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- Minnesota and Dacotah - 2/37 -


Hole-in-the-day-- His enlightened character-- Reflections on Indian character, and the practicability of their civilization-- Their education-- Mr. Manypenny's exertions

LETTER VIII. LUMBERING INTERESTS.

Lumber as an element of wealth-- Quality of Minnesota lumber-- Locality of its growth-- The great pineries-- Trespasses on government land-- How the lumbermen elude the government-- Value of lumber-- Character of the practical lumberman-- Transportation of lumber on rafts

LETTER IX. SHORES OF LAKE SUPERIOR.

Description of the country around Lake Superior-- Minerals-- Locality of a commercial city-- New land districts-- Buchanan-- Ojibeway-- Explorations to the sources of the Mississippi-- Henry R. Schoolcraft-- M. Nicollet's report-- Resources of the country above Crow Wing

LETTER X. VALLEY OF THE RED RIVER OF THE NORTH.

Climate of Minnesota-- The settlement at Pembina-- St. Joseph-- Col. Smith's expedition-- Red River of the North-- Fur trade-- Red River Settlement-- The Hudson's Bay Company-- Ex-Gov. Ramsey's observations-- Dacotah

LETTER XI. THE TRUE PIONEER.

Energy of the pioneer-- Frontier life-- Spirit of emigration-- Advantages to the farmer in moving West-- Advice in regard to making preemption claims-- Abstract of the preemption law-- Hints to the settler-- Character and services of the pioneer

LETTER XII. SPECULATION AND BUSINESS.

Opportunities to select farms-- Otter Tail Lake-- Advantages of the actual settler over the speculator-- Policy of new states as to taxing non-residents-- Opportunities to make money-- Anecdote of Col. Perkins-- Mercantile business-- Price of money-- Intemperance-- Education-- The free school

LETTER XIII. CROW WING TO ST. CLOUD.

Pleasant drive in the stage-- Scenery-- The past-- Fort Ripley Ferry-- Delay at the Post Office-- Belle Prairie-- A Catholic priest-- Dinner at Swan River-- Potatoes-- Arrival at Watab-- St. Cloud

LETTER XIV. ST. CLOUD-- THE PACIFIC TRAIL.

Agreeable visit at St. Cloud-- Description of the place-- Causes of the rapid growth of towns-- Gen. Lowry-- The back country-- Gov. Stevens's report-- Mr. Lambert's views-- Interesting account of Mr. A. W. Tinkham's exploration

LETTER XV. ST. CLOUD TO ST. PAUL.

Importance of starting early-- Judge Story's theory of early rising-- Rustic scenery-- Horses and mules-- Surveyors-- Humboldt-- Baked fish-- Getting off the track-- Burning of hay stacks-- Supper at St. Anthony-- Arrival at the Fuller House

LETTER XVI. PROGRESS.

Rapid growth of the North-West-- Projected railroads-- Territorial system of the United States-- Inquiry into the cause of Western progress-- Influence of just laws and institutions-- Lord Bacon's remark

THE PROPOSED NEW TERRITORY OF DACOTAH.

Organization of Minnesota as a state-- Suggestions as to its division-- Views of Captain Pope-- Character and resources of the new territory to be left adjoining-- Its occupation by the Dacotah Indians-- Its organization and name

POST OFFICES AND POSTMASTERS

LAND OFFICES AND LAND OFFICERS

NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHED IN MINNESOTA

TABLE OF DISTANCES

PRE-EMPTION FOR CITY OR TOWN SITES _______

PART I.

LETTERS ON MINNESOTA. _______

MINNESOTA AND DACOTAH. _______

LETTER I.

BALTIMORE TO CHICAGO.

Anecdote of a preacher-- Monopoly of seats in the cars-- Detention in the night-- Mountain scenery on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad-- Voting in the cars-- Railroad refreshments-- Political excitement-- The Virginian and the Fremonters-- A walk in Columbus-- Indianapolis-- Lafayette-- Michigan City-- Chicago.

CHICAGO, October, 1856.

