« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Tons of freight received at Saint Louis from the South and of freight shipped from that city
to the South, by river and by rail, from 1871 to 1875, inclusive.
Adding receipts to shipments, it appears that the traffic to and from the South by river fell from 1,065,086 tons in 1871 to 780,570 tons in 1875, and that the traffic by rail increased from 958,173 tons in 1871 to 1,612,921 tons in 1875.
Tons of freight received at Saint Louis from the East and of freight shipped from that city
to the East, by rail, from 1871 to 1875, inclusive.
Adding receipts to shipments, it appears that the traffic to and from the East (all by rail) increased from 1,390,922 tons in 1871 to 1,837,739 tons in 1875.
Tons of freight received at Saint Louis from the West, and of freight shipped from that city
to the West, by river and by rail, from 1871 to 1875, inclusive.
Adding receipts to shipments, it appears that the traffic to and from the West by river fell from 117,017 tons in 1871 to 55,260 tons in 1875, and that the traffic by rail increased from $35,350 tons in 1871 to 1,009,813 tons in 1875.
The growth of commerce in each direction is indicated by the follow. ing table :
There appears to have been an increase of commerce in each direction. The commerce toward the East, all of which was by rail, increased most rapidly.
The proportion of tonnage in each direction in 1875 was: north, 9 per cent.; east, 33 per cent.; south, 40 per cent.: west, 18 per cent.
The total tonnage of Saint Louis by river and by rail appears to hare been as follows:
The total commerce of Saint Louis by river fell from 1,654,893 tons in 1871 to 1,302,620 tons in 1875, and the total commerce by rail rose from 3,260,113 tons in 1871 to 4,534,220 tons in 1875.
It appears that daring the year 1875, 22 per cent. of the commerce of Saint Louis was by river and 78 per cent. by rail. It also appears that the total commerce of the city rose from 4,915,006 tons in 1871 to 5,836,840 tons in 1875.
The rapid and enormous increase in the commerce of Saint Louis over railroauls since the completion of lines to the Atlantic and Gulf States has led the merchants of that city to a high appreciation of the commercial advantages afforded by rail-transportation and to a full realization of the fact, recently stated by a trade-journal of that city, that " Trade does not come by natural advantages, but by earnest, persistent effort," such efforts having been put forth by the people of Saint Louis in securing railroad connections with every section of the country.
The following facts in regard to the changes which have taken place in the character of the traffic on the Mississippi River since the construction of railroads have been furnished by Mr. George H. Morgan, secretary of the Merchants Exchange of Saint Louis, in reply to inquiries submitted to him by this Department:
Question. Please to state such facts as will best serve to illustrate the changes which have taken place in the passenger business between Saint Louis and States south of the mouth of the Ohio River during the last ten years.
Answer. The passenger travel between Saint Louis and the South has been nearly all diverted from the river to the rail. The great bulk of first-class travel now goes by rail, it being more expeditious and more certain. The boats still retain a considerable, perbaps half, of the second-class travel, the fare from Saint Louis to New Orleans, “deck," or second class, being but $5, against $12.50 by rail. The change in the passenger traffic is illustrated by the fact tbat, with the exception of one local packet-line, boats are not run at any certain times or days, but wait for cargoes, and also from the fact that the boats constructed in late years are particularly designed for freight, and no especial attention is given to accommodations for passengers, while in earlier times cabin conveniences and accommodations were especially provided. From the best information I can obtain from steamboat captains and others, the proportion of the passenger traffic between Saint Louis and Memphis carried on by the steamboats is one-third, and to New Orleans one-quarter.
Steamboat captains tell me that most of the travel by boat is from local points where there is no rail communication. Regular passenger-boats, that is, exclusively for passengers, were never run on the western rivers. Formerly, however, boats were run with considerable regularity with the view to accommodate passengers; but this custom has now been generally abandoned, and steamboat captains wait for a load before leaving port. The local packet-lines, however, are an exception, leaving regularly every day; not, however, to catch through passengers, but to reach way-landings with some degree of regularity. I may say, however, that steamboats do not now look for and make no calculation on through-passenger travel. For a month in the winter southward, and for a couple of months in the summer northward, there is some pleasuretravel; but steamboats are now built for freight and not for passengers.
Question. Please state briefly the facts as to the time when express-goods and the lighter and more valuable freights began to be shipped from Saint Louis to the Gulf States on railroads; and please also make an estimate of the proportion of such goods which are now transported by rail and the proportion transported by river.
Answer. In early days, when the West depended entirely upon the great rivers for communication with the States of the South, of course all freights, heavy and light, as well as express-goods and the mails, were transported by river. This continued up to nearly the commencement of the late war. After the war was over and rail-cominunication was opened, (say about 1866,) express and the lighter goods were turned to the rail, as being more expeditious. I should place the time when this class of goods began to be diverted to railroads at the year 1866, and as fast as rail-communication was opened up the change was made, and now all goods of this class are carried by rail.
Question. What classes of merchandise are now shipped from New Orleans to Saint Louis chiefly by rail, and what classes of merchandise are now shipped from Saint Louis to New Orleans chiefly by rail ?
