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Title:[Letter] 1829 Sep. 6, Le[a]venworth, Indiana [to] William Hall, Nashville, Tennessee : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author: [unknown]

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: September 6, 1829
Extent: 7p
Summary:This is a letter to Governor William Hall dated September 6, 1829. The author is known only as a member of Indiana's state Legislature. The author is proposing his idea of an interstate railroad from Indiana to South Carolina. The author gives many reasons for the railroad, and refers to other papers on the topic. He also suggests that the idea be put forth to their respective Legislatures.
Collection:Governor William Hall Papers
Document: sl603

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Levenworth [Leavenworth] Sept [September],, 6th 1829
Dear Sir

I take this opportunity to write you, upon a subject, very interesting to me; and I think the whole union; which subject, is the construction of a rail road from Lake Michagan [Michigan] passing through the states of Indiana Kentucky & Tennessee , to some navigable water course, falling into the atlantic ocean east of Lake Florida ; or to some convenient harbour [harbor] easy of access to the ocean__ This subject has occupyed [occupied] my attention; for several years past & I have some to come to the conclusion, I will bring it forward this winter in the Legislature of the state of Indiana of which I am a member- I thought it would be prudent, to write you, & request your opinion, & cooperation upon this subject; together with such other information as you might think proper to [unclear: communicate ]_ The Mississppi valley is the most productive region in produce upon the globe; & ought to be opened to the southeast sections of this union_ it would be an [unclear: incalculable [added: mutual] ] advantage to both sections In this produce is the cheapest; in that the dearest, of any part of the government In a direct line, nature seems to have placed an almost inseparable barrier between_ yet I have no doubt art can break it down, by instructing a rail road, upon which; every kind of produce may be transported, nearly as cheap, if not cheaper, than upon the ohio & Mississippi rivers in Steam boats__ if you should doubt this, I would refer you to an [unclear: essay ] of Mr haularen on rail roads, published on the

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National [unclear: Intellegencer ]of 1826, say in Sept, and october the [unclear: last mos [months] oct [october] 4th ] is now before me_ In this essay, rail roads are demonstrated to be, far superior to canals, in almost all situations for the transportation of almost all kinds of commodities, to & from the interior of any country; particularly when commodities have to be transported any considerable distance_ rail roadroads can generally be constructed for one third less than canals__ no limit to the quantity of commodities which may pass upon them the expedition with which commodities may pass upon rail roads; when compared with canals, are as 20, to 2, as two miles an hour is found to be the most practicable speed, with a boat of 30 tuns [tons] cargo upon a canal whereas one locomotive steam engine of [added: little]muabl power will move 100 tuns at a velocity of 20 miles an hour upon a well constructed rail road__ you will find upon investigation, rail roads present almost innumerable other advantages over canals__ canals are limited in the business which may be done upon then__ No limit to the business which may be done upon rail roads__ With the reason of which, I presume you are well acquainted every body moving through a fluid, meets with a resistance, & that resistance, is as the squares of the velocity, with which the body moves; besides, any body moved by animal power, as you increase your velocity, you decrease your power, as the animal takes a part of its power, to increase its own velocity__ Not so as rail roads with steam power_ you only have in the first place to over come the fruition which is in proportion to time, & then a little addition of power, will give the proposed velocity__ moving with steam at all velocities the power or first power, acts with the same

