Letter from Henry Wilson, January 1, 1872

In this January 1, 1872 letter, Henry Wilson states that on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company's lands in Iowa and Nebraska, "the class we most want is Farmers or Land buyers." In his estimation, the climate and environment are best suited for agriculture and the prospects for "persons dependent on their labor are not so good as in older States," which would make it difficult for them to succeed in America.

Office of the
Burlington & Missouri River Rail-Road Company
Corinthian Buildings, 16, South Castle Street

Dear Sir

A happy New Year to you. I am pleased to inform you that I have fixed the day for the departure of our Gering Colony for Tuesday 26th March in the Steamship "Peruvian" which will sail to Baltimore.

I have decided the Baltimore route because I know from my own practical experience that there are many advantages to it. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. is anxious to secure traffic, provide better accommodation that the older routes from New York or Quebec. The two days gentle sailing through Chesapeake Bay and by the Ohio River give the passengers an excellent opportunity to prepare for their inland journey.

I wish it to be clearly understood that the Burlington and Missouri-River Railroad Co's English Agency is for the sale of their lands and therefore the class we most want is Farmers or Land buyers.

There is room for agricultural Laborers, a few Mechanics and a few Shopkeepers, but at the same time I must new country the facilities to persons dependent on their labor are not so good as in older States.

To Farmers we offer great things; good climate, excellent soil, and Land for next to nothing at prices varying from to 3 per acre.

I want this colony to be almost self supporting and to comprise many Farmers & Farm Labourers also a few of all classes of Shopkeepers and Mechanics with their families. Thereby many privations & discomforts usually will be at once secured.

As I have before said, our interest the interest of the Co, I represent and the interest of the Letters are one & the same, future prosperity.

Already many names are given in and I think the colony will be sufficiently large to fill a ship.

Please urge upon your clients to secure their passages at once or as Early as possible, that no disappointment may arrive.


Yours truly
Henry Wilson

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Henry Wilson, January 1, 1872
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Collection, Box: "George Harris Letters, 73.1"
  • Date: January 1, 1872