The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 18
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
viewpoint. Among his arguments for the Gwin Bill were stressed
the necessity for the protection of our Pacific possessions, that
travel across the continent to the Pacific coast should be protected
from the Indians, that citizens of the coast region should be amply
protected from annoyances from other powers, and that California
and Oregon should be more rapidly assimilated. In closing his
remarks he spoke of the great opportunity that would be lost to
this country should another power build the first Pacific railroad.4
During this period the other leading Texas spokesman was argu-
ing in the House of Representatives for a southern route. Con-
gressman Howard urged that the army and navy reports showed
that the defense of this country would always be incomplete until
the construction of a Pacific railroad had been completed; Asiatic
trade would fall into our hands with such a road; the donation of
over eight million acres of Texas public lands to a building com-
pany offered an opportunity not to be rejected readily; New Mex-
ico would be developed instead of being allowed to lie idle; the
Whitney project was for a route of 2,000 miles, but the Texas road
would be less than 1,500 miles long and its territory all along the
route was valuable for the production of export commodities; and
the thousand miles of desert along the northern route compared
very unfavorably with the Texas region of corn, cotton, flour, beef,
Along with the lull in railroad agitation after the Compromise
of 1850 the editor of De Bow's Review wrote with a pessimistic
trend. Late in 1850 he acknowledged that he had almost given up
hope of a southern route to the Pacific and stated that he would
prefer Whitney's route to no road at all. This statement is found
in an introduction to the publication of a Congressional report on
the Whitney route.46 But in an issue of the following year his
hope revived and he declared that a Pacific railway through Texas
and along the Gila River would give us the carrying trade of Great
Britain to India and China and would realize the grand idea of
Columbus of a western route to India.47 During the same year
the Texas Legislature called attention to the merits of the Galveston
and Red River plan. This route was to extend to El Paso and
4Cong. Globe, 2 sess., 33 Cong., 126.
"Gong. Globe, Appendix, 1 Sess., 82 Cong., 776 ff.
"De Bow's Review, IX, 601.
4TDe Bow's Review, XI, 623.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/22/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.