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Title: Minnesota; Its Character and Climate - Likewise Sketches of Other Resorts Favorable to Invalids; Together - With Copious Notes on Health; Also Hints to Tourists and Emigrants.
Author: Bill, Ledyard
Language: English
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_Author of "A Winter in Florida" etc., etc._


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871,


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.







By general consent Minnesota has enjoyed a superior reputation for
climate, soil, and scenery beyond that of any other State in the Union,
with, perhaps, a single exception.

The real ground of this pre-eminence, especially in climate, has not
been well understood, owing, probably, in part, to the slight
acquaintance with the general features and characteristics of the State
itself, and, in part, to that want of attention which the subject of
climatology and its effects on the health of mankind has deserved.

Lying to the north of the heretofore customary lines of travel, the
State has been visited by few comparatively, except those whose
immediate interests necessitated it, and even they have gleaned but an
imperfect knowledge of either the climate or of the unusual beauty and
interest which so distinguish Minnesota from all other Western States.

Instead of the low, level, treeless plain usually associated with one's
ideas of the West, there is the high, rolling country, extending many
miles back from the eastern frontier, while the general elevation of the
State is upward of one thousand feet above the sea--abounding in
pleasant and fertile valleys, large and valuable forests, together with
many beautiful lakes, nearly all of which are filled with the purest of
water and with great numbers of the finest fish.

While the attractions of Minnesota for the tourist and emigrant have
been duly considered in these pages, those of the climate for the
invalid have received especial consideration, and we have added such
hints and suggestions as circumstances seemed to demand; together with
observations on other localities and climates favorable to pulmonic

BROOKLYN, N.Y., 1871.




The water system of the State.--Its pure atmosphere.--Violations of
hygienic laws.--A mixed population.--General features of the
country.--Intelligence of the population.--The bountiful
harvests.--Geographical advantages.



The source of the river.--The importance of rivers to governments as
well as commerce.--Their binding force among peoples.--The rapids at
Keokuk.--Railroad and steamboat travelling contrasted.--Points at which
travellers may take steamers.--Characteristics of Western
steamboats.--Pleasuring on the Upper Mississippi.--The scenery and its



Brownsville, the first town.--The city of La Crosse.--Victoria and
Albert Bluffs.--Trempeleau and Mountain Island.--The city of
Winona.--Its name and origin.--The Winona and St. Peters Railroad--The
Air-Line Railroad.--Her educational interests.--Advancement of the
West.--The towns of Wabasha and Reed's Landing.--Lake Pepin and Maiden's
Rock.--Romantic story.--An old fort.--Lake City and Frontenac.--Red Wing
and Hastings.--Red Rock.



As seen from the deck of the steamer.--The pleasant surprise it gives
the visitor.--Impressions regarding new places.--The beauties of the
city.--The limestone caves.--Père Louis Hennepin.--The population of St.
Paul.--Its public buildings and works.--A park wanted.--The geological
structure of the country.--St. Paul, the Capital city.--Its railroad
connections.--The head of navigation.--Impressions.



The climatic divisions of the country.--Periodical rains.--Prevailing
winds of the continent.--Changes of temperature.--Consumption in warm
climates.--Cold, humid atmospheres.--What climate most desirable for the
consumptive.--The dry atmosphere of the interior.--Dry winds of the
interior.--Table of rainfall of the whole country.



The atmosphere of Minnesota.--Its dryness.--Falling snow.--Equability of
temperature.--Rain-fall for spring.--The constitutional character of the
climate.--The lakes and rivers of the State.--The northeast
winds.--Where the northeasters begin.--Their general direction and
limit.--The atmospheric basin of Iowa.--Neglect of meteorology.--Its
importance to the country.



Consumption mapped out.--The east winds.--Comparative
statistics.--Number of original cases of consumption in
Minnesota.--Consumption can be cured.--Rev. Jeremiah Day.--Fresh air the
best medicine.--The benefit of a dry atmosphere.--Equability of
temperature.--The power of the mind over disease.--Kinds of
consumption.--Danger in delays.



Prevention better than cure.--Local causes of disease.--Our school
system objectionable.--Dr. Bowditch's opinion.--Location of our
homes important.--Damp soils prolific of lung troubles.--Bad
ventilation.--Value of sunshine.--City girls and city life.--Fashionable
society.--Tight lacing fatal to sound health.--Modern living.--The iron
hand of fashion.



Indiscretions.--Care of themselves.--Singular effect of consumption on
mind.--How to dress.--Absurdities of dress.--Diet.--Habits of
people.--How English people eat.--What consumptives should eat.--Things
to be remembered.--The vanity of the race.--Pork an objectionable
article of diet.--Characteristics of the South.--Regularity in
eating.--The use of ardent spirits by invalids.--The necessity of
exercise.--The country the best place to train children.--Examples in
high quarters.--Sleep the best physician.--Ventilation.--Damp
rooms.--How to bathe.



The best localities for invalids and others.--The city of
Minneapolis.--Its drives and objects of interest.--Cascade and Bridal
Falls.--Fort Snelling.--Minnehaha Falls.--The city and Falls of St.
Anthony.--Anoka and St. Cloud.--Fishing and hunting.--Wilmar and
Litchfield.--Lake Minnetonka.--Experience in fishing.--Some "big
fish."--White Bear Lake.--The Minnesota Valley.--Le Sueur--St. Peters
and Mankato.--Minneopa Falls.--Southwestern Minnesota.--Its agricultural
wealth and capabilities.--Northern Pacific Railroad and its
branches--The Red River country.--Trade with Manitoba.--Western life and



Its location and rapid growth.--Who named for.--Enterprise of its
people.--Its fine harbor.--Duluth Bay.--The steamship connection with
eastern cities.--Pleasure travel up the lakes.--The Lake Superior and
Mississippi Railroad.--The shortest route East for grain.--Public
improvements.--The fishing, lumber, and mining interests.



The Northwest.--Its great extent and character.--J. Cooke, Esq.--The
Northern Pacific Railroad and its advantages.--The general line of the
road.--The shortest route to Asia.--The Red River valley.--Puget
Sound.--The future of our country.



Sketches of other climates and localities favorable to
invalids.--California.--Mortuary statistics of San Francisco.--The wet
and dry seasons.--San Diego the best place.--Florida and its
reputation.--Nassau as a resort.--Fayal and its climate.--English and
American visitors.--Means of access.




The water system of the Stare.--Its pure atmosphere.--Violations of
hygienic laws.--A mixed population.--General features of the
country.--Intelligence of the population.--The bountiful
harvests.--Geographical advantages.

The interest attaching to the State of Minnesota, as compared with other
of the Western States, is two-fold. While all are well known for their
great fertility and prosperity, Minnesota alone lays special claim to
prominence in the superiority of her climate. How much this may be due
to her peculiar geographical position is not wholly evident, but its
influence must be great; and it is important to observe that the
position of the State is central, being, in fact, the very heart of the

It is likewise remarkable for the vast water systems which have their
origin within its boundaries, and their outlet through three of the
great interior valleys, namely, the Red River, northward to Hudson's
Bay; the St. Lawrence, eastward through the lakes; the Mississippi
River, southward, and all having one grand terminus where, through the
powerful agency of the great river of the ocean, the "Gulf Stream,"
their reunited waters are borne away to the tropics, again to be
returned, in gentle rains, to this central and elevated plateau known as
the State of Minnesota.

Since the first settlement of the State it has become gradually known as
possessing an extremely salubrious climate. There was no scientific or
official board of weatherwise people to proclaim the advantages of this
young State, either in this or any other particular; but, by a continued
succession of extremely favorable reports from the early settlers
immigrating from adjoining districts, and from unhealthful and malarious
localities in the older and more eastern States, her reputation steadily
increased until the sanitary fame of this "far northwest" is now
coextensive with its civil history.

The chief characteristics of a healthful climate are pure atmosphere and
pure water. These are seldom found in conjunction, except in the
temperate latitudes; though there are a few localities in the
sub-tropical regions where these conditions may be found, such as Fayal,
off the coast of Spain; the high altitudes of some of the Bahama and
Philippine islands; also at San Diego in California; and likewise at St.
Augustine, on the east coast of Florida. There are others which do not
as readily occur to us at this writing. These two elements are always
absolutely necessary to insure a good degree of health, but they do not
secure it; quite far from it, as is well known, since the most careless
observer must have noticed the varying sanitary degrees of localities in
temperate latitudes, that are even contiguous to each other; the one,
perhaps, being highly malarious, while the other is measurably
healthful. And, again, great districts, occupying a half of a State, are
so detrimental to sound health that half their population are whelmed
with fevers--bilious, intermittent, and typhoid--from year's end to
year's end. Such a locality is the valley of the Wabash River, in
Indiana. In passing through that country, after a season of prolonged
wet summer weather, we have seen more of the inhabitants prostrate from
disease, incidental to the climate, than there were well ones to care
for them.

It is seen that the selection of a home for ourselves and families is a
matter of the very highest moment to all who desire to prolong life and
enjoy the full possession of all their powers. Very trifling attention
has been given this question, as a rule, since we see on all hands
multitudes crowding into unhealthy precincts, to say nothing of those
more pestilential-breeding apartments which are everywhere inhabited by
the poorer class, as well as by thousands of the well-to-do and
intelligent people of both town and country. It is noteworthy, however,
to observe the increasing interest manifested of late in all things
pertaining to the laws of hygiene; and yet the alphabet of the subject
remains a profound mystery to the greater masses of men. Much praise
should be awarded the daily press for its dissemination of valuable
hints and arguments upon all the vital questions of health; and, but for
newspapers, indeed, there would be no practical means of reaching the
millions who, more than all others, so much need to be taught these
invaluable, first lessons of life.

The tide of emigration from the seaboard to the West has usually
followed parallel lines; so that we find the State of Texas settled, for
the most part, by people from the States lying upon the Gulf, while in
Missouri they hail largely from the Carolinas, and from what were once
known as the border slave States. Going farther north, to Minnesota, a
preponderance of the New England element is found; though people from
all the various States of the Union are encountered to a greater extent
than in any of the others lying in the Northwest; and this fact is
important as one of the circumstantial evidences of the great repute
this State bears, _par excellence_, in the matter of her climate. We
cannot suppose that this minor and miscellaneous population were
attracted hither from any special attachment either to the people or the
institutions of the commonwealth, but rather in quest of that health
and vigor lost within their own warm, enervating, or miasmatic homes,
which so abound in all the central and southern portions of the Union.
Finding their healths measurably benefited by a residence here, they
have brought their families, engaged in their various callings, and may
now be found settled permanently in their new homes throughout all the
towns and villages of the State.

Minnesota is known as the New England of the West, this appellation
growing out of the fact that the great preponderance of her citizens, as
before stated, are either of New England birth or origin; and this
well-merited _sobriquet_ has, likewise, an additional application, since
the general face of the country is diversified and quite in contrast
with the endless stretch and roll of the shrubless prairies of some of
the other great western and adjoining States.

The traveller has but to pass over the flat surface of the State of
Illinois, and the nearly treeless country of Iowa, to duly appreciate
the pleasing contrast which the State of Minnesota affords. While there
is an utter absence of anything like mountain ranges (excepting upon the
north shore of Lake Superior, where a belt of granite lifts itself above
the surrounding woodlands), yet there is, everywhere, either a patch of
timber, a valley bounded by gently receding country, or some gem of a
lake set in the more open rolling prairie--all adding beauty and
endless variety to the generally picturesque landscape.

It might be entirely safe to assume that the people of Minnesota, as a
whole, are distinguished by a more aesthetic character than their
neighbors living in the nearly dead level country below them. It is but
reasonable to suppose that some, at least, in seeking new homes, would
give a preference to attractive localities, even at the sacrifice of
something of fertility; which is, to some extent, the case; as the low
flat lands of the rivers below are unrivalled in their power of
production--whether it be of the grains of wheat or disease. It is well
known that scores of those moving into the West seek only the rich level
lands which are easily manipulated; requiring no application, during
their natural lives, of any restorative. And, if it only be free from
surface obstructions at the outset, they are content--asking no
questions relating to the more important matters of life, such as
concern the health, companionship, and education of either their
families or themselves, and accounting all the influences of the
surrounding prospect as of no value.

Perhaps the ratio of increase in population is not greater in Minnesota
than in some of her adjoining sister States, notwithstanding her
superior attractions of climate and scenery. Yet, if this be true, it is
readily accounted for in that the majority of the people moving
westward do not readily consent to make their new homes north of the
parallel of their old ones. On the contrary, the general tendency is to
drop southward, desiring to escape as much as may be the protracted cold
of winter; forgetting, or never knowing, that the isothermal lines have
a general northwest direction as they cross the continent. Many, also,
as before mentioned, who seek solely a fertile soil, or those who wish
to engage in a purely pastoral life (where the open and unreclaimed
country is so favorable), move, as a rule, to points south of a due west
course; thus leaving the more northern latitudes to such only as have an
eye for them on account of their varied attractions, and who are quite
willing to exchange a few dollars of extra income for a few pounds of
extra flesh, and who count health as first-rate capital stock and the
full equivalent of any other kind which a settler can possess.

Notwithstanding this general tendency of things, we believe the net
increase in both population and wealth, for the last decade, to be
relatively as great in the State of Minnesota as in that of any other
State in the Union; or, at least, far above the average in the
aggregation of those things which make up their power and importance.

It would be a grave error, however, if the mind of the reader was left
with the impression that this State was lacking in the fertility of her
soil, and in those other elements so essential to the foundation, true
prosperity, and greatness, such as can only come from a well-ordered
system of agriculture and from prolific fields. Far from this,--on the
contrary, she is widely known at home and abroad as presenting as many
inducements on the score of husbandry alone as any of the most highly
favored of States. There doubtless is a percentage of advantage in
richness of soil; but this is more than counterbalanced by the living
springs and flowing streams that everywhere dot and cross her surface.
Ask the farmer on the distant plains what consideration he would give
for pure and abundant water as against soil. Her grasses are more tender
and sweeter, and her beef better than is that of those localities which
rival her in fertility. Go walk through the waving fields of golden
grain in summer-time, spread almost endlessly up and down her beautiful
valleys, and far out over the rolling prairies, and then answer if eye
ever beheld better, or more of it, in the same space, anywhere this side
of the Sierras.

Wheat is the great staple product of the West, and is the chief article
of export. It is this, more than all things else, which puts the
thousands of railway trains in motion, and spreads the white wings of
commerce on all the lakes and oceans. This important grain is, in the
valley of the Mississippi, nowhere so much at home as in this State. The
superior quality of the berry, and the abundant and steady yield of her
acres, long since settled the question of her rank as a grain-producing
State. The future has in store still greater triumphs in this same
department for this young and noble commonwealth. She is at present in
her veriest infancy, and, indeed, can scarcely be said to have taken the
first step in that career which is so full of brilliant promise and
grand capabilities.

Lest it be thought we have an overweening love for our subject, beyond
its just deserts, let us add here that the State has, in its
geographical position, most extraordinary advantages, which, at present,
are little known and of little worth, but which the future must
inevitably develop. The vast and fertile region lying to the northwest
of Minnesota, drained and watered by the Red. Assiniboine, and
Saskatchawan Rivers respectively, and well known to be capable of
maintaining a dense population, must draw its supplies, and seek outlet
for its products, always paying tribute at the gates of this
commonwealth in both cases.

Then there is the great national enterprise known as the North Pacific
Railroad, on which already the iron horse has commenced his race, and
which is being rapidly and determinedly carried forward, giving augury
of a successful and speedy conclusion. This road passes through the
central zone of the State, and, with its briearian arms, must cumulate
untold wealth and power, only to be emptied into this "lap of empire."



The source of the river.--The importance of rivers to governments as
well as commerce.--Their binding force among peoples.--The rapids at
Keokuk.--Railroad and steamboat travelling contrasted.--Points at which
travellers may take steamers.--Characteristics of Western
steamboats.--Pleasuring on the Upper Mississippi.--The scenery and its

The great central watershed of the continent is found within the
boundaries of the State of Minnesota, and the rains precipitated on this
elevated plateau move off in opposite directions, becoming the sources
of some of the principal rivers of this vast interior basin, with their
waters flowing both to the Arctic and Equatorial Seas.

The chief of these is that of the "Father of Waters," rising in Lake
Itaska, and emptying in the Mexican Gulf, separated by a distance of
more than two thousand miles, washing in its course the shores of nine
States, all embraced by this, the most fertile and important valley
known to mankind. As an aid to civilization and to commerce, its value
can never be fully estimated or completely comprehended.

Rivers are frequently important, in connection with mountain ranges, as
supplying natural boundaries for governments and peoples who dwell on
either side; but, they likewise perform the more important office of
binding with indissoluble bonds communities living along their banks and
tributaries, from origin to outlet, making their interests common and
population kin.

The European Carlyles and believers in the divine rights of kings have,
in view of the influx of discordant races and the jarring elements
within, together with the cumbrous machinery of our government,
prophesied that disintegration and ruin would ere long be ours. But they
took no note of the harmony and fraternal feeling that must come between
peoples so differing, when all have equal share in a government founded
in justice, and on the broad principles of human right; and, last but
not least, the important influence of those commercial relations which
we sustain to each other, growing out of the general configuration and
accessibility of the country occupied and governed.

The Mississippi River is the natural outlet and grand highway to the
Northwest, and contributed everything toward its early settlement; so
that a sketch of it seems indispensable in connection with that of the
State in which it has its rise, and with which its chief interest and
history are intertwined.

It is practically divided into two sections, that below Keokuk being
known as the _Lower_, and that above (the part of which we now propose
to consider) as the


This designation comes from having well-defined boundaries, in
consequence of a ledge of rocks lying across the river immediately above
the city of Keokuk, which, during the lower stages of water, wholly
prevents the passage of the larger class of steamers plying on the river

From this point, there are about six hundred miles in one continuous
stretch of navigation, up to the city of St. Paul. On this upper river a
smaller class of steamers are usually employed; though, at good stages
of water, the larger boats are abundant; and, indeed, one of the most
important lines in the upper river, the Northwestern Union Packet
Company, employs five large steamers, which run between St. Louis and
St. Paul, except in the very dry seasons. The small steamers, so called,
are really large and commodious; but so constructed--as are in fact all
of the steamers plying on our western rivers--that they draw but little
water, being large and nearly flat-bottomed, sitting on the surface like
a duck, and moving along, when lightly loaded, with apparent ease and at
a comparatively high rate of speed.

It is always a pleasing reflection to the tourist, and a comforting one
to the invalid, to know that at least a portion of their journey may be
performed on board of a well-kept and convenient steamship. They
contrast so favorably with the dusty train, that we wonder the latter
are half as well patronized as they are, when the two means of
conveyance are running on parallel lines. But then we know very well
that the man of business and people in haste do that which saves most
time, regardless entirely of themselves, and more frequently of their
neighbors, who have, in consequence of open windows, taken a thousand
colds, and suffered pains, neuralgic and rheumatic, sufficient to have
atoned for the sins of a world of such as these--their inconsiderate
fellow-travellers. Then the quantity of dust and smoke and cinders to be
swallowed and endured, the damage to eyes of those who would beguile the
mind into that forgetfulness of self; so painfully reminded of both the
strait-jacket and the old-time, cruel stocks. Then the utter
obliviousness to all hygienic law in the packing of a score or more of
people, like so many herrings in a box, into sleeping cars, over-heated
and worse ventilated, and not--if measured by the rules of any common
sense--more than sufficient for a fourth of the number occupying. How
often have we risen in the morning, after spending the night in this
manner, with a feeling akin to that which we fancy would come from being
knocked in the head with a sack of meal, then gently stewed, and all out
of pure fraternal regard to supply any deficiencies in our original
bakings. The operation is certainly quite neat, and entirely successful,
since all who have tried it are left in no sort of doubt as to their
having been, at least once, thoroughly cooked. Perhaps a philosophical
view is best, and all feel grateful for the double service rendered,
while the charge for transportation only is incurred.

This is, however, too serious a business for much of jesting, as
thousands are made to feel who have had occasion to travel much; and who
is there of this restless, moving population of ours that does not,
either on business or pleasure, make, sooner or later, extensive
journeys? We are not unmindful of the many and important improvements
made in the construction of railway carriages within the last decade,
greatly tending to the conservation of both the health and comfort of
the passenger; but there is still a good chance for inventors to attain
both fame and fortune, if only the dust and cinders be kept out and
fresh air kept in, without hazarding the health of any one by exposure
to its draughts.

These drawbacks to health and comfort in travelling are measurably
avoided when journeying in or to the Northwest during the season of
navigation. The Ohio River furnishes such an escape to the invalid
seeking this region from the central belt of States; and the great lakes
supply a more northern range of country; while less than a half day's
ride from Chicago places one at either Dubuque, Prairie du Chien, or La
Crosse, where daily boats may be had for St. Paul or any of the towns

These steamers differ widely from those in use on any of the rivers in
the Eastern States, and while not as substantial, seem better adapted to
the trade and travel on these interior rivers. Beyond occasional violent
winds there is nothing in the elements for them to encounter, and hence
they are built low to the water, of shallow draft, and an entire absence
of all closed bulwarks used to keep out the sea by those plying in
stormy waters. These western river boats would scarce survive a single
passage on any large body of water, yet, for all the purposes for which
they are required here, they seem admirably fitted.

In making the journey from Dubuque to St. Paul and return, one of these
steamers--and yet not of the largest class--requires a supply of five
hundred bushels of coal, and full one hundred and twenty-five cords of
wood, to keep its devouring furnaces ablaze and its wheels in motion.
The round trip between these two points is made, including the landings,
in about three days. The _up_-trip is performed with as great speed as
that is down, owing to the greater economy of time in making the
landings. In going up these are easily made, with bows on shore (they
have no wharves); in coming down stream the ship is compelled, for her
own safety, to turn in the river before reaching the landing, and then
run "bows on," the same as when going up, else, if this was not done,
the current of the river, which is often quite powerful, might drive
the vessel too high on the shore, or wheel it around to its damage. This
evolution requires a few minutes for its performance at each landing,
and thus the whole time is about equally divided in the going and

The average dimensions of the class of steamers employed in this trade
may be said to be about two hundred and forty feet in length and
thirty-five in breadth, drawing from two to four feet of water, with
accommodations for about one hundred and fifty cabin and as many more
second-class passengers.

The first deck is wholly devoted to the machinery and freight; and all
is exposed to view from every side. The great furnaces occupy the centre
of this deck, and their lungs of fire roar and breathe flames eagerly
and dangerously out, like a serpent's forked, flashing tongue. The sides
glow and swell from the increasing heat, and the iron arms of the
machinery tremble and quake with the pent-up and rapidly accumulating
forces, running unseen to and fro, only too ready to lend a helping
hand--at anything. The seat of power in all this is, like the seat of
power everywhere, hot and revolutionary, and those who occupy it must be
vigilant, as only one head can control, though that is not unfrequently,
on these western waters, the Cylinder head.

The fuel is in front and along, next the furnaces; while the freight is
stacked on the bows and along the sides and aft, which is likewise the
place where the ship's crew sleep, in bunks ranged on either hand above
each other, like shelves, sheltering the sleeper only from the rains.
The live stock is usually crowded into close quarters on the after and
outlying guards, having a high railing and strong supports. By a
staircase from the main deck in front the grand saloon is reached. This
is the interesting feature of all these large river steamers. Fancy a
saloon one hundred and fifty feet in length, richly carpeted and
upholstered, having large pendant chandeliers, glittering with all the
known prismatic colors, the whole overarched by fancy scroll-work in
pleasing combination with the supports to the ceiling and floor above;
and, as is frequently the case, all being highly ornate, makes a fancy
scene not unworthy of association with the famous palace of Aladdin, as
given us in the charming stories of the _Arabian Nights_.

This, with some slight exaggerations in style, perhaps, is the home of
the traveller while journeying on this upper and most interesting
portion of the entire river.

At night, with the saloon and ship all lighted, the scene is both
inspiriting and brilliant. Above the roll of the machinery and noise of
the dashing waters comes the grateful melody of happy voices, lulling
the tired traveller to repose and chasing away from other faces all
recollection of painful responsibilities and cares.

A sail on this upper river is a beautiful one, and all who can should
make it. The scenery is not as varied or striking as is that of the
Hudson, of which one is constantly reminded; but it is nevertheless
attractive and quite peculiar. The banks of the Lower Mississippi have
risen here to high towering bluffs, giving a highly picturesque
character to the landscape. This is the region of the lower magnesian
limestone; and as it builds up these bluffs and crops out along their
sides and at the tops, worn by the winds and rains of centuries--these
rock exposures, gray and moss covered, have rounded into striking
resemblances of old ruins, as if buried by convulsions in some unknown
age, the homes of some possible race of Montezumas, of which these are
the only monuments and records.

They often rise to the height of four and sometimes five hundred feet
above the river, standing singly or in groups, and again stretch for
long distances like the Palisades of the Hudson, differing from them in
that they are not as abrupt and have their sides covered with the most
luxuriant sward.

Those who can should climb to the summit of one of these cliffs and get
a glimpse of as lovely a picture as it is possible to find in a journey
round the world. The winding river, dotted all over with islands and
fringed along its shores with forest-trees, expanding now into some
miniature lake, then lost and broken by some intervening bluff, to the
right or left of which stretches the distant prairie; the whole forming
a panoramic view unrivalled in interest and beauty by any we have ever
seen elsewhere.

It is impossible for us adequately to describe to the reader these
varying scenes of beauty in the landscapes which present themselves as
we sail. They should come and see for themselves, and bask in the pure,
bracing atmosphere, and the genial sunshine of these bluest of blue



Brownsville, the first town.--The city of La Crosse.--Victoria and
Albert Bluffs.--Trempeleau and Mountain Island.--The city of
Winona.--Its name and origin.--The Winona and St. Peters Railroad.--The
Air-Line Railroad.--Her educational interests.--Advancement of the
West.--The towns of Wabasha and Reed's Landing.--Lake Pepin and Maiden's
Rock.--Romantic story.--An old fort.--Lake City and Frontenac.--Red Wing
and Hastings.--Red Rock.

The first landing in Minnesota, going up the river, is made at


a very small village, nestled close in under the hillside, and
overshadowed by the high bluffs which seem to threaten its existence,
and would quite exterminate it should land-slides ever become possible
with these silicious limestone battlements. Beyond being an outlet for
surplus products of the back country, it has no importance and no
attractions. The traveller is now one hundred and thirty miles above
Dubuque, one of the points of embarkation for those from the East who
visit the State by the way of the river. If the sail is made by daylight
between these places, most suggestive impressions are made on the mind
of the immense area of Iowa; for, while constantly expecting soon to
catch a glimpse of "Dakota Land," you are all day baffled by the
presence of this intervening State, which, somehow, seems determined to
travel with you up the river, and, by its many attractions, woo you to
residence and rest.

