The Book of the Fair, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection

Chapter the Second: Historical Sketch of Chicago
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[29] - It has been said that of all the marvels of the Chicago Exposition, the most marvelous is Chicago. However this may be, certain it is that the attention of the thoughtful visitor is attracted first of all to the city whose builders thus invite and entertain the world of civilization as their guest. It seems therefore eminently fitting, before proceeding with the subject matter of this work, to present in briefest outline the history and condition of the place on which for the time is thus fastened the minds of men.

By a certain engineer employed by the government in the opening years of the present century on a survey of Lake Michigan, it was reported that there was only on spot on the shore of that lake where a city could not be built. On this very spot stands the business quarter of Chicago, a city ranking today the second in the United States as to population, the first in relative progress, and one of the first in volume of commerce, and of wealth. But if it were possible to behold the site of Chicago as it then existed, it would be seen that the engineer was by no means without good reasons for his statement. Here the prairie lands terminated in a wide morass, covered with rank, malaria-breeding vegetation, while in the centre of the tract a sluggish stream, the present Chicago river, overflowing at times the low, bare plain adjacent, served but to render still more desolate this abode of desolation. It was, in truth, as if nature, wearied with the work of creation, had here left over her last unshapen fragment.

[30] - By the Jesuit annalist, Charlevoix, is mentioned the arrival in 1671 of a fur trader named Perrot, on the southwestern edge of the lake, amid the lands then occupied by the Miamis. Here is probably the first historic mention of Chicago, or rather of its site, for as yet no building stood on the shore of Michigan. Some two years later a survey of this region was made by Louis Joliet, an agent of the governor of New France, as was then termed the boundless territory of the far northwest. By him was traced on a rough map the course of the Chicago, or as it was then called the Chacaqua river, the latter being the Indian word for thunder, and from which is probably derived the name of our mid-continent metropolis, though by some its origin is traced to Checagow, or Chekagou, an onion, for onions grew plentifully along the banks of the stream. With Joliet went the Jesuit priest, Marquette, whose attempts to convert the natives were cut short by malaria. He was followed at intervals by others of his cloth, who, under the spur of religious enthusiasm, seeking to plant in these wilds the banner of the cross, found a martyr's grave on the banks of this fever-stricken creek. Meanwhile a few traders made their appearance, whose stay was of the briefest, and for years at a time the site of Chicago remained untrodden by civilized man.

The first real settler appears to have been a negro, a fugitive slave, who about the year 1779 built a cabin on the bank of the creek, and established a thriving business as a fur trader, though his main object was to establish here a home of refuge for his unfortunate countrymen. But this benevolent purpose he appears to have abandoned, for not long afterward we find his cabin in the possession of a Frenchman named Le Mai, by whom it was again transferred to one John Kinzie, the latter, for the part which he bore in the earlier history of the settlement, being styled the father of Chicago. Near by a few traders had settled, and with a view to counteract British influence among the neighboring Indian tribes, in 1804 Fort Dearborn was built, around it clustering for mutual protection the pioneers of the future metropolis. Thus matters continued until in August, 1812, almost the entire garrison, with a number of women and children, were massacred by the savages; the fort and its adjacent buildings were destroyed, and again over the scene of this tragedy brooded the desolation of the wilderness. Inserted in the wall of a warehouse on Michigan Avenue, near the Chicago river, is a large marble tablet, on which is a picture of the blockhouse of Fort Dearborn, with the log fence which inclosed it, and a brief description of its history, presented by a public-spirited citizen at the suggestion of the Chicago Historical Society. In 1816 the fort was rebuilt; but thenceforth its annals contain nothing of importance until, in 1871, the last vestige was swept away in the sea of flame that all but devoured the great city by which it was encircled.

[31] - In 1818, when Illinois was admitted to statehood, Fort Dearborn was known, where known at all, as a small frontier post, outside the pale of civilization. Some five years later, when first the tax-gatherer made his appearance in the farthest west, the entire property of the settlement was assessed at somewhat less than $2,500, the men of Fort Dearborn contributing $11.40 as their share of the county expenses. At this period its handful of inhabitants lived in utter isolation, save that once a year a schooner, dispatched by John Jacob Astor, called with a cargo of supplies, and bore away its annual tribute of furs, while two or three times a month a mail rider brought to this outpost in the wilderness the tidings of the world from which it was separated.

