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destined to be, in all human probability, still more valuable to them; but the true question is, whether it is not our imperative duty to do whatever is obviously necessary and proper to secure to ourselves, and also to our posterity, the means of preserving to each and all so deeply interested the blessings of that liberty and independence secured to us by our fathers of the Revolution : in the achievement of which a great national debt was contracted for us to pay—a debt which we have most gladly and gratefully paid. And have we not good reason to believe that our immediate posterity will as gratefully pay any such debt which we may deem prudent to contract, to provide for their use and protection, as well as our own, a system of national defence, without which our and their liberty and independence would be left at the mercy of whatever nations of Europe may see fit to hold in their own hands " the dominion of the sea ?" This will be attempted, without doubt, by the great maritime nation who first provides for herself a fleet of some fifty or a hundred steamships of war, with floating batteries and railroads for securing her own seaports and her interior. This is a measure, however, more likely to be undertaken by some future combination of empires, arrogating to themselves, as the enemies of France did in the year 1814-'15, the title of “Holy Alliance,” than by any one nation.
30. Our unnatural mother, England, who has had the address to subsidize most of her neighbors, and to force others to sanction her pretension to the dominion of the sea; and for half a century past to hold in her own hands, amid professions of peace and good will towards us, near a third part of our greatest eastern border State; and to hold several of their and our border savage nations ready to take the scalps of our frontier citizens: that enlightened nation, who has shed more blood than any other, if not more than all other nations, to secure to herself the dominion of the sea, has, it is believed, at this moment among us organized bands of spies and pioneers, assuming to themselves the plausible character and vocation of “advocates of human freedom”—more familiarly calied “abolitionists." That this same England will, in due season, avail herself of her newborn abolitionism, to secure to herself some favorite scheme of a foothold near us—to the northeast or south of us—or to pay us for our having twice beaten her, and more especially having, with our little giant navy, taken from her the glory of her long contested dominion of the sea, we can have no doubt. Without railroads and floating batteries, such as are here recommended, with steamships of war, England's banner of abolilionism may ere long be planted in Louisiana, and in every other border State upon our seaboard, from the Sabine Bay to Eastport, Maine. Thus may we soon behold England openly attempting by force to accomplish what her spies and pioneers have long been secretly employed in preparing and hasten. ing-a tragedy of blood and desolation; the elements of which were principally provided and brought hither from Africa, within the last two centu. ries, by the outrages and avarice of this same England, in her efforts to monopolize the freedom of the seas. The incendiary fires have already been lighted up, as Charleston, S. C., and Mobile, Alabama, and perhaps some other cities of our southern and eastern border, can testify. The sys. tem of national defence here recommended will enable us effectually to guard against the apprehended catastrophe. It will do more. It will, when the proper time arrives, enable us effectually to fulfil the apparent destiny by which an overruling Providence has decreed that the African
savages should, by the simple though often abused process of the slave trade. with the long continued pilgrimage of slavery which they are undergoing (a slavery, marked as it has been here, ever since the reign of England ceased among us, with a high degree of humanity and benevolence)- when the proper time arrives, namely, whenever, in the next century, our own caste and color shall have increased so as 10 amount to two hundred millions of free white inhabitants, then it is believed that our statesmen will see clearly the propriety of preserving every acre of the national domain for the support of our own caste and color; then shall we plainly see, and cheerfully do what we can to fulfil, that apparent destiny--a destiny by which the supposed evils of the slave trade, and of the slavery of the Africans in America, shall eventually contribute to cover that benighted quarter of the globe with all the blessings of civilization and freedom. A consummation not more devoutly to be wished, than it is certainly to be accomplished within the coming century; unless, indeed, the great work is delayed by the lawless interference of the blind votaries of abolitionism, or by the apprehended incapacity of the African blacks for self government. Be this as it may, our own United States republic of the coming century will, in all human probability before the middle of that century-say 80 or 90 years hence-have it in their power to make, for the first time since our political existence, a fair experiment towards the solution of the long contested problem, involving the question of the utility of Africans when left alone as members of a free civilized community--the question upon which their possible capacity for self government necessarily depends; for we shall then be able to spare from our two hundred millions of free white population a fleet of steamships of war, with an army of missionaries and United States volunteers, for the instruction and protection of the numerous savages of Africa : the terms protection and instruction are here employed in connexion with each other, because these two great engines of civilization have always. gone side by side, wherever the work of civilization has siicceeded best. That complete instruction necessary to all the purposes of civilization and sels-government, as we understand it, never was, nor ever can be, perfected without military protection.
