This city is situated on the West side of the Mississippi river, in lati-
tude 38°, 37′, 28″; longitude 90°, 15′, 39″, west of Greenwich, and may
justly be said to be the commercial emporium of the great valley of
the West. A brief outline of its settlement, rise, position and busi-
ness, is all that we can pretend to give at present.
The site of St. Louis was originally settled for an Indian trading
post, a depot for goods for the Indian trade, and rendezvous for the tra-
ders and the place of deposit for the furs and skins procured in the
trafic. At the time it was selected, and for many years afterwards,
the whole country north and west was occupied, exclusively, by various
Indian tribes. The most accredited, as well as the most authentic ac-
counts of the foundation of St. Louis, ascribe it to a company of In-
dian traders organized by the grant of the Governor General of Louis-
iana to Mons.LacledeLiguste, and others, to trade with the Indians
of the Missouri and west of the Mississppi.
"In consequence of the powers with which he was invested, Mr.
Laclede, formed an expedition, at the head of which he was placed,
and started from New Orleans on the 3d of August, 1763. On the 3dof November, in the same year, he arrived at Ste. Genevieve, but
finding no place suitable for the storage of his goods, and being still
too far from the Missouri, a proximity to which, was an object with
him, he proceeded on to Fort de Chartres, which was still inposses-
sion of the French troops." (Dep. of A.Chouteau, .) Thence hepro-
ceeded immediately towards the mouth of the Missouri river, in
search of a spot suitable for an establishment of the kind he had in
view. Having fixed upon a site, he returned to Fort de Chartres,
from whence he started again in the beging of the month of Febru-ary, 1764, with the men whom he had brought with him from New
Orleans, a few from Ste. Genevieve, and some from the Fort. On his
route he passed through the town of Cahokia, engaging several fami-
lies to go with him to the proposed establishment. On the fifteenth,
they reached the place of destination, proceeded to cut down trees and
draw the lines of a town, which was called, by, Mr.Laclede, , the
founder , St. Louis, in honor of Louis Xv., the reigning monarch of
France."—Extract from history of St. Louis, prepared for Lyceum.
The purposes for which St. Louis was selected, its proximity to
the Missouri, soon gave it commercial importance in the then com-
merce of the country. In the second year after its foundation Fort
Chartres was abandoned by the French troops and M. St.Ange, , the
commander of the Fort, with the officers and troops removed to St.
Louis, where he assumed the reins of government, and from that time
St. Louis became the Capitol of Upper Louisiana, and the chief tra-
ding post of the upper country.
On the 11th of August, 1768, Mr.Rious, arrived with the Spanish
troops and took possession in the name of Spain. In 1789, consequent
upon the revolution at New Orleans, the Spanish troops evacuated Up-
per Louisiana and departed, for New Orleans; but in the year follow-
ing, 1770, PedroPeirnos, was appointed Lieutenant Governor and mili-
tary and civil commandant of Upper Louisiana, under the Spanish
government. He arrived at St. Louis29th November, 1770, and en-
tered upon his command in February following. The country re-
mained under the authority of Spain until 1800, when it was retroce-
ded to France, and by her sold to the United States, and the govern-
ment transferred 1804.
The site on which the town is laid off lies on the river, in nearly the
shape of a semi-circle, presenting, originally, a bold, rock bluff, most of
which has been removed. From the river the ground, after leaving the
bluff, rises in two benches to nearly the height of eighty feet
above the level of the river. From Fourth street or the top of the last
bench, the country back extends many miles in a plain, undulating,
and furnishing within the city limits ground well adapted for com-
pact buildings. Beyond the city limits the country presents numer-
ous unrivaled sites for residences, many being so situated as to com-
mand a full view of the city and river.
The fur trade induced many French settlers, from Canada, and at
an early day, several English adventurers in the same traffic took up
their residence in St. Louis. About three years after the transfer of
Louisiana to the United States the tide of English settlers greatly in-
creased and the town began to assume a more commercial character.
In 1808 there were a number of English families resident in St. Louis.
In that year the Louisiana Gazette (now the Republican) was estab-
lished. In the files of that paper of 1811, we find the following des-
cription of the town:
"This place occupies, perhaps the best scite fcr a town that the Mis-
sissippi affords. The mouth of the Ohio has certainly much greater
natural advantages, but the ground is subject to inundation, and St.
Louis has taken a start, which it will most probably keep. It bids
fair to be second to New Orleans in importance.
