, 
with feelings of profound grief by his 
liuge circle of friends and acquaintances. 
Although his health had been failing for 
a long time, from an afteclion of the 
lungs it was not vintil last winter and 
immediately after the death of his wife, 
that his friends became alarmed. He at 
once giwt^e up active business, but finding 
that res* from care did not improve his 
health, he acted upon the advice of 
his friends, and went to Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, hoping to find in the bracing air 
and salubrious climate of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi, that invigoration and strength 
which medical skill, unaided, could not 
afford; but years of unremitting and 
patient toil, added to severe domestic afflic- 
tions which had visited him, had sapped 
the strong constitution past human help, 
and, sustamed by an unfaltering trust in 
Providence, and a conscience void of 
offence, he calmly passed away, at peace 
with man and his Maker, at Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, on Friday, September 21st, 

John Locke Scripps was born February 
27th, 1818, in Jackson County, Missouri, 
a few miles west of Cape Girardeau. 
"While still young his parents moved to 
Rushville, Illinois, and since that time the 
lamented deceased has been identified 
with the growth and history of the State. 
He graduated at McKendrie College, 

Lebanon, Illinois, an institution of the 
Methodist denomination, with high honors, 
and immediately after his graduation took 
the professorship of mathematics, in the 
same institution. His father was a promi- 
nent member of that church, a fact which 
had a powerful infiuence upon the whole 
life of the son, although it was during 
his last sickness that he formally identi- 
fied himself with the membership of that 

A short time after his graduation he 
studied law and came to Chicago in 1847 
to engage in its practice. In 1848 he 
bought one-third interest in the Chicago 
Tribune, then published by John E. 
Wheeler and Thomas A. Stewart. It was 
at that time a Free-Soil paper, and labored 
zealously for the election of Martin Van 
Buren. Mr. Scripps was its principal 
writer and editorial manager. The press 
of Chicago was then in its infancy, and 
an infancy by no means respectable. 
He at once, by his dignified labor, gave 
tone and character to it. He commenced 
writing up the financial and commercial 
interests of the Northwest. He originated 
the first distinctive review of the markets 
of Chicago, going about the city, ming- 
ling in daily intercourse with the mer- 
chants of that day and inspiring confi- 
dence in the reports by their accuracy 
and fidelity as well as respect and admira- 
tion for the editor. About that time, in 
company with William B. Ogden and 
John B. Turner, he canvassed Northern 
Illinois, in behalf of the projected rail- 
road from Chicago to Galena. Mr. 
Scripps' careful analysis and research, 
furnished the statistics with which to 
appeal to the people for aid, while his pen 
did a great work in advancing the com- 
pletion of this important enterprise. 

During his connection with the Tribune, 
the Gem of the Prairie, a weekly issue of 
the former sheet, was started. It was 
almost purely of a literary character and 
enjoyed a large degree of success, but 
was finally dropped and merged in the 
regular Weekly Tribune. Mr. Scripps' 



literary abilities were of a high order, his 
style very chaste, lucid and simple, his 
reasoning powers always strong and 
cogent, his arguments well timed, con- 
densed and straight to the point. His 
invariably dignified and gentlemanly 
bearing, joined with these qualities, re- 
sulted in the elevation of the Chicago 
press, and formed the fouuddtion of the 
power it has since become 

In the winter of 1851-2 the Whigs of 
Chicago had a controlling interest in the 
Tribune. Mr. Scripps was a Free-Soiler, 
with Democratic proclivities, and sold 
out his interest in the paper Shortly 
afterwards, in conjunction with Lieuten- 
ant Governor Bross, he started a Demo- 
cratic paper, under the name of the Demo- 
cratic Press, the initial number of which 
was issued September 16th, 18.52. The 
Press was a Free-Soil paper, but sided 
strongly with Douglas and advocated his 
claims, until the question of the repeal of 
the Missouri compromise came before the 
country. The paper then left Mr. Doug- 
las, and finally hoisted the Republican 
flag in June, 1856, when the party was 
formally organized under the leadership 
of J. C. Fremont. In the meantime, 
through the unremitting labors of its edi- 
tors, the Press achieved a wide commer- 
cial reputation, and labored earnestly to 
develop the resources of the Northwest. 

July 1st, 1858, the Press was consoli- 
dated with the Tribune, itnder the name 
of the Press and Tribune, and Mr. Scripps 
with his associate went into the new con- 
cern. In 1861 Mr. Lincoln (between whom 
and Mr. Scripps existed a warm personal 
friendship) became President, and shortly 
after Mr. S. Wiis appointed Postmaster of 
Chicago, a position which he filled with 
great ability for four years. It is not saying 
too much, nor is it injustice to the others 
who have held that office, to say that he was 
the best Postmaster Chicago ever had. 
His labors were constant and unremitting. 
Although retaining his interest in the 
Tribune, his time was given to his official 
duties, and not a day passed that did not 
find him in his accustomed place in the 
Post Oflice. He rapidly comprehended 
the routine of the office, and his quick 
perceptions suggested radical and imjjor 
tant changes, both in and out of the office, 
which were adopted by the Department, 
and have since proved of great value. 

During his administration the war was 
in active progress. Mr. Scripps' sympa- 
thies were actively enlisted on the side 
< if freedom. He urged on the good cause 
with all the sagacity of his counsel and 
lavish contributions from his purse. 
With his own means he organized, 
equipped, and sent to the war C-'ompany 
C, of the 72nd Illinois regiment, well 
known as the Scripps Guards, to the 

soldiers of which company, who shared 
his hospitalities and enjoyed the comforts 
his attentions bestowed upon them, the 
sal news of his death will come with 
double force. 

After his resignation of the ofl3ce of 
Postmaster, he disposed of his interest 
in the Tribune, and associated himself 
as senior partner in the banking firm of 
Scripps, Preston & Kean, of this city. A 
few days later he was seized with a sudden 
attack of pneumonia, and for some time 
his recovery was considered doubtful. 
The disease turned, however, in his favor, 
when a sudden and terrible visitation of 
Providence again prostrated him. His 
wife, Mary E. Scripps, who for so many 
years had been his beloved companion 
and counsellor, on New Year's day, while 
in the midst of those graceful hospitali- 
ties she could so well dispense, and while 
talking with friends, fell dead in an 
instant from an affection of the heart. 
Mr. Scripps was at this time just conva- 
lescent from his long illness, but the sud- 
denness and severity of the blow fell 
upon him with a terrible force, and for 
some time it was doubtful whether he 
would recover. He rallied from it, how- 
ever, sufficieutly to pay a few visits to his 
relatives in this city and State, and then 
undertook his journey to ISIinneapolis, 
from whence came the sad tidings of his 
death. His remains will leave St. Paul 
to-day (IVIonday), arriving here on Tues- 
day. He leaves a son about 16 years of 
age, and a little daughter of 3 years. 

In the death of Mr. Scripps, Chicago 
has lost one of her noblest men. No citi- 
zen of this or any other community ever 
commanded a more hearty and tl|orough 
respect from his fellows than he. Candor, 
integrity and courage were the marked 
traits of his character. He feared God, 
but feared no man. He would no 'uore 
have thought of compromising a principle 
or abating an iota of his personal honor, 
than he would have committed suicide. 
With a heart full of kindness for all men, 
with a lofty sense of the proprieties of 
life and of intercourse with hi-* fellow men, 
a house ever open to the calls ^of hospi- 
tality, and a purse which never failed 
to respond to the call of suffering, he was 
the firmest man among ten thousand to 
the convictions of his conscience. A 
mean act, an unworthy motive, fi cowardly 
thought, had no room in his soul. He was 
not insensible to public approbation, but 
never for an instant would he resort to 
the arts so common among politicians to 
secure popularity. He avoided the very 
appearance of evil. His uprightness of 
character and urbanity of demeanor had 
made him hosts of friends in citj' and 
State, and it is not too much to say that, 
in the meridian of his life, with his 



ample fortune, his unsullied record and 
his conspicuous talents, he might have 
aspired to almost any position in the gift 
of his fellow citizens. 

To those who have been associated with 
Mr. Scripps in the editorial profession, 
and who know better than others the 
nobility of his character and the useful- 
ness of his life, the tidings of his death 
come with peculiar force and poignancy. 
No man ever labored more earnestly and 
more effectively to impress right princi- 
ples upon the public mind through the 
medium of the press. A large sh^ire of 
the success achieved by the CJiieago 
Tribune during his connection with it was 
due to his thoughtfulness, earnestness 
and unwearied perseverance. His works 
live after him. The seeds which he has 
sown will continue to bear their fruit. A 
noble life, filled with good deeds, adorned 
with the accomplishments of a C^hristian 
gentleman, has been garnered up in the 
treasury of the eternal kingdom. Though 
he be dead, he shall rise again. 

Every line and every word in the article 
is true in every particular. A more hon- 
est man, a truer, nobler patriot, a sterner 
advocate of the right, never lived than 
John Locke Scripps; and, withal, he was 
a most genial, accomplished gentleman. 
I first knew him at 171 and 171^ Lake 
street. We used the same front door and 
hall in common, the Tribune on one side 
and the Prairie Herald on the other. 
Deacon Wight, now Rev. . Ambrose 
Wight, of Bay City, Michigan, and my- 
self, printed our own paper and the 
Tribune, for its proprietors, on an old 
Adams power press, the first ever brought 
to the city, propelled by Emery's horse 
power, on which trudged, hour by hour, 
an old blind, black Canadian pony. Our 
acquaintance soon ripened into friendship 
and he often urged me to buy out his part- 
ners and become associated with him in 
the Tribune. This I respectfully declined 
to do, and sold out my interest in the 
Herald to Mr. Wight, in the fall of 1857, 
and as slated in the article he sold his 
interest in the Tribune a few months later. 
He at once submitted his plans for a new 
Democratic paper, and we finally joined 
our fortunes in the enterprise. To start 
a newspaper even in that early day re- 
quired an abundance of grit. The $6,000 
loaned us by friends, for which we gave 
them ample real estate security, all sunk 

out of sight in machinery and expenses 
in six weeks, and not till January 1st, 1855, 
did either of us draw one cent from the 
paper that we did not pay back. At one 
time Mr. Scrijjps would sell a piece of 
real estate, put the money into the con- 
cern and draw it out gradually as family 
expenses required, and I would do the 
same. Thus tin; paper grew and pros- 
pered, but no two men ever toiled more 
earnestly or constantly in anj'' enterprise, 
than we did to achieve it. 

The above article was written by Mr. 
George P. Upton, with the exception of 
the last two paragraphs, which were 
added by Horace White, Esq. They knew 
Mr. Scripps very well, it is true, but it 
was not possible for them to know him as 
intimately as I did. In all the years of 
our intimacy as editors and proprietors, 
we never had one word of dispute on any 
subject. Of course on matters of policy 
we sometimes judged differently; of right 
never. Discussion soon convinced one or 
the other, and each addressed himself 
with all his might to the work. At our 
perfect harmony of thought and action I 
often wondered. He was born in Mis- 
souri, brought up and educated as a Meth- 
odist, with a thorough devotion to all the 
best principles — none of the bad — of the 
Southern chivalry. One branch of his fam- 
ily came from an old English stock; after 
one of them, the great logician and meta- 
physician, John Locke, Mr. Scripps was 
named. My ancestry were mainly of 
Huguenot origin, myself born and brought 
up as a Presbyterian in the Delaware 
Valley, educated in a New England col- 
lege, and yet we harmonized in all the 
trying business and political times 
through which we passed, perfectly. The 
fact is one of my most pleasant and 
cherished memories, its explanation I do 
not care to discuss. He rests in peace, 
and has — who can doubt it? — the reward 
of a good man and a life well spent, in 
the mansions of the blessed. 


The following article was written by 
Geo. P. Upton, Esq., now and for many 



years one of the editorial writers of the 
Tribune. It was published September 
25th, 1870. 

Dr. Charles H. Ray is dead! The sud- 
den and unexpected intelligence, i)riefly 
announced in our issue of yesterday, has 
oast a deep gloom over his large circle of 
acquaintances and friends, and will come 
with all the force of a personal bereave- 
ment to the thousands of readers in the 
Northwest who have known him, for 
many years past, as a powerful, influen- 
tial, and successful journalist. It was 
only a few days ago that we talked with 
him half an hour or more. He was un- 
usually hopeful of himself, and spoke so 
encouragingly of his future prospects, 
and had so many well laid journalistic 
plans, that we were encouraged to think 
he would, before long, be restored to his 
former usefulness and vigor, although he 
seemed to us as feeble as a child, com- 
pared with his former robust and power- 
ful phj'sical habit. We had an earnest con- 
versation with him upon the best means of 
giving a higher standing and character to 
Art in Chicago — a subject in which he 
was aJways deeply interested — and then 
we parted. We missed him for a few 
days, and then the shadow of death came 
between us, and he passed evermore from 
our sight. 

Dr. Charles H. Ray was born at Nor- 
wich, Chenango County, N. T., March 13, 
1821, and removed to the West in 1843. 
He commenced his Western life in the 
practice of medicine at Muscatine, Iowa, 
and subsequently settled in Tazewell 
Count}^ 111., where he pursued his pro- 
fession for many years with success. 
During these years he was married to 
Miss Jane Yates Per-Lee. a most estim- 
able lady, who died in this city, in June, 
1862, leaving, as the fruits of the union, 
one daughter and three sons, all of whom 
are living. In the year 1851, Dr. Ray 
removed to Galena, and bought the Jef- 
fersonian, a daily Democratic journal, 
and conducted it with remarkable success, 
until the time of the Kansas-Nebraska 
struggle, when his strong impulses toward 
freedom induced him to take open issue 
with Judge Douglas, and eventually led 
to the disposal of the paper and his iden- 
tification with the Republican party, then 
in the preliminary staL'e of organization. 
In 1854-55, Dr. Ray was Secretary of the 
Illinois Senate, and presided as such 
during the exciting canvass in that body, 
which elected Lyman Trumbull United 
States Senator over his opponent, Abra- 
ham Lincoln. He gave his influence to 
the former, but in such an open, manly 
way that it never disturbed the close 
personal friendship which existed between 

himself and the latter, and which con- 
tinued to exist to the time of Mr. Lin- 
coln's death. 

When the Legislature adjourned. Dr. 
Ray came to Chicago with the intention 
of starting a penny Republican paper. 
During the Legislative session he had 
been the Springfield correspondent of the 
New York Tribune, and his masterly 
letters to that paper had brought him 
into extensive public notice as a writer. 
He wrote to Mr. Greeley on the subject of 
a partner, asking him to recommend s me 
suitable person, to which Mr. Greeley 
replied with a letter of introduction to 
Joseph Medill, Esq., of the Cleveland 
Leader, who was just about coming to 
Chiccigo with the object of connecting 
himself with the press of this city. Mr. 
Medill airived in Chicago at about the 
same time as Dr. Ray, and, after an inter- 
view, the former abandoned the idea of 
a penny paper, and joined the latter in 
buying as much of the Tribune establish- 
ment of General Webster and Timothy 
Wright, Esq., as their means would allow. 
He had identified himself editorially with 
the Tribune in April, 1855, but did not 
assume his proprietary interest until June 
of the same year, which he held until 
November 20, 1863, at which time he sold 
his interest and severed his editorial con- 
nection with the paper, to engage in other 
pursuits. Those pursuits not proving suc- 
cessful, he returned to the Tribune, May 
25, 1865, as an editorial writer, and after 
laboring ten weeks, he left the paper and 
embarked in another business. Two j-ears 
later, he wgs offered a favorable interest 
in the Evening Post of this city, which he 
accepted and retained until he died. 

With Dr. Ray's connection with the 
Tribune, and his manly, straightforward, ' 
and vigorous editorial conduct during the 
Chicago riots, the excitements of the 
Kansas war, the war of the rebellion, and 
all the great events which culminated in 
the election of Abraham Lincoln to the 
Presidency, the public are familiar. His 
writings were so sharp and trenchant, 
so eloquently denunciatoiy of wrong and 
so searching in criticism, that they were 
copied far and wide, and exerted a pow- 
erful influence — alwa3'S upon the side 
of the right, and did much to establish its 
reputatitmasafearles?, outspoken journal. 
He wrote with an untiring vigor and with 
a searching analysis which went down to 
the very heart and core of the matter, 
whether he was exposing some iniqui- 
tous political scheme or moral wrong, or 
was exhibiting some militaiy ofiicial in 
the light of his incompetency. There 
was not a " conservative " drop of blood 
in his veins. He always expected, and 
demanded, progress, both political, moral 
and humane. He never needed any urg- 



ing in a radical direction; but, on the 
otlier band, liis zeal sometimes needed 
restraint. He never consulted policy, 
for be bad no policy in bis disposition. 
He never looked at consequences wben be 
believed bimself rigbt, for be was abso- 
Jutely fearless. Wlien once settled upon 
a course, be would say to bis associates, 
Tbis is the rigbt course, and we must pur- 
sue it to the end, regardless of conse- 
quences. He cared for no pecuniary injury 
as the result of advocating an unpopular 
doctrine. Wben subscribers dropped off, 
as a consequence, be would say, "Let 
them go. We are rigJit. Thej^ will all 
come back in a few weeks, and bring 
others with them," and bis words were 
more than once verified. 

AYben Dr. Kay left the Tribune, in 1863, 
it was with the idea of acquiring a for- 
tune for bis cbildre-', and giving them and 
their education more personal attention 
than be could do while engaged in the 
pres,si'ig demands of editorial duties. His 
speculations were at first very successful, 
and he amassed a handsome competence. 
Shortly after, be married Miss Julia Clark, 
a daughter of Judge Lincoln Clark, for a 
long time a prominent public man in Iowa, 
but then resident in Chicago, two daugh- 
ters beiug the result of tbis'second union. 
Blessed with the deep and strong affec- 
tions of his family, and enjoying finan- 
cial pro-^perity, everything seemed bright. 
About the time of this marriage be wisely 
concluded to settle on his wife and child- 
ren half bis propertj^, which, through 
trustees, was invested in improA'ed real 
estate in this city, and which has since 
largely advanced in value and jnelds 
them a respectable support. AVitli the 
remainder of his means he embarked in 
new enterprises, which proved, in the 
common decline of values, unsuccessful, 
and he resolved once more to return to 
the editorial profession, in which lie 
worked with his old energy and vigor. 
His excessive labor in the exciting canvass 
in tbis county, last fall, superinduced an 
attack of brain fever, in December last, 
followed b}' many weeks of intense suffer- 
ing and utter uiental and physical pros- 
tration. -He at last recovered sufiiciently 
to go to Cleveland, where he received 
medical treatment. He then went to 
Northampton, Mass., Mdiere be remained 
for several weeks, returning to Chicago 
early in the summer. He at once resumed 
his position in the Post as editor-in-chief. 
Since that time, he has written but little. 
But hjs articles showed the old fire, and 
some of them struck with the old force, 
but it soon became evident that the man 
was wearying, that the pen was dropping 
from the reluctant fingers, and that the 
great brain could not much longer stand 
the demands upon it. On Tuesday last 

his old disease returned with twofold 
violence and resulted in death at a quarter 
past one o'clock on Saturdaj"- morning. 

It would be useless for us to say any- 
thing further of Dr. Ray as a journalist. 
The pubic knows how well be has filled 
that difiieult position during the past fif- 
teen or more years in tbis city; and bis 
able and vigorous editorials have always 
been a minor in which the public could 
see the writer. It was impossible for the 
veriest dullard to mistake the meaning 
of anything he wrote. In our profes- 
sional association with him, which has 
extended over many years, we learned to 
prize him as a man, and to hold bim dear 
as a friend. He was not one, perhaps, 
to attract numerous friendships, for be 
was brusque and impetuous in his man- 
ner, and specially imi)atieut of anno}'ance. 
But those who knew him best, knew bow 
genial he was at heart, how strong his 
affections were, and how almost faultless 
be was in critical taste. He was intense 
in his likes and dislikes. He was bitter 
against an enemy, but be could not do too 
much for a friend. AVe have seen him 
tairly crush insincerity with an exi»losion 
of his wrath, and then turn and relieve 
the wants of a traveling beggar, and give 
him kindly advice. He was the best 
friend a young man commencing news- 
paper life could have, for the reason that 
be was chary of praise and never slow i\\ 
pointing out faults, and suggesting the 
remedy. Perhaps the most striking feature 
of his character was his hatred of cunt 
and sham. He recognized a hjpocrite in- 
stinctively, and he never stopped to select 
choice or elegant phrases in exposing bim. 
We cannot remember a man so plain- 
spoken in denunciation of humbug or 
hypocrisy. He hit it with all his might, 
and bis might was immense. And yet, 
tbis Samson was full of humanity, kindly, and noble, hearty manliness. 
With all his multifarious duties, private 
and public, which were often very per- 
plexing, he found time to devote much 
attention to literature and art, and, in 
these directions, his taste was fastidious, 
and bis manner quick and resolved. He 
was as impatient of sham in a book, m a 
painting, or in the music room, as he was 
of a sham in life, and his criticism was 
almost always just, even though it was 
excoriating. ' The class of men who can 
not be politic enough to compromise with 
hypocrisy is so scarce that it is refreshing 
to recall this trait in Dr. Ray's character. 
It made enemies, of course, but that was 
of little account to bim. The nianwho 
has no enemies must be all things to all 
men. He was a hard worker, and, in his 
prime, was capable of an immense 
amount of labor, for he was physically 
very strong. Few men in the journalistic 


profession, indeed, have combined sucli 
power to labor, such keen perceptions, 
such a nervous, trenchant style, and such 
jnanly and vigorous grappling with pri- 
vate and public evils. 

But the pen rests forever. The busy 
brain, so active that it wore upon itself, is 
silent. We who are left behind, shall 
long miss his hearty welcome, his cheery, 
outspolten voice, and his manly presence, 
of those who were identified with the 
Tribune in the early days of its existence, 
three are now gone — Scripps, Ballantyne, 
and Ray. Who next? His memory re- 
mains with us, and that is precious, and 
we can recall nothing in his long and 
useful career which did not bespeak the 
man and the gentleman. May his rest be 
peaceful after the fitful fever of his life! 

With every sentiment and every word 
of the above I most cordially agree. Dr. 
Ray was one of the ablest, and in spite of 
the brusqueness to which Mr. Upton 
refers, one of the best men I ever knew. 
I first came to know him well, I think, in 
the summer of 1854, when he was editing 
the Galena Jeffersonian. The anxiety and 
the hard work which the terrible on- 
slauglits of Mr. Douglas and his friends 
made upon our paper for opposing the 
repeal of the Missouri compromise, broke 
Mr. Scripp's health and he had to give up 
all writing and betake himself to his 
home for two months or more before the 
election, and for nearly as long after it. 
Of course I had the entire management 
of the paper and was glad to get an ar- 
ticle from any friend that ofiered. Dr. 
Ray would sometimes come into the office 
and volunteer half a column or more. 
S 'me of the strongest and most effec- 
tive articles that appeared in the Demo- 
cratic Press or any other paper during 
that canvass were written by Dr. Ray. 
These were only occasional favors, but 
they were always timely and most valuable. 

In 1858, we, J. L. Scripps, Dr. Ray, Mr. 
Medill and myself, came together as part- 
ners and equal owners in the Tribune, Mr. 
Cowles having then a smaller interest. 
For the five years that I was the most in- 
timately associated with Dr. Ray, we 
never had a word of dispute on any sub- 
ject. Once, indeed, he gave me " a piece 
of his mind," rather emphatically, but it 
was all on his side, fori was thoughtlessly, 

though really in the wrong, in some things 
that I published. I acknowledged my fault 
and all was well. In all the years we 
were associated together, the discussion of 
the question Is it right ? controlled the 
policj" of the paper. Sometimes it re- 
quired a great deal of care and investiga- 
tion to determine it. For instance, I was 
with Prentiss' army on its march from 
Ironton to Cape Girardeau, and became 
satisfied that Fremont, as a general, was a 
failure, and so wrote home to my asso- 
ciates. Then Mr. Medill went with the 
army to Jefferson City and came back 
with the same report. Dr. Ray then went 
down to St. Louis and got a great variety 
of facts from his friends in that city, and 
finally Mr. Scripps did the same thing ; 
and then after full consultation Dr. Ray 
wrote a four or five column article in his 
most vigorous, trenchant style, calling for 
Fremont's removal, and giving the rea- 
sons for it. It created a tremendous ex- 
citement, and cost us hundreds of sub- 
scribers and thousands of dollars. The 
course of the Tribune during and before 
the war was the result of the matured 
opinions of four independent thinkers, 
and hence it was always right. With two 
such honest, able, patriotic and scholarly 
men as Mr. Scripps and Dr. Ray, not to 
mention Mr. Medill, with his sharp, dis- 
criminating mind, his wide acquaintance 
with men and things, and his acute jour- 
nalistic and broad common sense, and 
with whatever I could contribute to the 
common stock, is it any wonder the Tri- 
bune achieved a national reputation? It 
had the credit, and justly, of bringing out 
Mr. Lincoln, and doing more than any 
I other paper to secure his nomination, and 
of doing most effective work in his elec- 
tion to the Presidency. During the entire 
war it never flinched nor faltered for a 
moment. It led and guided public opin- 
ion in the Northwest; inspired confidence 
amid defeat and disaster; always advo- 
cated the most vigorous measures to put 
down the rebellion; drove the Copper- 
heads to their holes, and to say the least, 
it has probably done as much as any other 
journal or influence in the country to 
bring back the peace and the security 



whicli it now enjoys. With such men as 
Bcripps and Ray editing and inspiring 
their own journal, and through it giving 
right direction to the press of Ihc country, 
it will indeed ever remain " the palladium 

of our liberties," the unflinching foe ot 
all that is false and wicked ; and be ever 
ready to use all its influence and its power 
to promote the social, the intellectual and 
the moral welfare of the race. 




