Well spoken!In the South disappointment caused by the failure of well-laid plans to secure federal approval for a road by the southern route and the growing sectional feeling of the day led to the formulation and wide approval of a plan for building a sectional Pacific railroad. The author was Albert Pike, of Arkansas, orator, poet, and Pacific railroad enthusiast. He first presented his scheme in the Southern Commercial Convention meeting in Charleston, April, 1854, while the Kansas-Nebraska bill was still before Congress and the fate of the Gadsden Treaty still in the balance.
Pike proposed that one on the Southern states charter a company to build the road by the Gila route and that Southern states, cities, and loyal Southerners subscribe the stock. The subscribing states should be equally represented on the board of directors. The company should be authorized to negotiate with Mexico for the right of way, where the route lay on her soil, in case the Gadsden Treaty should fail. Branches should be built form various points along the lower Mississippi. Texas should be requested to confer her proffered land grant upon the company, but no federal aid should be sought.
The resolutions embodying Pike's plan were opposed by several of the ablest men in the convention. They tried to show that the scheme was impracticable and even unconstitutional. It was the duty of the federal government, they said, to aid in the construction of a Pacific railroad by the most practicable route. The southern route was the most practicable, and the federal government should be expected to adopt it.
Pike defended his plan in a couple of eloquent speeches. People talked, he said, about building the road with land grants. He had been over the route and knew that most of the lands were worthless. Only money could build the road. Someone must supply it. Southerners had constitutional scruples against federal grants. The southern route, he agreed, was cheapest, shortest, and most practicable; but, if they depended upon the federal government to build the road, it would go North. He invited attention to the great Northwest which Southern men seemed never to take into consideration. It was being filled at a prodigious rate and was giving the North a preponderance over the South. The North was bidding for foreign immigration to settle the region. Grants of the privileges of citizenship to persons who had not ever declared their intentions of becoming citizens were one bid. The Homestead bill, which had already passe the House, was another. The Kansas-Nebraska bill was a third. With this continued increase of the foreign and Northern influence, was it not obvious that the prospect of the South ever getting the Pacific railroad from Congress was growing beautifully less every year? His plan might prove impracticable. There could be no harm trying it. He wanted to demonstrate that the South could unite in its own interest. He believed Congress should help, but he did not want to ask it for aid. He wanted his resolutions to be "a sort of declaration of independence on the part of the South." pp188-190 Improvement of Communication with the Pacific Coast as an Issue in American Politics by Russel
And Pike knew the consequences of the South NOT getting the TRR: absolute disaster.