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E E D F I E L D, 




Entered, according to Act of Congres.«, in the year 1633, 

By J. S. Rf^DFlELD, 

iu the Clerk's Oflice of the Difctrict Court of the United Statet^, in and for the Southern 

District of New York. 


li Clinnibers SUeet, N. Y. 




€l|i3 Wnk 10 rBSpBrtfnllij S^Mrutjii 





The Author. 



This work is offered as a brief general view of Minnesota, 
as it existed prior to its organization as a territorial govern- 
ment iu 1849, and " as it is" at the present time. As a guide 
to the immigrant, and the tourist in search of general infor- 
mation and pleasure, it is believed to contain much valuable 
and interesting knowledge. 

The facts and statements contained in this work will be 
found particularly correct, and it is thought will meet the de- 
sire of the community throughout the states — at least that 
part of it intending to remove hither, who wish a reliable 
work for reference and information concerning the many inter- 
esting topics pertaining to this territory. 

The style, though somewhat glowing, is not in the least 
overdrawn. Those familiar with the country will admit, on a 
perusal, that the half has not been told. To present a plain 
and truthful picture has been my only aim ; and if, in any 
instance, I have erred, an absorbing interest in the cause of 
Minnesota must offer sufficient atonement for such error. 

The matter contained in the " Camp-Fire Sketches," and 
several other chapters, is entirely original. I have also made 
valuable selections from the writings of David Dale Owen, 
United States geologist ; Rev. E. D. Neill, of St. Paul ; ex- 
Governor Ramsey, and several oti.evs of considerable repute. 


A reference to the "Appendix" will show some important 
matters unavoidably omitted in the body of the work, to a 
careful perusal of which the reader is respectfully invited. 

I particularly acknowledge my indebtedness to the St. Paul 
press, and to my friend Major J. J. Noah, whose valuable as- 
sistance in compiling and superintending this publication has 
contributed much to its merit. I therefore present this work 
as partly original and partly made up of compilations from 
other paragraphists, who have incidentally preceded me upon 
the subject. It will, perhaps, prove altogether more valuable 

on that account. 

J. Wesley Bond. 

St. Paul, Minnesota, September 1, 1853 


The Early History of Minnesota pagb 9 


Comprising a General Geographical and Descriptive View of the Terri- 
tory, General Features, <fec 19 


General Remarks and Reflections. — Agricultural Advantages. — A Talk 
with Farmers, Capitalists, Mechanics, Laborers, Tourists, and all 
Others 62 


Review of the Weather of Minnesota. — Adaptation of the Soil and Cli- 
mate 63 


The St. Louis River of Lake Superior, Lapointe, Fond du Lac, St. Croix 
Pineries, &(i. * t6 


Tlie Minnesota River Country. — ^The Undine Region of Nicollet, <kc — 
Coal, Ac. 97 


The Principal Towns. — St. Paul, and Matters connected with that North- 
western Metropolis. — The Press, Churches, <fec. — Obituary Notice of 
James M. Goodhue 109 


Principal Towns, continued.— St Anthony's Falls. — Point Douglas, Still- 
water, M«ndota, die. « 149 

8 co:jrTEifrrs. 

The Agricultural Resources of the Territor}^ Manufactures, <fec. . . . page 161 

Facilities for Travel. — Railroads througli and toward Minnesota 173 

Steamboat and River Trade, &c 191 

The Indian Tribes — Sioux, Chippewas, and "Winnebagoes 198 

The Sioux Treaty of 1851. — Counties, Courts, Roads, <fec 214 

Miscellaneous Matters 225 


Conclusion. — A Vision : Scene in St. Paul Twenty-Three Years hence; 
all of which I saw, and part of which We all expect to be 243 


The Outward March 255 

The Homeward March 296 


Letters from Pembina and Selkirk Settlement. — Description oftheSettle- 
,nei\t. — Poetical Tribute to fhe People of Selkirk Settlement. — Table 
of Distances from the Mouth of the Minnesota to the Pembina Settle- 
meift — Table of Soundings of Red River of the North, <tc 815 


Prince Rupert's Land. — The Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies. 
— The Esquimaux, Montagues, Crees, Sauteux, Sioux, Assiniboins, <tc. 335 

The Mounds of the Minnesota Valley 358 

The Bro.pliy Settlement 362 

List of Officials of Minnesota Territory 363 




A VERY few years ago, and the present territory of Minne- 
sota was a waste of woodland and of prairie, uninliabited 
save by the different hordes of savage tribes from time imme- 
morial scattered through its expanse, with of later years a 
few white traders only intermingled. At intervals a zealous 
missionary of the cross, or adventurous traveller, by turns 
found their way to the Great Falls of St. Anthony, and even 
to the source of the Father of Waters himself — and with awe 
filling their souls at the grandeur and sublimity of the works 
of nature, and with swelling hearts lifted "from nature up to 
nature's God," have returned to the bosom of society in the 
great world then far, far away to the south and east, and re- 
counted there the wonders seen, the dangers encountered, the 
uncultivated and wasted paradise they explored, the legends 
and character of the Red Men among vv horn almost alone they 

Minnesota has indeed been *' the home of many a traveller 
and the theme of many a traveller's story." Here, indeed, 
alone and solitary was seen to glide the canoe of the dark- 
browed Indian over his own loved lakes ; and from the rocky 
bluff, where stand the churches now dedicated to God, and 
raising their tall spires heavenward, only arose the smoke of 
the wigwam and the council-fire, while the whoop of the sav- 



age resoiinclcfl over the flowing stream below — across whose 
stiil, smootli waters, tlie soft, sweet sound of the organ's tones, 
the sonorous tolling of the church-going bell, and the busy 
hum of commerce, novv' reverberate. The scenes and sights 
then witnessed have disappeared across the river to the west- 
ward, and soon will be ti'ansferred still further hom our gaze, 
and the home, the hunting-grounds, and- even the very graves 
of the Indians will be obliterated for ever. 

The two fierce tribes which now inhabit our territory, the 
Chippewas of the old Algonquin stock, and their inveterate 
and hereditary enemies, the ecjually fierce and more numerous 
Sioux, have for ages waged an exterminating warfare — one 
which is well-known spares neither age, sex, nor condition. 
Our fair land has been the scene of many a Thermopylae though 
on a smaller scale, and the fierce clangor of the hand-to-hand 
combat has resounded far and wide. Here thousands of the 
brave sons of the forest have met death uncomplainingly and 
sung their last wail of despair and agony amid untold horrors. 
Their smoking blood has enriched many a now fertile field — 
as, like that of Lancaster, it sunk into the ground, when it 
should have mounted and cried aloud for vengeance. That 
vengeance has been meted out from time to time by either 
party, and miany an ensanguined story could be told of more 
than Roman heroism — of more than Spartan valor. 

This feud, so bitter, has descended to our own times, and of 
its continued strifes many of us have been reluctant witnesses, 
while of its horrors, all have heard repeatedly. We live and 
move upon more than classic gromid — ground consecrated by 
the outpoured blood of many a poor untutored victim — "who 
if they were the children of the forest, still heard the voice of 
their Goil in the morning breeze — they beheld him in the dark 
cloud that rose in wrath from the west — they acknowledged 
his universal beneficence in the setting sun as he sank to his 
burning bed. Here they lived and loved." 

In Europe, near two hundred years ago, as in America, at 
this day Minnesota, or what is now Minnesota, was a land to- 
ward which many an eye was turned, and in regard to which 
fact and fancy wove a wondrous tale of interest and romance. 


In consequence of this, from the time when Father Menard, 
the devoted Jesuit missionary, was lost in the forest in 165S 
wliile crossing Kee-wee-nah Peninsula, and his sad fate conjec- 
tured only from his cassock and breviary, long afterward found 
preserved as " Medicine" charms, among- the wild 
of our territory, down to the time when Schoolcraft, in 1832, 
traced our giant Mississippi — a giant more wonderful than 
the hundred-armed Briareus — to its origin in the gushing- 
fountains of Itasca lake, Minnesota has continued a favorite 
field of reserch. 

Here Hennepin in 16S0, was first to break the silence of 
these northern wilds with a white man's voice, in giving to the 
foaming waters of St. Anthony's falls, their baptismal name in 
honor of his patron saint. Here Avas the scene of his captivity 
among the M'day-wah-kaun-twan Dakotas, and here he ex- 
perienced the compassion and protection of WaJi-zee-Jcoo-tay, 
the great Nahdawessy chief. 

Here too, not very long afterward, Baron La-Hontan, jour- 
neyed ; and in this territory, that romance of geography, his 
La Lovgnc Riviere, had its location and due western course — 
the creature of La-Hontan's imagination, or rather of truth 
and fable curiously interwoven and intermingled. 

More reliable than either, the gallant Le Sueur, a brave, en- 
terprising, and truthful spirit, in 1700 explored the shy-colored 
water of the St. Peter's to its Blue Earth tributary, and in the 
vicinity of his log fort L'Hullier, on the banks of the Mahn- 
kahto, first broke the virgin soil of our territory with the spade 
and pick-axe, in delving for copper ore, tons of which, or a 
green earth supposed to be the ore of that metal, he had con- 
veyed to his native France. He it was, also, who appears to 
have 1 een the first white man or trader, that supplied the 
" Sioux" and " Aiavvis" (loways) with fire-arms and other 
products of civilized labor ; and to his truthful and generally 
accurate Journal, we are likewise indebted for the best statis- 
tics we possess of the early history of the Dakota race, which 
then, fully a century and a half ago, as now, occupied the 
greater portion of our territory. 

Following Le Sueur, after a considerable interval, came Cap' 


tain Jonathan Carver in 1776, and however extravagant we 
may regard some of his statements, and how^ever discreditable 
we may deem his efforts to engross millions of acres, including 
nearly all the inhabited portion of Minnesota, and the very 
land upon w^iich Saint Paul now stands, by a pretended deed 
of gift from the Indians, still we must concede him to have 
been an adventurer of no mean courage and enterprise, and 
his narrative a valuable link in the chain of our early annals. 

Still later, and within the present century, Cass and School- 
craft, Nicollet and Fremont, Long and Keating, have visited 
and explored our land ; and Pike, too, the heroic Zebulon 
Pike, who, in 1802, during the " Expedition to the Upper Mis- 
sissippi," of which he has presented so admirable a narrative, 
gave promise of that fortitude, courage, and determination, 
which marked him throughout a glorious career, until his man- 
gled body surrendered up his noble spirit, happy in the triumph 
of his country's flag, on the plains of Canada. 

These are our records — these in part, our historiographers. 
Their works form stepping-stones, across at least that portion 
of the river of time, which, in this region, for about two hundred 
years, has rolled its tide occasionally Avithin view of the white 
race. The gaps between, it is not unfitly our duty to lessen 
and to close up. 

The materials for this purpose are not scarce, though some- 
what difficult to embody in a tangible or reliable form. Kot 
a foot of ground that we tread, but has been trod by nations 
before us. Wild tribes of men have marched their armies 
over the sites of our towns and fields — fierce battles have been 
fought, where ere long churches may rear their spires — our 
ploughshares may turn furrows amidst the graves of buried 
races, and our children play perhaps, where generations of 
children have played centuries before them. Dakota and 
Ojibway, Shiann and Ausinabwaun, Winnebago and loway, 
Ozaukie and Musquakie, each, in turn or together, dwelt in 
the land, hunted and warred through it, migrated to and from 
it. When the first Jesuit missionary, one hundred and ninety 
years ago, visited Lake Superior, he found the Chippewas and 
Sioux engaged in that war, which has continued with but littl§ 


Intermission nearly to the present time. How long before — 
-^or how many centuries previous — this contest was waged, we 
know not — the records are dim, the traditions vague and un- 
certain. But we do know that, from the St. Croix to the Mille 
Lacs, the ancient home of the M'day-wah-kauntwaun Sioux, 
whose rich majple bottoms are a Golgotha of hostile bones, 
through all the midland hunting-grounds to Lake Superior, 
and northwest by wild rice-shallows to the fertile lands of Red 
lake (whose waters have so often drunk blood from battles on 
its shores as to have gained the ensanguined cognomen which 
we mildly translate " Red"), we can trace the terrible results 
of this warfare of the Algonquin and Dakota races — a war- 
fare which in its results completed that general disruption of 
all the old geographical relations of the various tribes of Min- 
nesota, which the Dakotas, perhaps, were the first to disar- 
range, when they located on the Upper Mississippi. 

The incidents of this war — the battles, where fought — the 
victories, where and by whom won — the councils held, and 
alliances formed — the advances, the retreats, and the final con- 
quests — are among the inquiries not unworthy of instituting. 
The character of this work prevents, at this stage, a further 
commentary on these inquiries ; therefore I close this chapter 
with a brief review of Minnesota since its first settlement and 

Previous to the admission of Wisconsin as a state, all that 
part of the territory east of the Mississippi was a part of Wis- 
consin territory. After the admission of Wisconsin as a state, 
there was a considerable population here without any govern- 
ment. Hon. John Catlin, secretary of the territory of Wis- 
consin, came up here, believing that this was then the terri- 
tory of Wisconsin, and that the duties of governor devolved 
upon him (the governor of the old territory having accepted 
an office under the new state of Wisconsin), and issued a proc- 
lamation ordering an election for delegate to the house of rep- 
resentatives of the United States. This election was held 
October 30, 1848. Henry H. Sibley and Henry M. Rice — 
two of the most prominent men in the territory — were the 
candidates. Mr. Sibley was elected. He went on to Wash- 


ington city, and, after some little difficulty, was allowed to 
take his seat, and to attend to tlie interests of the people of 
the territory. 

On the third day of March, 1849, the last day of the session 
of Congress, the territory of Minnesota was organized. On 
the next day General Taylor's presidential term commenced, 
and a f&w days thereafter he appointed the following officers 
for the territory : Alexander Ramsey, governor ; C. K. Smith, 
secretary ; A. Goodrich, chief-justice ; and B. B. Meeker and 
David Cooper, associate justices of the supreme court of Min- 
nesota ; H. L. Moss, United States district attorney ; and 
Joshua L. Taylor, United States marshal. Mr. Taylor de- 
clined the appointment, and A. M. Mitchell was appointed 
marshal. Governor Ramsey arrived soon after his appoint- 
ment, the other officers shortly after, and on the first day of 
June, 1849, the governor proclaimed the organization of the 
territorial government. He also ordered an election of mem- 
bers of the legislative assembly, and a delegate to Congress. 
Mr. Sibley was elected to Congress without opposition. 

An election was held in November of that year (1849) for 
county officers created by the assembly, which had just ad- 
journed ; but the next regular election for all officers, inclu- 
ding a delegate to Congress, was held on the first Monday of 
September, 1850. A. M. Mitchell and Henry H. Sibley were 
the candidates for Congress. Mr. Sibley was successful, and 
Colonel Mitchell resigning, Henry L. Tilden, Esq. (now de- 
ceased), was his successor. Mr. Tilden was removed in the 
fall of 1851, and Joseph W. Furber, speaker of the first house 
of representatives, was appointed in his place. A. Van Voor- 
hies and N. Greene Wilcox, filling the offices of register and 
receiver of the land-office at Stillwater, were removed bv the 
administration that appointed them in the summer of 1852," 
when Allen Pierse and Jonathan E. M'Kusick were appointed 
their successors. 

Charles K. Smith, the first secretary of the territory, was 
rem.oved by the same administration in the fall of 1851, and 
Alexander Wilkin received the vacant office. Chief-Justice 
Aaron Goodrich was likewise superseded about the same time 


hj the appointment of Jerome Fuller, Esq., editor of tlie Alhany 
Register ; but the United States senate of 1S52 rejecting- his 
confirmation, Henry Z. Hayner, Esq., of Troy, Xew York, re- 
ceived the *' ermine," which he wore until removed by the 
incoming administration of General Pierce. 

Prior to the organization of the territory. Major Murphy 
filled the station of agent for the Dakota or Sioux Indians, 
Dr. Livermore for the Ohippewas, and General Fletcher for 
the Winnebagoes, all of whom were subsequently superseded 
by General Taylor; and Nathaniel M'Lean as Sioux agent, 
J. S. Watrous as Chippewa agent, and A. M. Fridley as Win- 
nebngo agent, were the successive incumbents. A new land- 
oflice having been established by Congress in Benton county, 
in 1852, Reuben W. Richardson and Charles Christm^as were 
appointed receiver and register thereof. Charles J. Henniss 
and Charles Cavileer were appointed collectors of United 
States customs, the first at Saint Paul, the latter at Pembina, on 
the Red river of the North, the boundary -line between the 
United States and British North America. 

The first legislative assembly convened in 1849 held its ses- 
sion at the Central house, on the second day of September, 
and David Olmsted, Esq., was chosen president of the council, 
and J. W. Furber, Esq., speaker of the house. The second 
session commenced on the 7th of January, 1851, in the brick 
building now known as the " Rice House," and continued in 
session ninety days in order to form a code of laws. The 
councillors, being elected for two years, of course held over; 
but the house, being new members, elected M. E. Ames, Esq., 
speaker, while the council chose David B. Loomis, Esq., presi- 
dent. The code was formed chiefly from the present prac- 
tising code of New York. 

The third session convened in a brick building belonging to 
Judge Goodrich, on the first Wednesday in January, 1852, 
and Hon. W. H. Forbes was chosen president of the council, 
and Hon. John D. Ludden speaker of the house, both of whom 
were members of the former legislative assembly, re-elected. 
The fourth session convened on the fifth day of January, 1853, 
and Hon. Martin M'Leod was chosen president of the council, 


and Hon. David Day speaker of the Louse, both of whom were 
old members re-elected. The most important feature of this 
assembly was the formation of eleven new counties from the 
land recently acquired by treaty from tlje Sioux. 

The details of this and other treaties will be found hereaf- 
ter ; but from the date of the consummation of the Sioux treaty 
in 1852, the limits of the territory were extended beyond the 
Mississippi river i^'to a region as fair as that of the far-famed 
Nile, lying invitiii^ly and blooming before us. This event 
closes the history, so far as historical matters may be pre- 
sumed, up to the present time, all the past forming but a 
preface to this great work. 

In closing this imperfect sketch of the dim and shadowy 
past, an allusion perhaps ought to be made to the organization 
of the Minnesota Historical Society — an important event in 
the early history of the territory, and one which has contrib- 
uted much to make it widely and favorably known throughout 
the Union. 

** It may seem a strange thing, even to some among our own 
citizens, and still stranger to people elsewhere, that an histori- 
col society should have been formed in this territory, less than 
a year after its organization, when its history was apparently 
but a few months old ; when the wilderness was, as it is yet, 
around us ; when the smoke of Indian lodges still intercepted 
our view of the horizon ; when our very name was so new, that 
men disputed as to its orthography, and formed parties in con- 
testing its literal meaning. 

" An historical society in a land of yesterday ! Such an an- 
nouncement would indeed naturally excite, at the first glance, 
incredulity and M^onder in the general mind. Well might it 
be exclaimed, ' The country which has no past, can have no 
history ;' with force could it be asked, * Where are your rec- 
ords V and if we even had them, it would not be surprising if 
it were still demanded, * What those records could possibly 
record] what negotiations, what legislation, what progress in 
arts or intellect could they possibly exhibit?' — 'Canst thou 
gather figs from thorns, or grapes from thistles V 

" True, pertinent as such queries might seem, yet neverthe- 


less tliey would Le dictated by error — tliey would be foimded 
in great misappreliensioii : for Minnesota has a history, and 
that not altogether an unwritten one, which can unravel many 
a page of deep, engrossing interest ; which is rich in tales of ' 
daring enterprise, of faithful endurances, of high hopes; which 
is marked by the early traveller's footprints, and by the an- 
cient explorer's pencil ; which is glowing with the myths and 
traditions of our aboriginal race, sprinkled over with their 
battle-fields, with the sites of their ancient villages, and with 
the tcah-kaun stones of their teeming mythology." 

The society was organized by act of legislature in 1849, and 
holds its meetings in January of each year. Among its mem- 
bers are some of the leading minds of this country, as well as 
every influential citizen of the territory. Through the unre- 
mitting labors of the Rev. E. D. Neill, the secretary of the 
society, much useful and interesting information and collec- 
tions have been obtained. The annals of the society are pub- 
lished each year, comprising all the papers written for the 
uses of historical research. Four of these valuable publica- 
tions have been issued already at the expense of the associ- 

The object of the society is " the collection and preservation 
of a library, mineralogical and geological specimens, Indian 
curiosities, and other matters and things connected with, and 
calculated to illustrate and perpetuate the history and settle- 
ment of, the territory ;" and the secretary is required " to keep 
a register of each donation, stating from whom obtained, on 
what conditions, and other items of interest connected there- 
with' ; and shall report the condition of the library and cabinet 
at each annual meeting." 

" It is a mark of wisdom thus to write up the history of a 
country from the titlepage, that in after-times, when * childish 
things are put away,' and ' by St. Paul the work' of civiliza- 
tion * goes bravely on,' the growth of that new empire upon 
western waters may be all mapped out beneath the eye of 
posterity, from its infant-like creepings upon the greensward of 
St. Anthony, to the stately steppings wherewith it approached 
the door of the Union, and demanded admittance as a state." 


Its present officers are, Hon. Alexander Ramsey, president ; 
Hon. Martin M'Leod and Hon. David Olmsted, vice-presidents ; 
and Kev. E. D. Neill, secretary. Any person taking interest 
in the historical affairs of our country can become a member 
by forwarding one dollar to the secretary at Saint Paul, for 
which he will receive a copy of the annals, and all the privi- 
leges of contribution of papers, &;c. 




The territory of Minnesota, as organized by the act of Con- 
gress of March 3, 1849, is an extensive region, being about 
four times as large as the state of Ohio, and is six hundred and 
seventy-five miles in extent from its southeastern to its north- 
western border. It extends from the Mississippi and St. Croix 
rivers and the western extremity of Lake Superior on the east, 
to the Missouri and White-Earth rivers on the west, a distance 
of over four hundred miles ; and from the Iowa line (latitude 
430 30') on the south, to the British line (latitude 49°) on the 
north, also a distance of over four hundred miles — the whole 
comprising an area of 166,000 square miles, or 106,000,000 
acres. At one point along the northern boundary, viz., Lake 
of the Woods, the line extends to latitude 50° — a fact not gen- 
erally known — while on the southwestern part it extends for 
seventy miles below the Iowa line, to the junction of the Mis- 
souri and Sioux rivers, in latitude 42° 30^; thus running through 
seven and a half degrees of latitude, or a distance due north 
of five hundred and twenty -five miles. 

Almost the whole of this is a fine rolling prairie of rich soil, 
a sandy loam, adapted to the short summers of the climate, 
and which produce bounteously, nay luxuriantly. The surface 
of the country, excepting the Missouri plains, is interspersed 
with numerous beautiful lakes of fresh water — all abounding 
in the finest fish, and tlieir banks covered with a fine growth 
of woodland. The land is about equally divided between oak- 
openings and prairies, the whole well watered by numerous 
Btreams navigable for steamers. 

20 MrN'l!ni:50TA and its RESOrltCES. 

In tlie eastern part, viz., on tlie head-waters of the Missis- 
sippi, Rum river, and the St. Croix, are extensive pine and 
hard-wood forests, apparently inexhaustible for centuries ; 
while from the mouth of Crow-wing river, a tributary of the 
Mississippi, an extensive forest of hard-wood timber, fifty miles 
in width, extends southwesterly into the country watered by 
the Blue-Earth river, a tributary of the Minnesota river, emp- 
tying into it one hundred and fifty miles above its mouth. The 
latter stream, rising near Lac Traverse, flows southeasterly a 
distance of four hundred and fifty miles, and empties into 
the Mississippi at Fort Snelling, seven miles above St. Paul, 
and the same distance below St. Anthony. This is one of 
the finest streams in the valley of the Mississi23pi, and the 
country through which it flows is not excelled for salubrity of 
climate and fertility of soil by any part of the United States. 
In a good stage of water, steamboats can ascend it almost to 
its source. A portage of a mile or two then connects it from 
Big-Stone lake with Lac Traverse ; and the outlet of the lat- 
ter, the Sioux Wood river (all of which are thirty miles in 
length), with the famous Red river of the North. This stream 
is navigable at all seasons for steamboats from the Bois do 
Sioux to Pembina, on the British line — to Selkirk settlements, 
one hundred miles beyond — and even to Lake Winnipeg. 
The Avliole trade of these extensive regions Avill eventually 
seek this channel to a market, following down the Minnesota 
to the Mississippi at St. Paul, and thence to tlie states be- 
low. A railroad connection will eventually be made from the 
mouth of the Bois de Sioux to Fond du Lac ; also from the 
same point to St. Anthony and St. Paul via Sauk rapids and 
the Mississippi. Another will connect the same point with 
Lac qui Parle, on account of the portage at Big-Stone lake ; 
thence down to the mouth of Blue Earth ; thence southeasterly 
through Iowa to some point, say Prairie du Chion or Dubuque, 
on the Lower Mississippi. Let not the credulous reader smile at 
this : I have been through a principal portion of the regions here 
described, and, without enthusiasm, write from a survey of the 
country and a knowledge of its capacities and resources when 
once brought out. Let no one think the great tide of immi- 


gration will confine itself to the banks of the Mississippi and 
Minnesota rivers ; on the contrary, the whole interior to the 
north and west of these two streams will soon be peopled, and 
thickly peopled too. 

The only interruption to the navigation of the Lower Min- 
nesota river in dry seasons is what are called the *' Rapids," 
some forty miles above its month. This is a ledge of sand- 
stone rock, extending across the stream, and will soon be re- 

The Mississippi above St. Anthony is navigable an almost 
indefinite distance to the north ; and the steamer " Governor 
Ramsey" has already been running in the trade above the 
falls for four years, as far as the Sauk rapids (eighty miles), 
which, with the Little falls (forty miles beyond), are the main 
obstacles in a navigation of over four hundred miles from St. 
Anthony to the falls of the Pokegama. St. Croix lake and 
river are navigable to the falls, sixty miles above the junction 
of the lake and Mississippi; and the St. Louis river is naviga- 
ble from Lake Superior twenty miles to Fond du Lac. Nu- 
merous other streams are navigable for light-draught steamers 
and flat-boats from fifty to one hundred miles, penetrating into 
the interior to the pineries, and giving easy access into the 
country in all directions. These are the Blue-Earth, Rum, 
Elk, Sauk, Crow, Crow-wing, Vermilion, Cannon, and others. 

On the northeastern border of the territory is Lake Supe- 
rior, with its valuable fisheries and its shores abounding in 
inexhaustible mines of coj)pcr, coal, iron, &c., besides afford- 
ing us the facility of that vast inland sea for immigration and 

The Great Father of Waters too — the mighty Mississippi — 
after rising in Itasca lake, in the northern portion of the terri- 
tory, flows by a devious course for some eight hundred miles 
through the eastern part, and beloAv the mouth of the St. Croix 
forms the dividing line between us and Wisconsin for some 
two hundred more to the Iowa line. This mighty river gives 
us the whole lovv'er valley to the gulf of Mexico for a never- 
ceasing market for our agricultural produce, our lumber, and 
our manufactures ; for, with the unlimited water-power at nu- 


merous points, it were idle to argue that we are not destined 
to become a manufacturing as well as an agricultural commu- 
nity, and that the whole of the lower Mississippi valley will 
not be dependent in a measure on the Minnesota, of which we 
are all so justly proud. 

As to our being too far north for comfort or convenience, or 
for future greatness as a state, I have not patience to even 
speak of it ; I am not writing for the edification of people so 
very silly as to believe any such humbuggery. We can grow 
all the cereal grains — winter wheat and corn among the rest; 
and as a grazing country it can scarcely be equalled. Cattle 
and sheep, and all kinds of live stock, are more healthy here, 
and can be produced in as fine a degree of perfection, as in the 
states. The evidence of farmers who have turned their atten- 
tion to this branch of farming industry fully proved this by 
their past experience in the states, contrasted with their great 
success Avhile here. 

The inhabitants now number twenty thousand. One year 
more, at the present rapid rate of immigration, will see it 
doubled. There is not an instance in the whole history of the 
great Northwest, or of frontier life and civilization, in which a 
territory, hnmediately after its organization, has been settled 
with such rapidity, and in which thriving, busy, bustling towns 
have sprung up almost as it were at the touch of some enchant- 
er's wand. The whole history of this territory is only eclipsed 
by that of California, and that only in the sudden accession 
of numbers which gold (the God of nine tenths of the human 
family) has drawn together, like some huge maelstrom — the 
most discordant materials from the four quarters of the globe. 
In real agricultural wealth, in comforts, and the happy and 
contented character of an intelligent population — in short, in 
all the elements which go to elevate the character of a people, 
and constitute the real greatness of the state — California is 
far, very far, in the background. 

Our progress is indeed onward, and the end not even the 
most sanguine can divine. The wildest day-dreamer may 
wake up to morrow and find his schemes, air-castles, and anti- 
cipations, in a fair train for speedy realization j and others. 


more vast, gigantic, and untliouglit of, treading rapidly on 
their heels ! He lives in a railroad, nay, in an electric age, 
where action follows thought, and the conception of designs 
vast and mighty, and their speedy prosecution and completion, 
are almost simultaneous. 

Minnesota has just entered upon the fifth year of her politi- 
cal existence. So far as business prosperity is concerned, it 
promises to be a bright one — brighter than any that has pre- 
ceded it. Navigation has opened, and boats from below have 
appeared within our borders and at the wharves of St. Paul 
a week earlier than the usual time, taking one year with an- 
other. Our merchants and business men have been east and 
south for their spring and summer supplies, and are returning 
with stocks much larger than have heretofore been brought to 
the territory. Our mills, from the St. Croix to the Blue-Earth, 
and for scores of miles north and south along the former stream 
and the Mississippi, maintain their ceaseless noise and motion 
day and night, converting the products of our rich pine-forests 
into building materials for markets below and improvements at 
home. In the towns and villages, along the roads and high- 
ways and byways of the older settlements, and out upon the 
broad prairies, and by the shores of the broad streams and 
margins of the clear lakes of the " Sioux Purchase," the sound 
of the hammer and the axe is heard, busy at improvement. 
All is life, all is hurry, all is energy, all is onward, all is hope. 
The boats from below come swarming with hardy adventurers 
from other portions of our common country, and from other 
lands, to mingle with those now here — to settle and live among 
us — to be part and parcel of us — to make common cause and 
bide common destiny here with those who have prepared the 
way for the future advent of a mighty and prosperous common- 
wealth into the great American Union. 

Minnesota at this time partakes to a large degree of the gen- 
eral prosperity now so happily and manifestly apparent through- 
out the country. I can see nothing within her, or upon the 
surface, indicative of a reverse of this agreeable and promising 
state of affairs. Her business people have not over-traded, 
and are conse(j[uently not dangerously in debt. Let them bo 


equally cautious at present and in the future, and all is safe 
witli them and witli the reputation of the tenitoiy. Her farm- 
ers, and mechanics, and laboring- men generally, are enterpri- 
sing and industrious. Their energy, frugality, and perseve- 
rance, after all, are the leading element and surest guaranty of 
lier future greatness and prosperity. Upon them depends not 
only a great deal, but very nearly all. That they will con- 
tinue to address themselves manfully to the great task before 
them, of giving life and progress to the new land of their adop- 
tion, we have an assurance in the past. I sj)eak in no boast- 
ful or vainglorious theme when I say there is largely more 
character in Minnesota than was found at the same age in any 
of the older western members of our republican family. I know 
the fact from the experience of candid men, who have lived 
on other frontiers, and now bear testimony in favor of Minne- 
sota. Croakers and grumblers we may ever expect to find 
among us — drones and loafers; but the great family of the 
hive works together steadily and harmoniously. They, and 
those who are to come after them, will reap their reward in a 
glorious, happy, and enviable future. 

The following items and categorical description of Minne- 
sota are from the pen of the late and deeply-lamented Colonel 
James M. Goodhue, editor of the Minnesota Pioneer, an obitu- 
ary notice of whom w^ill be found during the progress of this 
w^ork ; — 

" Minnesota'' is spelled with a letter n at the end of the first 
syllable, and a letter 7i also at the beginning of the second 
syllable ; and the i in the first syllable is pronounced short, as 
in pin. 

St. Paul is named for the old apostle of the Gentiles him-^ 
self, and for him alone ; and is therefore neither in the posses- 
sive case, signifying that that respectable apostle either is or 
was the proprietor of the town, nor is it in the plural, signify- 
ing that there is more tlian one town of St. Paul; and there- 
fore it should be spelled without an apostrophe and without au' 

at the end of the word. 

The St. Peter river is the Minnesota river, and has been for 


more than a year. The latter, which is the Indian name, is 
agreed upon universally as the appropriate name for it, the 
word signifying shy-tinted water ; wherefore it is clearly proper 
to name it the Minnesota, aside from the fact that we need to 
save what few names in the calendar of saints that are not 
appropriated, for the brood of next-year villages ; and St. 
Peter will be wanted to christen a town to rival St. Paul. 

Minnesota comprises a vast area — certainly large enough 
for a state — extending through more than six degrees of lati- 
tude, and in width from the Missouri on the west to the St. 
Croix on the east — that is, it extends east of the Mississippi 
river. The portion lying east of the Mississippi, or between 
Wisconsin and the Mississippi, is a comparatively narrow seg- 
ment ; but of the part even on the east side, all the northern 
portion still belongs to the Chippewa Indians, and embraces 
immense forests of hard wood and of pine, through which the 
Mississippi and its tributaries roll their dark, solitary waters. 

In the north is Red river, a sluggish, deep river, navigable 
for batteaux, Durham boats, and steamboats. It rises in Min- 
nesota, and flows northeast, that river and the Mississippi 
flowing off in opposite directions, and the portages between 
their waters being very short. 

The Missouri river is not navigable for steamboats as far up 
as the Minnesota line, ordinarily, without the removal of ob- 

The Mississippi river is navigable always, when open, to 
Fort Snelling, which is six miles southwest of St. Paul, and 
yet up the river ! At Fort Snelling the Minnesota pours in 
its deep, quiet volume, being a stream about the same size as 
the Mississippi, which comes hurrying down from the falls of 
St. Anthony, nine miles above, to join it below the promontory 
on which sits Fort Snelling like a lazy old sentinel. 

The Minnesota river is navigable ordinarily to Traverse 
des Sioux, one hundred miles, and extraordinarily another 
hundred miles and more. It seems about the same thing as 
far up as you choose to run a boat — generally deep, rather 
narrow, rather sluggish, and very crooked ; suitable only for 
short boats in any stage of water, and very likely in low watef 



not navigal)le at all, without improvement, above tlie rapids, 
forty miles above its mouth. 

The St. Louis river, emptying into the Avest end of Lake 
Superior, is navigable to the falls, twenty miles, for large 

The St. Croix is navigable from its mouth nearly to the 
falls of St. Croix, sixty miles, but is shallow above Stillwater. 
Boats such as now navigate the Mississippi, therefore, seldom 
go above Stillwater. A small boat ran all last season from 
Stillwater to the falls. 

Minnesota abounds in lakes. Between the St. Croix and 
the Mississippi they seem to be innumerable, and they are 
also frequent west of the Mississippi. Their shores are chiefly 
of gravel or pebbles, and iisually one or the other side of the 
lake is covered with a growth of timber. The water is rather 
shallow, clear, cool, and entirely destitute of the qualities of 
the boggy marshes and sloughs of the south. Many of the 
lakes are covered with wild rice, and are alive with waterfowl. 
Frequently the lake opens at one end into a tamarac swamp, 
filled with young tamaracs (a tree resembling the spruce) as 
thick as they can stand. Through this swamp the water then 
passes out into another basin, a little less elevated, which it 
fills, and makes another lake ; and thus there is often formed 
a succession of lakes, connected by a spring-stream that runs 
through them all. 

Near Lake Superior there is an elevation of land, that ap- 
proaches the dignity of a mountain ; but the nearest approach 
to mountains elsewhere is in the toAvering bluffs along the 
shores of the Mississippi, and from Dubuque to St. Paul these 
bluffs are really the grandest feature of western scenery. Ex- 
cept these bluffs, and the dense forests of the great woods, 
there is no portion of this vast territory where a loaded wagon 
may not be driven, provided the streams can be crossed. 

Viewed from a distance, the ranges of bluffs in Minnesota 
have the irregular outline of mountains seen in other states. 
But the very apex of the highest of them may always be 
reached on one side by an easy, gradual slope. We do want 
niountaiu scenery here, as well as everywhere in the valley 


of the Mississippi river; and have often thought we could 
afford to give away one of our smooth, fertile counties for one 
of the White hills, to he planted down in the middle of Min- 

At Rock island, and east of Rock island, for hundreds of 
miles, and prohably west also, there is a ridge in the shell of 
the earth (making the rapids of the Mississippi and Rock 
rivers there), which divides the region north and south of it, 
by an isothermal line, that varies very sensibly the climate 
and temperature, as you proceed north or south of it, making 
a change much greater than is indicated by the parallels of 
latitude — the slope south of the ridge, presenting a plain of 
vast extent, which is very slightly convex, north and south, 
and upon all which the rays of the sun fall about equally ver- 
tical, while north of the ridge is another slope extending as 
far north as Sauk rapids, with a more northern inclination, but 
upon the whole expanse of which the rays of the sun fall near- 
ly equally vertical. At Sauk rapids, crops out another ridge 
or backbone of granite, extending east and west, north of 
which extends another wide plain, very slightly convex north 
and south ; but Jioic far north, we have not been there to ob- 
serve, probably to the high lands dividing the sources of the 
Mississippi and the Red river of the North. Hence we uni- 
versally observe that they have winter and sleighing weeks 
earlier, at and above Sauk rapids, than between Sauk rapids 
and Rock island ; and weeks earlier between Rock island 
and Sauk rapids, than in the great slope below Rock island. 
These ridges upon the globe, east and west, may be compared 
to the ridges sometimes observed upon an egg, and, in our 
opinion, make an important feature, in explaining the pheno- 
mena of climate, which has not been heretofore observed or 
commented upon by geologists, as it deserves to be. As a 
proof of the correctness of this view, drawn from our own ob- 
servation, we invite the attention of travellers upon the Missis- 
sippi to this fact — that a marked change in the development 
of forest foliage in the spring, is observable in passing both 
the ridges referred to : that at Rock island and that at Sauk 
rapids. The seasons, therefore, are about the same, through 


the wliole extent of country, from Sauk rapids down to E,ock 
island, below -wliicli, passing immediately into a more southern 
slope, the seasons are about the same throughout the whole 
extent of country for hundreds of miles south of Rock island. 
The difference of climate between Galena and Muscatine, 
would be very marked, while the difference of climate be- 
tween Muscatine and Burlington would not be percejotible. 

The whole world can not" produce a climate more salubrious 
than that of Minnesota. We have never yet known a case of 
fever and ague in it, nor any unwholesome water, either in 
wells, springs, lakes, or streams. It is for our cool, licalthful 
climate that hraces up the human frame for vigorous exertion., 
physical and mental, that we regard Minnesota incomparably 
superior to any other new state or territory in Korth Ameiica. 
They may raise more corn in Illinois, more wool in Ohio, more 
pork in Iowa, more cotton in Mississippi ; but Minnesota can 
beat them all at raising men. In our coldest weather, when 
the mercury congeals, men perform as much labor out of doors 
as at any time in the year. The air is then still as death — 
the smoke from the chimneys falls to the ground — every hu- 
man body creates around itself an atmosphere of warmth. 
The stillness and dryness of the atmosphere, and the vigorous 
health we enjoy, account for the comfortable enjoyment here, 
of a degree of cold that would be intolerable in St. Louis, In 
summer, we have a few days intensely hot; but frequent 
showers, from spring until harvest, and most of them in the 
short nights. At midsummer, the sun seems scarcely to go 
down in the west to lave his golden axle in the Pacific, be- 
fore we again behold" his blazing chariot in the east. At nine 
o'clock in the evening, it is then scarcely too dark for your 
wives and daughters to be sewing. Our frequent showers mul- 
tiply mosquitoes. These insects, which at first were a terrible 
annoyance, have about ceased to be troublesome in St. Paul ; 
we made no use of mosquito bars last season. Autumn, indeed 
often until tlie middle of December, is a season of delightful 
sunny days, rising by degrees into the rigor of winter ; and 
winter in Miuaesota is the most social, comfortable season of 
the year. Wc experience no chilling winds, and shivering, 


drizzling rain-storms, usually. It is very uncommon to have 
a winter as open as the past has been. Sleighing- generally 
continues good here through all the Avinter months. The river 
generally closes about the fifteenth of November, and opens 
the last of March, and a boat may generally be expected 
early in April; but before it closes, supplies aie brought up 
for the semi-annual payment to the Sioux, Chippewa, and 
"Winnebago annuities. All these Indians are paid in Minne- 
sota. The aggregate amount of annuities paid them in casli 
and goods, including what the Sioux will receive under the 
treaties recently ratified, and the cost of transportation, 
amounts to several hundred thousand dollars. These pay- 
ments, and the supplies furnished to Fort Kipley and Fort 
Snelling, and the goods and provisions furnished by the 
traders to the Indians, constitute much the largest share of 
the business heretofore done by steamboats, at the port of St. 

The Indian trade is carried on chiefly by factors or agents 
of a few large establishments, which have their outfits or de- 
pots at St. Paul ; these agents are at different points in the 
Indian country, but mostly near where the payments are 
made. They buy furs and peltry; but their chief business 
is to sell goods to the Indians, at a profit, in anticipation of 
payments. An Indian hunter requires his outfit of ammuni- 
tion, blankets, guns, and a variety of necessaries for himself 
and his family. When he returns from his hunt, he general- 
ly sells his furs to the outfit that furnished him. If any bal- 
ance remains due to the outfit, he does not pay it, but it is 
expected to stand as a charge against the annuity, if there be 
an annuity ; or if not, then against the contingency of a^ an- 
nuity, to be paid as a part of the public debt of the tribe, out 
of the ultimate proceeds of the sale of their lands. This has 
been the established mode of procedure for many years; and 
there never has been a time when the trader with the Sioux 
Indians dould discontinue and refuse to extend these credits, 
without an absolute certainty of forfeiting all former balances 
due to him, for the supplies of previous years. 

We might say something of the admirable oaks and rock 


maples, and Llack "walnuts, found in the Big -woods, wliicli for 
various purposes of manufacture, Avill be of immense value to 
the trade of Minnesota; but we will now write only of pine 
lumber. Formerly, we had our doubts as to the great extent 
of our pineries. Now we have no doubt. As yet, our lumber- 
men only go up the St. Croix and its tributaries, and Rum 
river, a tributary of the Mississippi, but a few miles above St. 
Anthony, lying between the Mississippi, and the St. Croix. 
From that region comes merely the pine of the St. Croix, and 
of the Mississippi. But far above Rum river, are other tribu- 
taries of the Mississippi, and eighty miles of solid pine timber 
on the shores of the Mississippi itself, below Pokegamon falls, 
in the Chippewa country, and many unexplored tributaries, 
besides, properly in the pine region ; so that centuries will 
hardly exhaust the pineries above us. "We are ashamed that 
we ever distrusted Providence, or suspected that our munifi- 
cent Maker could have left two thousand miles of fertile 
prairies down the river, vvdthout an adequate supply of pine 
lumber at the sources of the river, to make those plains habi- 

There are many saw-mills on the St. Croix ; eight saws at 
St. Anthony propelled by water, and four at St. Paul propelled 
by steam. Sawing is far the best business doing in St. Paul. 
The logs delivered here cost less than mere stumpage in 
Maine ; and yet lumber sells very high, and much beyond 
what our mills can supply, is raffed or hauled from St. An- 
thony. It would pay well to put up forty good steam saw- 
mills, now, in St. Paul. If any surplus of lumber were made, 
it could be taken to a market below, in the form of shingles, 
lathing, planed flooring and siding. We want, here, a patent 
wooden ware factory, large enough to supply the trade of the 
whftle river down to New Orleans. Come what may, lumber- 
ing can not fail, unless the government foolishly undertake to 
cut off building and fencing, and immigration throughout the 
valley of the Mississippi river. 

We also have more and better inducements for agriculture 
than any other country can boast. 

1st: A better climate — in which the labor of one man will 


produce more, will viekl a larger surplus above liis own neces- 
sities, than any other western state or territory can boast of. 
T»"e have none of the languor and debility and agues, that 
turn men into feeble womeu, in the harvest-field, as they have 
south of us. Labor, here, stands up firmly on its legs, the year 
round, and drives things through. 

2d: We have as good land — it is useless to say better — 
but as good as there is in the world. For fertility, Cottage 
Grove prairie, or the whole valley of the Minnesota river, or 
the valley of the Red river of the North, can not be beaten ; 
yes, we undertake to say that at Pembina, in latitude 49^ 
north, they can raise as sound corn, and as much to the acre, 
as can be raised, any v, here on the AYabash. Now, if our 
readers are not going to believe us, let them stop short here ; 
for we are prepared to make a wager, that we will raise larger 
and better crops in Minnesota, acre for acre, of any or all crops 
ever cultivated in that state, than can be raised in Illinois. 
We will name our farmer, living here, for our champion, and 
will back him up with our money. There is time enough. 
May is soon enough here. We will give Illinois May the 
start, and Minnesota shall come out ahead. Don't care what 
the crop is — any grain, any root — anything from a castor 
bean, or an apple or pear tree, or a pumpkin, to a sweet pota- 
toe or a tobacco plant. Why, sucker, do you know joii have 
frosts about two weeks earlier in Illinois, than Ave do here ? 
It is a fact ! We v/ill show these people sights, who come up 
here in May, and go shivering back home, saying that Minne- 
sota is " too cold for craj)sP We can beat them, too, at 
stock-growing, can raise hardier cattle and. sheep, and thicker 
meated, SAveeter beef, than they can anywhere down South. 
We feed stock a fortnight longer — but Avliat of that? Our 
cattle are healthier, our grass is sweeter and more luxuriant, 
and our water better for stock ; and we can make more at rais- 
ing stock here at the same prices. But Ave have higher prices 
here for meat and for all jiroduce — and ahvays must haA'e, hav- 
ing soldiers, lumbermen, and Indians, to feed, and make us a 
home market. The cost of shipping produce from below, 
operates as a perpetual tariff to protect our farmer. He ^&i^ 


the same price lie could below, and tlie cost of freight and the 
charges beside. 

Wild game, except water-fowl, we do not consider abundant 
in these parts ; but we have the fattest ducks and geese feed- 
ing upon the rice lakes, and the most of them, that you ever 
saw or heard of. As for fish, it is no exaggeration to say that 
Minnesota — her rivers and streams, but especially lakes — arc 
alive with them. "\Ye will warrant all fishermen in all parts 
of the world, an abundance of sport and of success in fishing. 
You can catch just as many bass and pickerel as you want. lu 
the river, we catch not only the catfish (none of your slimy, 
muddy cats, either), but also the wall-eyed pike, a most deli- 
cious fish. In m.any streams the speckled trout abounds, 
varying in size from five inches to tAvo pounds. But it is 
idle for a novice to try to catch trout. It is as ticklish a busi- 
ness as fortune-hunting. 

On the west shore of the river, are the Sioux Indians. They 
are daily on the east side, begging some, trading a little, and 
some of them stealing. They never speak English, even if 
they do know a few words of it. They are civil men, women, 
and boys. At night they generally paddle (that is, the squaws 
paddle) their canoes home, across the river. In a residence 
of three years, v.e have not seen three drunken Indians in St. 
Paul, of any age, male or female. We state this as an aston- 
ishing fact, creditable to the character of our liquors, but still 
more so to the Sioux Indians. They are under better moral 
influence than any other Indians, perhaps, on this continent. 
The Sioux treaties having been ratified, these Indians will be 
removed before next winter, to their reservation on the head 
waters of the Minnesota river. A great many people, hun- 
dreds, are living noAv in the Indian country, making ail sorts 
of improvements, including expensive mills. Settlers are 
pouring iu there every day, and will continue to do so ; for 
the government could not, if it Avould, shut out the swarming 
millions of our countrymen, for a distance of many hundred 
miles, of country treated for, of which the river is the boun- 

It is hard to answer the question, " What is your population 


composed of?" The people who constituted Minnesota when 
it was organized were a majority of them Canadians, voyageurs 
and their familTcs, and half, and cmarter, and eighth, and six- 
teenth breed Indians, running through the whole gamut of 
colors, from tlie dusky Indian to the ftiir Scotchman; and 
these people are still in Minnesota — quiet, good people, thougli 
not all as intelligent and energetic as the scheming Yankee. 
They are living all over the territory, on both sides of the 
river, where our organic act found them, and gave them the 
political rights they so highly enjoy. Such is their attach- 
ment to our flag and our government, that nowhere could vol- 
unteers be more readily raised than among them to fight its 
battles. Since the date of the organic act, settlers from all 
parts have come in, from the east, the middle, and the south. 
However divided upon other questions, there is not and will 
not be in Minnesota any disposition to suffer any infringement 
whatever upon the rights of any and all the states of the Union 
to manage their own domestic affairs. 

The Mississippi river is just as navigable all the way up to 
St. Paul, when the upper or lower rapids do not interrupt, as 
a river can well be ; although there have been times, and may 
again be, when the sandbars interrupt the passage of boats of 
the usual draught. The boats running here are of the same 
class that run from St. Louis to Rock island and Galena. 
There are always two if not tliree boats regularly running be- 
tween St. Louis and St. Paul. There will be a daily line of 
boats the coming season between St. Paul and Galena, a town 
with which we have a large and growing trade — most of our 
trade, in fact, upon the river, above St. Louis. Dubuque, how- 
ever, is now struggling for a share of our trade, and may event- 
ually succeed to some extent when the railroad shall be com- 
pleted to the Mississippi opposite that town. If the tov/n of 
Dubuque had the " go-aheaditiveiiess" that may be found in 
Galena, she would long since have secured the Mississippi 
trade. There will be a boat or two, and probably more, run- 
ning regularly from St. Paul to points on the Minnesota river 
during the coming season. There is no doubt but there will 
be two boats land at our wharves every day during the coming 



senson. For safety, elegance of accommoclations, regiilaritj, 
and all tljat constitutes good boating, these boats and boatmen 
in the St. Paul trade can not be surpassed. The "Greek 
Slave" is owned and commanded by Louis Roberts, Esq. She 
will run on the jMinnesota immediately after the opening of 
navigation, but we presume will eventually take her place in 
the St. Paul and Galena trade. Thus it will be seen that the 
traveller and the immigrant at St. Louis, or the traveller com- 
ing from Chicago to llockford by railroad, and from Rockford 
to Galena by stage, can hardly miss a good boat any day to 
St. Paul ; and we learn that the fare will be very low. There 
are no snag-s in the river above Galena — no risk — never a 
steamboat accident — no cholera — nothing to prevent you 
coming cheaply, agreeably, and comfortably through, at least 
to see Minnesota, and look at St. Anthony and Stillwater, and 
at our own extensive town of St. Paul, which is fast tumbling 
up into the rank of cities. 

If a traveller comes here, and has any sort of curiosity, he 
will take a stage to St. Anthony, eight miles, look at the falls 
and as pretty a town-site as the Almighty ever fashioned, and 
take the little steamboat " Governor llamsey," above the falls, 
to Sauk rapids, about eighty miles; and if he does not say he 
sees the most delightful, the most charming land and river 
^^enery all the way up — as far as he chooses to travel — that 
e\\er lay out of doors, then Ave have no sense or judgment. Or, 
:f lie wants to see what the practical farmer can do in Minne- 
sota, let him ride down to Cottage Grove. This is upon the 
tongue of land extending down between the confluence of the 
St. Croix and tlie Mississippi. The farmers there raise more 
oats, roots, everything that is good to eat, than they have any 
use for, and they sell a handsome surplus every year to St. 
Paul and Stillwater. It is on the east side of the river, too 
— no trouble about Indians, and some of the best land that 
ever was, not yet taken up. From Cottage Grove you may 
proceed to Point Douglass, a place of much promise, and sur- 
rounded with choice land. Thence you will pass through a 
charming country, thirty miles, along the west shore of Lake 
St. Croix, to Stillwater. 


Stillwater is tlie headquarters of the outfit and lumbering 
done above it, on the St. Croix, and has a more substantial, 
reliable business, for the extent of it, and more capital, and 
less pecuniary embarrassment, than any other town in Miune- 
sota. There the penitentiary has been erected, and there has 
been located one of the land-offices in Minnesota — another is 
in Benton county. There come the steamboats, either on their 
way up or down the Mississippi ; and although you might go 
across in a stage from Stillwater to St. Paul by land, you will 
probably prefer to go around in the boat. But first you must 
go up the St. Croix, and see the busy sawmills at the Marine, 
Oceola, Taylor's falls, and the falls of St. Croix. These 
places are all actively engaged in hmibering. Being back at 
St. Paul, you will of course go up, four or five miles, to Men- 
dota and Port Siielling. SoutliAvardly from St. Paul, about 
six miles up the Mississippi river, on a high, smooth promon- 
tory, standing upon white sandrock, is the fort, below which 
unite the Minnesota from the southwest and the Mississippi 
from the northwest ; but an island extends down for half a 
mile, and keeps the channels of the two streams separate, ex- 
cept a narrow slough or cut-ofi" that connects them just below 
the fort. About half way down the island, on the Sioux or 
west side, sitting on the shore of the Minnesota river, is Men- 
dota, which has been incorporated by our legislature, and is 
destined to a rapid improvement. The tenacity with which 
the war department hung to the large tract of country em- 
braced within the old military reserve at Fort Snelling, has 
been the only obstacle to the improvement of Mendota here- 

Hurrying back to St. Paul (and the boat is there before you 
think of it), you take the stage to St. Anthony, passing through 
as pretty a specimen of Minnesota on your way as need be ; 
and you are soon there, although you might go in half the 
time if that railroad that is to be were completed. Yo'^^k 
find St. Anthony a right smart village, very neatly bu^'^^^' ^^' 
the east bank of the river, and on a bench a little 3® hekls 
the river, that overlooks the falls and a fine ree''^ ^ ^^'°P 
the river. You may be disappointed in the grr^^^ luxuri- 

S0» • MINNK&UTA A>;D its KK6OUK0ES. 

f.ills, as you certainly will be in the size of the river, but not 
in the unsurpassed beauty of both, or the charming beauty of 
the whole scene that surrounds you. The mills, eight saws, 
you will find actively employed, and water enough (if the 
throat of the channel through which it is supplied, between 
the island and the shore, were sufficiently deepened) to drive 
all the sawm.ills in the world ! Less than half a mile below 
the milldam (which conlines all the water passing down on the 
east side of the island, while on the west side the water leaps 
imrestrained down the falls) there is an eddy, to w^hich lumber 
is hauled from the mills to be rafted down to St. Paul, distant 
by the river some thirteen or fourteen miles. Look upon the 
map, and you will see that St. Anthony is only a.bout two 
miles north of St. Paul. A railroad of eight miles, therefore, 
or a plank-road, would be of great service to both towns. That 
steamboats, fit to navigate the river below St. Paul, never can 
if they would, and never would if they could, make a difficult 
ti'ip of fourteen miles for the sake of getting two miles nearer 
to Lake Superior and to the north pole than tliey are at St. 
Paul, in competition with a plank-road or railroad eight miles 
long, is evident from the fact that they can not and do not do 
it in competition with common roads. An extension of a rail- 
road in the proper and natural direction (northerly up the Mis- 
sissippi river toward Lake Superior) would not touch St. An- 
thony, but would leave it several miles w^est of the line. We 
should, however, favor the construction of a road by St. An- 
thony, a place where all travek srs will desire to visit, where 
there will be much manufacturing, especially of pine lumber, 
the university of Minnesota, and a place, in fact, which will 
ultimately be one of much importance, as a beautiful retreat, 
and a place of quiet and repose. 

-St. Anthony is said to contain fifteen hundred inhabitants; 

but what they do for a living, beyond the few engaged in lum- 

"^"^ing, v.e are unable to say. In our opinion, the ultimate 

^f that town for a large population rests upon tliat class 

" T 1 "^ people of substance, as w^ell as invalids and people 
rounded "n i • • t^ • .^ . ^' -\ ^ ^-o ^ 

- . desu'iug literary privilesres m a retu-ed, beautirul 
cliarmm^ c . . »> *■ o 

.^ '11 certainly be more strongly attracted there thau 
Dt. Oroix, to 


to any place we know of in the Great Valley. Tliey have 
there a newspaper, the St. Antliony Exjrres^'i, which is really 
the most valuable institution they possess. Whatever we 
could do to attract the attention of the world to such advan- 
tages as St. Anthony really does possess, we have cheerfully 
done and written. • 

All-Saints, or Hennepin, is on the west side of the river, 
opposite St. Anthony. Here is the old government mill, and 
a neAV saw-mill, and many other buildings have been recently 
erected. This is the county-seat of Hennepin county, which, 
since the reserve has been taken off, and Lake Minnetonka 
has been discovered, has increased in population very rapidly. 
This county has been organized for judicial purposes at the 
last session of the legislature, and is destined to be one of the 
most wealthy agricultural counties in the territory. All Saints, 
or Hennepin, or Minnehaha (what a pity they can not find a 
name for the place), is in all respects as pleasantly situated as 
St. Anthony for mill purposes, and will soon be a flourishing 
village. A few miles below on the way to Fort Snelling, is 
Little Falls, wdiere a small stream from Lake Minnetonka, 
passing through Lake Calhoun, leaps down a perpendicular 
ledge, some seventy feet, in a way to stir up a great many 
stupid stanzas and swelling odes, and sublime distiches. A 
few miles, three or four back, is Lake Calhoun, which it seems 
to be generally admitted must be considered our classic lake ; 
and all the little poetasters of the Union, when they go into 
that region, are compelled to affect, if they do not feel, poetic 
fervor ; they catch the cacoeiJies scrihendi ; a,nd soon they 
break out in couplets, sonnets, distiches, odes, descriptions, 
sketches, and various other phenomena of disordered imagina- 
tions. From All-Saints, you might take a pony and ride a 
hundred miles up the Minnesota river, through a varied land- 
scape of rich prairie and heavy timber, and rich bottoms, like 
those of the Illinois, the grass so high that you could not look 
out from the top of your pony — or through the Big woods, or 
across mill-streams, past newly-erected dwellings, large fields 
recently ploughed and fenced, preparatory to receiving a crop 
the coming spring — on across rolling prairies of rich luxuri- 


mice, sloping away in the wide, blue dreamy-looking basin of 
the Minnesota, the lov^eliest view of broad, fair voluptuous 
Nnhire, in all her unconcealed beauty, that ever flashed upon 
mortal vision, to Henderson. It is a town recently laid out 
oil the Minnesota river, at its most westerly bend below the 
Blue Earth, and on a direct line between Old Village lake, on 
the Cannon river, to the new fort and Indian agency, which 
have been located on the tipper Minnesota. There has been 
about a thousand cords of wood cut here during the past win- 
ter, to be boated down to St. Paul. A saw-mill and various 
other improvements are now being constructed. The propri- 
etors contemplate opening a road the present spring to Can- 
non river, a distance of from twenty to twenty-five miles, 
which will afford facilities for the immigrants by land to reach 
the country west of the Minnesota, by the best and shortest 
route. Although some thirty miles by the river, below the 
Traverse des Sioux, it is about ten miles nearer to the fort 
and agency by land, owing to the course of the river being 
south of east from the fort to Blue Earth, and thence west of 
north to Henderson. A heavy growth of timber, of sugar ma- 
ple principally, extends west about five miles, where it is met 
by a clean, smooth, rich, and fertile prairie, extending to the 
Kew fort, and beyond that to sundown. A road has been 
opened through the woods. to the prairie, and supplies have 
been hauled to the new fort the past winter. The road passes 
by several beautiful lakes, well timbered, and presenting 
many facilities for the agriculturist, being well watered, well 
timbered, superior prairie-land, and convenient to a Western 

Travelling a little north of west, at the distance of thirty- 
five miles from Henderson, where the river comes from a point 
cast of south, you again strike the Minnesota at Little Rock, 
near the point selected for the new fort ; which is on a beauti- 
ful plateau, in view of the Minnesota stretching off for miles 
nearly southeast and northwest. Near this point is the Little 
Rock river, the lower line of the Indian reserve ; and some 
twelve or fifteen miles up the Minnesota is the new location 
of the Sioux agency, near the mouth of the Red wood on the 


south, and tlie Beaver river on the north. Both those streams 
are susceptible of being made to drive machinery for the man- 
iifactn:-c of flour, sawing lumber, Slc. Near this point a large 
farm is contemplated for the use of the Indians, and contracts 
have been taken for ploughing six hundred acres of land, and 
making twenty-four thousand rails, the coming season. At 
this agency the Sioux will receive annually, hereafter, forty 
thousand dollars worth of provisions, and eighty thousand dol- 
lars in cash annuities, besides the goods, iron, salt, &c., &c., 
provided by the treaties. 

Here will be located the agent, interpreters, blacksmiths, 
farmers, and other employees of the Indian department. 

If you wish to come down the crooked river in a canoe, after 
passing the Big and Little Cotton-Wood rivers, you can land 
at Mankato city, just below the mouth of the Blue Earth river. 
Here there is much improvement, and this point may be termed 
the head of steamboat navigation, even in high water. Above 
this point, after passing the Cotton woods, the river becomes 
so narrow^ so very crooked and shallow, and many boulders 
being, in the chrtnnel, that steamboats in any ordinary stage 
of water could not get up, nor turn in the river if they did get 
up. This point is about thirty miles, by land, from the New 
fort, and is surrounded by valuable agricultural land. Water 
power in abundance may be found on the Blue Earth and its 
tributaries. Descending from the Blue Earth some twelve 
miles, we land at Babcock's Mills, located on the east bank 
of the Minnesota, and surrounded by a vast supply of excel- 
lent walnut, maple, basswood, and other valuable timber. 
Eight or ten miles by water, still further down the river is 
Traverse des Sioux, where the Upper treaty w^as made ; and 
for many weeks, hundreds of Dakota lodges stood everywhere 
scattered about on the sloping hillside, shaped like loaves of 
sugar, taken possession of by the ants, that hurry in and out, 
and seem busy to no purpose. At Traverse des Sioux (the 
crossing of the Sioux), there has alwaj's been, and still is, a 
well-worn trail, crossing from the east to the west side, con- 
necting Lake Pepin on the Mississippi, and all that region, 
with Lac qui Parle, and the regions watered by the bead 


waters of the Minnesota, and tlie high lands in Avhich rise and 
flow off to different seas, all tlie principal rivers west of the 
chain of great lakes. Twenty miles by water below the Trav- 
erse, is Le Sneiir, on the south side of the river, a place which 
the energy, capital, and enterprise of some of the merchants 
in St. Paul, have already made an attractive point on the 
river. Le Sueur is on a slope rising from the shore gradually, 
like the site of Peoria, Illinois. It is not only in the midst 
of one of the richest and most inviting regions for all sorts of 
human enterprise and industry, hut east of it, within a day's 
drive across a region of groves and prairies which Nature has 
already made a road over, lies the rich valley of Cannon river 
(the River La Longue of La Hontan), which will have its easi- 
est and most natural avenue of river trade, through Le Sueur 
and down the Minnesota river to St. Paul. 

This is the hub round which the northwest, from Lac qui 
Parle to the Missouri, from the Missouri to the Red river of 
the North, and from Red river to Lake Superior, and from 
Lake Superior to the Mississippi, does and will revolve, turn 
it as you may — the capital of the territory, ♦'hich from a half 
dozen huts and a hundred and fifty inhabitants, and a little 
log catholic chapel, in the spring of 1849, now numbers hun- 
dreds of new buildings, many of them elegant ; half a dozen 
superb churches, with bells in their steeples ; inhabitants num- 
bered by thousands, surpassed by none in shrewd foresight 
and activity, and business talent ; with a corporation, such as 
it is; streets being graded; a mile and a half of new side- 
walk, extending the whole length of the town, sawed, built, 
and paid for, by voluntary contribution, in little more than 
one week — churches filled on Sunday — two new churches to 
be erected (another presbyterian, and a German methodist) — 
two hotels built, and two more very large ones now building, 
one at each end of the town — saw-mills, foundries, and all 
sorts of enterprises put in operation in a twinkling — an acad- 
emy of the highest grade for young ladies, projected this sea- 
son, and the thing now actually commenced — a steamboat 
business and a trade now actually greater than that of any 
other town but Galena, above St. Louis. These are only 


some of tlie changes in tlie fortunes of this vigorous town, 
wliich WQ have witnessed, since we landed in St. Paul, on the of April, 1849, from the old. '* Senator," the prompt, 
honest, faithful, old " Senator," Captain Orrin Smith, who now 
runs the " Xominee," and whose insides — engine and boilers 
— are good enough to wear out half a dozen new bodies. 

The projectors of this town appear to have had but the 
smallest possible ideas of the growth and importance that 
awaited St. Paul, not anticipating that it would be either a 
commercial centre or a political centre — nor that it would be 
the capital of a new territory, nor the centre of the largest 
pine lumber operations on the continent; nor the seat of a 
new surveyor-general's office, for the government surveys of 
these wide regions ; nor the point of trade and supplies, of 
outfits and steamboat operations above it to the sources of the 
Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. The original plat w^as laid 
off in very good imitation of the old French part of St. Louis, 
with crooked lanes for streets, irregular blocks, and little 
skewdangular lots, about as large as a stingy card of ginger- 
bread, broke in two diagonally, without a reservation fit to be 
called a public square — without a margin between the town 
and the river — without preserving a tree for shade of all the 
majestic ones that occupied its site, the ugly stumps of mIucIi 
now disfigure the town — and without permanent evidence of 
boundaries made by the survey. In fact, it was a survey with- 
out measurement, a plan without method, a volunteer crop of 
buildings — a sort of militia muster of tenements. So much 
for the old plat. Then came in Rice and Irvine's addition, up 
the river, commencing at Mr. Neill's church, and embracing 
the upper landing. This is laid out but little, if any, better. 
In fact, the two plats appear to have taken a ininning jump at 
each other, like two rival steamboats ; Avhich having inextri- 
cably run into each other, the passengers and crews have con- 
cluded to knock down the railings and run along together, as 
one craft. Then came in Smith and Whitney's addition, next 
below the old plat. This is about as irregular, being laid off 
upon a contracted scale also. Hoyt's addition came in be- 
hind Smith and Whitney's, bearing a strong family resem- 


blance to the older additions. Leacli's addition comes in 
above Rice and Irvine's, extending far up town. Then came 
in tlie Kittson addition, below the old plat of Smith and 
"Whitney's addition. Kittson's is laid off in smaller lots than 
any of the other additions ; and its streets make no sort of 
coincidence Avith other streets in toAvn. It Avould save im- 
mense cost, and prove an eternal blessing to St. Paul, if the 
whole site of the town could be now thrown into one common 
field, and platted as it ought to be, with large reservations of 
public ground, with straight, w4de, regular streets, and blocks 
and lots of uniform size. 

Near St. Paul, above and below, are two fine mill-streams ; 
and from springs, rising from the terrace in the rear of the 
town is a smaller stream, of pure water, which passes down to 
the river across Rice and Irvine's addition. This stream for- 
merly passed down back of where St. Paul is, and emptied 
through the ravine in Fourth street, into the river at the low- 
er landing. It is sufficient to supply a large city with Avater; 
and the corporation intend to conduct it doAvn through an aque- 
duct, to furnish the toAvn. The sooner it is done, the better. 

There are tA\'o steamboat landings in St. Paul, the lower 
and the upper. Some expenditure is needed to make either 
of them complete for business purposes in all stages of Avater. 
At the loAver landing there is Avanted an embankment doAAm 
Sibley street, from the foot of Fourth street to the river ; and 
a levee along the shore — all AA'hich can be done easily, and 
some progress has already been made in that Avork. The 
IcA^ee has also been much improved, but yet requires further 
improvement. A Avant of space on the levee is very aj)parent, 
and it Avill by no means afford the necessary facilities for the 
business of the summer. At the upper landing a bridge has 
been built above high-Avater mark from the mainland across 
the slough to the river bank. BetAveen the tAvo landings is a 
precipitous bluff, one hundred feet high, Avhich might be graded 
down so as to make a good levee, and perhaps at some time it 
Avill be. Besides these tAvo landings, there is in Kittson's ad- 
dition, half a mile below the old loAA'er landing, a ncAv landing 
being made, which is to be connected with the bluff in the 


rear of it by a plank-road upon an embankment across the 
marsh tj the new hotel there being erected — the "Kittson 

The geology of Minnesota is a subject to which we have 
paid but little attention. The portion of the territory, how- 
ever, south of a line extending east and west through Sauk 
rapids of the Mississippi river and Patterson rapids of the 
Minnesota river, appears to be of the usual limestone and sand- 
stone formation of the valley of the Mississippi below; while 
above that line the granite crops out, and the formation is 
chiefly of the primitive rock. This formation must be much 
modified, however, as you approach Lake Superior, which has 
been the theatre of the most gigantic volcanic movements that 
Nature ever exhibited — to which we are indebted for our rich 
copper regions. They are west of Lake Superior, where chaos 
seems tumbled into worse confusion, amid gorges, and hills, 
and chasms, Avhich art alone can make passable or even jack- 
assable. The mines are situated in the land of the Cliippe- 
'vvas, and are yet unwrought to any extent, but known to be 
as rich as the richest of those mines that arc wrought farther 
east, along the southern shore of Lake Superior. 

Relying perhaps too much on the dogmas of geologists, we 
were for a long time incredulous about the existence of coal in 
Minnesota ; but we can doubt it no longer. We have in our 
possession specimens of the finest quality of bituminous coal, 
free from sulphur, and burning with far less cinder than the 
coal of Rock island, which we know was found within a day's 
drive above St. Paul. We can no longer doubt that the coal- 
fields of Iowa, passing along far up the valley of the Des 
Moines, cross over and make deposites in the valley of the 
Blue-Earth and the Minnesota. 

We can not present a more lively picture of the region above 
us, to Sauk rapids, than the following account of " a trip from 
St. Paul to Sauk rapids," copied from the Pioneer of June 12, 
1851, which will be new to some of our readers : — 

" Two lines of convenient stages make each two trips a day 
from St. Paul to St. Anthony and back. We left on Thursday 
morning ; and were delighted to see farming operations pro- 


gressing — ploiigliing, fencirig, planting; — everywhere on that 
charming- prairie, v*hich is spread out between the two towns, 
a distance of eight miles. This alone inspired ns with fresh 
hope, to see so great a change wronght in so short a time — so 
many hnndreds of acres under tillage, wliich were covered last 
year only with wild grass and flowers of the prairie. 

"A mile before we reached St. Anthony, we saw its bright, 
fresh-painted houses, shining among the distant trees, and saw 
the waterfall glistening in the sunshine, and seeming more like 
a picture than the original of a picture ; but as we approach 
nearer, and listen to its sullen roar, and see the spray, and 
examine more closely the material of the exhibition, the 
cataract becomes a grand reality, filling the beholder with 
mingled emotions of beauty and of sublimity, the proportions 
of which depend upon the constitution of his own mind. Far 
away, down the steep, rocky channel, below the falls, sweeps 
the angry current. But now we begin to see the pleasant, 
fresh-painted houses of the villagers on the right hand : here 
a cottage, and there a substantial two-story house, and there 
again a cheap building, without cornice or ornament, peculiar 
to the west — a building which is neither a one- story nor a 
two-story house (detestable style of architecture) — and away 
upon the sloping hillside various houses in the process of erec- 
tion ; and piles of fresh-sawed lumber away ofif among the tall 
prairie-grass of last year's growth, betokening that buildings 
will soon be there, and streets of St. Anthony, now known 
only by reference to the town plat. 

"Here are stores — new law-offices — more new houses — 
more piles of fresh-sawed lumber — new cellars commenced; 
and now we come to the sawmills, active as ever, shingle- 
machines, lath-factory, lathes, and the bustling industry of men 
and teams in and around the mills, like a big heart sending 
its active pulsations of business all over town and into the 
neighboring country, and far off into the pineries. Here is a 
company of gentlemen, officers, from Fort Snelling, taking a 
survey of the village and the waterfall, from the terrace back 
of Main street. They think, and truly think, that St. Anthony 
is destined to be a famous and fashionable watering-place — 


that neitlier Saratoga, nor Newport, nor Niagara, can offer 
equal inducements for a summer residence to invalids and peo- 
ple of leisure. Now we pass along Main street, and here seems 
to be an unimproved space intervening between the upper and 
lower part of the town — to the upper town, which certainly 
shines with prosperity, everything looking new and clean. 
Here we come to the St. Charles hotel, a fine, spacious build- 
ing, full of strangers. What a contrast within a few months ! 
What a change since a year ago, when the stranger who vis- 
ited St. Anthony could not obtain a dinner, unless through the 
compassion of some citizen he were invited to dine at some 
private house ! 

"After dinner at the St. Charles, the whistle of the steam- 
boat is heard, and we must hurry doAvn to the ' Governor Ram- 
sey.' This boat, the first that ever rode in the waters of the 
Mississippi above the falls, was built by Captain Rollins and 
others, who for enterprise deserve the lasting gratitude of Min- 
nesota. In the hands of such m.en a comparatively small sum 
of money would be so expended as to open the navigation of 
the river many hundreds of miles farther. This boat differs 
from all other boats, in having locomotive boilers, consisting 
of a great number of small cylinders, all of which, coming in 
contact with fire, present a large extent of boiler-surface within 
a small compass, for the generation of steam. Contrary to the 
predictions of many, the boilers do not become crusted with 
lime, but are kept, with proper care, entirely clean. The en- 
gines are also different from any that we see elsewhere in the . 
west, and are very perfect in their way ; so is their manage- 
ment by the engineers, for the stern paddle-wheel responds to 
their touch quick as thought. 

" The boat being small, of course does not afford very com- 
plete arrangements for passengers. There is a small cabin 
wdiich sleeps perhaps a dozen, and a still smaller cabin for 
ladies. The freight, of course, is a very important part of the 
business of this boat, and especially the transportation of In- 
dian and garrison supplies. Among the passengers are the 
Rev. M. Chase, of Natchez, Miss., and several gentlemen and 
ladies from the state of New York — three ladies, all in the 


bloom of lienltli, and particularly fine-looking women, who 
stand in the relation to each other of grandmother, daughter, 
and grand-danghter. Now the boat, with some difficulty, passes 
out between two islands into the main channel, and heads up 
stream, the water swift, oh how SAvift ! being just at the head 
of the fc^lls. A feeble boat could not stem the current. Fire 
up, boys ! Dry wood this season ; last season they had to 
burn green wood. It takes half a cord an hour to run the 

" For a long distance on our right extends a boom, parallel 
to the shore, by which mill-logs from above are turned down 
between the island and the east shore into the millpond. The 
river looks much smaller than at St. Paul, and seems to be 
lifted up out of the chasm through which it runs below the 
falls, to the level with the shores; or rather, which is the fact, 
there is no chasm until the river finds one after breaking over 
the apron of rock at St. Anthony. As to the shores of the 
Upper Mississippi, there are none of the abrupt blufi's, such as 
are seen down the river ; but the land comes down, by an easy, 
gradual slope, to the very edge of the water ; and as you look 
away far back, and see the smooth land now covered with 
green, gradually rising as the view now recedes from the river, 
far, far av/ay, the remotest object is a sAvelling ridge of prairie- 
land, or of oak- openings, on the right hand ; and on the left a 
forest — nothing short of a dense forest of vigorous young 
trees, as far as can be seen ; and in the channel, islands, some 
of them large, covered invariably with a heavy growth of elm, 
hackberry, maple, and cottonwood ; and whenever, as an ex- 
ception to the general appearance of the shores, there is any- 
thing assuming the form of an abrupt bluff, it is crowded with 
pine-trees. Occasionally a spot of universal beauty bursts 
upon the view : such is the landscajie at the mouth of Rice 
creek, or Itasca prairie, or the eastern shore near Swan river. 
Tl^ land is evidently very rich. At Itasca we noticed the 
formation to be a bed of gravel, upon which rested a body of 
marl, supporting a rich, sandy loam, not less than eighteen 
inches or two feet deep. At various points we saw extensive 
fields under cultivation — crops of oats, potatoes, everything 


that had been sowed or planted, giving rich promise, and all 
■with whom we conversed bearing full testimony to the excel- 
lence of every kind of crop that has been tried there. The 
land, fields, the crops, speak for themselves, and there is no 
room for argument about it. There is no heticr land, in the 
whole valley of the Mississijij)!, than the whole region extend- 
ing from the falls of St. Anthony to Sauk rapids, above which 
we have not been. We are informed that the land is much 
the same above Sauk rapids, which place is northwest of St. 
Paul nearly one hundred miles, and north less than forty miles. 
At a distance of from three to fifteen miles from the east shore 
of the river, extends a tamarac swamp for an immense distance 
between St. Anthony and Sauk rapids, designed by Nature it 
would seem expressly to furnish fjirmers with rails without 
splitting them — a hint from Providence which the settlers up 
there are not slow to comprehend. 

"At various intervals along the river the trees, &c., in this 
tam.arac-swamp are visible far in the background, picturesque 
as a forest of tapering masts. What lies east beyond that 
swamp we do not know ; but Benton county may well be con- 
tent with the vast extent of fine arable lands that are in sight 
of the river, sufHcient for ten thousand farmers, and as yet un- 
claimed. The soil is exactly like that of Rock river — quite 
as little waste land — much more timber; and with a land- 
scape which we can recollect nothing down the river to com- 
pare with, unless it be the shores of the Mississijipi at the 
lower rapids, including the background of Nauvoo and Mont- 
rose. The first night we passed on board the boat, at the 
mouth of Elk river. (The * Governor Ramsey' does not run 
at night.) The next morning we moved onward, every mile 
attracting our attention to new beauties of scenery. All seemed 
surprised — we certainly vv^ere — at the vast extent of forests 
on the west bank of tlie river. Every few rods we met a ca- 
noeful of Winnebagoes, returning with their goods from * the 
payment.' There, in a huge bark-canoe, filled with squaws, 
and papooses, and bales of goods, comes their head-chief, Win- 
nishik, himself sitting in the stern and steering. 

Most of the canoes, on the approach of the steamboat, slide 



out into some little nook or eddy, near tlie sliore, until our boat 
has passed. At short intervals we find farms, some of them 
large, and all giving- good promise. 

'* The ' Thousand islands' is an exaggeration ; but then the 
islands are so many and so large, that they seem to have taken 
resolute possession of the channel, as if to drive the stream 
back — which, however, swiftly glides between them, giving 
the boat good warm exercise to brave the current. We come 
to the granite formation at the foot of the rapids, striking out 
boldly across the river, to bar the channel. Useless. What 
obstacle will not the power of steam overcome? The boat 
dashes across through rijDple and eddy, then tacking suddenly 
takes another course, buffeting the stream, escaping the rocks, 
and riding in triumph above and beyond the chain of rock. 
Good, old, primitive granite, how familiar you look ! — the very 
material of those cragged mountains among which vve were 
born. How like the familiar faces of the old men does it 
seem, who tottered to the church where we worshipped in 
infancy ! 

" We are at Sauk rapids, and here the boat lies panting and 
cooling herself in the swift water like a weary beast. Let her 
rest, while we walk along the shore of the rapids, about three 
miles, to the head thereof. We leave the boat and warehouse, 
and the few teams that are busy there with freight and pas- 
sengers. How wide the river is, spreading out over a vast 
expanse of granite fragments! — swift, but nowhere precipi- 
tous, and evidently impassable for steamboats. But what a 
chance for building a canal on the east bank, by simply con- 
structing a wall of granite, laid in cement, without excavating 
and without any expense but a wall and three or four locks ! 
And what an excellent water-power all along the rapids, with- 
out need of so much as a dam, unless perhaps a short wing- 
dam ! The Indian trade is now mostly concentrated at Watab, 
which is on a delightful prairie three or four miles farther up 
the river. 

" But here is Hussell's, at the head of the rapids. Here is 
a good, comfortable house, stables, oxen, fat swine, large en- 
closures, fields of oats, and everything to indicate thrift and 


good living. Here reside tlie judge and tlie clerk of tlie court, 
and courts must and xciU have tilings comfortable. The next 
morning (Saturday) returned to the boat, which cast off her 
ropes at eight o'clock, and Ave swept swiftly back through the 
enchanting scene which we have above hastily sketched — 
reached St. Anthony at 4, P. M. ; took stage back to our own 
delightful St. Paul and the labors of the press, highly delight- 
ed, and more confident than ever of the glorious destiny of 

The geography of the Mississippi between St. Paul and St. 
Anthony may be thus illustrated : Sit at a table, with your 
face Avestward, and lay your left arm horizontally upon the 
table, bending it at an angle of forty-fiA'e degrees. Your shoulder 
Avill represent the location of St. Paul, your elboAv the location 
of Fort Snclling (the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota 
rivers), and your hand the location of St. Anthony. 

In the forearm^ from the clhow to the hand, the falls have 
produced a imralysis. That portion of the river is not navi- 
gable. Therefore, as the shoulder is nearer the head than the 
elbow, and nearer the head than a paralyzed forearm can be 
that has no poAver of fnotio7i, we say, Avith the utmost truth and 
reason, that St. Paul is at the head of navigation for such steam- 
boats as can afford to run in the trade up the river from St, 
Louis and Galena. 

As regards temperance, this territory is well adapted to the 
Avants of the temperate and the intemperate. The legislature 
at its recent session refused to pass the restrictive laAV : conse- 
quently on the east of the Mississippi the spirits are manifest, 
Avlien, how, and where they please. On the 2cesi of the Misis- 
bippi, by a wise provision in the treaties by which the Indian 
title Avas extinguished, the trade and intercourse laAv is in 
operation, and spirituous liquors of all kinds are prohibited 
under the severest penalties. This fact is noticed particularly, 
because it is very important that every immigrant should un- 
derstand the matter, that he may locate to suit his propensi- 
ties. Those Avhose liberty is not confined in bottles, casks, 
and decanters, Avill suffer far less inconvenience by making 
their homes in the country west of the Mississippi ; while all 



wlio believe that potato-"\v]nskey is the staff of life, are at per- 
fect liberty to remain east of the "big river." 

In these random remarks about Minnesota, in the hurried 
sketch of the territoiy above written — truthful, but rough and 
without method — we have omitted to mention many facts, 
which, however disconnected, ought to appear in a general 
view of the territory. Among these may be mentioned the 
country extending from the Mississippi, below the Minnesota, 
south to the Iowa line. 

The valley of the Cannon river now contains many settle- 
ments, and is a fertile agricultural region, well Avatered and 
well timbered. Many towns have sprung into existence lately 
on the Mississippi, within the new purchase. Little Crow, 
Hastings, Red Wing, Wabashaw, Winona, Minnesota City, 
Minneowah, Mount Vernon, Brownsville, and many other 
towns and villages, have surprised us by the apparently ma- 
gical manner of their springing into existence. In many 
places, where one year ago the whoop of the Indian alone 
disturbed the quiet, may now be heard the hammer, the saw, 
or the pufiing of steam-mills, while the eye beholds all the im- 
provements necessary to the comfort of a large and rapidly- 
increasing population. The distance by the river has gradu- 
ally diminished from Galena and St. Louis to St. Paul. River 
distances at first are always exaggerated. It is less than nine 
hundred miles from St. Louis to St. Paul, and less than four 
hundred from Galena to St. Paul. The course from Galena to 
St. Paul is more west than north. The fare between St. Louis 
and St. Paul, with elegant cabin accommodations and fare, 
has usually varied from eight to twelve dollars ; and, from 
Galena to St. Paul, from three to six dollars. It will be very 
low this season. When the traveller comes up, he will reach 
Minnesota on the west bank of the river long before he reaches 
it on the east bank. You pass twenty or thirty miles through 
Lake Pepin, with odd-looking peaks, and crags, and cliits, 
overlooki]]g you. This lake is a mere widening of the Missis- 
sippi. All is Wisconsin on the east side until you come to the 
St. Croix. Entering that, if the boat first goes to Stillwater, 


you find that also widened into a lake, up Avhicli you proceed 
thirty miles to Stillwater, Wisconsin still being at your right 
hand. But Wisconsin extends no farther than the St. Croix, 
up the Mississippi river. The boat stops an hour at Stillwa- 
ter ; touches at WilloAv river, on the east side of the lake ; 
stops at Prescott or Point Douglas again, at the mouth, and 
then proceeds up the Mississippi again. From the mouth cf 
the St. Croix to St. Paul is thirty miles. You pass Cottage 
Grove and Red Rock; and here, three miles below St. Paul, is 
Little Crow Village, on the west bank. Going on, you pass 
around a great bend that takes the boat southwest, and in the 
curve of this great bend in the river you see St. Paul, high and 
far, all around, under and upon the bluff, and upon terrace after 
terrace beyond and behind the bluff — the giant outlines of the 
most vigorous town in the northwest. At St. Paul you wdll 
find stages waiting to take you to St. Anthony. If you stop 
in St. Paul, you will find good hotels, and can get fair board 
at three dollars per week. If you conclude to stay with us, 
you may buy a lot, and put up a small house in ten days. For 
green dimension lumber you will pay twelve dollars per thou- 
sand feet at the St. Paul mills, or nine dollars at St. Anthony, 
which is quite as cheap, or a shade lower. For shingles you 
will pay two dollars to two and a half per thousand. You will 
buy nails, glass, putty, provisions, everything you want, in St. 
Paul, about as cheap as in Galena or St. Louis. If you are a 
farmer, love liquor, and want land on the east side of the river 
— good land, if not the very best — you can have it. Or you 
can go over to the west side, where good farms may be had 
for the improvement, and government Avill not ask to be paid 
for them for years. Talk of California or Australia as you 
may, there is no country iu the world which affords an equal 
prospect of growing rich with Minnesota ; and while gain- 
ing wealth, you can enjoy the blessings of health and the ao-ra? 
fort of a vigorous family growing up around you. No 'obbers. 
affords better facilities for schools or for places of w^ornselves. 
the settled portion of Minnesota. r fair pros- 

4:plorers, that 
-om Europe to 





The Hevereiid E. D. Neill, in a " Thanksgiving" discourse, 
delivered on tlie 26tli December, 1850, the first thanksgiving 
day appointed by the governor of the territory, after speaking 
of the hardsliips of the early pioneers of the other portions of 
the United States, says: "No such distresses have been felt 
by us, the early colonists of Minnesota. Uninterrupted gen- 
eral health has prevailed throughout the land. The country 
so far has been as near an El Dorado as any ever found be- 
neath the skies, and its fountains are as renovating as any 
that are not fountains of eternal life. While the cities in the 
A^alley below were filled with gloom by the reajDpearance of that 
mysterious scourge, the Asiatic cholera — while the ploughs 
were left to rust in the field, and the crops to remain unhar- 
vested — we were permitted to pursue our callings with alacri- 
ty. Not an authenticated case of the death of one of our citi- 
zens by that epidemic can be discovered. 

