“We will have new scientific revolutions to find out what our Solar System, our galaxy, what is the universe with its billions of galaxies, what it really is? This new inclusive security architecture has to proceed from that standpoint. The New Silk Road concept will not only be a connection among nations on the planet, like the ancient Silk Road, but it will be a World Land-Bridge connecting all continents, but it will also lift mankind up to the stars, together, elevate us to think on the level of the coincidence of opposites, developed by Nikolaus of Cusa. This must become the identity of mankind in the New Silk Road, that of a creative species, which will be in cohesion with the laws of the cosmic order.” [1]

-Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Founder of the Schiller Institute), 2014

“To disinfect ourselves of inane nepotism to Europe in other things as we have done in politics; to ponder boldly on ourselves and our mission, and develop an indigenous dignity- to appreciate Asiatic sciences, civilization, commerce and population- these are essential preparatory steps to which we must tone our minds.”  [2]

-William Gilpin (1st Governor of Colorado), 1856

William Gilpin

If people know the name of William Gilpin at all today, it is generally due to the famous 1890 map of the Cosmopolitan Railway featuring the sub-caption “Gilpin’s Economic, Just and Correct Map of the World”. This 1890 map, which began spreading in recent years due in large part to the renewed interest in the Bering Strait Rail connection and China’s New Silk Road not only featured a rail connection across the Bering Straits connecting Eurasia with the Americas, but also rail lines uniting every continent on the globe. Beyond this, very little has been made known about the extraordinary person of the Colorado Territory’s first Governor. Where did he come from? What role, if any, did he play in the formation of the republic? What philosophical outlook governed his life? Where did he situate himself in universal history?

After reading several biographies such as the History of the Life of William Gilpin (1889) by Hubert Bankroft, William Gilpin: Western Nationalist by Thomas Karnes, along with Gilpin’s 1873 Mission of the North American People and The Cosmopolitan Rail (1890), I have come to the conclusion that this man was not only a major force in American history, but represents a universal thinker whose mind comprehended with a depth and clarity unseen again for over a century how America’s Manifest Destiny actually represented a destiny for all mankind expressed brilliantly in his famous statement “Science is Divine and economy is science revealed, rightly understood and utilized”. Gilpin, a devout follower of Alexander von Humboldt and Alexander Hamilton, prophesied for over 50 years that America, Russia and China were united in a common mission to transform all humankind – a conviction which drove him to champion the construction of the Trans Continental Railway with a grouping of other co-thinkers in the early 1840s.

Gilpin’s Cosmopolitan Railway

In light of this research, it has become apparent that not only was the construction of the transcontinental railway motivated by a powerful intention to unite America with Eurasia, but that the very Civil War itself was manipulated by forces loyal to the British Empire to sabotage the construction of the World Land bridge, today championed by such leading figures as Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche. William Gilpin’s strategic thinking reflected through his life’s writings, reflect a universal mind who was profoundly in tuned with the principle of the Concordance of Opposites referred to by Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche above. The substance of this vital principle asserts that it is only when we go outside ourselves that we discover and gain control of what is inside ourselves, and it is only when we consider the self-interest of the species that our own self-interest truly assured.

It is of such vital importance that this story be made more widely known that I have put together this report, divided into seven chapters.

Part One: Gilpin’s Patriotic Family Heritage

Part Two: The Battle over Oregon and the Opening of the West

Part Three: The Trans Continental Rail to China

Part Four: The Stage is set for Civil War

Part Five: Lincoln’s Bodyguard becomes Governor of Colorado

Part Six: The Post War Years and the Cosmopolitan Railway

Part Seven: Gilpin’s Grand Design Takes on New Life in the 21st Century

Chapter One

Gilpin’s Patriotic Family Heritage

Since Gilpin fully situated his identity within the American intellectual tradition of the Winthrops, Mathers and Benjamin Franklin, we will take a moment to review several generations of the Gilpin family in order to familiarize ourselves with the “hereditary” intellectual impulse which governed his entire life.

The Gilpin family migrated to America in 1696 in order to escape persecution under William of Orange. Upon arriving, New England colonies were in the throes of being reconquered by a British Empire which sought to crush the spirit of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the vision which its founder John Winthrop identified when he inaugurated the new experiment in self-government in 1630 with the words “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”

Benjamin Franklin, whose Philosophical Society was designed to create a moral and scientific elite capable of guiding an age of reason for all humanity

This philosophy became the positive basis for the doctrine of Manifest Destiny which governed the best of America’s patriots of which the Gilpin family was no exception.

A shining example of this tradition is to be found in the person of William’s grandfather Thomas Gilpin, who served as a leading member of Benjamin Franklin’s Philosophical Society. After 20 years of relative inactivity from 1746-1767, the Philosophical Society was revived and united to the American Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge with Benjamin Franklin elected as the society’s first president. The first major undertaking of the renewed Philosophical Society was Thomas Gilpin’s project to build a canal from Delaware River to Chesapeake Bay reducing the shipping distance from Philadelphia to Baltimore by 300 miles. Although the revolution froze this plan as new priorities appeared on the plate of every patriot, Benjamin Franklin made it once again a national priority 1788, putting into motion what became the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company, led by Franklin protégés Matthew and Henry C. Carey. With the Gilpin family of Philadelphia playing leading roles during that entire process, the project was finally accomplished in 1829 and is considered one of the greatest public works in America’s early history.

A leading historian noted that Thomas Gilpin, “drawing inspiration from the career of B. Franklin, developed an interest in useful engineering projects; he frequently discussed plans for bridges, canals and other structures at the American Philosophical Society.” [3]

American System leaders Matthew and Henry C. Carey

Benjamin Franklin’s relations with the Gilpin family didn’t end there, as the elder statesman also assisted Thomas’s two sons Joshua  (William’s father) and Thomas Jr. in the founding of Delaware’s first paper mill which employed and advanced upon the best techniques of paper making existing in France. Both  Gilpin brothers were members of the Philosophical Society and Joshua served as leading officers for Alexander Hamilton’s Society for the Promotion for Useful Manufactures which drove America’s commitment to develop its productive powers of labour.

