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have put into the hands of our subscribers in Goodhue County, a larger and better compilation of general and local historical information, than was ever before published in a single volume in the Northwest.

Among such a vast catalogue of dates and names, if errors are discovered, the intelligent reader will appreciate the complexity of such matters and make due allowance.

To as many of the people of the county as have rendered us valuable assistance--and they are not a few—we extend our heartfelt thanks; and for the more valuable information and personal favors we desire to acknowledge the names of Rev. J. W. Hancock, Dr. W. W. Sweney, John Day, S. J. Willard, fion. H. B. Wilson, Judge Chris. Graham, Charles Betcher, C. C. Webster, Col. Hans. Mattson, Minneapolis, L. A. Hancock, A. Seeback; B. B. Herbert, of the Advance; Charles L. Davis, of the Argus; Gen. S. P. Jennison and T. H. Perkins, of the Republican; Charles Ward, Zumbrota; Rev. E. Norelius, Vasa; Charles Parks, Cannon Falls; Dr. Chr. Gronvold, Wanamingo, and others. The newspaper publications throughout the county have encouraged us in the work, and we take this opportunity to extend them our humble meed of gratitude.

WOOD, ALLEY & CO. RED WING, November, 1878.



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The Northwestern Territory, as ceded to the United States by Virginia in 1784, included that district of country bounded on the one side by the Ohio River, on the other by the Mississippi River, and on the north by Canada. It is now represented by the States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and that portion of Minnesota lying on the east side of the Mississippi River. At that period, the United States only extended westward to the Mississippi River. Be. yond, to the Pacific Ocean, 'the country was an unknown, unexplored wild, claimed by the Spanish government. In 1803, however, by the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, the domain of the United States was extended westward to the Rocky Mountains, and the Northern Pacific Ocean. The territory thus obtained come to be called the “ New Northwest,” in contradistinction from the old “Northwestern Territory."

As compared with the old Northwest, this is a territory of vast extent and magnitude, and covers an area of 1,887,850 square miles,-being much larger in extent than the united areas of all the Middle and Southern States, including Texas. Out of this magnificent territory, eleven sovereign States and eight Territories have been erected, which, according to the U. S..Census Reports for 1870, returned an aggregate population of 13,000,000 inhabitants-nearly one-third of the entire population of the United States and Territories.

Its lakes are fresh-water seas, and the large rivers of the continent, the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Arkansas-flow for thousands of miles through its rich alluvial valleys and far-stretching prairies, more acres of which are arable and productive of a higher percentage of cereals than any other area of like extent on the globe. During the last twenty years the increase of population in this country of States and Territories has been about as three to one in any other portion of the United States government.

EARLY EXPLORATIONS. In the year 1541, DeSoto first saw the Great West in the New World, but he only prosecuted his explorations as far north as the 35th parallel


of latitude. The exposures and privations incident to the expedition resulted in his death and the death of more than half his men. Those who survived the trials of the expedition found their way to Cuba and thence to Spain, in a famished and greatly demoralized condition.

DeSoto founded no settlements, produced no results, and left no traces of civilization, unless it were to awaken the hostility of the red natives of the country against the white man, or dishearten such as might have a desire to follow up the era of discovery for better purposes.

The French Government was eager and ready to seize upon any information from this extensive domain, and were the first to profit by the disaster that befel DeSoto and his expedition, and to utilize the discoveries he had made, yet more than one hundred years were allowed to pass before any advantages were taken of the discoveries.

A. D. 1616, four years before the Pilgrims landed the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, LeCaron, a French Franciscan, had penetrated through the Iroquois and Wyandots (Hurons) to the streams which run into Lake Huron; and in 1634, two Jesuit missionaries founded the first mission among the lake tribes. It was just one hundred years from the discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto (1541) until the Canadian envoys met the savage nations of the Northwest at the Falls of St. Mary, below the outlet of Lake Superior. This visit led to no permanent result; and it was not until 1659 that any of the adventurous fur traders attempted to spend a winter in the frozen wilds about the great lakes, nor was it until 1660 that a station was established upon their borders by Mesnard, who perished in the woods a few months later. In 1665, Claude Allouez built the earliest lasting habitation of the white man among the Indians of the Northwest. In 1668, Claude Dablon and James Marquette founded the mission of Sault Ste. Marie at the Falls of St. Mary; and two years afterward, Nicholas Perrot, as agent for M. Talon, Governor General of Canada, explored Lake Illinois (Michigan) as far south as the present city of Chicago, and invited the Indian nations to meet him at a grand council at Sault Ste. Marie the following spring, where they were taken under the protection of the king, and formal possession taken of the Northwest. This same year Marquette established a mission at Point St. Ignatius, where was founded the old town of Michillimackinac.

