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The sources of business and income will be presented in detail; but it is proper to observe that our road, receiving aid from the Government in tbe shape of its credit only, as has been so profitably furnished to railroads by other governments, will be able, and, if necessary, may be compelled by Congress, to adopt low freights, and a just and liberal policy to encourage the investment of capital along the line of the road, in lands, agricultural pursuits, mills, factories, furnaces, mines, and other operations, by which the resources of the country may be rapidly developed, and the citizen, the Government, and the railroad company enriched. It is better for all parties that the income of a road should be earned on a large business, carried at low rates, than on a small business, carried at high rates. If $5,000,000 are required to pay ex. penses, interest and dividends, it would be better that this amount should be earned on gross receipts of $30,000,000 than on gross receipts of $10,000,000. It is an error to suppose that the net receipts on a wellmanaged road should be the half of the gross receipts; all the receipts above expenses, interest and moderate dividends, should be applied to reducing charges and developing resources, so that the country and the people may be benefited, and the road become an instrument of extended usefulness.
The line of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad, commencing at Washington City, traverses one of the most productive agricultural districts in the State of Virginia, including the wealthy counties of Alexandria, Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier, Rappahannock-east of the Blue Ridge-Page, and the two empire counties of Rockingham and Augusta, in the far-famed Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, so distinguished for their great productive wealth.
The branch line from Richmond will pass through Henrico, Goochland, Fluvanna, and Albemarle Counties, which are noted for their fine and abundant growths of tobacco; they also yield abundantly of the cereals. Albemarle County, in this section, is one of the largest and most productive counties in the famed Piedmont region of Virginia. The soil is fertile, climate healthful, improved lands abundant, and its religious, social, and educational advantages are unsurpassed.
In the section of country west of the counties of Rockingham and Augusta, in Highland County, Virginia, Pocahontas, Pendleton, and counties of West Virginia, the soil is fertile, and well adapted to the growth of the cereals; but the face of the country is covered with superior blue-grass pastures, equaled only by those of Kentucky; Mason and Jackson Counties alone contain bottom-lands 120 miles in length. On the western division of the line of the road the lands are of the finest quality. Ohio lands produce tobacco and all the cereals in great abundance. And there is no section of country on the globe more noted for its large and abundant cereal production than the sections of Indiana and Illinois through which the proposed line of our road will run. In Southern Illinois the never failing crops of wheat and corn are so abundant that it is called the Egypt of America.
The climate through which the whole line of the road-from Washington and Richmond to Saint Louis-passes, is not surpassed on this continent for salubrity and healthfulness. The spring is early, the summer is not subject to heavy droughts, and the winter is mild.
Through Virginia and West Virginia the finest mineral waters, embracing every variety of sulphur, chalybeates, &c., are abundant, and several of them along and near the line of the Washington, Cincinvati and Saint Louis Railroad are now made places of summer resort.
The Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will not only pass through the beautiful, fertile, and attractive agricultural and grazing country at which we have glanced, but will penetrate one of the finest coal and iron sections, not only of Virginia and West Virginia, but upon this continent.
On the western base of the Alleghany Mountains the line of this road will enter the great coal-basin of West Virginia, in Pocahontas, Web. ster, and Braxton Counties. Almost every description of coal is found along the line from that point to the Ohio River in inexhaustible quan. tities and of the best quality, including the varieties of splent, semibituminous, bituminous, and cannel coals.
Professor Ansted, of the Royal Geographical Society of London, many years since explored this region, and declared that “ there was 70 feet of workable coal above the water-level.” The coal on the headwaters of the Gauley, near the line of our road, and those embraced within five miles on each side of the Elk, along which it passes, and which may be reached by lateral branches with light and flat rails, not to cost more than $8,000 per mile, may be counted by thousands of millions of tons, which seems an almost incredible amount, but can be more readily comprehended when it is known that one acre of the best candel-coal lands will produce more than 30,000 tons of coal.
When the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad is completed to this coal section, cannel-coal can be delivered in Washington and Richmond cheaper than by any other line, as it is found on this line about 80 miles nearer to tide-water than on any other. Cost of cannel-coal delivered in New York will be about $5 per ton, where its market price is from $12 to $14 per ton.