About the year 1830 the settlement began to display symptoms of vitality, and in August of that year, under the auspices of the Illinois and Michigan canal commissioners, a corporation empowered to lay out towns on the government lands assigned to them, the original plan was issued of the town thenceforth to be known as Chicago. With the support of this powerful association progress became more rapid. In 1834, when the entire posse of the town assembled for a wolf-hunting expedition, the number of inhabitants was placed at somewhat below 2,000; in 1837, when the first census was taken, it had increased to 4,179; then, for a time, it appears to have remained almost stationary, for the United States census report of 1840 shows only a gain of 300. In 1850, however, the population had increased to 30,000, and in 1860 to 109,000, a ratio of progress without a parallel, save amid the tented cities which sprang up almost in a night on the Pacific seaboard.(1)

It was between these two latter decades, beginning with 1855, that the grade of the city was raised from about seven to an average of fifteen or seventeen feet above the level of the lake. This work was in truth a necessity, in order to provide a thorough system of sewerage, and to avoid the malarial fevers and other forms of sickness caused by the low, swampy site, a site which for years after Chicago had become a thriving commercial town was little better than a quagmire, and where, as one of her citizens remarked, "the one unequalled, universal, inevitable, invincible thing about the place was - mud." To accomplish this task the streets were filled in, and by means of jack-screws worked by steam power, not only the largest dwellings, but the largest business buildings and business blocks, together with churches, theatres, hotels, and edifices of every kind, were raised to the required elevation, and that without begin vacated, whether used for business or residence purposes. During these and other years the river was dredged and deepened, and by an extraordinary feat of engineering was made to change its course, its southern branch being connected, at a distance of two and a half miles from the lake front, with the Illinois and Michigan canal, which has also been so much deepened as to draw the waters of the lake. Discharging as it does into the Illinois river, and the latter into the Mississippi, this canal thus causes the Chicago river, instead of flowing into Lake Michigan, to finds its out outlet in the Gulf of Mexico. (2) Harbors were constructed at great expense with lines of breakwater forming huge basins for the accommodation of shipping, one of them 300 acres in extent. In the river itself, together with its branches crossed by more than fifty drawbridges, and with a dockage capacity of forty miles, vessels of the largest class can be handled, while craft of every description pass to and fro, at times in almost unbroken line. Other bridges, together with tunnels built under the bed of the stream, connect the business quarters of the city, and relieve the crush of its constantly increasing traffic. With such enterprise and almost preternatural activity on the part of her citizens, it is no wonder that as early as 1870 we find in Chicago a city of 307,000 inhabitants, nearly threefold the population of 1860, tenfold that of 1850, and with more than a corresponding gain in volume of commerce, industries, and wealth.

But now a great disaster was about to overtake the young metropolis, one that should try to the utmost the sterling qualities of this the most fearless and self-reliant of modern communities. On a breezy Sabbath night, the 8th of October, 1871, an alarm of fire was sounded, caused by the overturning of a lamp amid the loose straw of a stable, in a section of the city built entirely of wood. Almost before the engines could get to work, an insignificant blaze was fanned into a conflagration, and far in advance of the flames firebrands were scattered broadcast by the gathering southwesterly gale. Though worn out by their task at a previous fire the night before, the firemen worked heroically, and all that men could do they did; but without avail. The flames advanced in one serried mass, devouring granite buildings as hungrily as wooden huts, and soon it became apparent that the business quarter was doomed. At Midnight a sea of fire covered the west bank of [32] the river; then laying hold of the bridges and the vessels moored to the docks, it leaped at a single bound across the stream. Half an hour later it seized on the gas works, and then swept forward with the fury of a demon, casting into the night its shafts of flame, to be swept by the storm athwart the devoted city. Presently, the two columns of fire, uniting in one, traversed the very heart of Chicago, driving on before, as with the flail of the fell destroyer, the homeless and terror-striken citizens, some of whom took refuge in the lake, as the only escape from the showers of sparks and cinders, from blazing firebrands, and from the fierceness of the heat. Toward the south the conflagration was finally arrested by blowing up a number of buildings directly in the line of its march; toward the north it was stayed only by the waters of the lake, or by lack of fuel to feed on.

Of the many distressful incidents which marked the progress of the fire, and the days of black despondency that followed it, only a few need here be related, and those in the briefest of phrase. Thousands remained near their homes until the flames approached the last bridge over which escape was possible to the opposite side of the stream. Then came a general rush, which soon developed into a panic, and the bridge was choked with a frenzied mass of humanity, struggling for life. The strong pushed aside the weak, and hundreds were crowded over the rail-guard into the river, while horses, driven frantic by blazing firebrands falling on their backs broke loose from harness and trampled under foot whatever was found in their way.

