« VorigeDoorgaan »
the deadly struggle was about to begin, Meanwhile the inspection proceeded. and that Colonel Windblow had gallantly Conspicuous in the line was the compranced to the front on his spirited pany of militia from Pea-Neck, comcharger for the purpose of leading his manded by Captain Burley. The valorlevies to the attack. This, of course, ous Captain was enveloped in a comcreated great terror and excitement in plete suit of rusty continentals, handed the timid crowd. More than one fair down to him through several generaone swooned away, and many gave vent tions, and he looked as fierce as the old to sobs and tears. Nearly all were in broadsword that he held to his shoulder. an intense agony of alarm. One alone His men were fit followers of so preposseemed to rise equal to the occasion. It terous a leader, and were armed with was Mrs. Col. Windblow. As the Colo all sorts of valetudinary weapons, from nel was the leader of the men, how fit a Queen Anne's musket to a three-dollar ting that his wife should be the leader of castiron bird-gun. They glowered ominthe women!
ously at the Federal as he approached. “Is Colonel Windblow at the front?" · How many men bave you, Captain ?" she asked.
asked the lieutenant, of Captain Burley. “He certainly is,” was the answer;
“A hundred and twenty present, and “and he is so impatient for the strife that as many more in the woods, if needed! he is said to be insisting on impossible I thought half my crowd would be conditions, so as to prevent a peaceable enough!" surrender."
“Yes, Captain, there are enough men “If the Colonel is there," said the here not only to kill me and my comlady, preparing to depart,
mand, but to raise a suspicion that it need not be under the slightest appre is also the intention to eat us! How hension. For my part, I feel so secure many rounds of ammunition have you?" that I shall return home at once!"
“ Three!” responded Burley. Here was an exalted display of confi “ Three !” exclaimed the lieutenant. dence in a husband, and her companions “ You must expect short work of it, were accordingly edified by it. Yet her indeed!" trusting spirit was not fully shared by “Devilish!” assented Burley. the others.
In the rear of the line was the artillery. “We know," said they, “ that Colonel This consisted of two ancient iron pieces, Windblow is a great man, and will do all consecrated by immemorial usage to the he can to protect us; but how can he Fourth of July. They were embrowned stay the death-dealing shell and spheric and honey-combed by rust, and had cal-case ? Your reliance on him is neither limber-chests nor caissons. By beautiful, nay, sublime; but it is simple some complicated contrivance, a team madness to leave this safe asylum until of six mules was attached to each, and the fight is over. You must not go!” these were guided by negro drivers,
“Pshaw!" rejoined the wife of the who sat upon the nigh-wheelers, armed Colonel ; “I am not so sentimental as with long whips. Each driver-conyou all suppose. The truth is, that if trolled his team by a long line attached Colonel Windblow is at the front, as we to the leading animal, giving a jerk, or are assured he is, there cannot be the a pull, and crying, "Whoa!” “Gee!" least danger there, and consequently Haw!" as the emergency might none in the town. I know him well demand. The ammunition was carried in enough to be sure that he would not two mule-carts, driven by negro-boys. risk himself in any perilous situation. The whole was well calculated to strike We may all as well go home!”
terror into the heart of the enemy, but There was a brief interval of hesita the Federal commandant was self-postion, and then the whole party burst sessed enough to dissemble his real into laughter as they followed the wife emotions with an affected smile of dewho knew her lord.
“I must confess," said the lieutenant Windblow frowned, and continued: to Windblow, “that your numbers are “This day's deeds will live in history, sufficient not only to justify a surrender and generations yet unborn will comon my part, but to demand it. But you memorate the date with the blazing turare undisciplined, ill-equipped, and you pentine-ball and the resounding Chinese bave too little ammunition."
cracker! Let us be proud of what we “We have any quantity of powder and have done, and let us hold our heads ball in town," replied Windblow; “I high in the land we have delivered !” rely, however, on the bayonet ! ”
And they were proud. Veterans of At this moment the Lieutenant's eye Mexico and 1812 were humiliated in fell upon old Tobias Jones and his boy, their presence. They were treated on John.
all hands as conquering heroes, fresh “Colonel, I give up,” he said. “When from the field of their glory. Libations even the old women come against me, I of various strong drinks were poured to must surrender. You will allow ine them. They were truly ardent spirits. honorable terms, of course ?”