"The bank on which St. Louis stands, is not much higher, than in or-
dinary places, but the floods of the river are kept at a distance by a
bold shore of limestone rock. The town is built between the river
and the second bank, on three streets running parallel to the river,
and a number of cross ones, east and west. No space has been left
between the town and the river; which is much to be lamented ; for
sake of health, business, and the pleasure of promenade there should
have been no encroachment on the margin of the noble stream. . The
principal scene of business ought to be on the bank of the river, which
gives consequence to the place. From the opposite bank nothing is visi-
ble of the busy bustle of a populous town; it appears closed up. The
scite of St. Louis is not unlike that of Cincinnati. How different
would have been its appearance if built in the same elegant manner.
Its bosom as it were opened to the breezes of the river, the stream
gladdened by the enlivening scene of business and pleasure, and
houses built in elegant and compact rowr!
"From the opposite bank, St. Louis appears to great advantage. In
a disjoined and scattered manner it extends along the river, a mile
and a half, and we form the idea of a large and elegant town. There
are two or three large and costly buildings, though not in the modern
taste, which aid in producing this effect on a closer examination the
town appears to be composed of an equal proportion, of stone walls,
houses and fruit trees: but the illusion still continues.
"On ascending the second bank, which is about forty feet above the
level of the plain, we have the town below us, and a fine view of the
Mississippi in each direction and of the lovely country through which
it passes. When the curtain of wood which hides the American
bottom, shall have been withdrawn, or vesta cut through, by farms
opened to the river, there will be a noble prospect into that rich and
beautiful tract. The bottom, at this place, is eight or ten miles wide
and charmingly diversified with prairie arid woodland. There is a
line of works along this second bank, erected for the purpose of de-
fence, consisting of several circular towers, of twenty feet in diame-
ter and fifteen in height, a small stockaded fort, and stone breast work.
These, are at present entirely waste and unoccupied, excepting the
fort, in one of the buildings of which, the court is held, while another
is used as a prison. Some distance from the termination of this line,
up the river, there are a number of Indian mounds, and remains of
antiquity; which, while they are ornamental to the town, proves
that in former times, this place had also been chosen as the site, per-
haps of a populous city.
"St. Louis contains according to the last census, 1,400 inhabitants.
One fifth Americans, and about 400 people of color. There are a few
Indians, and metiffs, in the capacity of servants, or wives of boatmen.
St. Louis was at no time so agricultural as the other villages; being a
place of some trade, the chief town of the province, and the residence
of greater numbers of mechanics. It remained stationary for two or
three years after the cession, it is now beginning to take a start, and
its reputation, is growing abroad. Every house is crouded, rents are
high and it is exceedingly difficult to procure a tenement on any
terms. Six or seven houses were built in the course of last season,
"They consist 1st, of ten mounds diposed in such a manner as to
form three sides of a square, enclosing about four acres, and the open
side towards the wet, guaide, by live small mounts placed at inter-
vals, in a circular manner, round the opening. 2nd, a large mound,
about six hundred yards higher up the liver, 3D feet high, 150 in
length, shaped like a grave, five feet wide on the top, and wilh a large
terrace or apron, on the side towards the river. 3d, below the 1st,
a genlle elevation, four feet higher, than the second bank, with an
acre for a handsome house and yard, being 150 feet wide, and falling
to the plain of the first bank. It is three regular gradations, the two first,
ten feel, and the last five. It is called the falling garden. It affords
an elegant site for a house and garden. It is the most beautiful re-
mains of antiquity I have seen."
and it is probable, twice the number, will be the next There is a
Printing Office, and twelve mercantile stores. The value of the mer-
chandize, and imports to this place, in the course of the year may be
estimated at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The outfits, for
the different trading or military establishments, on the Mississippi, or
Missouri, are made here. The lead of the Sac mines, is brought to
this place; the trade of furs and peltry from various causes is not as
good as it was a few years ago, but there is every reason to believe that
it will soon take a start. The troops of Belle Fountain, cause upwards
of sixty thousand dollars to have circulation in the country annually.
The settlements, in the vicinity on both sides of the Mississippi, resort
to this place as the best market for their produce, and to supply them-
selves with such articles as they may need."
The introduction of steam and the arrival of the first steamboat
(1817) introduced a considerable revolution in the commerce of St.
Louis. In 1822 the town was incorporated as a city, but owing to the
sparse settlements by which it was surrounded, its commercial pros-
perity cannot be said to have been considerable until 1828 or '30, and
its growth as a city may be dated from about 1834 or 5, in some meas-
ure consequent upon the great appreciation of property which com-
menced about that time. The population, at various periods, is thus
stated: In 1810, 700; in 1820, 2,000; in 1830, 5,852; in 1833, 6,397; in
1837, 12,040, and including the suburbs, now embraced in the city lim-
its, 14,253; in 1841, within the old limits only, there were 19,063. The
census of the suburbs was not taken that year, but from what is known,
by the voters, and taxable inhabitants residing, in that part, the whole
population of the city may safely be set down as now rising 30,000.