Leading members of the Philosophical Society included George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, Nicholas Biddle, John Marshall to name but a few. Reflecting the international nature of the American Revolution, European scientists and patriots were also prominent members such as Alexander von Humboldt, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Baron von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette [4]. An astounding number of early leaders of the Philosophical Society were also members of Washington’s Society of the Cincinnati.

Henry Gilpin (right) broke with his American System family heritage becoming enmeshed in the Wall Street run political machine of Martin van Buren (middle) and Anderw Jackson (left)

While William’s older brother Henry Gilpin (1801-1860) began his promising career as an enthusiastic supporter of John Quincy Adams while playing an instrumental role as Secretary Treasurer of the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal Company under the direction of Matthew Carey, his decision to become enmeshed in the political machine of Jackson and van Buren was most unfortunate. Henry’s slide into corruption peaked with his appointment by Jackson to the board of governors of 2nd Bank of the United States where he played an instrumental role in subverting the bank from within. Henry later served as Attorney General of the USA under Martin van Buren where he made his mark on history by passionately defending the Spanish empire’s right to own their African property in the famous Supreme Court Amistad case in 1841. Fourteen years younger, Henry’s brother William also became enmeshed in the same democratic machine early in life. Although breaking with that beast by the late 1840s, and becoming a Lincoln Republican by 1859, his lack of understanding of the British-run agenda of the Slave Power who used such pawns as van Buren and Jackson admittedly caused him to make some significantly bad alliances early on.

Part Two

The Battle over Oregon and the Opening of the West

America in 1815

When William Gilpin was born in 1815, America had grown from its original thirteen colonies to include the French territories ceded under the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the Spanish possessions of Florida. Texas was still a part of Mexico, while Oregon was jointly claimed by Americans and British alike. Apart from a small area of today’s Quebec and southern Ontario which were officially British possessions, the vast majority of today’s Canada existed as private property of the empire’s Hudson’s Bay Company. South of Oregon, America was entirely cut off from the Pacific by the vast territories of Mexico which were still a part of the Spanish empire.

In opposition to popular theories of America’s origins, the revolution was never considered a local phenomenon by those who led it, but rather a global one. The American Revolution was an international affair involving statesman, soldiers, and scientists from Russia, Germany, Poland, France, Ireland and even England. These international figures recognized that the doctrine of Manifest Destiny was never meant to have any relationship to mere “nationalism” or “imperialism” as such terms are narrowly defined today, but rather that ALL humankind is endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was believed that the creation of republican institutions dedicated to protecting those rights was the sovereign all-inclusive common good of all people.

The Continental Congress wasn’t called the “Congress of the 13 Colonies” for a reason.

The growth of constitutional law across ever greater expanses of the Americas during the early decades of America, although too often contaminated by the Slave power’s duplicitous agenda to spread its “peculiar system of government” under the rubric of a perverted imperialist version of Manifest Destiny, had its origins in this positive conception [5].

America in 1840

By 1840, a strategic beachhead for this international conflict was located in the Oregon Country across the Rocky Mountains (a vast area today spanning across the states of Washington, Oregon, Utah and parts of Montana and Wyoming). This area had been claimed by both Britain and America alike. At this time, Oregon had no real legal structure and it was generally understood that the final claim would belong to whichever government had most developed and populated the region [6]. While America had then grown to 26 states and two territories, all were located in the east with hardly any population existing beyond the 90th meridian.

Oregon was the most accessible entry point to the Pacific and if it could be firmly established as American, then could the young nation come one step closer to consolidating the power of republican ideas on the continent, further expelling British imperialism on the one hand, while opening a direct connection to Asia on the other. Since a major chokepoint in Britain’s global monopoly on Maritime trade and dominance of Asia were being challenged, Oregon became an incredibly strategic point of conflict.

Fremont’s Secret Mission

William Gilpin joined the fight to win Oregon for America as this battle was championed by the late President William Harrison (1773-1841) who fully supported the first government-backed expedition of the west led by Lieutenant John C. Fremont of the U.S Corps of Topographical Engineers.

President Harrison

When Harrison died on April 4, 1841 after only 30 days in office, Fremont commented that all concern for Oregon nearly died with him and the issue was nearly forgotten [7]. Due, however to the leadership of such figures as Dr. Elijah White (sub-Indian agent of the U.S. War Department), Gilpin, Fremont and other bold pioneers, the fight to open the west was kept alive. Politically, the role of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, the father-in-law of Lieutenant Fremont and powerful leader of a faction of the Democratic Party, was instrumental in advancing this policy. Although eventually breaking with Benton due to his tendency to compromise with the slave power in later years, a young William Gilpin found himself an ally.

Lieutenant John C. Fremont

Gilpin met Fremont in Independence Missouri in 1843, joining his second expedition to the Pacific through Rocky Mountains and Oregon Trail. Fremont’s “official” assignment was to map out the under-explored frontier territory as a chief Topographical engineer, while secretly, he and the leadership of his 40 man team were assigned to assist the Oregon emigration movement. Both Benton “Free soil” democrats, Fremont and Gilpin went on to become leading figures in the newly formed Republican Party in the years preceding the Civil war, with Gilpin appointed Governor of Colorado and Fremont serving as head of the Department of the West.[9]

After travelling for six months over 2000 miles with Fremont, the expedition arrived at Britain’s Fort Vancouver and the Willamette Valley (the area of Oregon then most obviously under American influence south of the Columbia River- image on the left). At this point, Gilpin’s mission took him on a new path as he and Fremont went their separate ways on November 19, 1843. The expedition team continued down to California before returning to the east while Gilpin returned north to the Hudson Bay’s Fort Vancouver with the objective of befriending the Hudson Bay elites, and cultivating as much intelligence as possible during his time there.

