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article number 434
article date 03-31-2015
copyright 2015 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Limits to Our Urban Migration; Transportation, Power, Water and Capital, 1815-50
by Edward Channing

From the 1921 book History of the United States Volume 5.

THE westward movement forms a distinct picture in our annals. No less distinct, but much less known, is the rise of manufacturing and commercial cities and towns, principally in the Northeast, and the development therein of classes and of an industrial social system.

The more venturesome of the sons and daughters of the settled population of the seaboard sought the fertile farming lands of the West; others, of a mechanical turn of mind, or ambitious of gain, or addicted to books, found employment in the factories, counting-houses, and shops in the cities and towns that came into being as part of the new industrial movement or that grew out of some demand connected with the distribution of agricultural or mechanical products.

The settlement of the West was a dispersion of families over a great space of territory; the building up of the cities of the Northeast was the concentration of men and women in limited areas. As the latter development progressed the demand for clerks and shop hands in the commercial service, for operatives in the factories, and for domestic help in the household became stronger and stronger.*

* New England towns grew or declined in most astonishing fashion. Oftentimes the territorial extent of a town would diminish, but the population would increase owing to the establishment of some industry. Another town might lose almost all its inhabitants owing to some sudden migration of industry and workers. About all that can be said is that, in general, agriculture declined and manufacturing increased in the older settled parts of the Northeastern States in the years covered in this volume.

* (continued) Samuel Forbes of Canaan, Litchfield County, Connecticut, was an admirable example of a New Englander of diversified modes of bread winning. He was one of the earliest iron masters in the United States, kept a flourishing general store, and loaned money to his neighbors. Dr. Percy W. Bidwell’s essay on “Rural Economy in New England in 1890 (Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, xx, 241—399) gives an admirable picture of the conditions of life in that section at the beginning of the new era.

This increase of the farming area and this building up of centres of commerce and manufacture depended upon the development of transportation and this in turn created a demand for labor; but the steamboat and the railroad made it possible to feed, house, and warm large groups of people in contracted spaces.

At the same time the constantly broadening market for manufactured goods and the increasing area from which the manufacturer could draw his supply of raw material rapidly led to manufacturing in larger units and thereby separated the owner and manager from the working men and women.

The growing ease of movement also tended to make labor mobile: on the one hand, the worker could go from place to place; on the other hand, any particular body of workers became liable to an inundation from outside of those who were as skilled as them-selves or could become so after short periods of instruction.

The revival of immigration from Europe also provided the manufacturers with operatives who oftentimes were more skilful than the native American and were accustomed to work for smaller compensation.

Not infrequently groups of these workers were imported from Great Britain to aid in the establishment of some new manufacturing industry, or to provide a supply of cheaper labor, — and these also brought to their new homes the social prejudices and theories of their old places of habitation.

According to the above analysis, the rise of manufacturing in the United States depended upon mechanical inventions that were common to Western Europe and the United States and to the development of transportation facilities in America and throughout the world.

In those days, government protection through the tariff was regarded as an important element in the successful operation of American mills and of other manufacturing establishments where handworkers were employed in great numbers in proportion to the total product.*

* By 1816, even Jefferson had begun to believe that some encouragement was necessary to build up the manufactures of the United States: “Experience has taught me,” he wrote, “that manufactures are now as necessary
to our independence as to our comfort.” Jefferson’s Writings (Memorial ed.) xiv, 392.

Imposts had been laid upon foreign manufactures ever since the formation of the government under the Constitution; but they had not amounted to much in the way of protection. The embargo of 1808, the commercial war that followed it, and the armed conflict that succeeded had provided a very efficient stimulus to the establishment of industries.

After the close of the war, Congress sought to limit the influx of goods from outside by the passage of the Tariff Act of 1816. This law was followed by others in 1824, 1828, 1832, and 1833. This last act provided that the duties then levied by law should be gradually reduced during a period of ten years.


In 1842, however, the condition of the treasury made more revenue necessary and the tariff was again increased to be lessened in 1846. Some manufacturers and some students maintained in those days and have ever since, that special duties were necessary to equalize the cost of high-priced American operatives and the “pauper labor” of Europe.

