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A Letter from Major Robert Carmichael-Smyth to His

[Illustration: Map of the North Atlantic Ocean]

A LETTER FROM MAJOR ROBERT CARMICHAEL-SMYTH TO HIS FRIEND THE AUTHOR OF "THE CLOCKMAKER,"

CONTAINING Thoughts on the Subject OF A BRITISH COLONIAL RAILWAY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE ATLANTIC AND THE PACIFIC, FROM THE MAGNIFICENT HARBOUR OF HALIFAX, IN NOVA SCOTIA (NORTH-EASTERN AMERICA), TO THE MOUTH OF FRAZER'S RIVER, IN NEW CALEDONIA (NORTH-WESTERN AMERICA), OR SUCH OTHER PORT AS MAY BE DETERMINED UPON.

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"Let those, who discard speculations like these as wild and improbable, recur to the state of public opinion at no very remote period on the subject of Steam Navigation.

"Within the memory of persons not yet past the meridian of life the impossibility of traversing by Steam Engine the channels and seas that surround and intersect these islands was regarded as the dream of enthusiasts."

DR. LARDNER, 1840.

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LONDON: W. P. METCHIM, 20, PARLIAMENT STREET.

1849.

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PREFACE.

"It is the duty--the imperative duty--of every individual (however humble) to express conscientiously, but calmly, his public opinions, for by such means truth is elicited."[1] Hence it may be permitted the writer of the annexed Letter to observe, that a momentous question is now brought to the notice of the people of Great Britain,--that it ought not to be neglected, until perhaps a voice from her colonial children may go forth proclaiming "it is too late,"[see Note 64]--for then the opportunity of uniting in firm and friendly bonds of union "this wondrous empire on which the solar orb never sets" will have passed away for ever.

----"Dum loquimur fugerit invida AEtas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero."

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[1] Montgomery Martin's History of the British Colonies, 1843; and to that work the writer of the following pages begs to refer all those who take an interest in the British North American Colonies. And if so humble an individual might be allowed to offer his advice, he would strongly recommend the republication, in a volume by itself, of the part connected with the North American Colonies.

INTRODUCTION.

"I shall tell you A pretty tale; it may be, you have heard it; But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture To scale't again."

"The duty of Government is first to regulate the stream of Emigration, so that if a man be determined on leaving the United Kingdom he may settle in one of its Colonies."--_Montgomery Martin, 1843._

"At this moment, when renewed attention is turned to all the Routes which, during ages past, have from time to time been talked about, as best fitted for a link of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,"--we call upon the people of Great Britain and her Government to reflect, that--the best and shortest link of communication--the great link required to unite all her dominions in one powerful chain--is now in her own possession,--that--"it _is_ in vain to inculcate feelings of brotherhood among mankind by moral influence alone; a sense of community of interest _must_ be also established,"--that Great Britain can, in the opening of the Route proposed, at the same time employ her own Children at home and abroad, as well as her own continually increasing Capital.


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