One of the United States, which embraces a part of Upper Louisiana, as held by the French prior to 1763, when it was ceded to Spain, together with all her North American territory. It is situated between 36°30' and 40°30' north latitude, and 89°20' and 96° west longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Iowa, east by Illinois and Kentucky, from which it is separated by the Mississippi, and south by Arkansas and west by Arkansas, the Indian Territory, and Nebraska, from a part of the letter of which it is separated by the river Missouri, whence it derives its name. Its Superficial area is 67,380 square miles.
Physical Aspect-- This state presents a great variety of soil, as well as of surface; but taking it as a whole, it is hilly, and in many parts broken and even mountainous. Starting from a point opposite the mouth of the Kaskaskias and extending southwesterly, there is a vast ridge, rising into rocky elevations, which divides the country into two unequal slopes. The southeastern angle of the state is level, a large portion of which is annually inundated. The western counties are divided into prairies and forests, and much of the soil is good. North of the Missouri the surface is somewhat diversified, presenting a fair proportion of woodlands, prairies and other arable soil. The lands bordering on the Missouri are exceedingly rich and fertile, often consisting of strata of dark colored alluvion, of unknown depth, but more frequently mixed with sand. In receding from the river, the land in general is gradual in its ascent, but sometimes rises abruptly into elevated barrens, flinty ridges, and limestone cliffs. The land of this state may be regarded either as fertile or very poor, there being but little soil of an intermediate quality; it is either bottom land or cliff; prairie or barren; sterile ridges or sloping woodlands.
Mountains-- The state is traversed by many ridges of the Ozark mountains, which have a breadth of from 100 to 150 miles; but although they often shoot up into precipitous peaks, it is believed they rarely exceed 2,000 feet in height. In St Francis county exists the celebrated Iron mountain, which as an elevation of 350 feet above the level of the surrounding plain, is a mile and a half across its summit, and yields 80 percent, of pure metal. Five miles south is another pyramidal mountain of oxyde of iron, known as Pilot Knob, 300 feet high, with a base of a mile and a half in circumference. This pyramid also yields 80 percent of pure metal.
Rivers and Lakes-- The principal rivers are the Mississippi, Missouri, Osage, Salt, Gasconade, Chariton, Maramec, St Francis, Whitewater, Wachita, Big Black, and Des Moines. In the southeast part of the state are several lakes, the most noted of which are Pemisco, St Mary's and Nic Carny.
Climate-- The climate is remarkably dry, pure and serene; and remote from the streams and inundated lands it is healthy, but it is subject to great extremes of heat and cold. The Mississippi is usually frozen, and passable on the ice, by the first of January. The extremes of temperature vary from 100° F to 8° below zero.
Productive Resources-- The principal products of this state are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, sugar, wax, wool, hay, tobacco, cotton, hemp, flax, lumber, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, oats, and Indian corn. The mineral wealth of Missouri, particularly lead, iron, and bituminous coal, may be regarded as inexhaustible. The counties of Washington, Madison, St Francis, Jefferson and St Genevieve, embrace what is called the "mineral tract." The lead mines have been worked from the time of the first settlement of the country, and produce ores of the richest kind, yielding, in some instances, more than 80 percent, of pure metal. In addition to the above named substances there is found in this state zinc, copper, manganese, antimony, calamine, cobalt, ochres, common salt, nitre, plumbago, burr stone, free stone, gypsum and marble.
Manufactures-- The manufactures of Missouri are comparatively of small account. The number of establishments in 1850, in which goods were manufactured to the annual amount of $500 worth or upward each, were 3,030, and of these nearly one half were located in the city and county of St Louis.
Commerce-- The commerce of Missouri consists mostly of its river trade, its foreign commerce being of very trifling account. The shipping owned within the state (being mostly steamboats) amounts to about 30,000 tons.
Education-- There are several collegiate institutions in Missouri: the Masonic college in Marion county founded in 1831; University of St Louis in 1832; St Charles college in 1837; Missouri University at Columbia in 1840; St Vincent's college at Cape Girardeau in 1843; and Fayette college in 1846. Medical schools are attached to the two universities. There are nearly 2000 common schools, and about 100 academies in the state.
Government-- The governor is elected by the people for four years, but is ineligible for the succeeding four years. A Lt governor is chosen at the same time, and for the same term, who is president of the senate. Every county is entitled to send one representative, but the whole number can never exceed 100, and are elected for two years. The senators are elected every four years, one half retiring every second year, and their number can never be less than 14, nor more than 33, chosen by districts, and apportioned according to the number of free white inhabitants. The elections are held biennially, in August. The legislature meets once in two years, the last Monday in December, at Jefferson city. Every white male citizen, over 21 years of age, who has resided one year in the state, and three months in the county in which he offers his vote, has the right of suffrage. The judges of the various courts are elected by the people for the term of six years. One bank only with not more than five branches, may be established in the state.
Population-- in 1810 was 19,833; in 1820 was 66,586; in 1830 was 140,074; in 1840 was 383,702 and in 1850 was 682,044. Number of slaves in 1810 was 3,011; in 1820 was 10,222; in 1830 was 24,990; in 1840 was 58,240 and in 1850 was 87,422.
History-- Father Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Jolyet, a citizen of Quebec, visited the territory of the present state of Missouri in 1673, and soon afterward the Canadian trappers and Jesuit missionaries penetrated the country in every direction. The lead mines of Missouri were worked by the French as early as 1720. The first permanent European settlement was made at St Genevieve, in 1763, by a lead mining company, under the name of "Lacede, Maziam & Co." St Louis was founded the next year. In 1800, Spain retroceded all her claims to Louisiana to France, who formally took possession of the country, and sold it to the United State in 1803. In 1805, that portion of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi, and all of the country bearing that name west of that river, was erected into a territorial government, under the name of the "Territory of Louisiana." In 1812, a part of the present state of Louisiana was separated from the rest of the territory and admitted into the Union as an independent state, and the remainder was reorganized under the name of the "Territory of Missouri," which was supposed to contain all the lands west of the Mississippi to the "South Sea," except a part of the state of Louisiana. In 1821, a part of this territory was admitted into the Union as the present state of Missouri. On the subject of its admission a long debate ensued in Congress, it having been proposed to prohibit slavery in the new state. It was finally admitted by what is called the Missouri compromise, which tolerated slavery in the state, but prohibited, it in the territory north of it. Mottoes of the seal, Salus populi suprema lex esto; "The welfare of the people is the first great law." "United we stand, divided we fall."