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length and through a difficult country, take him to his destination in Upper to unite the navigable waters of the Canada ; and may thus go from LiverHudson river with those of lakes Erie pool to some thriving little port on one and Ontario. This canal was for å of the lakes, and almost in sight of the generation the only outlet for the pro- primeval forest, without the necessity duce of the country round the great of once landing. The New York route lakes; and during that period New offers no similar advantages for either York became not only the chief sea-' passengers or goods ; it is more expenport of the north eastern states of the sive, and demands several changes of union-a rank to which it is fairly en- conveyance. titled by its admirable geographical. But the enterprise of the children of position-but the port of the western the men who made the Erie canal has states and of Upper Canada--regions shown itself, within the last few years, of which, as already remarked, the St. in the construction of a railway from Lawrence is the natural outlet.* But New York over the Catskill mountains about the time of the union of Lower to Lake Erie; and this, being the and Upper Canada, which took place shortest, though perhaps not the cheap. in 1841, when the British race and Bri- est route, between the Atlantic and the ish enterprise had gained an ascendancy lakes, may do much to preserve the in the province, the Canadians began to trade of the country round the lakes to exert themselves to make the most of New York. In that part of the world, their great natural advantages; and railways have a great advantage over they have now completed, at a cost of rivers and canals as modes of conveytwo millions and a quarter sterling, a ance, not only on account of greater sezies of canals, which enable vessels of speed, but because they are open every moderate size to go from the Atlantic day of the year, while water compast the Rapids and Falls into Lakes munications are frozen up during the Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Michigan. winter. The port of New York also The canals on this route are short and has the advantage of being never closed wide ; a most material advantage, for å by ice, while Quebec and Montreal are river is almost as far superior to a canal sealed up for several months of every as a natural harbour or a natural for year. It is therefore necessary, in order tress to an artificial one. The people that the Canadian ports may compete of both Canada and the United States with New York on equal terms, that are already becoming aware of the railway communications should be superiority of the route from the lakes formed which may keep the commerce to the ocean by the St. Lawrence and of Canada open to the Atlantic its canals, over that by the Hudson and throughout the winter. the Erie canal.t New York will not Railways have made but little pro-' lose its trade; but we may fairly hope gress in Canada as yet. This cannot that our own cities of Montreal and be caused by want of enterprise, when Quebec will obtain a large and increas- we know that the Canadians have made ing share of the vast commerce of the the finest line of canal communication prosperous and rising countries that in the world, at a cost of two millions surround the great lakes..
and a quarter sterling. It is because Since the cavals of the St. Lawrence of the existence of this unequalled navi. have been completed, the emigrant, on gation by river, lake, and canal, along arriving at Quebec or Montreal, can which the settled parts of Canada lie, walk on board the steamer which is to that the Canadians have as yet paid
* In the same way, the superior promptitude and energy of the free states to the slaveholding ones obtained for New York the trade of the Ohio valley, which would naturally have passed through Philadelphia or Baltimore; for a navigable communication from the Ohio to New York was completed before the year 1830 by a canal from the Ohio to Lake Erie, and thence by the Erie canal and the Hudson ; while the canal that connects the Ohio with Chesapeake Bay, though proposed by Washington, was not opened till a. year or two ago.
+ The route from the ocean to Lake Erie by the St. Lawrence is ten shillings per ton cheaper for goods than that by the Hudson and the Erie canal, besides a saying of time.
