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Title: Ocean Steam Navigation and the Ocean Post
Author: Rainey, Thomas
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Digital Library Project at http://www.tpdlp.net and the


OCEAN STEAM NAVIGATION

AND THE

OCEAN POST.

BY THOMAS RAINEY.


NEW-YORK:
D. APPLETON & CO., 346 & 348 BROADWAY.
TRÜBNER & CO.,
PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

1858.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
JOHN GLENN RAINEY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Southern District of New-York.



DEDICATED,

IN TOKEN OF

RESPECT AND ESTEEM,

TO THE

HON. AARON VENABLE BROWN

POST MASTER GENERAL

OF THE

UNITED STATES.



Reprinted 1977
by Eastern Press, Inc.
New Haven, Conn.

Published by
Edward N. Lipson

Distributed by
a Gatherin'
Post Office Box 175
Wynantskill, N.Y. 12198



PREFACE.


In offering to the Government and the public this little volume on
Ocean Steam Navigation and the Ocean Post, I am conscious of my
inability to present any new views on a subject that has engaged the
attention of many of the most gifted statesmen and economists of this
country and Europe. There is, however, no work, so far as I am
informed, in any country, which treats of Marine Steam Navigation in
its commercial, political, economic, social, and diplomatic bearings,
or discusses so far the theory and practice of navigation as to
develop the cost and difficulties attending high speed on the ocean,
or the large expense incurred in a rapid, regular, and reliable
transport of the foreign mails.

It has been repeatedly suggested to the undersigned by members of
Congress, and particularly by some of the members of the committees on
the Post Office and Post Roads in the Senate and House of
Representatives, that there was no reliable statement, such as that
which I have endeavored to furnish, on the general topics connected
with trans-marine steam navigation, to which those not specially
informed on the subject, could refer for the settlement of the many
disputed points brought before Congress and the Departments. It is
represented that there are many conflicting statements regarding the
capabilities of ocean steam; the cost of running vessels; the
consumption of fuel; the extent and costliness of repairs; the
depreciation of vessels; the cost of navigating them; the attendant
incidental expenses; the influence of ocean mails in promoting trade;
the wants of commercial communities; the adaptation of the mail
vessels to the war service; the rights of private enterprise; and the
ability of ocean steamers generally to support themselves on their own
receipts.

While this is true, there is no work on this general subject to which
persons can refer for the authoritative settlement of any of these
points, either absolutely or proximately; and while a simple statement
of facts, acknowledged by all steamship-men, may tend to dispel much
misapprehension on this interesting subject, it will also be not
unprofitable, I trust, to review some of the prominent arguments on
which the mail steamship system is based. That system should stand or
fall on its own merits or demerits alone; and to be permanent, it must
be based on the necessities of the community, and find its support in
the common confidence of all classes. I have long considered a wise,
liberal, and extended steam mail system vitally essential to the
commerce of the country, and to the continued prosperity and power of
the American Union. Yet, I am thoroughly satisfied that this very
desirable object can never be attained by private enterprise, or
otherwise than through the direct pecuniary agency and support of the
General Government. The abandonment of our ocean steam mail system is
impossible so long as we are an active, enterprising, and commercial
people. And so far from the service becoming self-supporting, it is
probable that it will never be materially less expensive than at the
present time.

It has been my constant endeavor to give the best class of authorities
on all the points of engineering which I have introduced, as that
regarding the cost of steam and high mail speed; and to this end I
have recently visited England and France, and endeavored to ascertain
the practice in those countries, especially in Great Britain.

I desire to return my sincere acknowledgments for many courtesies
received from Mr. Charles Atherton, of London, England; Robert Murray,
Esq., Southampton; and Hon. Horatio King, of Washington, D. C.

THOMAS RAINEY.

New-York, _December 9, 1857_.



THE ARGUMENT.


1. _Assumed_ (Section I.) _that steam mails upon the ocean control the
commerce and diplomacy of the world; that they are essential to our
commercial and producing country; that we have not established the
ocean mail facilities commensurate with our national ability and the
demands of our commerce; and that we to-day are largely dependent on,
and tributary to our greatest commercial rival, Great Britain, for the
postal facilities, which should be purely national, American, and
under our own exclusive control:_

2. _Assumed_ (Section II.) _that fast ocean mails are exceedingly
desirable for our commerce, our defenses, our diplomacy, the
management of our squadrons, our national standing, and that they are
demanded by our people at large:_

3. _Assumed_ (Section III.) _that fast steamers alone can furnish
rapid transport to the mails; that these steamers can not rely on
freights; that sailing vessels will ever carry staple freights at a
much lower figure, and sufficiently quickly; that while steam is
eminently successful in the coasting trade, it can not possibly be so
in the transatlantic freighting business; and that the rapid transit
of the mails, and the slower and more deliberate transport of freight
is the law of nature:_

4. _Assumed_ (Section IV.) _that high, adequate mail speed is
extremely costly, in the prime construction of vessels, their repairs,
and their more numerous employées; that the quantity of fuel consumed
is enormous, and ruinous to unaided private enterprise; and that this
is clearly proven both by theory and indisputable facts as well as by
the concurrent testimony of the ablest writers on ocean steam
navigation:_

5. _Assumed_ (Section V.) _that ocean mail steamers can not live on
their own receipts; that neither the latest nor the anticipated
improvements in steam shipping promise any change in this fact; that
self-support is not likely to be attained by increasing the size of
steamers; that the propelling power in fast steamers occupies all of
the available space not devoted to passengers and express freight; and
that steamers must be fast to do successful mail and profitable
passenger service:_

6. _Assumed_ (Section VI.) _that sailing vessels can not successfully
transport the mails; that the propeller can not transport them as
rapidly or more cheaply than side-wheel vessels; that with any
considerable economy of fuel and other running expenses, it is but
little faster than the sailing vessel; that to patronize these slow
vessels with the mails, the Government would unjustly discriminate
against sailing vessels in the transport of freights; that we can not
in any sense depend on the vessels of the Navy for the transport of
the mails; that individual enterprise can not support fast steamers;
and that not even American private enterprise can under any conditions
furnish a sufficiently rapid steam mail and passenger marine: then,_

7. _Conceded_ (Section VII.) _that it is the duty of the Government to
its people to establish and maintain an extensive, well-organized, and
rapid steam mail marine, for the benefit of production, commerce,
diplomacy, defenses, the public character, and the general interests
of all classes; that our people appreciate the importance of commerce,
and are willing to pay for liberal postal facilities; that our trade
has greatly suffered for the want of ocean mails; that we have been
forced to neglect many profitable branches of industry, and many large
fields of effort; and that there is positively no means of gaining and
maintaining commercial ascendency except through an ocean steam mail
system:_

8. _Conceded_ (Section VIII.) _that the Government can discharge the
clear and unquestionable duty of establishing foreign mail facilities,
only by paying liberal prices for the transport of the mails for a
long term of years, by creating and sustaining an ocean postal system,
by legislating upon it systematically, and by abandoning our slavish
dependence upon Great Britain:_

9. _Conceded_ (Section IX.) _that the British ocean mail system
attains greater perfection and extent every year; that instead of
becoming self-supporting, it costs the treasury more and more every
year; that English statesmen regard its benefits as far outweighing
the losses to the treasury; that so far from abandoning, they are
regularly and systematically increasing it; that it was never regarded
by the whole British public with more favor, than at the present time;
that it is evidently one of the most enduring institutions of the
country; that it necessitates a similar American system; that without
it our people are denied the right and privilege of competition; and
that we are thus far by no means adequately prepared for that
competition, or for our own development._

Section X. _notices each of the American lines, and presents many
facts corroborating the views advanced in the preceding sections._


PAPER A.

Paper A _(page 192) enumerates all the Steamers of the United States_.


PAPER B.

Paper B _(page 193) gives a list of all the British Ocean Mail Lines_.


PAPER C.

Paper C _(page 198) presents Projét of Franco-American Navigation_.


PAPER D.

Paper D _(page 199) gives the Steam Lines between Europe and America_.


PAPER E.

Paper E _(page 200) gives many extracts from eminent statesmen,
corroborating views herein advanced_.


PAPER F.

Paper F _(page 219) gives the Steam Lines of the whole world_.


PAPER G.

Paper G _(page 220) American Mail Lines: Letter of Hon. Horatio King_.


PAPER H.

Paper H _(page 221) List of British, French, and American Navies_.



HEADS OF ARGUMENT.


SECTION I.

PRESENT POSITION OF STEAM NAVIGATION.

    THE SPLENDID TRIUMPHS OF STEAM: IT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT MEANS OF
    NATIONAL PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT: THE FORERUNNER OF CIVILIZATION:
    IMPORTANT TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN AGRICULTURAL, MANUFACTURING,
    AND COMMERCIAL COUNTRY: NATURE OF OUR PEOPLE: MARITIME SPIRIT:
    VARIOUS COMMERCIAL COUNTRIES: OURS MOST ADVANTAGEOUSLY SITUATED:
    THE DESTINY OF AMERICAN COMMERCE: OUR COMMERCIAL RIVALS: GREAT
    BRITAIN: SHE RESISTS US BY STEAM AND DIPLOMACY: OUR POSITION: MOST
    APPROVED INSTRUMENTS OF COMMERCIAL SUCCESS: PORTUGAL AND HOLLAND:
    ENGLAND'S WISE STEAM POLICY: LIBERAL VIEWS OF HER STATESMEN:
    EXTENT OF HER MAIL SERVICE: HER IMMENSE STEAM MARINE, OF 2,161
    STEAMERS: OUR CONTRAST: OUR DEPENDENCE ON GREAT BRITAIN: THE
    UNITED STATES MAIL AND COMMERCIAL STEAM MARINE IN FULL: A MOST
    UNFAVORABLE COMPARISON.


SECTION II.

NECESSITY OF RAPID STEAM MAILS.

    ARE OCEAN STEAM MAILS DESIRABLE AND NECESSARY FOR A COMMERCIAL
    PEOPLE? THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE DEMANDS THEM: MUTUAL DEPENDENCE OF
    NATIONS: FAST MAILS NECESSARY TO CONTROL SLOW FREIGHTS: THE
    FOREIGN POST OF EVERY NATION IS MORE OR LESS SELFISH: IF WE
    NEGLECT APPROVED METHODS, WE ARE THEREBY SUBORDINATED TO THE SKILL
    OF OTHERS: THE WANT OF A FOREIGN POST IS A NATIONAL CALAMITY:
    OTHER NATIONS CAN NOT AFFORD US DUE FACILITIES: WARS AND ACCIDENTS
    FORBID: THE CRIMEA AND THE INDIES AN EXAMPLE: MANY OF OUR FIELDS
    OF COMMERCE NEED A POST: BRAZIL, THE WEST-INDIES, AND PACIFIC
    SOUTH-AMERICA: MAILS TO THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE BY THE NUMEROUS
    CUNARD VESSELS: CORRESPONDENCE WITH AFRICA, CHINA, THE
    EAST-INDIES, THE MAURITIUS, AND AUSTRALIA: SLAVISH DEPENDENCE ON
    GREAT BRITAIN: DESIRABLE FOR OUR DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR SERVICE:
    FOR THE CONTROL OF OUR SQUADRONS: CASES OF SUFFERING: NECESSARY
    FOR DEFENSE: FOR CULTIVATING FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND OPENING TRADE:
    THE ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH WILL REQUIRE FASTER AND HEAVIER MAILS: OUR
    COMMERCE REQUIRES FAST STEAMERS FOR THE RAPID AND EASY TRANSIT OF
    PASSENGERS: MODES OF BENEFITING COMMERCE.


SECTION III.

THE CAPABILITIES OF OCEAN STEAM.

    THE COMMERCIAL CAPABILITIES OF OCEAN STEAM: STEAM MAILS ARRIVE AND
    DEPART AT ABSOLUTELY FIXED PERIODS: UNCERTAINTY IS HAZARDOUS AND
    COSTLY: SUBSIDIZED STEAMERS GIVE A NECESSARILY HIGH SPEED TO THE
    MAILS: MONEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO LIE UPON THE OCEAN FOR WEEKS:
    COMPARED WITH SAIL: STEAMERS TRANSPORT CERTAIN CLASSES OF FREIGHT:
    THE HAVRE AND THE CUNARD LINES: THE CUNARD PROPELLERS: STEAMERS
    CAN AFFORD TO TRANSPORT EXPRESS PACKAGES AND GOODS: GOODS TAKEN
    ONLY TO FILL UP: WHY PROPELLERS ARE CHEAPER IN SOME CASES: STEAM
    IN SOME CASES CHEAPER THAN THE WIND: AN ESTIMATE: THE PROPELLER
    FOR COASTING: STEAM ON ITS OWN RECEIPTS HAS NOT SUCCEEDED ON THE
    OCEAN: MARINE AND FLUVIAL NAVIGATION COMPARED: MOST FREIGHTS NOT
    TRANSPORTABLE BY STEAM ON ANY CONDITIONS: AUXILIARY FREIGHTING AND
    EMIGRANT PROPELLERS: LAWS OF TRANSPORT: RAPID MAILS AND LEISURE
    TRANSPORT OF FREIGHT THE LAW OF NATURE: THE PRICE OF COALS RAPIDLY
    INCREASING: ANTICIPATED IMPROVEMENTS AND CHEAPENING IN MARINE
    PROPULSION NOT REALIZED.


SECTION IV.

COST OF STEAM: OCEAN MAIL SPEED.

    MISAPPREHENSION OF THE HIGH COST OF STEAM MARINE PROPULSION: VIEWS
    OF THE NON-PROFESSIONAL: HIGH SPEED NECESSARY FOR THE DISTANCES IN
    OUR COUNTRY: WHAT IS THE COST OF HIGH ADEQUATE MAIL SPEED: FAST
    STEAMERS REQUIRE STRONGER PARTS IN EVERY THING: GREATER OUTLAY IN
    PRIME COST: MORE FREQUENT AND COSTLY REPAIRS: MORE WATCHFULNESS
    AND MEN: MORE COSTLY FUEL, ENGINEERS, FIREMEN, AND COAL-PASSERS:
    GREAT STRENGTH OF HULL REQUIRED: ALSO IN ENGINES, BOILERS, AND
    PARTS: WHY THE PRIME COST INCREASES: THEORY OF REPAIRS: FRICTION
    AND BREAKAGES: BOILERS AND FURNACES BURNING OUT: REPAIRS TWELVE TO
    EIGHTEEN PER CENT: DEPRECIATION: SEVERAL LINES CITED: USES FOR
    MORE MEN: EXTRA FUEL, AND LESS FREIGHT-ROOM: BRITISH TRADE AND
    COAL CONSUMPTION.

    THE NATURAL LAWS OF RESISTANCE, POWER, AND SPEED, WITH TABLE: THE
    RESISTANCE VARIES AS IS THE SQUARE OF THE VELOCITY: THE POWER, OR
    FUEL, VARIES AS THE CUBE OF THE VELOCITY: THE RATIONALE:
    AUTHORITIES CITED IN PROOF OF THE LAW: EXAMPLES, AND THE FORMULÆ:
    COAL-TABLE; NO. I.: QUANTITY OF FUEL FOR DIFFERENT SPEEDS AND
    DISPLACEMENTS: DEDUCTIONS FROM THE TABLE: RATES AT WHICH INCREASED
    SPEED INCREASES THE CONSUMPTION OF FUEL: CONSUMPTION FOR VESSELS
    OF 2,500, 3,000, AND 6,000 TONS DISPLACEMENT: COAL-TABLE; NO. II.:
    FREIGHT-TABLE; NO. III.: AS SPEED AND POWER INCREASE, FREIGHT AND
    PASSENGER ROOM DECREASE: FREIGHT AND FARE REDUCED: SPEED OF
    VARIOUS LINES: FREIGHT-COST: COAL AND CARGO; NO. IV.: MR.
    ATHERTON'S VIEWS OF FREIGHT TRANSPORT.


SECTION V.

OCEAN MAIL STEAMERS CAN NOT LIVE ON THEIR OWN RECEIPTS.

    INCREASE OF BRITISH MAIL SERVICE: LAST NEW LINE AT $925,000 PER
    YEAR: THE SYSTEM NOT BECOMING SELF-SUPPORTING: CONTRACT RENEWALS
    AT SAME OR HIGHER PRICES: PRICE OF FUEL AND WAGES INCREASED FASTER
    THAN ENGINE IMPROVEMENTS: LARGE SHIPS RUN PROPORTIONALLY CHEAPER
    THAN SMALL: AN EXAMPLE, WITH THE FIGURES: THE STEAMER "LEVIATHAN,"
    27,000 TONS: STEAMERS OF THIS CLASS WILL NOT PAY: SHE CAN NOT
    TRANSPORT FREIGHT TO AUSTRALIA: REASONS FOR THE SAME: MOTION HER
    NORMAL CONDITION: MUST NOT BE MADE A DOCK: DELIVERY OF FREIGHTS:
    MAMMOTH STEAMERS TO BRAZIL: LARGE CLIPPERS LIE IDLE: NOT EVEN THIS
    LARGE CLASS OF STEAMERS CAN LIVE ON THEIR OWN RECEIPTS: EFFICIENT
    MAIL STEAMERS CARRY BUT LITTLE EXCEPT PASSENGERS: SOME HEAVY EXTRA
    EXPENSES IN REGULAR MAIL LINES: PACIFIC MAIL COMPANY'S LARGE EXTRA
    FLEET, AND ITS EFFECTS: THE IMMENSE ACCOUNT OF ITEMS AND EXTRAS: A
    PARTIAL LIST: THE HAVRE AND COLLINS DOCKS: GREAT EXPENSE OF
    FEEDING PASSENGERS: VIEWS OF MURRAY AND ATHERTON ON THE COST OF
    RUNNING STEAMERS, AND THE NECESSITY OF THE PRESENT MAIL SERVICE.


SECTION VI.

HOW CAN MAIL SPEED BE ATTAINED?

    THE TRANSMARINE COMPARED WITH THE INLAND POST: OUR PAST SPASMODIC
    EFFORTS: NEED SOME SYSTEM: FRANCE AROUSED TO STEAM: THE
    SAILING-SHIP MAIL: THE NAVAL STEAM MAIL: THE PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
    MAIL: ALL INADEQUATE AND ABANDONED: GREAT BRITAIN'S EXPERIENCE IN
    ALL THESE METHODS: NAVAL VESSELS CAN NOT BE ADAPTED TO THE MAIL
    SERVICE: WILL PROPELLERS MEET THE WANTS OF MAIL TRANSPORT, WITH OR
    WITHOUT SUBSIDY? POPULAR ERRORS REGARDING THE PROPELLER: ITS
    ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES: BOURNE'S OPINION: ROBERT MURRAY:
    PROPELLERS TOO OFTEN ON THE DOCKS: THEY ARE VERY DISAGREEABLE
    PASSENGER VESSELS: IF PROPELLERS RUN MORE CHEAPLY IT IS BECAUSE
    THEY ARE SLOWER: COMPARED WITH SAIL: UNPROFITABLE STOCK: CROSKEY'S
    LINE: PROPELLERS LIVE ON CHANCES AND CHARTERS: IRON IS A MATERIAL:
    SENDING THE MAILS BY SLOW PROPELLERS WOULD BE AN UNFAIR
    DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SAILING VESSELS: INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE CAN
    NOT SUPPLY MAIL FACILITIES: THEREFORE IT IS THE DUTY OF THE
    GOVERNMENT.


SECTION VII.

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THE PEOPLE?

    RESUMÉ OF THE PREVIOUS SECTIONS AND ARGUMENTS: IT IS THE DUTY OF
    THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH RAPID STEAM MAILS: OUR PEOPLE APPRECIATE
    THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMERCE, AND OF LIBERAL POSTAL FACILITIES: THE
    GOVERNMENT IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE: IT MUST
    FOSTER THEIR INTERESTS AND DEVELOP THEIR INDUSTRY: THE WANT OF
    SUCH MAILS HAS CAUSED THE NEGLECT OF MANY PROFITABLE BRANCHES OF
    INDUSTRY: AS A CONSEQUENCE WE HAVE LOST IMMENSE TRAFFIC: THE
    EUROPEAN MANUFACTURING SYSTEM AND OURS: FIELDS OF TRADE NATURALLY
    PERTAINING TO US: OUR ALMOST SYSTEMATIC NEGLECT OF THEM: WHY IS
    GREAT BRITAIN'S COMMERCE SO LARGE: CAUSES AND THEIR EFFECTS: HER
    WEST-INDIA LINE RECEIVES A LARGER SUBSIDY THAN ALL THE FOREIGN
    LINES OF THE UNITED STATES COMBINED: INDIFFERENCE SHOWN BY
    CONGRESS TO MANY IMPORTANT FIELDS OF COMMERCE: INSTANCES OF MAIL
    FACILITIES CREATING LARGE TRADE: THE PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL
    COMPANY'S TESTIMONY: THE BRITISH AND BRAZILIAN TRADE: SOME
    DEDUCTIONS FROM THE FIGURES: CALIFORNIA SHORN OF HALF HER GLORY:
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOT MISERS: THEY WISH THEIR OWN PUBLIC
    TREASURE EXPENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THEIR INDUSTRY: OUR
    COMMERCIAL CLASSES COMPLAIN THAT THEY ARE DEPRIVED OF THE
    PRIVILEGE OF COMPETING WITH OTHER NATIONS.


SECTION VIII.

HOW SHALL THE GOVERNMENT DISCHARGE THIS DUTY?

    WE NEED A STEAM MAIL SYSTEM: HOW OUR LINES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED:
    AMERICAN AND BRITISH POLICY CONTRASTED: SPASMODIC AND ENDURING
    LEGISLATION: MR. POLK'S ADMINISTRATION ENDEAVORED TO INAUGURATE A
    POLICY: GEN. RUSK ENDEAVORED TO EXTEND IT: THE TERM OF SERVICE TOO
    SHORT: COMPANIES SHOULD HAVE LONGER PERIODS: A LEGISLATION OF
    EXPEDIENTS: MUST SUBSIDIZE PRIVATE COMPANIES FOR A LONG TERM OF
    YEARS: SHOULD WE GIVE TO OUR POSTAL VESSELS THE NAVAL FEATURE: OUR
    MAIL LINES GAVE AN IMPULSE TO SHIP-BUILDING: LET US HAVE STEAM
    MAILS ON THEIR MERITS: NO NAVAL FEATURE SUBTERFUGES: THESE VESSELS
    HIGHLY USEFUL IN WAR: THEY LIBERALLY SUPPLY THE NAVY WITH
    EXPERIENCED ENGINEERS WHEN NECESSARY: THE BRITISH MAIL PACKETS
    GENERALLY FIT FOR WAR SERVICE: LORD CANNING'S REPORT: EXPEDIENTS
    PROPOSED FOR CARRYING THE MAILS: BY FOREIGN INSTEAD OF AMERICAN
    VESSELS: DEGRADING EXPEDIENCY AND SUBSERVIENCY: WE CAN NOT SECURE
    MAIL SERVICE BY GIVING THE GROSS RECEIPTS: THE GENERAL TREASURY
    SHOULD PAY FOR THE TRANSMARINE POST: REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW
    CONTRACTS: METHOD OF MAKING CONTRACTS: THE LOWEST BIDDER AND THE
    LAND SERVICE: THE OCEAN SERVICE VERY DIFFERENT: BUT LITTLE
    UNDERSTOOD: LOWEST-BIDDER SYSTEM FAILURES: SENATOR RUSK'S OPINION:
    INJURIOUS EFFECTS OF LOWEST BIDDER: INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS AND RIGHTS.


SECTION IX.

THE BRITISH SYSTEM, AND ITS RESULTS.

    STEAM MAIL SYSTEM INAUGURATED AS THE PROMOTER OF WEALTH, POWER,
    AND CIVILIZATION: THE EFFECT OF THE SYSTEM ON COMMERCE: THE LONG
    PERIOD DESIGNATED FOR THE EXPERIMENT: NEW LINES, WHEN, HOW, AND
    WHY ESTABLISHED: THE WORKINGS OF THE SYSTEM: FIRST CONTRACT MADE
    IN 1833, LIVERPOOL AND ISLE OF MAN: WITH ROTTERDAM IN 1834:
    FALMOUTH AND GIBRALTAR, 1837: ABERDEEN, SHETLAND, AND ORKNEYS,
    1840: THE "SAVANNAH," THE FIRST OCEAN STEAMER: THE SIRIUS AND
    GREAT WESTERN: CUNARD CONTRACT MADE IN 1839: EXTRA PAY "WITHIN
    CERTAIN LIMITS:" MALTA, ALEXANDRIA, SUEZ, EAST-INDIES, AND CHINA
    IN 1840: THE PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL COMPANY: WEST-INDIA SERVICE
    ESTABLISHED IN 1840: POINTS TOUCHED AT: PROVISIONAL EXTRA PAY:
    PANAMA AND VALPARAISO LINE ESTABLISHED IN 1845: HOLYHEAD AND
    KINGSTON IN 1848: ALSO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: WEST COAST OF AFRICA
    AND CAPE OF GOOD HOPE IN 1852: CALCUTTA VIA THE CAPE IN 1852, AND
    ABANDONED: PLYMOUTH, SYDNEY, AND NEW SOUTH WALES ALSO IN 1852, AND
    ABANDONED: INVESTIGATION OF 1851 AND 1853, AND NEW AUSTRALIAN
    CONTRACT IN 1856: HALIFAX, NEWFOUNDLAND, BERMUDA, AND ST. THOMAS
    IN 1850: NEW-YORK AND BERMUDA SOON DISCONTINUED: COMPARISON OF
    BRITISH AND AMERICAN SUBSIDIES, RATES PER MILE, TOTAL DISTANCES,
    AND POSTAL INCOME: THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT PAYS HIGHER SUBSIDIES
    THAN THE AMERICAN: WORKINGS AND INCREASE OF THE BRITISH SERVICE:
    GEN. RUSK'S VIEWS: SPEECH OF HON T. B. KING: COMMITTEE OF
    INVESTIGATION, 1849: NEW INVESTIGATION ORDERED IN 1853, AND
    INSTRUCTIONS: LORD CANNING'S REPORT AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS: GREAT
    BRITAIN WILL NOT ABANDON HER MAIL SYSTEM: THE NEW AUSTRALIAN LINE:
    TESTIMONY OF ATHERTON AND MURRAY: MANY EXTRACTS FROM THE REPORT:
    STEAM INDISPENSABLE: NOT SELF-SUPPORTING: THE MAIL RECEIPTS WILL
    NOT PAY FOR IT: RESULT OF THE WHOLE SYSTEM: ANOTHER NEW SERVICE TO
    INDIA AND CHINA: SHALL WE RUN THE POSTAL AND COMMERCIAL RACE WITH
    GREAT BRITAIN? CANADA AND THE INDIES.


SECTION X.

THE MAIL LINES OF THE UNITED STATES.

    THE MAIL LINES OF THE UNITED STATES: THE HAVRE AND BREMEN, THE
    PIONEERS: THE BREMEN SERVICE RECENTLY GIVEN TO MR. VANDERBILT:
    BOTH LINES RUN ON THE GROSS RECEIPTS: THE CALIFORNIA LINES:
    WONDROUS DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PACIFIC POSSESSIONS: THE PACIFIC MAIL
    STEAMSHIP COMPANY: ITS HISTORY, SERVICES, LARGE MATERIEL, AND
    USEFULNESS: THE UNITED STATES MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY: ITS RAMIFIED
    AND LARGE EXTRA SERVICE: EFFECT UPON THE COMMERCE OF THE GULF: ITS
    HEAVY LOSSES, AND NEW SHIPS: STEAMSHIP STOCKS GENERALLY AVOIDED:
    CONSTANTLY FAR BELOW PAR: THE COLLINS LINE: A COMPARISON WITH THE
    CUNARD: ITS SOURCES OF HEAVY OUTLAY, AND ITS ENTERPRISE: THE
    AMERICAN MARINE DISASTERS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED BY HUMAN
    FORESIGHT; THE VANDERBILT BREMEN LINE: THE CHARLESTON AND HAVANA
    LINE.



SECTION I.

PRESENT POSITION OF STEAM NAVIGATION.

    THE SPLENDID TRIUMPHS OF STEAM: IT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT MEANS OF
    NATIONAL PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT: THE FORERUNNER OF CIVILIZATION:
    IMPORTANT TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN AGRICULTURAL, MANUFACTURING,
    AND COMMERCIAL COUNTRY: NATURE OF OUR PEOPLE: MARITIME SPIRIT:
    VARIOUS COMMERCIAL COUNTRIES: OURS MOST ADVANTAGEOUSLY SITUATED:
    THE DESTINY OF AMERICAN COMMERCE: OUR COMMERCIAL RIVALS: GREAT
    BRITAIN: SHE RESISTS US BY STEAM AND DIPLOMACY: OUR POSITION: MOST
    APPROVED INSTRUMENTS OF COMMERCIAL SUCCESS: PORTUGAL AND HOLLAND:
    ENGLAND'S WISE STEAM POLICY: LIBERAL VIEWS OF HER STATESMEN:
    EXTENT OF HER MAIL SERVICE: HER IMMENSE STEAM MARINE, OF 2,161
    STEAMERS: OUR CONTRAST: OUR DEPENDENCE ON GREAT BRITAIN: THE
    UNITED STATES MAIL AND COMMERCIAL STEAM MARINE IN FULL: A MOST
    UNFAVORABLE COMPARISON.


The agreeable and responsible duty of developing and regulating the
most important discovery of modern times, and the greatest material
force known to men, has been committed to the present generation. The
progress of Steam, from the days of its first application to lifting
purposes, through all of its gradations of application to railway
locomotion and steamboat and steamship propulsion down to the present
time, has been a series of splendid and highly useful triumphs, alike
creditable to the genius of its promoters, and profitable to the
nations which have adopted it. However great the progress of the
world, or the prosperity of commercial nations prior to its
introduction, it can not be doubted that it now constitutes the
largest, surest, and most easily available means of progress,
prosperity, and power known to civilized nations; or that the
development, wealth, and independence of any country will be in the
ratio of the application of steam to all of the ordinary purposes of
life. It has been canonized among the sacred elements of national
power, and commissioned as the great laborer of the age. Every
civilized nation has adopted it as the best means of interior
development, and as almost the only forerunner of commerce and
communication with the outer world. It has thus become an
indispensable necessity of every day life, whether by land or by sea,
to the producer, the consumer, the merchant, the manufacturer, the
artisan, the pleasure-seeker, the statesman, and the state itself, to
public liberty, and to the peace of the world.

The existence of an agent of so great power and influence, is
necessarily a fact of unusual significance to a nation like the United
States, which combines within itself in a high degree, the three most
important interests, of large Agricultural and Mineral Productions,
extensive and increasing Manufactures, and an immense Foreign Commerce
and Domestic Trade. Our country is essentially commercial in its
tastes and tendencies; our people are, as a result of our common
schools, bold, inquiring, and enterprising; and our constitution and
laws are well calculated to produce a nation of restless and vigorous
merchants, traders, and travellers. Foreign commerce is a necessity
of our large and redundant agricultural production. Our extended
sea-coast, and necessarily large coasting-trade between the States,
have begotten an unbounded spirit of maritime adventure. The ample
material, and other facilities for building vessels, have also
contributed to this end. As capable as any people on earth of running
vessels and conducting mercantile enterprise, we have found foreign
commerce a profitable field for the investment of labor, intelligence,
and capital.

There is scarcely any field of trade in the world which we are not
naturally better calculated to occupy than any other country. Most of
the great commercial nations employ their ships as common carriers for
other nations, and limit their exports to manufactures alone. Great
Britain is an example of this. She exports no products of the soil,
for very obvious reasons. The exports of France partake of the same
general character, domestic manufactures, with a small portion of the
products of the soil. So, also, with the German States and Holland.
The United States, to the contrary, have an immense export trade in
the products of the soil. These exports have the advantage of
embracing every production of the temperate zone, and some few of the
more profitable of those of the torrid. These constitute a large
source of wealth, and are daily increasing in quantity, value, and
importance. Combined with the manufactured productions of the country,
and the yield of the mines, they require a large amount of shipping,
which, extending to nearly all nations, opens a diversified and rich
field of trade. The exchanges of production between our own and other
countries, are, consequently, very large and general, and must
continue to increase to an indefinite extent, as the States and
Territories of the Union fill up, and as the various new and opening
branches of domestic industry develop and mature.

The extent which this trade will reach in a few generations, its
aggregate value, and the influence which it will wield over the world
if judiciously and energetically promoted, and if wisely protected
against encroachment from abroad, and embarrassment at home, no human
foresight can predict or adequately imagine. With a larger field of
operations, at home and abroad, than any nation ever possessed before,
with the pacific commercial policy of the age, and with the aids of
science, the telegraph, and steam to urge it on, American Commerce has
opened before it a glorious career and an imposing responsibility.

But the conquests of this commerce are not to be the bloodless
victories of power unopposed; not the result of bold adventure without
check, or of simply American enterprise without the Government's aid.
Our foe is a wary, well-scarred, and well-tried old warrior, who has
the unequalled wisdom of experience, and the patient courage that has
triumphed over many defeats. The field has been in his hands for ten
generations, and he knows every byway, every marsh, every foot of
defense, and the few inassailable points to be preserved and guarded.
Great Britain, particularly, knows how essential is a large general
commerce for opening a market for her manufactures. She is dependent
on those manufactures, and upon the carrying trade of the world for a
living; and she fosters and protects them not alone by the reputed and
well-known individual enterprise and energy of her people, but by a
wise and forecasting policy of state, a mighty and irresistible naval
and military array, a wisely concerted, liberal, well-arranged, and
long-pursued steam system, and prompt, unflinching protection of
British subjects in their rights throughout the world.

Great Britain is prepared to resist our commercial progress, as she
has already done, step by step, by all the means within her power. She
has wisely brought steam to her aid, and now has a system of long
standing at last well matured. Her diplomacy has ever been conspicuous
throughout the world, for ability and zeal, whether in the ministerial
or consular service, and for its persistent advocacy of British rights
in trade as well as for its machinations against the extension of the
commerce or the power of this country. Such action on the part of any
wise rival nation is naturally to be expected; and all that we can
object to is that, seeing this policy and its inevitable tendency, our
country should stand still and suffer her trade to be paralyzed and
wrested from her, without an effort to relieve it, or the employment
of any of those commercial agencies and facilities which experience
shows to be all-efficient in such cases. It is utter folly for us to
maintain a simply passive competition; we must either progress or
retrograde. It is wrong to be willing to occupy a secondary place,
when nature and the common wants of the world so clearly indicate that
we should occupy the first; for if, as before assumed, foreign
commerce is our destiny, and if we can not accomplish our highest
capabilities except by commerce, then if we ever attain our true
dignity and station as a nation, it must be by enlarging,
liberalizing, strengthening, and encouraging our foreign trade, by all
of the proper, efficient, and honorable means within our power. It is
the duty of the Government, both to itself and to its citizens. (_See
Section VII._)

The history of commercial nations admonishes us that no trading people
can long maintain their ascendency without using all of the most
approved means of the age for prosecuting trade. Portugal was at one
time the most powerful commercial nation of the globe; and at another
Holland was the mistress of the seas. But while the latter is now only
a fourth-rate commercial power, the former has sunk into obscurity,
and is nearly forgotten of men. At that time England and France had
but a limited foreign trade and scarcely any commercial reputation.
France could more easily maintain her existence without a foreign
trade, than could England; and yet her matured manufactures and her
products of the soil became so valuable that she sought a foreign
market. England, to the contrary, had not territory enough to remain
at home, and yet be a great power. She matured an immense
manufacturing system, and needed a market, as well as the raw
material, and food for her operatives. She began to stretch her arms
to the outer world, and had made very considerable strides in foreign
commerce side by side with France and the German States, and in the
face of the steady young opposition of the American States.

It now became a contest for supremacy. Her large navy had enabled her
to conquer important foreign territories, which with the supremacy of
the seas would make her the mistress of the world. France was still
her equal rival, and the United States were becoming formidable common
carriers, although they had but little legitimate commerce of their
own, and none that was under their positive control. The commercial
men of England finding their statesmen ready to aid them in their
efforts for national progress, wealth, and glory, directed their
attention to steam as an agent of supremacy and power, both in the
Navy and the Commercial Marine. They indicated and proved the
necessity of drawing the bonds between them and foreign countries more
closely; of shortening the distances between them; of providing the
means of rapid, safe, and comfortable transit of English merchants
between their homes and foreign lands; of regular, rapid, reliable
British steam mails to every point with which Englishmen had business,
or could create it; and of government agency as the only means by
which this desirable, this essential service could be rendered to
commerce and to the country. They readily saw that rapid and reliable
passenger facilities, and the rapid and regular transmission of
commercial and diplomatic intelligence would give to British merchants
and to British statesmen the certain control of commerce, and the
conformation of the political destinies of many of the smaller nations
of the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

It was not a difficult task to convince the British statesman that it
was his duty to encourage the commerce, on which the wealth, power,
and glory of his country depended, by all the aids known to the
constitution; and to uphold the hands of the merchant by the use of
the money which his traffic had brought into the public coffers. There
was no contest between North and South, East and West. It was the
whole of England which was to be benefited directly or indirectly; and
they were willing that it should be any part rather than none. The
evident advantages which the United States possessed in her more
numerous articles of export, (_see page 16_,) as well as the rapid
strides which her first clippers were making across the ocean, were
reasons urgent enough for the forecasting statesmen of Britain; and
they determined to continue or to obtain the profitable dominion of
the seas, although it might cost a sum of money far beyond the postal
income. They knew that these postal and passenger facilities were
needed by every class of community, and that there was no one in the
kingdom who would not be in some way benefited by them; and that the
sums of money paid for them, although not apparently returned, were
yet returned in a thousand indirect channels and by a variety of
reflex benefits not calculable as a transaction of exchange.

We, therefore, see to-day, as the fruit of that determination, the
proudest and the most profitable postal and mercantile steam marine
that floats the seas. Several large companies, authorized to transport
the mails to all parts of the world, were immediately organized, and
paid liberal allowances for their peculiar duties. Where the
practicability of the service was considered doubtful, larger sums
were paid, and a greater length of time granted for making the
experiment. The contracts were generally made for twelve years; and
when their terms expired they were renewed for another term of twelve
years, which will expire in 1862. Thus many of the lines have been in
operation for the last nineteen years, and have demonstrated the
practicability, the cheapness, the utility, and the necessity of such
service. The entire foreign mail service is conducted by fifteen
companies, having one hundred and twenty-one steamers, with a gross
tonnage of 235,488 tons; the net tonnage being 141,293, assuming the
engines, boilers, fuel, etc., to be forty per cent of the whole
tonnage, which is altogether too low an estimate. The whole number of
British sea-going steamers is sixteen hundred and sixty-nine, with an
aggregate tonnage of 383,598 tons, exclusive of engines and boilers,
and of 639,330 tons gross, including engines and boilers. (_See paper
A, page 192._) We must add to this list the new steamer "Great
Eastern," whose tonnage is twenty-seven thousand tons, and which will
make the entire present mercantile steam tonnage of Great Britain
660,330 tons. The greater portion of these steamers, exclusive of
those engaged in the foreign mail service, are employed in the
coasting and foreign continental trade; while some few of them run in
the American merchant service, and many others in the subsidized mail
service of foreign countries, such as the lines from Hamburgh and
Antwerp to Brazil, and from those cities to the United States. Some of
them are also engaged in the mail service between Canada and England,
under the patronage of the Canadian government. (_See paper D, page
199._) If we add to this list the 271 war steamers, the 220 gunboats,
and the Great Eastern, we shall find that the British Mail,
Mercantile, and War Marine consists of the enormous number of two
thousand one hundred and sixty-one steamers, exclusive of the large
number now building. Nearly all of these are adapted to the ocean, or
to the coasting service, and may be classed as sea-going vessels.

It is interesting to trace this rapid progress of steam since its
first application to purposes of mail transport in 1833. An
intelligent writer says, "The rise and progress of the ocean steam
mail service of Great Britain is second in interest to no chapter in
the maritime history of the world;" and while we acknowledge a
grateful pride in the triumphs of our transatlantic brethren, we must
blush with shame at our dereliction in this great, and civilizing, and
enriching service of modern times. The steam marine of the United
States, postal, mercantile, and naval, is to-day so insignificant in
extent that we do not feel entirely certain that it is a sufficient
nucleus for the growth of a respectable maritime power. The few ships
that we possess are among the fleetest and the most comfortable that
traverse the ocean, and have excited the admiration of the world
wherever they have been seen. But their number is so small, their
service so limited, their field of operation so contracted, that our
large commerce and travel are dependent, in most parts of the world,
on British steam mail lines for correspondence and transport, or on
the slow, irregular, and uncertain communications of sailing vessels.
The question here naturally suggests itself: Have we progressed in
ocean steam navigation in a ratio commensurate with the improvements
of the age, or of our own improvement in every thing else? And has the
Government of the country afforded to the people the facilities of
enterprise and commercial competition which are clearly necessary to
enable them to enter the contest on equal terms with other commercial
countries? (_See Section VII._)

The Ocean Mail Service of the United States, consists of eight lines,
and twenty one steamers in commission, with an aggregate tonnage of
48,027 tons. Three of these lines are transatlantic; the Collins, the
Havre, and the Bremen. Two connect us with our Pacific possessions,
and incidentally with Cuba and New-Granada. They are however
indispensable lines of coast navigation. One connects the ports of
Charleston, in the United States, and Havana, in Cuba, another
connects New-Orleans with Vera Cruz, and another connects Havana and
New-Orleans. Beyond these, we have a line of two steamers running
between New-York and New-Orleans, touching at Havana, and one steamer
touching at the same point between New-York and Mobile. Also four
steamers between New-York and Savannah, four between New-York and
Charleston, two between New-York and Norfolk, two between Philadelphia
and Savannah, two between Boston and Baltimore, four between
New-Orleans and Texas, and two between New-Orleans and Key West. All
of these are coast steamers of the best quality; and some few of them
have a nominal mail pay. We have also several transient steamers which
have no routes or mail contracts, and which are consequently employed
in irregular and accidental service, or laid up. They are the
Ericsson, the Washington and the Hermann, the Star of the West, the
Prometheus, the Northern Light, the Daniel Webster, the Southerner,
the St. Louis, laid up in New-York; the Uncle Sam, the Orizaba, and
the Brother Jonathan, belonging to the Nicaragua Transit Company, and
the California, Panamá, Oregon, Northerner, Fremont, and the tow-boat
Tobago, belonging to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, all lying in
the Pacific. Also the Queen of the West, Mr. Morgan's new steamer, in
New-York. These, like all other American steamers when unemployed on
mail lines, generally lie in port for want of a remunerative trade.
(_See Paper A._)

The aggregate tonnage of these fifty-seven steamers is 94,795 tons.
Eighteen of them, with an aggregate tonnage of 24,845 tons, are
engaged in no service. Twenty-three of them, with 24,071 tons, are
engaged in our coasting trade. Fourteen of them, with 19,813 tons,
(Gov. register,) are engaged in the California, Oregon, Central
American, Mexican, and Cuban mail service; while eight of them, with
25,178 tons aggregate tonnage, are engaged in the transatlantic mail
service proper, between this country and Europe. It is thus seen that
we have in all but 57 ocean steamers, of 94,795 aggregate tons; while
Great Britain has sixteen hundred and seventy, with 666,330 aggregate
tons; that we have twenty-two of these, of 45,001 tons, engaged in the
foreign and domestic mail service, while she has one hundred and
twenty-one, of 235,488 aggregate tonnage, engaged in the foreign mail
service almost exclusively; and that we have thirty-seven steamers
engaged in the coasting trade and lying still, while she has fifteen
hundred and forty-eight steamers engaged in her coasting trade and
merchant service. (_See page 167_, for length of British and American
mail lines, and the miles run per year.) Comparisons are said to be
odious, but it is more odious for such comparisons as these to be
possible in these days of enlightened commercial enterprise and
thrift; and especially when so greatly to the disadvantage of a
country which boldly claims an aggregate civilization, enterprise, and
prosperity equalled by those of no other country on the globe. As
regards our steam navy, it is too small to afford adequate protection
to our commerce and citizens; much less to defend the country in time
of war. We have not steamers enough in the navy to place one at each
of our important seaports; much less to send them to foreign stations.



SECTION II.

NECESSITY OF RAPID STEAM MAILS.

    ARE OCEAN STEAM MAILS DESIRABLE AND NECESSARY FOR A COMMERCIAL
    PEOPLE? THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE DEMANDS THEM: MUTUAL DEPENDENCE OF
    NATIONS: FAST MAILS NECESSARY TO CONTROL SLOW FREIGHTS: THE
    FOREIGN POST OF EVERY NATION IS MORE OR LESS SELFISH: IF WE
    NEGLECT APPROVED METHODS, WE ARE THEREBY SUBORDINATED TO THE SKILL
    OF OTHERS: THE WANT OF A FOREIGN POST IS A NATIONAL CALAMITY:
    OTHER NATIONS CAN NOT AFFORD US DUE FACILITIES: WARS AND ACCIDENTS
    FORBID: THE CRIMEA AND THE INDIES AN EXAMPLE: MANY OF OUR FIELDS
    OF COMMERCE NEED A POST: BRAZIL, THE WEST-INDIES, AND PACIFIC
    SOUTH-AMERICA: MAILS TO THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE BY THE NUMEROUS
    CUNARD VESSELS: CORRESPONDENCE WITH AFRICA, CHINA, THE
    EAST-INDIES, THE MAURITIUS, AND AUSTRALIA: SLAVISH DEPENDENCE ON
    GREAT BRITAIN: DESIRABLE FOR OUR DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR SERVICE:
    FOR THE CONTROL OF OUR SQUADRONS: CASES OF SUFFERING: NECESSARY
    FOR DEFENSE: FOR CULTIVATING FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND OPENING TRADE:
    THE ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH WILL REQUIRE FASTER AND HEAVIER MAILS: OUR
    COMMERCE REQUIRES FAST STEAMERS FOR THE RAPID AND EASY TRANSIT OF
    PASSENGERS: MODES OF BENEFITING COMMERCE.


Having seen that the ocean steam mail service is largely developed in
some countries, especially in Great Britain, and that the second and
third commercial powers of the world, the United States and France,
have not largely employed this important agent in their commerce, the
inquiry naturally arises, whether fast ocean steam mails are desirable
and necessary to the commercial prosperity of a people. Whether this
question be considered in its relative or its natural bearings, the
reply is the same. Relatively considered, a large ocean steam mail
service is indispensable to a people who are largely commercial,
because the most noted commercial rivals of the world employ it, and
thus either force them to its use, or the loss of their commerce, and
the gradual transference of their shipping and trade into the hands of
their rivals. Considered in its natural bearings, in its direct
influences and effects _per se_, it becomes even more evidently
necessary, as the means of a ready and reliable knowledge of the
condition, wants, and movements of all those with whom a commercial
nation necessarily has business, or could or should create it.

The spirit of the age demands a more intimate acquaintance and
communication than we have hitherto had with the outer world. Our
knowledge of foreign lands has pointed out innumerable wants hitherto
unknown, and suggested innumerable channels of their supply. Nations
have learned to depend on each other as formerly neighbor depended on
his neighbor for any little necessary or luxury of life. The luxurious
spirit of the times requires the importation and exportation of an
immense list of articles with which foreign countries were formerly
unacquainted, but which have now become as indispensable as air, and
light, and water. And if it is not necessary that these many articles
shall be transported from land to land with the speed of the telegraph
or the fleetness of the ocean steamer, it is at any rate necessary
that the facts concerning them, their ample or scarce supply, their
high or low price, their sale or purchase, their shipment or arrival,
their loss, or seizure, or detention, should be made known with all of
the combined speed of the telegraph, the lightning train, and the
rapid ocean mail steamer. If we possess ourselves these facilities of
rapid, regular, and reliable information to an extent that no other
nation does, we will be the first to reach the foreign market with our
supplies, the first to bring the foreign article into the markets of
the world, and the proper recipients of the first and largest profits
of the cream of the trade of every land.

If we neglect these precautions, and refuse to establish these
facilities, because their cost is apparent in one small sum of
expenditure, while their large returns in profits diffused among the
whole people are not so palpably apparent to the common eye; if we
leave to the genius and enterprise of the people that which private
enterprise and human skill unaided can never accomplish; in a word, if
we fail to keep up with the world around us, and to progress _pari
passu_ with our wise, acute, and experienced commercial rivals, then,
as a matter of course, the information which we receive from the
foreign world must come through others, and those our rivals, and must
be deprived of its value by the advantage which they have already
taken of it. It is idle to suppose that any commercial nation on earth
will not so arrange her foreign post as to exclude others than her own
citizens as much as possible from its benefits. This is a paramount
duty of the government to the citizen. It is therefore apparent that
our commerce must of necessity greatly suffer when its conduct is at
all dependent on foreigners and competitors, and that it is
exceedingly desirable, for the avoidance of such a calamity, that we
should have independent and ample foreign mail facilities of our own,
wherever it is possible for our people to trade and obtain wealth.

It is clearly impossible that other nations should afford these
facilities, or that our people should have confidence in them if
attempted, or that they could be in any sense reliable in those many
cases of exigency, national disputes, war, and accident, which usually
afford us our best chances of speculation and profit. A dependence on
foreigners for this supply of information, which never reaches us
until it is emasculated of its virtues, is extremely hazardous. It
fails just at the point where it is most desirable. Foreign nations,
especially the commercial European nations, are constantly at war, and
are constantly interrupting their packet service. The late Crimean and
the present Indian wars are a good illustration. Our country, isolated
from the contending nations, and fortified against continual ruptures
by a policy of non-intervention, is peculiarly blessed with the
privilege and ability to regularly and unintermittingly conduct her
commerce and reap her profits, even more securely, while her rivals
are temporarily devoting their attention to war. Such being the fact,
it is wholly desirable and necessary to the end proposed that our
steam post should on all such occasions regularly come and go, even
amid the din of battle, and the conflict of our rivals, who for the
time are powerless to oppose our peaceful and legitimate commerce, and
are generally but too glad to avail its offerings.

There are many instances of the desirableness and the necessity of the
transmarine steam post on important lines of foreign communication
where we have a large trade, and yet no postal means of conducting it.
Our immense trade with Brazil and other portions of South-America,
which if properly fostered would increase with magic rapidity, sends
its news and its freight by the same vessel, or is compelled to use
the necessarily selfishly arranged, and circuitous, and non-connecting
lines of Great Britain. A letter destined for Brazil, four thousand
miles distant, must needs go by England, Portugal, the Coast of
Africa, Madeira, and the Cape de Verdes, a distance of eight thousand
miles, in a British packet. One destined for the Pacific Coast of
South-America must go to Panama and await the arrival of the English
packet, with London letters more recently dated, before it can proceed
on to Callao, Lima, or Valparaiso. Letters destined to the West-Indies
can go to Havana only, by American steamers; but they must there await
the British line which takes them to St. Thomas, and there be
distributed and forwarded to the various islands, the Spanish Main,
the Guianas, Venezuela, and New-Granada by some one of the ten
different British steam packet lines running semi-monthly from that
station.

So with half of our letters which go to the Continent of Europe: they
must go by the Cunard line to England, and thence by English steamers
to the British Channel, the Baltic, the White Sea, the Mediterranean,
Egypt, Constantinople, or the Black Sea. Those to places along the
coast of Africa and to the Cape of Good Hope are dependent on the same
English packet transit. For our communication with China, India,
Australia, the East-Indies generally, and the Islands of the Pacific,
we are entirely and slavishly dependent, as usual, on Great Britain.
Instead of sending our letters and passengers direct from Panamá or
San Francisco to Honolulu, Hong Kong, Shanghae, Macáo, Calcutta,
Ceylón, Bombáy, Madrás, Sydney, Melbourne, Batavia, the Mauritius, and
the Gulf of Mozambique, by a short trunk line of our own steamers, and
from its terminus only, by the British lines, they now go first to
England, as a slavish matter of course, then across the Continent or
through the Mediterranean to Egypt, thence by land to the Red Sea, and
thence to China and the East-Indies; or from England by her steam
lines around the Cape of Good Hope to Australia and the East-Indies;
or by slow and uncertain sailing packets direct from our own country,
either around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. It is evident to
every reflecting man who has given the subject any attention, that all
of these lines of communication would be very desirable, and very
highly profitable to our people at large; and that the latter and that
along the West Coast of South-America could be easily established by
two new contracts for that purpose, or in some other way, to the great
and lasting advantage of our countrymen.

The transmarine post is very desirable for the better conduct of our
foreign diplomacy and the consular service. It is now almost
impossible for our ministers and agents abroad to hold any thing like
a regular correspondence with the State Department, unless it be those
in Southern and Western Europe. I was told last year by our Minister
in Rio de Janeiro that his dispatches from the Government at home
seldom reached him under four months; and Mr. Gilmer, the Consul of
the United States at Bahia, reports, in the "Consular Returns" now
about to be published, that his dispatches never come to hand under
four months, that they are frequently out six months, and that many
are lost altogether. This is the experience and the reïterated
complaint of nearly every foreign _employée_ of the Government, who
has any zeal in prosecuting his country's business, and may find it
necessary to get instructions or advice from home. Many knowing the
delays, uncertainty, and irregularity of correspondence, make no
attempt whatever to communicate regularly with the Department. We
frequently express great surprise that we have no intelligence from
our ministers, special ambassadors, and agents; but do not reflect
that in the majority of cases dispatches have to be sent by
irresponsible and slow-sailing vessels, or by the steamers of Great
Britain, which it may be safely asserted are in no particular hurry to
deliver them to us. Three several letters sent by me at separate times
through the British mail from Rio de Janeiro for New-York never
reached their destination.