The story that Gilpin used to justify his separation from the party and return to Fort Vancouver was that his canoe had been stolen and a Hudson Bay owned replacement canoe had to be returned to its owners. Whether the story was true or not, he successfully befriended John McLoughlin, the Hudson Bay Executive for the Pacific Northwest and spent the next two months of winter being hosted as a guest at the fort, meeting with every major player of the Hudson Bay Company and British Administration who passed through the

Sen. Thomas Benton

west. After being suspected of espionage due to his connections to Fremont and the Benton machine [9], Gilpin promptly left Fort Vancouver for the Willamette Valley where he remained for the duration of the winter and spring 1844.

While British suspicions of Gilpin’s true motive were never proven, one cryptic message written by Gilpin offers some interesting evidence: “Senator Linn, Gov. Reynolds of Mo., and Col Bill Sublette were the only three men who knew the object I had in going there.” [10] The historian Thomas Karnes made the observation that all three men referenced by Gilpin were Benton democrats active in the American immigration movement who died within 18 months of each other between 1843-1845. Senator Linn who had predicted his own death, died on October 3, 1843, Governor Thomas Reynolds was judged to have committed suicide in the governor’s mansion in February 9, 1844 and Bill Sublette died of Tuberculosis on July 25, 1845.

Gilpin Organizes Oregon

Hudson Bay agents and sometimes enemies George Simpson (left) and John McLoughlin (right)

Back in Willamette, Gilpin played an active role organizing for a provisional government for Oregon under U.S. law alongside Dr. Elijah White, culminating in a public meeting which included Canadian and American citizens living in the region. By ensuring that two illiterate Canadians be made Vice-Presidents of the meeting and endorsing its resolutions by signing a memorial to the U.S. government, Gilpin described that he had “set an American style trap”. [11] What was the trap and purpose of this important meeting? In a letter to Hudson Bay controller George Simpson, John McLaughlin reported that the meeting was “held to petition the U.S. Congress to extend its jurisdiction over the Oregon Settlers”[12]. With Canadians presiding over the meeting and endorsing the petition, an important case was made for the supposed shared British and American desire to incorporate into America [13]. The petition was written up under Gilpin’s direction and those in attendance elected to have William present it to Washington.

Upon his return to Washington after a roundabout 4000 km exploratory trip, an inspired Gilpin was asked to give testimony to the Senate and House of Representatives as a leading authority on rail and western development during the many sessions Congress convened on the Oregon Boundary issue. While presenting many hard facts, Gilpin never missed an opportunity raise his audience’s understanding that western development was merely a step towards a new destiny for the entire human race. In one inspired 1846 report to the Senate, Gilpin wrote:

“The un-transacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent- to rush over this vast field to the Pacific ocean- to animate the many hundred millions of its people… to set the principle of self-government at work- to agitate these herculean masses… to set free the enslaved, to regenerate superannuated nations… to confirm the destiny of the human race… to unite the world in one social family… to absolve the curse that weighs down humanity, and shed blessings around the world. Divine task! Immortal mission.” [14]

Humboldt’s Isothermal Zodiac

Alexander von Humboldt, whose theories fueled Gilpin’s argument for the Manifest Destiny of mankind

Gilpin’s powerful faith that westward expansion was directly tied to the uplifting of humanity was rooted in his studies of Alexander von Humboldt- whose book Cosmos he carried with him on all of his travels. Before returning to Europe after his famous five year exploration of the Americas (1799-1804), Humboldt spent a week in Washington D.C. where he became a member of Benjamin Franklin’s Philosophical Society and built many contacts among the America’s political and scientific leadership. Historian Laura Walls explained that his voluminous writings and maps “for 40 years guided a succession of exploring expeditions into what would become the American Southwest” [15].

Although befriending Jefferson and Madison during his Washington visit, Humboldt harshly attacked the institution of slavery which plagued the Americas, writing “slavery is possibly the greatest evil ever to have afflicted humanity, no matter if one focuses on the individual slave ripped from his family in the country of his birth and thrown into the hold of a slave ship or considers him as apart of the herd of black men penned up in the Antilles” [16]. Humboldt’s criticisms of slavery and his advice on phasing it out resulted in his book being banned in Havana, Cuba for many years [17].

Humboldt’s Isothermal Zodiac was defined as a belt alternating above and below the 40th degree of latitude wherein the greatest capitals of civilization were to be found. It was within this “axis of intensity” that “the sacred and inspired fire of civilization, accompanying the sun, has marched from east to west since the birth of time” [18].

Rather than interpret Humboldt’s concept as a pre-determined, mindless force of colonization which many are want to do, it is more truthful to recognize that both Humboldt and Gilpin were firm believers in creative reason and free will. Although believers in destiny, neither one entrapped themselves into a false dichotomy of thinking they had to choose either freedom OR destiny but rather saw both concepts united under one principle of Natural Law. From a scientific standpoint, the Isothermal Zodiak defined a process shaped by the least action principle of earth’s gravitation around the sun within a planetary system defined by a harmonic order of orbits. It is that same least action principle which defined the generation of reasoned hypotheses in the mind of creative thinkers such as Gilpin and Humboldt as they charted out the best courses of action most likely to improve humanity’s standard of living through great public works.

In an 1849 speech in Independence Missouri, Gilpin explained the concept:

“Within this belt (from 30 deg to 50 deg) four-fifths of the human race is assembled, and here the civilized nations . . . have succeeded one another. . . . This succession has flowed onward in an even course, undulating along an isothermal line, until in our time the ring is about to close around the earth’s circumference, by the arrival of the American nation on the coast of the Pacific, which looks over on to Asia.” [19]

Part Three

The Trans-Continental Rail to Asia

Xu Jiyu, whose works opened China’s Consciousness to the world and united the hearts of Chinese with Americans in a strong bond of friendship

Since the Chinese had recently been violated by years of British opium smuggling and three years of Opium Wars (1840-1842), many leading intellectuals in China led by the great Xu Jiyu, governor of Fujian province, were waking up quickly to the strategic importance of America in Universal history- not only as a display of a small power which defeated the British Empire, but also as an embodiment of Confucian principles. In the mind of Xu Jiyu, these principles found their most concrete expression in the figure of George Washington, who expressed the highest Confucian ideals of leadership and morality as a man who risked everything to lead his people to freedom then willfully gave up the reins of power to return to civilian life after having completed his duty. An 1853 plaque, now installed in the Washington monument was gifted to America from leading Chinese merchants with the etched prose taken from Xu Jiyu’s A Short Account of the Oceans Around Us (1849):

Of all the famous Westerners of ancient and modern times, can Washington be placed in any position but first?”

