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most ships of the French; but De Grasse coming up with the centre, his division suffered severely, as the heaviest fire was directed at him. The action ended about sunset. Only fifteen ships on each side were engaged. The loss of the British in killed and wounded was three hundred and thirty. Admiral Graves endeavored to keep up the line during the night, with the intention of renewing the action in the morning; but a number of his ships were so much injured that he found his fleet was not in a condition to do so. The hostile fleets continued, for five days, in sight of each other, repair. ing damages, and manoeuvreing, on the one side to renew, and on the other to avoid an action. The British were so mutilated, that they had not speed enough to come up with the French; and they evinced no disposition to engage, which they might have done, as they generally maintained the wind of Admiral Graves. As Count De Grasse was apprehensive that, by some favorable change of wind, the British might get into the bay before him, he returned thither on the tenth. Two frigates, which had been sent in to cut away the buoys from the French anchors, were captured. During the absence of De Grasse, Admiral De Barras arrived in the Chesapeake, with eight ships of the line, and several frigates and transports. The British ship, Terrible, had been so much damaged in the action and a subsequent gale, that she was evacuated and burned; and the whole force of the French being anchored within the cape, in such a manner as to block up the entrance, Admiral Graves determined to return to New York, where he arrived on the twentieth. Great exertions were made by Sir Henry Clinton to relieve Lord Cornwallis from his perilous position in Yorktown, where he had been besieged by the armies under Washington and Rochambeau; and having embarked, with seven thousand of his best troops, on board the fleet of Admiral Graves, he left Sandy Hook on the nineteenth of October, and arrived off Chesapeake Bay on the twenty-fourth, where he received information that Lord Cornwallis had surrendered on the day of his departure from New York, and therefore immediately returned with his whole force to that city. On the fifth of November, Count De Grasse sailed from Chesapeake Bay for the West Indies. When Count De Guichen returned from his cruise, the utmost expedition was used at Brest, in fitting out a large squadron, as it was deemed highly important to reinforce Count De Grasse in the West Indies, with ships and troops, and to replenish his magazines with munitions of war. This force was entrusted to the Marquis de Waudreuil, but was to be accompanied by Count De Guichen's fleet, until it was at a safe distance from the coast. Intelligence of the preparation of this armament being received in England, Admiral Kempenfelt was despatched, in the beginning of December, with twelve sail of the line, a fifty gun ship, four frigates, and a fire-ship, to intercept the French squadron, and he fell in with it on the twelfth, in a severe gale of wind, when the fleet and convoy were much dispersed; and the latter, at a considerable distance astern. The French force was much superior to what had been conceived when Kempenfelt left England, as it consisted of nineteen ships of the line; but he concluded to profit from their position, by endeavoring to cut off the convoy, and succeeded in capturing twenty sail, which were sent to England, where they all arrived. In the mean time, the French commander was collecting his WOL. XV.-NO, WI. 35
ships, and forming the line of battle. The next morning, at daylight, the fleets were near each other. Kempenfelt having ascertained the decided superiority against him, did not think it prudent to risk an action, and therefore returned to England. Count De Guichen's fleet was so disabled by a succession of storms, that only two of the ships of war, and a few of the convoy, could hold on their course to join De Grasse, and the remainder were obliged to return, in a very bad condition, to France. Public dissatisfaction was strongly evinced in England against the ministry, for not having sent a larger force with Kempenfelt, especially as Sir George Rodney had returned to England with his squadron, after he had despatched Admiral Hood to America, and might have been employed, as his ships were all fit for service. On the return of Count De Grasse from Chesapeake Bay to the West Indies, the reduction of St. Christopher was determined upon. The Marquis De Bouille landed with eight thousand men, on the eleventh of January, 1782, under the protection of the Count's fleet, of thirty-two sail of the line. The garrison, consisting of six hundred men, commanded by General Frazer, retired to Brimstone Hill, the strongest post in the island; but, after a brave defence, the general capitulated, on the fourteenth of February; and the same day, Count De Grasse anchored off Nevis, with thirty-four ships of the line, when that island surrendered without any attempt of defence, as did Montserrat, on the twenty-second; and Demarara and Issiquibo were taken on the third of February. A fleet under Sir Samuel Hood, consisting of twenty-two sail, had vigorously attempted to counteract the movements of Count De Grasse, and had partial engagements with him, off Basseterre roads, on the twentyfifth and twenty-sixth of January. The French and Spanish marine forces in the West Indies, after the capture of Montserrat, amounted to sixty ships of the line, while their troops formed a considerable army; and, so successful had been their expeditions, that all the numerous British possessions, except Jamaica, Barbadoes, and Antigua, had been taken. On the nineteenth day of February, Sir George Rodney arrived at Barbadoes, from England, with twelve sail of the line, and formed a junction with Admiral Hood's squadron; and three ships having soon after joined them, the whole united British force amounted to twenty-five sail of the line. - NEARCHUs.
