Railroad Promotional Decrying Private Speculators

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171. HALL, William M[oseley]. Speech of William M. Hall of New York. In Favor of a National Rail Road to the Pacific, at the Great Chicago Convention, July 7, 1847. Also a Review of the Tehuantepec Route, Embracing the Famous Garay Grant, Sloo Contract, and Other Routes and Plans. New York: Printed at the Day Book Female Type Setting Establishment, 1853. [1-3] 4-68 pp. 8vo (21.8 x 13.8 cm), new quarter brown morocco over marbled boards, spine gilt-lettered. Title browned and with old red ink stamps of Jas. G. Bennett; tear repaired with no loss (pp. 5/6), else very good.

     Second edition, enlarged (first edition had 22 pp.). Howes H91. Sabin 29862. Not in Palau. Hall recommends the route proposed by George Wilkes (Missouri River to the Pacific) and paints a rosy picture of the prospects for the United States if the national railroad is combined with the telegraph. Hall recommends national control rather than private speculators. He expresses an early environmental concern about how the task is achieved. The printer, Day Book Female Type Setting Establishment, was established in 1853 on account of the strike of the New York Typographical Union. The original speech by Hall is cited in the following article, and briefly quoted: Ben Barker-Benfield, “The Spermatic Economy: A Nineteenth-Century View of Sexuality,” Footnote 62 on p. 70, in Feminist Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer, 1972. The quoted note is: “This is how William Hall described the observation of the advance of the railroad, in a speech to the 1847 Railroad Commission in Chicago: ‘They saw him pluck out forests, tear up and fling aside the seated hills, and with the rejoicing sound of progress in his train, made way into the body of the continent, with the step of a bridegroom going to his chambers or a prince to occupy his throne.’” See p. 5 in this pamphlet.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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