Forth from the houses rushed terror-striken men and women, leaving behind their jewelry, their silk dresses, seal-skin sacques, and other costly garments strewn at random on the floor. In a deserted chamber of one of the principal hotels was found a canary bird, singing merrily in his golden cage, illumined by the approaching flames as with the glare of noonday. To save valuable effects fabulous prices were offered to truckmen, as much as $500 being paid for a single load. Not a few of these carriers, effacing their license numbers to escape detection, drove off with the goods, and the price paid for the load as well. The cells in the basement of the courthouse were filled with murderers, burglars, footpads, and criminals of every degree. These, as the flames approached, it was determined to release, all except the first, who were conveyed to a place of safety. Then it seemed as if hell itself was let loose; for to the horrors of the conflagration were added the yells and curses of gangs of malefactors, rushing to and fro in search of plunder, without check or hindrance. Crime was rampant; the police were helpless, and for a time all respectable persons were permitted to carry arms. To prevent further destruction of property, not only by criminals, but by those who had been driven insane from its loss or from other causes, martial law was proclaimed, and throughout what remained of the city notices were placarded that persons caught under suspicious circumstances would be shot at sight. Private citizens were drafted into service as watchmen, soldiers patrolled the sidewalks, and after nightfall all civilians were compelled, at point of bayonet, to keep in the middle of the street.

The destruction of the waterworks created a water famine, and residents of the west side, shut off from the lake by the burning district, were compelled to drink the stagnant water of the nearest pond, distributed by peddlers at five cents a glass. The explosion of the gas works left the city in darkness, and tallow dips sold at twenty-five cents apiece, the Western Union Telegraph Company, with its $70,000,000 of capital, sending forth its dispatches by candle-light from the dingy warehouse which it was glad to secure as headquarters. By business [33] firms enormous rents were paid for miserable accommodations. Of restaurants there were none left in the burned district, the leading restaurateur of the south side reopening his doors in a gloomy basement which survived the wreck of the conflagration. The price of all necessaries was extravagantly high, and hundreds of families, before in prosperous circumstances, were left without shelter or food, save for what could be obtained at free soup-houses, established by the authorities through fear of bread riots.

As the destruction wrought by the fire has been tersely described, "Between the existence of a city and of none a single night intervened." Except for the burning of Rome by Nero, and of Moscow by the Muscovites, few more sudden or stupendous calamities have befallen any city of ancient or modern times. Within less than twenty-four hours the conflagration had swept through more than three square miles of the most populous portion of the metropolis; it had destroyed more than 17,000 buildings, and more than 70 miles of pavement; it had blotted out of existence the entire business section, most of the railroad depots with their rolling-stock, most of the docks and much of the shipping, while of all the public edifices of which Chicago was wont to be proud, her courthouse and postoffice, her custom-house and chamber of commerce, their remained only here and there the lurid skeleton of a wall. There were not a dozen wholesale stores left standing in the city; there were few hotels, theatres, or churches, and there was but a single bank. As to the loss in all its poignant details should first be mentioned that of 250 lives, and the rendering homeless of nearly 100,00 people. In property it was estimated at $196,000,000, of which less than one-half was covered, and less than one-fourth was paid by insurance; for such was the strain on their resources that many of the insurance companies were forced into compromise or bankruptcy. Add to this the depreciation in values of real estate, together with the temporary diversion of business, and it is probable that $250,000,000 is a moderate estimate of the damage wrought by the great Chicago fire of 1871.

It is not my purpose further to describe the horrors of the Sabbath night, or the blank despair which, darker than its funeral pall, overshadowed the desolated city. After the lapse of well nigh a quarter of a century, those among the citizens of Chicago who passed through this fell tribulation, yet speak of it as though its incidents had been burned by the flames on the tablets of their memory. But if of the calamity itself the impression is vivid and indelible, still more fresh is their recollection of the prompt and generous aid dispatched from far and near, almost as soon as the tidings were spread throughout the land. On the day after the fire came a relief train, followed by scores of others, from every section of the United States, laden with the necessaries of life, for those whom the conflagration had left without shelter, food, or clothing. In funds the total of contributions from home and abroad amounted to nearly $5,000,000, and so carefully were all contributions administered by local societies that, even at the close of 1876, a portion was still undistributed. First of all the sick were cared for; the dead were buried, and the homeless and destitute were fed and housed and clad. For more than 40,000 persons barracks were erected; for workmen tools were provided; for work women, sewing machines; and for all, so far as possible, employment in one form or another. Thus it is said that the poorer classes were never in such comfortable and prosperous conditions as during the years that succeeded the fire.

