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poverty-pauperism in all its disgusting lions to twenty millions of people-its forms—taxes on all things, from the light commerce extended until its flag casts a of heaven to the furniture of the grave shadow upon every sea—its population -and a soldier at every door. Let him well fed, well paid, and equally protected then return to his own country and re- by the laws: he will then no longer disflect, that within a century, and under regard the importance of domestic peace the constitution formed by his fathers, and unity, but will nerve himself for it has grown great and prosperous— every contest in which he can do service its population increased from three mil- for the Constitution and the Union.
HOW ARE WE LIVING ?
Our noblest life's an hour of morning slumber
Not couch'd at rest, but walking in our sleep,
And wandering dimly by a star-lit deep;
Or droop in weariness on bended knee,
And think to scan the Illimitable Sea,
Some tranquil bay runs up into the land,
And near them beckon with enchanting hand,
And Sirens sitting in each glassy cave
By tremulous airs along the sea-beat pave,
Where Pride and Fame are throned, and ancient Power;
What crown'd and mailed phantoms shine or lower !
And Mars' red planet, burning on the sky,
And ever voices from their summits cry-
To make it oft forget or vainly flee
Yet come to us from o'er that Unknown Sea.
Brief dreamers on those false and giddy heights,
Or turn aside where Pleasure's hand invites,
Not all-perversely journeying on their way,
On childhood's path with strange celestial ray,
Yet ever so the multitudinous crowd
Or halt in strife, till breaks the misty cloud-
If the immortal spirits of Watt, Fulton, the favored sons of wealth ; none of whom and Trevithick can look down on the grew up within the walls of schools or things of this nether world, and behold colleges, drawing inspiration from the the grand results their discoveries and fountains of ancient learning ; none of inventions have produced, and contem whom were spurred on by those irresistplate the vast good conferred by their ible incentives to genius arising from the sabors on posterity, and the still more competition of ardent and youthful minds, extensive blessings which are reserved and from the prospect of scholastic honfor unborn millions,—what pleasure, what ors and professional advancement. Sustriumph must be theirs ! For half a cen- tained by that innate consciousness of tury the steam-engine had remained a power, stimulated by that irrepressible barren fact in the archives of science, force of will, so eminently characteristic when the self-taught genius of the Glas- of and inseparable from minds of the first gow* mechanic breathed into it the spirit order, they in their humble and obscure of vitality, and conferred upon it ener- positions persevered against adverse gies, by which it revived the drooping and embarrassing circumstances, imcommerce of his country, and when the pelled by the faith that was in them, auspicious epoch of general peace ar- against the doubts, the opposition, and rived, diffused its beneficial influence to not unfrequently the ridicule of an inthe
very skirts of civilization. Scarcely credulous world, until at length, by time had the fruit of the labor of Watt ripen- and patience, truth was triumphant, and ed, and this great mover been adopted mankind now gathers the rich harvest as the principal power in the arts and sown by these illustrious laborers. manufactures, than by the enterprise and It was about the eighth year of the genius of Trevithickt its uses receiv present century that Fulton launched the that prodigious extension which resulted first steamboat on the Hudson. After from its acquiring the Locomotive charac- the lapso of four years the first Euroter. As it had previously displaced ani- pean steamboat was established on the mal power in the mill, and usurped its Clyde. From this time the art of steam nomenclature,f so it now menaced its navigation, in the two great maritime displacement on the road. A few years and commercial nations, the United more saw the spirit of Fulton arise and States and Great Britain, advanced with call into existence what has proved per a steady and rapid progress. But it haps the greatest and most important of took different directions, governed by all the manifold agencies of steam--that the peculiar geographical and commerby which it has given wings to the ship, cial circumstances attending these counand bade it laugh to scorn the opposing tries. The genius and enterprise of the elements, transporting it in triumph over United States saw before and around it the expanse of the trackless ocean, re a vast territory, intersected by navigable gardless of wind or current, and confer- rivers of unequalled length, forming lines ring upon locomotion over the deep a of water communication on a colossal regularity, certainty, and precision, sur scale between its extensive interior and passed by nothing save the movement of the seaboard. The Mississippi and its chronometers or the course of the heav- tributaries, with their sources lost in disenly bodies. Such are the vast results tant tracts as yet untrodden by civilized which have sprung from the intelligence man, and navigable to large vessels for of three men, none of whom shared those many thousands of miles, the Hudson, privileges of mental culture enjoyed by all but touching upon those magnificent
The invention of the steam-engine may perhaps fairly be dated from the year 1700. The date of Watt's improvements was between 1760 and 1784.
