AND FARMERS, MECHANICS, AND MANUFACTURERS' ADVOCATE.
NEW SERIES. VOL. 5. M. 29. ST. CHIBSVIILB, jff, PBIBIl', ihfi 15, ISB. lliCLK fl. SCO
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HON. TRUMAN SMITH, of Conn.,
In support of Bill reported by the Hon. Mr.
Rusk, of Texas, from a Select Committee, for
the construction of a Railroad and Telegraph
line from Mississippi Valley to the Pacific
DELIVERED IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE,
FEBRUARY 17, 1853.
Mr. SMITH said: J
Mr. President: I do Dot know but that this I ,
subject has already been Sufficiently discussed t
to enlighten the deliberation of the Semite,
and to conduct us to such resulls as shall ac- .
cord with the public interest. 1 am a strong
friend of this measure, and do not intend it
hall be killed off by unnecessary or protrac
ted debate. If, therefore, the Senate will in- j
dicate a desire to bring the question at once .
to the test of a vote, I will resume- my seat.
Mr. GWIN. Agreed! let us have- a vote. ,
Mr. COOPER. I desire to address the
Senate on the subject, and cannot consent to
forego the privileges of the floor. .
Several Senators, to Mr. Smith. Goon!
Mr. SMITH. I must, then, throw myself j.
on the indulgence of the Senate in submit
ting a few remarks, which I trust will be ac-
corded to me, if for no other reason, in eon
eidcration of the fact that I seldom obtrude t
myself on the notice of this body, and never
except to discuss some matter of practical im
portance. I have taken no part in the (lis- j
cussion of a variety of questions which have
been raised hcretouchingourloreignrelations, ,
and which have occupied a large portion of ..
our lime during the present session, to the ,
exclusion of this and other matters deeply
concerning the welfare of the American peo- .
pie. But though we are brought very late to .
an examination of this bill, I hope enough of (
time and opportunity remains to enable us to
make an enlightened and proper disposition
of the question b. fore us. And what, sir, is
that question! It is whether we shall now
alopt air.ca ure commended to cur confidence .
by the deliberations of some of the ablest and
most experienced mrmbers of this body. f
i confess, Mr. President, I have concluded,
contrary to my fust impression, that it is my
duty to acquiesce in the result of those de-
liberations, and to give the bill before us,
with slight exceptions, my cardial support.
It is truo I did, very curly in the debute, ex- j,
press the opinion that it would be impracti
cable, during the present short session, so to
arrange and settle the general plan and de
tails of a bill as that it would command the
support of the two Houses of Congress. I
therefore insisted that nothing more could be '
done than to make provision for such surveys
and explorations as would be required for a ,
proper and just appreciation of the subject by
the next Congress. Hut the Select Commit
tee, at the head of which my honorable and .
excellent friend, the Senator from Texas, .
Mr. Rusk, has been placed, has satisfied .
me that I was mistaken. They have brought
before us a bill which seems to me to have
been well considered, and to be substantially
right, both in its general plan and details. I
am, therefore, for pressing this bill to a vote; .
I am for taking the judgment of the Senate
on the subject, and let those incur the res
ponsibility who would defeat the measure and -postpone
even the commencement of this work -for
two years longer. Be it remembered, if
we do not act now, no bill can be got through j
the next Congress until July or August, 1854,
and that little or nothing can be done to ad- .
vance the measure until the spring of 1855.
Hence, sir, I rejoice at the success of the com
mittee, and I desire to proffer to them my
cordial thanks for their indefatigable labors.
If nothing is now done on this important sub- j
ject, no one can think of laying the blame at
their door. J
I repeat, Mr. President, I consider this bill !
' substantially right. I do not mean that either ..
the general plan or details are such as I would g
have proposed. I suppose if every honorable i .
member were to be charged with a subject!
like this, susceptible of an infinite variety of
plans and details, each would adopt a mess- J,
ure having a specific character, and differing
from that of every other member. If we are
to await until every member has before him
exactly the scheme he would prefer, we should j p
wait until the end of time. I feel myself '
under an obligation to lay aside my prefercn- j
ces and my notions of what would bs boat in j '
dealing with such a subject. If I can find:,
in the bill a plan that is practicable, and which '
does not eompromit any great public interest,' .
or violate any fundamental principle, it will' j
be enough for me. I shall feel it to be my
duty to accord to it my support.