Nor is it better with our squadrons on foreign stations. They receive
their orders in the same slow and irregular way, and find it almost as
easy to send a vessel when they wish to communicate with the Navy
Department, or await the movements of their dull old storeships, as to
attempt any other means of intercourse. It may be safely said that
they are not actually under the control of the Department, in many
important cases, one time in ten. Whatever the dispute, it is left
entirely at the will of the Commodore, or it remains unsettled
altogether. Our recent accumulated Paraguayan difficulties is a case
in point. American citizens were driven from the country, and their
valuable property confiscated. They applied to the Commodore for
relief, but could not obtain it. Our surveying vessel, engaged in a
permitted scientific exploration, was fired into and had some of her
men killed; and redress being demanded by the Captain from the
Commodore, it was refused. The Commodore feared transcending his
instructions: he could not communicate with the home authorities much
under a year; and so the case rested, and yet rests. These wants,
papable as they are in times of peace, become doubly pressing in time
of war. Let a conflict commence with England, or France, on whom we
depend for mails, or with their allies, and they could easily surprise
and destroy every squadron which we have upon the high seas months
before they would necessarily hear of a declaration of war, or know
why they were captured. The very contemplation of such possibilities
is intolerable, and should be sufficient of itself, setting aside all
considerations of commerce and diplomacy, to arouse our nation to the
adoption of the proper means for its safety and defense.

An effective steam postal marine is unquestionably most desirable and
necessary for the defense of our country, and for the prosecution of
any foreign war. Lord Canning, the British Post-Master General,
recently said in a report to the House of Lords, that although all of
the steam mail packets might not be able to carry an armament, or be
required in the transport service in time of war, yet the mail
facilities which they would then afford would be more important and
necessary than at any other time. He had no idea that because engaged
in a foreign war the postal service would be useless, but to the
contrary, more than ever indispensable. Such proved to be the fact in
the late contest in the Crimea, and such is to-day the case with
regard to the troubles in India and China. Their postal vessels have
proven a first necessity in both of these wars, not only for transport
of the troops, but for speedy intelligence also. Without them, England
could not have entered the Crimean contest, and the French forces
would have been compelled to remain at home. Turkey would have been
overawed, and Constantinople would have fallen before the Russian
fleet. We are to-day, and always must be, liable to a foreign war. We
have a great boiling cauldron running over with excitement all along
our southern and south-western borders. Central America, Cuba, the
West-Indies, and South-America are far more foreign countries to us
than Europe or the Mediterranean to England. Cuba will no doubt be at
some day our most important naval station and possession. Even the
defense of our own coast would require an immense transport service;
for Texas is nearly four thousand miles from Maine, and California is
seven thousand from the Atlantic seaboard. No better proof can be
given of the necessity of a large and extra naval transport service
than the late Mexican war. But for our steamers it would have taken us
years to concentrate an army on the shores of Mexico. It was a tedious
process at the time; for our ocean mail packets were not then in use.
We could now land a larger number of men there in one month than we
then did in a whole year. But our transport facilities are not yet by
any means adequate.

A large postal steam marine is desirable as a means of cultivating the
sympathies and respect of foreign nations, by bringing them into
closer friendly and commercial connection with us; and for creating
among them that respect and consideration which the British statesmen
so well know to be an easy means of conducting diplomacy, and an
unfailing source of commercial advantages. It is not necessary that we
shall impose upon foreign countries in these respects by false
pretenses; but it is truly desirable, and it would be profitable to an
extent little imagined, to let them know our real importance as a
nation, and understand our pacific policy and _bona fide_ intentions.
These are important considerations when we wish to carry any point,
establish any line of policy, remove any prejudice; and nothing will
more readily produce them, and arouse attention to our articles of
export, and induce a people to establish a regular business with us,
than these ever-present, convenient, and imposing mail steamers.
Nations as well as individuals estimate us by our appearances; and
while it is not desirable that we shall appear more than we are, it is
yet very important that foreign nations with which we have business
shall know our real merits, and respect us for what we are
intrinsically worth. There is evidently no means of our commercial
triumph over other nations without a liberal and widely extended steam
mail service; and as this triumph is of paramount importance to us,
who have so many resources, so is the ocean steam mail as the only
means of securing it. (_See views of Gen. Rusk, in papers appended._)

It has recently been suggested by parties who certainly have not
thought very deeply on the subject, that the completion of the
Atlantic Telegraph, which every body reasonably expects soon to be
completed, will so inaugurate a new era in the transmission of
intelligence, that one of its effects will be the supersession of fast
ocean mails, and consequently of subsidized steamers. It is a first
and palpable view of this question that much of the important
intelligence between the two countries requiring speedy transmission
will be sent through the telegraph, notwithstanding the necessarily
high prices which will be charged for dispatches. These communications
will be sententious, summary, and of great variety. The markets,
prices, important political and other events, private personal and
unelaborated intelligence will come over the wires just as they now
come over existing land lines. The line will create extra facilities
for operations on both sides, and cause more mutual business to be
done. It will thus create the necessity for more correspondence than
before, for particulars, elaboration, items, bills of lading,
exchanges, duplicates, minute instructions, etc., to which there will
be no end. The main transaction of any business being made more
quickly, it will be essential for the papers to pass with greater
dispatch. If there were twenty telegraphic wires working day and
night, which never can be the case from their expensiveness, they
could not do in a month the correspondence and business done by one
steamer's mail. Beside this, those who got their dispatches first
would have a decided advantage over those who would be compelled from
the mass of business to wait several days. It is an advantage of the
steam mails that all get their letters and papers at the same time;
and that no one has thus the advantage of the other. It is hardly
possible for one unacquainted with the postal business to conceive how
large a mass of mail matter is deposited by each steamer; and it is
only necessary to see this to realize that the Atlantic Telegraph will
never materially interfere with the steamers except to require of them
greater speed and heavier mails.

It is the experience on all of our land routes that the thousands of
miles of telegraph, so far from superseding the mails, have made more
mails necessary, have caused and required them to be much faster, have
necessitated more correspondence, and induced people to live in more
mutual dependence, to have more communication with one another, and to
make the home or the business of a man less than formerly his closed
castle, which none entered, and which no one had any occasion to
enter. The American telegraph has now arrived at great perfection, and
sends its electric throb to every corner of the Union, save California
only. At the same time, the railroads of the country are taxed to
their highest capacity. No period ever witnessed so many, so rapid,
and so well-filled mails. It is evident that no telegraphic system can
properly do detailed business. First, it is and must ever remain too
costly. Second, it would require about as many lines as business men,
to give them all equal chances, and no one the profitable precedence.
Next, there is nothing positively accurate and fully reliable. No
signatures can pass over the line. No transaction can be made final by
it. No bank will pay, or ought to pay, money on public telegraphic
drafts. And, as in the land service, so in the ocean. The telegraph
across the ocean will simply create far more business for the mails,
and make it desirable and indispensable that they shall be sent and
received by the most rapid conveyance known to the times. Thus, it is
evident that this new and as yet not fully established agent of
international communication, so far from obviating our rapid
transmarine service, will but the more effectually necessitate it.

Nor must it be forgotten that our commercial prosperity largely
depends on the ready and comfortable transit of passengers. The
passenger traffic has increased with astonishing rapidity during the
last eighteen years. Our smaller merchants can go abroad when mail
steamers are plenty, and make their own purchases and sales, without
paying heavy commissions and high prices to middlemen; do their
business on less capital; and thus benefit themselves and reduce the
prices to our consumers. Compared with sailing vessels, these few mail
steamers become the forerunners of trade and commerce, and create an
immense service for the sail. They enable us to save large sums of
interest or advances on merchandise consigned, and give to us quick
returns from the products which we ship abroad. This has long been
evident to Great Britain, and she has acted liberally on the
suggestion. So desirable is the service for the general prosperity of
her people, that she expends annually for her foreign steam mails
nearly six millions of dollars, while they do not return to the
treasury much above three. She regards the expenditure as she does
that for the navy and the army, a necessity for the public
preservation and prosperity.

As regards the lines that we now have, they are among the noblest in
the world. For aggregate comfort, convenience, safety, speed, and
cheapness, they are not equalled by the most famous British lines.
More luxurious tables, more neatness, cleanliness, and roominess, more
general comforts than have always been characteristic of our Havre,
Liverpool, and California lines, can not be found in the world. The
only objection to them is, that the service is not sufficient; that
the trips are not frequent enough; and that the companies are not
enabled to sustain a larger steam marine which would proportionally
cheapen the service, and accommodate more persons and a much larger
class of interests. Our experiences of the benefits of existing lines,
limited as those lines are, present an unanswerable argument for the
desirableness and necessity of a liberal steam postal system, and a
large and judicious extension of the present service. (_See views of
Senate Committee, 1852, Paper E._)



SECTION III.

THE CAPABILITIES OF OCEAN STEAM.

    THE COMMERCIAL CAPABILITIES OF OCEAN STEAM: STEAM MAILS ARRIVE AND
    DEPART AT ABSOLUTELY FIXED PERIODS: UNCERTAINTY IS HAZARDOUS AND
    COSTLY: SUBSIDIZED STEAMERS GIVE A NECESSARILY HIGH SPEED TO THE
    MAILS: MONEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO LIE UPON THE OCEAN FOR WEEKS:
    COMPARED WITH SAIL: STEAMERS TRANSPORT CERTAIN CLASSES OF FREIGHT:
    THE HAVRE AND THE CUNARD LINES: THE CUNARD PROPELLERS: STEAMERS
    CAN AFFORD TO TRANSPORT EXPRESS PACKAGES AND GOODS: GOODS TAKEN
    ONLY TO FILL UP: WHY PROPELLERS ARE CHEAPER IN SOME CASES: STEAM
    IN SOME CASES CHEAPER THAN THE WIND: AN ESTIMATE: THE PROPELLER
    FOR COASTING: STEAM ON ITS OWN RECEIPTS HAS NOT SUCCEEDED ON THE
    OCEAN: MARINE AND FLUVIAL NAVIGATION COMPARED: MOST FREIGHTS NOT
    TRANSPORTABLE BY STEAM ON ANY CONDITIONS: AUXILIARY FREIGHTING AND
    EMIGRANT PROPELLERS: LAWS OF TRANSPORT: RAPID MAILS AND LEISURE
    TRANSPORT OF FREIGHT THE LAW OF NATURE: THE PRICE OF COALS RAPIDLY
    INCREASING: ANTICIPATED IMPROVEMENTS AND CHEAPENING IN MARINE
    PROPULSION NOT REALIZED.


Believing that no further arguments or facts are necessary to show
that a rapid steam mail marine is desirable and essential to the
successful government of the country, to our foreign commerce, and to
the growth of individual interests and a general prosperity of the
people, I shall now make some few inquiries concerning the Commercial
Capabilities of steam, as the most effective agent for the rapid
transit of the ocean, and the most expensive agent for the transport
of goods. After this, it will be necessary to examine into the Cost
of Steam, as a subject closely allied to its general capabilities.

Whatever may be said of the wind as a cheap agent of locomotion, this
much may be safely predicated of steam vessels for the mails; that
their time of departure and arrival has an absolute fixity which is
attainable by no other means, and which is highly conducive to the
best interests of all those for whom commerce is conducted. No
reasoning is necessary to show to the man of business, or even to the
pleasure-seeker, the importance of approximate certainty as to the
time when the mail leaves and when he can receive an answer to his
dispatches. He may not be able to give clearly philosophic reasons for
it; yet he feels the necessity in his business; and it certainly
relieves him of many painful doubts, if nothing more. Uncertainty in
commercial operations is always hazardous and costly to the great mass
of the people, who as a general thing pay more for whatever they get,
on the principle that we seldom take a venture in an uncertain thing
unless it holds out inducements of large profit, or unless we get a
high price for guarantying it. So in commercial correspondence, which
constitutes the great bulk of the ocean mails. Let uncertainty prevail
for but three or four days beyond the time when we should have news
from abroad, and every body is in doubt, every body speculates, and in
the end every body is injured.

Nor is this certainty in the time of arrival and departure of the
mails more desirable than their speed. The common sense of the world
has settled down upon the necessity of rapid mails; and all of the
ingenuity of the age is now taxed to its very highest to secure more
speed in the transmission of intelligence. Many interests demand it.
Money, which represents labor, is continually lent and borrowed in
bills of exchange, acceptances, deposits, and in actual cash sent
across the seas. The length of time for passing the bills and
correspondence, or the specie itself, thus becomes an exceedingly
important item to those who are to use them, and consequently to the
ultimate consumer for whom they are conducting the commercial
transaction. What community would to-day tolerate the idea of sending
three millions of dollars per week, and five millions of credits
between England and the United States on a sailing ship of whatever
quality, with the probability of keeping it lying unproductive on the
ocean for thirty days? Extend this to weekly shipments of the same
amounts, and have at one time on the waters between the two countries
twelve million dollars in specie and twenty in credits, tossing about
the ocean, unproductive and unsafe, and entailing all of the evils
incident to the uncertainty as to the time when it will arrive. But if
this is not sufficient, extend the inquiry to South-America, and
China, and India, and see how enormous and useless a waste of money
and interest is incurred in the many millions which by sailing vessels
and slow steamers is fruitlessly gilding the ocean for months. Money
is too valuable and interest too high to keep so many millions of it
locked up from the world. At two and three per cent a month, the
nation, or, what is the same thing, its commercial and mercantile
classes, as representing the producing, would soon become bankrupt.

The only avoidance of these evident evils is in a rapid transmission
of the mails, specie, and passengers. And herein consists the chief
value of the rapid ocean steamer. It is an important case which the
Telegraph, with all of its benefits, can never reach. It can never
transmit specie; neither the evidences of debt nor of property. The
voluminous mails, with all of their tedious details, upon which such
transactions depend, must go and come on steamers, and on steamers
only. They have the certainty, which will satisfy men and prevent
speculation, gambling, and imposition; they have the speed, which
shortens credit, keeps specie alway in active use, and enables
commercial men to know, meet, and supply the wants of the world before
they become costly or crushing; and they give a rapid and comfortable
transit to passengers, who can thus look after their business, and
save much to themselves and to the producer and consumer. Compared
with sailing vessels their efficiency is really wondrous. Foreign
correspondence was formerly very limited, and the interchange of
interests, feelings, and opinions was slow and tedious. Each nation
depended solely on itself; and instead of the brotherhood now
prevailing, communicated through the costly channels of war, by
messages of the cannon, and in powerful, hostile fleets. But the
foreign correspondence of the world is really enormous, and rapidly
increasing, since the introduction of ocean steamers; and no one will
say that they have had a small share in producing that fraternal
international spirit which is now so widely manifested in Peace
Congresses, Congresses of the Five Powers, explanations, concessions,
and amicable adjustments of difficulties. The peaceful influences and
the civilization of the times are but another comment on the
capabilities of steam.

There are also certain classes of freights which steam is better
calculated than sailing vessels to transport; certain rich and costly
goods which would either damage or depreciate if not brought speedily
into the market. There are many articles also, as gold and silver
ware, jewelry, diamonds, bullion, etc., and some articles of _vertu_
as well as use, which are costly, and have to be insured at high
values unless sent on steamers; and which consequently can pay a
rather better price. As in the case of specie, they are too valuable
to be kept long on the ocean; but in the general traffic of the world
there is so little of this class of freight that steamers can place no
reliance on it as a source of income. These freights have abounded
most between France and England and the United States. This is the
principal reason why the New-York and Havre line of mail steamers has
run on so unprecedentedly small a subsidy; a sum not more than half
adequate to the support of a mail line but for that class of freights.
The Cunard line has also derived a large sum of its support from the
same source. All such articles passing by that line come from England,
Ireland, and Scotland, where they are manufactured; and being shipped
by British merchants, are given, as a matter of duty, to their own
steamers. Another reason for the Cunard line getting most of those
more profitable freights is that a steamer leaves every week; every
Saturday; and shippers sending packages weekly are not compelled every
other week to hunt up a new line, and open a new set of accounts, as
would be the case if they attempted to ship by the Collins
semi-monthly line.

These freights have hitherto proven a profitable source of income to
that line. As there is no manufacturing done in this country for
Europe, the Cunarders and the Havre as well as the Collins and
Vanderbilt lines, have no freights that pay the handling from the
United States to Europe. And not only has the Cunard line, by starting
from home, taken all of these profitable freights from the Collins,
but it has run a weekly line of propellers from Havre and taken the
freight over to Liverpool free of charge for its New-York and Boston
steamers, and thereby shared the freights and greatly reduced the
income of the Havre line. There being a great superabundance of
propeller stock in Great Britain, which can be purchased frequently at
less than half its cost, and these vessels running the short distance
between Havre and Liverpool very cheaply, (_See pages 108-13_,) the
Cunarders have cut the Havre freights down from forty to fifteen
dollars per ton, and sometimes for months together to ten dollars per
ton. As a matter of course, this price would not pay the handling and
care of these costly articles; but at fifteen dollars it enabled the
Cunard line to fill their ships and derive some profit; as most of
them, with the exception of the _Persia_, run slowly, use less coal,
and have more freight room. All of these freights are, however, small
in quantity, and not much to be relied on from year to year, as will
be seen below, in consequence of the action of propellers.

There is another class of business which mail steamers can do at
remunerating prices; but which is exceedingly limited anywhere, and
not at all known on some lines. This is in Express packages. They pay
a high price; but seldom reach more than three or four tons under the
most favorable circumstances. In the early stages of the California
lines, when there was a rush of travel to the gold regions, and a
hurried transit required for a thousand little necessaries of life,
the New-York and Aspinwall and the Pacific Mail Steamship Company's
lines transported a large express freight outward at every voyage,
amounting sometimes to two hundred tons; but the golden days of such
cargo have long gone by, and California is now supplied like the rest
of the world by the cheaper and more deliberate transport of sailing
vessels; and the steamers are left to their legitimate business of
mails and passengers. Taking together all of the classes of freights
which steamers having mail payment are capable of transporting, they
amount at present to but an insignificant part of the income by which
these steamers can be run. During the last six years these freights
have reduced more than one hundred per cent; and goods which were then
profitable to the steamer, are now taken only "to fill up." And the
chief reason for this reduction arises not so much from competition
between the steam-lines, which well knew that they could not transport
these freights when reduced to the present low prices, but from the
introduction of a large number of propellers, some of which were
originally designed for this species of trade, and many others which
were built during the war in the Crimea for the transport of troops.
These ships were never prosperous anywhere, and are in nearly all
cases at the present found in second hands; the original proprietors
having lost a large share of their investment. Thus, purchased
cheaply, and running with simply an auxiliary steam power, and making
the passages but little shorter than the sailing vessels, and not even
so short as their best passages, they have but little more daily
expense than the sailing vessels, with all of the deceptive advantages
of being called steamers. They thus get these better freights and a
large number of immigrants, which with small interest on prime cost
enables them to live.

Paradoxical as it may seem, there are yet some cases, even upon the
ocean, in which steam can transport freight cheaper than the winds of
heaven. And this species of trade constitutes one of the best
capabilities of steam power applied to navigation. It is not in the
long voyage between Europe and America, or between the East and
California, or yet in the far-off trade among the calms and pacific
seas of the East-Indies and the Pacific Islands; it is not in the
smooth, lake-like seas of the West-Indies, where there is no freight
whose transport price will pay for putting it on and taking it off the
steamer; nor in the trade of Brazil whence a bag of coffee can be
transported five thousand miles to New-York nearly as cheaply as it
can from New-York to Baltimore or to Charleston; but it is in the
coasting trade of almost every country, where the voyage is short. In
the trade between New-York and Baltimore, between Charleston and
Savannah, between Boston and Portland, or between New-Orleans and Key
West, or New-Orleans and Galveston, the small sailing vessels spend
one half of their time in working in and out of the harbors. Sometimes
they are two days awaiting winds, to get out of a harbor, two days in
sailing, and two days again in making and entering their port of
destination; whereas a steamer would make the whole passage in one day
to a day and a half. Now, the distance actually to be run, and for
which the steamer will be compelled to burn coal is not very great;
but the trouble of working the vessel in and out, against adverse
winds and currents, and amid storms and calms, is sometimes excessive,
while the delay and cost are disheartening. They have also the trouble
of warping into and out of the docks, which is not the case with
steamers.

Thus, it frequently takes a week for a sailing vessel to do the work
that a steamer will readily do in twenty-four to thirty-six hours. Say
that it takes the sail four times as long as the steamer to accomplish
a given voyage. To do as much business as the steamer would do in the
same time, would require four sailing vessels; four times as many men
as one sail requires, or probably twice as many hands in the aggregate
as the steamer would have; and would incur at least twice the expense
of the steamer in feeding them. Now, there is also a much larger
aggregate sum invested in these four sail, and the owners pay a much
larger sum of interest on their prime investment. Or, in other words,
the steamer with but a few more men, but little greater expense in
living, a small coal-bill, an engineer and firemen, and a prime outlay
of not more than double the capital, will carry four times the freight
and passengers, without incurring probably so much as three times the
expense of one of the sail. After the prime cost the most important
item of expenditure in one of these small steamers is the coal; but
the distance run being so short, and getting into and out of the
harbor and docks being so easy, the vessel does large execution at
little expense. The two most essential benefits, however, of her short
voyage are, that she is not compelled to carry much fuel, and
consequently occupies nearly all of her space with freight; and that
the prices of freight on these short voyages are much larger in
proportion than they are on long voyages. Sailing vessels charge very
little more for a thousand miles than they do for five hundred; but a
steamer may have to charge nearly three times as much; especially if
she run fast, consume much fuel, and occupy her cargo-room with coal.
There are distances at which steamers, however large, can not carry a
pound of freight; but occupy all their available space with the power
that drives them. In these long voyages sail becomes much cheaper.

It is by no means essential that these small coasting vessels shall be
propellers; for to acquire the same speed they expend the same power
and have the disadvantage of being deeper in the water, and not being
able to go into all harbors with much freight. They have also the
advantage of carrying more sail, and being generally better able to
stand coast storms than a side-wheel of light draught of water. They
are not quite so expensive in prime construction, but generally
require more repairs, and must be on the docks much oftener. They are,
however, much better suited than side-wheel vessels to voyages where a
medium speed is required, and where the steam can be used at pleasure
simply as an auxiliary power. In such cases there is a profitable
economy of fuel. But speed has generally been deemed essential in this
country, and the side-wheel is everywhere used. But entirely the
contrary is the case in Great Britain and France. There the coasting
business is conducted by screws almost altogether; and the speed does
not transcend the limit of economy and commercial capability. They
distinguish between the extremely fast carriage of mails and
passengers on the one hand, and freights on the other; and although
they wish the speed and certainty of steam, yet it is not the costly
speed. When they know that a given quantity of fuel will carry freight
eight knots per hour, they would consider it wasteful and foolish to
consume twice that quantity of fuel just to carry it ten knots; and
more especially so, when, in addition to the extra quantity of fuel,
they would lose just its bulk in paying freight room. England is thus
employing most of her vast fleet of coasting ocean steamers in her own
trade, or in the foreign trade lying within a few hundred miles of her
ports. And the voyages being short, her coals being cheap and
convenient, frequently not above three dollars per ton to the
coasters, and in addition to this, the prime cost of these vessels
being smaller than in this country, as both iron and labor are
cheaper, she has found them very profitable at home, and is
insinuating them into all the short routes wherever she can get a
foothold. It was not until she attempted the same species of
self-supporting steam navigation with distant countries, that her
propeller system failed her and involved her citizens in loss.
Meanwhile it is more than probable that within the next fifteen years
we shall find five hundred propellers scattered along the coasts of
the United States.

Notwithstanding the eminent capabilities of steam when applied to
coast navigation, or to the fluvial navigation of the interior, it has
failed to make the same triumphs in the carriage of freights and
passengers upon the ocean. And it is not alone because the voyage is
long and the freights low in price. Steamers carry freights up the
Mississippi river two thousand miles from New-Orleans, and find it
profitable. Some run even as high as three thousand miles up that
river and the Missouri; a voyage nearly as long as to Europe, and make
money by it. But the circumstances are very different. They do not
leave the dock at New-Orleans with even more than enough fuel on board
for the whole trip, as the ocean steamers do. If they did they could
carry no freight. But they stop every twelve to eighteen hours and
take on wood just as they need it, fifty to a hundred cords at a time;
and instead of occupying all of their available room with wood, they
have the steamer full of cargo, and have on board only fifty or sixty
tons of fuel at a time, and only half that weight on an average. None
of the best steamers on those rivers could take enough wood on board
for the whole three thousand miles, even though they should not have a
ton of freight. And compared with ocean steamers of the same engine
power, they do not cost half of the money, I might say generally, not
one third of the money. There is no reason, then, why these steamers
should not carry large quantities of freight and make large sums of
money by it. They have the great elements, fuel, freight capacity, and
prime cost in their favor.

There is a large class of freights which are not transportable by
steam on long ocean voyages under any conditions. We will grant that
under the most favorable circumstances, where rich and costly articles
are transported in small bulk, that propellers running at a low rate
of speed, or just fast enough to anticipate sailing vessels, will make
a living. But change the class of these freights into the great
average class of those filling the thousands of sailing vessels, and
deprive these screw vessels of an immense emigrant passenger traffic,
and they would not pay their running expenses by fifty per cent. This
style of freights, sailing vessels in their great competition have
reduced to the lowest paying figure. The margin left for profit is so
small that our ship-owners constantly complain that unless there are
changes they must go into other business; and many of them say this
honestly, as is shown by the hundreds of ships which of late years we
can always find lying up, awaiting improvement in business. Now, let
even the slowest and cheapest running screw vessel attempt to carry
the same freights, to say nothing of fast side-wheel mail vessels, and
we shall see against what odds the screw or other steamer has to
contend. In the first place, her engines, boilers, coal, etc., occupy
at least forty per cent of her total registered tonnage. Grant that
the additional expense of a steamer over a sail, that is, wages for
engineers, firemen, coal passers, etc., and finding the same in food
and rooms, costs even no more than the loss of an additional ten per
cent of her freight room. In other words, considering her steam
machinery, fuel, extra expenses, etc., to be equal to half of her
freight room, it is evident that she would carry only half as much
freight as a sailing vessel of the same size, and that she would get
but half as much money for it.

It is thus clear, I think, that there is a certain class of ocean
freights which steam can not transport under any conditions so long as
there are sailing vessels on the ocean; and in that class are
comprehended all the great standard and staple articles of the world,
constituting in sum seventeen twentieths of all the freight passing
upon the ocean. This being so, it is utterly idle to suppose that
steam in any form can take the place of sail upon the ocean, even
though the present prices for the carriage of standard articles should
increase three hundred per cent.

There are many considerations which affect this question. The ordinary
average passages of the ocean on long voyages are now very rapid; and
some of the clippers have attained a speed which no freighting steamer
may ever be expected to do on the high seas. They do not maintain this
high speed as an average, but it is sufficiently high for all of the
ordinary purposes of transport in the standard articles of commerce,
and where the business of the clipper is done by a fast mail steamer.
There is no positive necessity for the speedy transport that some have
attempted to give to articles, whose presence in the markets, as the
ordinary supplies of life, to-day, next month, or a month later, is a
matter of total indifference to every one except the ship-owner
himself. It but little concerns the public whether a cargo of cotton,
or beef or pork, or corn is one month or forty-five days between the
United States and England, so that it is safe in the end. It is an
annual production that must have an annual transit, and however
unnecessarily fast we may become, we can not send more than one crop
in the year. The world frequently becomes too fast in every thing; and
crises, panics, and bankruptcies follow as legitimate consequences.
When a fictitious value is given to every thing, and every globule of
air which one has breathed comes puffing out, a splendid bubble, a
magnificent speculation, and when men have to go so fast that they
need a telegraph to ride them through the world lest they get behind
the heated times, no wonder that the shipper can not sit quietly down
in his office and wait thirty days for a load of corn to reach
England, or a load of iron to appear in the harbor in return. And it
does not matter to him that it may not be used there in six months. He
wishes to finish the "operation," to close up the "transaction" before
he goes up town in the evening.

There is a rational distinction between the necessary and the
unnecessary which we must learn to make, and a limit which safety
assigns to every operation. There are some things which must be done
rapidly, and others which may be done at leisure. Between the freight
cargo, and the correspondence which controls it there is a great
difference. Rapid transport of letters, intelligence, and passengers,
and leisure transport of freight, is the law of nature, and to attempt
to reverse it is but to attempt that which will never be successfully
done, simply because wholly unnecessary in any permanent economic
sense. And not only is higher speed than that of clippers unnecessary
in ordinary freight transport, but it is clearly impossible in any
normal condition of trade. Circumstances may, and doubtless often will
exist, which will require some sluggish article to be transported a
long distance in a short time, as in the case of the famine in
Ireland, and which may insure rates at which steam vessels can take
small quantities of such freights; but such occasions will ever be
accidental, and the support of vessels depending on them the
questionable support of expedients, and capricious in the extreme. It
will ever be just as impossible to hurry gross freights across the
ocean in a healthy state of commerce as it will to prevent rapid
mails, or forego the comforts of quick passenger transit.

To say nothing of a vessel which is half filled with its own power,
attempting to compete, in the ordinary freights of the world, with one
which fills every square foot with paying cargo, it is equally
important that we should look at the question of fuel. The coals of
the world are not so plentiful or so cheap that we should consume
whole pits in a year in unnecessary and unproductive service. They are
already beginning to fail in many parts of the world, or to the same
effect, are mined and brought to market at such increasing cost, and
applied to so many new purposes day by day, that in a few years the
price will place them entirely beyond the reach of commercial purposes
upon the ocean. It is contended, however, that the science of
engineering is also rapidly advancing, and that we shall soon have
some discovery by which we can have heat without fuel, and power
without heat. But I have heard of those imaginary engineering hopes so
long that I begin to believe them vague, and that we shall yet for a
few generations measure the power applied by the number of pounds of
coal consumed. From past experiences and present indications we can
predicate nothing with more certainty of fuel than that it will
indefinitely increase in price. I am satisfied, therefore, that with
all of the capabilities of steam it can never be applied to general
ocean transportation; first, because undesirable; and second, because
impossible even if desirable. But to show more clearly that it is
impossible, I will now make some inquiries concerning the cost of
ocean steam, which is the cardinal point of interest in marine
propulsion.



SECTION IV.

COST OF STEAM: OCEAN MAIL SPEED.

    MISAPPREHENSION OF THE HIGH COST OF STEAM MARINE PROPULSION: VIEWS
    OF THE NON-PROFESSIONAL: HIGH SPEED NECESSARY FOR THE DISTANCES IN
    OUR COUNTRY: WHAT IS THE COST OF HIGH ADEQUATE MAIL SPEED: FAST
    STEAMERS REQUIRE STRONGER PARTS IN EVERY THING: GREATER OUTLAY IN
    PRIME COST: MORE FREQUENT AND COSTLY REPAIRS: MORE WATCHFULNESS
    AND MEN: MORE COSTLY FUEL, ENGINEERS, FIREMEN, AND COAL-PASSERS:
    GREAT STRENGTH OF HULL REQUIRED: ALSO IN ENGINES, BOILERS, AND
    PARTS: WHY THE PRIME COST INCREASES: THEORY OF REPAIRS: FRICTION
    AND BREAKAGES: BOILERS AND FURNACES BURNING OUT: REPAIRS TWELVE TO
    EIGHTEEN PER CENT: DEPRECIATION: SEVERAL LINES CITED; USES FOR
    MORE MEN: EXTRA FUEL, AND LESS FREIGHT-ROOM: BRITISH TRADE AND
    COAL CONSUMPTION:

    THE NATURAL LAWS OF RESISTANCE, POWER, AND SPEED, WITH TABLE: THE
    RESISTANCE VARIES AS IS THE SQUARE OF THE VELOCITY: THE POWER, OR
    FUEL, VARIES AS THE CUBE OF THE VELOCITY: THE RATIONALE:
    AUTHORITIES CITED IN PROOF OF THE LAW: EXAMPLES, AND THE FORMULÆ:
    COAL-TABLE; NO. I.: QUANTITY OF FUEL FOR DIFFERENT SPEEDS AND
    DISPLACEMENTS: DEDUCTIONS FROM THE TABLE: RATES AT WHICH INCREASED
    SPEED INCREASES THE CONSUMPTION OF FUEL: CONSUMPTION FOR VESSELS
    OF 2,500, 3,000, AND 6,000 TONS DISPLACEMENT: COAL-TABLE; NO. II.:
    FREIGHT-TABLE; NO. III.: AS SPEED AND POWER INCREASE FREIGHT AND
    PASSENGER ROOM DECREASE: FREIGHT AND FARE REDUCED: SPEED OF
    VARIOUS LINES: FREIGHT-COST: COAL AND CARGO; NO. IV.: MR.
    ATHERTON'S VIEWS OF FREIGHT TRANSPORT.


The foregoing arguments bring us to the conclusion that steam,
however desirable, can not be profitably employed in commerce
generally as an agent of transport; and that it is best applicable to
the rapid conveyance of the mails, passengers, specie, and costly
freights only. That this fact may be presented in a clearer light, and
that we may see the almost incredibly high cost of rapid steaming, or
the attainment of a speed sufficiently high for the carriage of
important mails, it will be necessary to make some critical inquiries
concerning the working cost of steam power, under any conditions, as
applied to marine propulsion. Much misapprehension prevails on this
point among nearly all classes of the people, and even among the
rulers of the country whose action controls the destiny and uses of
this valuable power. It is hardly to be expected, however, that
gentlemen engaged actively in the all-engrossing pursuits of business
or of public life, with a thousand different sets of ideas to be
matured on a thousand different subjects, such as demand the attention
of Congress, and the Departments of the Executive Government, should
be practically or even theoretically acquainted with a profession
which requires years of close application and study, and a wide field
of practical, daily observation and experience. It would be as absurd
for unprofessional gentlemen of any class, as well from the walks of
statesmanship and the Government as from those of quiet private life,
to assume an acquaintance with the theory and practice of navigation,
and the cost, embarrassments, and difficulties attending steamship
enterprise, as it would for any two or three of them to enter an ocean
steamer for the first time of their lives, and essay to work the
engines and navigate the ship across the seas. The skill and knowledge
requisite for such a task would require years of application; and it
can not be reasonably supposed that those entirely unacquainted with
the theory and parts of an engine, should know much about its
capabilities, or the cost attending its use.

But there are approximate conclusions, readily applicable to
practice, at which even the unprofessional can arrive with certainty
and security on a proper presentation of the prominent facts and
theories concerned; and that these may be given to the public in a
reliable and intelligible form, for the removal of the doubts and
obscurities which have hung around the subject, is the chief object of
this publication. This inquiry becomes the more important as the speed
of American steamers is proverbially beyond that of any other steam
vessels in the world. From the first conception of fluvial and marine
steam propulsion by Fitch and Fulton, the public and the inventors
themselves regarded the new application of this power with the more
favor as it promised to be a means of shortening the long distances
between the different parts of our own large country. And the same
object has acted as a stimulus ever since to that increase of speed
which has placed localities all over this country, hitherto days
apart, now, probably, but as many hours. The slow trip through marshes
and rivers, over hills and mountains, and by the meandering roads of
the country, between New-York and Albany, once required from four to
six days; but the attainment of twenty-five miles per hour in our fast
river steamers has at length placed that capital within six hours of
the Metropolis. And, as in this instance, so has the effort been
throughout our whole country, and upon the ocean, until we have
attained, both upon the rivers and the high seas, the highest speed
yet known, notwithstanding the important fact that steamship building
is a new and not fully developed species of enterprise in this
country. We have already seen how imperatively the spirit of the age
and the genius of our people demand rapid steam mails by both land and
sea, and a rapid conveyance of passengers; and it would be
unreasonable to suppose that if we required these for the development
of our youth, they would be less necessary for the fruitful uses of
manhood and maturity. It is abundantly evident that the American
people are by nature and habit a progressive and unusually hurrying
people; and it is not to be supposed that they will reverse this
constitutional law of their nature in their attempts at ocean
navigation.

To answer the question, "What is the cost of high, adequate mail
speed?" requires something more than an inquiry into the quantity of
fuel consumed; although this is the principal element of its cost. We
must consider that the attainment and maintenance of high speed depend
upon the exertion of a high power; and that,

I. High speed and power require stronger parts in every thing: in the
ship's build, the machinery, the boilers, and all of the working
arrangements:

II. High speed and power require a larger outlay in prime cost, in
material and building, for the adequate resistance required by such
power:

III. High speed and power require more frequent and costly repairs:

IV. High speed and power require more watchfulness, a more prompt
action, and consequently more persons:

V. High speed and power require more fuel, more engineers, more
firemen, and more coal-stokers.

1. These propositions are nearly all self-evident to every class of
mind. That a high speed attained through the exertion of a high power
will require stronger parts in every thing that exerts a force or
resists one, is as manifest as that a force necessary to remove one
ton of weight will have to be doubled to remove two tons. In the prime
construction of the hull this is as requisite as in any other part.
The resistance to a vessel, or the concussion against the water, at a
low rate of speed, will not be very sensibly felt; but if that speed
is considerably increased and the concussion made quicker without a
corresponding increase in the strength of the frame and hull of the
ship generally, we shall find the ship creaking, straining, and
yielding to the pressure, until finally it works itself to pieces, and
also disconcerts the engines, whose stability, bracing, and keeping
proper place and working order depend first and essentially on the
permanence and stability of the hull. If the resistance to a vessel in
passing through the water increases as the square of the velocity, and
if in addition to this outward thrust against the vessel it has to
support the greater engine power within it, which has increased as the
cube of the velocity, then the strength of the vessel must be adequate
to resist without injury these two combined forces against which it
has to contend.

The same increased strength is necessary also in the engines and
boilers. It is admitted by the ablest engineers, and verified by
practice, as will be shown in another part of this Section, that to
increase the speed of a steamer from eight to ten knots per hour, it
is necessary to double the power, and so on in the ratio of the cubes
of the velocity. Suppose that we wish to gain these two knots advance
on eight. It is evident that, if the boilers have to generate, and the
engines to use twice the power, and exert twice the force, they must
have also twice the strength. The boiler must be twice as strong and
heavy; the various working parts of the engine must be twice as
strong: the shafts, the cranks, the piston and other rods, the beams,
the cylinders, the frame work, whether of wood or iron, and even the
iron wheels themselves, with every thing in any way employed to use
the power, overcome the resistance, and gain the speed. There is no
working arrangement in any way connected with the propulsion of the
ship that does not partake of this increase; every pump, every valve,
every bolt connected directly or indirectly with the engine economy of
the ship.

2. In the second place, seeing that much greater strength of parts is
required to overcome the increased resistance, it is equally evident
that this high speed and power thus require a larger outlay in every
point of the prime construction of the vessel and engines by which the
speed is to be attained. The hull's heavier timbers cost a higher
price according to size than the direct proportion of size indicates.
Large and choice timbers are difficult to get, and costly. The hull
must also be strengthened to a large extra extent by heavy iron
strapping and bracing, which, unlike the rest, cost in the ratio of
the material used. So with the engines. The shaft, which weighs twice
as much, does not cost only twice as much, but frequently three or
four or five times as much. This arises not from the weight of the
metal, as is evident; but from the difficulty of forging pieces that
are so large. The persons engaged in the forging and finishing of the
immense shafts, cranks, pistons, etc., used in our first class
steamers, frequently consider that the last and largest piece is the
_chef d'oeuvre_ of the art, and that it will never be transcended,
even if equalled again. They have expended all of their skill and
ingenuity in the task, and have not succeeded sometimes until they
have forged two or three new pieces. When a great work of this kind is
done, it may be discovered in the turning, polishing, and fitting up,
that it has at last a flaw, and that it will not do for the service
intended. As a matter of course, it must be thrown aside and a new
piece forged. This was but recently the case with one of the shafts of
the "Leviathan," in England. So with the shafts of the new Collins'
steamer "Adriatic." They were forged in Reading, Pennsylvania, and in
addition to their enormous prime cost had to incur that of shipment
from the interior of Pennsylvania to the city of New-York. In all such
cases the prime cost increases immensely, and to an extent that would
hardly be credited by those not practically familiar with the subject.

3. Again, high or increased power and speed require more frequent and
more costly repairs. Friction arises from the pressure of two bodies
moving in opposite directions, and pressure results from the exertion
of power, and in the ratio of the power applied. The amount of
friction, therefore, is in the ratio of the power expended and of the
extra weight of parts required for that power. But the effects of
friction require a higher ratio when the power is greatly multiplied,
as in the case of high speed. An immensely heavy shaft exerting an
unusual force is certain to greatly heat the journals and boxes, and
thus wear them away far more rapidly. Also a rapid motion of heavy
parts of machinery, and the necessarily severe concussions and
jarrings can not fail destroying costly working parts in the engine,
and necessitating heavy and expensive repairs and substitutions. An
ordinary engine working at a slow and easy rate, will not require one
tenth the repairs necessary if it were working up to a high power and
accomplishing a high speed. With any little derangement the engines
can stop and the injury can be repaired before it reaches any
magnitude. But with rapid mail packets the engines must run on, and
the derangement which at first is small, will amount in the end, when
the voyage is completed and the mails are delivered, to a sum probably
ten or twenty times as great as in the case of the vessel that stops
and makes her repairs as she requires them. The exertion of a high
mail power causes many costly parts to burn out from unrelieved
pressure and friction, which would not be the case under other
conditions. It is also nearly impossible for the best built engines in
the world to make fast time without breaking some important part at
every trip or two, or so cracking and injuring it from the continued
strain, that a wise precaution requires its removal to make the
steamer perfectly sea-worthy. Every practical man knows these
difficulties, and every steamship owner estimates their importance
according to the immense bills they occasion month by month, or the
delays and losses which they cause unless he has expended large
amounts of capital in providing other ships to take their place on
such occasions of derangement.

Nor is the burning out of heavy brass, and composition, and steel
pieces, or the breaking of large and troublesome parts in the engine
the only source of repairs on a steamship. The boiler department is
particularly fruitful in large bills of repairs, especially if it be
necessary to attain a good mail speed. It stands to reason that if the
whole ship can not be filled with boiler power, which with reasonably
high fires, would give enough steam, then the boilers which are used
must be exerted to their highest capacity, or the rapid speed can not
be attained. Many suppose that the boilers may generate twice the
quantity of steam without any appreciable difference in the wear and
tear; but this is a decided error. For high speed, and what I mean by
high speed is simply that which gives a sufficiently rapid transit to
the mails, the fires must be nurtured up to their highest intensity
and every pound of coal must be burned in every corner of the furnaces
which will generate even an ounce of steam. This continued heat
becomes too powerful for the furnaces and the boilers, and they begin
to oxidize, and burn, and melt away, as would never be the case under
ordinary heat. When the ship comes into port it is found that her
furnaces must be "overhauled," her grate bars renewed, her braces
restored, her boilers patched, sometimes all over, several of their
plates taken out, thousands of rivets removed and supplied, and
probably dozens of tubes also removed and replaced with new ones. But
this is not all. The best boilers can not long run in this way. After
six to seven years at the utmost, they must be removed from the ship
altogether, and new ones must be put into their place. This is also a
most expensive operation. The boilers constitute a large share of the
cost of the engine power. To put a new set of boilers in one of the
Collins steamers will cost about one hundred and ten thousand dollars,
and this must be done every six years. The boilers of the West-India
Royal Mail Steamers, which run very slowly, last on an average, six
years.[A]

[A] Statement by Mr. Pitcher, builder, before the Committee of the
House of Commons. Murray on the _Steam Engine_, p. 170, Second
Edition.

But this is not all. To restore the boilers, a ship has to be torn
literally almost to pieces. All of the decks in that part must be
removed and lost; the frame of the ship cut to pieces; large and
costly timbers removed, and altogether an expense incurred that is
frightful even to the largest companies. To insure perfect safety and
to gratify the wish of the public, this is generally done long before
it is strictly necessary, and when the boilers are in a perfectly good
condition for the working purposes of ordinary speed. But precaution
and safety are among the prerequisites of the public service, and must
be attained at whatever cost. On slow auxiliary freighting steamers
this would be by no means necessary. But the extent and cost of these
repairs on steamers far exceed any thing that would be imagined. They
are supposed to be twelve per cent. per annum of the prime cost of a
vessel of ordinary speed, taking the whole ship's life together at
twelve years at the utmost. Atherton in his "Marine Engine
Construction and Classification," page 32, says of the repairs of
steam vessels doing ordinary service in Great Britain, where all such
work is done much cheaper than in this country: "By the Parliamentary
evidence of the highest authorities on this point, it appears to have
been conclusively established, that the cost of upholding steamship
machinery has of late years amounted, on the average, to about £6 per
horse power per annum, being about 12 per cent. per annum, on the
prime cost of the machinery, which annual outlay is but one of the
grand points of current expense in which steamship proprietors are
concerned." Now, if these were the repairs of the slow West-India
Royal mail steamers, which ran but 200 days in the year, and that at a
very moderate speed, and in the machine shops of England, where at
that time (previous to 1852) wages were very low, they can not be less
in this country, on rapid mail steamers, where wages and materials are
very high, and where marine engineering was then in its infancy.

There are some facts on this subject which prove the positions here
taken. The Collins steamers have been running but six years, and yet
their repairs have amounted in all to more than the prime cost of the
ships, or to about eighteen per cent. per annum. They were as well and
as strongly built originally as any ships in the world, as appears
from the report which Commodore M. C. Perry made to the Department
regarding them, and from the fine condition of their hulls at the
present time. Their depreciation with all of these repairs has not
been probably above six per cent. per annum. They will, however,
probably depreciate ten per cent. during the next six years, and at
the age of twelve or fourteen years be unfit for service. The steamers
Washington and Hermann, which had strong hulls, have been run eight
years, and are now nearly worthless. Their depreciation has been at
least ten per cent. The steamers Georgia and Ohio, which Commodore
Perry and other superintending navy agents pronounced to be well-built
and powerful steamers, (_See Report Sec. Navy_, 1852,) ran only five
years, and were laid aside, and said to be worthless. With all of the
repairs put upon these ships, which were admitted to be capable of
doing first class war service, as intended, they depreciated probably
seventeen per cent.; as it is hardly possible that their old iron
would sell for more than fifteen per cent. of their prime cost. These
steamers paid much smaller repair bills than the Collins, and were not
so well constructed, or at so high a cost. American steamers do not,
upon the average, last above ten years; but if they reach twelve or
fourteen, they will pay a sum nearly equal to twice their cost, for
repairs and substitutions. Nor is this all. The life of a steamer ends
when her adaptation to profitable service ceases. She may not be
rotten, but may be so slow, or of so antiquated construction, or may
burn so much more fuel than more modern competitors, that she can not
stand the test of competition.

4. We thus see that not only are the requisite repairs most extensive
and costly, but of such magnitude as to greatly reduce the earnings of
any class of steam vessels. But this is not the last costly
consequence of mail speed. It requires more cautious watchfulness of
the engines, the boilers, the deck, and of every possible department
of the navigation, even including pilotage. It requires also more
promptness and dispatch in every movement, and hence a much larger
aggregate number of men. More men are necessary to keep up high fires;
twice as many men are necessary to pass twice as much coal; twice as
many engineers as under other circumstances are necessary for the
faithful working of the engines, and any accidents and repairs which
are indispensable on the ocean; and a larger number of sailors and
officers is necessary to all of the prompt movements required of the
mail steamer. The Havre mail steamers, the "Arago" and "Fulton," never
carry less than six engineers each, although they could be run across
the ocean with three under a hard working system. But this number
insures the greater safety of the ship under ordinary circumstances,
and is absolutely necessary in any case of accident and danger. It is
the same case with the firemen. When, in a heavy storm, the fire
department may be imperfectly manned, the ship has taken one of the
first chances for rendering the engines inefficient, and being finally
lost. And all of these extra and indispensable _employées_ make an
extra drain on the income of the ship, and add to the extreme
costliness of a high adequate mail speed.

5. It is clear, then, that an adequate mail speed requires more fuel,
more engineers, more firemen, more coal-stokers, and more general
expense. The question of fuel is, however, alone the most important of
all those affecting the attainment of high speed, and the item whose
economy has been most desired and sought, both by those attempting to
carry freight, and those who carry the mails and passengers. The
principal points of interests concerning it are, the enormous quantity
which both theory and practice show to be necessary to fast vessels;
the large sum to be paid for it, and the steadily increasing price;
and the paying freight room which its necessary carriage occupies. In
fast steaming, the supply of coal to the furnaces frequently arrives
at a point where many additional tons may be burned and yet produce no
useful effect or increase of power. The draft through the furnaces and
smoke stacks is so rapid and strong as to take off a vast volume of
heat; and this, coupled with a large quantity of heat radiated from
the various highly heated parts and surfaces, requires a consumption
of fuel truly astonishing. If we reflect that at the twelve principal
ports of Great Britain in the year of 1855, the tonnage entered was
6,372,301, and departed 6,426,566, equal to 12,798,867 total, and this
during the war, that a large part of this was steam tonnage, and that
the total imports and exports of Great Britain for 1856 were
1,600,000,000 dollars, we can somewhat appreciate the present and
future uses of coal, and its inevitably large increase in price. The
two hundred and seventy steamers in the British Navy, with about
50,000 aggregate horse power, consumed in 1856, according to a report
made to a Committee of the "British Association for the Advancement of
Science," this year, by Rear-Admiral Moorsom, 750,000 tons of coal.
The difficulty and cost of mining coal, its distance from the
sea-shore, and the multifarious new applications in its use among our
rapidly increasing population, as well as its almost universal and
increasing demand for marine purposes, all conspire to make it more
costly from year to year; while, as a propelling agent, it is already
beyond the reach of commercial ocean steam navigation. Coal has gone
up by a steady march during the last seven years from two and a half
to eight dollars per ton, which may now be regarded as a fair average
price along our Atlantic seaboard. And that we may see more clearly
how essentially the speed and cost of steam marine navigation depend
upon the simple question of fuel alone, to say nothing further of the
impeding causes heretofore mentioned, I will now present a few
inquiries concerning


THE NATURAL LAWS OF RESISTANCE, POWER, AND SPEED,

WITH TABLES OF THE SAME.

The resistance to bodies moving through the water increases as the
square of the velocity; and the power, or coal, necessary to produce
speed varies or increases as the cube of the velocity. This is a law
founded in nature, and verified by facts and universal experience. Its
enunciation is at first startling to those who have not reflected on
the subject, and who as a general thing suppose that, if a vessel will
run 8 miles per hour on a given quantity of coal, she ought to run 16
miles per hour on double that quantity. I think that it may be safely
asserted that in all cases of high speed, and ordinary dynamic or
working efficiency in the ship, the resistance increases more rapidly
than as the squares. The _rationale_ of the law is this: the power
necessary to overcome the resistance of the water at the vessel's bow
and the friction increases as the square; again, the power necessary
to overcome the natural inertia of the vessel and set it in motion,
increases this again as the square of the velocity, and the two
together constitute the aggregate resistance which makes it necessary
that the power for increasing a vessel's speed shall increase as the
cube of the velocity. But whatever the _rationale_, the law itself is
an admitted fact by all theoretical engineers, and is proven in
practice by all steamships. In evidence of this, I will give the
following opinions.

In his treatise on "The Marine Engine," Mr. Robert Murray, who is a
member of the Board of Trade in Southampton, England, says in speaking
of the "Natural law regulating the speed of a steamer," page 104:
"These results chiefly depend upon the natural law that _the power
expended in propelling a steamship through the water varies as the
cube of the velocity_. This law is modified by the retarding effect of
the _increased resisting surface_, consequent upon the weight of the
engines and fuel, so that the horse power increases in a somewhat
higher ratio than that named." It must be understood that when he
speaks of power, horse power, etc., it is simply another form of
representing the quantity of coal burned; as the power is in the
direct ratio of the quantity of fuel.

Bourne, the great Scotch writer upon the Screw Propeller, in his large
volume published by Longmans, London, page 145, says, in concluding a
sentence on the expensiveness of vessels: "Since it is known that the
resistance of vessels increases more rapidly than the square of the
velocity in the case of considerable speeds."

Again, at page 236, on "the resistance of bodies moving through the
water," he says: "In the case of very sharp vessels, the resistance
appears to increase nearly as the square of the velocity, but in case
of vessels of the ordinary amount of sharpness the resistance
increases more rapidly than the square of the velocity."

Again, on page 231, in speaking of the folly of a company attempting
to run steamers sufficiently rapidly for the mails at the price paid
for them, he says: "At the same time an increased rate of speed has to
be maintained, which is, of course, tantamount to a further reduction
of the payment. In fact, their position upon the Red Sea line is now
this, that they would be better without the mails than with them, as
the mere expense of the increased quantity of fuel necessary to
realize the increased speed which they have undertaken to maintain,
will swallow up the whole of the Government subvention. _To increase
the speed of a vessel from 8 to 10 knots it is necessary that the
engine power should be doubled._" This work of Mr. Bourne is now the
standard of authority on the subject of which he treats, the world
over.

Again, Mr. James R. Napier, of London, known as one of the largest and
most skilled engine-builders in Great Britain, in the discussion of
the dynamic efficiency of steamships in the proceedings of the
"British Association" in 1856, page 436, says: "_The power in similar
vessels, I here take for granted, at present varies as the cube of the
velocity._" The power simply represents the coal; in fact, it is the
coal.

Mr. Charles Atherton, the able and distinguished Chief Engineer of Her
Majesty's Royal Dock Yard, at Woolwich, has published a volume, called
"Steamship Capability," a smaller volume on "Marine Engine
Classification," and several elaborate papers for the British
Association, the Society of Arts, London, the Association of Civil
Engineers, and the Artisans' Journal, for the purpose of properly
exposing the high cost of steam freight transport as based on the law
above noticed, and the ruinous expense of running certain classes of
vessels of an inferior dynamic efficiency. When but a few weeks since
in London, I asked the Editor of the "Artisan," if any engineer in
England disputed the laws relative to power, on which Mr. Atherton
based his arguments. He replied that he had never heard of one who
did. I asked Mr. Atherton myself, if in the case of the newest and
most improved steamers, with the best possible models for speed, he
had ever found any defect in the law of, the resistance as the
squares, and the power as the cubes of the velocity. He replied that
he had not; and that he regarded the law as founded in nature, and had
everywhere seen it verified in practice in the many experiments which
it was his duty to conduct with steam vessels in and out of the Royal
Navy. I think, therefore, that with all of these high authorities, the
doctrine will be admitted as a law of power and speed, and
consequently of the consumption of coal and the high cost of running
steamers at mail speeds.

