Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

in which there is an ascent and descent of at least (vannah, cruizing in the Pacific, touched on the 700 feet to be overcome.

coast of Tehuantepec during the healthy season, In this distance, the Sierra Madre is to be cross- Four of her crew deserted, and in two weeks three ed; and I have never heard that here is to be found out of the four were dead. She was followed by the famous Irish mountain, “ with a bog on the top the Warren ; seven of her crew deserted, one of of it,” affording water enough to feed a ship ca- whom in a very short time after, wasted and worn nal! The Mexican Engineers, however, propose down with disease found his way back, and report a to bring it by two lateral cuis 20 or 30 miles from ed himself as the only surviving man of the party. a mountain streamlet.

During any season, but especially the sickly seaThe canal to be a bona fide ship canal, should son, which on this Isthmus is most of the year, be at least 17 feet deep, by 80 feet broad at the a night in the “Black Hole of Calcutta" would be surface. It must be a copious stream, indeed, to quite as inviting to travellers, as a passage through supply water enough to lift up through 700 feet this canal. I suppose that seamen would not ship and safely to let down from this elevation again, to sail through it, at such seasons, on any terms. the fleets of ships which we are told are daily to But if they would, there are other obstacles still pass through such a canal.

in the back ground. Perhaps they are the obstaSuppose the feeder to be ample, let any one who cles; I allude now to the bars across the harbors, would form an idea as to the cost of a ship canal and to the dangers at either terminus of the canal. in the pestilential climate and in hospitable country The bars are shifting bars, and therefore more dif-xi of this Isthmus, recollect the expense of the Lou- ficult to remove. isville canal constructed, with every thing at hand, The water and that at the mouth of the harbor, in a healthy and settled country, around the falls of on the Gulf, is variously stated at from 14 to 20* the Ohio,—and it is but as a rod in length, and feet, while the outlet at the other end, is obstructed only as a race for shallops in comparison with this. by the bars both of Teresa and Franciscg. As Let him recollect the difficulties, nay, practically, often as vessels, on approaching the mouth of the 1 the impossibility of deepening the western rivers. Coatzacoalcas from the Gulf shoold be caught in po We have not been able to increase the depth of a Norther, -and hurricanes prevail here for much the Mississippi itself, at low water, even so much of the year,--there would be danger, if not wreck. as two feet, much less sixteen. What, think you, The ship would be embayed, close on a lee shore, would have been the expense of digging out the from which there is no escape : there is no harbor Ohio river, from Wheeling to Pittsburg, before nor shelter to the South of Vera Cruz, that a Festhat country was settled, so as to afford an uniform sel at such times, could make. During a Norther depth of 17 feet at low water? Go into the cal- the sea breaks “ feather white" across this bar, and culation and examine the items; after that, you where the sea breaks in a gale, no ship can live. may be able to form something like an appropriate With such an exposure to the swell from the North, estimate as to the cost of a ship canal across this as this bar presents, to prevent the rollers from Continent, in the most unhealiny region of the breaking over, it would require a depth twice, if globe; a region in which native or acclimated la- not thrice as great as it now has. borers are not to be found, and where foreign labor- There are the bars at the mouth of the Missisers, knowing they should have to work knee-deep sippi river, choking up the commerce of that great in mud and water, under a tropical sun and in such valley, checking if not damping, the prosperity of a climate, could not be had for wages.

the whole country ; and yet the labor and cost of So impressed are the Mexicans themselves with deepening them even so much as two feet more, the unhealthiness of the route, that Santa Anna, are such, that the enterprise of the nation has not after granting to Garay this privilege, which he yet found itself equal to the task. proclaimed to his countrymen, would make Mexico Look at the coast line about the mouth of the the focus of the world's commerce, the emporium Coatzacoalcas. This port is in the middle of the of wealth and power, issued a decree directing crescent formed between the peninsula of Yucatan Judges to sentence malefactors to work on this and the coast below Tampico—now you will obcanal, and then ordered a prison to be built on its serve, that if a vessel were caught in a Norther banks to keep the laborers in.

off the bar of the Coatzacoalcas, she could not But suppose the mines of Potosi to be exhausted make any course that would take her clear of the and the canal to be made, I doubt much of its ex

shore. She is now in a cul de sac; and there is tensive use, for there are in the minds of sailors, no escape for her. great obstacles still in the way. It is well known On the Pacific side it is worse. The bars there that in that part of America, during the sickly have not so much water in them, and the outer one season, even a few hours on shore are considered is exposed to the full force of the waves that come sometimes fatal, and always dangerous to unaccli- across that broad ocean. Here, the sea is visited mated foreigners.

