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maintenance of the present military forces there, and probably transfer the frontier line itself to a point more satisfactory to the interests and wishes of all concerned. Thus, the road would find immediate paying work, effcet a public economy and conduce to prosperity and progress.
"7. Fort Yuma is the actual and natural distributing point for all Arizona and contiguous parts of Utah, Nevada and Mexico. 'Goods from San Francisco now reach it via Cape San Lucas and the Gulf of Cali. fornia, transhipped in Mexican territory to steamers at the mouth of the Colorado, which carry them to Fort Yuma in from forty-five to fifty-fire days from San Francisco, at a cost of from forty to fifty dollars per ton, exclusive of insurance, interest and loss of time. The trade to this point already employs a good line of steamers, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce recently discussed putting another line of boats on the Colorado, to command the trade of Southern Utah and Nevada. But Fort Yuma is only one hundred and forty-four miles due east on the township line, and about one hundred and sixty on a practicable railroad route via Jacumba from San Diego; of wbicb one hundred miles would be over a gravel plain, twenty miles of rough ascending ground and forty miles of open rolling country, offering no serious obstacle to the con. struction of a road. San Diego harbor is all that commerce could desire -safe, commodious, of easy access in all weather, and so land-locked tbat vessels can lie quietly at wharves in the roughest weather, which is more than can be done in the harbor of San Francisco, and it is only thirty-six or forty hours by such propellers as ply from New York to Providence, or from San Diego to San Francisco; so that with such a line of one hundred and sixty miles of rail, freight and passengers can be carried from San Francisco io Fort Yuma in seventy hours, at a freight per ton of ten dollars, with a profit to the owners.
“8. As the length of the different Overland Railroad routes from Fort Yuma to San Francisco will not greatly differ, that should be taken wbicb combines the greatest advantages to business and the country through which it is to pass to San Francisco. That by San Diego gives the shortest route to the Pacific coast, goes through some very fine unoccupied United States land, in the vicinity of a belt of pine timber forty by fifteen miles in area, about forty-five miles back of San Diego, opens through communication to San Francisco twelve to eighteen months in advance of the completion of the road, provides a valuable port and entrepot for the use of the main line, wbence heavy cheap freights can start East with advantage over all competing lines, wbile it insures the command of the carrying for Arizona and its tributaries without the possibility of a rival.
“9. This route also affords decided advantages for the delivery of railroad material at several points on the line, thus expediting and cheapening the work of construction, and while through business is going on enables the Overland Company to consult all interests in its location through the State to San Francisco.
“10. Whether the cost of construction on this would be greater or less than along the line of the thirty-fifth parallel, careful estimates will determine. But baving been twice over the route from this coast to Tucson, and spent ten days at the Jacumba Pass, as well as from information derived from the United States railroad surveys and other sources, I am inclined to think that, passing mostly over plains, with gentle grades, sweeping curves and long straight lines, with mesquit for ties which will last seventy years in the ground, with no snow, frosts or storms to obstruct travel or injure the road bed—the first cost, annual maintenance and running expense on the route will all be less than along the thirty-fifth parallel.
“ îl. I bave alluded to the military and political importance of this line, which is very great, while that of the thirty-fifth parallel is insigni. ficant. Many of these advantages of a road on the thirty-second parallel are obvious; among them domestic influences are not to be overlooked. But on a nation's frontier the means of concentrating and maintaining force is in itself a silent, ever-operative power, saving present and preventing future expense. Its political influence is even more potent, genial and beneficent-a good civilizer, drawing and binding people together by the forces of propinquity, interest and social life. So important do I consider these influences that were it my duty to choose for the nation, I would rather pay for the construction of a railroad by the border line than to bave the road two hundred miles north of it on the thirty-fifth parallel for nothing. I favor national subsidies for the construction of railroads through unimproved regions warranting them, both on the ground of wise proprietorship, to promote the improvement of otherwise useless lands, and create taxable industry and property ; but I cannot see how any Senator or Representative in Congress, understanding the subject, and having a grain of statesmansbip in bis head, could vote aid to build the line by the thirty-fifth parallel until the construction of one along the thirty-second bad been secured beyond a peradventure.
" You see, moreover, in my judgment, were our route to be on the thirty-fifth parallel, a rival on the thirty-second would be only a question of time and means. The interests demanding it already exist; whereas if we take the latter route, its grandeur and success will defy competition. It will do a very large through business from San Francisco and the Orient, and all the valuable carrying south of Utah and west of the Rio Grande.
“In closing this letter to you, I cannot help saying that the builders of the Southern Overland through line are undertaking a work which, well performed, should and will transmit their names to posterity with deserved and lasting honor."
The San Diego and Gila Company has received no State aid, no grants of national land, no county loans in the shape of bonds; the private means of a few citizens have enabled it to do something toward the necessary survey of routes. The people of this county would appear to have a just claim to the same favors from the Government that have been extended to the enterprises of other sections of the State.
It is well understood that the Kansas and San Francisco Company will break ground on the Colorado River, near Fort Mohave, early in this Spring. In such case, the favorable moment so long and patiently looked for will bave arrived for the exerciso of all our energies and co-operation to carry out the end of the charter, wbich will be as well accomplished by connecting our route with the main trunk at San Gorgonio Pass as by the more direct course to the Gila River. The distance from Fort Yuma to the Bay of San Diego is about three hundred miles-making a circuit by San Gorgonio Pass-according to Professor Blake; and if the doubt could be entertained of the right of tbe company to vary from the direct route, it would be within the power of the Legislature, it is believed, so to modify the charter.
TABLE OF DISTANCES
Of the Proposed Route of Railroad from San Diego to Gila River.
Average grade, per
tances. ........... Intermediate Dis
Bay of San Diego-
Warnor's Ranch. ... San Felipe Valley.
... San Felipe Valloy.
.San Felipe Valley.
...... Colorado Desert.