three (43) towns with a population of more than one thousand,
of which ten (10) had a population of more than five thousand.
The mere distribution of food supply to this manufacturing
population, having to be made daily, promptly and regularly,
would, of itself, necessitate a railway service more comprehen-
sive than would be required in a State like Kentucky, whose
people are fed by the country at their doors. The vast traffic
of the manufactories also demands the amplest railway accom-
modation to furnish the immense quantities of fuel consumed,
to bring and distribute the raw material used in the mills, and
then to collect and carry away the fabrics. Kentucky will
require-does now need-more miles of railway than Massa-
chusetts has or wants; but it is inconceivable that she will
ever require as large a railway mileage in proportion to her
territory, while it is already apparent, I think, that she will
require one greater than Mr. Atkinson computes.
In neither Kentucky nor Massachusetts was railway con-
struction commenced and prosecuted in advance of the com-
plete settlement of the country and occupation of the soil, as
has been the case with some of the newer States and Territories.
The railroads did not here anticipate population and call into
existence the commerce and business they were meant to serve.
They were not built here, as in the far west, to carry immi-
gration and give value to lands which, in their absence, were
not worth cultivation. The railway lines, now in operation
in Kentucky, were constructed in obedience to the demand
for more adequate methods of transportation, in lieu of others
which failed to meet the increasing traffic which yet grew out
of interests on which labor and money had already been ex-
pended and business previously existent. Our future railway
extension will almost certainly be only in response to similar
needs, in aid of properties whose potential values may be well
ascertained, and to fully utilize resources which have long been
partially at the service of industry and trade.
The past railroad development of Kentucky has been prac-
tical and useful, and not at all either experimental or spec-
ulative in its character; the future prosperity of the State
will depend, in no small degree, upon whether it will con-
tinue to be as conservative. I have already called attention