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What are the means of access to and from this location? We have direct access, by canal navigation, to the tide waters of the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, to the great cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia; and thence to all the great points on the seaboard. We have intercourse, by means of the Pennsylvania canal, with the city of Pittsburg; and thence, by steamboat navigation, with all the important points on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and their tributaries. By means of the Pennsylvania and New York canals and railways we have communication with the great lakes on the northern frontier. We have, by means of the Danville and Pottsville railway, or the little Schuylkill and Susquehanna railway, and the Philadelphia and Reading railway, a speedy avenue, at all seasons of the year, to the city of Philadelphia. With all these facilities for the transportation of the products of the foundry to all the important points in the defence of the country, we believe that in this respect, also, we have equal advantages with any other place for the location of the proposed national foundry. We are, then, of opinion, for the reasons stated, that no other point in the country is more secure and more convenient of access than the county of Columbia, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
We are confident in the belief that the necessary buildings for the foundry, and the support of the establishment when erected, would be less expensive to the Government at this point than at any other. The central position of Pennsylvania, and the undoubted advantages which she enjoys over any other State of the Union, in the quantity and quality of her coal and iron ores, would seem to point her out, beyond all controversy, as the proper location of the national foundry. Does any place within her limits possess equal advantages with our own? The country bordering on the north branch of the Susquehanna river, immediately above us, is finely timbered, and any quantity of lumber may be obtained at Danville, at a very low price. Other materials for building, such as brick, stone, and lime, may also be procured very cheap. A proper spot for the location of the foundry on the canal, and very convenient to the large and numerous furnaces, erected and projected here, could be purchased for a low price, and the labor bestowed on the erection would cost comparatively a small sum of money. In the support of the establishment, an immense advantage would be had in the cheapness of the pig metal for the supply of the foundry at Danville. In the opinion of those who have had the most experience in the business and the best knowledge of the subject, an entire revolution in the business of the manufacture of pig metal has taken place within the last year. The advantageous use of anthracite coal, in smelting the ores, is no longer a matter of doubt or experiment. That the anthracite iron is of the purest kind, of the most malleable quality, of the most cohesive strength, and in every respect best adapted to all purposes for which iron, either wrought or cast, can be used, has become a matter of history, attested by actual experiment, and admitted by the candid confessions of many gentlemen who have great experience in the business, and large fortunes invested in the charcoal iron manufactories. The iron ores of Montour's ridge, which, at this point, runs side by side with the canal, are conceded to be superior to any other in the State of Pennsylvania; and they exist in all the varieties necessary for the production of metal, either for castings or malleable iron. The proprietors of furnaces in the counties of Lycoming, Centre, Perry, and Dauphin, and other iron ore regions, have taken the precaution to send from fifty to seventy miles for the rich ores of Montour's
ridge, with which they might make iron cheaper than they could with their own ore, mined at their own furnaces.
The ore is found in all its varieties and in inexhaustible abundance within one and two hundred yards from the tunnel heads of the furnaces at Danville, and is mined at a very small expense. Anthracite coal of the best quality, from the Wyoming coal fields, has been delivered at the furnaces of Messrs. Biddle, Chambers, & Co., at the low rate of two dollars per ton, and we have no doubt any large quantity can be procured at the same price. Coal from the Shamokin regions may be had here at $1 75 per ton, when the Danville railroad is finished.
Inexhaustible quarries of lime stone are found close to and in the neighborhood of Danville, and marketing and country produce of all kinds are cheap and abundant, sufficient to supply the home consumption and leave very large surplus annually for the supply of distant markets.
Your memorialists are well satisfied that in a very short time the anthracite furnaces will entirely supersede the charcoal furnaces, and iron, either in the pig or bar, can and will be made cheapest and best at those points where the ore, limestone, and coal, are the cheapest and best.
We have only to add a short statement from the "Baltimore American," the editor of which, it is understood, received the facts stated by him from a highly intelligent gentleman of Baltimore, who has been more extensively concerned in the charcoal iron business than any other gentleman in Maryland, and who lately visited Danville :
"In the vicinity of Danville, on the north branch of the Susquehanna canal of Pennsylvania, there is now in progress of erection an establishment for making iron with anthracite coal, which, for extent and completeness in every respect, will be superior to all others in this country, and equal at least to any in Great Britain. These works are situated in the heart of an iron ore region of the finest quality, and the access to which is of so easy and economical a character that the ore is procured at the low cost of sixty cents per ton. The anthracite is brought by canal both from the Wyoming and Shamokin regions. The process of making iron exclusively with anthracite is no longer a matter of experiment. It is now a completely successful operation, and is destined to work a thorough revolution in the iron trade of the United States."
Your memorialists ask that, should Congress decide in favor of the erection of a national foundry, the advantages of Columbia county as a site may not be overlooked. The expense of examination would not be great, and we are perfectly assured that the result would be satisfactory to your honorable bodies, and would promote the general welfare.
STEAMSHIP ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
LEGISLATURE OF LOUISIANA,
For a steamship of war to be built on the waters of the Mississippi.
JUNE 12, 1841.
Referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs, and ordered to be printed.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana in General Assembly convened, That our Senators and Representatives in Congress be requested to use their best efforts to have passed a law requiring of the Government of the United States to have stationed in the Gulf of Mexico, a steamship of war, and to have built, as soon as practicable, a war steamer within the waters of the river Mississippi, for the protection of the West.
That the Governor of the State be requested to transmit this resolution to our Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
President of the Senate.
A. B. ROMAN,
Approved, March 6, 1841.
Governor of the State of Louisiana.