The Saint Louis directory,for the year 1842 ... with a sketch of the city of Saint Louis ..
Vi Sketch Of St. Louis.
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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