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The employment of the people and the capital of Great Britain in her own colonies, at the same time assisting… Carmichael-Smyth, Robert 1849

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Thoughts on the Subject 
Price Two Shillings and Sixpence.    THE 
Great Britain 
"Let those, who discard speculations like these as wild and improbable, recur 
to the state of public opinion at no very remote period on the subject of Steam
"Within the memory of persons not yet past the meridian of life the impossibility of traversing by Steam Engine the channels and seas that surround and
intersect these islands was regarded as the dream of enthusiasts."
Dr. Lardner, 1840.
1849.  PREFACE.
" It is the duty —the imperative duty—of every individual
" (however humble) to express conscientiously, but calmly,
i his public opinions, for by such means truth is elicited."1
Hence it may be permitted the writer of the annexed
Letter to observe, that a momentous question is now
brought to the notice of the people of Great Britain,—that
it ought not to be neglected, until perhaps a voice from
her colonial children may go forth proclaiming " it is too
late,"3—for then the opportunity of uniting in firm and
friendly bonds of union " this wondrous empire on which
" the solar orb never sets" will have passed away for
 I Dum loquimur fugerit invida
.ZEtas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero."
1 Montgomery Martin's History of the British Colonies, 1843; and to that
work the writer of the following pages begs to refer all those who take an
interest in the British North American Colonies. And if so humble an individual might be allowed to offer his advice, he would strongly recommend the
republication, in a volume by itself, of the part connected with the North
American Colonies.
* See Appendix, Note (64).  INTRODUCTION,
" I shall tell you
A pretty tale ; it may be, you have heard it;
But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale't again."
" The duty of Government is first to regulate the
" stream of Emigration, so that if a man be determined
" on leaving the United Kingdom he may settle in one of
" its Colonies."—Montgomery Martin, 1843.
"At this moment, when renewed attention is turned
I to all the Routes which, during ages past, have from
I time to time been talked about, as best fitted for a link
" of communication   between  the  Atlantic and   Pacific
1 Oceans,"—we call upon the people of Great Britain and
her Government to reflect, that—the best and shortest
link of communication—the great link required to unite
all her dominions in one powerful chain—is now in her
own possession,—that—| it is in vain to inculcate feel-
" ings of brotherhood among mankind by moral influence
" alone;  a sense of community of interest must be also
" established,"—that Great Britain can, in the opening of
the Route proposed, at the same time employ her own
Children at home and abroad, as well as her own continually increasing Capital.
That—" we have superabundance of Capital—a ple-
p thora of Talent—Scientific and Commercial—they only
" want an outlet to be beneficially employed."-^-Morning
Herald, 1th February| 1849.
That—i the Expansion of Capital would soon reach
" its ultimate boundary, if that boundary itself did not
| continually increase."
That—| what the Legislature should desire and pro-
" mote is not a greater saving, but a greater return to
I savings, either by improved cultivation, or by access to
" more fertile lands in other quarters of the globe." /
That—" the Railway operations of the various na-
" tions of the world may be looked upon as a sort of com-
" petition  for the overflowing Capital of the countries
" where Profits are low and Capital abundant."—J. S.
Mill, Polit. Econ.
That — "each nation derives greater benefit from
" having an increasing market in one of its own provinces,
" than in a foreign country."
That—" the possession of remote territories, is the
" only thing which can secure to the population of a
" country those advantages derived from an easy outlet,
" or prospect of outlet, to those persons who may be ill
" provided for at home."—Lord Brougham.
That—" we have an immense Colonial Empire. To
" its resources and exigencies we now seem for the first
" time to awaken. [See Appendix, Note (46).] Hitherto
" we have been content to consider it as a magnificent
" incumbrance, that testified to our greatness but had
" nothing to do with our interests or the welfare of our
" population."—The Times, 20th January, 1849.
And that—" it must be acknowledged as a principle,
" that the Colonies of England are an integral part of this
" country."—D'Israeli.
Again—" In certain parts of the Empire transportation
" was a very valuable punishment, but there ought to be
" natural limits to it. Transportation was very well in the
" infancy of a Colony, but as it became more peopled and
" civilized, it was undesirable to deluge it with a convict
" population. The subject of abolishing the penalty of
" transportation was one of very great importance."—Lord
Brougham, 1849.
" But what mean I
To speak so true at first ?    My office is
To noise abroad.	
I have the letter here; yes, here it is:" " The time has come when the great American and Colonial route
of travelling must commence at Halifax."'—Great Western Letter Bag.
Yes! and be carried on to Frazer's River.*
My Dear Friend,
Often have I looked back to the pleasant hours we
passed on board the good brig Tyrian, when, in the spring
of 1838, we were quietly floating over the waves of the
broad Atlantic.3 Never do I remember to have crossed
them so smoothly, and never certainly with more agreeable companions. One of our party has long since departed for that country from whose bourn no traveller
returns. Poor Fairbanks ! you knew him well and valued
his friendship—knew him to be a kind and a good man,
and that he loved his country well. Had he been as
anxious to introduce Railways into it as he was zealous
about his Shubenacadie Canal, he might perhaps have
served it more effectually.4 Another of our party, a true
and hearty lover of his country, is still amongst you;
may his powerful mind so direct his great abilities as to
enable him to use them for his country's good; for much
may yet be done for Nova Scotia. Both he and you, I
know well, have a friendly feeling towards me, and you
may perhaps have sometimes regretted, though not so
warmly as I have done (living as you both have been for
years in the midst of political excitement), that we have
1 Nova Scotia. 3 See Appendix, Note (1).
9 New Caledonia. 4 See Appendix, Notes (2) and (37).
B f
(    2   )
been so completely separated. With this short preface,
as an excuse for introducing your names, I will now proceed, by recalling that moment so full of excitement at the
time and never to be forgotten,—when, to our astonishment,
we first saw the great ship Syrius steaming down directly in
the wake of the Tyrian. She was the first steamer, I believe,
that ever crossed the Atlantic for New York, and was then
on her way back to England. You will, I dare say, recollect the prompt decision of Commander Jennings to carry
his mail bags on board the steamer, and our equally prompt
decision not to quit our sailing craft, commanded as she was
by so kind and so excellent an officer. You will, I dare
say, recollect how soon flew the question through the captain's trumpet, " Will you take charge of the mail ?" " Yes,
but be quick;" and the trembling anxiety with which we
watched mail bag after mail bag hoisted up the deep waist of
the Tyrian; then lowered into the small boat below,—tossed
about between the vessels, and finally all safely placed on
board the Syrius. It was a bold measure; for had one mail
bag been lost, our gallant commander would in all probability have been severely censured, if it had not cost him his
commission: as it was, I believe, he received the thanks
of the Admiralty. You will also, no doubt, remember
well the lively discussion the sight of this great steam
ship caused amongst us, and how earnestly I expressed
my wish, that the people of Halifax should bestir themselves, and not allow, without a struggle, British mails
and British passengers thus to be taken past their very
doors.5 And now that we have lived to see established
what we then discussed (and about which the pen of the
Clockmaker's companion was not idle),6 the great steam
ship road from and to Liverpool and Halifax, you will not
perhaps be astonished that (like the fly on the wheel) so
humble an individual as your old fellow passenger should
* SeeAppendix, Note (3). « See Appendix, Note (4). (    3   )
have fancied when steaming (as he has since often done)
over the waves of that same Atlantic, that he too7 had had
something to say in creating all the smoke he saw rising
before him. Of one thing, however, he is certain—that
his companions, Fairbanks, Howe and Haliburton (no insignificant names), had determined, before leaving the
Tyrian, that as soon as they reached London they would
wait upon the Colonial minister—point out to him the
necessity and importance of a steam communication from
the mother country to her children in the west, and plead
the cause of Halifax ;8 and, if I am not mistaken, Fairbanks
and Howe proceeded first to Liverpool to make some inquiries about expense, &c. &c. Be this however as it may,
it is all now matter of no consequence—the great nautical
high road between England and her North American
Colonies has long been established beyond a question,
and the enterprising Cunard has shown by his splendid
steam vessels, that it may be depended upon beyond a
doubt, as a regular, a safe and an easy communication.9
To him, therefore, are due the thanks of the public, and
the credit of accomplishing this much wished-for route.
" Whilst others bravely thought, he nobly dar'd."
But, my dear friend, in an age like the present, shall
such a victory content us ? most assuredly not! The time
has come when our great Colonial land route of travelling
must reach from Halifax to Frazer's River, from the Atlantic to the Pacific—and there is still a grand and a
noble undertaking that must yet be accomplished—must
be performed by Great Britain and her colonies—an undertaking that will open a mine of wealth to all concerned 10
(not the wealth of gold, but of commerce and trade).
But to proceed—and here again I must tax your memory.
7 See Appendix, Note (5).
8 See Appendix, Note (6).
9 See Appendix, Note (38)
10 See Appendix, Note (7).
b2 (   4    )
You will, no doubt, recollect, that after the King of Holland had given his decision in the year 1831 as to our
disputed boundary with America, which had been referred
to him, and that all eyes were fixed upon that question,10
which had become very serious and difficult to settle,
his Grace the Duke of Wellington, in speaking on the
subject,11 alluded to another very important boundary question (then little thought of by the public),12 and his Grace
pointed to the Oregon.13 The discussions and difficulties
that afterwards arose before the final disposal of that dispute, most assuredly marked its importance, and proved
that the ever-watchful talent of the Duke had not been
attracted to that spot, without cause.
" We thank the gods
Our Rome has such a soldier!"
Montgomery Martin says, "But for the Hudson's Bay
" Company, England would probably have been shut out
from the Pacific." Be that as it may, we had at all
events, one statesman's watchful eye upon that ocean,
and the very important question is now disposed of for
ever, leaving open to England another most valuable
high road, with the making of which we (again like the
fly on the wheel) think we must have something to do ;
at all events, we may discuss and talk about it,—as in the
Tyrian we formerly did about the great Steam Line from
and to Liverpool and Halifax. But to proceed seriously.
Did his Grace, let it be asked, when pointing to our
North-Western boundary line, look forward at that time
to the shores of the Pacific as being: " the end of the
West and the beginning of the East ?" Did his Grace's
imagination picture to his mind's eye swarms of human
beings from Halifax, from New Brunswick, from Quebec,
from Montreal, from Byetown, from Kingston, from To-
10 See Appendix, Note (65).
12 See Appendix, Note (9).
" See Appendix, Note (8).
13 See Appendix, Note (33). (    5    )
ronto, from Hamilton, the Red River Settlement, &c. &c.
&c, rushing across the rocky mountains of Oregon with
the produce of the West in exchange for the riches of the
East ? Did his Grace imagine the Pacific Ocean alive
with all descriptions of vessels sailing and steaming from
our magnificent Colonies—New Zealand, Van Diemen's
Land, New South Wales, New Holland, from Borneo and
the West Coast of China, from the Sandwich Islands, and
a thousand other places, all carrying the rich productions
of the East, and landing them at the commencement of
the West,—to be forwarded and distributed throughout our
North American provinces, and to be delivered in Thirty
Days at the ports of Great Britain ? Did his Grace foresee
that steam would bring Halifax within ten days of Liverpool ? That a Railway would make Halifax only ten or
fifteen days distant from the north-west coast of North
America, (and that the Sandwich Islands would not be ten
days further off?) whence steamers might be despatched with
the mails from England for Pekin, Canton, Australia, New
Zealand, &c. &c. &c.; and did his Grace look forward to
the rolling masses of treasure that would be sure to travel
on such a girdle line of communication as that? Did his
Grace then weigh and consider that " to the inventive
" genius of her sons England owes the foundation of her
" commercial greatness. We will not go the length of
" asserting that she retains her proud pre-eminence solely
" upon the condition of keeping twenty years ahead of
I other nations in the practice of mechanical arts. But
" there is no question, that a fearful proportion of our
"fellow subjects hold their prosperity upon no other tenure,
1 and quite independently of what may be done by our
1 rivals it is of vast importance to our increasing popu-
" lation that the conquest over nature should proceed un-
I checked ?" [Quarterly Review, December, 1848.] And did
his Grace look forward and foresee that between the north- /*
(   6   )
eastern and north-western shores of America, and through
our loyal, long-tried and devoted North American colonies,1*
there might be undertaken a great, a noble, and a most important work, that would give remunerative employment to
the population, to the wealth, and to the inventive genius
of England ?    Did his Grace, in short, look forward to a
grand National Railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific?16
If not, let his Grace do so now !    Let the people of Great
Britain do so!—let her colonial minister.    Startling as it
may at first appear, a little reflection will show that England
and her children have the power to make it; that it must
be done; and will become valuable property—for it would
increase our commerce and trade to an extent not easy to
calculate.16   But such a noble work must not be looked
upon merely as a money question,—although if only considered in that light,—England must reflect that if she
wishes and intends to retain her high pre-eminence amongst
the nations of the earth, she must most assuredly pay for
it.    No country can have all the blessings and advantages
of England and have them for nothing, nor can she retain
them without great exertion.  Her accumulated wealth cannot be allowed to remain idle—nor will it.17    No one will
deny for a moment that every economy that will make the
poor man richer and happier ought to be practised ;18 but let
us take care that we do not, from too strong a desire to retain
that wealth which Providence has thrown into the lap of
England10 even in the midst of war,80 deprive her labouring
child ran of legitimate employment and just remuneration,
(all that the industrious classes of our fellow-countrymen
require.)   But tbe undertaking proposed has even a higher
claim to our attention.    It is the great link required to
unite in one powerful chain the whole English race.   Let
14 See Appendix, Note (10).
15 See Appendix, Note (60).
16 See Appendix, Note (11).
17 See Appendix, Note (12).
13 See Appendix, Note (39).
19 See Appendix, Note (13).
90 See Appendix, Note (14). (    7    )
then our Railway Kings, and our Iron Kings, our princely
merchants, and our lords millionnaires—let the stirring and
active spirits of the age—the great reformers and the modern
politicians, many of whom are now proclaiming through
the land that economy alone can save the country—21
condescend for a short time even, to consider the undertaking here proposed; and say, if they can, that (even
should it be executed at an immense expense) it would
not produce a great and beneficial forward movement,
and be a present happy employment, and a future perpetual source of wealth to England and her children. Let
them consider also that "the social advancement which
" the modern improvement of Railways is calculated to
" effect has added a new faculty to man in the facilities
" which it affords of communication between province and
I province, and between nation and nation. Nor does it
" seem too much to say, that it will be the means of
" binding all the nations of the earth into one family, with
" mutual interests, and with the mutual desire of pro-
" moting the prosperity of their neighbours, in order that
" they may enhance their own, and forming thereby the
" most powerful antagonistic principle to war that the
" earth has ever known." [Bradshaw's Almanack, 1849.]