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constancy as gravitation_ so that all commodities, may as well be transported, upon a rail road by steam, at a velocity of 20 miles an hour, as two, comparatively speaking__ The extra expence [expense] of 20 miles an hour, over two miles an hour, is so small it is not worth taking into consideration_ I might go into all the philosophical reasoning & principles of each system & compare them, but I presume it will not be necessary, as no doubt you perfectly understand them, & have often compared them at your leisure I will only further remark, that from Charlestown [Charleston] in South Carrolina [Carolina] to Lake Michigan, is a distance of about 7 or 800 miles; which at 20 miles an hour, could be run, in 40 hours; but say 3 1/2 days giving sufficient time for loading wooding & watering; then in 7 days the waggoner [wagoner] could pass from Charlestown to the Lake & back; which would make Charlestown, the Lake, & all the intermediate country as it were, one neighbourhood [neighborhood] which could be supplyed [supplied], & from which supplyes could be received, with as much facility as they can in the ordinary way of transportation, from the distance of 30 or 40 miles, & at about the same expence__ Mr chapman an experienced English Engineer, lays it down as correct, that transportation upon a well constructed rail road, can be afforded at from 1-3d to 2-5th of a penny per tun per mile, which will be at about 2/3 of a cent, per tun per mile or 662/3 of a cents per tun, per 100 miles, or 3 2/3 of a cent per hundred per hundred miles__ if you will take the trouble to estimate

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the quantity of produce of all kinds at this time imported into, and exported from the interior of your State; the prices given for those articles, & the cost of the present mode of transportation upon the produce, from the place of their growth & manufacture, to place of their consumption_ Then take the same quantity of produce & the manufacters [manufactures] average the increased price in one section or State & the reduction in an other taking into view at the same time, the new market created, and increase consumption which necessarily will be by the construction of the rail road from Lake Michigan to the ocean in the southeast of the union the increased accumulation of business & populations all along he line of this road, & then subtract the last sums from the first; the amount saved to the great body of the public community in a very few years, I believe, would be much greater than the cost & expense of the constructions of the road; besides it would greatly promote industry insure new life & vigour [vigor] into the whole body politic, & add great strength to the union- all classes of society would be greatly benefited_ It is grower and the consumer which receive the reduction & are interested in the facility of transportation [added: The price of] Labour [Labor] & all its [unclear: prowess ] are & must be regulated by the price of bread stuffs in all countries- This road would equalize or nearly so the price of all goods wares merchandize produce & labour upon its whole lengths; as every all could pass upon it with nearly the same

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same rapidity, as the wings of the wind waft the ships upon the ocean__ my object is to unite Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carrolina, & perhaps North Carrolina, & Georgia States in a joint stock company, & construct a rail road from Lake Michagan; (which runs through these States passing the highlands at such a point as avoiding to the nature of the ground, & the situation of these States will best permit, so that all may be accomodated [accommodated]_ This seems cans be done by the appearance upon the map_ We can do nothing more this year than appoint a commissioner from each State, who may meet at some convenient point, to be agreed upon & take into consideration the practicability & utility of the prepared road agree upon some general [added: principles] in what maner [manner] the States shall unite in the construction of the proposed road, and report to the next Legislatures of the respective States for their information & consideration it must take time to make all the necessary preliminary arrangements before the worke [work] can commence- I thought it would facilitate it by writing to your Excellency__ if your ideas upon this subject should correspond with mine; you could then lay it before the next Legislature in your State in such maner as you in your wisdom should think best; and in the mean time you could communicate your ideas to me that I might lay them before the Indiana Legislature ; & cause a simultanious [simultaneous] movement in all the States upon the subject

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at the same time But should you receive the object Nimerical [Numerical] & impracticable consider this communication confidential, & give me an answer to that effect But should it does appear to me, if New Yorke [York] State could alone in seven years make 300 miles of canal; all these States Unitedly can in about the same time make this road, if it should take so years, it would be of emense [immense] advantage to have it done - I have no doubt Indiana can, & will make her part & perhaps more, if it should be necessary provided she obtain her rights in the public lands in her State, the proceeds of which, if she lays out immediately again in such a maner, or to benefit her sister States more, than they are or can be by the present land systems, I can see no good reason why the right should be with held _ This road, once in successfull [successful] operation, I think would be of far greater utility, to those States through which it would pass, & the whole union; than all their share of the [added: next proceeds of the] public lands, will or can be Indiana State accepted an answer to this is anxiously solicited

with great [added: esteem]respect & high consideration
I remain yours, very [unclear: respectfuly ]

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His Excellency theGovernor of Tennesseeat Nashville orthe seat of Government
[added: Levensworth Ina [Indiana]Sept 13]

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