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More recently a bill has been reported to the Senate of the United States, near the close of the last session, designed as a substitute for the existing law.
This bill it will be perceived, embodies nearly all the precautionary measures which have been suggested in various quarters for preventing steamboat accidents, and for enforcing these prescriptive measures, an onerous and complex system of penalties is provided in the bill; the owners managers and officers of steamboats being apparently viewed, as in the present law, as a class having feelings and interests which are adverse to the safety and welfare of the community. Of the great error of this newly assumed principle in legislation, or of the practical value of such a system of enactments, it is not my purpose further to inquire; these being questions which relate solely to American legislation. Nor is the slightest disrespect intended to the views of the honorable and highly intelligent Senator who reported this bill; who doubtless considered it to be his duty thus to prepare for more mature consideration, the various projects for securing safety, which had been urged upon his attention.
I have long been convinced, however, that governments should not attempt to become responsible for the prevention of accidents to the boilers or machinery of steam vessels, any more than for the errors and failures of any other machines or fabrics; and that the remedies for these accidents must be sought elsewhere than in legislative enactments, which should relate only to matters which may partake of the character of conventional regulations, for the general convenience and safety of navigation. The most available and useful legislative provision for these accidents, I conceive to be that which shall provide in every case of explosion or injury by steam, for a thorough investigation of all the fact and circumstances which may tend to throw any degree of light upon either the immediate or the remote causes of the disaster; and this inquiry, I think, should be instituted solely for public benefit in the promotion of correct knowledge; and be conducted at public expense.
With my best wishes for the success of the important inquiry in which your are engaged, I subscribe myself, dear sir,
Your most obedient servant, WM. C. REDFIELD.
(To be continued.)
REPORT OF THE JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS, TO THE STOCKHOLDERS OF THE DELAWARE AND RARITAN CANAL, AND CAMDEN AND AMΒΟΥ RAILROAD AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES, ON THE COMPLETION OF THEIR WORKS.
(Continued from page 281.)
SECTION 4-From the Lower Depot near Trenton to New Brunswick., The length of this is 24 miles 1 chain.
It was commenced to be graded in June, 1838, and the rails were laid and passengers passed over the road, in full operation, on January 1st,
It follows the tow-path of the right bank of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, to a point near Kingston, a distance of 13 miles 20 chains; thence up the valley of Heathcote's Brook, to its summit, between it and Lawrence's Brook, on what is called the Long Bridge Farm; thence down Lawrence's Brook to Dean's mill dam, near George's road; thence in a straight line, in the direction of New Brunswick, to its intersection with the New Jersey railroad, about three and a half miles from the railroad bridge over the Raritan River, at New Brunswick.
The formation of the road is as follows: In excavation, the road is con structed 14 feet in width; slopes one and half foot base to one foot perpendicular height; ditches three feet deep, two feet wide at the bottom, eleven feet wide on the grade of the road. Embankments are fifteen feet wide on grade of road; slopes the same as in excavation; ditches always three feet below the grade of the road. Wherever there were sods, on the line of the road to be excavated, they were placed on the slopes of the embankments, to protect them from washing.
A distance of 16 miles on different parts of the line, it is as follows: stone blocks two feet square, and not less than five inches thick, for the foundation, at the joints of the rails; cross sleepers of locust, eight feet long, and six inches square, resting upon them, with a cast iron chair, weighing twelve and a half pounds, resting upon the locust, for the purpose of receiving the iron edge rail, (which rails are of the same pattern as that already described, except that it weighs forty-seven and a half pounds per yard), which is fitted in the chair, by cutting the lower edge or base of the rail an eighth of an inch on each side between the joints of the rails, (the rails being sixteen feet in length), are laid from tento eleven cross sleepers of oak and chestuut, seven feet long, four and a half inches thick, and not less than six inches flat surface, rest immediately upon the surface of the ground, the rail resting on these sleepers, making so many bearings, fastened by hook-headed spikes, five to seven inches long, each weighing a third of a pound; the joints of the rails connected as before described in section 1. In consequence of the ground not having settled sufficiently, the remaining distance of eight miles one chain, was laid without the stone blocks at the joints, but with locust cross sleepers at the joints of the rails, and intervening cross sleepers, the same as those with stone blocks, at the joints; except twenty chains that has cross sleepers, with white pine plank, four and a half inches thick, twelve inches wide, and sixteen feet long, laying upon them, in line of the road; upon these plank are placed the edge rail, spiked and secured as before described. It was laid in this manner, in consequence of its having been laid with wood rail, and flat iron bar, in the first instance, for want of edge rail.
