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section from 1830 to the present time, about the period of an average generation, and we have (disregarding the portions of New York and Pennsylvania, the following growth:
We thus see that in thirty years only the interior region lying at an equal distance round Mackinaw has quadrupled in population. We find that the northern or Canada side has more than doubled, while the states of Michigan and Wisconsin to the south, and Minnesota to the west, have more than doubled in ten years. We find, then, that while Mackinaw it
, self and its immediate surroundings are yet in a comparatively wild and unsettled country, the wave of population and growth is circling round it, and rapidly tending to that center.
Looking now to the commercial and industrial development of that region, we find still more extraordinary results. Attached to the state of Michigan is the Peninsula, which is inclosed between the Straits of Mackinaw, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. For two centuries after the settlement of New England and New York, the wild, unfrequented, unknown shores of Lake Superior were unsuspected of any other capacity for production than those of the forest and the lake. It is only since 1846, that its immense beds of iron and copper were discovered, and only within the last ten years that that region has exhibited a wealth of mineral production which the world can scarcely parallel on an equal space. No sooner were the facts known, than copper companies (and since iron companies) began to be formed with the celerity and energy of an excited speculation. Capital was found in the great cities ready to be invested in such enterprises, laborers flocked thither, mines were opened, and now we have immense bodies of copper annually transported to Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and other places, to be smelted. In 1858, the copper ore exported from points in the Peninsula was six thousand tons, which yielded four thousand tons of pure copper, worth two millions of dollars. When we consider that this is one third the amount of copper produced by Great Britain, and one seventh of the whole amount produced out of America, we can understand the value of these mines, which have scarcely been opened ten years.
In the same region, and above the Sault of St. Mary, are iron mines equally extraordinary. The United States has in various sections immense deposites of iron. But in all the basins
. of the lakes there is nothing comparable to this. In the vicinity of Marquette, a flourishing port of Lake Superior, iron hills rise from six to seven hundred feet in height, which are a solid mass of iron ore. When smelted in the furnace they yield more than half in pure iron of superior quality, which is in demand at all the manufacturing towns of the East.
In the mean while the resources of the country which were obvious to the eye were naturally sought and developed by a different class of persons. The fisheries yielded the finest fish in exhaustless quantities; and from Sandusky Bay, in Ohio, to Superior City, in the wild Northwest, the lake salmon and the Mackinaw trout are transported, like the oysters of the Atlantic, to gratify the epicurean palate in town and city. These fisheries have now risen to great importance. They are supposed to exceed in product the whole of the other fresh water fisheries in the United States. At this time about one hundred thousand barrels of fish are freighted, and the annual value of the fisheries amounts to a million of dollars.
No sooner had civilization penetrated the wilderness of Lake Superior than another product came into immediate demand. Far as the eye could cast its searching glance, or the traveler penetrate the dark forests of Michigan, of Wisconsin, or of Canada, there rose the tall, slim trunks, and deep green foliage of the pine. Here was material in which the people South and West were deficient. The pines of the Alleghany and the Susquehanna had begun to diminish. Their stock would soon be
. gone, while here stretched away hundreds and thousands of miles of pine forest. Very soon, as the settlements began to increase in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, powerful steamengines were erected on the Saginaw, the Sable, Traverse Bay, La Crosse River, St. Peter's, and throughout the pine region, creating at once an immense trade in pine lumber. The great center of the pineries at this time is in the lower peninsula of Michigan, south of old Mackinaw. This lumber region is one of the wonders of our country, and it is supposed that Michigan is the greatest lumber region of the world. Here are not only interminable forests of choice pine but water outlets on every side. At the northern extremity is the Straits of Mackinaw; at the east, Saginaw and Sable; at the west is Traverse Bay, the Muskegon, and Grand River; while to the south is the northern outlet of Lake Erie. On every side lakes and rivers are ready to transport the products of Michigan, which enjoys every advantage which belongs to the northern temperate zone. As this immense production, this flow inward of the growing population, this growth of industry goes on, there will finally arise a great commercial city on the straits. Before we speak of this let us glance at the commerce of the lakes, which has grown already out of this recent development of mines, and fisheries, and pineries. Even the people of the United States, accustomed to the rapid growth of their own country, have scarcely been able to realize that of this lake commerce. But a very few years since scarcely a single steamer proceeded beyond Detroit, and not five years since the newspapers announced as an extraordinary event the annual