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In presenting this book to the Public, it seems proper to me, to make a brief, but candid and respectful, mention of the motives which have induced me to write it, as well as the means I adopted to collect and secure, in a reliable form, the large amount of material and truthful information that will be found to make up its contents.
Having for a long while past endeavored. in seeking to aid and direct the great mass of the emigration from Europe, to find and to point out what seemed the best way to the advancement of their welfare, my attention was early given to the remarkable developments which have been, and are still, made in the Western States. While thus employed, I made myself fully acquainted with the prevalent literature of the West, and became a close observer of "the progress of events” in the new States. Through this employment, and by such observations, my judgment, I trust, has been rightly matured, so that I may freely utter my own convictions, as entitled to some weight, that Illinois is, if really not the most attractive, at least one of those States which offer the amplest guarantees for the rapid thriving and ultimate success and welfare of those who may seek to establish for themselves a “ Home in the West."
After having thus sedulously made myself acquainted with the character of the West in general, and especially still more carefully studied everything relating to Illinois, I resolved upon the preparation of this work; and, for the purpose of facilitating my labors, I made a personal visit through the State, in the fall of the year 1855, and examined things with my own eyes. It has not, however, been my object to write a merely pleasing and saleable book, without the strictest regard to the authenticity and truthfulness of its statements. Well knowing the aptitude of even the most honest observer and candid writer, while travelling through a State in order to gain a more intimate knowledge of it, to be filled with false first-impressions, misapprehensions, and monotonous judgments, I have not, therefore, solely relied upon my own personal observations and experience; but sought, in all that I have
written, to base it substantially upon the testimony of many other persons, such as farmers, merchants, physicians, clergymen, &c., who have been long residents of the State, and whose personal experience is of much weight. In the course of my journey through the State, I accordingly made it one of my principal aims to cultivate the acquaintance of such persons, and to procure their impartial statements and opinions as to the existing state of things in Illinois. Am numerous others, who have very much favored me in this respect, I feel myself under particular obligations to Governor J. A. MATTESon, Lieutenant-Governor G. KERNER, and FRANCIS A. HOFFMANN, Esq. In making my further acknowledgments, it is but an act of justice to mention the following-named gentlemen, through whose kind letters and valuable written communications I have been enabled to make up a great part of the matter of this book, viz. : F. J. Arenz, Esq., Arénzville, Cass co. Wm. Eddy, Esq., Hennepin, Putnam co. I. A. Arenz, Esq., Beardstown, Cass co. W. D. Edwards, Esq., Lacon, Marshall co. S. A. Armstrong, Esq., Morris, Grundy co. John McElvain, Esq., McLeansboro, Hamilton I. Atkinson, Esq., Pekin.
co. Edgar Babcock, Esq., Metamora, Woodford co. N. D. Elwood, Esq., Joliet. R. G. Bailey, Esq., Mt. Carroll, Carroll co. Theo. Engelmann, Esq., Belleville. Wm. M. Bean, Esq., Metropolis, Massac co. Steph. Feussner, Esq., St. Clair co. Edw. Bebb, Esq., Fountaindale, Winnebago co. Edw. Forcht, Esq., Concord. L. M. Beels, Esq., Belvidere, Boone co. Henry Funk, Esq., Stout's Grove, McLean co. A. Berlin, Esq., Granville, Putnam co. H. W. Good, Esq., Vandalia, Fayette co. Jas. Biddlecom, Esq., Waukegan, Lake co. R. S. Graham, Esq., Carmi, White co. Chs. Biel, Esq., Somonauk, De Kalb co. John McGraw, Esq., Clinton, De Witt co. Dr. Fred. Bock, Waterloo, Monroe co.
J. G. Hall, Esq., Shawneetown, Gallatin co. D. Bonar, Esq., Cambridge, Henry co. Edson Harkness, Esq., Southport, Peoria co. A. K. Bosworth, Esq., Greenup, Cumberland co. Wm. II. Haskell, Esq., Canton, Fulton co. G. W. Bowyer, Esq., Pontiac, Livingston co. Jul. Heinrich, Esq., Peru. Rev. C. A. Brauer, Addison, Du Page co. John Hertel, Esq., Rock Island. Fred. Brendel, M. D., Peoria.
G. F. Hilgard, jr., Esq., Belleville.
State Agricultural Society Island Grove, F. A. Hoffmann, M.D., Beardstown.
Mich. Hogle, Esq., Middleport, Iroquois co. F. Bumann, Esq., Bunkerhill, Macoupin co. Rev. F. W. Holls, Centreville, St. Clair co. Geo. Bunsen, Esq., Belleville.
Rev. IIoppe, Belleville. Ph. Burk, Esq., Hardin, Calhoun co.
Jos. C. Howell, Esq., Carlinville, Macoupin co. Z. Cadley, Esq., Knoxville, Knox co.
James S. Johnston, Esq., Mt. Carmel, Wabash Thos. H. Campbell, Esq., Auditor of the State, Springfield.