comparatively little attention to rail- sary in any arrangement for the conways. But now that their great line struction of the railway; the legislatures of water communication is finished, of Canada, of New Brunswick, and of they are beginning to rival their neigh- Nova Scotia ; and, worst of all, the bours of the United States in the con- Colonial Office. struction of railways as well as of canals. “But why not leave the matter to priLines have been projected, and in a few vate enterprise ?" Private enterprise years will no doubt be completed, which can make a railway through Chat Moss are to afford an uninterrupted com- or over the Menai Strait, but not munication, some hundreds of miles in through a hundred miles of pine forest. length, from Quebec to the farthest ex- The Colonial Legislatures must make tremity of the fertile peninsula which the line with borrowed money, and the lies between Lakes Erie and Huron; Imperial Government guarantee the intaking on its way the great city of Mon- terest on the loan. treal, and the thriving ports of Kingston, We see no danger in such a proceedToronto, and Hamilton, on Lake On- ing. The repudiation of their just debts, tario. This line will probably be a pay- which brought so much disgrace on the ing one throughout its whole length, for American States, was caused in the it will pass through a country inhabited same way as the insolvency of many by an active and prosperous people ; smaller speculators. They “ began to and, in consequence of the cheapness build and were not able to finish.” of land and timber, and the absence of Their debts were incurred for the purparliamentary jobbing and lawyers’bills, pose of making canals and railways ; railways are constructed in North they “went ahead” too fast, like the America at a cost of which directors in English during the railway mania of this country,have no conception. £8,000 1845, and after a time came to a stand per mile is thougbt expensive, and we still for want of funds, while the prounderstand that the Utica and Syracuse jected works were incomplete, and conrailway was made for £3,600 per mile sequently unproductive ; and then they Probably this is to be accounted for in were unwilling, perhaps in some cases part by the roughness of the workman- unable, to pay the interest on money ship.
that had been sunk without bringing This great Canadian railway will, no them any return. It shows either great doubt, be of infinite service to the coun- remissness in the United States' federal try, connecting all the most important authorities, or a great deficiency in towns with each other, and communi- their federal constitution, that Congress cating at its south western extremity did not make advances of money to the with the line that is to unite* New York defaulting States, and so enable them with the Missisippi; but it will not attain to complete their works and resume the desirable object that we have men payment. But in the case of such an tioned, of establishing a communication arrangement between the Imperial Gobetween Canada and the Atlantic, vernment and the Colonial Legislatures whicb shall be open on the coldest day as that of which we speak, there could in winter. Meanwhile this is being ef- be no danger of the railway remaining fected—but through the territories of the unfinished for want of funds, as the United States. A railway has been re- colonies would be backed by the unlimi. cently completed between Montreal and tod credit of Great Britain. Boston, andanotheris in progress between This railway, from Halifax to QueMontreal and Portland, in the State of bec, would have probably been comMaine ; while one from Quebec to Hali. menced before now, but for the difficulty fax, to run exclusively through British of bringing the different colonies and territory, has been much talked of, but the Colonial Office to agree on the line not yet commenced.
to be chosen. The late Government No doubt there are great difficulties promised the imperial guarantee for the in the way, both physical and political; loan to be raised by the colonies for the for the middle of the line must pass purpose, and it is not likely that the through a country not yet settled ; and Earl of Derby, who expressed his deep the concurrence of four parties is neces interest in our North American colonies
* We are not certain that we should not already say unites.
some years ago in the House of Come country through which the railway is to mons, will be less willing to do them a run. In summer, they have an easy service than were his predecessors. communication by the St. Lawrence ;
“ But why should the colonies make but, in winter, the only tolerable way a railway that would not pay a com- between them lies through the United pany ?" We will answer this question States. The making of the railway by another. Does a railway benefit no will change all this, and will afford a one but the shareholders of the com- direct, easy, and rapid communication, pany ? Several of the Irish counties open winter and summer, between Caare now securing to themselves the ad- nada, New Brunswick, and Nova vantage of railway communication with Scotia. the seaports, by guaranteeing a certain When this great line of communicalow rate of dividend to the companies, tion has been opened, it will be time for which the counties are to pay if the the statesmen of Britain and of the traffic on the lines will not ; and Go- colonies to effect an object which we bevernment advances a part of the neces- lieve that all the most enlightened sary funds. Exactly the same is to be colonists regard as highly desirabledone in the case of the Halifax and the political union of all the American Quebec railway. The Imperial Go- colonies under the British crown. As vernment will advance the money, and they are inhabited by the same race of if the railway cannot pay the interest men, and separated by no physical baron the cost of construction, the colonies riers, such a union will be right and nawill. It is impossible to doubt that the tural as soon as the existing impediline will ultimately pay, when the coun- ments to easy communication between try through which it passes becomes them have been overcome by the makpeopled by an industrious population ; ing of the railway. At present, the and even if it should throw a burden colonists, following the example of their on the colonies for some years at first, republican neighbours, talk of a confewe are not to conclude that they must be deration of the different colonies ; but losers in the end. There is not a turn- we think that the annexation of New pike in the whole county of Down; the Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Canada expense of keeping the roads in order would be greatly preferable involving, is paid out of the rates, but the county of course, the union of their legislatures. is an immense gainer, not a loser, by When the union of the British settlethat expenditure.
