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Magazine of Western History.


MAY, 1886,

No. I.



[COPYRIGHT.] WASHINGTON made eight tours into the immense extent of country, which he is west. After returning from the seventh moved to call “a new empire," ento the headquarters of the army at trusted by divine favors to the young Newburg, where it was quietly awaiting republic, and referring to the vigorous the conclusion of the negotiations for settlements there, and anticipating the peace, he thus wrote to the Chevalier states to come out of it, he adds: de Chastellux, October 12, 1783: “When they get strength, which will be Prompted by these actual observations, I could

than most people conceive, not help taking a more extensive view of the vast etc.” + One year now, and a century inland navigation of these United States from maps preceding have been constantly filling and the information of others; and could not but be struck with the immense extent and importance of

the east with surprises by the fulfillit, and with the goodness of that providence which

ments of that prophecy. Irving well has dealt its favors to us with so profuse a hand. Would to God we may have wisdom enough to im

says: prove them. I shall not rest contented till I have The suggestions of Washington in his letter to explored the western country, and traversed those the governor, and his representation, during this lines, or a great part of them, which have given visit to Richmond, gave the first impulse to the great bounds to a new empire. *

system of internal improvements since pursued After returning from his eighth tour

throughout the United States. I in the following year, 1784, he wrote to

Those eight western tours, short for Governor Harrison of Virginia his im

a traveling salesman of to-day, but then pressions made by it, and the letter is very extended, elevated Washington almost a state paper from its "scope. from a provincial to a continental statesForecasting the development of that

+ 'Sparks' Writings of Washington,' Vol. IX, p. * Sparks'' Writings of Washington', Vol. VIII. p.

62, October 10, 1784. 489.

#‘Life of Washington,' Vol. IV, p. 459.

man, and enabled him to say, from been in the west. And that centre is travel and study, what few have been about two hundred and twenty miles able to say, then or since, that the west farther west than any point which Washwould show great strength “sooner than ington reached. He gained his impresmost people would conceive.” * That sions of “the immense extent and imgrowth has ever since kept in advance portance" of the United States without of the conceptions of the average Atlan- crossing that meridian of Cincinnati. tic statesman, and is constantly surpris- In these ten years the live stock of ing even the students of western devel- the farming interests has increased opment.

A few aggregate statements, thirty-three per cent., so that in 1880 made up to date, will confirm the the United States had 12,550,000 horses, prediction of Washington, and the 33,600,000 cows, 38,000,000 sheep, and comments which we have made on it. and 35,000,000 hogs. In 1870 the wheat

Of the thirty-five cities classed in the crop was 231,000,000 bushels and in last census as having a population of 1880, 496,000,000. For the same years fifty thousand or more each, fifteen of the corn was 992,000,000 and 1,480,them are beyond the Alleghanies. Even 000,000 bushels. This was a grain proBoston, after all its annexations, is shut duct of 1872 per cent. above home conin, for its numerical positions, between sumption; and for the same time the Chicago and St. Louis--the latter a for- meat supply was 36 per cent. above eign town when Washington made the home consumption. And yet,” says tour, and the former not born till near Mulhall, “the Americans are apparently half a century afterwards.

the best fed of all the nations." Of the Between 1870 and 1880, the popula- grain, the average consumption per pertion of the United States increased 11,- son in the United States is much more 920,000.

“This is three times the than double what it is in Europe. Of European rate of increase and double meats, the American that of England or Germany.” “The pounds a year and the European 50%. increase of population in the United This is very sensible and easy, since the States exceeds the aggregate number of United States produce thirty per cent. inhabitants in three kingdoms of Europe, of the grain and thirty per cent. of the namely, Holland, Denmark and Portu- meat of the world, and have a surplus gal.” † When it is considered that the of 370,000,000 bushels of grain, and centre of population in 1880 was eight 1,076,000 tons of meat. And miles west by south from the heart of versely, the scant rations of Europe are the city of Cincinnati, it will be seen sensible and hard, since “Europe has a that much of this increase must have deficit of 380,000,000 bushels of grain,

Sparks' 'Writings of Washington,' Vol. IX, p. and 853,000 tons of meat annually.”ť 62, October 10, 1784. + Balance Sheet of the World for ten years, 1870 supplies, for American tables totally,

It is needless to say that all these food -1880.' By Michael G. Mulhall, F. S. S., London, 1881, pp. 117, 118, 6.

+ Mulhall, pp. 111, 119, 38, 39, 118, 12.


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