Others have argued that this end would be more certainly gained by stimulating American invention and efficiency of operation by the exposure of American industry to active competition from outside. Fortunately, it is no part of the historian’s duty to determine which of these two views is correct, or how much or how little of truth there was — and is in either of them, because down to 1850 there was not enough fixity to tariff legislation to do much in the way of building up manufacturing industry.

Moreover, there were many other factors that exercised an unquestionable influence on manufacturing. One of these was the abundance or the lack of loanable capital in America and Europe that accompanied eras of prosperity or rising prices, or eras of depression or falling prices, — for industry on a large scale can be carried on only by the use of borrowed funds.

With much of the ups and downs in the demand for manufactured goods and abundance or dearth of capital, conditions in America and the precise percentage of “protection” had next to nothing to do.

Iron and textiles were the most important manufacturing industries at that time. The development of the iron industry grew out of the new and urgent demands that were created by the new methods of transportation and by the introduction of machinery actuated by water or steam power in the new mills and factories.

It is much more difficult to account for the enormous growth of the textile industry because the yardage of manufactured cloth increased out of proportion to the growth of population, — and the amount of cotton cloth exported was only a small fraction of the total production.

It would seem probable in this instance as in many others that the supply of cheap and attractive fabrics created a demand. The same thing is true as to innumerable small articles of utility, convenience, or ornament, — their production on a large scale and at low cost created a demand that had hitherto been lacking or dormant.

Bearing in mind all these considerations, it is difficult to see what effect, if any, was produced by an ever-changing protective policy.

The impulse to manufacturing was general throughout the country, — Southerners and Westerners were as anxious to partake of the benefits of the new movement as were the Northeasterners.

In the South, factories were established at Richmond, Spartansburg, Columbia, Atlanta, Natchez, and at many other places. The extent and development of manufacturing in that section, apart from bare statements like the above, are impossible to discover and describe owing to the absence of printed records and reports and to the destruction of quantities of manuscript material in the course of the War for Southern Independence.

In itself there would seem to be no reason why manufacturing should not have flourished there in slavery days as it undoubtedly has prospered in the years of freedom. It has often been said that slavery and manufacturing could not live together, but there does not seem to be any good reason for this opinion.

In the States where slavery existed in a non-intensive form, it was no uncommon thing for the poorer planters, or farmers, owning only a few slaves to work with them in the field. Possibly free whites and black slaves could not work together in a textile factory, but surely the slaves might have done the hard labor while the whites tended the machinery, — the two sets of workers being in separate parts of a building or in different buildings.

In iron manufacturing, negro slaves certainly were used. The payroll of the Tredegar Iron Works at Richmond indicates the employment of several hundred negroes; and the negroes belonging to the Nesbitt Manufacturing Company of South Carolina brought seventy-five thousand dollars at a sale of the company’s assets.

Probably it was not the existence of slave labor that interfered with the prosperity of Southern manufacturing; it was the fact that there was more than ample employment for all Southern capital in the cultivation of the cotton plant.


Iron had been worked up in Virginia from an early time and in 1800, there were several furnaces and forges in operation in the Old Dominion. Coal was also mined near Richmond. It was not until the establishment of the Tredegar works at that place that iron manufacturing beyond the rougher stages was carried on at a commercial scale. Those works went on prospering through the decades and in the War proved to be of great utility to the Confederacy.

The Nesbitt Company was a South Carolina corporation that numbered among its stockholders some of the most prominent men of that State. It owned valuable beds of iron, scattered over some eight thousand acres of land; and also possessed water power, limestone, and forested tracts.

The company procured machinery and workmen from New York and arranged to borrow one hundred thousand dollars from the Bank of South Carolina, but it seems never to have had the use of the full amount, owing to the financing of the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad Company of South Carolina by the State through the bank.

Owing to various difficulties, among which were transportation troubles and the impossibility of securing skilled workmen, the company could not repay the money that it had received and mortgaged its lands, buildings, and one hundred of its most valuable slaves through the bank, and later all its property was put up at auction and bid in for one hundred and twenty-four thousand dollars, three-fifths of the assets being scheduled as negroes.