Asa Whitney

Likewise, many Americans were looking to China during these years as an ancient and wise civilization expressing the highest ideals of Christianity and who recognized that were America to endure, a cultural and economic bond with China must occur. Two champions of that Sino-American Manifest Destiny and the Transcontinental Railway were no exception: William Gilpin and Asa Whitney.

Asa Whitney (1791-1874) was an American merchant who had made a fortune in China from 1842-1844, and became the earliest and most prominent promoter of the Trans Continental railway upon his return to America. Whitney, who wanted permission to build a railroad from the Great Lakes to the Columbia River, wrote in an 1849 report to Congress:

“During a residence of nearly two years in Asia I collected all the information within my reach… with a starving, destitute population of 250 000 000 on the one side of us, and all Asia on the other side with 700 000 000 of souls still more destitute, seemed to demand the accomplishment of this great work, this great and important change for the benefit of the entire human family; a work which would open to settlement and production the wilderness of more than 2000 miles, give to it cheap and rapid transit to, and communication with, all the markets of the world..” [20]

While Whitney’s desired route and plans for private ownership were not accepted by Congress, his organizing played a direct role in the great October 1849 Trans-Continental Railroad conventions in Chicago and St. Louis which went far to embed the policy into the popular consciousness of all citizens. The St. Louis Convention which Gilpin also played a role in organizing had voted to support the rail line from St. Louis to the west coast across the Rockies with branches to Chicago and Memphis.

As a follow up to this convention, William led a town hall meeting in his hometown of Independence, Missouri with the purpose of ratifying  the actions in St. Louis three weeks earlier. Gilpin was voted to head the committee to draft the Missouri resolutions which clearly defined the purpose of the Trans Continental Railway as a gateway to China when it stated:

“Let it be resolved that, whereas the Almighty has placed the territories of the American Union in the center between Asia and Europe and the Route of the Asiatic and European Railway” through the heart of our national domain, it is our duty to the human family to prosecute, vigorously, through its new channel, that supreme commerce between the oriental nations and the nations of the Atlantic, which history proves to have existed in all ages, and to be necessary to keep alive comity, science and civilization among mankind”.

Some may snidely remark that Whitney and Gilpin’s affinity for China was mere pragmatism, based purely upon economic or geopolitical advantage over the British. However, an 1852 testimony of German emigrant and publisher, Julius Froebel tells a different story. Froebel, himself a student of Humboldt and editor of the Swiss Republican newspaper spent several months with Gilpin in Independence, Missouri and his accounts expressed a much higher level of understanding of the paradigm which united China and America under one Mandate of Heaven through whose submission alone America could find salvation from the corrupting effects of “European influences”:

“He (Gilpin) regards the “American” as the “most ancient and primitive civilization of mankind” and laments that this is not acknowledged by the world at large. This culture, he admits, has become degenerate in America itself; but in China it is still found in a pure state. Hence, salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the “Chinese constitution” viz. the “patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire”. The political life of the United States is “through European influences”, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States”.  [21]

Part Four

How the Civil war was used to Destroy Manifest Destiny

Rather than witnessing the blossoming of the great Asian-American Railway, the 1850s ushered in a decade of corruption and compromise which nearly led to the disintegration of the Federal Government within ten years.

At the opening of this decade, the union had acquired nearly all territorial possessions from the Mexican empire in the wake of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). The nation had thus grown to 31 states, and five territories (one disorganized and four organized). Whether those new territories were to remain free or slave-ridden became a central point of conflict between patriots and the British-run slave power which had dominated the Democratic Party. If they could remain free, then the dynamic for western expansion to the Pacific and broader world land bridge could proceed unhindered. If the central USA were to fall under the slave power, then this positive momentum would be sabotaged.

Zachary Taylor

With the premature July 9, 1850 death of Whig president Zachary Taylor, a supporter of the Wilmot Proviso, a series of compromises was instead unleashed by traitors, cowards and opportunists. The first such act of folly was the “1850 Compromise” initiated jointly by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglass. This compromise was a package of five bills which declared that slavery was to be decided by popular vote in the newly created Territories of Utah and New Mexico, abolished the slave trade (but not slavery) in the District of Columbia, defined the current borders of the newly admitted state of Texas and strengthened the fugitive slave Act which mandated that all free states give up fugitive slaves to their masters.

This cowardly tendency to compromise with the slave power paved the way to the disastrous Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1855 which repealed the Missouri Compromise, opening both territories to slavery based on the “will of the majority”. Both regions were thus flooded with pro-slavery migrants and a fire was lit that would fully erupt within a few years.

While Senator Thomas Benton who led a faction of the Democratic Party of which Gilpin was a member, took an anti-slavery position during this period, his once formidable political machine lost much steam and the lukewarm energy he brought to the fight against the slave power repulsed much of his base. Gilpin increasingly became a party unto himself, sometimes running for elected office, but always elevating his message beyond all party politics earning a reputation as the prophet of manifest destiny.

The Republican Party Forms

he first Republican National Convention was held at Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania on February 22–February 23, 1856

With the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Midwest of the continent had become a strategic point of conflict determining the fate of the republic with the slave power energetically moving with all their might to ensure that the Midwest territories would admit slavery in preparation for their break from the union (and eventual planned absorption of said union). The lack of any principled leadership from any party during these bleak years created a power vacuum that could undo the American revolution if drastic action was not taken. Thus on June 18, 1856 a convention led by Whigs and former-Benton Democrats saw the creation of the Republican Party whose founding manifesto [25] stated its purpose in clear terms:

“This Convention of Delegates, assembled in pursuance of a call addressed to the people of the United States, without regard to past political differences or divisions, who are opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; to the policy of the present Administration; to the extension of Slavery into Free Territory; in favor of the admission of Kansas as a Free State; of restoring the action of the Federal Government to the principles of Washington and Jefferson; and for the purpose of presenting candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President”

Among its resolutions, the declaration made public works a keystone pillar in its mandate guided by water works and the Trans Continental rail:

“Resolved, That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean by the most central and practicable route is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country, and that the Federal Government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction, and as an auxiliary thereto, to the immediate construction of an emigrant road on the line of the railroad.”

