ontinents began to be earnestly discussed. The plan of Mr.
Collins, which was submitted to the Western Union Telegraph Company of
New York as early as 1863, seemed to be the most practicable of all
the projects which were suggested for intercontinental communication.
It proposed to unite the telegraphic systems of America and Russia by
a line through British Columbia, Russian America, and north-eastern
Siberia, meeting the Russian lines at the mouth of the Amur (ah-moor)
River on the Asiatic coast, and forming one continuous girdle of wire
nearly round the globe.
This plan possessed many very obvious advantages. It called for
no long cables. It provided for a line which would run everywhere
overland, except for a short distance at Bering Strait, and which
could be easily repaired when injured by accident or storm. It
promised also to extend its line eventually down the Asiatic coast to
Peking, and to develop a large and profitable business with China.
All these considerations recommended it strongly to the