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and especially the city of Boston, in their progress, have occasion to re. gard the railway enterprise as an epoch.
In the State of Georgia, five hundred and eighty-two* miles of railway have been constructed, but at less than half the expense of the Massachusetts railroads. In the western part of our own State, upwards of three hundred miles of railroad have been constructed, and though of an indif. ferent character, and under legal restrictions as to business, have proved profitable investments, and highly beneficial to social and commercial in. tercourse.
In England, though railways have been constructed at great expense, in 1845 there were in that country 2,118 miles in operation. The receipts per mile of railroad, taking the average of all the roads in the kingdom,
Miles of road.
£2,521, equal to $12,000 1844,
14,068 Showing the increase of 1845 over 1843, to be 16 per cent. The to. tal receipts for the three years were $76,000,000, of which 661 per cent was from passengers. The total number of passengers carried, and miles of road in operation, was, in
1,717 21,358,445 1843,
1,798 25,572,525 1844,
1,587,400 Or the increase of passengers, per mile, was in 1844 over 1842, equal to 27 per cent.
The receipts on the Great Western Railway in England, for the first six months of 1846, over the corresponding period in 1845, were £63,132, or at the rate of $611,000 per annum.
In Belgium, France, and Germany, the railway enterprise is progressing with great rapidity, working a social as well as commercial revolution.
Further statistics might be presented from this and other countries, to illustrate the progress of the railroad enterprise ; but the limits of this ar. ticle will not permit, and it can hardly be necessary. The instances of unsuccessful railroads are remarkably few, and, it is believed, in most cases are confined to works that have been undertaken with insufficient means, carried forward with inadequate skill, or conducted to subserve some purpose of speculation, other than that of a legitimate railroad business.
The statistics above given, show conclusively, that the railway is superior to all other modes for transporting passengers ; that it maintains a close competition with water conveyance, in transporting freight; and, as it is “not suspended by drought, nor arrested by frost," it has the advan. tage of an uninterrupted communication throughout the year.
* Boston Post, September 15th, 1846.
In the great struggle that is making by other cities to reach the western trade, can New York afford to remain indifferent to the subject of railways Without their aid, her movements must be more tardy in the summer, and suspended during the winter. The latter will become more important as railroads are extended. Philadelphia feels the insufficiency of her present mixed system, and is contemplating a railroad, continuous from that city to Cleveland, on Lake Erie, a distance of four hundred and seventy miles, having, it is reported, no grade exceeding forty-five feet per mile. This is about the same distance as from New York to Buffalo ; and when that road is made, it will open to Philadelphia directly, a large and fertile portion of Ohio, and make connection at the best position that is practicable, with Lake Erie. For at least eight months of the year, such a road would command most of the travel, and for five or six months, the whole business that would centre on Lake Erie at Cleveland. From Cleveland, railroads will eventually be extended to Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, which must produce a great influence on the western trade. With the exception of three or four summer months, the lake is liable to be disturbed by severe storms, which will induce great numbers of passengers, and more or less of freight, to take the railroad, even while the lake is open; and, for five months, the storms and ice on the lake will send the whole trade over the railroad. In such event, and nothing to divert its influence, what would be the influence on New York And we may inquire with solicitude, what can be done to maintain the commercial ascendancy of New York 1 Perhaps our present relative position cannot be maintained. The railway system tends to dif. fuse commercial advantages far more than water communication, which is, necessarily, more restricted in its capabilities. It is not intended to undervalue good water communication, nor to assume the position that the advantages New York possesses in this respect, will not sustain her as an important commercial city; but that, while she has the cheap and slow-moving barge in its season, she ought also to have the means of expeditious transit with the interior, for such freight and passengers as will readily pay the small additional charge that may be necessary at such time; and, when navigation is arrested by frost, the ower of uninterrupted communication for all freight and passengers, that . trade may not be suspended when rival cities enjoy continual commercial action. It must be evident to all who watch the movements of the times, that without the aid of railroads, New York must lose in her relative superiority, as the great centre of American commerce. It may be inquired, when can railroads be made to benefit New York? This question we will endeavor to answer in a general way. The New York and Erie Railroad project has, for several years, been struggling for o and though it has generally been regarded with favor by citizens of New York, has at times appeared to be hardly able to maintain the prospect of competition within any moderate period of time; but has now been so much invigorated, that strong hopes are entertained of its early accomplishment. This work will develop the resources of an extensive district of country, now very much secluded, and bear its commerce directly to New York. It will serve a valuable purpose as a comtitor for the western trade. The New York and Harlem Railroad, when it shall be extended to Dover, in Dutchess county, and connected with the Housatonic Railroad, will greatly facilitate communication between New York, and the western part