Letter from Samuel B. Reed to T. C. Durant, November 1, 1865

In this letter from November 1, 1865, Samuel Reed writes to Thomas C. Durant, Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad, describing his work surveying a line from Salt Lake City to the Humboldt River Valley in Nevada.

T. C. Durant, Vice Pres't.

Union Pacific Railroad.

I arrived here this morning from Salt Lake. Your telegram instructing me to make a survey via Humboldt valley to the valley of the Truckee at the east line of the state of California was received while I was in the Humboldt Mountains mountains, too late to get provisions for my party and I was compelled reluctantly to abandon the survey without reaching the valley of the Truckee .

The country from Salt Lake City to the valley of the Humboldt was thoroughly explored and a line surveyed, with the exception of about 75 miles across the desert which I could not run on account of the impossibility of obtaining water for my men and teams. From the surveys made, I am satisfied that a line can be obtained from Salt Lake into the Humboldt valley without a cut or embankment exceeding 18 feet or grades exceeding 75 feet per mile. Three lines were run over the high rugged range of the Humboldt Mountains; one via Hastings pass near the south end of Ruby Valley; one over Humboldt pass recommended by Beckwith as a favorable route which I found to be almost impracticable; the third, about 20 miles north of Humboldt Pass, which is very much better than either of the former lines with a fine open and comparatively level country east of the desert.

Before leaving Salt Lake I settled my accounts with President Young and gave him my draft on I. I. Cisco, treasurer for the amounts, one $1,000.00 in favor of I. Y. Green; one for $2,000.00 and one for $1939.39. I wish to make my profiles and maps and report here if consistent with your views. I can go to New York any time you require.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Thomas C. Durant
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Samuel Reed Papers (Union Pacific Railroad Collection), MS 3761, Unit 1, Subgroup 14, Series 1, Box 2, Letters to Wife and Family
  • Date: November 1, 1865