Two years ago, the United States Frigate, Sa- * The highest ever known.

by the most violent storms, accompanied with thun-| The country dairymen, who supply these articles, der and lightning that are described by sailors as are equally benefitted. truly awful. In short, such are the dangers and Were it possible to enumerate all the items under difficulties of navigation in that region, that there the head of general value of the canal and rail is an Admiralty order forbidding British ships of road in the State of New York, we should find war to visit it between Jone and November. millions of people who never invested a dollar in

There are also the Nicaragua and three or four those improvements reaping large annual dividends other routes that have occupied more or less the

from their general value. Destroy the great Erie attention of nations and capitalists, from time to

Canal to-morrow and the worth of real estate and time; but the difficulties and objections with re

other property along it, which constitute but a gard to them are quite as serious as those which ] part of its general value, would be depreciated by have been considering with regard to Tehuantepec

an amount exceeding many times the original cost and Panama.

of the work. Suppose, on the other hand, the

whole region of rich country through which this But if the connexion by any of the routes across canal passes were to be blighted in a day and made Central America could he made at half the ex

as barren as the deserts and as pestilential as the pense of the Monterey, or of Wilkes' or Whitney's coasts of Africa, leaving the canal only as a conRail Road, I should consider either of the last necting link between the lake country and the sea. three of far greater importance in a national point in this case what would be the general value of of view to this country, and its people, than any that canal in comparison to what it now is ? It route that can be projected to the south of us, free might still yield dividends and its particular value be though it should be to them and to it.

good, but its general value would be merely nomiTo canals, rail roads and all such improvements, nal in comparison with what it now is. there are attached two values ; a PARTICULAR and A cut through the Isthmus would be the canal a General value ; if I may so call them. By the through the desert, and in comparison would bring particular value of a rail road or canal, I mean that to our country and her citizens but few general advaloe which attracts the capitalist, and which in vantages. daees him to invest his money in it for the sake of But the Rail Road to Monterey is the improvedividends. It is simply that value which inures ex- ment throngh the rich country, and it would inclusively to the benefit of stockholders and con- crease the value of lands, invite settlers, and benesists in the aggregate only of the nett proceeds of fit the public through innumerable sources under the work.

the head of general value, and strengthen the arms By the general value I mean all the collateral of the nation. A canal across the Isthmus would advantages which such an improvement draws after do no such thing. it and distributes through the country and to the peo- There are annually employed in the Pacific three ple of the country through which it passes. These hundred American whaling vessels manned by advantages are far greater than the other. They twenty-five or thirty seamen each. These vesseis consist first in the benefits of the original expendi- have to break out their holds once or twice dutore in making the new high-way and the daily ring the voyage to recooper, etc.

For this and disbursements along it: afterwards, in using and other purposes of necessity, they seek the ports of keeping it in order, with a large train of numer- South America, of the Sandwich and other islands ous benefits to the working men who find profit or in the Pacific. They are a hardy set of men who employment in consequence of its existence. These follow the whale in all parts of the ocean. It is a collateral advantages consist, too, in the increased rule with them to visit port once or twice during value which the improvement, be it rail road or the year to cooper, refresh and repair, for which canal, gives to the land along it, and to the produce several weeks are required ; and I presume it is a which is taken up on the way side and conveyed by moderate estimate to set down the average annual it to market. Take an example : in consequence expenditure of each of these vessels whether in of the internal improvements which benefit New money or in kind on account of her crew and ship York, it is estimated that each house-keeper in that expenses of all kinds at $5,000—or one million and city pays on the average $50 less a year for such a half for the whole fleet. little items even as eggs, milk and butter, than he The Sandwich Islands on account of the facilidid pay before these improvements were made and ties they afford in the way of outfits, stores and rethao he would now pay were they destroyed. Each pairs are at present the principal rendezvous for house-keeper, therefore, in that city, who uses the vessels of this fleet. But were this Rail Road milk, butter and eggs, may be considered to have, to Monterey completed, they would, as soon as that on account of those items alone, a monied interest port should be able to furnish them with the necesin these improvements sufficient to produce an an- sary facilities, all resort there—and for the followdoal dividend of $50, which is equal to 6 per cent ing reasons. interest on a permanent investment of $833 33. 1st. They would be in immediate, direct and cer

