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The Growth of the United States

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1091, pp. 503-504.

June 1, 1861

THE GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES

On presenting our subscribers with a Map of the United States we think it not inopportune to give a slight sketch of the wonderful development of the United States in population and power during the interval which elapsed between 1780 and 1860. In that period the thirteen settlements of the Atlantic seaboard, sparsely peopled by three millions of human beings, have expanded into thirty-four sovereign States and eight organised Territories, covering the whole surface of the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the southern boundary of British America to the northern boundary of Mexico. The present year has seen that immense Confederation rent asunder by the people of the Slaveholding States, and at this moment the Federal Government, representing the ideas and interests of the Northern States, are waging a war to "reconstruct" the preexisting Union. Whether the Washington Government will succeed in reuniting the two sections of the great Republic under one Government depends on the fortunes of the civil war now being prosecuted by it against the "insurrectionists." But, whether the seceding States eventually gain a recognition of their independence or not, the colossal development of the Confederation of the United States in the fourscore years which have elapsed since 1780 must long arrest the attention and challenge the admiration of mankind.

The original thirteen colonies which threw off their allegiance to Great Britain, and formed the primary articles of Confederation, and afterwards the existing constitution of the United States, were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. To these were added, in 1791, Vermont, separated from New York; in 1792, Kentucky, from Virginia; in 1796, Tennessee, from North Carolina; in 1802, Ohio, from the North-West Territory; in 1812, Louisiana, from the Territory of that name, purchased from France; in 1816, Indiana, from the North-West Territory; in 1817, Mississippi, from the Georgia Cession; in 1818, Illinois, from the North-West Territory; in 1819 Alabama, from the Georgia Cession; in 1820, Maine, separated from Massachusetts; in 1821, Missouri, set off from the Louisiana purchase, and concerning whose admission as a Slave State the first great sectional struggle between the Slaveholding and Non-Slaveholding States took place; in 1836, Arkansas; in 1837, Michigan; in 1845, Florida (from territory purchased from Spain); in the same year Texas, formerly a province of Mexico, and concerning whose admission into the Union as a Slave State the second conflict between the Pro-Slavery and Anti-Slavery parties took place; in 1846, Iowa; in 1848, Wisconsin; in 1850, California (conquered from Mexico), and whose admission into the Union as a Free-Labour State was strongly opposed by the extreme South; in 1858, Minnesota; in 1859, Oregon. Oregon constituted the thirty-third State of the Union, and was, strictly speaking, the last State admitted into the Union before the commencement of the present revolution. Since the secession of several States, and the withdrawal of their senators and representatives from Congress, the Act admitting Kansas as the twentieth Free-Labour State of the Union has become law. It was for ascendancy in this late territory of Kansas that the same two sections of the country fought so bitterly for five years (1854-9). The victory remained with the


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Free-soilers. Kansas adopted an Anti-Slavery Constitution, but the Pro-Slavery party were able to postpone her admission into the Union until after the withdrawal of a large portion of their representatives from Congress.

A few words as to the Territories. Utah is the home of the Mormon community. New Mexico is an elevated, and for the most part sterile, region ceded to the United States by Mexico at the close of the Mexican War. Indian Territory is the reserve, where the Choctaws, Cherokees, Creeks, Chickasaws, and other domesticated tribes of Indians are settled. Of Nebraska, Washington, and Dakotah Territories there is nothing special to remark. Colorado and Nevada were organised only so recently as a few months ago. The latter is rendered famous by being the seat of the Washoe silver-mines, and contains the beautiful Carson Valley, which lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. The district of Columbia, surrounded by Virginia and Maryland, contains the city of Washington, and is governed directly by Congress.

Population has multiplied even faster than States and Territories. The population of the United States in 1780 was commonly estimated at 3,000,000, of whom half a million were slaves. The first Census of the United States was taken in 1790, and it has since been renewed at each successive decennial period. We present the main results of the population returns of the successive Censuses in schedules:—

Date. Aggregate of Population. Percentage of Increase. Slaves.
1790 3,929,328 .. 697,897
1800 5,309,758 28 896,849
1810 7,239,903 28 1,191,364
1820 9,638,166 33 1,538,064
1830 12,858,670 29 2,009,050
1840 17,063,353 31 2,487,355
1850 23,191,918 36 3,204,313
1860 31,429,891 35 3,952,801

The following official table, just issued from the Census Department at Washington, exhibits the population of the several States in 1860:—

THE EASTERN OR NEW
ENGLAND STATES:— Population.
Maine .. .. .. .. 628,276
New Hampshire .. .. . 326,072
Vermont .. .. .. .. 315,116
Massachusetts .. . 1,231,065
Rhode Island .. .. .. 174,621
Connecticut .. .. .. 460,151
MIDDLE STATES:—
New York .. .. .. . 3,887,542
New Jersey .. .. .. . 672,031
Delaware* .. .. .. .. 112,218
Pennsylvania .. .. 2,906,370
NORTH-WESTERN STATES:—
Ohio .. .. .. .. . 2,339,599
Michigan .. .. .. .. 749,112
Indiana .. .. .. .. 1,350,479
Illinois .. .. .. . 1,711,753
Wisconsin .. .. .. .. 775,873
Iowa .. .. .. .. .. . 674,948
Minnesota .. .. .. .. 162,022
Kansas .. .. .. .. .. 107,110
PACIFIC STATES:—
California .. .. .. . 380,015
Oregon .. .. .. .. .. 52,464
THE TERRITORIES:—
Colorado .. .. .. .. . 34,197
Dakotah .. .. .. .. .. 4,839
Nebraska .. .. .. .. . 28,842
Nevada .. .. .. .. .. . 6,857
New Mexico .. .. .. .. 93,541
Utah .. .. .. .. .. ..40,295
Washington .. .. .. .. 11,578
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA . 75,075

SOUTHERN STATES.
Free. Slave. Total.
Maryland .. 599,846 .. 87,188 .. 687,034
Virginia .. 1,105,196 .. 490,887 .. 1,596,083
Kentucky .. 930,223 .. 225,490 .. 1,135,713
Missouri .. 1,058,352 .. 114,965 .. 1,173,317
North Carolina 661,586 .. 331,081 .. 992,667
Tennessee .. 834,063 .. 275,784 .. 1,109,847
Arkansas .. 324,323 .. 111,104 .. .. 435,427
South Carolina 301,271 .. 402,541 .. 703,812
Georgia .. 595,097 .. 462,230 .. 1,057,327
Florida .. 78,686 .. 61,753 .. 140,439
Alabama .. 529,164 .. 435,132 .. 924,296
Mississippi .. 354,699 .. 436,696 .. 791,395
Louisiana .. 376,913 .. 332,520 .. 709,433
Texas .. 420,651 .. 180,388 .. 601,039

The predominant interest of the Unites States, both North and South, is agriculture and the raising of live stock. In the North the grains and fruits of the north temperate latitudes prevail. In the South cotton, tobacco, rice, and sugar, are the great staples: but little wheat is grown south of Tennessee and Missouri. The mineral wealth of the United States is enormous, but little developed in comparison with its resources. The chief mining States are Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Missouri, and California. The principal manufacturing States are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. New York city and State rank highest in commercial importance. The seaboard States of the New England group are largely engaged in ship-building and deep-sea fisheries. The tobacco and slave-breeding States are Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. The cotton, rice, and sugar region includes South Carolina, the States bordering on the Gulf of Mexico, and south-western Tennessee. The agricultural resources of California are more valuable than her mines, and are hardly to be surpassed in any quarter of the globe.

*This State contains a few hundred slaves.

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