*' In addition to general health, we have been free from the 
hardships of emigrant life, and have possessed all the neces- 
saries of existence. Though not far from a thousand miles by 
the usual route of travel, nortlnvest of the city of St. Louis, 

• . ^ <^houe:h there are no roads to our settlements from Lake 

it on li 

T k P^ ' ^^ ^^*® capitols of Wisconsin and Iowa, our territory 

1 ^ . easv of access. Instead of beinsr weeks upon the 
overlooknij. ♦^. , , . % ^^ n 

4 1, .vitli oxen throufrh swamps and pathless forests, 
sippi. All It . , 

oi. n • T^^y nio'ht with scarcely any coverinc: but the fir- 
St. Croix. Eu-^, ?, -, .^ -, 1° 1 1 

( with stars, and with no lamps but those hung 


in heaven, oiir immigrants have been speedily transported 
liitlier in noble and convenient steamers, and witli but little 
expenditure of tbeir means, and Avitli no bitter thoaght that 
they had been obliged to leave some of their family upon the 
boundless prairies, a feast for the wolf and the bear. Nor 
have any of our inhabitants been destitute of the necessaries 
of life. * Tradition declares that at one time the colonists 
of Plymouth were reduced to a pint of corn, which being 
parched and disti'ibuted gave to each individual only five ker- 
nels.' The new settler in this territory has always had an 
abundance. The farmer has added to his gains ; and it espe- 
cially becomes him to observe this day, and with gratitude to 
praise the God of the harvest. It also becomes us to give 
thanks to-day, that we are at peace with the Indian tribes 
within our borders. 

"The poetesses of Xew England have sung our praises. 
Authors have called us the 'New-England of the West,' and 
her inhabitants would love to see us adopt their social and 
ecclesiastical forms. The public presses of the middle and 
southern states have viewed us with a kindly eye. No 
scenes like those enacted at Alton, Nauvoo, or Vicksburg, 
have been perpetrated here. To go to Texas was once sy- 
nonymous with fleeing from justice ; on the contrary, to emi- 
grate to Minnesota implies a disposition to be active, intelli- 
gent, industrious, and virtuous, and there has never been any 
stigma attached to the act. 

" Though this reputation we enjoy is to a great degree un- 
deserved, let us see that we do not lose it. If the words are 
true — 

" ' He that filches from me my good name, 
Robs me of that which not enriches him, 
And makes me poor indeed,' 

it is proper for Minnesota to froAvn upon all who by their con- 
duct disgust strangers and residents. They are her robbers. 
They impoverish the territory, Avithout enriching themselves. 

" Finally, we should give thanks to God for our fair pros- 
pects. It was a common belief of the early explorers, that 
one of the great thoroughfares of nations, from Europe to 


Cliina, would pass throiigli tliis district of America. Henne- 
pin, La Salle, and Carver, were confident that there wonld be 
a. short route to the Pacific by the head waters of the Upper 
Mississippi. The latter looked forward to the time when a 
communication would be opened between New York and the 
remotest West. View the map of the United States, and you 
will readily perceive that we occupy the geographical centre, 
and that St. Paul is in the same latitude as Oregon city. Is 
there not a prospect that in half a century, the Indian lodges 
that now surround us will be far removed ; that the shores of 
Lake Pepin will be the abode of many a maiden as constant to 
her first love as Winona, and in addition strengthened and 
ennobled by the religion of Christ; that the steam-engine, 
either in boat or car, will move from Montreal to the rapids of 
St. Mary, and stop at the roaring waters of St. Anthony ; that 
a populous city will be the capital of a state, and a depot like 
Damascus, or Petra, or Babylon, in olden time, for the produc- 
tions of the south, the furs of the north, the manufactures of the 
east, and the gold, or, what is better, the golden grains, of the 
■west ; that the gates of the Rocky mountains will be thrown 
open, and the locomotive groaning and rumbling from Oregon 
city, will stop here with its heavy train of, perhaps, Asiatic 
produce, on its way to Dubuque, or some other point ; that the 
mission stations of Hemnica and Lac qui Parle will be sup- 
planted by the white schoolhouse, the church-spire, and high- 
er seminary of learning! Is it not true, even now, that — 

" 'Behind the seared squaw's birch canoe, 
The steamer smokes and raves, 
And city lots are staked for sale 
Above old Indian graves.' 

Do we not 

" * hear the ti^ead of pioneers 

Of nations yet to be; 
The first low wash of waves where soon 
Shall roll a human sea? 

"'Each rude and jostling fragment soon 
Are plastic yet and warm; 
The chaos of a mighty world 
Is rounding into form. 


" 'The nidi merits of empire here 
Its fitting pliice sliall find; 
Tlie raw matei-ial of a state — 
Its tuuscle and its mind.' " 


For the benefit of tlie farmers, capitalists, mecliaiiics, tourists, 
and all others now arriving, I give such facts, practical sug- 
gestions, and sound advice, as a long residence, and an intimate 
acq[uaintance with the advantages and capacities of Minne- 
sota have thrown within our reach. 

Farmers have been told repeatedly that no more productive 
land than this is to be found, and also of th6 amount and qual- 
ity of the crops; the immense size and rapid growth of all 
kinds of garden vegetables ; the superiority of the bottom 
lands for grazing purposes ; and, also, that no business can 
possibly pay better for the amount of capital invested, than 
the establishment of at least a hundred dairies, on a large 
scale, the manufacture of butter and cheese for exportation, 
and the raising of cattle, sheep, hogs, poultry, &c., for home 

I suppose that all men Avill now take this for granted ; it 
is too late in the day to argue the question with anybody ; 
in fact, the knowing ones are already rushing in upon us much 
faster than accommodations can be found for them. 

I will, however, not get into any glow of enthusiasm about 
it, nor allow my personal interests or predilections in favor of 
any one portion of the territory over all others — the Minne- 
sota river country for instance — the usual hobby of almost 
all our writers — to influence me in a fair and impartial review 
>f the nierits of the whole territory. 

I say, then, that all the land on both sides of the river, 
•vhich is at all adapted to farming purposes is good, and that 
ill objections as to the soil being too light and sandy, are not 
based en a proper knowledge of the adaptation of soils and 
climates to each other. The heavy, wet, black soils, under- 
laid by the cold clay-beds of Illinois and loAva, would no more 
suit the climate of Minnesota, than would those of the tropics 
suit the climate of the frozen regions. 

The summers of Minnesota are short, and require a warm 

56 MTNXF^OTA Axr- ITS lirsorncES. 

sandy soil lo profhice good crops, Miiich consequently never 
fail. Add to tliisour late autumnal season, wliicli lingers into 
the lap of %vinter, in November, the ahsence of frosts weeks 
later than in the states just south of ns, and the refreshing, 
copious thunder-showers, which occur so frequently to moisten 
and replenish the bounteous earth, all tend to facilitate the 
growth and maturity of such crops as must be seen to be cred- 

Excluding the tamarac swamps, and som.e rather rough and 
barren spots of broken gi'ound, interspersed among them to the 
east of the Mississippi, gfnd on its head waters — the land is 
as good as any farmer need desire, and will produce all kinds 
of crops gi'own in the states below. The only choice for a 
farmer to exercise, is as to where his particular location shall 
be made, and this each one will soon determine for himself. 

I advise him to visit the valley of the Minnesota river, 
where he will find land, wood, and water, prairie, and timber 
combined, and forming as rich a country as can be found in 
the west. Several steamboats are now running from St, Paul 
to the settlements on the Minnesota river, and are crowded 
every trip with freight and passengers. 

By going over into the Sioux country, he will have the ad- 
vantage of being able to open up as good a farm as on the 
eastern side, and in not being required to pay for it for several 
years, as the lands are not surveyed, and will not be for some 
time yet. Or he can go up the Mississippi river, and locate at 
any point between St. Anthony and Crow Wing, where there 
is a good home market, for all that he can raise, at bis own 

The Chippewa and Winnebago tribes of Indians, and Fort 
Kipley, are located in this direction ; while the main pine re- 
gion of the territory, viz., on the head waters of the Missis- 
sippi, Leaf, and Crov.- Wing rivers, yet remain to be opened. 
Farming produce will find a quick and steady market in years 
to come in this particular section, when it will be a ferfcct 
drug from over abundance, and no consumers in the shape of 
lumbermen and manufacturing operatives in other quarters. 

I want every farmer to locate with reference to the future. 


when farming, not speculation, will be tlie business of tlie ter- 

The soil of the delta, between St. Paul, Point Douglas, and 
Stillwater, resting upon a bed of limestone, is well adapted to 
the growth of winter wheat, and will soon fill up with a large 
farming population. 

The land is finely situated, and, from its contiguity to the 
above-named points, and the easy access to both rivers, affords 
many desirable and valuable locations. Cottage-Grove Prairie 
is well known. 

The Brophy settlement is within a few miles of St. Paul 
and St. Anthony, and is situated amid many beautiful lakes, 
while the soil is good, the timber plentiful, and markets close 
at hand. 

Lake Minnetonka, which is situated twelve miles west of St. 
Anthony, is in another fine farming region, and many immi- 
grants have located there ; also the most of a pioneer associa- 
tion from Northampton, Massachusetts. The country along 
the river farther north, and near Hastings and Red Wing to 
the south, is also of the very best quality, and — now that we 
are prepared to exhibit Minnesota, even at the World's Pair, 
if we could get her there — Avill gladden a farmer's heart to 

Before you choose, then, look around you, and visit any or 
all of these places immediately. 

If you do not find a claim to suit you — one combining all 
the requisites of soil, wood, and water, with a frontage on the 
river, and a mill-stream running through it (and the most of 
these are already taken) — then buy out some one already 
located, or take the next best that you can find ; make a claim 
somewhere, and improve it ; do not remain around the town a 
single day, but go to work with a stout heart, and a determi- 
nation to overcome all obstacles. Do not be discouraged by 
bad weather, or the selfishness or indifference of any that you 
may apply to for advice or aid in effecting your first settle- 
ment. Any aid that can be given in advising the immigrant 
as to the proper course to pursue in selecting a favorable point 
for location, openings for the investment of capital, and situa- 



tions for young business men, that I may be aware of, will be 
clieorfully afforded by myself. 

Push ahead, then, I say, with a hopeful heart, and remem- 
ber that it takes energy, invincible determination, and a large 
expenditure of toil, and sweat, and muscle, with a rigid econ- 
omy, to achieve success, even in Minnesota. 

Capitalists will here find a wider field for the profitable in- 
vestment of their funds than can possibly be found elsewhere. 
If they will speculate in lands, we have a hundred town-sites 
at a hundred available points, where lots can be bought cheap, 
with a prospect of a rapid advance, if a liberal policy be pur- 
sued ; if not, ninety of them will always remain in embryo, and 
exist as at present upon a sheet of rolled-up paper. I would 
advise town proprietors to offer very liberal inducements, and 
to give at least every alternate lot to any man avIio will im- 
prove by buildiug and making it his permanent residence. 
They will find their advantage in the rapid augmentation in 
value of the remaining portions. But we want men to come 
here with money to invest in producing something, in steam 
and water, saw and grist mills, which are now much wanted 
in all directions. A hundred mills would pay well now, if 
they could be at once located at St. Paul, St. Anthony, and 
the Sauk rapids, the St. Croix, Lake Pepin, Lake Minnetonka, 
and more especially on the Minnesota river, as there is but 
one now there. 

We also want a manufactory of wooden ware,, some tanner- 
ies, glass-works (gas also in a year or two), foundries, furnaces, 
boatyards, &c., &c. ; everything, in short, from a steamboat 
to a jackplane, from a ploughshare to a locomotive-engine to 
run on the St. Anthony and St. Paul railroad, which is to be 
surveyed this summer and huiJt the next. Mark that, stranger, 
as you go along, for it will be done ! 

Mechanics and laborers will find work everywhere, in town 
and country. There is a demand for both, and high wages 
ready. Mechanics get all kinds of prices, according to the 
trade and skill of the man. Two dollars per day is the me- 
dium price. Common laborers get from one dollar to one dol- 
lar and a quarter per day. 


Those who can not find Avork in the towns, will be sure to 
do so on the farms, or on the government roads now in process 
of construction. There are twenty miles of road to build at 
the falls of the St. Croix, which will occupy all this season, 
seventeen miles at Sauk rapids, ten at Swan river and at La 
Belle Prairie, and ten miles on the Long Prairie road. These 
last-named points are from seventy-five to one hundred miles up 
the Mississippi above St. Paul. A portion of the Mendota and 
Wabashaw road and bridges is also under contract at the foot 
of Lake Pepin. A United States military road is to be sur- 
veyed this summer from Mendota to the Missouri river. Ten 
thousand dollars have been appropriated, and a large party 
will be required ; the men, horses, and provisions, will be col- 
lected there. 

If you should not find work immediately, make a good claim 
at once, strike out for yourself a while, put up your shanty, 
and if you can not hire a few acres broke in time for a crop 
in the spring, dig uj) an acre, and plant potatoes, corn, and 
vegetables, enougli to last you through the next winter. Work 
afterward, at anything you may find for your hand to do, and 
pay for the breaking up next fall (if you can not do it your- 
self) of at least ten acres, fence it, and as much more as you 
can next winter ; and by this time, 1855, you will have a home- 
stead of your own — a good crop of oats, corn, and potatoes, in 
the ground — and, if you are a lucky fellow, a wife and chil- 
dren in the shant\i, yourself as independent as a lord, and a 
thousand times more happy. 

If you are a bachelor, get married as soon as you have 
enough in the house for two to eat. The territory must be 
peopled, and even the very rapid immigration from outside 
does not do it fast enough. Don't waste time, either, by go- 
ing east for a wife. You want a whole-souled, strong, whole- 
some Minnesota woman ; somebody to make butter and cheese, 
to spin and weave your homespun coats and breeches. Look 
to it, young man, and wdiile you raise brag crops and cattle, 
and take the premium at your annual county agricultural ex- 
hibition, raise also a set of rollicking boys and girls, which, if 
sent on to the next World's Fair, to be held in 1856, will 


take the LIgliest premium theie as perfect specimens of liu- 


The tourist in search of pleasure, exciting scenes, good health, 
or information of this region, and the gentleman of elegant ease 
and leisure, will now find ample accommodations of the very 
best character, go where he may. For beauty and sublimity 
of scenery, fine climate, bracing and invigorating, good water 
(and liquors, too, if Avanted), fine fishing and hunting, from a 
prairie-hen to a buffalo bull, we just set np Minnesota against 
the rest of the icorld and all the other j^l^tnets, and coolly offer 
to back her Vvith any odds you may choose to offer. To the 
tourist who desires to see the territory, and who is not willing 
to sit down here and think St. Paul is the whole of it, as many 
do, we will point out the route of an excursion which can not 
fail to please, and add vastly to his stock of knowledge, and 
which no one — having the time and means — should fail to 

Arriving here by steamboat, take the stage for St. Anthony, 
and then the steamboat for Sauk rapids. Along the river for 
one hundred miles is to be found the most enchanting scenery 
that you have ever seen, and at Sauk rapids is the finest wa- 
ter-power in the territory, excepting at St. Anthony. By 
stage you can then go north to Crow Wing, Fort Ripley, and 
the Chippewa and Fort Hipley Indian agencies, at Gull lake, 
and on Long-Prairie river. Returning to St. Anthony, strike 
west to Lake Minnetonka, Avhere you will* find the prettiest 
country lying wild that the world can boast of — got up with 
the greatest care and effort by old Dame Nature, ten thousand 
years or more ago, and which she has been improving ever 
since. Go there, stranger, but don't go into ecstasies nor " go 
off" until you can make your mark. Select the very best 
claim you can find, and settle down ; for be assured that this 
luxurious spot promises untold wealth to you in future. 

Now drive to Fort Snelling, and return to St. Paul. Look 
at all this conntry, at the claims, the houses, farms, &c., of the 
pioneers located there; at the Little falls or Minne-ha-ha, the 
fort, and take a peep from the summit of Pilot Knob, above 
Mendota, and if you do not return enthusiastic in your praise, 


you are a stoic, a stone, aiiJ as cold and Iiiliospitable as an ice- 
berg. It would be easier to kindle fire from snow than to 
raise a single ray of warmtli witliin your heart. 

Next take the stage for Stillwater, stopping to fish a day or 
two at the celebrated " Half-Way House" of John Morgan. 
Then go to the St. Croix falls, where you will see the finest 
little bit of scenery on this continent; visit Cottage-Grove 
prairie, Point Douglas, Iled-Wing, Yermilliou, and Cannon 
rivers, Hastings, &c., and so return. 

Lastly, take one of the half-dozen steamboats now running 
up the Minnesota river, and you will then have made the 
grand tour, unless you wish to take a trip to Pembina and 
Selkirk's settlement, on the E-ed river of the North, in latitude 
forty-nine and fifty degrees, or take a buffalo-hunt away out 
toward the Missouri plains. 

You can go by steamboat as high up the Minnesota as the 
new government fort and Indian agency, above Red-Wood 
river; passing by a host of embryotic towns, already located, 
surveyed, and half sold off, and " that too in this portion of 
embryotic Minnesota." Of these, Shakopee, Le Sueur, Trav- 
erse, des Sioux, Kasota, and Mankato at the mouth of the 
Blue-Eartli, are the most prominent at present, and are proba- 
bly all good-enough points. 

We consider the mouth of the Blue-Earth as the main point 
on the jMinnesota river, situated at its extreme southern bend, 
and on a line west from the foot of Lake Pepin. A territorial 
road of one hundred and twelve miles has been laid out from 
Lake Pepin to St. Paul, and it is also at the head of good 
steamboat navigation, even at high water, as the river above 
is as crooked as the twistings of a politician trying to carry 
water on both shoulders. Some of this stamp among us should 
go up above Blue-Earth, and see their past and present tortu- 
ous course mapped out. It is here that the railroad from loAva, 
following up the Des Moines, and thence down the valley of 
the Blue-Earth, will eventually cross the Minnesota, to con- 
nect in the valley of the Eed river of the North with the great 
Atlantic and Pacific railroad, the route for which is now being 
surveyed from St. Paul to Puget sound. 


Return now to St. Paul, and you can justly claim to have 
seen a little of Minnesota, and to have been all along the civ- 
ilized lines of travel and settlement, ^vhich, like the spokes of 
a wheel, diverge from the central point, and shed as so many 
sunbeams, rays of light, and thought, and intelligence, through- 
out the pagan land of yesterday. You will have seen the 
spot where, ere long, the combined forces of energy, enterprise, 
and wealth, will have erected one of the noblest fabrics yet 
reared by the hard-toiling, strong-fisted, and sincAvy sons of 
this republic. 





I REGRET that my observations have not extended regularly 
tliroiigli a space of time whicli \yould enable me to give full 
and reliable results of tlie climatic changes of this latitude. 
Owing to frequent changes of residence, and the demands of 
business, I have not as yet been able to give that strict atten- 
tion to the meteorology of our territory which is due to a sub- 
ject so replete with interest and importance; and I now pre- 
sent this imperfect sketch in the hope that some one having 
the inclination for the pursuit, and at the same time a more 
elegant leisure than I have had, will yet do what I have but 
partially done — or rather failed to do. 

For the time that my observations were carried on, viz., 
from December, 1850, until July, 1851, inclusive, I have an 
accurately kept register, together with a series of monthly 
tables, in which all the details of the weather for that period 
are minutely given. For the remainder of the year 1851, the 
monthly tables intended to accompany this review were kept 
at Fort Snelling ; and although not so full in detail, are yet 
quite valuable.* The mean temperatures of the months of Au- 
gust, September, October, November, and December, 1851, 
as given in the Meteorological Register for that year, I ob- 
tained of Dr. J. Frazier Head, of Fort Ripley, in latitude 46° 
10' N. So that the yearly mean is made up from observations 
taken at St. Paul, during the months of January, February, 
March, and April ; at Sauk rapids, during May, June, and 
July ; and at Fort Ripley, during the remainder of the year. 
The distance between Fort Snelling and Fort Ripley is a little 
over 1° north. 

These results show a uniformity in the weather of Minne- 

* See Annals of the Minnesota Historical Society, for 1854. 


sota tliat is selcloin met with elsewLeie. When siulden 
changes do occur, it is to be remarked that they are always 
loM'- extremes — that is from below the freezing point to far 
below zero, and consequently do not injuriously affect the 
system as in those latitudes Avhere a continual elemental war 
is constantly kept up, and the alternate rising and falling of 
the barometer and thermometer are as sudden and irregular 
as the turnings of a weathercock amidst a tempest. From a resi- 
dence of over two years in Minnesota, I can safely say that 
the atmosphere is more pure, pleasant, and healthful, than that 
of any other I have ever breathed on the continent of North 
or South America. This is particularly the case in winter, 
the most buoyant, elastic, and vigorous portion of the year. 
As regards the healthfulness of this region at all times, and 
more especially in winter, I would add, in the language of a 
former report upon the weather, that " v.ith proper care and no 
unnecessary exposure, it may be safely said that coughs, colds, 
and that scourge of the Eastern states, consumption, Avould be 
almost entirely unknown. When either is unfortunately con- 
tracted, no climate is better adapted for its speedy eradica- 
tion. It is all a mistake to send a consumptive patient to the 
south — a mistake just becoming apparent to the faculty. 
Those Avhose lungs are diseased and weak, should come to the 
north. I have tried both extremes, and can speak feelingly, 
the best of all evidences, and I confidently assert that they 
will stand far more chances of recovery in this particular lati- 
tude than anywhere in the enervating south, even if it be the 
most salubrious of the West Indies." 

It is true that a fever, which in some instances has proved 
fatal in its effects, has raged within our midst during the past 
fall and winter ; but it has, I believe, been altogether local, 
or peculiar to St. Anthony and St. Paul, and is owing to 
causes which it is not probable will soon occiir again. The 
principal of these is believed to have been the unprecedented 
drought of the preceding summer, by which the river bottoms, 
the ponds, and the marshes, became exposed, and threw into 
our usually pure air a poisonous malaria. 

The drought of 1852 was a striking feature in the meteor- 

^^EAT^ER, soil, and climate. 65 

ology of tin's territory. The summers are usually very moist, 
large quautities of rain fall, aud heavy thunder-storms are 
very common. In this instance, with the exception of a 
storm of wind and rain on the fourth day of July, no rain fell 
from the time of the great cataract of water, which deluged us 
in May, until the following September, and but very little fell 
until October. The air, generally so full of electricity at all 
seasons, seemed then utterly void of it, and, for five months, 
no sound of thunder broke upon its stillness. Droughts are 
of frequent occurrence in various other parts of the country, 
and depend upon atmospheric causes not yet fully understood. 
As it has been satisfactorily ascertained that an equal amount 
of moisture falls in every climate, in a given space of time, say 
a year; so with ours in the case of which I speak. More than 
sufficient snow has already fallen, during the past winter, to 
make amends for tlie lack of moisture of the preceding sum- 
mer, and as its drought was unprecedented in our memories, 
so is the quantity and depth of the frozen vapor which now 
covers the earth around us.* The fall of snoAv throughout all 
the country to the north and west, and toward Lake Superior, 
has been at least five feet. The roads were, for a portion of 
the time during the early part of the winter, almost impassable, 
and even rendered travelling upon snowshoes difficult. The 
amount of snow that generally falls is much less than would 
be supposed in so high a latitude, being really much less than 
falls in many places further south. Two feet is a large quan- 
tity, and more than the average, there having been a winter 
or two of late years, when not enough has fallen for common 
sledding purposes, the ground scarcely being covered, though 
these are remarkable exception. A portion, however, always 
remains till spriiig, and the ground is generally covered from 
November till March. 

This is extremely favorable to the preservation of Avinter 
wheat, which has not been tried to much extent; still I am 
satisfied it v/ill succeed, and the crop become a more certain 

* The amount of snow in the winter of 1842-43, was almost equal to 
that of the past season. A large quantity also fell in the spring of 1843.-— 
Note by an Old Settler. 


one til an in the states, from tlie fact that the snow will prevent 
its freezing out, and that it will also he less snhject to attacks 
of rust, the flv, and all the diseases incidental to it elsewhere. 
I am very certain that Minnesota will in time become one of 
the very best Avheat-growing states in the whole Union, and 
that she will take the place of Illinois and other states where 
it can no longer be depended upon with any certainty. When 
sown at an early period, say September, it has already suc- 
ceeded well, as far north as La Belle Prairie, in latitude forty- 
six degrees. Those who are in doubt on the subject, can read 
Mr. Philander Prescott's letter on the agricultural resources of 
Minnesota, published in the Patent Office Reports for 1849-'50, 
Spring wheat also produces well, even at Red Lake and Sel- 
kirk settlement, in latitude forty-eight and fifty degrees, as 
bountifully as in other places farther south. 

The most remarkable characteristic of the winter of Minne- 
sota, is its great dryness — there being an almost total absence 
of rain or moisture. Not more than one heavy rain-storm has 
occurred within its limits during the last ten years. A slight 
sprinkling of rain, however, does sometimes happen. A heavy 
thaw also takes place in January, and sometimes lasts a week 
or two, accompanied by mild southerly winds. Such a thaw 
occurred in February, 1853. The weather is generally very 
clear and bracing, mostly calm, though uproarious winds oc- 
cur occasionally. The prevailing winds are from the west- 
northwest and north, and always bring clear Aveather ; they 
prevail at)out two thirds of the winter. East, north, and 
southeast winds from the great lakes bring snow-storms, and 
are always damp, chilling, and unpleasant. The mercury, 
though almost always below the freezing point, is seldom far 
below zero ; on three or four occasions it sinks to from twenty 
to thirty-five degrees below, though this weather never contin- 
ues more than three or four days. The coldest day of the past 
winter was February 8, when the mercury fell to twenty-five 
degrees below zero. At these periods there is but little wind, 
and the cold is felt much less than any one not accustomed to 
the climate would imagine. Very heavy lioar frosts frequently 
occur, when the whole air seems filled with little icy crystals, 


wliicli sparkle in the morning sunliglit like millions of precious 
gems. The surrounding forests being encased in glittering 
frost and ice, present a most magnificent appearance. 

The Mississippi generally closes early in December, and 
opens tlie latter part of March. The winter continues for 
about four months ; though we often have cold, rough weather 
for an additional month or two. In summing up its merits, I 
would add that, owing to its even temperature, and hence al- 
lowing out of door exercises and employments for a greater 
number of days than that of most other countries, it is highly 
conducive to health, longevity, and social intercourse and ad- 

The spring is usually boisterous and cold. There is then 
more wind and dampness than in the winter. That there are 
exceptions to this hoAvever, the spring of last year, and the 
month of March, 18/)1, may be evidenced. The prevailing 
winds are similar to those of winter, viz., from 
west to north. The season continues cold and backward un- 
til early in May, when a sudden change takes place, and all 
nature is soon robed in the cheerful liveries of this gay por- 
tion of the year. The frost usually leaves the ground in April. 
The latter part of May and early in June is the usual seed- 

The summer is very cool and pleasant, witli a fine breeze at 
all times, blowing mostly from the west, southwest, and south. 
This mitigates and makes endurable the extreme heat of the 
sun, which, beaming through the clear and brilliant atmo- 
sphere, rivals that of the tropics in intensity. This great 
heat is of but short duration, rarely continuing longer tlian a 
week at most. The nights are always cool and bracing, and 
the sleep obtained is sound, refreshing, and sweet. Thunder- 
storms are very frequent, usually occurring in the afternoon 
and evening, and sometimes continuing all the night. Those 
at night are always much the heaviest, and of the longest du- 
ration. A remarkable thunder-storm occurred at Sauk rap)ids 
on the 12th and 13th of July, 1851, which continued uninter- 
ruptedly for some thirty hours ; the rain falling at intervals 
in torrents. It was accompanied by a hurricane of wind from 


the soutliea-t, ^^hicll prostrated forest-treeS; tearing tliem up by 
the roots like twigs, and snajjping others off like pipe-steins. 
It created considerable liavoc along the western bank of the 
Mississippi above Crow river, and extended some distance in 
a northwest direction. Its breadth I never ascertained. 
Heavy hail storms sometimes occur. The most remarkable 
one Avhich I have noticed is thus described in a letter to 
the Minnesota Pio7ic€r, dated Benton city (Sauk rapids*), 
June 18, 1851:— 

" The most terrific rain and hail storm that I ever remember, 
occurred here last night, from ten P. M., until after midnight. 
It came up suddenly from the west, and for several hours the 
heavens were a perfect glare of light, most painful to the eye 
to witness ; while the thunder was truly deafening at first, and 
most terrific. The rain fell in perfect sheets of water, and the 
hail descended like a shower of bullets, crushing through the 
windows and flying across the room with violence ; while the 
house creaked and shook and rocked like a ship at sea, and I 
verily expected it to come tumbling about my ears each mo- 
ment. The hailstones, unlike ordinary ones, were rough and 
jagged, as though a storm of the splinters and shivers of an 
iceberg had been hurled over this embryo city ; Avhich, owing 
to the meager number of houses, suffered but little. Ere long 
the rattle and clatter of their falling, drowned the thunder 
completely. By the glare of the lightning, I could see the 
rain-drops and hailstones driven by the gale, skim along the 
ground, and striking, bound several feet into the air, in a dense 
sheet of mingled ice and water, like waves of hail rising and 
roiling on before the storm. I could hear the clash and roar of 
the successive waves as they struck the house or a fence in 
their course, like regular discharges of firearms. The largest 
stones were about one inch in diameter, and fell upon the roof 
like grape-shot. The surrounding trees are well stripped of 
limbs and leaves, which were cut and split in shreds, and 
dashed off in large quantities. Altogether, it was a well- 
grown hail-storm for a new country, and as a meteorological 

* Sauk rapids is situated on the Mississippi, seventy-six miles northwest 
of St. Paul 


phenomenon, I have thought a hasty description worthy of 

The summer season is short — warm weather seldom sets in 
before July, although there are at times exceptions. Very 
hot Aveather occurred last year in May. What is lost in this 
respect is more than fully made np in autumn, which is here 
the most lovely portion of the year. Frosts seldom occur be- 
fore October, while a beantiful Indian summer lasts till the 
middle of November, when winter soon after sets in suddenly. 
As a general thing, there are no gentle gradations of heat and 
cold between the change from spring to summer, and from fall 
to winter. That season usually lingers in the lap of spring, 
until he can no longer hold his sway, when he gently yields 
his long supremacy, and retreats to northern climes, without 
evincing any disposition to protract his stay. No crops are 
nipped, nor buds or blossoms perish from a renewal of his icy 
breath, in the shape of chilling, killing frosts. He melts away 
before the soft murmurings of the southern gales, and leaves 
no trace behind. He yields at once, and with a grace which 
does credit to the rude, rough, storm-king — and immediately 
a marked change takes place. No " elemental war" from heat 
to cold,fi-om Avet to dry — each striving for the mastery during 
an intervening month or two, as in the states, occur. On the 
contrary, the soft breath of early summer comes breathing 
along the southern vales, like the wellings up from a full and 
gushing heart — throbbing forth its warm pulsations, and giving 
life and vigor to every living thing beneath its touch. The 
unclouded sun pours forth his genial beams, revivifying the 
face of nature, and causing it to bloom and blossom. But 
anon, each day almost, a change comes over the spirit of his 
dream, and the storm-clouds gather in the western sky ; then 
heaven's artillery is heard pealing forth its echoes from sky to 
earth, from plain to plain, and the refreshing rain descends in 
copious, grateful showers. 

The bountiful earth, thus nourished and replenished, pro- 
duces plenteously ; and soon the ripened grain is Avaving in 
the breeze, the golden corn is glistening in the morning sun, 
the ripe and luscious melons dot the rich, smooth soil. 'Tis 


true tlicre are no fruit-trees bending beneatli the rosy peach, 
the pear, the phim, the cherry, and the apple, to gladden the 
eyes of the pomologist and cause the mouth to ^vater in anti- 
cipation of the luxurious feast. Yet this is altogether owing 
to the newness of the country, and the want of time, as yet, 
to plant and produce those fruits ; not, forsooth, that we are 
too far north, or that it is too cold to ripen them in perfection; 
nor that the inclemency of our winters, will destroy them by 
freezing. There can be no more certain criterion of the cli- 
mate of any country than its vegetable production, and it may 
be stated here generally, that while all the grains and vege- 
table productions of the Middle and Western States, have been 
produced within the bounds of Minnesota, with almost every 
variety of wild tree, shrub, flower, and herb — and while all the 
tame grasses and most of the fruits can be produced within her 
limits, with the exception of the peach (which has failed at 
Galena and Dubuque), every objection to its being too far 
north is futile and ridiculous. Mr. Oakes, the father of C. H. 
Oakes, Esq., of St. Paul, has raised, successfully, all the above 
fruits, and others (except the peach), at Lapointe, on Lake 
Superior, in latitude a little south of forty-seven degrees ; which 
is nearly two degrees northward of St. Paul. They can also be 
cultivated here ; the soil being adapted to their culture, as also 
to that of melons, of corn, and sweet potatoes. All men should 
understand at this late day, that soils and climate are adapted 
to each other; and that parallels of latitude are a very unsafe 
rule to go by in judging altogether of the climate of a country ; 
as it is always greatly modified by local causes. The geogra- 
phy of a country has much to do with its climate ; its topog- 
raphy, its elevation, its lakes, its rivers, hills, and valleys, its 
soil, forests, prevailing winds, moisture and dryness, more or 
less affect its temperature. 

Tlie warm, loose, sandy soil of Minnesota, with the long, 
late autumnal season, will mature the cereal grains and fruits, 
almost as perfectly as that of far more southern climates. But 
" the world is indeed a sIoav coach after all," and progresses 
in the acquisition of knowledge at a snail's pate, at best. 
Truth is always outstripped by error, and falsehood spreads 


itself witli tlie fleetness of tlie wind. Tlie world delights to 
be liiimbiig'ged, and all seem to act upon the principle that 
they must either luimbug somebody, or be humbugged them- 
selves. Men delight in being deceived ; nay, in deceiving 
themselves against the dictates of reason, facts, and common- 
sense. Hence we may still expect to hear the oft-repeated 
cry of " You can't raise a cawn crap in Minnesota — you can't 
live away up there," &c., &c. We expect to find men for 
twenty years to come, who Avill persist in believing that the 
flame of a blazing firfe here becomes congealed into spears of 
solid, icy flame, and that we are obliged to wrap blankets 
around our fires to keep them warm. Anything else that can 
be said, though equally ridiculous, will, of course, find multi- 
tudes of believers. 

I come now to speak of the autumn ; that quiet, sedate and 
melancholy portion of the year, which is here, as I have before 
remarked, its most lovely period. The atmosphere is warm 
and dry throughout the main portion of the day, and cool and 
bracing in the evening and early in the morning. Little rain 
falls and but few frosts occur. The thick, peculiar haze so 
common to the Indian Summer everywhere, here is as drowsy 
in its appearance as though it were endeavoring too soon to 
lull the day to sleep ; as it rests over the quiet landscape, the 
craggy blufts, the peaceful lakes, and flowing streams, and 
sometimes almost hides the rich and variegated face of nature, 
as imperceptibly it wanes and falls into the sere and yellow 
leaf. The prairies then become ignited, and blaze forth their 
mimic fires, which revel in their wdldness. With an aurora 
borealis lighting up the northern heavens, and the vast buffalo 
ranges away to the Missouri, a perfect sea of roaring flame — 
the night if not turned into day, certainly eclipses its glorious 
beauties. Aiu'oras are very common, and occur quite frequent- 
ly in winter. The following is a description of the most bril- 
liant one which I have noticed. It occurred on the nii>ht of 
the 6th of September, 1851, and was witnessed from the valley 
of the Red River of the North, in latitude forty-eight degrees : — 

" The finest exhibition of the aurora borealis I ever witness- 
fid, occurred to-night, beginning at 9 o'clock. No description — 

72 Mi:s'Ni:soTA and its resockces. 

not even tlie most vivid and Avild imagination — can do it jus- 
tice. It consisted of briglit masses of light, in some directions 
illuminating large portions of tlic heavens — at others, and 
nearly over the Avhole surface of the sky, Lright rays shot 
upwards, beginning not from the horizon, but at an elevation 
of about 45^' and extending far south of the zenith. The rays, 
in fact, appeared to shoot upward all around the upper portion 
of the heavens, uniting at the zenith, and producing one of 
the finest effects that was ever produced by Nature in her 
wildest freak or grandest effort. To the north and south of the 
zenith, the rays assumed many variegated tints, among which 
the most beautiful pink and green and various indescribable 
shades were the most prominent. These were constantly 
changing color and the rays their forms; sometimes like mov- 
ing columns of light, which the Indians poetically call * the 
dance of the dead,' the bright white and colored rays or col- 
umns moving and darting past each other in an erect position, 
and of which a giant's causeway, if brilliantly illuminated and 
put in rapid motion, would aflford a faint idea. 

" The whole mass of light Avould then cover the northern 
heavens and encircle around the zenith ; assuming the varied 
shapes of the most beautiful drapery ; the lower edges being 
tinged with a bright pink, intermixed with green above, while 
at the apex the light was white and so brilliant as almost to 
dazzle. Then it would again shift and spread rapidly across 
the heavens in a curved belt or zone, like an eagle's plume, as 
though tUe hand of the God of the heavens and the earth was 
about to appear and make a record on the clear moonlit sky 
below, and then anon the rays and clouds of variegated light 
would gather into most beautiful and fantastic shapes, pictu- 
resque and wild in the extreme ; and so quickly, too, that the 
eye could scarcely trace their motions ; occasionally darting 
down their fringed edges which waved to and fro like canvass 
fluttering in the storm, resembling a tempest in the heavens, 
consisting of dancing beams of brilliant light for lightning ; and 
the falling clouds, rays and coruscations of pink, and green, 
with every conceivable variety of colored halo f'^r the accom- 
panying rain. It continued equally beautiful till long past 


midniglit, and was ■watclicfl with ailmiratlon anrl awe hj all 
our party. Auroras, mirages, and other meteorological phe- 
nomena, are very frequent along the northern houudary of 
Minnesota, and thence north to Hudson's Bay. Charles Cavi- 
leer, Esq., U. S. collector of customs at Pembina, in latitude 
forty-nine degrees north, longitude ninety-seven degrees, ten 
minutes, west, has furnished me with the following particulars 
relating to the meteorology of that distant region, for the 
winter of lS52-'3. Mr. Cavileer says • — 

" During December, there were but five entire clear days, 
and seven generally clear ; seven cloudy, and four mostly 
cloudy. The rest variable. There was but one day of perfect 
calm, between sunrise and sunset, but calm generally pre- 
vailed at night; and such nights, too, the most beautiful ima- 
ginable. The prevailing winds were from the northwest and 
southeast ; the most disagreeable ones are from the northeast, 
east, and south, and are damp and chilly. The northwesters 
are cold and dry, while those from the west are pleasant, and 
bring fine warm weather. But seven or eight inches of snow 
fell, with a sprinkle or two of rain, and one sleet. The 1st and 
2Sth were the Avarmest days, the mercury stood at two P. M., 
thirty-four degrees above zero, and at sunrise on the 15th, at 
thirty-eight below. There were seven auroras, and are classed 
from the tables of the Smithsonian Institution. But two of them 
were in any way striking. The peculiarity of that of the 22d 
being in the east and northeast, brightest due east, light red and 
fiery. That on the 29tli was a very pretty affair, commencing 
at seven, P. M. The sky was clear, with a silver moon and bright 
star-light. Its first appearance was in the northwest, like that 
of the moon before she shows her face ; then rapidly assumed 
class five, and extended from the northwest horizon to the 
northeast ; the arch a bright white, and segment very dark. 
But the fantastics of the outsiders constituted the main beauty 
of the scene — sometimes taking the form of the rainbow, and, 
numbering from one to three above the arch, showed most 
grandly ; then ra^'S, beams, and patches of light, would flash 
up to the northeast, running west almost as quickly as the eye. 
The outsiders made their exit about ten, but the arch contin- 



Tied till eleven. December 12, at eight o'clock, P. M., I ob- 
served a large and splendid meteor slowly traversing tbe north- 
east sky from east to west. It appeared like a large ball or 
globe of fire ; a very bright, white light, travelling very slowly, 
and leaving no wake or light in its track. It was in sight a 
minnte, and then exploded without leaving a spark. 

" The first mirage of the season was on the evening of the 
22cl, at sunset, and showed plainly the whole course of the 
river Maurais, the timber on its banks appearing but a few 
miles distant. The houses on the north, that can hardly be 
seen through a common atmosphere, were raised high up, show- 
ing them plainly, and even things lying about on the ground. 
The second and last of the month was on the morning of the 
29lh,from sunrise till ten o'clock, A.M., and was a most grand 
natural exhibition. Not only the Avhole course of the Maurais 
could be traced, but Oak island, forty-five miles distant, was 
clear to the view ; and Pembina mountain, thirty miles off, was 
dimly seen in the distance. These were the first mirages I 
ever witnessed, and it is certainly a very novel thing to be 
thus butted in the face by things you know to be so many 
miles distant. In January, 1853, there were ten auroras and 
eight mirages. 

" The mirage of the 24th was the most grand of all. It 
commenced before sunrise and continued till ten, A. M. Just 
at sunrise, the view was truly magnificent ; in all quarters of 
the compass, as far as the eye could reach, the countiy ap- 
peared to rise as if we were standing in the centre of a basin. 
The Pembina mountain, to the west, loomed up grandly ; dif- 
ferent distant points on Red river, to the north and south, were 
counted and named ; Avhile the rivers Maurais, Prune, and 
Gratiara, were in plain sight ; and I really believe that, with 
a good glass, we might have seen Fort Garry, seventy miles 
below us to the north, so very clear was the atmosphere. 
About ten minutes after sunrise the mountain was invisible ; 
at eight o'clock, fog to the north, half part of mountain again 
in view, and at ten, A. ]\1., all had gradually disappeared. The 
sky at sunrise was about half-clouded ; the clouds lying all 
round the horizon, with a few light ones overhead, and main- 


tained the same situation tlirongliont the plienomenon. Tlie 
aurora, the ^niroges, the beautiful frosting of the trees and 
vegetation, with the change of the atmosphere, &c., will more 
than pay for wintering in the climate ; and, if for nothing else, 
I shall never regret having spent two winters on the forty-ninth 
degree of north latitude, amid these northern wilds." 

I know of no point in Uncle Sam's domains better situated 
for a meteorological and astronomical observatory than this. 
It being on his most northern boundary, nearly m.idway be- 
tM^een the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and in the range of the 
great plains that extend from the north pole in a southerly 
direction along the base of the Hocky mountains, and thence 
southerly through Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, perfectly 
free from the influence of winds from the oceans or northern 
lakes, we are surrounded by an atmosphere purely our own. 





The head of Lake Superior is about five miles wide, the 
shore forming nearly a regular semicircle. The St. Louis 
river enters the. lake near the middle of this bend. The 
entrance from the lake is about west, forty or fifty rods, when 
the river bends suddenly to the north, keeping its course 
parallel with the lake shore about half a mile, when the course 
is again changed to the southwest. Here the river widens 
out into a bay about six miles long, and, in places, two miles 
wide ; having several small islands in it. The bend of the 
river, hear the mouth, forms a peninsula between its north bank 
and the lake, about a mile long, and averaging about a quarter, 
of a mile in width. It is a body of sand, producing only 
some small evergreen underbrush, and a beautiful grove of 
tall, straight, limbless, yellow pines. On the south side of the 
river there is a tract of several hundred acres of low land, a 
portion of which is similar to that on the north side, but much 
of it is swampy. The American Fur Company, previous to 
1840, had a trading post here, about half a mile from the lake, 
but it was subsecjuently removed to Fond du Lac, at the foot 
of the falls. 

The river at its mouth is less than a quarter of a mile wide, 
and obstructed by a sandbar, holding coimtless snags ; but on 
passing this a few rods, it brings the boat beyond the bend, 
into calm, deep water, in any weather. At the head of the 
bay the traveller is in want of a pilot. From that point to 
the falls, the river is full of islands and fields of wild rice, 
around and through which there are numerous channels. The 

RFV^ERS, FIolIiaiLES, ETC. 77 

inexperienced may row several miles, and find himself at the 
head of a bay or cove, and he under the necessity of returning 
to seek the true channel. From the lake to the falls, called 
twenty miles, the northern shore is hold and rugged, except in 
a few places where it falls back, forming a small plat of table- 
land between it and the river, or gives vent to a small mountain 
stream. The bluffs on the south side are similar to those on 
the north, for several miles below the falls; they there dis- 
appear. The Fond du Lac river, from the southwest, enters 
the lake about two miles south of'the outlet of the St. Louis, 
and the valleys of the two rivers are merged in one some six 
or seven miles from the lake. 

A few rods below the falls, a creek of pure, never-failing 
water from the north, forms a junction with the river. The 
west side of the valley formed by this creek is occupied by the 
American Fur Company, and the east by the missionary estab- 
lishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The whole 
valley does not afford above eighty acres of arable land. 

About three miles north of Fond du Lac, a peak of one of 
the mountains towers far above all others. The only ascent 
is on the north side, and is tolerably easy for a footman. The 
south side is a perpendicular rock of several hundred feet in 
height. The summit is a level bare rock. The stone forming 
this peak is unlike anything else seen in the country. It is 
of a dark gray color, and so close in texture, that the united 
strength of myself and interpreter could not break a piece of 
it by hurling it against the mass on which we stood. The 
beholder can scarcely resist the impression, that he stands on 
a pyramid, in the midst of an immense basin, whose outer rim 
is the limit of human vision. Lake Superior, though twenty 
miles distant, appears as if lying at his feet, and stretching 
itself away to the east, until sight loses it in the distance ; 
and the river, with its islands, channels, and rice-fields, is all 
in full view from the falls to its mouth. The writer has never 
seen another spot where such a comprehensive view of the 
vastness of creation could be obtained. 

The falls of the St. Louis river are nothing more than a suc- 
cession of rapids for the distance of about fifteen miles, except 


at tlielieacl of" Knife Portng-o." At tliat point the water falls 
about ten feet perpendicularly. Above that point, to the 
mouth of Savannah river, eighty miles from the lake, there 
are few banks seen in high water. The bottoms are several 
miles wide in places, indeed most of the way, and often over- 
flown. But, from Fond du Lac to the above-named falls, the 
water rushes through a narrow gorge, the banks' in several 
places being from fifty to one hundred feet high, and always 
crumbling in. In several places within two miles of Fond du 
Lac, they are composed of shale, sand, and boulders ; the slaty 
shale lying in regular strata, dipping several degrees west- 
ward on the south side, and equally eastward on the north 
side. Just above these banks, on the north side of the river, 
an acre or more of trap rock mixed with copper, precisely like 
that below Lapointe, is exposed to view in low water. It has 
the appearance of having once been covered with a bank 
similar to those above described, which has washed away ; and 
it was the opinion of the writer, that the same formation might 
be found under many of the hills around the falls. Up the 
creek before mentioned, a mile from the river, the same mixture 
of shale and sand may be seen in many places. The Indians 
considered this metallic substance in the trap rock valuable, 
and in the treaty made at Lapointe, in 1842, they reserved 
this spot, stipulating that the trader's store, one mile below, 
should be the corner of that session. The head chief often 
told the writer, that he expected to take out a great amount 
of wealth from the river, at that spot, as soon as he should get 
the means. 

The first portage on these falls is about eight miles long, on 
the north side of the river. It is over a very rough country, 
through several very swampy places, and is generally imprac- 
ticable for horses, or anything that can not walk a pole. At 
the head of this portage canoes are used again, for two miles, 
and there the " Knife portage" is made on the south side of the 
river, three miles, to the grand falls above alluded to. In 
high water, both of these portages are longer. On both sides 
of the river at the Knife portage, much of the surface of the 
ground is covered with masses of slate equal to any hone for 


edged tools. They have the appearance of being thrown np 
by some internal revolution, there being nothing like order or 
regularity in their position, and the intervening ground being 

Europeans who have seen this slate allege that it is equal to 
that used in England for tiling. The supply, even on the 
surface of the ground, is inexhaustible. 

There can scarcely be a limit to the amount offish, pickerel 
chiefly, that may be taken on the rapids during about three 
weeks of the spring. In the spring of 1843, a two-fathom 
canoe filled in one hour in the morning, by two men, one steer- 
ing and the other using a dip-net. Both work the canoe up 
the rapids sufficiently far, when one stands in the bow v/ith a 
net, while the other backs the canoe Avith his might in addition 
to the rapidity of the current. From twenty to fifty large 
fishes are frequently thus taken in passing about twenty rods 
of the rapids. 

From Fond du Lac, a trading post situated eleven miles 
inland on the St. Louis river, eastward, for perhaps fifty miles, 
the margin of the lake is a flat strip of land, reaching back to 
a rocky ridge about eleven miles off. The soil of this flat land 
is a rich red clay. The wood is white cedar and pine, and of 
the most magnificent growth. The American line is beyond 
the mouth of the St. Louis, as far northeast as Pigeon river, 
one hundred miles. A mountain extends all the way between 
the St. Louis and Pigeon rivers. It evidently abounds in 
copper, iron, and silver. The terrestrial compass can not be 
used there, so strong is the attraction to the earth. The needle 
rears and plunges " like mad." Points of survey have to be 
fixed by the solar compass. 

The Indian and half-breed packmen have astonishing 
strength. One Indian, who is described by the others as being 
as large as two men, carried for a company of eleven men 
provisions for ten days, viz., one barrel of flour, half barrel of 
pork and something else, besides the utensils. Mirage is a 
common phenomenon in spring and summer. For the bays not 
opening so soon as the main lake, or not cooling so early, an 
object out on the lake is viewed from the shore, through a 


dense medium of air and a tliin medium. Hence is a refraction 
of rays, Aviiich gives so many Avonderful sights that the Chip- 
pcwas call that the spirit or enchanted land. Sail vessels 
which are really thirty miles off, are seen flapping and bellying 
about almost within touch. Turreted islands look heady and 
toppling towards the zenith. Forests seem to leap from their 
stems, and go a soaring like thistles for the very sport of it. 

The ice does not leave some of the bays till the 10th of 
June. The fish are delicious, especially the salmon trout. 
But little land game. We calculate on wonderful enterprises 
in that country after the opening of the Saut canal. 

Lapointe is a town on the lake, situated at the head of a 
bay some twenty-five miles from the high lake, and secluded 
from the lake by several islands. There is a warehouse three 
hundred feet long, built of tamarac poles, and roofed with bark. 
This building is very much warped by the pressure of age ; it 
is entered by a wooden railway. The town is dingy and 
dreary. A luxurious garden contains a variety of fruit-trees 
and shrubs, planted by Charles H. Oakes, Esq., now a resident 
of St. Paul. 

The following narration of a trip from Lapointe to Still- 
water, via Lake Superior, Brule and St. Croix rivers, will be 
found interesting : — 

" It was a beautiful bright afternoon in August, that, with 
two hired half-breed voyageurs, in a birch-canoe provisioned 
for eighteen days, we left Lapointe, and struck out into the 
clear, smooth, deep Avaters of Lake Superior. The coast 
scenery, that from Saut St. Marie to this point had been very 
dull and monotonous, noAv suddenly changed, reaching through 
all the degrees of beauty, from gentle slopes, rolling hills, to 
widely romantic, broken mountains. It is here that the Porcu- 
pine mountams set in towards the shore, and in places come 
out boldly, as if in the act of crossing the lake, but were 
suddenly split down vertically, forming a mural escarpment, 
perpendicular from the water's edge, hundreds of feet high, as 
smooth and solid as the masonry of a vast fortress. The 
strata are of the old red sandstone, of a fine com.jjact texture, 
and never in the world can quarries of handsomer stone be 


found than those. Blocks from ten to fifteen feet long, the 
outer surface smooth as pressed brick, lay disjointed ready 
for shipment. 

" Many of these bold mountain masses project over the water 
from sixteen to twenty feet, supported at the outer edge by 
perfectly-formed columns, worn so by long action of the waves. 
These columns are of very curious workmanship indeed. We 
passed under many of these rocky arches, like majestic gate- 
ways, and examined more than a dozen columns of various 
diameters and heights, and all appearing as if drawn after 
more well-proportioned architectural models. 

" The journey now before us was about three hundred and 
fifty miles, ninety of which lay along this coast, up to the 
mouth of Brule river. Fortunately for the voyageur at this 
season, there is scarcely the shadow of a night upon the lake. 
At ten o'clock we could still read distinctly, and at twelve there 
were soft crimson pencilings upon the western horizon of that 
gorgeous twilight which makes the summer evenings here so 
enchanting. I have seen night here so transcendently beau- 
tiful, with its bright stars and silvery moon — its atmosphere 
so transparent — that the arch of heavefi looked more serene 
and heavenly, more like the abode of spiritual beings, and the 
clear blue ether more like the drapery that garnishes a poetic 
or imaginary, than a real world. As we glided along in the 
stillness of the night, our canoe moving so lightly as not to 
ruffle the polished surface, the scenic picture was all that the 
most enthusiastic novelist could desire. On one side, some 
miles distant, lay a long string of conical islands, thickly cov- 
ered with gi-een forest-trees ; and on the main shore, at an 
equal distance, wrapped in a shadowy gloom, lay green slopes, 
or in sullen grandeur hung bold peaks or cliffs of mountains 
Not a soimd was heard, except for a time the stunning noise 
of a cataract that came leaping from the top of the heights, 
dashing down from rock to rock, its bright spray dancing upon 
the moonbeams and enveloping the dwarfed pines in an eter- 
nal sheet of mist. We had left far behind us -all traces of civ- 
ilization, and were traversing a spot as primitive in its features 
as when the " stars sang together, and all the sons of God 



slionted for joy" at tlic new crcntion. Tlie scenery is ^and 
at all times ; but in tlie stillness of niglit, lighted up by a Lake 
Superior moon, it is magnificently picturesque beyond descrip- 

" It was a dangerous tliougli fortunate gale, on the second 
day, that carried us about ten miles an hour for eight hours to 
the mouth of the river we designed to ascend. We reached 
the delta, formed by sand and driftwood, at dusk, and en- 
camped. The next morning the canoe was well pitched, the 
freight uniformly disposed along the bottom — my place being 
on a pile of coats and blankets amidships — when old Charon 
and assistant took their position, denuded of all clothing ex- 
cept their breechcloth and shirt fore and aft. The Brule is a 
narrow, wild, roaring, rocky stream. Looking up the mouth, 
it comes rushing down a woody, mountainous gorge, leaping 
over huge trap and granite boulders, apparently defying all 
forms of navigation. This tumultuous, Avhirling current we 
ascended one hundred miles, averaging twenty-five miles per 
day, in a light bark canoe, twenty-seven feet long by five mid- 
ships, tapering sharp at the ends, turning up like a Chinese 
junk, freighted with about twelve hundred pounds. The boat 
is set up the rapids by poles; and where the rocky walls en- 
croach upon the bed 5f the river, crowding it into a nar- 
row channel, and this farther interrupted by reefs and boul- 
ders, the passage is attended with great difficulty and danger. 
The boatmen are naked, that, should they miss a stroke with 
the pole, like a flash they dart into the stream, holding firmly 
the canoe, towing it to shoal water, otherwise it would be 
instantly dashed to pieces by the force of the current against 
the rocks. No one Avho has not travelled with these fellows 
can form any idea of their expertness in managing a boat 
among the rapids. I take time to speak of the mode and dan- 
ger of ascending this stream, as romantic persons have signi- 
fied a determination to make the trip next summer, and should 
they fail, to get good, experienced voyageurs, they will stand 
a fair chance of being left in the wilderness some hundreds of 
miles froiTi any white settlement, with the pleasing prospect 
of a long groping through one of the most impenetrable forests 


In the world. Men who have been in the service of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company iinclerstaiul the streams and rapics the best. 

" The country reaching south from the lake one hundred miles 
is rough, cheerless, covered with pines, elms, tamarac, cedars, 
&;c. The rocks, of igneous origin, which form the mineral 
region in Michigan, extend across Wisconsin, and reach Min- 
nesota, by what appears a singular dislocation, throwing them 
nearly two hundred miles south. Copper is found on the Brule 
in Wisconsin ; and when I reached the falls of St. Croix, spe- 
cimens were exhibited, coming from the trap range which here 
makes its appearance. 

" The Brule in olden times was great trapping ground. We 
saw the remains of large beaver-dams, and well-beaten paths, 
which the trappers call jf or f ages. They are across long, sharp 
points, where the river makes a sudden bend. It was through 
this stream that the numerous trapping posts on the St. Croix 
and tributaries, the St. Peter and other tributaries of- the Up- 
per Mississippi, were supplied from the large fur-company post 
at Lapointe. There are now no longer beaver or otter found 
here ; but rats are numerous, and some martin. 

** After passing the ridge of highlands, on the third day, the 
country is level, marshy, and numerous lakes are covered with 
ducks, and are alive with speckled trout, of a good size and 
delicious flavor. There are several hard portages, in places 
where the rapids are too dangerous ; and Avhen, on the fourth 
evening, we reached Le Grand Portage, at the head of the 
Brule, we hailed it with joyful delight. This was the portage 
across the ridge which divides the south from the north run- 
ning streams — from the Brule to the headquarters of the St. 
Croix. From toilsome, up-hill poling, we v^'ould now descend 
smoothly with the current, under sail, or with light oars. 

" I had often listened to what I considered extravagant sto- 
ries of the feat and strength of ' pack-men ;' and now I wit- 
nessed what, as I attempt to relate, I can scarcely credit. 
The portage now to make was three miles, up and down hill, 
over a hot, sunburnt, barren heath. The afternoon was swel- 
tering, the dry sands reflecting a scorching, suffocating heat, 
and the thick forest which hemmed in the trail cut off every 


motion of tlie air. The canoe was taken asliore, and tlie 
freight made up into packages. A strong leather strap, about 
four yards along, four inches wide in the centre, tapering grad- 
ually to the ends, is used, by lashing the long ends around the 
packages, the broad centre forming a loop Avhicli is placed 
against the forehead, the burden lying upon the shoulders. 
My trunk was large, crammed to overflowing, Aveighing about 
one hundred pounds. The strap went round this, upon which 
was placed four large, heavy blankets, cotton tent, three over- 
coats, bag of flour (eighty pounds), iron-bound keg with liquor 
(twenty pounds), when ' Hercules' squatted, slipped the noose 
over his head, rose up, then seizing his hands full of camp-ket- 
tles, pans, &c., started off as erect as a soldier, and kept me 
blowing, sweating, and panting, to keep pace with him across 
the portage. The other, old Sowyerain, seventy years of age, 
was loaded equally heavy ! 

" We were now upon the St. Croix, or rather at the boiling 
epring, Avhich sends a portion of its waters to the south to seek 
the gulf of Mexico, and another north to the gulf of St. Law- 
rence. At this small point, in this beautiful crystal basin, two 
rivers take their rise. One mile below this the St. Croix is 
half a mile wide, forming a deep lake, three miles long, per- 
fectly alive with amphibia and fish. Oh, how awfully wild, 
lonely, and still, are these places ! We know that we are hun- 
dreds of miles from all civilization. Y\"hite men have been 
here, but left no traces behind. We move down to a small, 
open spot, and camp for the night on the m.argin of the lake. 
There is not a ripple on the water, and the dark shadows of 
the heavy trees on the opposite side are reaching over ; for 
the red, hot sun is now low in the west; and oh, what a soli- 
tary stillness, as if the wheels of Time stood still, and Nature 
paused in breathless suspense ! 

" The descent of this river was very irksome and tedious, 
requiring four days. The stream is tortuous, and has but little 
ciuTent ; is bordered by an almost continuous succession of 
marshes, wild-rice fields, and large cranberry-patches. On the 
third day the country changed, and large natural-grass mead- 
ows spread out from the shores for miles. The grass was about 


six feet liigli, and would yield at the rate of many tons to tlie 

"At Le Grand Portage, and some other places, we passed 
the remains of ancient Chippewa towns. I could not avoid a 
feeling' of sadness when passing them, and in places I rambled 
over these forlorn, sad spots. In one open, beantiful spot, some 
twelve decayed frames remain, and the marks of camp-fires, 
kindled here perhaps for centuries, hut now deserted, and still 
as death. All the old home associations — the familiar forests, 
the haunts of the deer, wolf, and hear — the mausoleums of the 
dead — all, all are left behind, as the imperative command of 
the white savs to the red man, * Onward, onward, to the wild, 
snowy mountains of the west!' America crowds them upon 
Mexico and the mountains : Mexico and the sterile mountains 
crowd them back. In one spot we met a few squalid, misera- 
bly-poor, half-starved men, squaAvs, and dogs, who had wan- 
dered a long way back from the main tribe. They Avere liv- 
ing upon whortleberries and what fish they could spear in the 



TJie following article is from the pen of John P. Owens, 
Esq., editor of The JMinncsotian, the organ of the whig party 
in St. Paul. It will prove worthy of an attentive perusal : — 

" Since our residence in Minnesota, it has happened a hun- 
dred times, to others as well as ourselves, to be * chucked' 
down under the high bluff among our pleasant friends of Still- 
water, with no manner of way or convenience for leaving there, 
except at California expenses, unless you chose to take the 
back track to St. Paul, wait for a steamboat going down the 
lake, or paddle a batteau up against the swift current of the 
St. Croix. The interesting and valuable region comprising the 
valley of that river has been neglected by strangers, as well 
as citizens of other parts of the territory, mainly because it 
happened to be destitute of good roads, and off from the beaten 
track of general travel. Added to this, the inhabitants of that 
region are an entirely different class from those who dwell 


over tliis way. Tliey Lave not among tlicm any speculators 
or town-builders, to answer the pur])ose of conspicuous adver- 
tisements in tlic columns of daily newspapers, by keeping the 
great and unprecedented advantages of their several locations 
prominently before the people about the streets, and at the 
hotels, and upon the steamboats. Their vocation is the active 
and laborious one of getting pine-logs out of the interminable 
forests up toward the sources of the river, converting them into 
building materials, or running them whole in ' ten-acre rafts' 
to the markets below. A man, to follow this business success- 
fully, has very few spare hours throughout the year for running 
about the country. In July and August, he cuts his hay, near 
where his winter's operations are to take place; in September, 
October, and November, he gets up his supplies ; from then 
until April he is ' in the woods,' with no chance to get out of 
them, and no disposition to get out even to ' crow,' until the 
spring freshets unlock the chains of winter, and sweep his logs 
into the booms ; and then till July and haying-time comes 
round again, the months are occupied by the most important 
and interesting of the whole year's transactions — getting his 
property to market, and receiving his well-earned cash there- 

" But, thanks to the good-natured responses of our dear Un- 
cle Sam to the St. Croix .people's petition for a good road 
through their country, and Mr. Sibley's faithful attention to 
their interests in seeing the ways and means put through to 
consummate the measure, the important region of country to 
which Ave allude is about to be placed in easy and accessible 
communication with its neighbors residing in other parts of the 
territory, as well as ' the rest of mankind.' " 

(The author of this work spent the most of the year 1852, 
with a force of over fifty men, in opening a United States road 
from Stillwater to within seven miles of the falls of St. Croix. 
It is now completed to Sunrise, a distance of sixteen miles 
above the falls.) 

" In addition, some adventurous genius on a small scale, 
down about Oquaka, Illinois, last year conceived the good idea 
of procuring a steamboat suitable to perform the duties of a 


tri-wcekly packet between Stillwater and Taylor's falls, the 
extreme point of steam navigation up the St. Croix. It is 
true lie did not appear to Lave a very correct idea of the kind 
of craft the people really wanted and would well support in 
that trade ; but, such as he thought and planned, he late last 
season brought forth. . . . Indeed, the little Humboldt' is a 
great accommodation to the people of the St. Croix. She 
stops anywhere along the river, to do any and all kinds of 
business that may offer, and will give passengers a longer ride, 
so far as time is concerned, for a dollar, than any other craft 
we ever travelled upon. She is also, to outward appearances, 
a temperance boat, and carries no cooking or table utensils. 
She stops at the ' Marine,' going and returning, to allow the 
people aboard to feed upon a good, substantial dinner; and 
the passengers are allowed, if they feel so disposed, to carry 
* bars' in their side-pockets and ' bricks' in their hats. A very 
accommodating craft is the * Humboldt,' and a convenience 
that is already set down on the St. Croix as one indispen- 

"We happened on the St. Croix at a time peculiarly adapted 
for observing what is going on in that quarter. Over here 
about St. Paul, people are too apt to imagine they are doing 
the entire business of the territory. The difference between 
us and the St. Croix folks at this time is very striking, so far 
as regards the great essential particular of buying and selling. 
"We are buying — they are selling. We, of the Mississippi, 
have now going out of our river a small quantity comparatively 
of logs and lumber. But we have by every boat from below 
coming in, dollars in amount of articles for consumption, to 
where the exports are cents in the shape of products of our 
forests going out. We are aware this state of things will not 
continue long, as our country is rapidly filling up Avitli farmers ; 
but it is so just at this time, On the other hand, our neighbors 
of the St. Croix, with a population on both sides of the river, 
from Point Douglas to the farthest point toward its source of 
lumbering operations, not equal by several hundred souls to 
that of St. Paul, will send to market this season sixty million 
feet of sawed lumber and logs, provided the streams continue 


at tlieir present stnge a few weeks longer. Some weeks ngo 
we made an estimate, placing' the entire amount of logs in tlie 
territory at a mucli less figure than this. We were hugely 
mistaken. Circumstances have greatly favored the St. Croix 
lumbermen this season. For two years past, the low stage of 
the water has prevented them from clearing the upper streams 
of logs : noAv they are getting them all out, old and new. The 
present season opened with quite a freshet, owing to the heavy 
falls of snow last winter. The boom was early filled, and 
many millions have already reached the markets below. But 
the * June rise,' caused by the steady rains for the past three 
weeks, has probably done the business thoroughly for them. 
From Stillwater to the Boom, six miles below Taylor's falls, 
you are scarcely out of sight of rafts and strings of logs. The 
whole way up, and about the boom, it requires no great stretch 
of fancy to imagine one's self passing through a country in 
military possession of Queen Victoria, so often do we pass 
detachments of stout, hardy men, dressed in red. 

" The lumbermen of the St. Croix, during the sessions of the 
Wisconsin and Minnesota legislatures of 1850-51, procured 
the incorporation of the ' St. Croix Boom Company,' with a 
capital of $10,000. ^ This work was considered absolutely 
necessary, to facilitate the bvisiness of driving, assorting, and 
rafting logs. The stock was speedily taken ; and by the fol- 
lowing season the boom was built and ready for service. The 
work is substantial and permanent. Piers of immense size 
are sunk at proper distances, from the Minnesota shore to the 
foot of a large island near the centre of the stream, and again 
from the head of the island to the Wisconsin shore. The 
boom timbers are hung from pier to pier ; and the whole river 
is entirely commanded, with no possibility of scarcely a single 
log escaping. The charter of the company compels them, 
however, to give free passage to all boats, rafts, &c., ascending 
or descending the river. This duty is rather diflicult to per- 
form at certain times, particularly when the logs are running 
into the boom briskly, and hands are not to be had. to raft and 
run them out. This was the case once this season. The Asia 
came up with a heavy freight, which she had signed to deliver 


at Taylor's falls. "When she readied the boom, a barrier of 
three or four miles of logs compactly intervened upon tho 
water's surface, and forbade her further progress. The com- 
pany had been unable to procure laborers to clear out the logs, 
but were nevertheless clearly liable to damages for obstructing 
navigation. They chose the only remedy at hand, which was 
to receive the freight, and pay its transportation up to the falls 
in Mackinaw boats. With a full complement of men, the 
boom can always be kept clear at the point where it crosses 
the main channel of the river. But owing to the unusual 
demand for labor, this has been a difficult matter the present 

" This boom is undoubtedly the most complete and expensive 
work of the kind in the northwest. It is the business resort 
of all the lumbermen on the river, and those who wish to have 
any transactions with them, during the season of rafting and 
running. It is to them precisely what 'Change is to the mer- 
chants of a large city. Mill proprietors, dealers, pilots, loggers, 
and raftsmen, here do congregate daily, to talk over their 
affairs and transact their business. If you wish, at this 
season, to see a man residing in that section of country, you 
will be more apt to find him at the boom, some day during the 
week, than at home or anywhere else. Every man's logs on 
the river are compelled to pass through the boom, and during 
the process they are assorted and rafted, and delivered to him 
or his pilots immediately below. So much per thousand is 
allowed the company by law for this labor, which, by-the-by, 
we understand has never yet been sufficient to pay. It is 
thought, however, that the present season will show a different 
result, owing to the large increase of business. 

" It is a curiosity to see the huge size of some of the rafts 
from this boom. Two noted St. Croix pilots passed Stillwater 
with a fleet of three million feet under their command. We 
believe that this is the largest lot of logs that ever went out 
of the St. Croix in one body. 

*' The first mill reached in descending the St. Croix from 
Taylor's falls, is the Osceola, on the Wisconsin side. Its 
water power is a spring braucli froio the neighboring bluffs, 


similar to the Marine and ctlier mills below the falls, and is 
said to be the best on tb« river. This mill has been in 
operation since 1845. It is now owned and managed by the 
Messrs. Kent, Mr. Maboney, who had been identified with the 
establishment since its inception, having retired last falL 
With proper improvements, Osceola can be made one of the 
most extensive manufacturing establishments on the river. 

" Marine Mills is next in order. This is a place on the St. 
Croix, noted for its extensive manufacturing facilities. The 
Marine Company erected last season an extensive new mill, 
which is nowmnning. There is sufficient water power to drive 
two saws, but the new mill has been erected with a view of 
nsing steam machinerj-. It speaks well for the prosperity of 
the Marine Company, and the lumbering business, to see in 
operation such elegant and complete mills as this. The 
workmanship and machinery are not excelled by any in the 

"The establishment of ilr. Mower, the Areola, is six miles 
above Stillwater. Here has also been erected, within the past 
year, a new mill, which is operated by steam — the only mill 
of the kind as yet in operation on the St. Croix. Mr. Mower 
also continues his old water-mill, and appears to be driving 
an extensive business. 

*' Passing on to the upper edge of Stillwater, we come to the 
ruins of the extensive steam-mill of Messrs. Sawyer, Heatou 
&; Setzer, which was destroyed by fire a few months since. 
But the determined proprietors have no notion of giving it up 
so. We noticed meii at work removing the rubbish, preparatory 
to rebuilding. 

" The M'Kusick mill, at Stillwater, is still ripping away after 
the old fashion. His establishment is noted for the excellent 
and neat manner in which he prepares his lumber for market. 

"We visited the new steam-mill below Stillwater, belong;inc^ 
to Messrs. Churchill & Xelson, Carlton, Loomis, and others. 
It is not yet quite ready for motion, but will start ofi" full rigged 
next month. If we are any judge of such matters, this mill, 
in many respects, * takes them all.* It has the same power as 
the Oakes establishment of St. Paul, and will drive the same 


amount of saws and macliinery, bnt is more spacions, conre- 
nient, and eligibly situated for doing business. The engine 
was built in Detroit. 

" On the Minnesota side of the lake, opposite Hudson, Mr. M. 
Perrin is erecting a steam savr-mill, which will be in operation 
soon. In the Ticinity of Hudson are the mills of Messrs. 
Mears and Bowron. Then at the mouth of the lake is the 
mill of Messrs. Stevens & Co. This completes the list, making, 
when Messrs. Sawyer, Heaton & Setzer's new establishment 
is completed, eleven mills in the valley, with, in the aggregate, 
over twenty upright saws, and the usual amount of circulars 
attached. This amount of machineiT should be able to cut 
two hundred and fifty thousand feet of lumber every twenty- 
four hours — worth, in the St. Louis market, fourteen dollars per 
thousand. "We think we have heard it remarked that Minne- 
sota has no resources ! 

" While people are going crazy about the valley of the Min- 
nesota and other portions west of the Mississippi, they should 
recollect there are old locations worth looking at, with a higli 
market at the door of every farmer for the next hundred years, 
or as long as the pineries last. Going by land from Stillwater 
to Taylor's Falls, you pass over the same character of country 
as lies between St. Paul and Stillwater, with the exception 
that the land is of a much better quality generally. West 
of the road lies Cornelian lake, a large and beautiful sheet of 
water. Immediatelv back of Marine is another laro:e lake. 
Marine is situated upon the line of the open and timber coun- 
try. Immediately north of that point commences the heavy 
* hard wood' growth, consisting of oak of the largest size, 
sugar maple — which predominates — bass wood, ash, white 
walnut, etc. This extensive forest runs north some thirty 
miles to the mouth of Sunrise river. The heavy timber con- 
tinues the whole distance, the western border being within 
twentv miles of St. Paul. The ^land is of the very best 
quality, rollhig but not broken, and the heavy timber so thick 
that the rays of the sun can scarcely reach the ground. The 
timber, soil, and character of the country, through this forest 
and around Lake Chisago, is precisely similar to what we see 


about Lake Minnetonka. Lake Cliisago lias about forty miles 
of coast. Around its sliores are settled several families of 
Swedes, ■C\'lio are beginning to farm in a small way. There is 
also a settlement of these people in the vicinity of Marine. 

" Sunrise river, or creek, takes its rise about four miles north 
and six miles west of Marine, and about six miles north, bear- 
ing east, of White Bear lake. It runs in a northerly direction, 
and empties itself into the St. Croix sixteen miles above Tay- 
lor's falls. The valley of this stream is unsurpassed as an 
agricultural country. But very little land along it is yet 
taken up, Avhich is also the case with the entire timber country 
we have spoken of east of it. It is proper also to mention, 
that the source of Sunrise is in the same township as that 
of Rice creek, a tributary of the Mississippi sixteen miles 
above St. Paul. Toward the mouth of Sunrise, northAvest of 
Taylor's falls, and traversing the banks of the stream, is one 
of the most fertile and beautiful of prairies, extending eight 
or ten miles north and south, and from two to three east and 
west. Only about two sections of this delightful farming 
paradise is yet claimed. What renders this tract so very val- 
uable is, that it is immedately adjacent to the immense hard- 
wood timber country we have alluded to, and close on up 
toward the pine region. 

" The country northeast of us is an impassable region of lakes 
and swamps. The facts are just as we have stated, although 
it is true the country is exceedingly well-watered with spring 
branches and clear lakes. A very large proportion of these 
lands are marked * number one' in the field notes of the sur- 
veyors, while, according, to the same authority, there is no 
land of this high character (or at least scarcely any) immedi- 
ately about St. Paul. 

" As has been published to the world a thousand times, this is 
the most northern point of continuous steamboat navigation 
from below on tbe water of the Mississippi, or its tributaries. 
The celebrated falls of St. Croix are half a mile above, but 
boat* can not ascend over Taylor's falls ; although there is no 
precipitous fall at the latter place, only swift rapids. The 
scenery and character of this bold and romantic locality has 


been so often rlescribecl by able pens, that we will not hazard 
all we could do — a bare attempt to go over tlie ground suc- 
cessfully. The picture is grapliically and truly delineated in 
Mrs. Ellet's * Summer Rambles in the West/ to which Ave in- 
vite the attention of those of our readers who have never 
visited this noted spot. Suffice it to say, that those Avho visit 
Minnesota, and go away without seeing ' Rock island,' the 
'Delles,' 'Taylor's Falls,' and the * Falls of St. Croix,' 
leave out of the note-book of their observations a section of 
country and scenery that is worth going three times the dis- 
tance to behold. There is nothing like it anywhere else in 
this part of the world. No conception can be formed of the 
character of its boldness and grandeur by vieAving the falls 
of St. Anthon}'. It is altogether a piece of architecture and 
Avorkmanship of an entirely different style, as much so as a 
Corinthian palace is different from a Gothic cathedral. 

" The geologists have told us all about the formations of this 
region. The dark green trap rock — knoAvn by the common 
name of 'green Stone' — similar in texture and' general ap- 
pearance to the more grayish copper-bearing rock of Lake 
Superior, is throAvn up here in immense masses, lying all over 
the surface so thick that a team can not be driven over it Avith 
safety. This upheaA'ing process has only been earned on in 
the immediate A'icinity of the falls. Half a mile back on the 
Minnesota side it entirely disappears. This is also a copper- 
bearing rock, and it is not uncommon to find large boulders of 
pure copper in excavating AA^ells and cellars. We have one 
noAv on our table, taken from a Avell immediately in the village 
of Taylor's Falls a fcAV Aveeks since, AA^iich AA'eighs about one 
pound, .and is over ninety per cent, of pure copper. There is 
no doubt that this metal exists in large quantities in this trap 
range ; but at the present time the citizens of the Falls have a 
more certain, if not a more profitable occupation than prospect- 
ing for copper. 

" Taylor's Falls is really one of the oldest places in Min- 
nesota, although the neat and pleasant village of thirty or 
forty houses — all tastefully built and cleanly painted — 
which one sees there now, has sprung into existence during 


tbe past t^vo jefirs. The 'claim' npon vrhich this thriving 
village stands, was made by Jesse Taylor, Esq., a well-knoAvn 
citizen of Stillwater. He afterward entered into partnership 
with Mr. Baker, an Indian trader, remembered by all our 
older settlers as the gentleman who built the large stone house 
on the 3Iississippi, above Fort Snelling, now owned by Ken 
neth M'Kenzie, Esq., of St. Louis. Messrs. Baker, Taylor, 
and others, proceeded here to erect the first mill ever com- 
menced on the St. Croix. Mr. Baker died before it was com- 
pleted, and the frame was afterward removed to Osceola, six 
miles below on the "Wisconsin side, where it was re-erected and 
still stands, doing good service for its present owners. Jesse 
Taylor subsequently sold his claim to Joshua L. Taylor, the 
gentleman first appointed marshal of Minnesota, by President 
Taylor, in 1849, who still owns a portion of the old claim. 
Another of the Taylor family a brother of J. L., and a well- 
known and influential citizen of the St. Croix Valley, in part- 
nership with Mr. Fox, at this time carries on trade in the old 
* claim cabin' erected by Jesse in 1837 ; so it will be seen 
there is no sense in calling the place anything else than Tay- 
lor's Falls. Mr. W. H. C. Folsom holds forth on the opposite 
corner in the same business — that of general merchandise — 
which two establishments complete the stock of mercantile 
transactions at Taylor's Falls. He is engaged in a very ex- 
tensive trade with the lumbermen, and is one of the master 
spirits of the Upper St. Croix. 

" There is no mistaking the fact, that Taylor's Falls is al- 
ready a place — quite a place — and is bound to be a still 
greater one. There are two good hotels already finished ; 
and the one at which we stopped, the Chisago house, is better 
furnished, and as well kept — barring the inconvenience of 
having no meat and vegetable market at hand — as any house 
in St. Paul, St. Anthony, or Stillwater. Some of the finest 
trout and other fishing, as well as hunting, to be found in this 
northwestern region, is about these falls. A great many im- 
provements in the way of building, are in progress at Taylor's 
Falls, with men at the helm, such as we might name as lead- 
ing citizens of the place — situated so as to command the trade 


of the increasing lumbering region to the north — being at the 
extreme head of navigation, and with an unequalled farming 
country back, there can be no retrograde movement to Taylor's 
Falls. ' 

** Lest wc might excite feelings in the m.inds of some that 
would afterward be doomed to disappointments, we will state 
the fact, that no lots are for sale at Taylor's Falls, except to 
those who wish to build. The proprietors have determined 
the property shall not fall into the hands of speculators who 
will let it remain idle. 

** The evening we arrived was that of the first day of court, 
being the first court held by his honor Chief-Justice "Welch, 
since his appointment to the bench. Chisago is a new county, 
containing, comparatively, not a great number of inhabitants, 
and those neighborly and peaceably disposed toward each 
other. So there was not much business on the docket, and 
rather dry picking for the eight or ten lawyers present. Per- 
haps they didn't appear there for the purposes of legitimate 
practice. Lawyers ^cill be found hovering about county courts, 
whether they have business or not, particularly when impor- 
tant election days are approaching. 

** The old milling site of St. Croix Falls, which it would take 
all the courts in Christendom, and all the Philadelphia law- 
yers, with their number multiplied by ten thousand, to decide 
to whom it rightfully belongs, is now w^earing greater signs of 
active prosperity, than it has since the famous * Boston com- 
pany' laid the withering curse of their hands upon it. It al- 
ways appeared to us a burning shame, and a disgrace to the 
country, that so great and glorious a water privilege, planted 
by the hand of Nature directly within striking distance of one 
of the most inexhaustible pine regions in the world, should be 
suffered to lay waste from year to year, or be used at ruinous 
sacrifices to every man who touched it. These results have 
not been from natural causes, but from man's selfishness and 
cupidity, and a desire to override and crush his fellow-man. 
We do not w^ish to be understood as giving any opinion as to 
which of the parties litigant are in the right ; but certain it is, 
Mr. Hungerford, who now has possession, is making the Falls 


look vastly more like a business place tlian it lias for years. 
The mill lias been refittetl with new machinery the past -win- 
ter, and is now driving ahead rapidly, day and night, running 
four saws, with the remaining two almost in readiness to start. 
Things about the village wear a prosperous appearance ; and 
if the property were only out of laAv, there would be no more 
thriving, driving, go-ahead village in the state of "Wisconsin 
than St. Croix Falls. 

" If a suit in a Wisconsin chancery court should eventually 
prove a thing less enduring than the trap rocks which form 
the St. Croix falls — a matter we think extremely doubtful — 
there are yet hopes that this immense water-power Avill result 
in some great and profitable benefit to some member or mem- 
bers of the human family. 

" Here also is the battle-ground of the great legal contest, car- 
ried on by a * Boston company,' with the Honorable Caleb 
Gushing at their head, on one side, and Mr. Hungerford on 
the other. The water-power is of immense force and value, 
and can be turned to accoinit with but little expense. The 
rocky reef which forms the falls forms thus a natural dam, and 
on the shore below are the seats for extensive mills. The 
Boston company laid out a town here, built a number of cot- 
tasres : but when the contention commenced, all business was 
suspended — the lumbering mills thrown idle; but now that 
Mr. Hungerford has taken possession, the activity and enter- 
prise of the place will continue. The lumbering business on 
this river in a few years will be immense. The first signs of 
civilized life we met were at the falls, but above this the river 
is filled with logs for fifty miles." 





With the exception of the " Big Woods," the whole country 
may be considered as prairie, the streams only being skirted 
with wood. On the whole there is a want of timber for ordi- 
nary farming purposes in a thickly -inhabited district ; but if 
the growth of timber be encouraged, as the population grad- 
ually increases, a deficiency may never be experienced. 

Throughout the greater part of this region, the traveller is 
surprised and charmed with the everchanging variety and 
beauty of the scenery. 

The alluvial land bordering upon the river, varies in width 
from a quarter of a mile to a mile or more. The greater por- 
tion of this constitutes numerous natural meadows, covered 
annually with a luxuriant growth of grass. A small proportion 
of these alluvial lands is covered with ash, elm, sugar and 
white maple, butternut, white walnut, lime, linden, box elder, 
cotton-wood and hickory. A considerable portion of these 
flats, being subject to annual overfloAv, are wet and marshy. 

A remarkable feature of this country consists in the small 
lakes and ponds scattered over it. Many of these are beautiful 
sheets of water, having the appearance of artificial basins, 
which greatly enhance the beauty of the country, especially 
when skirted, as they sometimes are, by groves of trees, and 
frequented by water fowl, which tend to animate and relieve 
the otherwise almost deathlike silence which so pervades the 

For about fifty miles above its confluence with the Missis- 
sippi, the Minnesota has a sluggish current, and is slightly 



Tvliih'sli — hence tlie Dakota name of "Minnesota" or water 
" tinted like tlie sky." 

Coal Lecls are believed hy many to exist on the head waters 
of the Mankator or Blue Earth river, and other tributaries of 
the npper Minnesota. Pieces of Cannel coal have been found 
from time to time, though not in such abundance, nor are the 
indications at any point so strongly marked as to induce us to 
believe tliat any very extensive beds will be found in those 
localities. David Dale Owen, United States geologist, in his 
report of a geological survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minne- 
sota, in lS48-'9, says : — " On the Mankato, and its branches, 
several pieces of lignite were picked up from the beds and 
banks of the streams. Some of this lignite approaches in its 
character to Cannel coal; but most of it has a brown color, 
and exhibits distinctly the ligneous fibre, and other structure 
of the wood from which it has been derived. Diligent search 
was made to endeavor to trace tins mineralized wood to its 
source, and discover the beds where report had located an 
extensive and valuable coal field. At one point, a fragment 
was found seventy feet above the level of the river, projecting 
from the drift ; but no regular bed could be detected anywhere, 
even in places where sections of the drift were exposed down 
to the magnesian lime stone. The conclusion at which those 
who were appointed to investigate the matter arrived, was, 
that the pieces occasionally found throughout the Minnesota 
country, are only isolated fragments disseminated in the drift, 
but that no regular bed exists Avithin the limits of the district. 

