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approaching the mouth of the Coatzacoalcas from the Gulf should be caught in a norther,--and hurricanes prevail here for much of the year,—there would be danger, if not wreck. The ship would be embayed, close on a lee shore, from which there is no escape: there is no harbor nor shelter to the south of Vera Cruz, that a vessel at such times could make. During a norther the sea breaks “ feather white” across this bar, and where the sea breaks in a gale, no ship can live. With such an exposure to the swell from the north, as this bar presents, to prevent the rollers from breaking over, it would require a depth twice, if not thrice as great as it now has.

There are the bars at the mouth of the Mississippi river, choking up the commerce of that great valley, checking if not damping, the prosperity of the whole country; and yet the labor and cost of deepening them even so much as two feet more, are such that the enterprise of the nation has not yet found itself equal to the task.

Look at the coast line about the mouth of the Coatzacoalcas. This port is in the middle of the crescent formed between the peninsula of Yucatan and the coast below Tampico—now you will observe, that if a vessel were caught in a norther of the bar of the Coatzacoalcas, she could not make any course that would take her clear of the shore. She is now in a cul de sac; and there is no

escape for her.

On the Pacific side it is worse. The bars there have not so much water in them, and the outer one is exposed to the full force of the waves that come across that hroad ocean. Here, the sea is visited by the most violent storms, accompanied with thunder and lightning, that are described by sailors as truly awful. In short, such are the dangers and difficulties of navigation in that region, that there is an admiralty order, forbidding British ships of war to visit it between June and November

There are also the Nicaragua and three or four other routes, that have occupied, more or less, the attention of nations and capitalists, from time to time; but the difficulties and objections with regard to them are quite as serious as those which I have been considering with regard to Tehuantepec and Panama.

But if the connection by any of the routes across Central America could be made at half the expense of Monterey, or of Wilkes' or Whitney's rail road, I should consider either of the last three of far greater importance in a national point of view to this country, and its people, than any route that can be projected to the south of us, free though it should be to them and to it.

To canals, railroads and all such improvements, there are attached two values; a particular and a general value, if I may so call them. By the particular value of a rail road or canal, I mean that value which attracts the capitalist, and which induces him to invest his money in it for the sake of dividends. It is simply that value which inures exclusively to the benefit of stockholders, and consists in the aggregate only of the nett proceeds of the work.

By the general value, I mean all the collateral advantages which such an improvement draws after it, and distributes through the country and to the people of the country through which it passes. These advantages are far greater than the other. They consist first, in the benefits of the original expenditure in making the new high-way, and the daily disbursements along it: afterwards, in using and keeping it in order, with a large train of numerous benefits to the working men who find profit or employment in consequence of its existence. These collateral advantages consist, too, in the increased value which the improvement, be it sail road or canal, gives to the land along it, and to the produce which is taken up on the way side and conveyed by it to market. Take an example: in consequence of the internal improvements which benefit New York, it is estimated that each house keeper in that city pays on the average $50 less a year for such little items even as eggs, milk and butter, than he did pay before these improvements were made, and than he would now pay were they destroyed. Each house keeper, therefore, in that city, who uses milk, butter and eggs, may be considered to have, on account of those items alone, a monied interest in these improvements sufficient to produce an annual dividend of $50, which is equal to six per cent. interest on a permanent investment of $833 33. The country dairymen, who supply these articles, are equally benefitted.

Were it possible to enumerate all the items under the head of general value of the canal and rail road in the State of New York, we should find millions of people who never invested a dollar in those improvements reaping large annual dividends from their general value. Destroy the great Erie Canal to-morrow and the worth of real estate and other property along it, which constitute but a part of its general value, would be depreciated by an amount exceeding many times the original cost of the work. Suppose, on the other hand, the whole region of rich country through which this canal passes were to be blighted in a day and made as barren as the deserts, and as pestilential as the coasts of Africa, leaving the canal only as a connecting link between the lake country and the sea. In this cas? what would be the general value of that canal in comparison to what it now is? It might still yield dividends and its particular value be good, but its general value would be merely nominal in comparison with what it now is.