The fertile fields of Wisconsin, on the other hand, do not seem at all
obtrusive, since you expect them on your right soon after leaving
Dunleith; and, when the city of


comes in view, its bright aspect of industrial life, its busy streets,
spacious warehouses, fine shops, and thronging commerce, challenge our
love of the good and beautiful in civilized life. Indeed, this handsome
and prosperous city is one of the most pleasant and interesting places
which attract the traveller's attention along the two thousand miles of
this navigable river.

Many, in coming to the "Northwest" by the way of Chicago, travel as far
as La Crosse by rail, where abundant opportunities are had for steam
transportation to St. Paul, and all intervening towns.

The islands have now so multiplied that here, and for some distance
above, the river seems more an archipelago than anything else. Islands
of all sizes and shapes, wooded and embowered with a great variety of
shrubs and vines, so that in springtime they seem like emeralds set in
this "flashing silver sea;" and when summer is ended, and the frost-king
has come, they are robed in royal splendor--in crimson and purple and
gold--seeming to be the fanciful and marvellous homes of strangest
fairies, who, during this season of enchantment hold, it is said, at
midnight, high carnival on the islands of this upper and beautiful
river. Be that as it may, they certainly add to the attractions of a
sail along this "Father of Waters," and give picturesqueness to the
landscape which, before seeing, we had not credited with so much of
interest and beauty as we found it to possess.

A couple of hours' additional steaming brings us to the lofty peaks
standing on the left of the river, one of which, from the resemblance of
its crest to the crown of England, has given rise to the names of
Victoria and Albert. They are over five hundred feet in height, and
believed to be the tallest of any of the cliffs along the river. Beyond,
on the right, stands boldly the lone sentinel of Mountain Island, at the
base of which is the small village of Trempeleau, where a moment's halt
is made, and the wheels of the great ship splash through the water
again, all tremulous with nervous energy and pent-up power as they bend
slowly to their slavish labor; and, the only labor that man has any
right to make a slave of is that with iron arms and metallic lungs. He
may compel these to work and groan and sweat at every pore with honor to
himself and the added respect of all mankind.

A few miles further and the city of


is in view. This is the most populous town in the State of Minnesota
south of St. Paul. It occupies a low, level tract projecting from the
base of the bluffs, which circle its rear in the shape of an ox-bow,
and, in times of high water, becomes an island, owing to its great
depression at its junction with the bluffs. The town stands on the front
of this low plateau, along the channel of the river, and has a
population of nine thousand people, counting the nomadic lumbermen, who
live half the year in the piny woods many hundred miles to the north,
and the other half are floating on the rafts down the river; a rough but
useful people, who betimes will lose their heads and winter's wages in a
single drunken fray, which they seem to consider the highest pleasure
vouchsafed to them each season as they return to the walks of civilized

The pleasant sounding name of Winona is one of the many Dakota words
abounding along the river and over the State, and was the appellation of
the beautiful Indian girl who so tragically ended her life by leaping
from the top of Maiden's Bluff, bordering the eastern shore of Lake
Pepin above, and of which we shall presently speak more in detail.

It is a name always given by the Dakotas to the first-born female child
of a family. As was the maiden, celebrated in song and story, so is the
town, quite handsome and interesting in many points of aspect. It is the
objective point for great quantities of freight by boat up the river, to
be from thence distributed through the whole southern section of
Minnesota by means of the important railway line extending from this
city to the interior, tapping the St. Paul and Milwaukee road at
Owatanna, and the St. Paul and Sioux City at St. Peter's and Mankato;
draining one of the most fertile districts in the commonwealth of its
immense stores of wheat and other grains seeking an outlet and an
eastern market. This road is known as the Winona and St. Peter's, and is
a trunk line, with the sure promise of increasing importance to the
State and profit to its projectors. By means of it the great lumber
marts of Minneapolis and St. Anthony, and likewise the Capital, are
brought in close proximity to this commercial city of Winona; and much
of the trade and travel of the fertile valley of the Minnesota River
must, by means of this line, prove tributary to the rapid growing town.

The march of progress is never ended in the life of the West; and, ere
the present year passes, an entirely new line both north and east will
have been completed, and then a new era of prosperity will be
inaugurated. We refer to the St. Paul and Chicago Air-Line Railway,
which, starting at St. Paul, follows the river banks to this place,
where it is to cross to Wisconsin, thence direct to Chicago, leaving La
Crosse forty miles below, and out of the line. Heretofore the means of
travel to Chicago and the east has been either by rail to Owatanna, far
to the west, or the more common practice of going by steamer in summer
and stage in winter to La Crosse, thus of necessity paying both
compliments and costs to this rival town, which has not been highly
relished by the Winonians. The new route will make them entirely
independent of the denizens of La Crosse. But both places have resources
peculiar to themselves and quite sufficient to insure prosperity and

Those visiting Winona are impressed with the general neatness of the
place, and the number and finish of its business blocks and private
residences. There are many fine churches erected, whose capacity, though
large, is not much greater than seems demanded by the church-going
inhabitants, which affords both a commentary and index to their general
high character. Among the public buildings worthy of special attention
is that of their Normal school, recently finished at a cost of over one
hundred thousand dollars, being a model of elegance and convenience.
This is a State institution, free to pupils of a certain class, and is
one of three--all of the same character--erected under the patronage of
the State, and for the location of which towns were invited to compete.
Winona secured this, Mankato another, and St. Cloud the third, all noble
buildings, as we can personally testify, and which give to the people of
this State opportunities such as those of the older commonwealths were
utterly destitute, and are still, so far as scope, scale, and affluence
are concerned. Then there is the city school, costing over half a
hundred thousand dollars, and likewise highly ornamental, as well as

New England long boasted of her superiority in the rank of her schools;
especially was this the case in Connecticut, where a school fund
existed, reducing somewhat the expense attending their maintenance; but
they used no part of this fund toward the building of school-houses, and
it is a question if it has not had there an opposite effect of what
originally it was intended to accomplish. The same old shabby
school-houses, fifteen by twenty, still do duty, and the district
committee annually figure with the many youthful candidates for
teachers--who, it used to be said, came there on a horse--to make the
per-head allowance of the school fund, with boarding around thrown in,
pay for their three months' services. Had the people understood they
must hand out the whole school expenses, and seen personally to the
education of their children, they would have had a livelier interest in
the whole business; and this, with compelled liberality, would have
paved the way for greater expenditure and effort. Neighborhood rivalries
of suitable buildings would have followed, and, instead of incompetent
teachers being the rule, they would have been the exception, and those
of us whose fortune it has been to be born in New England would not now
be such "jacks of all trades and masters of none" as we are. The West
deserves great commendation for their lively interest in all that
relates to the education of the young. Why, almost any of these States
excel those of New England in school matters, outside of two or three of
the great universities which they happen to possess. Several years ago,
in passing through Indiana and visiting several of the village schools,
we were surprised and astonished at the superior class of text-books
that were in use, and the improved methods of teaching in practice; and,
likewise, the prompt and intelligent manner of the scholar in his
exercises and examples, as compared with similar schools at the East;
all a proof of the superior methods and facilities in vogue.

The new States have had it in their power to do what most of the older
ones had not, and after all they cannot claim all the credit of their
advancement in these matters, for the general government shares part of
the honor in this wise provision for the education of the people, having
donated one section of land in every township in some of the newer
States. This was the case in Minnesota. These lands are to be used in
establishing a school fund, and this has already amounted to a large
sum--two million five hundred thousand dollars; and these normal school
buildings are an evidence alike of the wisdom of the measure and
magnitude of this fund.

The site of the town--while ample for a large city, having an area of
several miles in extent--seems rather too low to insure that dryness
essential to good health, though we believe its general sanitary
reputation is as good as any of the towns along the river, and this is
more than could be expected, since its general elevation scarce exceeds
a dozen feet above the river when at a fair stage of water. Its levee
accommodations are extensive and excellent, and the place must always
remain the most important in southern Minnesota.

Passing several minor towns and landings, along the river, we next come


a village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, with the prettiest
location of any that we have yet seen. It stands on an elevated table,
about forty feet above the river, and invites the tourist and invalid,
by its pleasant quietness, to tarry and inspect the place. The
hospitable-looking hotel, with its ample lawn and grounds close by the
banks of the river, give promise of abundant rest and recreation.

The grain interest is the all-absorbing one at this point, as it is
everywhere along the river.

A short distance above, and


appears. This town is at the foot of Lake Pepin, and likewise at the
foot of a huge bluff. This place becomes in spring the terminus of the
steamers which are prevented from proceeding farther in consequence of
the heavier ice of the lake remaining an obstruction to commerce for a
period of ten days or two weeks longer than that in the river proper.


is nearly thirty miles in length, with an average width of about three
miles, presenting an unbroken sheet of water; bounded on both its sides
by tall perpendicular bluffs, with here and there isolated peaks
towering far above their companions, having something of the dignity of
mountain ranges.

This lake is famed for its great attractions of natural beauty, and is
not disappointing to the traveller. It is a singular body of water, and
while it is a part of the river still it differs from it in so many
aspects that it is fairly entitled to be termed a lake. Below, the river
is divided into numerous and devious channels by intervening islands of
an irregular and picturesque character, uniting to give a grand,
kaleidoscopic variety to the journey; but here, at Lake Pepin, the
waters have free scope, and rise and swell under the pressure of storms
sufficient to move and sway the heaviest fleets. The water is remarkably
clear and cold, and is said to be over a thousand feet in depth at some
points. It is a tradition among the Indians that the bed of the river,
with its islands, sank during a great storm, in which the earth trembled
and shook for many leagues around. This seems quite possible, and the
general formation of the lake indicates that their tradition is founded
on actual fact.

The chief point of interest attaching to this locality is that known as
the Maiden's Rock, a perpendicular cliff midway of the lake on the
eastern shore. Were there no legend connected with it, the eye would be
arrested by its lofty and impressive form, as it stands alone frowning
on the dark, deep waters of the lake below.

Chief Wapashaw, whose village once occupied the site of the present city
of Winona, had a daughter, _Weenonah_, the beauty and pride of all his
tribe. This fair maiden had been thwarted in her affections by powerful
and cruel hands, and rather than submit to unite her young life with
one, other than he whom she so fondly loved, resolved to sacrifice
herself. A fishing party, of which she was a member, proceeded to this
lake, and while resting on the eastern shore she fled away, and to the
top of this high eminence, where, discovering herself to the company
below, she recited the story of her broken heart and undying love for
him whose name she had been even forbade to speak, and, closing by
chanting a wild death-song, flung herself down the sides of this
terrible precipice, and was dashed in pieces. Her father and friends,
guessing her intent, on being hailed by her from the top of this rock,
dispatched, as the story goes, their fleetest of foot to her rescue, but
unavailingly. No Indian passes by this place of tragedy without uttering
mournful wails in memory of their beautiful and loved Weenonah.

Along the base of these cliffs are numerous caverns, once the abode of
wild beasts, and, even as late as Carver's visit, in 1766, numbers of
bears were found wintering in them, and in the minor caves numberless
rattlesnakes were seen by him. In his explorations in this immediate
neighborhood he discovered, on the edge of the prairie, the outlines of
an old fortification, which was distinctly traceable, and extended for
nearly a mile, in its sweep enveloping an area ample for five thousand
men. Its form was semi-circular, with the flanks resting on the river.
The whole appearance was as if it had been built full a century before
his visit, and while the ditch was indistinguishable, its angles were,
and "displayed as much of science as if built by a pupil of Vauban
himself." What race could have originally constructed it is a mystery,
certainly not any of the known tribes inhabiting this country. Carver
could not have misjudged the character of these intrenchments, since he
had himself received a military education, and was therefore, of all
explorers, not likely to be misled in his estimate.

The pleasure seeker will find it convenient to visit any portion of
Lake Pepin from any of the villages along its shores. From Lake City a
steamer usually plies to all interesting points, up and down the lake.
Those wishing to halt in a locality of rare beauty and refined society,
will choose FRONTENAC above.

Half a dozen miles above the north end of the lake comes


named after one of the great Dakota chiefs. It is attractively situated
on the esplanade adjoining the famous Barnes' Bluff, with an
amphitheatre of hills in the rear completely sheltering and hedging the
place from view as it is approached from the south. The bluff is between
four and five hundred feet in height, and on its summit lies buried the
remains of the great chief, Red Wing.

The place has an increased importance, now that the "Air-Line" railway
between St. Paul and Chicago passes through, giving speedy and constant
communication to those cities all the year round.

On reaching the mouth of the St. Croix, thirty miles above, both banks
of the Mississippi belong to Minnesota; the former watercourse filling
out the eastern boundary of the State.


is an important tributary to the Upper Mississippi, and penetrates one
of the great pine districts of the northwest. The principal business
done on this stream is lumbering, which gives employment to many
hundreds of people, and amounts in the aggregate to many thousands of
dollars annually. Navigation extends to Taylor's Falls, some sixty-five
miles from its mouth.

There is a regular line of steamers plying between St. Paul and the head
of navigation, making daily trips, and doing a prosperous business. They
are, however, quite small and apparently inadequate to the increasing

The most important of all the towns on the St. Croix is


with a population of several thousand souls. The chief object of
interest, statewise, is the penitentiary, which we did not care
particularly to examine. The city can boast, however, of a noble school
edifice, and county court-house, either of which would adorn any place
in the country.

There is at present no rail connection with St. Paul, though this want
is soon to be supplied, and when completed it is expected to extend the
line toward the railway system of Wisconsin and the East.

The St. Croix is famed among tourists for its beautiful scenery and
attractive falls at the head of navigation. Pleasure parties make
frequent excursions from St. Paul, and the trip is truly enjoyable if
you are always sure of so urbane and obliging an officer as is Captain
William Kent.

Just above the junction of these two rivers is the town of


one of the great wheat marts of the northwest. It has several thousand
inhabitants, the foreign element preponderating, we should judge. There
are no specially interesting features either in or about the immediate
neighborhood, if we except the Vermilion Falls.

The only remaining object worthy of attention, aside from the scenery of
the river, between this town and the city of St. Paul, is


camping-ground, situated on the east shore, on a level stretch of land
six feet above the river at high water. This tract is quite extensive,
and for the most part free of any timber beyond a grove or two, all of
which is now owned by the Methodist Association, and occupied by them
annually as a camp-ground.

This same ground was formerly used by the Indians as a camp-ground on
the assembling of the various tribes of the Dakotas in general council,
or on grand holidays, celebrated by all the various national bands. It
derives its name from a rock, which is about six feet in diameter and
nearly round, lying a few rods only from the river and in plain sight as
the steamer passes. This rock was mysteriously striped with red paint
every year by the Indians, and was known by them as the Red Rock. Long
after the occupation of the country by the whites, the custom of
painting it was regularly kept up while any of the race remained, and it
still bears marks of their work. No one ever saw them paint it, and it
is believed the work was secretly done at night. It was held sacred by
them as the abode of some good spirit, and received a certain homage,
such as these superstitious, polytheistic people were accustomed to
render their gods.



As seen from the deck of the steamer.--The pleasant surprise it gives
the visitor.--Impressions regarding new places.--The beauties of the
city.--The limestone caves.--Père Louis Hennepin.--The population of
St. Paul.--Its public buildings and works.--A park wanted.--The
geological structure of the country.--St. Paul, the Capital city.--Its
railroad connections.--The head of navigation.--Impressions.

Our first visit to the Apostolic city was on the morning of one of those
golden days in early autumn, any one of which might have inspired
Longfellow's little poem, "A Day of Sunshine," they were so perfect.

The goodly ship on which we came was rounding a tract of low
meadow-land, skirted by some forest growths, when suddenly the streaming
sunlight was flashed back to us from the spires of the city of St. Paul
itself, sitting like a queenly crown at the head of this noblest of all

All were surprised and delighted to find that, in the matter of its
location and general appearance, it so far exceeded what our fancies had
painted it. No correct idea had been conveyed by any representation of
it that we had ever seen, nor had any sketch sufficiently outlined it
for the imagination to fill up; yet we were prepared to see a _pretty_
city, though not looking for a _grand_ one. The view from the deck of
the steamer, as the traveller approaches the place, is one of the best.
The river makes an abrupt turn to the westward, in front of the city,
which is situated on the northern side of this elbow, immediately at the
turn, with its face full southward down the river. It would, after all,
fail to be as imposing as it is but for its location, which is greatly
elevated above the river, rising from it in irregular grades, with
intervening tables, back fully a mile to the summit of the high bluffs
forming the rear of the city.

The common impression in relation to all towns in the new States, and
with reason, too, is, that they are of such rapid growth, under
speculative influences, as to often possess no solid elements of
prosperity, and that, after the first wave of excitement dies out, they
collapse; but if they have real advantages of position and enterprise
combined, the prize is as surely theirs. The critical period for St.
Paul has passed, like that in the life of its great namesake, and the
visitor, as he walks along the streets of the town, finds evidences of
its substantial and permanent growth on every hand.

Probably no place of the same population in the entire valley, from New
Orleans up, can boast of as many substantial and costly stores, or as
many elegant and tasteful houses, as can St. Paul. The fine prospect to
be had from every portion of the town is likewise a noted feature
peculiar to itself, and is what neither wealth nor art can create. Back,
on the edge of the bluff, which surrounds the city in a semi-circular
form, runs Summit Avenue, already a fashionable quarter, but which, ere
long, must be famed as commanding one of the most interesting landscapes
in a country abounding in many natural beauties.

From Dayton's Bluff, on the left, likewise an attractive point in
itself, the best view of the city can be had. Under this bluff is a
cave, which was used as the council-chamber of the red men, and has been
the witness of many a notable event. It is a subterraneous cavern formed
by the running water wearing away the soft, white, calcareous sand,
which, everywhere in this section, underlies the strata of blue
limestone next to the surface. There are several of these caves near the
town, but of no great interest beyond serving to while away an idle
hour, or to give some additional zest to a morning's ramble.

St. Paul received its name from Père Louis Hennepin, a European,
belonging to the Order of Franciscans, who landed on the present site of
the city while on a voyage of exploration and discovery up the
Mississippi River, in April, 1680. He was an extensive traveller and
prolific writer; but of all things done by him, that of giving the name
of the famous Apostle to this locality, and now city, was by far the
best. The next hundred and fifty years passed by and still all a blank,
and not till 1850, the year following the territorial organization of
Minnesota, can it be said to have assumed the appearance of a permanent
settlement, with a population of perhaps a thousand adventurous souls.

The present enumeration of St. Paul, as given by the census of 1870,
just completed, shows a trifle over twenty thousand. This is not as high
a figure as the people had hoped for and counted upon; but yet this
shows an increase of about seventy-five per cent. for the last five
years. No one can walk the city and not believe that this recent and
rapid growth has substantial foundation in the enlarging business and
increasing importance of the town itself.

The public buildings and works of the city are worthy of note in any
sketch; and we would first call attention to the Capitol, which stands
obscured from the river, and back of the centre of business, on the
table between the front and rear bluffs. It is a plain structure of
brick, in the form of a cross, with wings of equal length. This must
eventually give room to a more suitable and dignified structure, yet for
all present needs, and during the infancy of the State, it is not at all

The most costly building, when finished, will be the Custom-House of
the General Government. It is being built of granite, brought from St.
Cloud, and is estimated to cost the handsome sum of three hundred
thousand dollars.

The interests of education are well looked after in the half-dozen
public school buildings; and the religious element has abundant
spiritual food dispensed from the full score of costly and well-ordered
church edifices, some of which contribute much to the architectural
grace and ornament of the town.

A notable feature in the landscape, as the city is approached by either
railroad or river, is the wooden bridge spanning the river just at the
steamboat landing. It is over a fourth of a mile in length, and built
upon an _inclined plane_, at a cost of one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars. The first abutment on the side of the city starts on a level
with the bluff, giving seventy-five feet between the bridge and the
river, and then falls rapidly away, supported by nine stone piers, to
the low flat land on the opposite shore. This is used as a carriage
road, and connects St. Paul with all the adjacent country on the
opposite side of the river. A half-mile beyond this bridge, the
companion bluff to that on which the city stands begins, rising to an
equal height with it. These bluffs, however, it should be stated, are
not of such imposing appearance as are those on the river below, and
concerning which we have written in a preceding chapter. They seem to
gradually lessen in height from four and five hundred feet at Lake
Pepin, where the greatest altitude occurs, to about one-third of that
here at St. Paul.

The city's supply of water is fine, and at all times abundant; a lake
back of the town being the natural reservoir of this supply. What has
been to many towns a great labor and burden, has here required but a
trifling expense.

Hotels are usually the traveller's thermometer by which he judges the
culture, beauty, and general characteristics of the town. It is quite
singular that people remember a town either with delight or disgust,
just in proportion as the entertainment furnished at their hotel is good
or bad, but there is more of truth in this than any of us would care at
first to acknowledge. The good people of St. Paul have, however, nothing
to fear in this respect. There are several fine establishments, chief of
which is the "Metropolitan," and then the "Park Place," with its cool
and ample verandahs, inviting travellers to repose and rest.

The question of a Public Park is being agitated, and with every hope
that it will be carried to successful results. But little attention has
been given this matter by any of our cities until a very recent period;
and now their beauty and utility having been established, many towns are
moving in this most important matter. St. Paul can afford to issue
bonds liberally to this end; and should the district under
consideration be secured, including the beautiful Lake Como, little
elaboration will suffice to make it immediately a notable feature of the

The strata of blue limestone near the surface, and on which the city
practically stands, is of great value, and quarries can be opened
anywhere, from which good building material in unlimited quantities can
be had at small cost; easily competing with lumber in the market, which
is likewise plentiful, as we shall see when we come to look into the
history and growth of the sister city on the river, above.

This stone already constitutes the chief material used in the erection
of all the better class of buildings in the city, and, indeed, Third
Street, the principal business thoroughfare, has even now little else
than this honest and solid-looking material to represent it.

The sandstone underlying the magnesian limestone, and which is so soft
as to be easily crushed, could be used we judge in the manufacture of
glassware at great profit to the manufacturer; but as yet, there is
nothing done that we know, and it is not strange when we reflect that it
is but a score of years since St. Paul was really occupied and settled.
All of this various strata of rock and sand belongs, geologically
speaking, to what is known as the lower silurian system, extending from
near the western shores of Lake Michigan, and sweeping over all the
lower half of Minnesota, westward and upward along the valley of the
great Red and Assinniboin Rivers to the north, marking one of the most
prolific grain growing belts on the continent, if not in the world.
While this limestone underlying the surface is valuable for the purposes
heretofore named, it performs a still greater service to mankind in
having contributed much of those qualities which have given in certain
departments of agriculture, highest prominence to the State.

St. Paul is both the political and commercial capital of Minnesota, and
must always remain such without doubt, though it does not occupy a
central geographical position, still it is the practical centre of the
commonwealth, made such by the enterprise of her people in extending the
system of railways in all directions, with this point as a pivotal
centre. There are already seven important roads[A] radiating from this
city, either completed or in rapid course of construction, giving at the
present time a total of about seven hundred miles of finished road, over
which daily or more trains run, and all within the boundaries of the
State. Other lines beginning and ending elsewhere, yet likewise in the
State, are not included, of course, in this consideration. These roads
penetrate already, or will when completed, the principal centres of
trade and agriculture lying in the Northwest.

Daily communication is already had by rail with the cities of Chicago,
Milwaukee, and Duluth, and in the near future another, and, perhaps, in
some respects; the most important link of all, that connecting St. Paul
with Omaha and the Union Pacific Railway, known as the St. Paul and
Sioux City Road. This line traverses the most fertile district in the
State, as well as the most populous, following up the rich valley of the
Minnesota to Mankato, where it leaves the river, holding a southwest
direction for Sioux City in Iowa. The road is now completed as far as
Madelia, one hundred and twelve miles from St. Paul, leaving a gap of
about one hundred and fifty miles to be finished in order to make the
proposed connection with the great central trunk road to the Pacific
coast. We do not think that there is a single township of poor land
along its entire route. On the other hand, speaking from personal
observation, we know that the land is uniformly above the average in
fertility, productiveness, and beauty.

Another, a more recent link of road, binding the city to the northeast
and east as firmly as does the other to the southwest, is that known as
the Lake Superior and Mississippi Road, reaching one hundred and fifty
miles to the young city of Duluth, standing at the head of the great
lakes, whence cheap transportation to the Atlantic seaboard may be had
for all the products of the Northwest.

Then there are the two lines in progress, which, with the one already
running, will make three routes to Chicago and Milwaukee. By the present
one, the St. Paul and Milwaukee, a whole day is consumed in making the
journey, while by either of the others, sixteen hours only will be
required. This saving of time will insure to the new routes a prosperous
career. One of these new roads, the St. Paul and Chicago, nearly an
air-line, is already done as far as Red Wing. This road follows the
river to Winona, where it crosses, thence to Madison, making connection
with a completed line to Chicago. When done, this will be the most
desirable _all rail_ route from the latter city to St. Paul and the
principal towns along the river in Minnesota.

These truly great enterprises, of which St. Paul is the centre, form a
just commentary on the prescience and industry of her people, who, while
watchful of their own, do not forget the general interest of all,
thereby giving to individual life a zest and recompense which mark only
the highest and best purposes of our race.

Thus we see the iron arms of this possible future capital of the nation
reaching out in all directions from this central seat of empire, binding
firmly to it the great resources and vast wealth of the outlying and
now tributary country, which as yet is only in the alphabet of its

Time was when a visit to St. Paul was accounted an era in the life of
the traveller, since its remoteness and general inaccessibility involved
a special journey; but now, few fail to make the tour while passing
through the West, since both the facilities and pleasures are so great.

To stand at the head of two thousand miles of steamboat navigation along
the line of a single river is in itself, were there no city, an
inspiration. And when we contemplate that more than ten thousand miles
of inland navigation attaches to this great river and its tributaries,
at the head of which stands the beautiful city of St. Paul, we do not
marvel at the dreams of splendor and of power already haunting the
thinking population of this vast interior valley. A few brief years and
the sceptre of political empire will have passed forever into the hands
of this people without question, and ere long thereafter we confidently
predict that the seat of government will surely follow. We know that the
population along the Atlantic coast deride this idea; and, while having
shared heretofore like opinions with them, yet, on reflection, we
believe the child is born who will live to see this an accomplished


[A] We have counted the Pacific Main Line and the Branch Line as
separate roads, and likewise have assumed, that the Milwaukee and St.
Paul terminates here. These roads are now owned by the North Pacific
Railroad Company.