1

tain communication with owners and friends in roughfares between the North and the South, the Nantucket and elsewhere. 2nd. They would be East and the West. The Charleston rail road will relieved from the vexations, seizures, forfeitures, connect it with the Atlantic. The Mississippi river duties and port charges to which they are at pres- already connects it with the Gulf and the lakes and ent liable and often subjected. 3rd. They would thousands of square leagues of a rich and thriving be in their own free country under the protection country, through a ramified system of navigable of its righteous laws and glorious flag-and to their tributaries, which if drawn out into one continuous country they would assuredly come to expend for stream, would more than encircle the entire globe. pleasure, outfits and refreshments, that million and Growing out of these circumstances, the Statesa half of money which they now scatter yearly man will discover a general value containing items over the broad Pacific. Monterey is within their sufficient in consequence and importance to tempt cruising grounds, and is even now often visited by nations into prodigality, for among these items, they them. From this source arises one of those items would recognize the sovereign right to tax forever under the head of general value connected with millions of property and people whose ability to this rail road, which dollars and cents cannot wholly pay is derived from the facilities afforded them to express-suppose the rail road to Monterey would buy, sell and get gain. induce the whalers to expend annually a million Both Whitney's and Wilkes' Roads to the Pacific and a half of dollars in our own country and among have each its advantages, friends and advocates, and our own people, which is now expended in foreign deservedly so. The country is wide and I do not ports-$1,500,000 is 6 per cent interest upon a start this in opposition to either of the two. Withprincipal of 25,000,000, and if the improvement out the requisite topographical and geodetic inforshould realize this result, besides penetrating the matjon as to either of the routes that have been prorich country between Memphis and Monterey and posed from the valley of the West to the Pacific, tapping many a source of wealth and prosperity I have been considering the most direct routes ge. that now lies hid on the way, it would prove equalographically, by which some central point of the to a funded investment of 25,000,000 by the nation country may be connected with China by rail road in 6 per cent stock, the dividend from which would and steamers. annually be expended among our own people in- I did not select Whitney's as a link in this chain, stead of being taken from the circulation of the because it is out of the way of the Great Circle roate conntry, carried off and expended among the Is- from Western America to China, because it lies with lands of the Pacific as it now is.

in a colder region and would be liable to obstructions Suppose the Mexican Canal should draw the in winter, and because the harbor, at the mooth of whalers to Santa Teresa or Tehuantepec, the mil. the Columbia river, is not comparable to those in lion and a half would go to the Mexicans and not California. Lt. Howison* was wrecked at the “ a los Yankees ;" we should lose it.

mouth of that river two years ago in the U. S. The Sandwich Islands owe their commercial im- schooner, Shark. She went to pieces at a place portance chiefly to the whalers and to the circum- on the bar where but a few years before the Esstance connected with the fact of their being con- ploring Expedition found water enough to float a sidered the half-way house between America and 74. He chartered a vessel to take himself and China. The star of their commercial prosperity crew to the Sandwich Islands, and though drawing has not yet reached its meridian height. Estab. but 8 feet water was detained 63 days just inside lish this line of steamers, and the day the decree of the bar and within one hours sail of the open is made for this rail road, that star will culminate. sea, waiting to get out. I learn from that officer,

This rail road would take the inland trade to and upon professional subjects there is not to be Santa Fé and Mexico and increase it many fold. found better authority—that the character of that It is probable that several millions of Mexican peo. harbor has entirely changed since Captain Wilkes ple would use this road as their commercial tho- surveyed it. roughfare. For the extent of country to be sup. plied resolves itself into a question of dollars and * We are pained to announce the death of this estimable cents. All those people who could get articles for and accomplished officer. He died in the lown of FrederJess cost over it, than they would pay to receive icksburg on the 23rd of February. Few men in the Navy the same over the rough roads from Vera Cruz and enjoyed more of the confidence and esteem of their supe

riors than Lieut. Neil M. Howison. A service of more Tampico, would certainly use it.

than twenty years had pointed him out in a marked degree There are other items of vast importance under to the notice of the Department, and, had he lived, we do the head of general value, some of which it may not doubt that he would have risen to the highest rank on be proper to enumerate.

the quarter deck. Naturally ardent and generous in temMemphis is the point of departure for this route; perament, he was remarkable for the unremitting ease and a city in the heart of the country and occupying a his manners. Although his death was sudden, it is con

elegance of his conversation, and the uniform simplicity of central position ; it is situated right on the wayside soling to know that his last moments were spent in the saof the great National highway and commercial tho-'cred circle of home.-[Ed. Mess.]

