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Vandalia

( Originally Published 1851 )



Volumes on the subject of the United States continue to succeed each other in London with a rapidity, which proves that a deep interest has been awakened in the minds of the people of England, with regard to our country. We find the following notice of the quick growth of Vandalia, in Illinois, in a book recently published, called " Three Years in America," by James Stuart: " It is an extraordinary fact, that in this town, (Vandalia) the capital of Illinois, a state more extensive, and infinitely more fertile than England, and the first house in which was not begun until the year 1821, three annual meetings of an antiquarian and historical society have already taken place, and the whole of their published proceedings are as regular, as well conducted and as well printed, as if the seat of the society had been at Oxford or at Cambridge. The whole annual disbursements in this state for salaries to the executive do not exceed 10,000 dollars. The people of Illinois have adhered tenaciously to democratic principles, retaining in their hands every power which can be conveniently witheld from the rulers. Elections are frequent, and the right of suffrage general. Imprisonment for debt and laws against usury are abolished." Speaking of the Bostonians, the author says: " All are, or seem to be, in the full enjoyment of the necessaries of life, and all busy, active and employed."

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