“Resolved, That appropriations by Congress for the improvement of rivers and harbors, of a national character, required for the accommodation and security of our existing commerce, are authorized by the Constitution, and justified by the obligation of the Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens.”

During the 1856 elections, the Republic Party’s first nomination for the Presidency was none other than

The Republican Party’s 1956 candidates Captain Fremont (left) and William Dayton (right)

Gilpin’s former associate Lieutenant John C. Fremont [26] . By 1859 William Gilpin joined him and became a leading voice of the Republican Party (and often sole republican voice in the pro-slavery dominated south west). In fact, of the twelve hundred recorded votes cast in the town of Independence, Missouri, during the 1860 Presidential elections, the sole vote for Lincoln was registered by William Gilpin.

Gilpin devoted the following months to writing impassioned editorials and giving speeches in defense of the Union across Missouri. It was here that he came under the notice of Colonel Edwin Sumner, Commander of the Department of the West who had just been tasked by Lieutenant General Winfield Scott to lead Lincoln’s twelve man bodyguard for the dangerous thirteen day voyage from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Colonel Sumner knew and trusted Gilpin since their days fighting in the Spanish-American War and requested Gilpin be part of the elite bodyguard. Upon Lincoln’s arrival in Washington on February 11, 1860, Gilpin was among 100 trusted bodyguards who stayed at the White House for several weeks to ensure the safety of the new President. Gilpin had many opportunities to speak with Lincoln during these tense days and while written records are sparse, Gilpin’s positive impression upon the President is evidenced by the appointment and mission which Lincoln  later assigned him.

Part Five

Lincoln’s Bodyguard Becomes the Governor of Colorado

By 1860, the U.S territories had evolved into free states (blue), slave slates (grey) and Union territories (yellow) who’s destinies were still highly uncertain. The world landbridge project connecting America and Asia was put into great jeopardy

On February 28, 1861, the Territories of America’s Midwest were subdivided forming Colorado as a territory. The matter of who would be governor of the new Territory was yet unresolved. The only certainty was that this region was of strategic significance as a beachhead against Southern takeover of the highly vulnerable Midwestern flank which served the union as a rich depot of resources needed to finance the Union during the Civil War.

With Gilpin’s reputation as a scholar, statesman, and expert on Colorado and the geography of the west, his appointment to fill that vacuum was finalized on March 22, 1861. Before leaving for Denver, Gilpin met with Lincoln and Winfield Scott where he was given the strict orders to form a government and defend the west from secessionist forces at all cost [27].

Having taken his oath of office on July 8, 1861 Gilpin set about shaping the new government alongside his two most trusted collaborators, Chief Justice Hall, a Whig and former law partner of Secretary of State William Seward and Attorney General Theodore Weld. This group formed a legislative body, organizing a system of laws, courts, and electoral districts. They organized soft infrastructure such as police, schools, civil and criminal codes, charities and a system of taxation [28]. Most importantly for the immediate needs of the nation which was preparing for civil war, a militia was organized and public works unleashed centered on roads and irrigation systems. During his inaugural speech to the first Territorial Legislative Assembly, Governor Gilpin emphasized the importance of the trans-continental railway:

Our territory will be bisected East and West, by the grandest work of all time, constructed to fraternize the domestic relations of our people and to draw the travel and commerce of all the nations, and all the continents of the world.” [29]

Rebel sympathies in Colorado ran very high in these early years with one third of the population having emigrated from the South prompting Justice Hall to write to Lincoln warning him of a conspiracy of 6000 southern plotters who had failed to turn Kansas into a slave state and were now collecting weapons in preparation to take over Colorado in collaboration with confederates in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. [30]

Gilpin’s Greenbacks Save the West

In response to this southern plot, the Governor took the immediate action of forming a military staff and without any money in Colorado’s coffers, directed an emergency purchase of all weapons and ammunition available in Colorado in order to keep them out of the hands of the confederacy, whose leading agent Captain Joel McKee had openly been mass purchasing for the confederacy. Gilpin ordered the arrest of McKee and 40 of his men for treason, thus, putting an end to the insurrection. With the recognition of Colorado’s strategic significance sinking in, Gilpin’s request for weapons was granted and 18 wagonloads of ammunition and 1800 rifles were dispatched to him from the 2nd Dragoons in Utah, which set the tone for the struggle that was ahead. Weapons however, require soldiers to use them and that task of recruiting them remained still ahead.

Under dire requests from Colonel E.R.S. Canby, Commanding officer of Union troops in New Mexico who had the task of defending the Union on the frontline against a Texas-led takeover, Gilpin, again without a dime in the treasury and no support from a financially strained Federal government, took initiative to create 10 companies of soldiers later to be called the 1st Regiment of Colorado Volunteers help Canby and to defend the union. How did Gilpin manage to purchase thousands of weapons, ammunition, not to mention both form and train 10 companies of Colorado volunteers with no money? The answer is “Greenbacks”.

Following orders which Gilpin later explained were transmitted to him from Lincoln in April 1861, the Governor commissioned $375 000.00 of scrip “backed by the trust in the federal government” to be issued in July, 1861. This was also the same month that Lincoln issued $50 million in treasury-issued greenbacks to pay for the Civil War when British-steered New York banks refused him any loans below 25-30% interest.

