Why "the South" did not get a railroad to the Pacific

trice

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Douglas was a anti Slavery Northern Democrat. He took Southern California away from the South with the Compromise of 1850. The Lower South split the Democratic Party in 60 to keep Douglas from being President. He wanted no more Slave States.

He wanted a Lake States TRR.
It appears you know darned little about Stephen A. Douglas.
  • in 1847, Douglas married Martha Martin, the daughter of Colonel Robert Martin of North Carolina
  • in 1848, Col. Martin died and left a plantation in Mississippi (2500 acres, 100 slaves) to his daughter Martha
  • in the will, Douglas was appointed property manager for his wife and given 20% of the income.
  • the money from this plantation is largely what funded the start of Douglas' political career and his real estate investments.
  • Douglas made an extended visit to the plantation to straighten affairs and hired a manager. He rarely returned after that.
  • Martha Douglas died in 1853.
  • Douglas remarried in 1856, to Adele Cutts (born in Maryland, living in Washington, D.C. She was descended from a nephew of James Madison and a niece of Rose O'Neal Greenhow (the Confederate spy).
  • Douglass was part of Millard Fillmore's bipartisan coalition in the Senate that pushed the Compromise of 1850. This opens large areas of territory to slavery in the West and passes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (one of the most constitutionally abusive acts ever passed).
  • Douglas thought slavery was an issue to be resolved at the local level (States and Territories). That is not an "anti-slavery Democrat".
  • Douglas is the one whose policy of "Popular Sovereignty" opened the Kansas Territory to slavery.
There is little to indicate Douglas had any particular opposition to slavery. In both 1850 and 1853, he supported acts that were greatly desired and approved by "the South".
 

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uaskme

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It appears you know darned little about Stephen A. Douglas.
  • in 1847, Douglas married Martha Martin, the daughter of Colonel Robert Martin of North Carolina
  • in 1848, Col. Martin died and left a plantation in Mississippi (2500 acres, 100 slaves) to his daughter Martha
  • in the will, Douglas was appointed property manager for his wife and given 20% of the income.
  • the money from this plantation is largely what funded the start of Douglas' political career and his real estate investments.
  • Douglas made an extended visit to the plantation to straighten affairs and hired a manager. He rarely returned after that.
  • Martha Douglas died in 1853.
  • Douglas remarried in 1856, to Adele Cutts (born in Maryland, living in Washington, D.C. She was descended from a nephew of James Madison and a niece of Rose O'Neal Greenhow (the Confederate spy).
  • Douglass was part of Millard Fillmore's bipartisan coalition in the Senate that pushed the Compromise of 1850. This opens large areas of territory to slavery in the West and passes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (one of the most constitutionally abusive acts ever passed).
  • Douglas thought slavery was an issue to be resolved at the local level (States and Territories). That is not an "anti-slavery Democrat".
  • Douglas is the one whose policy of "Popular Sovereignty" opened the Kansas Territory to slavery.
There is little to indicate Douglas had any particular opposition to slavery. In both 1850 and 1853, he supported acts that were greatly desired and approved by "the South".
He wanted a Lake State Route. Chicago wasn’t in the South in 1853 or 1860. Douglas never wanted a Southern Route. The rest of what I said about his is accurate. Douglas was a Northern. Lincoln faded little about Slavery, as long as it was in the South. IL had 1200 Slaves. Don’t recall him or Douglas doing anything about it.

Why don’t you get you a good Book about all this. Google don’t work for everything. Appreciate your enthusiasm.
 

trice

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He wanted a Lake State Route. Chicago wasn’t in the South in 1853 or 1860. Douglas never wanted a Southern Route. The rest of what I said about his is accurate. Douglas was a Northern. Lincoln faded little about Slavery, as long as it was in the South. IL had 1200 Slaves. Don’t recall him or Douglas doing anything about it.

