CHAPTER XXIV. GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY FROM 1820 TO 1840
 The first railroad in our country was used in 1807, at Boston, to carry earth from a hilltop to grade a street. Others, only a few miles long, were soon used to carry stone and coal from quarry and mine to the wharf - in 1810 near Philadelphia, in 1826 at Quincy (a little south of Boston), in 1827 at Mauchchunk (Pennsylvania). All of these were private roads and carried no passengers.
 While the means of travel were improving, the inns and towns even along the great stage routes had not improved. "When you alight at a country tavern," said a traveler, "it is ten to one you stand holding your horse, bawling for the hostler while the landlord looks on. Once inside the tavern every man, woman, and child plies you with questions. To get a dinner is the work of hours. At night you are put into a room with a dozen others and sleep two or three in a bed. In the morning you go outside to wash your face and then repair to the barroom to see your face in the only looking glass the tavern contains." Another traveler complains that at the best hotel in New York there was neither glass, mug, cup, nor carpet, and but one miserable rag dignified by the name of towel.
 As early as 1814 John Stevens applied to New Jersey for a railroad charter, and when it was granted, he sought to persuade the New York Canal Commission to build a railroad instead of a canal. In 1823 Pennsylvania granted Stevens and his friends a charter to build a railroad from Philadelphia to the Susquehanna. In 1825 Stevens built a circular road at Hoboken and used a steam locomotive to show the possibility of such a means of locomotion. But all these schemes were ahead of the times.
 The friends of canals bitterly opposed railroads as impractical. Snow, it was said, would block them for weeks. If locomotives were used, the sparks would make it impossible to carry hay or other things combustible. The boilers would blow up as they did on steamboats. Canals were therefore safer and cheaper. Read McMaster's History of the People of the U. S., Vol. VI, pp. 87-89.
 Almost all the early roads used this device. There was one such inclined plane at Albany; another at Belmont, now in Philadelphia; a third on the Paterson and Hudson Railroad near Paterson; and a fourth on the Baltimore and Ohio. When Pennsylvania built her railroad over the Allegheny Mountains, many such planes were necessary, so that the Portage Railroad, as it was called, was a wonder of engineering skill.
 The state built the railroads, like the canals, as highways open to everybody. At first no cars or motive power, except at the inclined planes, were supplied. Any car owner could carry passengers or freight who paid the state two cents a mile for each passenger and $4.92 for each car sent over the rails. After 1836 the state provided locomotives and charged for hauling cars.
 The captain of a schooner, seeing her smoke, thought she was a ship on fire and started for her, "but found she went faster with fire and smoke than we possibly could with all sails set. It was then that we discovered that what we supposed a vessel on fire was nothing less than a steamboat crossing the Western Ocean." In June, when off the coast of Ireland, she was again mistaken for a ship on fire, and one of the king's revenue cutters was sent to her relief and chased her for a day.
 A common form was known as the loco-foco. In 1835 the Democratic party in New York city was split into two factions, and on the night for the nomination of candidates for office one faction got possession of the hall by using a back door. But the men of the other faction drove it from the room and were proceeding to make their nominations when the gas was cut off. For this the leaders were prepared, and taking candles out of their pockets lit them with loco-foco matches. The next morning a newspaper called them "Loco-Focos," and in time the name was applied to a wing of the Democratic party.
 Good descriptions of life in New England are Lucy Larcom's New England Girlhood; T. B. Aldrich's Story of a Bad Boy; and E. E. Hale's New England Boyhood.
 Read Whittier's Prisoner for Debt.
 In Rhode Island many efforts to have the franchise extended came to naught. The old colonial charter was still in force, and under it no man could vote unless he owned real estate worth $134 or renting for $7 a year, or was the eldest son of such a "freeman." After the Whig victory in 1840, however, a people's party was organized, and adopted a state constitution which extended the franchise, and under which Thomas W. Dorr was elected governor. Dorr attempted to seize the state property by force, and establish his government; but his party and his state officials deserted him, and he was arrested, tried, found guilty of treason, and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was finally pardoned, and in 1842 a state constitution was regularly adopted, and the old charter abandoned.