A cut through the Isthmus would be the canal through the desert, and in com. parison would bring to our country and her citizens but few general advantages.

But the rail road to Montery is the improvement through the rich country, and it would increase the value of lands, invite settlers, and benefit the public through innumerable sources under the head of general value, and strengthen the arms of the nation. A canal across the Isthmus would do no such thing.

There are annually employed in the Pacific three hundred American whaling vessels manned by twenty-five or thirty seamen each. These vessels have to break out their holds once or twice during the voyage to re-cooper, etc. For this and other purposes of necessity, they seek the ports of South America, of the

Sandwich and other islands in the Pacific. They are a hardy set of men who follow the whale in all parts of the ocean. It is a rule with them to visit port once or twice during the year to cooper, refresh and repair, for which several weeks are required; and I presume it is a moderate estimate to set down the average annual expenditure of each of these vessels whether in money or in kind on account of her crew and ship expenses of all kinds at $5,000—or one million and a half for the whole fleet.

The Sandwich Islands on account of the facilities they afford in the way of outfits, stores and repairs, are at present the principlal rendezvous for the vessels of this fleet. But were this rail road to Monterey completed, they would, as soon as that port should be able to furnish them with the necessary facilities, all resort • there- and for the following reasons:

1st. They would be in immediate, direct and certain communication with owners and friends in Nantucket and elsewhere. 2nd. They would be relieved from the vexations, seizures, forfeitures, duties and port charges to which they are at present liable and often subjected. 3rd. They would be in their own free country under the protection of its righteous laws and glorious flag--and to their country they would assuredly come to expend for pleasure, outfits and refresh. ments, that million and a half of money which they now scatter yearly over the broad Pacific. Monterey is within their cruizing grounds, and is even now often visited by them. From this source arises one of those items under the head of general value connected with this rail road, which dollars and cents cannot wholly express-suppose the rail road to Monterey would induce the whalers to expend annually a million and a half of dollars in our own country and among our own people, which is now expended in foreign ports—$1,500,000 is six per cent interest upon a principal of 25,000,000, and if the improvment should realize this result, besides penetrating the rich country between Memphis and Monterey, and tapping many a source of wealth and prosperity that now lies bid on the way, it would prove equal to a funded investment of 25,000,000 by the nation in six per cent stock, the dividend from which would annually be expended among our own people instead of being taken from the circulation of the country, carried off and expended among the Islands of the Pacific as it now is.

Suppose the Mexican Canal should draw the whalers to Santa Teresa or Tehuantepec, the million and a half would go to the Mexicans and not "a los Yankees;" we sliould lose it.

The Sandwich Islands owe their commercial importance chiefly to the whalers and to circumstance connected with the fact of their being considered the half-way house between America and China. The star of their commercial prosperity has not yet reached its meridian height. Establish this line of steamers, and the day the decree is made for this rail road, that star will culminate.

This rail road would take the inland trade to Santa Fe and Mexico and increase it many fold. It is probable that several millions of Mexican people would use

this road as their commercial thoroughfare. For the extent of country to be sur. plied resolves itself into a question of dollars and cents. All those people who could get articles for less cost over it, than they would pay to receive the same over the rough roads from Vera Cruz and Tampico, would certainly use it.

There are other items of vast importance under the head of general value, some of which it may be proper to enumerate.

Memphis is the point of departure for this route; a city in the heart of the country and occupying a central position: it is situated right on the wayside of the great national highway and commercial thoroughfares between the north and the south, the east and the west. The Charleston rail road will connect with the Auantic. The Mississippi river already connects it with the Gulf, and the lakes and thousands of square leagues of a rich and thriving country, through a ramified system of navigable tributaries, which if drawn out into one continuous stream, would more than encircle the entire globe. Growing out of these circumstances, the statesman will discover a general value containing items sufficient in consequence and importance to tempt nations into prodigality; for among these items, they would recognize the sovereign right to tax forever millions of property and people whose ability to pay is derived from the facilities afforded them to buy, sell and get gain.