It appears in this case as in the case of other Southern manufacturing and transportation corporations, subscribers to the capital stock oftentimes paid in the form of slaves, and it may be that the fact that three-fifths of the capital stock of the company was invested in labor may have had something to do with its lack of success.*

* From the “Elmore manuscripts” it appears that shareholders contributed negro slaves to the Nesbitt company instead of money to the total amount of $34,000, — forgemen being valued at $2500 and blacksmiths at $2000.

After the sale a new corporation was formed which agreed to pay seven per cent on the loan annually for five years, and thereafter to pay one-fifth of the debt yearly until the entire amount was paid; but what happened to the Nesbitt Company after that is unknown.

Very little has been written about early Southern cotton mills. Half a dozen or so were in operation in 1825 and at one time there had been a good deal of enthusiasm created over the establishment of cotton mills near the cotton fields. There was abundant labor of the same class of poor whites that formed the mainstay of the later mills in their earlier years.

It is said that no mill that was founded in the South before 1826 was financially successful and after 1830, the advocacy of manufacturing in the Cotton States was looked upon locally as more or less treasonable in that it implied some slight belief in tariff and the rightfulness of protection.

In the Northwest, in the country beyond the Pennsylvania boundary line, manufacturing had been begun in the towns on the Ohio River and its affluents. The cost of transportation to and from the Eastern commercial cities was well nigh prohibitive.

Cincinnati people paid about double Philadelphia prices for manufactured goods and were obliged to sell their flour and pork for about one-half the amount those commodities would bring at Philadelphia and Baltimore, owing to the high freights by way of the New Orleans route.

The saying was that it required four bushels of corn to buy at Cincinnati what one bushel would purchase at Philadelphia.

It was under these circumstances that saw mills were erected for fashioning the material for frame houses, grist mills for grinding wheat and corn grown in the neighborhood, and mills for spinning wool and weaving cloth. There were also some factories for working up iron, many breweries, and a few distilleries.

In 1810, the prospect of disseminated manufacturing in the Western country was very good; but road, canal, steamboat, and locomotive brought the high-priced labor of the newly settled country into competition with the lower-priced labor of the Northeast with the result that the budding manufactures of the Western country either died or experienced a very slow development.

Manufacturing began in the Northeast at the very earliest time and progressed through the colonial and Revolutionary periods, practically without a break. After the Revolution, when reports of the new English manufacturing processes began to reach the country, efforts were made to reproduce them in America and make the United States independent of the Old World.

Hamilton and Duer were at the head of what was to be a great manufacturing enterprise in New Jersey; on the Hudson there were active iron factories and in Pennsylvania and Connecticut there were many others. Woollen mills and cotton mills were in operation in all of these States and also in Rhode Island.

There were many obstacles in the way of the successful prosecution of these designs. There was lack of capital, lack of accurate knowledge of modern machinery, very little skilled labor, and great difficulty in procuring raw material. It appears in the case of a Hartford mill that the cost of the cleaning and preparation of the wool for the spinning machines frequently destroyed the profits.


Indeed, one manufacturing enterprise after another was established, only to fall a victim to one or more of these adverse factors. The founding of the modern textile business was due to Samuel Slater, an Englishman, and Francis Cabot Lowell, an American. They practically reinvented the machinery with which Slater had been familiar in the old country and which Lowell had examined there, while on a visit.

The Jeffersonian commercial policy and Madison’s War of 1812 gave American spinners and weavers their first great opportunity, but it was not until the 1820’s that the American textile industry really began its successful career.

Thereafter, there were many serious setbacks due in great measure to financial disturbances throughout the world, but taking year in and year out there was a constant development.

The “Census” of 1840 gives a rough idea of the progress of manufacturing in the United States; according to this there were nearly eight hundred thousand people employed in it and they produced about two hundred and forty million dollars’ worth of commodities in one year.

It is noteworthy that New England and the Middle States had about two-thirds of the total number of persons engaged in manufacturing and produced nearly four-fifths of the total value of commodities made in the United States. Furthermore, it is significant that of the rest of the country, the Northwestern section produced more than the Southern and Southwestern sections put together.

The growth of commercial and manufacturing cities and towns was phenomenal in these years. In the Mississippi Valley, there were New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Pittsburg, to which might be added Mobile although that town is not within the limits of the Mississippi watershed.