Art. III,-NEW YORK RAILROAD LEGISLATION.
It is now about twenty years since the construction of railways upon an extended plan was commenced in England, and something more than twenty years since the successful application of the steam locomotive to the railway gave something more than glimmerings of the vast import. ance and immense utility of this novel improvement. The ingenuity and enterprise of the American character leads it readily to seize upon such novelties, and make experiments upon their adoption in this country. An improvement of so much promise of practical utility as the railway, was of a description to be at once transplanted, and promptly experimented upon on this side of the Atlantic.
A line of railway, of any extent, for the transport of persons and property, it was evident was beyond the reach of individual enterprise. The construction must be undertäken, and the work when completed controlled by the State; or the duty would be devolved upon corporations, where associated wealth, and ample delegated powers, would give both the means to construct and the capacity to control. In the State of New York, the State had embarked in a system of internal improvements by canals; and the Erie Canal, then recently completed, was a proud monument of successful State enterprise. As the State had incurred a heavy debt in the completion of this bold undertaking, and as railways, if successful, might compete with the canal, in the transport of property, it was hardly to be expected that the State would embark in their construction with her own credit and resources. It was not, however, to be expected that this circumstance, or any circumstances, would prevent the structure of railways. The active and enterprising spirit of our people would create a necessity for experimental undertakings in this improvement, of some kind, and some sort of legislation was required, to give the capacity for entering upon such undertakings, and for controlling their action. It was readily understood that these enterprises could not be successfully prosecuted, except through the instrumentality of corporations which the legislative power alone could create. To these corporations must be delegated so much of the sovereign power of the State as would be necessary to enable them to acquire the lands for these structures, even against the wishes of the owners. There must be inducements sufficient held out to the corporators to insure their entering upon the work, and yet it was important that guards should be interposed against the acquisition of power or profits too exorbitant. It was supposed, too, that the interests of the State in the canals which it had recently completed, should, to some extent at least, be protected against competition by railways. At this time, there did not of course exist any clear ideas of the magni. tude and importance of railways. There were dim, misty, and indefinite views of the consequences of such structures, but it was impossible for the most sagacious to foresee their future utility and importance, and consequently legislators and corporators acted to a great degree in the dark, in the early legislation upon this subject. As the central line of railroads between the Hudson and Lake Erie is the most important line in the State of New York, as yet constructed, constituting indeed, we believe, at present, about the only dividend-paying roads in this State, we propose to give a brief account of the legislation as to such roads. The distance by railway between the Hudson River and Albany, and Lake Erie at Buffalo, is about three hundred and twentyfive miles. This line is filled by eight different railroad corporations, including the Schenectady and Troy; viz., the Mohawk and Hudson, from Albany to Schenectady; the Schenectady and Troy, from Troy to Schenectady; the Utica and Schenectady, from Schenectady to Utica; the Syracuse and Utica, from Utica to Syracuse; the Auburn and Syracuse, from Syracuse to Auburn; the Auburn and Rochester, from Auburn to Rochester; the Tonawanda, from Rochester to Attica; and the Attica and Buffalo, from Attica to Buffalo. The duration of all these charters is the period of fifty years from the date of their enactment. The Mohawk and Hudson was chartered, April
17, 1826, and was the first charter granted. In this charter there is no restriction as to the charge or tolls which the corporation may receive for the transportation of passengers. The charges for the transportation of property are not to exceed charges for the transportation of property on the Erie Canal. The directors and stockholders were made individually personally liable for the debts of the corporation, and the State reserved the right of appropriating the road, upon the payment, at any time within five years, of the amount of cost and interest, after deducting the tolls received. It was soon discovered that this charter did not offer sufficient inducements to individuals to embark in the enterprise, as there were no adequate benefits secured, even in the event of success, to compensate the risk incurred. Hence, in March, 1828, this charter was amended, by repealing the section imposing personal liability upon the directors and stockholders, and by authorizing the State to appropriate the work upon payment of cost, and 14 per cent interest thereon, after deducting receipts. The Tonawanda Railroad Company was the next chartered, April 24, 1832. This company was not, in their original charter, restricted as to their charges for the transportation of persons or property; but, in 1844, this company was restricted to four cents per mile per passenger, and in 1846, their charges upon