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In regard to the south ward and eastward commercial movements of Minnesota, Mr. Solberg, of Saint Paul, Minn., says:
A few articles, such as resin, pitch, castor-oil, white lead, and possibly lard-oil, and wooden ware, come chiefly from Saint Louis and New Orleans. The quantity of sagar and molasses from Saint Louis and New Orleans is so small compared with the imports of the same class of goods from the East, that it would be difficult to determine the proportion in the absence of actual statistics. Notwithstanding the rapidly-growing importance of railroads as carriers of our exports and imports, the Saint Louis trade is still largely by river, and is growing less in proportion to the whole business of the State as it grows in population.
Mr. Solberg also states that of the entire surplus products of lum. ber and grain, constituting the chief commodities, 86 per cent. is shipped directly east by rail and 14 per cent. is shipped south, a large proportion of which is afterward direrted to the east and to the west on railroads crossing the river south of the State of Minnesota.
Col. Milo Smith presents the following statement in regard to the north and south roads of Iowa:
The business of all north and south roads in Iowa is practically eastbound business. The north and south roads carry their traffic to the main east and west truuk lines, and over them it goes to Chicago. There is practically no south-bound business. Nearly all the traffic of the Keokuk and Des Moines Railroad, striking the Mississippi River at Keokuk at the foot of the lower rapids, goes to Chicago. It is safe to calculate that 95 per cent. of the business of Iowa goes to Chicago and Milwaukee.
The general direction of the commerce of Iowa and Minnesota and of that section of the country lying west of the Mississippi and north of the northern boundary of Missouri may also be inferred from facts presented by Mr. Geo. H. Morgan, secretary of the Saint Louis Merchants Exchange, in reply to inquiries submitted to him by this Department. It appears that the total tonnage received at Saint Louis during the year 1875 amounted to 3,896,295 tons, of which only 413,088 tons or 14 per cent. were received “from the North.” These tonnage receipts from the North were from the following sources :
Tons. Rockford, Rock Island and Saint Louis Railroad ....
60, 993 Illinois River
153, 995 Upper Mississippi River
413, 088 The receipts by the Rockford, Rock Island and Saint Louis Railroad and by the Illinois River were almost exclusively products of the State of Illinois. The total tonnage received at Saint Louis from the north by the Mississippi River (198,100 tons) constituted, therefore, but 5 per cent. of the total receipts at that city during the year 1875. It is proper to say that the above statement, in so far as it represents the direction of the general receipts at Saint Louis, is only approximate, but it fully covers all that can properly be termed “receipts from the north."
Comparison between the traffic of the Mississippi River and the traffic of
the railroads which cross it above the city of Saint Louis. The total quantity of wheat exported from Minnesota during the year 1875 amounted to 23,391,000 bushels. Of this there were shipped south by river, 2,567,694 bushels; shipped east by rail, 20,823,306 bushels. Of the quantity shipped by river it appears that 2,316,985 bushels or 90.2 per cent. was transferred to east and west roads at points below, showing that only 250,709 bushels or 1 per cent of the total wheat exports of Minnesota was shipped south of the State of Iowa and that 99 per cent. was shipped east.
The following valuable table, showing the general eastern movement over railroad bridges above Saint Louis, was prepared by Col. Milo Smith, of Clinton, Iowa:
The report of the Saint Louis Exchange for 1875 states that the total tonnage of grain which reached that city during the year 1875, by the Mississippi River, amounted to 77,996 tons. It appears, therefore, that the southward movement of grain on the Mississippi River above Saint Louis was but 5 per cent. of the eastward morement over railroad bridges. The total tonnage of merchandise (lumber not included) which crossed the Mississippi River by rail appears by the foregoing table to have amounted to 2,344,354 tons, while the total tonnage of merchandise which reached Saint Louis from the north and from territory lying west of the Mississippi River, amounted to 198,100 tons, the river tonnage being but 8 per cent. of the tonnage which crossed the river over the thirteen bridges between Winona, Minn., and Louisiana, Mo.
The movements of the lumber trade of the Upper Mississippi River. Next in importance to the grain-trade of the Northwest is the lumber trade of the Upper Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. The movements of lumber from the forests to the various markets also serve to illustrate the general course of the commerce of the Northwest. All the lumber of the upper waters of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Risers, on its way to the various markets, converges at the junction of those rivers near Prairie du Chien. From thence it is rafted down the Mississippi River in the form of logs, boards, shingles, and lath. Every town and city from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to the city of Saint Louis is to some extent a lumber market, and at almost all the principal towns, lumber, lath, and shingles are manufactured for the local demand and for shipment east and west. At every point where a road crosses the river, lumber in its various forms is shipped to interior points. Supplies of lumber are thus shipped from 10 to 100 miles east of the Mississippi, and from 500 to 1,000 miles west of that river. In this manner the principal part of the lumber traffic of the Mississippi River is diverted to an east and west movement.
The following facts in regard to the total movements of the lumber: trade are furnished by Messrs. Berthold & Jennings, lumber-merchants of Saint Louis, who are regarded by the Mercbants' Exchange of that city as authority upon this subject. It is estimated that the total product of the pine region in 1875 was 1,000,000,000 feet, board-measure, of which 101,217,880 feet reached Saint Louis. The quantity consumed at river towns and shipped east and west by rail, and the quantity shipped south by river, appear to have been as follows:
Feet. Consumed at river towns and shipped east and west.
