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vast beds under the marshes, both valuable as fertilizers, and the former also as an article of fuel.
The manufacturing industry of Wisconsin is in a flourishing condition and steadily increasing. It is estimated that this interest has in operation 5,000 establishments, with an invested capital of $30,000,000, producing articles to the value of $50,000,000.
The social, political, and pecuniary advantages of education have been fully appreciated by the people, and intelligence has kept pace with the otherwise rapid growth and progress of Wisconsin. School facilities are ample, each settlement having a school-house in close proximity. The productive capital of the educational funds in 1868 was $3,055,700, from which an annual income of $233,227 was realized, while the number of colleges, normal schools, and female institutes afford ample opportunity to every one for acquiring a collegiate education.
Wisconsin, being almost surrounded by navigable waters, possesses excellent commercial facilities for the transportation of surplus productions, which may easily and cheaply be sent from the northern and eastern portions over the lakes to the East, and from the western part by the Mississippi to the South and the ocean.
The railroads, in conjunction with its water communications, rendering the market easily accessible, must rapidly develop natural resources and increase the wealth and industry of the country.
The railroads in operation on the 1st January, 1870, were equal to 1,158 miles, being an increase of over 300 miles within the last ten years. The Chicago and Northwestern, one of the most important in the State, is connected with steamboats navigating Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, to Prairie du Chien and La Crosse, traverses the State between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi, while the Tomah and St. Croix, from Tomah, in Monroe County, to Hudson, on the St. Croix, which is being rapidly constructed, will give communication and transportation to the more central portions of the State. This route is also connected with Portage City by a road built by the Wisconsin Railroad Farm Mortgage Land Company, with the assistance of the congressional land grant of 30 June, 1856. Congress has also made a grant of land for a road from Portage, by the way of Berlin, to Bay. field, and thence to Superior, on Lake Superior; the route of this road traverses the center of Wisconsin north and south, and, when completed, will open up a large part of the immense lumber region of the State.
The Northern Pacific Railroad, now in course of construction to the Pacific, in Washington Territory, has its eastern terminus on the shore of Lake Superior, traversing the most northern part of the State, through the copper, iron, and pine regions of that locality.
The principal cities and towns of Wisconsin are Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Falls St. Croix, Hudson, Bay. field, Menasha, Stevens Point, and Superior.
Milwaukee is the chief commercial port, being situated in the south eastern part of the State, on the shore of Lake Michigan. It contains a population of over 100,000, and has one of the finest locations in the
. world. Amphitheatrical in form, the city rises from the shore of the lake in a semicircle, its white mass of houses from the distance appearing like rows of palaces. It is the leading manufacturing city of the State, and for this its immense and improved water-powers give it peculiar and extraordinary facilities. Its manufactories are very numerous, consisting of founderies, furnaces, and rolling-mills, boot and shoe, furniture, barrel, and other factories.
The several railroads diverging from the city to the most important
points in the State and throughout the Northwest, the lines of steamers connecting it with the various ports of Lake Michigan and Chicago, its fine harbor and river, navigable for the largest boats, afford advantages which but few cities enjoy. Next to Chicago, it is the greatest wheat market in the world. A distinguishing feature of the city is the mate
Å rial from which the houses are built. It consists of the straw-colored brick peculiar to the country, and which imparts to the town a very novel and cheerful appearance.
Madison, the capital of the State, is situated on Mendota Lake, in . Dane County, in the southern part, commanding a fine view of the surrounding country. The present population numbers over 13,000. It has extensive water-power, is connected by railroad with other portions of the State, and will soon have a complete connection with the main lines of Wisconsin.
Superior City, on Lake Superior, in the northwest, is possessed of a good harbor; and, being the proposed terminus of several of the lines of railroads leading from different parts, is destined to become a place of considerable importance.
Wisconsin has grown rapidly in population. In 1850 it contained 305,391 inhabitants, which had increased in 1860 to 775,881, while its present number is estimated at over 1,050,000, an increase of over 300 per cent. in twenty years.
There remain undisposed of 8,392,631 acres of public land, which have been surveyed by the government and put in market, and are now open to disposal for actual settlement or for capital investment, except a few townships still held as Indian reservations and a few of the evennumbered sections of public lands along the line of the land-grant rail‘roads, which are at present offered only to actual settlement and at the double-minimum price.
POLITICAL DIVISIONS IN THE VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI LYING
WEST OF THE RIVER MISSISSIPPI.
MINNESOTA is justly considered one of the most favored regions on the continent as a home for an agricultural and manufacturing population, possessing a climate of unrivalled salubrity, abounding in extensive tracts of rich arable lands, abundantly timbered throughout its whole extent, watered by innumerable lakes and streams, well supplied with arteries for communication by rivers in all directions, and subject to none of the drawbacks arising from excessive moisture or aridity which prevail in other quarters of our country.