I SIT down at the first place where a pen can be used, to give you some account of my trip to Minnesota. And if any one should complain that this is a dull letter, let me retain his good-will by the assurance that the things I expect to describe in my next will be of more novelty and interest. And here I am reminded of a good little anecdote which I am afraid I shall not have a better chance to tell. An eminent minister of the Gospel was preaching in a new place one Sunday, and about half through his sermon when two or three dissatisfied hearers got up to leave, "My friends," said he, "I have one small favor to ask. As an attempt has been made to prejudice my reputation in this vicinity, I beg you to be candid enough, if any one asks how you liked my sermon, to say you didn't stop to hear me through."

Stepping into the cars on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad a few evenings ago-- for I am not going to say anything of my trip further east-- I saw as great an exhibition of selfishness as one often meets in travelling. This was in the rear car, the others being all crowded. The seats were spacious, and had high backs for night travelling. A gentleman entered the car and proposed to sit in a seat in which was only one child, but he was informed by a feminine voice in the rear that the whole seat was taken-- so he advanced to the next seat, which was occupied by another child, a boy about eight years old-- again the same voice, confirmed by one of the other sex, informed him in very decided terms that that also was wholly occupied. The gentleman of course did not attempt to take a seat with this lady, but advancing still further, in a seat behind her he saw another child the only occupant. His success here was no better. The fact was, here was a family of a husband, wife, and three children occupying five entire seats. The traveller politely asked if it would not be convenient for two of the children to sit together. "No," said the lady and her husband (and they spoke together, though they didn't sit together), "the children want all the room so as to sleep." The traveller betrayed no feeling until the husband aforesaid pointed out for him a seat next to a colored woman who sat alone near the door of the car, some little distance off. It was quite apparent, and it was the fact, that this colored woman was the servant of the family; and the traveller appeared to think that, although as an "original question" he might not object to the proffered seat, yet it was not civil for a man to offer him what he would not use himself. The scene closed by the traveller's taking a seat with another gentleman, I mention this incident because it is getting to be too common for people to claim much more room than belongs to them, and because I have seen persons who are modest and unused to travelling subjected to considerable annoyance in consequence. Moreover, conductors are oftentimes fishing so much after popularity, that they wink at misconduct in high life.

Somewhere about midnight, along the banks of the Potomac, and, if I remember right, near the town of Hancock, the cars were detained for three hours. A collision had occurred twelve hours before, causing an extensive destruction of cars and freight, and heavy fragments of both lay scattered over the track. Had it not been for the skilful use of a steam-engine in dragging off the ruins, we must have waited till the sun was up. Two or three large fires were kindled with the ruins, so that the scene of the disaster was entirely visible. And the light shining in the midst of the thick darkness, near the river, with the crowd of people standing around, was not very romantic, perhaps not picturesque-- but it was quite novel; and the novelty of the scene enabled us to bear with greater patience the gloomy delay.

The mountain scenery in plain sight of the traveller over the Baltimore and Ohio road is more extensive and protracted, and I think as beautiful, as on any road in the United States. There are as wild places seen on the road across Tennessee from Nashville, and as picturesque scenes on the Pennsylvania Central road-- perhaps the White Mountains as seen from the Atlantic and St. Lawrence road present a more sublime view-- but I think on the road I speak of, there is more gorgeous mountain scenery than on any other. On such routes one passes through a rude civilization. The settlements are small and scattered, exhibiting here and there instances of thrift and contentment, but generally the fields are small and the houses in proportion. The habits of the people are perhaps more original than primitive. It was along the route that I saw farmers gathering their corn on sleds. The cheerful scene is often witnessed of the whole family-- father, mother, and children-- at work gathering the crops. These pictures of cottage life in the mountain glens, with the beautiful variegated foliage of October for groundwork, are objects which neither weary nor satiate our sight.

The practice of taking a vote for presidential candidates in the cars has been run into the ground. By this I mean that it has been carried to a ridiculous excess. So far I have had occasion to vote several times. A man may be indifferent as to expressing his vote when out of his state; but a man's curiosity must have reached a high pitch when he travels through a train of cars to inquire how the passengers vote. It is not uncommon, I find, for people to carry out the joke by voting with their real opponents. Various devices are resorted to to get a unanimous vote. For example, a man will say, "All who are in favor of Buchanan take off their boots; all in favor of Fremont keep them on." Again, when there are several passengers on a stage-coach out west, and they are passing under the limbs of a tree, or low bridge, as they are called, it is not unusual far a Fremont man to say, "All in favor of Fremont bow their heads."


Minnesota and Dacotah - 2/37

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