xt7vq814nm4w https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7vq814nm4w/data/mets.xml Peck, John Mason, 1789-1858. 1836  books b92-114-27901725 English Gould, Kendall & Lincoln, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Mississippi River Valley. Ohio River Valley. Northwest Territory. New guide for emigrants to the West  : containing sketches of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, with the territories of Wisconsin and Arkansas, and the adjacent parts / by J.M. Peck. text New guide for emigrants to the West  : containing sketches of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, with the territories of Wisconsin and Arkansas, and the adjacent parts / by J.M. Peck. 1836 2002 true xt7vq814nm4w section xt7vq814nm4w 



                TO THE

       W E S T e



          BY J. M. -PECK, A. M.
              CF ROVK9SPRIVW.. ILL





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.



   CHAP. I.



Extent-Subdivisions-Population-Physical Features
-Animal, Vegetable and Mineral Productions-
History-Prospective Increase of Population,.


                   CHAP. II.

Productions,.......             , ,          32

                   CHAP. III.

Comparative View of the Climate with the Atlantic

States-Diseases-Means of Preserving Health, . . .


                  CHAP. IV.

Cotton and Sugar Planters-Farimiers-Population of


IN D E X .

   the large Towns and Cities-Frontier Class-h1unt-
   ers and Trappers-Boatmen,.                   102

                     CHAP.. V.

                  PUBLIC LANDS.
 System of Surveys-Meridian and Base Lines-
 Townships-Diagram of a Township surveyed into
   Sections-Land Districts and Offices-Preemption
   Rights-Military and Bounty Lands-Taxes-
   Valuable Tracts of Country unsettled, .130

                    CHAP. VI_

Conjecture respecting their former Numbers and Con-
  dition-Present Number and State-Indian Terri-
  tory appropriated as their Permanent Residence-
  Plan and Operations of the U. S. Government-
  Missionary Efforts and Stations-Monuments and
  Antiquities, .144

                   CHAP. VII.

Face of the Country-Soil, Agriculture and Internal
  Improvements-Chief Towns-Pittsburg-Coal-
  Sulphur and Hot Springs-Wheeling, .16:1

                   CHAP. VIII.

Extent-Situation-Boundaries-Face of the Coun-
  try-Rivers-Lakes, c.-Soil and Productions-




  Subdivisions Counties-Towns-Detroit-Educa-
  tion-Internal Improvements projected-Boundary
  Dispute-Outline of the Constitution, .179

                    CHAP. IX.

Boundaries-Divisions-Face of the Country-Soil
  and  Productions-Animal -Minerals-Financial
  Statistics-Canal Fund-Expenditures-Land Tax-
  es-School Fund-Statistics-Canal Revenues-
  Population at different Periods-Internal Improve-
  ments-Manufactures-Cities and Towns-Cincin-
  nati-Columbus-Education-Form of Government
  -History, .193

                   CHAP. X.

                   INDIAN A.
Boundaries and Extent-Counties-Population-Face
  of the Country, c.-Sketch of each County-
  Form of Government-Finances-Internal Improve-
  eral Remarks, .222

                   CHAP. XI.

Boundaries and Extent-Face of the Country and
  Qualities of Soil-Inundated Land-Rifer Bottoms,
  or Alluvion-Prairies-Barrens-Forest, or timber-
  ed Land-Knobs, Blufis, Ravines and Sink Holes-
  Rivers, c.-Productions-Minerals,-Lead, Coal,



I N D E X .

  Salt, c.-Vegetables-Animals-Manufactures-
  Civil Divisions-Tabular View of the Counties-
  Sketches of each County-Towns-Alton-Pro-
  jected Improvements-Eduication-Government-
  General Remarks, .251

                   CHAP. XII.

Extent and Boundaries-Civil Divisions-Population
  -Surface, Soil and Productions-Towns-St.
  Louis, .315

                   CHAP. XIII.

ARKANSAS.-Situation and Extent-Civil Divisions
  -Rivers-Face of the Country-Soil-Water-
  Productions-Climate-Miiierals-State of Society.
  WiscONSIN. Boundaries and Extent-Rivers-
  Soil-Productions-Towns, c.                 a323

                  CHAP. XIV.