No city in the United States, certainly no interior town, possessessu-
perior commercial facilities. It is situated 20 miles below the junction
of the Missouri and Mississippi, and about 40 miles below the mouth
of the Illinois river; about 190 miles above the mouth of the Ohio, and
1,300 miles above New Orleans. To nearly every quarter of the
compass there is an uninterrupted communication by water of
more than a thousand miles. From her positition and facility of com-
munication in every direction, she may be fairly regarded as the
centre of the great valley of the Mississippi, and as nearly in the centre
of the territory of the United States. Owing to the depth of water in
the Mississippi from the mouth of the Missouri down to New Orleans,
being much greater than in the rivers above, the same class of boats
which can be profitably employed in the lower trade cannot, ordinarily,
extend their trips beyond St. Louis. And the boats employed on the
upper rivers, being smaller, cannot be so profitably employed in the
Southern trade. The result of this is, to make St. Louis the great
shipping point for the imports and exports of all the vast territories
lying north and west of her, and a considerable portion of the country
south and east. She may, with propriety, be said to be the com-
mercial mart for all the country from the mouth of the Ohio, north,
and from Lake Michigan, west. A glance at the map will show that
there are few, if any cities, in the world possessing equal facilities
with this, or similarly situated in the heart of so large and fertile
a tract of country—a country possessing a soil and climate and agri-
cultural facilities sufficient to supply the whole Union with bread
stuff's and meats,—with mines, the richness and inexhaustable amount
of whose ores are not equalled in the world,—with coal, water power,
and other facilities for any and every species of manufactories. Sur-
rounded by all these elements, with a navigation reaching from the
Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the base of the
Rocky Mountains to the Alleghenies, it requires neither the spirit of
prophecy nor a stretch of credulity to believe that the day must come
when St. Louis will be the most populous and largest inland town on
The commerce of St. Louis is yet in its infancy. The country
around it is but beginning to develope its resources. Nevertheless,
the trade at present is of immense magnitude. It would be impossi-
ble here to enter into a detail of the exports and imports of the city for
the past year, suffice it to say, that they are known to have exceeded
$30,000,000 in 1841. During that year, about 186 steam boats visited
this port; about 150 were employed in the St. Louis trade the whole
or a greater portion of the year. There are 86 boats owned in whole
or in part by St. Louismerchants , with an aggregate tonnage of about
16,570 tons. From the first of January 1841, to the first of January,1842, the arrivals of steam boats at St. Louis amounted to 1,928, aggre-
gate tonage 262,681 tons.
The following table of exports from St. Louis to New Orleans per
steamboats, is taken from the manifests reported in Levy's Price Cur-
rent, for the year 1841. A large amount of produce was carried south
during the year, by flat and keel boats, which is not embraced, nor do
any of the exports to the Ohio or any of the sales along the coast ap-
pear in this statement :
boxes, 177 hhds.
In respect to manufacturing facilities St. Louis is not inferior to her
commercial advantages; but up to this time her facilities have not been
developed or improved to any considerable extent. For the manufac-
ture of iron, lead and copper, she has within a short distance an in-
conceivable amount of the raw material. In fact, the extent of the
ores in the various mineral districts to the north and south of the city
Bituminous stone coal of a very excellent quality abounds in near-
ly every direction from the city. Large deposits of this coal have been
discovered and are extensively worked, on the west of the Mississippi
at various distances of from two to six miles. East of the river in the
bluff, extensive coal banks are worked. Generally as the banks have
been penetrated, the coal has improved in character, and the vein in-
creased in size; The number, quantity and extent of the coal banks,
in the vicinity, are sufficient to give assurance that there never will
be a scarcity of this article. In addition to the coal in the immediate
vicinity, it is found in abundance in various parts of the river banks
above this. Several extensive foundaries, mills, and other work, shops
are carried on in the city by it.
The following are a few of the manufactories commenced in this city,
each of which may be said to be as yet in its infancy. During this
year, 1842, several other branches will be added to the list, and seve-
ral of those now in existence will be considerably enlarged. The re-
turns of these manufactories are for the year 1841. The number,
amount of work, hands, &c., is made put entirely with reference to
the business of that year.
