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stages of water. Estimated cost, $5,000,000. this report, that these routes lead directly from, 2. A communication by canal or freight railway, or through, the greatest areas of production, to from some convenient point on the Tennessee those sections which constitute the greatest areas river in Alabama or Tennessee, by the shortest of consumption; thus dividing their benefits and most practicable route to the Atlantic ocean. equitably between producers and consumers, The railway, if constructed, will be about 430 and contributing to the development and prosmiles long; the question as between the canal | perity of the whole country. The Great Archiand railway to be decided after a careful survey tect of the continent seems to have located its and estimate of both shall have been completed rivers and lakes with express reference to the If by canal, the cost will be about $35,000,000. commercial necessities of the industrious millions If by railway, probably about $30,000,000. who now and shall hereafter occupy it. The Large portions of all of the above routes have plan of improvements suggested by the commitbeen surveyed, and careful estimates prepared tee merely follows the lines so clearly indicated by the War Department. It is recommended by His hand. that appropriations be made at the present ses- The proposed improvements are so located as sion of Congress, for completing the surveys of to distribute their benefits with great equality the entire system of improvements proposed, in among all the States east of the Rocky Mounorder to determine accurately the cost of each tains. Twenty-one of those States are situated route, and to enable the Government to enter at directly on one or more of said routes; two once upon the work, if the same shall be deemed States, Kansas and Nebraska, are so situated as practicable and expedient, after such surveys to enjoy the full benefits of reduced cost of transshall have been completed.
portation from the Mississippi river by all the In presenting this general plan of improve proposed lines. Eleven States, viz: Maine. New ments, the committee wish to be distincly un Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode derstood that the ordinary annual appropria Island, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North tions for other important works in aid of com- Carolina, Florida and Texas, nearly all of which merce should not be omitted.
consume largely the food of the West, and most of The cost of the entire improvement, will de- which are to a great extent dependent upon the pend upon the decision to be hereafter made West for a market for their manufactures and between the canals and the frieght railway other products, are directly connected by the portages, on the central and southern routes. waters of the ocean with their several termini. If the canals be constructed, the total cost will The proposed improvements will, therefore, conbe about $155,000,000. If the railways be nect by the cheapest known means of transport chosen, the total cost will be about $120,000,000. every one of the thirty-four States, east of the
An actual expenditure of $20,000,000 to $25,- Rocky Mountains, with all the others, and but 000,000 per annum will be required for five one State in the Union will be without wateryears, in addition to the loan of Government connection with the whole world. The accomcredit as above stated,) when the whole work plishment of so great a result, by an expendican be completed. The resulting benefits will, ture of money comparatively so small, illustrates for all time, annually repay more than double the wonderful provisions of nature for cheap the entire cost.
commercial facilities on this continent. In view of the fact that private companies in These four great channels of commerce under variably combine with each other against the public control, and hence unable to combine public, it is recommended that no aid be given with each other, or with existing lines of transto any route to be owned or controlled by pri-port, will, by the power of competition, hold in vate corporations, but that the four great chan-check all the railways radiating from the intenels of commerce suggested, shall be improved, rior to the seaboard, and, by affording cheap created, and owned by the Government, and and ample means of communication, will solve stand as permanent and effective competitors the problem of cheap transportation. If local with each other, and with all the railways which railways discriminate against them, it will be may be within the range of their influence. in the power of the States whose boundaries
The coinmittee believe that the water routes they touch to prescribe regulations for the corsuggested should constitute free highways of rection of such discriminations. A law of Con. commerce, subject only to such tolls as may be gress prohibiting discriminations agaist river or necessary for maintenance and repairs. If, how- lake ports, will enable the other States, not ever, Congress shall deem it expedient to require directly upon any of said lines, to reach them at them to provide interest on the cost of con- reasonable rates. The committee submit that no struction, and the means for ultimate redemption scheme of public improvement could be more of the principal, the whole improvements will eminently national in its character, nor diffuse involve only a loan of Government credit. its benefits more generally and equitably than NATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE PROPOSED IM
the one proposed ; and they believe that the
entire system of improvements indicated should PROVEMENTS.
