Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Family, July 6, 1868

In this letter from July 6, 1868, Samuel Reed writes to his wife and family describing the actions taken in response to his resignation. Sidney Dillon and Oliver Amos wish to retain Reed's services, and have worked to keep Reed as Construction Manager of the Union Pacific. Reed also mentions a workers' strike on the UP line, in which they demand $4 per day. He has sent troops "to enforce the orders and will starve them out unless they go to work."

Some days have elapsed since I wrote you and I have been to Laramie to meet Oliver Amos, the president of the road. He would not take a decided stand but said he would not accept my resignation, that all would be made satisfactory and said so much that I agreed to return to Salt Lake until the matter is decided. After he had started for New York I telegraphed him to have my case settled as soon as possible. I also telegraphed and wrote to Mr. Dillon and unless the company sanction the coarse that has been taken, matters will be straightened at once. If they do sanction what has been done this is no place for me. General Dodge has written a long letter to Mr. Dillon. Numerous other letters have been written protesting in the strongest manner against the course that has been pursued during my absence.

Mr. Miller can not get a settlement and has gone to New York. He is a special friend of Dillon's and was sent out by him. Crane is not west, but I understand will come out in July with Doctor Durant and Mr. Dillon. I regret only that I have made contract with Brigham Young. No other person could have made as favorable contracts and all the company know it.

I did not go into my office in Cheyenne during the day I was there. Mr. Evans came to me and disclaimed any intentions of harming me. I replied 'Actions speak louder than words.'

Mr. Kennedy, my cashier, and by the way a splendid young man, will not remain unless a change is made. He is a special friend of Mr. Dillon's. If there is anything in dreams I will win this fight. The men on the line are all on a strike for four dollars per day. At this place there are five hundred that are being paid off. The boarding houses will be closed tomorrow noon. I have troops to enforce orders and will starve them out unless they go to work. Wages are better here than at any other place in the country, three dollars per day.

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: July 6, 1868