People from every Eastern State, as well as from New York and the British Provinces, have called upon me since my return, for the purpose of "having a talk about the Northwest," while others have applied by letter for additional or specific information, and others still have requested a republication of the letters. In response to these calls this small volume has been prepared, setting forth the physical features of the vast reach of country lying between the Lakes and the Pacific, not only in the United States, but in British America as well.
The most trustworthy accounts of persons who have lived there, as well as of engineers who have been sent out by the United States, British, and Canadian governments, have been collated, that those seeking a home in Minnesota or Dakota may know what sort of a country lies beyond, and what will be its probable future.
The map accompanying the volume has been prepared for the most part by the Bureau of the United States Topographical Engineers. It gives me pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to Major-General Humphreys, in charge of the Bureau, and to Colonel Woodruffe, in charge of the map department, for permission to use the same.
Through their courtesy I am enabled to place before the public the most complete map ever published of the country between the 36th and 55th parallel, extending across the continent, and showing not only the entire railway system of the Eastern and Middle States, but also the Union Pacific Railroad and the Northern Pacific, now under construction. The figures followed by the letter T have reference to the elevation of the locality above tide-water, thus enabling the reader to obtain at a glance a comprehensive idea of the topographical as well as the geographical features of the country.