be considered and acted upon as a whole. By reference to the map of the United States Let us now consider more specifically the beneit will be seen that the completion of the system fits and advantages to be anticipated from each of improvements proposed will provide four great route and from the entire system, when completed. competing commercial lines from the center of the coutinent to the Atlantic seaboard and
1.-BENEFITS ANTICIPATED FROM THE NORTHERN
ROUTE. the Gulf of Mexico. It will also be observed, by reference to the crop maps republished with From all points on the Mississippi river be
tween Minneapolis, Minn., and Quincy, Ill., the Equal to 20.4 cents per bushel of 60 pounds. average railway rate to lake ports in 1872 was 17 If the freight railway from the Kanawha to cents per bushel of 60 pounds. From Chicago to tide.water be adopted, instead of the canal and New York, by rail, the average charge during slack-water improvement, the cost of transport that year was 331 cents per bushel, and the av- from the Ohio river to the ocean will, it is beerage rate by water was 26 66 cents per bushel, lieved, be substantially the same as above stated. making the all-rail charges through from the Miss The central route would be closed by ice only sissippi to New York 502 cents, and the rail and about thirty days each year, and hence it would water charges, exclusive of terminals, 43,4 cents be an active competitor with all the railways from per bushel. In the section of this report devoted the Mississippi river to the Atlantic, at times to the Fox and Wisconsin river improvements, when competition is now suspended by reason of and the Hennepin canal, we have shown that an frost on the northern water route. The effect of average saving can be effected through their such a regulator of railway charges would be to agency of at least 10 cents per bushel on all the greatly reduce the present winter rates, and, by cereals transported from points west of the Mis- the constant competition it would maintain, to sissippi river and north of the southern line of compel uniformly low charges on all rail and Iowa. It is believed by those who have studied water lines from the interior to the eastern and the subject, that the enlargement of the New southern seaboard. Its advantages would be York canals so as to pass boats of 600 to 1,000 greatest, however, to the central tier of States. tons, will reduce the cost of transportation ou Four of the largest interior cities of the contithat part of the line 50 per cent. The establish-nent-St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Pittsment of reciprocal trade relations with the Do- burg—are situated directly upon it. The trade minion of Canada, which shall induce the con- of these cities, together with the other towns and struction of the Caughnawaga canal, (if such an cities on the Ohio river, is now far in excess of arrangement can be made, and which will en- our entire foreign commerce. A vast area of the courage Canadian shipmasters to compete for the richest agricultural and mineral country in the carrying trade on the lakes, will also materially world is directly tributary to it, and only awaits cheapen the cost of transport to New England. reasonable facilities for transportation to develop The evidence taken by your committee fully a commerce the magnitude of which it is difficult justifies the opinion that by the enlargement of now to conceive. the New York canals, the construction of the
BENEFITS ANTICIPATED FROM THE SOUTHERN Caughnawaga canal, and the use of the enlarged!
ROUTE. Canadian canals, the cost of transport from Chicago to Burlington, Vt., and to New York city, Assuming the same rate of charges as in the will not exceed from 12 to 15 cents per bushël, estimate just made for the central route, viz, 4 making the entire cost from the Mississippi river mills per ton per mile on open river, 6 mills per to Burlington, Vt., or to New York, not more mile on slack-water navigation, and 8 mills per than 22 cents per bushel, against the present cost ton per mile by canal, the following will repreof 435 cents by water, and 50% cents by rail. sent the cost of transport by this route from Cairo We may therefore reasonably estimate that by to the Ocean: the proposed improvements upon this route à Open river, 980 miles, 4 mills per ton... $3 92 saving can be effected of 20 cents per bushel, or Slack-water, 70 miles, 6 mills per ton...: 4.2 $6 70 per ton, on all the east tonnage moved be- Canal, 325 miles, 8 mills per ton.......... tween that river and the east. BENEFITS ANTICIPATED FROM THE CENTRAL ROUTE.
Total per ton for entire distance...........
Equal to 20.8 cents per bushel of 60 pounds. Assuming a charge of 4 mills per ton per mile
It is believed that a freight railway from the on the Mississippi river, and on the improved vicinity of Guntersville. Alabama, or ChatraObio and Kanawha rivers,* a charge of 8 mills
nooga, Tennessee, would enable this route to per ton per mile on the James river and Kanawha
accomplish very nearly the same results. This canal, and 6 mills per ton per mile on the slack
route will never be obstructed by ice, and hence water improvement, the following statement will
will afford unfailing competition throughout the represent the cost of transport from Cairo, Ill.,
year. Its greatest advantages, however, will be to Richmond, Va., by the central water line:
found not so much in furnishing a highway of Cairo to Great Falls of the Kanawha,
commerce to the sea-board as in opening up a 790 miles, 4 mills per ton per mile..... $3 16
valuable connection between the grain-growing From Great Falls to Richmond the dis
States of the West and the cotton plantations of tance (equating each lock at one half
the South, whereby each section will have the mile of canal) is 509 miles, of which 348
full benefit of those crops for which its soil and is canal(equated) and 161 is slack-water.
