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mind with pleasant thoughts of Prince Rasse- Moreover, Mr. Hiram Adolphus Hawkins las and the Happy Valley.
was a poet; so much a poet, that, as his sister “ The house was one of the few old houses frequently remarked, he'* spoke blank verse in still standing in New England; a large, square the bosom of his family.” The general tone bnilding, with a portico in front, whose door in of his productions was sad, desponding, perhaps summer time stood open from morning until slightly morbid. How could it be otherwise night. A pleasing stillness reigned about it; with the writings of one who had never been and soft gusts of pine-embalmed air and dis- the world's friend, nor the world his? who tant cawings from the crow-haunted moun- looked upon himself as “a pyramid of mind on tains, filled its airy and ample halls.”
the dark desert of despair ?" and who, at the
age of twenty-five, had drunk the bitter draught The description of young Hawkins is of life to the dregs, and dashed the goblet capital :
down? His productions were published in the “There was in the village a domestic and Poet's Corner of the Fairmeadow Advertiser; resident adorer, whose love for himself, for and it was a relief to know, that, in private Miss Vaughan, and for the beautiful, had trans- life, as his sister remarked, he was by no formed his name from Hiram A. Hawkins to
means the censorious and moody person some H. Adolphus Hawkins. He was a dealer in of his writings might imply.” English linens and carpets ; a profession which of itself fills the mind with ideas of domestic
The interview between Churchill and comfort. His waistcoats were made like Lord Mr. Hathaway tempts us, but it is long Melbourne's in the illustrated English papers, and would be injured by abbreviation ; and his shiny hair went off to the left in a su- we must therefore refer our readers to the perb sweep, like the hand-rail of a bannister. volume. He wore many rings on his fingers, and several breast-pins and gold chains disposed his book with a moral :
True to himself Mr. Longfellow ends about his person. On all his bland physiognomy was stamped, as on some of his linens, “ Soft finish for family use." Everything Stay, stay the present instant ! about him spoke the lady's man. He was, in Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings ! fact, a perfect ring-dove; and, like the rest of Oh, let it not elude thy grasp, but like his species, always walked up to the female, The good old patriarch upon record, and, bowing his head, swelled out his white Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee !" crop, and uttered a very plaintive murmur.
THE GREAT PACIFIC RAILROAD.
In the spring of 1844 Mr. Asa Whit our political friends as are not already faney, a merchant of New York, embarked miliar with its details. for China in the prosecution of an enter Conceiving that the general government prise whose successful termination, as it cannot undertake to construct a road to seemed to him, would be the commence connect the eastern with the western coast ment of a new period in the history of of the Atlantic, except at an expense too all the nations of the globe. This enter- vast to be thought of with its present reprise was no other than a design to turn sources, Mr. Whitney proposes, with the the commerce of the world from its pres- aid of his own private fortune, to attempt ent course about the two capes, and to lead the enterprise himself, but in such a manit, by the inducements of superior ease, ner, as to make the work pay for itself rapidity and cheapness of transportation, almost from the beginning. across the northern portion of the North To rely upon individual enterprise for American continent. By an observation the accomplishment of works of internal upon the figure of the earth—our ad- | improvements may be regarded as almost venturous projector conceived the idea among the first principles of the creed of that the great highway of all the na- republicanism, nor will the spirit of our tions should be carried as near to the government permit it to engage in works northern circle as the increasing cold of which can as well or better be accomhigh latitudes would permit; those circles plished by individuals or by companies. of latitude which encompass the earth be Having selected a certain route, of which coming rapidly smaller as we move north we shall take occasion before concluding ward upon its sphere. The voyage to this article to show the advantages, Mr. China was undertaken by bim, chiefly | Whitney offers the government his plan, with a view to collect information upon or contract, to be passed by Congress, if the trade and resources of that vast em it so please them, into a law. pire, as well as of Japan, the South Sea By this proposed contract, the nation, Íslands, and other Asiatic countries; in or- through their government, are to sell to der to satisfy himself, and to persuade his our contractor, under certain reservations countrymen, of the advantages of opening and conditions, and at a price considerably a free and frequent intercourse with east- above its total estimated value, a strip ern Asia.
