Page images
PDF
EPUB

exhibited, and is now exhibiting for rapid settlement and early maturity.

There is another fact important to be noticed in this connection. The low level prairie, or natural meadow, of moderate extent, is 80 generally distributed over the face of the country, that the settler on a fine section of arable land, finds on his own farm, or in his immediate neighborhood, abundant pasturage for his stock in summer, on the open range;' and hay for the winter, for the cutting—the bounty of Nature supplying bis need in this behalf, till the cultivated grasses may be introduced and become sufficient for his use.

The limestone, underlying the coal fields of Illinois, forms the immediate basis of the alluvion of Southern Wisconsin. This geological district, in addition to that portion of the State which lies southerly of the valley of the Wisconsin river, comprises the whole of the slope towards Lake Michigan.

In many portions of this district, the lime rock disappears, and the out-cropping sand stone furnishes a fine material for building.

The lead bearing rock of the mineral region, is a porous lime stone, prevailing throughout Grant, Lafayette and Iowa Counties, comprising four-fifths of the “Lead District” of the upper Mississippi; the remaining one-fifth being in the States of Illinois and Iowa. Deposites of iron ore, water lime stone, and beds of gypsum,

, together with other varieties of minerals, are found in localities more or less numerous, throughout the lime stone region.

All of that section of the State, which lies between Lake Superior on the North, and the falls of St. Anthony on the Mississippi, and the falls of the other rivers flowing southerly, is primitive in its prevailing geological character; and it is within this primitive region, that the copper mines of Lake Superior are found-probably the richest in the world, and apparently inexhaustible.

In all that portion of the State, lying between the primitive region just described, and the lime stone formation of the South

a

and East, the transition sand stone prevails ; interspersed with lime stone, and more sparsely, with rock of a primitive character. This formation comprises that section of the country drained by the Wisconsin and other rivers tributary to the upper Mississippi, and below the falls of those streams. Within this Geological District, are found quarries of white marble, which promise to be abundant and valuable.

ANTIQUITIES.—The mounds and antiquities of this State are similar to those in other Western States. I. A. LAPHAM, Esq., who has made this subject his study for several years, in speaking of them in his work on the Geography and Topography of Wisconsin, says:

“ Wisconsin does not fall behind the other portions of the western country in the monuments it affords of the existence of an ancient people who once inhabited North America, but of whom nothing is known except what can be gathered from some of the results of their labors. The works at Aztalan, in Jefferson County, are most known and visited, but there are many other localities which are said to equal them in interest and importance. The substance called brick at this place, is evidently burned clay, showing marks of having been mixed with straw, but they were not moulded into regular forms. There is a class of ancient earth-works in Wisconsin, not before found in any other country, being made to represent quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, and even the human form. These representations are rather rude, and it is often difficult to decide for what species of animal they are intended; but the effects of time may have modified their appearance very much since they were originally formed. Some bave a resemblance to the buffalo, the eagle, or crane, or to the turtle or lizard. One representing the human form, near the Blue Mounds, is, according to R. C. Taylor, Esq., one hundred and twenty feet in length: it lies in an east and west direction, the head towards the west, with the arms and legs extended. The body or trunk is thirty feet in breadth, the head twenty-five, and its elevation

[ocr errors]

above the general surface of the prairie is about six feet. Its conformation is so distinct that there can be no possibility of mistake in assigning it to the human figure.* A mound at Prairieville, representing a turtle, is about five feet high ; the body is fifty-six feet in length; it represents the animal with its legs extended, and its feet turned backwards. It is to be regretted that this interesting mound is now nearly destroyed. The ancient works are found in all parts of the Territory, but are most abundant at Aztalan, on Rock river, near the Blue Mounds, along the Wisconsin, the Neenah and the Pishtaka rivers, and near Lake Winnebago.