I. S. Irwin, Esq., Mt. Sterling, Brown co. J, J. Cole, Esq., Oswego, Kendall co.
M. Kleinhenz, Esq., Henry, Marshall co. A. Collins, Esq., Hadley, Will co,
E. M. Lamb, Esq., Woodstock, 'McHenry co. Dan. Converse, Esq., Waterloo, Monroe co. J. A. M. Laurie, Esq., Urbana, Champaign co. T. R. Courtney, Esq., Ottawa, La Salle co. Wm. Leighton, Esq., Winchester, Scott co. F. E. Cummings, Esq., Lincoln, Logan co. L. B. Leisenbee, Esq., Thebes, Alexander co. C. Dairly, Esq., Caledonia, Pulaski co. Geo. W. Lowder, Esq., Jerseyville, Jersey co. F. S. Day, Esq., Peru.
Jas. G. Madden, Esq., Monmouth, Warren co. Rosw. Dow, Esq., Sycamore, De Kalb co. Jas. S. Martin, Esq., Salem, Marion co. M. M. Dudley Esq., Naperville, Du Page co. N. W. Matheny, Esq , Springfield.
W. L. Mayr, Esq., Albion, Edwards co. Rev. A. Selle, Crete, Will co.
A. Shaw, Esq., Lawrenceville, Lawrence co.
Rey. S. Spies, Mascoutah, St. Clair co. W. W. Oglesby, Esq., Decatur, Macon co. Dan. Stahl, M.D., Quincy. J. N. Onstot, Esq., Havana, Macon co. 1. Trautham, Esq., Macomb, McDonough co. James F. Oulton, Esq., Monticello, Pratt co. John Trousdale, Esq., Fairfield, Wayne co. S. G. Paddock, Esq., Princeton, Bureau co. J. B. Turner, Esq., Elizabethtown, Hardin co. J. N. Pearce, Esq., Vienna, Johnson co. Isaac Underhill, Esq., Peoria. James M. Perry, Esq., Kankakee.
Pet. Unzicker, Esq., Groveland, Tazewell co. John W. Pyatt, Esq., Pinkneyville, Perry co. A. Vetterhoeffer, Esq., Washington, Tazewell co. John Ranney, Esq., Keithsburgh, Mercer co. P. H. Walker, Esq., Rushville, Schuyler co. S. W. Raymond, Esq., Ottawa.
R. A. Warfield, Esq., Raleigh, Saline co. Jos. Reinhard, Esq., Granville, Putnam ro. Dr. Welsch, Mascoutah. C. Reuske, Esq., Petersburg, Menard co. Alb. Weinberger, Esq., Whitefield township, Const. Rilliet, Esq., Highland, Madison co. Marshall co. B. Roberts, Esq., Shelbyville, Shelby co. F. Wenzel, M.D., Belleville. Wm. Ross, Esq., Pittsfield, Pike co.
John H. White, Esq., Marion, Williamson co. Benj. Sammons, Esq., Hillsboro, Montgomery Jas. Wightman, Esq., Carlyle, Clinton co. co.
J. Winn, Esq. Toulon, Stark co. T. Scars, Esq., Oregon, Ogle co.
Dr. J. G. Zeller, Springbay, Woodford co. I am, also, under particular obligations to DR. FRED. BRENDEL, of Peoria, for the drawings and delineations, which he had the kindness to furnish me, and which will be found appended to this book. They consist of three maps,
1. A Prairie and Wood Map.
3. A Population Map. These maps, I am confident, the reader will find to form a very excellent and valuable supplement to the work. The literary resources of which I made use, are —
Brown's History of Illinois.
- together with many newspapers, printed in the State, which the publishers had the kindness to send regularly to me.*
It was a part of my original intention to append to this work a complete Gazetteer of the whole State; but, for the want of room, I am compelled, very much to my regret, to desist from doing so. The very valuable material which I had collected for this purpose, and which I have now in my possession, I will, however, reserve, and prepare for the publication of a Ga eer at some future period.
May this book meet a kind approbation, and benevolent criticism, and prove as welcome and useful to the citizens of Illinois as to new settlers.
NEW YORK, December the 25th, 1856
* It being my intention to follow up, in future editions of this work, the progressive history and development of Illinois, and as I consider its newspapers as furnishing the best resources for this purpose, the publishers of newspapers in Illinois will greatly oblige me by sending me their papers regularly. If directed, “ Gerhard's German Reporter, New York,” they will certainly come to my hands.
IN THE PLACE OF AN
“The brilliant destiny of Illinois is now fairly beginning to unfold, and to be read in the speed with which she is bounding forward upon the highway to prosperity and greatness. Earth holds not, upon all its broad surface, a more fertile and favored land than this, our own beautiful Prairie State. What a mighty aggregation of natural advantages do we behold within her borders! In the very centre of the great Mississippi Valley, and in the heart of the Confederacy, she is embraced by magnificent lakes and rivers. With a soil of unsurpassed richness, resting upon a bed of coal sufficient to “keep the hearthstone of the world bright for a thousand centuries”; with a climate genial and healthful; with a level contour of surface, inviting the construction of great works of internal improvement; abounding in mineral resources; destined to be the crossing for the grand lines of oceanic intercommunication, connecting the extreme sections of the Union — those lines which must become the highways of nations, over which will pass the products of every clime, and a great moving human tide, in one unceasing flow; – blessed with all these advantages, nothing is wanting further to constitute the elements of physical greatness. We have an ample guarantee, in the character of her population, that her unbounded natural resources will receive