Again, what says the Quarterly: " We trust our readers
" of all politics will cordially join with us in a desire, not
" inappropriate at the commencement of a new year,
" that the wonderful discovery which it has pleased the
" Almighty to impart to us, instead of becoming amongst
" us a subject of angry dispute, may in every region of the
" globe bring the human family into friendly communi-
i cation ; that it may dispel national prejudices ; assuage
" animosities—in short, that, by creating a feeling of uni-
" versal gratitude to the powers from which it has pro-
" ceeded, it may produce on earth peace and good-will
21 See Appendix, Note (15). €^
(   8   )
" towards men." And where, let it be asked, can this
wonderful discovery, this great power of steam,22 be called
into action so effectually and so usefully, not only for
Great Britain, but for mankind in general, than in that
parallel of latitude23 in which {all barrier difficulties and all
cause for war being now removed) would naturally flow
in full tide the civilization, arts and sciences that invariably
follow in the wake of Englishmen ? Then as to the difficulties of the undertaking, let us recollect that an eminent
engineer, previous to the construction of the Liverpool and
Manchester Line, said, " No man in his senses would at-
" tempt a Railroad over Chat Moss: " his calculation was
that it would cost £270,000. Yet the genius of George
Stephenson afterwards surmounted the difficulty at a cost
of £40,000, though the work was commenced when engineering science was less understood than now. Let us
also listen to the Quarterly, " Steam as applied to locomo-
" tion by sea and land is the great wonder-worker of the age.
| For many years we have been so startled by such a suc-
" cession of apparent miracles, we have so often seen results
I which surpassed and falsified all the deductions of sober
I calculations, and so brief an interval has elapsed between
I the day when certain performances were classed by men
| of science as among impossibilities, and that wherein
" those same performances had almost ceased to he re-
" markable from their frequency, that we might almost be
I excused if we regarded the cloud-compelling demon,
" with somewhat of the reverence which the savage pays
" to his superior, when he worships as omnipotent any
I power whose limits he cannot himself perceive." With
such a power24 (so eloquently described) at our command,
and such magnificent results to be obtained from it, shall
England hesitate ? shall the expenditure of a few millions
82 See Appendix, Note (16). 23 See Appendix, Note (17).
24 See Appendix, Note (18). (   9   )
check such a noble work ? shall the Rocky Mountains be
a barrier ? mountains never yet properly explored, and of
which almost all we know is that (as my friend Colonel
Bloomfield observed) we nearly went to war to be allowed
to cross them. And what are the expenses of war? Between the years 1797 and 1815,630 millions of money were
expended for carrying on war. Again, the very magnitude
of the undertaking and length of the Railway is in its
favour, for—listen again to the Quarterly: "We believe it
" may be affirmed without fear of contradiction, that the
" working details of a Railway are invariably well executed
" in proportion to their magnitude. A little Railway—like
" a little war—is murderous to those engaged and ruinous
" to those who pay for it." Now if in England experience
has taught all this,— shall the good people of Halifax,
New Brunswick, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, &c, be
allowed, perhaps encouraged, to go on slowly endeavouring
(at an immense expense and outlay for such young communities) to make a variety of small Railways,25 thus acknowledged to be ruinous, and the mother country remain
quietly looking on when she has now the power of greatly
assisting them, and to her own advantage, by planning and
arranging one grand route and system of Lines throughout
the whole country,a6 and under Providence the means of
opening that route in an incredible short space of time ?
Let then England, her North American colonies, and the
Hudson's Bay Company, join heart and hand, and with
the great power of steam which it has pleased the Almighty
to place at the command of man, there will soon arise a
work that will be the wonder and admiration of the age—
and such a mercantile and colonizing road will be open to
Great Britain, that at no future period, (at least within the
imagination of man,) will she ever again have to complain
of too great a population on her soil, and too small a
market for her labour.
25 See Appendix, Note (40).
26 See Appendix, Note (19). Utf
(   10  )
Let us now then proceed, my dear friend, to consider
how this great work might be commenced, and its probable results when accomplished. In the first place let us
look a little to the immense annual cost to England for
her prisons and her convicts,27—much of that crime arising
probably from the want of employment, and consequent
poverty.28 Even at this moment five millions are spoken
of as a sum required to be expended in new prisons for
a favourite system.29 In 1836 it was suggested " as well
I worthy of consideration, whether it would not be ad-
" visable to cease transporting convicts at so great a cost
" to distant settlements, and instead to send them to a
" nearer place of exile, where their labour might be ren-
" dered in so great a degree valuable, as speedily to
" return to the Mother Country the whole of the charge
"incurred for their conveyance" [The Progress of the
Nation, by A. R. Porter, Esq.];30 and where could England better employ her convict labour, than on a work
that would be of such vast and lasting importance to
herself, to her colonies, and to mankind in general? It
was also observed, by the same author, " If gangs of
" convict labourers were placed a little beyond the verge
" of civilization, and employed in clearing and enclosing
" lands, constructing roads, building bridges, the land thus
" prepared and improved would meet with ready pur-
" chasers at prices which would well repay the Govern-
" ment their previous outlay." It may be objected by
some, that the expense of the troops necessary to guard the
convicts would be very great, and would be a heavy
burden to this country. To them I must use the words
of the " Times," when suggesting the grant of colonial
lands to be annexed to the performance of military duties.
" Subsidiary  to and connected  with   this arrangement
27 See Appendix, Notes (47) and (50). M See Appendix, Note (41).
28 See Appendix, Note (20). so See Appendix, Note (21). ( 11 )
" might be devised another, by which soldiers of good cha-
" racter might be discharged after ten years service, and
" rewarded with small freeholds in tbe colonies. They
" might be bound to appear on duty at certain periods, and
" for a certain duration of time, as our pensioners are at
" present." And if soldiers of six or eight years service
were sent out in charge of the convicts, that unpleasant
duty would be of very short duration before they would
meet with their reward. Added to which, it has been suggested by my friend Captain Wood, of the Hon. East India Company's service, that the Indians might be very usefully employed on this duty,31 somewhat in the same manner
as the natives in India are encouraged to look after European
soldiers who desert their colours. In alluding to the pensioners of Great Britain, it is only due to Lieut.-Col. Tulloch
to render our honest thanks to him, for the introduction
through his indefatigable exertions of this most important
feature in a new military system. Not only has he added
to the respectability, comfort, and happiness of many a worn
out old soldier, but he has also provided a very imposing
force of veterans ready at any moment to support the laws
of their country; and, should unfortunately such an occasion ever arise, of opposing all feeling of disloyalty to their
beloved sovereign.32 Lieut.-Col. Tulloch may well feel
proud of the result of his labours. This system of pensions alluded to by the " Times " would become extremely
applicable to the troops employed in guarding the convicts
on the proposed Atlantic and Pacific Railway, and small
villages, and ultimately cities, would, no doubt, arise from
such a source: but even the first outlay caused by the
employment of the convicts on such a work cannot be
considered as any extra expense to government • for these
convicts must be fed, must be employed, and must be
guarded somewhere: and it will be shown hereafter that
31 See Appendix, Note (48). 32 See Appendix, Note (42), •
(   12   )
government will be reimbursed not only her expenditure
on account of the convicts, but also her expenditure
on account of the troops required to guard them. In
making his suggestions for the employment of the convicts in 1836, Mr. Porter says, " There is unhappily but
" too much reason for believing that the whole number
" of labourers who could be thus profitably employed
" might be furnished from the criminal population of Great
" Britain." And by a return given at the same time, it is
shown that the number of convicts from 1825 to 1833,
both years inclusive, was 22,138, and that return did not
include all the penal settlements. The "Times" of the 18th
January, 1848, in speaking of the expenditure of the country, says, " Convicts at home and abroad have mounted
"from £111,306 to £378,000; certainly the law of in-
" crease is strongly marked on the expense of crime."
" If any body will cut down this figure, he will earn the
" gratitude of the nation." This last expression of the
Times has more particular reference to the expense incurred for Ireland, but will no doubt be acknowledged to
be equally true as bearing upon the enormous general
increase of convict expenditure; and the more I reflect
on this subject, the more do I feel convinced that the
employment of convict labour in the Rocky Mountains,33
and at several other points of the Line of this proposed
great National work, would produce a most beneficial result,
as a means of reducing the amount of crime, as even an
immediate saving of transport expense to England (unless
indeed all distant penal settlements are to be finally abandoned),34 and as an ultimate great advantage both to her
own commerce, and to that of ber colonies; and here let
it be recollected, that there is a feeling abroad " to force
" upon government and the legislature a bold and manly
" course in dealing with crime in general:" that the mag-
33 See Appendix, Note (22).        34 See Appendix, Notes (21)-and (45). (    13    )
nificent prisons now built are considered " unjust to the
" labouring poor, whose humble dwelling, with coarse and
" scanty food, is mocked by the grandeur and beauty of
" the prison, as well as by the idle and comfortable enter-
" tainment within its wall;" and it has been remarked by
a public journal in a warning voice, " to make prisons
" palaces is the way to turn palaces into prisons."35 But
enough has been said on this subject at present, and
we will now consider again the working out of this
great undertaking. We will suppose, in the first place,
active, intelligent, and scientific young men to be sent
to the Rocky Mountains,36 to ascertain the best spot at
which to cross them, and the best port (if the mouth of
Frazer's River will not answer), on the western shore of
North America, within, of course, the Hudson's Bay Company's territory, for a great commercial harbour and railway terminus. Then let a grand line of Railway be
marked out from Halifax to that spot, and let all local
towns or districts that have sufficient capital and labour
to undertake any part of that Line, have the benefit of the
profits of the whole Line, in proportion to the parts they
may finish. No convict labour need interfere with them.
But in such districts as are at present so thinly inhabited
as to have no working population, and no capital to
expend, let the work be commenced by England, by her
capital, and her convicts :37 and let government encourage
and facilitate the formation of a great Atlantic and
Pacific Railway Company, by obtaining from parliament
a national guarantee for the completion of the work;38
first, of course, having entered into arrangements with
the Hudson's Bay Company, and her North American
provinces, for the security of such sums of money as may
be advanced by way of loan from Great Britain.
To Englishmen we would say then, in the words of the
35 See Appendix, Note (34).
36 See Appendix, Note 49.
37 See Appendix, Note (23).
38 See Appendix, Note (51). (   14   )
Rev. C. G. Nicolay, " We have at home a superabundant
" population,30 subject to a very rapid increase on any re-
| duction of the price, if but of the necessaries of life,—
" how can it be better employed than in seeking, with its
" own advance in social position, and means of acquiring its
" comforts, if not its luxuries, the spread of our free insti-
" tutions—equal laws—and holy religion. We desire an
" enlarged sphere for commercial enterprise. New mar-
" kets for our manufactures; these every fresh colony sup-
" plies in its measure. If then the Oregon be what it ap-
" pears to be, if its climate, soil, agriculture, and commer-
" cial capabilities be as represented, why leave its future
I destiny to time and circumstances?" We would say to
the Hudson's Bay Company in the words of Mr. James
Edward Fitzgerald, " You have the power of becoming
| the founders of a New State, perhaps of a new empire,
" or of arresting for a time, for you cannot ultimately pre-
" vent, the march of mankind in their career of victory
" over the desolate and uncultivated parts of the earth.
" For now nearly two centuries your sway has extended
" over half a continent, and as yet you have left nothing
" behind you in all that vast country, to bear witness to
I your power and your riches. Now a new destiny is be-
" fore you; you may, if you will, place your names beside
" those who have devoted themselves to the noble task of
I stimulating and directing the enterprising genius of their
1 fellow countrymen, who have prolonged the existence of
I their nation by giving a new life to its offspring." And
we would then call upon England, her North American
provinces, and the Hudson's Bay Company, to employ
their wealth and power to unite in one great unbroken
iron chain, the Mother Country with her distant Children,
and, in spite of Nature's difficulties, carry steam across
the Rocky Mountains.40
39 See Appendix, Note (24). *> See Appendix, Note (25). (   15   )
From childhood I have been accustomed to look upon
the power of England as irresistible,—morally, physically,41
and intellectually,—she has now in this age the command
of mind and matter sufficient to enable her almost to move
the earth, and shall the tunnel under the Thames, the
tube over the Conway, and the bridge over the Menai,
be our only wonders ? How well do I remember the
delight with which I have listened to the anecdote told
of Mr. Pitt, who, when he was informed that it was impracticable to carry into effect some orders he had given
about heavy ordnance being sent to Portsmouth within a
certain time, "Not possible?" exclaimed Mr. Pitt, " then
send them by the Mail."*2 With the same feeling of pride
and delight have I heard in later days of the artillery
officer's remark, when it was whispered to him by another
that it would not be possible to place their guns in some
wished for position; " My dear fellow," said the commanding officer, " I have the order in my pocket." Let
England only commence the Railway from Halifax to the
Pacific, with the order to cross the Rocky Mountains in
the pocket of her sons, and the accomplishment of the
undertaking will soon reward the labour, courage and skill
which would undoubtedly be exhibited. Sir Alexander
Mackenzie inscribed in large characters, with vermitlion,
this brief memorial, on the rocks of the Pacific, "Alexander Mackenzie from Canada by land the 22nd of July,
1794." Who will be the first engineer to inscribe upon
the Rocky Mountains " On this day engineer A. B. piloted
the first locomotive engine across the Rocky Mountains;"
and what then will be the feeling of Englishmen, when
even now Steam is considered the " exclusive offspring of
British genius, fostered and sustained by British enterprise
and British capital!" We have seen that on the highest
habitable spot of the Mountains of the Alps stands a
41 See Appendix, Note (35). 42 See Appendix, Note (26). i
(    16   )
monument of war, placed there by the hand of a powerful
man in the pride of victory over his fellow-men, and in
honour of his companion in arms. We trust before long
that on the highest habitable spot of the Rocky Mountains will stand a monument of peace, placed there by an
enterprising nation in honour of the victory of science over
nature, and in memory of some enterprising son.
After all her wars, her victories and her revolutions,
in what condition is France ?
What may not England expect to be with all her victories over nature—her trade and commerce ?43 May she
march forward in her career of peace as bravely, as nobly,
and as proudly as she did in that of war; and may she
now take as great an interest in, and make the same exertions for, the welfare and happiness not only of her own
people, but of those of other nations in all quarters of the
globe, as she did in former days for their protection from
a desolating foe.