The climatic divisions of the country.--Periodical rains.--Prevailing
winds of the continent.--Changes of temperature.--Consumption in warm
climates.--Cold, humid atmospheres.--What climate most desirable for the
consumptive.--The dry atmosphere of the interior.--Dry winds of the
interior.--Table of rain-fall of the whole country.

Until a comparatively recent date the climate of the continent was held,
by all of the more learned in matters of physical geography and climatic
law, to have but one general characteristic; but these conclusions have
been found to be utterly erroneous, and now it is known to be
susceptible of division into three great and entirely distinct areas,
each being highly marked, and leaving, on these various surfaces,
peculiar evidence of their existence.

Instead of an _oceanic_ climate prevailing over the entire continent, it
is found to have but very narrow limits along the Pacific coast of the
United States, being broken entirely from the interior by the elevated
mountain ranges, conforming to them throughout their entire extent, and
having a sweep from near the thirty-sixth parallel to Sitka and the
Aleutian Islands, away to the extreme northwest.

The second division embraces the great interior basin lying between the
ranges of one hundred and twenty degrees and ninety-two degrees west
longitudes, having a general trend from the southwest, at San Diego, to
Hudson's Bay in British America, in the northeast. This vast district is
paralleled by that of the interior climate and character of the
continent of Asia in its elevation, aridity, and great extent, and may
be known as the true continental or Asiatic climate of the United
States. It is on the edge of this district, and visibly under its
influence, that the State of Minnesota, for the most part, lies. But we
pass, for the present, to the brief consideration of the third grand
division, embracing the entire country east of a line drawn from near
Central Texas to the centre of Wisconsin, including the immediate region
surrounding all the great lakes. Here we have an association of elements
constituting a highly variable climate, which prevails over all its
surface at all seasons, with remarkable uniformity. The wide range in
both vegetable and animal life over this area is one of its chief
distinguishing characteristics, partaking of the semi-tropical on the
one hand, with a low winter temperature on the other, but traversing
neither range so far as to prove directly destructive in its effects.
All over this eastern area are scattered lakes and rivers, with an
ocean boundary line, and uniform forest ranges with a great variety of
deciduous trees known to the temperate and sub-tropical latitudes; and
it is quite remarkable to note that some of the latter forms extend in
their acclimation to near the northern boundary lines of the Union,
while the pine, walnut, and chestnut may be found at or near the extreme
southern limits.

In all of these three grand divisions of climate, however, exceptional
localities exist where there is a marked nonconformity to the prevailing
characteristics. The peninsula of Florida is such an exception, owing to
its peculiar location, and the great humidity of its atmosphere during a
considerable fraction of the year. Here we have a fully developed season
of periodical rains, beginning usually in June and ending in the latter
part of September. The winter is the dry season, being contrary to the
general rule applying to tropical and sub-tropical areas, and forms,
with the mild temperature, the principal ground for the reputation which
that State has as a resort for special classes of invalids.[B]

The sudden and extreme variations of temperature in this eastern
climatic tract, whether from local disturbing causes, as is not
unfrequently the case, or otherwise, are usually accompanied by cold
draughts of air, chilling and generating all manner of ills, of which
rheumatism and consumption are the separate and highest types.

While it is generally understood that the prevailing winds of the whole
continent embraced within the limits of the United States are uniformly
from the west, still, over this eastern division, counter-winds of a
lower character disturb, modify, and elevate the course of this great
westerly current, giving rise to the exceeding variability of the
surface winds, which, as is well known, may blow within the brief space
of twenty-four hours from all directions of the compass, at almost any
time and point whatsoever.

Changes of temperature, while essential in some circumstances to health,
may be, if of a certain specific character, infinitely damaging, and
such are the cold humid winds from the northeast with easterly
inclinations. These are the dreadful scourges of all the Atlantic slope
above the Carolinas, and there is scarce any portion east of the
Mississippi Valley free from their occasional visitation. In the extreme
southern limits, along the Gulf, and on the Peninsular State, the
poison, so to speak, of this wind, is so far modified by the greater
temperature of these localities as measurably to disarm it of danger;
yet, even in those latitudes, it is to be (during and after a prolonged
storm) avoided by all, and especially weak and enfeebled constitutions.

The cases of consumption found in these warmer climates have been cited
as disproving the heretofore accepted theory that this disease was
limited in range to the middle and eastern portion of the Union; and it
has been further assumed that the liability to its attack was as great
there as at any point further north.

These conclusions have little foundation in fact, as is well known by
all who have taken pains to investigate the question with that
thoroughness which the subject demands. The catalogue of ills belonging
to all warm climates is not only long enough, but likewise sufficiently
dreadful, without adding to it that scourge, which is the child of the
northeast winds, with its home in the changeful temperature along the
upper Atlantic coast. It is quite true that cases occur in even tropical
districts, but they are the stray offspring of some unusual departure of
the cold and humid northerly currents. It must not, however, be taken as
a sequence of this proposition that any and all warm countries would
prove a sovereign balm and remedy; but, that there are a few localities
of this condition in temperature, where patients of the class under
consideration may reside with positive advantage, and not unfrequent
restoration to health follow, we both believe and know.

But there is so great a liability to contract some of the many fatal
febrile, and other diseases of hot countries, together with their
usually excessive humid character and greatly enervating effects,
especially on those who have been born and reared in cooler and higher
latitudes, that it comes to be a serious question for consideration
whether the chances of remedy hoped for in a residence at such places is
not more to be dreaded than the disease itself.

In what direction, then, can the invalid turn with any immediate or
ultimate hope of either relief or a permanent cure? We answer, that any
place where a dry, equable climate can be found, all other things being
equal, will give the desired relief and probable cure, if resorted to in
season, and if certain hygienic regulations be carefully and
persistently observed. The next question is, have we a climate answering
this important requirement, and, at the same time, outside of the range
of epidemics and fatal fevers; easily accessible, and affording, when
reached, the necessary comforts and aids incidental to a restoration? To
this we have an affirmative reply to give, coupled with some
modifications, and point to the Central climatic division of the
continent as possessing, in its dry elastic atmosphere and generally
equable temperature, the requisite desideratum.

Minnesota lies within this division, and, while upon the outer edge, is
still markedly under the influence of the prevailing climate which
distinguishes the whole of this middle area. Other sections within its
limits there may be, and, indeed, doubtless are, just as favorable, if
not more so, than is that of Minnesota, but they are lacking either in
facilities for reaching them, or in the needed comforts, and perhaps in
the commonest necessities which are absolute in all cases,--a wholesome
diet being one of the great essentials to recuperation.

Minnesota affords, of course, all of these aids in large abundance, and
is likewise quite easy of access, thus answering, in these particulars
at least, the ends desired.

It may now be well to examine the chief characteristics belonging to
this central climatic division, on the northeastern edge of which lies
the State under special consideration. We have already observed that the
prevailing and prominent winds of the continent blow uniformly from the
Pacific toward the Atlantic coast, having a slight northerly tendency.
It is important that this fact be kept in mind. This wind is constantly
sweeping across the North Pacific Ocean, by which it is tempered and
ladened with a vast amount of moisture, which is borne to the shores of
the continent, and, but for the elevated mountain ranges along the whole
of that coast, would be quite evenly distributed over the interior,
giving to all of the western and central area such an abundance of
fertilizing rains as the western half of the continent of Europe now
possesses, and to which this would then be in climate almost an exact
counterpart. But instead we have only a slender breadth of territory
answering to the oceanic climate of Western Europe, embracing that which
lies between the Pacific shores and the Sierra and Rocky Mountain
ranges. Within this belt is precipitated nearly all of the moisture
contained in the atmosphere. The warm, humid westerly winds, driven
against the lofty and cool mountain sides, have their moisture suddenly
and rapidly condensed, and the rain-fall on their western slope is found
by measurement to be prodigious, reaching as high as sixty-five cubic
inches for the year, being equal in quantity to that falling in many
tropical districts, and greatly exceeding that of any other portion of
the United States. These mountains have a determining influence on the
climate, both of the coast and of that in the interior. They act on the
clouds as they sweep against and over them, like a comb, extracting all
possible moisture, leaving a cool, elastic, and arid continental
atmosphere for this central area under present review. The effect is at
once pronounced and everywhere visible. Less than two degrees of
longitude _east_ of these mountain ranges there is but about (taking the
whole line from the thirty-fifth parallel to the northern boundary) an
average fall of seven and a half cubic inches of rain, a difference of
over fifty-five cubic inches within the year, in districts separated by
less than one hundred miles in a straight line from each other. The
consequence is, that, while in one there is a luxuriant growth in all
kinds of vegetation, in the other barren plains (destitute of all except
the lowest forms of vegetable life) exist, with a gradual but slow
return, as the eastern course of the winds are followed, to that normal
condition which prevails in districts where an abundant supply of
moisture is furnished. This is not fully found till the western limit of
the third climatic division is reached, where again we see on all hands
a general distribution of rivers and forests over the whole of this
area, with copious rains at all seasons, and humid and cool conditions
of the atmosphere, following each other in rapid alternations; producing
what we have seen fit to call the Variable climatic district, embracing
the whole eastern half of the continent.

The extreme high temperature of the interior division equals that of
points lying a dozen degrees south in other longitudes, and the
desiccated winds from the west, as they blow over this parched and
heated surface, have their aridity rather than their humidity increased,
as would be the case in other circumstances; and not till they reach
within perhaps five hundred miles of the eastern boundary of this
continental division do they increase in humidity, as indicated by the
rain-fall, which rises in quantity from the low minimum of seven and a
half cubic inches per annum in the "great basin," and fifteen on the
"great plains," to about twenty in Dakota territory and twenty-five in
Minnesota, the eastern limit of this continental climate.

The effect of these dry winds on the humidity of the atmosphere in
Minnesota is unquestioned and demonstrable by the records kept of the
various governmental posts over the whole country. In contrast, the
amount of rain falling annually in this State is shown by these
statistics to be much below that of any lying east of the Mississippi,
in the variable-climatic district; and, indeed, below that of every
other in the entire Union, excepting Nebraska, which averages about the
same amount of rain-fall, though without the same amount of dryness and
elasticity, which are such notable features in the atmosphere of the
former State.

The mean annual amount of rain falling in New England is about
forty-three inches, nearly double that of Minnesota, exhibiting the vast
difference in the humidity of the two localities, and this, in
connection with the cold easterly winds before referred to as prevailing
there at intervals, together with the severe changes (and which, it
should not be forgotten, add to the quantity of moisture), may be
ascribed the primal cause of all pulmonic diseases.

It should not be understood, however, that the _quantity_ of moisture
precipitated in any given district determines of itself the prevalence
or non-prevalence of phthisic complaints; not at all, for we see in
Florida the rain-fall is very great, and as much exceeds that of New
England as the latter does that of Minnesota, and consumption has no
home on the peninsula of Florida. Why it has not, inheres in this fact,
that the climate does not, or rarely, experience any of those violent
and chilling changes of temperature that are almost constantly going on,
especially in the fall, winter, and spring months, and which do the
fatal work of death. But, some one says, the northeast winds reach
Florida, and why do not the inhabitants suffer from it? For the reason
that they are greatly changed in character, becoming mild and only
pleasantly cool in temperature, offering no shock as a rule; and really
the northeast trades, which almost daily blow, are the invigorating and
healthful winds, sweeping away the miasma of the hot season, cooling the
atmosphere, and preserving equability throughout the year. Then there
are other matters; the drainage qualities of the soil, which is so great
on that peninsula; then, too, is the distribution of the falling rain,
whether it is filtered slowly through all the year, keeping things
constantly drowned out, or in a state of flabbiness, or whether it is
mainly confined to a single season or an inconsiderable fraction of the
whole year, as in Florida. These become important inquiries, as all have
a bearing on the question of the _healthfulness_ of climates.

We have stated the rain-fall to be less in Minnesota than in any other
State in the entire Union, with one exception; and while this is true,
it is still great enough for all agricultural uses, coming chiefly in
the summer months, at a time when the crops are growing; and, by the
middle of September, as a rule, the quantity has fallen off to a very
low mean, accompanied by that elastic, invigorating atmosphere for which
the State is so justly famed. This season of charming weather continues,
with little interruption, only accompanied by a gradual diminishing
scale of thermometric registration, up to the advent of winter, and even
then the moisture falling in snow is less than is generally supposed or

Since these matters are of vital character in determining the salubrity
of the climate of this State, we append the following table, both for
the purpose of comparison with other places and definiteness concerning

This table gives a sweep of country from ocean to ocean, and exhibits
the rain-fall of the three climatic divisions very faithfully. The great
quantity precipitated at Astoria, in Oregon, is observed, where the
OCEANIC climate prevails, with the mountain barriers limiting its extent
inland; while, at Port Laramie, in Wyoming Territory, is an average
representation of the whole interior district possessing the dry and
elastic CONTINENTAL climate, in which lies the State of Minnesota. The
other portions of the table give a more extended view of the VARIABLE
climate, covering the eastern area as previously defined.

_Average Annual Fall of Water (rain and snow, given in inches) for a
Series of Years, as ascertained from Official Sources_.

  Fort Snelling, Minn.|  1.92  |  6.61  | 10.92  |  5.98  | 25.43
  Fort Ridgely,    "  |  4.11  |  7.29  |  9.29  |  4.83  | 25.52
  Astoria, Oregon     |  ---   |  ---   |  ---   |  ---   | 65.00
  Fort Laramie, Wy.   |  1.63  |  8.69  |  5.70  |  3.96  | 19.98
  Fort Crawford, Wis. |  4.00  |  7.63  | 11.87  |  7.90  | 31.40
  Fort Gratiot, Mich. |  5.75  |  8.02  |  9.99  |  8.86  | 32.62
  New Harmony, Ind.   | 12.29  | 10.51  | 12.79  |  7.26  | 42.85
  Cincinnati, Ohio    | 11.15  | 12.14  | 13.70  |  9.90  | 46.89
  St. Louis, Missouri |  6.94  | 12.30  | 14.14  |  8.94  | 42.32
  Chicago, Illinois   |  ---   |  ---   |  ---   |  ---   |  ---
  Philadelphia, Penn. | 10.76  |  9.81  | 11.93  |  9.84  | 42.34
  Lambertville, N.J.  |  9.67  | 11.25  | 12.15  | 11.59  | 44.09
  Fredonia, New York  |  6.82  |  7.24  | 10.45  | 12.04  | 36.55
  Utica,      "   "   |  8.72  |  9.26  | 12.83  |  9.76  | 40.57
  Albany,     "   "   |  8.30  |  9.79  | 12.31  | 10.27  | 40.67
  Brooklyn,   "   "   |  9.83  | 11.75  | 11.43  | 10.35  | 43.36
  Providence, R.I.    |  9.44  | 10.45  |  9.66  | 10.50  | 40.05
  New Bedford, Mass.  | 10.42  | 10.67  |  9.18  | 10.76  | 41.03
  Worcester,     "    | 11.85  | 10.89  | 10.71  | 13.51  | 46.96
  Cambridge,     "    |  9.89  | 10.85  | 11.17  | 12.57  | 44.48
  Hanover, N.H.       |  9.10  |  9.90  | 11.40  | 10.50  | 41.00
  Portland, Maine     | 10.93  | 12.11  | 10.28  | 11.93  | 45.25

The fall of snow has been in this statement reduced to a water basis,
allowing, as is the usual custom, ten inches of snow for one of water.
This calculation is not entirely reliable for all points; as, at the
extreme southern snow-line, a less, while a larger amount is required
for a more northerly district--say about eleven inches to make one of
water in Minnesota. This would give a depth of about two and a half
feet (snow) over the surface of the State for the entire winter months,
while in Central New York--to which in mean annual temperature Minnesota
parallels--the depth of all water falling, for the same season, would
(in snow) amount to full five feet, or double that of the State under


[B] For further particulars of Florida climate, see _A Winter in
Florida_, by the author of this volume, published by Messrs. Wood &



The atmosphere of Minnesota.--Its dryness.--Falling snow.--Equability of
temperature.--Rain-fall for spring.--The constitutional character of the
climate.--The lakes and rivers of the State.--The northeast
winds.--Where the northeasters begin.--Their general direction and
limit.--The atmospheric basin of Iowa.--Neglect of meteorology.--Its
importance to the country.

The atmosphere in Minnesota in the winter is like a wine, so
exhilarating is its effects on the system; while its extreme dryness and
elasticity prevents any discomfort from the cold which is such a bugbear
to many. The extreme cold does not last but for a few days, and should
the invalid choose to be domiciled during this brief interval, no great
harm would come; but we apprehend that, once there, they could not be
kept in-doors in consequence of it. Why, laboring men in the lumber
districts to the north of St. Paul perform their work without overcoats,
and frequently, and indeed commonly, without a coat of any kind, simply
in their shirt-sleeves; nor need this seem incredible, as in a dry, cold
climate the body maintains a much greater amount of animal heat, and if
exercise is had, a profuse perspiration may be easily induced, and a
fine glow of health inspired; with the extremities warm, sensitive, and
throbbing with life.

We once spent the winter on the island of Prince Edward, lying in the
Gulf of St. Lawrence. This island is quite narrow, and between one and
two hundred miles in length; all the northerly winds having a tremendous
sweep over it, and the mercury in winter creeps down for a few days to a
point where it is frozen stiff. On such occasions we found it far less
inconvenient to go out, indeed, it was not an inconvenience at all, but
rather a positive pleasure; daily walks and fishing through the ice gave
constant amusement. But when the mercury was above zero, with the wind
from any quarter, coming damp and chilling, a feeling of discomfort
would drive you to shelter. The raw, damp wind off of the surrounding
seas being a natural conductor of both animal and electrical heat
rapidly carries of the vital warmth of the body to the destruction of
life. In illustration of this, and as giving greater force to the
practical experience of men everywhere, we are induced to quote the
statement made by Dr. Kane, that often when the mercury was congealed,
both he and his men found it not at all unpleasant, and by moderate
walking were able to keep entirely comfortable; while, at and above
zero, with a brisk wind blowing they suffered greatly.

Let us look fairly in the face this winter temperature in Minnesota,
and see how it compares with that of Central New York. The tabular
statement below is from official records.[C]

  _The Mean Winter Temperature at St. Paul and Utica_.


  St. Paul    16° 1'     45° 6'     70° 6'     45° 9'     44° 6'
  Utica       24° 5'     44° 5'     66° 5'     47° 3'     45° 7'

The difference in range for the winter between the two points, is a
fraction over eight degrees in favor of Utica, while the mean annual
range is but one degree and a fraction higher than the yearly average at
St. Paul. There can be no doubt in our minds, that the cold of winter is
more trying to all classes at Utica than it is at St. Paul; and, that a
greater amount of warm clothing is necessary to maintain an equal
feeling of comfort, at the former, than is required at the latter place,
notwithstanding the mercury ranges through the three months of winter at
an average of eight degrees less at St. Paul. The reason is found in the
fact of a more humid atmosphere existing at Utica, and, indeed, at all
points in the variable-climatic district, whether north or south of
either the thermal lines or latitudes in which Minnesota rests.

"There is no rain falling during the winter months in the State as a
rule, the temperature being too cold, while the snow accumulates
gradually, falling in the finest of flakes, and light as down itself.
The average monthly snow-fall of the three winter months reduced to
water, is but a little over half an inch, or about six inches of snow
per month. A uniform line of low temperature--averaging near sixteen
degrees, unbroken by thaws except under the occasional warm glare of a
noonday sun--usually keeps this thin covering on the ground all winter
so dry, that the deerskin moccasins, which many persons habitually wear,
are scarcely moistened the season through. There are occasional upward
oscillations of temperature; and, once in a series of years, a thaw in
January or February; but these are rare occurrences. Rain has not fallen
in winter but once in many years. The whole winter is a radiant and
joyous band of sunny days and starlight nights. This inaugurates the
carnival season when sleighing and merrymaking parties in both town and
country form one unbroken round of pleasure."

The advantages of this winter season is that, while a cold climate, it
still admits of the invalid taking constant daily exercise with an
entire freedom from liability to "catch cold," the system freed from
sudden shocks incident to the coquetting climate of the East; the lungs
and whole body strengthened and braced by the tonic effect of this
continental climate.

"It is the most normal climate on the continent. No other is so
exquisitely symmetrical in its entire annual development. In no other
are the transitions of temperature and moisture so completely in harmony
with nature, so accommodated to the laws of organic life and growth.
Thus the entire physical organism of Minnesota is, so to speak,
emblematical of the * * * relations which attach to its geographical

The advance of spring does not, here, bring those unending floods and
winds which drown men out and blow the universe to tatters, as is the
case in New England and other areas lying eastward.

The months of March and April rack very low in their rain-fall in
comparison with any point situated along the same thermal lines; while
May is scarce up to the average, but yet sufficient to supply the seeds
and grasses with all the moisture required.

For the purpose of exactness the following table is annexed, giving a
view of the question and illustrating it far better than any discussion
can hope to do.

  _Mean Water Precipitation For Spring (in inches)_

  PLACES.                   MARCH.     APRIL.     MAY.      TOTAL

  St. Paul                   1.30       2.14      3.17       6.61
  Utica                      2.75       3.17      3.34       9.26
  Providence                 3.26       3.66      3.53      10.45

This furnishes a most striking commentary on this particular season for
the localities named, and warrants the statement that the first
two-thirds of it can be considered a continuation of the dry climate
which we have now traced from about the middle of September to the first
of May, a period of seven and one-half months, in which the rain-fall is
but a third of the entire quantity precipitated throughout the whole
year; while that of the entire year, even, is seen to be but a trifle
over the half of that falling over any portion of the variable district,
occupying so large a portion of the whole United States.

It is an astonishing development, and would be scarcely credible, but
for the array of actual facts and figures, through a long series of
years, by persons entirely unbiased, and who in the employment of the
general government had no other ends to serve but that of accuracy.
Previous favorable reports had gained much reputation for the State, but
it seemed to lack official backing, until the searching in the published
files of the War Department set the topic at rest, and proved the
climate of this State out of that division to which the great valley of
the Mississippi had been assigned, and to which the State of Minnesota
had been thought, heretofore, to belong.

The great isothermal lines, beginning along the Atlantic coast at the
fortieth, forty-first, and forty-second latitudes--with their initial
points between Long Island and the northern boundary line of
Massachusetts--sweep westward with an upward tendency, striking
Minnesota at the forty-fifth parallel (St. Paul), when a sharp curve to
the north distinguishes their course, thence bearing away gradually
westward along the valleys of the Red and Saskatchawan Rivers to the
Pacific Ocean.

If there are any doubts by our readers as to the continental character
of the climate of Minnesota, let them answer how it is that this sharp
curve of the thermal line happens in its westward course just on the
frontier of that State. And likewise the reason of the arid climate
prevailing for nearly three-fourths of the year, so unlike that for a
thousand miles eastward or southward of it.

Two-thirds of the entire fall of water for the year (whether snow or
rain) descends during the summer, with the addition of a part of May and
September. The quantity is a trifle over that in parts of Michigan,
while much less than the average of all points east or south. With
regard to that of Central New York at Utica, a type of the eastern area,
and previously referred to--it is two inches less. Thus the summer,
while not a dry one, fortunately, is below the mean of the variable

It would be a wrong conclusion should any one decide that the summer was
lacking in those qualities of atmosphere which so happily characterizes
other portions of the year. True, there is a diminution of aridity, but
no disappearance, and the effect on the invalid is beneficial and

The humidity of the atmosphere is not always determined by the
rain-fall. There may be considerable water precipitated during a single
season, and the air of the locality be, before and after the rains, dry
and elastic, as the case at Santa Fé, in New Mexico, and at other points
which might be mentioned. Among these is that of Minnesota. Its
geographical position and physical structure is such as to insure these
elements in large measure, even for the climate of her summers.

If the quantity of rain and snow falling at all seasons in a given
district depended on itself for the supply, then the amount of water
precipitated would, were the winds out of consideration, be determined
by the amount of lake, river, and ocean surface within its own
boundaries. In this event Minnesota would among the States occupy the
very highest place on the scale,--with, perhaps, a single
exception,--since the whole face of the commonwealth is dotted all over
with lakes, sliced with rivers, and skirted in addition by a great
inland sea.

To many who travel over the State it seems a marvel that the atmosphere
should have any elasticity or any tonic properties.

It is, however, known that countries are usually dependent, for the
beneficent rains falling over them, on oceans quite remote, where the
sun, in its tropical splendor and power, lifts high in air immense
volumes of water in a state of evaporation, which, borne on the "wings
of the wind," speeds rapidly away to supply the drying rivers and
fountains of the globe. This aerial pathway supplies the link in the
great circuit by which all the waters of all the oceans pass over our
heads, returning again under our feet to their natural home.

Of course the water area of all sections of the temperate latitudes
contribute something to the precipitation; yet it is but a fractional
part of the whole, and quite inconsiderable. Still its influence is
sufficient to make it observable near large seas like our own inland
system, where the quantity falling is, in the cooler portions of the
year, increased in consequence of the then higher temperature of the
water of the lakes over that of the adjacent land districts. In summer,
the only effect is to increase the humidity of the atmosphere and
frequency of rains, without adding to the quantity. This phenomenon is
seen on the shores of all the lakes, and especially in the Lake Superior
region. But this influence does not extend westward to exceed the
distance of, we should say, fifty miles, and does not consequently
effect to any important degree the climate of Minnesota, except the
outlying rim described. The small lakes and rivers do not contribute
much to the precipitation of rain within the State boundaries. They may
add slightly to that of the lake district to the eastward, whither their
moisture is borne by the southwesterly and westerly currents. They do
undoubtedly have an influence on the temperature, modifying that of the
winter very much, and in this respect are valuable as well as beautiful.

The southerly winds, and those having a slight westerly tendency,
prevailing a portion of the summer, do not bring hither much of
moisture, though at their outset they are heavily ladened with it, as it
is borne across the Gulf, in a southwesterly direction, to the open
valley of the Mississippi, where, coming in contact with the edge of the
great westerly winds, and broken probably somewhat by the elevated
district of Mexico and by the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains, which
extend to the northern boundaries of Texas, this humid wind drives,
unresisted by any vertical obstruction, up the valley of the "Great
River," shedding on either hand its waters profusely; but their force
and character, in this long march, become spent, and they add only their
proportionate amount of rain to the Minnesota annual fall, while the
intermediate districts are chiefly dependent on them.

