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arms, blackened and charred, standing alone in fields
where the plough was at work, had a very strange
appearance. They seemed like ghosts reproving the
innovators of civilization for the slaughter of their
nation. But the ghosts are soon laid : and in spite
of their feeble remonstrance, thriving farms appear,
and smiling villages, and prosperous cities, where half
a century ago was a boundless forest, trodden only
by wild animals, chased by the still wilder red-man.
I was told that " lumber land/' where the forest was
yet standing could be had for 10 dols. an acre; about
30J-. On Lake Superior it could be had for 4J.
Cleared land could be got for from 50 dols. to 100
dols. Wheat was high : 2 dols. 30 cents (about js.)
for a bushel of 60 lbs. A farmer said that for his farm
of 300 acres he had paid about 50 dols. taxes' before
the war, but now he paid four times that sum. There
had been a hurdle-race at the fair ; and I heard much
in praise of a horse which ran with two others, fell at
the first fence, jumped up as if no harm had been
done, ran two miles, clearing two fences, and then,
reaching the grand stand, lay down and died. They
who are running a better race may learn a useful lesson
from that brave persistent steed.



Niagara to Chicago. 121

There were some coloured people riding in the
same carriage ; for, as usual, there was but one class.
Their behaviour was very quiet and respectful. They
were reserved, and not so ready to engage in conver-
sation or answer questions as my other fellow-travel-
lers. I also observed that they took their seats at
the end of the car, so that they sat behind all the
other passengers. There was no hindrance to their
taking any seat they chose ; but I was told that, like
the whites, they prefer the society of their own people.
For the same reason they gather together religiously,
and form " coloured churches." I talked to a com-
fortable-looking negress. She told me she was born
in New York, had acted as nurse and cook, saved
money, married a negro from the West Indies, and
now had a farm of 25 acres, cleared land, for which
they had paid 300 dols. (about ^50). They built a
plank house for 150 dols. They grew corn (maize)
and wheat, grazed coavs, and got 25 cents a pound
for their butter (about iod.). They sometimes had
farm-labourers to help them, and gave them 10 dols.
a month (about 35^.), with, board, lodging, and
washing.

I was struck with the great intelligence of all the



122 Niagara to Chicago.

people I met. Every one seemed to be reading when
not talking. Men of the roughest exterior, of the class
we might call "clod-hoppers," and from whom one
would expect no coherent reply to any question on
matters beyond the daily toils and necessities of life,
were discussing domestic and foreign politics with
great acuteness, and were prompt to reply with rough
but ready courtesy and intelligence to inquiries re-
specting, not only the agriculture, but the manufac-
tures and general state of the country.

They talked to me of the " Homestead Law."
Eighty acres were allotted to a man and wife : and a
larger quantity in proportion to the number of their
children, so that a family might obtain as much as 1 60
acres, without rent. The condition of tenancy was
building some sort of a dwelling and settling on the
land. There was a small annual tax, not exceeding S
dols., on the entire allotment. If this was paid regu-
larly, after five years the fief was made over to the
tenant by a deed from the government, the cost of
which did not exceed 14 dols. (not 5 or.) The estate
then became his freehold. Entering on his allotment
in the spring, an active man could make a small
clearing and raise some corn and potatoes the same



Niagara to Chicago. 123

year. A friend of my informant cleared five acres,
and had corn a foot high in June. "A man worth
only 200 dols. could get along all right on such a
farm, if he didn't mind roughing it at first." If the
taxes were not paid up, the lot was sold to any one
who would pay the arrears, due notice having been
given to the original grantee to redeem it if he chose.
Land with timber on it could be bought for from 5
dols. to 10 dols. per acre. The timber would pay
the expenses of clearing, as well as the expenses of the
land. When planted with fruit-trees, land would fetch
from 200 dols. to 300 dols. per acre (^£35 to £>^o).
The word " corn " in America always denotes exclu-
sively " Indian corn " or maize. I observed it stand-
ing out in the fields in shocks, and was told it was so
left two or three weeks to ripen. Wheat had been
selling for 2 dols. 50 cents for a bushel of 60 lbs.
(about 8s.) when it was quoted at 14^. per bushel at
Liverpool. Wheat had been sent last year from Cali-
fornia to Liverpool, where it was ground, sent back to
New York, and sold there at a profit. Wheat in Cali-
fornia could be sold at 1 dol. 25 cents (about 4s.), at
a good profit, as here, in Michigan, at twice that sum.
Corn yielded on an average 50 bushels an acre, a



124 Niagara to Chicago.

bushel of corn being reckoned at 56 lbs. Wheat
yielded from 25 to 30 bushels, wheat being reckoned at
60 lbs. the bushel. The surface of the land in Mi-
chigan is black mould, several feet thick ; and corn
and wheat can be grown alternately, for 15 or 20
years without intermission. The straw has no market
value, and is burnt to get it out of the way.

