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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Progress, Cost, Revenues, Expenditures & Present Condition,
By HENRY V. POOR, Esq.,
Editor of the “American Railroad Journal.”
IN TWO VOLUMES.-VOL. I.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860,
By Henry V. Poor, in the Clork's office of tho District Court of the Southern District of the State of New York.
ons and no one
EDWARD J. Larrix,
American Geographical & Statistical Society,
A CONTRIBUTION TO THE OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY,
This work is designed as a comprehensive statement of the progress, cost, revenues, expenditures and financial condition of the Railroads and Canals of the United States. The need of such a work has long been felt. There is not in this country as in most others, a central point at which the more important companies are either domiciled, or at which all are required to present annual statements of their affairs, for the reason that they derive their existence and powers from the legislatures of the several States. In a few States only is such a duty imposed. Where it is, it is often neglected, no penalty being suffered thereby. It is not uncommon for leading companies to publish no reports whatever. Some make them unwillingly, with no design to convey information upon the subjects to which they relate. Reports that are full and explicit are accessible only to a small number of parties interested. Fewer still have the means of comparing results for consecutive years, without which it is impossible to form a correct opinion as to the manner in which a work has been conducted, or of its present or prospective value. A single statement, as experience has shown, is a very unsafe ground upon which to base an opinion. A high degree of apparent prosperity that one report may show, has not unfrequently been followed by bankruptcy before the annual occasion for another. What is wanted, consequently, is a work which shall embody within convenient compass a statement of the organization and condition of all our companies, and at the same time present a history of their operations from year to year, which would necessarily reflect the character of their management, the extent and value of their traffic, and supply abundant illustrations, with which to compare similar enterprises that might be made the subject of investigation and inquiry.
Such a history is now given, in which is shown every important step taken by each company; its present organization and condition; the yearly cost, earnings and expenditures of its works, and the dividends and interest paid—the whole stated in such a manner that both the details and aggregate results can be seen at a glance. The necessary information has been sought from every available source, and it is believed that no errors will be fonnd of sufficient importance to affect the value of the work.