Both Whitney's and Wilkes' roads to the Pacific have each its advantages, friends and advocates, and deservedly so. The country is wide and I do not start this in opposition to either of the two. Without the requisite topographical and geodetic information as to either of the routes that have been proposed from the valley of the west to the Pacific, I have been considering the most direct routes geographically, by which some central point of the country may be connected with China by rail road and steamers.

I did not select Whitney's as a link in this chain, because it is out of the way of the Great Circle route from Western America to China; because it lies within a colder region and would be liable to obstructions in winter, and because the harbor, at the mouth of the Columbia river, is not comparable to those in California. Lt. Howison was wrecked at the mouth of that river, two years ago in U. S. schooner, Shark. She went to pieces at a place on the bar where but à few years before the Exploring Expedition found water enough to float a 74. He chartered a vessel to take himself and crew to the Sandwich Islands, and though drawing but eight feet water, was detained sixty-three days just inside of the bar, and within one hours sale of the open sea, waiting to get out. I learn from that officer-and upon professional subjects there is not to be found better authority—that the character of that harbor has entirely changed since Captain Wilkes surveyed it. I did not select the route proposed by Wilkes from the Missouri, because it, too, is out of the way of the Great Circle, and also liable to obstruction in winter. Nor did I select, nor have I advocated the route from Memphis as the very best that is; I wish you to understand that I do not pretend to know any thing as to the nature of the ground or the obstacles in the way, further than what may be gathered from a mere geographical knowledge. San Diego and San Francisco may either offer a better terminus for the rail road than Monterey. Lt. Minor, U. S. N., who has been the governor of San Diego, informs me that he found bituminous coal in the Solidad valley, about six miles from the port. He found it on the surface and used it in the forge, though it was impregnated with sulphur.

Geographically speaking, however, Memphis and Monterey are the points. But geodetically, practically and commercially it may be better to improve the navigation of the Rio Grande so as to ascend it by steam boats some four or five hundred miles 10 the Paso del Norte, or even further up; then cross over the Sierra 10 the head of the Gila, thence down that shallow stream with Jocks and dams to its junction with the Colorado—and thence to San Diego and the ocean. But seeing that practically with us it is not so easy to make navigable those rivers in the west which are not so, I do not expect ever to see this route success. fully pursued or even seriously advocated. Crossing the Mississippi midway between the gulf and the lakes the proposed route from Memphis would be through a healthy, and for the most part a fertile country. It never would blocked up with snow-of all the routes ever proposed from the United States to China, it is the most direct for ths people of the States, the West Indies, Brazil, Bolivia, and all the intermediate country. The length of the rail road may be shortened several hundred miles for the present, at least, by starting it from the sources, or head of navigation, the Arkansas. The effects of a substantial rail road from Memphis to one of the ports of California, in connection with a line of steamers thence to China, would do much to break up old thoroughfares and channels of commerce through the Pacific, and to turn thein through the United States. A good rail road with a moderate rate of tolls, but sufficient, nevertheless, to keep the road in repair, could be felt at the Sandwich Islands as a serious injury to them and their commercial importance.

Let such a rail road be given to the country, and after it shall have been for a little while in successful operation, you will hear no more said by the people on the Atlantic side in favor of a canal or rail road, across the Isthmus of the conti. nent, for their convenience in communicating with China and “ Old East." So far from the people of the Atlantic wanting a highway there to get to the Pacific on their way to China, the people of the Pacific, at least of all Pacific America south of Mexico, will want to cut through the Isthmus of Panama to get to us on their way to China and the east.

The time from Panama up the Pacific coast to Monterey allowing the same rate at 220 to the steamer, would be 15 days and 3,300 miles. This part of the voyage would be tame to a degree, having scarcely variety enough to make applicable the travelers witticism, "sometimes we ship a sea, sometimes we see

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