Chicago as a Seaport City

Fort Wayne Morning Journal-Gazette

It would seem that the United States, with its extensive coast line on the Atlantic and Pacific and its numerous harbors from Maine to Florida and from Washington to southern California, had already a sufficiency of seaports, but there are citizens of Chicago who seem to think otherwise, and who have given evidence of their faith, not only in their city but in the future of this country, by building and launching several steamers for salt water service. The first vessel for this new venture was launched last December, and only four months later was steaming away for ocean ports from which it has always been believed Chicago was debarred by her situation as an inland city. On the 24th of April last the steamer Northwestern cleared from the port of Chicago for Liverpool, touching en route at Buffalo, Montreal, Sydney, and Cape Breton. The first salt water steamer to be built and launched at Chicago, the Northwestern, also had the honor of initiating the lake, canal, and ocean service between Chicago and all Europe.

The Northwestern was not, however, the first vessel to sail between Europe and Chicago, for the credit for that belongs, it is said, to some Norwegian sailors who nearly forty years ago brought over a small sloop from Norway laden with fish, disposing of the cargo at a profit. It is fitting that the first voyage over this route should be made by Norse sailors, for, it will be recalled, the first voyage from Europe to America was performed by Norse navigators a thousand years ago. They have ever been hardy fellows, these Norsemen, daring unknown seas and storm bound coasts with reckless bravery. In fact, if tradition and history be true, they sometimes went beyond their legitimate profession as mariners and did a little buccaneering, ravaging coasts which were supposed to be safe from piratical incursions and carrying fire and sword wherever they went.

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Changes in State Capitals
July 18, 1901

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