Dispatches from Southwest Virginia
Daily Dispatch, Volume 7, Number 147, 22 June 1855, pg. 2
The President of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad has received the following letter from the gentlemen who recently made an excursion to South Western Virginia. He has deemed its publication in the newspapers the best mode of communicating it to those to whom the thanks of the party are tendered for their kindness and hospitality. For that purpose he has handed it to us, and we cheerfully give it a place in the Dispatch:
Richmond, June 19 1855
J. R McDaniel, Esq, Pres’t Va. & Tenn. R. R. Co.
Dear Sir; We, the undersigned, members of the Richmond Board of Trade, avail ourselves of the first leisure moment since our return home, to express our acknowledgements to yourself and the companies of the Danville and South Side Railroads, for the facilities and courtesies extended to us in our recent excursion to South Western Virginia. Our thanks are due also for the polite attention of E. H. Gill, Esq., the Superintendent of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, to Col. C. F. M. Garnett, the Chief Engineer, for his unwearied kindness during our whole journey, to Messrs. Kent, Summerson & Co, the proprietors of the excellent stage line by which we were transported from Wytheville to Abingdon; to their polite and obliging agent, Mr. Gilliam; to the gentlemen who accompanied us from Lynchburg to Wytheville, and to our brethren of the South West, for the cordial and elegant hospitality with which we were everywhere greeted and entertained.
We are not less indebted for the opportunity of visiting, under such favorable auspices, a portion of our State new to most of us, and comparatively unknown to a greater portion of our fellow-citi-sens. The Virginia and Tennessee Railroad is a work worthy of the magnificent country it pierces, and is equally creditable to the sagacity which projected it, and the scientific skill with which it has been executed. A thorough inspection of it with all its bearings, connections and prospects, incline us to adopt as our own the calculations and predictions of its most sanguine friends. The fertile country through which it passes, so admirably adapted to grazing and farming purposes, the boundless mineral wealth locked up in the mountains and valleys along its course, the number of health giving fountains in close proximity to its line—these in themselves constitute the elements of a great and lasting prosperity. But when we add to these the certainty that through its connections eastward and westward, northward and southward, it must become one of the great streams of travel. It is impossible, without seeming extravgance, to measure its value and importance. This road should be completed without delay. The rapidity and cheapness with which it has been constructed so far, the strength and solidity of its works, the resources it has developed and is developing, and the future before it, are sufficient guaranties to the capitalist that he could find no safer investment than its securities. And if the further aid of Virginia is requisite, it should be promptly given, not to advance the interests of a joint stock company, but for the promotion of her own welfare, happiness and honor. We trust, sir, that the days of miserable jealousies and suicidal policy are past. Your own great improvement is one of the many gratifying evidences that the ills of Virginia are remediable, and that she can confidently appeal to her own children to restore and advance her prosperity and renown. We believe the time is not far distant when her towns and her people, her cities and her provinces, will be found working with the common object of binding together in friendly and profitable intercourse, all parts of our noble State.
We forbear to enter into a more detailed account of our excursion, because it is the purpose of our Board at some future time, to make some further reference to this subject. We could not deny ourselves, however, the pleasure of thanking you at once for a most interesting and instructive excursion.
The gentlemen attached to our party beg leave to add their acknowledgements, and we have the honor to be, with great respect and regard, your much obliged friends and fellow citizens,
Horace L. Kent, President,
R. B. Haxall, 1st Vice President,
Hugh W. Fry, 2d Vice President,
Wm. F. Butler,
J. A. Cowardin,
Thomas R. Price,
Alfred S. Lee,
E. B. Bentley,
B. W. Haxall,
Wm. B. Isaacs,
Wm. H. Haxall,