Imatges de pÓgina

steamships-of-war, with floating batteries and railroads for securing her own seaports and her interior. This is a measure, however, more likely to be undertaken by some future combination of empires, arrogating to themselves, as the enemies of France did in the years 1814-'15, the title of " Holy Alliance," than by any one nation.

30. Our unnatural mother, England, who has had the address to subsidize most of her neighbors, and to force others to sanction her pretension to the dominion of the sea; and for half a century past to hold in her own hands, amid professions of peace and good will towards us, near a third part of our greatest eastern border State, and to hold several of their and our border savage nations ready to take the scalps of our frontier citizens; that enlightened nation, who has shed more blood than any other, if not more than all other nations, to secure to herself the dominion of the sea, has, it is believed, at this moment, among us organized bands of spies and pioneers, assuming to themselves the plausible character and vocation of “advocates of human freedom,” more familiarly called "abolitionists." That this same England will, in due season, avail herself of her newborn abolitionism to secure to herself some favorite scheme of a foothold near us, to the northeast or south of us, or to pay us for our having twice beaten her, and more especially having, with our little giant navy, taken from her the glory of her long contested dominion of the sea, we can have no doubt. Without railroads and floating batteries, such as are here reccommended, with steamships-of-war, Engiand's banner of abolitionism may ere long be planted in Louisiana, and in every other border State upon our seaboard, from Sabine bay to Eastport, Maine. I'hus may we soon behold England openly attempting by force to accomplish what her spies and pioneers have long been secretly employed in preparing and hastening, a tragedy of blood and desolation, the elements of which were principally provided and brought hither from Africa, within the last two centuries, by the outrages and avarice of this same England, in her efforts to monopolize the freedom of the seas. The incendiary fires have already been lighted up at Charleston, South Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama, and perhaps some other cities of our southern and eastern border can testify. The system of national defence here recommended will enable us effectually to guard against the apprehended catastrophe, It will do more. It will, when the proper time arrives, enable us effectually to fulfil the apparent destiny by which an overruling Providence has decreed that the African savages should, by the simple though often abused process of the slave trade, with a long continued pilgrimage of slavery which they are undergoing, (a slavery marked as it has been here, ever since the reign of England ceased among us, with a high degree of humanity and benevolence,) when the proper time arrives, namely, whenever, in the next century, our own caste and color shall have increased so as to amount to two hundred millions of free white inhabitants, then it is beleived that our statesmen will see clearly the propriety of preserving every acre of the national domain for the support of our own caste and color; then shall we plainly see, and cheerfully do what we can to fulfil

, that apparent destiny-a destiny by which the supposed evils of the slave trade, and of the slavery of the Africans in America, shall eventually contribute to cover that benighted quarter of the globe with all the blessings of civilization and freedom. A consummation not more devoutly to be wished, than it is certainly to be accomplished within the coming century; unless, indeed, the great work is delayed by the lawless interference of the blind votaries of abolitionism, or by the apprehended incapacity of the African blacks for self-governinent. Be this as it may, our own United States republic of the coming century will, in all human probability before the middle of that century—say 80 or 30 years hence—have it in their power to make, for the first time since our political existence, a fair experiment towards the solution of the long contested problem, involving the question of the utility of Africans when left alone as members of a free civilized communitythe question upon which their possible capacity for self-government necessarily depends; for we shall then be able to spare from our two hundred millions of free white population a fleet of steamships-of-war, with an army of missionaries and United States volunteers, for the instruction and protection of the numerous savages of Africa: the terms protection and instruction are here employed in connexion with each other, because these two great engines of civilization have always gone side by side, wherever the work of civilization has succeeded best. That complete instruction necessary to all the purposes of civilization and selfgovernment, as we understand it, never was, nor ever can be perfected without military protection.

This navy and army of protection and instruction may be accompanied and followed by such detailed corps

