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A New Guide for Emigrants to the West

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Its extent,—Subdivisions,—Population,—Physical features,—Animal, Vegetable and Mineral productions,—History,—Prospective increase of Population.

The Valley of the Mississippi, in its proper geographical extent, embraces all that portion of the United States, lying between the Alleghany and Rocky Mountains, the waters of which are discharged into the gulf of Mexico, through the mouths of the Mississippi. I have embraced, however, under that general term, a portion of the country bordering on the northern lakes, including the north part of Ohio, the north-eastern portions of Indiana and Illinois, the whole of Michigan, with a considerable territorial district on the west side of lake Michigan, and around lake Superior.

Extent. This great Valley is one of the largest divisions of the globe, the waters of which pass one estuary.

To suppose the United States and its territory to be divided into three portions, the arrangement would be, the Atlantic slope—the Mississippi basin, or valley—and the Pacific slope.

A glance on any map of North America, will show that this Valley includes about two thirds of the territory of the United States. The Atlantic slope contains about 390,000; the Pacific slope, about 300,000; which, combined, are 690,000 square miles: while the Valley of the Mississippi contains at least 1,300,000 square miles, or 833,000,000 acres.

This Valley extends from the 29° to the 49° of N. latitude, or about 1400 miles from south to north; and from the 3° to the 35° of longitude west from Washington, or about 1470 miles from east to west. From the source of the Alleghany river to the sources of the Missouri, following the meanderings of the streams, is not less than 5000 miles.

Subdivisions. The states and territories included, are a small section of New York watered by the heads of the Alleghany river, western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Territory of Arkansas, Indian Territory, the vast unsettled regions lying to the west and north of this Territory, the Wisconsin Territory including an extensive country west of the Mississippi and north of the state of Missouri, with the vast regions that lie towards the heads of the Mississippi, and around lake Superior.

Population. The following table, gives a comparative view of the population of the Valley of the Mississippi, and shows the proportional increase of the several States, parts of States, and Territories, from 1790 to the close of 1835, a period of 45 years. The column for 1835 is made up partly from the census taken in several states and territories, and partly by estimation. It is sufficiently accurate for general purposes.

States, parts of States and Territories. 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1835 Western Pennsylvania and a fraction of New York.) 75,000 130,000 240,000 290,000 380,000 490,000 Western Virginia 45,000 75,000 100,000 147,178 204,175 230,000 Ohio   [a]45,000 230,760 581,434 937,679 1,375,000 Indiana     24,520 147,178 341,582 600,000 Illinois     12,282 55,211 157,575 272,427 Missouri     [b]20,845 66,586 140,074 210,000 Michigan     4,762 8,896 31,000 83,000 Kentucky 73,677 220,959 406,511 564,317 688,844 748,844 Tennessee 35,691 105,602 261,727 422,813 684,822 735,000 Mississippi   [c]8,850 40,352 75,448 136,806 300,000 Louisiana     76,556 153,407 214,693 270,000 Arkansas Territory       14,273 30,608 51,809 [e]Wisconsin Ter....