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.

Union Pacific Railroad Company
20 Nassau St.

Dr. T. C. Durant VP

Dear Sir,

Your Telegram this Morning of 7 miles & 1940 feet of track laid yesterday, has the ring of work in it. It is the achievement of the Year, and I hope you will be able to keep it up to 4 or 5 miles per day, till we get to [Weber.] The Central Pacific are throwing every possible obstruction in our way, and if they can keep us back so we shall not through the Wasatch Range before the Snows of Winter set in, they will accomplish their design. It is just such work as you are now doing that will thwort [sic] their purposes and expose them to the public as "Dogs in the Manger."

We have been raising mony [sic] from our Stockholders pro Rata as 14 1/2 per cent to carry our work along, and I hope we will be able to meet all our payments promptly and defeat the purpose of Huntington and his clique to embarrass our opperations [sic] . Money has been very close here for the past 10 days, and Dillon's Bonds have been in the way of our Sales. If we can get a prompt report from Govt Commissions accepting Road, it will give us Bonds on the 80 miles on which they are now ordered out, and Bushnell thinks [it] will want a little management with [Wenzell] to have the report made promptly.

The Commissioners to Reexamine the Road, I think, are First Class Men and will do what is right. Blair is now here and will not go out over the Road, and thes two Buford & [Wenzell] will have to answer; I hope you will be able to impress [Wenzell] sufficiently to get his promt [sic] Signature to Report.

We are now sending out Iron Rapidly and have 60,000 tons ordered which will carry us 160 miles beyond Salt Lake, which is probably all we shall do. If more is wanted, we can buy it in the Market.

Yours Truly,
Oliver Ames

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Oliver Ames to Thomas C. Durant
  • Extent: 3 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: October 28, 1868