With reference to the physical system of the continent this State occupies the exact center, being situated equi-distant from the Arctic and Tropic circles, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Hudson Bay and Gulf of Mexico. It contains within its limits 83,531 square miles, or 53,459,840 acres, and has a greater absolute extent of surface avail. able for agricultural purposes, in proportion to its whole area, than any State of the Union, about four-fifths of the domain being susceptible of profitable husbandry. The prevailing soil is a dark, calcareous, sandy loam, containing a various intermixture of clay, abounding in mineral salts and in organic ingredients derived from the accumulation of decomposed vegetable matter for long ages of growth and decay. The sand of which silica is the base forms a large proportion of this, as of all good soils. It acts an important part in the economy and growth of the cereals.
Three-fourths of the State is fine, rolling prairie, interspersed with frequent groves, oak openings, and belts of hard-wood timber, watered by numerous beautiful lakes and streams, and possessing warm, dark soil of great fertility, producing bounteously all the crops of the temperate zone.
The residue, embracing the elevated district immediately west of Lake Superior, consists for the most part of the rich mineral ranges on its shores and of the fine forests which clothe the headwaters of the Mississippi, affording almost inexhaustible supplies of lumber.
of the total area of the State, 53,459,840 acres, 17,819,947 acres, or one-third, is estimated to be timbered' land of more or less dense growth, and the remainder principally prairie. Of the whole surface, 26,019,739 acres have been surveyed, 19,516,340 acres have been disposed of, and 33,943,500.55 acres remain open subject to occupancy.
Among the natural features of Minnesota are the number, beauty, and picturesqueness of its lakes, which have been estimated, both large and small, as high as 10,000. They are found dotting its surface in nearly every section of the State, sparkling in the open prairies, hidden in the depths of the forests, and glistening like gems among the rugged hills of the northeastern section. These lakes not only give variety and beauty to the landscape, but supply the atmosphere during the summer months with moisture, and in many cases, by natural navigable streams successively passing from one to another, they constitute arteries for travel and transportation over a large portion of the country. The most delicious fish, such as bass, pike, pickerel, and sunfish, abound in all these lakes.
The navigable rivers of this State are the Mississippi, Minnesota, St. Croix, St. Louis, Root, and the Red River of the North.
The Mississippi courses about 800 miles through Minnesota, of which 540 miles are navigable within the State.
The Minnesota River, rising near Lac Traverse, flows southeasterly a distance of 450 miles and empties into the Mississippi at Fort Snelling, five miles above St. Paul. This is one of the finest streams in the val. ley of the Mississippi, and the country through which it passes cannot be excelled for salubrity of climate and productiveness of soil. In a good stage of water steamers can ascend almost to its source. The other rivers are navigable from 50 to 100 miles, penetrating into the interior to the pineries, and giving easy water communication into the country in all directions, as well as affording excellent water-power for lumbering, milling, and manufacturing purposes. Among other rivers not navigable are the Rum, Crow, Elk, Sauk, Crow-Wing, and Vermilion.
There is no elevation of land in Minnesota that approaches the dignity of a mountain, the nearest approach being the towering bluffs along the shores of the Mississippi; and from Dubuque to St. Paul, viewed from a distance, these ranges of bluffs have the irregular outline of mountains seen in other portions of the Union.
The State enjoys an enviable reputation for its healthy and invigorating climate. The atmosphere in summer is very clear, cool, and pleasant, with westerly, southwesterly, and southerly breezes. The nights are always cool and bracing. Large quantities of rain fall and heavy thunder-storms are frequent. The most remarkable characteristic of the winter is its extreme dryness, there being an almost total absence of rain or moisture. The mercury in winter, though almost always below freezing point, is seldom below zero.
The summer mean temperature is 70.6°, which corresponds with that
of Central Wisconsin and Southern Pennsylvania. The winter mean temperature is 16.1°, which coincides with Northern Wisconsin and Central Vermont. Mean annual temperature, 41.60. With an average temperature of 16°, the dry atmosphere of winter in Minnesota is said to be less cold to the sense than the warmer, yet humid, climates several degrees further south.
No State in the Union exhibits more rapid progress in agricultural pursuits than Minnesota. In 1859 there were but 345,000 acres under cultivation, while in 1869 there were 1,690,000, showing an increase, for the decade, of 1,345,000 acres, or 390 per cent., an unprecedented devel. opment. The number of improved farms in 1864 was 23,787, and in 1869, a period of five years, there was 45,740, being an increase of 92
In agricultural pursuits, wheat, the great staple, may be considered a specialty, surpassing all others in prominence. History abundantly af; firms the fact that in the dominating nations of the world, from that nation of antiquity which prospered coeval with Egyptian wheat-fields to the present time, wheat has been the prime food, and no nation has long lagged in the race of civilization which assigned to this cereal a conspicuous place. The achievements of Minnesota in the growth of this staple assume a proud preöminence. In the average per acre, and in the magnitude of operations, she has no rival.