The introduction of steam navigation on the Mississippi and its affluents built up the business of New Orleans, which became a distributing centre for imports, as well as a place of concentration for up-river products designed for exportation.

New Orleans also shared with Mobile in forwarding the cotton grown on the rich lands of Mississippi and Louisiana and it handled great quantities of tobacco from Kentucky and of sugar from Louisiana. To New Orleans also came immigrants from Europe bound for Texas, or for points up the Mississippi.

St. Louis was the centre of the mid-Mississippi commerce and of the fur trade of the western country except that which found an outlet through Canada. It also was the shipping point for the products of the lead mines of the upper river and was the centre of the steamboat traffic engaged in collecting the grain and hog products from the shipping ports of the Mississippi and its navigable affluents.

Cincinnati and Louisville performed similar functions for the Ohio.

The importance of these four centres of river steamboat traffic in the thirty years before1850 can hardly be overstated, for in those years practically all the commerce of the Mississippi Valley gained access to the outer world by way of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mobile was almost entirely dependent upon cotton for its commercial life and its period of great prosperity did not begin until the opening of the Indian lands in Alabama and Mississippi provided fields of great richness for the cotton planter.

Pittsburg has a most astounding history. Politically, it belongs to Pennsylvania and the East, but geographically it is in the Mississippi Valley, standing at the edge of the mountains that separate the Atlantic seaboard from the interior basin.

The National Road reached the Ohio River at Wheeling in western Virginia, but the steamboat traffic of the river still made its headquarters at Pittsburg. The Portage Railway connected it with Philadelphia and other routes gave it access to the Genesee Valley and the Erie Canal.

It was inevitable that manufacturing should begin at an early date in such a centre of human effort, and grist mills, wood-working establishments, and distilleries were founded there or in the vicinity at an early time.

Pittsburg stands in a region rich almost beyond comparison in coal and iron. In 1803 Zadok Cramer stated that upwards of $350,000 worth of manufactured articles were made at Pittsburg in one year. Of this amount $56,000 represented manufactures of iron ranging from axes to cowbells; another $13,000 was given as the value of manufactured glass, some of which was said to be equal to any cut in the states of Europe.

Then there were nine hundred barrels of beer and porter, five thousand pairs of shoes, “segars, snuff, and pig tail tobacco” to the amount of $3000, five thousand yards of striped cotton and ninety dozen chip hats.

Even in 1807 the Pittsburg atmosphere was described as filled with soot.

Pittsburgh early 1800’s.

Anne Royall, that notorious, early, strong-minded female, visited Pittsburg in 1828 and gave a most interesting account of the town and its people. She was greatly impressed with “the polite, chaste and gentlemanly deportment of her [Pittsburg] workmen and mechanics . . . they, as a body, are the only gentlemen in the city.”

She devotes thirty-eight pages to describing Pittsburg factories, including those in what were then the suburbs of Birmingham and Manchester. She spent two weeks wandering around them. It is quite evident that the growth since 1803 had been very great, although it is impossible to state any comparative figures from her description.

It appears, however, that the value of the castings made by the Pittsburg Foundry in 1828 was approximately as much as the value of all similar products turned out in the city in 1803.

In 1850 Samuel Fahnestock estimated the total business of Pittsburg, — manufacturing and forwarding — to “not fall short of $50,000,000 annually.” There were then thirteen rolling mills, thirty large foundries, five cotton factories, eight glass factories besides countless other establishments of one sort or another, — and yet Pittsburg was only at the threshold of her career.

Of cities of the Atlantic Coast — and of the country as a whole — New York stood foremost in 1850. The Revolution left it in distinctly a second place, being inferior to Philadelphia in population and in business. At once its period of phenomenal growth began.

It grew faster than Boston or Philadelphia and soon outstripped them in population and commerce and, later, it exceeded Philadelphia in manufacturing. Then came the Erie Canal, tremendously accentuating New York’s commercial business. By 1830 it had acquired the incontestable primacy in population and wealth, and had grown from a small town on the southern end of Manhattan Island to occupy about one-fifth of its present area.

Cenus of 1850 shows the growth of leading cities.

As the century advanced New York absorbed more and more of the distributing business of the Northeast. It became an American counterpart of Liverpool as a collecting and forwarding commercial centre.