From the Chicago Tribune, March 29th, 1871. 


The committee (Messrs. Bross, Holden, 
and McMullen) seat by a public meeting 
at the Board of Trade rooms to Ottawa, 
Canada, to represent to the Dominion 
Parliament the importance of increased 
facilities of transit by the St. Lawrence 
route between the Upper Lakes and the 
seaboard, returned to the city yesterday. 
They report the very best of feeling in 
Canada in relation to this important sub- 
ject, and that their reception was of the 
most cordial and friendly character. The 
Railway and Canal Committee of the 
Canadian Parliament is composed of some 
fifty of the leading members, and other 
gentlemen were also present when the 
Chicago Committee were invited to appear 
before this large body, and to lay before 
them any communication they might wish 
to make. The following account of the 
proceedings is taken from the Ottawa 
papers of the 24th: 

Increased Facilities of Transit for the Com- 
merce of Hie Lakes to the Ocean. 

Remarks of Ex-Lieutennnt Governor Bross, of 
Illinois, before the Canal aivl Rtiihvay Com- 
mittee of the Canadian Parliament, March 
23, 1871. 
HonoraUe Chairman and Gentlernen of the Com- 
I thank you most cordially, in behalf of 
myself and associates, for your very kind 
invitation to appear before you. We are 
here simply to express to you our deep in- 
terest, and that of our city and the West 
generally, in the progress and develop- 
ment of your great lines of internal improve- 
ments, and to assure you that, in due time, 
the West will furnish them with all the 
business they can possibly do. The West 
will be thankful for the use of any and 
all the means of transit to the seaboard 
which you now have or may hereafter 
construct. Hence, we trust that you will 
enlarge the Welland Canal, and open the 
Ottawa route; but, fmm our standpoint, 
knowing how rapidly the vast resources 
of the Northwest are developing by the 
extension of our railways, many of our 
leading business men have come to the 
conclusion that the Huron and Ontario 
Ship Canal, avoiding entirely the St. Clair 
Flats, Lake Erie, and the Welland Canal, 

with only eighty miles of canal and slack 
water navigation, and with the capacity to 
pass vessels of a thousand or twelve hun- 
dred tons burden, and a corresponding 
enlargement of the St. Lawrence Canals, 
is the only channel adequate to *he real 
wants of the commerce of the country 
west of Lake Michigan. 

I can scarcely hope to state anything 
new to this large assembly of learned and 
eminent gentlemen in regard to this sub- 
ject; but I beg to introduce a few facts in 
relation to the growth of the Northwest 
which we trust may be worthy of your 
consideration. I hold in my hand the 
report of the survey of the Huron and 
Ontario Ship Canal, made by Mr. Tully, 
as engineer, and Colonel R. B. Mason, 
now Mayor of Chicago, as consulting en- 
gineer, and published in 1857. In that 
report there is a table showing what were 
then the population and resources of the 
several Northwestern States, with an esti- 
mate of their probable increase, and of 
its effects upon the revenues of the canal 
for a series of years, based on an increase 
of 29 per cent, for every five years — 1850 
to 1855. In that table the population of 
the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mich- 
igan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, is 
given, in 1857, at 3,090,000. On the ratio 
as above, they are estimated to bo, in 1870, 
5,907,716, and in 1880, 9,980,776. The 
census for 1870 shows that they now have 
a population of 10,759,981, nearly twice 
the estimate for 1870, and nearly a mill- 
ion more than the estimate for 1880. 

So certainly are all the figures of our 
boldest statisticians far exceeded by the 
actual facts as time rolls onward. Leav- 
ing out of the account the population of 
the two great States, Ohio and Indiana, 
the remaining States above mentioned, 
for whose business the canal could legiti- 
mately compete, with the exception, per- 
haps, of the eastern half of Michigan, 
which would be more than balanced by 
the trade of Nebraska, have now a popu- 
lation of 6,419,510. The city of Chicago, 
in 1857, had a population of 130,000; it 
has now 300,000. The shipments of grain 
in that year from Chicago were 18,483.678 
bushels; last year they were 54,745,903; 
just about three times what they were 
thirteen years previous. The revenues of 
the canal, estimated from a careful analy- 
sis of till? commerce of the Lakes previ- 
ous to 1857, would have been in 1865, had 
it then been completed, $1,126,758, and 




for 1870, $1,453,577. As the population 
of the Northwestern Slates from 1857 to 
1870 increased threefold, it will be safe 
to double the estimates for the receipts of 
the canal for the last year. This would 
ffive for last j-ear a l<.tal revenue of 
$2,907,034; and b^ 1880 on the same 
premises it would exceeil $4,000,000. 

We are well aware that the construction 
of this canal would cost a large amount of 
monej'. But the country to furnish it 
with business is vast in extent, and un- 
bounded in resources. There are 700,000 
square miles of territory between Lake 
Michigan and the Rocky Mountains, not 
counting j'our own rich fertile region in 
the valleys of the Red River and the Sas- 
katchewan — enough to form fourteen 
States as large as Ohio. On an average 
the land is richer and far more productive 
than the soil of that State. This country 
is now filling up with a hardj^, industrious, 
enterprising population more rapidly than 
was ever before known in the history ot 
our Republic. Our city and the North- 
west are greatly obliged to Canada for 
the large number of excellent citizens she 
has sent us. Through this vast fertile 
country railways are penetrating in all 
directions. The great central line is fin- 
ished, and the cars run from ocean to 
ocean. The North Pacific Railway will, 
undoubtedly, be done in five years, and 
the extent of the commerce which all 
these lines will pour upon Lake Michigan, 
no sane man would dare to put down in 
figures had he the ability to do it. To 
accommodate it, the West looks mainly 
to the Lakes and the mighty St. Lawrence. 
We know full well, to quote a remark I 
made years ago, "that national pride 
and immense capital and the beaten 
track of commerce are on the side of New 
York; but God and nature are stronger 
than all these, and let any intelligent man 
compare tlie ' Erie ditch ' with the mighty 
St. Lawrence, and a canal to pass vessels 
of 1,000 tons burden from the Georgian 
Bay to Lake Ontario, and he cannot doubt 
for a moment on which side the immuta- 
ble laws of commerce will decide the 
contest." What the AVest wan'sarethe 
cheapest and the largest possible outlets 
to the ocean. She cares not a rush for 
New York. While that city nurtures 
such men as Vanderbilt, who waters the 
stock of his railway two or three times 
over, and then demands from the West 
full rates on the results of his "ways that 
are dark" and tricks that are villainous; 
while Fisk and Gould flourish in that city, 
the West is surely free to cultivate the 
most intimate relations with their neigh- 
bors across the line. What if our com- 
merce benefits Canada; what if it builds 
up Toronto and makes another New York 
of I^Iontreal or Quebec, always we trust 

bating the rascality of Wall street; the 
benefits will be mutual and entirely recip- 
rocal to the people of the West. We 
think we can safely assure you that a 
large majority of tlie West are in favorof 
reciprocal free trade with Canada and 
with all mankind as well; and what is 
more, they are dettjrmined to have it. If 
our legislators now at Washington will 
not give it to us, the West will send men 
there who will. With the Lakes and one 
of the great rivers of the world to make 
their commercial relations close and almost 
identical, speaking the same language, 
and with the same progressive Christian 
civilization, Canada and the Northwestern 
States of America have a common and an 
absorbing interest in all that can elevate 
and enoble our common humanity. 

I close, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, 
with an expression of the most cordial 
thanks for the very kind and courteous 
manner in which you have received us. 

Hon. Mr. Holton thanked Mr. Bross for 
his able and eloquent speech. He believed 
there w^as no division of sentiment on this 
subject among parties in Canada. The 
views which had been expressed coincided 
exactly with his own. There were ques- 
tions, of course, as to the choice of route 
of proposed canals, but he would assure 
the gentlemen from Chicago that the 
views of the people were in unison with 
what had been so ably expressed by Mr. 

Sir F. Hincks expressed his gratifica- 
tion at what he had heard, and agreed 
generally with what Mr. Bross had said. 
He tlierefore had much pleasure in mov- 
ing a vote of thanks to the Hon. Mr. Bross 
and the gentlemen who accompanied him 
for the information they had given and 
the kindly sentiments they had expressed. 

Mr. Sbanley said he had listened with, 
great pleasure to what had been said on 
this important subject. We in Canada 
had the great natural outlet for the im- 
mense trade of the West; our position on 
tliis continent was unequaled, owing to 
the St. Lawrence and the great Lakes, 
yet we had done but little to improve our 
great natural advantages. This subject 
had been spoken of for years, but had 
never found a more practical result than 

Hon. Mr. Anglin hoped the government 
would take this question earnestly in 
hand, and should they do so they would 
have the support of the people of the 
Eastern Provinces in carrying it out. 
[Hear, hear.] 

Mr. Capreol then addressed the com- 
mittee. He pointed out the great advan- 
tages of public works for promoting im- 

Sir A. T. Gait was glad to welcome the 
gentlemen from Chicago. The reason 



why the route to the "West had not been 
opened up was the want of a good under- 
standing with the United States, but he 
hoped tor a better state of things in the 
future. He had much pleasure in second- 
ing the motion of Sir F. Hincks. 

Hon. Mr. Holden then rose and ex- 
pressed his gratification on meeting the 
members of the committee. He hoped 
the result of this meeting would be grati- 
fying to both parties concerned. He 
supported the views expressed by Mr. 
Bross, and thanked the committee for the 
kind reception extended to them. 

Sir G. E. Cartier said he was glad to 
hear the clear and forcible exposition which 
had been made by the Hon. Mr. Bross, and 
was happy to learn that the Western peo- 
ple pioperly estimated the influence of 
New York. The Treasury at Washington 
had pursued a policy calculated to build 
up the Atlantic cities at the expense of 
the interior country. According to his 
views there was a natural commercial 
bond between Canada and the Western 
States, and a feeling of sympathy that we 
were willing to cultivate if the United 
States Treasury would pursue a more 
equitable policy. He thought the Wes- 
tern people should consider our country 
their natural seaboard while we regarded 
their trade and commerce a part of our 
own as their prosperity was, rightly, con- 
sidered, the prosperity of the Dominion. 
[Hear, hear] The motion was then put 
and carried with applause. The com- 
mittee then adjourned until noon to-day. 

The committee were invited to break- 
fast on Friday morning by Sir Francis 
Hincks, and, by invitation, dined with 
His Excellency Lord Lisgar, Governor 
General of the Dominion, on Saturday 
evening. Thos. Reynolds, Esq., the Man- 
aging Director of the Ottawa Railway, 
sent them to Prescott in his own car. At 
Toronto they spent half a day with F. C. 
Capreol, Esq., the indefatigable President 
of the Huron and Ontario Ship Canal 

Companj', who was, throughout, most 
efficient in contributing to the comfort of 
the committee and advancing the com- 
mercial interests of Canada and the West. 

The following article is from the 
Ottawa Times of Friday, the 24th: 


We direct the especial attention of our 
readers to the speech of the Hon. William 
Bross, ex-Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, 
on the subject of the transport of produce 
from the Western States to the ocean. 
The subject is one to which we have often 
alluded as being of the utmost importance, 
and perhaps no one is more thoroughly 
able to deal with it intelligently than the 
gentleman to whose remarks we refer. 

Whatever may be the views adopted by 
our government in reference to the exact 
nature of our canal policy, and whether 
or not they may feel justified in agreeing 
to the propositions made by Mr. Bross and 
the other delegates from Chicago, we may 
rely upon it that nothing but good can 
spring from the visit of these American 
gentlemen to the Canadian capital, and 
from a free interchange of thought and 
opinion between them and our leading 
public men. Our neighbors will find that 
but one desire exists here, as far as our 
social and commercial relations with the 
United States are concerned, viz.: that 
they shall be of the most intimate and 
friendly character — and without at the 
present moment entering into a discussion 
as to the respective merits of the various 
canal schemes proposed, we feel justified 
in saj'ing on behalf of the government 
and people of this Dominion, that they 
are thoroughly alive to the importance of 
establishing a commodious water high- 
way from the Western Lakes to the Atlan- 
tic Ocean, through the Valley of the St. 
Lawrence, and are di>;posed to work ener- 
getically with that end in view. 




OCTOBER 9, 1871. 

As the great fire of October 9th, 1871, 
is to be ever memorable iu the history 
of Chicago, and as the most extensive 
and destructive that ever occurred in 
any age or nation, it is well that each 
citizen put on record his own obser- 
vations and experience, so that the future 
historian can from them condense a true 
account of that wonderful event. 

In the first place, the city had for six or 
eight weeks been preparing, under a 
scorching sun and strong south and 
southwest winds, for that terrible fire. 
It* was probably the longest " spell " of 
that kind of weather the city had ever 
suffered. Scarcely any rain had mois- 
tened a roof or lain the dust. The inter- 
nal structures of the buildings, and in 
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cases 
the frame work as well, were of wood, 
and under the burning sun for so many 
weeks the whole city became virtually a 
tinder box. When the fire broke out 
among the wooden houses and stables in 
the southwestern part of the city, a fierce 
wind was blowing from the southwest, 
which under the influence of the fire soon 
became a gale. Once fairly under way 
no fire department in the world could 
stand before it. Under like circumstanceT 
every other city in the United States 
would burn up, for every other city, like 
Chicago, is mainly built of wood. Till 
more incombustible materials are used in 
this as they are in the old country, and until 
rigid rules for building substantially are 
adopted and enforced, the cities of the 
United States will never be safe from 
such calamities as befell Chicago. 

Some few incidents are inserted here 
to show how terrible was the fire."— When 
it had reached the business centre of the 
city it ceased to be governed by any of the 

ordinary rules that are commonly atten- 
dant upon even great fires, as the terms 
are usually understood. In places the 
heat could only be compared to that from 
the combustion of oxygen and hydrogen 
by means of the blow-pipe. In places it 
would strike great iron columns nearly 
two feet square, and for four or five feet, 
perhaps more, the iron would be all 
burned up. No residuum would be left. 
Sometimes car wheels standing on the 
track would be half burned up. Safes if 
exposed to these jets of heat were of no 
account whatever. Geo. C. Smith, Esq., 
banker, told me that they had standing 
in a back ofiice a large safe full of ledgers 
and other books. That safe and its con- 
tents were all burned up. Not a vestige 
of it remained to mark where it stood. 
Many safes that stood where brick walls 
soon fell on and protected them were all 
right, and as usual the manufacturers 
made a great noise about them ; but in no 
case that I heard of, if they stood in ex- 
posed positions were their contents pre- 
served. Brick vaults with safes inside 
were all right. The Tribune vault among 
other things had a linen coat and a box of 
matches inside, which were not injured, 
and the painted figures on the safe door 
were not even blistered. It should be 
added, that the vault was near the centre 
of the building, north and south, and was 
protected by the south as well as its own 
wall. Some of the freaks of the fire are 
scarcely credible. Very reliable gentle- 
men reported that they. saw jets of flame 
dart across an entire block and in an 
instant envelop the building it struck in a 
winding sheet of lurid flame. The heat 
of the burning city was felt far away on 
the lake, and I have been assured by gen- 
tlemen on whose word I place implicit 



confidence that so hot was the wind over 
at Holland, Michigan, a hundred miles or 
more northeast of Chicago, that some 
parties there on the afternoon of Monday, 
were obliged for some considerable time 
to get down behind a hedge and let the 
scorching blasts pass over them. They 
were unable then to account for the heat, 
and greatly feared that the time had come 
when "the earth and all things therein 
would be burned up." 

The fire commenced an hour or more 
before midnight, near the corner of Jef- 
ferson and DeKoven streets. Soon after 
starting it became a great river of fire, 
and from its central track at first not 
more than a block or two on either side, 
swept directly through the business por- 
tion of the city, reaching the water works 
and the old cemetery before daylight. 
But on either side of that track it kept up 
its destructive work till noon of Monday, 
and perhaps in some localities even later 
than that. Along all great rivers there 
are eddies, and it was these eddies of wind 
charged with flame that enabled the fire 
to work westward in the heart of the city 
to the river, and eastward to Michigan 
avenue as far south as Congress street. 
This comparison of the central track of 
the fire to a great river and its eddies on 
each side of that track, will probably ex- 
plain its action better than any other com- 
parison that could be made ,__ 

Following out the idea that each citizen 
should give the incidents happening to 
himself or under his own observation, I 
mention that never did friends toil more 
loyally than ours did for us. They saved 
most of our books, furniture, pictures, etc., 
that were left to us. Some that were not 
friends helped themselves to whatever 
struck their fancy when opportunity 
oflered. My coachman filled my buggy 
with some harness, a bag of coffee and 
other articles, and left it with his friends 
on the lake shore. Some one coming 
along and finding it was my "plunder," 
said he knew me; would put some more 
goods in to take home and return the 
buggy to me. That was the last I ever heard 
of the buggy or anything that was in it. 
My daughter supposed that I had hired 

an express wagon that stood at the door> 
and I supi5osed that she had. We filled 
it full of goods and furniture, among 
other things, a valuable picture — a farm 
and animal scene — by Herring, the great 
English painter. The driver slipped off 
in the crowd and that was the last we 
heard of that picture or any part of the 
load. I met a man at my door, looking 
decidedly corpulent. "My friend," said 
I, "you havfe on a considerable invoice of 
my clothes with the hunting suit outside. 
Well, go along, you may as well have 
them as to let them burn." These were 
slight affairs compared with what many 
others suffered by the thieving crowd. 
^Having got out all we could, about 11 
A. M. of Monday, the 9th, I sat down by 
my goods piled up indiscriminately on the 
lake shore. Soon I saw the angry flames 
bursting from my home — the result of 
years of care and toil. Quickly and 
grandly they wrapped up the whole blqck 
and away it floated in black clouds over 
Lake Michigan. I know not how great 
calamities affect others; but for myself I 
looked on calmly without any of those 
deep emotions which one might be ex- 
pected to feel. The thing was inevitable; 
I was no worse off than most of my fel- 
low citizens, and indeed I felt grateful to 
a kind Providence that the homes of some 
of my friends were saved, where we could 
find refuge. I indulged in no useless sor- 
■ rows, and, as I saw my home burn, simply 
resolved as in the past, to do my duty 
each day as it came along as best I could. 
I had begun life with no patrimony, save 
strong arms, willing hands, and I hope, 
an honest heart; and I could do so again. 
—^Early in the afternoon we began to send 
our goods south by teams, being careful 
to have some friend with each load, and 
by sundown all that we had been able to 
save was distributed among friends south 
of Twelfth street. In the evening my 
little family of three, came together at 
the house of E. L. Jansen, Esq., No. 607 
Wabash avenue, Mrs. B.'s brother, where 
she and my daughter remained till we 
were most kindly received by Dr. E. 
Andrews and family. There was very 
little sleep that (Monday) night, for every- 



"body was in mortal fenr that what re- 
mained of the city would be burned up 
Ijy the desperadoes who wei'e known to be 
prowling about everywhere. 

I add a few incidents not reported in 
the interview printed herewith. When I 
arrived at 15 Canal street I found Mr. 
Medill in the upper stories among the 
types and printers, doing all he could to 
get ready to issue a paper in the morning. 
I saw at a glance that my work was be- 
low. The basement and main floor were 
filled with boards, boxes and rubbish, and 
these must be cleaned out at once. I 
placed a gang of men under the command 
of our cashier to clear out the main floor, 
and another gang under a boss to clear 
out the basement to receive a load of 
paper. I then went foraging for brooms, 
but the market was bare of that indispen- 
sable article and I borrowed some of a 
neighbor. Seeing that business was 
going on lively, my next duty was to get 
up four stoves. For these I started west 
on Randolph street, but every store had 
sold out, till I got to the corner of Hal- 
sted street, I think it was; I found here the 
four I wanted: price $16 each. Told the 
owner I wanted all his men to go to work 
at once to get the pipe ready; but fearing 
if he did not know who had bought them 
somebody with cash in hand might "jump 
my claim," I told him they were for the 
Tribune Company, that we had plenty of 
money in our vault and in the bank, and 
as soon as we could get at it he should 
have his pay. " I don't know about dat," 
said the worthy Teuton, "I guess I must 
have de money "^for dem stoves." The 
thing amused me at the rapid change the 
fire had wrought. On Saturday our note 
would have been good for $100,000 and 
on Tuesday we c^uld not buy four stoves 
and the fixtures on credit. In the best of 
humor I told him to come with me and mea- 
sure the height of the holes for the pipe in 
the chimneys, and before he could get the 
articles ready he should have his money. 
This he did, and then my first question, 
half joke, half earnest, to every friend I 
met was, "have you got any money?" The 
tenth man perhaps, Hon. Ed. Cowles, of 
Cleveland, Ohio, said, " Yes, how much 

do you want?" " All you can spare;" 
and he handed me $60. Not enough for 
the stove genius, but I walked rapridly to 
his den, shook the greenbacks at him and 
told him to hurry up, for I'd soon have 
the balance. Came back to the oflice and 
found a dozen or two more of our leadit g 
citizens like myself all " strapped," till 
at last E. S. Wadsworth, Esq. , handed me 
$100. Messrs. Cowles and Wadsworth, 
therefore, furnished the cash capital to 
start the Tribune the next day after the 
fire. But money soon began to flow in. 
Between three and four o'clock, our clerk, 
Mr. Lowell, came to me and said, " there 
are some people here with advertisements 
for lost friends!" I said, "take them 
and the cash, registering in your memo- 
randum book;" and upon a dirty old box 
on the window sill for a desk, the Tribune 
at once commenced doing a lively busi- 
ness. A gentleman called me by name 
and said, " I haven't a morsel of food for 
my wife and children to-night and not a 
cent to buy any; may I not paint " Tri- 
bune" over your door?" It was soon 
done— bill $3.75; and thus a family was 
provided for that night at least, and 
another citizen started in business. 

By four p. m. the stoves were up; Mr. 
"White was duly installed with the editors 
in the rear of the main floor; the clerks 
were taking ads., the paper was soon 
after going into the basement, arrange- 
ments were made to print on the Journal 
press, our next door neighbor. Mr. 
Medill had his printers all in order, and 
a council was called; a list of materials 
made out, and it was agreed that I should 
start for Buffalo and New York that even- 
ing to get them. I hurried home, got 
my satchel — alas, clean linen was not to 
be had — and back to the oflace. About 
eight I took the middle of Canal street 
and went south to Twelfth ; thence east 
to Clark and thence south to sixteenth, 
and just saw the cars moving away. 
Nothing was to be done but to return to 
607 "Wabash avenue. I have mentioned 
my route thus particularly to add that 
this was one of the most lonely and fearful 
tramps of my life. No street lamps, few 
people in the streets, and there were good 



reasons' to give them as wide a bertli as 
possible. Another sleepless night, and 
in the morning as I sat sipping my coffee 
over some cold ham, I saw Sheridan's 
boys with knapsack and musket march 
proudly by. Never did deeper emotions 
of joy overcome me. Thank God, those 
most dear to me and the city as well are 
safe, and I hurried away to the train 
Had it not been for General Sheridan's 
prompt, bold and patriotic action, I verily 
believe what was left of the city would 
have been nearly if not quite entirel}'' 
destroyed by the cutthroats and vagabonds 
who flocked here like vultures from every 
point of the compass. 

As soon as m\^ name was found on the 
hotel book ^t Buffalo, Thursday morning, 
some gentlemen came round, and tojk 
me to the Board of Trade, where I gave 
the best account I could of the extent of 
the fire, the relief that had been sent, and 
of the certainty that the city in a very 
few years would rise from its ashes in all 
its pristine vigor. 

Completing my business, I left for New 
York in the evening train. My arrival in 
some way soon became known at the 
Tribune office, and Whitelaw Reid, Esq., 
sent two reporters to interview me. I 
insert what apjieared in the Tribune Sat- 
urday morning, Oct. 14th, headings and 
all, with only a very few verbal corrections. 


Ex-Lieutenant Governor Bross of Illi- 
nois, arrived in this city from Chicago, 
yesterday morning. A Tribune reporter 
called on him at the St. Nicholas Hotel, 
immediately after his arrival, and although 
Gov. Bross w^as suffering greatly from 
fatigue and the reaction consequent on 
the excitement of the last few days, he 
kindly and cheerfully dictated the follow- 
ing statement of his experience during 
the conflagration. Gov. Bross is well 
known as one of the principal proprietors 
of the Chiaigo Tribune, and his statement 
will be read with the greatest interest. 