And what, Mr. President, is the object con
tempi ai. il by this bill, snd what is the scheme
by which that object is to be resched! The j
former is one of the most msgnificent which (
could De proposed to an American Pteniite, be
ing no less than the establishment of a rail
road and telegraphic communication between
the navigable waters of the Mississippi river,
or one of its tributaries, and those of the Pa
cific coast, and this, too, wholly within our
own territory an enterprise of vast magni
tude, which, when accomplished, cannot fail
to produce results of infinito consequence to
ourselves, and to the world. The scheme is
a moderate one. It does not involve an ap
propriation of any considerable amount of the
public treasure, und certainly no pnrt of the
public domain now of much value, and yet it
holds out such encouragements for tlieinvest
met of private capital, und the enlistment ol II
private enterprise, os to make the execution
of the work, within u reasonable period, mor- I
ally certain. The bill sets aside 820,000,000
for this work, to be advanced us it progresses, i
and grants in the States alternate sections of I
the public lands, on each side of the rond, for '
six miles in width, and in the Territories, for
twelve miles in width. It makes it the duty
of the President, after obtaining the requisite I
information, to fix the termini and general
course of the road, end then directs him to i
enter into a contract, after public notice, with u
the lowest bidders, for the construction of the I
road and telegraphic line, with regulations t
and details which need not bo specified. The f
contractors are to own the road und line, und t
Lo levy tolls subject to supervision and con- c
trol of Congress to a certain extent, and are i:
to surrender them up to the United States at e
the end of thirty years, should Congress so r
?iect on terms which wouldseem to be cquit- I
iblo and just. In the meun time, they are to c
ic subjected to such burdens by the free ti
runsportation of the mails, and the officers, c
roops, and property of the United States, us 1
ire likely, in course of thirty years, to be more c
ban an equivalent hr the-money advanced und 1 i'
he land granted. The bill also confers on w
be contractors corporate powers, which would ;
eem to be quite important, If not indispen-jq
uble, to u proper execution or the contract, '
he convenience of the parties, and the safety oi
t the capital to be advanced by them.
To this bill the honorable Senator from ' hi
'ennsylvania Mr. BroDBBAD has proposed j il
n amendment, the only effect of which will
e to adjourn over the whole project for nn st
definite period. He moves to strikeout the ; dt
nacting clause, and to substitute a provision j of
r such explorations and surveys, by and un- ( tli
er the direction of the Secretary of War, as W
e muy deem advisable to ascertain the most li
raotioable and economical route, for a railroad j of
inn the Mississippi to the Pacific; and also , ci
further provision authorizing and requiring ti'
ic Secretary to receive proposals from indi- j or
iiluuls or associations, for the construction of ju
ic road, to be laid before Congress at its next w
Ession. i in
This amendment, Mr. President, will, if a- of
opted, be in substance a rejection of the bill, ly
ml a repudiation of the labors of the commit- T
?e. Il is certain, that if we are to have a te
lorough exploration und survey of all the va- lb
ous routes, and the costs of each precisely th
sccrtained so that we may determine which j
i the most practicable and economical, as an bt
idispensuble preliminary to the action of w
longress, the work cannot be commenced in C(
isny years. If
The honorable Si-nnlor would seem to con- th
;m plate a survey of all possible routes, nnd th
fall possible modifications of each route, for cj
I no other way can the question of compara- ci
ve practicability and economy be settled. Ci
f course he must cause a survey to be made gi
y way of the South Pass to the navigable ei
'aters of the Columbia, if not to Puget's oi
iound. and then, also, by the same pass, to tu
an Francisco. He must cause a survey to ft
i! made by way of New Mexico and Walker's 01
ass, to the Pacific; and then he must take m
p each of these general routes, and examine1
II the various modifications which may be 1 bt
nggested. He must also ascertain what is tii
ic number of square yartls of embankments, as
xcavations, and masonry, which would be bi
quired on each route, together with the cost th
f viaducts, depots, and other structures, in- w
ispensable to the proper working of a rail-j
ad. He would be obliged to organise sev- ar
ral corps of engineers, and employ them on W
i tie re nt parts of the work, and each would pi
Bve to be protected by detachments from the i w
.riny. How long would it take to execute pi
ich a work, and what amount of exp6lMUof
ire would be required! I 's
Fortunately wo have the lights of experi-.tr
ace to guide us. On the 30th of May next j ol
will be four years since we commenced run-: DJ
lug the boundary between the United States ' or
ml Mexico, in conformity with the treuty of I'
luadalupe Hidalgo. The work bus not been ! ol
nished to this day, and has cost us half a hi
lillion of dollars; and yet at least one half of pi
iat boundary consisted of rivers; and with i''
?spect to the other half wo had nothing to ci
o but draw a line from point lo point on tlfe "
urface of the earth, and mark it by suitable
lonuments. How infinitely more vast is the sli
ndertaking proposed by the honorable Sen t- th
ir! Estimates of embankments, exenvntions, st
nisonry, and other matWd appertaining to a ol
lilroad, would be found to be quite u dill'erent In
ffuir from merely settling a line, as in the se
ase of the United States and Mexico. I ver- el
y believe the surveys that would be neces- th
ury to enable Congress to determine which t
the most practicable and most economical
iute would require more time and a larger ex- VI
endituro of money thun the construction ol W
lie road itself. iz
Hut the honorable Senator Mr. BitomtSAD sn
equircs' the Secretary of War to receive pro- w
osals for the construction of a rosd from the Lr
alley of the Mississippi to the Pacific Oceun, HI
nd to lay thein before Congress at the next t!