of the instructed blacks of our country as may be qualified to assist in the great work: these detailed corps to continue, with the consent of their owners, until every black in America shall find a comfortable and a safe home in the land of his fathers. Any other system of abolition would inevitably delay though it might not defeat the accomplishment of the great work of giving civilization and self-government to Africa, and of giving to the United States republic the glory of the achievement--of giving civilization and self-government to two quarters of the globe; first to America, and next to Africa. To secure to ourselves the happiness, the imperishable glory, of giving to America and Africa all the blessings of civilization and self-government, we have only to do that which we are now admonished by every dictate of the first law of nature to do quickly for our own preservation—that which we possess more ample means of accomplishing before the year 1864, than the patriotic people of New York posessed to enable them to complete their magnificent canal before the year 1826—namely, to locate and construct the proposed railroads and floating batteries; as by the simple operation of the execution of this work, we shall insure the instruction of all the young men of our country that may be necessary or desirable as engineers or scientific mechanics to teach millions of the youth of South America and Africa the art of covering their country, as we shall have covered our country, with these essential means of national defence and national wealth. The missionary, whose sacred duty it is to extend to every people the blessings of the Christian religion, may with perfect propriety himself learn to be a scientific mechanic and a practical engineer. He may thus add the attracive power of practice to theory; and to the sublime precepts of Holy Writ, and in teaching men how to live and how to die, teach them also how to preserve unto their country the things that belong to their country; and how to defend and protect the helpless women and little ones confided to their care, in obedience to the solemn mandate which should apply alike to each social and political union most dear to us, namely : Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.Such will be—and must bema portion of the glorious results of our carrying into effect the proposed system of national defence. But if we negelet it until the crowned heads of Europe shall have leisure to prepare another holy alliance, with fifty to one hundred first-rate ships-of-war adapted to the action of steam power, we may, possibly in the next ten years, see our foreign commerce under the control of that holy alliance; and if we resist—and who will have the hardihood to say we will not resist ?—we may be told by the vain diplomatists of that imperial combinatoin of pirates—“Yankees! the holy alliance is graciously pleased to permit you, with your wives and children, to seek an asylum beyond the Rocky mountains.” Otherwise we must submit to the degredation of seeing all our seaports in the possession of the invading foe; or, of seeing our commercial cities battered down, without the possibility of our bringing to their succor sufficient force in time for their protection.

31. To obviate any euch calamity as the foregoing views suggest as possible, your memorialist prays Congress to provide for the construction of the proposed works. Or, should some previous experiment be desirable, he prays that he may be authorized by law to select and employ, under the authority of the President of the United States, such engineers and other officers, scientific mechanics, artificers, ship-carpenters, and laborers, as may be necessary to enable him forthwith to locate and construct, upon the principles and in the manner here stated, one of the proposed principal railroads

say that from Lexington, Kentucky, to Nashville, and thence to New Orleans; or the one from Louisville, Kentucky, via Nashville, to Mobile; or that from Memphis, Tennessee, to meet the one already completed from Charleston, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, to Tennessee river. And also to construct three of the proposed floating batteries, viz: two for the harbor of New Orleans, and one for the harbor of Mobile; to be constructed under his direction, in accordance with the project here recommended, and under the immediate superintendence of such officers as he may select. And when the floating batteries and railroads here recommended are completed, armed, equipped, and manned, the said floating batteries and railroads to be subjected to & scrupulous inspection by such committee of Congress, and by such other public functionaries as may be authorized by Congress, or by the President of the United States : provided that no military or naval officer be selected for any such inspection, but such as shall have been in battle and witnessed the effect of the enemy's cannon shot upon our works of defence; to the end that by such inspection the precise character, value, and utility of these works of internal improvement as means of national defence and national wealth, taken in connerion with each other, may be fully ascertained and certified. Under such authority, with two regiments such as the foregoing organization contemplates, sustained by an appropriation of three millions of dollars a year, for three years, your memorialist pledges himself to complete in this period of time the proposed railroad and three floating batteries; which will serve as an experiment upon which the residue of the works here recommended may be safely undertaken.

32. Your memorialist having, at different times during the last seventeen years, submitted to the proper authorities of the War Department most of his views contained in the foregoing 30 sections, as will more fully appear from his official reports, (which he prays may be called for and taken as a part of this înemorial,) he has thus repeatedly appealed to the War Department, but he deeply regrets to say that his appeals have been wholly unavailing. He now respectfully calls on every member of the national legislature who loves his country and her institutions to sustain his efforts in preparing for her a system of defence worthy of their fathers of the revolution, worthy of the Union, and of the Constitution which we all stand pledged to support. Your memorialist did not enter the service of his country for the mere selfish enjoyment of the pomp and ephemeral honors of the field of battle, (though he would not shrink from a comparison of his services in battle with those of any other United States commander now living;) his anticipated glory and great object have been to employ her means of defence, ample as they must ever be, so effectually as to convince her neighbors that honesty is the b-st policy, and that defeat must attend their every act of invasion ; and thus to direct the elements of war to the attainment of "peace on earth and good will towards men.With these impressions he deems it to be an act of common justice to himself, his wife, children, and friends, that he should solicit the only relief to which a United States general officer, honored as he has long been with one of the highest commands in the army, and whose best efforts are ever due to his country's service, can with propriety claim. He claims to be the author and inventor of the system of national defence herein set forth and explained; he therefore prays Congress to confirm his claim by such act or joint resolution as in their wisdom shall seem just and right. And your memorialist, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

EDMUND P. GAINES. NASHVILLE, December 31, 1839.

