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of the town stakes. This city was to vie with Chicago, and for a few years the struggle for life there was ardent indeed. Now Calumet is lonely enough, and fishermen dry their nets there! Beside so large a monster as Chicago all little fish are swallowed up.
The American has changed hands and name several times. Some eighteen years ago its name was changed to Chicago Express, and about 1844 it became the Chicago Journal, and has continued under that cognomen until this present time.
four miles along the lake, and extends about four miles back into the country. The city is nearly square, and covers over sixteen square miles. There are, perhaps, one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants.
But let us return to our early incidents. There was no actual work done on the canal, which was the main moving cause of the city's early progress, until 1836. Then, all things being ready, and the fifteen years of" red tape" maneuvers having passed, and the matter having gone over from the officers of the circumlocution office into the hands of the people, July 4, 1836, the work was set in motion.
The newspapers of 1835 in Chicago were the Chicago Democrat and the Chicago American. Both were small weekly sheets, very common affairs. The Chicago Democrat went into the hands of John Wentworth in 1836, who had just come to Chicago on foot to make his fortune, and has remained ever since the same paper it then was, as far as may be, changing only | in size and material as times have changed. The 4th of July of 1836 was a great day It has made a living, and something over, for the people of Chicago. That day was for its owner, and has sent him to Con- set apart as the day of commencing the gress several times. John Wentworth canal. Never a brighter day beamed on ought to love the Democrat and do well the world. The sun shone down brightly, by it. and it was just cool enough for linen jackets. Early in the morning cannon and music aroused the town, and Chicago, small as it was, swarmed with anxious people. The ceremony of throwing out the first shovel full of earth was to be performed at Bridgeport, and speeches were expected on the occasion; hence, from an early breakfast hour, the hearts of the citizens were set on an excursion. The boys especially, among whom I was numbered, were on full tilt to see all the hurrah that could be seen. There was a small steamboat called the Chicago in the city; it was about the size of a common steam “tug,” and was the only steamboat, I think, that had ever been in the river. This steamboat was trimmed out gayly, as was also a vessel and a Mackinaw boat, and these three were to carry the notables up the river. The rabble and the boys were to go on foot, or in any other way they chose. Everything that looked like a boat was skipping over the river that day. Skiffs, yawls, canoes everywhere on the water; wagons, carriages, and carts on the land made up the conveyances of the excited multitude. A tow-path had been built all the way up the east side of the river, which could have been seen as late as 1844. Early in the morning the steamboat was on a move; and I remember how her pipe was knocked down as she passed under the old draw-bridge on Clark-street. It was afternoon before the passengers saw Bridgeport; and many of them did not get there then, by the way, for the Chicago
The Chicago Democrat is the first paper I ever remember seeing, and my first political impressions were received from it. It was customary in those days to berate the Whigs in the Democrat, and I verily believed Whigs were a set of bandits, seeking the country's ruin. I had no more idea a Whig could be an honest man than that a robber is honest. I have had many a laugh since then at those old notions of mine. I was so credulous. I thought so grave a thing as a newspaper could not but be in earnest. I looked upon an editor as a man far higher than I now place a president. O what a boyish faith I had in that old Democrat!
It was a long time after 1835 before Chicago supported more papers than those two first ones; now, however, every prominent interest has its paper. Of some eight Advocates published by the Methodists one of the best is published at Chicago. The arm of the journeyman printer long ago became too tardy, and they have brought in the man of iron from the mountains and set him at work, and his breath of steam utters words that burn!
Long ago the village at the Point and the town near the lake became one, and there is one dense city now. This reaches
was so loaded she ran aground in mid river away up among the tanglewoods of Hardscrabble. It turned out to be a vexatious day to the boat riders.
Some Irishmen shoveled out a few spadefuls of earth, and a few speeches were made to those who were so fortunate as to get there.
1836. He was out, too, in 1848. He had then become a business man, and had a home and family of his own. He went up to Bridgeport in 1848 to see the opening of the canal, and in the evening came home sick and feverish. The cold and the excitement of the day had been too much for him. He laid him down to dic. In one short week all that was mortal of him was laid in the graveyard north of Chicago. The days of a city's joy were days of sorrow to us! So do days of joy join hands with days of sorrow and interlink themselves forever!
