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Element in Education

Revised and Enlarged with New Illustrations

(Special Edition.)



Work and IVealth are Inseparable /lllies.






The Address: The Railroad as an Element in Education; or, What Steam

and Steel, Science and Skill have done for the world, delivered before the

International Congress of Educators, World's Exposition, New Orleans, . . 3

The Evolution of Steam— The Niagara Suspension Bridge— The Great Tunnels— The

Brooklyn Bridge— The Dispatcher's Accuracy— Temperance and Railroad Men—

"All Right?" "Go Ahead! " the Language of the Continents— The Rapid Spread

of the Mother Tongue— Charities of Railroad Men— Tribute to the Projector and

Builder of the Texas and Pacific Railway.

Addenda, 28

France compared with Texas— Loans of Ex-Senator Joseph E. Brown to Meritorious
Young Men— The Nature, Objects, and Purposes of the Stanford University— Work
and Wealth— Comparisons not Odious— The Interstate Commerce Bill— Brief
Memoirs : Messrs. Hoxie, Noble, and Foreacre— A Trip from Hell Gate to Gold
Gate— Resolutions of The National Educational Association— Sunday Trains-
Charities of Mr. Charles Crocker.

The Inception and History of Strikes, 65

Personal Liberty the Corner Stone of Our Governmeut- The Great Strike of 1877— The
Homestead Troubles— Judge Paxson's Opinion— The Pullman Strike— Resolutions
of Both Houses of Congress— Diagram : Average Freight Rates on Eighteen Trunk
Lines from 1873 to 1892— Diagram : Average Wages for Fifty-two Years from 1840 to
1891 — Government Control of Railroads not the Solution — The National Educa-
tional Association upon the Strike — The True Solution : The Education of the
People in the Schools and in the Family.

Fast Runs — Speed Records 89

Discussion Showing that on Roads Running East and West, the East Bound for Speed
Will Have the Advantage — The Jay Gould Special from Council Bluffs to Chicago
—The Knights of Pythias Train the Longest Fast Run in the World. JacksonxriHe
Ha., to Washington, D. C. — Comparative Statement of the Three ureax ttuus oi
the London and Northwestern, the New York Central, and the Lake Shore and
Michigan Southern Railroads— Other Runs, Not Special.

"Drew THE Wrong Lever," 97

Discussion Showing Why the Brakeman Threw the Switch the Wrong Way.

The St. Louis Union Passenger Station, 99

Comparison with the Great Tabernacle, Salt Lake City— Description of the Headhouse
and Train Shed, the Largest in the World- Diagram of the Tracks.

Tunnels and Bridges, 105

Simplon Tunnel — Baltimore and Ohio Tunnel — Electric Motor — The North River

Late Gifts to Educational Enterprises, , 209

Meesrs. C. P. Huntington, C. F. Crocker, and J. J. Hill.

The Evolution of the State of Illinois and the Illinois. CjEtrxpAL

R. R. Co.. . .i, . j.> ,:..•.: -•» '.*;.:. .: A *.''. .' ,.| /':. . \ ; : ;.*: i. ; . 112









Mr. President:

Steam is well-born ; is a lineal de-
scendant of the four elements of the
ancients — earth, air, fire, and water —
has survived, lived through more than
two thousand years, gaining strength
from its own usefulness and age;
is to-day in the full vigor of man-
hood. As a motive power steam was
known 130 years B. c* Hero of
Egypt exhibited his EolipOe, an ap-
paratus with a metallic boiler, pro-
vided at the top with two horizontal
jet-pipes bent into the form of an S.
The steam, escaping from these jets
and reacting upon the air, gave a
rotary motion to the pipes. Barker's
centrifugal mill is an example of this
kind of action.
Blanco de Goray, of Barcelona, as far back as 1543, propelled with

steam a vessel of two hundred tons.

But passing over historical details — leaving out the controversies of

aspiring inventors and discoverers — I come to a year in our civilization

memorable for rich results.