There is also a distance of thirty chains laid with iron, similar to the New Jersey rail road, with cast iron chairs.
There is but one bridge on this section, over the Millstone River. It is of wood, sixty feet long, with stone abutments, constructed upon the new plan, as described in section 1.
SECTION 5.-Extends from Trenton to Delaware Bridge. Distance 1 mile 30 chains.
This road was originally laid with flat iron, two and a quarter inches by five-eights of an inch thick, wood rail, of yellow pine, six by six inches, cross sleepers of oak, and shoes or mud sills of plank, three inches thick, and twelve inches wide, laid in the usual manner.
For seventy-six chains, the flat rail has been taken off, and replaced with cross sleepers and edge rail. Cross sleepers, of locust, eight feet long, six inches square, are placed at the joints of the rails; oak and chestnut sleepers, the same dimensions as on section 4, laid four feet apart, and short blocks of wood between them, with cast iron chairs, spikes and fastenings, as beforedescrided.
There remains thirty-four chains of wood rail and flat iron, laid as bove.
Distance of road from depot at Trenton, is thirty chains, to the depot at the canal lock; thence to the Delaware bridge. one mile.
LOCOMOTIVES, CARS, STOCK, ETC.
17 locomtives; 64 passenger cars; 7 baggage cars; 64 transportation cars for merchandize; 24 dirt cars, etc., for use on road.
Steamboats on the Delaware river.
Steamboat"New Philadelphia;" "Burlington;" "Philadelphia." Steamboats between New Brunswick, South Amboy and New York. Steamboat Independence;" "Swan;" "Trenton;" New York;""Thistle."
Account of the Receipts of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Co. Dr. To cost of the Delaware and Raritan canal per J. R. Thomson's (Sec.) statement,
Bills paid and not included in the above statement,
Balance due for advances to Camden and Amboy railroad,
and transportation company,
Notes of hand unpaid,
Cash on hand,
Abstract of the cost of the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
Canal Sections, Embankments, Excavations, Waste Weirs,
Peir and Harbour at New Brunswick,
Dredging Machine and Dredging at Bordentown, Bull's
26,841 88 132,509 69
Dividend account of the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
$210,344 42 46,000, 00
By tolls to Dec. 1, 1839,
JAS. NEILSON, Treasurer.
Joint account of receipts and expenditures of the Delaware and Raritan canal, and Camden and Amboy railroad and transportation Cos. Dr. To instalments from stockholders,
To receipts from loans including temporary loan of $14,640 42,
To borrowed from the dividend of Camden and Amboy railroad and transportation Co. for the construction of the road, To rents received by do.
To sundries received by do.,
To balance per construction account of C. & A. R. R. & T.
To rents from water power from the D. &. R. Canal Co.
$131,071 29 5,322 16 1,543 54
5,185 15 50,551 41
By cost of construction of the Camden and Amboy railroad and branch road per statement,
By cost of Delaware and Raritan canal,
By bills paid and not included in the above,
By notes of hand unpaid,
By cash on hand,
By cash advanced for building boats and increasing the trans
portation of coal through the canal,
By loan expenses in England,
117,000 00 11,970,89
JOHN R. THOMPSON, Sec. Joint Board.
Abstract of the annual receipts and expenditures of the Delaware and Raritan canal from 1834 to 1839 inclusive.
Summary of Cost of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, Branch Road
$379,721 76 Locomotives,
94,294 77 Iron,
55,644 55 Locust,
48,955 05 Printing,
1,058 20 Property in trust to pay
17,112 91 Canal passage barges
26,858 22 Sleepers,
4,579 71 Fencing,
5,482 85 Salting Timber,
6,701 51 Stable Expenses,
14,768 36 Phil. & Tr. Railroad,
10,067 08 Stone Rails,
78,459 37 Taxes,
27 998 14
103,372 64 Pine Wood,
111,524 73 Deduct credits,
ON THE PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS, BY FIRE, ON BOARD OF STEAMBOATS. BY ITHAMAR A. BEARD, CIVIL ENGINEER.
Much has been writen and published on the prevention of accidents on board of steamboats by the bursting of boilers or the collapsing of flues; and I fear much more will be required to prevent all accidents and fatal catastrophes in boats, which, in too many instances I believe, to arise from