This enterprise may be said to have be “opened” – commenced is not an appropriate term, for it is now practically in use, and its ultimate destination illustrated by its working. Heretofore, when we have had occasion to speak of this read, or its progress, it was with reference to a time when it would be in operation – now it is actually in full working order, not to the extent hoped for by this period, but, so far as it is working, it is most satisfactory to all those who have taken an interest in its commencement and completion.
Yesterday, as had been announced, the first Passenger Cars were placed on the Pacific Railroad, and it must be chronicled as the first event of the kind occurring on the west bank of the Mississippi. It was a new epoch in the history of our State, and one which will be recollected by, and treasured up in the memories of the young and old, for many years to come. It will be something to say, after years, “that I saw the first railroad train depart from St. Louis,” and to add to that, the equally important fact, “that it was the first ever started West of the Mississippi.” There are many who witnessed this event yesterday, who many not live to realize all the hopes and bright prospects which this commencement promises; but there were also those – the young – who will retrain it fresh in their memories.
We do not speak of the opening of this road with reference to its present utility, but to its future extension, and, in that view, the effect of which it is destined to have upon the country.
The President, Thos. Allen, in commemoration of the event, had invited the Directors of the Company, the members of the Legislature, from this and other counties, now on their way to Jefferson City, and a few early friends of the enterprise, to a collation at the Sulphur Springs, Cheltenham. At one o’clock, the train was off. There were two beautiful and commodious passenger cars attached to the powerful Locomotive. A few minutes brought the Company to the Mansion of Mr. Hawley, at the Sulphur Springs, and they sat down to a most beautiful repast.
After discussing the viands, the meeting was entertained by addresses from Mayor Kennett; the President of the Rail Road Company, Mr. Allen; Dr. Shelery, the present Speaker of the House of Representatives of this State; the Hon. Edward Bates; Jas. H. Lucas, Esp., Mr. Halliburton, member of the House of Representatives from Linn; Mr. Tarver; Mr. O’Sullivan, the present Engineer on the road, who commenced the work in connexion with Mr. Kirkwood, the first Engineer, and who was most flatteringly toasted by the Company. The health of Mr. W. Williams, who run the first Locomotive, was also received with many cheers. Mr. Labeaume gave “the Governor of the State, and the aid he had given this and other internal improvement enterprises,” and expressed the hope that his successor would prove as favorable to their consummation. This sentiment was received with much enthusiasm. Mr. Loughborough, and many other early friends of this road, were toasted. We have neither space nor time to do justice to the speechs, or report the sentiments given on the occasion. There was one general feeling of gladness and rejoicing that the work had been so auspiciously commenced and thus far successfully carried out. There were many remarks and reminiscences about the struggles of the friends of internal improvement in this State, and the history of this particular work, which are worthy of a more extended notice than we can now attempt.
The day was remarkably fine, and at the appointed time (railroad time) the company, with several hundred, who had come out on the second train, returned to the city. Everything worked well, and for a new road, we say advisedly, that there is not a better built road in the Union. Many persons were deprived of the pleasure of the trip, (if more could have found places on the cars) by not remembering that “railroad time” admitted of no delay. In this, at the onset, the engineer has established the rule, as firm as the laws of the Medes and Persians, that the cars must depart punctually at the time, and make their time. The observance of this rule is a guaranty against collisions.
This is the commencement – the end will be when the Iron Horse quenches his thirst on the shores of the Pacific.
We see no reason to apprehend any collision between the friends of the Pacific Road, and those of the direct road to the Iron Mountain and thence to the Southern boundary of the State. There will be none, if the parties keep cool, and examine and understand each other’s plans as they are matured. We learn that the Books for subscriptions of stock in the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Company have been opened, and that the proposition is received with much favor, as the subscription of $125,000 abundantly proves. We are assured that this sum will be increased, without much doubt, to $200,000, and then a thorough canvas of the city will be made. We are pleased to see this railroad spirit so completely awakened, and hope it may extend in every direction.
At a meeting of the Directors of the Pacific Railroad Company, two resolutions were adopted intended to declare the views of the Board upon the question of a Branch to the Iron Mountain. The first one set forth that it is inexpedient at this time for the Pacific Railroad to engage in the construction of a Railroad from a point on the Pacific Road at or near this city, direct to the Iron Mountain. The second one declares that “the Pacific Company will not oppose its influence to prevent the obtaining of such legislation as may be necessary and proper to enable the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad to construct a road direct from this city to the Iron Mountain provided that such legislation shall not interfere with the franchise of this Company.” All that the Pacific Company proposes to do is, to reserve to itself the rights already granted in its charter, of building a Branch road to the Iron Mountain, at any future time. So plain a proposition will hardly find opposition in any quarter.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Railroad Company, on the 1st inst., resolutions were passed in explanation of one which was adopted at a previous meeting. Their resolutions now stand simply as a recommendation, that subscriptions in future, from counties and corporations be made payable in annual installments, to be raised by taxation. This is in accordance with the popular view presented by the Convention at St. Charles, and in this city, and which has met with very general favor. It was further resolved, that “nothing in said resolutions shall be so construed as to prevent any county or corporation from paying subscriptions to the capital stock of the Pacific Railroad Company, in the bonds of such country or corporation, (the interest thereon being duly provided for,) on such equitable terms as may hereafter be agreed on between this Board and such counties or corporations.”
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