Before I begin to speak of the fire, I 
wish to say that I think the accounts of it, 
published in your paper are most admir- 
able. They have been, considering the 
difficulties of obtaining information, won- 

derfully accurate; and your map, show- 
ing the burnt portion of the city, is the 
best I have seen. 

As to what I saw of the fire. About 
two o'clock on Monday morning, my fam- 
ily and I were aroused by ]\lrs. Samuel 
Bowles, the wife of the editor and pro- 
prietor of the iSjyrinfffeld liepiiblicKn, who 
ha]ipened to be a guest in our house. We 
had all gone to bed very tired the night 
before, and had slept so soundly that we 
were unaware of the conflagration till it 
had assumed terrible force. My family 
were all very much alarmed at the glare 
which illuminated the sky and the lake. 
I at once saw that a dreadful disaster w;is 
impending over Chicago, and immediately 
left the house to determine the locality 
and extent of the fire. I found that it 
was then a good deal south of my house 
and west of the Michigan Southern and 
Rock Island Railroad depots. I went 
home considerably reassured in half an 
hour, and, finding my family packing 
things up told them that I did not antici- 
pate danger and requested them to leave 
off packing. But I said, ''the result of 
this night's work will be awful. At le^^st 
10,000 people will want breakfast in the 
morning ; j'ou prepare breakfast for one 
hundred." This they proceeded to do, 
but soon became alarmed and recom- 
menced packing. Suon after half past 
two o'clock I started for the Tribune oflice 
to see if it was in danger. By this time 
the fire had crossed the river, and that 
portion of the city south of Harrison street 
and between Third avenue and the river 
seemed in a blaze of fire, as well as on the 
West side. I reached the Tribune office, 
and, seeing no cause for any apprehension 
as to its safety I did not remain there 
more than twenty minutes. On Isaving 
the office I proceeded to the Nevada Hotel 
(which is my property,) at the corner of 
Washington and Franklin streets. I re- 
mained there for an hour watching the 
progress of the flames and contemplating 
the ruinous destruction of property going 
on around. The fire had passed east of 
the hotel, and I hoped that the building 
was safe; but it soon began to extend in a 
westerly direction, and the hotel was 
quickly enveloped in flames. I became 
seriously alarmed, and ram north on Frank- 
lin to Randolph street so as to head oflf 
the flames and get back to my house, 
which was on Michigan avenue, on the 
.«hore of the lake. My house was a part 
of almost the last blbck burned. 


At this time the fire was the most grand- 
ly magnificent scene that one can conceive, 
the Court House, Post Oflice, Farwell 



Hall, the Tremont House, Sherman Hciuse, 
and all the splendid buildings on La bulle 
and Wells streets, were burning with a 
sublimity of eftVct which astounded m<\ 
All the adjectives in the language would 
fail to convey the intensity oflts wonders. 
Crowds of men, women and children 
were huddling away, running first in one 
direction, then in another, shouting and 
crying in their terror, and trying to save 
anything they could lay their hands on, 
no matter how trivial iu value, while every 
now and then explosions, which seemed 
almost to shake the solid earth would re- 
verberate through the air and add to the 
terrors of the poor people. I crossed Lake 
street bridge to the west, ran north to 
Kinzie street bridge, and crossed over 
east to the North side, hoping to head off 
the tire. It had, however, already swept 
nortli of me, and was traveling faster than 
I could go, and I soon came to the conclu- 
sion thai it would be impossible for me to 
get east in that direction. 1 accordingly 
re-crosscd Kinzie street bridge, and went 
west as far as Desplaiues street, where I 
fortunately met a gentleman in a buggy 
who very kindly drove me over Twelfth 
street bridge to my house on Michigan 
avenue. It was by this time getting on 
toward five o'clock, and the day was be- 
ginning to Itreak. On my arrival home I 
found my horses already harnessed and 
my riding horse saddled for me. My 
family and friends were all busily engaged 
in picking up and in distributing sau.l- 
wiches and coffee to all who wanted them 
or could si^are a minute to partake of 


I immediately jumped on my horse and 
rode as fast as I could go to the Tribune 
oflice. I found evt-rything safe; the men 
were all there, and we fondly hoped that 
all danger was passed as far as we were 
concerned, and for this reason, that the 
blocks in front of the Tribune building 
on Dearborn street, and north on Madison 
street, had both been burned; the only 
damage accruing to us being confined to 
a cracking of some of the plate glass win- 
dows from the heat. But a somewhat curi- 
ous incident soon set us all in a state of 
excitement. The fire had, unknown to us, 
crawled under the sidewalk from the 
wooden pavement, and had caught the 
wood work of the barber's shop which 
comprises a portion of our basement. As 
soon as we ascertained the extent of the 
mischief we no longer apprehended any 
special danger, believing, as we did, that 
the building was fire-jiroof. My associ- 
ates, Mr. Medill and Mr. White, were 
present; and with the help of some of our 
employ(js, we went to work with water 

and one of Babcock's Fire Extinguishers. 
The fire was soon put out, and we once 
more returned to business. The forms 
had been sent down stairs, and I ordered 
our foreman, Mr. Keller, to get all the 
pressmen together, in order to issue the 
papers as soon as a paragraph showing 
how far the fire had then extended, could 
be prepared and inserted. Many kind 
friends gathered round the ofilce and 
warmly expressed their gratification at 
the preservation of our building. Believ- 
ing all things safe, I again mounted my 
horse and rode south on State street to see 
v.-hat progress the fire was making, and 
if it were moving eastward on Dearborn 
street. To my great surprise and horror, 
I found that its current had taken an east- 
erly direction, nearly as far as Slate street, 
and that it was also advancing in a north- 
erly direction with terrible swiftness and 
power. I at once saw the danger so im- 
minently threatening us, and with some 
friends endeavored to obtain a quantity of 
powder for the purpose of blowing up 
buildings south of the Palmer House. 
Failing in finding any powder, I saw the 
only thing to do was to tear them down. 
I proceeded to Church's hardware store 
and succeeded in procuring about a dozen 
heavy axes, and handing them to my 
friends, requested them to mount the 
buildings with me and literally chop them 
down. All but two or three seemed uttei-ly 
paralyzed at this unexpected change in the 
course of the fire; and even these, seeing 
the others stand back, were unwilling to 
make the effort alone. At this moment I 
saw that some wooden buildings and a 
new brick house west of the Palmer 
House had already caught fire. I knew 
at a glance that the Tribune building was 
doomed, and I rode back to the office and 
told them that nothing more could be 
done to save the building, McVicker's 
theatre, or anything else in that vicinity. 
In this hopeless frame of mind I rode home 
to look after my residence and family, 
intently watching the ominous eastward 
movement of the flames. I at once set 
to work with my family and friends to 
move as much of my furniture as possible 
across the narrow Park east of Michigan 
avenue, on to the shore of the lake, a dis- 
tance of some 800 feet. At the same time 
I sent my family to the house of some 
friends in the south part of the city for 
safety; my daughter. Miss Jessie Bross, 
was the List to leave us. The work of 
carrying our furniture the avenue 
to the shore was most ditficult and even 
dangerous. For six or eight hours Michi- 
gan avenue was jammed with every de- 
scription of vehicle containing families 
escaping from the city, or baggage wagons 
laden with goods and furniture. The 
sidewalks were crowded with men, women 



and children, all carrying something. 
Some of the things saved and carried 
away were valueless. One woman carried 
an empty bitd cage; another, an old work 
box; another, some dirty empty baskets; 
old, useless bedding, anything tliat could 
be hurriedly snatched up, seemed to have 
been carried away without judgment or 
forethought. In the meantime the fire 
had lapped up the Palmer House, the 
theatres, and the Tribune building; and 
contrary to our expectation, for we 
thought the current of the lire had passed 
my residence, judging from the direction 
of the wind, we saw by the advancing 
clouds of dense black smoke.and the rapidly 
approaching flames that we were in immi- 
nent peril. The fire had already worked 
so far south and east as to attack the 
stables in the rear of Terrace Block, be- 
tween Van Buren arid Congress streets. 
Many fiiends rushed into the houses in 
the block and helped to carry out heavy- 
furniture, such as pianos and book cases. 
We succeeded in carrying the bulk of it 
to the shore. Much of it, however, is 
seriously damaged. There I and a few 
others sat by our household goods, calmly 
awaiting the destruction of our property — 
one of the most splendid blocks in Chi- 
cago. The eleven fine houses whicfh 
composed the block were occupied by 
Denton Gurney, Peter L. Yoe, Mrs. Hum- 
phreys (owned bv Mrs. Walker), William 
Bross, P. F. W. Peck, S. C. Griggs, Tut- 
hiil King, Judge H. T. Dickey, Gen. Cook, 
John L. Clarke, and the Hon. J. Y. 


The next morning I was of course out 
early, and found the streets thronged 
with crowds ot people moving in all direc- 
tions. To me the sight of the ruin, 
though so sad, was wonderful; giving one 
a most curious sensation, and especially 
as it was wrought in so short a space of 
time. It was the de.struction of the entire 
business portion of one of the greatest cities 
in the world !4j^very bank and insurance 
office, law omces, hotels, theatres, rail- 
road depots, most of the churches, and 
many of the principal residences of the 
city, a charred mass, and property almost 
beyond estimate gone. 

Mr. White, my associate, like myself, 
had been burned out of house and home. 
He had removed his family to a place of 
s.'^fety and I h<!d no idea where he or any 
one else connected with the Trihinte 
office might be found. My first point to 
make was naturally the site of our late 
office; but before I reached it I met two 
former tenants of our building who 
told me that there was a job printing 
office on Randolph street, on the West 

side, that • could probably be bought. I 
immediately started for the West side and 
while making my way west through the 
crowds of people, over the Madison street 
bridge, desolation stared me in the face 
at every step, and yet I was much struck 
with the tone and "temper of the people. 
On all sides I saw evidences of true Chi- 
cago spirit, and men said to one another, 
"cheer up; we'll be all right again before 
long," and many other plucky things. 
Their pluck and courage was wonderful. 
Every one was bright, cheerful, pleasant, 
hopeful, and even inclined to be jolly in 
spite of the misery and destitution which 
surrounded them and which they shared. 
One and all said, Chicago must and should 
be rebuilt at once. On reaching Canal 
street, on my way to purchase the print- 
ing office I had heard of, I was informed 
that while Mr. White and I were saving 
our families and as much of our furniture 
as we could on Monday afternoon, Mr. 
Medill, seeing that the Tribune office must 
inevitably be burned, sought for and pur- 
chased Edwards' job printing office. No. 
15 Canal street, where he was then busy 
organizing things. One after another, all 
hands turned up; and by the afternoon 
we had improvised the back part of the 
room into our editorial department, while 
an old wooden box did duty as a business 
counter in the front window. We were 
soon busy as bees, writing editorials and 
paragraphs; and taking in any number of 
advertisements. By evening several orders 
for type and fixtures were made out, and 
things were generally so far advanced that 
I left for the depot at Twenty-second 
street, with the intention of coming onto 
New York. Unfortunately I missed the 
train and had to wait till Wednesday morn- 
ing. We shall get along as best we can 
till the rebuilding of our edifice is finished. 
Going down to "the ruins 1 found a large 
secticm thrown out of the north wall on 
Madison street. The other three walls are 
standing, but the east and west walls are 
so srriously injured that the}'' must be 
pulled down. The south wall is in good 
condition. More of our office and the 
Post office remains standing than any 
other buildings that I saw. Our building 
was put up to stand a thousand years, and 
it would have done so but for that awful 
furnace of fire, fanned by an intense gale 
on the windward side, literally melting it 
up where it stood. 

THE LOSS $300,000,000— GRATITUDE OF 

With regard to the probable loss from 
the fire, it "is impossible to say anything 
certain. I saw an estimate the other day 
which was based on the tax list of the 
city, which is over $oOO,000,000; and the 
writer inferred from that list that the loss 



cannot exceed $125,000,000. Now, accord- 
ing to our system of taxation in Illinois, 
this city tax list never shows anj^thiag 
like the proper amount of the property in 
the city. To my knowledge, houses hav- 
ing $20,000 to $30,000 worth of furniture 
in them are not rated at more than $2,000 
to $4,000. Stocks of goods were never 
valued among us at more than one-fifth or 
one-tenth of their real value on the tax 
list. All our merchants had just filled up 
their stores with fall and winter trade 
stocks. From these and other facts I 
estimate the loss by the fire at consider- 
ably more than $300,000,000; and if dam- 
age, depreciation of real estate and prop- 
erty, and loss of business are considered, 
the loss would, in my judgment, exceed 
$300,000,000. Besides this, there are the 
family accumulations of centuries, such 
as heir-looms, the value of which cannot 
be estimated in money. The collection 
of the Historical Society, including the 
Emancipation Proclamation, were invalu- 
able, and cannot possibly be replaced. 
The Chicago Library possessed many 
costly works, among which were the 
records of the English Patent Office, in 
3,000 volumes. The destruction of the 
files of the Tribune is an immense loss to 
Chicago, and an irreparable one to the 
Tribune. There was a duplicate copy, 
but I unluckily presented it to the Histori- 
cal Society. They contained a complete 
and exhaustive history of Chicago from 
its first settlement. 

One of the most striking circumstances 
to me, almost as astounding as the great 
fire itself, is the grand and spontaneous 
outburst of sympathy, aid, and brotherly 
love, which come to us from all parts of 
the world. It is a touching spectacle, 
this man-to-man, shoulder-to-shoulder 
way of standing by us. I have seen 
strong men, accustomed to the wear and 
tear of life, whom the loss of enormous 
fortunes could not bear down, stand at 
the corners of our streets with the tears in 
their eyes as the kindly words came pour- 
ing in upon them on the telegraph wires. 
They could only ejaculate, "God bless 
them!" I can say no more than they. 
God bless all who have raised even their 
little finger for Chicago. 


This country and even Europe have 
already provided for Chicago's present 
wants with a munificence and promptness 
never before witnessed in the history of 
the race. Enough has been and will be 
forwarded, when the contributions are all 
in the hands of the proper committees, 
to provide for the immediate necessities 
of the more indigent sufferers, who are 
unable to take care of themselves. "What 

is most needed is to furnish the leading 
business men of the city with capital, so 
that they can employ the laboring classes 
in erecting stores, warehouses, banks, 
business blocks, hotels, churches, school 
houses and manufactories of all kinds. 
How is this capital to be placed in their 
hands? Let those who hold mortgages 
taken for half the value of the property, 
take a second mortgage of sufficient 
amount to defray the expense of erect- 
ing a good building on the former site. 
Such a structure will rent for a sufficient 
sum to pay the interest on both mortgages, 
and in the present demand for buildings 
will also pay a reasonable percentage to 
the owner of the property. A very large 
number of such mortgages, made to life 
insurance and other companies and to in- 
dividuals, were recorded on the burnt 
records of Chicago, and will be recognized 
by its business men. 

Furthermore, let those who know the 
leading business men of Chicago, honest, 
industrious, and determined to rebuild the 
city, lend them money to start again the 
business in which they were engaged, 
asking only pledges of honor, if they, 
in their afflictions have nothing else to 
give. These men understand the business 
of the Northwest, and can of course 
transact it with profit. Aided by the capi- 
tal of others they can rapidly regain their 
lost wealth, and amply repay those who 
may assist them. Let the banks and busi- 
ness men of New York and other Eastern 
cities who have been connected by busi- 
ness with Chicago merchants, furnish 
them with all the money and goods they 
may require with which to re-establish 

NEW York's duty toward Chicago. 

As a gentleman expressed it in my hear- 
ing to-day, New York is the senior and 
Chicago the junior partner of the great 
firm which manages the vast commercial 
interests of our nation. By a dispensa- 
tion of Providence which the wisest 
could not foresee, the means in the 
hands of the junior partner have been 
destroyed. Will the senior partner sit by 
and see the business of the firm crushed 
out when he has the means to establish it 
on a scale more gigantic and more profit- 
able than ever before? Let him contrib- 
ute a small portion only -of his vast ac- 
cumulations to his unfortunate associate, 
and the influence and power of the 
concern will assume fresh life and vigor. 
By thus furnishing the means with which 
to stai't again the business of Chicago, the 
holders of mortgages will at once make 
the property for which the mortgages were 
given as valuable as ever, and will insure 
for themselves both interest and principal. 
The merchants of New York and the 



Eastern cities should resume gladlj' their 
dealings with houses ah'eady competent to 
transact the business of the West, and 
within a few years scarcely a trace of the 
great fire of Chicago will remain to bear 
testimony to its lecord upon thu pages of 


A large number of men with more or 
less capital and living all over the country 
have l)een deterred from going to Chicago 
because the business and manufacturing of 
that city were concentrated in the hands of 
well-established houses. There has not 
been a time in twenty years when such 
persons could establish themselves in 
business there so easily as now. With the 
exception of a few of the larger houses, 
stranger and citizen will start even in the 
ruce tor the business of the Great West. 
Farmers, merchants and capitalists at the 
East who have sous whom they wish to 
put in as partners with men of integrity 
and business knowledge, will find no op- 
portunity like the one which Chicago 
offers to-day. Men of the very best char- 
acter and of the best business qualifica- 
tions, thoroughly acquainted with the 
trade and commerce of the West, would 
be only too glad to place their energy and 
business knowledge against the money 
furnished by the sons of Eastern capital- 
ists. The men who in part have built up 
Chicago and walled her streets with 
business and residence blocks among the 
finest on the continent, have ever been 
distinguished for their far-seeing shrewd- 
ness, their energy and integrity, and now 
all they need is the capital to set the labor 
of the city vigorously at worii. The capi- 
tal and labor working together with 
the intelligence and energy of the 
citizens, will in a very few years rebuild 
Chica^M) and reproduce her with increased 
maLinificence and power. I tell you that 
within live years her business houses will 
be rebuilt, and by the year 1900 the 
new Chicago will boast a population of 
1,000,000 souls. You ask me why? Be- 
cause I know the Northwest and the vast 
resources of its broad acres. I know 
that the location of Chicago makes her 
the centre of this wealthy region, and the 
market for all its products. 


Though Chicago itself has been de- 
stroyed in a whirlwind of fire, the im- 
mense fertile country which is tributary 
to it for hundreds of ujiles around has the 
wheat and the corn, the beef and the pork, 
and the other products to pay for the 
merchandise of the Eas' . While some of 

her wooden pavement has been injured, 
the greater part of it is in good condition. 
The streets have been raised several ftet, 
giving good drainage. The foundations 
of most of the consumed buildings are 
uninjured. The gas and water pipes are 
laid through all the streets of the city. The 
sewerage was nearly complete before the 
conflagration, and was uninjured by it. 
The damage to the water works was very 
slight, and within a few days they will be 
in operation again. The bridges are nearly 
all preserved. The lake tunnel by which 
the city is supplied with water, the tunnel 
under the main river, and that under the 
south branch are all uninjured. These 
works alone may be counted as constitu- 
ting from 20 to 40 per cent, of the cost of 
rebuilding the city. The Chamber of 
Commerce and several of the leading 
business houses have already determined 
to rebuild immediately upon the former 
sites. There can be no doubt but that the 
business centre of the city will be re-es- 
tablished at once upon its old foundation. 
The dozen or more r;;ilways branching off 
in all directicms through the Mississippi 
Valley will soon be pouring the wealth of 
the country into the city as rapidly as 
ever. It is true that two large depots 
have been burned, but they had long 
since become too small for the business 
oi the roads. Others of larger dimen- 
sions and better accommodations will 
immediately take their places. That 
indomitable pei'severance and genuine 
" grit " which made Chicago in the past 
will in a very few years raise up the 
Chicago of the future. 

This, so far as I know, was the first con- 
siderable statement in regard to the fire 
made to the New York press by any one 
direct from Chicago. Their special dis- 
patches had been very full and in the 
main entirely accurate. I spent Sabbath 
with my friend Bowles, of the Springfield 
(Mass. ) Republican, and several hours on 
Monday with the President and Secretary 
of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance 
Company, then and now Chicago's largest 
creditor and among the very best friends 
the city ever had. I gave them my views 
as to the best means to make their large 
investments here available. On Tuesday 
afternoon, thel7th,by invitation,! delivered 
the following address to the relief commit- 
tee of the Chamber of Commerce, Ex- 
Mayor Updike in the Chair. Though 
much that is in the Tribune's interview 
is repeated, I insert it here just as it 
appeared in all the papers next morning. 





Mr. President, and Gentle-nun of the New York 
Chamber of Commerce : 

A few of you may remember that in 
1866, I had the honor to address you on 
the subject of the Pacific Railroad. I 
then took rather a brighter view of the 
location and of the facilities for building 
the road; of the ex'ent of its business, 
and its influence upon the travel and the 
traffic of this country and tlie world, than 
many of you probably believed could be 
warranted by the facts; but I think you 
will now agree that what may then have 
seemed to be bold if not improbable spec- 
ulation, has been more than realized. And 
if fresh from that terrible baptism of fire 
which has swept over and destroyed the 
best portion of the city of Chicago, I ven- 
ture to take a hopeful view of her future, 
provided you, and the cajDitalists of New 
York and the East generally, render her 
stricken business men that material aid 
which I trust you will feel it both safe 
and a pleasure to give, my Ijest judgment 
and most careful study of the whole sub- 
ject convince me, at least, that the views 
you may permit me to present will also be 
fully realized. 


Of the extent of the calamity that has 
desolated our city I need not speak in 
detail. Your newspapers of last Friday 
morning h;id correct maps of the burnt 
district. Some 3,000 acres are covered 
with frightful ruins, or swept by the 
devouring fire, maddened by the fury of 
the hurricane, as bare as they were when 
the Indian roamed over them forty years 
ago. It is safe to say that all that remains 
of Chicago is not worth half as much as 
the fire has destroyed. All our banks; all 
our largest and best hotels, and a score or 
two of lesser note; all our largest and lead- 
ing grocery, jewelry, dry goods, hardware, 
clothing and other business houses; all 
our newsjmper offices; most of our churches 
and school houses; our Historical Society's 
building, with all its valuable treasures; 
the Library Association, containing among 
other works some 3,000 volumes of the 
Patent Office reports of Great Britain; 
thousands of dwellings; the homes of the 
rich, filled with priceless treasures, and 
with heir-looms of hundreds of years; 
and the abodes of humble poverty by the 
ten thousand — all, all have been swept as 
\ by the fell besom of destruction from the 
face of the earth. Only a single house on 
the north side of the river — that of Mah- 
lon D. Ogden, Esq.— is left standing, and 

probably 75,000 people spent the morning 
and most of Monday crouching in Lincoln 
Park, or half immersed in the waters of 
the Lake, to save tliemselvos from the 
heat and the showers of burning cinders 
driven upon theni b}' the tempest. Both 
the los-^es and the sufferings of that day 
can never be fully known or described — 
no mind can possibly comprehend them. 
They have not been and can not well be 


If our calamity in its kind has been u-n- 
equaled in the world's history, the response 
it has met in the sympathy, the outpour- 
ing and unbounded liberality of the entire 
American people, is grand, sublime. God- 
like. It throbs in the lightning's flash 
through three thousand miles of the deep, 
dark caves of the old ogean, and makes 
our hearts glad. I may say for our people, 
brothers and sisters of generous free 
America, honored sons and daughters of 
our sires across the Atlantic, with the pro- 
foundest emotions of our hearts, we thank 
you. Strng men in Chicago weep at 
midnight, not over their losses of thou- 
sands, aye, many of them even of mill- 
ions, but with joy and gratitude at the 
noble charity you have shown us. God 
will reward you for it, and our children 
and children's children shall bless you. 