It is not my purpose here to discuss this law, or treat generally or
specially of the theory of steam navigation. It will suffice that I
point out clearly its existence and the prominent methods of its
application only, as these are necessary to the general deduction
which I propose making, that rapid steamships can not support
themselves on their own receipts. The general reader can pass over
these formulæ to p. 69, and look at their results.


I. TO FIND THE CONSUMPTION OF FUEL NECESSARY TO INCREASE THE SPEED OF
A STEAMER.

Suppose that a steamer running eight miles per hour consumes forty
tons of coal per day: how much coal will she consume per day at nine
miles per hour? The calculation is as follows:

8^3 : 9^3 :: 40 : required consumption, which is, 56.95 tons. Here the
speed has increased 12-1/2 per cent., while the quantity of fuel
consumed increased 42-1/2 per cent.

Suppose, again, that we wish to increase the speed from 8 to 10, and
from 8 to 16 miles per hour. The formula stands the same, thus:

    Miles.  Miles.  Tons Coal.       Tons Coal.
     8^3  :  10^3  ::  40  :  _x_,  =  78.1
     8^3  :  16^3  ::  40  :  _x_,  =  320.


II. TO FIND THE SPEED CORRESPONDING TO A DIMINISHED CONSUMPTION OF
FUEL.

Murray has given some convenient formulæ, which I will here adopt.
Suppose a vessel of 500 horse power run 12 knots per hour on 40 tons
coal per day: what will be the speed if she burn only 30 tons per day?
Thus:

               40 : 30 :: 12^3 : V^3 (or cube of the required velocity,)
  Or, reduced,  4 :  3 :: 1728 : V^3,
  Equation,     3 × 1728 = 5184 = 4V^3,
                       Or, 5184/4 =
              Cube root of 1296 = 10.902 knots = V, required velocity.

Thus, we reduce the quantity of coal one fourth, but the speed is
reduced but little above one twelfth.


III. RELATION BETWEEN THE CONSUMPTION OF FUEL, AND THE LENGTH AND
VELOCITY OF VOYAGE.

The consumption of fuel on two or more given voyages will vary as the
square of the velocity multiplied into the distance travelled. Thus,
during a voyage of 1200 miles, average speed 10 knots, the consumption
of coal is 150 tons: we wish to know the consumption for 1800 miles at
8 knots. Thus:

    150 tons : C required Consumption :: 10^2 knots × 1200 miles : 8^2,
             Knots × 1800 miles.
    Then,   C × 100 × 1200 = 150 × 64 × 1800,*
    Or,        C × 120,000 = 17,280,000
    Reduced to           C = 1728/12 = 144 tons consumption.

Suppose, again, that we wish to know the rate of speed for 1800 miles,
if the coals used be the same as on another voyage of 1200 miles, with
150 tons coal, and ten knots speed:

We substitute former consumption, 150 tons for C, as in the equation
above, marked *, and V^2 (square of the required velocity) for 64, and
have,

        150 × 100 × 1200 = 150 × V^2 × 1800,
    Or,          120,000 = 1800V^2,
    Reduced,     1200/18 = V^2,
    And                V = square root of 66.66 = 8.15 knots.

From the foregoing easily intelligible formulæ we can ascertain with
approximate certainty the large quantity of coal necessary to increase
speed, the large saving of coal in reducing speed, as well as the
means of accommodating the fuel to the voyage, or the voyage to the
fuel. It is not necessary here to study very closely the economy of
fuel, as this is a question affecting the transport of freight alone.
When the mails are to be transported, economy of fuel is not the
object desired, but speed; and, consequently, we must submit to
extravagance of fuel. This large expenditure of coal is not necessary
in the case of freights, as they may be transported slowly, and,
consequently, cheaply. But one of the principal reasons for rapid
transport of the mails is that they may largely anticipate freights in
their time of arrival, and consequently control their movements.

I recently had an excellent opportunity of testing the large quantity
of fuel saved on a slight reduction of the speed, and give it as
illustrative of the law advanced. We were on the United States Mail
steamer "Fulton," Captain Wotton, and running at 13 miles per hour.
Some of the tubes became unfit for use in one of the boilers, and the
fires were extinguished and the steam and water drawn off from this
boiler, leaving the other one, of the same size, to propel the ship.
An intelligent gentleman who happened to know that we were using only
one boiler, and consequently, but half the power, remarked to me that
it was very strange that the ship was still going about eleven miles
per hour, without any sail. He said: "It is strange, sir; two boilers
of equal size drove us thirteen miles per hour; and here now but one
boiler drives us nearly eleven miles, or nearly as fast; when
common-sense teaches that the one boiler would drive us only six and a
half miles per hour. How is that?" I then explained to him very
clearly the natural law relative to power and speed, (_See Rule II.,
page 68_,) which he at once comprehended and admitted, but with the
remark: "Indeed, sir, I would have testified that she ought with one
boiler to have gone at only half the speed; or that going at six miles
with one boiler, she would go twelve with two."

As it will be interesting to the general reader to examine the details
of the increased consumption of fuel at increased rates of speed, I
present the following elaborate table recently prepared by Mr.
Atherton for his new edition of "Steamship Capability," according to
the formula above noticed, and the performance of the best type of
vessel in the Royal Navy, the steamer "Rattler." Mr. A. found a higher
efficiency in this vessel per horse power than any other in the Navy,
and consequently based the consumption of coal in the table on the
assumption that the mail and passenger vessels generally should be of
as good contractive type as "Rattler." I shall present also another
table showing a much larger consumption of fuel by an inferior type of
vessel. I use these tables because they are thoroughly correct, and
quite as perfect as any that I could construct on the same formula;
and because they carry with them the weight of probably the highest
authority in Great Britain.


COAL TABLE: No. I.

_Displacement,[B] Speed, and Fuel consumed per Day, for Mail,
Passenger, and Freight Steamers, whose locomotive performance is equal
to that of the best class of ocean steam vessels; assuming the
consumption of fuel to be 4-1/2 lbs. per indicated horse power per
hour, equal to 33,000 lbs. raised one foot in one minute. The quantity
consumed is expressed in tons per day of 24 hours._

[B] Displacement refers to the number of cubic feet of water displaced
by the hull; allowing thirty-five cubic feet to the ton.

 KEY:
 A: SHIP'S DISPLACEMENT.

 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
      |                     SPEED PER HOUR.--NAUTICAL MILES.
   A  +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
      |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
 TONS.|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
   100|1.04|1.65|2.47|3.51|4.82|6.41|8.32|10.6|13.2|16.3|19.7|23.7|28.1|33.0|38.5
   125|1.20|1.92|2.86|4.07|5.59|7.44|9.66|12.3|15.3|18.9|22.9|27.5|32.6|38.3|44.7
   150|1.36|2.16|3.23|4.60|6.31|8.40|10.9|13.9|17.3|21.3|25.9|31.0|36.8|43.3|50.5
   175|1.51|2.40|3.58|5.10|7.00|9.31|12.1|15.4|19.2|23.6|28.7|34.4|40.8|48.0|56.0
   200|1.65|2.62|3.91|5.57|7.65|10.2|13.2|16.8|21.0|25.8|31.3|37.6|44.6|52.4|61.2
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
   250|1.92|3.04|4.54|6.47|8.87|11.8|15.3|19.5|24.3|29.9|36.3|43.6|51.7|60.9|71.0
   300|2.25|3.44|5.13|7.30|10.0|13.3|17.3|22.0|27.5|33.8|41.0|49.2|58.4|68.7|80.1
   350|2.40|3.81|5.68|8.09|11.1|14.8|19.2|24.4|30.5|37.5|45.5|54.5|64.7|76.2|88.8
   400|2.62|4.16|6.21|8.85|12.1|16.2|21.0|26.7|33.3|41.0|49.7|59.6|70.8|83.3|97.1
   450|2.84|4.50|6.72|9.57|13.1|17.5|22.7|28.8|36.0|44.3|53.8|64.5|76.6|90.1|105
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
   500|3.04|4.83|7.21|10.3|14.1|18.7|24.3|30.9|38.6|47.5|57.7|69.2|82.1|96.6|113
   600|3.43|5.46|8.14|11.6|15.9|21.2|27.5|34.9|43.6|53.7|65.1|78.1|92.8|109 |127
   700|3.81|6.05|9.02|12.8|17.6|23.5|30.4|38.7|48.4|59.5|72.2|86.6|103 |121 |141
   800|4.16|6.61|9.87|14.0|19.3|25.6|33.3|42.3|52.9|65.0|78.9|94.6|112 |132 |154
   900|4.50|7.15|10.7|15.2|20.8|27.7|36.0|45.8|57.2|70.4|85.4|102 |122 |143 |167
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  1000|4.83|7.67|11.4|16.3|22.4|29.8|38.6|49.1|61.3|75.5|91.6|110 |130 |153 |179
  1250|5.60|8.90|13.3|18.9|26.0|34.5|44.8|57.0|71.2|87.6|106 |127 |151 |178 |208
  1500|6.33|10.0|15.0|21.4|29.3|39.0|50.6|64.4|80.4|98.9|120 |144 |171 |201 |234
  1750|7.01|11.1|16.6|23.7|32.5|43.2|56.1|71.3|89.1|110 |133 |159 |189 |223 |260
  2000|7.66|12.2|18.2|25.9|35.5|47.3|61.3|77.9|97.4|120 |145 |174 |207 |243 |284
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  2500|8.89|14.1|21.1|30.0|41.2|54.8|71.2|90.5|113 |139 |169 |202 |240 |283 |329
  3000|10.0|16.0|23.8|33.9|46.5|61.9|80.4|102 |128 |157 |191 |228 |271 |319 |372
  3500|11.1|17.7|26.1|37.6|51.5|68.6|89.0|113 |141 |174 |211 |253 |301 |354 |412
  4000|12.2|19.3|28.8|41.1|56.3|75.0|97.3|124 |155 |190 |231 |277 |329 |386 |451
  5000|14.1|22.4|33.5|47.7|65.4|87.0|113 |144 |179 |221 |268 |321 |381 |448 |523
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  6000|15.9|25.3|37.8|53.8|73.8|98.3|128 |162 |203 |249 |302 |363 |431 |506 |591
  7000|17.7|28.1|41.9|59.6|81.8|109 |141 |180 |224 |276 |335 |402 |477 |501 |654
  8000|19.3|30.7|45.8|65.2|89.4|119 |155 |196 |245 |302 |366 |439 |522 |613 |715
  9000|20.9|33.2|49.5|70.5|96.7|129 |167 |215 |265 |327 |396 |475 |564 |663 |774
 10000|22.4|35.6|53.1|75.6|104 |138 |179 |228 |285 |350 |425 |510 |605 |712 |830
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 12500|26.0|41.3|61.7|87.8|120 |160 |208 |265 |330 |406 |493 |592 |702 |826 |963
 15000|29.4|46.6|69.6|99.1|136 |181 |235 |299 |373 |459 |557 |668 |793 |933 |1088
 20000|35.6|56.5|84.4|120 |165 |219 |285 |362 |452 |556 |675 |809 |961 |1130|1318
 25000|41.3|65.6|97.9|139 |191 |254 |330 |420 |525 |645 |783 |939 |1115|1311|1529
 30000|46.6|74.0|111 |157 |216 |287 |373 |474 |592 |728 |884 |1060|1258|1480|1727
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----

By the inspection of this table we can see in condensed form the
coal-cost of any speed as high as twenty miles per hour, and for any
size of vessel from one hundred tons to thirty thousand tons. Let us
find in the left hand column a vessel of 2,500 tons displacement.
Pursuing the line along to the right we find in the second column 8.89
tons of coal, which a steamer of this displacement would burn in 24
hours, if running, as indicated at the head of the column, 6 Nautical
miles per hour.

In the next column, under the head of 7 Nautical miles per hour, we
find that she would burn in one day 14.1 tons; or one and a half times
as much coal to gain one sixth more speed:

Again, at 8 miles per hour she burns 21.1 tons; nearly three times as
much as at six miles:

At 9 miles she burns 30 tons: above twice as much as at 7, and nearly
four times as much as at 6, although the speed is but half doubled:

At 10 miles per hour she burns 41.2 tons; about twice as much as at 8
miles, although the speed is increased only one fourth. At 10 she
burns 34 per cent. more than at 9, although the increase of speed is
only eleven per cent. (_See pages 67 and 68_):

At 11 miles per hour she will burn 54.8 or 55 tons; nearly three times
as much as at 8 miles per hour, and six times as much as at 6 miles
per hour:

At 12 miles per hour she will burn 71.2; about thirty per cent. more
than at eleven miles per hour, although gaining but 9 per cent. in
speed; nearly twice as much as at ten miles per hour, three and a half
times as much as at 8, five times as much as at 7, and above eight
times as much as at 6 miles per hour. It is here seen that to double
the speed the consumption of fuel has increased eight-fold, which
verifies my statements hitherto made on this subject. We have already
seen that to gain two miles of speed on any stated speed, it was
necessary to double the quantity of fuel used.

At 13 miles per hour she burns 90.5 tons. This is burning two and a
fourth times as much coal as if she ran only 10 miles per hour. Now,
at this speed, the steamer will reach Southampton or Liverpool in 10
days and 6 hours, which is equivalent to 10 days and 12 hours burning
fuel, allowing six hours for heating and starting, and which would
make an aggregate consumption of 950 tons of coal for the passage of
this steamer of 2,500 displacement or probably 3,000 tons register.

At 14 miles per hour she burns 113 tons. This is nearly three times as
much as 10 miles per hour. At this speed the steamer would reach
Southampton or Liverpool in 9 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes,
supposing the distance to be 3,200 miles from New-York, or say 9 days
18-1/2 hours coal-burning time, and would consume an aggregate of
1,104-1/2 tons. As this is but little above the distance from New-York
to Southampton, and under that from Panamá to California, and about
the tonnage of the steamers running, the time being within eleven days
generally, it will be seen how large is the cost of running the
steamers of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, those on the European
routes, and also those between New-York and Aspinwall. As the route of
the Havre and Bremen steamers is much longer, they are compelled to
run slightly slower, or they would be filled up with their own fuel
and power. Taking a Collins steamer of 3,000 tons, which we find in
the line below, and we see that in running 14 miles per hour as they
have frequently done, the consumption would be 128 tons per day, or
1,252 tons for the passage. And yet, one of those steamers could make
12 miles per hour on 80.4 tons per day, or at 11 miles per hour on
61.9, or less than half that used at 14. But pursuing this table we
see that,

At 15 miles per hour she would burn 139 tons, or three and a half
times as much as at 10 miles.

At 16 miles per hour she would burn 169 tons, or precisely eight
times as much as at 8 miles per hour. Here again doubling the speed is
found to be an enormous expense.

At 17 miles per hour she burns 202 tons per day.

At 18 miles per hour the consumption is 240 tons per day.

At 19 miles per hour she burns 283 tons coal per day; and

At 20 miles per hour she burns 329 tons per day. At 20 miles per hour
she would run 480 miles per day, a thing as yet wholly unheard of, and
would consume on the voyage of 6 days and 16 hours, say 6 days and 22
hours, 2,276 tons of coal. It would be clearly impossible for her to
carry her own fuel; as the immense boiler and engine power necessary
to secure this speed would of itself fill a ship of this size, to say
nothing of the fuel which also would nearly fill it. Then, we may
never expect any such ship to attain any such speed as seventeen,
eighteen, or twenty miles per hour on so long a voyage without
recoaling.

Seeing thus the enormous increase in the consumption of fuel for a
moderate increase in the speed, we are enabled the better to
appreciate the large expense incurred in running ocean steamers
sufficiently rapidly for successful mail and passenger purposes. We
will further pursue these inquiries by examining in this table the
consumption for vessels of 6,000 tons, which would make the
displacement of the ship nearly 5,000 tons, such as the "Adriatic,"
the "Vanderbilt," and the "Niagara." It appears that at 8 miles per
hour they would consume 33 tons per day; at 10 miles, 65 tons; at 12
miles, 113 tons; at 13 miles, 144 tons; at 14 miles, 179 tons; at 15
miles, 221 tons; and at 16 miles, 268 tons per day. This is supposing
this speed to be maintained on an average across the ocean, in all
kinds of weather, which this size of steamer could not do without
more engine and boiler power than any of them have. With such
additional power the ships noticed would have scarcely any available
room for freight or any thing else. One thing is very clear from this
table, that when steamers run at very moderately slow rates of speed,
their consumption of fuel is very small; and that when they leave this
low freighting speed, for that of the necessarily rapid mails and
passengers, the consumption increases to an extent and with a rapidity
that would seem almost incredible at first view.


COAL TABLE: No. II.

_The following coal table is constructed in all respects as the
preceding, but for a lower type of vessels, or those whose coëfficient
of Dynamic performance is inferior to that upon which the previous
table is estimated. As a consequence, this style of vessel requires
more fuel._

 KEY:
 A: SHIP'S DISPLACEMENT.

 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
      |                     SPEED PER HOUR.--NAUTICAL MILES.
   A  +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
      |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
 TONS.|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS|TONS
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----
   500|3.95|6.28|9.37|13.4|18.3|24.3|31.6|40.1|50.2|61.7|75.0|89.9|106 |125 |147
   600|4.46|7.10|10.6|15.1|20.6|27.5|35.7|45.3|56.6|69.8|84.6|101 |120 |141 |165
   700|4.95|7.86|11.7|16.6|22.8|30.5|39.5|50.3|62.9|77.3|93.8|112 |134 |157 |183
   800|5.41|8.59|12.8|18.2|25.1|33.3|43.3|55.0|68.7|84.5|102 |123 |145 |171 |200
   900|5.85|9.29|13.9|19.7|27.0|36.0|46.8|59.5|74.3|91.5|111 |132 |158 |186 |217
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  1000|6.28|9.97|14.8|21.2|29.1|38.7|50.1|63.8|79.7|98.1|119 |143 |169 |199 |232
  1250|7.28|11.5|17.3|24.5|33.8|44.8|58.2|74.1|92.5|114 |137 |165 |196 |231 |270
  1500|8.23|13.0|19.5|27.8|38.1|50.7|65.7|83.7|104 |128 |156 |187 |222 |261 |304
  1750|9.11|14.4|21.5|30.8|42.2|56.1|72.9|92.7|115 |143 |173 |206 |245 |290 |338
  2000|9.95|15.8|23.6|33.6|46.1|61.5|79.7|101 |126 |159 |188 |226 |269 |316 |369
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  2500|11.5|18.3|27.4|39.0|53.5|71.2|92.5|117 |147 |180 |219 |262 |312 |368 |427
  3000|13.0|20.8|30.9|44.0|60.4|80.4|104 |132 |166 |204 |248 |296 |352 |414 |483
  3500|14.4|23.0|34.3|48.8|66.9|89.1|115 |147 |183 |226 |274 |329 |391 |460 |535
  4000|15.8|25.1|37.4|53.4|73.2|97.5|126 |161 |201 |247 |300 |360 |427 |501 |586
  5000|18.3|29.1|43.5|62.0|85.0|113 |147 |187 |232 |287 |348 |417 |495 |582 |679
      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  6000|20.6|32.9|49.1|69.9|95.9|127 |166 |210 |264 |323 |392 |472 |560 |657 |768
 10000|29.1|46.2|69.0|98.2|135 |179 |232 |296 |370 |455 |552 |663 |786 |925 |1079
 -----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----


FREIGHT TABLE: No. III.

_Showing the mutual relation of Displacement, Power, Speed,
Consumption of Coal, and capacity for Cargo of vessels of
progressively increasing magnitude up to nearly 30,000 tons of
Deep-draught Displacement, employed on a passage of 3,250 nautical
miles, without recoaling: showing also the prime cost Expenses per ton
of Cargo conveyed._

 KEY:
 A: Mean or Mid-passage Displacement.
 B: Speed.
 C: POWER. Nominal H. P.
 D: POWER. Indicated h. p.
 E: Assumed weight of Hull and Engines.
 F: PASSAGE 3,250 N. M. DIRECT. Time.
 G: PASSAGE 3,250 N. M. DIRECT. Coal.
 H: PASSAGE 3,250 N. M. DIRECT. Cargo.
 I: PASSAGE 3,250 N. M. DIRECT. Deep Displacement.
 J: PASSAGE 3,250 N. M. DIRECT. Expenses per Ton of Cargo.

 --------+-----+-----+-----+------+------+-----+------+------+----------
   A     |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E   |  F   |  G  |   H  |   I  |    J
 Tons.   |N. M.|H. P.|h. p.| TONS.| D. H.|TONS.| TONS.| TONS.| £  S.  D.
 --------+-----+-----+-----+------+------+-----+------+------+----------
        {|    8|  109|  436|  1109| 16.22|  369|  1209|  2684| 2   1  10
        {|    9|  155|  620|  1155| 15. 1|  466|  1112|  2733| 2   7   8
  2,500 {|   10|  213|  852|  1213| 13.13|  577|   999|  2788| 2  16  11
        {|   11|  284| 1136|  1284| 12. 7|  699|   867|  2849| 3  11   3
        {|   12|  368| 1472|  1368| 11. 7|  830|   717|  2915| 4  14   5
         |     |     |     |      |      |     |      |      |
        {|    8|  172|  688|  2172| 16.22|  582|  2537|  5291| 1  16   1
        {|    9|  245|  980|  2245| 15. 1|  737|  2386|  5368| 1  19   7
  5,000 {|   10|  336| 1344|  2336| 13.13|  882|  2223|  5441| 2   4   1
        {|   11|  448| 1792|  2448| 12. 7| 1103|  2000|  5551| 2  13   1
        {|   12|  581| 2324|  2581| 11. 7| 1311|  1763|  5655| 3   5   1
         |     |     |     |      |      |     |      |      |
        {|    8|  276| 1104|  4276| 16.22|  934|  5257| 10467| 1  12   3
        {|    9|  388| 1552|  4388| 15. 1| 1168|  5028| 10584| 1  13  10
        {|   10|  536| 2144|  4536| 13.13| 1407|  4760| 10703| 1  16   9
 10,000 {|   11|  712| 2848|  4712| 12. 7| 1753|  4411| 10876| 2   2   1
        {|   12|  928| 3712|  4928| 11. 7| 2094|  4025| 11047| 2   9   4
        {|   13| 1180| 4720|  5180| 10.10| 2458|  3591| 11229| 2  19   5
        {|   14| 1472| 5888|  5472|  9.16| 2848|  3104| 11424| 3  14   3
         |     |     |     |      |      |     |      |      |
        {|    8|  436| 1744|  8436| 16.22| 1476| 10826| 20738| 1   9   0
        {|    9|  620| 2480|  8620| 15. 1| 1866| 10447| 20933| 1   9  11
        {|   10|  852| 3408|  8852| 13.13| 2236| 10030| 21118| 1  11   4
 20,000 {|   11| 1136| 4544|  9136| 12. 7| 2797|  9466| 21398| 1  14   9
        {|   12| 1472| 5888|  9472| 11. 7| 3322|  8867| 21661| 1  19   1
        {|   13| 1872| 7488|  9872| 10.10| 3900|  8178| 21950| 2   4  11
        {|   14| 2340| 9360| 10340|  9.16| 4528|  7396| 22264| 2  13   1
 --------+-----+-----+-----+------+------+-----+------+------+----------

Mr. Atherton gives this table, which shows the following facts:

That, as the various sized vessels named, increase in speed from 8 to
12, or from 8 to 14 miles per hour, their horse power, as well
consequently as their coal, increases:

That, as the speed increases, so does the weight of the hull and
engines:

That, as the speed increases, with the consequent increased coal and
engine weight, the cargo decreases: and

That, as the speed increases, with the other necessary conditions
noticed, the expense per ton of cargo also increases in a rapid ratio.
In the four cross columns ships of different sizes are considered; of
2,500, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 tons. There is also given the working
or indicated horse power, and the nominal horse-power, or that of
33,000 lbs. raised a foot in a minute, which is the general basis of
making contracts. It is a fact, however, that engines generally work
up to three or four times their nominal horse power; so that the word
horse power has no positive or useful meaning. Vessels called one
hundred nominal horse-power have been known to work up to six hundred.

Let us take a ship of 5,000 tons. We find that at 8 miles per hour the
horse power is 436; but at 12 miles it is 1,472, nearly four times as
great. At 13 miles, it would be nearly 1800 horse, and at 14 it would
be above 2100. So, also, with the weight of engines, boilers, etc. At
8 miles per hour they would weigh 1,109 tons; but at 12 they would
have to weigh, to be large and strong enough, 1,368 tons. At 14 miles,
they would weigh nearly 1,600 tons.

Now, see the columns "cargo" and "coal," and observe how rapidly that
of coal increases, while that of cargo decreases in the inverse ratio
of the coal, the engine, the boiler, and the hull weight combined. The
cargo has come from 1,209 down to 717 tons; and if the speed were
increased to 13 or 14 miles per hour, the cargo would be so reduced as
to be unworthy of notice.

The next column shows how much greater the quantity of water displaced
as the speed increases. This extra displacement requires extra power.

In the last column it is observable how rapidly the speed enhances
the cost price of transporting cargo. At 13 miles per hour the cost
would be about six pounds sterling per ton, and at 14 knots speed it
would be higher than was ever paid a steamer in the most flush periods
of even the best qualities of freights. Freights were about £8 per ton
on the Cunard line before the establishment of the Collins; but they
soon came down, and are not now £3, or $15, on an average. So with
passage. The "Great Western" charged £45, the "British Queen" £50; the
Cunarders, until the Collins competition, £40, 19_s._ The Collins
steamers put the price down to £35, and have since reduced it to £30
homeward, and £24 outward. This is but little above half the fare of
the Great Western, and something over two thirds of that formerly
charged by the Cunard line. The Report to the House of Commons "on
Steam Communications with India," No. 372 of 1851, second volume, page
395, says, that the average speed of the Cunard line was 10.443 knots,
of the Collins line 11 knots, and of the Havre and Bremen lines 9.875
knots per hour. The Collins line had then just started, and has since
made the average passages one and a half days quicker than those of
the Cunard line. This being the case, it is easy to estimate the gains
of a steamer at such rates, when this column shows us that at 12 miles
speed per hour and an average trip of 11 days, the actual prime cost
of moving the freight is much above that which is received for it. It
is therefore taken in small quantities only to assist in paying the
running expenses of the steamer.

This table shows another thing very conclusively, that large ships
running the same number of miles per hour, run cheaper and transport
freight more cheaply than smaller vessels. It presupposes, however,
that they go full both ways. The engine power and general outlay do
not increase as rapidly as the tonnage of the vessel and her capacity
for carrying. While a ship 2,500 tons at 12 miles per hour on a
passage of 3,250 miles would make the cost per ton for the
transportation of freight $22.75, one of 20,000 tons, under the same
conditions would reduce it to $9 per ton. Yet it is hardly probable
that we shall ever profitably employ steamers of over 10,000 tons
tonnage in the passenger, mail, and freight business.

Again, a ship of 2,500 at 12 miles, running 6,500 miles could not
transport cargo at less than $115; one of 5,000 tons would transport
it at $52; one of 10,000 tons would transport it at $33 per ton; and
one of 20,000 tons burthen, as for instance the "Leviathan," would
transport it at $24 per ton. And while none of the three first named
sizes of vessels would transport it 12,500 miles, the one of 20,000
tons, running 12 miles per hour, would transport it at $80 per ton;
and running 14 miles per hours, at $430 per ton. Two things must,
however, not be forgotten in this; that the ship to do this must
always run entirely full and have no waste room; and that these prices
are comparisons between different steamers, and not with sailing
vessels, which, running much more slowly and with but little expense,
transport the freight far more cheaply.

The following table will set forth very clearly in a summary view, the
Time, Horse-power, Coal, and Cargo for a steamer of good average
quality running on passages of 1,000 miles, 2,000 miles, and 3,000
miles, and at a speed varying from 6 to 18 miles per hour. It will be
observed that a steamer of 3,000 tons can not take power and coal
enough to run on a 2,000 miles passage above 17 knots per hour, and
that one of 3,000 tons also can not run on a 3,000 miles passage at a
speed above 16 knots per hour. Observe the small quantity of cargo and
the large quantity of coal for a steamer of 3,000 tons on a 3,000
miles passage at 16 miles per hour.


COAL AND CARGO TABLE: No. IV.

_Calculated for the mean Displacement of 3,000 Tons._

 KEY:
 A: SPEED--PER HOUR.
 B: HORSE-POWER.
 C: WEIGHT OF HULL AND ENGINES.
 D: PASSAGE 1,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Time.
 E: PASSAGE 1,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Coal.
 F: PASSAGE 1,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Cargo.
 G: PASSAGE 2,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Time.
 H: PASSAGE 2,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Coal.
 I: PASSAGE 2,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Cargo.
 J: PASSAGE 3,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Time.
 K: PASSAGE 3,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Coal.
 L: PASSAGE 3,000 NAUTICAL MILES. Cargo.

 -----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----
   A  |  B  |  C  |  D  | E  | F  |  G  | H  | I  |  J  | K  | L
 N. M.|H. P.|TONS.|D. H.|TONS|TONS|D. H.|TONS|TONS|D. H.|TONS|TONS
 -----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----
     6|   52| 1252| 6.23|  72|1711|13.21| 144|1675|20.20| 216|1639
     7|   83| 1283| 5.23|  98|1667|11.22| 197|1617|17.21| 296|1568
     8|  123| 1323| 5. 5| 128|1612|10.10| 256|1548|15.15| 384|1484
      |     |     |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
     9|  175| 1375| 4.15| 162|1543| 9. 6| 324|1462|13.21| 486|1381
    10|  241| 1441| 4. 4| 200|1458| 8. 8| 401|1358|12.12| 602|1257
    11|  320| 1520| 3.19| 242|1358| 7.14| 484|1237|11. 9| 727|1116
      |     |     |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
    12|  416| 1616| 3.11| 288|1239| 6.23| 577|1095|10.10| 866| 950
    13|  529| 1729| 3. 5| 339|1100| 6.10| 678| 931| 9.15|1017| 761
    14|  661| 1861| 2.23| 393| 942| 5.23| 786| 745| 8.22|1180| 548
      |     |     |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
    15|  813| 2013| 2.19| 451| 761| 5.13| 903| 535| 8. 8|1355| 309
    16|  987| 2187| 2.14| 514| 555| 5. 5|1028| 298| 7.19|1542|  41
    17| 1183| 2383| 2.11| 580| 327| 4.22|1160|  37|     |    |
      |     |     |     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
    18| 1405| 2605| 2. 8| 650|  69|     |    |    |     |    |
    19| 1652| 2852|     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
    20| 1927| 3127|     |    |    |     |    |    |     |    |
 -----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----+-----+----+----

I will close this long chapter, in which I have endeavored to give a
clear, comprehensible, and faithful idea of the cost of running ocean
mail, freight, and passenger steamers, by an extract from that very
able and faithful work, "Steamship Capability." As a summing up of the
various laws and facts concerning the consumption of fuel, weight and
power of engines, speed of ships, and their capacity to do business,
Mr. Atherton says, page 55: "Now suppose, for example, that the
passage be 1,000 miles, and that, for brevity, we confine our remarks
to the engine department only; which, indeed, will be the department
of expense, chiefly affected by variations in the rate of speed. It
appears that the vessel of 5,000 tons' mean displacement, if fitted
to run at the speed of EIGHT NAUTICAL MILES per hour, will require 172
H.P., and a cargo of 2,738 tons will be conveyed 1,000 miles in five
days five hours; being equivalent to one day's employment of 33/100
H.P. _per ton_ of goods.

"If fitted to run at TEN NAUTICAL MILES an hour, the vessel will
require 336 H.P., the cargo will be reduced to 2,524 tons, and the
time to four days four hours; being equivalent to one day's employment
of 55/100 H.P. _per ton_ of goods nearly.

"If fitted to run at TWELVE NAUTICAL MILES an hour, the vessel will
require 581 H.P., the cargo will be reduced to 2,217 tons, and the
time to three days eleven hours; being equivalent to one day's
employment of 91/100 H.P. _per ton_ of goods.

"If fitted to run at FOURTEEN MILES an hour, the vessel will require
923 H.P., the cargo will be reduced to 1,802 tons, and the time to two
days twenty-three hours; being equivalent to one day's employment of
1-52/100 H.P. _per ton_ of goods.

"If fitted to run at SIXTEEN MILES per hour, the vessel will require
1,377 H.P., the cargo will be reduced to 1,264 tons, and the time to
two days fourteen hours; being equivalent to one day's employment of
2-86/100 H.P. _per ton_ of goods.

"If fitted to run at EIGHTEEN MILES per hour, the vessel will require
1,961 H.P., the cargo will be reduced to 585 tons, and the time to two
days eight hours; being equivalent to one day's employment of 7-75/100
H.P., _per ton_ of goods.

"And if fitted to run at TWENTY MILES per hour, there will be no
displacement available for mercantile cargo.

"Assuming, now, that the COST per ton of goods will be in proportion
to the amount of power and tonnage employed to do the work, it appears
that the cost _per ton of goods_ of performing this passage of 1,000
miles, at the respective speeds of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 miles,
will be proportional to the numbers--33/100, 55/100, 91/100, 1-52/100,
2-86/100, and 7-75/100, which are proportional to the numbers 33, 55,
91, 152, 286, and 775, or nearly as 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, and 23.

"Hence it appears, that in the case of the ONE THOUSAND MILES passage
above referred to, the cost of freight _per ton of goods_ at TEN MILES
per hour, will require to be nearly the _double_ of the rate at EIGHT
MILES per hour.

"The cost per ton at TWELVE MILES per hour will require to be _three
times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at FOURTEEN MILES per hour will require to be _five
times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at SIXTEEN MILES per hour will require to be _nine
times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at EIGHTEEN MILES per hour will require to be
_twenty-three times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"And at TWENTY MILES per hour there will be _no displacement_
available for mercantile cargo.

"By applying the same process of calculation to a ship of 5,000 tons'
mean displacement, making a passage of THREE THOUSAND MILES, we shall
find that, at TEN MILES an hour, the cost of freight per ton will
require to be double the rate of freight at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at TWELVE MILES will require to be three times the
rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at FOURTEEN MILES will require to be six times the
rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at SIXTEEN MILES will require to be twenty times the
rate at EIGHT MILES.

"And at EIGHTEEN MILES per hour there will be _no displacement_
available for mercantile cargo.

"Finally, by applying the same process of calculation to a ship of
5,000 tons' mean displacement on a passage of 6,000 miles, it will be
found that the cost of freight per ton at TEN MILES per hour will
require to be _double_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at TWELVE MILES per hour will require to be about
_five times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"The cost per ton at FOURTEEN MILES per hour will be about _sixteen
times_ the rate at EIGHT MILES.

"And at SIXTEEN MILES per hour there will be _no displacement_
available for mercantile cargo.

"Hence, it appears, that for voyages of 1,000 miles and upwards,
without re-coaling, the speed of ten nautical miles per hour would
involve about _double_ the cost _per ton_ of eight miles, and may,
therefore, be regarded as the extreme limit that can be generally
entertained for the mercantile purpose of goods' conveyance; and that
the attainment on long passages of a higher rate of speed than ten
miles (though admissibly practicable) would involve obligations
altogether of an exceptional character, such as the special service of
dispatches, mails, passengers, specie, and the most valuable
description of goods can only meet."



SECTION V.

OCEAN MAIL STEAMERS CAN NOT LIVE ON THEIR OWN RECEIPTS.

    INCREASE OF BRITISH MAIL SERVICE: LAST NEW LINE AT $925,000 PER
    YEAR: THE SYSTEM NOT BECOMING SELF-SUPPORTING: CONTRACT RENEWALS
    AT SAME OR HIGHER PRICES: PRICE OF FUEL AND WAGES INCREASED FASTER
    THAN ENGINE IMPROVEMENTS: LARGE SHIPS RUN PROPORTIONALLY CHEAPER
    THAN SMALL: AN EXAMPLE, WITH THE FIGURES: THE STEAMER "LEVIATHAN,"
    27,000 TONS: STEAMERS OF THIS CLASS WILL NOT PAY: SHE CAN NOT
    TRANSPORT FREIGHT TO AUSTRALIA: REASONS FOR THE SAME: MOTION HER
    NORMAL CONDITION: MUST NOT BE MADE A DOCK: DELIVERY OF FREIGHTS:
    MAMMOTH STEAMERS TO BRAZIL: LARGE CLIPPERS LIE IDLE: NOT EVEN THIS
    LARGE CLASS OF STEAMERS CAN LIVE ON THEIR OWN RECEIPTS: EFFICIENT
    MAIL STEAMERS CARRY BUT LITTLE EXCEPT PASSENGERS: SOME HEAVY EXTRA
    EXPENSES IN REGULAR MAIL LINES: PACIFIC MAIL COMPANY'S LARGE EXTRA
    FLEET, AND ITS EFFECTS: THE IMMENSE ACCOUNT OF ITEMS AND EXTRAS: A
    PARTIAL LIST: THE HAVRE AND COLLINS DOCKS: GREAT EXPENSE OF
    FEEDING PASSENGERS: VIEWS OF MURRAY AND ATHERTON ON THE COST OF
    RUNNING STEAMERS, AND THE NECESSITY OF THE PRESENT MAIL SERVICE.


From the foregoing Section it is evident that the cost of running
ocean steamers is enormous, and that in the chief element of
expenditure it increases as the cube of the velocity. This, although
true, is certainly a startling ratio of increase, and calculated to
arouse attention to the difficulties of postal marine navigation.
Seeing that ocean speed is attainable at so high a cost, we naturally
conclude that fast mail steamers can not live on their own receipts
upon the ocean.

Since Great Britain established her first ocean steam mail in 1833,
she has gone on rapidly increasing the same facilities, until her
noble lines of communication now extend to every land and compass
every sea. The last great contract which she conceded was last year,
to the "European and Australian Company," for carrying the mails on a
second line from Southampton _via_ Suez to Sydney, in Australia, at
£185,000, or $925,000 per year. And although her expenditures for this
service have gradually gone up to above five millions of dollars per
annum, she continues the service as a necessity to her commerce, and a
branch of facilities and accommodations with which the people of the
Kingdom will not dispense. The British Government set out with the
determination to have the advantages of the system, whether it would
pay or not. They believed that the system would eventually become
self-supporting, by reason of the many important improvements then
proposed in the steam-engine, and they have ever since professed to
believe the same thing. But their experience points quite the other
way; and while the service is daily becoming more important to them in
every sense, it is also becoming year by year more expensive.

Contracts which the Admiralty made with several large and prominent
companies in 1838 they renewed at the same or increased subsidies,
after twelve years' operations, in 1850, for another term of twelve
years. And so far from those companies with their many ships on hand
being able to undertake the service for less, they demanded more in
almost every case, and received it from the government. The
improvements which they anticipated in the marine engine were more
than counterbalanced by the rise in the price of fuel and wages all
over the kingdom and the world. In fact, those improvements have been
very few and very small. It still takes nearly as much coal to
evaporate a pound of water as it then did; and the improvements which
have been made were generally patents, and costly in the prime cost of
construction to a degree almost preclusive of increased benefits to
the general service. At any rate, the latest steam adaptations and
improvements have proven unequal to the end proposed, and the cost of
the ocean service is now far heavier than it ever has been before,
simply because of the greater speed required by the public for the
mails and passage.

It had long been hoped that this difficulty of increasing cost in
running ocean steamers might finally be overcome by another means; and
the whole available engineering and ship-building talent of Great
Britain and the United States has been directed not entirely to the
engine department, but to the hulls and to the production of a large
class of ships, which are admissibly cheaper in proportion to size and
expense of running when compared with smaller vessels, if they are
always employed and have full freights and passage. It is well
established that large steamers run proportionally cheaper than small
ones. (_See Table III., page 76._) This arises from the important fact
that the length increases far more rapidly than the breadth and depth.
Consequently the tonnage of the vessel increases much faster than the
resistance. In passing through the water the vessel cuts out a canal
as large as the largest part of its body, which is at the middle of
the ship. If the vessel be here cut in two, the width and depth, or
the beam and hold being multiplied together will give the square
contents of the midship section. Now, when a vessel is doubled in all
of its dimensions, this midship section and consequently the size of
the canal which it cuts in the water, does not increase as rapidly as
the solid contents of the whole ship, and consequently, as the
tonnage. Hence, the resistance to the vessel in passing through the
water does not increase so rapidly as the tonnage which the vessel
will carry.

To make this clearer, let us suppose a vessel of good proportion,
whose length is seven times the beam, or 280 ft. long, 40 ft. wide,
and 30 feet deep. The midship section will be 40 × 30 = 1,200 square
feet: the solid contents will be 40 × 30 × 280 = 336,000 solid feet.
Again, let us double these dimensions, and the ship will be 80 ft.
wide, 60 ft. deep, and 560 feet long. The midship section will be 80 ×
60 = 4,800 square feet: the solid contents will be 80 × 60 × 560 =
2,688,000 solid feet. Now, comparing the midship sections, and also
the said contents in each case we have,

    Midship Section, 4,800
                     ----- = 4 to 1. Increase as the squares:
    Midship Section, 1,200

    Solid Contents, 2,688,000
                    --------- = 8 to 1. Increase as the cubes.
    Solid Contents,   336,000

Thus, the midship resistance has increased as four to one, or as the
square, while the solid contents, representing the tonnage, have
increased as eight to one, or as the cube. It is evident that the ship
has but four times the mid-section resistance, while she has eight
times the carrying capacity. Therefore the engine power, and the coal
and weight necessary to propel a ship of twice the lineal dimensions,
or eight times the capacity, would have to be only four times that of
the smaller vessel, speaking in general terms; and as a consequence,
the price of freight, considering the vessels to run at equal speed,
would be but half as much in the larger as in the smaller vessel.

The attempt has been made to seize the evident advantages thus offered
by increasing the size of the hull, until our clippers now reach an
enormous size, and our steamers are stopping but little short of
30,000 tons. The splendid steamer "Leviathan" was built on this idea,
and must prove a splendid triumph in comparative cheapness if she can
only get business so as to run full, and keep herself constantly
employed in her legitimate business, running. But it is hardly
possible that she should be always filled with either freight or
passengers. Some of our large clipper ships have experienced this
difficulty. The time necessary to load and unload is too great for
short routes, although they are well calculated for long passages. If
one of these large steamers fail to get plenty of business the losses
become exceedingly severe. The prime cost is immense; the interest on
the capital and the insurance are very large; and the current expenses
are even beyond those necessary for the government of some cities.
These hazards all taken together more than neutralize the benefits
which arise from extra size and extra proportional cheapness; so that
notwithstanding all of the hopes which some have entertained for the
cheapening of transport in this way, they are probably doomed to
disappointment in the end; and ocean steaming continues as expensive
as ever, and is growing even more expensive than it has ever been
known since its first introduction. (_See Coal Tables, pp. 71 and
75._)

It is clear that, notwithstanding all of the advantages to be gained
from increased size, steamers can not support themselves upon the
ocean. Let us examine further the case of such a ship as the
"Leviathan." I can not see that there is any normal trade in which she
can run successfully. She may transport 6,000 tons of measurement
goods to Australia; but it will be at the expense of fourteen to
sixteen thousand tons of coals if the passage is made in fair time. If
not, sailing vessels will subserve all purposes except travel quite as
well. And certainly there is no class of freight for Australia or any
other portion of the world, which will pay such an enormous coal-bill,
and so many other expenses, and the interest and insurance on three
and a half to four millions of dollars, just to save a few days in so
long a voyage. And if the steamer is to do a freighting as well as
passenger business, then a long voyage is essential to her.

Running is the legitimate business of a steamer. Her costly engines
are put in her for locomotion. Her large corps of engineers, firemen,
and coal-passers, are employed for running her, and are of no use when
she is lying still, although necessarily on full pay. Her condition is
abnormal and unnatural every day that she is lying at the docks, and
taking or discharging freight; and hence, every day that she is thus
employed she is not performing her proper functions. A sailing ship
can better afford to lie still for weeks and await a freight, or
slowly receive or discharge cargo; as she must pay only the interest
on her investment, her dockage, the captain, and watchmen, and perhaps
her depreciation. The prime investment is much less. She has no costly
engines and boilers. So are her current expenses. She has none of the
costly _employées_ that I have named, and who can never leave a
steamer for a day. But eternal motion, flush freights, flush business,
good prices, and constant employment, are everywhere essential to the
steamer.

Suppose the "Leviathan" steamer running between Liverpool and
New-York. She would be occupied ten days at least in receiving her
freight, ten days in running and making port or docks, and ten days in
discharging. Then, she would be employed only one third of her time in
the business for which she was constructed, running; while during two
thirds of it she would be acting simply as a pier or dock, over which
freight would be handled. Now, with her costly engines, and costly and
necessarily idle _employées_, she can not afford to be a dock; neither
can she afford to lie still so long. Nor can she on such conditions
get the freight necessary to her support. The community on neither
side of the water would wish fifteen thousand tons of any class of
freights which she could transport dumped down upon the docks at one
time. They wish it to arrive a little and a little every day, as it is
wanted, just enough to supply the market; and will not lie out of the
money which they pay for it, and have it nearly a month in market
before they need it, just to have it come on the "Leviathan." It must
come along in small lots, just as they need it, and it must be shipped
the day that it is bought, and delivered as soon as the ship is in,
without being the last lot of fifteen thousand tons, and without
keeping the owners so long out of their money. Suppose that A. puts
the first lot of freight in at London: he will be the last to receive,
it in New-York. A smaller steamer taking another lot two days after,
will deliver it before the large ship gets half way over. Or, again,
the small steamer may leave London with it when the large steamer has
nearly arrived at New-York, and deliver the lot here to the owner in
advance. Beside not wishing so large a lot at once, they do not wish
it all in one place. The double advantage of a great number of small
vessels is, that they bring cargo along as it is wanted, and at the
same time distribute it at all of the hundreds of large and small
ports, without first delivering it at some great mammoth terminus, and
then reshipping and distributing it to its final destination.

A gentleman, who is a prominent statesman, recently seriously advised
me not to think of establishing a line of mail steamers between the
United States and Brazil, for the accommodation of the hundreds of
sailing vessels engaged in that trade, but to get up a mammoth company
and run five or six thirty thousand ton steamers, like the Leviathan,
between Norfolk and Rio de Janeiro. He said that the increased size of
the steamer would enable me to carry freight cheaper than sailing
vessels. The reasoning was neither very clear nor convincing to me on
behalf of the mysterious capacities which he attributed to large
steamers. I suggested that, in the first place, there was no cargo
passing either way between the United States and Brazil which could
afford to pay steam transportation under any circumstances; that so
large a cargo could never be obtained at once in Rio de Janeiro or
elsewhere; that the merchants of this country did not wish it all
landed at one place; that it would cost as much to remove it from
Norfolk to the place of consumption, as it would from Rio de Janeiro
to its final destination; that they did not wish it delivered all at
once, but in small lots at a time, and distributed where it was
needed; and that, even if it were at all practicable, which no
business man could for a moment believe, the people would not be
willing to have a fruitful field of industry in shipping occupied by
some great overgrown company, with a great coffee monopoly, which
would surely follow. Too much has been expected of large ships. The
clipper "Great Republic" is not freighted half of her time. The
"Leviathan" can not pay in freighting unless she runs to Australia and
the East-Indies, and runs slowly, on very little coal. She may do very
well with a voluntary cargo, which will load and unload itself in a
hurry, such as a cargo of emigrants, and not steaming at too a high a
speed. But it would require a dozen steamers as tenders to bring these
emigrants from Ireland, Bremen, Havre, Hamburgh, Amsterdam, and other
European cities, to her central dépôt in England. She would, however,
become a most useful if not indispensable transport vessel for the
British Government.

If the large class of steamers can not live on their own receipts,
much less can the small. An adequate speed for the mails leaves no
available space for cargo. The ship may carry two or three hundred
tons of freight; but it pays perhaps but little more than the handling
and the extra coal necessary to transport its extra weight. As a
general thing, it may be safely said that when a vessel is well
adapted to the mails and passengers she is filled with her own power,
that is, with heavy engines, large boilers, and a large quantity of
fuel, as also with her provisions and baggage. We have already seen
how the size and weight of engines and boilers must increase, as well
as the bulk and cost of the fuel, to gain a little speed. But it is
not generally known how large a quantity of consumable stores and
baggage go in a well-supported mail packet. The greater the postal
efficiency of a steamer the less is it able to carry freight; and the
time will doubtless soon come when the fast mail packets will take
nothing except a few express packages. The Persia now takes scarcely
any freight, and the Vanderbilt can not think of doing it when she
makes fast trips. It is very probable that the whole system of the
ocean will be materially changed; and that while clippers and slow
propellers carry the fine freights, fast vessels filled with their own
power will carry the mails and passengers. And in doing this, they can
not, of course, support themselves; neither will they conflict with
private enterprise in freight transport. It is now the case to a large
extent on most of our American lines.

While the ocean mail steamer must be fast and costly, for the better
acceleration of correspondence and the accommodation of passengers,
she must also go at the appointed hour, whether she is repaired or
not, and wholly irrespective of her freight and passenger list. There
must be no delays for a lot of freight, or for a company of fifty
passengers who have been delayed by the train. She has the mails, and
must go at the hour appointed, whatever it may cost the company, and
however large a lot of costly stores may have to be thrown away. This
punctuality, while it is the means of securing small lots of freight,
prevents also the accommodation of the ship's day of sailing to
arrangements which might otherwise be profitable. This punctuality in
sailing always necessitates large extra expense in repairs. It
frequently happens that companies of men work through the nights and
on Sundays; getting much increased prices for such untimely labor, and
being far less efficient in the night than in the day. If the steamer
has had a long passage from whatever causes, she discharges whatever
she has and takes in her coal in a hurried and costly way, frequently
at fifty per cent. advance on the cost necessary for it if she had
ample time. The only means of avoiding these exigencies is by having
spare ships, which cost as much as any others, but which add nothing
whatsoever to the company's income. It may be safe to say that in
every mail company it is necessary to have one spare, and consequently
unproductive, ship for every three engaged in active service. This
thirty-three per cent. additional outlay would not be necessary except
on a mail line, where punctuality was positively demanded. Yet, it is
one of the heavy items of expense to be incurred by every company
carrying the mails, and with which they can not in any wise dispense,
however well their ships may be built. The "Pacific Mail Steamship
Company" in running their semi-monthly line from Panama to California
and Oregon, keep constantly at their docks eight unemployed steamers
and one tow-boat, ready for all exigencies and accidents, and could
keep their mails going if nearly their whole moving fleet should be
sunk at once. No wonder that they have never missed a single trip, or
lost a single passenger by marine accident since they first started in
1850. But there is another class of costs in running ocean steamers,
which amount to large sums in the aggregate, and of which the people
are generally wholly ignorant. I allude to the items, and what may be
called "odds and ends." It is easily imaginable that a company has to
pay only the bills for wages, for fuel, and for provisions, and that
then the cash-drawer may be locked for the voyage. Indeed, it is
difficult for those accustomed to the marine steam service to sit down
and enumerate by memory in one day the thousand little treasury leaks,
the many wastages, the formidable bill of extras, and the items which
are necessary to keep every thing in its place, and to pay every body
for what he does. The oil-bill of a large steamer would be astonishing
to a novice, until he saw the urns and oil-cans which cling to every
journal, and jet a constant lubricating stream. The tools employed
about a steamer are legion in number, and cost cash. We hear a couple
of cannon fired two or three times as we enter and leave port, or pass
a steamer upon the ocean, and consider it all very fine and inspiring;
but we do not reflect that the guns cost money, and that pound after
pound of powder is not given to the company by the Government or the
public. The steamer carries many fine flags and signals, which cost
cash. An anchor with the chain is lost; another costs cash. Heavy
weather may be on, and it takes some hours to get into the dock. The
extra coal and the tow-boat cost cash. The wheel-house is torn to
pieces against the corner of the pier, and the bulwarks are carried
away by heavy seas; but no one will repair the damage for any thing
short of cash. A large number of lights are by law required to be kept
burning on the wheel-houses and in the rigging all night; but no one
reflects that it took money first to purchase them, and a constant
outlay to keep them trimmed and burning. People suppose that the
captain, or steward, or some body else can take a match and set the
lamp off, and have it burn very nicely; but there are only a few who
know that it takes one man all of his time to clean, fill, adjust,
light, and keep these lamps going, as well as have them extinguished
at the proper time.

I saw to-day a case in point as regards accidental expenses. The
splendid steamship Adriatic sailed at 12. The wind was very high from
the south, and almost blowing a gale. She was lying on the southern
side of the dock, while the Atlantic was lying with her stern at the
end of the dock, near where the Adriatic had to pass in going out. At
the moment of starting, three strong tow-boats were attached to her
bow, and endeavored as she went out to draw her head against the wind,
down stream. But they proved insufficient to the task. The vessel
crushed down the corner of the dock, ran into the Atlantic, and
carried away her stern bulwarks, crushed one of her own large and
costly iron life-boats, and damaged one of her wheel-houses. Now, who
of the two hundred thousand spectators that lined the docks, would pay
the two thousand dollars for the life-boat, a thousand for repairing
the dock and vessels, and the bill for the three tug-boats for two
hours each?

