THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
heart of Africa, and, above and beyond the trade considerations, would settle forever, in accordance with natural development, the question of race hatreds among us, by affording a career in a new and virgin field, to every turbulent, reckless, and energetic spirit among the colored Americans. These are the advantages. The cost is the direct mileage to steamers of one thousand tons or upward capacity, less the indirect advantage of trade. The profit of the freight and passenger traffic is probable during the second year. The time is now. But the fact remains that the Solons at Washington are more interested in the distribution of the offices than the future prosperity of the country, and that our republic is so strong that no safety-valve is needed until after the explosion.
|C. E. Chittenden.|
|Scranton, Pa., February 15, 1883.|
I always enjoy and value your able journal, and feel in reading it that the actual facts are treated of without any fear or turning aside.
I must express particularly the degree of education I have received from the paper on railway consolidation as especially exemplified by the Union and Central Pacific roads.
I see now, what I had failed before to recognize, that only complete consolidation of all the routes to the Pacific is needed to perfect the contribution of all the railways can offer to rendering that coast Utopian in fact.
There were once impressions in the minds of ill-informed men that two gigantic and immensely subsidized corporations, the Pacific roads and Pacific Mail, had combined to wring all that was possible from the public that contributed so generously to give them existence.
Another fancy was, that rates were so much higher to points far this side of San Francisco, that shippers sent goods through and brought them back, at way-freight rates, to save money. It was even asserted that paying through rates would not secure the right of unloading en route.
Newspapers not inspired with integrity have even started the rumor that merchants who would not sign a bond committing themselves to sending all their freight by the Pacific roads were not given favorable rates. How sad that such things have been written and said; and how bitterly must men feel who read the last sentence of your exhaustive article, and are conscious that, before reading the decimals that so accurately measure the blessings of consolidation, they thought that roads untrammeled by legislation might become imbued with some selfish motive!
The odious term "monopoly" being treated with scientific accuracy becomes a charming expression, and, beyond question, the time will soon come when its perfection may be arrived at by the simple result of all transportation being consolidated in the hands of one man. Then it can be done at a minimum profit, from the fact that there will be but one family to maintain from the net earnings, and, of course, a railway-man is prone to all economy.
Very few feel called upon to pay their own fare, or the hauling of the cars in which they deny themselves the simple necessaries of life, sturdily confining themselves to the bare luxuries.
The tramps which the engines so often cast aside, mangled masses of flesh and old clothing, may have done more for practical progress than the railway "beat" who lords it at the stockholders' cost. Put this is no matter, if the magnate who hurls along over unguarded crossings, with no regard for life or limb, can only go sixty miles an hour, and arrange a consolidation in a few moments.
It is well that your magazine can so readily dispel "fundamental misconception" by the clear enunciation of "economic laws" as to remove all the old ideas, in twelve pages of comparative lines and decisive decimals.
So guarded, the public is safe, and the "politician and the press," other than the strictly scientific, are needless.
Grateful for information so serene and simple, I am, yours very truly,
|L. W. Ledyard.|
|Fernwood Farm, Cazenovia, N. Y.,|
|February 19, 1883.|
My object in writing the article which appeared in your March number, on "Piratical Publishers," was to provoke such a discussion of the subject of international copyright as its importance demands, and I am neither disappointed nor displeased with the rather severe editorial strictures which followed it. But, while I am quite willing to concede that some of your arguments have sufficient force to weaken, in a measure, those presented by me, I am firm in the conviction that most of my positions have been unsuccessfully assailed.
I write, however, now, to prevent misapprehension, by stating—what I ought to have said before putting my name to the article referred to—that I have no personal concern in the question under discussion, being no longer a republishes and having no interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in the