Saint Louis directory for the years ... Keemle's directory
viii Sketch Of St. Louis.
View original image: Page  viii

sources of a great empire, may set his foot on a barren
plain, and say, " Here shall a proud emporium of trade a-
rise!" But, in a country where virtuous human action is as
free as the unrestrained cascade, nature must lay the foun-
dations on which art shall build up imperishable wonders!
Such a foundation as that on which the abiding-place of
the everlasting hills is fixed, St. Louis is based upon. Out
of this solid basis of limestone are quarried the materials
that are piled up to magnify the city and adorn the earth.
Many towns of importance have arisen on ground of lim-
ited dimensions; and places with extraordinary commer-
cial advantages have grown up on the borders of navigable
waters, where additional space has been quarried with in-
finite labour out of the base of mountains. But ample
space for a city of the mammoth dimensions of Babylon
itself extends beyond and around the present limits of the
city of St. Louis. At this place the Creator of heaven and
earth, the Ruler of planets, and the Godlike alchymist, in
his allwise disposition of elements, has spread out space
on which to deposite the products of a country of im-
measurable extent! The three great rivers that makeup
"el Padre de las agtcas"—the father of waters—and pour
out, by prescriptive right, into the storehouse of St. Louis,
the treasures of the surface and of the hidden recesses of
the earth, would make a mighty city in the midst of pas-
sive beings. But, with the inducements now presented,
where temples of commerce, witli their well-supported roof-
trees, sustained by broad Doric basements, and doors held
ajar by clear-sighted ministers of trade for the entrance
of men and things, no estimate can compass the extent of
the wealth that Nature and art will heap up here! When
experience shall have fully tested the hazards of trade in
lower latitudes, true wisdom will point to St. Louis as the
place where the purchase and sale of merchandise, and
the products of the surface and of the bowels of the earth,
or the exchange of these commodities, shall be carried on.
The canvass-clad vehicles of trade from the ocean, and the
fire-eating barks on our rivers, may meet at the confluence
of their buoyant elements, and exchange cargoes, and all
balances can be settled at the mammoth city of the West.
Here salubrity and convenience will invite commerce and