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Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
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Chapter XXVI. The Mississippi River and its Tributaries.

As the commercial metropolis of the Mississippi valley, St. Louis lays under contribution not only the great Mississippi River, but all the numerous streams which swell this mighty current. Situated twenty miles below the mouth of the Missouri and one hundred and seventy-four miles above the mouth of the Ohio, St. Louis holds, as has been frequently pointed out in this work, the key to the industrial development of that vast and fertile region which is drained by the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Ohio, and the numerous smaller rivers, and her commercial existence is indissolubly linked to that of the great valley.

"Many years ago the late Governor Clark and myself," says Hon. Thomas H. Benton, [16] "undertook to calculate the extent of boatable water in the valley of the Mississippi; we made it about fifty thousand miles! of which thirty thousand were computed to unite above St. Louis, and twenty thousand below. Of course, we counted all the infant streams on which a flat, a keel, or a bateau could be floated, and justly; for every tributary of the humblest beatable character helps to swell not only the volume of the central waters, but the commerce upon them. Of this immense extent of river navigation, all combined in one system of waters, St. Louis is the centre and the entrepôt, presenting even now, in its infancy, an astonishing and almost incredible amount of commerce, destined to increase forever." The Mississippi,

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the conduit of them all to the ocean, must ever remain the central figure in the group. Rising in Lake Itasca, about three thousand two hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico, near the "divide" which turns the waterfall of that country into the Red River of the North, it flows for over one thousand miles through a rich and abundant land, until its waters are broken by the Falls of St. Anthony, near which the thriving cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are located. The river at these falls is eighteen hundred feet wide, and its waters are precipitated over a ledge of limestone rock seventeen feet in height, forming a dam, the water of which supplies power to many manufacturing establishments, in Minneapolis, the chief of which is that of flour. For continuing the improvement of these falls, twenty-five thousand dollars was appropriated by the River and Harbor Act of 1882. St. Paul, near these falls, is seven hundred and ninety-eight miles from St. Louis, and is the head of steamboat communication with St. Louis, though the river is navigable far above the falls.

Not the least of the remarkable features of the Mississippi River are the physical characteristics which it has stamped upon the delta which it has created and through which it flows. The scientists who have made a study of this river regard the delta of the Mississippi as beginning near the village of Commerce, about twenty-eight miles above the mouth of the Ohio, where the rock in situ is first encountered on both sides of its channel, and supposed to underlie its bed. If that be assumed as a fact, it involves the further assumption that at some remote period there existed a cataract or rapids of far greater descent than that at Niagara somewhere above the mouth of the Ohio River. The elevation of the low-water surface of the Mississippi about Cape Girardeau is two hundred and eighty-five feet above the level of the ocean, and if ever the level of the sea extended up to that point, the Mississippi must then and there have precipitated its waters over a ledge two hundred and eighty-five feet high. If imagine a great plane, extending from the mouth of the Ohio, six hundred miles in length and thirty to forty in width, with its northern extremity elevated two hundred and eighty-five feet, we shall have some idea of the delta which the river has created in the progress of time. This plane, containing forty thousand square miles, has been formed in the course of ages from the material washed down from the uplands by the river and its tributaries. The river has therefore raised above the sea the soil which constitutes its own bed, and flows down this plane of its own creation in a serpentine course, frequently crowding the hills and bluffs. The actual distance from the mouth of the Ohio to the gulf is in round numbers five hundred miles, the length of the Mississippi from the same point to the gulf is eleven hundred and seventy-eight miles, and the average descent at high water is three and a quarter inches per mile. The course of the river is therefore lengthened out nearly seven hundred miles, or more than doubled by the remarkable flexures of its channel, and the rate of descent is reduced by these flexures to less than one-half the inclination of the plane down which it flows.

The Mississippi bears along at all times, but especially in the periods of the floods, a vast amount of earthy matter suspended in its waters, which the current is able to carry forward so long as the water is confined to the channel. But when the water overflows the banks its velocity is checked, and it immediately deposits the heaviest particles which it transports and leaves them upon its borders, and as the water continues to spread farther from its banks, it continues to let down more and more of this suspended material, the heaviest particles being deposited on the banks, and the finest clay, conveyed to positions more remote. The consequence is that the border of the river which received the first and heaviest particles are raised higher above the general level of the plane than the soil which is more remote, and that while the plane of the delta dips towards the sea at the rate of eight inches per mile, the soil adjacent to the banks slopes off at right angles to the course of the river into the interior for five or six miles at the rate of three or four feet to the mile. The lands immediately on the borders of the river are extremely fertile, and often highly cultivated, but as they are all subject to inundation during the high floods of the river, they are guarded by artificial embankments. The water pressing upon these embankments often produces breaches or crevasses through them, and rushes in a deep column into the low grounds, and sweeps over every improvement. The width, depth, and area of cross section of the Mississippi below St. Louis will be found in the following table, from the memoir of Charles Ellet, Jr.:

Points on the River. Width, Feet. Depth-Feet. Area of Cross Section, Square Feet.
At Cape Girardeau, 1½ miles above 2500 66.5 105,544
Above mouth of Ohio, 2 miles 1530 77.5  
Below mouth of Ohio, 1 mile 4031 71.3 235,333
Below Memphis,½ mile 2830 102.5 143,212
At Horse-Shoe Cut-Off 2940 72.8 161,221
Above Arkansas River,¾ mile 2810 81.5 171,190
Below Arkansas River,¾ mile 3730 81.0 196,300
At American Bend, upper side 3365 103.6 170,160
At American Bend, lower side 3285 79.1 187,170
Terrapin Neck 3440 87.6 178,220
Terrapin Neck, lower side 3540 102.1 168,130
Above Vicksburg, 7 miles 3513 120.0 160,164
Below Vicksburg, 3 miles 4400 84.0 207,800
Above Palmyra Bend 4048 96.3 187,220
Below Palmyra Bend 5613 91.3 266,292
Above Grand Gulf, 4 miles 3644 105.5 175,773
Below Grand Gulf, 3 miles 5900 76.5 264,797
Above Red River,½ mile 2545 118.0 194,530
Below Red River, 1 mile 3665 128.0 268,646
In Racourci Cut-Off 1761 107.0 148,790
At Tunica Bend 3323 87.7 233,892
Baton Rouge 2500   212,500
Above Plaquemine, 1½ miles 2170 123.5 181,500
Below Plaquemine, 1½ miles 2790 128.0 199,280
Above Donaldsonville, 1 mile 2483 117.5 200,250
Above Donaldsonville,½ mile 3553 103.2 114,580
Bonnet Carré Bend, above Crevasse 2925 107.9 198,734
Bonnet Carré Bend, below Crevasse 2983 76.4 152,443
Sauvé's plantation 2375 135.3 182,031
McMaster's plantation 2425 100.0 166,172

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The average area of high-water section of the whole from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans is two hundred thousand square feet. The estimate for the discharge of high water by the Mississippi at the top of the flood of 1854 was one million two hundred and eighty thousand cubic feet per second.

At the time of the Revolution there were able men who conceived that the Atlantic States, hemmed in by the sea and by a chain of mountains, embraced too great a diversity of surface and products, and were too widely scattered not to present discordant elements and jarring interests, which could only be reconciled and held in check by a powerful centralized government. They could not imagine that the barriers of the mountains would be overleaped, and that other States would spring up in the remote West; that their descendants would intermingle on the Pacific coast with the people of Asia, and claim the Sandwich Islands for their neighbors; that Mexico would present but a feeble barrier to their interminable progress, or that States would flourish in the Mississippi valley, in which one of the States, Missouri, unexplored at the period of the Revolution, has a population, resources, and wealth greater than all the original thirteen when their independence was achieved, and a city, St. Louis, is more populous, wealthy, and enterprising than all the cities of the Atlantic coast at the same epoch.

The distances from St. Louis to points on the upper Mississippi are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To the mouth of the Missouri 20 20
Alton 5 25
Grafton 18 43
Cap au Gris 27 70
Worthington 10 80
Hamburg 10 90
Clarksville 15 105
Louisiana 12 117
Cincinatti, Ill. 15 132
Saverton 8 140
Hannibal 7 147
Marion 10 157
Quincy 10 167
La Grange 10 177
Canton 8 185
Tully 2 187
Warsaw 20 207
Keokuk 5 212
Montrose 12 224
Fort Madison 12 236
Pontoosac 6 242
Dallas 2 244
Burlington 15 259
Oquawka 15 274
Keithbury 12 286
New Boston 8 294
Port Louisa 12 306
Muscatine 18 324
Rock Island 30 354
Hampton 12 366
Le Clair 6 372
Camanche 18 390
Albany 2 392
Fulton 10 402
Sabula 18 420
Savanna 2 422
Galena 30 452
Dubuque 25 477
Will's Landing 12 489
Waupaton 8 497
Buena Vista 6 503
Cassville 4 507
Guttenberg 10 517
McGregor 22 539
Prairie du Chien 3 542
Red House Landing 3 545
Johnson's Landing 1 546
Columbus 29 579
Lansing 2 577
Winneshiek 8 585
Victory 5 590
Warner's Landing 11 601
Wild Cats' Bluffs 12 613
La Crosse 16 629
Black River 12 641
Fortune Landing 6 647
Montoville 4 651
Winona 7 658
Wabashaw Prairie 4 662
Honie's Landing 10 672
Hall's Landing 10 682
Wabasha 25 707
Nelson's Landing 2 709
Reed's Landing 2 711
Lake Pepin 1 712
Wells' Landing 14 726
Bullard's Landing 8 734
Red Wing 8 742
Point Prescott 22 764
Point Douglas 1 765
Hastings 25 790
Crow Village 3 793
St. Paul 5 798
Falls of St. Anthony 8 806
Mendota 6 812
Fort Snelling 1 813
Itasca 37 850
Sauk Rapids 49 899
Fort Ripley 46 945

The distances from St. Louis to points on the Mississippi to Cairo are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To Cahokia 4 4
Carondelet 1 5
Jefferson Barracks 5 10
Sneck's Landing 10 20
Widow Waters' Landing 1 21
Sulphur Springs 2 23
Rattlesnake Springs 2 25
Harlow's 5 30
Platin Rock 2 32
Selma 3 35
Rushtower 5 40
John Brickley's 5 45
Fort Chartres 5 50
Ste. Genevieve 10 60
St. Mary's 10 70
Pratt's 2 72
Kaskaskia 3 75
Chester 5 80
Maynard 1 81
Fort Perry 1 82
Liberty 8 90
Underhill's 5 95
Herring's 1 96
Baily's 4 100
Wilkinson 5 105
Linhoop 1 106
Wittenburg 14 120
Sellers 1 121
Grand Tower 1 122
Birmingham 6 128
Hines 1 129
Preston's 1 130
Bennet's 1 131
Neeley's 1 132
Vaucil's 1 133
Willard's 2 135
Bainbridge 1 136
Clear Creek 9 145
Cape Girardeau 5 150
Thebes 10 160
Commerce 3 163
Thornton's 5 168
Price's 2 170
Lane's 3 173
Hunt's 1 174
Rodney's 15 189
Cairo 5 194
Mouth of Ohio 5 194
Ohio City 5 194

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The river system of the Mississippi valley, of which St. Louis is the centre, the entrepôt, may be summarized as follows:

Mississippi from St. Anthony's Falls to the Gulf of Mexico   2,200
Red River to head of navigation   1,100
Arkansas to Neosho River   600
White River to Batesville   400
St. Francis River   100
Missouri River   2,000
Osage River 300  
Kansas 300  
Other tributaries 600  
Des Moines   300
St. Peter's   300
Yazoo   100
Ohio   1,000
Its tributaries — Tennesee 600  
Cumberland 300  
Wabash 300  
Green, Kentucky, and Muskingum 500  
Allegheny 400  
The Illinois   300
Rock River, Galena, Wisconsin, and St. Croix   500
Making the total river navigation   12,200

At Fort Snelling the St. Peter's, or Minnesota River empties into the Mississippi, eight hundred and thirteen miles above St. Louis, and is navigable for sixty miles. By the River and Harbor Act of 1882 the Secretary of War is directed to cause examinations and surveys to be made of "the source of this river, near the foot of Big Stone Lake, with a view to its being added to the reservoir system of the Mississippi and its tributaries." The St. Croix River, with its large lumber trade, is about two hundred miles in length, and enters the Mississippi at a point seven hundred and sixty-five miles above St. Louis; the chief river points on the St. Croix are Hudson, Stillwater, Osceola, and St. Croix Falls. [17] The Chippewa River empties into the Mississippi six hundred and eighty-six miles above, St. Louis, near the end of Lake Pepin, upon which a harbor of refuge at Lake City is to be constructed under the River and Harbor Act of 1882. This river is navigable for steamboats about seventy miles, and upon its surface large quantities of timber are annually rafted to St. Louis; its length is three hundred miles, and its chief tributaries are the Clearwater and Red Cedar Rivers. For the improvement of the Chippewa River thirty-five thousand dollars was appropriated by the River and Harbor Act of 1882.

The Wisconsin River empties into the Mississippi four miles below Prairie du Chien, and five hundred and thirty-eight miles above St. Louis. This river is navigable for steamboats as far as Portage, where the canal connects it with the Fox River, which flows into Green Bay, and connects the Mississippi system with the lake system of navigation. The length of the Wisconsin is six hundred miles, and it receives the waters of many tributaries, some of them streams of considerable volume. The Fevre River, upon which Galena is situated, enters the Mississippi a few miles below Duluth, and is navigable a part of the year to Galena. The Wapsipinicon River, at a point seven miles below Camanche, and three hundred and eighty-three miles above St. Louis, empties into the Mississippi. Its length is two hundred miles, but it is not navigable. The Rock River, rising in Fon du Lac County, Wis., near Lake Winnebago, flows southwesterly, and enters the Mississippi River two miles below Rock Island, at a point three hundred and fifty-two miles above St. Louis. Its navigation is dependent upon high water, and extends two hundred and twenty-five miles.

The distances on Rock River from Watertown to the Mississippi are:

  Miles. Total.
From Watertown to Jefferson 16 16
To Fort Atkinson 8 24
Janesville 34 58
Beloit 18 76
Roscoe 8 84
Rockford 12 96
Byron 12 108
Oregon 10 118
Dixon 20 138
Sterling 12 150
Lyndon 16 166
Prophetstown 2 168
Camden 45 213
Mississippi River 1 214

The Iowa River takes its rise in Hancock County, Iowa, and is navigable for small steamboats in the

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high-water season for eighty miles from its mouth, on the Mississippi River, two hundred and ninety-four miles above St. Louis, near New Boston. Its length is about three hundred miles, and its course southeasterly.

The Des Moines River, rising in the southern part of Minnesota, flows through an exceedingly fertile and productive country for four hundred miles, of which two hundred are navigable. It enters the Mississippi near Alexandria, Mo., about two hundred and seven miles above St. Louis. The distances upon this river are:

  Miles. Total.
From Fort Des Moines to Dudley 14 14
To Lafayette 5 19
Bennington 10 29
Red Rock 16 45
Amsterdam 12 57
Bellefontaine 12 69
Auburn 12 81
Des Moines City 8 89
Eddyville 2 91
Chillicothe 8 99
Ottumwa 12 111
New Market 20 131
Portland 6 137
Philadelphia 8 145
Pittsburgh 7 152
Pleasant Hill 5 157
Vernon 8 165
Bonaparte 5 170
Farmington 8 178
Black Hawk 3 181
Croton 3 184
Athens 5 189
Belfast 6 195
St. Francisville 10 205
Mississippi River 15 220

Quincy, Ill., one hundred and sixty-seven miles St. Louis, on the Mississippi, is situated in one of the finest agricultural sections of the country. Hannibal, Mo., one hundred and forty-seven miles above St. Louis, is an important point for the shipment of pork, hemp, tobacco, and other produce. Both of these thriving cities are important centres of tin; trade and commerce of St. Louis.

The Illinois River empties into the Mississippi at Grafton, Ill., forty-three miles above St. Louis. The Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers uniting at Dresden form the Illinois, which, receiving the waters of Vermilion River, then becomes navigable for steamboats during a part of the year. The productiveness of the country through which the Illinois flows makes the commerce of that river very valuable. The distances from St. Louis to trading-points on the Illinois River are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To Mason's Landing 42 42
Hardin 25 67
Columbiana 10 77
Apple Creek 4 81
Bridgeport 2 83
Montezuma 14 97
Florence 6 103
Griggsville 6 109
Naples 4 113
Meredosia 6 119
La Grange 10 129
Fredericksville 4 143
Browning 6 149
Sharp's 6 155
Bath 12 167
Havana 12 179
Liverpool 10 189
Copperas 12 201
Lancaster 8 209
Kingston 2 211
Pekin 10 221
Wesley City 6 227
Peoria 3 230
Spring Bay 14 244
Rome 6 250
Chillicothe 2 252
Lacon 20 272
Peru 30 302
LaSalle 1 303

The Missouri River unites with the Mississippi twenty miles above St. Louis. The springs in the Rocky Mountains from which its head-waters flow are not more than a mile from those which supply the Columbia River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison, three small streams, unite to form the Missouri. The "Gates of the Rocky Mountains," which, rising perpendicularly from the water's edge to the height of twelve hundred feet, compress the river into a breadth of four hundred and fifty feet, are four hundred and forty-one miles from the extreme point of navigation of the branches. The "Great Falls," a series of rapids, having a fall of three hundred and fifty-one feet in sixteen miles, are one hundred and ten miles below the "Gates." These falls are broken into four leaps, of which the first in the descent of the river is twenty-six feet; the second, forty-seven feet; the third, nineteen feet; and the fourth, ninety-eight feet. Below the falls navigation is unobstructed by any permanent barrier, and only impeded by low waters after the July flood has passed down. The great number of islands and sand-bars that have formed in the river render the channel intricate and difficult for navigation, which, with the numerous "snags," make steamboating extremely hazardous. The first important tributary, the Yellowstone, is as yet not of any material importance from a commercial point of view. It is navigable for a considerable distance by the steamboats of the upper Missouri, and when the country through which it flows shall have been settled and cultivated, the trade of the Yellowstone will doubtless become very valuable.

The Platte, or Nebraska River enters the Missouri seven hundred and forty miles from St. Louis. Formed by its North and South Forks, which rise in the Rocky Mountains, the Platte flows easterly for two thousand miles, but is shallow, and, except in the great freshets of the spring, is not navigable.

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Sixteen miles above Kansas City and four hundred and seventy-three from St. Louis, the Little Platte from Iowa enters the Missouri. It is two hundred miles in length, shallow, and not of much importance commercially.

One of the largest tributaries of the Missouri is the Kansas, which enters that river near Kansas City, four hundred and fifty-nine miles from St. Louis. Rising in the Rocky Mountains, and flowing eastward through the rich State of Kansas, its length is twelve hundred miles, nine hundred of which, with some improvement, might be made navigable. It is one thousand feet wide at its mouth, and has many tributaries, of which Solomon's Fork, seven hundred miles long, and Smoky Hill Fork, eight hundred miles long, are the largest.

Grand River enters the Missouri three hundred and one miles from St. Louis. It is two hundred and forty miles in length, and navigable one hundred miles between the Missouri and Madison, Iowa.

Five miles below Cambridge, Iowa, and two hundred and sixty-nine above St. Louis, the Chariton River from Iowa enters the Missouri. It is navigable for thirty miles, and its length is one hundred miles.

Eight miles below Arrow Rock and two hundred and forty miles from St. Louis, the La Mine River enters the Missouri. It is navigable for about thirty miles.

The Osage River is about five hundred miles in length, and runs through a very fertile and productive country, and enters the Missouri one hundred and sixty-nine miles from St. Louis. It is navigable for about two hundred miles.

The Gasconade, rising in Wright County, Mo., runs nearly two hundred miles, and empties into the Missouri one hundred and twenty-nine miles from St. Louis. It is important only as supplying water-power, and is not navigable.

The distances from St. Louis to points on the Missouri River are as follows:

  Miles. Total.
To mouth of Missouri River 20 20
Bellefontaine Bend 5 25
Jamestown 2 27
Charbonier 8 35
St. Charles 10 45
Howard Bend 12 57
Bonhomme Island 1 58
Howell's Ferry 4 62
Dozier 5 67
Port Royal 1 68
Tavern Rock 1 69
Mount Albans 1 70
Augusta 6 76
Jones Point 2 78
South Point 4 82
Basonia 1 83
Washington 1 84
Tuque Point 1 85
St. John's Landing 2 87
Newport Landing 2 89
Miller's Landing 9 98
Hermann 23 121
Gasconade 8 129
Portland 12 141
St. Aubert's 10 151
Shipley's 4 155
Bonnot's Mills 7 162
Osage 2 164
Moreau 5 169
Jefferson City 5 174
Claysville 7 181
Marion 10 191
Martin's Landing 7 198
Nashville 7 205
Mount Vernon 7 212
Rocheport 8 220
Boonville 12 232
La Mine 8 240
Arrow Rock 8 248
Glasgow 17 265
Cambridge 9 274
Brunswick 26 300
Miami 15 315
Waverly 31 346
Dover Landing 13 359
Lexington 12 371
Wellington 8 379
Camden 10 389
Napoleon 8 397
Richfield 24 421
Liberty 15 436
Kansas City 21 457
Kansas River 2 459
Leavenworth 13 472
Little Platte 1 473
Weston 33 506
Atchison 15 521
Doniphan 7 528
Maysville 28 556
Palermo 24 580
St. Joseph 11 591
Nodaway 25 616
Iowa Point 30 646
Brownsville 40 686
Nebraska City 30 716
Plattsmouth 21 737
Platte River 3 740
St. Mary's 2 742
Council Bluffs 15 757
Florence 10 767
Fort Calhoun 10 777
De Soto 15 792
Tekama 30 822
Sioux City 60 882
Yellowstone River 1075 1957
Great Falls 675 2632
Rocky Mountain Gates 110 2742

The Ohio, which enters the Mississippi at Cairo, one hundred and seventy-four miles below St. Louis, is formed at Pittsburgh, one thousand and nineteen miles from Cairo, by the junction of the Allegheny and Youghiogheny. The Allegheny, which is the proper continuation of the Ohio, rises on the borders of Lake Erie, where its tributaries terminate in Lake Chautauqua, one thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and seven hundred feet above the level of Lake Erie. A boat may start from these sources, within seven miles of Lake Erie, in sight sometimes of the sails which whiten the approach to the harbor of Buffalo, and float securely down the Conewango or Cassadaga to the Allegheny, down that river to the Ohio, and thence uninterruptedly

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to the Gulf of Mexico. In all this distance of two thousand four hundred miles the descent is so uniform and gentle, so little accelerated by rapids, that when there is sufficient water to float the vessel, and sufficient power to govern it, the downward voyage may be performed without difficulty or danger in the channels as they were formed by nature. Steamboats have ascended the Allegheny to Olean Point, two thousand three hundred miles from the mouth of the Mississippi, and two hundred and fifty miles above Pittsburgh. From the junction of the two principal tributaries of the Ohio at Pittsburgh, to Point Pleasant, where the Great Kanawha River from West Virginia enters the Ohio, there are only small and unimportant streams entering the Ohio. Point Pleasant is distant from St. Louis nine hundred and forty-two miles. The Great Kanawha is navigable for small boats, and the products of salt, coal, and iron which in great quantities are sent down that river find at St. Louis a market. The salt manufactures along the Great Kanawha amount to eight million bushels annually.

