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HISTORY OF CANADA.   279

 

steam and electricity which constitute one of the chief glories of the period since the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne of

Great Britain. Of the various

eftbrts in which this desire found expression, the project of an intercolonial railway to connect Canada with the Mari-time Provinces deserves our first attention as being the earliest practical movement toward Confederation.

An Intercolonial Railway—Early Projects.—As early as 1834 there had been a project for the building of a commercial line of railway between Canada and New Bruns-wick, and Major Yule, of the Royal Engineers, had surveyed a line for that purpose. It lay, however, through the territory in dispute between Maine and

the British provinces, and, therefore, when the Ashburton Treaty gave the territory to the United States, nothing further was heard of this as an interprovincial undertaking. During the troubles of 1837-1838 the want of communication between the provinces had been felt, and Lord Durham in his report urged the necessity for an intercolonial railway as an Imperial work. The project was often discussed by leading men in all the provinces, but the first practical step was taken in 1846. Then, as a result of correspondence between the colonial secretary, the governorgeneral, and the different lieutenant-governors, the three provinces made provision for the survey of a line at their joint expense. It was understood that if a suitable route could be found, the line was to be built by the Imperial government, the provinces assisting to the best of their ability. Major Robinson and Captain Henderson, two officers of the Royal Engineers, laid out a line (1846-1848). The provinces in 1849 made liberal grants in land and money to aid the project, but in the end the Imperial government declined to proceed with

QUEEN VICTORIA.

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