Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, December 24, 1868

In this letter from December 24, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant informing him of an arrangement Ames has made for the Union Pacific Railroad's acquisition of government bonds. He also complains about the "awful" bills the company is receiving, and urges Durant to do all he can to "weed out the thieves" in the company.

Union Pacific Railroad Company
20 Nassau St.

Dr. T. C. Durant Vice Prest

Dear Sir,

I wrote you yesterday from Washington in the Morning. I after saw the several Departments and made an arrangement to give them the $3,000,000 first Mtg Bonds in this way. That whenever they give us their Govt Bonds, we shall give them 1/2 the Amt in 1st Mtgs until they recd the 3,000,000$

As soon as the Road is completed, we can get a commission to examine and Report it 1st class, and get our Bonds, I expect. The Bills that are coming down are awfull [sic] . Cant [sic] you get some Engineer to remeasure some of this work? It cant [sic] be that it has cost over 40,000$ per mile for 54 Miles from Echo West for grading, as reported by Reed, and not done. That Wood business should be looked up. Bent should not make contracts giving such exhorbitant [sic] prices for wood. I hear that Bent has an interest in it, that will give him a handsome Sum.

We have got to get the work through, and we must weed out the theivs, [sic] or we shall come out minus. The President, Evarts & Browning seemed, yesterday, very pleasant and will give us our Bonds as fast as we earn them.

Was you to give Ewing ten? I suppose he wants it, and if so, write me.

Oliver Ames

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Papers of Levi O. Leonard, Series II, Box 3, Folder 21 (Ames, Oliver, 1866-1876)
  • Date: December 24, 1868