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common sufferings and common dangers; and make them the incentives towards establishing a more perfect harmony between their descendants? Those whom the dangers and perils of war could not sever, peace should not separate. Others
value this union of confederated States as a convenience, or an arrangement or a compromise of interests; but I desire to see an attachment to the Union existing among the people, not as a deduction of political economy, nor as a result of philosophical reasoning, but cherished as a heartfelt senti. ment. I wish to see that attachment extended from one extremity of this confederacy to the other, not by telegraphic communications alone, but through the medium of American sympathies acting upon the American heart. Massachusetts, it is true, cannot vie with Georgia in fertility of soil, abundance of resources, or the boundless facilities of internal improvement, which will render her, at no distant day, one of the mightiest of our confederated States. Seven States like Massachu. setts might be carved out of Georgia, and yet abundant room be left for the formation of another State. The natural products of Massachusetts (as a Southern statesman once said) are granite and ice. Many of these stately buildings that tower above me are, I doubt not, indebted to Massachusetts for the granite upon which they are reared. Your lines of railroads, even now stretching almost to the foot of
mountain ranges, beds of entire granite, will soon deprive her of that privilege; but our hyperborean winters will long give us the monopoly of the other article of export, and if we are not destined to be your “ hewers of wood and drawers of water," we shall at least be your "hewers of ice and coolers of water."
Never before was I so forcibly impressed with the mighty influence of that great modern discovery, steam-power, as an engine of improvement, as when, during my journey hither, I witnessed the passage of the long train of cars through the dense and gloomy pine forests of your interior, self-moved by an inner power which gave no visible signs of its existence and left no trace behind it, cleaving those solitudes as a bird cuts the air, but urged by a power that could know no weariness and whose en. ergies never flagged. It was a most impressive lesson of the might of man in removing natural impediments from his path of progressive improvement.
Knowing, as I do, the rapid march of improvement in your State, that you have already upwards of seven hundred miles of railroad completed, and much more projected, I cannot but reflect upon the great destinies open to the people of Georgia if they will but improve the opportunities within their power.
This mighty agent, steam, is the handmaid of improvements almost beyond contemplation. Each day develops new blessings to be derived from it. It lessens labor, it economizes time, it gives the poor man leisure and ability to travel, it joins together the most remote regions, and brings their inhabitants face to face, establishing a harmony of interest and feeling between them. It limits all distinctions. The poor and the rich, the prince and the peasant, enjoy now equal facilities of travel, and can procure the same comforts and luxuries from distant points, and, when they travel, they sit side by side in the same rail-car. The individual is sinking, and the mass rising up in the majesty of a common manhood. For a long time after the discovery and use of this potent agent, it was thought only applicable to navigation, and this prejudice retarded the march of improvements, which it might have expedited. For a long series of years a communication between the waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, through the peninsula of Florida, has been thought desirable; but this prejudice prevented it, as a canal was considered necessary for that purpose. But railroads are now taking the place of canals, and the completion of a southwestern railroad from Savannah to Pensacola is only needed to make those two cities respectively the most prosperous in the South, uniting as it would the best seaport on the Southern Atlantic coast, with almost the only good harbor on the Mexican Gulf.
Five-and-twenty years ago, from my place in Congress, I pressed this matter, but the times were not ripe for it then. Now it may be and ought to be carried out, and I pledge to this assembly all the aid and influence that I possess in carrying it into execution, as of infinite value to Georgia and the entire Union.
With a graceful and impressive farewell to the audience who had honored him with their presence and approbation, Mr. Webster, amidst tumultuous applause, concluded his eloquent address, of which our meagre sketch is but the faint reflection.