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Art. III. — Trade and Growth of Chicago in 1852.

In the number of this Magazine for February, 1848, under the genera title of our series of papers relating to the " COMMERCIAL CITIES AND TOWNS OF THE UNITED STATES," we gave a carefully prepared sketch of the history and growth of Chicago; and in the Merchants' Magazine for April, 1852, we published the annual review of the trade and Commerce of Chicago for the year 1851, as originally furnished to our hands by the editors of the Tribune, of that city. To the same reliable source we are now indebted for the subjoined statements of the Commerce of Chicago during the year 1852. We entirely concur in the opinion of our cotemporaries, that great interest is felt in that city, and that she is talked about, inquired about, and sought after by thousands at the East and South; and we feel quite sure, that the "facts and figures" in the present article are fully entitled to the enduring record we have here given. We trust our efforts to perpetuate the commercial and industrial history of the great centers of trade, North, South, East, and West, will be appreciated, and that the enterprise and intelligence of local Boards of Trade, Chambers of Commerce, and leading Journals, will lead them hereafter carefully to collect and publish, from year to year, similar statements of the progress of their several localities. The following review is interesting, as exhibiting the growth not only of Chicago, but of Illinois and a large portion of the great West, of which it is a port of import as well as export.

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THE ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE COMMERCE OF CHICAGO FOR THE YEAR 1852

TRIBUNE OFFICE, CHICAGO, March 19, 1853.

It is a matter of serious regret, that the published statistics of the Commerce of Chicago previous to 1851, have been, to a considerable extent, a matter of conjecture. It has been customary to refer to the books of the Collector of the port for statements of the receipts and shipments by Lake, but owing to the neglect of captains of vessels to report, on arriving and before clearing, a detailed statement of their cargoes, and, in many cases, not reporting at all, these books cannot be relied on. In order to show this, we subjoin a statement of the receipts and shipments of some of the principal articles, as they appear on the Collector's books, and also as they are collated and aggregated from the books of our shipping merchants: —

RECEIPTS
Lumber feet Col's. Books. Act. Rec'pts.
    74,798,000 147,816,282
Shingles No. 44,318,000 76,080,500
Lath pieces 11,662,000 19,759,670

SHIPMENTS
Wheat bushels 503,384 635,196
Corn   2,247,485 2,737,011
Oats   1,521,311 2,030,317
Grass Seed   4,716 19,214
Wool pounds 546,600 920,113
Butter kegs and pkgs. 2,868 9,062

The unsatisfactory character of the information so obtained is thus made apparent. There is no uniformity in the discrepancy, and consequently no possibility of judging of the deficiency of one article by other, or several others. To illustrate this matter still more plainly, it is only necessary to state that the Collector's books show an excess of arrivals, at this port, over clearances, of thirty-one propellers, two barks, eighty-two brigs, and five hundred and ninety-two schooners; according to which there should be seven hundred and seven more vessels here at this time than there were last year. There being no excess, however, it shows that over seven hundred cargoes of vessels are not recorded in the Collector's office. To attempt, therefore, to collect the statistics of our commerce from such a source would be to mislead the public judgment much more than it could be done by the off-hand estimates of our intelligent shippers. To obviate this difficulty, and to arrive at all the facts, so as to make up a just statement, the only recourse is to the books of the shippers, where each article received and shipped is noticed in detail. This course was adopted last year, for the first time, in getting up the Annual Review for the Chicago Tribune, and brought out a reliable statement.

The business of the city, during the past year, was one of uncommon activity, and productive of more real prosperity to the commercial interests than that of the three previous years combined. In noticing our exports, the only staple article that shows a material decrease, compared with the previous year, is corn, which is mainly attributable to the almost total suspension of navigation on the Illinois river, by reason of low water through the months of July, August, and September — a period during the year when shipments to this city from that source were large. This deficiency was more than made up, however, by the increased receipts of oats, wheat, rye, and barley, from railroad and teams. Altogether, the exports have increased fully twenty-five per cent on the previous year.

In regard to our imports, the increase has been on a scale even greater than that of our exports. Salt is the only article of importance which shows a falling off, while the amount of lumber, shingles, lath, merchandise, and railroad iron has been largely augmented. Ordinarily, such a state of things would lead

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to pecuniary embarrassment, but owing to the withdrawal of labor from other branches of business, to be employed on the various lines of railroad West and South of this, the extraordinary demand of the home market for our produce, and the large amount of capital expended among us in developing the resources of the country, such an event at this time is not apprehended.

Before entering upon detailed statements of the business of the past year, it may not be deemed out of place, or uninteresting, to briefly glance at the history of Chicago, in the increase of its population during the last twelve years, and the growth of its trade, from 1836 down to 1852.

POPULATION OF CHICAGO.

Until the census of 1840 was taken by the United States, we believe no enumeration of the inhabitants of the city had been made. In the years 1841, 1842, 1844, and 1851, also, the census was not taken. The result in the other years was as follows: —

1840 4,469 1846 14,169 1849 23,047
1843 7,580 1847 16,859 1850 28,269
1845 12,088 1848 20,023 1852 38,734

Since the census was taken last year the increase of population has been greater than at any like period. This is evident from the fact, that notwithstanding hundreds of houses have since been built in various parts of the city, every dwelling is full, hotels and boarding-houses are crowded, and there is ail immediate demand for full five hundred more dwellings. It is not unsafe to suppose the increase has already been over five thousand, and. that by the first day of next October the population of the city will reach 50,000.