                   THE WIEST.
Colleges-Statistical Sketch'of each Religious Denom-
  ination-Roman Catholics-Field for Effort, and
  Progress made-Theological Institutions-Deaf and
  Dumb Asylums-Medical Institutions-Law Schools
  -Benevolent and Religious Societies-Periodical
  Press,.                                    334



                 INDEX.                  Vii

                 CHAP. XV.

Modes of Travel-Canal, Steamboat and Stage Routes
-Other Modes of Travel-Expenses-Roads, Dis-
tances, c.......... . .. ...... .      364

This page in the original text is blank.



  .MiUCH has been published already about the WEST,-
-But no portion of this immense and interesting region,
is so much the subject of inquiry, and so particularly ex-
cites the attention of the emigrant, as the States of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan, with the adjacent
territorial regions.
  All these States have come into existence as such, with
the exception of Ohio, within the last twenty years; and
much of the territory, now adorned by the hand of civil-
ization, and spread over with an enterprising, industrious
and intelligent people,-the field of public improvements
in Canals and Railways,-of Colleges, Churches, and other
institutions, was the hunting ground of the aborigines, and
the scene of border warfare. These States have been un-
paralleled in their growth, both ill the increase of population
and property, and in the advance of intellectual and moral
improvement. Such an extent of forest was never before
cleared,-such a vast field of prairie was never before
subdued and cultivated by the hand of man, in the same
short period of time. Cities, and towns, and villages, and
counties, and States never before rushed into existence,
and made such giant strides, as upon this field.
  " Who hath heard such a thing  Who hath seen such
things Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one
day or shall a nation be born at once" Isaiah, L XVT. S.
  The rapid increase of population will be exhibited in a
tabular form in the following pages, and other parts show-



ing that the general improvement of the country, and the
development of its physical, intellectual and moral resources
have kept pace with the extension of settlements. And
such are its admirable facilities for commerce by its numer-
ous navigable rivers, and its lines of canals, some of which
are finished, and many others commenced or projected,-
such the richness of its soil, and the variety of its produc-
tions,--such the genial nature of its climate,-the enterprise
of its population,-and the influence it must soon wield in
directing the destinies of the whole United States, as to
render the GREAT WEST an object of the deepest interest
to the American patriot. To the philanthropist and chris-
tian, the character and manners,-the institutions, literature
and religion of so wide a portion of our country, whose
mighty energies are soon to exert a controlling influence
over the character of the whole nation, and in some meas-
ure, of the world, are not less matters of momentous
  " The West is a young empire of mind, and power, and
wealth, and free institutions, rushing up to a giant man-
hood, with a rapidity and power never before witnessed
below the sun. And if she carries with her the elements
of her preservation, the experiment will be glorious,-the
joy of the nation,-the joy of the whole earth, as she rises
in the majesty of her intelligence and benevolence, and
enterprise, for the emancipation of the world."-Beecher.
  Amongst the causes that have awakened the attention of
the community in the Atlantic States, to this Great Valley,
and excited the desires of multitudes to remove hither,
may be reckoned the efforts of the liberal and benevolent to
aid the West in the immediate supply of her population
with the Bible, with Sunday Schools, with religious tracts,
with the gospel ministry, and to lay the foundation for
Colleges and other literary institutions. Hundreds of fam-
ilies, who might otherwise have remained in the crowded
cities and densely populated neighborhoods of their ances-
tors, have had their attention directed to these States as a
permanent home. And thousands more of virtuous and
industrious families would follow, and fix their future resi-
dence on our prairies, and in our western forests, cultivate





our wild lands,-aid in building up our towns and cities,
and diffuse a healthful moral and intellectual influence
through the mass of our present population, could they
feel assured that they can reach some portion of the WVest-
ern Valley without great risk and expense,-provide for
their families comfortably, and not be swept off by sickness,
or overwhelmed by suffering, beyond what is incident to
any new country.
   The author's first book, "A GUIDE FOR EMIGRANTS,"
 c. was written in the winter and spring of 1831, to
 answer the pressing call then made for information of these
 western states, but more especially that of Illinois;-but
 many of its particulars, as to the character and usages of
 the people, manners and customns, modes of erecting build-
 ings, general characteristics and qualities of soil, productions,
 c. were applicable to the W'est generally.
   Since that period, brief as it has been, wide and rapid
changes have been made, population has rapidly augment-
ed, beyond that of any former period of the same extent,-
millions of acres of the public domain, then wild and
hardly explored, have been brought into market; settlements
and counties have been formed, and populous towns have
sprung up where, at that time, the Indian and wild beast
had possession; facilities for intercommnunication have been
greatly extended, and distant places have been brought
comparatively near; the desire to emigrate to the west has
increased, and everybody in the Atlantic states has become
interested and inquires about the Great Valley. That res-
pectable place, so much the theme of declamation and
inquiry abroad, " The Far West," has gone from this
region towards the setting sun. Its exact locality has not
yet been settled, but probably it may soon be found along
the gulf of California, or near Nootka Sound. And if
distance is to be measured by time, and the facility of inter-
course, we are now several hundred miles nearer the
Atlantic coast than twenty years since. Ten years more,
and the facilities of railways and improved machinery will
place the Mississippi within seven day's travel of Boston,
-six days of Washington city, and five days of Charles-
ton, S. C.