of land sixty miles in width, extending After two years had been spent in westward, from the foot of Lake Michigan these inquiries Mr. Whitney returned to to Puget Sound, near the Columbia River, America, and commenced a long and eager carried, of course, through one of the investigation of the merits and advantages northern passes of the Rocky Mountains. of the various routes across the continent. At len cents the acre, a price beyond its After he had communicated personally value as estimated by committees in Conwith the most experienced travellers, and gress, the land will bring by this sale, collected by travels in the wilderness, by $7,795,200 into the public treasury. The study, and by intercourse with every source greater part being wilderness, and totally of information at home, all particulars of unsalable until the road is made, a better value, he began to lay his plans before the bargain for the nation could not be made. people and before Congress.
The payments will of course be made From a careful perusal of his own pub- gradually, and as the road progresses ; lished account of the project, aided by the each provision of the contract to be enpersonal explanation of the author, we forced by the government. gather the following idea of it, which we The second feature of the plan is the commend to the strict attention of such of I laying of a grand railroad VOL. IV. NO. I.
strip of land ; beginning at the foot of Lake | costs of the first ten miles of road, estimaMichigan, and pushing the work gradu- ted at $200,000. ally forward until, in a computed period As soon as the contract shall become a of twenty-five years, it reaches the Pa- law, our contractor will survey and locific.
cate the route for two or three hundred The first eight hundred miles of the route miles, and as soon as ten miles have been consist of excellent cultivable lands; and completed, he will be permitted to sell of these the first seven hundred miles the first five miles by sixty, or one hunare finely timbered, and with such woods dred and ninety-two thousand acres. And as are suitable for the foundation of a if this does not produce means enough to durable road. On this first three hundred pay for road and land both, then the miles of the route depends the entire hope work will be discontinued, and our conof the enterprise.
tractor will have gained nothing either The expense of transporting timber over in land or money. But if the sale of the great distances would forever prevent the lands produces a sufficiency for these puraccomplishment of the work. The exist- | poses, then the next ten miles will be ence of a great body of timber about the completed, and another portion of five foot of Lake Michigan, and thence west- miles by sixty given up to him for sale. The ward for three hundred miles, is an abso- reserved lands, held by the government, lute guaranty of the success of the under- will furnish means for the constructaking under the economical management tion of the road over the wilderness after of an individual proprietor; and the ab- the forest and cultivable lands shall sence of a sufficiency of timber at all other have been passed over. Meanwhile, and points is an equal guaranty of the failure until the entire work is completed, the of the enterprise on all other routes than government will hold the road and rethis, even under the wisest and most econo- served lands, if any remain, as security mical management. The entire revenue of for the payments of the original ten cents the nation would have to be exhausted for per acre for the lands. several years,
in the construction of a road The title to the road will not actually at a public cost across the deserts and vest in our contractor until the whole is prairies between the lower Mississippi and finished and paid for. But it will conCalifornia,
tinue always subject to the action and conThe next feature of the plan, to which trol of Congress, for the fixing of tolls and we would call the attention of our readers, other regulations for the convenience and is the precaution, that our grand contrac- ease of travellers, tor shall not be at liberty to resell or ap- When new States come to be created propriate a single acre of the land sold on the territories traversed by the roadhim by the government, until the first ten and the probability is that the movement miles of the road are completed. The of population westward with such a means road moreover is to be built, by the terms of emigration would be rapid beyond all of the contract, on a strip of land two precedent--if any jealousy arose, their inhundred feet wide, appropriated forever habitants would be at full liberty to conto that purpose, with a heavy iron rail of struct rival roads parallel with the old a prescribed weight, on a gauge of not less than six feet between the rails. The By regulations of Congress making the failure of any material condition of the con- tolls barely sufficient to pay the costs of tract will of course work a