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  • 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.

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, December 23, 1868

    In this letter from December 23, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant regarding the Union Pacific Railroad's impending acquisition of government bonds. He also discusses the issue of corruption within the company at length, stating "the Road must be costing us very much more than we are getting for it, or everyone out there is stealing." Ames worries that the company will be deep in debt by the time the road is completed and urges Durant to "do Something to Stop the thieves from Stealing our last cent and making the Road suffer."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, December 3, 1868

    In this letter from December 3, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant regarding the financial status of the Union Pacific Railroad. He states that the company has a right to ask the government to advance it two-thirds of the cost of "work done in advance of the track," and believes the company possesses sufficient funds and materials to have all the security that the government would require for the completion of the road. He also tells Durant, "your idea of letting them [the government] have the lands or Land Bonds as Security is a good one, and I think will be a good get off for them from the infamous position they have taken in regard to our Road."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, October 28, 1868

    In this letter from October 28, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant praising him for completing 7 miles and 1,940 feet of track the previous day. He calls it the "achievement of the year," and tells Durant that his work will help expose the Central Pacific Railroad to the public as "Dogs in the Manger." Ames also discusses some of the Union Pacific Railroad's financial affairs.

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, August 12, 1868

    In this letter from August 12, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant informing him that the company has decided to keep the grading of the road "down to 90 feet." He states, "we can't afford, with the magnificent Subsidy we have, to do anything but the best possible thing for the Road and the Government, while, at the same time, we are doing the best thing for ourselves."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, August 7, 1868

    In this letter from August 7, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant regarding the changes Durant proposed in the grading of the railroad. He states that I. L. Williams, the "Special Messenger of the Secretary of the Interior," has argued strongly against the change of grade and that "his opinions would be almost Law to the Department." Ames tells Durant "before making any change let us have the best Evidence that a change is required for the best interests of the Company."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, May 18, 1868

    In this letter from May 18, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant chastising him for superseding General Grenville Dodge by granting Col. Silas Seymour the full power of Chief Engineer. Ames states that Durant was not given the power to "direct the Chief Engineer where he should locate the Road," that the Chief Engineer is responsible to the Board of Directors, and that it is ultimately up to the Board of Directors to decide "whether the Location is properly made or not."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, April 16, 1868

    In this letter from April 16, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant discussing some suggestions he has received from General Grenville Dodge regarding provisions for water along the railroad line. He notes, "we are getting along very well in our money matters."

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, April 2, 1868

    In this letter from April 2, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant discussing construction and the organization of work forces for the upcoming season's work on the railroad. He also advises Durant to meet in person with representatives of the Chicago and North Western Railroad to settle disagreements over the contract Durant made with them, stating "we cannot afford to have any trouble this Season with Them that will make them give a preference to other freight over ours." Ames states that he believes the Union Pacific Railroad will be "flush" after they receive government bonds in July and sell their first mortgage bonds.

  • Letter from Oakes Ames to Thomas C. Durant, March 30, 1868

    In this letter from March 30, 1868, Oakes Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant discussing the report and recommendations his committee will make to Congress regarding oversight of operations on the Union Pacific Railroad. He states that he thinks the report is "a great thing to us to keep them [Congress] off until the road is done," but tells Durant "if you think of anything better that will probably pass, send it down and I will try to get it substituted if I think it better."

  • Catharine Brown, Complaint

    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.

  • Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant, January 1, 1868

    In this letter from January 1, 1868, Oliver Ames writes to Thomas C. Durant regarding the financial status of the Union Pacific Railroad. He notes that several creditors are "clamorous for money," but that the company has "really nothing to raise the money with." He tells Durant that it would be a disgrace to have to suspend construction for want of funds and advises him to "discharge all unnecessary men at once and get no more ties and timber than is absolutely necessary for the Work."

  • Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Henry C. Crane, December 31, 1867

    In this letter from December 31, 1867, Samuel Reed writes to Henry Crane regarding the status of payments for contract work done on truss bridges.

  • Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Henry C. Crane, December 31, 1867

    In this letter from December 31, 1867, Samuel Reed writes to Henry Crane describing the progress of the erection of telegraph lines near Saunders, Nebraska. He states that he cannot find anyone to do the grading work west of the Little Laramie River "at 30," as many who have been doing the grading over the past season have left the area for the winter. He recommends his friend John Boyle for the contract, if Boyle will agree to do the work at the rate of thirty cents.

  • Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Henry C. Crane, December 30, 1867

    In this letter from December 30, 1867, Samuel Reed writes to Henry Crane advising him of changes to the schedule of production and shipment of railroad ties. He also discusses moving teams of workers to different sections of the line as a means to ensure that work will be completed in time to lay track in the spring.

  • Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Henry C. Crane, December 30, 1867

    In this letter from December 30, 1867, Samuel Reed writes to Henry Crane informing him of botched contract work east of Cheyenne. He explains what work should have been done, the work that was done, and the difference in cost to the company.

  • Letter from Grenville M. Dodge to Oliver Ames, December 11, 1867

    In this letter from December 11, 1867, Grenville Dodge writes to Oliver Ames discussing the need to make preparations and increase facilities for getting water along the railroad line. He tells Ames that unless such work is done, "you will find that it will be very costly to supply it each year from Stations or tanks."

  • Letter from Juliet L. Elwood to Jennie Reed, 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."

  • Letter to Jennie Reed, 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."

  • Letter from Sally A. Kendrick to Jennie Reed, June 19, 1867

    In this letter from June 19, 1867, Sally A. Kendrick writes to Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, thanking her for the books she sent. She notes she is glad to hear that Mr. Reed has recovered from his illness, and wishes she could travel "over the glorious West" to see them. She states she is "glad that the church has two such men on the Union Pacific Road as S.B. Reed & General Simpson," as they will spread good impressions of Christianity as they make their way further into the West.