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personal observation, as I made it my business during the last spring to examine it with reference to its future improvement. I sliould pronounce it perfectly feasible to construct a canal from the state line, along the valley of the Pecatonica, up to New Balti. more, which is within about seven miles of Mineral Point.
At that place two streams unite, which will afford suficient wa. ter for the supply of a canal to the siate line. But from New Balti: more to Mineral Point the supply of water is limited, and I should have some hesitation in stating that there was sufficient to supply a canal and locks which would be requisite. But it would be an casy and cheap operation to construct a rail-road from thence 10 Mineral Point, which would answer the purpose of transporta. tion." · A company has been chartered, called the “ Pecatonica Navi. gation Company,” for the purpose of making an improvement from Mineral Point to the state line. But it is not to be supposed, with the limited capital of a new country, the resources of which are not yet developed, that it will be able to accomplish this desi. rable improvement, without assistance from the general government. But when the utility and importance of this improvement, and the reasons which induce the citizens to pray for aid, are pro. perly represented to Congress, I have no doubt it would lend a listening car and give a helping hand to the prosecution of the work. The policy of the government to appropriate lands for public works of importance, can be carried out in this instance with great advantage. The length of the work would be about thirty miles, and the country through which it passes, is nearly all covered with lead and copper, the most of which belongs to the United States. In making a grant of land for this object, the government is only acting the part of a great land-holder, who gives a few acres to make the remainder valuable, and provide the means for the transportation of this produce to market. For the want of better means the miners are compelled to convey their mineral thirty or forty miles to Galena with animal power, and over rough roads, losing almost one half the profits, in being thus compelled to use such tardy and expensive transportation. An.
other great objection to this, and argument in favor of preparing other facilities to market, is being compelled to reach a market out of the Territory, depriving our towns of the benefits of the mineral trade, and building up and enriching the towns of a neigh. boring state. I have no objection to their prosperity, but I do ob. ject to making use of the resources of Wisconsin for that purpose, and retarding the growth of one of the finest countries in the world. It may be asserted, I believe, without fear of contradic. tion, that two-thirds of the mineral shipped from Galena is raised in the Territory, when it is scarcely heard of in the mineral trade of the east, and would never be known that a pig of lead was ever made in Wisconsin, were it not for the brands upon it. Such facts should rouse the public spirited citizens to a sense of their interests, and induce them to make every effort to keep this valuable trade, as much as possible, within the limits of our Ter. ritory, and to secure the cheapest and most expeditious transporta tion to a New.York market.
If it is not stopped, our country will be drained of its wealth, and when it takes its place by the side of the sister states in the Union, it will have been robbed of its richest treasures. The improve. ment of the Pečatonica is only carrying out one of the objects of the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock river canal. The means of transporting the mineral to Lake Michigan must be af. forded to the miners. If that object can be obtained, they will be able to reach a New York market at one.haif the present expense. That state is deeply interested in this project, for it is only an ex. tension of the great Erie canal into the heart of the mineral re. gions of Wisconsin. It will divert the trade from the Mississippi 10 the Lakes, and add wealth to that state. It will augment the carrying trade upon the Erie canal, and increase the means for the enlargement of that great work, which has been commenced with a public spirit worthy of the Empire State.
The improvement of the “ Cat Fish,” or “ Four Lakes” river, is an object worthy of consideration, in connection with the Mil. waukee and Rock river canal. This stream runs from Madison the seat of Government, and empties into Rock river, about six miles below Lake Kushkanong. The kind or extent of the improvement which would be required to make this stream useful in navigation, I am unable to report upon, as I have not made an examination with reference to its inprovement.
It is possible ihai Copt. Cram of the United Siates Topographi. cal Engineers will make a report upon the subject to the general government, and afiord such information as shall be required in the preliminary arrangements for improving it. The River of the Four Lakes passes through a fine rich rolling country, beautifully diversified with prairies and oak openings, affording to the farmer all the varieties for convenient and easy improvement,
I rode over the country from the Fourth Lake to the Wisconsin river, as far as the summit; and, as well as I could judge from the slight examination made on horseback, I should give it as my op:. nion that a reservoir could be formed at the summit to furais: wa. ter sufficient for canal navigation, provided that there is not too much fall from the summit to the Wisconsin. This, however, should be more thoroughly tested with the necessary instruments, before any important steps are taken toward its improvement.