+ Trevithick constructed the first locomotive engine in 1804.
# As the steam-engine was usually applied to mills previously worked by horses, it became the custom to express its efficacy by naming the number of horses which it displaced ; hence the term HORSE-POWER.
inland seas that stretch along the north- rope which are washed by it. While ern boundary and are almost connected the American therefore was called on to with the Mississippi by the noble stream contrive a steam-vessel adapted to in of the Illinois,-the majestic Delaware, land and smooth-water navigation, the rendered memorable by the military British engineer had the more difficult achievements of the Father of Ameri- task to construct one which should be can independence,--the wide Potomac, capable of meeting and surmounting all which washes the spot where his vene the obstructions arising from the vicisrated remains are deposited,-a coast situdes of the deep. thousands of miles in extent, fringed by It cannot be denied that the easier innumerable bays and harbors, and land- problem fell to the share of the Amerilocked basins having all the attributes can. The honor, however, from which of lakes,-these addressed themselves he was excluded by the minor difficulto the eye of the engineer and the capi- ties of the question, will be cheerfully talist, and determined the direction of awarded to him by his generous rival enterprise in the task of realizing what for the superfluity of success, the tri the foresight of Fulton had shadowed umphant perfection to which he has at out. The application of steam power to tained in the achievement of its solu inland navigation—the construction of tion. It seems as though the aspirations vessels suited to traverse with speed, of genius, ashamed of the too great fa safety, and economy, these rivers and cility of the task assigned to it, sought, lakes, these harbors, bays, and extensive in accomplishing much more than the inlets—this was the task and the voca- bare conditions of the proposed problem tion of the American engineer, and this exacted, that glory which would have the interest of the capitalist and the mer- been necessarily accorded to the soluchant. And well may the American be- tion of a problem of a higher order. hold with honest pride the manner in The result of the labor and enterprise which this object has been accomplished. of the English nation directed to this Well may he direct the attention of the inquiry has been the present sea-going astonished European to the floating pal steam-ship. In the first attempts short aces in which he is carried between the trips alone, such as could be completed head and the source of each gigantic in a day or less, were contemplated; and stream. The world has afforded hitherto lines of steamers were accordingly esno parallel for such magnificent appara- tablished between the principal ports of tus of transportation.*
the United Kingdom on the Irish ChanThe problem of steam navigation, how- nel, and between those on the eastern ever, presented itself to the British engi- coast of England and the nearest ports neer under other conditions, and invest- of France, Belgium, and Holland. Fured with a body of very different circum- ther improvements gradually extended stances. A group of islands intersected this intercourse to the coast of Spain, by no considerable navigable rivers, and the islands of the Mediterranean, and neither requiring nor admitting any oth- finally to the chief ports of Egypt, Turer inland navigation save that of artifi- key, and Syria. As yet, however, the cial canals,-separated, however, from problem of sea navigation by steam was each other and from the adjacent conti- invested, by the geographical character nent of Europe by straits, channels, of the region in which it was carried gulfs, and other arms of the sea,-it was out, with one condition most essential to apparent that if steam power should be- its facility and success. Wherever the come available at all, it must be adapted voyages extended beyond what could be to the navigation of these seas and chan- accomplished within a short interval of nels-it must be adapted to accelerate time, they were resolved into stages, at and cheapen the intercourse between the each of which relays of fuel were avail. British islands, between port and port able, and at which the machinery could upon their coasts, between them and the be overlooked and put to rights, and the various ports on the adjacent coast of boilers, if necessary, cleaned out. Thus Europe, and perhaps even finally to a the Mediterranean packets touched succommunication with the Mediterranean cessively at Corunna, Gibraltar, Malta, and the coasts of Africa, Asia, and Eu- Corfu, and lately at Alexandria. In
* Nothing can exceed the surprise of intelligent foreigners on first ascending the Hudson in such vessels as, the Troy, the Empire, the South America, or the Knickerbocker.