This navy and army of protection and instruction may be accompanied and followed by such detailed corps of the instructed blacks of our country as may be qualified to assist in the great work: these detailed corps to continne, with the consent of their owners, until every black in America shall find a comfortable and a safe hoine in the land of his fathers. Any other system of abolition would inevitably delay, though it might not defeat, the accomplishment of the great work of giving civilization and selfgovernment to Africa, and of giving to the United States republic the glory of the achievement-of giving civilization and self government to two quarters of the globe; first to America, and next to Africa. To secure 10 ourselves the happiness, the imperishable glory, of giving to America and Africa all the blessings of civilization and self government, we have only to do that which we are now admonished by every dictate of the first law of nature to do quickly for our own preservation-That which we possess more ample means of accomplishing before the year 1846, than the patriotic people of New York possessed to enable them to complete their magnificent canal before the year 1826-namely, to locate and construct the proposed railroads and floating batteries; as by the simple operation of ul.. execution of this work, we shall insure the instruction of all the young men of our country that may be necessary or desirable as engineers or scientific mechanics to teach millions of the youth of South Anierica and Africa the art of covering their country, as we shall have covered our country, with these essential means of national defence and national wealth. The missionary, whose sacred duty it is to extend to every people the blessings of the Christian religion, may with perfect propriety himself learn to be a scientific mechanic and a practical engineer. He may thus add the attractive power of practice to theory; and to the sublime precepts of Holy Writ, and in teaching men how to live and how to die, teach them also how to preserve unto their country the things that belong to their country; and how to defend and protect the helpless women and little ones con fided to their care, in obedience to the solemn mandate which should apply alike to each social and political union most dear to us, namely: “ Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." Such will be—such inust be-a portion of the glorious results of our carrying into effect the proposed system of national defence. But if we neglect it until the crowned heads of Europe shall have leisure to prepare another holy alliance, with fifty to one hundred first-rate ships of war adapted to the action of steam power, we may, possibly in the next ten years, see our foreign commerce under the control of that holy alliance; and if we resist—and who will iave the har. dihood 10 say we will not resist ?-We may be told by the vain diplomatists of that imperial combination of pirates— Yankees ! the holy alliance is graciously pleased to permit you, with your wives and children, to seek an asylum beyond the Rocky mountains.” Otherwise we must submit to the degradation of seeing all our seaports in the possession of the invading foe; or, of seeing our commercial cities battered down, without the possibility of our bringing to their succor sufficient force in time for their protection.
31. To obviate any such calamity as the foregoing views suggest as possible, your memorialist prays Congress to provide for the construction of the proposed works. Or, should some previous experiment be desirable, he prays that he may be authorized by law to select and employ, under the authority of the President of the United States, such engineers and other officers, scientific mechanics, artificers, ship.carpenters, and laborers, as may be necessary to enable him torthwith to locate and construct, upon the principles and in the manner here stated, one of the proposed principal railroads-say that from Lexington, Kentucky, io Nashville, and thence to New Orleans; or the one from Louisville, Kentucky, via Nashville, to Mobile: or that from Memphis, Tennessee, to meet the one already com. pleted from Charleston, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, to Tennessee river. And also to construct three of the proposed floating batteries, viz: two for the harbor of New Orleans, and one for the harbor of Mobile; to be con. structed under his direction, in accordance with the project here recom. mended, and under the immediate superintendence of such officers as he may select. And when the floating batteries and railroads here recommended are completed, armed, equipped, and nianned, the said floating batteries and railroads to be subjected to a scrupulous inspection by such comioittee of Congress, and by such other public functionaries as may be authorized by Congress, or by the President of the United States : provided that no military or naval officer be selected for any such inspection, but such as shall have been in battle and witnessed the effect of the enemy's cannon shot upon our works of defence; to the end that by such inspection the precise character, value, and utility of these works of internal improveo mont as means of national defence and national wealth, taken in connexion with each other, may be fully ascertained and certified. Under such authority, with two regiments such as' the foregoing organization contemplates, sustained by an appropriation of three millions of dollars a year, for three years, your memorialist pledges himself to complete in this period of time the proposed railroad and three floaling batteries ; which will serve as an experiment upon which the residue of the works here recommended inay be safely undertaken.