The increase in the value of real estate and personal property, as shown by the Assessor's books, has been in a ratio equal to that of the population. We subjoin a statement for the last fourteen years: —

1839 $1,829,420 1844 $3,166,945 1849 $7,607,102
1840 1,864,205 1845 3,669,124 1850 8,101,000
1841 1,888,160 1846 5,071,402 1851 9,431,826
1842 2,325,240 1847 6,489,385 1852 12,035,037
1843 2,250,735 1848 9,986,000    

The assessment for 1853 will probably foot up over $16,000,000. But the Commerce of the city has increased even more wonderfully than the population or value of property, which shows that the present prosperity we enjoy is not fictitious, but based on a reality: —

  Imports. Exports.   Imports. Exports.
1836 $235,203 90 $1,000 64 1843 $971,849 75 $682,210 85
1837 373,677 12 11,665 00 1844 1,686,416 00 785,504 23
1838 579,174 61 16,044 75 1845 2,043,445 73 1,543,519 83
1839 630,970 26 33,843 00 1846 2,027,150 00 1,813,468 00
1840 562,106 20 228,635 74 1847 2,641,852 52 2,296,299 00
1841 564,347 00 348,862 24 1848 8,338,639 86 10,709,333 40
1842 664,347 88 659,305 20      

For the year 1848, the estimate was made by a committee of the Chicago Board of Trade, but it is evidently larger than the facts would warrant. On the other hand, the business of 1847 was under-estimated by at least $2,000,000 on each column. Estimates for 1849, '50, '51, and '52, have not been made, but both exports and imports have largely increased on previous years.

It is not our disposition, however, to dwell much on the past of Chicago, but to examine the present, and look to the future, and we now proceed to give our statistical information.

FLOUR.—The amount of flour handled at this port, in 1852, was 124,316 barrels, and the amount in 1851 was 111,983. The sources from which our figures are made up are as follows: —

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Chicago and Galena Railroad 44,316 Eastern Railroads 4,300
Lake 2,875 Manufactured in City 70,979
Canal 1,846    
  Total 124,316  

The shipments by lake for the last nine years have been as follows: —

1844 bbls. 6,320 1847 bbls. 32,538 1850 bbls. 100,871
1845   13,752 1848   45,200 1851   72,406
1846   28,045 1849   51,309 1852   61,196

The lessened exportation during the last year was mainly attributable to the great demand for home consumption, occasioned by a large increase of the population of our city, and the additional amount required to supply the laborers on several lines of railroad in process of construction. As a consequence, the market was stiff during the year, and prices have maintained a figure considerably above that of the previous year. The market rates, wholesale, for the several months have been as follows: —

January $2 25 a 4 00 July $2 25 a 4 00
February 2 25 a 4 00 August 2 25 a 4 00
March 2 50 a 4 25 September 2 50 a 4 00
April 2 25 a 4 00 October 2 75 a 4 75
May 2 25 a 4 00 November 2 75 a 4 75
June 3 00 a 4 25 December 3 25 a 4 75

WHEAT. — Five years ago the amount of this article shipped from here exceeded in value all of the other grains combined, but the better adaptation of our prairies to the growth of Indian corn and oats, and to grazing, has run this staple down, until it has become third in importance. The export appeared to reach its maximum in 1848, when it was 2,160,000 bushels, and its minimum in 1851, when it was only 427,820. This decline has not been owing to any change in the channels of commerce unfavorable to our city, but to a rapid lessening of the production of wheat in the State of Illinois. This is evidenced by the fact that there has also been a steady decline of receipts at St. Louis — the amount falling off since 1847 840,491 bushels. The past year, however, shows an increase at this point, and it is not probable that it will fall off again for many years, if ever. The sources of supply during the past year were, from —

Galena and Chicago R. R. bu. 504,996 Eastern Railroads bu. 13,903
Canal 108,597 From teams 180,749
Lake 129,251    
  Total 937,496  

This amount was disposed of as follows: —

Shipped by Lake bush. 635,196 Bought by mills bu. 283,493
" Canal 807    
Consumed by distillers 13,000 Total bushels 937,496

During the latter part of the year the market was very buoyant, and prices went up gradually to a higher point than was reached during the previous year. The following will show the range for each month: —

January 31 a 42 50 a 64 July 37 a 39 58 a 76
February 37 a 45 50 a 70 August 40 a 43 65 a 70
March 35 a 45 60 a 75 September 44 a 50 69 a 75
April 34 a 40 60 a 70 October 48 a 56 60 a 72
May 34 a 40 62 a 70 November 55 a 60 66 a 75
June 34 a 40 68 a 76 December 56 a 60 70 a 80

The following is a statement of the shipments during each of the last eleven years: —

  Bushels.   Bushels.   Bushels.
1842 586,907 1846 1,459,594 1850 883,644
1843 628,967 1847 1,974,304 1851 427,820
1844 956,860 1848 2,160,000 1852 635,496
1845 956,860 1849 1,936,264    

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CORN. — The trade in this staple has grown with a rapidity that has outstripped all calculations. Within six years the shipments have increased over 4,000 per cent — running up from 67,315 bushels, in 1847, to 3,221,317 bushels in 1851. For this we are mainly indebted to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which makes our city the outlet and market for one of the richest corn regions in the world. The receipts of the past year were from the following sources: —

From Canal bush. 1,810,830 From teams 508,220
From Railroad 671,961    
  Total amount received 2,991,011  

This was disposed of as follows: —

Shipped East bush. 2,737,011 Consumed by distillers 215,000
Shipped to lumber country 29,000    
Consumed in city 10,000 Total 2,991,011

But for the suspension of navigation on the Illinois River during three months of the year, this amount would have been swelled up to 3,500,000 bushels.

The superior advantage of this market over that of St. Louis, for corn, is well established; and within the next five years that city will receive very little from any point north of the mouth of the Illinois River. As it is, our exports more than quadruple those of that place, which were only 677,000 bushels last year, and it is not probably that the proportions will over be more unfavorable to Chicago. Four years ago, to have predicted such a change in the direction of this great staple of the West, would have endangered the reputation of the person who might have had the temerity to do so; and no parties apprehended it less than out St. Louis neighbors. Now, however, they admit they have lost this trade. The Republican, of that city, in its annual review of the Commerce of St. Louis in 1852 says: — "It is stated that from a point on the Illinois River, grain can be shipped to Chicago as cheaply and expeditiously as at this point, and that from Chicago to New York the transportation does not exceed the charges from New Orleans to New York. If this be true, Chicago has the advantage of the amount of freights between St. Louis and New Orleans — no inconsiderable item of expense in the transportation of an article of this kind."