climate are best adapted. It will connect with 348 miles canal, at mills per ton per mile, 2 78 161 miles of slack-water, at 6 mills per
mates of cost are fully 50 per cent. higher than those ton per mile.....
relied upon by its advocates. The committee have .. 96
adopted them from superabundant caution, preferring
to understate the benefits to be anticipated from all nce....
the routes, rather than to exaggerate them. The suc
cessful application of steam as a motor on canals will *The evidence taken by the committee, and already doubtless reduce the cost of transport by this line stated in this report, shows that average charge by I very much below the figures named. the Ohio and Mississippi rivers is now only from 3% *The same remark should be made with referenre to 4 mills per ton per mile, and in many cases only to this route just made with regard to the “central," 2 mills.
viz, that the estimates of the committee are much It is due to this route to say that the above esti- higher than those of its special advocates.
various Southern rivers, penetrating a very large fact that large quantities of corn were unable to
productive capacity of these lands at an average
of only twenty bushels per acre, (the average of BENEFITS ANTICIPATED FROM THE MISSISSIPPI
corn, oats, &c., being in fact very much greater) ROUTE.
an addition of only 10 cents per bushel (one-half The evidence submitted with this report justi- the estimated saving) to the value of the cereals fies the conclusion that, upon the completion of those States are capable of producing, would give the entire improvement of the Mississippi river, a net profit of $2 per acre, which is the equivawheat and corn can be transported from Minne. lent of 10 per cent. interest on a capital of $20, sota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and hence equal to an increase in the value of and other States above Cairo to New Orleans for lands to that extent. Twenty dollars per acre, an average of 12 cents per bushel, and that the added to the value of improved lands in those cost from St. Paul will not exceed 17 cents. States, would exceed an aggregate of $1,100,The average rate from New Orleans to Liverpool 000,000. This calculation assumes that one-half in 1872 was about 27 cents, (currency.) which of the reduction will inure to the benefit of the can be reduced, as hereinbefore shown, to 18 or consumer and the other half to the producer. 20 cents, by the improvement at the mouth of Add to all this the increased value of farms the river. 'Estimating the cost from St. Paul to in other States, the increased value of unimNew Orleans at 17 cents, the two transfers at St. proved lands, the enhanced value of cotton Louis and New Orleans at 1 cent each, and the plantations, the benefits to accrue from reduced charge from New Orleans to Liverpool at 20 cost of movement of the products of the mine, cents, the total from St. Paul to Liverpool will the foundry, the factory, the workshop, and of be 39 cents per bushel. The charge in 1872 from the thousands of other commodities demanding St. Paul to Liverpool, including transfers and cheaper transportation, and some conception terminals at Chicago, Buffalo, and New York, may be formed of the vast additions to be by the cheapest route, averaged 67.5 cents per made to our national wealth and prosperity,by bushel. The saving to be effected by the im- the system of improvements under consideraprovements of this route may therefore be esti- tion. In comparison with the great benefits mated at 28 cents per bushel from St. Paul to reasonably to be anticipated, their cost is utterly Liverpool, with a proportionate reduction from insignificant. all other points on the river.
The probable effect of such reduction in the In view of the benefits aud advantages to be cost of internal transportation upon our exports derived from each of the four proposed routes, and foreign balances of trade is also worthy of and from their combined influence when in con- the most careful consideration. America and stant competition with each other and with the Russia are the great food-producing nations of railroad system of the country, it is, in the judg- the world. Great Britain is the principal marment of your committee, entirely safe to say that ket. For many years America and Russia have the completion of the system of improvements been active competitors for the supply of that suggested will effect a permanent reduction of 50 market. Until recently, the farmers of the west per cent. in the cost of transporting fourth class have had the advantage of the wheat-producers freights from the valley of the Mississippi to the on the Don and the Volga; but, a few years ago, sea-board, and that the cost of carrying a bushel Russia inaugurated a system of internal imof wheat or corn to the markets of the East and provements by which the cost of transporting of the world will be reduced at least 20 to 25 her products from the interior to the sea-board cents per bushel below the present railway is greatly reduced. The result is shown by the charges, and that a siinilar reduction will be importations of wheat into the United Kingdom effected on return freights.
during two periods of five years each. The actual movement of grain to the eastern
Imports of wheat from Russia and America into the and southern markets in 1872, as shown by the
United Kingdom from 1860 to 18 4 compared with the carefully prepared statistics submitted with this imports from 1868 to 1872. report, amounted to about 213,000,000 bushels. 1860 to 1864, inclusive
47.376.809 An average saving of 20 cents per bushel on the
From United States
127,047,126 surplus moved that year would have amounted | 1868 to 1872, inclusiveto over $42,000,000, or more than two-thirds of From Russia..........
