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7 > Page 7 of Address to the people of Kentucky, on the subject of the Charleston & Ohio Rail-road / by Robert Wickliffe, Esq.

d Suppose the objectors to rail roads and land transportation, calcu- late the average losses upon the Mississippi and its tributaries in steam boats and other craft yearly, and when they have done so, com- pare such losses to the losses on rail roads throughout the world, they will find to their surprise, a bloody and tremendous account of it- they will find that more lives and property were lost on the Ben She- rod or Tennessee alone, than has been lost upon the face of the globe from rail roads since their use. And to this consideration they should add a frightful list of deaths arising from diseases contracted from navigating our waters. Since our own enterprising citizens first tempted the market of New Orleans, the river and its markets have been literally the graves of our people. It is a market fraught with all the perils of life and property, that any market upon earth is. Our trade to the south over land is three fold in value the amount of what we take by water,-and to take our stock, c. to market re- quires a larger proportion of hands according to the amount in value taken to market, than is required to take the same amount of our pro- duce to market on the river, yet there is believed to be a greater a- mount of the loss of lives from the perils of the rivers and steam boats, and diseases in one year among our traders in the river trade, than has arisen from our whole trade by land, since our citizens drove the first horse to the Charleston market. When this fact is known to all, ought a wise people to perish and wither their enterprise and trade by land, and give exclusive encouragement and protection to that on the water Surely not. But as I have said, let it net be un- derstoood that I would discourage the river trade or in the least ad- vise its discontinuance-very different. I believe commerce is the spirit of labor and civilization, and that a virtuous people should en- courage and protect it. But commerce, like every other branch ef business, should be managed with prudence and foresight, and be ever under the guidance of wise policy, and not left to chance and hazard alene. Yet, was the question propounded to me which trade to yield, that of the rivers or of the land, I am ready at once to decide. While on the one hand I admit the value of our river trade, on the ether I consider our intercourse with the south over land, invaluable and in- dispensable to us-so much so, that without it we would in our ruin- ous trade elsewhere become bankrupt in a twelve month. I have not time nor inclination to dilate in a contrast upon the subject of our inter- course with the countries on the Mississippi and those on the Atlntic