An additional appropriation, later on, paid for four more surveys. There was scarcely a town or a hamlet from Canada to the gulf and the Atlantic that was not only willing to be benefited to the exclusion of other towns by being made the terminus of a railroad built at government expense, but was also. C.; Memphis, new Orleans, corpus Christi, tex.; Fulton, Ark., and Independence,., were among the insistent candidates for the terminus, backed by the southern statesmen, who were resolved that the road should not benefit the north, whatever happened. The war with Mexico had added California to the Union. a year later the discovery of gold, followed by the rapid development of agricultural and other resources, capped, finally, by the finding of the great Comstock lode, built up sources of traffic which demanded better facilities than were afforded by a sea voyage of nineteen. Lastly, there appeared at the proper time, as he always does, the man. Judah belongs the credit of making the actual beginning of the first transcontinental railroad.
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Louis, by mayor Luther. Kennett, who then expressed the essays eloquent hope that the spade with which he did it "would not rust until it was finally burnished by the golden sands of the Pacific.". Louis, then a city of 90,000 inhabitants, with a commerce of fifty million dollars a year, had had the railroad fever ever since the first railroad convention was held April 20, 1836. Yet nothing was accomplished until the pacific railroad Company, of which Thomas Allen was president, was incorporated January 31, 1850. The track of the company, which ultimately became the missouri pacific, did not reach Kansas City until October, 1865. The spades of its builders have not yet been "burnished by the golden sands of the pacific.". Meanwhile, in the decade from 1850 to 1860, congress devoted a large and steadily increasing hypothesis proportion of its time to discussion of the pacific railroad project. As the idea grew, no congressional orator considered an address on any topic complete without a fulsome peroration devoted to the pacific railroad. Senator Butler, of south Carolina, declared: "The pacific railroad project comes nearer being a subject of deification than anything i ever heard in the senate.". The net result of all this talk was an appropriation of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in 1853 to defray the expenses of six surveys to ascertain the most practicable route for the proposed road.
The people's Pacific railroad was incorporated in maine, march 20, 1860. In Congress Perham received scant encouragement, even though he was able to secure the support of the omnipotent Thad Stevens. Finally a animal bill was drafted which met the views of Congress, but not until after the Union Pacific and Central Pacific had been launched. The measure was signed by President Lincoln July 2, 1864. The people's Pacific railroad became the forerunner of the northern Pacific; but Perham did not live to see the work under way. His last fortune was frittered away on this Pacific railroad propaganda, and, like whitney, he died a poor man. The first soil actually moved in the attempt to build a transcontinental railroad was turned July 4, 1851, on the south bank of Choteau pond, on the outskirts.
Perham quickly extended his field of operations to include all New England and Canada. In 1850 he brought more than two hundred thousand excursionists to boston. Then he began sending parties to new York, niagara, quebec, and other points of interest. In twelve years he had made another fortune, and had become one of the the most widely known men in the country. While busy with his popular excursions, perham found time to become an enthusiast on the subject of the pacific railroad, to evolve a scheme for building it that integration certainly had the merit of originality, and to convince himself that be bad been inspired to execute. Perham's plan, perfected in 1853, was to apply the popular idea to the financing of the pacific railroad. He thought he could collect a million subscriptions of a hundred dollars each from the general public, which, he imagined, was eager to make such an investment from patriotic motives.
He was about to start for California during the great excitement of 1849 over the discovery of gold, when he chanced to make the acquaintance of an artist who had just completed a panorama of niagara falls, the. Lawrence, and the saguenay. He saw a chance to make some money out of this, so he abandoned his contemplated trip to california. Perham's plan was to go to nearby towns and organize cheap excursions to boston to see the "seven Mile mirror as the panorama was called. This gave country people a chance to spend a day in the city at small cost, which they were quick to accept, making Perham's scheme a great success for him and for the railroads. At first the railroad managers were astonished at the way perham's plan caught the popular fancy; but they soon recovered and did everything they could to help it along. It was in this way that the cheap excursion business originated.
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Whitney, lose their temper. He can never tolerate the introduction of such disagreeable topics as these, but is never tired of poring over maps and enlarging upon the grandeur of his scheme. So long as his mission was confined to the matter of arousing the attention of our people to the importance of the proposed work, his success was remarkable. The moment he came to the question of construction his plans failed to receive respectful attention. Congress, in fact, refused the courtesy of printing extra copies of his bill for circulation and turned the cold shoulder upon the whole scheme.
As far as the railroad to the pacific is concerned the public mother voice is unanimous in its favor; but in reference to the plan of construction, that of Whitney has hardly a defender. We are sorry for his disappointments and heartily wish he would adapt his scheme to the practical ideas of the present day, of which he appears to have not the least appreciation.". When Whitney made his final exit, josiah Perham, of Boston, took up the rôle of prophet to carry on the crusade for a transcontinental railroad. To perham his efforts were literally in the nature of a crusade, for be believed he had wallpaper a divine mission to bring about the building of the road. Perham was a maine woolen manufacturer, who lost all his property by unwise plunging in land speculation. Going to boston in 1842, he started a wool commission business, in which he prospered for a time, but was again a bankrupt seven years later.
