Diary in America: With Remarks on Its Institutions

By Frederick Marryat | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV
The Frontier--Prairie du Chien

Prairie du Chien is a beautiful meadow, about eight miles long by two broad, situated at the confluence of the Wisconsin and the Mississippi; it is backed with high bluffs, such as I have before described, verdant two thirds of the way up, and crowned with rocky summits. The bluffs, as I must call them, for I know not what other name to give them, rise very abruptly, often in a sugar-loaf form, from the flat lands, and have a very striking appearance; as you look up to them, their peculiar formation and vivid green sides, contrasting with their blue and grey summits, give them the appearance of a succession of ramparts investing the prairie. The fort at the prairie, which is named Fort Crawford, is, like most other American outposts, a mere inclosure, intended to repel the attacks of Indians; but it is large and commodious, and the quarters of the officers are excellent; it is, moreover, built of stone, which is not the case with Fort Winnebago, or Fort Howard at Green Bay. The Upper Mississippi is here a beautiful clear blue stream, intersected with verdant islands, and very different in appearance from the Lower Mississippi, after it has been joined by the Missouri. The opposite shore is composed of high cliffs, covered with timber, which, not only in form,

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