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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 improve. mentation 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 southwestern 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 der ds, 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.
For those grand routes by which distant | The land for such a purpose must be nations are brought together, and whose either granted free of charge, or paid for existence is absolutely necessary to the out of the profits of the roads made upon general advancement of the race, the re it, or the lands sold near it. sources of empires are required to be ex Nor can any combination of two or three pended. Many of the famous naval and States undertake such an enterprise. military expeditions of antiquity, supposed Would all the States of the North, or those by some to have been instigated by the of the South, or those bordering upon ambition of conquest, were undoubtedly the Mississippi, agree to bear the burthen undertaken for the extension of commerce. of a project of which every State from Such were the expeditions of Sesostris Maine to Florida is to reap an equal and other conquerors.
By means of great benefit? If the enterprise is undertaken roads over those chains of mountains which by States, it must be by all the States in intersect the continent of Europe, the Union, in other words, by the Union European kingdoms are united in a grand itself. republic of nations. The union of the But as no man will pretend to contest States of North America depends, far the constitutionality of a measure that is more than is imagined, upon those great clearly necessary for the “general welroads which facilitate the free and rapid fare" of the nation—a measure intended interchange of trade and information be- to obviate the danger of a final separation tween their inhabitants. Civilization and between the new colonies and the mother Christianization follow the great com-country—to say nothing of the gradual mercial routes toward the frontier. The alienation of a population composed in making of a national road is an epoch in great part of foreigners, and whom it will a nation's history, equal at least in im- be easy to alienate and separate from ourportance to that of the acquisition of a new selves by neglect or bad government, or territory.
by the mere suspension or difficulty and Not to dwell too long upon the gene infrequency of intercourse—in view of ralities of the subject, we may take it for such necessities, the question of constitugranted that our readers are well aware of tionality may be set aside as irrelevant. the importance of an immediate establish The necessity for such a road is immement of a free and perfect communication diate. A few years' delay may bring inbetween ourselves and our Pacific colonies; calculable evils upon the colonies, and must so soon to become powerful states. meanwhile deprive the entire nation of
Setting aside for the present all inquiries those commercial and social advantages to into the difficulties into which the gold be reaped from intercourse with them; and mania and the hasty emigration which it through them, with the Asiatic side of the occasions are to bring upon us; setting globe. Had the sums of money that were aside such considerations as savoring too expended in overrunning Mexico been mnch of a croaking and inauspicious dis- laid out in the quiet purchase of California position, we have now to consider only and New Mexico, and in the immediate what can be done to keep pace with that construction of a road connecting the Paemigration, and to convert the greatest cific with the Atlantic States, the wisdom evil of a nation, a costly colony, into a and foresight of the measure would have benefit and a source of wealth and power. placed us in the estimation of the world in First, then, it is conceded by all parties advance of all civilized communities. As that a road must be established, and it is it is, we have the territories, and by a equally admitted that the enterprise singular coincidence, we are enabled by should be begun without delay; the the ingenuity and boldness of a single necessities of the country and the world mind, aided by a moderate private forcreating an immediate and pressing want tune, to accomplish at least the greater of such a road. No one man or company part of what is demanded in this critical of men could afford to buy from govern state of our affairs. ment out of their private resources a strip The government, loaded with debt, canof land extending from Lake Michigan to not conscientiously suggest to the people the Pacific. That is quite impossible. a proposition involving great expense.
The party whose voices are always loud consequences which must certainly follow against expenditure when they are out of the opening of a free communication beoffice, stands ready to oppose every mea tween the Atlantic and Pacific coasts; these sure undertaken upon a general theory of advantages have been shown at large, and internal improvement. At this crisis a sufficiently dwelt upon, by others. To those citizen of New York steps forward and of our readers who have not made a paroffers to accomplish the desires, and meet ticular study of the subject, our author's the necessities of the empire by a plan at pamphlet will convey all the desired inonce bold, original, and calculated upon a formation.* We shall dwell no longer certainty of success.
upon the subject than may be necessary Beside these considerations lie others of for a comparative view of the advantages at least equal importance in the view of of the several routes proposed for the humanity; namely, that the undertaking construction of a work admitted by all to of this work is the first step toward a free, be of absolute necessity. And, first, it is social communication between the Ameri- proper to remark that if any one of the can and Asiatic continents. Since the routes in contemplation, including two establishment of Christianity there has across the narrow interval between North been a steady effort on the part of the and South America, and three across the more enlightened to extend the influence main-land of the Northern Continent, were of true religion and of civilization over the to be undertaken at the public cost, the ininhabitants of China and India; to which are jury done to the public and private business now to be added the islands of the South of the country, added to the California ern Seas. This divine enterprise has been drain, and heavy purchases of foreign prosecuted hitherto with but little success goods made necessary by the present low not from any want of zeal or perseverance tariff, would bring great distress and emon the part of European and American barrassment pon the poorer classes for Christians, but because the grand prelimi- the coming two or three years. Were the nary step, the establishment of a free and project of a railroad to the Pacific added universal commerce between the two sides to that of the River and Harbor Improveof the globe has never been realized. The ment, and to these the costs of the imcrusaders attempted the conversion of pending war of extermination which must Asia by force of arms, and their expedi- soon be entered upon with the Southtions invariably failed, because they were western Indians, such a tide of expenses contradictory to the spirit of a pure be- would be set a-going as would take the neficence. There remains but one other government off its feet, and subject it to method of preparing the Asiatic nations the extreme malice of the opposition. The for the reception of the truth; and that only safe and politic course to be pursued, is, to raise their opinion of the Western would seem to be, to extend merely its races, and awaken kindly and respectful feel- favor and its military protection to the ings in them toward ourselves, by a free economical and well-considered project of and constant commercial intercourse. As our author; and to entrust to him, as to a Christian and a republican people, we a public contractor-which in effect this acknowledge no conquests saving those of scheme makes him—the beginning, at least, superior industry and intelligence. By of this vast and important enterprise. that conquest and by none other, we may When a man of first-rate ability and subdue and civilize the hordes of Asia. By large fortune offers his services to the naestablishing a free and rapid communica tion, to accomplish some necessary work, tion with the Pacific coast, we, therefore, a thousand detracting voices are instantly not only promote the Union, and strength- raised against his motives. A member in en and confirm our own empire, but we Congress may, without scandal, propose a take the initiatory step toward the accom- plan for public aggrandizement, and no plishment of the grand design of Christian man checks at him, no man cries out benevolence, the civilization and instruction of Asia.
* Project for a Railroad to the Pacific. By It would be impossible, in the limits
Asa Whitney, of New York, New York: Printallowed us, to set before the reader all the
ed by George W. Wood, No. 16 Spruce street.