Moreover, we see a pilot get on the steamer at New-York, another at
Southampton, and a third at Havre; but we seldom reflect that the
steamer has to pay a large price to each one of them, both going and
coming. Take the coasting steamers, running between New-York and
Savannah, or Charleston. It appears singular that the New-York pilot
goes all the way to Savannah, that the Savannah pilot comes all the
way to New-York, and that the steamer pays for both of these men all
the time, and feeds them on board all of the time. Yet it is so. Such
is the law; and it amounts to a good many thousands during the year.
And all this, the company must pay, as a part of those items which
take cash, but for which the company never gets any credit from the
public or the Government. Whenever a little accident occurs to the
steamer, it must be towed a few miles at a high price by a tug-boat.
Whenever the Government or friends and visitors come on board, they
expect to be liberally entertained; yet the company must pay for it,
or be considered mean and unworthy of the Government's patronage. Each
ship must have an experienced surgeon, whose wages must be paid like
those of other persons employed, and an apothecary's room and outfit.
The ship must be painted and varnished, and overhauled at every trip;
the upholstering and furnishing must be often renewed; stolen articles
must be replaced; and the breakages of table-wares constantly renewed.
All of this costs cash.

The steamer also has to pay light dues and port charges wherever she
goes. Many of these are exorbitant and unreasonable. In Havre the
"Fulton" and "Arago" must pay nearly twenty-four hundred dollars each
on every departure, or they will not be permitted to leave the docks.
This is no small item for each steamer on every passage that she
makes. At New-York she pays wharfage again. It is not so high, but it
is a large item, and requires the cash. Again, there is the great
shore establishment which every steam company must maintain. Large
docks, and warehouses, and coaling arrangements, staging, watchmen,
porters, and messengers, and a shore-captain equal to those on board,
must all be maintained. The Havre Company pays to the city $4,000 per
year for its dock, $1,200 for its annual repairs, and also for sheds,
fixtures, etc., extra. They keep also two watchmen at $40 each per
month, and other persons in the dock service. The Collins Company have
a necessarily very costly dock both in New-York and Liverpool. That in
New-York would rent for $15,000 per annum. The one in Liverpool is far
more costly. On each they keep a large number of men, with watchmen,
gatekeepers, runners, porters, and clerks, and always keep an office
open. Beside this, is the whole paraphernalia of the office of the
company. There must be offices, clerks, bookkeepers, porters, runners,
etc.; a president, treasurer, and secretary; an attorney, agents, and
agencies; and newspaper advertising, and a hundred little things which
no man can mention. I do not pretend to be able to give an adequate
conception of the innumerable items which so swell the large actual
working expenses of regularly running steamers. Even the charities of
a decently managed company are large. Firemen and engineers become
disabled and must be supported; or they are killed in the service of
the ship, leaving families which no decent company can disregard. The
amount which the West-India Royal Mail Company pays in this way, and
which our noble American lines advance to the deserving, are beyond
all conception of the mere theorist.

There is another source of loss which prevents, mail packets
especially, from paying their expenses on their freight and passenger
earnings. The table on all of our steamships has become exceedingly
expensive, as it has in our hotels. Perhaps there is more necessity
for it on steamers than in the hotels, as passengers are generally
sea-sick, and need every delicacy of life to keep them up. The
supplies which our fine mail packets carry for this purpose are of
almost incredible extent and costliness. No vegetable, fruit, game, or
other rarity that can be kept fifteen days in large masses of ice, is
neglected; so that the table of every steamer is necessarily both
luxurious and expensive. Indeed, it has become so much so, and the
price of passage fare has been reduced so low on all of the prominent
lines, that as a general rule the steamers are not now making much
clear money on their passengers. The expense of keeping passengers was
not half so great six years ago, as it is now; and there appears to be
no safe means of permanent retrenchment. Nothing has been said of
Insurance. This is a most costly item. The Havre Company pay on their
two ships, which are worth about $900,000, nine and a half per cent.
per annum; and Mr. Collins pays on his three ships, which are worth
about $2,200,000, nine per cent. per annum. On the Havre steamers this
amounts to $85,500 per year, which is nearly as much as the mail pay;
and on the Collins, to $198,000 per annum. And these are among what we
call the items of mail steamship expenditure. I do not know the sums
paid by the United States Mail, or by the Pacific Mail Companies.

I will here give the views of Messrs. Murray and Atherton on the cost
of steam, as they replied to letters of inquiry, which I addressed
them Sept. 14, 1857. Mr. Murray says in answer to

_Query 2_. "It is certainly my impression that ocean steamers of
sufficient speed to carry the mails with any thing like regularity,
will not pay upon any route with which I am acquainted, without
assistance from Government."

_Query 5_: Can Parliament do better in economy than in her present
mail contracts, all things considered? Mr. Murray replies:

"I do not see how Parliament can avoid paying the large subsidies she
does for the mail contracts under present circumstances."

_Query 4_: Is the steamship stock of Great Britain, subsidized or
unsubsidized, paying stock, and is there much disposition among
capitalists to invest, even in the stock of subsidized companies? He
replies:

"I do not think the steamship stock of Great Britain to be in a very
nourishing condition: in fact, I know of only one company (the
Peninsular and Oriental) in which I should like to invest money."

Mr. Atherton replies to a query regarding the cost of running steamers
as follows:

"As to whether the effective performance of high speed mail service is
compatible with ordinary mercantile service without government
subsidy, I am of opinion that the mutual relation of Speed and Cost in
connection with long sea-voyages has never yet been duly appreciated
by owners, managers, or agents in charge of steam shipping affairs.
An acceleration of steaming speed involves an increase of cost
expenses, and a decrease of mercantile earnings, as dependent on
_freight per ton weight_ far beyond what is generally supposed."

He further says in reply to Query 9, which is as follows:

Do you know of any disposition in the Government to cut down the ocean
mail service, as an unproductive expenditure? He says:

"It is impossible to estimate the national value of an effective mail
service throughout the whole globe; the breaking of one link, though
apparently of trivial consequence, impairs the whole system. I can not
imagine that there is any disposition to impair the completeness of
the mail system."

From the foregoing considerations it is palpable that fast ocean
steamers can not live on their own receipts. And the same will in most
cases hold true of freighting and other steamers of all classes, which
depend entirely on steam as their agent of locomotion. Propellers will
hardly form an exception to this rule. If the power and the passengers
fill the hull, if the coal bill and other expenses increase as rapidly
as indicated for mail packets, if engineering improvements do not
advance as rapidly as the price of coals, if larger and more cheaply
running ships can not get an adequate support in business, if there
are the many leakages and expenses indicated, and if all of the
expenses of running steamers are continually increasing from year to
year rather than diminishing, then we may never expect to see the mail
and passenger steamers of the ocean become self-supporting, or less
dependent than now, on the fostering care of the Government and the
national treasury.[C]

[C] Since this was written, Mr. Drayton has shown me the receipt for
this year's _taxes_ on the Havre Company, which are $7,782, the two
ships being valued at $500,000 only.



SECTION VI.

HOW CAN MAIL SPEED BE ATTAINED?

    THE TRANSMARINE COMPARED WITH THE INLAND POST: OUR PAST SPASMODIC
    EFFORTS: NEED SOME SYSTEM: FRANCE AROUSED TO STEAM: THE
    SAILING-SHIP MAIL: THE NAVAL STEAM MAIL: THE PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
    MAIL: ALL INADEQUATE AND ABANDONED: GREAT BRITAIN'S EXPERIENCE IN
    ALL THESE METHODS: NAVAL VESSELS CAN NOT BE ADAPTED TO THE MAIL
    SERVICE: WILL PROPELLERS MEET THE WANTS OF MAIL TRANSPORT, WITH OR
    WITHOUT SUBSIDY: POPULAR ERRORS REGARDING THE PROPELLER: ITS
    ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES: BOURNE'S OPINION: ROBERT MURRAY:
    PROPELLERS TOO OFTEN ON THE DOCKS: THEY ARE VERY DISAGREEABLE
    PASSENGER VESSELS: IF PROPELLERS RUN MORE CHEAPLY IT IS BECAUSE
    THEY ARE SLOWER: COMPARED WITH SAIL: UNPROFITABLE STOCK: CROSKEY'S
    LINE: PROPELLERS LIVE ON CHANCES AND CHARTERS: IRON AS A MATERIAL:
    SENDING THE MAILS BY SLOW PROPELLERS WOULD BE AN UNFAIR
    DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SAILING VESSELS: INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISE CAN
    NOT SUPPLY MAIL FACILITIES: THEREFORE IT IS THE DUTY OF THE
    GOVERNMENT.


I have endeavored to prove in the foregoing Section that ocean mail
steamers can not live on their own receipts. The question now arises,
how can we secure speed for the mails and passengers upon the ocean?
With so many expenses and so small an income the fast ocean steamer
can not become profitable to even the most thoroughly organized and
best administered companies. Much less can it be successfully run by
individuals and individual enterprise, which has never so many
reliable resources at command as a strong, chartered company. It is
true that there are a few prominent transatlantic routes where
steamers can run as auxiliary propellers; but the number of them is
small, and the speed attained will by no means prove sufficient for
postal purposes. The transmarine postal service has been a source of
constant annoyance to almost every commercial nation. The overland
mails have generally been self-supporting, and it has been a favorite
idea that those on the sea should be so also; although there is no
just reason why either should be necessarily so any more than in the
cases of the Navy and the Army; branches of the service which entail
large expenses on the Government, and yet without a moiety of the
benefits which directly flow from the postal service to all classes of
community. No nation except Great Britain has come up to the issue and
faced this question boldly. Almost every other country, not excepting
our own, has been hanging back on the subject of the transmarine post,
"waiting, like Mr. Micawber, for something to turn up," in the
improvements of ocean steam navigation, which might obviate the
necessity of paying for the ocean transit. But every hope has been
disappointed; and instead of realizing these wishes the case has been
growing worse year by year, until we are at last compelled to move in
the matter, or lose our commerce, our ocean _prestige_, and sink down
contented with a second or third-rate position among commercial
nations, and acknowledge ourselves tributary to the far-seeing and
far-reaching, and superior policy of our competitors.

The United States have indeed become galvanically aroused now and
then, as in 1847 and '8, to a self-protecting and a self-developing
system; but as soon as one faint effort has been made, we have,
instead of pursuing that effort and developing it fully, relapsed back
into our old indifference, and given the whole available talent of the
Government either to the administration, or to the everlasting
discussion of petty politics. During the time that President Buchanan
was Secretary of State, some of our noblest efforts for the
establishment of ocean mails were made, with his fullest countenance
and aid; but the policy then inaugurated with prospects so hopeful for
our commercial future, and which has operated so healthfully ever
since, is now half abandoned, or left without notice to take care of
itself; until it may be to-day said that we have no steam policy, and
run our ocean mails only by expedients. This ever has been and ever
will be unfortunate for us, and costly. Individuals and companies
build steamers for the accidents of trade, let them lie still a year
or two, then pounce upon some disorganized trade, suck the life-blood
from it like vampires, and at last leave it, the very corpse of
commerce, lying at the public door. All such irregular traffic is
injurious to the best interests of the country, destroys all generous
and manly competition, and proves most clearly the want of a
Government steam mail system. France has been awaiting the issues of
time, and under a too high expectation for the improvements of the
age, until she finds that unless she inaugurates and sustains a
liberal steam policy, and becomes less dependent on foreigners for her
mails, she will have the commerce of the world swept from her shores
as by a whirlwind of enterprise. She has now become aroused, and has
determined to establish three great lines of communication, one with
the United States, one with the West-Indies, Central America, the
Spanish Main, and Mexico, and one with Brazil and La Plata. She has
found, that it will no longer do to abandon her mails to fate, and
that in the end it will be far more profitable to pay even largely for
good mails than to do without them. Hence, her offer to give to the
American, West-Indian, and Brazilian service named an annual
subvention of fourteen million _Francs_, or nearly three million
dollars, to be continued for twenty years, which the Government deems
a sufficient period for the establishment and test of a system. (_See
_projêt_ of Franco-American Navigation, page 198._)

Among the many expedients adopted for the transmission of the foreign
post are those of employing ordinary sailing vessels on the one hand,
or the vessels of the war marine on the other. Both systems have been
effectually and forever exploded and abandoned. The objections to
sailing vessels are very numerous. They are, in the first place, too
slow. They are too uncertain in their days of sailing and arrival.
They can never be placed under the direction of the Department because
they are private property, devoted to private uses, and generally
accomplish their ends by private means; one of the most prominent of
which is, to keep back all letters except those going to their own
consignees. If a merchant runs his ship for personal gain it is not to
be supposed that he will carry the letters of his commercial
competitors, and thus forestall his own speculations. Sailing vessels
have no proper accommodations for the mails, and can not fairly be
forced either to transport or to deliver them. The uncertainties of
cargo are such that they can not sail on fixed days with punctuality.
But the great difficulty is their want of speed and the uncertainty of
their progress or arrival. Whenever they have been employed by the
British Government for postal service they have always proven
themselves inefficient and unreliable. Whenever they have been
superceded by steamers, the postal income, before small, has gone up
rapidly to five, ten, or twenty times the former income. This was well
illustrated in the British and Brazilian lines. The Parliamentary
returns for 1842, when postal service with Brazil and La Plata was
performed by a line of fine sailing packets, give the total income
from postages at £5,034, 13_d_, 6_s_ Lord Canning, the British Post
Master General, stated that, in 1852, two years after the Royal Mail
Steam Packets commenced running to Brazil and La Plata, the income
from postages was £44,091, 17_s_, or nearly nine times as much as when
the mails went by sailing vessels.[D] Ship owners have a strong
aversion to receiving letters for the places to which their ships are
bound. As a barque was about sailing from New-York for Demerara in
1855, I called on the owner, who was on the dock, just before the
vessel got under way, and asked that some letters which I held in my
hand, might be taken to Georgetown. He said that he could not take
them; that he sailed his vessel to make money; and that he could not
do other people's business. As I walked away from him rather abruptly,
he called to me and wished to know to whom the letters were addressed.
I told him, to Sir Edmund Wodehouse, the Governor of the Province; and
that they related to the establishment of steam mail facilities
between this country and that Province. He at once begged my pardon
and explained; asked that I would let him send the letters; and said,
moreover, that he would at any time be glad to give me a passage there
and back on that business.

[D] See Parliamentary Papers for 1852-3, postal affairs, Report of
Lord Canning, July 8, 1853.

The experiment of employing the steamers of the Navy in the postal
service has been very fully made by Great Britain. After attempts on a
considerable number of lines, and extending over a period of ten
years, this service has been found inefficient, cumbrous, and more
costly, and has been entirely abandoned. Murray, page 172, says that
Mr. Anderson, Managing Director of the Peninsular and Oriental
Company, said before the Parliamentary Committee as follows: "The
postal communication can be done much cheaper by private contract
steamers than by Government boats, because of the merchandise and
passengers carried. The steam communication between Southampton and
Alexandria, with vessels of 300 to 400 horse power, was done for 4_s_
6_d_, per mile. From Suez to Ceylon, Calcutta, and Hong Kong, with
vessels of 400 to 500 horse power, for 17_s_, 1_d_ per mile. The
East-India Company's line (of naval vessels) between Suez and Bombay
with vessels of only 250 to 300 horse power, cost 30_s_ per mile. Her
Majesty's vessels in the Mediterranean cost about 21_s_ per mile."
France also tried the experiment, but soon abandoned the system, as
fruitless and exceedingly annoying. It is quite a plausible idea that
our mails should go under the flag of the country, with power to
protect them, and that vessels generally supposed to be idle should be
engaged in some useful service. But this presupposes a fact which does
not exist. No vessels in the world are more actively employed than
those of the American navy, and there are many stations on which we
could employ twice as many as we have with excellent effect on our
commerce and foreign relations generally. We constantly hear the
complaint that the Secretary of the Navy has no steamer for some
immediately necessary or indispensable service. But if he had, and if
two dozen steamers were lying all the time idle in our navy yards,
they would probably not be installed six months in the postal service
until they would be positively demanded in some way in that of the
nation, and this diversion would at once frustrate all of the postal
and commercial plans of the country.

But the difficulties in the way of this service are so numerous as to
be readily palpable to all who examine it. No vessel that is well
fitted for naval service is well adapted to that of the post. The post
requires great speed, and hence, full-powered vessels. The navy does
not require so great speed, and hence, the steamers are seldom more
than auxiliaries. They are built heavier and fuller, and are not so
adapted to speed. Filling them with the power necessary to drive them
with sufficient rapidity for mail packets would unfit them for the
efficient service of war. Naval vessels are, moreover, filled and
weighted down with guns, stores, men, and a thousand things which
would be in the way if they were employed for the mails. They have no
state-rooms, cabins, saloons, etc.; and if they had them so as to
accommodate passengers, they would be unfit for the war service.
Unless so fitted they could not accommodate passengers, as they will
not lash themselves up in hammocks under the deck, as thick as grass,
as man-of-war's men will. If they are to be strictly naval vessels
while running, they will be filled with their own men, and could not
take passengers even if they had state-room accommodations for them.
They would thus be deprived entirely of this source of income. Again,
they could take no freight; and if a passenger mail steamer has to
depend upon both freight and passengers for an income to meet the
large expenses, which are generally three, five, and often even ten
times the sum of subsidy received from the Government, then the naval
vessel running in the postal service will be deprived of both these
sources of income, and must fall back on the department for all of its
expenses, which would be three, five, and even ten times as much as
the sum paid private companies for carrying the mail.

The average round trips of the Pacific mail steamers from Panamá to
San Francisco and Olympia, and back, are, beyond doubt, enormously
expensive; while they receive from the Government only $14,500. This
is, consequently, but a small fractional part of their income. The
trip of the "Arago," or "Fulton," to Havre and back, costs about
$45,000, while the mail pay was only $12,500, under the old contract,
and is now probably not above $7,500 per round trip.[E] These
estimates are made exclusive of insurance, which is 9-1/2 per cent.;
repairs, 10 per cent.; and depreciation, at least five per cent.
Here, again, the Government gives but a meagre part of the large sum
necessary to keep those packets running. Now, if naval vessels were
carrying the same mails, and were deprived of the income which they
receive for freight and passengers, it would evidently cost the
Government six to eight times as much to carry the mails as it now
does, saying nothing about the income from the mails, which is
trifling. But this class of vessels never could subserve the purposes
of rapid correspondence. If they could carry freight and passengers,
the difficulties would still be insuperable. It would cost twice as
much for the department to accomplish the same object through its
officers and its routine as it would for private companies or
individuals, who have but the one business and the one purpose in
running their vessels. No man, company, or even department of the
Government, can accomplish two important and difficult ends by the
same agency at the same time. Either the one or the other must suffer
and be neglected, or both will be but imperfectly and ineffectively
performed. Many structures of this kind fall of their own
superincumbent weight and clumsiness. If naval vessels thus running
even had passengers they would never be satisfied or well treated. A
captain and crew, to be agreeable and satisfactory to passengers, must
feel themselves under obligation to them for their patronage, and
would be compelled to exert themselves to merit the best feelings of
their patrons. This could never be the case with naval gentlemen, who
would be dependent for their living on the department only. It is
probable that no one seriously entertains such a plan as this for the
postal service, as this must be a distinct, partly self-supporting,
unbroken, and continuous service, while that of the Navy must also be
distinct, independent, and efficiently directed to one great cardinal
object. Therefore, we can not secure postal service by this means.

[E] This line receives the total postages, ocean and inland, which in
1856 were, according to the Post Master General's report, $88,483.99,
or $7,373.33 per round voyage. (_See Letter of the Hon. Horatio King,
1st Asst. Post Master General._)

As much has been said of Propellers during the few years past, I
propose examining the question with the view of ascertaining whether
they are adapted to the mail service, and whether we can secure from
them sufficient speed without a subsidy from the Government. It is
well known that the British are a far more steady-going people than
ourselves, and not being so rushing do not require so much speed. They
have had an easy control of the European and foreign commerce
generally around them; and when competition aroused them to additional
efforts they did not endeavor to outstride themselves, but took merely
an additional step of progress and speed, and adopted the propeller
for their coasting business, because it was a little faster than wind,
and yet cheaper than full steam. And because so many propellers have
been built for the peculiar short-route trade of Great Britain, many
people in this country can not see why we do not adopt the propeller
for our foreign trade. I have already shown (_See page 44_) that there
are some short routes on which steam is cheaper than the wind, and
that on others of greater length steamers can not transport freight
under any conditions. (_See latter part of Section IV., on the Cost of
Steam._) I do not propose making the Screw Propeller in any way an
exception to the position stated; and shall consequently maintain that
it will never be the means of attaining a rapid and yet cheap mail
speed.

There are no greater errors entertained by the public on any subject
connected with steam navigation than concerning the Screw Propeller.
It is generally supposed that it is a more economical and effective
application of power than the side-wheel, which is a mistake: it is
generally supposed that, with the same amount of power and all other
conditions equal, the propeller will not run as rapidly as the
side-wheel, which is true of steaming in a sea-way or against a
head-wind, but a mistake as regards smooth water: it is generally
supposed that the engines weigh less, take up less room, and cost
less, which is all a mistake. The best authors on this subject and the
most eminent builders generally agree, that in England and Scotland,
where the propeller has attained its greatest perfection, the
difference between the side-wheel and the propeller as an application
of power is very slight and hardly appreciable; or that the same
number of tons of coal will drive two ships of the same size at the
same speed in smooth water; but that the side-wheel has greatly the
advantage in a head-sea or during rough weather generally. Many
persons who do not understand the subject, have theorized in just the
contrary direction. They say that in rough weather the screw has the
advantage, because it is alway in the water, etc. Experience shows
just the reverse; and theory will bear the practice out. If, in the
side-wheel one wheel is part of the time out, the other has, at any
rate, the whole force of the engines, and the floats sink to and take
hold on a denser, heavier, and less easily yielding stratum of water;
so that the progress is nearly the same. The back current or opposing
wave can not materially affect it, because the float is at the extreme
end of the arm where the travel is greatest, and is always more rapid
than the wave. It is not so with the screw. The blade which meets the
wave is not placed at the end of a long arm where the travel is very
rapid and the motion more sudden than that of the wave. This blade
extends all the way along from its extreme end, where the motion is
rapid, to the centre, or the shaft, where there is no motion; and all
intermediate parts of this blade move so slowly, that the wave of
greater rapidity counteracts it, and checks its progress. The
side-wheel applies its power at the extreme periphery, where the
travel is greatest, while the screw applies it all along between the
point of extreme rapidity, and the stationary point in the shaft.
There is, moreover, much power lost as the oblique blades of the screw
rise and fall in a vertical line while the vessel is heaving.

In the new edition (1855) of "Bourne on the Propeller," he says in the
preface:

"Large vessels, we know, are both physically and commercially more
advantageous than small vessels, provided only they can be filled with
cargo; but in some cases in which small paddle vessels have been
superseded by large screw vessels, the superior result due to an
increased size of hull has been imputed to a superior efficiency of
the propeller. No fact, however, is more conclusively established than
this, that the efficiency of paddles and of the screw as propelling
instruments is very nearly the same; and in cases in which geared
engines are employed to drive a screw vessel, the machinery will take
up about the same amount of room as if paddles had been used, and the
result will be much the same as if paddles had been adopted. When
direct acting engines, however, are employed, the machinery will
occupy a much less space in screw vessels than is possible in paddle
vessels, and the use of direct acting engines in screw propellers is
necessary, therefore, for the realization of the full measure of
advantage, which screw propulsion is able to afford."

Atherton says of the propeller in his "Marine Engine Construction and
Classification," page 45:

"Its operation has been critically compared with that of the
paddle-wheel, under various conditions of engine power, and experience
has shown that, under circumstances which admit of the screw propeller
being favorably applied, it is equal to the paddle-wheel as an
effective means of applying engine power to the propulsion of the
vessel." Again:

I recently addressed to Mr. Atherton the following question: "Taking
two ships of the same _size, displacement, and power, or coal_, the
one a side-wheel, the other screw: What will be their relative _speed
and carrying capacity_ in smooth water? What in a sea-way, or in
regular transatlantic navigation?" He replied under address, "Woolwich
Royal Dock Yard, 14 Sept., 1857:

"It is my opinion, based on experiment, that a well-applied screw is
quite equal to the paddle-wheel for giving out the power by which it
is itself driven, that is, in smooth water. I can not say from
observation or experience what is the comparative operation at sea."

I addressed the same inquiry to Mr. Robert Murray, of Southampton, who
has written an able work, entitled, "The Marine Engine," and who is
considered excellent authority, and have from him the following reply,
dated Southampton, 19 Sept., 1857:

"With regard to the relative efficiency of the paddle-wheel and screw
for full-powered mail steamers, I am disposed to prefer the
paddle-wheel for _transatlantic_ steaming, in which the vessel has to
contend with so much rough weather and heavy sea, and the screw for
the Mediterranean and the Pacific routes.

"For auxiliary steamers of any kind the screw has manifestly the
advantage.

"With regard to the actual speed obtained from each mode of propulsion
in vessels of the same power and form, and with the propeller in its
best trim, I am disposed to prefer the paddle-wheel, either in smooth
water, or when steaming head to wind, but in other conditions the
screw." What he means by "other conditions," is evidently when the
screw is running with a fair wind, which is seldom, so as to use her
sails. Bourne also states very clearly in two places that the
propeller is by no means so efficient in a sea-way, as a side-wheel
steamer, and admits that when a vessel is steaming at eleven or twelve
knots per hour, the sails not only do not aid her, but frequently
materially retard her motion. (_See Bourne, page 237._)

All of these authorities agree that the application of a given power
produces about the same effect, whether through the side-wheel or the
screw; and if so, it is evident that the screw can not attain the same
speed as the side-wheel, without burning as much fuel, and having as
costly and as heavy engines and boilers. Indeed, taking the whole
evidence together, it appears well settled by these authorities, that
the screw is equal to the side-wheel only in smooth water, and that,
as a consequence of this distinction, it is not equal to it in general
ocean navigation. It has been seen that much of its power is lost when
it contends with head-winds and seas, and that when it has attained a
fair average mail speed, the wind will help it very little, if any,
under the most favorable circumstances. It is, therefore, reasonable
to infer that it would cost more to attain a high average mail speed
with the propeller than with the side-wheel. If in attaining this
average mail speed the advantages are clearly in favor of the
side-wheel, there is no hope that we shall accomplish the mail service
at cheaper rates than heretofore, as this agency can not be introduced
toward that end; for not only is the prime cost of the steamer the
same, as also the consumption of fuel per mile, but there are other
and numerous disadvantages connected with the propeller, which are
wholly unknown to the side-wheel.

It is a well-known fact that propellers are compelled to be placed
upon the docks three or four times as often as side-wheels. The screw
either breaks, and must be replaced by another, or it cuts the boxes
out, or works the stern of the vessel to pieces. Any one of these
requires that the steamer shall be docked, however great the expense;
and as these accidents are constantly occurring in even the best
constructed and best regulated propellers, it follows that they must
be constantly on the docks. This species of vessel being built
necessarily narrower than the side-wheel, it rolls more, and is found
to be an exceedingly disagreeable passenger vessel. Propellers have
become deservedly unpopular the world over; and if it were possible
for them to be faster than the side-wheel, it is hardly probable that
first-class passengers would even then go by them, as they are known
to be so exceedingly uncomfortable.

The propeller, I have before said, is erroneously supposed to run more
cheaply than the side-wheel. I think that I have shown that as a mail
packet it will cost more to run it at a given speed. But there are
certain cases in which it does run more cheaply; these are, however,
only where the speed is low, and the machinery not geared, and where,
as a consequence, sail can be used to more advantage than on a
side-wheel. The economy is not the result of the application of the
power by the screw, as compared with the side-wheel, but of the sail
alone; and this economy is more or less, just as canvas is employed
more or less in the propulsion. The screw is the better form of
steamer for using sail; and the low speed at which propellers
generally run, is a means of making that sail more effective. We have
already seen, in the section on the cost of steam, that it generally
requires twice the original quantity of fuel to increase the speed
from eight to ten knots per hour in either style of steamer. Now, it
is a well-known fact that the transatlantic propeller lines are on the
average more than two knots per hour short of the speed of the
side-wheels, which makes their passages across the Atlantic from two
to six days longer than by the mail packets. They thus save from one
half to two thirds of the fuel, and deducting its prime cost from the
bill of expenses, they add to that of receipts the freight on the
cargo, which occupies the space of the coal saved. They consequently
run on much smaller expenses; but only when their speed is less than
that of the side-wheels, and far too low for effective postal
service. Economy thus purchased at the expense of speed may do for
freight, and enable propellers to derive some profits from certain
cargoes; but it can never subserve the purposes of mails and
passengers. It must alway be recollected that the effective speed of
the propeller is reduced just in the ratio of the greater economy as
compared with the side-wheel.

It thus appears that with any appreciable economy the propeller must
be slower than the side-wheel; and that with any considerable economy
it can be but little faster than sail. It has, however, the advantage
over sail of being rather more reliable and punctual, and can make
arrivals and departures rather more matters of certainty. This at the
same time secures to it a better class of freights as well as vast
numbers of emigrants which together, enable it to incur the extra
expense over a sailing vessel. The cargo is less in the propeller than
in the sail, as much of the room is occupied by the engines, boilers,
and fuel. Hence, the prices must be proportionally higher to meet the
deficit arising from the smaller quantity. But there are very few
trades in which propellers can run as noticed on so long a voyage as
3,000 to 4,000 miles; and these lie between a few countries in Europe
and the ports of the United States. Their support arises chiefly from
the emigrant trade; as without this their freights would not on any
known lines enable them to run one month. And this is not simply an
assumption of theory, but the experience of all the European lines. I
was recently told in England and France by many persons who had no
interest or desire to deceive me, that propeller stock was invariably
a burthen to every body having any thing to do with it, and could
generally be bought at sixty to seventy cents on the dollar, while
much of it would not bring half of its cost price. They cited as an
evidence the fact that no line of propellers is permanent, unless in
some way connected with a subsidized company, as in the case of the
Cunard screws running between Liverpool and New-York. The Glasgow line
is also an exception, and is said to pay dividends. The screw lines
are always hunting a home and a new trade. (_See views of Mr. Murray,
page 111._)

The only way in which some lines can run is by getting their stock at
half its value and thus having to pay the interest on a smaller sum.
The "General Screw Steam shipping Company" is an example. The Company
had from the first lost money, although they had nine fine steamers,
and were compelled finally to close up and sell out. Mr. Croskey, the
United States Consul at Southampton, supposed that they might be put
into a new trade and make a living on a smaller capital stock; that
is, if the new company should get them at half their value. The
transfer was made and the "European and American Steamship Company"
was established. Some of the vessels were put into the trade between
Bremen and London, Southampton, and New-York; some between Antwerp and
Brazil; and some between Hamburg and Brazil. None of these lines have
paid, except, perhaps, the New-York, which has had large cargoes of
emigrants; and Mr. Croskey freely acknowledges that the new Company
would have been ruined but for the Indian Revolt, which enabled him to
charter five of the vessels to the Government at good prices, for the
conveyance of troops by way of the Cape of Good Hope to India. Had the
lines on which they were running been profitable they would never have
been chartered to the Government. But like the whole propeller service
of the world, this Company took the chances; and it may be safely
asserted that but for the opportunities which vessels of this class
find for chartering to the Government they could not live on their own
enterprise three years. The number of these vessels is now very
unnecessarily large; and many of them have been built to supply labor
to the establishments, and for taking the chances of Government
employment at high prices. Their largest employment results from
casualties rather than from the pursuit of legitimate trade. But the
business is overdone, even for the English market, when foreign war is
rather the rule, and peace the exception. But few propellers are now
building; these few being small and intended for the coasting, or the
short-line Continental trade, where they will readily pay. (_See page
42 for propeller stock; also pages 44 and 45 for the propeller
coasting service._)

It does not materially alter the complexion of this question to say
that propellers are generally constructed of iron. There is not such a
difference in their prime cost or their stowage capacity as to enable
them to take the large receipts necessary to their support; while
certainly there is no advantage to be gained in speed from iron as a
material of construction. The iron propeller can be constructed
cheaper than the wooden in Great Britain, because of the great
scarcity of timber and the large and redundant quantity of iron; and
an iron vessel has some advantage in being able to stow a larger
cargo, from the fact that her sides and bottom are not so thick as
those of wooden vessels; but these considerations do not very
materially affect the consumption of fuel, and the quantity necessary
to carry a ton of freight. Iron is probably a better material than
wood for the construction of propellers, as the part about the stern,
where the screw works, can be made stronger, and as all iron vessels
can be rather more readily divided into water-tight compartments by
bulkheads. Yet as a material of construction it offers no transcendent
advantages over the side-wheel for transatlantic navigation, while it
is not probably so safe, or so comfortable for passengers. Yet, it
will be well for us to adopt the propeller largely in our coasting
trade, and iron as the material of its construction.

We have thus seen that to save fuel and carry freight, the speed of
the propeller must be low; indeed very low, if it is to live on its
own receipts. It is therefore clearly impossible that with such
comparatively low speed it should carry the mail. Neither can it
support itself except by this low speed. By running thus but a
fraction faster than the sailing vessel, it can command on a few
prominent lines a large freight; but to give vessels of such speed a
subsidy for carrying the mails would be both to render the mail
service inefficient, and to enable the propeller to compete with the
sailing lines of the country at very undue advantage, which would be
an unfair discrimination against all sailing interests. Should the
propeller, like the side-wheel, run fast enough on the average trips
of the year to carry the mails, which would certainly be at the
expense and abandonment of any considerable freighting business, then
the Government might with propriety pay for the mails, as these
steamers would not injure the freighting business of sailing vessels.
The outcry by sail owners against steamers as competitors can not be
against the mail packets; for these carry but little freight; but
against these slow screws which should be treated like all other
freighting vessels, notwithstanding the fact that some of their owners
have had the impudence to propose them for the paid mail service and
to ask a subsidy from the Government, but the better to cripple the
interests of sailing vessels. As well might Government subsidize fast
clippers, because they are a little faster than regular, ordinary
sailers. When the steamer runs with sufficient rapidity for the mails,
the sailing ship has nothing to fear from competition, and has all the
benefits of the more rapid correspondence. Thus, Government must pay
only where there is a fast mail, whether it be in a side-wheel or
propeller; otherwise it destroys individual competition and cripples
private enterprise.

If, as we have seen from all the facts regarding the expense of
running steamers, individual enterprise can not supply adequately
rapid ocean postal facilities, and if such facilities are yet wholly
indispensable to the commerce, the people, and the Government, the
only alternative presented is for the Government to pay for them, and
to require, as it has of all the American lines, such a speed as to
prevent injurious competition to sailing vessels and private
enterprise. Much capital is made by certain ship owners out of what
they call the undue discrimination of subsidies against their vessels;
but they can never lay this charge at the door of the fast and very
expensive mail packets, or elsewhere than upon the slow auxiliary
propellers which any of them have a right to attempt to run, and which
the Government never did and never will subsidize. This is the source
and the only source of all the vaunted injurious effects of steam on
the sailing stock of the country. It is a question with which the
Government has nothing to do, and which must be settled between
propeller owners and sail owners themselves, and with reference,
perhaps, to the wishes of their customers. Mail steamers have enough
to do to get money to pay their coal, provision, repair, and
innumerable extras bills, without wrangling over the freighting
business. And, from all this we conclude that the only means of the
Government securing an adequate mail speed is by paying for it. (_See
remarks of Committee on this subject, Paper E._)



SECTION VII.

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THE PEOPLE?

    RESUMÉ OF THE PREVIOUS SECTIONS AND ARGUMENTS: IT IS THE DUTY OF
    THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH RAPID STEAM MAILS: OUR PEOPLE APPRECIATE
    THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMERCE, AND OF LIBERAL POSTAL FACILITIES: THE
    GOVERNMENT IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE: IT MUST
    FOSTER THEIR INTERESTS AND DEVELOP THEIR INDUSTRY: THE WANT OF
    SUCH MAILS HAS CAUSED THE NEGLECT OF MANY PROFITABLE BRANCHES OF
    INDUSTRY: AS A CONSEQUENCE WE HAVE LOST IMMENSE TRAFFIC: THE
    EUROPEAN MANUFACTURING SYSTEM AND OURS: FIELDS OF TRADE NATURALLY
    PERTAINING TO US: OUR ALMOST SYSTEMATIC NEGLECT OF THEM: WHY IS
    GREAT BRITAIN'S COMMERCE SO LARGE: CAUSES AND THEIR EFFECTS: HER
    WEST-INDIA LINE RECEIVES A LARGER SUBSIDY THAN ALL THE FOREIGN
    LINES OF THE UNITED STATES COMBINED: INDIFFERENCE SHOWN BY
    CONGRESS TO MANY IMPORTANT FIELDS OF COMMERCE: INSTANCES OF MAIL
    FACILITIES CREATING LARGE TRADE: THE PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL
    COMPANY'S TESTIMONY: THE BRITISH AND BRAZILIAN TRADE: SOME
    DEDUCTIONS FROM THE FIGURES: CALIFORNIA SHORN OF HALF HER GLORY:
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOT MISERS: THEY WISH THEIR OWN PUBLIC
    TREASURE EXPENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THEIR INDUSTRY: OUR
    COMMERCIAL CLASSES COMPLAIN THAT THEY ARE DEPRIVED OF THE
    PRIVILEGE OF COMPETING WITH OTHER NATIONS.


1. _Conceded_ (Section I.) _that steam mails upon the ocean control
the commerce and diplomacy of the world; that they are essential to
our commercial and producing country; that we have not established the
ocean mail facilities commensurate with our national ability and the
demands of our commerce; and that we to-day are largely dependent on,
and tributary to our greatest commercial rival, Great Britain, for the
postal facilities, which should be purely national, American, and
under our own exclusive control:_

2. _Conceded_ (Section II.) _that fast ocean mails are exceedingly
desirable for our commerce, our defenses, our diplomacy, the
management of our squadrons, our national standing, and that they are
demanded by our people at large:_

3. _Conceded_ (Section III.) _that fast steamers alone can furnish
rapid transport to the mails; that these steamers can not rely on
freights; that sailing vessels will ever carry staple freights at a
much lower figure, and sufficiently quickly; that while steam is
eminently successful in the coasting trade, it can not possibly be so
in the transatlantic freighting business; and that the rapid transit
of the mails and the slower and more deliberate transport of freight
is the law of nature:_

4. _Conceded_ (Section IV.) _that high, adequate mail speed is
extremely costly, in the prime construction of vessels, their repairs,
and their more numerous employées; that the quantity of fuel consumed
is enormous, and ruinous to unaided private enterprise; and that this
is clearly proven both by theory and indisputable facts as well as by
the concurrent testimony of the ablest writers on ocean steam
navigation:_

5. _Conceded_ (Section V.) _that ocean mail steamers can not live on
their own receipts; that neither the latest nor the anticipated
improvements in steam shipping promise any change in this fact; that
self-support is not likely to be attained by increasing the size of
steamers; that the propelling power in fast steamers occupies all of
the available space not devoted to passengers and express freight; and
that steamers must be fast to do successful mail and profitable
passenger service:_

6. _Conceded_ (Section VI.) _that sailing vessels can not
successfully transport the mails; that the propeller can not transport
them as rapidly or more cheaply than side-wheel vessels; that with any
considerable economy of fuel and other running expenses, it is but
little faster than the sailing vessel; that to patronize these slow
vessels with the mails the Government would unjustly discriminate
against sailing vessels in the transport of freights; that we can not
in any sense depend on the vessels of the Navy for the transport of
the mails; that individual enterprise can not support fast steamers;
and that not even American private enterprise can under any conditions
furnish a sufficiently rapid steam mail and passenger marine: then,_

The inference is clear and unavoidable, and we come irresistibly to
the conclusion, that it is the duty of the Government to its people to
establish and maintain an extensive, well-organized, and rapid steam
mail marine, for the benefit of production, commerce, diplomacy,
defenses, the character of the nation, and the public at large; and as
there is positively no other source of adequate and effective support,
to pay liberally for the same out of any funds in the national
treasury, belonging to the enterprising, liberal, and enlightened
people of the Republic. There is no clearer duty of the Legislative
and Executive Government to the industrious people of the country than
the establishment of liberal, large, and ready postal facilities, for
the better and more successful conduct of that industry, whether those
facilities be upon land or upon the sea. It is sometimes difficult to
extend our vision to any other sphere than that in which we move and
have our experiences; and thus there are many persons who, while they
would revolt at the idea that the Government should refuse to run
four-horse coaches to some little unimportant country town, would be
wholly unable to grasp the great commercial world and the wide oceans
over which their own products are to float, and from whose trade the
Government derives the large duties which prevent these same persons
having to pay direct taxes. They do not understand the necessity of
commerce, to even their own prosperity, or of the innumerable steam
mail lines which must convey the correspondence essential to the safe
and proper conduct of that commerce. But the great mass of the
American people understand these questions, understand the reflex
influences of all such facilities, and knowing how essential they are
to the proper development of enterprise and industry in whatever
channel or field, boldly claim it as a right that easy postal
communication shall be afforded them as well upon the high seas as
upon the interior land routes.

It is generally admitted that the government of a country is
established for the benefit of the people; and constitutions
conflicting with this purpose are simply subversive of justice and
liberty. If labor is a thing so desirable and so noble in a people
that the protection of its rewards in the form of property becomes one
of the highest attributes of good government, then it is equally an
indisputable attribute of that protecting and fostering government to
afford those facilities to labor, which experience shows that it
needs, and which the people can not attain in their individual
capacity, or without the intervention of the government. It is idle
for a government to say to the people that they are free, when it
denies to them the ordinarily approved means of making and conserving
wealth. The common experience of mankind points to commerce as the
next great means to production in creating national and individual
wealth. It equally shows us that foreign commerce can not flourish
without liberal foreign mail facilities, and the means of ready
transit of persons, papers, and specie. It also clearly indicates
that the most successful means of accomplishing this, is the
employment of subsidized national mail steamships. It therefore
becomes obviously the duty of a paternal government to an industrious,
enterprising, producing, and trading people, to give them the rapid
ocean steam mails necessary to the profitable prosecution of their
industry.

We have for many years neglected many important fields of foreign
trade, and many profitable branches of industry and art, which we
could easily have nurtured into sources of income and wealth, by
adopting the foreign mail system, so wisely introduced and extended by
Great Britain. And in the absence of such efforts on our part, a large
and remunerative traffic has been swept from us, and this suicidal
neglect has been the means of our subordination to so many controlling
foreign influences. We are at this very hour commercially enslaved by
England, France, Brazil, and the East. How is it that the trade of the
world is in the hands of Great Britain; that she absorbs most of every
nation's raw material; and that she and France supply the world with
ten thousand articles of industry, that should furnish work to our
manufacturers, and freight to our ships? There are some who will say
that it is because of her manufacturing system. Grant it. But how did
she establish that imperious, and overshadowing, and powerful system,
and how does she keep it up? Her energetic people have ever had the
fostering care of her government. Their steam mail system has been
established for twenty-four years. It has furnished the people with
the means of easy transport, rapid correspondence, the remittance of
specie, and the shipment of light manufactured goods to every corner
of the world; it has invited foreigners from every land to her shores
and her markets; and it has been the means of throwing the raw
material of the whole world into the lap of the British manufacturer
and artisan, and enabling them thus to control the markets in every
land.

But we can get along, it is said, without such a manufacturing system
and such an ubiquity of trade. This is a mistake. The productions of
our soil are not sufficiently indispensable to the outer world to
bring us all of the money we need for importing the millions of
foreign follies, to which our people have become attached. It is not
right or best for us that while our "Lowell Drillings" stand
preëminent over the world, we should so far neglect the Brazilian, La
Platan, New-Granadian, Venezuelan, and East-Indian trade, that
Manchester shall continue, as she now does, to manufacture an inferior
fabric, post it off by her steamers, forestall the market, and cheat
us out of our profits; and that, by means of the reputation which our
skill has produced. And a few more crises like the one through which
we have just begun to pass, will open our eyes to the necessity of
doing something ourselves to make money, and show that foreign trade
in every form, and the sale of every species of product known to the
industry of a skillful people, must be watched with jealous national
and individual care, and nurtured as we would nurture a young and
tender child. There are many fields of trade which may be said to
pertain naturally to this country, and which we have as wholly
neglected and yielded to Great Britain, as if she had a divine right
to the monopoly of the entire commerce of the world. No one can
believe that the trade of the islands which gem the Carribbean Sea and
the Gulf of Mexico, or the great Spanish Main, or the Guianas, or the
Orinoco and Amazon, or the extended coast of Brazil, the Platan
Republics, or Mexico, and the Central American States lying just at
our door, belongs naturally to Europe, or that their productions
should be transported in European ships, or that their supplies come
naturally five thousand miles across the ocean, rather than go a few
hundred miles from our own shores, in our own ships, and for the
benefit of our own merchants and producers. Yet, such is the
impression which our apathy of effort in those regions would produce.
We have acted as if our people had no right of information concerning
the West-Indies and South-America, until it had gone to Europe and
been emasculated of all its virtues.

The same thing is true of the Pacific South-American, the Chinese, and
the East-Indian trade. That of the Pacific coast is not half so far
from us, as it is from Europe; that of China, and the East-Indies, and
Australia, is by many thousand miles nearer to us; and yet the greater
portion of the commerce of all three of those great fields is
triumphantly borne off by Great Britain alone. And why is all this?
Why is her foreign trade sixteen hundred millions of dollars per year,
while ours is only seven hundred millions? Causes can not fail to
produce their effects; and prime causes, however little understood in
their half obscure workings, are yet made manifest as the sun at
noon-day by effects so brilliant and important as these. Here, as
ever, the tree is known by its fruits. The tree of knowledge, of
British wisdom, "whose mortal taste brought death into our world," our
Western world of commerce, "with loss of Eden," and many a fair
paradise of enterprise and effort, has filled the bleak little islands
of Britain with the golden fruits of every clime, and scattered
broadcast among its people the rich ambrosia of foreign commerce. When
it was necessary to command the trade of the West-Indies, Central
America, and Mexico, lying at our southern door, she established the
Royal Steam Packet service with thirteen lines and twenty steamers,
and paid it for the first ten years £240,000, and for the present
twelve years £270,000 per annum. In addition to this she pays £25,000
per annum for continuing the same lines down the west coast of
South-America to Valparaiso, and contracts to pay the Royal Mail
Company an annual addition of £75,000 in the event of coal, freight,
insurance, etc., being at anytime higher than they were at the date of
the contract in 1850. This aggregate sum of £295,000, or $1,475,000,
to say nothing of the increased allowance of £75,000 probably now paid
to this one branch alone of the British service, is considerably
greater than that paid for the entire foreign mail service of the
United States.

Now, it is a very extraordinary fact that, with such a field of
commerce lying along the sunny side of our republic, and with such an
array of facilities for converting it into European channels, our
Government has done literally nothing to protect the rights of its
citizens and give them the means, which they do not now possess, of a
fair competition with other countries for this rich and remunerative
trade. Yet such is the fact; all of the petitions and memorials of the
seaboard cities to the contrary notwithstanding. The same is the case
with the Pacific and East-India trade before noticed. While we have a
noble chain of communication between the Eastern States and California
and Oregon, which is manifestly essential to the integrity of the
Union and the continued possession of our rich Western territory;
while California is admirably situated to command the trade of those
vast regions and concentrate it in the United States; while the
British have several lines to China, the Indies, Australia, and
Southern as well as Western Africa; and while our citizens have
petitioned Congress year after year for even the most limited steam
mail facilities to those regions, which could be afforded at the
smallest price, it is truly astonishing that these facts and petitions
have hitherto been treated with contempt, and almost ruled out of
Congress as soon as presented. Such has been the course of action
that, instead of fostering foreign commerce and encouraging the
enterprise and industry of the people, the Government has really
repressed that enterprise, and practically commanded the intelligent
commercial classes of this country to look upon foreign trade as
forbidden fruit which it was never intended should be grown upon our
soil.

It is not to be disputed that foreign mail steamers, by creating
almost unlimited facilities for the conduct of trade, greatly increase
the commerce of the nation with the countries to which they run. The
evidences of this position are patent all around us, and too evident
to need recital. The growth of our trade with Germany, France,
Switzerland, and Great Britain since the establishment of the Bremen,
Havre, and Liverpool lines of steamers has been unprecedented in the
history of our commerce. That with California has sprung up as by
magic at the touch of steam, and has assumed a magnitude and
permanence in eight years which but for the steam mail and passenger
accommodations created, could not have been developed under thirty
years. The mail accommodations have wholly transformed our commerce
with Havana and Cuba, until they are wrested from foreign commercial
dominion, as reason suggests that they must ere long be from foreign
political thraldom. As well might Europe attempt to attach the little
island of Nantucket to some of her own dynasties as to deprive the
United States of the control of the trade of Cuba so long as her steam
lines are continued to that island.

Mr. Anderson, the Managing Director of the Peninsular and Oriental
Company, recently testified before a Committee of the House of
Commons, that, "the advantages of the communication (between England
and Australia) should not be estimated merely by the postage. After
steam communication to Constantinople and the Levant was opened, our
exports to those quarters increased by £1,200,000 a year. The actual
value of goods exported from Southampton alone, last year, (1848-9,)
by those steamers is nearly £1,000,000 sterling. Greek merchants
state that the certainty and rapidity of communication enable them to
turn their capital over so much quicker. Forty new Greek
establishments have been formed in this country since steam
communication was established. The imports in that trade, fine raw
materials, silk, goats' hair, etc., came here to be manufactured.
Supposing the trade to increase one million, and wages amount to
£600,000, calculating taxes at 20 per cent., an income of revenue of
£120,000 would result from steam communication."

I am prepared to speak from my own observation, and from the reliable
statistics of the Brazilian Government, from the pen of the late Prime
Minister, the _Marquis of Paraná_, a few facts of the same nature
relative to the trade between Great Britain and the Brazilian Empire.
In a paper which I prepared for the New-York Historical Society, and
published in "_Brazil and the Brazilians_," Philadelphia, Childs &
Peterson, I said, at page 618, in speaking of the trade of Great
Britain:

"From 1840 to 1850 her total imports from Brazil made no increase. In
1853, they had advanced one hundred and fifty per cent. on 1848; and,
in 1855, they had advanced over 1848--or the average of the ten years
noticed--about three hundred per cent. This, however, it must be
recollected, was in coffee, for reëxportation; a trade which was lost
to our merchants and to our shipping. Her total exports to Brazil from
1840 to 1850 were stationary at about two and a half million pounds
sterling annually. In 1851--the first year after steam by the Royal
Mail Company--they advanced forty per cent.; and, in 1854, they had
advanced one hundred and two per cent. on 1850. Thus, her exports have
doubled in five years, from a stationary point before the
establishment of steam mail facilities; whereas ours have been
thirteen years in making the same increase. The total trade between
Brazil and Great Britain has increased in an unprecedented ratio. The
combined British imports and exports, up to 1850, averaged £3,645,833
annually; but, in 1855, these had reached £8,162,455. Thus, _the
British trade increased two hundred and twenty-five per cent. in five
years after the first line of steamers was established to Brazil_."

In the analysis of the tables presenting these facts I had occasion to
make the following deductions, page 619:

"We see, from a generalization and combination of these tables and
analyses, that our greatest advance in the Brazilian trade has arisen
from imports instead of exports; whereas the trade of Great Britain
has advanced in both; and particularly in her exports, which were
already large; the tendency being to enrich Great Britain and to
impoverish us: that until 1850 her exports were stationary, while ours
were increasing; due, doubtless, to the superiority of our clipper
ships at that period, which placed us much nearer than England to
Brazil: that she is now taking the coffee-trade away from us, and
giving it to her own and other European merchants and shipping: that
she is rivalling us in the rubber-trade; wholly distancing us in that
of manufactures: and that from 1850 to 1855 she has doubled a large
trade of profitable exports, and increased her aggregate imports and
exports two hundred and twenty-five per cent.; whereas it has taken us
thirteen years to double a small trade, composed mostly of imports: it
being evident that, with equal facilities, we could outstrip Great
Britain in nearly all the elements of this Brazil trade, as we were
doing for the ten years from 1840 to 1850.

"It will hardly be necessary to suggest to the wise and reflecting
merchant or statesman the evident causes producing this startling
effect. It is the effect of steamship mail and passenger facilities,
so well understood by the wise and forecasting British statesmen who
established the Southampton, Brazil, and La Plata lines; not as a
means of giving revenue to the General Post-Office, but of encouraging
foreign trade and stimulating British industry. If England by steam
has overtaken and neutralized our clippers and embarrassed our trade,
then we have only to employ the same agent, and, from geographical
advantages, we feel assured that we will soon surpass her as
certainly, and even more effectually, than she has us. She sweeps our
seas, and we offer her no resistance or competition. Not satisfied
with the Royal Mail lines, it is reported that she is making a
contract with Mr. Cunard to run another line along by the side of the
Royal Mail, from Liverpool to Aspinwall, and from Panamá to the
East-Indies and China. She gains in these seas an invaluable trade,
because she employs the proper means for its attainment and promotion,
while we do not. Hence, although much farther off she is practically
much nearer. Suppose that Great Britain had no steamers to the great
sea at her threshold, the Mediterranean; and we had the enterprise to
run a great trunk-line to Gibraltar and Malta, and nine branches from
these termini to all the great points of commerce in Mediterranean
Europe, Asia, and Africa. Would we not soon command the trade of all
Southern Europe, of Western Asia, and of Africa? But we find her
wisely occupying her own territory, and that it is impossible for us
to get possession. If we had been there, she would soon have given us
competition. But Great Britain did not wait for competition to urge
her to her duty to her people. She could easily have continued the
trade already possessed; but she could enlarge and invigorate it by
steam, and she did it; not from outside pressure, but for the
advantages which it always presents _per se_. For the same reason we
should have established steam to the West-Indies, Brazil, the Spanish
Main, and La Plata long since; to foster a trade naturally ours, but
practically another's. It is preeminently necessary now when steam,
under the system of Great Britain, is ruining our trade; whereas, by a
similar process, we could reëstablish ours, if not paralyze theirs.
Neutrality is impossible. Indifference to the present posture of
affairs only leads to the ruin of our interests. We must advance and
contend with Great Britain and Europe step by step, and employ the
means of which we are generally so boastful, or we will be forced to
retreat from the field, and be harassed into ignominious submission."

