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Chief instance-Revenue bill of 1862—Debate-Revenue bill of
1864—Operation and repeal of the war tax-Regulation in
Regulation in the territories_Episode with land-grant railways-
Congress forbids railways to incorporate: 1867—Authorizes
bills on livestock traffic_Summary.
Attitude of Congress in 1850—Change during next decade—De-
bate on interstate intercourse- -Debate on reasonable rates:
ments-III. Evolution of aid policies_The memory of Con-
Some five years ago Professor B. H. Meyer of the Wisconsin railway commission and the university of the same state turned over to me a piece of work which he had originally planned to do himself. Unfortunately he was unable to carry out his plans in this regard. The result has been two monographs on a Congressional History of Railways,—the present one, and an earlier study which brought the work down to 1850. Professor Meyer has read a great part of the manuscript of this volume, and I am deeply indebted in many ways to his kindly interest.
It is in accordance with his truth-loving spirit that I have attempted to carry on the work. The aim has been to present the facts in such a maanner as to give an accurate and intelligible account of Congress' various railway experiences, and at the same time to afford every chance for further research or check upon the conclusions. To this end most of the statements of any consequence are backed by references to the sources,-even though the pages take on a somewhat Teutonic appearance.
I have been both bold and modest: bold in believing, as did Professor Meyer, that the work would be consulted; modest in believing that few would care to read continuously or at length. I therefore have done my best through cross references and index to bring interrelated phases of the subject together for the convenience of the casual reader.
It is my pleasure to acknowledge the benefit received from suggestions made concerning the arrangement of the present work by my honored friend and former colleague, Professor Isaac A. Loos of the University of Iowa. The accuracy of the references and the exhaustiveness of the material partly depend upon the work of Mr. E. C. Nelson in gathering material. And no words can measure the increasing debt I owe to my wife; her help has been unfailing.
The Carnegie Institution of Washington has facilitated the investigation by a grant.
-LEWIS H. HANEY. Ann Arbor, Mich., December 24, 1909.
A CONGRESSIONAL HISTORY OF RAILWAYS IN THE
UNITED STATES, 1850-1887.
This is a history of action and reaction between railways or railway companies and the government. A congressional history of railways is a study in the activities of our federal government in regard to transportation by rail. As was stated in an earlier volume, these relations fall under the two heads, “Aid” and Regulation." That volume traced these relations during the first half of the nineteenth century, showing that, for the most part, aid was then demanded and formed the principal topic of debate. It is, perhaps, in a young and democratic country, the normal condition. Such regulation as was considered or enforced during this earlier period was largely negative in character, consisting of measures which did not aim so much to positively modify railways and railway practice as to restrict and prevent the adoption of evil ways. This, again, seems normal. It is in keeping with the idea that the demand was for more railroads rather than better ones. The railway system was young; the mail service had just begun; land grants were just being agitated; the Pacific railways were just being projected-out of dreamland. There was no railroad problem in the modern sense. There was relatively little occasion for reg. ulating deeply-rooted, complex evils or prescribing rules, and if there had been, the social consciousness had not yet become so comprehensive.
"A Congressional History of Railways to 1850, Bul. of U. of Wis., Econ, and Pol. Sci. Series, vol. 3 (1908); reprinted as vol. I, Madison, Wis., 1908.