I did not seleet the route proposed by Wilkes |cific on their way to China, the people of the Pafrom the Missouri; because it too is out of the cific, at least of all Pacific America south of Mexway of the Great Circle and also liable to obstruc- ico, will want to cut through the Isthmus of Panama tion in wjoter.

to get to us on their way to China and the east. Nor did I select nor have I advocated the route The time from Panama up the Pacific coast to from Memphis as the very best that is; I wish you Monterey allowing the same rate at 220 to the to understand that I do not pretend to know any. steamer would be 15 days and 3,300 miles. This thing as to the nature of the ground or the obsta- part of the voyage would be tame to a degree have cles in the way further than what may be gathered ing scarcely variety enough to make applicable the from a mere geographical knowledge. San Diego travellers witicism, “ sometimes we ship a sea, and San Francisco may either offer a better termi- sometimes we see a ship.” Say then which of the nas for the rail road than Monterey. Lt. Minor, two lines would a passenger, on arriving from ValC. S. N., who has been the governor of San Diego paraiso, at Panama, or at Cuba from Brazil, or at informs me that he found bituminous coal in the Jamaica from England, be most likely to take, the Solidad valley, about six miles from the port. He one on this tedious route along the Mexican coast, found it on the surface and used it in the forge with its dull monotony, or the one through the though it was impregnated with sulphur.

Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi and thence Geographically speaking, however, Memphis and across the country by rail road to California ? Murterey are the points. But yeodetically, prac.

ae. Considering the present commercial condition of tically and commercially it may be better to im- the Japan and Chinese empires, regarding the desprove the navigation of the Rio Grande so as to tiny of the Pacific states of the Union as one of ascend it by steam boats some 4 or 500 miles to glorious promise, taking the changes which are anthe Paso del Norte or even further up, then cross nually occurring not only in the articles of trade over the Sierra to the head waters of the Gila, but in the channels of commerce, and recollecting thence down that shallow stream with locks and that of the eight hundred millions of people who dams to its junction with the Colorado—and thence are said to inhabit the earth, six hundred millions to San Diego and the ocean. But seeing that prac- of them are to be found in the islands and countries tically with us it is not so easy to make navigable which are washed by the Pacific is difficult to ibuse rivers in the west which are not so, I do not overrate the value and importance to the Republic espect ever to see this route successfully pursued of a safe and ready means of communication through or even seriously advocated. Crossing the Mis- California with those people. sissippi midway between the gulf and the lakes These six hundred millions have always been ibe proposed route from Merophis would be through behind the two hundred millions of the Atlantic in a bealthy, and for the most part a fertile country. the art of ship building and in commercial enterIt never would be blocked up with snow--of all prise. the routes ever proposed from the United States to Their junks and proaks were made only for China it is the most direct for the people of the creeping along the coward shores, not for venturing states, the West Indies, Brazil, Bolivia and all the across the broad ocean. They are content that Latermediate country.

The length of the rail road | those white winged vessels which come from bemay be shortened several hundred miles for the yond the “black waters" should fetch and carry present at least by starting it from the sources, or for them. tead of navigation, the Arkansas. The effects of The Islander will cease to go naked--the Chinaa sabstantial rail road from Memphis to one of the man will give up his chop-sticks, and the Asiatic ports of California in connection with a line of Russian his train oil the moment they shall find gleamers thence to China would do much to break that they can exchange the productions of their up old thoroughfares and channels of commerce climate and labor for that which is more pleasing through the Pacific and to turn them through the to the taste or fancy. Hitherto the way to reach l'oited States. A good rail road with a moderate these people has been around the stormy capes and rale of tolls, but sufficient, nevertheless, to keep the expense of carrying to the laboring classes, the road in repair, could be felt at the Sandwich whose name there is legion, suitable articles of food Islands as a serious injury to them and their com- and raiment, has been greater than they can bear. mercial importance.

