The House Discusses the Matter of Elevated Railways.
"The report of the committee on street railways, leave to withdraw, on the petition of Joe V. Meigs for permission to construct his peculiar system of elevated railroads, was considered, and Mr. O'Neil of Boston moved to substitute a bill providing that a charter be given to the petitioners so that they may build a road on a single track, not less than one nor more than three miles in length, in the vicinity of Boston, as an experimental line. Mr. O'Neil argued that this was an age of progress, and that what was good twenty-five years ago is not good now. That then the people were satisfied with the advantages offered by horse-cars, but now more extensive accommodations are needed. More people would vote for elevated railroads now than would have voted for horse railroads twenty five years ago. The opponents of the bill are from Boston, but if it is granted the citizens of Cambridge and Somerville will have a chance of seeing what they greatly want. Elevated roads will give quick transit, and although there was great opposition in New York when these roads were first built from property owners and others, all New York now sees their great benefit, and would not dispense with them. The property had appreciated 25 per cent. In the suburb against 10 per cent decrease in the city. Those who oppose it are people who think that the world should stand still and not go forward. He explained Mr. Meigs' plans, and hoped that, notwithstanding, the opposition of the horse railway companies, the bill granting Mr. Meigs an opportunity to test his scheme would pass.
Mr. Rockwell of Boston moved as amendment that the experiment be made in Cambridge, which Mr. Wells of that city vigorously opposed.
Mr. Morse of Newton spoke in opposition and claimed that not a dollar has been subscribed and that there was really nothing back of the petitioners in the way of solid cash to carry out any rights that might be granted them.
On motion of Mr. Cogswell of Salem the further consideration of the subject was postponed until Thursday next."
Source: Boston Globe, February 12, 1882