Why don’t you get you a good Book about all this. Google don’t work for everything. Appreciate your enthusiasm.
Douglas simply wanted a route that would be good for him and does not particularly seem to have cared which one it was.

OTOH, in 1853 Senator Butler of South Carolina is opposed to all of the proposed Transcontinental RR routes. He favors supporting shipping from the Atlantic ports, either around the Horn, down to Panama and then overland to the Pacific, or to southern Mexico and the proposed RR/canal route to the Pacific.

I have read a good many excellent books on those days. I don't know what you may have studied, but you appear to have a lot of gaps in your knowledge of what was going on in the 1850s. The political universe of "the South" was very different than the picture you keep presenting.

Somehow, for example, you are portraying South Carolina as a great supporter of RRs. In real life, whatever the rhetoric you are reading, South Carolina was one of the least supportive States for RR construction to interconnect the states (in particular, to connect the USA -- Calhoun supported RRs to connect the slave states, not the whole country.)

Although James Gadsden was President of the South Carolina RR for ten years, construction of track ended in 1848 and nothing new was added until they finally built a 1.8 mile connection across the river to Augusta, GA in 1853. That was the end of expansion for that RR.

Another South Carolina dead-end to consider is the Blue Ridge RR, which died in 1858-59 when the legislature refused to extend funding. South Carolina never did build a connection to the West, contenting themselves with connecting to the RR in Georgia.
 
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Somehow, for example, you are portraying South Carolina as a great supporter of RRs. In real life, whatever the rhetoric you are reading, South Carolina was one of the least supportive States for RR construction to interconnect the states (in particular, to connect the USA -- Calhoun supported RRs to connect the slave states, not the whole country.)
Yes and it should be noted that apart from it's name the M&C did not even enter South Carolina but ended at Stevenson Al. from there a passenger took the Nashville & Chattanooga to the Western & Atlantic to the Macon & Western to the Central of Georgia to Savannah, or from Stevenson Al. to the N&C to the W&A to the Georgia RR to the South Carolina RR (which ended in Augusta Ga,) to Charleston.
The Memphis and Charleston was a Memphis effort not a Charleston effort.
 
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uaskme

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Douglas simply wanted a route that would be good for him and does not particularly seem to have cared which one it was.

OTOH, in 1853 Senator Butler of South Carolina is opposed to all of the proposed Transcontinental RR routes. He favors supporting shipping from the Atlantic ports, either around the Horn, down to Panama and then overland to the Pacific, or to southern Mexico and the proposed RR/canal route to the Pacific.

I have read a good many excellent books on those days. I don't know what you may have studied, but you appear to have a lot of gaps in your knowledge of what was going on in the 1850s. The political universe of "the South" was very different than the picture you keep presenting.

Somehow, for example, you are portraying South Carolina as a great supporter of RRs. In real life, whatever the rhetoric you are reading, South Carolina was one of the least supportive States for RR construction to interconnect the states (in particular, to connect the USA -- Calhoun supported RRs to connect the slave states, not the whole country.)

Although James Gadsden was President of the South Carolina RR for ten years, construction of track ended in 1848 and nothing new was added until they finally built a 1.8 mile connection across the river to Augusta, GA in 1853. That was the end of expansion for that RR.

Another South Carolina dead-end to consider is the Blue Ridge RR, which died in 1858-59 when the legislature refused to extend funding. South Carolina never did build a connection to the West, contenting themselves with connecting to the RR in Georgia.
It should not be forgotten, however, that the northern route to the Pacific was being surveyed and had influential champions. Douglas himself had probably switched his personal interest to this route. He, Bright, of Indiana, Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and several other prominent Democratic politicians had acquired an extensive tract of land at the western end of Lake Superior. which was expected to be a terminus of a Northern Pacific railroad. Douglas had taken great interest in the survey of the northern route.Colonel Isaac I, Stevens, who was in charge of it, conferred with him as to route and reported his success. pp164 This is in 54