ment of Upper Canada with the French But we think that the line will pay colony of Lower Canada has been so the Colonial Governments that are to thoroughly successful, there must be make it, though it might not pay in the much less difficulty in the union of hands of a company ; because a value purely British colonies with one anmuch greater than that sunk in the other; for British blood, laws, language, railway will be eventually transferred and character, now preponderate in to the public lands through which the every one of our American possessions. railway is to pass. In this way, railway The federal system of the United lines through very thinly inhabited re- States has worked well; and there is no gions may be made to pay; and we be- doubt that in so extensive a country, lieve that the United States Congress, marked by such wide local diversities, it acting on this principle, has in some is right and necessary to leave a large cases made grants of land along pro- share of power in the hands of the jected railways to the companies, in or- State Legislatures. But they have reder to stimulate railway enterprise in served too much power to themselves, the West.
giving too little to the national legislaBut the benefits which the Halifax ture; and the evil effects of this arrangeand Quebec railway will confer on our ment may be perceived in the comparaAmerican empire are not to be mea- tive barbarism of the newer States not sured by its traffic returns. Its con- being controlled by the civilization of struction will be the first step to a the older ones. Had the improvement closer union of all the North American of the internal communications of the provinces. At present, the settled parts country been in the hands of Congress of New Brunswick and of Canada are instead of the State Legislatures, the reseparated by the wide tract of uncleared pudiation of their debts would never
have brought dishonour on the Ameri- would have been so different as to en-' . can name. We are no friends to ex- danger the equilibrium of the Union. treme centralization; but we are of opi. Such a course, however, cannot be iminion that free local government may be tated in our colonies. The union of the sufficiently provided for in our Ameri- Canadas was effected for the purpose of can colonies by an efficient system of swamping the French Canadians ; aud city and county municipalities, acting for that purpose the boundaries of Caunder one united Parliament of British nada must be retained at their present America.
extent. There are facilities for this close po- There is, however, another part of the litical union of our present colonies, system of the United States which our which did not exist in the case of the colonies will do well to initate. We United States. The means of commu- refer to the centralised administration nication have been immensly improved of the national lands. These lands since the federal constitution of the were ceded to Congress by the various Union was agreed on. Besides, every States within whose boundaries they one of the thirteen original States were situated ; and the business-like had its own sea coast, and was able and efficient systemt of survey and to carry on trade for itself; while great sale, practised by the federal authopart of the trade of Canada is destined, rities, reflects the highest honour on as soon as the railway is made from the Government, and has the happi. Halifax to Quebec, to flow through New est effect in facilitating colonization, Brunswick and Nova Scotia, creating a An intending settler has only to point reciprocity of interests which will have out on the map in the local land-office a strong tendency to unite these diffe- the piece of land that he wishes to purrent provinces.
chase, pay his dollar an acre, and walk There is yet another reason for the away with the title-deed in his pocket. union of the legislatures of all the We believe that the Canadian system colonies. Canada contains at least as of managing the public lands is equally many inhabitants as all the others to good; but it must afford a guarantee gether, and its superiority in this re- for the best administration, if all the spect will go on increasing, in conse- public lands of the colonies are put under quence of its vast extent; so that if there the future Parliament of British Ameis to be a mere federation, after the rica. model of the United States, either each We have seen the opinion advanced, province will have an equal vote, which that, as the wild lands of the coloarrangement would give just offence to nies belong to the British nation, the greatest-Canada ; or votes will be the British Government ought to dedistributed in proportion to population, rive a revenue from their sale. We and the smaller provinces will be out- believe this notion to be based on a voted and reduced to insignificance.* It misconception, very natural to an inhawas partly to obviate this class of bitant of a thickly peopled country like difficulties that Virginia, and other ours, with respect to the value of land States that possessed great tracts of in a new country. Land is worth little unsettled land, ceded them to the Fe- or nothing until man has done somederal Government, which has subse- thing to make it valuable. Farms in quently constituted many new States in the United States sell for little more those territories; for, had all the States than the value of the buildings and retained the boundaries specified in other improvements upon them, somotheir colonial charters, their extent, and times for less. It is not likely that eventually their number of inhabitants, any great improvement can be made in
* The federal Constitution of the United States is a compromise between these two principles-Congress consisting of a Senate containing two members for each State, and à House of Representatives, where the States are represented in proportion to their population. + Called by the Americans the “ Land-office System.”