What the ultimate consequences of such a link of connection would be, are indeed far beyond the reach of the
human mind to foresee; but its immediate results stand
out apparently to the most common observer. In the first
place, Cape Horn {the roughest point to weather in the
whole world) would be avoided. In the next, the long
passage by the Cape of Good Hope to innumerable places
in the Pacific Ocean would become also unnecessary. In
both these cases a great amount of time (which in commerce is money) would be saved. Again, it would be no
longer necessary to send goods by the route of the Hudson's Bay44 to the territories of that Company; and thus
a climate horrible in winter and summer, would also be
avoided.45 Then one view of the map of the world will
show that the proposed terminus of the Atlantic and Pacific
Railway at Frazer's River, taken as a centre, would bring
43 See Appendix, Note (52). 44 See Appendix, Note (27).
45 See Appendix, Note (44). (    17    )
New Zealand, New South Wales, in fact, Australia, New
Guinea, Borneo, Canton, Pekin, all within fifty days' sail
of that point; and taking the Sandwich Islands as a centre
point, (where there is a fine harbour, and where a depot of
coals might be established), which could be reached in ten
days, all the before-named places would be brought within
twenty days for steam navigation, other points, such as
the Friendly Islands, &c, might be selected for further
dep6ts of coals. Again, from the terminus of the proposed railway the mails from England could be despatched
to all the before-mentioned places, and the formation of
a great steam navigation company, with a grant from
government in the same way as a grant was made to the
Atlantic Steam Navigation Company to Halifax, would
insure magnificent steamers for the conveyance of these
mails, and would secure also to the Hudson's Bay Company an immense consumption of their coal. Last, though
not least of all, this Railway route across the continent of
North America would ensure to England at all times a free
communication with her East India possessions. It is
true that at present there is no difficulty in that respect,
and the indefatigable exertions of Lieutenant Waghorn
and of other enterprising people, amongst them my friend
Major Head, have opened to the British public and to
the East India Company a quick and speedy communication with India. But let the public reflect, and let
the Government reflect, that, in the event of a European
war, we might be called upon to defend and keep open
that communication at an immense expenditure of life and
money, and indeed it might even be closed against us;
whereas the proposed Line across the continent of America
would be within our own dominions, and would not oblige
us to interfere or meddle with any continental wars to
enjoy its free use. No time ought to be lost in the commencement of this national undertaking.
o (   18   )
If then Government took the initiative, it might obtain
the consent of Parliament, and proceed to'appoint a Board
of General Arrangement and Control, consisting, say, of
fifteen Commissioners: three on the part of Great Britain,
three to be named by the Hudson's Bay Company, three to
be appointed by the Government of Nova Scotia, three by
that of New Brunswick, and three on the part of Canada;
all these latter of course with the approval of their respective Governors. It may appear that the North American
Provinces would thus have a greater proportion of Commissioners ; but as each of these Colonies have Governments independent of each other, they may be considered
as separate Companies, although we take them as one
when considered as the North American Provinces. These
fifteen gentlemen might be all Members of Parliament;
thus the system of representatives from the Colonies, so
often suggested and spoken of, could be commenced, and
the Colonists thus made practically aware that they are an
integral part of this country. These Commissioners could
be authorized to make all the necessary arrangements for
the security of the monies proposed to be advanced by the
Government of Great Britain, and should be instructed to
draw up the general Articles of Agreement between the
high contracting parties; and Government might be authorized by Parliament to open an account with these Commissioners, who as a Body might be called " The Atlantic
and Pacific Railway Board of Control," and under its
auspices a public Company might be formed, refunding to
the Government all previous outlay.
Our North American provinces are close at hand, and
during the approaching summer all the necessary arrangements might be made for the reception of a great number
of convicts in different locations ; and, in the first instance,
they might be sent to Halifax and Quebec,46 where they
46 See Appendix, Note (53). (    19   )
could be received immediately, not certainly in palaces,
but in very good wood huts; at both these places they
could also be at once set to work in unloading the vessels
sent from England with the necessary stores for the commencement of this great national work, and in preparing
and levelling the situations of the respective termini; for
of course at both these stations great government as well
as private wharfs would be established. Again : another
portion could be sent at once from New South Wales to the
port fixed upon on the north-west coast of North America,
in the Hudson's Bay Company's territory:67 there they
could be put to work in the same way—to unload vessels
bringing in stores, to cut down and prepare timber, level
and get ready the site of the terminus. And it appears
very necessary that preparation should be made for the
reception of a large body at the Red River Settlement, that
point being a very important spot in the Line proposed.
Let us see what Montgomery Martin says about it.47
The Bishop of Montreal, in 1844, says, " The soil, which
[ is alluvial, is beyond example rich and productive, and
( withal so easily worked, that, although it does not quite
\ come up to the description of the Happy Islands—reddit
' ubi cererem tellus inarata quot annis—there is an in-
' stance, I was assured, of a farm in which the owner, with
1 comparatively light labour in the preparatory processes,
' had taken a wheat crop out of the same land for eighteen
\ successive years, never changing the crop, never manur-
| ing the land, and never suffering it to lie fallow, and that
i the crop was abundant to the last; and, with respect to
| the pasture and hay, they are to be had ad libitum, as
'■ nature gives them in the open plains." Again, speaking
of import goods: " All these articles are brought across
I from Hudson's Bay, a distance of several hundred miles,
1 in boats, and these boats are drawn across the portages
67 See Appendix, Note (67).
47 See Appendix, Note (28).
c2 (    20   )
" on rollers, or in some places carried upon waggons;
" hence those articles which are of a heavy description are
I charged at a price seemingly out of all proportion to that
I of many others which may be obtained at a moderate
" price : a common grindstone is sold for 20s."48
Now read again the description of Hudson's Bay, discovered by John Hudson in 1610,49 then look upon that
picture, and upon this; look upon that country that will
give eighteen successive crops of wheat, and look upon
the difficult, dangerous, and tedious navigation of that
bay, whose climate in summer and winter is horrible, and
through whose waters the stores of this fine country are
obliged to travel; look at that picture, then look at this,
—the easy, safe, and rapid communication of a Railway,
—and say if the time, health and money that would be
saved by its construction is not worthy the consideration
of Englishmen, and would not repay the constructors,
even if that was to be its last terminus.50
But when it is considered that the Main Line of Railway, in passing through our own colonies, would skirt the
shores of Lake Superior—rich in mines of silver and copper51
—and that the Red River Settlement52 would only be one of
the many valuable towns and districts that would be opened
to trade and commerce, and only contribute its mite to
the profits to be obtained from the passage of the Rocky
Mountains to the Pacific, it appears to me impossible that
such a powerful and wealthy Company as the Hudson's
Bay, such magnificent colonies as our North American
provinces, and such a power as Great Britain, can balance
for one moment in their minds whether loss or profit must
attend the undertaking and completion of such a Railway.
But, vires acquirit eundo, our argument is stronger as
48 See Appendix, Note (29). 3' See Appendix, Note (36).
49 See Appendix, Note (27). | See Appendix, Note (30).
50 See Appendix, Note (54). (    21    )
we proceed; for, crossing the Rocky Mountains, where
the real terminus would be, let us pause for a moment to
consider the mine of wealth we should open—not the
wealth of gold and silver—but wealth, the reward of commerce and industry.
■" The land," Nicolay says, " affords, even now, exports
-*■ of cattle, wool, hides, and tallow, as well as salted meat,
" beef, pork, wheat, barley, Indian corn, apples, and
" timber. Of these all are sent to the Sandwich Islands,
" some to California, and hides and wool have been sent to
" England. The woods of the Oregon present another fer-
" tile source of national wealth. The growth of timber of all
" sorts in the neighbourhood of the harbours in the De-fuca
" Strait adds much to their value as a naval and com-
" mercial station. Coal is found in the whole western
" district, but principally shows itself above the surface on
" north part of Vancouver's Island. To these sources of
" commercial and national wealth must be added the
" minerals—iron, lead, tin, &c. The mountains and sea-
" coast produce granite, slate, sandstone,—and in the
" interior oolites; limestone is plentiful, and to the north
" most easily worked and very rich in colour."
Again : look to the whale fishery.53 And, in conclusion, we may say that the Hudson's Bay Company's territory in the Pacific, that is, New Caledonia, " will be
" found to fall short of but few countries, either in salu-
" brity of climate, fertility of soil, and consequent luxuri-
" ance of vegetation, and utility of production, or in the
" picturesque character of the scenery."
But, my dear friend, I have been led on by my excitement on this subject to make quotations and enter into
particulars and details far beyond my original thoughts,
which were chiefly to draw the attention of your powerful
and active mind to a great national undertaking, knowing
53 See Appendix, Note (31). (   22   )
well your love of everything English, and at the same time
your devoted attachment to the North American colonies.
You have travelled far, and seen much, and have shown
in your works how clearly you have observed and appreciated the power and manly spirit of England;
| Dear for her reputation through the world; "
and although you have felt, as a colonist, that her provinces of North America might have been better governed,
and that they have had even much justly to complain about,
still you have always upheld the connection with England,
and argued its value. In writing to you, the thoughts of
old times have returned, and reminded me of our happy
meetings and friendly converse in your lodgings in Piccadilly ; and, thus thinking, I have written on, as in fancy I
have imagined we should have chatted together,—and now
I cannot do otherwise than continue in this freedom of
communication, and endeavour to excite you to entertain
my thoughts, and to canvass them among your fellow-
To return, then, to our subject, and to the necessity for
England to be up and stirring. It has been remarked, that
I a person who is already thriving seldom puts himself
" out of his way to commence even a lucrative improve-
" ment, unless urged by the additional motive of fear lest
" some rival should supplant him by getting possession of
" it before him." Truly, indeed, has it been said by the
Spectator, " that England is not bankrupt, nor poor, nor
I needy. In every quarter we see immense additions to
" material wealth; we observe, too, on all hands a vast
" extension of luxurious enjoyments among the middle
I classes; every thing attests a huge growth in the wealth
I of the nation." It may be fairly considered, then, that
England is thriving—a lucrative improvement of vast magnitude is open to her—and if the additional motive of fear (    23    )
of rivalry is necessary to excite her in so noble an undertaking, let her reflect on what is said in an American
A Boston paper of the day says, " the finding of these
e gold mines is of more importance than any previous
' event for 300 years. The prosperity of Queen Eliza-
S beth's reign was mainly owing to the stimulus given
' to commerce by the increase of the precious metals;
i but the field now to be acted upon is at least fifty
' times greater than during that period. Within five
' years there will be a Railroad from the Atlantic Ocean,
I across the great American Continent, through the gold
' regions, to the Bay of San Francisco, said to be the
' finest harbour in the world. The people of San Fran-
' cisco will then communicate by telegraph in a few
( minutes, and the mails will be taken to Canton on the
1 one side in fourteen days, and to London on the other
1 in nine days; so that intelligence may be conveyed
I from the one end to the other in the short period of
1 twenty-three days.    This will be witnessed under five
It is evident, then, that the people of the United States
are quite aware of all the advantages to be gained by a
quick communication across the Continent of America.
Let us consider now, for a moment, what the consequences
of a railway would be as regards your own valuable and
fertile colonies.54
You have no doubt already pictured to yourself the town
of Halifax alive with all the bustle and excitement of a great
commercial community, and her noble harbours full of every
description of vessels, from the magnificent English steamer
to the small colonial coasting craft; for soon, not merely
one steamer a week, as now, would touch from England
on her way to New York, but Nova Scotia herself, from
54 See Appendix, Note (43). (   24   )
the increasing wealth and importance of her towns, would
require the use of many steamers to enable her to carry
on the numerous commercial duties that would fall to her
lot; and when we reflect that at Halifax would rest the
terminus, whence could be embarked for England at all
seasons of the year our highly valuable colonial produce,
including the rich exports from the Southern Pacific Ocean
(not sent round Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope);
and when we reflect that this long ueglected seaport town
could equally receive at all seasons of the year the various
exports from England, for her numerous Colonies; and
when we consider that there is abundance of coal at hand,
with wood and stone for building, who can hesitate for a
moment to acknowledge that Halifax would soon become
one of the most important ports, and one of the most noble
cities of the world; add to this, that the connection and
attachment of Nova Scotia to England would be cemented for ever—and that the dream of the Clockmaker
would be realized. " This is the best situation in all
" America—is Nova Scotia, if the British did but know it.
I It will have the greatest trade, the greatest population,
" the most manufactures, the most wealth, of any state
" this side of the water. The resources, natural advan-
" tages, and political position of this place, beats all."
Then again, look to the city of Quebec; no sooner would
the river navigation be open than thousands of vessels
from England would be seen dropping their anchors at the
foot of her proud citadel, carrying out vast cargoes of
English exports; then picture to yourself the railway terminus, alive with all the consequent bustle, the steam up,
and the railway carriages ready to convey all these articles
of commerce to every town and district in the North
American Colonies; away also to the far west, whence
they would be forwarded to our colonial possessions in the
Southern Pacific,  and to numerous other places; then (
again, behold these ships reloading quickly with the timber
and other exportable articles from our then firmly-linked-
together valuable Colonies, sailing away for England, and
repeating their visit two or three times in the season ; the
difficult navigation of the Hudson's Bay avoided; the
territory of the Hudson's Bay Company daily increasing
in value, from the ease with which its inhabitants could
procure articles of commerce, before almost forbidden to
them; and Quebec, being their nearest port for embarkation for England, would necessarily become even a much
more important city than she is at present. The land in
her neighbourhood would become highly valuable, and, as
a matter of necessity, the fine country to the north, with
even better soil and better climate, would soon be opened
and peopled. 1 cannot cease referring to Quebec without
recording my gratitude for many kindnesses there received
—particularly from the family of Captain Boxer.55 Then
again, look to New Brunswick, connected as it would of
course be both with Halifax and Quebec, thus, having a
free and direct communication with those cities, and enabled to export or import at any season of the year,
(should she wish to avoid the navigation of the Bay of
Fundy); then think what strength she would bring to
the union of the Colonies by such a link of connection,
and how many more opportunities her inhabitants would
have of encouraging and fostering that strong attachment
to their English brethren we all so well know to exist
amongst the people of New Brunswick.
But, my dear friend, I might go on this way for ever,
pointing out town after town, and district after district,
showing how the wealth and prosperity of each would go
on rapidly increasing. I cannot, however, quit the subject
without a passing word on Montreal, in which city I have
See Appendix, Note (55). (   26   )
passed many happy days, and from whose inhabitants I
have received much kindness and civility. That noble
city has already made some steady advances to a great
capital, and the time cannot be far distant when she will
rival even the most flourishing on the North American
Continent. To her this proposed Railway would be highly
important. She has shown that she already understands
the value of such things; for not only has she a small one
of her own to La-Chine, about seven miles up the river,
but she has also, I understand, finished about thirty miles
towards the Atlantic in the direction of Portland. The
interest of these Companies would not of course be lost
sight of, but their profits taken into the general calculation.
The great Trunk Line of Railway would naturally, I conclude, go through a country some distance to the north of
Montreal; but one of the most important termini must of
necessity be at that city where the business of the Government is carried on, and where of course a general Railway
Communication with every town and district would be
established. Toronto would naturally be considered in the
manner in which so loyal and devoted a city ought to be,
and where was held, even to a very late period, the parliament of a great country, surrendered only to her sister
Montreal on public considerations and for the general
good;56 and the Main Line of Railway should be brought
as near Toronto as the communication between the Atlantic
and Pacific (its great object and principal view) would
permit. Hamilton, Kingston, Byelown and several other
places must not consider themselves neglected, if not herein
specially mentioned; but in fact as regards these Colonies,
the song of your friend, the Clockmaker, about them cannot be sung too often. "Oh Squire! if John Bull only
" knew the value of these Colonies, he would be a great
x See Appendix, Note (62).
mm (   27    )
" man, I tell you,—but he don't."   Truly do I hope that
I may now sing to them with confidence,—
" There's a good time coming vet,
Wait a little longer."
