CHAPTER XXIV. GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY FROM 1820 TO 1840
THE GREAT WEST EXPLORED. - During the twenty years since Major Long's expedition, the country beyond the Missouri had been more fully explored. In 1822 bands of merchants at St. Louis began to trade with Santa Fe, sending their goods on the backs of mules and in wagons, thus opening up what was known as the Santa Fe trail. One year later a trapper named Prevost found the South Pass over the Rocky Mountains, and entered the Great Salt Lake country.  This was the beginning, and year after year bands of trappers wandered over what was then Mexican territory but is now part of our country, from the Great Salt Lake to the lower Colorado River, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific. 
Between 1830 and 1832 Hall J. Kelley attempted to found a colony in Oregon, but failed, as did another leader, Nathaniel J. Wyeth.  Wyeth tried again in 1834, but his settlements were not permanent. A few fur traders and missionaries to the Indians had better fortune; but in 1840 most of the white men in the Oregon country were British fur traders. It was not till 1842 that the tide of American migration began to set strongly toward Oregon; but within a few years after that time the Americans there greatly outnumbered the British.
1. In 1840 the population of the country was 17,000,000, of whom more than a third dwelt west of the Allegheny Mountains.
2. For twenty years there had been much discussion about the disposition of the public lands; but Congress did not give up the plan of selling them for the benefit of the United States.
3. As population increased, the Indians were pushed further and further west. Some went to the Indian Country peaceably. In Georgia and Florida they resisted.
4. As Congress would not sanction a general system of federal improvements, the states built canals and railroads for themselves.
5. The success of those in the East encouraged the Western states to undertake like improvements. But they plunged the states into debt.
6. The period was one of great mechanical development, and many inventions of world-wide use date from this time.
7. The growth of manufactures produced great manufacturing towns, and the increase of artisans and mechanics led to the formation of trades unions.
8. The unrest caused by the rapid development, of the country invited reforms of all sorts, and many - social, industrial, and political - were attempted.
 In the early thirties much excitement was aroused by the arrival of hundreds of paupers sent over from England by the parishes to get rid of them. But when Congress investigated the matter, it was found not to be so bad as represented, though a very serious evil.
 Life in the West at this period is well described in Eggleston's Hoosier Schoolmaster and The Graysons.
 The credit system of selling lands (p. 241) was abolished in 1820, because a great many purchasers could not pay for what they bought.
 The public domain is laid off in townships six miles square. Each township is subdivided into 36 sections one mile square, and the sixteenth section in each township was set apart in 1785 for the use of schools in the township. This provision was applied to new states erected from the public domain down to 1848; in states admitted after that time both the sixteenth and the thirty-sixth sections have been set apart for this purpose. In addition to this, before 1821, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had each received two entire townships for the use of colleges and academies.
 After the Indian title to land was extinguished, the land was surveyed and offered for sale at auction. Land which did not sell at auction could be purchased at private sale for $1.25 an acre. Benton proposed that land which did not sell at private sale within five years should be offered at 50 cents an acre, and if not sold, should be given to any one who would cultivate it for three years.
 An attempt to remove the Indians in northern Illinois and in Wisconsin led to the Black Hawk War in 1832. The Indians had agreed to go west, but when the settlers entered on their lands, Black Hawk induced the Sacs and Foxes to resist, and a short war was necessary to subdue them.
 The leader was Osceola, a chief of much ability, who perpetrated several massacres before he was captured. In 1837 he visited the, camp of General Jesup under a flag of truce, and was seized and sent to Fort Moultrie, near Charleston, where he died. His followers were beaten (1837) in a hard-fought battle by Colonel Zachary Taylor, but kept up the war till 1842.
 When Ohio was admitted (p. 241), Congress promised to use a part of the money from the sale of land to build a road joining the Potomac and Ohio rivers. Work on the National Road, as it was called, was started in 1811. It began at Cumberland on the Potomac and reached the Ohio at Wheeling. But Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois demanded that the road be extended, and in time it was built through Columbus and Indianapolis to Vandalia. Thence it was to go to Jefferson City in Missouri; but a dispute arose as to whether it should cross the Mississippi at Alton or at St. Louis, and work on it was stopped.
 Jackson vetoed several bills for internal improvements, and the hostility of his party to such a use of government money was one of the grievances of the Whigs.
 For a description of life in central New York, read My Own Story, by J. T. Trowbridge.