When the Federal Government gave word that it could not honor Gilpin’s scrip in October 1861, a near mutiny struck and for many months, businesses across Colorado suffered with the Colorado currency falling to forty cents on the dollar. Gilpin was isolated and constantly threatened throughout this tense period. A movement to oust the Governor led by a powerful newspaper editor named William N. Byers was unleashed and coordinated by anti-Gilpin hacks in Washington led by Colorado’s Territorial delegate Hiram Bennet. Writing of his troubles in December 1861 Gilpin said:

“My labors here are incessant, and the struggle with treason is a perpetual death-struggle. Emissaries swarm here as they have done in Baltimore, Washington and St. Louis, in the worst time of insurrection…. The want of money, together with the total oblivion by the Government of the critical condition caused by the withdrawal of its military force, the agitated condition of the Indians and the extreme cost and scarcity of food, complicated the tangled condition of affairs and strain the ligaments of government to a perpetually bursting tension.” [32]

Not only was the economy in shambles, the danger of Indian attacks were also very high and Confederate agents were embedded within the very branches of Colorado’s Government. Two such agents- Harvey Veil and William H. Russell were named by Justice Hall in a letter Lincoln dated October 9, 1861. Harvey Vail was the Indian Agent of Western Colorado whom Hall accused of deploying Indians to attack union troops on behalf of the Confederacy while William H. Russell was President of the Overland Express Company, which controlled all mail service across the west. Requesting that Seward approve the replacement of Colorado judges with outsiders, Hall said “and none of the applicants from this territory. They all belong to the William H. Russell school and are all infected with treason.” [33]

To avoid using the treason-ridden Overland Express Company, Gilpin and Hall communicated to Lincoln via William Seward’s son Augustus Seward.

The South Attempts to Take the West

Union General Canby (left) and Confederate General Sibley right who fought at Glorieta Pass

In July 1861, Brigadier-General Henry Sibley’s “New Mexico Campaign” was approved by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Sibley’s plan called for conquering New Mexico, then advancing upon Colorado, Utah and beyond, thus cutting Lincoln off from the Pacific and gaining a large resource-rich territory to fuel the Confederate cause.

By January 1862 Sibley began his offensive with 3500 men, meeting very little resistance as he took over ever greater portions of Union territory. When he encountered Canby’s forces near Fort Craig, the first major battle in the Far West ensued known as the Battle of Valverde; and although each side lost approximately 200 soldiers, Confederate forces won the day and continued to take Albuquerque and Santa Fe as they made their way to Fort Union [see map on the next page] in preparation for the takeover of Colorado.

The Battle of Glorietta Pass

Understanding that time was not on their side, Gilpin’s First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers marched 40 miles per day for 10 days through the snow, arriving at Fort Union on March 10, 1862. From Fort Union, Colorado forces alongside two other union companies totalling 1342 soldiers departed on March 22nd meeting Sibley’s Texan troops at the southern entrance of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, also known as Glorieta Pass. Two days of fierce battles ensured during which time the Confederates were driven back to Apache Canyon. When their supply train was discovered and burned by Union forces under the leadership of Coloradans, Sibley’s forces were forced to request an armistice. Southern attempts to take New Mexico and Colorado ended there, and Glorieta Pass came to be known as the “Gettysburg of the West”. Gilpin’s Colorado Volunteers went on to play vital roles in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas during the Civil War.

While Gilpin’s foresight and leadership had finally been vindicated, it was too late. The months-long campaign of slander and mis-information led by Gilpin’s enemies proved successful and by April 16, 1862 William Gilpin was relieved of his post by Lincoln and replaced by John Evans as Governor of Colorado on May 16, 1862. Realizing too late the wisdom of the issuance of scrip, the federal government honored Gilpin’s greenbacks.

The story of Gilpin’s role as Governor of Colorado would not end there however.

In 1865, Colorado was admitted as a state of the Union with two senators and representatives while Gilpin was elected Governor. President Andrew Johnson, who was in the midst of undermining as many of Lincoln’s victories as possible during his short time in office, vetoed the Colorado bill under the premise that Colorado had no authority to become a state under the 1865 Enabling Act and backed his appointed Alexander Cummings as Territorial governor, thus creating a struggle of two governors for several months. From 1865-1867 three more redrafted enabling acts were attempted but failed to pass into law. It was only in 1876 that Colorado was finally admitted as a State of the Union.

Part Six

The Post War Years and the Cosmopolitan Railway

Among the figures featured in Emanuel Leutze’s Alaska Purchase are William Seward (seated), Russian Ambassador Stoekle, with Charles Sumner and Seward’s son Frederick (Assistant Secretary of State) seated in the rear.

The years following the Civil War were racked with hope and tragedy. The forces loyal to Lincoln’s vision fought both within America and globally against the Slave power that only seconds after Lincoln’s last breath were already working hard to revive their twisted power hold on America. Internationally, these patriotic forces understood well that the British Empire was the hand controlling the confederate slave

power and this empire had to be destroyed.

The figures leading this combat included Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, General Ulysses Grant and Senator Charles Sumner, all of whom worked valiantly to build political and economic bridges with countries the world over.

Some of their early post-war maneuvers included the surprise purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867, and the exposure of the British hand behind the Civil War in the Alabama Affair of 1870 which was the first international trial finding the British government guilty of militarily supporting the confederacy [34]. In recompense for this crime, Sumner and Seward wanted the British to cede all of their remaining possessions in North America, which would have given great fuel to the connection of the

Anson Burlingham and G.F. Seward (U.S. Consuls to Beijing and Shanghai)

Trans Continental Railway with Eurasia. Russia had, after all played an instrumental role in Lincoln’s victory and was preparing to follow America’s lead by commencing construction of its own trans-continental railroad.

Both Sumner and Seward were strong advocates of uniting America’s destiny with China. Seward and U.S. Consul to Beijing, General Anson Burlingham, working in tandem with Seward’s son George Frederick Seward (U.S. Consul to Shanghai), organized the Seward-Burlingham Treaty of 1868 with China, giving China free emigration and travel in America, reciprocal access to education for citizens living in the others’ country, and favored nation status with the United States.  Senator Sumner expressed his understanding of America’s connection with China and the Trans-continental railroad during his 1867 speech in defense of the Alaska Purchase:

“To unite the East of Asia with the West of America is the aspiration of commerce now as when the English navigator (Meares) recorded his voyage. Of course, whatever helps this result is an advantage. The Pacific railroad is such an advantage; for, though running westward, it will be, when completed, a new highway to the East.” [35]

When President Ulysses Grant came to power in 1869, the Trans Continental begun under Lincoln at the height of the Civil War had just been completed uniting the continent from coast to coast. Grant gave much support to this internationalization of the American system while also fighting valiantly to advance Lincoln’s plans for reconstruction and reconciliation with an emancipated America [36].