During M. Talon's explorations and Marquette's residence at St. Ignatius, they learned of a great river away to the west, and fanciedas all others did then—that upon its fertile banks whole tribes of God's children resided, to whom the sound of the Gospel had never come. Filled with a wish to go and preach to them, and in compliance with a request of M. Talon, who earnestly desired to extend the domain of his king, and to ascertain whether the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean, Marquette, with Joliet as commander of the expedition, prepared for the undertaking.

On the 13th of May, 1673, the explorers, accompanied by five assistant French Canadians, set out from Mackinaw on their daring voyage of discovery. The Indians, who gathered to witness their departure, were astonished at the boldness of the undertaking, and endeavored to dissuade them from their purpose by representing that the tribes on the Mississippi were exceedingly savage and cruel, and that the river itself was full of all sorts of frightful monsters ready to swallow them and their canoes together. But, nothing daunted by these terrific descriptions, Marquette told them he was willing not only to encounter all the perils of the unknown region they were about to explore, but to lay down his life in a cause in which the salvation of souls was involved; and having prayed together, they separated. Coasting along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the aventurers entered Green Bay, and passed thence up the Fox River and Lake Winnebago to a village of the Miamis and Kickapoos. Here Marquette was delighted to find a beautiful cross planted in the middle of the town, ornamented with white skins, red girdles and bows and arrows, which these good people bad offered to the Great Manitou, or God, to thank him for the pity he had bestowed on them during the winter in giving them abundant game. This was the farthest outpost to which Dablon and Allouez had extended their missionary labors the year previous. Here Marquette drank mineral waters and was instructed in the secret of a root which the Indians said would cure the bite of the venomous rattlesnake. He assembled the chiefs and old men of the village, and pointing to Joliet, said: “My friend is an envoy of France, to discover new countries, and I am an ambassador from God to enlighten them with the truths of the Gospel.” Two Miami guides were here furnished to conduct them to the Wisconsin River, and they set out from the Indian village on the 10th of June, amidst a great crowd of natives who had assembled to witness their departure into a region where no white man had ever yet ventured. The guides having conducted them across the portage, returned to their village. Marquette and his companions launched their canoes upon the Wisconsin River and floated down towards the Mississippi, which they entered at the site now occupied by Prairie du Chien, on the 17th of June, and proceeded down its unknown waters. What emotions must have filled their souls, as their canoes glided out of the Wisconsin and entered upon the broad bosom of the great river

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of which they had heard marvelous accounts from the Indians! Their feelings of wonder and admiration as they realized that they had at last found the long-sought river, may be imagined but not described. Previous to this, there was no positive knowledge that such a mighty stream existed. But the Indian stories of its great length, and breadth, and depth, were about to be established beyond the cavil of a doubt. The mysteries that enshrouded it were to be solved, and the way to a new world—the great Northwest—to be opened to civilization and civ. ilized industry.

The scenery along the banks of the Upper Mississippi is grand (even now) beyond conception. Before white men came to destroy the natural grandeur by clearing away the forests that covered the towering and majestic bluffs, and reduce its flower-bearing valleys or meadows to grain-growing fields, there must have existed here a primitive beauty that no artist's imagination could touch. While the cloud-towering bluffs still remain as monuments to the hand of the Great Architect who reared them and spread at their base the beautiful valleys and prairies, much of their primeval beauty has faded away before the march of the people who came after the intrepid explorer Marquette and his companions to occupy the land, and drive from their native haunts the wild men of the prairies and forests.

Drifting rapidly before the current, “the bold bluffs on either hand," wrote Marquette,“ reminded us of the castled shores of our own beautiful rivers in France." By-and-by, as they drifted along, great herds of buffalo appeared on the banks. Approaching the heads of the valleys, they could see a country of the greatest beauty and fertility, which, although destitute of inhabitants, presented the appearance of extensive manors under the fastidious cultivation of lordly proprietors.

On the 25th of June, the explorers went ashore and found some fresh traces of men upon the sand, and a path that led out to the prairie. The men remained in the boat, and Marquette and Joliet fol. lowed the path until they discovered a village on the banks of a river, and two other villages on a hill within half a league of the first, all inhabited by Indians. Marquette wrote:

Marquette wrote: “We were received most hospitably by these natives, who had never before seen a white person.” After remaiping among these people a few days they returned to their boat, re-embarked and descended the river to about latitude 35°, where they found a village of the Arkansas, and being satisfied that the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, they turned their course and ascended the river to the mouth of the Illinois, which they entered and followed to its source. There they procured Indian guides and proceeded across the country to the lakes.

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