  To give a brief, and yet correct account of a portion of
this Great Valley, its resources, the manners and customs of
its inhabitants,its political subdivisions, cities,commercial and
other important towns, colleges and other literary institu-
tions, religious condition, public lands, qualities of soil and
general features of each state and territory named in the
title page, together with such information as may form a
kind of manual for the emigrant and man of business, or
which may aid him on his journey hither, and enable him
to surmount successfully the difficulties of a nlew country,
is the object of this new work. In accomplishing this task
the author has aimed at correctness and breivity. To con-
dense the particular kind of information called for by the
public mind in a small space, has been no easy task. Nor
has it been a small matter to collect from so wide a range
as five large states, and two extensive territories, with
other large districts, the facts and statistical information
often found in the compass of less than a page.
  It is an easy task to a belles-lettre scholar, sitting at his
desk, in an easy chair, and by a pleasant fire, to write
"Histories," and "1 Geographies," and "Sketches," and
"Recollections," and " Views," and "Tours" of the
Western Valley,-but it is quite another concern to explore
these regions, examine public documents, reconcile contra-
dictory statements, correspond with hundreds of persons in
public and private life, read all the histories, geographies,
tours, sketches, and recollections that have been published,
and correct their numerous errors,-then collate, arrange,
digest, and condense the facts of the country. Those who
have read his former " GUIDE FOR EMIGRANTS," Will
find upon perusal, that this is radically a new work--rather
than a new edition. Its whole plan is changed; and though
some whole pages of the former work are retained, and
many of its facts and particulars given in a more condensed
form, much of that work being before the public in other
forms, he has been directed, both by his own judgment, and
the solicitude of the public mind in the Atlantic states, to
give to the work its present form and features.
  There are three classes of persons in particular who may
derive advantage from this Guide.


  1. All those who intend to remove to the states and ter-
ritories described. Such persons, whether citizens of the
Atlantic states, or natives of Europe, will find in this small
volume, much of that species of information for which
they are solicitous.
  It has been a primary object of the author throughout
this work, to furnish the outline of facts necessary for this
class. He is aware also that niuch in detail will be desired
and eagerly sought after, which the portable and limited
size of this little work could not contain; but such inform-
ation may be found in the larger works, by Hall, Flint,
Darby, Schoolcraft, Long, and other authors and travellers.
Those who desire more specific and detailed descriptions of
Illinois, will be satisfied probably with the author's
GAZETTEER of that State, published in 1834, and which
can be had by application to the author, or to the publish-
ers of this work.
  2. This Guide is also designed for those, who, for either
pleasure, health or business, intend to travel through the
western States. Such are now the facilities of intercom-
munication between the eastern and western States, and to
most points in the Valley of the Mlississippi, that thousands
are visiting some portions of this interesting region every
month. Some knowledge of the routes that lead to differ-
ent parts of this Valley, the lines of steamboats and stagres,
cities, towns, public institutions, manners and customs of
the people, c., is certainly desirable to all who travel.
Such persons may expect a correct, and it is hoped, a
pleasant Guide in this book.
  3. There is a numerous class of persons in the Atlantic
States, who desire to know more about the Great West
and to have a book for reference, who do not expect to
emigrate here. Many are deeply interested in its moral
welfare. They have cheerfully contributed to establish
and build up its literary and religious institutions, and yet
from want of access to those facts which exist amongst us,
their information is but partial and limited. The author in
his travels in the Atlantic states has met with many persons,
who, though well informed on other subjects, are surpris-
ingly ignorant of the actual condition, resources, society,




