An Englishman's Travels In America: His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States - 1857 - By J. Benwell.


It is remarkable that, although the Americans, as a people, travel
more, perhaps, than any other nation, so little attention - Page 30
An Englishman's Travels In America: His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States - 1857 - By J. Benwell. - Page 30 of 194 - First - Home

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It Is Remarkable That, Although The Americans, As A People, Travel More, Perhaps, Than Any Other Nation, So Little Attention Is Paid By Them To Safety In Transit.

It is openly avowed that nothing is more common than steam-boat explosions and steam disasters of various kinds

Throughout this vast continent; and where boats are constructed to carry 1000 or 1200 passengers, as is usual on the American rivers, the loss of life, in case of accident, is fearful to contemplate. I am aware that the subject has been discussed in Congress, and that the question of remedial measures has occupied the attention of the Executive during several successive Presidentships; but still the evil remains, and the public mind in America is almost daily agitated by disasters of this nature. As long as the rampant spirit of competition and desire to outvie their fellows, which prevails amongst a large class of Americans, is tacitly, if not openly, encouraged by the governing powers, such a state of things must exist, and will probably increase; but it is a positive disgrace to a country possessing great natural attractions, and, on this account, visited by many foreigners, that they should by this system be exposed to daily peril of their lives. The acts of Congress lately promulgated, although apparently stringent, are virtually a dead letter, in consequence of the facilities for evasion, and the ingenuity of the offenders. The effort to outrun a rival is attended by an insane excitement, too often participated in by the passengers, who forget for the time that they are in a similar situation to a man sitting on a barrel of gunpowder within a few feet of a raging furnace.

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