The millions of dollars in clothing, 
provisions, and money already raised and 
being subscribed, have relieved the imme- 
diate necessities of the poor, and thou- 
sands who have been made so by the fire. 
But, gentlemen, the next imperative 
necessity is to place funds in the hands of 
the leading business men of Chicago to 
enable them to rebuild the city, to handle 
the products of the vast fertile country 
that is tributary to it, and to set all the 
laborers of the city to work. Do this and 
the poor can support themselves ; withhold 
your capital and they must starve or your 
charities will continue to be severely 
taxed to support them, for you can not see 
them die of starvation. In making this 
appeal to you, and through you to the cap- 
italists of the country and to the business 
men and capitalists of England and Ger- 
many, for means to rebuild and do the busi- 
ness of Chicago, I must deal with the two 
elements of security and profit. I have 
still another: those who have now loans 
on real pi'operty and credits in the hands 
of our leading houses should continue 
those credits and make loans on the same 
property on second mortgage, in order to 
make what they now have available. 
Nearly all the central portion of the city 
has been swept by fire, and the land is not 



worth as much as so many acres of prairie, 
unless made valuable for business by re- 
building it. The men, whose splendid 
marble palaces once occupied it, are still 
there. lu most cases their property is all 
gone; but sterling integrity, unbending 
energy, a thorough knowledge of the finan- 
cial, commercial, and manufacturing in- 
terests of the West — all those qualities 
which have made Chicago the wonder and 
admiration of the world — are still left to 
them. Nay, more, all their best powers 
are enlarged and intensified by a deter- 
mination to regain and restore all that has 
been lost. Braver and truer, nobler and 
better men do not live, than the leading 
business men of Chicago. I ask not for 
them— they would scorn to ask— charity; 
but I do ask that you intrust as much as 
you can of your surplus capital to their 
management, for your own and their 
profit, • 


But to repeat and to be more specific. 
Let insurance companies and individuals 
who have loans on Chicago real estate take 
a second mortgage with policies of insur- 
ance for money enough to build a sub- 
stantial building upon it. Such must be 
the demand for places of all kinds'to do 
business, for several years to come, that 
the rentals will surely pay the interest on 
both the mortgages and leave a fair sur- 
plus to the owner to pay the principal. A 
bold policy, in all such cases, it seems to 
me, is the only safe and really conserva- 
tive one for capitalists to pursue. They 
can in this way, within a year at most, 
make safe and productive all their invest- 
ments. Ajiy other course must subject 
theinto great and inevitable loss. Unin- 
cumbered Chicago real estate — and there 
is a vast deal of that— offers the very best 
possible security to capitalists. Take a 
mortgage on property, to-day, that two 
weeks ago would have sold for $2,000 per 
front foot, for, say $500 per front foot; in 
three years, so rapidly is the city sure to 
grow, it will be worth twice as much, and 
in five years it will have reached its former 
value of |2,000 per front foot. The point I 
make is, that Chicago real estate must 
rapidly appreciate from its present nom- 
inal values, and this renders all loans 
upon it entirely safe. 

Again, there are thousands of Chicago 
business men who have friends East who 
know them to be honest, energetic, and 
capable. If they have no other security 
to give, take a life policy and a note of 
honor, and lend them money enough to 
start business. They have lost one for- 
tune, and with a little of your help on the 
start they can soon make another. As to 
the large class of merchants and manu- 
facturers who have done business with 

Chicago houses, I know they will extend 
all the aid in their power by large and 
liberal credits. By doing so, they will be 
sure to collect what is now due them, and 
to secure large orders and profits in the 
future. The mercantile community are 
proverbially liberal in their dealings with 
each other, and in our overwhelming 
calamity Chicago merchants will doubt- 
less receive the most generous treatnieut 
from Eastern merchants and manufac- 


There has not been, for the last twenty 
years, so good a time for men of capital 
to start business in Chicago as now. 
Thousands anxious to locale in this focus 
of Western commerce have been deterred 
from doing so for the reason that the 
business in each department had become 
concentrated in comparatively a few 
hands. With few exceptions, all can 
now start even, in the race for fame and 
fortune. The fire has leveled nearly all 
distinctions, and the merchants and deal- 
ers who have heretofore purchased in our 
older and larger houses will buy where 
they can get their goods the cheap- 
est. Now, therefore, is the time to strike. 
A delay of a ytar or two will give an im- 
mense advantage to those who start at 
once. True, a location must be found, 
perhaps a store built; but a couple of 
months, at most, are all that is needed to 
start business with the best prospects of 

Again, there are thousands of people all 
over the country with considerable means 
who wish to start their sons in business. 
Of course they are without experience. 
Furnish them capital to go into business 
with an experienced Chicago merchant, 
who will gladly put his knowledge and 
energy against the capital, and irTa few 
3'ears these sous will be men of wealth 
and honor. Such opportunities, my word 
for it, can be found in abundance. Bet- 
ter a thousand fold encourage the sons of 
the rich to honorable exertion than to 
allow them to waste their energies in ease 
and luxury. 


While the rich, populous States tribu- 
tary to Chicago, through which our rail- 
ways are running in all directions, must 
make the business of the city, as it has 
been in the past, exceedingly profitable, I 
trust what I have said has convinced you 
that it is one of the best cities in the 
world in which to make safe investments 
of capital. Its rapid growth must insure 
that beyond a contingency. And now 
for the matter of profit. The legal inter- 
est in Illinois is ten per cent., a much 
larger figure than is allowed anywhere at 



the East. Millions of money would gladly 
be taken bj"^ our leading business men at 
that rate; but I beg to say that I hope 
you will be satisfied with eight. I might 
add that our people sometimes pay com- 
missions, but I beg you also to forget all 
about that. Our citizens are poor enough 
now in all conscience, and it is to be 
hoped Eastern capital will be satisfied with 
a reasonable percentage above what it can 
realize at home. 


Of course the Government can do 
nothing directly for us; but as soon as 
Congress meets, liberal appropriations 
should be made to build a large, substan- 
tial Post Office. The old building Jiad 
become far too small to accommodate the 
immense business of the Northwest. The 
Chicago office was, if I mistake not, the 
secon\d distributing office in the United 
States, and it should have a building of 
corresponding dimensions. The import- 
ing business direct to Chicago was just 
fairly commenced, and a large Custom 
House and several bonded warehouses are 
nf'cded for that. Perhaps United States 
Court rooms can be provided in these; but 
in any event large accommodations are 
at once of imperative necessity. The 
building of them as rapidly as possible 
would employ a large amount of labor, 
and distribute corresponding sums of 
money, thus affording a most important 
stimulus to the entire business of the city. 


Although the all-devouring fire has 
swept over us, we have.still much remain- 
ing on which to build the city. All our 
banks, though doubtless somewhat crip- 
pled, will resume business at once. Their 
books, currency, notes and exchanges are 
safe. The notes, though not as good as 
they might be, will mostly be paid, in 
whole or in part; and what is worthless, 
it is to be hoped, will not seriously affect 
their stability and usefulness. Our score 
or more of railways will at once pour the 
produce of the upper half of the Missis- 
sippi valley into the city for distribution 
among all the cities and States of the sea- 
board. Our Water Works are soon to be 
in good order, and the . water pipes all 
over the city are intact. Many of our 
bridges, and of course our lake tunnel 
and our two tunnels under the river, are 
all right. The streets are raised several 
feet in many places, affording good drain- 
age; the pavements are very little injured, 

and the gas pipes and sewers are of course 
complete. These with other things that 
might be named constitute from twenty 
to forty per cent, of the original expeiKe 
of build ug the city. And what is far 
better, our honest, brave, plucky people 
are there, ready and willing to work. 
Their strong hands and iron wills yield 
to no disasters. The men who have 
turned the waters of Lake Michigan into 
the Missssippi — in common phrase "made 
the Chicago river run up hill" — can turn 
back the tide of misfortune, and in a few 
years make their city more prosperous 
and populous and powerful than ever 
before. True, they need your assistance, 
and you will give it. The capitalists, the 
mercantile and business interests of this 
country and of Europe cannot aff"ord to 
withhold the means to rebuild Chicago. 
The vast teeming country west of her, her 
position at the head of the Great Lakes, 
with m(5re miles of railway centering 
there than any other city upon the conti- 
nent, have made her one of the vital 
forces that give life and vigor to the com- 
mercial energies of the nation. What 
she has been in the past she must become 
in the future, and a hundred fold more. 
Help her with capital, and it can soon be 
done ; but in any event she has to wait 
only a few short years for the sure de- 
velopment of her " manifest destiny." 

The above had the advantage of appear- 
ing in all the morning papers. The Tri- 
bune, Herald, and Times gave it an im- 
mense circulation. Most of the evening 
papers copied or gave a synopsis of it, 
and the papers of other cities did the 
same. I was assured that it had done 
much to inspire confidence in the early 
restoration of the city. If in this or any 
other way it did any good, I did only what 
every good citizen should always do, the 
best he can for the interests and the 
prosperity of Chicago. It should be 
noticed that what I predicted would be 
accomplished in five years was mostly 
done in three, and much of it in two. 
The unsightly acres still to be seen on 
State street, Wabash avenue, and some 
portions of Michigan avenue, were burned 
over by the disastrous fire of July 14th, 
1874. Nearly all the open spaces made 
by the great fire of 1871 are now covered 
with buildings. 







The following address at Des Moines is 
inserled for the facts and figures it con- 
tains, posted up to the time it was de- 

Special despatch to the Chicago Tribune. 

Des Moines, la., Jan. 23. — The Iowa 
Industrial Convention convened to-day, 
with full delegations from all parts of 
the State, also delegates from Illinois and 
Canada. Governor Carpenter called the 
Convention to order. Officers were chosen 
as follows: Mayor W. T. Smith, of Os- 
kalousa. President; one Vice President 
from each Congressional District of the 
State; A. R. Fulton, Secretary, and S. F. 
Spoftord, Treasurer. The afternoon busi- 
ness was a discussion on the amendment 
to the Collection laws in operation in the 
State. The Convention resolved to me- 
morialize the Legislature to limit the stay 
of execution to ninety days; to abolish 
the Appraisement law; to limit the right 
of redemption to six months. 

The motion to limit the value of home- 
steads to $5,000 did not carry. 

The Convention is composed of leading 
representative men from all parts of the 
State. It is large in numbers, and em- 
braces an unusual amount of practical 
business talent, and valuable results may 
be auticipated. Ex-Lieutenant Governor 
Bross, of Chicago, is speaking this even- 
ing to a very large audience, composed 
not only of the members, but of the Sen- 
ators, Representatives, and others in at- 
tendance upon the Legislature. His sub- 
ject is the transportation question. The 
following is the substance of his remarks: 
Mr. President and Gentlemen : 

I am here by request, to address you on 
the transportaiion question. The subject 
involves an estimate, as near as may be, 
of the surplus farm products of what are 
commonly known as the Northwestern 
States ; the cost of freights between 
the producers and the consumers: the 
cajiacity of the cliannels of transit; the 
means by which that capacity can be en- 
larged, and the cost of freights thereby 

reduced to the lowest possible limit; and 
lastly, the numbers and the wants of the 
people among whom we expect to find a 
profitable market for that surplus. 

The peoi)le of our Atlantic seaboard, 
especially those of the New England 
States, are our largest and best customers. 
The steady increase of manufacfuring 
industry there, creates a larger demand 
for our products every year; but that de- 
mand has long since fallen lar behind the 
production of cereals and provisions in 
the States that surround and lie west of 
Lake Michigan. This fact has becDme 
the more apparent every year since IbiJS, 
Avhen at least 200,000 men ceased to be 
consumers, and, scattered all over these 
States, have been steadily adding to our 
surplus. In the meantime, thousands of 
people from the different nation ilities of 
Europe have made their homes among us, 
thus adding largely, not only to the num- 
bers of our population, but to the develop- 
ment of our resources, and the intellectual 
and the moral power of the nation. If 
our surplus products are already so great, 
and the cost of their transit to the .'sea- 
board is so enormous, that corn is used in 
Iowa for fuel, the ciuestion what is to be 
done with that surplus a few years hence, 
when it has increased in almost a bewil- 
dering ratio, becomes a matter of the 
must serious concern. Let us consider for 
a few moments the extent, the resources, 
and the prospective development of the 
Northwestern States, nearly all of whose 
surplus products must find their way, 
either by rail or the lakes and canal, to the 

Look at the map. If you draw a line 
west from Alton, the teiritory 1} ing north 
of that and between Lake Jilichigan and 
the liocky Mountains, throwing out the 
small sections that are valueless, embraces 
about 700,000 ^(luaie mil- s. Here we 
hive space for fourteen States as lar^'e as 
Ohio, and he knows little of its climate 
and resources who is not convinced that 
they will be vastly more productive and 
more populous than tiiat noble State. 
The rapid progress of this territory may 
be mferred from a few facts. The fol- 



lowing table shows the increase of popu- 
lation iu six States betweeu ISGO and 1870 : 

18C0. 1870. 

Illinois 1,711,595 2,539,891 

Iowa 674,913 1,191,792 

Kansas 107,i06 364,399 

Minnesota 172.023 439,706 

Nebraska 28,841 122,993 

Wisconsin 775,881 1,054,670 

Totals 3,470,459 5,713,451 

These figures, taken from the Govern- 
meut census, show a ratio of 64 per cent, 
increase betweeu the years 1860 and 1870. 
The same ratio, continued to the year 
1900, only twenty-seven years hence, 
would give these States 25,450,000 people; 
but, granting it can not be kept up in them, 
can any one doubt, with the rapid exteu- 
sitn of our railways in all directions 
thi'ough this vast fertile country, that at 
least 20,000,0C0 of people will iu the year 
of gr'.ce 190 ) find their homes between 
Lake Michigan and the Rocky Mountains? 
With only a little more than half the 
ratio I have named, your own beautiful 
Iowa will in that time have a population 
equal to that of Pennsylvania iu 1870, 
then aud now the second State in the 
Union. As another element to help us to 
judge of the immediate future, I may 
mention that Chicago had in 1860 a popu- 
lation of 111,214, and in 1870, 29s, 977. 
The ratio of increase in this case — 170 per 
cent. — would give her a population in 1880 
of 800,000. I dare not say that Chicago 
will have that many people in a little 
more than seven years hence, but I will 
say that she has far outstripped the 
predictions that I or any one else have 
ever had the courage to make. 

Another index to the development of 
the Northwest is found in the rapid growth 
of our railway system. 

The following table shows the number 
of miles of railway in the six States above 
named, in 1860 and 1870, and the number 
of miles completed in 1872: 

Increase Built 

1P60. 1870. inlOyrs. in 1872. 

Illinois 2,790 4,031 1,241 838 

Iowa 655 2,095 1,440 585 

Kansas None 931 931 511 

Minnesota None 795 795 712 

Nebraska- None 1.058 1.058 218 

Wisconsin 905 1,512 607 555 

Totals 4,350 10,422 6,072 3,419 

It will be noticed that more than half as 
many miles of railway were built in these 
States during last year as were built in 
ten years between 1860 and 1870. But to 
the Western farmer this astonishing rail- 
way progress serves only to increase the 
hideous writhings of what your excellent 
Governor Carpenter aptly calls " Vie skel- 
eton in his co?-n-crib." It promotes the 
rapid settlement of the country, thereby- 
adding largely to that surplus production 

which even now can only be relieved by 
burning corn for fuel. Wliile Governor 
Carpenter's metaphor is fearfully true, 
and, with our present means of transit, 
that skeleton must remam fixed in the 
corn-crib, there are millions, may I call 
them living skeletons, clad in scanty flesh, 
pinched and wan with the gnawings of 
remorseless hunger, whose shout of joy 
and thankfulness woukl make.the heavens 
ring, could this corn be brought within 
reach of their starving wives and children 

But before passing from this branch of 
the subject, let us take another example 
from the commercial statistics of Chicago. 
The first shipment of wheat from that city, 
78 busheis, was made in 1838, and in 1844, 
only twenty nine years ago, the shipments 
were less than a million of bushels. Up 
to that time no other cereal had bi - n 
shipped eastward In 1871 , the receipts of 
all kinds of grain— flour being expressed 
iu bushels — were 83,518,202, and the ship- 
ments 71,800,789. Last year the receipts, 
as furnished me by Charles R.-mdolph, 
Esq., Secretary of the Board of Trade, 
were 88,426,842. Allowing about the 
same figures for city consumption, the 
shipments for 1872 would amount to 
76,000,000 bushels. The figures for each 
year in most casts show a steady increase 
of the shipments of breadstuff's, keeping 
pace with the settlement of the country 
west of Lake Michigan. A reference to 
the tables showing the commerce in t)ie 
animal products of our vast lei tile prairies 
would yield the same results, aud need 
not be given here. 

With all the increase of production west 
of Lake Michigan we have added but one 
railway to our channels of transit for it to 
the seaboard since 18^jo ; iu all, we now 
hfive four railways, the lakes, the Welland 
and St. Lawrence and the Erie canals. 
After having studied carefully the re- 
sources, and the probable development of 
the territory we have been consiaering, I 
said to the first Conveni ion, held at To- 
ronto, to consider -how our transit lines 
could be increased, on the 13' h of St ptem 
her of that year ; " As well attempt to 
lead the boiling current of Niagara to the 
sea in hose-pipe as to ship the products of 
these 700,000 square miles to thv ocean by 
the Erie and the Welland canals, and all 
the railways now or hereafter to be con- 
structed." The commercial crash of 
1857-8, and our four years War of the 
Rebellion have somewhat delayed the ful- 
fillment of what then seemed to many 
the vagaries of an over-healed imagina- 
tion ; but that it is literally, even painfully 
true, to-day, this Convention cannot doubt 
for a moment. 

The question before the Farmers' Con- 
vention, of Illinois, recently held at Bloom- 
ington, mooted as I learn almost with de- 



spairing earnf stness, was, Can any present 
relief be found for the high freights and 
the ruinously low prices of our produce ? 
I can see but two sources — one in an active 
demand at high figures, caused by a war 
in Europe. This would only be tempo- 
rary, at best. The only permanent relief 
is to be sought for by opening a channel, 
hereafter to be noticed, for vessels of 1,000 
tons, down the St. Lawrence to the ocean. 

And now we come to the price of 
freights, and what is needed to lower them 
to such a figure that the farmers west of 
Lake Michigan can ship the products of 
their broad acres to the ocean, and not 
have the proceeds of their toil consumed 
in getting them to market. On this branch 
of the subject, the cost of freights east, of 
Chicago is the only thing to be considered, 
for the railway charges to that city can 
only be reduced gradually, by competition 
among the railways and by tlie greater 
amount of products to be handled. The 
freight on corn from Des Moines to Chi- 
cago, and places west to the Missouri, 
has, I understand, been reduced from 20 
to 17 cents per hundred — about 12i cents 
per bushel — and, in process of time, a fur- 
ther reduction may possibly be made. 
The average of all rail freights between 
Chicago and New York, for the year 1871, 
was 29.1 ceats per bushel, and 31.2 per 
bushel for wheat. I have the opinion of 
the Presidents of two of our largest rail- 
ways, that if half a dozen double track 
railway lines, devoted entirely to freight, 
were built between New York and Chi- 
cago, the rate could not be reduced below 
20 cents per bushel. That would make 
the freight charges on a bushel of corn 
from Des Moines to tide water 32i cents 
at the lowest rate that can be hoped for 
by all rail, and, adding the commissions of 
the middle men, 35 to 40 cents would be 
levied, so that you may safely calculate it 
will cost you at least three bushels of corn 
to lay down the fourth one in New York. 
Using propellers betwen Chicago and Buf- 
falo or Erie, and rail to New York, the 
average tariff of freight for 1871 was 23.4 
cents per bushel for corn, and 25.2 for 
wheat, being about 6 cents less than by all 

The average freight on corn by sail 
vessel, from Chicago to Buffalo, for the 
past summer, was a small fraction above 
9 cents per bushel. Add charges for 
handling at Buffalo U cents, and cannl 
freigiits to New York 12 cents on corn, 
and 12^ cents on wheat, and the charges 
on these grains to New York will be about 
23 to 25 cents per bushel. Owing to the 
large amount of produce to be movi d, 
freights have ranged from 2 to 5 cents 
higher during the present year above the 
rates ruling in 1871. The rates by pro- 
peller and rail to Buffalo and New York, 

and by sail and canal, have approached 
very nearly to the same figures. All lines 
are taxed to their utmost capacity, and 
more. The Erie canal can not be enlarged, 
for the watershed of the country through 
which it runs will not afford a larger sup- 
ply of water to feed the canal, and the 
question returns what can be done to se- 
cure for our products a more capacious 
channel, and therefore cheaper transit to 
the ocean ? I answer, in the language of 
the late Captain Hugunin, one of our best 
and earliest lake navigators : "The Great 
God, when he made the migkty West, 
made also the lakes and the mighty St. 
Lawrence to float their commerce to the 
ocean." True, we have the Rapids of the 
St. Lawrence and the Falls of Niagara ; 
but without these we could not have the 
great lakes, and without them meteor- 
ology has long since proved that our vast 
teeming prairies would be arid as the re- 
gions of Central Asia. Around these 
natural harriers man's energy has built a 
series of canals, passing vessels of some 
three and part of the way six hundred 
tons between the lakes and tide water. 
Every tyro in commercial knowledge 
knows that as you increase the tonnage of 
a vessel you diminish the relative cost of 
freights. Enlarge the Welland and the 
St. Lawrence canals, so as to pass vessels 
of 1,000 tons burthen, and I have the 
opinion of the eminent railway Presidents 
above referred to that a bushel of corn can 
be transported from Chicago to Montreal 
for 14 cents ; and by the Caughnewaga 
canal, of similar size, and the Champlain 
canal, duly enlarged, to New York, at 18 
cents. This view is more than confirmed 
by our able engineer, Colonel R. B. Mason, 
who, in his report on tue Georgian Bay 
canal, as Consulting Engineer, withKivas 
Tulley, Esq., of Toronto, estimating the 
cost of freight, in vessels of 1,000 tons bur- 
then, by lake, at 2 mills per ton per mile, 
by canal and river at 8, and ocean at li, 
foots up the cost of transporting a bushel 
of wheat between Chicago and Liverpool 
at 20 cents, and to Montreal a fraction 
above 9 cents. Take the first estimate, 
viz., 14 cents as the cost of freight on a 
bushel of corn, between Chicago and 
Montreal, and we have six cents added to 
the price of every bushel produced by our 
farmers. The efi'ect of that on their 
wealth and prosperity would be wonder- 
ful. Suppose only half of it reaches the 
pockets of your farmers, and it would add 
20 per cent, to the value of every acre of 
land he possesses. Take the figures for 
your surplus as put down in the Govern- 
ment census for 1860, with the deductions 
for home consumption as made by Gov- 
ernor Carpenter in his able address before 
your State Agricultural Societj', and three 
cents a bushel on your corn and wheat 



would put into the pockets of your farm- 
ers $1,200,000 per year — the sum to go ou 
increasing every year, for aught I know, 
to the end of time. Tlie value of such a 
reduction of freights to the entire North- 
west is far beyond the limit of any figures 
which I should dare to give. 


The enlargement of the Welland and 
St. Lawrence Canals so as to pass vessels 
of 1,000 tons burthen will accomplish 
nearly all the beneficent results above 
specified. If our Canadian neighbors pre- 
fer for any reason to do this, let us be 
thankful and bid them God speed. A 
better thing, in my judgment, to be done, 
is to build the Huron and Ontario Ship 
Canal from the Georgian Bay to Toronto. 
The people of the cities on the Lower St. 
Lawrence fear, as I think without reason, 
if this canal is built, the diversion of the 
trade of the Northwest to New York. 
The citizens of the valley of the Ottawa 
very naturally insist on the improvement 
of their great river ; impracticable, as I 
think, for there would be some 400 miles 
of close river and canal navigation, and, 
if I mistake not, a depth of only gight 
feet of water. Were it not for these rea- 
sons, I believe the people of the Dominion 
would be unanimous in favor of the speedy 
construction of a ship canal from the 
Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. This, I 
confess, is an old pet project of mine, 
and as one of your most far seeing citi- 
zens, J. B. Calhoun, Esq., and His Excel- 
lency Governor Carpenter, have each 
recently referred favorably to it, will you 
permit me to add a short description of 
the route and its prospective advantages 
to the commerce of our vast and rapidly 
developing Northwest. Let us turn our 
attention to the map. 

Starting from Chicago to the Georgian 
Bay, the northeastern part of Lake Huron, 
the track of a vessel is very direct to the 
mouth of the Nottawasaga River. Thence 
we have slack water navigation up that 
river, with occasional reaches of canal 
through the sandy shores to avoid bends 
in the river, to a point 20 miles from its 
mouth. Tiie elevation of 130 feet is over- 
come by 11 locks, with an average lift of 
about 12 feet. "We have now reached the 
summit level of Lake Simcoe, only nine 
miles distant. To reach it, a ridge com- 
posed of clay and gravel must be cut 
through at an average depth of 50 feet, 
and 78 feet at its summit. From Barrie, 
on Kempenf eldt Bay, there is lake navi- 
gation for 22 miles to the mouth of the 
Holland River. The river and marsh for 
10 miles can very easily be made navi- 
gable by steam excavators. The real 
difficulty and expensive part of the work 
is here reached. A ridge 10 miles in 

width, composed of clay and grave], must 
be cut through at an average depth of 
90 feet, and 198 feet for half a mile at its 
summit. Once through this ridge, the line 
follows down the valley of the Humber 
23 miles. There are required 39 locks, 
with an average lift of about 12 feet and 
a total lockage of 470 feet. Of course, 
this route has about 260 feet more lockage 
than that by the Welland Canal; but it 
has advantages hereafter to be noticed 
that make it in my judgment far pre- 
ferable as the great highway for the com- 
merce of the Norih west. The total dis- 
tance from the mouth of the Nottawasaga 
to that of the Humber on Lake Huron is 
only 100 miles. More than half of that 
distance is on the summit through Lake 
Simcoe, through which steam tugs would 
take vessels in a few hours. There is less 
than 40 miles of close canal navigation on 
the whole route ; the other parts of it are 
through Lake Simcoe and the valleys of 
the Nottawasaga, the Holland, and the 
Humber Rivers. Lake Simcoe and its 
tributaries afford an ample supply of water 
to feed the canal from the summit in both 
directions. Very little water would be 
needed on the north from Lake Simcoe, 
for the Nottawasaga River would supply 
that. This route to tide water is snne 400 
miles shorter tlian that by Lake Erie and 
the Welland Canal ; and it is nearly as 
much shorter to New York by Oswrgo 
than by Lake Erie, It is about 800 miles 
shorter to Liverpool. It will save two 
days in time to tide water, and of course 
a fraction on freights to pay the expenses 
of the extra 260 feet of lockage. A very 
great advantage is, that the general direc- 
tion of the route makes it the best possible 
for vess':!ls to avail themselves of the 
southwest winds of summer. By the Lake 
Erie route- the vessel must beat against 
that for more than 150 miles after passing 
Point aux Barque on Lake Huron down 
the St. Clair River and Lake and the De- 
troit River to Lake Erie. The difficult 
navigation over the St. Clair Flats, though 
now materially improved, is also avoided. 
And besides, the track of the vessel 
through the Georgian Bay and Lake Sim- 
coe would be through cooler water than 
around by Lake Erie — an advantage not 
to be overlooked in transporting grain in 
bulk to the seaboard. The danger of its 
being damaged by heating is ther'^by pro- 
portionately removed. Open this route 
with a suflicient capacity to pass vessels 
of 1,000 tons burthen, and you have a 
channel of ample dimensions to carry the 
commerce of the mighty West to the 
ocean. You thereby reduce the freight on 
a bushel of corn to 14 cents, perhaps to 
10 cents, to Montreal, and to about 20 to 
25 cents to Liverpool. By so doing you 
give cheaper bread — perhaps reduce its 



price nearly one-half — to the millions of 
Great Britain, and add immensely to the 
wealth, and, therefore, to the means for 
the intellectual and the social improve- 
ment of the 30,000,000 who are soon to 
live between Lake Michigan and the 
Rocky Mountains. 

