One. If canal boats are supplanted by "railroads," serious unemployment will result. Captains, cooks, drivers, hostlers, repairmen, and dock tenders will be left without means of livelihood, not to mention the numerous farmers now employed in growing hay for the horses.
Two. Boat builders would suffer and towline, whip and harness makers would be left destitute.
Three. Canal boats are absolutely essential to the defense of the United States. In the event of the expected trouble with England, the Erie Canal would be the only means by which we could ever move the supplies so vital to waging modern war.
As you may well know, Mr. President, "railroad" carriages are pulled
at the enormous speed of fifteen miles per hour by "engines" which, in
addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their
way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring livestock and
frightening women and children. The Almighty surely never intended that
people should travel at such breakneck speed."