« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
least important trade from the southern states of South America, while all but an unimportant fraction of the trade from other points will find that the saving of time and distance will far outbalance the cost of tolls.
Thirdly, it must be taken into account that the ease and the cheapness of carrying on trade, and the increased consumption caused by the consequent lowering of prices, develop new trade at a rate almost incredible.
The passage through the Senate last month of the Nicaragua Canal bill, crude and ill-advised as it is in many respects, is nevertheless a step in the right direction. The long delay has been rather beneficial than otherwise, for it has allowed a full survey and a more careful approximation of the cost of construction to be made.
It has become evident of late years that the canal company is unequal to the task of building the Canal unaided. A government guarantee of its bonds would enable capital to be furnished at low interest and all in a lump, and the tolls would in all probability pay the expenses; but if the company went ahead on its own responsibility, loan after loan at high interest and long delays would increase the cost of building it, and make the levying of tolls so high in order to meet the annual interest and expenses as to decrease the amount of traffic and cripple the undertaking from the outset. It would seem best, therefore, for the government to buy out the company at a just and equitable price and undertake the work itself. Only two obstacles stand in the way,-the Clayton-Bulwer treaty with Great Britain, which is still in force, and the securing of the transfer of the company's concessions from the goverments of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
We have no patience with those who believe in doing whatever you please despite treaty obligations.* Good faith and honesty are as essential qualities in dealings between nations as between individuals. In this case there will probably be little or no difficulty in modifying the treaty so as to give us full control of the Canal. It is stated on good authority that Great Britain will demand in exchange for the extinguishment of her rights the neutrality of the Canal (which is provided for in the recent bill) and a proviso that there shall be no discrimination in tolls between American and British vessels, which is perfectly reasonable. As for the transfer of the company's rights to the government,
"Scraps of paper," 1914?
Nicaragua and Costa Rica will probably agree, as it is greatly to their interests, financial and commercial, to have the Canal built and in operation.
Great as the advantages of the Canal will be, both commercially and strategetically, to the country, it should be borne in mind that it will fall short of what many claim for it. It will not reach for many years to come the importance of the Suez Canal, nor will it, as some have proclaimed, give us command of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The control of the Canal will be in the hands of those who can place the most powerful fleet in the vicinity of one of its outlets, and a few pounds of dynamite judiciously placed in one of the dams or locks could close the Canal for some time.
Already there is talk of allowing our own ships to pass through without payment of tolls and making foreign vessels pay them.* Such a course would be utter folly. The tolls to support the Canal in that case would be so large as to drive trade from the Canal and around the Horn, and it would drive the other nations to complete the Panama Canal, to the ruin of the Nicaragua Canal. If we allow no warships but our own to go through the Nicaragua Canal we may be sure that the European powers which combine and complete the Panama Canal will use that themselves and keep us out. The welfare of the Canal depends upon whether it is to be run in a spirit of commercial freedom or whether the policy of extreme protection and greed is to cripple it. FORREST MORGAN
*The writer had prophetic foresight.
WHEN WASHINGTON TOURED NEW-ENGLAND
ASHINGTON, having lodged at Salem Oct. 29, 1789, began
He had been well entertained at Salem, with a welcome from the military, salutes of artillery, a parade, an address, an ode sung by a selected chorus, and a ball. He had lodged comfortably in the mansion of Joshua Ward, which evidently was set aside for his use, since he made a rule of lodging as no one's guest on his journey; and had risen early on this, the sixteenth day of his travels in "the Eastern States."
Salem continued its honors to the President until he had passed its borders, escorting him over the bridge across Bass River to Beverly with a fine array of Militia and mounted civilians.
After crossing the Salem Bridge, Washington dismounted and went back to inspect it. His notes show that he asked for exact information concerning it, as he had those over the Charles at Boston and the Mystic at Malden (now the Everett Bridge). He noted in his diary that it was longer than the bridge over the Charles, but not so long as that over the Mystic.