117,967,022 the entire expenditure necessary to complete the From United States...
116,462,380 proposed routes, in additton to the loan of Goy- An increase during the latter period as comernment credit, as before stated. But for the pared with the former of 70,590,213 busbels
from Russia, and a decrease of 10,584,746 from show that in some matters we have been suffithe United States.
ciently liberal, but in appropriations for the The cheaper mode of handling grain by eleva- benefit of commerce and for the development of tors has not yet been adopted by Russia, but our vast resources, most parsimonious. For doubtless will be very soon. When this shall public buildings, including those in the District be done, and her wise system of internal im- of Columbia, and custom-houses, post offices, provements, which have already turned the and court-houses in other parts of the country, wavering balances in her favor, shall be com- we have expended over $62,000,000; while for pleted, she will be able to drive us from the mar- the improvement of the 20,000 miles of western kets of the world, unless wiser counsels shall rivers, through which should flow the life-currents guide our statesmanship than have hitherto pre- of the nation, we have appropriated only $11,vailed. In fact, as the increased size of ocean 438,300. For the improvement of these great vessels is constantly decreasing the cost of ocean avenues of trade, which were designed by nature transport, and our wheat fields are yearly reced-to afford the cheapest and most ample commering farther westward from the lakes, it is not im- cial facilities for the teeming millions who inpossible that when she shall have driven us from habit the richest country on the earth, we have the markets of Europe, she will become our active expended an average of $133,100 per annum; competitor in Boston and Portland, if cheaper while for public buildings we have appropriated means of internal transport be not provided. an average of over $750,000 a year." "Is it not
A condition of things equally unsatisfactory high time that all expenditures not absolutely exists with regard to our chief article of export, necessary be suspended, and that the imperative cotton. High transportation charges from the necessities of the country receive attention? grain fields of the north west to the cotton fields England, in order to encourage and stimulate of the south have compelled the planter to devote the culture of cotton in India for the supply of his cotton lands to the production of wheat and her factories at home, guaranteed interest on an corn, for which they are by nature unsuited, expenditure for internal improvements in that thereby reducing the product of cotton and di- distant country amounting to over $100,000,000. minishing the market for grain. The effect upon The most advanced nations of ancient and modern our cotton exportations is shown by the follow times have regarded their highways of commerce ing statement:
of the first importance, and, in exact proportion Receipts of cotton in Great Britain in 1860 compared with to the excellence of those highways, have been 1872.
the development of national resources and pow1860
Pounds. From United States........
er, and the augmentation of national wealth. From all other countries....................
275,048,144 It may be said that in the present financial 1872–
condition of the country, and with our heavy From United States.......
burden of indebtedness, we cannot afford to enFrom all other countries ................. 783,237,392 Our cotton exports have fallen off nearly 50
ter upon the system of improvements indicated.
It is true our debt is large, and our industrial per cent., while other countries have gained nearly 300 per cent. This is doubtless largely
enterprises are temporarily deranged, but our
resources are immeasureable, and need only a due to the war, which stimulated the production
liberal and wise statesmanship to insure their of cotton in India: but it is also attributable to
full development. a great extent to the causes above mentioned, and to the system of internal improvements in
As we have already stated, the public debt of
" a nation is great or small according to the proaugurated by Great Britain in India, for the ex- |
1 portion it bears to the public wealth and to the press purpose of rendering herself independent
commercial prosperity of the people who have it of us for the supply of cotton. Every cent unnecessarily added to the cost of transportation is
| to pay. A debt that would have crushed the
United States in 1800 would scarcely be felt to. to that extent a protection to the cotton planters
day. In the exact proportion that our wealth of India and the food producers of Russia, against
increases, the burden of our debt diminishes. the farmers of the west and the cotton planters
For instance, in 1840 the entire national wealth of the south. The cry of despair which comes from the over
was estimated at $3,764,000,000. At the close
il of the rebellion our national indebtedness had burdened west, the demand for cheaper food
reached $3,300,000,000. Hence to have paid heard from the laboring classes of the east and
the debt of 1865 in the year 1840 would have from the plantations of the south, and the rapid
required 90 per cent. of all the property in the falling off of our principal articles of export, all
country. On the 1st of March, 1874, our debt indicate the imperative necessity for cheaper
was $2,154,880,066. Our national wealth is esmeans of internal communication. If we would
timated at over $30,000,000,000. While, thereassure our imperiled position in the markets of
fore, the debt of 1865 would have consumed the world, reinstate our credit abroad, restore
almost the entire property, public and private, confidence and prosperity at home, and provide
owned in the United States in 1810, the pay. for a return to specie payment, let us develop our unequaled resources and stimulate our in
ment of our present debt would require only
about 7 per cent. of our present wealth. It is dustries by a judicious system of internal im
therefore apparent that the burden of the debt provements. A reference to the expenditures of our Govern
of 1874 is less than one-twelfth as great on our ment* since the adoption of the Constitution will
| present property as the debt of 1865 would have
been in 1840. If by the development of our * See statement showing the expenditures for various
resources we can maintain the same ratio of in. purposes from the adoption of the Constitution to June 30, 1873.