A RIDE IN MEXICO.
THOUGH the Pacific was smooth as a
Night drew on, and the throng began to straggle homeward, tired enough. All arrived safely, with no mishaps worthy of note except the famous steamboat. That came puffing homeward through Hardscrabble about dusk, and met an adventure. On the river bank, near Sherman's stone quarry, was a large pile of small stones on the bank, where scows had been loaded. As the steamboat came along a party of Irishmen (for what reason I could never learn) poured in a shower of stones upon the passengers. The boat was not going to be chased on Independence day, and therefore hove to for a pitched battle. Officers tried to do their duty, but failed. At last three men (the leader Mr. Steel) went ashore and put the valiant assailants to flight. An important man who had been brigadier of militia had skulked away on the steamboat and could not be brought to aid in the defense; but when Mr. Steel caught one of these fellows, this same braggart came blustering ashore, and catching up a club struck the captured one, exclaiming courageously, "We'll give it to you!" Many persons spilled their pre-cast their shadow on the white sand below cious blood on that momentous occasion.
At last the sun went down and darkness drew on. The great Illinois Canal had been commenced; the 4th of July had been celebrated; the crowd had let off their overplus of patriotism, and darkness and stillness ended the scene.
In May, 1848, twelve years after the commencement of the canal-which had been discontinued in the bankrupt days of 1838 -all Chicago turned out once more to hail the first boat that had glided through the channel commenced so long before. The canal was at last, after so long a time, finished, and it now exists as a monument of energy and expense. That same canal has consumed more money than it would take to checker our state with railroads.
With me, personally, there are circumstances that will always bring up peculiar emotions when I look upon that old canal. A brother, J. B. Field, to whom his family looked with hope, was out on that day of
duck-pond, not a soul on board the Golden Gate took breakfast on the eighth morning out from San Francisco, for Acapulco was but a few miles off, and we could breakfast much better on shore. Soon we approached the entrance of the harbor; tawny rocks with almost vertical strata project into the blue water; behind them ridges so shaggy with wood and underwood that they might have done honor to Scotland. After rounding another point, we are fairly in the cove, and out of sight of the Pacific. The village—for it is no more-looks pretty among its groves of orange, lime, and cocoa-trees, that even
the clear salt ripples.
Thick as musquetoes were the shore boats around us, and great was their rivalry; you had need to step the instant a boat reached the ladder, or it would be drawn from under your feet; however, no accidents happened, and all at last reached the shore, a harvest to the boatmen of some fifty pounds, a dollar being the price for the trip. Beneath some large trees near the landing-place were two-score Mexican women, with as many stalls piled up with oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, pineapples, and water-melons; some, too, had cakes of country-made sugar, fresh eggs, and quantities of dyed coral and flimsy shell ornaments. People from on board ship are always eager for shore luxuries, and home-returning Californians are always free with their money; ladies bought curiosities, and gentlemen fruit; and by the time the ship's gun fired there was little left for sale. I did not wonder that the
most the country. By night I had made three important discoveries-that the women do all the little work that is done at Acapulco, and the men spend their time in cock-fighting or riding for cocks; secondly, that I knew very little at present about smoking a cigarito; thirdly, that the chickens were the toughest, and the choc
place lived entirely on the weekly steamer and the occasional man-of-war; a good big man-of-war, they say, is better than ten steamers. The gun fired, and my shipmates disappeared rapidly; some lamented they had paid their passage through, as they would otherwise have liked to accompany me to Mexico and Vera Cruz; some talked of the danger from robbers-olate the most delicious, by far, of any I such a country for robbers; some, again, had come across. in a truly American, or, as Elia would say, Caledonian spirit, expressed their doubts of its being the shortest or cheapest way to New Orleans. The gun fired a second time; the Golden Gate steamed off, Acapulco became quiet, and I was left alone to plan my journey.
First, then, for a passport, which I ought to have obtained at San Francisco; but if you have money to spend, no one at Acapulco will oppose your landing or ask to inspect your baggage; you might be disgusted, and return on board ship, and then, good heavens! what a loss. El Señor Miranda, the alcalde of the place and district, received me courteously; he was a fat old gentleman, but fully as courteous as he was fat; nothing would please him better than to give me a passport, and he gave me the document free of all cost, and all in his own handwriting; they have too few travelers to keep printed forms.