of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and the southern and easterly portion of Vermont. The New York and New Haven Railroad, would further improve the connection with the East. The extension and improvement of several railroads in New Jersey, particularly those that have a westerly direction from New York, will further enhance the trade and commerce of the city. The railroads that form the line from Albany and Troy to Buffalo, require to be improved, and all restrictions taken from their use. When put in proper condition, the passage from Albany to Buffalo may easily be made in twelve hours, and freight carried at as cheap a rate as on any other route in this country of the same length. This line of roads, passing along the route of the Erie Canal, has in general very easy grades, and a large proportion of straight line, circumstances highly favorable for cheap and rapid transit. A road is projected to run from opposite Buffalo, in Canada, to opposite Detroit, and the route is reported as highly favorable. From Detroit, the Central Railroad across the State of Michigan to St. Josephs, near the south end of Lake Michigan, is nearly completed, and is to be immediately put in first-rate condition. With the exception of two short ferries, this will make a continuous line from Albany of about 800 miles. The time cannot be considered distant when a railroad will run from Buffalo, along the whole American shore of Lake Erie, and thence onward to the Mississippi. The lake shore will, no doubt, afford an easy grade and favorable line. The trade between the lake towns will soon be sufficient to sustain such a road. From this Albany and Buffalo line, a branch road from Rome, Oneida county, to Cape Vincent, at the foot of Lake Ontario, may easily be connected with Kingston, by which an uninterrupted communication would be made, with a large and fertile portion of Canada. The favorable commercial arrangements that now exist between the two countries, give an important aspect to this project; but independent of this, it will greatly develop the resources of that portion of this State, through which it will pass. From Albany and Troy, northward to Lake Champlain, is an important route for a railroad. It would pass along the vast water-power of the upper Hudson and its tributaries, that would be called into action by the facilities it would furnish, and greatly increase the population, wealth and trade of that district. The railroads that centre about Albany and Troy, require a connection by railroad with New York. A hasty glance at this focus of northern and western trade, is sufficient to show the great importance of this connection. It is highly fortunate to the city and State of New York, that the valley of the Hudson affords a route well adapted to this object;-a good line and easy grades, well adapted to a railroad of cheap and rapid transit, and may be constructed at reasonable cost. This road should be a first-rate struc. ture, over which passengers could be conveyed with safety and comfort, from New York to Albany, in four or five hours, and on which freight could be transported at the cheapest rate. With these improvements a passenger from New York would be able to reach Buffalo in sixteen to eighteen hours, and Kingston in Canada in less time, say fourteen to sixteen hours. Railroads are important, as a means of developing the resources and encouraging the enterprise and industry of all parts of our own State, and those of other States bordering on us, and whose trade will naturally travel to New York. Manufacturing will come to the aid of agricultural industry, latent sources of wealth and trade be brought into active operation, and those now affording a scanty return will be made vigorous and highly productive. In addition to this, New York has a great interest in securing the best practicable facilities for communicating with Lake Erie. Let the railroads proposed be made in a judicious and substantial manner, and with the superior water communication now enjoyed, and in course of improvement, and this city will possess such a means of cheap, rapid and uninterrupted transit of persons and goods, that will secure to her the ascendancy in the commerce of this continent. Her natural situation and advantages, when properly improved, give her this position. The question now arises, will the proposed railroads afford a remunerating profit for the outlay they will require 1 Experience is the best guide for this question. In other districts, less favorable for their construction, and less promising in their business, they have been made entirely successful; and if the same skill and fidelity is devoted to these, there can be no doubt of equal success. Let us take for example those railroads that have been conducted with a single eye to their legitimate business, and not those that have been managed for land and stock speculation. To those who have been accustomed to travel on, and see the operation of business on well conducted railroads, no argument is necessary to convince them of their superiority for every purpose of rapid or uninterrupted transit, and especially for the ease, safety and rapidity in the transit of passengers, over every other mode of conveyance. It is not the design of this paper to urge the particular claims of any railroad project. The system is viewed as one that mocks the age. Its progress has startled the most cautious. Its developments are revolutionizing the social and commercial affairs of mankind. No commercial city can fail to feel its influence. Peculiar circumstances may protract, and modify for a time, but cannot avert it; for benefit or injury, the result is inevitable. As elsewhere, the system will go forward here, and nowhere is it more important in the results that will be secured. The time is not distant, when in New York as much anxiety will be felt for the completion of the lines, as is now felt in other cities and districts, for similar works. The consideration of the subject is commended to all who take an interest in the growth and prosperity of the city, and the promotion of the social and commercial intercourse and prosperity of the State at large.