crease during the next twenty-five years that
we have since 1850, the debt of the nation (if ments as are required for the full development no further payments be made) will amount to of our unequaled resources ? only about 1 per cent. on the national wealth in 1900. In other words, with the full develop-'.
I concur in the main in the foregoing report,
prepared by the chairman; it contains, however, ment of our resources, which it is in the power PC
certain statements and assertions of law and of of wise statesmanship to induce the entire debt
fact, and recommendations relative to the power can be paid in the year 1900 by the assessment of a tax but little greater than is now required Of
of Congress and its exercise, from which I dissent. to meet the current expenditures of the Govern
RoscoE CONKLING. ment. If it be true, then, that the burden of a The undersigned, members of the committee, nation's debt diminishes in exactly the same do not agree that Congress can exercise the power ratio as its wealth increases, is it not the dictate “to regulate commerce among the several States," of wisdom and sound policy to pay only so much to the extent asserted in this report. of our debt as may be necessary to keep our faith
T. M. NORWOOD. and maintain our credit, and to devote whatever
H. G. Davis. surplus revenues may remain to such improve
JOHN W. JOHNSTOR.
Illinois Railroad Act of 1873. having violated the provisions of this act, and An Act to prevent extortion and unjust discrim
upon conviction thereof shall be dealt with as
hereinafter provided. ination in the rates charged for the transportation of passengers and freights on railroads
| Sec. 3. If any such railroad corporation shall in this state, and to punish the same, and
charge, collect, or receive for the transportation prescribe a mode of procedure and rules of
of any passenger, or freight of any description, evidence in relation thereto, and to repeal an
upon its railroad, for any distance within this act entitled “An act to prevent unjust dis
State, the same or a greater amount of toll or crimination and extortions in the rates to be
compensation than is at the same time charged,
collected, or received for the transportation, in charged by the different railroads in this State for the transportation of freights on said
the same direction, of any passenger, or like
quantity of freight of the same class, over a roads," approved April 7, A. D. 1871.
greater distance of the same railroad; or if it SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the shall charge, collect, or receive at any point State of Illinois, represented in the General As- | upon this railroad a higher rate of toll or comsembly, If any railroad corporation, organized pensation for receiving, handling, or delivering or doing business in this State under any act of freight of the same class and quantity than incorporation, or general law of this State now it shall at the same time charge, collect, or re in force, or which may hereafter be enacted, or ceive at any other point upon the same rail any railroad corporation organized or which may road; or if it shall charge, collect, or receive hereafter be organized under the laws of any for the transportation of any passenger, or other State, and doing business in this State, | freight of any description, over its railroad a shall charge, collect, demand, or receive more than greater amount as toll or compensation than a fair and reasonable rate of toll or compensa- shall at the same time be charged, collected, or tion for the transportation of passengers or freight received by it for the transportation of any pas of any description, or for the use and transpor senger or like quantity of freight of the same tation of any railroad car upon its track, or any class, being transported in the same direction of the branches thereof, or upon any railroad over any portion of the same railroad of equal within this State which it has the right, license, distance; or if it shall charge, collect, or receive or permission to use, operate, or control, the from any person or persons a higher or greater same shall be deemed guilty of extortion, and amount of toll or compensation than it shall at upon conviction thereof shall be dealt with as the same time charge, collect, or receive from hereinafter provided.
| any other person or persons for receiving, hand Sec. 2. If any such railroad corporation afore- ling, or delivering freight of the same class and said shall make any unjust discrimination in its | like quantity at the same point upon its rail rates or charges of toll, or compensation, for the road; or if it shall charge, collect, or receive transportation of passengers or freight of any from any person or persons for the transportadescription, or for the use and transportation of tion of any freight upon its railaoad a higher or any railroad car upon its said road, or upon any greater rate of toll or compensation than it shall of the branches thereof, or upon railroads con- at the same time charge, collect, or receive from pected therewith, which it has the right, license, any other person or persons for the transporta or permission to operate, control, or use, within tion of the like quantity of freight of the same this iState, the same shall be deemed guilty of class being transported from the same point in