As in the case of Brazil and La Plata so is it in that of the Pacific
South-American States, and the great fields of Australia, China, and
the East-Indies generally, as before noticed. The trade of Great
Britain with those regions has gone on at a rate of progression truly
astonishing. Ours has continued just as much behind it as the slow and
uncertain sailing vessel is behind the rapid and reliable mail
steamer. Our Pacific possessions have been shorn of half their glory
and power by the refusal of those steam aids which would by the
present time have converted half the commerce of the fields mentioned
into the new channels of American enterprise and transport. The
injustice has operated equally against the people of California and
Oregon, and against ourselves of the East; while there is no good and
valid reason for thus making the Pacific coast the _ultima thule_ of
civilized, steam enterprise. The people of the United States, of
whatever class, are far from being misers. They do not desire an
economy of two or three millions of dollars per year, which would give
them great opportunities of obtaining wealth and power, merely that
the sum so economized may be squandered, with twenty or thirty
millions more, on schemes of doubtful expediency, and of no real or
pressing necessity. They do not, indeed, ask that these mail
accommodations may be paid for simply because much money is uselessly
otherwise spent; but because these accommodations are necessary to
themselves, to the development of their enterprise and labor, and to
the general good of all the active and industrial, and, consequently,
all of the worthy classes. It is a question of little importance to
the great people of this country, whether the Government expends forty
millions per year or eighty millions. But it would be a delightful
consolation to them to know that while they might be paying ten,
twenty, or thirty millions per year more than strictly necessary,
three or four millions of it at least were so appropriated as to
better enable them to pay the large general tax for the aggregate sum.
No one hears any complaint regarding the sum necessary to support the
General Government, except by those in remote districts, who have but
an infinitesimal interest involved, but an imaginary part of the sum
to pay, and who, producing but little, and having nothing to do,
assume the right to manage the affairs of those who really have
something at stake. The American people are willing and anxious that
their money shall be expended for their own benefit, for the benefit
of those who are to come after them, and for the glory of our great
country.

The many instances of our dereliction in the establishment of steam
mail facilities, and the failure to establish locomotive
accommodations for our merchants and other business classes call
loudly for a change in our affairs, and the establishment of a
national steam policy in the place of the accidental and irregular
support hitherto given to foreign steam enterprise. The nation demands
the means of competing with other nations. We have lost much of the
trade of the world without it. The commercial men of this country
complain bitterly that the Government gives them no facilities for
conducting our trade or cultivating the large fields of enterprise
successfully which I have named, and competing, on fair terms, with
foreign merchants. They see the West-Indies, the Spanish-American
Republics, Brazil, Central America, and Mexico, lying right at our
southern door, and the whole Pacific coast, the East-Indies, China,
the Mauritius, Australia, and the Pacific Islands but half as far from
California as from England, all much nearer to us than to Great
Britain and other European countries, and offering us a trade which
large as it necessarily is to-day, is yet destined within the coming
generation to transcend that of all other portions of the globe
combined, in extent, in richness, and in the profits which it will
yield. The capacity of these great fields for development and
expansion is indefinite and almost boundless. There is no doubt that
an American trade could be developed in those regions within the next
thirty years whose opulence and magnificence would rival and far
surpass our entire commerce of the world at the present time, and give
to our nation a riches and a power which would enable it to shape the
destinies of the entire civilized world.

Our commercial classes complain not so much that Great Britain has the
_monopoly_ of this trade, which naturally belongs to the United
States; not so much that she conducts that trade by _steam
facilities_, to the detriment of us who have none; not so much that
she has _lines of steamers_ by the dozen, and weekly communication, as
well as the advantage and use of all the other European lines; but
that the citizens of the United States are not permitted to enter into
a fair competition for this trade. Our people probably surpass every
other people in the world in individual and aggregate enterprise and
energy. They ask as few favors of the Government as any people on
earth; doing every thing that is practicable, and that energy and
capital can accomplish, without the intervention of the Government.
But there are some things that, with the entire concentrated skill and
ability of the nation, her citizens can not accomplish; and one of
these is the maintenance of steamship mail lines upon the ocean. In
ordinary enterprises competition necessitates improvement; and
mechanical improvement and skill, in due course of time, enable
individuals to compass ends otherwise deemed impracticable and
unattainable. These attempts have all been made, in every form, with
ocean steam navigation. It was supposed, as elsewhere stated, that, by
superior engines and great economy of fuel, a speed high enough for
all ordinary mail purposes could be attained, and yet leave enough
room for freight and passengers to enable the income from these, at
rates much higher than on sailing vessels, to pay for fuel,
engineering, and the great additional cost of running a steamer. Vast
engineering skill and ability have been directed to this point both in
this country and Europe; and this object has been declared the
commercial desideratum of the age. But all of these efforts have
failed in their design; so much so that there is not, to-day, more
than one permanent steam line upon the high seas of the whole world
which is not sustained by a subsidy from some government. Many
attempts have been made by British merchants to do a freighting and
passenger business in _propellers_, without any mail pay, and
depending on their receipts alone. These, too, have all failed. No
permanent line of these propellers has been established to any of our
American cities, except by subsidized companies, owning side-wheel
steamers also.

The only trade in which it has ever been supposed that steamers of any
description whatever could carry freight is that between Europe and
the United States, where there are large quantities of rich, costly
goods, in small and valuable packages, which pay an extra rate of
freight, as express goods; but, even here, the steam freighting
system without governmental aid has proved a failure. There have been
one or two cases where a steamer could make money in carrying freight
and passengers alone, as between this country and California during
the early part of the gold crisis, and owing to the great distance
around the Horn, as well as an unnaturally large passenger trade.
This, however, was a state of commerce wholly abnormal and of short
duration, and such as is not likely to occur once in a century, or
last very long; or prove more than an infinitesimal exception to the
great general laws of freighting and commercial transport.

Great Britain has learned this doctrine from experience, and is
profiting by it. Her wise merchants and statesmen know that commerce
can be accommodated only by rapid steam mails, which have regular and
reliable periods for arrival and departure; and that, although these
mails cost the Government and the people something more than those
slow and uncertain communications which depend on sailing vessels and
overland transit, yet they are enabled, by the facilities which they
afford, to monopolize and control the commerce of the world, and
divert it from even the most natural channels into the lap of British
wealth. It is in this view of the subject that our merchants so justly
complain that our Government, by refusing to give them the facilities
commensurate with the demands of the age, _deprives_ them of the
_power_ or _privilege_ of competing with foreign nations, and palsies
their hands, simply because they are not able, individually and by
their associated capital, to do that which the Government only can do.
The reason why our mail steamers require the aid of our Government is
that foreign Governments subsidize their lines; hence our individual
enterprise can not compete with their individual enterprise and that
of their Government combined. The reason why foreign Governments thus
subsidize their mail lines is, that _those lines can not depend upon
their own receipts for support, or run without Governmental aid_. This
is also the prime reason for Governmental aid in running our lines.
These facts are undisputed by steamshipmen and merchants, and are
verified by the practice of the whole world, and the great number of
failures in attempting to sustain steamers, from year to year, on
regular lines, by their receipts alone.

Being thus unable to compete with other countries under our present
limited steam arrangements, and considering the startling expenses
which attend the running of steamers, such as their fuel, their extra
prime cost, their large repairs, their depreciation, their wages,
their insurance, their dock charges and light dues, their shore
establishments, and the long list which comes under the head of items
and accidents, it is unquestionably the duty of the Government to meet
this question in a frank and resolute manner, and afford to the people
all those necessary facilities which they can get in no other way.



SECTION VIII.

HOW SHALL THE GOVERNMENT DISCHARGE THIS DUTY?

    WE NEED A STEAM MAIL SYSTEM: HOW OUR LINES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED:
    AMERICAN AND BRITISH POLICY CONTRASTED: SPASMODIC AND ENDURING
    LEGISLATION: MR. POLK'S ADMINISTRATION ENDEAVORED TO INAUGURATE A
    POLICY: GEN. RUSK ENDEAVORED TO EXTEND IT: THE TERM OF SERVICE TOO
    SHORT: COMPANIES SHOULD HAVE LONGER PERIODS: A LEGISLATION OF
    EXPEDIENTS: MUST SUBSIDIZE PRIVATE COMPANIES FOR A LONG TERM OF
    YEARS: SHOULD WE GIVE TO OUR POSTAL VESSELS THE NAVAL FEATURE: OUR
    MAIL LINES GAVE AN IMPULSE TO SHIP-BUILDING: LET US HAVE STEAM
    MAILS ON THEIR MERITS: NO NAVAL FEATURE SUBTERFUGES: THESE VESSELS
    HIGHLY USEFUL IN WAR: THEY LIBERALLY SUPPLY THE NAVY WITH
    EXPERIENCED ENGINEERS WHEN NECESSARY: THE BRITISH MAIL PACKETS
    GENERALLY FIT FOR WAR SERVICE: LORD CANNING'S REPORT: EXPEDIENTS
    PROPOSED FOR CARRYING THE MAILS: BY FOREIGN INSTEAD OF AMERICAN
    VESSELS: DEGRADING EXPEDIENCY AND SUBSERVIENCY: WE CAN NOT SECURE
    MAIL SERVICE BY GIVING THE GROSS RECEIPTS: THE GENERAL TREASURY
    SHOULD PAY FOR THE TRANSMARINE POST: REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW
    CONTRACTS: METHOD OF MAKING CONTRACTS: THE LOWEST BIDDER AND THE
    LAND SERVICE: THE OCEAN SERVICE VERY DIFFERENT: BUT LITTLE
    UNDERSTOOD: LOWEST-BIDDER SYSTEM FAILURES: SENATOR RUSK'S OPINION:
    INJURIOUS EFFECTS OF LOWEST BIDDER: INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS AND RIGHTS.


As it will scarcely be denied that the Government should furnish ample
and liberal mail facilities, as well foreign as domestic, to its
people, in view of the well-established fact that these facilities can
not be attained in any other way, the question naturally arises, how
shall the Government discharge this clear and unquestionable duty to
the citizen? I trust that it will be admitted that we can not rely on
the Sailing-ship mail, or the Naval steam mail, or the Private
Enterprise mail; while it is equally evident that we can not depend on
the Foreigner's mail, or should not if we could.

A first step toward this important end, and one which every interest
of the country demands, is the establishment of a governmental steam
mail system, a fixed steam policy, based upon common-sense, and guided
by the dictates of justice to the enterprising citizen, at the same
time that it is productive of certain efficiency toward the people. It
can not be denied that our legislation on this subject has hitherto
been that of expedients, and merely temporary arrangement. We have had
no wise, immutable purpose, no great fixed rule of action. We have
laid no broad foundations for a system which should extend itself
wherever our trade extended, and work equitably with all of the large
interests of the American people. When, by a spasmodic effort, we
opened communication in one direction, and found that we had a few
steamers running, we became self-complacently satisfied with our
action, shut our ears to all other equally urgent claims and appeals,
forgot that we had simply commenced instead of having finished, and
contented ourselves with the appearance of a mail system rather than
its realization. When we established the two lines to Europe, which
were positively necessary to commerce, it was not so much because
those were the only necessary lines, but because they were urged by
parties who stood ready to build the ships, and run them in the
service. The California lines were established because the people
would not longer tolerate the neglect of our large and important
interests in the Pacific. But there were several other lines which
were of the greatest importance to our commerce and manufactures,
extending to fields where we could have established the richest trade,
but which never enlisted the attention of Congress, simply because
there was no one who made it his special business to press them. This
of itself manifested great want of a matured steam mail system, which
should operate equally on all of the great interests of the country,
and extend its facilities wherever American industry and enterprise
could find a footing.

We need not only a steam system, but a fixed steam policy that shall
extend from generation to generation, and operate equally, as well at
all times and in all fields of American enterprise, as upon all
classes. No such system can be built up in one year or in ten years;
much less by one spasmodic steam effort, even in the right direction,
followed by an eternal sleep, or a total indifference. It is the work
of ages. It is not a system which, if set in motion, will work on
perpetually of itself, without assistance. It needs constant care and
fostering; and its results prove it worthy of all the care and
attention that can be expended on it. The mature system of Great
Britain has not grown up in a day. It has been constantly before the
British public during twenty-four years, and has never been neglected
for an hour. There has been no hiatus in it; for this would have
disrupted the system, broken the chain, and resulted in disastrous
failure. Neither has the one great purpose been changed every few
years to suit the caprice of some new cabinet. It was a great cardinal
idea, founded in reason and justice, that has gone on maturing from
year to year; and none had the hardihood to touch it, or trifle with
the people's purpose in establishing it; not even so far as to make it
a passing text for demagoguery. It composed and yet composes a part of
the far-reaching and controlling policy of the British crown; a
purpose limited not to the visions of to-day, or the financial crises
and panics of to-morrow, or to some new field of British effort, to
be developed in a year or two; but limited to that time only, when men
shall cease the strife of commerce, abandon the pursuit of wealth,
yield the palm of enterprise, and unlearn the love of money and its
power. There has been nothing spasmodic in this; nothing fitful,
alluring, and evanescent; nothing that held out a hope to the
enterprising man, and deceived him in all the essential conditions of
its fulfillment in the end. It was founded in reason, founded in
necessity; and it was well determined that it should endure.

It is creditable to the administration of President Polk, that there
was one effort made in this country to found a similar judicious and
fruitful system. We had until that time taken no notice whatever of
marine steam navigation; and British steamers swarmed around our coast
north and south, thick as cruisers in a blockade. (_See Paper E._)
Indeed, it was a veritable blockade of our commerce, and told most
disastrously upon our enterprise and independence. The Cabinet of Mr.
Polk, headed by our present venerable Chief Magistrate of the Nation,
determined to reverse this system, and did it as effectually as any
thing can be accomplished in a country, where a given policy, however
wisely inaugurated, has no guaranty or safeguard against the
revolutionary changes of new administrations. They established a basis
of action, and inaugurated three steam lines under contracts which
placed them beyond the attacks of the capricious; well knowing that if
the system had merits, they would be manifested to the country within
ten years by the fruits of these lines. The period was shorter than
that designated by Great Britain; yet with the immensely rapid
development of our people it inwrought itself into the affections of
the public so effectually, even in this short time, that none will
dare risk his reputation by attacking it boldly, or by other means
than an indirect and harassing guerrilla warfare. But here the effort
ended, and the system, deprived of the aids and new lines which
Congress should have extended it, and of that continued development
which was necessary to its perfection and usefulness, has been left to
work itself out and die, until it may be resurrected by another great
demonstration of public sentiment, and by an administration bold
enough and far-seeing enough to grasp the interests of the whole
country, and do itself and the people justice. It is due, however, to
the reputation of a lamented and departed statesman, the large-minded
and noble Gen. Rusk, of Texas, to say that he made a manly and
systematic effort in 1852, after seeing the fruitful workings of the
three lines noticed, to extend, enlarge, and fortify the good
beginnings of President Polk and Secretary Buchanan, by inaugurating
several new lines, and establishing a permanent and recognized basis
of action. But in all this he was thwarted by the machinations of
narrow-minded men, who deemed it a higher effort to agitate the
country and endeavor to separate the North and the South, than
establish and secure those mighty aids to industry which should give
development, wealth, strength, and security to the whole American
Union, and check the fratricidal blow of the disunionist.

It is essential that we shall have in this country a policy on this
subject, which shall remain untouched under the changes of
administrations, just as standard commercial laws and regulations
remain untouched. No system of such magnitude can mature or cheapen
when but a few years are assigned to it, and when there is no
certainty that it will survive the life of a single ship. Companies
undertaking the mail service under such circumstances must be paid
larger sums for their general establishment, that they may be enabled
to meet the exigencies and caprices of irregular legislation, which
may at the close of their contracts suddenly throw a dozen good ships
out of employment. Every well-regulated and efficient company
necessarily builds new steamers through all the stages of its
existence; and when the term of its service expires, necessarily has
several partially new ships. If the term of service is to be short,
and if there is no rule by which those who do good service on a line
are to have, in renewing contracts, the preference of new and untried
parties, then it is reasonable to infer that they can not themselves
incur the expense of so large an establishment of new and useless
vessels, and that their service is either to be inefficient and
unreliable, or that the department must pay a larger price than
necessary under a judicious and fixed system. The want of a reliable
system operates injuriously both on the department and on the
contractors. It subjects us to expedients, and to all of the evils of
constant lobbying and legislation on the subject. And one of the first
wants of this system is an extension of the term of contracts. The
period hitherto assigned has not been long enough for the proper
development of the service. The short term is a constant premium for
building an inferior class of vessels, which shall have become
worthless by the time that the contract expires, so as not to entail
loss upon the company. Such vessels are ever unfit for the mails or
passengers. Short terms also keep the subject continually before
Congress and the Executive Government, and foster that extensive and
depraved lobbying which has wrought so injuriously on our legislation.
Moreover, there is no reason why the term of service should not be
extended, when it will certainly simplify and cheapen it, if, as I
have assumed, the progress of engineering is not such as to throw
well-built ships out of use within twelve years, or in any way
introduce improvements by which the Government could get the service
at lower rates. Nor have we any reliable hope for the future. We wait
until commerce has been perverted into unnatural channels, and then
become suddenly and galvanically aroused, when it is too late to
effect a change until two or three years have expired in building
ships. We thus find ourselves in the midst of the difficulty without
having foreseen it, and without being prepared for it. The wise man
planned the campaign before others had even contemplated any
disturbance of the peace. As a matter of course he controlled the
battle, and brought up the victory in his own way.

The only effectual means of accomplishing the foreign mail service in
this country is by liberally subsidizing private companies for a long
term of years, such as will induce them to provide first-class ships,
run them rapidly, and fit them for the most comfortable conveyance of
passengers. Lord Canning in his Report to both houses of Parliament on
the contract packet system in 1853, says, after showing that the naval
vessels have been abandoned for the mail service: "There is no
peculiarity in this branch of business which renders it an exception
to the general rule, that work is done more cheaply by contract than
by Government agency." But when the idea of performing the mail
service by naval vessels was wholly abandoned in 1837, another
question of equal importance arose, as to how far the mail steam
packets might be made efficient as vessels of war in times of
emergency. As a consequence of the discussion nearly all of the mail
contracts made from that day until this by Great Britain contained
stipulations requiring the vessels to be capable of carrying an
armament, in addition to the requirements of speed and punctuality.
The same thing was done in this country in 1846-7; and one of the
principal means of carrying the Collins bill through Congress was the
self-deception of making the steamers equivalent to vessels of war. It
was a plea to which statesmen and enterprising business men resorted,
and was used as a means of securing those commercial facilities which
constitutional quibblers would not vote for directly, but which they
would afford if allowed the subterfuge of "defenses" as a means of
protecting them against a certain set of constituencies who foolishly
opposed the extension of commerce. Many of these would not grant one
dollar for the aid of that commerce on which the revenues of the
country and their own real prosperity and wealth depended; but they
were willing to suffer long and bleed freely at the old and just,
though unrenewable war-cry: "The British and the Hessians." Our case
was rather different from that of Great Britain which had a large
steam navy while we had neither naval nor commercial steamers. There
was, consequently, and there yet is, more propriety in demanding a
capacity for the naval service in our vessels than in the case of
Great Britain.

In obedience to this very proper spirit we produced some of the
noblest vessels that ever floated. Stronger vessels than the Collins,
Aspinwall, and Pacific Mail Steamers were never built in any country.
And although we have fortunately not been compelled to test their
capacity in naval transport or in action, yet there is no doubt that
they would do honorable and efficient service in both, and by no means
sully the glory of the American colors. The establishment of these and
the Havre and Bremen lines, certainly gave an impulse to shipbuilding
and the manufacture of steam machinery in this country which could
have been given in no other way, and which in a few short years has
demonstrated that we are behind no people on earth in capacity for
these noble and difficult arts. And although we are yet but in our
infancy in experience, as compared, especially with Great Britain, yet
the increasing demand for mail facilities, the necessity for a large
war marine, and the rapidly increasing coast steam service, all
indicate that we shall require a large amount of this class of work
and a mechanical skill to which our ingenious countrymen have thus
proven themselves entirely adequate. And although it is certainly
indispensable that we shall ever be provided adequately against all
the exigencies of foreign war, yet it is to be trusted that bold and
fearless statesmen will support and extend our steam mail service on
the tenable grounds of its necessity to commerce and our citizens at
large, and that its productive services will not be obscured by or
subordinated to the subterfuges and deceits of the war marine feature.
Let us have steam mail facilities on high and independent grounds, and
for their benefits _per se_. The system is abundantly tenable on this
ground alone; on this only ground that it will probably ever
practically occupy. Let us also have our war marine, efficiently
separate, as it should be. Let both systems be perfect, both
independent, both mutually conducive to the prosperity and the defense
of the country. But there is no doubt that these vessels would do
excellent service in a conflict. They could swarm any particular coast
with troops in a few days. They could easily run away from dangerous
vessels, or pursue and overtake others when necessary. They are alway
needed for transport, while the time will probably never again come
when mail steamers will not be even more necessary during war than in
times of peace. But this is not all. They fit and train a large number
of marine engineers who are ever ready at a day's warning to enter
efficiently on the naval service. This is a point of greater
importance than is generally supposed. Engineers, however skilled in
the shops, are wholly unfit for the service at sea until they have had
months of experience, and become accustomed to sea-sickness. When one
of our first American mail steamers sailed for Europe, no practised
marine engineer could be found to work her engines. They took a
first-class engineer and corps of assistants from one of the North
River packets; but as soon as the ship got to sea, and heavy weather
came on, all the engineers and firemen were taken deadly sick, and for
three days it was constantly expected that the ship would be lost.

It is abundantly evident from all of the testimony, that most of the
mail packets are capable of carrying a handsome armament. Mr. Atherton
says to me in his letter: "Many of our ocean steamers are fit for
naval service of every description; and they are generally fit for all
transport service." The Report of Lord Canning, the British Post
Master General, to which I have referred, was made in 1853, in
obedience to a Treasury Minute issued by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, who directed the Post Master General to form a committee,
and report to both houses, on the propriety of continuing and
extending the mail steam packet system; as there had been suggestions
that the sum expended for the mail service was large. These gentlemen
after a lengthy investigation of several months, the examination of a
great number of witnesses, and the record of their testimony in
shorthand, made their report, accompanied by the evidence in a large
volume. At page 5 of the report, in speaking of the requirements for
naval efficiency, they say:

    "In arranging the terms of these contracts, the Government seized
    the opportunity of requiring that the vessels should be
    constructed in a manner that would render them as serviceable for
    national defense in war as steam-packets belonging to the Crown
    would have been if employed in their stead. A provision to this
    effect was first inserted in the contract with the Royal Mail
    Company in 1840; and in most of the existing contracts
    stipulations are to be found requiring that the vessel should be
    of a construction and strength fit to carry such an armament as
    the Admiralty may think proper. In several cases they must be
    built of wood and not of iron; and there are some contracts which
    confer on the Admiralty the right of taking the ships at a
    valuation when it may be thought desirable to do so.

    "Generally speaking, these stipulations have been fulfilled, as
    appears from a return which has been laid before us by the
    Surveyor of the Navy, showing the number, tonnage, and power of
    the vessels constructed by the various companies under contract
    with the Admiralty for the conveyance of the mails,
    distinguishing those built of wood from those built of iron, and
    stating whether the companies have in any cases violated the terms
    of the contracts, and if so, whether any authority has been given
    by the Board of Admiralty for the deviation. It results from this
    return that out of 98 vessels which had been surveyed by the
    Government officers, one only (the 'Australian') has been reported
    as incapable of carrying guns if required, and two iron vessels
    (the 'Levantine' and the 'Petrel') have been accepted instead of
    wooden vessels, on Mr. Cunard's Halifax and Bermuda line. Two
    other vessels--one belonging to the Australian Royal Mail Company,
    and the other to Mr. Macgregor Laird's West Coast of Africa
    line--had also been accepted (temporarily) by Admiralty authority,
    although of less tonnage and power than the contracts prescribed.

    "The Surveyor's report upon most of these vessels, as regards
    their fitness for war purposes, is in the following terms: 'Not
    fitted for armament, but capable of carrying guns when so fitted.'
    This report accords with the opinion expressed by the Committee of
    Naval and Artillery officers upon the vessels which have come
    under their notice. It appears, however, from the statements of
    that Committee, that although the packets they have examined are
    for the most part of sufficient strength to carry and fire a
    certain number of guns, the expense of the alterations which would
    be necessary before they could be got ready for service would be
    very considerable, and that even when such alterations had been
    made, the efficiency of the vessels would be very small in
    proportion to their size, and that they could not encounter
    hostile vessels of equal tonnage without endangering the honor of
    the British flag.

    "With reference to future contracts, we are decidedly of opinion
    that no expense should be incurred for the sake of imposing
    conditions for giving a military character to the postal vessels.
    We believe the imposition of such conditions to be a measure of
    false economy. _Should a war suddenly break out, the immediate
    demand for mail steamers would probably be greater than ever, and
    it might be exceedingly inconvenient to withdraw them at such a
    time from their legitimate use for the purpose of arming them for
    battle._ Moreover, the high charge for the packet service has been
    borne with the greater readiness, because it has been supposed by
    some to include a provision of large but unknown amount, for the
    defense of the country; while on the other hand the Naval
    Estimates have sometimes been complained of as excessive, on the
    ground that the force provided for was in addition to the large
    reserve of postal war steamers. We accordingly recommend that for
    the future the contracts for the conveyance of the mails should be
    wholly free from stipulations of the nature we have been
    describing, though it may be desirable in some cases to retain the
    power in the Government to take possession of the vessels in the
    event of national emergency."

Again, in the _resumé_, after considering each of the British lines
separately, the committee say:

    "An erroneous impression appears to have prevailed among the
    public as to the efficiency of our postal steamers for direct
    purposes of warfare. We do not believe that those who are charged
    with the direction of the military affairs of the country have
    ever regarded them as likely to be of any great service in an
    engagement; but their advantages as an auxiliary force will be
    very considerable. They will be available, in the event of the
    breaking out of hostilities, for the rapid conveyance of
    dispatches, of specie, and, to a certain extent, of troops and
    stores. Their speed will be such as probably to secure them from
    the risk of capture, and will render them highly valuable for
    procuring intelligence of hostile movements. They may also be
    expected to furnish the Queen's ships with men trained to
    steam-navigation, and possessing an amount of local knowledge
    which can not fail to be valuable in several ways."

We have arrived at about the same conclusions in this country as those
presented by the British Post Master General to Parliament in 1853, on
this subject. And yet, with our small navy we may at any time need all
of our steam packets for actual service, and the Government should
always have the right to demand them for transport service. We have
abundant evidence that our mail packets are well fitted for carrying
an armament, and being highly efficient in war duty. The testimony of
Commodore M. C. Perry, Mr. Cunningham, and others, as published in the
Special Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1852, is conclusive on
this point. They found that they were built with extraordinary
strength and of good materials.

Many expedients have been proposed for the transmission of our foreign
mails. It is said that the late Post Master General entertained the
purpose of paying some of the foreign screw lines to carry the mails,
if Congress would permit it; but however all parties disapprove of the
contracted policy proposed by that gentleman, I can not believe that
he entertained any purpose so unpatriotic, and so subversive of
American shipping interests. It is true, however, that, as he
frequently said, he would prefer returning to the old packet system,
and carrying the mails by sail, if private enterprise could not carry
them across the ocean without a subsidy. But it is a consoling
reflection that these singular views of that worthy gentleman never
anywhere took root in Congress. Certainly there is no reason why this
great, and rich, and proud nation should resort, like some little
seventh rate power, to expedients in the carriage of our ocean mails.
We are not so poor as to have to live by practices; not so degraded as
to be willing to catch at any little thing that may pass along for
resources. We have a teeming prosperity, an abundant wealth, unending
resources, and a people everywhere clamorous for liberal expenditures
for adequate mails. Why shall we degrade ourselves by depending upon
others for our mail facilities? It alway humbles and mortifies me to
see one human being lick the hand of another; one who acknowledges
himself a stupid drone that must needs have a master to direct and
protect him. And so with our nation when she stoops to subserviency
and begging, for even so much as the postal charities of other
enterprising and commanding nations.

It has been suggested that the Government could secure the transit of
the mails on the receipts, taking both ocean and inland postage; and
indeed a temporary arrangement was made with two of our contending
companies running to Europe, to transport them on these terms; but
such arrangements are temporary only, and can not be made the basis of
regular action. They would operate most unequally on different lines.
While on the European lines they would pay probably one half the sum
of subsidy required, on many other, and especially on new and untried
lines, they would not at first pay probably one tenth. And granting
that on a given line, the receipts during fifteen years would amount
to as much as the whole subsidy required for that time; yet no company
could live on them, as for the first few years the receipts from the
mail would be very small, while the general income of the line from
passengers and freight would also be smaller than at any other time.
Moreover, almost every steam company has to borrow money largely
during its first years, in anticipation of the larger income from
increased trade during the last years of its existence. Thus, while
the system of the receipts would operate most unequally, the same
aggregate sum given in the form of a regular annual subsidy operates
as an assurance for the company and keeps it alive. But the postal
receipts are not adequate to the support of any ocean line. In the
report before cited, the Committee say, at page 5, that the sum of
subsidy then paid was £822,390 per annum, whereas the postal receipts
were only £443,782, or but a fraction over one half. There is probably
no regular service in the world where the postal receipts would pay
for the transport, especially where competition existed.

In making our contracts common-sense must dictate the lines necessary,
and the general treasury should pay for them. There is no good reason
why the sums of subsidy to be paid for mail transportation should be
chargeable on the Post Office Department. Nor is it really of much
consequence where the account is settled, as the general treasury must
after all meet the bills. It may create some misapprehension as to the
services on which the sums annually voted are bestowed. But the
service, whether sea or inland, is alike incapable of sustaining
itself, and is alike beneficial to every citizen of the Republic. And
as this service so greatly benefits commerce, it is well that it
should be paid from the general revenues of the country; from the
duties which it creates. At any rate, almost every Post Master General
will feel better disposed to subsidize ocean mail steamers adequately
if the bills are payable by the treasury department, and not
chargeable upon his own.

It would be well in all new contracts that the law of Congress
authorizing them should require strength of vessel, a fair dynamic
efficiency of performance, water-tight bulkheads for the safety both
of the vessel, and passengers and mails, and all those other
safeguards compatible with speed and mail efficiency. But the most
essential point is the mode of making the contracts. We have pursued
two system in this country, that of the lowest bidder, and that of
Congressional contracts. Some have supposed that as the land mails are
submitted to the lowest bidder, so those of the ocean ought to be
also. But the cases are very unlike. The land service is a familiar
thing, which every farmer understands, because running a wagon is one
of the first things in life that he learns. Every body is familiar
with the land service, and every body has more or less experimented in
it, or in something very similar to it. But it is far otherwise with
that of the ocean. Steamshipping is a comparatively new, a very
difficult, and a very little understood science. But few who know its
difficulties will undertake its hazards. Steam power and its expenses
are by no means understood by the people; and the first mistake made
by those unacquainted with it is in supposing it much cheaper than it
really is. This mistake leads to fatal consequences in bidding for the
ocean service, as most of those unacquainted with the business would
engage to perform a given service for less than the actual price that
it would cost them, and certainly for much less than practical,
experienced men would. And herein consists one of the evils of the
lowest bidder system, that inexperienced persons taking such contracts
either perform them inefficiently, or appeal constantly to Congress
for relief, or for increase of their pay. Such cases are exceedingly
numerous. Post Master General Campbell said that the lowest bidder
system was "a nuisance." Senator Mallory declared in a debate about
the close of the last Congress, that it was a system which never
wrought efficiently, which never gave final satisfaction, and which
generally brought in a set of adventurers. The department and members
of Congress had experienced the annoyance and inefficiency of the
system in the contract for carrying the mails between Key West and
New-Orleans through the Gulf. It was several times given to the
lowest bidder, and as often fell through; being finally awarded by
private arrangement to other parties, at more than double the prices
of the lowest bidders.

In the elaborate Report made in 1852 to the Senate by Gen. Rusk, as
Chairman of the Committee on the _Post Office and Post Roads_, of
which Messrs. Soulé, Hamlin, Upham, and Morton were members, in
speaking on this subject the Committee said:

    "Contracts to carry the ocean mail should, like all other
    contracts made by the Government, be the subjects of a fair
    competition, and granted with reference to the public good, due
    regard being had to the excellence of the proposals made, under
    all the circumstances of the cases which may present themselves.
    Your committee are aware that it has been too much the practice to
    regard the _lowest_ as the _cheapest_ bid; but experience has
    taught them that _lowness of price_ and _cheapness in the end_,
    are not convertible terms, as the daily applications, from _low
    bidders_, to Congress for indemnity against losses incurred in the
    public service, will amply demonstrate. For examples of the kind
    the committee would respectfully refer to the numerous
    applications for remuneration, in connection with the public
    printing, which have for years past occupied the time and
    attention of Congress, and threaten to continue to do so to a most
    alarming extent, involving, in the end, an accumulation of expense
    infinitely beyond the cost that would have attended the
    performance of the work, at a fair and liberal compensation. This
    may be, by some, called economy, but it is the very worst sort of
    economy. It excludes the honest workman, who knows the real value
    of the service to be performed, and is unwilling to undertake to
    do his duty well, at the expense of himself and family; while it
    lets in the needy and greedy speculator who, having nothing to
    lose in point of character or money, will readily undertake what
    he can not perform, and become dependent upon the magnanimity of
    Congress for remuneration for his losses, real or fictitious. An
    honest and fair liberality should characterize the dealings
    between the Government and individuals, just as much as those
    between private citizens; and, when contracts are made, they
    should be entered into in the spirit of good faith, and with a
    full knowledge of the risks to be run, and the expenses to be
    incurred."

It is claimed on the other hand that in contracts made by Congress the
two Committees have every opportunity of testing the value of the
service to be performed, of ascertaining the sum of subsidy really
necessary to its support, of giving to every applicant a fair and
impartial hearing, and of presenting to Congress any case of doubt
and difficulty, or of contested right. When the committees take any
line into consideration it is in effect inviting competition and
proposals from every one else than the projector who supposes that he
has better claims to it, or can perform the service at cheaper rates.
Such proceedings are always open and advertised to the world for
months and sometimes for years. And there are many persons who will
come forward and make a low bid for a service after some one else has
brought it to the attention of the Government and labored it through
Congress, who would not turn their fingers over, or risk a dollar in
bringing it before the nation, and securing for it a due
consideration. These are the adventurers who never produce any thing
themselves by a legitimate and honest effort, but who alway stand back
to take the chances of wresting from some enterprising, more
far-seeing, and more industrious person the fruits of the toil perhaps
of years. There are many enterprises in which the public have taken no
interest because ignorant of the facts. Some enterprising individual
goes zealously to work, travels thousands and tens of thousands of
miles, ascertains all of the facts bearing upon the question,
determines its feasibility or its impracticability, spends years of
time and toil, and many thousands of dollars of money, indoctrinates
the people of his country with the new and interesting facts, travels,
writes, labors day and night for years, finally secures the attention
of the Government and Congress, and asks a fair and reasonable
compensation for the necessary service which he proposes performing
for the public. He has contended with every species of opposition,
overcome unwonted embarrassments, foiled the machinations of selfish,
interested parties who would through all time mislead the public if
they could but continue a monopoly of trade, and finally succeeded in
getting a bill through Congress for the establishment of the
long-sought line.

This done, he supposes that he is of course to be rewarded for the
effort, the toil, and the expenditure of years, and that he will have
an opportunity of indemnifying himself for his losses and sacrifices.
He hears many beautiful apostrophes to the principles of equal justice
and right which are said to characterize the legislation of his
country, and control the action of the Government; but he is not
prepared to hear that some adventurer has carried off his prize simply
because by chance or by concert he has made his bid one thousand or
ten thousand dollars lower than the prime projector. He becomes
disheartened; finds that the country neither appreciates nor desires
honorable effort and enterprise; that it will not reward the citizen
in his self-sacrificing attempts to benefit the country and himself
together; and that it will look on with careless indifference while
his almost vested, his equitably vested rights, are neglected or
stricken down. This is certainly one of the practical and demoralizing
effects of the lowest bidder system, which respects no rights, however
sacred, simply because based upon a dogma which is technically true.
The system of the lowest bidder is technically correct, but
practically wrong. It can not be carried out in practice without
abandoning equity and honest rights under the plea of technicalities
and the action of chances. It is in reality but a species of gambling,
a miserable lottery, in which those who are most honest and truthful
are invariably sacrificed. It is proper, then that Congress should not
only establish the postal routes, but also determine either
specifically or proximately the compensation to be paid; or leave this
entirely to the discretion and the largest liberty of action of the
Post Master General. Responsibility must attach somewhere if justice
is obtained. With the lowest bidder system it rests and operates
nowhere; and the most important operations of the Government are taken
out of the hands of a wise public functionary and the intelligent
legislators of the country, and put into a great wheel of fortune,
where the proper person has, probably, but one chance in a hundred.
This although true in every case of contract, is eminently so in cases
of untried lines, where the experiment is to be made, and where it is
generally necessary that an individual shall have spent years in
bringing it to light.

I come to the conclusion, therefore, that the Government can discharge
the clear and unquestionable duty of affording liberal mail facilities
to the people, only by establishing all of the lines which the
commerce and convenience of the country and the Government require; by
maintaining them as a fixed policy of the country from generation to
generation; by encouraging enterprising companies to continue
well-performed services, and enterprising citizens to open new avenues
of trade and wealth; and by paying for the same from the general
treasury of the people, and from the revenues which these postal
facilities, more than any other series of influences, conspire to
produce and to conserve. (_See Report of Lord Canning, Section IX.:
also Report of Gen. Rusk, Paper E: also remarks of Hon. Edwin
Croswell, Paper E._)



SECTION IX.

THE BRITISH SYSTEM, AND ITS RESULTS.

    STEAM MAIL SYSTEM INAUGURATED AS THE PROMOTER OF WEALTH, POWER,
    AND CIVILIZATION: THE EFFECT OF THE SYSTEM ON COMMERCE: THE LONG
    PERIOD DESIGNATED FOR THE EXPERIMENT: NEW LINES, WHEN, HOW, AND
    WHY ESTABLISHED: THE WORKINGS OF THE SYSTEM: FIRST CONTRACT MADE
    IN 1833, LIVERPOOL AND ISLE OF MAN: WITH ROTTERDAM IN 1834:
    FALMOUTH AND GIBRALTAR, 1837; ABERDEEN, SHETLAND, AND ORKNEYS,
    1840: THE "SAVANNAH," THE FIRST OCEAN STEAMER: THE SIRIUS AND
    GREAT WESTERN: CUNARD CONTRACT MADE IN 1839: EXTRA PAY "WITHIN
    CERTAIN LIMITS:" MALTA, ALEXANDRIA, SUEZ, EAST-INDIES, AND CHINA
    IN 1840: THE PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL COMPANY: WEST-INDIA SERVICE
    ESTABLISHED IN 1840: POINTS TOUCHED AT: PROVISIONAL EXTRA PAY:
    PANAMA AND VALPARAISO LINE ESTABLISHED IN 1845: HOLYHEAD AND
    KINGSTON IN 1848: ALSO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: WEST COAST OF AFRICA
    AND CAPE OF GOOD HOPE IN 1852: CALCUTTA VIA THE CAPE IN 1852, AND
    ABANDONED: PLYMOUTH, SYDNEY, AND NEW SOUTH WALES ALSO IN 1852, AND
    ABANDONED: INVESTIGATION OF 1851 AND 1853, AND NEW AUSTRALIAN
    CONTRACT IN 1856: HALIFAX, NEWFOUNDLAND, BERMUDA, AND ST. THOMAS
    IN 1850: NEW-YORK AND BERMUDA SOON DISCONTINUED: COMPARISON OF
    BRITISH AND AMERICAN SUBSIDIES, RATES PER MILE, TOTAL DISTANCES,
    AND POSTAL INCOME: THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT PAYS HIGHER SUBSIDIES
    THAN THE AMERICAN: WORKINGS AND INCREASE OF THE BRITISH SERVICE:
    GEN. RUSK'S VIEWS: SPEECH OF HON. T. B. KING: COMMITTEE OF
    INVESTIGATION, 1849: NEW INVESTIGATION ORDERED IN 1853, AND
    INSTRUCTIONS: LORD CANNING'S REPORT AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS: GREAT
    BRITAIN WILL NOT ABANDON HER MAIL SYSTEM: THE NEW AUSTRALIAN
    LINE: TESTIMONY OF ATHERTON AND MURRAY: MANY EXTRACTS FROM THE
    REPORT: STEAM INDISPENSABLE: NOT SELF-SUPPORTING: THE MAIL
    RECEIPTS WILL NOT PAY FOR IT: RESULT OF THE WHOLE SYSTEM: ANOTHER
    NEW SERVICE TO INDIA AND CHINA: SHALL WE RUN THE POSTAL AND
    COMMERCIAL RACE WITH GREAT BRITAIN? CANADA AND THE INDIES.


It is admitted that it is the clear and unquestionable duty of the
Government to establish ample foreign mail facilities for the nation,
and that the only means of accomplishing this is by guaranteeing a
liberal allowance for a long term of years for the transport of the
mails, and paying for the same from the general treasury of the
country. We will, therefore, now examine the British ocean steam mail
system, and shall see that the practice of that great nation fully
corroborates and sustains the views which have been advanced in the
preceding chapters.

The steamship policy of that nation has not been treated as a matter
of slight or secondary importance. British statesmen from the earliest
days of the development of marine steam power saw the influence which
it was likely to exert in the revolutions of commerce and the control
of the nations of the world, and determined, with the sagacious
foresight and the firm, fixed purpose for which they are
distinguished, that it should be at once inaugurated as the great
instrument of individual wealth and national power. They properly
conceived that the nation which used this transforming agent most
freely in commerce, defenses and diplomacy would unquestionably exert
a high controlling influence over the nations of the earth, and make
every land tributary to its wealth and power. The end justifies the
effort, and the few temporary sacrifices and insignificant
expenditures which have been made. The British nation launched at once
into an extended foreign mail system which has been twenty years
maturing and untouched, and which, on a small annual expenditure, has
given it the profitable control of every trade and every market on the
face of the globe. It was wisely conceded that a long period would be
necessary to make the great experiment of marine steam mails, and that
term was granted in the outset. When the first term of twelve years
had ended, the contracts were renewed for another term of twelve
years, in every instance with the companies first authorized, and the
sums of subsidy were in every case increased. Not only thus. New lines
were established all along the course of these experiments, in a quiet
executive way, without agitation, without lobbying, without
corruption, just as the Post Master General would put some short and
necessary land route into operation. The last of these lines
established was that in 1856, between Southampton and Australia for
seven years, at an annual subsidy of £185,000, or $925,000. And this
line was established, not because there was no postal communication;
for the Government already had a semi-monthly line to China, India,
and Australia, and another around Africa; but because the increased
demands of British trade, and convenience to the British public, made
it necessary.

During all of this time the system has operated with unbroken
regularity. Established on a great general principle, as well as the
highest possible expediency, it has been regarded as a fixed policy of
the Government and the people, and has been suffered to do its
excellent work quietly and undisturbed. The legislation introducing it
was not an accident. It was not a spasm of generosity to the people;
but it was a fixed purpose of the British public; the wise and only
adequate means adapted to accomplish an important, an indispensable
end. The first contract for carrying the mails in steamers, was made
by the Post Master General in 1833, with the "Mona Isle Steam
Company," to run semi-weekly between Liverpool and the Isle of Man at
£850 per annum. This Company has run the line ever since, a period of
twenty-four years, and at the same price per annum. After this, a
contract was made in 1834 with the "General Steam Navigation Company,"
for the semi-weekly conveyance of the mails between London and
Rotterdam, and London and Hamburg, at £17,000 per year. The contract
was not annulled until 1853, nineteen years, when it was found best to
send the mail by a new route; that is, to Ostend, and over the
railways of Belgium. The first contract for a long voyage was made
with Richard Bourne, in 1837, to convey the mails weekly from Falmouth
to Vigo, O Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz, and Gibraltar, for £29,600 per annum.
The contract was transferred in 1843 to the "Peninsular and Oriental
Company," Southampton was substituted for Falmouth, the weekly trips
were changed to three per month, and the subsidy was reduced
accordingly, or to £20,500 per annum. The service has been performed
on these terms ever since. The Aberdeen and Shetland contract was made
in 1840, at £900 per year, after a failure to run on £600, by a
previous arrangement. It now continues as then made.

It is known that the first passage across the Atlantic was made in the
American steamer "Savannah," which left Savannah, Georgia, on the 25th
May, 1819, and at the end of twenty-two days arrived in Liverpool,
steaming only fourteen days of the time. The Savannah was only 350
tons tonnage, and had an engine of ninety horses' power. Captain Moses
Rogers was her commander. The "Sirius" arrived in New-York on the 23d
of April, 1838. The steamer "Great Western" next followed, in the same
year. And although this was only nineteen years ago, it is instructive
to notice the observations which the _London Times_ made at that day.
That journal said, March 31, 1838:

"There is really no mistake in this long-talked of project of
navigating the Atlantic ocean by steam. There is no doubt of the
intention to make the attempt, and to give the experiment, as such, a
fair trial. The Sirius is actually getting under way for America."

On the 4th of July, 1839, the British Government entered into a
contract with Samuel Cunard of Halifax for a semi-monthly mail line
between Liverpool, and Halifax, and Boston, at the sum of £60,000 or
$300,000 per annum. That contract inaugurated a new era in our
American commerce with the old world, and gave an impulse to those
international interests and those commercial amities which have bound
Great Britain and the United States in the bonds of enduring
friendship and mutual, neighborly dependence. Boston soon proved
inadequate to the support of the entire line, and half of the steamers
were sent to New-York; and thus they continue to run to this day. It
is a singular fact that since that contract was made, eighteen years
ago, there has never been one transatlantic steamer except those of
Mr. Cunard running to or from that port. This contract was renewed
with Mr. Cunard in 1850, when weekly trips were required for the
greater portion of the year, and the subsidy was advanced, not in the
ratio of the service, which was only doubled, but as three to one,
from £60,000 to £173,340, or from $300,000 to $866,700. The experience
of twelve years had demonstrated both the necessity of continuing the
line, and of increasing the subsidy which the Government paid, to such
a sum as would secure good steamers, regularity of trips, and
efficiency of service. The Company now has nine steamers, with 18,406
tons aggregate tonnage, and 6,418 horses' power. The contract, which
is to continue for twelve years, until 1862, was so altered in 1852 as
to provide for a weekly service as well in winter as in summer; and it
will continue in force from 1862 until twelve months after notice may
be given for the discontinuance of the line. The compensation for the
same is at the rate of 11_s_ 4-1/2_d_ per mile. Lord Canning's Report
to Parliament in 1853, before noticed, in particularizing on this
line, said:

"An additional allowance, _within certain limits_, is to be made to
the contractors in the event of an increase in the rate of insurance
on steam vessels, or in the freight or insurance of coals, as compared
with the rates payable at the date of the contract, if proved to the
satisfaction of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty."

Thus, instead of abandoning this line after an experiment of twelve
years, and finding that it could never be self-supporting, the British
Government wisely determined to let their policy produce its full
fruits, and continued it for another similar term of years, with three
times the former subsidy, for only twice the old service. (_See
Collins and Cunard Lines, Sec. X._)

A contract was made in 1840 for steam to Malta, Corfu, and Alexandria,
and the service was extended in 1845 to Suez, Bombáy, Ceylón,
Calcutta, Hong Kong, and Shanghae. It was renewed again in 1853,
terminable in 1862, or after twelve months' notice, with a service
between Sydney and Singapore, with the "Peninsular and Oriental
Company;" and the subsidy for the whole service was increased from
£199,600 or $998,000 per annum, to $1,224,000 per annum. The Company
have thirty-nine vessels of 48,835 tons, and 12,850 horses' power, and
run 796,637 annually, at 6_s_ 1-3/4_d_ per mile. The steamers run the
whole service of 796,637 miles annually, at this low rate because much
of the service is confined to the Mediterranean, as for example, their
line from Southampton to Vigo, O Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz, and Gibraltar;
and also that between Marseilles and Malta. This is but like the
coasting trade at the utmost, and is not ocean navigation proper.
Before the contract was renewed the same company got for the service
between Hong Kong and Ceylon, 12_s_ 7_d_ per mile, and for that
between Suez and Calcutta, £1, 0_s_ 1-1/2_d_ per mile.

The contract with the "West-India Royal Mail Packet Company" was made
in 1840 for a semi-monthly service to the West-Indies, Central
America, and Mexico, at £240,000, and for 547,296 nautical miles per
annum. The contract was renewed on the same terms in 1846, and again
in 1850, when the Brazil service was added, and the subsidy increased
to £270,000 or $1,350,000 per annum, for twelve years, or until 1862,
and one year after notice shall have been given. The length of the
routes now run by the Company is 37,000 nautical miles, with
thirty-four stopping places. The West-India service of 393,432 miles,
is performed at the rate of 10_s_ 10-1/2_d_ per mile, under special
contract; no advertisement ever having been made for tenders. The
Brazilian portion of the service embraces 153,864 miles annually. Pay
per mile for the whole Royal Mail service is 9_s_ 10_d_ per mile. This
Company has twenty steamers, of 29,454 tons, and 9,308 horses' power.
On the Brazil portion of the service the touches are at Lisbon,
Madeira, Teneriffe, St. Vincent, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janiero,
Monte Video, and Buenos Ayres. On the West-India division, St. Thomas
is the central dépôt, after touching at the Azores. Ten branch lines
radiate from St. Thomas to Antigua, Barbados, Blewfields, Carriacou,
Carthagena, Aspinwall, (which they call Colon,) Demarára, Dominíca,
Grenáda, Greytown, Gaudaloupe, Havanna, Honduras, Jacmel, Jamaica,
Martinique, Porto Rico, St. Kitt's, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Santa
Martha, Tampíco, Tobago, Trinidad, and Vera Cruz. Lord Canning says:

"It is stipulated that if at any time, from causes recognized by the
Lords of the Treasury as being of a 'distinctly public and national
character,' the insurance on steam vessels shall rise above 6_l_ 6_s_
per cent., the freight of coals above 1_l_ 2_s_ 6_d_ per ton, and the
insurance on coals above 2_l_ 2_s_ per cent., the Company shall
receive an additional sum, to be settled by arbitration, but not to
exceed 75,000_l_ a year in the whole."

The special contract for the West Coast of South-America, with the
"Pacific Steam Navigation Company," for three round trips per month
between Panama and Valparaiso, touching at Buenaventura, Guayaquil,
Payta, Lambayeque, Huanchaco, Santa, Pisco, Islay, Aríca, Iquique,
Cobija, Copiápo, Huasco, and Coquimbo, was made in 1845, at £20,000,
or $100,000 per annum, for five years. It was renewed in 1850 for ten
years; and hence, expires in 1860, if notice may be given to that
effect; the trips being only semi-monthly, and the subsidy increased
to £25,000 per annum. The Company has seven steamers, of 5,719 tons,
and 2,396 horses' power. (_See List of British Mail Lines, Paper B,
page 193._)

The contract for running fast packets between Holyhead and Kingston,
in Ireland, was made in 1848 with the "City of Dublin Steam Packet
Company," for £25,000 per annum, and is terminable at twelve months'
notice after 1860. The line is run twice every day. The service to the
Channel islands, from Southampton to Jersey and Guernsey, was
established in 1848, at £4,000 per annum, for three trips per week.
That of the West Coast of Africa was established in 1852, at £21,250
per annum. Leaving Plymouth, the steamers touch at Madeira, Teneriffe,
Goree, Bathurst, Sierra Leone, Monrovia, Cape Coast Castle, Accra,
Whydah, Badagry, Lagos, Bonny, Old Calabár, Cameroon, and Fernando Po.
This contract was made with the "African Steamship Company," for a
monthly service, and terminates in 1862 if twelve months' notice be
given. There must be three steamers of 700 tons each, and the pay is,
for 149,880 miles annually, at 2_s_ 6_d_ per mile. The contract with
the "General Screw Steamshipping Company," for service semi-monthly
from Plymouth to the Cape of Good Hope and Calcutta, touching on the
return voyage at St. Vincent, Ascension, Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius,
Point de Galle, Madrás, and St. Hélena, for £50,000 per year, to be
reduced after two years to £40,000 annually, and that to the Cape of
Good Hope and Port Natál, touching at Mossel and Algoa bays, Buffalo,
and Port Francis, for £3,000 per annum, with the same Company, were
both made in 1852; but the service was found impracticable on the
terms, and was abandoned. That from Plymouth every two months to
Sydney and New South Wales, with the "Australian Royal Mail Steam
Navigation Co.," for £26,000 per annum, and touching at St. Vincent,
Simon's Bay, or Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, King George Sound, Port
Philip, and St. Hélena, was made also in 1852; but was likewise soon
abandoned, as the subsidy in each case was too small.

About this time the Chancellor of the Exchequer requested a thorough
investigation into the foreign steam packet system. This was made in
the most searching manner in 1853; and such was the effect that it was
determined not only to sustain all of the existing lines in all of
their integrity, but to extend the system and afford additional
facilities to British commerce and the British people. Accordingly, a
new contract was made last year, 1856, with the "European and
Australian Mail Steam Packet Company" for a monthly service between
Southampton, Marseilles, Malta, Alexandria, Suez, and Sydney, at an
annual subsidy of £185,000, or $925,000. The Company has seven
steamers of 13,410 tons, and 3,290 horses' power. They run 336,000
miles per annum, and receive 11_s_ per mile from the Government. It
must be borne in mind, too, that when this line was established there
were already two lines to the East-Indies and China, and one to
Australia. This makes two to Australia, and three to the East
generally.

There is also a contract, made in 1850 with Mr. Cunard, for running
monthly between Halifax and Newfoundland, and Halifax, Bermuda, and
New-York, as well as between New-York and Bermuda and St. Thomas.
New-York was soon dropped from the list, doubtless because the British
steamers yielded us more advantage than was gained by the mother
country or the Provinces, and the line is now continued, at the
original compensation, £14,700, or $73,500, between Halifax and
Newfoundland, and Halifax, Bermuda, and St. Thomas, connecting with
the Cunard steamers. The steamers are small coasters, and run at the
rate of 3_s_ per mile. Hence, they make 98,000 miles per annum.