In your conversation with the Clockmaker you have observed, " it is painful to think of the blunders that have
" been committed from time to time in the management of
" our Colonies, and of the gross ignorance or utter disre-
" gard of their interests that has been displayed in treaties
" with foreign powers. Fortunately for the Mother Coun-
" try, the Colonists are warmly attached to her and her in-
" stitutions, and deplore a separation too much to agitate
" questions, however important, that may have a tendency
" to weaken their affections by arousing their passions."
Should the Government of Great Britain, upon whose
consideration will be forced the present situation of her
Colonies, consider it right to give their support to this proposed Atlantic and Pacific Railway for the reasons herein
explained, or from any other cause,—the great benefit
that Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canadas will
derive from having open to them a free and easy access to
the Atlantic and the Pacific, will, I trust, occasion such
an activity of mind and such an employment of matter, that
in the general good arising therefrom, all thoughts of
former ill treatment or unkindness from the Mother
Country will soon be forgotten.
The great question, however, is, and will be on all sides,
Where is the money to come from? 5r and that question I am
weak enough to fancy is easily answered. Let us consider
this subject a little. Let us remember, first, that England
expended 630 millions during nineteen years in war, and,
notwithstanding which expenditure, the country got richer
* See Appendix, Note (56). jr
(   28   )
and richer every day;58 and if the country is not poorer now
than it was in the years when it was able to raise the sum
of 150 millions in a single year—the greater part of which
it could afford to expend in one year in war, and grow
richer all the time—surely such a country can afford to
expend some few millions for the benefit of those colonies
on account of whom she was lately ready to go to war, and
on whose account she did actually expend about two millions, caused merely by the rebellion and disturbance of a
few discontented spirits. But the money that England
would be called upon to advance in the proposed undertaking would secure to her not only the attachment of her
children in the North American provinces, by making it
as well their worldly interest, as it is their natural feeling
and wish, to remain Englishmen; but that money, and the
interest of that money, could be secured to her by proper
arrangements being entered into with the Hudson's Bay
Company, and with the North American provinces, and
be ultimately reimbursed to her by the formation of the
proposed Company.
Up to the present moment England has, I believe, only
expended the sum of £148,000,000 on her Railways, and, I
believe, nearly 5000 miles are finished; and on an average
these Railways are said to give a return of about four per
cent., and " with the increase of the national wealth and
" population, and with the increase of habits of social in-
" ter-communication and the transit of goods, the traffic
on Railways would increase, and the profits and divi-
" dends would not be less but greater; and in the case of
some of them, no man would pretend to say how great
" might be the increase of dividends from the improved and
" economical modes of working Railways, which, there is
" every reason to believe, will day by day be freshly dis-
" covered" [Bradshaw's Almanack, 1849], And who will
48 See Appendix, Note (14). (   29   )
say that £200,000,000 expended (even should such a sum
as that be required) in making a Railway Road from the
Atlantic to the Pacific through our own territories, and
therefore completely under our own controul, would not
increase by a tenfold degree the value of that property already expended in England ? When the Railways now in
contemplation at home are finished, their total length will,
I believe, be" about 10,000 miles, and the expenditure between 200 and 240 millions. The length of the Railway
proposed to go through our colonies may be spoken of
roughly as at about 4000 miles; but when we take into
consideration the relative value of land in England and
our colonies, and a thousand other Railway contingencies
in a highly civilized country, creating enormous legal, legislative and other expenses, we naturally come to the
conclusion that the outlay per mile must of course be
considerably diminished in the colonies. Taking it,
however, at the English expenditure of £24,000 a mile
on the average, it would only cost £96,000,000;59 —
£5,000,000 has been estimated as sufficient for six hundred
miles of Railway from Halifax to Quebec. But calling it
£100,000,000, and supposing the work to be five years
completing, that would only be at the rate of £20,000,000
a year, the interest of which at five per cent, would be
£1,000,000. Surely, then, such a sum as that could be
easily raised, even by the Hudson's Bay Company alone,
upon the security of their extensive and valuable territory.
For so great a difference would soon arise between the
value of that territory as it is now—merely the abode of
Indians and hunters—and what it would be then; with
its clearings, its improvements, its roads, its trade, its
manufactures, and its towns, that any amount of debt
almost might be incurred. But our loyal colonies would
no doubt equally enter into securities to England, and
49 See Appendix, Note (32).
7 (    30    )
be glad, in fact, to share their chance of the profit; for
these colonies, as well as the Hudson's Bay Company,
would be immense gainers. Still it may be argued, that
unless it can be shown that England herself would be
a gainer, she would not be justified in advancing any
money on such an undertaking. Let us, then, consider
this point a little. Mr. Cobden has asserted (what some
of our public journals confess to be true), " that if the
" revenue had fallen off, it was because the balance sheet
" of the merchants and the manufacturers had fallen off
" likewise." If then we show by the undertaking of
such a work as is now proposed, the balance sheets of the
merchants and manufacturers must increase immensely,
we surely make out a case for the good of the countiy
generally, as far as revenue is concerned.
Let us then first consider, that " So interwoven and
" complicated are the fibres which form the texture of the
" highly civilized and artificial community in which we
" live, that an effect produced on any one point is instantly
" transmitted to the most remote and apparently uncon-
" nected parts of the system." And again—" The ex-
" portation of labourers and capital from the old to the
" new countries, from a place where their productive power
" is less to a place where it is greater, increases by so much
" the aggregate produce of the labour and capital of the
" world."
Now, with regard to the first remark, the effect that
would be produced by the necessary exportation of all the
machinery for the making and working of this Atlantic
and Pacific Railway, would of course produce, even in
England, a very great increase both to the productive
power and to the consumption of a variety of articles apparently unconnected with the affairs of the Railway; and
when, again, we look to the necessary exportation of lar
bourers and of capital to the towns on the  Line of the (   31   )
Railway where there is less productive power at work, by
increasing that dormant power we shall increase the aggregate capital of the world, and consequently that of England. Again—" Could we suddenly double the produc-
" tive power of the country, we should double the supply
" of the commodities in every market, but we should by
" the same stroke double the purchasing power—every
" body would bring a double demand as well as supply
" ■—every body would be able to buy twice as much, as
" he would have twice as much to offer in exchange."
Also—" A country which produces for a larger market
" than its own, can introduce a more extended division of
" labour—can make a greater use of machinery, and is
" more likely to make inventions and improvements in the
" progress of production." Again—" Whatever causes a
" greater quantity of any thing to be produced in the same
" place, tends to the general increase of the productive
" powers of the world." Now it surely will not be denied,
that the undertaking of this National Railway would cause
in England a greater quantity of machinery to be made and
exported to the North American provinces, thus producing
for it a larger market than the home, and causing a greater
quantity to be made—thus a general increase of the productive powers of the world must be produced; and as
" wealth may be defined all useful or agreeable things
" which possess exchangeable value," it necessarily follows
that the immense increase that would be given to the productive powers of England, to those of her North American provinces, and of the Hudson's Bay territory, by
an undertaking on such an extensive scale, if it did not
completely, would nearly double these powers; and as
whoever brings additional commodities to market brings
additional power to purchase, it follows that the inhabitants
of our North American provinces, and of the Hudson's .w
(   32   )
Bay territory, would be enabled to take nearly twice the
quantity of our manufactured goods.
Lord Stanley, in moving an amendment to the Address
from the Throne, says : " the exports of the six principal
| articles of British industry, cotton, wool, linen, silk,
" hardware and earthenware, exhibit a diminution as com-
" pared with 1847, of no less than four millions, and as
| compared with 1846, of five millions;" such being the
case, it becomes highly important to consider the cause of
this falling Off, with a view to a remedy, and some great
measures must be adopted towards our own colonies that
will enable them to receive a greater quantity of manufactured goods from the mother country,—and this great
Railway is suggested as one that would increase the productive power and population of our North American colonies, and a consequent increasing necessity for hardware
and earthenware, to say nothing even of the other articles
of British industry, or of the facility of communicating
with our other Colonies.
These few remarks will suffice to show that the balance
sheets of the merchants, and consequently of the revenue
of England, as well as the capital of individuals, must increase immensely during the construction of and at the
completion of the proposed undertaking. Mr. Montgomery
Martin has stated that " Railways are the very grandest
" organization of labour and capital that the world has
" ever seen:" that " the capital actually invested in Rail-
I ways advanced from £65,000,000 sterling in 1843 to
I £167,000,000 in 1848—no less than £100,000,000 in
" five years." And why should we not look forward to an
equal—aye—and to a much larger investment—on such a
magnificent Line of Railway? joining, as it would, all the
northern dominions of the old world—crossing, as it would,
the northern territories of the new, and making an easy
opening to the rich and thriving world that may be con- (    33    )
side-red of the present day. For " the word has been given,
" an active and enterprising population will be poured in,
" every element of progress will be cultivated, and the
" productive countries on the shores of the Pacific, here-
" tofore isolated, will be brought into active and profitable
" intercourse. It may truly be said that a new world has
" been opened.
" Our fathers watched the progress of America, we our-
" selves have seen that of Australia, but the opening of the
" Pacific is one of the greatest events in social history
" since, in the fifteenth century, the East Indies were
" made known to Europe; for we have not, as in America
" or Australia, to await the slow growth of European set-
" tlements, but to witness at once the energetic action of
" countries already in a high state of advancement. The
" Eastern and the Western shores of the great Ocean will
" now be brought together as those of the Atlantic are,
" and will minister to each other's wants. A happy coin-
" cidence of circumstances has prepared the way for these
" results. Everything was ready, the word only was
" wanted to begin, and it has been given.
" The outflowings of Chinese emigrants and produce,
" which have gone towards the East, will now move to
" the West; the commercial enterprise of Australia and
" New Zealand has acquired a new field of exercise and
" encouragement; the markets which Chili and Peru have
" found in Europe only, will be opened nearer to their
" doors; the North-West shore of America will obtain all
" the personal and material means of organization; the
" Islands of the Pacific will take the place in the career
" of civilization for which the labours of the missionary
" have prepared them; and even Japan will not be able
" to withhold itself from the community of nations.
" This is worth more to our merchants and manufac-
" turers, and to the people employed by them, than even
D (   34   )
" the gold mines can be; for this is the statement of cer-
" tain results, and the working of the gold mines, how-
" ever productive they may prove, must be attended with
" all the incidents of irregularity and uncertainty, and
"great commercial disadvantages."—(Wyld's Geographical Notes.)
Surely then there would be no difficulty with Parliament
to encourage and facilitate the formation of an Atlantic
and Pacific Railway Company, by obtaining its sanction
to the loan of £150,000,000 in such sums as might be
required (to be issued under the sanction of a board
appointed for that special purpose), particularly when it
is recollected that the expense of the greater part of her
own convicts could be provided for by that advance.
It will easily be seen that it would be impossible to
complete this Atlantic and Pacific Railway, without at
the same time giving great encouragement to the emigration of labour; and this " is only practicable when its
" cost is defrayed or at least advanced by others, than the
" labourers themselves. Who then is to advance it ? Na-
" turally it may be said, the capitalists of the colony, who
" require the labour, and who intend to profit by it. But
" to this there is the obstacle, that a capitalist, after going
" to the expense of carrying out labourers, has no security
" that he shall be the person to derive any benefit from
" them." To those who would object to Government interference in a case like the present, we can only say, in
the words of Mr. Mill, that" the question of Government
" intervention in tbe work of colonization involves the
" future and permanent interests of civilization itself,
" and far outstretches the comparatively narrow limits
" of purely economical considerations; but, even with a
" view to these considerations alone, the removal of popu-
" lat ion from the overcrowded to the unoccupied parts of
" the earth's surface, is one of those work»~of eminent (   35   )
" social usefulness which most require, and which at the
" same time will best repay, the intervention of Govern-
ment.    " No individual or body of individuals could re-im-
burse themselves for these expenses." Government, on
the contrary, could take from the increasing wealth caused
by the construction of this Railway and consequent great
emigration, the fraction which would suffice to repay with
interest the money advanced. These remarks apply equally
to the governments of the North American provinces as to
those of the Hudson's Bay Company and Great Britain.60
Let us now personify our Atlantic and Pacific Railway,
and endeavour more immediately to apply some of the
reasoning as regards colonization to the money part of the
question as regards the Railway. As regards colonization
the question—Who is to advance the money? has, I
think, been very clearly answered by Mr. Mill. As regards the undertaking of this Railway, and the answer
to the question, Where is the money to come from ? let us
first suppose then that "there is an increase of the quantity
" of money, caused by the arrival of a foreigner in a place
" with a treasure of gold and silver; when he commences ex-
" pending it, he adds to the supply of money and by tbe same
" act to the demand for goods. If he expends his funds in
" establishing a manufactory, he will raise the price of labour
" and materials; but, at the higher prices, more money will
" pass into the hands of the sellers of these different articles;
" and they, whether labourers or dealers, having more money
" to lay out, will create an increased demand for all things
" which they are accustomed to purchase, and these accord-
" ingly will rise in price, and so on, until the rise has reached
" every thing." Now let us for a moment suppose this foreigner to be represented by our friend the Atlantic and
Pacific Railway, (imagined, for the sake of our argument,
to be completed), and we will no longer consider him
80 See Appendix, Note (ot/.-
/ (   36   )
a foreigner, but a brother. This brother, on his arrival
in England finds that he has unfortunately forgotten to
bring with him his purse, that in fact he has neither gold
nor silver, the representatives of wealth, and here, be it
remembered, that wealth is any thing useful or agreeable,
and that money is a commodity. We will then suppose
this North American brother to say, My good brother of
England, I am here without gold or silver, or without any
kind of wealth; the commodities I have left behind me are
of such a nature, that without much labour I could not put
them in such a shape as would enable me to bring them to
this country, nor could I obtain silver or gold enough to
represent them; unless, therefore, I send some labouring
people and machinery to my country, I am afraid I cannot
obtain all the commodities I wish to have. Now you have
plenty of spare labourers, and plenty of spare machinery
and other useful materials, and for which you would be
glad to receive valuable commodities in my country ; and
if you will only send the labourers and machinery out, I
will order that in return you shall be allowed to bring
away all the useful and agreeable things, that is, all the
wealth that may be found, and have the use of such things
as you may prefer to keep in my country. Now if you
will make this agreement with me, I will return with you
to my native land, and will not only assist you to obtain
all these commodities, but I will engage also to pay you
a certain annual income out of my saving; and I will
show you the short way to the most extensive region of
wealth ever known to any nation in the world; and you
can then travel that road, so that at no future period (at
least within the imagination of man) shall you ever again
complain of too great a population on your soil, or too
small a market for your labour.