The improvement of the Piatte river up to the town of Platie. ville, is an important work to that section of the country. Platie. ville is a sourishing town with several hundred inhabitants, which has sprung up within a few years in the vicinity of the Plate mines. The country around is well populated, and already it has some of the finest farms in the Territory; which in a short time will produce a surplus that will seek a market on the Mississippi river. The miners labor under the same difficulties as those about Mineral Point, in the transportation of their lead to market; bav. ing to convey it to Galena or Sinipee with wagons and teams. From an examination which I made during the last summer I am convinced that a canal or rail-road could be made from the head of the back water of the Mississippi to Platteville, which is only ten or twelve miles. But to make this improvement the general gov. ernment must grant the means, either in lands or money. A grant of land similar to those which have been made for similar works, would make this improvement, and afford to the people the means of reaching market with their products, at much less expense, and the mines of the United States would be enhanced in value ten.
If the members of Congress, with the liberal and expanded views of American statesmen, can be convinced of the importance of these works, and of the facility with which they can be made, they will not hesitate to grant to the Territory the alternate sec. tions five miles on cach side of the work for that purpose; there. by cnriching that portion which belongs to the United States and make it sell with the improvement for more than the whole would bring without it. Although the soil of the Territory has belonged or does belong to the United States, and the land was ceded to it in consideration that the proceeds should be distributed among the states, in proportion to their population; yet it would appear like very bad policy for the government to draw from the Territory all ils resources; for unless improvements are made, the country will not setile; and if the country does not settle, the lands will not sell; and hence the government can receive nothing from them.
There is one subject, which may not be considered directly con. nected with this report, yet, from its importance to the country, I cannot permit this opportunity to escape without presenting it to your consideration. It is the construction of a rail-road from Lake Michiga 2 to the Mississippi river. By the number of works which are being projected and prosecuted in the east, with a spirit and enterprize peculiar to the American people, and the regular and continuous line presented from New.York to Lake Michigan, we are forcib?y impressed with the importance of extending this magnificent chain of internal imprèvements through Wisconsin to the Mississippi river. In a few years rail-roads will have been made from New York to Albany, and from thence to Buffalo; a good portion of the latter being already completed. Also, from Buffalo passing along the southern shore of Lake Erie through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, to Detroit. A route has been projected from Niagara river along the northern shore of Lake Erie, through Canada, to Detroit. A survey and report has been
made upon this route by an able engineer, pronouncing it perfectly feasible; and it no doubt before this would have been under con. struction had it not been for the unfortunale troubles in Canada. The state of Michigan is constructing a road from Detroit to the mouth of Grand river, and as soon as it is completed the enterprizing ci. tizens of Wisconsin will have steam-boats plying from its termina. tion to the different harbors in the Territory. But if there is not a continuation of this great route from the lake through Wisconsin to the Mississippi, the travel will be diverted to Chicago, and thence to the Mississippi, thus depriving our citizens and our coun. iry of a great and increasing source of wealth. Passing through le a country surpassing almost any in the world in natural beauty and diversity of scenery, it would draw the travel from other routes which are not possessed of these advantages. The pleasure all seeking traveler, naturally fond of variety, would seek this route, in more especially as it would be in a direct line from the falls of Niagara to the falls of St. Anthony, which in a few years will be wity made a place of resort for the fashionable public. And as the tide of immigration is continually rolling back farther and farther westward, we may expect to see in a short time the Upper Misa sissippi containing a dense population and studded with rich farms and thriving villages. This is no fancy sketch, but drawn from its analogy to the settlement of other new countries. But a few HOP years since, and western New York, which is now almost one great farm, interspersed with towns and villages, was a howling wilderness. Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, have only come into notice a few years since, and Wisconsin, which has bore a name less than five years, contains a population almost sufficient to entitle her to a place in the Union. And must wo not suppose that immigration will continue to flow into the far west, and in a short time the present frontier counties thickly settled ? It should be the policy of Wisconsin to be in readiness to reap a portion of the benefits which must necessarily result from the population of the west, and prepare the means of connecting im. provements with those of the east, affording an easy and ready means of reaching market. Iowa Territory is settling like magic,