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The Sinsinaway, rising in Wisconsin, runs south-west into the Mississippi, about six miles above Fever River. Timber on its banks is very rare; only now and then some cedars and pines may be found.
Small-pox River, rising south-east of Galena, runs west into the Mississippi, close by the mouth of Fever River. On its banks, near the place where it flows into the Mississippi, much valuable timber may be found.
The Snycartee, a branch of the Mississippi, whence it flows, in the southern portion of Adams county, running for about fifty miles parallel with, and five miles from, the Mississippi, to meet it again in Calhoun county, forms, with the Mississippi, an island, consisting of alluvial land, not destitute either of forest or prairie, but frequently exposed to inundations.
Spoon River consists of an eastern and western branch, both of which having received a multitude of creeks, unite; whereupon the river takes a southern direction to meet the Illinois, opposite Havana. On its banks there are many extensive woody tracts; the soil of the adjoining country is of unsurpassed excellence. The prairies near by the river are undulating, dry, and fertile.
St. Mary's River, rising in Perry county, discharges its waters into the Mississippi six miles below the mouth of the Kaskaskia.
The Sugar river, rising in Wisconsin, runs southerly to meet the Peek-a-ton-o-kee. The land upon its banks is of good quality; the country between Rock and Sugar rivers very humid.
Turtle River, rising in Wisconsin, flows near the boundary into Rock River.
Vermilion River, rising in Livingston county, runs through La Salle county, emptying into Illinois River. Towards its springs the country is nearly level, having a rich soil and vast prairies, but very little wood. In the vicinity of the river, and near the bluffs, are many extensive coal mines, of which those situated in the direction of the Illinois river reach a depth of 100 feet; also beds of sand, and lime, and a kind of stone used as whetstone, may here be found.
Big Vermilion River, proceeding in three different branches through Champaign and Vermilion counties, falls, in Indiana, into the Wabash. Its banks are garnished with a wood from one to two miles broad; the adjacent prairies are dry, rolling, and fertile.
Little Vermilion River, rising in the southern part of Vermilion county, runs also into the Wabash in Indiana. On its banks fine forests may be found. • Wood River, rising in Macoupin county, runs through Madison county, discharging its waters nearly opposite the mouth of the Missouri, into the Mississippi. The land through which it runs is of superior quality.
Illinois has, besides these streams, a multitude of rivulets, the banks of which, as well as those of the rivers mentioned above, consist of alluvial, and consequently very fertile soil, so that neither in the Union, nor anywhere else on earth, could be found a State of equal size with Illinois rivalling the latter in the fertility and superior quality of its soil.
Of lakes, none can be found in Illinois; that portion of Lake Michigan* bounding the State being comparatively but small, so that this lake, the navigation of which has contributed so much to the advancement of Illinois, cannot be properly considered as belonging to the State.
The only sheet of water, that in a measure might lay claim to the name of a lake, is Peoria Lake, which, however, as was mentioned when Illinois River was spoken of, is nothing but an enlargement of this river; none of the other waters deserve this name at all, but should rather be called ponds.
An artificial aqueduct, that has likewise considerably accelerated the advancement of Illinois, is yet to be mentioned. The Illinois and Michigan Canal extends from Chicago to Peru, a distance of one hundred miles, connecting thus the Lake of Michigan with the Illinois : it is 6 feet deep, 70 feet broad at the top, and 36 at the bottom.
What distinguish the State of Illinois from all the other States of he Union, are its immense prairies, from which it has been exclusively alled the “ Prairie State.” We do not intend to give in this geoxtaphical sketch a detailed description of the nature of a prairie, but Ketting apart a special chapter for this, we shall bere only mention the principal prairies — those known under peculiar names.
* The greatest length of Lake Michigan is 360 miles; its greatest breadth, 108 miles; mean depth, 300 feet; elevation, 587 feet; area, 23,000 square miles.
The most considerable of these prairies is the Grand Prairie, comprehending all prairie-lands between the rivers flowing into the Mississippi and those meeting the Wabash. The prairie itself does not consist of one single continuous extensive tract of land, but of many different prairies, separated one from the other by a range of woods, while the prairies, in their turn, stretch between the usually woody banks of the rivers and creeks. The most southerly portion of the great prairie is situated in the north-east section of Jackson county, extending north-easterly from the Mississippi, with a breadth varying from two to ten and more miles, through Perry, Washington, Jefferson, Marion, Fayette, Clay, Effingham, Shelby, Moultrie, Cumberland, Coles, Champaign, Vermilion, and Iroquois counties; here it meets the prairies stretching easterly from Illinois River and its tributaries. That portion of these prairie-lands lying in Marion county, between Crooked Creek and the eastern branch of the Kaskaskia, intersected by the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, is often exclusively named the Grand Prairie.