There are two foundries in the city employing 140 hands, and used
during the year 1841, 77,165 worth of raw material, producing during
the year, 154,481 of manufactured articles. These foundaries are
large enough to accomplish any work usually required in the west.There are twelve stove, grate, tin and copper manufactories, em-
ploying 123 hands; have used in thte year raw material to- the amount
of $79,863 and turned out manufactured articles to the amount of
There are twenty-seven black and house smiths employing 115
hands, have used in the year, $51,180 of raw material and furnished
$146,151 of manufactured articles.
There are two white and red lead and litharge manufactories em-
ploying 22 hands; have used of raw material in the year, $42,000, and
furnished manufactured articles to the amount of $64,500.
There is one castor oil manufactory employing 27 hands, used in the
year, $26,000 raw material, and turned out $60,550 in oil.
There are four manufactories of bagging and bale rope, employing
83 hands, have used in the past year, $40,540 of raw material, and pro-
duced $82,775 manufactured articles. One other rope walk was not
in operation last year.
There are 58 manufactories of boots and shoes, employing 243 hands,
have used in the last year, $58,492, raw material, and produced $157,-
267 manufactured articles.
There are twelve saddle, harness and trunk manufactories, employ-
ing 53 hands, have used in the year, $24,741 raw material and pro-
duced $53,425 manufactured articles.
There are twenty-three carriage and wagon makers, employing 103
hands, have used in the year $39,942 raw material, and produced 104,-
240, manufactured articles.
There are twenty cabinet and chair manufactories, employing 113
hands, have used in the year, $45,720 in raw materials, and produced
$113,875, in manufactured articles.
There are nine hatters, employing 47 hands, have used in the year
$31,529 in raw materials, and produced $74,735, in manufactured ar-
There are eleven coopers, employing 77 hands, have used in the
year $22,831, in raw material, and produced $66,213, in manufactured
There are 15 manufactories of tobacco & cigars, employing 43hands,
have used during last year $18,860, in raw materials, and produced
$58,955, manufactured articles.
There are two stemeries, only one of which was in operation last
year. This one turned out 65 hogsheads of tobacco, worth $13,000.
There are now three manufactories of lead pipe, one of which used
last year, 2,000 pigs of lead.
There are now two manufactories of linseed oil, one of which pro-
duced last year, about 4,000 gallons.
There is six grist mills; all but one are propelled by steam.
Last year the flour mills ground 405,000 bushels of wheat, and pro-
duced 81,000 barrels of flour; 32,000 bushels of corn were ground dur-
ing the year.
There are nine saw mills which, last year, produced 3,953,000 feet
There are six breweries, only four of which were in operation last
year. The four used last year, 51,200 bushels of bailey, 25,000 lbs., of
hops; produced 14,050 barrels of beer, &c.; aggregate cost of raw ma-
terial, $34,326, value of manufactured article, $98,350.
There are two manufactories of cordials which last year made 15,000
gallons; average worth $l 25 per gallon.
There are three plaining mills, each propelled by steam, which
planed 1,400,000 feet of lumber, last year.
In addition to the foregoing, the following deserve mention.
The manufactory of jewelry and silver plate is now carried on to a
very considerable extent. Up to last year the workmen were chiefly
confined to repairing.
A manufactory of Britannia ware has been started within the past
year, and is carried on quite extensively.
Also, a glass cutting establishment. As yet the glass used in this
manufactory is imported from the Ohio, but it is contemplated in a
short time to commence the making of glass in connexion with
There are two plane manufactories, which are now nearly able to
supply the demand, and extensive enough to furnish nearly every ar-
A wire weaving and hose manufactory is in operation.
Patent scales and balances are manufactured to a considerable ex-
There is a manufactory of oil cloth, at which 5,000 yards were made
A carpet manufactory, at which 5,000 yards were made last year.
There are several small manufactories of military and fancy goods,
A chemical and fancy soap manufactory has been in operation some
Artificial flowers are extensively manufactured by several persons.
Pottery and stone ware manufactory is carried on to a considerable
There are several manufactories of ploughs, and other agricultural
implements. It is estimated that they turned out last year about
$35,000 of manufactured articles.
Pumps, box and blocks, are extensively manufactured.
There are two tanneries in successful operation.
There are six daily English papers published in the city, and one
weekly in the German language.
