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State Colored Men's Convention

1873LA-State_New-Orleans_Report__1873-11-18_excerpt-9.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

The expedient of cut-offs has long since been abandoned, and the highest engineering authorities have decided that an adequate and complete system of levees will alone meet this want, and afford the protection sought.

The individual States are not able to bear the burdens of building and maintaining levees necessary for the protection of their people. Private capital, acting in corporate form, under State charters, can not be trusted with a work of such magnitude as is required, nor would it be able, without crushing exactions upon the people, to bear the heavy burden of expense that the management of the levees would involve. The cost of construction and maintenance is so great and the importance of the interest so grave that the work attains national proportion, and will never be adequately and satisfactorily executed except by the general government, or under its supervision.

We should therefore urge Congress to nationalize in some form the levees of the Mississippi and its tributaries.

Protection secured to the products of the valley from overflow, the next question of importance is to find an outlet from this inland sea to the gulf, and thence to the markets of the world for our surplus products.

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