The immediate purpose and larger implications of the Kansas-Nebraska bill certainly did not escape Southerners outside Congress. Albert Pike, of Arkansas, stated them in his speeches and addresses in behalf of his plan for building a Southern Pacific railway. "Not content," he wrote, "with the natural and regular growth towards manly stature of the great country lying in the North-west, they have resorted to the system of forcing, as men use hotbeds in horticulture; and we see new territories of vast size and comparatively unpeopled, organized and established on the line of a Northern Pacific-Railroad--Oregon and Washington standing on the shores of the Pacific, and Nebraska and Kansas on those of the Mississippi--each clasping hands with the other on the slopes of the rocky mountains. It needs no prophetic eye to see in the future a cordon of free States carved in succession off from these territories, extending with a continuous and swarming population across the continent, giving such power of the Northern vote in Congress as has hitherto been only dreamed of and securing to their road, the Nile of this new Egypt, aid from the National Treasury, and countenance and encouragement from the general government." pp166 This in 54

The four Northern members (Douglas, Bright, Seward, and Foot) and Gwin agreed that the eastern terminus must be somewhere on the Missouri River between the mouths of the Big Sioux and the Kansas (Sioux City, Omaha, St. Joseph, or Kansas City). Within these limits the choice was to be left to the contractors. pp227 This in January 59.

Douglas and others drew an argument from the recent "Mormon War," which, it was estimated, had cost the government $5,ooo,ooo. If there had been a central Pacific railroad, the said, either the rebellion would not have occurred or could have been crushed in much less time and at far less cost. pp229 This in January 59

From Improvement of Communication with the Pacific Coast by Robert R Russel

Douglas voted for the Gadsden Purchase and for 3 Pacific Railroad Routes. Probably more to placate the Southern Democrats. However he Fought for the Kansas/Nebraska Act. The only way to get a Railroad built in that area was to Settle that territory. He blew up the Missouri Compromise to get the K/B Bill passed. Indirectly blew up chances of it Passing because of it. He wanted a Western Confederacy. A Northern Route of the TRR.
 
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It should not be forgotten, however, that the northern route to the Pacific was being surveyed and had influential champions.
It should not be forgotten , however, that 5 routes were being surveyed beginning in 1853 and published in 1855. The southern one had it's influential champion in the form of Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, who directed the surveys.
Asa Whitney financed his own explorations and surveys .
 
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trice

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It should not be forgotten , however, that 5 routes were being surveyed beginning in 1853 and published in 1855. The southern one had it's influential champion in the form of Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, who directed the surveys.
Asa Whitney financed his own explorations and surveys .
It is not forgotten and there has been frequent mention of different routes here on this forum.

In early 1853 there are three (Gwin, Rusk and Douglas) mentioned by Senator Butler -- and Senator Butler of South Carolina was very clear in his opposition to all three of them. Senator Butler also wants detailed surveys -- but doesn't want to vote any funds to pay for them.

None of these plans, nor the other two you mention, was particularly detailed. All were more or less based on a wing-and-a-prayer. Even if voted through in 1853, I doubt any of them could have completed in less than 10 years (more probably 15 years). There was simply too much unknown for any of them to be completely developed at that time, and the RR technology of the day was not up to it.
 

uaskme

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Douglas simply wanted a route that would be good for him and does not particularly seem to have cared which one it was.

OTOH, in 1853 Senator Butler of South Carolina is opposed to all of the proposed Transcontinental RR routes. He favors supporting shipping from the Atlantic ports, either around the Horn, down to Panama and then overland to the Pacific, or to southern Mexico and the proposed RR/canal route to the Pacific.

I have read a good many excellent books on those days. I don't know what you may have studied, but you appear to have a lot of gaps in your knowledge of what was going on in the 1850s. The political universe of "the South" was very different than the picture you keep presenting.