essiou. How can proposals bo mode when w
he honorable Senator docs not condescend to ov
iiform us how, when, or where this road is to fu
ie constructed! He does not say whether il el
3 to be a road to the Columbia river or to K;in n
''rsncisco, or if t hi la'te- point whether it Bi
hall have its course through the South Pass pi
t by New Mexico; whether its eastern it
erminus shall be on the Mississippi or at tli
omu point in the western boundary of Ar- pt
isnsas, Missouri, or Iowa; whether it is to si
is a read with a single er double track, abr st
Wneinef it sliall M nnlaMI ID live years or
twenty-five. The idea of getting any valua
ble Information for the guidance of Congress
in this strange way, cannot of course be se
riously entertained by one so eminently prac
tical as the honoruble mover. Without in
lending any disrespect to the Senator, I have
to say I consider his proposition a mere evti- j
sion of the question before us. I think it'
would be better to reject the bill at once, than I
to adopt a measure so utterly futile und im-
practicable. I understand hi in to avow, with j
a commendable frankness, that his object it
to defeut the bill; but I think it would be more ;
manly and more statesmanlike to defeat it by
l direct und positive negatalion, rather than
)y 8 substitution which OH its face amounts
0 nothing and can come to nothing.
Without dwelling any further on the sub-1,
ititute which has been offered by the honor.i- i
ilc und very worthy Senator from PennsyU J
a 1 1 i a , I proceed to say that there ure three
lilfercnt methods which ran be adopted, to;
irovide for the constructionof ibis work. The 1
irst is to make it exclusively a Government ' i
fork, to be excuted by the national Executive, j I
n conformity with the direction of Congress, I
nd at the proper cost of national Treasury. 1 1
1 is believed that great advantages would at-: ;
end this plan, provided the contract system ' i
e adopted, und the contractors be compensa- j
cd in part out of the public domain. The i
ontract system would, in my judgment, be i
idlspensabte to a proper economy. If it were t
xecuted after the fashion of the Cumberland I
jud I do not hesitate to stty it would cost i
iree or four times us much as it ought to ; I
ost. But by letting the road out in sections t
the lowest bidders, I suppose the outlay c
uuld be brought within reasonably limits, and g
on Id not great ly exceed llie cost of roads t
instructed by private enterprise and capital j
i various parts of the country. If, then, we 0
ere to add compensation in part from the
llblic domain, in the usual manner, the re- c
aisitions on the Treasury would be reduced : tl
i low thai they could be promptly met with- J p
it series inconvenience to any brunch of the tl
ibiic service. But this scheme is not now I1
fore us, and therefore I need not dwell on j d
A second method would be to make the con-, ti
ruction of the road exclusively a private uu- j e:
irtakillg, and to put the work into the bunds i n
such citizens us may be disposed to furnish l di
e requisite capital, and would execute the ( si
urk on the most favorable terms for the pub- ai
:; leaving it to their own sagacity und sense ' P1
interest to fix its termini aad general j tl
urse, together with all the details of loca-l o
in, making them such compensation in land, h
money, or both, us may be deemed adequate, h
st, and equitable. It is safe to say that ci
liatcvur would bo boot fur tlio StSfikhtsldora j u
respect to the location and general course j w
the road, would be quite iikely, nay moral- j ii
certain, to accord with the public interests, i tl
lie sagacity and shrewdness of private en- fi
rprise would bo no unsafe arbiter of ques- j in
ins which it might be difficult to settle in pi
e two Houses of Cwngiess. ti
The third method is the one which we have Ol
fore us; it is the intermediate method, oi
here governmental control and capital is It)
unbilled to some extent with individual con- S
j and capital. The Government is to fix j bi
e termini of the road, and its general coursii ol
roughout, and the details of location and t fr
:ecution ol the work is to be confided to such ai
tizcus as muy be disposed to furnish the i oi
ipital requisite for the consummation of this ai
eat enterprise. I need not, Mr. President, !
iter into a Comparison of these three meth- j ti
Is. The honorable committee have seen fit IV
adopt the last, and I can see no superior ad- j tl
intakes in either of the two former to in-i ltt
ICO me to reject the latter. I therefore have Ci
adc up my mind to support it. si
But there ure some objections which have ti
en made to this plan, which I wish to no-i C
:e briefly. They have been examined, and el
I humbly conceive, refuted with signal a- rc
1 it y by my honorable and excellent friend, ai
e Senator from Tennessee, Mr. B;;li., bi
ho has just resumed bis seat. I al
It has been asserted by honoruble Senators, tl
id among others the honorable Senator from w
Uth Carolina, Mr. BuTLBK, to whose o- si
uions I have ever been dispo-ed to listen ei
ith deference and respect, that this bill pro- ai
ises to confer on the ExOCUtivO, or the chief; st
the incoming Administration, a power w hich l'
unprecedented in the history of the conn- n
if. I fully admit the extent and magnitude j al
the power proposed to be conferred. To1 pi
: the termini of this road, and to luy down qi
establish its general course, is to decide rr
lestioM which deeply concern the welfare h
lite whole country; and yet I Cannot seejtl
iw wo can do better than to place the dis- ri
isition of these questions in the hands of the ! aj
xecutive. I think we can do so, under the , ti
rCUmstancee of the case, with safety and ! e
I am apprehensive, Mr. President, that I 1 w
all be obliged to pay a poor compliment to ti
c two Houses of Congress, for I am con- ' P
rained to say, as the result of many years' j Ri
tservution, that I have as much confidence 1 pi
the impartiality, sound discretion, and high 81
use of patriotism and duty, ol the President j 0
eet nay, a good deal more than 1 have In ta