He writes of it: "The length of this bridge is 1540 feet and (it) was built for about £4500, lawful money-a price inconceivably low in my estimation, as there is eighteen feet of water in the deepest part of the river over which it is erected." The bridge was then but a year old.
Good bridges being rare in the part of the country from which Washington came, he paid his compliments to the people of New England for their enterprise in bridging their wider rivers.
BREAKFAST AT BEVERLY
Mounting again after his inspection of the Salem Bridge, the President rode into the wide main street of Beverly, and to the house of one of the town's most prominent citizens, where he was to take breakfast. His host was George Cabot-maternal grandfather of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of our day—and though but thirty-five years old, he was a man of importance in public life. He had served the State
and the infant Nation in many capacities. He was one of the foremost of the American shipping merchants who had hazarded their all in the Revolution. Nine years after Washington's visit he was honored by President John Adams with the nomination as first Secretary of the Navy, a position he did not feel free to accept.
The motor traveler who enters Beverly from Salem crosses the same bridge that so interested Washington. It will soon give way to a new structure. Passing up Cabot street, he may see, on the righthand side of the way, in the business centre, the fine old mansion in which Washington was the guest of George Cabot.
The house, now occupied by a historical society, is one of the best preserved of the houses in those parts that sheltered Washington. Paint and paper would put it in quite the condition that it was in during the days of its pride.
The old garden at its back, with its grapevines, its old-fashioned flowers and its little Summer house, is as spacious now, probably, as it was in George Cabot's time.
Standing in the side street that skirts the garden one may see, down a long vista, a bit of the blue bay, which in earlier days, before Beverly's water side was as much built up as now, must have lain broad within view from the Cabot garden.
A peep into the old house shows that the original staircase, with its heavy balustrade and its boxed-in risers at the turn, is identical with that in the house where Washington lodged at Salem.
Only the antiquarian may say today whether the Salem merchant copied the mansion in Beverly or the reverse; but the two staircases suggest that good things in architecture were quite as much common property a century and more ago as now.
A PIONEER COTTON MILL
After his halt for breakfast—which he does not mention in his diary -Washington took the road again. At North Beverly he made another halt, this time to inspect a cotton factory, which, he noted, "seemed to be carried on with spirit by the Mr. Cabbots (principally).'
As was his custom when inspecting a manufacturing plant, Washington went carefully into the details of the process employed. His notes on this factory-said to be the first cotton mill in America-are
interesting reading today in New England communities that add millions to the Nation's wealth every year through their great cotton mills.
In this manufactory," wrote Washington, "they have the new invented Carding and Spinning Machines; one of the first supplies the wk, and four of the latter; one of which spins eighty-four threads at a t.me by one person.
The Cotton is prepared for these machines by being first (slightly) drawn to a third, on the common wheel; there is also another machine for doubling and twisting the threads, for particular cloths; this also does many at a time.
For winding the Cotton from the Spindles, and preparing it for the warp, there is a Reel which expedites the work greatly. A number of Looms fifteen or sixteen were at work with spring shuttles, which do more than d'ble work.
In short the whole seemed perfect, and the Cotton stuffs w'ch they turned out, excellent of their kind; warp and filling now are both of Cotton."
It is interesting to note that this original cotton mill failed to pay, and was closed a few years after Washington's visit. The traveler must have special information today to find its site.
A HALT AT IPSWICH
From North Beverly Washington's way lay through the pleasant section, now a park-like section of fine country estates, in Hamilton and Wenham.
One sees at intervals on the road metal markers, with the legend
The fine, hard highway follows the old road, one of the earliest continuous highways in the colonies, with but few changes, and these chiefly at curves, into Ipswich.
Ipswich was prepared for the President's coming. The Selectmen met him on the road, read him an address and escorted him into town. On the village common a regiment of militia was mustered in his honor, and at the chief inn-that kept by Mrs. Homans-dinner had been prepared and persons of social standing were present to greet the President.