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approach now a period when Mr. Howe's political labors were drawing to a close. The institutions for which he had struggled were secured, consolidated, and successfully defended. fle could, therefore, devote his energies to the internal improvement of his own country, and of the Provinces by which she is surrounded.
As early as 1835, Mr. Howe, during a visit to the western counties, had been struck with the importance of connecting them with the metropolis by means of a railroad from Halifax to Windsor. On his return to town he wrote a series of papers, which were afterwards published in pamphlet form, and are now beside us, recommending this project to public attention. An extract or two will be read with interest, now that, twenty-two years after this enterprise was first conceived and suggested, it has been realized by the perseverance and ene:gy of the man by whom they were written:
Halifax is separated from the rich and valuable lands to the northward by an extent of stony and barren country, extending immediately in rear of it, a distance of thirty miles. Now, no man will deny that if that space
did not exist - if Halifax could be brought as near to Windsor as Mr. Jeffrey's farm ; or if Windsor, with all the shores of the Bason of Mines at its back, could be drawn as near to the capital as Mr. Fultz's inn now is, both town and country would be benefitted to an extent which no one could possibly calculate. The former would, in effect, be placed upon the borders of the best lands of the Province, and the population of two of the finest counties would be included in a moderate suburban range; while the distance between the western country and its principal market would be shortened by thirty miles. It is impossible to fancy such a thing without seeing the immediate action and reaction it would produce, by turning the whole labor of men and cattle which is now necessary to surmount the obstacles presented by this intervening space into channels of actual production ; and securing, as constant cus
tomers to Halifax, the thousands, the results of whose labors are now driven elsewhere by the difficulties of approaching the metropolitan market. If the thirty miles of bad land, lying between Halifax harbor and the Ardoise Hills, were annihilated to-morrow, would not Halifax command the whole trade of the Bason of Mines, and be so identified with the interests and advancement of the midland counties, as to grow into a place of immense wealth and importance within a very few years ? Would not the price of lands rise rapidly in consequence of the facility of getting to market? And would not property of every description in the town be amazingly enhanced in value by the nearer contiguity of fine, thriving, and populous agricultural settlements ?
A railroad from Halifax to Windsor would realize this pleasant fancy; in effect, and for all practical purposes, it would annihilate the thirty miles. They would be struck out of our calculations of distance; but yet this comparatively sterile tract would be rendered more valuable by the facilities afforded for bringing the wood and other bulky articles with which it abounds to the harbor. Even travelling by stage, a passenger is now about seven hours on the road between Windsor and Halifax; a locomotive engine would bring him down in two. A ton of hay brought by steam might be sold in the market square before another drawn on the common road had passed the seven mile plain. An old woman in Windsor might fill her basket with vegetables, and coming down on the railway, reach Halifax as early in the day as the blacks from Preston get here with their berries. A fisherman, who found the Halifax market supplied, could take the contents of his flat to Windsor, and return in time to row himself home to Ferguson's Cove. So that there is no end to the facilities that a railroad with locomotive engines would afford, and there can be no doubt that the immediate effect would be to draw Halifax and Windsor within fifteen miles of each other; and attract through the one and to the other a vast amount of business, in which neither now have any participation. Assuming that the thing was done, there can be no doubt about the extent to which time and space would be annihilated. Travellers have been carried at the rate of thirty miles an hour on the Liverpool and Manchester railroad, and twenty-two and a half miles in the hour could, no doubt, be accomplished here if deemed expedient. Then, as regards freight, a single engine will travel, with a weight of ninety tons in its train, with ease and safety at the rate of eight miles an hour; and, managed by three men and thirteen boys, will bring, in five and a half hours, to market, as much agricultural or other produce as could be brought on the common road by two hundred and seventy horses and ninety men in a long