Page images

which the great result has been attained will be found, glanced at rather than described, but still touched in the pages of this book. It is true that the government of this country is not capable of, arbitrary strength, because it oper. ates in society as volition rules in the individual; but the popular judgment once convinced, and its feeling aroused to action exerts through the sovereign form a power against which it is useless to struggle, and before which every wrong must succumb. The grand features of a free press in the union could have no better illustration than is supplied by the fact that there is no censor. ship but public opinion, a power which can and must be moulded by the press itself. It cannot be denied that some portions of the journalistic litera. ture of this country are partisan to a reprehensible degree, but that is an in. evitable concomitant of our social growth under party government, the phase of life through which the nation is passing, toward the next evolution, possible only in the midst of an enlightened people, the rule of the wisest and best, expressing the highest thought of the community. The growth of the newspaper press will be found traced by successive instances in the northwest, from the petty sheet devoted almost entirely to advertisements, to the in. fluential daily that wields a power which can be felt throughout the union; and arising from the taste thus formed and nurtured, the magazine literature of the day is graphically reviewed, as a yet more hopeful feature in press development, toward which as well by patronage as by labor, this section of the union has not failed to contribute its quota. The church as a means of pro. gressive effort has not been lost sight of in this history, because it has been found in every community in which the materials for a sketch have been collected, that the first and best steps toward social and intellectual organization, have been in connection with the place of worship and the Sabbath school, leading up to a spiritual excellence and ästhetic culture, which will in the future rule the councils of the people. The value of secular training is not questioned, the conquests from nature, which from the curious experi. ments with the Leyden jars and the Voltaic pile, were by the practical energy of an American newspaper man — Franklin— turned to such channels as that Faraday, an English bookbinder, carrying the chain by which natural phenomena were surveyed, obtained the rotation of the needle round a magnetized wire, and laid the foundation of modern Telegraphy – which again is largely due to the activity of American intellect — will not admit of doubt; and few will be prepared to deny that electricity is to become every year more potent in aiding the progress of mankind by such works as electroplating, electrotyping and electro-dynamic machines, which may eventually supersede steam itself; but above and beyond the uttermost triumph of science anıl art, the race has a necessity for spiritual culture, which the church in its varied forms must help immensely toward realization; hence the little meeting house of logs in the backwoods settlement has been recognized as an agent with which civilization cannot afford to dispense, and the successive steps, by which the edifice has gone on to ever-improving forms and grander dimensions, have been observed with the interest properly belonging to the highest essential in our lives.

Science, as well abstract as applied, has been treated with the reverence

which belongs to the daily revelation and use of the laws — or modes of action — by which God is seen in nature, and, necessarily, every college and university which tends to make men wiser as to the ministers of progress which have been standing at the portals of history during unnumbered cen. turies have not been lightly considered. The day cannot be distant when not one form of industry alone, such as agriculture, but when every branch of labor will have its Technological Institute in every town, where the mechanic, resting from daily toil for a time, may refresh his soul in speculation in such national establishments, commanding, without cost, the fullest demonstration of the means by which new mechanisms work. The cost of all the models necessary, and of all the scientific skill required to work such a system of technical instruction, for the people at large, would be but as the dust in the balance compared with the results of more intelligent action in our workshops, and stimulated inventive skill upon our national wealth. The jour. neys of the elder Stephenson to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to see such models of muchinery as were in his day available, the speculations of Watt, the optician, with Newcomen's model of a steam engine, the experiments of the French weaver Jacquard upon the loom, no less than the movements of our own inventors in a thousand various directions, explain the means by which the million-fold harvest would be reaped from such wise planting. Art instruction, as well as scientific training, is an essential in building up the greatness of a people. Man has more facets to his well cultured brain than all the tiny planes of the best work of the lapidary upon the precious stone, and the cul. tivation of the beautiful in sight and sound is one of the many powers which must be used for his adequate development. Men who have studied the Chi. naman in his habitat cannot fail to see that his arrested growth in thought and in government is largely due to the want of universality in his system of culture. The schooling which could allow the art of printing, once discoyered, to slumber unimproved for hundreds of years, which could permit a nation to remain untaught as to the rules of perspective in painting, and as to the combination of sounds in music, should be a perpetual warning to every community against the neglect of taste as a means of development, a branch of culture which we, as a people, liave until of late years been inclined to hold too cheaply. The Historian owes it to himself, no less than to his subject, to make his contributions to literature a means of arousing at. tention to all such dangers, and to assist in evoking public spirit from thic vast deep of thoughtlessness and inattention in which too many opportuni. tics have found their

