Square Facts

February 7, 1871


The Pennsylvania Railroad Company is being dishonest in its transactions with Richmond. The company says that Richmond needs this rail, when they had no intentions in building or rail. Even if they intend on building one, the selfish company will not help Richmond in any way.


It cannot he too strongly urged that, as the transactions of the Pennsylvania company up to this stage of the contest have been marked by dissimulation, their future dealing with us may also be characterized by dishonest practices. Mr. Roberts first demands and now begs for a charter to Richmond."Not that he wants to build a road. Oh, no! He is not such an ass as to build a road when he can use the charter as a lash to the whip with which he expects to drive off all opposition" (in effect his own language) to his scheme for the aggrandizement of Philadelphia. We repeat. that Roberts, while apparently seeking to build a railroad in Virginia with Pennsylvania capital, repeatedly said that he really intended to do no such thing; and we find him asking stockholders of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac .Company to "fix up'' for him $100,000 to enable him to commence the Alexandria road. This does not look like an influx of that foreign capital which the advocates of the Pennsylvania company tell us is going to "make our waste places blossom as the rose." But enough for the moment of the double dealing of this Roberts. Let us point out the future acts of dishonesty to which we shall be subjected. We shall use only stubborn facts in showing that the agencies of the Pennsylvania company, once established (as they propose) in all our southern cities, will use their powers with crushing effect to destroy every vestige of opposition to their "settled policy,'' viz: The manufacturing and commercial supremacy of Philadelphia. The real tight of the Pennsylvania company is against lines which feed New York and Baltimore. Its far-stretching aims would grapple with the Father of Waters, and turn away the traffic of that river via New Orleans. Mr. Scott, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Pennsylvania company, has declared it to be the settled policy of his company to prevent that traffic by such through rates as would accomplish the object. It has been shown that the purpose of the Pennsylvania company is to place agents with supreme powers in our southern cities. Let us illustrate the work of these agents of the Empire and the Union Transportation companies of Philadelphia.
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Megan Wiora




“Square Facts,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1965.