But, says one, the cost of this work is 
appalling ; it cau never be built. Let, us 
see. Colonel Mason and Mr. Tully, in 
1858, estimated the cost of the entire work 
at less than $24,000,000. Capitalists in 
this country and Europe have offered 
several times to build it for |40,000,000. 
This is scarcely more than our Credit 
Mobilier gentry managed to get as a gra- 
tuity from our Government — some un- 
charitable people will call it stealing — for 
building a railway from the Missouri river 
to Salt Lake. Six rents a bushel saved in 
freights on the grain even now shippi d 
from Chicago would pay for the canal in 
less than ten years ; and the same sum 
saved on the grain imported into Great 
Britain would pay for the canal in less j 
than five years. If you add the savings 
on animal products and merchandise pass- I 
ing east and west, the whole cost of the 
improvemint would be paid for in three 
years, and the world would thenceforward 
have the use of it free of charge on its 
cost for all time to come. 

The question. Who are to buy the surplus 
products of the Northwest ? is all that re- 
mains to be noticed. Besides the people 
of New England who would be immensely 
benefited by this canal, right across the 
Atlantic are nearly 40,000,000 of people 
in Great Britain, ready to buy and to 
coiisume that surplu'^, and, with the pro- 
ducts of their strong arms and skillful 
hands, to pay for all we have to spare 
them. England employs her energies 
mainly in commerce and manufactures. 
Large sections of the country are devoted 
to parks and pleasure grounds. Her 
wealthy men are constantly increasing 
the area of these pleasure grounds, and 
thereby lessening the space devoted to 
food culture. It was stated a few years 
ago that Coates, who manufactures the 
spool-cotton used in the making of our 
clothing, gave his check for £76,000, 
($380,000), for several small farms, which 
he intended to improve as a splendid park. 
So essential are supplies of food from 
abroad to the life of Great Britain, that in 
a year of poor crops in the countries bor- 
dering on the Black and Baltic Seas, from 
which her cereals are mainly drawn, Mr. 
Cobden declared there was not money 
enough in Threadneedle street — the Bank 
of England is located there — to procure 
the deficiency to save the people from 
starvation, had tliey not found an ample 
supply in the United States. Reducing 
their figures to our standard, and adding 

one-eleventh for December, the imports 
of wheat into Great Britain for the last 
year were 115,000,000 of bushels, and 
about 50,000,000 of bushels of corn. 
Judging from the tables of former years, 
when the crops are poor in Europe, 
America furnishes about one bushel in 
five. Enlarge the St. Lawrence route, as 
proposed, so that it shall not cost more 
than one, two, or, at most, three bushels 
of corn and wheat to lay one down in 
Liverpool, of six or seven, as by 
the present means of transit, and America 
might furnish one-half or two-thirds of 
those imports, to her own great profit, as 
well as that of the people of England. 

But, says some patriotic individual, this 
route lies entirely through a foreign coun- 
try. What can we do to influence 
its construction ? It seems to me that 
cheaper fjcights from Chicago to the 
ocean would add immensely to the pros- 
perity of every railway between Lake 
Michigan and the Rocky Mountains. 
Whatlhey most need is cheap freights to 
the seaboard. The North Western, the 
Milwaukee & St. Paul, the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy, the Rock Island, and 
especially the Illinois Central, C(nild well 
afford to combine their influence upon the 
money markets of the world to command 
the means to build the canal — a thing 
■which we have not the least doubt the 
Canadians will be most happy to have 
them do. And what shall we say of the 
great Northern Pacific Railway ? Will it 
not be essential to the succes^s of that 
ro d ? How can the products of the vast 
country through which it runs find a mar- 
ket except through a greatly enlarged 
water-channel to the ocean ? And, be- 
sides our railways, every man of the mil- 
lions now living, or hereafter to live, 
between Lake Michigan and the R' cky 
Mountains, has a direct interest in the 
success of this great enterprise. By re- 
fusing all further consideration of the 
Niagara Ship Canal, let Congress give 
assurance to Canada that she shall have 
the carrying trade of the Great West, if 
she will so enlarge her canals as to com- 
mand it. And, better still, let us have a 
reciprocity treaty, in which the whole 
subject shall be considered and settled for 
an indefinite number of years to come. 
Commerce sees not the imaginary line 
that divides the Dominion from the United 
States. She knows no good reason 
why there should be any more trammels 
on the trade between Chicago and Mon- 
treal than there are between Chicago and 
New Yoik. The world has nearly out- 
lived such an absurdity. 

But it may be said that our commerce 
would build up a great city in a foreign 
country on the lower St. Lawrence, a rival 
to New York. The race will be between 



Montreal and Quebec. For myself I 
Ihink tlie States west of Lake Michigan 
have fully canceled every debt they ever 
owed to New York. For a generation she 
has quartered a whole liorde of political 
paupers and l)unimers on her lateral canals, 
many of whom do not collect tolls encnigh 
on the useless ditches over which they pre- 
side to pay a tithe of tiieir salaries, not to 
mention th ir stealings; and yet she 
insists on taxing tlie commerce of the 
West, passing through the main canal, to 
support all her other canals and to pay 
her debts besides. As to New York City, 
she has for a generation legalized the 
grasping avarice of the most stupendous 
laud pirate that ever lived— I mean, of 
course, Commodore Vanderbilt. He has 
watered the stock of the New York Cen- 
tral Railway over and over again, and yet 
on these watered (shall I call them ras- 
cally?) values, he insists on taxing the life 
out of the West for the benefit of his own 
pocket. To keep pare with him. Jay 
Gould and Jim Fisk for years stole, not 
only the receipts of the Erie, but issued 
stocks and bonds for more than the road 
was originally worth, and stole them as 
well, and of course new managers must 
tax Western cofnmerc<', if possible, so as 
to retrieve the fortunes of the road, and 
pay its stockholders dividends on their 
stocks and bring them up to par. For 
myself I believe the time is not distant 
wiien the Northwest will have the New 
York and the St. Lawrence routes bidding 
against each other for her commerce and 
her carrjing trade in the liveliest manner. 
Writing on this subiect nearly twenty 
years ago I said : " It is true that national 

pride and immense capit 1 and the beaten 
track uf comnii rce are on the side of New 
York ; but God and Nature are stronger 
than all these, and let any intelligent man 
compare the ' Erie ditch ' with the mighty 
St. Lawrence, with a canal to pass vessels 
of 1,000 tons burthen from the Georgian 
Bay to Toronto, and he cannot doubt for 
a moment on which side the immutable 
laws of commerce will decide the con- 
test." A sinL'le cent per l)ushel on 
freights, two days (luicker t^me, and in- 
creased capacity, will do it ; but six cents 
on freights will, be^^ond a question, turn 
our shipments of produce to the New 
England States and to Europe all down 
the St. Lawrence. 

But, says one, how could we do without 
the Niagara Ship Canal in time of war ? 
Let us have no war. It is time that relic 
of savageism was banished from the plans 
of Christian nations. The settlement of 
the Alabama claims gives hope that it can 
be done. For one, I am willing to put 
America and Canada and England under 
the strongest possible bonds to live in per- 
petual friendship and amity — America, 
by the certainty, in case of war, that 
vast products shall rot in her fields ; 
Canada, that her commerce shall be ru- 
ined, and England with starvation staring 
her in the face. In the name of all that 
is true and good and holy, may the genius 
of our Christian civilization, with the 
Royal Cross of St. George in one h;ind, 
and the Stars and Stripes in the other, 
waving them over the sea and the land, 
proclaim to all the nations, let there be, 
now and evermore, peace on earth, and 
good wiil among men. 




I take the following synopsis of the 
business of the city for last year, from 
the commercial reports of the Tribune, 
prepared by its able commercial editor, 
Elias Colbert, Esq., published January 
1st, 1876 : 


The following were the receipts of 
breadstuffs in this city during the past 
three years, flour being reduced to its 
equivalent in wheat in the footings: 

1875. 1874. 1873. 

Flour, bbls 2,566,225 2,666,679 2,487,376 

Wheat, bu 24,450,390 29,764,622 26,266,562 

Corn, bu 26,990,557 35,799,638 38,157,232 

Oats, bu 11,511,554 13,901,2:35 17,888,721 

Rye, bu 693,968 791,182 1,189.464 

Barlej', bu 3,026,456 3,354,981 4,240,239 

Totals "79,504,050 95^11,713 98,925,413 

The following were the corresponding 
shipments : 

1875, 1874. 1873. 

Flour, bbls 2,262,030 2,306,576 2,303,490 

Wheat, bu 23,183 663 27,634,587 24,455,657 

Corn, bu 26,409,420 32,705,224 36,754,943 

Oats, bu 10,230,208 10,561,673 15,694,133 

Rye, bu.. 310,609 335,077 960,613 

Barley, bu 1,834,117 2,404,538 3,366,041 

Totals.. 73,278,167 84,020,691 91,597,092 


For the first time since the construction- 
of the Union Stock Yards — a period of 
ten years — we have to record a decrease 
in the aggregate receipts of live stock at 
Chicago. Of cattle and sheep, a much 
larger number have arrived than during 
any previous year, but this increase was 
more than off'set by a decline in the receipt 
of Jiogs, and the figures stand thus : For 
1874, 5,440,990; for 1875, 5,251,901,— 
decrease, 189,089. This is not an unfavor- 
able exhibit, in the light of the report of 
the Commissioner of Agriculture, which 
shows in the four States whence our sup- 
plies are chiefly drawn, — viz.: Illinois, 
Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, — a 
deficiency, as compared with 1874, of 
1,233,300 hogs. The wonder, therefore, is 
not that our receipts show a falling ofi", 
but that they so closely approximate those 
of 1874. It is also consoling to know that 
the decline in the past season's receipts 
was not peculiar to Chicago, as witness 
the comparative talile furnished below, 
from which it appears that the percentage 

of decrease at St. Louis is much greater 
than here, her arrivals of hogs being fully 
60 per cent, less than for 1874. While 
our receipts of cattle show an increase 
of 76,877 head, there was a falling oft' in 
the. arrivals at St. Louis of some 34,000 
head, as follows: 

1874. 1875. 

Chicago 843.966 920,843 

St. Louis .360,925 336.9:34 

Difference 483,041 583,909 

These comparisons are drawn not for 
the purpose of belittling the importance 
of St. Louis as a live stock market, but 
to demonstrate the supreme ridiculousness 
of her claims to rival Chicago. The 
developments of the past season would 
seem to have forever set at rest the ques- 
tion of the continued supremacy of Chi- 
cago as the chief live stock distributing 
point of the world. Although the aggre- 
gate of our receipts was less tl^an for 
1874, the value of the same was some 
$10,000,000 greater. 


The following is an approximation to 
the total value of our trade in 1875. It 
includes only the first selling price, second 
sales not being counted, though made by 

Produce trade $232,328,000 

Wholesale (as above) 293,900,000 

Manufactures (product) 177,000,000 

Total $703,228,000 

Deduct from this for manufactures in- 
cluded in wholesale (about) 46,228,000 

Total business $6.57,000,000 

Total in 1874 639,000.000 

These figures give a decrease of 6.9 per 
cent, in the sales of produce, and an in- 
crease of 7 per cent, in wholesale trade 
and manufactures. The increase of the 
whole over 1874 is 3.8 per cent. 

These totals would be materially in- 
creased if we included the sales of prod- 
uce to shippers after it had once. been 
sold in open market, to say nothinj^ of 
the manifold sales of grain and provisions 
under which one lot may be delivered to 
a dozen or more traders in succession. 
We have also omitted sales of such arti- 
cles as ice, milk, vegetables, dressed ttogs, 
oats, etc., made in the street, from wagons, 
and not placed in public storehouses. The 
sales of real estjate are not included, as 
they do not belong to the wholesale trade. 



We have dealt only with what Mr. Wem- 
mick would designate as " portable prop- 

The following were the totals for pre- 
vious years, estimated on the same basis : 

1873 $596,000,000 

Oct. 11, 1871, to Oct. 11, 1872 41)0,000,000 

1870 430,000,000 

IStiO 4.50,000,000 

18ti8 434,000,000 

18H0 97,000,000 

1850 - 20,000,000 


At the close of one of my articles in 
1854, I expressed the hope that I might be 
here seventeen years from that date to 
post up the business of the city. This 
duty has been committed to younger 
hands. The nearest I have approached 
it was last fall during the sickness of the 
financial editor of the Tribune. I quote 
the following paragraphs from the finan- 
cial articles which I wrote in his absence, 
bearing upon the growth and extent of 
the business of the city. 

From the Tribune, October 15, 1875. 

These heavy drafts upon our capital, 
and the cheerful response of our banks, 
correspond with the concentration of the 
wholesale trade of the Northwest in Chi- 
cago. The frantic warnings of the New 
York commercial papers to their jobbers 
to lessen their expenses, and to do all 
things needed to retain that trade, have 
not been heeded. It is surely leaving 
them, and is rapidly concentrating in 
Chicago. • It is worth while again to note 
the causes that are contributing to this 
inevitable result. Take the dry goods 
trade as an example. Our leading houses 
have ample capital, and buy at the lowest 
figures their goods for cash. They have 
agents in Europe and this country right 
alongside of those of the New York job- 
bers, and get their goods at precisely 
the same figures. Goods come directly 
through to this city; custom duties are 
paid here, and hence they are free from 
the exactions of the New York sharpers. 
The difference in the price of rents and 
the modes of doing business here more 
than balance the cost of freights from the 
seaboard, and hence goods are sold as 
cheap here, and even cheaper, than they 
are in New York. No country merchant 
in the North, nor in fact in the Southwest, 
needs now to go to New York, and com- 
paratively few of them do so. 

What "is true of dry goods is equally 
true of other lines of the wholesale trade. 

The business in all departments is rapidly 
concentrating here. The same is true also 
of manufactures. Only a day or two ago 
we were assured that a house that manu- 
factures agricultural implements in Ster- 
ling, 110 miles west of Chicago, was 
sending its machines even to Philadelphia 
and other cities of Pennsylvania. Ohio 
is a large and >most valuable customer. 
Large quantities of leather (the best pro- 
duced in the whole Union), of furniture, 
and other articles, are shipped to the sea- 
board, and all the country this side, from 
the warerooms of Chicago. The large 
calls upon our bankers, therefore, for cap- 
ital, are but a reflex of other leading 
interests, and prove that Chicago is already 
the financial as well as the commercial 
and manufacturing centre of the North- 

From the Tribune of October 16, 1875. 

One of our leading merchants yesterday, 
commenting on our last article in relation 
to the vast wholesale trade that is concen- 
trating in this city, took us to task for 
using the term Northwest — while the 
trade of the Southwest was rapidly falling 
within the grasp of Chicago. This we 
knew full well; but the habit, coming 
down from the time when very little, if 
any, business came to this city from below 
the southern line of Iowa, is still apt to 
show itself from the point of our pencil, 
and it will get out in print, to our regret 
and confusion. The fact is, the jobbing 
trade of the city reaches all the way from 
Texas to Manitoba. 

Before our railways were opened down 
to the Gulf of Mexico through Texas, 
representatives of Chicago merchants had 
been all through that country, and found 
what kinds of goods the people wanted. 
Manufacturers of clothing, for instance, 
had carefully taken the dimensions of the 
average Texan — no matter what his occu- 
pation might be— had found with what 
styles he was pleased, and of what mate- 
rials they should be made, and, while 
jealous rivals of our city were snoozing 
over an exalted opinion of themselves and 
blessing their stars that they were not 
afllicted with the restless energy of Chi- 
cago, our manufacturers had already 
made the goods and occupied the markets 
of the "Lone Star" State. The same 
may be said of other lines of manufac- 
tured articles and of staple merchandise. 
Since the opening of our railways to the 
Southwest, in spite of the competition of 
St. Louis, that broad field has been largely 
gleaned by Chicago enterprise. Our trade 
from that section is already very heavy 
and lucrative, and it is steadily and rap- 
idly increasing. In speaking of the West- 
ern trade of the city, therefore, unless 
for special reasons, let the term " North" 



be dropped. We agree with our friend 
that simply " West" is better. 

As to our foreign direct trade the more 
we talk with our bankers and merchants 
the more are we surprised at the variety 
of the articles shipped and at the rapidly- 
increasing values they represseut. Five 
years ago we had one or two houses that 
drew drafts and issued letters of credit 
upon correspondents in England and upon 
the Continent. The money to meet these 
drafts was ordered placed to the credit of 
Chicago houses from New York. Now all 
this is changed. Dealers in grain, beef, 
pork, and provisions, cheese, and other 
farm products, in must of the leading cities 
of England, and several upon the Conti- 
nent, purchase direct of our packers and 
commission houses. Several large orders 
for wheat have just been filled on English 
account. The bills drawn against these 
purchases are taken by our banks, and in 
the short space of five years the balance 
of trade is largely in favor of this city. 
Though some of our importers often buy 
$50,000 in a single draft, week after week 
a balance of foreign exchange remains 
over, and is sold in the New York market. 
For the first six months of the year a sin- 
gle National Bank took $4,000,000 of these 
bills, and in the last half the amount will 
doubtless be larger still. These facts show 
why New York jobbers are in the dumps 
at the rapid extension of our direct export 
and import trade. Their disease is chron- 
ic. Growling at Chicago enterprise can 
do them no good. If the la-t five years 
have shown the results already achieved, 
before the century closes New York will 
retain very little, if any, interest in the 
wholesale trade of the West. 

From the Tribune, Monday, Oct. 18, 1875. 

On Friday and Saturday of last week, 
in explaining the amazing increase of the 
banking business of the city, •we had some- 
thing to say of its foreign and domestic 
jobbing trade. Those brief articles mere- 
ly embraced what might be regarded as 
the headings for a dozen column articles 
on the same subjects. They did not men- 
tion the distant regions to which our people 
trade, as the following hints will show: 

To the Editor of the Chicago Tribune: 

Chicauo, Oct. 16.— In your article of to-day you 
say: "The jobbing trade of the city reaches all 
the way from Texas to Manitoba." This is true, 
a' id all very well, but how about the Eastern States, 
Canada, and the States and Territories west of the 
Eocky Mountains? Is the subject too extensive for 
even two articles ? Very traly yours, 


Exactly so. It is too broad and too im- 
portant to be exhaustively treated in a 
dozen articles. Fur breailsttiifs, provis- 
ions, and all farm products, Chicago h;is 
laid all the New England States under trib- 

ute for a quarter of a century. Within 
the last ten j^ears the Middle and Southern 
States have also become large purchasers, 
and the trade with them is constantly in- 
creasing. It is true that some of these 
States purchase sparingly of some kinds 
of produce, but all of them are our cus- 
tomers. As to manufactured articles, 
leather, boots, furniture, and many other 
articles, are sent from this city all over the 
Eastern and Southern States. Agricultu- 
ral implements are shipped in large quan- 
tities eastward, and in fact in all directions. 
McCormick's reaper has laid the entire 
nation, and even several in Europe, under 
contribution, as witness tlie immense 
blocks on Dearborn, Clark, and other 
streets. That implement alone has gath- 
ered from the wide world several large 
fortunes, and planted them down in Chi- 

Of course our wholesale and retail deal- 
ers have nearly as strong a hold on Mich- 
igan, Indiana, and Western Ohio as they 
have on the country immediately we.«t of 
the city. They cannot aflbrd to get their 
goods elsewhere. 

Our trade for many years has been very 
large with Canada, and an enlightened 
policy on the part of both Governments 
will swell it into immense proportions. 
Connected intimately with her 4,000,000 
of people, both by lake navigation and 
railways, and producing much that she 
can buy in this market cheaper than any- 
where else, she is one of our largest and 
best customers. This fact is attested by 
the branches of two of her largest banks 
doing the business between Chicago and 
the cities of Canada. 

Turning our eyes westward, to say that 
"the jol)bing trade of the city reaches 
from Texas to Manitoba" iji some lines 
does not tell more than half the truth. 
All the States and Territories beyond the 
Rocky Mountains are trading largely in 
Chicago. They have found that they can 
buy ^oods as cheaply here as on the Atlan- 
tic seaboard, and the disposition to do so 
is growing every year. Sitting in the 
office of Peter Schuttler, early last spring, 
we asked where a large lot of wagons, just 
passing, were going. "We are loading 
two cars to-day for Chico, California," was 
the reply. There is no timber in Califor- 
nia from which agricultural implements 
can be mnde, and if the managers of the 
Union and Central Pacific Railways do not 
put an embargo upon us by high freights, 
there is scarcely any limit to the orders 
our manufacturers will receive for these 
and like articles from the Pacific coast. 
In fact, very considerable orders have 
been filled from our warcrooms for Aus- 

We take in everything. Orders for dry 
goods, books, boots and shoes, clothing, 



hardware, — in fact, almost every kind of 
merchandise and manufactured articles, 
— come from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, 
Colorado, Utah, and even from Nevada, 
and if Gen. Rosecrans will hurry up his 
railroad between Denver, or ratlicr Pue- 
blo, and ^lexico, there will be no longer 
any need of specifying any particular lo- 
calities. The trade of Chicago in North 
America will be limited only by the bmiu- 
daries of the contiuent, while most of the 
nations of Europe will pay her large and 
constantly-increisiug tribute. Such is her 
"manifest destiny," and the New York 
jobbers may as well stop their growling. 
If Stewart, Claflin, and the rest want to 
sell their goods, let them transplant their 
establishments to the head of the market. 
Chicago is the place to do it, and if not 
convinced of it now, they will in a very 
few yeais find it out to their cost. 

As a specimen of the extent of our im- 
ports, we mention that one of our whole- 
sale grocery houses receiyed on Saturday 
33 car loads of coffee, 10 of pepper, nut- 
megs, and other spices, and 13 of new 
raisins. Thay expect another ship to un- 
load on the cars next week, and another 
is now loading for them in a foreign port. 
AVhole trains of tea often pass through this 
city on their way to New York, and, of 
course, all that is wanted for distribution 
in i!ie Mississippi Valley stops here. 

It may be asked what propriety there is 
in -tating all these facts in the financial 
col imn. They show how wide a circuit 
is embraced in the business done at our 
banks, and by inference how large and 
how active a capital is required to do it. 
The wants of that business for several 
weeks past, have been immense; but our 
bankers have backed the enterprise of our 
merchants and manufacturers cheerfully 
and i^roraptly, and the vast current of our 
commerce has moved along so quietly and 
so smoothly that it gave scarcely any sign 
of its magnitude. 

From the Tribune, Oct. 19, 1875. 

A committee of the Board of Trade 
have recently been collecting some statis- 
tics in relation to the trade of the city. 
Among other things ihey found that ten 
of our principal banks drew during the 
last year exchange to the amount of 
$418,000,000. At first sight these figures 
do not appear to correspond with the wi- 
nes of the shipments eastward of farm 
products during the same period. Taking 
the amounts of grain, cattle, hogs, provis- 
ions, and other animal products, and the 
average prices ruling for the year, the 
actual value of the shipments to the sea- 
board was found to be $249,500,000. 
Whence, then, did the banks derive the 
$168,500,000 over and above the value of 
the shipments from this city? From all 

the surrounding country. Some half a doz- 
en railways cross the Illinois ("eutral south 
of Chicago, and in one way or another the 
collections for shipments for all the towns 
and cities for from 200 to 500 miles in all 
directions, and for even 1,0U0 miles west- 
ward, find their way largely to the hands 
of our bankers. Chicago is the financial, 
as well as the commercial centre of all the 
vast, fertile country by wnich she is sur- 
rounded. And besides, it should be re- 
membered that the figures for the entire 
trade of the city — merchandise and man- 
ufactures included— for the year 1874, 
footed up to the round sum of at least 
$688,.i00,000. Hence the results reached 
by the committee, in view of the above 
facts, and of what has been said in this 
column for the past few days, will be read- 
ily believed. ♦■ 

That the West and Chicago are living 
upoif the good old maxim "Pay as you 
go," is proved by the fact that for a long 
period in the past, exchange has for nearly 
half the time, perh ips more, ruled at or 
below par. This, as much as anything 
else, shows how rapidly our people are 
becoming independent. It shows, also, 
that the balance of trade is often in favor 
of the West. It is in the memory of our 
business men that the price of exchange 
on New York has been from 2 to 25 per 
cent, premium, and at times it could not 
be had even at that. 


