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THE EAST RIVER SUSPENSION BRIDGE.
was easy for the nation to help any section of the republic that should really require it.
An illustration of our steadily growing prosperity and enterprise was given during the spring of 1883 in the completion of the great East River Suspension Bridge, connecting New York City with Brooklyn. This bridge was built at a cost of nearly fifteen million dollars — an amount double that of the entire annual cost of carrying on the government of the United States in the first years of Washington's presidency. It took fourteen years to finish the
structure, which has a total length of over a mile. The roadway is suspended by four steel-wire cables, each more than a foot in diameter, stretched from towers nearly three hundred feet in height. The bridge is divided into five avenues, one for foot-passengers, two for carriages and wagons, and two for street-cars. Taken as a whole, this bridge - a monument of American engineering skill
is the grandest work of the kind in the world.
1 The East River Suspension Bridge was begun by John A. Roebling (pronounced Ro'bling) of Trenton, New Jersey, the inventor of wire suspension 8 'The full title of the exhibition was “The World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition." The buildings covered more than seventy-five acres, and the
Still another evidence of the prosperity of the country was the reduction of postage (1883) on letters, weighing not more than half an ounce, from three cents to two. Later (1885), the weight of a letter which might be sent at this low rate was increased to a full ounce. This gives us the cheapest postage in the world for the distance covered by it; since for two cents we can now send a bulky letter from Eastport, Maine, to San Francisco, about thirty-five hundred miles, - a distance greater than that from New York to London.
379. The New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exhibition ; the “ New South.” — In 1784, eight bags of cotton were exported from Charleston, South Carolina, to England. It was the first shipment of the kind ever made from the United States. In time, this country came to supply nearly all the cotton used in Great Britain and Europe, and the value of the crop grew to be so great that it was a common saying at the South, “Cotton is king."
In the winter of 1884, an exhibition was opened at New Orleans the largest cotton market in America — to mark the
bridges, the builder of the famous railroad suspension bridge at Niagara, and of the great suspension bridge across the Ohio at Cincinnati. Mr. Roebling only lived to complete the plan of the East River Bridge. He was succeeded by his son, W. A. Roebling, who took up the work and finished it.
1 See Paragraph 205. Some accounts state the the first shipment was “six bags, amounting to about one bale." This seems to be a mistake. See the history of cotton exportation from Charleston in “ The Charleston Year-Book " for 1883 and compare the “ Year-Book” for 1880.
2 Samuel Slater, who came to this country from England in 1789, was the first person to establish the manufacture of cotton in the United States. Moses Brown, a Rhode Island Quaker, wrote to him: “If thou canst do this thing [set up a cotton-mill], I invite thee to come to Rhode Island, and have the credit of intro ducing cotton manufacture into America."
Mr. Slater was just the man who could " do this thing"; and, trusting wholly to his memory to construct the complicated machinery required, he started a mill at Pawtucket in 1790, which proved an entire success.
Francis C. Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, following Mr. Slater's example, set up the manufacture of cotton in Massachusetts, and the great manufacturing city of Lowell was named in his honor.
hundredth anniversary which had elapsed since the first export of that product, of which the “Crescent City” alone now ships nearly two millions of bales.1
The real importance of that Centennial Exhibition did not, however, depend on its display of any one production, but in the fact that it proved that the South had entirely changed, — that it had in fact become absolutely a “New South.”
380. The Progress made by New Orleans an Illustration of what the “ New South” is doing. - Take New Orleans itself as an illustration. Before the war, it had but a single important line” of railroad entering the city; now it has six trunklines.3
Before the war, it was almost wholly a commercial city, and its manufactures practically counted for nothing. To-day, though its commerce is larger than ever,4 yet its manufactures outstrip them ; it now makes great quantities of goods which it formerly bought. In 1860, the money invested in its machine-shops, mills, and workshops was so small that it was not reported; at the present time, it is probably close upon twenty-five million dollars, and the yearly wages it pays to its workmen amount to about nine million dollars.
