The Pennsylvania Main Line: How and Why Did It Happen?
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My aim was to present a balanced account of the 1825 agitation, which not merely describes the events which took place, but attempts to explain what the proposed canal's place was in the entire Pennsylvania system, and to examine the backgrounds of the 1825 agitators and why these men acted as they did. Yet, Bishop, Shelling, and Rubin all failed to provide a history of internal improvements prior to 1825, and they did not analyze why these particular Philadelphians chose to become involved. In order to provide information on the Pennsylvania transportation system, I used George Durrenberger's Turnpikes: A Study of the Toll Road Movement in the Middle Atlantic States and Maryland and the Philadelphia-Baltimore Trade Rivalry 1780-1860 by James Weston Livingood. I also consulted a variety of histories of American and British transportation developments and numerous histories of Pennsylvania. Certain books written on internal improvements in the period 1810-1825 were also helpful, as was Albert Gallatin's 1808 report to Congress on internal improvements. To attempt an explanation of the motivations of the Pennsylvania Society members and other agitators required many sources. To collect biographical information on these individuals, I used a wide variety of Pennsylvania histories, biographies, biographical encyclopedias, obituaries, and a roster of the Philadelphia bar association. Lastly, the constitution and 1826 report of the Pennsylvania Society and Mathew Carey's 1831 articles on internal improvements were basic sources of this analysis of motivations.