The mercantile interests of the West imperatively demand the im-
provement of the Mississippi and its main tributaries. This is a work
of such prime and transcendent importance to the commerce of the
country, that it challenges the co-operation of the government. A com-
mercial marine which annually transfers tens of millions of passengers
and cargoes, whose value is hundreds of millions, ought not to encounter
the obstructions which human efforts can remove. The yearly loss of
property, from the interruption of communication and wreck of boats,
reaches a startling aggregate.
For the accomplishment of an undertaking so vital to its municipal
interests, St. Louis should exert its mightiest energies. The prize for
which competition strives is too splendid to be lost by default. The
Queen City of the West should not voluntarily abdicate its commercial
St. Louis, as a manufacturing city, is outstripping all her western
competitors. Although comparatively young in this branch of industry,
she already ranks as the seventh city in the Union in her manufacturing
facilities, and will, in a very short period of time stand in the foremost
column. Her commercial, railway, and other advantages, added to the
health and remarkable fertility of the surrounding country, and the lib-
erality and public spirit of her inhabitants, is rapidly drawing the atten-
tion of capitalists, manufacturers and others, from all quarters of the
globe, who seek it as a profitable place for investment, or as a perma-
nent home. None who make St. Louis, a residence, for the employ-
ment of capital or otherwise, regret the step, but rejoice that their lines
have fallen in pleasant places.
If the emigrant merchants of America and Europe, who recognize
in the geographical position of St. Louis the guarantee of mercantile
supremacy, will become citizens of this metropolis, they will aid in
bringing to a speedier fulfillment the prophecies of its greatness.
The current of western trade must flow through the heart of this valley.
The march of St. Louis will keep equal step with the west. Located
at the intersection of the river which traverses zones, and the railway
which belts the continent, with different roads from this centre to the
circumference of the country, St. Louis enjoys commercial advantages
which must inevitably make it the greatest inland emporium of America.
The movement of our vast harvests, and the distribution of the domes-
tic and foreign merchandise required by the myriad thousands who will,
in the near future, throng this valley, will develop St. Louis to a size
proportioned to the vastness of the commerce it will transact. This
metropolis will not only be the centre of western exchanges, but also, if
ever the seat of government is transferred from its present locality, the
capital of the nation.
St. Louis, strong with the energies of youthful freedom, and active