Intelligencer Response to Pittsburgh Gazette Following Suspension Bridge Collapse
- from the The Wheeling Intelligencer, May 20, 1854
Destruction of the Wheeling Bridge
Telegraphic dispatches announce that the Wheeling suspension bridge was blown down in the gale of Wednesday afternoon, and now lies a wreck in the river, where we suppose it will be a more formidable obstruction than ever to navigation, until it is removed. The loss of so beautiful a work of art, and the destruction of property, are matters of deep regret. To Wheeling it is a sore calamity, and we commiserate her case just as sincerely as if we had never broken a lance over the Bridge subject.
Some important questions will arise from this disaster. If suspension bridges are liable to such accidents will it be wise to re-erect it? Can such accidents be avoided by any other mode than increasing the number of piers? If it is decided to re-construct it, at what height shall it be put? These are some of the questions that will naturally arise. We sincerely hope, that if the Stockholders and the people of Wheeling conclude to re-erect it, that they will, of their own accord, place it at the altitude fixed upon by the Supreme Court. It will not cost them, now that it is down, a sum so much larger as to justify a renewal of those embittered feelings growing out of the old controversy; and it will forever allay those disagreeable feuds which will arise as often as the river tenders the bridge an obstructions [sic] to navigation. - Pittsburgh Gazette.
The Gazette manifests rather a commendable spirit, but we take pleasure in informing it that the wreck has caused no more obstruction than did the bridge standing in all its magnificent proportions. In a few hours after the wreck fell into the river, the indefatigable Bridge Company had it cut away, and the river is now totally unobstructed. This blow, we admit, was rather a big ten strike, (1,010), but we'll "set 'em up again." See if we don't.