forfeiture of the repairs, and an exceedingly small percentland. All the regulations of tolls, &c., are to age to the proprietor, the road would be be by legal enactment in Congress, and en- made almost a free road. A bushel of forced by public authority. Having con- wheat could then be carried across the structed the first ten miles, our grand con- continent for twenty cents, a barrel of tractor is to be at liberty to sell to emigrants flour for one dollar, a ton of merchandise and others, in portions five miles in length ten dollars, and a half ton of teas (by of the route granted him by Congress; and measurement one ton) five dollars. Corn with the proceeds he is to pay government grown in Michigan, could be landed at for the land, and to reimburse himself the Chinese ports for forty cents the bushel transit, giving thirty-five cents profit to myself. If I fail, the government can lose the producer. Manufactures from the nothing, because the lands still remain, and I South and East, and the various products shall have added to their value even by my
failure. But if I succeed, I must, by my enerof all parts of the Union would thus be easily and cheaply conveyed to Asia, and gies and labor, make this 77,952,000 acres of
waste land produce the $68,395,200; and, unthe balance of trade turned wholly in less I can make it produce an excess over that favor of America. The cod and whale sum, I gain nothing for all my toil. fisheries of the North Pacific would send “ If the plan succeeds, it would make the a constant stream of their indispensable whole world tributary to us. The sum which products, in exchange for American manu
I should pay into the treasury for the lands,
would exceed that which might be expended factures, across the continent. The At
for them from any other source. The nation lantic sea-ports would, of course, become
wonld have this great highway without an outthe ports of deposit and exchange for the lay of one dollar, with almost its free use fortrade of all the world. The prairies of the ever after, and so much added to the actual West, and the mills of the East and South, cash capital of the nation as the road may cost, would begin to furnish food and clothing because it would be the fruits of labor upon the to the famished millions of China, who wilderness earth. would now in their turn, having a market bill so framed, as would enable me to carry out
My desire and object has been to have a opened for their peculiar products, have a and accomplish this great work for the motives means of procuring in abundance the ne
as here and everywhere else by me declared, cessaries of life. The islands of the South
to give to my country this great thoroughfare Seas would be more rapidly colonized for the nations of all the earth without the cost than they are at present, by the Chinese, of one dollar; to give employment to, and to those Yankees of Asia, and a free and make comfortable and happy, millions who are constant intercourse would inevitably be
now starving and destitute, and to bring all the established between the nations of both tion. If the bill is deficient in any point, it
world together in free intercourse as one nathe continents.
certainly can be made to meet the views I Should this road, on the other hand, be express, which I feel that all who examine must undertaken by a stock company, under be satisfied with. the necessity of declaring dividends, the " It is proposed to establish an entirely new tolls would have to be so much raised, as
system of seitlement, on which the hopes for to exclude the transport of heavy articles, The settler on the line of the road would, as
success are based, and on which all depend. and thus none of the contemplated results
soon as his house or cabin were up, and a crop would follow. Indeed, for such a road no
in, find employment to grade the road; the next one would subscribe with any expectation season, when his crop would have ripened, of profit; it would probably cost $200,000, there would be a market for it at his door, by 000, not to yield any return in twenty-five those in the same situation as himself the seayears, and be then obliged to realize an
son before ; if any surplus, he would have the
road at low tolls to take it to market; and if nually the sum of $6,000,000, to give three
he had in the first instance paid for his land, per cent, on the investment!
the money would go back, either directly or inThe danger of land monopoly is avoid- directly, for labor and materials for the work. ed, by providing that the reserved lands So that in one year the settler would have his shall be sold at public auction, like other home with settlement and civilization surroundgovernment lands; and that no lands ing, a demand for his labor, a market at his shall be kept for sale longer than ten door for his produce, a railroad to cornmunicate years after the completion of the road with civilization and markets, without having
cost one dollar. And the settler who might not through them.