The taking of the arsenal was duly “Of course," answered Windblow. chronicled, by all the Southern press, as ** I can afford to be magnanimous.” "a brilliant affair," and Windblow's
The stipulations were readily agreed name was mentioned as upon, as Windblow was eager to have the affair over. It was shrewdly sus
“ freedom's now,
One of the few immortal names pected at the time, that had the con
That were not born to die!" mandant of the arsenal demanded a few hundred of the Southern force to be Windblow's report of the matter was taken away with him as prisoners, the a grandiloquent document, far surpasscondition would have been allowed. ing the simple relation here attempted. However, both sides were magnani. That report, indeed, surpassed any thing mons. The lieutenant saluted the stars of thekind ever done by Lee or Beaureand stripes, and marched Iris forty men gard ; and if it should ever fall under the away with all the honors of war. Tak- eye of General Grant, it will cause that ing ship, he sailed direct to New York. officer thenceforth to esteem the taking
Great was the gratulation over this of Richmond and the capture of Lee as success. Windblow addressed his troops: very trilling affairs.
Windblow still "Soldiers!” said lie, “ we have come, proudly wears the laurels he won that we have seen, and we have conquered! day; and it is said that, by dint of conWe have not fleshed our maiden swords; stant effort, at home and abroad, he has but I know that you all hungered for even succeeded in the difficult art of imthe conflict, with an appetite equal to pressing his valet with his heroism of my own, and we can therefore consider character and achievement. But, alas, all heroic deeds as having been done by he still finds it impossible to subdue his us! Our triumph is a double one, for wife! That wilful woman will persist, the great dramatist tells us tható a vic- to her dying day, in her ignoble estitory is twice itself, when the achiever mate of her spouse's qualities, avowing brings home full numbers. It is our that she can chase a thousand like hiin boast that we have none killed and with a broomstick. But, for that matnone wounded”
ter, where is the intrepid individual “ But our loss in missing is heavy," who could withstand an irate female, interjected Mr. Jones. “Seven hun. armed with the prescriptive weapon of dred!"
ber sex? Echo answers, where ?
PACIFIC RAILROAD GRANTS.
During the past half-century, since In 1830 there were but 41 miles of comthe practical application of steam to pleted railroad in the United States. mechanical uses, how marvellous has Ten years later there were 2,147 miles, been the material advancement of civil- or at an average rate of increase of more ized nations ! More than any other than 200 miles per annum. In 1850 conquest of the natural forces has the again there were 7,478 miles, or at an use of steam contributed to the sum of average rate of 500 miles per annum. human comforts, and the “bettering of In 1860 there were 28,771 miles, or at man's estate in this world.” It has an average rate of 2,000 miles per an. lightened human toil, has made men num increase during the decade. From richer in blessings and in leisure, has 1860 to 1865—a period more favorable increased their activity, shielded them to the destruction than the construction from the scourge of tempest and famine, of railroads—there were constructed enlarged the area available for man's about six thousand miles additional, or residence and subsistence, enabied him at an average rate of 1,200 miles per to do more in the same period and prac- annum. By the close of 1870, it is a tically lengthened the term of his life, reasonable estimate that there will be and in these ways aided the spread of completed 50,000 miles of railroad, or at knowledge and virtue over all the earth. an average annual rate of increase of 1,500 In nothing is its influence more clearly miles per annum for the last half of the to be seen than in the means of travel decade. At this time (or, to be more and transport. Formerly men did avail exact, at the close of this year) there will themselves of the power of wind and be built, in round numbers, 40,000 miles current on the water, to carry them- of railroad communication in the United selves and their burdens; but on land, States, or four-tenths of all the railroad where, of necessity, the greater part of in the world. This is a grand distinction human labor and human effort must be for America, the youngest of the great expended, there was no manageable nations. This will give us a mile of power stronger than the draught-animal railroad to each 900 of population-a or the beast of borden. The road-wagon proportion twice as large as that of any was a vast improvement on the pack- European State, and approached only train, but the interval between the loco. by the Canadas, where the railroads motive and iron-road and the best horse. have for the most part been built by the power transport was immense. The Imperial Government. It is proper to utmost limit of the former was the de. say, here, that these figures nakedly exvelopment of muscular power; the latter . press the total length of the lines along is a rill from the exhaustless reservoir which communication is maintained by of natural forces which coëxist with means of the railroad and the steam matter, the beginnings of which we see locomotive. If we consider the perwith wonder, but the unfolding of which fection, convenience, and safety of the the boldest cannot forecast.