Somehow, for example, you are portraying South Carolina as a great supporter of RRs. In real life, whatever the rhetoric you are reading, South Carolina was one of the least supportive States for RR construction to interconnect the states (in particular, to connect the USA -- Calhoun supported RRs to connect the slave states, not the whole country.)

Although James Gadsden was President of the South Carolina RR for ten years, construction of track ended in 1848 and nothing new was added until they finally built a 1.8 mile connection across the river to Augusta, GA in 1853. That was the end of expansion for that RR.

Another South Carolina dead-end to consider is the Blue Ridge RR, which died in 1858-59 when the legislature refused to extend funding. South Carolina never did build a connection to the West, contenting themselves with connecting to the RR in Georgia.
South Carolina had the Charleston to Memphis, completed in 1857. I explained it in the post about Calhoun and Hayne. Memphis was a Proposed Terminus Site for the TRR. The Blue Ridge Railway which was supposed to go to Knoxville. Wasn't needed. The ET&V went from Chattanooga to Knoxville, completed in 55. Linked with the Nashville and Chattanooga.
 
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South Carolina had the Charleston to Memphis
no they did not. south carolina had nothing to do with the M&C except provide half of the name of the railroad to Memphis. The M&C , as i said before , did not enter SC much less Charleston and the name might have just as easily been the memphis and savannah railroad which also had an atlantic coast terminus to the NETWORK.
 

uaskme

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It should not be forgotten , however, that 5 routes were being surveyed beginning in 1853 and published in 1855. The southern one had it's influential champion in the form of Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, who directed the surveys.
Asa Whitney financed his own explorations and

You have leaned something else. Good for you.
 
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I said...
It should not be forgotten , however, that 5 routes were being surveyed beginning in 1853 and published in 1855. The southern one had it's influential champion in the form of Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, who directed the surveys.
Asa Whitney financed his own explorations and

@uaskme replied...
You have learned something else. Good for you.

and i say...
if you say i learned something and associate your remark to what i said by posting what i said in the same context, then it must be true or i have not learned anything. that which i said would be true if , as you say, i learned something. but you do not know whether or not i already knew it so the correct interpretation would be that You learned something. yes ?
 
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@unionblue
you might find this interesting.
Mongo was right, literally ! There was a dispute on where the Choo Choo went. Through Redrock possibly.
There is a community , unincorporated, about half way between Lordsburg and Silver City called Redrock and a 2ft narrow guage rail line called the Silver City, Pinos Altos, and Mogollon railroad that connected those towns.
It was used for transporting ore to the smelter in Silver City. It may have connected to the main line in Lordsburg and gone through Redrock unless Hedley Lamar diverted it ! Ha , the truth is stranger than fiction. Also , very close by is a town called Cotton City.
 

trice

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South Carolina had the Charleston to Memphis, completed in 1857. I explained it in the post about Calhoun and Hayne. Memphis was a Proposed Terminus Site for the TRR. The Blue Ridge Railway which was supposed to go to Knoxville. Wasn't needed. The ET&V went from Chattanooga to Knoxville, completed in 55. Linked with the Nashville and Chattanooga.
The Memphis & Charleston RR route was originally the LaGrange and Memphis RR, chartered in Tennessee (1838) and supposed to run from Memphis to LaGrange in Tennessee. The Memphis & Charleston was chartered in 1846 -- by 1853 they had 40 whole miles of track in operation. In 1850, the Memphis & Charleston acquired the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur RR in AL. Construction was completed in the Spring of 1857 with a line from Memphis to Stevenson, AL -- hundreds of miles away from Charleston, SC. The Memphis & Charleston did not have a single mile of track in South Carolina.