H. Rep. Com. 86—17


Washington, April 24, 1840. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th instant, referring to this bureau a memorial of Major General Gaines, proposing a system of national defence, of which he enumerates, as an essential part, an extensive series of railroads. Upon these last, your directions are that I should submit an estimate of the probable cost.

The various routes enumerated by the general will be found in the 10th page of his memorial. According to his computation, they would embrace about 4,200 miles; are to be laid in double track; and would cost, on an average, $15,000 the mile.

The routes are

1st. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, to Buffalo or Plattsburg, New York, with branches to Detroit, Albany, and Boston.

2d. One principal railroad from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Norfolk, Virginia, or Baltimore Maryland, with branches to Richmond, Virginia, and Newbern, North Carolina.

3d. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, with branches to Milledgeville, Georgia, and East Florida.

4th. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, to Mobile, Alabama, with a branch to Pensacola, Florida.

5th. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, via Nashville, to New Orleans.

6th. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to the Sabine ridge, with branches to Fort Towson and Fort Gibson, Arkansas.

7th. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, or Albany, Indiana, to St. Louis, Missouri; and thence to the Missouri river, north of the mouth of the Big Platte, with branches from Albany, Indiana, to Chicago, and from the northwest angle of the State of Missouri to the upper crossing of the river Des Moines.

As the general has given no precise indication of the courses which these routes would pursue, or of that of their branches, I find it difficult to determine the method by which he has ascertained the whole distance. But, taking Tanner's map of the United States as a basis, drawing straight lines from point to point, without reference to the physical peculiarities of the country, and involving but once in the consideration those parts which may be common to more than one principal route or branch, I make the distance of the whole system equal to 5,260 miles.

This is a distance of air lines, and of course is much less than what would be the actual distance of the roads. Their windings and sinuosities would much increase that length, to an extent which I think may, with propriety, be assumed as equal to 20 per cent. and which would make the entire length of roads and branches equal to 6,310 miles.

Until surveys are made and the roads located, it is impossible to make an accurate estimate of the cost. But, in the absence of these, by reasoning from probabilities and from experience in cases somewhat similar, one may arrive at a result which


be considered as a probable minimum. The general reasons upon the supposition of a double track throughout; but I doubt if this be necessary. A single track, with suitable turnouts, and double lines of some extent in particular localities, will probably be found adequate to all the objects of the roads. As the roads are intended for great speed as well as great weights, and are to be national roads, they must be made of great strength as well as of durable materials; and as they will cross the country in so many

directions, they will no doubt encounter all the causes of great expenses in such structures-rock excavation, deep-cuts, tunnels, heavy embankments, extensive bridges, &c.

Under these considerations, and after having, in addition to my own investigations and observations, consulted some of the most experienced and most eminent railroad engineers of our country, I find myself obliged to differ with the general in reference to probable cost. He states the average, on the supposition of a double track, at $15,000 per mile. I cannot, consistently with my own views, state it at less than $20,000 the mile, for a single track and its requisite accessories; and this amount I desire also to be understood as my opinion of a probable minimum.

Six thousand three hundred and ten miles, at $20,000 the mile, will amount to $126,200,000.

There is no doubt that many advantages may be taken of the railroads already made and being made by States and incorporated companies, in adopting them as parts of the major general's system, but one cannot say to what extent, until the same shall be shown by the surveys. If we suppose it, however, to be equal to 1,000 miles, it will reduce the cost before stated to $106,200,000.

The objects of these various roads being to transport masses of troops and munitions of war with great speed and to great distances, means of transporting will have to be provided, and will also have to be under the exclusive control of the government, which last condition makes it necessary that these means should be owned by the government; they become, then, an essential part of government expense belonging to the system.

These means are locomotives and cars. A car that would properly accommodate 50 men, with their arms and necessary baggage, would probably not cost less then $500. To transport 10,000 men, then, would require 200 cars. We will now suppose that to move these cars with the anticipated speed will require one locomotive to each train of ten cars; there must, then, be twenty locomotives, which, with the requisite tender to each, will not cost less than $8,000 apiece. It will, therefore, be necessary for the transportation of 10,000 men to have 20 locomotives and tenders and 200 cars. This may be considered as an equipment for one of the principal lines ; but as there are seven principal lines, and as each should be supplied with an equipment adequate to the transportation of 10,000 men, there will have to be, for the whole system of roads, not less than 140 locomotives and tenders and 1,400 cars. Applying to these the prices which we have stated, it will make the cost of the means of transportation equal to.....

$1, 820, 000 To which add the cost of the roads..

106, 200,000

And the whole will be...

108, 020,000

I have, in the foregoing, supposed the plan to be practicable-that is, that railroads may be made in the several directions as required by the system; but it is proper to add that this is a point which cannot be determined except by accurate surveys. Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


Colonel Topographical Engineers. Hon. J. R. Poinsett,

Secretary of War.

« AnteriorContinua »