The northeast winds of spring and autumn, which sweep at times half
across the continent, usually begin at a low point along the Atlantic
coast--driving sometimes furiously, and always persistently, its
hurried, chilling current inland,--is baffled by this southwesterly
current of the Gulf, and always, sooner or later, turned, as it moves up
the coast and interior by the overpowering and underlying continental
winds which drive it back, bringing these northeasterly storms to us,
nearly always from a southwest quarter. We enlarge upon this class of
rain-storms for the purpose of showing, though imperfectly, their
non-prevalence over the State of Minnesota. This is important if it can
be, even but partially, established; since it is this particular class
of storms and winds, last referred to, that are to be so much avoided
and to which can be traced the initial point of most pulmonic troubles.

These storms from the northeast may begin in Texas, their course being
north and eastward; as that by the time they reach so northerly a point
as New York, their westward limit may not exceed St. Louis; and, in
further illustration, when Quebec feels the force of the storm, Chicago
is at its extreme western limit. This supposed course will convey the
general idea of the track of a northeaster when it envelops the whole
variable-climatic district of the Union. There is a singular eddy known
to all climatologists to exist in Iowa, where the annual precipitation
of water is great, exceeding that of all the surrounding States. There
has been no positive theory advanced, to our knowledge, explaining this
circumstance, but the mystery is solved, to our minds, quite clearly.
This eddy makes the key-point of contact of the humid Gulf winds with
the cool winds of the westerly current, and likewise being the
northwestern terminal point of the course of the great northeasters,
the contact being the cause of the excess in precipitation. We were
fortunate, while visiting last autumn this special wet district of Iowa,
to experience one of these triangular storms. We were at Dubuque while
the wind was blowing gently from the south-southwest, with low
scattering clouds, and before night it began to thicken and rain, while,
in the night, the wind shifted to the east, blowing the rain briskly
before it. This continued a part of the following forenoon, when, taking
the train west to Rockford, northwest of Dubuque, we reached nearly the
edge of the easterly storm, which had been here simply a drizzling rain.
The next day the rain had ceased, the wind had shifted to the northwest,
rapidly drying the earth, and the clouds, both of the upper and lower
strata, were all driving hurriedly east-southeast. We left the following
day for Fort Dodge and Sioux City. At the former place they had had a
slight shower only, with shifting winds; while at Sioux City not a
particle of rain had fallen, the roads being not only dry but quite
dusty. This was not a merely local storm, but was the only great
easterly one covering any extent of territory and time, answering to the
equinoctial, which visited the United States during last autumn.

This special limit of storms, this eddy of the winds in Iowa, deviates
more or less in the district assigned to it, and, at times, some of
these northeasters undoubtedly blow over Minnesota, but they are few,
and much modified in kind and character. The elevation of the State over
other portions of the great valley south of it adds something probably
in determining the outline of the Iowa basin of precipitation.

The range of the thermometer in the hot season is, in Minnesota, above
that of places occupying the same lines of latitude; this is caused, in
part, by the arid continental winds and by a less cloud-obstructed
sunshine, but the heat is not correspondingly oppressive with that of
other localities, since the atmosphere is not as humid. The evaporation
under this heat of summer rises out of the immediate region of the
surface, and is borne away on the prevailing winds to the lake district
and eastward. It is unfortunate that there have been no tests of a
hygrometic character maintained through any great period, whereby
reliable data could be adduced, since it would have seemed as easy for
the government to have undertaken that branch of meteorology as any
other, it only requiring a more careful and accurate hand than do the
other observations. The delicacy of these experiments have proved too
wearisome for private parties, and there is over the whole country a
lack of this scientific evidence. The last report of one of the cabinet
ministers at Washington calls attention to the need, and benefit
arising from reliable testimony, under this head, and asks an
appropriation, which it is hoped may be granted, in the interests of
both health, agriculture, and science generally.

The question of climatic treatment and cure for certain ills is
receiving yearly increased attention, and this will continue until a
specific climate is found for many of the most destructive diseases
afflicting the race.


[C] The various tables are chiefly from Blodgett's _Climatology_, to
which we are otherwise much indebted.



Consumption mapped out.--The east winds.--Comparative
statistics.--Number of original cases of consumption in
Minnesota.--Consumption can be cured.--Rev. Jeremiah Day.--Fresh air the
best medicine.--The benefit of a dry atmosphere.--Equability of
temperature.--The power of the mind over disease.--Kinds of
consumption.--Danger in delays.

To all who are afflicted or threatened with pulmonic troubles the
climate of Minnesota becomes, in view of its reputed freedom from this
scourge, an interesting subject of inquiry.

For a long time it was maintained that this disease was not affected by
climate, but that it was the child of other causes, and that its cure
was impossible; and dread of its visitation became as great as at the
approach of any of the great maladies afflicting mankind.

Later and wiser investigation has proved it to be so much controlled by
climate that it may be practically located on a chart of the globe, if
all the climatic conditions are fully known. Of course, it is not
absolutely confined to any given limit, more than is the yellow fever,
which sometimes makes its appearance as high as the forty-second degree
of latitude, while its actual home, so to speak, is, on this continent,
below the thirty-fifth parallel.

In a medical chart of this country, which we had occasion to examine
many years since, the district where consumption attained its maximum
range was outlined along the coast, beginning with the State of Maine,
having a semi-circular sweep to Fortress Monroe in Virginia, with an
inland limit varying from one to two hundred miles. This is well known,
now, to all the medical profession, to be the territory where _phthisis
pulmonalis_ has greatest sweep, and this is conceded to be, for the most
part, caused by the marked peculiarities of climate existing over all
this area. These peculiarities have, in some of the immediately
preceding chapters, been duly though briefly set forth, and we now
proceed to the consideration of the sanitary value of the Minnesota air
and its effects on lung diseases as experienced by sufferers and
observed by others, together with some of its leading characteristics.

If it has been sufficiently shown that the temperature of the district
in which consumption prevails most is a highly variable one, passing
almost daily from a low to a high point in the thermometric scale, with
the prevailing winds to be those in which east largely enters; and that
these winds come laden with a cold moisture, borne from off the surface
of the North Atlantic, which, when exposed to their sweep, chill the
person and pave the way to colds, catarrhs, rheumatism, pneumonia, and a
score of other ills scarcely less harassing and destructive, and all of
which give rise to the "great destroyer," as it has been sometimes
called. If, as we have said, these points have been proved to be the
leading ear-marks of this special locality, what, we may ask, are the
characteristics, briefly stated, of the climate of the State, which is
known to be comparatively free from, and, in very many instances, to
have wrought for the sufferer a complete restoration of health and
strength? They have been seen to be almost the exact antipodes of that
of the consumptive district before named. Instead of the northeast wind,
there is the northwest, or at least the prevailing winds from some point
into which _west_ enters; bringing, in place of the cold, humid
atmosphere of the North Atlantic, the dry continental winds from the
interior, which, in conjunction with the high altitude and peculiar
geographical position of the State, give, instead of the extreme
variable temperature, an equable and a relatively dry atmosphere, having
a bracing, tonic effect on the whole man, affording opportunity for
unrestrained exercise in the open air, causing good digestion to wait on
appetite, and with these the advent of fresh wholesome blood, which is
_the_ physician to heal the diseased portions of the lungs, and restore
healthful action to all of the inflamed parts.

In confirmation of the high value of this State as a residence for
invalids of the class to which special reference is made, we extract
from the last census report the following statistics, showing the
average number of deaths from consumption in the following States to be

  One in 254 in Massachusetts,
  One in 473 in New York,
  One in 757 in Virginia,
  One in 1139 in Minnesota.

This speaks for the climate more of praise than it is possible for any
scientific speculation to do, since it is the practical and final test
as well as the most satisfactory.

Undoubtedly, the relative disproportion would be very much greater if
the number of deaths of those who go from other States, after it is too
late for them to receive any benefit, could be eliminated from the
actual number that die from among the inhabitants themselves. The
question may arise right here among some of the more skeptical, how it
is that any of the population are afflicted with this disease, if the
climate is such an enemy to it? We answer--that full half of the deaths
reported from phthisis are of those who come too late--as before
stated--and a fourth of the whole number we know to be from among those
who are not natives, but yet are of the _regular_ inhabitants, whose
lives have been prolonged here, and who from improper exposure or
neglect of wholesome rules (which they at first rigidly followed, but
growing better, neglected to maintain), have paid the penalty. Not over
one-third of the entire list of inhabitants of the State, up to the
present time, are natives; hence deaths from consumption among the
remaining two-thirds cannot be attributed, by any fair inference, to the
direct influence of the climate. This still leaves a fourth of the whole
number of deaths from this scourge to fall on those who "are to the
manner born." This is a very trifling percentage, and might be waived as
not being a fraction sufficiently important to merit much attention; but
we may frankly admit that these cases appear here, and are the result of
a want of a _perfect_ equability in the climate, and to this extent it
must be held answerable. We might, however, conclude that even this
final fraction could be accounted for in the hereditary taint, but we
forbear, as we likewise do to claim entire exemption here from this
complaint. No climate, perhaps, in any portion of the whole habitable
earth, could be found to be utterly exempt. Then, too, consumption is to
general debility a natural sequence, almost as much as flame is to
powder when exploded; and as there are likely in all climates, however
favorable, to be found worn-out and exhausted humanity, why, there must
be expected untimely deaths culminating in this disease.

The curability of consumption is now a settled question. Every medical
student has either seen for himself or been assured by his professor
that post mortem examinations have disclosed this truth beyond all
cavil. Numerous cases might be cited where, at an early period in life,
tubercles had formed, and by-and-by, probably in consequence of a change
in the habits of life, these disappeared, leaving naught but old
cicatrices as evidence of their previous diseased condition. These
tubercular deposits must have disposed of themselves in one of three
ways: _first_, they might soften down and be expectorated; _second_,
they might soften and be absorbed; or, _thirdly_, they might become
calcined and remain as inert foreign material. In many cases all these
processes might unite in the removal, and a long life follow, as is well
known in some instances to be true.

An eminent instance in point occurs to us as we write, and which is
worthy of citation in these pages. The lamented Rev. Jeremiah Day, once
President of Yale College, when a young man, had "consumption," and was
expected to die, but by a rigid observance of the laws of health, and
self-imposition of stated exercise of a vigorous nature in the open air,
he, by these means and without much of travel, restored his debilitated
frame and healed the diseased lungs, and died at the rare age of
ninety-five, having lived a life of uncommon usefulness and activity. He
could not have accomplished his restoration without many and daily
sacrifices compared with the lot of his fellow-men. A post mortem showed
plainly that both apices of the lungs had been diseased.

There are many cases, of which no knowledge exists outside of a small
circle, of restored health, though with impaired power of respiration
and consequent endurance of great hardships, which latter, of course,
must be entirely avoided by those thus situated. There is, too, even
greater liability to a fresh attack than with persons who have never
been afflicted, but the vigilance necessary to maintain health fortifies
against its repetition.

One of the essentials in effecting a cure is FRESH AIR; and if this can
be had in such form as to give more of oxygen--the vital element--than
is usually found, the healing processes must be accelerated, beyond
doubt. The family physician will tell you this. Now, under what
circumstances is a larger amount of oxygen found? What climate affords
most, all other things being equal? It certainly is not a _hot_ climate,
nor a variable moist one such as prevails all over the consumptive
district which we have indicated at the beginning of this chapter. It is
found in a cool, dry climate, and this condition is had in Minnesota
with greater correlative advantages than in any other section of the
Union known up to this time. The atmosphere is composed of two gases,
oxygen and nitrogen, and in every one hundred parts of common air there
are about seventy-five parts of nitrogen and twenty-five of oxygen,
subject to expansion from heat and of contraction from cold. This
accounts in part for the general lassitude felt in a warm atmosphere,
while a corresponding degree of vigor obtains in a cold one. The
condensation, the result of a cool temperature, gives to the lungs a
much larger amount of oxygen at a single inspiration, and, of course,
for the day the difference is truly wonderful. The blood is borne by
each pulsation of the heart to the air-cells of the lungs for
vitalization by means of the oxygen inhaled--the only portion of the air
used by the lungs--giving it a constantly renewing power to energize the
whole man. If a cold climate is attended with great humidity, or raw,
chilling winds, the object is defeated and the diseased member
aggravated, as would also be the case even if the climate was not a
cold, raw one, but was a _variable_ cold one; as then the sudden changes
would induce colds, pneumonia, and all the train of ills which terminate
in this dire calamity we are so anxious to avoid.

_Equability_ and _dryness_ are the essentials of a climate in which
consumptives are to receive new or lengthened leases of life.

The following testimony is of such a high value that no apology need be
offered for its introduction here. It is, in the first case, from one
who was sick but is now well, and, in the other, from a party whose
observation and character give weight to opinions.

The able and celebrated divine, the Rev. Horace Bushnell, D.D., of
Hartford, Conn., in a letter to the _Independent_, says:--

"I went to Minnesota early in July, and remained there till the latter
part of the May following. I had spent a winter in Cuba without benefit.
I had spent also nearly a year in California, making a gain in the dry
season and a partial loss in the wet season; returning, however,
sufficiently improved to resume my labors. Breaking down again from this
only partial recovery, I made the experiment now of Minnesota; and
submitting myself, on returning, to a very rigid examination by a
physician who did not know at all what verdict had been passed by other
physicians before, he said, in accordance with their opinions, 'You have
had a difficulty in your right lung, but it is healed.' I had suspected
from my symptoms that it might be so, and the fact appears to be
confirmed by the further fact, that I have been slowly, though
regularly, gaining all summer.

"This improvement, or partial recovery, I attribute to the climate of
Minnesota. But not to this alone, other things have concurred.

"First, I had a naturally firm, enduring constitution, which had only
given way under excessive burdens of labor, and had no vestige of
hereditary disease upon it.

"Secondly, I had all my burdens thrown off, and a state of complete,
uncaring rest.

"Thirdly, I was in such vigor as to be out in the open air, on horseback
and otherwise, a good part of the time. It does not follow, by any
means, that one who is dying of hereditary consumption, or one who is
too far gone to have any powers of endurance, or spring of recuperative
energy left, will be recovered in the same way. A great many go there to
die, and some to be partially recovered and then die; for I knew two
young men, so far recovered as to think themselves well, or nearly so,
who by over-violent exertion brought on a recurrence of bleeding, and
died. * * * The general opinion seemed to be that the result was
attributable, in part, to the over tonic property of the atmosphere. And
I have known of very many remarkable cases of recovery there which had
seemed to be hopeless. One, of a gentleman who was carried there on a
litter, and became a hearty, robust man. Another, who told me that he
coughed up bits of his lungs of the size of a walnut, was there seven or
eight months after, a perfectly sound-looking, well-set man, with no
cough at all. I fell in with somebody every few days who had come there
and been restored; and with multitudes of others, whose disease had been
arrested so as to allow the prosecution of business, and whose lease of
life, as they had no doubt, was much lengthened by their migration to
that region of the country. Of course it will be understood that a great
many are sadly disappointed in going thither. * * *

"The peculiar benefit of the climate appears to be its dryness. There is
much rain in the summer months, as elsewhere, but it comes more
generally in the night, and the days that follow brighten out in a
fresh, tonic brilliancy, as dry, almost, as before. The winter climate
is intensely cold, and yet so dry and clear and still, for the most
part, as to create no very great degree of suffering. One who is
properly dressed, finds the climate much more agreeable than the
amphibious, half-fluid, half-solid, sloppy, gravelike chill of the East.
The snows are light--a kind of snow-dew, that makes about an inch, or
sometimes three, in a night. Real snowstorms are rare; there was none
the winter I spent there. A little more snow, to make better sleighing,
would have been an improvement. As to rain in winter it is almost
unknown. There was not a drop of it the season I was there, from the
latter part of October to the middle, or about the middle, of March,
except a slight drizzle on Thanksgiving Day. And there was not melting
snow enough, for more than eight or ten days, to wet a deerskin
moccasin, which many of the gentlemen wear all winter."

The Rev. H.A. Boardman, D.D., of Philadelphia, writes under date of
October, 1868, to a public journal, the following: "* * * The question
is often asked, 'how far is St. Paul to be recommended as a resort for
invalids?' If one may judge from indications on the spot, invalids
themselves have settled this question. I have never visited a town
where one encounters so many persons that bear the impress of delicate
health, present or past. In the stores and shops, in the street and by
the fireside, it is an every-day experience to meet with residents who
came to Minnesota, one, two, five, or ten years ago, for their health,
and having regained, decided to remain. I have talked with some who,
having recovered, went away twice over, and then made up their minds
that to live at all they must live here. * * * * *"

The statements of these observing and reflecting men are of the first
importance, and require no scientific deductions to prove the benefit
certain classes of consumptives may receive by a residence in Minnesota;
but if it is found that whatever of data in meteorology there is bearing
on the climate of this State, confirms the universal public judgment,
this then becomes a matter of most agreeable interest.

It seems that the _dryness_ and _equability_ are the important
features, as before observed. A gentleman, given somewhat to
investigation, made the statement to us, while in St. Paul, that he had
carefully watched the ice-pitcher on his table during the summers, and
that it was rare that any moisture accumulated upon the outside of the
same, as is commonly the case elsewhere. This is itself a most
interesting scientific fact, and completely demonstrates the great
dryness of the atmosphere during even the wet season of the year, as we
have found the rain-fall in summer to be about two-thirds of the whole
annual precipitation. Physicians have not generally thought that the
_summer_ atmosphere of this State was any improvement upon that of other
localities of like altitude, judging from the rain-fall, which, being up
to the average of this latitude elsewhere, left as much of moisture,
they have concluded, floating near the surface as at other points, and
they are led to send patients into less dry districts, or even, as is
sometimes the case, to the sea-shore. Graver mistakes could not well
occur than these, and it is to be ascribed to the little definite
knowledge we as a people have on medico-meteorology. Except for
debilitated constitutions, which, it is true, precede many cases of
consumption, the sea-shore is to be avoided, especially in every
instance of diseased lungs. Doubtless, the habit of advising a trip to
the sea-side for the relief and cure of whooping-cough in children has
led in great part to this error. The trip to the mountains, if a
location is well selected, is likely to be, and usually is, in summer a
real benefit. But then, the physician should know something of the
reputation of the particular locality to which he sends his patient. To
illustrate:--suppose a patient afflicted with phthisis is sent to the
White Mountains, and in company or alone, he reaches that region, and we
will assume that he settles down at the "Profile House," or at any
portion of the hills on their eastern slope, or immediate vicinity, and
the result is almost certain to be unfavorable, since constant showers
and violent changes of temperature are transpiring throughout the entire
summer. If, however, a moderate elevation, away from the immediate
influence of the mountains, out of the range of the frequent showers,
with a southwest exposure of landscape, where the cool westerly winds
have play, decided advantage will come to the sufferer. It would not
likely be at once perceptible, but a gradual toning up of the system
might be looked for, with an improvement of the general health. Indeed,
any change to either the sick or overworked, for that matter, who are
able to withstand the fatigue of a journey, is of benefit, even if the
climate and location are not improved, as it is well known that a change
of scene is a relief and recreation to the mind, which often plays an
important part in the recovery of invalids. We all remember the story
of the prisoner who had been condemned to suffer death, and at the
appointed hour was led blindfolded to the dissecting hall, where were
assembled the physicians who were to conduct the experiment. Being duly
disrobed and placed, he was informed that an artery was to be opened,
and left to bleed till life expired. An incision in the flesh at the
back of the neck was made, as a mere feint, and warm water allowed at
the same moment to trickle slowly down his shoulder and back, when, in a
brief time, spasms set in, and death ultimately followed.

This gives a clear view of the will power inhering in the mental man,
and its wonderful influence on the body. Sudden news of misfortune, or
great attacks of fear, have produced instant prostration and bodily
suffering, and these cases occur so frequent that all within the range
of an ordinary life are familiar with them.

An English author speaks of the potent power of the mind over the body,
and declares that the act of coughing can be, very often, wholly
restrained by mere force of will. This should not be lost sight of by
any who are attacked with colds or bronchial troubles, or even in the
incipient stages of lung difficulties; as thereby they may lessen the
inflammation, and defer the progress of the disease. We have seen
people, who, having some slight irritation in the larynx, have, instead
of smothering the reflex action, vigorously scraped their throats, and
coughed with a persistence entirely unwise, inducing inflammation, from
which they might date, perhaps, their subsequent bronchial troubles. It
is not in coughs alone that the will exerts a mastery. In a case of
fever, by which an elder brother was brought very low, scarce expected
by either his friends or physician to survive, a neighbor calling, was
allowed to enter the sick-room. The patient was too ill to take much
notice of the visitor, and the visitor likely felt that what he might
say would not effect the result, and, being rough in manners and coarse
of speech, bawled out, in a loud tone, that "he wouldn't give much for
his (the patient's) chances," and stalked out of the room. Happening to
be present, and fearing the effect of this ill-bred visitor's remark, we
drew near the bedside to hear the prostrate invalid whisper out that he
was determined to live, if only to spite the old fellow. His recovery
seemed to date from that event, and in a few weeks he was in possession
of good health.

Consumption is divided into several classes; the more common forms are
the inflammatory, the hereditary, the dyspeptic, and the catarrhal.
There are others, but these suffice for purposes of brief mention of the
leading characteristics of all cases.

The inflammatory is often the more difficult of management than that of
the others, as its attack is violent and prostrating to such a degree as
to render the usual aids of exercise and diet out of the question, for
the most part. Long journeys, for any purpose, are to be avoided, though
removals from the immediate sea-coast, to some dry, sandy section in the
interior, within a hundred miles or so, is advisable. The robust and
strong are equally subject to this class of consumption. Contracting a
violent cold, such as might be taken when in a state of excitement and
great perspiration in a ball-room or at a fire, and without sufficient
protection pass out into the chilling air, inflammation of the lungs
immediately takes place, and the chances are great of either a fatal
termination of life or a shattered constitution.

The hereditary class are more frequent, and, by proper treatment of
themselves, many may attain to a comparatively long life, and be able to
do much of valuable service, if their employment takes them out in the
open air. Of course many, inheriting this disease and having enfeebled
constitutions, cannot be saved, let what will be done, and it is
probably a wise provision that they are not. Consumptives should be
careful to remember their great responsibility in forming alliances
whereby this terrible evil is perpetuated. There should be some law
enacted prohibiting the marriage of confirmed cases of scrofula,
consumption, and insanity, even though complete recovery be had, as
frequently happens in these difficulties.

The dyspeptic cases are numerous, and arise usually from general
debility, caused by insufficient or unwholesome diet, close apartments,
a too sedentary life, long depression of spirits, coupled with, perhaps,
uncleanliness and irregularities, all contributing to this result. These
can all be relieved, and many fully restored, if taken in season, by a
counter course of living.

The catarrhal forms of consumption are more difficult to treat, and, in
numberless instances, baffle all medical skill, and that is very
trifling, which can be applied directly to the seat of trouble. Repeated
"colds in the head," taken and neglected, become by-and-by confirmed,
and pass from the rank of common colds to that of chronic catarrh.
Indeed, catarrh is no more or less than a chronic cold in the head; but
after the lapse of time, and this may vary in different persons, from
one to a score or more of years, it assumes a more virulent character,
involving, perhaps, the whole of the breathing apparatus. Its
encroachments are insidious, and often are lightly considered, but the
general tendency of all cases of catarrhal affections is to the lungs.
Sometimes this approach is by a sudden leap, in consequence, probably,
of a fresh stock of "cold," from the mucous membranes of the nasal
organs to the lungs, and we have in such cases known one of the most
eminent physicians of the country to declare, when examinations were
made at this juncture, that "catarrh had nothing to do with it." This
but illustrates the fallibility of men, and we should never be surprised
when confronted with any fresh testimony tending to confirm this truth.

The dry catarrh, while more aggravating, is less fatal, and life is more
secure, and not as offensive either to friends or themselves, while
other classes of this disease are offensive and more malignant. It is
very obstinate, and yields to no treatment of a specific kind that we
know of. The same general course should be pursued, however, as with
dyspeptic consumptives. The entire medical fraternity are at their
absolute wits' ends, so far as any specific is concerned, for this
almost universal disease. We say universal, since it is within our
knowledge to be largely true, though, while in a mild form, little heed
is given it, and generally the party would deny its presence, even while
more than half conscious that it might exist. In addition to a generous
diet, fresh air, and other matters, of which we shall speak more in
detail as we proceed, a nasal _douche_ before retiring, of tepid water,
with salt enough added to make a weak brine, as half a teaspoonful to a
tumbler, will be in most instances of some benefit. Inhalation and nasal
baths must be the specific means of reaching and alleviating this

Thousands annually die of consumption springing out of this malady.
Time, it would seem, must discover to the race some more efficient
remedy than is now known.

Cold, humid, and variable climates give rise to and feed this disease,
and a change to an equable, warm, or a cool and dry temperature, is

Where heart disease is complicated with consumption, a warm, dry climate
is best; and in some cases, too, as where bronchitis exists in great
disproportion to the amount of tubercular deposit and inflammation of
the lungs, the climate of Florida during the winter would be more bland
and agreeable than that of Minnesota, but each individual varies so much
in constitutional character, that no positive rule can be laid down by
which any one case can be judged. This comes within the province of the
family physician.

We cannot too strongly urge upon the medical faculty, as well as the
friends of the afflicted of whom we have written, that delays are
dangerous. Early action on the first manifestations of lung troubles and
tendencies is necessary if lives are to be saved. It is hard to turn
from the beaten path and enter new, even when larger health is hoped for
and needed, yet that should be resolutely done, though it were far
better the confining and unhealthful course had not been originally
entered upon.



Prevention better than cure.--Local causes of disease.--Our school
system objectionable.--Dr. Bowditch's opinion.--Location of our
homes important.--Damp soils prolific of lung troubles.--Bad
ventilation.--Value of sunshine.--City girls and city life.--Fashionable
society.--Tight lacing fatal to sound health.--Modern living.--The iron
hand of fashion.

The proverb that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," has
been almost totally ignored in its relation to the laws which govern
health. It seems quite as essential, however, to examine into the cause
of disease as it is to seek for remedies which, in many instances, can
work but a temporary cure, so long as the cause is overlooked. One is
but the sequence of the other; and, to remove the malady, or prevent its
recurrence, they have but to remove the cause. This is freely admitted
to be the right principle, yet, is it always the course pursued? Do not
people mislead themselves much, and, instead of going to the root of
difficulty, remain content with what must prove but a temporary

How often, for example, does the physician, when called to the patient
suffering from a cold, inquire to see the shoes or boots of the invalid?
Never; the thing is unheard of. Their questions in the direction of
causes would not reach half way to the real goal which should be made
the point of investigation. Not that the insufficient shoes or boots are
going to have any part in the restoration of the invalid; but it may be
shown, on examination, that they were the real cause of trouble, and, by
a change, prevent in the future a similar attack, from that source at
least. The same is true of half the diseases afflicting mankind; their
prevention may be assured, to a great extent, by attention to the
dictates of hygienic laws, which are no more or less than the laws of
moderation and common sense, and not, as many suppose, the law of
obligation to eat stale bread, or "cold huckleberry-pudding," all the
balance of their lives, though this diet might be beneficial if
ghost-seeing and spirit-rapping was determined upon.

