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and beyond to near Fort Lyon. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad has been surveyed and located to Fort Dodge, which will open these wide and fertile bottoms to settlement. The sandy district, however, spoken of above, will be a great grazing country, as the grass on it is very nutritious, and the configuration of the country affording a great deal of shelter to stock in the winter. South of this district lays a beautiful country, along the tributaries of the little Red river, or Red Fork of the Arkansas. Mulberry, Turkey, Medicine Lodge, Bluff creek, etc., are among these creeks. The soil is here red in all its shades, and every little thaw or rain, will color the streams red.

"Two years ago this winter, I found the bottoms covered with the tallest blue stem grass. A great deal of winter grass, which we generally call June grass, grows also here. The country is also timbered with Cottonwood, Cedar in great quantity on the bluffs, Mulberry, Elm, Walnut, Oak, Hackberry, and on the South Fork, with China tree. I found bodies of timber containing from forty to eighty acres. Rock is very scarce here; the deepest canyon, as well as the highest bluffs, are devoid of it. In my opinion, it will not be very long before this country will be the great winter quarters of the stock men of Western Kansas. As for shelter, there is nothing that will surpass it in these parts.

"Since my last, I learned that about fifty claims are taken on Walnut creek, and the Arkansas, in the vicinity of Fort Zarah. So the Star of Empire is moving westward at a lively rate. It is some satisfaction to contemplate, that in fifteen years civilization has conquered two hundred and fifty miles of wilderness.

Yours truly,


Here is the new geography at last. Here is the "G. A. D." reduced in its extent to a small area, and then, still worse for the fictions of the past, even this sand hill district "will be a great grazing country, as the grass on it is very nutritious, and the configuration of the country affords a great deal of shelter to stock in the winter."

At last we have "corralled the "Great American Desert," and we find it to be a well watered, pear shaped pasture field, good for summer and especially excellent for winter grazing.

Others whom I have lately seen, who have been through this region, assure me that it greatly abounds in wild fruits-berries of different kinds, and several varieties of large and luscious plums and grapes. The sand hills north of the Arkansas, described by Mr. Hohneck, also produce an abundance of wild fruit and small scrub oaks.


And yet it is easy to see how this fiction went abroad. All the sand hills spoken of by Mr. Hohneck, lie in the path of the old Santa Fe wagon road over which ten years ago two or three million dollars worth of goods were annually carried in wagons, and over which a stage coach ran. road has been traveled for many years. Thirty years ago, teams from Chihuahua, in Mexico, hauled goods to that place, by this route, from St. Louis. Of course there was truth enough in the sandy part of the story, to account for the errors of the miserable geographers. It is also true that as we near the base of the Rocky Mountains we enter upon a country covered with what seems to be a bed of sand and coarse gravel. At what point one leaves the soil of Western Kansas and enters the sandy regions of Colorado, I am unable to say, having only passed over the country in the night, by railroad. It is probable, however, that the transition is a gradual one, the finer portions of the sand and soil from the mountain bases having been washed

Even this sand of

down toward the Missouri River. Colorado, however, is covered with our never-failing buffalo grass, and in the poorest localities, where this is partially crowded out by the Cactus, heavy crops are always grown by irrigation. Mr. Hohneck further explains the barren appearance of the plains by showing how the buffalo eats the grass down close to the ground. The sweetness of the lower stalk of this grass is apparent to the taste of one who chews it. The little wild prairie dogs live chiefly on the lower stalks and roots of the buffalo grass, and when they have pulled it all in one locality, they move their village to fresher fields. It is believed by frontiersmen that wherever prairie dogs establish their habitations, water may be found at a moderate depth by digging. The theory is reasonable, and is probably not less true than the infallible test on more eastern prairies, by which a crawfish hole may always be followed to never failing water.

In the first letter of Mr. Hohneck, an important suggestion is made about plowing these lands deep, the deeper the better. It is not simply that the rains may be caught and retained in a deep bed of soil, and that rootlets may find nutriment deep in the moist earth, when they would dry out in a shallow soil, but the action of the atmosphere, and of frost, is desirable to bring this hard earth into a proper condition for producing crops. Not that the earth is difficult to plow, or stiff and heavy like a clay soil, but it has been beaten by the storms of centuries, and trodden under foot by millions of buffalo, until it is so compact that air cannot enter it, and rain can hardly penetrate its surface.

Among the most important objects accomplished by the plowing of any soil, is the exposure of its particles to the air, in order that certain chemical changes may take place, which induce the growth

of vegetation. Especially do these soils of Western Kansas need to be plowed deep, that they may have the benefit of this ameliorating process. Here the STEAM PLOW is eventually to win its triumphs. On those broad fields, free from sloughs and miry places, there are possibilities open to inventors and large farmers in this direction, which are forbidden by the small lots, or stony land, or heavy clay soil, or deep mud, of eastern farms, or of other prairie States.




The New York Tribune, of January 6, 1871, says: "The belt of beef supply is receding year by year. In 1866 only 44 head of Texas cattle reached this market. * * The chief supplies of beef already come from regions west of the Wabash, and south of the Ohio. If this is true of 1870, what may be expected in 1875, or even 1873? Evidently it is of no avail for the farmer east of the Wabash to contend with those vast plains, covered with the most nutritious grasses. The herdsman there can produce a three-year-old steer that will dress 550 pounds, as cheaply as the former can fatten a spring pig.”

It is easy to see why the cattle business cannot so readily be overdone as most other kinds of business. By the employment of sufficient capital and labor, manufacturers may in a few months, flood the market with goods and ruin the business. The necessities or fashions of the day may also change, and fail the manufacturer. The farmers of the country are only limited in the amount of grain they raise, by the labor they choose to employ in seed time and harvest, and for this reason, in connection with the uncertainties of the weather, grain raisers in all parts of the world are liable to extreme fluctuations in the price of their products.

But it is evident that the supply of beef cattle is limited by the natural increase, and it is also evident that it will not soon become unfashionable to eat beef. Therefore it is that everywhere the cattle business is among the most secure and certain of all occupations. But it needs no argument to show that a region abounding in such grasses, as we have described, with a plentiful supply of stock water, in a healthy climate, and in a region traversed by

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railroads, furnishing competition in freights, must distance all competitors in its attractions for stock raisers or dealers.

The business in Kansas is already immense. There were during the year 1870, about 200,000 head of cattle shipped out of Kansas, of which number about 150,000 consisted of Texas cattle, part of which were direct from Texas, while the remainder had been herded a few months in this State. Estimating 150,000 Texas cattle all around, at $30 per head, including those wintered here, and we have

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