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Railroads

When the railroads were first introduced to the U.S., some folks feared that they’d be the downfall of the nation! Here’s an exerpt from a letter to then President Jackson dated January 31, 1829:

As you may know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.

Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York

Note: the veracity of this letter is called into question by some presidential historians.