manners of the people, and even the geography of these
states and territories. The author is aware of the difficul-
ty of conveying entirely correct ideas of this region to a
person who has never travelled beyond the borders of his
native state. The laws and habits of associating ideas in
the human mind forbid it.
  The chief source of information for those states that lie
on the Mississippi, has been the personal observation of the
author,-having explored most of the settlements in Mis-
souri and Illinois, and a portion of Indiana and Ohio,-
having spent more than eighteen years here, and seen the
two former states, from an incipient territorial form of gov-
ernment, and a few scattered and detached settlements,
arise to their present state of improvement, population,
wealth and national importance. His next source of infor-
mation has been from personal acquaintance and corres-
porndence with many intelligent citizens of the states and
territories he describes. Reference has also been had to
the works of Hall, Flint, Darby, Breckenridge, Beck,
Long, Schoolcraft, Lewis and Clarke, Mitchel'l and Tan-
ner's maps, Farmer's map of Michigan, Turnbull's map of
Ohio, The Ohio Gazetteer, The Indiana Gazetteer, Dr.
Drake's writings, Mr. Coy's Annual Register of Indian
affairs, Ellicott's surveys, and several periodicals.
                                             J. M. P.
  Rock STring, Illinois, January, 1836.





Its extent,--Subdivisions,-Population,-Physical fea-
  tures,-Anirnal, Vegetable and Mineral productions,-
  History,-Prospective increase of Population.

  THE Valley of the Mississippi, in its proper
geographical extent, embraces all that portion
of the United States, lying between the Alle-
ghany and Rocky Mountains, the waters of
which are discharged into the gulf of Mexico,
through the mouths of the Mississippi. I have
embraced, however, under that general term,
a portion of the country bordering on the
northern lakes, including the north part of
Ohio, the northeastern portions of Indiana and
Illinois the whole of Michigan, with a con-
siderable territorial district on the west side of
lake Michigan, and around lake Superior.
  Extent. This great Valley is one of the
largest divisions of the globe, the waters of
which pass one estuary.
  To suppose the United States and its terri-


tory to be divided into three portions, the
arrangement would be, the Atlantic slope-the
Mississippi basin, or valley-and the Pacific
  A glance on any map of North America,
will show that this Valley includes about two
thirds of the territory of the United States.
The Atlantic slope contains about 390,000; the
Pacific slope, about 300,000; which, combined,
are 690,000 square miles: while the Valley of
the Mississippi contains at least 1,300,000
square miles, or 833,000,000 acres.
  This Valley extends from the 290 to the 490
of N. latitude, or about 1400 miles from south
to north; and from the 30 to the 350 of longi-
tude west from Washington, or about 1470
miles from east to west. From the source of
the Alleghany river to the sources of the Mis-
souri, following the meanderings of the streams,
is not less than 5000 miles.
  Subdivisions. The states and territories in-
cluded, are a small section of New York
watered by the heads of the Alleghany river,
western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Ken-
tucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ter-
ritory of Arkansas, Indian Territory, the vast
unsettled regions lying to the west and north
of this Territory, the Wisconsin Territory in-
cluding an extensive country west of the
Mississippi and north of the state of Missouri,
with the vast regions that lie towards the heads



of the Mississippi, and around lake Superior.
  Population. The following table, gives a
comparative view of the population of the
Valley of the Mississippi, and shows the pro-
portional increase of the several States, parts
of States, and Territories, from 1790 to the
close of 1835, a period of 45 years. The
column for 1835 is made up partly from the
census taken in several states and territories,
and partly by estimation. It is sufficiently ac-
curate for general purposes.

   Why the names Huron, Mandan, Sioux, Osage, and
Ozark have been applied by Darby and other authors, to
the extensive regions on the Upper Mississippi, the Upper
Missouri, and the Arkansas rivers, I am not able to solve.
Osage is a French corruption of Wos-sosh-e, and Ozark
is an awkward, illiterate corruption of Osage. Sioux is
another French corruption, the origin of which is not now
easily ascertained. Carver and other travellers, call this
nation of Indians Nau-do-wes-sees. Chiefs of this nation
have repeatedly disclaimed the name of Sioux, (pronounced
Soos.) They sometimes call themselves Da-co-tah.



