From the Richmond Whig, 8/25/1865, p. 3, c. 3
LOCOMOTION. – During the past summer it was hot, very hot, and the thermometer kept going up until the mercury nearly flowed out of the top, like froth through the bung of a cask of beer, and locomotion was a torment; fat people fumed and fretted, and they dripped like a turkey roasting on a spit, or, as Falstaff said, “Larded the lean earth,” while thin people became crisp as autumn leaves, and were nearly withered out of sight altogether. Had we a street railroad then, we would have been relieved somewhat, but, unfortunately, we had not.
Before the war a company was chartered in this city, and with Joseph Jackson, Jr., for their President, built a line, but when gun-boats were being built for battle the rails were taken up to be rolled into plates wherewith to plate the same. The gun-boats were blown up and the iron was blown down, and is now stuck in the abysmal mud of the James.
A street railroad from Brook Avenue to Rocketts would be a decided convenience. It would equalize the value of property and reduce rents; for instance, for twenty cents a day, which is about $72 per year, a man could make a trip between the upper part of the city and Rocketts both ways, and thus could live in that part of the city where rents are low without any inconvenience resulting from the distance.
Rocketts now is become quite a place. Sailors, soldiers, stevedores, newsboys, quartermasters, commissaries, sloops, schooners, steamers, &c., do congregate there considerably, and there is much of bustle all the time, and to reach it speedily and with ease is a desideratum. We had before the war what by courtesy was called a line of omnibuses, but the horses were so spare in the ribs, and the vehicles so shattered and soiled, that one would suppose they had come from California over the great wagon-route.
Governor Pierpoint, it is said, is anxious for the construction of the city track, and would have it, if possible, cross Mayo’s (confound it, “King’s”) bridge to Manchester, a concern, by the way, rather shaky in its bolts and timbers, and which will have a hard time of it when logs and ice begin to batter it in the winter.
We don’t think that there can by any great difficulty in the way of relaying the track. It is a little easier to do it than to put down the great electric Atlantic eel, the tail of which Pat has fast “hoult” of in Ould Ireland, while the other end of the creature is wriggling in the mud in its efforts to get to Newfoundland.