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T.C. Haliburton
NS c1800

Hurley on the long pond

King’s College
Windsor Gypsum
NS 1st Historian
Why He Wrote
Jack of All Trades
Right of Way
TCH’s Long Pond


Haliburton’s mouthpeice "Sam Slick" –
His Opinion of why Nova Scotia needed a railroad – 1836

Thomas Chandler Haliburton age 40 Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton

From – The Clockmaker; The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville – Published 1836

Pg 23 – Chapter 3 – The Silent Girls
…I never seed of heard of a country that had so many natural privileges as this. Why there are twice as many harbors and water powers here, as we have all the way from Eastport to New Orleens. They have all they can ax, and more than they desarve. They have iron, coal, slate, grindstone, lime, firestone, gypsum, freestone, and a list as long as an auctioneer’s catalogue. But they are either asleep, or stone blind to them. Their shores are crowded with fish, and their lands covered with wood. A government that lays as light on ‘em as a down counterpin. And no taxes. Then look at their dykes. The Lord seems to have made ‘em on purpose for such lazy folks. …cropped for a hundred years without manure…they don’t know the value of their (province).

Pg 39 – 42Chapter 7 – Go ahead
…If we (Americans) had this province we’d go to work and ‘cypher’ right off. Halifax is nothing without a river and a back country; add nothing to nothing, and I guess you have nothing still – add a Rail road to the Bay of Fundy, and how much do you git? That requires cycphering – it will cost you $300,000 or $75,000 your money – add for notions omitted in the addition column, one third, and it makes even money – $100,00. Interest at 5 per cent £5,000 a year. Now turn over the slate and count up freight – I make it upwards of £25,000 a year…

…Now comes "subtraction;" deduct the cost of engines, wera and tear, and what not, and reduce it for shortness down to £5000 a year, the amount of interest. What figures have you got now? You have an investment that pays interest, I guess…

…well the land between Halifax and Ardoise is worth – nothing, add 5 per cent to that, and send the sum to the College, and ax the students how much it comes to. But when you get into Hants County, I guess you have land worth coming all the way from Boston to see. His Royal Highness the king, I guess, hasn’t got the like in his dominions. Well, add 15 per cent to all them are lands that border the Windsor Basin, and 5 per cent to what butts the Basin of Mines, and then, what do you get? A pretty considerable sum I tell you – but it’s no use to give you the chalks, if you can’t keep the tallies…

…Put this rail road into operation, and the activity it will inspire into business, the new life it will put into the place, will surprise you…this here rail road will not perhaps beget other rail roads, but it will beget the spirit of enterprise, that will beget other useful improvements. It will enlarge the sphere and the means of trade, open new sources of traffic and supply – develop resources – and what is of more value perhaps than all – beget motion. It will teach folks that go astarn or stand stock still, like the statehouse on Boston…not only to go "ahead," but to nullify time and space.

What is it,…what is it that ‘fetters’ the heels of a young country, and hangs like ‘a poke’ around it’s neck?what retards the cultivation of its soil, and the improvement of its fisheries? – the high price of labor, I guess. Well, what’s a rail road? The substitution of mechanical for human and animal labor…it is a river, a bridge, a road and canal all in one. It saves what we han’t got to spare, men, horses, carts, vessels, barges, and what’s all in all – time.

Taken From –
The Clockmaker; The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville
Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Originally Printed and Published by Joseph Howe, Halifax, 1836
Volume Consulted
The New Canadian Library, General Editor – David Staines
McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, Ontario 1993


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