October 9, 1859 | Illustration
This image from the October 9, 1859 issue of Harper's Weekly depicts a farewell exchange between a man and woman.
August 8, 1862 | Letter
The President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad writes to General Meigs about the treatment of nurses on his rail line following an incident reported by Dorothea Dix.
August 8, 1862 | Letter
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Master of Transportation, W. P. Smith, writes to the firm's president of the "rough" removal of a nurse from a B and O train.
January 30, 1863
In this letter from January 30, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his young daughters, Anne and Mary, in response to a letter they penned to him. He encourages them to write to him on their own as often as they can, and tells them how much he wishes he could "travel as fast as my thougts" and come home to them.
May 3, 1863 | Letter
In this letter from May 3, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife asking when she will come to Burlington, Iowa to visit him and possibly pick up a relative. He states that he may not be able to leave for a visit home that month, but will send her a railroad pass over the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad "as soon as one can be obtained from Chicago."
September 11, 1863 | Letter
In this letter from September 11, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife describing how busy he has been for the past week. He tells her he is uncertain whether or not he will be able to "get the passes you so much desire," as an order has recently been issued barring the granting of railroad passes for ladies. Reed also notes that since he returned from surveying land west of Ottumwa, Iowa, he has been thinking that he may return home to Joliet, Illinois for the winter if work is not commenced in the fall.
November 29, 1863
In this letter from November 29, 1863, Danforth H. Ainsworth writes to Samuel Reed informing him of his new position with the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad. He states that he is glad to have the position, even if it only pays $75.00 per month. Ainsworth also notes the progress of the work of their mutual friend and fellow railroad employee, John R. Boyle, and asks Reed to write to him at his new position as often as he has the chance.
March 14, 1864 | Letter
McCallum is presented with two female volunteers and asked to provide transportation if their services are needed.
September 16, 1864 | Letter
George Rosser asks that small houses be built for the families of black railroad laborers.
1867 | Book
Published to celebrate the work of women during the Civil War, Woman's Work in the Civil War features the efforts of nurses, reformers, fund-raisers, and wives and mothers. In the section excerpted below, Miss Brayton of Ohio vividly describes the interior of a hospital train and recounts her experiences on one.
August 15, 1867
In this letter from August 15, 1867, Mina writes to her sister Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, discussing her experiences working in Atlanta, Georgia. She states that her pay for the last month was only twenty dollars, as she was only in Atlanta for eleven days. She tells Jennie Reed that she will write to a Mr. Knowlton the next week regarding a railway pass, and hopes to "get up home in a week or two."
September 12, 1867
In this letter from September 12, 1867, Juliet L. Elwood writes to Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, discussing plans to travel to St. Louis and the possibility of accompanying her on a trip to Omaha, Nebraska. She inquires about the prospects of Mrs. Reed procuring a railway pass for her for the journey. She also details an encounter she had on the railroad cars during a day trip to Joliet, Illinois with a "military gentleman" who knew Samuel Reed. She states that she "understood him to say he was Prest of Pacific Road, but I think I must of course have misunderstood, as Gen Dix is President, or was."
1868 | Book
Manuals of etiquette and behavior were incredibly popular during the 19th Century and covered every aspect of life from infancy to mourning. In this excerpt, some of the gendered expectations placed on a well-bred traveler are recounted in detail.
March 4, 1868
Catharine Brown filed suit against the Washington, Alexandria and Georgetown Railroad in March 1868, arguing that a month earlier she was forcibly and violently ejected from the ladies car in Alexandria, Virginia, because of her color. She sought damages of $20,000 to pay for her medical care and to compensate for the injustice of segregation and discrimination. Brown's original petition focused on the railroad's duty as a common carrier and on Brown's first-class ticket which permitted her to ride in the ladies car.
March 4, 1868 | Legal decision
A brief description of the judgement Catherine Brown hoped for as the jury decided her case.
June 17, 1868 | Government document
The U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia hears testimony about the forcible ejection of Catherine Brown from the Alexandria and Washington Railroad coach. Multiple witnesses are called and the circumstances of her removal are described.
June 18, 1868 | Newspaper
The railroad's segregation of Catharine Brown in February 1868 and her subsequent lawsuit against the company came to the immediate attention of Senator Charles Sumner (Massachusetts) and Senator Waitman Willey (West Virginia), both of whom sat on the Senate's District of Columbia Committee. At their urging, the Senate Committee launched an investigation into the affair, deposed dozens of witnesses, and issued a stinging report against the railroad company. Many of these same witnesses testified later in Brown's civil suit against the railroad company.
December 31, 1869 | Legal decision
Catharine Brown's attorneys deposed two white men who were on the train with Brown and witnessed her expulsion from the cars in Alexandria. Both lived in Maine and were deposed in December 1869. Benjamin Hinds' testimony was particularly significant because he described in detail the violence he witnessed, and because he knew Brown "since January 1866," perhaps from her work in the U.S. Capitol, and tried to intervene on her behalf.
December 31, 1869 | Legal decision
Catharine Brown's attorneys deposed two white men who were on the train with Brown and witnessed her expulsion from the cars in Alexandria. Both lived in Maine and were deposed in December 1869. Seth Beedy was traveling with Benjamin Hinds, who knew and recognized "Kate" Brown. Beedy testified, "she was ejected by violence and that alone."
April 28, 1870 | Legal decision
Catharine Brown's case--Case No. 4582--was scheduled to go to trial in October 1868 in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, but was delayed because of various procedural motions by the railroad's attorneys. When these motions were denied, the case was tried over three days in March 1870. The all white jury rendered a verdict of guilty against the railroad company and awarded Brown $1,500 in damages. Then, the defendant railroad attorney's sought an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Here is their statement of argument, denying that the railroad used violence or made derogatory remarks. Furthermore, in denying Brown's claims, the railroad argued that there were distinctions between through and local passenger types of service, even on the Baltimore and Ohio, and that separate colored cars on local lines were run at the request of black passengers.