e collective judgment and wisdom of the a
o Houses of Congress. I am not among si
ose who share the responsibility of his ele- in
lion to the Presidency. I supported, with 81
hatever of effort I was capable, another cit- Hi
jn, who hod rendered his country services di
ch us no in, in now living can boast or, and 61
ho, I thought, by his great experience, his hi
nerouo and patriotic course, his unspotted C
e, and his trunscendent abilities, was cnti- re
:d lo fill the chief executive office. But my P
isheB, my opinions, and my efforts, were fi
erruled, and, liks a good c'nizen, I cheer- in
lly acquiesce in the result. The President 811
ect bus received a high expression of the al
nftdence of his countrymen. The North a
id the South, the East and the West, stip
irted tii in with unexampled unanimity, und lb
is my sincere desire that his Adininietra- M
in may be successful may conduce to the IV
ospority of the American people, and to the in
iccess of our free system of government. I ti
nil oppose to that Administration bo fae- &
tious opposition, and shall be governed, on all
occasions, by a proper sense of right and of
And what, after all, is this power to be vest
ed in Ihe hands of the F.xecutive, which some
honorable Senators seem to suppose so tre
mendous! Why may we not confide it to
the Executive, and where is the hazard! Do
we not st every session appropriate from for
ty to fifty millions of dollars for various bran
ches of the public service, and is not the ex
penditure of these vast sums confided, in a
great degree, to Executive diacretion and Ex
ecutive agency 1
In the present instance he will have only
to fix the termini ond general course of the
proposed road; and coming, as he does, from
New England, from the remote Fast, his
mind will be free from all bias, and in a con
dition to dispose of the question on its truo
merits. It stems to be ;n .ascump'ion here 1
that the President is to settle this matter by
liis own unaided judgment; but it is not so.
He will, in the first place, have the counsel
ind assistance of his Cabinet, composed of no
ess thun seven citizens of the country, (I
hall venture to presume) of high ability nnd
'funding. Hi; will also have the power to or
ganize a hoard of officers, if be shall be pleas
id to do so. It will be his duty to cause the
itirveysto be made in advance, and to obtain
ill the requisite information to enable him
ind those whom he may call to his assistance '
o determine what should be done. I desire
0 know whether results, such as the Presi-,
lent would be likely to arrive at, with all the
urveys und explorations before him, and with
he assistance of his Cabinet, nnd, as the
ase may be, of a board of officers of distill
;uished ability, would not be quite as likely
o accord with the public interests us any
idgment We shall get from the two Houses
f Congress! I hope I shall not be Consider
d out of order when I say that the two Hous
s have reduced themselves to such a state, i
iat they are competent to do little more than i
888 the general appropriation bills, nnd that ; i
icy do after a sad fashion. In the House of ',
representatives I believe it is seldom In or- t
er to do what should be done, and nearly the (
holo of the public business there has to be
'ansacted in violation of the rules, or, in oth- j
r words, by suspending them. Here we have t
0 previous question, no means of closing a't
ibate. Hence nearly the whole of every c
lesion is occupied in discussing a few topics, 1 j
nd those, too lrccquently, of no practical im- t
irtanrc, and much the larger proportion of't
ie business before us we are obliged to act c
ii without debate, or not act on it at all. We ;
live so much liberty of debate, that we really r
ave none at nil us tu most of the matters 1 1
tiling for tho action of Congress. Hence, L
ter many w.'ury months in listening, with I i
hat patience we can muster, to never-end- j s
ig disquisitions, relating lo anything else ,
ian legitimate subjects of legislation, we
nd tho moment ut hand when the session t
ust be closed. We then snatch up the sp- t
opriation bills and hurl them through the
vo Houses, much as shot may be thrown out t
: a shovel. Nuboby knows what they are, r
what they provide for, unless the honorable I v
embers of the Committee on Finance of the s
euate, nnd on Ways and Means of the House t
2 exceptions. What a rush do we witness, j f
f secretaries, clerks, and messengers, to and 1 j
om the two Houses, und to and from raeh
id the Executive, all in hot haste, least this
that appropriation should be lost by the ! c
tvent of the inexorable hour. I f
Now, suppose nil the surveys und explora- : t
ons contemplated by the honorable Senator .
om Pennsylvania should be made, and all I
ie different routes estimated, planned, and c
id down on maps, (the world would hardly1 c
inliiin the books which would be written. 1 c
id the whole of this vast uniount of informs- r
on should be pitched into the two Houses of .
ongrcss, what would become of it! What v
lance would there be that the subject would L
ccive a dispassionate and a proper exsmln- o
lion! Should we not have interminable de-, v
ites, and either no result or a very unfortun- 'J
e one, rushed through on the very heel of t
ie session! And, then, what heart-burnings, ' c
hat jealousies, what sectional dissentioni n
lould we not have! Would not the oppon- v
its of this policy, reinforced by those who t
dissatisfied with this or that locution, be (
ire to defeat the whole scheme! Indeed, on o
ie question whether the living of the termi-
nnd the general course of the ro'td shall or v
lall not be referred to the Executiro De- a
irtmente, depends, iii my judgment, the e
lection whether we shall or shall not h ive a i
lilroad to the Pacific. The committee have c
t on the only practicable scheme. With n
laeyresldent there will be a proper sense of u
'sponsibility, high intelligence, ami a just c
ipreclutioil of the true interests of the couu- v
y. I am satisfied there will be no want of t
ither inclination, ability, or effort, on the ..
