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ways known as George's, in the full expectation of seeing my friend. I went around to the back or kitchen door, the great iron handle of which, kept bright by constant use, still shines in my memory, and raised myself up by it with one hand, while lifting the latch with the other. The door opened upon a strange and unexpected scene. Nothing familiar met may eye; all was confusion. My heart filled to overflowing as I comprehended the truth —George and his family were really gone. In the place of those who had seemed as fixtures and part of the premises, a family of strangers were already installed, and at their early breakfast. It is strange how much of what would seem to be the knowledge of experience is understood by childhood. I felt at once a chilling consciousness of absence of all sympathy or interest. I can still see, as it were, the expression of cold inquiry upon the strange faces that turned to regard me; the table and its contents: the hearth and the few implements used in cooking the first meal in their new home. The spider, in my memory, still stands upon its bed of deadened coals, used to bake the checkered short-cake that smoked in the middle of the table; the gridiron that had served to broil the salt pork upon still leans against the chimney-corner; I can still see the little kettle where eggs were boiling, hanging by “pot-hooks” from the iron crane. A woman who arose to get eggs from the kettle, almost immediately after my entrance, asked, “Whose little boy is this?” I made no direct reply, but my full heart overflowed in a wail
which took the form of the memorable question, “Where's George to “George — who is George 2" One at the table said it was probably a little boy belonging to the family who had left that morning. Strangers indeed—didn't know George' I know no more of that family: who they were, how long they occupied that house, when or where they went, I have no subsequent knowledge. Each individual occupies precisely the same place in my memory as do the inanimate objects observed about the room—no more. I probably knew them afterward, and bore them no malice; but those strangers to George, usurping the place of his family, I left forever, as I ran, with violent lamentations, back to my home, hid my face in my mother's bosom, and poured out my sorrow to her sympathizing heart. She could only comfort her baby by telling him that Mr. Wwas to return the next summer, and would, perhaps, bring George. I accepted the solace with the confidence of hopeful childhood. I believe it was the father's intention to return the following season to attend to some unfinished business. He never came, however, and summer after summer came and went, and I had grown quite a lad before I fully gave up the hope of seeing George. Indeed, the wish that succeeded hope lasted almost to manhood. The bearded man that developed from my baby playfellow (I have heard of him since) is to me but a stranger, but that infant affection will hold its place in my heart to the end of life's journey.
WILD, wild the storm, and the sea high running :
To most persons first impressions of a new locality outweigh quantities of subsequent information. Therefore we who admire this charming city, and desire every one else to do so, recommend you to arrive by water. Milwaukee stands exactly in the centre of the globe: all the world is open to her easterly by lake and ocean; westerly, by land. Approaching on the steamboat from Chicago, or Grand Haven, or the North, one first descries at dawn the bluffs upon which the town is built, and advances toward it with the rising sun. The water through which you press your way, leaving behind a foaming and rainbow-touched wake, is green in the morning light with that special tint held by crude petroleum, and it is penetrated with beams of slanting light that lend it a brightly fibrous appearance, entirely different from ocean water. Glancing ahead, the eye catches a blue and bluer reflection, until, far away, indigo is the only color. Nearing the coast, you speedily detect a sharp line, three or four miles from shore, where the blue water stops, and a pale verdigris-green tint begins. This shows a sudden shallow, and marks the real old coast-line, upon which the river-mouth has encroached in a deep in
dentation. A few moments later the steamer has passed the breakwater, which is fringed with fish-poles, like an abatis, has got by the miniature lighthouse and the pretty life-saving station, has turned the elbow into the river, and is poking its way along the narrow channel, between elevators, warehouses, and railway structures, through swinging bridges and a maze of shipping, up to its wharf in the centre of the city. There is this disadvantage in this ingress, however, that you see too much of the river at first. It is a narrow, tortuous stream, hemmed in by the unsightly rear ends of street buildings and all sorts of waste places; it is a currentless and yellowish murky stream, with water like oil, and an odor combined of the effluvia of a hundred sewers. Nothing could better illustrate the contaminations of city life than the terrible change its waters undergo in a mile from their sparkling and rural cleanliness, up above, into this vile and noxious compound here among the wharves. Yet it is the very centre of the city's business, and to its presence Milwaukee owes its beginning, and a large part of its present existence. The nasty waters uphold a crowded and ever-busy fleet, and float grain steamers too long to turn around there. We are informed that the very earliest civilized knowledge of the site of Milwaukee goes back to about the year 1674, and to that indefatigable missionary and keen adventurer, Father Marquette. That he took any special notice of the locality, does not appear. Later, other French missionaries and traders, journeying southward from Green Bay, which they called St. Francis Xavier, and which was the western outpost of the Jesuits during the early half of the last century, went ashore here at long intervals, and visited the Indians, who seem to have made the mouth of the river a permanent abidingplace; but for more than a hundred years after the Abbés Joly and Marquette were there, nobody thought well enough of the place to stay there. I can fancy various features about the locality at that time not altogether inviting. The long line of bluffs which form the western shore of Lake Michigan was broken by a gap of half a dozen miles, where a shallow bay rounded in. The low inner shore of this bay amounted to little else than an immense swamp of wild rice, with a-sand-bar and a hill or two to break the surf, and a distant view of forest-clad hills and oak openings beyond, and bluffs to the northward. Finding a devious way through this swamp came a river from the north, a smaller stream from the south, and a little rivulet from the west. Such geography would scarcely prove attractive to a frontiersman, when so much better land was ready to his choice. But commerce stepped in ahead of aes
thetics, and dictated the foundation of a city, where presently the aesthetic was quite content to reside—which means that it was a capital place for an Indian to get his living, and that accordingly it became the permanent camp or head-quarters of a community of them. The tribe found in possession by the first traders were the Mishimakinaks, whom the very first mention introduces to us as “ those runagates. . . . a horrid set of refractory Indians.” Just in what they proved “refractory,” Colonel Peyster fails to tell us.