The splent and bituminous coals are also found in limitless quantities in this region. The splent coal, which is a near approach to the celebrated anthracite coal of Pennsylvania, being free from sulphur, is superior to that of any other kind for the smelting of iron, and is in active demand for that purpose. It is compact and easy to mine, and needs no coking preparatory to its peculiar use. This coal must necessarily enter largely into the manufacture of iron in Virginia and West Virginia, in which great industry both of those States will largely extend their operations, and will be used to develop the vast beds of iron so near it. The bituminous is of a superior quality, and is especially valuable for its gas-producing qualities, and in its inexhaustible supply will more than compete in the eastern and western markets with the celebrated Cumberland and Monongahela coal. The great Alleghany coal-fields of West Virginia, to which I have referred, are reported by the Engineer Department of the United States Government to be superior to those of Great Britain and Pennsylvania. The cannel is equal to the best Eng. lish cannel-coal; the bituminous is equal, if not superior, to the best found in Pennsylvania, and the splent, for smelting purposes, is unsurpassed. The veins lie horizontally, and vary from 3 to 15 feet in thickness, and the aggregate thickness of various veins amounts, in some localities, to 40 and even to 70 feet of solid coal.
BLOCK-COAL. On the western division of the line of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad the block-coal fields, covering more than twenty counties in the southwestern part of Indiana, and a considerable portion of Sonthern Illinois, are found.
Professor Cox, State geologist of Indiana, says of this coal : “Without fear of contradiction, I pronounce the block-coal of Indiana the best mineral fuel yet known to the world for the manufacture of pig-metal, bar-iron, or steel. In blast-furnaces it produces a metal in every respect equal to the best charcoal-iron made from the same ores."
The best of the block-coal fields are situated on the line of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad, about 145 miles from Cin. cinnati, and 165 miles from Saint Louis, in both of which cities, owing to the superiority of the block-coal, it is now used, and must continue to be used in future to an unlimited extent. In the latter city, now advancing so steadily and so safely in all the great industries, and in none more than in the manufacture of iron, tens of thousands of tons must be used annually for the smelting of the iron-ores of the celebrated Iron Mountain of Missouri, said to be equal to the Lake Superior ores, or any other of the best ores on this continent. That Saint Louis is destined rapidly to become one of the most extensive iron-manufacturing cities on this continent is now a conceded fact, so soon as the extensive system of railroads in which she is interested, and which are projected to her as a great railroad center, is completed.
Iron of the best quality, brown hematite, magnetic, and specular ores, are found on the western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Page, Rockingham, and Augusta Counties, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. These ores have been worked for many years past, but only to a limited extent, but sufficient to determine their superior quality. The iron from these ores was used during the late civil war by the confed. erate government, and by the Uuited States Government before the war, at the armory at Harper's Ferry, in the manufacture of gun-bar. rels. It has also been amply tested in the best rolling-mills and fur. naces in this country, and been pronounced of superior quality in the manufacture of boiler-plates and car-wheels, in which none but the best quality can be safely and profitably used.
An eminent civil engineer, Gen, H. Haupt, for some years chief engi. neer and general superintendent of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad. and during the war Chief of the Bureau of United States Railroads in the War Department, has recently made a thorough reconnaissance and ex. amination of the country along the western base of the Blue Ridge, and in an able report says: “ The western base of the Blue Ridge is almost a continuous bed of the hematite-ores of the best quality, furnishing a quality of iron of great tenacity." Iron of similar quality to that referred to above by General Haupt, with continuous veins and vast deposits, is found in Highland, Pendleton, and Pocahontas Counties. In the two former the ore yields 65 per cent., and in the latter 73 per cent., of iron. Iron is found for more than 200 miles along the line of this road, be. ginning at the eastern base of the Blue Ridge and extending westward to the Ohio River.
Extensive beds of magnetic iron-ore are found on the western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Page County, Va., many miles in length,
and extending from the base to the highest peaks. Scientific and prac tical geologists have examined these wonderful deposits, which have been opened at many points to a depth of more than twenty feet, and have pronounced them to constitute, literally, a mountain of ore of pure quality, inexhaustible in quantity, there being millions of tons, and re sembling in appearance gray pig-metal itself. It has been analyzed and pronounced equal to the best Lake Superior ore, and well adapted to the manufacture of steel rails and boiler-plates, and especially useful to the Government for plating its iron-clad vessels.