Very many cases of fevers can be directly traced to some local cause,
which should receive as much attention from the physician as does the
patient, and either the one or the other promptly removed. Indeed,
people must learn for themselves to investigate the laws regulating
health, and thus be able, without the aid of any professional, to decide
intelligently all of the more obvious questions.

It does, in this connection, seem that there is great want of judgment
on the part of those having the direction of our public schools, in that
there is so trifling attention given both the study and observance of
the laws which control our existence. What is education without a sound
body? what is life to the creature of broken health? and what is there
which is more valuable and priceless to us? The answer is plain to all,
and yet the whole advancing generation of boys and girls, beyond a mere
inkling in physiology, a possible recollection of the number of bones in
the human frame, and that common air is composed of two principal gases,
they know of hygienic law practically nothing. Worthy pupils of
incompetent pedagogues, who, not being required by the public to
properly inform themselves with a full knowledge of these important
studies, are perhaps in some measure excused for their shortcomings.
Instead of the inculcation of these useful and more vital lessons of
life, they are required to fritter away time and health over a French
grammar, or other equally foolish study, which cannot, in a vast
majority of cases, be of the least service to them. They had much better
be at home making mud-pies (which, by the way, are about the only ones
that ever ought to be made), or learning to bake wholesome bread, or
even chasing butterflies in summer through the green fields, or braving
the cold of winter by joining in some of the healthful out-of-door
sports. It would, perhaps, be proper enough for such as proposed to fit
themselves for teachers, or who expected to spend their lives abroad, or
who, from pure love of a scholastic life,--with the means to follow
their inclinations, and necessary leisure at command,--thought to devote
theirs to its fullest enjoyment and bent. These form the exceptions; but
for all to essay the task, regardless of natural inclination and of the
true relation which life bears to their individual cases, is simply
absurd, and can only be accounted for in this wise, that _fashion_ seems
to demand it, as it does many other outrageous requirements, to some of
which, as they concern health, we shall have occasion to refer as we
proceed. Life is too short, at longest, and is filled with too practical
requirements, for the most of mankind to try to master or even
familiarize themselves with all the sciences of which the world has
knowledge. Even the Humboldts of the race, favored with long life, good
health, and devotedness, declare they have attained to but little more
than the alphabet of knowledge, and they--few in number--have
experienced few of those restrictions which hedge about the lives of
most people. All cannot be great linguists any more than all can be
great inventors, and it were just as valuable and reasonable an
expenditure of time to teach a child to be one as the other. Of what
benefit is a smattering of foreign language, except to make people
ridiculous? and that class is already sufficiently large; far better
that they learned to speak and spell their mother tongue with a
commendable degree of accuracy, or that they learn to train future
families in consonance with the laws of nature, and save to health the
time spent in poorly-ventilated rooms, where, under the pressure of the
modern school system, everything valuable and practical seems sacrificed
to the ephemeral and non-essential. We do not underrate the good our
schools accomplish, not at all; on the other hand, we feel a just pride
in the liberality of the country, and realize that in them lies the only
security for a Republican form of government, and, indeed, our opinions
go further in this direction than that of most persons, for we would
make it obligatory on the part of parents to school their children to a
certain degree, and that no one should be eligible to vote who could not
read and write in the common language of the country.

It is the administration of the school system which we deprecate. Hear
what the famous Dr. Bowditch of Boston says upon this question,
namely:--"* * * Not only does our school system, in its practical
operation, entirely ignore the necessity for physical culture, but it at
times goes farther, and actually, as we believe, becomes the slayer of
our people. * * * We appeal to every physician of ten or twenty years'
practice, and feel sure that in reviewing his cases of consumption he
will find not a few of them in which he will trace to _overwork_ in our
schools the first springs of the malady.

"The result of all this school _training_ is as certain as the day.
Every child who goes through these modern processes must inevitably
suffer, but not all alike. Some have one complaint, some another, and
some, doubtless, finally escape unharmed. At times they only grow pale
and thin under the process. But not a few go through to the exhibition,
and, after working harder than ever for the two or three last weeks of
the term, they gain the much-coveted prize only to break wholly down
when it is taken. The stimulus of desire for success is gone. That has
sustained them up to the last moment. Success having been accomplished,
the victim finds, too late, that what he has been striving for is
nothing, now that it is won, compared with the vitality lost and the
seeds of disease sown."

It is true that there are a very few schools in the country where
physical culture receives, in connection with other duties, its due
share of attention. We know, personally, of but one--the Howland Ladies'
Seminary, at Union Springs, New York, and we understand, on the
authority quoted above, that the Latin and High Schools of Boston are of
this class. Our colleges, however, as a rule, seem as bad as the
schools. Half the students who complete their course come out broken in
health, and those who do not are about the toughest "horned cattle," as
Horace Greeley says, that can be found.

Another important item involving the economy of life is the


which has received little or no consideration, judging from what one may
observe who chooses to look about them. Circumstances entirely beyond
the control of most people conspire to locate for them their places of
abode, and when originally selected no regard was paid to sanitary laws,
and the result many times has been the forfeiture of precious lives as a

Not till a very recent period has the character of the soil figured to
so great an extent as is now conceded. It has been proved by statistics,
both in New England and the mother country, that a heavy, wet soil is
prolific of colds and consumption; while, on a warm, dry soil the latter
disease is little found. If we stop to consider what has been written in
the previous chapters on climate, and that it was stated that a cold,
humid atmosphere, from whatever cause, coupled with variable
temperature, was the chief occasion of consumption, we can the more
easily understand why a wet soil would tend to produce this disease.
Whether the dampness arises from excessive shade, or is inherent in the
soil, which may be so situated as to receive the drainage water of more
elevated surfaces contiguous, is not material, so that it is the
prevailing condition, thereby constantly exhaling cold vapors, which sow
the seeds of death in many an unsuspecting household.

We cannot urge the importance of a right location better than to again
quote from Dr. Bowditch what he once wrote with regard to the residence
of two brothers whose healths were equally good, as was that of their
wives, but one chose a home upon a dry, sandy soil, while the other
settled upon a wet, cold plain--not remote from each other. "Large
families were born under both roofs. Not one of the children born in the
latter homestead escaped, whereas the other family remained healthy; and
when, at the suggestion of a medical friend, who knew all the facts, * *
* we visited the place for the purpose of thoroughly investigating them.
* * * These two houses had nothing about them peculiarly noticeable by
the passing stranger. They were situated in the same township, and
within a very short distance one from the other, and yet scarcely any
one in the village with whom we spoke on the subject agreed with us in
our opinion that it was location alone, or chiefly that, which gave life
or death to the inmates of the two homes."

We suppose thousands must continue to pay the penalty of the faulty
locations of those who first built, since it is difficult to persuade
many to sever the ties which bind them to their early homes, even
though they are unhealthful, to say nothing of the expense to be
incurred in making a change, yet those who have homesteads to establish
encounter none of these drawbacks, and should exercise great care in
making selection of a site for their dwellings.

A dry soil is indispensable to good health, and if it cannot be found as
dry as wished for, it may be remedied by thorough underdraining. A sandy
soil, the poorest or dryest on the farm or lot, is the best point to
erect a healthful home.

The habit of embowering the house with a dense growth of shrubs and
trees, even where the soil is naturally dry, defeats the desired end,
and provokes disease. There are many places made so cosy and attractive
with these aids that, with persons of culture and taste, the tendency is
to run into extremes, and, while they render their homes beautiful to
the eye, they are fatal to life. A few shade-trees and shrubs properly
distributed about the ground can be indulged, and in numbers quite
adequate to give an air of grace and beauty to the home, while not
endangering its inmates. They should stand at proper distances from the
sides and roof, or not to constantly shadow them through the whole
summer, but allow, instead, the caressing sunshine to have full, free
play over them. Again, we have often entered dwellings where it seemed
to be the study of the good, ambitious housewife to shut out all the
light, and shut in--of course, unconsciously--all the death which comes
of dampness and dark, only so that her carpets are kept bright and
shining for some--gossip's tongue.

Sunlight has come to be, of late years, one of the great remedies, and
sun-baths are now duly administered in establishments erected for that
purpose, and there can be no doubt of their efficacy in giving health
and strength to all whose habits of life prevent their exercise in the
open air.

Next to a proper location, by which health is to be promoted, is


and this covers a multitude of minor matters, but we have only room for
considering the subject in its broader aspect.

In olden times ample ventilation was secured through the massive open
chimneys, which, with their generous hearthstones, was such a
distinguishing and healthful feature of the homes of our ancestors. They
were, perhaps, "a blessing in disguise," but that they were a real
blessing there is no doubt. Then, too, they were the grand altars of the
family, around which the sweetest recollections of childhood and youth
cluster, as does the ivy to the walls of old-time buildings, making
them, though rude and rough, to memory most dear.

In place of these natural escapes for foul, and the admission of fresh
air, we have absolutely nothing in the present day to take its place. On
the contrary, air-tight stoves and air-tight furnaces have supplemented
the cheerful blaze of the fireplace, and in lieu of fresh air, a great
amount of poisonous gases are emitted, which stupefy and promote
disease. Especially is this the case where the fuel used is any of the
coals, instead of wood. The most deleterious of coals is the anthracite.
Its heat is scorching and drying beyond any other, and the gases are
more subtle and pernicious, excepting, possibly, charcoal, which,
however, is not used as fuel to any extent.

These air-tight coal stoves, such as are in ordinary use, are the worst
of all, since their name gives confidence to the public, who do not
consider that, while they have the merit of "keeping the fire through
the night," they do not keep the gases within. They are sure to creep
through the apertures, or, if barred there, will escape through the iron
itself, and it need not be very much in quantity to prove offensive to
people with delicate lungs or in a debilitated state of the system. The
strong and well will scout these opinions doubtless, and hold them of
little value, and to them it is not of so much consequence whether they
observe strictly the rules which govern health or no, their robust
constitutions (thanks to their parents, who did observe these rules,
either accidentally or purposely) will carry them along, doubtless, to
a ripe old age; but their children are to be reared in health, and the
fact of vigorous parentage may not, in their cases, where carelessness
prevails, guarantee vigorous lives; and, while the fathers and mothers
may escape from the ill effects of the vitiated atmosphere of their
apartments by exercise in the open air, their children cannot. And it is
well known that the children, in these cases, die one after another, the
result of poor ventilation or unhealthful location, or both combined,
while the parents wonder what the cause can be, ascribing it to all
things but the right.

Everything about our homes should be subjective to the one central idea
of _health_. Things of beauty or luxury, whether in or around the
dwelling, should, if on close scrutiny they are found prejudicial, be at
once removed.

The family sitting-room, if no other in the house, ought to be warmed by
means of a wood fire if a stove is used, yet a grate is far better, and
is the nearest approach to the old-fashioned fireplace attainable in
these times. A flue cut in the chimney near the ceiling, with a register
affixed, will, where stoves or furnaces are used, be of service, and are
quite easily and inexpensively constructed. The windows of
sleeping-rooms should be so made that the top sash can be as readily
lowered as the bottom one raised, and at night the former should be left
down sufficient for the free admission of fresh and the escape of foul
air, but it ought not to draw across the sleeper. Night air is not as
objectionable as the confined air of unventilated rooms. Invalids
should, however, avoid exposure to it as much as possible, since when
out in it, it envelops the whole person, and the chill and humidity may
work serious injury.

The old saw, that "early to bed and early to rise, makes people healthy,
wealthy, and wise," is deserving of more consideration than is accorded
it. Take any city-bred girl, who has been accustomed to late hours and
the excitement of entertainments and parties, and who, by these
unhealthful and killing rounds of so-called pleasure, has become
emaciated and prematurely old, and place her in a well-regulated
home,--the country is by far the best, where early retirement is a rule,
with a wholesome diet,--and she will in a few weeks show a marked
improvement. Mrs. Stowe relates a very interesting story of a city-girl
who had all to gratify her that fond parents could procure, and, though
constitutionally strong, this hothouse, fashionable life had began to
undermine her general health, and having exhausted the skill of the
regular physician, her condition became so alarming that other counsel
was sought; and this new disciple of Esculapius was a shrewd, honest
man, and wont to get at the root of difficulties. He saw at a glance
that the patient's disease was born wholly of _fashion_. He found her
waist so tightly laced as to admit of little room for full and free
respiration; this, with late hours and unwholesome food, was doing its
work. Being asked to prescribe, he first cut loose the stays which bound
her; then, ordering suitable shoes and apparel, gave directions for her
immediate removal to the country, where she was to first rest and lounge
in the sunshine, and as health returned, to romp and frolick in the open
fields and join in the merry glees of country life. With feelings akin
to those coming of great sacrifices, the commands were followed, and
this frail, dying girl was, in one brief summer, so far restored as that
the glow of her checks and the sparkle of her eyes rivalled those of the
farmer's fair daughter whose companion she had been.

City life is exceedingly destructive to young people, even when
considered aside from all undue excitements, indecorous habits, and
improprieties. The custom of late hours, night air, and the vitiated air
of apartments where companies assemble together, with the liability to
contract colds by being detained in draughts, or from want of sufficient
protection while returning from social assemblies; all these things
destroy annually a great army of young people, who either do not think
of consequences or else willfully neglect their lives to pay homage to
fashion--the curse of the world.

We cannot think all parents wholly neglectful in teaching their children
how to preserve health, and much of responsibility must rest with the
young; yet by far the larger portion of parents are so flattered by
alluring admirers, and led by the requirements and glamor of foolish
fashion, that they seem, to the cool observer, to fairly dig and garland
the premature graves of their loved ones.

How we wish we might impress one mother who worships at this abominable
shrine, set up heretofore--but we now hope forever cast down to make
room for an era of good sense and womanly delicacy--in Paris, by either
a dissolute court, or, as we have often been informed, by the _nymphs du
pavé_, who seek to attract by tricks of style till they have come to
rule the whole of their sex, or such portions as have not the moral
courage to mark out an independent course. The violation of health,
contortions of the body, and other absurdities, aside from the vast
expense entailed upon the whole people, are perfectly astounding and
outrageous beyond belief. Let us examine a moment and see if we are
presuming. Granting that every lady in the land expends on an average of
but ten dollars each year for the fashionable make-up of her wardrobe;
that this mite goes for style, and necessary little etceteras growing
out of it, and not in any way for the material itself, which is really
the mountain of difficulty. Now, if there are twenty millions of women
in our country, it would give the sum of two hundred millions of dollars
annually expended for _style_. What a noble charity this would
establish every recurring year. What a relief to pauperism it would
form, and that too without the sacrifice of anything but "style." What a
relief to struggling, disheartened men, whose lives are those of slaves,
and families who pinch and starve themselves that they may possess the
magical key to fashionable society! But what is fashionable society that
it should have such charms for common and honest people? We give in
answer what was given us by one who had had for many years access to it.
He said, "Struggle to avoid it as the worst of calamities." It had swept
him and his family from a position of comparative affluence to one of
misfortune and distress. Fashion is the parent of both--"cussedness" and

We know some young ladies are personally disgusted with all this "fuss
and feathers," who at the same time insist that, if they did not follow
the lead of "society" they would be thrown in the background, as at most
entertainments those who have carefully and elaborately arrayed
themselves receive the lion's share of attention and compliment from the
opposite sex, whose good opinion and company they wish to share. While
there is more of truth in this response than most gentlemen are willing
at first to admit, yet, observant people have ever noted the fact that,
notwithstanding these fashionable and polite addresses at public
assemblies between the beaux and butterflies, the end of the levee
usually terminates the hobnobbing. The "gay ladie" has had, quite
likely, her hour of triumph over her more modest, quiet, and unassuming
rival, now in the background, but whom--when the young man is ready to
proffer his hand and fortune--is most likely to be led to the front,
blushing with her becoming and well-deserved honors, leaving the doting
mothers, with their _dear_ daughters, to reflect on the "strange ways of
you men."

If the world sees, it does not fully believe what it sees, else a change
would surely come. The fact is, while men, especially the young men,
delight to do _honor_ to these devotees of the milliner and
mantua-maker, they cannot--those who have a fair share of good
sense--afford to _marry_ them. Their means, their prospects, and their
happiness forbid it, and they are right in this conclusion. They prefer
to unite their lives with some equally good, and usually more sensible
and healthful girl, but of, perhaps, no special prospects or position in
society. This decision is certainly founded in wisdom. They are forever
relieved from that constant strain on their pride, and the consequent
drain on their purse. Their style of living may, in this latter case, be
squared, without jar or reproach, to their real revenues, and life be to
them worth the living, while they gradually and lovingly lay aside, for
any future exigency, something each year on which, in old age or
disaster, they may confidently lean, and which, though it may not be
great, yet shall, in a reasonable life, be sufficient to tide them to,
and "over the river."

Everything, of course, has some exceptions; and where the fashionable
lady can sustain the family pride and family coach both at one and the
same time, why, then, our remarks and objections have little weight.
Yet, in what we have written may be found the real cause of the increase
of bachelors and old maids in society.

There are a few noble souls who rise above the bondage of their sex, and
follow the dictates of their own consciences in dress as in other
matters. This class embraces usually the very wealthy and the very
learned people who compose the polite and refined circles, as
distinguished from the flippant and fashionable ones. All honor to them.
Their example is great, and furnishes the chief hope of any possible

Some ask, what, indeed, shall we do if we discard all fashion? Our reply
is, to do as the Quakers do. They certainly look quite as presentable
and pretty in their "plain clothes" as do any other class of society.
But I hear the answer: "Yes, and is not their style _fashion_?" We grant
that it is, but at the same time insist that it is both a sensible,
economical, and becoming one; and such a fashion--a fashion of common
sense--is what we indorse, having not the least objection to that sort.
Like, the old-time mode of cutting boys' hair by use of a bowl clapped
over the head, it was a fashion, but a very simple, inexpensive, and
proper one enough, considering the circumstances. Now they must have the
assistance of a professional artist. Singular now one extreme follows

Not until quite a recent date were we inclined to advocate "women's
rights," which is but another name--as modernly interpreted--for the
ballot. Now we are persuaded that it would be wise for the States to
concede this, and thereby open a new channel to them for thought, at
once weakening their hold on fashion, and enlarging their views of life
and its requirements. Good to the race, it would seem, must come of any
change whereby the rising generation shall have less of fashion and its
attendant evils, and more of health, with its accompanying blessings.

How few of perfectly healthy girls do we see among all those with whom
we are each severally acquainted. Tight lacing, began in early
childhood, is one of the chief of evils. You ask a girl of twelve years
if she is not too tightly dressed, and the reply is "no;" and the mother
is sure to argue that if the girl does not complain it is none of the
father's business to meddle. The fact is, the child has been gradually
brought to that state of unconsciousness of any discomfort by having
been subjected to this abominable process from a very tender age, and
being continued each year, the waist is scarce half the natural size it
should have been at womanhood. Take a country girl who has grown up free
from this practice, and has a well-developed frame, and put on her the
harness of her fashionable sister, and draw it to the point the latter
is accustomed to wear it, and you shall see whether there is any wincing
or no. The argument of these unreasoning mothers is that of the Chinese,
who dwarf their children's feet by beginning at an early period, and,
doubtless, if these youths were similarly questioned, they, too, would
complain of no inconvenience.

In the management and care of children, fond parents seem, in these
later years, little else than a bundle of absurdities. For instance,
take children of from three to ten years, and you shall see, in a
majority of cases, when dressed for the street, their backs ladened with
fold on fold of the warmest clothing, while their poor knees are both
bare and blue.

Ah! we forget, perhaps, that the physician and undertaker must live; and
then the army of nurses and others, too, are to be provided for, quite
as the fashionable lady would make reply to any _impertinence_ in
matters of her dress, that it kept an army of sewing-girls employed who
would otherwise be left to starve!

One of our most vigorous writers, treating this subject, says:--

"Showy wardrobe, excessive work with the needle, where it is done to
gratify a taste for display, or morbid fancy for exquisite work, is a
crime. Shoulders are bent, spines are curved, the blood, lacking its
supplies of oxygen, loses vitality and creeps sluggishly through the
veins, carrying no vivid color to the cheek and lips, giving no activity
to the brain, no fire to the eye. Let women throw away their fancy work,
dispense to a degree with ruffles and tucks, and, in a dress that will
admit of a long breath, walk in the clear bracing air.

"Mothers should begin early to lay the foundations of health. Children
should have plenty of vigorous, joyous exercise out of doors. They
should have romping, rollicking fun every day, at the same time giving
exercise to every part of the body, and a healthy tone to the spirits.
The body and soul are so intimately blended that exercise for the one is
of little value when the other is repressed. Thus the limbs will become
well knit and beautifully rounded, the flesh will be firm and rosy, and
the whole frame will be vigorous and elastic--vital to the finger tips.
Better that our youth should have a healthy _physique_, even if they
cannot read before they are ten years old, as in this case they would
soon overtake and outstrip the pale, narrow-chested child who is the
wonder of the nursery and the Sunday-school. Children are animals that
are to be made the most of. Give them ample pasturage, and let them be
as free as is consistent with the discipline they need; keep the girls
out of corsets and tight shoes, give them plain food, fresh air, and
plenty of sleep."

Nothing invites disease so much as the present style of living among the
well-to-do people. Nearly everything tends among this class to
deteriorate general health, and, since their numbers have within the
last decade greatly increased, the influence on the country must be
markedly detrimental, and, but for the steady flow of vitalizing blood
from the Old World, the whole Yankee race would ere long, inevitably

We have dwelt in this chapter at considerable length on the importance
of right training and education of the young, and especially of girls,
though no more than the subject seems to demand. Boys are naturally more
out of doors, since their love of out-of-door life is greater than that
of girls, and their sports all lead them into the open air, and by this
means they more easily correct the constitutional and natural tendencies
to disease, if any there be. Then, too, the iron hand of fashion has not
fastened itself so relentlessly upon them as to dwarf their bodies and
warp their souls, as it has in some degree the gentler and better and
more tender half of mankind, to whom the larger share of this chapter
seems the more directly to apply.



Indiscretions.--Care of themselves.--Singular effect of consumption on
mind.--How to dress.--Absurdities of dress.--Diet.--Habits of
people.--How English people eat.--What consumptives should eat.--Things
to be remembered.--The vanity of the race.--Pork an objectionable
article of diet.--Characteristics of the South.--Regularity in
eating.--The use of ardent spirits by invalids.--The necessity of
exercise.--The country the best place to train children.--Examples in
high quarters.--Sleep the best physician.--Ventilation.--Damp
rooms.--How to bathe.

It matters not what virtues climates may possess, if certain fundamental
laws regulating health are to be disregarded by the invalid. The robust
and strong may, perhaps, for a season violate these laws with impunity;
but, even in their cases, every serious indiscretion, if not immediately
felt, is as a draft on them, bearing some future date, sure of
presentation, while the payment is absolute. It may be five, fifteen, or
fifty years ere the boomerang of indiscretion returns, but come it will.
Invalids will need to watch and guard against all pernicious habits, and
to forego doing many things which they were accustomed to do while in
health, but which under the altered circumstances are extremely

All pulmonic patients will, while taking counsel of some physician, do
well to remember that their cases rest largely in their own hands;
indeed, more depends on their own care of themselves than on the
efficacy of any system of medicine. Lung disease is usually of a most
flattering character, and its influence on the mind differs from that of
any other, in that the patient is lulled into a serene and hopeful
condition. This sense of security attends no other ill to the same
extent. It is perhaps fortunate that such is the case, since, in many
instances, there would be little vantage ground on which to rally.
Still, while this peculiarity seems to be and is an advantage, there is
another aspect of it which is quite as damaging, viz., the neglect and
inattention, into which the patient is, too often, betrayed by this
fancied security; frequently resulting in fatal consequences. It is,
again, a most singular fact that, while the consumptives are thus
blinded to their real danger, they become, quite as readily as other
people, alarmed concerning friends who happen to be similarly afflicted;
and this should serve as a caution against the companionship of
invalids. Indeed, the influence of mind upon mind is so positive and
subtle as to render it important that the invalid's surroundings be made
as cheerful and bright as possible. The sunshine of good company rivals
that of the day in restorative power.

Among the more essential matters in the way of hints to invalids, left
for brief elaboration in this chapter, is that of


This should be easy-fitting and comfortable. Woollen under-clothing is
required during nine months of the year in our climate; and, except it
should disagree with the person, ought to be worn. It carries off the
exhalations better, leaving the skin dryer and less liable to colds. The
weight of the material can be varied to suit the changing seasons. For
the summer months a mixed article, of wool and cotton, is desirable; but
in no case should a change be made from all wool to all cotton. It is
better to continue in the use of wool altogether than to commit this
error. It is not a hardship to wear woollen through the hottest season
of the year. Half of all our seamen do it, even while sailing in the
tropics, and both their health and comfort is undoubtedly increased by
it. It is, indeed, essential for many patients to wear it as a guard to
some extent against summer complaints. If any inconvenience of heat is
experienced at mid-day, it is better to change the outside clothing,
adjusting that to the thermometer, rather than to disturb one's
underwear. There are some sensitive-skinned people whom, we know, cannot
endure the contact of flannel; such can, however, usually wear, without
inconvenience, the mixed goods--especially if it be washed once or twice
before it is used.

It is important that all the clothing worn through the day should at
night be laid aside, and a nightdress substituted, which should be a
flannel wrapper coming nearly or quite to the feet. Changes of underwear
ought to be made once each week, and special care taken that it be well
aired and dried.

Never go without a chest protector. Considerable relief is afforded by
the use of this convenient and inexpensive article. Every old asthmatic
appreciates their value, and we have known such people, years ago, who
wore them. They warm the chest, and thereby loosen and soothe a cough.
They may be of any woollen material almost, so that it is soft and warm.
The best article is a piece of buckskin, lined upon one side with a
single thickness of flannel made in the form and size of a dinner plate,
with a piece clipped out to accommodate the throat; and to the corners
of the clipping attach pieces of tape. This tied around the neck and
over the under-clothing will prove not only a great relief, but will
help the system to better resist a cold; and, for gentlemen, it ought to
be in constant use, whether well or ill, as it serves to equalize the
clothing over the chest, which is now partially exposed by the fashion
of their vests. This invaluable little article can be obtained, when
there are no loving fingers to make it, at almost any city drug-store.
By wearing it in the manner indicated, it will not require to be washed
at all.

