網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

esteemed the most valuable timber for building and for smelting the lead ore. Ash, hickory, walnut, sugar-tree, and dogwood also form a fair proportion of the forests of Madison. There is no prairie in the county. A steam saw and grist mill is in oper. ation for country purposes about half a mile from Fredericktown. The farming products of Madison consist of tobacco, corn, wheat, and grass; and hogs, horses, and horned cattle are raised extensively. In Fredericktown there are five large retail stores, with a general assortment of merchandise suited to the wants of a farming community. Fredericktown is a flourishing little village, containing a fine brick courthouse, a prosperous female school, under the superintendence of Catholic.nuns, whose polished manners and valuable acquirements evince their peculiar fitness for their happily-chosen vocation. There are also at Fredericktown a Catholic church and a good school for boys. The population of Fredericktown is about 250 or 300. The quantity of lead made at mine à Lamotte is about a million of pounds per annum. In the forests of Madison is found a species of oak resembling the white oak; it is peculiar to this county, and is believed to be almost equal to live oak for ship-building.

MARION County. The boundaries of this county begin in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river, at a point due east of the eastern termination of the line between townships numbered fifty-six and fifty-seven ; thence west to the termination of said line ; thence west with the last-mentioned line to the range line between ranges numbered eight and nine ; thence north with the last-named range line to the township line between townships numbered fifty-nine and sixty ; thence east with the township line last mentioned to its termination on the Mississippi river; thence due east to the middle of the main channel of said river; thence down the same to the place of beginning.

In this county there are some indications of lead and copper mineral. Bituminous coal of good quality is found in Marion, and saltpetre has been discovered in many places. Salt water flows out of the earth in this county, but no improvement of the salt-springs has been attempted, except the operations of Mr. Muldrow, which will be noticed in a particular description that follows this general sketch. The low price of salt from abroad has rendered such an enterprise doubtful as a profitable operation. Limestone and freestone are abundant in Marion, but the latter is found in larger quantities. It would be unreasonable to look for valuable minerals in a country where the soil is so rich and so productive as it is in this county. The mill-machinery, both for sawing and grinding grain, in Marion, by steam and with water power, is in operation on so extensive a scale that it would fatigue the reader to throw in his way a record of the names and location of all that has been erected. The streams that afford power to propel machinery are Salt river, North and South rivers (or by some called North and South Two rivers), and North and South Fabius. On all of these mills are erected, and other sites remain unimproved. These streams, with the branches that contribute to swell their consequence, render Marion literally a well-watered country. There is nothing peculiar in the soil of this county, unless it be the superabundance of nitre, which is the constituent of fertility. The products of Marion are similar to those of the same parallel of latitude in other counties. These consist of wheat, rye, corn, oats, hemp, tobacco, &c., together with the usual kinds of fruits. The timber consists of several kinds of oak, walnut, cherry, hackberry, linn, &c. It is supposed that three fourths of the land, commencing at the mouth of the Desmoines, and running sixty miles up that river, thence in a line parallel with the Mississippi one hundred miles south, may be called timbered land. The water of this county is generally very good. It is singularly unfortunate that the stock of this county is not equal to that raised in some of the older states. As this is a good grass country, it is probable that this defect is attributable to inattention in the stock-raisers. Horses, mules, cattle, sheep, and hogs are, however, all raised, and profitably, by the farmers of Marion. They will doubtless perceive and remedy the defect by which they suffer at present. Palmyra, eight miles from the river, is the town where justice is dispensed for Ma. rion county

The land-office for the upper district of Missouri is located here ; and the amount of money received for public lands at this office indicates the value of the country round

about, clearer than any speculations of the theorist could establish the fact. It is probable that the inhabitants of the Atlantic states may have emigrated hither with the belief, that the same parallel of latitude in Missouri to which they had been accustomed in their native country would prove more healthy to them than a position farther south in the same state. But in this they are deceived.

The climate of the county of Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau is as well suited to the constitutions of New Englanders as that of Marion. Both are as healthy as the White Mountains, or the borders of Passamaquoddy Bay. Two public journals are published at Palmyra. In the vicinity of Palmyra there are two colleges; one of them, the Marion College, is twelve miles west of Palmyra ; and “ the Lower College” is six miles south of Palmyra.