art of the incoming Executive, to make a u
ise and safe disposition of this entire mat- f
r. It is possiblo thnt a reference to the a
resident may cause a location contrary to f
y present impressions of expediency. I c
refer tho route by the South Puss, If practi
ible, because from thence we can branch to
regon; whereas, if the southern route be p
ken that will bo impossible. But I am for p
road anyhow, whether North or South. Be- a
des, I believo we shall have a railroad with- r,
twenty-five years, between the Mississippi 6
id the Columbia or Puget's Bound. I be- it
;vo it with almost as much confidence as I s
1 in my personal identity; and I do not con- n
ir at all in the opinion expressed by my e
morable friend from Pennsylvania, Mr. c
JoriiK, the other day. that the snows would
ndor a railroad Impracticable at the South
ss. If such roads can be worked to ad- fi
ntage in New England, Cunada, nr. even
Russia, in the winter season, I am quite r,
re there can be no barrier to their use at h
1 times at the point mentioned, and even ot ti
much higher latitude. i.
It is also insisted that it is improper to pass ,
is bill for the reason that the surveys and n
iplorations have not been hud which have h
lually been deemed an important, if not an tl
dispensable preliminary to legislative sc- e
on on such a subject. If wo wore about to a
( the termini and general coureo of the road, t(
tin's objection would have "rest wight; but
when these points ore to be refi-rreil to the
Executive, and when the bill directs these ve
ry surveys nnd explorations to be mode aa a
basis for his decision, It obviomly has no
force. I have already, in oppoeinf the a-
mendment of the honorable Senator from
Pennsylvania, Mr, Baoraus, stated fully
my objections to surveys ami esiimafes in de
tail of all the various routes, ami of the modi
ficutnns of each route with a view to compa
rison, und an accurate ond precise Calculation
on their economy or cheapness, I siy, Ifthla
is to be done, there is not a Senator in this
Chamber who will live to see the day when
the work is commenced. I m-iintitin, more
over, that such fullness and precision of sur
vey and of estimates is wholly unnecessary.
In such a vst undertaking, one or two mil
lions the one way or the other is of no im
portance, and ft would be folly in the extreme
to waste ten millions in order to save one or
two. With respect to the practicability of
the work, much Is already khown. We need,
for example, no survey, to satisfy us that we
can construct u road to the South Pais, and
from thence to the eastern base of the Sierra
Nevada. The aseent from the Missouri to
the pass is so very gradual as net to be per
ceptible to the traveler; but whin becomes
to test the elevation by the barometer, he
finds hiinself.ii I do not misrecollect the figures
from six to seven thousand feet above "tide- '
Every on" admits we can build a railroad '
from the Missouri tu the Sierra Nevada," but I
whether we con get over what mountain is a '
matter of doubt. The Sierra would have to '
be explored through several degrees of I jtitud i 1
and ull the passes carefully examined. ThU 1
would be the o.ily point on that route of scr- 1
ions difficulty. On the southern route several '
points would require examination. It would i (
e necessary to examine the ridge between I
.he waters of the Mississippi or its tributaries j 1
md those of the Rio Grande) ulso tbe ridge I
letwucn the waters ol the Rio Grande and 1
hose of the Colorado, and also the ri.'"e be- c
Ween the waters of the Colorado and' those 1
if the San Joaquin. This would involve un 1
IXploration of ull the mountain passes. Pro- c
ably the grades would have to be a.-,certain-'d
ut all the dilhVult points on each route, &
hen the question, whether of practicability : 11
ir economy, must be decided either by Con-j
;ress, or, as proposed in this bill, by the Ex- "
cutive. I believe ull the information re- 1 '
tiisite to a proper disposition of the subject 11
ould be obtained in a single season, and then "
re can Commence the construction of the
ond at an early day. Having determined on ! f
he point of departure and the general course 1
f the road, the surveys und estimates in de- 'J
nil can tliun be innile witU n(ty, SSinitT.l 1
ind dispatch. Vou will need no detachments '
i. the Army to protect your surveyors. L-ire
imlies of men will be employed on the road, 1
vUo will hold in check and probably keep at '
. distance the savages of those regions. It '
rill be necessary ordinarily to survey onlvi0
me or two hundred milee in advance of the '
oad as it progresses, and then the road itself; 1
facilitate the passage of the surveyors to i 1
nd fro, and the transportation of their 6up-i 1
dies, and this will greatly reduce the ex-I 1
lenses of the oporution. Indeed it is, in my 'l "
ndginent, indispensable that surveys and con-i 1
tructiou should go forward ut the same time, I
ud in no other way could the former be ac-l v
lomplished without en enormous outlay, Er-: 1
ry one must see at a glance that the constru- 1 '
ion of the roud in part will greatly facilitate I
urveys in advance. t
If, for example, tho President were to de- 1
ide that the point of departure should be at ''
ir near Independence, Missouri, and it we M
eminence Ihe construction, and carry the a
oad forward, say four hundred miles, it is v
ibvious that this would aid essentially sur-
eys for the next one hundrrd miles." Pro- 0
sbryjthe cost of such' survey would not be 8
ne tenth part what it would bs were the "
'ork undertaken without the aid of the rosd.
