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the extension of the railway system has tended to create new elements of competition, and to render the adjustment of through rates more difficult. Every trunk line bas many interests outside of, and which cannot pos. sibly be embraced within the terms of any combination with other trunk lines, and it has been found that sooner or later these collateral interests lead to the infraction of any conditions which the ingenuity of railroad . managers has yet been able to devise. The difficulty appears to be that, heretofore, competing companies in attempting to protect themselves against themselves, have failed to arrive at a clear understanding of the nature and limits of their mutual interests.
As the promoters of the great railroad organizations connecting the West with the seaboard have pushed their lines westward, they have seen their control over through rates" gradually becoming weaker and weaker, and the idea has been suggested in the interests of the railroad companies, by able men, that the roads ought to invoke some external aid in order to maintain remunerative rates, or at least to avoid the necessity of at times, carrying through freight at an absolute loss. Evi. dently, it would be detrimental to the public interests if the railroads of the country were to become crippled by their own excesses, but in view of the beneficial results which have been realized from the regulating influence which competition has exerted over rates in the great commerce between the West and the East, and between all important centers of trade which enjoy the advantages of two or more rival lines, the people will watch with favor the gradual extension of the railway system by which means the limits of the local or non-competitive traffic are being contracted and the limits of the competitive traffic enlarged.
It appears probable that as the facilities of transportation are more widely extended many injurious discriminations will disappear, and that the legitimate limits of the traffic of rival companies will become more clearly defined. It is also to be hoped that the various companies will, upon enlightened views of self-interest, formulate and acquiesce in such regulations with respect to their common interests as to prevent the occurrence of those sudden changes of rates which cause erratic diversions of traffic from one line to another; results which tend to destroy confidence not only in railroad securities, but in the value of the entire property of commercial cities. Such changes of rates tend to depress and not to advance commerce.
7.-COMMERCIAL MOVEMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
It is impossible within the prescribed limits of this report, designed to be merely introductory in its character, to present a treatise covering the entire iuternal commerce of the country, either on rail or on waterlines. The present consideration of the subject must therefore be confined to certain movements and to statistics and other facts illustrative of some of its more important features.
Prior to the year 1850, commerce between that section of the country now comprising the Western and Northwestern States and the States of the Atlantic seaboard was confined chiefly to the lakes, the Erie Canal, and the Hudson River, and the city of New York enjoyed almost a monopoly of that commerce. The morements of trade between the Western and Northwestern States and the Gulf States was then con. fined to the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries, and the city of New Orleans was the seaport for that entire commerce. But a large proportion of both these commercial morements is now shared by rail. roads.
At first the railroads of the Western States were regarded as being merely tributary to the water-lines, and it was supposed that those natural highways of commerce would continue to be the principal avenues of transportation.
But great changes bave taken place during the last twenty-five years. Railroads have become important arenues of commerce, and the whole course and conditions of transportation and of trade have been revolutionized. The cost of transportation having been greatly reduced, the traffic on railroads has increased with wonderful rapidity.
Important commercial advantages have also resulted from the formation of combinations between railroad lines and ocean-steamer lines by which means commodities are transported directly from the point of shipment to the point of destination without breaking bulk. The saring of transfer charges, commissions, storage, expenses, &c., incurred in the old methods of transportation, in connection with the advantages afforded by rapid transit and reduced risks, has tended greatly to increase the value of railroads as commercial highways. At the present time flour manufactured at points in the Northwestern States is being shipped on through bills not only to Atlantic and Gulf ports but to interior points in the seaboard States. For several years grain has been shipped directly from the West to Atlantic seaports and to ports in Europe. Pork products are now being shipped on through bills from interior points in Iowa and Illinois to Europe. This direct trade is rap. idly growing, and it carries with it very important commercial and financial results.
The telegraph, in connection with the facilities of rail movements, has also tended to produce great changes in the modes of commerce. The gradual removal of the center of grain-production during the last thirty years from the western part of the State of New York to a point not far from the Mississippi River, has led to important commercial results.
Great changes have also taken place in our foreign commerce in consequence of the establishment of transatlantic steamer lines and of telegraphic communication with the countries of Europe. These changes in maritime commerce hare exerted a very important reflex influence upon the internal commerce of the country,
At the present time, cotton is being shipped direct to North Atlantic ports and to northern factories on railroads. This has already become an important traffic. Cotton is also being transported on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to ports above, viz, Cairo, Ill., Saint Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and other river towns, and thence by rail to North Atlantic seaports and to northern factories.
The causes wbich have led to these great changes in commercial move. ments are still in operation, and perhaps at no previous period in our history has commerce been more truly in a transition state than at the present time. So many predictions in regard to the tendency of trade have proved to be erroneous that it appears to be more profitable to inquire into the causes of the changes which have actually taken place and to describe existing movements, than to attempt to forecast the future.
The most important general divisions of the internal commerce of the United States are: Commerce between the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic and Gulf States; commerce between the Western aud Northwestern States and the North Atlantic States; and commerce between the Western and Northwestern States and the Gulf States.