grave unwept, unhonored and unsung." The Northwest will be seen to have done its fair proportion in all such works as have yet been accomplished, and some items in its history lending in these several directions, will be found duly chronicled in their proper relation to contemporary events. Columbus, the capital, and Cincinnati, the me. tropolis, of Ohio, will find their own deels and records standing in their proper position, surrounded by the industrial prowess and social advancement of the state which they represent. Indianapolis, the wondrous city which, since the year 1816, has won an approach to empire such as no city ever achieved in any other quarter of the globe in a century, will find that hier in. dustrial enterprises, her railroads, her timber and her exports bave been noted with an appreciative band as an indication of the wealth and power which the future holds in trust for Indiana. Springficld, the home of Abraham Lincoln and his burial place, the capital of Illinois, and Chicago, the metropolis of the Great Northwest, have been depicted with no grudging pencil, although the greatness of the last named city, its misfortunes and its heroic efforts in combating disaster, would task the resources of the ablest writer that the world has ever seen. Michigan has been sketched from the earliest days of a French trading post and fort at Detroit, to the standpoint of the state at this hour, and while the beauty of the metropolis has been recognized, the other cities of that state have been described in the order of their importance. Madison, the handsome capital of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, its commercial center, commanding the vast chain of lakes and the river commerce of the union, demanded a notice of some length, but the other cen. ters of industry in the state have been set forth in their true colors, as thriv. ing homes of large detachments of the great Army of Progress which, by the magic of well applied energy, is gradually, but not slowly, conquering woodland, river and prairie, for the best purposes of mankind, preparing a way through the wilderness for the millions coming and to come from the coun. tries of Europe and Asia to build up new sections of the empire which the United States have established in the name of God and our race. St. Paul, which has advanced, with the state of Minnesota which it represents, by steady strides from a log chapel, in 1839, to the vast and populous dimensions of to day, deserved and has received full credit for the prosperity which it has largely assisted to produce and diffuse over a tract of country which, for many years to comc, must go on increasing in all the respects which render life enjoyable upon this footstool. Iowa came with her hands full of great cities which challenged adıniration, and there has been an attempt to annotate her claims, but who coulų render justice to Des Moines, Davenport, Dubuque, Burlington, Keokuk avd Council Bluffs within brief liinits, when every city might have filled a volume with the incidents of early settlement, the struggles for the soil, and the mineral wealth which slumbered in the rocks, the efforts which have made education a possibility, and the iron roads which unite every settlement in bonds of commerce with the wide world. Kansas had a peculiar history, having been for some years the battle.ground upon which was fought out in miniature the great struggle which eventually burst the shackles of the slave, and its soil and situation had claims upon special notice because of the manifold charms which have already commanded a population of over six hundrect thousand souls in the brief time which has clapsed since peace has reigned in the state. There has been an effort to do justice briefly to the claims of Kansas, but the subject requires a work spe. cially devoted to that purpose, and the vast quantity of material gathered for this precis has been further elaborated in a separate publication. Topeka, Leavenworth, Lawrence, and the other cities famous in history, have been de. scribed from actual observation with some approach to detail, and it is lioped that the result will be accepted as an approximation. Nebraska, youngest of "the sisters nine,” has yet much to be said, if not for her achievements, then

for her possibilities in a bright and prosperous future, to which, with a full and earnest admiration of their present glory, the author looks for the complete development of Lincoln, Omaha and Nebraska City with the state which they worthily represent.

CHARLES R. TUTTLE. MADISON, Wis., March, 1876.

« PreviousContinue »