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are named the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Arctic, and the Baltic ; and the fifth will be the Adriatic. These noble vessels will inevita. bly take some of the commercial profit from the Cunard company, and some of the postage revenue from the British government. The United States steamers are all nearly alike in size and power. The tonnage is upwards of 3,000 tons. There are two cylinders of 8 feet diameter and 9 feet stroke. The paddle-wheels are 34 feet diameter by 12 feet deep. The breadth of beam, 45 feet; depth of hold, 32 feet. There are four boilers, each about 22 feet long, 14 wide, and 13 high; and these are so fitted with vertical tubes, that there are no fewer than 5,032 tubes in the whole of the boilers. The interior of the vessels is arranged more in the American than the English style. The dining saloon is before the engine-room, while the main saloon and the ladies' saloon are abaft; and all three are fitted up in a most sumptuous style. The Pacific is said to have cost 115,000l.; and the others are probably not less costly. Mr. Collins originated the company, and planned the general build and arrangements of the steamers; Mr. Farrar superintended the construction of the machinery; Mr. Jacob Bell built the vessel; the Allaire Company built the engines, from the designs of Mr. Copeland; and Mr. Pratt designed the interior fittings. All these parties are, we believe, resident in the United States; so that these magnificent vessels may consistently be viewed as exemplifications of what the energetic republic can effect.

Taking into view the operations of the two companies, therefore we find that there are noble steamers leaving Liverpool for New York every week, and for Halifax and Boston every alternate week.

It has been stated that the Cunard steamers have machinery of so ponderous a character as to weigh 1,000 tons per vessel, including engines, paddle- wheels, boilers, water in the boilers, and coal-boxes: this, for 800 horse power, gives 1 tons weight of machinery for each horse power. The United States steamers are not so heavy in this respect. Some engineers are of opinion that 03 ton weight of machinery per horse power would possess all the requisite strength; but about 1 ton is the usual average in this country.

CANADIAN MAIL.

Of the Canadian mail, it is unfortunate that nothing yet can be said worthy of the enterprise of the country; nothing at all analogous to the United States mail. It is a subject which will ere long demand attention. It may be desirable to explain how the shipping arrangements between England and that colony have been hitherto conducted; for although these arrangements do not involve the postal system, they are likely to be influenced by many circumstances which will also affect the latter.

Before the repeal of the navigation laws, though foreign vessels could trade up the St. Lawrence, they were prohibited from bringing the produce of Canada to this country; they might take car

goes or emigrants thither, but had to return in ballast. Hence few foreign ships thought the Canadian trade worth attending to. British ships alone could bring cargoes from Canada; but as the merchandise sent from England to Canada is much less bulky and weighty than the timber, &c., brought from Canada to England, more than three-fourths of the ships went out in ballast. The consequences of these regulations were, that foreign vessels could scarcely be employed at all in the trade; and that British vessels had to charge a high freightage, on account of having very little cargo outwards. The Canadian trade consequently took another route; cargoes and emigrants went out by way of New York, because the ships could readily obtain return freights from thence; and the United States agriculturists sold their corn to the exclusion of the Canadians, on account of the high freightage which the latter had to pay. The emigrants and cargoes shipped to Canada viâ New York, were conveyed inland by the Hudson and Erie routes; and the noble St. Lawrence was left comparatively deserted.

But the repeal of the navigation laws has altered this unnatural state of things. Ships, whether British or foreign, will now select the St. Lawrence or the New York routes, according to their relative fitness, without being hampered by such absurd restrictions. Around the great Canadian lakes there is rapidly growing up one of the largest and most intelligent agricultural communities anywhere to be met with; and these States will communicate with Europe and Eastern America, either by the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence, or by the Erie Canal and New York. It behoves the British legislature to do all that enlightened measures can effect, to keep a legitimate share of this stream of traffic upon the St. Lawrence route. Steam vessels have run, and do now run, the whole distance from Chicago (at the head of Lake Ontario) to Quebec, a distance of 1,600 miles, in 10 days, by way of the Lakes and the St. Lawrence. The water distance from Chicago to New York is also 1,600 miles; but of this there are 364 miles of canal, against only 70 miles of canal in the St. Lawrence route; the time employed is 18 days, and there is transhipment of the goods both at Buffalo and at Albany. The voyage from Quebec to England is longer and more exposed to ice in winter, than that from New York to England; hence it has to be determined on which side the balance of advantages lies.

There is now in course of construction a railway from Montreal to Portland in the State of Maine, which will by and bye form another outlet for Canadian traffic. The British government, also, have been endeavouring to ascertain whether a railway might be constructed from Halifax to Quebec by way of St. John's, thereby accommodating the three colonies of Nova Scotia, Canada, and New Brunswick. Commissioners were appointed to examine the country thoroughly; but their report, published in 1849, was quite sufficient to stagger the government. The commissioners examined five routes, the distances of which were as follow:

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They named the route of 635 miles as being the least objectionable, and as passing 124 miles through Nova Scotia, 234 miles through New Brunswick, and 277 miles through Canada; but the estimated cost amounts to the startling sum of 5,000,000l.!

Canada has hitherto had but little to say on the question of ocean mail steamers; but when her population and industry have had a fair field for development, by liberal commercial arrangements, we shall possibly see the St. Lawrence laden far more than at present with the produce of the west; while the Montreal and Maine railway will probably be a medium for postal communication.

WEST INDIA MAIL.

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Until 1841, the mail arrangements with the West Indies were exceedingly defective. Sailing mail packets went twice a month from England to the West Indies, and once a month to Mexico but there was no packet communication between Mexico and the West Indies, and very inefficient communication between the West Indies and America generally. Under these circumstances the government made a contract with the West India Mail Company, to establish a fortnightly mail to the West Indies in steamers of 400 horse power; the route being so planned as to accommodate the whole of the islands, as well as the adjacent American territories. The contract was made for 10 years, from 1842 to 1851 inclusive; for a payment of 240,000l. per annum.

