From: "Randall Hees" firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a thought, and couple of other dates:
Of course, the Market Street Railroad was 5' gauge, and by eventually
controlled by the SF&SJ (the Sacramento Valley was 5' as well, but that
line was not as politially connected as the SF&SJ, so is less important
July 15, 1862 Letter from James A McDougall and James H Campbell
Senate and House committees on Pacific Railroad) to Lincoln, asking him
set gauge, and suggesting 5’ (letter in Lincoln papers, LofC)
January 24, 1863 Telegram from A. Brody to Lincoln questioning choice
track gauge for Pacific Railroad (LOC, Lincoln papers) (this seems to
confirm the date of early January for the gauge decision)
This reads in part " I have been informed that the question of gauge
the Pacific Railroad is about to be decided & that a gauge different fro
that all the roads in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Northern Missouri is
likely to be adopted. I understand that the argument in favor of a five
foot gauge as the fact that a portion of the line on the Pacific Coast
adopted that gauge... "
James McDougall is a Senator from California, a San Francisco "war"
democrat (supports the Union) and chair of the Senate committee for the
Pacific Railroad. He is one of two men (the other being Timothy Guy
Phelps, house member from San Mateo) identified as being present when
Huntington and Judah agree to release the rights to build between
Sacramento and San Francisco (the Western Pacific) toa group of
San Francisco business men. This group, while not identical to the
building the San Francisco and San Jose and later the Southern Pacific,
have many common directors. As chair of the Pacific Railroad committee
McDougall will appoint Judah as clerk of the committee.
Both Phelps and McDougall will hold board positions with the three San
Francisco railroads. I suspect, but so far can't prove that both men
at least peripherally members of Ralston's Bank Ring. (McDougall on
of the earlier boards of the SF&SJ, Phelps on the SF&SJ, and is the
President of the first incorporation of the Southern Pacific)
Phelps a Republican runs against Stanford for governor. Later Phelps
be run out of the Republican Party, in an effort lead by E Soule. I
suspicious (but can't prove) that the attack is payback from Stanford.
Locally (on the Peninsula) Phelps is well liked and known as an honest
E Soule is a Sacramento area blacksmith/wagon builder, who builds some
the push carts used to build the CP, who is one of the organizers of the
May 10 1869 celebration in Sacramento, will later purchase part of the
Kimball works, and will sue Kimball asserting bankrupcy (The court turns
down the claim, and Soule's lawer for the attemp is associated with
Stanford) Soule will later be the head of grounds for Stanford
Finally, Soule and Stanford grew up together in New York...
With both Phelps and Kimball possibly associated with Ralston, can some
this be explained as a conflict between Ralston and the CP?
I am going to have a week in Washington DC next month. I plan on
time with the Lincoln papers... There may be stuff there. Phelps is
supposed to have been a friend of Lincoln, and "had his ear". Last
went through the Pacific Railroad Committee notes, but only the Standing
committee stuff. It was a select committee until 1861, then made a
standing committee. The committee records are incomplete, and the
archivist not particularly helpful (not bad, just not helpful) and now
I have done more background research I should understand better. I have
already read most of the Secretary of the Interior information on the
but will go to the archives at College Park to tie up some loose ends.
have identified the WP ledgers in the Bureau of public dept as another
target. If people have specific requests I will try to oblige.