Even by the most sanguine it was doubted whether a dozen years would suffice to restore the city to its former proportions, and yet within a single year many of the largest business structures were rebuilt, and within three years the vacant district was covered with buildings more solid and costly than those which had been destroyed. Almost before the ashes were cold the work of rebuilding was commenced, though for a time men who had conducted in warehouses of granite some of the largest business enterprises in America, began a life anew in rough board sheds, built on the smoking ruins where but a few days before had stood their temples of commerce. It is in truth from the year of the conflagration that modern Chicago dates its existence, and that the city began to be built of which her citizens are so justly proud, a city as to its business quarter one of the most sightly and commodious of our great centres of traffic, and with fire limits so extended as to prohibit the erection of wooden buildings within its boundaries. In less than a twelvemonth after the fire the new buildings in course of construction covered a street frontage of nearly ten miles, and cost when completed more than $40,000,000; in the next two years a frontage of about seventeen miles was erected, but at a smaller proportionate outlay; between 1876 and 1890 some 68,000 structures were finished at a cost of $300,000,000, while for the single year of 1892 their number was nearly 13,000, and their value $64,000,000. Thus was rebuilt the Garden city on a scale befitting her rank as the commercial emporium of the west, and one of the greatest commercial emporia in the world.

When first the question was mooted whether Chicago could be restored and her business reestablished, there were many who shook their heads in doubt, and more who, though speaking words of cheer, felt little cheer at heart. But from the east came telegrams by the hundred, bidding the merchants of the fallen city to order whatever they required, and pay for it when they could. The years between 1872 and 1878 were considered a period of remarkable business depression; but rather should they be termed a period of business rehabilitation, of solid and permanent reconstruction, as appeared during the financial crisis of 1873, when failures were comparatively few; and of all of the great monetary centres of the United States, Chicago was the only one that steadily continued to pay out current funds instead of issuing certificates of deposit. Meanwhile, during this era of renewal and repair, debts were liquidated, obligations were met, new channels of commerce opened, and the balance of trade restored. In 1873, imports were no less than $300,000,000 in excess of exports, indicating somewhat of extravagance when it is considered that by this time the effects of the fire had almost disappeared; in 1878 these conditions had been reversed, exports exceeding imports by about the same amount.

[34] - He who would fully realize the commercial development of Chicago should study for a moment the causes which led to that development, first among which are its advantages of location. Less than half a century ago Chicago was, as I have said, but a frontier town with less than 5,000 inhabitants, and one little known outside its own immediate neighborhood. At that date the population of Illinois was less than half a dozen to the square mile; today the region within a radius of 300 or 400 miles of Chicago is one of the most densely peopled of any similar area in the United States. No longer does the city owe its prosperity to the westward tide of migration, but rather to the reflux of that tide, to its industrial and commercial refluence, to the vast grain and cattle and mining region which sends eastward to the city by the lakes its annual tribute of products, to be distributed thence to every quarter of the world.

Standing on the southwestern shore of an inland sea, this city controls the commerce of the great lake system which extends more than half way across the continent, the bulk of this commerce passing over the water of Lake Michigan, and centring in Chicago. The shipping which enters and leaves its harbor is, as to aggregate tonnage, almost as large as that of the port of New York, while the cargoes conveyed to and from by way of the Detroit river, most of them gravitating toward Chicago, are greater in volume, if not in value, than those which pass through the Suez canal. From a few thousand bushels, shipped in 1839 by way of experiment, - the first grain shipment of which any record remains, - the total export of cereals had increased in 1892 to more than 200,000,000 bushels, valued at about $125,000,000, with some thirty grain elevators capable of accommodating as many millions of bushels. Of lumber, the receipts for 1892 exceeded 2,000,000,000 feet, with shipments of more than half that amount. Of live-stock, the receipts for that year was estimated at $240,000,000, the three items of grain, lumber, and live-stock forming the principal items in a commerce probably exceeding $1,600,000,000 a year. But of this amount the value of manufactures was represented by $586,000,000, with more than 3,400 establishments, 180,000 operatives, and an invested capital of $230,000,000.