Then the good brother of England says to this Atlantic
and Pacific brother,—We believe all you say of your (   37    )
wealth, and we see the great advantage it would be to us
to partake of it, and to have the command of the road you
point out, but what security are we to have that when our
labourers and machinery are sent to your country they
will be employed ; and if you have neither gold nor silver
nor other commodities ready to give us in exchange for the
work and the articles, how are we to pay the people to
prepare the machinery, and all our other labourers, whose
wages would in England of course become higher, as they
would be less in number, and there would be a greater quantity of work to be done.    The brothers, in talking over this
matter, discovered that " credit is indispensable, for render-
" ing the whole capital of the country productive.  It is also
" the means by which the industrial talent of the country is
" turned to most account for purposes of production. Many
" a person who has no capital of his own, or very little, but
" who has qualifications for business, which are known and
" appreciated by some person of capital, is enabled to obtain
" either advances of money, or more frequently goods, on
" credit, by which his industrial capacities are made instru-
" mental in the increase of public wealth."   The Pacific
and Atlantic brother observed,—This is exactly my case.
Only give me credit, and I will bind myself on my own
personal security to give up whatever portion of my annual income you may consider necessary; and I will also
secure the money advanced by you on my land, on the
minerals thereof, and in any other way that may be deemed
necessary.    My brother of the Atlantic and Pacific Railway,  says the Englishman, you have nearly convinced
me; we will immediately appoint friends to draw up all
the necessary agreements between us, that will enable me,
if possible, to advance you such labour and machinery as
may be required ; and we will also proceed to appoint
other friends, who shall take into consideration,  in the
first place, the expense incurred from your birth to a state (   38   )
of manhood, and the annual income that is derived from
your business and your property; and leaving you sufficient to maintain yourself as a gentleman, we shall appropriate to ourselves whatever may remain, as a reward
for our exertions and the risk to be incurred, and as a
security for the interest of the money expended upon your
account. The brothers having thus agreed in a general
way, proceed immediately to appoint friends and to call
upon their good old mother, Great Britain, to advance the
money required, and their North American relations, Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, and Hudson's Bay, to
come forward and make a' general family treaty for the
security and payment of such advances. The brothers were
then congratulating themselves on what they considered the
success of their project, when it was whispered to them that
something of a similar plan had been proposed for their relation Ireland, by one " whose loss is too great to be slighted,
and too recent not to be felt; 1 and it had been suggested
that for every £100 expended on Railways in that country,
£200 should be lent by Government; upon which occasion
it had been observed by one who has greatly influenced,
whether for good or evil, will be hereafter known, the
destinies of the British Empire, that " the public credit of
" the State is one of the elements of our financial strength,
" and that it was not possible to appropriate a great por-
| tion of that public credit to the encouragement of com-
I mercial enterprises, without, to the same extent, fore-
" going the power to apply that public credit in another
" direction, in the event of the national exigencies requiring
I you to do so." The brothers replied, this is certainly
true; but the proposed undertaking is not a commercial
enterprise, although no doubt it would produce great
commercial and colonizing results; but it is a grand national work,—a desideratum that has been wished for,
looked for, and cared for, ever since the new world was
discovered—that has repeatedly called forth great expen- (   39   )
diture of money, great suffering, and loss of life in searching for it, to the north. It is, in short, the great high
road between Che Atlantic and Pacific—the expense of
making which you are called upon to consider.
As regards Ireland, another bold measure has been suggested for that country; without giving any opinion upon
it, 1 cannot help asking why we should not be as bold in
peace as we were in war.   Must we wait until
" The news is, sir, the Voices are in arms;
Then indeed—we shall have means to vent
Our musty superfluity?"
"Without raising one shilling out of the Exchequer,"
says Lucius (see Morning Post, Jan. 31s£), "boldly apply
" the national credit to relieve the national distress; at once
" authorize the Bank of Ireland, or a bank to be created
" for that purpose, to issue twenty or thirty millions in aid
" of the landed proprietors; secondly, for the judicious
" encouragement of emigration, transplant those who can-
" not earn a subsistence at home to a comfortable settle-
" ment in our colonies, and to promote such mercantile or
" other undertakings, let the notes issued be made legal
" tenders for all payments whatever, and let the entire soil
" of Ireland be pledged for their ultimate security." Far
be it from me to give any opinion on what is best to be
done for Ireland, but certain I feel that what is here proposed and suggested regarding an Atlantic and Pacific
Railway could not interfere with any plan Government
might think right to adopt for the regeneration of Ireland,
unless indeed by greatly facilitating all emigration plans
and permanent employment.
But, independently of all this money question, " there is
" the strongest obligation on the government of a country
" like our own, with a crowded population and unoccupied
" continents under its command, to build as it were and
" keep open a bridge from the mother country to those con-
1 tinents."   Let us reflect that " the economical advantages II
(    40    )
" of commerce are surpassed in importance by those of its
effects, which are intellectual and moral. It is hardly
" possible to overrate the value, for the improvement of
" human beings, of things which bring them in contact with
" persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of
" thought and action unlike those with which they are
" familiar. Commerce is now what war once was—the
" principal source of this contact. Commercial adven-
" turers from more advanced countries have generally
" been the first civilizers of barbarians, and commerce is
" the purpose of the far greater part of the communica-
" tion which takes place between civilized nations. It is
" commerce which is rapidly rendering war obsolete, by
" strengthening and multiplying the personal interest which
" is in natural opposition to it."—{Mill, Polit. Econ.) In
whatever point of view, therefore, we regard this subject—
whether as one of duty by providing the means of healthy
and legitimate employment to our numerous artificers and
labourers now in a state of destitution—a domestic calamity
likely to be often inflicted upon us—unless new fields,
easy of access, are made permanently open to our continually increasing population—and " it would be difficult
" to show that it is not as much the duty of rulers to pro-
" vide, as far as they can, for the removal of a domestic
" calamity, as it is to guard the people entrusted to their
" care from foreign outrage"—will they " slumber till some
" great emergency, some dreadful economic or other crisis,
" reveals the capacities of evil which the volcanic depths
" of our society may now hide under but a deep crust ?"—
or whether we view it as a means of assisting anv general
O J    o
system in the penal code—or whether we view it as a point
of individual or government interest, by turning all that
extra-productive power, now idle, in the direction of our
own colonies, and thus connecting and attaching them
more strongly to the mother country—increasing their (   41   )
wealth, their power and our own:—or whether we consider
it in a moral and religious point of view, as affording greater
and quicker facilities for the spread of education and the
Gospel of Christ61—or whether we look upon it as an instrument for the increase of commerce, and (as an important
consequence) the necessarily directing men's minds, with
the bright beams of hope from their own individual and immediate distress, as well as from the general excitement and
democratic feeling and spirit of contention showing itself
amongst many nations (an object greatly to be desired) for —
" The times are wild	
 Every minute now
May be the father of some stratagem;"
—or whether we look at it in a political point of view, as
keeping open to us at all times, without the necessity of
interference with other nations or of war, a great high road
to most of our colonial possessions, and particularly to
India—viewing it then in any one of these points, who
can doubt for a moment the beneficial results that must
attend such an undertaking. But when all these con-
siderations are taken together, we must repeat what we said
in a former page, that it is a grand and a noble undertaking, and that it must be accomplished by Great Britain
and her colonies.
Let us reflect, lastly, my dear friend, that " the world
" now contains several extensive regions, provided with
" various ingredients of wealth, in a degree of abundance
" of which former ages had not even an idea," Your
native land, and the other North American provinces,
have, even by their own exertions, made rapid advances
in wealth, accompanied by moral and intellectual attainments, and can 109k forward at no very distant period (if
even left to their own exertions) to be enabled to take a
61 See Appendix, Note (58). f
(   42   )
very prominent position in the affairs of the world. But
the Hudson's Bay Company's territory is still nearly in its
primitive state, and much indeed is to be expected from
its advancement, when it shall have taken its proper station in the general trade and commerce of mankind; the
position of Vancouver's Island is such that there is little
reason to doubt its wealth and consequence will place it
high in the scale of England's offspring.62
But, my dear friend, unless your mind has become as
fully impressed as my own with the vast importance of
this great Railway undertaking, I shall only tire you theH
more and detain you to no purpose by dwelling longer on
the subject; and indeed even should your mind be satisfied
with the importance of the work, it may yet conceive it to
be of an impracticable nature. " Who (I have been asked)
" in the living generation would be reimbursed for the out-
" lay? and without that,who will undertake a national work,
" however grand or remunerative to future ages ?" To this
I answer fearlessly, that thousands of human beings of the
present generation would benefit by the outlay; that the
employment would be a quite sufficiently lucrative one and
visibly so, as to induce the English capitalist to come forward and undertake the formation of a Company; for even
at this moment Railways are in contemplation,63 if not
actually commenced, from Halifax to Quebec and from
New Brunswick to Halifax; and how much more would
these Lines be paying Lines when they had also an opening to the Pacific! But no individual nor combination of
individuals could have sufficient influence with, or, if they
had the influence, could have the necessary power to induce, the Hudson's Bay Company to open its territories,
and to enter into all the arrangements and all the agreements that would be necessary to be made with that Company, with England, and with the North American Colo-
82 See Appendix, Note (59). 63 See Appendix, Note (40). (   43    )
nies, before a work affecting the interests of so many could
be commenced.
It is necessary then that Government should take the
initiative, and it is not uncommon for her so to do in all
great national works, such as roads, surveys, expeditions
either for the objects of science or commerce; such as
those sent to discover the north-west passage, upon
which thousands have been spent,64 and on account of
which, at this very moment, England has to deplore, in
all probability, the loss of many a noble son, whose relatives have been for so long a time kept in all the agony
of suspense. Upon no other description of work would
Great Britain be required to advance a single penny;
but the very fact of her undertaking what may be considered legitimate expenses of a government, the survey
and marking out the whole Line, the entering into treaties
with her Colonies and the Hudson's Bay Company for the
general security of the money, and for the interest for a
certain number of years of the capital of the Company,
would give such a confidence to the public mind, that a
very short time would bring into full operation in that
direction, sufficient of the power and wealth of England to
accomplish the work; and when accomplished, Government would still hold a lien upon it until she was reimbursed
every penny. And, let me ask, are there not a thousand
expenditures that have been undertaken by Government for
which no reimbursement has ever taken place; and are not
individuals every day risking their capital and their accumulation of savings, in speculations in foreign lands,65 when
the result of those past connections have been such as to
lead the Minister of Foreign Affairs, even in his place in the
House of Commons, to hold out as it were a threat to the
whole world, if England's children did not receive their
due.    Surely it would be more prudent, more politically
64 See Appendix, Note (44). 65 See Appendix, Note (61) (   44   )
wise, and more economical, for Government to encourage
the expenditure of our own capital in our own Colonies.
Sitting in his arm chair, in his office in London, the
Minister of Great Britain can now convey his thoughts,
his wishes, his commands, in a few moments to every part
of England and Scotland, and will soon be enabled to do
so to Ireland.66 He can send the soldiers, horse and foot,
as well as the artillery of Great Britain, flying through
the land at almost any rate he wishes. And all heavy
stores and goods of the merchants can be easily forwarded
at about twopence, and even, I believe, a penny a mile per
ton, and at about twenty miles an hour; and a penny a letter
now enables every individual in England to communicate,
at almost every hour, with his distant friends and relations;
the post office itself travelling at a rate and with an ease
little to be comprehended by those who have not witnessed
it. The result of such immense wealth and such enormous
power is more than is required for England, and would necessarily carry with it its own destruction, was not her empire one which encircles the world.
Let the minister then who guides and directs the wealth
and power above described, and in whose hands the destinies and happiness of thousands are placed, picture to
himself the encouragement that would be given to British
industry and British enterprize, if, at ten days distance from
her shores, a port was established from which he would
be enabled to send across the Continent of America his
thoughts, his wishes, and his commands, with the same
speed at which they now travel throughout England;
and if these thoughts, wishes and commands would reach
every one of our own Colonies in the Pacific in about
fifteen days after leaving the western shore of North America; and if from the same port (ten days distance from
England) could also be despatched the troops of Great
Britain, if unfortunately necessary, travelling at the rate
66 See Appendix, Note (66). (   45   )
before described; if heavy stores and merchants' goods
could also be enabled to cross the Continent of America,
at the same price and at the same speed as they now
travel in England; if the post office system could also be
introduced, and if letters at a penny each might pass between relation and relation, between friend and friend from
England to her most distant Colonies—if her children gone
forth to colonize could then either return or communicate
their every wish to England in less than a month: and re-
clining in his own arm chair, reflecting as he ought to do
and must do upon the power and wealth of England, let him
not say that all here described is not easily within her reach.
Let him rather consider the subject with a view to become
the Leader of the Country in such a noble work. If it is
a bold work, let him remember that fortune favours the
brave.—" Si secuta fuerit, quod debet Fortuna, gaude-
" bimus omnes, sin minus, ego tamen gaudebo."
And now, my dear friend, whose patience I have so long
taxed, it is time that we should part—
" Whether we shall meet again I know not;
If we do meet again—why we shall smile.
If not, for ever and for ever farewell."
Believe me,
Ever your's,
Sincerely and faithfully attached,
Junior United Service Club,
February, 1849. (   46   )
The last correction for the press was scarcely finished,
when " Canada in 1848" was put into my hands. Had
I, a month ago, seen that little pamphlet, written as it is
with so much spirit and ability, I should hardly, perhaps,
have felt sufficiently inclined to have suggested one Line
of Railway, in opposition to the views of its talented
author. I trust I need scarcely assure Lieut. Synge, that
in any observations I have made upon Canals, I had no
reference whatever to his grand scheme,—nor the least
intention of treating lightly his magnificent project, of
which, until a day or two ago, I did not even know the
existence. I cannot now, however, let my Letter to my
friend the Author of the Clockmaker go forth to the public,
swithout availing myself of the opportunity thus afforded
me, of bringing also to the notice of those who read that
letter " the existing resources of British North America/'
so fully and powerfully pointed out by Lieut. Millington
Henry Synge, of the Royal Engineers. Educated myself
at Woolwich, and having served for seven years in his
sister corps:, the Artillery, I feel proud and happy that there
are so many points upon which we can and do agree.
There are some, however, and one in particular most important, on which we are completely at issue. Lieut.
Synge says, " A ship annually arrives at Fort York for
" the service of the Hudson's Bay Company; who can tell
" how many may eventually do so ?" Now my wish is
that the one " annually" arriving may never have again
to travel that Bay, whose climate in winter and summer is (    47    )
horrible. I shall say no more on this subject at present;
but I strongly recommend all those who have condescended
to read and reflect upon the foregoing pages, to read and
reflect also upon what has been written by Lieut. Synge.