During the year 1841, about 28,000,000 of bricks were made in the
city. That year, there were erected 561 houses of a permanent char-
acter, exclusive of about 200 small tenements erected in the suburbs,
many of them are on leased ground and not included in this return. Of
the 561 buildings, 384 were brick dwellings, the materials of which
cost $472,710, and the whole buildings cost $817,630; 14 stone dwellings,
materials cost $9,550, whole cost $17,375; 104 frame do., materials cost
$54,230, whole cost, $96,978; 45 brick store or ware houses, materials
cost $79,735, whole cost $115,840; 7 stone do., materials cost $19,500,
whole cost $34,430; 1 brick school house, materials cost $4,200, whole
cost $7,225. There was also commenced and nearly finished, a large
brick church belonging to the Catholics, and another church for the
Associate Reformed Presbyterians; two frame flouring mills completed
and one planing mill. For the churches and mills, except the planing
mill, we have no returns of the cost; but without these the whole
amount of materials used was $643,143, and the whole cost $1,094,828.
Two boat yards for the building of steam boats have been opened
in the city, with every prospect of success. They have already built
A Floating Dock employing, on anaverage, about 50 hands, has been
in operation some time. During the year 1841, they took out and re-
paired 48 boats. Their charges for repairing, rebuilding, &c., that
year, amounted to $39,443. Most of the boats on the western waters,
now come to this port to repair. The facilities of docking the boat
being greater here than with any other dock, and the water in the
Mississippi being always sufficient to let them get out.
During the year 1841, there were 51 butchers engaged in supplying
the city with meat. The following is the aggregate of their returns
of cattle, &c. slaughtered during the year.
|Neat Cattle,||11,426||$181,801||$15 82|
The cause of morals and education are as well sustained in this
city in proportion to its means and the extent of its population as in
any other city in the Union. There are in the city the following
Two Catholic Churches and a third commenced.
One Associate Reformed Presbyterian.
One German Lutherian:
The Episcopalians have three Churches, but as yet, only two build-
ings. The Methodists are building another large Church. The As-
sociate Reformed Presbyterians are also building a large Church.—
The Baptist and Unitarian Churches have been considerably enlarged
There are two Colleges in a flourishing condition in the city and
vicinity, viz: St. Louis University, a Catholic Institution under the
Jesuits. Kemper College, situated four miles out, an Episcopal Insti-
tution. Each of these Institutions have a large number of students.
There are two medical schools, viz: The Medical Department of Kem-
per College, has held two winter sessions with large classes. The
Medical Department of St. Louis University lately organized. Three
public school houses have been erected, which are supported by a pub-
lic fund. A Female Seminary under the charge of the Nuns of the
Sacred Hart. Also, a number of well conducted private male and fe-
male Seminaries and schools, which are well attended. We have
neither the space or time to enumerate all the institutions for education,
and for litterary, charitable and other purposes. There are two Orphan
Asylums, one for males under the care of the Sisters of Charity, the
other under the care of an association of Protestant ladies. The Hos-
pital building, under the care of the Sisters of Charity, has been con-
siderably enlarged, and is now capable of accommodating a large
number of patients. Large additions have been made within the
past year to Hotels and Boarding Houses. The Planters' House, which
was opened during the past year, in the magnitude of the building and
the style in which it is kept, will advantageously compare with any
Eastern Hotel. Other Hotels have been greatly improved.
The city, by the act of incorporation of the 15th of February, 1841,
extends about five miles along the river, and back about one mile and
a half at the deepest part. The limits are thus defined:
"All that district of country contained within the following limits,
to wit: beginning at a point in the main channel of the Missis-
sippi river, due east to the south-east corner of St. George;
thence, due west, to the west line of second Carondelet ave-
nue; thence, north, with the said west line of said avenue, to the north
line of Chouteau avenue; thence, northwardly, in a direct line to the
mouth of Stony creek, above the present north line of the city of St.
Louis; thence, due east, to the middle of the main channel of the Mis-
sissippi river; thence, southwardly, with the middle of the main chan-
nel of the Mississippi river, to the place of beginning."
The city is divided into five wards. The first ward embraces all
south of the line commencing at the mouth of the creek; thence up
the creek to the intersection of Rutgers street; thence west with Rut-
gers street to the western line of the city.
The second ward embraces all lying between the aforesaid creek
and Rutgers street; and Elm street, extending west to the west line
of the city.
The third ward embraces all between Elm and Pine streets.
The fourth ward embraces all between Pine and Laurel streets,
and Washington Avenue.
The fifth ward embraces all within the city limits, lying north of
Laurel street and Washington Avenue.
There are three market places. The middle or old market situated
on Water and Market streets. The north market on Third street, be-
tween Prune and Oak streets. The south market on Carondelet Ave-
nue, below the junction of Fourth and Fifth streets, and in front of
A work house, for the punishment of vagrants and other offenders
against the city ordinances, has been erected at the intersection of
Park Avenue with the west line of the city.