The capacity of the State of Illinois to produce corn is almost illimitable, and it is evident this city must become the market for nearly all the surplus that may be grown hereafter. The widening and deepening of the New York Canal will lessen the cost of transportation between this city and New York, fully four cents per bushel. If our canal trustees were to take a more comprehensive view of the interests of the canal, they would also adopt measures to facilitate and cheapen the cost of transportation on the river, and thus draw to this point, through the canal, all the produce that seeks the Illinois River as its outlet. Six good tug boats to take the canal boats down, and bring them up the river again when loaded, at a rate sufficient to cover expenses, would accomplish this object beyond doubt. By this means, corn and wheat could be brought from the St. Louis levee to Chicago at a cost of not over six cents per bushel, and from Quincy, on the Mississippi, at not over seven. If this were done, the receipts of grain, by canal, would be doubled within the next two years, as we should not only take it from a point as far south as St. Louis, but immensely stimulate production, by the enhancement that would take place in the value of the article by means of cheap transportation. In order to show the advantage of our market over that of St. Louis, we subjoin the rates paid for corn at the two places during the past year: —

  Chicago. St. Louis.   Chicago. St. Louis.
January 26 a 28 38 a 41 July 32 a 33 35 a 48
February 31 a 34 30 a 42 August 42 a 43 40 a 45
March 33 a 34 32 a 37 September 50 a 52 40 a 45
April 33 a 34 33 a 36 October 50 a 53 40 a 45
May 33 a 34 30 a 43 November 48 a 50 43 a 50
June 36 a 37 35 a 44 December 56 a 58 41 a 43

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The following statement shows the number of bushels of corn shipped from here during the last six years: —

1847. 1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
67,315 550,460 644,848 262,013 3,221,317 2,757,011

The small shipments of 1850 are accounted for from the fact that there was a failure of the crop throughout many of the Southern States, and prices were so high on that account that a large amount was drawn South, even from points on our canal.

OATS. The receipts of this staple in 1852 were nearly four times as large as those of 1851, and thirteen times as large as those of any previous year. They were obtained from canal 838,703 bushels; railroads 674,941; teams 581,297; total receipts 2,089,941 bushels.

Of this amount, the shipments by lake were 2,030,317 bushels. The following will show the exports of this staple during the last seven years: —

1847. 1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852.
38,892 65,280 26,849 158,054 605,827 2,030,317

During the year the price of oats ruled higher than it had or several years pervious, and brought the crop out of the farmers hands pretty generally. We collate the statistics of prices during the year as follows: —

January 16 a 17 July 24 a 25
February 19 a 20 August 27 a 28
March 19 a 20 September 27 a 28
April 18 a 19 October 30 a 32
May 19 a 20 November 28 a 30
June 23 a 24 December 28 a 30

BARLEY. Previous to 1850, barley was not shipped East from Chicago. In 1849 there was shipped south by canal 31,435 bushels; in 1850 21,912; and in 1851 11,460 bushels. Last year the current turned the other way, and the shipments were made to the East.

For the year 1852, the receipts of barley at Chicago were as follows: — from canal 8,785 bushels; from lake 1,687; from railroad 90,243; from teams 21,313; total receipts 127,028.

The following shows the shipments during the last four years: —

1849 (south) 31,452 1851 (south) 11,466
1850 (south) 21,912 1851 (lake) 8,537
1850 (lake) 960 1852 (south) 70,818

RYE. We have no account of the shipment of rye from this port previous to last year, and it is not probable there was any — the mills and distilleries consuming all that was marketed here. Last year, however, the shipments were 17,015 bushels, and the experience of the farmers in cultivating it leads to the expectation of a considerable increase in the shipments of the present year.

We have not inquired fully into the destination of the shipments of grain from Chicago during 1852. it is sufficient to know, however, that other markets beside Buffalo, and other routes beside the Erie Canal, are seeking out produce and freight. The Erie Railroad has drawn some of our flour and provisions, but the greatest competitor is the Ogdensburg and Vermont central roads to Boston. Last season a line of propellers was placed upon the route between Chicago and Ogdensburg, and was successful in drawing away from the old channel a considerable amount of produce and provisions, which found a market in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Boston. The effect of the competition produced between this line and those lines engaged between Chicago and Buffalo, has already been advantageously felt here, and in the future it cannot fail to confer material and constantly increasing benefits. A small part of our corn went to Canada, but the amount was too small to excite observation. Nevertheless, when full reciprocity in trade shall be established — as it soon must be — it is not

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doubted that a large and lucrative trade will spring up between Chicago and the British Provinces.

Having given a detailed account of the grain trade of Chicago during the last six years, the following statement of the aggregate shipment of bushels of grain for each year, may be interesting, as serving to illustrate the growth of the Commerce of Chicago. We include flour reduced to grain.

1847 2,243,201 1849 2,895,956 1851 4,636,991
1848 3,001,740 1850 1,830,938 1852 5,848,861

In the year 1850, it will be remembered, the grain crops of the West were very short, and in many districts almost a total failure.

GRASS SEED. Previous to last year, we have no record of the shipment of timothy seed from Chicago. But the farmers of the East, having had an opportunity of testing the superior qualities of the seed grown on our western prairies, estimate it at nearly double the value of that frown on their own farms, and, during the last year, there was a great demand for the article in this market. The first offers were $1 75 per bushel, but it soon advanced to $2 25, at which it ruled nearly all of the shipping season. We have no means of ascertaining the sources from which we purchased, but is was derived principally from railroad and canal. The shipments by lake, for the year, amounted to 19,214 bushels.

