Ohio History Journal

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RAILROAD, 1845-1883: A CASE


ECONOMICS. By John Pixton. The

Pennsylvania State University Studies

No. 17. (University Park: The Penn-

sylvania State University Press, 1966.

94p.; map, appendices, and bibliogra-

phical essay. $1.00.)

When spread out in detail on the pages

of history, the difficulties which faced the

builders of Ohio's early railroads seem

completely overwhelming. First place

among the difficulties probably goes to


The routes most in harmony with the

promoters' resources were not necessarily

chosen. The cost estimates often fell woe-

fully short of the mark. Available funds

seldom allowed for substantial construction

or appropriate rolling stock or adequate

shops, stations, and warehouses. Connect-

ing railroads failed to furnish the traffic

on which income estimates had been based.

The frustrations, in a word, were many!

The history of the Marietta and Cin-

cinnati Railroad, which Mr. Pixton ably

gives us, has as its hero a man who quickly

stood out from among the other railroad

men who were associated with him. Wil-

liam P. Cutler gave the best years of his

life, no small part of his resources, and all

his boundless energy and zeal over to

building and operating a railroad that

really did not come into its own until half

a century after he had helped to organize


Two logical reasons for building this

road made it seem like a certain success.

First, Cincinnati "clearly" needed a direct

line to the East, and also the Baltimore

and Ohio Railroad equally as "clearly"

needed a direct line to Cincinnati, still

Queen City of the West. But logic failed

before the difficulties confronted by inex-

perience, and misfortune added to the

railroad men's share of woe. Disastrously

heavy rains washed out track and trestles;

large amounts of scarce capital were

poured into an unsuccessful attempt to

build a link to the Pennsylvania Railroad

by way of Wheeling; and the panic of 1857

took a heavy toll. The chief misfortunes,

however, sprang from what Mr. Pixton

calls "implacable economic developments,"

namely, "the rise to economic precedence

of northern Ohio and the [subsequent]

eclipse of Cincinnati and St. Louis by


Mr. Pixton's book shows due regard for

economic factors and other aspects of Ohio

history pertinent to his subject. He but-

tressess his work with several useful ap-

pendices and a good bibliographical essay.

The number of typographical errors, how-

ever, seems excessive; an illustration that

is inexcusable is the appearance of "guage"

for "gauge" three times in one paragraph

(p. 79). The map contains at least one

error, and the writing is occasionally un-

clear, Nevertheless, the story of this pio-

neer railroad and its guiding light is well

told and adds much to an understanding

of Ohio's economic history.


Columbus, Ohio





MARK TWAIN. Edited with an intro-

duction by John Y. Simon. (Carbondale:

Southern Illinois University Press, 1966.

58p.; $4.95.)

In his introduction to this small mono-

graph, Dr. Simon, executive director of

the Grant Association and the editor of

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, analyzes

well the circumstances and conditions

under which Matthew Arnold wrote his

article on Grant's Memoirs. He also as-

signs several reasons for Mark Twain's

rebuttal, one of which was that the latter

was the publisher of the popular Memoirs.

When the treatise by the prominent

Englishman appeared, vivid memories still