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The Railroad Question.




THE RAILROAD QUESTION


A HISTORICAL AND PRACTICAL TREATISE ON
RAILROADS, AND REMEDIES FOR THEIR ABUSES


BY

WILLIAM LARRABEE,
LATE GOVERNOR OF IOWA.


_Salus populi suprema lex._


NINTH EDITION.


CHICAGO:
THE SCHULTE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
1898.




Copyright, 1893,

BY

WILLIAM LARRABEE.





PREFACE.


The people of the United States are engaged in the solution of the
railroad problem. The main question to be determined is: Shall the
railroads be owned and operated as public or as private property? Shall
these great arteries of commerce be owned and controlled by a few
persons for their own private use and gain, or shall they be made
highways to be kept under strict government control and to be open for
the use of all for a fixed, equal and reasonable compensation?

In a new and sparsely settled country which is rich in natural resources
there may be no great danger in pursuing a _laissez-faire_ policy in
governmental affairs, but as the population of a commonwealth becomes
denser, the quickened strife for property and the growing complexity of
social and industrial interests make an extension of the functions of
the state absolutely necessary to secure protection to property and
freedom to the individual.

The American people have shown themselves capable of solving any
political question yet presented to them, and the author has no doubt
that with full information upon the subject they will find the proper
solution of the railroad problem. The masses have an honest purpose and
a keen sense of right and wrong. With them a question is not settled
until it is settled right.

It must be conceded that of all the great inventions of modern times
none has contributed as much to the prosperity and happiness of mankind
as the railroad.

Our age is under lasting obligations to Watt and Stephenson and many
other heroes of industry who have aided in bringing the railroad to its
present state of perfection. Their genius is the product of our
civilization, and their legacies should be shared by all the people to
the greatest extent possible. An earnest desire to aid in attaining this
end has prompted this contribution to the literature on the subject.

The author is not an entire novice in railroad affairs. He has had
experience as a shipper and as a railroad promoter, owner and
stockholder, and has even had thrust upon him for a short time the
responsibility of a director, president and manager of a railroad
company. He has, moreover, had every opportunity to familiarize himself
with the various phases of the subject during his more than twenty
years' connection with active legislation.

He came to the young State of Iowa before any railroad had reached the
Mississippi. Engaging early in manufacturing, he suffered all the
inconveniences of pioneer transportation, and his experience instilled
into him liberal opinions concerning railroads and their promoters. He
extended to them from the beginning all the assistance in his power,
making not only private donations to new roads, but advocating also
public aid upon the ground that railroads are public roads.

As a member of the Iowa Senate he introduced and fathered the bill for
the act enabling townships, incorporated towns and cities to vote a five
per cent. tax in aid of railroad construction. He favored always such
legislation as would most encourage the building of railroads, believing
that with an increase of competitive lines the common law and
competition could be relied upon to correct abuses and solve the rate
problem. He has since become convinced of the falsity of this doctrine,
and now realizes the truth of Stephenson's saying that where
combination is possible competition is impossible.

It is the object of this work to show that as long as the railroads are
permitted to be managed as private property and are used by their
managers for speculative purposes or other personal gain, or as long
even as they are used with regard only for the interest of stockholders,
they are not performing their proper functions; and that they will not
serve their real purpose until they become in fact what they are in
theory, highways to be controlled by the government as thoroughly and
effectually as the common road, the turnpike and the ferry, or the
post-office and the custom-house.

This book has been written at such odd hours as the author could snatch
from his time, which is largely occupied with other business. He is
under obligations to many of our ministers and consuls abroad for
statistics and other valuable information concerning foreign railroads,
as well as to a number of personal friends for other assistance,
consisting chiefly in rendering the railroad literature of Europe
accessible to him.

WILLIAM LARRABEE.
_Clermont, Iowa, May, 1893._




CONTENTS.


