Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

nually overflowed. The state contains a great number of running streams, and much excellent land exists along these streams throughout the whole state. Tobacco and indigo were formerly the staples of Mississippi, but cotton at present is the chief production of the state ; the crop is about three hundred and twenty-five thousand bales. Some works of magnitude have been completed for facilitating the transportation of the bulky staple of the state. The population of Mississippi has increased with astonishing rapidity. By act of Congress, one section of six hundred and forty acres of the public lands, in each township, was reserved for the support of common schools in the township; the state has also a literary fund devoted to the same purpose.

LOUISIANA.

Perhaps it would be difficult to find on earth, a continuous tract of equal extent, presenting a greater diversity than Louisiana. Within its limits are included all the varieties, from the most recent, and still periodically inundated alluvium, to bills approaching the mag. nitude of mountains; every quality of soil, from the most productive to the most sterile, and from unwooded plains to dense forests. A large extent of country in this stale is annually overflowed by the Mississippi. The staples are cotton and sugar; the latter is produced only in the southern part of the state, and affords a crop of about one hundred thousand hogsheads; cotton is cultivated wherever the soil is suitable; the crop amounts to upward of two hundred thousand bales. Rice, maize, tobacco, and indigo are also produced. Lumber is also cut for exportation; and tar, pitch, and turpentine are prepared. Herds of cattle and horses are grazed on the fine pastures of the prairies. A number of valuable railroads have been constructed in the state. New Orleans is the principal city in the United States southwest of Baltimore; and is the third commercial mart in the Union. Valuable public lands have been reserved in Louisiana for the creation of a school fund; and some considerable attempts have been made to provide for the education of poor chil. dren.

OHIO.

The steady onward course of this noble and interesting state, has furnished ample scope for the topographer's pen. The rapid growth of its population has never been paralleled. In the census of 1800, it ranked in the number of its inhabitants, the eighteenth state in the Union; in 1830, the fourth; and in the census to be taken this year, it will doubtless take precedence of Virginia in this respect : thus making it, in population, inferior only to New York and Pennsylvania. The soil is generally fertile, and highly productive. Indian corn and wheat are staples raised with much ease, and in great abundance. Rye, oats, buckwheat, barley, potatoes, &c., and all manner of garden vegetables, are cultivated to great perfection. Fruits, of almost every variety, are very plentifully produced. Swing

is so great a staple, that Cincinnati has been denominated “the pork market of the world.” Immense droves of fat cattle are sent from this to the eastern and southern states. The tobacco crop is estimated at some thirty thousand hogsheads. Numerous and important manufactures are successfully carried on. Coal is found in great quantities in the eastern parts. The public works are of a character and magnitude to strike us with surprise, when we consider the infancy of the state. A system of general education has been organized, but is not yet in efficient operation throughout the state.

INDIANA.

The soil of this state is generally productive, and most of it highly fertile. Much excellent timber abounds, interspersed with beautiful prairies. The agricultural exports are beef, pork, cattle, horses, swine, Indian corn, tobacco, &c. The climate healthy and pleasant, Very considerable commercial advantages are enjoyed by this state, both by its position, and ihe numerous navigable streams that flow through it. Public works of internal improvement have been constructed on a scale commensurate with their great importance to the prosperity of the state. Some twenty-one millions of dollars have been appropriated to this purpose the present year. The tide of emigration has steadily flowed into this state for some ten or fifteen years past; and its population has, consequently, increased with great rapidity. In the census of 1800, it numbered two thousand, six hundred and forty-one inhabitants; it is now estimated to contain but little short of one million. A reservation of public lands, for the support of common schools in this state, has been made by Congress, similar to those of the other new states. The constitution of Indiana contains the following important provision respecting general education: “It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, as soon as circumstances will permit

, to provide by law for a general system of education, ascending in a regular gradation from township schools to a state university, wherein tuition shall be gratis, and equally open to all.” Circumstances, however, have not yet permitted this noble clause to have a practical effect.

ILLINOIS.

Perhaps no state in the Union offers greater inducements to the immigrant than Illinois. The land is admirably adapted to all the purposes of the agriculturist, and, in many important tracts, is rich in the extreme. Seventy-five bushels of corn to the acre, is said to be an ordinary crop in these fine sections. Maize is the staple production of the state, and the average produce is fifty bushels to the acre. Wheat is also raised in large quantities, and yields flour of superior quality. Large herds of cattle are kept with little trouble; thousands of hogs are raised with very inconsiderable attention and expense. Coal is abundant in almost all parts of the state. In the northwestern part, where the soil is comparatively inferior, lead is iound in exhaustless quantities. The amount of lead smelted in a single year, has exceeded thirteen million pounds, but the quantity now annually smelted, does not, perhaps, exceed half that amount. The same provision has been made by Congress for the support of public schools in this as in the other new states, but the scattered state of the population has as yet prevented a general system of public education from being carried into operation.

KENTUCKY.