As regards salubrity, soil, timber, and water, we doubt 
whether any portion of the west presents greater inducements 
for immigration than the charming Aalley of the Minnesota 
river. The eye is delighted with a succession of rural land- 
scapes of unsurpassed and varied beauty. The scenery is not 
bold and craggy like that of the Mississippi, and upper St. 
Croix, but picturesque, and. homelike. The wide-spreading 
prairies, studded with oak groves, terminating in sloping banks, 
and fringed with meadows, which bound the right bank of the 
Minnesota at its entrance ; and the rolling prairies which make 
a gentle declivity down to the winding stream on the left, 


excite, upon first entering the montli of the Minnesota, an 
expression of admiration from every person of natural or cul- 
tivated taste. HoAV much more beautiful the scene when 
adorned by the handiwork of civilization, as it soon will be. 
Tlie bottom lands are generally from a quarter of a mile to a 
half mile wide, and afford natural hay meadows that can not 
be surpassed. The topography of the valley as seen from the 
river, is more picturesque than that of any other river we have 
seen. The banks, which are rarely more than fifteen or less 
than ten feet high, above the bottom's, are sometimes concealed 
from the steamboat traveller by heavy timber growing doAvn 
to the river bed. But generally, except through the Bois 
Franc, or great woods, the green banks and rolling prairies are 
in full view. Oak groves resembling cultivated orchards, and 
a back ground of apparently dense timber, complete the beauty 
of the view; and there is scarcely a quarter section of land 
presented to the eye of the traveller, but suggests the most 
beautful sites for farmhouses and improvements. The natural 
scenery can not fail to cultivate among the future settlers of 
the valley, a refined taste in rural architecture. Although 
there is similarity, there is nothing monotonous in the diorama 
which feasts, but does not pall, the sight of the voyageur. Not 
a spot but seems to await with impatience the adorning hand 
of civilization ; not an acre but appears ready for the axe, the 
plough, or the scythe. It is a common remark, that the whole 
country looks as if it had been suddenly deserted by a civilized 
people — the fences and buildings removed, and the orchards 
left standing. 

Farms can be made in this valley at a trifling expense ; na- 
ture has almost finished the work. 

There are many beautiful sites for towns along the river. 
Little Rapids will probably be a place of importance, as steam- 
boats that can go as high as Mendota, will find no obstruction 
below that point. The river is narrow — from sixty to eighty 
yards wide, and very crooked. 

There is plenty of hard-wood timber on the river, sufficient 
to supply the country below. It consists of hard and soft ma- 
ple, oak, ash, elm, white and black walnut, hickory, cherry, 


Cottonwood, Slc. For the distance of thirty-six miles, the 
river winds through the Bois Fra7ic, a dense forest which 
crosses the river, and is from fifteen to forty miles wide, and 
one hundred long. 

In a few years, many steamboats will be running with freight 
and passengers between the bustling city of St. Paul and the 
thriving towns and settlements of the Minnesota river — but 
that is looking to the future. For the present and the next 
four or five years, there will be sites for farms, as cheap — as 
good land — as healthy, and nearer to markets — convenient 
to the great Mississippi above and below the falls, where sa- 
gacious farmers will locate and improve in preference to going 
farther off", for the mere gratification of fancy. 

In pointing out the most favored portions of our territory 
for agricultural settlements w^e are guided more by the travels 
of scientific and experienced men than by practical knowledge. 
Excepting the farming done on the east side of the river, there 
has been but little land broken in ^he territory. The strip of 
land lying between the St. Croix and the Mississippi, v/hile it 
proves abundantly productive of leguminous plants, grass, oats, 
&c., does not appear so well adapted in body and depth of soil 
for the more weighty cereals, as the lands to the southwest of 
the Mississippi, toward the sources of the Cannon, Vermillion, 
and Blue-Earth rivers. 

Seventy-nine years before the survey of Nicollet, the coun- 
try was explored by the English traveller Carver, in 1766. 
He records, as follows : " The river St. Peter, which runs 
through the territories of the Xaudowessies, flows through a 
most delightful country, abounding with all the necessaries of 
life, that grow spontaneously; .and with a little cultivation it 
might be made to produce even the luxuries of life. Wild 
rice grows here in great abundance ; and every part is filled 
with trees bending under their loads of fruits, such as plums, 
grapes, and apples; the meadows are covered with hops and 
many sorts of vegetables ; while the ground is stored with use- 
ful roots — with angelica, spikenard, and gi'ound-nuts as large 
as hens' eggs. At a little distance from the river are emi- 
nences, from which you have views that can not be exceeded 


even by tlie most beautiful of those I have ah'eacly described. 
Amidst these are delightful groves, and such amazing quanti- 
ties of maples, that they would produce sugar sufficient for 
any number of individuals. This country" (near Mankato 
city) "likewise abounds with a milk-white clay, out of which 
china-ware might be made equal in goodness to the Asiatic ; 
and also with a blue clay, which serves the Indians for paint." 

This language will undoubtedly sound very strong when 
read in the far east, yet it is corroborated by the more exten- 
sive and minute observation of the past few years. Within 
the last three years, every mile of this country has been trav- 
ersed, and recently much of it claimed ; and, like a really 
good thing, the more we see and hear of it, the better we 
like it. 

G. W. Featherstonhaugh, F. H. S., ascended the St. Peter's 
on an exploring tour in 1835. In his work he says: ** The 
channel [at the confluence of the Mankato with the St. Peter'sJ 
is one hundred yards wide, and the country extremely beauti- 
ful ; the prairie occasionally coming down to the water's edge, 
while at other times bold bluffs arise with well-wooded slopes, 
interspersed with graceful clumps of trees. 

"About half-past five, P. M., I landed for the night at one 
of the loveliest encampments I had yet met with ; charming 
slopes, with pretty dells intersecting them, studded with trees 
as gracefully as if they had been planted with the most refined 
taste ; everything indeed around us was interesting. I could 
not but think what a splendid private estate could be contrived 
out of so beautiful a territory. A mansion, built on one of 
these gentle slopes, backed by thousands of well-formed trees, 
decked in their autumnal colors ; thousands of acres of the 
most fertile level land, with the river in front, and a world of 
prairie in the rear, abounding with grouse." 

I take pleasure in quoting these two disinterested English 
authorities ; the one writing in 1766, the other in 1835, fol- 
lowed by M. Nicollet in 1845. What they say borders appa- 
rently so closely upon poetic exaggeration, that it is only by 
considering their entire disinterestedness in the matter that a 
stranger who has not visited. the country will be disposed to 


give full credence to what they conjointly record. Carver 
was a very close and practical observer, and made strenuous 
efforts to secure the country to himself and heirs, by a pre- 
tended or real grant from the Indians. Nicollet, as an engi- 
neer, is eminently scientific and practical. Featherstonhaugh, 
a distinguished geologist, while he surveyed the rocky strata 
with scientific earnestness, indulged his poetic fancy in admi- 
ring the picturesque landscapes — the wide-spread lawns, rol- 
ling waters, rocks, dells, and grottoes, fringed with trees — so 
gracefully formed and disposed, as if directed by the highest 
artistic skill. He evidently left the country, then an uninhab- 
ited, wilderness, with feelings of regret. He longed for a splen- 
did private estate that could be contrived out of so beautiful a 
territory — a mansion with a rolling lawn sweeping down to 
the river in front; on either side thousands of acres of level, 
fertile land, Avith a prairie in the rear abounding with grouse. 

About one year, since, the Indian title to the lands west of 
the Mississippi, in Minnesota, was extinguished. In a short 
time, these same Indians will be removed and shut up in the 
wilderness behind the new fort, now in course of construction. 
In anticipation, however, of the tardy movements of the gov- 
ernment, and before the savage occupants leave, or any steps 
taken to bring the land into market, the restless surge of im- 
migration is flowing rapidly onward, inundating the entire 
country. Already every eligible site for a town upon the Mis- 
sissippi, from the Iowa line to St. Anthony, is claim.ed, and 
improvements in rapid progress. Nor is the condition of the 
Minnesota essentially different. Perhaps the enterprising as- 
pirants here even excel the Mississippians. The Minnesota 
penetrates the very heart of the new purchase, and is naviga- 
ble as long as the Mississippi remains open in the fall. The 
eye of practical sagacity has already discovered to thousands 
the inestimable value of this country and its river-towns. 

Ascending the Minnesota for three hundred miles, thence 
projecting a line south to the Iowa boundary, following this 
east to the Mississippi, thence up the river to the starting- 
point, we enclose a tract of immense size probably unequalled 
in agricultural value, all things considered, by any public lands 


DOW lield by the governniciit. Two sides of tliis beautiful 
plateau are washed by broad, sv\eeping rivers alive with steam- 
ers ; r.umerous smaller rivers and streams course through the 
interior, affording abundant water-power, while lakes of fresh 
Avater are dotted over the surface, as though Nature, in a mo- 
ment of extreme prodigality, had determined to make this the 
most favored of all pastoral countries. 

Of the fertility and productiveness of the soil, it is now su- 
perfluous to speak; and it is also generally well known that, 
while there is an abundance of open land for farming or gra- 
zing, there is an ample supply of heavy timber for all needful 
purposes. So some of the advantages possessed by the coun- 
try are — 

1. A most congenial and salutary climate. 

2. Fertile and productive soil. 

3. Open prairies, interspersed with belts of heavy timber 
(basswood, hickory, white oak, white ash, black walnut, sugar- 
maple, &c., &c.). 

4. Rivers, streams, and lakes, watering every fractional por- 
tion of the country. 

5.. Navigable streams, already the highway of an immense 
business — the number of steamers increasing yearly. 

'6. A direct steam communication with the great markets 
and railroads of the south. 

7. Land open for settlement without any other expense than 
to locate upon it ; nor will au}^ tax, or even the minimum gov- 
ernment price, be^demanded till the survey is completed, which 
may not be for two or three years. 

8. The towns on the ^lississippi, Red-Wing at the south 
edge of the Undine region, St. Paul at the central edge, and St. 
Anthony above, are ready to supply all the wants of the 
farmer, and purchase his surplus provisions in return. 

9. The country is generally level, the soil a decomposed 
mould, easily worked, and in its natural state covered witli a 
luxuriant growth of grass, averaging from eighteen inches to 
three feet in height. For years neither hay nor pasture can 
bo an item of expense. 

10. From experience, we know that all the grains of the 


middle states tlirive here to the greatest perfection, and the 
superiority of leguminous plants is a matter of common con- 

11. In the vicinity of Mankato city, brick-clay of a very 
fine quality is found in abundance, Avhile quarries of building- 
stone are found along the rivers and streams in many different 

The above statements are so fully endorsed, that the writer 
has no apprehensions of being charged with drawing upon his 
own fancy. M. Nicollet, in his report of the *' Hydrographic 
Basin of the Upper Mississippi," says : — 

" I shall now proceed to give a short account of some of the 
regions of country adjoining the Coteau des P?-airies. Among 
these, that which appeared to me the most favorable, is the 
one watered by the * Bold Mankato' or Blue-Earth river, and 
to which I have given the name of * Undine Region.* 

" The great number of navigable tributaries of the Mankato, 
spreading themselves out in the shape of a fan ; the group of 
lakes, surrounded by well-wooded hills; some wide-spreading 
prairies with a fertile soil ; others apparently less favored, but 
open to improvement — the whole together bestow upon this 
region a most picturesque appearance. It was while on a visit 
to the beautiful lakes Olxamanjiidavi and Tclianliassan that it 
occurred to me to give the name I have adopted, derived from 
an interesting and romantic German tale." 

Mankato city is the name of a newly-surveyed site of a 
future city in the very heart and centre of this elegant coun- 
try. It is near the junction of the *' Bold Mankato" with the 
/Minnesota river, and at the extreme south bend of this latter 
stream, nearly a hundred miles in a southwesterly direction 
from St. Paul. Here it is upon the glittering banks of two 
Bilvery streams of spacious capacity, with fertile prairies open- 
ing to the warm, sunny south, sweeping off for miles and miles 
till the closing vista is bounded by fringes of forests, while in 
the rear, close to the south bank of the river, stands heavy 
timber, ready to the builders' hands, to be converted into dom- 
icils of comfort or elegance, that Mankato city is located. 

The town plat has been laid out, and is owned by Henry 


M'Kent.y, a man of activity, enterprise, and perseverance, 
who, in securing this choice spot and expending' upon it his 
funds, has done so after a mature and careful consideration of 
its commercial relations with the Undine country, with the 
Minnesota river, and the southern outlet by way of the Missis- 
sippi, after crossing the country a hundred and thirteen miles 
to the foot of Lake Pepin, with heavy wagons over a good 
natural road. 

It is almost physically impossible to tap the Undine region 
with a railroad and escape this point. When it is reached, it 
stands in the very centre and heart of the richest country, 
much of the most available land lying still west, stretching 
out into the Wahpeton country, and toward the sources of the 
Blue Earth and tributaries. These streams are navigable for 
large barges to within a few miles of their rise. For the pres- 
ent, communication may be made by steamers up the Minne- 
sota, or over land, following the Cannon river valley, or Le- 
grange river, striking the Mississippi at Red Wing. For those 
coming up from below, bringing stock, wagons, &c., the point 
of debarkation will be at some place near the foot or head of 
Lake Pepin. 

A new town called " Gorman," is being laid out on the Can- 
non river, midway fronrMankato and Lake Pepin, on the ter- 
ritorial road ; and in as good a locality for a town as any yet 
started in the territory. The land in the vicinity of the Can- 
non is as good as any in Minnesota, and is rapidly filling up 
with hardy farmers from New England. The proprietors are 
Messrs. Robert Kennedy and A. J. Morgan. Mr. K. has 
superintended the surveying and laying out the town-site 
into lots. Success to the enterprise. The town is called 
Gorman, after Hon. Willis A. Gorman, the present governor 
of Minnesota. 

A description of the country between Lake Pepin and Man- 
kato city is of some importance : " The extreme length of the 
road is one hundred and thirteen miles. A tangent would 
make it about one hundred and five, thus being eight miles in 
avoiding swamps, &c. 

" The country near the lake is very broken, being cut up by 



ravines clesccnding from tlie higlilaiicis to tlie lake. In many 
of these ravines- may be found some of tLe richest farming 
lands in Minnesota. Hardly a ravine but lias its " trout 
brook" shaded witli a luxnriant grove of all kinds of timber. 
At your near approach to the highlands, you continually en- 
counter springs ; and it is not an unfrecpent occurrence to find 
at the very height of some ridge, a spring of limpid water. I 
made it a point to search the highest lands for water. 

" After you leave the lake, say five or six miles back, you 
will find a different country, the soil of which would be hard 
to analyze. It is what I would call poor, or rather none of 
the best, being sand intermixed with numerous small flints. 
Timber is scarce, and what there is, is scrubby burr oak of the 
leanest kind. But remember we are on the dividing ridge be- 
tween the Cannon, on the north, and the Waze Ozu, on the 
south, so that while barrenness presents itself in your immedi- 
ate vicinity, an hour's travel either to the right or left brings 
you to Eden-like valleys. When some eighteen or twenty 
miles back, again there is a sudden change from sterility to 
rich prairies, abounding in water and groves of fine timber ; 
such a country as would make a farmer's eyes water, and if 
covetous, would make him wish to own all that joined his 
farm. The soil is a loam, slightly sandy, abounding in small 
hazel-brush. The greatest enemy the farmer will find here is 
the gopher; the ground is literally ploughed by them, so 
much so, that in many places their excavations made it diffi- 
cult to proceed on horseback, as we were constantly breaking 
through, even where the ground appeared smoothest. I trav- 
elled about forty miles over this undulating prairie, when I 
struck the woods that skirt the Cannon near its head, on the 
east side — consisting of the largest kind of oak, ash, walnut, 
elm, sugar maple, &c., many trees of which were four and five 
feet in diameter, sixy feet to a limb, and straight as a reed. 
The woods are from two to five miles wide, and extend in 
leno'th, I know not how far. 

"When you reach the Cannon, which here runs north, you 
will find yourself in one of the loveliest of countries. The 
Cannon is some eighty feet wide and about a foot deep, with 


fall enoiigli for an immense water-power. It does not over- 
j9oA\^ its banks at this point, rising only some five or six feet. 
This may be attributed to several large lakes above, which 
act as reservoirs. On the Avest side is a prairie which extends 
some four miles back, to Lake Tepe-Tonka ; so level is it that 
a good sized dog might be seen on any part of it. 

" Lake Tepe-Tonka, more properly Tetonka, is a beautiful 
sheet of water, some four miles long and two wide. Along its 
pebbly shores may be found wagon-loads offish carcases, por- 
tending abundance of tlie * live article' in the lake. From 
tliis lake flows a branch of the Cannon, thus bounding the 
above-mentioned water. The country west of this point is 
good, bad, and indifferent, being alternately prairie, swamp, 
and marshes." 

I append also a description of "Mille Lacs," which, thougli 
east of the Mississippi, is of some interest to those ignorant of 
its localities : " Mille Lacs is the largest body of water in the 
territory southwest of Lake Superior, being about eighteen 
miles from north to south, and fifteen miles from east to west. 
On the east side, about one third the distance down from the 
north shore, is a point projecting into the lake composed of 
large boulders. The land along the east shore is well tim- 
bered with oak, maple, ash, elm, birch, and aspen. The shore 
is from four to twelve feet high, and walled with a line of 
boulders, some of which are remarkably large. The lake is 
shallow for a long distance from the shores, and the bottom 
entirely covered with boulders. Southwest of the point named 
above, is a tamarac swamp, the level of which is lower than 
that of the lake ; the lake being walled in by a bank ten or 
twelve feet high, composed of boulders and soil. This heap- 
ing up of boulders so as to form barriers higher than the sur- 
rounding country occurs also at many other points. At one 
place the boulders form an inclined plain ten or eleven feet 
high, for a long distance ; while the general level of the coun- 
try is not over seven or eight feet above the waters of the 

" In the southeasterly portion of the lake are several small 
islands, composed entirely of boulders, filled up sometimes as 


liigh as twenty feet. Around one of these islands is a wall 
of boulders several feet higher than the centre, the formation 
of which, as well as of the lake barriers, I attribute to the ac- 
tion of ice. On the west side of the lake, near its outlet, is a 
projecting point, bearing northeast, and in that direction corre- 
sponds with the point mentioned on the east shore, and marks, 
probably, the course of a granite ridge concealed beneath the 
drift. Near the point is the largest island in the lake, and the 
only one covered with a good soil ; on it the Indians have gar- 
dens. The ridge forming the point is covered with pines. 

" Rum river is about twenty feet wide at the outlet of Mille 
Lacs ; in less than a mile it expands into Rice lake, about 
three miles long, and a quarter of a mile wide. The country 
at the lower end of the lake is from twenty -five to thirty feet 
above the level of the water. Two other lakes occur in the 
distance of about five miles, both filled with rice. The last 
one is about two miles long, and three quarters of a mile wide 

ST. PAUL. 109 




St. Paul — latitude 44° 52' 46^ longitude 93° 4' 54'"— is a 
port of entry, the county-seat of Ramsey county, and the seat 
of government of the territory of Minnesota. It is pleasantly 
situated on the east bank of the Mississippi river, eight miles 
from the falls of St. Anthony, and five miles from Fort Snel- 
ling ; about two thousand and seventy miles from the mouth 
of the Mississippi river, and near its confluence with the 
Minnesota river, and is elevated about eight hundred feet 
above the gulf of Mexico. It is near the geographical centre 
of the continent of North America, in the north temperate 
zone, and must eventually become a central nucleus for the 
business of one of the best watered, timbered, and most fertile 
and healthy countries on the globe. It is surrounded in the 
rear by a semicircular plateau, elevated about forty feet above 
the town, of easy grade, and commanding a magnificent view 
of the river above and below. Nature never planned a spot 
better adapted to build up a showy and delightful display of 
architecture and gardening, than that natural terrace of hills. 
The town has sprung up, like Minerva full armed from the head 
of Jupiter, and now contains five thousand inhabitants ; its 
whole history of four years forming an instance of western 
enterprise, and determined energy and resolution, hitherto 
unsurpassed in the history of any frontier settlement. 

Whatever direction we take among the localities of Minne- 
sota, we find subjects of interest, whether in awaking the 
spirits of the dusky past, or alighting upon the improvements 

110 min:n'esota and its resoukces. 

of our own times. There is scarcely a section of tlie world 
newer than tins; and we may add, there is no section which 
has started upon the horizon of civilized life more suddenly. 

St. Paul occupies perhaps the most eligible and commanding, 
and also one of the most beautiful locations on the upper Mis- 
sissippi. Commercially, it is the key to all the vast region 
north of it, and, by the Minnesota river, to the immense valley 
drained through that important tributary to the Father of 
Waters. The approach to it by the river from below is grand 
and imposiug. The traveller, after leaving Dubuque, more 
than three hundred miles below, sees nothing to remind him 
of a city, or even a prosperous business town, until he rounds 
the bend in the river below St. Paul, and her tall spires, 
substantial business houses, and neat dwellings, burst upon his 

By the general course of the river, St. Paul is situated upon 
the east bank of the Mississippi. The local course of the 
river, however, at this particular point is from southwest to 
northeast. This circumstance often confuses strangers in cast- 
ing about for the points of the compass. The site of the town 
is elevated, and stands partly on the alluvium on the margin 
of the river, and partly on the elevated table-rock some hun- 
dreds of feet above. Thus conspicuously perched up, it 
glistens and shines with white paint and red brick, like a piece 
of new cabinet-ware just from the shop. Five years ago, when 
the territory was organized, there was not the sign of a village 
in the country. The organization was completed ; law and 
order secured : and Avhite adventurers flocked in, and huddled 
together for company and protection, thus laying the founda- 
tion of a city which already numbers thousands. The main 
street is fully a mile in length, with buildings running from 
shanties to five-story bricks. The " seven" churches with lofty 
spires, show that the aspirations of the St.-Pauleans are up- 
ward, and, though in the wilderness, they make the welkin 
ring. A travelling friend observed he had, iu Constantinople, 
where they have five sabbaths a week, heard the Turkish Sa- 
lims, the cathoJic and protestant, the Greek, Armenian, and 
Jew, each sending forth their summons for prayer to the faith- 

ST. PAUL. Ill 

fill : but juclging of piety by bell-ringing in St. Paul, it would 
put tlie eastern devotee to sliamc. 

From the lower landing of St. Paul, we rise upon a bench 
some seventy-live feet above the river, and come upon the site 
of the lower town, which — with the extension up the river as 
far as the upper landing, a distance of three fourths of a mile, 
where is a most vigorous young town of later growth — com- 
pletes St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota. Retiring from the 
lower town, about half a mile northerly, across a plain which 
appears to have once been the basin of a lake, for it is nearly 
walled in by a bluff fifteen feet high, we suddenly rise upon a 
third bluff nearly two hundred feet high, and some three hun- 
dred feet above the Mississippi. This ascent is wooded, and 
so is the region beyond for perhaps twenty miles. From this 
point we overlook St. Paul ; extending the vision down the 
river some twenty miles, we take within the compass of the 
eye a wide stretch of the late Sioux lands and bluish hills, far 
away up the Minnesota in the west. 

To the north, although the grounds descend from the bluff 
for some three miles, there are but few objects of distinct out- 
line. After viewing a small lake, lying about a mile to the 
northwest, as a setting to a border of oak-openings, we pro- 
ceed through a constantly alternating succession of oak-covered 
knolls, marshy dells, and around the margins of small tama- 
rac swamps. These swamps, though dismal, for their size, 
are the most curious objects to the eye of the stranger which 
this region presents. The trees grow so thick, that they choke 
each other out of the chance for a subsistence, or else they 
die a natural death after a certain age, so that they resemble 
a scene of shipping in a seaport most strikingly. It is easy, 
when in a dreamy mood of mind, to fancy these bare poles as 
the masts of some diluvian squadrons, which had lost their 
reckoning, and finally, getting discouraged, moored in the 

There are no guide-boards on this road, and the angler or 
sportsman, who c(i\\^ i parlez fran^ais ys'iih. the French residents 
whose cabins nestle in some of the sly retreats along the path, 
may thank the stars if he does not get lost over night. 


The region is spotted all over, at distances of one to three 
miles, ^vitli bright and cool little lakes, that abound in fish ; 
among which is the real White Mountain trout. 

The scene over the bluff in the rear of the upper town of 
St. Paul, is the delightful prairie which extends off about six 
miles toward St. Anthony falls. 

The true quality of the soil of the comparatively chaotic 
lands in the rear of St. Paul, is, after all, better than that of 
the lands of Western Xew York. It has less of the black 
alluvion than our lands generally, yet it is highly productive ; 
and so far as experience has tested its capabilities, it does not 
depreciate at all by cropping. It is strongly impregnated 
with lime, and possesses, in a high degree, the active principle 
imparted by a variety of mineral substances. 

This soil can be made, by the application of manure, of 
which an abundance can be had for the trouble of carting from 
town, more productive than the best river bottoms. For the 
purpose of gardening, I am inclined to prefer it to the latter ; 
and if I was to make a claim, I would " take up" the lands I 
could find unoccupied, nearest the town. 

A stranger is generally somewhat astonished and not unfre- 
quently very much amused at the scene presented for con- 
templation on his first arrival at the St. Paul landing. In 
short, his first impressions with regard to the state of society 
here are altogether unfavorable. He is welcomed by an 
unusual and motley group of human beings, gathered from all 
parts of the Union, the Canadas, the Indian lands, and Pem- 
bina, besides the curiously-mixed-up race of natives. This is 
indeed a most peculiar feature of the capital of Minnesota, 
which in respect to its inhabitants differs materially from any 
place I have visited in the west. Being an old settlement of 
French and half-breeds, and the present seat of government 
for the territory, situated near the head of navigation and con- 
tiguous to the Dakota land, a strange spectacle is often pre- 
sented, or strange indeed to the uninitiated. All the different 
classes, however, mingle together, forming a singular mass, 
variously habited, speaking different languages, and distin- 
guished by a variety of complexions, features, and manners. 

ST. PAUL. 113 

Yet all tills appears quite common, and excites no curiosity 
among those who have resided here but a feAv months. 

But hoAv different the spectacle appears to the stranger and 
visiter. Chained, as it Avere, by a spell of astonishment, ho 
pauses a moment to view the scene, before setting foot on 
shore, to mingle in the promiscuous multitude. A variety of 
persons attract his attention. Merchants in search of newly- 
arrived goods ; editors, anxious for the latest news ; citizens, 
receiving their long-expected friends from the east or south ; 
carmen and coachmen with their teams, all indeed join in the 
tumultuous strife and enjoy the excitement. A little removed 
from the crowd may be seen another class, which by the way is 
too numerous, for so small a commimity as that of St. Paul. This 
is composed of a host of laAvyers, politicians, office-holders, and 
office-seekers, whom we may perhaps call refugees from other 
states, though actuated by the hope of gaining some honorable 
position and a share of the public spoils. They are discussing 
very boldly, perhaps, a subject pertaining to the territorial 
government, or the late doings of Congress. 

Amid the busy crowd may be seen the courteous and 
sociable governor, conversing freely with his fellow-citi- 
zens, or politely receiving General A., Colonel B., or some 
other distinguished personage just arrived. Close by the side 
of his excellency a Dakota, Winnebago, or Chippewa warrior 
strides along as boldly and quite as independent as the 
greatest monarch on earth. He is attired in a red or white 
blanket, with his leggins and mocassins fantastically orna- 
mented Avith ribands, feathers, beads, &c., while his long 
braided hair is adorned with a number of ribands and quills, 
his face is painted with a variety of colors, giving him a most 
frightful appearance. In his hands he carries a gun, hatchet, 
and pipe. As the noble fellow moA^es along, so erect, so tall 
and athletic in his form, a feeling of admiration involuntarily 
fills the stranger's mind — he pronounces the Indian Avarrior 
the lion of the multitude, and is forced to respect his savage 
nature. The eye folloAvs him along till he joins, perhaps, a 
company of his OAvn tribe, some of AA^iom are quietly regaling 
themselves at the end of a long Tchandahoopah, others gazing 


at the wliite man's big canoe. Now the astonished gazer 
beholds a group of dark-eyed squaws, some carrying their 
heavy burdens, others with papooses on their backs, with their 
bare lieads sticking above a dirty blanket. The little things 
may be sleeping and as the mothers Avalk carelessly along, 
their heads dangle about as though their necks would break at 
every step. They sleep on, however, nor heed the scorching 
rays of the sun shining in their faces. 

The stranger having become satisfied with the contemplation 
of such and similar scenes, at length concludes to debark, and 
soon he too becomes one of the promiscuous multitude. He 
soon forgets the oddities that so much excited his curiosity 
among us. Though he finds a great multitude of French half- 
breeds and Dakotas ; yet the character is decidedly eastern. 
The red men who are now so numerous, will ere long flee away 
before the influence of civilization, while the native French, 
half-breeds, &c., will be absorbed by an eastern society. In 
short, everything is fast partaking of a Yankee spirit, and 
yielding before the influence of Yankee enterprise. 

Another writer thus impartially describes St. Paul : — 

" The town site is high and conspicuous, being elevated from 
seventy to eighty feet above the water at common stages. The 
central part embraces an extensive level plateau, terminating 
along the Mississippi, in a precipitofls bluff. This bluff after 
running for some distance recedes from the river on the east 
and west, and by assuming a gradual ascent, forms two com- 
modious landings, called the upper and lower town, meeting 
upon the elevated plateau of the central part. • As a natural 
consequence there is a good deal of strife between the two 
j^ections for the ascendency in commercial matters particularly. 
The site upon which the lower town is mostly built, is several 
feet below the central and upper parts, and has quite a sandy 
soil, while the higher portions are on a limestone formation, 
lying above the sandstone. 

" The latter formation in many places is so soft that the 
swallows make their nests in the rock, as in ordinary sand- 
banks. Much of the sandstone is nearly as white as loaf-sugar, 
and is said to be of a superior quality for the manufacturing 

ST. PAUL. 115 

of glass. These liigli rocks passing up far above the water, 
and displaying their snow-white sides to view, form a peculiar 
and exceedingly beautiful feature in the scenery of the Upper 

" In the rear of St Paul, or on the north, rises another bluff, 
or line of hills, which encircles the town site, in the shape of 
an amphitheatre, bending gradually until they approach quite 
near the river again toward Fort Snelling on the southwest, 
and toward Lake Pepin on the southeast. These smooth and 
beautiful hills extending from one half a mile to upward of two 
miles from the town, afford many most delightful situations for 
country-seats and farms. From these elevations, an extensive 
view is afforded of the surrounding country, particularly of the 
town below, and land of the Dakotas beyond the Mississippi. 
Far away to the south and southeast, the Father of Waters is 
seen rolling his silent tide majestically along, guarded on either 
side by rock-bound bluffs and hills. Indeed we seem to 
behold even now, through the dim vista of future years, the 
glittering mansions of St. Paul's merchant-princes rising up in 
every direction, on these hills now in the state of nature or 
rudely adorned by the humble cliamnierc of the French and 
half-breeds, or the simple lodges of the noble Sioux. 

"There is one serious objection to the back-grounds of St. 
Paul, at present, though in time, it will doubtless form a great 
blessing. A great many springs of * pure cold water' are con- 
tinually gushing from the base of the above-mentioned hills, 
forming several bad marshes, and rendering an access to many 
of the choice situations rather difficult. Good roads will soon 
be constructed over these wet places, while the water supplied 
by the living fountains, can easily be brought in town. There 
- are also several small lakes in the vicinity supplied by springs, 
and situated much higher than St. Paul, which can be made 
to supply a large city with excellent water. In short the 
place has many natural advantages for a great toAvn." 

Every day makes it clearer, that St. Paul is destined to more 
importance as a city than the most sanguine have dared to 
anticipate. Not only has our town already become, in the 
four short years of its existence, the emporium of trade for 


all that vast area of country above us, extending from the shore 
of Lake Superior to the head waters of the Missouri — a trade 
yet limited, to be sure, by reason of the sparseness of the 
population, but hourly increasing, and which must soon become 
incalculably great ; but there will be soon a fresh impulse given 
it, by the settlement of those matchless lands inhabited by the 
Sioux Indians, lands of vast extent as well as fertility, watered 
by the Minnesota river and its tributaries. Standing at the 
steamboat head of the Mississippi, the main artery, nay the 
only artery, north and south, through the continent of North 
America, it can have no rival, no competitor foi^the business 
of those regions of which it is already the focus. Our line of 
business is essentially with the nor-Hi and the south, the east 
and the west, turning, as it were upon a pivot, on this, the head 
of steamboat navigation ; and from this point there will in 
time radiate railroads, to connect here with steamboats, in 
various directions. But there is a probability, nay more than 
a probability, that a plan of internal improvements will be 
executed by the British government, which will hasten the 
development and growth of St. Paul beyond all parallel. I 
refer to the contemplated construction of a line of railroad 
from Halifax, in Nova Scotia, to the Pacific ocean, north of 
Lake Superior. The construction of that road would imme- 
diately require the construction of a railroad from St. Paul to 
intersect it. The chain of lakes would prevent its intersection 
east of us, besides that here the steamboat approximates 
nearest to it — the valley of the Mississippi being, on every 
account, the proper line of connection with it. The whole of 
the intercourse of the southern and western states with Oregon, 
nay, with California, would take this route ; all the emigration 
and immigration, probably all the trade of those states with 
China, Japan, and the East Indies in short, would take this 
route ; and there would not be a busier transhipment city than 
St. Paul on this continent. If, already, it has come to be 
known that this very route to the Pacific is not only shorter, 
cheaper, healthier, and far better than any one south of it — if, 
as we know, St. Paul has already become a place of outfit 
for companies migrating to Oregon, without railroads — what 

ST. PAUL. 117 

may we expect to see when the traveller from New Orleans, 
who lands here, may be whirled here upon a continuous 
railroad, through the high, healthful, romantic ranges of the 
buffalo, along the northern verge of the temperate zone, to the 
blue Pacific ! 

The route from Halifax to Fuca straits, opposite to Van- 
couver's island, has been ascertained to be quite as feasible as 
the route proposed from Lake Michigan to Puget's sound, and a 
very large part of the country is the finest wheat country in 
the world. The distance would vary but little from that of 
our route — while from London to China it would be consider- 
ably less than ours. By measuring a globe, it will be seen 
that Lake Huron is less distant from London than New York 
from London ; and as Lake Superior is but six hundred and 
fifty feet elevation above the Atlantic, a railroad from Halifax 
to Lake Superior might be constructed on almost a dead level. 
This would enable England to transport all the produce of the 
Mississippi basin to Halifax, at a much less cost than to any 
Atlantic city. Besides, Halifax is much nearer to Europe, 
and would avoid the storms and dangers of navigation between 
Halifax and New York. An examination of this subject will 
show that, should England build the road, she will not only 
have a great advantage over us, but would control us and the 
world : for it is her commerce with Asia, and not ours, which 
must sflstain the road. 

The route for such railroad connection would be nearly or 
quite due north from St. Paul, folloAving the chain of small 
lakes on the east side of the Mississippi, touching the western 
shores of Mille Lac and Sandy lake, a route not only practi- 
cable, but highly favorable for a railroad, nearly level, and 
requiring less grading than almost any other route that could 
be found on this continent ; and the whole distance from St. 
Paul to the dividing ridge north of Lake Superior, along 
which the British railroad will be extended, between Halifax 
and Puget's sound, is less than four hundred miles. It will by 
no means be necessary that the road from St. Paul should be 
extended to Pembina, which is much too far west, and a much 
more distant point for connection, although the face of the 


country to Pembina is entirely practicable for tlie construction 
of a railroad. 

That the northern route to Oregon will soon be tlie route for 
all northern emigration (railroad or no railroad), is a certain 
event ; and the very next season will make St. Paul an im- 
portant point for outfits to the Pacific. 

The railroad survey by the United States government, from 
St. Paul to Puget's sound, is treated of hereafter. AVhether 
our government constructs that road or not, I consider it cer- 
tain that England will complete the one described above ere 
many years, and St. Paul thus be the iJwrottgJ/fare from our 
eastern cities to the Pacific. 

Without going so far back as the early part of 1847, to note 
the few rude trading cabins or tamarac logs, which marked the 
present site of St. Paul (then flourishing under the unpoetic 
souhriquct of " Pig's Eye"), I will commence picking up " inci- 
dents" about the middle of that year. Then it was that the 
"squatters" upon the public lands which mark the site of St. 
Paul proper, conceived the idea of laying out a town there- 
upon. The names of those who were then sole " proprietors," 
barring Uncle Sam's prior lien, are : Vetal Guerin, Alex. R. 
M'Leod, Henry Jackson, Hartshorn & Randall, Louis Roberts, 
Benjamin Gervais, David Farribault, A. L. Larpenteur, J. W. 
Simpson, and J. Demarrais. These worthy pioneers are all 
yet living — living in exemplification of the old truism, that 
the first settlers of a new country generally live and die the 
poorest men in it. One or two of them, who appear likely to 
escape this apparently predestined fate, only stand as monu- 
ments of exception to prove the verity of the rule. All had 
an unequal interest in that portion of the present capital of 
Minnesota, embraced in the area extending from about half 
way between Sibley and Jackson streets, up to St. Peter's 
street, and from the river back to Eighth street. This they 
employed Ira B. Brunson, of Prairie du Chien, to lay oflf into 
town lots, during the month of July, 1847 — little dreaming 
that in less than five years it would prove the nucleus, around 
which would concentrate the future commercial and political 
metropolis of a mighty commonwealth — the heart of that 

ST. PAUL. 119 

northwestern emporium, wliicli is to give pulsation and life- 
blood to the northern giant of the Mississippi valley. 

** St. Paul" it was named, from the parish name of the cath- 
olic church which had been organized six years previous. No 
visible signs of its future greatness became manifest during 
that or the succeeding year, if we except the land sales at the 
falls of St. Croix, in August of 1848, at which time the propri- 
etors proved up their pre-emptions, and procured titles from 
the government. This year the old warehouse at the lower 
landing, now occupied by Constans & Burbank, was erected, 
and the building at the corner of Jackson and Third, lately 
occupied by George Wells, remodelled from a rude cabin into 
what was then considered a spacious and commodious hotel. 
Mr. Bass made the improvement, and was the first landlord. 
Mr. Larpenteur's dwelling-house, on the opposite corner, was 
built the same year ; also Mr. Hopkins's store, on the south- 
west corner of the same streets. 

John E,. Irvine held and entered the " claim" on the river 
immediately above the town plot. He had not thought much 
of it — merely occupjKng it as a residence, with a few acres 
adjacent to his dwelling under cultivation, which supplied the 
wants of his family. The keen, speculative eye of Henry M. 
Rice, first conceived the idea of laying off the extensive 
plateau embraced in the claim of Irvine, and immediately 
adjacent to St. Paul, into an " addition" thereto. Rice 
"bought in" with Irvine ; and in the winter of 1848-'49 — just 
hefore the passage of the act by Congress organizing the terri- 
tory — their addition was divided into lots. The mere fact, 
that a man of the known energy and enterprise of Rice had 
taken hold of St. Paul, infused new life into the place, and it 
soon had a name, even beyond the limits of the neighboring 
regions. This name was sent far and wide over the country 
when, through the patriotic perseverance and devoted zeal of 
Henry H. Sibley, the organic act, naming St. Paul as the 
temporary capital, passed both houses of Congress, and was ap- 
proved by the president on the third of March, 1849. 

Other " additions" rapidly multiplied. Smith and Whitney's 
(Hon. Robert Smith, of Alton, Illinois, and Cornelius S. Whit- 


ney, at the time land-office receiver at St. Croix Falls) was 
laid off in April of the same year, and Hoyt's in May. Sam- 
uel Leecli, land-office register at St. Croix Falls, not to be out- 
done by his fello^y-officer, had laid off, in August of that year, 
the " addition" which bears his name. In 1850, Guerin and 
Bazil's, Randall and Roberts's, and Patterson's additions, were 
laid off. The following year came Winslow's, Kittson's, Willes', 
and Irvine's enlargement. In 1852, we had Bass's, Brunson's, 
Baker's, and WinsloAv's (Xo. 2). And now the compass is upon 
a strip of land between Selby's and Rice's farms, making town 
lots under the title of " Irvine and Ramsey's new addition." 
There are other small additions, perhaps, which have been 
made at various times, not noted, because of their insignifi- 
cance. All alluded to are important parts of St. Paul as it 
nov,^ is. 

In June, 1853, John Esaias Wan-en, Esq., recently of Troy, 
New York, bought out the half of Winslow's addition in the 
lower town, and it is now known as " Warren and Winslow's 
cottage addition." Its location is admirably adapted for build- 
ing nice, comfortable residences in the fhape of cottages ornee^ 
with all the romance of scenery, &;c. 

Perhaps, now that her fate is decided, and her high destiny 
as the great commercial, social, religious, educational, and po- 
litical emporium of the northwest unalterably fixed, it would 
matter little whether St. Paul remained the capital or not. 
But it did matter, and very essentially too, at the time the 
infant struggle took place to secure this advantage. Without 
it she would never have been able to hold the confidence of 
those who had labored most for her, or attract the attention of 
people then far away, who have since become part and parcel 
of her most active bones and sinews. 

Until the contest for the capital, and consequent centre of 
political power, was decided in favor of St. Paul, shrewd and 
calculating men looked upon her as no " sure thing." It is 
true her advantages of position commercially would always 
have made her a place of considerable note. It is this latter, 
added to the former, which has made her what she is, and se- 
cured to hej* "^hat which she is destined to be. Neither could 

8T. PAUL. 121 

have accomplished the work separately. To name one fatal 
disadvantage, had there been no capital here, St. Paul would 
have been deprived of the immense benefits of her newspaper 
press, those main arteries of her present healthful life. At 
least, not more than one would have been able to live here, 
and that in a condition so weakly and sickly that its wheezing* 
and consumptive echoes would have fallen far short of sending 
forth her just meed of praise and advantage in the full and 
clear-toned clarion-notes which have been borne on every 
breeze throughout the land. But the moment it was decided 
that St. Paul was to be the political as Avell as the commercial 
centre of Minnesota, new life and energy were infused into 
every limb and muscle of her body. She arose and robed her- 
self in the habiliments of strong, determined, youthful vigor, 
and started fairly and fully upon her march to future great- 
ness. She had passed the ordeal. From, that hour she was to 
go forward — never look back. Property immediately ad- 
vanced more than two hundred per cent. Those Avho had 
stood back, fearful to invest, came into the front ranks, and 
gave their means to the improvement and building up of St. 
Paul. Persons from abroad flocked in and invested liberally ; 
and there was never any more doubt as to the future. No 
one, from that day to this, has felt any fears of the result. 

Nothing will better partially illustrate the steady and healthy 
advance of St. Paul as an important mart of trade and com- 
merce, than the increase in the number of steamboat arrivals 
from year to year. The number of arrivals, in 1848, was 47 ; 
in 1849, 73; in 1850, 104; in 1851, 119; in 1852, 171. But, 
as remarked, although this is a good illustration of our steady 
. increase commercially, it is only a partial one. Were there 
any means of getting at the comparative increase in the amount 
oi freight which has been shij)ped to this port from below du- 
ring the past five years, I could find therein more nearly cor- 
rect data. This I have not. I will therefore state some ob- 
servations and incidents unsupported by figures. 

In the month of May, 1849, the mercantile business consisted 
of — L. Eoberts's store, at the lower landing; Freeman, Lar- 
penteur, &l Co/s, same place ; Henry Jackson, just closing out, 



in liis old house at tlie top of the bhifF; W. H. Forbes, St. Paul 
outfit, Bench, between Jackson and Hoberts streets ; J. W 
Simpson, next door; and the small Indian trading establish- 
ment of Olmsted & Rhodes, on Third street, in the old cabin 
■which was recently removed to give place to the handsome 
new store of Mr. Chamblin. This completed the lower town 
Then you travelled over an extensive corn and potato field to 
a little clump of shanties and balloon-frames in the neighbor- 
hood of the "American house." Here was Levi Sloan, upon 
his present site, with a small stock ; and next above the Amer- 
ican were the Messrs. Fuller, with a somewhat larger assort- 
ment. This was all. The capital invested in merchandise in 
the entire town cou]>l not have amounted to over forty thou- 
sand dollars. 

The Fur Company did a very limited business here at that 
time. Their centre was at Mendota, where both Mr. Sibley 
and Mr. Rice — the then prominent members of the Chouteau 
firm in this part of the country — resided and did business. 
The frame of the "American house" w^as just up. In a few 
weeks the room in the extreme east end of the building was 
finished off for a store, and was stocked and opened by Mr. 
Rice, who had charge of that branch of the Fur Company's 
business known as the " Winnebago and Chippewa outfits." 
During the summer Mr. Rice erected the then extensive store 
and warehouse near the upper landing, noAv occupied by the 
Messrs. Fuller. When he opened (in the month of August), 
his shelves presented much the largest stock ever previously 
seen in St. Paul. Many people prophesied that there were 
more goods in that establishment than would be sold in St. 
Paul in five years. 

Late in the fall, the Messrs. Elfelt arrived from Philadel- 
phia, with a very heavy stock of goods, and opened in the 
place vacated by Mr. Rice. They were another exemplifica- 
tion of extreme verdancy in the minds of immoveable croakers. 
Other smaller establishments had risen into existence during 
the summer and fall ; and, at the close of navigation, perhaps 
there were sixty thousand dollars invested in legitimate mer- 
cantile trade in St. Paul. 

ST. PAUL. 123 

Tins, be it remembered, was tliree years and six months 
ago. I have endeavored to compile an estimate, as accurately 
as time and circumstances would admit, of the present amount 
of capital invested in merchandise in our go-ahead young city 
(1853). I include in the calculation goods to arrive early after 
the opening of navigation : — 

Dry goods $100,000 

Groceries 83,000 

Assorted mei-ehandise 100,000 

Clotliing, including hats, caps, <fec oO.OOO 

Boots and shoes 10,000 

Hard ware . 5,000 

Farming implements • 8,000 

Books and stationery 12,000 

Drugs, paints, oils, glass, &c 12,000 

Iron and nails 20,000 

Miscellaneous 10,000 

Add capital invested in Indian trade, government 

contracts, &c., the centre of which is at St. Paul. . 400,000 


This is not far from the mark. Added to this, lumber, man- 
ufactured at other places than St. Paul, to the value of about 
forty thousand dollars, has been disposed of at this point the 
past year. The amount of provisions, grain, and country prod- 
uce generally, raised in the territory, and disposed of in the 
St. Paul market the past year, there are no means of arriving 
at. If our merchants would pay attention to this matter, and 
keep accurate statistics in relation thereto, that the same might 
be published from time to time, they would do themselves as 
well as the country a great benefit. 

A largei^ share of the trade of St. Paul is already a whole- 
sale business. Our merchants the past winter have supplied 
many of the traders in the smaller towns, Avho have heretofore 
purchased at Galena. They also have supplied Benton county 
and the numerous settlements and towns springing up in the 
valley of the Minnesota. This is a branch of business that is 
hereafter bound to increase with great rapidity as the country 
above and west of us fills up. 

The extent of both branches of mechanics and manufactures 


is bard to get at accurately in so new and rapidly-changing a 
place as this. Carpenters and joiners are, of course, the most 
numerous branches of mechanics. Of these, there are from 
one hundred and fifty to two hundred, all most of the time ac- 
tively employed at their business. Bricklayers and plasterers, 
painters and glaziers, and all the various branches incident to 
the great leading business of building, enter largely into our 
population, and bear equal proportion to the departments first 
named. Let us get at nearly the extent of our manufacturing 
capital : — 

Three •steam sawmills, with an investment in ma- 
chinery and stock $100,000 

One flonnng-mill 12,000 

Cy^e sash, door, and blind manufactory, planing-ma- 

chiue attached 10,000 

One iron-foundry and machine-shop 3,000 

Three stove and tin-ware establishments 8,000 

One plough and farming-implement manufactory. . 3,000 

Four wagon and carriage manufactories 8,000 

Blacksmith-shops, not enumerated, say 5,000 

Cabinet-ware and furniture, two 9,000 

Boot and shoe manufactories, say 5,000 

Saddles and harness 5,000 

Bakers and confectioners, four 4,000 

Miscellaneous 5,000 


It will thus be seen that we have in this rising frontier me- 
tropolis, containing onlj', at the outside, a population of five 
thousand, investments in mercantile and manufacturing trans- 
actions to the amount of nearly one million dollars ! This is, 
of course, all outside the value of real estate, buildings, public 
and private, personal property, &:c. Some of these manufac- 
tories are quite extensive, particularly our sawmills^Avhich will 
readily be perceived by the amount of capital it requires to 
carry them on. The lower mill, OAvned by Messrs. Oakes &> 
Co., is a model of its kind, as Avell as a good indicator of our 
rise and continued progress in the way of manufacturing. " It 
will make anv nian think more of St. Paul to take a 'look' 
through this mill." It now runs two ujDright saws, one circu- 
lar, one cross-cut circular, and three lath saws. A shingle-saw 
and plauing-machine will be attached upon the opening of 

ST. PAUL. 125 

navigation. There is also a turning-latlie attaclied. This mill 
is capable of cutting twenty thousand feet of lumber and ten 
thousand lath in twenty-four hours. The mill near the upper 
landirg runs one upright and one circular saw. It is an excel- 
lent little " machine," and turns out ten thousand feet in twen- 
ty-four hours. In the same neighborhood is the mill of John 
H. Irvine, having the same number and character of saws, with 
shingle and lath machines added. It does about an equal 
amount of business in the way of cutting lumber. A fourth 
saw-mill is in process of erection at Dayton's bluff, by Messrs. 
Ames & Co. I have not included the investment of capital in 
this new mill in our estimate. 

Next in importance in the way of manufactories is the sash, 
door, and blind establishment of Wise and Gise, situated on 
the second bench, near the catholic church. It is also driven 
by steam. They have all the late improvements in this 
branch of manufactures ; and, with planing-mill attached, they 
convert rough pine boards into beautiful and substantial doors, 
sash, and blinds, with remarkable rapidity, and, of course, at 
much cheaper rates than these articles can be made by hand. 
In the lower department of their establishment they have ex- 
.tensive machinery for grinding and polishing plough mould- 
boards and shares, hoes, axes, and other articles of agricultural 
cutlery. It would make any one think still more of St. Paul 
to take a look through this establishment. 

The St. Paul iron foundry and machine shop, situated in 
the vicinity of the lower saw-mill, is a new branch of manu- 
facturing among us, having gone into operation during the 
past winter. It is the first establishment of the kind above 
Galena. All descriptions of castings, for machinery or other 
purposes, are now turned out. The business is yet in its in- 
fancy, but will be increased as rapidly as custom and facilities 

The number of buildings at present in St. Paul is about six 
hundred (exclusive of stables and other out-houses), which 
may be classed as follows : — 

Dwellings, offices, and shops 617 

Manufactories and business houses 70 


Clmrehes 6 

Hotels 4 

ScliooUiouses, public and private 4 

Courthouse and jail 2 

Capitol 1 

Amount 604 

There is not included in tliis count any building now in 
process of erection that is not ready for the roof. The num- 
ber not of this class — those already commenced and those 
contemplated — would swell the aggregate at least forty. 
Among the better class soon to be erected, is the second 
presbyterian church, and the Baldwin school edifice. The 
former is to be the largest and most imposing church edifice 
yet built in St. Paul. It will be of brick, with a lofty spire, 
and is to stand on the elevation a short distance east of the 
capitol. The old " public square," originally platted in Rice 
and Irvine's addition, situated in the vicinity of the methodist 
church, is about to be vacated by the town as a site for the 
Baldwin school. This school is to be a female academy of a 
high order, and takes its name from a munificent endowment 
b}" a gentleman of Philadelphia. An act incorporating the 
institution and appointing a board of trustees, was passed dur- 
ing the late session of our legislative assembly. I have seen* 
a proposed plan of the building, which, if adopted, v.ill raise 
up an edifice that, aside from its great prospective usefulness, 
■will be a beautiful and highly imposing ornament to our city. 
The new hotel, at the corner of Eagle and Fort streets, the 
foundation of which is already laid, may be noted as one of 
the most important and elegant buildings that will beautify 
and improve the exterior of St. Paul this season. But for un- 
fortuitous circumstances, this building would have been erected 
and finished last season. The delay has, perhaps, been all 
for the better. The building will now be much larger than 
was originally contemplated, and of brick. 

During the past two years, a large proportion of the build- 
ings erected have been of brick. The disposition to indulge 
in cultivating this good taste is rapidly on the increase. Those 
who are able and ready to build, are beginning to find there is 
economy in erecting, at the outset, safe, permanent, comfort- 

ST. TAUL. 127 

able, and tasteful dwellings and storehouses. There is ahont 
the city numerous piles of brick and sand, which will shortly 
rise into stately walls, to add materially to the substantial 
business appearance of the place, and to relieve the eye from 
the monotonous lines of pine weather-boarding, daubed with 
white lead. 

From the outset, the means of grace have been abundant in 
St. Paul. If she should ever go down to a degraded end, 
through sin and infamy, it will not be the fault of the various 
religious institutions and denominations of our common coun- 
try, or the want of faithful and zealous ministers sent here to 
instruct her. . The catholic church was the first to organize 
here. The first organization took place in 1841, and shortly 
after the log house of worship yet standing on Bench, between 
Minnesota and Cedar streets, was erected. The older society 
at Mendota being called the church of St. Peter, the one here 
took the name in contradistinction of the great apostle of the 
Gentiles — St. Paul. This gave name to the town; and it is 
but an act of simple justice to state, that to the good taste of 
the catholic clergy are we indebted for the excommunication 
of the outrageous cognomen of "Pig's Eye," which in its 
flight from our high and salubrious bluffs, found no resting- 
place until it reached an entanglement of sloughs, marshes, 
and mosquito dens, some miles beloAv. In May, 1849, a large 
and devout congi-egation worshipped in the log church, under 
the care of the Rev. Mr. Kavoux, a faithful and zealous man. 
The following year, Minnesota was set off as a bishopric, with 
the seat at St. Paul; Father Cretin, of Dubuque, was ordained 
bishop, and arrived here in the spring of 1851. During that 
year the brick building, at present used as a church edifice, 
was erected. It was originally designed for a college, and 
will be so used after the erection of the contemplated cathe- 
dral. This latter building will be upon a magnificent scale. 
Funds are now being raised for its commencement. The 
catholic church of St. Paul now numbers about eight hun- 
dred communicants, mostly of Canadian, French, and Irish 

The first protestant church organization in St. Paul was the 


metlioclist episcopal. It was organized on tlie 31st of Decem- 
ber, 1848, by Hev. B. Close, now of Oregon, and numbered at 
the time eight members. The following summer, the present 
brick cliurcli edifice of this congregation Avas erected. It was 
the first brick cliurcli in tbe territory — Rev. Mr. Neill's dwel- 
ling being the first brick building of any kind. There are now 
seventy-three members in communion, and the cliurcli is well at- 
tended on the sabbath-day. Rev. Messrs. Stevens, Dickens, and 
Fullerton, have at different periods officiated as ministers in 
charge. Rev. Chancey Hobart has been the presiding elder 
of this district from the time the territory was organized, and 
still holds the position, much beloved and respected by Chris- 
tians of all denominations, as well as his neighbors outside the 

Rev. E. D. Neill, missionary of the presbyterian church, N. 
S., arrived here in April, 1849, he having been assigned this 
post by the general assembly of his church. He instantly set 
about his work witb that commendable and earnest zeal which 
cbaracterizes him in everything be undertakes. He labored 
upon each sabbatli-day in the (then) only schoolhouse in the 
village, until he could build, mostly at his own expense, a 
temporary place of worship near his dwelling. In this, the 
first presbyterian congregation was organized on the 1st Jan- 
uary, 1850. It consisted of only seven members, including 
the pastor, all of whom are yet liA^ng, save one. April fol- 
lowing, the building, a slight frame one, was destroyed by fire. 
This accident gave zest to the contemplated erection of the 
present elegant brick edifice, at the corner of St. Peter and 
Bench streets, which is the best-finished, appointed, and most 
commodious church in St. Paul. Worship A^'as first had in it 
during the early part of the following winter. The building 
is now thoroughly finished, and last summer a superb organ 
was added to the choir. The number of communicants con- 
nected with this church is small in comparison to the number 
in attendance each sabbath-day. They comprise about forty 
out of a regular congregation of rising two hundred. Aside 
from his rigid attendance to his ministerial and other reli- 
gious duties, Mr. Neill is almost an indi&pensahh in the way of 

ST. PAUL- 129 

a good citizen. His labors as secretary of tLe Minnesota 
Historical Society, in collecting and writing our history *' as 
we go along," and liis zeal in the cause of popular education, 
are truly commendable. In fact, all of our clergymen take a 
deep and laborious interest in this latter great and commend- 
able work. 

The scattered members of the baptist flock were also col- 
lected in 1849, by the the late Rev. Mr. Parsons. He died on 
his way home from the East, in November, 1851, just after 
the completion of the church edifice on Fifth street, which he 
had worked hard to finish and pay for. His funeral sermon 
was the first ever preached in the house. The present pastor, 
Rev. T. E. Cressey, was called during the summer of 18r)2, to 
take charge of this congregation. It has about twenty-fxve 

The Home Missionary Society of the protestant episcopal 
church, established a mission in St. Paul in the summer of 1850. 
Rev. Messrs. Breck, Wilcoxon, and Merrick, were placed in 
charge. Under their superintendence, the present neat church 
edifice, on Cedar street, was erected the ensuing summer. On 
the 12th of April, 1851, Right Rev. Bishop Kemper preached 
the dedication sermon, at which time the parish was organized. 
Rev. Mr. Wilcoxon is rector. 

The methodist episcopal church established a mission 
among the Germans of this place in the spring of 1851. Rev. 
Jacob Haas was called to labor in this vineyard. By his de- 
votion and industry, a respectable congregation was soon col- 
lected, and a church organized. They worshipped in the 
lower schoolhouse until last August, when they had completed 
a small but comfortable church building, situated upon the 
lower extreme of Smith and Whitney's addition. This organ- 
ization numbers about forty members, and is at present under 
charge of Rev. Mr. Korfhag — Mr. Haas having been called to 
Dubuque last fall. 

In the fall of '51, by the constituted authorities of the pres- 
byterian church, 0. S., Rev. J. G. Riheldaifer was sent among 
us to build up a church. He was well received, and immedi- 
ately went about his work. He has now a church numbering 



fourteen members, and preaclies eveiy sabbatli to an intelligent 
congregation at the courthouse. The organization of this 
church took place clurhig February, 1852. It is yet in its 
infancy, and has no permanent place of worship. From the 
high estimation in which 3Ir. R. is so deservedly held by all 
our citizens, through respect to his many good qualities as a 
man and citizen, as well as his ability and zeal as a Christian 
minister, there will be ample means provided to complete this 
substantial and elegant structure at an early day. 

One excellent and commendable trait has characterized the 
bearing and conduct of our ministers connected with the several 
denominations of the protestant church. With scarcely an 
exception, they have exercised a truly Christian charity and 
forbearance toward each other, and avoided all sectarian con- 
tentions. They have labored unitedly, not only for the spirit- 
ual, but also for the temporal welfare of this people. 

All of our church edifices have excellent and fine-toned bells 
attached to them ; and their music u]3on a sabbath morning 
never fails to carry the migrated citizen back to his native city 
or village in the " old settlemenjts," and remind him of the 
green valleys and sun-clad hills of his "boyhood's home." 

There arc tvro " catholic" temperance societies, Irish and 
Canadian, which hold regular meetings. 

The first masonic lodge was instituted in St. Paul during 
October, 1849. The work was commenced under a dispensa- 
tion from the grand lodge of Ohio. The lodge now numbers 
about one hundred members. A grand lodge for the territory, 
has also been organized and holds its meetings in St. Paul. 
This body was incorporated by act of the legislature during 
the late session. St. Paul lodge, and all the other lodges of 
the territory, now work under the jurisdiction and authority 
of the grand lodge of Minnesota. A second lodge is about to 
be instituted here. The order is in a prosperous and highly 
flourishing condition — daily dispensing its fraternal deeds of 
charity and matenal good among the brethren. 

The first lodge of the independent order of odd-fellows was 
instituted in St. Paul, May 3, 1850, by John G. Potts, Esq., 
of Galena, D. D. G. S. for Minnesota — a charter having previ- 

ST. PAUL. 131 

ously been oLtainecl for this purpose from the grand lodge of 
the United States. It took the name of " St. Paul Lodge, No. 
2" — "Minnesota Lodge," at Stillwater, being the senior organi- 
zation of the territory. St. Paul lodge has been in a floiu'ish- 
ing and highly prosperous condition since its organization. 
There were only nine charter members. It now numbers 
eighty members, among which are six P. Gs. 

*' Hennepin Lodge, Ko. 4," was instituted June 2, 1852, 
with five charter members. It now numbers about forty, of 
which five are P. Gs. This lodge is also in fine condition. 
The utmost harmony and good feeling exist among the mem- 
bers of the two lodges and between the brethren individually. 
Their work is carefully done, and would be highly creditable 
to what are usually termed " country lodges" anywhere. 
About tAventy-five ladies have taken the degree of Rebekah 
from the two lodges. 

"Minnesota Encampment of Patriarchs, No. 1," was insti- 
tuted during September, 1851. It is the only encampment yet 
in the territory, and numbers twenty-eight or thirty members. 
It is well-officered, and is rapidly increasing. A commenda- 
ble interest is taken here in the advancement and prosperity 
of this too-often-neglected branch of the order. Upon the 
whole, odd-fellowship is doing much good in St. Paul, and the 
order is daily rising in popularity. 

During the present year (1853), a grand lodge of this order, 
under the style of the "grand lodge of Minnesota," has been 
instituted at St. Paul — a charter for that purpose having been 
obtained at the last annual meeting of the G. L. U. S. 

This view of our city would be incomplete without such 
brief history and notice of our public and private schools as 
shall enable the immigrant and reader to judge of the oppor- 
tunities for education. 

Miss Harriet E. Bishop has the honor of opening the first 
school taught in St. Paul, July 23, 1847, in an old log shanty 
with loose floor and bark roof, that stood near the site of the 
first presbyterian church. The first day, she had nine scholars 
in attendance, of whom two only were whites. At the end of 
her first session of three months, her school numbered thirty 


scliolars, a majority of whom were not very distantly related 
to tlie aborigines of the country. 

1848. — During the summer of this year a schoolliouse was 
built in the upper town, and a school commenced therein by 
Miss Bishop in November, which was continued during the 
winter, Avith an average attendance of thirty scholars. 

1849. — A schoolliouse was built in the lower town, and two 
schools were taught during the fall by Miss Bishop and Miss 
Mary A. Scofield respectively. These schools were continued 
during the winter, and the Rev. Mr. Hobart also opened and 
taught a school for a short time in the methodist church. The 
number of scholars in attendance during this winter was one 
hundred and twenty. 

1850. — Misses Bishop and Scofield united their schools and 
taught the fore part of the summer sixty scholars. During 
their July vacation D. A. J. Baker commenced a school, which 
drew off part of their scholars, and the school was afterward 
conducted by Miss Bishop. The free public schools w^ere 
organized in the fall of 1850, and Mr. Baker was employed to 
teach the lower school, and Mr. Henry Doolittle the upper. 
A school was also started at the episcopal mission, numbering 
about fifteen pupils. The whole number of scholars attending 
school this year was nearly two hundred. 

1851. — The summer schools of 1851 were four in number — 
two public and two private. Effect was given to the school law 
during this year by the appointment of a superintendent in 
Kovember, who, in conformity with the law, selected and 
recommended a uniform series of books for the use of the 
public schools throughout the territory. This and other meas- 
ures of the superintendent gave economy and increased effi- 
ciency to the public schools of our city, and they have since 
progressed rapidly both in increase of numbers and attain- 
ments of the scholars. The recommendations of the superin- 
tendent having been unanimously adopted throughout the city, 
the public schools went into operation under the charge of Mr. 
George H. Spencer, assisted by Miss Bass, and the late Mr. B. 
B. Ford, assisted by Miss Brewster. The mission school and 
the private school of Miss Bishop were continued with i4? 

ST. PACL. 133 

creased patronage, and two catliolic schools were opened — 
one in the basement of the church, for hoys ; and the other by 
the sisters of charity. The number of schoLars in attendance 
at all of these schools was not far from three hundred. 

1852. — During the past year, and especially the past winter, 
we have had occasion to visit some of the public schools of our 
city, and have uniformly admired the efficiency of the teachers 
and the scholarship of the pupils. A grammar-school, which 
was formed by tlie union of the first and second districts, was 
successfully conducted by George H. Spencer, who had an 
average attendance of seventy pupils. Our primary schools 
have been equally well attended and as successfully conducted. 
Jackson street school, No 1, was taught by Miss Bishop ; No. 
2, by Miss Sorin. Walnut street school, No. 1, was taught by 
Miss Merrill ; No. 2, by Miss Esson. The catholic and epis- 
copal schools were continued as usual, and the whole number 
of scholars in attendance at all the schools was over four hun- 
dred. Let no emigrant hesitate to come to Minnesota on ac- 
count of the education of his family. The disposition of the 
people to secure educational privileges, is best expressed by 
the maxim they have adopted : " The property of the people 
shall educate the children of the people." The liberality of 
the general government has appropriated two thirty-sixths 
of the entire territory for public free schools, and donated 
forty-nine thousand acres to endow a state university. It will 
be but a few years until as good a practical education as can 
be had anywhere, may be had at St. Paul ; and when the 
endowments of the state university at St. Anthony, and the 
Baldwin school at St. Paul, are available, will also offer une- 
qualed advantages of education. The citizens of St. Paul 
may justly feel proud of their public free schools. 

There are in St. Paul twenty-five practising attorneys-at-law 
and ten physicians. Most of these gentlemen are Avorthy 
members of their professions, and occupy prominent spheres 
in the ranks of citizenship. Our bar, in point of talent and 
legal acumen, would not discredit much older communities. 
However, there is a sufficient number of legal gentlemen 
already on hand to answer all the ends of justice for the next 


ten years. "We would not recommend a further increase by 

It is true we have very little sickness here ; hut Avhen one is 
ill, it is the greatest of consolations as well as the surest means 
of safety, to have a physician worthy of trust and confidence. 
Our doctors generally possess these qualifications in an emi- 
nent degree. The small number of deaths, even in comparison 
to the number of cases of sickness, attest the truth of this. 
The same remark made in regard to the number of lawyers, 
will also apply to physicians. The country is, as one of them 
remarked the other day, so "wretchedly healthy," that those 
already here are put to their utmost exertions to " make a 
living." We would not advise any further ingress. 

The Jirst preparatory steps to commence the publication of a 
newspaper here, were taken in August, 1848, by Prof. A. Ean- 
. dall, then an attaclie of Dr. Owen's geological corps, engaged 
in a survey of this region by order of government. The proj- 
ect grew out of the celebrated " Stillwater convention" of that 
year. It was this which first suggested to the mind of Mr. 
Eandall, that if there was to be a territorial organization here 

— whether it be a new territory, or be harnessed up by John 
Catlin in the old cast-off gear of Wisconsin — it would neces- 
sarily follow there must be a newspaper. Having the capacity 
and means necessary to undertake the enterprise, he set about 
it. The leading men of the territory — Mr. Sibley and others 

— guarantied their countenance and liberal aid ; and during 
the early part of the fall, the arrangements were so far 
consummated, that Mr. Randall proceeded to Cincinnati — his 
then home — to purchase press and materials. Winter setting 
in unusually early, he was not able to return before the close 
of navigation. Meanwhile he awaited the issue of the bill to 
organize the territory, then pending before Congress. It did 
not pass until the last day of the session. By this time, Ran- 
dall had concluded to set up his office in Cnicinnati, and there 
print the first number of his paper. A partnership had been 
formed between him and the present senior erlitor of the 
*• Minnesotian." The first number of the " Minnesota Regis- 
ter" was accordingly issued — 'printed in Cincinnati, it is true, 

ST. PAUL. 135 

but dated at " St. Paul, April 27, 1849"— one clay before the 
first nuniljer of the " Pioneer." Messrs. Sibley and Rice Lad 
passed tbrougli Cincinnati, on their way home from Washing- 
ton, and liberal contributions from their pens were found in the 
first number of the Register. These, added to Mr. Eandall's 
extensive knoAvledge of the country, made one of the most 
interesting local sheets for Minnesota that has ever been issued. 
The mere fact of its not having been printed here makes no 
particular difference. It was a Minnesota newspaper — a St. 
Paul newspaper, and the^;-*^ one ever published. 

Randall, being a man of unsettled purpose and roving dispo- 
sition, caught the California fever just at this juncture, and 
sold out the Register to Major M'Lean, late Indian agent at 
Fort Snelling, who had determined to migrate hither, and re- 
sume the business of printing, to which he had been bred, but 
had not followed for thirty years. Randall's arrangement was 
continued by M'Lean, under the style of "M'Lean & Owens." 
The press and materials were shipped to St. Paul, and the 
junior editor made his way hither in the month of May. 
M'Lean remained behind, owing mainly to the breaking out 
of the cholera, and did not arrive till late in August. This 
circumstance was a serious blow to the success of the Reg-ister. 
The Pioneer had shot far ahead ; the " Chronicle" had been 
established by James Hughes about the first of June ; and the 
little Register appeared to be " nowhere." 

It became evident, however, that both it and the Chron- 
icle could not live separately : so about the time M'Lean 
came on in August, the two were united, under the title of the 
*' Chronicle and Register" — Hughes selling out and retiring, 
and his foreman, Quay, taking an interest with M'Lean & 
Owens. Quay continued two or three weeks, and, becoming 
dissatisfied, quit the concern and the country. 

The Chronicle and Register was continued by M'Lean & 
Owens, with growing prospects of success, until July folloAving. 
It was the acknowledged whig sheet of the territory, and pos- 
sessed the confidence of the friends of the administration almost 
unanimously. At this time M'Lean, having some months 
previously been appointed Indian agent, became unwilling to 


continue tLe business longer. The establishment was sold to 
David Olmsted, a democrat. Owens went out with M'Lean ; 
and durins: the few months which Olmsted owned the estab- 
lishment, the paper had different editors at different periods. 
Part of the time it edited itself. 

In November, D. A. Robertson arrived with his press, and 
early the following month issued the first number of the 
"Minnesota Democrat." About this time C. J. Henniss, for- 
merly of Philadelphia, became the owner of the Chronicle 
and Register. The printing Avas divided between the Pioneer 
and a neiv icliig office, to be established the following spring. 
Out of this latter establishment grew the " Minnesotian." The 
Chronicle and Register went down — the presses and materials 
passing into the hands of Robertson. 

The first number of the Minnesotian was issued Septem- 
ber 17, 1851. Its publication was commenced by a committee 
— J. P. Owens having charge of the editorial, and J. C. Terry 
the mechanical department. The 6th of January folloAving, 
the establishment passed into the hands of Owens & Moore, 
where it still continues. 

The Pioneer continued in the hands of its original pro- 
prietor till the day of his death, last August. His name still 
remains at his head, although the establishment has ceased to 
belong to his estate. 

The people of Minnesota are remarkable for the liberality 
with which they support their local newspapers. The three 
establishments of St. Paul all appear to be doing a prosperous 
business. The aggregate investment in printing-offices in this 
place, we presume amounts to twelve thousand dollars. Of the 
influence of the press, and its energy and usefulness in devel- 
oping the resources and advantages of Minnesota, too much 
can not be said. 

One of the best criterions at hand by v»hich to judge of our 
sure and steady advance in business importance, is the' rise in 
the value of real estate. A number of lots situated on the 
river below Sibley street, which less than six years ago cost 
Capt. L. Roberts not more than ^re dollars, were sold by him 
to a company of our oldest citizens for four thousand dollars i 

ST. PAUL. 137 

The piircliasersknow tlie value of property asAvell as any men 
among us. They consider tliat tliey have secured a great 
bargain. Others stood ready, with money in hand, to grab this 
property, and AA'ere greatly disappointed that they did not se- 
cure it. Last fall a lot on St. Anthony street, a square below 
the American house, which Mr. Rice gave to one of our attor- 
neys in 1849, and paid him a dollar for making out the 
deed, was sold by said attorney for eighteen hundred dollars. 
Lots in that neighborhood now command a thousand dollars 
or more. In 1849, I could have purchased a quarter of a 
block, one lot of which the Pioneer office now stands upon, for 
two hundred dollars ; now the same property is worth three 
thousand dollars, without the improvements. Lots upon Third 
street which, at that time, could have been purchased at from 
seventy-five to oae hundred and fifty dollars, are now worth 
from twelve to fifteen hundred. No sort of a lot, even in the 
outer additions, can now be bought for a hundred dollars. 

But what has been is nothing to that Avhich will be. There 
is plenty of chances yet — and better ones than ever — for 
''making money" here by investing in real estate. No one 
need be afraid to take hold at present prices. The advance 
is rapid and continual ; and, with the advantages which will 
accrue by the opening of the vast and fertile country beyond 
us, there can be no reverse movement. 

Lumber averages about twelve dollars per thousand ; shin- 
gles, three dollars ; bricks, six dollars per thousand at the yard. 

Common foundation-stone, seventy-five cents per perch, at 
the quarry ; cut-stone for Avindows, sills, &;c., fifty cents per 

Lime, one dollar and twenty-five to one dollar and thirty 
cents per barrel. Sand, twelve and a half cents per load at 
bank. Two horses and wagon, from three to five dollars per 
day — generally four dollars. Lathing, and plastering with 
two rough coats, and furnishing all the materials, from thirty 
to thirty-two cents per yard. Journeymen carpenters receive 
from one dollar and seventy-five cents to two dollars per day. 
Stone-work, cellar-walls laid in mortar, one dollar and seventy- 
five cents to two dollars per perch. 


Vacant houses are liard to find, and consequently rents are 
very liigli. A small shop or office, fifteen by twenty feet 
square, on any of the improved streets, will rent readily at 
from six to ten dollars per month. A one-story building, situ- 
ated in any part of the town, containing four rooms, each say 
twelve feet square, with or without a cellar, pump, or cistern, 
will rent for from twelve to sixteen dollars per month. As a 
general rule, the rent of a small dwelling for two years will 
pay all the cost of its building. Rents can not fall until the 
supply more nearly approximates the increasing demand for 
tenements. The lumber and building-material market is much 
better stocked than some time ago, so that the pressing de- 
mand for buildings will be more readily supplied. Buildings 
are erected in St. Paul with telegraphic rapidity. If one 
makes a trip to the country on a fishing or hunting excursion, 
he is astonished on his return at the number of buildings and 
shanties commenced and completed during his absence. 

Many economical persons, with families, knock together, as 
soon as they land, a rude shanty, in which they live quite 
comfortably, until a better building can be erected, and thus 
avoid the expense of high rent. 

Eligibly-situated property in St. Paul has more than doubled 
in value each .year for the past four years, and we have no 
doubt but much of it will continue to advance at a similar rate 
for the next two years. It may reasonably be estimated that 
our population and improvements have increased sixty per 
cent, during the present year. 

About five years ago, the land upon which this city is lo- 
cated was purchased at the land- office for one dollar and a 
quarter per acre. Before that, it was held by no jjther title 
than squatters' claims. * 

A number of town-lots have changed hands since the open- 
ing of navigation at prices ranging from one hundred to twelve 
hundred and fifty dollars. The lots are usually fifty feet front 
by one hundred and fifty deep. Those sold for one hundred 
dollars each are located in the additions to the original town- 
plat. On the squares around the capitol owners are asking 
from two to five hundred dollars per lot. 

ST. PAUL. 139 

The following sales have lately been macle : A lot on Fourth 
street, opposite the courthouse, for five hundred and twenty-five 
dollars ; a lot on Third, above Minnesota street, for twelve hun- 
dred and fifty dollars ; two lots on Fourth street (corner of St. 
Peter's and next lot), with improvement worth two hundred 
and fifty dollars, for eleven hundred and seventy-five dollars ; 
one lot on Third, below Wabashaw street, for one thousand 
dollars. Numerous other sales have been made recent^ for 
cash, but the above will suffice to show at what rates lots have 
'been selling this season. The sales quoted are of property 
located in the central part of the town, which, however, is not 
so closely built up as the thickly-settled parts of either " up 
town" or " down town." 

In approaching the conclusion of this rough and imperfectly- 
sketched picture of St. Paul, wc must arrive at the further but 
consistent conclusion that a high and glorious position among 
the commercial and manufacturing marts of the great western 
valley is rapidly approaching her. In fact, it may be said to 
be already upon her. 

I have endeavored to present St. Paul as it now is. The 
historical reminiscences thrown into the background are gen- 
erally derived from personal observation — tno&t " of which we 
saw and part of which we were." The statistical results ar- 
rived at have chiefly been furnished by reliable citizens, and 
will be found correct in the main. Some inaccuracies will be 
found embodied in this sketch, but there are none of any great 
or material magnitude. 

The chief object has been to make the stranger acquainted 
with the history, rise, progress, and^prospects, present and 
future, of St. Paul. I wish the immigrant, when he arrives, to 
know where he is — among v/hom he is — and what prospects 
of success await him by remaining with us. Also the compi- 
lation of historical and statistical data, as the foundation of 
future notations and speculations in regard to the onward prog- 
ress of this predestined emporium of the northwest. If w^liat 
is here written and compiled should never be of future use to 
ourselves, perhaps it may be of some slight aid to those who 
are to come after us. I thus take leave of St. Paul at the 


opening of the business season of the year 1853. " There she 
stands !" 

One of the most interesting places in Minnesota, and one 
that most who have come into the territory have seen and ad- 
mired, lies between St. Paul and St. Anthony. It is composed 
for the most part of prairie and openings ; and, after a tedious 
journey of several days by the river, a ride over this region is 
delightful indeed, especially Avhen one has become weary of 
the monotonous succession of bluffs and densely-timbered river 
bottoms that have bounded the vision for several hundred 
miles. The wayworn traveller longs for a change in the scene 
by the time he lands at St. Paul; and if he will but step into 
one of the fine " Concord coaches" always in readiness on the 
aiTival of a boat, to carry him to the great falls of the Father 
of Waters, he will soon be gratified. In a few minutes he will 
be out upon the beautiful prairie, that commences about one 
mile from St. Paul, and extends nearly half way to St. Anthony 
and several miles northward. How invigorating the air feels 
that comes over the flowery plain, or the large fields of grain 
and corn ! The new-comer here seems to breathe w^ith fresh 
delight, and he feels better and stronger than ever before. 
Here and there a little gem of a lake meets the view. Culti- 
vated fields and improved farms now appear quite numerous, 
among which is one owned by ex-Governor Ramsey, contain- 
ing some two hundred and forty acres under improvement. 

The prairie is soon crossed, and the openings commence and 
extend nearly to St. Anthony city. Farms now appear more 
numerous, while most of the land on either side of the road is 
under improvement. In a cluster of trees, just as we enter the 
beautiful opening, stands a neat, newly-erected building, which 
plainly tells that the " schoolmaster is abroad" in Minnesota. 
Many of the farms in this neighborhood are quite small, after 
the New England fashion, and the land is held at high prices. 
Gardening is carried on quite extensively by many, and great 
quantities of vegetables, melons, &:c., are raised for the St. 
Paul and St. Anthony markets. The soil and situation of this 
place are both remarkably well adapted to horticultural pur- 



suits. The quantity and quality of melons and tomatoes raised 
here are quite surprising to persons from the east. 

A nursery, the first in Minnesota, has been established in 
this place by Mr. L. M. Ford ; and, in connection with the 
Scott nursery at Davenport, Iowa, he is prepared to furnish 
trees and plants to any who wish to plant orchards or embel- 
lish their grounds. Fruit-trees grown in this territory I think 
will be in demand for planting some distance south of this, as 
the soil and climate are calculated to produce very hardy trees. 

Most of the country lying between St. Paul and St. Anthony 
is known by the name of " Groveland," which is quite an ap- 
propriate name, though a part of the prairie is included within 
the settlements. 

In connection with this history of St. Paul and its newspaper 
press, I present the following article from the annals of the 
Minnesota Historical Society for 1853, prepared by the secre- 
tary, the Rev. E. D. Neill : — 



" The body that once encased the mind of James M. Good- 
hue is no longer visible, but dwells in a narroAv house, the 
silent and dreary grave. Until he ceased to breathe, his value 
to the community was not fully known. In life, he was viewed 
chiefly in the aspect of an individual battling for his own in- 
terests. In death, it is discovered that he was the individual, 
above all others, who had promoted the general welfare of 
Minnesota, and especially that of the capital. 

"In April, 1849, he found St. Paul nothing more than a 
frontier Indian-trading settlement, known by the savages as 
the place where they could obtain minne-wakon, or whiskey, 
and wholly unknown to the civilized world. Wlien he died, 
with the sword of his pen he had carved a name and reputa- 
tion for St. Paul, and he lived long enough to hear men think 
aloud and say that the day was coming when schoolboys would 
learn from their geography that the third city in commercial 


importnnce, on the banks ot the mighty ^lississippi, aa-as St. 
Panl. His most bitter opponents were convinced, whatever 
might be his conduct toward them, that he loved Minnesota 
with all his heart, all his mind, and all his might. 

** The editor of the ' Pioneer' w as unlike other men. Every 
action, and every line he wrote marked great individuality. 
He could imitate no man in his manners nor in his style, nei- 
ther could any man imitate him. Attempts were sometimes 
made, but the lailure was always very great. Impetuous as 
the whirlwind, wirh perceptive powers that gave to his mind 
the eye of a lynx, with a vivid imagination that made the very 
stones 0? Minnesota speak her praise, with an intellect as vig- 
orous and elastic as a Damascene blade, he penned editorials 
which the neonle of this territorv can never blot out from 

X JL » 


"His wit, M'hcn it was chastened, caused ascetics to laugh. 
His sarcasm upon the foibles of society was paralyzing and un- 
equalled bv Macaulav in his review of the life of Barrere. His 
imagination produced a tale of liction called ' Striking a Lead,* 
which has alreadv become a part of the liiiht literature of the 
west. "When, in the heat of partisan warfare, all the qualities 
of his mind were combined to defeat certain measures, the col- 
umns of his paper were like a terrific storm in midsummer amid 
the Alps. One sentence would be like the dazzling, arrowy 
lightning, peeling in a moment the mountain-oak, and riving 
from the topmost branch to the deepest root ; the next like a 
crash of awful thunder ; and the next like the stunning roar 
of a torrent of many waters. To employ the remark made in 
a discourse at his funeral — * With the insrenuitv of Vulcan, he 
would hammer out thunderbolts on the anvil of his mind, and 
hull them with the power and dexterity of Jove !' 

•' The contrarieties of his character often inci*eased his force. 
Imagining his f<»es to be Cossacks, he often dashed among 
them with all the recklessness of Murat. The tantastic mag- 
nilicence of his pen, when in those moods, was as appallixig in 
Us temerity as the white ostrich-feather and glittering gold 
band of Napoleon's famed marshal. 

" His prejudice was inveterate against sham and claj- trap. 


He refused to publish many of the miserahle advertisements 
of those quacks who seek to palm off their nostmms upon young 
men diseased through their OAvn vices. When a ' stroller' for 
a living, or a self-dubbed professor, came to town, he sported 
■with him as the Philistines with blind Samson. By sarcasm 
and ridicule, * Jarley with his wax-works' was made to de- 

'' When he was unjustifiably harsh, his apology was that in 
the * Medea' of Euripides : — 

'Manthano men hoia dran mello kata 
Thumos de kreibsona tone emone bouleurnatone.' 

He w^as not hypocritical ; he never w^ore a mask. His edi- 
torials showed all he felt at the hour they were dashed from 
his pen. When untrammelled by self-interest or party-ties, his 
sentiments proved that he was a man that was often ready to 

exclaim : — 

'Video raeliora proboque 
Deteriora sequor,' 

"As a paragraph ist, he was equalled by few living men. 
His sentences so leaped with life, that when the distant reader 
perused his sheet, he seemed to hear the purling brooks and 
see the agate pavements and crystal waters of the lakes of 
Minnesota; and he longed to leave the sluggish stream, the 
deadly malaria, and wornout farms, and begin life anew in 
the territory of the sky-tinted waters. When the immigrant 
from week to week was disposed to despond, and give way to 
the distress of homesickness, the hopeful sentences of his paper 
in relation to the prosperous future, chased that dismal feeling 

" The deceased was born in Hebron, Ts'ew^ Hampshire, March 
31, 1810. His parents possessed the strong faith and stern 
virtue of the puritans, and felt that an education was the 
greatest treasure they could give their children. After pas- 
sing through preparatory studies, he entered Amherst college, 
where he listened to the lectures of the distinguished geologist 
Hitchcock and other devout men of science. In the year 1832 
he received a diploma from that institution. It was his desire 


to have attended a meeting of liis surviving classmates in tlie 
halls of his *Alma Mafer,' hut another summons came, to take 
* his chamber in the silent halls of Death.' 