Various figures were given me as the rate of wages.
One said that a good farm-labourer would get from
18 dols. to 20 dols. per month, with board. Another
said that in some parts a good hand could not be got
under 25 dols. Another that during harvest a good
labourer could get 3 dols. a day. Carpenters got 3
dols. a day, with work all the year. Bricklayers and
masons got from 5 dols. to 6 dols. but during the
winter were unemployed. There was a man who had
worked in the great flour-mill on the Niagara Rapids.
He told me that the miller was paid by taking a
tithe, i. e. 6 lbs. of wheat out of the bushel of 60 lbs.,
grinding the rest for the owner.

I was amused at an incident which, though trivial,
is significant of character and manner. My friend
wanting a seat, said to a passenger whose feet were
resting on the only vacant place — " Excuse me, if you



Niagara to Chicago. 125

please ! " To which the reply was blunt, but good-
natured, " No need of that, sir ; haven't you paid for
it ? Then you've a right to it."

How differently men look at things ; what to some
is a seemly courtesy, to others appears unnecessary
and impertinent. To conceal a claim under the garb
of a request, and to accept as a favour what might be
demanded as a right, is felt by some to be but fra-
grant oil, causing the wheels of our social life to re-
volve more smoothly. But others look on it as a
dangerous concession, an injury to justice, a perilous
precedent !

A boy who was passing up and down the car selling
apples, asked me to be a purchaser. While I was
selecting some of his fruit, he noticed the pin of my
neck-tie, and without any hesitation or unnecessary
preliminaries, took hold of it and minutely examined
it. Was it not there to be seen ? Was he not a man
and a brother ?

But I must bear testimony to the substantial po-
liteness I witnessed in all classes. Though every one
spoke to every one without diffidence — a custom of
which I availed myself by repaying in similar coin
the numerous questions put to me — there was no



126 Niagara to Chicago.

rudeness or vulgarity, nor did I ever hear any remarks
made in miscellaneous company which the women
and children present might not listen to without a
blush or a fear. If there was less of the high-bred re-
finement of the best English society, I met with none
of the disgusting vulgarity of speech and behaviour
which may be sometimes encountered amongst the
lowest of our own population. The working classes
in America, when they travel, have in their dress, and
still more in their manners, the appearance of our
middle classes. I always except one atrocious custom :
but this, in the districts where it is chiefly developed
seems to be considered a national institution, a social
custom which natives allow, and of which foreigners
have no right to complain.

The scenery of Michigan had nothing very inte-
resting. There was the same succession of belts of
forest and partial clearings, and farms and villages,
everything looking very new. The parts which were
cleared had been cleared a great deal too much, de-
nuded of trees, and without so much as a hedge : the
fields being divided by wooden fences. I do not
remember a single tunnel, nor any cutting of conse-
quence. Partly in talking, partly in watching the



Niagara to Chicago. 127



scenery, partly in walking through all the cars from
end to end of the train, now and then stopping for
refreshment, to be hurried back to the cars by the
cry " All aboard," the day wore on. It was about
eight o'clock p.m. when we reached Chicago, having
travelled 400 miles during twenty hours.

Our first experiences were not very pleasant.
Wearied with long travel, we entered the Richmond
House, the nearest hotel which seemed promising.
It was full of men of business, talking business while

busily smoking and . After an uncomfortable

night, I appealed to the head-clerk— " I've been
ringing my bell, and can get no one to come ; for I
want a bath and towels." " No, your bell's broke."
" It's a very noisy room : couldn't you change it ? "
" I guess you'd be no quieter in the country." " But
you must have better rooms ? " " Yes." " My room
opens into two others on each side, and the people in
both rooms have been making a great noise most of
the night." Clerk (still with the most indifferent air
imaginable) : "I know what your room is !" I quietly
walked off, for remonstrance was of no use, and I
ought to consider myself under great obligations in
being sheltered at all.