The ocean mail steamers of Great Britain run 2,532,231 miles per year,
at a total cost to the Admiralty of £1,062,797, or $5,333,985. The
ocean mail steamers of the United States run 735,732 miles per year,
at a total charge on the Post Office Department of $1,329,733. The
British steamers run three and a half times as many miles as ours do,
and receive for it a sum more than four times as large. The average
price paid to their principal companies, as the West-India Royal Mail,
the Cunard, the Australian, and the Peninsular and Oriental, including
its Mediterranean coasting service, is 9_s_ 7_d_, or $2.39 per mile;
while the average price paid by us, or for the Collins, Havre, Bremen,
Aspinwall, and Panamá, San Francisco and Oregon, is $1.80-3/4 per
mile. The highest sum paid per mile by the British Government is 11_s_
4-1/4_d_, or $2.83-1/2, to the Cunard Company, $2.75 to the
Australian, and $2.46 to the West-India; and the lowest, 6_s_
1-3/4_d_, or $1.53-1/2 to the Peninsular and Oriental, much of whose
service is coasting. This is saying nothing of the Pacific and the
African coasting lines. The highest sum which we pay is to the Collins
line, $3.10-1/2 per mile; and the lowest to the Havre, $1.00-1/2 per
mile; while the sums paid to all of the other companies range but
little above the last figures. The lowest rate per mile paid to any of
the lines under the contract, was to the Pacific Mail, $1.70. It must
not be forgotten that the low rates per mile of the Havre and Bremen
result from those lines taking the postages, since their contracts
expired; a sum by no means adjusted to the service done. They had
ships that they could not let lie idle. Under their regular contracts
the pay per mile of the Bremen line was $2.08, and of the Havre
$1.76-1/2. While the British Government pays to four of her principal
transmarine services an average of $2.39 per mile, we pay to five of
ours an average of $1.80-3/4 only, or but about two thirds as much as
she does. While our total annual expenditure for foreign mails is
$1,329,733, a sum by $20,267 less than that paid to the single service
of the West-India Royal Mail Company, that of Great Britain is
$5,333,985. And, while our total income from transmarine postages is
$1,035,740, a sum but little short of that paid in subsidy, taking the
present Bremen and Havre services at the estimates of last year for
sea and inland postages combined, the income from the whole
transmarine service of Great Britain, including ocean and inland
postage, was, when the last report was made in 1853, £591,573, or
$2,957,865; but little above half the sum paid in subsidy, and
including the French, Belgian, and Dutch routes, where the postal
yield was much greater than from the ocean lines. The estimates which
I present below have been made with great care from distances and
subsidies furnished me by the reliable First Assistant Post Master
General, Hon. Horatio King, from the last report of the late Post
Master General, and from the report of the British Post Master
General, Lord Canning, before noticed. Every item is consequently
authentic.

AMERICAN.

 ----------+------+----------+----------+----------+-------+------------------
           |      |          |          |  Gross   | Total |
 Line.     |Trips.|Distances.| Subsidy. | Postage. | Miles |  Pay per Mile.
 ----------+------+----------+----------+----------+-------+------------------
 Collins,  |    20|     3,100|  $385,000|  $415,867|124,000|        $3.10-1/2
 Bremen,   |    13|     3,700|   128,987|   128,937| 96,000|         1.34
 Havre,    |    13|     3,270|    88,484|    88,484| 85,020|         1.00-1/2
 Aspinwall,|    24|     3,200|   290,000|   139,610|153,600|         1.88-3/4
 Pacific,  |    24|     4,200|   348,250|   183,238|201,600|         1.70
 Havana,   |    24|       669|    60,000|     6,288| 32,112|         1.86-1/2
 Vera Cruz,|    24|       900|    29,062|     5,960| 43,200|          .67
           |      |          |==========|==========|=======|==================
           |      |          |$1,329,733|$1,035,740|725,732|$1.80-3/4 Average.
 ----------+------+----------+----------+----------+-------+------------------

Total average per mile, $1.80-3/4. Average of five principal lines, $1.80-3/4.

BRITISH.

 KEY:
 A: Cunard,
 B: Royal Mail,
 C: Pen. and Oriental,
 D: Australian,
 E: Bermúda and St. Thomas,
 F: Panamá and Valparaiso,
 G: West Coast Africa,
 H: Channel Islands,
 I: Holyhead and Kingston,
 J: Liv. and Isle of Man,
 K: Shetland and Orkneys,

 -----+------+----------+----------+------------+---------+--------------------
      |      |          |          |   Gross    |  Total  |
 Line.|Trips.|Distances.| Subsidy. |  Postage.  |  Miles  |    Pay per Mile.
 -----+------+----------+----------+------------+---------+--------------------
   A  |    52|     3,100|  £173,340|£143,667.10s|  304,000|11s 4-1/2d $2.38-1/2
   B  |    24|    11,402|   270,000| 106,905.00 |  547,296| 9s10      $2.46
   C  |    24|       [F]|   244,000| 178,186.11 |  796,637| 6s 1-3/4  $1.53-1/2
   D  |    12|    14,000|   185,000|  33,281.12 |  336,000|11s00      $2.75
   E  |    24|     2,042|    14,700|            |   98,000| 3s00      $0.75
   F  |    24|     2,718|    25,000|   5,715.00 |  130,434| 3s10      $0.96
   G  |    12|     6,245|    23,250|   3,196.02 |  149,880| 2s 6      $0.62-1/2
      |      |          |          | French     |         |
      |      |          |          | Belgian,   |         |
      |      |          |          | and Dutch  |         |
      |      |          |          | Postage.   |         |
   H  |   156|       132|          | {74,430.08 |   41,184|
   I  |   730|        64|          | {36,158.09 |   93,440|
   J  |   112|        70|          | {10,032.15 |   14,560|
   K  |    52|       200|          |            |   20,800|
      |      |          |==========|============|=========|====================
      |      |          |£1,062,797|£591,573.07s|2,532,231| 9s 7d     $2.39
 -----+------+----------+----------+------------+---------+--------------------

Total Average per Mile, $2.10-1/3. Average of four principal lines, $2.39.

[F] The Peninsular and Oriental Company run twice per month between
Southampton and Alexandria, and between Suez and Calcutta and Hong
Kong; twice per month between Marseilles and Malta; between Singapore
and Sydney every two months; and three times per month between
Southampton and Gibraltar, touching at Vigo, O Porto, Lisbon, and
Cadiz.

It would hardly be expected that the lines of this country should run
at cheaper rates than those of Great Britain, as the prime cost of
ships and their repairs, fuel, wages, insurance, etc., are much
cheaper there, and as they have more paying freights, in their
manufactured goods. It only explains to us, what has alway seemed a
mystery; that while the regular companies in England were making
money, nearly all of those in the United States not only had not made
money, but were embarrassed more or less, and were selling their
stocks at sixty to eighty cents on the dollar.

It is pleasing and instructive to examine the steam mail service of
Great Britain, and see the gradual, unfaltering progress that she has
made from year to year, since 1833; increasing the mail facilities and
the sums paid for them by constant accretion based on system, rather
than by any spasmodic legislation, or the ruling caprices of the
moment. These improvements have not come all in a mass, or in any one
year. Neither have they been abandoned at times of financial
embarrassment, or commercial depression. At such periods they have
been as regularly fostered as in the times of the most flush
prosperity; and have ever been properly considered one of the prime
agents and necessities for restoring commerce to its normal condition
and a safe equilibrium. The transmarine service, which cost but
£583,793, or $2,918,965, per annum until 1850,[G] now costs
£1,062,797, or $5,333,985; within a fraction of double the sum. While
the increase has not been slow, it has been steady and systematic,
just as it was necessary to meet the wants of British commerce
throughout the world. The language of the Hon. Senator Rusk on this
subject, in his Report made to the Senate, Sep. 18th, 1850, found in
Senate Ex. Doc. No. 50, 1st Session of 32d Congress, in Special Rep.
Secretary of the Navy, 1852, is forcible and worthy of remembrance. He
says:

[G] See Second Report, Steam Communication with India, 1851. Appendix,
page 419.

    "The importance of the steam mail service, when considered with
    reference to the convenience which it affords to the social
    intercourse of the country, is as nothing when compared with its
    vast bearing upon the commerce of the world. Wherever facilities
    of rapid travel exist, trade will be found with its attendant
    wealth. Of the truth of this proposition, no country, perhaps,
    affords a more forcible illustration than Great Britain, as none
    has ever availed itself, to so great an extent, of the benefits of
    easy and rapid intercommunication between the various portions of
    her almost boundless empire. The commercial history of England has
    shown that mail facilities have uniformly gone hand in hand with
    the extension of trade; and wherever British subjects are found
    forming communities, there do we find the hand of the government
    busy in supplying the means of easy and safe communication with
    the mother country. With a view to this, we have beheld England
    increasing her steam marine at an enormous expense, and sustaining
    packet lines connecting with every quarter of the globe, even in
    cases where any _immediate_ and _direct_ remuneration was out of
    the question. The great object in view was, to draw together the
    portions of an empire upon which the sun never sets, and the
    martial airs of which encircle the globe, and to make British
    subjects who dwell in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and even
    Oceanica, all feel alike that they are Britons."

The Hon. Thomas Butler King, formerly Chairman of the Naval Committee,
in a speech in the House, 19th July, 1848, said on this subject:

    "In the year 1840 a contract was made by the Admiralty with the
    Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, at two hundred and forty thousand
    pounds sterling, or one million two hundred thousand dollars per
    annum, for fourteen steamers to carry the mails from Southampton
    to the West-Indies, the ports of Mexico in the Gulf, and to
    New-Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, and Charleston. These ships are of
    the largest class, and are to conform in all respects, concerning
    size and adaptation to the purposes of war, to the conditions
    prescribed in the Cunard contracts. They are to make twenty-four
    voyages or forty-eight trips a year, leaving and returning to
    Southampton semi-monthly.

    "Another contract has recently been entered into, as I am
    informed, for two ships to run between Bermuda and New-York. The
    West-India line, in consequence of some disasters during the first
    years of its service, was relieved from touching at the ports of
    the United States; but in the spring of last year it was required
    to resume its communication with New-Orleans, and is at any time
    liable to be required to touch at the other ports on our coast
    which I have named. Thus it will be perceived that this system of
    mail steam-packet service is so arranged as not only to
    communicate with Canada and the West-Indies, the ports on the
    Spanish Main and the Gulf coast of Mexico, but also to touch at
    every important port in the United States, from Boston to
    New-Orleans.

    "These three lines employ twenty-five steamers of the largest and
    most efficient description, where familiarity with our seaports
    and the whole extent of our coast would render them the most
    formidable enemies in time of war. It is scarcely possible to
    imagine a system more skillfully devised to bring down upon us, at
    any given point, and at any unexpected moment, the whole force of
    British power. More especially is this true with respect to our
    _southern_ coast, where the great number of accessible and
    unprotected harbors, both on the Atlantic and the Gulf, would
    render such incursions comparatively safe to them, and terrible to
    us. And when we reflect that the design of this system is, that it
    shall draw the means of its support from our own commerce and
    intercourse, we should surely have been wanting in the duty we
    owed to ourselves and to our country, if we had failed to adopt
    measures towards the establishment of such an American system of
    Atlantic steam navigation as would compete successfully with it."

Previous to the renewal of the several foreign mail contracts, in
1850, the Treasury ordered, 26th April, 1849, the formation of a
Committee in these words: "_Ordered_, that a Select Committee be
appointed to inquire into the CONTRACT PACKET SERVICE." That Committee
was composed of Sir James Hogg, Mr. Cardwell, Sir Wm. Clay, Mr.
Cowper, Mr. Alderman Thompson, Mr. Fitz Roy, Mr. Hastie, Mr. Mangles,
Mr. Thomas Baring, Mr. Bankes, Mr. William Brown, Mr. Childers, Mr.
Wilcox, Mr. Crogan, and Mr. Henley. Mr. Elliot was added in the place
of Mr. Baring. The Committee sat seventeen days, and examined fifteen
witnesses under oath, many of these being commanders in the Navy,
Secretaries, Presidents, and engineers of the Companies, and other
eminent men in steam. Mr. Cunard was among the witnesses. After taking
evidence and papers extending over about seven hundred and
eighty-three octavo pages, they said in their report, after
recommending that great care should be exercised in making all future
contracts:

"1. That so far as the Committee are able to judge, from the evidence
they have taken, it appears that the mails are conveyed at a less cost
by Hired Packets than by Her Majesty's Vessels.

"2. That some of the existing Contracts have been put up to public
tender, and some arranged by private negotiation; and that a very
large sum beyond what is received from postage is paid on some of the
lines; but considering that at the time these contracts were arranged
the success of these large undertakings was uncertain, Your Committee
see no reason to think that better terms could have been obtained for
the public."

This investigation was made to enable the Government to proceed
intelligently with the many contracts which were to expire in 1850;
and its immediate consequence was, not only the renewal of all the old
contracts with the same parties at the same or larger pay, but the
establishment of several new services.

The British system had operated to the very highest satisfaction of
the public and the Government for twenty years, until 1853, as it has
done ever since; but at that time it was put to a second and very
severe test. It had been suggested, probably by the Lords of the
Admiralty, who had to pay the bills from the Naval fund, that the
packet system was too costly, and should be remodelled, and perhaps
reduced. Complaint was thus made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
who, in a Treasury Minute, dated March 1, 1853, says:

    "Important as it is to secure rapid and certain communication with
    the remote dependencies of this country, and with other distant
    states, for national purposes, it is doubtless, under all common
    circumstances, from commercial considerations that such facility
    of correspondence derives its highest value."

    "Her Majesty's Government conceive the time to have arrived when
    the entire charge of the packet service should be deliberately
    examined and reviewed, with joint reference to the questions--how
    far the purposes with which the present system was begun have been
    accomplished--how far the total amount of service rendered to the
    State is adequate to the total annual expense--how far there may
    be cause for a more than commonly jealous and scrupulous
    consideration of such further schemes of extension of the system
    as particular interests or parties may press, or even such as
    public objects may recommend from time to time; lastly, how far,
    on account of the early period at which certain of the contracts
    are terminable, or on account of requisitions put in by the
    contractors themselves for the modification of the terms, or for
    any other reason, it may be prudent to entertain the question of
    any revision of those terms, or of laying down any prospective
    rules with regard to them; such only, of course, as may comport
    with the equitable as well as the legal rights of the parties, and
    may avoid any disappointment to the just expectations of those
    classes who may have felt a peculiar interest in the establishment
    and extension of these great lines of communication."

After remarking that some of the vessels of some few Companies were
unfit for purposes of war, the "Minute of the Treasury," in
instructing the Committee, further says:

    "At the same time, it is not to be conceived that, on account of
    this failure in a portion of the design, the country has cause to
    regret having paid a larger price than was intended to be paid
    simply for the establishment of these noble chains of
    communication, which well nigh embrace the world. The organization
    of a complete postal system upon the ocean, with absolute fixity
    of departures, and a general approach to certainty in arrivals,
    was a great problem, of high interest and benefit, not to England
    only, but to all civilized countries; and this problem may now be
    said to have been solved by England, for the advantage of mankind
    at large. It was to all appearance altogether beyond the reach of
    merely commercial enterprise; and if the price paid has been high,
    the object has been worthy, and the success for all essential
    purposes complete."

As a consequence of this "Minute," the Lords Commissioners of Her
Majesty's Treasury appointed a Committee, consisting of Viscount
Canning, Post Master General of Great Britain, as President; Hon. Wm.
Cowper, on behalf of the Board of Admiralty; Sir Stafford H.
Northcote, Bart.; and Mr. R. Madox Bromley, Secretary to the Board of
Audit. The Committee organized, examined the Evidence and Report of
the Committee of 1849, also the three large volumes of Evidence and
Report taken by the Committee in 1851 on "Steam Communication with
India and Australia," and the many elaborate documents of this class
published by the Admiralty. After discussing thoroughly all of the
political, financial, commercial, ethical, and social questions
connected with rapid steam mail communication, they made an elaborate
and detailed examination of all the contracts existing with the
Government, and of the affairs of the various companies, with a view
to deciding whether the ocean mail service should be abridged, or
continued, or extended. They reported to both Houses of Parliament,
July 8th, 1853. The conclusion of the Committee was, not only that the
present service was demanded by every interest of the country and
should be sustained, but that it should be judiciously extended, so as
to meet all of the wants of the British public of whatever class. As
elsewhere remarked, the new line established last year to Australia
and India, at a cost of $925,000 per annum, for seven years, was a
legitimate result of that test and that report, made in the most
searching manner by the very ablest men of the kingdom; and this,
notwithstanding the reports purposely circulated in this country every
few years that Great Britain intends abandoning her steam mail system.
She will abandon that system, as her practice plainly indicates, only
when her people shall have discovered some means of making and
preserving wealth without effort, enterprise, commerce, or
manufactures. (_See page 99, Mr. Atherton's Reply._) The Report says:

    "Before the application of steam to the propulsion of ships, the
    contracts were often made for short periods, the Government being
    able to find, among the vessels already employed in trade, some of
    speed sufficient for the purpose; but when it became requisite to
    dispatch the mails by steam, the ordinary supply of trading
    vessels would no longer suffice, and the Government had to call
    into existence a new class of packets.

    "The postal service between England and the adjacent shores of
    Ireland, France, and Belgium, was at first performed by steam
    packets belonging to the Crown; but for the longer voyages it was
    thought better to induce commercial companies to build steamers;
    and with that view the contracts were at first made for periods
    which, unless previously terminated by failure to fulfill their
    engagements, would secure to the company the full benefit of their
    original outlay, by continuing the employment of their vessels
    until they might be expected to require extensive repairs, or to
    become unfit for continued service. In 1837 steam communication
    was created with Portugal and Gibraltar; in 1840 with Egypt, with
    the West-Indies, and with North-America.

    "When the public interest requires the establishment of a postal
    line on which the ordinary traffic would not be remunerative for
    steamers, the subsidy to be allowed in the contract may be
    ascertained either by the test of public competition, or by
    calculating the amount which, on an estimate of the probable
    receipts and expenditure, will cover the deficiency of receipts,
    or by comparing it with the cost of war vessels if employed for
    the same purpose."

    "The objects which appear to have led to the formation of these
    contracts, and to the large expenditure involved, were--to afford
    a rapid, frequent, and punctual communication with those distant
    ports which feed the main arteries of British commerce, and with
    the most important of our foreign possessions; to foster maritime
    enterprise; and to encourage the production of a superior class of
    vessels which would promote the convenience and wealth of the
    country in time of peace, and assist in defending its shores
    against hostile aggression.

    "These expectations have not been disappointed. The ocean has been
    traversed with a precision and regularity hitherto deemed
    impossible--commerce and civilization have been extended--the
    colonies have been brought more closely into connection with the
    Home Government--and steamships have been constructed of a size
    and power that, without Government aid, could hardly, at least for
    many years, have been produced.

    "It is not easy to estimate the pecuniary value of these results,
    but there is no reason to suppose that they could have been
    attained at that time at less cost."

After noticing the objects of the postal contracts, the Report says,
in speaking of their results:

    "To show what the system is capable of accomplishing, it will be
    sufficient that we should call attention to the two great lines of
    communication which have been opened, the one between this country
    and India, the other between this country and America. The mails
    are dispatched twice a month in the one case, and once a week in
    the other, and are conveyed to their destination with a regularity
    and rapidity which leaves nothing to be desired. The time occupied
    in the voyage to and fro between England and Bombay, which, before
    the establishment of the Overland Route, averaged about 224 days,
    is now no more than 87 days; and the time occupied in the voyage
    to and fro between England and the United States, which before
    1840 varied from 45 to 105 days, is now reduced to an average
    period of 24 days. Nor is the service simply rapid, it is also
    regular; and the mercantile community can reckon with the utmost
    certainty on the punctual departure of the mails at the appointed
    times, and can also calculate with great precision the times of
    their arrival.

    "The same results have not been so conspicuous on some other
    postal lines; but, taking the service as a whole, it has
    undoubtedly been brought to a high state of excellence, and its
    value to the country, both politically and commercially, is very
    considerable."

In speaking further of the objects of the Government postal service,
after inquiring whether the foreign mail service should be extended
any further, it says:

    "The object of the Government in undertaking the transmarine
    postal service, whether by packets or by the system of ship
    letters, is to provide frequent, rapid, and regular communication
    between this country and other states, and between different parts
    of the British Empire. The reasons for desiring such communication
    are partly commercial and partly political. In cases where the
    interests concerned are chiefly those of commerce, it is generally
    more important that the postal service should be regular, than
    that it should be extremely rapid, though of course rapidity of
    communication, where it can be obtained without sacrificing other
    objects, is of great advantage. It would clearly be the interest
    of persons engaged in an important trade, provided there were no
    legal impediment in the way, to establish a regular postal
    communication in connection with it, even without aid from the
    state. This, however, would not extend to many cases in which
    there are political reasons for maintaining such services, while
    the commercial interests involved are of less magnitude. _Nor is
    it probable that private communications would be nearly so rapid
    as those directed by the Government; for a high rate of speed can
    only be obtained at a great expense, which will generally be found
    to be disproportionate to the benefits directly received from it,
    unless under peculiar circumstances of passenger traffic._ Lastly,
    it is to be considered that there are several services which, if
    they were not carried on by the British Government, would probably
    be undertaken by the Governments of foreign states, and that it is
    not likely that private individuals or associations would in such
    cases enter into competition with them.

    "From these considerations we infer that, even upon the lines in
    the maintenance of which the greatest commercial interests are
    involved, private enterprise can not be depended upon for
    providing a complete substitute for Government agency; while it is
    clear that in others, where regular communications are desired
    solely or chiefly for political purposes, such agency is
    absolutely indispensable. _It is, however, obvious, that to
    establish a Government system in some cases, and to leave others
    wholly to private persons, would cause much inconvenience._ The
    conclusion therefore follows, that it is right that the Government
    should have the management of the whole of the transmarine postal
    communication, as it also has that of the communication within the
    country.

    "In undertaking this duty, the Government will in the first place
    have regard to the national interests, whether political, social,
    or commercial, involved in the establishment and maintenance of
    each particular line. Care must, however, be taken, in cases where
    the communication is desired chiefly for commercial purposes, to
    guard against an undue expenditure of public money for the benefit
    of private merchants. The extension of commerce is undoubtedly a
    national advantage, and it is quite reasonable that Parliamentary
    grants should occasionally be employed for the sake of affording
    fresh openings for it, by establishing new lines of communication,
    or introducing new methods of conveyance, the expense of which,
    after the first outlay has been incurred, may be expected to be
    borne by the parties availing themselves of the facilities offered
    them. But this having once been done, and sufficient time having
    been allowed for the experiment, the further continuance of the
    service, unless required for political reasons of adequate
    importance, should be made to depend upon the extent to which the
    parties chiefly interested avail themselves of it, and upon its
    tendency to become self-supporting."

Noticing the greater or less sums at which private companies may be
induced to undertake short line postal service, and stating that the
line is both benefited and injured by the necessity of punctual
sailing hours, the Report states the reason why subsidies are
required, thus:

    "The vessels now under contract with the Government are, however,
    for the most part, required to maintain high rates of speed. The
    contractors are also subject to a variety of conditions, designed
    partly to secure the efficiency of the postal service, and partly
    to render their vessels available for other national purposes
    wholly unconnected with that service. In return, they are in the
    receipt of subsidies largely in excess of the amount of revenue
    derived from the mails they carry, and those subsidies are
    guaranteed to them for terms of years varying from four to twelve,
    most of which have at the present time not less than seven or
    eight years to run. An Estimate printed in the Appendix, will show
    that while the amount of the subsidies to foreign and colonial
    lines, as contracted for in the past year, was no less than
    £822,390, the sums received for postage upon these lines can not
    be estimated at more than £443,782."

The Report further says, as to the mode by which postal communication
can be procured, "where frequent and rapid communication already
exists, it is only necessary for the Government to secure from time to
time the services of vessels already engaged in private traffic." But
as there are no such cases in the transmarine routes, and as private
enterprise supplies the demand of steam lines only on the short
routes, like the inter-island service of Great Britain, or that to the
Continent, or the service of the Sound, the North River, short coast
routes, etc., in the United States, the Report goes on to say:

    "There still remain, however, some cases in which there exists no
    private communication sufficient to render such a mode of
    proceeding practicable. Where this is so, and where a
    communication has to be created, it will be necessary that
    contracts of longer duration should be made, _for it is
    unreasonable to expect that any person or association of persons
    should incur the expense and risk of building vessels, forming
    costly establishments, and opening a new line of communication at
    a heavy outlay of capital, without some security that they will be
    allowed to continue the service long enough to reap some benefit
    from their undertaking. It must be borne in mind, that the
    expensive vessels built for the conveyance of the mails at a high
    rate of speed are not in demand for the purposes of ordinary
    traffic, and can not therefore be withdrawn and applied to another
    service at short notice_. It is, then, fair, that on the first
    opening of a new line, contracts should be made for such a length
    of time as may encourage the building of ships for the purpose, by
    affording a prospect of their employment for a considerable number
    of years. But we see no sufficient reason for continually renewing
    such contracts for periods equally long, after the object has once
    been attained."

(_For the views of the Committee on the adaptation of the mail packets
to naval service, see pages 146 and 147._)

The Committee in summing up, presents the result of the investigation
and the fruits of the service in the following impressive light:

    "The value of the services thus rendered to the State can not, we
    think, be measured by a mere reference to the amount of the postal
    revenue, or even by the commercial advantages accruing from it. It
    is undoubtedly startling, at first sight, to perceive that the
    immediate pecuniary result of the Packet System is a loss to the
    Revenue of about £325,000 a year; but, although this circumstance
    shows the necessity for a careful revision of the service, and
    although we believe that much may be done to make that service
    self-supporting, we do not consider that the money thus expended
    is to be regarded, even from a fiscal point of view, as a national
    loss."

It has never been a favorite idea with British statesmen that the
packet service should be self-sustaining; nor have they had any
evidence to believe that steam companies could live on the postal
receipts. It is evident from the following that the packet system is
sustained without any reference whatever to the postal income, and for
commercial, political, and social purposes alone; only using the
income so far as it goes as a part of the contributions by the people
to the general treasury. It says:

    "Your Lordships have seen from our Report that in framing these
    contracts various objects have entered into the consideration of
    the Government, the cost of which ought not in our opinion to be
    charged upon the revenues of the General Post Office. A simple
    comparison of the receipts and expenditure upon some of the lines
    is in itself sufficient to prove this. If the Post Office is to be
    considered as a department producing revenue, it is not to be
    supposed that a line of vessels which costs the State £240,000 a
    year, and brings in no more than £56,002, (as is the case with the
    West-Indian packets,) or one for which £25,000 is annually paid,
    and which returns little more than one fifth of that sum, (as the
    Pacific line,) can be maintained as a part of its machinery; and,
    in fact, the contracts for many of the services have been made
    without reference to any estimate or opinion on the part of the
    Post Master General of their probable value as postal lines."

It thus becomes abundantly evident from the Reports of Parliamentary
Committees, from the "Acts of Parliament," and from the practice of
the Admiralty and Post Office Departments, as well as from the
unvarying experiences of twenty-four years, that the steam mail packet
system of Great Britain was primarily adopted, and ever since
sustained as the choicest means of giving to that nation the
irresistible control of the world. Watching this system from the germ
to its present maturity, we have seen the overshadowing tree reach
higher and higher, and the circle of each year's growth expand more
and more, until the outer ring now embraces the whole civilized and
savage world. An additional evidence of this arrives this very day.
The Atlantic brings intelligence (_New-York papers, Nov. 22d_) that
Great Britain has just completed another mail contract, by which the
Peninsular and Oriental Company are to run a third semi-monthly
service to India and China; so that the Government and people of Great
Britain shall have a weekly communication with those regions, while we
have none except through them, although we are many thousand miles
nearer to those countries.

It has been said that we should not attempt to run the postal and
commercial race with Great Britain. Why not? Because she has many
colonies, and must needs keep up communication with them. And why have
steam instead of sail to them? Because steam is the means of more
readily _controlling_ them. Grant it; and for the very same reason we
wish steam with all the world; not that we may control the world, for
this is costly and unremunerative, as Great Britain finds; but to
conform it, and especially to _control_ its commerce. Great Britain
has possessions in the West-Indies; but they are of the most
insignificant importance when compared with the trade of the many
islands and countries near them, which she does not possess, and with
the Central American, Californian, Mexican, Peruvian, Chilian,
New-Granadian, Venezuelan, and Spanish markets, which she controls and
uses. So with India and the Mauritius. It is a matter of sore
satisfaction that she is compelled to govern them as a means of
reaching their rich trade, which, however rich, is far less important
than that of China for which she so strives. So also with Canada. She
was told some years since that, if she wished to secede from the
Kingdom, because the Government would not assist in building a certain
railroad, she might go, and carry peace, also, with her. The
Government would scout the idea of running the Cunard line to Canada
alone, and would not touch even at Halifax, except that the ships are
compelled to go in sight of the place; as the "great circle" on which
they sail nearly cuts the city. Great Britain runs that line because
her trade with the United States requires it. That trade is worth to
her every year twenty of her Canadas, as that of the West-Indies is
worth a dozen of all the possessions which she has there. As to
running the race of commerce with her, it is simply a _sine qua non_,
on which there is no difference of opinion among Americans who love
their country.



SECTION X.

THE MAIL LINES OF THE UNITED STATES.

    THE MAIL LINES OF THE UNITED STATES: THE HAVRE AND BREMEN, THE
    PIONEERS: THE BREMEN SERVICE RECENTLY GIVEN TO MR. VANDERBILT:
    BOTH LINES RUN ON THE GROSS RECEIPTS: THE CALIFORNIA LINES:
    WONDROUS DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PACIFIC POSSESSIONS: THE PACIFIC MAIL
    STEAMSHIP COMPANY: ITS HISTORY, SERVICES, LARGE MATERIEL, AND
    USEFULNESS: THE UNITED STATES MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY: ITS RAMIFIED
    AND LARGE EXTRA SERVICE: EFFECT UPON THE COMMERCE OF THE GULF: ITS
    HEAVY LOSSES, AND NEW SHIPS: STEAMSHIP STOCKS GENERALLY AVOIDED:
    CONSTANTLY FAR BELOW PAR: THE COLLINS LINE: A COMPARISON WITH THE
    CUNARD: ITS SOURCES OF HEAVY OUTLAY, AND ITS ENTERPRISE: THE
    AMERICAN MARINE DISASTERS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED BY HUMAN
    FORESIGHT: THE VANDERBILT BREMEN LINE.


It is not my intention to notice the various lines in detail, or in
any wise become their apologist, eulogist, or prosecutor. As a general
thing they have discharged their obligations to the Government and the
people in the most creditable manner; in a much better manner than
could have been expected of them, considering the novelty of such
enterprises in this country and our total want of experience either in
steamship building or ocean steam navigation. It is a cause of great
gratulation and satisfaction that springing into the great arena of
the mail and passenger strife at a single bound, our steamers at once
took the lead in the race, and have ever since distanced those of the
whole world in speed, comfort, general accommodations, and cheap
transit. This may be asserted as a rule without a single exception.
The Collins steamers and the steamer "Vanderbilt" have beaten the
Cunarders by nearly a day and a half on the average voyages; the Havre
and Bremen steamers make just the same time as the Cunarders; and the
California steamers of both lines have signally beaten those of all
the English lines in the West-Indies, the Mediterranean, and the
Pacific and Indian oceans. Indeed the triumphs of our steamers
generally and specially have been so decided in every valuable point
that we have great reason to be proud of the attainments to which the
legislation of 1846 and '47 led. We have nothing to record to the
credit of our legislation since that period.

The Havre and Bremen services were the first established in the United
States; and as the pioneers in our mail steamshipping they have both
proven themselves valuable to the country. The Bremen line went into
the hands of Mr. Vanderbilt during the present year, on the expiration
of the old contract; the "Ocean Steam Navigation Company" being
unwilling to attempt the performance of the service on the small mail
pay of the gross ocean and inland postages, even with their old ships.
Mr. Vanderbilt having three ships wholly out of employment, determined
to try the service. How far it will prove remunerative we shall not be
able to determine until the steamers shall have run through one or two
winters as well as summers.

The Havre service was continued in the old hands. Mr. Livingston had
two fine new ships, which had been running but little over one year,
and which, adapted specially to the mail, passenger, and transport
trade of France, could not easily be withdrawn from the business for
which they were built; while it would have been quite impossible to
find for them employment in any other trade. He, consequently, made a
temporary arrangement with the Department for one year, agreeing to
transport the mails, as during the old contract, for the gross ocean
and inland postages. With this small remuneration the Havre line gets
a smaller pay than any other running; but one dollar per mile. The
Company have deserved well of the Government for their untiring
efforts to perform their contract; one of the greatest sacrifices
being the necessity of building two costly new steamers just as their
contract was about to expire. They suffered most severely from
disaster. Both of their fine and fast steamers, the "Franklin" and the
"Humboldt," were lost; and they were compelled to supply their places
by chartering at exorbitantly high prices, until they built the two
excellent vessels now running, the "Arago" and "Fulton." These two
steamers run probably more cheaply than any ever built in any country;
otherwise, being as large as they are, about twenty-six hundred tons
each, they could by no means live on the small mail pay now given
them. It may be that both these and the Vanderbilt Bremen steamers are
losing money; although the latter vessels are much smaller, and have
the advantage of an immense emigrant trade. I have no means of knowing
the position of affairs in either company.

But no loss to the Havre Company has ever been so great as that of its
late President, Mr. Mortimer Livingston. An honorable and just man in
his dealings, both with individuals and the Government, he eschewed
every attempt by which some sought to pervert and deprave the
legislation of the country, and presented all of his views in
steamshipping on high, honorable, and tenable grounds. He pursued the
profession in an enlarged spirit of enterprise, and was not unmindful
of his duties to his country, while he endeavored to establish
legitimate trade and preserve a profitable private business which had
been well founded long before the introduction of ocean steam. He was
a worthy and most honorable gentleman, and is a loss to the whole
public.

Prominent among the steamship enterprises of the country stand the two
lines which connect the Atlantic and Gulf seaboard with our large and
rich possessions in the Pacific, California, and Oregon. Established
at a time when California was held by military government, and when
Oregon was a wild untamed wilderness, these lines became the means of
developing the richest portion of the American continent, and binding
the far distant western world in close connection with the old
confederacy, notwithstanding the mighty Cordilleras and Rocky
Mountains which rose like forbidding barriers between them. Important
as these possessions were, naturally and geographically, they acquired
a new interest about the time that the Pacific and the Aspinwall
Steamship Companies were established. The contracts which were made
with these companies would certainly have ruined them but for the
discovery of gold in California. This opened a new and brilliant field
of effort, and the opportunities offered by these companies soon
determined tens of thousands of our hardy and enterprising countrymen
to enter and develop it.

It is pleasing in this connection to trace the almost mysterious
progress of our Pacific territory during the past eight years, and the
agencies producing it. Among these agencies none have been so
effectual as the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. That Company was
compelled to form an establishment of the most effective character
four to five thousand miles away from home, and as it was at the
time, thirteen thousand miles distant. The country was wholly new, so
much so that it was, in most parts of the field which it had to
occupy, extremely difficult to procure ordinary food for their
operatives. Their ships had to make a voyage more than half of that
around the world before they arrived at their point of service; and
they found themselves without a home when there. The steamer
"California," which left New-York on the 6th October, 1848, was the
first to bear the American flag to the Pacific ocean, and the first to
salute with a new life the solitudes of that rich and untrodden
territory. She was soon followed by the "Panama" and "Oregon," and in
due course of time by the "Tennessee," the "Golden Gate," the
"Columbia," the "John L. Stephens," the "Sonora," the "Republic," the
"Northerner," the "Fremont," the "Tobago," the "St. Louis," and the
"Golden Age." From a small beginning that Company now has the finest
steam fleet in the United States, although the difficulties in forming
it were probably much greater than any of our other companies had to
contend with.

These steamers found nothing ready to receive them in the Pacific. The
Company was compelled to construct large workshops and foundries for
their repair, and now have at Benicia a large and excellent
establishment where they can easily construct a marine engine. They
had also to build their own Dry Dock; for that of the Government at
Mare Island was not ready until 1854. Theirs has ever been most useful
to the United States, as it furnished the only accommodations of that
class in the Pacific. They had also to make shore establishments at
Panama, San Francisco, and Astoria, which, with coal dépôts, etc.,
were extremely costly, owing to materials having to be transported so
far, and labor at the time being so high. The price of labor in
California at all times depends on the profits which can be made by
digging gold, and the prices paid for this species of labor have ever
been enormous. Beyond this most unusual price of labor along the
Pacific seaboard, the coals which they have used, whether from the
Eastern States or from England, have been invariably shipped around
Cape Horn, and have never cost less than twenty dollars per ton. For a
large portion of the time the Company had to pay thirty dollars per
ton for coal, and in one instance fifty dollars. Coal, like all other
provisions of the steamers, has generally been purchased from those
who sent it out on speculation, and took all the advantages of the
peculiar market. Twelve dollars per ton is a low price for freight to
California or Panama. In addition to this, the cost price of the coal,
the handling, the wastage, and the insurance, will amount to about
eight dollars per ton, making it never less than twenty dollars
delivered. I have frequently seen coals sell even in Rio de Janeiro,
which is but about one third of the distance from us, at eighteen to
twenty-four dollars per ton. The nine steamers running consume about
35,000 tons of coal annually. If the vessels transporting it be of
1,000 tons each, it will employ something near thirty-five of these
vessels at profitable rates, in this one item of their business alone.
Such expenditures are not necessary to any other steam company in the
world. The British lines in the Indian Ocean and the China Seas are
supplied with domestic coal which comes at very reasonable prices, and
is shipped but a short distance.

Yet this Company performs this distant and difficult service with
great regularity and at a low price. They have never lost a trip, a
mail-bag, or a passenger by marine disaster during the eight years
that they have been running in the Pacific. This results from the fact
of the Company having thirteen steamers. If all of the steamers now in
commission were sunk, they could supply their place from their reserve
fleet and have no hiatus in their service. Such a spare fleet is an
enormous expense; but it is positively indispensable to regular and
highly efficient service. It is singular that under these
circumstances they can perform the service at $1.70 cents per mile. It
is a notorious fact that these steamers could not have supported
themselves in 1854-55 without the aid which they obtained from the
Government for the services which they performed. They never have
transported much freight, as it would not bear the transhipment at
Panamá. The small quantity which they had was during the first years
after the discovery of gold, and then only. They have never at any
time brought any eastward. The Panamá Railroad was a splendid
consummation of which the world had dreamed for years, and toward
whose completion this Company was highly instrumental. Yet it did not
enable the steamers to transport freight, and it never will.

These steamers run the 3,300 miles between Panamá and San Francisco by
a time-table. They arrive at either end within a very few hours of
thirteen and a half days, including all of the stoppages, which are
also made at specified hours. Thus the average speed of the steamers
is about 254 miles per day. They touch at Acapulco and Mazanilla, and
supply San Diego, Monterey, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, San Luis, and
Obispo, ports of California, from Panamá by a branch line. This is an
extra service, and is not taken into account in calculating the
mileage paid the Company.

The steamers have carried probably 175,000 passengers to California,
and have brought back about $200,000,000 in gold. They have also by
their semi-monthly line from San Francisco to Oregon assisted in
populating that rich and beautiful agricultural district, and making
it available for useful purposes as a part of the United States. They
have converted the wilderness of California into a smiling garden, and
will ere long produce the same effect on Oregon. With that coast
comparatively unprotected, and with the small standing army sustained
in this country, they become very important as a ready means of
concentrating on the Pacific coast a large army in a few days. They
also afford a ready transit for the changing crews of our national
vessels, which, when once around the Horn, may remain there several
years; having to change their crews only.

The large property of this Company in the Pacific can be made
available for no other purpose than that for which it was created. Any
company to be thoroughly effective there, must create its own stock,
and support works on the same general plan as those created by the
British East-India Company. Their success in building up this large
establishment on the Pacific was simply an accident; and that accident
the discovery of gold. But for this the Company would have failed in
two years, or gone back pleading to Congress for relief. But the gold
crisis saved it, and the enterprise was very remunerative for the
first few years; but since 1853 the profits have been limited, while
for one or two years the Company have sustained actual loss. They
calculated too largely on the prospective business with California,
and have too large a sum invested to make much for the future. And
yet, with a smaller investment they could not perform the service,
except in that dangerous, cheap, indecent way, of innumerable wants
and deprivations, which the American people have begun to despise.
They have had some few disasters, but none of those of a fatal
character in the Pacific. The "Winfield Scott" was lost in entering
the harbor of Acapulco; the "Tennessee" in entering that of San
Francisco in a dense fog. The "San Francisco" was lost, as will be
remembered, on this side, near our coast, as she sailed with troops
for the Pacific. The Nicaragua Transit Company fared much worse with
their steamers in the Pacific. They lost the "North America," the
"Independence," the "S. S. Lewis," the "Pioneer," and the "Yankee
Blade." Mr. Wm. Brown also lost his steamer "America," which he was
running between San Francisco and Oregon. She was burned.

Their dividends for four years have been but twelve per cent. And
should they be at any time thrown out of the service, more than half
of their property would be irretrievably lost. This percentage of
dividend would be large enough but for such possibilities as these,
which may soon reduce it to a deficit and a loss. Thus it is that
steam stock should declare three times the dividend of other stocks,
to be eventually equal to them. And hence it is that, with the clear
record of this Company before the Government, and with an investment
of between three and four millions of dollars, being at the same time
free from debt, the stock of the Company is selling at thirty-three
per cent. below par. This is a good exemplification of my views in the
preceding Sections regarding the costs, and hazards, and low values of
ocean steam stocks generally. Nor are the stocks of this Company kept
from the public. They are advertised and sold at public auction at
these reduced rates every day in the year in this city; and no one of
the five hundred and four stockholders, among whom these interests are
diffused, seems anxious to put "his all" in the enterprise. And yet
there are some people who call such companies a monopoly. If a
monopoly, why do they not come forward, buy the stocks, keep them in
their own hands, and profit by them; especially as a monopoly must be
doubly good when it can be bought for two thirds the cash originally
paid for it!

I have noticed this Company thus fully, because its extent of stock,
and large field of operation, make it a fit illustration of the views
which I have advanced throughout this work. I have no desire to
depreciate the stock, or in any other way injure the Company, as my
own enterprise gives me quite enough to do.

Many of the views advanced with regard to the Pacific Mail Company
will apply to the United States Mail Steamship Company. That Company,
at the outset, built very fine steamers, and ran them incessantly,
until they were unfit for duty. They have constantly supplied their
place, and have at all times, by building and by chartering at the
highest prices, kept up a large and costly fleet for their ramified
service. The service contemplated in their original contract, at
$1.88-3/4 cents per mile, is but about two thirds of that actually
performed. The contract required them to run 3,200 miles semi-monthly,
but they actually perform semi-monthly 5,200. (_See Mr. King's Letter,
Paper G._) The actual service has required nearly twice the number of
steamers necessary to do that for which they contracted, although a
part of it is in the coasting trade. Consequently the steamers have
been rapidly worn out, from too heavy duty, and the stock of the
Company has never paid as well as it should. The Company have,
morever, suffered severely from disaster. The "Crescent City" was lost
on the Bahama Banks, in 1855; all hands saved. The "Cherokee" was
burned when in active service, in 1853; and the "George Law," or
"Central America," but recently foundered at sea in a terrible gale.
They were all good ships; but like those other excellent ships, the
"Arctic" and "Pacific," they could not defy the powers of pure
accident. In the same gale the "Empire City" was dismantled, having
all of her upper works swept off, while the "Illinois" was injured by
being on the Colorado Reef. They have both been undergoing most costly
repairs for several weeks. While writing this, the "Philadelphia" is
also in the shop. She recently broke her shaft and her cross-tail, and
had to put into Charleston. All of these repairs cost an immense sum
of money, and are calculated, with the severe losses which the Company
has sustained, to dishearten the most hopeful and enterprising. Yet,
since these disasters, and the completion of the "Moses Taylor," the
Company are about laying the keel of another fine ship. This is
another verification of my statement that the mail companies are in
nearly every instance compelled to build new steamers in the very last
years of their contracted service. The new "Adriatic" attests the same
fact on the part of the Collins Company. (_See pages 141 and 142._)

The Company have had at various times the "Falcon," "Ohio," "Georgia,"
"Crescent City," "El Dorado," "Cherokee," "Empire City," "Illinois,"
and "Philadelphia," and now have the three last-named ships, the
"Granáda," the "Star of the West," and the new steamer "Moses Taylor."
The benefits conferred by the Company's lines on the trade of the
country generally, and especially on our southern seaboard and Gulf
connections, have been almost incalculable. They found all of these
ports in the undisputed possession of the British, whose steamers
furnished the only mail and locomotive facilities of the times. By
their superior speed and accommodations the "Georgia" and the "Ohio"
soon drove those enterprising steamers from our coast, and confined
them to the foreign countries of the Gulf and the Carribean Sea, where
they yet rule triumphant in news, transport, and commerce. Our
southern harbors are no longer filled with British cruisers, while in
their stead we have built up a noble war marine, inured thousands of
Americans to the ocean steam service, and made one most effective
movement in the direction of successful defenses. (_See Letter of Hon.
Edwin Croswell, Paper E, page 200._)

Of the Collins Company it is hardly necessary that I should speak.
They have received much the largest subsidy from the Government; but
they have had a most difficult task to perform. Their ships have never
been surpassed in any country, whether as to the excellent style of
their prime construction, their large size, or their very unusual
speed. They have literally been engaged in a continual race across the
ocean for seven years, determined at whatever cost and hazard to far
excel those of the Cunard line. And this they have done most signally
in all points of accommodation and speed. They have gained one and a
half days the advantage over the Cunard line on their average voyages
for the seven years. And this was no small achievement. By reference
to Section IV. it will be seen how great is the cost of attaining and
maintaining such speed with a steamer. The Collins ships, being so
much larger than the Cunarders, the four present an aggregate tonnage
nearly equal to the eight by which they run their weekly line. It is,
moreover, not proportionally so expensive to maintain seven or eight
ships on a line as four. The prime cost and repairs are by no means so
great when engines are duplicated, or two sets built from the same
patterns. Again, the general outlay in docks, shore establishment,
offices, company paraphernalia, advertising, and innumerable items, is
as great for a small as for a large fleet of steamers. The Collins
line has to contend against all this. It also found the Cunard line
long and well established, and inwrought into the public favor. It had
the business, and most important of all, it monopolized the only
freights passing between the two countries; those from England to
America, which British shippers gave of course to British ships. They
have had also to pay much larger prices for construction, repairs,
wages, etc., than the Cunard Company; and not having so large a
service and so large a fleet, they have not had so many reserve ships
to fall back upon; but have been compelled frequently to send their
ships off but half repaired, which of itself entailed immensely heavy
expenses in ultimate repairs. There is very much to be said in favor
of this Company, which has endeavored to build the finest ships in
the world, and navigate them the most rapidly. If they have
prominently failed in any thing it is in building larger ships,
running them faster, and being far more enterprising with them than
was required of the Company by the contract with the Government. Their
disasters have been saddening and severe; and yet they have resulted
from nothing which could have been controlled by human foresight.
There is a great error in supposing that there are more marine
disasters among American than among British ships. Such is not the
case, as a careful examination of the lists will show.

Of the mail line belonging to Mr. Vanderbilt, between New-York and
Bremen, _via_ Southampton, it is impossible now to say any thing. The
steamers "North Star" and "Ariel," the one of 1,867-60/95 tons, and
the other of 1,295-28/95 tons, have but recently commenced the
service, on the gross mail receipts. Whether Mr. Vanderbilt desires to
make the service permanent or not, I am not advised.

The service of the Charleston and Havana line has been performed with
great regularity; and although the return from it in the form of
postages has been small, yet it has been of essential service to the
South, in opening communications toward the Gulf, and in establishing
much needed travelling facilities between Charleston, Savannah, and
Key West.



PAPER A.

LIST OF AMERICAN OCEAN STEAMERS.


The mail service has 8 lines, and 21 steamers in commission, of 48,027
registered tonnage. Much of this tonnage belongs to supply ships, as
for instance those of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. (_See
Section I._)

_Collins Line, 3 steamers, 9,727 tons._

Adriatic, 4,144-74/95 tons: Atlantic, 2,849-66/99 tons: Baltic,
2,733-1/95 tons.

_Havre Line, 2 steamers, 4,548 tons._

Arago, 2,240 tons: Fulton, 2,308 tons.

_Vanderbilt Bremen Line, 3 steamers, 6,523 tons._

North Star, 1,867-60/95 tons: Ariel, 1,295-28/95 tons: Vanderbilt[H],
3,360-54/95 tons.

[H] Independent, running between New-York, Southampton, and Havre, in
connection with the Bremen steamers.

_United States Mail Steamship Company, 6 steamers, 8,544 tons._

Illinois, 2,123-65/95 tons: Empire City, 1,751-21/95 tons:
Philadelphia, 1,238-1/95 tons: Granada, 1,058-90/95 tons: Moses
Taylor, 1,200 tons: Star of the West, chartered, 1,172-1/95,
(contracting for a new ship.)

_Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 13 steamers, 16,421 tons._

Golden Gate, 2,067-35/95 tons: Golden Age, 2,280 tons: J. L. Stephens,
2,189 tons: Sonora, 1,616 tons: St. Louis, 1,621 tons: Panamá,
1,087-31/95 tons: California, 1,085-64/95 tons: Oregon, 1,099-9/95
tons: Columbia, 777-34/95 tons: Republic, 850 tons: Northerner, 1,010
tons: Fremont, 576 tons: Tobago, 189 tons.

_Charleston, Savannah, Key West, and Havana, 1 steamer_, the Isabel,
1,115 tons.

_New-Orleans and Mexico, 1 steamer_, the Tennessee, 1,149-1/2 tons.

The Coasting Service has 8 lines, and 23 steamers, of 24,071 tons
registered tonnage.

_New-York, Havana, and New-Orleans_, 2. The Black Warrior, 1,556-1/95
tons: Cahawba, 1,643-1/95 tons = 3,199 tons.

_New-York, Havana, and Mobile_, 1. The Quaker City, 1,428-3/95 tons.

_New-York and Savannah_, 4. Alabama, 1,261-13/95 tons; Florida,
1,261-13/95 tons: Augusta, 1,310-61/95 tons; Star of the South,
(propeller,) 960-1/95 tons = 4,793 tons.

_New-York and Charleston_, 4. Columbia, 1,347 tons: Nashville, 1,220
tons: James Adger, 1,151 tons; Marion, 962 tons = 4,680 tons.

_New-York and Virginia_, 2. Roanoke, 1,071 tons: Jamestown, 1,300 tons
= 2,371 tons.

_Philadelphia and Savannah_, 2. Key Stone State and State of Georgia,
each about 1,300 tons = 2,600 tons.

_Boston and Baltimore_, 2. Joseph Whitney, 800 tons: Unknown, 800 tons
= 1,600 tons.

_New-Orleans and Texas._ The Charles Morgan, Texas, Mexico, and
Atlantic, averaging 600 tons each=2,400 tons.

_New-Orleans and Key West._ The General Rusk, 600 tons, and the
Calhoun, 400 tons = 1,000 tons.

There are also several propellers running: between New-York and
Charleston, New-York and Portland, and between Philadelphia and the
South. They are all, however, small, and irregular in their trade. The
Calhoun is not a regular steamship.

    Steamers lying up, 18. Registered tonnage, 24,845 tons.

    Queen of the Pacific, 2,801-92/95 tons.
    Washington,           1,640-71/91 tons.
    Prometheus,           1,207-61/95 tons.
    St. Louis,            1,621-14/45 tons.
    Brother Jonathan,     1,359-52/95 tons.
    Oregon,               1,004-89/95 tons.
    Southerner,             900       tons.
    Herman,               1,734-45/95 tons.
    Northern Light,       1,747-91/95 tons.
    Uncle Sam,            1,433-44/95 tons.
    California,           1,058       tons.
    Northerner,           1,012       tons.
    Ericsson,             1,902-1/95  tons.
    Star of the West,     1,172-33/95 tons.
    Daniel Webster,       1,035       tons.
    Orizaba,              1,450-62/95 tons.
    Panamá,               1,087       tons.
    Fremont,                576       tons.

The registered tonnage of these vessels was furnished me by Mr. S. P.
Ingraham, of the New-York Custom-House.



PAPER B.


The following paper, prepared by Mr. Pliny Miles from the reports to
which we have alluded, presents the British steam mail service in
full detail.

    "The following tabular statement gives the particulars of the
    ocean mail service of Great Britain, now carried on almost
    exclusively by steamships. The numbers in the margin, running from
    1 to 15, will point out the different lines in the recapitulation
    at the close.