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  Probably there is no portion of the globe, of
equal extent, that contains as much of soil fit
for cultivation, and which is capable of sus-
taining and supplying with all the necessaries
and conveniences, and most of the luxuries of
life, so dense a population as this great Valley.
Deducting one third of its surface for water
and desert, which is a very liberal allowance,
and there remains 866,667 square miles, or
554,666,880 acres of arable land.
  Let it become as populous as Massachusetts,
which contains 610,014 inhabitants on an area
of 7,800 square miles, or seventy-eight to
every 640 acres, and the population of this
immense region will amount to 67 ,600,000.
The child is now born which will live to see
this result. Suppose its population to become
equally dense with England, including Wales,
which contains 207 to the square mile, and its
numbers will amount to 179,400,000. But let
it become equal to the Netherlands, the most
populous country on the globe, containing 230
to the square mile, and the Valley of the Mis-
sissippi teems with a population of 200 millions,
a result which may be had in the same time
that New England has been gathering its two
millions. What reflections ought this view to
present to the pat-iot, the philanthropist, and
the christian.
  Physical Features. The physical features of
this Valley are peculiar.
  1. It includes two great inclined planes, one



on its eastern, and the other on its western
border, terminating with the Mississippi.
  2. This river receives all the waters pro-
duced on these slopes, which are discharge4
by its mouths into the gulf of Mexico.
  3. Every part of this vast region can be
penetrated by steamboats, or other water craft;
nor is there a spot in all this wide region, ex-
cepting a small district in the vast plains of
Upper Missouri, that is more than one hundred
miles from some navigable water. A boat
may take in its lading on the banks of the
Chatauque lake, in the State of New- York;
another may receive its cargo in the interior of
Virginia; a third may start from the rice lakes
at the head of the Mississippi; and a fourth
may come laden with furs from the Chippewan
mountains, 2,800 miles up the Missouri, and
all meet at the mouth of the Ohio, and pro-
ceed in company to the ocean.
  4. With the exception of its eastern and
western borders, there are no mountains.
Some portions are level, a large part is gently
undulating, or what in the wvest is called
"rollirif," and the remainder is made up of
abrupt hills, flint and limestone ridges, bluffs,
and ravines.
  5. It is divided into two great portions, the
UPPER, and LOWER VALLEY, according to its
general features, climate, staple productions,
and habits of its population. The parallel of
latitude that cuts the mouth of the Ohio river,



will designate these portions with sufficient ac-
  North of this line the seasons are regularly
divided into spring, summer, autumn, and win-
ter. In the winter there is usually more or
less snow, ice forms and frequently blocks up
the rivers, navigation is obstructed, and cotton
is not produced in sufficient quantity or quality
to make it a staple for exportation. It is the
region of furs, minerals, tobacco, hem), live
stock, and every description of grain and fruit
that grows in New England. Its white popu-
lation are mostly accustomed to labor.
  South of this line, cotton, tobacco, indigo,
and sugar are staples. It has little winter,
snow seldom covers the earth, ice never ob-
structs the rivers, and most of the labor is
done by slaves.
  Rivers. The rivers are, the Mississippi and
its tributaries, or more correctly, the Missouri
and its tributaries. If we except the Amazon,
no river can compare with this for length of
its course, the number and extent of its tribu-
taries, the vast country they drain, and their
capabilities for navigation.  Its tributaries
generally issue either from the eastern or
western mountains, and flow over this immense
region, diffusing not only fertility to the soil,
but affording facilities for commerce a great
part of the year.
  The Missouri is unquestionably the main
strewmn, for it is not only longer and discharges
a larger volume of water than the Mississippi



above its mouth, but it has branches, which,
for the extent of country they drain, their
length, and the volume of water they dis-
charge, far exceed the upper Mississippi.
  The characteristics of these two rivers are
each distinctly marked. The Missouri is tur-
bid, violent in its motions, changing its currents;
its navigation is interrupted or made difficult
by snags, sawyers and planters, and it has
many islands and sand-bars. Such is the
character of the Mississippi below the mouth
of the Missouri. But above its mouth, its wa-
ters are clear, its current gentle, while it is
comparatively free from snags and sand-bars.
  The 1lissouri, which we have shown to be
the principal stream, rises in the Chippewan,
or Rocky mountains in latitude 440 north, and
longitude about 350 west from Washington
city. It runs a northeast course till after it
receives the Yellow Stone, when it reaches
past the 480 of latitude, thence an east, then a
south, and finally a southeastern course, until
it meets the current of the Mississippi, 20
miles above St. Louis, and in latitude 380 45'
north. Besides numerous smaller streams, the
Missouri receives the Yellow Stone and Platte,
which of themselves, in any other part of the
world, would be called large rivers, together
with the Sioux, Kansau, Grand, Chariton,
Osage, and Gasconade, all large and navigable
  Its length, upon an entire comparative
course, is 1870 miles, and upon a particular