The start on any journey is agreeable; but if it be a journey on horseback, and through the tropics, it is something more. In the cool of the afternoon we rode out of Acapulco between groves of wild and cultivated orange-trees, alternating with patches of corn and sugar-cane; the latter also grows wild. I was burdened with little; only a revolver and a small knapsack: not indeed that, after the fashion of Dionysius, in the Frogs, I carried these myself to relieve my pony; they were slung at the bow of my saddle, a genuine Spanish saddle, for which I must avow something of an affection. There are two other appurtenances none rides withouta prodigious pair of spurs, and a lariette, or long halter, always kept around your horse's neck, and coiled up in front of the saddle when you are riding. It was my destiny to ride if not entirely unarmed, at least all alone; my Rosinante was not fresh, for he had been ridden a long way in the morning; so at a steep, rough hillthat is, a hill I then thought steep and rough-I dismounted, and led him; but after a few minutes he turned refractory, and broke my bridle all to bits; it must have been rotten enough previously; even if you have a thong or two of leather in your pocket-and it is well not to travel without them-it will take you some minutes to mend a broken bridle, and several more to experimentalize on a Spanish bit, if you have not observed their application previously; so by the time all was square again my Spanish friend, the ex-viceconsul, was far out of sight, as soon happens on an up-and-down serpentine bridleroad; sundry messages from in front reached me through the mouths of homereturning villagers, certainly not Homer's
Next for an animal and a saddle: you may hire these tolerably cheap, and a man to travel along with you and bring them back again; but it is a "feckless" way of making the journey you travel when he pleases, and stop when and where he pleases; in short, you put yourself and eighty or ninety dollars at his disposal, and are carried through without incident or accident, the charm of all travel. arranged for the appearance of a pony and saddle next day, in time for a start with the vice-consul, (who was glad of a companion besides his servant,) and then I felt enough was done for the day. I was without a companion, for none but myself had stayed on shore, voluntarily; half a dozen, who had smuggled themselves on board at San Francisco without paying their passage, after being kept ironed in the hold on a diet of bread and water," articulate-speaking men;" but I, poor were turned loose at Acapulco, penniless, to get backward or forward as they could, and execute their prodigious threats of actions for false imprisonment, shooting the captain, blowing up the ship, and al
soul! knowing but a trifle of Spanish, and none of the names of villages, failed to apprehend their import, and most innocently rode on a league past the hamlet where my now ex-companion was waiting
their provisions along with them, and also grain for their mules, and a long trough of matting to feed them in. Their noise awoke me a bit of bread was soon munched, Rosinante was soon saddled, and we were off, as the clouds before us had the faintest tinge of saffron, while the morning star was yet undimmed. To have waited for a substantial meal would have been to lose the prime. O those delightful rides
When you are riding along bridle-paths alone after dark, or by the uncertain light of the moon setting behind the woodland, yourself very uncertain of your way, too," in solitude, yet not alone," along narand every moment feeling surer of having gone wrong, from not reaching the expected village-just then the bark of a dog is the most welcome of all sounds. Venta had no inn; none of the villages have; indeed there are but three or four posadas between Acapulco and Cuernavaca, ninety-three leagues; but if you ask long enough you will always find a roof, and it will not be much more than a roof, to cover you. The walls of the cottages are mere wicker-work, fastened to the corner-posts that support the roof; the latter is generally substantial, to resist the rainy season, and always projects into a sort of verandah, under cover of which the fire is built and the cooking goes on. The breath of a hungry traveler soon blows up the smoldering ashes, and by the time I had seen to my horse having his provender, my own was ready; bread, chocolate, fried eggs, and beans, spread out in the verandah; for inside the cottage about a score of women were kneeling and chanting before a small altar lit up with a few candles; their voices were not specially sweet, but the simple beauty of the chant itself, the earnest devotional feeling of those who sang, and most of all, the stillness of the hour, produced a harmony more than sweet; at the commencement of a journey it seemed "to meet and greet one on the way;" and with my revolver under my head, and the strain yet in my ears, I fell asleep; not in bed, pray do not expect beds, the villagers have no such luxuries, but only mats of woven rushes that you may spread on the ground, and provide your own pillow.