" Having studied law, he entered upon the practice of the 
profession. He became an editor unexpectedly to himself. 
Having been invited to take the oversight of a press in the 
lead region of Wisconsin, during the temporary absence of its 
conductor, he discovered that he increased the interest of the 
readers in the paper. From that time he began to pay less 
attention to the legal profession, and was soon known among 
the citizens of the mines as the editor of the Grant County 
Herald, published at Lancaster, Wisconsin. While residing 
at this place, he became interested in the territory * of sky- 
tinted waters' (Minnesota). With the independence and 
temerity of one Benjamin Franklin, he left Lancaster as sud- 
denly as the ostensible editor of the New England Courant 
left Boston, and he arrived at the landing of what is now the 
capital of Minnesota, with little more money and few more 
friends than the young printer who landed at Market-street 
wharf, in the capital of the then youthful territory of Pennsyl- 
vania. This part of his life he has described with some min- 
uteness in the Pioneer of April 18, 1852, in connection with a 
life-like picture of 


" ' The 18tli day of April, 1849, was a raw, cloudy day. 
The steamboat " Senator," Captain Smith, landed at Ran- 
dall's warehouse, lower landing, the only building then there, 
except Roberts's old store. Of the people on shore, we rec- 
ognised but one person as an acquaintance. Took our press, 
types, and printing apparatus, all ashore. Went with our 
men to the house of Mr. Bass, corner of Third and Jackson 
streets. He kept the only public house in St. Paul ; and it 
was crowded full from cellar to garret. Mr. Bass was very 
obliging, and did everything possible for our encouragement. 
The next thing was a printing-office ; and that it seemed im- 
possible to '^'■"*^ain. Made the acquaintance of C. P. V. Lull, 


cinrl his partner, Gilbert. They furnished ns, gratuitously, the 
lower story of their building, for an office — the only vacant 
room in town ; being the building on Third street, since fin- 
ished oif and now occupied as a saloon by Mr. Calder. The 
weather was cold and stormy, and our office was as open as a 
corn-rick ; however, we picked our types up and made ready 
for the issue of the first paper ever printed in Minnesota or 
within many hundreds of miles of it; but upon search we 
found our news-chase was left beliind. William Nobles, 
blacksmith, made us a very good one, after a delay of two 
or three days. Tlie paper was to be named " The Epistle of 
St. Paul," as announced in our prospectus, published in the 
February preceding; but we found so many little saints in 
the territory, jealous of St. Paul, that w^e determined to call 
our paper " The Minnesota Pioneer." One hinderance after 
another delayed our first issue to the 28th of April — ten days. 
Meantime, Rev. Mr. Neill arrived. It was encouraging to find 
a 3'oung man of education ready to enlist all that he had or 
hoped on earth, in the fortunes of our town. Stillwater and 
St. Paul were then running neck and neck, as rival towns. 
Not a foot of pine lumber could be had nearer than Stillwater. 
But about this time one of the mills at St. Anthony was put in 
operation ; but there were then only a few buildings at the 
falls of St. Anthony. We looked about St. Paul to buy a lot. 
Mr. Larpenteur's house was built ; also, French's house and 
shop (now a tin shop), and the little shop, then the drug-store 
of Dewey & Cavileer, recently Major J. J. Noah's office, next 
door west of Calder's (then our printing-office) ; also the office 
of Judge Pierse (then the fur store of Olmsted and Rhodes). 
Mr. Lambert's house was partly finished. As you go up Third 
and Bench streets, the next buildings were two old tamarac 
log-houses, a little east of where Mr, Neill's church is; then 
passing the schoolhouse, there w^ere two more of the same sort 
in the street, in front of the houses now occupied by Mr. Ben- 
son and Mr. Hollinshead near the junction of St. Anthony, 
Bench, and Hill streets. Beyond, was the house John R. 
Irvine lives in, and nothing else but the symptoms of tw^o or 
three balloon frames. The Fullers were at work pulling up a 



Ginall store "witli tlieir own ]iar;(l?. Hctiirning, on tlie rig])t, 
wns the old initlevgroinul dentl-fall, in tlie groimd oppc^ite 
Jolin R, Irvine's lionse ; then r.t tlie junction of Tliird and 
Boncli streets, was Vetal Gnerin's log-house (now Le Due's) ; 
then the building in Avliich Mr. Curran lives, at that time un- 
finished ; then the old bakery next door east; then Mr. Hop- 
kins's at the corner ; turning the corner to tlie head of Ran- 
dall's stairs (not then built), was the old building, still there 
(now belonging to F. Steele), which Henry Jackson used to 
own, where he kept a grocery, postoffice, and a tavern, free for 
all the vrorld and the world's wife. Up along the bank of the 
river stood, and ye't stands, the building occupied as a store by 
"William H. Forbes, the St. Paul outfit ; next Avas a little log 
building, the nucleus of the " Central House ;" next the old 
log catholic church, where the Rev. Mr. RaA'oux faithfully 
labored, and sonietinies saw miraculous visions during the time 
of Lent; then the log-house belonging to Mr. Laroux, which 
is now being metamorphosed into a neat building. This brings 
us back to Vetal's the junction of Third and Bencli streets. 
Half a dozen other buildina's alono- Roberts street, and Mr. 
Hoyt's neighborhood, in addition to the above, constituted St. 
Paul. But let it be remembered that the fashionable drinking- 
place then, was that little log-house next east of Goodrich's 
brick store. Mr. Bass was busy in hurrying up a new saloon, 
^he building lately occupied as the clerk's office, on the spot 
where the Minnesota outfit stands. The ground west of 
Roberts's, and north of Third streets, was covered with any 
quantity of hewed timber stripped from the forest opposite 
town. We looked about for a lot; and saAv that the two ends 
of the town must soon unite in the middle. Along the lower 
end of Third street, owners of lots had the coolness to ask 
from one hundred to two hundred dollars a lot. Between 
Lambert's and where the Sligo iron store is, on Third street, 
the price w^as seventy-five, and soon after ninety dollars. We 
bought a fractional lot with Dr. Dewey ; and on our half of it, 
built the middle section of the building where the Pioneer 
office is, for a dwelling-house, and lived in it through the next 
year, without having it lathed or plastered. 


" * But to return a little. We were at length prepared to 
issue our first number. Weliad no subscribers; for then there 
•were but a handful of people in the uhole territory ; and the 
majority of those "were Canadians and half-breeds. Not a 
territorial officer had yet arrived. We remember present, at 
the date of our first issue, Mr. Lull, Mr. Cavileer, Mr. Neill, 
and perhaps Major Murphy. The people Avanted no politics, 
and Ave gave them none ; they wanted information of all sorts 
about Minnesota ; and that is what Ave furnished them Avith. 
We advocated Minnesota, morality, and religion, from the be- 
ginning. William B. BroAvn built a shell of a buildiug (being 
the south end of the Sligo iron store noAv), which Mr. Neill 
occupied for a meetinghouse. It Avas half filled Avith hearers 
on Sundays; for Sunday Avas like any other day, or perhaps 
rather more so. 

" ' This toAvn greAv rapidly. The boats came up loaded 
Avith immigrants ; but then, as noAV, a great many feeble, 
Aveak-he.arted folks, Avere frozen out and Avent back doAvn 
the river, not being made of the right stuff. Mr. Owens came 
up Avith the *' Kegister" press, from Cincinnati, one number of 
that journal haA^ing been piinted in that city. Colonel James 
Hughes also came from Ohio Avith the " Chronicle," Avhich Avas 
issued soon after, from the building Avhere *' The Minnesotian" 
is noAv published. Soon after the Register, by M'Lean & 
Oavcus, was issued from the building that is now the laAv-office^ 
of Simons Sl Masterson, St. Anthony street. After a few 
months, the Chronicle and Register Avere united in the old 
Chronicle office, under the firm, name, and style of OAvens & 
M'Lean and Hughes & Qiiay. Mr. Quay soon left the office ; 
^nd soon after Colonel Hughes sold out, and Mr. M'Lean 
became sole proprietor of both offices, and OAvens editor; 
Major M'Lean being appointed Sioux agent at Fort Snelling.' " 

A short period before the deceased Avas confined to his room 
he fell from his ferry-boat into the river, and had to use great 
exertion to keep from droAvning ; this, in connection A\i(h a 
mind oppressed by the cares of one so active in life, is sup- 
posed to have shortened his days on earth. Not long after he 


was on a bed of sickness, there seemed to be tbe presentiment 
that his heart might have commenced " beating its funeral 
march to the grave." 

*' Some days before lie died, with great calmness and clear- 
ness of mind, he conversed with the minister, whose services 
he attended when in health. In looking back upon his life, 
lie saw much to regret. He acknowledged his nnworthiness 
in the sight of Heaven, and hoped that he had placed his 
trust in his Redeemer. He was desirous to live in order that 
he miirlit show to the Avorld that he had determined to act 
upon new resolutions. To the last, he felt an interest in Min- 
nesota. During his sickness he was patient, and freely for- 
gave all his enemies. 

" His spirit left his body on Friday evening, August 27, 
1852, at half past eight o'clock. His funeral took place on 
Sunday afternoon. A discourse was delivered in the presby- 
terian church, to the largest assembly ever convened npon a 
similar occasion in Minnesota. 

" The legislative assembly of 1853 very properly recognised 
his services in bringing Minnesota into notice, by giving his 
name to one of tlie new counties formed out of the recently- 
ceded Dakota lands." 

6T. Anthony's falls. 149 




A RIDE of an hoiu* from St. Paul, over fine country, brings 
us to the celebrated falls of St. Antliony, a place of great re- 
sort for visiters from the east and sunny south. In the way 
of cataracts, it is decidedly the glory of our west and nortli- 
Avest. The pulse of the traveller seems to beat quicker as he 
feels himself approaching the scene, where Father Hennepin, 
of old, was so carried away with admiration as to call the red 
man's falls after his patron-saint. The name has indeed a 
kind of sacred halo about it, yet we love the more sonorous 
and far more appropriate appellation of the Indians. (The 
Dakotas call the falls " Rnra," from irara, to laugh.) 

Long before coming in sight of the grand scene, the ear is 
greeted by the deep, solemn roar, that truly resembles the 
" sound of many waters." It seems, indeed, as though some 
mighty strife were going on amid the elements of nature. A 
strange and indescribable feeling steals over the senses — a 
feeling that awakens a spirit of admiration for the Almighty's 
handiwork. The falls at length burst upon the enraptured 
view — the noble falls of St. Anthony. We are immediately 
impressed with the peculiar appropriateness of the Indian's 
name, as he gazes on the " laughing waters." One is not here 
so completely overwhelmed at the incomparable Niagara, with 
the great height of the water's fall, their deafening roar, or the 
lofty character of the scenery. St. Anthony is more within 
the grasp of the human comprehension, and is therefore looked 
upon with more real pleasure. Niagara appears to wear a 
kind of threatening frown, while the former greets you with a 


more Avinning- and complacent smile. Yet on account of the 
vast body of -u'ater continually rushing o"S er the rocky mass 
in tlie river's bed, the scene is one of great sublimity, as well 
as one of beauty and loveliness. As we gaze on tlic scene, 
and listen to the warring elements, how forcibly are we im- 
pressed Avitli the truth of Brainard's beautiful lines: — 

" And what are we, 
That hear the question of that voice sublime? 
O, what are all the notes that ever rung 
From war's vain trumpet, by tliy thundering side? 
Yes, wliat is all the riot man can make 
In his sliort, life, to thine unceasing roar? 
And yet, bold babbler, Avhat art tliou to ITim 
"Who di'owiied tlie world, and heaped the waters far 
Above i(s loftiest mountain? A light wave 
That breaks and whispers at its Maker's might!" 

The Rev. Albert Barnes, in a sermon preached in 1849, 
uses this language in relation to the falls: — 

" I visited the falls of St. Anthonv. I know not how other 
men feel when standing there, nor bowmen Avill feel a centiny 
hence, when standing there — then, not in the west, hut almost 
in the centre of our great nation. But when I stood there, 
and reliected on the distance between that and the place of my 
birth and my home; on the prairies over which I had passed ; 
and the stream — the 'Father of Hi vers' — up Avliich I had 
sailed some five hundred miles, into a new and unsettled land 
— where the children of the forest still live and roam — I had 
views of the greatness of my country, such as I have never 
had in the crowded capitals and the smiling villages of the 
east. Far in the distance did they then seem to be, and there 
came over the soul the idea of greatness and vastness, which no 
figures, no description, had ever conveyed to my mind. To an 
inexperienced traveller, too, how strange is the appearance of 
all that land! Those boundless prairies seem as if they had 
^been cleared by the patient labor of another race of men, re- 
moving all the forests, and roots, and stumps, and brambles, 
and smoothing them down as if with mighty rollers, and sowing 
them with grass and flowers ; a race which then passed away. 

ST. Anthony's fall3. 151 

linving built no houses of tlieir own, mul made no fences, nncl 
set out no trees, and established no landmarks, to lay tlie 
foundation of any future claim. The mounds which 3'ou here 
and there see, look, indeed, as if a portion of them had died 
and had been buried tiiere ; but those mounds and thoso 
boundless fields had been forsaken together. You ascend the 
[Mississippi amid scenery unsurpassed in beauty probably in 
the world. You see the waters making their way along an 
interval of from two to four miles in width, between bluffs 
of from one to five hundred feet in height. Now the river 
makes its way along the eastern range of bluff's, and now the 
western, and now in. the centre, and now it divides itself into 
numerous channels, forming thousands of beautiful islands, 
covered with long grass ready for the scythe of the mower. 
Those blulis, rounded with taste and skill, such as could, be 
imitated by no art of man, and set out with trees here and 
there, gracefully arranged like orchards, seem to have been 
sown with grain to the summit, and are clothed with beautiful 
green. You look out instinctively for the house and barn ; 
for flocks and herds; for nien, and women, and children; but 
they are not there. A race that is gone seems to have culti- 
vated those fields, and then to have silently disappeared — 
leaving them for the first man that should come from the older 
parts of our own country, or from foreign lands, to take 
possession of them. It is only by a process of reflection that 
you are convinced that it is not so. But it is not the work of 
man. It is God v/ho has done it, when there was no man 
there save the Avandering savage, alike ignorant and uncon- 
cerned as to the design of the great processes in the land 
where he roamed — Go-d Avho did all this, that he might prepare 
it for the abode of a civilized and Christian people." 

Tlie direction of the Mississippi at this place, and for 
several miles above, is nearly south. Opposite the vilLnge 
three islands, lyiiig nearly in a straight line, one above tlie 
other, divide the river iuio two parts — the largest body of 
water flowing on the right hand of the islands. The upper 
island is small, containing less than ten acres of land, antl is 
still uncultivated, though the trees with which it was but a 


short time since densely covered, are fast disappearing, and 
it will soon be brought under tribute to the husbandman. 

The second island is some eight or ten rods below, and 
contains about forty acres. It is a beautiful spot of ground, 
covered thickly with a great variety of thrifty timber, among 
which the sugar-maple is conspicuous. The banks are high, 
bold and rocky on the upper end, gradually descending at the 
lower almost to the water's edge. Near the middle of the 
island a small bluff rises some ten or fifteen feet high, with a 
slope as nicely and beautifully turned as if it had been the 
Avork of art. It forms a semicircular curve at the lower end, 
gradually widening toward the upper, making one of the 
most charming building-sites that can be imagined. Xear the 
lower end of this island commence the rapids in the main 
stream, the water foaming, bounding, and dashing over the 
rocks, which lie scattered across the bed of the stream as far 
as the falls. 

Franklin Steele, Esq., owns this island, having entered it 
in 1848, as soon as it was surveyed. It is considered valuable 
property, the proprietor having been offered four thousand dol- 
lars for one half of it. 

The third island lies immediately below, so near the last- 
mentioned that they were formerly connected by a slight 
bridge. It contains, on a rough estimate, some fifteen acres, 
and is not yet surveyed. A small house has been erected 
upon it by the n:iill company, as a pre-emption claim. On 
each side of this island are the falls of St. Anthony. Below 
the falls are two small islands, near the right shore. The falls 
of the m.ain channel are several rods above those on this 
side, the greater volume of water having worn away the soft 
crumbling rock much faster. The recedence of the falls on 
both sides is so rapid as to be almost yearly perceptible ; 
making the suppositions of some geologists highly plausible, 
that originally they were as lo\v tm Fort Snelling. During 
the high water of 1850, huge masses of rocks -were torn from 
the islands washed by the falls, and carried a considerable 
distance down the river ; large blocks of sand and limestone 
detached from the ledge of rock over which the water is pre- 


cipitated ; and altogether, tlic falls underwent a gi'eater change 
than had been observed for many years. 

Franklin Steele, Norman W. Kittson, and Mr. Stumbough, 
made a claim on lands in this vicinity, as early as 1S3G or 
1837, soon after the Indian title was obtained by go\ernment. 
Tlie land, however, was not surveyed and entered till 1S4S. 
Charles Wilson seems to have been the first American who 
ever m.ade a permanent residence here, having arrived in the 
spring of 1847. There was tlien but one house in the place, 
standing on the bluff some thirty rods below the mills, and 
built of logs. Roving Frenchmen and trappers may have 
temporarily resided here previously, but not as permanent 
settlers. Mrs. Ard Godfrey may claim the honor of having 
given birth to the first of the fair daughters of St. Anthony ; 
and lier husband, A. Godfrey, Esq., that of having commenced 
the first improvement of the Avater power at the falls. Under 
his superintendence, in the fall of 1847, the dam and saw-mills 
owned by the St. Anthony mill company, were begun, and the 
first saw put in operation in August, 1848. Others were com- 
pleted soon after, making eight saws now running, of an 
average capacity of six thousand feet each per day. R. P. 
Russell, Esq., erected the first frame dwelling in the town, in 
1847, and opened the first store. There are at present four 
organized churches — presb^'terian, episcopalian, methodist, and 
baptist. Two school districts, known as Nos. 5 and G, were 
organized in the village in 1850. In addition to the public 
schools taught in these districts, several flourishing select 
schools have been maintained since 1850. The whole popu- 
lation of the place may be safely estimated at two thousand 

The legislature, in 1851, passed *' An act to incorporate the 
University of Minnesota at the Falls of St. Anthony." The 
law provides that " the proceeds of all lands that may here- 
after be granted by the United States to the territory, for the 
support of a university, shall be and remain a perpetual fund 
to be called the * University fund,' the interest of which shall 
be appropriated to the support of a university." The law 
further provides that the object of the univeisity shall be " to 



provide the inhabitants of tliis territory Avith the means of 
acquiring' a tliorough knowledge of tlic various branches of 
literature, science, and the arts;" and that "the government 
of the university sliall be vested in a board of twelve regents, 
Avho shall be elected by tlie legislature," and Avliose duties are 
prescribed in said lav>', " The luiiversity shall consist of live 
departments, to Avit : science, literature, and the arts, a depart- 
ment of law and medicine, the theory and practice of elemen- 
tary instruction, and the department of agriculture." 

The university shall be located at the " Falls of St. An- 
thony." " Tlie regents shall make a report annually to the 
legislature, exhibiting the state and progress of the university 
in its several departments, the course of study, the number of 
professors and students, the amount of expenditures and such 
other information as they may deem proper," etc. On the 
fourth of March, 1851, the legislature met in joint convention 
and elected the following gentlemen as regents for said uni- 
versity, to Avit : — 

Alexander Rnmsey, Henry H. Sibley, C. K. Smith, Henry 
M. llice, W. R. Marshall, Franklin Steele, Isaac Atwater, B. B. 
Meeker, A. Van Yorhees, Socrates Nelson, N. C. T>. Taylor, 
and J. W. Furber. 

The board of regents met at St. Anthony, October, IS51, for 
the transaction of business. The subject of the remoA'al of the 
present site of the university engaged the attention of the 
board. It has been thought by some of the friends of the 
imiversity that its present location is in closer proximity to the 
business, and especially the manufacturing carried on in toAvn, 
than Avould be desirable for a seat of learning. The subject 
has been referred to a com-mittee for examination, and to 
report Avhether any more eligible site can be obtained in the 
vicinity of St. Anthony. 

The two townsliips of land donated by Congress to the 
universitv, have not yet been located. It Avas thoufrht advisa- 
ble to defer the location till after tlie ratification of the Indian 
treaties, in order thnt Avidef range might be afforded to make 
a selection most favorable to the interests of the institution. 
The matter is oi.e of great consequence to the interests of the 


university, and will receive the attention of tlie regents as 
enrly i^s practicable. 

One of the first steps taken by the board of regents, in be- 
half of tlie university, vras the establishment of a preparatory 
department. This is now in a flourishing condition. It is 
under the direction of Prof. E. W. Merrill, a gentleman of much 
experience and success in teaching. It was opened for tlie 
reception of students Kovembcr 26th, 1851. Since that time 
about one hundred and fiftv students have been connected with 
the institution. The number has been steadily increasing 
each term, the present numbering eighty-five pupils. It is 
gratifying to observe that an interest is felt in the institution 
in different parts of the territory. Several students from 
abroad, have recently availed themselves of the advantages 
it affords. 

There have been six students pursuing the study of the 
languages, seventeen algebra and geometry, sixteen physiology, 
the same ninnber book-keeping, twenty-nine jDhilosophy, and 
six astronomy. The books used are the same as recommended 
by the superintendent of public instruction. 

No provision has yet been made for procuring apparatus 
suitable for the illustration of the natural sciences, and experi- 
ments therein. Great inconvenience is experienced from this 
cause. B}^ a resolution of the board of regents, all the ex- 
penses connected with the preparatory department, are de- 
frayed by private subscription. Many of the friends of educa- 
tion have already contributed generously toward this object. 
But it is believed there are others, who would only need to be 
informed that the Avant above alluded to is felt, to cheerfully 
' contribute the means for furnishing the necessary apparatus. 

The town of" St. Anthony now contains over two thousand 
inhabitants, and is most beautifully picturesque in its position. 
It contains beautiful building sites, and now boasts several 
elegantly-built cottages, which would do honor to any city of 
the Union. Its rapidly increasing business, and population, 
together with its magnificent water power for manufacturing 
purposes, betoken another " Lowell," to rival old New England 


Stillwater was first settled, October 10, 1843, by Johii. 
]\rKusick, formerly from Maine ; Elam Greelj', from Maine ; 
Calvin F. Leacli from Vermont, and Ellas M'Kean, from 
rennsjlvania, proprietors of the Stillwater Lumber Company ; 
Laving' selected this silo, on account of its valuable water- 
power, for the erection of a saw-mill, which was put in opera- 
tion early in the spring of 1844. The simple board shanties 
of the first settlers, together with the mill, remained the 
only buildings in the place until the fall of 1844, when the 
first franie house was built by A. Northrup for a tavern stand. 

From this time, the place steadily grew in importance. In 
1846, a postofiice was established, and Elam Greely appointed 
postmaster. In 1S48, the town was laid out by John M'Ku- 
sick, one of the proprietors thereof. About this time the 
county commissioners authorized the building: of a courthouse 
at this place, which was completed in 1850. A schoolhouse 
was also built in 1848, schools having been established as early 
as 1846, and held in jjrivate houses. A presbyterian church, 
being the first in the town, was erected in 1850. 

The settlement of the Areola mill, Avhicli ranks next iu 
age, was comm.enced in 1846, by Martin Mower, W. H. 0. 
Folsom, formerly from Maine ; and Joseph Brewster, from 
Xew York, who erected a saw-mill at this point. Since which 
many other buildings have been built, Avhich, together with 
the mill, gives this place the appearance of a thriving little 

The first settlement of Washington county was comm.enced 
in 1837, at what is called Taylor's falls — by Baker, Taylor, 
and others of the Northwest Lumber Company. About which 
time, the government treaty, with the Sioux and Chippewa 
Indians was concluded for the land, the Sioux owning the 
southern, and the Chippewas the northern portion of the land 
in this county. July 17th, 1838, the trdaty being ratified by 
Congress, consequently several settlements Avere commenced 
about that time. Several by the French, along the shores of 
Lake St. Croix, as Avell as the more important settlements of 
the Marine and Falls of St. Croix, 

The first steamboat that navigated the riAer St- Croix was 

rriLLWATETR. 157 

the Palmyra, July 17tli, 1838, heaving on board the original 
proprietors of the Marine and Falls of St. Croix saw-mills, 
togetlier with their necessary supplies and machinery, for the 
erection of the mills at those places. 

The settlement of the Marine mills was commenced in 1838, 
Iry Samuel Burkleo, formerly of the state of Dehiware, Orange 
Walker, from Vermont, and others of the Marine Lumber Com- 
pany, who succeeded in erecting a good saw-mill, for the man- 
ufacture of pine lumber. Other buildings of diiferent kinds 
have since been built, together with one large and commodious 
tavern stand. This place is a business point of considerable 

At this time, the jurisdiction of CraAvford county, Wisconsin 
territory, extended over all this territory northwest from Prairie 
du Chien. Joseph R. Brown was chosen representative to the 
legislative assembly of Wisconsin, to represent the wants of 
the population ; and, among the many representations of the 
wants of the people, was the organization of a new county, 
which was granted by the legislature in 1841, as will be seen 
by their act, November 20, entitled "An act to organize the 
county of St. Croix." At the time prescribed by law for hold- 
ing the court, up came the judge to hold the court at the seat 
of justice ; and on arriving at Dakota, the seat of justice, to his 
great astonishment, the only building in the town was a rough 
log-cabin, occupied by a lone Frenchman, who it appears was 
employed by the proprietor of the town to take care of the 
county-seat in his absence. This kind of reception not meet- 
ing the expectations of the judge, he very naturally took back 
tracks, and thus ended the judicial proceedings for St. Croix 
county. It was soon after attached to Crawford county, where 
it remained until 1847, when it was again organized for ju- 
dicial purposes, and the county-seat established at Stillwater, 
where the first United States district court was holden in what 
is noAV Minnesota territory, being the June term of 1848. 
There being no courthouse, the court was held at the store 
of John M'Kusick, by the Hon. Charles Dunn, judge of said 


Point Douglas is situated at the junction of the Mississippi 
and Lake St. Croix. In 1839, ten acres of the present town- 
site were cLaimed by Mr. Joseph Mozoe, wlio erected and oc- 
cupied the first house (a log-cabin, now standing on tlie bank 
of the river) in the present town ; and, in 1840, Mr. Calviu 
Tuttlc became the purchaser of this land, who extended his 
chnim to one hundred and sixty acres, which v/as subsequently, 
in the vear 1844, sold to Messrs. Burris k. Hertzell, merchants 
cf this place. In 1839, Mr. Joseph Langtoe claimed about ten 
acres of land adjoining the above, which was subsequently 
sold to Captain Frazier, who increased the amount to eighty 
acres, which was, in 1843, sold to Burris & Hertzell, and in 
1844 purchased by Mr. David Hone — this latter gentleman 
having at this time, adjoining the village, about one hundred 
and ninety acres of land, wliich he has by industry and good 
management succeeded in putting under fence and in a good 
state of cultivation ; which has produced, for several successive 
years, crops that Avill average to the acre, of wheat, forty bush- 
els ; corn, forty bushels ; barley, forty-five bushels ; potatoes,^ 
two to three hundred bushels — all of which, owing to the great 
home demand, has realized a profitable return for the labor 
expended. Other gentlemen in the neighborhood have been 
equally successful in raising crops, although on a smaller scale. 
The lands lying between the river and Lake St. Croix are of 
fine quality, and filling up with an industrious and intelligent 
class of citizens, who appear determined to test fully the char- 
ai ter of the soil, and provide for themselves and families at 
least a comfortable home. 

In the year 1849, the town was surveyed and laid out in 
lots of fifty feet front by one hundred and fifty feet deep, the 
streets running at right angles, and generally fifty feet wide. 
The land rises gradually from the Mississippi river, which is 
its southern and principal front, until it reaches the base of a 
gradually-rising hill, the summit of which is about one hun- 
dred feet above the summit or level of the lake and river. 
From this elevation a very extensive and interesting prospect 
may be had of the lake, the lands on the west bank of the 
Mississippi, and the fine lands of Wisconsin. The eastern 


front, or lake side of this town, from its elevated position, will 
he the most agreeable and pleasant for family residence; the 
snrfjrce being gently rolling, and affording easy grades for 
draining the town, and having sufficient timber, which can be 
turned to good account in ornamenting and shading the streets 
and' residences. 

To those in searcli of health and pleasure. Point Douglas 
and surrounding country present many attractions ; the fine 
air, the beautiful lake where fish of various kind abound, and 
where those in quest of aquatic excursions can noAvhere find a 
more suitable field for such enjoyments. 

A visit to Vermillion river and falls is no less attractive : 
the river winding its Avay unseen through an extensive and 
beautiful prairie until within a short distance of the precipice, 
then rushing Avitli all the wild confusion of a Niagara or St. 
Anthony over craggy and disjointed rocks of about one hun- 
dred feet in depth until it reaches the river below, and finally 
finds a rest in the bosom of the Father of Waters one mile 
above this town ; the river above and below the falls affording 
fish of fine quality, such as trout, bass, pickerel, chub, &c. A 
ride of a few miles to Rush river, in Wisconsin, through a fer- 
tile country of woodland and prairie, is no less inviting to 
those in search of piscatorial enployment, abounding, as do 
other rivers and lakes of the country, with fish of excellent 

The late appropriations of Congress for improvements within 
the territory, makes Point Douglas the starting-point of 'jcwo 
principal roads : one to Fond du Lac, on Lake Superior; the 
other to Fort Ripley; one hundred and sixty miles above, on 
the Mississippi river. 

Fort Snelling is situated at the confluence of the ]\Iinne- 
sota and Mississippi rivers, on the west side of the Mississippi. 
The buildings of the garrison are upon a high bluff, probably 
two hundred feet above the level of the water in the riveis, 
and which stretches to the north and west in a gently-undula- 
ting and very fertile prairie, interspersed here and there with 
groves of heavy timber. The steamboat-landing of Fort Snel- 


ling is directly opposite the mouth of the Minnesota, from 
which a low island extends about two and a half miles down 
the Mississippi. 

Mexdota, which lies about half a mile bclov,- the mouth of 
the Minnesota, has been for many years a trading-post of the 
American Fur Company, and is still a dep6t of goods and pro- 
visions for the supply of the traders, who, at this time, have 
penetrated much farther into the Indian country. But it has, 
till latelv, been included in the military reserve of Fort Snel- 
ling. It has not attained that degree of prosperity so remark- 
able in the villages of St. Paul and St. Anthony, and which 
its far more favorable position might justly have secured for it. 

From the summit of Pilot Knob, which lies back of Mendota, 
a view may be obtained of the surrounding country as far as 
the eye can grasp, affording to the spectator a sight of one of 
the most charming natural pictures to be found in this territory, 
so justly celebrated for scenic beauty. The vieAv describes a 
circle of eight or nine miles — a grand spectacle of rolling 
prairie, extended plain and groves, the valley of the Minne- 
sota with its meandering stream, a bird's-eye view of Fort 
Snelling, Lake Harriet in the distance — the town of St. An- 
thony just visible through the nooks of the intervening groves, 
— and St. Paul, looking like a city set upon a hill, its build- 
ings and spires distinctly visible, and presenting in appearance 
the distant view of a city containing a population of one hun- 
dred thousand human beings. 

Besides the older and larger towns, there are many germinal 
cells, along the navigable streams, hastening into existence. We 
have on the Mississippi, Wabashaw, Minnesota city, Red Wing, 
Hastings, Mendota, and perhaps others unintentionally omit- 
ted. Then on the Minnesota river are Shakopee, Le Sueur, 
and Traverse des Sioux. And 3'et above these, at the conflu- 
ence of the Blue-Earth and Minnesota, in the foreground of a 
most charming picture of varied and picturesque scenery, stands 
the fair beginning of the future city of Mankato. 




Those who are desirous of removing to a new country oiiglit 
to prefer Minnesota for tlie business of farming*. To begin 
with, if you are of tbat incorrigible class of persons who have 
taken it into their brains that no part of this great globe is 
habitable, by reason of the cold, to a higher degree of latitude 
than about forty degrees north, we have no use for you. Stay 
in your doorless cabins, and go shivering about in your thin, 
slazy garments of jeans, through the mingled frost and mud, 
and the icy sleet and chilling fogs of that most execrable of 
all climates — an hermaphrodite region, half-tropical and half- 
frigid — a cross of the north pole upon the equator. Stay 
where you are. We want here a race of men of higher physi- 
cal and mental powers, of more meat and muscle, of more force 
and energy. The vvhole of the British islands — the nursery 
of that vigorous stock of the human family, which, first taking 
root in the rocky shore of the Atlantic, has, in two hundred 
years, uprooted the forests filled with barbarous Indians, and, 
like the prolific locust-tree, spread wider and wider its annual 
shoots, until its shadows are reflected from the Pacific — those 
British islands lie more than five degrees north of St. Paul. 
The whole of England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, 
and a part of France, lie north of the extreme northern bound- 
ary of ]\[inuesota. We are noAv addressing those over the 
whole globe who have been invigorated by the cold. I do not 
know where to look on the face of the earth, as far south even 
as latitude thirty-nine degrees, for a race of people who would 


be wortli having in Minnesota, '\^^e can dispense with the 
rusty Spaniard, tlie idle Italian, the stupid Turk ; but Ave want 
all the middle, northwestern, and eastern states, and all the 
people of the islands and tbe continent of the north of Europe 
to knov/ what advantages Minnesota offers to them. 

We take it as an axiom, that individuals and states must he 
supplied with mainsprings. A man will last longer upon a 
treadwheel than rusting out in a dungeon. The hard-fisted 
Yankee, who wars through his lifetime with Nature, to win a 
little field among the ledges of Xcav Hampshire, outlives two 
or three generations of " suckers," who settle down on the fer- 
tile bottoms of the Illinois, amid vast savannas of Indian corn. 
The Yankee is never satisfied while anybody in the world has 
a better house or better-educated children than his own. 
Whenever Nature pours profusion into the lap of man — when 
results come without exertion — man ceases effort, and his 
powers are no longer develojjed. This is the inevitable result, 
to individuals and to states. Nature spoils her children by 
enriching them. This result is the surest in a rich, southern 
soil, as the climate itself, as well as the profusion of Nature's 
supplies, invite to indolence and ease. The honey-bee, taken 
to the tropics, it is said, will provide stores for one winter; 
but, after that, is as improvident as a house-fly. 

This is a condition of things not to be found in Minnesota. 
The length of the av inter and the invigorating climate invite 
man to exercise. He seeks for it — has an appetite for it, as 
much as an Englishman has for roast-beef, or for a tramp with 
his gun. His poM^ers are all right ; he has a good boiler in 
him, and steam to work off. 

The human family never has accomplished anything worthy 
of note, besides the erection of the pyramids, those milestones 
of ancient centuries, south of latitude forty north. The his- 
tory of THE v.'ORLD is writtcu chiefly above that parallel. 
South of it existed slavery, in one or another form, always, to 
a great extent, in both ancient and modern times; and wher- 
ever Consumption contrives to place a saddle upon the back 
of Production, and ride, there will be want and wretchedness ; 
for Nature has ordained it, for the true welfare of man, that 


every human being sliall labor, in some honest and useful vo- 

But there are prejudices against onr climate. Some insist 
upon it that wc can not raise Indian corn. Show them pro- 
lific fields of it, as vre now can hundreds, the naked ears glit- 
tering like gold in tlie melh:>-\v sunshine of autumn, and the 
ground beneath almost paved with yelloAv pumpkins, and yet 
they look incredulous, and shake their heads, and say : '' It 
won't do. I was here last June, and your springs are too late. 
You can't make cawn-crap if here, no how you can fix it, stran- 
ger !" These wise people have a theory that maize is adapted 
solely to the latitude they came from; and they are as stub- 
born in maintaining it as the geologists are in their theory that 
there can be no mineral coal north of the Illinois coal-beds; 
although it is actually found here, in various localities, ranging 
south from the Orow-Wing river as ftir as the mouth of the 
Blue-Earth, of the most admirable qualitv- If ^ve could not 
raise Indian corn, we should remember that, with the excep- 
tion of a part of Italy and Spain, all populous Europe subsists 
very well v.itl'.ont it. But maize, I admit, is the cereal crop 
of America. I subscribe to all Mr. Clay's beautiful eulogium 
upon it ; and perhaps the most valuable quality of this grain 
is its adaptation to Jovgitiiclcs rather than lafitiicles. Thei'e is 
not an Esquimaux Indian basking by his lakeside in the sun- 
shine of his Irief, hot summer, Avho can not raise and ripen one 
variety or another of maize. From the delta of the Mississi})pi 
to the remotest spring-branch that supplies Lake Itasca, the 
head of the river, this crop can be raised, and is raised and 
ripened every year. "What folly, then, to contradict these pal- 
pable facts! The same reasoning applies to wheat; yet, in 
fact, we live too far south for sure crops of winter Avheat. 
Those choice wheat-lands of Europe, on the shores of the Bal- 
tic, are far north of us. At Hed river, many hundred miles 
n.orth of St. Paul, they raise better wheat than ever goes into 
'the markets of Milwaukee or Chicago. There is not a plant 
of any description, raised in "Wisconsin, that does not ripen 
here. W^e have tomatoes here, abundant and ripe, in a garden 
which was not fenced until June. Last season we gathered 


cucumbers in November, "wliicli were planted very late, for 

Our soil is generally productive ; though much cf it is sandy, 
it is a very productive soil — not as compared with the middle 
or eastern states, but as compared with "Wisconsin and Illinois. 
There are fields here which the French have cultivated with- 
out manuring for twenty years, which 2)roduce good crops, bar- 
ren as the soil may look to a *' sucker" from the bottoms of 
Eel river or the Big Muddy. The farmers here, on the aver- 
age, get larger crops per acre than we have ever seen raised 
in any other part of the west. TVe do not say that all Minne- 
sota is fertile ; but that it will compare favorably, in fertility, 
with any portion of the world. 

Consider, then, our advantages in regard to health. Xo bil- 
ious fevers, no shaking with ague in the harvest-fields, no loss 
of crops by sickness. Is this nothing? 

Of the extent and value of our home market for produce, it 
is needless to speak. In no other part of the West is there 
anything like an equal demand for agricultural products; to 
supply the Indian tribes on the Minnesota and Mississippi 
rivers ; to supply the forts, and to supply the great and in- 
creasing business of the pineries, and the manufacture of lum- 
ber. Every farmer has a natural tariff to protect him, equal 
to the cost of shipping the same kinds of produce which he 
offers in market, from several hundred miles below, by steam- 
boat ; added to the insurance and the profits of the produce 
dealer, all which is more than fifty per cent, premium in his 
favor, over the farmer who lives down the river, and who has 
no such home market as ours at his door. Add to this the 
cheapness of choice lands in Minnesota, our freedom from the 
burden of a state government, and the moral, intelligent, and 
industrious character of our people, and the immigrant, if he 
is a man, and expects to live by exertion, will find more in- 
ducements to m.ake his home in Minnesota, than in any of the 
bilious regions south of it. 

There is a demand here for all kinds of farming, and espe- 
cially for dairying and stock-farming. But in speaking of 
farmers particularly, I would not be understood to intimate 


that tliere is not abnnclant er.courngement for otlier branches 
of intlustiy. AYlicrc farmers can tlirive, all other interests aro 

Our market for all that can be raised in Minnesota, for years 
to come, will be ample, and prices as high as can he obtained in 
any city of the West. I can demonstrate this in few words. 
The non-producing classes among us comprise upward of forty 
thousand Indians, and some five thousand whites, the latter 
divided into traders, merchants, lum.bermen, soldiers, mechan- 
ics, and manufacturers. If it be argued that the former will 
diminish with the advance of the settler, it can also be shown 
that the latter, from the very nature of our country — its in- 
exhaustible water-power, and its interminable forests of pine 
— will increase in a corresj)onding ratio. The Indians and 
the soldiers must be fed by the general government. The 
supplies for this purpose are now drawn from the agricultural 
states below us. The trader, also, and the hardy forester that 
fells the tall pines, procure their tlour and pork, and the grain 
that subsist their cattle, from Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. 
This Avill not, it can not be the case when our own fertile acres 
are subdued by the plough. Look at our prices-current at this 
time, viz., April 10, 1853 — before the arrival of the first boat 
from below with our supplies — flour, six dollars per barrel; 
oats, fifty-five and sixty cents per bushel ; and potatoes, sev- 
enty cents. Butter twenty-five cents per pound, and eggs and 
poultry not to be had for love or money. 

I want it distinctly nnderstood, that our land is capable of 
producing all the crops that are raised in the central and west- 
ern states. Fifty and even sixty bushels of oats are frequent- 
ly produced from an acre of ground. Potatoes will yield, in 
a favorable season, three hundred bushels to the acre. No 
one competent to judge doubts the efficacy of Minnesota as a 
v/heat-growing region, although this crop has not been thor- 
oughly tested as yet. Our prairies are not large, as in Illi- 
nois and other states. Groves of timber are thickly inter- 
spersed over them, and refreshing springs of water, crystal 
lakes, and clear running streams, everywhere abound. If 
cheep husbandry or cattle rearing be the business you wish \o 


engage in, tliis country is tlie place for yon. The whole ter 
ritory, prairie and woodland, is one immense natural pas 

In view of all the facts we have stated, we can not place onr 
linger upon the map of this great country at any point — Cali- 
fornia n )t excepted, with all its shining dust — that presents 
greater inducements to immigrants than Minnesota. Single 
men, as well as those with families, of industrious habits, will 
fxud employment. Farmers and mechanics that have energy 
and perseverance can not fail to succeed. A small amount of 
means will do to commence upon. A quarter section of land 
and a small outfit, with industry, will afford a competency. 
Mechanics of all kinds are in demand ; their lahor and wares 
will command a high price. All the products of the soil find 
a ready cash market, at prices that richly reward the farmer. 

The projected line of railroad from Xew Orleans to the 
falls of St. Anthou}^ will, when completed, bring us within one 
day's (twenty-four hours) travel of St. Louis, and within tvro 
days of New Orleans. A twelve hours' journey in the other 
direction, hy raih-oad,_will bring us to the richest mines on the 
shores* of Lake Superior, and all this, without equalling the 
speed at present attained on some of the eastern roads. What, 
then, is to prevent this place becoming one of extensive manu- 
factures ? Our water-power is unlimited, and easy of improve- 
ment. The materials to be manufactured are near us ; and 
the Mississippi is a great highway for the transportation. 
Even now, the cotton and wool of the soutli and west could be 
brought here and returnoil to the producers at much less ex- 
pense than it could be brought to and from New England ; 
but with such a line of railroad as is contemplated, we are 
brought into the immediate neighborhood of the mines of 
Lake Superior and the plantations of the south. And who 
shall say that the mineral of one, and the cotton of the other, 
will not soon be wrought in all the forms of art, at the falls of 
St. Anthony 1 

The proposed route from St. Louis lies through the valley 
of the Des Moines and Blue-Earth rivers, crossing the Minne- 
sota river about sixty miles from its mouth. There is a natu- 


ral grade tlirongli tliese Tallcys the whole distance, and there 
is no portion of the west more fertile than the lands along tlie 
whole line. There is probably no railroad in the world which 
passes through so rich an agricultural country for so long a 
distance. In addition to that, there are vast mines of fossil 
coal in the valley of the Des Moines, which such a road would 
render invaluable. 

The greater part of the lands along this route is now owned 
by the United States. What a field of enterprise -4s here 
opened for the immigrant, and one, too, that multitudes are 
even now commencing to improve. A line of settlements is 
established along the valley of the Minnesota river, as far 
as the mouth of the Blue-Earth ; and several towns and 
villages of considerable magnitude are already rising into im- 
portance. All this is done before the Indians are removed 
from the soil. 

I have received from Alexis Bailly, who resides at Waba- 
shaw, foot of Lake Pepin, on the Sioux or Minnesota side, a 
sample of the winter wheat raised on his farm last season ; 
also specimens of the soil in which it grew, and of the subsoil. 
Mr. Bailly says in his note, which accompanies the package : 
*' I Avill only say relative to the wheat, that it w.'is seeded late 
in October last, and was in consequence of my absence this 
summer, a good deal neglected, and notwithstanding that, it 
yields above forty bushels per acre." 

Mr. Bailly is one of the best-informed citizens of Minnesota, 
and having been largely engaged in the Indian trade, has re- 
sided many years in the territory. I place a very high esti- 
mate upon his opinion of the capacities of our soil and climate 
for agricultural pursuits; He does not doubt that Minnesota 
contains a large quantity of wheat-growing soil, which can 
not be surpassed for the profitable cultivation of that very val- 
uable crop. 

Every experiment made last year in the cultivation of winter 
wheat, has resulted in the most gratifying success. I have 
not been able to learn a single case of failure. This invaluable 
crop finds a genial soil and climate at the foot of Lake Pepin, 
on the St. Croix; in the immediate vicinity of St. Paul; and 


at Long prairie, north forty-six degrees. Minnesota, on both 
sides of tlic Mississippi, nuist therefore he noted on the agri- 
cultural map as a wheat-growing region, unsurpassed, in all 
probability unequalled, in the hitherto cultivated regions of 
the west. I say, unequalled, and firmly believe that expe- 
rience will abundantly verify this opinion. 

During the winter our soil is torpid, and a stranger to alter- 
nate thawing and freezing. During most winters it is covered 
with a thick mantle of snow, but there have been winters when 
there was little or no snow ; but during such seasons there 
were no winter thaws, and, as a general f;ict, the soil Avas not 
subject to heaving on the breaking up of winter. The reason 
■whv most of our soil does not heave, is that it contains a due 
admixture of sand — the kind of soil that neither bakes nor 
heaves : there is no better. 

The surface-soil in Mr. Bailly's wheat-field, as shown by 
the specimens, is a rich black loam, containing a large propor- 
tion of humus. The sub-soil is argillaceous — a friable yellow 

I should like to see some of our farmers attempt the experi- 
ment of raising sheep. It appears that sheep might be raised 
in this country with profit to the owner. Of course the farmer 
would want sheds to keep them in during the Avinter, for the 
warmer an animal is kept the less food it requires to sustain 
life. The fact that the ground is so long covered with snow 
during the winter, would of course make it more expensive to 
keep them during that period of the year, but I believe it could 
be done with profit to the farmer. At any rate, I want to see 
the experiment thoroughly tried before believing to the con- 
trary. Every spring our butchers bring up a large number 
of sheep. Having just been sheared, they are generally the 
poorest-looking animals ever beheld ; and it is almost enough 
to make one sick of mutton to look at them. But after they 
have run around town for a few weeks, picking off the short 
grass to be found in our streets, they become as fat as sheep 
generally get to be in any country. They could not be recog- 
nised as the same flock, unless one saw them every day, 
although the'- might have forty ear-marks. 


Now is tlie time for the " slieep business" to be gone into in 
Minnesota with a certainty of success and profit. All the wool 
in the United States is being bought up in advance of the clip, 
at enormous prices. The rise is mainly efi"ected by the gold 
discoveries in Australia, Avhere the shepherds have deserted 
their flocks by hundreds and thousands, and gone to mining. 
The supply of the coarser wools used in English manufactures 
is thus cut ojBP to a great extent ; and the consequence must be 
a rise in the price of the staple throughout the commercial 

In again referring to the subject of wheat-growing, I would 
say that the doubt that has heretofore existed relative to the 
adaptation of Minnesota soil and climate to the growth of win- 
ter wheat, can no longer exist, as the experience of the two 
last years has fully demonstrated that winter w^heat is as cer- 
tain and as profitable a crop in Minnesota as in New York or 
Pennsylvania. Corn is more certain and fully as profitable 
as in either of those states. The cultivation is no more ex- 
pensive, the markets as convenient, the yield as abundant, the 
prices as good, and owing to the healthy climate, the life of 
the farmer is longer in Minnesota, than in any portion of the 

In concluding this interesting topic, and most valuable of all 
the interests of Minnesota, let me refer to the agricultural 
societies already formed, and in successful operation. These 
societies were chartered by act of legislature in Ramsey and 
Benton counties, in 1851 and 1852. The Benton county 
society met for the first time on the 16th December, 1852, at 
which session Capt. J, B. S. Todd, U. S. A., delivered an 
interesting address. Captain Todd, though occupied in the 
service of the United States, commanding the frontier post of 
Fort Ripley, deserves much credit for the personal attention 
he has paid to agriculture — proving himself a practical farmer 
indeed, by cultivating a large tract of land in Benton county, 
with the most gratifying success. 

Captain Todd, referring, in his address, to the agricultural 
statistics of Benton county, gave the society the follow^ing 
facts : — 



"Mr, J. Hiissell, residing at Sauk Ilapi(]s, has under cultiva 
tion one hundred and twenty acres. Tills is tlie second year 
of cultivation ; forty-five acres were tliis season sown in spring 
wheat, and yielded one thousand bushels — being an average 
of twenty -tAvo bushels per acre ; forty-five acres w^ere sown in 
oats, producing fifteen hundred bushels, averaging thirty-five 
bushels per acre ; the remainder was planted w^ith corn, 
winter-wheat, potatoes, turnips, and other articles necessary 
to a farmer for his own use. A part of the corn planted was 
the eight-rowed flint variety, and was successful. His main 
crop was the small Red Lake variety, planted the last of June. 
This was a failure, owing to the quality of seed, and the late- 
ness of planting. Most of the corn that came ripened well ; 
little attention Avas paid to it after planting. Last year the 
experiment of raising wnnter-wheat was not satisfactory, as 
was generally the case; and is to be attributed to the w^ant of 
snow, so unusual with us. This year four or five acres have 
been sown, and thus far with every prospect of success — ruta- 
bagas yielding as high as twelve hundred bushels *to the acre." 

Twelve hundred bushels of turnips to the acre is a good 
crop, and worth talking about ; but the other productions are 
worthy also of particular notice, as showing that the farm 
spoken of, although in its infancy, is capable of yielding a 
handsome income to the proprietor. 

The following is given as a proof of what can be done in 
beef and pork, and other productions : — 

'* The farm of Mr. Gilman lies six miles north, and is an 
exanrple of our timbered bottom lands, lying directly on the 
river, and for fertility of soil is not exceeded by any ; it con- 
tains one hundred acres under cultivation. In 1850, there 
were fifty acres sown in oats, yielding two thousand five hun- 
dred bushels, averaging fifty bushels to the acre, and thirty- 
eight pounds to the bushel. Four hundred bushels were sold at 
fifty cents, and the remainder at an average of eighty-seven 
cents ; twenty acres w^ere grown in corn, yielding one tliousand 
bushels, or fifty bushels per acre, and sold at one dollar per 
bushel. This year it has been mostly planted in corn. The 
seed was taken from last year's growth, cribbed in the usual 


manner, but from severe freezing, was so mucli injured as to 
require three plantings ; tliat Avliicli ripened is considered as 
good as can be groAvn. The samples before the societ}^ speak 
for themselves ; the remainder was fed to stock. Mr. Oilman 
has killed six thousand pounds of beef, and two thousand 
pounds of pork this fall, of his own raising and fattening. But 
a small quantity of oats were sown. Wheat has not been 
tried. The yield of buckwheat is as thirty to one. This farm 
was opened in 1850. 

" The farm of Mr. John Depue lies eleven miles north of 
this, and is an admirable specimen of the prairie lands in the 
northern part of the county. It lies on the north bank of the 
Piatt river, about two miles above its junction with the Mis- 
sissippi, upon the second bench in the edge of a beautiful 
growth of oak, and extending into a prairie destined soon to 
become one of the most thickly-settled parts of the country. 
It now embraces one hundred and forty acres of cultivated 
land, was begun two years ago, and planted in corn, oats, 
potatoes, turnips, &c. It produced twelve Inmdred bushels of 
oats, sold at one dollar per bushel; two hundred bushels of 
corn v/hich matured well, without special attention, for which 
two dollars per bushel was offered and refused ; five hundred 
bushels of potatoes, and one thousand bushels of rutabagas — 
the surplus potatoes, over the demand for the farm, were sold 
at seventy-five cents — the rutabagas were fed to stock. 

This year it produced eighteen hundred bushels of oats, now 
selling at the door for seventy-five cents, and two hundred 
and fifty bushels of spring-wheat of superior quality. The 
proprietor has fattened and killed his own pork and beef, and 
with commendable resolution, determines to do so in future, or 
go without. Winter-Avheat was tried last year, but fail-ed as a 
crop, under similar circumstances with that of Mr. Russell." 

This society is a valuable institution, not only to Benton 
county but to the whole territory ; for by the publication of its 
proceedings, rivalry is created among the farmers of other 
counties, and attention attracted in the states, and in foreign 
countries, to the ease and rapidity with which a husbandman 
can get rich in this inviting country ; and renewed efforts will 


in consequence be marie by those now engaged in agi-IcuUnre^ 
each county endeavoring to outstrip the other, and immigration 
will increase to such an extent as to exceed the anticipation 
of the most enthusiastic well-wisher of the territory." 

These statistics of Capt. Todd referred to the year 1852, and 
the increase upon these facts within the past year, will be 
readily conceived by all. 

I can not close this agricultural chapter without stating, that 
in another year, settlements can be made in our valleys without 
having Indians for neighbors. Thousands have been waiting 
for these very lands to be purchased and brought into market, 
who will be on the ground early to make settlements. 

This territory has not so many small streams as New Eng- 
land, but immensely more beautiful lakes and level country. 
In many portions, too, there is not so much, nor so great a 
"variety of timber ; but we have fine prairies and natural 
meadows, and sufficient woodland for all necessary purposes. 
And we have one kind of wood here, which, though small, 
promises to be of much value ; it is the hasJcet -willow. 

There is much said of late in agricultural and other papers 
about the immense profit of cultivating the osier ; and it is also 
stated that five millions of dollars' worth of it is imported from 
France and Germany every year. Yet there is considerable 
of the best variety of this article growing wild in our imme- 
diate vicinity. This might be much improved by cultivation, 
and readily supply the place of the imported willow. We 
have a German here who has been familiar with the cultivation 
of it in his own country, and who has been busily engaged 
the past season in making most beautiful baskets from our 
native growth. He informs me that this is the best article of 
the kind he has ever seen ; that it is tougher and stronger than 
the imported willow. It is not, of course, so straight and uni- 
form in size as though it was cultivated, but this is easily 
remedied, and the cultivation of it will be commenced early 
the coming spring. It will not be at all strange if within five 
years the basket-willow should become an important article 
of export from this territory. 





To those wlio tliink of coming to tins territoiy, it is a matter 
of interest to know what are the facilities for travel, where 
are our markets, whence we obtain our merchandise, and 
where we are to send our products when we are so prosperous 
as to have a surplus. To these questions we will endeavor to 
give as concise an answer as possible. Our present line of 
communication Avith the east is by the way of Galena and 
Chicago. Those coming from the east can reach Chicago, 
either by a trip around the lakes, by the Michigan Central 
railroad, or Southern Michigan railroad ; and a complete chain 
of railroad, around the south side of Lake Erie, from Chicago 
to New York, Boston, and almost any other place you please. 
From Chicago Avest, the railroad is already completed to Rock- 
ford, between eighty and ninety miles, and within another 
year will be completed to Dubuque or Galena — thus connect- 
ing the upper Mississippi with all the cities of the east. An- 
other railroad is in progress from Milwaukee to Prairie La 
Crosse, a small but rapidly-groAving towai on the Mississippi 
river, nearly tAvo hundred miles above Galena. This is being 
pushed forAvard with such enterprise, that it is expected to be 
completed in about one year. The eastern portion of it is 
already in operation, penetrating far into the interior of the 
state. Minnesota has already become attractiA^e to the health 
and pleasure seekers of our eastern cities. But when these 
facilities for travel shall be fully realized, the falls of St. An- 
thony will rank with Saratoga, Newport, and the White moun- 


tains, as a place of summer resort. Much of our merchandise 
akeady comes from Boston and New York, notwithstandinc: it 
has to be carried near a hundred miles by wagons across Illi- 
nois. The amount "svill of course be increased with the ease 
and cheapness of transportation. 

But there is another enterprise commenced, which promises 
even more for our territory than those I have mentioned. It 
u a continuous line of railroad from New Orleans to the falls of 
St. Antliony ! running on the west side of the Mississippi river, 
through the best portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and 
Minnesota. The following extracts from the St. Louis News, 
of October 9, and from the Minnesota Democrat, of October 
20, 1S52, will give a more complete idea of the enterprise : — 

" One of the greatest and grandest railroad improvements 
of the age is now engrossing the attention of a large number 
of the most enterprisrug capitalists in the west. A work of 
vast magnitude, which we supposed would not be contemplated 
for many years to come, is already in progress, and before six 
years expire we may be able to exchange, by railroad trans- 
portation, the staple products of the northwest for the fresh 
and ripe fruits of the tropics, and, measiu'ing distance b}- time, 
St. Paul will be as near Xew Orleans as it now is to Galena. 
The enterprise is truly magnificent. That it is practicable no 
one acquainted with the subject can doubt. That it will be 
accomplished, is already assured by the intelligence we this 
day present to our readers. The wealthiest and most saga- 
cious capitalists of St. Louis have embarked in the enterprise, 
with a far-seeing and patriotic determination to achieve suc- 
cess. Thousands of capitalists along the line of the proposed 
chain of roads will cooperate with zeal and liberality. Xew 
Orleans will embark in the work with enthusiastic enerofv. and 
before six months pass away the New Orleans and Minne- 
sota Railroad will be hailed, throughout the west and south, 
as one of the greatest improvements of the age. As the St. 
Louis News remarks, in a strain of enthusiasm, which the 
subject naturally inspires: 'No grander scheme was ever 
projected for the promotion of man's empire over the very 
climates of the earth, and no enterprise has ever be^n un- 


folded that will take stronger hold upon the hearts and imagi- 
nations of men. 

"A railroad from Minnesota to "New Orleans, competing with 
the great Father of ^Yaters thronghout its course, and joining 
in close fellowship the six months' snows of Lake Superior 
with the perpetual summer of the gulf of Mexico ! That is 
the latest project to which the extraordinary enterprise of the 
republic has given birth, and one which, in its gigantic propor- 
tions, is little likely to be paralleled. Mr. Whitney's scheme 
for uniting with iron bonds the waters of the two great oceans, 
exceeds it in immensity, but will bear no comparison with it 
in regard to feasibilit}". His route for the most part runs 
through arid wastes, now, and for generations to come, devoid 
both of necessities and facilities for an undertaking of the kind. 
The plan of which we speak is dissimilar to it in all respects 
save one. In proportion, the line from the extreme north to 
the far south yields the palm to the indomitable advocate of 
the Pacific line, but in every other particular it is immeasur- 
ably superior. It starts from a point just opening to civiliza- 
tion, it is true, but one that is manifestly destined to achieve 
an unexampled growth ; and thence, running southward, it 
opens to market the broad prairies of Iowa, exacts tribute from 
the fertile soil of Missouri, and, having stopped for breath at 
the commercial emporium of the west, proceeds to traverse the 
gorgeous savannahs of Arkansas and the rich plantations of 
Louisiana, finally pouring its accumulated treasures into the 
lap of New Orleans. A route, in round figures, of some two 
thousand miles, already possessed of an enormous river traffic, 
and more or less settled at every important point. 

" \Ye are not dreaming dreams, or indulging infancies at 
variance w^lth facts. We record a project now occupying 
attention along both banks of the Mississippi, which has re- 
ceived the cordial approval of cool business men, and which 
will shortly be presented to the country in a plain business 
aspect. The merchants of St. Louis have taken the le^d in its 
behalf, with a spirit that betokens early and good results. 
Their efforts must command the assistance of New Orleans, 
which is at length awakened to the necessity of land as well 


as water communication. Arkansas and Iowa are pledged by 
tbeir action in other matters to a cordial cooperation, wliile tlie 
infant giant, Minnesota, enters into it with a spirit at once 
characteristic and hopeful. 

" The project is pregnant with great considerations, political 
and commercial. It will unite climates unlike in their nature 
and products, and will give a common aim and interest to 
people differing widely in their circumstances and pursuits. 
It will form a new guaranty for the perpetuity of the Union, 
and will contribute more than legislation to smother 
strife. It will secure to the extreme northwest its legitimate 
markets, and will more rapidly attract to it the capital and 
labor needed to develop its magnificent resources. 

"In this grand work the people of St. Paul and St. Anthony 
have a common and united interest. When it shall have been 
completed, * the sister cities' will be viewed as upper and 
lower towns of the same great metropolis, which will be to the 
northwest what New Orleans is to the south, and St. Louis to 
the centre — a railroad and commercial terminus, a grand 
centre of trade, and also, what neither of these points can 
ever become, the manufactory and workshop of the west. 

" No portion of our flourishing country promises to enjoy a 
more brilliant destiny than Minnesota ; and St. Paul and St. 
Anthony conjoined must become the commercial and manufac- 
turing heart, not only of Minnesota, but of the vast domain 
surrounding it, stretching from Lake Superior to the Rocky 
mountains, and embracing the intervening area as far north 
as human enterprise can extend." 

To some this may seem visionary ; but on a careful exam- 
ination of the facts in the case, I am confident that every 
intelligent man will agree with the editor of the St. Louis 
Nevz-s, that " no grander scheme was ever projected," and 
that it is not only *•' possible," but " practicable," and " in- 

A railroad of one hundred miles, of easy and cheap construc- 
tion, would connect the navigable waters of the Mississippi with 
the navigable waters of the Red river of the north. Another 
road of one hundred miles would wed the Mississippi to Lake 


Superior. Already roads are in contemplation, which will 
unite Minnesota to the tide waters of the Atlantic and the 
gnir, bringing- the Lest market to the door of the producer, 
and giving to our agriculturists, at all seasons of the year, the 
choice of an eastern or southern market. 

A road is also projected from St. Paul to Green Bay. This 
will bring us within ten hours of Lake Michigan, and, as 
soon as the road from Toronto to Georgian bay is completed, 
within fiftv-six hours of Toronto. In addition to the argu- 
ments usually urged in favor of grants of public land to rail- 
road and other improvements, two particular reasons apply in 
this case, which should induce the federal government to aid 
the enterprise. The road would run through an unsettled and 
unsurveyed tract of country, and will open it to settlement. 
Few other roads are so situated. It will terminate in a terri- 
tory of the United States, and will so expedite its settlement, 
as to shorten the period of its territorial existence, and relieve 
the federal treasury of the burden of its support. Hitherto 
railroads have been constructed, because the settlement and 
business of their respective localities were supposed to demand, 
them. The experiment of building a road in order to settle a 
country and make a business, is yet to be tried. Mr. Whitney 
proposed such an experiment in his Pacific scheme ; and if we 
reflect what the Erie canal and the railroad upon its banks 
have done for the settlement of the northwest, we have a 
significant hint of the efficacy of such means. 

The editor of the Mimiesota Pioneer, in speaking of this 
subject, says : " Among the important acts of the last legisla- 
ture, may very properly be classed the various railroad char- 
ters passed during the session. We are aware that they are 
looked upon by many as chimerical, but we can not recognise 
anything as chimerical in the settlement of the great valley of 
the Mississippi. Our long residence in the West has enabled 
us to observe the rapid progress of civilization. The antici- 
pations of the most sanguine have been so far surpassed, that 
we can not at this time concede the power of imagination to 
get beyond reality in western improvement, and western prog- 


" TVe can look back a few sliort years, -when tlie comraerce 
of tlie ]\Iississippi and Missouri was carried on hy keel-boats, 
and we once made a quick trip from St. Louis to Minnesota in 
forty-oue days. At that time the idea of navigating tlie Up- 
per Mississippi with steamboats, above the foot of the lower 
rapids, would liave been considered much more chimerical 
than would a project for throwing a suspension bridge across 
Behring's straits at the present day. "We made a trip on 
horseback from the Mississippi to Chicago, and could get 
neither eggs nor pork to eat at any of the squatters' huts Ave 
stopped at. Now there is produce enough raised between the 
Mississippi and Illinois rivers to feed half of the starving pop- 
ulation of Europe. We travelled in a stage (an open wagon) 
from Galena to Chicago when the trip was made in eight 
days, and when the j^ossihilifi/ of staging on that route was by 
no means clear to the proprietors, and each passenger was 
obliged to walk and carry a rail to assist the team through 
the sloughs. Now a railroad is near completion which will 
travel over the same space in eight hours. We Avere at one 
time one of the only three Avhite men residing Avithin the 
limits of the present state of Iowa, Avhich noA\'^ has a popu- 
lation of OA'er four hundred thousand. In our own beautiful 
territory we haA^e made many trips between Prairie du Chien 
and Mendota, and from Mendota to TraA''erse des Sioux, Avhcn 
the hotels AA^e lodged at were in the open air, and our table 
furnished from the supply we carried, or from the game killed 
on the route. Yet, Avith the blessing of God, we hope yet to 
traA''el in a railroad car, on a continuous route from the Minne- 
sota river to Ncav Orleans, and A'ery ^^rohahli/ to San Francisco. 

*' Each railroad charter granted at the late session, with one 
exception, is a connecting link in some great chain of road 
which is not only contemplated, but progressing south or east 
of us. Does any one doubt the completion, at an early day, 
of the Louisiana and Minnesota railroad 1 Does any one for 
a moment believe that the Illinois central railroad Avill rush 
up to the shore of the Mississippi opposite Dubuque, survey for 
a moment the A^ast expanse of country As'est of the Father of 
Waters, and then, affrighted, turn and seek again the shores 


of the Atlantic ? No siicli thing ; there is nothing in those 
beaitifnl prairies, fertile fields, or busy manufacturing towns, 
"vvest of the Mississippi calculated to deter the ' iron horse/ 
Tliousands are now living who will see him bound, across the 
bridge Avhich will be thrown over and high above the surface 
of the stream, and rush forward to the valley of the Minnesota, 
through the most lovely, healthy, and wealthy agricultural 
portions of the globe. After a momentary pause, to select the 
route, his progress is again onward, with caloric speed to the 
shore of that copper-bottomed inland sea, Superior, where he 
will neigh in concert with his brothers from the Atlantic in the 
east, and from Puget's sound in the great northwest. 

" Does any one doubt the early completion of a railroad from 
the Mississippi to San Francisco 1 In a few years his doubts 
will be dispelled, and stern reality will show a revolution in 
the commerce of the world. Our teas, and all our Asiatic 
stuffs which we now receive by a tardy, dangerous, and ex- 
pensive route through Europe and our Atlantic cities, will be 
brought direct from the Pacific, and. supplies will reach the 
Atlantic by way of Minnesota. 

" Those who may have doubts on the progress and early 
completion of these improvements, we ask to look back on the 
past. Examine the railroads now in operation in the eastern 
states, where the expense of constructing one mile of road will 
construct five miles over our flat prairies. If any one doubts 
the business being sufficient to support these roads, we Avould 
refer him to the debates in the New York legislature during 
the consideration of the charters for the road between Buffalo 
and Albany. The opponents of those charters based their 
arguments on the supposition that a railroad would destroy 
the business of the canal. But time has shoAvn that the canal 
has not the capacity to do the business necessary, in addition 
to that done by the r.'^lroad. And while further privileges 
for transportation have been granted the railroads, the en- 
largement of the canal has been found necessary. 

" Of the St. Paul and St. Anthony railroad we need say but 
little. Although isolated and alone, its early completion is 
just as certain as that the sun will rise to-morrow morning ; 


and tlie foolish rivalry between St. Paul and St. Anthony 
will then cease." 

Eastern capitalists are no^v investing in this last enterprise, 
and the contractors are expected on to build the road the en- 
suing spring. It is more than probable that before this vol- 
ume meets the reader's eye, the work will be surveyed and 
under full headway. 

I desire to call the attention of capitalists abroad, and our 
neighbors at home, to the value, importance, and practicability 
of constructing, at an early day, a railroad from St. Paul to 
Fond du Lac or Lake Superior. We are informed by those 
acquainted with the topography of the country between the 
two points, that the route is a good one for the construction of 
a railroad. 

The Lake Superior country is the greatest mining district 
in the world, and will support and soon contain a vast popu- 
lation engaged in that branch of industry. Its mineral wealth 
is inexhaustible, and its copper and iron ore the best that 
have yet been discovered. The copper ore of the famous 
mines of Cornwall, England, yield but about eight per cent, 
of pure metal — that of Lake Superior twenty per cent. 

The iron of Lake Superior is preferred among the iron- 
workers at Pittsburgh to that of Sweden, and commands a 
higher price. Its remarkable malleability peculiarly adapts 
it for boiler iron and machinery. Messrs. Foster and Whitney, 
in their late geological report to the United States government, 
speaking of the iron of this district, say : " It is to this source 
that the great West will ultimately look for its supplies of the 
finer varieties of bar-iron and steel. The ' iron mountain' of 
Missouri becomes insignificant compared with these immense 
deposites. This region also contains extensive beds of marble, 
which will prove of much economical value for fluxing the ores 
and in yielding lime, v.diile, with care, blocks for architectural 
and ornamental purposes can be obtained. Flesh-red is the 
prevailiug tint with veins of a deeper hue. The novaculite 
slates are valuable, affording hones ecjual to the Turkey or 
Scotch stones." 

A railroad from St. Pad a little more than one hundred 


miles in lengtli, will unite the lake and the Mississippi, and 
make the most important business point on the Mississippi 
above St. Louis. It wonld be the direct and travelled route 
from the Mississippi valley to Lake Superior, and open up to 
the farmers of Minnesota a valuable market for their surplus 
products. They have nothing to export now, but will, in a 
few years, have an abundance. 

It can not be long before the canal around the falls of Ste. 
Marie will be constructed, and then with the proposed road, 
we will have a complete lake and railroad communication 
with all the commercial cities of the east.* I hope to be able 
to present facts that will tend to convince all that have the 
prosperity of Minnesota at heart, as well as those who are 
seeking safe railroad inA'cstments for their capital, that we 
have not too soon called their attention to the proposed enter- 

Argument is unnecessary to convince any person of common 
information, that the construction of this road is of immense 
importance to the prosperity of Minnesota in general, and St. 
Paul in particular. It is true that the road will not pay if im- 
mediately constructed, but now is the opportune moment — the 
very time to obtain the necessary grant of land from Congress. 
The sooner the better ; and then all doubt about the construc- 
tion of this vast improvement will be removed, and St. Paul 
will loom up on the map as a prospective city of the first 

Construct this road and the mineral of Lake Superior des- 
tined for the Mississippi valley, and gulf commerce, will pass 
through St. Paul, as Mell as a large proportion of the agricul- 
tural supplies, and southern products consumed on the lake. 
On the other side of the river, we have a country destined ere 
many years, to become the most flourishing agricultural re- 
gion of the west, and this road will make St. Paul the depot 
of its products to supply the lakes, and for shipment east and 
to the North Atlantic. This road will bring St. Paul as near 
in cost of transportation to the eastern cities, as Galena will 
be with her railroad finished, which will insure the continu- 
ance at St. Paul of the great mercantile centre for the trade 


of tlie nortli-\A'est. A large city will also grow np at tlie head 
of Lake Superior, which will be a benefit to St. Panl, because 
it will be the depot of the lake trade. The two cities will be 
partners and mutual aids in prosperity ; and, making, at the 
same time, a monopoly and a division of the northwestern 
trade, they will sustain each other in its accumulation and 
possession. Their relative position and mutual interests will 
be the same as exists between Cincinnati and Cleveland, both 
of which cities have been vastly benefited by the iron road 
which unites their prosperity and destiny. ^ 

This improvement, as well as all others that will secure 
cheap and expeditious means of travel and transportation to 
and from the states, will increase the productive wealth of the 
territory and the happiness of its citizens generally, and very 
soon obviate the objection to Minnesota that it is too far away 
from the populous portions of the Union. Railroads will anni- 
hilate the formidable distance which separates us from our old 
homes and friends in the states ; railroads will bring thousands 
and tens of thousands of people and millions of money to our 
territory, that would not otherwise come ; railroads will save 
our people millions of dollars in the value of time and expenses 
of travel and transportation ; railroads will increase our steam- 
boat business, and secure to Minnesota the numerous advan- 
tages of an old country combined with those of a new. 

If Congress could be induced to grant sufficient land for the 
construction of a railroad from St. Paul to Lake Superior, the 
following results would immediately follow : It would be uni- 
versally conceded that St. Paul must become the great com- 
mercial city of the northwest for all time to come. The coun- 
try on the cast side of the Mississippi would be very soon taken 
up and occupied. Property on the east side of the river would 
enhance in value far beyond the most sanguine expectations 
of its present owners. No attempts would then be made to 
establish, on the Sioux side of the river, at Mendota or any 
other point, a commercial centre as a rival of St. Paul. 

Now take up the map, and look at future results. There 
is Lake Superior, the shores of which are more valuable in 
copper and iron than any other portion cf the globe ; and will 


soon contain a dense popnlation of persons engaged in mines 
and i icidcntal pursuits, all of whom ayIII be consumers of tlie 
products of agriculture and manufactures. Here, tlien, is an- 
other California, with California customers. The soil near the 
lake is inferior, but farther to the south and west are the fer- 
tile lands of Minnesota, destined to become the most valuable 
grain-growing region of the United States. The experiments 
made already in the cultivation of wheat in Minnesota fully 
justify this opinion. 

Look at the map, and you will see that the mineral of Lake 
Superior may be transported to the gulf of Mexico, via the 
proposed road and the Mississippi river, cheaper than by any 
other route. The removal of the obstructions at the rapids 
will obviate every difficulty. The proposed road will there- 
fore greatly increase the demand for steamboat transportation, 
not only in carrying down the mineral of the lake, but also in 
bringing back the products of the south which constitute a 
part of northern consumption. 

The proposed road will open a new route to the east, via 
Lakes Superior and Huron, and by railroad thence to Toronto ; 
thence across Lake Ontario, and by railroad to Boston, New 
York, and Philadelphia, where our future merchants will be 
sure to purchase nearly all their goods, except perhaps grocer- 
ies. The same route will provide our future farmers with easy 
access to the eastern Atlantic markets. 

One of the future resources of Lake Superior will be its im- 
mense and inexhaustible fisheries, the most valuable, all things 
considered, in the world. This branch of industry w^ill em- 
ploy, at some future day, a large amount of capital, and a nu- 
merous population, dependent upon some other region for most 
of their agricultural supplies. It w^ill also furnish a large 
amount of business for the proposed road and steamboats on 
the river. Construct this road, and all the fish, copper, and 
iron, of Lake Superior, consumed in the Mississippi valley, and 
transported beyond the gulf via the southern ports, will natu- 
rally and of business necessity be resliipped at St. Paul. 

Construct the proposed road, and St. Paul will be an impor- 
tant point, and, with St. Anthony's falls, a favorite resting- 


place for the tLousands who in pursuit of pleasure or business 
■will hereafter make the grand tour of Xorth America. 

The m>agnificent enterprise of the North Pacific Hailroad 
has been already commenced. Under the able and vigorous 
management of Governor Stevens, we may look for the suc- 
cessful completion of the survey for this route within a few 

The general plan is to operate from St. Paul, the starting- 
point, toward the great bend of the Missouri river, and thence 
on the table-land between the tributaries of the Missouri and 
Saskatchawan, to some eligible pass in the Rocky mountains. 
The route will connect favorably with the waters of the Mis- 
sissippi, E,ed river of the Xorth, Missouri, and Columbia, the 
most important navigable streams of the United States. 

The expedition started upon the great work, provided with 
evervthino; essential to its success. The result will be of in- 
calculable value to this country, and will open up a new and 
brilliant era for Minnesota. 

One of the first objects to be accomplished is the opening of 
an immigrant route from St. Paul to the north Pacific, which 
will be done by next season. 

The information gathered on the expedition will be pre- 
sented to the country at the earliest possible time. The gov- 
ernment has issued instructions that, after the completion of 
the field examinations, the expedition will rendezvous at some 
point in the territory of Washington, to prepare the usual re- 
ports, and send to "Washington at the earliest practicable mo- 
ment a summary of the principal events of the expedition, and 
a railroad report to be laid before Congress on or before the 
first of February, 1854. 

The tide of immigration on the Pacific is flowing northward 
to the neighborhood of Puget's sound, a fine country, abounding 
in great natural resources. The capital of the new territory 
of Washington, Octavia, will no doubt be located in that vi- 
cinity, on a site which will become a commercial city of the 
first rank. 

The distance from St. Paul to Puget's sound is only about 
fourteen hundred miles, and a direct route would nass over a 


rich country, afFortling an abundance of pasture for stock, and 
good -water for man and Least. No deserts intervene, and 
there is no doubt but tbnt the best passes through the Eocky 
mountains are to be found on this route. This is the opinion 
of scientific men engaged in tlie -work of survey ; and, relying 
upon other sources of information, there is sufficient reason to 
believe that such is the fact. 

It is now the opinion of some of the best-informed men of 
the country, and which is entertained by several of the most 
able and influential United States senators, that the Central 
Pacific Route, by way of the South pass, is impracticable. 
The country through whic]^ that route passes is generally unfit 
for cultivation ; the altitude of the summit is greater, the snows 
deeper : that route, in brief, is out of the question. It is be- 
lieved, however, that there is a route farther south, through 
Texas or New Mexico, and along the ^ila to San Diego, or 
through AYalker's pass to some point farther north. 

The other route, upon which the public mind is becoming 
settled as the best road, is that now being explored by Major 
Stevens. It passes through a better country than any other 
named, and its eastern termination will strike the most popu- 
lous and productive zone of the continent. That its comple- 
tion will be witnessed in a few years we have no doubt. As 
the work progresses, population will keep in its advance, open- 
ing farms, building towns and villages, thus uniting the Atlan- 
tic and Pacific by one continuous chain of civilization. St. Paul 
being at the junction of the road and the navigable head-Avaters 
of the Mississij^pi, must become a great central entrepot of trade 
and travel, and soon grow up into a commercial city of the 
first class. 

If the route is found as favorable as is now believed, meas- 
ures should be taken at the next session of Congress to provide 
protection by next season for emigrants who may desire to 
take that road to the Pacific. A cordon of military posts will 
be necessary to keep the Blackfeet Indians in check. This 
road (marked out by the exploring party, and protection ex- 
tended to emigrants) will at once become the great route to 
the Pacific. In the spring and early summer, our levee, from 


the lower to tlie upper landing, would be lined with steamboats, 
and the town filled with voyageurs and their effects. 

The progress of St. Paul, thus far, is without parallel in the 
infant growth of western towns ; but, in view of the reasonable 
prospects, its growth for the next few years will be far more 
remarkable, and with this progress the whole territory will ad- 
vance with equally rapid strides. 

I regard this Pacific railroad project as the great enterprise 
of the age, in comparison with which all others, hoAvev^er im- 
portant in a local point of view, sink into absolute insignifi- 
cance. The day which will witness the junction of the Atlan- 
tic and Pacific coasts, by means o^ a perfect railroad commu- 
nication, will be remembered as one on which the bonds of 
union between the extremes of our countrv were riveted for all 
time to come, and the commerce of the world secured to our 
own citizens. 

From the knowledge we have, imperfect as it is, of the to- 
pography of the region to be traversed, we are justified in the 
conclusion that the northern route is far more favorable for 
railroad purposes than those hitherto proposed. The cele- 
brated Kit Carson, in a lately-published letter, denies the prac- 
ticability of any other of the southern routes than that through 
Walker's pass ; and we know that even that is liable to objec- 
tion, because of its winding and circuitous character, which 
will necessarily increase the length and the expense of railroad 
construction to an indefinite extent. 

It is stated that Major Ogden, a chief factor of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, long resident on the Pacific slope, and whose 
occupation required him to become acquainted with the nature 
of the country between Puget's sound and the Cascade mount- 
ains, asserts that it is eminently favorable for the construction 
of a railroad. Old trappers, who have many times traversed 
it, corroborate his impressions. The passage of the Cascade 
and llocky ranges will constitute the great obstacles to be 
overcome ; but as the depression of these mountains is much 
greater in the high latitudes of forty-six and forty-seven de- 
grees, it is reasonable to conclude that the passes are corre- 
spondingly more practicable than those farther south. Little 


is known of the country bet\^■ een these ranges ; but the valley 
of the north fork of the Columbia extends through it, and will 
probably afford a line for a railway should all others present 
insurmountable difficulties. I know that from the base of the 
Rocky mountains, on this side, to the Mississippi, few obstruc- 
tions will be met with, as a continuous and for the most part 
level prairie is to be found between those points. 

The railroad across our territory to Puget's sound, and -that 
from our northern boundary to the gulf of Mexico, once com- 
pleted — and the latter may be regarded as a mere question 
of time — what bounds can be conceived to the prosperity of 
Minnesota ? The very fact that such measures are proposed, 
and will sooner or later be perfected, must have a direct ten- 
dency to increase immigration to our territory. We have a 
fine climate,'' a soil rich in mineral and agricultural resources, 
and a profusion of good wood and pure water. The men only 
are needed to profit by a proper use of these advantages, and 
to add by their industry and enterprise to the general wealth. 
We are daily receiving additions to our numbers ; and when it 
is known that Minnesota is to be made the great thoroughfare 
in the communication betAveen the eastern and western con- 
fines of the Union, we may set it down as a fixed fact that 
immigration Avill flow in like a flood, and our fertile prairies 
and woodlands teem with the life and energy of a numerous 
but not redundant population. 

At a railroad meeting held at St. Paul, on the 24th day of 
August, 1853, Dr. Otis Hoyt, of Hudson, Wisconsin, the enter- 
prising president of the Northwestern railroad, addressed the 
meeting, giving a brief history of railroads and railroad projects 
in the United States. The railroad spirit had commenced in 
Massachusetts and rapidly spread in every direction, carrying 
with it wealth and prosperity. New York, looking with a 
jealous eye to the increasing wealth of Massachusetts, had, in 
the face of all the derision and contempt heaped upon the Erie 
canal, which was called " Clinton's Folly," " Clinton's Ditch," 
&c., caught the spirit, and thereby had herself become im- 
mensely wealthy. 

The cost of the various railroads in New England and New 


York, ranged from fortj-tluee to sixty-tliree thousand dollars 
per mile, but are all paying large dividends, and tlie immense 
profits of many of the roads in New York was truly wonderful. 
In the old states, experience shows that if the business along 
the route of a proposed railroad will pay three fifths of the 
expense of constructing and operating it, the increase of busi- 
ness before the road could be completed, would be equal to the 
remaining two fifths. 

The speaker had become well acquainted with the route of 
the proposed raih-oad from Madison to St. Paul, and from its 
feasibility believed the cost of construction could not be more 
than fifteen, or at most eighteen thousand dollars per mile, 
lie had statistics (which he read) showing the business now- 
done on the route, would pay more than fifteen per cent, on 
the cost of building and completing the road. 

The estimates below are compiled from data as accurate as 
could be obtained, and are certainly less than the business 
actually done, and will bear no comparison with the amount 
which the road would do when constructed. 


700 tons freight at $7.50 per ton $5,250 

1,000 passeugei-s at $12 12,000 

Total $17,250 


300 tons freight at $10 per ton, which is boated np 

from the ML^sissippi iu flat boats $3,000 

600 passengers at $3 1,500 

Total $4,500 


800 tons freight, $1 3 per ton $10,400 

1,200 passengers at $3 3,600 

Total $14,000 


Freight estimates taken from merchants and lumber- 

luen $28,400 

Passengers at $4.40 19,050 

Total $47,450 



15S nn'ivals from Galena and below and as many 
dej^aitures, averaging 75 passengers each way at 
$4 per passage 881,800 

15,300 tons iWight at $7.50 per ton 164,760 

Total $196,550 

Grand total $279,660 

Allowing an increase of business of three fifths made by the 
existence of the railroad, which is a safe calculation in a new 
country with rich farming lands yet unoccupied, it would make 

Allowing also an increase of business of thirty per cent, per 
annum — which is far below the actual increase for the last 
four years without railroads — at the end of the next four years 
it would amount to the round sum of nine hundred and eighty- 
four thousand dollars per annum, or the interest of seven per 
cent, on fourteen millions of dollars. 

Allowing that the cost of the road is four and a half millions, 
which is tlie gross estimated cost from Madison to St. Croix, 
and that only one half of the business is done by railroad, the 
stock will yield an income of eighteen and a quarter per cent, 
on the investment. 

Furthermore, the increase in the value of lands on the line 
and about the large towns, wdll amount to more than enough 
to build five such railroads. 

It is a Avell-known fact that the construction of railroads, 
even in the eastern states, has caused an increase of business 
on the line of the road between the commencement and com- 
pletion of the road of about thirty per cent. The increase in 
the West has been much greater, and we believe that, owing 
to the peculiar and various resources of the district of country 
through which the road between Madison and St. Paul would 
pass, would justify an estimate of an increase of one hundred 
and fifty per cent, in the business that will naturally flow to 
that road, between the present and the period when the road 
will be completed, allowing the work to be hastened by the 
most energetic exertions for its completion. 


The cliarter of tlie Novtliwestern railroad was granted by 
the legislature of Wisconsin, April 17, 1852, and the "Western 
Minnesota charter was granted by the legislature of Minnesota, 
March 3, 1853. These roads are designed to connect on the 
St. Croix, and extend from Madison, in Wisconsin, by St. Paul 
and St. Anthony, to the western boundary of the territory, and 
ultimately to the Pacific. 

It will be recollected that the line of this road will pass 
through and connect with the most valuable and extensive 
pine region in the northwest. It will also be borne in mind 
that the lumbering business is at this time being extensively 
increased in all the lumbering districts, preparatory to meeting 
the increased demand for lumber which must follow the con- 
struction of railroads to intersect the Mississippi. 

The road contemplated, and which will doubtless be com- 
pleted at an early day, from Galena through Iowa, to the 
Minnesota valley, with a branch to St. Paul, will, in connec- 
tion with the Wisconsin Northwestern road, open our territory, 
to the markets, either in the south or east, in a manner to give 
Minnesota a decided business advantage. 




Perhaps the arrival of the first steamboat at Minnesota, was 
as important an epoch as any event since the discovery of that 
river by Jonathan Carver, or the wonderful advent of Henne- 
pin, sixty years earlier at the falls of St. Anthony. It is 
difficult for us to imagine how civilization could have breasted 
the strong current of the Mississippi, in birch canoes ; and it 
is very certain, that without the aid of steam, there would 
have been here no territorial government of Minnesota, no St. 
Paul, and but few to take an interest in the history of those 
early times in Minnesota. 

The first steamboat that ever came up the Mississippi river 
to the mouth of the Minnesota river, was a stern-wheel boat 
named the Virginia, in May, 1823. It was a day long to be 
remembered. The Dakotas were then in full possession of 
both sides of the river. The Indians say they had dreamed 
the night before, of seeing some monster of the deep, which 
frightened them very much. As the boat approched the mouth 
of the river, they stood, in multitudes upon the shore, men, 
squaws, and papooses, gaping with astonishment to see the 
huge monster advancing against the current. They really 
thought it some enormous water-god, coughing and spouting 
water in every direction, and puffing out his hot breath. The 
peasants of Europe would not be worse frightened, if Mount 
Etna should get upon legs, and travel across the continent, 
belching forth fire and lava. The women and children fled 
for the woods, their hair streaming in the wind, while some of 
the warriors, retreating to a more respectful distance, stood 
their ground until the boat passed and landed. The boat 


being one of those awful liigli-pressure boats, wliicli blow off 
steam with a noise like iinbottling an earthquake, when she 
" blew out" shook with terror the knees of the stoutest braves; 
and in a twinkling, every red skin had vanished in the woods, 
screaming and shouting w'ith all their might. 