128 Niagara to Chicago.

It was Sunday morning, Sept. 15. We sallied
forth in this remote city, where we were utter strangers,
to find ourselves at home with fellow-worshippers in
the presence of the same God, and in the praise of
the same Saviour. We resolved to go first to a
" coloured church." A full-black negro, of the
genuine African type, was standing on the pavement,
faultlessly got up in well-cut suit of black broad-cloth,
with very white collar, smart neck-tie, and conspi-
cuous wrist-bands. Seeing us somewhat perplexed
he courteously asked us where we wanted to go, and
then at once offered to conduct us. We found him
most respectful, obliging and intelligent. He an-
swered all our inquiries with readiness, and in very
good though somewhat ambitious English. I recall
one specimen — " Chicago, sir, is the most remarkable
illustration of Western civilization extant ! " We met
a lady in full Parisian costume. Her dress was green
silk, faultlessly fitting, and with sweeping train. Over
it was thrown, with elegant carelessness, a white lace-
shawl. She wore a chignon of fashionable size, and
a tiny, dainty French bonnet, or apology for a bonnet.
Her gloves were light kid, not a fraction of a size too
large for the hand. An elegant parasol completed



Niagara to Chicago. 129

the "get-up." The lady was a full-black African, on
her way to church. I asked my conductor if he knew
who she was. "Oh yes, sir; she's the wife of an
artizan of my acquaintance." "How much does he
earn?" "About 10 dols. a week " (35-f.)- On ex-
pressing my surprise that she could afford to dress in
such a manner, he replied, " You see, sir, all people
like to distinguish themselves somehow. Most ways
of getting distinguished are shut up against coloured
people ; but they can dress, and so they do it as their
only way of being distinguished."

The " coloured church " was a plain, substantial
building, resembling a large school-room. It was
well filled with negroes, all of them scrupulously clean ;
the men in black, with well-brushed hats, and very
white linen; the women in smart attire, excepting
those who were in mourning, of whom there seemed
to be a large proportion. The minister occupied a
platform at the opposite end. He was of the darkest
African hue, and was very clerically dressed, though
without a gown. Just below and in front of him,
supported on trestles, was an open coffin, in which
lay the body of a young negro in his shroud, the face
being exposed to view. He had come to his end

K



130 Niagara to Chicago.

very suddenly and mysteriously. It was suspected
that a young woman who was in love with him had
poisoned him on learning that he was about to be
married to another. His affianced bride, with the
members and friends of the two families, were now
present on occasion of the funeral sermon.

The clergyman seemed about 25 years of age; he had
a very intellectual countenance, a good voice, an accent
above the average of educated Americans, and spoke,
with some peculiarities, very good English. He did
not use any manuscript. His manner at first was very
slow and hesitating. He seemed disturbed by many
late arrivals. But when the church was full and quiet
he became very animated, till in language, voice, and
action, he rose to genuine eloquence. What was far
better, it was his evident desire to do good, and not
to make a display. Altogether, it was one of the
most effective sermons I have ever heard. I thought
that if some preachers who may be disposed to sneer
at " negro clergymen " could do the chief work of a
clergyman as he did, and were as "apt to teach,"
there would not be so many empty pews.

I took shorthand notes of the sermon, and will
transcribe a few sentences as a specimen of his style,



Niagara to Chicago. 131

though no report can do justice to the force of his
delivery, and its effect on the audience. His text was
from Proverbs xiv. 32, " The wicked is driven away
in his wickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his
death." He said :

" This text is co-operated and proved by many other
texts. This is plain — the wicked is not invited to
go away, not sent away, but driven away. O how
terrible to think of a man whom God has made
susceptible of all the feelings of a man, and capable
of religion, but he neglects God and abuses his
talents, and when God comes to settle up with him, he
is found unfaithful, and God says : Cast him into
outer darkness ! All the sins you have committed
will follow you. Hell is the place where all sin will
be cast. It can't stay on the earth ; you will meet
your sin there ; you will have to live with it. You
must spend eternity with all your wickedness as com-
panions. As the victim of the murderer always is
haunting him, and he fancies the constable is after
him, and has no rest, so the wicked 'is like the
troubled sea ' ; so a man's sins will haunt him in hell.
Do you speak of fire ? I speak of wickedness !
Whether there will be fire, or something else, this is a



