Fred'k H. Cooke


The visible universe, from the giant constellation down to the infinitesimal corpuscle, is in a condition of eternal movement, or, we may say, a condition of eternal transportation. Indeed, there seems to be no phenomenon more universal than this transportation. But we are to here consider it merely as a phenomenon of life, in particular, of human life. In common with other higher animals, man possesses organs that characterize him as a being eminently fitted for transportation; his arms; his legs; even his vocal organs, fitted for transportation (or transmission) of the intangible, that is, of intelligence communicated from one being to another. And some of the animals inferior to man, such as the camel, the elephant, and the horse, are, by their physical constitution, eminently fitted for transportation of men and tangible articles. We need not speak in detail of the artificial aids to transportation, gradually, sometimes even painfully, acquired, during the long period of progress through barbarism to higher civilization; the cart, the boat, the ships, the locomotive, the automobile, the telegraph, the telephone. Perhaps it would be scarcely an exaggeration to say that the record of progress in civilization is little more than a record of improvement in transportation of persons and property. Certainly, throughout human history, whatever the social institutions, whatever the form of government, men have always enjoyed liberty of transportation from place to place, even though frequently, as in the case of the medieval serf, or the slave in the rice swamps or cotton fields, within narrowly prescribed limits. There never was a time in the history of imperial Rome, when, generally speaking, freemen did not enjoy perfect liberty of transportation, of themselves, or of property, from Jerusalem to Rome, or from Athens to Alexandria.