         LINE OF COMMUNICATION,      |
    CONTRACTORS, AND CONTRACT PRICE. |       PLACES CONNECTED.
    ---------------------------------+--------------------------------
    1.--Liverpool and Isle of Man.   | Liverpool and Douglas, Isle of
    _Mona Isle Steam Co._ Twice a    | Man.
    week. $4,250 per annum.          |
                                     |
    2.--England and Ireland. _City of| Holyhead and Kingstown, near
    Dublin Steam Packet Co._ Twice a | Dublin.
    day. $125,000 a year.            |
                                     |
    3.--Scotland and Shetland.       | Aberdeen, Wick, Kirkwall,
    _Aberdeen, Leith and Clyde       | (Orkney,) and Lerwick,
    Shipping Co._ Weekly, $6,000 a   | (Shetland.)
    year.                            |
                                     |
    4.--England, Spain, and          | Southampton, Vigo, Oporto,
    Gibraltar. _Peninsular and       | Lisbon, Cadiz, and Gibraltar.
    Oriental Steam Navigation Co._   |
    Three times a month. $102,500.   |
                                     |
    5.--Mediterranean, India, and    | Southampton, Malta, Alexandria,
    China. _Peninsular and Oriental  | Suez, Aden, Bombay, Calcutta,
    Steam Navigation Co._ Twice a    | Singapore, Hong Kong, and
    month to India--monthly to China.| Shanghae.
    $1,121,500.                      |
                                     |
    6.--England and United States.   | Liverpool, Halifax, and Boston;
    _Sam. Cunard._ Weekly. $866,700. | and Liverpool and New-York.
                                     |
    7.--North America, (Colonial.)   | Halifax, Newfoundland, Bermuda,
    _Sam. Cunard._ Monthly. $73,500. | and St. Thomas.
                                     |
    8.--West-Indies, Mexico and      | Southampton, Kingston,
    South-America. _Royal Mail Steam | (Jamaica,) St. Thomas, Vera
    Packet Co._ Semi-monthly to the  | Cruz and Aspinwall; Southampton,
    West-Indies and Gulf of Mexico,  | Lisbon, Madeira, Teneriffe, St.
    and monthly to Brazil.           | Vincent, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio
    $1,350,000.                      | Janeiro, Monte Video, Buenos
                                     | Ayres, and St. Thomas.
                                     |
    9.--England, France, and Belgium.| Dover and Calais. Dover and
    _Jenkings and Churchward._ Daily | Ostend.
    to Calais; thrice a week to      |
    Ostend. $77,500.                 |
                                     |
    10.--Channel Islands.            | Southampton, Jersey, and
    _South-western Railway Company._ | Guernsey.
    Thrice a week. $20,000.          |
                                     |
    11.--West Coast of South-America.| Panama, Callao, and Valparaiso.
    _Pacific Steam Navigation Co._   | Allowed to touch at Buenaventura,
    Twice a month. $125,000.         | Guayaquil, Peyta, Lambayeque,
                                     | Huanchaco, Santa, Pisco, Islay,
                                     | Aríca, Iquique, Cobija, Gopiapo,
                                     | Huasco, and Coquimbo.
                                     |
    12.--Scotland and Orkney. _John  | From Scrabster Pier (Thurso) to
    Stanger, Esq., of Stromness._    | Stromness, (Orkney.)
    Daily in summer; every other day |
    in winter. $6,500.               |
                                     |
    13.--West Coast of Africa.       | Plymouth to Madeira, Teneriffe,
    _African Steamship Co._ Monthly. | Goree, Bathurst, Sierra Leone,
    $106,250.                        | Monrovia, Cape Coast Castle,
                                     | Accra, Whydah, Badagry, Lagos,
                                     | Bonny, Old Calabar, Cameroon and
                                     | Fernando Po; omitting Cameroon,
                                     | Calabar, and Bonny on return.
                                     |
    14.--South-Africa, Mauritius, and| Dartmouth to Cape of Good Hope,
    Calcutta. _Adam Duncan Dundas,   | Mauritius and Calcutta.
    Esq._ Monthly. $205,000.         |
                                     |
    15.--England and Australia. _The | Southampton, Marseilles, Malta,
    European and Australian Mail     | Alexandria, Suez, and Sydney.
    Steam Packet Co._ Monthly.       |
    $925,000.                        |

    The following are the names of the steamers in service in each
    line, with the amount of tonnage, the horse power of each, the
    draught of water, the number of the officers and crew attached to
    each one, and, when it could be obtained, the date that each
    vessel was surveyed and approved for the service. Where the date
    of survey of a vessel is unknown, it is placed as near as possible
    with others surveyed at the same time, the vessels in each line
    being arranged in chronological order:

    1. LIVERPOOL AND ISLE OF MAN.

                                           Draft of
                           Horse            Water.          Date of
    Name, Class, etc.      Power. Tonnage.  F.  I.  Crew.    Survey
    ----------------------+------+--------+--------+-----+------------
    King Orry,                190      429   0   0     22   Dec., 1845
    Tynwald,         iron,    260      657   8   9     29   Oct., 1846
    Benmy Chree,              130      295   6   6     18   June, 1847
    Mona's Queen,    iron,    220      508   8   6     22   M'ch, 1853
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 4 vessels,       790    2,089             91

    2. ENGLAND AND IRELAND.

    Prince Arthur,   iron,    220      418   8   8     26   July, 1852
    Llewellyn,       iron,    342      654   9   6     29   Oct., 1852
    Eblana,          iron,    372      685   8  11     31   Jan., 1853
    St. Columba,     iron,    350      650   8  10     29  Sept., 1853
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 4 vessels,     1,284    2,407            115

    3. SCOTLAND AND SHETLAND.

    Fairy,                    120      350    --       18      --
    Duke of Richmond,         180      500    --       24      --
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 2 vessels,       300      850             42

    4. ENGLAND, SPAIN, AND GIBRALTAR.

    Sultan,          iron,    420    1,001  14   0     67   Jan., 1853
    Madrid,          iron,    133      448  10   2     40   Feb., 1853
    Tagus,                    280      691  14   8     41   Jan., 1854
    Alhambra,                 140      642  13   7     52   July, 1855
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 4 vessels,       973    2,782            200

    5. MEDITERRANEAN, INDIA, AND CHINA.

    Lady Mary Wood,           270      619   0   0     40   Feb., 1842
    Precursor,                520    1,783  18   0    121   July, 1844
    Pekin,           iron,    415    1,003  14   0     78   Jan., 1847
    Oriental,                 420    1,427  13   0     78   M'ch, 1848
    Achilles,                 430      823  16   0     59   June, 1849
    Malta,           iron,    460    1,222   0   0     82  Sept., 1848
    Hindostan,                500    1,595  16  10     53   July, 1849
    Singapore,       iron,    465    1,189  12   6     96   M'ch, 1851
    Ganges,          iron,    465    1,189  14   7     69   June, 1851
    Pottinger,       iron,    450    1,275  17   6     82  April, 1852
    Formosa, screw,  iron,    177      658  13   6     60   Aug., 1852
    Chusan, screw,   iron,    100      765  11   3     45   Aug., 1852
    Haddington,      iron,    450    1,303  17   7    105   Nov., 1852
    Vectis,                   400      900   0   0     51      --
    Shanghae, screw, iron,     90      825   0   0     60      --
    Manila,                    60      646   0   0     60      --
    Bentinck,                 520    1,973  19   3     83   Nov., 1852
    Euxine,          iron,    430    1,071  15   6     72   Jan., 1853
    Bengal, screw,            465    2,185  17   6    115   Feb., 1853
    Valetta,                  400      984  12   2     51   July, 1853
    Norna, screw,             230    1,040   0   0     80   Nov., 1853
    Colombo, screw,           450    1,808   0   0    118   Dec., 1853
    Ripon,           iron,    445    1,400  14   9     94   Dec., 1853
    Douro, screw,             230      903  13   3     63   Dec., 1853
    Bombay,                   280    1,240   0   0     84      --
    Madras,                   288    1,217   0   0     82      --
    Indus,           iron,    450    1,302  17   9     88   Jan., 1854
    Candia, screw,   iron,    450    2,212  18   9    115   June, 1854
    Nubia,                    450    2,095  21   0    122    --   1855
    Pera, screw,     iron,    450    2,013  19   0    129   Jan., 1856
    Ava, screw,      iron,    320    1,372  17   0     94   Feb., 1856
    Alma, screw,     iron,    450    2,164  20   0    124   M'ch, 1856
    Aden, screw,     iron,    210      507  18   9     40   Aug., 1856
    Delta, screw,             210      985   0   0     64    --   1856
    Delhi, screw,             450    2,400   0   0    125    --   1856
    Unknown, 4 vessels.
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 39 vessels,   12,850   46,053          2,877

    6. ENGLAND AND UNITED STATES.

    Europa,                   650    1,777  15   6     88   July, 1848
    Canada,                   680    1,774  19   6     88   Nov., 1848
    Niagara,                  630    1,774  19   6     88   Dec., 1849
    America,                  630    1,729  15   3     88   Jan., 1850
    Asia,                     800    2,073  19   0    105    May, 1850
    Africa,                   800    2,050   0   0    105   Oct., 1850
    Arabia,                   870    2,328  16   7    105   Dec., 1852
    Persia,                   858    3,587  21   0    165   Feb., 1856
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 8 vessels,     5,918   17,092            922

    7. NORTH AMERICA, (Colonial.)

    Merlin,                   120      451   0   0     26    May, 1850
    Delta, screw,    iron,    180      700  12  10     34   June, 1852
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 2 vessels,       300    1,151             60

    8. WEST-INDIES, MEXICO, AND SOUTH-AMERICA.

    Dee,                      410    1,269  18   0     87    May, 1846
    Trent,                    450    1,293  17   7     87  April, 1848
    Eagle,                    263      496  11  10     57   July, 1849
    Derwent,                  280      708  15   0     66   July, 1850
    Magdalena,                760    2,250  19   0    108    May, 1852
    Medway,                   420    1,305  17   6     72    May, 1852
    La Plata,                 939    2,404  21  10    114   Aug., 1852
    Conway,                   270      827  12  10     55  Sept., 1852
    Orinoco,                  800    2,245  20  11    108   Oct., 1852
    Avon,                     450    2,069  17   0     94   M'ch, 1853
    Teviot,                   450    1,258  18   1     97  April, 1853
    Paraná,                   800    2,222  21   2    120    May, 1853
    Clyde,                    430    1,335  19   1     87   June, 1853
    Thames,                   413    1,285  18   3     72   Aug., 1853
    Solent,                   420    1,805  14  11     88   Oct., 1853
    Camilia,         iron,    213      640   9   0     34   Oct., 1853
    Wye, screw,      iron,    180      818  14   0     45   Feb., 1854
    Atrato,          iron,    758    2,906  20   6    127   M'ch, 1854
    Tamar,                    400    1,873  18   7     93   June, 1854
    Prince,                   200      446   8   8     35   July, 1854
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 20 vessels,    9,306   29,454          1,667

    9. ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND BELGIUM.

    Alliance,                 120      300   7   3     16      --
    Vivid,                    120      300   7   0     16      --
    Violet,                   120      300   7   0     16      --
    Empress,                  100      308   6   6     16      --
    Queen,                    100      307   6   6     16      --
    Ondine,                    80      250   6   0     16      --
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 6 vessels,       640    1,765             96

    10. CHANNEL ISLANDS.

    Atalanta,                 120      240   8   4     21   Oct., 1846
    Wonder,          iron,    150      449   0   0     22   Feb., 1853
    Courier,         iron,    184      440   7   0     18  April, 1853
    Dispatch,        iron,    183      443   7   6     22   Aug., 1853
    Express,         iron,    160      380   7   4     24   Nov., 1853
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 5 vessels,       797    1,852            107

    11. WEST COAST OR SOUTH-AMERICA.

    New-Granada,     iron,    210      600  13   0     41   Nov., 1846
    Bolivia,         iron,    252      705   0   0     41   Oct., 1849
    Inca,            iron,    370      549  13   0     55   Aug., 1851
    Lima,            iron,    370    1,122  10   8     55   Nov., 1851
    Bogota,          iron,    394    1,122  13   6     61  April, 1852
    Valdivia, screw, iron,    480      782  13   2     41   Nov., 1853
    Valparaiso,      iron,    320      839  13   6     84      --
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 7 vessels,     2,396    5,719            377

    12. SCOTLAND AND ORKNEY.

    (Unknown,)                 60      250   6   0     16      --

    13. WEST COAST OF AFRICA.

    Hope,            iron,    120      833  15   0     46      --
    Charity,         iron,    120    1,007  15   6     52      --
    Ethiope,                  120      674   0   0     42      --
    Candace,                  120      900   0   0     46      --
    Retriever,                120      900   0   0     46      --
    Niger,                    120      900   0   0     46      --
    Gambia,                   130      637  14   0     42      --
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 7 vessels        850    5,951            320

    14. SOUTH-AMERICA, MAURITIUS, AND CALCUTTA.

    Five screw steamers,
      Total, 5 vessels,     2,000    8,000    --      570      --

    15. ENGLAND AND AUSTRALIA.

    Oneida,                   400    1,600  15   6     84      --
    Simla,                    630    2,510  17   2     88      --
    European,                 530    2,200  18   9    115      --
    Columbian,                530    2,300  17   6    120      --
    (Unknown,)                400    1,600   0   8     88      --
    (Unknown,)                400    1,600   0   8     88      --
    (Unknown,)                400    1,600   0   8     88      --
                           ====== ========          =====
      Total, 7 vessels,     3,290   13,410            671


    RECAPITULATION.

    KEY:
    A: Lines.
    B: Number of steamers.
    C: Horse Power.
    D: Tonnage.
    E: Number of men.
    F: Service commenced.
    G: How often.
    H: Annual Compensation.

    ------+----+--------+--------+-------+------+-----------+-------------
       A  | B  |   C    |   D    |   E   |  F   |     G     |      H
    ------+----+--------+--------+-------+------+-----------+-------------
        1 |  4 |    790 |  2,089 |    91 | 1833 | 2 a week  |    $4,250
        2 |  4 |  1,284 |  2,408 |   115 | 1850 | 2 a day   |   125,000
        3 |  2 |    300 |    850 |    42 | 1840 | 1 a week  |     6,000
        4 |  4 |    973 |  2,782 |   200 | 1852 | 3 a month |   102,500
        5 | 35 | 12,850 | 46,053 | 2,877 | 1853 | 2 a month | 1,121,500
        6 |  9 |  6,418 | 18,406 |   922 | 1850 | 1 a week  |   866,700
        7 |  2 |    300 |  1,151 |    60 | 1854 | 1 a month |    73,500
        8 | 20 |  9,308 | 29,454 | 1,667 | 1851 | 3 a month | 1,350,000
        9 |  6 |    640 |  1,765 |    96 | 1854 | 1 a day   |    77,500
       10 |  5 |    797 |  1,852 |   107 | 1848 | 3 a week  |    20,000
       11 |  7 |  2,396 |  5,719 |   378 | 1852 | 2 a month |   125,000
       12 |  1 |     60 |    250 |    16 | 1856 | 1 a day   |     6,500
       13 |  7 |    850 |  5,951 |   320 | 1852 | 1 a month |   106,250
       14 |  5 |  2,000 |  8,000 |   575 | 1856 | 1 a month |   205,000
       15 |  7 |  3,290 | 13,410 |   671 | 1857 | 1 a month |   925,000
          |====|========|========|=======|      |           |=============
    Total, 121 | 42,254 |140,139 | 8,137 |      |           |$5,114,700[I]
    -----------+--------+--------+-------+------+-----------+-------------

    [I] There are some lines not here noticed, which swell the sum to
    $5,333,985.--T. R.



PAPER C.

PROJET OF FRANCO-AMERICAN NAVIGATION.


Mr. Wm. Iselin, of Havre, kindly furnished me the following:

    "The French Government has offered the following contracts:

    "Havre to New-York, 26 voyages a year, fr.3,100,000, or $620,000.

    "Bordeaux to Rio Janeiro, touching at Lisbon, Goree, Bahia, or
    Pernambúco, and a branch line from Rio Janeiro to Montevideo and
    Buenos Ayres, 24 voyages a year, fr.4,700,000, or $940,000. The
    Government now requires 13 departures from Bordeaux and 13 from
    Marseilles at the same price.

    "Nantes to St. Thomas, thence to Guadalupe, and thence to
    Martinique, with the following branch lines:

    "No. 1. St. Thomas to St. Martha or Carthagena, and thence to
    Aspinwall.

    "No. 2. St. Thomas to Porto Rico, thence to Havana, Vera Cruz, and
    Tampico.

    "No. 3. From Martinique to Cayenne.

    "The subvention offered is fr.6,200,000, or $1,400,000.

    "The total amount of subvention offered for the 3 lines is
    therefore 14 millions of francs per annum, or $2,800,000.

    "The Messageries Impériales have given a tender for the Brazil
    lines.

    "William Iselin of Havre, in connection with Mr. Calley St. Paul,
    for the Havre and New-York line; the necessary capital of
    $3,200,000 is subscribed; their intention is to have a weekly
    departure from Havre to New-York, by making the fortnightly
    departures of the French boats alternate with American Havre and
    Bremen boats.

    "For the line from Nantes to the West-Indies the Company Gautier
    is said to have given a tender; but it is doubtful if they can
    make up their capital."

The _Messageries Impériales_ is one of the largest and strongest
companies in all Europe. They have the following different lines: the
Italian, the Constantinople direct, the Levant, the Egyptian, the
Syrian, that of the Archipelago, the Anatolia, the Thessalian, the
Danubian, the Trebizond, the Algiers, the Oran, and the Tunis lines,
and forty-seven sea-steamers. They have already obtained the Brazilian
service.

Mr. Iselin and others have proposed for the United States line, and
will doubtless get it.

The Company Gautier may not get the West-India service, it is said.
They had the line from Havre to New-York, with the steamers Alma,
Cadis, Barcelona, Franc-Contois, Vigo, and the Lyonnaise, and without
subvention. They found it impossible to run it without subsidy, and
hence, sought a new home for their steamers. They attempted to run
from Havre to New-Orleans; but this again failed, after four voyages.
They had also the 1,800 ton ether ships, "François Arago," and
"Jacquart," which broke down. These ether engines were built on the
principle of De Tremblay; but the Company are now substituting steam
for the ether engines. Thus, the experience of this Company proves two
important positions which I have taken; that ocean mail steamers can
not run on their receipts, and that many of the gazetted improvements
on steam propulsion and the ordinary methods are valueless.

The _Compagnie Gautier_ have a contract with Spain, for semi-monthly
voyages between Cadiz and Havana, and receive $25,000 per round voyage
for each steamer. They are all English built, iron vessels, of about
1,800 tons each. Lyons is the home of the Company.



PAPER D.

STEAM LINES BETWEEN EUROPE AND AMERICA.


COLLINS, steamers Adriatic, Atlantic, and Baltic; (running:)

HAVRE, steamers Arago, and Fulton;                     "

BREMEN, steamers North Star, and Ariel;                "

HAVRE, _in connection with the Bremen_. Steamer Vanderbilt; (laid up:)

CUNARD, steamers Persia, Arabia, Asia, Africa, Canada, America,
Niagara, and Europa; (running:)

CUNARD, screw-steamers Etna, Jura, Emue, Lebanon, and Cambria,
(side-wheel; all running:)

GLASGOW, screw-steamers Glasgow, Edinburgh, and New-York; (running:)

BREMEN, steamer Ericsson; run temporarily by Mr. Sands; (laid up:)

LIVERPOOL AND PORTLAND, screw-steamers Khersonese and Circassian,
General Williams and Antelope; the two latter about 1,500 each,
running _via_ St. John's, N. F., the two former chartered for the
East-Indies:

LONDON AND MONTREAL, screw-steamers; (names not known:)

LIVERPOOL AND QUEBEC, screw-steamers;   "    "    "

LIVERPOOL AND NEW-YORK, screw-steamers City of Manchester, City of
Baltimore, City of Washington, and Kangaroo, (running;) (line ran to
Philadelphia and was withdrawn:)

HAMBURG AND NEW-YORK, screw-steamers Borussia and Hammonia; building
two more steamers, each 2,000 tons, in the Clyde, for same line;
(running:)

ANTWERP AND NEW-YORK, screw-steamers Belgique, Constitution, Leopold
I., Duc de Brabant, and Congress. _Taken off and chartered to British
Government for transporting troops. Names altered:_

LONDON, CORK AND NEW-YORK, screw-steamers Minna and Brenda; (laid up:)

HAVRE AND NEW-YORK, screw-steamers Barcelona, Jacquart, Alma, and
François Arago, _withdrawn, and running from Spain to Cuba_. (_See
Paper C._)

BREMEN AND NEW-YORK. The North Dutch Lloyds are building four
screw-steamers in the Clyde, of near 3,000 each, to run between Bremen
and New-York:

THE CONTINENT, SOUTHAMPTON AND NEW-YORK. Croskey's lino consists of
the following screws, of about 2,300 tons each: the Argo, Calcutta,
Queen of the South, Lady Jocelyn, Hydaspes, Indiana, Jason, and Golden
Fleece. (_Most of these steamers have been withdrawn from the route,
and five of them are chartered for troops for India._)



PAPER E.


The following numerous extracts from the Senate Reports of 1850 and
1852, and also from the letter of Judge Collamer, then Post Master
General, as well as from a letter by the Hon. Edwin Croswell, will
present in detail a strong corroboration of the views which I have
taken in the preceding Sections. I copy first from the Report of 1852.
The Committee was composed of Hon. Thomas J. Rusk, Chairman, and
Messrs. Soulé, Hamlin, Upham, and Morton. The Report says:

    "Your Committee desire to have it understood at the outset, that,
    regarding the ocean mail service as the offspring of the wants of
    all of the producing classes of the country, they have not felt at
    liberty to consider the propositions which have been presented to
    them, in any other point of view than as connected with and
    subservient to the general policy of the government, which
    embraces alike every section of the country, and can not know nor
    recognize any personal or local influence.

    "The system of ocean steam navigation was adopted by the
    Government for the joint purpose of extending and advancing the
    commercial and other great interests of the country, and, at the
    same time, providing a marine force which might be easily made
    available for the protection of American rights, in the event of a
    collision with foreign powers. The attainment of this double
    object was the motive which, in the opinion of Congress, justified
    the advance of public funds in aid of private enterprise,
    inasmuch as it was calculated to insure to the country the
    acquisition of a powerful means of maritime defense, with little
    or no expense, eventually, as the money so advanced was to be
    reimbursed in money or in mail service at the option of the
    parties concerned, while commerce and the arts would be promoted
    during the time of peace.

    "At the time when this system was commenced, the ocean mails along
    our whole Southern coast were in the hands of foreign carriers,
    sustained and encouraged by the British Government, under the
    forms of contracts to carry the British mails; while the Cunard
    line between Liverpool and Boston, _via_ Halifax, constituted the
    only medium of regular steam mail communication between the United
    States and Europe. In this way the commercial interests of the
    United States were, on the one hand, entirely at the mercy of
    British steamers which plied along our Southern coast, entering
    our ports at pleasure, and thereby acquiring an intimate knowledge
    of the soundings and other peculiarities of our harbors--a
    knowledge which might prove infinitely injurious to us in the
    event of a war with Great Britain; and on the other, of a foreign
    line of ocean mail steamers, which, under the liberal patronage of
    the British Government, monopolized the steam mail postage and
    freights between the two countries. Under such a state of things,
    it became necessary to choose whether American commerce should
    continue to be thus tributary to British maritime supremacy, or an
    American medium of communication should be established through the
    intervention of the Federal Government, in the form of advances of
    pecuniary means in aid of individual enterprise. It had been found
    to be impossible for our merchants to contend successfully, single
    handed, against the joint efforts of the British Government and
    British commercial influence. Our noble lines of packet ships
    which had far outstripped the sailing vessels of all other
    nations, in point of beauty and swiftness, had been superseded by
    the introduction of steamers, the power and capacity of which
    recommended them, as the best means of inter-communication by
    mail, and of transportation for lighter and more profitable
    freights, and American interests were becoming every day more and
    more tributary to British ascendency on the ocean.

    "Under the circumstances above stated, it was impossible for
    Congress to hesitate for a moment which course to pursue, and it
    was determined to adopt a policy which, while it would be in
    strict accordance with the spirit of our free institutions, should
    place the country in its proper attitude, and render its commerce
    and postal arrangements independent of all foreign or rival
    agencies.

    "Of the correctness of this determination, experience has
    furnished the most ample evidences in the results which thus far
    have attended the prosecution of the system. The line between
    New-York and Chagres _via_ New-Orleans and its auxiliaries, have,
    by their superiority in point of swiftness and accommodation,
    already superseded the British steamers which had previously plied
    along our Southern maritime frontier, and the United States mails
    for Mexico, South-America, and our possessions on the Pacific are
    no longer in the hands of foreign carriers, but are transported in
    American steamers of the first class, convertible, at a very small
    expense, into war steamers, should occasion require, which have
    commanded the admiration of the world by their fleetness and the
    elegance of their accommodations for the travelling public. Our
    Southern ports are, consequently, no longer frequented by British
    steamers, commanded by officers of the British crown, whose
    legitimate business it is to collect intelligence respecting the
    approaches to and defenses of the harbors which they visit, to be
    made available for their own purposes, in the event of the
    existence of hostile relations.

    "A similar result has, to a certain extent, attended the
    establishment of the American, or Collins line, between New-York
    and Liverpool. Previously to the commencement of this line, the
    transportation of the United States mail matter, as well as the
    finer and more destructible descriptions of merchandise, requiring
    rapidity of transmission to and from Europe, had been monopolized
    by the British Cunard line; and the British Government had, within
    the short space of six years, from the postage on this route
    alone, derived a _clear income_ of no less than five million two
    hundred and eighty thousand eight hundred dollars, after deducting
    the amount paid to the concern under the contract to carry the
    mails.

    "Since the establishment of the Collins line, notwithstanding the
    combined efforts of the British Government and commercial
    interests to confine their freights and postages to the Cunard
    line, the revenue to the Post Office Department of the United
    States has amounted to several hundreds of thousands of dollars
    per annum, whilst a large proportion of the money for freights has
    been received by American citizens. The effects of this measure
    have, it is true, thus far been but partial, because the trips of
    this line have been but twice a month, while those of its rival
    have, for a considerable portion of the time been weekly. During
    the intervals between the trips of the American line, the postages
    and freights must, of necessity, enure to the advantage of the
    British, and, consequently, the evil referred to has been but
    partially remedied."

Speaking of the large steamers built, the Report says:

    "It is not to be supposed that engines of such vast dimensions
    could have been constructed in a country where there were, as yet,
    no workshops adapted to the purpose and where labor is very high,
    as cheaply as in a country where every appliance of the kind
    already existed and where the prices of labor are proverbially
    low. Nor can it be reasonably imagined that vessels of this
    description could have been navigated on as good terms, by men
    taken from this country, where there was little or no competition
    in this peculiar branch of maritime service, as by those who were
    easily to be found in a country in which the density of population
    and consequent competition for employment, caused the wages to be
    small.

    "An attempt seems to have been made, in certain quarters, to
    create an impression that the aid heretofore extended by the
    Government to the individuals engaged under contracts to carry the
    ocean mail, has been induced by feelings of personal friendship,
    on the part of members of Congress. Such is not the case. The
    friends of the system of ocean mail steam navigation, have, so far
    as your Committee are advised, considered this important subject
    as a matter of great national concern and independently of the
    very secondary motive of individual interest. The question
    presented to their minds has not been whether A, B, or C should
    have a privilege extended to him, but whether the commerce,
    manufactures, and agriculture of the country would be benefited by
    the performance of a public service through the instrumentality of
    individual enterprise, under proper conditions and restrictions.
    As matters stood at the period when the system was adopted, Great
    Britain was exerting herself, successfully, to make the United
    States, in common with the rest of the world, tributary to her
    maritime supremacy. She possessed the monopoly of steam connection
    between the United States and Europe, the West-Indies and
    South-America. There was not a letter sent by ocean steam
    conveyance, in these quarters, which did not pay its tribute to
    the British crown, and not a passenger nor parcel of merchandise
    transported, by the agency of steam, upon the ocean, which did not
    furnish profit to the British capitalist. Great Britain asserted
    her right to be the 'queen of the ocean,' and, as such, she levied
    her imposts upon the industry and intelligence of all of the
    nations that frequented that highway of the world.

    "In this condition of affairs, the law instituting the system of
    American ocean mail steam transportation in its present form was
    enacted, as the best, if not the only means of correcting a great
    evil, and, at the same time, building up a naval force which
    should be available for national defense in the event of a war.
    The system so instituted was deemed to be not only calculated to
    draw forth and reward the enterprise of American citizens, but it
    avoided the difficulty of keeping upon hand, in time of peace, a
    large and, for the moment at least, useless military marine, which
    could only be preserved in a condition for effective service by a
    vast annual outlay of the public money.

    "_It was right and proper, then, in the opinion of your
    Committee, that these ocean steam facilities should exist, through
    the intervention of the Government, more especially as they were,
    in all probability, beyond the reach of private means._

    "The transportation of the ocean mails, with the greatest possible
    advantage to the important interests of the country at large, is
    an object of paramount importance; but which, however desirable,
    can only be effected at great expense. It is a matter of
    comparatively small moment at what precise time this expense is to
    be paid, provided that the end in view can be attained with
    certainty. The temporary loan of a part of the means required,
    under proper securities for reimbursement, appears to be the
    readiest mode by which the purpose can be effected. How is this
    security to be acquired? Simply, by taking due care that the funds
    advanced shall be faithfully and honestly applied to the object
    for which they are intended, and then holding a lien upon the
    ships, for the construction of which they are appropriated, in
    such a manner as to insure the reimbursement of the sums advanced
    in the form of mail service or money; or, should circumstances
    require, of ships suitable for national purposes, as war steamers.
    This has been done. In all cases the contractors for the
    transportation of the ocean mails, have been required to cause
    their ships to be built and equipped under the immediate
    superintendence of experienced naval officers and under the
    direction of naval constructors, appointed by the Government, in
    such manner as to be convertible, at the smallest possible
    expense, into war steamers of the first class.

    "Nor has experience caused any regret, on the part of the friends
    of the system, further than that in some cases, owing to the
    increase in the tonnage and power of the ships and other
    circumstances, the expenses incurred by the contractors have
    outrun the receipts, and they have incurred heavy losses, which
    might even prove ruinous, if they were forced to sell the property
    acquired in this form. It should always be borne in mind, however,
    that in these cases, the increase of expenditure thus incurred has
    been caused by a laudable ambition on the part of the proprietors
    of these lines to do even more than they were required to do under
    their contracts, with a view to secure the confidence of the
    Government and the public. It should also be remembered that in
    thus increasing the cost and consequent value of their ships,
    these companies have enlarged the security of the Government for
    the money loaned, and promoted the safety and comfort of
    passengers. It has, in no instance, been charged that the
    companies referred to have, in any way, misapplied the aid
    extended to them, or given to it an improper direction. The
    products of their expenditures, even admitting them to have been
    greater than they might have been, show for themselves, in placing
    the American steam mail service, as far as it has gone, at the
    head of all others, in point of accommodation, elegance, strength,
    and swiftness. Nor is this all. The establishment of these lines
    is not to be regarded merely with reference to the immediate
    profits arising from the system, in connection with the
    transportation of the mails. Millions of money have been saved to
    American citizens, which, in the absence of these ocean steam
    lines, would have gone to fill foreign coffers. The Committee will
    refer to one fact in illustration of the truth of this
    proposition. Before the Collins line was established, the Cunard
    line was receiving £7 10_s_ sterling per ton for freights; at
    present (1852) the rate is about £4 sterling. By whom were these
    £7 10_s_ sterling paid? By the _American consumer_, in most
    instances, upon articles of _British manufacture brought to this
    country by a British line_. At present the American consumer pays
    but £4 sterling per ton; and, presuming that the American merchant
    makes his importations in the American line, this freight is paid
    to our own people and goes to swell the sum of our national
    wealth. Thus, it will be seen that, formerly, the American
    consumer paid _very nearly twice as much for the service_, and
    enriched the British capitalist; whereas, at present, he not only
    saves _one half of the former cost of freight to himself_ but, in
    paying the remaining half, benefits his fellow citizen, who in
    return aids in consuming perhaps the very merchandise which he has
    imported.

    "Under these circumstances, can any reasonable man doubt the
    propriety, even in a pecuniary point of view, of sustaining the
    present system, which, at its very commencement, has given such
    ample proofs of its usefulness? Your Committee think not, and do
    not hesitate to give it as their opinion that, _merely as a matter
    of dollars and cents_, the service in question should be liberally
    sustained by Congress, and will in the end make ample returns.

    "But your Committee regard this proposition as one, the mere money
    feature of which is of minor consequence, when brought into
    comparison with other more important considerations. The question
    is no longer whether certain individuals shall be saved from loss
    or enabled to make fortunes, but whether the _American_ shall
    succumb to the British lines, and Great Britain be again permitted
    to monopolize ocean mail steam transportation, not only between
    Europe and America, but throughout the world. We are aspiring to
    the first place among the nations of the earth, in a commercial
    point of view--a place which belongs to us as a matter of
    right--and are we to suffer ourselves to be overcome by British
    commercial capitalists under the auspices of the British crown?
    Shall it be said that, at the very moment when our steamships are
    admitted to excel those of any other people on the face of the
    globe, our enterprising citizens have been forced to relinquish
    the proud position they have attained, for the want of a few
    thousands of dollars, when the national treasury is full to
    overflowing? Let this end be attained and our great commercial
    rival will have postages and freights all her own way, while we
    shall be compelled to contribute, as heretofore, to her undisputed
    supremacy.

    "With a view to a full and fair understanding of this important
    subject, your Committee have communicated, through their Chairman,
    with the Executive Departments of the Government and the
    presidents of the various companies engaged in carrying the ocean
    mail by steam, and will now proceed to lay before the Senate the
    results of their careful inquiries. It may not be improper here
    again to note, by way of illustration, the benefits to be derived
    from ocean steam mail transportation, when in successful
    operation, as manifested in the case of the British Cunard line,
    under the auspices of the British Government. During the first six
    years of its existence, the line above named received from the
    Government no less than $2,550,000, while the Government received
    from the Company, in the form of postages, the enormous sum of
    $7,836,800, or $5,826,800 net revenue.

    "The Government has paid to the line, (the Collins,) for mail
    service, in the two years, $770,000, and has received from the
    line $513,546.80. If the receipts be deducted from the outlay, the
    balance against the Government is $256,453.20 for the whole time,
    or $128,226.60 per annum.

    "Thus it appears, that from a fair statement of the account
    current between the line and the Government, the latter is out of
    pocket, at the end of the two first years of the undertaking and
    under circumstances the most disadvantageous to the line,
    $256,453.20, or in other words, has paid $128,226.60 per annum,
    for carrying the ocean mail by steam over about six thousand miles
    of the greatest commercial thoroughfare in the world, for which,
    as yet, it has received nothing in return. But your Committee
    would ask, what has _the country_ received in return for this
    $256,453.20? They will furnish the answer. The country has
    received through the proprietors of this line, in the form of
    freights and passage money, a no less amount than $1,979,760.85,
    in cash; and, if the reduction in the prices of freight formerly
    paid to the British line be taken into account, nearly as much
    more, by saving the difference in freights and passage money, to
    say nothing of the general advantages derived by all of our
    producing interests from the existence of this American line,
    which, as your Committee believe, are incalculable. The money
    account will then stand as follows: Government debtor to
    $256,453.80; Country creditor to $1,979,760.85 _in cash_; and if
    the former be deducted from the latter, the balance in favor of
    the country will stand $1,723,307.05, _in cash alone_, leaving out
    of view the duties on increased importations caused by the
    establishment of the American line."

Speaking of the Pacific Mail Steam Company, the Report says:

    "It will be seen from the above, that the total cost of the six
    vessels which have been accepted by the officers whose duty it was
    to supervise them and decide whether they had been built in
    accordance with the requisitions of the law and terms of the
    contract, and whose decision is presumed, by your Committee, to be
    conclusive in the premises, has been $1,555,069, and that their
    aggregate tonnage is 7,365 tons, instead of 5,200 tons, the amount
    agreed for. In addition to these ships, as your Committee are
    informed, the company has in the Pacific seven steamers, with an
    aggregate tonnage of five thousand tons, not yet accepted by the
    Government. The additional steamers are, and have been, always
    kept ready to replace the mail steamers in the event of detention.
    The cost of these additional steamers has been, it is stated,
    about two thirds of that of the accepted steamers of the same
    class, say about $1,036,712, making in all an outlay for
    steamships alone, of $2,518,337.

    "It appears that the whole number of passengers, of all classes,
    transported by the Pacific Mail Ship Company, the line in
    question, previously to December 31, 1851, from Panama northward,
    has been 17,016, and from Oregon southward, 13,332. The prices of
    passage have constantly fluctuated, but, on the date above named,
    the 31st of December, 1851, the average rates were, for the first
    cabin, two hundred and twenty-two dollars; second cabin, one
    hundred and sixty dollars, and steerage, one hundred and seven
    dollars, between Panama and San Francisco. In the early stages of
    emigration the prices were increased in consequence of the
    enormous prices of labor and supplies on that comparatively
    unsettled coast, but were subsequently reduced. At the
    commencement of the undertaking, the Company incurred, of
    necessity, vast expenses in the selection of proper harbors for
    taking in provisions, water, coal, etc., and in the construction
    of _dépôts_; and even at present, coal and supplies of every
    description are sent to the Pacific _viâ_ Cape Horn, a distance of
    from thirteen thousand to fifteen thousand miles.

    "The freights from Panama northward, have been small in amount,
    and confined to the lighter descriptions of articles sent by
    express, while the mails have been very large, amounting in some
    instances to one hundred and fifty bags, each, and, together with
    coal, water, etc., occupying all of the space not required for
    passengers. From California, the freights southward, have
    consisted of treasure, amounting, it is supposed, to the value of
    seventy millions of dollars, but it is extremely difficult to
    compute the worth accurately, as a large portion of the gold,
    etc., sent has been in the possession of passengers, and the value
    does not appear in the manifests."

In noticing the Panamá Railroad and the California lines, the Report
says:

    "Nearly two millions of dollars have already, as your Committee
    are informed, been expended on this important work, by a company
    possessed of ample means, and the completion of it can not fail to
    open the way for a vast commerce, between the Atlantic and Pacific
    oceans, and at the same time cause our fellow-citizens in
    California and Oregon no longer to be regarded as exiles. This
    road being once opened, the passage of the Isthmus, now so much
    dreaded, will be effected with perfect ease and comfort in a
    couple of hours, instead of two or three days, as at present, and
    families, instead of individuals, will be enabled to seek homes in
    the fertile valleys of our possessions on the Pacific coast. The
    value of the lines of ocean steamers, of which your Committee have
    been speaking, to the commercial and other great interests of our
    country and the world at large, can not well be estimated until
    this road shall have been finished and put into full operation.
    When such shall be the case, the trade between California and
    Oregon, as well as that of China and the islands of the Pacific
    and Indian oceans and the Atlantic States and Europe, which now
    passes around Cape Horn, a distance of some fifteen thousand
    miles, will be enabled to take a direct course across the Isthmus
    of Panama, the passage of which will require but two or three
    hours. The United States mail, from San Francisco to New York, has
    already been transported within the space of twenty-five days and
    eighteen hours, a day less than the time claimed to have been
    taken by any other route, at a period, too, when there were but
    seven or eight miles of the road in operation. On a late occasion,
    five hundred government troops were sent to California by this
    route, and were placed at the point of their destination in a
    little more than thirty-five days, without any serious desertion
    or accident of any kind. A similar operation by the way of Cape
    Horn would have occupied six months at least. The store-ship
    Lexington, which sailed from New-York for San Francisco, during
    the last year, arrived at the latter place on the last day of
    February, 1852, after a passage of _seven months and one day_. In
    a country the military establishment of which is so small as that
    of the United States, facilities of concentrating troops at points
    distant from each other, in a short time, are of incalculable
    value, and may be said to add manifold to the efficiency of the
    military force.

    "From what has been already said, it will be seen that the Pacific
    Mail Steamship Company, independently of the associate line on
    this side of the Isthmus, and without taking into view the cost of
    the railroad, has expended in the construction of mail steamers
    alone $2,518,337; and if to this be added $2,606,440.45, the
    expense incurred for a similar purpose by the Company on the
    Atlantic side of the Isthmus, the entire cost of steamships, to
    the two companies engaged in the transportation of the California
    and Oregon mails, has been $5,124,777.

    "It is no more than sheer justice that your Committee should state
    that the California lines, east as well as west of the Isthmus of
    Panama, have proved themselves worthy in all respects of the
    confidence of the country. In no single instance has an accident
    occurred involving loss of life or serious injury in any way to
    the travelling public. Such is the strength of the vessels
    employed, that on two several occasion when, owing to dense fogs
    and under-currents, cooperating with the defectiveness of the
    charts of the Pacific coast, one of the ships of the Aspinwall
    line struck, at one time, upon a soft bottom, and, at another,
    upon a hard sandy bar, she was steamed off, after thumping,
    without the slightest injury whatever. Facts such as these are the
    more important, inasmuch as several steamers have lately been lost
    on the same coast with a great sacrifice of human life, evidently
    owing to a want of the strength necessary to resist, effectually,
    the force of the winds and waves. In the opinion of your
    Committee, the security afforded to travellers by the strong
    fastenings and heavy timbers of the ocean mail steamers, built as
    they are, under the supervision of naval officers, who are
    selected on account of their thorough acquaintance with and
    experience in such matters, and made capable of sustaining heavy
    armaments, is a matter of the greatest moment. Experience has
    shown that, in the race after gain, our countrymen are, perhaps,
    more regardless of risk to human life than the people of any other
    country in the world. Scarcely a day passes without fresh
    evidences of the truth of this proposition. The river, as well as
    the sea-going steamers, are generally built with reference to
    speed and lightness, coupled with smallness of draft of water, and
    hence, in case of touching the ground, or of violent storms, it is
    found that if one portion of the frame gives way, the breaking up
    of the entire structure follows with a rapidity that is but too
    well calculated to show the slight manner in which these vessels
    are constructed. Your Committee think that the additional
    expenditure of a few hundreds of thousands of dollars is a matter
    not worthy of consideration, when brought into comparison with the
    loss of life, and would rather see even millions devoted to the
    construction of _strong steamers_, than witness the sudden and
    heart-rending ruptures of the dearest ties of our nature, caused
    by the accidents that so frequently occur. Such is their feeling
    of stern disapprobation of the reckless indifference respecting
    the safety of passengers, daily manifested by some of the
    proprietors and officers of steam lines, that they are resolved,
    so far at least as they are concerned, not in any way to
    countenance, directly or indirectly, such a course of proceeding.
    In the extension of the system of ocean mail transportation which
    they propose to recommend, care will be taken, that the steamers
    which carry the Government mails shall be regarded as national
    ships, to a certain extent, and as such, under the charge of the
    law-making power, and be so built as to secure safety to
    travellers; and that, in all contracts, this consideration shall
    be regarded as one of paramount importance."

Regarding a few sailing-ship owners in New-York and Boston, who had
memorialized Congress against the Collins and other lines, the Report
says:

    "The memorialists are loud in their complaints respecting the
    alleged improper interference of the Government with matters that
    should be left, as they say, entirely to individual enterprise,
    which in their opinion becomes paralyzed under the effects of
    Government patronage bestowed upon some to the exclusion of
    others. If the authors of this memorial will take a fair and
    dispassionate view of the matter, they will, as your Committee
    think, be convinced that they are wrong in their supposition, and
    that the Government has not gratuitously meddled in concerns with
    which it should have nothing to do. The merchants and ship-owners
    referred to seem to forget, in the first place, that the system of
    ocean steam mail navigation is intended to secure adequate
    protection for our commerce from foreign aggression in the event
    of war; and in the second, that it was instituted at a moment when
    the fine packet ships, to which the memorialists refer with such
    becoming pride, had in fact been driven from the ocean to a
    certain extent by the overwhelming power of a British mail steam
    line, sustained by the British Government, which had monopolized
    ocean mail and passenger steam transportation, as well as the
    freights of lighter and more perishable descriptions of
    merchandise. If, as these gentlemen have stated, the sailing ships
    have been made to succumb, it has been under the force of an
    agency more certain and not less powerful than the one named by
    them--wielded by foreign capitalists and directed by a foreign
    government claiming for itself the supremacy of the ocean. The
    Cunard line of ocean steamers had been in possession of a monopoly
    of freights, letter postage, and passage money for years, in
    despite of the attempts of the memorialists to resist,
    successfully, before the Government of the United States, seeing
    that American interests were made tributary to foreign capital,
    aided by a foreign government, adopted the wise course of
    correcting the evil by kindred means, and placing, at least, to a
    certain extent, American interests under the auspices of American
    intelligence and enterprise. What would have been the condition of
    the New-York lines and other ships had not the Government of the
    United States thought proper to extend its aid to the
    establishment of the Collins line? Would it have been any better
    than at present? or rather would it not have been infinitely
    worse? Had the Cunard line continued to prosper, as it must have
    done in the natural course of things, would it not in all
    probability have increased its number of ships until it would have
    monopolized every description of ocean transportation? Would not
    the trade with the United States have been entirely carried on in
    British steamers, navigated at small expense, and therefore able
    to do the carrying trade at low prices? Again, what would have
    been the condition of the Southern coasting business, so far as
    mails, passengers, and light freights, at least, are concerned,
    had the fourteen British steamers then employed been permitted to
    operate, unchecked by the American line of mail steamers, between
    New-York and Chagres? Would it not have been entirely at the mercy
    of the commissioned agents of the British crown, who so well know
    how to avail themselves of opportunities to promote their own
    interests by advancing those of their government? To carry the
    inquiry further, what would have been the condition of our
    possessions on the Pacific coast, visited as they would have been
    by British steamers--for where is the spot on the inhabited or
    inhabitable globe to which they do not bear the union jack of old
    England--had not the Aspinwall line been established? Such is the
    universal pervasion of the money power in British hands, that at
    present, as is well known, the Cunard line has extended a branch
    to Havre, to transport goods to England almost free of cost, with
    a view to appropriate to itself the freights from that quarter,
    and thus not only crush the American line of steamers to Havre,
    but be enabled to underbid the Collins line, and, if possible,
    again monopolize the trade with the United States over that route.
    Would all this have raised the prices of freights in American
    sailing vessels, and given an advantage to the memorialists in
    question, who had at one time monopolized to themselves the
    freights, postage, and passage money in sailing ships? or would
    not, on the contrary, such a state of things have operated so to
    give a British tendency to trade everywhere, and to furnish
    freights to British ships, at prices at which the American ship
    owners could not afford to navigate their vessels?

    "What, the Committee would ask, has the Government of the United
    States done in the premises? Having under its charge the control
    and direction of the United States mails upon land and sea, it has
    thought proper to say that it would pay for the transportation of
    the mails in _American steamers_, which can, if necessary, be
    converted, at a small expense, into war steamers, and adopted, if
    need be, into the navy proper, at an appraised value, and thereby
    become efficient protectors of American commerce in the event of a
    war. This is the head and front of the Government's offending, and
    has, forsooth, aroused the ire of the commercial monopolists of
    New-York, Boston, and elsewhere, because they can not any longer
    enjoy the gains which, for more than a quarter of a century, they
    had wrested from the mass of consumers throughout the land, north,
    south, east, and west. Your Committee must say that, in their
    opinion, such complaints come with a bad grace from such quarters,
    and it is to be feared that victorious steam will ere long,
    without the aid of the Federal Government, supersede the sailing
    ships of the memorialists, through the instrumentality of the
    discoveries daily in progress, whereby the navigation of vessels
    propelled by that power will be made a matter of comparatively
    small cost."

Speaking of steam communication with Pará and Rio de Janeiro, the
Report further says:

    "When the almost unbounded capacity for trade of the basins of the
    La Plata and Amazon is taken into view, embracing as it does a
    great variety of useful products which may be advantageously
    exchanged for the manufactures and agricultural productions of our
    own country, the mind is at a loss what limit to assign to the
    trade to which civilization and the extension of commercial
    facilities must eventually give rise. Nor are the advantages of
    this great prospective commerce to be confined to the immediate
    intercourse between this country and the regions to which we
    refer. While the prevalence of certain winds, and the form of the
    coast of South-America, are favorable to a direct trade with the
    continent of North-America, they are such as to compel the
    commerce with Europe to pass along our shores, and thus constitute
    our Atlantic seaports so many stopping places at which the ships
    of the old world may touch in their voyages to and fro. Heretofore
    the policy of the governments which occupy the regions watered by
    the La Plata and the Amazon, and their respective tributaries, has
    been so exclusive in its character as to trammel, if not entirely
    prevent, their intercourse with distant nations. The different
    sovereignties which have sprung into existence since South-America
    became independent of European control, have been so jealous of
    each other that they have appeared to try which should be most
    succesful in expelling foreign commerce, lest it might bring to
    some one of them benefits which others did not and could not
    possess. A wiser policy, however, appears to be about to prevail
    since the fall of Rosas, and there is good reason to believe that,
    hereafter, the commerce of those communities with the rest of the
    world, will be placed upon a more liberal foundation. Should such
    be the case, Rio de Janeiro can not fail to become the great
    centre of a largely increased trade in the southern hemisphere."

    "Should it be preferred to limit the extent of the American line
    to Para, at the mouth of the Amazon, the largest river in the
    world, there is at present a Brazilian line between that point and
    Rio de Janeiro, which, with the lines between Rio and the mouth of
    the La Plata, will render the connection complete.

    "Of the Amazon, it is proper to state that it is navigable by the
    largest vessels, and presents a line of shore of not less than
    six thousand miles, abounding in every description of product,
    with climates of all temperatures and soils adapted to all sorts
    of vegetable growth. As the regions through which this vast river
    passes are peopled by communities to which manufacturing is
    unknown, it will at once be seen what an immense market will be
    opened to American industry in the various departments of the
    useful arts. The proposed connection would, together with the
    intercourse by steam, which will inevitably be established on the
    Amazon, draw to that river the trade of the interior, which at
    present passes over the Andes on the backs of sheep and mules to
    the Pacific ocean, and constitutes a large portion of the
    commodities that are transported around Cape Horn. With a view to
    this river navigation, Brazil has already entered into a boundary
    treaty with Peru, by which she has engaged to establish steamboat
    navigation on the Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon, and is
    preparing to put seven steamers upon the river, where none have
    heretofore been.

    "The experience of the world has shown that nations do not become
    commercial or manufacturing, so long as the products of the soil
    are sufficiently abundant to yield them wealth; and, hence, it may
    be reasonably inferred that the carrying trade to and from
    South-America will, if proper measures be taken, fall into the
    hands of American ship-owners. By way of ascertaining what the
    extent of this trade will be, if reference be had to the interior
    or back country as the standard of the commercial resources
    furnished by rivers, it will be found that the total area drained
    by the rivers of the world is as follows:

                                               _Sq. Miles._
    Europe, emptying into the Atlantic,            532,940
    Africa, emptying into the Mediterranean,       198,630
                                                ----------
        Total Old World,                         1,731,570
                                                ==========
    Asia, emptying into the Pacific,             1,767,280
    Asia, emptying into the Indian ocean,        1,661,760
                                                ----------
        Total Asiatic,                           3,429,040
                                                ==========
    North-America, including St. Lawrence and
    Mississippi emptying into the Atlantic,      1,476,800
                                                ==========
    South-America, emptying into the Atlantic--
      Amazon and its confluents,                 2,048,480
      La Plata and all others,                   1,329,490
                                                ----------
        Total South-American                     3,377,970
                                                ==========
        Total American to the Atlantic,          4,854,770
                                                ==========

    "From the above statement it will be seen that the proposed line
    of steam communication will bring within thirty days of each
    other, the commercial outlets of navigable streams which drain a
    back country greater in extent than that which is drained by all
    of the navigable streams which empty themselves into the Atlantic,
    the Pacific, and the Indian oceans, from those portions of Europe,
    Asia, and Africa, which are accessible to American commerce.
    Settlement and cultivation will, in the course of time, make these
    American river basins as rich in products as those of the old
    world.

    "The question next arises, who are to be the carriers of the trade
    which is hereafter to spring out of these American river basins,
    the English or the Americans? If Great Britain be suffered to
    monopolize commerce as she has heretofore done by her steam
    navigation, her people will enjoy this great boon; but if, on the
    contrary, the United States take advantage of circumstances as
    they should, the prize will be won by Americans."

    "Your Committee would remark, in concluding this Report, that,
    regarding as they do the existence and rapid extension of the
    system of ocean mail steam navigation, as absolutely essential to
    the dignity and permanent prosperity of the country, and as the
    only means, consistent with the genius and policy of our free
    institutions, of acquiring a maritime strength, which, by keeping
    pace with the improvements of the age, shall place us upon an
    equal footing with other civilized countries of the world, without
    the necessity of an overgrown and expensive naval establishment
    proper, in time of peace, they would feel themselves derelict in
    the performance of their duties, did they not recommend the
    measure, with the earnestness which its importance demands.

    "Circumstances indicate, with a clearness not to be misunderstood,
    that in any future struggle for superiority on the ocean, the
    contest will be decided by the power of steam. With a view to this
    result, England has applied herself with even more than her wonted
    energy to the construction of a regular steam navy which shall be
    superior to all others. The number of ships which Great Britain
    has of this kind, is at present two hundred and seventy-one, and
    there are no less than nine royal war steamers in progress of
    construction, to say nothing of the mail and other steamers which
    are being built. The course thus pursued by the great commercial
    rival of the United States, renders a corresponding energy and
    activity on our part absolutely necessary, in a national point of
    view; a steam navy must be provided for future emergencies in the
    way proposed by the Committee, or war steamers must be built at an
    enormous outlay of public money and kept ready in the navy yards,
    or in commission, at an expense which is appalling to every lover
    of judicious economy, or the stripes and stars of our country,
    which have heretofore floated so triumphantly on every sea, must
    grow dim, not only before the 'meteor flag of England,' but the
    standards of the secondary powers of Europe. If members of
    Congress are prepared to adopt either of these latter two
    alternatives, let them say so, and let a system which promises,
    under an honest and faithful discharge of duty on the part of the
    executive branch of the Government, to realize the most sanguine
    expectations of its friends, be at once abandoned. Let Great
    Britain be again the guardian of our commercial interests and the
    beneficiary of American trade. Let the Liverpool, Bremen, Havre,
    California, and other lines, which have furnished twenty-four as
    noble sea steamers as ever floated, be abandoned to their fate,
    and let the Cunard line and other British steam mail lines and
    royal steamers supply their places on the Atlantic and Pacific
    oceans, and our Southern seas.