At first sight it may seem ridiculous to 
compare the New York and the Chicago 
banks; but when it is considered that New 
York dates her origin way back to the 
earliest history of the nation, and claims 
to have the control of its commerce, and 
to have held it in all the past, and that it 
is only thirty-eight years since Chicago 
became a city, with only 4,000 inhabitants, 
the comparison does not seem to tell so 
very strongly against us after all. By the 
last bank statements of the two cities, 
it appears that there are forty-eight Na- 
tional Banks in New York and sixteen in 
Chicago,— one-third as many ; capital of 
the New York banks, in round numbers, 
$08,500,000; those of Chicago, $12,000,000, 
—a little more than one-sixth; loans and 
discounts. New York, $202,000,000; Chi- 
cago, $26,000,000 — about one-eighth of 
the figures of the New York banks. As 
these are the main items, it is not neces- 
sary to make any further comparisons. 
That the Chicago banks will gain rapidly 
on their metropolitan neighbors there can 
not be a particle of doubt. 


As confirmatory of what has appeared 
in this column for the past few days, one 
of our manufacturers told the writer yes- 
terday that, among others, he had just 



filled two large orders — one for Sacramen- 
to, Cal., and "the other for Portland, Me. 
Thus in scores of cases daily do both 
extremes of the continent pay tribute to 
our city. 

From the Tribune of Nov. 15, 1875. 

Business at the banks during the past 
week has moved along smoothly, to the 
satisfaction alike of cashiers and custom- 
ers. If anything, it is very quiet for the 
season, more so than it should be, consid- 
ering the immense amounts of farm pro- 
ducts still to go forward. Holders seem 
unwilling to operate to any very consider- 
able extent, certainly not up to the means 
they have to do it. The packers have 
fairly commenced operations, but they 
have thus far drawn mainlj^ on their de- 
posits and loans on call or due when their 
business commences. As a cla^s, their 
capital has steadily accumulated for sev- 
eral years past, and the abundance of 
money in this market for several months 
during the summer, and the cheap rates 
at which it could be had on approved 
collaterals, are due largely to the surplus 
capital fur the time being, in the hands 
of the packers. Of course, they will be 
heavy borrowers before the season closes; 
but bankers will be only too happy to 
accommodate them with all the money 
they care to use. The time of their activ- 
ity comes after most of the other depart- 
ments of the fall uade have become quiet, 
and hence the employment they give to the 
capital of our banks is a great and mutual 

The provision trade of Chicago has 
grown within the last few years far beyond 
the expectations of our most sanguine 
packers. Purchases are made almost en- 
tirely by wholesale dealers in the seaboard 

cities and in those of Europe. Shipments 
are made direct to Liverpool and other 
cities on the other side on bills of lading, 
ocean freights included, made in this city. 
Nobody here now thinks of shipping pro- 
visions for sale to commission houses in 
New York. Buyers have learned to come 
directly to the head of the market. The 
stuff is paid for generally by drafts on 
London or other European cities, and these 
are promptly cashed by our bankers. 

The large amount of this business done 
in Chicago was referred to in this column 
two or three weeks ago. A single bank in 
the first six months of the present year 
discounted foreign drafts against direct 
shipments of grain and provisions, to the 
amount of $4,000,000. As might be ex- 
pected, it sells foreign exchange to our 
importers in large amounts; but as yet a 
balance remains, which is disposed of in. 
New York. Another fact worthy of no- 
tice is, that none of our citizens, or the 
people of the West, need go to New York 
for letters of credit to travel or buy goods 
anywhere on the face of the earth. Such 
letters are issued right here^vailable in. 
any city in South America, inNorthern or 
Southern Africa, or on the long trip all the 
way round the world. When Duncan, 
Sherman & Co. failed, two of the sons of 
one of our citizens were just starting from 
Italy east«vard through Egypt, India, Chi- 
na, Japan, and home by California. Stat- 
ing the fact to one of our bankers, the 
father said: "Duncan, Sherman & Co. have 
failed, and Brown Brothers & Co. may go 
next; give me a couple of letters of credit 
which I know will bring my boys home 
without any possible contingency that may 
occur in New Y^ork. " The thing was done, 
and the young men are somewhere in Asia, 
traveling there and elsewhere on the letters 
issued by one of our leading banks. 





The following article was published in the 
Tribune July 31, 1873. I insert it here, for the 
reason that, possiblj', it may be of service to some 
one into whose hands it may fall. 

There is an old-time maxim that " His- 
tory repeats itself." Without inquiring 
as to the truth of the sentiment, or at- 
tempting to give examples to confirm or 
to disprove it, we propose to inquire 
whether the supposed law can be applied 
to commercial crises. Of course each 
reader should apply the test of his own 
knowledge and experience to the subject, 
and act upon the suggestions herein sub- 
mitted according to his best judgment. 

The history of this country seems to 
have developed a law that a general com- 
mercial crash may be expected every 
twenty years. The first occurred in 1797, 
the second in 1817, the third in 1837— 
many of our readers can remember that — 
and the fourth in 1857, whose lessons few 
of our business men have forgotten. The 
causes which produced the first two can 
be found in the condition of the country 
at the time they occurred. After the close 
of the Revolutionary War, and up to the 
time of the adoption of the Federal Con- 
stitution, the business affairs of the nation 
were at sea. Each State adopted trade 
regulations with its neighbors or with 
foreign nations according to its own no- 
tions of what duty or interest might dic- 
tate. There was no confidence among 
the business men of the period. The 
value of the currency Issued by the States 
and by the old Continental Congress was 
virtually regulated by the peck, and not 
by the denominations printed on the face 
of the bills, and confusion worse con- 
founded reigned everywhere. This state 
of things could not be endured. The 
Constitution of the United States, adopted 
in 1787, in which it was provided that 
Congress should have power "to regulate 
commerce with foreign nations and 
among the several States," gradunlly in- 
spired confidence. Commercial treaties 
were made with foreign nations; all re- 
strictions upon traffic between the States 
were abolished, and the country began to 
prosper. As time rolled on and that pros- 
perity increased, it turned the heads of 
the old Revolutionary patriots. They 
began to speculate ; prices of everything 
appreciated ; importations of foreign 
luxuries were made far beyond the value 
of the exports the country could make to 

pay for them ; and, at the end of ten 
years, the whole business public was 
forced into liquidation. There was no 
money to be had ; no confidence anywhere, 
and very little business could be done till 
the "hard pan" had been reached. 

After the close of the speculative period, 
and the people found themselves standing 
upon the common plane of povert}^, ne- 
cessity forced all to work and to practice 
economy. Wealth again began slowly to 
accumulate, and the demand for our pro- 
ducts was stimulated by the wars of Na- 
poleon. England was hard pressed ; the 
old hatreds of the Revolution had not 
passed away. A quarrel arose, and the 
War of 1813-15 was the result. During 
the war the country was prosperous to an 
unhealthy extent, and struggled along 
after it closed till 181"^ when a terrible 
financial crash again involved the country 
in utter and general ruin. As before, 
money seemed to have entirely forsaken 
the channels of trade. What little there 
was in the country was hid away in old 
stocking-legs, to reappear only when con- 
fidence was in some measure restored. 
Gradually liquidation did its work. Care- 
ful, persevering toil and close economy 
began to develop the resources of the 
country and prosperity to bless the land. 
By 1826, DeWitt Clinton and his far- 
seeing compeers had completed the Erie 
Canal ; the vast teeming West was opened 
to the enterprise of the country, and for 
the next ten years the progress in the 
population and the wealth of the nation 
was truly amazmg. The rapid rise in the 
nominal value of lands everywhere, and 
esi>ecially at the Wesf, enticed thousands 
even of the moi^t prudent business men to 
invest in them. Wild-cat banks, almost 
without number, were established in 
Michigan and almost everywhere west of 
the Allegheny Mountains." Everybody's 
pockets were full of bank-bills ; jfnd so 
generally did people take to speculation to 
get rich, instead of attending to the duties 
of the farm and the workshop, that pota- 
toes were imported into New York from 
Ireland in 1836, and wheat from the Baltic. 
Importations of liquors, gew-gaws, and 
foreign luxuries rose to frightful figures. 
Of course this state of things could not 
last, and the crash of 1837-'8 was the 
bitter remedy for the moral and commer- 
cial insanity that had preceded it. 

The first two financial crises, as we 
have seen— viz., that of 1797 and of 1817 



— were due to the wars and the condition 
of the country that resulted from those 

The period of twenty years having once 
been established, it is proper to inquire, 
right here, what were the causes that 
produced the third and the fourth, the 
conditions that may produce others at the 
recurrence of every twenty years, and the 
means by which the country may hope to 
avoid them. 

During the time between one financial 
crash and another, it may be stated gen- 
erally that nearly the entire property of 
the nation changes hands. The wealthy 
men die, and with them the economy, 
industry, and prudent foresight by the 
exercise of which their estates were accu- 
mulated. Their sons and sons-in-law get 
possession of their property. Commenc- 
ing where their fathers left off, they 
launch out into foolish extravagance. The 
promoters of wild speculative schemes 
flatter them by parading their names as 
the patrons of this and that great enter- 
prise, and visions of untold wealth lead 
them to plunge into debt without limit. 
The fact is, they did not earn the wealth 
in which they revel, and they don't know 
how to take care of it. Not to divide the 
business public too closely, we mention 
but one other class who, if we mistake 
not, contribute largely to those conditions 
which are sure to produce a crash in the 
financial affairs of the country. These 
are the men who commence life entirely 
poor immediately after a financial revolu- 
tion. They begin to accumulate by the 
most careful economy and the most ener- 
getic toil. That first thousand dollars, of 
which all have heard, require the sweat of 
many a hard day's work to earn. But 
they earn it. The ring of their hammers 
late and early — no eight-hour days for 
them — has been heara by the merchant 
and capitalist. They deserve and have 
good credit. Business and profits steadily 
increase, and at the end, say, of fifteen 
years from the last crash, they are worth 
ten, twenty, perchance, here and there 
one, a hundred thousand dollars, or more. 
Sjpeculation sets in, and many around them 
are becoming millionaires. "Why should 
they not share in the golden harvest ? 
They " pit -h in." Go outside of their 
legitimate business to speculate in new 
cities, outside lands, and great companies 
expected to coin f abulousfortunes. These 
men who commenced poor — always the 
majority in business circles— join with 
the sons of the wealthy, and an insane 
desire to become suddenly rich seizes all 
classes Nearly everybody gets in debt, 
one borrowing from another all the money 
he will lend, or, what is "more generally 
true, one buying from the other, at fancy 
prices, all the property he will sell, and 

"holding it for a rise." "While all is 
going on swimmingly, some mammoth 
bubble, like the Ohio Life and Trust Com- 
pany, bursts, and in a few weeks, or 
months at most, bankruptcy stares the 
whole country in the face. Liquidation 
must then do its work, and in half a dozen 
years a new race of business men. have 
grasped those enterprises which in a few 
years more restore the country to a solid 
basis of prosperity and progress. 

Those of our readers whose memory, 
and especially whose business experi- 
ence, reaches back forty years, will rec- 
ognize the accuracy of the facts here 
detailed. If the succession is to con- 
tinue, the next financial crisis will occur 
in 1877. How far the condition of the 
country now warrants the expectation of 
such an event, let each one determine for 
I himself. Especially will it be wise for all 
.■ prudent men to watch carefully the 
i course of financial events for the next 
four years. A crash can only come v. hen 
nearly everybody is largely in debt, aTid 
if, forewarned by the past, people keep 
expenses and ventures within their means, 
the country will escape the repetition of 
thei bankruptcy that has occurred every 
twenty years in all our past history. It is 
j with the hope that, warned by the past, 
! some, at least, of the readers of tins article 
! may ride in safety through all the finau- 
I ciai storms that may befall us. AVhen 
I everybody is rushing into debt, it is a 
i sure sign that it is best for wise, sane men 
j to get out of it. 

1 It follows that, if one could foresee a 
i crash, his best policy would be to sell all 
j out a year or two before it occurs ; have 
his cash m hand, and, when liquidation 
has done its worst, buy all the property 
he can and hold it. "When the whole 
country lives within its means, and people 
are at work, wealth is sure to accumulate 
and values to appreciate. This rule has 
no exceptions ; but of its application to 
the present or to the future, each reader 
must j udge for himself. Of 1877 we make 
no predictions, beyond what the principles 
above stated will warrant. 

I did not then and do not now regard the crash of 
1873 as at all to be coinp.ared to those of 1837 and 
1857 ; as property did not then and since p;oncrulIy 
change hands. I compare it to the "squeeze" of 
1854, and others like it. I do not look for it next 
year thou£;h it must he confessed that a very large 
class of people would he only too glad to get their 
property out of their hands and their outstanding 
notes and ohligations in them. In this instance 
the crash may be delayed for some time ; but as 
prices of almost everything have been steadily 
settling since 1873, they may reach bottom in 1877. 
It may be well to drop this hint. Look out for 
breakers one or two years after specie resumption. 






From the Tribune, January 24, 1876. 


Gov. Bross spoke yesterday afternoon 
at McCormick Hall, his subject being 
"What I remember of Early Chicago." 
Following is his discourse in full: 

The charter of the City of Chicago 
bears date March 4, 1837, and the first 
election for city officers was held on the 
first Tuesday in May, 1837. Not a few of 
the men and women who saw it when an 
Indian trading post, with Fort Dearborn 
to defend the settlers, are still among 
us, and the ladies certainly would not 
feel complimented were they called old. 
Hence whatever is said about "The Early 
Times in Chicago " must be regarded as 
relative, for the city has not yet numbered 
38 years. As I first saw Chicago in Octo- 
ber, 1846, and commenced my permanent 
residence here on the 12th of May, 1848, 
1 can scarcely be called an old citizen, and 
yet in that time it has grown from a city 
of about 18,000 (later in the season the 
census gave us 20,023) to nearly, if not 
quite, 450,000— an increase never before 
equaled by any city in the history of the 
world. From a city then scarcely ever 
mentioned, she has become the fourth in 
rank and population upon the American 

But granting for the moment that I am 
an old citizen, I recognize the duty of 
placing on record — as myself and others 
have doubtless often been urged to do— 
what I know personally of the history of 
Chicago. Though this may require a too 
frequent use of the personal pronoun, 
your Directors are responsible if I bore 
you with it. If each citizen would do it, 
the future historian could select what best 
suited his purpose, and Chicago would 
have what no other city has — a history 
from its earliest timies, written by its living 
inhabitants. In 1854 I prepared and pub- 
lished some notes on the history of the 
Town of Chicago — in fact, going back to 
the discovery of the site by the Frencj^ 

Jesuit missionaries, Marquette and Joliet, 
and I shall devote the hour to giving you 
a supplement to what used to be called 
" Our Pamphlet " of 1854. This was ably 
continued by my friend, Elias Colbert, in 
1868; but neither of them pretends to give 
much of how Chicago appeared to the vis- 
itor in the *' earlier times " of its history. 


Your speaker, as above stated, first 
arrived in Chicago early in the morning 
of the second Sabbath in October, 1846, 
now of course nearly thirty years ago. 
We landed from the steamer Oregon, Capt. 
Cotton, near the foot of Wabash avenue, 
and, with others, valise in hand, trudged 
tlirough the sand to the American Tem- 
perance House, then situated on the north- 
west corner of Wabash avenue and Lake 
street. Soon after breakfast a tall young 
man, made apparently taller by a cloth 
cloak in which his gaunt figure seemed in 
danger of losing itself, and whose reserved, 
modest manners were the very reverse of 
what we had expected to find at the West, 
called on the clergy of our party and in- 
vited one of them to preach and the rest 
of us to attend service in the Second Pres- 
byterian Church. That cloak would now 
be well filled by its owner, the Rev. Dr. 
Patterson, who has grown physically as 
well as intellectually and morally with the 
growth of the city, to whose moral welfare 
he has so largely contributed. Of course 
we all went to what by courtesy, as we 
thought, was called a church. It was a 
one-story balloon shanty-like structure that 
had been patched out at one end to meet 
the wants of the increasing congregation. 
It stood on Randolph street, south side, 
a little east of Clark. It certainly gave 
no promise of the antique but splendid 
church that before the fire stood on the 
corner of Washington street and Wabash 
avenue, or that still more elaborate and 
costly building, the Rev. Dr. Gibson's 
church, at the corner of Michigan avenue 
and Twentieth street. 



That afternoon and Monday morning 
afforded ample time to see the city. The 
residence portion of it was mainly between 
Randolph and Madison streets, and there 
were some scattered houses as far south 
as Van Buren, on the South Side, four or 
five blocks north of the river on the North 
Side, with scattering residences about as 
far on the West Side. There were perhaps 
half a dozen or more wooden warehouses 
along the river on "Water street. The few 
stores that pretended to bew^holesale were 
on Water street, and the retail trade was 
exclusively done on Lake street. Stores 
and dwellings were, with few exceptions, 
built in the balloon fashion. To some of 
my hearers this style of building may al- 
ready be mysterious. Posts were placed in 
the ground at the corners, and at proper 
distances between them blocks were laid 
down singly or in cob-house fashion. On 
these foundations timbers were laid, and 
to these were spiked, standing on end, 
3x4 scantling. On these sheath-boards 
were nailed, and weather-boards on the 
outside of them; and lath and plaster in- 
side, with the roof, completed the dwell- 
ing or store. This cheap, but for a new 
town, excellent mode of building, it is 
claimed, was first introduced, or, if you 
please, invented, in Chicago, and I believe 
the claim to be true. Of course the fire 
made sad havoc with them at times; but 
the loss was comparatively small, and they 
were quickly and cheaply rebuilt. True, 
Chicago was ridiculed as a slab city; but, 
if not pleasant, to bear ridicule breaks no 
bones. When our merchants and capital- 
ists had grown rich enough to build per- 
manent buildings, of course they did it. 
Then there were not as many bricks laid 
in walls in the whole cit}^ as there are now 
in single blocks anywhere near the busi- 
ness centre of the city. Chicago need 
not shrink from comparing them with 
those in any other city upon the continent. 

My first objective point in Northern 
Illinois was Batavia, on Fox River, 40 
miles distant, where some Orange County 
( N. Y. ) friends resided. As Frink & 
Walker's stages did not pass through the 
town except on the road along the river, 
the problem was how to get there. The 
streets were full of farmers' teams, and in 
half an hour's tour amomg them we found 
a man w)io, for a small sum, agreed to 
land us there Monday evening. It was 
nearly noon before we got started, and as 
two of my traveling comj^anions lived 3 
or 4 miles west of Fox River, and were 
bound to get home that night, they soon 
began to use all their arts to urge our Jehu 
onward. At the old tavern on the west 
side of the Aux Phiines near the bridge, 
they treated the old farmer freely, and 
again at Cottage Hill, Bahcock's Grove, 
and other places; but sooth to say, the 

whisky, though it had a marked effect 
upon the old man, must then, as now, have 
been "crooked," for the more he got of it 
inside of his vest the slower he stubbornly 
determined to drive his team ; but he as- 
sured us he would "root along," and get 
to Batavia that evening, and he did. Of 
course, an account of my journey to St. 
Louis and up the Ohio homeward has no 
place in this lecture. 


As a specimen of traveling, in 1848, I 
mention that it took us nearly a week to 
come from New York to Cliicago. Our 
trip was made by steamer to Albany; rail- 
way cars at a slow pace to Buffalo; by 
the steamer Canada thence to Detroit; 
and by the Michigan Central Railway, 
most of the way on strap rail, to Kalama 
ZOO; here the line ended, and, arriving 
about 8 o'clock in the evening, after a 
good supper, we started about 10 in a sort 
of a cross between a coach and a lumber 
box- wagon for St. Joseph. The road was 
exceedingly rough, and, with baugs and 
bruises all over our bodies, towards morn- 
ing several of us left the coach and 
walked on, very easily keeping ahead. 
In this tramp I made the acquaintance of 
John S. Wright, then, and for many years 
afterward, one of the most enterprising 
and valuable citizens Chicago ever had. 
He gave me a cordial welcome, and a 
great deal of valuable information. On 
Sabbath he called and took me to church, 
and embraced many opportunities to In- 
troduce me to Mayor Woodworth and other 
leading citizens, giving me a lesson in 
courtesy to strangers which I have never 
forgotten. . I beg to impress it upon you 
all as a dutj' too much neglected in the 
hurry and bustle that surround us on every 

The steamer Sam Ward, with Captain 
Clement first officer, and jolly Dick Som- 
ers as steward, afterwards Alderman, 
brought us to the city on the evening of 
the 12th of May, 1848, and here at 121 
Lake street, with Dr. Scammon's drug 
store on one side and Lock's clothing 
store on the other, the stranger from the 
East settled down quietly as a bookseller. 
The city^had added 4,000 to its population 
in the year and a half after I first saw it; 
but it had changed very little in appear- 
ance. It was still pre-eminently a slab 
city. The Illinois and Michigan Canal had 
been opened the month before, and during 
the summer packets were put on, and, 
running in connection with steamers on 
the Illinois River, quite an impetus was 
given to travel through the city. To them 
it did not present a very inviting aspect. 
The balloon buildings above spoken of 
were mostly dingy and weather beaten. 
The only two stone buildings in the city 








built of blue limestone, brought as ballast 
from the lower lakes, stood on Michigan 
avenue between Lake and South Water 
streets, on the site nt)W occupied by the 
Illinois Central Railroad ottices. They 
■were the aristocratic mansions of the city. 
There were a few brick residences and 
stores, but these were the exception. It 
was curious to notice how long some of 
the old balloon buildings would escape 
the fire. The old store in which Mosely 
& McCord commenced business, between 
Clark and LaSalle streets, on the north 
side of Lake, was built when the proprie- 
tors could look south to Blue Island with 
not a building in front to obstruct the 
view. There it stood, with the sign 
" Mosely & McCord " just below the roof, 
till it was aH surrounded by brick build- 
ings, and the insurance on it had cost ten 
times what the building was ever worth. 
Subtract the few scattering brick buildings 
on South Clark street, in the vicinity of 
Twelfih street, and the dingy shanties in 
that vicinity on Clark street and Third 
and Fourth avenues will best represent 
what most of Chicago was in 1848, 


And here I may as well mention the 
sources from which our tine building 
materials are derived. Till after that 
j^ear it was supposed we had no good rock 
for building anywhere near the city. The 
blue-limestone quarries from which the 
stone for the two dwellings above men- 
tioned were taken, were thought to be our 
best and cheapest source of supply 
Besides these, there had been brought 
from the lower lakes some sandstone 
flagging. It lay in front of the Lafliu 
residence blork, corner of Washington 
street and Michigan avenue, where it 
served for a sidewalk up to the time of 
the tire in 187L Discussions, held for a 
long time by the Trustees of the Second 
Presl)y terian society, when it was proposed 
to build a uew church editice in 1 849, result- 
ed in their determining to use stone found 
near tlie western limits of the city. The 
location h:is become somewhat famous as 
the site of our first artesian well. The 
rock is a porous limestone, with sufficient 
silex mixed with it to make it very hard. 
It seems to have been formed under abed 
of bitumen, or coal, for the pores in the 
rock are filled with it, and hence some of 
the less porous stones in the church wore 
of a p;de creamy color, while others were 
so filled wi'h pitch or bitumen that it 
oozed out in hot weather, and they were 
as black as tar. Hence it was called the 
speckled or spotted church, a name which, 
referring to an unfortunate occurrence in 
its after history, my friend S:iin Bowles 
said was derived from its speckled moral- 
ity.- The same rock was used in rebuild- 

ing the church at the corner of Twentieth 
street and Michigan avenue. The use of 
this rock was really the first important 
event of the kind in the building history 
of the city. 

While this material was regarded as a 
most exri Rent one for church purj)Oses, 
giving thum an antique and venerable 
appearanic, it was not considered the 
thing for the Cook County Court House 
in 1852 or '53, — I did not have time in this, 
as in some other cases, to look up the 
exact date. Oar wise men of that ancient 
period, after due deliberation, determined 
to use a rock found at Lockport, N. Y., — 
a bluish-colored limestone. Fortunate it 
was that ofticial plundering had not then, 
as now, been reduced to a science, or the 
entire county would have been forever 
swamped in the debt contracted for the 
money to build it. This was regarded as 
the cheapest and best rock that could be 
had for building— for such structures — 
and was the second leally progressive step 
in the building of the city. 