On the 17th of September, 1819, Col. Leavenw^orth, with 
some troops, first came up, and established a cantonment near 
Gamelle's, at the ferry on the west side of the Minnesota river. 
He next removed his quarters to camp Coldwater, a little way 
up the Mississippi, at the place where the two-story stone hotel 
now stands upon the prairie. In the winter of 1S20 and 
1821, soldiers were sent up to Rum river to get out pine 
lumber to build Fort Snelling. In the meantime, square timber 
was hewn, of hard wood, along up the shore and on the islands 
of the Mississippi, to make two block-houses, for immediate 
use, at the present site of the fort,wdiich were so far completed 
as to be occupied by the troops in the winter of 1822 and 
1823 ; after wdiich the work of building the garrison was 
crowded on w-ith much vigor. The labor of the building was 
done, nearly or quite all, by the soldiers. The fort, however, 
when completed, cost about ninety thousand dollars. 

The following summary shows the least height of the ther- 
mometer, wath the coldest daj^s during the past seven years, 
together w^ith the closing of the navigation, the first arrival in 
the spring, and the total number of arrivals yearly : — 

In 1844, there w^ere forty-one arrivals. Navigation closed 
November 24th. In 1845, forty-eight arrivals. The Minne- 
sota and Mississippi closed November 24th and 26th. The 
coldest day of 184d-'6, was February 26th. Thermometer 
eighteen degrees below zero. In 1846, there were but twenty- 
four arrivals. The decrease was caused by low w^ater. The 
rivers closed November 26tli. The Minnesota opened again 
December 1st, and closed finally December 3d. Coldest day 
of the winter, January 27tli ; thermometer twenty-seven de- 
grees below zero. In 1847, there were forty-seven arrivals. 
The Minnesota closed November 24th, and the Mississippi the 
29th. Coldest day of the winter, January 9th ; twenty-eight 
degi*ees beh ' zero. In 1848, sixty-three arrivals. Rivers 



closed November 8tli. The Minnesota opened again, but 
closed in a few days. Coldest day of the winter, February 
18th ; thirty-seven degrees below zero. In 1849, elglity-five 
arrivals. Rivers closed December 6th and 8th. Coldest day, 
December 30th; thirty-one degrees below zero. In 1850, 
one hundred and four arrivals. Hivers closed December 3d. 
Coldest day, January 30th, 1851 ; thermometer thirty-two and 
a half degrees below zero. In 1851, one hundred and nine- 
teen arrivals. The Mississippi closed November 28th. In 
1852, one hundred and seventy-one arrivals. The Mississippi 
closed November 18th. 

The last boat arrival of 1851 was the Nominee; she left on 
the 20th of November. The last boat arrival of 1852 was the 
Black Hawk, Captain Lodwick ; she left on the eve of 10th 

The periods of the first arrivals in the spring are as follows, 
viz. : — 

1844, April 6th, Otter, Captain Harris ; 1845, April 1st, 
Otter, Captain Harris ; 1846, March 31st, Lynx, Atchison ; 
1847, April 17th, Cora, Throckmorton; 1848, April 7th, Sen- 
ator, Harris; 1849, April lOtli, Dr. Franklin No. 2, Harris ; 
Highland ]\[ary No. 2, Atchison, and Senator, Smith, arrived 
same day. 1850, April 19th, Highland Mary No. 2, Atchison, 
and Nominee, Smith, arrived same day, crowded with passen- 
gers. 1851, April 4th, steamboat Nominee, Captain Smith, 
arrived at six A. M., with one hundred passengers.^ She left 
Galena March 31st, and arrived at Stillwater April 3d ; was 
much retarded by high winds, &c. 1852, April 16th, Nominee, 
Captain Smith, and Excelsior, arrived the same day. 1853, 
April 11th, West Newton, Captain D. S. Han-is. The Missis- 
sippi was clear of ice this year, at St. Paul, on the 1st of 
April. The steamboat Greek Slave, which wintered here for 
the first time, started upon the 4th of April for the Minnesota 
river. She returned upon the 9th, with one wheel-house 
carried off from contact with the trees. She went up as far 
as Mankato city, at the mouth of the Blue-Earth river. On 
the 10th, she started down to force a passage through Lake 


Pepin, met the West Newton coming throngli, and returned iu 
company with her on the 11th. 

Aver,Tge closing of the navigation, November 26th, The 
average spring arrivals of the above is the 8th of April. On 
an average, the boats cease running two weeks before the close 
of navigation here, and are detained beloAv Lake Pepin the 
same time in the spring after the river opens at St. Paul; the 
navigation being interrupted from the 15th of November to 
the 8th of April — less than five months in all. 

Above and below the lake, the river is only closed on an 
average of less than four months in the year, viz., from 26th 
November to 25th March. 

The Mississippi closes unlike most streams. Its current 
being swift, the ice does not stay fixed for many days after 
the river is nearly covered with it. But the ice keeps pressing 
along, and, if the weather does not relax, the ice becomes 
more thickly set over the stream in patches ; then the patches 
huddle and crowd, and climb and dive, till the hour of sealing 
their destiny fixes them for four and a half months in statu. 
So the river is left rough with the protruding edges of the 
flakes w^hich were suddenly arrested in their rampant career. 

The number of steamboat arrivals at St. Paul, in 1852, w-as 
one hundred and seventy-one. Of these, one hundred and 
thirty -one were from Galena, twenty-two from St. Louis, thir- 
teen from tlie Minnesota river, three from the St. Croix, and 
one from Lake Pepin. There were seventeen different steam- 
boats here that year ; about double the number that has ever 
been here in any former year. 

The Nominee made twenty-seven trips from Galena, including 
once that she only came to the Pig's Eye bar, and not including 
the trip in the spring that she only came up to the foot of Lake 

The Dr. Franklin made twenty-nine trips. This does not 
inclufle the last trip she made, when she left her St. Paul freight 
at Point Douglas, and carried the mail back with her. 

The Excelsior made nine trips from St. Louis. 

The Tiger made nine trips — three from Galena, three from 
Mankato, two from the St. Croix, one from Lake Pepin. 



The Franklin No. 2 made seven trips from St. Louis. 

The Caleb Cope made five trips from Galena. 

The St. Paul made eleven trips — seven from Galena, and 
four from St. Louis. 

The West Newton made fifteen trips from Galena. 

The Ben Campbell made eight trips from Galena. 

The Black-Hawk made twentj-one trips — fourteen from 
Galena, three from Mankato, two from Babcock's, one from 
Tra^^erse des Sioux, and one from the St. Croix. 

The Jenny Lind made five trips — two from Galena, one 
from Babcock's, one from Traverse des Sioux, and one from 
Holmes'. She also made one trip to Point Douglas, which is 
not included in the above reckoning. 

The Martha No. 2 made seven trips from Galena. 

The Greek Slave made nine trips from Galena. 

The Luella made four trips from Galena. 

The Enterprise made two trips — one from Galena, one from 
Little Rapids on the Minnesota. 

The Regulator and Geneva each made one trip from St. 


From this it will be seen, that in 1852 there were fifty-two 

arrivals more than the year previous, notwithstanding the 
season wrs three weeks shorter, and an extreme low water for 
more than half the time. This is an increase of about forty- 
five per cent., and had the water been favorable for navigation, 
the season of 1852 would doubtless have showed an increase 
of over seventy per cent. ^ 

Another fact worthy of note is observable from an inspection 
of these statistics. It is this : while the number of arrivals 
from Galena has been increasing yearly, and has almost 
doubled since last year, the number from St. Louis has been 
rapidly diminishing. The account stands thus : Li 1850 
there were forty arrivals froiii St. Louis ; in 1851, thirty-five ; 
and in 1852 there were but twenty-two. The rapid decrease 
the latter year may in a measure be accounted for by the low 
water; but this»does not explain it all. The fact is. Galena, 
with her fifteen or twenty steamboats, nearly monopolizes the 
carrying-trade between St. Louis and that city, and all points 


above ; and altboiigli our trade with St. Louis Las largely in- 
creased, yet the number of boats making trips from that city 
to St. Paul has diminished in as great a proportion ; and we 
consider it very doubtful, supposing next season to be favor- 
able to navigation, whether it will show much of an increase 
in the number of arrivals from St. Louis. 

It seems impossible that Congress can overlook the immense 
national importance of making the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi unobstructed from St. Paul down to the gulf of Mexico. 
"Why is it 1 Can it be because the states down the river are 
so raA^enous for grants of public land, that the government is 
unwilling to give us an appropriation of money for the rapids, 
in addition to grants of land to the states, for fear of doing too 
much for the West 1 The West wants cheap communication 
more than lands; and the main artery more than little rivers. 
If we had a railroad from St. Paul to New Orleans, we should 
not rest quiet if it were obstructed at Rock island and Keokuk; 
but having a river, which is better, with only two obstructions 
in it, which might be removed for less money than the cost of 
a week's idle debate in Congress, we sleep over it, and let 
Congress sleep over it, for a quarter of a century, and continue 
to let our little steamboats crawl, and scratch, and scrabble 
over the rocky bottom of the river every year, canying but a 
little goods at a time, and that in lighters. Make the navi- 
gation of this river what it ought to be, and our boats would 
double in size and capacity ; insurances and freights, and the 
cost of pilotage, would soon f^ one half. In every foot of 
lumber we raft, in every bushel of grain we ship, in every cup 
of coffee we drink, we are taxed, in consequence of the v/ant 
of cheap navigation on this river. T7ie ivhole west, from Pem- 
bina to t/ie guJf of Mexico, otiglit to light down upon Congress, and 
sting tliat stupid hodij, hesiege it, harass it, beleaguer it, into 
immediate comi^liance icith the demand of half a continent. 

The number of steamboat arrivals the present year will be 
upwards of three hundred — of course including those from 
the Minnesota river. The increase from fortv-one to over three 
hundred, from 1844 to the present time, certainly speaks vol- 
umes of 'the future navigation, besides the prospective railroads 


yet to radiate to and from St. Paul, Six or seven steamboats 
have navigated tlie Minnesota river tliis season, each loaded 
with. freight on every trip. One boat, the " Clarion," has paid 
for herself several times from her freight and passenger pro- 
ceeds. It is no uncommon thing to see from six to ten boats 
lying at the St. Paul levee, all freighted. 




* * vf u ^yiQ ahuW every wild explore, 
Trace every wave, and culture every shore." 

In Mr. CamplDell's poem, " Tlie Pleasures of Hope," we find 
tins striking and very true prophecy ; and, in Minnesota, 
tefore ten years shall have passed away, it will be well 

A treaty with the Sioux Indians has been consummated, and 
that their stay on the ceded land will be short, no one can 
doubt. A neAV home will then present scenes which will pen- 
etrate the lieart of every family ; while the pale faces, who 
occupy their new territory, will experience alike the usual 
pleasure and privation of frontier life. 

The change wliich is soon to take place, reminds one of the 
sad reality and fatality which have befallen all the tribes of 
Indians in Korth America which have come in contact with 
the whites, and were of necessity compelled to sell their lands. 
Indeed there is no uncivilized shore on the face of the globe 
where the white man has trodden, but his controlling influence 
has been felt by the people Avho inhabited it. "What, then, 
does the history of the past present of the Sioux ? What, 
then, will the annals of the future reveal, of their wandering 
from region to region, of their poverty, of their vices and tlieir 
degradation — outcasts and exiles from the home of their 

About thirty years ago the Sacs and Foxes resided east of 
the Mississippi river, and their number was probably twice or 


tlirice as great as at present. Their villages, tLeir fields, and 
the nnbroken forests, presented primitive life and primeval 
grandeur; but soon came the pale-faces among them, and the 
woodman's axe was heard to break the solitude of ages, and 
warn them of an impending fate. Their struggle against im- 
provement was in vain. And where are they now 1 and what 
is their condition 1 They were removed west of the Missis- 
sippi, and 

" Where prowled the wolf, and where the hunter roved, 
Faith raised her altars to the God she loved." 

Their homes, where old men had sung to youth the achieve- 
ments which they had gained in strife, and where they had 
repelled the attacks of deadly foes, were changed into fields 
for harvest, and their songs and their chivalry thought of only 
as dreams of things that were. Again, after a few brief years, 
the white man claimed the home that had given birth to the 
youth of their nation ; and since then they have been removed, 
until they have finally found a home — if such it can be called 
in this day of emigration — on the Missouri river, where they 
may linger out a few years of wretchedness. 

The fate of the Sacs and Foxes is but what has followed 
other Indian tribes, and the Sioux must alike share a miser- 
able destiny, and dwindle away, and, like many nations, once 
powerful, become extinct ; and then a few centuries shall 
sweep by, and, as mouldered empires of the earth, the glory 
of their chivalry and power will be known but in history and 

The Sioux number more than twenty-five thousand souls, 
and their territory extends from the ceded lands in Iowa and 
Missouri, to the territory belonging to the Assiniboins and 
other tribes, which divides their northern boundary from British 
America. Their limits extend southwestward across the Mis- 
souri, as near to the Rocky mountains as their roving bands, 
knoAvn as the Tetons, can follow their buffalo ranges. The 
Sioux of the plains, by ffir more populous bands than those 
who live nearer the Mississippi, are roving bands, and subsist 
by hunting the buffalo. As many as nine hundred lodges of 


them were encamped together on the plahis last summer. 
These bands, although they are for the most part classed in 
several divisions, are really independent of each other. In 
fact, the individuals composing each band are nearly inde- 
pendent of each other. There is really no government, no 
delegated power or constitutional trust among them. If they 
have any government, it may be called democratic. A chief, 
except so far as he secures influence in the tribe by personal 
qualities independent of his office, can do nothing. As matter 
of form, rather than of fact, the bands constituting each divis- 
ion recognise the chief of some one of the bands as their 
head-chief in council. With slight difference of dialect, the 
Sioux all speak the same language. Their habits, customs, 
superstitions, are substantially the same. Some difference in 
the fashion of combing the hair, and in the style of dress, is 
observed in different bands. Our information of the western 
bands is comparatively little. For convenience, I will com- 
mence with a notice of the Sioux who inhabit the southeastern 
extremity of their territory, and follow with a notice, in order, 
of the bands that are found in our progress up the west bank 
of the Mississippi, the valley of the Minnesota, and thence 
westward, until we reach the wild Tetons, avIio occupy the 
" western or annexation end, and extending indefinitely toward 
the Pacific ocean. 

The first division is that of the Medawakantwan, or Spirit 
Lake Sioux, in the southeast. This division comprises seven 
bands or villages, which contain an aggregate of about twenty- 
two hundred souls. They sold their lands east of the Missis- 
sippi, in 1837, by treaty at Washington. They receive ten 
thousand dollars annually, and five thousand dollars more to 
be paid them by the direction of the president of the United 
States (who has never yet directed). Also for a period of 
twenty years after the date of the treaty, they receive twenty 
thousand dollars annually in goods, and five thousand dollars 
more in provisions. 

The bands constituting this division are : — 
1. Wabashaw band — chief, WabashaAv, who is also nomi- 
nally head-chief of the division. Population three hundred. 


2. Red-Wing band — chief, Waukoota. Population, three 

3. Kaposia band (just below St. Paul) — chief, Little-Crow. 
Population, four hundred. 

4. Black-Dog band — chief, Gray-Iron. Population, two 
hundred and fifty (five miles up the Minnesota river). 

5. Lake Calhoun band — chief, Cloud-Man. Population, two 
hundred and fifty. 

6. Good-Road's band — chief, Good-Road. Population, 
three hundred. 

7. Six's band — chief, Shakopee. Population, four hundred 
and fifty. 

The next division is that of the Wahpetonwans ; composed of 
three bands, living on the waters of the Minnesota river, to wit : — 

1. The Wahpetonwan band, numbering one hundred and 
fifty, at Little Rapids — chief, Plumstone, who is nominally 
head-chief also of this division. 

2. The Lac-qui-Parle band, one hundred and twenty-five 
miles above Traverse des Sioux, on the Minnesota river, num- 
bering four hundred — chief Big-Gun. 

3. Big-Stone Lake band, fifty miles northwest of Lac-qui- 
Parle, numbering one hundred and fifty. These have no 
chief, being a branch of the Lac-qui-Parle band. Their head 
man is called The End. They are very shiftless. 

The next division is that of the Sissetons, composed of three 
bands. No head-chief is acknowledged by this division. 

1. The Traverse des Sioux band, numbering three hundred 
and fifty — chief, Red-L'on. (He is an industrious man, who is 
every day at work.) 

2. Little-Rock band, numbering two hundred and fifty — 
chief, Sleepy Eyes. 

3. Lac Traverse band, numbering three hundred and fifty. 
(This lake is the source of Red river of the North.) Chief, 
The Orphan. 

There are other fractional bands of the Sissetons, also; 
among which are the Five Lodges, numbering about five hun- 
dred. They are about forty miles west of Lac-qui-Parle ; 
chief, Red-Thunder. The germ of the Five Lodges was a 



family of murderers, it is said, wlio wandered away froih the 
Sissetons many years ago, Avitli tbe band of Cain, and consti- 
tuted a little I^aiivoo of tlieir own, Avhere rogues from other 
bands found refuge. They now number one hundred lodges; 
and have more vigor and more energy, if less docility and 
morality, than most other bauds. 

The next division is that of the Wahpekootays, number- 
ing about three hundred ; chief, Red-Legs. These people 
inhabit the fine region between the head-Avaters of the Blue 
Earth and Des Moines rivers. Tbey constitute but one band. 

The next division is that of the Yanktons of the Minne- 
sota valley. 

1. The Cut-Headband, numbering two hundred and fifty — 
chief, Waunahtaw, also head-chief of this division. 

2. People-of-the-polesband — chief, uncertain. Number, one 

3. The band-who-do-not-eat-buffalo-cows. Number, one hun- 
dred. -" 

The next division is the Tetons; chief and population un- 
known. Their bands are — 

1. Tbe O^olawla. 

2. TheSioune; and probably' some others. 

The next division is that of the Yanktons of the Missouri, 
of whose chiefs and numbers I have no reliable information. 
These are the Sioux, who are called by Lewis and Clark, 
-The Big Devils." 

The Rev. S. R. Riggs, a missionary long resident among the 
Dakotas, advocates strongly the " community system" among 
these Indians, and bases his ideas upon many important facts; 
and it is conceded the reverend gentleman is in the main cor- 
rect. Indians have no regard for the laws of meum and tuum^ 
and the only way to teach them this requisite is by a *' com- 
munity system," making the head of each family independent 
of the chiefs. The reverend gentleman, in an article published 
in the Pioneer, illustrates as folloAvs : — 

"Among people pursuing the hunter's life it is not strange 
that the principle of common property, to a certain extent, 
should be developed. In hunting the deer and buffalo it is 


generally found most advantageous on the whole to go in com- 
panieg. This is especially true of the latter. The tatanha of 
the prairies go in large herds and are soon driven off, if chased 
constantly and without system. Hence the necessity, in the 
huffalo hunt, of the * soldiers' loilge,' which is an organization 
for regulating the time and manner of surrounding them. Sev- 
eral years ago, when huffalo w^ere plenty in this region, the 
writer spent many sahhaths at the Wahjpeioyiwan encampment 
on the Fomme de terre, and several times preached in the sol- 
diers' lodge. A few extracts from memoranda made at that 
time, will convey some idea of the department of the interior 
in a Dakota camp. 

" In their language, the soldiers' lodge is called tiyotipi. 
This tiyotipi is their legislative and judicial hall. No one 
goes to kill huffalo except when a chase is determined on by 
the soldiers in this lodge. If any one should dare to do so 
and thus drive aw^ay the buffalo, the soldiers Avould break his 
gun, cut up his blanket, &c. — that is, according to their lan- 
guage, * soldiers kill' him. 

" The tent is one of the largest and best in the encampment. 
Dry grass is spread around in the inside. The fire is the mid- 
dle. Beyond the fire are two bunches of grass wrapped around 
and fastened to the ground by means of pins. On these two 
bunches of grass lie two pipe-stems, one blue, the common 
prairie color, and the other red, which is used only on special 
occasions. By the side of them is a pipe with an ordinary 
stem, which is commonly used. A little tobacco-board, and 
two or three sticks to clean the pipe with, form the comple- 
ment of the sm.oking apparatus. Still beyond the pipe-stems 
lie two bundles of sticks, one of which is black, the other red. 
There are the soldiers, the evidences of their membership and 
the emblems of their authority. When the tiyotipi was organ- 
ized red sticks were given to all such as had participated in 
killing enemies, and hlach ones to the younger men and boys. 
At the first meeting each one brought his stick ; and these were 
collected and bound up in the two bundles. When the tiyotipi 
is dissolved, these sticks, they say, Avill be tied to a tree-top. 

"Four of the real soldiers, or those represented by the red 


sticks, PiYG cliosen as principal men in the lodge, \vliose place 
is immediatelj opposite tlio door. The side, to the right of 
tlje judges, is appropriated to chief soldiers, while the left is 
occupied by joung men. A cyanpalia, or crier, and cook, are 
appointed, whose duty it is to be ever present in the lodge. 
All orders issue from the tiyottpi. The proclamations were 
made at this encampment by a man nearly blind, who has 
since been killed by the Chippewas. In the morning he stood 
out and publicly announced the name of a young man who 
was sent out to ascertain where the buffalo Avere. On his re- 
turn he spoke to no man by the way, but proceeded to the sol- 
diers' lodge, and after smoking with the red pipe stem, whis- 
pered his message in the ear of the cyanpaha, who made proc- 
lamation of the same. 

" When meat is plenty in the camp, there is no lack of it at 
tlie soldiers' lodge, although it is entirely dependent for its 
supplies on the free-will offerings of the women. But, then, 
every woman who brings a piece of meat has her name and 
the fact proclaimed throughout the camp. AYlien they are out 
of wood at the tiyotipi, the crier stands out and makes known 
the fact, and every boy takes up an armful from his mother's 
v/'ood-pile and hies away with it to the soldiers' lodge. 

"When animals are hunted in this way, all engaged have of 
right some claim on what is killed. The lavrs regulating the 
distribution in these cases are set forth in the following extracts 
from a letter written some time since by Waumdiokiya : — 

" In the buffalo-hunt, whoever kills one takes home the skin, 
half the breast, a hind-quarter, the ribs of one side, the tongue, 
the paunch and the fat thereof. These are his portion. He 
who comes up second takes half the breast, the ribs of one 
side, one hind-ciuartcr, and the large entrails. These are his 
portion. The tliird who comes takes the head, the back-bone, 
the rump, both arms, and the small entrails. These are his 

" When one kills a deer, he takes home the skin, the rump, 
and both the hind-quarters. These are his portion. He who 
comes up next takes one side, one arm, the neck, head, and 
paunch. These are his portion. The third takes one arm, 


one side, the back-bone, the lights, and entrails. These are 
his portion. 

*' When one shoots a bear, he takes the skin, the heart, and 
the entrails. These are his portion. The man who comes np 
next after him takes the rump and both the hind-legs. These 
are his portion. The next one that comes takes one arm, one 
side, and the fat of one kidney. These are his portion. Who- 
ever comes next takes one arm, and one kidney with the fat 
thereof. If there are many people, the remainder is divided 
into many portions." 

These are the laws of division in the chase among the Dako 
tas. So well understood are they,Hhat we seldom hear of diffi 
culties occurring among the claimants. But the common-prop- 
erty system does not stop here. When a man has brought 
home his portion of meat, it immediately passes into the hands 
of his wife, or other principal female of the family. Sometimes 
it is all consecrated to making a feast. But if this is not the 
case, and all the families in the encampment are not so fortu- 
nate as to be supplied, the neighbor-women gather in, "be- 
seeching and besieging" for a portion. And so it often hap- 
pens that the skilful and industrious hunter and his family eat 
less of what he brings home than his more indolent neighbors. 
The skin, hoAvever, is his, to use or sell. But, on the whole, it 
must be acknowledged that the community system, so far as 
we have regarded it, solely in connection with hunting, although 
less productive of injurious results here than elsewhere, does 
still encourage idleness rather than industry. In the hunter's 
life it may be pleaded as a necessity, but this plea can not be 
made for it in other circumstances. 

A Dakota boy is taught to shoot birds and sc[uirrels, and 
whatever living animal crosses his pathway. They are com- 
mon stock; they have no owners, and each one kills what he 
can. In this v/ay he grows up with very loose ideas of the 
rights of property. If his uncle or his brother has two horses, 
and does not yield to his wishes in giving him one, it is no 
more difficult to shoot or stab the horse than to kill any other 
animal. The feeling that a man has a right to whatever he 
Bees, and can lay his hands on, grows, in too many instances, 


with an Indian's growth. And this feeling is one of the out- 
lines of the common-property system. 

All Indians are excessively fond of their own amusements, 
and I append a description of a " round dance," at Traverse 
des Sioux, during the treaty of 1851 : — 

" The commission, and in fact our whole camp, was present, 
and perhaps one thousand Indians of the various hands. The 
theatre of this religious dance was a chcular enclosure made 
up of the limbs of the aspen stuck in the ground, interwoven 
with four arched gateways, one toward each point of the com- 
pass, making an area about the size of a large circus. 

"A pole was planted in the middle of the area, with an im- 
age cut out of bark, designed to represent the ' thunder-bird,' 
suspended by a string from its top. At each of the four arched 
gateways stood another pole and image of the same descrip- 
tion, but smaller than the one in the centre. Near the foot of 
the central pole was a little arbor of aspen-bushes, in which 
sat an ugly-looking Indian, with his face blackened, and a wig 
of green grass on his head, who acted as sorcerer, and uttered 
incantations and prophecies with fervent unction, and beat the 
drum, and played on the Indian flute, and sang, by turns, to 
regulate the various evolutions of the dance. 

" Before this arbor, at the foot of the central pole, were va- 
rious m^-stical emblems : the image of a running buffalo, cut 
out of bark, with his legs stuck in the ground ; also a pipe and 
a red stone shaped something like a head, with some colored 
shavings, moss, or other material, on the cranium, to represent 
hair. This red stone is said to represent the spirit of evil, to be 
appeased. At a signal given by the sorcerer, the young men 
sprang in through the gateways, and commenced a circular 
dance, in procession, around the sorcerer, who continued to 
sing and to beat his drum ; and occasionally changed the order 
of dancing, or afforded the dancers a respite by bloAving upon 
his flute. The dancing is the same sort of double-hop, or 
shaker-step, which we see in their medicine and scalp dances. 
After fifteen or twenty minutes of violent exercise, the dancers 
ran out of the ring, returning after a short respite. 

" In the third set, a few horsemen, in very gay, fantastic 



costume, accompanied tlie procession of dancers witliin the area, 
by riding around outside of the enclosure. In the fourth and 
last set, a multitude of boys and girls joined the band of dan- 
cers 111 the area, and many more horsemen joined the caval- 
cade that rode swift and more swiftly around the area, some 
dressed in blue-embroidered blankets, others in white; and 
every horseman, as he skilfully and swiftly rode, a subject for 
the painter, the music quickening and the excited performers 
flying like a whirlpool of fantastic men and horses — an exhi- 
bition so rare and strange, that in New York a " AYelch" would 
make a fortune out of it in a month, as an equestrian show. 
Suddenly, at the end of the fourth act, several rifles were dis- 
charged at the poles upon which the thunder-birds were sus- 
pended, cutting them all instantly dowm ; when the curtain 
fell, and all dispersed. So ended the round dance — the most 
imposing exhibition, probably, that is ever seen among the 


It v.-ould be useless to try to convey to the reader unaccus- 
tomed to savage life, an intelligible idea of the infernal noises 
and uncouth gestures of these red devils, when engaged in 
any of their dances. For a scalp-dance, at nightfall, they light 
their camp-fire, and with naked bodies painted, some jet black, 
others bright red, or buff, or striped in the most fantastic man- 
ner, form a circle round the fire, holding the scalp aloft, sus- 
pended in a hoop; and when they commence to leap and 
bound, set up the most unearthly j^elplng, vv'hooping, and 
howling, twisting their bodies into every conceivable contor- 
tion ! The squaws, too, becoming excited even to frenzy, howl 
worse than a pack of famished wolves, creating a pandemonium, 
as seen from a distance through the gloomy forest by the lurid 
glare of the camp-light, more shocking and spectre-like than 
the worst scene described by Dante in his " Inferno." 

The Mcdaivakanfwan bands of Sioux or Dakotas receive 
annuities under the treaty of September, 1837, amounting to 
ten thousand dollars in money ; and besides this annuity money 
tliey receive every year ten thousand dollars in goods, five 
thousand five hundred expended in the purchase of provisions 
for them ; and eight thousand two hundred and fifty " in the 


purchase of medicines, agricultural implements, and stock, and 
for the support of a physician, farmers, and blacksmiths, and 
for other beneficial objects ;" and all these sums to be expended 
annually for twenty years from the date of the treaty. A stip- 
ulation in the first article of this treaty provides that a " por- 
tion of the interest" on the whole sum invested, "not exceed- 
ing one third," being five thousand dollars annually, is *' to be 
applied in such manner as the president may direct," has been 
the occasion of much evil. Thus far, no use has been made of 
the money, and it has accumulated from year to year until it 
amounts to more than fifty thousand dollars. 

The seven bands of the Medawakantwan Sioux — the only 
branch of the Dakota family with whom we have heretofore 
had formal treaty stipulations — are scattered over a broad 
tract of country, extending from the village of Shakopee, 
twenty-five miles up the Minnesota river, to the village of Wab- 
ashaw, one hundred miles below its mouth, on the Mississippi. 
The Dakota or Sioux nation (Dakota is the name they pre- 
fer, and the original one, Sioux being given them by the French 
traders long since) is the most numerous perhaps of any Indians 
on the continent — numbering, the different tribes and bands, 
between twenty and thirty thousand. They are divided into 
numerous bands, and have separate interests in the lands they 
claim, but are united in a common language, intercourse, mar- 
riage, &c., and unite for common defence. At what time they 
came into the possession of the country can not, I think, be 
correctly ascertained. I have conversed with some of the most 
aged among them, say eighty years old, who were born in the 
vicinity of St. Paul, and have heard of no other place as the 
residence of their fathers. They have been and still are a 
warlike people, and their wars with the surrounding tribes 
tave been numerous in former years, but now confined princi- 
pally to the Chippewas, which can be dated back from time 
immemorial. Taking their country as a whole, it is a good 
country, and a portion of it not exceeded for farming purposes 
in any part of the Mississippi valley. The land is said not to 
be so good as you approach near the INtissouri — prairies are 
large, with scarcity of timber, and too much sand. 


With regard to minerals, I can not say much. The red 
pipestone is found in abundance on a stream that discharges 
itself into the Missouri. Many have seen this beautiful rock, 
and some blocks of it adorn our national monument. 

That part of the nation that inhabit the plains, and over 
toward the Missouri, live mostly by the chase, raising only a 
small quantity of corn. Buffalo and furs are becoming scarce, 
and they will be compelled before long to adopt some other 
method of subsistence, or become extinct. That part of the 
nation who live in the vicinity of the Mississippi and lower 
Minnesota rivers have Indian farmers and annuities, which 
enable them to subsist without depending entirely upon the 

With regard to civilization and Christianity, the Dakotas 
are behind many other tribes of our northwestern Indians, al- 
though they have had considerable advantages of missionaries 
and schools. It can not be said, I think, that they are inferior 
to other nations, or even the white race, in mental capacity. I 
have seen many children, and adults also, that, it appears to 
me, would be susceptible of the highest culture, and that Na- 
ture has been profuse in her gifts. There appears to be a 
want of effort, or motive, to stimulate them to action. The 
time must come when they will be incorporated with us as a 
people, living under our laws, adopting our habits, or disappear 
before the overwhelming wave of the Anglo-Saxon race. 

The Chippewas, or as some write, the " Ojibways" are gener- 
ally reported to be the most cluA^alric of their race, and are a 
nation of whose dialects, mythology, legends, and customs, we 
have the fullest accounts. 

The sub-agency of this tribe was removed in July, 1850, 
from Lapointe, in Wisconsin, to Sandy Lake, in Minnesota 

The Chippewa or Ojibway nation of Indians, constitute 
about eight thousand, of which near four thousand five hun- 
dred reside in this territory ; the balance in Wisconsin and 

They occupy both shores of Lake Superior; and the Ojib- 
ways, who live beyond the Assiniboins to the far northwest, 


and the Knisteneaiix, or Krees, who dwell beyond them again, 
are all branches of the same great people. 

A recent writer correctly describes them : " The Chippewas 
are smalj^ in person" — (This remark in regard to their size does 
not applj- exactly to the woods Chippewas, west of the Missis- 
sippi) — " and of a quiet and meek aspect ; they have an indomi- 
tal)le spirit, and a prowess that shrinks from no encounter; 
they are the Poles of the North, whose wont is to stand, with- 
out regard to odds, and fall every man on his track, rather 
than fly." 

Migrating from the east late in the sixteenth or early in the 
seventeenth century^ they first settled at the falls of St. Mary, 
from which point they gradually pressed westward ; and 
eventually compelled the Dakota nation to abandon its ancient 
seat around the head waters of Mississippi, Avhose rice lakes 
and hunting-grounds the Chippewas at this day possess, and 
beyond to the Red river of the north. 

In consideration of the cession by the two treaties of 1837 
and 1S42, the United States stipulated to pay them for twenty 
and tAventy-five years, twenty-two thousand dollars in money ; 
twenty-nine thousand five hundred dollars in goods; five 
thousand dollars in blacksmithing; one thousand two hundred 
dollars for carpenters; six thousand dollars for farmers, and 
an agricultural fund ; four thousand five hundred dollars for 
provisions and tobacco ; two thousand dollars for schools ; and 
agreed to pay forty-five thousand dollars to the Chippewa 
half-breeds, and one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars 
in liquidation of their just debts. For those made by the 
treaty of 1847, they were paid down forty-five thousand dol- 
lars ; and the Mississippi portion of them were allowed one 
thousand dollars annually, for forty-six years, to be paid in 
money, or to be applied toward the support of schools, or the 
employment of blacksmiths and laborers ; and the Pillager 
band certain stipulated articles of goods, of the value of about 
three thousand six hundred dollars for five years. 

The entire Chippewa tribe are divided into fifteen families, 
upon the totemic principle, to each of which are four sub- 
divisions. Each family has a crest or symbol of some bird, 


fisli, or animal, called, in their nomenclature, tlie totem; to 
the origin of each of which some legend attaches. The system 
is ancient, and. dates as far back as their most unnatural and 
absurd traditions extend. Thou2;h divided hv thousands of 
miles, and unconnected for generations, members of the same 
totem can not intermarry or cohabit with one another. The 
totem descends in the male line. 

A Avork upon the Chippewas was prepared by the late 
W. W. Warren, himself a quarter-breed of this nation, and is 
now being published. Upon the Chippewas, I have thus 
necessarily been brief, and refer the curious to Mr. Warren's 
book for further information. The Chippewa country lies 
between the head of Lake Superior and the Red river of the 
north — from latitude forty-six to forty -nine degrees. 

The Winnebago Agency is located about forty miles back 
from the Mississippi river, on Long Prairie river, about one 
hundred and forty miles north from St. Paul. Long Prairie 
is about sixteen miles long, and on an average one and a half 
miles wide, stretching from the northeast to the southeast ; and 
from the high and central location of the agency buildings 
lying around it, presents a highly picturesque and agreeable 
view. This tribe numbers about two thousand five hundred 
souls. The first recorded treaty by the United States with 
this tribe Avas made in 1816. They were again included in 
a treaty made at Prairie du Chien in 1825, and at the same 
place, in the year 1829, another treaty was made Avith them, 
by Avhich they received thirty thousand dollars in goods, and 
eighteen thousand dollars annuity for thirty years, and three 
thousand pounds of tobacco, and fifty barrels of salt annually 
for the same period. And again they treated in 1832, with an 
annuity of ten thousand dollars for twenty-seven years, Avith a 
stipulation to establish a boarding-school for them at Prairie 
du Chien, for the same period, at an annual cost of three thou- 
sand dollars, and three thousand seven hundred dollars more 
annually, for farmers, blacksmiths, physicians, &c. They also 
made a treaty at Washington in the year 1837, by Avliich they 
sold all their lands east of the Mississippi. Under this latter 
treaty the gOA^ernment paid two hundred thousand dollars in 


liquidation of tlieir debts; one hundred thousand dollars to 
their relations of mixed blood ; expended seven thousand dol- 
lars for their removal "vvest ; gave them fifty thousand dollars 
in horses and goods, and paid for provisions, erecting a grist- 
mill, breaking and fencing ground, and incidental expenses, 
the sum of forty-three thousand dollars. It was also agreed 
to pay to them annually, for twenty-two years, ten thousand 
dollars in provisioiis, twenty thousand dollars in goods, twenty 
thousand dollars in money, and five thousand dollars to be 
devoted to education, agriculture, &c. They made a treaty 
at Washington city in 1846, by which they agreed to remove 
to the Upper Mississippi, and which they did in the year 1848. 
In this last treaty they disposed of all their interest or claim 
in any lands whatever, on condition that the United States 
should give to them " a tract of country north of the Minne- 
sota, and west of the Mississippi river, of not less than eight 
hundred thousand acres, and pay them one hundred and ninety 
thousand dollars for the following purposes, to wit : — To liqui- 
date their debts, for their removal and subsistence, for breaking 
up and fencing lands at their new home ; and including ten 
thousand dollars of it for manual labor schools, and five thou- 
sand dollars for grist and saw mills. The balance, being 
eighty-five thousand dollars, is to remain in trust with the 
United States, at five per cent., for thirty years ; and the in- 
terest thereon is to be paid to the tribe yearly. 

The Winnebago schools are now under the direction of 
catholic missionaries. 

It is a lamentable fact that the educated of this tribe are the 
most worthless, which clearly shows that they should first be 
taught to labor and acquire property ; after which, they will 
see not only the use but the necessity of becoming educated. 

It is to be hoped that they may yet become a civilized people. 

They raised last year on Long Prairie, the following quantities 

of jiroducc : — 

Corn 300 acres 12,000 bushela 

Potatoes 50 " 10.000 " 

Wlieat 10 " 300 " 

Turnips 50 " 10,000 " 

Oats 40 " 4,000 " 

Garden vegetables 10 " 


On the Mississippi : — 

Corn 100 acres 2,000 bushels. 

Potatoes 10 " 1,000 

Turnips 80 " 8,000 


The crops at this agency are imnsually good, and the In- 
dians can not want for food. They have assisted in ploughing, 
planting, and harvesting. Those that have horses put up hay 
enough to keep them through the winter. I find that they are 
not only disposed but anxious to Avork ; and many of them 
will do as much work in a day as a laboring man among the 

This year nothing of any consequence will be raised. The 
Indians have all left Long Prairie, through fear of the Chip- 
pewas — two of whom they lately murdered — and everything 
at the agency is going to destruction. 

In August of the present year, a council was held between 
the Winnebagoes and Governor Gorman, by which the Winne- 
bagoes exchanged their old lands at Long Prairie for a tract 
on Crow river, with the reservation of the right of way for the 
Pacific railroad, and to which tract they wish to remove forth- 
with. Much confliction of opinion exists among the people of 
Minnesota, relative to the exchange, and many of the white 
settlers are loud in expressing their dissatisfaction. However, 
it may turn out best for all parties, though it is doubtful 
whether the general government will ratify the exchange. 
The title of this Crow River tract was extinguished by the 
Sioux treaty of 1851, and this grant to the Winnebagoes com- 
pletely vests these lands in another Indian title, to the exclu- 
sion of the original owners, the Dakotas. The treaty of 1851 
was made at a large expense to the United States, at the 
urgent solicitations of white settlers, who were eager for the 
possession of good farming lands ; but under the present 
Winnebago exchange, they are forbidden the Crow River 
country, said to be among the best for farming purposes. This 
matter is much mooted in St. Paul, and without expressing an 
opinion, I present the facts alone. 




The following is the treaty of Traverse des Sioux, between 
the United States and the See-see-toan and Wah-jmy-toan band 
of Sioux or Dakota Indians : — 

"Articles of a treaty, made and concluded at Traverse des 
Sioux, upon the Minnesota river, in the territory of Minnesota, 
on the twenty-third day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty- 
one, between the United States of America, by Lvike Lea, com- 
missioner of Indian affairs, and Alexander Ramsey, governor 
and cx-qfficio superintendent of Indian affairs in said territory, 
commissioners, duly appointed for that purpose, and the See- 
see-toan and Wah-pay-toan bands of Dakota or Sioux Indians. 

" Article 1. It is stipulated and solemnly agreed that the 
peace and friendship now so happily existing between the Uni- 
ted States and the aforesaid bands of Indians shall be per- 

"Art. 2. The said See-see-toan and Wah-pay-toan bands 
of Dakota or Sioux Indians agree to cede, and do hereby cede, 
sell, and relinc[uish, to the United States, all their lands in the 
state of Iowa ; and also all their lands in the territory of Min- 
nesota, lying east of the following lines, to wit : Beginning at 
the junction of the Buffalo river Avitli the Red river of the 
North ; thence along the western bank of said Led river of the 
North to the mouth of the Sioux-Wood river ; thence along the 
western bank of said Sioux- Wood river to Lake Traverse ; 
thence along the western shore of said lake to the southern ex- 
tremity thereof; thence in a direct line to the junction of Kam- 
pes-ka lake with the Tchan-kas-an-da-ta or Sioux river ; thence 


along the western bank of said river to its point of intersection 
with the northern line of the state of Iowa, including all the 
islands in said rivers and lakes. 

"Art. 3. In part consideration of the foregoing cession the 
United States do hereby set apart for the future occupancy and 
home of the Dakota Indians, parties to this treaty, to be held 
by them as Indian lands are held, all that tract of country on 
either side of the Minnesota river, from the western boundary 
of the lands herein ceded, east of the Tchay-tam-bay river on the 
north and to the Yellow Medicine river on the south side — to 
extend on each side a distance of not less than ten miles from 
the general course of said river ; the boundaries of said tract 
to be marked out by as straight lines as practicable, whenever 
deemed expedient by the president, and in such a manner as 
he shall direct. 

"Art. 4. In further and full consideration of said cession, 
the United States agree to pay to said Indians the sum of one 
million, six hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars ($1,665,000) 
at the several times, in the manner, and for the purposes, fol- 
lowing, to wit : — 

" 1. To the chiefs of the said bands, to enable them to settle 
their affairs, and comply with their present just engagements ; 
and in consideration of their removing themselves to the coun- 
try set apart for them as above, which they agree to do within 
two years, or sooner if requested by the president, without fur- 
ther cost or expense to the United States ; and in considera- 
tion of their subsisting themselves the first year after their re- 
moval, which they agree to do without further cost or expense on 
the part of the United States, the sum of two hundred and seven- 
tj^-five thousand dollars ($275,000). Provided, That said sum 
shall be paid to the chiefs in such manner as they h-ereafter in 
open council shall request, and as soon after the removal of said 
Indians to the home set apart for them as the necessary appro- 
priation therefor shall be made by Congress. 

" 2. To be laid out under the direction of the president for 
the establishment of manual-labor schools, the erection of mills, 
blacksmith-shops, opening farms, fencing and breaking land, 
and for such other beneficial objects as may be deemed most 


conducive to the prosperity and happiness of said Indians, 
thirty thousand doUars (.$-30,000). 

" The balance of said sum of one million, six hundred and 
sixty-five thousand dollars ($1,665,000), to wit, one million, 
three hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($1,360,000), to re- 
main in trust with the United States, and five per cent, inter- 
est thereon to be paid annually to said Indians for the period 
of fifty years, commencing the first day of July, eighteen hun- 
dred and fifty-two (1852), which shall be in full payment of 
said balance, principal and interest ; the said payments to be 
applied under the direction of the president, as follows, to wit : 

" 3. For a general agricultural, improvement, and civiliza- 
tion fund, the sum of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000). 

" 4. For educational purposes, the sum of six thousand dol- 
lars ($6,000). 

" 5. For the purchase of goods and provisions, the sum of ten 
thousand dollars ($10,000). 

** 6. For money annuity, the sum of forty thousand dollars 

"Art. 5. The laws of the United States prohibiting the in- 
troduction and sale of spirituous liquors in the Indian country, 
shall be in full force and effect throughout the territory hereby 
added, and lying in Minnesota, until otherwise directed by 
Congress, or the president of the United States. 

" Art. 6. Rules and regulations to protect the rights of per- 
sons and property among the Indians, parties to this treaty, 
and adapted to their condition and wants, may be prescribed 
and enforced in such manner as the president or Congress of 
the United States from time to time shall direct. 

" In testimony whereof, the said commissioners, Luke Lea 
and Alexander Ramsey, and the undersigned chiefs and head- 
men of the aforesaid See-see-toan and Wah-pay-toan bands 
of Dakota or Sioux Indians, have hereunto subscribed their 
names, and afiixed their seals in duplicate, at Traverse des 
Sioux, territory of Minnesota, this twenty -third day of July, 
one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. 

" Signed by "L.Lea, [seal.] 

"Alex. Ramsey, [seal.]" 


Also by the principal cliiefs and headmen of the See-see- 
toan and Wah-pay-toan bands. 

** Signed in the presence of Thomas Foster, secretary ; Na- 
thaniel M'Lean, Indian agent." 

The treaty with the lower bands of Sioux was signed at 
Mendota. Little Crow, who writes his own name, led off. 
These Indians receive for their lands an amount somewhat 
less than was paid for the lands of the upper bands. They 
will receive, after removal, two hundred and twenty thousand 
dollars to settle their obligations, remove and subsist them ; 
and after that, cash annuities of thirty thousand dollars per 
annum, or three fourths as much as was stipulated in the treaty 
with the upper bands ; and the same ratio, three fourths, as 
much of annuities that are not cash annuities, for fifty years. 

There will have been paid out in all, at the expiration of 
the fifty years, a little less than three millions of dollars for 
the entire purchase. The Indians were paid in cash thirty 
thousand dollars, being part of the funds unpaid to them, and 
remaining due, as arrearages, by the terms of their treaty of 

All the annuities guarantied in both treaties that have been 
made will be added together and paid out per capita to all of 
them together. These are the figures (nearly) : — 

The lower bands receive in all $1,044,010 

Of which there is to be paid down at their remo- 
val (within one year after the ratification) 220,000 

The remaining $824,010 will be put at 5 per cent, 
interest for fifty years — the principal then to re- 
vert to the United States ; this interest will yield 
to them annuities as follows, for fifty years; 

Cash 30,000 

Civilization fund 12,000 

Goods and clothing 10,000 

Schools 6,000 

Whole payment to lower bands $1,044,010 

upper bands 1,665.000 

(t « 

Total purchase-money $2,709,010 

To the people of Minnesota the most interesting political 
event that has occurred since the organization of the territory 



is the extinction, bv the treaties of Traverse des Sioiix and 
Mendota, of the Sioux title to immense tracts of land upon the 
western side of the Mississippi. These treaties bridge over 
the wide chasm which could alone obstruct the advance of 
Minnesota to the lofty destiny evidently reserved for her. 

By the tAvo former treaties, the Dakota Indians relinquish 
to the government their right of usufruct to all the country pre- 
viously claimed by them east of the Sioux-Wood and Big- 
Sioux rivers, extending over four degrees of latitude and five 
of longitude, and covering a superficial extent of forty-five 
thousand square miles. This vast district Nature has marked 
out for exalted destinies. 

Prior to the ratification of the Sioux treaties of 1851 there 
were but ten counties in the territory, viz. : Ramsey, Wash- 
ington, Benton, Chisago, WabashaAv, Itasca, Hennepin, Dako- 
ta, Pembina, and Cass. Of this number, but five, viz., Ram- 
sey, AVashington, Benton, Chisago, and Pembina, were organ- 
ized for judicial purposes. And in Pembina no court has yet 
been held. The jndge assigned that district by the legisla- 
ture of 1852 refused attendance. Of the above counties, five 
are situated on the west side of the Mississippi, in what was 
then Sioux country, and were attached to Ramsey, Washing- 
ton, and Benton counties, for judicial purposes. 

The most important local measure of the session of 1853 is 
the organization of counties west of the Mississippi. There 
are now eleven counties organized in the territory recently 
purchased from the Sioux Indians. Their names are — Pierce, 
Scott, Fillmore, Nicollet, Goodhue, Wabashaw, Le Sueur, Blue- 
Earth, Sibley, Dakota, and Hennepin. Pembina and Cass 
counties are also on the west side. 

Since the consummation of the magnificent Sioux treaties, a 
new era has not only dawned, but come forth in full, refulgent 
light upon our territory. Eleven counties have been called 
into existence west of the Mississippi, where but a very few 
years ago there was not a regularly-established settlement, and 
where the savage was sole " monarch of all he surveyed." 

When I consider that all those counties, now but sparsely 
settled, will, in a very few years, be filled with a population 



from the states east and soiitli of us, and that without the or- 
ganization of these counties no means wouhl have been afforded 
for the establishment of common schools, the location and im- 
provement of the hioliAYays, the establishment of ferries, or the 
enjoyment of judicial privileges, I am led to believe that the 
act organizing counties was one of the most important of the 

It is a well-known fact that an American, with a small 
family of children, will forego many pecuniary advantages, 
rather than locate where he can not have access to a school ; 
and I firmly believe that the character as well as the numeri- 
cal strength of the population west of the Mississippi within 
the next year, will be very much affected by the passage of 
the law. 

Immigrants may now locate in any portion of the territory 
with a knowledge that any settlement containing^re families 
may be set off as a separate school district, and be entitled to 
receive from the county treasury a jiro rata of all the school- 
tax collected in the county. County commissioners and other 
county officers are to be appointed by the executive immedi- 
ately, that all the machinery of county governments may be 
put in operation during the summer, pre^jaratory to the elec- 
tion of county officers next fall. 

The following table shows the amount of taxable property 
in the old counties for 1851-'52 : — 








Taxable Prop. 




new CO. 

new CO. 


Taxable Prop. 







Terr'l. Ta:?,JTerr'l Tax, 



$782 11 

64 78 

385 17 

$1,182 06 

$1,060 82 

103 17 

343 76 

46 89 

43 53 

$1,598 1'7 

It is estimated that the amount of warrants issued in 1852 
will not exceed in sum $885, leaving in the treasury a 
considerable surplus, if we consider the uncollected taxes as 



On the 19th of March, 1849, President Taylor appointed 
the following-named persons judges of the supreme court of 
the United States for this territory, to wit : — 

Aaron Goodrich, of Tennessee, chief-justice; 

David Cooper, of Pennsylvania, ) . . . 

-on T3 Tvr 1 i?i^ J. ^ > Associate lusticBS. 

Bradley B. Meeker, oi Kentucky, ) '' 

On Sunday, 27tli May, 1849, Governor Alexander Ramsey 
reached St. Paul, and on the 1st day of June, he proclaimed 
the organization of this territory, recognised its officers, and 
required ohedience to its laws. 

On the 11th June, 1849, the governor issued his second 
proclamation, dividing the territory into three judical districts, 
as follows : — 

The county of St. Croix constituted the first district, the 
seat of justice at Stillwater ; the first court to he held on the 
second Monday in August, 1849. The seat of justice for the 
second district was at the Falls of St. Anthony ; the first 
court to be held on the third Monday in August. The seat of 
justice for the third district was at Mendota ; the first court 
to be held on tlie fourth Monday in August. 

The chief-justice was assigned to hold the courts in the first 
district, which duty he performed in accordance with the gov- 
ernor's proclamation. This was the first court held in this 
territory; it remained in session six days. Judge Meeker 
was assigned to hold the courts in the second district, which 
duty he performed ; there was no cause pending in this court. 
Judge Cooper was assigned to hold the courts in the third 
district, which duty was performed by him. No cause pend- 
ing in this court. 

There was at this period fifteen lawyers in the territory. 

Up to this time we have had three trials for murder. The 
accused was in one case acquitted by the jury, and in another 
found guilty of manslaughter, and imprisoned in Fort Snelling 
for a period of one year. 

A Sioux Indian was tried in the November terra, 1852, be- 
fore the chief-justice of the territory, for shooting and killing 


a wliite woman, and notAvitlistanding aide efforts made to 
clear liini by Lis legal advisers (J. J. Xoali, and D. A. Sec- 
combe, Esqs.), lie was convicted and sentenced to be executed. 
His counsellors, however, filed a bill of exceptions, upon wliich 
the final issue now hangs. Meanwhile the Indian has been 
confined in jail. 

The first term of the supreme court for this territory was 
held at the American house, in the town of St. Paul, on Mon- 
day, the 14th January, 1850, Judges Goodrich and Cooper 
being present. There are at this time two courthouses in the 
territor}'- — one at St. Paul, the other at Stillwater. Two 
terms of the supreme court are held at the capital each year, 
commencing on the last Monday of February, and the first 
Monday of September. Such other special terms are held as 
the judges may deem necessary, and shall from time to time 

In accordance with a law passed at the last session of the 
legislative assembly, the terms of the district court of the ter- 
ritory are held at the times and places following : — 

In the county of Ramsey, on the third Monday of April, 
and the third Monday of October ; in the county of Washing- 
ton, on the first Monday of April, and on the first Monday of 
October ; in the county of Chisago, on the first Monday of 
June ; in the county of Benton, on the second Monday of 
June, and second Monday of December ; in the county of 
Hennepin, on the first Monday of April, and the first Monday 
of September ; in the county of Dakota, on the second Mon- 
day of September ; in the county of Scott, on the third Mon- 
day of September ; in the county of Le Sueur, on the fourth 
Monday of September; in the county of Blue-Earth, on the 
first Monday of October; in the county of Nicollet, on the 
second Monday of October ; in the county of Wabashaw, on the 
second Monday in June ; in the county of Fillmore, on the 
fourth Monday of June. 

The counties of Ramsey, "Washington and Chisago, consti- 
tute the first judicial district, and the Hon. Wm. H. Welch is 
district judge thereof. 

The counties west of the Mississippi river, except the coun- 


ties of Penibina and Cass, constitute the seconcl judicial district, 
and tlie Hon. A. G. Chatficld is district judge thereof. 

And the counties of Benton, Cass, and Pembina, constitute 
the third judicial district, and the Hon. Moses Sherburne is 
district judge thereof. 

Either of the district judges are authorized and empowered 
to hold any of the district courts assigned to any of the other 
district judges, or any of the special terms appointed to be 
held, not within his own district, or any of the chamber duties 
within each district, at the request of the district judge to 
whom such district is assigned. 

For judicial and other purposes, to enforce civil rights and 
criminal justice, the county of Itasca is attached to and made 
a part of Chisago ; the counties of Cass and Pembina are at- 
tached to Benton ; the county of Sibley is attached to Henne- 
pin ; the county of Pierce is attached to Nicollet ; the county 
of Eice is attached to Dakota ; and the county of Goodtue 
is attached to the county of Wabashaw. 


The policy which has been pursued in the application of the 
several appropriations made for the construction of roads in 
Minnesota, by act of Congress, of July 18, 1850, has been — 
firstly, to make the surveys, and prepare maps and estimates, 
for the use of the department at Washington having control 
of the appropriation ; secondly, to apply the unexpended 
balances to the construction, as far as possible, of the roads. 

The survej^s of the several roads have been completed, with 
the exception of the contemplated one from Mendota to the 
mouth of the Big Sioux river. 

An appropriation of ten thousand dollars has been made for 
the purpose, and the road is now being surveyed, from the 
mouth of the Big Sioux, on the upper Missouri, to a point at 
the mouth of the Minnesota river, opposite Fort Snelling. 
They are ordered to report upon its adaptability for railv/ay 
purposes, it being contemplated to make this the northerly 
branch of the Pacific railway. 


This country is unexplored, the surveys of government lands 
being fonr hmulrcd miles east of the Sioux river. It will pass 
through the country lately accjuired from the Sioux Indians, 
■who still roam the "Traverse des Sioux" unmolested, but this 
progressive age will not permit those fertile tracts to remain in 
undisputed possession of either Indians or buffalo. The party 
consists of Captain E,eno, of the United States army, chief; 
Captain Tilton, late chief-engineer of railroads in Indiana, 
chief-engineer ; Mr. Cross, formerly of the army, assistant- 
engineer ; and twenty men, principally of the far companies 
of St. Louis, to be furnished with Colt's pistols and the patent 
rifle. Captain Tilton, chief-engineer, is intrusted with the duty 
of making a report upon the practicability of this country for 
railway purposes. The result of the labors of the party will 
be placed before the department, in accordance with a reso- 
lution of Congress last winter, making an appropriation of one 
himdred and fifty thousand dollars, for surveys and explora- 
tions connected Avith the Pacific railroad and its branches. 

The road from Wabashaw to Mendota has been surveyed, 
and a portion of the road, with a number of bridges along 
Lake Pepin, are now under contract, and are to be completed 
as soon as practicable. 

The road from Point Douglas to Fort Hipley has been ren- 
dered available at all seasons of the year ; and bridges, with 
suitable approaches, have been built over Coon creek. Elk 
river, and Rock creek. This road is a military and com- 
mercial thoroughfare, by which the Chippewa and Winnebago 
Indians, the troops at Fort Ripley, and the traders at Pembina 
and Selkirk receive their supplies. Thirty miles of this road 
are also under contract. 

The road from the Mississippi river to Long Prairie, here- 
tofore almost im.passable in seasons of high water, has been 
much improved ; and bridges have been built at the two 
crossi)]gs of S•^van river. Klne miles of this road are ii-AX 

Twenty-four miles of the Point Douglas and St. Louis river 
road have been constructed, opening, from Stillwater,! ■, , 
ward for that distance, a good highway. The exte' 


this road is required to bring into market the extensive and 
richly-wooded, but inaccessible region, lying north of the 
jMarine mills, and open to settlement and the enterprise of our 
lumbermen, tracts of valuable land, now lying waste for want 
of means of communication with them. Nineteen miles of this 
road are under contract, and wiH be finished this season. This 
will complete it from Stillwater to the vicinity of Sunrise river. 
Forty thousand dollars have been appropriated on this road 






Evert good thing has its alloy. The perpetual summer of 
the tropics produces inactivity in man, as well as a super- 
abundance of spontaneous fruits to supply his wants. The 
herdsman upon the pampas of South America, with his innu- 
merable cattle that are reared Avithout the expense of feeding 
or shelter, with all his apparent resources of wealth, is poor — 
but little better than a savage. The farmer upon the American 
bottoms, who turns over his hundred acres of black furrows in 
one field, which presently becomes as it were a young forest 
of green maize, waving and rustling in the sultry breezes of 
August, as he sits in the open space between his tAvo log 
cabins, at noonday, feeble and enervated, and his little pale 
children, shaking with ague, gather around him, and he listens 
to the shrill cry of the locust — and sees far off upon the 
Mississippi river, the steamboat — even the steamboat — hot, 
panting, exhausted, smiting the sluggish waters with feeble 
strokes; his very heart sinks within him — and he sighs for 
the cool, bracing mountain air, or the stimulating sea-breeze 
and the sparkling spring water; and would exchange all his 
corn-fields and his acres for a garden among the sterile rocks 
of the north, with its rigors, its snow-banks, and its little 
painted schoolhouses. So California has its alloy ! ah, much 
more alloy than gold. It may be considered an axiom, that 
the richest lands are not found in the most healthful climates. 
Nature delights in making an equitable average in the distri- 
bution of her favors ; although her equivalents at first thought 
may not all seem quite fair. 



What shall it profit a man to choose lands, watered hj creeks 
full of fever and ague, and horn-pouts and lily-pads, producing 
one hundred bushels of corn to the acre, and worth twenty 
cents per bushel, rather than lands watered by trout brooks 
and mossy springs, producing only fifty bushels of corn per 
acre, worth seventy -five cents per bushel ? 

Settlers, what do you want? "Will it satisfy you to get 
laud, as good as there is in New York or New England, where 
the climate is even better, and the market all you please to 
ask '? Such lands you can find. . We have warm, sandy loams, 
rich argillaceous soils, clay lands, precisely like the barrens 
of Michigan, all — ail productive lands, far better than they 
look — and, in fact, such as will soon make an industrious 
farmer rich. Or Avill you be satisfied with nothing but the flat, 
unctuous prairies of Illinois, extending in unbroken plains, 
and watered by stagnant creeks ? If so, in God's name go 
there and settle, and when the great blazing sun sets, and 
leaves you there upon the chill naked prairie, your children 
sick and uneducated, and without one hope or aspiration 
rising above the dead level that surrounds you there, remember 
— remember that these things have been told you. 

This immense region is bountifully watered by the Missis- 
sippi, Minnesota, and Missouri rivers, and the Red river of the 
north, and their numerous tributary streams, which traverse it 
in every part. At a point about seventy or eighty miles above 
the falls of St. Anthony, west of the Mississippi, commences a 
large and remarkable forest, which extends to the southward, 
nearly at a right angle, across the Minnesota river, to the 
branches of the Mankato or Blue-Earth river. This A^ast 
body of woodland is more than one hundred and twenty miles 
in length, and from fifteen to forty in breadth. Many beautiful 
lakes of limpid water are found Avithin its limits, which are 
the resort of myriads of wild fowl, including SAvans, geese, 
and ducks. These dense thickets along its border afford 
places of concealment for the deer, which are killed in great 
numbers by tlie Indians. Tlie numerous groves of hard maple 
afford to the latter, at the proper season, the means of making 
sugar, Avhile the large cotton-woods and butternuts are con- 


verted by them into cauoes, for the transportation of them- 
selves and their families along the water-com-ses and lakes. 
At the approach of winter, the bands of Dakotas or Sioux, 
save those who rely exclusively upon buffalo for subsistence, 
seek the deepest recesses of the forest to hunt the bear, 
the deer, and smaller fur-bearing animals, among which may 
be enumerated the raccoon, the fisher, and the marten. In this 
beautiful country are to be found all the requisites to sustain a 
dense population. The soil is of great fertility and unknown 
depth, covered as it is with the mould of a thousand years. 
The Indian is here in his forest home, hitherto secure from 
the intrusion of the pale faces ; but the advancing tide of 
civilization warns him, that the time has arrived when he must 
yield up the title to this fair domain, and seek another and a 
strange dwelling-place. 

Minnesota now occupies no unenviable position. The gov- 
ernment granted us, secures us all in the full possession of 
privileges almost if not fully equal to those enjoyed by the 
people of the states. With a legislative council elected from 
among our own citizens, our own judicial tribunals, with ample 
provision for defraying the expenses of the territorial govern- 
ment, and with the right of representation in the halls of 
Congress, surely we can have no cause of complaint so far as 
our political situation is concerned. It is for ourselves, by a 
wise, careful, and practical legislation, and by the improving 
the advantages we possess, to keep inviolate the public faith, 
and to hasten the time Avhen the star of Minnesota, which 
now but twinkles in the political firmament, shall shine bril- 
liantly in the constellation of our confederated states. 

As a territory, but yesterday without a name, or political 
existence, our growth has been of the most satisfactory charac- 
ter. Health has prevailed within our borders. Our new soil 
has not failed to respond gratefully to the labors of the hus- 
bandman ; and already in places, our prairies, scar<iely aban- 
doned by the disappearing buffalo, are assuming a robe of 
cultivated verdure. The enterprise of our hardy lumbermen 
has met with a liberal retuj-n ; and there has been a rapid 
augmentation of this important element of wealth, and ricli 


source of revenue, so invaluable to ourselves, as well as to tlie 
country on the great river to the south of us. 

In the eyes of the world, Minnesota is a peculiar country 
It is to their view elevated morally as well as physically above 
the horizon of other new countries, as it were in an illusion of 
viirage. The world regards it not as the Eldorado of gold, but 
of a happy home for cultivated man. 

Emigration to the West has heretofore been nauseously 
associated with the idea of low latitudes, the miasms of flat 
lands, and consequent disease and heart-sickening disappoint- 
ments. It has, too, been associated with back-woods institu- 
tions — lynch law, the bowie-knife, uncertain means of educa- 
tion, and a gospel ministry on horseback. Minnesota presents 
another picture, and is truly a phenomenon in the eyes of the 
migrating world. It occupies a high latitude, has a quickly- 
drained surface, and is the inviting home of intelligence, enter- 
prise, good laws, schools, and churches. 

In a moral view especially, the Avorld anticipates much for 
Minnesota. For a people, like trees, are exponents of the soil 
on which they subsist and the atmosphere they breathe. The 
observation of the world has made this an axiom — like coun- 
try, like people. Considering then our location upon the 
earth, is it not evident that our territory is not only a peculiar 
land, but that it is to be the home of a peculiar people % We 
who are here, migrated with that idea before us, and we are 
still guided by it. That portion of the emigrating class who 
entertain the same idea, will of course come here too. 

California is a phenomenon too, but she addresses her claims 
to another and a different class of people from those who 
appreciate Minnesota; besides, she is not materially unlike 
the other Spanish provinces which have in earlier times been 
famed for gold alone. But our territory addresses itself to a 
wiser and a better class than the mere seekers of gold. It 
addresses itself to that class who value a good home for a man, 
a land of moderate affluence, law and order, intelligence and 
virtue. If its destiny is to be the best home for that large 
class of people toward the rising sun, who seek a new home, 
does it not behoove us to see that this destiny is well carried 


out. The pilgrims at Pljmoiitli did their duty to their posterity, 
and that people have been prospered. William Penn and his 
followers did their duty, and their posterity have been prospered. 

The present population of Minnesota are responsible for her 
future prosperity. It is for us to lay the foundations of good 
institutions or of those planted in error which in time will fall. 

Let generous and good men be sustained in their philan- 
thropic purposes, but let individuals who seek personal aggran- 
dizement at the expense of law and order be rebuked. 

Minnesota is destined to assume a high rank among the 
states the Union. The high-toned character of the population, 
so different from that usually found upon the frontier — their 
obedience to law^ — the zeal manifested in the cause of educa- 
tion, the disposition universally shown to make every sacrifice 
to place the prosperity of the territory upon a sure basis — the 
aversion felt to all schemes which may in any wise entail 
embarrassment or debt upon the future state, and the general 
anxiety to maintain the character of the territory unblemished, 
aiford a sure guaranty of the moral principles by which the 
people will always be guided, and upon which their govern- 
ment will be conducted. The munificent grants of land made 
by Congress for the university and for the maintenance of 
common schools, will be husbanded with great care, so that the 
benefits of education may be extended to every one who is 
desirous to avail himself of such privileges. The population 
of the territory has more than quadrupled since the census of 
1850, and it is morally certain that there will be an addition 
to it of thirty thousand souls in the lapse of another year. 
The immigration to Minnesota is composed of men who come 
with the well-founded assurance that, in a land where Nature 
Las lavished her choicest gifts — where sickness has no dwel- 
ling-place — where the dreaded cholera has claimed no victims 
— their toil will be amply reAvarded, while their persons and 
property are fully protected by the broad shield of law. The 
sun shines not upon a fairer region — one more desirable 
as a home for the mechanic, the farmer and the laborer, 
or where their industry will be more surely requited — than 
Minnesota territory. 


We sliall raise cattle for those states where they can not 
do it so "well. Our beef and horses will be as much more val- 
uable than tlie same products of the states below us, as are 
the agricultural products of New England superior in quality 
to those of the general west. Our meats will have a higher 
flavor, and our horses more activity. We shall grow wool to 
great advantage, all the way to Pembina, five thousand miles 
north. We shall grow flax, and prepare it for the eastern 
market at our numerous places for water power. We shall ex- 
port potatoes, a source of income which of itself would sustain 
us, as it now nearly sustains Nova Scotia. But I believe that 
our chiefest reliance as an article of export, will be our manu- 
factured lumber. We have facilities for this branch of busi- 
ness that can scarcely be found elsewhere. All the states on 
the Mississippi, two thousand miles to its mouth, and the West 
Indies and Mexico, would be our natural markets for this pro- 
duction. No section of the world could compete with us. 
The pine may here be converted, and principally by machin- 
ery, into a thousand forms — from a meetinghouse to a noggin. 
St. Anthony will delight to fill orders. 

In the order of things it can not be but the mines on our 
lake shore will be the foundation for wealthy towns, the lake 
itself the field of the most important fisheries, and as a conse- 
quence, there w^ill be avenues of trade opened between the 
head of southern and northern navigation. The capital of 
distant cities emulous for this trade will be invested in these 
works. Labor will flow in at the call of capital, and popula- 
tion will increase in ratio w'th the profits of such investments. 
There are a hundred topics of intellectual speculation like 
these, that I might take up, but our chickens are so many that 
I will not attempt to count them, but ask the world to come 
and see them hatch. 

We have the attractive country, and with these sources of 
population at our command, who can even approximate to a 
correct estimate of our future increase 1 I will certainly be 
safe to anticipate the proportional increase for the next five 
years, as equal to at least double that of any other portion of 
the west during the past five years. 


I hope that thousands of immigration companies will be 
formed during the present year, and that those engaged in 
organizing them will not overlook the superior advantages of 
Minnesota. I sincerely believe tliat no other portion of the 
west presents so many attractions to the enterprising immigrant 
as our own territory. A large portion of it is situated upon 
the navigable head-waters and tributaries of the Mississippi, 
thus being in intimate communication with the richest and 
most thriving portion of the Union. 

Most of the lands so situated are in the Sioux country, and 
may be taken, possession of by actual settlers before they 
come into market, and fall into the hands of speculators. 
Those who enrich the soil by their labor ought to be its own- 
ers. Although we entertain this opinion, we condemn no man 
for speculating in land. While the system of land speculation 
continues, every one is justified in striving to share in its ad- 

No fact is more evident, than that both the settlers and the 
territory would be in a far more prosperous condition, if our 
lands were owned by none but those who occupy or improve 
them by their own labor and capital. 

Tlie Sioux treaties having been ratified by the senate of 
the United States, more than twenty millions of acres of 
land are open for settlement, before it can he surveyed — be- 

never shone upon a more beautiful or fertile land. A more 
salubrious country, old or neAV, exists not in the broad domain 
of the east or west. 

Go to work, men, in the states — men of industry, enter- 
prise, and intelligence. Organize your emigration companies, 
shake the dust from your feet, and hasten on to the wild lands 
of Minnesota, which bid you take them, without money and 
without price. 

You will have nothing more to do than come and take pos- 
session of the lands. Your "claims" thus made will be a 
sufficient title till these lands shall have been surveyed and 
brought into market. 

From the Iowa line to the Minnesota river — from the Mis- 

239 miin'nesota and n^ resources. 

sissippi reacliing beyond the head-waters of the Blue-Earth, 
lays a broad scope of territory, inisiirpassed in all the neces- 
sary qualities of a richly-favored agricultural country — rol- 
ling prairies, heavy timber, well watered, and quite exempt 
from malarious influences. So easy of access, that navigable 
rivers wash two sides for hundreds of miles in length. Those 
"who settle upon the Minnesota will have steamboats at their 
doors, while those Avho fill up the more central portions will 
not Avait long for the iron road. 

No kind of evil conduct on the part of the press or individ- 
ual writers, is more reprehensible, or should be condemned 
with more severity, than that of deliberately planning the 
inveigling and misleading of immigrants by false representa- 
tions and exaggerated coloring to valueless property. 

The majority of home-seekers from foreign parts have a nice 
little sum of gold carefully stowed away, the fruit of years of 
toil and saving, which, upon landing in a new and strange coun- 
try, is their present dependence, and upon the wise disposal of 
which their future happiness and prosperity mainly depend. 

While our newspapers and writers have said very much in 
favor of settling in Minnesota — have insisted strongly upon 
her agricultural, mercantile, and lumbering interests, they 
have dealt very little in exaggerated statements, or inflated 

Much excitement prevails about this time on the subject of 
towns in the valley of the Minnesota river. Now, honestly 
speaking, there is not a city from its mouth to its source. 
Tliat bustle, activity, and enterprise, are busy at many charm- 
ing eligible points is true, and it is not less true, that towns 
will grow up in the valley, which most of the older writers call 
a second Nile. But the towns are yet infuturo. 

The offering of lots in these sites for sale at reasonable 
prices, can not be considered an illegitimate speculation. We 
all know that the Minnesota valley is unsurpassed in beauty 
and fertility, and as a charming place of residence, where in- 
dustry V, ill be rewarded by an overflowing abundance, which 
has but few places to equal it. 

That a dense population will soon crowd the banks of the 


river, and that, at the favorable points, tliese people will con- 
gregate together, forming toAvns and cities, there can be no 
donbt ; then, should the rise in property hold in any proportion 
to that in St. Paul, it is hard to say what lots really are worth 
in the best located town-plots at this moment. 

It can not be expected that Ave shall feel as much interest 
in the creation of these towns as the settling of the agricul- 
tural portion of the country. It pains me to think that tens 
of thousands are toiling in the far East, upon a stingy, beggar- 
ly, wornout soil, yielding scarcely sufficient to keep soul and 
body together, while in that delicious valley the most luxuri- 
ant growths fall uncropped to the ground. With the voice of 
a Stentor, Minnesota might proclaim to all nations, " Come 
unto me all ye who are hungry and naked, and I will feed 
and clothe ye." But she should add, *' Bring a good stock of 
industry, ambition, patience, and perseverance, and don't ex- 
pect to find large cities, with marble palaces, but a rich, open 
soil, with plenty of-v/ood and stone for building." Armed 
with fortitude and a small capital, we say come, and when you 
come, go to work, and blessings will rapidly multiply around you. 

But there is a class of immigrants who are deserving of re- 
proof, for their desire to cavil and find fault with everything 
not suited to t/ieir ideas of accumulating wealth without 
trouble or difficulty. The following article from the pen of 
Major J. J. Noah, from the Minnesota Pioneer, gives a correct 
idea of the "grumbler" and his reproof: — 

" Minnesota must create some noise in the world, and some 
anxiety on the part of adventurers to visit and examine its 
resources. Every boat comes thronged with new faces, all 
eager in inquiring what and how chance may favor them in 
their whims, caprices, and predilections. Mr. Simpkins, an 
old citizen, meets a friend from the east, a schoolmate and 
boy-companion, just arrived from home to take a peep at this 
region of bears' meat and buffalo. Simpkins is naturally glad 
to see his old friend, Mr. Codger, and after the natural in- 
quiries of bygone days, they walk up Third street, arm-in-arm, 

" Meeting Mr. Enterprise, another old citizen, Simpkins in- 
troduces Codger, and dialogues as follow : — 


*' * Mr. Enterprise, this is my old friend Codger, from old 
New York ; boys together; come up here, wishes to see the 
conntry, locate a land-warrant, build a farm, get married, &c/ 

'* After Messrs. Codger and Enterprise shake hands, and 
the compliments of a new acquaintance have passed. Codger 
puts Enterprise upon his cross-examination without mercy or 

" 'Fine country this!' quoth Codger; 'how long have you 
been here — three years, eh 1 town built up in too great a hur- 
ry. Any back country to support all this 1 Potatoes raised 
here? Corn won't grow — too cold! Wheat thrive here? 
Plenty, of buffaloes and deer, I suppose ; no trouble to kill 
them? Afraid of Injuns — won't they tomahawk a fellow?* 
And so on through a multitude of inquiries, until Mr. Enter- 
prise is seriously troubled which to answer first, or to inform 
Simpkins that his friend is either aberrated or foolish; and as 
soon as he can get a word in edgewise, he quietly remarks : — 

" * Mr. Codger, I came here some three years since from the 
state of Pennsylvania, with my family and a little money. I 
bought a town lot in St. Paul, which was then in embryo, con- 
taining a few scattered houses, a government just formed, and 
laws scarcely fledged. I found a scant population, mostly men 
of intelligence and energy, who assisted and welcomed my 
advent among them. I became possessed of the presentiment 
of a bright future for Minnesota, and building a shelter for my 
family — rolled up my sleeves, and worked at anything I 
could get to do. As my character was known, so my credit 
and standing increased. A slight acquisition of capital gave 
me opportunities to speculate in town property ; but I worked 
all the while, drove a team, chopped wood, and not finding 
society as exacting as in the east, I progressed in means as 
the country jorogressed in importance, and as other men of 
difTorent occupations followed the same course, you see that 
St. Paul has become a metropolis, and the country filled with 
enterprising farmers, breaking prairie, raising crops, and ma- 
king tliemselves useful citizens. All this has not been done 
without labor, nor has there been few obstacles to this sequel. 
Poverty has waged her bitter war against us — jealous countries 


liavo belied and attempted to injure our growth, but it is some 
satisfaction to know that we have succeeded, built up a country 
and a name in the far northwest, and made it of such impor- 
tance, that the Avhole Mississippi valley feels our slightest 
pulsation, and gazes with eager eyes upon our minutest trans- 

" * Do not fancy for a moment, sir, that the progress of these 
events has been a matter of course. We all have fought for 
them, and battled for their success. The farmers, the pine 
forests, the Indian trade, the lumber interests, the magnificent 
water power, the manufacturer, the tradesman, the j)hysician, 
the lawyer, the editor — all have combined jointly and singly 
to bring about these results, and to each belong their share 
of praise and their quota of remuneration. If you wish to 
settle here, locate your warrant, build your shanty, plough up 
a few acres, fence them, sow some potatoes, live economically, 
and Avork your way quietly into affluence, possessed of a fine 
farm, a good name, and bright prospects. But if you have 
come here with a desire to cavil and find fault, doing nothing 
to advance yourself, you will discover your error too late to 
retrieve. Be enterprising, and do not foresee difficulties, but 
rather prepare to surmount pyramids of disadvantages !' 

" A word to new-comers. It is wholesome advice, and will 
prove true. If a man comes to Minnesota to settle, his way to 
fortune will not be smooth. Let that be clearly understood. 
Do not cavil or find fault, but come prepared for work and 
labor. Be enterprising — and persevere. If you go back to 
your home in the East, underrating our country merely upon a 
cursory glance, you do us great injustice as well as yourself. 
Let your motto be ' ouAvard ;' time will accomplish all ; and 
when by population our internal resources develop themselves, 
you Avill be proud of your remote home, the * NeAV England of 
the AYest.' 

" As for minute details, they are now unnecessary ; let every 
man come and see us for himself — than judge. If, >.»dieii here, 
he vvill only put himself at anything he findeth for his hand 
to do, and then do it, u'itA all his might, he can not fail of 
ultimate success." 



As health is the peculiarity of the territory, and its enjoy- 
ment being the greatest blessing bestowed by Providence, we 
have cause to be thankful to him for casting here our lot. 

It is the constant remark of visiters among us, old and 
young, that there is something in our atmosphere or climate 
— they know not what — which exhilarates the mind, and 
sharpens the appetite. I have seen many persons arrive here 
in feeble health, languid and depressed in spirits, and, after 
a short stay, depart renewed and refreshed in body and mind. 

It will no longer be unknown, or doubted, that Minnesota 
possesses, in a degree unsurpassed, the two great elements of 
health : — a climate in harmony with the most perfect condition 
of the human body, responsive to the demands of every phys- 
ical necessity ; the picturesque scenery, the topographical 
grandeur, and the charming variety of natural beauty, com- 
bined with allurements to active enjoyments — the ride, the 
walk, excursions by land or water, fishing in silvery lakes, 
the hunt, and the innumerable rational sports suggested by our 
climate and natural advantages. These unite to gratify and 
exhilarate the mind of the invalid, and are of all physic the 
most pleasant, soothing, and curative, for the body. 

In addition to natural advantages, Art will contribute by 
lier handiwork, the appliances, elegant and useful, essential to 
the comfort and gratification of visiting invalids. The accom- 
modations of the hotels in St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Still- 
water, are not surpassed, if equalled, in any towns of like 
extent in the West. But these establishments do not satisfy 
the luxurious wants of the wealthy classes who fly from the 
heat of the South, and the dust of thronged cities, to more 
healthy, pleasant, or sequestered summer retreats. The in- 
creasing demand Avill soon supply hotels of the first class, 
furnished in the most sumptuous style. 

As a resort for invalids our climate is peculiarly inviting. 
When the summer comes, many citizens will be fleeing away 
for a few weeks from the sultry beams of a city solstice, and 
seeking refreshment and repose in more congenial climes. 


The limpid lakes of Minnesota, and the cool and sparkling 
spray of St. Anthony's falls, should no doubt attract a large 
number. I hope the day is not far distant when our friends 
living in the cities toward the southern end of the great Mis- 
sissippi will build country-seats in our vicinity. There is no 
place on the globe more healthy or more beautiful than Minne- 
sota. Her prairies are studded with silvery lakes and traversed 
by pearly streams ; floAvers of almost every variety meet the eye. 
We have mineral springs equal to any in the world ; our lakes 
abound with fish, and our forests and prairies furnish ample 
amusement for the sportsman. Gentlemen residing in New 
Orleans can come here by a quick and delightful conveyance, 
and bring all that is necessary to make them comfortable du- 
ring the summer months, and at a trifling expense. For a 
small sum of money they can purchase a few acres of land on 
the river, and build summer-cottages. I am satisfied they will 
find it the cheapest, most convenient, and pleasant mode of 
spending their summer months. Here every facility will soon 
be offered for educating their children. A university that will 
vie Avith the best in the Union has been liberally endowed by 
the government. But a short time will elapse before many of 
the children of the southern valley of the Mississippi will be 
sent to this healthy region to be educated. Let them come — 
they will be cheerfully Avelcomed as kindred who drink with 
us out of the greatest river in the world ! 

Pleasure-seekers will find Minnesota a joyous Eden during 
the summer months, and from present indications myriads of 
them will turn their steps hitherward the approaching season. 
The etiquette, expensive dress, and formality, of eastern and 
eouthern " watering-places," &c., can here be thrown aside, 
and men and women both look and act just as God intended 
they should, without let or hinderance from anybody. 

There is now living at PrairievillC: on the Minnesota river, 
an old voyageur by the name of Joseph Montrieul, who is 
ninety-four years of age. Seventy-four years ago he came 
from Montreal, and has lived ever since within the bounds of 
what is now known as the Minnesota territory. 

He has never resided but among the Dakotas, except when 


he made a journey to the Pau-nees "with a trader by the name 
of Campbell, the year after his arrival from Canada — that is, 
seventj^-three years ago. A very strong proof of his honesty 
and faithfulness is, that during upward of seventy years he has 
lived with but three or four employers, in the humble capacity 
of voyageur and laborer about the trading-posts. 

Thirty years ago he lived with Mr. J. B. Farribault, of Men- 
dota, who resided on the island opposite Fort Snelling. The 
island was then well and beautifully wooded. On it they 
planted corn and vegetables, and sowed wheat, all of which 
was very productive ; but in the year of " the high water," as 
it is remembered by the old inhabitants, all the buildings were 
swept away. 

With the exception of that year — after which it appears to 
have been abandoned — the island was seldom overflowed to 
such an extent as has been the case of late years. 

The old man says " he never saw the falls of St. Anthony," 
and boasts of it with something of the same feeling which the 
man did whose only claim to notoriety was that he had never 
read the " Waverley novels." Although still vigorous, he is 
quite deaf, and one of his eyes is much dimmed ; but he man- 
aged to shoot a duck last fall, and said that " he hoped to kill 
a number in the spring." In his young days he is said to have 
been an excellent shot. 

The accounts he relates of the state of the country on the 
Minnesota river seventy years ago are very interesting. The 
traders on that river then were Colonel Dixon, at Mendota; 
Campbell, near Little Rapids ; Eraser (father of Jack Eraser), 
at Traverse des Sioux ; two brothers of the name of Hart, and 
Mr. Patterson, at a place now known as Patterson's Rapids, 
forty miles below Lac-qui-Parle. He seemed to think that 
there was no trading-post higher up, but further inquiries will, 
we think, prove that there were trading-posts near the sources 
of the " St. Peter's," as the Minnesota was then called, at least 
one hundred years ago. 

Long subsequent to Montrieul's first arrival at Traverse des 
Sioux, there were thousands of buffalo in that neighborhood. 
They were even sometimes seen on the prairies in the vicinity 


of where Fort Snelling now stands. The land was then ex- 
tremely rich in animals and game of all kinds, but yet both 
the trfiders and Indians sometimes suffered great privations for 
want of food. 

The fur-trade engendered a peculiar class of men known by 
the appropriate name of bush-rangers, coureurs des hois, half- 
civilized vagrants, whose chief vocation was conducting the 
canoe of the traders along the lakes and rivers of the interior; 
many of them, hoAvever, shaking loose from every tie of blood 
and kindred, identified themselves with the Indians, and sank 
into utter barbarism. In many a squalid camp among the plains 
and forests of the" west the traveller would have encountered 
men owning the blood and speaking the language of France, 
yet in their wild and swarthy visages and barbarous costume 
seeming more akin to those with whom they had cast their 
lot. The renegade of civilization caught the habits and im- 
bibed the prejudices of his chosen associates. He loved to 
decorate his long hair with eagle-feathers, to make his face 
hideous with vermilion, ochre, and soot ; and to adorn his 
greasy hunting-frock with horse-hair fringes. His dwelling, if 
he had one, was a wigwam. He lounged on a bear-skin, while 
his squaw boiled his venison and lighted his pipe. In hunt- 
ing, in dancing, in singing, in taking a scalp, he rivalled the 
genuine Indian. His mind was tinctured with the supersti- 
tions of the forest. He had faith in the magic drum of the 
conjurer ; he was not sure that a thunder-cloud could not be 
frightened away by whistling at it through the wing-bone of 
an eagle ; he carried the tail of a rattlesnake in his bullet- 
pouch by way of amulet, and he placed implicit trust in the 
prophetic truth of his dreams. This class of men is not yet 
extinct. In the cheerless wilds beyond the northern lakes, or 
among the mountain solitudes of the distant west, they may 
still be found, unchanged in life and character since the day 
when Louis the Great claimed sovereignty over the desert 

Probably the world has never produced a race of more hardy, 
athletic pedestrians than the voyageurs and trappers who range 
through the wild regions of North America, between the great 


lakes and the Pacific ocean. The nnwiitten lesrends of their 
experience of border and savage life, and of their perilous ad- 
ventures, would, if Avritten, make volumes of stirring romance. 
One of the duties performed by voyageurs is the transportation 
of baggage, supplies, and canoes, across portages. For this 
purpose they use the " portage-collar," which is a strap passing 
around the forehead, attached at each end to the burden or 
pack to be carried, which is also partly supported upon the 
back. In this manner a voyageur often carries (in packs) a 
barrel of flour a distance of five or six miles. Squaws carry 
burdens in the same manner. In this way we have often seen 
them in St. Paul, carrying heavy loads of cranberries, or of 
corn, in a sack. The voyageur often finds " a repose," that is, 
something to place his burden upon while he rests, every three 
miles in crossing a portage. This mode of transporting was 
not only common among trappers and voyageurs, but until 
lately it was universal among the Indians, especially the Chip- 
pewas, who, until recently, had few if any horses. We saw 
in St. Paul, not long ago, Jack Fraser, of whom Captain Mar- 
ryat makes mention in his travels in the northwest. Jack is 
a wiry-looking man, aged about fifty-two years, the son of a 
highland Scotchman by an Indian mother, and one of the most 
intrepid of the Sioux braves. At the war-dance. Jack wears 
thirty-two eagle-plumes, each plume representing a scalp taken. 
He never engages in the medicine-dance, or any of the Indian 
orgies except the war-dance, and he dresses invariably in the 
fashion of the whites, although he has a strongly-marked In- 
dian face. He is a nephew of Wakouta, chief of the Red- 
Wing band of Sioux. 