The absurdities and crimes of fashion in dress we have discussed
elsewhere, and only stop now to say that they should be laid aside by
the invalid. Tight lacing, tight collars, knee bands and garters, and
thin, tight shoes and boots, are not only foolish, but incompatible with
high health. Great good sense has, however, characterized both men and
women within the last few years in regard to the covering for the feet.
Every person who has occasion (and all should have) to be out of doors
in cold and even wet weather, ought to be provided with strong
thick-soled boots or shoes, large enough to admit a patent insole, which
will keep the feet dry, and at night this should be removed and dried.
The security from colds is almost assured whenever this precaution is
taken; at least they are a great preventive of colds, and they give, in
addition, a sense of solid comfort beyond that which is derived from
anything else, save, perhaps, a warm fire on a cold day, or a generous
bank account.

They should be an easy fit, as well as thick-soled; and, without this
virtue, the other is rendered null. Indeed, better have loose thin boots
or shoes, with holes in them even, than _tight_ thick ones. But they can
and should possess both of the characteristics named. It is safe to say
that any consumptive who has neither courage nor sense enough to adopt
the kind recommended, might as well be given over at once, and without
further ado.

Persons whose health is so perfect that they can for the time indulge
and endure anything, and who cannot be said to have had any experimental
knowledge of lame backs, sides, or weak stomachs, and who do not know
practically whether they have any such members at all or not, will not
be expected, at present, to pay any regard to what we have to offer
under the head of


The other, and, unfortunately, most numerous class, know how sadly they
have fallen from their first estate. There was a time with them when
they never dreamed that their stomachs were not as strong as a
cider-mill, and could grind anything and everything which their greedy
natures and careless habits desired. There is no other living animal,
except it be the hog, that can eat and tolerate just the same variety of
materials, cooked and raw, as man. Their tastes and habits are
strikingly alike, it must be confessed, and their ends are not unlike;
both die untimely deaths, with this difference, one is in due time
killed, while the other, in equally due time, usually kills himself, the
advantage being in favor of the porker, since his career, if brief, is,
also, to the limit, blissful.

The habits of men are a curious mixture of sense and the want of it.
Endowed with some of the highest attributes, and yet forgetting that
they are anything beyond the veriest machines. They who leap from docks
and bridges are not the only suicides. These shock the world, and are
not uncommonly denied the last kindly offices of the church, while the
slower suicides are borne triumphantly from the chancel within to that
without--all turning on methods, and that is, indeed, important. Method
in living should receive our earliest and best attention. All need to
become good _methodists_, especially in some senses of that word.

The English men and women are the most systematic in their habits of
living; and, as a natural result, they are remarkably robust. They take
ample time in which to eat. An hour at dinner is as little time as they
customarily allow, while those who can, often devote much more. They eat
slowly, and talk a great deal, and laugh much, and by the time they have
done they are fairly red in the face, and keep so pretty much all the
time; and it is as healthy a sign as one can hang out. Good digestion
waits on appetite with them, and they grow stout and formidable. They
not only eat slow, but they know what to eat and what makes good blood.
Suppose every Englishman could be sent into France and obliged to live
on French cooking; does any one suppose they would remain the same
people they now are? Not a bit of it. Take from John Bull his roast
beef, and mode of eating it, and you change the character of the race
inside of a century. They must have their favorite dish, and about as
often as a friend of ours, Dr. M----, who, by the way, is a good type of
an Englishman, and enjoys the things of this world much more than is
common with Americans. On asking M---- how often he indulged in roast
beef, he replied, that about three hundred and sixty-five times in the
year was his rule! Invalids may be assured it was not a bad one. Of
course, he took a great deal of active exercise, seldom using a horse
while engaged in the practice of his profession.

Consumptives, and those who are generally debilitated and who need a
fresh stock of good blood, cannot do better than confine themselves, so
far as meats are concerned, to beef and mutton. The latter should be
well cooked, while the former ought to be eaten rare done. If it is at
first distasteful in this manner, proceed by degrees, and by-and-by it
will grow in favor; but commence with it rare at the outset, when
possible. Whether roasted or broiled, beef should not be cooked as to
destroy all its natural color. Let the inside show some of the blood,
the more the better, and the quicker it is assimilated to the needs of
the system. General Rawlins, the late secretary of war, died of
consumption, but his life was prolonged many months by the use of rare
and even raw beef. He came to like it better raw than in any other way.
Once a day is, perhaps, as often as may be required; much, however,
depends on the amount of exercise taken. Wild game is likewise good,
especially venison, and where that can be had, beef and mutton may be
dispensed with. Fish and eggs furnish a variety to the invalid's diet,
and such vegetables as are liked may be indulged, of course. Never eat
but of one kind of meat at any one meal, and not over two kinds of
vegetables, with wholesome, fresh bread (Graham preferred), and the
coarser the better. Insist on having coarse bread; let it be made of
unbolted meal. As for drinks, a single cup of very weak tea or coffee,
diluted chiefly with milk, will not harm. A glass of milk is better in
warm weather, if it agrees. Let water alone, except it is that which the
system has become familiarized with; then, half a glass is preferable to
a larger quantity at meals. Sousing the stomach at meal-time with a cold
_douche_ is only harmful. After the food has had time to digest and pass
out of the stomach, then, if one is a great water-drinker, take a glass,
or so much of a glass as you think is required, and it will be of
benefit. Make the heartiest meal come at noon, and eat a light supper at
night, using bread and butter for the most part.

_Things to be remembered and observed in eating_, are slowness and
thorough mastication; never wash your food down with any drink. Talk and
laugh, taking as much time to do this as you do to eat. A noted
humorist says that "every time a man laughs he takes a kink out of the
chain of life, and thus lengthens it." That is true philosophy, and it
is little understood by our nervous, rushing people. We grin and snicker
enough, at ourselves and others, but downright hearty laughter is a
stranger to the most of us. It should be cultivated till, in an honest
way, it supplants, at least, the universal snicker. There is both
comfort and health in rousing peals of laughter.

_Things to be avoided in eating_, are hot, fresh baked breads of all
kinds; also avoid all manner of pies as you would a pestilence, likewise
cakes, of every description; they are the crowning curse. Women will
make it and children will cry for it, probably, for all the generations
to come, as they have in the past. But more truthful epitaphs should be
inscribed over them than is now done. It is strange how fashion rules in
diet as in dress. Why, the Koohinoor diamond of Victoria is not more
valued than is a steady supply of poundcake by most of women and
children. We know of a family who make it a boast that _they_, when
young, had _all they wanted_; which either implies their mother to have
been unwisely indulgent, or else the children to have been
over-clamorous. It certainly does not imply wealth, and, least of all,
culture, for the poorest families have usually the largest display of
these things, while those with enlarged means and sense dispense with
them out of good judgment.

Travelling on the cars, a short time since, we had for a companion a
shrewd Yankee who had the honor to be postmaster of his city, and at the
same time was engaged in the boot and shoe trade; one of those stirring
men who, if he did not possess genius, had its nearest kin--activity,
and illustrated the fact that a man _might_ do two things well at one
and the same time. He gave us samples of human nature which is quite
apropos to the general subject. In discussing the eccentricities of
merchandising, he said that usually wealthy customers entering his store
would ask to see his cheaper class of boots, such as would do service,
"honest material, but not the most expensive," and from that class would
make their selections; but, whenever parties entered whose means were
known to him to be limited, and yet whose "pride of family" and personal
vanity were in increased ratio to their decreased capital, he never
ventured even to suggest the class of goods taken by the wealthy, lest
offense be given. His rule was to show to such his very best goods
first. They wished to display "a notch above their betters." And so with
the cake question. Some of even the poorest families of New Englanders
doubtless eat more of this material than does the Royal family of
England, if it could but be known.

There remains yet another article of food to be proscribed. We refer to
the pork question. All ought to be good Jews on this subject. Their
prohibition is, we believe, founded on the intrinsic unhealthfulness of
the thing itself. Its use is universal in this country, and in the South
it forms the chief meat diet. This latter fact comes of their mode of
agriculture more than original preference. They devoted all labor to
cotton growing, and had their meat and grain to buy. The question with
the planter in laying in his supplies was what would go farthest, at a
given price, as food for his slaves. Bacon and flour were always found
to answer the economic query best. The West furnished bountiful
supplies, and readily floated these products to a market, where
competition was not only not thought of, but entirely out of the
question. Cattle and sheep raising (outside of Texas) had no growth or
encouragement among them. The planters soon fell into the habit of using
bacon on their own tables, and the result is, it has continued to form
the staple article for all classes there for several generations. The
darkies have rather flourished upon it, while the whites have suffered
greatly in consequence.

Its use undeniably produces scrofula, salt-rheum, tetter, ringworm,
humors in the blood, rheumed eyes, enlarged glands, sore eyes, and
lastly, cancer. Almost any community in the South will afford several
examples of one or all of these diseases, and all directly traceable to
the excessive use of salt pork. In a somewhat sparsely settled
neighborhood near Central Georgia, known as Social Circle, a dozen cases
of cancer alone can, in one form or another, be found, and that is one
of the most salubrious sections in all the southern country.

They have become so enamored of "hog and hominy," that they are fairly
superstitious or foolish regarding the use of some other kinds of meat.
For instance, mutton, in any form, they are disgusted with as a rule. We
tried to get at the reason while sojourning there, but never fairly
succeeded, though the impression was, plainly, that they did not think
it proper food for white people anyway, and then the "odor was so
disgusting," and altogether it was only fit for "trash folks." We scarce
hope to be believed when we state, that we have seen young ladies refuse
to sit at the table where this dish was served, and served, too, out of
compliment to their guests from the North.

This same feeling was largely shared by the colored people, and, while
it was no infrequent thing for the "smoke-house"--where the bacon was
kept--to be broken open in ante-war times, taking the risk of detection
and dogs, it was almost an unheard-of occurrence that a sheep was
stolen. They roamed, what few there were, at will and unharmed, except
by dogs and wild beasts--the special benefit accruing to their owners
being simply the wool. During and since the war, matters have been
undergoing a change, and sheep raising is receiving more attention, and
beginning to be valued as an article of food. Still, during weeks last
winter, the Atlanta markets did not show a single carcass of mutton,
notwithstanding the great extent of country tributary to it by means of
her railways.

This change above referred to, while of slow growth, is, in part, owing
to the example our troops set, the experience of their prisoners, their
straitened circumstances, and lastly, to the infusion of Northern
society among them.

While there are undoubtedly tenfold more of those diseases in the South
consequent on the use of pork, than what there is at the North, yet its
consumption is vastly in excess with us of what it should be. There is
no doubt of this. Scrofula, salt-rheum, and ophthalmia, are among the
chief developments at the North. At the North greater and better variety
of food among all classes is in use, to say nothing of better cooking,
which wards off some of the worst results.

The natural tendency is to greater use of pork in the more northern than
in the Southern States, since the climate would seem to call for it; but
we have shown its use at the South to be the result of circumstances
more than of _original_ preference and probable inclination, since all
peoples of low latitudes, of a high standard of civilization, elect a
lighter diet than those of cooler climates.

There are some who declaim against the use of any and all kinds of meat
for food, and advocate a purely vegetable diet. There is much that can
be said in its favor, and it ought, with fruits, to form at least two of
the three daily meals. The system would be in better tone, and the mind
as well. But there are extremes in all things, and these sometimes
govern the conduct of men. A happy medium is usually the best, and for
our climate, we believe the use of the right kinds of meat to be not
only healthful but eminently proper. The natural law aids to this
conclusion. We see the people of the tropics indulging largely in fruit,
which an allwise Providence has placed there and adapted to their wants;
again, at the poles the inhabitants live almost wholly on the fat of
animals--a half-dozen tallow candles being eaten at a meal, when
supplied by strangers. The intense cold requires this heavy fuel to
supply the needed heat and comfort. What would an exclusive vegetable
diet be worth to them, exposed as they are? With us, lying between the
two extremes, with a climate and country abounding in both fruits and
animals, with seasons of cold and heat in nearly equal extremes, it
seems quite rational that a mixed diet, regulated by common-sense rules,
is the best. Certainly the highest civilization to which man has yet
attained is found in the temperate zones, where neither the one nor the
other extreme in diet has obtained.

A manifest advantage and improvement in general health can, however, be
effected by paying a more enlightened regard to those things whereof we
dine. People with gluttonish inclinations can easily and do make
themselves sick while subsisting on an entirely fruit diet; hence, if
discretion is needed in the use of the simplest articles of food, of
course it cannot be dispensed with while indulging in other sorts.

But, in a volume of this character, we cannot amplify the details of
this very interesting and important topic to that extent we could wish.
Suffice it to say, that so far as pork is concerned, we abjure all to
leave it severely alone. There is a variety of other meats great enough,
from which all may choose, and there are no good elements inherent in
pork which cannot be supplied in other meats, or by the free use of good
fresh butter, which is at all times a much better _fuel_ for the system
than pork.

Regularity in eating is highly essential, and too much stress cannot be
placed upon this injunction to the sick. It is quite as important to
those in health who would remain so; but then, few in health believe
that, or if they do, their habits do not conform to their belief. The
duties of life should conform to the laws of health, and where there is
any conflict, shove duties overboard always.

Indigestion is the result of irregular, hasty, or unwholesome meals, and
likewise meals in quantity beyond that required by genuine hunger and
health. It is the mother of many evils, some one of which will be sure
to visit, in time, all who violate themselves as above indicated.

Many there are who, troubled with a cough, sore throat, and general
debility, think they have the consumption, whereas it is, at the outset,
nothing but indigestion. They will go on eating heartily, and continue
their pie and cake, these being so pleasant to the palate; they say,
"one piece will not do harm," "one swallow never made a summer," and
thus they continue till complete prostration takes possession of them.

The use of stimulants at or after a meal may be done with advantage in
some cases, but it should only be taken when the physician so advises.
We have heard of consumption being cured by the free use of whisky; but
should the habit of using it become an uncontrolled one, we question
whether the life of the individual is worth the saving at this cost to
community and friends. Some of the most eminent among the faculty
recommend it, while others do not. When cod-liver oil is freely used, a
spoonful of whisky ought, perhaps, to accompany it. If cream, butter, or
the fat of mutton or beef be freely eaten at the noon or morning meal,
and they are about as useful as the oil itself, stimulants are not so
much needed, except that of


which is really one of the medicines most needed by consumptives,
dyspeptics, and hosts of others who are complaining. A daily dose of the
saw-horse or wash-tub isn't bad for weak lungs and bodies, or for strong
ones who wish to continue thus. Take a thoroughly well person,
accustomed to an active, out-of-door life, shut them up and confine them
to a bed, and a tolerable invalid will soon be the result. The converse
of this holds good, namely, take an invalid who is able to walk about
the house, but feeble in spirit and body, if exercised daily out of
doors, a gradual return to health is apt to follow. The strong, to
continue the growth of their powers, must give themselves constant
practice. The story of the man who commenced to lift the calf, and
continued the task daily till after it had grown to be an ox,
illustrates this. Moderate and constant labor is the law of both life
and health.

There are two classes who need counselling--those who overwork either
mind or body or both, and there are many such, especially among those
who conduct the multitude of our public journals. No profession is so
exacting or exhausting as is theirs, or so generally thankless, and none
so greatly influential for good or evil. These classes are, however,
small compared with those who die for the want of a proper amount of
physical exercise.

The weak-lunged portion of the world must have physical exercise out of
doors, or they must die. There is hope for them if they will but consent
to labor in the open air. Those who cannot hold a plow and hoe corn,
should jolt themselves on the back of a horse at a good round trot. If
that is too much, in their debilitated condition, canter the animal; but
if only a walking gait can be endured, why, hitch the horse in the stall
and go on foot. Go briskly--get some errands to do which require to be
done daily; take a contract to drive the mail out into the country, or,
if no business can be had, ride on horseback to the mountains, spending
the whole season in the going and returning. Do no studying or
letter-writing by the way, and especially none to lady-loves. It will do
little good to send the body off on a health trip, and have, meanwhile,
the mental arm around your sweetheart. And it works against your
recovery even worse when you are situated so as to substitute these
mental for real flirtations. This does not so much apply to married men.
They who have wives or husbands would be the better of their company and

Invalids who cannot travel, either at home or elsewhere, in consequence
of weakness, should sit in the open air in some sheltered corner of the
verandah, or of their room, and bathe in the light and sunshine, being
careful to avoid all draughts.

A young man was just starting out in business. He was to leave his home
in New England to engage in active life in one of the large cities
situate on Lake Erie. He had bidden his childhood's home his first
adieu, and meeting with a friend, sought some counsel; this friend, at
the close of a somewhat lengthy interview, and as the sum of all he had
uttered, said: that he should remember to practice three things, if he
would have his efforts crowned with success, namely, the first was
_Perseverance_,--the second was _Perseverance_, and the third was
_Perseverance_. So it is with pulmonic patients: if they would recover,
aside from the aids of diet, dress, and all the other etceteras, they
must first and all the time continue to _Exercise_--EXERCISE--EXERCISE
the body in the open air.

The distinguished Dr. Willard Parker once said to us that he put a
consumptive on the back of a horse at his office-door in New York, and
told him to ride for his life. He did ride for his life, and, after a
six months' journey of about two thousand miles, having traversed the
Central States, he returned with the assurance of his physician that he
had overcome his disease.

There is often criminal fault in parents about the matter of exercise.
They who are in affluent circumstances, and others who would be thought
affluent; and again, that class (and, we are sorry to say, it is a large
one) who are so very tender of their children, and whose mothers do all
their own household labor, only so that their daughters may be the
admiration of a ball-room, or else through fear they will "get sick" if
they put their hands to anything which has kept their mothers so strong
and well.

If parents did their whole duty, they would place the boys upon the
farm, where they might grow strong and lay well the foundations of life,
while the girls should bear a hand at making as well as eating bread.
The art of cooking is a science, by the way, very little understood, and
there is scope and verge enough for any ordinary genius, and as noble a
service to mankind may be accomplished by its mastery as any that comes
within the pale of human life.

Health seems almost ignored in these later days by parents, so far as
the training of their children is concerned. Their overweening pride and
love blinds them to what is their true duty. They feel it would be so
trying for their "dear boy" to do any kind of manual labor, and it is so
bad that his delicate hands should be soiled and hardened by any toil,
that they would deny themselves of even the necessaries of life in order
their fair-haired boy may be thought such a "nice young man," and so
"genteel." Their judgment, however, is never in error with regard to
some of the neighborhood "rapscallions." Their heads are perfectly level
on the question of "those rowdy boys." Their advice is as sound as it is
free. They can predict with greater accuracy than can any of the
second-sightseers as to the ultimate end of these embryo ladies' men,
good-for-nothings, sharpers, spendthrifts, and paupers. They know the
process full well whereby these boys can be transformed into strong,
honest, enterprising, and useful citizens. They do not forget, either,
though many would but for an occasional gibe from some envious Mrs.
Grundy, that both they and their husbands were the children of obscurity
and poverty; which, rather than being any dishonor, as it is often
thought, particularly by the vainer sex, is a badge of genuine honor and
royal patent of the man's energy and industry.

Witness the noble example set Republicans by the head of the most
illustrious empire in the world, and consider how wise a Queen and
mother may be, while her love for her family is not excelled by that of
any other true and devoted mother. She realizes the necessity and value
of sound health, if long and useful lives are to be attained. We see her
sons doing duty for years in the ranks of the common sailor and soldier,
enduring the privations and hardships incident to such service, and they
thus secure not only health, but an insight into human life and thought
and nature more valuable than any of the lessons learned from books.

All excesses in labor are to be reprehended, and not uncommon is it that
we hear of health ruined and even life jeopardized by some foolish or
thoughtless effort. Young men ought to guard against strife in labor,
which usually accompanies an ambition to excel. We know of an instance
where a company of boys, by lifting against each other, one was
ruptured. And again, an "itinerant" came along with a machine known as a
lung-tester; one fair-haired, slender youth, having fears he would fall
below the average, made so great an effort as seriously to impair his
health for the time. Another case of a boy, who was frequently into some
daring scheme of house-climbing or leaping, sought the crest of a cliff,
some thirty feet, and, to astonish his companions, essayed the feat of
flying; and, though he flew well enough, the lighting proved too much,
since, as he struck the ground, both his legs were broken short off. We
cite these various instances, coming within the range of boys' sports,
for the purpose of warning others from attempting excesses. Leaping,
running, climbing, are well enough in their way, and may be practiced in
perfect safety, as millions of boys have practiced them with no
detriment, but absolute advantage. Care should be exercised, and counsel
given, to beware of the danger of going to extremes. The race over the
meadows for the cows; hoeing in the garden or field; sawing or cutting
wood for the fire; riding the horse to mill; a walk to the village
post-office; holding plow; raking hay; the most of which are charming
things to do, and just what boys should do to become strong and capable

The renowned of any age usually come from humble life, in which
character, both physical and mental, has had opportunity for
development. Washington was a farmer's boy; so were Adams, Jefferson,
Putnam, Jackson, Webster, Clay, Douglas, Lincoln, and Raymond, of the
past; and Grant, Sherman, Trumbull, Emerson, Bryant, Buckingham, and
Greeley, of the present; while nine out of every ten of successful lives
in any department of labor have come from the fields of country life.

Gymnasiums offer a very good substitute for outdoor exercise; and if
practice in them is at all times controlled by a careful judgment, the
result is undoubted benefit. Indeed, the lung power of an individual can
be more rapidly enlarged here than elsewhere, since exercise is here
adapted and may be directed solely to that end. However, one may not
require for this purpose anything beyond a simple and inexpensive
apparatus, consisting of a cross-bar and a pair of rings attached to
some point above, with just room enough to swing the person clear of the


is the "sweet restorer," and invisible physician, playing an important
part in the restoration and maintenance of health. Without this daily
dying, as we are constituted, there could be no daily living; and
whatever promotes sound, natural, balmy slumber is beyond all price in
the economy of life. Chief among these promptings to restful slumber are
a clear conscience, proper exercise, a suitable diet, and place. All
but the latter have been considered. One-third of the whole time of life
is spent in bed. Suppose an individual has attained the age of
seventy-five years, twenty-five of this, on the average, have been
passed in sleeping! How essential, then, it becomes to understand and to
have every help which can be afforded, in securing the required rest our
wearing frames demand.

The first requisite is an airy room, capable of constant ventilation,
either by the windows, doors, or flues, or by all. Next, a comfortable
bed, of almost any material, except cotton and feathers, though the
latter might be indulged in during the severest season; but it is better
to dispense with them _in toto_, and use instead a mattress of hair,
husk, moss, or straw. These even should be frequently aired, but only
upon bright sunny days, and occasionally changed altogether for new
material. In place of heavy cotton counterpanes use woollen blankets at
all seasons.

Consumptives, and invalids generally, should never sleep under the
former, as they are unhealthful. All bed-clothing should be carefully
dried before a fire ere it is used. Many a one can date their final cold
and fatal cough from this neglect of otherwise thoughtful housewives.
Never put your friend in the northwest bedroom if it has not been duly
aired in summer, or warmed in winter. If this is not done, it is almost
manslaughter. That corner in our houses should be used for parlors,
store-rooms, or anything, rather than for sleeping people in. We have
had some experience in this matter and know how utterly defenseless
people are when assigned one of these rooms where death dwells. An open
attack with a bludgeon is preferable. Cold, fresh air is beneficial, but
a _cold, fresh_ bed isn't.

No one thing, perhaps, serves more to drive away sleep than cold feet.
People ought not to go to bed with cold feet. Dry them by the fire, or
rub them till warmth comes. To avoid cold feet wash them frequently in
cold salt water, rub them thoroughly, and wear loose, thick boots or
shoes. Brisk walking, or chafing them on a rough mat will tend to
restore warmth. Stockings should be changed often, and when possible, in
winter, placed by the fire to dry. There should always be some extra
covering upon the bed over the lower extremities in cold weather; it
gives, in various ways, additional comfort to the sleeper, and there is
less need of covering for the body. An extra blanket over the footboard,
in our changeful climate, is a wise measure. All have at some time been
awakened in the night by the increasing cold, which would prevent
further sleeping if there were no remedy of this sort at hand. No more
covering should be used, however, than seems judicious. Pernicious
habits may be formed in this respect, which should be corrected, though
we are aware some natures are more delicate and sensitive to cold than

Many there are, who sleep with their heads covered; this is highly
destructive to health, and cases of scrofula may be directly traced to
this custom. The poisonous exhalations from the body, together with the
constant exhaustion of the oxygen from breathing, renders this confined
air foul to the last degree. "The custom of covering the faces of
children with the bed-clothes," says the celebrated Florence
Nightingale, "produces a large share of the cases of scrofula found
among them."

Invalids afflicted with catarrhal troubles should be careful to sleep
upon their sides with their faces as much downward as possible, and
dispense with all proppings, except a small thin pillow, the end of
which will serve to give the right inclination to the face. The reasons
for this, in these cases, are so obvious that there is no need of their
statement here. The side is, for that matter, the best attitude for the
sleeper in all cases, as also is a very slight elevation of the head,
since the flow of the blood is less obstructed.

The habit of throwing yourself down to rest during the day without extra
covering, is a source of many colds. The invalids should remove their
outer dress wholly and get into bed, and thus secure not only immunity
from possible colds, but a better circulation of the blood than they can
have if this is not done.

Avoid the taking of colds in every way possible; and to do this,
watchfulness and care is needed. Never sit in a draught in either
private or public assemblies; no, not even if in church. There is no law
of courtesy which requires any one to inflict suffering on themselves,
or perhaps to endanger their lives, out of regard to numbskulled
architects or incompetent "building committees."

If a cold is taken give it prompt attention, and "scotch" it in the bud
if possible. As to treatment, all are apt to have some favorite method.
Pursue any rational course in which you have most faith, only so that
you remain in your room, eat little or nothing, and keep the system

Bathing should not be neglected, and cold water baths in summer are
refreshing and should be frequently indulged; but in winter, temper the
water so as not to shock the system. This jumping into ice-cold water
may do for persons in the highest health, perhaps, but the invalid will
have nothing to do with this sort. When the sponge is used then cold
water applied to one limb or section of the body will do very well, if
followed by brisk rubbing. This should be done in the morning, while
tepid baths, tempered that no shock be produced, ought to be taken just
before retiring, whether it be the sponge or full bath.

The invalid who is much debilitated should take all baths in a warm
room, with an assistant, bathing one portion while the other is kept
partially dressed.

