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House. Select Comm. on a Railroad from Boston to the Hudson River. Report, 1827
H.R. No. 13 On January 19, 1827 appeared the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts on the practicability
and expediency of constructing a railroad from Boston to the Hudson River at or near Albany. Boston : True and Greene, State Printers, 1827. [The
printer used every type face he could find for this title.] The Committee, appointed in June of 1826, posed two questions: Is a railroad practical? and
Should the State build it? The general lay of the land for a route had not been surveyed, but there were north/south hills and even low mountains
between the two locations that would had to be managed. The Committee acknowledged the enthusiasm for canals, but railroads were better, with good
all-weather roads best of all. The present roads were very crooked because, when they were laid out, great care was taken to avoid going through someone's
farm. A properly laid out road or railroad would take the most expedient route and compensate the property owner for lost land. The Committee
described railbeds, rail wheels, railroad construction, and because locomotives were barely thought of, the arrangement of horse paths for pulling the cars.
They looked at England, which had gotten a good start on railroads. They concluded that a double track system was the only way to build and that
stone support for the rails was definitely best. Almost as an aside, they acknowledged that locomotives were intriguing, but were too experimental to be
considered yet. Then, in contradiction to what they said earlier about roads being best, they spent several pages demonstrating how much more a horse
could pull on a railroad than a road. Railroads could continue to operate in the winter so there could be continued economic activity during
previously "dead" months. They provided estimates to show it would be much cheaper to build a railroad on the Boston to Hudson route than a canal. They
submitted a resolution to have the Governor appoint three commissioners, one of whom might be an engineer, to get started on the necessary surveys and
route choices, allowing $5,000 for the process. Circular A was a questionnaire to communities around the state asking about tonnages of commodities
moving in and out of their respective areas and other transportation type questions. Copy B was a copy of a letter from Governor Clinton, of New York,
expressing enthusiasm for the idea of such a railroad. The Committee did not really address the state money v. private enterprise issue. (Digitized
from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Report of the select committee of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, on the practicability and expediency of constructing a railway from Boston to the Hudson river, at or near Albany ... January 19, 1827.
OCLC Number:   786336602
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