958, 782, 120 By river to Saint Louis ....
101, 217,880 Total.....
1,060,000,000 Of the total movement of lumber it appears that 90 per cent. was consumed at river-towns or transported east and west on railroads, and that but 10 per cent. reached Saint Louis.
The quantity shipped south of Saint Louis amounted to only 9,000,000 feet. This indicates that the lumber-trade of the Upper Mississippi practically ends at Saint Louis, and there ceases to be, to any extent, a part of the traffic of the river. By adding the tonnage of lumber to the tonnage of general merchandise which crossed the Mississippi over railroad bridges, and the tonnage of lumber to the tonnage of general mer. chandise received from the north at Saint Louis, we obtain approximately the comparative shipments east and south from the States of Iowa and Minnesota, as follows:
Total south movement..
The total tonnage moved south appears, therefore, to have been only 12 per cent. of the total tonnage moved eastward.
It is estimated that the average value of east-bound freights crossing the Mississippi River is about $50 per ton, and that the average value of the tonnage moving south to Saint Louis on the Mississippi River is about $8 per ton. It appears, therefore, that the total value of commodities moved east by rail and of commodities moved south by river is as follows: Value of east-bound traffic by rail, $124,717,700; value of south-bound traffic by river, $2,394,536. The total value of the commodities shipped south appears, therefore, to have been but 2 per cent. of the total value of the commodities shipped east.
These facts clearly indicate the general direction of the movements of the commerce of the States of Iowa and Minnesota, the enormous and greatly preponderating east and west traffic being the result of the construction of railroads during the last twenty years.
In this connection, the great value of the Mississippi River as a receiv. ing and distributing reservoir for the lamber-trade is worthy of especial notice. The cost of transportation on the river is but one mill per ton per mile, or only about one-tenth of the average cost of the tonnagemovement on the railroads west of the Mississippi River, and only onesixth of the average cost of transportation on the Pennsylvania Rail. road.
The lumber-trade of the Upper Mississippi and of the Wisconsin Rivers will probably always remain a river-trade in the manner in which it is now carried on, and the growth of the distribution east, west, and south will be governed by the general growth of commerce in the differ. ent directions.
The increase of the commerce of Saint Louis with the States north and northwest of the State of Missouri must always bear a close relation to the growth of commerce between those States and the South Atlantic and Gulf States. The development of this north and south commerce will tend greatly to increase the traffic on the Mississippi River and on all north and south rail-lines, as it will be a traffic for which the east and west trunk-railway lines cannot compete. The Mis. sissippi River will continue to be the principal avenue of transportation for lumber and other heavy commodities, on account of the cheapness of transportation, and at the same time it will constitute an invaluable regulator of freight-charges on railroads.
The fact that the navigation of the Upper Mississippi is closed during the winter months, while it affects the value of that part of the river as a commercial highway for the transportation of general merchandise, does not greatly detract from its value as a line of transport for lumber, since an adequate supply can always be moved to the river-towns dur. ing the season of navigation, and there be manufactured and shipped east and west by rail during the period when navigation is closed.
Attention is called to the interesting and valuable statements presented to this Department by Mr. C. F. Solberg, of Saint Paul, Minn.; by Col. Milo Smith, of Clinton, Iowa, and by Mr. George H. Morgan, secretary of the Merchants' Exchange, of Saint Louis, Mo. (Appendix, pp, 92, 148, 186.)
DIRECT TRADE ON RAILROADS BETWEEN DISTANT POINTS IN THE
The direct transportation of commodities between interior points in the Western States and points in the Atlantic and Gulf States consti. tutes a very important feature of the internal commerce of the country at the present day. Morements of this character indicate the remarkable changes which have taken place in the course and conditions of commerce during the last fifteen years.
The direct transportation of merchandise between distant points in the United States is a result of the developed possibilities of railroad transportation in connection with the facilities for the rapid diffusion of commercial information by means of the telegraph and the public press. Such direct transportation on through consignments was not possible on railroads until through-freight lines were formed and facilities were provided for the speedy and economical transfer of freight from one railroad to another without any intermediate agencies except those provided by the common carrier. This new mode of commerce is some.. times considered to be merely a deflection of trade from the great mar. kets, but it is rather to be regarded as a development of commerce indi. rectly tending to advance and not to detract from the commercial importance of the great centers of trade.
The through-freight lines of the country and the arrangements for the transfer of traffic from one road to another, by means of which direct shipments were rendered possible, are the outgrowth of a public necessity. Twenty-five years ago the agricultural products of the Western and Northwestern States were shipped to the centers of trade on the lakes and thence to New York by the lakes and the Erie Canal. Such products of the West were also shipped to towns and cities on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and thence to New Orleans. From these two seaports and from intermediate points on the two water lines freights were shipped to interior points in the seaboard States. At the present time, however, but a very small proportion of the products of the West shipped to interior points in the seaboard States passes through either New York or New Orleans. Almost every interior trading town of any importance in the Atlantic and Gulf States receives supplies of grain and other produce directly from Saint Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincin. nati, and Louisville, and from smaller points throughout the West.
At the present time merchandise consigned to interior points in New England is shipped direct to its destination at about the same rates as are charged to Boston. Produce is also shipped to interior points in the