During all this time it is remarkable 
that no one had thought of the limestone 
quarries through which the canal had 
been cut for several miles this side of 
Lockiwrt. The reason probably was that 
some of the strata were not well crystal- 
ized and rotted readily; but tens of thou- 
sands of cords of it that showed no signs 
of decay lay scattered alung the canal. 
In 1852 or 1853 some one, if I mistake 
not ex-Mayor Sherman, built a store on 
Randolph street, — it was afterwards 
removed to Clark street opposite the 
Court House,— facing it with this stone. 
Everybody was delighted with its beauli' 
ful color. It was found to become very 
hard when seasoned, and pronounced a 
marble by President Hitchcock, of Am- 
herst College. It very soon came into 
general use. In December, 1853, the Illi- 
nois Stone and Lime Company was formed, 
with A. S. Sherma'n, now of Waukegan, 
as its eflicieut manager. The next sum- 
mer, Harry Newhall built two very fine 
dwellings of it on Michigan avenue 
between Adams and Jackson streets, and 
M. D. Oilman followed with another next 
to jSTewhall, and after that its use became 
general. It is conceded to be one of the 
best and mostbeautifil building materials 
in the world. Cheaply quarried and 
easily accessible by water, Chicago owes 
much of her prestige and prosperity to 
these Athens marble quarries. From it 
also Chicago constructs the best sidewalks 
in the world, for, resting on an inner and 
outer wall, they are unaffected by frost, 
and are always smooth and pleasant to the 
pedestrian. Before, and especially since 
the fire, Chicago has drawn upon the 
beautiful sandstone q":iriiesof Ohio; the 
red sandstone of Couxiecticut and of Lake 



Superior; slie has cheap access to the 
marble deposits and the granite of Ver- 
mont, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, 150 
miles west of the head of Lake Supe- 
rior, and it is now conceded that no citj^ 
in the world has a better variety of build- 
ing material or is making a more judicious 
and liberal use of it. 


Going back to 1848, after remaining a 
week at the City Hotel, corner of State 
and Lake streets, I was admitted to a 
most excellent home, that of the late Eev. 
Ira M. Weed, corner of Madison and 
State streets, where Buck & Rayner's drug 
store now is. This was considered far 
south, and as the sidewalks were not all 
good, the best that could be found was 
south on Dearborn to Madison, where a 
very large sign on a paint shop, where 
the Bank of Commerce now is and directly 
opposite TJie T/ibune office, reminded 
me to turn eastward. The sidewalks, 
where such luxuries were indulged in, lay 
in most cases upon the rich prairie soil, 
for the string pieces of scantling to which 
the planks were originally spiked, would 
soon sink down into the mud after a rain, 
and then as one walked, the green and 
black slime would gush up between the 
cracks to the great benefit of retailers of 
blacking. One's disgust can be under- 
stood when it is stated that this meant some 
minutes of active personal service in the 
morning, for this was long before the pro- 
fessional bootblack was born — certainly 
before he made his advent in Chicago. 

In March, 1849, — I think March wasthe 
month, — my family having arrived per 
steamer Niagara the August previous, we 
commenced housekeeping on Wabash 
avenue between Adams and Jackson 
streets, in a cosy little house at the modest 
rent of $12 per month. In May following 
I bought of Judge Jessie B. Thomas 40 
feet on Michigan avenue, commencing 80 
feet south of the corner of Van Buren 
street, for $1,250. The Judge had bought 
it at the canal sales in the sprhig of 1848 
for $800, on canal time, viz.: as Dr. Egan 
afterwards directed in taking his pills, 
one-quarter down, balance in one, two 
and three years. I paid the Judge his 
profit, and what he had advanced on the 
first payment, and assumed the balance 
due the Canal Trustees, and took the df^ed 
to me directly from them. It was in a 
safe place during the fire, and of course 
is novv a very ancient document. 

In the fall of 184!) I bought a small wood 
house that I found moving along on 
Wabash avenue, and moved it on my lot. 
In tliis modest home we sj^ent some six 
very happy years. Judge ^lanierre livctl 
on "Michigan avenue, corner of Jackson 
Btree', where the Gardner House now is. 

Harry Newhall lived on the block north. 
Mine was the only house on block 9, ex- 
cept a .small tenement on the rear of a 
neighboring lot, where lived an African 
friend and brother named William. There 
were at first 


for a considerable distance north, and 
hence we were not troubled with prome- 
naders on the avenue. The lake shore was 
perhaps a hundred feet east of the street. 
There my brother John and myself, rising 
early in the morning, bathed in summer 
for two or three years. We had an excel- 
lent cow — for we virtually lived in the 
country — that, contrary to all domestic 
propriety, would sometimes wander away, 
and I usually found her outon the prairie 
in the vicinity of Twelfth street. I saw a 
wolf run by my house as late as 1850. An 
incident in the purchase of the lot will illus- 
trate the loneliness of our situation. The 
rule of speculators at the canal sales was 
to buy all the property on which the 
speculator could make the first payment, 
and then sell enough each year to make 
the others. Judge Thomas had followed 
this plan, and advertised a large list of 
property in the spring of 1849. He sold 
to myself and the Rev. Dr, Patterson ad- 
joining lots at $1,250 at private sale ; but it 
was agreed that these should be sold with 
the rest, so as to attract customers, as 
Michigan avenue had become somewhat 
popular as a prospective place of residence. 
When my lot was struck off to me for 
some $1,300, Harry Newhall came across 
the room, and said, " Bross, did you buy 
that lot to live on ? Are you going to im- 
prove i'.? " "Yes," was the reply. 
" Well," said he, "I'm glad of it ; I'm 
glad some one is going to live beyond me. 
It won't be so lonesome if we can see 
somebody going by night and morning." 
We then lived, as above stated, on Wabash 
avenue, between Adams and Jackson 


In the winter of 1851-'52, my friend, 
the late Charles Starkweather, insisted on 
selling me 14 acres of land immediately 
south of Twenty-sixth street, and east Of 
State to Michigan avenue. Capt. Clem- 
ent and myself went out of town to look 
at it, going across lots south of Twelfth 
street. It was away out on the prairie, 
and I made up my mind that the price 
($.")00 per acre) was too much. I could 
raise the $l,0,i0 to make the first payment; 
but where was the 6 per cent, on tlie bal- 
ance for the next ten years to come from? 
Capt. Clement took the property, paid the 
$1,000, and, in seven months, .sold it for 
$],000 an acre, clearing in that time 
$7,000 on an investment of $1,000. But 
the Captain let a fortune slip through his 




hands, for that 14 acres is now valued by 
James H. Reese, Esq., at $560,000, or 
$40,000 per acre. In that case, as in 
scores of others, I, too, just escaped get- 
ting rich ; b ;t I have au abundance of 
good company, for Imndreds of my fel- 
low-citizens have missed opportunities 
equally good. 

Take the following instances : Walter 
L. Newberry bought the 40 acres that 
form his addition to Chicago, of Thomas 
Hartzell, in 1833, for $1,062. It is 
now valued at $1,000,000. i\l;ij. Kings- 
bury had been off on an exploring 
expedition about this time, till his pay 
as an army officer, above his immediate 
necessities, amounted to some $600. A 
brother officer advised him to salt this 
down for his two children. He bought 
for it 160x180 feet corner of Clark and 
Randolph streets, and 27 acres on the 
North Branch. It i^ now worth froni 
$600,000 to $1,000,000. One quick at 
figures could probably show that at com- 
pound interest the cost of the land would 
have realized much more than it is now 
worth. In time this certainly will be true ; 
but if the reuts of the land are taken in 
place of the interest, let him who has time 
to make the figures determine which 
would have been the more profitable in- 


I said we had no pavements in 1848. 
The streets were simply thrown up as 
country roads. In the spring for weeks 
portions of them would be impassable. 
I have at difi"erent times seen empty wag- 
ons and dra5rs stuck on Lake and Water 
streets on every block between Wabash 
avenue and the river. Of course there 
was little or no business doing, for the 
people of the city could not get about 
much, and the people of the country could 
not get in to do it. As the clerks had 
nothing to do, they would exercise their 
wits by putting boards from dry goods 
boxes in the holes where the last dray was 
dug out, with siguiticant signs, as "No 
Bottom Here," " The Shortest Road to 
China." Sometimes one board would be 
nailed across another, and ;m old hat and 
coat fixed on it, with the notice " On His 
Way to the Lower Regions. " In fact, there 
was no end to the fun ; and jokes of the 
boys of that day — some were of larger 
growth — were without number. 

Our first effort at paving, or one of the 
first, was to dig down Lake street to near- 
ly or quite on a level with the lake, and 
then plank it. It was sui)posed that the 
sewage would settle in t'le gutters and 
be carried off", but the experiment was a 
disastrous failure, for the stench at once 
became in*o!erable. The street was then 
filled up, and the Common Council estab- 

lished a grade from 2 to 6 or 8 feet above 
the natural level of the soil. This re- 
quired the streets to be filled up, and for a 
year or two Chicago lived mostly on jacli- 
screws, for the buildings had to be raised as 
well as the streets. Until all the sidewalks 
were raised to grade, people had to go up 
and down stairs from four to half a (lozcn 
steps two or three times in passing a single 
block. A BulTalo paper got oft' a note on 
us to the eftcct that on.e of her citizens 
going along the street was seen to run up 
and ^lown every pair of cellar stairs he 
could find. A friend, asking after his 
sanity, was told that tlie walkist wos all 
right, but that he had been in Chicago a 
week, and, in traveling our streets, had 
got so accustomed to going up and down 
stairs that he got the springhalt and could 
not help it. 


should not be forgotten. On the north- 
west corner of it stood, till long after 1818, 
the .Jail, built "of logs firmly bolted to- 
gether," as the account has it. It was not 
half large enough to hold the Aldermen 
that, if standing now, ought to be in it, 
not to speak of the Whisky Ring, and 
certainly it was not strong enough to keep 
them there. Tiie Court House stood on 
the northeast corner of the Square — a 
two-story building of br'ck, I thiuk, with 
offices in the lower story. They stood 
there till 1853, when they were torn down 
to give place to the new building com- 
pleted in that year. 

I said we had no gas when I first came 
to the city. It was first turned on and t lie 
town lighted in September, 1850. Till 
then we had to grope on in tlie dark, or 
use lanterns. Not till 1853 or '54 did the 
pipes reach my house, No. 203 Michigan 

But the more important element, water, 
and its supply to the city, have a curious 
history. In 1848, Lake and Water, and 
perhaps Randolph streets, and the cross 
streets between them east of the river, 
were supplied from logs. James H. 
Woodworth ran a grist-mill on the north 
side of Lake street near the lake, the en- 
gine for which also pumped the water 
into a wooden cistern that supplied the 
h'gs. Whenever the lake was rough the 
water was excessively muddy; but in this, 
myself and family had no personal inter- 
est, for we lived outside of the water sup- 
ply. Wells were in most cases tabooed, 
for the water was bad, and we, in com- 
mon with perhaps a majority of our fel- 
low-citizens, were forced to buy our 
water by the bucket or the barrel from 
Avater-carts. This we did for six years, 
and it was not till the early part of 1854 
that water was supplied to the houses 
from the new works upon the North Side, 



But our troubles were by no means ended. 
The water was pumped from the lake 
shore the same as in the old works, and 
hence, in storms, it was still excessively 
muddy. In the spring and early summer 
it was impossible to keep the young fish 
out of the reservoir, and it was no un- 
common thing to find the unwelcome fry 
sporting in one's wash-bowl, or dead and 
stuck in the faucets. And besides they 
would find their way into the hot-water 
reservoir, where they would get stewed up 
into a very nauseous fish chowder. The 
Wilier at such times was not only the 
horror of all good housewives, but it was 
jusily thought to be very unhealthy. 
And, -worse than all this, while at ordinary 
times there is a slight current on the lake 
shore south, and the water, though often 
muddy and sometimes fishy, was compar- 
atively good, when the wind blew strongly 
from the south, often for several days the 
current was changed, and the water from 
the river, made from the sewage mixed 
with it into an abomiuably filthy soup, was 
pumped up and distributed through the 
pipes alike to the poorest street gamin and 
to the nabobs of the city. Mind you, the 
summit level of the canal had not then 
been dug down and the lake water been, 
turiied south. The Chicago river was the 
source of all the most detestably filthy 
smells that the breezes of heaven can 
possibly float to disgusted olfactories. 
Davis' filters had an active sale, and those 
of us who had cisterns betook ourselves 
to rain-water — when filtered, about the 
best water one can possibly get. As Chi- 
cago, with all her enterprise, did not 
attempt to stop the south wind from blow- 
ing, and her filthy water had become un- 
endurable, it was proposed to run a tun- 
nel under the lake to a point two miles 
from the shore, where the water was 
always pure — one of the boldest and most 
valuable thoughts ever broached by a civil 
engineer, but our able fellow-citizen, E. 
S. Chesbrough, not only planned, but car- 
ried out the great enterprise to a successful 
conclusion. Ground was broken March 
17, 1864; it was completed Dec. 6, 1866, 
but it was m)t till March 25, 1867, that tlic 
water was let in and began to be pumped 
into the pipes to supply the city. A few 
words as to the way it was constructed : 
In digging under the city a hard blue clay 
is reached at the depth of a few feet. 
Experiments proved that this bed of hard, 
compact clay extended under the lake. 
At the foot of Chicatio avenue, where it 
was proposed to sink the shore end, a bed 
of quicksand had to be passed through. 
To do this, cast-iron cylinders were pro- 
cured, 9 feet long. The flanges by which 
they were to be'bolted together were on 
the inside, so that they could sink smooth- 
ly through the sand. These were lowered 

successfully, as the material from the in- 
side was taken out, till the hard pan was 
reached. Brick was then used. The 
water 3 miles from shore was 35 feet 
deep. In order to start that end of the 
tunnel an octagonal crib was built of 
square timber, framed and bolted firmly 
together, with several water-tight com- 
partments and a space in the centre left 
open sulBciently large to receive the same 
kind of cast-iron cjiinders as were used 
at the shore end. The crib was nearly 
100 feet in diameter, and, if I mistake not, 
50 or 60 feet high. It was built in the 
harbor, and during a calm it was towed 
out 3 miles and anchored due east of Chi- 
cago avenue ; then scuttled, the compart- 
ments were filled with stones, and it was 
imbedded firmly into the mud at the bot- 
tom of the lake. The cylinders were 
bolted together and forced down into the 
hardpan, the water was pumped out and 
the brickwork was fairly commenced. 
The shore shaft was sunk 90 feet, and 
that at the crib 85 feet, and then workmen 
at each end commenced excavating and 
bricking up the tunnel towards each other. 
Of course I need not give more particu- 
lars, nor speak of the 4-mile tunnel to the 
corner of Ashland avenue and Twenty- 
second street, where new pumping-works 
are in process of erection — our works on 
the lake shore being found only capable 
of supplying the 450,000 ptople now said 
to be in the city. Chicago may well be 
proud of her Water-Works, for they are 
truly splendid, and furnish her with an 
abundance of as pure water as can be 
found in any city in the world. 

We had no sewers in 1848. The first 
attempts were made a year or two later 
with oak plank, I think on Clark street. 
I have no time nor space for particulars, 
but will only add that a thorough and ef- 
fective system has been extended through 
all the more thickly settled portions of 
the city, and the deepening of the Illinois 
& Michigan Canal carries the sewage 
down the Illinois River, and, except when 
the ice covers the canal and river for many 
weeks, it does no damage whatever, and 
does not even make itself known by oflen- 
sive odors. 

Our mails from the East came by steamer 
from St. Joseph or Ncw^ Biittalo, or by 
stage from the west end of the Michicau 
railways, till Feb. 20, 1852, when the Mich- 
igan Southern was opened to this cit}'. Of 
course during severe storms, while navi- 
gation was open, and during the winter 
and spring, when the roads were about 
impassable, they were very irregular. 
Sometimes we would be a week or two 
without any news from the outside world. 
Our long winter evenings were employed 
in reading, — much more so than now, — in 
attending lectures and debates at the Me- 



chanics' Institute, in going to church, and 
in social life. Chicago people have al- 
ways had abundant means lo eraploj' their 
time fully and profitably. The i^ost-office 
stood on Clark stre(;t, on the alley where 
the north side of the Sherman House now 
is. It had a single delivery window a font 
square, op^-'ning into a room with a door 
on the alley, and another on Clark street. 
All the city could see t'le flag flying from 
the Sherman House, when the mail steam- 
er from the other side of the lake was sig- 
naled. Each one knew how long it would 
take her to reach her dock and the mails 
to get distributed. For a long time before 
the delivery window would open, the peo- 
ple would begin to assemble, the first 
taking his station at the window and the 
others forming in line through the rear 
door into the alley, often far into the 
street, like a long line of voters at election. 
Here I saw one day an incident which I 
mention as a tribute to one of the be^t 
and noblest of men, and as an example 
for all of us to follow. At one time when 
we had been'without a mail for a week or 
more, I stoud in the line perhaps a dozen 
from the window and Robert Stewart two 
or three ahead of me. Just as the window 
opened and the column began to move, a 
woman, poorly clad and evidently a for- 
eigner, rushed in at the front door, and, 
casting her eye down that long line of men, 
the muscles of her face twitched and she 
trembled with anxiety. She evident!}'- 
expected a letter from dear ones far away 
over the broad Atlantic. Not a word was 
uttered by ihe crowd, and there she stood, 
waiting in agony for the crowd to pass 
by, till it came Mr. Stew irt's turn, when, 
with a kindly wave of the hand he said, 
" Come here, my good woman, " and, 
placing her directly in front of him, she 
grasped her letter, and with a suppressed 
"thank the Lord and you sir," she left, 
the most happy person in the crowd. Any 
man might do such an act for a lady in 
silks; but only a noble, Christian gentle- 
man like Robert Stewart would do it for 
a poor, forlorn woman in calico. 

There was not a railway entering the 
city from any direction in 1S48. Some 
strap rails were laid down that fall, or 
during the winter following, on the Galena 
& (Jhicago, now the North-\ye>tern, and in 
1850, through the personal endorsement 
of ex-Mayor B. W. Raymond and Capt. 
John B. Turner, men to whom Chicaijo 
is greatly indebted, it reached Elgin, 40 
miles westward. So clieaply and honestly 
was it built, and from the time it was 
finished to Elgin, 40 miles, so large and 
lucrative was its business, that it paid large 
dividends, and demonstrated that Illinois 
railways could be made profitable invest- 
ments. It became, in fact, the parent of 
the vast railway system of the West. It 

was marvelous how rapidly railways w^ere 
projected in all direciious, and ht)W quick- 
ly they were built. 

The Michigan Southern Railway was 
the first great Eastern line to reach this 
city, which it did on the 20th of February, 
18.52. The Michigan Central was opened 
May 20th of the Siime year. These gave 
a very great impulse lo tiie growth and 
prosperity of the city. These were times 
when the coming of great enterprises 
seemed to fill the air, and the men were 
found who were ready to grasp and exe- 
cute them. The ncce.>-sity of binding the 
South and the Konh together by iron 
bands had been broached and talked of in 
Congress and elsewhere in 1848, and a few 
sagacious men had suggested the granting 
of alternate sections of the public lands 
to aid in the consliuction of the road as 
the only means by which it could be built. 
It had worked admirably in the case of 
the Illinois & Michigan Canal, and it was 
agreed that the importance of the work 
would justify a similar grant in aid of a 
great through line from tue Lakes to the 
Gulf of Me'xico. With the characteristic 
forecast and energy of her citizens, Chi- 
cago furnished the man who combined all 
interests and furnished the friends of the 
measure in Congress the means to carry it. 
That man was John S. Wright, who, as 
before stated, was one of the far- 
seeing and valuable citizens Chicago ever 
had. The whirl and excitement in which 
he lived clouded his mind toward the 
close of his life; but if any one among our 
earlier citizens deserves a monument to 
his memory, that man is John S. Wright. 
I had the same oflice with him in 1849, 
and hence know personally of what I 
speak. At his own expense he printed 
thousands of circulars, stating briefly, but 
with suflacient fullness, the arguments in 
favor of building the road, its efl'ect upon 
the commerce and the Roeial and political 
welfare of the Union; that in granting the 
lands the Government would lose nothing, 
as the alternate sections would at once com- 
mand double the price of both. To this 
a petition to Congress to make the grant 
was attached. At that time such mail 
matt'^r went free to postmasters, and with 
a small circular asking them to interest 
themselves in getting signers to the peti- 
tions, or to put them in the hands of those 
who would. My. Wright (giving employ- 
ment to his clerk for weeks) sent tw.) or 
three of them to every postmaster between 
the Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. In the 
early part of the session of lS-49-'50 these 
petitions began to pour into Congress by 
the thousands, and still all through the 
summer of 1849 they kept coming. Mem- 
bers f n^m all sections stood aghast at this 
deluge of public opinion that seemed 
about to overwhelm them, unless they at 



once passed a law making a grant of lands 
to the Slates to open a railway from Chi- 
cago to the Gulf of Mexico. Our Sena- 
tors, Douglas and Shields, and Kepresen- 
tatives, Wentworth and others, saw their 
opportunity, and the bill was passed on 
the 20lh day of September, 1850. On the 
10th of February, 1S51, the Illinois Legis- 
lature chartered the company, and its 
construction was placed in the hands of 
Col. R. B. Mason. I need not add that a 
better selection could not possibly have 
been made.* 

* From the Tribune, Feb. 4. 

THE "prairie farmer" AND JOHN S. 

The Rev. J. Ambrose Wight, writing from Bay 
City, Mich., under date of i'ob. 1, in relation to the 
lecture on " Early Chicago " recently delivered in 
McCormick'sHall, t-ays : 

" My early Chicago is earlier. I arrived there in 
September, 1836, and had my headquarters there till 
May, 1843, when I removed there, and remained 
tm May, 1865. . „ , 

"The thing that more especially pleases me m 
the lecture is the tribute to my old friend, John S. 
Wright. If Chicago, the State of Illinois, and the 
old Northwest, owe anything to anybody, it is to 
John S. Wright. The lecture states his movement 
in the matter of the Central Railroad. But that was 
only one of his undertakings for the public good. 
For fifteen years he was constantly engaged in some 
scheme with the same end. His establishment of 
and success wiih the Prairie Farmer were things 
remarkable, considering his age and supposed 
qualifications for such a work. He had never done 
a day's work on a farm in his lifo, and presump- 
tively^new nothing about it. But he possessed a 
remarkable in -^ight into public needs. He started 
his paper, freely acknowledging his own deficien- 
cies, but threw himself on tlie help of the farmers, 
whose acquaintance he constantly made— putting 
as his motto at the head of his paper, "Farmers, 
write for your paper." And this flag was still fly- 
ing in the last copy I have seen of that journal. 
For ten years that paper held a place which money 
could never pay for, and was essential to the 
growth of the country where it circulated— settling, 
one after another, such questions as Ihtse : " Will 
the cultivated grasses grow on prairie lands ? " 
" Can sheep be kept to advantage here ? " " Can 
orchards be a success?" "How shall we fence 
these open lands ?" and hundreds of other ques- 
tions of like kinds— the machinery to be used on 
the farm; 'the stock most profitable; and the claims 
of dozens of discoveries and inventions, good, and 
good for nothing. Mr. Wright relinquished the 
helm, it is true, afer a year and a half, but his 
enthusiasm and insight gave impulse and direction, 
and made it a success. 

"Then the system of public schools in Illinois 
owes its first impulse and direction to him, though 
he knew no more of school-teaching than of farm- 
lug. He began work at that as soon as his paper 
was fairly launched ; set up a department in it for 
public-school education, corresponded and wrote 
unweariedly for it. Thore was no system of 
schools in the State at that time. The " common 
Bchool," on the South Side, for Chicago, was kept 
inastory-and-a-half building, up stairs— the build- 
ing standing at the corner of State and Madison 
streets— tlie pedagogue being a Mr. Bennet, I think; 
and my impression is that the school was common 
enough. The schools over the State were just us 
they happened to be. 

" Mr. Wright drew up asystem for the State, pub- 
lished it, printed circulars, got friends for it, aid 
had it made a law, again.-t a pretty strong dislike 
from the southern and central parts of the Stale. 

Permit me to say here, by way of pa- 
renthesis, that omnibuses and horse-cars 
were introduced nearly ten years after 
this time. The City Railway Company 
was chartered Feb. 14, 1859. Pardon the 
remark, that whatever honor attaches to 
driving the first spike belongs to your 
speaker. It was done on State, comer of 
Randolph. The road reached Twelfth 
street on the 25th of April, 1859, — only 
seventeen years ago. Now the whole city 
is gridironed with them, and they are 
essential to its business life. 