voyage of a passenger vessel to the upper end of Lake Superior. Recently, however, the canal round the Sault of St. Mary has been completed, and this has given a great impetus to the navigation of Lake Superior. In 1854 but two steamboats and tive sail vessels reached Superior City. In 1856, two years after, forty steamers and sixteen sail vessels reached that port. Now, hundreds of vessels navigate that lake from one extremity to the other. What the commerce of this great northern lake will be may be judged by the startling facts, that there are now sixteen hundred vessels navigating the northwestern lakes, manned by thirteen thousand seamen, and trading with ports on five thousand miles of lake and river coasts. The exports and imports amount to hundreds of millions in value, and are still increasing at a most rapid rate. Since the continuation of the canal round the Sault of St. Mary, the annual value of exports and imports which pass through the Straits of Mackinaw is estimated at one hundred millions of dollars, and this commerce of the great lake will flow on till it exceeds that of the Caspian or the Black Sea; till its shores shall be lined with cities, and the story of Marquette, and the victory of Pontiac, become the classic legends of marveling boyhood. With these facts before us, it is no surprise to find that while the immediate country round old Mackinaw is yet a wilderness, an enterprising gentleman has laid out a city on the site of “Old Mackinaw.” There was one laid out years before at the upper end of Lake Superior, and is now a large town, growing with great rapidity. At the Straits of Mackinaw, as well as the upper end of Lake Superior, there must be large cities to supply the demands of commerce. It is not a matter of speculation, but a necessity of nature. The same necessity has already created Buffalo, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. The demand for such towns on the shores of Lakes Huron and Superior, and especially at the Straits of Mackinaw, whose bay and Lake Michigan flow together, are obviously far greater than those which have already caused the growth of Buffalo and Chicago. They have grown to supply the commerce of comparatively limited districts. One means of testing this
. One means of testing this is to apply radial lines to the site of any city existent or proposed, so as to include what naturally belongs to them, and thus compare them with one another. The radial lines of New York and Philadelphia extend across the ocean to Europe on one hand, and across the mountains to the Valley of the Mississippi on the other. In looking to this fact we are no longer surprised that New York has its million of inhabitants, and Philadelphia its six hundred thousand.
If we look to the radial lines of Chicago, we find that they are limited on the south by the competion of St. Louis, and on the North by Milwaukee. Yet Chicago, at the southern end of Lake Michigan, has risen to be a large city by a sudden and extraordinary growth, arising from the rich, though limited country about it. Apply these radial lines to Mackinaw, and we find that they naturally include all of Michigan, a large part of Wisconsin, and a large part of Canada West; but in reference to water navigation no interior site in America is equal to that of Mackinaw. Here concentrate the navigation of eighty thousand square miles of water surface, which has no common center but that of the Straits of Mackinaw. Two facts must be observed: that a commercial point which concentrates the trade of Lakes Superior, and Michigan must lie within the circuit of their coasts; but there is no such point, but Mackinaw. The other is that the point of commerce which offers the shortest distance, and therefore the cheapest, to the great markets of the Atlantic, will be preferred. Mackinaw is five hundred miles nearer to Buffalo than is Fond du Lac, and three hundred miles nearer than Chicago. So it is the same distance nearer to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, or the city of New York. It is on the south side only, through the peninsular of Michigan, and toward the states of Indiana and Ohio, that the position of Mackinaw seems deficient in communications. But we no sooner see this than we see also two great lines of railroad, progressing from the South throngh the peninsula toward Mackinaw. The one passes on the west side from Fort Wayne (Indiana) through Grand Rapids and Traverse Bay. The other through Lansing and Amboy, both terminating on the north at Mackinaw, and both, by connection with Indiana and Ohio roads, at Cincinnati on the south; thence, they will soon be carried to the orange-growing shores of Florida. Thus may some future traveler be borne in a few hours from the soft air of the southern Atlantic to the keen breezes of the North, and bathe his languid limbs in the clear cold waters of Michigan,
Thus briefly have we followed the facts presented by Mr. Strickland, till we find ourselves again standing on the site of “Old Mackinaw;" no more the single, lonely spot of civilization amid red warriors and Alpine forests, but just emerging to light amid a wonderful growth of people, of commerce, of industry, and art. The forests still stand, scarcely broken; but the sound of the advancing host, which is to level them with the ground and build up the structures of civil society, cannot be mistaken. They come with the heavy tread and confused noise of an army with banners.
The growth of the American States, as we have said, is from the outer to the inner circles; from the shores of the Atlantic and the Pacific, from the Bay of St. Lawrence and the mouths of the Hudson and the Mississippi, toward the interior. Then we had Boston, New York, Quebec, and New Orleans,