His pamphlet has afforded me the greatest possible pleasure. The manner in which (p. 5) he speaks of the
people of the Colonies is completely in unison with my own
expressed feelings; and all the arguments that he brings
forward in favour of the great work upon which he has
evidently thought so much, and in his pamphlet so clearly
explained, bear equally in favour of the suggested Railway. He states that there is " a field open to almost an
" illimitable capital of labour; that the systematic de-
" velopment of the resources of British North America
" will, so far from being a drain upon Great Britain, be of
I immediate advantage to her. That such development
" entails a natural, enduring, and perfect union between
I Great Britain and that part of her empire in North
" America. That completeness of communication, in-
" eluding facility, rapidity, and security, is indeed the true
" secret of the rapidity and completeness of the develop-
I ment of the country." These are the thoughts of Lieut.
Synge, and I think I have already explained that they are
equally mine. We have suggested different methods.
Lieut. Synge wishes to improve the old Line of water
communication; and Colonization would then be naturally
confined to the banks of Rivers and of Lakes. A great
Line of Railway communication would, on the other hand,
be naturally of some distance from the River, and in many
instances carried through the heart of the country, and
thus serve as another main artery, in which would circulate
the wealth of the empire, and on each side of which would
be opened valuable land, on which settlers could locate
without being lost, or disheartened by the solitude of the
wilderness.    Again, Lieut. Synge asks, " Is it not won- £
(    48    )
" derful that no independent mail route exists, to give the
" British Provinces the benefit of the geographical posi-
" tion of Halifax. Is it not wonderful that there should
" be no interprovincial means of rapid communication ?"
Such are the questions of Lieut. Synge—and such questions, I trust, will soon be answered by a Colonial Minister—that a new era will soon be open for the Colonies—
new life and energy be given to them. But time presses,
and I must here conclude, with again assuring Lieut.
Synge of the sincere pleasure with which I have read his
pamphlet, and that I shall make use of such extracts as
can be hastily added, in the shape of Notes, to ray own
Letter to the Author of the Clockmaker:—happy shall
I be if we agree—
" Sul campo della gloria noi pugneremo a lato:
Frema o sorrida il fato vicino a te staro,
La morte o la vittoria con te dividero."
Junior United Service Club,
February 28th, 1849. NOTES.
(1) The writer of this letter, when returning from Halifax to England
in the spring of 1838, had the good fortune to take his passage in the
same government packet with the author of the Clockmaker, who was
proceeding to England with the second series of that work: and afterwards, when paying a momentary visit to Halifax in the winter of 1844,
he experienced the high gratification of knowing, by the very kind reception he met with, that he had not been forgotten neither, by his Com-
pagnons de voyage, Haliburton and Howe, nor by the other kind and
highly valued friends he had formerly made in that city.
(2) The history and particulars of this canal are well known at Halifax,
and Samuel P. Fairbanks, Esq. (Master of the Rolls at Nova Scotia) brought
to England with him in the Tyrian all the plans, maps, &c. connected
with that canal, and was, I believe, sent as a representative of the parties
connected with the work, in the hope that he might be able to induce the
government to advance sufficient money for its completion. The fine
large locks of this canal remain to tell the tale of money sunk in an unfinished work.    No encouragement certainly to canal speculations.
(3) I The distance, as I make it, from Bristol to New York Light-
" house, is 3037 miles; from Bristol to Halifax Lighthouse is 2479; from
| Halifax Light to New York Light is 522 miles, in all 3001 miles;
| 558 miles shorter than New York Line, and even going to New York
" 36 miles shorter to stop at Halifax, than go to New York direct."—
So says the Clockmaker in 1838.
(4) " Get your legislator' to persuade Government to contract with the
" Great Western folks to carry the mail, and drop it in their way to New
" York ; for you got as much and as good coal to Nova Scotia as Eng-
1 land has, and the steam boats would have to carry a supply of 550 miles
" less, and could take in a stock at Halifax for the return voyage to
" Europe. If ministers won't do that, get 'em to send steam packets of
" their own, and you wouldn't be no longer an everlastin' outlandish
" country no more as you be now. And, more than that, you wouldn't
" lose all the best emigrants and all their capital."—Clockmaker, 1838. (   50   )
(5) " The communication by steam between Nova Scotia and Eng-
" land will form a new era in colonial history. It will draw closer the
" bonds of affection between the two countries, afford a new and ex-
" tended field for English capital, and develope the resources of that
" valuable but neglected province. Mr. Slick, with his usual vanity,
" claims the honour of suggesting it, as well as the merit of having,
" by argument and ridicule, reasoned and shamed the Government into
" its adoption."—Clockmaker, 1841.
(6) " In the Duke of Kent the Nova Scotians lost a kind patron and a
" generous friend. The loyalty of the people, which, when all America
" was revolting, remained firm and unshaken, and the numerous proofs
" he received of their attachment to their king and to bimself, made an
" impression upon his mind that was neither effaced nor weakened by
" time or distance. Should these pages happily meet the eye of a colo-
" nial minister, who has other objects in view than the security of place
" and the interest of a party, may they remind him of, a duty that has
" never been performed but by the illustrious individual, whose former
" residence among us gave rise to these reflections. This work is de-
" signed for the cottage, and not for the palace; and the author has not
" the presumption even to hope that it can ever be honoured by the
" perusal of his sovereign. Had he any ground for anticipating such a
" distinction for it, he would avail himself of this opportunity of mention-
" ing that, in addition to the dutiful affection the Nova Scotians have
" always borne to their monarch, they feel a more lively interest in, and
" a more devoted attachment to, the present occupant of the throne,
" from the circumstance of the long and close connexion that subsisted
" between them and her illustrious parent. He was their patron, bene-
" factor and friend. To be a Nova Scotian was of itself a sufficient pass-
" port to his notice, and to posses merit a sufficient guarantee for his
" favour. Her Majesty reigns therefore, in this little province, in the
" hearts of her subjects, a dominion of love inherited from her father."—
Clockmaker. 1841.
" It can hardly be said that England has hitherto drawn any posi-
"tive advantages from the possession of these provinces, if we place out
" of view the conveniences afforded during periods of war by the harbour
" of Halifax.    But the negative advantage from them are evident, if we
consider that the United States of America are greatly deficient in
" good harbours on the Atlantic coast, while Nova Scotia possesses, in
" addition to the magnificent harbour of Halifax, eleven ports, between
" it and Cape Canso, with sufficient depth of water for the largest ships
" of war."—Clockmaker, 1841. (   51    )
(7) " The necessity which is gradually developing itself for steam fleets
" in the Pacific, will open a mine of wealth to the inhabitants of the
I West Coast of America."— Rev. C. G. Nicolay, 1846.
The same author, in speaking of the principal features of the Iron
Bound Coast and Western Archipelago, in the centre of Vancouver's
Island, the Straits of Fuca and Puget's Inlet, says, " Its maritime im-
" portance is entirely confined to the Strait of Juan deFuca and southern
| extremity of Vancouver's Island. Here are presented a series of har-
" hours unrivalled in quality and capacity, at least within the same
" limits ; and here, as has been remarked, it is evident the future empo-
" rium of the Pacific in West America will be found." And now that
it has been settled that this magnificent strait and its series of harbours
(this great emporium of West America) is open to that great and enterprising nation, the people of the United States, as well as to ourselves, it
becomes most important to us that we should, and quickly, open the best
possible and shortest road to communicate with it.
" Alexander Mackenzie, who had risen to the station of a partner in
" that Company, and was even among them remarkable for his energy
" and activity both of body and mind, having, with others of the leading
" partners, imbibed very extensive views of the commercial importance
" and capabilities of Canada, and considering that the discovery of a
" passage by sea from the Atlantic to the Pacific would contribute greatly
" to open and enlarge it, undertook the task of exploring the country to
" the north of the extreme point occupied by the fur traders."—Rev. C.
G. Nicolay.
In 1794 this enterprising man ascended to the principal water of the
Mackenzie River, which he found to be a small lake situate in a deep
snowy valley embosomed in woody mountains; he crossed a beaten path
leading over a low ridge of land, of 817 paces in length, to another lake,
situated in a valley about a quarter of a mile wide, with precipitous rocks
on either side,—the head waters of the Frazers' River. On the 19th of
July, he arrived where the river discharges itself into a narrow arm of
the sea; thus showing that a communication between the west and east
of North America was open to mankind.
(8) I regret I cannot say when exactly, nor where, his Grace gave his
opinion on this subject, and I regret this the more, because I cannot give
his Grace's exact words; but of the fact I have no doubt, and I must
only trust to your forbearance and memory when I cannot point to the
day and place.
(9) | Not long since a very general ignorance prevailed respecting the
E 2 (    52   )
" Western Coast of North America, and no less general apathy
C. G. Nicolay, 1846.
(10) " Oh, Squire! if John Bull only knew the value of these colo-
" nies, he would be a great man, I tell you,—but hedo'nt."—Clockmaker,
" We ought to be sensible of the patience and good feeling which
" the people of Canada have shown in the most trying circumstances.' —
Mr. Labouchere, Debate on Navigation Laws.
(11) " Considering all the natural and acquired advantages that we
" possess for this purpose, it should rather create surprise and regret that
" our commerce is so small, than engender pride because it is so large."
" We may conclude then that improvements in production and emi-
" gration of capital to the more fertile soils and unworked mines of the
" uninhabited or thinly peopled parts of the globe, do not, as it appears
" to a superficial view, diminish the gross produce and the demand for
" labour at home, but, on the contrary, are what we have chiefly to de-
" pend on for the increasing both, and are even the necessary conditions
" of any great or prolonged augmentations of either; nor is it any ex-
" aggeration to say, that, within limits, the more capital a country like
" England expends in these two ways, the more she will have left."—
J. S. Mill, Polit. Econ.
(12) For " a very large amount of capital belonging to individuals
" have, of late years, sought profitable investment in other lands. It
" has been computed, that the United States have, during the last five
" years, absorbed in this manner more than £25,000,000 of English
" capital." And how much more, it may be asked, has gone to the
continent of Europe and elsewhere?
" When a few years have elapsed without a crisis, and no new and
" tempting channel for investment has been opened in the meantime,
" there is always found to have occurred, in these few years, so large an
" increase of capital seeking investment, as to have lowered considerably
" the rate of interest, whether indicated by the prices of securities, or
" by tbe rate of discount on bills; and this diminution of interest tempts
" the possessors to incur hazards, in hopes of a more considerable return."
—Mill's Political Economy.
(13) The Spectator has seriously remarked—" It is sometimes ob-
" served, that although taxes have been remitted to the amount of mil- (
" lions, the revenue has kept up; and that fact is vaunted as the vindication
of free trade: but one inference to be drawn from it has escaped notice—
" it shows that the riches of the country must have increased enor-
" mously, and it implies that many of the wealthy are escaping more and
" more from a due share of the general burden, as taxation is dimi-
" nished and wealth increased."
" Our exports have increased in value since 1824 from 38 millions
" to 68 millions."
(14) " It will be found by the Parliamentary Tables, which all can con-
1 suit, that the amount of money raised in those eighteen years was nearly
j 1500 millions.   The total revenue raised in those years was more than
| 981 millions; and the total of the money borrowed was more than 470
'millions; making, in all, 1451 millions.    And it is worth while to
j note, that, in one of those years, namely, in 1813, the sum of more
than 150 millions was raised in revenue and loan, of which nearly 82
millions was loan for the national use; and this in a single year; and
that year 1813, in the midst of a dreadful war, and thirty-five years
ago;—since when the country has grown much richer."
" Now, dividing the sum of 1451 millions by eighteen years, it appears that 80 millions a year was raised; and, taking the legitimate
expenditure of the country, during those eighteen years, at an average
of 45 millions a-yeav, a sum so high as to preclude all cavil, it appears
that the country raised and expended eighteen times the difference between 45 and 80 millions, that is 630 millions; notwithstanding which
expenditure, let it be observed, the country got richer and richer every
day."—Bradshmo's Almanack, 1848.
(15) " Our economical friends need not be alarmed;—we are'not going
" to propose a large addition to the military force of the empire,"—(Times.)
No:—but before it is reduced and its system interfered with by those
who understand not its working, we would strongly recommend the perusal, first of the evidence of Sir Herbert Taylor before the Finance Committee on this subject, and then that of his Grace the Duke of Wellington,
and we would ask the intelligent public of Great Britain to reflect well
before it allows her present army to be trifled with. We firmly believe
our army to be in as high a state of discipline, and as ready " to go any
" where and do any thing," as it was at the moment his Grace gave up
in France the active command of it.
As to our Navy,—let those advocates for reduction go as my friend
Captain B—r wished they would,—to the top of the monument, and
look around at the forest of masts they will see of vessels coming from
and going to all parts of the world; then, reflect for a moment on the (    54   )
power required to defend all their interests; and (if they dare),* then come
down and ask for reduction.
We strongly recommend the perusal of the letter of Emeritus on this
subject in the Times of the 5th February.
(16) " This vast power has penetrated the crust of the earth, and drawn
" from beneath it boundless treasures of mineral wealth which without its
" aid would have been rendered inaccessible. It has drawn up in num-
" berless quantity the fuel on which its own life and activity depend."—
Dr. Lardner.
(17) "It seems a provision of Providence to have formed different
" races to bring about, by their crossing, an improved state of things. The
" Teutonic variety is undoubtedly the most vigorous and able, both in
" body and mind, of all the species of the genus of man that exist, and
" seems destined to conquer and civilize the world. The Teutonic va-
" riety, in its different sub-varieties, agree best with a temperate climate;
" it is, however, capable of bearing a high degree of cold, but seems to
prosper best northward of 45° of northern latitude.
" Tuetonic prevailing in Great Britain and part of Ireland, 22,000,000."
—Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena.—Alex. Keith Johnson.
And it is very curious to observe, that, in the new world, the first
colony of Great Britain we reach after crossing the Atlantic is called
Nova Scotia; and the last land we should leave after crossing the continent would be New Caledonia; and both in Nova Scotia and New Caledonia (Vancouver's Island) nature seems to have placed great deposits of
coal, as if she there intended the industry of man and the advancement
of science to overcome all natural barriers between the different nations
of the earth.
(IS) " A pint of water may be evaporated by two ounces of coal. In
" its evaporation it swells into 216 gallons of steam, with a mechanical
" force sufficient to raise a weight of thirty-seven tons a foot high. The
" steam thus generated has a pressure equal to the common atmospheric
" air ; and by allowing it to expand by virtue of its elasticity, a further
" mechanical force may be obtained at least equal in amount to the former.
" A pint of water, therefore, and two ounces of common coal, are thus
" rendered capable of doing as much work as is equivalent to seventy-four
" tons raised a foot high."
" The Menai Bridge consists of about 2000 tons of iron, and its height
" above the level of the sea is 120 feet; its mass might be lifted from the
* See Note (63). (   55   )
" level of the water to its present position by the combustion of four bushels
" of coal."—Dr. Lardner.