    "Your Committee would again repeat that the question to be
    considered is not one of mere dollars and cents, or whether
    certain individuals are to be sustained, or not, but one of
    infinitely greater consequence--whether this proud republic shall
    now and hereafter exist as a power competent to maintain her
    rights upon the ocean. The present condition of political affairs
    in Europe is such as, in the opinion of many, to threaten a
    general war among the nations of that quarter of the globe, and
    the United States should stand ready, and able too, to protect the
    rights of her citizens upon the ocean, in such an event. Were such
    a crisis to take place to-morrow, or the next year, or within the
    next five years, is the country prepared for it? The steam navy
    proper amounts to sixteen steamers of all classes, which, together
    with the twenty-four ocean mail steamers in the employ of the Post
    Office Department, would give us a steam naval force not exceeding
    forty in all. Is this the position we should occupy, while Great
    Britain has at command upwards of three hundred war and mail
    steamers? France has, it is believed, upwards of a hundred, and
    the secondary powers of Europe have naval steam armaments in
    proportion, most of them exceeding our own. This question will be
    decided by the continuation or rejection of the system under
    consideration, which, with all the difficulties attendant upon new
    enterprises and under the most embarrassing circumstances, has
    gone very far to sustain itself, and promises, at no distant
    period, to become a source of large revenue to the Government, and
    incalculable commercial advantages, pecuniarily and otherwise, to
    the country."

The following is copied from the Report made by Mr. Rusk in 1850, and
published in Special Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1852.
Speaking of the services of the mail steamers in our system of
defenses, the Report says:

    "The truth is, that, in the opinion of your Committee, the temper
    of the times requires that we shall keep pace with the rapid
    improvements of other nations in their commercial and military
    marine, and that the only choice is, whether it is to be done by
    constructing vessels for the packet service, at a boundless
    expense to the Government, or by aiding private enterprise, and
    thus not only eventually avoiding expense, but adding largely to
    the revenues of the country. It will be seen from the above
    extract from Mr. King's speech, that, in the course of five years,
    the balance in favor of the Government from the Cunard line alone
    was $5,286,000. The New-York and Liverpool and Bremen lines will
    come in for a large, if not by far the greater, share of the
    postage and freightage heretofore enjoyed by the Cunard line; and
    the line to Chagres, for the advantages that have, up to the time
    of its partial commencement, been in the exclusive possession of
    the British packet establishment in that direction. Nor are the
    freightage and postage moneys the only sources of profit. In
    proportion to the increase of these facilities will be the
    extension of trade, and consequently the Government will receive
    the duties payable upon all foreign merchandise brought into the
    country. Besides, persons _in transitu_ will leave much money in
    our cities and along their routes, to say nothing of the porterage
    and costs of transportation of goods. To benefit our people is to
    benefit our Government; as the more we enrich the former, the more
    able are they to contribute to the support of the latter.

    "To construct ships and keep them in our navy-yards, subject to
    the injuries of time and casualties, does not consist with the
    notions of the American people, on the score of economy; nor is it
    in accordance with received opinions in regard to the propriety of
    placing excessive patronage in the hands of the General
    Government. At the same time, it is in perfect unison with the
    spirit of our free institutions that the arts of peace shall be
    made tributary to the purposes of defense, and the same energies
    which extend the commerce and manufactures of our country shall,
    in the event of necessity, be capable of being made use of for our
    protection. While the crowned heads of the Old World keep in
    constant pay vast armies and navies sustained by the heart's blood
    of the oppressed people, for the protection and preservation of
    their unhallowed power, it is the proud boast of our country that
    our soldiers are our citizens, and the sailors, who, in time of
    peace, spread the canvas of our commercial marine throughout the
    world, are the men who, in time of war, have heretofore directed,
    and will continue to direct, our cannon against our foes."

    "The simple fact that the ships employed in it [the mail service]
    _may hereafter, if the Government thinks proper_, be purchased and
    commissioned as regular war steamers, to be officered and manned
    as ships of war, should not and can not prevent the construction
    of steam or sailing vessels for ordinary naval purposes. Your
    Committee are of opinion that, so far from being an impediment to
    the proper increase of the Navy, the prosperity of the ocean steam
    packet service must operate in favor of an enlargement of the
    naval force, the necessity for which is increased in proportion to
    the extension of our commercial relations with foreign countries.
    The routes upon which lines of steam packets can be sustained and
    made profitable to the owners are comparatively few, when we take
    into view the infinitely diversified ramifications of trade. Great
    Britain, with her vast colonial and general commerce, had, in
    1848, but fifteen lines in which national or contract vessels were
    employed, including the home stations, as they are called, or
    points of connection between the British islands. Nor has the
    ocean steam packet system hindered, in the slightest degree, her
    progress in the construction of steam or sailing vessels for the
    naval service. In speaking of steam vessels available for naval
    service, Captain W. H. Hall, of the British Navy, in the course of
    his examination before the special Committee of the House of
    Commons, hereinbefore referred to, says: 'I some time ago sent to
    the Admiralty a plan for making the whole of the merchant steamers
    available in case of need; and if there were an Act of Parliament
    that these ships should be strengthened forward and aft to carry
    guns, it might be then done with a very trifling expense; that
    would give this country more power than any other country in the
    world. We have nearly one thousand steam vessels, half of which,
    at least, might be made available in case Government required
    their services. Our mercantile steamers are some of the finest in
    the world, and five hundred of them might be turned to account.
    They should all be numbered and classed, so that Government would
    merely have to ask for the number of vessels they wanted, when
    they might go to Woolwich, or other places, and put the guns on
    board, and then they would be ready for service.'

    "Here is the opinion of a _captain in the British Navy_ with
    reference to the availability of steam vessels for national
    defense; and what a lesson does it teach to us in America, where
    steam navigation is found penetrating every portion of the Union,
    and spreading itself on our maritime and lake frontier in every
    direction! Here is found no expression of apprehension lest the
    mercantile steamers might interfere with the growth or efficiency
    of the Navy to which the witness belonged. This opinion, moreover,
    is expressed in a country where, according to the testimony before
    the Committee already named, there were, in 1848, 174 _war
    steamers, with an aggregate horse-power of_ 44,480 _horses_; and
    where Mr. Alexander Gordon states, in a letter addressed to the
    same Committee, the Steam Navy had then cost the country
    £6,000,000 sterling, or $30,000,000, '_exclusive of all
    reïnstatements and expenses during commission_;' the same
    gentleman also alleging that the annual repairs amounted
    to                                              £108,000
    Annual cost for coals,                           110,000
    Depreciation at a moderate allowance,            600,000
                                                   ---------
        Making the total amount of annual cost,     £818,000
        Or                                        $4,094,000
                                                 ===========

    "The regular employment of the best engineers on board of contract
    vessels, and the great experience they would acquire from being
    constantly on active duty, would furnish to the naval service, in
    the event of a war, a corps that would be invaluable. In speaking
    of the superiority of the engineers on board of contract vessels
    in the employ of the British Government over those on board of the
    Queen's ships, a witness before the select Committee of the House
    of Commons says: 'Last year there was a universal complaint of the
    inferiority of the engineers and all persons connected with steam
    employed in her Majesty's service. It was explained, and very
    easily explained, by the superior advantages in the merchant
    service, and particularly the high wages paid. In all contract
    steam packets, they have men on board the vessels who are
    competent to superintend any alterations or repairs in the
    machinery which may be required.'"

Secretary Graham said on this subject to the Senate Committee, 20
March, 1853:

    "While their discussions [mail steamers] justify the conclusion
    that vessels of this description can not be relied on to supersede
    those modelled and built only for purposes of war, it is
    respectfully suggested that a limited number of them, employed in
    time of peace in the transportation of the mails, would be found a
    most useful resource of the Government on the breaking out of war.

    "If conforming to the standards required by these contracts, their
    readiness to be used at the shortest notice, their capacity as
    transports for troops and munitions of war, and their great
    celerity of motion, enabling them to overhaul merchantmen, and at
    the same time escape cruisers, would render them terrible as
    guerrillas of the ocean, if fitted with such armaments as could be
    readily put upon them in their present condition."

Post Master General Collamer also said on this subject, June 27, 1850:

    "There are three modes which have been mentioned of transporting
    the mail. The first is by naval steamships, conducted by the Navy,
    as a national service. This will occasion so enormous an expense
    that it is not probable the project will be entertained.

    "The next mode suggested is the sending the mails, from time to
    time, by the fastest steamers which are first going. This has one
    advantage: it gives occasional aid to the enterprising; but there
    are many and great objections to it:

    "1st. It is entirely inconsistent with fixed periods of departure
    and arrival.

    "2d. It makes all connections on or with the route uncertain.

    "3d. A price must be fixed, to prevent undue exactions of the
    Government; and yet no one would be under obligation to take the
    mail at the price, so that it would be uncertain of going at all.

    "4th. It would be impracticable to send agents with all those
    mails, to take care of them and make distributions, except at an
    enormous cost.

    "5th. There would be constant difficulty with slow and unsafe
    boats.

    "6th. The great object of obtaining steamships, so constructed,
    under the inspection of the Navy Department, as to be suitable for
    war vessels, and subject to exclusive appropriation and use as
    such, would be sacrificed.

    "The third project is the making of contracts, for a stated term
    of years, _upon proposals advertised for in the ordinary method
    adopted for mail-coach service_. This would not answer for ocean
    steam service, unless provision were made for security, in the
    strength, capacity, and adaptation of the vessels, with their
    machinery, etc."

Regarding our steam service in the Gulf, and in reviewing the contract
made by the United States Mail Steamship Company, the Hon. Edwin
Croswell, and associates, in a letter to the Chairman of the Senate
Postal Committee, presented the following important reflections:

    "As early as the year 1835, the attention of the British
    Government was directed to the plan of changing the mode of
    conveying the mails by the ships of the East-India Company and the
    Government, and adopting the contract system with individuals and
    companies, with a view to combining the essential properties of a
    naval and commercial steam marine.

    "In consequence of the Report of the Commissioners appointed by
    Parliament to inquire into the management of the English Post
    Office Department in 1836, the mail steam packet service was
    transferred to the Admiralty. The Report stated the conviction of
    the Commissioners of Inquiry that 'the advantages which a System
    of contract must generally secure to the public over one of the
    establishment, however well conducted, were such that they wish
    they could have felt justified in recommending that it should be
    universally and immediately adopted.'

    "The Secretary of the Admiralty stated that, 'in acting upon this
    opinion, the Admiralty entered into contracts for conveying the
    mails by steam vessels to and from Spain and Portugal, and
    subsequently between Alexandria and England, with the Peninsular
    and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Contracts were also entered
    into for the conveyance of the mails between England and
    North-America, and England and the West-Indies and Mexico.' That
    'the execution of all these contracts, with the exception of the
    latter, had given general satisfaction. But for this exception,
    the extent and complication of the plan at its commencement
    afforded some apology.' That 'the spirit in which the steam
    contractors had generally executed their contracts merited notice,
    as they had in almost every instance exceeded the horse-power
    stipulated in their agreements, and thus insured an accuracy in
    the delivery of mails which experience has shown, if the letter of
    the contract had been adhered to by them, would not have been the
    case.' And that 'the contract system had been generally
    satisfactory to the Admiralty and the public, and had tended
    largely to increase the steam tonnage of this country, (England,)
    to encourage private enterprise in scientific discovery, and the
    regulation and economical management of steam.'

    "Such, certainly, were among the valuable results of the system;
    but these were not the only considerations that led to its
    adoption. The English Government, with the forecast for which that
    far-reaching power is distinguished, saw the advantages which an
    extended steam marine would give to its commerce over that of
    every other nation in the world. It saw also the value of
    connecting this great branch of the national service with the
    commercial and practical skill of the country. It soon formed and
    matured its plan, embracing within its scope nearly the entire
    commercial world. Steam lines, as stated in the preceding extract
    from the Admiralty Report, were established, radiating from
    England to all the prominent European ports, to the Mediterranean,
    to Egypt, the East-Indies and China, the West-India Islands,
    South-America and Mexico, the ports in the Gulf of Mexico and
    Havana, the United States and the English colonial possessions in
    North-America, and to the islands and ports in the Pacific ocean.
    This vast chain of intercourse was not only completely
    established, but it became a matter of national policy to enlarge,
    strengthen, and maintain it. By it much of the commerce of the
    world by steam, and nearly all the letter-carrying by steam
    between this continent and the European ports, and even the
    distant parts of our own territory, were engrossed by British
    ships."

    "Important national considerations, aside from the design to
    engross for British bottoms and British capital the trade and
    intercourse of the commercial world, and especially with the
    American continent and islands, entered into the Government plan.
    It was ascertained to be a far less expensive mode of maintaining
    a naval steam force adapted to the purposes of Government, and to
    any emergency that might require these ships for other than mail
    purposes, than to build, equip, and keep in service national
    steamships of war. The experiment has proved its adequacy to the
    intended object; and it continues not only to receive the approval
    of the Admiralty and Government of England, but to be continually
    undergoing enlargement and expansion."

    "The West-India mail steam line was proposed to the British
    Government in April, 1839, by sundry merchants of London. A
    charter was granted to the contractors in that year, under the
    title of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. It embraced the
    following routes:

    "1. _Outward Atlantic Route._--From Southampton to Madeira,
    Barbados and Grenada--steamer, every 15 days.

    "2. _Trinidad Route._--From Grenada to Trinidad and
    Barbados--steamer, every 15 days.

    "3. _Demarara Route._--From Grenada to Courland Bay,
    (Tobago)--steamer, every 15 days.

    "4. _Northern Islands Route._--From Grenada to St. Vincent, St.
    Lucia, Martinique, Dominique, Guadalupe, Antigua, Montserrat,
    Nevis, St. Kitt's, Tortola, St. Thomas, and St. John's, (Porto
    Rico)--steamer, every 15 days.

    "5. _Jamaica and Mexican Route._--From Grenada to Jacmel, (Hayti,)
    Kingston, Havana, Vera Cruz, and Tampico--steamer, every 30 days.

    "6. _Jamaica and St. Iago de Cuba Route._--From Grenada to Jacmel,
    Kingston, St. Iago de Cuba, St. Juan's, (Porto Rico,) and St.
    Thomas--steamer, every 30 days.

    "7. _Bermuda, Havana, and Jamaica Route._--From St. Thomas to
    Bermuda, Nassau, Havana, Kingston, Jacmel, St. Juan's, and St.
    Thomas--steamer, every 30 days.

    "8. _Homeward Fayal Route._--From St. Thomas to
    Southampton--steamer, every 30 days.

    "9. _Laguayra Route._--From Grenada to Laguayra, Porto Cabello,
    and St. Thomas--steamer, every 30 days.

    "10. _Panama and St. Iago de Cuba Route._--From Kingston (Jamaica)
    to Santa Martha, Carthagena, Chagres, and St. Juan de
    Nicaragua--steamer, every 30 days.

    "11. _Honduras Route._--From Havana to Balize, (Honduras)--sailing
    schooner, every 30 days."

    "The contract system, combining the efficient features of an
    extended commercial and Government steam marine, was thus adopted
    after full investigation on the subject by the Board of Admiralty,
    the Treasury, and the different Government Departments, including
    the Post Master General. The merits and benefits of this system
    have been tested by England. That Government was the first to
    engage in it, and, as we have already stated, fully approve, and
    are constantly extending it. The Committee of Inquiry of
    Parliament, as we have already quoted, say truly that it 'had
    tended largely to increase the steam tonnage of that country, to
    encourage private enterprise in scientific discovery, and the
    regulation and economical management of steam.' After an
    examination of it in the most scientific and practical manner,
    that Government regards it as altogether more economical for the
    nation, and for the general public interests, than the exclusive
    employment of Government vessels. The ships built by the contract
    companies have far exceeded in speed and other essential qualities
    the ships constructed by Government. A far greater amount of
    service was obtained, at a cost much less than would be incurred
    by Government in building, equipping, manning, and running
    national vessels for even a partial performance of the same
    service. Individual and associated skill, enterprise, and capital
    were called into requisition, and, aided by Government means,
    contributed to enlarge, extend, and fortify the naval and
    commercial power of England.

    "The practical operation of this great system of steam lines was
    to place within the reach of English vessels, of a semi-national
    character, and ready to be converted into ships of war, our entire
    Southern coast and harbors, besides yielding to them the foreign
    trade, commerce, and letter-carrying, by steam, to and from all
    parts of our country. To meet and counteract this state of things,
    became the object and duty of the American Congress and
    Government. It was the more obvious at that time particularly,
    engaged as we were in a war with Mexico, and our only means of
    coast defense of any force being a single steamer, and she not
    capable of entering the Southern harbors, while English steam
    fleets literally filled and occupied our waters. To counteract, so
    far as was demanded by the requirements of our own commerce, and
    the defense of our coast, a monopoly so formidable, which had
    grown up under the direct and liberal coöperation of the English
    Government, and the supposed superiority of English machinery,
    required the aid of Congress; for it was evident that unaided
    American enterprise and capital could not cope with it.
    Accordingly, at the close of the session of 1847, the Congress of
    the United States passed an act authorizing the Secretary of the
    Navy to contract with sundry parties and different steam lines for
    the construction of ocean steamships, as part of the plan of a
    combined naval and commercial steam marine, in connection with the
    mail service."

After enumerating the various lines established by Congress, he
further says:

    "These (with the previously authorized line from New-York to
    Bremen) were the various parts of a complete and important plan
    adapted to the growing wants of the public service, and for
    providing an adequate steam marine, whenever the exigencies of
    the country might require it, and for facilitating intercourse and
    the transmission of the mails between remote parts of our own
    country and other nations. For the due performance of it in all
    its ramifications, it required a large aggregate of capital,
    skill, and intelligent enterprise. After a lapse of nearly three
    years, portions of the undertaking have gone into efficient
    operation; and already the fruits of it--its utility, and its
    advantages and benefits to the American government and
    people--have been demonstrated. When the various parts shall be
    completed, and the plan in all its features shall be in full
    operation, its immediate practical results, aside from its
    prospective effectiveness in furnishing a class of war steamers
    for any ultimate purpose of the American Government, will be found
    fully to justify the action of Congress and the participation and
    favor of the Government, and confirm the public confidence in its
    great utility and value."

    "When it came to the knowledge of the English government that
    Congress had entered into contracts establishing steam lines to
    Chagres, Havana, and New-Orleans, its first movement to counteract
    or discourage the proposed American line in that direction was to
    run branches of the Royal West-India mail line from Bermuda to
    New-York, and from Jamaica to New-Orleans and Mobile. Now that the
    American line to Chagres has gone into full operation, and the
    news from the Pacific comes by this line to New-York, and thence
    to Liverpool, some fifteen days sooner than the same news brought
    by the British line,[J] the English government has revised,
    enlarged, and extended its West-India line. It has entered into a
    new contract with the Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company, a material
    feature of which is to run a mail line direct from Southampton to
    St. Thomas, and thence to Chagres and back, twice a month, with
    steamers of larger capacity and power, and with a proposed speed
    of from twelve to fourteen miles per hour. For this line, five or
    six new steamships are, under the contract, to be built, while the
    old vessels are to form branches from this main line or trunk to
    other of the routes of this great and extended plan of steam
    intercourse and letter-carrying; at the same time that government
    will withdraw its branches to the Balize, Mobile, and New-York,
    extend its line to Rio de Janeiro, and enlarge its line in the
    Pacific, from Panama to Valparaiso, converting it from a monthly
    to a semi-monthly route. These movements show not only the
    immediate results of American enterprise in ocean steamships, and
    the important consequences, aside from any purposes of coast and
    harbor defense, to which it has already led, but the strong public
    reasons on the part of our Government to foster, continue, and
    encourage it. It has already counteracted the best efforts of the
    large and long-established English steam lines, and transferred
    the commerce and letter-carrying so long exclusively enjoyed by
    them to American ships. If promoted and favored by the Congress of
    the United States, it will still meet and counteract the new
    efforts of the English Government to recover the ground which
    American skill, enterprise, and capital, aided by the Government,
    have won from them.

    [J] "By the contract of 1846 with the West-India Royal Mail
    Steam-Packet Company, the voyage from Chagres to Southampton is
    performed in 33 days. By the United States Mail Steamship Company
    the voyage from Chagres to New-York, and thence to Liverpool, is
    performed in 22 days.

    "In relation to the comparative cost to the two governments by
    which these lines of ocean steamers, in connection with the naval
    and mail service, are maintained, it will be seen that the British
    Government pays as much for its single West-India and Chagres line
    as the American Government pays for all its lines--Liverpool and
    New-York, New-York and Bremen, New-York and Havre, New-York,
    Havana, New-Orleans, and Chagres, and Panama and San Francisco.
    The entire annual payments by the British Government amount [This
    was in 1850.--T.R.] to $3,180,000. Those by the American
    Government, when all its lines shall be in full service, will be
    $1,215,000. The British-West India Mail Steam-Packet Company are
    paid $3.08 per mile for mail service: the United States Mail
    Steamship Company, $1.88 per mile."

The Committee presented some few queries to Commodore M.C. Perry on
the capabilities of the postal steamers for war purposes, to which he
replies thus:

    "I now proceed to reply to the first division of the inquiry, as
    follows:

    "Question first: 'Whether the steamships employed in the
    transportation of the United States mail, under contract with the
    Navy Department, or any other steamships employed in the
    transportation of our foreign mails, are, in all respects,
    suitable for immediate conversion into steamers for war purposes,
    capable of carrying the armament or battery appropriate to the
    class specified in the contract?'

    "In answer to the foregoing (first) question, I am of opinion that
    they are _not_ 'in all respects suitable.'

    "Question second: 'And if not suitable for such immediate
    conversion, whether they could be altered so as to make them
    efficient war steamers?'

    "Answer: The following named Atlantic steamers maybe converted, by
    slight alteration, into war steamers of the first class:

    "_Of Collins's line._ The Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Baltic.

    "_Of Law's line._ The Ohio, Georgia, and Illinois.

    "_Of Mortimer Livingston's line._ The Humboldt and Franklin.

    "_Pacific steamers--of Aspinwall's line._ First class, the Golden
    Gate. Second class, the Panama, Oregon, California, and Columbia.

    "The foregoing vessels of the respective contracts are variously
    constructed as to materials, fastening, strength, and model.

    "Question third: 'And if so, what alterations would be necessary
    to be made, and at what expense, to make them war steamers of the
    first class:'

    "Answer: If these vessels had been originally constructed
    comformably to the _spirit_ (though it was not called for by the
    letter) of the contracts, as they should have been, and all
    English mail steamers now are, _in anticipation of their possible
    conversion, into war vessels_, the cost of converting them would
    be much less.

    "Most of them were completed before I was ordered to their
    supervision; but I lost no time, after entering upon the duty, in
    calling the attention of the contractors to this important
    consideration, an observance of which would not have added more
    than one per cent upon the cost of construction.

    "In altering these vessels so as to make them available for war
    purposes, the most simple, expeditious, and economical plan would
    be to razee them, or cut off their upper decks and cabins forward
    and abaft the wheel-houses; not by tearing them to pieces and
    defacing the costly ornamental work, which, though of no value to
    the Government, still need not be destroyed.

    "The razeeing should be effected by sawing the top timbers, and
    cutting off by sections the whole of the upper dock, excepting the
    space between the wheel-houses, thus leaving the greater part of
    the main deck exposed and for the accommodation of the armament,
    and enough of the sides above that deck to answer for bulwarks and
    side-ports.

    "Below, it would only be necessary to remove the state-rooms not
    wanted for the accommodation of the officers, and convert the
    after-hold and fore and main orlops into magazines, store-rooms,
    shot and shell lockers, etc., etc.

    "According to my calculation, the cost of the conversion of either
    of the before mentioned vessels, exclusive of armaments, repair of
    machinery and ordinary repair, would not, or certainly _ought_
    not, exceed, for steamers of the first class, $20,000, and for
    those of the second class, $15,000; and it could be readily done
    for this at any of our navy yards, provided that _useless_
    alterations were not made.

    "It should be taken into view that those mail steamers, if called
    into service as war vessels, would be considered as forming an
    auxiliary force to the regularly constructed ships, and hence the
    impolicy of expending much money on them. The requisites of sound
    hulls and powerful engines, with efficient armaments, should
    alone be considered, leaving superfluous ornament out of the
    question.

    "The armaments of the respective vessels would, of course, be a
    separate cost; and to arrange the guns on the upper deck, it would
    only be required to close up three or four of the hatches or
    sky-lights; to strengthen the deck by additional beams and
    stanchions; to cut ports, and construct the pivot and other
    carriages; probably it might be desirable to shift the capstan and
    cables.

    "With respect to the description and weight of the respective
    armaments, I am clearly of opinion that the first-class steamers
    already named could easily carry each _four_ 10-inch Paixhan guns
    on pivots, two forward and two aft, of the weight of those in the
    Mississippi; _ten_ 8-inch Paixhans, as side-guns, ditto.

    "The _second-class_ steamers could with equal ease carry each
    _two_ 8-inch Paixhans on pivots, one forward and one aft, and
    _six_ 6-inch ditto, as side-guns.

    "With the additional strengthening recommended, I am perfectly
    satisfied that the armaments suggested would not, in the least,
    incommode the vessels. Indeed, the weight of armament would be
    actually less than that which would be taken away by the removal
    of the upper decks and cabins, and the miscellaneous articles
    usually stowed on one or the other of two decks--such, for
    instance, as ice, of which not less than forty tons is generally
    packed in one mass; nor would the munitions and provisions
    required for the war vessel be of greater weight than the goods
    now carried as freight, saying nothing of the provisions and
    stores carried by the steamers for an average of 150 to 250 souls,
    including crew and passengers.

    "It may again be remarked, that steamers thus brought into service
    would be far inferior to regularly constructed and appointed war
    vessels; yet in the general operations of a maritime war, they
    would render good service, and especially would they be useful,
    from their great speed, as dispatch vessels, and for the
    transportation of troops, always being capable of attack and
    defense, and of overhauling or escaping from an enemy."

Captain Skiddy, the Special Naval Constructor appointed by the
Government to superintend the building of all the mail packets, says
in a letter to Com. Perry:

    "In reply I will commence with the first-class ships, which are
    the 'Atlantic,' 'Pacific,' 'Baltic,' and 'Arctic,' of Collins'
    Liverpool line; the 'Franklin' and 'Humboldt' of Mortimer
    Livingston's Havre line.

    "These ships, although equal in strength, probably, to any
    steamships afloat, are not suitable for _immediate_ war purposes,
    but can be made efficient in four or six weeks, capable of
    carrying the armament or battery of a first-class frigate--say
    four ten-inch guns and twelve eight-inch guns. These alterations
    would consist of a removal of the deck-houses, spar or upper deck,
    forward and abaft the paddle-wheel boxes, fitting the after and
    forward bulwarks in sections, cutting port-holes, fitting hammock
    cloths or nettings, putting in extra beams and knees, and
    stanchions, moving the windlass below, building magazines,
    shell-rooms, officers' rooms, etc., etc. The cost of all these
    alterations and fixtures would not exceed ($15,000 or $20,000)
    twenty thousand dollars each ship. These ships would then be
    relieved of about one hundred and fifty tons weight, or nearly
    double the weight of guns and carriages, with less resistance to
    water and wind, adding an increase to their already great speed."

In the case of all these steamers, that is, of the Havre and Bremen,
the Collins, the Aspinwall, and the Pacific lines, Commodore Perry
reported that they "_were capable of being easily converted into war
steamers of the first class_."



PAPER F.

OCEAN STEAM LINES OF THE WORLD.


 ------------------------------+--------------------------------+------+--------
 LINE.                         |SERVICE.                        |Ships.|Tonnage.
 ------------------------------+--------------------------------+------+--------
 Cunard, Paddle-wheel,         |Liverpool, New-York, Boston, and|     8|  12,000
                               |Halifax,                        |      |
    "    Screw,                |    "         "        "      " |     4|   4,800
 North Atlantic Steamship Co., |St. John's and Portland,        |     3|   4,800
 European and American S. S.   |Bremen, Antwerp, Southampton, & |     4|  10,000
                           Co.,|New-York,                       |      |
    "      "      "      "     |Bremen, Antwerp, Southampton, to|     4|   9,000
                               |Brazil,                         |      |
 London and Canada,            |London and Montreal,            |     2|   1,870
 Liverpool and Canadian,       |Liverpool and Quebec,           |     4|   5,000
 Liv., Philadelphia, and       |    "      "  New-York,         |     4|   8,700
                      New-York,|                                |      |
 Glasgow and New-York,         |Glasgow and New-York,           |     3|   6,200
 Belgian Transatlantic,        |Antwerp and New-York,           |     4|   8,800
    "          "               |   "     "  Brazil,             |     5|   6,500
 Hamburg and American,         |Hamburg and New-York,           |     4|   7,300
    "     "  Brazilian,[K]     |Hamburg and Rio de Janeiro,     |     2|   4,500
 Genoa and Brazilian,          |Genoa,   "         "            |     4|   8,000
 Royal Mail Co.,               |Southampton, West-Indies,       |    18|  21,510
                               |                Central America,|      |
                               |                  South-America,|      |
   "      "                    |     "      Per., Rio, Bahia,   |     4|   6,820
                               |                   and La Plata,|      |
 Pacific Steam Navigation Co., |Panama to Valparaiso and        |     7|   5,719
                               |intermediate,                   |      |
 Peninsular and Oriental Co.,  |Portugal, Spain, Malta,         |    39|  49,416
                               |Alexandria, East-Indies, China, |      |
                               |and Australia,                  |      |
 Europ. and Australian Royal   |Southampton, Alexandria, Suez,  |     7|  15,500
                      Mail Co.,|and Sydney,                     |      |
 Australian Royal Mail Co.,    |Transport and other,            |     4|   7,800
 Rotterdam and Mediterranean,  |Rotterdam, Leghorn, and Trieste,|     4|   1,900
 North of Europe Steam         |African,                        |     4|   3,200
                Navigation Co.,|                                |      |
 McIver's,                     |Liverpool and Mediterranean,    |    10|   9,000
    "                          |    "      "  Havre,            |     2|   2,000
 Bibby's,                      |Liverpool and Mediterranean,    |    11|  11,700
 Fowler's,                     |    "      "       "            |     6|   7,500
 Dixon's,                      |    "      "       "            |     4|   8,800
 Liverpool and Australian,     |    "     and Australia,        |     2|   7,000
 London     "      "           |London and       "              |     4|   7,500
 African,                      |  "    Liverpool, and Africa,   |     5|   5,000
 Union Screw Co.,              |Southampton and Cape Good Hope, |     3|   1,800
 Luzo-Brazileira,              |Lisbon and Brazil,              |     4|   8,000
 Austrian Lloyds,              |Very large Mediterranean        |      | Unknown
                               |service,                        |      |
 Messageries Impériales,       |Mediterranean, Black Sea,       |    50|    "[L]
                               |Levant,                         |      |
 W. Hartlepool Steam Navigation|Hartlepool, Hamburg, and St.    |     6|    "
                           Co.,|Petersburg,                     |      |
 Danube Steam Navigation Co.,  |Vienna, Galatz, and             |     6|    "
                               |Constantinople,                 |      |
 Hamburg and Spanish,          |Hamburg, Southampton, and all   |     2|   2,000
                               |Spanish ports,                  |      |
 East-India Company,           |Suez and India, and the Bombay  |    12|  11,471
                               |Mail lines,                     |      |
 Spanish and Cuban,            |Cadiz, Havana, and Mexico,      |     5|   9,000
 Companhia Brazileira,         |Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon and|     7|   5,500
                               |La Plata,                       |      |
 Collins Company,              |New-York and Liverpool,         |     3|   9,727
 Havre Steam Navigation Co.,   |   "     Southampton, and Havre,|     2|   4,548
 Cornelius Vanderbilt,         |   "          "        " Bremen,|     3|   6,523
 United States Mail Steamship  |New-York, Havana, Aspinwall, &  |     6|   8,544
                           Co.,|New-Orleans,                    |      |
 Pacific Mail Steamship Co.,   |Panamá, California, and Oregon, |    13|  16,421
 New-York and New-Orleans,     |New-York, Havana, and           |     2|   3,198
                               |                    New-Orleans,|      |
 New-York and Alabama,         |   "         "    " Mobile,     |     1|   1,300
 Charleston and Havana,        |Charleston, Key West, and       |     1|   1,115
                               |Havana,                         |      |
 Savannah Steamship Co.,       |New-York and Savannah,          |     4|   4,793
 New-York and Charleston St. S.|   "      "  Charleston,        |     4|   4,680
                           Co.,|                                |      |
     "     "  Virginia,        |   "    Norfolk, and Richmond,  |     2|   2,371
 Philadelphia and Savannah,    |Philadelphia and Savannah,      |     2|   2,600
 Boston and Baltimore,         |Boston and Baltimore,           |     2|   1,600
 Texas Steamship Co.,          |New-Orleans and Galveston,      |     4|   2,400
 Southern Steamship Co.,       |    "        "  Key West,       |     2|   1,000
 Mexican Steamship Co.,        |    "     Tampico and Vera Cruz,|     1|     960
 ------------------------------+--------------------------------+------+--------

[K] Building another steamer of 2,500 tons for the Brazil line.

[L] These vessels average about 250 horses' power each. Their tonnage
is large, probably 1,200 tons each.

There are several other lines of ocean steamers in Europe; but it is
almost impossible to ascertain anything definite about them. The list
above embraces all of the most important companies of the world. The
lines are continually changing, while the vessels are passing into new
hands almost every week.



PAPER G.


The following official letter from Hon. Horatio King explains itself.


    Post-Office Department,    }
    Washington, Nov. 12, 1857. }

    Sir: In answer to your letter of 10th inst., I have to inform you,
    that the ocean mail steamship lines now under contract with the
    Government for the conveyance of mails, are as follows, namely:

    1. The New-York and Liverpool (Collins) Line, performing twenty
    round trips per annum, at an annual compensation of $385,000.
    Length of route, 3,100 miles.

    2. The New-York and Bremen Line, _viâ_ Southampton, performing
    thirteen round trips per annum, for the gross amount of United
    States postages, (sea and inland.) Length of route, 3,700 miles.

    3. The New-York and Havre Line, _viâ_ Southampton, performing
    thirteen round trips per annum for the gross amount of United
    States postages, (sea and inland.) Length of route, 3,270 miles.

    4. The New-York, Havana, New-Orleans, and Aspinwall Line,
    performing twenty-four round trips per annum, at an annual
    compensation of $290,000. Length of routes 2,000 miles from
    New-York to Aspinwall _direct_; 2,000 miles from New-York to
    New-Orleans _viâ_ Havana; and 1,200 miles from Havana to
    Aspinwall; making in all, 5,200 miles.

    5. The Astoria, San Francisco, and Panama Line, performing
    twenty-four round trips per annum, at an annual compensation of
    $348,250. Length of route, 4,200 miles.

    6. The Charleston, Savannah, Key West, and Havana Line, performing
    twenty-four round trips per annum, at an annual compensation of
    $60,000. Length of route, 669 miles.

    7. The New-Orleans and Vera Cruz Line, performing twenty-four
    round trips per annum, at $1,210.93 the round trip. Length of
    route, 900 miles.

    The contracts on these lines expire as follows, namely:

    New-York and Liverpool (Collins) Line,       27th April, 1860.
    New-York and Bremen Line,                    1st June,   1858.
    New-York and Havre Line,                     1st June,   1858.
    New-York, New-Orleans, and Aspinwall Line,   1st Oct.,   1859.
    Astoria and Panama Line,                     1st Oct.,   1858.
    Charleston and Havana Line,                  30th June,  1859.
    New-Orleans and Vera Cruz Line,              30th June,  1858.

    I am very respectfully your obedient servant,

    HORATIO KING.

    To DR. THOMAS RAINEY.



PAPER H.

THE FRENCH, ENGLISH, AND AMERICAN NAVIES.


The following list is kindly furnished me by Hon. Wm. A. Harris, of
Washington. The French list is taken from the "_Tableau General des
Batiments a Voiles et a Vapeur composant les Flottes de la Marine
Impériale Francaise_."

    SAILING VESSELS.

    SHIPS OF 120 GUNS.--Ocean, Friedland, Ville de Paris, Valmy.

    SHIPS OF 100 GUNS.--Hercule, Temmasses, Tage Turenne.

    SHIPS OF 90 GUNS.--Jena, Suffren, Bayard, Breslau, Hector,
    Achille, Eole, Santi-Petri, Tilsitt, Sceptic, Castiglione.

    SHIPS OF 86 GUNS.--Diademe, Neptune, Jupiter.

    SHIPS OF 82 GUNS.--Marengo, Trident, Ville de Marsailles, Alger,
    Triton, Duperre, Genereux, Latour d'Auvergne, Saint-Louis.

    FRIGATES OF 60 GUNS.--Iphigenie, Independante, Didon, Uranie,
    Belle-Poulle, Surveillante, Andromaque, Forte, Minerve, Melpomene,
    Perseverante, Renomme, Vengeance, Etrepienante, Victoire,
    Semiramis, Guerrierre, Pallas, Semillante.

    FRIGATES OF 52 GUNS.--Alceste, Calypso, Sirene, Atlante,
    Andromede, Nereide, Zenobie, Sybille.

    FRIGATES OF 50 GUNS.--Reine Blanche, Cleopatre, Danae, Virginie,
    Poursuivante, Pandore, Nemesis, Bellonné, Amazone, Astrée, Junon,
    Hermione, Dryade, Circe, Flore.

    FRIGATES OF 46 GUNS.--Thetis, Armide, Grigone, Margicienne,
    Africane, Penelope, Médee.

    FRIGATES OF 40 GUNS.--Constitution, Psyche, Clorinde, Heliopolis,
    Jeanne d'Arc, Algerie, Resolue, Tiris, Ceres, Armorique.

    CORVETTES OF 30 GUNS.--Ariane, Thisbe, Heroïne, Alemene,
    Embuscade, Sabine, Aventure, Favorite, Jeanne-Hochette, Corneline,
    Circe, Cybele.

    CORVETTES OF 28 GUNS.--Arethuse, Bayonnaise, Arthemise, Galatée,
    Serieuse, Eurydice, Capricieuse, Constantine.

    CORVETTES OF 24 GUNS.--Brillante, Naide, Creole, Danaide,
    Triomphante.

    CORVETTES OF 20 GUNS.--Camille, Bergere, Iguala, Coquette, Echo.

    CORVETTES OF 16 GUNS.--Diligente, Cornelie, Egle, Perle, Oritie.

    CORVETTES OF 14 GUNS.--Astrolabe, Zélee, Prevoyante, Expeditive,
    Recherche, Active, Indienne, Sarcelle, Prudente, Indefatigable,
    Emulation.

    BRIGS OF 20 GUNS.--Ducouedic, Palinure, Cygene, Alcibiade, Adonis,
    Hussard, Chasseur, Griffon, d'Hassar, Meleagre, Acteon, Bisson,
    Lapeirousse, Cassard, Oreste, Pylade, Nisus, Euryale, Beaumanvir,
    Chevert, Droupot, Alacryti, Voltigeur.

    BRIGS OF 18 GUNS.--Mercure, Dragon, Faune, Genie, Faucon,
    Grenadier, Entreprenant, Fanfaron, Janus, Victor, Olivier, Zebre,
    Obligardo, Alerte, Cuirassier.

    BRIGS OF 10 GUNS.--Volage, Surprise, Fleche, Alcyon, Comete,
    Sylphe, Dupetit-Lhouars, Bougainville, Argus, Fabert, Lutin, Cerf,
    Messaeer, Papillon, Rossignol, Agile, Geyer, Inconstant, Zephir,
    Railleur, Russee, Lynx.

    BRIGS OF 8 GUNS.--Allouette, Alsacienne, Malouine, Tactique,
    Virgie, Eglantine, Panthere.

    CORVETTES DE CHARGE 32 GUNS, 800 HORSE POWER.--Proserpine, Adour,
    Abondante, Oise, Caravane, Allier, Agathe, Fortune, Aube, Egerie,
    Rhin, Somme, Meurthe, Mosselle.

    SLOOPS OF 28 GUNS, 600 TONS.--Perdrix, Loire, Provencale,
    Marsouin.

    SLOOPS OF 20 GUNS, 550 TONS.--Robuste, Giraffe, Chandernagor,
    Cormoran.

    SLOOPS OF 16 GUNS, 300 TONS.--Hecla, Dore, Cyclope, Vulcain,
    Lamproie, Volcan, Bucephale, Licome, Lezard, Mahe, Lionne.

    SLOOPS OF 12 GUNS, 200 TONS.--Anna, Pintado, Menagere.

    SLOOPS OF 8 GUNS, 150 TONS.--Pourvoyeur, Seudre.

    SLOOPS OF 6 GUNS, 90 TONS.--Vigilant, Pilote, Ile d'Oleron,
    Mayottais.

    SCHOONERS OF 6 GUNS.--Merange, Estafete, Gazelle, Hirondelle,
    Topaze, Beaucir, Euroquoise, Décidée, Jouvencelle, Tonguille,
    Amaranthe, Fauvette, Legere, Encelade, Etoile, Fine, Doris,
    Brestoise, Mouche, Bella Helene, Eugenie, Tafne, Parisienne,
    Gentille, Ibir, Mignonne, Souris, Egle, Iris, Papeiti, Sultan,
    Agathe, Touronnaise, Daphne, Levrette, Bose, Dorade.

    CUTTERS OF 4 GUNS.--Rodeur, Furet, Moustique, Espeigle, Moutin,
    Favori, Levrier, Eperlan, Renard, Eclair, Goelund, Chamois,
    Emeraude, Esperance, Cupidon, Orglae, Aigle d'Or, Colibi,
    Antilope, Seybouse, Pluvier, Ecureuil, No. 1, Ecureuil, No. 2,
    Mirmidon, Capelan, Corvril, Boberach, Palmer, Belette, Colombe,
    Cigorle, Tafnal, Amiral, Papillon.


    SAILING SHIPS CHANGED INTO STEAMSHIPS.

    SHIPS OF 120 GUNS.--Montibello 650, Souverain 650, Desaix 650,
    Louis XIV. 650, Bretagne 960.

    SHIPS OF 100 GUNS.--Fleurus 650, Ulm 650, Dugay-Etains 650,
    Annibal 650, Eyleau 650, Prince Jerome 650, Navarin 650,
    Austerlitz 650, Wagram 650, Massena 650.

    SHIPS OF 90 GUNS.--Inflexible 450, Dugueschin 450, Donnawerth 600,
    Fontenoy 600, Charlemagne 450, Duquesne 450, Tourville 450,
    Alexandre 600, Jean-Bart 450.


    STEAM VESSELS.

    SHIPS OF 90 GUNS, 960 HORSE POWER.--Napoleon, Imperiel, Algesiras.

    FRIGATES OF 650 HORSE POWER.--Mogador, Isly.

    FRIGATES OF 540 HORSE POWER.--Descartes, Vauban.

    FRIGATES OF 450 HORSE POWER.--Gomer, Asmodee, Labrador, Magellan,
    Montezuma, Cacique, Panama, Eldorado, Pomone, Albatros, Sane,
    Orenoque, Ch. Columb, Canada, Ulloa, Darien, Caffarelli.


    MIXED FRIGATES--(New Construction.)

    800 HORSE POWER, 50 GUNS.--Imperatrice Eugenie, Indomitable,
    Foudre, Audacieuse.

    CORVETTES OF 400 HORSE POWER.--Infernal, Reine Hortense,
    Bertholet, Catinat, Rolland, Phlegeton, Laplace, Primaugnet,
    Dassas.

    CORVETTES OF 320 HORSE POWER.--Prony, Caton, Colbert.

    CORVETTES OF 300 HORSE POWER.--Patriote, Eumenide, Gorgone,
    Tanger, Coligny, Tisiphone.

    CORVETTES OF 220 HORSE POWER.--Espadon, Veloce, Lavoisier,
    Cameleon, Gassendi, Pluton, Archimede, Duchayla, Phoque, Elan,
    Caiman, Titan, Cassini, Chaptal, Newton.


    ADVICE VESSELS.

    OF 200 HORSE POWER.--Monette, Heron, Laborieux, Eclaireur, Phenix,
    Lucifer, Biche, Goeland, Promethee, Souffleur, Milan, Aigle,
    Megere, Sentinelle.

    OF 180 HORSE POWER.--Petrel, Reguin, Epervier, Dauphin.

    OF 160 HORSE POWER.--Ardent, Crocodile, Phare, Fulton, Meteore,
    Chimere, Vantour, Styx, Acheron, Cerbere, Tartare, Phæton, Cocyte,
    Tonnerre, Gregois, Grondeur, Euphrate, Tenare, Australie, Narval,
    Bruddon, Solon, Etna, Sesostris.

    OF 120 HORSE POWER.--Castor, Brazier, Flambeau, Vedette,
    Passe-Partout, Pelican, Ramier, Salamandre, Ariel, Daim, Flambart,
    Marceau.

    OF 100 HORSE POWER.--Anacreon, Averne, Tantale, Galilee.

    OF 80 HORSE POWER.--Galibi, Voyageur, Marabout, Alecton, Rubis,
    Eperlan.

    OF 60 HORSE POWER.--Antilope, Chacul, Liamone, Var.

    OF 40 HORSE POWER.--Grand-Bassam, Ebrie.

    OF 30 HORSE POWER.--Basilic, Serpent, Pinogouin, Guet n'Dar.

    OF 20 HORSE POWER.--Oyapock, Acbar.


    FLOATING BATTERIES.

    Devastation, Lave, Tonnate, Foudroyante.


    GUN BOATS.

    Stridente, Mitraille, Etincelle, Bombe, Eclair, Flamme, Alarme,
    Coulevaine, Doilleuse, Alerte, Meurtriere, Bourasque, Raffale,
    Fusee, Foudre, Fleche, Grenade, Mutine, Tourmente.


    MIXED TRANSPORTS.

    Ariege, Adour, Durance, Loiret, Gironde, Marne, Aube, Rhin,
    Charente, Nievre, Rhone, Tarn, Mosselle, Yonne, Saone, Loire,
    Isere, Dordogne, Allier, Meurthe, Finestere, Meuse, Oise, Somme,
    Garone.


    GENERAL RECAPITULATION.

    SAILING VESSELS.

                                                       Guns.
     31 ships of all sizes, mounting an aggregate of   2,866
     61 frigates             do           do           3,028
     49 corvettes            do           do           1,024
     57 brigs                do           do           1,006
     14 corvettes de charge  do           do             448
     28 sloops               do           do             444
     38 schooners            do           do             228
     33 cutters              do           do             132
    ---                                                -----
    317 sailing vessels, carrying a grand aggregate of 9,176

    STEAM VESSELS.

     27 ships of all sizes, mounting an aggregate of   2,680
     21 frigates      do       do          do            336
     4 frigates, (new construction,)       do            200
     34 corvettes of all sizes             do            939
     76 advice boats      do               do            456
     4 floating batteries                  do             64
     19 gun boats                          do             76
     25 mixed transports                   do            150
    ---                                                -----
    220 steam vessels, mounting an aggregate of        4,901


    ORDINARY CLASSIFICATION OF NAVAL OFFICERS.

    2 admirals in time of peace, and 3 in time of war; 13 vice
    admirals; 22 rear admirals; 113 captains of ships of the 1st and
    2d classes; 235 captains of frigates; 679 lieutenants of ships of
    the 1st and 2d classes; 550 ensigns of ships; 109 midshipmen of
    1st class; 165 midshipmen of the 2d class.

    With respect to the classes of midshipmen, the admiral minister of
    marine regulates yearly the number of young gentlemen who may be
    received in the service.

    According to the navy list for 1856, (July,) the effective force
    of the navy of Great Britain was at that period:

                                                              Guns.
    Sailing vessels,     269,     carrying an aggregate of    9,362
    Steam vessels,       258         do           do          4,518
                         ---                                 ------
    Total,               527         do           do         13,880

    The classification of officers was:

                       In service.   On half pay.   Retired.   Total.
    Admirals,               21           15           ---         36
    Vice-admirals,          27           19           ---         46
    Rear-admirals,          51           55           129        235
    Captains of ships,     396           60           318        774
    Commanders,            551           64           286        901
    Lieutenants,         1,139          668           ---      1,807


    NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES.

    SHIPS OF THE LINE, (10.)
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Pennsylvania,   | 120 | Philadelphia,     | 1837
    Columbus,       |  80 | Washington,       | 1819
    Ohio,           |  84 | New-York,         | 1820
    North-Carolina, |  84 | Philadelphia,     | 1820
    Delaware,       |  84 | Norfolk,          | 1820
    Alabama,        |  84 |                   |
    Virginia,       |  84 |                   |
    Vermont,        |  84 | Boston,           | 1848
    New-York,       |  84 |                   |
    New-Orleans,    |  84 |                   |
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    FRIGATES, (18.)
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Independence,   |  56 | Boston,           | 1814
    United States,  |  50 | Philadelphia,     | 1797
    Constitution,   |  50 | Boston,           | 1797
    Potomac,        |  50 | Washington,       | 1821
    Brandywine,     |  50 | Washington,       | 1825
    Columbia,       |  50 | Washington,       | 1836
    Congress,       |  50 | Portsmouth, N. H. | 1841
    Cumberland,     |  50 | Boston,           | 1842
    Savannah,       |  50 | New-York,         | 1842
    Raritan,        |  50 | Philadelphia,     | 1843
    Santee,         |  50 |                   |
    Sabine,         |  50 |                   |
    St. Lawrence,   |  50 | Norfolk,          | 1847
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    SLOOPS OF WAR, (19.)
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Constellation,  |  22 | Rebuilt, Norfolk, | 1854
    Macedonian,     |  22 | Rebuilt, Norfolk, | 1836
    Portsmouth,     |  22 | Portsmouth, N.H.  | 1843
    Plymouth,       |  22 | Boston,           | 1843
    St. Mary's,     |  22 | Washington,       | 1844
    Jamestown,      |  22 | Norfolk,          | 1844
    Germantown,     |  22 | Philadelphia,     | 1846
    Saratoga,       |  20 | Portsmouth, N.H.  | 1842
    John Adams,     |  20 | Rebuilt, Norfolk, | 1831
    Vincennes,      |  20 | New-York,         | 1826
    Falmouth,       |  20 | Boston,           | 1827
    Vandalia,       |  20 | Philadelphia,     | 1828
    St. Louis,      |  20 | Washington,       | 1828
    Cyane,          |  20 | Boston,           | 1837
    Levant,         |  20 | New-York,         | 1837
    Decatur,        |  16 | New-York,         | 1839
    Marion,         |  16 | Boston,           | 1839
    Dale,           |  16 | Philadelphia,     | 1839
    Preble,         |  16 | Portsmouth, N. H. | 1839
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    BRIGS, (3.)
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Bainbridge,     |   6 | Boston,           | 1842
    Perry,          |   6 | Norfolk,          | 1843
    Dolphin,        |   4 | New-York,         | 1836
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    SCHOONER.
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Fenimore Cooper,|   3 | Purchased,        | 1852
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    STEAMERS.

    _Screw Steamers, 1st class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Franklin,       |  50 |                   |
    Merrimack,      |  40 | Boston,           | 1855
    Wabash,         |  40 | Philadelphia,     | 1855
    Minnesota,      |  40 | Washington,       | 1855
    Roanoke,        |  40 | Norfolk,          | 1855
    Colorado,       |     |                   |
    Niagara,        |     |                   |
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    _Screw Steamer, 2d class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    San Jacinto,    |  13 | New-York,         | 1850
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    _Screw Steamers, 3d class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Massachusetts,  |   9 | Transferred from  |
                    |     |    War Dep't.     |
    Princeton,      |  10 | Rebuilt, Norfolk, | 1851
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    _Side-wheel Steamers, 1st class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Mississippi,    |  10 | Philadelphia,     | 1841
    Susquehanna,    |  15 | Philadelphia,     | 1850
    Powhatan,       |   9 | Norfolk,          | 1850
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    _Side-wheel  Steamer, 2d class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Saranac,        |   6 | Portsmouth, N. H. | 1848
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    _Side-wheel Steamers, 3d class._
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Michigan,       |   1 | Erie, Pa.,        | 1844
    Fulton,         |   5 | New-York,         | 1837
    Alleghany,      |  10 | Pittsburgh, Pa.,  | 1847
    Water Witch,    |   2 | Washington,       | 1845
    John Hancock,   |   2 | Boston,           | 1850
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    STEAM TENDERS.
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Despatch,       |     | Purchased,        | 1855
    Engineer        |     | Purchased,        |
    Arctic,         |     | Purchased,        | 1855
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    STORE-SHIPS.
    ----------------+-----+---------------------------
    Name.           |Rate.| Where             | When
                    |     | built.            | built.
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------
    Relief,         |   6 | Philadelphia,     | 1836
    Supply,         |   4 | Purchased,        | 1846
    Warren,         |     | Boston,           | 1826
    Fredonia,       |   4 | Purchased,        | 1846
    Release,        |   2 | Purchased,        | 1855
    ----------------+-----+-------------------+-------

    The United States Navy has 64 Captains, 96 Commanders, 311
    Lieutenants, 69 Surgeons, 43 Passed Assistant Surgeons, 37
    Assistant Surgeons, 64 Pursers, 24 Chaplains, 12 Mathematicians,
    24 Masters, 24 Passed Midshipmen, 30 Midshipmen, and 145
    Probationary Midshipmen and Students.--_Taken from the Navy
    Register of 1857._



 +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
 | TRANSCRIBERS NOTE.                                              |
 |                                                                 |
 |                                                                 |
 | Obvious typographical errors have been corrected silently.      |
 |                                                                 |
 | Mathematical symbols in the original text have been transcribed |
 | as follows:                                                     |
 |     ^ is used to represent 'to the power of'                    |
 |     Square/cube root symbols have been written in words.        |
 |       ("The square root of ...")                                |
 |                                                                 |
 | Tables have been reformatted as necessary to limit width of     |
 | lines.                                                          |
 |                                                                 |
 +-----------------------------------------------------------------+





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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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