The greater portion of the Grand Prairie is slightly undulating, its southern part quite level, having many tracts of land of but inferior quality. At the distance of ten or twelve miles around, timber is sure to be found; coal almost everywhere, at no great depth.
Another prairie, also called Grand Prairie, commences in Crawford county, extending north through Clark and Edgar counties to Vermi. lion. It is not very broad, and at frequent intervals is intersected by forest-bordered rivers.
The soil of the southern and eastern is not as good as that of the northern and western portion of these prairies, which, with the exception of those adjacent to the Wabash, have a thin and nearly level washy humus.
Allen's Prairie, in Greene county, twelve miles north-east of Carrollton, is fertile, and wooded on the banks of the rivers running hrough it.
Alison's Prairie, in Lawrence county, five miles easterly from Lawrenceville, is some five miles by ten, That portion of it adjacent. to the Wabash, is humid; 'by far the greater portion of it, however is dry and fertile.
Apple-Creek Prairie, in Greene county, north of Apple Creek, is from three to four miles by ten in extent. Its soil is good.
Barney's Prairie, in Wabash county, north of Mount Carmel. Fertile.
Bear Prairie, in Wayne county, east of Fairfield.
Bellevue Prairie, in Calhoun county, at the foot of the bluffs, ten miles in extent, has a dry and fertile soil.
Big Mound Prairie, Wayne county, west of Fairfield, three miles long, rolling, with a thin surface of humus.
Big Prairie, in White county, three miles square, much mixed with sand, but fertile.
Boltinghouse Prairie, in Edwards county, south of Albion, extending four miles by three, has an undulating, fertile soil.
Bonpas Prairie, in the same county, north-east of Albion, and about two miles in diameter. Soil good.
Brown's Prairie, twelve miles north of Alton, runs through the corners of Macoupin, Jersey, and Madison counties, which border upon each other. The soil is dry and fertile.
Brushy Prairie, in Wayne county, eleven miles east of Fairfield.
Buckheart Prairie, in Fulton county, north-east of Lewistown, about seven miles long.
Buck Prairie, in Edwards county, six miles north-east of Albion, two and a half miles broad.
Buckhorn Prairie, in Morgan county, about seven miles south of Jacksonville. The soil is rich, a little humid, and very level.
Bullard's Prairie, in Lawrence county, west of Lawrenceville, is ten miles by two in extent, having a second-rate soil.
Burnt Prairie extends from the north-western section of White into Wayne county. Its circumference is not very great; its soil at intervals good.
Another prairie of the same name, situate in Edwards county, north-west of Albion, extends two miles by six, interspersed with many small groves. Soil good.
Canton Prairie, in Fulton county, commencing in the vicinity of Spoon River, extends northerly till it meets Grand Prairie, near Rock River; it is rolling, dry, and very fertile, with the exception of its northern section, which is of inferior quality.
· Casey's Prairie, in Jefferson county, five miles by two, nearly level; second-rate soil.
: Christy's Prairie, in Lawrence county, ten miles west of Lawrenceville, rolling, and of good average soil.
Clay's Prairie, in Clark county, eight miles south-west of Darwin.
Cold Prairie, in St. Clair county, between Belleville and Illinois. . town. ."
Compston's Prairie, in Wabash county, twelve miles west of Mount. Carmel, is level, fertile, but somewhat humid.
Cotton Hill Prairie, in Sangamon county, twelve miles south of Springfield.
Cox's Prairie, in Jackson county, north-east of Brownsville ; good rolling prairie.
Crow Prairie, in Putnam county, twelve miles below Hennepin, six miles by three ; fertile, and bounded by forests.
Another prairie of the same name extends, four miles by twelve, along the western bank of Illinois River írom Putnam into Bureau county; soil dry and productive.
· Decker's Prairie, in Wabash county, twelve miles north-east of Mount Carmel.
Diamond Grove Prairie, in Morgan county, south of Jacksonville, containing about sixteen. square miles, is dry, undulating, and productive.
Dolson's Prairie, in the western section of Clark county, containing about seventy square miles, has a level, humid, clayish soil.
Dutch Prairie, in the south-western part of St. Clair county.
Edmonson's Prairie, in McDonough county, six miles south-west of Macomb, ten miles by two.
Eight-mile Prairie, in Williamson county, eighteen miles southwest of Frankfort; very flat. : :
Elk Prairie, in Perry county, five miles long, dry and nearly level; second-rate soil.
Ester's Prairie, in Franklin county, fourteen miles north of Frank fort; level and dry. :
Flat Prairie, in Randolph county, twenty miles east of Kaskaskia.