*Spiritalia seu Pneumatica. C"-)


4 The Railroad as an Element in Education.

In l776, the " transmutations" of alchemy, the ideal of Paracelsus,
gave birth to the real of Priestley and Lavoisier, and chemistry as a practi-
cal science is announced to the world. This same year Adam Smith pub-
lished his Wealth of Nations. This same year the Declaration of Indepen-
dence was proclaimed by the Continental Congress. This same year Watt
produced — perfected his "improved," his " successful" steam-engine.

The man of science can, Avith pardonable pride, exclaim, "Arithmetic
fails to enumerate the 'agents' and 'reagents' of chemistry!" The politi-
cal philosopher can point to the real wealth of the nations as the best result
of his science ; the statesman can, with true patriotism, refer to our peace-
ful, our happy republic as the legitimate result of the Declaration.

Individuals may boast of the triumphs of these, but the millions whose
burthens have been lightened and lifted, who are fed and clothed by the
diversified labors of steam, may be excused too — will be pardoned — for
their appreciation of the result which gave to the world the steam-engine of
James Watt.

Patriotic as I am, and claiming as I do for our Fulton the first success-
ful application of steam to navigation, in the Clermont (1807), I as cheer-
fully accord to the mother-country the honor due George Stephenson (1829),
for his successful " run" in the Rocket over the Rainhill trial course.

It is a remarkable fact that within the last one hundred years sdence
has made its most rapid strides. Steam and electricity, motor and messen-
ger, have vied with, not rivaled, each other in tratisporting and transmitting,
until " there is no speech nor language ivhere their voice is not heard. Their line
is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."

Classical scholars have insisted that our word ' ' educate " is from educere
— to draw out ; and hence they have taught that education is a "pumping"
process, that it is all in and within the mind of the child, the learner, and
must be drawn out ; and thus to their theory is due largely the one-sided
instruction, or the total disregard of every other method. The truth is,
our word "educate" is from a different word — it is from educare, which
means "to bring up," "to train," "to develop," " to increase and give power
to." There can be no mistake from this view, that there is a pouring-into
as well as a pumping-out in the process of education.






6 2^ Railroad as an Element in Education.

I have no war against the classics. So far from it, I assert to-day that
there can be no "liberal education" without the classics.

Among these, however, I claim the first place in order and importance
shall be assigned to our mother tongue. The Greek knew no other than
his own language, nor did the Roman go abroad to study until he had mas-
tered the Latin. Why, then, should we ignore, why should we be so slow
to acknowledge, the claims of modern science ?

In the demands made by the progressive development of railroad con*
struction, and the improvement in that vast field alone, every science and
every department of science is laid under contribution, until we have here
the fullest and happiest illustration of the great law of "supply and de-

A motive power greater than that of man or horse, an improved steam'
engine, is called for, and James Watt presents his. And now a locomotive
is needed that shall transfer this mighty energy, adapt it to the road, and
George Stephenson controls with his own hand the throttle of his own
engine. And now a trestle, and now a bridge, and now a suspension bridge,
and that, too, across Niagara, and the occasion — science, conscious of this
new requisition — gives to the world John A. Roebling.

Harmonizing circumstances — Time, the great arbiter, comes in, and so
orders it that Robert, the son of George Stephenson, should pass over
Niagara River in a railway train, and on the suspension bridge which he
had but lately declared to be an impracticable undertaking.

The purpose of this great engineer's visit to this country was to make
an inspection of the location for the celebrated tubular bridge at Montreal.
Stephenson had criticised and condemned the suspension principle, and had
approved the tubular girder for railway traffic.

At that time doctors of science — engineers — differed as to their theores.
Dut, as now, they also agreed upon the facts as exhibited in the results.

In 1874 I visited Niagara Falls, spent two days, was delighted, amazed,
and awed in turn at this wonderful manifestation, this remarkable phenom-
enon of nature.

From the Falls I went to the suspension bridge. Upon this structure
stood two through express trains awaiting the signals to move on their

The Railroad as an Element in Education. 7

ways, east and west. At the appointed moment they did move. Without
tremor or oscillation that bridge sustained its accustomed load, performed
its duty, as it had done thousands of times before, as it had done fifty times
that very day.

When I saw this bridge spanning this angry river, supporting these
heavily laden trains, I felt this inspiration; I said, "This bridge for the
creature is equal to yon cataract for the Creator."

