railway problems

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: n EARLY AMERICAN CONDITIONS1 WHAT happened in Michigan was typical of the whole western situation. In the early days of its statehood it had planned and partly built two lines of railroad across its lower peninsula, from east to west. So severely, however, was the state shaken by the panic that in spite of its heroic efforts to meet its obligations the word Michigan became a scarecrow to eastern capital. As the years went on and there proved to be no possibility of completing the roads or even of procuring the money necessary to keep them in repair, it grew plain that the state must get rid of them. One, the Michigan Central, one hundred and forty-five miles long, ran from Detroit to Kalamazoo. The other, the Michigan Southern, also ran nowhere, but achieved the same result with less effort, Being only seventy-five miles long. The roads together had cost $3,500,000. Accordingly, placing its dilapidated property on the bargain-counter, the state waited for customers. At last, in 1845, the railroads attracted the attention of two young men, both easterners who had gone West, and both persuaded not only that the day of prosperity for the West was about to dawn, but that, if the right means were taken, eastern capital could be brought to look upon a western ro£ld with favor. One of the men was James F. Joy, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Law School, who had come to Detroit and was waiting for his practice to grow. The other was John W. Brooks, the superintendent of the Auburn and Rochester Railroad in New York. They believed that if the Michigan Central could be rehabilitated and completed for the remaining third of the distance to Lake Michigan, it would prove a profitable investment. It would open up the rich farming land ofMichigan; better still, it would ...
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