'he combination, therefore, of the two opera- '
ions to some extent, is indispensable to 0
oonomy if not practicability. And what is l'
lore, on the plan here advocated, the parties I
fho make the contract will have to be at all d
lie expense of these surveys and estimates in
etall. They need not cost this Government ll
ne penny. All, therefore, we should provide r
ir, are such explorations and surveys as
roald enable the Executive to fix the termini li
nd genera! course of the road, and precise
stimates and calculations, such aa ure ordi-is
arily laid before our Stat? Legislatures in ' c
uses of tfiis sort, are impracticable and un- ;
ttainable. The case is a peculiar one; the "
bjsct is to connect the two sides of a vast
ontineut, ami the intermediate space is a I I
fllderness thronged with savages. Explora-1 I1
ions and surveys are alike difficult and dan
eroiis, and lo apply to such a case the rules !'
rdinurily observed by our State Legislatures, ll
i absurd and ridiculous Thl necessities of ri
n undertaking so novel and unexampled, will l'
ji nish laws by which we should regulate our ''
I wish now, Mr. President, to assign briefly u
lie reasons by which, ns I conceive, the bi
llicy of this bill can be. vindicated. It is not rl
retended that either private citizens, or tbe
uthorities of the States through which the a'
iad must run in part, can undertake its con- ul
ruction. The States have no power to act e:
i the Territories, and have not, moreover, re- C
JUrOCS adequate to an enterprise of such vast 111
lagnitude. The work, therefore, must be ex- Ll
BUted by the authority of Congress, A; at the ' '
xpense of ti e National Treasury, at least in '"
art, if it is to be iwented ot nil.
I have then to say, Mr. President, in the bi
rst place, that the construction of this road T
ill lend powerfully to develop the internal 01
'source of the coun'ry. It will open a vast
readlh of the public lauds, now inaccessible, hi
i speedy settlement, It will also bring with- "'
i our grasp the mineral wealth of the remote ai
iterior, praticularly in copper, and other
ictaU of great economic value, to say noth- st
ig of gold and silver. It is wi ll known thai a
lere uro in New Mexico, on the Gila river, 111
xtensive and very prductive copper mines;
nd I was informed, not long since, by an in- 18
llligont officer of the United States Army, U
that there nrr si-rtiitr mines in northern
Tetaa, Whether the road w,ll, if cons'ruct
"d, tuke the direction of these mines I run
not, of Bourse, ssy, but in any event it is
highly probable that much would be gsined to
the country by ihe mineral development
which it would occasion wherever Jocnted. I
say nothing of tbe addition which may p.,,.
atbly be made to the inexhaustible supplies of
the previous melds which we already enjoy.
I have, I confess, some Stffcm misgivings in
regard to this business of gold hunting.
fear it is an avocation not exactly Calculated
to induce those habits of stesdinoso, sobriety,
economy, ni.d self-denial, which are important
10 the wi ii-boing of Society. What our pe.
pie want i- st ady employ merit, and moderate
gains. I indulge, h wever, no iocon-iderallo
hopes that the exp'-ri-'nee of ti,e world will
be reversed in California, nnd that our citi
zens there will prove ail that the frienda of
free Institutions could de-ire.
I Insist, Mr. PresWent, In the next place,
that this roid will promote our internal trade
nnd commerce. Much of the surplus pr jducts
ol the agriculture of the country will beturr-.-
en over this road to California, and thus the
(astern markets will be relieved, and n-rricul-
tere everywhere benefited, if we could fn.d
jii the shores of the Pacific a market for the!
products of even a few of the western States,
It wot.ld be an immense benefit to all sections. 1
rhe great difficulty with cur agriculture i i ::
ver production. Any cin-ide.-ablc surplus :
if any crop, will frequently csst down its a;'-:
pegnte value a hundredfold m .re than the
alue of the surplus Itself) hence by taking
,ft from our eus'ern markets some portion of
he pressure from the W. st, by opening a
ent in the direction of the Pacific, 'we shall
tonfer an Incalculable b.;n..;it on agriculture
n every part of the Union. The good edict
rill be us sensibly fall in Virginia and North
-'aioliua as in Illinois und Missouri. It is
relieved, also, that the manufacturers of the
stern and middle States will find a market
or Ihc-ir fabrics ov.r tlrs' road. This will
ertalnly be true of the lighter articles, as in
rade and business, speed and lime are often
he great elemental und will overule all other
The construction of this road will facilitate! '
i u high degree intercommunication between 1 1
e eastern and western .-ides of the continent. '
nd will save to our people much of time, . '
toney, and life. A journey to d from!'
lalrforola, by wuy of the isthmus, cannot '
ow be performed much. If any short of two 1
kontbs, and the expenses amount to 600 at 1
?ast. The lizards to life by that route are
onsidersble, but nothing in comparison with
hoe of the route direct acms the continent
housands of our citizens have been commit
jd to premature gcavea, La taking new
lomes on th shore of the Pacific, and evi
epces of mortality everywhere attend the,
jotsteps of the traveler from the eastern to I
he western side ol the Rocky mountains,
(o doubt the saving jto the country by means !