Do you suppose that the laboring classes of Let such a rail road be given to the courtry, and China would live and die on the unchanged diet of after it shall have been for a little while in suc- rice if they could obtain meat and bread? This cessful operation, you will hear no more said by country will soon be offering from its western the people on the Atlantic side in favor of a canal shores not only these articles but many other items or rail road, across the Isthmus of the continent, of commerce which, by constant and familiar infor their convenience in communicating with China tercourse with our people, they will soon learn to and " Old East." So far from the people of the be want and taught to buy. I regard the proposed Atlantic wanting a highway there to get to the Pa- rail road and line of steamers as but an entering

BY SIDNEY DYER.

wedge—which, that these new channels of com- fernment will make us in war the strongest power merce may be safely opened, should be driven with on the ocean that the world ever saw. energy.

This system of man-of-war built mail-steamers, The rail road must be a work of time—the line constructed with the aid of a trifling bounty from of steamers may be quickly started. I would, the government, and commanded by educated ofitherefore, beg leave to call your attention to the cers of the Navy, but manned and sailed on pri importance of putting into simultaneous operation vale account, will be to the Navy in war precisely with the steamers, a mail to run in connection with what the militia, led by West Point graduates, have them from Monterey to the most convenient point proved themselves to the Army. Closely and inin the states.

timately connected is this great national rail road This mail would not probably be oftener than with that beautiful system of public defence. once a month. If it come to Memphis or Little

Respectfully, &c. Rock the direct route would be near Santa Fe and

M. F. MAURY. through Taos—sopposing a grand pass should be

Lt. United States Navy. found through the mountains, this mail would want an escort, and should be carried on horseback. On

N. B. I send you a chart with the routes markaccount of the Indians, etc., which beset this route

ed off. The distances mentioned are in Nautical

miles. it might be well to establish a line of small block houses for the protection and safety of the emi- Hon. T. BUTLER KING, grants to California. These stations could also Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, afford horses, riders and escorts for the mail.

House of Representatives, Washington. In that country a journey on horseback once a month of 50 miles in 12 hours—4 miles an hourwould not be considered impracticable either for man or beast with relays to accompany the riders 6 miles an hour or 72 miles in 12 hours would not be impracticable. But suppose the rate to be RETURN OF THE REDBREAST. only 50 miles in 12 hours or 100 in the 24 it would then be practicable-continuing the mail day and night-to reach Independence, Mo., or Fort Gibson, Ark., from Monterey in 10 or 12 days and thus

Warble on pretly redbreast letters from China might be delivered in New York

Out by the lawn; within 45 days after date. It now takes more than

Come build now thy downy nest,

Winter is gone ; twice that time.

No more fear the chilling blast, When this mail route shall be established the

Shrink not again, merchant in Boston 45 or 50 days after his ship

See, Spring has its blossoms cast shall have sailed for China may send via Monterey

Wide o'er the plain! fresh instructions and they will reach consignees as soon as the ship will.

How sadly thine Autumn lay

Thrilled in the grove, Whether San Diego, Monterey, or San Fran

When faded thy bower away, cisco shall be selected, as the terminus of the rail

Bower of thy love; road and the line to China, will or ought to depend

Then mourning thou took'st thy flight partly upon the comparative facilities by which

On rapid plume, these ports may be reached from Memphis and

Away to sweet groves of light,

'Mid tropic bloom. partly upon the advantages which they offer for the principal dock-yard hereafter to be established on

Thou hast been to a sunny clime, the Pacific. The necessary surveys and examina

Far, far away, tions are wanting to decide this point.

Where comes ne'er bleak Winter time, The bills and reporis submitted by you to the

Frosting the spray; House of Representatives in 1841, and subsequent

O'er fields ever green and fair,

There thou could'st roamly have caused you to be considered in the Navy

And was thy heart lonely there, as the leader in Congress upon the subject of ocean

Yearning for home? steamers as connected with the naval defences of the country. In the policy of encouraging mer

What though in the spicy land chants to build for our lines of mail steamers ves

Glow rarest flowers, sels that are convertible, at the pleasure of the gov

And come with the breezes bland,

Sweet scented showers, ernment, into efficient men-of-war, is contained a

When thy heart's on the blue hills principal of naval expansion, and the sinews of that

Skirting thy home, maritime strength which, when rightly understood,

Where leap the wild mountain rills, by the people and properly carried out by the gov

Sparkling with foam.

« AnteriorContinuar »