railroad transportation, the comparisons The American people, standing in the would favor the European lines. While fore-front of the civilized world, have the greater part of our lines have but s reaped the most signal advantages from single track, the greater part of the this new servant. It has muliiplied in European lines are double, and some are definitely their creative activity, and is a even quadruple. mark of their intellectual advancement. Our lives, though inferior, are nearly
as good as we can afford until a denser of town-sites and cities, the appreciation population and increased capital enables has been thousands per cent. In other us to perfect them. The aggregate cost words, if these roads bad not been built, of these 40,000 miles of railroad, built we should have been twenty-five years and to be completed within the year, with backward in our
Population their equipment, is estimated at $1,800, would have hugged the shores of navi000,000, or at an average rate of $45,- gable streams, the struggle with the 000 per mile. By way of comparison, it primitive forests would have been semay be stated that the cost of the 13,- vere, and settlement tardy. The Missis289 miles of railroad in Great Britain, sippi Valley would have had less than at the close of 1865, is stated at no less four millions instead of the ten or twelve than £456,420,000,-a sum half as large which now inhabit it, and the gross as the debt of that kingdom, and a full product of the country would not have third larger than the cost of our own exceeded a third of its present dimen: roads having a threefold length. We sions. Besides being beneficial to their must remember, however, that this in- builders, these roads have multiplied the cludes the cost of some very expensive wealth of the community, and thereby docks, terminal and city lines, where the lightened the public burdens. right-of-way was purchased at enormous As a pertinent illustration of the inrates. The average cost per mile of Anence of railroads upon population, English railroads is stated at £41,033, production, and wealth, note a few figScotch at £22,820, and Irish at £14, ures drawn from the growth of the five 360.
great States north and west of the Ohio This enormous sum of eighteen hun river :-Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michi. dred millions of dollars--three fourths gan, and Wisconsin. In 1840, without the amount of our National Debt-has railroads, their aggregate population was been furnished mainly by private cap. 2,924,000. In 1850 their railroads had initalists-is, in fact, the investment of creased to 2,500 miles, and their populathrifty, public-spirited citizens, and the tion to 4, 533,000. The annual product of ownership is represented by an equal cereals had risen to 255,636,000 bushels, amount of capital stock, bonds and mort- and their aggregate wealth, according to gages. The latter bear rates of interest the census, to $966,850,000. In 1860 the averaging not far from seven per cent. per population had risen to 7,000,000 and annum, wliile the dividends upon capital the railroad mileage to 10,000; the stock will not exceed, if they reach, cereal product bad risen to 415,146,000 five per cent. The net return in cash busbels, and the wealth to $2,500,000,revenues it is believed upon this great in- 000. Thus it will be seen that the investment is not far from six per cent., or crease of railroad facilities was accoman annual net earning of $108,000,000. panied by a remarkable increase in As an investment merely, the full yield- population (ninety per cent. in 15 years) iog-power of railroads has not been and a still greater increase in production reached, and there is scarcely a railroad (230 per cent. in 15 years), and in wealth whose property is liable to depreciation a still greater proportion. At the sanie or whose franchise is not increasing in rạtes of increase, by 1870 these five value. The average traffic shows a States will then comprise a third part steady increase, and the returns upon the of the entire population of the country, investments may be expected to grow more than a third part of the cereal also.