Improvement of the Mississippi and Tributaries. — Prior to the construction of the New York and Canadian canals, and the opening of railways between the Western and Eastern States, the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries were the only highways of commerce between the vast territory embracing the Western States and the other States of the Union. The closing of the mouth of the Mississippi during the civil war, the general paralysis of Southern industry and trade incident to that war, and the increase in the size of ocean vessels turned the current of commerce from the southern to the eastern route, and from the bosom of the Mississippi to the canals and railways that led to Northern Atlantic cities. This deflection of the commerce of the Western States from the southern to the northern routes diminished, without destroying, the value of the Mississippi River as a great commercial highway. The relative economy of water over rail transportation for heavy freights, and the failure of the railways to supply sufficient cheap transportation to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing commerce between the great central basin of this continent and the markets of the world, created that public sentiment, to which Congress has within a few years past responded, for the improvement of the navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries. Previous to the public recognition of the vast importance of this national undertaking, the prevention of "inundations of the delta of the Mississippi" had attracted attention, together with the practicability and cost of improving the navigation of Western rivers, as incidental rather than primary reasons for those improvements. The memoir of Charles Ellet, Jr., [18] was prepared under the authority of an act of Congress directing the Secretary of War to institute such surveys and investigations as were necessary to the preparation of adequate plans for protecting the delta from inundations, and increasing the depth of water on the bars at the mouth of the Mississippi. Mr. Ellet, though not an officer of the government or in the employ of the War Department, was called to this important duty, and authorized to make such investigations as would enable him to devise and report suitable plans for the protection of the delta from inundations by overflows.

As early as 1841 the attention of Congress was called to the condition of the Mississippi above the mouth of the Ohio. From 1836 to 1841 it was said that more property had been destroyed from the mouth of the Ohio to St. Louis by snags than on all the other parts of the river and its tributaries. [19] Notwithstanding the general government had provided snag-boats for the lower river, the manifest neglect of the Western rivers was entailing an annual loss of millions of dollars upon the commerce of the West, owing to the dangerous and destructive condition of the then only commercial highway for that great section of the country. A theory of constitutional construction intervened to obstruct the work of improvement, which became so obviously absurd that to avoid its inconveniences Mr. Calhoun designated the Mississippi River as an "inland sea," to the improvement of which the powers of the general government might be applied. Notwithstanding the vast extent and wonderful fertility of the country which those rivers drain, the nature, variety, and location of the products seeking transportation, and the almost incalculable commerce which demanded the facilities of easy and safe movement, their navigation was left unimproved until the competition of the railroads gave weight and influence to the demands of an injured public.

In 1870, Congress, in addition to the usual appropriation for river improvements and surveys, made an

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allowance of funds for the survey and examination of various small streams tributary to the Mississippi and its great branches. Among the streams to be examined were the Cuivre River in Missouri, the Current River in Missouri, Black River, Missouri and Arkansas, White River, flowing through the same States, the Fourche la Faire in Arkansas, and Bayou Bartholomew in Louisiana. The surveys of these rivers were made by Brevet Maj. Charles J. Allen, Engineer Corps, who in that year reported to Gen. William T. Reynolds, U. S. Engineer Corps, in charge of Western rivers at St. Louis. In addition to the examination of these rivers, the same Congress which authorized this work ordered a complete survey of the Ouachita River from Trinity, La., to Camden, Ark., a distance of three hundred miles. This survey was made in order to ascertain the practicability of improving navigation on that stream by the construction of locks and dams.

The opening up of the Little Missouri River for the navigation of light-draught steamboats, a work of immense value to all that section of country adjacent to its waters, as well as to the general interests of Western commerce, was accomplished that year. The country through which it flows is a very productive region, but the fact that it was in a measure cut off from markets prevented its development. Cotton, the chief product of this rich region, had to be hauled on wagons a distance of one hundred miles, which placed an embargo on its production.

The work, however, accomplished by Maj. Allen, in which St. Louis is most deeply interested, was his thorough and complete survey of that portion of the Mississippi River extending from the mouth of the Missouri to the mouth of the Maramec, which includes the harbor of St. Louis. A careful examination of the bars, chutes, and bank abrasions was made, and the particular force of the current in certain localities was ascertained.

During the season of 1871, [20] Gen. Reynolds removed over four thousand snags, roots and all, from the streams, as well as "rack heaps" destroyed and wrecks removed, and thousands of trees cut to prevent their becoming snags, and aid given to vessels aground or in distress, which was always rendered when possible and never charged for.

In the upper Ouachita and Little Missouri, when snag-boats could not go, flat-boats drawing not over ten inches of water were set at work "cutting" snag which their light power could not pull out. The work was done under the superintendence of experienced pilots of those streams, and at a low stage of water. This was the only cutting that was done, excepting in the case of chutes, in two or three cases when they were so low that the yawl only could go through. This method was adopted to render the chute available when a rise should come.

Under the law of Congress [21] allowing the employment of civil engineers for the purpose of executing the surveys and improvements of Western and Northwestern rivers, much work has been done on the navigable waters of the Mississippi valley.

In 1845 the Memphis Convention, for the purpose of bringing the condition of navigation on Western rivers to the attention of Congress, was held. John

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C. Calhoun presided, and was made chairman of the committee to memorialize Congress. In that memorial Mr. Calhoun took the broadest ground in favor of the improvements being made by the Federal government without regard to their cost.

A convention was held in Chicago July 4, 1847, to consider the subject of the improvement of the Mississippi River and its principal tributaries, to which delegates from St. Louis were appointed.

These delegates prepared an able report upon the subject, which was published in pamphlet form, [22] from which it appears that there were 1190 steamboats and 4000 keel- and flat-boats engaged in the commerce of Western rivers, employing 61,650 persons, the cost of which is set at $16,188,561, and the running expenses at $32,725,000. The cost of river transportation was summed up as follows:

Cost of running 1190 steamboats $32,725,000
Insurance, at 12 per cent. 1,942,627
Interest, at 6 per cent. 971,313
Wear and tear, at 24 per cent. 3,885,254
Tolls on Louisville and Portland Canal 250,000
Cost of flat-boats (included because sacrificed at New Orleans) 1,380,000
Total cost of transportation $41,154,194

This vast sum was an annual "tax upon the surplus produce, enterprise, industry, and trade of the country." The aggregate annual tonnage transported was set at 10,120,160 tons; and the "grand aggregate value of commerce afloat upon the navigable waters of the valley of the Mississippi" was estimated by this committee at $432,621,240, "being nearly double the amount of the whole foreign commerce of the United States." Taking into consideration the loss of steamboats and cargoes, the committee regarded it as not "too high an estimate to put down the actual losses at two millions of dollars per annum. This is annihilated, — so much destroyed of the wealth of the try, — amounting every ten years to a sum equal to the purchase-money paid by the government for all Louisiana."

This was the era in Federal politics when the authority of the general government to undertake works of internal improvement was denied by a powerful and often successful party. It was also a time when the discipline of party was stronger and more binding than the interests of States and sections. That theory as well as discipline may be said to have departed forever from the politics of the country, since the River and Harbor bill of 1882 appropriated nearly $20,000,000 for the improvement of the rivers and harbors of the country, of which $4,123,000 was for the Mississippi River. Up to 1873 the United States government had expended for the improvement of rivers and harbors on

The Atlantic coast $9,587,173
The Gulf coast 579,706
The Pacific coast 638,003
The Northern lakes 10,437,158
The Western rivers 11,438,300
Total $32,680,340

Above the Falls of St. Anthony to Leech Lake, a distance of six hundred and seventy-five miles, the Mississippi may be navigated in certain conditions of the rainfall. A reconnoissance of this part of the river was made in 1869 by Francis Cook, civil engineer, under the direction of Gen. G. K. Warren, of the United States Engineer Corps. In his report of Jan. 22, 1870, [23] Mr. Cook presents much valuable information in regard to the improvement of the upper Mississippi, and revives the "reservoir" plan of Mr. Ellet for supplying the river both above and below the Falls of St. Anthony during dry seasons. A lockage at Sauk Rapids of eighteen feet will connect the reaches of the river and extend the navigation to Little Falls, where a lockage of fourteen feet will form a connection with another navigable reach extending to the mouth of Pine River, where the removal of boulders and the opening of cut-offs will extend navigation to Pokegama Falls. At that point a lockage of thirty feet will open the navigable waters above to Lake Leech and Winnebagoshish Lake. Thus continuous navigation will be had for six hundred and seventy-five miles above the Falls of St. Anthony. The natural reservoirs that would supply the Mississippi River, both above and below the Falls of St. Anthony, during the seasons of low water are to be formed by constructing a dam at Pokegama Falls, by which a supply of 37,057,638,400 cubic feet of water could be obtained, and a dam raising Lake Mille Lacs two feet would increase that amount 10,036,224,000 cubic feet. The estimated cost of these reservoirs was one hundred and fourteen thousand dollars, and they would supply to the upper Mississippi a permanent depth of from four and a half to five feet during the entire season. In a report to the War Department, Dec. 22, 1873, [24] Maj. F. W. Farquhar, of the United States Engineer Corps, recommended that a complete survey be made of the navigable portions of the Mississippi

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River above the Falls of St. Anthony, and urged the further improvement of the river between St. Anthony and St. Cloud. These improvements have all been undertaken by the general government, and for continuing operations on the reservoirs at the head-waters of the Mississippi, Congress appropriated, Aug. 2, 1882, [25] three hundred thousand dollars. By the same act twenty-five thousand dollars was appropriated for the removal of snags, ten thousand dollars for continuing the improvement of the Mississippi River above the Falls of St. Anthony, and twenty-five thousand dollars for improving the falls.

Upon the Mississippi between St. Paul and St. Louis two dredge-boats have been employed since 1867, operating chiefly upon sand-bars, removing snags and overhanging trees. The Rock Island Rapids [26] have been improved by excavating a channel so as to give a width of two hundred feet and a navigable depth of four feet at extreme low water, and a canal 6.7 miles in length was constructed at Keokuk Rapids. This canal is from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet in width, with a minimum depth of five feet. The act of Aug. 2, 1882, [27] appropriated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for continuing the improvement of the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Des Moines Rapids, and thirty thousand dollars for the construction of a dry-dock at the Des Moines Rapids Canal, and thirty thousand dollars for improving Des Moines Rapids Canal. "The widening of the channel at Rock Island," [28] said a committee of St. Louis business men in a letter to a committee of Congress, "the completion of the canal at Des Moines, the construction of the wing-dams before alluded to, the removal of wrecks and snags, and the construction of the Fort St. Philip Canal would, we believe, result in the utilizing of this great waterway from St. Paul to New Orleans, and reduce the cost of transportation to a uniform cost not exceeding the lowest average as shown by the tables of freight accompanying this report. In the opinion of this committee, the removal of wrecks and snags between St. Louis and New Orleans is of vital importance to the commerce of the river. Wrecks between St. Louis and Cairo, sunken many years ago and forgotten, are so numerous that from the extra hazard they present, our rate of insurance is not only increased upon boat hulls and cargoes, but steamers with thin hulls and light draught are refused insurance at any rate. It is necessary, therefore, to construct much stronger and more expensive hulls, and necessarily of deeper draught, than would be acceptable to underwriters were these wrecks and snags removed." The opinions of these leading commercial men, as well as the reports of engineers, and length created so strong a public sentiment in regard to the improvement of the Mississippi River that Congress, by the act of June 18, 1879, created the Mississippi River Commission, to examine and report such plans, specifications, and estimates as would render the river, when the work was completed, fully equal to the demands of commerce. For the commencement of this great work there was appropriated by the act of August, 1882, the sum of $4,123,000 for the improvement of the Mississippi River "from the head of the Passes to Cairo," and $600,000 for improving the river "from Cairo to the Des Moines Rapids." The estimates of the cost of the various improvements of the Mississippi and its tributaries made by the Merchants' Exchange of St. Louis amounted to $16,010,000, and are supposed to cover the entire cost of the radical improvements of these rivers, with the exception of the Ohio.

The improvement of the latter river so as to secure a uniform depth of six feet at low water from Pittsburgh to Cairo has long been recognized as being demanded by the vast interests that line the banks of that mighty stream. The length of the river between those points is nine hundred and twenty-seven miles. Six States border upon it, viz.: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, and the territory drained by it embraces 214,000 square miles. W. Milnor Roberts, in 1868, estimated the value of the commerce of the cities and towns on the river at $1,623,000,000. The coal and other mineral interests are of immense value and importance. The coal area embraces a territory of 122,000 square miles, and the shipments of coal by the river in 1873 amounted to 60,000,000 bushels, or 2,300,000 tons. Almost all the coal consumed in the cities, towns, and country bordering on the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries below St. Louis, consumed by steamers on the Mississippi River, and to a great extent by ocean-steamers from New Orleans, is shipped on the Ohio River. During a single rise in that river forty-six fleets, composed of three hundred and sixty-nine

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barges, and carrying 4,156,000 bushels of coal, started from Pittsburgh within three days. A board of commissioners for the improvement of the Ohio River was created in 1872 by the joint action the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois, which presented a memorial to Congress Dec. 16, 1872, asking the general government to undertake the work, which was stated to be "not one of engineering but of finance." The difficulty which embarrasses the navigation of the Ohio arises from a descent of four hundred and twenty-six feet between Pittsburgh and Cairo, in consequence of which the current varies from one and a half to three and a half miles per hour. In 1870, W. Milnor Roberts, United engineer, suggested a plan of improvement, the estimated cost of which was twenty-three million seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand six hundred and sixty-two dollars, and Gen. G. Weitzel, major of engineers, and W. E. Merrill, major of engineers, as a board of commissioners, appointed by the War Department April 16, 1872, reported a plan of improvement Jan. 31, 1874. [29] With the exception of purchase of the Louisville and Portland Canal around the falls of the Ohio and making the same free, very little of any importance and nothing of any permanent value has been done towards the improvement of the Ohio River by the Federal government.

The improvement of the Illinois River was begun as 1836 with the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which was to extend from Chicago to the Illinois River at La Salle, a distance of about one hundred miles, but in the general financial crash of 1837 the work was suspended. The bonds issued for construction of the canal were owned principally in England. In 1844 a proposition was made to the English bondholders that if they would advance sixteen hundred thousand dollars for the completion of the canal it should pass into their hands, and its revenue go, with what lands [30] the State owned, — the avails of the bonds being paid into the canal funds to reimburse the State, — to pay the bonds, interest and principal. In accordance with this suggestion the English bondholders appointed two trustees and the State one, under whose control the work remained until May 1, 1872. The original plan of building the canal was to give it an incline from the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River at Lockport, and then supply a portion of the water by pumping-works at Bridgeport, at the commencement of the canal. The city of Chicago, under authority from the State, removed the "bench," or summit level, thus securing a constant flow of water from the Chicago River to Lockport. A distance of twenty-seven miles was thus deepened to eight feet, at a cost of about three millions of dollars. The original design of this canal was to connect the navigable waters of the Illinois River with Lake Michigan. The tolls and revenues of the canal were never sufficient to pay even the interest on the bonds, owing to the fact that the Illinois River of late years has had less water in it than when the canal was projected. Though the improvement of the Illinois River had been urged upon Congress for many years, it was not until about 1865 that an appropriation of eighty-five thousand dollars was made for that work, but very little was done under that appropriation, the money being diverted by the Secretary of War to the improvement of the Rock Island Rapids. In 1869 the Legislature of Illinois appropriated four hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the work, and in the same year Congress appropriated two millions for Western rivers, of which sum eighty-five thousand dollars was expended on this river. In 1870, Congress appropriated one hundred thousand dollars for the work. In 1873 the estimated cost of its completion was two million two hundred thousand dollars, and by the River and Harbor bill of 1882 there was appropriated one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars for continuing the work, which is now being carried on by the general government. In addition, the further improvement of the navigation of the Illinois River is contemplated by the construction of the Hennepin Canal from Hennepin to Rock Island. The estimated cost of this work is four million five hundred thousand, dollars, [31] for which the River and Harbor bill of 1882 appropriated the sum of thirty thousand dollars, with, however, the proviso "that nothing herein shall be construed to commit the government to proceed with the construction of the said improvement." The improvements of this river now completed and in contemplation will form with the Hennepin Canal a continuous line of canal and slack-water navigation from Chicago to the Mississippi River, as follows:

Illinois and Michigan Canal, Chicago to La Salle 96 miles.
Slack-water, Illinois River, La Salle to Hennepin 19 miles.
Hennepin Canal, Illinois to Mississippi River 65 miles.
Total 180 miles.

The improvements of the upper Mississippi now in progress will, when completed, afford seven hundred and sixty-one miles of continuous navigation between

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St. Louis and St. Paul for barges, which can pass through the Hennepin and the Illinois and Michigan Canals to the city of Chicago, thus affording competition with all railroad lines which cross the Mississippi River between St. Paul and St. Louis.

Beyond the removal of the snags by the government snag-boats, nothing has been done for the improvement of the navigation of the Missouri River. The Missouri River Improvement Association in 1881 addressed a memorial to Congress upon the subject, but it is conspicuous by its absence from the bulky volume of the River and Harbor bill of 1882.

The Fox and Wisconsin Rivers have formed an important highway for two hundred years. It was by pursuing this route that Marquette in 1673 discovered the upper Mississippi, and along these rivers the French missionaries and traders made the earliest settlements in the West. In the ordinance for the government of the Northwestern Territory, adopted July 14, 1787, it was provided that the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, should be common highways and forever free. The same provision is embodied, in substance, in the act of Congress of Aug. 7, 1789, after the adoption of the Constitution; in the act of Congress establishing a Territorial government for Wisconsin, approved April 20, 1836; in the act admitting Wisconsin as a State, Aug. 6, 1846, and in the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. A preliminary survey of the cost of the improvement of these rivers was made by Capt. Cram, of the United States Topographical Engineers, in 1839. By the act of Congress Aug. 8, 1846, a grant of land was made to the State of Wisconsin for the purpose of improving the navigation of these rivers, and for constructing a canal through the divide, or "portage," to unite them, in which the declaration was reasserted that this channel should be free to the commerce of the United States. The State of Wisconsin, by its Board of Public Works, and afterwards by corporations duly authorized, undertook the improvement of these rivers, in the prosecution of which over two millions of dollars, including the proceeds of the sale of the lands granted by Congress, were expended. The Fox River was improved so as to pass at low water boats of four feet draught from Green Bay to Lake Winnebago, and boats of two and a half feet draught from Lake Winnebago to the Wisconsin River. Little or no work was done on the latter, river.

The improvement utterly failed to meet the requirements of commerce, because it did not admit of the passage of boats from the Mississippi up the Wisconsin River. On the Fox River the improvement aided in the development of that portion of the State, — a development which is traceable not only to the utilization of the water-power, but probably in greater degree to the competition, although necessarily small, existing between water and rail. In 1870, Congress directed the Secretary of War to adopt such a plan for the improvement of the Wisconsin as should be approved by the chief of engineers, and authorized him to appoint arbitrators ascertain the sum which ought to be paid for the transfer of all rights in the works of improvement then held by the corporation created under the laws of Wisconsin. The sum fixed upon was one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars. By the act of July 7, 1870, [32] Congress further directed that all tolls and revenues derived from the improvement, after providing for current expenses, should be paid into the treasury until the United States was reimbursed for all sums advanced for the same with interest thereon, after which the tolls were to be reduced to the least sum which, with any other revenue derived from the improvement, would be sufficient to operate and keep the improvement in repair. In 1871, Congress made the appropriation of one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars, and the deed of transfer was executed and delivered to the United States. Subsequently appropriations amounting to four hundred thousand dollars were made. The report of Col. Houston, then engineer in charge, [33] in 1873, says, "The work now in the hands of the government is different from any other work of this character, the appropriation that was made last year (1872) too small an appropriation to carry on the work to advantage." In the River and Harbor bill for 1882 the sum of two hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for continuing the improvement.

The efforts to improve navigation at the mouths the Mississippi have a history running through more than a century and a half, — a history made up in large part of controversy and discussion among engineers, wherein almost every fact advanced by one was controverted by another, and every theory advocated was subsequently assailed or exploded. The vexed question has at last been definitely settled, and it is only necessary now to present in chronological order the historical facts in connection with this vast enterprise.

In 1722 the present South Pass was examined by M. Pauger, an engineer in the employ of the Western Company, and described as being "straighter

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than the ancient pass, but narrower." It was added that "at the outlet of this Pass there is a bar upon which there is but nine to ten feet water, and which is about one hundred toises wide." According to this engineer, there was an average draught on the bar of the South Pass, one hundred and sixty years ago, of about ten English feet. From the year 1764 to 1771, we learn from Gault's map, made from the Admiralty surveys, that the depth on the bar at the Pass was from eight to nine feet English. From that time to 1838 there are no data as to the depth of water. In that year (1838) a survey was made, under the direction of the special board of United States engineers, by George G. Meade, who ascertained that "eight feet could be carried over the west and principal channel." After the Meade survey a spit of sand formed directly in the mouth of the Pass, which entirely closed up the entrance, so far as commercial purposes were concerned.

The Northeast Pass, or a branch thereof called the Southeast Pass, was in the early period of the navigation of the river the principal avenue of its commerce. But this preference was probably due rather to its position, favoring vessels from the east, than to the actual depth of water at its mouth. The earliest notices of the bars speak of the entrance to the river as if there were but one that was used by the shipping, and Mr. Ellet says "it cannot be doubted that the Southeast Pass, or the Northeast Pass (which were in fact at that day, as they were fifty years later, but two distinct channels through the shoal water at the outlet of the Northeast Pass, is the channel to which these early notices apply." [34] The following allusion to this outlet is from a dispatch from Bienville, then Governor of the province, to the French minister in 1722: "I have had the honor in inform the Council by my last letters concerning the entrance to the river, and to assure them that vessels drawing not over thirteen feet (French) could then enter at full sail without touching, and that it would not be difficult to render the Pass practicable for vessels of the largest size, the bottom being nothing but a soft and movable mud." Mr. Ellet adds that "Bienville would have undertaken to deepen the water on the bar if the engineers who were specially charged with such works had concurred with him in opinion upon the practicability of the enterprise." The difference of opinion among engineers which existed at that early day has continued for a century and a half, and postponed the work until Mr. Eads forced it through by assuming all risk, and undertaking its construction upon the terms of no pay without success.

As early as 1722 the engineer, Pauger, expressed the opinion that the deposit from the river "could be broken and carried off by stopping up some of the Passes of the Mississippi, by means of old vessels sunk to the bottom, together with trees, of which a prodigious quantity descends during the two first months of the year," and he proposed a system of dikes and brushwood for establishing the current of the river. This plan of improvement by dikes and brushwood, suggested in 1722 by M. Pauger, was assailed as useless and impracticable by Charles Ellet, Jr., in his memoir on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers:

"If we increase the velocity of the fresh-water currents by contracting the channel, or by stopping up the secondary outlets, we shall certainly increase the depth and velocity of the column of fresh water flowing into the gulf on top of the sea-water. But that will not sweep out the bar. No part of the fresh water comes within eight feet of the top of the bar which it is expected to remove.

"The immediate effect of this increased force of fresh water will be to carry the upper portion of the suit water immediately below it farther out, and to transfer the place of deposit to some other point still on the bar, but nearer the sea, just as it is now transferred sometimes from above the head of the Passes, where it is occasionally found in extreme low water, to within half a mile of the edge of the gulf, to which point it recedes in common high water. But this will not prevent an under current of salt water from flowing in and an upper current from flowing out, nor will it prevent deposits from taking place at the points where the direction changes, though with the same volume of water it will change the position of that deposit."

Mr. Ellet further contended that

"while the effect of increasing the velocity of the current by contracting the embouchure of the river will not be felt in the removal of the bars, this increase of current will take place at the surface, and hence act with increased power upon the very works by which it is produced. These works must rest on foundations of loose mud, which has been deposited in the existing order of things. There is, therefore, reason to believe, at least to apprehend, that any material increase of littoral velocity would carry off this deposit, undermine the works, and consequently overthrow them."

In this opposition to what is now known as the jetty system Maj. C. W. Howell, of the United States engineers, concurred in his letter to Capt. J. H. Oglesby, president of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, saying, —

"The theory is attractive from its apparent simplicity, and for the same reason is the first to claim the attention of dabblers in hydraulic engineering, who either do not know, or else lose sight of the condition essential to its successful application. The principles of these conditions are two: 1. That the character of the bed and banks of the river at the point of application be such that scouring will be effected in the bed in preference to

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the banks; in other words, the banks must be firm enough to withstand the action of the current, and the bottom yielding enough to permit scour.

"The second condition is that there shall exist a current (littoral), passing the outer extremities of the jetties perpendicular to them, capable of sweeping to one side or the other all deposit made about the jetty-heads and tending to form a new bar outride.

"No such current has been discovered at the mouth of the Mississippi, although carefully sought. In default of it jetties would have to be built farther and farther out, not annually, but steadily every day each year, to keep pace with the advance of the river deposit into the gulf, provided they are attempted, and the attempt warranted by having the relative character of bed and bank favorable.

"For the reasons that these two conditions are not to be found at the mouth of the Mississippi, careful engineers have time and again pronounced the application of jetties at either Southwest Pass or Pass a l'Outre not worthy of a trial at government expense. If enthusiastic jetty men wish to pass from theory to practice, they can always gain consent to spend their own money in building jetties at Southwest Pass, and if they succeed in doing good they will have a fair claim on government for recompense. . . . Jetties have been attempted there, and not only reported a failure by the inspecting officer, but abandoned by Messrs. Craig & Righter, who made the attempt. [35]

"The full particulars of this may be found in Ex. Doc. No. 5 H. R., 36th Cong., 2d sess. The practical experience gained by that failure, I presume, will deter the government, though it will not deter adventurous jetty men, from sinking more money in such attempts."

The "adventurous jetty men" were Capt. James B. Eads and his associates, who, as is well known, have made the jetty system a grand success. It is not necessary to recapitulate here the controversy which, in the newspapers as well as in Congress, have agitated the whole Mississippi valley concerning this method of deepening the water at the mouth of the great river.

The various modes which have been attempted of increasing the depth of the channel through the Passes have been the following:

1. Dredging. Under instructions of the War Department, Capt. Talcott attempted in 1839 to open the Southwest Pass with the ordinary bucket-drag. The gulf waves in a single storm swept in "twice as much mud" as he had taken out.

2. By rake and harrow. This method was once tried under the direction and at the expense of the government by a towboat association, but their efforts were equally fruitless. The channel was temporarily opened to a depth of eighteen feet, but again suddenly closed by a gulf storm.

3. In 1836 the government entered into a contract with Messrs. Craig & Righter to open a channel one thousand feet wide and eighteen feet deep, which was to be executed by closing all the Passes except those designated for navigation. The contract was abandoned.

4. In 1868-70 the government caused to be constructed a steam propeller dredge, at a cost of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which was placed under the command of officer of the navy. This experiment was faithfully made, but it "failed to maintain a much greater depth of water than that which nature has prescribed as the regimen depth of the Pass." The results of this mode were at least but temporary, and have been of any service would have had to be continued from year to year, while the labors of an entire season were liable be destroyed at any time by a single storm.

5. By the Fort St. Philip Canal, which was strongly recommended by a majority of the board of engineers appointed the War Department. This canal was proposed as early as 1832, since which time many surveys and reconnoissances have been made as to its proper location, expense, and commerce practicability.

A report of the United States board of engineers in 1874 favored the canal scheme and opposed the jetties, holding that the cost of producing a depth of twenty-seven feet would be twenty-three million dollars.

In February, 1874, James B. Eads proposed to Congress to open the mouth of the river, making a depth of twenty-eight feet, for ten million dollars, at the entire risk of himself and his associates, not a dollar to be paid until a depth of twenty feet was secured. The controversy created by Capt. Eads' proposition became quite warm and personal. A committee of civil engineers was appointed to investigate the question, and particularly the European jetties and their effects.

The result of their investigation was favorable the jetties, and on March 3, 1875, the President signed the bill entering into a contract with Capt. Eads to deepen the mouth of the river. South Pass, which had previously had a depth of nine feet, was chosen, and work begun in June, 1875. By May, 1876, when very little work had been done, it was found that one million nine hundred thousand cubic yards of material had been scoured out, and that the minimum depth was 16.9 feet. Even with this showing many persons still failed to have confidence in the jetties, and stories of new bars, mud, lumps, etc., were told almost ever day in the local press. In November, 1877, the dredge-boat "Bayley" was used in scouring the channel of the jetties.

A survey made Dec. 15, 1877, showed a channel twenty-two feet deep, and more than two hundred feet wide, existing from the deeper water in South Pass to the deeper water in the gulf. On this showing the first award of five hundred thousand dollars under the contract made between Eads and the government, was paid over to him. Work was continued on the jetties in 1877 and 1878, in which year it was completed, the concrete and crib-work at the sea ends being erected.

The following table will show the depth in the

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channel at ten thousand feet from East Point, the worst part of the Pass, at various times:

June, 1875 9.2 feet.
May, 1876 15 feet.
August, 1876 19.8 feet.
July, 1877 20.3 feet
June, l878 21.9 feet
February, 1879 22.2 feet.
March, 1879 24.8 feet.
June, 1879 28 feet.
July, 1879 30.5 feet.

In the summer of 1881 the least depth in the channel in South Pass, not in the jetties, was 26½ feet, 97,000 feet above East Point and at Bayou Grande; and 20 feet at Picayune Bayou, and at a point 90,000 feet above East Point. At no point in the jetties proper is the depth of channel less than 30½ feet.

James B. Eads, whose name is permanently associated with three gigantic enterprises, — the building of the jetties, the construction of the gunboat fleet at St. Louis during the war, and the erection of the great bridge across the Mississippi, — may justly be regarded as one of the foremost engineers of his day, and it is quite within bounds to say that no man has ever surmounted greater mechanical difficulties or wrested a larger measure of success from doubtful and hostile conditions. Two of the three great experiments whose practicability he so signally demonstrated may be classed among the wonders of the age, for it is a matter of history that the construction both of the Mississippi bridge and jetties was regarded by leading engineers and scientific men as impracticable, dangerous, and altogether beyond the limits of reasonable calculation. With that unbounded faith in the correctness of his own judgment and that indomitable courage and endurance which have ever been recognized as the first essentials to success in all great undertakings, Capt. Eads maintained his position in the face of criticism, detraction, personal abuse, and determined professional hostility working through various channels, and at last, by sheer pluck and persistence, fully vindicated the soundness of his views and covered his critics with confusion.

Capt. Eads was born in Lawrenceburg, Ind., May 23, 1820, and his early education was acquired in the schools of Louisville and Cincinnati. Before he had succeeded in mastering the rudiments, however, his father experienced reverses which necessitated his withdrawal from school, to which he never returned. At a very early age he developed a taste for mechanics and a fondness for experimenting with machinery, which was afterwards to become the ruling passion of his wonderful career. Among the anecdotes related of him is one to the effect that when only nine years old, having embarked on an Ohio River steamboat, he exhibited such an intelligent interest in the engine that the engineer volunteered to explain to him the details of its mechanism and operation, finding in him an absorbed and quickly responsive pupil. Four years later the boy was able to construct a miniature working steam-engine without assistance.

In September, 1833, when only thirteen years of age, he arrived in St. Louis under very unpropitious circumstances, the steamboat on which his father with his family had embarked to seek a home farther West having been burned, thus rendering the family destitute. In order to contribute something to the common fund, young Eads sold apples on the street, and succeeded not only in providing for his own support but also in assisting his mother. After a while he obtained a position with a mercantile firm, the senior partner of which, Barrett Williams, having discovered his mechanical tastes and aspirations, gave him free access to his library, where he eagerly embraced the opportunity to study mechanics, machinery, and civil engineering. After spending some time in this occupation he obtained a position as clerk on a steamboat, which he retained two years, and during this period obtained a valuable fund of information concerning the great river whose restless current he was afterwards to bridle and control at will. In 1842 he entered into a partnership with Case & Nelson, boat-builders, for the purpose of recovering steamboats and cargoes which had been wrecked or sunk

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in the river. At first the operations of the firm were limited, their machinery and appliances being very primitive and quite inadequate to the work which they undertook to perform. Such were the energy, versatility, and industry of Capt. Eads, however, that the business rapidly expanded, until, in the space of about ten years, it extended the entire length of the Mississippi, and the property of the firm had increased to half a million dollars. In 1845, Capt. Eads severed his relations with Messrs. Case & Nelson and established a factory for the manufacture of glassware. To Capt. Eads belongs the credit of having made the first glassware west of the Mississippi. The enterprise not proving remunerative, however, he returned to his old business of recovering steamboat property, etc., from the river.

In the winter of 1855-56, Capt. Eads submitted to Congress a proposition to keep the Western rivers open for a term of years by removing all obstructions and keeping the channels free. A bill embodying his proposal passed the House of Representatives, but was defeated in the Senate. In 1857 he retired from active business on account of ill health, but on the breaking out of the war his large and varied experience in navigating the Mississippi and its tributaries, his thorough knowledge of those rivers, his immense industry and energy, and his almost intuitively sound judgment were promptly placed at the disposal of the Union government. While a stanch supporter of the war measures of the Lincoln administration, Capt. Eads by no means approved the enforcement of harsh and arbitrary measures of coercion, and, as elsewhere narrated, at a crisis when peculiar courage was required to assume such a position, took strong ground against the levying of contributions on Southern sympathizers, and headed a movement for raising a fund to take the place of that which the military authorities had determined to exact from alleged friends of the Confederacy in St. Louis. When the government took into consideration the feasibility of forming a gunboat fleet on the Mississippi, Capt. Eads was summoned to Washington for consultation, and in pursuance of his advice the construction of a number of ironclads was undertaken. Capt. Eads received the contract for building the first seven of these vessels, and accomplished the gigantic task with conspicuous ability and success. His labors in this connection have already been fully set forth in this work in the chapter on the civil war.

Capt. Eads' next great feat was the construction of the bridge across the Mississippi. He was the originator and creator of this vast enterprise, and as its chief engineer personally superintended the prosecution of the work, — a work attended by innumerable difficulties, delays, and embarrassments, — which he conducted to a triumphant consummation by the steady and persistent exercise of his rare energy and indomitable will.

Even when most actively engaged with the multifarious duties of this grave trust, and weighted down with its responsibilities, he found time and thought to give to the important problem of securing a sufficient depth of water at the mouth of the Mississippi for vessels of the largest draught. After long and mature deliberation he came to the conclusion that the only practicable method of securing this object was by an elaborate and costly system of jetties, which he defines as being "simply dikes or levees under water, . . . intended to act as banks to the river to prevent its expanding and diffusing itself as it enters the sea. It is a notable fact that where the banks of a river extend boldly out into the sea no bar is formed at the entrance. It is where the banks or fauces terræ (jaws of earth) are absent, as is the case in delta-forming rivers, that the bar is an invariable feature. The bar results from the diffusion of the stream as it spreads out fan-like in entering the sea. The diffusion of the river being the cause, the remedy manifestly lies in contracting it or in preventing the diffusion."

In 1852 a board of engineers composed of Maj. Chase and Capts. Barnard and Beauregard, of the army, and Capt. Latimer, of the navy, recommended that in order to increase the depth of water at the mouth of the Mississippi the process of stirring up the bottom of the river by suitable machinery be tried, and that if this failed, dredging by buckets be employed. If both failed, they recommended that jetties be constructed at the Southwest Pass, to be extended annually into the gulf as experience should show to be necessary. Should it then be needed, they advised that the lateral outlets should be closed, and finally, if all these expedients failed, that a ship-canal might be resorted to.

Dredging, as we have seen, was tried without success, and repeated experiments with other plans resulted in nothing until, in 1875, Capt. Eads began the construction of his jetty works, the contract having been awarded to James Andrews & Co. within two months after the passage by Congress of the act authorizing the experiment. On the 23d of March 1875, a complimentary banquet in honor of Capt. Eads was given by leading citizens of St. Louis at the Southern Hotel, at which the mayor of the city presided. In the course of an address on this occasion Capt. Eads said, —

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"If the profession of the engineer were not based upon exact science, I might tremble for the result, in view of the immensity of the interests which are dependent upon my success. But every atom that moves onward in the river, from the moment it leaves its home crystal springs or mountain snows, throughout the fifteen hundred leagues of its devious pathway, until it is finally lost in the vast waters of the gulf is controlled by laws as fixed and certain as those which direct the majestic march of the heavenly spheres. Every phenomenon and apparent eccentricity of the river, its scouring and depositing action, its curving banks, the formation of the bars at its mouth, the effect of the waves and tides of the sea upon its currents and deposits, are controlled by laws immutable as the Creator, and the engineer needs only to be assured that he does not ignore the existence of any laws to feel positively certain of the result he aims at. I therefore undertake the work with a faith based upon ever constant ordinances of God himself, and so certain as He will spare my life and faculties for two years more, I will give to the Mississippi River, through His grace and the application of his laws, a deep, open, safe, and permanent outlet to the sea."

That this prediction of Capt. Eads, so confidently uttered, was in empty boast or over-sanguine declaration has been amply demonstrated by the magnificent success which has crowned his labors. At the present time the largest ocean vessels sail in and out the mouth of the river without danger or difficulty, and to the energy, skill, and wonderful prescience of James B. Eads is due the completion of a work of improvement which has already contributed immensely to the prosperity of the Mississippi valley.

Capt. Eads' fertile brain is never at rest, and is constantly employed in devising great enterprises. Of these the most conspicuous in recent years is a plan for the construction of a railway for the transportation of ships across the isthmus of Panama, thus obviating the necessity for the proposed ship-canal, — a scheme which he has advocated with characteristic ardor and ability, and which is still fresh in the public mind. In the summer of 1875 the Scientific American suggested his name as a candidate for President of the United States, and the nomination was indorsed by a number of leading journals throughout the country as being that of a man whose genius, experience, and wonderful achievements eminently fitted him for so exhalted a station. Capt. Eads, however, has no political aspirations, and can well afford to rest content with the laurels he has earned.

In 1845 he married Martha N., daughter of Patrick M. Dillon, of St. Louis (who died in 1852), and subsequently his present wife, Mrs. Eunice S. Eads. He has five daughters, three of whom are married respectively to John A. Ubsdell, of New York, and Estill McHenry and James F. How, of St. Louis.

In recognition of his achievements in his profession the Missouri State University conferred the degree of LL.D. on Capt. Eads, and the St. Louis Academy of Sciences twice elected him its president. Besides these positions he has filled many other offices of trust and honor in various important corporations, among which may be mentioned the National Bank of the State of Missouri, the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railway, the St. Charles Bridge Company, and the Third National Bank.

In St. Louis Capt. Eads enjoys the universal respect and esteem of the community, which is justly proud of one whose career has been almost without a parallel in this country, and whose success in the face of herculean difficulties has extorted the admiration of even his opponents.

The Harbor of St. Louis. — Almost coincidently with the arrival of the first steamboat at St. Louis in 1817 a sand-bar formed in the bend at the lower end of the town, which gradually extended up as far as Market Street, making a naked beach at low water. Another bar soon formed in the river at the upper end of the city, west of Bloody Island. Thus, at the very outset of the commercial progress of St. Louis, the current of the Mississippi, cutting deeper and deeper into the American Bottom on the eastern side of Bloody Island, was threatening the city with the diversion of its channel to the east side of the island, leaving St. Louis "high and dry," with a sand-bar in front of it.

In this crisis it was generally predicted that the city would amount to nothing in a commercial point of view, and the timid refused to make investments in real estate, fearing that the town would be left without the facility of availing itself of the benefits which the new steam system of navigation promised. [36]

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In 1833 the city authorities, becoming alarmed for the commercial prosperity of the city, undertook the removal of the sand-bars, and with that view employed John Goodfellow to plow them up with ox-teams and plows, thus loosening the sand, which high water was expected to wash away. The idea was suggested by Col. Thomas F. Riddick, and the means were supplied by Gen. Bernard Pratte and some other wealthy citizens. About three thousand dollars was expended in the plowing process without making any impression upon the sand-bar.

Steamboats had grounded, and could not land as high up as Olive Street, and daily indications were given that the river would ultimately sweep around to the eastern side of Bloody Island and leave the Missouri shore.

The mayor of St. Louis in 1835 was John F. Darby, who, fully realizing the danger that threatened the present and future welfare of the city, induced the Board of Aldermen to petition Congress for aid to improve and construct the harbor of St. Louis. The representative of St. Louis in Congress at that time was Gen. William H. Ashley, [37] who by constantly urging the committee of the House of Representatives to which the petition was referred, of which Patrick Henry Pope, from the Louisville, Ky., district was chairman, finally secured the reporting of a bill recommending the improvement of the harbor, and appropriating one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for that purpose. Col. Thomas H. Benton, then in the United States Senate, hampered and hindered by his allegiance to the Democratic party, which, since Gen. Jackson's veto of the Lexington and Maysville road bill, had opposed all internal improvements by the general government, could not very zealously advocate the bill for the improvement of St. Louis harbor, though he offered no opposition to its passage. [38]

The work of preserving the harbor of St. Louis was to be done under the supervision of Gen. Charles Gratiot. Mayor Darby immediately opened correspondence with Gen. Gratiot, urging him to visit St. Louis and examine the harbor. This visit was made and the river fully examined. Gen. Gratiot was introduced by Mayor Darby to the Board of Aldermen on which occasion the Hon. Wilson Primrn, then president of the board, addressed him in happy terms alluding to his association and connection with the city and its inhabitants.

Gen. Gratiot, immediately upon his return to Washington, sent Lieut. Robert E. Lee to St. Louis charged with the immediate supervision of the work of preserving the harbor. This was in 1837, and the work was continued by Lieut. Lee, with Henry Kayser as his assistant, until 1839, when the appropriation made by Congress was exhausted.

In December, 1837, Lieut. Lee wrote as follows concerning the St. Louis harbor:

"The appropriation for the improvement of the harbor has for its object the removal of a large sand-bar occupying, below the city, the former position of the main channel of the Mississippi, which, gradually augmenting for many years, has now become an island of more than two hundred acres in extent, and reaching from the lower part of St. Louis to two miles below. The extensive shoals formed around its base extend on the east the middle of the river, and connecting with the mainland the west afford at low water a dry communication between. A flat bar projects from the upper end to the foot of Bloody Island, opposite the town, which at low stages of the river presents obstacle to the approach of the city, and gives reason to apprehend that at some future day this passage may be closed. This is rendered more probable by the course of the river above. The united waters of the Missouri and Mississippi for some miles below their junction sweep with great velocity along the Illinois shore, where they are deflected to the other side. The

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main body, passing west of Cascarot (now Cabaret) Island, with the lesser portion at its foot, and the whole is compressed in a narrow gorge (opposite Bissell's Point). Spreading out in the wide area below, the main current still keeps to the Missouri shore, while a large part of the river directed toward the Illinois side is fast wearing away its bank and cutting out a large channel east of Bloody Island. The two channels again uniting at the foot of Bloody Island, the whole body of water sweeps down the Illinois shore, and, its velocity becoming increased by the narrowing of its bed, the abrasion of its bottom recommences, all the deep water being here on the Illinois side and all the shoal on that of Duncan Island. But in order to arrest the wearing away of the eastern bank of the river and to protect the Illinois shore, it will be necessary to divert from it the force of the current. This may be done by running a dike from above the small slough on that side, parallel with the western shore, sufficiently far to throw the water west of Bloody Island. The same effect would be produced by throwing a dam across directly from the head of Bloody Island to the Illinois shore... In addition to these works, the head of Bloody Island will have to be protected, from its head to the centre, so as to secure it from the action of the current."

The report also recommended a dike extending down stream from the foot of Bloody Island. In the following year Capt. Lee reported the commencement of the work, and said that, with the small part of the work actually completed, about seven hundred feet of Duncan Island had been washed off.

The work under Lieut. Lee during two years turned the current of the Mississippi back to the Missouri side, washed out the sand-bars, and deepened the water in the harbor, but dikes were required to be built to preserve and protect what had already been accomplished.

Dr. William Carr Lane succeeded to the mayoralty of St. Louis in 1839, and the city authorities, without assistance or aid from any quarter, continued the work in the improvement of the harbor under the direction of the able assistant of Lieut. Lee, Henry Kayser. But they were harassed and annoyed by injunctions of certain parties in Illinois; and the mayor and some of his subordinates were indicted on account of the work being done on the Illinois shore by some of the public functionaries of that State, from which, so long as the work was under the direction of the general government, they were exempt. Still the work in the face of all these trials progressed. [39]

In 1840, Mr. Darby was again elected mayor, and the work on the harbor was continued by the city government. The application was renewed to Congress for aid in behalf of the city, for further appropriations to continue the harbor improvements, but without success. The work was continued by the city for about fifteen years, under the supervision and management at first of Henry Kayser, and subsequently of Gen. S. B. Curtis.

In 1844, Capt. T. J. Cram, United States Corps of Topographical Engineers, wrote as follows of St. Louis harbor:

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"In so far as the general natural main tendencies of the direction and force of the currents in different reaches of the river are being exerted, that portion of the river represented on the chart west of Bloody Island and forming the harbor of St. Louis, I regret to say, must be regarded in the condition of fast becoming a mere slough... In the last six years, since the survey of Capt. Lee was made, the abrasion east of Bloody Island has been such as to wash away a strip three hundred feet wide and fifty feet deep... It appears that in 1839, 1840, and 1841 an extent of nine hundred and twenty-five feet of the dike recommended by Capt. Lee was constructed, extending from the foot of Bloody Island, in order to wash away the bar, costing about forty-six thousand dollars, when the work was stopped for want of funds and left to its fate, before it had been carried to one-half of Capt. Lee's estimated cost. Of all the piles that were driven, only forty-two could be found standing in November, 1843. The work seems to have been constructed by driving two rows of piles from twenty to forty feet apart and distant in the same row from each other six to ten feet, and the space between the rows of piles filled with brush and stone, battened from the piles outwards, one foot in three. The idea of a dam directly across from the head of Bloody Island to the Illinois shore seems to have been abandoned, and the oblique dike commenced starting from the Illinois shore near Venice, and extending in the direction as recommended in Capt. Lee's report. The funds for this work were furnished by the city of St. Louis, and executed at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars, exclusive of machinery. Commencing at the upper extremity of this work, about twelve hundred feet have sunk four and a quarter feet below its original level or been swept away by ice and drift or by the force of the current. There for an extent of eleven hundred feet it has either been swept entirely away or sunk eleven feet below its original level. In the next reach of four hundred and thirty-five feet it has either been swept away or sunk nine and a quarter feet. In all the remainder of the work, twelve hundred and sixty-five feet, quite to its lowest extremity, where it extended into the strongest part of the current, it must have been swept away or sunk fifteen feet below its original level. Throughout the whole of this dike there are but few piles found standing. The city has also expended about eleven thousand six hundred and seventeen dollars in the construction of cross-dikes of stone, thrown without piles or brush, to protect the west bank of Bloody Island from abrasion. It is observable that in most of these cross-dikes, which were extended from the shore perpendicular to the thread of the stream, the water has cut into the bank on their down-stream sides, in virtue of a current setting along the lower face of the dike directly into the bank. Also the bed of the stream has immediately below the dikes been made deeper by the plunge of water passing over their summits, as is always the tendency under the fall over a waste weir."

Capt. Cram quotes from the reports of Capt. Lee, in 1840, to show what had been the effect of the work begun in 1837. The report said, —

"The pier on the Illinois shore (i.e., from Venice south) has served to throw the main body of water west of Bloody Island, which has cut a broad and deep channel through the flat shoal that extended from the head of Bloody Island to the Missouri shore. As this channel enlarges that east of the island diminishes, and between the pier and head of Bloody Island is becoming more and more shoal. The pier from the foot of Bloody Island confines the water to the Missouri shore, and directs the current against the head of Duncan Island. A large portion of the head and eastern face of this island has been washed away during the past year. The deep water now extends close to it, and admits the largest boats to the lower wharf of the city. The depth of the river on the Illinois side is diminishing... Both piers, however, require to be finished. The upper ought to be strengthened and extended down the river and the lower completed."

The appropriations recommended, however, were not made, and the work went to pieces. Capt. Cram says (1844), —

"Had ample means been appropriated and expended according to the views of that officer, in all probability the harbor would have needed little more, except to till up for the subsequent settling of the work, the damage occurring from ice, abrasion, and driftwood. These would have cost considerably more than generally supposed, but I think that plan, if pursued to completion and to have been successful, would ultimately have resulted in a completely connected work, extending from near the foot of Kerr's Island quite to the head of Bloody Island, then along the west shore of that island by a revetment to connect with the dike, making two miles of dike-work, one mile of revetment, and nine hundred and twenty-five feet of dike."...

The report of the city engineer in March, 1846 stated that in 1842 the lower part of the harbor was so obstructed by bars that the ferry-boat was compelled to land at the foot of Vine Street. In the winter of 1845-46, although the water was two feet lower than had ever been known before, the boat could use her landing at the foot of Market Street showing a decided improvement instead of impairment of the wharf front, as had been charged by parties hostile to the plan of the city extending the dikes at Hazel and Mulberry Streets. He further said, —

"The improvement of the harbor requires, first, a regular shore on the Missouri side, which in time will be afforded by the improved Levee; second, a regular and nearly parallel shore on the Illinois side; third, regulation of the bed of the river above the city so as to direct the water into the channel under favorable conditions. The first is the work of the city, the latter two are and should be in the hands of the United States."

Congress at this time seemed entirely willing to make what at that time would have been considered liberal appropriations for the harbor of St. Louis and other public works, but all bills of this character were consistently vetoed by President Polk. As a result of the vetoes the question of internal improvements became a political issue of no little importance in the Northwest and West. Additional appropriations being unobtainable, inquiry was made as to what had become of the unexpended appropriation of 1844. From all that can now be ascertained the balance, twenty-two thousand seven hundred and nine dollar was never expended.

The controversy, already alluded to, with the Illinois authorities in regard to the river-front of East St. Louis being happily ended by the joint resolution of the Illinois Legislature, the construction of the dike

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opposite Duncan's Island was resumed in the spring of 1851. The river was then five thousand two hundred feet width opposite the lower part of the city, and it was proposed to narrow it to eighteen hundred feet. In 1852, chiefly as a result of the efforts to close Bloody Island chute, which had not then fully succeeded, the east side had been removed until the island extended but five hundred feet east of the proposed wharf line. A small strip of the island was joined to the mainland by cross-dikes in 1852-53. [40]

From that time and up to 1866 the chute west of the island was unnavigable. In 1866 the city engineer advocated straightening the river from the city to Carondelet by a front line passing through the island. About this time the west chute became the main channel, and the wharf line was left as established in 1864 to the then city limits at Keokuk Street. As this line ended seven hundred and fifty from the shore, its adoption involved the widening of the chute by washing away the west side of the island. Several small spur-dikes were pushed out from the Missouri shore behind the island previous to 1858, but not far enough to exert any controlling influence during the time when it was uncertain which plan would finally be adopted. After the extension of the city in 1870, absorbing the old town of Carondelet the extension of the line in front of the newly-acquired territory was brought forward, and a project submitted by the city engineer accepting the line as then established ordinance, nearly in the middle of the channel, affording an opportunity to make many blocks of ground.

The project of making the west chute the permanent channel was acquiesced by all. The board of engineers in their report of April 13, 1872, had indorsed it to the extent of saying by implication that the United States should close the eastern channel if observation showed danger of the river leaving the channel to the west. Before this proposed extension of the wharf line was formally laid before the City Council, an ordinance was passed ordering the construction a dike at the foot of Bryan Street. As no necessity was apparent for this dike, it is not unreasonable to suppose that it was moved and passed with a view chiefly to commit, the city to the proposed line. Work on this dike was prosecuted so vigorously that the first intimation of its commencement to many was the complaint made by boatmen that the channel was obstructed, but the work had progressed far enough to cross the main channel, which had been along the main Missouri shore. The work being done in the spring, or at the season when the general tendency of the river is to rise, the conditions were unfavorable to the ostensible purpose of the dike, which was to compel the washing away of the west side of the island.

As the stage of water afforded a free discharge of the obstructed water by way of the eastern chute, that channel was deepened, and eventually became the main channel.

Growing out of the discussion which followed the return of the channel to Cahokia chute, an urgent demand for the closure of that chute was made by all parties interested, for once all agreeing in desiring this action, and a survey was made by United States engineers in the summer of 1874, with special reference to this matter. The construction of a dam across Cahokia Creek was authorized by Congress. The act of Congress making appropriations for this dam specifically limits it to a low dam, although it was clearly stated in the report that as such it would necessarily fail to accomplish all the requirements of the case.

Very little has actually been done towards the permanent improvement of the harbor below the arsenal. The plans contemplate considerable reclamations of ground from the river, which must be a slow process. These proposed reclamations extend from above the arsenal to near Dover Street, from Fillmore to Stein Street, and from Stein Street nearly to Jefferson Barracks. When complete the alignment of the wharf south will be convex from Market Street to Bryan, a distance of sixteen thousand feet, and concave from there to Jefferson Barracks, thirty-six thousand feet.

On the east side of the river the corrected width is defined only at the Illinois and St. Louis Railroad dike, opposite Chouteau Avenue and opposite Marine Avenue, by the revetment of part of Arsenal Island, opposite Carondelet, by the incline of the East St. Louis and Carondelet Railroad, by the Waterloo Ferry dike and the coal-dump of the St. Louis and Cairo Narrow-Gauge Railroad. Farther down the United States dikes for the improvement of Horsetail Bar, with two thousand four hundred feet of partially-constructed training-wall, are steps toward the definition of a line extending to the head of Carroll Island.

Arsenal Island belongs to the city of St. Louis, having been purchased from the school board for thirty-three thousand dollars in 1866. It was patented

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to the school board in 1864 by J. M. Edmunds, commissioner of the general land office at Washington. All of the land within the island previous to this time was known as "Quarantine Island," and sometimes called Arsenal Island. The total number of acres contained in the island at that time was 119.57. The deed to the city was signed by Felix Coste, president of the school board, and George M. Fitchtenkamp, secretary. During the civil war the upper portion of the island was used as a burial-ground by the government. After the city got possession it was used for a smallpox hospital. Many of the old graves, not otherwise removed, were washed away by the encroachments of the river.

Going back to the surveys, the first shore line we have a record of (in 1862) was opposite the north line of the arsenal. The head of the island moved down three hundred feet by 1865, in which year the main channel was on the east side of the island. At that time one could go from the St. Louis side to the head of the island on a sand-bar during low water, from October to about March. The next survey was made in 1874, when it was found that the head of the island had moved down one thousand three hundred feet from the survey of 1865, making the retrocession of the island altogether since the survey of 1862 about one thousand six hundred feet, over one-fourth of a mile in twelve years. The survey of 1874 showed the channel to be located on the west side, between the island and the Missouri shore. The change of the channel at that time was caused by dikes built by the Cahokia Ferry Company for the purpose of making a steam ferry-boat landing at Cahokia.

The survey of this island by City Engineer John G. Joyce in 1880 shows that the head of the island has moved down four thousand eight hundred feet from the survey of 1862, nearly a mile. The channel still remains on the west side of the island. It is interesting to remark here that the dike built by City Engineer Moulton about 1867-68, at the foot of Bryan Street, diverted the channel from the west to the east side of the island, and also washed the head of the island down some three thousand feet. A correspondence sprang up about that time between the Governor of Illinois and Mayor Brown in reference to the Bryan Street dike, the Governor opposing the construction of the dike on account of the damage that would accrue to the farmers on the Illinois side in consequence of diverting the current to the Illinois shore; the result was that the building of the dike was stopped, and the general government had to erect a dike from Arsenal Island to the Illinois shore from the upper eastern shoulder of the island.

The survey of Mr. Joyce shows the acreage of Arsenal Island to be 247.32 acres. The revetment made by the United States government engineers along the west shore, extending from a little below the northern apex towards the southern extremity with revetment and dike on the east shore, would justify the conclusion that there will be little, if any washing away in the future; but, on the contrary, steady increase. The dike which was built on the east side some two or three years ago, above alluded to, has already formed a sand-bar on its south adjoining the island of some two hundred and sixteen acres, which will steadily increase by accretion. This in time will be as high as the island proper. The dike is bound to obstruct the current forever on that side, and its being built on a foundation of brushwood fastened by piling and the whole imbedded with rock, justifies the belief that it is a permanent fixture.

The improvements of the harbor of St. Louis have passed through two stages. The first, arising out of a difficulty in the way of approach to the harbor has already been considered. This difficulty stood also in the way of all the commerce passing St. Louis, and therefore the improvement was in no proper sense a local one. The second stage dates from about 1841 or 1843, and is marked by the addition to the former difficulty of an apprehension that the harbor would be entirely lost; not only that the main channel would be to the eastward of the island, but that the Missouri shore would speedily become inaccessible to boats.

Upon the authority of Capt. Cram, it appears that the volume of water in 1843 west of the island was to that east of it as ten to six. In December, 1847 the same officer says, the quantity running into the city channel was to the quantity running into the Illinois as 1 is to 1.01. These changes rendered the closure of the chute east of Bloody Island a necessity to St. Louis, and the hope of being benefited by the misfortune of their rival accounts for the interest taken by Alton and Quincy in the matter of closing the chute much more satisfactorily than the pretended fear of injury from back-water caused by forcing the Mississippi to pass through a channel only four hundred and fifty yards wide.

In the years following the closure of the Bloody Island channel no matter of general interest arose until by the growth of the city and its trade the extension of wharf facilities was required, and a third stage in the development of the demand for harbor improvement was introduced by the necessities of the traffic across the stream, the number of persons and railroad transfers requiring that both shores should be permanently accessible at numerous points.

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The central and south wharves have now plenty of water. Regarding the establishment of the present north wharf line and clearing away the bar in front of it, the report of Col. W. E. Merrill, United States Engineers, after showing that the Grand Chain dike should be abandoned, as it only made matters worse at Sawyer's Bend, has the following: "The central harbor being in good condition during the low stage, it is manifest that if we can make the northern harbor like the central we may expect the same results in it. In other words, if we can canalize this portion of the river in a sufficiently small section, giving it revetted banks, we may confidently expect a sufficiency of water. Moreover, when once this work is properly performed we need have no further apprehensions about the angle at which the river current enters the city limits. It will be forced through so narrow a channel make the variations of the current a matter of indifference. If we could succeed in getting the river to abandon the Sawyer Bend and to take the eastern channel by Cabaret Island we would doubtless attain our object, and a shoal extending from Venice westward would ultimately narrow the water-way to the prescribed width. But having concluded that no reliance could be placed upon any means under our control for effecting this change, it only remains to see if we cannot accomplish the same thing in a different manner. Our object will be to contract the water-way in the northern harbor so as to force the water in run in the channel which we wish, notwithstanding it comes from Sawyer's Bend. There is a permanent low-water channel already established in the northern harbor, though it is not alongside the northern wharf. Either the city must move to this channel or the channel must be made to come to the city. The former method would be more natural, and in an engineering point of view would be much preferable. Our studies have shown us that in its natural condition a river has no right lines, passing directly from a curve bending one way into a curve bending in the opposite direction. If, then, the northern wharf line were moved out to the edge of the bar and made to conform to the curve of the channel, we should have a naturally formed river from below the Grand Chain to the elevator. With shore lines thus established there would be no difficulty in making permanent revetments." After instancing a number of objections to this course, such as the abandonment of a line on which much work had been done, lengthening the sewers, damages to water-front owners, etc., the engineer's report says, —

"Under these circumstances the only course that seems left is to force the river to come to the wharf, which the city has established. That this can be done I have no doubt, though the channel so formed will be an unnatural and, therefore, expensive one...To force the water channel over to the city wharf we must drive it by a series of dikes. The dikes already constructed by City Engineer Bischoff will be the first of the system, the long dike extended will be the third, an intermediate dike at or near Venice Landing will be the second, and a fourth dike may be needed at the head of Bloody Island. I would recommend that they be raised to the height of fourteen feet above low water."...

It is upon this report of Col. Merrill that the city has based its latter-day wharf plans. [41]

The present United States engineers are not so sanguine that the river can be brought, to the wharf, but think the wharf must go to the river.

According to their reports, the complete improvement of the harbor of St. Louis requires, first, the fixation of the banks above the city so as to control the approach to the harbor and preserve the conditions of entrance invariable; second, the regulation of the width and depth in front of the city by regular permanent lines of definition at high and low stages.

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"The first requires the revetment of the right bank for the whole length of Sawyer Bend, and possibly a section of the Illinois shore opposite to and above the Chain of Rocks, also the closing of Cabaret slough by a high embankment and revetment of the head of the island. Besides the work here named it is improbable that any will be required for many years upon that part of the city front above the water-works. The concave bank insures the permanent location of the channel close to the Missouri shore, and the west side of Cabaret Island is more likely to receive accretions than suffer abrasion. Therefore, unless by the growth of new interests or unforeseen expansion of those existing, a necessity should arise for deep water on the east side, this part of the river may be considered the approach to the harbor, and, except the work named, may be left to nature. The extent of bank to be revetted in Sawyer's Bend is twenty-seven thousand feet.

"The regulated canalized river harbor will begin near the city water-works, and the upper limit may be fixed at the present Bischoff's dike, which now extends from the Illinois shore to within one thousand five hundred and seventy feet of the St. Louis wharf."

By the River and Harbor Act of 1882 it is provided

"that the unexpended sums heretofore appropriated for an ice-harbor at St. Louis, Mo., be and the same are hereby transferred and appropriated, to be expended, under the direction of the Secretary of War, for the improvement of the channel of the Mississippi River opposite the city of St. Louis, Mo., by repairing and raising the low dam across the channel east of Arsenal Island, known as Cahokia chute, and by the construction of such other works in or near said Cahokia chute as may be deemed advisable to accomplish the same purpose."

The harbor of St. Louis, extending from the Des Peres River on the south to the northern extremity of the city, is nearly fourteen miles in length, of which nearly four miles are paved, and embraces an area of water of nearly five square miles.

The total expenditures for the improvement of the harbor of St. Louis from October, 1840, to April, 1869, amounted to $1,012,551.68.

Floods in the Mississippi and Tributaries, and the Levee System. — The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain an area above and including the Red River as follows:

  Square Miles.
I. The Missouri River and tributaries 519,400
II. The Ohio River and tributaries 202,400
III. The Upper Mississippi River and tributaries 184,500
IV. The Arkansas and White Rivers and tributaries 176,700
V. The Red River and tributaries 102,200
VI. The Yazoo, Obion, and Black Rivers and tributaries 29,300
VII. The St. Francis River and tributaries 12,100
Total 1,226,000

The rainfall over this vast extent of country has been carefully investigated, and forty inches has been fixed upon as the annual downfall, which must, of course, be carried off, either by evaporation or drainage. Supposing, says Charles Ellet, Jr., that "from any cause, — as the tillage of the prairies, the destruction of the vegetable growth, or the better drainage of the fields, — out of the forty inches of rain, two-fifths of an inch, or nearly one per cent. of the whole, should be discharged into the Mississippi in the course of sixty days of flood over and above the present discharge. If this slight increase of the total discharge were distributed uniformly over the whole period of sixty days of high water, it would require that the channel of the river should be competent to give vent to an increased volume equal to two hundred and twenty thousand cubic feet per second. If this increased volume be retained in the channel by levees, these levees must be raised six feet higher than the tops of the present (1854) embankments." [42] The object of the computations by which this conclusion was arrived at by Mr. Ellet was to show how sensitive is the discharge of the Mississippi River to every variation, however inconsiderable, of the drainage of the country; and to prove that if the evaporation be slightly reduced, or the drainage slightly hastened or increased by the causes which are progressing with increasing population and the extension of cultivation, then for every fifth part of an inch by which the total drainage is increased in the period of high water there must be experienced an average increase of about three feet in the heights of the floods, unless the water can find its accustomed vents into the swamps. This statement will aid in forming some estimate of the consequences which are to spring from the extension of society over the yet unpeopled West, and the cultivation of the vast territory which is drained by the Mississippi and its tributaries, increasing the amount of water poured down the lower Mississippi, while the population of that portion of the valley is closing the accustomed outlets of the river in the extension of the levees.

A great flood is the result of a simultaneous discharge of the great tributaries which ordinarily run off successively. The high water produced by the Red and Arkansas Rivers, in the ordinary course of things, has begun to subside before that of the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee comes down; and these, again, begin to recede before the upper Mississippi discharges its volume; and this, in its turn, subsides before the snows of the Rocky Mountains are melted by the tardy sun in those high latitudes, and the water has time to flow off through the three thousand miles of channel intervening between the sources of those distant streams and the head of the delta. It is a

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part of the natural order of events that these great rivers should discharge successively. But when, under circumstances over which there exists no control, the ordinary order of successive discharge is changed for a simultaneous pouring out of all the tributaries, then comes the "year of great waters," like 1785, 1811, 1823, 1826, 1844, 1858, and 1881.

The first unusual rise of the Mississippi River of which we have any account took place in 1542. In March of that year, while De Soto and his followers were at an Indian village on the western side of the "Rio Grande," as the early Spaniards called the Mississippi, which from its elevated description indicates the site of Helena, in Arkansas, there was a rise in the river which covered all the surrounding country us far as the eye could reach. In the village (represented to have been on high ground) the water rose from five to six feet above the earth, and the roofs of the Indian cabins were the only places of shelter. The river remained at this height for several days, and then subsided rapidly.

The earliest authentic account of the American Bottom being submerged is that of the flood of 1724. A document is to be found in the archives of Kaskaskia, which consists of a petition to the crown of France, in 1725, for a grant of land, in which the damage sustained the preceding year (1724) by the rise of the water is mentioned. The villagers were driven to the bluffs on the opposite side of the Kaskaskia River, their gardens and corn-fields were destroyed, and their buildings and property much injured. We have no evidence of its exact height, but the whole American bottom was submerged. This was probably in June.

There was a tradition among the old French people many years since that there was an extraordinary rise of the river between 1740 and 1750, but we find no written or printed account of it.

In the year 1772 another flood came, and portions of the American Bottom were again covered. Fort Chartres, in 1756, stood half a mile from the Mississippi River; in 1776 it was eighty yards. Two years after, Capt. Pittman, who surveyed the fort in 1768, states, —

"The bank of the Mississippi next the fort is continually falling worn away by the current, which has been turned from its course by a sand-bank, now increased to a considerable island covered with willows. Many experiments have been tried to stop this growing evil, but to no purpose. Eight years river was fordable to the island; the channel is now forty feet deep."

About the year 1770 the river made further encroachments, but in 1772, when it inundated portions of the American Bottom, it swept away the land to the fort and undermined the wall on that side, which tumbled into the river. A large and heavily-timbered island now occupies the "sand-bar" of Capt. Pittman's time, between which and the site of the fort a slough runs.

The next period of extreme high water was in 1785, during which Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and large portions of the American Bottom were submerged. Concerning this great inundation we have but meagre information. This year, however, is known in the annals of Western history as l'année des grandes eaux, — the year of the great waters. In 1844 it was contended by some of the old inhabitants of Kaskaskia and Cahokia, who remembered the great flood of 1785, that the water attained a greater height then than in the last-mentioned year. It is certain that at Kaskaskia the water attained a greater height in 1844 than was reached in 1785. This is not predicated upon the mere recollections of individuals, but was ascertained from existing marks of the height of the flood of that year after the subsidence of the water in 1844. It was then proved that in this last-mentioned year the water rose two feet and five inches above the high-water mark of 1785. The destruction of property by this freshet was comparatively small. The mighty stream spread over a wilderness tenanted only by wild beasts and birds, and the few inhabitants then residing within the range of its destructive sweep easily escaped with small loss to the highlands. Gen. Edgar once said that in Kaskaskia the water rose to the surface of the door-sill of the house of the late Robert Morrison, but that in one place, where the court-house stood a few years since, the ground was above the water. That season the inhabitants passed by means of water-craft through the prairies and lakes from Cahokia to Kaskaskia. This flood destroyed all the crops, and did much damage about the French villages on the American Bottom.

There were high waters so as to overflow the low grounds and fill the lakes and sloughs on the American Bottom at other seasons subsequent to 1785, but none that deserve attention until that of 1811. It was in the summer preceding the "shakes," as the earthquakes were called.

This flood resulted in part from the annual rise of the Missouri, as did the ones previously noticed. The flood in the Missouri always occurs between the 15th and 30th of June, and is caused by the snows melting in the mountains at the heads of the main Missouri. In some seasons the Yellowstone, which is in a more southern latitude, pours out a flood which reaches St. Louis about the last of May or 1st of June.

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In 1811 the Mississippi River commenced rising early in May, and by the 15th the water had spread over a large portion of the American Bottom. The water began to subside, and by the 1st of June was only over the banks in low places. By the 6th of June the river again commenced rising, and continued to rise until the 14th, when it came to a stand. At this time the greater part of the American Bottom was under water, and Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Prairie du Pont, Cantien, and nearly all the settlements in the bottom were inundated, and the inhabitants had fled to the high lands.

The "common fields" belonging to Ste. Genevieve were on the bottom land adjacent to the river, much of which has since been swept away, the steamboats now running over the same spot. The water entirely submerged the field, and nearly covered the growing corn. A story is still narrated by the oldest inhabitants that at the time of the flood some of the panic-stricken inhabitants waited on Father Maxwell, the village priest, to "pray away the water." It is said he gave no direct encouragement at first, until he perceived the water at a stand, when he proposed to the corn-growers to drive off the waters by saying masses for a share of all the corn they raised. The bargain was struck, the masses were said, and the waters suddenly retired from their fields. The ground was soon dry and in good order, the corn looked green, and the priest, it is said, shared in the luxuriant crop.

There was considerable destruction of property by this freshet, and a great many cattle drowned. The height attained by the water during this freshet has never been precisely ascertained. But it is believed that the flood was not so great as that during I'année des grandes eaux.

The flood of 1811 was much greater than any that followed until 1823, when a sudden change in the temperature after a winter when the snowfall was unprecedentedly heavy throughout the Northwest and the fall of very heavy rains caused the Mississippi to commence rising rapidly about the 8th of May, 1823. It continued to rise rapidly until the 23d of the month, when it came to a stand. At that time the water entirely covered the American Bottom, and the citizens of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Cantien, French Village, Wood River, Madison, and other settlements had been compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge on the bluffs and in St. Louis. The houses in the lower part of St. Louis were surrounded by water. The Levee was submerged, and the river rose to the lower room in the old store at the foot of Oak Street (then kept by John Shackford) about five feet. The water overflowed all the low grounds about East St. Louis. [43]

The loss of cattle was very great, and the farmer suffered heavily throughout the American Bottom. The high land about where that part of East St. Louis known as Papstown is now built, and la bute à renard, or the Fox Mound, which had escaped submersion during the flood of l'année des grandes eaux, were the only dry ground in the American Bottom, except some mounds whose tops were of no great extent. In this, as in the flood of 1811, there exists no means of ascertaining the height which the river attained, nor are there the means of ascertaining the amount of destruction which was accomplished by this great freshet.

The season of 1826 was characterized by tremendous rainfalls throughout the whole Northwest, and the Mississippi was very high throughout the spring from about the 15th of April. Towards the close of May the river had overflowed its banks and spread for miles over the country. By the 8th of June Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Prairie du Pont, Cantien, and the common fields of Ste. Genevieve were submerged. The loss of stock and other property was very great. The inhabitants of the "bottoms" sought refuge either on the bluffs back in Illinois or among the hills of Missouri, or in St. Louis. There is, so far as we can ascertain, no record left of the height attained this year by the water in the river. The river came to stand on the 10th of the month, and on the11th was falling rapidly. By the 25th the river had reached an ordinary stage, — the great flood had been lost in the vast volume of waters of the gulf.

The winter of 1843-44 was not one of unusual severity, though there were tremendous snow-storms throughout the Northwest. The winter broke up early in May, but the weather continued cool, and the spring was characterized by the severest rain-storms ever known in the Northwest. Early in the season the river began to rise, and by the 1st of May was full almost to overflowing. The population of Missouri and Illinois had greatly increased, farming had improved the soil and largely facilitated the drainage of the land. Towns and settlements had sprung up everywhere, and along the river-banks centres of population had gathered and garnered great wealth.

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When, therefore, they saw the mighty rivers bank-full in April they were not alarmed; and when on the 3d of May the great streams began to recede, all fear passed away with the decline in the volume of the waters. But thick clouds gathered, and deluges of water were poured out over the face of the whole country. [44] Little brooks became swollen creeks, and small creeks great rivers, and little rivers great floods, all pouring into the mighty Missouri and Mississippi their vast contributions to the overwhelming waters that rose above the barriers which confined them and deluged the fairest part of the great West.

By the 10th of May the river began rising, and by the 16th the flood began to create alarm at St. Louis. The Republican of the 17th of May calls it "a tremendous flood," and adds, —

"The waters were coming down upon us from every quarter. The Mississippi is now as high as it has been known for many years, and is still rising. Just above Oak Street it was last evening within six or eight feet of touching the curbstone. The collars all above the wharf are filling with water. It was still rising last evening at the rate of twelve inches in twenty-four hours, and this notwithstanding an immense volume of water is pouring over the Illinois shore. The whole of the American Bottom, from Alton to Kaskaskia, will be, we fear, submerged. The people are deserting their homes in Illinois towns."

The river continued to rise throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th, reaching the doors of the stores on Front Street north of Pine, and extending to the Pap house cm the Illinois side, a distance of two and a half miles. The merchants on Front Street had all been compelled to move their stock of goods into the second stories. The waters came to a stand on the 21st, with prospects of a decline, which began rapidly on the 23d, and continued until the river was again within its banks on the 7th of June. But the flood from the Missouri was coming down. From the 3d to the 10th of June there was a continued succession of the most terrible rain-storms ever witnessed. These tremendous rains were general throughout the Northwest. The Mississippi again commenced rising at St. Louis on the 8th of June. The rise was steady, though not alarmingly rapid. The upper Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Des Moines, Gasconade, Osage, Kaw, Platte, and all the tributaries were pouring out their floods.

Steadily, slowly, but inexorably the great floods from the prairies, hills, and mountains came sweeping down to the lower valleys. Before the 12th of the month the river was again breaking over the banks in places. By the 15th the floods began to alarm the people of the valley, and "the great flood of 1844" had commenced its devastations.

There were five hundred persons in St. Louis who were driven from their homes by this flood. [45]

At Bon Secour there were camped, all in open camps, one hundred and twenty-two persons. Several of these families left their homes with from four to nine children, and with less than fifty pounds of flour and a small quantity of meat.

The water covered all of Illinoistown, rose above the first story of the houses, and reached within a few inches of the height attained in the freshets of 1823 and 1826. A considerable portion of the curbstones on Water Street were covered, and the water was running into the lower stories of the houses of Battle Row, corner of Laurel Street.

All the rivers above were reported to be rising, but the principal rise was from the Missouri, said to be the June freshet from the mountains. The Missouri, the upper Mississippi, and the Illinois, and their tributaries were overflowing their banks and rising rapidly, spreading destruction and consternation among the inhabitants of the bottoms, whose losses were very great. Many of their farms were completely under water, and their crops were entirely destroyed, and their stock either carried off by the flood or scattered over the country.

The Illinois River was within six inches of the high-water mark of the great flood that occurred seventeen years before, and at Naples it had overflowed the bank and the streets were under water.

On June 17th the river was about six inches higher than the water-mark of the month before. North of Locust Street, on Front Street, and above Vine Street the water rose over the sidewalks and into many of the stores, forcing the merchants to carry their damageable goods into the second stories, and to place the remainder on shelves and counters. On the 18th the steamer "Missouri Mail" brought the alarming news of a great rise in the Missouri, which on the 13th was rising at St. Joseph at the rate of seven feet in twenty-four hours.

The whole country between Weston and Glasgow was under water. Camden Bottom was covered to a depth of six to eight feet. The officers of the "Mail"

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spent nearly one entire day in relieving and saving those who were in danger, and the accounts they related were peculiarly distressing; quite a number of persons were missing, many of whom were doubtless lost. Cattle in large numbers were seen floating down amidst the drift, their heads only visible. Many houses were also seen floating on the flood.

The editorial of the Republican of June 19th says, —

"We have taken some pains to ascertain with certainty the height of the present rise in the river compared with former freshets. We have been very unsuccessful. Within the memory of many of the oldest inhabitants there have been three extraordinary freshets, — one in 1811, one in 1823, and the last in 1826. If there were any others, we have not been able to learn the particulars. The freshet of 1811 appears to have been the highest. That year the Ste. Genevieve common fields, and in fact the whole bottom, was covered with water. Boats passed with ease to and from Ste. Genevieve to Kaskaskia. There is a, great difference of opinion as to the height attained by the water in 1826. Some say it was higher than now; others insist that at present the water is higher than during that year."

On Thursday, the 20th, the Mississippi was from three to six miles wide, and in many places nine. It covered all Front Street and the sidewalk; it was over the boilers in Cathcart's mill, and the steamer "Lightner" was resting her bow against the front of Henry N. Davis' store at the corner of Front and Morgan Streets. The water was up along Battle Row nearly to the door-hatches. At J. & E. Walsh's store, corner of Vine and Front Streets, the water was up to within about fourteen inches of the locks on the doors. At the corner of Pine and Front Streets it was just up to the top of the sill of the door of Mr. Collins' warehouse. At Market Street it was between nine and ten inches below the sill of the east door of Coons & Gallagher's store. The lower part of the city, in the vicinity of Mill Creek, was all submerged. The water covered Second Street below the bridge. Mr. Stiles and most of the people in that quarter, especially along Convent Street, removed, and the communication was maintained by means of boats.

Several houses up in the direction of the dam were several feet under water. Of course all the low lands in Soulard's addition and St. George's were overflowed.

On the Illinois side everything was under water; at Cahokia the inhabitants were forced to flee to the bluffs, and several houses in Illinoistown were moved from their foundations, and some overturned.

The "Indiana," which made fast at the door of the female academy, brought up from Kaskaskia the Sisters of Charity at the convent and the priests connected with the church at that place, and several families and such furniture as they had saved. The town was from ten to twenty feet under water. Several dwelling-houses that were most exposed to the current of the river, together with many barns, stables, and outhouses, were swept away.

The city engineer, about twelve o'clock on the 22d, ascertained that the water was over the city directrix, the curbstone on Front Street, east of the market-house, three feet four inches. This gave thirty-four feet nine inches plumb water above low-water mark. From half-past seven o'clock on Thursday morning until half-past seven Friday evening the rise was seventeen inches. This was an immense and unparalleled rise, and can only be properly estimated when the whole width of the river is considered. In many places it was from ten to fifteen miles wide. In Second Street the water extended from Hazel to the junction of Second and Fifth Streets, being in some places from four to five feet deep. The low land in front and all the low lands between Second and Third and Fifth Streets were several feet under water.

On June 22d the editor of the Republican

"took a trip across the river in the row-boat ‘Ripple,’ a boat which is owned and manned by a company of young gentlemen, amateur boatmen, and had a most pleasant time of it. We left the foot of Market Street and crossed to the ferry landing. From thence we passed over several streets of Illinoistown, and to ‘Old Pap's house,’ a mile and a half from the ferry landing. Thence we rowed through a corn-field and an oat-field to the railroad, passed along it some distance and through another field to the big lake near the Pittsburgh coal-mines, a distance of about nine miles. On our return we crossed to the east side of Bloody Island, and passed round the head of the island. Everywhere we witnessed the destruction of whole crops, the year's subsistence of the farmer and his family."

For the twenty-four hours of Sunday, June 23d, the water rose fourteen inches, and reached the climax of the flood, where it remained nearly stationary until the 28th, when it commenced receding. In order to relieve the needs of the destitute the City Council by ordinance placed one thousand dollars at the disposition of the mayor and other officers. The number encamped was as follows: At Bon Secour, 122; at Mr. Cremer's, 45; at John Cohen's, 18; at John Sharp's, 5; at Game's, 21; at Falling Spring, 31; at Edward Hebert's, 4; at Prairie du Pont, 41; at Joseph Boismenen's, 40; at the Grand Marias Pass, 40 families.

The water continued to recede with great rapidity. By the middle of July the river had reached an ordinary stage. The weather became settled, the atmosphere void of moisture. July, August, and September proved very dry, and before the close of the season the river had reached an exceedingly low stage. [46]

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The long-continued and ruinous flood of 1851 did not begin to attract particular attention until "fearful accounts of the rise in the upper Mississippi," the river being over its banks in many places, reached the newspapers of St. Louis of May 29, 1851. Two days after the river began to rise rapidly at St. Louis, and by sundown of the 30th was fifteen feet eight inches below the high-water mark of 1844, as marked

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on the column in front of the Centre Market, and eight feet and one-half inch below the city directrix, or the curbstone at the corner of Market Street and the Levee. The top of the stonework of the dike is two feet lower than the city directrix. A large portion of the east side of Duncan's Island, and seven houses, and a portion of the dike erected by the city between the island and the Illinois shore, were washed away. About one million feet of lumber from the upper part of the city was also washed away. Through almost all of June the river continued to rise, until June 23d it had risen four feet nine and a half inches below the high-water mark of 1844; from this date the waters commenced to decline.

The desolation which visited the States watered by the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Wabash, the Illinois, and their tributaries was beyond all calculation.

In 1854 the river was very high, the water almost entirely submerging the Levee at St. Louis. Great damage was done, especially in the lower portion of the course of the river. The destruction of property was immense in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

In 1858 the water rose to a point within about two and a half feet of the flood of 1844. Many towns were inundated, and vast destruction of property was effected. The water broke over the levee at Cairo, Ill., and completely submerged that city. The water in the Ohio was also very high. The planters in the delta and the farmers throughout the low country suffered immense losses.

In 1863 the river rose very high, and the flood swept away much property. The water came into the stores on the Levee at St. Louis. This was the last great flood until 1881, though the water rose quite high in 1867, and again in 1871 and 1875. But these floods did little damage in the upper valley. In Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana great destruction was wrought in 1867, 1871, and 1875.

The flood of 1881 began in May, and on the 4th of that month, from the foot of Anna Street, on the St. Louis side, the only limit for the water was the bluff, three miles to the east. East Carondelet, as the little village opposite Carondelet is called, was flooded by the breaking of the dike at the head of the island, and the inhabitants took their children in their arms and sought safety on the high grounds. Many of them crossed in the ferry-boat and found quarters in Carondelet. Over a hundred persons were thus rendered homeless. From the arsenal, steamboats could be seen through the willows which were once on the bank of the river, plying in the overflow. The width of the river at that point was estimated at three miles.

The country surrounding the little town of Venice opposite the north wharf, was inundated. Nightfall found East St. Louis still exempt from inundation, but the situation there was extremely critical, and the alarm among the inhabitants was general. At 2.35 o'clock, May 3d, the steamboats lying along the East St. Louis side of the river set up a combined whistling, which conveyed to people on the St. Louis side of the river the impression that the town of East St. Louis was in danger of being swept away, but whistling was the signal agreed on whenever the break should occur in the Madison County dike. Fortunately the alarm, though far from causeless, did not herald such great disaster. A break had occurred in the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad embankment, and a great volume of water poured through it, threatening to sweep down on East St. Louis and send the inhabitants fleeing for their lives. The water had two courses to take, — one up Cahokia Creek, where it would do no great damage immediately, the other down the creek, where it would drown out East St. Louis. When the possibility of the embankment's breaking had been canvassed beforehand, there was scarcely any one who did not suppose that the water would come down the creek, but strangely enough, it took the other course, and the Ohio and Mississippi embankment for the time kept it away from East St. Louis.

The greatest actual damage which occurred in one place was the loss of the bridge, valued at twenty thousand dollars, across Cahokia Creek.

On May 5th the river had risen half a foot within twenty-four hours, and was above the high-water mark of 1876, and still rising. East St. Louis was in greater danger than ever.

The water on the 4th came near taking in completely what little of the levee-front it had left the day before. From Biddle Street to Locust sidewalks were only to be seen in spots. From Washington Avenue to Locust the water was running over the pavement and against the lintels of the houses. From Spruce Street to Chouteau Avenue there was no passage for pedestrians, and as early as six o'clock in the afternoon a skiff tied to the awning-post in front of 607 South Levee was floating over the sidewalk in a foot of water. Between East St. Louis and Fish Lake thousands of acres of wheat were under water. In East Carondelet there were some sixteen houses above water, each of which was crowded with those with those whose homes were submerged.

The floods on the Mississippi of which more particular accounts have been given were selected because of the exceptionally high stage of the water, but almost

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every year witnesses very high water, and the annual loss of property is very great. These constantly occurring stages of high water, in which the flood wave, overleaping the banks, spreads over the adjacent country, have caused the construction of artificial banks along the tops of those created by the stream itself, and as these new banks have been extended along both banks of the river, they have assumed a regular system of protection, which is known as the levee system. This system, though located on the river below St. Louis, is yet of very great importance to the trade and commerce of a city whose situation naturally makes it the great commercial capital of the river-drained country. It was to find "means of obviating the disasters incident" to these floods, and "to prevent the overflow of these low grounds, or swamp lands generally, covering, as is supposed, nearly forty thousand square miles, [47] that the investigations made by Charles Ellet, Jr., were undertaken.

"The lands which are now annually overflowed may certainly be estimated at fully 16,000,000 of acres, which, if relieved by any effectual process, would be worth at the government price $20,000,000; but converted as they may be into sugar and cotton-fields, would possess a value that it might seem extravagant to state, while the annual loss and distress inflicted on the present population by the inundations of the river can scarcely find a parallel in many localities, excepting in the effects of national hostilities." [48]

These levees extend on one side or the other about eighteen hundred miles, and represent in first cost and present value twenty million dollars. But even the present system is regarded as entirely inadequate, for the levees, which are constantly breaking or threatening to break, protect but a comparatively small strip along the main stream and its principal tributaries, whereas by protection against overflow and by proper drainage an enormous expanse of what is now waste swamp land would be brought into cultivation, — a stretch of country beside which the areas reclaimed from the sea in the Netherlands sink into insignificance, — while the work of reclamation, gigantic as it would have to be in relation to its results, in the amount of time and labor required, would be comparatively small beside the work of the industrious Dutch. There would thus be rendered available along the Mississippi not less than two million five hundred thousand acres of sugar land, about seven million acres of cotton land, and one million acres of corn land, all of unsurpassed fertility. On the eastern side of the river is the great swamp of Mississippi, fifty miles wide, extending from just below Memphis to Vicksburg, one hundred and seventy miles in a direct line, and nearly four hundred miles along the river. On the other side is another vast and fertile region, embracing the lower part of Missouri, all the alluvial front of Arkansas and of Louisiana as far down as the mouth of the Red River. This land is not so favorably situated for reclamation as that on the eastern side, where there is no tributary of the Mississippi until the Yazoo is reached, within a few miles of the Walnut Hills, near Vicksburg. But on the west side are a number of tributary streams, themselves all liable to overflow, while all are subject to back-water from the Mississippi, which would make levees necessary as far as the line of back-water extends. Much fine land, however, has been reclaimed here, although the line of levees is more fragmentary than on the other side. Below the Red River there are no tributaries entering the Mississippi, and on the other hand the waters are depleted by numerous outlets to the gulf.

The levee system was begun in Louisiana in the early part of the last century, but the reclamation of swamp lands in Mississippi and Arkansas has originated in recent years. Congress, [49] by a general grant of all the inundated lands to the States in which they lie, for the express purpose of making "the necessary levees and drains to reclaim swamp and overflowed lands," offered inducements to the States, and through the States to individual enterprise, to commence a vast system of embankment, with a view to the ultimate exclusion of the water of the Mississippi and its great tributaries from all the inundated lands upon their borders. To this legislation the State of Missouri responded by an appropriation of fifty thousand dollars to begin the work of reclamation at the head of the delta, where many hundreds of square miles of inundated territory might be reclaimed by art, and the land brought under cultivation. The State of Arkansas with equal promptness passed an act granting to all proprietors who may construct front levees the right to enter the donated lands where they may choose to select them, in payment for the cost of the levees which they might construct. The Legislature of Mississippi, even prior to the act of Congress, gave authority to the five northern counties of that State to levy a tax of ten cents per acre on

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all the lands in each of these counties, for the purpose of constructing front levees and shutting out the waters of the Mississippi from the great swamps extending back to the Yazoo. The State of Louisiana was not less prompt in this matter than the other States, and by the incorporation of the Louisiana Levee Company has provided both authority and power with appropriate means for restraining the waters within the banks of the river.

A discussion of the wisdom of the levee system is not within the province of this work, the aim of which is only to relate what has taken place, and not to forecast what may result from closing all the natural and existing outlets by which in former years the flood wave of the Mississippi found a vent. [50]

But it cannot be denied that the reclamation of the drowned lands in the Mississippi valley will improve the climate of a vast region of country and make it more salubrious, adding vastly to the wealth of those States by giving value to the lands, and greatly increase their commercial resources by bringing immense regions of these vacant lands under cultivation, while improving the navigation of the river. An object of so much importance to the health and prosperity of so many people in so many States cannot be without great influence upon the trade, commerce, and prosperity of the city of St. Louis.

Ferries. — Prior to 1797 there was a ferry between the Missouri and Illinois shores, starting from a point below the town of St. Louis, but in that year a ferry between Cahokia and St. Louis was established, which seems to have been the only one for a considerable period. [51]

About 1783, Capt. James S. Piggott established a fort not far from the bluffs in the American Bottom, west of the present town of Columbia, in Monroe County, which was called "Piggott's Fort;" and Governor St. Clair, knowing the character of Capt. Piggott's services during the Revolutionary war, made him presiding judge of the court of St. Clair County, the seat of which was at Cahokia. Capt. Piggott was only a brave soldier, but a shrewd and enterprising man, and set to work at once to develop the resources of the little community. In the winter of 1792-93 he erected two log cabins on the site of East St. Louis and continued the work of improvement during the winter months (in the summer the workmen would have been in constant danger from the Indians) until 1795. After the successful campaign of Gen. Wayne against the Indians, Capt. Piggott removed his family from the fort to the site of the future Illinoistown. Having completed a road and bridge over Cahokia Creek and established a ferry from the Illinois to the Missouri shore, he petitioned, on the 15th of August, 1797, for the exclusive right to collect ferriage in St. Louis, then under the dominion of the Spanish crown. His petition was in the following words:



"To Mr. Zenon Trudeau, Commander at St. Louis:

"SIR, — Though unacquainted, through a certain confidence of your love of justice and equity, I venture to lay before you the following petition, which, from reasons following, I am confident you will find just to allow.

"The petition is that Your Honor will grant me the whole benefit of this ferry to and from the town of St. Louis. I do not desire to infringe upon the ferry privileges below the town, which have been long established, but that no person in the town may be allowed to set people across the river for pay (at this place), so long as you shall allow that the benefits of this ferry hath made compensation for my private expenses in opening a new road and making it good from this ferry to Cahokhia Town, and making and maintaining a bridge over the River Abbe of a hundred and fifty feet in length.

"Your consideration and answer to this is the request of your humble petitioner; and as an acknowledgment of the favor petitioned for, if granted, I will be under the same regulations with my ferry, respecting crossing passengers or property from your shore as your ferry-men are below the town; and should your people choose to cross the river in their own crafts, my landing and road shall be free to them.

"And should you wish me to procure you anything that comes to market from the country on this side, I shall always be ready to serve you.

"And should you have need of timber or anything that is the product of my land, it may be had at the lowest rates.

"I am, sir, with due respect, your humble servant, "JAMES PIGGOTT.

"Aug. 15, 1797."

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Although the Spanish commandant was anxious to have the ferry regularly carried on by Piggott, because it was of great use to St. Louis, yet he devised a plan by which it was done without having it said that he had granted the ferry-right to a foreigner, viz., he granted Piggott the ferry landing below Market Street, on which Piggott then erected a small ferry-house, which was occupied mostly by one of his ferry hands, who at any time could transport foot passengers in a canoe; but when horses, etc., were to be taken across a platform had to be used, which required three men to manage it.

This platform was surrounded by a railing, and floated on Indian "pirogues," made by hollowing out trees. The craft was "poled or paddled with long sweeps handled by Creoles." Not only was Piggott granted the right of establishing a ferry-house at St. Louis, but he was made a citizen of the town by the commandant, and clothed with other powers and privileges. At this time, it is said, the river was so narrow that persons wishing to cross from either side could easily make Capt. Piggott hear "the old-time shout of ‘O — ver!’"

The ferry was managed by Capt. or Judge Piggott until the 20th of February, 1799, when he died, leaving his wife the executrix of his will. Mrs. Piggott rented the ferry to Dr. Wallis for the years 1800-2, and then to a Mr. Adams. About this time Mrs. Piggott married Jacob Collard, and removed from Illinois to St. Louis, Mo. Before leaving she leased the ferry to John Campbell for ten years from the 5th day of May, 1805. Campbell, however, procured a license for a ferry in his own name during the time of the lease, and hence for a short time it was called "Campbell's ferry." But after a lawsuit Campbell and confederates were beaten, and the ferry reconveyed to Piggott's heirs, one of whom, assisted by men named Solomon, Blundy, and Porter, operated the ferry until part of the heirs sold out to McKnight & Brady.

For some time the ferry-boats landed at Illinoistown, about the northwest end of Main and Market Streets, near which was the spot where the bridge constructed by Capt. Piggott crossed the River l'Abbe, more commonly known as Cahokia Creek. Although many tenants subsequently occupied the ferry tract of land, none of them had a fee title therein, the property being owned by the heirs of James Piggott or their assigns, who derived their title in part from a grant made by Governor William H. Harrison, of Indiana Territory, March 12, 1803, of a tract of land which afterwards became the site of East St. Louis.

On the 7th of December, 1808, the following announcement was made of the rates of ferriage:


"Rates of ferriage, as established by law, from St. Louis to the opposite shore.

For a single person $0.25
Horse .50
Neat cattle, each .50
Calash .50
Wagon .50
Lumber of any kind, per cwt. .12½"

In 1813 a rival ferry appears, from the subjoined advertisement published May 15, 1813, to have been established:

"We, the subscribers, take the liberty to inform the public that any person or persons who may think proper to cross with us at our ferry to St. Louis, and for which pay us the customary prices established by law, that we will return them back free of ferriage at all times when our boat is on the west side of the Mississippi River at St. Louis. This measure became indispensably necessary in consequence of an indirect course of conduct practiced towards us.

"BYRD & CHARLES LOCKHART, "Lockhart's Ferry, opposite St. Louis."

The following offer to rent Piggott's ferry was made on the 30th of September in the same year:

"Ferry. On the 13th November next I will rent to the highest bidder the ferry opposite St. Louis; due attendance will be given by me at the house where John Porter now lives, and other particulars will be made known at the time of leasing.


On the 4th of January, 1815, five-sevenths of Piggott's heirs conveyed their interest in the ferry to McKnight & Brady, who had, under special contract, been running it on trial one year previous, and on the 4th of March, 1820, the other two-sevenths of Piggott's heirs conveyed their interest in the land and ferry to Samuel Wiggins, who, under special contract with them, had been running a ferry in competition with McKnight & Brady during 1819, and on the 19th of May, 1821, McKnight & Brady conveyed their ferry, right to Samuel Wiggins. [52]

Edwin Draper, writing of his own experience in crossing the Mississippi in 1815, says, —

"The ferry-boat in which we crossed was a small keel-boat, without upper deck or cabin, and was propelled by four oars by hand. The wagons, then the only means of land travel, were run by hand on to the boat, across which were placed broad planks transversely, resting on the gunwales of the boat, while the tongue of the wagon projected beyond the side of the boat, and as the latter swayed gracefully to the motion of the waves

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the tongue-chains would dip politely into the water, as if acknowledging the power of the mighty monarch they were daring to stride. The horses, wagon, and saddle, family, slaves, and dogs were stowed in the bottom of the boat between the wagons, and thus we triumphantly entered Missouri. Our crossing, with many other families, was detained several days by high winds and waves preventing the safe crossing of the boat. Whether this boat was merely improvised for the occasion, or was the regular class of boats then in use I do not know, but that was the boat then used. Since that date I have lived in Missouri to see and experience its many changes, and have been more or less familiar with its history. My first crossing of the great water certainly inspired me with some fear, but I did not know then but it was among the common products or everyday sights in this country...

"The statement I make is this, that at the time I first crossed the stream in 1815 it was fully a quarter of a mile wider at St. Louis than it is at the present time. I do not state the exact number of feet and inches it has diminished, but about the above distance. How this wonderful change in the width of the river at your great city was brought about it is not my business or purpose to explain."

Another writer thus describes the old ferry a few years later:

"There were at that time two ferry-boats making regular trips, one at the foot of Market Street and one near Morgan Street. In front of the city was a sand-bar, which in 1819 reached from Market to Morgan Streets, and extended two-thirds of the way across the river.

"The ferries were owned by Mr. Nash and E. M. Van Ansdel. One of the boats crossed above Bloody Island, and the other below. Skiffs and keel-boats were also much used in the transfer of freight and passengers. Mr. Day started the first horse ferry-boat about 1824, which was also the first one that had any cover or protection from the weather."

In November, 1816, five persons lost their lives by the upsetting of the ferry-boat. The newspaper account of the disaster at the time of its occurrence is as follows:

"On Tuesday morning last the ferry-boat which is accustomed to ply between this town and the opposite shore of the Mississippi upset in the middle of the stream, by which five persons lost their lives. The ferryman, Mr. Dubay, and his two assistants died on being taken ashore from the wreck; Ezekiel Woolfort, son of Mr. Woolfort, of this place, and a Mr. Stark, of Bourbon County, Ky., sunk before the boats reached the wreck, and are not found. What adds poignancy to this unusual catastrophe, some of the ferrymen spoke after they were taken up, but died from excessive fatigue and cold, without an immediate remedy being applied, and which generally succeeds in cases of suspended animation.

"Dubay was a useful citizen, and attended to the town ferry with unprecedented attention. He has left a helpless family, whose situation claims the attention of the benevolent.

"Mr. John Jacoby, of St. Louis, has authorized us to offer a reward of fifty dollars for the body of Mr. Stark, or if it should be taken up too far down the river for conveyance to this place, those to whose lot it may fall to pay the last sad offices to the deceased are informed that every expense will be paid for his decent interment. Mr. Woolfort will no doubt liberally reward those who will find and inter his son as above."

On the 17th of March, 1819, it was announced that application had been made "to the Legislature of Illinois at its present session for the privilege running a ferry-boat from the town of Illinois to St. Louis by steam- or horse-power, and that Legislature, with a laudable view of encouraging useful improvements for public accommodation, have authorized the establishment of such ferry-boat."

Besides managing the ferry, Mr. Wiggins appears also to have kept a tavern in Illinoistown, and evidently a thrifty and progressive citizen. [53]

In 1820, Mr. Wiggins procured a boat which was worked by one-horse power, but still employed French Creoles from Cahokia to ferry passengers and horses over by means of canoes lashed together. The new boat was crushed in the ice in the winter of 1824-25, near the foot of Morgan (then Oak) Street. Mr. Wiggins then built a larger and better boat, which he christened the "Sea Serpent," of one-horse power, and from this until 1828 all the ferriage was performed by boats of this class. So largely did the business increase that he was compelled to enlarge his fleet, and two other boats, also of one-horse power, named the "Rhinoceros" and "Antelope," were added to the number, making three in all. In 1828 a new boat, with steam-power, named the "St. Clair," was added, and made two landings each day, calling at the font of Market Street, then at Morgan, and thence across to the Illinois shore. In 1830 the business had increased to such an extent as to demand another boat, and the "Ibex" was added. In 1832, Samuel Wiggins sold his ferry franchises to Bernard Pratte, father of Gen. Bernard Pratte, John O'Fallon, John H. Gay, Charles Mulliken, Andrew Christy, Samuel C. Christy, Adam L. Mills, and William C. Wiggins. In 1838, John H. Gay bought the interest of John O'Fallon. Shortly after this Andrew Christy purchased the remaining interest of Col. O'Fallon, and afterwards the entire interest of Mr. Gay. At this time Mr. Christy and his sister-in-law, Mrs. McLane Christy, owned ten shares, over one-half of the stock.

Andrew Christy was born in Warren County, Ohio, in 1799, and when quite young removed with his parents to Lawrence County, Ill., where they located on a farm near Sumner, the county-seat of that county. In his youth Andrew engaged for a time in teaching school near Ridge Prairie, St. Clair Co., in the same State.

In 1826, in company with Francis and Vital, sons of Nicholas Jarrot, of Cahokia, he engaged in lead-mining at Galena, Ill., which business he pursued during several years. He then removed to St. Clair County, opposite St. Louis, and entered into business with his brother, Samuel C. Christy.

In 1832, as stated above, he and his brother, with Bernard Pratte and others, purchased from Samuel Wiggins the ferry franchise and boats belonging to the Wiggins Ferry Company, and continued a member of this company until his death. From 1835 to 1840 he was engaged in the grocery and commission business in St. Louis with Samuel B. Wiggins, in Chouteau's Row, on the street then between Market and Walnut Streets and Main Street and the Levee.

He represented St. Louis in the Legislature of Missouri in 1851.

Mr. Christy was a public-spirited man, and among the important enterprises which he was active in promoting were operations for the preservation of the harbor of St. Louis by turning the current of the river toward the Missouri shore, and thus preventing the shoaling of the water on that side. He was also identified with early efforts for the establishment of railroads leading to St. Louis. In short, he was a promoter of every enterprise that promised to advance the prosperity of the city.

By the exercise of his excellent judgment and keen foresight, together with his indomitable energy, he accumulated a large fortune, which he bequeathed to his brothers and sisters, or their descendants. He was never married. Mr. Christy died of paralysis Aug. 11, 1869.

In 1832 the steam ferry-boat "Ozark" was added to the vessels of the ferry company; then, as the business increased, the "Vindicator" and the "Icelander" were put on, the latter being destroyed by fire in 1844. The "Wagoner" was built in 1846, and then the "Grampus." The "St. Louis" was added in 1848. Her boilers exploded Feb. 21, 1851, killing thirteen persons, including the engineer, a daughter of Mr. Jarvis, the pilot, and Captain Trendley's son, who had just arrived from California, having been in the city but two days. The accident occurred at the foot of Spruce Street, just after the boat left the landing. After the "St. Louis" there followed in turn, as occasion demanded, the "Illinois," "John Trendley," "Illinois, No. 2," lost in the ice in 1864, the "America," and the "New Era," which became the flag-ship "Essex" of Admiral Foote, and saw hard service in the civil war. In addition to these were the "Charles Mulliken," "Samuel C. Christy," "Cahokia," "Belleville," "Edward C. Wiggins," "East St. Louis," "Springfield," "Edwardsville," "Ram," "Lewis V. Bogy," and the tugs "H. C. Crevelin," "S. C. Clubb," and "D. W. Hewitt." The "Vindicator" was wrecked in 1871, and in 1875 the "S. C. Clubb" was nearly destroyed by fire, but was afterwards repaired.

Owing to the difficulty and danger experienced by the ordinary ferry-boats in crossing the river when encumbered by ice, the company, in July, 1839, contracted with a boat-builder at New Albany, Ind., for an ice steam ferry-boat, with which they would be "able to cross the river at all times, except when the ice is stationary." The vessel was to be constructed after plans prepared by Mr. Mulliken, of Mulliken & Pratte, merchants of St. Louis, with an iron bow, "in such a manner as to admit of her being driven through any amount of floating ice." The boat was completed in the following fall, and arrived at St. Louis on the 3d of December. She was about one hundred feet in length, forty feet beam, and four feet hold. Her hull was plated with sheet-iron one-sixth of an inch in thickness, with an iron cutwater seven inches thick. She carried four hundred tons and drew twenty-five inches of water.

In 1842 a new ferry company was formed, as appears from the following announcement in the Republican of February 5th of that year: "We understand that the new ferry company have contracted with the Dry-Dock Company for a ferry-boat. This company

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have obtained the right of ferriage from the foot of Spruce Street, and from a road laid out by the authorities of St. Clair County to the river-bank."

In 1847 the landing-place of the ferry at St. Louis was at the foot of Locust Street, but complaint was made that this location was inconvenient, and that delay was caused by the crowding of other boats "into the landing at that point."

On the 22d of January, 1848, it was announced that a new steam ferry had been established at Carondelet across the Mississippi River. This, it was added, would open a new line of travel to all Southern Illinois. The distance from the Kaskaskia road to the river was about two miles, and between these points a substantial road was built. "By this route," said the announcement, "travelers avoid the difficulties of crossing the American Bottom."

On the 7th of January, 1852, the Republican stated that the ferry company had "with their usual liberality placed their ferry-boats at the disposition of the railroad company for the transportation of persons to and from the demonstration to be made to-day. The boats will be free to persons going to or returning from the celebration."

In 1853 the Wiggins charter, granted in 1819, expired, and application was made to the Legislature for a renewal. Commenting upon this application at the time (Feb. 3, 1853) the Republican said, —

"Under their charter and various amendments since obtained they have been doing a highly prosperous business. They have managed to keep the field and destroy measurably all competition. They are now applying to the Legislature for an immense addition to their powers. They are asking the Legislature to recharter them with a capital of one million, and with power to own fifteen hundred acres (three hundred of coal land), and also with power to build a city on Bloody Island, to charge wharfage fees, to build and to run any number of ferry-boats from said island to St. Louis, and generally to engage in any business required by the exigencies of a city proprietorship.

"The city on Bloody Island, with all its wharves, lots, streets and alleys, would probably belong for many generations to come to this incorporated company. St. Louis has felt, and Cairo has felt, and both cities now feel the evil of having a great mass of their property in the hands of one man or a few men."

When Samuel Wiggins sold his franchises to the company in 1832, he transferred to them about eight or nine hundred acres lying between Brooklyn and the Cahokia commons. The company leased the river front of the Cahokia commons, embracing between five and six thousand acres, and gave the Cahokians a free ferriage to and from St. Louis and three hundred dollars per year for twenty years. On the expiration of the lease the Cahokians re-leased a portion of the lands to individuals, the revenue of which went "to the support of schools and lawyers." The commons extended from the ancient city of Cahokia to the Pittsburgh coal landing at the dike opposite Chouteau Avenue, and were extremely fertile.

Notwithstanding the opposition to the company's application for a new charter and additional franchises, a perpetual charter for ferry purposes was granted to Andrew Christy, William C. Wiggins, [54]

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Adam L. Mills, Lewis V. Bogy, and Napoleon B. Mulliken.

The company, although it enjoyed for many years a practical monopoly of the ferriage business, appears, on the whole, to have pursued a liberal policy. The entire river-front of East St. Louis, for a distance of four miles, was owned by it, and in 1875 its property was estimated to be worth several millions of dollars. The company contributed greatly to the development and growth of East St. Louis, and co-operated with the railroad companies in providing additional traveling facilities for St. Louis by granting suitable grounds for tracks, depots, warehouses, yards, and machine-shops. For eighteen years Hon. Lewis V. Bogy, afterwards United States senator from Missouri, was president of the company, and Capt. John Trendley, [55] after whom also one of the ferry-boats was named, served the company continuously from the 7th of May, 1825, for a period of more than half a century.

In 1865 the average number of passengers carried daily by the ferry fleet to and from St. Louis was from 1000 to 1500; bushels of coal, 10,000 to 15,000; transfer-wagons, 500 to 600; farmers' and market-wagons, 100 to 150; omnibuses, 30 to 40. The aggregate receipts for 1865 were very little less than $300,000, while in 1873 the aggregate receipts were largely over $500,000. At this time (1873) there were 10,000 shares, representing nominally a million of dollars, "but," remarked a newspaper writer, "if any one desires to know how much they are worth at a marketable or selling price over the par value of $100, he can do so by wanting to purchase." In addition to the eight ferry-boats and three transfer-boats which the company then owned, the East St. Louis real estate and wharf franchises were very valuable. Much the largest amount of stock was held by the Christys, which had been sub-divided, and was then represented by perhaps twenty-five heirs. The sales of real estate subsequent to 1865 and up to 1873, none being sold prior to 1865, and all of it having been purchased by Capt. Samuel Wiggins at the government price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, amounted to almost one million dollars, and what was left was considered in 1873 to be worth more than the whole estimated value of 1865.

In 1875 the officers of the company were N. Mulliken, president; F. M. Christy, vice-president; S. C. Clubb, general superintendent; Henry Sackman, assistant superintendent; John Trendley, agent; first grade directors, N. Mulliken, F. M. Christy, S. C. Clubb, J. H. Beach, Ernest Pegnet. In 1882, Samuel C. Clubb, president; F. L. Ridgely, vice-president; Henry L. Clark, secretary and treasurer; E. C. Newkirk, assistant secretary; directors, Samuel C. Clubb, F. L. Ridgely, Charles Shaw, Ernest Pegnet, and Charles Wiggins, Jr.

The St. Charles ferry was established by Marshall Brotherton [56] and John L. Ferguson.

The South St. Louis and Cahokia ferry was established in 1870, and opened to travel on the 19th of June of that year. The following account of the inauguration of the ferry was printed in a St. Louis newspaper of the 20th:

"The tow-boat ‘Florence,’ Henry Kuter, captain, left the foot of Anna Street yesterday afternoon for Cahokia with a large excursion party on board. The occasion was the celebration of the opening of a ferry between South St. Louis and

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Cahokia. The South St. Louis and Cahokia Ferry Company was established in March last, with a nominal capital of two hundred thousand dollars, divided into shares of fifty dollars; each share to receive the benefit of one lot twenty by one hundred and forty feet in what is denominated Southeast St. Louis, to wit: a sand-bar, a portion of Cahokia commons, and so much of the Mississippi River as may be recovered by a contemplated dike from the main shore to Cobb Island ‘by accretion.’ The lease of these lands has been obtained by the ferry company for ninety-nine years. About seven hundred acres of land is comprised in this lease, for which the company is to pay twenty-five dollars per acre per annum, and the present inhabitants of Cahokia to pass over free during their lives. This privilege does not extend to their offspring, and it accordingly behooves the beneficiaries to live on to a good old age. The lease was made also on condition that one thousand dollars be expended by the company for improvements within eight months, and that at least one ferry-boat be put in operation within fifteen months.

"The officers of the company are Robert J. Rombauer, president; Henry Saenger, secretary and treasurer, with the following directors: George Bayha, E. W. Decker, George Rathwaite, Antoine Faller, John D. Abry, of East St. Louis; E. H. Illinski, of Cahokia; Francis Mohrhardt. The bargain on the part of the Cahokians was signed by Francis Lavallee, supervisor, and George Labenhoffer and John Palmer, trustees."

The officers of the Cahokia and St. Louis Ferry Company in 1882 were Julius Pitzman, president, and W. S. Hopkins, secretary. [57]

In addition to the foregoing, the following ferry companies have offices in St. Louis:

Madison County ferry, landing foot of North Market Street; boats ply between St. Louis and Venice, Ill.; president in 1882, John J. Mitchell.

St. Louis and Illinois Railroad ferry, from foot of Chouteau Avenue to the coal dike, East St. Louis.

The St. Louis and Illinois Coal Company and Ferry was originally chartered in 1841 under the style of the "St. Clair Railroad Company," and under that name continued until 1865, when the present company was organized, and became the purchasers of the franchises of the St. Clair Railroad Company. The incorporators were William C. Anderson and John D. Whitesides. The company does a general coal transportation and ferry business. Joseph W. Branch was elected president in 1865, and has ever since continued to hold that position. The present capital stock is one million five hundred thousand dollars. The board of directors consists of the following: Joseph W. Branch, Adolphus Meier, C. S. Greeley, W. A. Hargadine, N. Campbell, John D. Perry, George Knapp. The officers are Joseph W. Branch, president; Adolphus Meier, vice-president; P. T. Burke, secretary and treasurer.

Waterloo Turnpike Road and Ferry Company, W. H. Grapevine, superintendent; ferry landing, foot of David Street; transfer, foot of Franklin Street, Carondelet.

The Great St. Louis Steel Bridge across the Mississippi River. [58] — The first proposition for the erection of a bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis was made by Charles Ellet, Jr., in 1839. [59] Mr. Ellet proposed a suspension bridge having a central span of twelve hundred feet, and two side spans of nine hundred feet each; but the city fathers stood aghast at the enormous estimate of the cost, seven hundred and thirty-seven thousand six hundred dollars, for a highway bridge alone. Mr. Ellet revived his project in September, 1848, but nothing was accomplished. In January, 1853, it was stated in one of the St. Louis newspapers [60] that "some years ago Mr. Charles Collins obtained the passage of a law authorizing the building of a suspension bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and if he had lived there is every reason to believe that he would have accomplished it; but with him died all the enterprise of the northern part of the city, and nothing has been heard of it since." [61]

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In 1855, [62] Josiah Dent organized a company, with Maj. J. W. Bissell as engineer, and a second plan for a suspension railway bridge was proposed. The cost was estimated at one million five hundred thousand dollars. For the want of financial support the scheme was soon abandoned. The incorporators of the company, which was known as the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company, were: St. Louis, John How, J. H. Lucas, John O'Fallon, Samuel Gaty, Andrew Christy, Josiah Dent, S. J. Smith, D. A. January, William M. Morrison; Illinois, J. A. Matterson, Curtis Blakeman, J. D. Morrison, S. B. Chandler, William C. Kinney, Gustavus Koerner, William S. Wait, Vital Jarrot, William N. Wickliffe, John M. Palmer, John D. Arnold, Joseph Gillespie.

In 1867 the time seemed to have arrived for commencing operations in earnest. Strangely enough, after nearly thirty years of inactivity, two rival companies appeared in the field; one was regularly organized (in April, 1867) under the laws of Missouri, and included among its managers several prominent citizens of St. Louis; the other claimed an exclusive right under a charter granted by the State of Illinois, and was controlled by a well-known bridge-builder of Chicago. James B. Eads was the chief engineer of the St. Louis company (known as the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company); L. B. Boomer was manager of the Illinois company, which was known as the Illinois and St. Louis Bridge Company.

The Illinois company was incorporated Feb. 21, 1867, the incorporators being Joseph Gillespie, John M. Palmer, Jesse K. Dubois, William Shepard, John Williams, William R. Morrison, L. A. Parks, Levi Davis, T. B. Blackstone, H. C. Moore, Peter H. Willard, R. P. Tansey, Gustavus A. Koerner, C. P. Heation, L. B. Boomer, Fred. T. Krafft, L. B. Parsons, John Maker, and A. H. Lee.

The officers were L. B. Boomer, president; R. P. Tansey, secretary; directors, L. B. Boomer, R. P. Tansey, George Judd, William R. Morrison, and C. Beckwith. The location selected by the Missouri Company was at the foot of Washington Avenue, where the width of the river at ordinary stages is but little over fifteen hundred feet, and the plan consisted of three steel arches, supported by two masonry piers in the river and an abutment on each shore. All the foundations were to be sunk to the rock, which was known to be nearly ninety feet below low-water at the site of the east pier. The Illinois company, on the other hand, had selected a location about half a mile above, and proposed to build an iron truss-bridge, the longest spans of which should be three hundred and fifty feet, supported by piers formed of cast-iron columns, those nearest the Missouri shore to be sunk to the rock, and those on the east side bedded in the sand fifty or sixty feet below low water. For a time the contest between these two companies was very sharp, though confined principally to the newspapers and the courts. In March, 1863, the controversy was terminated by the nominal consolidation of the two companies, and the actual absorption of the Illinois company by its rival, to which the former had sold out, the new corporation taking the name of the Illinois and St. Louis Bridge Company. The officers of the old St. Louis company retained their positions in the new organization, and Capt. James B. Eads continued as chief engineer and a principal stockholder.

From the first Capt. Eads was the leading spirit in the enterprise. As chief engineer during the entire period of seven years (from 1867 to 1874) occupied by the building of the bridge, he was responsible for every novelty, both of design and execution, and his personal genius impressed itself upon every detail of the structure.

Col. Henry Flad [63] was Capt. Eads' first assistant

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throughout, and brought to the work great practical experience, a ready power of analysis, and mechanical ingenuity of a high order. He was ably seconded by Walter Katte. The theory of the structure was the joint product of Charles Pfeifer and Professor William Chauvenet, of Washington University.