BEEF. The reputation of Chicago beef is so good, and so generally known, that we need say but little about it. The fact that it is made the standard in the British Navy, and that it ranks about all others in the New York market, is sufficient as to its character. The grass of our prairies is particularly adapted to the production of good beef, and, what is remarkable, is more highly esteemed than grain for its fattening properties. Last season, owing to the failure of the grass crops in most of the Eastern States, also in parts of New York and Pennsylvania, there was an active demand for live cattle for the New York market. A large number of eastern dealers traversed every county in the State, and bought and shipped off to the East many thousands of cattle that would, under ordinary circumstances, have been slaughtered here. The following is a correct statement of the business of the season, as furnished by the packers named: —

  No. cattle. Average weight. Total weight.
R. M. Hough & Co. 5,600 580 3,248,000
G. S. Hubbard 4,896 534 ˝ 2,616,912
Thomas Dyer 3,714 602 ˝ 2,237,685
Reynolds & Hayward 2,974 500 1,487,000
F. L. Kent 2,413 550 1,327,150
Marsh & Carpenter 2,372 550 ˝ 1,305,786
O. H. Tobey 1,794 521 934,674
J. Ellis & Co. 600 500 300,000
  24,363   13,457,207

The number slaughtered and packed at Chicago the previous year was 21,806, which shows a gain of 2,557 in favor of 1852.

The shipments of beef from Chicago during the last five years will show a fair increase. In making our statement tierces are reduced to barrels.

1848 19,793 1850 40,870 1852 49,856
1849 48,436 1851 53,684    

The falling off in shipments during the last year, was owing to the lessened receipts of barrel beef from canal, and the much larger amount than usual kept here, to supply the greatly augmented home demand. The total value of the beef, tallow, hides and offal, from the cattle slaughtered here last year was $650,621. the tallow was partly sold to chandlers in the city, and the remainder divided between the Canadian and eastern markets. The hides were mainly taken by parties in this city. The extraordinary demand for beef cattle in the

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eastern market, during the months of September, October, November, and December, created high prices everywhere throughout the West.

PORK. In summing up the pork packing business, we take the statistics of the season, which embraces the last two months of 1852, and the first two of the present year. In no important branch of business has there been a more gratifying increase than pork packing. This is attributed to various causes. Until within the last three years, the raising of hogs was not deemed by the farmers as profitable as wheat-growing. But the adaptation of the climate and soil of Northern Illinois to the culture of Indian corn having been satisfactorily tested, a stimulant was given to corn-growing and hog-raising, most remarkable, as is evinced by the shipments of pork from Chicago during a series of years. Another reason is, the extension of the Chicago and Galena Railroad to Rock River, from the valley of which a large portion of the pork packed here during the past season was received. The extraordinary high prices which ruled during the season, likewise contributed to call out all the hogs that could be prepared for the market, and this accounts for the less average weight of the hogs packed this season, compared with those packed the previous one. The following shows the number of hogs packed here, and by whom packed: —

  No. hogs. Average weight. Total weight.
G. S. Hubbard 13,997 212 ˝ 2,974,362
Felt & Beers 7,016 214 1,501,424
Marsh & Carpenter 3,813 240 915,120
Reynolds & Hayward 3,615 210 ˝ 760,957
R. M. Hough & Co. 3,600 190 684,000
George Steele 3,168 213 674,784
H. Maher 2,800 210 588,000
P. Curtiss & Co. 2,640 245 646,800
S. B. Pomeroy & Co. 2,300 220 506,000
C. Follansbee 1,000 275 275,000
F. L. Kent 1,800 180 324,000
J. Creswell 1,052 242 254,584
Thomas Dyer 922 219 201,918
Nickerson & Wier 250 220 55,000
C. Walker & Son 183 180 32,940
  48,156 211 ⅔ 10,192,971

In addition to what was cut up here, there were about 11,900 head shipped without cutting, directly east by railroad, before navigation was closed on Lake Erie. Of these, C. Walker & Son shipped 3,100; Marsh & Carpenter 2,000; Felt & Beers 1,500; G. S. Hubbard 398, and other parties enough to make up the amount stated. The total number of hogs packed here during the season of 1851-2 was 22,036, the average weight of which was 238 ˝ pounds.

The business of the two years is more clearly illustrated by the following statement: —

  Hogs cut. Av. weight. tal weight.
1851-2 22,036 238 ˝ 5,247,278
1852-3 48,156 211 ⅔ 10,192,971

We are confident the ensuing season's business will show as great an increase over that of 1852-53, as the latter did over the previous one. By next November we shall be connected with the Mississippi at three different points, and draw a large number of hogs from the western counties of Illinois and the State of Iowa, — regions where pork is the principal staple and to which St. Louis has heretofore been the natural market. The Chicago and Galena Railroad was the principal source from which the hogs packed here during the past season were obtained. The number from canal and teams was not large. Besides these sources, 900 were brought from Racine, Kenosha, and Waukegan. The following is a statement of the number of dressed hogs marketed here during the season, and the source from which they came: —

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Canal. Teams. Lake. Railroad. Total.
413 12,500 900 51,845 65,158

During the year 1852 the demand for mess pork, hams, and shoulders, for home consumption, was unusually large, and prices ranged very high. Before the close of September the stock of hams and shoulders was entirely consumed, and very few barrels of mess pork left in the hands of packers and dealers. This great home demand prevented the shipment of a large amount of provisions that had been intended for an Eastern market. It was created by the large influx of population to our city, and to supply several thousand laborers on various lines of railroad under process of construction. For a statement of the amount of receipts and shipments we refer to our table below, under the head of hams and shoulders, provisions and pork. The price of mess pork during the year 1852, on the first of each month, was as follows: —

Jan. $13 00 a 14 00 July $16 00 a 17 00
Feb. 12 00 a 13 00 Aug. 18 00 a 19 00
March 13 00 a 13 50 Sept. 18 00 a 18 75
April 14 00 a 14 50 Oct. 20 00 a —
May 14 00 a 14 50 Nov. 19 00 a —
June 14 00 a 14 50 Dec. 16 00 a 16 50

LARD. — This article, like pork, was materially affected by a great home demand, and the receipts and shipments were not large. The market, during a large part of the year, was so little below that of New York that shipments were prevented to the extent that had been expected. The ruling rates for the year were 9 to 11 cents, — opening at the first, and gradually advancing to the last named figure.