products, and a fourth of the tax: ble These results are satisfactory of them
It is impossible to conceive selves, but they are among the least of the that this development of resources could benefits to the community. The value have followed so rapidly without this of every acre bronght within their in extension of railroads. fluence has been enhanced all the way Railroads have a most intimate confrom 25 to 500 per cent. In the cases nection with production, and therefore
with commerce. The further a barrel was manufacture by steam, and another of flour can be carried for the minimum was railroad extension, The same coincost, which is regulated at the great cidence is seen in France, where, side by centres of consumption, the larger the side with her railroad extension, from area in which flour can be profitably 338 miles in 1840 to 8,134 miles in 1865, produced. Or, stated in another way, we find a total of exports in 1840 of £82,the cheaper the means of transportation, 520,000, to £293,144,000 in 1865. Belthe more profit for the producer and gium, one of the smallest and richest
The cost of rail-transport countries of Europe, presents the same compared with wagon-freight over long concordance, her total commerce in distances is as one to ten. A barrel of 1835, at the beginning of railroads, flour hauled 100 miles by wagon would being £10,760,000, and in 1864, after have its price doubled, while it would she had been covered by a network of require 3,000 miles of rail-transport to roads, it had reached £97,270,000, or at double it. The quantity of commodities the rate of more than 30 per cent. per we consume must bear, in the long ran, annum average increase. Indeed, our some proportion to those we produce, own commerce tells the same story; and the surplus we export is the measure that, within certain limits, every extenof the imports. The more bags of sion of railroads increases the field of wheat we can send to seaboard under production, lessens the cost of bringing a given price, the more bales of fabrics products to market, and at once swells we can return to the interior for con the general trade of the country. In sumption.
1830 our foreign commerce amounted to There has been a wide circulation, of $155,000,000; in 1860, when our raillate, of some arguments read by a Mr. road and canal system was in full operaBaxter before the Statistical Society of tion, it reached $790,000,000. Of course, London, that "the commerce of a coun this would not have been possible withtry increases in direct proportion to the out the great growth of railroad commuimprovement of its railway system.” nication. This is far too broad a statement, as Fifteen years ago, the French Emwill be seen upon reflecting that some peror, turning his attention to the incountries had a great commerce without ternal improvement of his country, and railways, and still retain a powerful the needs of his people, approved a plan trade without them. That “railroad for distributing the whole territory development is one of the most power among a few of the strongest existful and evident causes of the increase of ing railroad corporations, requiring a its commerce," is quite true, as we have prompt extension of necessary lines to demonstrated above. The comparison of all parts of the empire, and granting, the total imports and exports extending therefore, franchises, having ninety-nine over a series of years, with the railroad years to run, and guaranteeing upon expansion in England, shows a constant the stock of the old and new lines ly increasing ratio to the increased mile dividends of from four to eight per cent., age of railroad. But if there should be so as to invite private capital to embark a suspension of railroad building in in the enterprises. England, as is likely, in consequence of The results have surpassed the most ruinous competition, it is not supposable sanguine expectations. France has been that the commerce of the country would seamed and furrowed with railroads, cease to increase from other causes. It placed in the hands of companies strong is instructive to note, however, that the enough to carry out the enterprises and total imports and exports of Great to invite capital to the work. The Britain, from some causes, rose from French Government has not been called £85,500,000 in 1830, to £171,800,000 upon to pay the guaranteed dividends; in 1850, and further to £490,000,000 in and at the expiration of the charters, 1865. No doubt, one among these causes within less than a century, it will own