See “The Past, Present, and Future," by Mr. Carey, an American writer, who is first-rate authority for facts concerning his own country, though he falls into strange errors about others. The work ought to be called “ The Natural History of Colonization."
the American management of the pub. vinces, we do not mean that the Impelic lands; and the annual revenue de- rial Legislature ought to force any arrived by Congress from that source is rangement whatever on them. Our but trifling when compared with the Parliament ought to give them the proceeds of the import duties. Indeed, fullest powers to unite with each other we have serious doubts whether the sale on what terms they please, trusting to of wild lands is a justifiable source of their own good sense to frame a constirevenue at all. It is a tax on coloni, tution that will best promote political zation ; and surely the man who adds harmony and vigour. The constitution to the resources of his country by cut- of British America waits, in order to ting a farm out of the forest, or fencing come into existence, not on the success a field off the prairie, ought not to be of a revolution, but on the completion taxed for doing so. The price charged of a railway; and will be formed, not by for wild land ought to be no more than a Congress of justly discontented in. will pay the expenses of survey and surgents, but by a peacefully and legally sale.
appointed assembly, acting under the In what has been said about the authority of the sovereign of Great union of all the North American pro- Britain.
[We will resume our consideration of this subject next month.]
THE LATE WILLIAM THOMPSON, ESQ.
Seldom has the death of a private in- and zoology be laboured successfully, dividual occasioned such a wide-spread but in the latter found the widest range feeling of regret as was evidenced on for the exercise of his powers. His rethe recent removal of the late William searches in its various branches proThompson, Esq., of Belfast, whose de- ceeded for more than five and twenty cease, after a short illness, took place years with ardour and success. Orniin London, on the 17th of February, thology, however, always claimed the 1852. A brief sketch of his career may first place, and ever remained his faprove instructive to many and interest. vourite and most cherished pursuit. ing to all.
Though Ireland was the chief domain He was born on the 20 November, of his labours, his observant eye-ga1805, in Belfast, where he was also therell information from every country educated. The distinctive feature in he happened to visit. In the summer his character, namely, his love for na- and antumn of 1826 he made a tour tural history, was fostered in his boy- throughout the Continent; and his poetic hood by solitary rambles amid the hills fancy, whilst it dwelt with delight on and valleys surrounding Belfast, among every classic spot, never failed to draw which he often wandered in quest of new pleasure from those varied external true information from those many na- beauties, with the full appreciation of tural objects which attracted him with which Nature rewards only her true irresistible charms.
enthusiast. Italy, Switzerland, France From his youth, indeed, he evinced and Holland, were visited in the year the liveliest pleasure in the works of mentioned. On his return, his native creation, and to their investigation the country again engaged attention. He energies of an acute and highly culti- established correspondents in most parts vated mind were devoted throughout of Ireland, and all interesting facts his whole life with unvarying perseves coming under their notice, relating to rance, unmixed with the remotest pros natural history, were regularly commu. pect of personal aggrandizement. His nicated to him. zest for these studies was so keen that Uninterruptedly did this laborious every branch of natural history met work progress; and, of course, as obwith a share of his regard, and nothing servations were gradually corroborated was passed by unheeded that came by time, his notes became more voluwithin the sphere of his observation. minous and more valuable. Well did In the departments of both botany he attend to the motto of “ Nulla dies,