BUTTER. — Until the past season the shipment of butter from this port for the Eastern market has not been large. The extraordinary demand — real and speculative — which sprung up in the East during the past year, gave a stimulant to the dairy business of an extraordinary character. The following shows the increase of shipments for one year: —

    Lake. Canal. Total.
1851 lbs. 70,824 75,117 145,941
1852   906,200 9,000 915,200

The receipts during the same time were as follows: —

    Lake. Canal. Railroad. Total.
1851 lbs.   37,693 334,523 372,216
1852   86,600 281,800 958,700 1,327,100

WOOL. — Notwithstanding the high price of wool in this market, during the last season, there appears to have been a slight falling off in shipments, compared with the previous year. Nevertheless, it is a well-ascertained fact that the amount shipped from the whole lake border was somewhat increased. The clip did not commence coming in till June, and the market opened in a depressed condition, owing to a supposed combination among Eastern manufacturers and dealers. Competition soon manifested itself, however, the market became buoyant, and prices advanced rapidly. The following shows its condition during the months of June, July, and August, for 1851 and 1852: —

    1851. 1852.
June lb. 25 a 40 18 a 29
July   28 a 40 24 a 36
August   28 a 35 25 a 37 ˝

The shipments of wool, from this port, during the last eleven years, were as follows: —

1842 1,500 1846 281,212 1850 913,862
1843 22,050 1847 411,888 1851 1,088,553
1844 96,635 1848 500,000 1852 920,113
1845 216,616 1849 520,242    

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HIDES. — The growth of the trade in hides was also very large. The following shows the receipts from the various sources during the years 1851 and 1852:

    Lake. Canal. Railroad. Total.
1851 lbs.   487,806 361,070 848,876
1852   11,000 887,318 396,312 1,294,630

In addition to the above, over 36,000 hides are to be added for those taken from cattle slaughtered in this city, and coming in by teams.

The following shows the shipments by lake for two years: —

1851 No. of hides 31,657
1852   47,875

LUMBER. — We believe there are but two cities in the United States that excel Chicago in the lumber trade. These are Albany and Bangor. We doubt, however, the propriety of giving Albany any precedence, for it is merely a point where an account is taken of all the lumber that passes to tide-water over the Erie Canal from Lake Erie, and the Northern Canal from Canada and Northern New York. But a comparatively small portion of the lumber reported is stopped at Albany, or passes through the hands of dealers in that city, Chicago, however, is a great lumber mart, with more than fifty different dealers, into whose yards nearly all of the lumber has to go that is received here. During the four years preceding 1852 the supply of lumber exceeded the demand. Prices were consequently very low, and manufacturers, in many cases, realized no return from the capital they had invested in pine lands and mills. This state of affairs was mainly produced by the conscious knowledge that the demand for lumber to supply Illinois would become immense in a very few years, and mills were built and put in operation to be ready to take advantage of the greatly increasing consumptive demand. As a consequence, the number of mills augmented rapidly, and at the commencement of 1852 there were saws enough in the pine regions of Michigan and Wisconsin to produce more than 150,000,000 feet beyond the probable demands of the market. This led to a pretty general combination among the owners of the mills, with reference to running their saws but twelve, instead of twenty-four hours, as had been the custom before. Nevertheless, the quantity of lumber made was greater than that of 1851, but it was short of the actual increase in the consumptive demand. There has been a very general impression among our lumber merchants that the imports of 1852 were below those of 1851, but this is proved to be erroneous by our statement below, which may be relied on as strictly accurate. The reasons for that opinion were, doubtless, the knowledge that many of the mills were only running half time, and the somewhat unfavorable character of the winter of 1851-52 for getting out logs. The following is a correct statement of the receipts of lumber, shingles, lath, cedar posts, staves, timber, spokes, and railroad ties, from all sources during the last year: —

    Lake. Canal. Railroad. Total.
Lumber feet 147,816,232 74,148 759,804 148,652,274
Lath pcs. 19,759,670 1,000   19,760,670
Shingles No. 77,080,500     77,080,500
Cedar Posts   199,221     199,221
Staves   1,258,302     1,258,302
Timber feet 1,603,250     1,603,250
Spokes No. 24,000     24,000
Spiles   4,322     4,322
Railroad Ties   65,383     65,383

We have no account of the extent of the lumber trade of this city before 1847. Previous to and during that year, the only way of getting lumber from the city was my teams. In 1847 the imports were 32,118,225 feet. But in 1848 the Illinois and Michigan Canal was opened, and the demand for the line of the Canal and the Illinois River gave a powerful stimulant to the business, and the importations nearly doubled those of 1847. The following shows the receipts of lumber, shingles, and lath, by lake for the last six years: —

567

  Lumber, ft. Shingles, No. Lath, pcs.
1847 32,118,225 12,148,500 5,655,700
1848 60,009,250 20,000,000 10,025,100
1849 73,259,553 39,057,750 19,281,733
1850 100,364,797 55,423,750 19,890,700
1851 125,056,437 60,338,250 27,583,475
1852 147,816,232 77,080,500 19,759,670

