square miles. In its course of three thousand two hundred miles, the
Mississippi borders upon Missouri, four hundred and seventy miles.
Of the three thousand miles of the Missouri, five hundred lie within
the limits of our own state. St. Louis is mistress of more than six-
teen thousand five hundred miles of river navigation.
The metropolis, though in the infancy of its greatness, is already a
large city. Its length is about eight miles, and its width three.
Suburban residences, the outposts of the grand advance, are now sta-
tioned six or seven miles from the river.
St. Louis is a well-built city. The wide, well-paved streets, the spa-
cious levee, and commodious warehouses; the mills, machine shops
and manufactories; the fine hotels, churches and public buildings; the
universities, charitable institutions, public schools and libraries, consti-
tute an array of excellence and attractions of which any city may justly
The appearance of St. Louis from the eastern bank of the Mississippi
is impressive. At East St. Louis, the eye sometimes commands a view
of one hundred steamers lying at our levee. A mile and a half of
steamboats is a spectacle which naturally inspires large views of com-
mercial greatness. The sight of our levee thronged with busy mer-
chants, and covered with the commodities of every clime, from the pel-
tries of the Rocky Mountains to the teas of China, does not tend to
lessen the magnitude of the impression.
The extent of our social and commercial intercourse with the rest
of the world, may be inferred from the postal statistics of this depart-
ment. In 1865, the number of letters which passed through the St.
Louis post office for distribution, mail or delivery, was about eleven mil-
lion. In postal importance, St. Louis is the fifth city of the Union.
During the rebellion, the commercial transactions of Cincinnati and
Chicago doubtless exceeded those of St. Louis. The very events which
prostrated our trade stimulated theirs into an unnatural activity. Their
sales were enlarged by the traffic which was wont to seek this market.
Our loss was their gain.
The southern trade of St. Louis was utterly destroyed by the block-
ade of the Mississippi. The disruption by civil commotions of our
commercial intercourse with the interior of Missouri was nearly com-
plete. The trade of the northern states bordering upon the Mississippi
was still unobstructed. But the merchants of St. Louis could not afford
to buy commodities which they were unable to sell, and country dealers
would not purchase their goods where they could not dispose of their
produce. Thus St. Louis, with every market wholly closed or greatly
restricted, was smitten with a commercial paralysis. The prostration of
business was general and disastrous. No comparison of claims can be
just which ignores the circumstances, that during the rebellion retarded