Atlantis Arisen/Chapter 31
A tourist, I suppose, may be pardoned for giving a rambling account of the country run over. I desire to feel that my ramblings are of some value to my readers. It is difficult to conceive, if we have not seen it, the rapid change being effected in the Northwest. But a study of the census, and the rapid growth of American cities in all the States, will be found quite as surprising. Foreign immigration has filled up the country very rapidly. I have sometimes felt, in a San Francisco street-car, or other public conveyance, that it would be a pleasure to hear my mother-tongue spoken. In the North the foreign element is not so marked, although there are colonies of Norwegians, Swedes, and Germans, with the ever ubiquitous Irishman, and a sprinkling of Canadian English, Scotch, and occasional individuals from all nations. But the prevailing and governing class is American; and it is the American whom you meet, alert, observant, ready, who controls the enterprises of this part of the Pacific coast. Washington is peculiarly New-England-American, in the Puget Sound region particularly, because the New Englander is commercial. In the agricultural portions of the country are more people from the middle and western divisions of the Atlantic States.
I will now proceed to give, as I did for Oregon, a tabulated statement of the assessed valuation of different sections by counties, which will help the reader to understand the relative
|Counties.||Population, 1890.||Valuation, 1889.|
development of these districts, although the valuation is for 1889 and the population for 1890, when there must have been a large increase in valuation over 1889. I have marked the East Washington counties with an asterisk to point out the comparative wealth of the two great divisions. The difference in favor of the nineteen western counties is over fifty millions as against the fifteen eastern counties. The several large towns on Puget Sound should account for a greater difference than that, and the comparison shows that relatively the agricultural sections are as prosperous as, if not more so than, the commercial ones. Dividing the whole assessed value of the State (far below, its actual value), it gives three hundred and seventy-three dollars to every individual in it, which is above the ordinary proportion of the older States.
A feature of Puget Sound commerce is that among the great number of vessels which enter annually,—the entrances amounting in 1889 to one million five hundred and forty thousand and fifteen tons,—the clearances exceed the entrances by fourteen thousand nine hundred and sixty-four tons, showing the balance of trade to be in favor of this new State as against the whole world.
The motto adopted for the territorial seal—Alki—by and by—was well chosen, significant, and prophetic. The younger brother of Oregon, he will not be content with the younger brother's portion, but will strive for the sceptre.
Modern writers bring weighty evidence to prove that the tradition handed down to us by the ancient philosophers, of a submerged continent, occupying a portion of the area covered by the Atlantic Ocean, was scientific truth. If one continent sank, another must have arisen to balance it. If America is the Atlantis of Plato, or its substitute, as some believe, its west coast is the oldest, or that portion which was first elevated, as geology proves. It is also, as we know, the latest to be brought under development. It is the pioneer's last view out over the oceans that encircle the known world. Henceforward man's effort will be to restore to earth on this favored soil the glories of the buried continent, and to substitute for Atlantis lost, Atlantis Arisen.