I should like to give you the history of 
the Rock Island, the Alton & St. Louis, 
the Burlington & Quincy, the Pittsburgh 
& Fort Wityne, and other roads, but time 
and space forbid. For several years suc- 
ceeding 1854, the leading men of Chicago 
had to endure a great deal of eating and 
drinking, as our railwaj-s were opened to 
cities in all directions: and for this ser- 

And, when he found it defective, he reconstructed 
it, and ii; became a new law. And this old law of 
Mr. Wright's, made over as the ladian gun was, is 
the system now. True, he soon got powerful help- 
ers in Chicago, among whom I remember as the 
earliest, William Jones, J. Y. Scammou, Dr. Foster, 
W. H. Brown, and Flavel Mosely— succeeded by 
such others as the Hon. Mark Skinner, John Went- 
worth, and a good many more, inducing William 
H. Kini:, Esq. 

"Another of Mr. Wright's public movements 
was that of the lO-per-ceut.-loan law. The Legis- 
lature, moved by the southern Granger interest, 
had passed a law making a higher interest than 6 
per cent, usurious. Mr. W. knew that a repeal of 
that law was a hopeless undertaking. But it pre- 
vented all obtaining of money for use— operating 
especially hard against the interests of Chicago 
and the northern end of the State, where recovery 
from the financial disasters of 1836-"7 had set iu 
with a good deal of strength. He therefore drew 
up an amendment to the 6-per-cent. law, allowing 
an interest of 10 per cent. " on money loaned." 
As usual, his circulars flew like the leaves of 
autumn ; and, contrary to the prediction of many, 
the amendment passed the Legislature. The 
relief was instantaneous and great. 

Chicago — old Clucago — knows Mr. Wright's 
peculiarities well enough. He saw further into a 
subject, ill the begiitning, than most men. But 
once in it, he seemed to love his ability to handle it, 
and often his interest in it ; and the outcome some- 
times threw undeserved obloquy on the whole 
undertaking. Had he been able to carry things 
through as he begun them, he had probably been a 
millionaire, and alive to-day." 

Mr. Wight does not state, what most of our 
older citizens know, that, when Mr. Wright " relin- 
quished the hilm'* of the Prairie Jfarmer,'-a. 
year and a half "after it started, he committed it 
to Mr. Wight, as its editor. The sterling integrity, 
untiring zeal, sharp, strong common sense, and 
trenchant pen of Mr. Wight made the Prairie 
Farmer for many years one of the very best agri- 
cultural papers ever published in this country. 
Mr. Wright was too completely absoibod in the 
other important ei.terprises of whicli Mr. Wight 
speaks, to give much attention to his paper, 
though retaining tlie proprietorship of it. But to 
his enterprise in starting it, and to that of Mr. 
Might in conducting it, Chicago and the North- 
west owe a far proaler debt of gratitude than they 
will ever be able to re|)ay, or even appreciate. 
Those were forming epochs in our history, and 
much of our wonderful progress and prosperity are 
tne direct result of their labors. 



vice, as for all others, they showed a 
capacity and willingness, as well as a mod- 
esty, which has made them distinguished 
all over the country. On the 10th of May, 
1869, the Cenlnil and Union Pacific Rail- 
ways joined rails at Promontory Point, 
thus completing the grand railway system 
across the continent. And here I may be 
permitted the incidental renirk that we 
who live with them, and enjoy the first 
fruits of their enterprise, do not sufficient- 
ly honor the men who bridge our great 
rivers and bind every section of the Union 
together in bands of iron and steel, never 
to be broken, such men as Wm. B. Ogden, 
John B. Turner, R. B. Mason, Thomas C. 
Durant, Leland Stanford, and scores of 
othei's that might be named. History 
shows that it was not only the men who 
bore the victorious eagles of old Rome 
through distant nations, but who built 
roads to connect them with the Eternal 
City, that received the highest honors. 
Thus it was that great national thorough- 
fares were built thousands of miles long, 
from the North to the Black Sea, and as 
in that case all roads pointed towards 
Rcme, so at least nine-tenths of all the 
roads in all this broad land point to Chi- 
cago. Do you know that the title even 
now worn by the Pope of Rome has come 
down to him from those old road-builders? 
Pontif ex Maximus simply means the great- 
est bridge-builder, the proudest, and thus 
far the most enduring title ever worn by 
earthly monarch. Let our city honor the 
men for making Chicago commercially in 
this centennial year what Imperial Rome 
was politically in past ages. While we 
give all honor to these men, let not the 
name of John S. Wright be forgotlon, 
who, addressing himself to even the 
greater work, in 1849, combined and gave 
direction to the political and moral forces 
that enabled them to complete the grand- 
est system of improvements ever made in 
the history of the world. 

You will expect me to say something 
of the press of the city. In 1848 the 
Journal had rooms in what was then the 
Saloon Buildings, on the southeast corner 
of Clark and Lake streets. The Gem of 
the Prairie, and The Tribune as its daily, 
maintained a precarious existence in an 
old wooden shanty on the northwest cor- 
ner of Lake and Clark streets. Messrs. 
Wheeler, Stewart and Scripps were the 
editors. It was burned out, and then 
located at No. 171 i Lake street. My 
friend the Hon. John Wentworth pub- 
lished the Democrat in very aristocratic 
quarters — at Jackson Hall, on LaSalle 
street, just south of Lake. He had the 
only Hoe power-press in the city. In the 
fall of 1S49, finding I preferred my old 
occupation of using books rather than of 
selling them, I disposed of my interest in 

the book-store to my partners. It was 
tlie original of the great house of Jansen, 
McClurg and Co. The leading member 
of the firm now — my brother-in-law — I 
left in the store a mere boy, Avhose duties 
were to sweep out, carry packages, and 
generally to do a boy's business. I men- 
tion this as an example for the boys who 
hear me to follow. 

I then formed a partnership with J. 
Ambrose Wight, then editor of the Prai- 
rie Farmer, — a most valuable paper, 
owned by John S. Wriaht, — and we bought 
out the Herald of the Prairies, a religious 
])aper, the organ alike of the Presby- 
terians and Congregation alists of the 
Nortkwest. The latter half of the con- 
cern survives in the Advance. It was then 
published on AVells street, on the corner 
of the alley between Lake and Randolph 
streets. We soon moved to 171 Lake 
street, next door to 17ie Tribune, and in 
the rear building, on an old Adams press, 
the first power press ever brought to the 
city, we printed our own paper, and also 
T7ie Trihune, for Messrs. Stewart, Wheeler 
& Scripps. The press was driven by 
Emery's horse-power, on which traveled, 
hour by hour, an old black Canadian 
pony. So far as my interest in the 
splendid machinery of T7te Tribune is con- 
cerned, that old blind pony ground out 
its beginnings, tramping on the revolving 
platfo'rm of Emery's horse-power. 

By the autumn of 1851 Mr. Wight, 
a man who, as editor of tlie Prairie Far- 
mer, did very much towards laying the 
foundations of the rapid progress and 
the great prosperity of the West, and 
now pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
at Bay City, Mich., and myself, found out 
by sad experience that the Prairie Herald, 
as we then called it, could not be made 
to support two fiimilies, for we had 
scarcely paid current expenses. I there- 
fore sold out to Mr. Wight, taking in pay- 
ment his homestead lots on Harrison 
street. That winter rather than have 
nothing to do I remained in his otfice with 
him, working for the large sum of $1 per 
day. After a vacation of a few months 
the late John L. Scripps and myself 
formed a partnership and issued the first 
number of the Democratic Press on the 
16th of September, 1853. We started on 
a borrowed capital of 16,000, which all 
disappeared from sight in al)out six weeks. 
We put in all our services and profits, and 
about all the money we could borrow, 
never drawing a cent from the firm till 
after the first of January, 185o.- This 
required nerve and the using up of funds 
to a very considerable amount, which we 
had obtained from the sale of real estate: 
but we thou'jht we could see future profit 
in the business and we worked on, never 
heeding discouragements for a moment. 



The hard times of 1857-58, brought the 
Democratic Press and T7ie Tribune together, 
and Dr. Riiy, J. Medill, John L. Scripps, 
and myself, became equal partners, with 
Mr. Cowles as business manager. Dr. 
Ray and Mr. Scripps have ceased from 
their labors, but not till they had done 
most effective and valuable woric in the 

development and progress of Chicago. 
Mr. Scripps was Postmaster during Mr. 

Lincoln's first Administration. Both he 
and Dr. Ray were able and very cultivated 
gentlemen, and the memory of them 
should have a high place in the esteem and 
gratitude of their fellow citizens. Mr. 
Medill, Mr. Cowles, and myself, still stand 
by the old Tribune, with what eflBciency 
and success the reading public can best 

I should like to have an hour to pay a 
passing tribute to the men who gave char- 
acter to Chicago in 1848, and the years 
that followed. To Thomas Richmond — 
still with us; to John P. Chapin, Charles 
Walker and Captain Bristol, heavy deal- 
ers on Water street; to Judge Giles Spring, 
Judge George Manierre, S. Lisle Smith, 
William H. Brown, George W. Meeker, 
Daniel Mcllroy, James H. Collins, and 
others of the Bench and Bar; to Drs. 
Maxwell, Egan and Brainard; to Editors 
Dick Wilson, T. A. Stewart, John E. 
Wheeler, and James F. Ballantyne, as 
well as to Ray and Scripps; to the Rev. 
Dr. Tucker, Parson Barlow, and perhaps 
several others of the clergy. I should 
like to speak of Mayors F. C. Sherman, 
James Curtiss, J. H. Woodworth, and 
Thomas Dyer, all of whom have been 
relieved of all earthly cares. Many of 
our oldest citizens still linger among us. 
Of these. Col. Gurdon S. Hubbard first 
came to Chicago in 1818 — the year Illi- 
nois became a State. Still hale and happy, 
maj'- he long bless Chicago with his pres- 
ence. Of our ex-Mayors previous to 1860, 
William B. Ogden, the first, Buckner S. 
Morris, B. W. Raymond, Walter S. Gurnee, 
Charles M. Gray, Isaac L. Milliken, Levi 
D. Boone, John Wentworth, and John C. 
Haines, are still living. Of the clergy we 
have still the Rev. Dr. R. W. Patterson, 
" whf)se praise," like one of old, "is in all 
the church(s." Of our leading citizens 
we have still a host, almost too numei'ous 
to mention. The names of Jerome 
Beecher, Gen. Webster, Timothy and 
Walter Wright, S. B. Cobb, Orringtun Lunt, 
Pliilo Carpenter, Frederick and Nelson 
Tuttle, Peter L. Yoe, C. N. H()lden, 
Charles L. and John Wilson, E. H. Had- 
dock, E. D. Taylor, Judge J. D. Caton, J. 
Y. Scammon, Grant Gooilrich, E. B. and 
Mancel Talcott, Mahlon D. Ogden, E. H. 
Sheldon, Mat. Latiin, James II. Reese, 
C. H. McCormick and l)roiliers, P. W. 
Gates, A. Pierc'C, T. B. Carter, Gen. S. L. 

Brown, Peter Page, William Locke, Buck- 
ner S. Morris, Capt. Bates, and many 
otliers, will at once recur to our older 

Some of these gentlemen were not quite 
so full of purse when they came here as 
now. Standing in the parlor of the Mer- 
chants' Savings, Loan and Trust Com- 
pany, five or six years ago, talking with 
the President, Sol. A. Smith, E. H. Had- 
dock, Dr. Foster, and perhaps two or three 
others, in came Mr. Cobb, smiling and 
rubbing his hands in the greatest glee. 
" Well, what makes you so happy?" said 
one. "O," said Cobb, "this is the 1st 
day of June, the anniversary of my 
arrival in Chicago in 18o3." " Yes," said 
Haddock, " the first time I saw you, Cobb, 
you were bossing a lot of Hoosiers 
weatherboarding a shanty-tavern for Jim 
Kinzie." "Well," Cobb retorted, in the 
best of humor, " you needn't put on any 
airs, for the first time I saw you, you 
were shingling an out-house." Jokes and 
early r( miuiscences were then in order. 
It transpired that our solid President of 
the South Side Horse Railway left Mont- 
pelier, Vt., with $40 in his pocket, but by 
some mishap when he reached Buffalo he 
had only $9 left. This was exactly the 
fare on the schooner to Chicago, but the 
Captain told him he might buy some pro- 
visions, and if lie would make no trouble 
and shep on deck the boy could come to 
Chicago for what was left. Cobb got 
some sheeting, which some lady fellow- 
passengers sewed up for him, and he filled 
it with shavings, and this made his bed on 
deck. He got a ham, had it boiled, 
bought some bread, and, thus equipped 
and provisioned, he set sail for Chicago. 
There was then no entrance to the Chi- 
cago River, and the vessel anchored out- 
side, a long way out, and the cabin passen- 
gers went ashore with the Captain in a 
Mackinaw boat. A storm springing up, 
the mate lay off for three days between 
Michigan City and Waukegan. When 
the vessel returned, a cabin passenger, who 
had returr ed for baggage, was surprised 
to find Cobb still aboard. Cobb told him 
the Captain had gone back on him, and 
would not let him go ashore Avitiiout the 
other $3, and wliatto do he did not know. 
The gentleman lent him tlie $3, and Cobb 
gladly came ashore. Though he knew 
nothing of the carpenter's trade, he ac- 
cepted a situation to boss some Hoosiers, 
who were at work on Mr. Kiuzie's excuse 
for a hotel, at $3.75 per day, and soon 
paid his fiicnd. From that time to this 
he has seldom borrowed any money. 
Mr. Haddock also came to Chicago, 
I think, as a small grocer, and now 
these gentlemen are numbered among 
our millionaires. Young men, the means 
by which they have achieved success 



are exceedingly simple. They have 
sternly avoided all mere specuhxliou ; they 
have attended closely to legitimate busi- 
ness and invested any accumulating sur- 
plus in real estate. Go ye and do likewise, 
and j'our success "will be equally sure. 

Having seen Chicago in 184S with no 
railways, no pavements, no sewers, scarcely 
an apology for water- works — a mere city 
of shanties, built on the black prairie soil 
— the temptation to imagine for her a 
magnificent future is almost irresistible. 

I beg leave with characteristic Chicago 
modesty to j-efer to ai)rophecy which I ven- 
tured to make in 1854. I had just written 
and published the first exhaustive account 
of our railway system, followed by a his- 
tory — the first also — of the city. In the 
closing paragraph I had the following 
sentences. The city had then not quite 
completed the seventeenth year of its ex- 
istence, and I ask : 

" What will the next seventeen years 
accomplish? We are now (1854) in direct 
railroad connection with all the Atlantic 
cities from Portland to Baltimore. Five, 
at most eight, years will extend the circle 
to Ne w Orleans. By that time also we shall 
shake hands with the rich copper and iron 
mines of Lake Superior, both by canal 
. and railroad, andh'ng ere another seven- 
teen years have passed away we shall have 
a great national railroad from Chicago to 
Puget's Sound, with a branch to San Fran- 
' Cisco." 

By the time the building of the road 
was fairly undertaken, San Francisco had 
grown so largely in wealth and population 
that the main line was forced to that city. 
But in June, 1869, two years before the 
thirty-four years in the life of tlie city 
h:id passed away, I rode from Chicago to 
Sacramento with my good friend George 
M. Pullman in one of his splendid palace 
cars, with a dining car attached, and no 
one could possibly fare better than we did 
on the entire trip. Another line was open 
from Sacramento to Vallej* neai'ly right 
across the bay from the City of the Golden 
Gate, so that practically the prophecy was 
literally fulfilled. Perhaps it was only a 
fortunate guess, and as I was educated in 
New England, you will permit me to guess 
again, and to bound the city for j^ou on 
the nation's second Centennial, viz., on 
the 4th of July, 197f5. I think the north 
line will probably begin on the lake shore 
half way between Evanston and Winnetka, 
and run due west to a point at least a mile 
"west of Aux Plaines River : thence due 

south to an east and a west line that wull 
include Blue Island, and thence south- 
east from Blue Island to the Indiana State 
line, and thence on that line to Lake 
Michigan. With my eye upon the vast 
country tributary to the city, I estimate 
that Chicago will then contain at least 
8,000.000 of people, and I would sooner say 
4,000,000 than any less than 3,000,000. I 
base my opinions on the fact that the 
gastronomic argument controls mankind. 
Men will go and live where they can get 
the most and the best food for the least 
labor. In this respect wiiat city in the 
world can compete with Chicago 'i And I 
also assume that the nation for the next 
hundred years will remain one united, free 
and happy people. 

But, gentlemen, in order to realize the 
magnificent destiny which Providence 
seems to have marked out for our city, 
permit me to say, in conclusion, that the 
moral and religious welfare of the city 
must be carefully guarded and promoted. 
Philo Carpenter (still among us) and Capt. 
Johnson established the first Sunday- 
school here July 30, 1832, and the Rev. 
Jeremiah Porter (also still living) organ- 
ized and became pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church (now Dr. Mitchell's) 
on the 26th of June, 1833. Brave old 
Jesse "Walker, the pioneer Methodist, also 
preached sound doctrine in the earliest 
years of the Town of Chicago. All 
other denominations were also on the 
ground early, and through all her former 
histoiy our people seemed as active and 
earnest in religious efforts as they were 
enterprising and successful in mercantile 
and other business. Let all our churches 
address themselves earnestly, faithfully, 
to the work of moralizing, if you please 
converting, the people, working as their 
Divine Master would have them work ; 
let respectable men, honest men, and 
especially religious men, go to the polls, 
and banish from places of trust and 
power those who are stealing their sub- 
stance and corrupting, aye even poison- 
ing, the very life blood of the city ; let us 
all, my friends, do our" whole duty as 
citizens and as men, ever acting upon the 
Divine maxims that "Righteousness exalt- 
eth a nation," that "Godliness is profit- 
able for all thin^," and with God's bless- 
ing Chicago, as in the past so in the 
future, shall far outstrip in wealth, popu- 
lation and power all the anticipations of 
her most enthusiastic and sanguine citi- 




1837 "William B. Ogden. 

1838 Buckner S. Morris. 
1889 Benj. W. Raymond. 

1840 Alexander Loyd. 

1841 Francis C. Sherman. 

1842 Benj. W. Raymond. 

1843 Augustus Garrett. 

1844 Alanson S. Sherman. 

1845 Augustus Garrett. 

1846 John P. Chapin. 

1847 James Curtiss. 

city Incorporated March, 1837. 

1848 Jas. H. Woodworth. 

1849 Jas. H. Woodworth. 

1850 James Curtiss. 

1851 Walter S. Gurnee. 
1853 Walter S. Gurnee. 

1853 Charles M. Gray. 

1854 Isaac L. Milliken. 

1855 Levi D. Boone. 

1856 Thomas Dyer. 

1857 John Wentworth. 

1858 John C. Haines. 

1859 John C. Haines. 

1860 John Wentworth. 

1861 Julian S. Rumsey. 

1862 Francis C. Sherman. 

1864 Francis C. Sherman. 

1865 John B. Rice. 
1867 John B. Rice. 
1869 Roswell B. Mason. 
1871 Joseph Medill. 
1873 Harvev D. Colvin. 
1876 Harvey D. Colvin. 

1835 3,265 

1836 3,820 

1837 .-4,179 

1838 4,000 

1839 ..4,200 

1840 4,479 

1841 5,752 

1842 6,248 

1843 7,580 

1844 8,000 


1845 .12,088 

1846. .14,169 

1847 16,859 

1848 20,023 

1849 23,047 

1850 28,269 

1851 34,437 

1852 38,733 

1853 60,652 

1854 ..65,872 

1855 80,028 

1856 ..84,113 

1857 93,000 

1858 90,000 

1859 .95,000 

1860 112,172 

1861 120,000 

1862. 138,835 

1863 160,000 

1864...... 169,353 

1865 178,900 

1866 200,418 

1867 220,000 

1868 252-,054 

1869 273,043 

1870 298,977 

1872 364,377 

1874 395,408 

1876 (est). 450,000 

1885, (estimated by Jno. S. Wright), 1,000,000. 
1911, (estimated by J. N. Balestier), 2,000,000. 
1976, (estimated by Wm. Bross), 3 to 4,000,000. 


The history of Chicago from 1850 to 1876 remains to be written. I have most of 
the materials, but fear I shall not have the time and the patience to put them together. 
Somebody should do it, for such a work would show a more astonishing progress than 
has ever been realized by any other city in the history of the world. I respectfully 
commit this little volume to my fellow-citizens as my contribution to the facts, that 
should be stored away in our libraries in this Centennial year, with the hope that they 
may in some way interest and perhaps benefit those who are to come after us. 


A Story OF German Love. 


Small 4to, 173 pages, red-line, tinted paper, full gilt. Price, $2.00. The same, l6mo, 

red edges. Price, $1.00. 

Sent "by mail, posto/ge paid, on I'ecelpt of price. 

" This is, in every respect, an exquisitely beautiful and charming book. * * The 
perfection of elegance and simplicity. As to the story itself, it is one of the purest, sweetest 
and most fascinating that we have read for months. * * " — Advance. 

*' It is dramatically constructed, unflagging in interest, abounding in grace, beauty and 
pathos, and filled with the tenderest feelings of sympathy which go right straight to the 
heart of every lover of the ideal in the world of humanity. * * * « Memories' is really 
a poem in prose." — Pittsburgh Chronicle. 

" ' Memories' is one of the prettiest and worthiest books of the year. The story is full 
of that indescribable half naturalness, that effortless vraisemblance, which is so commonly a 
charm of German writers, and so seldom paralleled in English. * * * Scarcely could 
there be drawn a more lovely figure than that of the invalid Princess, though it is so nearly 
pure spirit that earthly touch seems almost to profane her. * * * As a specimen of 
book-making, this ' Memories ' is admirable. Its paper, typography and red-lined pages are 
dainty as the contents deserve." — Springfield Republican. 


Publishers, Chicago. 


A. Story of It^lia.n Lov^e. 



Small 4to, 235 pages, red line, tinted paper, full gilt, uniform with holiday edition of 

"Memories." Price, $2.00. 

Sent "by xnall, postage paid, on receipt of price. 

" ' Graziella ' is a poem in prose. The subject and the treatment are both eminently 
poetic. * * * It glows with love of the beautiful in all nature. * * * It is pure 
literature; a perfect story, couched in perfect words. The sentences have the rythm and flow, 
the sweetness and tender fancy of the original. It is uniform with ' Memories,' the fifth 
edition of which has just been published, and it should stand side by side with that on the 
shelves of every lover of pure, strong thoughts, put in pure, strong words. * Graziella ' is a 
book to be loved." — Tribune. 

" It is a most delightful and picturesque tale, abounding in delicate appreciation of 
nature and containing much fine descriptive writing. Mr. Runnion's translation deserves 
special notice for its fidelity to the grace and charm and artistic as well as poetic beauty of 
the original." — A^eiu York Graphic. 

" This is a most fascinating story from beginning to end. Some passages are thrilling, 
while over the whole is a charm like that said to be peculiar to Italian skies."— T'wy (iV. K.) 


Publishers, Chicago. 




Ex-Chief Justice of Illinois. 

8vo. 401 PAGES. Illustrated. Price, $2.50. 

The Nation says : '' He is, as far as we know, the first foreign traveler who has given 
anything like a correct statement of the nature of the union between Norway and Sweden," 

The Boston Post says : '' The book of travels, which Judge Caton has presented to 
the public, is of a high order of merit, and sets forth the interesting natural phenomena and 
popular characteristics of the land of the ' unsetting sun ' with great strength and clearness." 

The New York Tribune says : " The tone of the book is frank, almost colloquial, 
always communicative, and leaves a favorable impression both of tlie intelligence and good 
nature with which the author pursued his way through unknown wilds. * * They 

are excellent specimens of terse and graphic composition, presenting a distinct image to the 
mind, without any superfluous details." 

The Times says: "The author of '•A Summer in Norway' has accomplished what 
but few able professional writers are capable of under the circumstances. He has given to 
the public a volume of travels which will hold its own with any of like kind. The style in 
which it is written is concise, terse and cheerful. The information is solid and interesting, 
and a vein of genial humor pervades every page. Throughout it is generously sprinkled with 
harmless, amusing incidents, delicately told." 

The Inter-Ocean says : " Judge Caton has given us a work possessing all the best 
qualities of a perfect book on Summer Travel, It contains neither too much nor too little; 
it is written in an easy, confidential style, without strain or affectation. As tlae writer sails 
along by coasts and lakes and rivers, and lingers in quaint Norwegian towns, he gives us here 
and there just sufficient scraps of history to awaken interest in this ancient and warlike but 
now peaceful and industrious people. He has the strong, bold touch of masculine force and 
observation, united to a graceful narrative style. The book from beginning to end reads like 
a story told by the Judge at the head of his own table. Carlyle sits in his den at Chelsea, 
poring over ' Sagas ' and ancient manuscripts ; our stalwart traveler, accompanied by his 
ladies, mingles with the people, makes friends with the ' Laps,' watches sahnon fishing in the 
pools, sleeps in Norwegian beds, and indulges in a little wholesome rhetoric over their 
narrawness and discomfort. His book is as fresh as the mountain breezes, while his observa- 
tions are full of that kindly and appreciative fe(iling which can only come from a liberal mind 
and a generous heart. " 

Mailed, post-paid, on receipt of price by the publishers,