Answer. Shipments from New Orleans to Saint Louis by rail consist of tropical fruits, sugar, molasses, coffee, rice, and fancy groceries, (imported.) These same articles are also brought by water, and there is no class of goods except perishable, like tropical fruits, that can be said to come exclusively by rail. The great balk of the heavy goods named come by water, and in order to secure any of such freights the rates by rail are made to correspond with water-rates, insurance and drayage added.
The shipments from Saint Louis to New Orleans by rail are inconsiderable, and conSist chiefly of live-stock and meats requiring quick transit. Railroads cannot compete with the Mississippi River in carrying bulky or heavy freights, such as flour, grain, provisions, hay, ore, tobacco, and iron. I am of opinion, therefore, that the class of articles named, and especially flour and grain, which cannot bear high freight, and which is now transported so cheaply by bargos, must continue in the future, to a greater extent than in the past, to seek the water-route.
The following extract from an article which appeared in the New Orleans Times of January 6, 1877, while manifesting that commendable loyalty to the interests of New Orleans which a trade journal owes to the city in which it is published, very clearly exhibits the changes which have taken place in the modes and in the routes of commerce in consequence of the construction of railroads, and especially of those trunk lines which connect the Western States with the Gulf States. The editor says:
The Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Iron Mountain Railroads have given Saint Louis an opportunity of forcing her trade upon Texas, though she is much farther off than New Orleans. She is not only putting groceries, dry goods, drugs, shoes, hats, and millinery goods, all brought from the East by rail, into Texas, but she is drawing away the grain and cotton. These articles are, for want of railroads to New Orleans, taken to Saint Louis, nearly double the distance it is to New Orleans, not because Saint Louis is a good market for them, for she is not, especially for cotton, but simply because Saint Louis has bad the enterprise to build railroads and push a trade in Texas. She acts as trade-carrier, banker, ; broker, forwarding and commission morchant, and is compelled to tako Texas products in payment for what she imports, forwards, and sells there. The wheat she must work up into flour and send to the South or East for a market.
The trade of both Arkansas and Texas belongs to New Orleans, because their staple products are such as are needed for export and should naturally seek the nearest and safest seaport. The retorn trade of these States is made up of the vast variety of miscellaneous articles which go to make up the comfort, convenience, and indispensable needs of communities largely agricultural. New Orleans is the very best place from which to supply the wants of these communities. She once had all their trade when transportation was confined to water-courses, but railroads have superseded half-navigable streams. Although the population of Arkansas and Texas has trebled in twenty years, and their trade is five times as valuable as it was twenty years ago, Now Orleans, for want of rapid communication, has lost nearly all of it. She has with Turkish philosophy trusted to Providence and natural advantages, while her enterprising neighbors were utilizing overy means of progress and commercial advancement.
We cannot furnish Texas with our daily papers as Saint Louis does. The New Orleans papers are two and three days behind the Saint Louis papers in all interior Texas, in consequence of the slow methods of communication between this city and interior points. In these days of telegraph, cable, and rapid transit, daily newspapers are the stimulators of commerce and the chief monitors of tradesmen.
It has been inferred from facts such as those just presented that the water-lines may gradually fall into disuse as commercial highways. This view is believed to be entirely erroneous, and calculated to mislead the public mind. The cheaper rates which generally prevail on the water-lines, their regulating power, as free highways, over freight. charges on rail-lines, not only those competing with them directly, but also lines hundreds of miles distant, through the competition of the markets and the illimitable capacity of the water-lines for transportation, clearly indicate their great and permanent value. Under certain circumstances, and with respect to certain heavy commodities, the interior water-lines still afford the only practicable mode of transportation. But it is an error to suppose that the commercial interests of a city can be sustained by water-lines alone. The facilities of rail-transportation are also necessary.
The morements of the internal commerce of the coun. try during the last ten years bare clearly proved that a city possessed of superior advantages of water-transportation may fall into decadence unless it also secares the aid of railway lines affording the advantages of direct and rapid transportation to all parts of the country.
The prosperity of a commercial city does not depend upon any single advantage as to its geographical position, rail-lines, or water-lines, but upon utilizing to the fullest extent all the available facilities of transportation and of trade within its power.
THE COMPARATIVE GROWTH OF COMMERCE ON THE LAKES AND ON
THE TRUNK RAILROADS CONNECTING THE WESTERN STATES WITH THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD.
The effects of competition between transportation on the lakes and on the great trunk lines are very clearly illustrated by the commercial movements at Chicago.
It is estimated that 92 per cent. of the freights shipped east from Chicago by lake consists of breadstuffs. Of the total shipments east from Chicago during the year 1875 there appear to have been 1,331,097 tons shipped by lake and 2,150,602 tons shipped by rail. The proportion of the principal articles shipped east from Chicago by the main trunk-railway lioes during the year 1875 appears to have been as follows:
It appears that about 27 per cent. of all the freight shipped by rail from Chicago to the Atlantic States consisted of cereals, and that about 41 per cent. consisted of animals and their products.
The proportion of grain shipped east from Chicago was as follows:
Tons. Grain shipped by lake......
1, 207, 893 Grain shipped by rail.
571, 549 Total .....
1,779, 442 The proportion of aniinals and their products shipped east by lake and by rail was:
Tops. Shipped by lake..... Shipped by rail..
886, 205 The proportion of all other commodities besides grain and animals and their products shipped by lake and by rail was as follows: Shipped by lake..
Tons. Shipped by rail
115, 603 692, 848