But again, another demand — a higher principle still — a fiat had gone
forth that not only shall ''Every valle^j be exalted, bid, every mourdain and hill
shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places

Streams, rivulets, rivers had been bridged, the valley had been exalted ;
the crooked route must now be made straight, the mountain must be made
low. No longer can time be consumed in searching out the passable passes,
in following the tortuous gorge. The yawning chasm, the deep canon, the
treacherous glacier, the awful avalanche, snow and ice, mountain-pass and
mountain-peak — all, all must be shunned — must be left to enjoy undisturbed
their lofty abode amid its chilly, frozen environments.

Whether Pyrenees or Alps, Alleghany or Hoosac, all ranges standing
in the way of the locomotive must be made low, must be tunneled. Sci-
ence, quietly observing what is going on, anticipating these new and still
greater demands, accordingly prepares for yet greater results, and at this
juncture and for this stupendous work furnishes both the engineering skill
to conduct and the new motors, Burleigh drills, and air-compressors to per-
form the boring, and dynamite to do the blasting, and we have Mount
Cenis Tunnel, a trifle less than eight miles in length, thirteen and a half
years building, at a cost of S15, 000,000; St. Gothard, nine and a quarter
miles, seven and a half years building, at a cost of $9,700,000, consuming
half the time, at two thirds the cost of the Cenis Tunnel; the Hoosac Tun-
nel, some five miles in length, eleven years in building, costing $13,000,000.

One among the first railroad tunnels in the United States was the Alle-
ghany Portage double-track, nine hundred feet long, costing some 821,840.

I must be pardoned for mentioning, in this connection, that here partic-
ularly the skill of the engineer is tested in the use of the most accurate

8 Tfie Railroad as an Eleramt in Education.

instriiments and of the most celebrated makers. In boring the Mosconetcon
Tunnel on the Lehigh Valley Railroad— a work less in extent than some,
but said to be of as great magnitude, on account of the presence of water
and other difficulties, as any of the American tunnels— the east and west
headings met in December, 1874, whereupon it was found that the error in
level and alignmeiit was less than half an inch.

[The new East River Bridge, the plans of which have just been adopted by the
Commission in charge of the work, will be the longest suspension bridge in the world,
exceeding the present Brooklyn Bridge, however, by only four feet six inches.]

To be an engineer in the full and complete sense of the term embraces
all sciences, pure and applied. Nor are the languages to be left out.
Through the Latin we learn of Csesar's bridge, through the Greek of
Xerxes' bridge of boats (pontoons). That is not a complete curriculum that
would leave French and German out of the engineer's course. Our Latin
teachers are very proud when their brightest scholars can translate the
description of Csesar's bridge. It is considered hard Latin ; it is given as

The Railroad as an Element in Educaiion. 9

a task — not for the information about the bridge, but because of the diffi-
culty of the translation.

Now, Mr. President, turn your countenance upward; exercise the pre-
rogative you enjoy above the rest of the animals (" . . . quae natura
prona"), behold the arches that support this Grand Structure! Tell me if
there is not more study, more beauty in one of these than in a whole book
of Caesar?

In 1883, and in this country, there has been completed and opened the
greatest structure — the grandest monument to skill and science — to father
and son, to John A. and Washington A. Roebling — to the former for the
conception, to the latter for the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge — the
longest span in the world. In the building of this highway, virtually
making New York and Brooklyn one city, the entire domain of science has
been laid under contribution. Every formula of mathematics, every dis-
covery of chemistry, every law of physics, all have furnished their quota.
Every department of human industry, every tool invented by the ingenuity
of man has borne its part in the final result. Without the most recent
discoveries of science, the converting of iron into steel by the pneumatic
process, the bridge in its present form could not have been built.

I can not describe in detail all the creative and constructive efforts ui
the human mind in this great work. It is not necessary; it is finished —
"Finis coronal opus."

All this, however, is upon but one side, the department of construction,
the building of railroads.

There is still another side, the operating department, in which to accu-
racy of calculation must be added discretion, sound judgment, and all the
higher qualities of head, and heart too. Here we learn — we take an account
of exceedingly small things; here we hear the name of the noneutitv, the
imaginary mill, and use it in actual daily transactions :

" So many tons a mile at so many mills per ton."