Though irregular and uneven in its surface, Kentucky is unsurpassed in point of fertility of soil. The region watered by the Licking, Kentucky, and Salt rivers, is justly described as the garden of the state; an epithet to which the exceeding beauty of its scenery, the great richness of the soil, and the fine springs and streams in which it abounds, amply entitles it. The state is bountifully supplied with noble rivers, and useful streams. Iron and salt are made in considerable quantities; and bituminous coal is widely diffused. Agriculture, however, is the general occupation of the inhabitants, and Indian corn, wheat, hemp, and tobacco, are the great staples of the state. Cotton is raised, but chiefly for home consumption. The fine pastures afford an ample range for cattle and horses, and many thousands of these are annually driven out of the state. Several prominent agriculturists have contributed largely toward improving ihe breed of the former, by the introduction of the Durham Shorthorns : among these enterprizing citizens the honorable Henry Clay stands pre-eminent. The spirit and bottom of Kentucky horses, have long been proverbial. Besides the staples above enumerated, salt beef and pork, bacon, butter, and cheese, are largely exported. Manufactures are of considerable value, and daily growing in importance. Some important works have been executed for the purpose of extending the facilities of transportation afforded by the natural channels. A railroad extends from Lexington to Louisville, ninety miles. Several excellent turnpike or M'Adamised roads have also been made. No system of popular education has been adopted in this state, but in many of the counties common schools are supported.

TENNESSEE.

Tennessee is marked by bold features. “There can be nothing," says Mr. Flint," of grand and imposing of scenery, nothing striking and picturesque in cascades and precipitous sides of mountains covered with woods, nothing romantic and delightful in deep and sheltered valleys, through which wind still and clear streams, which is not found in this state.” If there is a greater proportion of land that is unfit for cultivation in Tennessee than in some other states, it has the advantage of possessing a soil of first rate quality in that which is cultivated. Agriculture forms the principal occupation of the inhabitants. Indian corn and cotton are the staples. Tobacco, hemp,

and wheat are also raised in considerable quantities. In East Tennessee grazing is much attended to, and great numbers of live stock are driven to the eastern markets. Some valuable minerals are produced, particularly iron and coal. The state has a school fund, the interest of which is distributed to such school districts as provide a school-house, but little has yet been done toward the establishment of a common school system throughout the state.

MISSOURI.

In point of dimensions, this is the second state in the Union. After making ample deductions for inferior soil, ranges of barren hills, and large tracts of swamps, the state of Missouri contains a vast proportion of excellent farming land. Some cotton is raised, but tobacco is more extensively grown; and hemp, wheat, and Indian corn, and the other cereal grains are cultivated with success. Vast herds of cattle, horses, and swine are raised; the prairies affording excellent natural pastures. The business of raising cattle is almost reduced to the simple operation of turning them upon these prairies, and letting them fatten until the owners think proper to claim the tribute of their flesh. The mineral treasures are very great. The mineral districts are characterized by the abundance and richness of their lead. Iron is also found in inexhaustible quantities ; likewise manganese, zinc, antimony, arsenic, plumbago, and other minerals of minor importance. The people, generally, are enterprizing, hardy, and industrious. The constitution of Missouri contains some salutary provisions for the especial benefit of slaves, granting them trial by jury, &c., but the common school system for the education of her indigent children, seems to have been overlooked.

MICHIGAN.

In point of fertility this state is not surpassed by any tract of equal extent in the world; in the southern part, particularly, there are alluvial lands of great extent, with a rich vegetable mould, of from three to six feet in depth ; and although the northern part is not so exuberantly fertile, yet it contains a large proportion of excellent land. Scattered over the surface, embosomed in beautiful groves, are numerous sheets of the most pure and limpid water, supplied by fountains, and bordered by clear, sandy shores. The constitution provides for a system of common schools, by which a school shall be kept up and supported in each school district, at least three months in every year; and as soon as the circumstances of the state will permit, shall provide for the establishment of libraries, one at least in each township.

ARKANSAS.

This young state, though at present but thinly peopled, abounding with extensive swamps, and some sterile tracts, yet offers many attractions to emigrants. Much of its land being highly pruductive, and of extraordinary fertility. These attractions have not been without effect upon the minds of the immigrating multitudes, thousands of whom are annually swelling the population of this thriving and rapidly growing state. Cotton and maize are the staples. Lead, coal, salt, and iron abound. The country is admirably adapted to grazing. No system of common schools has as yet been adopted.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. This is a territory ten miles square, and under the immediate government of Congress. It is divided into Washington and Alexandria counties, and contains the cities of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria. This district lies on both sides of the Potomac, one hundred and twenty miles from its mouth, and was ceded to the United States by Maryland and Virginia in 1790. The seat of the general government was established within its limits in 1800. The city of Washington was laid out, under the superintendence of the man whose name it bears, in 1761. The plan of the city combines regularity with variety, and is adapted to the variations of the surface, so that the spaces allotted to public buildings, occupy commanding positions. The grand avenues are from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and sixty feet wide, and are planted with trees; several of the largest unite at the hill on which the capitol is situated : these bear the names of the several states in the Union. Georgetown is about three miles west of the capitol, and is pleasantly situated, commanding a prospect of the river, neighboring city, and the diversified country in the vicinity. Alexandria is six miles below Washington, on the opposite side of the Potomac, and is a place of considerable commerce. The soil in the District is generally poor, but a portion of it is highly cultivated,

FLORIDA TERRITORY. Florida resembles the low country of the southern states; the surface being moderately uneven and barren, except along the banks of rivers and lakes, where it is very fertile. It is interspersed with numerous ponds, lakes, and rivers. The southern part of the peninsula is a mere marsh, and terminates at Cape Sable in heaps of sharp rocks. But a small portion of the country is under cultivation. Live oak timber, which is of great value in ship building, grows to a large size. The more fertile parts are well adapted to the production of cotton, tobacco, sugar, and corn; oranges, figs, dates, and pomegranates, are among its fruits. There are some two or three thousand Indians, who have been carrying on hostilities against the whites for several years past.

WISCONSIN TERRITORY. This territray formed, until the year 1836, the western division of Michigan, territory. Number of square miles, three hundred thousard; population in 1830, three thousand, six hundred and thirty

« AnteriorContinuar »