(19) " In addition to tine instances of combination between directly com-
" peting companies, recent experience has furnished numerous instances
" of the tendency of smaller lines, sanctioned as independent undertakings,
" to resign their independence into the hands of more powerful neigh-
" hours."—Report of Board of' Trade. It is not to be doubted, therefore,
that all proposed or partly finished Railways in the North American provinces will readily join in the grand undertaking, making one great interest
for the whole.
" The traffic of a system of lines, connected with one another, can
" always be worked more economically and conveniently under one uniform
" management than by independent Companies. The Company which
" works the main trunk line, and possesses the principal terminal stations,
" can run more frequent trains, and make better arrangements for for-
" warding the traffic of the cross lines, than it could afford to do if two or
" three separate establishments had to be maintained, and the harmony
" of arrangements depended upon two or three independent authorities.
" It is found also in practice, that unless a very close unity of interest
" exists among the different portions of what really constitute one great
" line of communication, it is scarcely possible to introduce that harmony
" and accuracy of arrangement which are essential to ensure speed and
" punctuality. Many important branches of traffic also are apt to be
" neglected, which can only be properly developed where a long consecu-
" tive line of Railway is united in one common interest. Coals and heavy
" goods, for instance, can be conveyed for long distances with a profit, at
" rates which would be altogether insufficient to remunerate a Company
" which had only a run of ten or twenty miles: and thus many of the
" most important benefits of Railways to the community at large can only
" be obtained by uniting through-lines in one interest.—Report of Board
of Trade on Railways.   Sess. 1845.
(20) " The two most expensive commodities in England are crime and
" poverty; of these the most costly is poverty; and the extent of poverty,
" by its sufferings, vastly increases the amount of crime. You have heard
" the expenses of poverty. The cost of crime in England and her penal
" establishments exceeds a million and a half."—Speech of Francis Scott,
Esq. M. P.
(21) " The circumstance which must first strike any person as extra-
" ordinary, in regard to the expatriation of criminals from this country, is
" the choice of the station to which they have been sent    That a country (    56    )
" which, like England, is possessed of an almost boundless tract of un-
" settled fertile land within four weeks' sail of her own shores, should,
" in preference, send her criminals to a territory which cannot be reached
" in less than as many months, thus multiplying the expense of their
" conveyance, is a course which requires for its justification some better
" reasons than have ever yet been brought forward."—A. R. Porter, Esq.,
Progress of the Nation. This system has, we believe, come to a close?
and Gibraltar and other places fixed upon; (some in Great Britain); but.
her convicts ought not to be employed at home if it can be avoided, as
they of course perform the work that would be performed by the labourers
of the country, many of whom are thus thrown out of work.
Since the year 1824, a considerable establishment of convicts has been
kept up in Bermuda, employed in constructing a breakwater and in perfecting some fortifications at Ireland's Eye. The number at present (1836)
so maintained is about 1000.
(22) And why should not English convicts be sent to work in the Rocky
Mountains? We all know that the highest peak of Great St. Bernard is
11,005 feet above the level of the sea, and is covered with perpetual snow.
Between the two main summits runs one of the principal passages from
Switzerland to Italy, which continues open all winter. On the most elevated point of this passage is a monastery and hospital, founded in the
tenth century by Bernard de Monthon. The French army, under Bonaparte, crossed this mountain with its artillery and baggage in the year
1800; and here Bonaparte caused a monument to be erected to the memory of General Desaix, who fell in the battle of Marengo. If, then, a
monastery and hospital have been established since the tenth century, and
are still to be found in the old world at such an elevation, and in such a
climate, what objection can there be to the establishment of a convict
post, under similar circumstances, to open an important road in the new
world? We have seen that Sir George Simpson crossed the Rocky Mountains at a height of 8000 feet, but lower passes may yet be found. At all
events our soldiers are exposed to every diversity of climate and every
hardship; and we see no reason why healthy and powerful criminals
should be more cared for. It was also suggested in 1836—" The gan^s
" might be moved to other and more distant spots, and employed in
" similar works of utility, and in this way would relieve emigrants from
" many of the hardships and difficulties which they are now doomed to
" encounter at the commencement of their settlement."—A. R. Porter,
(23) " It would indeed be a heart-sickening prospect if, in looking for-
" ward to the continued progress of our country, in its economical rela-
" tions, we must also contemplate the still greater multiplication of her (   57   )
" criminals." Still we fear that, for a long time at least, we shall have
of them a large proportion, and that arrangements must be made for
their employment. What we have already stated prove that there is no
decrease as yet.
One of our periodicals observes—" We have no hope that a class of
" criminals will ever cease to exist in this country, and it will always
u. therefore be a question, what is to be done with them ? * * •
" There are certain conditions directly essential to every successful effort
" for the repression of crime; the legislature should see that the penal code,
" while as merciful as a reasonable philanthropy can demand, should yet
" be severe enough to be truly merciful—merciful, that is, to the entire
" community."
(24) " The flight of a quarter of a million of inhabitants of these islands
" to distant quarters of the globe, in 1847, was one of the most mar-
" vellous events in the annals of human migration. It is nevertheless a
" fact, that the migration of this year is nearly equal to that of the last"
—{The Times, 1848.)
" Nor is there any reason to believe that 1849 will witness a diminu-
" tion in the rate at which this extraordinary process of depretion is
" going forward; on the contrary, there is every symptom of its probable
" acceleration."—{Morning Chronicle, 1849, on Irish Emigration.)
(25) A few extracts concerning them will be interesting. " The chain
" of the Rocky Mountains, after being considerably depressed in latitude
" 46° and 48°, attains a much higher elevation from latitude 48u to 49°
" and, continuing in a westerly direction, it separates the affluents of the
" Sarkatchewan and M'Kenkie from those of Columbia or Oregon and
" other rivers which flow into the Pacific. These mountains appear to
" decrease again from about 58° to 62° northern latitude, where probably
" they do not exceed 4000 feet in height; and, still further north, are
" estimated at less than 2000 feet, between the latitudes of 42" and 58°
" north.    Several peaks rise far above the snow line.
" Wherever the head waters of the rivers, on the east and west sides
" of the Rocky Mountains, approach nearest each other, there have been
" found passes through them. Of these, perhaps the most important is
" the south pass. Between Mount Brown and Mount Hooker, in latitude
" 52*, another very important pass, offering great facility of communica-
" tion between the Oregon and Canada, by the waters of the Columbia
" and the north branches of the Sarsatchawan, which, flowing into Lake
" Winnipeg, gives easy access to Hudson's Bay and the great lakes.
» Among the most awful features of mountain scenery lies the great
" northern outlet of the territory, resembling the southern in many of its (
" features, with even more sublimity of character, but especially in having
" the sources of several great rivers within a very short distance of each
" other. Here are the head waters of the Athabasca and north tributaries
" of the Saskatchawan, which falls into Lake Winnipeg; and on the east
" the northern waters of the Columbia, and the eastern branch of Frazer's
" River, near a deep cliff in the mountains, which has been called by
" British traders the Committee's Punch Bowl."—Rev. C. G. Nicolay.
The first who penetrated the Rocky Mountains was Sir Alexander Mackenzie, then in the service of the North-west Company. In the year
1793 he crossed them in about latitude 54°, discovered Frazer's River,*
descended it for about 250 miles, then struck of in a westerly direction,
and reached the Pacific in latitutde 52° 20'. In 1808 Mr. Frazer, also
under the orders of the North-western Company, crossed the Rocky Mountains and established a trading post on Frazer's River, about latitude 54°;
and in 1811 Mr. Thompson, also an agent of that company, discovered
the northern head waters of the Columbia, about latitude 52°, and erected
some huts on its banks.
(26) Little, perhaps, did Mr. Pitt suspect the time was to be so near,
when that country he had loved so well and served so nobly, would be
able to send any quantity of artillery by the mail; and that not eight or
ten hours would be required, but hardly three. Would that he was
amongst us now. What could England not hope for, or expect to see
realized, in her advanced condition, if directed by such a mind as his.
(27) " It is about 900 miles in length by 600 at its greatest breadth,
" with a surrounding coast of 3000 miles, between the parallels of 61°
" and 65° north latitude. The coasts are generally high, rocky, rugged
" and sometimes precipitous. The bay is navigable for a few months in
" summer, hut for the greater part of the remainder of the year is filled
" up with fields of ice. The navigation, when open, is extremely dan-
" gerous, as it contains many shoals, rocks, sandbanks and islands; even
" during the summer icebergs are seen in the straits, towards which a
" ship is drifted by a squall or current, rendering it very hazardous for
" the most skilful seaman.   The transitions of the thermometer are from
* Frazer's River has its embouche six miles to the north of the 49th parallel,
which defines the United States boundary. It is a mile wide. Tbe country
around is low, with a rich alluvial soil.
Fort Langley is twenty miles from its mouth.
Sir George Simpson made a journey of 2000 miles in forty-seven days, from
the Red River, via Fort Edringlon, to Fort Columbia, in 1841; he crossed the
Rocky Mountains, at the confluence of two of the sources of Saskatchewan and
Columbia, at an elevation of 8000 feet above tbe level of the sea. (   59    )
" 100° to 40° in two days, and the torrents of rain are surprising. Whether
" in winter or summer the climate is horrible. The range of the ther-
" mometer throughout the year is 140 degrees. The sea is entered by
" Hudson's Strait, which is about 500 miles long, with a varying breadth
" and with an intricate navigation."—Montgomery Martin, Esq.
(28) " The settlement on the Red River, distant from Montreal by
" the Ottawah River about 1800 miles in lat. 50° north, Ion. 97° west, is
" elevated 800 feet above the level of the sea, contiguous to the border
| of the Red and Asinibourn Rivers, along which the settlement extends
| for fifty miles. The soil is comparatively fertile, and the climate salu-
| brious; but summer frosts, generated by undrained marshes, some-
| times blast the hopes of the husbandman. The Hudson's Bay Com-
" pany by the introduction, at a great expense, of rams and other stock,
" have improved the breed of domestic animals, which are now abundant.
" Wheat, braley, oats, maize, potatoes and hops thrive; flax and hemp
" are poor and stinted. The river banks are cultivated for half a mile
" inland, but the back level country remains in its natural state, and
" furnishes a coarse hay for the long and severe winter which lasts from
" November to April, when the Lake Winnipeg is unfrozen and the
I river navigation commences—vik Norway house entrepot—at the north
" extremity of the lake. The population is in number about 6000, con-
" sisting of Europeans, half-breeds and Indians. The two principal
" churches, the Protestant and Roman Catholic, the gaol, the Hudson's
" Bay Company's chief building, the residence of the Roman Catholic
" bishop, and the houses of some of the retired officers of the fur trade,
| are built of stone, which has to be brought from a distance; but the
" houses of the settlers are built of wood. A great abundance of Eng-
" lish goods is imported, both by tbe Hudson's Bay Company and by
" individuals in the company's ships, to York factory, and disposed of in
" the colony at moderate prices. There are fifteen wind and three water
I mills to grind the wheat and prepare the malt for the settlers. The
" Hudson's Bay Company have long endeavoured, by rewards and argu-
" ments, to excite an exportation of tallow, hides, wool, &c. to England,
" but the bulky nature of the exports, the long and dangerous navigation
" of the Hudson's Bay, and the habits of the half-bred race, who form
" the mass of the people and generally prefer chasing the buffalo to agri-
" culture or regular industry, have rendered their efforts ineffectual."—
Montgomery Martin, Esq.
(29) " It is true there is another communication vi& Montreal, but
" the country in that direction is not of such a nature as to admit of
" introducing the rollers or the waggons upon the portages."—Bishop of
Montreal. (    60    )
(30) Mackenzie says, " There is not perhaps a finer country in the
I world for the residence of uncivilized man, than that which occupies
I the shore between the Red River and Lake Superior; fish, various
I fowl and wild rice are in great plenty: the fruits are, strawberries,
I plums, cherries, gooseberries, &c. &c."
(31) " Of this profitable trade the citizens of tbe United States possess
" at present all but a monopoly. Their whaling fleet consists of 675 ves-
" sels, most of them 400 tons burden, and amounting in all to 100,000
" tons. The majority of them cruise in the Pacific. It requires between
" 15,000 and 16,000 men to man them. Their value is estimated at
" 25,000,000 dollars, yielding an annual return of 5,000,000 or 20 per
" cent. The quantity of oil imported is about 400,000 barrels, of which
" one-half is sperm. When we add to this profitable occupation for
I many persons—the value of the domestic produce consumed by them
" —and the benefit that is thus conferred upon both agricultural and
| manufacturing interests—the importance of this branch of business will
I appear greatly enhanced. The whaling fleet of England and her
" Colonies may be considered as not exceeding at. present 150; about
" twenty whales are killed annually in the straits of Juan de Fuca—bell sides the whale fishery on the banks and coast is important—cod, hali-
" but and herring are found in profusion, and'sturgeon near the shore
I and mouths of the rivers. Already the salmon fishery affords not only
| a supply for home consumption, but is an article of commerce, being
U sent to the Sandwich Islands. They are also supplied to the Russian
Si settlements according to contract. The coast swarms with amphibious
I animals of the seal kind, known by the vulgar names of Sea Lion, Sea
I Elephant and Sea Cow—but above all with the common seal. The
" traffic to be derived from these in skins, oil, &c. could not but be lucra-
1 tive."— Rev. C. G. Nicolay.
(32) We are quite aware that the American Lines are made at a
much cheaper rate, but we are here advocating a grand permanent link
of connexion with Great Britain and all her Colonies and dominions—
and however cheaply the Line may be opened, we must not deceive ourselves, but look to a proportional outlay to the greatness of the undertaking. It is in its results and consequences that we look forward to the
great benefit and financial return to Great Britain and to her people, both
abroad and at home.
(33) It is curious to observe, that in 1822 the Americans themselves
fought the battle of England with Russia. The extravagant claims of
dominion over the Northern Pacific Ocean and the North-West Coast of (   61    )
America, which Russia proclaimed at St. Petersburgh on the 9th October,
—" It is not permitted to any but Russian subjects to participate in the
." whale or other fishery, or any branch of industry whatever, in the
" islands, ports and gulfs, and in general along the coast of the North-
" Western America, from Behring's Strait to 51° north latitude"—were
not passed unheeded by the British Ministry of the day, and it was communicated to the Court of St. Petersburgh that England could not submit
to such usurpation. . The result of these representations were not imparted to the public; but when these pretensions were made known at
Washington by the Russian Minister, the American functionaries protested against them with so much vehemence that it was likely to endanger the amicable relations of Russia and the United States—thus
fighting the battle of England as it has since proved. In December,
1823, a treaty was entered into at Washington between Russia, the
United States and England on this subject, and the Russians retired farther north than 55°.
The Marquis of Londonderry was Secretary of State for foreign affairs
up to August, 1822, aud Mr. Canning succeeded him; and to the watchful care of these two eminent statesmen it may be owing that Russia and
the United States did not divide the coast and territory between them.
(34) See Sir Peter Laurie's description of prisons.