It is inevitable that when a town gains a certain commercial position, it absorbs to itself business that had formerly belonged to its rivals, at first those near by and then slowly those farther and farther off. Commerce is attracted to such a port by the certainties of securing conveyance to the destination; vessels, railroads, and steamboats likewise seek it because of the certainty of freight money both ways.

Finally, such a centre of commerce, manufacturing, and distribution becomes naturally a centre of finance, and New York from about 1840 distinctly assumes the position in America which before that time had been held by Philadelphia.

The accumulated wealth of New York had become very great compared with Philadelphia and Boston and the other cities on the seaboard. But when one speaks of it as the financial centre of the country, one means that the business of collecting funds money and credit — and exchanging them for commodities and labor all over the United States centred at that point.

Philadelphia and Baltimore grew steadily. Each of them made great efforts to retain the business that had once been theirs. In a measure they succeeded in extending their influence into that part of the western country that was not distinctly tributary to the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal, and New York City; but it was not until after 1850, when railroad connection was made between those seaports and the Middle West, that they were able to divert much of the western trade from New York and New Orleans to their own wharves and warehouses.

Boston found itself seriously menaced by the commercial augmentation of New York and the utmost that it could do only deferred the loss of ocean-borne commerce.

The New Englanders, thereupon, turned their abundant capital and energy into other directions. They built up great manufacturing enterprises and handled most of the commerce dependent on them; but as the years went by the tendency grew more and more to concentrate the commission and forwarding business of New England at New York.

The story of the old colonial towns of the South is a melancholy one. Williamsburg almost disappeared, but Richmond, owing to its nearness to coal and iron, not only kept its place, but slowly developed although the project of making it accessible to sea-going vessels was defeated.

With the growing years, Charleston and Savannah slipped backwards; Charleston absolutely, and Savannah relatively to the other shipping ports. The new cotton country except a part of western Georgia was tributary to the Gulf; trans-Atlantic vessels no longer sought the Southeastern harbors because they could be assured of freight both ways by going to New York.

Charleston became hardly more than a port of call for coastwise commerce, and its population actually declined.

Had Robert Y. Hayne’s project of a great railroad line connecting Charleston with the mid-Ohio Valley not been defeated, owing partly at least to the efforts of Calhoun, it is quite possible that a large part of the business of the Middle West might have gone to Charleston, instead of to Baltimore and Philadelphia, — and thereby might have altered the course of American history.

In the ways described in the preceding paragraphs there grew up great centres of human activity in different parts of the country. In some places, owing to advantageous positions on lines of commerce, to nearness to iron and coal, or to proximity to abundant water power, commercial cities and manufacturing villages and towns came into existence.

On the Great Lakes there were Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Chicago; in Pennsylvania, Lancaster and Wilkesbarre; in New Jersey, Paterson and Newark; Rochester and Geneva in New York; Meriden and Willimantic in Connecticut; Providence and Pawtucket in Rhode Island; Lynn, Lowell, and Fall River in Massachusetts; and innumerable others scattered throughout the Middle States and New England.

Some of them were old towns revived to new uses; others, perhaps most of them, owed their existence to new manufacturing enterprises.

In great commercial centres like New York and Philadelphia there were always large numbers of workers who were not connected directly with the commercial business of the place. And the larger the city the greater was the supply of non-commercial labor.

It was natural, therefore, that manufacturing enterprises should develop there, especially those forms of manufacture that required comparatively large amounts of hand work, as was the case with the making of shoes and clothes before the days of the development of mechanical sewing.

On the other hand, enterprises that utilized water-power necessarily grew up from the beginning near the rapids or falls of some river.


Of all the towns that have been mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, none have more interesting beginnings than the cotton mill cities of Lowell and Fall River. The former owes its origin to the half dozen men who had made a successful beginning of cotton spinning and weaving at Waltham in Massachusetts.

Francis Cabot Lowell was the master spirit of this enterprise. Being in England in 1811 and possessing a mathematical and mechanical turn of mind, he studied with great care all the cotton machinery he could see and gathered information as to that which he could not see.