While you could ride a train from the Atlantic Ocean to Memphis on the Mississippi. From Memphis you would follow this route:
  • Memphis & Charleston RR to Stevenson, AL
  • Nashville & Chattanooga RR to Chattanooga, TN
  • Western & Atlantic RR through Atlanta to Savannah, GA
In 1853, the South Carolina RR built a 1.8 mile extension from Hamburg, SC to Augusta, GA (mostly a bridge across the Savannah River). That connected the South Carolina RR to the Georgia RR in Augusta. At some point the Georgia RR bought control of the Atlanta & West Point RR and the Macon & Western RR to connect to Atlanta; when that is done, you can take series of trains all the way from Memphis to Charleston via the connection across the Savannah River at Augusta.

On Calhoun and Hayne: once again, Hayne died in 1839. He has nothing at all to do with the discussions of the Transcontinental Railroad.

While there may have been a lot of talk about the building of RRs in South Carolina, there was remarkably little in the way of actual construction to connect the South Carolina to the West (just as there was remarkably little done to improve the port of Charleston as a seaport). The South Carolina politicians of the day did a lot of finger-pointing, boasting, blaming and complaining -- but they did very little in the way of real investment and effort toward making their visions become reality.
 
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I was just reading a dissertation on De Bow and although he promoted diversity like Gadsden, it seems that the main objective of the M&C was to access the cotton of north Alabama, Mississippi, and western Tennessee for export through Memphis and New Orleans. He claimed Memphis had the best port facilities in the south and saw Charleston as old and in decay. His mentions of the southwest was in reference to Mississippi, Louisiana, East Texas, Arkansas, and West Tennessee.
I lost the link but will post it when i find it again.
 

uaskme

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The Memphis & Charleston RR route was originally the LaGrange and Memphis RR, chartered in Tennessee (1838) and supposed to run from Memphis to LaGrange in Tennessee. The Memphis & Charleston was chartered in 1846 -- by 1853 they had 40 whole miles of track in operation. In 1850, the Memphis & Charleston acquired the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur RR in AL. Construction was completed in the Spring of 1857 with a line from Memphis to Stevenson, AL -- hundreds of miles away from Charleston, SC. The Memphis & Charleston did not have a single mile of track in South Carolina.

While you could ride a train from the Atlantic Ocean to Memphis on the Mississippi. From Memphis you would follow this route:
  • Memphis & Charleston RR to Stevenson, AL
  • Nashville & Chattanooga RR to Chattanooga, TN
  • Western & Atlantic RR through Atlanta to Savannah, GA
In 1853, the South Carolina RR built a 1.8 mile extension from Hamburg, SC to Augusta, GA (mostly a bridge across the Savannah River). That connected the South Carolina RR to the Georgia RR in Augusta. At some point the Georgia RR bought control of the Atlanta & West Point RR and the Macon & Western RR to connect to Atlanta; when that is done, you can take series of trains all the way from Memphis to Charleston via the connection across the Savannah River at Augusta.

On Calhoun and Hayne: once again, Hayne died in 1839. He has nothing at all to do with the discussions of the Transcontinental Railroad.

While there may have been a lot of talk about the building of RRs in South Carolina, there was remarkably little in the way of actual construction to connect the South Carolina to the West (just as there was remarkably little done to improve the port of Charleston as a seaport). The South Carolina politicians of the day did a lot of finger-pointing, boasting, blaming and complaining -- but they did very little in the way of real investment and effort toward making their visions become reality.

Looks like you agree with me. Charleston had a RR to Memphis. Memphis was one of the TRR Mississippi Terminus.

During the Secessionist Winter, the South Direct Traded with England. The declined Importation into NYC Harbor and the reduced Import Tariffs, had Lincoln wondering, Oh, How am I going to Pay the Bills, without the South. So, the Ports didn't seem to be an Issue in the short run. All of the profits from Direct Trading with Europe, would of paid for Port Improvements.
 

uaskme

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All over the South railroad companies used slave labor to battle the region's many natural barriers. Impassable swamps, dense forests, and high mountains needed to be overcome. This demanding, physical work--grading, bridging, and tunneling--required hundreds of men spread out in camps along any projected railroad line.

