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  • | Diary

    Rutherford B. Hayes Comments on the 1877 Railroad Strike

    In this 1877 excerpt from Rutherford B. Hayes' diary, the President notes the positive qualities of the railroad men who are on strike, but sees their actions as detrimental to those who wish to work. He also wonders what actions could be taken to "end or dimish the evil" of strikes.

  • | Illustration

    Robert M. Ammon Directs the Strikers

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts Robert M. Ammon, leader of the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne strike, sending information to the strikers via telegraph.

  • | Illustration

    Rioters Tearing Up Rails at the Bridge at Corning

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts strikers tearing up the track and bridge near Corning, New York in advance of an oncoming engine. These confrontations were both organized and spontaneous, dependent on the deep experience and expertise of the railroad workers with the operation of the roads.

  • | Newspaper

    Rioters Marching Down the New York Central Railroad Track

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts the crowd marching down the New York Central railroad track at West Albany, New York on July 24, 1877.

  • | Newspaper

    Rioters In Full Possession Robbing Of Freight Cars, Etc.

    This article from the July 23, 1877 issue of the Baltimore American gives an account of the rioters halting rail service and robbing freight cars.

  • | Newspaper

    Riot at the Sixth Regiment Armory

    This article from the July 21, 1877 issue of the Baltimore Sun describes the riot at the Sixth Maryland Regiment armory in Baltimore.

  • | Newspaper

    Riot at Camden Depot

    This article from the July 21, 1877 issue of the Baltimore Sun gives an account of the rioters assaulting the Fifth Maryland Regiment at Camden Station in Baltimore.

  • | Letter

    Request for passes for African American railroad workers

    Passes for African American railroad employees requested of W. J. Stevens, Superintendent of the Military Railroad, Nashville.

  • | Newspaper

    Reporters And Reporters

    This article in the July 23, 1877 edition of the Daily Alleganian and Times describes incidents stemming from the vast number of reporters who had arrived to cover the strike.

  • | Newspaper

    Reported Killed

    This article from the July 21, 1877 issue of the Baltimore American reports the number of citizens killed when the military shot into the crowd outside Camden Station in Baltimore.

  • | Annual report

    Report on the Condition and Prospects of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi

    This report details the financial and material state of the Southern Railroad Company in 1867.

  • | Annual report

    Report of Division Engineer Samuel B. Reed: Surveys Made on Pacific Slope for the Union Pacific Railroad, 1865

    In this January 31, 1866 report, Samuel B. Reed describes his surveys and explorations of the land from Salt Lake City, Utah to the California state line. He gives his recommendations for the route of the Union Pacific Railroad and suggests building the line from West to East (rather than from East to West), due to timber availability. He further suggests that subsequent survey crews should use camels, rather than horses or mules, due to the lack of water on a good portion of the route.

  • Report from Samuel B. Reed to Oliver Ames, 1867

    In this copy of a report from 1867, Samuel Reed writes to Oliver Ames, President of the Union Pacific Railroad, detailing the progress of the railroad's construction over the past year. He describes the totality of the work that has been done on the railroad from October 1, 1866 to September 1, 1867, giving very specific accounts of the miles of track laid, telegraph lines built, railroad ties used, bridges constructed, amount of earth and rock excavated during grading, and the like. He also discusses the great difficulty he has had in obtaining ties for the railroad, particularly from the Black Hills and in the area of Laurence Fork, Nebraska. He writes that there have been "serious delays in grading and in furnishing ties caused by the decided hostility of the Indians, our grading men have been frequently attacked, some men have been killed and a large amount of stock lost." Reed also includes an account of the materials on hand as of September 1, 1867.

  • | Annual report

    Report from Division Engineer Samuel B. Reed to Chief Engineer Peter A. Dey Describing Survey from Green River to Salt Lake City, December 24, 1864

    In this December 24, 1864 report, Samuel B. Reed describes his surveys and explorations of the land from Green River, Utah to Salt Lake City. He gives his recommendations for the route of the Union Pacific Railroad line, including the availability of timber for railroad ties and coal to power the locomotives.

  • | Newspaper

    Reign of the Mob

    This July 23, 1877 article from the Pittsburgh Daily Post details the mob's strength during the railroad strike and provides a description of key events.

  • | Photograph

    Railroad Workers, 1850s

    Few original images remain of railroad workers in the 1850s, especially of construction crews, whether free labor or enslaved. Northern railroad companies employed thousands of men on their payrolls in a dizzying array of occupations.

  • | Newspaper

    Railroad War in Maryland

    This article from the July 21, 1877 edition of the Baltimore American gives an account of the militia and National Guard being called to suppress the riot, the bloodshed in Baltimore, the depot on fire, and the general excitment surrounding the confrontation on July 20, 1877.

  • | Newspaper

    Railroad Strikers/Employees

    This brief article, an opinion taken from PUCK Magazine, speculates about the future position of railroad employees.

  • | Book

    Railroad Strike Violence at Martinsburg, WV

    In this excerpt from The Story of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historian Edward Hungerford offers an account of the violence at Martinsburg, WV during the 1877 railroad strike. This selection also includes Allan Pinkerton's vivid description of the event.

  • | 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.