Art, IW.—MORALS OF TRADE.
WoRLDLY wisdom and Christian duty run parallel with each other; or rather, they are the same thing. What is interest is duty. We should see this, could we look deep enough into affairs. That which is called worldly wisdom, an appearance of sagacity and skill which ends in downfall; a pretence and show of acuteness, which becomes dull and blunt when put to use, is so named to distinguish it from real wisdom. This worldly wisdom is no wisdom at all. It is folly dressed in sober garments; a wolf in sheep's clothing; a bright razor without temper or stuff in it; a false light hung out by those wreckers, the flesh and the devil.
But that course of action which we find to be best by experience, those views and principles which the world has endorsed as genuine paper, that is wisdom. Those old bank-notes, worn and soiled, that have known service, and smell of circulation, they may be homely and dark, but they bring the gold from the vault. Such wisdom we shall find to be one with Christian duty. But let us illustrate our statement by bringing forward some practical precept of Christianity, and comparing it with the true and the false wisdom. Let us discuss the question, What is mercantile charity ? We shall find, in Mark's gospel, an appropriate answer by Christ to this inquiry. The young man, who came so eagerly to inquire what he should do to inherit eternal life, was told “to sell whatsoever he had, and give to the poor, and he should have treasure in Heaven.” There are frequent allusions made in the newspapers, and in private circles, in “Mendon meetings” and radical associations, to our richest merchants, as guilty of wrong, because they continue to amass property. “Let them retire,” say some, “and give place to the rising generation; they have enough, let them give up business;” as if what is a fortune was limited or defined by statute. Others cry out for a division of property, and question the religious principle of those who hold large fortunes. “There is something wrong,” they say; “there is disease in the social state, it must be made over anew. These inequalities in condition are a fruitful source of mischief.” Does it ever occur to these complainers, we ask, that the fault is in those who are too lazy to work? that the fault is in those who do not acquire, not in those who do; that it is better they should come up than that others should come down f We do not understand our Saviour to say to the young man who was inquiring the way to heaven, that he must sell all his possessions, and give all the proceeds to the poor; but he tells him to sell whatsoever he had ; to sell something; to realize some money, and give to the poor. If he should sell all his property, and give all to the poor, he would be poor him. self, and some one else must needs sell his property, and give to him; and he again go over the same round of giving. It would seem that a moment's reflection would show that no such meaning could be intended. The instruction is a general instruction to benevolence and charity, and not a specific way of disposing of his property. But what now? What is the Christian course for us? To become Christians must you give up your plans of life, close your business, and turn to reading the Bible, and attending religious meetings? Not so; this would put a speedy stop to all progress and improvement. He who is the best merchant is the best Christian. He who is the best farmer is the best Christian. He who is the best anything, is the best Christian. We mean to say that he who lives the best life, who performs all his work and labor, and study, from the highest motives, is the best man and the best Christian. How impossible would it be for any man, whatever his natural talents might be, to be a good workman in any pursuit, who was under the government of his passions. He might often do extremely well, but now there is a great mistake, an error, a failure, which blasts his reputation as a workman, and destroys confidence. We are not speaking of what a man can do, but of what he will do—be likely to do. When we say the best farmer is the best Christian, we mean that he only can be relied upon, always to act judiciously and calmly, to consult justice, and honesty,