While Chicago has traveled thus rapidly along the path of industrial and commercial progress, she has not been backward in providing for those higher forms of development which should rank above the pursuit of mere wealth. With temples of worship, with schools and colleges of every class and grade, with two universities, with academies of science and art, with scores of charitable, benevolent, and fraternal associations, with some of the best of libraries in the United States, and finally with a press almost unrivaled in enterprise and ability, it may in truth be said that Chicago will not suffer by comparison with the oldest cities of the Atlantic seaboard. Of churches there are more than 500 of all existing denominations, where every one may worship as taste or conscience dictates. From 3,000 pupils in 1855, when was issued the first report of the Chicago Board of Education, the school enrollment had increased to 152,000 in 1891; and meanwhile the school expenditure had risen from less than $50,000 to more than $4,000,000, with a valuation of school property at the latter date little short of $10,000,000. There was also a college of law, with seven medical and five theological colleges, all in excellent working condition, while at private and denominational schools and colleges, there were probably not less than 50,000 pupils in attendance.

But the crowning glory of the educational system of Chicago is her University, whose scope and work may best be judged from the fact that within a few weeks after its doors were opened, on the 1st of October, 1892, there were no less than 700 pupils enrolled in its several departments. The University of Chicago is not, however, of such recent origin. Chartered in 1857 by the legislature of Illinois, and organized for active operations in the following year, its classes were continued, though under many difficulties , until 1889, when its career was cut short untimely by the pressure of financial embarrassments. At once it was determined to found a new institution on a broader and more solid basis, and in December of that year the matter was brought before the American Baptist Education Society, which promised its aid and cooperation. From some of the most liberal residents of a city noted for its liberality, including among other John D. Rockefeller and Marshall Field, contributions were secured amounting, with other funds, to more than $6,000,000 before the close of 1893. [35] Meanwhile, during the previous summer, work had begun on the University buildings, all of which were to be complete, or nearly so, before the close of its natal year. Under the presidency of William Rainey Harper, formerly Yale professor of Semitic languages, Hebrew and Biblical literature, a scholar and author of worldwide repute, and a man of rare executive ability, the University of Chicago will doubtless prove worthy of her high calling as the education centre of our mid-continental states.

Of other institutions of learning, of science and of art, as the Northwestern University at Evanston, with its thirty professors and lectures; the Chicago Athenaeum, or People's College, where thousands of young men and women have been afforded the means of a liberal education, and the Chicago Conservatory, with its several departments of literature and art, I can here make only passing mention. But of the Art Institute a few words must be said, if only in answer to those who would have us believe that art in its highest sense has never found a home in Chicago.

Incorporated in May, 1879, with George Armour as president, succeeded in 1880 by L. Z. Leiter, and in 1882 by Charles L. Hutchinson, who still remains in office, the Institute was opened in rented rooms, soon to give place to a building erected for the purpose on Michigan avenue, and this again to a brown stone structure of romanesque design. The latter edifice was sold with its real estate, its museum and school buildings, to the Chicago club in the summer of 1891. The sale was effected with a view to removal, at the close of the Columbian Exposition, into the tasteful and commodious Art museum erected on its grounds, but first to be used for the meetings of the World's Congress Auxiliary, the Fair commissioners having arranged with the trustees of the Institute to apply to the purpose of construction the sum of $200,000 on condition that the total cost of the structure should be not less than $500,000, and that it should be ready for temporary occupation by May 1st, 1893. But of this building, with its right of use and occupation, a more detailed description will be given in a later section of my work.

In the report of the trustees, dated the 7th of June, 1892, the membership was stated at 2,177, and the number of visitors for the preceding year at 138,511. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there had been an unbroken series of special exhibits, with loans from some of the choicest collections in Europe and America. Many valuable pictures, statues, casts, and coins, with treatises on art and kindred subjects, had also been added to the treasures of the Institute. As to the more practical work of the Institute, it need only be said that instruction is given by a corps of professional teachers in many branches of art, including perspective and composition, drawing and painting, designing and modeling, with classes in architecture and mathematics.

