And we know that Southern Pacific's southwest route across the continent required the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Its floor shall be a hemisphere – its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by God's natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood – of "peace and good will amongst men.". Equality of rights is the cynosure of our union of States, the grand exemplar of the correlative equality of individuals; and while truth sheds its effulgence, we cannot retrograde, without dissolving the one and subverting the other.
We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission – to the entire development of the principle of our organization – freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality.
Anyway, does this notion that the mere potential of the railroad opened [or played a previously unrecognized role in opening] the frontier deserve more research? That is the kind of thing I'm wondering about in regard to railroads.
We – railroad historians – spend a lot of time recording the development of particular technological features and the construction of miles of track, but what about the expectations that railroads inspired?
It does make me wonder how much – if any – a role did the desire to secure optional railroad routes for a Pacific railroad play in the Mexican War.
Whitney's route was Great Lakes to Columbia River via South Pass – the only pass then believed practical then within the territory of the United States. No sooner is the internet "invented" than people begin to imagine that the internet will do away with libraries, and the telephone, and yield all other kinds of marvelous things.
Its necessity for this very purpose of binding and holding together in its iron clasp our fast settling Pacific region with that of the Mississippi valleythe natural facility of the routethe ease with which any amount of labor for the construction can be drawn in from the over-crowded populations of Europe, to be paid in the lands made valuable by the progress of the work itselfand its immense utility to the commerce of the world with the whole eastern coast of Asia, alone almost sufficient for the support of such a road ...This is our high Subsequently (but not all that long after) someone welded them into a phrase.As to idea that the mere potential that the railroad opened the frontier, we certainly know that settlement patterns West of, say, the Missouri River were very different from the earlier settlement patterns West of the Alleghenies.It is not coincidence that the railroad was approved after the Civil War started – the South was holding out for the Southern route – and held up all others. It seems to me I have seen articles on transcontinental railroads as early as 1839, to Oregon, (in the Democratic Review, as I recall ...
I don't think that the Mexican War was not railroad route related – but do think that the Gadsden purchase , even though it was one of the odder purchases made. Among other things, the Democratic Review published writings by the Existentialists grouped around Emerson. I seem to recall Manifest Destiny showing up there, too, but I'd have to dig to find the date (it's been nearly 20 years since I wandered through those pages).
I doubt Lewis & Clark suffered from railroad fever, but one of my relatives born at that time (1806) certainly did. I suspect his primary goal was capital accumulation, and railroads would have been part of his thinking although surviving records are moot on that point in choosing a homestead.