“The mounds are generally scattered about without any apparent order or arrangement, but are occasionally arranged in irregular rows, the animals appearing as if drawn up in a line of march. An instance of this kind is seen near the road seven miles east from the Blue Mounds, in Iowa County. At one place near the Four Lakes, it is said that one hundred tumuli, of various shapes and dimensions, may be counted—those representing animals being among others that are round or oblong.

"Fragments of ancient pottery of a very rude kind are often found in various localities. They were formed by hand, or moulded, as their appearance shows evidently that these vessels were not turned on a 'potter's wheel.' Parts of the rim of vessels usually ornamented with small notches or figures, are most abundant.

“A mound is said to have been discovered near Cassville, on the Mississippi, which is supposed to represent an animal having a trunk like the elephant, or the now extinct Mastodon. Should this prove true, it will show that the people who made these animal earthworks, were contemporaries with that huge monster whose bones are still occasionally found; or that they had then

* The reader is referred to the “Notice of Indian Mounds, &c., in Wisconsin," in Silliman's Journal, vol. 34, p. 88, by R. C. Taylor; and to the “Description of Ancient Remains in Wisconsin,” by S. Taylor, vol. 44, p. 21, of the same work, for more detailed descriptions and drawings of these interesting animal mounds.

but recently emigrated from Asia, and had not lost their knowledge of the elephant."

CLIMATE AND HEALTH.-The climate of Wisconsin is similar to that of the interior and western counties of New York. The winters for the past four years have for the most been mild, and without much snow. The mean temperature of nine different localities in the State, in 1851, was 45° 54'. Mr. Lapham, in the work above referred to, says:

“The salubrity of the climate, the purity of the atmosphere, and of the water, which is usually obtained from copious living springs; the coolness and short duration of summer, and the dryness of the air during winter, all conspire to render Wisconsin one of the most healthy portions of the United States. The wet meadows, marshes and swamps, are constantly supplied with pure water from springs; and as they are not exposed during summer to a burning heat, they do not send forth those noxious and deleterious qualities so much dreaded in more southern and less favored latitudes. Many of our most flourishing towns and settlements are in the immediate vicinity of large swamps, and partially overflown meadows, yet no injurious effects upon the general health are produced by them.

It has usually been found, in making new settlements in the western wilderness, that as the forests are cleared away and the surface thereby exposed to the direct influence of the sun and winds, a deleterious effect is produced on the general health-the decaying vegetable matter being thus suddenly made to send forth its malarious qualities. But in Wisconsin no such result is apprehended, or can be produced, for a large proportion of the country consists of oak opening and prairie, and may therefore be considered as already cleared. The removal of the few remaining “burr oaks” cannot have the same effect upon the soil

“ as the cutting down of the dense forests of the other States. And besides this, the fires that have annually raged over the surface, often kindled purposely by the Indians, on their hunting excursions, have prevented that rapid accumulation of vegetable matter which is always found in deep shady woods where the fires do not so often penetrate.

It is believed that the facts here stated will be sufficient to satisfy the reader of the truth of the opinion expressed by our most intelligent physicians, that Wisconsin is, and will continue to be, one of the most healthy places in the world."

PRODUCTIONS.—The productions of Wisconsin may be divided into four classes, the Forest, Animal, Vegetable and Mineral. The comparative amount belonging to each will be shown by the statement given below, which is mainly compiled from the United States census of 1850:

*;-;

FOREST

Bales furs and peltry.
Feet sawed lumber, pine..
Thousand shingles...
Cubic feet timber
Number staves
Cords tan bark...
Tons ashes, pot and pearl....
Pounds maple sugar
Gallons molasses
Pounds wax and honey
Bushels cranberries..

800 Î50,000,000

30,000 20,000,000 10,000,000 2,000

25 610,976

9,874 131,000

2,000

16

ANIMAL

Value of live stock, June, 1850.
Number of horses...

milch cows and cattle..
sheep -

swine Pounds of cheese

butter wool.

fish. Dozen of eggs. Value of animals slaughtered...

$4,879,385

30,335 183,434 124,892 159,276

400,283 3,633,750 253,963

10,000 100,000 $920,178

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »