Puslapio vaizdai

by the family in question, went up to the well, "situate" on the gradually-rising slope, a few rods above the dwelling, "to get a pail o' water." The bucket, suspended by the good, old-fashioned sweep, was soon sent to near the bottom of the well, and then returned to the startingpoint "brimful" of the sparkling liquid, which was speedily discharged into the waiting pail, and that taken by the fair damsel, not exactly as Rebekah took her pitcher upon her shoulder, but in her hand, preparatory to her descent to the dwelling; when, lo and behold, a sound came up from the depths of the well, resembling much, as she thought, the human voice! She paused a moment to listen. The point


soon settled. There could be no mistake. She did hear words and groans; and, under the startling conviction, attempted to get back to the house, and actually succeeded! It must be admitted, however, that the feat was not executed in the most graceful style. What young lady could avoid fainting under such a severe provocation? If she did not actually faint, she did the next best thingfell to the ground, and rolled with her pail quite down to the house, and might possibly have fainted, but for the hydropathic treatment of which she was the unwilling, and, it may be, unconscious subject. She crawled into the house, and, as well as sighs and interjections would permit, told her story. This, of course, could not be credited. It was agreed, on all hands, that her credulity must have gotten the better of her senses. She had been prodigiously affrighted, and from hence had imagined a most improbable thing. But then the matter must be settled, and especially as it would be very inconvenient to pass the whole night without water in the house. Accordingly two young men, for the time being members of the family, agreed to do what certainly they should have had the gallantry to do in the first instance. Whether two went because one dared not to go, or whether the motive was to have a competent number of witnesses to the fact, whatever it might be found to be, the writer did not learn. Possibly both considerations had their weight. Anyhow, two went, without, of course, expecting to hear anything! The bucket was again made to perform its appropriate function, the pail was filled, and the young braves were on the point of returning in triumph

to the house. Ere they left the well, however, the same sepulchral sounds, coming somewhere from the depths below, fell upon their astonished ears. The fact could not be questioned. The sounds, though doleful, were distinct. Without falling, perhaps because they held each other up, they got back to the anxiouslyexpectant company, confirming all that had been told by the preceding witness. | Nobody ventured to the well again that night; and the next morning all was silent there.

During the day the matter was carefully talked over among themselves, and cautiously mentioned to a few confidential friends. The result was an agreement to meet on the then coming evening at the well's mouth, in sufficient numbers to place the phenomena, whatever they might be found to be, beyond the reach of a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, supporting and encouraging each other, they tremblingly approached the well at that solemn hour

"When spirits do mostly take shape." They waited. All was soon dark and still. And now, just as they expected, the mysterious sounds came up from the deep, dark caverns below. At first they heard only inarticulate expressions of distress,


groans and solemn moans. Soon, however, the invisible agent spoke out. The communications became unmistakably intelligible. Responsive to inquiry from the anxious listeners, it said: "I am the spirit of a man who was murdered and buried near this place, some years since. If you will dig up the well you will find my bones, and then further revelations will be made to you in regard to the whole tragedy. You shall know who was the murderer, and who the victim." This was, at least, the substance of the communication, though the colloquy between the visible and invisible was somewhat extended.

The facts being thus confirmed by sensible evidence, and by more than "two or three witnesses," the recipients of this strange revelation deemed themselves bound in duty, not only to blaze the matter abroad, but to do what they could to bring the guilty to justice, and thus secure repose to the poor troubled spirit.

Sleeping as tranquilly that night as the excited state of their minds would permit, they arose early the next morning and

went through the neighborhood, everywhere telling the thrilling story, and doing what they could to stir up the spirit of the people. Little effort was, however, necessary. A simple history of the facts was abundantly sufficient to move the entire community. It was remembered distinctly, by some of the older inhabitants, that a peddler had mysteriously disappeared from the neighborhood some years before, and this speaking ghost was doubtless his. Startling reminiscences were interchanged, and the excitement thereby greatly intensified. Toward evening the people began to assemble at the house of the widow; the men bringing the usual instruments of excavation, iron-bars, pickaxes, hoes, shovels, etc., with the fixed and conscientious purpose of finding the remains of the hapless victim, whose inconsolable spirit had been urging them to purge the community of blood-guiltiness. At an early hour in the evening appliances and workmen were on hand in sufficent number and variety to do almost anything the exigences of the case might demand; and all were ready to commence operation the very moment the spirit of the well should give the requisite signal. Thus matters stood until about nine o'clock, when the sounds from the well startled the listening multitude. The tenor of the communication was the same as before. After a few moments' pause, coats were thrown off, and many a brawny arm made bare. The spirit directed them how and where to begin; but the very moment a blow was struck the said spirit called them " a pack of fools." This, of course, brought matters to a dead stand, while the parties stood and gazed at each other in mute astonishment. Presently, however, the groaning began again, mingled with reproaches upon the company for its inefficiency and want of zeal in prosecuting a work so immediately connected with both justice and humanity. This led the workmen to strike again; but the very instant operations recommenced, they were again called "a pack of fools." Thus the spirit went on, alternately urging them to proceed, and mocking them for doing so, until no one felt inclined to strike another blow.

There stood the unhappy company, in a perfect quandary. Perhaps the reader is ready to imagine that, had they been instructed in the mysteries of ventrilo

quism, the perplexing problem would have been instantly solved. Not at all. Ventriloquism had nothing to do with the case. There were intelligent persons enough present to use this key, had it been capable of unlocking the mystery. But they had reason to know that these strange noises, these distinct and emphatic communications, must be referred to some other agency.

Standing there in profound silence, the victims of doubt and uncertainty, the company again heard the voice from the well; in altered tones, however. With taunting accents it said: "What a company of fools! Can't you understand we are down here in the pasture?" In a moment or two the same words with the same voice came to their ears through the superterrene atmosphere; thus drawing attention to the real speakers, some twenty rods off, in a grazing field below. The mystery was solved in an instant. The voice from the well came to them through empty "pump-logs," from human lips! To supply the cattle with water. when in a dry pasture below, the well had been tapped by cutting a trench and inserting bored logs at a point some four or six feet from the bottom. Whenever the water arose to this point, it discharged itself through these logs into a trough placed in the pasture. But when it sunk below this point, as it usually did in dry weather, the tube itself became dry; thus forming a kind of speaking-trumpet. Two shrewd young fellows of the neighborhood had casually ascertained this fact, and mischievously concerted to perpetrate this trick upon the community. It might seem strange that these pump-logs were thought of by none of the company drawn together. It should be remembered, however, that they had been placed there a long time before; so that, probably, there were very few persons in the place who had ever had any knowledge of their existence; and as the logs were quite out of sight, they had been entirely forgotten. Members of the widow's family must, of course, have known that the logs were there; but they either had too little philosophy to be aware that they could be used for such a purpose, or were too much excited to think of them at all. The young men themselves contrived to elude suspicion by alternating, first one and then the other, between the lower end of the

log-tube and the company. While one was playing the ghost, the other was at the mouth of the well, as profoundly mystified as any other person present!

This "clever" trick supplies a kind of second edition of Columbus and the egg. The problem once solved, it seems truly wonderful that it should ever have perplexed any one. The narrative shows, also, that a great many phenomena which are supposed necessarily to involve the agency of the departed spirits, may be easily traced, when we have sufficient philosophy for the process, to sensible


The Revolution gave the country to the
United States. Mr. Jefferson purchased
Louisiana of France in 1803, which gave
our government possession of the entire
Mississippi valley.

Early in the Revolution Colonel G. R. Clark, under the patronage of Virginia, set out with troops to attack the British forts at Detroit and in Southern Illinois. The expedition was successful, and consequently Virginia laid claim to the whole Northwest territory.

This claim was recognized by the other states, and Illinois was organized as a county of Virginia in 1778. The act was, however, of no account, and there was no legal authority in the county. In 1784 Virginia ceded to the United States all

the territory northwest of the Ohio River, and in 1790 General St. Clair organized the county in Southern Illinois, which bears his name.

ILLINOIS AND ITS MAMMOTH CITY. LLINOIS, from the earliest days of its recognition by the whites, was one of the fairest fields for the Indian hunter. The name is derived from Illini, the men. The Indian tribes along the Illinois River From 1800 to 1809 Illinois was an ap gave the first French explorers to under-pendage of the Territory of Indiana. In stand that they were the men, the Illini, so that the consequential appellation of the early monarchs of the soil is likely to be borne by the state for all time to come. Let us hope that all her sons will be Illini! The first white men who ever visited the regions of Upper Illinois were Marquette and Joliet, two Jesuit missionaries, who explored the country in 1662 and 1663. In that early day a village on the Des Plaines River was named after this last explorer, but not knowing fully the name, the place was called Juliet until 1847, when the city was given its true name, and Joliet will no doubt bear on to the future the memory of this Jesuit. Well, let him have that honor; he deserves it.

Hennepin and Lasalle followed Marquette and companion in a few years, and as a result of their discoveries a scheme was entered upon by France to extend her possessions from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi delta. The plan was well arranged, and for a hundred years the French laid claim to the regions west of the Alleghany mountains. Washington commenced his early military career in invasions against French forts on the Ohio; and that notable ascent of the heights of Abraham and the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe, ended the French power in the North, and England through the colonies spread her arms westward.

this latter year the Territory of Illinois was established by Congress, and Ninian Edwards, then chief justice of Kentucky, was appointed governor, and Nathaniel Pope, secretary of state. The first territorial Legislature met at Kaskaskia in November, 1812. The council consisted of five members, and the assembly of seven. This body did their work like men devoted to business; and it is rather a curious circumstance that not a lawyer was found in their number. After a session of twelve days they adjourned.

In 1815 Nathaniel Pope was elected to represent the territory in Congress. The original northern line of the territory ran due west from the south bend of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi; but Mr. Pope, seeing the advantage of having a lake front, procured the passage of an act extending the line to its present position, thus securing to the state the future Chicago.

Congress in 1818 passed an act, signed by President Monroe, authorizing the people to form a state government, provided there could be found forty thousand inhabitants in the country. There were but thirty thousand all told, but the marshals by counting several times the emigrants and travelers who were passing through, each marshal counting all he fell in with, made out the required number. Delegates to form a constitution being elected, they

met at Kaskaskia, completed a constitution, submitted it to the people, and adjourned. In August, 1818, Shadrach Bond was elected first governor of the new state.

The capital of the state was removed some years after to Vandalia, and lastly to Springfield, its present location.

tures as vast an amount of sly roguishness as ever a set of school-boys possessed. Jacob Kreisman in those days kept a respectable boarding-house, and had as his guests some dozen or so of these legislators. Jacob was a jovial old man, and the whole company had as pleasant a time as could be desired. But Jacob, with all his good-humor, had one


In the early legislation of the state there is much to amuse. The early set-prodigious fault: once or twice a week tlers were mostly from the Southern he would have his spree, and would lie states, and the people had a great horror down late at night dead drunk. of the omnipresent Yankee peddler, and The boarders at length combined to this great institution, with its wooden play a trick on the old man. One evening nutmegs, and better wooden clocks, was he lay on a bar-room bench across the soon laid hold of. In 1823 a law was road from his house fast asleep, and as passed to the effect that "No person shall tipsy as stale whisky could make him. bring in and peddle, or sell wooden The company carried Kreisman into his clocks in this state unless they first take own parlor, and laid him out on boards, out an extra license," the price of said wrapping him in winding sheets. license being fifty dollars. The penalty each side of him they set a row of tall for violating the law was fixed at the burning candles, and after all was comsame amount. But Jonathan ignored the pleted set a hideously - dressed man to law, and peddled on. One of these sa- watch over him. Hours passed. The gacious fellows was arraigned before the effects of the night's debauch began to pass Fayette County Court. He engaged W. | off, and Jacob began to rub his eyes. In H. Brown, now of Chicago, as counsel. such a state as that the eyesight is dim, The fact of "selling" was not denied; but and the glare of the candles gave an unit appeared in the evidence that one Yan- earthly appearance to the room. Jacob kee brought the goods in across the river at looked about him. He felt the sheets; St. Louis, and another sold them. The he looked at the candles, and then mutcounsel contended that it must be shown tered: that the prisoner did both "bring in and peddle." By this plea Jonathan escaped, and went on his way as ever, peddling his wooden wares. It is presumed that ever since that law failed to head him off, all Yankeedom has been free to trade and traffic.


"I must be det. Det? yes, det. Vell, vere am I? Let me see vere am I." He caught sight of the hideous man. "Dat is the tuyfel, and I am in hell!" A fine-looking woman peeped in at the door, and Jacob continued:

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'No, not in hell, for dere is an angel Vat a beautiful sight is dat !"

The grave legislators, who were lying in ambush all around, burst into loud laughter, and rushed to unbind the old


Jacob crept away into his own room, ashamed enough of his curious adventure. That affair became a standing joke, and when any one wished to stir up a merry spirit he would mutter gravely: "Dead, dead; yes, dead!"

Twenty years ago the Legislature held its session in Vandalia. In those days this was one of the most important towns in the state. Chicago had just begun to come into being, and the northern part of the state was still almost a wilderness. There was very little aristocracy about that early Legislature, and the greater portion of the members were the commonest sort of men, with brains enough, however, for all purposes of legislation. It In 1804 the general government erected would be a blessing to the state to-day if a fort at the mouth of the Chicago River, a body of men could be gathered at Spring-calling it Fort Dearborn, after a revolufield having as much common sense and tionary general. The fort was manned downright honesty about them as was as an outpost with fifty men, and a few combined in the legislators of Illinois pieces of artillery. The little garrison twenty years ago. remained in total quiet until the war with England in 1812. A few months previous to General Hull's surrender at De

But, without the homespunness of those legislators, they had in their na

troit a dispatch was sent to Captain Heald, ordering him to evacuate the fort, to distribute the government stores among the Indians, and to march his company to Fort Wayne.

The garrison was well supplied with provisions and military stores, and might have maintained a long siege against any force the Indians could muster. Nearly every officer was opposed to the evacuation, but Captain Heald resolved to obey orders. The country was overrun with Indians, and the Potawatomies were known to be hostile. Captain Heald called an Indian council and laid before them the propositions of the government, and requested an escort to Fort Wayne. To all this the Indians agreed. The distribution of goods was to be made the next day. Fearing the ammunition would prove a dangerous gift the powder was thrown into a well and the guns destroyed. The liquor was emptied into the river, and the cannon shared the same fate. The next day the Indians came for their presents, but when they saw they were to get no guns they muttered forth words of anger and revenge. They charged the whites with breaking their promise, and they left the fort filled with resentment. In the afternoon Captain Wells, brother of Mrs. Heald, arrived from Fort Wayne with fifteen Miami Indians as an escort.

resistance was vain, withdrew his troops to a small elevation and awaited the movement of the Indians.

The Indians held a council, and their chiefs motioned Captain Heald to approach. They demanded a surrender, to which Captain Heald agreed, on condition that the lives of all the prisoners should be spared. The troops were marched back to the fort. The children were put in a | baggage wagon and were all put to the tomahawk by an Indian whose name, if known, ought to be execrated forever. The whole number of the slain was twentysix of the regular troops, two women, and twelve children. The day after this scene of blood the fort was plundered and burned, and the prisoners were distributed among the Indians, and most of them afterward redeemed.

The scene of this massacre was near Carville, on the Central Railway. The fort was not again occupied until 1816, when, under the direction of Captain Bradley, it was rebuilt. It continued to be occupied as a garrison until 1837, when, the Indians having all gone over the Mississippi, it was evacuated. On the grounds of the old fort the Marine Hospital now stands. The buildings occupied by the officers were not long ago standing, and the old block house, built forty years ago, is worthy of interest.

Up to 1829 there was no house at Chicago except the fort. Many Indian traders set up their head-quarters near by, and J. H. Kinzie, G. S. Hubbard, and others, were there in the employ of the American Fur Company. The oldest permanent inhabitant of the city is R. J. Hamlinton; he settled in the city in 1831, and has ever since resided there. A daughter of his is said to be the first white child born in the place.

On the morning of August 15, 1812, the troops, with their accompaniments, set out for their destination. Captain Wells, with his Miamis, acted as an advanced guard, and about four hundred Potawatomies followed gloomily in the rear. Thus they proceeded for a mile and a half along the prairie to the south. Then the Potawatomies suddenly rushed forward, and, throwing themselves behind the sand hills showed a fierce front. Captain Wells immediately ordered his men to form and charge the enemy. The perfidious Indians poured in upon this advanced guard a volley of balls. At the first fire the Miamis (who were on horseback) scampered off, leaving the soldiers to their fate. The little band never flinched, but soon dislodged the Indians from the sand hills. The Indians then turned upon the baggage and made sure of that. Captain Wells blacked his face, and clubbing his rifle flew among the savages and soon fell by the By the Illinois River it is probable that Buffalo, in New York, may be united with New murderous tomahawk. Orleans by inland navigation through Lakes Captain Heald, confident that further Erie, Huron, and Michigan, and down to the Mis

The early history of Chicago is closely connected with the canal which connects Lake Michigan with the Illinois River. The history of the place as a town begins with the efforts to construct this canal. The idea of connecting the Mississippi with Lake Michigan by a canal was suggested as early as 1814. In the Niles Register of August 6 of that year occurs the following paragraph:

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