This ore can be transported to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, at which places there is a great demand for it. It can also be shipped by the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Rail. road to the Obio River, and thence distributed to the iron-manufacturing establishments in Ohio, or shipped by river to Pittsburgh, where parties have proposed to purchase one thousand tons per day.
General Haupt, himself a Pennsylvanian, and feeling a just pride in the great resources of his own State, in speaking of the iron of Virginia, says: “The iron-deposits are very numerous and of superior quality. Pennsylvania, rich as she is, is poor in iron-ores as compared with Virginia, and capitalists are not generally slow to invest where large returns can be considered certain.”
Salt has been manufactured in Webster and Braxton Counties to a limited extent only, owing to the want of facilities for transportation ; but in Mason County, bordering immediately on the Ohio River, to the extent of 2,500,000 bushels per annum. There will be no difficulty in extending this branch of production to an unlimited extent, as the coal is in close proximity with the salt-wells, and transportation will be easy upon the completion of our road.
Oil is found in nearly every county west of the Alleghany Mountains to the Ohio River, and only needs equal means of transportation to cause as full and profitable production of it as has been attained in Western Pennsylvania, where millions of dollars' worth are produced every year and sent thence to all parts of the country, as well as affording a matter of considerable export-trade.
The extension of our road into Highland County will develop fully the immense quarries of marble, both white and variegated.
Timber is abundant along the whole line of the Washington, Cincinpati and Saint Louis Railroad, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the southern sections of Indiana and Illinois; but is particularly abundant in the counties west of Rockingham and Augusta; in Higbland, Pocahontas, Pendleton, and other counties of West Virginia to the Ohio River. Indeed, immense forests of timber occupy a large portion of the country from the eastern base of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Point Pleasant, and every variety of tim ber known in this country is found.
At the railroad-center of Saint Louis it will meet many narrow-gauge railroads, feeders, now being constructed, viz: the Saint Louis and Cairo, the Saint Louis and Fort Scott, the Saint Louis and Leavenworth, the Leavenworth and Denver, the Denver and Rio Grande, (to be 1,800 miles in length ;) the Grass Hopper Falls and Lincoln, the Lincoln and Colum. bus, the Topeka and Lincoln, the Saint Louis, Arkansas and Louisiana Railroads. The other 3-foot gauge roads now in the course of construction are the Chicago, Homer, aud Southern and Danville, Olney and Ohio River Railroads, besides several leading lines of narrow-gauge railroads now projected and being constructed, and, in all, constituting not less than 5,000 miles of feeders, wbich will pour their rich treasures into the lap of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis road, which is designed to be the great narrow-gange trunk-line from tide-water at Washington and Richmond to the basin of the Mississippi at Saint Louis and Chicago. And in addition to these roads, many branches will be constructed in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
The Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad from Washington City and Richmoud to Saint Louis, the Saint Louis and Leavenworth, the Leavenworth and Denver, the Denver and South Park, to Provo, in Utah, and the Utah and Northern Railroad, from Provo to San Diego, on the Pacific coast, all of which roads but one are now being constructed, will, together, constitute a grand, low-freight trunk-line across the continent, and, in connection with the Denver and Rio Grande, (170 miles finished,) will connect Washington City and the city of Mexico, the capitals of the two republics.
The Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will connect with the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, where almost constant navigation will be found, and the commerce from the Mississippi and its numerous tributaries, extending for thousands of miles into the West, Northwest, and Southwesteru States, will furnish a vast quantity of heavy freights to be transported over our low-freight line to the seaboard. At Cincinnati, Chicago, and Saint Louis our road will connect with many standard-gauge railroads now constructed and doing a large and lucrative business, which will necessarily furnish this road with thousands of tons of freight, for the following reasons:
1. The Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will be a narrow-gauge road, carrying two to three pounds of paying-freight to one of non-paying.
2. It can be operated for 45 per cent. of gross receipts, while standardgaage roads carry one pound of paying-freight to one of non-paying, and require from 60 to 70 per cent. of gross receipts to operate the road.
3. This line will be the most direct, not being more than 27 per cent. out of a straight line, while other trunk-lipes between the East and West vary from 37 to 50 per cent. from an air-line.
Length of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad.
Miles. From Washington to Saint Louis.............................
800 Branch to Chicago ...
Entire length of main-stein branch .................... 1,000