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different districts of the State, in the order of the respective condties, viz. :

In Cass county, land may be bought at from $1 to $40 per acre. Land bought, some seven years ago, for from $6 to $10 per acre, is Dow worth from $25 to $30. Wild land costs from $5 to $15, and farms from $15 to $40 per acre. This county contains about 2000 acres of swamp-land, which sells at from 50 cts to $2.25 per acre.

In Du Page county there is but little wild-prairie land to be had. Farm-land is worth from $8 to $30 or $10 per acre; wood-laod from $15 to $90 and $100.

In La Salle county the prices are about the same as those men. tioned in the preceding county; and well-arranged farms can be bought at proportionate prices.

In Lee county, land, which only four years ago was sold at from $5 to $10, now sells at from $50 to $100 per acre. Mr. J. H. Cropsey of Dixon, three years ago, bought a large tract of land at $8 per acre, and, in December, 1855, sold it again for $25 per acre.

In Livingston county, Mr. J. L. Miller, in February, 1855, bought 212 acres, partly prairie-land and partly wood-land, at $12) per acre, which, ten months afterwards, he sold for $25 per acre. In December, 1855, Judge Babcock sold a farm of 1436 acres, on which there were two groves, containing together 130 acres, with a dwelling-house and barn, for $30,000. He had bought these lands, successively, in smaller tracts, paying $10, $6 per acre, and for some not more than the government price.

In Macoupin county farms are sold at from $10 to $30 per acre.

In Marshall county, an acre of wild prairie-land, two or three miles distant from Henry or Bacon, sells at from $18 to $20, six miles distant at $10, and fifteen miles distant at $5 per acre. Good woodland on the bluff is worth from $15 to $25. The price of cultivated and improved farms, in the vicinity of the towns or at a distance of from three to four miles, is from $30 to $35, and six miles distant, from $20 to $25 per acre.

In 1850, prairie-land two or three miles distant from Henry was sold at $6, that situated five or six miles off at $21, and Congress-land nine or ten miles from Henry could be bought at $14 per acre.

In MacLean county, land costs from $5 to $30 per acre. Land

for which $4 an acre was paid four years ago, now brings three times as much ; and for cultivated farms, which were then worth from $10 to $15 per acre, from $25 to $35 are now paid.

In Menard county, a farm, situated a few miles from Petersburg, and containing 250 acres, was sold, in December, 1855, for $7500.

In Morgan county, a farm of 640 acres, near Jacksonville, was also sold for $32,000.

In Peoria county, wild land is now worth from $15 to $20 per acre.

In Putnam county, cultivated farms, for which from $12 to $20 per acre were paid six years ago, are now sold at from $25 to $35. Wild prairie-land, formerly worth from $4 to $6, now brings from $10 to $15, and wood-land from $15 to $30 per acre.

In Rock Island county, near the town of the same name, an acre fetches from $30 to $100; farther off, from $5 to $30.

In St. Clair county, three or four miles from Belleville, cultivated land costs from $40 to $50 an acre, and at a distance of from ten to fifteen miles from the town, from $20 to $25. In the year 1855, a tract of land, situated two miles from Belleville, which, twelve years ago, had been bought at $15 an acre, was sold for $120 per acre. Wild prairie-land has here reached the following prices : in 1840, $3; in 1845, $5; in 1850, $10; and in 1855, $20 to $25.

In Sangamon county, land has doubled its price within the last three years. Wild land costs from $10 to $20 per acre; cultivated land, from $20 to $40.

In Tazewell county, farms are sold at from $35 to $40 per acre. Land for which, five or six years ago, from $4 to $5 was paid, cannot be bought at present below $20 or $30 per acre.

In Will county, wild prairie-land, which, four years ago, could be bought at Congress price, is now as high as $10; and farms worth $6 per acre four years ago, now sell at from $20 to $25.

In Winnebago county, as late as the year 1852, wild prairie-land could still be bought at the Congress price of $1.25, but from $12 to $25 per acre is now paid for it.

In Woodford county, pretty good land cannot be bought below $10 an acre; farms bring from $30 to $40, and wood-land from $15 to $20.

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In the eastern part of the county, wild prairie-land can get be bought at from $3 to $per acre.

The above instances, taken from nineteen different counties of the State, will be sufficient to enable the reader to form a tolerably correct idea of the price of land in general, while, at the same time, they show the relative rise in prices during the last few years, and with what reasonable prospects of gain capital may at present still be invested in the purchase of Illinois lands. The supposition, that prices have reached their culminating point, cannot be admitted; for, setting aside every other consideration, Illinois has, by the construction of the Central railroad, made these immense uncultivated tracts in the heart of the State easily accessible to the cultivator; and along the whole extent of country intersected by the road, numerous towns have sprung into existence, where, but a short time ago, nothing except the flower-covered carpet of the prairie and the blue canopy of heaven was to be seen.

We do not take too sanguine a view, in asserting that, in the year 1860, we shall look back upon just such a period of great advance in the price of lands, as we now do when looking back to the year 1850. At that time, who would have ventured to anticipate the enormous rise in real estate that is now actually exhibited ?

Any one who may prefer to hire land or a farm, rather than to acquire the ownership of it, will find good chances to do so in almost all the counties. The rents, with some few exceptions, are nearly as follows:

1. For the use of cultivated land, from $1} to $2 per acre.

3. If the tenant, besides the land, also receives from his landlord a house, &c., the rent amounts to $3 per acre; or,

3. The tenant gives all the work, seeds, &c., and furnishes the working-cattle, and then gives one-third of the returns or crops to the owner of the land; or, finally,

4. The tenant furnishes the work, and in return obtains a dwellingplace, working-cattle, agricultural implements, seed, &c., and then the owner is entitled to one-half of the crops.

We cannot conclude this chapter without mentioning an extraordinary instance of the rapid increase in the value of real estate.


In the year 1848, Mr. William Green, of Chicago, bought a tract
of land containing 200 acres, for which he paid $100 per acre,
making a sum total of $20,000. Of this tract he has already sold, as
In 1855, a plot, for .


" 1856, 150 acres, for

600,000 and he has lots left, with a front of 1700 feet, worth $100 per foot, amounting to .



Total, $870,000 Thus, within eight years, he made, with a capital of $20,000, a profit of $860 000! Where else, in another country, can such a result be even approximated to ?



On the 20th of September, 1850, the Congress of the United States passed a law by which two millions five hundred and ninety-fire thousand acres of the public lands were granted to the State of Illinois for railroad purposes; and on the 10th of February, 1851, the Illinois Central Railroad Company was incorporated by an act of the Legislature of the State of Illinois, and the whole of the immense tract of land before-mentioned was granted to the company, to aid in the construction of the railroad projected by it.

By this grant of lands, and the consequent construction of the railroad, that new era has been opened for Illinois, which manifests itself in the unparalleled growth of its population and in its great wealth. This road intersects the entire State from north to south : running, first in two branches, viz., from Chicago to Centralia, and from Dupleith to Centralia ; and then, in but one branch from Centralia to Cairo. The great prairies of Central Illinois, so particularly distinguished for the rich fertility of their soil, but hitherto lying entirely uncultivated and almost wholly excluded from the markets by the want of means of communication, have thus been rendered accessible to cultivation.

However speculative the construction of a railroad seven hundred and four miles in length, and through a territory almost entirely uncultivated, may at first have appeared, the excellence of the great undertaking is fully demonstrated by the immense advantages already derived from it. Not only is it true that the Central Railroad Company is doing a splendid business, and that the bonds issued by it are commanding pretty high rates, as compared with other railroad bonds, but it is also a fact, that by the construction of this road, those vast

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