From 1859, in which year there were but 124,969 acres appropriated to the culture of wheat, yielding 2,374,415 bushels, occupying only 34 per cent. of her whole cultivated surface, there has been a constant absorption of area by this grain, so that its occupancy in 1868 was nearly 62 per cent. In that year there were 858,316 acres devoted to wheat, producing 15,381,022 bushels.
The average yield during the past eleven years, ending with 1869, has been 17 bushels per acre.
There appears to be an invaluable property in the soil and climate of the State which enables this grain to measurably resist the extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, and for the industrious and intelligent immigrant no other occupation presents so practicable a field as wheat-growing, and no more inviting region can be found for his operations than in the rich, gently-swelling, and tractable prairies of Minnesota.
While wheat is shown to be a specialty of the State, overshadowing all other crops in importance, it must not be inferred that the soil is not adapted to the production of the other leading cereals of the northern latitudes. Oats, corn, and barley thrive admirably, and the cultivation of these crops during the past year has been eminently successful. The oat crop of 1869 excelled any previous year, both in quantity and quality. The yield is estimated at 12,310,298 bushels, averaging, for the whole State, 43 bushels to the acre, and there are well-authenticated instances of averages reaching 60 to 75 bushels.
Although corn holds a subordinate place in agriculture in Minnesota, experience has shown that the capacity of the soil for the culture of this grain is equal to that of States situated in more southern latitudes. The crop of 1868 showed a total of 4,849,936 bushels, and an average of 37 bushels to the acre.
There has been but a comparatively small space assigned to the growth of barley. The total product of 1869 was 813,120 bushels, the average being 37 bushels to the acre.
Potatoes are unsurpassed in quality, and their yield is most prolific, averaging 120 bushels to the acre. Beans, beets, peas, and all kinds of garden vegetables are grown in great abundance. Nearly all varieties of small fruits, native and cultivated, thrive well.
The peculiarities of soil, climate, and natural food are admirably adapted for the prosecution of wool-growing, which is destined to form an important interest of the State.
The total value of agricultural products for 1869 is estimated at $23,000,000, and that of live stock at $15,500,000. The assessed valuation of the aggregate real and personal property for the same year was $78,124,793.
The development of manufacturing industry in Minnesota has equaled the astonishing progress made in agriculture. With the extensive and effective water-power at St. Anthony, Falls of St. Croix, and other localities within her limits, greater than the whole steam and hydraulic power employed in the textile manufactures of England, this State is destined to become one of the foremost in manufacturing pursuits of the Union. The most important articles of manufacture are lumber, flour, whiskey, and leather. The result of operations in this branch of industry for 1869 show a total value of $14,831,043, with 1,650 establishments.
On the headwaters of the tributaries of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers are extensive pineries, where the annual cutting of logs and manufacture of lumber forms an important element of wealth of the State. The result of this business for the past year shows a total value of $2,650,635,
The relative progress of the State in agriculture, population, and manufactures in nine years, from 1860 to 1869, inclusive, is thus shown:
Per cent. Increase in breadth of total tillage.
290 Increase in population...
173 Increase in value of manufactures.
245 The minerals of Minnesota, located in the northeastern section of the State, are destined to be inferior only to agriculture as an element of wealth and prosperity. Copper abounds on the northern shore of Lake Superior, and large masses of the pure metal have been taken from that locality. Iron ore, in considerable quantity, found near Lake Pepin, has been tested, which proved to be fully equal in tenacity and malleability to the best Swedish or Russian iron. The iron ore found between the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Rivers is said to yield 31 per cent. of light gray iron. Coal has recently been discovered in the vicinity of New Ulm. Other minerals are found in the State, such as salt, lime, and white sand for glass, but the development of the mineral resources may be said to be meager in the extreme.
On the 1st of June, 1865, the State census exhibited a population of 250,099, and from the most reliable data attainable the population on the 1st of January of the present year was shown to be 470,000, an increase of 219,901 in a period of four years and seven months, or 87.92 per cent. It is estimated that of the present population 265,000 are of American ancestry and 205,000 foreign born. Of the foreigners the German element predominates.
Among the important towns of this State are: St. Paul, with a population of 20,000; Minneapolis, 15,000; Winona, 10,000; St. Anthony, 6,000; and Red Wing, Rochester, Faribault, Hastings, and Stillwater, with a population of from 3,000 to 4,000 each.
In 1862 there was not a mile of railroad completed in this State. The sole reliance for travel and transportation was river navigation for