The Transcontinental Railway

Gilpin’s Cosmopolitan World Land-Bridge Railway

William Gilpin was not least among this group, and his hundreds of speeches, published maps and writings went further than any other statesman to concretize what those international public works would look like. In 1860, Gilpin wrote

“two auspicious elements in human civilization by their rapid growth in power and importance, fix our attention- the indefinite multiplication of gold coin and international public works. These two elements, so operating as to mutually stimulate and sustain each other, promise to enthrone industrial organization as the ruling principle of nations.” [37]

Describing what this grand design for international public works would look like, Gilpin wrote in his widely read 1890 magnum opus the Cosmopolitan Railway:

“Railways continue to extend themselves, soon to become a universal system over all the lands of the globe. We have seen the energies of the American people, bringing into line and into use these new powers, span their continent with the Pacific railways, as with the rapidity of lightning from a mountain loud. Availing themselves of the favorable thermal warmth upon the Plateau and upon the immediate seacoasts, bathed by the Asiatic gulf stream, they will continue to expand their work to Bering Straits, where all the continents are united. This will extend itself along similarly propitious thermal selvage of the oriental Russian coasts into China. To prolong this unbroken line of cosmopolitan railways along the latitudinal plateau of Asia, to Moscow and to London, will not have long delay. The less significant and isolated continents of the southern hemisphere- South America, Africa, and Australasia- will be reached by feeders through Panama, Suez and the chain of Oriental peninsulas and islands. The whole area and all the populations of the globe will be thus united and fused by land travel and railway.” [38]

Through the inevitable adoption of American system principles, Gilpin again re-emphasized his long held belief that the inevitable awakening of China would be the basis for renewal and salvation of the west:

“In Asia, a civilization resting on a basis of remote antiquity has had, indeed, a long pause but a certain civilization- although hitherto hermetically sealed up from European influence- has continued to exist. The ancient Asiatic colossus, in a certain sense, needed only to be awakened to new life, and European Culture finds a basis there on which it can build future reforms”. [39]

Always poetically working to uplift the mind of the reader to a new paradigm, Gilpin described what this new state of human civilization was destined to look like as “win-win cooperation” replaced the outdated geopolitical doctrines of “might makes right” and zero sum thinking prevalent under oligarchism:

“The weapons of mutual slaughter are hurled away; the sanguinary passions find a check, a majority of the human family is found to accept the essential teachings of Christianity IN PRACTICE… Room is discovered for industrial virtue and industrial power. The civilized masses of the world meet; they are mutually enlightened, and fraternize to reconstitute human relations in harmony with nature and with God. The world ceases to be a military camp, incubated only by the military principles of arbitrary force and abject submission. A new and grand order in human affairs inaugurates itself out of these immense concurrent discoveries and events” [40]

Gilpin not only provided a philosophical moral imperative for the new paradigm for mankind but provided in great detail the economic, geophysical, and cultural means for it to be practically carried into reality, explaining that the 2-3 hundred million of dollars of debt which America and Russia would incur in building it would easily be paid back the same way that the Civil War debt was paid off via public works. In the year of Gilpin’s writing The Cosmopolitan Railway, the momentum carrying civilization into a bright future of common destiny was powerful and few could anticipate the tragedy and chaos that would be unleashed when the future that should have been was held back for over a century.

Part Seven

Gilpin’s Grand Design Takes on New Life in the 21st Century

It has often stated that the slide into World War One did not begin with the 1914 assassination of Austria’s archduke Ferdinand, but in reality with the British-orchestrated ouster of America’s great friend Chancellor Otto von Bismark in 1890.

The wave of assassinations of American System leaders both in America and internationally during the tense post-Civil War period was unleashed by a desperate British Empire whose system was both morally and financially bankrupt, and which could only sustain its obsolete existence by literally overturning the geopolitical chessboard into a cauldron of chaos on the simple gamble that it could manipulate little minds to kill each other over petty scraps while the empire re-grouped and renewed itself in the bloody purgative violence of its victims [41].

Until recently, the only expression of the world paradigm united by rail and public works was found in the form of the Schiller Institute and its allies. With Xi Jinping’s announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 and its unification with Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, BRICS, SCO, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, this dream has taken on its most powerful expression in history. While this unfolds, America has found itself for the first time in decades with a President who has cited Alexander Hamilton and the American System school of politically economy by name while also extending olive branches internationally bringing America ever closer into that alliance with those Eurasian powers that Gilpin, Seward, Sumner, Grant and later Lyndon LaRouche knew was needed to break humanity free of the system of oligarchy.


[1] H.Z LaRouche, keynote speech to the Schiller Institute’s 30th anniversary conference in Frankfurt, Germany titled, “The New Silk Road Is Transforming the Planet.” Re-published in Executive Intelligence Review Oct. 31, 2014

[2] William Gilpin, Geographical Memorandum on the Pacific Railroad, 1856, reproduced in Gilpin’s Mission of the North American People, Geographical, Social, and Political, J.B Lippencot & Co. 1873 p. 185

[3] Eda Kranakiss, An Exploration of Engineering Culture 1996 by Mit Press p. 331

[4] William Gilpin’s earliest recorded memory was an 1825 visit paid by Marquis Lafayette to his family home in Brandywine which served as Lafayette’s headquarters during the 1777 Battle of Brandywine.

[5] Robert Ingraham, Manhattan’s Struggle for Human Freedom Against the Slave Power of Virginia, May 8, 2015 Executive Intelligence Review. It cannot be re-emphasized enough that today’s negative view of Manifest Destiny is derived directly from the fallacious British-directed image which shaped America as a new world conqueror as was evidenced by Jackson’s Trail of Tears and wars against the natives and Mexicans. Today’s Pax Americana policy of the neo conservatives and neo-liberals is shaped by this version of Manifest Destiny.