•'It will cost so many mills to move such freight; therefore, in order to
pay dividends and cover operating expenses, we must charge so much per

The tables — operating expenses — have these items: "The amount of

10 The Railroad as an Element in Education.

coal used this year compared with last on Division was 1.8 pounds

more, or 2.3 pounds less per mile."

In what school can a pupil be found who would distribute the tax-
assessment for eleven hundred miles of railway passing through twenty-
nine counties, and the miles and hundredths of a mile in each county to be
taken into account, each county assessing a different valuation, and balance
up the whole to mthin five mills, one half of one cent?

These are some of the problems, and these are some of the questions
that are solved by the railroad accountants.

The curse of our schools, and colleges, and universities too, is the want
of accuracy. And I am not sure but the careless use of slates and black-
boards has much to do w'ith it. It is so easy to say, "Oh! that is wrong —
rub it out." In railroading you can not "rub it out."*

The dispatcher who sits at his table with fifty — a hundred and fifty —
trains on the rail has more responsibility every way than the general who

directs an army.

"Soine one had blundered^*

was said when, at Balaklava,

" Then they rode back, but not —
Not the six hundred."'

Some one has blundered in Egypt. Had Palmerston built a railroad
from Cairo to Khartoum, there would not now be a rebel in the Soudan to
annoy Gladstone.

Your World's Exposition reminds me of the Centennial (1876) at Phil-
adelphia. The latter was full of examples — fruitful illustrations of what
the accuracy and precision in railroad managements accomplish in safety to
property and person.

The Pennsylvania road alone gave receipts for 16,039 cars of building
material — for 4,116 cars of exhibits placed within the Centennial grounds,
without a single claim being made for damage. The total number of pieces
of baggage received and delivered at the several stations amounted to

*You do not find slates and blackboards in the rooms of accountants.

Ihe Railroad as an Element in Education. 11

730,486 pieces. Of these, twenty-six pieces were lost, the claims for which
amounted to $1,906.99.

Total number of passengers from May 10th to November 10th, 4,955,-
712, carried without injury to a single one.

Add to this that during the year 1876 this road moved 17,064,953 tons
of freight and 18,363,366 passengers without loss of Kfe or harm to any

With these facts before me I am ready to believe the following: "A
French statistician observes that if a person were to live continually in a
railway carriage, and spend all his time in railway traveling, the chances
of his dying from a railway accident would not occur until he was nine
hundred years old."

But the railroad is solving other problems — social problems, commercial
problems, farming problems.

The poet has said :

" Seas shall join the regions they divide ;"
The railroad answers : And continents shall unite the oceans they separate.
The rich valleys of the interior, the fertile plains of the "Far West," are
made neighbors to, — find markets upon the very shores of the Atlantic, all
by and through the agency of the railroad.

We hear a great deal about the Great West ! Pray, what has made the
West so great?

Not greatness of territory solely — not great distances, but the potential-
ity, the living, working capacity of the locomotive — the greatest pioneer,
the greatest missionary ever sent out by Church or State.

What makes Chicago the successful rival of New York ? The latter is
the senior of the former, not only by scores, but by two hundred years.

The ten thousand miles of railway tributary to Chicago — the seven
hundred trains (three hundred and fifty arriving and three hundred and
fifty departing daily), with their heavily laden cars of both passengers and
freight — have something to do with the prosperity, the metropolitan pre-
tentions of the " Lake City."

What will make your city the rival of both New York and Chicago ?

Not because she is the outlet of the Mis.sissippi Basin, but because she

12 The Railroad as an Element in Education.

is the eastern terminus of the railroads of the Pacific Slope, the Southwest,
the Northwest.

The superintendent of our last — the tenth — census says: "The close-
ness with which the center of population, through such rapid westward
movement as has been recorded, has clung to the parallel of 39° of latitude
can not fail to be noticed."

He does not, however, say a word as to the cause of this singular move-
ment westward four hundred and fifty-seven miles in ninety years. Near
and upon the 38°, 39°, and 40° of latitude may be found three of the great
trunk railways.

