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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/394

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

portance was the James River and Kanawha, which began at Richmond, and was designed to connect the Chesapeake Bay with the Ohio River. It was proposed by Washington and begun in 1785, and afterward carried as far westward as Buchanan in Virginia. During the year 1818 leading merchants of Savannah, Ga., had constructed, through the advice of Captain Moses Rogers, of that city, a combination steam and sailing vessel to run between Savannah and Liverpool. The machinery and engine were built in New York by Daniel Dod, a Virginian, who had moved to that city, and on the 20th of May, 1819, this vessel, which was christened the Savannah, steamed out of the Savannah River for Liverpool, making the first transatlantic trip by a steam vessel in twenty-two days. It created a great sensation in England, and "the people crowded the Mersey's banks filled with surprise and admiration when she entered the harbor of Liverpool under bare poles, belching forth smoke and fire, yet uninjured." From Liverpool the Savannah steamed to St. Petersburg, where it aroused the curiosity of the Czar, and attracted great attention. The log book and cylinder of the vessel are at present on exhibition in London. Charleston secured in 1827 the first railway charter granted in the South for the South Carolina Railroad; and when a few years later it was completed to a point on the Savannah River, opposite Augusta, called Hamburg, it was one hundred and thirty-six miles in length, and the longest line of railway at that time in the world. The directors of this road determined as early as November, 1829, to make steam the sole motive power, which had not then been adopted elsewhere in America, and the first locomotive constructed in the United States, which was called the "Best Friend," was planned for this road by E. L. Miller, of Charleston. The South Carolina Railroad was the first steam railway to carry the United States mail, and the system of double-truck running gear, including the application of pedestals to the springs, which was later on copied by all the railroads, was instituted by Horatio Allen, their engineer. Strenuous efforts were made in the South in the way of railway construction, but in a sparsely settled section the rate of increased mileage naturally fell far short of that in the more densely populated North. The inscription on the bust of Robert Y. Hayne, in Charleston, records that "his last public service was his effort to open direct communication with the vast interior of our continent." "Next to the Christian religion," said Hayne, "I know of nothing to be compared with the influence of a free social and commercial intercourse in softening asperities, extending knowledge, and promoting human happiness." He might at this particular period have named one thing more potent even than railways in uniting the different sections of the country—namely, the