The decrease in the receipts of lath can only be accounted for by the fact, that for a much larger proportion than usual of the lumber used during 1852 was for fencing, and the erection of barns. At present the only outlets for our lumber, shingles, and lath, are the canal and railroad. We have not, at this time, any statement of the amount shipped by railroad previous to 1851; but of the canal we have an accurate statement of each year's business since 1849. The following shows the shipments by canal for four years: —

  Lumber. Shingles. Lath.
1849 25,773,000 26,560,000 7,984,000
1850 38,388,313 40,453,250 11,208,170
1851 54,186,745 51,641,000 12,785,285
1852 49,095,181 41,920,538 10,659,245

The falling off in shipments by canal last year was, as stated in the commencement of this Review, attributable to the suspension of navigation on the Illinois River during the months of July, August, and September, for want of water. The effect of such suspension of navigation will be better understood when we state, that in 1851 five-sixths of the lumber, fifteen-sixteenths of the shingles, and nine-tenths of the lath shipped from this city by canal was destined for the Illinois River, — no small part going to St. Louis.

The shipments by railroad during the past two years sum up as follows: —

  Lumber. Shingles. Lath.
1851 13,770,542 8,269,500 2,136,135
1852 21,645,090 13,930,500 4,589,200

It is not doubted that the shipment of lumber, shingles, and lath, by canal and railroad, will be increased during the present year fully fifty per cent over that of the last.

We cannot refrain from dwelling a moment, just at this point, upon the probable extent of the lumber trade of Chicago four years hence, when the vast prairies west and southwest of Chicago will be opened to this city by the Illinois Central, the Chicago and Mississippi, Chicago and Rock Island, Aurora and Central Military Tract, Chicago and St. Charles Air Line, and Chicago and Galena Railroads. The largest and most fertile part of Illinois is yet comparatively, uninhabited, on account of the scarcity of building materials and fuel. These will be obtained, at a moderate cost, as soon as the various lines of railroad mentioned shall be completed, and in return, corn, pork, and beef, will be poured into our city in quantities that will entitle the country to the name of Egypt, by reason of its productive capacity. There is no district of equal size in the United States possessing so rich a soil, or one which can be made to produce abundant crops with so little labor. Millions of acres, as fertile as the riches farms in the State, lie ready for the plow, without any previous preparation. Within two years they will all be opened to market by railroads, and it needs no prescience to see that they will be made to produce a hundred fold more of the staples of trade and commerce than they now do; and, it follows, consume a hundred fold more than they now do of those articles of prime necessity which they do not produce. In looking at the lumber trade of Chicago we are apt to under-estimate its importance, by viewing it merely as a contributor to the wealth of those who own vessels, and such as are engaged in the lumber business. But these are a small part of the benefits that are derived from it by every class of tradesmen. It assists in settling our rich prairies, by affording the means of improving them; brings to us, in return, their productions, makes our

568

city the great factory and warehouse, not only for those who manufacture the lumber, but also those who buy it, and gives employment to a large amount of laborers, who, instead of producing the staples of the farm, factory, and workshop, become important consumers of them. Our trade with the lumber regions in pork, beef, flour, corn, oats, butter, dry goods, groceries, machinery, and productions of our mechanics, already amounts to many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and this must necessarily increase in a ratio corresponding with that of the lumber trade. To illustrate this matter in a comprehensive manner, we take the estimate of a person engaged very extensively in the lumber business, as to the amount of breadstuffs and provisions, dry goods, groceries, boots, and shoes, iron, & c. , consumed in the manufacture of every 1,000,000 feet of lumber. It is as follows: —

Pork bbls. 27 $422
Beef   25 275
Flour   100 450
Corn bush. 175 70
Oats   240 72
Merchandise, including hardware, iron, boots, shoes, & c.     700
Groceries, including butter, lard, eggs, tallow, fish, cheese, & c.     500
Making a total value of     $2,499

It is also estimated, for the sake of illustration, that every 1,000,000 of shingles and lath is made at half the cost of lumber. This being the case, by counting the 97,000,000 of these as 48,000,000 feet of lumber, we are enabled to arrive at a concise statement of the amount and value of the articles consumed in the manufacture of 248,000,000 feet of lumber and 96,000,000 shingles and laths, the amount manufactured and sold in the market during the last year: —

Pork bbls. 5,292 $87,318
Beef   4,900 53,900
Flour   19,600 88,200
Corn bush. 34,300 13,720
Oats   47,040 14,112
Mdze. , including hardware, & c.     137,200
Groceries, including butter, lard, & c.     98,000
Total expend. for mdze. and provisions     $402,450

Besides this outlay there is the cost of labor and transportation, leaving out of view the amount invested in pine, lands, building, and machinery.

RECEIPTS AND SHIPMENTS. — The receipts and shipments by lake, canal, and railroad, during the last year, are annexed. There are several articles of lake commerce of which we give no statistics, because they could not be procured. The most important of these is sugar.

RECEIPTS AT CHICAGO IN 1852
    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Ashes bbls. 105     105
Ashes tons 11     11
Apples bbls. 21,319     21,319
Ale   209 21   230
Ag. implements lbs.   144,031   144,031
Beef bbls. 11 1,178   1,189
Bark cords 2,646     2,646
Brick No. 361,200     361,200
Butter pkgs. 866 2,818 9,587 13,271
Barley bu. 1,687 8,785 90,243 100,715
Beer Bottles hhds. 13     13
Baskets No. 460     460
Bedsteads   147     147
Buckwheat bu.   5,740   5,740