cases of emergency they might also run tion the mean immersion of the wheels. into any of the other ports along the The former cause of variation would inextensive coast by which their course crease with the badness of the weather, lay.
and the latter would augment with the The importance of expediting the length of the trip. Although, however, communication with the British domin- these causes would diminish the efficienions in the East next forced itself on the cy of the moving power as compared attention of that government and the with its effect in smooth water, a large East India Company, and it was soon balance of its locoinotive virtue would determined to extend the operations of still be available. steam power to India.
One or two To be protected from the effects of steamers (impelled however pro hac vice the sea in rough weather the machinery more by sails than steam) were des- must be below the deck. Its form and patched and succeeded in reaching India arrangement must then be accommoby the Cape, relays of fuel being pro- dated to this condition, and not governed vided at several stations on the route. by those circumstances which would conSteam power now penetrated to the fer upon it the greatest mechanical efheart of India, and the astonished Hindu ficiency. The nature, construction, and beheld incomprehensible floating build- action of the paddle-wheels render it neings, vomiting fire and smoke, ascend the cessary that the machinery which prowaters of the Ganges and the Indus. pels them be placed in the centre of the The presidencies of Calcutta, Madras, length of the vessel, and the fuel must, and Bombay were placed in easy com of course, be at hand. The machinery munication; and finally, a line of steam- and fuel must therefore have that posiships formed and still maintain a con tion in the vessel-the middle-where stant and regular route for passengers tonnage is most valuable. To bring the and despatches between Bombay and machinery within the desired limit of Suez by the Red Sea, and between Al- height, cylinders were made in violation exandria and Malta by the Mediterrane- of the usual proportions; the length being an, the Desert between Suez and Cairo generally equal to the diameter; instead being intersected by a good road capable of being twice that dimension, the proof being traversed by wheeled carriages. portion found best in practice. The
The time between Bombay and Lon- beam, instead of being erected above the don was consequently reduced from four cylinder, was placed below it, (to save months to little more than the same num- height;) and, as a consequence, two ber of weeks.
beams, with two sets of parallel motions, The difficulties which attended the became indispensable, where one had adaptation of the steam-engine to the previously been sufficient. propulsion of sea-going ships in general, The adjustment of the power, tonnage, and more especially to ships required to and fuel to each other, and to the length make long trips, not capable of being of the trip, so as to obtain the greatest (like those of the Mediterranean and practical advantage and commercial proOriental lines) resolved into stages of fit, was a problem of the greatest nicety moderate length, were various. Assum- and most consummate difficulty. It is a ing that the vessel is propelled by pad- problem about the solution of which endle-wheels, (the method universally gineering authorities have not even yet adopted until the improvements of Cap- been brought into accordance. The tontain Ericcson,) the fully efficient per- nage of a commercial steamship may be formance of the engines requires that regarded as appropriated to three purthe wheels should have one uniform im- poses-Ist, to freight and passengers; mersion, and that both wheels be equally 2d, to the propelling machinery ; and immersed. The complete fulfilment of 3d, to the fuel. A sufficient space must this condition was evidently impossible, be reserved for the first, otherwise comsubject to the vicissitudes of the deep. mercial profit, the sole object of such an
The rolling and pitching of the vessel enterprise, could not be realized. As would produce a continual variation of such ships will always have the first immersion of the wheels, and the grad- class of sailing vessels to compete with, ual consumption of the fuel during a and as they must generally depend for trip would produce a corresponding di- their profit more on passengers than on minution of the displacement or draught, freight, great speed is a condition absoand would diminish in the same propor- lutely indispensable to their success.
