WHITNEY'S RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC. [TO ACCOMPANY BILL H. R. NO. 156.] MARCH 13, 1850. MR. ROBINSON, FROM THE COMMITTEE ON ROADS AND CANALS, MADE THE FOLLOWING REPORT: ... [caption title]. Washington, D. C., 1850. Octavo, pp.  2-117 [118: blank] two folded maps, modern binding of quarter leather and marbled boards with leather title label on spine panel. First edition. Issued as 31st Congress, 1st Session, Ho. of Reps. Rep. No. 140. A lengthy, favorable report, with page after page of mind-numbing statistics and financial projections of world trade, by the Committee on Roads and Canals, about the benefits to the nation if Whitney's railroad proposal became a reality, which would, among other things, "make the United States the centre and axle of the commerce of the world ..." Accompanied by two maps, the first an untitled map of the world that "shows the position of our Continent as compared with Europe and Africa on one side, and Asia on the other, placing us in the centre," lithographed by Miller's Lith., 140 Pearl St., N. Y., which "was prepared by Mr. Whitney for Mr. Breese's Report to the Senate, U.S. 29 Congress." The second map, also not titled, is a detailed map showing four proposed transcontinental routes: the Northern Route, the Southern Route, the Galveston Route, and the St. Louis Route. The chief early promoter of an American transcontinental railroad was "Asa Whitney, a New York merchant active in the China trade who was obsessed with the idea of a railroad to the Pacific. In January 1845 he petitioned Congress for a charter and grant of a sixty-mile strip through the public domain to help finance construction. Whitney suggested the use of Irish and German immigrant labor, which was in great abundance at the time. Wages were to be paid in land, thus ensuring that there would be settlers along the route to supply produce to and become patrons of the completed line. The failure of Congress to act on Whitney's proposal was mainly due to the vigorous opposition of Sen. Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who favored a western route originating at St. Louis. Although Congress failed to sanction his plan, Whitney made the Pacific railroad one of the great public issues of the day. The acquisition of California following the Mexican War opened the way for other routes to the coast. The discovery of gold, the settlement of the frontier, and the success of the eastern railroads increased interest in building a railroad to the Pacific." - Library of Congress, Railroad Maps, 1828 to 1900, Articles and Essays. Some tanning to the first map, but an excellent copy. (#164919).
No statement of printing.