Returning home in 1813, he duplicated from his memory and notes of conversations the power loom which he had not seen in England or in Scotland, and he and his associates worked out readjustments and improvements in the other machines used in the making of cotton cloth and performed all the processes in one establishment.

At first there was a prejudice against American machine-woven cotton cloth and it was difficult to dispose of the early products of the Waltham mill. Within half a dozen years the enterprise outgrew the space and water-power at Waltham.

It was suggested that the associates should buy the Pawtucket Canal Company, which had constructed a canal around Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimac River, not far above the entrance of the Concord. This enterprise had never paid and the Waltham people were able, therefore, to buy up the stock at a low figure.

They also secured practically all the land on the river front below the falls for what might well be termed a nominal sum. They also purchased the “rights necessary to control” the outlet of Lake Winnepesaukee, a large lake in central New Hampshire, which furnished most of the water to the Merrimac River.

They formed the Merrimac Manufacturing Company, deepened and widened the canal, erected the necessary buildings and machinery and, in an astonishingly small space of time, the first Merrimac mill was turning out cotton cloth.

The associates then established a separate corporation for the management of the water-power and disposal of factory sites in their new town, which they named Lowell in honor of the founder of the Waltham enterprise, who was no longer living. They disposed of their surplus water-power to others at extremely reasonable rates.

The first steps in acquiring the stock of the old Pawtucket Company were taken in 1821. By 1839, there were twelve distinct manufacturing corporations at Lowell with a combined capital of twelve million dollars, and the town which had only a few hundred inhabitants in 1820 had over twenty thousand in 1840, and over thirty-three thousand in 1850.

One thing that had greatly contributed to the growth of manufacturing at Lowell was the introduction of cloth printing by machinery and soon “Merrimac prints” had a country-wide reputation. The first cotton cloth made at Waltham was thirty-seven inches wide and was sold for thirty cents a yard; in 1843 the price had gone down to six and a half cents a yard.

In the beginning the old style breast water-wheel was employed; later the French turbine, greatly improved, was introduced, thereby raising the percentage of power utilized from sixty or seventy-five per cent with the old wheels to eighty-eight per cent with the improved turbine.

The establishment of manufacturing at Lowell is the best example of the diversion of commercial capital and experience from navigation and trade to an entirely new venture. Fall River had a much more normal origin and development, although the circumstances of its existence were in themselves quite out of the ordinary run.

For a hundred years, more or less, Massachusetts and Rhode Island had contended for lands on the northeastern side of Narragansett Bay. When an agreement was finally reached, most of these lands were given to Rhode Island, but a bit of territory known as Freetown and bounded by the Fall River was assigned to Massachusetts.

This river, as it is called, is really a natural canal two miles long with a granite bottom. It drained a succession of small lakes or ponds and had a total fall of more than one hundred and thirty-two feet in less than half a mile. So narrow was the channel that it was possible to construct mills across the stream, the wheels being placed in the current of the river.

The first cotton mill was erected to utilize this water-power in 1813; but it was not until 1821 that the rapid development of manufacturing began with the establishment of the Iron Works Company which played a part in Fall River something like that of the Canal Company at Lowell. In 1820, there were about five hundred people living at Fall River and in 1840 nearly seven thousand.

Before 1820 the growth of cities and towns that has just been described was retarded by the difficulty of housing, feeding, and caring for large numbers of human beings in restricted areas. By that year new transportation systems had become sufficiently developed to bring food and fuel to designated places with some degree of certainty and despatch.


In those days, people had no idea of hygiene and sanitation and no laws curbed the money-making desires of landlords. Moreover, the construction of dwelling houses was primarily for the single family. Occasionally there was much overcrowding with resultant loss of vitality and earning power.

Bacilli and bacteria were unknown and the mode of treatment of acute disorders was such that they frequently ran into chronic stages.

Under existing conditions it was dangerous to gather people within a limited space, but it was impossible to disseminate them over a large tract of ground as there was no system of public urban transportation that would enable the working man, the clerk, or the professional man to get from his dwelling to his place of employment, if it were more than three to six miles away.

Moreover, those were the days of riotousness and boisterous conduct; there was a spirit of intolerance of individual opinions; and there was a continuous drinking of distilled liquor, morning, afternoon, and evening.

