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Taylor, Jacob N; Crooks, M. O. Sketch Book of St. Louis: Containing a Series of Sketches of the Early Settlement, Public Buildings, Hotels, Railroads, Steamboats, Foundry and Machine Shops, Mercantile Houses, Grocers, Manufacturing Houses, Etc . St. Louis: George Knapp and Co, 1858. [format: book], [genre: guidebook; narrative]. Permission: Tulane University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=taylorcrooks.html


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Chapter I. Introduction.

THE commercial importance of the territory acquired by the United States under the treaty between this Government and Mexico, is calculated to produce many extraordinary changes in the commerce of the entire continent; but in no other part of the country will the effects resulting from this acquisition be so extensive and important as in the Valley of the Mississippi. Believing, as we do, that the events of the present age will compel the construction of a railway from some point in the Valley of the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean, we are forced to the conclusion that the principal seat of commerce will be transferred from the coast of the Atlantic to the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Admitting the probability of such an event, it is natural to inquire where the great commercial city of this region is to be located; and, as the merits of the different points on the river have been pretty thoroughly discussed through the columns

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of the daily papers, we have come to the conclusion to furnish the reading community with a "SKETCH BOOK OF ST. LOUIS," wherein all the different kinds of business receive from our hands a fair and impartial notice.

To fulfill more completely the object in view, we have, at no little cost and trouble to ourselves, visited many of St. Louis' most extensive and prominent business, mechanical, manufacturing and mercantile houses, and have endeavored to give a faithful and accurate description of them, together with the facilities possessed for the transaction of business.

St. Louis, as a commercial emporium, has been for some years regarded as advancing more rapidly than any other place in the West. A few years ago, and some, perhaps most, of the old cities on the Ohio river were in advance of her. Many of our old citizens recollect very well when the merchants of the western portion of Illinois, and even of Missouri, purchased many kinds of goods at Cincinnati and Louisville, and brought them round here for sale. St. Louis, in point of population, of manufactures, and commerce, was behind either of the cities we have mentioned. But a mighty change has taken place. St. Louis in ten years has advanced with giant strides, and never in her history has she done so large a business or had as extended and prosperous commerce, notwithstanding the monetary crisis which hung, with leaden wings, over the entire country, as the year just closed in. Never were prospects for a heavy Spring trade more bright or promising than the one just ushered in.

St. Louis merchants, as a class of men, have not, probably, their superiors in the country. Prompt, honorable, high-minded, well informed men, not condescending to the little tricks which, to a considerable extent, mark some business

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men, or rather, men in business, in some other places; they seek by legitimate means to extend their operations, and by large sales and fair profits build up at the same time an extensive and influential business and an ample fortune.

Very many of our merchants have done both, and by their integrity and probity have given a high and exalted tone to the mercantile character of the city. We could point to many, who, having devoted years to business in this city, have maintained, throughout the whole period, such a reputation as any honorable man would be pleased to leave as an inheritance to his posterity.

Now, our wholesale dealers, in the various branches, have conducted their business so prudently, as to have extended sales into all portions of the West, from Minnesota to Texas — from the great Lakes to New Mexico and Utah — and to bring about this result, there has been a cordial co-operation between our merchants and manufacturers.

St. Louis may not only feel proud of her position, as a place of business concentration, but she may and does feel proud of the men, in all branches, who are engaged in the business of the place.

But the commercial greatness and importance of St. Louis is not only evidenced by the number, the probity, and the extensive operations of her merchants, but also in her vast commerce, the number, size and beauty of her steamboats. The vast increase in the number and costliness of these "floating palaces" in the past few years, show how rapid and healthy must be the growth and business of St. Louis as a commercial emporium.

Such a work as we now offer to your favorable consideration must necessarily be meagre, yet it is sincerely hoped that we shall be able to convey to the reader a partial

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knowledge of the immense amount of business transacted annually, as well as the vast resources which St. Louis possesses.

In furtherance of the object in view, it has occurred to us that a short sketch of the early settlement and progress of St. Louis would prove interesting. Such a history must necessarily be condensed, as we have not the space to more than mention the different incidents. A history complete in all its parts would fill a volume much larger than we purpose making ours.

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Taylor, Jacob N; Crooks, M. O. Sketch Book of St. Louis: Containing a Series of Sketches of the Early Settlement, Public Buildings, Hotels, Railroads, Steamboats, Foundry and Machine Shops, Mercantile Houses, Grocers, Manufacturing Houses, Etc . St. Louis: George Knapp and Co, 1858. [format: book], [genre: guidebook; narrative]. Permission: Tulane University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=taylorcrooks.html
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