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the top of which is a statue of Agriculture by the same sculptor.
A fine cabinet of specimens of metals, minerals, etc., is on the first floor ; Representative Hall and the Senate are on the second. In the first story of the Library annex is the Supreme Court room ; and the second is occupied by the State Library and the room of the Vermont Historical Society, which contains a magnificent fireplace of Vermont marble, the gift of Senator Proctor. Space will not permit further description of the building, but surely it is a structure of which Vermonters may justly feel proud.
TWO KINDS OF RAILROADS
Railroads.- After the completion of the Erie Canal, the subject of canals was much talked of in Vermont; and some surveys were made to ascertain the practicability of connecting Lake Champlain and the Connecticut River by
But when in 1830 railroads were introduced into the United States, the topic of conversation changed to the subject of railroads, and other surveys were made for a different purpose and companies formed for carrying the project into effect.
By 1837 a charter had been granted by the Legislature to run a railroad line from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River ; but nothing was accomplished till 1845, when ground was first broken for a railroad at Windsor. Two years later the first rail was laid at White River Junction; and in June, 1848, the first passenger train to pass over this road went from White River Junction to Bethel. The next year this road was opened to Burlington. Soon afterward railroads were opened from Essex Junction to Rouses Point; from Rutland to Bennington, Troy, and Whitehall ; and from White River Junction to St. Johnsbury. It is interesting to note that the main railroad lines of the State followed very nearly the old Indian trails. During the building of these railroads, two of the most interesting fossils ever found in New England were brought to light. They were the remains of an elephant, found in Mt. Holly in 1848, and those of a whale found in Charlotte in 1849.
About the time that the first railroad train was seen in Vermont, a telegraph line was run from Troy to Burlington, entering the State at Bennington. Before long this line had been extended through to Ilighgate.
Influence of the Railroad. --The opening of the lines of railroad in Vermont was far-reaching in its infinence. It was the making of large villages in localities which had been hitherto merely open meadows or patches of forests. This was especially the case with our railroad centers. Where the flourishing village of White River Junction now stands, the houses were few and far apart on the coming of the railroad. Rutland grew apace, and soon became the center of trade for that section of the State. The marble industry of that village then received its first great impetus, and has continued to grow steadily ever since. Some of the smaller villages soon dropped out of existence; many farms which had once been cultivated were ere many years again overgrown with forests.
Trade sought new channels. Burlington resumed its lumber trade with Canada only in reverse order ; for Canada now sent to Burlington her spruce and pine lumber, from which port it was distributed by rail to all parts of the eastern States.
Both the imports and exports were greatly increased. There was now a demand for many products which heretofore had had only a home market, such as eggs, poultry, fruit, potatoes, hay, etc. Middlemen arose who scoured the country, collecting such products from the farmers,
and then transporting them to the cities, where they disposed of them at a profit.
The railroads did away with some industries, and were the making of others. Many things, such as bolts, nails, furniture, carriages, shoes, men's and boys' clothing could now be obtained from the city with much less expense
than they could be made at home; and as a consequence the number of tailors, cabinet-makers, carriage manufacturers, and shoemakers was much reduced. Machines to be used on the farm, such as the threshing-machine and horse-rake, were now brought into the State in great numbers, which enabled the farmers to BRATTLEGRO raise and gather much larger crops with
he a greatly reduced number of workmen.
Stage-coaches became rarer, as mails and passengers could be carried more One of the Brat
tleboro stamps. swiftly and delivered more frequently by
(There are ten the railroad. It It is interesting to note
varieties.) that the first postage-stamps made in the United States were printed in Brattleboro in 1845.
A great army of Irish people entered the State as laborers on the railroads. They were a thrifty people, and many of them remained and later took farms; and to-day there is a large representation of their descendants throughout our farming community. By their coming the strength of the Catholic Church was greatly increased in Vermont.
Anti-Slavery Sentiment.—During the latter part of this period a strong anti-slavery sentiment was growing among the northern States. Although a majority of the Vermont people were opposed to slavery, there were those who believed it right to keep slaves ; and there was much bitter feeling between the two parties.
As early as 1835 an anti-slavery meeting was held in Montpelier; and there was, it is to be regretted, such opposition to the Abolitionists, as they were called, that a ruffianly rabble pelted the speaker with rotten eggs. Such was the excitement that it was unsafe for him to leave the building until a gentle old Quaker lady stepped up and took his arm and walked out with him. They could do no violence to her escort and he went away unmolested.
In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which could compel the returning of slaves to their owners. But such was the attitude taken by Vermonters that slavehunters made no attempt to seize their prey in Vermont, though there were fugitive slaves living much of the time in the Green Mountain State.
A New Line of Railroad.-Before the end of this period a new line of railroad had been run through the State, differing much in its construction and purpose from those previously mentioned. Like the horseless carriage and the wireless telegraphy, its purpose was conveyance and in some respects it reminds one of both. Reference is made to the railless railroad, or underground railroad, as it was popularly called, a secret system by means of which anti-slavery advocates were in the habit of aiding runaway slaves to escape to Canada.
Over the line of this railroad that ran through Vermont many a dark-skinned fugitive was concealed by day and conducted on by night till he had crossed the line into Canada.
An Underground Railroad Station. The father of the late Rowland E. Robinson was a prominent abolitionist and a warm friend of William Lloyd Garrison's. His home in Ferrisburg was a convenient way-station for the underground railroad, and here the poor bondsman always found