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were boarded by a crowd of anxious-looking people, inquiring after the fate of the Erie. They brought newspapers to us, and we left some of our passengers with them. I was so much struck with a leading article in one of those papers, that I transcribed it into my note-book, sur le champ :
"Wisconsin is a young buffalo: and though in a minority, he roams over his beautiful prairies and reclines in his pleasant groves, with all the buoyant feelings of an American freeman. He slakes his thirst at the purest fountains that gush from the adamantine base of his lovely soil, and bathes at pleasure in his limpid lakes, paved with agates and sapphires. He paws up lead with his hoofs; he ploughs up iron and zinc with his horns; and cultivates the richest soil the green earth affords. When John Bull talks of war, he stretches his muscular form on his elevated plains, and shaking his head, looks at the North East Boundary; then casting his eye at the Oregon, he bellows in thunder, his eyes flash in lightning; he whisks his tail in the whirlwind, shakes his mane in the tornado, and, like the war-horse, snorts vengeance at the minions who would dare to desecrate the soil of freemen; and his (the young buffalo's) sons, being descendants of those puritan patriots who some seventy years since made a batch of cold tea in Boston Harbour, rather than pay tax without a representation in the body which levied it; and being themselves taxed in the revenue they consume, and in the lands upon which they live, without a direct representation, they feel the humiliation of their condition.
"It being the law, however, they submit; but only
in the anticipation of soon passing from a minor to a major state, when they will be otherwise and more comfortably situated. But in the meantime, they need a delegate in Congress, who can plead their cause and urge their claims, with words that burn and in language that will enlighten, convince, and persuade."- Milwakee Journal.
Chicago-Old block house-Military Land-agent-The Colonel's farm-Ride through the prairies-Indian compass-Prairie flowers Squire Smaus-The Colonel's friends-Hoosier's camp-Young Men's Association.
CHICAGO, commonly called the city of cities, the capital of the Western world, and sundry high-sounding titles, too numerous to insert, I found to be a thriving town, situate on a flat marsh, washed by the lake, a muddy river, heavy and abundant showers of rain-dried again by lake winds, prairie winds, and gleams of sunshine.
Clambering into one of the train of vehicles sent down from the hotels, I bid the Illinois good morning, and whirled over the bridge at full gallop, to the Tremont House. Got established in a single-bedded room, and, having breakfasted, sallied forth to reconnoitre. Detesting flats and marshes most cordially, I was far from being enamoured with Chicago; and the pale visages of the store-keepers and clerks, as they opened their store windows, and peered up and down the streets for customers, told tales of marsh miasma, and all the ills that spread beneath its baleful influence. Nathless, it is contended that Chicago is healthy, and woe betide the luckless wight who maintains to the
contrary! For my own part, as I purpose making tracks in a few days, I'll speak my mind, and, as the French commis voyageurs say-diable me' importe.
The first place I visited was the old block house and square of buildings, at the mouth of the river, surrounded with rotten palisades. It was here the whites were massacred to a man by the Indians; and, vice versa, the Indians, if not slain, were floored, bamboozled, rum-squaddled, and finally swept away from their fatherland by the white man's whisky, being another triumph of whisky-bottle versus tomahawk.
"When the last payment was made, some five or six years ago," said a gentleman, (unto whom you shall be introduced by-and-by,) "the streets and lanes, the prairie and the river banks, groaned beneath the weight of drunken Indians. There you might see the hoary chief wallowing in the mire beside his naked children, while groceries and grog-shops, erected for the occasion, poured forth the fire-water upon the degraded race, who sold their birthright for a few gulps of bad whisky. The moment they received the dollars from the agents, away they posted to the grocer's, drank till all was gone, and then stripped off their blankets, moccasons, and furs. Many reserving not sufficient clothing to cover their nakedness, went forth into the wilderness to brave the inclemency of the weather, and drag their weary limbs to the promised lands beyond the Missisippi. Truly the white man has been sufficiently revenged for all the injuries received from the red man at Chicago.
Sundry maps, plans, and prospectuses, having caught my eye, in a flashy store window, I halted, and a smart man, in a tight brown frock, black satin stock, and sandy whiskers, invited me to enter his office and in
spect his maps, &c., at leisure. He introduced himself as Captain land agent, &c., wished he could induce me to settle in the country, expatiated upon the beauty, the fertility, and rising prospects of Illinois—“ the garden of America, which rivals, as one of our poets says, the garden of Eden," said the captain, jocosely, turning over the leaves of an old accountbook.
I thanked the captain for his attention, assured him that I had enough of the old Adam in me to create a hankering after the garden of Eden; assured him it was my intention to devote the residue of my days upon a farm, be it in Illinois or Tonagtaboo.
The captain proceeded, with much gravity, to examine his books, papers, and old newspapers.
"The fact is," said he, "there is such a run-such a rush of emigrants, New Englanders, and foreigners, seeking for good locations, that all the land is bought up round this district, with the exception of this quarter section, on the north branch, and this one on the lake shore, north of the city by twenty-five miles. But, ha! ay, here I fix it at last-the colonel has a property, an estate, a park, a residence fit for a nobleman or gentleman to reside on, but, most unhappily, I believe he has already disposed of his estate," said the captain. "Excuse me, sir," said he, seizing his hat, "I'll run, and ask the colonel to step this way."
The captain disappeared, and presently returned, followed by a tall, severe, and yellow-visaged gentleman, loosely attired in dingy white, or whitey-brown linen shooting-jacket and pants. The captain introduced this gentleman to me, hoping we would become sworn brothers.