The presidents of the bridge company in order were Charles K. Dickson, William M. McPherson, and Gerard B. Allen. J. C. Cabot was the first secretary, J. H. Britton the first treasurer. Dr. William Taussig held the position of chairman of the executive committee through all the administrations. [64]

All the great foundations of the bridge, two abutments and two river piers, stand on the solid rock which underlies the ordinary river-bed. The construction of these foundations was the most difficult part of the work. To interfere as little as possible with the navigation of the river, and to diminish the cost of the foundations, the arches were designed with long spans, and the two channel piers were given great stability. The contract for the whole of the masonry work on the bridge was awarded in August, 1867, to James Andrews, of Allegheny, Pa.

The first stone in the western abutment pier was laid on the bed-rock Feb. 25, 1868; the first stone was laid on the caisson of the east channel pier Oct. 25, 1869, and the first stone on the caisson of the west channel pier was laid the 15th of January, 1870.

During the first half of the year 1868 the minutest details of the work were critically examined by the board of engineers. The mathematical calculations and investigations were conducted by Col. Flad and Mr. Pfeifer, and then submitted to Capt. Eads, and by him referred to the analysis and examination of Professor W. Chauvenet, LL.D., chancellor of Washington University. In this way the most wonderful mathematical exactness was secured. By the middle of the year the drawings and all the details of the bridge had been gone through with by the engineers, and the mighty structure was complete in the mind of the chief engineer and his assistants.

The foundation of the west abutment was laid in a coffer-dam at a depth of fifty-five feet below extreme high water. The other great piers were "sunk" to much greater depths by the aid of compressed air. The west pier stands on the rock ninety-one feet below high water; the foundation of the east pier is one hundred and twenty-seven feet below high-water mark, and the east abutment extends one hundred and thirty-five feet below the surface of extreme high water. The sinking of these piers was a great feat of engineering and full of interest. The sinking of the east pier is thus described:

The caisson of the east pier was built of iron, and was eighty-two feet long, sixty feet wide, and nine feet deep.

The roof and sides were made of thick iron plates riveted air-tight and strengthened by girders and brackets. A temporary wooden bottom was used until the admission of compressed air from powerful air-pumps kept the interior free from water down to the "cutting edge" of the caisson. The masonry of the pier was laid upon the roof of the caisson, which it completely covered. The weight of the masonry soon caused the caisson to sink deep in the river, rendering an increased air-pressure necessary to keep the caisson free of water and to support the load above. On the roof of the caisson a coffer-dam constructed to exclude the river. The caisson furnished with bearing-timbers along its walls and under its roof, and when it reached the river bottom they rested evenly upon the sand and gave sufficient support to allow the masonry to be built above the surface of the river. At this point the guides and suspension rods which had been used to control the motion of the caisson were removed, and the further progress of the pier was effected by undermining the bearing-timbers and letting the whole mass go down as additional masonry was laid in the open air above.

The space within the caisson was known as the "air-chamber," and it is evident that workmen were needed inside, and that there must be ready means for passing in and out.

Entrance to and exit from the air-chamber was through "air-locks," seven in number. These air-locks were in form vertical cylinders, made of one-half inch plate-iron. The central lock, which was six feet in diameter and six feet high, was wholly within the air-chamber. In fact, the roof of the caisson formed its upper base. Adjoining this lock was a second iron cylinder five feet in diameter and five feet deep, sunk through the roof of the caisson and entirely open at the top. The air-lock had two strong, tight-fitting doors, one communicating

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with the open air-cylinder just mentioned and swinging into the lock, the other opening into the air-chamber and swinging from the look. Workmen generally passed in and out through the central lock.

The method of going in or out was very simple. The outer door of the air-lock being open, and the inner one, of course, closed, the party of visitors, for example, descended into the open cylinder near the central lock, crawled through the opening into the lock, and closed the door. A cock was then opened which allowed the compressed air from the chamber to enter the lock. When the air-pressure within the lock equaled that in the chamber, the other door readily swung open and the party entered the air-chamber. The time required in entering depended upon the pressure in the chamber and the ability of the persons in the lock to endure the change. If the air was let on rapidly, and the pressure was considerable, the sensation produced was very disagreeable. The compression of the air in the lock was attended by the evolution of heat, and though the air was saturated with moisture as well as warm, there was no difficulty connected with ones breathing. The only serious difficulty to a visitor was felt in his ears. The pressure upon the exterior of the drum was very painful unless soon balanced by internal pressure. This could generally be produced by vigorously blowing the nose, thus forcing air into the interior cavity of the ear. Capt. Eads found that the act of swallowing would often give relief, and had a pail of water and a cup placed in the lock. In some cases, however, these simple remedies were of no avail, and intense pain was the result. In that event the air was admitted very slowly.

In returning from the chamber the operation was equally simple. The party entered the lock, closed the inner door, and opened a cock which allowed the air of the lock to escape to the outside. As soon as the air-pressure was reduced to that of the atmosphere, the outer door was readily opened. The physical effects of reducing the pressure were very different from those experienced when going in. The expanding air absorbed heat, and one literally felt the chill to the very marrow. So much vital heat was lost that in some cases the effect was very disastrous. There was much in the habit of undergoing these changes. Certain air-lock men, whose duty it was to take visitors, engineers, and workmen in and out, became so used to sudden changes that they could, without apparent injury or even inconvenience, endure surprisingly rapid changes of pressure.

As the caisson continued to sink it was necessary to remove the sand from the air-chamber. This was done by means of the "sand-pumps," an exceedingly ingenious device invented by Capt. Eads. The sand mixed with water was thrown out in jets with great rapidity. A three-inch pump was capable of discharging sand at the rate of three hundred cubic yards in

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twenty-four hours. The pier settled on the average about fifteen inches per day.

No difficulty was experienced in causing the caisson to settle evenly and gently. The sand was trenched beside the bearing-timbers, thus allowing a slight lateral motion of the sand as it yielded to the pressure. It was soon learned that the admission of water into the air-chamber, consequent upon a slight reduction in the air-pressure, had the effect of increasing the mobility of the sand so as to bring the caisson down with an exceedingly gradual motion.

The progress of the east pier down through the sand is clearly shown in the illustration on the preceding page. It gives a cross-section of the pier through the main stairway, a circular well through which the workmen descended to the air-chamber. A sand-pump is represented as at work within the caisson, and men are supplying it with sand.

The intensity of the air-pressure in the air-chamber of the east pier reached a maximum of about sixty-five pounds per square inch, or about fifty pounds above the normal. The physiological effects of long exposure to this pressure and of sudden release from it were at times very severe. During the construction of the deep piers over one hundred men were violently attacked with cramps and chills, and thirteen died from them.

The caissons were constructed at Carondelet, under the direction of the chief engineer and Capt. William L. Nelson and H. G. McComas, the great caisson for the last of the channel piers being completed and launched Oct. 18, 1869.

The whole time occupied in sinking the east pier to the rock was one hundred and twenty-six days, during several of which it was too cold to lay masonry, and at other times it was impossible to furnish stone on account of the ice.

The west pier was sunk in seventy-seven days.

The east abutment, the largest and deepest of all, was sunk in one hundred and thirty-four days. The caisson of the latter contained many improvements over the others. All the large piers are faced with gray granite down to low water. All the piers had reached the rock-bed by the beginning of 1872, and before the close of that year the masonry was completed, including the approach arches across the levees in St. Louis and East St. Louis.

The size of the foundations is shown as follows:

  Extreme height from base to top of cornice. Cubic yards of masonry.
West abutment 112 feet 8½ inches. 12,643
West pier 172 feet 1 inch. 14,170
Bast pier 197 feet 1½ inches. 17,820
East abutment 192 feet 9 inches. 24,093

The plan of the superstructure of the great bridge (which was contracted for Feb. 26, 1870) is as bold as the foundations and even more original. It consists of three magnificent steel arches, supporting two railway tracks, and a broad paved causeway for highway traffic on the top of the structure.

The spans of the side arches are each five hundred and two feet in the clear, and the central arch stretches five hundred and twenty feet over deep water. Each arch consists of four equal ribs placed side by side intervals of sixteen and half feet, twelve feet, and sixteen and a half feet, these distances being between centres.

Each rib consists of two parallel members or systems of tubes, twelve feet apart, connected by a single system of bracketing, in appearance like a curved triangular truss. Each tube is eighteen inches internal diameter and about twelve feet long, and perfectly straight, with slightly beveled ends. The tubes of each member are securely coupled together by two enveloping half-cylinders, and the steel pins which receive the brace-bars on their ends pass through both couplings and tubes. A tube consists of six bars of steel, rolled in the shape of straight staves, from one and three-sixteenths to two and one-eighth inches in thickness, and snugly inserted in an envelope of steel one-quarter of an inch thick.

The tubes are exquisitely made, and the arches beautiful as works of art.

The lateral or wind bracing consists of a series of diagonal steel ties and wrought-iron tubular struts between the ribs, and an upper truss between the two roadways. The latter truss for the centre span is of iron, forty-nine feet wide and five hundred and forty feet in extreme length.

The erection of the arches was effected by a method entirely new and of a most interesting character, invented by Col. Henry Flad. Only the briefest account of its successful execution can be given here.

The end tubes of each rib screw into massive wrought-iron "skew-backs," which are bolted to the masonry by long steel bolts six inches in diameter. In the case of the channel piers the anchor-bolts over thirty feet long, passing quite through the masonry and securing the skew-backs on both faces. In this way the ribs were made self-supporting, as they were built out from the masonry. In some instances nearly a hundred feet was thus built without additional support. The weight of the unfinished ribs, however, caused the outer ends to fall below the normal positions, and it was necessary to draw them up by cables passing over towers erected on the masonry. These cables were strained, as occasion required,

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by powerful hydraulic jacks, which lifted the towers. The cables lifted the deflected arches to their normal position (and even above it), and allowed the ribs to be built still farther out. The deflected ends of these second extensions were supported by secondary cables, which passed over masts standing on the ribs at the joints, supported directly by the primary cables, and thence down to the pins in the skew-back tubes.

By such means semi-ribs, stretching two hundred and fifty feet over the Mississippi, were fully supported until they were successfully "closed" at the crown. The minute details of the operation of closing the ribs form an interesting feature in the history of the bridge. The influence of temperature and elasticity was strikingly shown. The magnitude of the main cables may be estimated from the fact that they were made of the best rolled iron, and each had a cross-section of forty-two square inches.

The total weight of one naked rib of the centre span is four hundred and eighty-eight thousand two hundred and two pounds. The total amount of steel in the throe arches is four million seven hundred and eighty thousand pounds. Of wrought iron there are six million three hundred and thirteen thousand pounds.

The superstructure of the bridge was constructed by the Keystone Bridge Company, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and its cost was $2,122,781.65. The approaches were built by the Baltimore Bridge Company. The total cost of the entire bridge, including the approaches, was $6,536,729.99. If to this we add interest, land damages, commissions for charters and financial agents, hospital expenses, etc., the sum total is swelled to nearly ten million dollars. The bridge was completed and opened to public travel on the 23d of May, 1874. [65]

On the 9th of June the first train of three passenger-coaches, in which was seated a select party of about fifty invited guests, connected with the track of the bridge-approach from the St. Louis and Vandalia Railway and crossed the river, running as far into the tunnel as Seventh Street.

At the suggestion of Sylvester H. Laflin, an imposing celebration in honor of the completion of the bridge was held on the Fourth of July, 1874. Barton Able, George Bain, and other leading citizens of St. Louis promptly seconded Mr. Laflin's proposition, and a meeting to take preliminary action was held at the Merchants' Exchange on the 13th of June. Capt. Barton Able presided, and George H. Morgan acted as secretary. A committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements, and on the 13th a committee on programme, Chauncey I. Filley, chairman; a finance committee, Sylvester H. Laflin, chairman; and a committee on transportation, Capt. John N. Bofinger, chairman, were selected. On the 16th a committee on printing was appointed, with George H. Morgan as chairman, and Arthur B. Barret, afterwards mayor of the city, was made grand marshal of the day. Mr. Barret subsequently appointed Col. C. Maguire assistant marshal, and G. O. Kalb and Henry Benecke as adjutants. The committees as finally completed were composed of the following persons:

Committee of Arrangements. — Barton Able (chairman), George H. Morgan (secretary), S. H. Laflin, George Bain, John S. Cavender, W. H. Maurice, M. J. Lippman, Web. M. Samuel, D. P. Rowland, John B. Maude, B. M. Scruggs, C. O. Butcher, John N. Bofinger, John W. Carroll, Chauncey I. Filley, L. L. Ashbrook, C. Maguire, John O. Farrar, Arthur B. Barret, J. O. Broadhead, S. E. Hoffman, L. S. Metcalf, C. M. Woodward, Charles Osborne, Henry Benecke, George D. Capen, C. L. Thompson, Henry T. Blow, Charles Speck, Isaac M. Mason, John Riggin, Jr., Robert A. Campbell, J. B. C. Lucas, H. Clay Sexton, L. Dorshimer, R. P. Tansey, Daniel G. Taylor, George Knapp, G. W. Fishback, William McKee, Charles A. Mantz, Stilson Hutchins, W. V. Wolcott, Emil Preetorius, A. J. Spaunhorst, Carl Daenzer, Henry Gambs, Daniel Able, W. A. Brawner, H. M. Blossom, M. L. Cohn, D. R. Risley, John McDonald, Abram Nave, Thomas Kennard, G. W. Chadbourne, E. A. Carr, George I. Barnett, B. M. Chambers, W. H. Scudder, Daniel Catlin, Joseph Brown, L. A. Moffett, J. T. Howenstein, C. B. Bray, Miles Sells, Gen. Grierson, Capt. Babbitt, Maj. E. B. Grimes, Gen. John Turner, Col. C. C. Penrose, Capt. William Hawley, James Doyle, John H. Beach, Charles Parsons, R. J. Lackland, J. G. Chapman, R. O. Clowry, John H. McCluney, G. O. Kalb, Wallace Delafield, H. W. Hough, W. A. Hargadine, John Cantwell, R. M. Renick, J. C. Cabot, George Minch, Charles P. Warner, James M. Brawner, W. H. Pulsifer, E. S. Walton, A. W. Slayback, H. H. Wernse, John G. Prather, A. B. Pendleton,

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James B. Clemens, William H. Smith, Nicholas Wall, Fred. Von Phul, W. B. Thompson, Forester Dolhonde, Edmund Froehlich, N. Stevens, M. M. Buck, Herman Rechtien, Robert A. Betts, N. M. Bell, Goodman King, Joseph Franklin, C. N. Hoblitzell, J. L. D. Morrison, Joseph A. Wherry, E. S. Miragoli.

Committee on Finance. — S. H. Laflin (chairman), John B. Maude, Chauncey I. Filley, George Bain, C. O. Dutcher, J. T. Howenstein, S. Metcalf, Arthur B. Barret, George I. Barnett, D. P. Rowland, W. A. Hargadine, John H. McCluney, Wallace Delafield, George D. Capen, C. L. Thompson, H. H. Wernse, L. L. Ashbrook, John Cantwell, W. A. Brawner, H. M. Blossom, M. L. Cohn, Thomas Kennard, Charles Speck, S. M. Dodd, H. W. Hough, A. W. Slayback, John Kennard, C. B. Bray, E. S. Walton, James S. Brawner, W. B. Thompson, Robert A. Betts, Goodman King, Joseph Franklin, C. J. L. Hoblitzell.

Committee on Fireworks. — S. H. Laflin (chairman), W. H. Maurice, John B. Maude, R. M. Scruggs, D. P. Rowland.

Committee on Programmes and Invitations. — Chauncey I. Tilley (chairman), D. P. Rowland, John B. Maude, Arthur B. Barret, John W. Carroll, Barton Able.

Committee on Transportation. — Arthur B. Barret (chairman), John N. Bofinger, S. H. Laflin, R. P. Tansey.

Committee on Printing. — George H. Morgan (chairman), Leslie A. Moffett, J. T. Howenstein.

Committee on Decorations. — George I. Barnett (chairman), Dr. J. O. Farrar, Maj. E. B. Grimes, E. S. Miragoli, Charles Speck, Daniel Able, D. R. Risley, J. H. McCluney, C. B. Bray, G. O. Kalb.

Committee on Ordnance. — Capt. Babbitt (chairman), S. H. Laflin, F. W. Fuchs, John B. Gray, John S. Cavender.

Committee on Music. — George Bain (chairman), G. H. Morgan, C. O. Dutcher, Rich. J. Compton.

Committee on Harbor and Police. — L. Dorsheimer (chairman), James Doyle, H. Rechtien.

Committee on Fire Department. — H. Clay Sexton.

Press Committee. — George W. Gilson, Democrat; George Mills, Times; C. Winter, Westliche Post; W. B. Stevens, Dispatch; J. G. Dill, Republican; T. Mitchell, Globe; C. D. Kargau, Anzeiger; Lewis Willich, Amerika; F. Haarson, Courier; Thomas J. Meek, Journal; Charles J. Osborn, agent Associated Press.

The programme determined on comprised a procession, addresses, display of fireworks, etc. The east and west approaches to the bridge were elaborately decorated, and at the Third Street entrance a gigantic portrait of Capt. James B. Eads was displayed. Immediately underneath the portrait were exhibited two large symbolical figures, which represented Missouri and Illinois clasping hands. At the east end of the bridge, and just at the point where the two roadways separate and begin the descent to the Illinois shore, a great triumphal arch was erected, extending from side to side of the bridge, and surmounting a pavilion which separated the two passageways of the arch was a colossal statue of the Goddess of Liberty. To the left of the Third Street entrance-gate a platform was erected for the accommodation of the invited guests. Farther on, on the same side of the roadway, a series of elevated seats was provided on one of the buildings adjoining the bridge for the families of the bridge officials. The decorations were of an elaborate and tasteful character, and on the morning of the Fourth of July, beneath a cloudless sky, presented a beautiful and imposing spectacle. Many buildings in the city were also decorated, and at Washington Avenue and Ninth Street a handsome triumphal arch was erected by St. Xavier's College.

On the wings of the east front the heraldic arms of the States of Illinois and Missouri were painted, with the legend above, "A link of steel unites the East and West," and on the western front of the arch, tastefully decorated with evergreens and fifty feet high, a medallion portrait of Capt. Eads. On the wings were the following: "The Mississippi discovered by Marquette, 1673; spanned by Capt. Eads, 1874." "St. Louis founded by Laclede, 1764; crowned Queen of the West, 1874."

Salutes in honor of the bridge and the day fired by Simpson Battery, under the director Lieut.-Col. F. W. Fuchs, inspecting and mustering officer for St. Louis City and County, who was placed in charge of the ordnance and firing for the occasion.

The battery consisted of four guns, four caissons, and fifty-six men, commanded by First Lieut. Charles Hiltwein and Second Lieut. A. B. Bayer.

At daylight a salute of thirteen guns was fired by the battery near the bridge for the old original States.

At nine o'clock a.m. one hundred guns were fired for the bridge, fifty on each side of the river, same battery, the firing being alternate, commencing with Missouri. At twelve o'clock (noon) a salute of thirty-seven guns for the States and Territories of the Union was fired on the Levee by the ordnance of Jefferson Barracks, under command of Babbitt. At daylight a Federal salute, and at nine a.m. a national salute was fired by Gen. Grierson at the old arsenal grounds.

The procession moved at a few minutes past nine o'clock from the junction of Washington and son Avenues, headed by a squad of Metropolitan police under command of Capt. Huebler, and followed immediately by the grand marshal and his aids, two of whom were boys mounted on ponies and wearing uniforms of black jacket, white pantaloons, and red sash.

Next in order came the following organizations: Company of United States cavalry, Companies A and B National Guards, company of Uhlans, Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights of Father Mathew, Druids, Sons of Hermann, Members of the French National Aid Society, Turners, Bohemian Gymnastic Club, Western Star Commandery (Knights Templar), Same (Encampment), United

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Brethren of Friendship, Mutual Aid Society, Laborers' Aid Society, United League, No. 1, Real Estate and Beneficial Society, Old Temperance Society, preceded by the Bavarian Band, Irish American Benevolent Society, No. 1.

In addition to these societies the procession comprised the following organizations:

Merchants' Exchange, represented by a large banner bearing a picture of the Exchange, and the officers and members in carriages.

Fire Department, with engines and apparatus decorated with flags, wreaths of flowers, etc. H. Clay Sexton, chief, on horseback; Richard Beggs, J. W. Bame, and Jacob Trice, assistants, in buggies, and J. W. Tennelle, secretary, on horseback.

German Singing Societies, Professor E. Froelich, leader. The societies, headed by the New Orleans Orchestra, numbered six hundred men, and made a fine display with banners and decorations.

Mechanics' and Manufacturers' Exchange, with an Exchange building in miniature. The building had a large number of windows, each supposed to light the office of one of the many trades represented in the Exchange membership, and over each of these windows was painted the trade represented, such as "bricklayer," "carpenter," etc. Following this, in the order in which they were employed, were. representatives on wagons in long procession of all the different processes necessary to the construction of a complete house, — architects, excavators, stone-masons, stone-cutters, brick-makers, bricklayers, architectural iron-workers, carpenters, stair-builders, roofers, tinners, lightning-rod men, plumbers, plasterers, gas-fitters, painters and glaziers, paper-hangers, grate and mantel manufacturers.

The marshal of this department was Henry Milburn, and the following were his aids: T. J. Flanagan, adjutant; Henry Perks, Lewis Luthy, James Gilfoyle, C. K. Ramsey, C. Franz, and C. Kammerer.

The directors of the Exchange preceded this portion the procession in carriages. They were as follows: James Luthy, president; David Cavanaugh, C. H. Frank, J. H. Maurice, John Norris, William McCully, C. Lynch, T. P. McKelleget, James Garvin, Martin Ittner, John Stoddart, A. S. McBride, W. S. Stamps, secretary.

St. Louis Life Insurance Company, of which Capt. Eads was president, with a fac-simile of the company's building at Sixth and Locust Streets.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, numbering from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred men.

Grand officers of Grand Lodge: L. T. Minturn, M. W. G. M.; Alfred Bennett, R. W. D. G. M.; J. S. Maitland, R. W. G. W.; E. M. Sloan, R. W. G. Sec.; W. H. Thompson, R. W. G. Treas.; A. M. Alexander, M. C. Libby, R. W. G. Representatives; Rev. E. D. Isbell, W. G. Chap.; J. M. Gilkeson, W. G. Marshal.

Past Grand Masters: Gerard B. Allen, Elihu H. Shepard, Isaac M. Veitch, Henry Holmes, C. C. Archer, Isaiah Forbes, J. F. Shelter, J. E. Lackland, Ira Stansberry, J. C. Nulsen, John Doniphan, E. M. Sloan, H. H. Bodeman, M. C. Libby, E. Wilkerson, W. H. Thompson.

Grand officers of Grand Encampment: J. J. Meier, M. W. G. P.; J. S. Maitland, M. E. G. H. P.; E. S. Pike, R. W. G. S. W.; R. E. McNuly, R. W. G. Scribe; William Berry, E. W. G. Treas.; Daniel Kerwin, E. E. Shipley, R. W. G. Representatives.

Past Grand Patriarchs: A. G. Braun, Alexander Peterson, Thomas Garrard, A. G. Trevor, W. H. Woodward.