The main voyage contracted for was a circuit, starting from Southampton, calling at Corunna, Madeira, Barbadoes, St. Vincent's, Grenada, Santa Cruz, St. Thomas, Turk's Island, Nassau, Bermuda, and Fayal, and returning to Southampton, a total distance of 9,208 miles. A second route, taking the mails from Barbadoes, went by way of Tobago, Demerara, Berbice, Surinam, Paramaribo, and back by the same route to Barbadoes, a distance of 1,300 miles. A third route, taking the mails from Grenada, went by way of Trinidad, Laguayra, Puerta Cabello, Curaçoa, Mayaquess, St. Juan, St. Thomas, Santa Cruz, Curaçoa, and back to Grenada, a distance of 2,185 miles. A fourth route, taking the mails from Barbadoes, went by way of St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadaloupe, Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitt's, Tortola, St. Thomas, St. Juan, Turk's Island, and back to Barbadoes nearly by the same course, a distance of 2,066 miles. A fifth route, taking the mails from Turk's Island, went by way of Cape Nicholas, St. Jago, Kingston (Jamaica), Carthagena, Chagres, River St. Juan de Nicaragua, and back to Turk's Island, a distance of 2,520 miles. A sixth route, taking the mails (by sailing

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schooners) from Curaçoa, went by way of Bahia Honda, Maracaibo, Santa Martha, Carthagena, and returned to Curaçoa, a distance of 1,075. A seventh route, taking the mails from Turk's Island, went by way of Havannah, Belize, and Nassau, returning to Turk's Island, a distance of 2,420 miles. An eighth route, taking the mails from Havannah, went by way of Vera Cruz, Tampico, New Orleans, and back to Havannah, a distance of 2,355 miles. A ninth route, taking the mails from Havannah, went by way of Nassau, Savannah, Charleston, New York, and back by the same route to Havannah, a distance of 4,050 miles.

This system is equally comprehensive and remarkable. It comprises a total distance of 27, 179 miles; it arranges for stoppages at nearly sixty islands and ports; and it affords means for all those islands and ports to correspond with each other, with the mother country, and with the United States. A glance at the scheme will soon explain how the system is managed; when the through steamer stops at the principal stations, branch steamers are ready to take on the mails to islands which lie out of the main route; so that a large fleet of steamers is required for this service. The steamers belonging to the West India Mail Company on Jan. 1, 1849, were the following:

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We believe also that the Great Western has passed into the hands of this Company. Besides the above, the Company have recently entered into contracts for the supply of five noble steamers, for the service of the West India line; of upwards of 3,000 tons burthen, 270 feet long, 39 feet beam, and drawing nearly 20 feet water when fully laden; the engines will be 750 horse power. The entire route which each of these vessels will follow under the new system, out and home, will be about 10,500 miles. This arises from the circumstance that the old contract with the government has been somewhat modified, in order to place Chagres (Isthmus of Panama) in quicker communication with England. A new contract has been entered into in 1850, to last till 1862: the terms are to be the same as before (240,000l. per annum), but the mode of conducting the arrangements is, in some respects, to be more efficient.

The Island of Bermuda is so isolated from all others and from the mainland of either continent, that the government have been obliged to make a separate contract for the conveyance of the mails to and from it. Mr. Cunard has for 30 years had a contract for a mail from Halifax to Bermuda; the distance was performed by sailing packets till 1848, when the contractor substituted steam packets, without any additional charge (4,4607. per annum). Mails are despatched twice a month froin Halifax (on the arrival of the mails from England) to Bermuda, in steam vessels of 80 horse power; the duration of the voyage being about four days.

PANAMA AND PACIFIC MAILS.

England, the United States, and the South American republics, are all taking measures for establishing mail steamers in the Pacific, or encouraging them if established by others. The United States government contracted in 1849 for building three steamers of 800 tons burthen, to run from Panama to California and Oregon. The route from Panama southward is accommodated by other parties. A Pacific mail contract was entered into by the British government in 1845, to commence in 1846 and terminate in 1852. The service contracted for, is to carry the mails from Panama to Callao, and from Callao to Valparaiso. The service is performed monthly, for a 20,000l. per annum. The distances are- -Panama to Callao 1,410 miles, Callao to Valparaiso 2,280 miles =3,690 miles. Many years previously the subject had been under consideration; and Mr. Wheelwright obtained privileges for 10 years, from the local governments, for a steam company to accommodate the west coast of South America.

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In 1847, when the discovery of the riches of California began to excite so much attention in America, and when the settlement of the Chinese disputes had led to the opening of many Chinese ports both to the British and the Americans, the United States government and legislature entered earnestly into the investigation of the best mode of traversing the Pacific by steam-power, to connect Panama both with California and Oregon, and also with India and China. Towards the close of that year, Lieutenant Maury, Superintendent of the National Observatory at Washington, pointed out that the route from Panama to Oregon is very nearly in the Great Circle route from Panama to China; so that, if steamers could navigate the Pacific from Panama to China, they might take Oregon and California in their way. This discovery (which results from a careful examination of a terrestrial globe, a map being ill-fitted to show it*) placed the steam navigation of the Pacific in

Among the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge are six maps of the World on the Gnomonic projection. They have a singular appearance to persons accustomed only to ordinary maps; but they have the advantage of showing Great Circle routes in every direction. This arises from the circumstance, that in every map on the gnomonic projection every portion of a great circle is represented as a straight line.

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