Imágenes de página

Riters] The Ohio forms the southern boundary of the state, from the mouth of the Great Miami to that of the Wabash.

The Wabush rises in the northeastern part of the state, and flowing in a southwesterly direction, falls into the Ohio 30 iniles above the mouih of Cumberland river, after a course of 500 miles, for the last 250 of which it forms the boundary between Indiana and Illinois, It is navigable for keel boats 400 iniles, to Quitanon, where there are rapids. Above the rapids small boats can ascend nearly in its source. The current is gentie above Vincennes; helow that town there are several rapids, but not of sufficient magnitude to prevent boats from ascending. Its principal tributaries from this state, are, 1. White river, which rises in the eastern part of the state, and running in a southwesterly direction through nearly the wbole breadth of the state, parallel with the Ohio, at the distance oj from 460 to 60 iniles, receives # large branch from the north, and soon after discharges itself into the Wabash, 16 miles below Vincennes. 2. The Tippecanoe, which rises in the northern part of the state, and running in a souiberly direction, joins the Wabash 140 rniles above Vincennes. The banks of this river are celebrated for a severe battle fought in November 1811 between the United States' troopis and the Indians, in which the former were victorious.

Whitewater river rises in this state, and running in a S. E. di. rection, receives numerous tributaries, and falls into the Miami, in Ohio, 5 miles above the junction of that river with the Ohio. It is a beautiful transparent stream, and abounds with tine seats for mills, many of which are already erected upou it. It can easily be made navigable to Brookville, 20 miles from its mouth.

St. Mary's river rises in the state of Ohio, near the sources of the Miami, and running in a direction west of norıb, før 70 miles, joins the St. Joseph's river, at Fort Wayne, in this state, to form the Maumee. It is navigable for boats nearly to its source, from which there is only a short portage to Loramie's creek, a branch of the Miami.

Face of the Country, Soil and Productions.] A ridge of hills commences near the mouth of the Wabash, and runs in a N. E. direction, nearly parallel with the Ohio, at no great distance, producing a broken and uneven country. North of these hills lie the flat woods, 70 miles wide. Bordering on all the priocipal streams, except the Ohio, there are strips of bottom and prairie land, of a rich soil, and usually from 3 to 6 miles in width. The prairies on the Wabash are the finest land in the state. Remote from the rivers the country is broken and the soil light. Bes tween the Wabash and lake Michigan, the laud is mostly level, and interspersed with woodlands, prairies, lakes and swamps.

The principal productions are wheat, lodian corn, oals, rye, flax, hemp, potatoes and tobacco. In the southeastern part of the stale, near Vevay, on the Ohio, the vine is cultivated with

On the banks of the Wabash, in the upper part of its course, the best kind of coal is found in inexhaustible quantities ;


and near the sources of several of the navigable rivers, there are salt springs from which salt inabundance may be procured. Near Corydon, in the southern part of the state, is a large cave abounding with Epsom salts and saltpetre.

Chief Towns.) Vincennes, the largest town, is on the east bank of the Wabash, 100 miles from its junction with the Ohio, in a direct line, but nearly 200 by the course of the river. The settlement was commenced about a century ago by the French from Lower Canada, many of whom intermarried with the Indians, and gradually approximated to the savage state. Within a few years American emigrants have flocked hither in great numbers, and the society is rapidly improving. In 1810 the population was 883, and in 1818 the town contained 250 dwelling houses and stores; a bank, with a capital of $1,500,000; and a college.

Madison, the capital of Jefferson county, is on the Ohio, 45 miles above the falls, and 75 below Cincinnati. It has grown very rapidly for several years past, and is now the second town in size in the state. The population, in 1819, was estimated at 1,300.

Corydon, the temporary capital of the state, is on Indian creek, 15 miles from its junction with the Ohio, and 27 west of Louisville in Kentucky. It is to be the seat of government till 1825. Population, in 1819, about 1,000. Jeffersonville is on Ohio river, just above the falls, and opposite Louisville in Kentucky. A company has been incorporated to cut a canal around the falle, on the Indiana side of the river, commencing just above this place. Should this canal be formed, Jeffersonville would become a place of importance. Vevay, the capital of Switzerland county, is pleasantly situated on the Ohio, nearly equidistant from Cincin. nati, Lexington and Louisville, 45 miles from each. The inhabitants are emigrants from Switzerland. In 1814 the site of the town was a forest, but in 1817 it contained 84 dwelling houses, a courthouse, jail, market-house, church and printing office. Half a mile below the village are the Swiss vineyards, where the culture of the vine has been successfully introduced.

