Excerpt from The Spirit of Old West Point, 1858-1862
At that time our country differed widely from that in which we are now living; and so great have been the changes that, could the leading merchants of our cities of fifty years ago, or the farmers who settled amid the prime... val timber of the West, return, they could not distinguish one street from another, and would look in vain for the fields and woods that met their eyes from the doorstep. The population of the country, now rising eighty millions, was less than thirty two millions, not counting the territories; and of these, nineteen millions were in the Northern, or free states, and twelve in the Southern, or slave states. The frontier was along the western boundary of Arkansas, and thence north to the Canadian line. The great tide of emigration that set in with the building Of the National Road was still ¿owing west; while the railroads and tele graph were just beginning to push their way thither. Steamboats, called ¿oating palaces, could be seen at almost every bend of the beau tiful Ohio and on every long reach of the sol emnly impressive Mississippi.
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