[6] Britain’s Hudson Bay Company, not known for nation building, tried desperately to pack Oregon with its subjects on several occasions in 1840-1841 failing miserably each time. The last attempt proved especially embarrassing when under orders from George Simpson, 200 settlers were sent from Manitoba’s Red River Colony to Oregon, but preferring the warmth and freedom of America, all 200 chose to join the U.S.-led Willamette valley settlement rather than stay within Hudson Bay land. The Great Migration of 1843 saw 1000 settlers make the 2170 mile trek across the Oregon Trail in one season, demonstrating the superiority of the American approach to western settlement.

[7] Frank Carnes, William Gilpin: Western Nationalist, University of Texas Press, 1970, p.76

[8] In 1856 Fremont became the first presidential candidate for the newly formed Republican Party narrowly losing to Buchanan. During the Civil War, Fremont proved a hot head who chose to free all the slaves under his jurisdiction without conferring with Lincoln. This act put Lincoln’s more thoughtful grand plan for emancipation which required more tact and patience in jeopardy. Fremont was relieved of his post in December of 1861. Story is documented in How Abraham Lincoln Fired General John C. Fremont by Ronald E. Franklin, published in owlocation.com, June 23, 2018

[9] Bankroft, History of the Life of William Gilpin, San Francisco History Company Publishers 1889, p. 20

[10] Karnes, Western Nationalist, p. 108

[11] Karnes, Western Nationalist, p. 112

[12] Letter of Dr. John McLaughlin to George Simpson, March 20, 1844. It is noteworthy that McLaughlin seems to have truly befriended Gilpin, and was often in conflict with Sir George Simpson and Hudson Bay policy to subvert mig. This high level veteran Colonial administrator ultimately quit the HBC to become an American citizen in 1849.

[13] On top of forming the territory of Oregan, the petition also called for surveying, land provisions, regular mail service, Indian protection, and commercial relations. It was widely recognized that Gilpin’s memorial and speeches played a direct role in shaping the Oregon Treaty passed in 1846.

[14] Address to the U.S. Senate- 2 March 1846; quoted in Mission of the North American People, Geographical, Social, and Political (1873), by William Gilpin, p. 124.

[15] Laura Walls, Passage of the Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of the Americas, 2009

[16] Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Island of Cuba, republished by University of Chicago Press, 2011

[17] Anna Maria Gillis, Humboldt in the New World, HUMANITIES, November/December 2012, Volume 33, Number 6

[18] Gilpin, The Cosmopolitan Railway: compacting and fusing together all the world’s continents, San Francisco, The History company, 1890, pg. 207

[19] William Gilpin, The Central Gold Region: The Grain, Pastoral, and Gold Regions of North America, Philadelphia, 1860, p. 111, 170

[20] Asa Whitney, A Project for a Railroad to the Pacific, New York 1849 p. 4

[21] Cited from Kenneth Porter’s William Gilpin: Sinophile and Eccentric published in Colorado Magazine vol. 37 no. 4 1960, p.249

[22] An 1846 treaty by Congressman David Wilmot banning slavery from any new territory acquired by Mexico which passed the House but was defeated in Senate.

[23] A 1920 Act forbidding the spread of slavery above the 39th parallel.

[24] Benton’s own tendency to compromise especially on his own hypocritical ownership of slaves were major factors in his failure as a leader during this period

[25] Republican Party Platform of 1856, June 18, 1856

[26] Although opposing the 1850 compromise and Kansas-Nebraska Act, and supporting public works, Fremont’s father-in-law Thomas Benton was never capable of breaking with his compromising instincts (or his ownership of slaves) and chose to support Buchanan against Fremont in the 1856 election ensuring America was brought another step closer to doom.

[27] Karnes, Western Nationalist p. 255

[28] In the first two months of office Gilpin passed an incredible 51 laws, 40 acts, 8 joint memorials and 3 joint resolutions.

[29] House Journal of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Colorado, Colorado Republican Office, Denver, Sept. 9, 1861, p.12

[30] Karnes, Western Nationalist. p. 272

[31] Gilpin’s recounting of Lincoln’s instructions to him follow: “On finances we have not one cent. I have just negotiated a loan of $50 million from the banks of New York and have called a special session of Congress to meet on the 4th of July to know if they will hang me for this unconstitutional act. If you are driven to extremities, you must do as I have done- issue drafts on your own responsibility” – excerpt from Bancroft, History of the Life of William Gilpin-. A Character Study, History Company Publishers, 1889, San Francisco p. 44

[32] Cited in Karnes, Western Nationalist

[33] Hall to Seward, Oct. 9, 1861 Lincoln Papers vol. 58

[34] Alabama claims of the United States of America against Great Britain Award rendered on 14 September 1872 by the tribunal of arbitration established by Article I of the Treaty of Washington of 8 May 1871. For a fuller story see The Imperial Myth of Canadian Nationalism by Matthew Ehret, July 2013, Canadian Patriot Review

[35] Sumner, Speech On the Cession of Russian, Washington Printed at Congressional Globe Office 1867, p. 12

[36] Robert Ingraham, Ulysses S. Grant’s Moral Crusade for Peace 1865-1879, Executive Intelligence Review, August 14, 2015

[37] William Gilpin, The Central Gold Region: The Grain, Pastoral and Gold Regions of North America, Philadelphia 1860, Preface vi

[38] Gilpin, Cosmopolitan Railway p. 303

[39] Ibid. p.53

[40] Ibid. p.213

[41] The wave of coups, assassinations and wars orchestrated by the failing British Empire during the last decades of the 19th century, led directly to the “century of war” that has characterized the 20th century. The chaos unleashed during this period not only set natural allies such as Germany and Russia into conflict with one another, but shaped a new demoralized culture of young men and women who lost faith in the beauty of human creativity and technological progress. Without proper faith in a positive destiny for the species, that creative reason so necessary for the formation of a republican culture and win-win cooperation among the parts for the harmony of whole is impossible.

[42] Lyndon LaRouche, THE MEANING OF THE TERM ‘TRANSFINITE,’ Nov. 7, 1988, p. 54-55.