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  • | Pamphlet

    Land Hunter's and Settlers' Special Low Rates

    Published "to aid in the sale and settlement of its lands", this pamphlet by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad introduces special fares for train tickets to Nebraska. "Exploring Tickets" were designed for those who wished to survey the land before committing to a purchase, while "One-Way Settler's Tickets" were targeted to those who had already made a decision to move to Nebraska. The company also offered rebates on the tickets to those who ended up purchasing land.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Willard Grant to George P. Cather, undated

    In this letter, Willard Grant asks George P. Cather numerous questions about life in Nebraska, including the method for constructing a good sod house, the possibility of raising fruit, the availability of water and timber, and the opportunities for additional work as a mason.

  • | Time Table

    Orange and Alexandria Line "Irregular" Timetable

    This "irregular" timetable, published by the United States Military Railroads department, shows arrival and departure times on the Orange and Alexandria Line for "The Government of Operatives Only."

  • | Contract

    Slave sale receipt, blank

    A blank receipt for individual slaves from E.H. Stokes of Richmond, Virginia.

  • | Contract

    Bill of Sale for South Carolina Slaves, February 22, 1827

    This February 22, 1827 bill describes the sale of a dozen South Carolina slaves—"Dolly, Jacke, Jemmy, Grace, Dinah, Liddy, John and an infant, Paul, Hagar, Jack and Jane"—from "the estate of Arnoldus Vanderhorst, deceased" to Edward Frost for $3,020. Frost was President of the Blue Ridge Rail Road in South Carolina.

  • | Newspaper

    Mr. Whitney's Railroad

    Asa Whitney's plans for a transcontinetal railroad were met alternately with scorn and acclaim. Whitney anticipated a United States as the central point for international trade; harbors on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts would be fed by rail lines criss-crossing the country, moving goods for import and export easily across country.

  • | Book

    Phelps's Travellers' Guide Through the United States

    This pocket atlas listed over 700 railroads, steamship lines, and canals in the United States and their routes of service, state by state. Frederick Douglass probably consulted a rudimentary timetable in the Baltimore newspaper or one posted at the depot for the Baltimore to Philadelphia route, described here twelve years after Douglass made his escape from slavery on the Philadelphia, Wilmington, & Baltimore Railroad.

  • | Contract

    Claudius Crozet's Comparative Estimate of the Five Lowest Bids Offered for Blue Ridge Tunnel No. 1, January 21, 1850

    Claudius Crozet offers the Board of Public Works his assessment of the bids for one section of the Tunnel project.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Claudius Crozet to the President and Directors of the Blue Ridge Railroad Co., May 6, 1850

    Claudius Crozet keeps the Board informed of the project's progress on the Blue Ridge and measures that progress in numbers of "hands" employed and the amount of rock and earth moved.

  • | Time Table

    Boston and Worcester Railroad Timetable, August 15, 1850

    This timetable, which took effect August 15, 1850, shows the departure and arrival times of trains on the Boston and Worcester Railroad.

  • | Annual report

    Annual Report to the President and Directors of the Board of Public Works, 1850

    When proposed and the first efforts made in 1850, the Blue Ridge Tunnel was to be the longest tunnel in North America. Claudius Crozet, as chief engineer, warns his Board of Public Works against comparing its progress with other tunnels. The condition of the rock and the scale of the project were different and unprecedented, respectively. Crozet tries to educate the Board on the nature of the project.

  • | Illustration

    Hours of Departure of the Passenger Trains

    Note the delicate illustration of the passenger car in this advertisement.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Claudius Crozet to Governor John B. Floyd, November 15, 1850

    The Kelly contract dispute occupied the first year of Claudius Crozet's project to build the Blue Ridge Tunnel. This letter from Kelly to the Governor of Virginia explains the contractor's view of his contract and his disagreement with Claudius Crozet, the chief engineer. Kelly claims his contract was to include the building of some parts of the project, while Crozet let these to another contractor at a much lower price.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Claudius Crozet to the President and Directors of Public Works, November 15, 1850

    Claudius Crozet reports on his disagreement with the Tunnel's general contractor.

  • | Letter

    Quarterly Report

    In one of the first reports to the Board, Claudius Crozet explains the dangerous conditions in the construction and advises against using sink shafts on the project. Crozet refers to Col. Randolph, probably Thomas Jefferson Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson and contractor of slaves to the project.

  • | Time Table

    Boston and Maine Railroad Summer Timetable, May 5, 1851

    This timetable, which took effect May 5, 1851, shows the summer schedule for trains leaving Boston on the Boston & Maine Railroad.

  • | Illustration

    Railroad Results Illustrated in the case of a Railroad of 35 Miles

    An example of the ways opportunities created by railroads pushed Americans to to conceptualize space and time in new ways, this illustration for the article "Thoughts on a Rail-Road System for New Orleans and the Southwest. No. III" emphasizes the commercial opportunities offered by rail networks.

  • | Contract

    Gallaher & Mc Elroy's Estimate No.37 for the Month of March, 1853

    Contractors on the Blue Ridge Railroad and Tunnel project filled out elaborate and detailed descriptions of work that they were to complete.

  • | Contract

    Mordecai Sizer's Estimate No. 27 for the Month of May, 1852

    Contractors on the Blue Ridge Railroad and Tunnel project filled out elaborate and detailed descriptions of work that they were to complete.

  • | Letter

    Letter from Claudius Crozet Reporting Generally upon the Conditions of the Work, August 2, 1853

    Claudius Crozet reports on the changing costs of labor in 1853.