Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Family, September 22, 1867

In this letter from September 22, 1867, Samuel Reed writes to his wife and family describing his desire to resign his position and return home to Chicago. He is sick of the "wild life" and "untold dangers seen and unseen."

I am getting heartily tired of the life I'm leading in this wild country and often feel like resigning and going home. I have had so much to do with this road that I am anxious to see it through and then if I do not resign or am discharged in the meantime, I shall think that I have done my whole duty and retire from the wild life I have so long followed through hardships and untold dangers seen and unseen.

Mr. Carter and Col. Seymore are both in the mountains yet I have not heard from either since my return. Col. Seymore can wind Cart Carter around his fingers at will and there is no knowing what they will do. The work is being pushed ahead rapidly and I hope to get grading done before the Colonel gets through with his surveys.

Col. Seymour succeeded in getting the route changed. The change necessitated a very sharp curve that made it a very much more expensive route to operate than the one first chosen. After about $90,000.00 had been expended on Col. Seymour's route, a committee of the Union Pacific Railroad Company went out, looked the ground over, and decided to discontinue it and resume work on the old route. When out on the work they asked Mr. Reed why he did not oppose Col. Seymour's change which had proved so expensive, he told them that he had sent them to New York all the data, etc. concerning both routes, with the result of adopting either and he considered them competent under the circumstances to decide the matter. From this time on he was empowered by Dillon and Ames to use his judgment in changing the route irrespective of anyone, even Durant, whenever his judgment warranted it.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Family
  • 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: September 22, 1867