Improvement of the Missouri River at St. Joseph, MO

1871 Scientific American  
i the hands of such enterprising men as Sibley, who united has a fall of over one foot per mIle. Although the mean ve-ADDRESS OF PROFESSOR MORSE AT THE CEREMONY OF I couragements, the various companies were organized, and in 1 current at high water is much sl . 1Orter than at low water, and UNVEILING THE STATUE IN CENTRAL PARK. NEW the Atlantic and Pacific, a nd Swain, and Wade, and a host of locity is as stated above, there are threads of the current YORK. determined men whose names would read
more » ... se names would read like the pages of a i whicu probably flow with nearly double that speed, a� both dictionary, this vast country, from the northern boundaries ' I high and low water. At low water, the channel OpposIte the FRIENDS AND CHILDREN OF THE '1'ELEGRAPH : W hen I of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the shores of the city is from 400 to 500 feet wide, and from fifteen to thirty was solicited to be present this evening, in compliance with Atlantic to the Pacific, was webbed with telegraphic wires. feet deep The difference of level between extreme high and the wishes of those who, with such zeal and success; res-Another gr and stride was yet to be taken ere international low water is found to be twenty-three feet. At the greatest ponded to the suggestion of one of your number that a comcommunication could be established. In October, 1842, the first I flood, the narrowest channel opposite the city will be 1,420 memorative statue should be erected in our unrivalled Park, ,submarine telegraph cable was laid by me in one moonlight: feet wide. Rock is found at an average depth of forty-three and which has this day been placed in position and unveiled, ! night, in the harbor of this city, which proved experiment-I feet below low water, and at no point deeper than forty-eight I hesitated to comply, not that I did not feel a wi�h in ' perally the practicability of submarine telegraphy, and from the feet. The bed of the river is fine sand on top, with layers of son to return to you my heartfelt thanks for thIS ulllque result of this success I ventured, the year after, in a letter to clay or mud and coarser sand nearer the bed rock. The Mis proof of your personal regard, but truly from a fear tha t I the Secretary of the Treasury, to predict the certainty of the souri shore, in the vicinity of the hereinafter proposed bridge could use no terms which would adequately express my ap-Atlantic Telegraph. It was then believed to be a visionary site, is composed of tough clay, or . , gumbo," having consid preciation of your kindness. Whateyer I may sa� �us t fa l l dream; and had the individual carrying out of so bold an erable power to resist the action of running water. Its line short of expressing the grateful feelmgs, or conflIctmg emoenterprise depended upon me alone, it might still have been has changed comparatively little within the memory of the tions, which agitate me on an occasion so unexampled in the a dream. But at this crisis another mind was touched with oldest settlers, '1'he Kansas shore is alluvium, in alternate hiAtory of inventions. Gladly would I have shrunk from the necessary enthusiasm, admirably fitted in every particu-layers of fine salt and silt. of small specific gravity, !tnd very this public demonstration, were it not that my abs�nce tolar, by indomitable energy and perseverance and foresight, easily moved by an impinging current. The sand in the bed night, under the circumstances, might be construed mto an as well as financial skill and influence, to undertake the of the river is almost as easily moved by running water as is apathy which I do not feel, and which your overpowering novel attempt. '1'0 Cyrus W. Field, more than to any other the material composing the Kansas shore; and trifling ob kindness would justly rebuke. individual, belongs the honor of carrying to completion this structions to the current are sometimes the beginning of im-But where shall thanks begin, if, looking through all ingreat undertaking. Associating with himself Cooper, and portant changps in the direction and depth of the channel , tervening instrum entalities, the Great Author of the gift of 'l'aylor, and Roberts, and vVhite, and Hunt, and Dudley Field, making a rapid river with its bottom but a few feet above the the telegraph to the world be not first of all acknowledged? and others on this side the Atlantic, and, two years later, rock where a few days before was dry land at ordinary high "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto God be all the glory." Peabody, and Brett, and Brooking, and Lampson, and Gurney, water. With these facts in view, any bridge across the Mis When I consider that He who rules supreme over the ways and Morgan and others in Great Britain, making the ocean souri river at St . Joseph. to be considered permanent, must be and destinies of man, often makes use of the feeblest instrubut an insignificant ferry by his repeated crossings, un-built upon the hypothesis that the river is at flood the whole ments to accomplish His benevolent purposes to man, as if, daunted by temporary failures and unforeseen accidents, he width. from bank to bank, its ,channel bed on the rock, and by grandest contrast, to point the mind with more marked rested not till Britain and America were united in telegraphic the current running at its swiftest speed. effect to Him as thei. r author, I che�rful . ly take my place on bon�s-�he Old and the New W orld in instantaneous com-In connection with the improvements designed to mainthe lowest seat of HIS footstool. It IS HIS pleasure, however, mUll l catIOn. . . to work by human instrumentality. You have chosen to If modern progress in the arts and sciences has given un-tam a channel along the levee, the protectIOn of the Kansas impersonate, in the statue this day erected, the invention, precedented facilities for the diff usion of the te l egraph j shore, to prevent the destruction of valuable arable lands, rathe: than the �nventor, and it is of no small s�gnificance
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican06241871-405a fatcat:osclexd5qjdqfngw2lqfpftlge