freight were restricted. The State reserved to itself the right of appropriation after ten, and within fifteen years from the completion of the road, upon the payment of cost and 14 per cent interest, after deducting tolls received. The Utica and Schenectady Railroad Company was next chartered, April 29, 1833, with restrictions in its charges to four cents per mile per passenger, and without the privilege or right of carrying any other freight than the ordinary baggage of passengers. The State reserved the right to appropriate the road after ten and within fifteen years, upon payment of cost and 10 per cent interest, after deducting the income actually received. The other companies on this line were chartered in 1834 and 1836. We may present the important features of all the charters under a few heads. As to charges for the transportation of passengers, the Mohawk and Hudson is unrestricted; the Schenectady and Troy is restricted to six cents per mile per passenger; all the others but one, to four cents per mile per passenger, and the Attica and Buffalo to three cents per mile per passenger. Such are the provisions for guarding the public against exorbitant fares. As to restrictions upon carrying freight, the Attica and Buffalo, the Tonawanda, and the Schenectady and Troy, were unrestricted; the Mohawk and Hudson cannot receive greater tolls than the charges for transportation on the Erie Canal; the Auburn and Rochester cannot transport property when the Erie Canal is navigable, so as to lessen the income on that canal; the Syracuse and Utica, and Auburn and Syracuse, are to pay tolls to the canal fund on property carried by them, when the Erie Canal is navigable; and the Utica and Schenectady cannot carry freight at all. These are the provisions for guarding the Erie Canal against injurious competition with the railroads in the transportation of property. The Utica and Schenectady Railroad being wholly forbidden the carriage of property, and some of the other roads being restricted, by provisions more or less stringent, the consequence is, that none of the railroads carry much freight, and generally only that which moves between the interior and points on the canal, and which is of no injury to canal freights. This feature of railroad legislation was modified by an act passed in 1844, au. thorizing the Utica and Schenectady Railroad to transport property in the winter, when the canals are closed. But this company pays tolls to the State equal in amount to canal tolls on all property it carries, and all the other roads pay such tolls upon all property which passes their respective roads, by reason of opening the Utica and Schenectady road to the carriage of freight. The consequence of this legislation has been a considerable movement of property on the railroads during the winter months; but still, the whole freight upon all these railroads is quite trifling in amount. In the case of the Mohawk and Hudson, and the Tonawanda, the State has the power of assuming the works, after ten, and within fifteen years, upon payment of the cost and 14 per cent interest, deducting income received; and as to all the other roads upon the line, on payment, in like manner, of cost and 10 per cent interest. This provision insures the control to the State, in case it should find that the railroad corporations realized greater profits than it was for the interest of the public they should enjoy. These charters contained the legislative offer to those enterprising persons who should become corporators, of the privileges which they should enjoy, if they should, on the faith of these offers, go on and construct works, deemed of eminent public utility. The advantages offered, were a right to carry passengers at charges for fare not exceeding certain specified rates, and to carry freight under certain restrictions, and there was no provision limiting the profits which the corporations might realize, if successful, except that providing for the assumption of the work by the State. Individuals could not have been induced to enter upon enterprises of a hazardous character like these, unless upon a promise of privileges which would compensate them amply and equitably in case of success. The advantages which these charters held out to the public, were generally deemed satisfactory. The public manifested great interest in obtaining these charters, and great interest in the structure of the roads authorized by them. The press, public meetings, and all the usual organs of public opinion, encouraged in every way the structure of railroads, and cheered on those who were pioneers in such enterprises—commending the patriotism, public spirit and enterprise of those who embarked their money in such useful public works, and promised them a rich reward, both in the gratitude of their fellow-citizens and the profits of their stock. With such legislative encouragement held out by the charters of incorporation, and such encouragement from all the various organs of public opinion, the subscriptions to such stocks were filled, and the roads eventually constructed. It was not till January, 1843, that the line of railroads was completed to Buffalo, so that cars could run from Lake Erie to the Hudson. Previous to this time, the more eastern roads on this line had been in operation for several years; the public had become accustomed to them; they had ceased to be a novelty; most of these companies had been prosperous, their income had been good, and their stock profitable; the experiment was successful. A little envy was perhaps excited ; other interests grew up which were hostile; attempts were made to irritate the public mind,