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According to the army register for 1851, the militia of Illinois aumbered 170,359, in all the departments, 4168 of whom were commissioned officers, the residue (165,741) being non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians. Among the commissioned officers there were 30 general officers, 79 general staff officers, 1297 field officers, and 3192 company officers.
Of libraries, Illinois, in 1850, possessed 152, with 62,486 volumes, 33 of which, with 35,982 volumes, were public libraries; 29 school libraries, with 5875 volumes; 86 Sunday-school libraries, with 12,829 volumes; 4 college libraries, with 7800 volumes.
In the year 1828, 4 newspapers were edited; in 1840, 52; in the year 1850, 107; among which were 7 monthly and 1 quarterly periodical. These 107 newspapers, &c., issued, in the year 1850, 5,102,276 numbers, and may be classified as follows: literary and miscellaneous, 22; neutral, 1; political, 78; religious, 8; scientific, 3.
In 1850, 797 paupers were in the State, who were either wholly or to some extent provided for and relieved. -
Of criminals, 316 were condemned during the year expiring June 1st, 1850; on that day the number of those imprisoned for crime, &c., amounted to 252. - .
Of the 851,470 inhabitants of the State in 1850, 41,283 were unable to read or write; 35,336 of these were born in the United States, and 5947 in foreign countries; 40,054 of them were whites, to wit: 16,633 males and 23,421 females; and 1229 were colored people, to wit: 605 males and 624 females.
CLIMATE, soil, PLANTS, AND ANIMALS.*
TJPON looking at the map of the Upper Mississippi, we have before us that very extensive net of streams and rivers which is bounded in the west, below the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, by the Ozark Mountains, through which the Arkansas and Red Rivers have forced their passage; and in the east, by the projecting ridge of the Alleghany Mountains. High lands, elevated 2000 feet above the level of the sea, divide this district in the north from the Arctic river-district, together with which it was undoubtedly covered by a vast sheet of water, at an early period of the formation of the earth; the hills separating it from Lake Superior, which is situated 600 feet above the level of the sea, do not rise more than 1000 feet above it, and the boundary line dividing it from the river-district of the St. Lawrence, runs along the shores of the other great lakes. No chain of moun
* Dr. Fred. Brendel, of Peoria, to whom we are indebted for many valuable contributions to this chapter, has for several years pursued with great zeal the study of the natural history of Illinois, and would be very happy, could he meet with fellow-laborers in this work; for which reason we take the liberty of calling the attention of those of our readers, who take an interest in Natural Sciences, to the following lines:–
“A thorough examination of such an extensive State as Illinois, with respect to all the various branches of natural science, is a difficult undertaking for a single man, but might be easily accomplished by a number of scientific men, co-operating in the different parts of the country. Meteorological observations, catalogues of the plants, animals, and petrifactions found in the various districts, it would be advisable to publish in one annual collective report; specimens contributed from every district would form a State Museum; and naturalists, residing at distances from each other, would much more enhance and accelerate the advancement of knowledge by mutual correspondence, than by pursuing separate studies, each one for himself. Any person who is willing thus to promote the interests of science, will find me ready to assist him.” FREDERICK BRENDEL, M. D., Peoria, Illinois.
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tains, therefore, properly speaking, separates in the north this enormous territory, a small portion of which constitutes the State of Illinois, from the plateaux projecting to the north, which circumstance must necessarily exercise a decisive influence upon the climate of the State, situated as it is between the 43d and 37th degrees of north latitude, and separated by seven degrees from the Gulf of Mexico. A sea open at all times of the year separates Europe from the North Pole; and the Mediterranean Sea washes between it and Africa; this will sufficiently account for her moderate climate. A frozen region. sending during winter its icy blasts after the flying sun, bounds North. America on the north, while her southern coast, penetrated in the summer by the almost perpendicular rays of a burning sun, radiates its accumulated heat to the north. This will explain why a country situated within the same degrees of latitude with Spain and Italy, has cold winters and hot summers. - Illinois has an average temperature, which, if compared with that of Europe, equals that of Middle Germany; its winter is more severe than that at Copenhagen, and her summer as warm as those of Milan or Palermo. Compared with the other States of the Union, Northern Illinois possesses a temperature similar to that of Northern Pennsylvania or Southern New York, while the temperature of Southern Illinois will not differ much from that of Kentucky or Virginia. As far as welznow, exact observations of the state of the weather have not yet been published in Illinois; we, therefore, confine ourselves to the observations of the celebrated Dr. Engelmann, at St. Louis, which at least serve for one part of Illinois. . From his observations of 20 years we infer, that at a middle height of the barometer, of 29:477, (105' above the lowest height of water in the Mississippi), the greatest difference in a year (1852) amounted to 1" 5", and that at a middle temperature of + 54° 8 F. (= + 13° 79 C. = + 10° 13 R.), very great fluctuations prevailed. At the coldest day, (Feb. 8, 1835,) the thermometer stood — 25° F. (= — 31°6 C. = — 25° 3 R.), while during the hottest days in July, 1833, 34, 38, and ’41, and in August, 1834, the mercury indicated a little more than + 100° F., (= + 38° C. = + 30° R.), making a difference of 125° F., (= 69°4 C. = 55° 5 R.) Very great and rapid changes often take place in the temperature; thus, the temperature from the 16th to the 17th day of March, 1852, fell, within 17 hours, about 51° F., (= 28°3 C. = 22° 5 R.) As for the rest,
the thermometer very rarely falls below 0 F. (= — 17° 7 C. = — 14° 2 R.); on Jan. 19th, 1852,” the coldest day for 20 consecutive years, the mercury ranged — 12°F. (= — 24° 4 C. = — 19° 5 R.)
