0In our article yesterday, while comparing the length of the routes to Cincinnati
as a centre, we neglected to institute a comparison of prices.
The report of Mr. Paul
furnishes the means of supplying this deficiency.
The average freight from Cincinnati
to New York, by way of the Erie Canal
, is $9 per ton. From Cincinnati
to the mouth of the St. Lawrence
it is $10; to New Orleans, $11 per ton.--The same tariff on tonnage would give $4.50 per ton to Norfolk
The advantage in favor of the James River
route, would be, over New York, $4.50; over New Orleans, $6.50; over St. Lawrence, $5.50. In cheapness, then, shortness of route, absence of danger, and capability of transporting the greatest length of time during the year, the superiority of this route is immeasurably great.
Let us recapitulate.
to New York, 1,083 miles, $9 tonnage, seven months navigation; to St. Lawrence, 1,660 miles, $11 tonnage, six months navigation; to New Orleans, 1,724 miles, $10 tonnage, navigation all the year, but business only active for about nine months; Norfolk
, 792 miles, $4.50 tonnage, navigation clear eleven months, business active all the year, no danger from snags, storms, or ice. Can any one fail to see the difference at a glance?
Is it not clear that this route is the shortest, the cheapest, the safest?
What, then, is to hinder it from commanding the larger part of that trade which now flows to New York, to New Orleans, and to the mouth of the St. Lawrence
To our mind there cannot be a doubt upon the subject.
--Open the line — let it be properly regulated — let the canal be deep enough and wide enough, and we shall see gold take the shape of cotton and accomplish the famous prophecy of Col. Benton
, by flowing up the Mississippi
in a perfect deluge.
We shall command the cotton crop of Alabama
, of Mississippi
, of Arkansas
, and of lower Tennessee
Why should we not?
A large portion of it is already going up stream, and finding a vent at New York.--This, we presume, arises from some superiority of that route over the passage down the Mississippi
coupled with the passage around Cape Florida
, in getting out to the Atlantic
If we offer it a better, a shorter, a safer and a cheaper route, why will it not come to us?--If we offer it a route one-third shorter than the shortest of the other three, only half as expensive as the cheapest of the other three, so superior in safety that no comparison can be made, navigable nearly twice as long as two of them, with a country at the terminus that does business all the year, in the name of heaven, why should it not come our way?
Because, say some, New York and New Orleans and Montreal
have the capital, and the shipping!
Well, how did they get it?
Did some mighty man of wealth — some Rothschild
--set himself down at either place, and offer money to all who would bring business in that direction?
Was the capital there before the business came?
Did the capital make the business, or the business make the capital?
It is silly to ask such a question.
Men who had their fortunes to make settled there because they found them good places for business.
They carried on business — it increased — money came with it-- people flocked in — they became great commercial places.
Let it be seen that Norfolk
offers a good point for business — let it be known that its route is the shortest, safest, and cheapest to the Great West--let it be found out that it possesses advantages, over every other for carrying on an enormous commerce — and see how quickly capital will seek it. It makes not the slightest difference whether she has a ship or not. Ships are commercial speculations.
They go where they can get cargoes and quick trips.
They crowd now to New York, because they can always get employment there.
They will come in any numbers to Norfolk
as soon as they find they will not have to wait for a cargo.
They do not come now because there is nothing to load them with.
It is cheaper to send round to New York for a ship when it is wanted for the occasion.
But once let Norfolk
be the terminus of a water line down which annually pass several millions of tons, and she will be able to command all the ships it will require to conduct her business.
We have been frequently told that we (in Virginia
) cannot become a great commercial people.
Why? Because, forsooth, our genius lies not in that direction.
We are an agricultural people, it seems.
We have not the patience, and the prudence, and, above all, we are not addicted to the sea. We cannot have a commercial marine.
We have not the materials for sailors, &c. Now we hold this to be sheer nonsense.
Cæsar certainly understood the elements of human power as well as any other man. He said: ‘ "Give me money and I will have men, and (econ verso
) give me men and I will have money."’ We parody this famous declaration of the great General and statesman.
We say, give us tonnage, and we will have ships, sailors, merchants, everything necessary to carry on a vast commerce; everything that New York, or Liverpool
, or Glasgow
has. Tonnage makes sailors, and builds ships for them to sail in.--Tonnage creates merchants, builds cities, accumulates capital, rules the world.
Give us tonnage and free access to the sea, and we will answer for all the rest.
What is it that has built New York?
Tonnage.--What is it that is building Baltimore
Tonnage. To obtain it they have upturned the Continent and reversed the very order of nature.
Nature says, ‘"the tonnage of the great West
shall glide down the ' Father
of Waters,' which I have placed here for that purpose."’‘"No such thing, "’ say Baltimore
and New York; ‘"it shall come this way."’--And they enter into a contest with nature, in which they fairly beat her on her own ground.
Now, if we can get this canal through, we shall command five times as much tonnage as New York and Baltimore
Everybody outside of the State
can see this.
New York has already expressed her opinion through her Engineer.
gives vent to her apprehensions through her press.
Heretofore, it has been believed that we should never have the enterprise to carry this improvement through.
We do not believe we ever should.
The offer of this French Company is a God-send, and for Heaven's sake let us make the most of it.