Inland Navigation.] About 8 miles from fort Wayne, in the northeast part of the state, one of the brancbes of the Wabash approaches within a short distance of St. Mary's river, a navigable branch of the Maumee which falls into lake Erie. When the waters are very high these rivers overflow the intervening laods to such a depth, that loaded boats pass over with facility. Of the praceicability, therefore, of connecting them by a canal there can be no doubt; and in a law of Congress appropriating a portion of the public lands to the improvement of inland navigation, 100,000 acres were assigned for defraying the expense of this project.

Education. In the act of Congress admitting this state into the Union, one section, or thirty sixth part, of each township was given for the support of schools. One entire township, or 23.040, acres, said to be worth, on an average, 10 dollars ap

acre, was also given for the support of a college. The college is located at Vincennes, and a large brick building is already erected.

Population.] The population in 1800 was 2,500; in 1810, 21,520 ; in 1815, 68,784 ; and in 1820, 147,178, of whom 190 were slaves and 1,230 free blacks. A majority of the inhabitants are fiom Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas ; the remainder are from every other state in the Union, and from almost every nation in Europe. The Indian title to large tracts of fine land has been recently extinguished by the United States, and the number of immigrants is, in consequence, rapidly increasing.

Government. The legislative power is vested in a general assembly, consisting of a senate and house of representatives. The representatives are chosen annually by counties, and their number can never be less than 36 nor more than 100. The senators are chosen for three years, and their number can never be less than one third, nor more than one half of the number of representatives. The executive power is vested in a governor, who is chosen by the people for three years, but he cannot hold his office longer than six years in any term of nine years.

Judiciary power.] The judiciary power is vested in a supreme court and such inferior courts as the general assembly may, from time to time, direct and establish. The judges of the supreme court are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. The judges of the inferior courts are chosen partly by the general assembly, and partly by the people in their respective counties. The justices of the peace are elected by the people in the several towns, and hold their offices for five years. The judges of the supreme court as well as of the inferior courts hold their offices for seven years.


Situation and Extent.] Mlinois is bounded N. by the NorthWest teritory; E. by lake Michigan and Indiana ; S. by Kentucky ; and W. by Mississippi river, which separates it from the state of Missouri and Missoori territory. The boundary begins in Ohio river at the mouth of the Wabash, and proceeds, thence, up the same, and with the line of Indiana, to the north-west cor. ner of said state ; thence, east, with the line of the same state, to the middle of lake Michigan; thence, north, along the middle of said lake, to the parallel of 42° 30' N. lat. ; thence, west, along that parallel, to the middle of the Mississippi river; and thence, down along the middle of that river, to its confluence with the Ohio river; and thence, up the latter river, along its north-western shore, to the place of beginning. It extends from 37° to 420

30' N. lat., and from 87° 17' to 91° 50' W. Jon. The area is estimated at 52,000 square miles.

Divisions.] Illinois is divided into 19 counties.

Counties, Pop. Chief lowns. | Counties.


Chief towns. in 1820.

in 1820. Alexander, 626 America. Monroe, 1,537 Harrisonville. Bond, 2,931 Perrysville. Pope, 2,610 Golconda. Clark, 931

Randolph, 3,492 Kaskaskia. Crawford, 3,022

St. Clair,

5,253 Belleville. Edwards, 3,444 Palmyra. Union, 2,362 Jonesburg. Franklin, 1,763

Washington, 1,517 Covington. Gallatin, 3,155 Shawneetown. Wayne, 1,114 Jackson, 1,542 Brownsville. White, 4,828 Carnii, Jefferson, 691 Johnson, 843 Vienna.

Total, 55,211 Madison, 13,550 Edwardsville.

Rivers.] This state is well provided with navigable waters. It is bordered on three sides by the great rivers Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi ; its N. E. corner touches upon lake Michigan, and it is intersected by the Minois and Kuskaskia, which run from N. E. to S. W. through the heart of the state.

