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Page 28 - I never saw a busier place than Chicago was at the time of our arrival. The streets were crowded with land speculators, hurrying from one sale to another. A negro, dressed up in scarlet, bearing a scarlet flag, and riding a white horse with housings of scarlet, announced the times of sale. At every...
Page 10 - There is one improvement to be made, however, in this section of the country, which will greatly influence the permanent value of property in Chicago. I allude to a canal from the head of Lake Michigan to the head of steam navigation on the Illinois, the route of which has been long since surveyed. The distance to be overcome is something like ninety miles; and when you remember that the...
Page 28 - The streets were crowded with land speculators, hurrying from one sale to another. A negro, dressed up in scarlet, bearing a scarlet flag, and riding a white horse with housings of scarlet, announced the times of sale. At every street-corner where he stopped, the crowd flocked round him; and it seemed as if some prevalent mania infected the whole people.
Page 29 - Often was a fictitious streamlet seen to wind its romantic course through the heart of an ideal city, thus creating water lots and water privileges. But where a real stream, however diminutive, did find its way to the shore of the lake — no matter what -was the character of the surrounding country — some wary operator would ride night and day until the place was secured at the Government price. Then the miserable waste of sand and fens which lay unconscious of its glory on the shore of the lake,...
Page 29 - Then the miserable waste of sand and fens, which lay unconscious of its glory on the shore of the lake, was suddenly elevated into a mighty city, with a projected harbor and lighthouse, railroads and canals, and in a short time the circumjacent lands were sold in lots. Not the puniest brook on the shore of Lake Michigan was suffered to remain without a city at its mouth, and whoever will travel around that lake shall find many a mighty mart staked out in spots suitable only for the habitations of...
Page 5 - A very important advantage (of it), and which some will perhaps find it hard to credit, is that we can quite easily go to Florida in boats, and by a very good navigation. There would be but one canal to make by cutting only one-half a league of prairie to pass from the lake of the Illinois (Michigan) into St.
Page 28 - ... the more absurd the project, the more remote the object, the more madly were they pursued. The prairies of Illinois, the forests of Wisconsin and the sand-hills of Michigan, presented a chain almost unbroken of supposititious villages and cities. The whole land seemed staked out and peopled on paper.
Page 7 - ... Portage." From the lake one passes by a channel formed by the junction of several small streams or gullies, and navigable about two leagues to the edge of the prairie. Beyond this at a distance of a quarter of a league to the westward is a little lake a league and a half in length, divided into two parts by a beaver dam. From this lake issues a little stream which, after twining in and out for half a league across the rushes, falls into the Chicago River, which in turn empties into the Illinois....
Page 16 - Many were the scenes which here presented themselves, portraying the habits of both the red men and the demi-civilized beings around them. The interior of the village was one chaos of mud, rubbish, and confusion. Frame and clapboard houses were springing up daily under the active axes and hammers of the speculators, and piles of lumber announced the preparation for yet other edifices of an equally light character. Races occurred frequently on a piece of level sward without the village, on which temporary...