569

    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Beans     89   89
Beeswax lbs.   48,457   48,457
Bacon     201,500   201,500
Broom corn     268,195   368,195
Bran and shorts     7,827 1,078,605 1,086,432
Corn bu.   1,810,830 671,961 2,482,791
Coffee lbs.   60,524   60,524
Charcoal bu.   240   240
Clocks lbs.   1,320   1,320
Candles     32,026   32,026
Cheese boxes 941 84   1,025
Coal tons 42,933 3,310   46,233
Cider bbls. 420     420
Cranberries   237     237
Cedar posts No. 199,221     199,221
Chairs   615     615
Churns doz. 32     32
Chair stuffs rolls 497     497
Crockery crates 245     245
Castings tons 41     41
Castings pcs. 2,653     2,653
Car wheels No. 594     594
Car wheels tons 58     58
Car axles No. 450     450
Car trunks   23     23
Cars   2     2
Eggs bbls. 10 99   109
Empty barrels No. 2,773 6000   8,773
Engines and boilers   4     4
Fish bbls. 5,249 2   5,251
Flour   2,857 1,846 44,316 49,019
Furniture lbs. 20,700 139,218   159,918
Flax seed bu. 300     300
Flax lbs.   11,200   11,200
Fruits boxes 4,909     4,909
Fruits lbs.   63,984   63,984
Feathers     6,424   6,424
Furs and pelts     30,804   30,804
Grindstones No. 9,051     9,051
Grindstones tons 64     64
Glass boxes 20,781     20,781
Glassware casks 71     71
Grease lbs.   71,396   71,396
Hogs, live No. 280     280
Hogs, dressed lbs. 189,000 86,800 10,881,510 11,157,313
Hol. ware galls. 4,796     4,796
Hardware tons 662     662
Hardware pkgs. 2,119     2,119
Hoops No. 16,000     16,000
Hoops lbs.   463,510   463,510
Horses No. 29     29
Hair bdls. 44     44
Hair lbs.   280   280
Half bushels No. 200     200
Hides lbs. 1,100 887,318 396,312 1,294,630
Hams     4,223   4,223
Hops     4,878   4,878
Hemp     871,028   871,028
Hay     360,000   360,000
Iron bdls. & bars 40,560 5,100   45,660
Iron tons 1,446     4,446
Iron, R. R. tons 11,227     11,227
Iron bars 81,995     81,995

570

    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Iron, pig tons 3,495     3,495
Lumber ft. 147,816,232 76,148 759,894 148,652,274
Lath pcs. 19,760,670 1,000   19,761,670
Locomotives No. 16     16
Lead kegs 5,147     5,147
Lead rolls 364     364
Lead lbs.   642,057 715,300 1,357,327
Lead pipe lbs. 120,000 463,769   583,769
Lime bbls. 765 625   1,390
Liquor casks 121     121
Liquor pkgs. 660     660
Leather rolls 956     956
Leather Lbs.   21,256   21,256
Lard     67,256   67,793
Merchandize pkgs. 305,696 67,793   305,696
Merchandize tons 4,446     4,650
Malt bu. 650 204   1,496
Mills No. 1 846   1
Marble pcs. 4,250     4,250
Marble tons 374     374
Mahogany pcs. 111     111
Molasses lbs.       746,564
Meal     746,564   83,728
Nails kegs 10,685 83,728   10,685
Nuts lbs.       750
Oils bbls. 838 750   978
Oats bu.   140   1,508,644
Powder kegs 6,407 833,703 674,941 6,407
Powder casks 82     82
Powder tons 21     21
Plaster bbls. 999     999
Plaster tons 37     37
Potatoes bu. 6,772     30,610
Paper reams 3,100 17,552 6,286 15,907
Provisions lbs. 3,300   12,807 1,937,237
Pickets No. 52,000 97,853 1,836,083 52,000
Pumps   732     732
Pork bbls. 960     3,270
Pails No. 39,772 2,310   39,772
Potter's ware lbs.       6,232
Posts No.   6,232   500
Rye bu.   500   617
Rags lbs.   617   57,830
Rice     57,830   6,089
Railroad ties No. 30,783 6,089   30,783
Railroad ties cords 460     460
Railroad chairs bdls. 2,374     2,374
Railroad chairs bbls. 257     257
Railroad chairs lbs. 6,470     6,470
Rosin bbls. 1,239     1,239
Shingles No. 77,080,500     77,080,500
Staves   1,258,302     1,258,302
Spokes   24,000     24,000
Spiles   4,322     4,322
Spars   98     98
Stone pcs. 2,750     2,750
Stone tons 1,053     1,053
Stone c. yards   35,649   35,649
Salt bbls. 91,674     91,674
Salt sacks 69,444     69,444
Salt tons 185 180   365
Spikes tons 198     198
Stoves lbs. 772,000 1,115   773,115

571

    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Stoves No. 2,324     2,324
Stove pipe pcs. 1,500     1,500
Saleratus pkgs. 1,450     1,450
Stucco bbls. 368     368
Skins No. 8     8
Soap lbs. 600 112,148   112,748
Sofas No. 44     44
Snaths   253     253
Safes   42     42
Starch boxes 600     600
Sundries bbls. 907     907
Sundries lbs.     1,961,251 1,961,251
Shot bbls. 9,900 291,927   301,827
Seeds lbs.   618,977   618,977
Sugar     3,207,476   3,207,476
Sand tons   735   735
Spts. , not whisky bbls.   184   184
Tobacco lbs. 54,600 442,941   497,541
Tobacco boxes 617     617
Tin pigs 127     127
Tin tons 112     112
Tin boxes 105     105
Tinware galls. 19,640     19,640
Tar bbls. 491 43   534
Tubs No. 3,768     3,768
Trees   2,972 6,471   9,443
Tallow lbs.   74,723   74,723
Timber ft. 1,603,250 87,400   1,690,650
Vinegar bbls. 4     4
Wheat bu. 129,251 108,597 504,996 742,844
Water lime bbls. 6,532     6,532
Water pipe tons 1,125     1,125
Water pipe pcs. 432     432
Whisky bbls. 1,783   5,658 7,441
Wheelbarrows No. 865     865
Wagon hubbs   4,286     4,286
Wood cords 22,319 28,322 859 51,500
Woodenware pcs. 1,160     1,160
Woodenware tons 23     23
Wagons No. 46 56   102
Wool lbs.   525,632 244,662 770,294
White lead     138,712   138,712

