/ 174 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE Piene AfaAoa^,Esq.
published by Messrs.
Ridgway & Sons, of London, and entitled Â« England
Ireland and America/' I beg to read the following extract; Â° MÂ»
1 June 1 35.
We will here jntroc|uce a scheme to the notice of our readers, which, whilst we eWi
acknowledge with gratitude the source from whence it originated, we think deserves thenoti of our Government.
1Ce In letter Eu to Llavre, and ot eight clays 111 descending tne lnsn v^nannei from JLiverpool to Cape Clea" says, be " believes that, on an average,_one-third or one-fourth of the time is wasted upon every Transatlantic voyage, in getting into or out of the European ports now resorted to " The "writer then proceeds as follows: " The commerce of America chiefly centres in the ports of Hamburgh, Havre London and Liverpool.
Each of these is distant from the ocean and difficult of access.
On th western coast of Ireland there are several harbours far superior in every requisite.
As for instance, the island of Valentia, which is the nearest point of land in"Europe to America.
Between it and the main reposes an excellent receptacle for shipping of any burthen approached by two easily practicable inlets, completely land-locked, capacious and safe' Situated immediately on the brim of the Atlantic, a perfectly straight line can be drawn from this harbour to the port of New York, the intervening transit unobstructed by islands, rocks or shoals.
The distance, being less than 2,700 miles, may be traversed by steam in'about eight days ; and the well-known enterprise of the American merchants renders it unnecessary for me to do more than to intimate, that they will avail themselves of every opening or inÂ¬ ducement that naay arise to establish the first link of intercourse by aline of packet boats.
* # * # * # " The extent of this undertaking has been stated as beyond the means of those likely to engage in it.
This seems to me incredible, when I advert to the facts, that Ireland has a population of eight millions; multitudes of them are in beggary for want of work, with wages at from 4^.
to 1 s.
a day, and money, on the average, not worth more than three per cent.,
and recollect at the same time, that the state of South Carolina, one of the smallest in the American confederation, with a population of 300,000, wages at 5 s.
sterling a day, and capital at seven per cent, interest, has, unaided and by private enterprise, constructed a railroad from Charlestown to Augusta, 145 miles in extent, at present thc longest in the world, which is travelled with locomotive engines in the course of ten hours.
" The advantages to accrue to Ireland in particular, by thus opening a regular communiÂ¬ cation from New York to London in 12, and to Paris in 15 days, are incalculable.
That island would become, of necessity, the thoroughfare between the two hemispheres; and the occupation of the public mind in such an enterprise, and thc constantly increasing fruits of its progress, would do more to pacify the fearful dissensions of thc people and ameliorate their most lamentable condition, than any legislation of even the best disposed Parliament."
The above project which, in the affluence of their enterprise, our American friends have suggested for the benefit of Ireland, merits thc attention of the landowners and patriots conÂ¬ cerned for the welfare of her people.
* June 1819, a It has long been decided, by the merchants and nautical men engaged in the intercourse steam ship crossed between Liverpool and America, that steam boats* would be found capable of navigating the Atlantic from tiie Atlantic with perfect safety, and the more sanguine amongst those interested in increasing avamiai to Lryer* tjie facjjjties of communication with thc two countries, have gone so far as to predict, that in po "
a dozen years' time we may hope to witness the arrival and departure of steamers twice a week between England and the United States.
As any scheme of this nature must necessarily require that the vessels taketbeir deparÂ¬ ture from the nearest points of approximation of the two hemispheres, Ireland would thus become the starting place for all Europe; and it is scarcely possible to conceive any thing that would be more calculated to enrich and civilize that country, than by thus irrigating it, as it were, with the constant tide of emigration to and from America.
, A railway for the purpose here alluded to would pass through the centres of Leinster and Munster, intersecting the counties of Kildare, Queen's County, Tipperary, Kilkenny,LimeÂ¬ rick, Cork and Kerry, and would pass within 20 miles of the port of Limerick, and3omues from that of Cork, to both of which cities it might reasonablyjbe expected that brancheswouia be carried by public subscription; thus not only would these two great commercial_havens be connected with Dublin, but, by opening a direct communication with each other, it won afford a medium for traffic by steam, between the 15 counties that are washed by tliatJÂ°, stream the Shannon and the ports of Cork and Bristol, and ultimately^ by means ot in Great "Western Railway, with London,
, f t>;r.
Railroads are already begun for connecting Liverpool with Southampton by way ot mingham and London.
The French have long been engaged in making surveys tor a r way from Havre by way of Rouen (the Manchester of France) to Paris, and altuougn racteristic delays may arise to retard the completion of this as of other PÂ»'Â°JeÂ£ts or
tfat usefulness with that fanciful people, yet as it is perhaps the only line 10 all Â£ranc would prove a remunerating speculation, there can be no doubt that it will be the nrs is undertaken in that country* ^ Presuming this to be effected, then, by means of such a plan as is here r*00^^ be for constructing a line from Dublin to the extreme point of Munster, a traveller w
^ enabled to transport himself from the French metropolis, vid Havre, Southampton, ^\