There is still greater doubt as to the meaning and correct orthography of the name. The first time it occurs is in Lieutenant James Gorrett's journal, September 1, 1761, where he states that a party of Indians came from Milwacky. Colonel Peyster writes it Milwakie. In 1820
Dr. Morse records that Mil-wah-kie was settled by the Sacs and Foxes, and that the name was derived from the word manawakie, meaning “good land,” which recalls Peyster's assertion that the name of
so well. It appears that one of Onaugesa's boon companions was an alleged poet named Pashano. In some affaire de coeur the trader offended the poet's sensitive soul, who retaliated by prejudicing the
the river was Mahm-a-waukie. A Chippewa interpreter spelled it with fewer letters, but confirms the rendering, “good” or “beautiful” land. The French seem to have written it Milouaqui in their early dispatches home. The Indians' town was at the very mouth of the river, and buried its dead on the hill which now forms the abrupt foot of Michigan Street. Their chief was Onaugesa, a Menomonee, whom Laframboise, the first trader from Mackinac, found to be “a good Indian.” Laframboise retired after a while, and his brother succeeded him, but did not get along
chief against him, the result of which was that the man of business soon abandoned his post. When Omaugesa realized that he had foolishly cut off his nose to spite his face—to wit, driven away the trader who had regularly supplied him with rum in exchange for his good-will—he reflected upon the source of his misfortunes, and in a day or two the meddlesome laureate went mysteriously to the happy hunting grounds. This began a vendetta that made the whole region too hot for traders for several years. Finally, however, a French half-breed named Vieau began coming down every spring from
DOWN The river FROM
Green Bay, and going back in the fall. He did so well that after a few years another Frenchman, who had been his clerk, built himself warehouses, married Vieau's daughter, and becoming popular among the Indians, proposed to settle permanently here. This young man was Solomon Juneau, and his block-house stood where now is the intersection of East Water and Wisconsin streets. This happened only about 1820, yet it reads like a romance of at least five hundred years ago. For several years Juneau was the sole white inhabitant of the region, only occasionally visited by a wandering trader, trapper, or missionary. The nearest post to him was “a miserable settlement called Eschikagon, at the mouth of Skunk River, some ninety miles across dense forests to the south.” All supplies came by water from Mackinac, the head-quarters of the American Fur Company, and the settlers lived a far more isolated and truly frontier life than it is possible to do now anywhere in the United States except in Alaska. Juneau was sharp, and in 1831 secured Vol. LXII.-No. 371.-45
GRAND AVENUE Bridge.
from the Indians a cession of all the region, claiming for himself a large tract on the east side of the river. Then he began to advertise the advantages of settlement there, and one by one got neighbors.
Among the earliest were two gentlemen whose names are household words in the city—Byron Kilbourn and George H. Walker. They had enterprise and knowledge and money. Kilbourn took up a tract on the west side, and Walker south of the Menomonee, and for many years after, these quarters of the city were known respectively as “Kilbourntown” and “Walker's Point.” In 1834, Milwaukee County was set apart from Brown County, which has since been similarly subdivided a score of times, until its former ducal proportions are reduced to a mere hand-breadth at Green Bay. This act showed the enterprise of the pioneers, for there were then not white men enough in the region to fill the offices provided for by the county organization. More kept coming, however, from Detroit and Buffalo and New England, and the wheezy steamboats of that early day in lake navi