course, about 3000 miles. Lewis and Clark
make the distance from the Mississippi to the
great falls, 2580 miles.
  There are several things in some respects
peculiar to this river, which deserve notice.
  1. Its current is very rapid, usually at the
rate of four or five miles an hour, when at its
height; and it requires a strong wind to propel
a boat with a sail against it. Steam overcomes
its force, for boats ply regularly from St.
Louis to the towns and landings on its banks
within the borders of the state, and return
with the produce of the country. Small steam-
boats have gone to the Yellow Stone for furs.
  Owing to the shifting of its current, and its
snags and sand-bars, its navigation is less safe
and pleasant than any other western river, but
these difficulties are every year lessened by
genius and enterprise.
  2. Its water is always turbid, being of a
muddy, ash color, though more so at its peri-
odical rise than at other times. This is caused
by extremely fine sand, received from the
neighborhood of the Yellow Stone. IDuring
the summer flood, a tumbler of water taken from
the Missouri, and precipitated, will produce
about one fourth of its bulk in sediment.
  This sediment does not prevent its habitual
use by hundreds who live on its banks, or
move in boats over its surface. Some filtrate
it, but many more drink it, and use it for culi-
nary purposes, in its natural state.
  When entirely filtrated, it is the most limpid



and agreeable river water I ever saw. Its
specific gravity then, is about equal to rain
water; but in its turbid state, it is much heav-
ier than ordinary river water, for a boat will
draw three or four inches less in it than in
other rivers, with the same lading, and the
human body will swim in it with but very little
  It possesses some medicinal properties.
Placed in an open vessel and exposed to the
summer's sun, it remains pure for weeks.
Eruptions on the skin and ulcerous sores are
cured by wading or frequent bathings, and
commonly it produces slight cathartic effects
upon strangers upon its first use.
  The width of the Missouri river at St.
Charles, is 550 yards.  Its alluvial banks
however are insecure, and are not unfrequent-
ly washed away for many yards at its annual
floods. The bed of its channel is also preca-
rious, and is elevated or depressed by the
deposition or removal of its sandy foundation.
Hence the elevation or depression of the sur-
face of this river, affords no criterion of its
depth, or of the volume of water it discharges
at any one period.
  Undulatory motions, like the boiling of a
pot, are frequently seen on its surface, caused
by the shifting of the sand that forms its bed.
  The volume of water it ordinarily discharges
into the Mississippi is vastly disproportionate
to its length, or the number and size of its
tributaries. I have seen less than six feet


               FOR EMIGRANTS.             21

depth of water at St. Charles at a low stage,
and it was once forded by a soldier, at Belle-
fontaine, four miles above its junction with
the Mississippi.
  Evaporation takes up large quantities, but
absorption throughout the porous soil of its
wide bottoms consumes much more. In all
the wells dug in the bottom lands of the Mis-
souri, water is always found at the depth of
the surface of the river, and invariably rises
or sinks with the floods and ebbings of the
stream.  Volumes of sand frequently enter
these wells as the river rises.
  Its periodical floods deserve notice. Ordi-
narily this river has three periods of rising
and falling each year. The first rise is caused
by the breaking up of winter on the Gascon-
ade, Osage, Kansau, Chariton, Grand, and
other branches of the lower Missouri, and oc-
curs the latter part of February, or early in
March.   Its second rise is usually in April,
when the Platte, Yellow Stone, and other
streams pour into it their spring floods. But
the flood that more usually attracts attention
takes place from the 10th to the 25th of June,
when the melting snows on the Chippewan
mountains pour their contents into the Missouri.
This flood is scarcely ever less than five, nor
more than 20 feet at St. Louis, above the ordi-
nary height of the river. On two occasions,
however, sirwe the country was known to the
French, it has arisen to that height in the Mis-
sissippi as to flow over the American Bottom


in Illinois, and drive the inhabitants of Cahokia
and Kaskaskia from their villages to the bluffs.