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[285] Pacific Ocean, over towards Japan, but on the peaks and summits stretching from the Adirondack to the Blue Ridge. Pittsburg, a village only nine years old, stood in the desert. A man who ventured down the Ohio in a canoe was honoured as an explorer. On the spots where Wheeling and Cincinnati stand to-day, with their schools and churches, railways and manufactories, the adventurer saw the smoke of Indian fires, and heard the war-whoop of Indian camps. Red men hunted buffalo on the plains of Indiana, paddled canoes down the Ohio, and snared fish in the tributaries of the Big Drink.

South of the young Republic stood a watchful and suspicious enemy, who was all the more difficult to treat since she had formerly been a friend. France held the mouth of the Mississippi, and, in her ignorance of true political science, she had practically closed that artery of commerce to Americans. In a country without canals, and with hardly any roads, free use of the great river was a first condition of settlement in the Mississippi Valley, and nothing like a free use of that river could be obtained from the French viceroys reigning at New Orleans. By nature and events alike the young Republic seemed

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