The railroads connecting the North Atlantic with the South Atlantic States constitute the principal avenues of travel, and of transportation for the mails, express goods, and the more valuable freights, but the great bulk of the heavy articles of commerce are transported on the ocean, the cheapest of all commercial highways. Within a few years close connections have been formed at the various ports between steamer lines and railroads, by which means commodities are transported from interior points in the North Atlantic States and from northern seaports to interior points at the South upon direct consignment. This important advance in the modes of transportation and of trade bas greatly facilitated commercial intercourse.
For many years the commerce of the Erie Canal has greatly exceeded that of the Mississippi River, but the commerce over two or three of the great trunk railroads connecting the West with the Atlantic seaboard now greatly exceeds the commerce of the Erie Canal. There has been a large and steady growth in the north and south movement between the Western States and the Gulf States, but the growth of the east and west movement between the Western States and the Atlantic seaboard States has been much more rapid. The relative growth and magnitude of the east and west movement and the north and south movement of commerce may be inferred from the facts stated in the sections of this report which relate to the commercial movements to and from Saint Louis, the commercial movements of the States of Iowa and Minnesota, and the movements of the cotton crop. The relative maguitude of these two movements may also be inferred from the amount of grain shipped to the Atlantic seaboard and to the Southern States. It was ascertained by the Senate Committee on Transportation, from statistics furnished by boards of trade and railroad companies, that the shipments of grain from the Western States during the year 1872 were as follows:
Bushels. Shipped east ....
178,000,000 Shipped south..
34,000,000 or about fire times as much east as south. A large part of the eastward shipments was for exportation to foreign countries. The proportion of shipments east and south for consumption in the United States appears 'to have been as folloirs :
Busbels. Shipped east ...
104, 877, 122 Shipped south..
33,783, 526 or about three times as much east as south.
The value of the total foreign commerce of the United States (imports and exports) during the year ending June 30, 1876, amounted to $1,121,634,277. Of this grand total our commerce with the countries of Europe constituted $511,956,406, or 58 per cent. The great tide of internal commerce in this country between the Western States and the North Atlantic States seems to have followed the general direction of this enormous European trade. The east and west movement has been greatly stimulated during the last twenty-five years by the construction of the trunk railroads of the North Atlantic States. A similar derelopment of east and west commerce has followed the extension of railway lines from the ports of the South Atlantic States to the Mis. sissippi River as shown by the rapidly increased eastward movement of cotton by rail from Memphis, and the increase of cotton receipts at the ports of Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah. This latter more. ment may, however, also be regarded as a north and south movement, since the principal part of the through east and west traffic of the South Atlantic and Gulf States constitutes a very large proportion of the movement between North and South Atlantic ports.
The north and south commerce between the Western States and the Southern States is growing very rapidly, and the manifest possibilities of this movement open a broad field for enterprise, and call for all the practicable aids which can be provided through the improvement of those great natural highways of commerce, the Mississippi River and its principal navigable tributaries.
THE COMMERCIAL MOVEMENTS OF THE NORTHWESTERN STATES AS
ILLUSTRATED BY THE TRAFFIC ON THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND OVER RAILROAD-BRIDGES CROSSING THAT RIVER.
In the year 1850 there was not a single mile of railroad in the now wealthy and populous States of Iowa and Minnesota ; and all that vast section of country lying west of the Mississippi River and north of the State of Missouri, together with the present State of Kansas, had no railroad communication with the Atlantic seaboard. Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska were then in a territorial condition. The limited commerce of this vast region was at that time confined to the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries, and Saint Louis was the center of trade.
By the completion of the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad in the year 1854, the railway system was extended from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River, and, by the completion of the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad in 1856, a through east and west rail-line was secured to Saint Louis. The commerce of the States of Iowa and Minnesota and of the States and Territories lying west of those States has been developed chiefly by means of transportation on railroads during the last twenty-five years. The following statements illustrate the wonderful growth of those States, the commercial movements of the North west, and the grand possibilities of railroads as commercial highways.
The railroad mileage of the State of Iowa is now about 3,850 miles, and the railroad mileage of the State of Minnesota is about 2,000 iniles. These roads are connected with trunk lines extending to all the principal lake-ports, and, by lake and rail, river and rail, and all-rail lines, to the principal Atlantic and Gulf ports, and to all the important interior points in the Atlantic and Gulf States. In order to secure uninterrupted rail-communication between the trans-Mississippi States and the States east of that river, thirteen bridges have been constructed by railroad companies across the Mississippi River between Winoua, Minn., and Saint Louis, Mo., at an aggregate cost of $20,183,000, as follows: At Winona....
$200,000 00 At La Crosse boat-crossing..
20,000 00 At Prairie du Chien, pile and boat
120, 000 00 At Dubuque ...
800, 000 00 At Sabula, temporary
20,000 00 At Clinton....
800,000 00 At Darenport, (wagon-bridge built conjointly by the Government and railroad company)....
2,000, 000 00 At Burlington
800, 000 00
800, 000 00
1,500,000 00 At Hannibal
750, 000 00 At Lonisiana.
800,000 00 At Saint Louis
11,573, 000 00
20, 183, 000 00 At the present time the traffic passing over several of these bridges greatly exceeds the traffic upon the Mississippi River which flows be. neath them.
At Keokuk... At Quincy