132 Niagara to Chicago.

figure ; but the reality always exceeds the figure.
The wicked is driven away in his wickedness. Great
God, help me to speak to this congregation ! {Sup-
pressed groans a??iong the people.) There are only two
places for two congregations. Great God, help us,
that we be not driven away ! (Groans and sighs.)
It is bad to be driven away from a friend when he is
set against you ; you can never forget it. Think of
God ! He is the greatest of friends. O ! to be
driven away from Him ! Those who are not prepared
for the happy place, prepare themselves for the un-
happy place. If a man wishes to go to heaven, God
will help him on there ; and if he will go to hell, the
devil will help him on there. I set before you this
day life or death. If a man chooses to go to hell, it's
his own fault. But you want to know whether Henry
Clay had hope in his death. I can only say as much
of him as of the thief on the cross. He said he be-
lieved Christ was able and willing to save him. He
prayed all last winter, and the winter before. He
told us he was not being driven away. Oh, thank
God for that ! (Emotion.) Thank heaven we serve
such a God ! If, like the thief on the cross, we look
to Him, He will save us ! I give this young man



Niagara to Chicago. 133

only this credit. He had done no good — he hadn't
converted any one — had distributed the Bible no-
where — but he just made his escape, like the dying
thief. Jesus stopped dying to save that thief/ And he
is able to save now. I am happy to have such a
Saviour to proclaim to the wicked young men of
Chicago — a Saviour able to save to the very extre-
mity ! {Emotion.) But don't you sit down on that.
You may have no time to pray if you wait till you die.
This young man prayed two years. Begin this day !
(Emotion.) You remember brother Powell? he that
sat there, just last Sunday (pointing to a bench at the
side of the church). I was told last night he was just
gone to heaven. When he parted with me to go to
see his friends in Maryland, he said : 'If ever you
come to that part, find me out ; but, if I never see
your face again on earth, hard by God's eternal throne
I'll meet you.' The old man had hope in his death.
He does not sit in this congregation any longer, but
he sits up yonder ! (Great excitement.) I have a
strong hope that I shall not be lost in the valley of
the shadow of death. Death is called the King of
Terrors, and when he comes with his arrows he tries
the strongest. Alexander, who conquered nations,



134 Niagara to Chicago.

and wept when he had no more to conquer, Death
conquered him ! He will try us all ; but the righteous
have a strong hope to reach eternal bliss, beyond this
valley of tears. ( Cries oj Yes I yes ! my God /)
A strong hope, even while dying ! ( Yes ! yes /)
David said, ' Why art thou cast down, O my soul ' ;
but he said, ' Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise
Him ! ' ( Yes / yes /) We must hope in God in the
midst of the greatest trials, and even in death. But
let me speak to these young people. You have got
to die — in the wilderness or the city, at home or as a
stranger — but if you've got Jesus, it's more than all
the world ! (So it is ! so it is !) You must pray
sometime and somewhere, on earth or in hell ! ' To me
every knee shall bow.' If we pray on earth, we get
the benefit: if in hell, there is no benefit. Dives
prayed in hell, and it was no benefit. But this young
man prayed on earth. He enjoyed health. A few
weeks ago he looked as if he would outlive your
humble servant. How soon disease wasted him ! So
it may be with us ! and if we die in our wickedness,
God will say, ' Depart, ye cursed ! ' None will be
driven away but those who prepare themselves for it.
God ! my Master, send conviction to these young



Niagara to Chicago. 135

men. {Sensation.) Before next Sunday some, perhaps,
may die. Shall the word be ' Depart,' or l Come, ye
blessed ? ' Decide to-day ; and that we may all meet
in the presence of God is the prayer of your friend ! "

At the close of the service, the multitude walked
round the church, passing by the side of the coffin, as
when the body of a great man lies in state. The
warm feelings of the negro found vent in tears and
sighs, and exclamations of sorrow. Some of the re-
latives could scarcely be led from the corpse. The
affianced bride gave way to the most passionate grief.
But there was great solemnity and propriety of beha-
viour notwithstanding. It was a sad and impressive
scene, which, with the sermon, will never be effaced
from my memory.