Great speed, however, requires that the great steam road between the capital of * power should not have too small a ratio the East and the capital of the Westto the tonnage. The more powerful the between London and New-York. Submachinery is in proportion to the tonnagescriptions were solicited-companies of the vessel, the more expeditious, ce- formed-all the machinery of the shareteris paribus, will be her voyages. But market was soon brought into full operafrom this springs a consequence of great tion-and the celebrated steam-mania of importance in these projects. Just in that day seized upon the British nation. the same proportion as the power of the In the midst of this excitement the keel machinery is augmented will the daily of the Great Western was laid down at consumption of fuel be increased, and in Bristol in the summer of 1836. a voyage of a given length, therefore, It is a fact well worthy of remark, in the stock of fuel provided at starting, and recording these events, that in this fever consumed on the trip, must be greater in of excitement towards a project, the rea like ratio. The fuel provided for daily alization of which would so seriously adconsumption must then bear a fixed pro- vance the interests of this country geneportion to the power of the machinery; rally, and of the city of New York in parand the whole stock of fuel provided for ticular, not a dollar of American capital the trip must be in the combined propor- found its way to it! Our people and our tion of the time of the trip and the power press lauded the enterprise to the skies, of the engines. For long voyages then and cheered on their British friends, as it would be necessary to build ships with hundred after hundred was poured in to engines sufficiently powerful to insure swell the growing capital ; but, while the necessary average speed, with ton- they cheered, they quietly buttoned their nage not so great in proportion to the pockets. Was it that with the shrewd. power as to be inconsistent with that ness so characteristic of the nation, these speed, and at the same time sufficient to cautious calculators saw that the pear was leave
space for profitable cargo and pas- not ripe, but that its maturity might be sengers after the requisite stock of fuel forced in the hot-bed thus constructed at for the voyage was provided.
foreign cost? Was it that they wisely foreBeset with these difficulties, and per- saw that, though the enterprise must lead plexed by discordant conditions, engi. to eventual good, it must first become the neers, practical mechanics, and men of grave of a large portion of capital? Was science, as might be expected, offered it that they waited till the soil
, still in its various and conflicting counsel.* For natural barrenness, should be manured short trips, such as the channel and coast by British gold, and ploughed by British navigation, little difference existed, pre- labor, and that when the requisite fertility cisely because there no practical difficul- should have been imparted to it, then, ties presented themselves. But for ocean and not till then, they would cast in seed, voyages there were almost as many dif- with the assured expectation of an abunferent opinions as individuals. All how. dant harvest ? Was it rather that, in a ever agreed, in what indeed was very gerfiine philosophic spirit, they reasoned evident, that in long ocean voyages the on abstract principles, that all such propower must have a less proportion to the jects must reach complete success through tonnage, and therefore a less average a series of failures ; and that the prudent speed can be obtained than in short trips. course were to tarry till the experiment, Some recommended the proportion of having passed through its first phases, four, some of three tons to each horse pow. should, in the fulness of time, reach that er, and between these opinion fluctuated. condition in which a successful issue
In the midst of these discussions, two might be regarded as secure ? grand projects were promulged, and We speak not here of that success, the courted the attention of enterprising cap- realization of which should consist in italists,--the one, to establish a regular barely crossing the Atlantic by the agensteam communication between Bombay cy of steam. Although, in the asperity and the Red Sea, in the face of the south- of disputation at the epoch now referred west monsoon; and the other, to open a to, individuals are represented as doubt
See the Reports and Evidences of Committees of the Houses of British Parliament on steam communication with India ; and other measures of a similar kind, where the principal engineers, engine-builders, nautical men, and men of science were examined, and their evidence reported.
VOL. 1.NO. I.