But their location is still another problem. The peculiar climate, pro-
ductiveness of the soil, and the early settlement of this region have all
something to do with it. Here is problem growing out of problem, fruitful
eacb to tbe student of social philosophy.

But again. I argue more directly, because more demonstratively tan-
gible, that the school interest, the schools themselves, have flourished and
spread their influence in the direct ratio of the number of miles of railroad
in the State. Massachusetts, at home and abroad, stands at the head of
ouj' school system; nor is it disputed that in her borders we find models
of true culture and refinement. Massachusetts has a mile of railroad to
every four square miles of territory.

This is a case from the extreme East. I take an example from what
used to be termed the West, now about the middle of our country : Ohio
has a mile of railroad for every six square miles of territory. Ohio has
pretty good school facilities, and of late has furnished her full quota of

But select at will any State, and upon tbe map mark the seats of insti-
tutions of learning — schools, academies, colleges, and universities — and you
will find them all arranged along the lines of the great railroads.

England and Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, and Scotland possess the
greatest railway facilities. These also enjoy the greatest freedom, the best
systems of schools of all the European States.

But to come still nearer : Texas is an example in which from being the
largest State in the Union territorially, she has become also greater in

The Railroad as an Element in Educaiion. 13

resources than any of her sister States of the South, simply on account of
the indissoluble bond between her school-lands and her railroads.

Of seventy-four cities and towns assuming control of their schools, sup-
plementing the amount received from the State (five dollars for each pupil
of scholastic age annually) by a special tax, sixty-six of these aie directly
upon the lines of railways, while the remaining eight are of easy access to

We hear a great deal about what "The Fathers of Texas" have done
for the education of all the children of the State ; the thousands of leagues
of land reserved for the counties — the millions of acres for the general
school fund.

These historians should go a little further, and tell us what these "mil-
lions of acres" were worth before the railroad companies surveyed and
brought these lands to the attention of the world.

It is true that the railroads received sixteen sections of land for every
mile of road built, conditioned, however, upon the companies surveying
their own, together with an equal number of sections (alternates) for the

The entire expense of surveying and returning a double set of field
notes to the General Land Office, at Austin, was borne by the respective

These lands were, for the most part, hundreds of miles beyond civifiza-
tion; indeed, the roads have been extended more rapidly than a paying
trafiic would warrant in order to develop their lands, to bring them into

The Texas & Pacific wore out its main line of 44-4 miles in building
the extension west of 616 miles — was a practical example of the problem :
"How far would a boy travel, starting from a basket two yards from the
first egg, and carrying singly to the basket one hundred eggs, two yards
apart, in a straight line ? " *

But whatever develops, enhances the railroad ' ' sections," enhances the
school "alternates," until lands heretofore not commanding twenty -five

* Some idea can be formed of the amount of wear and tear on the road, when it is
understood that the boy traveled 11 miles 840 yards.

14 The Railroad as an Element in Education.

cents an acre are now readily sold for two dollars ; or, the railroads have
increased the school funds eight-fold, have multiplied their values until Texas
boasts of a free-school fund of ninety-five million dollars — a fund that will
yield, at five jier cent per annum, $4,750,000. In valuation, the report of
the Comptroller shows the railroads to be the third in order. Of course
land and other realty hold the first place, and live stock the second.

The six thousand miles of railroad in Texas, at one half the average cost
throughout the United States, would amount to $210,000,000.

By reference to the report of the Comptroller, it appears that the tax-
able property of the State was

In 1871 $222,504,073

In 1877 319,373,221

In 1878 303,202,426

In 1879 304,193,163

In 1880 301,470,736

In 1881 375,000,000

In 1882 419,927,476

In 1883 , 527,537,390

In 1884 603,060,917*

In 1870 there was less than 300 miles of railroad in the State. From
1870 to 1877 there were added 1,300 miles ; 400 miles were built in 1877,
200 in 1878, and 700 each in 1879 and 1880, while in 1881 there were built
over 1,500 miles. Since 1881 there have been added by the completion of
roads projected nearly one thousand miles more.

It will be observed that the gains in the wealth of the State followed
the years of greatest mileage built. Was it not dependent on the increased

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