At the door of the principal Presbyterian church we
took leave of our courteous negro guide, who would
evidently have considered himself insulted by any offer
of pecuniary compensation. The service was just
over. We were recognized by the Rev. Dr. Torry,
who took us at once into the school-room to address
a bible-class. A lady also accosted me, expressing
her thanks for the courtesy she had once experienced
in my church in London in being shown into a pew,



136 Niagara to Chicago.

and the pleasure she had felt as a stranger in hearing
a special prayer offered for those who might be pre-
sent who were far from home. I was often struck
with the deep impression made on Americans, when
they visit the old country, by the smallest attentions,
and with the eagerness with which they repay them,
and with interest, too ! One of the elders took us off
to dinner; after. which, we were escorted to four
schools, at each of which both my friend and myself
were called upon to address the children • and in the
evening we preached in two churches of different
orders, neither of them being what might be called
our own. There seemed to be a perilous laxity in the
clergy of Chicago ! They positively asked nothing
about church or sect, but welcomed us simply as fel-
low-Christians and brother-labourers in the Gospel !
And we were betrayed into the same laxity, and
accepted their welcome without first ascertaining
whether they belonged to the True Church !



CHAPTER VI.

CHICAGO.

Advantages of Location — History — Progress — Go-ahead — Town
Lifted — Transport of Houses — Elevators — Water- works —
Lieut. -Governor Bross — Giant Trees — Fire Signals — Churches
— Schools — Young Men's Christian Association — Robert
Lincoln.

CHICAGO is more than one thousand miles of
railway journey from Boston. Situated on the
south shore of Lake Michigan, it has direct water
communication with the vast coast-line of that great
inland sea, whose circumference is about 800 miles.
But as Lakes Superior and Huron form with it one
undivided expanse of water, the entire coast in
immediate command of Chicago, leaving Lake Erie
to the care of Detroit, extends upwards of 2,500
miles. Vessels load at Chicago, and by the lakes,
canals, and the river St. Lawrence, find their way by
a navigation of 2,000 miles to the Atlantic, and do
not shift their cargo till they reach Liverpool. More-
over, at Chicago, railways converge from Minnesota,



138 Chicago,



Iowa and Illinois, bringing to its markets, warehouses,
and wharfs the produce of the great North-west
country, and of the vast and now cultivated prairie-
lands of the Far West. Since my visit Chicago has
direct railway communication with California, and
thence, by steamers, with China, by the Union Pacific
Railway. It is not, therefore, surprising that Chicago
should have a vast trade in timber, beef, pork, and all
live-stock ; that it should be the chief primary market
for grain in the world, and that it should promise to
rival even New York in its commerce.

To illustrate the observation of my negro friend,
that " Chicago is the most remarkable manifestation
of modern civilization extant," I will cull a few facts
of its history.

The Delaware Indians inhabiting the region called
themselves Lenno-Lenape, or real men. To express
this idea to the French explorers they used the word
" leno " or " leni." The French version is Illinois.
The first white men who visited the district were two
Jesuit missionaries, in 1662. Wolfe's victories in
1759 thwarted the purposes of France ; and subse-
quently, in the American revolutionary war, the north-
western possessions of the British Empire fell to the



Chicago. 139

United States. In 1809 an Act of Congress consti-
tuted Illinois a "territory." The first Legislature had
five members in its Upper House, and seven in its
"House of Assembly." The author of "Western
Annals " says :— " They did their work like men
devoted to business. Not one attorney is found on
their list of names. They deliberated like sensible
men, passed such laws as they deemed the country
needed, made no speeches, had no contention, and,
after a brief session of some ten or twelve days,
adjourned."

In 1804 there was a solitary fort built on the prairie,
by the shore of Lake Michigan, for the protection of
traders. It had fifty men and three guns. When the
war broke out, it was evacuated, the commander being
ordered to distribute the government property among
the Indians. A council was called, and the Indians
promised to escort them safely, on condition of re-
ceiving the stores. But during the night the powder
was thrown into a well, the guns destroyed, and the
liquor poured away, through fear of these proving a
dangerous gift to the savages. The next morning,
when the Indians assembled for their presents, dis-
appointment and revenge were visible in their faces.



140 Chicago



The party had not proceeded many miles when they
were attacked by a large party of Indians, who were


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