Uniformed Patriarchs: E. Wilkerson, chief marshal; A. G. Hequembourg, first assistant marshal (in command); F. A. Cavendish, second assistant marshal.

First Division, Daniel Kerwin, marshal; Second Division, Thomas Bennet, marshal; Third Division, Henry Diers, marshal.

United States officials. The custom-house employés exhibited a full-rigged brig, twenty-six feet long, emblematic of commerce, mounted on wheels, and drawn by eight horses. The vessel was named the "James B. Eads," and was "commanded" by Henry P. Wyman, special deputy collector. The post-office was represented by a six-horse wagon bearing the post-office seal, post-rider, railway train, and telegraph wire, with coat of arms of the United States, the whole decorated with flags, evergreens, etc., three messenger-wagons, — one each for North, South, and West St. Louis, — and one hundred letter-carriers, mounted and on foot.

Brewers' Association, with a representation of King Gambrinus on his throne, the king being personated by Jacob Schorr.

The various other trades and industries of St. Louis were also fully represented by delegations, with banners, appropriate devices, etc.

The St. Louis Rowing Club had a boat suspended to a wagon, with oars, flags, and other decorations. A number of the members of the club were in the boat, imitating nautical acts.

The Western Rowing Club had two boats and two teams, likewise accompanied by members of the club, and finely decorated.

The members of the City Council in carriages, and all the engines and hose-carriages in the city in holiday

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day attire, led by Chief Sexton, were the closing features of the procession. The engines had hardly gotten into line, however, after waiting all the forenoon, when an alarm of fire was sounded from Seventeenth and Franklin Avenue. By a previous understanding, those engines which were already under head of steam responded to the alarm, and as they darted through the crowded streets with the horses at a gallop there was great confusion and excitement. No accidents happened, however, and order was soon restored, the procession ending as was laid down in the programme, after having passed through the principal streets in the city to the bridge.

One of the features of the celebration was the passage of a train of cars across the bridge from East St. Louis to the exit of the tunnel on the St. Louis side. The train was composed of fifteen palace sleeping-cars and three powerful locomotives, contributed by the Vandalia and Illinois Central Companies. The entire train was in charge of W. H. Finkbine, conductor on the Vandalia road for twenty-three years. His assistants were, on the first engine, No. 62, William Consen; second engine, No. 70, William Vansen. The brakemen were Job Graves, William Colburn, H. Schumaker, A. C. Thornton, H. W. Orvell, Thomas Mirton, John Brown, John Mallory, James Binkley, M. B. Mason, and Michael Brazill.

The officials of the Vandalia Railway on board the train in crossing were John E. Simpson, general superintendent; N. Stevens, general agent; and N. K. Elliott, master of transportation.

Among the passengers on the train were Senator L. V. Bogy, Hon. Silas Woodson, Governor of Missouri; Governor Beveridge, of Illinois; Governor Hendricks, of Indiana; Judge Napton, St. Louis; Judge H. M. Jones, St. Louis; Judge Hamilton, St. Louis; Judge John M. Krum, St. Louis; Hon. Hugh Moffat, mayor of Detroit; Hon. V. B. Wright, mayor of Oswego, Kan.; Hon. E. O. Stanard, Hon. James S. Rollins, Columbia, Mo.; Hon. George Bain, Capt. Bart Able, Web M. Samuel, president Merchants' Exchange, and many other leading citizens of St. Louis and elsewhere.

On the grand stand on the open area at the corner of Washington Avenue and Third Street, were seated the following persons, named in the order of their arrival: Gen. W. S. Harney, Hon. T. C. Harris, member of the Legislature from Phelps County; Hon. George B. Clark, State Auditor; J. H. Waugh, of Columbia; Hon. H. Clay Ewing, attorney-general of "Missouri; ex-Governor B. Grata Brown, Judge Samuel Treat, Hon. E. O. Stanard, Dr. Samuel Read, president of Missouri State University; Hon. John F. Cooke, British vice-consul; Gerard B. Allen, Capt. James B. Eads, Barton Able, Maj. Grimes, United States army; Hon. James S. Rollins, Hon. L. V. Bogy, Col. R. B. Price, of Columbia; Judge Speck, Col. M. Krum, Chauncey I. Filley, S. D. Barlow, George I. Barnett, Hon. N. M. Bell, Capt. Samuel Pepper, ex-Governor Thomas C. Fletcher, Judge Speck, Col. J. L. D. Morrison, William A. Lynch, Governor Beveridge, of Illinois; Hon. John D. Perry, Rev. Dr. Brookes, Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, Richard Dowling, J. Wilson McDonald, the sculptor; Hon. Web M. Samuel, president of the Merchants' Exchange; John Baptiste Hortey, the oldest native citizen of St. Louis; Unit Pasin, David A. Harvey, L. Harrigan, chief of police; William A. Cozens, Sullivan Blood, Samuel Hawken, Robert D. Sutton, H. B. Belt, David A. Harris, Arrible and Antone Cayore, J. H. Britton, James H. Heath, Hon. Charles H. Hardin and Hon. David Moore, of the State Senate; Col. Joseph L. Stevens, of Boonville; Capt. John Sibille, a veteran of the war of 1812; Gen. Nathan Ranney, Hon. Wells Blodgett, Hon. John F. Darby, Col. John L. Phillips, of Sedalia; John F. Tolle, United States Ferry, of Michigan; Hon. Erastus Wells, W. Milnor Roberts, consulting engineer of the bridge, and C. Shaler Smith, engineer; Hon. H. C. Brockmeyer, United States collector; E. W. Fox, Col. D. M. Renick, Dr. Barret, S. H. Laflin, Col. R. A. Campbell, L. H. Murray, of Springfield, Mo.; D. Robert Barclay, Col. Ferdinand Myers, Dr. William Taussig, Carlos S. Greeley, Governor Woodson, Milles Sells, State Senator Allen, George Bain, Mayor Brown, Gen. Wilson, J. B. Lionberger, John Jackson, J. S. Welsh, N. S. Chouteau, Capt. Fitch, United States navy; J. F. How.

Among the ladies who graced the occasion with their presence were Mrs. Governor Woodson, Mrs. Governor Brown, Mrs. H. Clay Ewing, Mrs. J. H. Britton, Miss Hutt, of Troy, Mo.; Miss Fanny Britton, Mrs. C. K. Dickson, Miss Dickson, Miss Chouteau, Mrs. J. Jackson, Mrs. J. B. Eads, Miss Addie Eads, Mrs. J. H. Britton, Miss F. Britton, Mrs. J. R. Lionberger, Miss Lionberger, Mrs. William Taussig, Miss Taussig, Mrs. H. Flad, Miss Flad, Mrs. G. B. Allen, Miss Hodgman.

The exercises opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Brookes, after which addresses were delivered by Capt. Barton Able, Hon. Joseph Brown, mayor of St. Louis, Governor Beveridge, of Illinois, Woodson of Missouri, Hon. B. Gratz Brown, [66] Capt.

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James B. Eads, [67] Governor Hendricks, of Indiana, and Hon. Thomas W. Ferry, of Michigan. The speeches were varied with singing by the various singing societies present, led by Professor E. Froelich.

In addition to the ceremonies at the bridge, there was a display of steamboats in the harbor, which were arranged near the bridge according to "the rainbow plan," the boats taking position in three tiers, the smallest vessels being in front.

At night there was a grand display of fireworks from the bridge, among the pieces being a representation of the bridge itself, a colossal statue of Washington, a grand "Temple of Honor," with a statue of Capt. Eads in the centre, and a representation of the new Chamber of Commerce building.

The bridge as it now stands is one of the marvels of modern engineering. It is a two-story structure, the great arches which we have described carrying double-track railways, and above, a broad highway seventy-five feet in width. On this are promenades on either side and four tracks or iron tramways for street-cars and ordinary road-wagons. Thus four vehicles may be hauled abreast along this spacious elevated roadway and then not blockade it so as to prevent persons passing on foot and on horseback.

This roadway is formed by transverse iron beams twelve inches in depth, supported by iron struts of cruciform sections resting on the arches at the points where the vertical bracings of the latter are secured. The railways beneath are carried on transverse arch-like beams of steel secured to the struts, which, based upon the arches, support the right of the carriageway as well. Between the iron beams forming the roadways four parallel systems of longitudinal wooden members are introduced, extending from pier to pier, which serve the purpose of maintaining the iron in position. The ends of these wooden beams rest upon the flanges of the beams, and are thus secured from moving. On these the sills of the roadway and the cross-ties of the railways are laid. From the opposite ends of the iron beams, a double system of diagonal

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horizontal iron bracing serves to bind the whole firmly together, and gives additional support against wind-pressure.

The calculation made for the strength of the bridge was that it should carry the weight of the greatest number of people who could stand on the roadway above, and at the same time have each railway track below covered from end to end with locomotives, and this enormous load to tax the strength of the bridge to the extent of less than one-sixth of the ultimate strength of the steel of which the arches have been constructed. It is computed that the ultimate strength of the material of which this structure is composed will sustain on the three arches twenty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy-two tons before it would give way under it. The maximum load, however, which can be allowed on the bridge at any one time is much less than the enormous burden which we have mentioned. The weight of the bridge and the load which it should sustain at the maximum of the allowance for perfect safety is 7 2/10 tons per lineal foot, or about 10,865 tons. The thrust of each end of the arch is received on a surface of granite equal to 24 square feet, and as each span has four arches, it follows, therefore, that the thrust of the arches is received on a surface of 576 square feet of granite. At 10,000 pounds to the square inch — a low rate of strength for granite — to crush it 414,770 tons would be required. A weight so enormous could never be placed on the piers or arches. No danger then exists of the piers being crushed by the tremendous thrust of the immense five hundred feet arches.

There is no other bridge of the arch or truss pattern which can be compared to this. The Kuilinburg bridge across the Leek, an arm of the Rhine, or rather the Zuyder Zee, in Holland, which is one of the most famous structures of the kind in Europe, is a truss bridge of 515 feet span. The Menai bridge is an arch of 500 feet.

The eastern approach is a great work apart from the bridge to which it leads. This portion of the work was executed by the Baltimore Bridge Company, under the supervision of Col. C. Shaler Smith. The grand highway, leaving the stone arch supports on the East St. Louis side, is carried across a space of some sixty feet on immense steel columns, which support great iron girders. About eighty feet from the stone arch the road divides, and begins to descend at the rate of about three feet to the hundred. This division was rendered essential in order to conduct the railway tracks along at a rate of descent of about one foot to the hundred. About four hundred feet to the eastward of the bridge proper the highways and railroad tracks are on a level. But the railways from that point eastward, because of its easier grade, are elevated above the roadways on either side. At Third Street, East St. Louis, the highways are terminated on the level of the street. Where the grade of the railways rises about ten feet above the grade of the carriageways there is a broad level platform, and a double roadway turns westward under the railway and reaches the grade of the street on Second Street. The roadways from this turning platform are continued on to the level of Dike Avenue beyond, about two hundred feet. The railways are conducted over Dike Avenue, East St. Louis, on an iron viaduct, at a grade of one foot to the hundred, about three thousand feet, to the east bank of Cahokia Creek, where it attains the level of the concentring railways. The railways and the roadways as well turn an easy curve to the northeast when about two hundred and fifty feet east of the stone piers. This approach of itself is a great work splendidly accomplished.

The situation of the bridge and the peculiar topography of the city made it impossible that the work could be accomplished without rendering the construction of a subterranean approach necessary. If the bridge had been built on a more elevated plan it would have necessitated the passage of steam-propelled trains across and through the thronged throughfares of a populous city. Had the bridge been located at Biddle or Bates Street it would have been necessary to carry the railways over the streets and on out Cass Avenue, a much-traveled thoroughfare. The height of the bridge above the water is the minimum which a due regard for the great navigation interests of the river would have permitted. The western landing of the bridge is on one of the highest points of Third Street. The grade brings the highway from the bridge arches down to the level of this street, leaving at that place a depth of fourteen feet in which to commence the underground passageway from the bridge to the Mill Creek valley. It seems as though nature intended that in St. Louis a mighty railway interest should concentrate and be provided with facilities for the transaction of business without interfering with intercommunication in the city. In the future, even more than now, will the selection of a location for the bridge, which necessitated a tunnel, be esteemed the wisest that could have been made. The great traffic of the railways can go on and the thronging myriads of the city's population will rush along undisturbed by the trains that carry the products of a vast continent underneath the ground.

It was early seen that an approach tunnel would have to be built to get trains to the western terminus

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of the bridge. Indeed, that followed inevitably the Eads location of the bridge itself. For the construction of the tunnel a company was organized with Dr. William Taussig as president.

After mature consideration a plan was drawn up which involved the building of a double tunnel, and was adopted. A route along Washington Avenue to Seventh Street, with a curve from that point to Eighth and Locust Streets, thence down Eighth Street to Poplar, was selected, and arrangements perfected to put the work under contract.

The necessary financial arrangements, surveys, and estimates having been made, the tunnel company, in the autumn of 1872, awarded a contract to Messrs. Skrainka & Co., who, after working several months, threw up the contract, which was then awarded to James Andrews, of Allegheny, Pa. The new contractor set about the execution of the task April 16, 1873, with great energy. A large number of laborers were employed, and the work of excavating the great tunnel and building the huge stone walls to support the heavy arches was pushed forward with great rapidity.

It was no small task the contractor had assumed. Before it was completed there had been removed two hundred and fifteen thousand cubic yards of earth from the tunnel canal, and the stone masonry required on the work was fifty thousand cubic yards. Thirteen millions of bricks have been used in the arches of this great underground passageway. The whole length of the tunnel is four thousand eight hundred and eighty feet, or sixteen hundred and twenty-three yards and one foot, almost one mile. There are two tunnels really, divided by a heavy wall which supports the arches that spring from it in either direction. The width of these tunnels is fourteen feet each, except at the curve, where they are fifteen feet wide. From the top of the rail to the interior crown of the arches the height is sixteen feet six inches.

The arrangement of a double tunnel covered under the street by two longitudinal arches not only renders collisions in the tunnel absolutely impossible, but also greatly increases the strength of the arches, which not only support their own weight, but must carry the weight of the streets and the immense traffic of the most traveled thoroughfare in the city. On Eighth Street between Locust and Olive, the location of the new post-office, the roof of the tunnel is composed of immense longitudinal iron girders, supported on heavy cast-iron pillars. On these longitudinal sills of iron rest lateral girders scarcely less ponderous. The spaces between these are filled by transverse brick arches. At this point the roadways open wider so as to admit of the exchange of mails. By means of hopper-like receptacles the mail on the cars may be completely discharged in thirty seconds, and a similar place of deposit for the outgoing mails enables the train agent to get the bags on board in about the same time.

The distance from the entrance of the tunnel at its southern terminus to the northern terminus of the railway approach east of Cahokia Creek, East St. Louis, is eleven thousand feet, which is three thousand six hundred and sixty-six yards and two feet, or two miles, one hundred and forty-six yards, and two feet. This is really the length of the bridge railway.

The last stone for the arches of the tunnel was placed in position Thursday, June 24, 1874. During the progress of the work two serious mishaps to the tunnel delayed operations for a time. In 1873 about two hundred feet of the massive stone wall of the open cut was overthrown during a great rain-storm by the tremendous pressure of twenty-eight feet of water collected behind. In the winter of 1874 a serious break in the completed tunnel took place on Washington Avenue above Sixth Street. These were repaired. In the first case the wall had to be rebuilt, in the last the arch was taken out, the wall strengthened, and the arch replaced. Notwithstanding so many men were employed, and there was so large an amount of work, there were comparatively few fatal casualties. The railway tracks were completed through the tunnel in July, 1874.

On the 20th of December, 1878, the bridge was sold under foreclosure of mortgage, at the east front of the court-house, a little after twelve o'clock. The sale was in virtue of a decree of the United States Circuit Court, rendered on the 17th of October, in the suit of John Pierpont Morgan and Solon Humphreys against the bridge company and others. Ezekiel W. Woodward was the commissioner appointed to make the sale, and the property to be sold included the bridge proper, its approaches in St. Louis and East St. Louis, and all its appurtenances, franchises, and other property. The terms of the sale were fifty thousand dollars to be paid in bidding off the property, and the balance in the manner described in the decree of the court. The purchaser was also to pay in cash, on the confirmation of the sale by the court, the costs of the suit, including the expenses of sale, commissions to the trustees, and fees to the solicitors and counsel as determined by the court, and in addition to and over his bid, in cash, the amount of the certificates of the indebtedness of the receivers in the suit that were outstanding and amounting to three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, more or less.

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Bidding was invited, and Charles B. Tracy bid two million dollars. There the matter hung, and all the eloquence of the auctioneer was futile to procure another bid. When it became quite certain that no advance would be made on Mr. Tracy's bid, the auctioneer, with the usual warning of "once, twice, three times," knocked down the bridge at two million dollars. The name being called for, Mr. Tracy announced Anthony J. Thomas, of New York, as the purchaser. On inquiry Mr. Thomas was ascertained to be a merchant in New York, who had bought the bridge for the first mortgage bondholders, who were also the principal, if not the sole, holders of the second mortgage bonds.

E. W. Woodward stated subsequently that the bridge had failed to yield enough money to pay the interest on its indebtedness. There were three mortgages. The fourth one was canceled and wiped out of existence. The suit for foreclosure was brought by the first and second bondholders jointly. The bridge company organized soon after the sale by the election of J. Pierpont Morgan and Solon Humphreys, of New York; and Gerard B. Allen, Julius Walsh, and Ezekiel W. Woodward, of St. Louis, as directors. The new company thereupon elected the following officers: Solon Humphreys, president; Ezekiel W. Woodward, vice-president; Edward Walsh, secretary; and Anthony J. Thomas, treasurer.

On the 1st of July, 1881, the bridge was leased to the Missouri Pacific and Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway companies at an annual rental equaling interest on bonds, semi-annual dividends on first preferred stock at the rate of five per cent. per annum for three years to and ending in July, 1885, and thereafter at the rate of six per cent.; and semi-annual dividends of three per cent. on second preferred stock, the first payment to be made July 1, 1884. Dividends payable in gold free of all charges. The companies further agreed to pay all taxes, assessments, and other charges; to pay two thousand five hundred dollars a year for maintaining organization, and to provide and maintain offices for the company in St. Louis and New York. In addition it is provided that the bonds of the company as they mature shall be paid by the lessee companies. The funded debt consists of $5,000,000 seven per cent. gold bonds, dated April 1, 1879, due 1928; interest payable April and October; first preferred stock $2,490,000; second preferred stock $3,000,000; common stock $2,500,000. The directors of the St. Louis Bridge Company in 1882 were Solon Humphreys, J. Pierpont Morgan, New York; E. W. Woodward, Gerard B. Allen, Edward Walsh, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.; President, Julius S. Walsh, St. Louis.

One of the most active and energetic promoters of the great bridge enterprise was John R. Lionberger, who was a director of the company from its incipiency, and a member of the executive and construction committee. Mr. Lionberger was a stanch, unwavering supporter of the project through its darkest hours, and contributed his share and something more towards providing means to resume work on the bridge and push its construction to completion.

John Robert Lionberger was born in Virginia, Aug. 22, 1829. As the name indicates, his father was of German, his mother of English-Scotch descent, — a mixture of blood calculated to produce an enterprising and aggressive race. His father was engaged in mercantile business in Virginia, which he resumed upon the removal of the family, in 1837, to Boonville, Cooper Co., Md.

Up to the age of sixteen young Lionberger attended the noted Kemper's Academy in Boonville, and subsequently entered the University of the State of Missouri at Columbia, and took a classical course. Although thus equipped with an education which fitted him for a professional career, his tastes led him to engage in mercantile pursuits, and he spent some years thus occupied at Boonville. The small and quiet town, however, offered at best only a limited prospect to a young man of energy and enterprise and in 1855 he removed to St. Louis, and established the wholesale boot- and shoe-house of Lionberger & Shields, on Main Street. This partnership lasted some two years, when Mr. Lionberger purchased Mr. Shields' interest, and for some time managed the business as sole proprietor under his own name. Subsequently junior partners were admitted, and the firm became known as J. R. Lionberger & Co., under which title it flourished until 1867, when he retired, leaving to his associates a well-established and prosperous trade, and having made for himself a fortune and reputation for rectitude and business sagacity second to none of the merchants of that period.

But in retiring from trade he did not retire from business. On the contrary, he immediately entered upon a field of much greater activity, and thenceforth his energies were exerted in connection with many enterprises of great public importance, and promising much to the city of his adoption. All the great projects of the past twenty-five years have had his earnest and energetic support. He has been foremost in developing the transportation system of St. Louis, and was specially prominent in the affairs of the North Missouri Railroad. When the fortunes of that road were

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at a low ebb, the company with which he was identified took the road and completed it to Kansas City and the Iowa State line. As has been seen, he was very active and efficient in promoting the construction of the bridge across the Mississippi. He was also a director of the Chamber of Commerce Association, and a member of the building committee which supervised the erection of the Merchants' Exchange, I perhaps the most stately and ornamental structure of which the city can boast. He is a member of the Board of Trade, and has served it in many honorable and useful capacities; was a delegate to the Boston Convention of the National Board, and was also its representative in the New Orleans Convention, where his fellow-delegates showed their estimation of his character as a representative business man of St. Louis by electing him their chairman. It may therefore be said without exaggeration that in all matters relating to the public welfare, and in all enterprises undertaken for the benefit of the city, Mr. Lionberger has manifested the keenest interest, and has contributed generously of his own means towards any object that seemed likely to build up St. Louis.

One of the later enterprises which he has assisted, and one of the most important, is the Union Depot and Shipping Company, which in 1881 erected a warehouse with an elevator five hundred by seventy feet, and four stories high, with an elevator capacity of seven hundred and fifty thousand bushels of grain. Other corporations with which Mr. Lionberger has been connected have done much to improve the city in the erection of tasteful and ornamental buildings.

When the street railway system was introduced, Mr. Lionberger at once appreciated its importance as an agency in developing the city, and promptly gave it his attention and support. He is a large owner of street railway stock, and his efforts have always been directed towards the management of the street car companies with reference to the convenience of the community.

Mr. Lionberger was one of the organizers of the Safe Deposit Company, one of the most substantial corporations of its kind in the country, and has been its president for several years. He was also one of the organizers of the old Southern Bank in 1857, served actively as a director, and was for many years its vice-president. When in 1864 it organized under the National banking law and became the Third National Bank, Mr. Lionberger retained his interest in the corporation, and in 1867 was elected president, a position which he held until 1876, when he resigned and made a long European journey. On his return from abroad he was elected vice-president, in which position his judgment and foresight have contributed largely towards making the bank one of the strongest and most highly respected financial institutions in the Mississippi valley. In December, 1882, after twenty-five years of continuous service in different capacities, he resigned the vice-presidency and directorship in this institution.

In 1852, Mr. Lionberger married Miss Margaret M. Clarkson, of Columbia, Mo., a lady of engaging and estimable qualities, and their union has yielded four children.

The many public positions which Mr. Lionberger has held have exposed him to the severest scrutiny of the community, which has only served to demonstrate his sterling integrity, and to set forth conspicuously his pure and unblemished character. As a public-spirited man, he occupies a prominent place among the citizens of St. Louis, while in private life he is esteemed for his engaging qualities of head and heart. His work is not yet finished, and if the past is any augury of the future, it may be assumed that he will for many years to come be heard of in connection with schemes to advance the public good and further still more the "manifest destiny" of St. Louis.

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Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
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