The prospects for builders and mechanics are certainly in- 

All building and other town improvements have heretofore 
been confined principally to St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Still- 
water. This season, however, there will be a very great de- 
mand for mechanics and laborers in other portions of the terri- 
tory, and there is no doubt but the steamboats will be perfectly 
crowded after the opening of navigation. The towns of Red- 
Wing, Hastings, Mendota, Minneapolis, Shakopee, Henderson, 


Le Sueur, Traverse des Sioux and Maukato city, are preparing 
for a vigorous impro\ement, and will give employment during 
tlie siumner to a great number of meclianics and laborers. In 
addition to tlie above, Oapt. Dana will probably employ, 
about fifty meclianics, and as many laborers, in the construc- 
tion of tlie new^ fort on the Minnesota river. The Indian 
department will also give employment to many persons in 
the erection of the agency buildings, mills, &c. Connected 
with the improvements in the valley of the Minnesota, may 
be noticed the transportation of supplies which wdll give 
employment to from fifty to one hundred persons during 
a great portion of the summer and fall. It' is a well-known 
fjict, that until the Minnesota river is improved at the rapids, 
and the snags taken out in many of the bends in the river, 
steamboats, in ordinary seasons, can not navigate the Minne- 
sota above the rapids, 7}iore than three months during the sum- 
mer. During the remainder of the season keel and flat boats 
will be used which will give employment to a great number of 

At the Mississippi Boom from eighty to one hundred per- 
sons are employed, exclusive of those necessary for running 
rafts of logs and lumber down the Mississippi. The booms on 
the St. Croix, Rum river, and at the falls of St. Anthony, and 
the lumbering business of the St. Croix, require some three 
hundred men. As many more wdll be wanted on the govern- 
ment roads. 

In addition to all enumerated above, ten thousand persons 
are required to raise flour, pork, beans, and potatoes, to feed 
the lumbermen, mechanics, laborers, merchants, troops, Indians, 
and loafers of the territory. 

The Indians' days of residence about St. Paul are numbered. 
Their lands are all purchased, so that in a very short time they 
\vill take up their line of march in the direction of the Rockv 
mountains; and the forests over which they roamed, the 
waters by which they dw^elt, will know of them no more. 
Their mausoleums of the dead will be trampled under foot and 
forgotten, and not a monument will remain to record the his- 
tory of a great nation that is passing away for ever. A feeling 



]>r;'" . \ .'. Nl) ITS iiLiuUiiUi:.;::?. 

of commiseration steals o^'e^ me wLile contemplating tlieir 
actual condition. Needy, improvident, ignorant, superstitious. 
With sorrowful hearts they hear the exulting cry of the for- 
eigner, that " Westward the star of empire takes its way," and 
as the hungry crowd of mixed nations press forward, with 
gladdened hearts at the prospect before them, with this trium- 
phant motto emblazoned on tlieir banners, dispossessing and 
shoving onward the moody savage — what tears, what suffering, 
what gloomy forebodings of the future — what home attach- 
ments broken up for ever, load the soul of the helpless child of 
nature, is with the white not esteemed a matter w'orthy of 
instant thought. The good missionary who labors for their 
spiritual good, and w^ho asks no home out of this sterile portion 
of Christ's vineyard, takes up his bible, his prayer-book and 
cross, "to follow these homeless creatures to the still more cheer- 
less regions of the remote north. 

co:nclusion — a vision. 243 




" Coming events cast their shadows before." 

" I would reeal] a vision, which I dreamed 
Perchance in sleep — for in itself a thought — 
A slumbering thought, is capable of years, 
And curdles a long life into one hour." — Byron. 

I WAS seated -vvitliin my study during a late cold and stormy 
afternoon, in tliat melancholy portion of the year— November. 
The blazing fire leaped and crackled joyously npon my hearth 
in pleasing- contrast Avith the raging storm without. Sitting 
in my old arm-chair I watched the descending snow-flakes ; 
and the rapid hurrying to and fro of the many dashing sleighs 
and other equipages ; musing the while upon the many scenes 
of life thus constantly presented to m,y eyes, and 'moralizing 
upon the hopes, the fears, and the future of the busy throng 
that floated by so rapidly.. From musing, I soon fell, " as is 
my custom of an afternoon," into a pleasing slumber, silent 
and undisturbed for hours. And now, while sleeping in that 
comfortable old arm-chair, all of a sudden my fancy portrayed 
th e f ol 1 w i n g ' ' vision, ' ' 

Mcthought that time had shot his arrow suddenly forward 
some twenty years and odd, and in manhood's prime, and life 
and health, I stood upon the lofty bluifs, overlooking the great 
and populous city of St. Paul. Beneath and around me, on 
every side, a hundred lofty spires glittered in the morning 
sunlight, while still farther in the distance countless habita- 


tions of humble pretensions, suburban cottages and lovely 
gardens seemed vying in a common race to cover all tlie plain, 
and from the grassy vale and shady nook looked cheeringly 
up, or from gentle hill slope, or clinging to the steeper sides of 
the semi-circular bluffs, looked down and smiled. The sum- 
mits of the bluffs were crowned with the residences of the 
merchant-princes of St. Paul — the homes of luxury, taste, 
refineme^it, ease, and elegance. Just below, and almost at the 
doors of these merchant-princes, a hundred richly-laden boats, 
from all parts of the upper and lower Mississippi, the St. Oroix, 
and Minnesota, lay proudly at the levee, loading and unload- 
ing freights, while the song of the laborer reached even to the 
bluff whereon I stood. Other steamers and sailing craft of 
every size were constantly arriving and departing, or passing 
to and fro, while ferry-boats were crossing and moving about 
in all directions. From opposite to Fort Snelling away down 
to Carver's Cave, the city stretched her snowy front ; and then 
across the river to the south, and away off over the bluffs to 
the north, as far over the plain as the eye could reach, villages 
of lesser note, the rural palace and the princely mansion, with 
here and there a single cottage, with lavish and benignant 
hand were streAvn along the vale. City, town, and hamlet, 
the hill, the valley, the bluffs, almost like mountains, and the 
far-off plain, Avith the mighty Mississippi and the deep blue of 
the far off Minnetonka, were before me. The sky above me 
was unobscured by a vapor — 

"So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, 
That God, alone, was to be seen in Heaven." 

And from the crest of Minnetonka's wave, on zepherous foot- 
steps wandered to my lips a breeze refreshing and sweet. 

It was morning. The sun had scarcely cleared the horizon, 
and already every street and avenue of the city was crowded 
with a joyous and excited population. 'Men, Avomen, and 
children, in gaudy apparel — the aged and the youthful — all 
classes, castes, conditions, and complexions — were mingling in 
the utmost confusion. And tliere was the passing to and fro 
of squads of military in full uniform ; firemen in gay shirts 


and caps ; members of benevolent and civic societies, in rich 
regalia and insignia of their several orders ; officers of the 
army nnd navy, soldiers, policemen with badges and maces; 
marshals on horseback, in gandy sashes and rosettes ; while 
sqnads of mounted cavalry and lancers were charging hither 
and thither. A thousand flags and banners floated over the 
city, and from the boats along the levee ; and the flashing 
of tinseled uniforms, of bayonets, of sword and lance, of fire- 
engines and gay equipage of every kind, threw back the sun- 
light. The ceaseless roll of drums, and the clangor of martial 
music, Avere mingled with the roar of artillery, which from 
early dawn had continued to peel from one end of the city to 
the other; and on the river, and from St. Anthony and Men- 
dota, and from where Fort Snelling iised to stand — the lofty 
site noAv covered M'ith a growing tOAvn — cannon answered 
cannon, and in tones of thunder reverberated from bluff to bluff 
— from plain to plain, and from shore to shore — dying oflf at 
length toAvard Lake Pepin to the south. 

It was the Fourth of July, eighteen hundred and seventy- 
six ; and on that day, representatives from the several old 
Mississippi valley states, from Nebraska, and the other new 
states and territories extending westward to the Rocky moun- 
tains ; the people from the North, too, from Pembina, and the 
old Selkirk settlement, formerly so called — now the state of 
Assiniboin (pronounced Assin-i-bwaw), a»d even from old Fort 
York, on Hudson bay, together with the people of Minnesota, 
generally, had congregated in St. Paul, for the twofold pur- 
pose of celebrating the centennial anniversary of American 
Independence, and to witness as well the opening of the great 
Atlantic and Pacific raihvay, from Boston, New York, and 
Philadelphia, via St. Paul, to Oregon and California, its ter- 
minus being San Francisco. 

In connection with all this was the first despatch, to be sent 
in words of living fire, upon that day, along the wires of the 
Great Britain submarine, and North American telegraph line, 
from London, via the states, to San Francisco. 

The full time for the consummation of a mighty and glorious 
event had finally arrived, which for twenty years had been 


anxiously looked for, Ifopecl for, siglied for, ay died for ! The 
hour was near at hand, in ■svhicli the most sanguine expectations 
and long-cherished desires of the civilized world Avere about 
to be completely realized ; and a great " national highway," 
for travel and commerce, as well as for tli ought and intelli- 
gence, opened and established from the rising to the setting 
sun. More especially was it a consummation which Minnesota, 
since the hour when her first, constitution had been given her, 
the third of March, 1849, had long devoutly wished. Tlie 
ratification of the Sioux treaties in lSo2, and the formation of 
other treaties in 1860, which extinguished the Sioux and 
Chippewa titles to all the land within her limits, from the 
Missouri on the west to the old boundary of forty -nine degrees 
to the north, had also been events of considerable magnitude 
in their day, and afforded great "joy to youthful Minnesota. 
But the great enterprise was now completed, and never in all 
her history, save at the incorporation of the " Republic of 
Mexico" into the Am.erican Union, some ten years previous, 
or the annexation of " Canada and Cuba," which happened 
some five years before, St. Paul had never seen such a day 
of rejoicing. 

The sun had scarcely reached the zenith, when the roar 
of tlie cannon, the sounds of martial music, and the approach 
of an immense procession, with banners floating to tlie breeze, 
attracted my attention far up the river to the southwest. I 
turned, and beheld a scene which for a moment rendered mo 
almost delirious with excitement. When I recovered myself, 
the pageant had approached so near, passing immediately in 
full view of the eminence on which I lay, as to enable me par- 
ticularly to survey what I shall now attempt to describe. 

Spanning the mighty Mississippi, just above Wabashaw 
street, was a splendid suspension bridge, with a pier upon the 
sandy island in the stream, and a magnificent arch on either 
side. FroiB Mendota (now a town stretching its summit up 
around Pilot Knob), down along -the bluffs on the south side 
of the river, was the great railway ; extending across the 
river by a double track some twenty feet ajoart, and thence, 


tliroiigliout our own St. Paul, awiij off to tlie soutlieast toward 
the Atlantic seaboard. 

Supported on each hand by an immense escort, composed 
of our entire population, came the " first train of cars from San 
Francisco," the departure of which had been announced here 
by telegraph a short time previous. 

First came an open car, or platform, extending across from 
one track to the other, richly draped .and ornamented with 
banners, and containing a band of fifty musicians, who played 
'■'■ lia'il CoJumhiaP Kext came two splendid locomotives, one 
on either track, moving abreast. On the one upon the right, 
I road ^'■Atlantic;'" on that upon the left, "Pacijic.''^ Over 
these, extending across fi-om track to track, and for three hun- 
dred feet in the rear, was a continuous platform, supported 
on wheels, covered with rich and gorgeous tapestry, forming 
upon the most magnificent scale " a grand triumphal car." 
Immediately in front, on the right and left of this platform, 
arose two columns of beautiful proportions, about thirty feet 
in height, and of alabaster whiteness. On the one I read 
" The JJnlmi'^^ on the other, " The Constitution r From the 
tops of these columns, the intervening space was spanned by 
an arch, composed of the " coat of arms" of the several states 
of the Union, carved in bas-relief on separate blocks of marble ; 
and u]5on the keystone of the arch, I read the familiar motto, 
" TL Plurihus JJnumr On this point perched an immense 
spread eagle, glittering with gold, and holding in his beak a 
likeness of " Tlie Father of his Country," in a plain gold 
setting, enwreathed with laurel; while high above, and over 
all, fioated the " star-spangled banner." Immediately under 
the arch was an altar of pure white, upon which I read " Free- 
dom," and from the top of the altar arose a square shaft of 
Avhite, some four or five feet in height, and on the several sides 
of which I read, " Peace, Prosperity, Happiness," " Truth, 
Justice, Equality," ''Education, Arts, Commerce," "Agri- 
culture, Manufactures, Mines." On the top of this shaft rested 
a vase of pure gold, bearing the inscription, " California and 
Minnesota, the twin sisters, are this day indissolubly bound 
together by an iron band." In this was contained water from 


the Pacific ocean. On eitlier side of tliis stood a beantifnl 
young woman, in the bloom of health, dressed in muslin robes 
of snowy whiteness, trimmed with gold and evergreens, and 
bearing appropriate emblems, typical of the genius of " Peace** 
and " Commerce." Immediately in the rear of these a figure, 
representing Keptune with his trident, was standing in a rich 
and gorgeous chariot drawn by dolphins; and falling from 
the rear of the chariot, and strewn over the entire length of 
the great platform, w^ere shells and precious stones, and gold 
and silver ores. 

This was to typify that our advancement in the arts and sci- 
ences had induced even the " god of the ocean" to forsake his 
native element, and, availing himself of human skill, to take 
the overland route from one part of his dominions to another; 
and, further, that the commerce of the seas would hencefor- 
ward take this route ; while the shells and precious stones fal- 
ling from his chariot seemed to remind us that this great un- 
dertaking was destined to be literally paved with the riches 
of the deep. 

Immediately in the rear of this group, arranged on either 
side of the platform, were separate pedestals, four feet six 
inches in height by three feet square, placed at a distance of 
nearly six feet apart, and extending in parallel rows over two 
hundred feet in the rear. These pedestals were fifty in number, 
twenty-five on either hand, and were emblematical of the 
"fifty free and independent states of the American Union," 
which included the Canadas on the north to the isthmus of 
Darien on the south, and from Cuba in the southeast to the 
Russian settlements in the northwest, from the equator to the 
frozen regions. Upon each of these pedestals I read the name 
of a state ; and on the tops, standing erect, were fifty beautiful 
young women, between the ages of eighteen and twenty years, 
in the full bloom of health and womanhood. These were 
dressed in flowing drapery of white, adorned with roses, and 
on the head each wore a crimson-velvet cap, ornamented with 
a single star of gold. Each bore an emblem (vegetable, min- 
eral, or artificial) of her particular state, while an endless chain 
of roses and orange-flowers, in graceful festoons, extended from 


hand to liautl, and was emblematical of tlie common interests 
wliicli unite us as a people. The blue eyes and fair com- 
plexions of the north in union, though in contrast, with the 
dark eyes and olive complexions of the south. Immediately 
in the rear of these, and occupying the remaining portion of 
the " car triumphal," was the president of the United States, 
himself a citizen of Minnesota, members of the cabinet and 
heads of departments, deputations of members from both houses 
of Congress, foreign ministers resident at Washington, execu- 
tive officers of several of the Pacific states (all returning from 
an excursion trip from Washington to San Francisco) ; and 
lastly came a delegation of aborigines, consisting of the chiefs 
and headmen of the nations of the plains. Then came another 
detached car, similar to that described in the first instance, 
containing a band of fifty musicians, playing the " Star-span- 
gled Banner." 

Thus appointed and arranged, the train arrived opposite to 
the business centre of the city, advanced upon the bridge, and 
halted. Then a Christian minister (the Eev. E. D. Neill, I 
think), accompanied by the president and secretary of state, 
with heads uncovered, proceeded from the extreme rear through 
the long avenue of young women representing the several 
states ; and as they passed along, each successive state stood 
with head uncovered, in token at once of their respect for reli- 
gion and their fidelity to the general government. This move- 
ment served also as a signal for the multitude to follow suit, 
and Avho accordingly accpiesced during the following ceremo- 
nies : — 

Arrived in front of the triumphal arch, the minister briefly 
invoked the blessings of Jehovah upon the great enterprise 
before them, and for the welfare of the country at large. Ho 
then stepped aside, and the chief magistrate of the nation hav- 
ing closed the discoursive part of the ceremonies with a few 
appropriate remarks, a signal was given, whereupon the sisters 
"Peace" and "Commerce" gracefully inverted the "golden 
vase," and the waters of the Pacific ocean were mingled with 
the waters of the mighty Mississippi. The bay of San Fran- 
cisco was wedded with the Atlantic and gulf of Mexico, and 



tlie bright drops of the Sacramento ^vere mingled with and 
flowed witlj those of tlie "Father of Running Waters." 

At that instant another immense train arrived in fifty hours 
from New Orleans, sixty from the E-io Grande, and four days 
from the city of Mexico. It contained a pleasure-party, num- 
bering by thousands. Among them were the wealthy planters, 
tlieir wives, and little ones — the dark-skinned Creole gentle- 
men and ladies — together w^ith the dark-eyed senoritas and 
gayly-dressed caballeros from the old halls of the Montezumas. 
They were coming to spend a few weeks amidst the noise and 
spray of the " Little falls," or Minne-Jia-ha, and of our great 
St. Anthon3^ The eastern train from Philadelphia, New York, 
and Boston, and another from Lake Superior, and still another 
from Pembina and Assiniboin, near Lake Winnipeg, also came 
rattling in, alive with human freight from the east, the north, 
and northeast. 

Then the mighty throng of assembled thousands raised a loud 
hosannah, and methought the chorus of their mighty voices re- 
sounded adown the flowing stream, and over the gulf and broad 
Atlantic, and then re-echoed across Europe's peopled surface 
with redoubled force, till in the wilds of Russia it reached the 
last and only hcmie of the despot — the descendant of the Nicho- 
las of 1853 — Avho had long since laid mouldering in a tyrant's 
grave. Then did the heart of the last of the line of kings and 
emperors whiclf this fair earth shall ever witness, grow faint 
w^ithin him, as he saw his inevitable doom portrayed as plain as 
the " handwriting upon the w^all," and heard his death-knell pro- 
claimed in tones of might and wrath, which told him that an 
avenging God was nigh ! Ay, he listened, w-hile the pallor of 
death stole over his guilty features, and the craven-hearted 
usurper of the rights of man, and violator of all his Maker's 
laws, did tremble for very fear — ay, trembled like an aspen- 
leaf, as he heard the voices of the mighty host exultingly jubi- 
late on that " centennial anniversary" of a nation's birth-day 
-—the greatest nation, too, which old Time and events have 
yet given to the w-orld, its population now being sixty millions. 

Then rose the serf, the Cossack, and all the republicans of 
Europe, led on by the aged heroes Kossuth and Mazzini, and 


a host of others, and struck a tremendous and final blow for 
freedom — the goddess of Liberty flitting and hovering over 
the scene — until at length a loud, triumphant shout came 
ringing back across the ocean and gulf, and up the noble river 
to the spot where the multitudinous host were still pouring 
forth their anthems of praise to the God of hosts — proclaim- 
ing to them that the final victory between Liberty and Despo- 
tism had been fairly won, and that Tyranny had sunk his fright- 
ful head amidst a perfect cataract of blood. The prediction of 
Napoleon had been verified in one sense — and, in 1876, all 

Europe was at last republican Louis Napoleon had long 

since sunk into insignificance, oblivion, and contempt ; and 
poor, unhappy France, now so no more, had become a true 

At that instant, the ceremonies being over, amid the roll of 
drums, and the clangor of martial music, the discharge of mus- 
kets, the roar of artillery, and the deafening huzzas of an ex- 
cited and countless multitude on the land, upon the bridge, 
and upon the water beneath — the train moved on toward the 
eastern seaboard, and I aicoke from my dream. 







The object of the expedition narrated in the follo\\'ing pages was to form a 
treaty with the Red Lake and Pembina bands of Chippewa Indians for their 
country h"ing in the valley of the Red river of the North, and south of the 
British line. Governor Ramsey was appointed commissioner to treat with 
them, and Dr. Thomas Foster appointed secretary. The treat}' was formed, 
but was afterward rejected by the United States senate. 




Our party consisted of the following persons, viz. : Governor 
Ramsey, Hugh Tyler, Dr. Foster, Rev. John Black, of Mon- 
treal, J. M. Lord, F. Brown, Pierre Bottineau, Joseph Course- 
role, and myself. Our escort consisted of twenty-five dragoons 
from Fort Snelling, commanded by Lieutenant Corley, and ac- 
companied by six two-horse baggage-wagons ; our own bag- 
gage and provisions being carried on light Red-river carts, 
with eight French-Canadian and half-breed drivers. In num- 
ber we comprised about fifty souls in all. 

A portion of the civil party took the steamboat " Governor 
Ramsey," at St. Anthony, on Monday, August 18, 1851, and 
proceeded to the Thousand isles, below Sauk rapids, where the 
balance of the party, with the horses, carts, and a light riding- 
wagon, awaited their arrival. After uniting, we all proceeded 
on to Russell's, above Sauk rapids, and on Wednesday crossed 
the Mississippi, and camped the first night about two miles 
west, in the Sauk river valley. 

Thursday, 21st. — Fine, clear, cool day. We struck tents 
and were away early ; rode fifteen miles over prairie, and 
along the valley of Sauk river, bordered on either side with 
thick woods, and interspersed here and there with strips of 


Avoodland and a tliick undergrowth of buslies. Tlien passed 
over the worst piece of road between Sank rapids and Pem- 
bina. The dragoons were busy for several hours in repairing 
it for the passage of the teams. It was a piece of swamp-land, 
about fifty yards in width, and. covered by a bad " corduroy" 

Three, P. M. — Proceeded on three miles, and found the 
dragoons encamped for the night at another bad crossing of 
swamp-land, near a creek. It took them several hours to re- 
pair it with bushes, grass, &c. Encamped near by also, to 
await our turn to-morrow. Our march to-day was eighteen 

Friday, August 22. — Clear, cool, and pleasant. The weath- 
er is now delightful — the sun quite hot at noonday, and the 
nights cool and bracing. Up at daylight, and away on our 
march at seven, A. M. The dragoons off before us. 

After proceeding two miles, we crossed §auk river, passing 
over to the southwest side. We found a good ford, about four 
feet deep, the bottom being gravelly with a few boulders. The 
hills are very high, and skirted with heavy timber, on the 
right bank. We then emerged on to a beautiful rolling prairie, 
extendijig as far as the eye could reach ; bordered by timber, 
stretching in belts on either side ; that to the right bordering 
on Sauk river, and bearing away oft" to the northwest. Wo 
soon came to a swampy place, where the dragoons mired their 
horses. Grass Vv'as then mowed, a causeway made, the horses 
crossed on it, and the heavy teams drawn over by ropes. We 
soon after discovered a he-bear, " loping" oft" over the prairie 
at full speed. Several of us gave chase at once, and after pur- 
suing him through swamps and marshes for half an hour, and 
wounding him severely, the dragoons came up, surrounded 
him, and finished the job by killing him with pistol-balls. 
Tyler, in a tvro-horse wagon, joined us in the chase, and came 
in just at the death. 

We halted at noon, and took a cold bite and a cup of tea. 
In the afternoon we rode on some twelve miles farther, and 
encamped in some brush and timber, where the water was bad 
and mosquitoes worse. The country passed over to-day was 


rolling prairie, tliickly interspersed M'ith marshes and small, 
slnggisli streams, the ground ascending for fifteen miles, then 
descending to the camp five miles. We found it a very hard 
march, with the bear-chase, the bad roads, and much detention 
in passing ovor the swamps and marshes. 

Saturday, 23d. — Fine, clear morning. Up, as usual, at day- 
light; breakfasted on tea and herring, and supped last night 
on herring and tea — rather hard living. Dr. Foster, on being 
asked at noon yesterday if he would have a piece of the neck 
of a cold goose, replied, "Yes, sir-ee, it is neck or Clothing — of 
course I will !" We to-day rode over the rolling prairie, full 
of strips of marsh, when, after a march of ten miles, we came 
to an almost impassable hwamp. We crossed with some di£&- 
culty, by pulling the carts and horses across by ropes, during 
which the Rev. Mr. Black and I completely mired our ponies, 
and came near going with them to the bottom, if there was 
any. After this, we took a cup of tea to refresh ourselves ; 
proceeded on twelve miles farther, then encamped on the banks 
of a lake, where we had fine spring-water, and altogether the 
best camping-place we have yet had, the situation and scenery 
around being very beautiful. The carts arrived at sunset ; we 
then erected tents, cooked and ate supper after night, amid 
hosts of mosquitoes, which were finally driven off by a strong 
southwest breeze. 

Sunday, 24th. — Cloudy and cool, with rain in the morning, 
with thunder and lightning. All hands busy fixing tents more 
securely, digging trenches around to drain off the falling water, 
&c. Being Sunday, we remained in camp all day. Last night 
four of our horses broke their lariats and ran liomeM^ard at 
the top of their speed, but were caught, most fortunately for 
us, by the dragoons, at their camp twelve miles behind us, 
Had they not been there, we should have been obliged to 
have follow^ed the beasts clear back to Sauk rapids, ere we 
could have overtaken them. 

To-day, our French-Canadians and half-breeds, who have 
charge of the provision and baggage-carts, have been shooting 
pigeons, ducks, &c., also making new cart-axles ; and the 
day has not seemed much like Sunday. Yesterday afternoon, 


Avliile several of us Avere riding on aliead, we started up a 
skunk along tlic road, and immediately gave cliase, when 
sneli shying and dodging, to keep to windward of the beast, 
was never seen before. We nearly rolled off our horses with 
laughter. Now came the doctor, sidling up very cautiously, 
and fired two shots with a revolver, then beat a precipitate 
retreat as the skunk fired at him. Lord then pranced up on 
Billy, and fired one shot at the spot where it smelt the loudest, 
then turned tail, too, and fled. Gabon finally despatched the 
varmint with a tomahawk. 

Monday, 25th. — Up and away early ; once more upon the 
road ; liad a very fine ride of about fourteen miles to White 
Bear lake, as it is called, from the fact of white bear be- 
ing so plenty, perhaps. This is a beautiful lake, eight miles 
long and several wide; the baiiks of woodland and rolling 
prairie. We halted on the north shore, about one mile dis- 
tant, for several hours. Dined on roast skunk (not the one 
killed on Saturday, though), ducks, and prairie-hens, ham, 
pork,, &c. Some of the party are very fond of skunk, either 
roasted, fried, or stewed, and attribute the peculiar smell of 
the meat to the fact that the animal lives on garlic — a very 
garlicky explanation ! 

In the afternoon we rode to Pike lake, twelve miles farther; 
we reached it at sundown, and found a very beautiful spot, in- 
deed, and heavily wooded around a portion of its banks. The 
lake is full of Pike fish, hence its name, wliicli was given to it 
by Captain Pope. The dragoons are encamped quite near us, 
having been ahead all day. Mosquitoes are very bad, al- 
tliough the weather is quite cold and bracing. The country 
passed over to-day was a rolling prairie, with small streams 
of water running through the ravines ; all of which are tribu- 
tary to the Minnesota. To-night our carts failed to reach us, 
and remained about four miles behind. Fortunately, Brown 
came riding up at dark and informed us of the fact, and also 
brought two Avild geese and some prairie-hens along. The 
latter and one goose were roasted, as we sat huddling round 
the fires- (for the evening air was cold), and were devoured 
with great gusto ; a little boiled ham, salt, and hard bread. 


were obtained from the dragoons, which added additional 
zest to the camp-fire meal. Some of ns then betook ourselves 
to the dragoon camp, and slept in tents; the rest disposed 
themselves around the fire, and. in the carriage, and so passed 
the night, Dr. Foster, for one, half frozen. And this is life 
upon the prairie ; right ready and willing are we to make the 
best of everything, and suit ourselves to circumstances. 

Tuesday, 26th. — Up early and breakfasted with the dra- 
goons, on a cup of cofi:ee and piece of hard bread. The morn- 
ing very cold for the season. Overcoats necessary, and all 
hands sitting around the fires. Wind east, and very fresh ; a 
fine, bracing morning, the best for travelling we have yet had. 
The carts soon arrived and passed on ahead, and at eight, 
A. M., we followed, and after a fine ride of ten miles, we 
arrived at Elk lake, and stopped to feed and dine upon 
the prettiest spot we have yet seen. It was upon the 
western bank of the lake, upon a knoll, high above the 
water, the banks of the lake being high and covered 
v/ith a skirt of woodland; the waters, agitated by a strong 
breeze,, rolling wildly below. This lake is some two miles 
long, and full of headlands, and smajl isles all heavily tim- 
bered. A most charming spot for a residence when the coun- 
try becomes once settled ; at present the whole place is wild 
and beautiful. Since writing the above, tlie rest of our party 
have arrived, and I find it is not "Elk" lake, but one new to 
all the party, and to us nameless. Governor Ramsey, there- 
fore, called it Lake Fillmore, in honor of the president; quite 
a compliment, too, by-the-by, considering tliat it is muc]i the 
finest of the kind we have yet seen. We had a very good 
dinner to-day, consisting of bouillon, made of geese, ducks, &c., 
Mdth liara, pork, coffee, bread aild butter, &c. This afternoon 
we pursued a very circuitous road over a more rough and rol- 
lir.g country than we have yet passed, broken by deep ra\nnes 
and full of lakes, ponds, &c. Some of the lakes were very 
beautiful; our road passed over the outlet of one of them at 
its mouth, where it poured over the rocky bottom and formed 
a creek thirty feet in width. -At sundoAvn we reached the 
banks of a large creek, or perhaps of the Chippewa river, and 


after crossing found tlie dragoons encamped on the open 
prairie, on tlie -western Lank. We also camped near them, 
and had wood and good water plenty. Our march to-day 
was about twenty miles, though so circuitous that I douLt if 
we made more than ten miles on our regular course. The stream 
upon which we are encamped is a very rapid one, and flows 
over a rocky bed of boulders. 

Wednesday, 27th, — Cool, cloudy, and quite cold early in 
the morning ; fine weather for travelling. Up at daylight, 
and away upon our march at half-past five, one hour earlier 
than our earliest start heretofore. Rode about ten miles over 
an elevated prairie, full, as usual, of lakes and ponds ; crossed 
a stream about sixty feet in width (Potato river), and stopped 
for our dinner on the banks of a fine lake, partly wooded on 
its shores, with a gravel bottom. After a rest of several hours 
we proceeded on five miles, and found the dragoons encamped 
on the bank of another fine lake, the shores well wooded. As 
it was but four, P. M., we pressed on some five miles farther, ma- 
king twenty-five miles march to-day ; then camped on the 
prairie ; no wood in sight ; carried enough on the carts for the 
getting of supper and breakfast. A pond full of dirty, dark 
grass was near by, out of which we got our water. Two of 
our party brought in a large quantity of geese, ducks, and 
prairie fowls, to the camp, to-night. Indeed, wild game of the 
feathered kind is getting to be a drug upon our hands, as we 
get more daily than we can use. The country we passed over 
to-day was an elevated plain for the most part, with less wood- 
land and fewer lakes, and the growth more even and of a 
poorer quality than that below. We are now passing on to 
the dividing ridge between the head waters of the Red, Min- 
nesota, and Mississippi rivers. 9 

Thursday, 28th. — Cloudy and cold in the morning; very 
unpleasant, with slight rain ; warmer in the afternoon, with 
thunder and lightning. Wind southeast to southwest. Up 
at daylight, and upon our march at six, A. M. Rode some ten 
miles over a flat, dry, and very uninteresting country, destitute 
of lakes, and the grass dry and in some places already burned 
off, with stagnant ponds and a sluggish creek, at which we 


stopped to dine. We could procure no wood, save what we 
carried witli ns, and the water was also very had. At noon 
we started on again; the country continued hare and flat, 
with no timher in sight, till Ave approached the Sioux Wood 
river, where we arrived at four, P. M., after a march of twenty 
miles, and' one hundred and forty from Sauk rapids. 

The Bois des Sioux is a stream about thirty miles in length, 
and flows from Lac Traverse into Red river, by a course due 
north. We crossed about four miles above its mouth, M'here it 
was fifty yards in width, and four and a half feet deep, its 
course being very crooked. We camped on its bank, along- 
side the dragoons, all hurry and bustle in the midst of a gust; 
supped on soup made of two wild geese, with onions, potatoes, 
and condiments ; called bouillon by the half-breeds. At ten, 
P. M., a very heavy storm of thunder and lightning came up 
suddenly from the southwest. The rain descended in torrents, 
the winds blew, thunders roared, lightning flashed, the tent 
flies snapped, flapped, and cracked ; the water rolled in under 
our oil-cloth floor, Avhile we remained all safe and dry and 
went to sleep amid the raging and roaring of the tempest. 

Friday, 29th. — Cloudy and very damp early in the morn- 
ing; cleared up about ten o'clock: fine, cool, and pleasant, 
with a good breeze from the north. The troops having made 
a raft yesterday afternoon, they began to cross early this 
morning, rafting over their goods, and drawing the wagons 
over with ropes; swimming and Avading the horses over at 
two different fords, about one hundred and fifty yards apart. 
They were all over at half-past ten o'clock, and then came 
our turn ; all our goods, provisions, baggage, (fee, were turned 
out on the grass to dry, which opportunity I availed myself 
of to examine and take a list of all. The carts were drawn 
over by ropes, the goods taken over on the raft, and the horses 
swam across all at the lower and deeper ford. After all was 
again repacked we started at two, P. M., and after pursuing a 
northwest course about eight miles, over a flat, marshy 
prairie, Ave crossed OA^er the Wild Rice river on a rustic bridge 
of logs, and camped on the other side, near the dragoons, 
whom we found already there and comfortably fixed. The 


Wild Rice is a narrow and very crooked stream, witli liigli 
"banks, and resembles a deep ditch of dirty Avater, It is 
skirted Avitli woodland at intervals. We are now three or 
four miles down Red river, below the mouth of the Sioux 
v»'ood, above wlilch it takes the name of Ottertail river. Our 
distance from Red river, to the west, is some three miles ; the 
woods bordering its banks being visible during our ride this 
afternoon. Our whole journey to-day has not exceeded ten 
miles ; to-morrow, we have a march of twenty -five miles to 
the Shayenne, which we cross thirty miles above its mouth ; 
and I am told that we will not see Red river imtil our arrival 
at Pembina, as our road skirts along the high ground on the 
western slope of the valley, distant on an average some thirty 
to forty miles. Tliis detour is necessary to avoid the marshes, 
swamps and bad places along the bed of the valley and nearer 
to the river. 

Saturday, 30th. — A fine, clear, warm, day — the finest we 
have yet had. This morning a false alarm raised all the camp 
at half-past one o'clock ; a lire was made, the kettle put on, 
water boiled and after putting the tea to draw, we all returned 
to bed again, determined "that nothing should " draw" us out 
again till morning. Our road to-day lay over a flat and 
marshy prairie, Avith no lakes or streams, the woods along- 
Red river alone being visible, away off to the right. At noon 
we halted at a stagnant pool of dirty water, cut down two 
small dead poplars (all the timber we could find), boiled our 
coffee and had a cold bite for dinner. The sun was very hot, 
huge bottle-flies and gnats ver^^ bad, and our horses most used 
up. At three this afternoon we started on again, and rode 
twelve miles, to the Shayenne, that is, the Rev. Mr. Black and 
I, who ride together. Here we found the dragoons encamped 
on the top of the steep Avooded bank, on the south side of the 
Shayenne; the turbid, narroAv, river rolling rapidly about two 
hundred feet beloAv, and a A^ast expanse of rolling prairie away 
off to the north on the other side. The country passed over this 
afternoon Avas a leA^el, marshy prairie for the most part, with 
sand-hill knolls like mounds, and excavations as though done 
by hand, at intervals. As we approached within six miles of 


the Sliayeniie, tlie timber in groA^es became more abimclant, 
witli rolling prairie, bills, mounds, and valleys leading us to 
suppose we were immediately on its banks. The dragoons 
were deceived in common with tbe rest of us and tlius led some 
ten miles beyond tlieir usual march ; making a distance of 
thirty miles. At their camp we found Dr. Foster and a friend, 
who had rode on at noon in search of the Sliayenne. After 
partaking of a good supper in Lieutenant Corley's tent, and 
waiting till nine o'clock for the arrival of our carts and balance 
of the party, the Rev. Mr. Black and I re-caught our horses, 
and rode back by the light of the new moon, in search of the 
stray wanderers; after a ride of some two miles we came in 
sight of tlieir camp-fire, to our great joy, and soon came to the 
camp, at ten, P. M. ; the tents were pitched on the open prairie, 
just on the side of a swamp, where the water was pretty good ; 
also some wood handy, and but few mosquitoes, which at the 
dragoon camp w^ere far worse than I ever saw before, or heard 
of, or imagined ; in fact, no imagination could do them justice 
— they must be seen and felt to be appreciated. I rode a 
cream-colored horse, and was unable to distinguish the color 
of the animal so thickly was he covered on my arrival there. 
During supper they swarmed around like bees hiving, and 
entered the mouth, nose, ears, and eyes, and had it not been 
for a cool, fresh, evening breeze, they would have been un- 
bearable. Dr. F. remained with the lieutenant at the camp 
all night, and I have since learned that they were almost 
literally devoured alive, albeit they had the protection of 
mosquito bars ; Avhich on this occasion did not amount to much. 
Dr. F. was phlebotomised to the extent of several pounds of 
blood ; and finally took refuge on the open prairie, muffled up 
in a lot of blankets, and exposed to the keen night wind, which 
still proving ineffectual in resisting their attacks (as he says 
they even penetrated through his boots), he finally, at daylight, 
threw ofi" all disguise, and almost distracted took refuge in a 
smudge among the tents. He to-day looks dry, and has very 
much of a smoked appearance, besides being weak. He feels 
that he has been victimized by hordes and legions of winged 
devils — a mosquitoed martyr. At our own camp I slept com- 


fortably without a bar, aiul had no more bills presented than I 
could settle, without disturbing pleasant slumber. 

Sunday, 31st. — The last day of summer and a cool and 
pleasant one — Avitli a fine breeze, the very counterpart of 
yesterday, which was exceedingly warm. We rose late this 
morning and started about seven o'clock — soon came to the 
Shayenne again, and after passing the dragoon camp, and 
doAvn the high, steep hill on the south side, we passed the 
river on a rough log bridge ; the muddy stream flowing below 
deep and silently, like a large canal, the banks steep, muddy, 
and heavily wooded. The country through wdiich the Shay- 
enne flows is much broken and quite hilly, with knolls and 
sand-bands rising upward in much confusion. On the north 
side of the stream the country is quite low and flat, almost on 
a level with the river, and forming a strange contrast wdth the 
high bank opposite. It rises, however, in the course of a mile 
or more, and we ascended another level prairie when our hun- 
ters discovered two bull-buffalo about a mile ahead. They 
immediately equipped and started, and soon surrounded and 
killed both. The carts and balance of the party then pro- 
ceeded to the spot ; about half a mile from the road, and on 
discovering water, Ave encamped on the open prairie for the 
balance of the dav. The buffalo were skinned, the choice 
parts cut out, and the liver and kidneys fried for dinner. It 
■was not as good as that of beef, and I must taste the steaks 
before I decide as to the merits of bull-buffalo. As this was 
the first buffalo seen or taken, it afforded for a time much 
excitement. Guns, pistols, etc., were reloaded, handkerchiefs 
w^ere tied around heads, waists belted, stirrups tightened and 
away they went, best felloAv foremost, and Dr. Foster himself 
in the carriage this time (instead of Tyler), in hot pursuit. 

Monday, September 1. — The mosquitoes this morning were 
almost as bad as on Saturday night, the air being warm and 
sultry, and weather cloudy, and our camp being on the flat, ^ 
marshy prairie, near a swamp. There was no satisfaction in 
eating even bufl'alo meat, which, by-the-by, is not so good as 
a beef-steak, by any means, being dry, tough, and more taste- 
less. If br-^'led, and well-seasoned, it might answer better. 


Wc passed over a flat, marsliy prairie tliis morning for ten 
miles, and crossed over Maple river on a rongli log-bridge, 
whicli being there, saved us much trouble, as the banks were 
high, and the stream deep, very crooked and ditch-like, with 
some timber on its banks. This afternoon we passed on six 
miles further, and camped near a ravine of water just on the 
road ; the mosquitoes, as usual, very bad. 

We to day left our escort of dragoons at Maple river, where 
they arrived just before we left, at three, P. M., having pre- 
sented the poor fellows with a portion of our buffalo meat to 
feast on. Our horses now look lank and lean ; between long 
marches, flies and mosquitoes, and no grain, they have fared 
badly ; we hope to have cool weather, and perhaps a frost 
soon. As for the mosquitoes, they have been almost unendu- 
rable all day. The weather is warm ; mercury was sixty-five 
degrees at sunrise, and our march only about fifteen miles. 
Soon after camping to-night, our hunters rode out and shot 
another bufl'alo, which had been discovered lying in the high 
grass about a mile off from camp. He proved to be a bull, 
and ran most furiously for a mile or two before he was sur- 
rounded and brought to bay. During the chase, Pierre Bot- 
tineau's horse stumbled, and threw his rider violently to the 
groimd. He was picked up insensible, terribly stunned though 
not much hurt. He was bled, brought to camp in the carriage, 
and put to bed. The choice portions of the bufl'alo only were 
taken, and the carcass left to the tender mercies of a band of 
wolves, who howled, barked, and preyed over it all night. 

Tuesday, 2d. — A very warm day; sun shines very hot, and 
the flies and mosquitoes are extremely bad. We made a 
march of twelve miles, and stopped to dine in some timber on 
the banks of Rush river, another small ditch-like stream. 
Rode on six miles farther in the afternoon, and camped with 
the dragoons, who had come up at noon, passed us, and gone 
ahead. They had just killed another bufl'alo, and were cook- 
ing large quantities of the meat for supper — bufl'alo now 
becoming quite plenty. 

Our camp to-night is on the open, wide, and apparently 
boundless prairie — no wood in sight, and none to use save 



what we carry with its. Tlie country is flat, and very unin- 
teresting, the Avater stagnant, and prairie marshy. No signs 
of Red river, we being still away off some forty miles to the 
left. The mercury at sunrise to-day was down to forty-three 
degrees, not quite cold enough, however, to deaden our tor- 
mentors, yet, who are almost as active as ever. 

Wedxesday, 3d, — Up at four o'clock, and away at Ave, 
A.M. Rode ten miles, and halted for our noonday rest ; dined 
on a knoll above the prairie, near a small stream of water. 
The mercury this mm-ning stood at sixty-six degrees, the air 
very warm from the south, and a thunder-storm away off to 
the north. The mosquitoes, as usual, very bad early in 
the morning. The wind, however, was strong this afternoon, 
and blew the most of them away, and we were not troubled so 
much till night again ; very glad for that respite any how — 
our tormentors are continuous and excessive generally. Made 
a march often miles this afternoon, and camped on the prairie 
near a pond of water, though we had no wood, save what we 
carried with us. 

Most of the party started on a buffalo hunt this afternoon, 
and did not return till after dark, when they came in shouting 
and yelling like wild Indians. They killed two bulls, and 
the dragoons killed three. The country passed over to-day 
was more interesting, being high-rolling prairie. Our road 
led over a ridge of rolling land, running east and west, 
though no timber has been visible since at noon yesterday. 

Thursday, 4th. — Up at daylight ; the mosquitoes being too 
bad to allow of much sleeping. They kept us awake, in fact, 
most of the night ; the inside of the bars containing quite 
enough to worry a man, and keep him slapping and fighting 
instead of sleeping, while the tent was black with them, 
and their humming noise sounded like bees hiving. Six 
buffalo Avere discovered this morning within a few hundred 
yards of the camp, but as our horses had run off we could not 
follow them. Some of the hunters went out on foot, but could 
not approach near enough to get a shot. After riding some 
eight miles this forenoon, we came to a branch of Goose river, 
and found the dragoons there, and busy drying their buffalo 


meat over smoke. Here we foimcl the first timber seen in two 
clays ; it bordered the higli blnff on the south side of the 
pretty valley through -which this branch of Goose river mean- 
ders in a very tortuons manner, in common with all these 
prairie streams. We crossed the valley, and ascended the high 
hill on the north side, where we dined and took a bath in the 
clear cool stream besides. The wood on this side being scarce, 
we cooked no dinner. Onr meals to-day consisted of cold 
boiled pork and bnffalo. The streams and crossings in this 
valley, unlike those between the Red and Mississippi, flow 
deep through the prairie, and have for the most part hard 
sandy or gravel bottoms. The soil is lighter, and contains 
more sand; there is also far less Avoodland. and a less lux- 
urious growth of vegetation. We came up to no more had 
places, where horses swamp and teams get mired ; but pass 
over all obstructions in the way of streams and swamps with- 
out any difSculty. This afternoon we rode some twelve miles, 
and camped on a knoll above a small stream of clear good 
water (though very warm). Having no wood, we were obliged 
to boil our kettle, and the French boys their pork and buffalo, 
over a fire made of dried buffalo chips. 

Only a few mosquitoes on hand, and those driven to leeward 
by the strong smoke and smell of the buffalo chips. We kept 
them all out of the tents too, and had the most comfortable 
sleep "we have had since starting ; which makes ar^ends for 
last night's torments, and is like a change from purgatory to 
the third heaven. A splendid aurora borealis was witnessed 
from the camp last night ; a glorious display which is very 
seldom equalled. 

Our escort, which is always far ahead or out of timely reach 
in case of need behind, passed us at our camp at noon, and 
are out of sight ahead to-night. After supper we were sere- 
naded by a large band of wolves, which prowled round our 
camp, and howled most fearfully all night long. 

We utterly disregard all wolves, Indians, and other varmints. 
This afternoon, I chased a large drove of greyish brown wolves 
for a mile or two, and shot a number of them. In the distance 
when first seen, they looked large like elk or deer, and one 


black one moved like a biiffulo. Our marcli to-day was from 
sixteen to eigliteen miles. 

Friday, orli. — Clear, fine, and ])leasant ; sun very liot, with 
a good breeze from southwest. Rode ten miles in the morn- 
ing, over a gently-rolling prairie, ascending one ridge and 
down another, with nothing but level prairies and ridges ahead, 
one after another in succession, with knolls, ponds, and a small 
lake or two by way of variety, and a strip of woodland away 
off to the right. Halted at ten, A. M., on a branch of Goose 
river, though not so large as the one passed yesterday ; in fact 
it is nov/ a mere rivulet of three or four feet wide. The Avater 
good and rather cool. Having but little wood to cook, we 
dined on herring, tea, and crackers. 

This afternoon we made about ten miles, and camped at 
dark on the brow of a hill near a small stream ; the dragoons 
were encamped in the edge of some timber, about two miles 
ahead. A very pleasant, clear evening, and the mosquitoes 
scarce ; supped on buffalo-meat and tea, and slept comfortably 
and soundly. 

Saturday, Gth. — Cloudy and cold, quite a change since yes- 
terday; mercury forty-eight degrees at dawn. At eleven, A. 
M., rain commenced falling, and a heavy thunder-storm passed 
around the horizon, a portion visiting us. Wind fresh from the 
north, requiring gloves and overcoats. Up at daylight, and 
away on our march as usual very early 

Rode some twelve miles, and overtook the dragoons at ten, 
A.M. ; made a temporary halt till eleven, then proceeded some 
three miles farther and aAvaited the arrival of the carts, which 
came up at three, P. M. We then camped on the south side 
of a small stream, a branch of Salt river, and prepared for a 
comfortable night's rest, and a quiet spending of the sabbath. 

The dragoons had previously encamped on the north side 
of the same stream, and had just killed another buffalo in the 
midst of the thunder-storm. Our route still lies over prairie, 
interspersed with belts of timber, and stretching north. The 
banks of the brook upon which M-e have encamped are also 
slightly wooded, and I believe we will now have plenty the 


rest of our journey. "We have now been four clays without 
any, save Avhat we carriecT witli us, and all the old empty bar- 
rels, boxes, &c., have been brought into requisition. 

We were amused this morniug by Joseph Oourserole, a young 
half-breed Sioux, who is our chief cook, &c. He was makiug a 
speech to the camp in the presence of the French boys around 
the fire. He spoke and gesticulated with all the earnestness 
of the real Indian, and was encored by loud " hobs" from the 
awakened sleepers in our tent. He spoke in Sioux, and I 
suppose from his manner, he told wonderful things. He was 
born away out to the northwest of our present camp at Devil's 
lake, and was raised at Mendota by the Hon. H. H. Sibley. 
He is now an excellent hunter, the best shot in the party, and 
promises to become a celebrated voyageur, and unrivalled in 
the chase. One of the party was taken sick to-day. We 
camped together this time, and medical attendance was at once 
on hand. 

Among the fifty people who compose our party, are an old 
Canadian Frenchman, and a companion younger than himself. 
The old man passed nearly all the earlier portions of his life 
on Ked river, and till some twenty years ago, when he moved 
to Missouri territory, and has been living ever since away out 
among the Blackfeet Indians. He is now returning to live and 
die at the Selkirk settlements. He and his companion ride in 
a two-horse wagon, drawn by two grays, and, although they 
camp with us, they cook and eat at their own camp-fire, and 
sleep without a tent, either under their wagon or alongside on 
a bed of robes and blankets on the ground. The old gentle- 
man is active and yet vigorous, though his head shakes with 

Pierre Bottineau, who contracted to take our goods and 
provisions from Sauk Rapid s through to Pembina, is a half- 
breed Chippewa ; of a highly-nervous temperament, with 
Indian features strongly marked, very swarthy, dark hair, tall, 
muscular, and active, and is about thirty-seven years of age. He 
is an excellent hunter and voyageur; was born in, and has 
spent his whole life in wandering in and exploring, this terri- 
tory and adjacent country. He has along eight carts, each 


loaded witK about five limidrcd pounds of freight, and six 
Canadian French boys as drivers ; also two half-breed men of 
the Chippewa tribe — one his own brother. 

The finest exhibition of the aurora borealis I ever witnessed 
occurred to-night, beginning at nine o'clock. 

To attempt a description, however, is the height of vanity. 
The Eev. Mr. Black and I gazed long upon it as a most 
remarkable manifestation in the heavens, before we could tear 
ourselves away and retire to rest. Hoav long it continued after 
midnifrht I can not sav. 

Mr. Black, who has spent his life in Canada and Scotland, 
says it is much the finest exhibition he has ever seen ; and 
Pierre has never seen its equal this side of Hudson's bay, 
where they are extremely common and very beautiful. We 
are now in latitude forty-eight degrees north, and I suppose 
will have frequent exhibitions of them. 

Sunday, 7tli. — A most beautiful, cool, clear, calm, and quiet 
day — the pleasantest we have yet had. The camp is quiet; 
the people are all reading or sleeping ; no mosquitoes to annoy 
us — the cold, fresh air from the north, having rid us for a 
v.'hile of their hateful presence. Our camp is a most beautiful 
one, and is situated on the south side of Saline river, a small 
stream only a few yards wide. On the opposite side near by 
is the dragoon camp, with the horses grazing in the little valley 
between ; the whole forming a pretty and very interesting 

It is three weeks to-day since we left St. Paul. Three 
weeks of daily travel across prairies, swamps, and streams, up 
early and down late. Three weeks of a bold, wild, free sort 
of life — which I enjoy the more the further we advance, and 
could travel on to Oregon without tiring. We have no long 
and tedious marches, made amid "the winter of discontent," 
and in rude, rough, and boisterous weather, but all is Indian 
summer, amid joyous ease, comforts, and many pleasures. 
Another aurora to-night — soon over; a brilliant moonlight 
evening ; air cold, mercury down to forty-five degrees. 

Some of our party of French boys have been out gunning 
to-day, and returned with lots of geese and ducks ; others 


have been busy putting on new cart axles, their usual Sunday 
employments. With these exceptions, things in and around 
both camps have been religiously quiet. 

Monday, Sth. — A most beautiful, clear day, with a cool and 
pleasant breeze from the north. The morning the coldest we 
have yet had, the mercury being down to thirty-six degrees 
at sunrise — almost a frost. We were up early ; struck tents, 
caught the horses, which Avere quite refreshed and strengthened 
by the rest and good pasture, and at seven, A. M., once more 
took up our line of march to the north. The dragoons sound- 
ed bugle, and were off ahead of us. After a march of four 
miles, we came to a stream supposed by us to be the Big Salt 
river. It flowed over a hard, and in places a stony, bed, 
through a deep and narrow valley ; the hill-sides in some 
parts being heavily woodsed Avitli good-sized oaks. A range 
of cone-like hills, extending from the left of the road, resem- 
bling a line of mounds. The road then lay over a gently- 
ascending rolling prairie; a small stream of water, and a stony 
granitic ridge occurring occasionally. Some of the boulders 
in the beds of the streams, and especially on the ridges, were 
quite large. Some of the latter were painted in red stripes, and 
on one I noticed a blood-red hand, and four horse-shoes of a 
yellow color. 

We then passed into the pretty valley of the Little Salt, and 
halted for dinner on its banks, after a very pleasant ride of 
about twelve miles, according to our usual mode of computing 
distances, viz., three miles an hour, on a slow walk. The banks 
of this small river are also heavily wooded with oak, and we 
have found amidst them some few more of those curses to a 
voyageur, warmed into life and energy by the noonday sun — 
I mean mosquitoes. 

We started on again at three, P. M., and proceeded about 
five miles ; and encamped for the night on the north side of 
quite a stream, called Cart river — the water clear and cold, 
and flowing over a bed of sand and gravel, and through thick 
woods, at times emerging and breaking through the open 
prairie in large, deep ravines, one fourth of a mile in width 
and over one hundred feet in depth, the stream in some places 


being very deep and Lrond, and thickly bordered with an nn- 
dergrowth of bushes. The scenery around to-night is wild, 
romantic, and quite beautiful. A furious thunderstorm is com- 
ing up : the low mutterings are heard, while the forked light- 
nings are played all around the horizon in the distance, and 
the night is as black as the " dark, unfathomed caves of ocean." 
And now comes down the deluge, a perfect avalanche of falling 
w-aters, though the heaviest of the storm has passed around us 
to the south. 

Tuesday, 9th. — Another fine, clear, cool day; mercury for- 
ty-eight at sunrise. We made a march this morning of about 
fifteen miles, and halted for dinner near a beautiful stream of 
cold, clear water, flowing over a sandy bottom, intermixed with 
slate and gravel, in common Avith all the streams we have 
crossed to-day. The country travelled over has been very 
beautiful — a rolling prairie, interspersed with heavy belts of 
timber on all the numerous streams, with a thick iindergroAvth 
in many places. The country is much better adapted to farm- 
ing purposes than that passed over on the ridge between the 
E-ed and Shayenne rivers which we crossed on our last week's 
march. We are now descending the slope into the low lands 
bordering on Eed river, and the country since Saturday morn- 
ing's march has much improved in appearance and the land in 
quality. Fine farms could be located in the country we are 
now passing over, and for grazing purposes it can scarcely be 
equalled. Small lakes are abundant, and vegetation good. 

This afternoon we proceeded about five miles, and halted 
earlv on an elevated ridj>:e of timbered land, above a Avide 
prairie before us, bounded on the far side to the northeast by 
the Poplar isles, just dimly visible in the distance. These islands 
are groves of young poplars thickly collected together for 
miles over the low, flat prairie, like the wooded isles of ocean. 

Wednesday, 10th. — Cloudy, cool, j^et very pleasant. Up 
at half-past three o'clock ; breakfasted about daylight, and off 
on our march at sunrise. Rode ten miles, and reached Tongue 
river, as it is called — a stream of cold, clear water, and a 
branch of the Pembina. Here we overtook the dragoons, en- 
camped, they having been ahead for several days. Here wo 


also found the governor cincl Tyler, they having gone on and 
left lis yesterday, to overtake and stop our escort — and com- 
pel them to accompany ns into Pembina, from which we are 
now distant only some thirty miles. 

This afternoon Ave travelled eight miles, when the horses 
giving out, we camped on the open prairie, without wood, and 
no good water, and the mosquitoes nearly as bad as at the 
Shayenne. To-night we have had a heavy thunderstorm, to 
avoid which and our unremitting persecutors we betook our- 
selves to the tents, and thence inside our mosquito-bars, and 
lay secure from both. We passed through the *' Poplar isles" 
to-day, and found it to be a flat, swampy, and uninteresting 
portion of country. The dragoons are out of sight ahead again 

Thursday, 11th. — Cold and cloudy, with rain and mist 
nearly all day ; wind northeast, and by far the most unpleas- 
ant day we have yet had. Up late, and breakfasted in the 
rain for the first time on the march. Rode about twelve miles, 
and at noon reached Bottineau point, a prominent point of 
woods on Tongue river. Here we halted and dined in the 
high, wet grass — our last meal out. It consisted of ducksjof 
which we shot about fifty on the banks of Duck lake, near by), 
also pork and boiled buffalo-tongues, potatoes, tea, &c., with 
wild plums for dessert which we found on some scrubby trees 
on the river-bank, and, though not fully ripe, were quite a 

At two, P. M., we started on, and soon found the dragoons 
again. They were encamped in the edge of the woods on 
Tongue river, where they remain till to-morrow. We now had 
eight miles of swampy prairie to cross, and at four, P. M., 
came in sight of the first houses at the Red river settlement, 
much to our great joy ; as a house was as much of a novelty 
to us after a tramp of five hundred miles across the unpeopled 
prairies, as the first sight of land is to the weary and tempest- 
tossed mariner. 

The houses were full of half-breeds, who saluted us with the 
discharge of guns, &c. Dr. Foster and Mr. Lord rode on 
ahead, and were treated to milk and potatoes — a treat equal 



to that of tlie milk and lioney received by tlie wandering chil- 
dren of Israel of old. A mile beyond we came to the junction 
of the Red and Pembina rivers, and found the trading-post of 
K. W.Kittson, Esq., and the settlement called"" Pembina in the 
angle at the junction. Here we found half a dozen log-dwel- 
lings, and a quantity of half-breed and Chippewa lodges; the 
American flag flying from the top of a tall flag-staff; with 
barns, stables, haystacks, horses, cattle, &c., and things gener- 
ally looking very comfortable. On the muddy banks in front 
stood an admiring group of several hundred whites, half- 
ureeds, and Indians, of all sizes; with any quantity of dogs, 
very large and wolfish : and amid this Babel of cries, yelps, 
barks, and shouts, from the said big dogs and little papoose 
Indians, we came to a halt and reconnoitred, on the south side 
of the Pembina and west of the Red river, standing almost 
glued fast in the sticky, tenacious mud, caused by the rains 
and annual overflow of these two rivers for three years past. 
The timber upon their banks is dead (drowned out), the ground 
destitute of grass, with tall, rank weeds three and four feet in 
height abounding. 

The rivers are very muddy and deep, with but little current. 
Red river is about one hundred yards in width, and the Pem- 
bina twenty-five yards. The country is very flat all around, 
and the streams heavily wooded, while a thick growth of 
young, dead willows line the Avater's edge from Pembina to 
Selkirk settlement. Mr. Kittson and Messrs. Rolette and Cav- 
ileer soon visited us and took us over to the town, giving us 
the freedom of the place, besides sending some Selkirk butter 
and eggs across to us at camp. Our carts arriving at dark, we 
built a rousing fire, pitched tents, covered the banks with grass 
and weeds, spread our oil-cloths and mattresses, and were once 
more comfortable. 

This is our last night " out of sight of land" — slept our last 
sleep on the tented prairie for the present, which I regret, as 
it is far preferable to a bed of doAvn within a palace. Slept 
well, too, considering the multitude of discordant and almost 
unearthly sounds which struck upon our drowsy ears, accus- 
tomed to quietness and calm. Now are heard the Indians 


shrieking and beating upon drums at tlieir camp across the 
Pembina ; and those big dogs keep howling dismally, like a 
host of wild, voracious wolves. The dark and cloudy night is 
mace hideous wdth hell-like w^ailings ; and the mournful, sigh- 
ing wind bears to our ears the sharp and piercing cries from a 
hundred deep-toned throats, sounding in their awfulness like 
the despairing bowlings of the damned. So much for our first 
night at Pembina. 

We have thus made the march from Sauk rapids to this 
place in twenty travelling days, being twenty-two in all, and 
from St. Paul just twenty-five days. Messrs. Kittson and Cav- 
ileer came through a short time since in twelve days, or about 
nine and a half days of marching time, the quickest trip on 
record. . 

Friday, 12th. — Weather cool and pleasant; the mercury 
forty-eight degrees at sunrise. This morning we rode a few 
miles out of town, and met the dragoons advancing^ and then 
escorted them to the junction of the Pembina and Red rivers 
wdiere we all crossed the former stream, to the settlements 
beyond. We found a busy scene on going over. The houses 
are built around an open space, and the square courtyard (so 
to speak) is filled wdth a miscellaneous crowd of half-breeds, 
Indians, of all sizes, with their lodges of bark and skins, to- 
gether with horses, cattle, carts, dogs, ^c, in great variety 
and numbers. 

The houses are built of logs, filled with mud and straw ; the 
roofs thatched with the latter, and some covered over with 
bark. Around the angles of the yard are various warehouses, 
an icehouse, blacksmith-shop, and the trading-house, or store, 
which is covered completely over with large squares of bark, 
and looked like an entire barkhouse. In front, toward the 
river, are barns and stables, haystacks, &:c., with numerous 
horses a^id cattle feeding, and a general appearance of tlirift, 
comfort, and industry, pervades the scene — so new and inter- 
esting to us all, after a three-weeks' jaunt across the prairies, 
in Avhich we did not meet a single human creature, not even a 
roaming Chippewa or Sioux. 

We took possession of Mr. Kittson's house, which he bad 


kindly placed at our disposal, and celebrated our arrival by a 
sumptuous dinner, in vvLicli liot corn and potatoes, onions, &c., 
as big as pint tin-cups, formed the principal item in the vege- 
table line. These were grown in the gardens here, and are 
the only productions of the soil now cultivated at this place , 
no farming whatever being done, on account of the annual 
floods in the valley of the Red river, for three years past — 
the waters having risen to the height of thirty-one and thirty- 
three feet above low-water mark, flooding all the country, and 
inundating the houses at this place to the depth of two and 
three feet. Mr. Kittson was obliged to leave the post at this 
place last spring, and take up his residence for a month upon 
the surrounding highlands. These floods, should they con- 
tinue, will prove a serious drawback to the settlement of this 
valley, the half-breeds being loath to pnt in crops when they 
are liable to be swept off annually. 

Mr. Kittson had some six thousand rails swept off from his 
place last year. To obviate this difficulty, a new town and an 
agricultural settlement has been laid out bv Mr. Kittson, and 
the E,ev. Mr. Belcourt (the catholic priest stationed at this 
place), on what is called the Pembina mountain, thirty miles 
to the west of this place, and bordering on the river Pembina. 
The situation'is a very eligible one, in a fine farming region j 
the land is excellent, and the timber abundant. The town is 
called " St. Joseph's," and is situated npon the eastern slope 
of the longitudinal ridge of land, called Mount Pembina, which 
is in places heavily wooded, and presents an Alleganian ap- 
pearance as it is approached or skirted along toward the east. 

Since our arrival, the name of " Waucheoxa," the Chip- 
pewa term for mount ain, has been selected by Dr. Foster, and 
adopted by Mr. Kittson, as the name of the embryo town; he 
being opposed to exhausting the whole calendar of saints, and 
making every one of them stand as godfather to every town, 
lake, mountain, or stream, in the territory. 

In consequence of there being no farming operations carried 
on here now, we found no grain on hand to feed our liorses, 
excepting barley, and that is brought up from the Selkirk 
settlements, one hundred miles down Red river. Barley is a 


stronger feeder than oats, yet not so good as corn. It pro- 
duces more than oats, say about forty bushels to the acre ; and 
the price below ranges from fifty cents to a dollar per bushel, 
the former being the standard price when no extra demand 
takes place. 

This afternoon I took a walk across " the line," two miles 
below, in company with the Eev. Messrs. Black and Tanner, 
the latter a half-breed Chippewa. About half way down, we 
passed the residence of the Rev. M. Belcourt, a large, two-story 
fram.e-house, situated alongside of a rude log-church, surmounted 
by a wooden cross. 

The site is a very pleasant and commanding one, upon the 
high ground about half a mile back from the river, and safe 
from floods. Gardens, out-houses, and vehicles, were scattered 
around, and an air of comfort, and the rude enjoyments of a 
far-off hoT/ie, were visible. I am told that all the half-breeds 
here are catholics, with perhaps a fcAv exceptions, and that 
Mr. Belcourt has resided among them, at the settlements below, 
and here, the long term of twenty-three years and upward. 
He is at present at the Mountain. At the line (forty-nine 
degrees) we found an elm-post, which was planted in the 
ground, upon the river bank, by Major Woods and Capt. Pope, 
bearing date, August 14, 1849. Just beyond is the first tra- 
ding post and buildings of the Hudson's Bay Company, in this 
direction, a rival post of Kittson's. The buildings are built of 
logs and mud, one story high, and thatched with straw, are 
very warm and comfortable, and built around an open square. 
Here we found an old Scotch gentleman, named Sittare, an 
employee of the Bay Company, and who has charge of this 
pLace. He is a native of the Orkney Isles, and has resided 
in British America the still longer term of forty-eight years. 
A lifetime spent amid such solitudes is enough to make a man 
a misanthrope, and no one need wonder at it if I were to say 
tliat the old gentleman Avas not the most agreeable personage 
that I have met in this direction. 

His only companions w^ere a few half-breeds ; the trading- 
house was closed, no trade, or business of any kind on hand, 
and the whole place was dull and desolate. Slept in our tent 


to-r.iglit, as of old ; it is pitched in the court-yard, in front of 
the main buildings, with large fires burning around, and at 
each, is assembled a motley group of whites, half-breeds, and 
Indians; Avhile in the distance, the dogs are howling, the 
braves and younger squaws are dancing promiscuously around 
their lodges, singing and beating drums for their amusement, 
and perhaps as a lullaby to us. They succeed most admirably, 
in making the black night as hideous as possible. Our escort 
of dragoons, are encamped about one fourth of a mile back 
upon the prairie, and their camp of snow-white tents, with the 
American fiag flying gayly in the breeze, presents quite a 
prett}'- appearance, in contrast with the half-breed and Indian 
lodges, which are dotted here and there, separately, and in 
little hamlets of a dozen, all around as far as the eye can 

Saturday, 13th. — Cloudy, cold, raw, and windy, most of the 
dav. The wind is keen from the northeast, and feels like that 
of a winter's day in milder latitudes. The mercury was down 
to fifty degrees at sunrise, and only rose to sixty -five degrees. 
Early this morning, a large Mackinaw boat started for the 
settlements below, in quest of barley ; ourselves and escort 
requiring three hundred bushels. The boat was manned by 
eight half-breeds, six of whom were oarsmen. They will 
occupy two days in going down ; two more in collecting the 
barley, and getting it thrashed, as it noAv stands out in the 
fields in shocks ; five days to ascend the crooked, sluggish 
stream, and will ^ring about one hundred and sixty bushels; 
after which they will return for another load, and imm.ediately 
on their second arrival, say about the 1st of October, we will 
start homeward. To-day the half-breeds and Indians were 
served out rations; the Indians received flour and pemmican 
for three days' subsistence ; and the half-breeds the same ; 
v>'ith an additional allowance to each family of four pounds of 
sugar, and one pound of tea, they all being great lovers of 
that beverage. This occupied all the morning. The Indians 
number some five hundred, and the half-breeds, who drew 
rations, about fifty families. The latter are living here during 
their attendance on the treaty, in skin-lodges; though I am 


told tliey have comfortable log-lionses, when settled perma 
nently at home ; and when not out on their semi-annual hunt. 
I have oljserved a numhcr of their honses along the banks of 
Pembina and Red rivers, and understand the rest to be at the 
Mountain, and away out at Devil's lake, about one hundred 
miles to the southwest. Their occupation at present is exclu- 
sively that of hunters; and their life is naturally a free and 
easy, and a careless one; hunting buffalo and making pemmi- 
can and ox-carts, occupy all their time. These carts are 
made entirely of wood, not even an iron nail is used, wooden 
pins, and thongs, and bands of hide, being substituted. The 
only tools used are an axe, a hand-saAv, a three-quarter, and 
an inch auger, with chisels of the same size. The carts are 
sold for thirty shillings ; which is the average price, except in 
the hunting seasons, when in demand, they sell as high as ten 
dollars. A pair of wheels alone, are then worth five dollars. 
They are very strong, and wijl carry twelve hundred pounds 
of buffalo and pemmican. 

The fall hunt comes off soon after the conclusion of the treaty. 
The usual time for starting upon the summer and fall hunts, is 
the 10th of June and September. Nothing but pemmican and 
dried meat is secured on these two hunts; the robes being all 
taken in the winter, when the hair is long ; the party returned 
from their summer hunt just before our arrival here. They 
were unsuccessful too, for once, and returned quite poor and 
empty-handed. The had a desperate fight, about the 20th of 
August, with the Yankton Sioux, who were one thousand 
strong, and all mounted upon horses; the affair took place 
Hway off upon the Missouri plains, upon the western slope of 
the Coteau des Prairies, and resulted in the victory of the 
half-breeds after they had been entrenched behind their carts 
and an earth embankment, for a day or two. I did not ascer- 
tain the number killed on either side. 

Sunday, 14th. — Cloudy, cold, raw, and windy; quite un- 
pleasant and unseasonable. An over-coat is necessary out of 
doors, this morning, and fires in the house, for comfort; the 
weather, as well as other matters, serves to remind us of our 
northern latitude. To-day we had preaching by the Rev. 

280 CKETCn:ZS by a CAilP-FIRB. 

John Black, in the dining-room of the governor's house ; a 
novelty most ccrtainh-, in this far distant region. The con- 
gregation consisted of about a dozen whites, and three half- 
hreeds. The Rev. Mr. Tanner also officiated, sang, and 
prayed, in English; and this afternoon, he preached in the 
open air, to the assembled Indians in the Chippewa language. 
Some of them paid close attention, sitting in a circle upon the 
ground; while others were listless and wandering, and others 
stood looking on from a distance, with the dragoons and half- 
breeds. The Chippewa is a beautifully sounding language, like 
the Italian. Mr. Tanner uses the Chippewa testament and 
hymns, which were translated by his father, who was for many 
years a prisoner among them, and wrote a book thereon. Mr. 
Tanner is about thirty-five years of age, and a very superior 
raan for his class ; he was born on the east side of Red river, 
opposite this place ; was educated at Mackinaw, and has acted 
as a missionary among the Indians at Red lake, for the last 
five years. He removed to this place a week ago, and intends 
farming, teaching school. Sec, for a livelihood after the con- 
clusion of the treaty. His wife is a half-breed, and they reside 
at present, in a lodge in the yard at this place. He is a fluent 
and earnest speaker, and discourses with great fervor and much 
eloquence to his red brethren, and is calculated to do good, if 
any can be done among them ; he has been with them on their 
buftalo-hunts to the Missouri plains, armed like the rest ; and 
has hunted buffalo and made pemmican all the week, and 
preached the gospel to them on Sundays — this being one 
phase of missionary life upon the prairies. He also has. a 
half-breed brother, a real heathen as he styles him, who ranks 
as a chief among the Indians, and who lives among them, and 
accompanies them upon their hunts. This afternoon, things 
are dull and quiet; the Indians are strolling around, or lying 
idly in their lodges; the squaws are lugging huge loads of 
wood upon their backs, which they cut upon the river's bank, 
and secure by a strap passing over their shoulders and around 
the forehead ; their bodies bending beneath the heavy load. 
Dozens of dirty children, half-clad in a piece of still dirtier 
blanket, are also playing around. The half-breeds are sitting 


around tlie fires in tlie yard ; some lying in their lodges, and 
others f-tanding at a respectful distance, listening to 'Mr. Tan- 
ner. Their young priest, M. Lecombe, has come down from 
his residence at the mission-house since vespers, and is holding 
a consultation with the governor. He seems to be a very in- 
telligent, fine, young fellow ; and intends accompanying us 
homeward to St. Paul, on his way to Montreal ; wliere the 
Kev. Mr. Black can:ie from, on his way to Selkirk settlement; 
thus keeping up an ecjuilibrium in religious matters, and eflfect- 
ing a change between these two distant regions, in the persons 
of two ministers of different faiths ; which is pleasant to con- 
template, and which will be of great advantage to all con- 


Monday, 15th. — Still cold, raw, windy, and unpleasant; 
wind east-southeast ; it looks, feels too, very much like snow, 
and has for several days past ; the mercury was down to fifty at 
sunrise. At noon the Indians met, and the treaty commenced 
in front of the governor's house ; his excellency, with Dr. Fos- 
ter as secretary, and others, were sitting at a table at the 
front door ; the principal chiefs, braves, and head men of the 
Red lake and Pembina bands of Chippewas, were sitting on 
low seats in fiont, while around behind them in a semi-circle 
stood a numerous crowd of half-breeds and Indians, men, boys, 
squaws, and papooses, accompanied by their dogs, who, for 
once during our stay here, were quiet. The governor opened 
the council by an address of some length, which was inter- 
preted by the Rev. Mr. Tanner and James Nolen, to them; as 
also their replies made in return. An old Indian, named 
** Clear-Weather," replied tv\'ice to the governor's remarks, in 
which he was quite pert and facetious as he thought, and end- 
ed by wanting a plain statement of our business there, and 
what we were going to do for them — what we were going to 
offer them, told bluntly and without any circumlocution or or- 
nament ; he V. anted no " sugared words or honeyed phrases." 
He was not at all satisfied w^ith what had been said to them, 


and wanted somctliing more definite, explicit, and to the point, 
aud then they -would go and make up their minds upon it, pro- 
vided their great father would present them at least two bul- 
locks in the meantime, as they were extremely hungry and 
could not deliberate on empty stomachs. The governor then 
told them they were women, and not the great Chippewa 
hunters he had thought them ; that it was their duty as chil- 
dren to present their father with something to eat, after he 
had travelled such a long weary journey across the prairies 
purposely to meet them ; but as he was now satisfied that they 
were squaws, and knew not how to hunt, he would go himself 
this afternoon and kill them some buffalo, and asked them " if 
they would have cows or bulls !" This little sally or bit of by- 
play put them all in good humor, and the council closed till 
ten, A. M., to-morrow. The dignitaries and potentates of this 
region of the earth then Avalked off majestically and jfi-oudly ; 
and these stoics (?) — these men without a tear (?) — were seen 
no more. In plain terms they vamoosed, in double quick time, 
lugging off their tobacco on their shoulders, and driving off 
their cattle, with loud shouts, to camp, where the rest of the 
day was devoted to gormandizing, and to-night we have hell 
let loose again among them. 

Tuesday, 16th. — Cloudy, cold, windy, and rainy. At day- 
light a rainstorm set in from the southeast, and continued 
nearly all day. A regular old fashioned equinoctial; mercury 
down to fifty-four and only rose to sixty-one degrees. No 
council was held that day in consequence of the storm. The 
Indians all invisible ; all at home in their lodges, surfeiting 
themselves on ox meat and pemmican. Things very dull and 
gloomy ; everywhere around the tent-fires are all extinguished, 
and the star-spangled banner droops and hangs straight down 
the tall flag-staff, reared high in air above. The mud in the 
court-yard is as tenacious as pitch, and glues a man to the 
ground as soon as he steps out. We were, therefore, comi- 
pelled to be sedentary ; spent the day, for my own part, in 
reading "Major Long's Seconal Expedition to the Source of the 
St. Peter's River, Hed River Valley, and Across the British 
Line, in 182/)-'26 ;" also prepared and packed up provisions 


for a canoe trip to-morrow down to Selkirk settlement, Fort 
Garry, &;c. 

Wednesday, 17tL. — The weatlier has cleared off finely, 
and is cool and pleasant; wind west-southwest, and the sun 
quite warm ; the mercury sixty-one degrees at sunrise. Rose 
at dayliglit and prepared for a start down the river, in com- 
pany Avitli the Rev. John Black, in a Lark canoe,- with two 
Bois Brules^ as voyageurs. Our canoe was fifteen feet long, 
and three feet wide, and was pretty well loaded down with 
ourselves, our bedding, baggage, and provisions. We started 
at seven, A. M., and paddled down the crooked, muddy river 
at the rate of some four miles an hour, stopping several hours 
to breakfast and dinner upon the river bank, and more fre- 
quently to haul out our leaky, frail canoe, and pitch the bottom 
with melted epinette, a vegetable gum used for that purpose. 
We saw large flocks of geese and ducks swimming among the 
dead willows along the banks, and could have shot large 
quantities, but we had not time to stop and pick them up. 
The ducks were all quite tame, and would approach Avithin a 
few feet of our canoe, being so unused to the sight of human 
beings as to feel no fear. Other birds are numerous, among 
wliich I notice the eagle, hawk, crane, crow, plover, blackbird, 
and pigeon ; also observed a fish-duck diving after fish ; he 
was a fine large fellow, with a long bill, and a bright scarlet 
head ; he swam toward us boldly, and thereby saved his life 
by his fearless confidence. 

Red river is a very uninteresting stream ; its waters are a 
liquid mud and have a very disagreeable taste, and affect the 
bowels of all persons unaccustomed to their use. The banks 
of the river are low, and extremely soft and muddy ; you sink 
in knee-deep immediately on stepping foot on shore, where you 
stick and flounder about considerabJy before reaching the dry, 
hard prairie-ground above. 

Along its whole course, both banks, within the margin of 

the stream, are covered with the thick growth of drowned-out 

willoAvs before spoken of, while farther back on the prairie 

fine large trees, majestic oaks and elms, are in the sauip''^^ 

e were 
* Half-breeds ; the name signifies burned wood. • ^ j 


dition ; and now stand towering aloft like high, giant skeleton 
sentinels, throAving ont tlieir dry and leafless limbs across the 
water, as if to guard its passage. Each tree is marked at the 
height of some thirty feet above the water by the heavy drift- 
ice during the spring freshets; and the bark of all the timber 
to that height is of a dirty mud color, which, v\'ith the dead, 
drowned-out trees, presents a very disagreeable aspect. In 
some places the timber merely skirts the banks on both sides, 
and a broad expanse extends far on either hand ; at others 
the timber extends farther than the eye can penetrate, and no 
prairie at all is visible for many miles, all being a desolate 
solitude of dead and dying skeleton trunks of leafless trees. 
There are some trunks in the river too forming snags ; the 
water is very deep, current sluggish, say about one mile an 
hour generally, and in some places almost imperceptible, with 
not more than half a mile of straight channel at a time ; for 
while its general course is due north it tAvists and turns in a 
very serpentine manner, to all points of the compass. The 
river contains no islands, and the only rapids are down below 
Selkirk settlement. A fine steamboat navigation will be 
found from there up to the junction of the Bois des Sioux, a 
distance of nearly four hundred miles ; and one far better 
than that of the Mississippi above St. Anthon3^ AYe passed 
by the mouths of a number of small streams, viz., the Red 
Grass, Marias, Gratiaro, &c., which all resemble deep crooked 
ditches, and pour out additional quantities of thick, dark mud- 
colored water, the washings of the rich and fertile prairies, 
now blooming with numerous flowers, through which they 

This is a splendid evening, the finest we have had for a long 
time; the sun is setting beautifully into the bosom of the far- 
oft' prairie, as it were, while all Nature is calm, still, and com- 
posed ; the silence only broken by the dipping of our paddles, 
the occasional chirping of a bird, and the rapid rising of the 
,„«;cared v, ild fowl from out the smooth, calm surface of the wa- 
St Pe'*^ ^^^ approach. We halted at svnset, about forty miles 

T;«/^ ;« \froni Pembina, and have a 2:ood camp in a thick Avoods, 
j^ine, m j •- i 

be only draAvback to our comfort is the mosquitoes, which 


are as usual extremely annoying to ns. The warm sun to-day 
unfortunately revived tliem from the torpid state in which the 
late cold storm had thrown them. We have our bar put up, 
tent-fashion, the corners being fastened to four stakes, and the 
raised apex or centre is secured to a bent pole, which keeps it 
upright and tightly stretched. Our bed consists of a robe and 
three blankets, with our coats and overcoats, &c., for pillows. 
We are upon an old camjDing ground, where two hundred and 
fifty cords of Avood has been cut and piled around for the use 
of the settlements below this Avinter. The night is very clear 
and fine, the face of heaven is smiling amid myriads of twink- 
ling stars ; the northern horizon is lit up with the rays and 
dancing beams of an aurora, while the Avoods and silent floAV- 
ing river are illuminated by our camp-fire ; our voyagenrs are 
fast asleep upon the ground before us, and not a sound is 
heard, save that of the crackling, leaping flames and the low 
tone of our own voices as Ave chat merrily. And now as my 
companion reads a chapter in his French pocket-bible, and I 
pencil down these sketches of fact and fancy by the light of 
the burning fagots — but hark! Ave have company it seems, 
and are not so lonely as I thought — that was the hoot-owl's 
cry ; .and sounds like the Availings of a friend in misery — that 
Avas the cry, long draAvn out and dismal, of a distant Avolf ; 
and noAv they are heard yelping and barking furiously, like a 
pack of hungry curs. And AA^hat was that — more unearthly 
tnan the fierce Avar-AA'hoop, Avhich almost freezes the young, 
warm blood, and turns the stout, athletic frame to stone ? Was 
it a " demon-spirit or goblin damned," or the mere hoAvling of 
the rising Avind, the precursor of another storm, I see arising 
in the distant horizon ! Ha ! I see tAvo gleaming, fiery eye- 
balls in the thicket of the underbrush : " Take that, to light 
you to better quarters;" I hurl a blazing fire-brand toAvard the 
varmint, avIio, Avith another dismal cry, leaves us to quietness, 
and to repose and sleep. 

Thursday, 18th. — A fine, clear, beautiful day; cold early 
in the morning, and Avarm through the day, Avith a pleasant 
breeze ; the storm has blown over for the present. We Avere 
up and away at daylight, stopping several hours to dine and 


breakfast. While cooking our morning meal, some half dozen 
horsemen came galloping down the road along the western 
bank, and passed on down Avithout calling on us ; they were 
half-breeds returning from the treaty. There is less wood- 
land along the banks to-day, and we have a fine open view of 
the immense prairies on either side. Occasionally we pass 
hay-stacks, enclosed by a rude fence, to which the settlers 
drive their cattle in the winter season, from the settlement 

The banks are still very low and muddy, and covered with 
a line of the same young dead willow. We camped to-night, 
again, on the top of a high bank we found after a long search 
till dark for a choice spot. It was covered over with bushes 
and heavy timber, and alive with ravenous mosquitoes. The 
evening is damp and cloudy, heavy masses of dark clouds are 
rising in the west, and a storm is coming, sure. We retired 
early, very much dissatisfied at not reaching the settlements 
to-night, which we ought by all means to have done. Our 
voyageurs, however, being paid so much per day, have not 
hurried themselves; and, besides, our canoe is so leaky and 
out of order, that we have frequently to land, empty all our 
goods upon the minldy bank, and gum the bottom with melted 
epinette. We are, consequently, about twenty miles above 
Fort Garry, and some ten miles above the nearest house, at 
the upper end of the Half-Breed settlement, which extends 
along both sides of the crooked river, in the shape of a long 
serpentine village, down as far as Fort Garry, at the mouth 
of the Assiniboin. 

Friday, September 19. — This morning we arose at daylight, 
in the midst of a dense fog and mist, wind northeast ; cold and 
raw, and has the appearance of another rcigularly built north- 
easter. At five, A. M., we started, anxious to get down to more 
comfortable quarters ; and at half-past seven we came in sight 
of the first houses ; stopped, had breakfast, and while eating 
the barge came up with a large sail hoisted, moving slowly 
against the current, without the assistance of the oars. She 
contained a hundred and sixty bushels of barley, and will be 
ten days upon the trip ; some of the men being sick, detained 


them longer than they should have been. "We then proceeded 
on down the river, in the face of a heavy gale of wind, and 
huge rolling waves, nearly all the balance of the day, although 
the distance by land was but nine miles to Fort Garry. As 
we were much retarded, we at length deserted our voyageurs 
and canoe, and taking to the shore, we walked on down the 
settlements on the right bank of the river, at times following a 
good road along the river, and then taking a near cut through 
the woods from point to point, and cutting off the bends. After 
losing ourselves several times, and only finding our way with 
considerable search and difficulty, we finally arrived opposite 
the fort at three, P. M., heartily fatigued and glad to rest at 
the house of M. Narcisse Marion, a French-Canadian, and the 
father-in-law of N, W. Kittson, Esq. "We found him very 
kind, hospitable, and communicative, and anxious to hear the 
news from above ; i. e. from Pembina, St. Paul, and elsewhere. 
In an hour our boat arrived, and we then proceeded on down 
to the residence of Mr. Alexander Ross, on the west side of 
Red river, and about a mile below. The old gentlemen met 
us on the bank, welcomed us to Selkirk, and escorted us up to 
his house ; a white, rough-cast, two story stone, which stands 
upon a large bend of the river, and commands a view both 
ways ; and that view is certainly the finest I have seen for a 
long, long time. 


