A Brief Manifesto Against Trains

A Brief Manifesto Against Trains February 23, 2015

Old Time Religion

Hemant Mehta shared the above image, supposedly of a letter to the editor printed in an Indiana newspaper in 1830. I’ve learned to be skeptical of such alleged examples of people complaining about advancing technology and breakneck speeds which, from our perspective, seem slow and simple.

Whether it is authentic or not, the fact that it is signed “anonymous canal stockholder” is humorous. There is a canal that runs through Indianapolis, which was supposed to be part of a larger canal project to facilitate shipping, and which I believe would have reached Vincennes. But the construction did not start until later in the 1830s.

Religious and economic motivations are often hard to disentangle. If this letter to the editor is authentic, it is as likely to reflect concern about their investment more than a concern to be “more primitive and scriptural.” But I suspect that it is yet another fake allegedly from “ye olden days.”

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