SHIPMENTS AT CHICAGO IN 1852
    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Ashes tons 3 141   144
Ag. implements bu.   274   274
Ale bbls. 50 93   143
Barley   70,818 508   71,326
Beef bbls. 49,856 175   50,031
Beef tcs. 1,546     1,546
Butter pkgs. 9,062 90   9152
Beeswax casks 3     3
Broom corn bales 855     855
Brooms doz. 270 1,040   1,310
Brick No. 49,000 194,900   243,900
Barrels   136 1,920   2,056
Bones casks 56     56
Buffalo robes bales 78     78
Bark Mills No. 3     3
Boilers   2     2
Bacon lbs.   5,357   5,357
Bran     2,106   2,106
Bark tons   329   329

572

    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Cider bbls.   37   37
Corn bu. 2,737,011     2,737,011
Candles bxs. 1,300     1,300
Cattle No. 77     77
Castings pcs. 41     41
Corn meal bbls. 350     350
Coffee lbs.   197,182   197,182
Cheese     51,238   51,238
Carpenters work tons   53   53
Clocks lbs.   53,286   53,286
Coal tons   196 1,245 1,441
Crackers lbs.   1,227   1,227
Crockery tons   122   122
Eggs bbls. 723     723
Flour   61,196 2,901   62,097
Fish   464 3,106   3,570
Flax seed   408     408
Flax bdls. 18     18
Fruit lbs. 36,200 586,070   619,270
Furs pkgs. 269     269
Grindstones tons   89   89
Gunny bags bales 18     18
Ginseng   4     4
Groceries pkgs. 4,076     4,076
Highwines bbls. 13,374 2,868   16,242
Hams No. 128 67   195
Hams & shoulders casks 5,560     5,560
Hides No. 47,875 40   47,925
Horses   17     17
Hemp bales 4,140     4,140
Hardware pkgs. 9,123     9,123
Hardware tons 79     79
Hay   578     578
Horns casks 117     117
Hogs No. 4,508     4,508
Hair lbs.   53,426   53,426
Hops     23,149   23,149
Hoops     31,135   31,135
Iron tons 69 426 1,968 2,463
Iron, R. R.     9,647   9,647
Iron tools lbs.   1,453   1,453
Leather   99,291 354,386   453,677
Lead tons 1,018 1   1,019
Lard bbls. & kegs 4,638     4,638
Liquor casks 5     5
Lime bbls. 1,605     1,605
Lumber ft.   49,095,181 21,645,090 70,740,271
Lath pcs.   10,659,245 4,589,200 15,248,445
Merchandise pkgs. 4,450     4,450
Merchandise lbs.   14,359,564 34,061,600 48,420,164
Molasses     254,615   254,605
Marble tons   277   277
Millstones     22   22
Machinery     276   276
Malt     21   21
Machinists tools lbs.   2,264   2,264
Nails and spikes kegs 218 7,480   7,698
Nuts tons   22   22
Oats bu. 2,303,317     2,030,317
Oils bbls. 176 170   343
Pork   9,938 38   9,976
Pork tcs. 640     640
Powder lbs. 2,370 191,339   193,709

573

    Lake. Canal. G. & C. R. R. Total.
Potatoes bu. 2,514 386   2,900
Potters ware lbs.   1,200   1,200
Pumps     155,474   155,474
Posts No.   16,350 1,113 17,463
Peas bu.   20   20
Paper reams     4,308 4,308
Rye bu. 17,015 300   17,315
Reapers No.   479   479
Rice lbs.   15,019   15,019
Saleratus boxes 1,300 190,000   111,300
Soap kegs 20 7   27
Skins bdls. 426     426
Salt bbls. 4,259 27,457 22,248 53,964
Salt, sacks lbs.   402,746   402,746
Sheep No. 10     10
Shingle machines   1     1
Steam engines   2     2
Shot lbs. 200 1,675   1,875
Seeds     12,853   12,853
Sugar     768,871   768,871
Steel     34,559   34,559
Staves     25,349   25,349
Sand     2,200   2,200
Starch     1,137   1,137
Stoves     1,494,275   1,494,275
Sundries pkgs. 2,078     2,078
Sundries lbs.   118,028   118,028
Shingles No.   41,920,538 13,039,580 55,851,038
Stone c. yds.   24   24
Tallow bbls. 871 14   885
Tobacco hhds. 127     127
Tobacco lbs.   118,288   118,288
Turpentine     5,017   5,017
Timber c. ft.   100,001   100,001
Vinegar bbls. 30     30
Varnish lbs.   3,792   3,792
Wheat bu. 635,196 807   636,003
Whisky bbls. 647     647
Wool lbs. 920,113     920,113
Water lime bbls. 95 75   170
Woodenware lbs. 1,597     1,579
Wagons   412,993     412,993
White Lead     7,640   7,640
Wood cords   19   19

Table showing the number of arrivals of vessels at this port during each month of the year:

  Strs. Prop. Barks. Brigs. Schrs.
February 1       2
March 17       13
April 44 6     104
May 62 25 2 7 177
June 43 24 5 37 149
July 63 26 5 35 193
August 52 27 2 47 145
September 54 27 2 30 140
October 18 23 1 37 137
November 12 22 1 31 91
December   1 2 25 21
  366 181 20 257 1,172
Tonnage arrived         545,491

574

This statement is taken from the Collector's books, and is fully thirty per cent less than the actual arrivals. During October and November not one-third of the steamboat arrivals were reported, and lumber vessels running to and from ports in this collection district are not compelled to file or take out manifests on arriving or before clearing. The enforcement of the law would give us more correct information in this respect.

nts

Notes.

1. Merchants' Magazine, Vol. xviii. pp. 164-172.

2. Ibid. , Vol. xxvi. pp. 424-443.