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The Negro people of America... have cut our forests, tilled our fields, built our railroads, fought our battles, and in all of their trials they have manifested a simple faith, a grateful heart, a cheerful spirit, and an undivided loyalty .
If there were a major earthquake in Los Angeles, with bridges and highways and railroads and airports all shut down and huge buildings collapsing, I don't care how much planning you do, the first 72 hours is going to be chaotic.
The close relationship between railroad expansion and the genera development and prosperity of the country is nowhere brought more distinctly into relief than in connection with the construction of the Pacific railroads.
Yet, in 1850 nearly all the railroads in the United States lay east of the Mississippi River, and all of them, even when they were physically mere extensions of one another, were separately owned and separately managed.
What we forget is that African Americans made the largest contribution to America, economically, before the Civil War of any sector of society. I read that the railroads were worth about $2 billion, but slavery was a $3 billion asset.