History of Memphis : the History of the City of Memphis, Being a Compilation of the Most Important Documents and Historical Events Connected With the Purchase of Its Territory, Laying Off of the City and Early Settlement


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The first Railroad terminating at this point was the
Memphis andLaGrange, commenced in 1838. She only
succeeded in laying six miles of track with bar iron, and
putting a locomotive and some old fashioned English
cars on, done a sort of pleasure business for several
months. Some ten years later the Memphis and Charles-
ton Railroad purchased the charter, etc., and the latter
road was built toLaGrange on the line staked out for the
former. Mention is made of this road in my story of the
Memphis Batture.
The following communication appears in the Railroad
Record (Cincinnati) of 1854, which contains foresight
and suggestions which have by no means lost their force,
and are therefore deemed worth}" of reproduction:
“ Memphis.—We begin with Memphis, because it is
the most promising town in the southwest. Memphis
lies on one of only three bluffs on the Lower Mississippi,
where it is possible, without unnecessary expense for
artificial work, to build a great town. It is almost 280
miles from the mouth of the Ohio, and 730 miles, by
water, from Cincinnati. It is, however, only 430 miles
on an air line, and a railroad to Louisville and Cincinnati
will reduce the distance run to’ less than 500 miles, and
the time to twenty hours. From Memphis, also, a rail-
road is partially completed, and doubtless will be finished,
to Charleston, S. C., connecting it with the Central South.
Memphis being also precisely east of Little Rock, it may
be, and will be, connected with it by a line of railroad,
which shall bring within its commercial influence the

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