I. HISTORY OF TRANSPORTATION 17

II. THE HISTORY OF RAILROADS 46

III. HISTORY OF RAILROADS IN THE UNITED STATES 76

IV. MONOPOLY IN TRANSPORTATION 90

V. RAILROAD ABUSES 124

VI. STOCK AND BOND INFLATION 163

VII. COMBINATIONS 189

VIII. RAILROADS IN POLITICS 205

IX. RAILROAD LITERATURE 231

X. RAILROAD LITERATURE--_Continued_ 273

XI. RAILROADS AND RAILROAD LEGISLATION IN IOWA 319

XII. THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT 349

XIII. THE RATE QUESTION 370

XIV. REMEDIES 389

APPENDIX--TABLES AND STATISTICS 459




LIST OF AUTHORS AND WORKS CONSULTED AND QUOTED


ACWORTH, W. M. The Railways of England

ADAMS, C. F., JR. Railroads, Their Origin and Problems

ADAMS, H. C. Public Debts

ADAMS, HENRY History of the United States

ATKINSON, EDWARD The Distribution of Products

BAGEHOT, WALTER The English Constitution

BAKER, C. W. Monopolies and the People

BEACH, CHARLES F., JR. On Private Corporations

BLACKSTONE, W. Commentaries on Laws of England

BOISTED, C. A. The Interference Theory of Government

BOLLES, ALBERT S. Bankers' Magazine

BONHAM, JOHN M. Railway Secrecy and Trusts

BRYCE, JAMES The American Commonwealth

BUCKLE, H. T. History of Civilization of England

CAREY, H. C. Principles of Social Science

" " Unity of Law

CARY, M. View of System of Pennsylvania Internal
Improvements.

CLOUD, D. C. Monopolies and the People

CLEWS, HENRY Twenty-eight Years in Wall Street

COOLEY, THOMAS M. Constitutional Limitations

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.

COMPILATION OF ENGLISH LAWS UPON RAILWAYS.

DABNEY W. D. The Public Regulation of Railways

DILLON, SIDNEY North American Review

DORN, ALEXANDER Aufgaben der Eisenbahnpolitik

DRAPER, J. W. Intellectual Development of Europe

ENCYCLOPEDIA, AMERICAN.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA.

ENCYCLOPÄDIE (RÖLL'S) DES EISENBAHNWESENS, 1892.

FINDLAY, GEORGE Working and Management of English Railways.

FINK, ALBERT Cost of Railroad Transportation, etc.

FISHER, G. P. Outlines of Universal History

FISK, JOHN American Political Ideas

" " Critical Period of American History

FOREIGN COMMERCE OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS AND COLONIES.

GRAHAM, WM. Socialism Old and New

GIBBON, EDWARD Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

GREEN, JOHN K. History of English People

GILPIN, WM. The Cosmopolitan Railway

GRINNELL, J. B. Men and Events of Forty Years

GUNTON, GEORGE Wealth and Progress

GUIZOT, M. History of Civilization

HABOUR, THEODOR Geschichte des Eisenbahnwesens

HADLEY, A. T. Railway Transportation

HALL'S LIFE OF PRINCE BISMARCK.

HUDSON, J. T. The Railways and the Republic

JEANS, J. S. Railway Problems

JERVIS, JOHN B. Railway Property

JEVONS, W. S. Methods of Social Reform

KENT, JAMES Commentaries on American Law

KIRKMAN, M. M. Railway Rates and Government Control and other
works.

LECKEY, W. E. H. England in Eighteenth Century

LIEBER, FRANCIS Political Ethics

" " Civil Liberty and Self-Government

" " Miscellaneous Essays

LODGE, H. C. Life of General Washington

MARTINEAU, HARRIET History of England

MCMASTER, J. B. History of People of United States

MACAULAY, T. B. History of England

MOTLEY, J. L. The Dutch Republic

" " The United Netherlands

PAINE, CHARLES The Elements of Railroading

PATTEN, J. H. Natural Resources of the United States

PEFFER, W. A. The Farmer's Side

POOR'S RAILWAY MANUAL.

PORTER, HORACE North American Review

RAWLINSON, GEORGE Seven Great Monarchies

REDFIELD On Law of Railways

RECORDS OF CENTRAL IOWA TRAFFIC ASSOCIATION, 1886-1887.

RECORDS OF ASSOCIATION OF GENERAL FREIGHT AGENTS OF THE WEST.

RECORDS OF JOINT WESTERN CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEES.

REPORTS OF STATE BOARDS OF COMMISSIONERS.

REPORT OF HEPBURN COMMITTEE.

REPORTS OF UNITED STATES CENSUS.

REPORT OF WINDOM COMMITTEE.

REPORT OF BANKERS' ASSOCIATION, 1892.

REPORT OF CULLOM COMMITTEE.

ROEMER, JEAN Origin of English People, etc.

REUBEAUX, F.



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