32. Your memorialist having at different times during the last seventeen years submitted to the proper authorities of the War Department most of his views contained in the foregoing 30 sections, as will more fully appear from his official reports, (which he prays may be called for and taken as a part of this his memorial,) he has thus repeatedly appealed to the War Department; but he deeply regrets to say that his appeals have been wholly unavailing. He now respectfully calls on every member of the National Legislature who loves his country and her institutions, to sustain his efforts in preparing for her a system of defence worthy of their fathers of the Revolution, worthy of the Union, and of the constirution which we all stand pledged to support. Your memorialist did not enter the service of his country for the mere selfish enjoyment of the pomp and ephemeral honors of the field of batlle, (though he would not shrink from a comparison of his services in battle with those of any other United States commander now living;) his anticipated glory and great object have been to employ her means of defence, ample as they must over be, so effectually as to convince her neighbors that honesty is the best policy, and that defeat must attend their cery act of invasion ; and thus to direct the elements of war to the altain. ment of " peace on carth and good will towards men." With these impressions he deems it to be an act of common justice to himself, his wife, children, and friends, that he should solicit the only relief to which a United States general officer, honored as he has long been with one of the highest commands in the army, and whose best efforts are ever due to his country's service, can with propriety claim. He claims to be the author and inventor of the system of national defence herein set forth and explained; he therefore prays Congress to confirm his claim by such aci or joint resolution as in their wisdom shall seem just and right. And your memorialist, as in dnty bound, will ever pray.
EDMUND P. GAINES. NASHVILLE, December 31, 1839.
BUREAU OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS,
Washinglon, April 24, 1840, Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th instant, referring to this bureau a memorial of Major General Gaines, proposing a system of national defence, of which he enumerates, as an essential part, an extensive series of railroads. Upon these last, your directions are that I should submit an estimate of the probable cost.
The various routes enumerated by the General will be found in the 10th page of his memorial. According to his computation, they would embrace abont 4,200 miles; are to be laid in double track ; and would cost, on an average, $15,000 the mile.
The routes are
Ist. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, to Buffalo or Plattsburg, New York, with branches to Detroit, Albany, and Boston.
2d. One principal railroad from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Norfolk, Virginia, or Baltimore, Maryland, with branches to Richmond, Virginia, and Newbern, North Carolina.
3d. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, with branches to Milledgeville, Georgia, and East Florida.
4th. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, to Mobile, Ala. bama, with a branch to Pensacola, Florida.
5th. One principal railroad from Lexington, Kentucky, via Nashville, to New Orleans.
6th. One principal railroad from Memphis, Tennessee, to the Sabine ridge, with branches to Fort Towson and Fort Gibson, Arkansas.
7th. One principal railroad from Louisville, Kentucky, or Albany, Indiana, lo St. Louis, Missouri; and thence to the Missouri river, north of the mouth of the Big Platte, with branches from Albany, Indiana, to Chicago, and from the northwest angle of the State of Missouri to the upper crossing of the river Des Moines. · As the General has given no precise indication of the courses which these routes would pursue, or of that of their branches, I find it difficult to determine the method by which he has ascertained the whole distance. But, taking Tanner's map of the United States as a basis, drawing straight lines from point to point, without reference to the physical peculiarities of the country, and involving but once in the consideration those parts which may be common to more than one principal route or branch, I make the distance of the whole system equal to 5,260 miles.
This is a distance of air-lines, and of course is much less than what would be the actual distance of the roads. Their windings and sinuosities would much increase that length, to an extent which I think may, with propriety, be assumed as equal to 20 per cent., and which would make the entire length of roads and branches equal to 6,310 miles.
Until suryeys are made and the roads located, it is impossible to make an accurate estimate of the cost. But, in the absence of these, by reasoning from probabilities and from experience in cases somewhat similar, one may arrive at a result which may be considered as a probable minimum. The General reasons upon the supposition of a double track throughout; but I doubt if this be necessary. A single track, with suitable turn-outs, and double lines of some extent in particular localities, will probably be found adequate to all the objects of the roads. As the roads are intended for great speed as well as great weights, and are to be national roads, they must be made of great strength as well as of durable materials; and as they will cross the country in so many directions, they will no doubt encounter all the causes of great expenses in such structures-rock excavation, deep-cuts, tunnels, heavy emba:kments, extensive bridges, &c.
Under these considerations, and after having, in addition to my own investigations and observations, consulted some of the most experienced and most eminent railroad engineers of our country, I find myself obliged to differ with the General in reference to probable cost. He states the average, on the supposition of a double track, at $15,000 per mile. I cannot, consistently with my own views, state it at less than $20,000 the mile, for a single