(35) In spite of so large a portion of the French population being
agricultural, i. e. belonging to that calling in life which developes muscular strength and activity—in spite of that proportion being on the
increase as compared with the rest of the inhabitants, it is proved that the
number of recruits rejected as unfit for the military service from deficient
statute, health and strength, is slowly, surely and constantly on the
increase, 40 per cent, are turned back from this cause, and yet the required height is only 5 feet 2 inches.
(36) Several companies have, I believe, been formed for the working
of these mines, and the shares, I have heard, were one time rather high.
The ore, however, is at present sent chiefly to Boston. The opening of
the proposed Line of Railway would no doubt cause a great quantity of it
to be sent to Montreal or Quebec and there shipped for England,—enabling
the colonies, therefore, to take a greater quantity of our manufactured
Lake Superior.—" Copper abounds in various parts of the country; in
" particular some large and brilliant specimens have been found in the
" angle between Lake Superior and Michigan. Henry and other sspeak
" of a rock of pure copper, from which he cut off 100 pounds weight."—
Montgomery Martin, Esq. f
{    62   )
(37) It is true that Montgomery Martin, in 1834, says, "and if Rail-
1 roads do not take the place of canals, I have no doubt the greater part
I of Upper Canada will in a few years be intersected with canals. I
| recommend the latter to the Canadians in preference to Railroads, as
I by their means the country will be drained, rendered more fertile and
" more healthy."
Since that time several canals have been finished, and I have no doubt,
as the country becomes more populous, others may be undertaken for the
purposes of drainage and internal communications; but my own personal
knowledge has satisfied me that Railroads would be far more useful and
a far more ultimate benefit, for there is no doubt that the waters of
Canada have a general inclination to subside. Mr. Martin himself says,
that " the Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior, have evidently been at
" one time considerably higher than they are at the present day;" and
although Mr. Martin considers the subsidence of these waters has not
been effected by slow drainage, but by repeated destruction of barriers,
still the fact shows that the waters are subsiding.
Be this all as it may, I do not think that even Mr. Montgomery
Martin himself would suggest a communication by canals from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as well might he recommend a man to travel by a
slow heavy coach when a light quick one could be procured; and thus
we dismiss the subject of canals.
(38) To encourage this Steam Company, who have so nobly performed
their task, Government granted, I believe, £52,000 a year.
(39) Such, for instance, as the carrying letters for a penny, and removing such taxes as bear particularly heavy upon the poor.
(40) The Governor-General, in his opening address to the parliament
of the province of Canada on the 18th January, 1849, says—" The officers
I employed in exploring the country between Quebec and Halifax, with
I the view of discovering the best line for a Railway to connect these two
I points, have presented a report which contains much valuable informa-
" tion, and sets forth in a strong light the advantages of the proposed
I undertaking. I shall lay it before you, together with a dispatch from
I the Secretary of State for the Colonies, expressive of the interest taken
| by her Majesty's Government in the execution of this great work."
(41) See Mr. Charles Pearson's Speech on this subject.
(42) The feeling of loyalty becomes so natural to soldiers after a few
years service, that it remains impressed upon their hearts in general for
the rest of their lives. (   63   )
(43) " So great is the fertility of the soil of Canada, that fifty bushels
" of wheat per acre are frequently produced on a farm where the stumps
" of the trees, which probably occupy an eighth of the surface, have not
" been eradicated; some instances of eighty bushels per acre occur; near
" York* in Upper Canada 100 bushels were obtained from a single acre.
" In some districts wheat has been raised successively on the same ground
" for twenty years without manure."—Montgomery Martin.
(44) A return of the public money expended in Arctic expeditions was
called for. It appears that since the peace, or from the year 1815 to the
present, jg428,782 have been expended in Arctic expeditions.
(45) Mr. Alderman Sydney said—" that convicts had ceased to be
" sent to Norfolk Island or New South Wales for a considerable time,
" and he understood that Lord Grey had been influenced on the question
| by the perusal of a pamphlet which abounded with information of a
" most convincing character."—Times.
(46) Yes! to the value of its resources we now seem indeed to be
awakened. Earl Grey, in his despatch (dated 17th November, 1848,) to
Lieutenant-General Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant-Governor of Halifax,
says (after speaking of the final Report of Major Robinson on the formation of the Halifax and Quebec Railway)—" I have perused this able
" document with the interest and attention it so well merits; and I have
" to convey to you the assurance of Her Majesty's Government that we
I fully appreciate the importance of the proposed undertaking, and enter-
0 tain no doubt of the great advantages that would result not only to the
" provinces interested in the work, but to the empire at large, from the
" construction of such a Railway." Again, his Lordship speaks of this
Railway as " a great national line of communication," and yet on the
4th August, 1848, was issued the following letter from the Treasury
" Sir,—With reference to your letter of the 18th ult. relative to the
" expenses incurred in the survey of the proposed Line of Railroad
" between Halifax and Quebec, I am directed by the Lords Commissioners
" of Her Majesty's Treasury to request that you will move Earl Grey to
" instruct the several officers in charge of the Governments of Canada,
" Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, to cause the proportion of the Rail-
" road survey expenses to be defrayed by each province, to be paid into
" the commissariat chests on the respective stations.
" I have, &c.
(Signed)    C. E. Trevelyan."
1 H. Merivale, Esq., &c. &c."
* Now Toronto. (    64    )
(47) " We cannot afford to spend £50 'a year on a convict at home:
" let him be sent to a colony where his labour is absolutely necessary, and
" where, though by his good conduct and his industry he may finally
" attain a decent subsistence, yet where he will be unable to acquire
I affluence, and which he will be prevented from leaving for a happier or
" a richer shore: this will be punishment without sentimentalism, and
" without vindictiveness."—The Times, 19th February, 1849.
I As it is obvious that we must either retain our convicts at home or
" send them abroad, and the latter can only be accomplished by trans-
" portation to a colony, it is obvious (especially after the results of the
I last experiments) that we must either found a new colony, as in 1783,
" or adopt the French system, which has nothing certainly to recom-
" mend it."— Globe, 17th February, 1849.
(48) Lieutenant Synge has observed: 1 The necessity of protecting
" works further in the interior against hostile tribes of Indians is a for-
" midable impediment to their successful prosecution at present." How
easily would this impediment be removed by paying these Indians with
guns, blankets, &c, and employing them to guard the convicts and the
(49) I The hostility of the Indians overcome, (or what for the present
| would more effectually restrain England's advance, the possibility of
| their sufferings being increased by the progress of civilization,) the pas-
" sage of the Rocky Mountains may rather prove a stimulant, as it will
" be the last remaining obstacle, and, attention being called to the sub-
" ject, may urge to exertion the talents of such men as have elsewhere
| conquered every natural difficulty, however formidable."—Lieutenant
Synge, " Canada in 1848."
(50) I More especially the very great opportunities afforded by the
" cessation of convict labour in our Australian colonies should not be
" overlooked. The great present pressure in these colonies, in conse-
" quence of the want of such labour, should be removed in connection
" with the relief and profitable employment of portions of our surplus
" home population."—Same Author.
(51) " To derive from these measures the chiefest benefits they may
" confer, the work must be executed under the superintendence of the
" Imperial Government."—Same Author. (   65   )
(52) " Great as is our civilization and intelligence, compared with the
" empires of former days, we have no right to think that the goal of
" prosperity and glory is attained. England has by no means reached
" the zenith of earthly power; science is as yet but in its infancy; the
" human mind has scarcely arrived at adolescence; and, for aught we
" imperfect beings know, this little island may be destined by Divine
" Providence to continue as a light unto the heathen—as a nucleus for
" the final civilization of man."—Preface to " Taxation of the British
Empire," published in 1833.
(53) This of course would only be a temporary arrangement previous
to their being sent to distant parts.
(54) " So long however as the empire's heart is overburdened by a
" surplus multitude, it should be remembered that most fertile and lovely
I tracts of country, many times larger than England, exist in the body
| of that empire, which never yet within the knowledge of man have
" yielded their fruits to his service. A manifold-multiplied value also is
" given to every part of the connected communication between it and
" the Atlantic, and thereby also to every part of British America, when
I once the goal of the Pacific is attained."—Lieut. Synge.
(55) An officer whose character stands high both in the navy and
in the army—whose talents have long been exercised in the North American Colonies—who is acquainted with their value, and who well understands their naval and military defences.
The writer of this letter sailed from Cork on board H. M. frigate
Pique, in January, 1838, with a wing of the 93rd Highlanders, under
the command of Lietenant Colonel Macgregor, and he is happy in having
this opportunity of publicly thanking Captain Boxer, the officers and
crew of the Pique, for the great kindness received by every individual of
the regiment. And he cannot do otherwise than refer particularly to the
officers of the gun-room, who must have been exceedingly inconvenienced
by having a large party of officers joined to their mess, and who yet had
the tact and politeness to show they never felt it. It was a long and
stormy passage of six weeks from Cork to Halifax, but it was a happy
and a merry one; although a damp was at first thrown over us by the
sudden death from accident of a serjeant of the Light Company, and
another poor fellow was washed away from the chains during the pas- (   66   )
(56) " We have now enjoyed more than thirty years peace, and when
" it was proposed to invest the Capital, which we could so readily throw
" away on arms and gunpowder, upon actually productive works, the cry
" was raised of impending ruin and bankruptcy. The lodging of de-
" posits with the Accountant-General was to result in ' ruinous, universal
" and desperate confusion.' The money was lodged, and no ruinous
" confusion took place. The Acts were obtained, and ruin was again
" predicted; ' where was all the money to come from ?' The money has
| been got, £112,100,639 has been raised in the course of three years,
" involving, it is true, much suffering to some classes, but not to the
" nation at large."—S. Smiles on Railway Property.
(57) If once it was understood by the public that Government had
taken the initiative, and was determined to assist and see carried out a
great national work such as has been suggested, there is no doubt that
many people who are now paying high poor rates would join together,
and a variety of small Emigration Companies would be formed to assist
poor people to emigrate, and these poor people would willingly and
cheerfully quit their native land, when they had before them the certain
prospect of immediate employment; and if the penny postage was added
to the system, they would be nearer to England in the North American
Colonies, than the poor people of England and Scotland were to each
other only a few years back.
(58) | Four hundred millions of people yet to be introduced into com-
" munication with the rest of mankind! What a prospect for the mer-
" chant, the manufacturer and ship owner. But there is still a higher
" and holier prospect. Four hundred millions of active and intelligent
" human beings have to be brought within the pale of Christianity!
" Wary stepping, too, it will require to enable us to succeed in realizing
" either of these objects. To assist us, an abler man for the task could not
" be found than the author of the work before us."—Liverpool Standard,
Review on Montgomery Martin's recent Work on China.
(59) " Nobody can doubt that tbe western coast of North America is
" about to become the theatre of vast commercial and political trans-
" actions, and it is impossible to estimate adequately the value which
" may soon accrue to every harbour, coal mine, forest and plain in that
" quarter of the globe."—Morning Chronicle, 15th Feb. 1849.
(60) On which Line the mails could travel from Halifax to Frazer's
River in six days, and the electric telegraph connect these oceans—space
vanishing under that magic power. (    67    )
(61) See Montgomery Martin's second edition on Railways, Past, Present and Prospective.
(62) There is not an individual of the 93rd Highlanders, so long quartered in the highly flourishing city of Toronto, who would not, I feel well
assured, join me in every grateful feeling to its inhabitants, and every
wish for their happiness and welfare.
A great number of the men of the 93rd have settled at and in the
neighbourhood of Toronto.
(63) " The British ' supremacy of the ocean,' which has been a boast
" and a benefit, has become a necessity. If I were Prime Minister of
I England, now that the Corn Laws are repealed, I should not be able to
" sleep if I thought that the war marine of England was not stronger than
" all the nations combined, which there is the least chance of ever being
" engaged in a conspiracy for our destruction."—Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
(64) " Canada, which receives the greater number of emigrants, we are
" by all accounts only peopling and enriching for the Americans to pos-
" sess ere long."—Art of Colonization, Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
I trust that the British North American Colonies will, in reply to the
above remark, send forth such a voice of attachment to their mother
country that will encourage her people at home and embolden them to
come forward in aid of great colonial measures, resulting as they must do
in universal benefit to the empire.
In page 100 of the work just above quoted we read—" The Banker's
" argument satisfied me; but he was not aware of a peculiarity of colo-
" nies, as distinguished from dependencies in general, which furnishes
" another reason for wishing that they should belong to the empire—I
" mean the attachment of the colonies to their mother country. * * *
11 have often been unable to help smiling at the exhibition of it. In
" what it originates I cannot say."
I cannot but deeply regret the use of these expressions, coming as they
do from the pen of so influential an author. Has he forgotten or does
he not feel that
" Ccelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currant."
And surely from those who left their native land, carrying with them the
literature of the day and the remembrance of her glory, it was not likely
that there should spring up a generation otherwise than strongly attached
" That fortress built by Nature for herself,
Against infection and the hand of War ?" (   68   )
Well, indeed, has Lieutenant Synge remarked, " Let it also be remembered by those who would argue the defection of Canada, or other British
" provinces, from the history of the past, what were the circumstances
" attending the last revolt (and only one) of British Colonies."
" Let the regret with which those colonies revolted be also borne in
" mind! Generations have succeeded, yet in the hearts of many of the
" best and noblest that lingering regret remains; not that the revolt took
" place, not that it was successful, but that it was rendered necessary."
I shall only add, that I agree most perfectly with the author on the Art
of Colonization when he says, " But whatever may be its cause, I have
no doubt | that the love of England is the ruling sentiment of English
(65) " The Americans would have readily agreed with us upon this
" boundary question, when it was of no practical moment."—Edward
Gibbon Wakefield.
This assertion requires proof.
(66) My friend Lieutenant-Colonel Pottinger has brought to my
notice, that the time of transit from London to the west coast of Ireland
will be nearly as follows, viz.—
To Holyhead 8 hours.
Holyhead to Dublin 4     „
Dublin to the west coast of Ireland    ....   4     „
In all . . .16 „
It may therefore be worthy of consideration whether there could be
established at one of her ports on the western coast, so often spoken of
as the nearest point of embarkation for British America, an Emigration
Company, which would greatly benefit Ireland by causing a large traffic
through the centre of that country.
{67) Dr. Hind, in speaking of the convict Colony of New South
Wales, says—" If then the question be, what can be done for this Co-
" lony 1 Begin, I said, by breaking up the system—begin by removing
" all the unemancipated convicts. I do not undertake to point out the
" best mode of disposing of them; but let them be brought home and
" disposed of in any way rather than remain. There is no chance for
" the Colony until this preliminary step be taken. But these mea-
" sures, if carried into effect at all, must be taken in hand soon. Time—
" no distant time, perhaps, may place this < foul disnatured' progeny of
" ours out of our power for good or for harm."
Printed by W. P. Metchim, 20, Parliament Street.   


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