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result on this subject, is whether there is any constitutional objection against the prayer of the petitioners. The Federal Constitution expressly prohibits the passage of
any law by the States, which will impair the obligation of contracts. That the Act establishing Salem Turnpike and Chelsea Bridge Corporation, is in the nature of a contract, there can be no doubt; and that there are terms in this and all similar contracts, other than those which are expressed, is equally clear to your Committee. But what were the terms of this contract ? In addition to those which are expressed, we think there was an implied guaranty on the part of the Government, that no similar mode of communication should be established between Boston and Salem, in such a place, and in such manner as to take the great line of travel, which the turnpike was designed to accommodate, from that road. So long as that corporation gives every reasonable facility and accommodation to the public, it is not competent for the Legislature to establish another turnpike by its side, without paying them a reasonable indemnity. But this implied guaranty could not have extended to rail roads-a mode of communication then unknown. It was no part of the contract that there should be no rail road established ; and hence there is in the opinion of your Committee, no constitutional objection against granting the prayer of the petitioners. Any other doctrine on this subject, would prove an insurmountable bar to all improvements, and entail upon posterity the errors and ignorance of the dark ages. .
But although the Legislature have a constitutional right to authorize the construction of a rail road from Boston to Salem, they ought not to establish such a road to the ruir of the Salem Turnpike and Chel
sea Bridge Corporation, unless the exigency of the case require it. But do the public convenience and necessity require such a change? So far as the Bridge and Turnpike are concerned, no complaint whatever was made to your Committee. The road is represented as direct and in good repair; and though some parts of it are rather hilly, every reasonable exertion is making to remedy the evil, by excavations and embankments. The mode of transportation upon the road seems to have attained a high degree of perfection. More than thirty stages pass daily between Boston and Salem. It appeared that the Boston and Salem Stage Company run about half of the stages, and that they afförded every facility to the public; that the Salein people passed over the road much more frequently than the Boston people, and that the hours of arrival and departure for the stages conformed to the state of the travel ; that the first stages from Salem arrived in Boston as early as the Boston people were at their places of business; that the stages leave Salem every half hour in the morning, and return in corresponding half hours in the afternoon; and that stages leave both places almost every hour in the day; that they are about one hour and forty-five minutes on the road ; that this Company are very accommodating; that they take the passengers at their own dwellings, in Salem and Boston, and leave them at any place that they may elect; that they readily provide private conveyance at reduced prices; that they will fit out an extra at any hour when it is desired; and that when a passenger arrives after the stage has departed, they will take him into a chaise and overtake the stage if practicable, and that without any additional fare ; that this company not only transports passengers, but by an arrangement made
with the Post Office Department, they carry the letters to and from Boston, and deliver them to the persons to whom they are addressed ; that the drivers are faithful and trusty, and transact much business for merchants at the Banks, &c.; that the stages not only run upon the Turnpike, but that one runs through Danvers, and two upon the Forest River Road to Lynn; that the fare
upon the turnpike is $1 00, and on each of the other roads, $0 75; that those who pass over the road most frequently, are perfectly satisfied with the accommodations; and that greater facilities are not afforded by any line of stages in the country.
It also appeared in evidence, that there were seven coasters owned in Salem, and that they made about fifteen voyages each to Boston in a year; that the whole amount of transportation was about 6,000 tons, and the average price of transportation was 90 cents per ton; that from one fourth to one third of this amount was taken from on board vessels in one harbor and delivered on board vessels in the other; that the coasters took their merchandize from any wharf in one place, and delivered it on any wharf in the other; that they generally went with light cargoes, and sometimes went empty one way, to get freight the other ; that the distance by water is about 26 miles, and a passage performed in from 3 to 6 hours ; that their business ceases before the harbor is frozen up; and that they could do much more business if they had it. It also appeared that the coasters were sometimes wind bound for several days, and that goods were taken from them and transported by land, but this happened but very rarely.
It further appeared that the land transportation between Salem and Boston was about 1,870 tons annually,
and that the average price was $3 34 per ton ; that the teamsters took their loading from all parts of both places, and delivered it wherever they were directed ; that there was one large concern which did a great part of the business; that one or more of these waggons were daily on the road; that the teamsters were responsible men, and were faithful in the discharge of their duties. It was also shewn in evidence that there was the
gross amount of 4,000 tons transported between Danvers and Boston annually, at the average cost of $2 50 per ton. . It also appeared that the annual transportation from Lynn amounted to about 4,000 tons, and cost $2 50 per ton. Such, as it appeared to the Committee, is the amount of annual business, and such the facilities of communication between the two places.
The Committee feel bound to present all the facts in the case, that the Legislature may judge of the public necessity. All the petitions which came before the Committee were presented to the last Legislature ; and though these petitions were numerous, only one of them came from Salem—the town mostly to be benefitted by a rail road, if any public benefit is to result from such a road between the two places. There was no evidence before us that the Salem people, as such, desired a rail road. Some of the witnesses said that they thought a rail road would be beneficial to Salem, while others said it was not desired. We have already said that if there was any want of facilities in the transportation of persons and merchandize, Salem, and not Boston, was the sufferer ; and yet it appears that Salem does not complain. And how is it with the city ? does she desire a rail road to Salem ? The Committee have no evidence that the citizens of Boston, as such, take any
interest in this contemplated enterprize. The manner in which the petitions came into the hands of the Committee, shows the degree of interest felt on this subject, and where the interest lies.
Francis B. Fay, and other enterprising individuals, haring purchased the Winnisimmet ferry and the farm connected with it, petitioned the Legislature for an Act of incorporation to hold and improve said ferry and its appurtenances. This petition was presented on the 8th of January. On the same day the petition of T. H. Perkins and others, praying for a rail road over Winnisimmet ferry, was called from the files of the last Legislature, and both petitions were referred to the same Committee. Other enterprising gentlemen, having purchased Noddle's Island, and obtained from the city of Boston a license for a ferry- from Boston to the same, petitioned to be incorporated to hold and manage their property. Their petition was presented on the 10th of January, and two days subsequently the petition of John Binney and others, for a rail road to Salem over Noddle's Island, was called from the files and committed to the Committee on Railways and Canals. The rest of the petitions remained quietly on the files, till the 23d of January, when the petitions of Philip Chase and others, of Isaiah Breed and others, and of William Reed and others, were called up and committed to this Committee. The residue of the petitions, nine in number, slept quietly on the files, till the 11th of February, when they were called up and committed. Nor were these last petitions called up at that late period, because there was any interest felt on the part of the petitioners. Several of the petitioners were in the Legislature, and yet they took no interest in calling up their petitions. And when these last petitions