A village of farmhouses, with barns, stables, hay, wheat, 
and barley-stacks, with small cultivated fields or lots, Avell 
fenced, are stretched along the meandering river, while the 
prairies far off to the horizon are covered over with herds of 
cattle, horses, &c., the fields filled with a busy throng of 
whites, half-breeds and Indians — men, squaws, and children 
— all reaping, binding, and stacking the golden grain; while 
hundreds of carts, with a single horse or ox, harnessed in their 
shafts, are brought in requisition to carry it to the well-stored 
barn, and are seen moving, with their immense loads rolling 
along like huge stacks, in all directi^ons, Add to this the nu- 


meroiis wind-mills, some in motion Avliirling around their giant 
arms, while others motionless are waiting for " a grist." Just 
above, Fort Garry sits in the angle at the junction of the 
Assinlboin and Red rivers, -svlth a blood-red flag inscribed with 
the letters H. B. Co., floating gayly in the breeze. Opposite is 
the catholic cathedral, built of stone in 1832, and still unfin- 
ished. The bare, rough, unplastered wall, in front, is cracked 
and shattered, and is surmounted by two steeples ; one fin- 
ished, and containing a chime of bells; the bare timbers of 
the other tower aloft, dark with age and nakedness. I visited 
the interior this afternoon, and found a very spacious nave, 
which was being remodeled, as also the galleries; and men 
were at w^ork on scaffolding, painting the arched ceiling of a 
deep mazarene blue, and ornamenting it with wreaths and 
festoons of flowers ; the work, so far as completed, is done in 
a very artist-like manner. A number of priests reside upon 
the spot ; a large frame convent painted red adjoins it on the 
south, and the congregation is composed principally of half- 
breeds from up Red river. 

For a distance of two miles up the Assiniboin river, to the 
west, are seen the farms and dwellings of the pensioners; 
the former well fenced and cultivated, the latter of frame and 
logs, one story high, mostly rough-cast, or white-Avashed over, 
with gardens, &c., attached, and comfort and plenty attend- 
ing and smiling around them. Many other objects of interest 
worthy of notice strike the eye, but the above suffices for a 
first glance at Selkirk. The scene that has met my eyes this 
afternoon, has become daguerreotyped upon my optics, never 
to be effaced. As I saw^ thee to-day, Selkirk, so shall I al- 
ways see thee ; and to the latest hour of my existence, thy 
beauties, as faintly portrayed above, will, to my mind's eye, 
at least, remain indeliblj' imprinted. We spent the night with 
Mr. Ross and family, and found him to be a \ery intelligent 
and interesting old gentleman, full of information as regards 
this northwest region, and of Selkirk colony in particular. He 
has published a book descriptive of the country west of the 
Rocky mountains, Vancouver's, and the Pacific coast, where 
he spent so»^e fifteen years of his life, jjrior to 1825, since 


wheu he has been residing in tliis colony, and has been for 
a long time one of its leading citizens. 

Saturday, 20th. — Cloudy, raw, and cold, most of the day ; 
very unpleasant out of doors ; but as my time here is precious, 
I paid no attention to it. What is wind or weather to a man 
who never expects to get to Selkirk in his life again, and has 
but three short days to stay, now that he is here, and that, too, 
in the very centre of the continent, and a whole month's march 
of twenty miles per day to the west of sundown? Spent the 
day in visiting around the settlement ; called at Fort Garry, 
and made the acquaintance of Major Caldwell, a Highland 
Scotchman, the governor of the colony, and of the seventy 
families of pensioners sent out by the British government. 
Also met ^Ir. John Black, a very polished gentleman, who has 
charge of the Bay Company's post here at the fort. Dr. Cowan, 
and Messrs. Pelley, Lane, and Logan, junior. Close by the 
fort is the fine large mansion-house of Mr. M'Dermott, a very 
wealthy Irish gentleman, who came out to the colony in 1812. 
As he was one of the pioneers, a free, good, hearty, sociable 
gentleman, an every man's man, who has an open house for 
friend or stranger, I paid my compliments to him, and to his 
son-in-law, Mr. Ballantine, a very polite and friendly person- 
age, as are all I met. Here I met a number of the fair ladieci 
of the settlement ; ladies of much beauty, educated and ac- 
complished, and of some fortune, I am told. Wine was passed 
around, and much pleasant conversation indulged in ; and I, 
a stranger, found myself almost at home. Who could leave 
sucli company ? I could not, and the consequence of it was, 
that I found myself up, and in a very lively mood, till after 
the witching time of night, in close confab with — the old gen- 
tleman, all about the colony, in which we discussed its affairs, 
past, present, and prospective, at great length. Mr. M'Der- 
mott can talk more and faster than any half dozen men I ever 
met before, and would have regaled me till the early dawn to- 
morrow, without tiring. I had also the honor to meet and 
make the acquaintance of Recorder Thorn, formerly editor of 
the Montreal Herald, the most ultra, radical sheet in Canada. 
Mr. Thom is a leading man here, and is very active, energetic, 



nnd possessed of consIcleraLlc talent. He is at present t])0 
clerk of the court, at a salary of ^750 per annum, tliongli ],e is 
iu)t allowed to act as such, or enter the court, so objectionaLlo 
is lie to the half-breed population ; and an editorial published 
in the Herald, during the Canadian troubles in 1837, it seems 
has arrayed the French-Canadians, too, in deadly hostility 
against his person. Numerous threats have been made against 
h.ini ; and his life heretofore, at times, has not been safe. A^vay 
'widi politics, however; I did not intend to touch on this; and 
so, kind reader, a good night to you. " The iron tongue of 
midnig-ht has tolled twelve," and I'll sec Selkirk shovelled off 
down Hed river, an island made of it in the very centre of Lake 
"Winricpeg, before I will write another word to-night. 

Sunday, 21st. — The weather this morning is cloudy, with a 
Scotch mist at times; afternoon warm, clear, and ])leasant. I 
started this morning- on horseback, in company with Mr. Bal- 
lintine, to see a portion of the lower settlem.ent, down Red 
river. We rode over a good road, about one hundred yards in 
width, which extends to the rear of the line of houses, a row 
of five-acre fields lying- in between ; while on the river-bank, 
in front, there is nothing but a footpath. The English and 
Scotch portions of the settlements extend in a continuous vil- 
lage along both banks, folloAving all the turns of the crooked 
river, from the upper to the lower Fort Garry, a distance of 
twenty miles. The latter is called the stoi.: fort, is much the 
largest and best, and is the residence of Governor Colville of 
Prince Rupert's Land. Below this fort an Indian village ex- 
tends for miles ; Mhile up the Assiniboin, scattered settlements 
of pensioners and half-breeds stretch along to White-LIorse 
plain, a distance of some twenty-five miles ; making in all an 
extended settlement of whites, half-breeds, and Indians, of 
nearly seventy miles, and comprising a population of whites 
and lialf-breeds of some six thousand souls. We rode down 
about ten miles, to the middle or log church ; the other two, 
one of which is of stone, are situated at each end of the Eng- 
lish settlement, near the forts, so that no one has to travel over 
a distance of five miles to some one of the three : quite a de- 
sideratum in the winter, when the thermometer is down to 


forty-five and fifty degrees below zero ! Tliese clnirclies nro 
episcop^.liari, are large and coTninodious, and arc sunn oiin ted 
with liigli steeples, each containing a sweet-toned hell. The 
officiating ministers are Bishop Anderson, llev. John Chapman, 
and others, all of whom I have had the pleasure of becoming 
acquainted with. The congregations are large and respecta- 
ble, and would prove creditable to any western settlement in 
the states. I met the people on their way to church to-day — 
some on foot, some in carts, and others in more stvlish vehi- 
cles, all well dressed and happy looking. 

They appear to have all the creature-comforts, and to revel 
in abundance. Each farmer has a frontage of six chains upon 
the river, which extends back two miles, though little of it to 
the west of the main road is cultivated ; the fertile prairies, 
carpeted over with Avild-flowers, lying a beautiful and unprofit- 
able waste, save for grazing purposes, and a portion of its an- 
nual crop of wild hay. 

We returned at two, P.M., and dined at the upper fort, with 
Dr. Cowan, and Messrs. Pelley, Landee, and Logan. This 
evening we took a stroll up the Assiniboin, along the north 
bank, among the pensioners. 'Jliirteen families reside within, 
the fort; the balance are stationed for two miles up the river: 
those nearest having twenty acres of land under cultivation, 
the others forty acres. All the duties incumbent upon them 
toward the government are, to appear on parade each Sunday, 
and to drill twelve times a year. I therefore saw them at 
home Avitli their families, and out strolling along the river, all 
in their uniform. Although much better off than they ever 
could be at home, yet I am told they are great grumblers, and 
are very much dissatisfied Avith their condition, and very unre- 
liable as a police force in case of an emergency. 

I had the pleasure of meeting the ladies of the fort this 
evening; and although they are from the Orkney isles, a rude 
region amid the inhospitable northern seas, yet they Avill com- 
pare favorably with any I have ever met amid the fashionable 
life of an eastern city. 

Monday, 22d. — Cloudy and very damp early in the morning. 
It cleared off soon, however, and remained bright, clear, and 


wnriii, and r.ow at last seems like a deliglitfnl Iiulian summer. 
After buying up all the lialf-breed and Indian curiosities, and 
everytliing else of interest I could find, I bade adieu to every- 
body ; wrote a hasty letter to the people of St. Paul, by an 
express wliicli starts immediately ; dined once more with the 
verv clever fellows at the fort, and then with much reluctance 
started homeward. And now, in leaving this hospitable colony, 
I desire to pay this tribute to its people. Amid all my wan- 
derings over this eartli of ours, I have never been more kindly- 
treated, nor made the friendship of a more whole souled peo- 
ple : I have never in so short a time become so much attached 
to any place, nor left it with one half the keen regret, I now 
do this. As I pass slowly along the lonely road that leads me 
from thee, Selkirk, mine eyes do turn continually to gaze upon 
thy smiling, golden fields, and thy lofty towers now burnished 
with the rays of the departing sun ; while the sweet vesper- 
bell reverberates afar, and strikes so mournfully pleasant upon 
mine ear. I feel satisfied that, though absent thousands of 
weary miles, mj- tlioughts will always dwell on thee with rap- 
turous emotion. 

Pembina, Thursday, 2oth. — Cloudy, v. ith rain, thunder, and 
lightning, in the afternoon. I reached liere yesterday even- 
ing, stiff and sore from the long march of seA^enty miles ; and 
found that most of our party had started down Red river, on 
Monday morning last, in two canoes, with eight Bois B rules iu 
each. As I came by land, I missed them all. The treaty was 
concluded on Saturday evenin.g last, having occupied all the 
week. The Indians and half-breeds have all left. 

Friday, 26th. — Cloudy, cold, and windy from the north; 
very unpleasant. Mr. Kittson's ten carts started for the fall 
hunt of buffalo, and will wait for the balance of the pnrty at 
the mountain till our arrival next week — at which place, the 
governor promised to meet and speak to the assembled half- 
breeds. The brother of the Rev. Mr. Tanner arrived from the 
plains yesterday, with his cart surmounted with an immense 
pair of elk-horns, which we intend to take with us to St. Paul. 
They are the largest I have ever seen, have some ten prongs, 
and measure about five feet from point to point. Altlu'ij^h 


Tanner is a lialf-breecl, and dresses like tliem, he ranks as a 
cliief among tlie Cliippewas, and should have been present at 
the treaty. He says he kept away on purpose, apprehend- 
ing difiliculty: a wily sort of politician in Indian tactics, it 
seems, like some of our own vote-dodgers. He is a very tall, 
miiscular, and active fellow, with a very dark complexion, 
long, dark hair, and black eyes, and is from forty -five to fifty 
years of age. 

He is one of Mr. Kittson's most successful and reliable hunt- 
ers, and brino;s in annuallv about five hundred dollars' worth 
of furs. Unlike the rest, he is very careful and prudent of his 
money, rather close in his dealings, strictly honest, with an 
aversion to getting in debt. 

He has a family, consisting of an Indian wife and half a 
dozen children, who accompany him upon his hunts, and spend 
the winters out on the Missouri plains, and along the Assini- 
boin, inside of the British line. He left to-day for the Mount- 
ain and Selkirk settlement, to get such of his supplies as were 
not to be obtained at this place ; his brother, the Rev. James 
Tauner, accompanying him. 

I feel much interested in them, on account of their father, 
John Tanner, whose own published narrative I expect to have 
the pleasure of reading, and of whose history I have read an 
interesting sketch in Major Long's second expedition to these 
regions, besides gleaning considerable verbal information from 
different persons here concerning him. 

Saturday, 27th. — A fair, clear, and very pleasant day; the 
sun warm, atmosphere hazy, and a pleasant breeze prevailing 
— regular Indian summer, superlatively fine in the forty -ninth 
degree. Things are very dull here at present, and all hands 
long to be off. 

The dragoons are bu^y cleaning up carbines, pistols, knives, 
<^c., and getting ready for the homeward march, and lots of 
buffalo-cows and bear. Some twenty-five lodges of Indians 
are still present, " loafing" around by day, and singing and 
dar.cing all night long, beating drums, and making the dark 
ness generally as hideous as night was ever made. 

The Red-lake Indians have all left for home. They are a 


Tjctter and more providmt class, It seems, aiul raise large quan- 
tities of corn, potatoes, pumpkins, &c., "wliilc tlieir missioiiaries 
grow \^ inter aiul spring AvLcat in perfection. The llev. J. P. 
Eardwcil, llic agent for tlie OLerlin board of missions, and Ilev. 
S. Gr. AVriglit, who is stationed at Red Lake, left here for that 
place on JMonday last, they having been down to Selkirk for 
some stock-cattle. Red lake is about one hundred miles to 
the southeast of Pembina, and is in latitude forty-eight degrees 
— being far to the north and west of Lake Itasca, the source 
of the Mississippi. 

Sunday, 28th. — Another fine, clear, beautiful day ; the mer- 
cury rose to seA^enty-two degrees. I am told there was ice 
this mornino;, tliouoh I did not see it. Tlie first frost in this 
valley, north of the line, occurred on the morning of the 24th, 
and it was a very heavy one. I gathered wild-flowers in the 
gardens at Selkirk, two days previously, in latitude fifty de- 

I took a ride to-day into her majesty's possessions, and called 
at the Hudson Bay Company's post just across the line. Spent 
some hours very pleasantly with tlie employers, who are in the 
"service," as they term it. The party of Bois Brides, sixteen 
in number, who accompanied the governor's party down the 
river, returned by land this morning, with their canoes on carts. 
They left on Thursday, and reported that his excellency and 
suite would be here to-night. They did not come, and to pre- 
vent our disappointment we were treated to another brilliant 
display of aurora borealis, almost equal to the one described 
on the Gth instant. 

Monday, 29th. — Cloudy, foggy, and misty, till ten, A. M. ; 
the rest of the day warm and line. The mercury rose to sev- 
entv-seven de£:rees. 

Hugh Tyler and Lieutenant Corley arrived on panting and 
foaming steeds, at ten, A. M., having rode from the Riviere 
Gratiuro, thiitj' niiles, since six, A.M. The governor, Dr. 
Foirter, and guide, arrived an hour after. They left Fort 
Garry on Saturday afternoon ; camped out- two nights by the 
v/ay ; had a tent and cart, plenty of provisions, and got along 
right pleasantly. They were much pleased with the place 



find people, and vroro, feasted to perfection — were pdmost 
killed witli kindiieps, niid nrc still sufieriiig from the effects of 
]^ I fiiid tliov v.'ere as iiuicli pleased witli eveiTtldr 
tliev sa-.v as I v,as myself, and were made perfect lions of, coni- 
paviug their reception to that of old Kentucky and Virginia 
liospitalities of fifty years ago. 




Tuesday, Sept. 30. — We are busy to-clay preparing for a 
Btart homeward. The dragoons crossed the mouth of tlie Pem- 
hina this morning, and proceeded a short distance on the other 
side, and camped, to await the arrival of the barley from Sel- 
kirk, which is all that detains lis now. 

An Indian talk and council came off this morning in our 
house between tlie governor and an old Indian named " Clear 
Weather," one of the dissatisfied party who refused to sign 
the treaty. He came in sans ceremonie, followed by about 
thirty others, all smoking, and affecting great dignity. ]\[r. 
Tanner was sent for, to act as interpreter; and, after an im- 
pressive silence, the great orator deigned to speak. He was 
short of breath, he said, and could not speak as he wanted to, 
but such as it was he gave freely and without restraint. He 
had many faults to find, and many questions to ask, stating 
that he had been sick, and, if well at the time of the treaty, it 
would not have been formed, &c. 

Much other talk to- the same purpose followed this, and the 
governor then replied in a long explanatory speech, to which 
t!ie Indian rejoined by wanting at least two swallows of meat 
apiece — thus falling at once from the sublime to the ridiculous, 
and showing the object of the visit to be a begging expedition 
and no more ! We having no beef left, gave them a lot of to- 
bacco, and so broke up the conference — the dignitaries de- 
parting, after shaking hands all round, and apparently well 
satisfied with their success. This scene occupied an liour, and 
its principal effect was to retard our dinner just that much, the 
council being in our dining-room. 


Weexesday, Oct. 1. — Cool \veatlier, v/ith a rainstorm ; wind 
west. Busy M-eigliing and preparing our freight and baggage, 
and getting ready for a start homeward. The carts are all 
loaded and sent over the Pembina, together with the horses, 
all ready for a start to-morrow. This evenino- is wild and 
tempestuous, with rain ; the howling winds sound dismally, 
and are prognostics of the approach of rude, rough winter. It 
is time Ave were off for the city of St. Paul. AYe expect fine 
weather yet, as the Indian summer is to come. We are well 
prepared at all points to make our journey pleasant; have a 
good stock of provisions, which, with plenty of buffalo-cow and 
bear, will feast us most luxuriously. Well, " a good digestion 
waits on appetite, and health on both." We are all improving 
finely, and liope for a still pleasanter journey homeward than 
we had M'hon outward bound. 

Thursday, 2d, — Weather cloudy, cold, and windy; very 
raw and boisterous from the north. A very good hint for us 
to be upon our southern march. We took it, and left insianter, 
after a three-weeks' residence at Pembina and Selkirk settle- 

Governor Ramsey, Mr. Tyler, Dr. Foster, Pierre Bottineau, 
accompanied by Mr. N.W.Kittson and Charles Cavileer, Esr^., 
left for the Pembina mountain, or new town of St. Joseph, 
thirty miles to the west, on Pembina river. They expect to 
meet there the assembled half-breed hunters, who are about- 
starting on their buffalo-hunts, and afterward rejoin us at our 
second night's camp, on Tongue river. The dragoons and tlie 
balance of our party, with the carts, are also off, and are dimly 
seen far aWay upon the prairie. I am alone in the deserted 
camp ; a solitary half-breed hunter holds my horse, as, lying 
by the blazing fire, I write these random sketches, and rumi- 
nate for a long, long time. But I must put up book and pencil, 
and away. Good-by, my lonely half-breed — good-by, Pem- 
bina : I shall never, perhaps, set foot Avithin your bounds again ; 
and although I have almost left m^y heart at Selkirk, far be- 
yond thee, I still turn gladly witii my back to the rude north 
blasts, and look forward to a meeting with older, warmer, and 

truer southern friends, to whom I hasten. Adios ! 

1 o* 


Our pnrty is increased by the aclflition of M. Lecombe, a 
young catliollc pricbt, v.lio lias been living at St. Josepli v/ith 
M. Belcorii't, and is nov/ on his Avay to JMontreal via St. Paul 
and the states. He messes with its, and is a very agreeable 
and accomplished young ^ello^v. George Morrison, a Tem- 
bina half-breed, also accompanies us to Crow- Wing. As we re- 
turn over the same route we came, I will not describe the 
cver^'-day affairs of our camp-life as minutely as when on our 
outward march, nor say anything further of the country. I 
have doubted the propriety of describing our homeward route 
at all ; I will therefore be brief. 

Sunday, 5th. — Notlnns; worthy of note thus far. I rode in 
the carriage to-day by way of change, my honec being lame, 
and road " Simpson's Arctic Discoveries." "We are iioav near 
tlie spot Avhere the tragic scene occurred Avhicli ended in his 
death and the murder of tAvo of his companions, June 14, 1S40. 
I have felt much interest in the narrative of the unfortunate 
man, and his untimely death. It appears that while on his 
return to the states, with tlie news ot* his arctic discoveries, lie 
became deranged from over-excitement on the subject of liis 
explorations, and in a f.t of madness shot two of his vovajrcurs 
and then committed suicide. He was on his way to London, 
at the time, to communicate w^ith the admiralt}' department; 
but his remains now sleep amid these quiet scenes — his lowly 
grave is roamed over by the fierce, wild buffalo — and his 
requiem is nightly sung by howling wo]\cs. Peace to his 
ashes ! 

MoxDAY, 6th. — ]\rost beautiful weather. To-day we have 
set fire to the prairies by accident in getting dinner. The 
dragoons ahead have done the same, and the strong wind 
be<ars it back on us with astonishing rapidity ; we are enveloped 
in immense clouds of smoke, through which w^e travelled all 
the afternoon — the fire roaring all around and under our feet. 
Decidedly hot and uncomfortable. On taking; out my ther- 
mometer to-night I found it h/oL-e?i. We will now have to 
dep;2nd on o;ir ou]i feelings for the state of the temperature 
liereafter — or else on the small sjnrit thermometers which are 
carried in the pockets of some of the party. 


Tuesday, 7tli. — The sun rose red and fiery tlirongli tho 
monung's misty haze, and appeared to he of the shape of a 
perfect dome/like tliat of the capit.ol at AVasliiiigton — it vwis 
extremely heantifuh 

This morning, ^vhen near Goose river, we discovered cur 
first two biiffah.), about a mile to the left of tlie road. The 
dragoons gave chase to one, and killed him after a long run. 
At noon our hunters, who had been on a scout ahead, returned 
with the tongues and a portion of the flesh of five buitalo they 
had just killed, and reported large droves ahead. We of course 
had the meat for dinner, broiled and fried, besides pork and 
ham, potatoes, coffee, etc.; in fact, a first-rate dinner. We are 
certainly living on the fat of the land, though as far as the 
buffalo are concerned, it is decidedly the lean kind of tho 
prairie — the flesh being both lean and tough — as we find 
nothing but bulls — the cows at this season of the year being 
all to themselves, and undisturbed by their brutish lords. 

After dinner we soon came among the buffalo, and found 
large numbers along both sides of the road. We immediately 
darted in among them, pell-mell, each fellow for himself, and 
then such yelling, shouting, firing, shying of horses, as their 
riders, Avith belted-waistfj, and handkerchiefs round their heads, 
swayed to and fro in their saddles, loading and firing while at 
full-speed, and in a manner that would have done credit to 
E-ing-o-old's flvino; artillery at Palo Alto. 

We soon had a number down, and then I reined up on the 
brow of a hill to reconnoitre. Horsemen were scouring hither 
and thither over the prairie, in all directions, the smoke of 
their rifles curling up above their heads, as, riding at full 
speed, side and side, and neck and neck, with the savage, 
shaggy, beasts, pouring in their broadsides into them, till one 
by one, the huge animals went down and bit the dust, while a 
hurrah, and 'Avild, triumphant, shout came ringing across the 
prairie-surface, proclaiming the success of the elated hunters. 
Single buffalo, small droves, and large herds, were tearing 
around full-speed, occasionally halting to paw the dust, and 
bid defiance to the pursuers. I helped run down and kill my 
share at least. The last I ran a mile or two, and finally, ho 


took back to^yal•tl tlie carts, upon "vvliicli he cliarged across the, niul daslied right throngli tliem — tlieir horses rearing 
and phmging \vith affrigh.t. On lie sped, and on I followed, 
amid the cries and shouts of the French boys. Two liorsemen 
in advance headed him off soon after, when he turned furiously 
at bay, threv; the earth in the air in clouds, and dashed at ns 
continually. The rest of the party coming up, we surrounded 
him at a distance of fifty yards, and commenced a murderous 
attack upon him. The balls M'hizzed through the air, and as 
each entered his shaggy side, he Cjuivered for a mom.ent and 
then dashed at his assailant, Avho turned, of course, and fled. 
After a dozen shots he reeled and fell staggering down the 
hill, and headlong pitched into a creek, his blood pouring in 
streams from mouth and nose, and spouting in jets from out his 
side, mingling with, and discoloring the water, so that it ran, 
apparently, a stream of blood — hence AAe named it Bloody 
creek. It was yery amusing to see Jim Lord's horse " Billy 
Button," as Lord would ride him up toward tlie wounded beast, 
till attracting his attention, the buffalo would dash at him, 
giving a number of successive leaps, and moving stiffly like a 
hobbled horse, when Billy Lord would turn tail to, and flee. 
Thus repeatedly would they take a hce-line for a hundred 
yards or more, leaving nothing but a yellow streak behind, at 
v.'hich the spectators laughed immoderately. T^"e killed, in 
all, about twenty, and took out their tongues, leaving their 
carcasses to the wolves. Y^e saw, in all, from five to ten 
thousand, the plains, as far as the eye could reach, being 
dotted with them. At our camp to-night they are all around 
ns, some within half a mile. 

Wednesday, Sth. — A beautiful warm, clear, day. We were 
np at daylight, but did not get off for an hour after sunrise, 
which is a very late start for us, and is caused by the French 
boys all being up last night on guard against the Indians. 
One of them.vwho was sitting by the fire cooking and eating 
about midnight, was certain he saw two Indians in the road, 
and within thirty or forty feet of the camp. One lay down, 
and appeared to be sneaking and watcliing, preparatory to 
seizing one of the horses. The alarm was given, guns loaded^ 


pistols primecl afresli, and, after miicli talking, gesticulation, 
and preparation being made for an hour, Pierre and all his 
men moved down the road a hundred j'ards or more, and then, 
like the king of France, valiantly marched back again — 
bringing in all the horses, and tying them to the carts. It 
Avas clear and moonlight at the time, yet my own opinion, and 
that of our party is, that not an Indian could be found with a 
hundred miles, and tliat it was all tlie resulted of a lively 
imagination, heightened by fear. Pierre was once chased 
througli this very section of country by a gang of hostile Sioux, 
and all his companions killed and scalped. Pie has never got 
over the-fright, and with the French bo^s, and other half-breed 
OhippcAvas, is always talking of, and expecting to see the 
Yankton Sioux popping on to them. We have had lots of 
buffalo all along the road to-day, and have had some fine and 
very exciting chases. Wc killed several just in the road, in 
fact, they were so plenty that we chased none except those 
directly in our path. AVe reached Goose river at noon — 
dragoons once more overtook us. We all dined together on 
the high plateau, on the south side of Goose river, and had. 
once more a reunion of our large family. This afternoon we 
travelled ten miles and camped upon the prairie. 

Thursday, 9th. — Cloudy and cold, witli a southeast rain- 
storm almost all day. A regular old-fasliioned ecpiinoctial. 
We rose this morning about one o'clock, being roused veiy 
foolishly at that hour — no one knowing the right time. We 
then had breakfast, and Dr. F. and I started on ahead, at least 
an hour before daylight, and still too dark to see the road — 
had to trust to our horses altogether. At daylight it began 
raining, and continued falling rapidly all the morning. We 
rode some four miles, and then awaited on the top of a long, 
high, rolling, prairie, for the arrival of the carts and balance 
of the party. 

To amuse the doctor, and keep our spirits up, having none 
along to take down inwardly, I gave a gratuitous exhibition 
on horseback of the most pathetic scenes from "Hamlet," 
" Romeo and Juliet," "Richard III." " ^lacbeth," " the Lady 
of the Lyon," and "the Men of the Buffaloes" — varying the 


performance with a ppecimen of " Borabastes Fnrioso," and a 
farce or two, iiicliicliiig tlie ''Dead Shot." Tlie doctor ap- 
proved ill tlie proper plnces, like a most excellent critic, 
according to the merits of the various parts. 

Aloiit ten o'clock, A. M., a large herd of hnifalo convs were 
discovered to the left of the road ahead, several miles distant. 
Preparations heing hastily made for an attack, onr hunters, 
after a spirited chase, captured five. The herd contained from 
one hundred to one hundred and fifty, among which were a 
number cf calves. After dinner we rode on four miles, and 
came up with the advance party, assembled round the carcass 
of one of the cows, the meat of which had been cut up, prepar- 
atory to being jerked at leisure, and eaten fresh. The cow 
was very fat, more tender, and much smaller than the bulls 
killed previously ; also resembled more closely the domestic 
animal. The portions we were unable to carry with us wero 
left to the tender mercies of the wolves, which were already iu 
sight, attracted by the scent of blood, and only awaiting our 
departure to fall to Avork. 

The afternoon was cold and rainy, chilling us to the very 
marrow ; our road being over flat, swampy ground. We 
camped just before night at Rush river, in a grove of majestic 
trees immediately on the river's bank ; the dragoons had 
already camped, and some one of our party had previously 
built a large fire, by which we stood in the drenching rain, 
drying ourselves in front, while taking a soaking in the rear. 
Our tents Avere pitched, horses staked, supper cooked of bufiklo 
covr-steaks, etc., and we passed the night amid the terrors of 
the elements, and they made a time of it. We m.arched a 
distance this day of twenty -five miles, equally hard upon the 
horses as ourselves. 

Friday, lOth. — Cloudy and cold all day, and from eight 
o'clock, A. M., a rain-storm. We should have remained 
camped all day, instead of marching; the dragoons, too, were 
far aliead of us. I walked as usual several hours, but finally 
took refuge in the carriage from the pitiless storm. Wind 
strong, and cold enough for snow. After proceeding ten miles, 
we mired our hor"'^^- and carriage iu endeavoring to cross a 


mxicldy stream, and Lad to draAv tliem out with ropes. Wo 
Avere all miserable, and pushed ahead, without halting for din- 
ner, a distance of six miles, to the hanks of Maple river, Avet, 
hnno-vv, and cold. Pierre Bottineau and two others were there 
before us, endeavoring to kjndle a fire, one holding* an um- 
brella, while the others blew the dry material preparatory to 
piling on the wet twigs and limbs. To those who are unac- 
quainted with the mode of lighting fire upon the prairie in a 
drenching rain, a description Avill be found interesting. Some 
dry Kinne-kin-nick bark is generally carried along, cut very 
fine for the purpose of smoking; this being the Indian and 
lialf-breed substitute for tobacco. A small portion of this, 
together with a little tow, or paper (if to be had), is placed in 
as dry a place as possible, and shielded from the rain by hold- 
ing over it a hat, or cap, or blanket ; some wet powder is 
then thrown on, together with a little of the dry explosive, and 
the whole ignited with flint and steel. Fine chips, and sha- 
vinos of tlie drv inside of a stick of wood, are then thrown 
on to the little pile ; and in a few minutes a cheerful fire is 
blazing amid the torrent, and a blaze large enough to roast an 
ox is leaping upward — on which each voyageur, as he comes 
up with his gathered arm-load, throws his contribution, swel- 
ling the flames still higher, then gathers closely around, while 
the steam and smoke from his scorching garments ascend in 
perfect clouds. 

Saturday, 11th. — Again cloudy and cold, with rain and a 
slight snow-storm in the morning; north wind, and very disa- 
greeable. V^e determined not to travel to-day, and lay abed 
late to keep ourselves warm. Our breakfast consisted of roast 
buffalo-ribs, boiled meat, potatoes, cofiee, &c., and we spent the 
rest of the day drying our wet bedding, coats, boots, saddles, 
and blankets; the half-breeds busily occ\ipied cutting up the 
buffalo-meat, and jerking it, by spreading it over a frame of 
poles, about four feet from the ground, and building fires under- 
neath, which v/cre kept burning day and night. 

Yfe have had a storm of much severity, and being upon the 
prairies, unprotected by any timber, wc have felt it in its full 
force. To-night the sun set clear, and the western sky was 

304: BKKTCHES BY A CA:^lP-riR15. 

most brillianfly illnminated. Fine weather will nndonbteclly 
follow, tlie equinoctial being over now for certain. Indian 
summer will noAv return and resume its SAvay, after tliis tempo- 
rary disruption of tlic elements. 

Herds of buffaloes are around us to-niglit, and have even 
wandered in among our horses, close to camp. We are obliged 
to chase them out occasionally, for fear of accidents. Yester- 
day-afternoon I could have shot them from the carriage, as 
they crossed the road continually, often being within fifty 
yards ; indeed I often feared a herd would run us down in their 
mad, headlong career. 

Sunday, 12th. — Fine, clear, and most beautiful day, and 
more to be appreciated after the disappearance of the sun for 
three days. Our carts were hauled over Maple river bridge, 
and up the steep bank on the south side, by ropes, all hands 
laying hold, albeit it was the sabbath. But all days are alike 
to us ; the powers that rule our expedition having left their 
religious scruples and proprieties behind them. 

We then set out, over the smooth, level prairie, for the 
Shayenne, distant from twelve to fifteen miles; the buffalo — 
bulls, cows, and calves — all around us, and running across the 
road in herds. A number were killed, and the tongues and a 
portion of the flesh secured. We reached the Shayenne, the 
southern boundary-line of the buffalo in the Red river valley, 
at noon. The dragoons had just crossed over, and their tean.s 
were Avinding up the steep bluff on the opposite side. 

We dined, rested two hours, and made a march of eight 
miles in the afternoon. We stopped at the only clump of 
timber on the whole prairie, between the Shayenne and Wild- 
rice river, and here we found the dragoons encamped. Being 
out of the buffalo country, a portion of the excitements of the 
trip are over. 

And now, if I can throw enough interest into our monotonous 
journey back to Sank Rapids, to interest the reader, I shall be 
happy. Be it remembered, however, that these unpretending, 
rough notes, are written with pencil, with my knee upon the 
grass for a writing-desk, amid the smoke of evening, noon, and 
morning camp-fires, sometimes upon my horse, while leisurely 


pursuing my lonely way apart from the rest of trie company; 
and as rirst written, tliey appear to you. 

In consequence of our resting yesterday and travelling to- 
day, amid all the bustle and confusion of the camp, besides 
buffalo-lumting, etc., it is extremely Lard to realize it is the 
holy institution of the sabbath that has again dawned upon 
us so beautifully. I think of the quiet Sunday far away at 
home, and in the croAvded cities of the East, where the bells 
are gayly chiming in the ears of their thousands of hearers, 
who should be worshippers, and answer to their call. 

MoxDAV, 13th. — Cloud}', cold, and wind}', all tlie morning, 
with rain-showers at noon. Overcoats and exercise on foot 
necessary to comfort. We started early, and reached the 
" Wild Rice" at one o'clock, P. M., having made a march of 
sixteen miles. Drew the wagons, carriage, and carts, over by 
ropes; then camped in double quick time, and all hands fell 
to cooking. Dinner and supper combined, was ready at four, 
P. M. It consisted of boiled buffalo cow and potatoes, fried 
'cow and hearts, coffee, stewed peaches, and a hash made of 
cold meats, potatoes, onions, lard, pepper, and salt; all well 
mixed, prepared, and cooked by Dr. F., assisted by the young 
priest, Mons. Lecombe, Gabou, and Pierre. All hands then fell 
to with an avidity unexampled in all the hungry, voracious 
feats on record, and devoured the meal ravenously. I have 
been thinkin": that v.e will scarce know hoAv to live in houses, 
or eat at table, when we get into civilized life again. There 
is a romance and strange wild pleasure in the life we lead at 
present, so that the ordinary every-day routine of business life 
among the busy haunts of men away down to the southeast 
(St. Paul), will seem irksome and m.onotouous ; and Ave will all 
have to be broken into the traces of quiet, sedentary, domestic 
life again, — which will perhaps prove all the pleasanter and 
more to be appreciated, after undergoing a temporary interrup- 
tion to its enjoyments. 

Tuesday, 14th. — Election dav in Minnesota, for meml-'crs 
of the house and council. Well, they have a delightful day 
for it; sun Avarm, air cool and pleasant. Go it — organizers, 
discrganizers, and coalitionists — to the mark, ye whig Avhigs 


nnd (lemncrntic clemocrnts — give one day to your "boloved 
HiniieKotn. AY(i tnlked, too, oF lioldiiig an eloclion of our 
own, nnd were only doterred l)y tl:e fact tnat no one would 
be a candidate. It was voted unanimonsly to lake a "Lorn." 
Tlie governor's whiskey was tapped, prairie mint gathered, 
and jnleps made ; tlie standing toast being that of Falstafi — 
" If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked !" 

We crossed the Bois des Sioux four miles south of where we 
crossed going out, <^nd swam the horses, rafted the goods, 
carts, w^agons, &:c., over as before. We then camped for the 
night on the banks of the Sioux wood. 

Wednesday, loth. — A beautiful, cool, clear day. Marched 
tAventy-iive miles. TVe killed a large elk, and fared sump- 
tuously on venison. Roast elk-ribs, with boiled steaks, with a 
nice mess of stewed heart and kidneys, formed our evening 

Thursday, 16th. — Tavo weeks on our homeward march. 
Weather very clear and pleasant, with ice in the morning. 
We reached Rabbit river by dinner, but had to carry our wood 
half a mile to camp. The governor prepared dinner for the 
first time. It consisted of a dish of stewed kidney, first par- 
boiled, then fried in a pan, with lard, flour, and other condi- 
ments. In the meantime, a great talk was kept up by his 
excellency, about the excellency of the dish, and the superior- 
ity of kidney fat over all other fats ; Doctor F. dissenting, and 
urging that the admixture of so much fat would render down 
the whole into good tallow candles, and moved that the mess 
be cast into moulds, and each man alloAved to eat or burn his 
candle, as he pleased. Tyler interfered, and was told that it 
was none of his business — " too many cooks spoil the broth." 
" Don't let it burn, Gabon, Now, gentlemen, if it don't burn, it 
will be first-rate!" Dispute now arose as to how^ the gravy 
ought to l)e made; all hands differed in opinion. Lord's plan 
was sustained by the quasi cook, and adopterl. Jnst tlien a 
big ])iack Ijcar was discovered close to camj), ajid all hands 
started in hot ]>ursuit. Tlie governor forgot his kidney fat, 
Doctor F., his candles, and, in his haste, almost extinguished 
himself in a neighboring lake. Lord even forgot his gravy, 


tlie stGTv was bnrnt, aiul in a minute the devil to pay ; lint 
Eniin got fits! Pierre and Gabon took tlielcad on liorseback, 
ubile tbe rest of ns ran and along tbe banks of Lake 
Coni^tantia, till we were faiilv out of bveatb. 

Bruin ran like a race-borse, bnt could not save bis bacon 
that time. Pierre sbot first, and bis ball only tore off a toe 
from the beast's, fore foot. Gabon then fired, and bis two balls 
passed tbrougb poor Bruin, who leaped, and fell headlong dow^n 
tbe bill-side, and was dead before we reached bim. He was 
skinned, and tbe meat placed on the carts; when, after the 
kidney dinner, we once more moved on. 

Friday, 17th. — Cloudy, with rain all day. We made a 
short march, and camped early, to avoid the storm, on the 
borders of a lake near Potato river. All hands then fell to at 
cooking. Doctor F. could be seen, with great slices of ham on 
a forked stick. Tyler was parboiling and frying the ham and 
eggs. The French boys put up elk-ribs to roast, and Pierre 
a skunk ; he having killed two yesterday for the governor, 
who had taken a great fancy to them, and Avas very desirous 
to have another taste. The regular dinner consisted of broiled 
bear-ribs, eggs, coffee, &c. 

The whole Avas eaten except the skunk, and \\'v^. excellency 
refused to partake of it, on the ground that it was very good 
when he was very hungry, Jjut that an ordinary appetite could 
not relish it. It would be a very ordinary one that could. He 
also says, there are too many kinds of meat about, and tot 
much of it, for any one to fancy skunk. 

• Dr. F. and Tyler Avere appointed a committee of two, to see 
that be eats one at least before he goes to bed to-night, and 
not to let bim off Avitbout. It is but meet that every one 
should have plenty of that Avhich is most to his taste, and also 
skill and eat bis CAvn skunks, and not leave them for bis 
friends. We then spent the rest of .the day Avithin our tents, 
and liad a good time of it. The governor ale 1th sl-unk for 
supper, though lie tbougb.t avc were coniiug it ratlier strong 
over bim. Our salt gave out to-day, and there is great grum- 
bling in the camp. We have plenty of whiskey left, boAvever, 
uncle being very liberal in his supply oi spirits, which is a very 


useful and necessary article ; as all our party are medirims, and 
go rapping at tlie sj)'n'it-kogs, filling up tlieir flasks and bottles 
as legularly as clock-work. 

The governor has now, however, locked up all the spirits in 
wooden boxes, so that the spirit Avorld is closed to all the 
mediums save himself. He still taps three or four times a day, 
and always gets veiy satisfactory answers. He is, therefore, 
a firm believer in the spirits. Lord, however, if he can not tap 
himself, refuses to have any communion with them, and has 
suorn off. 

Saturday, ISlh. — "We marched twenty miles to-day, pas- 
sing by Lakes Pike and Fillmore, and camped on a small 
muddy stream. The dragoons left us two days ago, and are 
out of sight. They have been of no use to us whatever during, 
our march. But Uncle Sam pays for it. Go on, fiery dragoons 
— joy be with you ! 

Sunday, 19th. — Cold and windy, but good travelling weath- 
er. We camped at Lightning lake, so called because the 
lightning here struck the camp of Major Woods and Captain 
Pope, while on their expedition to Pembina, in the summer of 
1849. We also camped here over Sunday on our outward 
march. Our supper to-night was cold bear-ribs, crackers and 
coffee, eaten while sitting on a log around the fire. 

This is our last sabbath west of the Mississippi, and we be- 
gin already to feel near home. 

Moxday, 20th. — An extraordinary day. Weather variable; 
mostly cloudy, and quite cold, with a rainy mist and snow- 
squalls at intervals. One minute it is snoAving most furiouslyf 
then hailiiig till the ground is covered ; the next the sun is 
shining warm and pleasantl3^ Tliere appears to be a general 
disruption of all the elements. We rode eight miles, to Crow 
river, and found the crossing very bad. Dr. Foster's mare, poor 
Bessie, was completely mired, and was pulled out with a rope. 
Tlie governor and Dr. F. were carried over on the backs of 
Pierre and Jarva, and I forded, with tlie big long india-rubbers 
belted around the waist, and occasionally sticking fast ; while 
Lord took off coat, boots, pantaloons, and drawers, and waded 
a la vwdel artiste — in the midst of our immoderate laushter 


We then proceeded two miles, and camped npon the prairie; 
helped the doctor along- with the old mare, thrashing- her along 
at every step M'ith a long strap, and had hard Avork to get her 
along at that. Poor Bessie ! with tail between her legs, and 
head hung down, she seemed shrunken hy her bath to about 
one-half her former size, and, as the cold winds swept around 
her, she trembled, and looked most piteously. But cheer up, 
brave beast ! Uncle paid a hundred dollars for you, and if you 
should now keel over, it would be truly a dead loss to him ; 
besides, the doctor would have to walk the balance of the road, 
and he would be perfectly inconsolable — his grief would be 
greater than he could bear ; so bear up, brave Bess ! 

"VVe dined and supped togetlier at three, P. M. ; fare was fried 
ham and buffalo, coffee, etc. Spent the rest of the day around 
the fire, drying our moccasins and stockings, and fixing up 
generally, lletired early. The grass being all killed by the 
frosts for some time past, our horses have nearly given out. 
We are obliged to stop a dozen times a day, on the banks of 
streams, and in the little sheltered valleys where the grass is 
green, and there refresh our exhausted animals. 

Tuesday, 21st. — Cloudy and windy, and very cold; snOw- 
squalls occasionally. We started early, to keep Avarm ; and 
Doctor F. came near drowning his mare in attempting to cross 
a stream. She swamped, but after being lightened of her 
burden, toAvit, the doctor in a saddle, Avith a knapsack and two 
OA^ercoats behind, and a coil of rope of thirty feet and a stake, 
for a lariat at night. On the removal of all this, she rose to 
the surface, and, a rope being fastened around her neck, she 
was drawn out choked, Avith a " Yo, heave !" and a " Pull 
noAv, boys, altogether, out she cames !" by all our force. In 
doing this poor Bess struggled and floundered considerably, 
and the mud and Avater flew as though a dozen porpoises just 
harpooned Avere there ; the doctor meauAvhile standing along- 
side of her, at a safe distance, over his boots in Avater, crying, 
"Pull, pull, you devils, pull — a long pull, a strong pull, and a 
pull altogether ! out she goes !" We tlien took turns in driving 
her along, the doctor riding my horse, and I wading the sAvamps 
and streams in the big- boots. Each one in his turn abandoned 


the poor boast, nnd tLe doctor in rlespair finally left her to ber 
fate, and tbe tender mercies of the governor and Tyler, wbo 
"were still beliind, covering our rear, fcedirig tlieir horses, and 
occasionall}^ consnlting the spirits of the place — that spirit 
"which Shakspere calls *' the inA'isible spirit of wine." It is 
bnt jnst to say, ho"wever, that before leaving them I took a 
dranght m3'self, to shield me from the effects of the keen \vinds 
and sno"W'-sqnalls. 

We stopped an hour to "warm ourselves by a fire "which had 
been kindled at David lake, in a piece of woodland. We lay 
down ill the tall grass, while the "wind shrieked through the 
trees, the fire roared, and the snow commenced falling fr.riouslj^. 
Just as we rose to start, Ave heard an uwfnl yelling and shout- 
ing close at hand, to the right. Looking around we saw a 
blanket waviiig in the wind, at a distance of about two hun- 
dred yards, and occasionally a creature that appeared to be 
an Indian would spring up, and Avaving his blanket at us, 
again fell quickly down into the grass. Dr. F. thinking it 
might be some one in distress, started over afoot, but soon 
halted, turned back and refused to go any farther, unless 
accompanied by the rest of us. Xot knowing the meaning of 
such an unusual performance — especially as Ave had been 
upon the ground for an hour previous Avithout hearing anj'thing 
— ^,and believing it to be some JboJ-capcr of one of the advance 
party, I rode ahead, till Gabou finally rode OA^er to the spot, 
and ai'ter a sort of parley Avith the creature — during Avhich it 
leaped about and Avaved the blanket, and then squatting sud- 
denly down, it covered up completely; then, finally, lay doAvn 
in as small a compass as possible, forming a living ball envel- 
oped in a blanket, and so remained quiet and motionless. 
After this pantomime, Gabou pointed to a strip of Avoods about 
a mile off, and motioned us to go there. Vre found the sup- 
posed Indian to be " Ama%," one of the French boys, Avho had 
been stationed there to direct all back travellers to the even- 
ing's camp in the timber, where Ave found all tbe carts had 
gone. AYe, therefore, folloAved their trail, Icaviiig the silent 
blanket-enveloped sentinel as a sort of living finger-post to 
direct the others still behind. On arriving at the Avoods aa'O 


foxuid tlic carts and carringe — tlie horses picketed in the 
woods for shelter, and a huge fire blazing. The goveruor, 
Tyler, and the old marc, soon after arrived, and dinner being 
read}', all hands ate Avitli their accustomed avidity, some in 
their tents, and some around the fire amid the falling suoav. 
In the midst of our enjoyments, "we could not but regret the 
loss of one of our party, who had come along the road, walking 
and leading his sick mare, before the fantastic sentinel Avas 
posted, and not observing that the carts had left the road, he 
kept on, although two guns Avere fired, and blankets Avavcd, 
and shouts sent after him from camp. 

Much pity was bestoAved on him, and a great deal of Avon- 
dering and speculation indulged in as to his Avhereabouts on 
such a night as this, Avithout fire, food, or shelter. He is sup- 
posed to be at the crossing of Sauk river, fifteen miles ahead. 
Gabon set off, hoAvever, on his Indian pony in search of him, 
the snow falling in Avild, fitful, gusts. We are yet some forty 
miles from tlie Mississippi, and are uneasy at the rapid giA'ing 
out of our horses. Two of our half-breeds started on ahead 
this morning in hopes of reaching the river by night. 

HoAvever, as Ave lie Avarm and comfortable in our tents to- 
night, upon our beds of mattress, robes, and blankets, Avitli 
overcoats, boots, and saddles, for our pilloAvs, Ave can listen 
undismayed to the keen bowlings of old Boreas, and the pat- 
terings and rattlings of the gliding snows OA^erhead — the first 
rude, rough harbingers of the precocious Avinter, disturbs us not. 

BloAv, Avinds, bloAV, snoAvs may fall, and the Avinds may 
howl, for ourselves Ave care not, only for our poor beasts, and 
our absent A^oyageur. 

Wednesday, 22d. — A beautiful, fine, clear, day, after the 
storm, cool and bracing. The old mare, Bess, AA'as fimnd 
standing in the same spot and position that she Avas left last 
night. She had apparently not laid doAvn, or moved a muscle. 
She stood, in fact, a statue of a mare — perfectly rigid through- 
out the night, and exposed to the fury of the storm, Ave being 
unable to get her under shelter. The Dr., getting desperate, 
started on ahead on foot, Avhile the gOA'ernor, Lord, and Tyler, 
drove poor Bessie along Avith bloAvs and shouts ; but finally 


failing in this, they hitched Billy Button (Lord's horse), to her 
with a rope, using Lord's vest for a collar, putting it around 
Billy's neck, and attaching the rope around it, they thus 
pulled the mare by force ; Bill drawing as if his life depended 
on it, and Bess holding hack till fairly choked and obliged to 
go ahead. Thus they jogged along at tlie rate of a mile an 
hour, and till within a few miles of the ri^•er, when Bess sud- 
denly fell over from sheer exhaustion, and never after stined. 
They then sat down and smoked their pipes over her fallen 
body — shed a tear or two "over the left" eye-lash, and left 
her to her fate — " death and the wolves." 

We all reached Sauk river, crossed and camped a few miles 
beyond. Gabon had found our lost companion there about 
ten o'clock last niglit. He had built a fire, picketed his mare, 
and was just going to hed. So they piled on the logs, took 
supper, and made a night of it in the woods which skirt the 
fiver bank. A dragoon horse which we picked up exhausted 
j^esterday, gave up the ghost to-night — another dead loss to 
mcle ; we have several more belonging to the dragoons, not 
/et quite dead but soon will be. Tlie great bulk of the con- 
lersation to-night was on the death of the poor unfortunate 
-lare of the doctor's ; much merriment and wit was indulged 
'a at the expense of ])oth — the latter having been obliged to 
valk, and ride upon a cart as a dernier resort to get to port. 

Thursdav, 23d, — A fine clear, cool day. We got to within 
Tour miles of the river at Sauk rapids, and camped for the last 
^,ime. The governor rode on ahead, and sent us oats from 
Russell's, without which we could scarce have got in. We 
had evening prayers, our custom of a niglit, by Monsieur Le- 
combe, for the last tin.e, as to-morrow our camp breaks up. 

Friday, October 24th, — We reached the Mississippi at ten, 
A.M., having made the march from Pembina in twenty-three 
days, and ver}^ glad to get back to the settlements again. 

Saturday, 25th. — We started for St. Paul, taking some of 
the carts along, and sending our baggage on ahead in a two- 
horse team. Stopped at Big lake all night. 

Sunday, 26th. — We reached St. Paul to-night, after an ab- 
sence of just ten weeks. 


The Minncsotian, of St. Paul, tliiis alludes to our arrival 
home, and sums up our journey in this wise : "The dragoons 
M'ho accompanied the governor to PemLina, returned to Fort 
Snelling on Fiiday last, and on Monday, about eleven o'clock, 
the numerous friends of our worthy executive were delighted 
to take himself, and those who accompanied him, by the hand. 
The party was absent only ten weeks, and in that time trav- 
elled upward of twelve hundred miles, go^'ng and returning, 
besides consummating the important business of the expedi- 
tion, in the highly satisfactory manner already made public. 

" Their route lay to the west of the Red river of the North, 
until they struck the Pembina river, which they followed to 
its mouth. This is the site of Mr. Kittson's old trading post, 
the place where the treaty was made. They returned by 
the same route. 

" The party, soldiers and citizens, all return in the most 
robust health, though somewhat bronzed by exposure to the 
weather. Their horses stood the journey home remarkabl}'- 
well, considering the grass was very much cut down by the 
frost. Dr. Foster lost his horse a day or two out from Sauk 
rapids, which was the only one lost by the governor's party. 
The soldiers lost two, we believe. 

** Game in abundance Avas found on the route, both going and 
coming. Buffalo, elk, bear, geese, ducks, and brant, Avere 
killed in much greater quantities than could be" used. Buffalo 
were more plenty on the return than in going out. Thousands 
lined the prairies during several days' travel. From sixty to 
a hundred were killed by the party, and any number could 
have been taken. 

*' Dr. Bond, who, from his close observation of meteorological 
subjects, has earned the title of clerk of the weather, informs 
us that the first frost which nipped vegetation in the valley of 
Ked river, occurred on the 2Sth of September. Four days 
previous, he gathered flowers, fresh and blooming, in the gar- 
dens at Pembina. On Tuesday week, about one hundred 
miles west of Sauk rapids, they encountered a snow-squall. 

" All the party speak in the highest terms of the country over 
which they passed, and of the hospitable entertainment they 



received at the hands of tlie people on both sides the line. 
Tiie attentions of the Hudson's Bay factors and clerks, and 
the people of Selkirk settlement generally, are v»'armly al- 
luded to. The former accounts are confirmed, that they are a 
frugal, hardy, and industrious people, surrounded by all the 
comforts of life that can be attained in that remote region." 

Note. — These sketches up to the 29th September, 1851, descriptive of our 
"Outward March," and residence at Pembina and Selkirk settlement, were 
first published in the Minnesota Pioneer, at St. Paul, during the months of 
February, March, and April, 1852. The notes of the "Homeward March" 
have not hitherto been published. 




The following letters, descriptive of the Selkirk settlement, 
were written during the short stay I made in that hospitable 
region, and were addressed to Col. D. A. Robertson, late editor 
of the " Minnesota Democrat," in which paper they were sub- 
sequently published. They form the connection between the 
" outward" and " homeward" march : — 

Fort Garry, Selkirk Settlement, September 22, 1851. 

Dear Sir : I avail myself of an express which is just leav- 
ing for St. Paul, bearing despatches from Dr. Ray, who has 
been exploring the coast from Victoria to Wollasten Land, from 
the one hundred and tenth to the one hundred and seventeenth 
degree of Avest longitude, in hopes of finding some trace of Sir 
John Franklin, and the straits which were supposed to extend 
through to the northwest in that locality. 

He has failed in both, and intends next summer to turn his 
attention in another direction, satisfied that there is no longer 
any hopes in that quarter. His package has just arrived by 
Mr. Ross from the Norway house, on the northern extremity 
of Lake Winnipeg. It is to be forwarded immediately to the 
admiralty department, via St. Paul and the states. Mr. Adam 
Klyn is the bearer, and will reach you in fifteen days — a glo- 
rious opportunity for communicating a few lines to you — as 
good as it M'as unexpected ; my time, however, is very precious, 
and will not admit of details. 

Our party reached Pembina on the 11th instant, in twenty 
travelling days from the Mississippi at Sauk rapids. We had 


buffalo-linnts, bear-chases, plenty of smaller game, good roads, 
delightful weather, and every other pleasure, Avitli some of the 
excitements and accidents attending a prairie trip, with noth- 
ing, however, of a serious nature ; scarcely any sickness, and 
no annoyance except from the legions of winged devils in the 
shape of mosquitoes, gnats, and huge, "tormenting flies, which 
all existed in swarms of countless millions throughout the trip. 
The treaty began on the 15th, with the Red- lake and Pembina 
bands of Chippewas, numbering in all about two hundred and 
fifty. Several hundred half-breeds were also present, and ex- 
pected to participate in the making of the treaty, and were 
exceedingly disappointed when informed that their claims 
would not be respected, and that the government only recog- 
nised the Indians as the rightful owners of the soil, and in- 
tended to deal with them accordingly. The half-breeds had 
counted on the reception of a portion at least of the annuities 
as almost certain, and had hoped for the consummation of a trea- 
ty, in case their claims were recognised, with that view only ; 
not with the more manly intention of coming into the fall pos- 
session of the lands at an early period, and bettering their pres- 
ent miserable condition by their cultivation, and, as independent 
tillers of the soil, subsist without the poor, miserable pittance 
which it would be, at least in the shape of an annuity doled 
out to them from year to year, the very receipt of which would 
degrade and lower them as men and citizens of our territory. 
Their dependence upon annuities in prospective, and their 
keen expectancy of receiving them in common with their red 
relations, with their unAvillingness to become honest tillers of 
the soil, shows them at least to be very deficient in self-respect, 
and to possess a very low and I think erroneous estimate of 
their own character. I hope, however, better things of this 
free, hardy, and very energetic class ; and that they will take 
advantage of what will be done for them by government to 
improve their present wandering condition and mode of life, 
and elevate them among the ranks of " Nature's noblemen,'* 
for which position they are well qualified. 

The land proposed to be purchased includes each side of 
Red river thirty miles to the east and west, and as far south 


as Goose river. Tliis includes a portion of Pembina mountain 
and the new town of St. Josepli, thirty miles west of Pembina. 
An offer was made them of eigh*^^ thousand dollars down on the 
ratifica'tion of the treaty, and yearly annuities of several thou- 
sands for twenty years. 

I left Pembina, in company with the Rev. John Black, on 
the I7th, before the consummation of the treaty, and have since 
heard nothing definite. As the express passes Pembina, you 
will have later news. We were three days descending the 
Red river (ninety miles) ; and, although we have been suffer- 
ing with an equinoctial since our first arrival at Pembina, yet 
I have been highly pleased with everything pertaining to this 
settlement, and I assure you I have seldom left a place with 
more reluctant feelings than those I experience at present. 

I am about starting up the river in a bark-canoe, with two 
hnlf-breed voyageurs, and will reach Pembina on the evening of 
the 26th, camping out three nights by the way. The weather 
is now delightful, it having cleared off this morning, and is 
as fine and warm as an Indian summer. The cathedral-bells 
across the river are ringing a merry chime, and I almost fancy 
mj^self away ** down east" in a large Atlantic city — not in the 
Selkirk settlement, amid the very centre of the continent, and 
a whole month's march of twenty miles per day to the west of 
sundown — that is, St. Paul. 

I find it very hard to be brief amid scenes like these, but 
my time and the circumstances in which I find myself situated 
compel me in what I have yet to ray — not because it is " the 
soul of wit" to be so, but you are aware that necessity knows 
no law. 

I have been treated in the most hospitable and kind manner 
by the people throughout the settlement, and by none more so 
than the people of the fort, whom I shall long remember. To 
Mr. John Black, who has command of " the company's" po^t 
at this place. Dr. Cowan, Mr. Pelley, and Mr. Logan, jr., and 
also to Mr. M'Dermott and Mr. Alexander Ross and son, I am 
under many obligations. I have this moment been introduced 
to Bishop Anderson of the episcopal church, a very affable and 
worthy gentleman. He has resided here two years, and in 


common with tLe other members of tlie several cliiirclies, of 
which there are three, is very Inghlj esteemed. The churches 
woukl do credit to any western settlement in the states. The 
congregations of each are large, and the character of the peo- 
ple for industry and morality is most excellent. I have found 
more of the noble traits, which dignify and exalt our race, ex- 
isting among the people here, than any one unacquainted Avith 
them would imagine. Not to be too eulogistic, hoAvever, I will 
close ; if I am deceived in them, it is an error of the head, not 
of the heart. More of this anon. 

We expect to leave Pembina on the 1st of October, and to 
reach St. Paul on the 25th, perhaps not until the 1st of Novem- 
ber. Our route will be out to the westward of the one we 
came, to Devil's lake, among the buffalo-cows and probably 
the bears. We anticipate a pleasant time returning, as the 
Indian summer soon sets in, and the mosquitoes will all be 
killed by early frosts, or else too much benumbed to "present 
their bills" with vigor : we expect to " settle" all that are pre- 
sented without drawing upon Uncle Sam's treasury for an addi- 
tional amount of funds. 

Governor Ramsey comes down by canoe to-day or to-mor- 
row, accompanied by Mr. Hugh Tyler, Dr. Foster, and Lieu- 
tenant Corley. The people here will give them a warm recep- 
tion — one of the old-fashioned sort, such as you might have 
expected from men before human nature became corrupt. They 
are most heartily welcome, and their arrival looked forward 
to with interest and pleasure. 

A letter from Governor Colville at the lower fort has just 
arrived, offering our governor and party the hospitalities of 
Prince Rupert's Land ; and Major Caldwell, governor of the 
colony, is here upon the spot, to extend the same. But I must 
close, hoping to find you and all the good people of St. Paul 
" all correct" on my return. 


Pembina, Wednesday, September 24, 1851. — 11, P. M. 

Bear Sir : I have just arrived here from Fort Garry, after 
one of the heaviest marches I have ever before experienced. 
It happened in this wise : I was detained at the fort on Mon- 
day till four o'clock, P. M., as I was obliged to stay and once 
more dine Avith the very clever folks there stationed. I then 
left, and after crossing Red river on the ferry-boat, at the 
month of the Assiniboin, I proceeded on np, through the half- 
breed settlements, on the east side of the river, for about ten 
miles, over a good road ; and when night fell, secured a guide, 
who piloted me for several miles to the camp of my two voya- 
geurs, whom I had already sent up to the head of the settle- 
ment that morning with the canoe, and orders to await my 
arrival there. I also camped immediately, heartily tired of 
the tramp ; and yesterday morning was off again at daylight, 
assisting the men to paddle, and going up against the current 
at about three miles per hour. At seven o'clock we stopped 
for breakfast, being just out of sight of the houses, which ex- 
tend some fifteen miles by water above the fort. As our canoe 
leaked badly, the men informed me that it would take five 
days to reach this place, and proposed deserting her and taking 
to the prairie-road on foot — stating, too, that we could easily 
come up in about two days. 

I was strongly inclined to let them come, and go back, or 
else in the canoe to Selkirk ; or either proceed on up by water 
until I met the governor's party, or await his arrival where I 
was. But not liking the uncertainty attending the time of his 
arrival, and being loath to beat a " retreat backward," even if 
it were within the hospitable walls of a friendly fort, I decided 
very unwisely to go on. 

I therefore employed two Chippewas, whom I found camped 
upon the bank ; and the party of four then tied the baggage, 
bedding, and provisions, into four large bundles, and each ta- 
king one upon his back, secured by a strap passing in front 
over the forehead, and sometimes across the chest, we began 
our march ; the men going along with their bodies inclined at 
an angle of about forty -five degrees, moving with a long, loping 


trot, wliicli I at first found rather difficult to keep pace witli ; 
at times passing tlirougli a swamp or across a prairie-stream, 
wLen one of the j^arty would drop his pack, and, returning, 
take me upon his hack and carry me safely over. 

At noon we stopped to prepare our dinner of tea, old ham, 
dried buffalo-meat, and hard bread, with a few condiments and 
extra fixings for a relish ; and here we met a half-breed going 
down with a cart and two spare horses ; he was also dining 
upon the road, Avhere it passed a large bend in the river, and 
informed me that the governor had just gone down in two 
canoes, eight men paddling in each, and went very quick. I 
was by this time very sore and tired, as we had made a forced 
march of fifteen miles since eight, A. M., and I therefore nego- 
tiated with the man (who said, in ansAver to my first question, 
that " he spoke English a little piece") for the use of one of 
his horses to carry me back to the settlements. Feeling re- 
freshed, however, after dinner, I determined to go on ; we 
made the same distance in the afternoon, passing through a 
swamp at sundown, which was about half a mile in length, 
knee-deep at that — a m.ass of tenacious mud and water. We 
camped soon afterward upon the open prairie, with no wood 
to make a fire except a few nishes to boil our tea, and I re- 
tired wet and too fatigued to sleep or keep one moment in the 
same position. I fortunately had a bed consisting of a buffalo 
robe, three blankets, and a canvas-covered mosquito bar, which 
served to keep off the heavy dew, already falling. If you were 
ever too tired to be still, you can appreciate my situation. Well, 
I worried through the night, and on rising at daylight this morn- 
ing, I found my pantaloons and things all frozen as stiff as 
horn, and having no fire, I M^as obliged to put them mi to thaw. 
Walked on through the tall wet grass six miles, to breakfast 
on the Prairie Gratiaro, forty miles from Selkirk. I there over- 
took my men, and Mr. Adam Klyn and his companion, with 'a 
spare horse loaded with their baggage and provisions, the 
mail, &:c., all en route for the good city of St. Paul. They 
had previously passed me two miles beyond, having left the 
fort yesterday at nine, A. M., and camped four miles behind 
me; but as they could not help me any, it was at least some 


satisfaction to know they bore one letter from me to yon, if no 

I also met there Mr. James M'Coy going down with three 
horses, one of Avliich he very kindly offered me, saying, " It 
was better to ride back forty or fifty miles, than to go ahead 
to the * Prairie an Maurais,' abont twenty -five miles on foot." 
I proposed going that far at least, and wrote to Mr. N. W. 
Kittson, by the express, to send my horse immediately. I 
therefore thanked him very kindly and pushed ahead with a 
staif, and a firm determination to get through ; forded streams 
and swamps with a perfect contempt for all obstacles, and at 
noon came to the lodges of two half-breed families, situated 
on each side of a deep stream, with any quantity of dogs and 
children, cows and calves; and I afterward, when too late, 
saw some horses in the distance. A pretty-looking, half- 
breed woman came paddling up the stream, in a log canoe, 
and soon put us all, bag and baggage, safely over, when, not 
accepting pay from us, she threw her arms around the neck of 
one of my voyageurs, named Laundry, and kissed him thrice 
— very toiicJnng and pathetic, truly ! I walked on solus much 
refreshed, thinking of love and romance in the wilderness and 
prairie, and of Jacob and Rachel at the well. 

At two, P. M., we stopped to dine on the banks of the only • 
lake along the road ; after which I distanced the men out of 
sight, and at five, P. M., reached the River Maurais, the hour 
and place I had fixed by letter as my resting-point. The 
men soon came up, and at sundown we started on, when I soon 
fell lame and was obliged to take off moccasins and stockings. 
The men were now out of sight ahead, on a full run, and night 
fast closing in. At length, at dark, after proceeding about 
three miles, I was overjoyed at meeting a half-breed mounted 
on my good old horse coming at full gallop. I quickly mount- 
ed into his place, and leaving him to camp upon the prairie, 
with the others, I returned in haste at least ten miles of the 
weary road through her majesty's dominions, and crossed the 
line two miles to the north of this as quickly as I would 
have done if one of her best regiments had been upon my 
heels. I reached here eventually at eight, P. M., as near 



a nsed-np man as well can be, without becoming entirely de- 

When yon consider that I was entirely nnaccnstomed to 
sncli tramps, and was but about twenty marching hours upon 
the road, and much impeded by the long prairie-grass at that, 
you will conclude I made considerable of a march. 

I was especially desirous of reaching here to-night, in order 
to Avrite a number of letters home by this express, and those 
who receive any of this date will value them accordingly, for 
they have cost me dear, I assure you. I have written a detail 
of my journey, for the reason that my lower extremities are 
aching as though compressed within a two-horse-power vice, 
and serve to remind me of the one thing continually, having 
bathed them in spirits and hot water, and anointed them with 
precious ointment, I will branch off at something else, merely 
remarking that the whole road up lies over a wide flat prairie 
of rich soil, bordered on the left with a belt of timber extend- 
ing along the river ; none of the other rivers, except the Mau- 
rais, are timbered. I met large numbers of carts going down 
to Selkirk to join the lower half-breeds in their fall hunt up 
the Assiniboin, keeping this time north of the British line, in 
consequence of a fight fhey had with the Sioux, over one 
thousand in number, in Julv. The summer hunt was un- 
successful. Very little pemmican was made, and but few 
robes secured, and the sooner the buffalo becomes entirely 
extinct, the better it will be for them. They will then give 
np their wandering, Arab mode of life, and go at farming or 
some other useful occupation for a living. At present they 
are as restless as regular Bedouins, and if they Avore long 
beards, and had flocks of sheep and goats, one might think he 
was among the patriarchs of old — "the fathers of all such as 
dwell in tents." 

The treaty was concluded on Saturday evening, after the 
usual amount of talk, and the following arc its provisions. 
The Chippewas cede all their land from the line north, to the 
GoOse and Buffalo rivers, and thirty miles each side of the 
Red river — say a strip sixty miles in width by about one hun- 
dred long — and they are to receive thii-ty thousand dollars 


cash on the ratification of it by the senatje ; eight thousand 
dollars thereafter cash, and two thousand dollars for schools 
annually for twenty years ; the whole amounting to two hun- 
dred and thirty thousand dollars. I have not had time to ex- 
amine the treaty yet, but suppose they remain upon the lands 
and have all the advantages as before, excepting where they 
may be settled upon and cultivated. They may consider it a 
present of the above amount, as during their own lifetime they 
will be but little intruded upon. It is midnight and my space 
is full. 

Pembina, Thursday, September 25, 1851. 

We leave for St. Paul on Wednesday next, 1st October; 
our first day's march will be to the new town of St. Joseph 
on the Pembina mountain, as it is called, thirty miles to the 
west of this place, the governor having agreed to meet the 
half-breeds there, a number being a'bout to assemble for the 
fall hunt. I have just learned that those from the settlements 
across the line are also coming up, and that there will be 
some three hundred lodges there. They Avill hunt, however, 
along the line, and on the British side, the bufPalo being found 
on that side as well as ours, Captain Pope to the contrary not- 
withstanding. St. Joseph contains half a dozen houses and 
two stores. Rev. Mr. Bellecourt resides there, and is erecting a 
log church ; and I have heard of Mr. Kittson's determination 
to break up the post at this place, and remove there too, the 
ground here having overflowed for the last three years succes- 
sively, Red river rising thirty-one and thirty-three feet above 
low-water mark, and houses on the point between the junction 
of Red river and Pembina, being flooded to the depth of one 
and three feet this year and last. Mr. Kittson was obliged to 
leave and live upon hills near by for more than a month, last 

The heaviest floods known in the country occurred in 1824, 
^25, and ^2Q ; the latter year the vv^aters rose sixty-six feet in 
height, and the Avhole country was completely drowned out; 
a large party left Selkirk in consequence and made an over- 


1a!u1 jounu'v ncvoss the jil.iius to St. Peter's ami Galena, near 
Avliich l.'K^t place they settled. 

These llooils are a serious objection to (his valley-, and to 
]^enil)ina in particular, (he site of "which is coniparativelv lo\v ; 
though I think that having occurred only at intervals hereto- 
I'ore, it will be many years before tlie like occurs again. Pa'-t- 
ly in consequence of tliis state oi' things, there is not a particle 
of farming done here now. and on our arrival wc "were obliged 
to send immediately to Selkirk, for barley for our horses. A 
dozen voyageurs, in a huge barge, brouglit up one hundred 
and sixty bushels, and occupied nine days to make the trip, 
having to wait till this year's crop, which was cut and s(ill 
standing in the fields, in shocks, was thrashed. They started 
back, on Tuesdav, for one hundred and sixtv bushels more, 
and upon their arrival we will march. Parlev is wordi in (his 
settlement seventy-five cents a bushel, and costs us here about 
one dollar and iifty cents. Its usual price Avhen no extra de- 
mand takes place, is fifty cents; and for wheat, seventy-five 
cents, the price paid by the Hudson's Bay Company, the year 
round; butter and eggs, sixpence; meat, fourpencc ; flour,- 
three to five dollars per hundred pounds, according to kind, 
three of which are made. The people revel in abundance. The 
worst of it is, they have no proper outlet for their surplus prod- 
uce, to stimulate them to increased exertions, but this is owing 
to their situation merely, and is an evil time alone can remedy, 
as they are brought nearer to us by (he ii"on chain, and a mar- 
ket opened to rouse them into more activity and life. At 
present they })ay seven shillings and sixjience, for (Iumt lands, 
per acre. Each settler has a frontage of six chains upon the 
river, and extends back two miles in de})(h. Only a small 
part, however, of this is cultivated. The houses are of logs, 
thatched and shingled ; are warm and very comfortable ; 
Borne of the larger are of frame, two-story, and .a few of stone ; 
all have a plenty of barns and stables, wi(h a number of largo 
'stacks of wheat, hay, and barley, and as we happened there 
in their grain harvest, the peojtle were all busy in the fields. 
The Indians and half-breeds, men, women, and children, reap- 
ing and binding grain; others, with horse an^ ox-carts, haul- 


ing in the same and stacking it. It afforded an interesting 
and novel siglit in contrast Avith our early harvest of July. 
It usually takes place here about the 20th August, and is a 
full month later this year than common, the season having 
been very cold and Avet up to the 17th August, up to which 
time fears were entertained for the loss of the whole crops. 
The weather fortunately changed, and for a month was very 
warm and tine. The grain all ripened, and the yield is large. 
Of wheat twenty to tv.enty-five bushels, and barley thirty-five 
to forty bushels, per acre ; spring wheat is sown from the 20th 
to 25th of May, and barley from the 1st to 5th of June ; pota- 
toes, the largest and finest I have ever seen, produce largely, 
more to the acre, than in Minnesota. Indian corn matures, 
but is not raised to much extent; a small variety is grown, 
but the situation is too near Lake Winnipeg, which influences 
their climate, and the late spring frosts are apt to injure it. I 
am told that corn matures here better, and that the season is 
about one week later in the fall, than down below. We had 
hot corn on our table on the 12th instant, the day after our 
arrival here, Avhich was grown in Mr. Kittson's garden, but it 
will never be much cultivated jn these settlements, the other 
crops proving more valuable. 

The English and Scotch settlers extend along both sides of 
Red river, from the Assiniboin to lower Fort Garry, or " the 
rtone post," as it is called, about twenty miles below. This is 
far the best post of the settlement ; eighteen windmills are 
scattered along the west bank, upon which this lengthy ser- 
pentine village of six thousand people, is principally situated, 
and alons: the line is a solitarv water-mill, and another at 
Sturgeon creek, about eight miles up the Assiniboin, built by 
Mr. M'Dermott, a very wealthy and enterprising Irish citizen, 
•who came out to the colony in 1812. He is, therefore, one of 
the pioneers, a free, good, hearty, and sociable gentleman. 
He is in fact an every man's man, and has an open house and 
a ready hand to o£fer to friend or strang-er. To his son-in-law, 
Mr. Ballantine, I am much indebted also, for various kind at- 
tentions shown, and I can assure you, I never was among a 
kinder people. 


The Rev. John Black, from Montreal, who accompanied 
onr party out from St. Paul, was also very warmly welcomed; 
his arrival had been long expected and generally known 
among all classes. 

As we passed down the settlement on our first arrival, peo- 
ple came out and took us Ly the hand, told us we were stran- 
gers, and asked if the new minister was not soon comiug also. 
His Scotch parishioners have just built him a house, thirty by 
forty feet, of hewn logs, with shingle roof, which he will use as 
a church this winter, and afterward as a residence. They in- 
tend to build him one of stone next year. They made many 
inquiries concerning him of me, and were all much disappoint- 
ed at finding he did not speak the Gaelic. That he was a 
' gentleman and a Christian, a good French scholar, and spoke 
the English fluently, did not make amends altogether for his 
deficiency in not understanding Gaelic, which is the tongue 
they use. 

The episcopalians have three fine churches surmounted by 
high steeples, two large ones built of stone, at each end of the 
English part, and near the forts, and one of logs near the cen 
%tre. Bishop Anderson, who resides at the upper church, had 
also a fine academy, and a neat white two-story building, Avith 
grounds attached. 

The catholics have a large cathedral opposite the upper fort, 
and the mouth of the Assiniboiu, built of stone, in 1832, and 
still unfinished ; the huge, massive, prison-like wall in front 
being cracked and shattered, and is surmounted by two stee- 
ples — one finished, the bare timbers of the other towering 
aloft, dark with age. The interior Avas being remodelled — 
carpenters were at work ; the high, arched ceiling just painted 
of a deep mazarene blue, and men at work on scaffolding dec- 
orating it with wreaths and festoons of flowers painted in a 
very artist-like manner. I was told that the nuns at the con- 
vent just by were to have done that part of the work, though 
they were not present a\ hen I was there. 

Some five or six priests are connected with the church, and 
the congregation are mostly half-breeds from the settlements 
up the lied river. 


At til e fort there are tlilrteen resident families of pensioners, 
and tl)e remainder, to the number of seventy, reside witliin 
two miles' distance, np the Assiniboin, on the north bank. 
They have each twenty acres of ground, and those most dis- 
tant up the river have forty acres, well fenced and cultivated, 
with neat one-story log and frame houses, painted white, and 
everything around them betokens plenty. None are incapaci- 
tated for manual labor, and many are quite young; and while 
some have lost nothing but a finger or thumb, others perhaps 
have lost less useful members, and are sound, active, and hardy 
fellows. Still they have done the state same service, and they 
know it too, and growl continually that they are not better off. 

I can say no more concerning Selkirk or its people, for the 
express is ready to start. 

The following is some additional information concerning 
Pembina and Selkirk : — 

The attention of traders and merchants is at this time turned 
with a good deal of interest toward the northwest, more par- 
ticularly the Red river or Selkirk settlement, and to Pembina, 
which is now merely a small trading-post within the American 
line. Before the running of the line of division between the 
American and British territory, on the forty -ninth parallel of 
latitude, Pembina w^ns the headquarters of the Selkirk settle- 
ment. Since tliat time it has steadily declined, till within a 
year or two. The government has contracted to run a regular 
monthly mail, twelve times in the year, between St. Paul and 
Pembina, and hereafter communication may be considered as 
regularly established. The journey is made in the summer on 
horseback, and in the winter with dog-teams and show-shoes. 
The more difficult season for performing the service will be 
during the high-water months of May and June; for between 
Pembina and St. Paul there are fifteen or sixteen rivers which 
have to be crossed otherwise than by fording — usually by rafts 
and buffalo-canoes. Many of the streams are annually bridged 
over by the caravans of traders, and as often swept away. 


The Red river settlement was originally projected hj Lord 
Selkirk, a Scottisli nobleman, largely interested in the Hud- 
son's Bay Company. They held a vast extent of lands by 
charter from the British crown. Of the company he made an 
extensive purchase, and brought over his first colonists in 
1813, and remained with them twelve months. Another ac- 
cession was made in 1817, and another in 1823 ; and they now 
number, in Europeans, French Canadians, and half-breeds, 
about seven thousand souls. 

One half the population are hunters, and the other half 
farmers. The main settlement, known as "Red River," is 
about sixty miles north of Pembina, or down the river, and is 
on an extensive j)lain, which extends, somewhat broken and in- 
terspersed with timber, east to Lake Winnipeg — to the west, 
a vast, unbroken plain to the Rocky mountains. The hunters, 
mostly half-breeds, do nothing but hunt buffalo. They make 
two grand excursions each year : one commencing on the 20th 
of June, and lasting two months; and the other on the 10th 
of September, and lasting till the 10th of November. They 
live wholly on buffalo-meat, and are engaged only in prepar- 
ing pemmican meat and fat — the one used only for food, and 
the other for light. The regular price of it is four cents a 
pound, both fat and lean. The tongues and hides only of the 
buffalo are saved. The regular retail price of a tongue, dried, 
is twenty-five cents, and a good robe is two dollars. The 
hunters lead a free, happy, wild, romantic life, and are, when 
in the settlement, temperate and well-behaved. 

The farmers raise wheat, oats, potatoes, barley, cattle, and 
sheep. Oxen are worth from fifty to sixty dollars a yoke ; 
cows, from twelve to fifteen dollars ; a good cart-horse, forty 
or fifty dollars ; and a horse trained to hunt buffalo will bring 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars, and sometimes more. 

Their wheat is equal to any in the world, weighing from 
sixty-five to seventy pounds to the bushel. Barley and oats 
are also heavy; and potatoes and all kinds of garden vegeta- 
bles grow luxuriantly. The land is neve?- manured. From 
three and a half to four feet of snow falls in winter, and rain 
ia unknown from November to April. Corn is raised, but it is 



not relied on as a sure crop. The Hudson's Bay Company 
pay regAlarly only, however, for what they wish to consume, 
except in seasons of scarcity, eighty-seven cents a bushel for 
wheat, fifty for oats and barley, and twenty-five for potatoes. 
There is no export trade. They receive their supplies of dry 
goods, woollen cloths, and liquors, from York factory, a store 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, situated on Hudson's bay, seven 
hundred miles from Red River. It requires two months to 
make the journey, and there are thirty-six portages to be made 
in going that distance. The title of the settlement is " The 
Red River Colony," and it is ruled by a governor appointed 
by the queen. The magistrates, counsellors, and officers, re- 
ceive their commissions from the committee of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. The jurisdiction of the governor extends a 
hundred miles in all directions from Fort Garry, except over 
the American line. Seventy pensioners at Fort Garry is all 
the military force, and they are under the command of Major 
Caldwell, the governor, who is also a pensioner. 

The wheat and other grain is ground by windmills, of which 
there are eighteen, and two water-mills. There are no saw- 
mills, all tlie deals used being cut up by whip-saws. There 
are no fulling-mills, or manufactures of any kind. 

Above and below the settlement on Red river there are ex- 
tensive tracts of timber — of pine, oak, whitewood, poplar, and 
cedar. The ice gets out of Red river about the 20tli of April, 
and it is closed about the 1st or lOtli of November. The cold 
is sometimes excessive in the settlement. Mercury freezes 
once or twice every year, and sometimes the spirit thermome- 
ter indicates a temperature as low as fifty-two degrees below 
zero ! When such a low temperature occurs, there is a perva- 
ding haze or smoky appearance in the atmosphere, resembling 
a generally-diffused yellow smoke, and the sun looks red as in 
a sultry evening. As the sun rises, so does the thermometer; 
and when the mercury thaws out and stands at ten or fifteen 
below zero, a breeze sets in, and pleasant weather follows — 
that is, as pleasant as can be while the mercury keeps below 
zero as continually as a fish in his own element, and coming 
up above the surface just about as often. 


For Tveeks, sometimes, tlie wind will blow from the north — 
temperature say from five to ten degrees below zero. Sud- 
denly it shifts into the south, and for six hours the thermome- 
ter will continue to fall. When, in summer, the wind blows 
a length of time from the north, it drives the water back, and 
Ked river Avill have its banks full in the dryest seasons. The 
same thing occurs when the wind blows from the same direc- 
tion in winter, although the sea and river are frozen unbrokenly 
ten feet thick to the north pole. 

In the year 1670, Charles II. granted all the territory in 
North America, subject to^tlie British crown, that was drained 
by waters flowing into Hudson's bay, to the Hudson's Bay 
Company — and, among other privileges, the exclusive right 
to deal and traffic with the natives. Besides this territory, 
they have extended their jurisdiction over the lands watered 
b}' the rivers that flow into the Arctic ocean, and also that vast 
country west of the Rocky mountains. Their territory, in fine, 
embraces all North America (with the exception of the Rus- 
sian possessions in the extreme nortlnvest, and Greenland in 
the northeast) that lies north of the Canadas, and the United 
States and its possessions. The southern boundary of the com- 
pany commences on the Pacific coast, opposite to and including 
Vancouver's island, at latitude forty-nine, and extends on this 
parallel to the southeastern point of the lake of the Woods, 
thence on the highlands that divide the waters which flow into 
Lake Superior and the St. Lawrence from those flowing into 
Hudson's bay east to the Atlantic ocean. So much for the 
Hudson's Bay Company and its possessions, both of which may 
become objects of interest in a few years to us and our neigh- 

Lord Selkirk, having obtained a grant from the company of 
a territory extending from Fort Garry a hundred miles in a 
circle, on certain conditions, came out with his colony, as be- 
fore remarked, in 1813, They flourished and increased for 
some time. In 1825, 1826, and 1827, the Red river overflowed 
its banks, and produced universal distress — so much, that many 
of the most wealthy and influential citizens left the place; a 
party of whom, consisting of Messrs. Francis Langet, Philip F. 


Schirmer, Lonis Chetlain, Peter Kelnclsbacker, Antoine Bricker, 
Paul Gyrber, John Baptiste Verain, John Tjrej, and others, 
with their wives and families (German Swiss from Geneva and 
that vicinity, speaking the French language), came down and 
settled at Gratiot's Grove, near Galena, Illinois. At that time 
there were large smelting operations carried on by Colonel 
Henry Gratiot. 

The party named came out to Selkirk in 1817 — the first 
hand being nearly all Scotchmen, but the second from the con- 
tinent. Those emigrating to Illinois, the most of whom are 
now living, have been among the first citizens and worthy 
members of society, handing down their virtues to their chil- 

The origin of the floods which did such immense damage on 
Red river, in the years before named, has never been satisfac- 
torily accounted for; but it is surmised that they came from 
the superabundant water of the branches of the Missouri, burst- 
ing over the low ridge which divides the waters flowing into 
the gulf of Mexico from those flowing into Hudson's bay. 

The only tax which the colonists of Red River pay is four 
per cent, on all the goods they import, whether from England 
or elsewhere; and the Hudson's Bay Company pay the same 
on all the imports they sell or consume within the limits of the 
Red-River Colony.* The company import goods and merchan- 
dise from England, and charge the consumer in the colony 
seventy -five per cent, advance on the London invoice prices, 
for freight, insurance, duty, land-carriage, and profit. They 
sell bar and sheet iron for twelve cents a pound ; sugar, Lon- 
don crushed, twenty-four cents ; tea, from fifty cents to two 
dollars ; and other articles in proportion. The imports for the 
last five years have averaged one hundred thousand dollars, 
from all sources ; and the one thousand dollars revenue is de- 
voted to schools, roads, bridges, and internal improvements, 
all salaries being paid by the company. The colonists export 
comparatively nothing — the only article that will pay being 
furs (not including buffalo-robes), on which the Hudson's Bay 
Company have a monopoly, over which they watch with a 
jealous eye. ^ 


Since tlic route has been ojiened and travelled from Pem- 
bina to St. Paul, tliey have commenced to bring forward mer- 
chandise. Twenty per cent, duty is demanded of the Sel- 
kirkers on buffalo-robes, and thirty per cent, on their mocca- 
sins. Red River gentlemen express the assurance that they 
never can pay that tax, and that hereafter they will be obliged 
to avail themselves of the boats and ships of the " company." 
Wc presume Congress will look into this matter, and discrimi- 
nate in their favor, unless there exist good reasons for a con- 
trary course. 


