Prices are depressed in rural Illinois, presumably because of the uncertainty of shipping. Volunteers for military service are plentiful, though.
From the New York Times:
CHICAGO. Thursday, Aug. 22, 1861.
I believe, according to all accounts which I read in the journals of the day, that we of the West are somewhat favored in the matter of business. Although depression is upon us, caused by the war; although trade is much paralyzed, and farmers realize scarcely a remunerating price for their products, yet the prostration is not so decided as elsewhere. There are movements in real estate at much lower prices than formerly, to be sure — yet there are sales for cash, and these not a few. Our commerce, too, into which the great grain staples so largely enter, is continued on a scale more extensive, than we could reasonably have anticipated. The receipts and shipments of grain of all descriptions amounted to nearly 1,800,000 bushels last week, which is pretty well for August. And not only this, but a good trade is done in general merchandise, though, of course, nothing to be compared with our “flush times.”
Our greatest trouble has come from our currency. But as the time allowed by the law of last Winter, in which our banks could virtually suspend specie payments, has expired those which fail now to meet their obligations, will be wound up by the State Auditor. With the liquidation of these, nearly all of our vicious currency will be withdrawn from circulation. Another law, requiring the banks to redeem in Chicago or Springfield, will have a good effect in further giving confidence in what of circulating medium remains, after the winding-up process has been gone through with. The new banks are required, and the old banks allowed, to establish these offices of redemption, and to redeem their bills at 3/4-discount until January next; after that at 1/2. Banks are also allowed to increase their circulation indefinitely on depositing bonds of this State as security. Gold, and approved currency, from other States, is quite plenty, and rates of Exchange on New-York continue at discount for the former, and 1/4@1/2 premium for the latter.
Freights took an upward turn on Monday, and shippers are asking 12c.@15c. for wheat to Buffalo by steam, and 12c.@13c. by sail, and 10c. for corn. This is a pretty high tariff on present-prices — and more for corn than the farmers of this State average.
We are still under the military regime. Gov. YATES has announced officially that he is authorized to receive all who offer themselves in proper from. It this city the following brigades, regiments, companies, &c, are in camp or recruiting: Douglas Brigade, fifteen companies, 1,000 men; Northwestern Rifles, ten companies, 700 men; Yates Phalanx, eleven companies, 800 men; McClellan Dragoons, 105 men; Wilson’s Dragoons, 104 men Chicago Light Artillery, 30 men; Lincoln Dragoons 50 men; Chicago Sappers and Miners, 50 men; Chicago German Rifles. 65 men; Company K, Twelfth Regiment, Lieut. SLEMMER, is recruiting for the Sixteenth Regiment U.S.A.; Lieut. JONES for the Seventh, and Sergt. LANGDON for the Eighteenth.
With what Chicago has already done, we think we are in a fair way to do our duty to the stars and stripes. Recent events in Missouri have stimulated the volunteering business in a most marked manner. It is to be hoped that nothing will be thrown in Gen. FREMONT’s way to prevent him from calling out the strength of the West. Heretofore it has required a strenuous and persistent struggle to get into service; but the “powers that be,” after having dampened the ardor of the country and disgusted many, have become aroused to the necessity of a larger force than they have in the field. While I have no doubt but that plenty of men will be forthcoming, present appearances indicate that it will be much harder, and require a much longer time to enlist them, than it would have done three months ago.
Apropos of war, I attended the trial of a newly invented gun the other day. It is named the “Hamilton Gun,” from the inventor. It is a six-pound breech-loading arm. The trial at 1,200, and 600 yards would prove it a failure unless it redeems its reputation at a subsequent trial which is announced to come off soon. Another instrument of death was brought into town yesterday. is called “HILL’s Rifled Battery,” invented at Rockford, about 100 miles northeast of here. The inventor proposes to discharge 1000 Mini balls a minute with a five barreled machine, with a force and range equal to the Mini rifle itself. It is to have a test trial, I understand, next week, in presence of competent military officers.
The Legislature at its last regular session passed a law providing for the calling of a Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. Delegates are to be chosen at the regular election in November, and the subject begins already to elicit discussion. It is proposed in various quarters to ignore party in the choice of delegates, and go for the choice of men who are capable of legislating for the future as well as the present. The Republicans, being the dominant party, have unofficially submitted this proposition. Those Democrats who are regarded as more immediately the followers of Mr. DOUGLAS favor the idea; — while those who appreciate the beauty, the patriotism, the wisdom and the efficiency of Mr. BUCHAHAN’s administration, advocate a separate policy, and would like to prolong or reinstate the delectable rule of FLOYD COBB & Co., But they from an insignificant faction, with more noise than numbers or ability.
A single fact will give you an idea of the depression of prices in the “rural districts.” A gentleman who returned yesterday from a collecting tour through the interior of the State, says that he was offered corn at five cents per bushel. It was located about twenty miles from a railroad station. I suppose that seventy bushels to the acre is a large average yield throughout the West. This gives the producer $3 50 per acre -rather a small margin for profits. The consequence of these extremely low prices will be that less will be raised, and the scarcity thus produced will bring them up.
The Wilson Dragoons, well-mounted and uniformed, left last evening for St. Louis, to join FREMONT’s column, and the McClellan Dragoons, late Barker’s, also left for the Potomac. Two other companies of cavalry — the Chicago Dragoons and the Chicago Cavalry — open recruiting stations to-morrow. Most of BARKER’s old company, who saw service in Eastern Virginia, will enlist in the Chicago Dragoons.A “National Horse Fair” is to be held in Ottawa, in this State, on the 3d, 4th and 5th of September, for which extensive preparations are in progress. As Col. T.L. DICKEY, of that county, (La Salle,) is authorized no raise a cavalry regiment, and to purchase horses for it, it is expected that the equine race will be largely and well represented on that occasion.
Our State Agricultural Fair commences in this city on the 9th. The premium list amounts to $20,000. besides $2,000 which is devoted to the military department. It is anticipated that there will be a great display of firearms, including muskets, rifles, and cannon of various calibre. The trial is to take place on the open prairie, which lies southwest and adjoining the city. An uninterrupted range of six miles can be obtained. Gen FREMONT has promised to be present, if the duties of his Department will admit of it.
Within a month past there have been sixteen fatal accidents in this city, ten of which — mostly boys — by drowning.
Last evening, Lieut. SLEMMER received orders to report himself to the commanding officer of the department of Ohio. He understands, that he is to be employed in Western Virginia, in Gen. ROSECRANS’ column. He will leave as soon as he can arrange matters connected with his recruiting station here. Lieut. SLEMMER is a quiet, unobtrusive gentlemanly officer, and has won the favorable opinion of our citizens, who were predisposed toward him on account of his loyal gallantry at Fort Pickens.
There is an item that maybe of interest to wool buyers in your City. Agents are abroad buying up, the coarser qualities for Army purposes, while the finer qualities arc almost entirely neglected. Eighty-seven thousand pounds went forward prom this city during the week ending last evening. The receipts were 65,000 lbs. Prices range from 20c.@22c. for common and quarter blood; 22c.@24c. for 1/2@1/4; 25c. for 3/4, and 26c.@28c. for full. There is a large quantity in first hands, but present prices do not bring it out out very rapidly.