381. The South no longer a Purely Agricultural Country; its Manufactures ; its Prosperity; the “ Freedmen"; Education. — The change that has taken place in New Orleans shows us what has been going on throughout the South. When the war broke out, it was almost purely an agricultural country; now, within the past four years alone, fourteen thousand new manufacturing and mining enterprises have been started, and many thousands of miles of railroad have been built. Such cities as Chattanooga (Tennessee), Atlanta (Georgia), Birmingham (Alabama) are "hives of industry." Their cotton-mills, iron-mills, and other important works are fast rivalling anything in the North or West; and they possess the advantage of having their supplies of raw material their cotton, iron, lumber— at the
main building was the largest of the kind ever erected in the world. Important cotton exhibitions had been held in Atlanta in 1881, and at Louisville in 1883; but they did not compare in magnitude with this at New Orleans.
1 The bale varies in weight, but is usually estimated at about four hundred pounds.
2 See Scribner's “Statistical Atlas of the United States." 8 Trunk-lines of railroad: main lines, connecting large and important cities.
4 Much of this increased ocean commerce is due to Captain Eads. See Para. graph 374.
doors of their factories and mills; with unlimited quantities of coal for fuel, and immense water-power besides.
But this is not all. A new spirit shows itself in the South. Free labor is accomplishing double what slave labor did. In 1860, the South produced less than four million bales of cotton; now it produces eight millions : the white man does about half the work ; the black man, the other half. The “freedmen” share in this prosperity; and the men who, when the war broke out, could not call even themselves their own, are to-day taxed for over a hundred million dollars' worth of property, which they have fairly made and just as fairly enjoy.
In education the progress has been equally great.? Common schools have multiplied all through the South, — they are free to black and white alike, though the schools are separate, 3 — and the negro has not only many thousand teachers of his own race, but great numbers of white teachers besides.
1 Among these new enterprises none is more remarkable than that of the production of cotton-seed oil. Before the war the seed was thrown away or burned as useless. Now nearly $50,000,000 are invested in its production. The oil is used as a substitute for olive-oil for making a superior soap, and for many other purposes.
2 In 1882, Paul Tulane of New Orleans left over a million of dollars to found a university for the higher education of white youth in that city. Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tennessee, is another example of the same kind.
In 1866, George Peabody of Danvers, Massachusetts (the London banker), gave a sum of money, which he later increased to $3,500,000, for the promotion of education at the South. In 1882, John F. Slater of Norwich, Connecticut, gave $1,000,000 for the education of the "freedman " at the South. To-day the Southern States are spending very large sums on common and high-school education.
8 The common schools for the blacks and the whites throughout the South, says the late Mr. Grady, "are separate, without exception." See“ In Plain Black and White," in the Century, April, 1885.
Horace Greeley used to give this advice to the young men of his acquaintance who wanted to get a start in life : “Young man, go West.” To-day we might change this advice a little, and say, Young man, go West, or South.
382. Summary. - The principal events of the Garfield and the Arthur administrations were the assassination of President Garfield, followed by Vice-President Arthur's succession, and by an act of Congress providing for civil service reform.
During Arthur's presidency, great destruction of property was caused by the overflow of the Mississippi ; but the general prosperity of the country was shown by the completion of the East River Suspension Bridge, by the reduction in the rate of letter postage, and by the immense growth and prosperity of the “ New South.”
383. Cleveland's Administration (Twenty-Second President, One Term, 1885–1889); Progress made in Civil Service Reform. — The Republican party had held control of the government ever since the first election of Abraham Lincoln ; Grover Cleveland was the first Democratic President that had been inaugurated for over a quarter of a century.
Among the important matters to which President Cleveland gave special attention was the reform of the Civil Service, which had heen undertaken under President Arthur. The success of such a
1 Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey, in 1837. His father soon after moved to New York State, and his son began the study of law in Buffalo, at the age of eighteen. In 1881, he was elected mayor of that city, and the year following, he became governor of New York. In 1884, Mr. Cleveland was elected President (Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana, Vice-President) by the Democrats, over James G. Blaine of Maine and John A. Logan of Illinois, the Republican candidates. Many “Independent Republicans," or "Mugwumps," as they were called, voted for Mr. Cleveland.
2 James Buchanan, the last Democratic President before Cleveland, was elected in 1857, just twenty-eight years before,
8 See Paragraph 377.