Then Whitney made a canvass of the State legislatures, and in 1850 was back in Congress again with a new bill for his project, backed by memorials from the legislatures of fourteen States and from public meetings in eight cities. At the first session of the Thirty-first Congress committees of both houses made exhaustive reports favoring Whitney's transcontinental railroad project; but sectional feeling killed the bill a third time, and that was the end of Whitney's efforts. Worn out with his exertions, and his money all gone, he had no choice but to give up the struggle. His remaining years were eked out on the proceeds of a small dairy in Washington. An interesting estimate of Whitney's character, which may explain why congress looked with so little favor upon his scheme, may be found in the following extract from an editorial in the. American Railroad journal of April 5, 1851: "We freely admit that.
Whitney possesses some qualities which eminently fit him to head a great enterprise. he is enthusiastic and possessed to a remarkable degree with the capacity for inspiring others with his own views. He is deterred by no obstacle and discouraged by no defeats. But here his qualifications for conducting to a successful issue a work of such immense magnitude as that of a railroad from the Atlantic to the pacific end. He is self-confident without experience or training, arrogant in his opinions, and overbearing toward all who differ from him. He has a hearty contempt for the whole engineering profession and loses his temper the moment that one of that class talks about tunneling, bridging, excavation, etc., which are certainly great annoyances in railroad construction and which have made others, besides.
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Whitney's plan was coldly received in the essays east. Six months' hard work was required to get enough signatures of well-known citizens of Philadelphia to justify a call for a meeting, which was finally held in that city december 23, 1846. Whitney's eloquence made few converts. Going to new York city, he fared resume even worse. Although mayor John Swift was induced to preside at a meeting January 4, 1847, a mob broke up the meeting, and mayor Swift, the vice- presidents, and Whitney were glad to escape by the back door. Whitney's bill was killed in Congress in July, 1848, chiefly through the efforts of Thomas Benton. The project was revived in another bill, only to be summarily slaughtered in January, 1849, through the efforts of Benton.
Resolutions asking Congress to appropriate funds for a survey were adopted and in due time were laid before congress by territorial Delegate George. In response congress set aside funds with which a survey for a railroad was made from Milwaukee to dubuque. In the winter of 1839-40 Plumbe induced the legislature of Wisconsin to address a memorial to congress asking that the survey be continued west of the mississippi. He took the memorial to washington himself and devoted a good genre deal of time to advocating his project, but he was too far ahead of time, and nothing came of his efforts. Then came Asa Whitney, a new York merchant, who, while on a business trip to China, became filled with the idea of a railroad across the continent as the means of securing for America the rich trade of the Orient. Returning to new York in 1840, he gave up business, and with the fanaticism of a mad Mullah preaching a holy war devoted ten years of his life and all of his fortune to advocating the immediate building of a transcontinental railroad. In 1845 he submitted to congress a proposal to undertake the building of the road in consideration of a grant of land sixty miles wide for the length of the route. For the next five years he bombarded the national legislature with memorials and addresses, carrying on, at the same time, a vigorous publicity campaign.
The driving of that last spike riveted the bonds that made the east and the west one grand whole as surely as it held the rail in place. All the magnificent achievements of after years have been possible to the great Nation then made a virile fact: whether they would have been possible otherwise may well be doubted. Less than six months after the de witt Clinton, the third locomotive built on American soil, had made its initial trip from Albany to Schenectady, when there were less than a hundred miles of railroad in the country, judge. Dexter, of Ann Arbor, Mich., proposed, in an editorial in his paper, the weekly Emigrant, of February 6sic, 1832, that a railroad should be built from the Great lakes, across more than two thousand miles of unbroken, almost unexplored, wilderness, to the pacific Ocean. In the winter of 1836-7 John Plumbe, a welsh civil engineer who had worked under Moncure robinson in surveying a route over the Alleghenies for the State of Pennsylvania in 1831-2, and who had afterward acted as superintendent of the railroad between Richmond and Petersburg. Plumbe, who acted as correspondent for papers in New York, boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Cincinnati, had long been advocating the building of a transcontinental railroad. Pursuant to a call issued by him, the first public convention ever held to discuss the pacific railroad project, met in Dubuque march 31, 1838.
Hart Stereoview #353, detail. Scene at Monument point, north end of Salt lake.". Viewed through the perspective of years, the building of the first transcontinental slip railroad seems less a commercial enterprise, stimulated by political considerations, than a great melodrama in which the stage was a continent and the audience a nation. Like many another prosperous production, the first act of this episode in real life was swamped with talk and skimped in action. But thereafter the thrills came thick and fast in an ascending scale of climaxes, culminating in a grand finale which earned a world's applause. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, no railroad project so daring has ever been proposed. Bearing in mind the small population and the poverty of the nation, the half-developed state of the practice of railroad building and operation, and of the myriad other sciences upon which it depends, the immensity of the wilderness to be crossed, the distance from the.
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