Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Bee rode the caboose of railroad's rapid rise"

"Bee rode the caboose of railroad's rapid rise" by Steve Wiegand, © The Sacramento Bee, February 7, 2007. (News Article)

Article about the pro vs. con railroad editorial policies of the Sacramento newspapers, c. 1869.

"In the months leading up to its completion, The [Sacramento] Bee published dozens of pieces about the railroad. ... Bee co-owner Jeremiah O'Leary was among the guests on a special VIP train from Sacramento [to Promontory], and he sent back detailed dispatches to the paper along the way. ... the Central Pacific's owners first tried to sell their creation rather than try and operate the railroad themselves. After failing to peddle it for $20 million, they decided to try another route. They began to swallow up their competition in all its forms. They absorbed rival rail companies, including the Southern Pacific ... The railroad company became the biggest landowner in California as well as the state's chief employer. ... By the mid 1870s, the [Sacramento] railyard was a mini-city, employing 700 people.

... James Anthony, the Sacramento Union's principal owner, positively hated [the CPRR]. ... a 'memorial' printed in The Bee that repudiated the Union's anti-railroad stand ... bore the names of more than 500 people ... [The Bee's] exasperated McClatchy ... proclaimed in an editorial: 'The Union is a wicked paper. ... it is notoriously conscienceless ...' ... The Central Pacific refused to carry [the Sacramento Union] or allow it to be sold on its trains ... the Union owners put the paper up for sale. It was sold in February 1875 and merged with the Sacramento Record, a railroad-backed paper. The sale made The Bee the dominant paper in Northern California outside the Bay Area. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]