f this road would in ail these forms be im
uense. The lit us of virtuous, intelligent, i
ipright citixens are inappreciable, butwevan
orm some idea of how much would be saved'
f money uud of time, (which is said to be!
loney.) when this road sbsll be constructed I
nd the transit from I be Mississippi to the
'aciiic ran be effected in a single week. It ,
i not loo much to say that the aggregate
.ould amount annually to ydx per cent, iu-i
srest on the whole capital required to build
Tnis measure, I again remark, will con-J
ribule powerfully to the extension of our ex-1
eroal trade and commerce. It is difficult to
irm now an adequate conceptiou of the et-
ct which a well-constructed, well-appointed,
nd well-managed railroad, connecting the
raters of tbe Mississippi with those of the
'acific, would have on the business relations
f the world. It would probably ere long re
it iii a great commercial' revolution, and
like the I'r.i'.ed Slates the thorough tore of I
lurope in going tu and from China, and other i
Irdeutsl countries. Its tendency to build ur
ur commercial emporium, and to advance i'
iwards a supremacy even in competition with
lOudoa, would be great, and might prove
The road, when constructed, will enable us
) bring into subjection the wild Indian tribes
Miuing over the in'erior of this continent,
ho have been fur years harassing the fron
era, particularly those- of Texas, and doing
ifinito mischief there and elsewhere. Wc
mil also by such means find ourselves in a
ondition to fulfill our treuty obligations i"
exico in respeet'ta these Indians, ti which
c bite hitherto paid little attention. By
ie eleventh article of treaty of Guadalupe
lidaigo, we hove bound ourselves in the most
ositivo and peremptory manner, to restrain
ireibly the incursions of the savages from
ie United States into Mexico. I have be
ire me that article, uitd it wu my purpose t
?nd it to Ihe Senate, and comment on it, is !
j not believe honoruble Senators are awar. i
jw stringent iu terms nre, nnd how high ,
ie obligation! which we have assumed, i
i keep lliose Indian within our own borders, j
it I will not do so, as I wish to bring in;
'marks to u conclusion as s on us possible.
Th: measure will grea'ly economize the
(ministration of the Departments of War (
id (Jenerul Post Office. It will reduce the ,
(pense of our Army, particularly in thl
quartermaster and Commissary's Depnrt
I'ltts. The oosts'of transportation a e now ,
loriuous. Tho troops are largely employed
r in the interior nf the continent, many ,
indretl miles beyond any railroad or watei ,
immuuication, and all tlLeir suppliss have to i
! dragged alter them at a frightful expense v
his cause lias contributed more than a:;'.
her to swell the appropriations for the Arm
su ch nn Mormons amount. 1 Intended t
ive looked into the particulars, but I havi
it bad time to dOSe. No doubt the additions v
nount lo several ulill 'lis annually, much, i'
it all of which, will be saved by the eon .
ruction of this road; besides, there will b. .
great saving in the transportation of th. ,i
ail. A senii-inunthly mail to ami from Cali ,,
rnia now costs us about one million of do!
rs per annum, which alone will pay the in
rest on the .20,000,'.' t0 to be advanced to
promote the read, Am! then we are to liavo
soon a weekly mail, and it Is not too much to
say thi.t Ihe expenditure for the mail servico
will for the next ttvo years run up to 1309,
OO'J per annum, not over one third of which
will bo reimbursed in the form of postages.
Besides, the road will economize the mail
earviee In California itseir, snditwllleapedlte
transportation both lor the Army sud Cen
tral Poet Office vastly, and thus much will be
gained to both brunches of the public service.
He it remembered that the bill provides in
express terms that that the company who may
construct the road, "shall ut all times, and as
o'ten 8 required, Iran ipoft onjsnid roud, and
every part of ihe- same, the mails, troop,
'Seamen, officers Of Ihe Army and Navy, o!-
r Acer and agents of the Government and ef
the Post office Department while on duty,
I 'arm, ammunition, munitions of war, Amiy
'sad Navv stores, funds, or property belonging
'to the United Slates free from oil charges to
the Government, giving the United States at
all times the perference,"' and it provides also
lor the free use of the telegraphic line by tin
United States. 1 do not hesitate then to eon
ell le, that in the Post Office Department wo
Will save enough to pay the interest on the
amount to be advanced by the Government, &.
more than enough in the (i-jart.-rmaster's Sc.
Commissary's Deparment te reimburse the
principal long before the bonds for J4000Q
000 will become due, il i, sued in conformity
With this bill. Nothing is more certain th in
that this road and telegraph line need not cost
the Government one cent, while blessings &.
benefits will result from their construction in
But there are other advantages Which will
accrue from this great enterprise: Should tho
road take its course by the South Pass and
Bait Lake, it willgiveapermanentsupremaey
to our laws n:id Constitution in that part of
the continent. Some hate apprehended (I
trust without any sufficient reason) that a
turbulent and insurrectionary power is about
to spring up there which would ere long be
come troublesome to the country and da'nger
u to it peace, it is certain that a few
thousand re-0u!te men, well armed, and plant
ed in the very r. cos es ef the Rocky Moun
tain, could not be reduced to subjection with
rat enormous sacrifi-:es both of life and mon
tf The necessity o;' any such sacrifices
ill beobvistedby the construction of this
-ii. Indeed its effect will be to establish
luch Intimate relations between the Salt Lake
iistrict and other parts of the country as to
obviate all danger of disloyal movements hi
that q urtcr, i: any suh exist.
