Saint Louis directory for the years ... Keemle's directory

no accession to its population beyond the natural increase
among the inhabitants.

After the transfer of Louisiana to the United States, a
tide of emigration from the eastern states began to pour
into the fertile lands west of the Mississippi. The emi-
grants brought with them a spirit of enterprize in com-
merce, mechanics, and agriculture, which gradually began
to develope the great resources of the country, of which
St. Louis was the most important point. About this time,
also, an important change was effected in the means of in-
land navigation. Hitherto all commercial operations, as
far as regards the transportation of merchandize, had been
carried on by means of keel boats and barges, the effect of
which was, to render the intercommunication, between
different points, tardy, expensive, and unsafe. These in-
conveniences were obviated by the invention of steam
boats, the first of which, the General Pike, made its ap-
pearance in the port of St. Louis in the year 1817.

From this period, particularly, we may date the progress
of the improvement of St. Louis. Its limits and popula-
tion were gradually increased in extent and numbers; and,
in fact, the character and appearance of both were chang-
ed. By intermarriages, and by their social intercourse
with the American settlers, the ancient inhabitants, who
were mostly the descendants of the French and Spanish,
imperceptibly adopted the manners, customs and language
of the strangers, and, in a great measure, suffered their
own to fall into disuse. The style and manner of con-
struction, adopted by the ancient inhabitants in their hous-
es, gave way to the more modern architecture, so that
scarcely a single building remains of those which were
erected when St. Louis was under the dominion of France
and Spain. Agriculture was pursued more extensively
and energetically—the mineral wealth of the country was
brought to light; and the different branches of human in-
dustry, successfully carried on, gave activity to a commerce
which must eventually place St. Louis, with its advanta-
ges of location, on an equality, at least, with the fairest
cities of the western country.

St. Louis is situated on the right bank of the Mississippi,
about twenty miles below the mouth of the Missouri river.