The Illinois is formed by the Kankakee and the Desplanes, which unite in the N. E. part of the state. After their union, the river roos in a S. W. dircction nearly 400 miles, and falls into the Mississippi 18 miles above the mouth of the Missouri. It has a gentle current, and is navigable for boats nearly to its source. The Illinois has numerous tributaries, sereral of which are nayi. gable for boats more than 100 miles.

The Kaskaskia rises in the eastern part of the state, between the Illinois and Wabash, and running in a south-westerly direction, falls into the Mississippi 84 miles below the mouth of the Illinois, atter a course of 150 miles, for 130 of which it is pavigable.

The other considerable rivers, beginning in the N. W. are, 1. Rocky river, which rises near the oorthern boundary of the state, and running in a S. W. direction, enters the Mississippi 160 miles above the mouth of the Illinois, after a course of 200 miles. 2. The Au Vase, which runs into the Mississippi, 55 miles above the mouth of the Ohio. It is navigable for boats 60 miles. 3. Saline river, which empties itself into the Ohio, 26 miles be. low the mouth of the Wabash. It is navigable 30 iniles. There are salt works, belonging to the United States, on this stream, 20 miles from its mouth. 4. The Little Wabash, which runs into the Wabash, a few miles from Ohio river, after a southerly course of more than 100 miles. 5. The Chicago, which empties itself into Jake Michigan, at its southern extremity. The portage from Chicago river to the Desplanes, one of the head branches of the Illinois, is only 9 miles, and the land here is so low as often to be covered with water and passed in boats.

Face of the Country, Soil and Productions.) The greater part of the state is either flat or rolling. Extensive prairies are

spread over two thirds of its surface. The soil may be divided into six classes. 1. Bottoms, bearing a beavy growih of timber, This land is of the first quality, and is found on all the principal rivers. It varies in width from 50 rods to 2 miles, and is of inexhaustible fertility. 2. Newly formed land, found at the mouths of rivers. There are many thousand acres of this land at the mouth of the Wabash, and at the confluence of the Ohio with the Mississippi. It is annually inundated, and is very unhealthy, 3. Dry prairies, near the rivers, bordering on the bottom land, but elevated from 30 to 100 feet. The prairies of the Ilinois river are the most extensive of any east of the Mississippi, and have alone been estimated at 1,200,000 acres. This soil is not inferior to the first rate river bottoms. 4. Wet prairie, found remote from rivers or at their sources. The soil is generally cold and barren, abounding with swamps and ponds, and covered with a tall coarse grass. 5. Timbered land, moderately billy, well watered, and of a rich soil. 6. Hills, of a sterile soil, and destitute of timber, or covered with stinted oaks aod pines.

Corn is at present the staple production. Wheat does well, except on the bottoms, where the soil is too rich. Tobacco grows to great perfection. Flax, hemp, oats, Irish and sweet potatoes do as well as in Kentucky.

Military Bounty Lands.) In 1817 there were in Illinois upwards of 16,000,000 acres of land belonging to the United States, obtained by purchase from the Indians. The portion of these lands lying between the Illinois and the Mississippi has been assigned by Congress, as bounty lands, to the soldiers who enlisted during the late war. The whole amount surveyed is about 5,530,000 acres, equal to 8,640 square miles, and is divided into 240 townships. This land is represented to be of an excellent quality.

Chief Towns.) Kaskaskia, the seat of government, is on the right bank of Kaskaskia river, 11 miles from its mouth, and 150 S. W. of Vincennes. It contains about 160 houses scattered over an extensive plain. The town was settled upwards of 100 years ago from Lower Canada, and about one balf of the inhabitants are of French origin.

Cahokia is on a small river of the same name, which discharges itself into the Mississippi one mile below the town, 4 miles south of St. Louis, on the opposite side of the river, and 52 N. W. of Kaskaskia. It contains about 1,000 inhabitants, most of whom are of French origin.

Shawncetown,, the capital of Gallatin county, is on the north bank of Ohio river, 12 miles below the mouth of the Wabash, and 12 E. of the salt works belonging to the United States, on Saline creek. The inhabitants are supported priocipally by the profits of the salt trade.

Edwardsville, the capital of Madison County, is a flourishing town, on Cahokia river, 22 miles N. E. of St. Louis. Cairu is sita, uated at the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi,

« AnteriorContinuar »