If, on the other Land, the road should pss
through New Mexico, other adve.iitajes will
result, ol little if suy less importance. It
Would in u short time Work u grat moral, in-
teliectuai) and political revolution in that un
fortunate country; or, in ortl.er words, it
would Americanize New 3Iexico. it appear
from the report of Colonel Sumner, of ihe
Lu ted States Army, communicated to Con
gress by the Secretary of War at the preset
si--i U, that the people there are by idleness,
ignorance, and vice reduced to the lowet
'age of degradation sud infuttiy. lie say:
'There is no probability of suy t!.n4e lor tl,
better, rwemy-fihr year hence, Ibis Te-r.it.rr
will I precisely ihu same it I now. Them never
ram I e any indneement ir any e.aisot oir people us
Bonn hen woocoesauiplewnoid Improve Uitapso lie
Speculator, adventurer. anU lb like, are ull that
v. i.l come, and t.'it-ir vnr.:i,-l, a.-e ralhar ;ermi iJU
loan benefit iai.
"A'o civil oovrrnmenl emanafing ftom the a.
rrnment ol tlw I mud Suitsscaob maintoioed her
wiiImhii ti.e ni,i i h military lorce in Hut, without
It .bi in" siri'i.l)- a miliary govenuusot l.i.r not
believe there i- -.n miel Ijentman in ma 'lerritory
wbii u nmnt tne nrewtn lime fully sensiUs of this
l,ttUV, A orantoe of mi ei.il uovemmant have
eqitally lulled executive for want of power, the
1 1 Uciary Ir i the total lncidty ,v want of piioei
pie iojurUM.St tin : gitdalheflom waul afkaoile tiie,
a warn ot i Itntity with our matiwtiou, and an ex
ireme reluetanee to Unpoas lanes; so much sj thst
thev Imv never even pr.ivid d the ni-ans to suh.-iat
imsoner, and eoruequeutly felou oi ull kinds ar
running si Isrga.
I so New Heslcan are moroaghly debased, nd
totally if.rnp.tl,!.. ct . !t (ovemnient, end there is n-j
atent qaaJty about Uiem that can ever make them
-, : abb its. Theybav mar Indian bl.wi
lean. Aanili, and are in sunivj respects below tho
f'ueblo lndistra. lor tliey r not ss lionest or in
lusViour, In t'lM r.-.tti ol; rallude r.itlts lower classe
lhi r.- arc , inie educated genUenten with msueeta
ifrtfrriiliej s',,ui ii..:;ji j;.r matfistralc and oih
r oflieial iiersan. Tie re is not much increase in
ihe puutaifon. owing lu tit- ir tro deprsrity, I
jum ii there i a iribo oi Indians on tins eondiwni
w ha are mora abandonsd iu their commerce between
i. to texes man the great majority ol Ihia soople."
This is certainly a very dismal account of
the state of things in New Mexico, hut not
more dismal than I believe it to be truthful.
A smte of tilings which will continue to the
)nd of lime, unless we mike the country ac
icsaible to our people by s railroad. 'This
would work a apeedy ami a highly salutarv
revolution. B it so long as New Mexico re
mains In her present situation, we shall 'have
standing commentary on the folly of arquir
Ingao remote a country, andof bringing und
er our jurisdiction a people so truly wretched.
Rut, Mr. President, I now come to a con
lideration which I deem of high importance,
ind which I would urge on the particular at
tention of the Senate. I maintain thst the
WnatraotloS) Of this road is not only important,
nit indispensiMe to th? de'ens? of our Pacif
c possessions. It is, 1 believe, within the
lonstitlltionnl competency of Congress tocur
y a ro.ol through even a State for this pur
looe. When a case is as urgent as the pres
ent, we e in indicate the work precisely for
he reasons which would justify the erection
if a fortress to bar the entrance into tho Hay
if Sin Francisco. It is not only the most
iffectual, bui the cheapest measure of defense
rhieh could be adopted. What is the eondi
ion of 'lie Pacific coast now, and what will it
ontiuue to be without a railroad! Defence
fss, perfectly defenceless. And if a war
.ere to break out with any leading European
'ower, how long could we hold those possesion-'
Honorable gentlemen seem to be dis
used to assert here what th?y denominate
he Monroe doctrine, in such a manner as
fould be very likely to lead to a war. If
oti thus bring on a collision with great Brit
ln or France, what would become of San
'reneieeo end the other towns situated on
e biy of that name! What would become
f your Mint and your N'sty yard.' Sir, that
ay is left in sm h a situation that a misera
le privateer, with h ill a dozen guns, eeuM
ntcr it ind 'JV the city of Sn Francisco
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