How sweetlj iu this blest retreat 

The cool, calm evenings fall, 
While scenes and sounds familiar once 

A far-off laud recall I 

Or morning, when the hill-side green 

Is bright with golden beams, 
And flowers as large and fair as those 

Of childhood's wildest dreams. 

How deep the solitude which reigns 

In yon thick forest-glades, 
Where under tangled leaves and flowera 

Bright morn to twilight fades ! — 

While o'er thy fertile prairie wide 

The silvery streamlet flows, 
Its music heard, but not to break, 

The spell of deep repose. 

Selkirk ! thy sweet vale contains 

All good this world can give — 
Peace, health, and comfort — what remains 

To wish for, but to live? 

I feel thy beauty and thy charms 
Demand from me no feeble praise : 

I have no power, yet fain I would 
A better, warmer tribute raise. 


For, cmild I lenve this cheerful vale, 

And quit thy liospitable roofs, 
Witho\it one sigh, one keen regret, 

And of thy merits leave no proofs — 

I should unworthily repay 

The kindness of those friends 
Whose worth deserves as warm a lay 

As love or friendship ever pens. 

My footsteps Fate, pei'chance, may lead 

To other lands and climes, 
And treacherous Memory may forget 

The joys of bygone times: 

But thou, sweet Selkirk, from my heart, 

Though weary then and worn, 
Though care and sorrow cloud my path, 

Thy name shall not be torn ! 

I love thee — for thy woodland scenes 

Recall my childhood's hours ; 
And as my native state is dear, 

So are thy woods and floweral 





From Fort Snelliiig. 

Miles. Total 

To falls of St. Anthony 

To Banfiil's, at mouth of Eice creek 

Toniouth of Rum river 

To mouth of Elk river 

To Big lake 

To Big meadows 

To Sauk rapids 

To David lake 

To White-Bear lake 

To Pike lake 

To mitin brancli of Chippewa river 

To Pom me de Terra or Potato river 

To Rabbit river 

To first crossing of Red river of the North . . . 
To second crossing of Red river of the North. 

To Wild-Rice river 

To Shayenne river 

To ]Maple river 

To Rush river 

To second point of Rush river 

To point of ridge 

To main branch of Elm river * 

To south branch of Goose river , 

To Salt lake 

To main branch of Goose river 

To crossing of Goose river , 

To Tuitle river 

To Big Salt river 

To Little Salt river 

To Little Hill river 

To Steep Hill river 

To Hartshorn river 

To Mud river and Poplar island 
To branch of Tongue river . . . . 
To mouth of Pembina river . . . 

' 3 






















173 5 






22 8i 

















333 i 

























Fi'om mouth of Pembina river to the mouth of Red-Lake river 15 

From Red-]^ake river above mouth 14 

From Red-Lake river to mouth of Goose river 13 

Over rapids near mouth of Sand-Hill river . . 6 

Goose riA'er above mouth 65 

From month of Goose river to mouth of Shayenne 11 

Shayenne river above mouth 65 

From Sliayenne river to mouth of Wild-Rice river 9 

From Wild-Rice river to Sioux- Wood river 8^ 

Sioux-Wood river above mouth 4 

Ottertail lake 19 


PRINCE Rupert's land — the hudson bay and northwest 



The following interesting matter, descriptive of Prince Ru- 
pert's land, etc., is from the pen of the Rev. G. A. Bellecourt, 
of Pembina, and was addressed to the Hon. Alexander Ram- 
sey, president of the " Minnesota Historical Society." It was 
written in French, and its able translation was made by Mrs. 
Letitia May, of St. Paul. 

The discovery of America, by Christopher Columbus, in. 
1492, gave a new impulse to the spirit of enterprise. From 
that period, bold navigators launched fearlessly out into the 
broad bosom of the ocean, and continued to make, from time 
to time, new discoveries in the field which had been laid open 
to them by the noble and devoted perseverance of their great 

It was about the year 1607, that the celebrated navigator, 
Henry Hudson, then in the employ of the English, discovered 
the magnificent bay to which he gave his name; and in 1611, 
pursuing his researches, he penetrated five hundred leagues 
farther north than any traveller had done before him. It was 
this same year that two missionaries. Fathers Masse and Biart, 
arrived in Canada. 

Some time after this period, the English, in order to profit 
by the discoveries which had been made in their name by 
Hudson, commenced some settlements in the vicinity of Hud- 
son's bay, and entered into a kind of traffic for furs with the 


Indians, who clescenrlecl, cliiring the summer season, the varions 
streams Avhich pour tlieir waters into this bay, bringing with 
them these tropliies of their success in the chase. 

Tliese settlers built at first only a few houses in which to 
pass the winter. Here they suffered greatly from the scurvy, 
which broke out among them. But the strong desire of gain 
which actuated them, rendered them regardless alike of the 
ravages of disease and the rigor of the climate. 

The French of Canada also wished to establish themselves 
in this region, pretending that, as that country formed a part 
of the same continent as New France, they had the right to 
trade with the natives that high up and even higher. Several 
of their adventurers had penetrated as far north as the bay 
of Hudson, as early as the year 1656, and in the intermediate 
time between that and the year 1680, when Groseillers and 
Radisson left Quebec for the above-named bay with two ves- 
sels, which were but poorly equipped for such an expedition. 
The persons engaged in this enterprise only succeeded in 
erecting a few forts, whence they sallied forth and attacked 
the English settlements in the neighborhood, and were in their 
turn attacked by them ; thus exhibiting, in the horrors of 
civilization, more cruelty than the savages with whom they had 
come to trade. Such have been, at every period, among the 
sad effects of an inordinate love of gain. These dissensions 
between the English and the French did not cease till the 
ratification of the treaty of Utrecht. 

The result of these wars between the two contending people 
was, that the English obtained the sole occupancy of the 
neighborhood of Hudson's bay, and both shores of Nelson 
river. But many French companies, established partly at 
Montreal, continued the commerce in furs ; which they prac- 
tised almost exclusively in all the rest of the northwestern 
part of North America, extending their expeditions even so far 
as the Rocky mountains. Many places in these regions still 
retain the names of celebrated personages and houses which 
existed at the time of their discovery; as, for instance. Lake 
Bourbon, Dauphin river, Fort la Heine ; and a missionary, of 
whom I have not been able to learn the name, made several 


(lays' marcli np tli^ river Saskadjiwaii {Kisiskadjiwan, current 
wliicli turns round). 

We liave no evidence tliat the French ascended higher up 
than three days' march above Lake Bourbon, along the river 
Pas, or Saskadjiwan. Tlie first who left Canada with views 
of commerce in this conntry, was Thomas Ourry, who ascended 
the river Saskadjiwan, in 1766. Up to this time the Canadian 
traders did not venture any Iiigher np than Grand Portage, at 
the nortliern extremity of Lake Superior. His voyage, which 
proved to be very profitable, encouraged others to follow his 
example. James Finley made a voyage also, which was 
equally happy. But as these adventurers, in travelling thus 
far into the interior, intercepted the furs which had before this 
time been brouglit by tlie Indians to Hudson's bay, the English 
traders became jealous of them, and advanced farther into 
the interior. From this we date the commencement of a long 
series of disorders and excesses, of which the details were the 
more revolting as the certainty of impunity gave free course to 
all the passions. 

Joseph Frobisher undertook to penetrate farther than any 
of his predecessors had done, and Avent as far as Churchill, 
which is beyond the fifty-ninth degree of latitude. The fol- 
lowing year his brother went as far as Ulle a la Crosse. In 
1778, Peter Pond entered English river, thus called by Frob- 
isher, and pursued his course to the river L'Orignal, where he 
passed J;he Avinter. One day, after he had made some of the 
Indians drunk, he was so annoyed by them that, to rid himself 
of their importunity, he gave one of them so large a dose of 
laudanum that he was plunged into an eternal sleep. This 
murder cost the life of a trader and all his assistants. And 
any trader, or any white man, who would have dared to show 
his face in this place, or on the Assiniboin river, would have 
fallen a victim to the sanguinary vengeance of these exas- 
perated savages, had not the smallpox broken out among them, 
and produced a diversion in favor of the whites. This dread- 
ful scourge spread terror and desolation among all these people. 
Whoever was not attacked by it fled into the most profound 
depths of the forest, far from the presence of the whites. 


338 APi'K.NDIX. 

About two thirds of tlicir population perislred. Their corpses 
lay on the ground ; the masters became the food of their own 
dogs, or of the wolves. From this period is dated also the 
army of the great picotte (cparrel). This was about 1780. 

This same year Peter Pond formed a partnership with Mr. 
"Wadin. These two men Mere of a character too opposite to 
be united, as it soon appeared. At a festival given by Pond 
to Wadin, the latter was killed by the former, who shot him 
in the thigh with a pistol. The hall broke the artery, the 
hemorrhage from which could not be stopped ; so he died. 
Pond was tried and acquitted at Montreal, but he Avas not 
acquitted in the eyes of the people who heard of the trans- 
action. And, in general, the judgment pronounced in his 
case was considered as unheard-of, or as containing too much 
of the mysterious to do honor to the judge who pronounced it. 

In 1781, four canoes filled Avith traders went up as high as 
" Mortage de la Loche,"" some high lands between the Saskad- 
jiwau river and the Polar sea. At last, in 1783, Avas formed 
the company, Avhich has since become so famous, under the 
name of the Xortlnvestern Company. The first factors were 
Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher, and Simon M'TaA^ish. It 
Avas first composed of sixteen partners. P. Pond and P. Pang- 
man refused to join it, though the former changed his mind the 
next year. P. Pangman joined Avith Gregory, M'Leod, and 
M'Kenzie, in 1785. 

These opposing interests were the cause of disorders of 
CA^ery kind; so much so, that these companies rendered them- 
selves despicable CAen in the eyes of the savages, who ay ere 
astonished to find that their OAvn manners Avere much better 
than those of men Avhom, in other respects, they regarded as 
being greatly superior to themselves. In one of these difiicul- 
ties, Gregory saAv one of his companions killed before his 
eyes, and several of their assistants Avounded. It Avas easy to 
be conceived, that their common interest demanded a sincere 
and cordial union. This they comprehended somewhat later ; 
and at last, in 1787, all these companies united together, and 
thus increased the number of partners to tAventy-six. The 
forty thousand pounds sterling, Avhich their commerce yielded 

PKiNCE Rupert's land. 839 

tliem at that time, was trebled in less than eleven years. In 
1798 the company increased the number to forty-six, which 
cansed some dissatisfaction, and led a small number of them 
to form a separate company. Nevertheless, the Northwest 
Company had become too powerful to dread any such divisions. 
It continued to prosper, in spite even of the opposition of the 
Hudson Bay Company. 

This last companjf took advantage, as it still does, of a 
charter granted by Charles II, to his cousin Rupert. This 
document, although illegal according to the British constitution, 
has been strongly sustained. It grants the most absolute 
powers, and concedes a sovereignty more despotic than Charles 
himself possessed. Though the governmental department has 
sufficiently expressed themselves upon the subject of the ille- 
gality of this contract, yet the friends of this company have 
always been so powerful as to prevent an official declaration 
to this effect, by contending that the subject should first un- 
dergo a discussion in court. Thus, those who are opposed to 
the pretensions of this company, not having enough of money 
to sustain the process, fearing that gold and favor would 
prove the stronger argument, find themselves obliged to sub- 
mit to a usurpation which they can not prevent. 

Though they complained of these abuses a few years ago 
by petition, which was ably sustained at London, and Avhich 
occasioned a good deal of excitement in England, the only 
eifect produced here, was to abate in a small degree the bold- 
ness of the pretensions of this company, which tended to a 
perfect tyranny. In proof of this, I will adduce a few in- 
stances of their impositions : — On one occasion they seized the 
effects of a hunter, upon suspicion that he might exchange 
some of them with the Indians for furs. On another occasion 
they caused a hunter to be imprisoned for having given one 
of his overcoats to a naked Indian, for about its value in rat- 
skins. They also refuse to alloAv the missionaries to receive 
furs to sustain the expenses of public worship ; while the In- 
dians can not obtain any money from the company for their 
furs ; and forbid the missionaries to buy leather or skins to 
protect their feet from the cold. These, and a thousand other 



grievances call so loiully for redress, tliat T think a small 
increase of the bnrrlen will cause the evil to correct itself. 

About the year 1812, the Northwest Company had more 
than sixty trading posts west of the longitude of Lake Bourhon, 
and as high up as Slave lake, where they sustained a pros- 
perous commerce. This success only inflamed still more the 
jealousy of the Hudson Bay Com])any. Everything that 
could be imagined to discourage their adversaries or hinder 
their prosperity, was resorted to without scruple, or the least 
regard to lunnan life. They went so far as to burn up their 
bark canoes, and destroy their traps which were in the Avater, 
the sole means of subsistence in man}- places. 

The hostilities which existed between the two companies 
assumed a more formal aspect about the time of the establish- 
ment of the colony of Lord Selkirk, that is, from 1812 to 1816. 
In 1815, eatables being very scarce in the establishment, the 
governor of the colony issued an order, forbidding any one to 
take any provisions whatever of food out of the boundary of 
the colony. Now it was Avell known that the company of the 
Northwest, ought to try to send provisions through this 
colony, for the numerous travellers who Avere coming; from 
Montreal, and who depended upon their succor, to enable them 
either to continue their route or return to Canada. The agents 
of this company having been informed in time, of the order of 
the governor of the colony through which they had to pass, 
when they Avere descending the river Assiniboin, halted 
before they entered the territory of the colony, and sent a 
detachment of cavalry, composed of half-breeds, under the 
control of Cuthbert Grant, at that time clerk of this company, 
with orders to go by land to the mouth of Red river, in order 
to escort the canoes of provisions which were expected down 
every day. Though they made a large circuit in compassing 
the angle formed by the Assiniboin and Red rivers, this com- 
pany of half-breeds were recognised from the fort of the colony, 
when they reached the mouth of the river Assiniboin. Im- 
mediately upon seeing them, Governor Semple ordered out 
two pieces of cannon and sent in great haste to assemble the 
settlers in the neighborhood, and without waiting for them to 

PRTNCB Rupert's land. 341 

come togetlier, took the field Avitli such persons as he could 
collect at the moment. The half-breeds, who saw from a dis- 
tance these movements near the fort, stopped to make obser- 
vations. At last seeing an armed force coming out against 
them, they prepared to make a vigorous resistance, with orders, 
nevertheless; not to make an attack. When the English came 
within gun-shot, Mr. Grant sent a cavalier in advance, to make 
some arrangement with the governor; but the messenger, far 
from being listened to, received a discharge from a gun, which 
he avoided only by precipitating himself from his horse. He 
then hastened back to his companions. A combat immediately 
commenced, which lasted only a few hours, and was so well- 
conducted on the part of the half-breeds, that it cost them only 
one man ; while on the part of the English, the governor and 
nineteen of his men lay on the field of battle. 

This took place in the spring of 1816, at the time that Lord 
Selkirk, who had come to reside in Canada, was on his way 
to visit his colony. He was encamped at the extremity of 
Lake Superior, on an isle called '^ lie de Traverse" opposite, 
though at a distance from Fort William, the principal dep6t of 
the Northwestern Company, when he learned the neAvs of 
what had taken place at Red river, and the death of his 
protege, Governor Semple. As he Avas escorted by a company 
of veterans, he re-embarked with the intention of taking Fort 
William, Avhich he effected without a blow; for as his ap- 
proach was unsuspected, he found the gates open. He thus 
took possession of this post and passed the winter there. 

The next spring, he visited his colony, where he left some 
soldiers, and returned to Canada by way of the United States. 
After his arrival at Montreal, he instituted a suit against the 
Northwestern Company, much to the satisfaction of the bar, 
both of Upper and Lower Canada, who were the only persons 
benefited by it ; for the case was removed to England, where 
it was never judged, after having cost enormous sums. 

During his sojourn at Red River, Lord Selkirk had remarked 
that tills little community were altogether destitute of the 
principles of religion and morals ; accordingly, he suggested 
to the catholics of the place that they should address a petition 


to the bishop of Quebec, to send them a missionary. His 
grace. Joseph Octave Plessie, then bishop of Quebec, panted 
their request most willingly, and sent them, the following 
spring, 1818, Mr. Joseph Norb't Provencher, then curate of 
Kamonraska, as his grand vicar, and Mr. S. J. N. Dnmoulin, 
then vicar of Qnebec. Having quitted Montreal the 19th of 
Mav, thev reached the place of their destination Julv 16th. 

At their arrival, the colony was the emblem of misery-. They 
had not yet tried to plant, except with the hoe, and that only 
to procure seed for the following year. During two consecu- 
tive years, the grasshoppers made such devastation among the 
crops, that they did not even gather seed, and were obliged to 
send for them to Prairie du Chien, on the Mississippi river, 
about a thousand miles distant. They also brought chickens 
from that place, which multiplied very rapidly. The crop of 
1822 was passable, but the rats caused great destruction. As 
they had not yet procured cats, the country was infested by 
these vermin. 

As the few animals brought from Europe by the Scotch 
colonies, had been destroyed during the troubles of the prece- 
ding years, they were obliged to procure some from Prairie du 
Chien. Some individuals imported several pairs of oxen, and 
some cows. At that time, a cow sold for twenty-five pounds. 
In 1825, an American drove four or five hundred oxen and 
cows to that place. The cows sold at from four to ten pounds 
each. Their number has since considerablv increased. 

In 1825, the snow fell the 15th of October in great quantity, 
and remained on the ground. Still more fell during the win- 
ter, which was one of the coldest which had passed for twenty- 
five years. The snow melted suddenly about the last of April. 
The water had already risen in the streams as high as the 
banks, when the ice, which had scarcelv diminished in thick- 
ness, was dragged away by the violence of the current, and 
taking a straight course, rooted up trees and demolished edifices 
and whatever found itself in its way. The water rose five 
feet in the church of St. Boniface, nearly opposite the mouth 
of the river Assiniboin, which is one of the most elevated 
spots in that vicinity. 

PEixcE kupkrt's laxd. 343 

The fisli, the principal resource of the inhabitants at this 
season of the year, were dispersed in this immense extent of 
Avater, and the fishermen were not able to take them. To 
crown their misfortunes, the bison that were ordinarily found 
in abundance near the river Pembina, went avray, and about 
fifteen persons who had calculated on this resource, perished 
from hunger. The waters did not retire entirely till the 20th 
of July ; when some persons risked sowing barley, which came 
to maturitv. 

After so many scourges of different kinds, one would think 
that the survivors would have been ready to abandon for ever a 
country which offered only disasters and difficulties. Some of 
them did indeed leave, and go to the United States; others 
lived, like the savages, by hunting and fishing, for several 
years, after which they returned to the culture of the earth : 
at last, having had good crops during several years, the 
remembrance of their misfortunes was effaced. The same 
scourge has not visited the place in a general manner till last 
year, 1852. The water rose a foot higher than in 1826, and 
the losses occasioned by it are still greater, and more difficult 
to repair. A greater quantity of fencing, grain, and property 
of all kinds, has been carried away and destroyed by the 
water ; then the lumber being all destroyed or carried away to 
some distance from the colony, the expenses of building are 
much more considerable. "We, at St. Joseph of Pembina, 
are beyond the reach of these misfortunes. 

"We have seen that the visit of Lord Selkirk to Red Kiver, 
occasioned missionaries to be sent to that colony. The pro- 
cess which he instituted against the Northwestern Company, 
though never judged, was also productive of some favorable 
results. The great expense of sustaining this process, joined 
to those occasioned by the constant opposition of a rival inter- 
est, and still more, weariness of a life of incessant contentions, 
induced these two companies to unite, under the name and 
privileges of the Hudson Bay Company. Some of the members 
of the Northwestern Company, not willing to be known under 
a title which they had despised, preferred to retire from the 

344 AVPvsT'jx. 

The uiiion of these tv.o conipanles took ]:]rtcc- in 1822. 
Since that period, the profits of the company have been very 
great; hut, on the other liand, the people of the country have 
suffered by it in inverse proportion. The price of furs, as well 
as that of mercliandise given in exchange, was regulated 
entirely by the company. The seller came and deposited his 
furs, and took from the trader's store, in exchange, such things 
as he wished ; beginning by the articles of first necessity, and 
stopping when he was told he had enough. This absolute 
power engendered, as can be readily conceived, many abuses. 
The traders, seeing the people so submissive, became arrogant, 
and gave themselves up, without any shame, to every excess 
of immorality. At last, missionaries being sent out in every 
direction, men who had been civilized were made to remember 
their first education ; a reform of conduct was the result, and 
honesty recovered its rights. 

There was a mission formed near the Hocky mountains, 
above the river Saskadjiwan, on the little lake of Manitou. 
It was established in 1843, by Mr. J.Baptiste Thibault, a priest 
of the diocese of Quebec, who lived there till 1851. He left 
in his place, Mr. Bourassa, a priest of the same diocese of 
Quebec. Another mission was since formed at the isle of La 
Crosse, by Mr. S. Lafleche, a priest of the district of Three 
Rivers, and Mr. Als Tache,a priest of the diocese of Montreal. 
They both received a mission for this post, where they rendered 
themselves in 1845. Since that time, several priests of the 
society of Oblats, of Marseilles, have been sent on a mission to 
these mountains. Father Faraud has penetrated farther north 
than any of the others. He went as far as Great Slave lake. 
Chapels for Avorship have been erected in each one of these 
missions. Among all these churches, only one (the cathedral 
of St. Boniface) is built of stone ; all the others are wooden 

The parish of St. Francis Xavier, of Prairie du Cheval 
Blanc, about eighteen miles from the mouth of the river Assin- 
iboin, existed as early as 1830. This spot is the least ex- 
posed to inundation of all the surrounding country. This 
parish is composed of emigrants from Pembina, where there 

pitiNCE Rupert's land. 315 

were several commercial Louses, and quite a number of farmers. 
But Avlien Major Long, of tlie United States, had verified the 
point of the forth-ninth degree of latitude, Pemhina proving 
to be on the xlmerican territory, the Hudson Bay Company 
caused the whole population to remove to tlieir side, by mena- 
cing them with a refusal to let them have any supplies from 
their stores if they remained. Their missionary, Mr. Dumon- 
lin, being returned to Canada, the whole colony finished by 
emigrating, though very reluctantly, to Prairie du Cheval 

Twelve miles higher up on the Assiniboin, I built a chapel 
among the Sauteux, where I had a very flourishing mission 
from 1832 till 1848, when I quitted this diocese to go to Pem- 
bina. During this time, I built another chapel, and founded 
a farm, about three hundred miles from the colony toward the 
east, at a point called Wabassimong, on the river Winipik. 
This mission was committed to the Oblats of Marseilles the 
year before I left it. At last being arrived at Pembina, in 
1849, I constructed a chapel on Red river, a mile beloAv the 
mouth of Pembina river, on the most advantageous site we 
could select. The inundations having decided us to establish 
ourselves near to Mount Pembina, about forty miles from Red 
river, T built another chapel of wood, fifty feet by twenty -five, 
two stories high. 

The total population of the colony of Selkirk is about seven 
thousand souls, of which little more than one half are cath- 
olics ; the others are divided bctAveen the church of England, 
presbyterians, and methodists. There is on Red river but one 
society of nuijs not cloistered. These came from Canada, 
and are of the order of the sisters of charity called " grey 
nuns" [sozurs grises). Though instruction was not the object 
of their institution, they have been invited to this calling, and 
have fulfilled its important functions with success since their 
arrival in 1844. 


346 APrKNDIX. 


The population of tlie comitiy divides itself into three 
classes, viz. : the colonists who come from Canada or Europe ; 
the half-breeds, and their cliildren ; and the savages. The 
Canadians and the Europeans have brouglit Avitli them that 
.';pirit of nationality, Avhieh leads them to esteem themselves 
above the other inhabitants — lialf-breeds, &:c. For the first, 
nothing is so good as Montreal ; for the others, nothing is like 
London. /The half-breeds being more numerous, and endowed 
Avith uncommon health and strength, esteem themselves the 
lords of the land. Thougli they hold the middle place be- 
t^^•een civilized and savage life, one can say tliat, in respect to 
morality, they are as good as many civilized people. Their 
character is gentle and benevolent. Their greatest vice is 
prodigality ; they liave also an extreme tendency to the use 
of strong drinks ; nevertheless, the vivacity of tlieir faith has 
wrought wonders among them in this respect. A number of 
them have taken a pledge to abstain entirely from the use 
of all intoxicating liquors ; and many others, without having 
done as much, still hold themselves within just bounds. 
Though the half-breeds lose much of their time in idleness, I 
do not think this owes its origin to the vice of indolence, but 
rather to the absence of all commercial interest; that is to 
say, to the want of enterprises passably lucrative, or of rewards 
sufficiently inviting, to make them sustain the fatigues of labor. 
For they are capable of enduring to an astonishing degree 
the most horrible fatigues, and they undertake them with the 
greatest cheerfulness when circumstances call for it. They 
love gaming, but have no great passion for it; and it is rare 
that any one of them delivers himself to any excess in this 
vice. They have a taste for music, and above all for the 
violin ; and a great many of them know how to play. They 
have a tendency to superstition, which arises from tlieir origin; 
particularly in respect to dreams. Though religion teaches 
them what they ought to think about these tilings, they feel 
invincibly impressed with a sentiment of hope or fear, accor- 


^Iiig to tlie nature of tlie dream. The tliird class of the 
popuhition of the country arc the savages, who have a still 
stronger spirit of nationality than the other two, though they 
admit that they are not so skilful in other respects. 

The immense valley that empties its waters into Hudson's 
bay is inhabited by a great number of savage tribes, who all 
spring from four mother nations, absolutely distinguished from 
each other by their language. 

1. All the people who border on the northern sea, from 
Mackenzie's river to the Atlantic ocean, belong to the tribe of 
the Escpiimaux. All speak nearly tlie same language, have 
the same usages, same superstitions, and the same manners. 
Small in stature, their physiogomy is entirely characteristic; 
and offers nothing which attaches itself to the other American 
nations. They never form any alliances with other nations ; 
w^ho regard them as Jbeing as far inferior to them, as they 
themselves are inferior to the whites. The name of the Esqui- 
maux is a corruption of the word Weashkimek, tlie eaters of 
raw fisli ; this Avord is Sauteux. They have, like the other 
savage nations, the use of the drum. Their habitations are 
usually made of snow or ice, and are warmer than one would 
be tempted to believe j but they have a humidity which is 
insupportable to any person not born in them. As they drink 
w^hale oil with great delight, they expose themselves to great 
dangers to catch this animal ; which proves that they are not 
destitute of bravery. Without occupying themselves with the 
reflection that the fisherman and his canoe Avould make only 
a mouthful for one of these marine monsters, over whom they 
often pass in the chase of the whale — nor that with one blow 
of his tail the whale himself, could throw them to the third 
heayen, like to the feeble bird, which strikes with its bill the 
crow who comes to deprive it of its young — they throw their 
slight darts at the back of the enormous fish, till they have 
rendered themselves masters of it. As no missionary has ever 
lived among this jDeople, it is impossible to form any just esti- 
mate of their mental capacities. 

2. The nation of Montagues, who are divided into several 
different tribes, are the neighbors of the Esquimaux, and in- 


habit a strip of land paiellel to tlieirs, from tlie Rucky nioiin- 
taius to the iicigliborliooil of IluJson's bay, and exteiuling 
southward to the river Saskadjiwan. They are, perhaps, of 
all the savages of America, the only ones wlio ha\ e no kind 
of superstition or worship of imaginary beings. Great ad- 
mirers of the whites, they imitate tliem as much as they can. 
This natural disposition, joined to the absence of all religious 
prejudice, has given to the missionaries who are sent there, 
every advantage they could desire. They are now nearly all 
Christians, excepting a certain number of families whom the 
bonds of nolvsramv, which thev find diSicult to break, hold 
still at a distance. 

The name of Montague is not a translation of the savage 
word ^YttsJiipiccyayiali — liaiing tlte dress pointed — because the 
cap, which covers their heads, is pointed and sewed to a cloak 
or sack which they wear, which, under points of view, makes 
them appear pointed at the top. This v.ord is also of the 
Sauteux language. They live by hunting the cariboo, and 
some by hunting the bison ; and on the fish with which all 
their lakes abound. These people are not warlike, no more 
than the Esquimaux. 

3. The Crees who inhabit the two sides of the river Saskad- 
jiwan, and with whom we should joiu all the Mashkegons, 
who belono^ to the same familv, and who extend in all the 
country which borders the bay of Hudson on the west, south, 
and east, in a word, all the marshy country. The mother 
nation of these two numerous tribes seems to be the nation of 
the Sauteux, which extends from Canada to the river Saskad- 
jiT7an, where they are mixed with the Crees, and are known 
under the name of Nakkaicinini7iiwak — the men of divers 
races. The word Crees is also not a translation of the savage 
word KiTiisTiiinalc — being held by the winds. That is to say, 
the inhabitants of those places, where the slightest wind keeps 
them from travelling : from which it appears, that the Crees 
originally inhabited the shores of the great lakes, such as Lake 
Superior; perhaps, also, certain portions of the lake of the 
Woods, which one can not cross except when the weather is 
rery calm, and which they certainly inhabited at one time. 

peinch: p.up]:rt*s land. 349 

Tlie worJ ^IfisLkegoii is a corriiption of Omaslikekok — tlio 
iiiliauitants of the marslies. The only way of travelling in all 
the iirimeiise rejrioii wliicli tiiev inhabit, is in canoes. I have 
met old men, ia travelling through their country, -who had 
never seen a horse. 

The vrord Sautenx, which seems to h.ave been given to this 
nation from their having a long time inhabited the Sanlt Ste. 
Marie, is not a translation of the savage name Odjibwek. 
This word has been the object of a great many suppositions : 
some say it was given to this nation on account of the form of 
their plaited shoes — teibwa, plaited ; but this interpretation is 
not admissible, for the word does not contain the least allusion 
to shoes. Others say that it comes from the form the m.outh 
assumes in pronouncing certain words, wishing always to 
hold on to the adjective tcihtva ; this is not more satisfac- 
tory. It is not uncommon that a Avord is somewhat changed 
when applied to a man or a nation. I could give a number of 
examples of this. I would venture then to say that the word 
Odjibwek comes from Shibwe ; in order to make a proper noun 
Oshibwek, in the plural the pronouncing slowly oi sJdb — root, 
to draw out ; that is to say, to lengthen out a word by the 
slow pronunciation of its syllables; the particle ive signifying 
articulate, pronounce ; the h is an animated plural, which here 
can only be applied to men. In truth, the pronunciation of 
the Sauteux characterizes them in an eminent manner. The 
Ottawas, the Nipising, the Algonquius, the Tetes de Boule, the 
Montagnes of Canada, are so many tribes which belong to the 
same family. We must not confound the Montagnes of Cana- 
da with those of the north, who have nothing in common 
except the name. The Sauteux and the Crees have always 
been intimately united ; and they have the same usages and 
the same superstitions, to which they are extremely attached. 

Their principal religious meeting takes place every spring, 
about the time when all the plants begin to awaken from their 
long winter sleep and renew their life, and commence to bud. 
The ticket of invitation is a piece of tobacco sent by the oldest 
person of the nation, indicating tlfe place of rendezvous to the 
principal persons of the tribe. This is «, national feast, in 



Avlilcli each indivicliial is interested, being tlie feast of medi- 
dines. Eacli head of a family is the physician of his chikh-en, 
but he can not become so without having a preliminary instruc- 
tion and initiation into the secrets of medicine. It is at this 
feast that each one is receiA^ed. All the ceremonies which 
they perform are emblematic, and signify the virtue of plants 
in the cure of the various maladies of man. 

Another superstition, proper to cure the evils which have 
place more in the imagination than in the body, is the Nipik- 
kiwan. It consists in drawing out the evil directly, in drawing 
the breath, and spitting in the eyes of the sick person. The 
pretended cause of the suffering is sometimes a stone, a fruit, 
the point of an arrow, or even a medicine, wrapped up i^ cot- 
ton. One can not conceive how much these poor people sub- 
mit with blind faith to these absurdities. 

Lastly, curiosity, and the desire of knowing the future, has 
invented the Teisakkiwin. It consists of certain formalities, 
gongs, invocations of spirits, and bodily agitations, which are 
so energetic, that you are carried back to the time of the an- 
cient sybils ; they seem to say to you, Deus ecce Deus, and 
then submitting to the questions of the spectators, for whom 
they always have a reply, whether it be to tell what passes at 
a distance, or reveal the place Avhere objects which have been 
lost may be found. As the skill of the prophet consists in 
replying in ambiguous terms upon all subjects of which he has 
not been able to procure information in advance, he is always 
sure of success, either more or less striking. Besides, as one 
is ordinarily predisposed to the marvellous, anything that aids 
an imposture is easily overlooked. 

I knew a man who was in great trouble on account of his 
horses, which he could not find just at the moment when all 
the hunters were about to go upon an expedition. Seeing he 
could not accompany them w^ithout his horses, he used every 
effort to find them. At last an old Sauteux came to him and 
proposed if he would give him a net (a net used to catch fish) 
he would go immediately and invoke his manitous ; and he 
was very sure they Avould give him the desired information. 
As one can readily suppose, the offer was accepted ; and after 


tlie ordinary formalities, the juggler said lie saw tlie number 
of the horses, and described them otherwise faithfullv, naming; 
also exactly the place where they could b^ found. They were 
in effect found in the place he had indicated. Now this old 
man had himself hid the horses, in order to obtain from the 
owner, the net which he knew he possessed; and which he 
himself needed. I could cite many other instances of the same 

Dreams are for the Sauteux rcNclations; and the bird, the 
animal, or even a stone, or whatever it may be which is the 
principal subject of the dream, becomes a tutelary spirit, for 
which the dreamer has a particular veneration. As dreams 
are more apt to visit a sick person, when the brain is more 
subject to these aberrations, many such have a number of 
dreams, and consequently many tutelary spirits. They pre- 
serve images, and statues in their medicine-bag, and never 
lose siglit of them ; but carry them about wherever they go. 
The faith of the Sauteux in their medicine is such, that they 
believe a disease can be thrown into an absent person, or that 
certain medicines can master the mental inclinations, such as 
love or hatred. Thus it is the interest of these old men to 
pander to the young. It can not be denied that the Sauteux 
have some knowledge of medicine. And I have myself wit- 
nessed several cures, which did honor to their physician. I 
have, above all, followed Avith great interest the progress of a 
cure which an English doctor had pronounced incurable, 
nevertheless the Sauteux doctor pronounced its cure very 
easy ; Avliich indeed he effected in a v.ery short time. The 
disease was erysipelas, degenerated into ulcers. 

The Sauteux language is much richer than is commonly 
thought. It bears a great resemblance to the ancient lan- 
guages. It has, like the Greek, the dual and the two futures. 
And, like that language, it has but few radical words, but 
their manner of forming words for the occasion by the aid 
of these radicals, gives a great facility of expression, the- same 
as in the Greek. The conjunction " and," either by hazard or 
otherwise, is the same as in the Greek. This language is 
formed of radical and compound words. The radical words 

1 5 '3 APl^EXDIX. 

are commonly employed in the familiar style; hut in oratorical 
style, the compoiiiul Avords are nsed. As for example, isltpa, 
u-afJjin,'n\ compound style is z.s//^;^?'??^?, tlie moiuitain ishigli; 
marigcteya sipa, the river is large, in the compound style is 
mangiUigwcya, &c. This makes the learning of the language" 
rather difficult at first, nearly equal to the acquiring of two 
languages; but in return for this, one acquires an extreme 
facility in expressing his thoughts Avith all the force he desires. 

The Sauteux have also their poetic style, Avhich consists 
more in suspension and enigmatical phrases than in "words. 
Their songs contain only a few words, with a great many- 
notes. Their music is very strange, and consists more in 
guttural sounds than in modulations. Their intervals are 
generally ae tierce en tierce, accompanied by a great many 
unisons. They have songs of war, of love, and of worship. 

Their writings are composed of arbitrary hieroglyphics, and 
the best writer is he, who is most skilful in using such signs as 
most fully represent his thoughts. Though this manner of 
writing is very defective, it is nevertheless ingenious and very 
useful, and has this advantage over all other languages, since 
it paint the thoughts, and not the words. For it remains for 
genius to discover the means of writing the thought, and not 
the word ; just as figures represent numbers in all languages. 
Though the Sauteux have no idea of the state they shall find 
themselves in after death, they believe in the existence of a 
future life. They have very strange ideas on this subject ; 
in consequence of some of these, they place near the deceased 
his arms and the articles most necessary to life. Some have 
even gone so far as to have their best horse killed at their 
death, in order, as they said, to use him in travelling to the 
country of the dead. It is the general belief that the spirit 
returns to visit the grave of the deceased very often, so long 
as the body is not reduced to dust. During this space of time 
it is held a sacred duty, on the. part of the relatives of the 
deceased, to make sacrifices and offerings, and celebrate fes- 
tivals before the door of the tomb. In the time of fruits, they 
carr}' them in great abundance to the tomb, aud he who 
nourishes himself with them after they have been deposited 


there, causes gTcat J03' to tlie parents and relations of the 
deceased. Altliongli I Lave seen an old man Avho Lelieved in 
metempsychosis, it is not a belief of the nation ; he probably 
received this thonglit elsewhere. 

The Sauteux have also some knowledge of astronomy ; 
they have names for the most remarkable constellations; they 
have names, also, for the lunar months ; but their calculations, 
as can be conceived, are very imperfect, and they often fxnd 
themselves in great embarrassment, and have recourse to us 
to solve their diiHcuitles. The electric fluid manifested in 
thunder, the rays of light of the aurora borealis, are in their 
imagination animated beings ; the thunders, according to them, 
are supernatural beings ; and the rays of the aurora borealis 
are the dead who dance. 

Tlieir idea of tlie creation of the world goes no farther back 
than the deluge, of which they have still a tradition, the nar- 
ration of which would fill volumes. This account is extremely 
amusing, and filled Avith wearisome episodes. Without at- 
tempting to narrate the v/hole of it here, I will tell that part 
which relates to the creation: ''An immortal genius, seeing 
the water which covered the earth, and finding nowhere a 
resting-place for his feet, ordered a castor, an otter, and other 
amphibious animals, to plunge by turns into the water, and 
bring up a little earth to the surface. They were all 
drowned. The rat, however, succeeded in reaching the 
bottom, and took some earth in his paws, but he died before 
he got back; jet his body rose to the surface of the water. 
The genius, Nenabojou, seeing that he had found earth, 
brought him to life, and employed him to continue the work. 
When there Avas a sufiicient quantity of earth, he made a man, 
whom he animated with his breath." This genius is not the 
Great Spirit, of whom they never speak except with respect ; 
while Nenabojou is considered a buffoon of no gravity. 

This account contains one thing very important. It is that 
in speaking of the creation of plants, &c., it speaks of their 
nutritive properties ; and thus offers a resource for the suste- 
nance of life in times of scarcity ; shoAving what roots, plants, 
and mosses, can to a certain extent preserve life. Improvi- 


dent, not to say more of them, like all savage nations, the 
Santeux pass rapidly from abundance to Avant. 

There grows in tlie prairies a kind of turnip, which can 
appease hunger. When this root is chopped up, dried, nnd 
Leaten, the Sauteux make a soup of it, which, when mixed 
with a little meat, hecomes very nourishing; and thus, tlie 
food which would scarcely have sufficed a single day, is made 
to last several days. There is also a wild onion, of which they 
make much use. The ginger which grows in the w^oods, is 
employed as pepper in their repasts. In the spring, they find 
a kind of root, the shape of which resembles a ligne, vulgarly 
called a raVs tail. It is very abundant, of a good flavor, and 
Aery nutritive. Another root, named asJihihivali — that Avhich 
is eaten raw — is very abundant, and contains much nutritive 
substance. The fibres of the trees, above all of the aspen, 
are used by them in time of scarcity; also a kind of bush or 
shrub Avhich is found in the w^oods, CiiiX^di pimaftik. 

In the rocky countries, there exists a kind of moss very w^ell 
know^n to travellers, of Avhich the utility has been appreciated 
in more than one adventurous circumstance. It is the famous 
tripe de roclie. This moss is of the nature of the mushroom. 
As there are some mushrooms which are real poisons, so there 
is a'kind of tripe de roche which, far from nourishing, produces 
death. That Avhich is green, and has small, round leaves, is 
the most nourishing, and most easily digested. With this, 
and a duck, a partridge, or a fish, one can make a succulent 
soup sufficient to nourish several men. 

The Sauteux have a great passion for gaming. They pass 
W'hole days and nights in play ; staking all they have, even 
their guns and traps, and sometimes their horses. It has 
happened that, having nothing more, they have staked even 
their wives upon the play. 

Tlieir love of intoxicating liquors is, as among all the 
other savaire tribes, invincible. A Sauteux, w4io was convinced 
of religion, wished to become-a Christian ; but he could not be 
admitted without renouncing indulgence in drunkenness to 
excess. He complained bitterly, that the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany had reduced his peoule to such a pitiable state, by 

PRINCE Rupert's land. 355 

bringing mm into the coiintrj', of which they would never 
have tiioiight if they had not tasted it. The Saiiteux are one 
of the most warlike of nations. From time immemorial, they 
have had the advantage over their numerous enemies, and 
pushed them to the north They treat the vanquished with 
the most horrible barbarity It is then that they are cannibals 
by virtue ; for though we see sometimes among them cases 
of anthropophagy, they have such a horror of it, that he who 
has committed this act is no longer sure of his life. They 
hold it a sacred duty to put him to death on the first favorable 
occasion. But during war they make a glory of cannibalism. 
The feast of victory is very often composed of human flesh. 
One sees a trait of this barbarity in the names they give to 
their principal enemies ; as, for instance, the Sioux, whom 
they call JVa?iak. As I have remarked before, it is not rare 
that they add to or retrench a little their proper names, wh'cli 
renders their interpretation rather difficult for strangers. lu 
the word I have mentioned, hiva7i is put for ohivan, which sig- 
nifies a piece of flesh put on the spit ; thus the word ainvavak, 
which they have finished by calling hwanaJc oy pwanak, signi- 
fying those whom one roasts on a spit. In their great war 
parties, after the victory, the Sauteux build a great fire, then 
plant all around spits laden with the thighs, heads, and hearts, 
&c., of their enemies, after which they return home. 

4. The Sioux, to whom we must join the Assiniboins, in- 
habit a portion of the valley of the Hudson bay, viz. : the 
upper part of the Hed river, and the river Chayenne, which 
is tributary to it. But many endeavors have been made to 
conclude a solid peace with the Sioux ; and though each time 
has been with the appearance of success, their acts of treason 
have always destroyed these bright hopes. The Sauteux 
complain bitterly of their want of faith. 

The nation of the Assiniboins, who separated themselves 
from the Sioux, according to tradition, on account of family 
disputes, look its name from the rocks of the lake of the Woods, 
where they first lived after their separation. Their name 
comes from assin, rock, and hivan, Sioux — Sioux of the Rocks. 
It is impossible to fix the date of this separation ; for at the 


arrival of tlie first missionaries to Hudson's bay, Father Ga- 
briel Marest, in 1G94, vrrote, speaking of tlie Assiniboins, 
"vvliom lie called Assinipoih, that this tradition was regarded 
as being already very old. 

The Assiniboins are numerous, and from tbeir habit of 
living- in large encampments, are formidable to tbeir enemies. 
Tlrls tribe, like tbe Sauteux and the Crees, tbeir allies, are 
not hostile to the whites. A traveller can pass through this 
nation Avith more security for his life than in a civilized coun- 
t.y, wliicli can not be said of the Sioux. One can not travel 
upon the highlands of the Missouri and Red rivers, without 
ofren being seized with horror by the narrations occasioned by 
the view of places and scenes of a crowd of acts of barbarity 
and treason, that have been perpetrated, by this people, of 
which one sees in history but an example fro.m time to time. 
It is a horrible sight to see, as I have seen in different places, 
the skeletons of human beings, confounded in a heap with the 
bones of savage animals. Without these imminent dangers, 
which such sights recall to the mind of the traveller, these 
prairies would appear a paradise. Filled with game of all 
kinds, they offer at each moment a new point of view, and a 
variety of perspective most astonishing — lakes, Avhere the 
herds of bison come to slake their thirst, and where the majes- 
tic swan and. the wild goose repose themselves in passing — 
the limpid streams, where the beavers expose their ingenious 
"work to the admiring gaze — petrifactions, mineral waters of 
various kinds, flowers, and strange plants, all unite to amuse 
and interest the intelligent traveller in search of the useful 
and the agreeable. 

Thfe nature of the territory separated, from that of the 
United States by the 49th degree of latitude, is such, that it 
seems necessary that one should have first visited the country 
before determining the line and making a choice. With the 
exception of a straight strip of land, say a degree parallel to 
the 49th degree of latitude, all the rest of the country of the 
bay of Hudson is filled with lakes, marshes, savannas, and 
rocks. Except a small portion, on Avhich is established the 
colony of Selkirk, there is not a spot of land that will produce 

pRmcE kupert's land. 867 

corn. One can harflly imag-ine the sad eventualities to whicli 
the people of this country are subjected, who can never count 
on the resources of agriculture, being six hundred miles from 
any point where they can obtain supplies. It is thus that the 
people north of Saskadjiwan are exposed from time to time, to 
the terrible alternative of dving of hunger or of eating one 
another, when in tlie interval that tlie fisheries fail, it happens 
that the chase fails also. 

It is for this reason that our neighbors of the colony of Sel- 
kirk view with envious eyes the beautiful territory which ex- 
tends south of the forty-nintli degree, from Rainy lake to the 
Rocky mountains. The left bank of the river of Rain}' lake, 
for the space of about eighty miles, is covered with all kinds 
of wood, of Avhich the extreme height indicates the fertility 
of the soil. The country which belongs to the United States, 
is filled with advantages in respect to water-power. It is on 
account of the inferiority of the advantages of their territory, 
that our neighbors feel a strong opposition to our establisli- 

At the foot of the beautiful mountain of Pembina, Avhich is 
more than two hundred feet above the level of the river Pem- 
bina wliich divides it, and on its first table rises the little 
village of St. Joseph. It is divided by squares of twelve 
chains, and subdivided by lots of six chains. Its streets are 
one chain (sixty-six feet) wide, whicli adds to the beauty of 
the town, rendering the extinction of fire easier and favoring 
the free circulation of air and the health of the citizens. 
Everything wears an air of vigor in spite of the little protec- 
tion they have thus far received from the general government. 
The least effective step, such as a garrison of soldiers, however 
feeble it might be, the construction of a public edifice, a court 
of justice, a prison, a house of correction, or anything that 
would prove the indubitable intention of government to protect 
us, would draw to this place a great portion of the population 
of Selkirk and elsewhere. The soil is very fertile, and the 
frosts never occasion any damage. Our gardens yield us an 
abundance of melons of all kinds; a fruit which is not known 
in the gardens of the Selkirkers. In 1851, the first frost felt 


at St. Paul on the 6tli or 7tli of September; while at St. 
Joseph the first frost was not until the 2d or 3cl of October. 
They raise potatoes which weigh about two pounds each, and 
carrots eighteen inches long and four in diameter. If the 
country were explored it would show, without doubt, gTeat 
inineralogical advantages. At a short distance from our 
establishment, there are certain indications of iron and coal — 
these two articles are the most important for this country. 
The river Pembina furnishes water-power for any force re- 
quired ; there is also stone in abundance and very easily ob- 


The Rev. S. R. Riggs, of the Lac-C[ui-Parle mission, gives 
the following interesting account of the mounds of the Min- 
nesota valley : — 

In the Minnesota valley mounds are numerous. They may 
properly be divided into : — First, natural elevations, pahas, or 
pazhodans, as the Dakotas call them ; second, such as are 
partly natural and partly artificial; and third, elevations which 
have been formed by certain processes. Pahas, or pazhodans, 
are found scattered over the prairies, some of the more prom- 
inent of which may be seen from a great distance. Such is 
Heyokatee, the liouse of Heyoka* situated near the Maya- 
wakan or Chippewa river, some ten miles or more above its 
junction with the Minnesota. This natural elevation appears 
at some distance to the right of the road, as one comes from 
Black-oak lake to Lac-qui-Parle. But even this is hardly 

* Hetoka is the anti-natural god of the Dakotas — represented by an old 
roan wearing a cocked hat, with a quiver on his back, and a bow Ln his 
hand. In the winter, it is said, he goes naked, and loves the northern 
blasts ; while in suramer he wraps his buflFalo-robe around him, and is stiJl 
Biiffcring from cold. 


to be compared with the " pahawakaD," or sacred Jiills, in the 
valley of the James river, which are more than one hundred 
feet high, and can be distinctly seen from the farther border 
of the Ooteau des Prairies, a distance of about forty miles. 
In passing from one point to another on the prairie, the ■pahas 
are very serviceable as guides to the traveller. 

These natural elevations, m here they are found near Indian 
villages, have been used as burial-places. Among the Da- 
kotas, the native way of disposing of the dead is that of 
placing them on scaffolds. A palm, or conspicuous point, is 
preferred as the place of erecting such scaffold, that it may be 
seen from a distance. At the present time, burial soon after 
death is practised to a considerable extent by the Dakotas of 
the Minnesota valley, including those still on the Mississippi; 
and where they still prefer to place upon scaffolds at first, 
they not unfrequently bury in the course of a few months. 
But their graves are so shallow that, to cover the dead suffi- 
ciently, they are often obliged to carry up earth ; and it is 
probable that formerly they carried up more than they do at 
present. To prevent the body from being dug up by wolves, 
they generally enclose the grave by setting up around, in a 
cone-like form, billets of wood. The decomposition of the 
bodies, and the rotting of the palisades and scaffolds, enrich 
the ground, and cause a more luxuriant growth of vegetation, 
which, of itself, directly tends to add to the size of the mound. 
Then this rank vegetation forms a nucleus for drift. Then the 
grass and dust which the wind blows Over the prairie, lodge, 
and make the elevation still greater. On the hill, a short dis- 
tance east of the ruins of Fort Renville, to the northwest and in 
sight of the mission-houses at Lac-qui-Parle, there is a paha 
of this kind, in w^hicli, in years gone by, many persons have 
been buried. It now presents on the top a very irregular 
sm-face, partly owing to the interments thus made, and partly 
to the burrowing of the gophers in it. On the southAvest side 
of the Minnesota, a short distance back of the Wahpetonwan 
village, there is another mound, which has been long used as 
a burying-place. Similar ones may be found near all Dakota 


If the question be askecl, Why do the Dakotas prefer these 
mounds as tlie places of deposite for their dead ? I answer : — 
First, as before suggested, that the place may be seen from a 
distance all around. 'As they wail morning and evening, they 
can conveniently look to the abode, not only of the body of 
their departed friend, but, as many of them believe, of one 
of the spirits also. Secondl}-, all ^?a/^a5 are under the guard- 
ianship of their god Heyoka. And thirdly, a hill may be 
regarded as a more congenial place of rest for a spirit than a 
valley ; and thence, too, the earthly spirit may the better 
hold communion with the one which has gone to the east along 
the "iron road," or is above, making progress on the " wanagi 
tachanku" (the via lactia), or sj?irit's road. 

The third species of elevations which I shall notice, have 
the form of embankments rather than mounds. They are 
artificial, found usually in the river bottoms or low planting 
lands, and formed by carrying out, spring after spring, the 
corn-roots and other trash from off the field, and piling them 
along the outer edge, or on the row between two fields. In 
many instances of patches that had been planted for ten or 
twenty years previous to the introduction of the plough, I 
have seen these embankments from two to three feet high, and 
of all conceivable shapes ; some rhomboidal, some hexagonal, 
some oval. I remember having noticed them first, many years 
ago, in the old plantings at Little Six's village, where I pre- 
sume they may still be traced, as I am not aware that those 
old fields (which were on the opposite side of the river, and 
about two miles below the site of the present village), have 
ever been ploughed. The thought has occurred tome that, 
perhaps some of what have been regarded as Indian fortifi- 
cations in other parts of the country, may have a similar 

In connection with these remarks on mounds, it is proper 
to give some description of a very interesting excavation and 
fortification, which is found a fcAV miles above the mouth of the 
Pa-zhe-hu-ta-ze or Yellow Medicine river. It is on the south 
side of the Minnesota, and within sight of the mission-station 
lately commenced by Dr. "Williamson. I visited this memorial 


of anotLer race. The excavation extends around three sides 
of a somewhat irregular square, the fourth being protected by 
the slope of the hill, which is now covered with timber. After 
the filling-up of years, or perhaps centuries, the ditch is still 
about three feet deep. We found the east side, in the middle 
of the ditch, to measure thirty-eight paces ; the south side, 
sixty-two ; and the west side, fifty. The north side is consid- 
erably longer than the south. The area enclosed is not far from 
half an acre. On each of the three excavated sides there was 
left a gateway of about two paces. The earth was evidently 
thrown up on both sides ; but the embankments have now 
almost entirely disapjjeared in the level of the prairie. With- 
in the enclosure there are numerous very slight elevations, 
which seem to mark the places occupied by the dwellings of 
those who were once entrenched here. It would be interesting 
to know what were the form and character of these houses; 
but all we can learn from the present appearance of things is, 
that they were probably partly made of earth. 

This is by far the largest and most interesting fortification 
that I have seen in the valley of the Minnesota. How long 
ago was this ditch dug, and by whom 1 It evidently bears the 
marks of some antiquity ; and it was not probably made by 
the Dakotas, as it must date many years beyond their occu- 
pancy of this country. Some band of Indians, perhaps a 
little in advance of the Dakotas in civilization, here entrenched 
themselves against the attacks of their enemies. As we stood 
within the enclosure, and contemplated the work, we natu- 
rally asked the question. Who did this ? And from the deep 
silence of antiquity the only answer we received was, Who 1 




This floiirisliiug farming settlement is situated six miles 
northeast of St. Paul, and four and a half miles from St. An- 
thony. It was first settled by Michael Brophy, a soldier of 
the Mexican war, who Avent into this wild region, accompanied 
by a beautiful and accomplished wife, in the fall of 1850. 
He here entered a warrant for one hundred and sixty acres 
of land amid this beautiful region of woodland, prairie, and 
charming lakes, and, like Blannerhasset, dwelt alone away from 
the noise and bustle of the rising towns. No " Burr" was there 
to trouble him, save the hurr-oahs in groves, which he soon 
cleared away, and putting up his cabin, commenced a perma- 
nent improvement. He soon attracted the attention of other 
adventurers seeking for homes and fortunes. Through his 
obliging manners, and his readiness in conducting strangers 
through the country, and giving them all the information in 
his power, as Avell as by the hospitalities extended at his home 
he drew many settlers to his neighborhood. The earliest 
pioneers succeeding him was a company of enterprising young 
men, known as the *' Bachelors," who located there in the 
spring of 1851. Their names are, James R. Lawrence, Henry 
M'Kenty, Patrick Powers, C. E. Shaffer, and Andrew Jackson 
Morgan. The latter forsook " the art preservative of arts," 
and the setting of types for the setting of stakes, the following 
of the plough, and a residence with the other " Bachelors" in 
a house of tamarac logs. 

Here they opened up their farms and flourished amid the 
beauties of Broph3\ By industry, untiring perseverance, and 
a rapid meeting Avitli and battling all opposing obstacles with 
resolute hearts, and with contented minds, they here dwelt 
peacefully, and laid the foimdations for future wealth and 
independence. Other settlers followed, and the land is now 
being rapidly taken up. To those in search of a good farm, 
with all the necessary requisites of soil, wood, and water, com- 
bined, Avith an easy access to two good markets at very con- 
venient distances, the Brophy settlement affords advantages 


tlicat are selclom met witli elsewhere. The soil consists of a 
rich clay and sandy loam — the two being often found on the 
Game quarter section. It produces well — nay luxuriantly, as 
any one may see by a few hours' ride amid the fine farms now 
opened. Oak openings and rolling prairies are interspersed to 
suit the various tastes of all, and many fine locations on the 
various lakes are yet unoccupied. It is destined to become 
the most flourishing farming settlement in the neighborhood of 
St. Anthony or St. Paul, from the fact that a number of enter- 
prising men are now located there, and all other things being 
equal, it has obtained a start which nothing can retard. The 
whole settlement for many miles is beautifully interspersed 
with lakes, of all shapes and sizes. The most beautiful of 
these is Lake Johanna, situated in the very midst of the settle- 
ment. It is three miles in circumference, and is surrounded 
by beautiful headlands, peninsulas, and high blufi's. The 
waters are of a crystal clearness, and abound in all kinds of 
fish common to the territory. The shores are sandy and fall 
of pebbles, among which cornelians, agates, etc., are occasion 
ally found. Lake Johanna is indeed a most romantic, lovely 
spot, and your eye loves to linger upon its quiet, peaceful, sur- 
face, while the setting orb of day throws on its surrounding 
scenery a flush of variegated light, which glows and kindles 
like the rose which tints the fair soft cheek of an eastern Jiouri. 


The organization of the territory of Minnesota having been 
made during the administration of President Taylor, the first 
official appointments were made (as is the precedent) from the 
ranks of the political party then in power, consequently the 
first executive officers of Minnesota were whigs. But the ad- 
ministration of General Pierce succeeding, the first incum- 
bents were removed, and the important offices of the gov- 
ernment of Minnesota were filled by appointment of the 
democratic president, and otherwise, as follows : — 

Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs — Willis A, Gorman, of 
Indiana^ viee Alexander Ramsey, formerly of Pennsylvania 


Secretakt of TirE Territoet — J. T. Ecsser, of Virginia, vice Alexander 
"Wilkin, of Minnesota. 

CmzF-JrsTicE — William H. Welch, of Minnesota, vice H. Z. Hayner, for- 
merly of New York. 

Associate Justices — A. G. CJiatfield, of Wisconsin, vice David Cooper, 
formerly of Pennsylvania; and Moses Sherburne, of Maine, vice Bradley B, 
Meeker, formerly of Kentucky. 

UNITED States Marshai, — W. W. Irwin, of Missouri, vice J. W. Furber, of 

United States District- Attor>t:t — Daniel H. Dustin, of Xew York, vice 
fienrv L, Moss, of Minnesota. 

Laxd-Receiver at Stillwater — William H. Holcombe, of Minnesota, vice 
Jonathan M'Kusiek, of Minnesota. 

Laxd-Register at Stillwater — T. M. Fullerton, of Minnesota, vice Allen 
Pierse, of Minnesota. 

Land- Receiver at Sauk Rapids — William H. Wood, of Minnesota, vic€ 

A. Christmas, of Minnesota. 

La>-d-Register at Sauk Rapibs — George W. Sweet, of Minnesota, vice 
Reuben H. Richardson, of ilinnesota. 

Agent for the "Winnebagoes — J, E. Fletcher, of Iowa, vice A. M. Fridley, 
formerly of New York. 

Agent for the Sioux — R. G. Murphy, of Illinois, vice X. M'Lean, of Min- 

Agent: for the CniPFETrAS — D. B. Herrinoan, of Indiana, vice J. S. Wat- 
rous, of Wisconsin. 

Postmaster at St. Paul — William H. Forbes, of Minnesota, vice J. W. 
Bass, of Minnesota. 

Postmaster at St. Anthony — Orrin W. Rice, of Minnesota, vice Ard God 
frey, of Minnesota. 

Collector of United States Customs at St. Palt — Robert Kennedy, of 
Minnesota, vice Charles J. Henniss, of Minnesota. 

Collector of United St.\tes Customs at Pembina — Philip Beaupre, of Min- 
nesota, vice Charles Cavileer, of Minnesota. 

Clerk of the Sltreme Coltit — Andrew J. Whitney, of Minnesota, vice 
James K. Humphrey, of Minnesota. 

LiERARLiN AND Peivate Seceet.^rt — R. A. Smith, of Indiana, vice "Wallace 

B. White, of Minnesota. 

Delegate in Congress — Henry M. Rice, vice Henry H. Sibley (whose 
terra of service has expired, the delegate being elected for two years). 

Atiornet-General — Lafayette Emmett, vice I^ A. Babcock, resigned. 

Adjltant-General — Svlvanus B. Lowrv, vice James il'Clelland BoaL 

TtFRrroEiAL Auditor — Socrates Nelson, vice A. Yan Voorhies. 

Terkitorlal Treasurer — Roswell B. Jlussell, vice Calvin Tuttle. 

Superintendent of Schools — George W. Prescott, vice Rev. E. D. Neill, 


The following letters, from distinguished and 'well-kno'wii sources, are 
offered for perusal to the readers of this work, as evidences of the apprecia- 
tion which the subject of "Minnesota" commands within the territory. As 
complimentary to the author, they have given him much encouragement 
toward the success of the book; while they reflect in a great measure the 
tone which every true friend of western settlement should cheerfully re- 
spond to: — 

{From Hon. Alexander Ramsey.) 

St. Paul, June 21, 1853. 

J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : Mr. J. "Wesley Bond, a resident of this 
place for three years, and who in that time has enjoyed more than ordinary 
facilities for the acquisition of much valuable and interesting information of 
the current history and statistics of this territory, has prepared, and pro- 
poses to publish, a work illustrating the present condition of Minnesota. 
Such a "Work is a desideratum at this time; and Mr. Bond, from the large 
store of interesting facts that he has been industriously collecting, and his 
acknowledged abilities as a ready and fluent writer, I am convinced will* 
satisfy the wants of the public in this regard. 

The interest that has been excited all over the Union in reference to this 
region of the northwest will secure the book a ready sale, and I trust it may 
be convenient for you to aid Mr. Bond in bringing it before the public. 

Very respectfully yours, 

Alex. Ramsey. 

{From His F.vceUe7icy Governor Gorman.) 

c Executive Department, St. Paul, Minn. Tek., ) 

June 25, 1853. ) 
J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : Mr. Bond has written a history of Min- 
nesota, that is favorably spoken of here. He desires to make some arrange- 
ment for the publication. I have no doubt but that it will have a largo 


circulation nnd ready sale. Any fiicility you can afford to the end desired 
will be regarded as a favor to the territory and to myself. 

Most respeclfully, 

W. A, Gorman. 

{From Isaac N. Goodhue, Esq., late Editor of the Minnesota Pioneer.') 

St. Paul, June 20, 1853. 

J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : In the states east of us tliere are proba- 
bly more inquiries for information respecting Minnesota than for any other 
point of settlement in the new localities of our continent. As editor of the 
"Minnesota Pioneer" newspaper, I have had occasion to observe a remark- 
able degree of avidity with which information of our territory has been 
sought by eastern people who contemplate emigration to the west. I am 
contideut that Mr. Bond's manuscript respecting our territory will meet 
"with a ready sale whenever it is offered to the public — especially in the 
states east of us. As to the qualities of the work, I can assure you, that, if 
they are such as I have found in his frequent communications to the readers 
of the Pioneer, ihey are admirably suited to the purpose intended. 

I with Mr. Bond entire success in his enterpiise, and doubt not he will 
attain it under the auspices of your establishment, if he shall be so happy 
as to receive your material encouragement. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

I. N. Goodhue, editor "Minn. Pio." 

{From Rev. E. D. Neill, Secretary of the Historical Society of Ifinnesota.) 

St. Paul, M. T., June 18, 1853. 

Mr. J. "W. Bond — Dear Sir: The work, entitled "Minnesota and its Re- 
sources," (hat you have prepared, and asked me to examine as secretary of 
the Minnesota Historical Society, has been perused with pleasure. The ar- 
ticles from your own pen, and those collated from the tiles of Minnesota 
papers, are such as will often be referred to by the Minnesotian. 1 hav© no 
doubt that, when the book is published, it Avill meet with a rapid sale, not 
only in Minnesota, but at the east, for it conveys just the sort of information 
the immigrant desires. The only book that has been published on Minne- 
sota is Seymoiu's work. This gentleman (now no more) was a lawyer in 
Galena. Without practice, and very needy, he made a hasty trip to the 
territory, not being absent from Galena more than two weeks; and, afte. 
boi-rowing a book of travels, by Long, from one of my friends, returned ana 
wrote the "Sketches of IMinnesota," which have been the only sources of 
information at the cotnmand of the immigrant 

I liope that you will lose no time in forwarding your book to some eastern 
publisher, for such a manual is much needed. 

Very truly your friend, 

E. D. Neill. 

{From J. Esaias Warj-en, Esq.) 

St. Paul, June 20, 1853. 
J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : I take pleasure in submitting to your 
careful perusal the MSS. of an exceedingly interesting work on Minnesota, 
"which I think it would prove greatly to your interest to give to the world 


in a permanent form. The author is an excellent writer, and has been for 
years a resident of the territory. He has done ample justice to his subject, 
and this is saying as much as oouki be said. The immigration is now so 
great, and so rapidly on the increase, that a neAV work on the country is 
much in demand, and eould not fail to command an extensive and ready 
sale. Hoping that you will be able to undertake the publication of the 
work, I have the pleasure to subscribe myself 

Your friend and obedient servant, 

J. EsAiAS "Warren. 

{From J. J. Noah, Esq.) 

St. Paul, June 18, 1853. 
J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : My personal friend, J. "W. Bond, Esq., 
has handed me for perusal a "pnper" on Minnesota, comprising researches 
and useful information rarely to be met with in the literature of the pres- 
ent day, which he tells rae he is anxious to have puldished by yoiu' house. 
In recommending your acceptance of the same, I feel pei'fectly confident of 
its certain success, stoied as it is with information more perfect and vaiied 
than the casual, speculative writer cares to fill his volume with. Mr. Bond 
has devoted a long residence here to literary pursuits, and his "Camp-Fii-e 
Sketches" were looked upon as al>ly written, as well as instructive and 
agreeable. As an editor, I have had a\)undant opportunity to note the cra- 
vings of popular taste ; and the lapse of time since the publication of a " pla- 
giarisn)" on Minnesota, by Mr. Seymour, of Galena, has developed this focus 
of Western civilization, until it lias become an object of mucli attention 
throughout the United States. Consequently something really original and 
practical is in l)igh demand ; and, upon a careful examination of the effort of 
Mr. Bond, I do not hesitate to urge its speedyS^ublication. 

With respect I subscribe myself your ob't servant, 

Jacob J. JSToah. 

{From Hon. H. Z. Hayner, late CJdef- Justice of the Territory of Minnesota.) 

St. Paul, June 22, 1858. 
J. S. Redfield, Esq. — Dear Sir : With feelings of pleasure, permit me to 
add my testimonial to the able effort of J. Wesley Bond, Esq., who has be- 
stowed much care and labor upon " Minnesota and its Resources," and which 
be contemplates oftering to you for publication. The production of such a 
work, with information known to be peeuliai-ly correct, aside from any jmb- 
lie cliiiracter its statistics may assume, must, in my judgment, meet with suc- 
cess and unbounded public approbation. The eyes of the Atbantic popula- 
tion are continually gazing, in the dim obscurity of distance, toward the 
Great West, the immense resources of which remain yet to be developed by 
the hardy sons of New England and the down-trodden masses escaping from 
tyranny to find happy, peaceful liomes within om* vast domain. 1 know of 
no country bettei-.-idapted to the confidence of western imndirration than IMin- 
ncsota ; and, in order that such confidence may be generally dilfused, I can 
satVly recoMimcnil 'lie work of Mr. Bond to the inquiring public. Tiie liter- 
aiy rtputalion of tlie aulhor is envial>le, and I trust you may find it convG- 
nient and profitable to embark in liis enterprise. 

Witli respect, your ob't servant, 

H- Z. Hayneb. 





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REDFIELd's NF.W and popular PUBLICATION!* 


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Or Resemblances between Men and Animals. By J. W. Redfield, 
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price, SO.OO. 

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redfield's new and popular publications. 


Nores and P^memlarions to the Text f)f Shakespeare's Plays, from 
the Early Manuscript Corrections in a copy of the folio of ]^32, 
in the possession of John Payne Collier, Esq., F.S.A. I'hird 
edition, with a fac-simile of the Manuscript Corrections. 1 vol 
12mo, cloth, $1 50. 

•♦It is not for a momont to be doubted, wo think, that in this volume a contribution 
has been made to the chMirness and accuracy of Shakospearo's text, by far the most im 
portant oi any offered or attempted since r^hakesjieare lived and wrote." — Loud. Exam 

"The corrections \vhi('h Mr. Collier has here given to the world are, we venture to 
think, of more value than the labors of nearly all the critics on Shake.spearo's text put 
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"This volume is an almost indi^pen.'-able companion to any of the editions of 
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By Joseph Francois Michaud. Translated by W. Robson, 3 vols. 
12mo., maps, $3 75. 

"It is comprehensive and accurate in the detail of facta, methodical and lucid in ar- 
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this most romantic and wonderful period in the annals of the Old World." — Boston 
Daily Courier. 


An Historical Romance of 1651, by HK]<(Ry W. Herbert, author 
of" the " Cavaliers of England," &c., &c. Fourteenth Edition. 
Revised and Corrected. 

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of deep interest and of considerable historical valuek It will be found well wortk 
rm&ding" —National '^is, Worcester. 



Speeches by 'le Eidit Hon. T. B. Macaulat, M. P., Author of 
" The History of Engluiul," " Lays of Ancient Rome," &:c., &c. 
Two vols., 12mo, ])rice $2.00. 

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•• It may be 6:dd that Great Britain has produced no statesman since Burke, v/ho haa 
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^ 1^5^ 


On the Lessons in Proverbs, by Richard Chenevix Trench, B. D., 

Professor of Divinit}' in Kmg's College, London, Author of the 
*' Study of Words." 12mo, cloth, 50 cents. 

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Umd Eclectic 



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REDPIELD's new and popular PUBLICATIOWa, 


A Straj/ Yankee in Texas. By Philip Paxton. With Illustra* 
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Nick of the Woods, or the Jibbenainosay ; a Tale of Kentucky. By 
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Sketches of American Society, during the Visits of their Guests, by 
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-I Worcesttr Spy 



New and only Complete Edition, containing several New Poems, 
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hardness, dullness, or dryness about i 
^-Boston Evening Traveller 



In language adapted to common readers. By W. W. Hall, M. D. 
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porti aitures, vahinble from the corrfct drawing of the times they illustrate, and interest^ 
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" They are spirit-stirring productions, whirh will be read and admired by all who 
are jOeji^ed with historical taU s written in a vigorous, bold, and dashing style " — Boston 

" These legends of love and chivalry contain some of the finest tales which the 
graphic and powerful pen ot Herbert has yet given to the lighter hterature of the day.* 
- Dftroil Free Press, 

REDFIELD's new and popular PUBLiCATIOWt 

By Alice Carey. In one volume, 12mo, cloth, price 75 eta. 

" Wheth'^r poetry be defined as the rhythmical creation of beauty, as passion or elo- 
quence in larmonious numbers, or as thouijht and feeling manifei^ted by processes of 
the imagination, Alice Carey is incontet^tably and incomparably the first living Americaa 
poet^^B8 — fresh, indigenous, national — rich beyond precedent in suitable and sensuous im- 
Bgcry — of the finest and highest qualities of feeling, and such powers of creation as the 
Ahniirhty has seen fit to bestow but rarely or in far-separated countries." — Bost. Trans. 

" The genuine inspiration of poetic feeling, . . . replete with tenderness and beauty, 
earnestness and truthful i-iniplicity, and all the attributes of a pov/erful imagination and 
vivid fancy. We know of no superior to Miss Carey among the female authors of thi« 
country." — New York Journal of Commerce. 

" Alice Carey's book is full of beautiful thoughts ; there is draught after draught o^ 
pure pleasure for the lover of sweet, tender fancies, and imagery which captivates 
while it enforces truth." — New York Courier and Inquirer. 

»• 'Lyra and other Poems,' just published by Rcdfield, attracts everywhere, a remar - 
able degree of attention. A dozen of the leading journals, and many eminent criti 4, 
have pronounced the authoress the greatest poetess living." — New York Mirror. 



By WiNTHRop Mackworth Praed. Now first Collected. One 
Volume l2mo. Price One Dollar. 

" A timely publication is this volume. A more charming companion (in the shape of 
a book) can scarcely be fnimd for the summer holydMVs."— TVew York Tribune. 

" They are amusing sketches, gay and sprightly in their character, exhil'iting great 
facility of composition^ and considerable powers of satire." — Hartford CouraiiU 

" There is a brilliant play of fancy in ' Lillian,' and a moving tenderness in ' Josephine,' 
for which it would be hard to find equals. We welcome, therefore, this first collected 
edition of his work?." — Albany Express. 

'• As a writer of vers de soriete he is pronounced to be without an equal among Eng- 
lish Huthors." — Syracuse Daily Journal. 

" Thf author of this volume was one of the most fluent and versatile English poets that 
have shone in the literary world within the last centiuy. His versification is astonish- 
ingly easy and airy, and his imagery not less wonderfully graceful and aerial." — Albanif 
State Register. 



Or, the Times of the Revolutions of 1642 and 1688. By Henrt 
William Herbert. One vol., 12mo., price $1.25. 

" They are graphic stories, and in the hitrhest degree attractive to the imagination as 
well as instnictive, and can not fail to be popular." — Commercial. 

" These tales are written in the popular author's best style, and give us a vivid and 
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" His narra^!ve is always fall of great interest ; his descriptive powers are of an un 
common order ; the romance of history lose? nothing at his hands ; he paints with tho 
power, vigor, and effect of a master." — Tke Times. 

" They bring the past days of old England vividly before the reader, and impress upon 
the mind with indelible force, the living images of the puritans as w^ll as the cavaliers, 
whose earnest character and noble deeds lend such a lively interest to the legends of 
thft times in which they Jved and fought, loved and hated, prayed and revelletL"— iVff». 
9Fk Daily. 



t)r. Recollections of our Nei_n;hborhoo(l in the West. By Alicr 
CARKy. Illustrated by Darley. One vol., 12mo., price Sl.OO. 
(Fourth edition.) 

" In this volume thero is a freshness which perpetually charms the reader. You seem 
tD be made free of western homes at once." — Old Cohniy Memorial. 

"They bear the true stamp of genius— simple, natural, truthful — and evince a koen 
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a WhiUier. 


A Panorama of Romance. By Caroline Chesebho'. Illustrated 
by Darley. One vol., 12mo., price $1.25. (Second edition.) 

"These simple and beautiful Ftories are all highly endur-d with an exquisite percep- 
tion of natural beauty, with which is combined an appreciative sense of its relation to 
the bis'best moral emotinns." — Albany State Register. 

" Glfidly do we greet this floweret in the field of our literature, for it is frasrrant with 
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ETiq Hirer. 

"There is a depth of sentiment and feeling not ordinarily met with, and some of the 
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ful pen of the authoress." — Churchman. 


By William E. Aytoun, Professor of Literature and Belles-Let- 
tres in the University of Edinljurgh and Editor of Blackwood'a 
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pared in spirit, vigor, and rhythm with this. These ballads tmb( dy and embalm the 
chief historical incidents of Scottish history — literally in 'thoughts that breathe and 
words tlint burn.' They are full of lyric energy, graphic description, and genuine feel 
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" The fine ballad of ' Montrose' in this collection is alone worth the price of the book.' 
Vostt'i Transcript. 


By BoN Gaultier. One volume, 12mo., cloth, price 75 cents. 

"Ilirn is a book for everybody who loves classic Inn. It is made up of ballad? of 
\\\ sorts, each a caiiitnl jiarody upcm the styled of sutnc one f)t the b«'st lyric writer*' of 
die time, froni tlte tliunlfrins.' v 'rt.ficaticn of I.ockhart a»id MacHuIay to the .-^weetesl 
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frolic <i( his ueniu- iu i)l:iy-liin«' '" — Courier and Em/'iirrr. 

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of no commcn powr.r." — trotidenu JournaL 

redfield's new and popular publication*. 


By Caroline Ciiesebro'. One vol., 12mo., cloth, price $1.00. 

•■The Piljrrimajre is franirht throngboiit with scenes of thrilling interest— romantic, 
yet possessing a naturalness tliat seems to stamp them as real ; the stj'le is tiowiug and 
easy, chaste and beautiful." — Troy Vaihj Times. 

'• Miss Chesehru' is evidently a ikinker—Bhe skims not the mere surface of life, but 
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•' ft is a charming book, pervaded by a vein of pure ennobling thought." — Troy Whig. 

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By Henry James. One vol., 12mo., cloth, price $1.25. 

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cussed are interesting and important to every one." — Worcester National jEgis. 

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" The writer wields a masterly and accurate pen, and his style is good." — Boston 
Olive Branch. 

" It will have many readers, and almost as many admirers." — N. Y. Times 


History of the War in the Peninsula, and in the South of France, 
from the Year 1807 to 1814. By W. F. P. Napikr, C. B., Col. 
43d Reg., &c. Complete in one vol., 8vo., price $3.00. 

"We believe the Literature of War has not received a more valuable augmentation 
this century than Col. Nr.pier's justly celebrated work. Though a gallant combatant in 
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" Napieh's History, in addition to its superior literary merits and truthful fidelity, 
regents ftron;' claiuis up(ju the attention of ail American citizens; because the fiuthor 
.8 a hirge-souli d pi ihinthropist. and an inflexible enemy to ecclesiastical tyjiinny and 
ecculMr de-pof-"." — Pott. 

'• The e.vcelh n'-y of Napier'.-? IIi~tory resn]t=; from the writer's happy tsilent for im- 
petuous, straigiitiorwanl, F(;ul-.-tirrii!'j; narrjitive and pictunn<r fuitii of c!.!tr:ictera 
The mihtary iiiiUKBuvre, niar;:h, ami fiery on^i't, tli'^ whole wliirhvind vicifsiludcs o* 
too desperate fight, he dessribea with dramatic force ' ^ Merdiants' Magazine. 


hedpield's new and popular publications. 


fllustrftting Phases of Character at the Present Day. By ilev. E« 
H. Chapin. One vol., 12mo., price 50 cents. (Second edition.) 

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thought and depth of feeling." — Tribune. 



Memoirs of Distinguished Scottish Females, embracing the Period 
of the Covenant and the Persecution. By Rev. James Ander- 
son. One vol., 12mo., price $1.25. 

"It is a record which, while it confers honor on the sex, will elevate the heart, and 
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every element of historical interest." — Courier and Enquirer. 

" It is written with great ppirit and a hearty sympathy, and abounds in incidents of 
more than a romantic interest, while the type ot piety it discloses is the nobleat and 
most elevated."— iV. Y. Evangelist. 



By Thkresa Pulszky, with a Portrait of the Author. One vol., 
price $1.25. 

The above contains, in addition to the English publication, a new Preface, and 
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in the publication. 

" This work claims more attention than is ordinarily given to books of its class. Such 
is the liuenoy and correctness — nay, even the nicety and felicity of style— with which 
Madame Pulszky writes the language, that merely in this respect the talfs here 
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has been trodden, but it is not j'et a commcjn highway. 1 he tales and legends are very 
various, from the mere traditional anecdote to the regular legend, and they bavo thfl 
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Narratives of Sorcery and Maaic, from the most Authentic Sourcet. 
By Thomas Wright, A.M., 6cc. One vol. 12mo., price $1.25. 

" We have no he.eitation in pronouncing tin? one of the most interesting works whicB 
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ten by a man whose object is simply to tell the truth, and who ie not himself bewitched 
hv nut f^Tcntff th*»orv " N Y. RerorJer 



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" The whole scheme of the story is well worked up and rery instructive.'* — Albany 


The Uses and Abuses of Air: showing its Influence in Sustaining 
Life, and Producing Disease, with Remarks on the Ventilation 
of Houses, and the best Methods of Securing a Pure and Whole- 
some Atmosphere inside of Dwellings, Churches, Workshops, 6cc. 
By John H. Griscom, M. D. One vol. 12mo, $1.00. 

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and especially by those constructing churches, lecture-rooms, schoolliouses, &,c.— It 
is undoubted, that muny diseases are created nnd spread in consequence of the little 
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'•The whole book is a complete manual of the subject of which it treats; and we 
venture to say that the builder or contr'ver of a dwelling, school -hoiise, chui'ch, thea- 
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which God provided for man before he made man, and a very long time before he 
permitted the existence of a doctor ? We commend the Uses and Abuses of Air to our 
readers, nssiiring them that they will Ijnd it to contain directions for the ventilation ol 
dwellinas, which every one who values health and comfort should put in practice."— 
N- ¥ Dispatch. 


By Alice Carey, author of " Clovernook," " Lyra, and Other 
Poems," &c. One vol., 12mo, price $1.00. 

"A story of rural and domestic life, abounding in humor, pathos, and that natural- 
ness in chai"acter and conduct which made ' Clovernook' so great a favorite last season. 
Passages in ' Hagar' are written with extraordinary power, its moral is striking and 
just, and the book will inevitably be one of the most popular productions of the sea- 

" She has a fine, rich, and purely original genius. Her country stories are almost 
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'• The Times speaks of Alice Carey as standing at the head of the living female wri- 
ters of Amcrici. We go even farther in our favorable judgment, and express the op-n- 
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of few in the annals of English hterature who have exhibited superior gifts ef resJ po 
«tio genius."— 7Aj (Portland, Me.) Ecltatic 

REDFIELd's new and popular PUBLlCATIOIfS, 

Life under an Etaliasi Despctisin ! 




One Vol., l2mo, Cloth — Price $1.00. 


•■ The author of ' Lorpnzn Benoni' i= Giovanni Ruffini, a native ofGpnna, who effncted 
his from his nntive cotintiy after tlie ntfeinpt at levohition in 1833. His book is. 
In gubjtaiicp, an fiuthontir account of real porsons and inciilentg, thoujih the writer has 
ch'^sen to sidnpt fictitious and i'autastic desij;nation« for himst^lf and his associatf.'s. Since 
1833, Ruffini has ro-idpd chiefly (if not wholly) in England and France, where his qu«M- 
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had Ion? been domesticated as a refugee. He ere Ions, however, relinquished that ofiire, 
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in thi-' country to such advantage as to have acquired a most uncommon ma>tery over 
the EnL'lish langua<re. The pre^ejit volume (we are informed on cood authority) is ex- 
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But its matter also is curious." — London Quarterly Review for July. 

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same tune tlio mo-t determined novel-rcHder could desii^e no work more fascinating over 
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" Few works of the season will be read with greater pleasure than this ; there ia a 
great chann in the quiet, natural way in which the stoi-y is told.'" — London Atlas. 

'•The author's gi-eat forte is character-painting. This portraiture is accompli.she(3 
with remnrkalile .'^kill, the tiaits both individual and national bein^,' marked with great 
nicety without obtrusiv(>ness." — London Spectator. 

" Under the modest sfuise of the biosraphy of an imairinary ' Lorenzo B-^non'.' we have 
here, in fact, the memoir of a man whose iiamecoul.i not be ijrononncel in certain parts 
of nfTthern Italy without calling up tra.'ic yet noble historical recollections. . . . Ita 
merits, simply a.s a work of literary art, are of a very hi^h ordi.>r. The style is really 
b'^autifiil — e.isy, sprii:h*ly, srr.'ic lul, and full of the happiest and most ingenious turns of 
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" This has be*'n not imjustly compared to ' Gil Bias,' to which it is scarcely inferior in 
ppiritpd dplineations of human cbarncter, and in the variety f)f events which it relates. 
But as a description of actual occurrence-? illustrating the domestic and political condi- 
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is impoitancc any woik of mere fiction." — Dublin Eveniiig MaU. 










In One Vol., l2mo, containing nearby Nine Hundred Biograpk 

teal Sketches — Price $1.50. 

"I am glad to learn that you are publishing this work. It is precisely that kind of 
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m Webster's Dictionary." — Lockport Courier. 

redfield's new and popular publicatioxs. 


Reprint i'd from the ncwly-discovered copy of the Folio of 163,'2 
in- the possession of J. Payne Collier , containing nearly 

Twenty Thousand Manuscript Corrections, 

With a History of the Stage to the Time, an Introduction to 
each Play, a Life of the Poet, etc. 


To which arc added, Glossarial and other Notes, the Readings of Former 
Editions, a Portrait after that by Martin Droeshout, a ViGNErrE Titlb 
on Steel, and a Facsimile ok the Old Folio, with the Manuscript Cor-, 
rections. 1 vol, Imperial 8vo. Cloth $4 00. 

The WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE the same as the above. 
Uniform in Size with the celebrateil Chiswick Edition, 8 vols. 
l6mo, cloth $6 00. Half calf or raoroc. extra 

These are American Co-pynght Editions, the Notes being expressly prepared 
for the work. The English edition contains simitly the text, without a single 
note or indication of the changes made in the text. In the present, the valu- 
ations from old copies are noted by reference of all changes to former edirione 
(abbreviated f. e.). and every indication and explanation is given essential to a 
clear understanding of the author. The prefatory matter, Life, &c., will be fullei 
than in any American edition now published. 

"This is the only correct edition of the works ol the 'Eard of Avon' over issued, 
and no lover <jr student of Shalcesp'-are should be without it." — Philadelphia Argit^f. 

'• Altoaetlier the most correct and therefore the most valuable edition extant." — Alba- 
ny Express. 

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" It must sooner or later drive all others from the market." — N. Y Eveiiive Post. 

" 15eyond all question, the v^ry beat edition of the great bard hitherto published." — 
yrto England Rtligiouft Herald. 

'• It must hfreatter he the standard edition of Shakespeare's plays." — Natioiial Arg^i*. 

" It is clear from internal evidence that they are genuine restorations of the origi 
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"This mu-t Wf thmk supersede all other editions of Shakespeare hitherto published. 
Collier's corrections make it really a diffV'rent work from it-i predecessors. Compared 
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" One who will probably hereafter hf considered as the only true authority. No one 
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•ditions must become obsolete." — Yankee Blade, Boston.