In the 1850s southern railroad companies raced to break through one of the principal geographic obstacles in the region-- the Blue Ridge mountain chain, which was 700 miles long. Running from northeast to southwest through the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, this rough, mountainous backcountry separated the interior south of the Mississippi River from the Atlantic coast south. As early *** 1836, South Carolina's U.S. senator John C. Calhoun recognized the role that railroads could play in altering this geography: "Unite these and the future is sufficiently ours to make us industrially independent at least." He had pushed to "bind the Republic together" and "conquer space" with federal support for internal improvements Calhoun thought that a railroad route from South Carolina through Georgia to the Tennessee River would "do more to unite. . .the slaveholding states than can be effected by anything else." The project, he believed, would "change not only the commercial [affairs] but the politics of the Union." most of all, he hoped to link the West and the South, because as his fellow South Carolina railroad promoter James Gadsden argued, "if they [the West] do not come to use we will be overwhelmed by the power that has combined for our ruin."

Many Southern leaders, following Calhoun, believed that Nature--the landscape itself--favored the South in the race to Mexico, California, and the West. Weather played a role too, they thought, as heavy snows, bitter cold, and ice blocked more northern than southern routes through the mountains. Ease of construction and grading were also widely discussed advantages. Slavery further enhanced their operations, white Southerners thought. During the congressional debates in 1858 over the location of a proposed transcontiental railroad. Senator Alfred Iverson of Georgia proposed two routes, one northern and one southern, both federally supported, and emphasized the southern route as the cheapest to build and the most reliable to run. But northern congressmen opposed the measure and ignored the arguments for the southern route's low cost and reliability. "We cease almost to be considered as parties having rights," Iverson lamented, echoing the concerns of John C. Calhoun eight years earlier. "Nature itself declares in our favor but her voice is disregarded."

The idea that Nature favored their region was a persistent theme in the late 1850's among southern expansionists, and it became an important refrain in the years leading up to secession and the Civil War. The political implications of the notion could not be ignored: they hinged on what Nature bestowed and how people--a society, a civilization--reconfigured Nature to their own advantages. The basis for most of these claims came from the experience with railroad.Up and down the mountainous chain separating the seaboard from the interior, projects got under way in the 1850s to break through Nature's barriers and substitute for them a second nature of rails, tunnels, embankments, grades and structures. pp25-26 The Iron Way by William G. Thomas

So, Southerners thought that Nature was on their Side. Thought that the Railroads would give them economic and political INDEPENDENCE. Building RRs ramped up in the 50s. And we know they were working on the Texas Pacific up until the Civil War. I don't see any change in attitude, since Calhoun. Neither does Thomas.
 

uaskme

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Charleston had a RR to Augusta . Memphis had a RR to Stevenson. Georgia (Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah) and Chattanooga provided the rest. Memphis had no west bound track beyond Little Rock Arkansas until some time after 1871.
I have posted about 4 post concerning Memphis. It was Calhoun's plan to go to Memphis with a RR. These States coordinated with each other, to make it happen. Any Railroad would benefit anyone along the Route. Towns and Commerce exploded when the RR passed. Vicksburg and New Orleans also in the running for the Terminus. Jeff Davis had a Plantation south of Vicksburg. Recon where he wanted the TRR to go? Memphis was WEST in 1840 era when all of this began. Calhoun thought Memphis would be the most advantageous place to go. New Orleans, Vicksburg and Memphis were all Port Cities. And yes, the Civil War would delay construction of Southern Railroads. Surely that isn't argumentative.
 
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Calhoun , Gadsden, and De bow's ideas of diversity, industrialization, and railroads were in the minority and still further fractured by regional interests within the section. nature had provided cotton and labor and enough land that scientific practice of land use was impractical. nature's abundance is the reason that poor agricultural practices were used and expansion necessary.
 



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