The Virginia and Tennessee line.
We have noticed the presence in our dock of another of the vessels of the new Virginia Liverpool line.
The Pioneer, very appropriately named, was the beginning, the feeble and humble beginning, if you choose, of a great and laudable enterprise.
But there must always be a beginning, and even a railroad train, the fastest of man's creation, begins its movement slowly, and warms gradually up to its work.
There was a time when the James river
could boast quite a handsome fleet of ships, engaged in the European
trade, and a house is still standing at Yorktown
, on the York river
, which was used as an importing house for New York merchants before the Revolution.
But both these noble streams have for many years been deserted by foreign shipping, and the coastwise vessels that are now numerous in our waters only come to bear off to the great commercial centres of collection and distribution the produce that is brought to our shores by the railroads and public works, built at a heavy cost exclusively by ourselves, and to bring us goods which it would be more to our profit and credit to manufacture ourselves.
The Virginia and Liverpool line leads us to hope for better things.--Vessels have arrived of late in the James
direct from Europe
, and having cargoes valued at from $20,000 to $60,000, Certainly, looking to the increasing amount of tonnage brought to Virginia
ports by the railroads and canals with the certainty of a vast increase upon' their completion, this enterprise would not seem to have been begun a day too soon.
We have noticed lately the large amount of cotton which is finding its way by the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad from Memphis
, a trade which bids fair hereafter to be of great importance, and of which Richmond
ought to secure its fair proportion by an immediate construction of the straight line from this city to Lynchburg
It is time that Virginia
should avail herself of her vast natural advantages to become a great commercial and manufacturing power.
With a central geographical position in the Confederacy
; with the most healthful climate on this continent; with mountains and mines crowded with mineral treasures; with water power at various points within her borders, and especially at Richmond
, sufficient to put in motion the factories of the world; with public works, both railroad and canal, which will make the vast valley of the Ohio
tributary to her commerce; with noble rivers draining her rich agricultural and mineral regions and pouring their waters into one of the grandest harbors in the world; surely there is a great destiny in the future for Virginia
, and it only remains to be seen whether the present generation will prove worthy of that destiny, or leave its glories and rewards to another age, perhaps to emigrants from other States.
The new Virginia
and Liverpool line of packets, composed of fast sailing vessels, is destined, we hope, to inaugurate a new era. They make quite as respectable a show in point of size as the shipping in the harbor of New York
forty years ago. As the deepening of the channel in the James
proceeds, we shall be able to bring larger and larger vessels to our wharves, and with the full completion of the York River Railroad, a stream will be brought to our very doors, which will afford an ample additional outlet for the trade that will be concentrated here by our numerous railroads.
With such facilities for greatness and independence, Virginia
should blush at the idea of being tributary to any other State.