Excerpt from Address of the Hon. William Bross on the Resources of the Far West, and the Pacific Railway: Before the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, at a Special Meeting, Thursday, January 25, 1866
Mr. President and Gentlemen:
Now that the war is over, it is the duty, as it seems to me, of the American people to inquire how they can most rapidly develop the resources of their vast country, and how they can best promote the stability and welfare of the Republic. A knowledge of the extent of that country, of its climate and topography, of its mineral and agricultural riches, is essential to all those who mean to be identified with that new era of development, upon which, it is believed, the Union is now entering. It is with the hope that I can contribute something to that knowledge that I have ventured to appear before you to-day.
It is already known to all of you, by the introduction of your President, that, during the last summer, the Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Representatives, executed a purpose long entertained to visit the Pacific coast. He had for many years occupied an important and leading position among the legislators of the nation. As Chairman of the Post-Office Committee of the House of Representatives, he had brought in the "Overland Daily Mail" and "Pacific Telegraph" bills. He had also used all his influence to pass the Pacific Railway bill, and he wanted to see what further legislation was necessary to develop the Pacific States of the Republic, and, with this view, he resolved to make a personal tour through this vast region. He invited Mr. Bowles, of the Springfield Republican, (who has written a most interesting account of our travels, in which all particulars concerning the country can be found, or at least more of them than any where else,) Mr. Richardson, of the New-York Tribune, and your speaker to be the companions of his journey.
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