These institutions are upon the manual-labour plan, and the great number of young men who have resorted thither to obtain instruction, testifies strongly in favour of both colleges. These institutions were founded by Messrs. Muldrow, Ely, and their enterprising associates, who have drawn upon themselves much of popular denunciation-with how much justice, time and an intelligent people will determine. There is reason to apprehend, generally, that a spirit of opposition to improvement and innovation exists, unhappily, to a great extent in Missouri. There is a jealousy of those who project or execute great works, and an unwillingness to permit any effort that can make the reputation or pecuniary condition of one citizen rise above that of his countrymen around him. En. terprise is sometimes misnamed monopoly; and the advocates of equality frequently lend a violent and intrusive hand to pull down merit to a level with sterility of intellect. The human family have always derived advantage from an opposite course, by efforts to raise all below to the condition of those in more fortunate circumstances.

In Palmyra there are three handsome brick houses for public worship, a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Baptist church.

Marion City is one of the new towns to which public attention has been latterly directed. It is situated on the river-bank at the Palmyra landing. Improvements are going forward there.

HANNIBAL, another town on the river, below Marion city, has recently become an attractive point; and it acquires great and deserved consequence by the interest some of the oldest and most capable business men of Missouri have taken in it.

Later and more particular information enables the compiler to add the following description (derived from the most authentic source) of Marion county, and the interesting country around it.

MARION County is in extent nineteen miles north and south, and twenty-four miles east and west. Its general characteristics are the same which belong to the counties of Ralls and Monroe on the south of it, Shelby on the west, and Lewis and Clark on the north. They are all intersected by numerous streams, whose general course is from the northwest to the southeast. These streams have been dignified, as most streams in the West are, by the title of rivers. When swollen they deserve the name, but during the greater part of the year they are nothing more than large brooks of great length. The Salt river is the largest stream on the west side of the Mississippi, between the Missouri and the Desmoines. It runs diagonally through Shelby county, and in Monroe and Ralls counties has numerous branches. North of Salt river we have the two rivers, the one called the North and the other South river, which are not united, as most maps represent them, but empty by different mouths, half a mile apart, into the Mississippi, about three miles above Marion city. In travelling north you next pass the two Fabii, which are united one mile above their junction with the father of rivers. The Wyaeonda is next in the course, then Honey Creek, and then Fox river, before you reach the Desmoines. Into these principal water-courses enter almost innumerable smaller brooks, hich descend, running for the most part towards the northeast or southeast, from the prairies that lie between and stretch along parallel with the main streams. Between the smaller water-courses are multitudes of little prairies, projecting like saw-teeth from the main body of the highest lands in the country, the main branches of the great prairie, which will be seen in some maps marked as if it were a ridge of mountains, when, in truth, for fifteen hundred miles west there are no mountains.

Р

[ocr errors]

Take these counties together which have been named, and you may say that three fifths of the surface of the same are highland meadows, prepared for the plough, without bush, stump, or stone, and with only here and there a pin-oak tree, while the remaining two fifths are covered with timber, which irregularly fringes the streams. These prairies are undulating, while at a distance they appear nearly level; so that it is a rare occurrence to find a pond, a swamp, or any stagnant water. The soil of these native meadows is deep and rich, and is found capable of enduring a long dry season much better than the woodlands. From early spring until a severe frost comes, the whole surface of these immense mowing lands, in a state of nature, is covered by a continued succession of flowers, intermixed with the prairie grass; and most of the flowers, as well as the grass, are delicious food for cattle. This part of Missouri is indeed the Lord of Nature's flower-garden.

For many years it was thought that these prairies were for ever destined to remain unfenced, a common for all the herds of the community, because of the difficulty of breaking up the greensward. Mr. William Muldrow, a native of Kentucky, is generally allowed to have been the first man in all the north of Missouri who first brought a prairie farm into subjection. At first, for want of more force, he yoked his milch cows with his oxen, and so turned up the soil. When well broken, in a few months it becomes so mellow that ever after a pair of horses will suffice to cultivate it. Mr. Muldrow's success produced a new era in the state, and ever since intelligent farmers have regarded a prairie farm as the best in the world, provided they can procure at no great distance timber enough to fence it.

The prairies of these counties are from one to six miles wide. Beneath their deep soil is uniformly found a stratum of clay from ten to twenty feet deep; and then you have a shelly limestone rock. Sandstone, soapstone, sand and gravel, and even marine mud, are then found below. In digging a well lately at Marion College, a large tree was found buried at the depth of eighty feet from the surface.

The streams in the woodlands supply abundant water for cat

« 上一頁繼續 »