By the close of the first quarter of the century, improved roads, canals, and steamboats had all contributed to bring food and household supplies from distances of twenty or thirty miles to centres of population.

Sometime before 1828 Asa Hall established an omnibus line running from Wall Street in New York City to the neighborhood of the State Prison in Greenwich Village. In 1828, the service was improved by the addition of more stages, the fare at that time being twelve and a half cents. By 1850, there were four distinct lines of omnibuses and the fare had been cut in half.

Most of the early omnibuses had been drawn by two horses, but on some of the busier routes larger vehicles with four horses and a boy collector of fares in addition to the driver were employed. It took something over one hour to run three miles through the crowded parts of the city.

The first omnibus appeared in Philadelphia in 1831 but other towns waited some years before the establishment of public urban stage-coach lines.

Philadelphia was the first city to supply any large proportion of its inhabitants with water from outside the city limits. As early as 1791 or 1792, the introduction of Schuylkill River water into the city for household purposes was advocated, but it was not until 1799 that the matter was taken up in earnest. Steam pumping engines were then installed and water was raised from the river to a reservoir and thence distributed through log pipes to a limited portion of the city.

In 1819, the project was taken up again and by 1822 the Fairmount Water Works were opened. In this system the water was taken from the Schuylkill about a mile and a half from what was then the occupied part of the city. It was raised by the surplus water-power of the river and was distributed through nearly forty thousand feet of iron pipes, most of which had been made in America.

In New York the house pump and cistern were the main reliance until the nineteenth century was advanced. The Manhattan Company, that much berated corporation which was mainly devoted to banking, raised a large amount of water by a pumping engine from a well within the city limits and distributed it through log pipes buried in the streets.

This water supply was plainly inadequate and various projects were put forward to supply the rapidly growing city. As early as 1798, it was suggested that water might be obtained from the Bronx River, but nothing was done. In 1833, it was proposed that Croton River water should be brought into the city through an aqueduct.

The actual work of construction was begun in 1837 and in 1842 the works were so far completed that water could be turned into the city mains for the use of the inhabitants, which was done with nearly as much ceremony as when the waters of Lake Erie had been united with those of the Atlantic Ocean. By that time all the larger cities were supplied with water by artificial means.

New York city.

Until after the close of the War of 1812, lard and whale oil lamps and candles were the only means of lighting houses and streets after sundown. Hydrogen gas or some other chemically produced illuminant had been used in experiments and in pyro-technics.

In April, 1816, Charles Wilison Peale advertised that his museum, a renowned institution of Philadelphia, would be lighted by “lamps burning without wick or oil” and using “carbonated hydrogen gas”; and the Chestnut Street theatre was illuminated in a similar manner in the following November.

New York seems to have been the first city to undertake the public lighting of the streets by gas. By 1830 the use of some form of illuminating gas was common in the larger cities, not without serious disasters in its train.

In the preceding pages the enormous social changes wrought by the westward movement and by the migration into urban areas have been suggested rather than described.

In the new western homes, conditions were not essentially unlike those of the parental estate except that after toilsome beginnings, it was possible to produce much more generously on the rich soils of Transappalachia than could be done on the gravelly farms and worn-out plantations of the Original Thirteen States.

The case was very different with those who sought the mill town or the commercial city. There the farmer boys and girls found themselves surrounded by entirely new conditions of life and thought. This produced an awakening that was as remarkable as that engendered by the long journey to the farms of Ohio, Indiana, and the other Western and Southwestern States.

It is interesting to consider for the moment the relation of literary and scientific activity to density of population. This has been worked out by several investigators with somewhat different results as to details, but in general the agreement is remarkable.

From one of these estimates it appears that of 978 Americans born before 1851 who achieved distinction in letters, no fewer than 803 were born in the Middle States and New England. Also, it may be remarked how persistently men of literary and scientific attainments reside in the largest cities, and the same thing is observable of business men and of the foremost lights of the learned professions.

Many of these are reared on the farm or in the small town, but they seek the great centres of industry and commerce because there they find the greatest chance for the exercise of their talents.

All this concentration of industry, commerce, and business within the limits of a comparatively small number of cities and towns gave rise to new problems that the people living in the thirty-five years from 1815 to 1850 strove most vigorously and conscientiously to solve.

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