Thus in as brief as the nature of the subject permits, I lay before the reader a sketch of the history and somewhat of the present condition of the seat of the present great World's Exposition. There is here emphasized in some respects a condition of society and civilization, of intellectual and industrial activity, unique and individual. Search history from first to last, and we find no such phenomenal development, no such triumphs of commerce and manufactures, no association of men endowed with such a combination of intelligence and energy, with a nobleness of mind and liberality of heart and hand so pronounced in whatever tends to the elevation of the community, and the enlargement of the best interests of the commonwealth. Chicago has made many men, but the men must first make Chicago. And how shall I speak of the creation of Chicago? To make a city great, burn it; to make a city very great and prosperous, burn it twice. So of men: to become rich, give; to become very rich, give liberally. Among the ethics and economics which seem to govern the men who have made Chicago, sentiments like these lie latent.

He who would picture to himself the Chicago of today, must imagine the city extending for more than twenty miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, with 2,500 miles of streets, 2,100 acres of public parks, [36] boulevards from 200 to 300 feet in width, and the whole being the centre of a railroad system including more than one-third of the mileage of the United States. In the business quarter he will pass between buildings from seventeen to twenty stories in height, whose upper floors, reached by swift running elevators, are utilized for business purposes almost as effectually as those on a level with the street. Entering, let us say, the Masonic Temple, he will pass to the seventeenth story between endless rows of apartments devoted to office and storage use. Thence to the twentieth story are the floors set apart for the Order, with their assembly and club rooms, parlors and dining-rooms, armories and storerooms, forming on of the finest suites of lodge apartments in the world. Ascending still higher, the visitor will find himself in a glass-roofed observatory, from which, undisturbed by the ceaseless din of traffic nearly 200 feet below, he may gaze across the waters of a tideless inland sea on the low-lying shores of Michigan, and landward on the prairies of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Beneath him he may look down on tall church spires, whose crosses appear suspended midway in air, while the streets are narrowed to a thread, along which passes in one unbroken stream the pigmy procession of humanity.

And the end is not yet. Great as Chicago is, the era of real greatness is yet before her. Little more than seventy years have elapsed since the site of this city was rescued from savage men and beasts; little more than twenty years since she began to recover from the ruins which her conflagration wrought; yet in this brief period she has risen to a prominent rank among the commercial, industrial, and social cities of either hemisphere. Most fitting it is that an Exposition which is to represent the progress of the world in science, industry, and art, should be held amid this the most progressive of all our New World communities.

Notes: 1. It may be of interest to note here the rise and progress of some of the chief towns of the Pacific coast in connection with our view of the marvelous growth of Chicago. Beginning with a rough board shant in 1835, Yerba Buena, the present San Francisco, had 50 inhabitants in 1840; in 1848 the population numbered 800; in 1849, 20,000; in 1850, 25,000; in 1852, 35,000; in 1860, 57,000; in 1870, 149,500; in 1880, 233,000; in 1890, 298,000. New Helvetia, or Sutter's Fort, later Sacramento, had in 1847, 300 people; in 1848, 2,000; in 1849, 5,000; in 1850, 7,000; in 1860, 14,000; in 1870, 16,000; in 1875, 24,000; in 1880, 17,600; in 1890, 26,000. Portland, Oregon, had in 1845, its two founders; in 1852, a population of 2,000; in 1860, 2,874; in 1870, 8,300; in 1875, 12,500; in 1880, 17,600; in 1890, 47,000. Victoria, B. C., had in 1852 seven independent settlers; in 1853 there were 450 white people; in 1861, 3,500; in 1863, 6,000; in 1881, 12,000; in 1890, 20,000. Between the Mississippi river and the Sierra Nevada during the earliest part of this epoch, all was primeval wilderness, and a great part of it desert, save the Mormon settlement whose chief city by the Great Salt Lake had in 1848, 2,000 people; in 1850, 6,000; in 1852, 10,000; in 1860, 14,000; in 1880, 21,000; in 1890, 45,000. If at any one time the population of San Francisco was greater than that of Chicago, it was in the autumn and winter of 1849, when the unprotected miners flocked to the cities to escape the rains; or in 1852, when the flush times had reached their height; but all this was a fictitious rather than genuine population.

2. It sometimes happens, hover, especially during heavy spring freshets, that the volume of water is so great as to reverse the current, sending the sewage of the city into the lake and thus unfitting its water for drinking purposes. To overcome this difficulty, a channel 100 feet n width and fourteen feet beneath the low water level of Lake Michigan, is now being cut from the south branch of the river to Joliet, 36 miles distant. It will discharge fully 300,000 cubic feet of water per minute, and it is believed that with this broad and deep canal completed, no emergency will arise threatening the drinking supply of Chicago which cannot be more than met. The channel, which, it is estimated, will cost $20,000,000, is to be a ship as well as a drainage canal.

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