Fully a couple of hours before daylight the muleteers of a train of packmules were busy feeding their animals and preparing their own breakfast. Hardly a day but I met or passed a train of forty or fifty mules, with four or five muleteers to keep them going and refasten the packs that are continually shifting; they carry
row paths, shaded, even after the sun was
twist (whence the name) and flatten them into thin round cakes, and bake them on large flat iron pans over the coals; these pans are in all Mexican cottages. Tortuyas, when brought to you hot-and-hot, as they should be, are excellent; but when a day, or even a few hours old, they become tougher than cow-hide, rougher than saw-dust, and more indigestible than wedding-cake. Bread you do not often see in villages, and wheat I did not see growing till on the table-lands of Mexico.
After breakfast and a siesta, I set to work on my broken saddle-girth, and though with queer instruments, mended it, so that very likely it will last till, as Mr. Chucks said of the top-gallant yard, it is time for it to be broken again; but did the fair lady who put a bodkin in my needlebook think its first use would be to mend a saddlegirth, in a Mexican cottage, with a string of buckskin taken out of a pair of Indian moccasins, themselves bought at Great Salt Lake city, the Mormon capital? This afternoon a man tried to "plant" me; there are no professional ladrones till nearer Mexico, but an Englishman at Vera Cruz told me he had been robbed only ten leagues from Acapulco. As I was just on the point of riding down a steep hill through a narrow gully or cutting, where it was hard enough not to strike one's knees, and therefore quite impossible to turn when once in it, up came a rider sharply behind -a little too soon; reining aside, I let him pass on, and he received the customary salute of Addios very sulkily, as one might fancy an Arab who wanted to rob one, eating one's salt; he bore a strong resemblance to one of the muleteers entering Dos Arroyos along with me. At the bottom of the hill he turned into a by-path, and as my own led me up an eminence, I could see him below, in company with another man, riding very fast through the woods in a circumbendibus: my gray had not eaten two reales'-worth of corn for nothing, so we in turn sharpened up. After a league or so, the fellow again rode behind me, as before, just as I was entering a gully; again he had to pass; again he turned into the woods. All this happened a third time, and as it was getting dark he might perhaps have caught me at last in a fix, but for my reaching the little village of Lalto. Positively, next morning he reappeared in the same fashion, but as the path now became terribly steep and
narrow, I thought the game had been played long enough, and allowed my revolver, with its "cinco tiros," to come in view: he saw it, and I saw him no more. Before night the revolver got a ducking; I missed the ford of the Pelegrino, a dark, broad torrent, such as in a northern climate would delight the heart of a salmonfisher; but the pool looked so calm, in spite of the big waterfall at its "tail,” I was tempted in, not indeed supposing it shallow, but yet not expecting sudden depth. In a moment we were swimming; it was soon done, though not without coming near an upset from "the gray,” struggling to climb a slippery sunken rock edging on the deep water; but, till it was too late, I had never thought of lifting my revolver: wet as it was, not a single charge missed or hung fire; that is saying something for Deane and Adams's workmanship. There was still half an hour's sunlight, and after spreading the contents of my knapsack to dry, I sat down on a big stone and dissected the pistol, depositing the screws one by one in my wideawake. The lock is very simple, if you are used to it; half an hour's work set all right, and an old buckskin glove made a very fair extempore case while the other was drying in such a warm climate you need not bother about changing your own wet clothes; not, indeed, that I had a change with me.
It is not my intention to speak of every day's ride; they were leisurely enough, seldom beyond four or five leagues in the morning, and as much when the heat of the day was past. The villages, too, are a good deal alike; but Rincon must not be forgotten; Rincon, the smallest of villages, nestling beside a wooded stream at the head of the long valley. It is enshrined in memory along with the green hollow in which, at midnight, I first heard the sweet, sad monotone of the yet unseen Pacific beating against its shore, not wildly or savagely, but with a slow and solemn ground-swell; and from you, little Rincon, I first looked up at the Southern Cross : looked up? no, but along the valley, at the bottom of which, dimmed indeed by the moonlight, yet shining through the moonlight, stood the Cross, almost vertical: the season was that of the vernal Equinox. I suppose none has ever dreamed dreams of travel, and not felt one dream realized on the first sight of le quattro stelle, as