There is always a small current of air moving over the floor, and to
protect against this, keep the feet covered, and the first thing to be
done on rising in the morning, or at any time, should be to dress your
feet, otherwise, even if you do not take cold, cold feet will be apt to
keep your company the entire day.

We may also add here, that if by any exposure the feet get wet, to
prevent taking cold, they should be, on returning home, at once plunged
into cold water, rubbed briskly, and dried before the fire.

Finally, pure air, thick shoes, warm clothing, a nourishing diet,
liberal exercise, early to bed and early to rise, with a rigid
regularity of habit, and the abolition of fashion in the things
specified, and many who are now invalids may live long and be
comparatively happy. But, indulge in corsets, thin, shoes, irregular
hours, and live in damp and unventilated houses, eating fine-bolted, hot
breads, with liberal supplies of pie and pound-cake, and it will not be
long ere the undertaker will be cultivating your acquaintance.

Beware of this advancement on his part. It bodes no good to you. He has
an eye to business. If not the pale-horse, he is its rider. Take another
direction quickly, and give him a cold shoulder, but see that he does
not get two.



The best localities for invalids and others.--The city of
Minneapolis.--Its drives and objects of interest--Cascade and Bridal
Tails.--Fort Snelling.--Minnehaha Falls.--The city and Falls of St.
Anthony.--Anoka and St. Cloud.--Fishing and hunting.--Wilmar and
Litchfield.--Lake Minnetonka.--Experience in fishing.--Some "big
fish."--White Bear Lake.--The Minnesota Valley.--Le Sueur.--St. Peter's
and Mankato.--Minneopa Falls.--Southwestern Minnesota.--Its agricultural
wealth and capabilities.--Northern Pacific Railroad and its
branches.--The Red River country.--Trade with Manitoba.--Western life
and habits.

It is essential for the invalid, before undertaking a journey to
Minnesota, to know the best points, both as regards matters of
accommodation and of location. For there is, even in this State,
considerable choice for patients; while for tourists, any point offering
attractions is the place for them. We shall briefly consider the whole
subject, but first with regard to the former class.

The city of St. Paul, an account of which has been previously given, is
the most natural place to make the first stop; and it is a bright,
cheerful, busy city in which to while away the time. Its location is
healthful, as well as beautiful, and invalids may remain there with
perhaps as great advantage as at any point in the State, especially in
the winter season.


situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, opposite the Falls
of St. Anthony, and less than an hour's ride by rail from St.
Paul,--with a direct line to Milwaukee,--enjoys, at present, the widest
celebrity among invalids as a place of resort. This town is on a nearly
level plain adjoining the Mississippi River at the Falls of St. Anthony,
and possesses a population of thirteen thousand. It is perhaps, _par
excellence_, the most wide-awake and flourishing city in the State; and,
while not over a dozen years of age, exhibits, in the elegance and cost
of its private dwellings, its spacious stores, its first-class and
well-kept hotel, the Nicollet House, its huge factories and thundering
machinery--driven by that more than Titanic power of the great and
wondrous Falls,--evidence of a solid prosperity.

Scores of invalids may be found in this town at the hotels and various
private boarding-houses, of which there are quite a number.

Many visiting the State for health, leave without that improvement they
should have obtained, owing to irregular habits and indulgences, which
are directly traceable to their associations, rather than to any
objectionable habits they may possess. The temptation, when time hangs
heavy on their hands, to join in billiards, euchre, and tea-parties,
keeping the mind unduly excited and leading to late hours, is fatal to
every benefit derived from the climate. If friends can accompany the
invalid, giving society and controlling their life and habits, they
thereby insure against these liabilities to a very great extent.

There is much in the vicinity of Minneapolis to interest the visitor.
Days may be spent in examining the Falls of St. Anthony, which roar and
surge along the rapids, impressing one with an appalling sense of their
mighty power.

The suspension bridge, connecting the city with that of St. Anthony on
the east bank of the river, is an interesting object. It was erected
several years since at an expense of over half a hundred thousand
dollars, and is the only bridge of its class on the whole river.

Take the towns of St. Paul and Minneapolis, together with the
intervening country, and perhaps no portion of the Union east of the
Rocky Mountains, presents so many objects of interest as does this
particular region. St. Paul is itself a noble town, and the prospect
from its highest elevations quite entertaining; while at the latter city
the Falls of St. Anthony are "a sight to behold," and make up what the
town lacks in striking scenery.

The country between the two cities is as pleasing in general outline as
any to be found. Of course, it lacks that romantic element so
characteristic of New England, yet its general character is more rolling
than that of most of the prairie country found in the West.

A drive from either city is "the thing" for the visitor to do. From
Minneapolis one of the most charming drives in the world, for its
length, can be had. Passing over the suspension bridge to the east side
of the river, and down by it to the Silver Cascade and Bridal-veil
Falls, which charm from their exquisite beauty, then on to the junction
of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers at Fort Snelling, and across by
the rope-ferry under the tall battlements of the frowning fort, whose
edge is on a line with the towering, perpendicular bluff two hundred
feet above your head, round by the road and up to the plain above, and
into the inclosure of this old-time fortification, where, leaving your
carriage, you proceed to the round tower, or look out of the fort, and
on the very pinnacle of both cliff and battlement you may gaze out and
over a spectacle more grand and beautiful than anything we know short of
the White Hills. Away to the right stretches the valley of the Minnesota
River, while before you the "Father of Waters" receives into his
embraces the waters of the Minnesota, then, sweeping to the left, rolls
slowly and majestically from view behind the companion bluffs of the
eastern shore.

Here, from this crowning tower has floated--for more than half a
century--the "star-spangled banner" of our country, giving to the early
settler an assurance of protection; proclaiming equality and freedom to
all peoples who come hither in search of new homes, and to each and all
a sense of increased dignity and importance as they stand underneath its
ample folds.

A short distance across the open prairie and up the river toward
Minneapolis--on the return--is the famed


Longfellow's exquisite picture--in words--of these falls seems so
perfect and complete that we cannot forbear to quote it. He says:

  "Sweet Minne-ha-ha like a child at play,
  Comes gaily dancing o'er her pebbly way,
  'Till reaching with surprise the rocky ledge,
  With gleeful laugh bounds from its crested edge."

And what can we say of them that shall be new or of fresh interest
either to those who have read of, or what is better, have seen them?
After viewing and listening to their laughing-leap we easily understand
the fitness of the name they bear--the "Laughing Waters."

The first sight of the falls is captivating, and there seems little of
praise which you could wish to withhold. They are the very antipodes of
those of Niagara--instead of volume and power inspiring awe, they win
your love and enhance your views of the beautiful and good.

The waters

  "Flash and gleam among the oak trees,
   Laugh and leap into the valley,"

and move gaily and gleefully among the maples, oaks, and vines which
line and wreathe its banks; rivalling in song the wild birds that linger
in the cool shadows of the embowering trees.

Minnehaha Creek has its rise in Lake Minnetonka, a dozen miles or more
distant, where it is quite a diminutive little brook; from thence runs
to and through Lakes Calhoun and Harriet, meandering along the surface
of the country, till it makes its graceful leap at the falls to the
chasm, some forty feet below, then empties into the Mississippi about
half-a-mile distant to the eastward. The width of the stream and falls
does net much exceed twenty feet.

We lingered long, and reluctantly turned our feet away from this
enchanting scene where both real and imaginary heroes and heroines have
dwelt, and in the bright waters of which their picturesque encampments
have been often mirrored.

St. Anthony--opposite Minneapolis--is one of the oldest towns in the
State, and was, in _ante bellum_ times, quite a fashionable resort for
the Southerners. The war ended that, while the latter city gave to it
its final _coup de grâce_, and soon after the business set to the west
bank of the river.

Its chief object of interest is the State University, which has but
just entered upon its career of usefulness.

Tourists will enjoy a few days in and around Minneapolis. It is the
centre of a number of attractive objects of natural curiosity. A drive
to Lake Calhoun and a day's sport in fishing is both practicable and

We cannot regard the City of St. Anthony as equalling Minneapolis as a
place of residence in point of health. Even in the latter city it is
important that a home be had as remote from the neighborhood of the
Falls as is convenient. Its adaptability to the needs of the invalid
consists more in the walks and drives, the ample boarding-house and
hotel accommodations, good markets, and cheerful, pleasant society, than
in the particular location of the town itself or in the character of the
soil on which it is built.

Beyond, and on the line of the St. Paul and Pacific _Branch_
Railroad--now owned and operated by the Northern Pacific Railroad--the
towns of Anoka and St. Cloud, both on the banks of the "great river,"
are either more desirable for invalids than most other points in the
State within our knowledge, so far as _location_ is concerned. They are
high and dry above the river, and possess a soil in and around them of a
loose sandy character, for the most part every way favorable to good
drainage and dryness. The towns themselves are quite small, yet
accommodations might be found for a large number in the aggregate. The
hotels offer no special temptation to guests beyond those of the
ordinary private family in the way of home comforts and conveniences.
The people are kind, intelligent, and obliging to strangers; as, indeed,
they are elsewhere in the State. Yet there is always a more hearty and
cordial salutation among the inhabitants of towns who are anxious to
secure good reputations and thereby enlarge their borders.

There is some hunting and fishing near both of these places, as, indeed,
there is at most all points in the interior.

Near St. Cloud are Pleasant, Grand, Briggs, and Rice's Lakes, where
fishing and rowing may be had, while the country eastward of the town
affords fair hunting.

It is quite an advantage to any place, from an invalid standpoint, that
the surrounding country affords them abundant means whereby the mind may
be occupied and kept from crooning over the memories of loved ones far
away, or brooding upon their own misfortunes.

On the St. Paul and Pacific _Main_ Line--also controlled and owned by
the Northern Pacific Road--are a number of attractive and healthful
places, where ample accommodations may be had for the invalid, and where
those who come to construct new homes will find cheap lands and good

The chief points are, after passing Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka,
Dassel, Smith Lake, Litchfield, and Wilmar. At the latter place there is
a very pretty lake close to the village, with numerous others within a
circuit of ten miles, and all are well stocked with fish; and in the
spring and fall wild-fowl--ducks, geese, swans, and all our migrating
birds, frequent them in great numbers. Moose are occasionally seen a few
miles west of the town,--between it and the Chippewa River in
considerable droves. There is a very nice hotel at this point, kept by
an obliging host.

At Litchfield, good society and a somewhat larger village is
encountered, but with less of sporting and outdoor amusements. Near this
place resides the invalid son of Senator Howard of Michigan. He came to
the State a confirmed consumptive, having hemorrhages and in that state
of "general debility" incident to this disease, but is now in good
health, the result of the climate and out-of-door exercise in which he
has freely indulged, having taken a farm and rolled up his sleeves,
determined to save himself--as he has.

It cannot be expected that a brief sojourn in this State will work any
marvellous cure. Herein lies one of the principal difficulties. A
patient comes to Minnesota, and, having heard much of its power to
restore the enfeebled, expects to become strong and well within a few
days. They should disabuse their minds of this error before they start
from home. The process of restoration with the consumptive is slow, as a
rule, though some recover, it is true, very rapidly, yet with the most a
year is as little time as can reasonably be expected for climate and
exercise to complete a cure. It is better, if the climate is found to
agree, to make the State a permanent home. A return to the old climate
and occupation in which the disease originated is only to court its

Lake Minnetonka, the place first above mentioned, is, however, _the_
point for both pleasure-seekers and invalids who are well enough to
"rough it." An hour's ride from St. Paul brings you to this, the most
lovely of all the lakes in the State, to our thinking. It is really a
series of lakes, all bounded by irregular shores; while, in places,
occur deep bays and inlets, giving picturesqueness and beauty beyond all
ordinary fancyings.

Near the railway station are two hotels (the furthest being the best),
where good fare, and at reasonable rates, can be had, with row-boats
thrown in, _ad libitum_. This lake is one of the pleasure resorts for
the people of both St. Paul and Minneapolis. Excursion tickets are sold
for every train running thither, and many go up simply to enjoy a day's
fishing and sailing.

There is a little steamer running from near the railway station, which
is close to the edge of the lake, to the village of Excelsior, six
miles distant, near which lives one of the best guides to the fishing
grounds of the lake. But a guide is not at all essential to the amateur,
or those in simple quest of fun, pleasure, or health, since the fish
here are so plentiful that all will have luck, whether they have
experience or not.

Near "Round Island," and off "Spirit Knob," in this lake, are favorite
haunts of the fish, yet the "big ones" are not plentiful now at these
points, though their resorts are well known to most of the old

To tell of the size and abundance of the fish here will, perhaps, court
disbelief; yet we state "what we know," when we say that a single
fisherman starting, with the "guide" before referred to, at eight
o'clock in the morning, came to the wharf at noon--after rowing a
distance of six miles to make port--with a catch of about one hundred
weight of fish, chiefly pickerel, one of which weighed twelve pounds,
and measured near three feet in length. Another and less successful
party of two, instead of catching a "big one," came near being caught by
him. It was a funny incident altogether. They were from "down east,"
where pickerel don't weigh over a pound or so, on the average, unless
fed on _shot_ after being hauled in, all out of pure regard for the
hungry and worried creatures, of course. Well, this party, all
enthusiastic and eager, cast the line, when, lo! a monster pickerel
gobbled the bait and away he went, carrying the floats under and the
fisherman over and into the watery deep, with his heel and head just
above water level only. The fish, including the "odd one," were
subsequently pulled in by the man in the boat who is accustomed to

Boarding can be had, at the hotels and private houses in the vicinity of
the lake, at from seven to ten dollars per week. For the summer season,
country life should by all means be the rule. In the inclement portions
of the year the towns are most desirable; St. Paul and Minneapolis
taking the lead as places of resort, and they are, at these seasons, the
most desirable.

In the vicinity of St. Paul there are a number of lakes. The nearest,
Lake Como, is a pretty sheet of water, and affords one of the
fashionable drives out of the city. It is intended, we believe, in the
near future, by the authorities of St. Paul, to incorporate it, with
several hundred acres, into a grand park and pleasure-grounds. It should
be done.

White Bear Lake, a dozen miles out on the Lake Superior and M. Railroad,
is a favorite place with all classes. Its shores are thickly wooded and
the fishing rivals that of Minnetonka. There are a score of boats
anchored on the shore of this lake awaiting visitors; and the two hotels
provide for the needful rest and comfort of guests. This point is
second in interest only to that of Minnetonka Lake for both invalids and
pleasure-seekers during the summer and fall months.

Up the Minnesota valley, while it is the most attractive in scenery and
most fertile in crops, is not quite as desirable for the invalid as the
places already named. Though Shakopee, Le Sueur, St. Peter's, and
Madelia are not very objectionable in a sanitary point of view.

Still the valley is sloping, and its villages and towns are, for the
most part, situated on the low lands, and cannot have as dry or
desirable an atmosphere for patients as some other places. Yet the
exceptions noted above are, perhaps, above the average in health so far
as location is concerned. If, however, any invalid has relatives or
friends living in the State and can find a home among them, then, even
if the location was not as good as other points, this would be
counterbalanced by other advantages such as come from being among them.

The principle town of this valley is Mankato. This is destined to
outstrip many of those places which at present outrank it. It must
become the most important railroad centre in the State outside of the
capital. Situate in the very heart of the most fertile district, and
possessing a population both industrious and enterprising, its future is
bright and promising to a high degree. Its location is unfavorable for
invalids, and should, as a rule, be avoided by them. Fogs occur here,
and the place is low, and soil too rich, and of a generally too wet
character to insure the highest health to delicate and enfeebled

The Falls of Minneopa are near here and are worth a visit from the
tourist. Some esteem them as excelling in attractiveness any and all
others in the State.

The prairies beyond Mankato, along the St. Paul and Sioux City Railway,
afford the best "chicken" shooting that we know of, and much of the
hunting for this game is done along the line of this road.

The southeastern section of the State, in which are situated Rochester,
Owatonna, and Austin, and other budding cities, is, at present, with the
valley of the Minnesota, the great wheat-growing region. But it is not
alone in the cultivation of serials that the farmers may become
"fore-handed." The climate is favorable to nearly all of the products of
the middle and northern portions of the Union, with some kinds of fruit
excepted. Indeed, we found growing in the garden of Horace Thompson, in
St. Paul, the southern cotton-plant, which (while the seed had not been
planted by ten days as early as it might have been in the spring) was in
bloom in August, and by September it had begun to boll, and another
fortnight would have easily matured portions of the same. This
illustrates in a general way the length and power of the growing season
in this State. The climate, so far as crops are concerned, is perhaps a
counterpart of New England.

Here, in this southeast section, are the handsome homes and well-filled
barns of an industrious and thrifty people. The traveller through this
beautiful portion of the State can scarce keep from breaking one of the
ten commandments as he witnesses a people so well to do and so happy in
the possession of their productive acres.

Here, all immigrants may, by following out to the terminus of the
penetrating railways, find cheap and good lands awaiting them, and where
just as beautiful homes may be made as in that portion nearer the
river--now teeming with life and industries--but which, a few brief
years since, was as desolate and untenanted as are the unbroken prairies
to the westward. The prices vary, according to location and character,
from five to fifteen dollars per acre, though a majority of the wild
lands can be had at from six to eight dollars. The "St. Paul and Sioux
City Road" have thousands of acres along their line which they are ready
and anxious to dispose of to settlers. The value of these lands is
usually doubled the moment they are broken and occupied even with but
inferior buildings--only so that shelter is obtained. For "new comers,"
wishing new lands, this road and that of the "St. Paul and Pacific Main
Line Railway," at Wilmar, and on to the fertile valley of the Red
River, afford, in our judgment, the best lands. This latter road, now
that it is under the control of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, is
destined to play an important part in the settlement and development of
that vast region--so rich in agricultural wealth--lying along the Red,
Saskatchawan, and Assiniboine Rivers. It must indeed prove the link
which some day, in the near future, will bind the new province of
Manitoba and the adjacent country to the northwest of it.

It is, indeed, the intention of the Northern Pacific Road to construct
from the point of junction of the St. Paul and Duluth arms, on the Red
River, a branch road, northward to Pembina, and it cannot be long ere it
will be continued to Hudson's Bay.

The trade and travel between British America and the States, overland
from the present terminal points of the arms from St. Paul of the
N.P.R., is quite considerable, giving constant employment, during the
summer and fall, to about one thousand ox-teams. Goods from all parts of
Europe and the States are obliged for the most part to take this route.
The distance overland is about four hundred and fifty miles. It is a
singular and picturesque sight to witness one of these trains, whether
coming in or departing. They sometimes number a hundred teams, though
oftener much less. They are all single ox-teams, the vehicles being
two-wheeled. A convenient sort of harness is used on the oxen, not
unlike, in style, that on our truck horses. One driver--a half-breed
usually--manages a half-dozen teams by tying the heads of the five to
the rear of each cart and then leading the sixth or foremost team by
means of a raw-hide rope attached to the animal's head. One thousand
pounds constitutes a load for a strong ox. Thus stoves, flour,
implements of agriculture, bales of goods, and even boxes of choice
wines from France, marked "For the Bishop of Prince Rupert's Land, viâ
St. Paul, U.S.A." Either the body of the church or that of the bishop
must be large, judging from the quantity of these wet goods which we saw
moving to the frontier.

There is a freshness in Western life that charms one, especially at the
first. New scenes, new faces, new customs, new methods of speech,
combine to give a delight to this experience of novelty. There is a
mental exhilaration that tones the mind to a high pitch of enthusiasm
and rich enjoyment, just as there is a marvellous quality in the air to
brace the system and strengthen the nervous centres. Who that has gone
through this double process of acclimation, as one might call it, does
not retain a good impression of their experience in memory, and likewise
in physique?

The dialect of the West differs from that of the East in many of the
non-essentials, yet, perhaps, enough of variance is observed to make it
noticeable and altogether piquant to the wide-awake Yankee, who, in
turn, balances the Western "reckoning" by his unique "kalkilations." But
neither are as absurd as the Cockney, who gets off his ridiculous
nonsense, as, for example, the following: "Ho Lord, help us to take hold
of the horns of the haltar," etc.

The observant mind can, by keeping eyes and ears open, extract much of
information and amusement when travelling anywhere--especially through
the West--where vigorous thought and action are at all times



Its location and rapid growth.--Who named for.--Enterprise of its
people.--Its fine harbor.--Duluth Bay.--The steamship connection with
eastern cities.--Pleasure travel up the lakes.--The Lake Superior and
Mississippi Railroad.--The shortest route East for grain.--Public
improvements.--The fishing, lumber, and mining interests.

Away at the head of our lake system stands a most marvellous
illustration of the rapid growth, in population and power, of the
American people.

It is less than ten years since the nearly impenetrable forest was
levelled to make way for the infant city of Duluth, which, under the
inspiring hand of genius and capital, has grown to the importance of
chartered rights and privileges more quickly than any other city with
which we are familiar.

It is situated on the immediate shore of the lake, and across the
shoulder of what is known as Minnesota Point,--a long scythe-shaped
sand-bar, six miles in length, caused by the action of the waves,
separating the waters of Duluth Bay from those of the lake,--and
extending along the shore of said Duluth Bay.

From the lake back to the top of the bluff, a mile distant, the ascent
is easy and regular, affording one of the loveliest sites for the
foundation of a great and beautiful city.

Duluth was named for Daniel Greyson Duluth, a native of France, who was
the first white man to explore the head-waters of Lake Superior. He
landed here in 1679, and advanced far into the interior, westward,
toward the Mississippi, cultivating friendly relations with the tribes
inhabiting this portion of the country. From his time to the present
little or nothing has been done toward the founding, at this point, of a
place suitable to the great possibilities of trade and commerce. Thus
the spell which seemed to shut from view this key-point of a vast
interior country remained till the prophetic eye of capital discovered
and possessed it.

That this wilderness, heretofore so wrapt in mystery, should now blossom
into life, seems quite plain to the commonest observer of us all.

How faith is given us when success walks hand-in-hand with enterprise.

Though the city of Duluth is only ten years old, it boasts a population
of over three thousand, with many of the conveniences of older
settlements. Its streets are laid out with great regularity, and the
principal one, next the lake, full a mile in length, is lined along
nearly its whole extent with stores and warehouses of every kind and
description. The sound of the hammer and saw may be heard on every side.

Buildings so crowd upon the forest that the woodman is hard pressed to
clear the way; and thus the brave work goes on of transforming this
wilderness into gardens where roses in their season bloom abundantly.

We counted not less than five handsome churches, all erected the past
year, representing as many different denominations, and, in point of
style and interior finish, quite up to the requirements of the most
enlightened taste. Two convenient and comfortable hotels give rest and
refreshment. Ample provision is being made for public schools; and the
projectors of the town have, in their wisdom, set apart one entire
square on which a ladies' seminary is to be erected; in short,
everything is being done in a most determined and energetic manner.
There is no place for idlers here. Such a wide-awake community naturally
weeds itself of them; and, consequently, the society is industrious and
moral, if not always elegant and pretentious.

Duluth will in time possess a completely landlocked harbor, and indeed
has it already, but not at present as accessible as it will soon be made
to the commerce seeking her wharves. The work of cutting a ship channel
across the shoulder of the sand-bar before referred to is in progress,
the distance being but a few hundred feet of loose earth, which, when
completed, will open communication to an immense bay, where all the
commerce of the lakes might ride at anchor in perfect safety, were some
slight dredging done to increase the present depth of water. This bay is
now reached by a circuit of half-dozen miles around the end of this
sand-bar, known as Minnesota Point. The Bay of Duluth must eventually,
we think, be the great harbor, though a breakwater is in course of
construction, which, when completed and made permanent, will give ample
shelter to all immediate necessities. Costly wharves have been
constructed on the lake side of the Point, and there vessels load and
unload almost constantly.

Since it is the established policy of the government to improve the
rivers and harbors of the country, surely the small needs of this place
ought not to be overlooked. While private enterprise can and does do
much, yet it is a sound theory for the general government, which derives
its revenues from the people, to aid them in removing or building such
obstructions or guards as the merits of the case and the public

Already the trade and commerce of the town employs about a dozen
steamships, and numerous sailing vessels are also kept in motion,
transporting supplies for the great railway enterprise which has its
eastern base at this point.

There are three lines of propellers plying between this port and
Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit, each employing three ships, while there
is an additional line to and from Chicago. They together average four
arrivals weekly. The trip from Buffalo is performed in little less than
a week, that being the most distant of the respective places. These
steamers have accommodations for over half a hundred cabin passengers,
as a rule, and both invalids and pleasure travellers will find this, in
every respect, the most interesting and comfortable means of access to
Minnesota during the summer season. Formerly many availed themselves of
such facilities as there then was to make, during the summer, the grand
tour of the lakes, but were obliged to return by the route they came.
Now, however, the tourist is not compelled to turn back from the head of
Lake Superior, as in former days, since the completion of the railway
from Duluth to St. Paul, connecting the head of the great lakes with the
navigable head of the great river, permits a sweep of travel through the
interior of the continent such as is not enjoyed elsewhere on the globe,
either in distance, interest, or variety. Each year must give added fame
to this route.

Duluth is at the extreme western limit of all the great lakes of the
interior, and must eventually become the commercial centre for the
Northwest. It is already reaching out its arms to grasp the trade and
commerce of that region, which, once in its control, must ever remain
tributary to it. The Lake Superior and Mississippi Railway--one hundred
and fifty-four miles in length--above referred to, inaugurates a new era
in the agricultural interests of the State, and opens an entirely new
line of travel. By means of this road the products of Central and
Southern Minnesota are placed three hundred miles nearer lake
transportation eastward than heretofore, since the distance to
Chicago--the present point of destination for these things--by rail is
that much greater. This new outlet connects at St. Paul with all of the
interior lines of railroad in the State, likewise with the navigation of
the Mississippi, and on the completion of the St. Paul and Sioux City
Road, will drain one of the most fertile valleys, in wealth of exports,
to be found in any portion of the West.

The great staple of all this region of country is wheat, and the
question of its rapid and cheap transportation is a most important one,
both to the producer and consumer. Combinations have been formed in the
past whereby the carriage and price was subject to the control of a few,
to the great detriment of the producer; but this wheat oligarchy is now
likely to receive its quietus in view of this new and competing outlet
to eastern markets by way of Duluth.

The water transportation eastward from the latter city is at as low a
rate as from Chicago, while the time is by a day in favor of Duluth,
owing to the less favorable winds over Lake Michigan.

