The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 22
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Kansas took away interest and the proposition failed to come to
During 1855 and 1856 the Davis reports continued to be dis-
cussed in the press and in Congress. A minority report on the
Gwin Bill attacked the reliability of the Secretary's reports.61
Secretary Davis answered it, and had his answer answered. The
interest of the American people in a Pacific railway had attracted
international interest. A periodical in Paris, France, in August,
1856, published a complete review of the struggles among the ad-
vocates of the various routes for the favor of the American public.
After an introduction along topographical and geographical lines
and a summary of the recent expansion of the United States the
various routes surveyed by Davis were discussed in some detail.
The article favored the Texas route over the others primarily be-
cause of the more suitable climate; but it discounted somewhat
the enthusiastic reports of Captains Pope and Parke because of
alleged lack of wood and water along parts of the route.62
The election of 1856 found all party platforms with planks fa-
vorable to aid for a Pacific railway. President Buchanan, in his
message of December, 1857, was somewhat more emphatic in his
recommendations than his predecessor had been four years earlier.
The Pierce message of December 5, 1853, spoke of the widespread
interest in the Davis surveys then being made, and said that he
hoped Congress would use all constitutional means to aid in the
establishment of a railroad over the route found to be the most
economic. He saw no sound constitutional objection to a Pacific
railroad as a military road, and thought the situation would be a
dangerous one in case of war if the road was not built.63 Presi-
dent Buchanan, in his message of December 8, 1857, stated em-
phatically that we could not protect California and our other Pa-
cific possessions against invasion without the railroad; that we
should have it for the transportation of both troops and mails;
that Congress should aid in the construction of such a road with
land or money or both; and that the difficulty of building the road
had been highly exaggerated. Buchanan went further and re-
eoCong. Globe, 3 Hess., 84 Cong., 776.
61The report of the surveys made by Secretary Davis was very long,
filling eleven volumes of the Congressional Globe.
"August Laugel in Revu6 des Deum-Mondes, Aout 1, 1856.
"Richardson, J. D., Messages and Papers of the Presidents, V, 220 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/m1/26/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.