The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 20
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Southwestern, Historical Quarterly
tering a Mississippi & Pacific road, the Gadsden Purchase of 1853,
the Congressional authorization of the surveys of routes, the Mem-
phis Convention just referred to, and the Texas General Railroad
Act of January, 1854.
These activities were followed by the Southern Commercial Con-
vention at Charleston and the report of Secretary-of-War Davis in
February, 1854. The convention took a definite and decided
stand, passing eight resolutions on the subject. It was resolved
that we ought to have one or more railroads to the Pacific; that
the route through Texas was the best from every point of view;
that a southern organization should be perfected to aid in building
the road; that the states should be stockholders to the extent of
not less than two million dollars each; that the Southern states
were able to build the road and that it was the duty of every
Southern man to help as he could; and that California should be
invited to enter into the organization."'
The arguments in favor of the passage of these resolutions indi-
cated a new determination on the part of Southern leaders. Al-
bert Pike, lawyer and poet of Arkansas and Louisiana, denounced
any further reliance upon the general government, saying that any
road built by the government would be built on free soil. He
recommended that a Southern Pacific Company should be organ-
ized to secure a right-of-way from Mexico and the Cherokee, Creek,
and Choctaw Indians. His remark that he thought these three
Indian tribes would take at least $3,000,000 worth of stock was
received with great applause. The company, he said, should in-
clude the southern and southwestern States and the north Mexican
states. He urged that "bad as we need the road now, out of the
Union it would be indispensible." He closed with the remark
that it was the imperative duty of the South to build the Southern
Pacific.52 Arguing on the resolution, General Coombs, of Ken-
tucky, said that if the Federal government built a road in the
North it would have to run its cars six months in the year over
the road they were going to build through Texas.53
The Secretary-of-War had had his engineers busy on six surveys
along the parallels of 47, 45, 42, 38, 35, and 32. Captains Pope
and Parke had charge of the survey along the 32nd parallel, the
1De Bow's Review, XVI, 636.
52De Bow's Review, XVII, 97; 593-96.
"De Bow's Review, XVII, 205 ff.
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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/m1/24/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.