It is assumed by some that in view of the lower latitude of Chicago, the
advantage of that city must ever remain pre-eminent, since the ice
obstruction would be less, giving to commerce a much longer season than
it could enjoy at any other of the great ports on either of the two
westernmost lakes. This seems plausible at first view, but is hardly
justified by actual facts. The difference, though slight, is not
sufficient to hold any valid claim to a monopoly in the carrying trade
of these inland seas. While the ice disappears earlier by a few days at
Chicago than at Duluth, in consequence of its geographical position, it
will be observed that the course of its lake commerce is due northward,
and before that of the two rival lakes meet in the common waters of
Huron, they must both pass through narrow and contiguous straits, in
both of which the ice obstructions leave about the same time. Hence the
advantages of the one port over that of the other, to the shipper, are
not of any great moment, and are more than counterbalanced by the less
time occupied in reaching the Lake Erie ports from Duluth, over that
consumed by vessels from Chicago, growing out of the more favorable
winds blowing over Superior, as before mentioned.

The advantage, then, by this new route to the East (_viâ_ Duluth for a
portion of Northern Iowa and Southern and Central Minnesota) is a saving
of the three hundred miles of extra rail transportation incurred by way
of Lake Michigan; to say nothing of avoiding the exorbitant tolls and
inexplicable delays of the latter route. The difference inhering to the
benefit of the public, between the two routes, has been estimated,
amounts to about one dollar per barrel in favor of this new outlet. If
this can be proved true by practical experience, it must inevitably turn
the golden stream of grain into the lap of Duluth, since destiny itself
is not more certain than that the speediest and cheapest lines will do
the world's marketing.

Anticipating the wants of this route, there has been erected at Duluth,
during the past season, an immense elevator, with a present capacity of
over a third of a million of bushels, which, with a small additional
expenditure, can be increased to a half million. Its proximity to the
docks and railway is such that grain can be taken from the cars upon one
side, and loaded directly into vessels upon the other, or stored, as the
case may be.

The elements of future prosperity surround this new city and lie at her
very doors. The north shores of Superior are rich in iron, copper, and
silver; while the southern already supply the markets of the Union with
the most of its copper, which has grown from small beginnings (of twenty
years ago) to be one of the great interests in all our many valuable
mining arts.

The fishing interest, which already gives employment to a great number
of people, is in the first stages of development. They are now taken
chiefly at the straits, but the business may be made extremely
profitable at Duluth, since the head of the lake is their natural
feeding-ground, and thousands swarm these waters. We all have eaten of
the lake trout and white-fish, which may be had in the most of our
cities and towns, and know how successfully they compete with the best
of our salt-water article. It is already an important and growing trade,
and highly profitable.

Each morning during our stay in Duluth the tables of the "Clark House"
were served with both of these delicacies; and these fish certainly
surpass, when taken fresh, any fish it was ever our fortune to eat. The
cost of living is much cheapened in consequence of their abundance, and
surely nothing more wholesome can be placed on the table.

If Duluth had but the one interest, that of lumber, its prosperity would
be assured. It lies in the very heart of a vast district abounding in
pine-forests, and which have scarcely been explored, and we believe much
of it remains unsurveyed by the general government up to the present
time. The St. Louis River, which empties into Duluth and Superior Bays,
courses, with its branches, a thousand miles among the dense forests of
pine; and yet this is but a fraction of the immense tract of valuable
timber to the north and west of this young and nourishing city.

There is no lack of water-power to reduce the raw material to a
marketable condition, since the river above named can turn all the
wheels of every mill in the country, could they be planted beside it.
The point of contact by the river with the outlying rim of the basin of
the great lake is at the village of Thompson, some twenty miles distant
from Duluth, on the St. Paul Railroad.[D] Here the waters of the St.
Louis River struggle by and over this rim of rocks, downward and onward,
roaring and surging in their tumultuous ways, to the level below. These
rapids are known as the "Dalles of the St. Louis," and extend some four
and a half miles in an elbow direction. If a canal were cut across this
elbow, this splendid water-power could be utilized beyond that of any
other in the country.

What a field for enterprise is presented to lumbermen! A vast forest, a
river furnishing transportation and unlimited power for manufacturing,
and, finally, an open sea, with almost countless markets!

Besides this, there lies among the cliffs and high lands adjoining the
rapids of this river inexhaustible quarries of slate, surpassing, we are
informed, those of England in quality and quantity, and which must ere
long receive that attention they seem to demand at the hands of capital.

The now rude village of Thompson--named for J. Edgar Thompson, of
Philadelphia--with its half dozen extemporized buildings, in the quiet
of the woods, will ere long resound with the hum of many industries, and
already has considerable importance as being the point of junction of
the two great railways entering Duluth--the St. Paul and the Puget Sound
(Northern Pacific) Roads; the latter traversing a vast territory
abounding in everything which contributes to the growth of an
agricultural and manufacturing people.

The city of Duluth, seated at the eastern gate way of this new and
splendid domain, holds in her golden horn the destinies of many populous
and powerful States.


[D] Known as the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad.



The Northwest.--Its great extent and character.--Jay Cooke, Esq.--The
Northern Pacific Railroad and its advantages.--The general line of the
road.--The shortest route to Asia.--The Red River valley.--Puget
Sound.--The future of our country.

The vast reach of country lying between the Bed River and the Cascade
range of mountains possesses, to some extent, a climate little inferior
in healthfulness to that of Minnesota itself. The same dry, westerly
winds sweep over it, and are even more marked in their continental
character. Invalids will undoubtedly find as great advantages arising
from a residence there as in any other part of the Union, yet for the
present there are no means of easy access to any portion of this immense
district. By-and-by this will be changed.

The many natural curiosities abounding in this little-explored region
would alone prove sufficient to attract thither great numbers of our
people, but when the almost unparalleled attractions of the climate are
added, the travel and immigration must eventually become enormous.

The Northern Pacific Railroad,--the power which is destined to
transform these Territories into States,--is being pushed rapidly
westward, with the promise of an early completion.

To the energy of Jay Cooke, of Philadelphia, the distinguished banker
and philanthropist, will belong, perhaps, the chief honor of its
completion. Not that this great enterprise might not be begun and
carried to a triumphal close by others,--since the government subsidies
would, in time, together with the demand for this additional highway
across the continent, enlist men of resolute character and ample
means,--yet, withal, every new and great undertaking has somewhere a
correspondingly great spirit, impelling self and co-workers to the
contest and achievement of the desired ends, and we recognize in this
vast enterprise the hand of this indefatigable man. Of course the able
and influential associates in the board of directors must share in the
honor of this national work, and their names will go down in history as
among the benefactors of the country in which they lived.[E]

How lightly we speak now of continental roads since one is a veritable
fact. Novelties, to Americans, pass rapidly away.

How few realized, in 1860, that the coming decade would witness the
completion of one and the beginning of another iron road across the
continent. Ah! those brief years brought revolution in many things. The
social fabric of half the Union was not less overturned in this brief
period than were the accustomed avenues along which ran the world's
trade and commerce.

The Northern Pacific Railroad was chartered by Congress in 1864, and was
approved by President Lincoln on the second of July of that year. It has
no government aid beyond a right of way and cession of the public lands
along its line; each alternate section for a width of twenty miles in
the States and forty miles in the territories. This, as is estimated,
will give, according to the survey of Gen. W.M. Roberts, about fifty
millions of acres,[F] large portions of which are known to be very
fertile, while much will lie in the rich mining districts of Montana

This generous donation of public lands by the people is well deserved by
this second great national enterprise. It is the only method whereby the
isolated and distant portions of the interior can become utilized. The
value of the remaining lands of the government will become tenfold what
the whole would be if left to time and private enterprise for their
development. The work was actively begun in 1870 on the Duluth end of
this road; and it is expected that the present year (1871) will see it
completed to the Red River, a distance of about two hundred and
thirty-three miles from the above-named city. Quite a number of miles of
iron had been laid at the time of our late visit, and as many more miles
graded; with half a thousand men actively engaged in forwarding the vast

The road is already completed to the Mississippi above Crow Wing, and
from there will follow in nearly a straight line to Fort Abercrombie,
the head of navigation on the Bed River. Here it will unite with the St.
Paul and Pacific Railroad (owned and operated by the Northern Pacific
Railway, a branch of which it now is), already in running order half the
distance from St. Paul. This line, with all its rights and franchises,
has been recently purchased by the Northern Pacific, and will greatly
aid in supporting the main trunk when completed.

In addition to the force on the eastern end of this road, there has been
assembled at the Pacific terminus an able corps of engineers and
contractors, who have already commenced the construction there, and thus
the great road across the continent will be pushed to final completion,
probably within five years from the first commencement of the

The road, as located by Engineer Roberts in his report, is laid from
the head-waters of Lake Superior in a nearly due westerly line across
the State of Minnesota to Red River, near Fort Abercrombie; thence
"across the Dakota and Missouri Rivers to the valley of the Yellow
Stone, and along that valley to Bozeman's Pass, through the Belt range
of mountains; thence down the Gallatin Valley, crossing the Madison
River, and over to the Jefferson Valley, and along that to the Deer
Lodge Pass of the Rocky Mountains; thence along Clarke's Valley to Lake
Pend d'Oreille, and from this lake across the Columbia plain to Lewis or
Snake River; down that to its junction with the Columbia; along the
Columbia to the Cowlitz, and over the portage to Puget Sound, along its
southern extremity, to any part which may be selected."

A branch road is to follow the Columbia River to the vicinity of
Portland, together with a link connecting the two western arms.

By this route, which may be materially departed from in the final
location, the distance will swell to near two thousand miles between the
two grand termini, and it is estimated will cost, with its equipments,
from seventy-five to one hundred millions of dollars.

The route of this road is known to be more feasible than was that of the
present line to California. Its elevations are much less, and the
natural obstructions of the mountain ranges more easily surmounted,
while the climate invites, on account of its high sanitary character,
both the immigrant and invalid.

The line from Omaha to California shows that for nine hundred miles the
road has an average height above the sea of over five thousand feet, the
lowest point in that stretch being over four thousand; while the
corresponding distance, embracing the mountain ranges, along this
Northern Pacific line, is near two thousand feet lower than the other,
giving, in this difference in elevation, according to the usual
estimate, over nine degrees advantage in temperature. This becomes
important in an agricultural view, as well as in the immediate and
constant benefit in the increased facility for operating a railway.

In addition, the curvature of the thermal lines of the continent bear
away to the northward of the surveyed route of this great enterprise,
insuring almost entire freedom from snow obstructions other than is
common to any of the principal railway lines in the States themselves.

The extent of country tributary to this road is entirely unparalleled by
that of any other. Along the present finished continental line an
uninhabitable alkaline desert stands across and along its pathway for
many miles, while the Northern line leaps from valley to valley, all
more or less productive, and in which large supplies of coal and timber
are found sufficient for ages to come.

Of this region, and the general line of this road, the Hon. Schuyler
Colfax writes as follows:--

"Along the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, as it follows up the
water-courses, the Missouri and the Yellowstone on this side, and
descends by the Valley of the Columbia on the other, a vast body of
agricultural land is waiting for the plow, with a climate almost exactly
the same as that of New York, except that, with less snow, cattle in the
larger portion of it can subsist on the open range in winter. Here, if
climate and fertility of soil produce their natural result, when
railroad facilities open this now isolated region to settlement, will
soon be seen waving grain-fields, and happy homes, and growing towns,
while ultimately a cordon of prosperous States, teeming with population,
and rich in industry and consequent wealth, will occupy that now
undeveloped and almost inaccessible portion of our continental area.

"But this road is also fortunate in its pathway across the two ranges of
mountains which tested so severely the Pacific Railroads built on the
central line, and the overcoming of which reflected such well-deserved
honor on their energetic builders. At the Deer Lodge Pass, in Montana,
where it crosses the Rocky Mountains, its altitude above the sea is
three thousand five hundred feet less than the Union Pacific Railroad at
Sherman, which is said to be the highest point at which a locomotive can
be found in the world. And on the Pacific side of the continent it is
even more fortunate. From Arizona up to the Arctic Circle the Columbia
is the only river which, has torn its way through that mighty range, the
Andes of North America, which in California is known as the Sierras, but
which in Oregon changes its name to the Cascades. Nature has thus
provided a pathway for the Northern Pacific Road through these
mountains, the scaling of which, on the other line, at an elevation of
over seven thousand feet (a most wonderful triumph of engineering), cost
the Central Pacific millions of dollars, and compelled them for seventy
miles to maintain a grade of over one hundred feet to the mile--twice
the maximum of the Northern Pacific at the most difficult points on its
entire route.

"It is fortunate, also, in its terminus on the Pacific coast. No one who
has not been there can realize the beauty of Puget's Sound and its
surroundings. One hundred miles long, but so full of inlets and straits
that its navigable shore line measures one thousand seven hundred and
sixty miles, dotted with lovely islets, with gigantic trees almost to
the water's edge, with safe anchorage everywhere, and stretching
southward, without shoals or bars, from the Straits of Fuca to the
capital and centre of Washington Territory, it will be a magnificent
_entrepôt_ for the commerce of that grandest ocean of the world, the

One of the chief districts to be opened to trade and commerce by the
construction of this road is that known as Prince Rupert's Land, in
British America. This region of country has been recently organized
under the name of Manitoba, and embraces the rich and extensive valleys
of the Red, Assiniboine, and Saskatchewan Rivers. A population of
several thousands already inhabit this section, and a branch railway is
to be constructed along the valley of the Red River from the point of
crossing by the Northern Pacific Road, and under its immediate auspices.
The influence on this people, whose interests will then be almost wholly
identified with those of our own, cannot be doubtful. It requires no
prophecy to determine their ultimate destiny. The time is not distant
when all of British America must become "one and indivisible" with us,
and the knell of parting government is likely to be sooner sounded in
the region of the Red River than elsewhere along the line of our

An additional advantage inheres in this Northern Pacific line of prime
importance, and that is in the fact of its offering to commerce a
shorter route by several hundred miles to the Pacific coast than that
which now exists. To Japan and China, from Puget Sound, is likewise, by
more than half a thousand miles, less than from the port of San
Francisco. This difference is sufficient to give, eventually, to this
route the carrying trade of those countries.

Who can question the greatness and power which lies slumbering along
the line of this royal road, through which, as through a great, pulsing
artery, the life,--even now already dawning,--will soon throb with a
force which shall vitalize this Territory, vast as an empire, and richer
than the fabled realms of an Arabian tale.


[E] _Board of Directors_.--Messrs. J. Gregory Smith, R.D. Rice, Thomas
H. Canfield, W.B. Ogden, William G. Morehead, W.G. Fargo, B.P. Cheney,
Geo. W. Cass, Frederick Billings, William Windom, James Stinson, Samuel
M. Felton, Charles B. Wright. _Trustees_,--Messrs. Jay Cooke and J.
Edgar Thompson.

[F] The line, it is now judged, will give about sixty millions of acres.



Sketches of other climates and localities favorable to
invalids.--California.--Mortuary statistics of San Francisco.--The wet
and dry seasons.--San Diego the best place.--Florida and its
reputation.--Nassau as a resort.--Fayal and its climate,--English and
American visitors.--Means of access.

Other climates and localities than Minnesota have for many years enjoyed
more or less of a high reputation as healthful resorts for the
consumptive, and while the chief purpose of this volume has been the
consideration of the character and climate of our Northwest, yet it
seems not inappropriate that some mention at least should be given to
these other places, even though it be extremely brief. Beyond a general
outlining of some of the prevailing characteristics appertaining to each
locality, we do not deem it desirable or necessary to go, since all who
contemplate journeys to any one of them will, of course, consult such
writers as have considered in detail the various merits or demerits of
the several climates.

Considerable attention has been called the last few years to the
reputed healthfulness of the State of


The first years of its occupation by Americans very trifling
consideration was given by any one to any data whereby the true
character of the climate could be judged. It was a new experience
altogether for people of the old States to encounter a region possessing
many characteristics of a semi-tropical country in combination with
those with which they were familiar in the latitude of their own homes.
To see roses blooming in the gardens of San Francisco during the winter
months, and experiencing in summer cool, restful nights, was quite
calculated to call forth much of earnest and cordial compliment, whether
any real virtue inhered in the climate of this particular locality or
not. While this flattering state of things existed at San Francisco,
back among the Sierras the poor miners had many and doubtful struggles
in trying to ward off the severe and frequent storms which prevail
throughout the long and tedious winters.

The peculiar geographical position of this State, in conjunction with
its elevated mountain ranges, gives to it nearly every climate, from
that of the equator up to the limit of the temperate zone; and while the
atmosphere of one neighborhood is bland and delightful, that of another
is quite disagreeable and trying. No general character obtains for that
of the whole State. The eastern sides of the mountains are everywhere
more dry and elastic than are the western, and for tubercular cases are
preferable to the sea-coast, though the vicinity of San Francisco would,
for simple bronchial affections, be best,--yet we do not regard either
of these points as specially desirable as places of resort.

An examination of the mortuary statistics of San Francisco for 1870, as
given by the _Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal_, in the February
number of this year, discloses an alarming percentage of deaths by
consumption. For instance, the population of the city is one hundred and
fifty thousand, while the deaths by consumption were five hundred for
the year (round numbers), which gives one death to every three hundred
inhabitants, being but a shade more favorable than is that of New
England for this particular disease. Still this is not, perhaps, a fair
test of the climate, since a number of the decedents are among those,
probably, who came from other portions of the country seeking a
restoration on this coast.

The general health, however, of San Francisco is shown to be, by the
same authority, better than that of the average of large cities in the
older States.

While the temperature in winter at San Francisco is maintained at a
comparatively high point,--allowing the outdoor cultivation of some of
the hardier varieties of flowering shrubs,--the atmosphere, meanwhile,
is damp and chilling, and extremely detrimental to most cases of lung

The climate of California is, in the neighborhood of San Francisco, and
northward, divided into two distinct seasons,--that of the wet and dry.
The wet season begins usually in November, and terminates in May, while
the dry season embraces the remaining portion of the year. Of course the
length of either varies considerably, as do all our seasons everywhere
in the temperate latitudes. The quantity of rain falling in this wet
season equals that of the entire fall for New England,[G] and coming in
the cooler portion of the year has just those demerits, to a
considerable, though modified degree, which inhere in the climate of the
Atlantic coast, of which we have spoken elsewhere in detail.

The southern portion of California, however, presents a radical dry
climate, and is quite free from those wet and dry seasons which obtain
in central and northern California. The amount of annual rain-fall is,
in the region of


about ten inches, and while it is true that this precipitation is in
sympathy with, and indeed is distributed over a portion of what is known
as the "wet season," in Upper California, yet it does not amount to
enough in quantity to establish a wet season. The balance of the year
the air is dry and elastic, and highly favorable, so far as we are able
to judge, to all cases of pulmonary troubles.

San Diego is an old Spanish town, and for many years has been neglected,
and not till recently has it shown much signs of recuperation. But, now
that some Yankee pioneers have settled in the town and neighborhood, its
prospects brighten.

Fruits of all kinds, such as peaches, oranges, figs, and plums flourish
in the neighborhood, and in time must form one of the chief articles of
commerce. Few places offer so good an opportunity for stock-grazing as
does this fertile region.

This old city is, ere long, to become the terminus of one of our great
continental lines of railway, namely, the Southern Pacific.

Access is had, at the present time, either overland from San Jose, or by
a monthly steamer from San Francisco, the distance being, by water, over
three hundred and-fifty miles.


is certainly the only State among all of those lying east of the
Mississippi River to which invalids may resort with advantage, so far as
the climate is concerned. There are points in others of the Southern
States, such as Aikin, where two years out of three, perhaps,
consumptives, in certain stages, may go with benefit; yet there is no
Atlantic or Gulf State with a climate and soil adapted to aid in the
cure of bronchial and catarrh troubles and nervous prostration at all
comparable to Florida in the winter season.

In cases of lung difficulties, where tubercles have begun to form, such
would find a cool, dry, elastic air best, except when the disease has
been induced by some mental or emotional shock: such are benefitted most
by a mild, sunny atmosphere, since the depressed spirits are, under
these favoring circumstances, more easily rallied.

The St. John River is the section most visited, together with St.
Augustine, on the Atlantic sea-coast; yet so soon as Tampa Bay and Key
West possess accommodations, they will be found more favorable, since
the equability is somewhat greater.[H]

There are several islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the south and
eastward of us which have become somewhat celebrated as places of
temporary residence for the consumptive.

That of


the nearest to our coast, has some claims upon our attention. The
temperature does not greatly vary from that of Southern Florida, except
that it may have a shade more of equability.

The island of New Providence, of which Nassau is the capital, is one of
the group constituting the Bahama Islands, lying directly east of the
Florida coast, and about three hundred and fifty miles distant from it.
The town is regularly and well built, and during our "late
unpleasantness" was the principal rendezvous of the scores of
blockade-runners. Since the war the place has resumed its calm and
peaceful habits, and is again frequented, during the winter, by many
invalids from the North and others who seek a temporary home in a genial

San Domingo, should it be annexed, will probably become a place of
resort for many people, but at present, while its climate in winter is
charming, and the country in the vicinity of Samana Bay beautiful, yet
its accommodations are wretched, and likely to remain so for some time
to come.

The benefits arising from the climate of these two islands is
practically the same as in Florida, while the accommodations are not as
extensive, though in Nassau are quite acceptable, though limited.
Regular communication is had by steamer to and from New York once each


two thousand miles eastward and near the coast of Spain, is little known
to the American public, yet it has held a high character among the
Europeans for several generations in the matter of its climate. This
island forms one of the Azorean group, and possesses the finest harbor
of them all. Horta, its capital, is located at the head of this harbor,
and is quite a handsome town, situated on the southeastern side of the

The climate is mild, and, to a high degree, healthful; and invalids
derive great benefit from a residence there. England is the most largely
represented among them, though a few Americans are nearly always to be
found, chiefly from Boston and vicinity, from which place occasional
sailing-packets may be had to the island, though the most direct route
is by way of England, whence the steamers of the West India Mail Company
call regularly at Horta.

The island is of volcanic origin, and its principal elevation is some
three thousand feet, while the remaining portion is of a somewhat rugged
character, though of the twenty-seven thousand five hundred and twenty
acres comprising it, about one-half is under cultivation, and much of
this is extremely fertile. The chief products are wheat, corn, potatoes;
while wine and oranges are raised in large quantities for exportation.

In former times, when the whaling interest of the country was in a
flourishing condition, between one and two hundred whale-ships touched,
in their outward passage, at this island; and even now many American
vessels call here for water and supplies.

Some years ago, shortly after the conclusion of the trial of Dr.
Webster, his wife and daughters visited Fayal, where they remained some
considerable time, and where they doubtless hoped to and did for a while
escape from all obtrusive notice and observation. However, they were
soon known, and the sympathies of the people of Horta were much enlisted
in their behalf. The daughters were highly cultivated and quite
beautiful, and attracted considerable attention, out of sympathy at
their distressed situation.

Visitors will find at Horta very comfortable accommodations, and the
many curious and interesting features peculiar to the island and its
people will serve to interest and instruct them while they remain.

Nearer home, the


region has been greatly extolled by many as possessing a highly
salubrious climate for consumptives, and indeed for all who are
suffering from general debility and over-work.

There is no doubt that a trip to this mountain region of northern New
York, during the latter part of the summer and early fall, would prove
of great benefit to many invalids, as indeed a rough camp-life would
prove in any high and dry section, especially of interior and northern
Vermont, or New Hampshire, which lie contiguous to the Adirondack

There is, however, an advantage in a district in which pine timber
abounds, and all who resolve on camping out for health should not fail
to select such localities. There is a subtle and positive balm to weak
nerves and sore lungs inhering in the atmosphere of pine forests, wholly
unknown to that of any other. Invalids should be very cautious about
giving too much credence to the benefit to be derived by a residence in
any climate. They are apt to expect too much, and the fault is perhaps
more theirs than those who extoll various localities, in that they
build, unjustifiably, too great expectations on what they hear or read.

Scores of people go each season into the Adirondacks with impaired
health, and after a few weeks of roughing it come out immensely
improved, both in health and spirit, while, on the other hand, others go
who are too feeble for such a journey; and again, others who know
nothing how to take care of themselves, whether in the woods or out,
and, of course, such must return in disappointment.


  [_Approximately Determined_.]

  _From_ DUBUQUE, _or_ DUNLEITH, _to_ ST. PAUL, _by river_:

  To Cassville               33      33
   " Guttenburg              10      43
   " Clayton                 12      55
   " McGregor                11      66
   " Prairie du Chien         4      70
   " Lynxville               24      94
   " La Fayette              13     107
   " Lansing                  3     110
   " De Soto                  6     116
   " Victory                 10     126
   " Bad Axe                 10     136
   " Warners                  6     142
   " Brownsville             10     152
   " La Crosse               12     164
   " Richmond                19     183
   " Trempeleau               4     187
   " Homer                    8     195
   " Winona                   9     204
   " Fountain City           12     216
   " Minneiska               18     234
   " Buffalo City             7     241
   " Alma                     7     248
   " Wabasha                 10     258
   " Reed's Landing           6     264
   " North Pepin              8     272
   " Lake City                7     279
   " Florence                 5     284
   " Frontenac                6     290
   " Waconta                 12     302
   " Red Wing                 6     308
   " Drummond Bluff          15     323
   " Prescott                13     336
   " Hastings                 4     340
   " Pine Bend               16     356
   " ST. PAUL                16     372

  _From_ ST. PAUL _to_ DULUTH.

  To White Bear Lake     12 13
   " Forest Lake         13 25
   " Hush City           29 54
   " Kettle River        40 94
   " Moose Lake          19 113
   " Thompson            19 132
   " Fond du Lac          9 141
   " Oneota               9 150
   " Duluth               4 154

  _From_ ST. PAUL _to_ ST. CLOUD.

  To St. Anthony         10 10
   " Anoka               18 28
   " Itasca               7 35
   " Elk River            5 40
   " St. Cloud           34 74

  _From_ ST. PAUL to WILMAR.

  To St. Anthony         10 10
   " Minneapolis         -- 10
   " Cedar Lake           4 14
   " Minnetonka City      6 20
   " Wayzata              4 24
   " Delano              15 39
   " Dassel              27 66
   " Litchfield          10 76
   " Wilmar              38 104

  _From_ ST. PAUL _to_ MANKATO.

  To Mendota              6  6
   " Shakopee            23 28
   " Belle Plain         19 47
   " Blakely              5 52
   " Le Sueur            11 63
   " St. Peter           12 75
   " Mankato             11 86

  _From_ WINONA. _to_ ST. PETER.

  To St. Charles         28 28
   " Rochester           22 50
   " Owatouna            47 97
   " St. Peter           53 150

       *       *       *       *       *


[G] For exactness, see chapters on Climate.

[H] For particulars relating to Florida, see _A Winter in Florida_,
published by Wood & Holbrook, New York.

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