The lowest temperature is generally above 0 F., and on an average ranges highest in July; then follow June and August; January being the coldest month. The first frost generally appears on the 26th of October, the last on the 6th of April, 203 days thus intervening between the first frost in autumn and the last in spring. The earliest frost appeared on Oct. 4th, 1836, and the latest, May 26, 1851.f . The prevailing winds are either western or south-eastern. Storms generally come from the west or north-west, in the summer sometimes from the south. The severest storms are those coming from the west, as, on considering that they traverse the entire space between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi, within 24 hours, and reach the Atlantic coast within the next 24 hours, will be placed beyond a doubt. A clear sky and dry air prevail while they sweep over the Mississippi Valley, and not before having reached the east, will they be accompa
* The winter of 1855–6 alone, which reigned with almost unexampled rigour throughout the United States, makes an exception; we here subjoin a report of the state of the thermometer on the coldest days of the winter, in the folowing places in Illinois :-r .
On January 4th, 1856, & Aurora, Kane Co., 22 degrees below zero; at Ster ling, Whiteside Co., 26°; at Dixon, Lee Co., 23°; at Sycamore, De Kalb Co., 24°; at Waukegan, Lake Co., 219; at Moline, Rock Island Co., 18°. On January 5th, at Elgin, Kane Co., 26°; at Moline, 14°; January 6th, at Moline, 30°; January 8th, at Sterling, 21°; at Springfield, Sangamon Co., 20°; at Rock Island, 22°; at Bloomington, McLean Co., 18°; at Belvidere, Boone Co., 22°; at Macomb, McDonough Co., 17°; at Elgin, 18°; at Moline, 20°; at Oquawka, Henderson Co., 25°; at Peoria, 14°. January 9th, at Springfield, 249; at Chicago, 24°; Alton, Madison Co., 22°; at Aurora, 30°; at Geneseo, Henry Co., 29°; at Jerseyville, Jersey Co., 20°; at Macomb, 20°; at Mendota, La Salle Co., 28°; at Monmouth, Warren Co., 28°; at Morris, Grundy Co., 20°; at Paris, Edgar Co., 30°; at Peoria, 20°; and at Sterling, 21°.
+ In the summer of 1850, while the temperature of St. Louis ranged very high, that of St. Clair Co. was continually lower, by about 2° R., than the former, which difference was probably in consequence of the calcareous soil of the city.
nied with heavy showers of rain; which latter fact we may account for by the condensation of the vapours abstracted by them from the Mississippi Valley, coming in contact with the Alleghany Mountains. Rainy days there were in 1838 but 78; in 1836, however, 115; there are, on an average, 89 in every year, with a quantity of rain amounting to 42 inches, the smallest portion of which (2") falls in January; the quantity of rain falling increasing with every succeeding month, until in June it reaches the height of 6”. More than 4 inches of rain fell within 24 hours, June 23, 1852. The first fall of snow generally takes place in November, often, however, not before December; the last, in March, it occurring but very rarely in April. The greatest quantity of snow which fell in a single month, (December, 1839, and December, 1846,) amounted to scarcely 1" 5. Thunderstorms there were on an average 49; beautiful days, 137; changeable days, 180; days without sunshine, 45. Upon comparing these results with the observations made in 1852, in Wisconsin, at eight different places, the observation made at one of which, to wit, at Beloit, near the Illinoisian frontier, half way between the Mississippi and Lake Michigan, may be considered as valid for the northern part of Illinois also; we find the thermometer ranging between 29-597 and 28-665, being a difference of 0.932, while in the south the same amounted to 1-584; an average temperature reigns there of + 47°421 F. (= +8°1 C. = + 6° 5 R.), being 7° 1 F. (= 4° C. = 3° 1 R.) less than in the south. On the coldest day the mercury indicated — 18° F. (= —27° 7 C. = —22°1 R.), and therefore 6° F., (= 3° 3 C. = 2°6 R.) less than at the south; and on the hottest day + 93° F. (= + 34° C. = + 27° R.) and therefore only 2°F. (= 1° 1 C. = 0°9 R.) less than in the south. Here we must remark that the winter at that place was unusually cold. It rained 40 inches, 2 inches less than at the south, which difference, as already observed, was created by a single day’s rain. The prevailing winds were north-west by north, and south-west. From the direction of its hills and rivers, which generally run from north-east to south-west, a plain forms, gently sloping to the southwest; in this plain the rivers have worn channels from 60 to 200 feet deep; being dammed up at one side by a terrace-like, rising bank, they inundate the opposite plain to a considerable depth, overflowin