have means in money to purchase land, his The bill will provide that on the failure labor on the road and a first crop would give of any important condition, Congress shall him that means, and he too would in one year have power to resume the whole and give have his home with the same advantages, and it to another. Power also will lie in Con- as equally independent. The settler who now gress, to alter and amend the bill as the pays for bis land to the government, gets no interests of the public may require.
benefit from the sum paid, beyond his title to and possession of the land. When his cabin is
prepared, and crop in, he finds no demand for ** Now, lo accomplish this great work, I his labor, because all around are in the same propose to take the entire responsibility upon condition as himself; when his crop is grown,
there is no market at his door, and if fifty miles | Mexico, creating a new republic, comfrom any direct means of transit
, he cannot posed of a mixed population of advensell at all, neither can he get it to market so as
turers, with foreign views and sympathies, to leave anything as a reward for his toil. Thus
to be bound to our mighty empire on the you see him in the wilderness, remote from civilization, destitute of comforts, and nearly a
western side of the continent, has made it demi-savage; his labor, it is true, produces necessary that some means of speedy comfood from the earth; but he cannot exchange munication should be established between with the different branches of industry, and ourselves and the new territories. The is not a source of wealth or power to the wealth, the peace, and the unity of the nation."
entire people, are clearly the great ends
for which governments were established ; Projects have been offered, and some are and in the pursuit of those ends, every on foot, for the construction of a road at the measure which wisdom and a strict econoexpense of the nation. Against this plan a my may dictate, is to be studiously adnumber of obstacles present themselves vised and put in practice; nor can any of a character too weighty and formidable measure be regarded as in spirit unconto be removed or got over. Independ-stitutional which is directed towards these ently of economical considerations, which ends. . should always lead us to prefer individual Governments, at least republican, (and to public enterprises, it will be highly politic therefore just and economical,) assume for the present administration to avoid en- to do no more than is their duty; and tering upon too extended a system of in that duty being always measured by ternal improvements ; in consideration not necessity and policy, cannot properly enonly of the just prejudices of a large por- gage them in enterprises which may tion of the people against a lavish expen- better be carried on by states, cities, or diture of the public monies, but in view individuals. If a combination of private also of the great caution necessary to fortunes can be made, which shall carry avoid the disgrace and odium of an aug- out grand schemes of internal improvementation of the public debt.
ment, the government will only sanction The expenses of the war should be at
and defend such enterprises. It will not least provided for, previous to any further engage in foreign or internal trade, but engagements; excepting such only as are will only protect it and fortify it. It will of obvious necessity for the promotion of not offer to educate those who have the our grandest interests. While the abso- means to educate themselves. It will not lute necessities of our internal trade de
give money to corporations or to combimand a large appropriation for the im- nations of adventurers, when these advenprovement of river and harbor navigation, turers are looking solely to their own while the Mexican affair continues to profit, and cannot establish their claim to draw heavily upon the public purse, assistance upon the ground that their enwhile the exigencies of foreign commerce terprise is a strictly national one, and is require that the navy be maintained and to be of national importance, nor even even increased,—while the south western then, when it is clear that everything can frontier requires the continual vigilance of be accomplished under the mere proteca full military establishment,—while the tion and countenance of the law. The poverty of foreign ambassadors calls for property of the citizens belongs to them and an increase of their salaries ;—and besides to their children ; and governments have these demands, while the augmenta- no right to appropriate a cent of it on tion of our territory compels a steadily theoretic or speculative grounds, or for increasing expenditure for the ordinary purposes not clearly national, and of which purposes of government, the most san
all are expected ultimately to share the guine among the friends of internal im- benefit
. That portion, however, may be provement will pause to consider before taken as an equitable tax, which they find they venture upon any new and costly necessary for the common good, and they projects.
are free to appropriate it as seems best. Nevertheless, it has become evident One of the last improvements of civilithat the addition of California and New zation is the construction of a perfect road.